Ex-councilman. Multi-faceted broker and inquisitorial acolyte
Revan stormed down the streets of Zetah’s capital, Terminus, barely noticing the common men and women he shoved out of his way. He was past common social graces. Laughable, at this point, to even consider the rabble around him, and so he did not. The moment of his revenge would soon be at hand, and he boiled over with rage and joy in equal measure. The Hall of Commons would pay for disgracing him. They would pay a price almost beyond imagining.
Revan’s dozen mercenaries followed close behind. He took a moment to reflect on these truly barbaric men, and granted himself a moment of serene satisfaction. He had risked his own safety in entering the slums of the underhive, but in doing so he had acquired a team of killers entirely without remorse, and they would serve as the perfect companions in the coming massacre. He knew they would be as eager to kill nobles as he, and they knew he would provide them with a great deal of work in the coming weeks.
Revan charged up the steps of the great hall and threw open the massive oak doors. This was his moment, and he would savour every second of the drama. He flourished as he stood in the doorway, placing his hands upon his hips, widening his stance and puffing his chest. The entire house fell silent as a hundred sets of eyes turned to see who had had the audacity to interrupt the House while it was in session (a faux-pas that was simply not done in the civilized spires of Zetah). All fell silent, that is, except one, to Revan’s great annoyance.
“…And thus the Imperial tithes necessary from the thirty-seventh and eighty-ninth levels were complete in both souls and plasteel, but lacking in refined chymicals and ammunition by a factor of one-tenth, such that these levels shall incur additional tithes with a cumulative interest of… “
It was Speaker Arkady, still standing and adressing the house as if nothing had happened. Aready was a mid-rank noble from a house of little note, and Revan, before his expulsion from the Senate, had taken little notice of the man. He was, after all, easy to forget – a wiry, middle aged man, soft spoken, with a slightly uninterested manner of speaking, who Revan could not bring himself to describe as anything but decidedly unremarkable.
Revan would not have his moment of glory ruined. “Speakers of the House!” he bellowed, interrupting Arkady. “Your judgement is at hand!” At this moment, his cadre of hardened killers poured in behind him, smiling broadly as they lifted their hellguns in anticipation.
The house fell into chaos. Speakers from every row of the chamber began to panic, standing, stumbling, and falling over each other to gain distance from the pack of killers that had just entered their midst. There would be no escape; in this ancient ceremonial hall, the grand doors were the only entrance or exit. A perfect killing ground.
All in the house panicked. The few ceremonial guards that inhabited the Hall reached for their autoguns but hesitated – it was clear they were both outnumbered and thoroughly outgunned by the outcasts, the scum that had just entered the hall. The weapons that the mercenaries carried surely cost a small fortune, and could punch through the carapace of the guard with a single shot. Nobody had anticipated an attack so high in the spire, let alone one so well armed.
All in the house panicked. All except one, that is. Arkady, having been interrupted, calmly sat down. He placed his autoquill and dataslate on his bureau in neat order, and leaned back in his chair. “Ex-councilman Revan. I believe you were exiled from the hall a month ago for petty embezzlement?”
“Petty-?!“ Revan sputtered. Who was this whelp to speak to him this way? Why did he not recoil in the face of his coming demise? Fuming, he composed himself. Let this cretin sit, if he wished. He would die in his seat then. The coming slaughter would be no less glorious. “I will have you know, Speaker Arkady, that my only sin was to put up with you fools for so long. There is no salvation in this rotten hive, and the only way out… is to transcend.” At this, Revan lifted from his cloak a glowing violet phylactery. “My only sin,” he continued, “was to put up with this petty Imperium for as long as I did. For you see, I have a grand destiny. I have been visited by the true power of this universe, and he has whispered incredible truths to me. I will revel in riches and excess for millennia in a world subject to my will, and all of you will be but a comedic pun in the history of my glorious reign. In this phylactery I have the blood of a god, and I will join it with my body, becoming immortal!” At this, Revan tore the lid from the phylactery and downed the inky violet fluid within. For a moment, a dead silence fell over the hall.
“May I interject?” Arkady broke the silence.
Revan, could feel the god’s blood seeping into his veins. He had never experienced such a rush of pure power. His extremities seethed with energy, and his mind boiled over, filling with even greater heights of joy and rage than before. “Speak then, petty human. Speak your final words, and amuse me” Revan chuckled.
“Your first mistake,” Arkady continued, still reclined in his seat, “was to openly declare your hatred of the council upon your expulsion. If you truly wish to take your enemy by surprise, it helps if you do not inform them of your intent to harm them.”
“It matters not!” Revan bellowed. “You cannot oppose me now!”
“Your second mistake, Arkady continued, entirely unphased, “was to attempt to requisition arms of a significant caliber through channels of communication historically governed by the Arkady family. To further worsen this folly, you lacked the sufficient knowledge to ensure, upon arrival, that those arms were, in fact, whole.” At this, Arkady raised his right hand, and opened it, allowing a dozen hellgun firing mechanisms to fall out onto the floor. The mercenaries’ smiles left their faces, and they paled, looking down at their guns in horror.
“And your very last error, I assure you, was to mistake a mixture of scribes ink and Slaught for the blood of dark god. Revan, now that you have made your intentions clear for all to see, I regret to inform you that the penalty for heresy is death. Arbites, you may open fire.”
Revan’s eyes widened in surprise. Thirteen robed figures from the crowd drew rifles, fired thirteen shots, and thirteen bodies slumped to floor.
“Now,” Arkady rose again, taking his autoquil and dataslate in hand, “to return to the task at hand, the following tithes have been applied at an interest of one hundred thrones per annum…”
-Attn: Inquisitor Valdane
-Autostenographer records of the events of the Great Hall of Commons, Terminus Spire, Zetah VII, 815.M41
Subject: Potential Acolyte