From Official Recordings of the Inquisition

Inquisitor Lord Gabel sits in his drab and spartan public office and tries not to dwell on how much more comfortable he’d be in his overstuffed armchair back in his opulent private residence. He listens with steepled fingers as Inquisitor Musgrave gives his report. The studious little toady was assigned to investigate reports of unusual and possibly renegade actions taken by one of their own during the suppression of a dangerous cult in the Hapes Hive. By nature, investigating a member of the inquisition is a grave and serious task, one which Musgrave approached with all too much aplomb for Lord Gabel’s taste.

“So, when the hive’s chief custodian questioned his presence and his authority, Inquisitor Torchwood drew his sidearm and coerced the custodian’s cooperation?” Lord Gabel asks, sounding annoyed, “I daresay I would have done the same thing myself, Musgrave.”
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In a dirty run-down office in the bowels of Hapes Hive, Chief Custodian Cranston stared down the barrel of an antique bolt pistol. The man holding the weapon was battle-scarred and weary looking. “No,” the man with the gun said, with an exasperated sigh, “I do not have a current Document of Remit, at the speed of Imperial Bureaucracy I’m sure I could furnish it for you sometime in the next century. In the meantime, I do have this…” he said, jiggling the weapon a little. “Ten thousand years old, pried from the cold dead fingers of an ancient Chaos Lord some years ago. I had it sent to the Adeptus Mechanus to be refurbished and have its corrupted machine spirit purged…it’s taken countless lives in those forgotten centuries, and in recent years has executed many enemies of the state. The first time it was fired, our beloved Emperor still walked amongst mortal men.” the Inquisitor stated in a low, intimidating snarl, “And I’m sure if you require confirmation of my authority, it’s more than capable of transporting you to Him, in spirit at least, and you can ask Him who sent me.”
Cranston sighed and shook his head, “That weapon’s not ten thousand years old. Before and during the Heresy they used a different pattern receiver, and those big ugly double-thick magazines…I can also read the serial number imprinted right under where you stuck that big platinum inquisition seal on the side there…they didn’t start putting the serial numbers on the outer casing until about six hundred years ago.”
Inquisitor Torchwood’s fa├žade broke just then. “Really?” he asked, bringing the weapon closer so he could inspect it, “Well bugger me. Maddie, did you know that daemon-buggering bastard lied to me when he pulled this bloody knockoff on me?” he demanded, turning to face the attractive young woman in a stripped down suit of formerly powered armor who had followed him in.
The woman laughed a little, “I’m sorry, Gus…you just looked so thrilled when you took it off of him, we didn’t have the heart to tell you.”
“We?” he demanded, visibly embarrassed, “Who the hell else knew I was toting around a damned forged antiquity on my hip all this time.”
The woman grinned, “Full Auto Otto knew as soon as the thorny bastard unholstered it. Don’t you remember him snickering when Lord Wassname started off on his whole ‘this weapon was given to me by the Emperor Himself’ spiel?”
Inquisitor Torchwood was visibly deflated at this point. “I thought that was because of the meltabomb I had behind my back…well, now I look like a damned tool in front of Cranberry, here.”
The chief custodian cleared his throat meaningfully, “It’s Cranston, actually.”
“Right, well let’s start the frell over.” The Inquisitor said, running a hand through his graying brown hair and holstering his counterfeit artifact, “I’m Gus.” He said, thrusting the now empty hand out to the Custodian, “Let me buy you a drink, mate.”

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From Official Recordings of the Inquisition

            "Well, yes, Lord,” the younger inquisitor stammers, “But when the arrogant custodian held his ground, rather than shoot the man for hampering the Inquisition, Inquisitor Augustus Torchwood reportedly holstered his weapon and began to reason with him! After an unnecessarily long conversation and more than a few alcoholic beverages, Inquisitor Torchwood managed to gain the custodian’s support. Afterwards, he abused his Imperial mandate to order a raise and a commendation for this arrogant and corrupt individual, purportedly for ‘courage and dedication in excess of expectations... clearly a bribe of some sort.” Musgrave says with a contemptuous sneer.

            Gabel strokes his beard thoughtfully, “Perhaps…” he says, after a moment’s consideration, “But the Inquisitorial Mandate makes no mention of how we carry out our duties, only that they are to be carried out regardless of cost in lives or materiel,” the older man says, though he sounds a little troubled, “Though this instance does seem a little wasteful, both of time and resources. It would have been quicker just to shoot the upstart and get assistance from his newly promoted replacement…instead he makes us look weak…” he sighs sadly, “Go on…”

            "Well,” the plump little bureaucrat continues, with renewed zeal, “Rather than simply taking command of the Custodian’s enforcers and conducting a rightly sanctioned sweep of the lower hive, all he asked — and I do mean ‘asked,’ for even after buying this corrupt and incompetent Custodian, he still couldn’t muster the authority to issue commands…no, all he asked for was intelligence on known cult operations and suspected members, and a couple of enforcer squads to be kept on standby should he need assistance.”

            "So?” Lord Gabel asks impatiently, “He chose to rely on his own squads of Stormtroopers, rather than the possibly corrupted and unreliable local forces to conduct the Sweep & Burn operation. Sounds prudent to me, given the circumstances.”

            "You don’t understand!” Musgrave squeals, immediately regretting his choice of words, “W-what I mean, Lord, is that Augustus Torchwood doesn’t command any Inquisitorial troops besides his own deplorable band of sycophants and hangers-on. A troupe which consists of, to name but a few…”

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From Inquisitor Torchwood’s Personnel Files

Name: Sister Madeline “Maddie” LeFey
Rank: N/A — Discharged from regular service.
Specialty: Weapons & Medical.
Gus’ Notes: Maddie is a keeper. I found this girl on a burned out Sisters of Mercy medical outpost, naked, covered in blood and pointing a splinter cannon at me. It seems a band of Eldar Pirates hit the aid station in search of loot and an outlet for their nightmarish desires. Maddie was one of the few proper members of the Adeptus Sororitas present, the rest being apothecaries and medicae, combat trained but not battle-hardened.
The raiders hit hard and fast, killing off most of the armed resistance and rounding up the survivors for a little party. Turns out one of their leaders fancied young Maddie. Realizing there was little chance of survival unless they could get some weapons, Sister Madeline feigned an interest in her rapist.

He let his guard down in front of the apparently subdued and submissive young nun…that was all the opportunity she needed. Apparently she stoved in his head with one of the sick little toys he intended to use on her, then secured a splinter weapon and proceeded to storm the orgy…unfortunately she was too late. Her sisters had all chosen death before debasement and were already being tortured to death. In a righteous fury, she hosed down the room with deadly shards…that’s about when I came in.

I was in the area when the distress call went out. My guys killed off the guards they posted outside and were working our way inside when we heard the shots. Cavalry to the rescue, all too late.
To make matters worse, the pack of frosty bitches running her particular chapter would rather she let herself be tortured to death along with the others than disgrace herself to secure their rescue. They kicked her out, so I snatched her up.

In recent years, under Sergeant Maddox’ patient tutelage she’s really blossomed, showing a real talent for the Heavy Bolter, as well as any other piece of hardware she can lay her slender fingers on. She’s developing a rather dirty sense of humor, and is a more than capable combat medic.

Encrypted Personal Note: Fucks like a bloody hurricane. Definite keeper!

Name: Otto “Full Auto Otto” Maddox
Rank: Sergeant, Inquisitorial Storm Troopers.
Specialty: Weapons, Explosives, Hardware.
Gus’ Notes: A force of nature with a Heavy Boltgun. Full Auto Otto was transferred from the Imperial Guard to the Inquisitorial Storm Troopers for “Excessive Zeal.” In other words, he was too bloody fire-frenzied to keep on the lines, but too fething good to shoot in the face and roll into a ditch.

Otto is a career soldier, one of the best I’ve seen. He survived for more than ten years on the front lines of the IG with a bloody plasma gun for Emperor's sakes, that’s got to count for something. Both his arms are bloody bionic, the real ones burnt right the frell off of his body…not both at once, but in two separate overheats during his stint in the guard.
That’s right, the damned plasgun blew itself to hell and took his arm with it…and he picked up a new one and went back at it, only to have it happen again with the left…and what did he do when they got around to installing replacements? Got himself another frelling plasgun. Now THAT is faith and dedication right there.

He’s taught me more than a thing or two about soldiering in the years I’ve known him. We first met when I was a knock-kneed initiate carrying around my master’s psycannon and fetching his tea. Otto was in charge of one of my master’s IST squads back then and was on his way to joining the Retinue. He was only a few years older than I at the time, but had a lifetime of combat experience. He took me under his wing, and in return I kept him by my side when my master died and it was time for me to head out on my own. He’s my right hand, and mentor to my little band.

Encrypted Personal Note: I banned him from ever touching another fucking plasma weapon. There’s not much left on him to burn these days. He cussed me up one side and down the other for it, but he's taken solace in the fact I'll let him use every other damned weapon he likes whenever he wants.

Name: Brother Prometheus, A.K.A.: “Bolt”
Rank: N/A — Officially dead.
Specialty: Weapons, Fieldcraft, Psychological Warfare.
Gus’ Notes: Brother Prometheus is an interesting case. He was an Aspirant to a chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, tough which chapter he refuses to say, even to this day. Though initially accepted and dosed with geneseed…or whatever the hell it is they do with those kids, young “Bolt” (a nickname his Scout Sergeant stuck him with after he was accidentally shot in the head with a dud during a live fire exercise…hardy-frackin-har) started showing signs of instability… maybe because he got shot in the frelling head. But I’m no apothecary.

As a result, the usual mental conditioning and psych treatments weren’t sticking. The kid remained loyal and pretty much sane, but he wasn’t meshing with the monastic lifestyle. Rather than ask the kid what was wrong and maybe sending him to someone who could help, they figured he’d learn to deal by being put into a combat scout unit before his physical transformation was even complete. I think they were hoping he’d save them the trouble of putting him down. But I digress…

Surprise, surprise, not long into his trial by fire he got himself shot…again. Left for dead, his brothers moved on as the battle raged around him. Eventually they were wiped out or just took off and left him, he’s not sure which. I was running a cleanup operation, making sure nobody left any ominous glowing objects lying around on the battlefield when we found him. Maddie patched him up and Otto got to work figuring him out.

He’s tight lipped about his chapter, so we don’t ask… none of my damned business anyhow. He’s loyal though, to the death if I’d let him. He started off all monosyllabic and formal, but once he realized we weren’t going to beat or starve him for being a human being he started to unwind. Lately he’s taken an interest in music…particularly something called the “Iron Chrous,” some sort of heavy metal hymnal group that’s becoming distressingly popular amongst the young hivers. He likes to play it loud while he lays on the firepower. I don’t much care, so long as he knows when to turn it off.

Encrypted Personal Note: He has requisitioned an electric guitar and amp…I told him it was contraband for military personnel…I don’t know that it is, but I haven’t got the heart to tell him I don’t want to hear him wailing on it all bloody night and day.
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From Official Recordings of the Inquisition

            "Yes, yes.” Lord Gable snaps, cutting Musgrave off after only three rambling tirades based loosely on Torchwood’s personnel files. “I’m sure there's more than just those three, and I'm sure I’ll see all their files soon enough, but what was he planning to do with just his personal retinue against a cult, which by all accounts, seemed to be rather well dug in and equipped?”

            "That’s what I was getting at, My Lord,” Musgrave says, trying to hide the irritation in his voice…he fails. "Rather than a just and respectable show of force, Inquisitor Torchwood decided to endanger not just his own soul but those of his already tainted followers by exposing them to this blasphemous smut in an attempt to infiltrate the ranks of the cult! Of all the insane and reckless ideas…”

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Part Two
Part Three

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