Ja’ak. Vexok savaka.
Xen’Mordin’s eyes snapped open.
“My lord, the files you requested,” the courier repeated timidly. It was his first time even being in the presence of the Emperor. Beads of sweat rolled down the boy’s soft and youthful features.
“Put them down and leave. This request never happened,” Xen commanded, his voice sharp and threatening. The courier jumped slightly and threw the physical copies of the files onto the nearest table. The boy turned and bolted without so much as another glance. The pathetic lad already forgotten about, the Emperor reached for the pile of papers. He paused just short of them, hand hovering.
He recalled no such request. He was surprised to even see paper was still in use for anything more than those ancient, dusty tomes that lay forgotten by time itself.
He slowly lowered his hand to the cover page of the report. Curiosity getting the better of him, he flipped the page.
His brow furrowed, eyes moving rapidly along the page. For a the briefest moment, his eyes went wide. Then came the clenched jaw and intense gaze of deep and urgent thinking. He knew what had to be done.
March Isle, Judecca
The Quarren, lost deep in thought, stroked one of the many tentacles protruding from his chin. Settling into his new role as Quaestor of House Imperium had been easier than anticipated. Surely there was nothing that could stop the Battlemaster’s relentless push forward for greater power.
“Ah yes this will do nicely,” Lexiconus said to himself, plopping up one of the many delicacies set before him. His thin tongue watered at the thought of indulging himself with such a tasty morsel, mind contemplating what other perks he would discover as Quaestor.
The door to his office swished open, and an intelligence officer came bounding breathlessly into the room. The intrusion caused the Quarren to drop his meal to the ground. Before he could lash out over this annoyance from the officer, she spoke.
“Priority 1 message coming in, sir. It’s…” the woman trailed off for a second before continuing, “It’s the Emperor.”
Lexiconus dismissed her with a quick wave of his hand. He straightened himself up, not about to look the full before the Emperor himself. Even he knew better than to simply dismiss a message like this. Lunch would have to wait.
Somewhere in the middle of the Emperor’s message, Lucyeth had stood abruptly, his chair toppling over. Now that the message had ended he stood still, staring into the blue haze of the hologram’s projector.
The message had ended five minutes ago.
Orders such as this came rarely, and rarer yet concerning issues within the clan itself. Lucyeth knew all too well the disreputable nature of his subordinates in House Excidium. Yet, not even they would tolerate betrayal. They would not sit idly by, and neither could he. He drew his cloak tight around him and turned to leave the small safehouse.
He tapped several commands into his comm as he angled the device to shield his face as best he could from the biting cold winds of Caina.
And with that the news was sent. Within seconds, every member of House Excidium would receive it. It would be be answered without question, and in a matter of hours, they would be in position to strike.
Xen’s eyes were heavy, his mind fogged. Maybe he had grown too cocky. So certain was he of himself, of his Clan, of his Empire. But he was the Emperor, and even he could not argue with what he had read. Though it bordered on incredulous, he was confident with the ploy he had set in motion.There was more that threatened the very existence of Clan Scholae Palatinae than mere monsters or insurgents. Threats from within were equally real, and there was only one way that he could gaugehis followers’ resolve, and most importantly, their loyalty. One final test would yield the answer he sought.
His eyes fell on the open holocron that lay idle on his desk. He had seen the truth. All that he could do was wait and watch.
All Members of House Imperium
Direct from the Emperor
Attention members of House Imperium,
Today, the order and stability you have helped bring to the Cocytus system is threatened. Not by some ancient evil, or bold outsider, but from within. These men and women you so deemed to call brothers and sisters, they have plotted against you.
House Excidium, those honorless, anarchistic curs, have been sowing the seeds needed to supplant we loyal followers of the Empire. They perceive our government as weak. Indeed, they seek to exert a far more brutal, relentless form of control and rule over the populace in a regime of bloodshed and terror. Through their secret networks, control of the black market, and decentralized facilities, they seek to tear apart everything that we have built and protected and bled for.
Your orders are to rout out these renegades and bring them to justice. Order must be maintained, for the Empire!
All Members of House Excidium
Direct from the Emperor
Attention members of House Excidium,
Today, the networks and power which you have established throughout the Cocytus system faces opposition. An opposition the likes of which we have never faced before. Those we so deemed to call brothers and sisters now seek to overthrow us.
House Imperium, seeks to insure they are the only ones left standing, they seek to overthrow our control of the Empire. Feeling that we grant population too much freedom, they wish to crack down upon those whom we rule over. This ploy has not been sanctioned by my will. Indeed they intended to force the rest of the Clan out of the system, and securely rule alone and uninhibited. Headquartered on the March Isles, they wish to flush Excidium out of your safehouses and into their trap.
Your orders are to rip the foundation out from beneath these two-faced betrayers. Break them and bring them to justice. For the Empire!