On the Trail of T’ractors

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Agri-World.jpg

Inquisitor Michael sends Ashar Lear, Rosa Richter, Siveter Lund, Nadiya Zelenko and Enforcer Callaghan to Iosmiri IV on a follow up of Investigating the Abire Audacter.

Contents

Background

  • The Abire Audactre was a trading ship from the agri-world Iosmiri IV, found to be trading illegally out in the Halo Zone.
  • The Investigation into it went awry when the ship was infected with Gellerpox.
  • It was confirmed only that the ship had falsified it’s logs to cover up the period it was in the Halo Zone, but it is unknown what happened there.
  • Michael assigned Ash as senior agent to lead a mission to Iosmiri IV to try to pick up the trail.

The Conspiracy

  • The team uncovered a conspiracy of four out of the seven ruling Barons, who referred to themselves as the Exocogitarii.
  • Due to an Administratum oversight the planet to went un-assessed for over 300 years and the planetary Tithe was not increased. As such the demands for efficiency and productivity were low.
  • In the wake of the Ork invasion and Chaotic incursions into Samalut IX, the Administratum began actively searching for replacement sources of food and rediscovered the potential of Iosmiri IV. An assessment was made and the Tithe doubled.
  • Baron Arterberry persuaded some other Barons to join him in importing xenan agriculture machinery from a contact he had in the Halo Zone.
  • As the relationship developed a representative from the T’au, the xenos race they were dealing with, was also brought to Iosmiri IV.
  • The T’au farming drones worked overnight to expand the farmland and work the fields
  • The human workforce continued to work during the day, but working patterns were scrambled to have workers constantly moved to work in different places and do different things so nobody could get a sense of who was achieving what, thus the significant amounts of extra work being achieved went unnoticed
  • The deal was to be a long term investment, the T’au accepted some payment up front but the deal was that once the Tithe was met increases in productivity would continue and the T’au would receive excess food in payment.

The Investigation

  • The team infiltrated the planet posing as members of the Navis Accident Investigation Board
  • They investigated the docks and set up meetings with several Barons
  • The case was cracked when Agent Zelenko psychically compelled Baron Tatum Purcell to give her information on the other Barons and inadvertently uncovered the existence of the Excogitatorii
  • The team called in Inquisitor Michael and whilst he was in transit worked with the local Adeptus Arbites to quietly arrest the heads of the Excogitatorii, as well as capturing the T’au representative

People Involved

Planetary Officials

  • Imperial Governor: Grand Duke Jaymes Romilly
    • Delegated the problem of the increased Tithe to the Land Barons, but was not involved.
    • Guilty of neglecting his duty
  • Head of PDF: Lord General Alesia Derrick
    • Resisted the Arbites requests to help suppress the worker unrest due to concerns over her troops’ loyalty and lack of riot control training
    • Not guilty
  • Head of Church: Cardinal Lucian Bardsley
    • Not guilty
  • Head of Arbites: Supreme Judge Kalevi Ivanov
    • Not guilty
  • Adeptus Mechanicus: Fabricator General Teófilo Molnár
    • Not guilty
  • Head of Head of Adminstratum: High Secretary Heytar Torgel
    • With few resources did not physically verify the data he was receiving from the Barons
    • Demoted
  • Dockmaster: Franks
    • Was not proactive in checking cargo and simply obeyed orders
    • Not guilty

Land Barons

Excommunicate Traitoris.jpg
  • Baron Hyacinth Arterberry
    • Mastermind of Excogitatorii
    • Host of T’au Envoy
    • Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs
  • Baron Kaleb Haden
    • Excogitatorii
    • Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs
  • Baroness Kimberlyn Warwick
    • Excogitatorii
    • Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs
  • Baron Tatum Purcell
    • Excogitatorii
    • Full conspirator but gathered proof of Excogitatorii from within so he could pretend to be loyal if the conspiracy was uncovered
    • Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs
  • Adrian Purcell
    • First son of Baron Purcell
    • Complicit in Excogitatorii actions
    • Guilty
  • Baron Oliver Thorpe
    • Implemented mandatory unpaid overtime and imposed harsh penalties against workers who did not comply
    • Not guilty
  • Baron Kerensa Garret
    • Not guilty
    • Baron Shelton Steffen
    • Died in tragic shuttle accident shortly before the investigation
    • Not guilty

Xenos

  • Por’Vre Al’por’naga
    • “Magister Little River”
    • Water Caste
    • Presumed missing second name “N'Cea
    • Captured and incarcerated in the Obelisk

Ship Captains Involved in Smuggling

  • Captain Heracles (deceased)
    • Captain of the Abire Audacter
    • Worked for Baron Kaleb Haden
    • Posthumously declared Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs
  • Captain Boyce Fabian
    • Captain of the Implacabilis Signum
    • Vassal of Baron Hyacinth Arterberry
    • Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs
  • Captain Jaqueline Warwick
    • Captain of the Potentia Erit Vobiscum
    • Niece of Baroness Kimberlyn Warwick
    • Excommunicate Traitoris, guilty by actions, by associations and by beliefs

Aftermath

Excommunicate Traitoris Proclamation.jpg
  • Inquisitor Michael arrived with a small naval squadron
  • The T’au farming drones were destroyed
  • New workers were imported from Pont DuRot
  • The speed at which workers could be imported, housed and retrained, as well as the increased food requirements to feed the workforce means that the increased Tithe will not be met
  • Emergency extra tithe was applied to other agri-worlds in the sector to make up the shortfall
  • Several hundred people found guilty of crimes related to the conspiracy have been sentenced to enforced labour, and will be spread out across those agri-worlds
    • It is intended that they will be seen as the cause of the new hardship falling upon these worlds, channeling the dissatisfaction away from the Administratum and Imperium at large
    • It is not expected that a few hundred workers will make any significant difference to the output of half a dozen worlds.
    • It is expected that they will probably be killed by mobs
  • Ash discovered the exsistance of the Guts and Glory trilogy

Communications

+++AUTHOR: Ashar Lear
+++DESTINATION: Inquisitor Drake

Dear Inquisitor Drake,

If you have the time, I would like to ask for a favour. When you have read the reports from the last mission on Ios Miri, would you be able to give me some feedback? I want to be a good leader.

Thank you,
Ash

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++OBELISK IM CHAT LOG EXCERPT
+++CONTACTS: Ashar Lear; Rosa Richter; Max Drent;
+++SUBJECT *Duckie, Boom-Boom & Two Limbs*

AL: MAXIE

AL: Something amazing has happened

AL: We are back Next week and today we found out something AMAZING about Sarge

MD: Did he boot another grenade? ; ]

MD: Can't wait for the gossip, I'm back next week too.

MD: I have non-Cetus Major treats.

AL: It is so amazing that I cannot even write it down. We'll have to show you when we get back

RR: Film night anyone?

MD: 1000% yes.

RR: My room? Ash knows a good film or three we could watch!

MD: ... why does it feel you're talking about... adult films?

AL: EWWWWWWWWW

AL: No I would never watch that with you guys

AL: NO NO NO NO NO

AL: Maxie I will never recover.

AL: Excuse me while I throw up.

AL: No we are talking about our amazing Sarge secret and I swear all will become clear

AL: ALTHOUGH now you have said that I bet there is a porn version....

MD: Thank the merciful Emperor for that!

MD: But now you have my attention, what the hell happened?!

AL: No seriously if we wrote it down you wouldn t believe it

AL: We'll show you next week

RR: What’s porn? I though most films were for adults? We weren’t allowed to watch them as children. Books, books and more books for us!

MD: You said the P word, Ash. You explain.

MD: I've given this talk 4 times already, I'm out!

AL: Lol

AL: Wait

AL: What

AL: Hang on

AL: Are you being serious?

AL: You really don't know what porn is?

+++EXCERPT ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Rosamund Richter
+++DESTINATION: Nadiya Zelenko

Dear Nadiya,

Firstly, I wanted to say that you were simply marvellous with dealing with the Barons. Inquisitor Drake has mentioned how skilled you are and it really was an inspiration to see it in reality.

As you may have noticed I am novice in all things. Well, I guess apart from killing or blowing things up. I am not long out of the Scholastica and in truth I felt out of my depth in this latest mission.

I noticed that you felt a bit out of depth with combat. Therefore, if I may be so bold I have a proposal to make. I would be happy to train with you in combat. I am quite adept in unarmed combat. I think it would do you good to have a regular sparring partner to build up your confidence.

In return I wonder if you might take me under your wing and teach me a bit more about the other aspects of what makes a great Inquisitor. I think I lack certain social graces and understanding. You are highly skilled in the art of persuasion and assuming different characters. Perhaps we could start there?

Of course I understand that you may have other duties and instructions from Inquisitor Drake which may not make this possible.

If that is the case I want you to know that you may call on me anytime. If nothing else just to have another who understands what it is like to have these abilities, the training and will power that goes behind mastering them but what it can also be like to be a bit of an outsider.

We have been lucky to have found our place in the Inquisition. Emperor willing we will make them proud!

Yours,
Rosa

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Inquisitor Eidan Drake
+++DESTINATION: Agent Ashar Lear

Dear Ashar,

Taking the initiative on one’s own betterment is always a sign of a good agent, and thus I am happy to help if I can.

Having read the reports, and spoken to Zelenko, it seems you were put in the unfortunate position of commanding a mission that you found to be at odds with your established skillset of soldiering. I suspect this was a deliberate ploy on Michael’s part to push you out of a well-worn groove, and from what I can tell you rose to the challenge.

The task of a leader is not to try and do everything themselves (something I struggle with on occasion) but to identify the correct person for each task. You set Zelenko on talking her way into things (ideal), Lund on interrogating the data (ideal), got Callaghan to execute an arrest, and Richter to safeguard him from dangerous xenos technology. That seems like solid delegation.

I also agree with Zelenko’s opinion that you showed good judgement in keeping the arrests relatively low-profile, which minimised the panic that would undoubtedly have been caused by loudly arresting the majority of the planet’s rulers.

Michael’s decision to put you in charge of a nuanced investigation like this has, if anything, revealed more about me than you. I’ll readily admit that whilst I’m a more experienced agent of the Inquisition, he is a more experienced leader. He saw the potential that I missed.

As it seems likely that you’ll be placed in charge more often going forward, I would suggest you seek out training in personnel management, Cetan politics, interrogation, and diplomacy. Of course there is no substitute for experience, but training in these hitherto unfamiliar areas will help broaden your skillset into areas your fellow agents lack. Of course, if there are other areas you would prefer to focus on, that is entirely your prerogative - it is, after all, your career.

Should there be anything I can train you in, or other counsel I can offer, I stand willing to offer it. Hopefully this has been of use to you.

Sincerely, Eiden Drake, Ordo Hereticus

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Inquisitor Gregory Michael
+++DESTINATION: Inquisitor Eidan Drake
+++SUBJECT: Planetary Sentencing

Dear Eidan,

I hope things are going well with your work. Let me know if you need any more information or assistance regarding the Necrons.

I wonder if I might trouble you for your perspective as both a more experienced Inquisitor and an objective viewer.

I do not wish to pass off my responsibility, this is my burden to bare and mine alone; I simply ask for you to mention anything you can think of that I may not have considered, as I am still not fully accustomed to justice outside of the battlefield.

I'm sure you've already had a full report on the investigation into Iosmiri from Agent Zelenko, so I will not go into detail. The pertinent facts are that a few hundred conspirators, including four powerful Barons have imported Xenos machinery to meet their increased tithe. Additionally some dozens more are guilty of neglecting their duty to prevent this crime; including, in my opinion, the Planetary Governor.

We are importing new workers from Pont DuRot, but we will not be able to get enough of them here and trained fast enough to meet the tithe.

Nevertheless, I cannot permit Xenos machinery to remain and beyond a small sample we will retain for examination, it will all be destroyed immediately. As such Iosmiri IV will not meet its Tithe.

The shortfall will have to be made up from an emergency increase in Tithe from other agriworlds in the sector. This is going to cause a lot of dissatisfaction amongst those worlds.

My initial thoughts were that the guilty would be sentenced to a penal Legion sent to Salamut IX, helping to reclaim an agriworld would go some small part to make up for their crime. Unfortunately a rather more unpleasant alternative has occurred to me that I think would be better for the Imperium at large, distasteful though it may be.

I am inclined to sentence the guilty to labour, spreading them out amongst the affected worlds. A few hundred workers will make no noticeable difference to output at such a scale, but it will give the citizens a face to blame. I suspect this will result in a death sentence for most of them, either officially by local rulers or unofficially by mob justice, and I will not waste resources trying to prevent this. Effectively I am using them as a disposable asset to deflect the ire of the populace by giving them someone specific to blame and take vengeance upon, rather than fostering resentment against the Administratum or wider Imperium.

Naturally this thinking comes from long years of ensuring that soldiers’ anger stays pointed firmly at the enemy and does not get turned against the officers.

It is unpleasant, cruel and base, but that is on me; I ask simply that you would consider any factors I may have overlooked in my reasoning that might be relevant. I am not looking for sanction, or asking for you to provide some excuse that I might avoid an unpleasant choice. I have wilfully condemned men to far worse for less gain, I assure you.

Hoping this finds you well, and looking forward to a quiet evening with Amasec upon our mutual return to Cetus Major. I've found a particularly fine bottle here on Iosmiri that deserves to be shared.

Sincerely,
Gregory

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Nadiya Zelenko
+++DESTINATION: Rosalind Richter

Dear Rosa,

You're too kind!

I must confess it's not actual combat but sparring with which I have the issue. It's just so hard to strike a balance between providing a challenge and making sure it's safe for one’s sparring partner. Does that make any sense?

If you're willing to put up with my hesitance then I would be very grateful for more time on the mats. And of course, given supervision, I'm also keen to engage in some psychic duels. We can practise disruption and dispelling on each other quite safely, so long as we have our masters’ blessing.

As for my talents in other areas, I think you might have an inflated view of my talents. Where Drake seems able to become entirely different people, I'm quite incapable of playing something other than the nobility. Perhaps I'll learn with time. If I have anything to impart, therefore, it is company. It's wonderful to know someone else my age with the Will, and whilst we have had rather different lives up to this point, I rather hope I can show you some of the finer establishments this city has to offer. Certainly we're paid enough!

Yours,
Nadiya

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Eidan Drake
+++DESTINATION: Gregory Michael
+++SUBJECT: Planetary Sentencing

Dear Gregory,

Your approach seems a tenable one. A younger me world never have said so, but I would have been tempted to have the conspirators sentenced to become servitors, which would admittedly lack the unseemly mob justice you're keen to implement, but would prevent any dissemination of the clear advantages of xenos technology. I agree that the destruction of the technology is for the best - the security risk alone justifies it - but when people grow hungry, they may feel differently about the destruction of the technology if they're aware it exists. For that reason, the barons could be a liability, and an unrepentant one at that.

As well as increased labour, you might also be able to improve the situation by inviting the Adeptus Mechanicus to assist with greater automation and use of agri-servitors.

It may also be possible to look into the production of temporary nutri-algae vats - something usually done in desperation by people in hive cities, but potentially very swift in an environment with sunlight and plentiful water. People don't find it very palatable, but it's better than starving and may help to offset the problems the sector will face in a few years when the tithe fails. Once production is up to acceptable levels, the vats could be decommissioned.

Would that the "grand" baron were a more resourceful individual; he may already have implemented such measures.

Sincerely,
Eidan

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Inquisitor Gregory Michael
+++DESTINATION: Inquisitor Eidan Drake
+++SUBJECT: Planetary Sentencing

Dear Eidan,

Hmm, a good thought, knowledge about the technology must be contained. I will order those with unsanctioned knowledge to be reduced to servitors before they leave the jurisdiction of the Inquisition. Nevertheless they will be sent along anyway, at the least it will parade the guilty in front of those suffering. If the mob chooses to destroy mindless automata then so be it.

As for "clear advantages of xenos technology", I'd disagree with that. The same result could have been achieved if they had been importing new workers from the beginning, instead of just beginning now. It seems this idea was not ever considered because the Barons liked having the world the way it was, and didn't want millions of new inhabitants and the necessary increase in urbanisation and mechanisation that would come with it. Heresy for the sake of aesthetics. A new one on me.

Your suggestions to cover the shortfall are appreciated and noted, however I will not be dealing with that myself. There are other servants of the Imperium who are better suited to such things than this old soldier. I have appointed a team of Adminstratum, Mechanicus and Fleet Auxiliary and will leave it to them, but I shall pass along your thoughts.

Sincerely,
Gregory

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Enforcer Callaghan +++DESTINATION: Inquisitor Bastian Vandemar +++SUBJECT: Situation report.

Sir,

It is worse than we had feared. We always knew that a sub so under-represented by the Holy Ordos would have strayed from the path, but what we have seen recently is shocking. Never mind the Necrontyr incursion, that could be classified as a Grand Heresy of a Lord Inquisitor, a once in a generation event. No, imagine instead that ostensibly good Imperial leaders are treating with Xenos blasphemies like the Tau and importing their corrupting devices to work on no less than the food that half the sub eats. The situation seems to be at hand, the forces I liaised with contained the threat admirably and are passing it up the chain to this Inquisitor Michael. Obviously we haven't met him yet but Inquisitor Drake seemed to speak warmly of him. Hopefully he will apply some spine to the sentencing and consequences phase of this investigation as I am afraid the investigators I was embedded with were somewhat lily-livered on the subject and over burdened by mercy.

On that subject. The sub seems terribly over-stretched. With my presence in the field no fewer than three Inquisitors were represented in a small mongrel field team thrown together for the purpose. Inquisitor Kovacs (who again, we have not met) seemed to run the lions share but if memory serves there were also representatives of Inquisitor Drake, or Michael. I was having trouble keeping up. While such emergency teams are welcome it speaks to an appalling dearth of available acolytes to deploy. I fear you may be right sir. This short tour may well have to become a permanent transfer of your flag to Cetus and the Obelisk. For my part, I should not mind, there is good work to be done here while my days in the field last.

Your obedient servant.

Callaghan.

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Eidan Drake
+++DESTINATION: Gregory Michael
+++SUBJECT: Planetary Sentencing

Gregory,

As you're very much the expert in this matter, I defer to your judgement. For the sake of intellectual stimulation, however, I offer the following rebuttal.

The technology gives the aliens an advantage over us, because it frees up their workforce to produce other things. Automation in general increases productivity, I'm sure you'll agree.

I still regard the technology as an abomination, despite its advantages, because as I think we both agree: an autonomous machine may offer tempting solutions in the short term, but damnation in the long term. A tool should not have the self-awareness to question its purpose or its loyalty.

Surely we must acknowledge the strengths of our enemies if we are to challenge them successfully?

Yours,
Eidan

+++MESSAGE ENDS


+++AUTHOR: Inquisitor Gregory Michael
+++DESTINATION: Inquisitor Eidan Drake
+++SUBJECT: Planetary Sentencing

Dear Eidan,

I have increased the encryption level on this entire conversation.

Purely as an intellectual debate then, I have to say I admire your approach but find it a little overly idealistic. Manpower is the greatest strength of our Empire. I can tell you without question the Eldar are more advanced than we are in every possible way, and yet we hold them off by sheer weight of numbers. We can even match the numberless hoards of the Ork or the Tyranid; if we simply have enough time to mobilise.

I’m sure you know better than I about the recent action of Samalut IX; that we could repel the Orks through strength of number was never a question, the only risk was how much would be destroyed before we could bring the might of the Imperium to bare. In this instance, as is so often the case, the swift strike of the Adeptus Astartes held the Orks at bay just long enough for the lumbering behemoth of the Imperial Guard to deploy.

Whilst it may take 16 to 18 years to produce a human capable of fighting, somewhat less for a labourer, that production line is already running. I could not begin to guess how many trillions of new workers and soldiers become available every single day. All of this produced by completely unskilled labour and fuelled by renewable resources such as food and water.

Complex machines though… ask your Magos Valdarius how long it might take him to produce such a device and how much training and knowledge someone would require to produce it, to maintain it, to repair it (as an aside, I’ve kept a few drones aside if you want him to take a look, although we’ve removed the power supply). The noble Bolter is unquestionably a better firearm than the lasgun, and you yourself use a plasma pistol, another step up again. But we arm our armies with the lasgun because it’s the cheapest and quickest to produce. Even then we often arm our new recruits with weapons recovered from the fallen because we can supply men more easily than we can arm them.

Manpower is the single greatest and most versatile asset in the Imperium.

Sincerely,
Gregory

+++MESSAGE ENDS

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