Name: Inquisitor Eridelle "Tracker" Dameine
Height: 6.1 feet
Weight: 191 pounds
Personality/Description: Eridelle (Eri, for friends, who happen to be very few) is a person of cold demeanour when in a social interaction. In layman's terms, she is not comfortable around lots of people. She might even be rude and cynical when surrounded by a multitude. However, when alone, she is like a tracking hound, and it is then when she works best. However, this doesn't mean that it is impossible to gain her confidence.
Betraying her means a most painful and slow death, though.
Standing at around two meters, Eridelle is an imposing sight. Clad in a grey uniform with black armor over it, she is well protected. She covers herself with a white trenchcoat, where she keeps most of her "accessories" (knife, Winchester, and power sword). Over it, draped around her shoulders and falling a bit under them, is a grey wolf's fur, its head resting over her right shoulder and acting as a brooch of sorts. On her head, a white cowboy's hat adds that bit of eccentricity that should be taken as proof that she has earned her right to wear whatever she pleases.
Eridelle is caucasian, and sports a wild blonde mane that falls like a cascade over her trenchcoat. While her left eye is an icy blue, her right one is bionic. This combination of ice and technology is intimidating to anyone.
Under all her clothes, stands a really well-built body, result of the harsh physical training expected from any Inquisitor, and the genetical heritage of generations of farmers and shepherds.
History: Young Eridelle could be mistaken for any village girl, if it weren't for her affinity to the forests where she played as a child. Her family owned a few lands at the forest's edge, and Eridelle herself was a shepherd for her father's sheep.
However, news of unrest came from the city. Apparently, an uprising was beginning there. The cause was unknown at the time, but the real surprise came when the wolves on the mountains came down and started feeding on the cattle. Full groxes were devoured, and sheep were dragged away. This strange behaviour confirmed the fears of the Emperor-fearing Yallessians that something was wrong on the forests.
Eventually, the wolves grew bolder, and people started disappearing. Until, one night, Eridelle's family was killed and devoured by the wolves. She had hidden in a closet, and the smell of blood hid her presence to the beasts. When she came out of her hiding spot, one idea was clear in her mind. Revenge.
She took her father's rifle, ammunition, and his hunting knife, and set out to hunt every last wolf which she had seen in her house. She spent whole years in the forests, hunting the beasts, while the PDF and the Arbites kept most uprisings at bay, none of the confrontations being beyond a few protests. But Eridelle was not aware of this. She spent all of her time in the forests, and she kept seeing families slaughtered by the wolves.
She tried to rise the population's courage by leaving hunted wolves on their thresholds before disappearing in the night, but the farmers were too afraid to fight, and left for the cities. There, they joined a cult that had sprung in the city and which quickly took control over the desperate masses of the poor. At this stage, the cult began a full-scale uprising. The PDF were at first hard-pressed to keep the revolt from obtaining victory, but they held on until reinforcements came in to assist. Between these reinforcements, there was Inquisitor Dameine.
The wolf attacks drew his suspicions, and he headed into the forests to investigate, but the wolves attacked him en masse. Nearly twenty wolves surrounded him and his then small retinue. Dameine was sure to die until shots rang out in the wilderness. Before Dameine could locate the sharp-shooter, four beasts lay bleeding on the snow. Eridelle felled a fifth one from her position on top of a thick tree, draped completely on wolf fur and the fur itself covered in snow. With her support, the wolves were slain.
Still, the culprit remained hidden. Dameine searched for information until finally he found clues about a couple of twins having been born with strange, shamanic powers. One was killed in the uprisings, and seemed to occupy a high rank on the rebel chain of command. The other one, his whereabouts were unknown. Before Dameine could formulate a plan, Eridelle had disappeared again into the forests.
Two days later, as Dameine tracked a trail of blood in the snow which had started at a PDF outpost, he found an enormous wolf with its entrailes spilled on the snow, bullet holes peppering its thick skin. A few feet away, a young man lay dead, a knife sunk in his heart. And beyond, Eridelle stood, leaning against a tree, fighting against her own wounds as she tried to keep them closed.
Dameine adopted her as his own daughter, and trained her in the ways of the Inquisition. The thrill of the hunt reawakened on her, only with a different prey this time. Heretics, traitors, and mutants. After some time learning the intrincancies of human psyche, low-level chemistry, and torture, Eridelle was deemed worthy of being awarded the title of Inquisitor, and now she is on a mission to prove herself worthy of the honor.
And to prove to herself that, even if there were no more wolves in the whole universe, man makes an acceptable substitute.
Power Sword (scabbard on her left leg)
Winchester (holster diagonally placed on her back, under her trenchcoat, ready to be unholstered easily, this is a modified version of her hunting rifle, loaded with Bolter rounds and comprising a complicated recoil-absorbing system that, with some luck, permits good accuracy. Five projectiles per reload)
Hunting Knife (on right boot, facing inwards)
Wolf Skull (serving as camera, and armed with a laspistol-like weapon)
Bionic eye (right one)
Various chemical ingredients, enough to create powerful anti-biotics and coagulants
The rain pounded on the tin-roofed houses as the bulky figure strode in a fast trot towards the bar. Her fast trot in the rain called for the attention of the four men standing inside the hut, and that of the two men standing on top of the concrete wall roughly twenty yards above, and thirty away from the house.
In the house, the *click* of a weapon being cocked startled the youngest of them.
"There she comes."
"Man, you would think we could get a better job than this..."
"Shut it. I did what I could. With the IG here, it is hard to come by challenges better than that."
"We know nothing about the woman. How do you know she is not a challenge?"
"She is a woman, DUMBASS."
All of them stuck to the walls, and covered themselves with their cloaks, unbuttoning them. An array of knives, pistols, and a couple of shotguns glinted in the darkness inside the house.
"Tell Shapid and Tolena to get ready."
The fourth figure, the youngest one, slid into the street and signalled the men on the wall rising two fingers, and waving.
"That's the signal. The poor bitch will never know what hit her."
"Yeah, right. That is why we got hired, didn't we? Shut the hell up and prepare the camera. We'll get a good filming on this one, I bet."
"Why does he want us to film it? You would think her scalp would be enough to prove the job got done."
"Shhht! There she is!"
The camera moved, plastic protecting its delicate gears. Through a high-definition white-and-black system, Tolena saw the woman approaching. She marched like an infantry man, splashing on the mud.
"Three houses... two houses... one house... Damn, she stopped. Get the rifle ready."
The woman had stopped under the rain, and seemed to be staring dead ahead.
"Pfffft. Have you seen that? What the hell kind of clothes are those? A trenchcoat, fur, and a wide-brimmed hat."
"I guess s... what the hell is she doing?"
The woman had ducked into the alleyway right beside the house.
"Dang. Signal the..."
"Holy crap! Look at the house!"
Tolena rose his eyes over the camera. The cracking noise kept echoing off in the rain, and crimson light escaped through the gaps on the wooden surface of the walls.
"Shit! What's going on? I can't see anything!"
Derek plunged through the wood-work, and ran into the street. He signalled to the men on the wall, this time waving three fingers. Then, he whipped out his knife and a double-edged sword. He spun around to see the woman emerge out of the alleyway, holding a sword on her right hand, her head lowered, her face hidden by the hat's brim.
The sword on her hand glowed blue.
Awwww, man. He didn't tell us about that!
Derek cast an anxious glance into the house. Two bodies lay on the floor, blood seeping into the wood planks. Someone had shot at them with a laser weapon, but he couldn't see who, or from where the shots came.
And the woman advanced on him.
"Look, boy. I don't know who sent you. And that is the only thing that makes me half-interested in letting you live. Do you understand? Tell me who sent you, now, and I won't have to tear your head out of its nice position. How's that for an offer?"
"Feth you, whore!"
Derek swung at her, but she was way too fast. Her left hand grabbed his wrist before he had slashed all the way down, and then spun him around forcibly. His knife fell to the ground, surprise playing a nasty card on him. She held a knife to his throat.
"No. Feth you."
"SHIT! I can't hit her!"
"This can't end nice and cool..."
Tolena turned around, as did his companion. Before he could raise his rifle, a shadow barreled into him. He tried to hold onto the camera behind him, but the weight was too much. Both fell, both shattered.
"N... no! W... wait!"
Tolena slinked away, but the shadow towered over him. Tolena's heart beat like a stubber firing on full auto. A stubber pistol was the only thing remaining between him and the shadow in front of him.
Lightning struck, and his heart skipped a beat. The shadow was human, clad in a green trenchcoat, the face hidden behind a skull mask. Tolena knew very well what that meant.
He got up, but the shadow charged him. He drew his pistol, only to have his wrist held by the Krieger. He struggled to free his grip, and he succeeded...
Only to notice that he was toppling sideways. He felt an oppression on his ankles, where a millisecond ago, the Krieger's foot had hit. As he looked on, the image of the skull mask fell away in his sight. Then, he noticed he was the one falling.
"Thanks for the information."
The body slumped to the ground. The woman looked in disgust at her hands. The damn bastard hadn't had the decency to bleed AWAY from her.
"YOU DAMN BITCH!"
She tipped her head sideways, and saw a second man behind her, holding a shotgun.
"I'm going to make you PAY for this!"
"Hey, can't blame me, you know? It was you who tried to kill me, after all!"
The man's handle was slipping.
"Oh, by the way, have you seen your pals? Shouldn't they have done something by now?"
Her hand crawled into her trenchcoat. The man's gaze flickered between her, and some point high above her. She gripped her Winchester...
"NICE TRICK, WOMAN!"
"Damn, you noticed."
"You will need some better trick than that!"
"Indeed. Like, oh, the floating skull behind you."
The man turned his head, and yelped. He almost fell as he spun and aimed his shotgun. It boomed in the night, but his aim was off. The skull hovered there, the canines on the wolf's skull mocking him.
Something pressed against his back.
"Say hello to my little friend."
The Krieger had heard the crackle of the laser weapon just after "he" had exited the bar. "He" had approached to investigate, only to see a man holding a rifle on top of a wall. "He" had crept up on them, and the rush of adrenaline had taken control when the rifle raised, its barrel glinting maliciously in the night.
The rest was history.
"I hope you have slept well, mister Meier."
"Meier" rose to a sitting position. The appartment complex leant to the forces in the operations were comfortable, but the figure of the woman in front of her dissipated any hope of having a nice resting day. To start with, her strange attire. White trenchcoat, fur on her shoulders, and a white wide-brimmed hat. Then, there was her bionic eye. Also, the icy stare on her normal eye was unnerving, its ice-blue pupil fixed on her. Both framed by a blonde mane. Everything about her screamed "dangerous".
And, the fact that she had entered the appartment through a window was quite extraordinary. More so when the appartment was in a fourth floor. Right now, the woman was sitting on the windowsill, one leg hanging from it, the other leant against the frame.
"Who are you, and what do you want from me?"
The woman closed her eye, and grinned to herself. Meier saw pride and confidence on her lips, as the woman's hand dug into her collar's hole. Out of it dripped a chain, link by link cheerfully clinking as it ran down her chest. Finally, hanging from the chain, an Inquisitorial rosette shone in the dawn's light.
She opened her eye, staring again at Meier. Her grin remained as it was.
"Inquisitor Eridelle Dameine. Eri, for my friends. Would you like to be a friend of mine?"
Meier's eyes fixed on the rosette, which swung lazily. The question could be taken one of two ways.
"What do you mean, friend?"
"Meier, the life of an Inquisitor is very, very lonely. But we are humans too. We also need friends to rely on. Friends, comrades, companions... many names for the same kind of person..."
"You want a henchman?"
The rosette stopped swinging. Eridelle's grin dropped, as did her brow. What is her problem?
"Yes, a henchman. I guess that is what I want..."
"But, why me?"
"You saved my life back there, not knowing who I was. Through your story, you say I was lucky that you were nearby. And you had no weapons to fight, but still you did your best to help a humble servant of the Emperor..."
"I didn't know who they were! I could have killed two Inquisitorial henchmen!"
Meier's mind was sunk deep in doubts. She didn't know what was worse. To keep killing with her comrades, or to keep killing with an Inquisitor. She needed time to decide, and her statements were designed to stall the Inquisitor as much as she could.
And... there was that stare...
"That is true. But, honesty is something I value a lot, as are luck and courage. I have taken a look at your file. You seem to have lots of both. Do you have any idea how much an Inquisitor needs, mister Meier?"
"There are guys far luckier than I am. And there are guys far braver than I am. Why choose me?"
"I don't know."
This caught Meier by surprise.
"I said, I don't know. It is a feeling of sorts. I am sure that you will prove a good comrade to me, Meier, that is all. As an Inquisitor, I have the authority to order you transferred into my retinue."
Meier sighed. She resigned. What she said was true.
"Well, how many more members is your retinue composed of?"
*BLAM BLAM BLAM*
"OPEN THE DOOR! MEIER MIHAILI, OPEN THE DOOR INMEDIATELY!"
Dameine's sight centered on the door. She grinned again, in her own special way.
"That makes two."
"Well, are you going to open? Whoever is knocking clearly does not care about the door's state."
Meier stood up slowly, trying to discern who could be knocking on the door that hard. She knew of no one who could. She hesitated, glancing sideways at Eridelle. Was it really prudent to go open herself?
Eridelle rolled her eyes.
"Fine, I'll go."
She walked to the door, a jovial expression in her face, and opened it. In barreled a huge hulking man, whose imposing and sheer unstoppable mass propelled Eridelle against the table in the middle of the room. The table's legs gave away, and Eridelle slumped down to the floor.
"MEIER MIHAILI, YOU..."
The man stopped mid-sentence upon noticing the mess. Meier looked terrified at the unconscious woman on the floor.
"Now you've done it, pal."
"Don't... call me..."
The man stuttered, appalled at the ruckus he had caused. Or so she thought. His hand's skin was very dark, that she could notice. He wore a black cloak which framed a skull-shaped mask where his face should be. Clearly, he was not one of the Imperial Guard.
"I hope I did not..."
"I am sure she is Ok. She is probably tougher than she looks. Help me, if you don't mind."
Meier grabbed her around the shoulders, while the man grabbed her legs. They set her down on the bed. Her hat fell off to reveal a beautiful blonde mane. Meier felt envy for a second, but remembered that such was the price to pay to belong to the Krieger armed forces. It was a price she didn't regret paying.
"So, what is the reason for your triumphant entrance... sir?"
"Uhmmm, that is... Ah, yes. I have been informed a Meier Mihaili killed a man in a bar! I have come to request his confession and atonement, and..."
"Are you aware that the dead man held the establishment owner's at gun-point?"
The man scratched his head over the hood.
"I hadn't been told that..."
Meier examined him more carefully. He was armed with a chainsword, and had a pistol holster. It was obvious that, had he been a bit more zealous, he would have brought the door down cutting it in two with his chainsword.
"So, may I ask your name?"
"Confessor Grim, Nickolai."
The Confessor bowed, and stayed like that for a few seconds. Meier reciprocated. Then, the Confessor moved to Eridelle. Meier couldn't be sure, but she could swear her lips were moving faintly...
"What is this woman's name?"
"She is Inquisitor Eridelle something. She has just recruited me for her retinue. Although I do not know what the mission is."
Meier looked at Grim with reproachful eyes. If he hadn't interrupted, maybe... However, both wore skull-masks, so they couldn't read each other's expression. It was comical, in a way.
"The... in the... snow..."
The Confessor knelt at Eridelle's side, and leant forwards, intent on listening to her utterings. Meier knelt too.
"I don't think this is right, Confessor. We shouldn't..."
Eridelle winced, as if someone had stabbed her. Then, she grabbed the fur around her neck. She held it tightly.
Her one normal eye opened. She looked at the two "angels" at her side. Her expression turned to rage, and she half-unsheathed the power sword in her trenchcoat. Both Grim and Meier recoiled, and stepped back, as far as they could. Eridelle's gaze fell upon the broken table, and her hat laying on the floor. She sat, and then stood up, letting the sword slide completely back into its sheath.
As she grabbed her hat, Grim and Meier stood silent and inmobile like statues. Her eye turned into a slit when she looked at the Confessor.
"I expect you to behave more accordingly next time, Confessor Grim. Otherwise, I will make sure you can never knock on a door again."
Eridelle's attitude had changed completely. Meier couldn't help wondering what she had been dreaming about. What had happened to her father? Obviously, something pretty bad. And where did the snow fit in?
Eridelle tried putting her hat on, but winced as soon as it touched her head. She touched around her hair with her other hand. Meier was sure Grim had just bought a ticket straight to Fethedville.
"Confessor Grim, you are now in my retinue. I am Inquisitor Eridelle Dameine, and I will be collecting a few more members in my retinue this day. If you EVER knock me down like that again, I will fit that chainsword so far up your ass, you won't need teeth to chew food. Is that clear?"
Without waiting for an answer, she strode out of the room. Grim stared at Meier, but she could only shrug. It was most natural. No one liked to get knocked against a table, did they?
Grim followed Meier, and this in turn followed Eridelle, which was proving to be a bit hard. She moved in long strides. The good thing was that moving behind her meant a clear way. Most people on the streets (pretty few, dawn had just broken out on the planet) tended to avoid fancy-dressing strangers.
Grim prayed to the Emperor for forgiveness. It had been a terrible sin on his part to injure such a holy servant of the Emperor in such an ignominious way.
Suddenly, someone yanked at his sleeve. It was the Krieger. He pointed at a door behind him, which Grim would surely have bypassed unnoticed, so concentrated he was in his prayers.
The door led downstairs, into a dark room. Eridelle stood at the foot of the stairs, peering around. She seemed lost. Then, she moved off into a corridor, among multiple other stone-carve corridors. Grim had never been in such a place during his stay on the planet.
As they walked, the corridors gradually transformed into huge libraries. At first, the "shelves" were carved into the stone, but they reached a point where they turned into wood. A finely-crafted wood, with engravings on it. Grim was not enthralled by them, though. There were better things to think about.
Finally, the corridor ended, and a well illuminated room presented itself to their sight. The ceiling was impossible to see (which was most suspicious, since it didn't feel like they had really gone downstairs that great a distance) and the floor was littered with writings and books everywhere. They were piled both on the floor, and on tables. And on chairs, and just piled up in towers. Grim could only see what looked like miles and miles of hap-hazardly organised scriptures.
Off in the distance, there was a light among the papers. It reflected from paper to paper, lending an orange tint to the air.
"Watch where you step."
Eridelle led the way, picking her way carefully around the fragile material. She found it hard, but Grim was not having a field trip either. What was worse, the mud on their boots stained a few books. Grim implored a brief prayer asking the Emperor for forgiveness. Who knows what sacred papers we are damaging walking around like this...
Grim averted his eyes from the indecent publication to his left, and kept following Meier, who seemed to be having a slightly better time. His coat must have been hard to move in, though.
Finally, among the papers, a small figure stood up. Small to Grim, anyway, although the Krieger was shorter than him. This man did not look healthy, but seemed respectable nonetheless. There was no hair on his face, and he was rather thin. The man smiled upon seeing the group approaching.
"Ah, Miss Eridelle! I see you have brought our new companions! Was it difficult to bring them in?"
"Oh, it was rather easy. Nothing to worry about..."
Eridelle grinned, and glanced sideways at Grim.
She turned her attention back to the gaunt man.
"So, what have you been looking up this time?"
"The workings of the holy flamer, Miss Eridelle! It is hard to believe that such a pure source of justice can fit in such a small holy vessel of vengeance! Why, studying into it, I think the heavy flamer must be quite simply the best weapon the Adeptus Astartes could procure themselves! It cleanses corridors of foul Xenos, bunkers of heretics, and is also an effective way of giving honours to a fallen Battle Brother. Not to mention that..."
"Yes, yes, my friend. I am sure the flamer is indeed a great vessel for the Emperor's vengeance. But I think I should introduce you to a couple of new friends.
This is Krieger Guardsman Meier Mihaili, a most excellent example of his planet's warrior pride..."
Eridelle grinned genuinely when she talked about Meier. Grim wondered what this man had done to earn her praise, but surely he could count on her speaking volumes of him!
"...and Confessor Nickolai Grim. I reccomend not opening any door that happens to be between you and him."
So much for an introduction...
"Gentlemen, this here is Savant Shart Anonal, a true prodigy of knowledge and wisedom. His knowledge of religious nature is great and vast, and..."
"ALTHOUGH that is not the only topic I study! I am most interested in any other subjects that are brought to my attention, such as..."
Eridelle put her hand on Shart's shoulder, stopping what Grim suspected would have been an endless tirade about nearly every possible topic in the universe.
"Please, Shart, I respect your knowledge and your willingness to share such a vast array of wisedom as only your privileged brain can contain, but we are in a bit of a hurry."
"Oh... I see..."
Shart seemed slightly hurt, even if Eridelle had tried to soften the impact.
"Do not worry, I am sure you will find someone who wants to listen to your sweet voice produce an interesting talk about topics only someone like you could write whole books about."
Shart cheered up visibly with Eridelle's words. This woman knows how to treat her allies. She truly is a good Inquisitor.
"Anyway, if you wish to remain here for a little while, you are free to do so. Right now, I need to see how Sister Ferrisha is faring with her new flamer. Where is she?"
"Oh, well, I don't know. She doesn't talk to me that much, and she is really impertinent!"
"Yes, I know. I had to convince her not to burn this library at least three times since we got here. And that was yesterday..."
She remarked this with a sincere smile.
"So, where do you think she could be?"
"Well, I guess she would have gone for... the... religious section..."
To Grim, it seemed as if Shart had difficulties pronouncing the right words. What was it that he had against religion? Surely he wouldn't be an atheist, or WORSE, a heretic!?
"Good, thanks. Oh, and Soth?"
"Meditating again. He must be with her. Apparently, Ferrisha seems to find his company enjoyable."
Grim noticed the slight sneer that had formed on Shart's lips.
"Well, off we go. The shuttle will be leaving in a few hours, so we should prepare."
Eridelle left the clearing with the other three following her. They took another corridor, and entered a comparatively small domed room, carved out in marble. The place looked almost like a sauna, with a circular pit on its center, and seats on the sides. Light entered from a hole on the roof.
On one end of the "pool", sat cross-legged an imposing figure clad in black ceramite armour. She seemed to be sleeping, but upon closer inspection, it could be seen that her lips seemed to intone a prayer, while her hands moved slowly over a flamer that rested on her lap. The sound of her voice, echoing in the room, was like that of running water.
On the other side, a man clad in armor sat, imitating the Battle Sister's position. His hands darted from one side to the other of a Storm Bolter. From the entrance, the faint signs of bionics (a metallic glinting here, a strange wrinkle in the sleeve there) could be made out on him.
Grim saw the mournful look in Eridelle's eye. She walked towards the man, and whispered to him, sporting a smile the second she started talking. The echo made her words intelligible, but the man's smile spoke volumes.
Then, she turned over to the Sister of Battle. The Sister rose her head, and Eridelle spoke briefly with her. Again, the room's echo was contraproducent. However, a small detail froze Grim's blood in its veins. The Sister of Battle had one blue eye, and one green eye. Stories of monsters passed by Grim's mind, grazing his confidence on the Sister.
Eridelle walked back to them, with the man sporting the Storm Bolter following her. She gestured amicably towards him.
"This is Soth, my bodyguard. And a faithful man unlike any other."
As she turned to the Sister, Grim noticed that Eridelle's gesture was a bit too fast. It was as if she did not want to speak further of Soth. Why would that be?
"And this is Sister Ferrisha Moranal, a faithful servant of the Emperor, and just as unique as Soth. However, I suggest you never cuss using the Emperor's name. I know it sounds ridiculous, but she is a bit too edgy about that. Watch your tongue around her."
Ferrisha stood up, hefting her flamer. Grim noticed that one of her hands was not protected by the power armor. Why she kept it like that, he didn't know. And he wasn't particularly interested in finding out. Her eyes unnerved him even more than Eridelle's. Although Eridelle only had one normal eye left.
Eridelle surveyed those around her. A Krieger, a Confessor, a Savant, a Sister of Battle and a Bodyguard. Grim could only think of how original this group was. Although he had not known what to expect from an Inquisitorial retinue.
"Now, I have a last member to get here, so you are free to check your weapons and equipment. Those who wish to have a last word with someone, go ahead. Those who don't, stay here. We leave in a few hours."
Eridelle walked away, followed by Meier and Soth, and disappeared in the darkness. The Sister of Battle stared at Grim, but broke eye-contact a few seconds later. What did that mean?
She moved towards one of the shelves and extracted a book, then sat down to read it.
Hmmmm, what an interesting finding...
The man hovered above the stained steel beed, looking down on the latest victim brought to him. A man in his late thirties, with a knife wound on his back, which was now exposed to the Krieger.
He measured the wound's width with a rule, then grabbed a thin steel wire. The wire had a tiny ball on one end. He inserted it ball-first into the wound, and let it slide inwards until it stopped. He noticed the ball brushing against a solid, hard surface along the way, and it stopped an inch after that. When he extracted the rod, he was able to measure exactly the depth of the wound.
Wow, really, really interesting. A perfect killing, I dare say. Whoever did this, he knew what he was doing.
He took off his rubber gloves and washed his hands on the bowl to his left. Then, he grabbed a notebook and started writing on it.
Perfect killing wound. Knife stabbed between the ribs, and pierced the heart. Only one inch was perforated beyond it. The amount of blood on the floor of the bar suggested an inmediate interruption of the heart's functions, and a fast bleeding.
The Krieger had to admit this was one of the few times he had seen such a perfect killing. Not that he admired them, but perfect killing wounds were hard to come by, and still were interesting to observe. Neck, brain, heart, he had seen many of those go silent along his career, but few as fast and as quietly as this one.
He pocketed the notebook, and turned to the light switch. The lamps on the bed went off, while the ones on the ceiling went on. He almost jumped.
"Good morning, Boris."
"Inquisitor, may I suggest you knock on the door next time? My heart serves only as long as it beats."
"Fine, fine. I'm sorry. Now, would you mind coming with me for a walk? I have a couple things to talk to you about."
Boris knew better than denying something to an Inquisitor.
"So, I hope the subject was a good one."
"Indeed. A perfect killing wound. I wish I could meet whoever did it."
Boris did not like that last line.
"Has the plan gone right?"
"Absolutely. The Confessor barreled in like a Space Wolf. Although I dare say the bump on my head was an undesired effect."
He could see only the bionic enhancement on her face, and the blond mane. Both walked down the hospital's aisle, avoiding a stretcher now and then. Boris would have liked to check some of those...
"Well, maybe you should have just asked him to join you. Worse things could have happened. He could have killed you outright, and that other soldier too. I really don't see how neglecting to mention the gun in the report helped your cause."
"I was going to watch his reactions. But he knocked me down, so I am afraid the plan did not work. Still, I got him into my retinue."
Boris stopped, and so did Eridelle.
"If the plan was supposed to gauge his reactions, then why did you still admit him into your retinue? What kind of mission are we going to? Obviously, you did not want to go into it without knowing just how much of a maniac he is."
"Boris, Boris, Boris, he is not a maniac. He is a Confessor! And he could be useful, even if he will have to be treated carefully. As for the mission, it will be explained in due time. Now, I think there are a few people you might be interested in meeting. At least, I hope so."
I hope one of them is a Space Marine. I really want to treat a Space Marine...
The whole retinue was gathered in the clearing in the library, with Eridelle on the center, sitting on top of a table.
"And, you see, I have to investigate if one of the churches is heretical. I would prefer to have this treated in as subtle a manner as possible. However, Emperor willing..."
Ferrisha's lip corner trembled slightly.
"... we can avoid a massacre. Of course, if one of those is heretical, then they will be doomed. Halodin should be an interesting place to visit, that's for sure."
"What reinforcements will we have?"
Boris stared at the Krieger at his side. He had noticed how she had preferred to sit beside him, instead of in front. Not that he really cared.
"Imperial Guard. If one of the churches is heretical, they will be wiped out completely."
Eridelle stared at each of them in turn, seemingly gauging... something.
"Well, if there are no more questions, I suggest you gather your belongings and prepare for departure, which will be... in one hour exactly."
As the henchmen boarded the Valkyrie, Eridelle took a last look at the city behind her. Dirty, muddy, with Imperial Guardsmen frolicking around in their R&R. Then, she turned to look at the last man boarding the Valkyrie, Confessor Grim...
"Ah, well, what is life without risks? Let's go."
Soth and Eridelle walked down to the landing pad, where the Valkyrie with the Inquisitorial mark prepared for take-off. Personally, she would have preferred one without that mark. It was tremendously suspicious.
"Talking about suspicious... Soth, do you think I should have told them this is my first mission?"
Soth's eyes flickered. I don't know.
"Fine. Now, go board the Valkyrie. I have a last errand to take care of.
No, don't worry. I won't need a bodyguard where I am going."
"We are doomed..."
"What do you mean?"
"Nothing, I hope."
Boris wished he had never learnt to read lips. It wasn't like you could help it, hearing the last words of so many, but right now, he REALLY wished he hadn't.
"So, are you ready?"
"Yes, I am."
"I trust your retinue will protect you well. Some of them were chosen by me, after all. They will remain loyal to you."
"I have no doubts about it. All of them seem to burst with loyalty. And anger. Too much anger. I am not really sure they are the best for the job..."
"Don't be silly, girl. Loyalty is the first thing an Inquisitor must earn from his henchmen. That is why they were chosen."
Eridelle looked into his eyes. The same impossible-to-read eyes she had learnt to love so long ago.
"I am not a girl anymore."
For a second there, she could swear she had seen something in his eyes. She slowly leant forwards, and he embraced her. It was warm, and safe.
"Return to me."
"I will, father..."
He let go of her, and she turned around like a feather in the wind. Without further words, she walked away. He still felt her warmth.
"Are you sure you won't regret this?"
"... I won't be around forever, Tallek. She can't rely on an old man."
"This old man has served the Emperor for decades. If there is anyone she can rely on, that's you."
He turned around, and disappeared into an alleyway.
"Inquisitor Dameine has a lot of errands to do, Tallek. And not all of them are as peaceful as this one. Specially now."
"He's still after you?"
"You know she would giver her life for you without flinching. By giving her freedom, you also give her a choice. You know how many paths there are in the Inquisition."
"I can only trust she will do the right thing, as she's always trusted me to do the right thing too."
Eridelle walked towards the Valkyrie. Doubts crossed through her mind. Was she really prepared to do this? Would she live up to her father's expectations? Her grim thoughts clouded her mind, and eventually her feet. She stumbled on the stones around the landing pad, and almost fell.
An arm appeared in front of her and grabbed her right shoulder, at the same time another held her left one. She smelled the leather...
"You should be more careful, Inquisitor Eridelle."
She looked to her right, and her eyes opened in surprise.
"I see you still can't walk and think at the same time."
She straightened up, swatting his arms away. The Commissar attire really fit him, she had to admit.
"What are you doing here? I thought you were supposed to go with my father?"
"Yes, I was. But apparently, he thought I should go with you. And it seems like he was right."
Eridelle turned around, blushing. She still remembered how Junius had pushed her away when the heretics opened fire on her. He had tackled her away, and the shot that would have gone right through her head had instead hit his eye cavity on the outer side. He didn't die, but his eye was beyond repair.
She couldn't help blaming herself for that. It was natural, and she understood that it hadn't been her fault that the heretics had shot at her, but it didn't stop the feeling.
"I'd rather not have you coming..."
"Because you are prone to doing stupid things."
"Eridelle, I am tired of telling you this. You can trust me."
"What if I don't want to?"
Eridelle knew what Junius was like. He strived to protect those around him, but in doing so, didn't care for his own life. The way she saw it, if her fate had been to die back then, Junius had paid the price to tamper with it. Willingly.
"If you go with me, he will lose most of his own bodyguards. He only had me and you to begin with, and Soth was assigned to me even before I was awarded this rank. I don't need your help anymore."
She turned around. The tone of his voice was serious, as was the expression on his face.
"I go with you for three reasons. First, because the Inquisitor asked me to. Second, because I am in debt with him, and I can not imagine a better reason to go with you than that. And third, you know it yourself, I am your friend. I don't let my friends get killed if I can help it."
His face broke into a smile.
"If you can't trust your friends, who will you trust?"
Eridelle sighed. As usual, he found the way to do as he pleased, and not make people around him feel guilty for letting him have his way. She sneered.
"Fine. But you better be careful if you don't want to lose the one eye you have left."
"The same I say."
Name: Crina "Meier" Mihaili
Weight: 143 lbs
Personality/Description: At first withdrawn in manner, this Guardsman looks as anonymous as all his Krieg brethren as long as his person is concealed behind his Death Korps uniform. His uncovered face displays the grimness so common in the military individual of the Imperium; jaded, but here with a bit of detachment not seen in most devout soldiers.
Meier is usually very protective of his social space when first encountered, but often warms up to people he can relate to. Given to cynicism, he sometimes blends his dialogue with joking remarks but never on his own expense. He doesn't like being the butt of a joke and quickly cools to anyone he finds to be below his standards of seriousness.
To most he remains a faceless, murderous creature in the Inquisitor's retinue: His body draped in a dark slate green greatcoat and his gaze hidden from view by the ghastly face of a leather gasmask, his breathing audible and distorted by the air cleaner strapped to his chest. A black helmet tipped by a gleaming arrow head finishes off teh grim visage. Skulls feature prominently all over his clothes: The forehead of his helmet, the Korps badges on the shoulders of his coat as well as the buckle of his belt and the knee guards of his boots.
He is no more than of average height and weight, but the way he carries around the tank of promethium on his back reveals something of his athletic build: His gait is unhindered and his movements relaxed and comfortable. The nozzle of his flamer is as well as always held in his hands, a sign of security for his allies and one of worry for his enemies.
At his belt a bayonet and a chainsword are sheathed in black leather, within comfortable reaching distance from his hands, clad in gloves of similar material. Under his coat is is armoured with a flack jacket minus the plates for his back: When wearing a tank of highly flammable liquid on your back, there really isn't any reason to tolerate the extra weight the plates bring with them without actually being able to offer you any protection.
Without the mask, his face apppears boyish, though more so in a tomboyish way. If one were to think closely about its details, one may notice the button nose, the pink lips and the topaz eyes reveal something other than masculinity. Two scars mar his appearance: One straight cross the ridge of his nose and one climbing vertically from his right upper lip, faintly turning his expression to a sneer.
His black hair is cropped closely to his scalp, with short sideburn starting at his temples.
When the clothes come off, one may for a brief period remain under the impression of Meier's supposed gender as his body is the picture of olympian physique: Though slim his limbs and torso are crowded by sleek stringy muscles, as though carved from perfect marble.
But the question first arises as one's eyes fall upon the pair of breasts crowing "his" chest. And little doubt remains when not much manhood can be found between his legs: Meier is obviously not the person she makes herself out to be.
History: Crina was born poor and unwanted by her slum dreg family. The toxic nature of her planet, especially so in the slums, marked her from birth as she is partially albino, her skin as white as milk. Bullied from an early age by siblings, peers and parents, she grew up without any illusions of love and compassion, but not with a childhood removed.
The streets became her playground, she a street urchin. She would adventure on the roofs, skulk the alleys and beg on the sidewalk. Not alone, she soon got her first taste of the bitter life of the children of the street: Beaten once by kids her own age she soon retaliated in an ambush and suddenly it was so easy. Fists, feet, knees, elbows and head; they all became weapons as she grew to like the thrill of combat. And she never lost. It was a natural affinity of hers, hand-to-hand combat and she beat them by te ones, two, threes even half-dozens.
Though still in her parents' dubious care, Crina was a free spirit, leeching off an imperialistic and martial society with no mercy for the one that causes it trouble. At age twelve she brutally mugging a man of in sight of two policiary officers. Even her quick feet couldn't outrun those of two master chasers. She was sent to prison in short order and spent the next four years honing her fists and knees on the faces of her fellow inmates.
Sixteen years old and out in the sufficiently free Krieg society Crina started working at a weapons factory, constructing weapons of assault for the Death Korps that are the pride of her homeworld. And this is what first opened her up to the idea of a life on the battlefield. It was not long before she quit her job and made off towards the closest reqruitment office to sign up for the cause of the Emperor (people talked about that figure alot, but she couldn't in earnest say she had any idea about the subject or this "Imperium" thingie)... And was subsequently shown to the door: "Girls in the armed forces? Hah!"
There really wasn't much left to do: She cut off her already short hair and headed off to another office. Yes sir, Meier Mihaili, that's my name - and off to the training stations it was.
With a glimpse of the sound of the primordial roar of the Creation, the green tide swept forward, firing its shootas without aiming, charging without thinking, taking fire without flinching. Meier fired desperatly at the oncoming horde of hulks, the trembling trench making any attempt to aim futile. What was this? This thing? This madness bereft of reason?
It was combat. Battle - War. It was death and it was fear like he'd never known it. And he was not alone: The trench was brimming with the feeling of rising panic, oozing from the conscripts who now for the first time knew what the struggle for the Emperor was truly like.
Suddenly the Orks were but a few green leaps away and it was blatantly clear that the lasfire would not stop them in time. One conscript fainted. The trench that had protected them from the Orks' slugs was now a trap that would soon turn into a mass grave.
"GET UP!" their veteran seargant suddenly roared. With minds unable to think clearly the conscripts obeyed and Meier was among the first to meet the Orks head on. He pulled the trigger - nothing. Just as the giant was about to slice him in half, Meier lunged forward and drove his rifle's bayonet into the creatures throat. Dodge, stab, dodge, stab - it felt like an eternity which was suddenly crushed as the seargant, upon seeing the waaagh! falter and begin to turn tail, bellowed at his three remaining soldiers:
"CHARGE!" Together with the other Troopers Meier roared at the top of his lungs as they charged through the urban night, secure in each others presence as well as the knowledge that now; now they would finally breach the outer defences of the Traitors' city. The campaign had had dubious results so far, but this would soon change.
Meier had recieved a medal the night prior for his rescure of a wouned comrade fallen in the streets. He had smiled and shared a bottle of liquor with his comrades that they had looted from an appartment building. They were his brothers in a place your friends seldom remained permanent, where death and killing helped change the faces in your squad, your family, almost on a daily basis. They knew what had to be done.
And do it they would: Two thirds of the plutoon reached the barricades and the battle was on. Meier stabbed and shot and kicked and headbutted his would be killers, surrounded but not lost.
The soldiers of Chaos did not suffer defeat easily. The screams that filled the night were both human, inhuman and everything in between as the street became greasy with blood and guts. One final blow of the heel of his boot chrushed the hateful expression on the woman (he thought) that he had just cut down. He himself was bleeding from half a dozen wounds, two of them serious. He looked around and was about to adress his comrades when the bitter truth dawned upon him: There was none but him left.
But from the feelings of despair, pride rose. They had done it. They had cleared off the defenders who had cost the Korps so many Troopers and even panzers. His brothers had given their lives for victory.
He turned as he heard the sound of approaching panzers: The 63rd where on their way, leading the armoured effort into the occupied city. Meier's shoulders sagged in relief mixed with sorrow and he turned back to the deserted street before him. Only it was no longer as deserted as he had at first believed: In the distance he saw two figures moving closer.
And a sinking feeling gripped his stomach as he gazed upon their black ceramite armour, the heretical symbols displayed upon its guards and the very much real skulls dangling in chains. His breathing quickened as he lay eyes on the Great Enemy for the first time.
But then his eyes narrowed. He bit his teeth together and reloaded his lasgun. He knew what had to be done.
Crina rested her elbows on the counter, sighing. The bar was far away from the base and the men, it was safe to drink and socialise with people without having to guard her identity. Though she suspected a few of the keener officers had their theories, she had succeeded to keep her gender a secret and had become so consumed by the soldiering life that she didn't even need to think about acting liek Meier anymore: The male role was now more naturall to her than the freespirited youth who had lectured her peers in the art of the violent fist back in her youth.
Now after six years in the Korps, she could safely say she was a veteran, not really one of the old die-hards but still seasond in the art of battle. The service had taught her much: About comeradeship, loyalty, sacrifice and above all the untouchable Glory of His Service. Hundred she had slain for teh sake of Mankind and the Imperium. For what would there be without the struggle? No humans, that much she knew for sure. As long as the Xenos where suffered to exist could there be no safe place for humanity.
But she had not come here to this establishment to dwell on the Struggle. She was here to spend time with people a bit more nuanced than the Troopers back in the barracks. Now, for that socialising bit. She looked around and though there were many people present, and still more coming in through the doors, she hadn't really clicked with anyone yet. In fact she hadn't approached anyone. And no one had approached her. Actually, come to think of it, people had just glanced at her curiously before turning back to their friends. And the stools on her sides remained empty. She drummed the fingers of one hand on the bar disk. Lots of people here. That's nice. Well, it's a bit crowded. And loud - but that's fine, she'd been in many clamourous places before. She hunched up her shoulders and stared down into her drink. Good business for the barkeep, anyway.
And it didn't seem like she was the only one to have noticed this. A man, clad in leather, approached the bar and stopped by the stool on Crina's left. He looked over the bottles on the shelves for a while, as if deciding on something. And he was. Suddenly he reached into his jacket and whipped out a small automatic. He yelled something, which Crina didn't hear, and pointed at the barman. Suddenly the arm holding the weapon was gripped and pulled up above him with both blinding speed and crushing strength. Crina's bayonet emerged simultaneously from her own jacket and she buried it between the man's 4th and 5th left ribs.
His heart impaled, the man made a slight clucking sound with his throat and then went limp. Crina released him and looked down at his body in cold silence, a puddle of blood spreading with morbidly around the fallen man. Then she looked up to speak to the barman only to discover the silent stares of fifty or so people, standing still in the room. And then she froze, her eyes opening wide. It had hit her like a sledgehammer in face: The sudden realisation of how far away from humanity she had stepped. How little she could relate to these people. She was a killer. A machine. A soulless being who lived for the sake of killing.
The bayonet fell from her slack grip and she unsteadily made her way towards the door. She had get out. It was too crowded, she couldn't breathe...
Flack jacket and helmet
Trench equipment (shovel, blanket, rations, water bottle plus essentials)