Following on from the last story I wrote for Inquisitor Jachem, here is the next part.
Grandmaster Tralin was in deep meditation when Jachem’s request reached him. The Strike Cruiser Fire’s Wrath was in transit within the Varcan Cluster, awaiting the call, or Psyker message about a Daemonic incursion. They knew that one was due soon, one that would shake the foundations of the Cluster itself, however without a precise time or location they could not move, not yet. So they waited. Drilling, Praying, Cleansing their Bodies, Minds and Souls in preparation.
The Servitor that delivered the message arrived silently, leaving just as quietly. A blank mind meant there was nothing there for Chaos to corrupt.
Jachems request was barely a request at all, more a command. Tralin shook his head slightly as he re-read the message. ‘Assemble with all haste, imminent attack’ much the same reason the chapter had a hundred Battlebrothers on in the cluster in the first place, all under Tralin’s command. One Hundred of the best that Humanity had to offer.
With another rueful shake of his head, Tralin moved over to the Vox unit and told the pilot to set course for Jachem’s planet.
It took the Fire’s Wrath just under a week to reach Jachems planet, and the group that confronted him when he arrived was not a sight Tralin had expected. Not only was he confronted by the frail form of Inquisitor Jachem, but he also found himself in the presence of Inquisitor Naaman and Inquisitor Haylon. All three branches of the Inquisition present in one room was a rare occurrence indeed.
Inquisitor Jachem started speaking as soon as Tralin was seated.
"As you may or may not be aware the planet of Yalusa was recently invaded by a massive xenos force. The combined efforts of all the forces I could bring to bear were enough to save some of the planets population, but very little of the planets infrastructure has been left intact. Another blow to the Industrial sector of this cluster. I admit I am disappointed that I did not see any of the three of you present."
Tralin shook his head slightly before opening his mouth to speak, but before he could utter a word Inquisitor Haylon started speaking.
"The last time I responded toa comminique from you Jachem your forces tried to kill me. It is only they very fact that Yalusa lies in ruins that I even heeded your invitation this time."
Tralin started speaking after giving the Inquisitor a few seconds to continue.
"My Battle Brothers were present Inquisitor, the mere fact that two Brotherhoods operate within the cluster is a testament to the influence you three Inquisitors have. Short of a full Daemonic Incursion the two of us will not take to the field together."
Inquisitor Jachem nodded slightly... he obviously knew why Tralin's brotherhood had not been present, and knowing his reputation Tralin imagined he also knew why the other two Inqusitors had been indisposed.
"Well, regardless of your location, excuses or reasons for not attending, let me tell you why I did. They uncovered a Dark Age temple. Nothing technological of use, but still its texts give some interesting information about other possible sites. The nearest of which is the planet Leio. From the information we have managed to obtain it appears that there is a weapon there. One of great power."
The Inqusitor paused to look each of them in the eye, obviously his next point was to be an important one.
"An interesting fact about Leio is that it is located at the exact centre of this cluster. Its location is fixed and has not moved since our records began... in fact according to the Dark Age texts its location has been fixed for far longer than our records even existed. "
Even Tralin had to admit his interest was piqued by this fact. Rarely in his experience had there been such a thing as coincidence.
"The texts are unclear on the exact methods or technologies involved, but it would appear that the entire cluster exists because of Leio. It may be that the technology on Leio is what created the Cluster, seeding life on some of these thousands of planets."
Inquisitor Naaman blew out a breath, while Inquisitor Haylon merely shook his head. Tralin was the first to break the silence.
"Has it been confirmed? Have you got any of your forces to the locations mentioned in the texts on Leio?"
Jachem turned his gaze to Tralin before answering,
"No, no confirmation yet, and the techs that can confirm its location are inbound, however they will not arrive for another week. However I found similar information on Natrenia. Unfortunately that planet has been lost to us, and the resulting Exterminatus will have destroyed the information."
Jachem tapped a few controls on the Holopad in front of him, the device flickered into life with a Holo of Leilo appearing infront of them all.
"After the fighting on Yalusa I believe that some of the other factions within the cluster are also inbound to Leio."
The Holo shifted, zooming out to show the Solar system, then several Solar systems, highlighting the incoming fleet.
"Our scans indicate several Warp Shadows moving towards the planet, their arrival will be within the month. Fortunately as they are all approaching the planet from the same Galactic plane, their shadows may slow each other down further, I am even hopeful the fleets will end up in a fight with one another before even arriving at Leilo."
The Inquisitor tapped the Holopad a few more times and its view shifted back in towards Leilo.
"The one thing we can be sure of is that Leilo is about to become a warzone. My latest reports from the surface indicate a surge in Chaotic Cults, a rise in maladies we associate with the taint, and a planet wide drop in production."
It was Inquisitor Naaman that interjected, voicing the obvious.
"Now it makes sense why you invited me here Jachem. We have never seen eye to eye, but on this we agree."
Jachem was now focused on Naaman,
"Agree on what exactly Naaman?"
"That we should bring all of our available forces to the planet and locate the STC."
Inqusiitor Jachem barked out a quick laugh.
"What makes you think there is anything like an STC on the planet?"
Naaman's face hardened at Jachem's rebuke.
"There are very few technologies that exist in this universe capable of even a fraction of the power or manipulation to do something like seed life through a cluster the size of this one. Somewhere like that is likely to house more than just one machine!"
Inquisitor Haylon started speaking before Naaman had closed his mouth.
"Xenos technology or not the Chaotic signs you report could mean there is a Daemonic force heading there that we could harness."
Tralins face never changed, his body hadn't moved, but the three Inquisitors turned to look at him as soon as Haylon said the word Harness. Tralin stayed silent, the Grey Knight Order Chapter was deeply involved with all levels of the Inquisition, it knew things. Tralin was sure he knew some things about the Inquisition that would make these three men quiver. He stayed silent.
Inquisitor Jachem was the first to break the silence.
"I have never seen eye to eye with either of you. While on the one hand your belief that Xenos technology can help us is not as repulsive as Haylon belief that we can harness Chaos for our cause, neither of your methodologies are a thing that I can agree with. However the potential discovery of a STC is too important for our differences to get in the way. Between us we can muster a force that should be able to turn back anything, including a full blown Chaotic invaision. We need to assemble our forces, and we need to do it now. I want to stress that this is a POTENTIAL discovery, the texts could be wrong."
Naaman was the next to speak.
"I understand the potential gains and losses for the Imperium, and as you say we can muster a great deal of Military support in a short period of time. I have some contacts with a local contingent of Blood Angels that should be able to lend themselves to this fight. What I would like to know is why we have a Grandmaster present who is yet to speak his mind on this matter."
As he finished all three sets of Inquisitors eyes turned to Tralin. One Inquisitors gaze was enough to break the strongest of wills, under the stare of three of them a normal man would be confessing sins he had forgotten commiting. Tralin didnt blink.
"Our Mandate is to prevent Daemonic Incursions and to follow the orders of the Inquisition. Your squables are known to us, but as long as it does not prevent us from doing what the Emporer tasked us with doing it doesn't matter. Finding and defending a potential STC is not a job we would normally do, however a Chaos Invasion will inevitably bring with it hordes of Daemons. We will do our job Inquisitors, just tell us when you need us to be at Leilo and I will bring every Knight I can find."
As Tralin spoke, he stood up, towering over the three Inqusitors. He would follow their orders to the letter until they were found wanting, or falling to Chaos. There was never any question in his mind as to what the role of the Grey Knights was.
"That is all we need to know, the particulars of how the three of you view this event, will not speed our arrival or victory. I will take my leave now and assemble my Brotherhood. I will also send inform Rasin's Bortherhood of the impending danger. We have been awaiting a predicted Daemonic incursion it may be that this is it."
He looked each of the Inquisitors in the eye before continuing.
"For the God Emperor Inquisitors, I will see you on Lelio."