The Ultimatum

Carl Thonius was always well dressed man. If he wasn't wearing exquisite leather made of a rare animal, he was wearing the finest fabrics the Imperium could offer. Carl was raised by a wealthy family in Formal A of Petropolis on Eustis Majoris, the main planet of the Angelus Subsector. He and his family lived in a large hab on the top floor of the stack; no expense was spared in the making of their hab. His parents were both very wealthy, his father a former Space Marine, and his mother, an assistant to the Chief Magistratum.

Well taught as a child, Carl was head of his class and soon to graduate to be enlisted in the ranks of the Holy Inquisition. Before he is enlisted he needs to finish the final exam, a live field mission. This wasn't some pushover pencil and paper test, this was out in the world in a hunt for heretics, one of the many goals of the Inquisition.

If there was anything Carl was unsurpassed at, it would be making plans. He was a strategist, not much of a fighter or muscle. He was slight of frame and only carried on him a las-pistol and his intelligence. He was a great marksman but only fired when necessary; he leaves most of the violence for the muscle in his group. He will soon discover he's going to have to leave this fear behind him.

Carl, being the head of the class was paired with the most powerful of the class, an ex-clans man, Varius Narian, a beautiful telekine, Krystal Renive, a hot shot, Rasium Neverin, and a trained marksman, Frenny Alemand.

Varius was the strongest of the group, having grown up in a clan, had his muscles augmented from an early age. He stands nearly 2.2 meters tall and has an augmetic eye implant that can track and aim at his targets in sync with his favorite weapon, a rotator cannon.

Krystal is as deadly as she is stunning. She is a high gamma psyker and her clothes are covered in tiny crystalline spikes that she can control at will. She is known for blinking into a group of enemies and literally exploding every spike, impaling and piercing everything or everyone around her.

Rasium will do anything to prove he is the best, and he is. He wields a las-repeater, combined with his augmetic hands; he can reload and fire again in the blink of an eye, and shoot out that eye too.

Frenny is the quietest of the quintet; she is a reserved marksman, able to shoot the brain out of a salamander from 5 kilometers away. Her augmetic right eye combined with her 128x motion sensitive scope makes her deadly accurate.

"Pass the amasec," Varius gruffly said to Carl.

"Fine, but you don't have to be so serious about every little thing you do," Carl stated offhandedly. Carl passed Varius a flask of amasec and Varius drained it faster than necessary, and just about choked it back up. Krystal laughs at Varius and says,

"You should smile more Varius, we are all friends here!" This makes the whole team laugh, but Varius just sits there and scowls, clearly unamused by Krystal's remarks. Varius really hated being annoyed, and this was pushing it.

"All right, all right settle down everyone" Carl said, "Let's focus back on the mission of tracking these heretical traffickers and shutting their operation down."

Carl turned to his cogitator and brought up a map of the Subsector.

"The heretics were last seen on Tancred in the year 41M. 376, but that was a year ago, they could be anywhere by now!"

"Well let's just start the search on Tancred I'm sure the locals will know something about this cartel" Rasium said emphatically.

"I agree, if there's one thing cartels don't tie up, it's the locals they deal to," agreed Frenny.

"Alright it seems most of us are in favor of searching the main city for answers, Krystal, alert the Enginarium to begin preparations to translate to warp." Carl spoke to the whole group.

"Whatever you say "captain"," Krystal said teasingly.

Carl waited for the slight jolt, then rush as he felt the starship translate to the warp. Varius exited the room, skulking off to the armory to go over the weapons and munitions.

"Sometimes I wonder about that big guy, he just can't let go of his days in the clan," sighed Rasium.

"One day he will but it probably won't be until he discovers violence isn't the answer to everything," responded Carl.

"Well then there's no hope for him," Frenny meekly stated.

"Maybe, but I'm sure he will eventually!" Krystal chimed in.

The translation to Tancred took only 2 hours and the team was on the surface of the trade world. Incognito, the team assembled in the local bar and began planning their method of search.

"We should start by asking some of the locals about any drug activities they know of," offered Rasium.

"No, that's too direct. We need to keep a low profile while we are here. If we keep the element of surprise on our side, this battle will be in our favor when we find these heretics," said Carl.

Little did the team know, they were already being monitored by the cartel's spies.

+Carl do you feel that?+ Carl felt a sharp splinter in his mind as Krystal spoke to him through his mind.

"What, what is wrong Krystal?" Carl thought back. Carl being non psy-active could not directly communicate with Krystal through psyking.

+I've been feeling a strong psyker presence nearby and I think it has been searching all of our frontal memories,+ Krystal sent back.

"Can you tell how powerful he is or what they are looking for?" Carl implied to Krystal.

+He is about a delta, if there is no one else I should be able to take him+

As Krystal was about to leave her body, the doors of the bar smashed open. Several clansmen ran in, took cover behind the bar and prepared to open fire.

"Everyone scatter! Grab Krystal, Varius and prepare your weapons!" Carl yelled as he scrambled for cover behind the nearest booth. Frenny loaded up her rifle and began aiming for the clansmens' eyes. She dispatched one, but had to reload and attracted the fire of the other 9.

Varius had grabbed Krystal's body and jumped behind the nearest table, his cannon was soon out and spinning up, ready to release death on all in the room. Varius peeked out and began unloading. Bullets tore through the bar and five of the other clans men went down.

Rasium sparred no time reloading to finish the last two off, giving both a quick headshot through the thin wood of the bar. Assisted be his augmetics, Rasium could find any structural weakness and exploit them.

"What happened to Krystal's body?!" Carl shouted.

"I don't know but Rasium disappeared too." Frenny said dejectedly.

"What should we do?" Varius questioned.

"We need to complete the mission, the cartel has obviously shown itself, and knows we are here to shut them down, let's put our boots to their necks and bring them down!" Carl said.

"What about Krystal and Rasium?" Frenny asked.

"Hopefully we'll find them along the way, let's move out, I can still feel traces of Krystal's mind. They can't be far!"

The half team ran out of the desecrated bar into the streets of the crowded trade city. The kidnappers were not hard to follow, leaving a trail of disgruntled citizens in their wake. The team follows the kidnappers for several habs until they turned into one of the taller hab stacks.

"This has got to be their base of operations; it's out of the way and giant." Carl exclaimed.

"Alright, let me armor up and I'll take point. This fighting isn't for little ninkers like you Carl." Varius commanded.

"Fine, but don't get yourself killed over poor little me," Carl sarcastically remarked.

Varius kicked the doors in, cannon already spinning, ready to fire. Two clansmen were sitting in the front room, but were soon sitting on the floor of the hab. The hab had an elevator to the top, which the team took. Even though it sounded like a bad idea.

The team arrived in a luxurious waiting room; this was obviously a wealthy cartel going on here. They walked in with Frenny covering the back with her sniper and Varius in front with his cannon. In the center of the main room sat a thin man with a dark sneer on his face. Ten steps in and the three all froze in place.

"I can't move!" Carl exclaimed.

"Neither can I." Varius said, frustrated with his current predicament.

"It's so nice of you three to join the rest of your team," The sinister man said. "Although I would have expected you to try and rescue your friends after they were captured. No matter, I can destroy you just as easy myself."

"Who are you?" Carl asked the man.

"Well I guess I'll tell you, because you won't live long enough to remember it. My name is Mathius. I run everything around this subsector." Mathius told the group. "My spies have been tracking you ever since you entered Tancred's atmosphere. We were tipped off by our sources in the Magistrates office that they were sending a team to take us out." Mathius stated casually.

So the corruption is all the way in the high offices of Petropolis… Carl mused to himself. Right as Carl thought this Mathius froze and went limp in his chair.

"I think he has engaged someone in a psyk battle" Varius yelled.

"Then why can't we move still?" questioned Frenny as the room started to get colder. The table next to the chair exploded as an invisible psy force blew through it. Hoar frost began forming on the surface of the room and Mathius's body began shaking violently.

"Whoever is attacking him must be pretty powerful, Mathius is starting to bleed," Carl exclaimed over the ever increasing psychic pressure building in the room.

"It feels like my brain is about to explode!" yelled Frenny.

Then as soon as it came, the psychic forces ceased. Mathius's body slumped over, blood spewing out of any orifice it could find. Krystal appears in the room and faints promptly, falling on the floor in the middle of the chaos and debris.

"Is she still alive? I hope they didn't torture her too much." Carl quivered as he said these words, obviously shocked by the chaos the two psykers created.

Krystal's eyes fluttered open and she whispered, "Rasium is dead."

"I knew we should have rescued them first!" Varius thundered, outraged at the death of his comrade.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. That was my decision; I was focused too hard on finishing the mission and didn't think of the repercussions for not saving our team."

Varius picked up Krystal and took point, silently un-buckling his rotator cannon and moving out the door. Frenny followed too and as she exited, gave Carl a sad look and disappeared through the door.

"Well that didn't go as planned…" Carl dejectedly said to the empty room. He soon walked out to descend the elevator alone, deserted by his former team mates and alone on this world.

Carl sadly made his way back to the ship and told the pilot to prepare for takeoff. This was going to be one quiet ride Carl thought to himself. Krystal was being treated by the ships medicae, in the lower decks. Krystal's wounds could be healed, but the emotional scars on all the team will be there forever.

Carl was later promoted by the Inquisition for stopping one of the most notorious cartel's he choose the mission instead of a friend, which cost him the friendship of others, but in the end paid off better. Carl was chosen into the Ordos Xenos, under the wing of Gideon Ravenor, one of the most notorious Inquisitors alive, to be his Interrogator.