"They died then, all of them, with petty justifications on the their lips."
An excerpt from a journal of dubious provenance entitled 'My Walk With Him', supposedly authored by Allistare Dravere, referencing actions taken by an individual repeatedly identified throughout the text as "The Emperor"
"Emperor preserve us all."
"I'm afraid this time it is the other way around."
"As Legate-Investigator Artemis Tholem lay wheezing his last breaths on a shrouded gurney in the Medicae suits, a victim of polonium poisoning, I had to decide which half of my fellow Acolytes I could save and which half I had to abandon within the treachery-soaked halls of the Bastion Serpentis. May the God-Emperor have mercy upon my soul, but I fear I chose incorrectly."
Evan Rikket, Warden of the Divisio Immoralis (Rogue), Sibellus Hive, Scintilla, 857.M41
Gui was a most excellent mentor, I learned much from him, and it pained me to witness his execution, but it was either him or I, and I would not have this last dance interrupted by skeletons from the closet. Pursuant to your warning, I can confidently assure you the remaining pieces placed into play by Inquisitor Opel Stark are either dead or beyond the redemption of their souls, and thus as good as. At least at this end of the galaxy. See to it you close the book on these unfortunate events in the Reach, and you will have my full support when the dust has settled.
Bellastus Graeve, Ordo Malleus, Calixis
Esteemed Inquisitor Graeve,
Pursuant to your wishes, I have arranged the closure of Sire Opel's involvement. There are a few extra bodies that I had not accounted for, but they know nothing of the Parable or Stark's "specialist" network, and I should have confirmation of the termination of his final pieces within twenty-four hours. Forgive me this last-minute development; you most assuredly understand that arranging the "accidental" loss of four Astartes is not a simple endeavor to pursue.
In Him We Trust,
Interrogator Hieronymus Baf, Ordo Hereticus, Inquisitor-intendant
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"I swear, Evan. If this gets me hanged…"
"You were going to hang anyway, Allessandra. Now play nice, and don't forget to bring me something pretty from the Vortex."
"I hate you."
"What do you mean, 'it's no good'? It's an Emperor-damned Writ of Authority!"
"This Baf guy's name is all over this Mission Briefing. I am making a note of it. I have a feeling it will be important later."
Apothecary Aengus, Kill-Team "Opal", prior to the outset of "Brass Chronicle" Mission, Castobel
"So…this 'Parable' thing; it's important?"
"Very. Some would say it's necessary.
"So that the Imperium lives on?"
"No. So that it may be reborn."
In the year of The Emperor 004.M42, the Emperor stepped down from the Golden Throne…
But I get ahead of myself.
The Inquisition can be a difficult dance partner.
Official recorded encounters with the Lernaean Parable began in 818.M41. The first documented account can be found within the journals of Magistrate-Inquisitor Dameon Hekhate of the Ordo Hereticus. As one reads the account, one gets the sense of fantasy, a delusional mind. But by all accounts Magistrate-Inquisitor Hekhate was a competent if short-lived servant of the Emperor. Recognized as a radical only in the aftermath of his death, Hekhate's account of the Parable coincides with his first official Inquisitorial investigation.
Purportedly taking place on a planet known as Antredes (a planet yet to be located within the Awakened Empire), Magistrate-Inquisitor Hekhate made note of a reoccurring theme or emblem: the iconography of a multi-headed dragon, or hydra. Once one clears the verbose discourse relating to ridiculously intricate local familial customs, miniaturized submersibles, and the propagation habits of Genestealers, one will note the increasing frequency of Parable-related observances. Most telling of all, however, is the direct correlation Hekhate makes between this "Lernaean Hydra" and the Dragon myth of the Cult Mechanicus.
Evidently, the Machine Cult of Antredes can trace their lineage directly to that of Mars, originating in the years immediately following the Horus Heresy. On Antredes, the Machine Cult refer to themselves as the "Imperial Apparatus", and seem to be the pivotal religious structure of the system (and if it could be found and verified it would at least go some way to removing suspicions of Hekhate's seeming madness), more so than the Cult Imperialis. Hekhate does make mention of a Sororitas convent, but there are no known records of an Order designated as the "Emerald Casque". In any case, the Imperial Apparatus evidently display the iconography of the Lernaean Hydra alongside that of the Opus Machina, and Magistrate-Inquisitor Hekhate postulated that they suppressed the Cult Imperialis with doctrinal alterations that painted the Emperor as a "waking god", and were waiting for…a sign.
Since those first recorded encounters, various other Inquisitors, Throne Agents and Acolytes have seemingly become entangled within a web of treachery, deceit, and obfuscation all relating to "the hydra" or "the Parable" or "the Lernaean Parable": Sire Opel Stark; Bernardo Gui; Hieronymus Baf; Attellus Cromwell, Xerxes Ransom, Rival Jinx; Alekzanter Kurn. In each instance, there has been documentation of "The Inevitable Choreography", a complex series of events from which each one seems to have been unable to extricate themselves.
A series of complex events that has me writing my own revelation: the teeth of the hydra are upon me, too.
I'm too old for this.
Inquisitor Evan Rikket, Ordo Salvator, Warden of the Alenic Marches, 018.M42
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