Or Shaked Orenstein: "Mr. Buhoveckey, I'd like to ask you about the rather disturbing series of reports we received over the last few months with your name attached and why they were sent directly to us, not through your Inquisitor."
Dante Buhoveckey: "It all started when my lovely Inquisitor had this brilliant idea of inviting this scum named Quint..."
Dante: "Followed by the alcoholic arbitrator Max."
*I note down the name and cross reference with his case file from Estomor*
Dante: "I invited them to a nice place - opera - wanted to try and turn them into respectable people"
*Subject tried and failed to civilise the idiots. Clearly I will need to try harder*
Dante: "That was my first sanctioned mission as an Interrogator. I had everything worked out. It was supposed to be a simple inception into a hostile environment. We had adopted the roles of a small clerical delegation."
*Subject sighed deeply at this point*
Dante: "It went belly up thanks to the incompetence of two team members, but I managed to scrounge something out of that mission after I found a Vitores bunker, that I cleansed of course. I found vital information there that helped us find another important target"
Shaked: "So you didn't have any help in acquiring it?"
Dante: "When I say I, I mean that this was all down to myself and my esteemed colleague Emily. The rest of the group practically flat out abandoned me to try and escape the planet. Cowards, the lot of them."
*Subject appears cooperative if not slightly egotistical. I decide to change tact*
Shaked: "So, Mr. Buhoveckey, would you care to elaborate on the circumstances that saw you take the position of Interrogator so quickly?"
Dante: "The group lacked leadership you see, as a noble you would think people would look up and respect me, but this group is. Well. Difficult for the most part"
*Subject has a clear superiority complex*
Dante: "I had to run round in circles on Bythantis, around bureaucracy, around traitors and a bomb planted on a fucking flying platform!"
*There was a clear look of disbelief on the subject's face*
Dante: "It took six hours for the commissar to send aid, while there was a live bomb sitting on the platform, I required the means to force people to help whether they liked it or not, so I asked for a promotion. Having only served for two months, I was turned down after that and she instead assigned us an Interrogator. And don't ask me why a fucking commissar was leading the place, I haven't got a clue, the Governor seemed to be disrespected and disliked enough for everyone to ignore that he existed. Whole thing was a shambles"
*Subject seems keen to paint himself in a good light. I'm most interested in the other Interrogator.*
Shaked: "So tell me about the new Interrogator. Clearly she didn't work out if you found yourself promoted."
Dante: "She was smart, well trained and by the book. Completely the wrong sort of person for these idiots. I was the only one, except for our Psyker, who ever showed her the respect she deserved. Everyone else seemed to treat her with contempt or disdain and she was forced to confiscate stolen goods on more than one occasion."
Shaked: "How many sorties did she complete with you?"
*It's not uncommon for an Interrogator to be reassigned after a few missions but it seems unusual that there would be two assigned to the same cell. I decide it's best to change tact and hold this information for later.*
Shaked: "So tell me about how you became involved in all this."
Dante: "I just came back from active duty in the guard, spent ten fucking years on Estomor fighting in the radioactive wasteland. I was a lieutenant at the time, leading my own squad in various combat sorties over the course of a decade."
*I note down that his prior profession was a Guardsman. This correlates with records I had been given. Attaining the rank of lieutenant is a sign of either competence or money. So far I am swaying towards the latter.*
Dante: "So I come home and I'm assigned shore leave. I mean, I'm supposed to be on holiday right now. Or at worst undergoing combat drills! Not off in the ass end of nowhere hunting Throne damn cultists."
*Subject seems visibly distressed by the fact. I decide to probe him some more.*
Shaked: "So why are you not enjoying a well earned rest?"
*Subject seems the type to be prone to flattery and emotive language. This may give results.*
Dante: "Well, I'd been given a rather cushy security job under my obnoxious father. And by cushy security job, I mean that he forced me to be his Throne damned cup bearer."
Shaked: "Go on."
Dante: "So one day we have this rag-tag group of ingrates stumble through the door."
*Subject notably shows contempt towards his former colleagues on a near constant basis.*
Dante: "It was obvious that none of them had ever even seen a noble before"
Shaked: "So why did you end up attached to this group?"
Dante: "My father assigned me as a local guide. Things went south from there and I saw things no sane man was meant to see. At the end of the "mission", as Inquisitor Bauyon had decided to call it, I was told that I would now be on permanent assignment within the Inquisition. That's probably when I realised my life was over."
Shaked: "Did your father arrange to have you transferred?"
Dante: "Have you ever had the misfortune of meeting my father? He's a self-absorbed narcissist with little care beyond what happens within the marble walls of his bloody palace."
*Clearly has unresolved issues with his father.*
Shaked: "Do you think he would have paid for you to be inducted into the Inquisition and promoted to Interrogator? I mean, corruption is not an uncommon practice."
*Subject goes red in the face and clearly gets angry at the notion"
Dante: "Don't you dare think that pretentious prick would give a damn about me or spend a penny on my position. I worked for my rank just like any other good, loyal, guardsman."
Shaked: "Just because he doesn't like you doesn't mean that he may not have arranged for your transfer."
Dante: "Look. Mr Orenstein. Do you know what sort of a man my father is? He's a selfish oaf who was always keen to spite me. My siblings got lavish gifts when they came of age. Do you know what he got me?"
*I look up from my notepad. He's clearly very angry at this point.*
Dante: "A letter saying that I had been inducted into the Halcyon Hammers and I would be shipping out within the week. The last time I saw him he apathetically told me to 'try not to die' before taking spoonful of foie gras."
Shaked: "So you don't think he'd be sponsoring you within the Inquisition?"
Dante: "No. Of course that selfish prick wouldn't. He'd have likely passed me off to Inquisitor Bauyon as a favour to keep her pacified. I know for a fact that tight bastard wouldn't put down so much as a single throne to have an excuse to get rid of me. That's how we ended up with that lummox Max, he was given as a peace offering from the Lord Marshal of Triam. I wouldn't be surprised if the same didn't go for every member of this rag-tag bunch of idiots. We're probably all tithes."
*It's not unusual for an Inquisitor to demand tithes and there appeared to be no errors in his story.*
Shaked: "Tell me, does the name Amar Lomm mean anything to you?"
Dante: "Amar Lomm you say? Yeah I’ve heard of him, old Inquisitor right? Went missing centuries ago, no one seems to have seen or heard from him for a long time if I remember correctly"
Shaked: "Are you aware that you bear a striking resemblance to the late Amar Lomm? At least according to some official reports and pict analysis."
Dante: "I look like him? I've never even seen a picture of the guy, and I’ve never had any facial surgery done. I can have you look over my medical records if you must. Although I'm sure you already have."
*I'm convinced by his story. He's far too young to be Amar Lomm's son although the potential for being a grandchild remains. I'll have to look into this in more detail at a later date.*
Dante: "I mean, if you want information on Amar Lomm, you should ask Cherrice. She served under him as an Acolyte."
*This information correlates with conclave records and I pin her down as the new primary suspect in this case. I decide it's best to know more about this target and press the issue.*
Shaked: "So what can you tell me about Inquisitor Cherrice Bauyon?"
Dante: "Cherrice, by the throne what can I say about her that won't get me killed at a later date?"
Shaked: "I appreciate fear as a motivator, but from what I can gather the woman outright terrifies you. Interesting."
Dante: "I'd rather face down a herd of angry grox than Cherrice when she is in a foul mood. I swear her temper is unrivaled and she's always happy to threaten her subordinates with execution should they not perform at the optimum level expected of them."
Shaked: "Your personal record indicates numerous successes. Elimination of a pleasure cult on Halcyon. Discovery of an explosive device planted SkyHab Alpha, Bythantis. Uncovering a Chaos plot on Triam whereby you personally slew a dangerous Vitores agent. So why would you be so afraid of her in light of your successes?"
Dante: "You've got to understand that Cherrice is utterly ruthless. She's stronger, faster, smarter and tougher than anyone I know. Although I suppose you have to be to survive in this business. On top of that, nothing is ever good enough for her. The SkyHab was the one mission that nothing went wrong on, and Triam? Well apparently we 'took too long', after we found this noble girl who was kidnapped, Emperor bless her soul."
*Subject looks visibly distressed again at this point*
Dante: "She didn't survive the experience, but it was the best that we could do under the circumstances. We were following a lead you see, turned out to be something different, unrelated to the major issues, but it warranted investigation at the time"
Shaked: "I'm sure, given the circumstances you should have been given some clemency. That said, you’ve thus far proven to be a relatively competent leader. Even in the Estomor System. We read your reports, and we've cross referenced them with our own documentation. I doubt many other agents could salvage such a dire situation, especially after as you claimed the 'Scum and the Arbitrator went insane'. So please, tell us more about this 'Max' and this 'Quint' that featured rather heavily in your write up of Estomor. I'd like to add that We're grateful that you sent these reports to the Cabal directly."
Dante: "Ah Estomor, the one planet I never wanted to visit again. Now, apparently I am meant to be able to read minds and predict the future. But let's be reasonable. How in throne could I know that Quint and Max would do such... insane things?"
Shaked: "Our master is always suspicious of anything that has Cherrice's name on it. In fact, we'd like to thank you as the reason for our deployment here."
Dante: "Ha, I wouldn't thank me yet"
Shaked: "Your reports were enough to generate significant cause for concern in the operations of Inquisitor Cherrice Bauyon."
Dante: "Give it a couple of months and see if you want to thank me again. Anyway, you wanted to know about Max and Quint?"
Shaked: "Indeed. What exactly was the role they played in the assassination of three nobles and an Inquisitorial agent?"
Dante: "You see Quint was a scum, born in an underhive in a place that I never bothered asking him about, and he had this kleptomania about him, he had to steal and grab as much of anything that he could."
Shaked: "Ah, one of those sorts I see. Petty thief. Greedy, little creatures."
Dante: "It didn't really bother me at the time, it was all from the corpses of fallen enemies, no stealing from the lawful citizens. At least that’s all I saw him take"
Shaked: "Theft is still theft, I personally would not have allowed for it without a detailed receipt, but you are only recently promoted, so I can understand that there would be slip ups. So what did you not see him take?"
Dante: "A melta pistol from a rogue Inquisitor. In Cherrice's possession now of course."
Shaked: "Rogue Inquisitor you say? When did you encounter one of them? It's not in any of your official reports."
Dante: "We were aboard this Space Hulk, its Geller Fields had been damaged during warp transit and it had made an emergency exit. Place was a wreck but, it was sending out a distress call. It was from an Inquisitor, so as the closest vessel we went to investigate"
Shaked: "Interesting, you see, Cherrice also seems to have neglected this in her official transcripts. Would you say this was a black operation? Off the records?"
Dante: "Hard to say, the place was obviously corrupted, mutants and daemons roaming around the place, but there were still some who were alive and sane. Hiding in a temple to the God Emperor, praying for salvation"
Shaked: "So Cherrice Bauyon sent an Inquisitorial sortie to investigate a distress call from an Inquisitor. Without clarifying if it was an official operation or not? This raises more questions. We're currently investigating the disappearance of an Inquisitor Lorenzo Drasus as well."
Dante: "We were tasked with finding the Inquisitor and bringing him out alive, after gathering a few of the sane survivors we found the inquisitor in the Geller Field Generator, he had just finished combating a group of Daemons when we showed up"
Shaked: "The Conclave have not heard from him in close on a year now."
Dante: "That’s when shit hit the fan, you see there was this person who claimed to be a member of the Inquisitor’s retinue, we let her join up with us, bad move on my part, turned out to be an assassin"
*My interest was piqued at this point*
Shaked: "Assassin you say."
Dante: "Her form twisted into something else. She had this blade attached to her arm and this strange pistol that i had never seen before"
Shaked: "This news is certainly disturbing."
Dante: "She started attacking the Inquisitor and he called for aid, that was when the group turned on him, Quint drew his stolen Melta Pistol, that he took from the ships armoury, and melted a hole in his armour, he didn’t survive long enough for me to tell everyone to stop what the fuck they were doing."
Shaked: "The assassin's name? What was their name?"
Dante: "I needed something - anything - to prove that this murder was justified, I found strange markings on his body, upper back, close to the neck, turned out they were symbols of Tzeentch. She didn’t have a name. At least not one I can remember. Apparently she was what they call a "caleadus" or some shit.”
Shaked: "Unfortunate, but we will be certain to follow this up. Tell me, do you know the significance of an assassin targeting an Inquisitor?"
Dante: "Although it was justified, i feel that the group were all too eager to assassinate an inquisitor, well apart from the Tech-Priest and the Psyker, neither of them participated in the murder. Hell if I know, he had been missing for so long and had heretical marking on him, must have been studying something that a more puritan inquisitor didn’t like, so he called a hit on him. I mean, that’s how I always assumed assassinations to work?"
Shaked: "That's an astute observation."
*I chuckle to myself at his ignorance in the affairs of the Officio Assassinorum*
Shaked: "I now understand why Cherrice forbade a write up of events. It's unsettling to any member of the Holy Ordos to find the hand of the Officio behind such an action. What happened to the Callidus?"
Dante: "She disappeared when we reached Estomor"
Shaked: "So Cherrice tolerated her presence?"
Dante: "For a time, turns out the space hulk's remaining crew had orders to blow the ship up once we left, and honestly after seeing her fight I didn’t want to get on her bad side, so I let her in one of the shuttles back to our ship, she threatened Cherrice in order to let her stay on the ship."
Shaked: "We will be sure to follow up this indiscretion on the part of the Officio Assassinorum. Are there any survivors from this mission that we could talk to? Anyone who served under Inquisitor Drasus would be a valuable asset in our investigation."
Dante: "I can set up an interview with Malcolm for you, he's a good man. Very ‘by-the-books’ kind of guy. Although after the events in the ship, he got more and more radical in his faith to the Emperor, he's a Crusader in my personal retinue now. Saved my life more than once."
Shaked: "I think we've made some considerable headway and I’ll be arranging an appointment with Malcolm. There are only two pressing questions remaining. Can you tell me about the surviving members of your original team. Kane, Krutchev and Nara?"
Dante: "Kane the Useless we call him, although he does pull through when we need him, very good with anything technical, even for a Tech-Priest, but lacks anything resembling social skills or common sense. He prays regularly to the Omnissiah and he's the type of guy I would have around if I got given the chance. Krutchev is a dog by all definition, does what I tell him to most of the time, respects rank and is damn good with his chainsword, mostly communicated through a series of grunts and fumbled words, but he's a loyal servant. And Nara, a quiet one she is. Rather strange but all psykers can be. Seems to have chronic depression turns down every attempt that I’ve made at cheering her up or praising her for her good work, she has an inquisitive mind but knows her limits, seems to be very dependable for a psyker, her powers don't seem to cause any uhhh, *issues* most of the time…"
*From the sound of things the group may not be as bad as first feared. Max and Quint appear to have been the biggest cause of trouble within the team.*
Shaked: "Are any of these acolytes in the possession of stolen equipment? This is solely for administrative purposes, I can assure you."
Dante: "All of the weapons are legit, either bought or gifted to us by the Church on Triam. Some other items were reclaimed from a dead noble house on Estomor, mostly void suits, but we did come across this wonderful suit of power armour. Cherrice grabbed that one though, didn’t give it back"
*I note down Cherrice acquiring a set of power armour through illegitimate means. Another strike against her.*
Shaked: "Dead noble house? Care to clarify how this noble house ended up extinct? We are of course investigating that as well."
Dante: "Want the long story or the short story?"
Shaked: "The assassinations are wrapped up nicely. We know it was Max. You've confirmed he was one of Cherrice's agents. Cherrice is currently to be held accountable for this. But until now we only suspected Inquisitorial involvement in the Lennox Massacre"
Dante: "Is that what those Estomorian cunts are calling it?"
*I can tell that he is clearly very arrogant and sure of himself*
Dante: "It was a purge, pure and simple."
Shaked: "No, that's what we in the Sephadollion Conclave are calling it. You see, we had infiltrated that house and they were quite loyal to the Holy Ordos. We had an agent stationed within their client house. She had risen to a prominent position. Your merry band of men somewhat - how would you say it - screwed the pooch on that whole operation."
Dante: "After the assassination attempt I knew that Estomor wasn't safe, we needed to get out of the capital and head to another hive before the word spread of the attempt so that we could escape the planet. There was this noble house I knew were corrupt, they were dealing in high class slaves and I had been a target for years. I had avoided their assassins and dodged their slavers for as long as I can remember"
Shaked: "Slavery is hardly new in the Imperium. The petty affairs of a noble have no place in the hallowed Inquisition. Personal revenge is scant justification for corruption when we have solid proof of their innocence. Mr Buhoveckey, things are not looking good for you. Our operatives eventually found the house responsible for the trafficking operation your team eventually uncovered. Unfortunately, their significant members had mysteriously ‘vanished’ before we could secure an arrest. Leading us to imprisoning very few in the way of tangible suspects. It seems they benefitted significantly from their rival houses being weakened and the pressure on them being taken off."
*I take a moment to sip a cup of water*
Shaked: "So thanks to you, the more prominent members of the real enemy in all this, the Throne damned Artalanta Family are now at large."
Dante: "As I am sure you know, the Emperor himself abolished slavery. But, as im sure you know it does still exist"
*The subject seems keen to try and deflect attention away from the main issue here*
Shaked: "It's a necessary evil. And Estomorian society is built on it."
Dante: "Most of the slaves however are lower class citizens, who have gone through the legal system and have been found guilty"
Shaked: "Yes, that is also true."
Dante: "They are sentenced to a life of servitude in reparation for their crimes."
Shaked: "Also true. But we were blackmailing House Lennox at the time and had plans to purge them once their loyalty had served its purpose. At the time of your so-called purge, they had not yet finished serving us."
*Dante starts trying to talk over me at this point and goes on a long rant about how House Lennox had been kidnapping nobles, as if we didn’t already know this.*
Dante: "These so called ‘nobles’ however were simply kidnapping actual members of the nobility, trying to extort money out of their families and then selling them into slavery in some far off system never to be seen again."
Shaked: "Immaterial. The point still stands that your operatives ruined an Inquisitorial operation."
*Dante continues to protest. I’m surprised at how he managed to dig himself into this hole out of nowhere. I was very close to just letting him off the hook until he mentioned the dead noble house.*
Dante: "It was simply heresy, and I deemed it necessary to purge them"
Shaked: "Fortunately we have your confession, so we can extort you instead, Mr. Buhoveckey."
*I smile ever so slightly as and look over to Mitch*
Shaked: "You will be working for us now. Not Lord Alexei."
Dante: "And what do you hope to get out of me?"
Shaked: "It's clear that your father has nothing to do with your sudden rise to power."
Dante: "As you said these people were clearly heretics running a smuggling operation."
Shaked: "And you’ve just confessed to hindering Imperial justice. I know you’re a smart man, so I’ll let you put two and two together.
*I cleared my throat at this point*
Shaked: "You're clearly ambitious and filled with the right level of self-determination."
Dante: "Ambitious? Me? Everything I have done has been a necessity. If i hadn't done these things, advancing in rank and position, I would be killed like a dog. And I am no dog!"
*The arrogance is fairly thick but I can tell he’s the right kind of man for this assignment. Besides, he could do with being humbled.*
Shaked: "You will receive a dataslate shortly. I expect you to follow its instructions and we'll never have to cross paths again. Fail to undertake them and you will have made some powerful enemies. Good luck, Agent Buhoveckey."