Standing alone in his study, Inquisitor Aurelius stares absently at the map spread on the desk in front of him as his mind replays the conversation with Adept Immerman. After the intense firefight at the warehouse, the elation of victory had turned rapidly to fear and despair as he realized his defeated enemies were his Peers of the Inquisition. And of superior rank, to boot.
He remembers it well, how Immerman came to them after the dust had settled. Alone and unarmed, he walked confidently into the lair of those who killed his master….
Seated around the table, he places his hands in his laps and looks around at the gathered Acolytes earnestly. “Some of my associates think you should be tried by a tribunal and made to pay for your crimes. Others feel such legal proceedings unnecessary, and wish to move straight to the judging. Myself, while I can understand their sentiments, feel such a course of actions would not be in the best interest of anyone except the enemies of the Imperium.” Havelas snorts loudly, and argues that such a trial would undoubtedly conclude that their actions were fully justified, that Xeno-helmet-wearing-tithe-evaders that do not identify themselves to the righteous servants of the Imperium cannot expect better, and that it was them, after all, who fired the first shot. (somewhat true, though Havelas did start manifesting the power of the Warp first)
Adept Immermann seems genuinely surprised, and raises an eyebrow and blinks. "I think you may have a somewhat optimistic, if not naive, view of the workings of the internal laws of the Ordos. A trial is by Tribunal, consisting of Inquisitors from across the Ordos and from all persuasions. And while there are certainly those who would condemn any man for less than the ‘crime’ of using the aliens weapons against themselves, there are many more who wisely believe such decisions are best left to those most qualified to make them. No single Inquisitor may judge another, if such was possible the Ordos would descend into all-out war and destruction, and the only winners would be the enemies of mankind. If an Inquisitor believes one of his or her peers have fallen, he must present evidence before the Lords of the Conclave, and receive authorization to pursue his quarry, who will be pronounced Extremis Diabolus. Failure to follow such protocol is viewed with great displeasure in all but the most extreme situations.
And as for the Inquisitors failure to identify herself when under attack in her own property, I believe the tribunal might be more interested in your presence there. You were not acting with the authority of you Inquisitor or the Conclave, you had not even informed the district office or Inquisitor in charge of your presence at Malfi at all.
No, considering your complete disregard for protocol and absence of authority, I am quite confident of the outfall of such a Trial. You are of course free to pursue such a course of action if you choose, but I am here to propose an alternate agreement if you are inclined to listen…"
The proposal is thus: Immermann and his associates wish to continue their late masters work, but this means leaving their operation unstopped. The investigation must be stopped, and further investigations discouraged. It is left to the Acolytes to determine what to tell the Arbites Senioris. Further, it is certain that the now much reduced operation will require the aid of the Acolytes at times in the future, and Immermann makes it plain that he intends to call and collect, as “you are now most definitely in our debt”.
One might call this blackmail. One might call this fair reparations. One might call this an opportunity.
The Periphery could certainly do with some more attention, but it is hardly the most important area of the Calixis sector. In fact, it’s total loss would hardly register on the tithe-ledgers in the Halls of Remembrances on Prol IV. But Inquisitor Virinars vision was to change this, to make the Periphery a healthy contributor to the war effort. And there is the element of faith, surely. These are the worlds of the Emperor. To lose them to the Xenos would be Heresy. To let the alien establish a bridgehead from which to launch further invasions into the heart of the sector would be Treason. It was Aurelius who killed the one who had taken this duty upon herself, and one might say he has a sacred duty to assume the responsibility of his fallen sister-in-arms.
Then there is the political angle. Easier to build his base of influence and power where he does not need to so at the expense of others already in position. On the other hand he can expect little help in this venture.
A decision must be made.
He blinks as he snaps out of his reverie, back in the present once more. He rolls up the map, and walks into the adjourning council room where his Cadre of Throne Agents assemble for the debate for the fate of the Periphery.