Inquisitor Drake's log, M41 979.230 18.03 hours standard time.
[Singing heard in background, male, Dark High Baritone/Tenor and Soprano]
I looked into your heart and saw you pure and whole
Cloaked under the night with nothing to suppress
A woman and a man, no more and yet no less
We said things in the dark we never dared to say...
[Audio log beeps, showing low charge]
[Male vocal ceases]
Frak...I left this thing on! Sod! [Calls to background] Serena, my apologies my dear, my journal was on, we can continue my...lesson...now darling.
Inquisitor Drake's log, M41 979.231 00.59 hours standard time.
So it is done...she is dead. It's a shame, her sin was one born of ignorance and boredom, but the Masqued cannot be tolerated I am afraid. Serena Gratus of the House of Gratus, noble family of Malfi. A House of fine financiers and purveyors of several of the finest auction houses in the Sector, House Gratus oddly makes it's home on Malfi rather than Scintilla. I suppose at face value there is nothing really odd in that respect.
I have been rather lax in the upkeep of my log on my latest investigation, so I shall attempt to fill in the gaps. Upon consulting the Masters I once again left the Temple in pursuit of a lead on breaking the Masqued and their connection to Hydra and Wolf. Indeed it perplexes me still why the upper echelons of the cult have seen to militarise the cult. From what I could surmise from Inquisitorial records a high ranking member of the Cult had interests in the Malfian Sub and so I began my journey in the guise of Invictus, using the Shadow Network of the Cabal.
Lord Cadin has been instrumental in my quest and were it not for his guidance I may not be here still. He never questioned my actions or my willingness to go on Special Condition. I suppose I never really imparted what happened after Scintilla...
The High Conclave made a pilgrimage to Sentinel after the revelations of Wolf and Hydra above Scintilla. Lord Cadin and the Council examined me for taint after the event; I was Wolf's pupil as well as Hydra, what if he had corrupted I like he had Igance? For days they screened me, quizzed me, psychicly probed me and thankfully, found only my devotion to the Throne. But I suppose that was never going to be enough for some...Rhykuss...bastard. Frakker served me with a Carta, which thankfully Lord Cadin ripped to shreds...but to him and his ignorant, Monodominant fanatics I am condemned by association with my master. Something wasn't right though, something in the air tasted sour. To hear them, all gathered together as one condemn me a heretic. Call me witch. Question my faith. Bastards.
Lord Cadin came to me that night with Inquisitor Glavius Wroth and spoke of the matters which would lead me to go on Special Condition. Wolf's ultimate scheme...the foolish old man. Oblationist fool. He intends to damn himself by using the weapons of the enemy for what he sees as the good of the Emperor on Terra. Fool. His experiments with the Nemesis Gene, taking up the weapons of Chaos, consorting with the Daemon, marring the human form with Xenos flesh...Fool. He wants the Conclave dead, and his creed in control...the “true servants of the Oath”. Those who would willingly damn themselves for the good of the Emperor.
I believe it is my master's ignorance and conviction to the revival of the Crusade that his led him to this path of damnation and I wish he could be saved/ But alas... only death can save him now. Of Hydra, no...I do not believe his motives are as ignorant as Wolf's...he was always power hungry...seeking advancement and glory...hoping one day to be the Lord of the Calixian Conclave or perhaps more...what is he up to? And then there is the daemon...why was it working with them unless it was for a greater purpose?
[An adagio begins to play in the background]
[Drake inhales a deep breath of Lho]
So back to the events of my latest investigation. For three months I used the network of operatives and contacts Lord Cadin had set up for my mission to smuggle myself into the Malfian Subsector and onto the capital planet itself. Disguising myself as a wealthy gambler named Darius Constantine I began to tour the planet's many gambling houses, subtly using the Precision Telekinesis and precognitive skills that I have been trying to master at the Temple. I'm becoming quite the adept Telekine thank Throne, but frak, I don't think I'm cut out for divination, I can barely see 3 seconds ahead let alone days. Anyway, yes, it was tricky at first to use a very low psychic charge to alter the spin of the roulette wheel or the roll of the dice without the internal sensors of the upper spire houses picking up a signal but after some give and take and narrowly avoiding a very angry casino owner and his brutes I found the correct level of influence and began to amass a small fortune on the tables.
I know why Illeryo does this now, albeit I'm an arrant nave who cheats to win! There's something fascinating about all of these people who have Thrones to throw away. The sheer gall that they have, throwing away fortunes for the mere thrill that winning a hand or rolling well can bring. Drugged up, drunk, carnal addictions all manner of excess is on their minds. Are these the ones who rule mankind? I weep for the serfs and the servants and the factory workers and the miners and the artists quashed by these people. But that is the way things must be. His plan will shine though eventually.
[Drake sings a line of the song that was sung in the previous record]
Devil take the hindmost...
Look at me...I feel sorrow for what I have done...why? She was a heretic, albeit a reluctant one...No, I did His work. This is why I am doing what I am doing, to make sure my soul is clean and my mind sharp as a lathe forged blade.
Perhaps ten days ago now I was in yet another gambling house, taking a glass of re-caff rather than amasec to keep my mind sharp and slowly scanning the minds of the patrons, searching for clues when I came across a young girl, barely of age to be in a gambling house. Perhaps some 21 standard deviations old and unashamedly beautiful; she wore a silk ball gown, proudly flaunting her...feminine assets, long chestnut hair falling in uneven curls down her shoulders, inviting dark eyes looking for a suitable young man with whom she could enjoy his winnings with. There was definitely something there...Masqued! Moving to a roulette table I brushed her side, spilling her amasec a little and apologising profusely like a gentleman. I walked away and took a seat in plain sight of her and began to plant suggestions in her mind of that charming man at the roulette table with the black hair and blue eyes.
“Isn't he a dish my dear?” she would turn to her friends and say. I think I began to enjoy the attention to be honest because my roulette skills went completely to pot! Over the course of an hour I had made sure she was smitten with me to such a degree that would grant me access to her bedchamber where I could be alone with her and could read her properly.
That night, and for numerous nights between then and now I have done things that I am not proud of; creating chemical imbalances in the brain to fool a young girl into falling in love with me, lusting after me, confessing her secrets to me. Good God Emperor...she wasn't a bad girl...
That night she made love to me many times, swore that she loved me and would take me to wed...but I just sought to probe her mind for clues as to her past-time. When she was finally asleep I probed deep into her sleeping mind; Serena Gratus of House Gratus, sole daughter and heiress of Uther Gratus, owner of several banking houses throughout the Sub and owner of a vast estate and fortune on Malfi. He is the one who initiated her into his own lodge of the Masqued, and he is one of the Masters of the Cult itself...he is my next target then. The problem was...well...currently is that Uther surrounds himself with very tight security and now rarely leaves his estate due to the revalation of the connection between the cult of which he is a part and the Rouge Inquisitors Hydra and Wolf. I needed to create an event to draw his forces away, to make him reckless. To make the bastard angry.
One solution then...kill his only daughter. I summoned a blade of psychic power with intent to give the girl a swift death that night, but something inside my soul told me I could not kill the sleeping girl, that she was an innocent condemned of nought but association. If I did this, what made me better than Rhykuss? So for a standard week I courted the girl, and found we shared many interests! In music, in art in dramatics! It was astonishing, this beautiful girl, young, vivacious and a charm to be around, I began to forget myself until two nights ago when the depth of her involvement with her father's cult was revealed to me. We made love on the terrace of her estate, under a moonless sky in the summer heat and it was beautiful until in the midst of passion I felt a mental barrier fall in her mind. Someone had shielded some facts that they did not want someone such as I to know. Flashes of images came to me as I read her; excess, insane pleasure, ritual, slaying at the moment of ecstasy; she was a Black Widow it seems...her father's pawn. A carnal assassin. This could not be tolerated.
So tonight I lured her back to her bedchamber, removed her dress, slowly...sensually...kissed her neck...ran my hands up and down her body and whispered in her ear...
“My dear, I feel I have not been honest...my name is not Darius Constantine...I am Inquisitor Thaddeus Drake of the most Holy Ordo Malleus...and I am here to sign your death warrant...”
Then for a moment that seemed to last an eternity I sensed it...that raw adrenaline fuelled panic, insane sorrow and deep, dark, piercing fear in the last moment of life. The Raven dealt with her swiftly, giving her a quick death.
Yet...I do feel saddened by the passing of this young woman of high society. To me it shows what we will do to keep our parent's favour. I sensed her regret at what she had done to keep with her father. He would close her trust fund if she did not do his bidding, and escaped her guilt by immersing herself in others and objects and fantasies. Art...music...the theatre...men...women all of these things did not clear her conscience but gave her a measure of escapism. It is very sad indeed...but do you know what? Do you know what? She is an example of what is wrong with the Imperium. She was a sheep, following her lineage's example. For every traitor there is an entire family to be infected with corruption...
[Drake sings again]
Diamonds never sparkle bright
If they aren't set just right
Beauty sometimes goes unseen
We can't all be in a dream...
She was just another example that corruption seeps from the highest to the lowest...from the elder to the younger. Like Wolf to Hydra...did he really corrupt me? I am His servant...please my Lord on Terra. Save my soul from what is to come.
She is dead and he will be looking for a killer, then I will strike. Another kill for the Psyker Assassin: Invictus and another soul sent to the great void by Inquisitor Thaddeus Drake. How many more have to die for Hydra and Wolf? How many more...
Franc better be looking after him. Krell trained him well I suppose, but he does have a habit of shooting at...well...everything.
[He sings again the end of another song, slower tempo than is written in the original score ++see record number NHK 9808-b]
I miss them all...I miss my pupil's antics, I miss that damn gunhead and his black sense of humour, I miss that foolish Arbite who's had too much Obscura and too many sodding beans, I miss that fat bastard of a Cleric with who's council I kept...I miss the dead veteran and I miss my beloved...in stasis somewhere up there in those stars.
If this journey is to be a test of faith and a test of power then it must also be a test of character. For to become his instrument of destruction, one must be devoted to His will entirely, and must sacrifice those things that he holds dear so that the Emperor may gauge his worthiness. The battles to come will be hard fought and we must be ready. The Conclave moves against the Rogue Agents within the Inquisition and the Shadow War continues. If Inquisitor Wroth is right about the Tenebre Collegium and Zerbe then we may be looking at a full scale Inquisition War within a century.
Well..if that is the case, then Thaddeus Augustus Drake will be ready.
And so will the warriors of the Emperor.