Heretics in Plain Sight

He waited patiently for his neocom to blink with an expected notification. He checked the time and let out a long, drawn-out groan. It was late by at least several hours.

He had tasked what was left of the Project DENT spynetwork to dredge up information on the Aposi–the Sani Sabik cabal that had successfully infiltrated Imperial Outlaws. and had murdered Lady Lianne’s daughter. He clenched his fist at the thought, letting his mind wander unproductively about whether the little girl had understood what was happening as her life ended. She was probably confused, disoriented. He willed himself away from his imagination after offering another prayer for the child’s soul and returned to reviewing the papers and reports strewn across his bed in his quarters in Kamela.

Realizing that the message was probably delayed again, he walked over to the kitchen counter and poured himself a cup of tea. One file caught his attention for the dozenth time. He picked it up and scanned it over once more in between sips of rejuvenation.

The Sani Sabik influence with the 24th Imperial Crusade was far more apparent than he realized when he had joined Death by Design. One such group had even been a part of one of the more powerful alliances within the crusade: The Loaded-Dice alliance based in the Bleak Lands. Fitting, it seemed, that such an organization would have found refuge in the former home territory of the Blood Raiders.

The corporation he was examining closely was Blood Fountain Massacre, headed by Apothys Rah. As Sani Sabik, they were less than discreet about their loyalties. Indeed, Apothys Rah’s own publicly-available biography read as:

The planets surfaced burned and the skies were ignited with the crack of laser fire and burning comets as vessels plummeted through the atmosphere, addressing the captured heathens he spoke.”It was us who brought civilization to this dark and perilous galaxy, and it is us who uphold it, with compassion.. strength.. and courage. We save you Minmatar from yourselves. We will help the lost ones amongst you find their way and we will do it with the deathless force only the might of the 24th Imperial Crusade can wield. pausing a moment before the kneeling heathens the robed figure turned and cried out to the Blood Raiders. Blood for the Blood God!!!” The Blood Raiders roared in approval and the figure turned to his second. “Now sacrifice the males in the name of the Blood God and take the females too the slave barges”

– Apothys of the House of Rah, ‘Divine Commodore’ of the 24th Imperial Crusade and the sinister Order of the Empress’s ‘Blood Fountain Massacre’ –

It was appalling that such a flamboyant corporation of Sani Sabik was allowed to operate beneath the Empress’ banner, with no loyalist corporations taking up the mantle against them. Something had to be done, but there were limitations to his capabilities. Starting over at the bottom of the corporate ladder left him operating sparsely and only with the tentative approval of higher-ups. He had been used to creating his rules and regulations rather than following them.

He would have made a proposal to Predator Elite directly to declare war on Blood Fountain Massacre, but that was largely unnecessary as Death by Design was already a neutral party in the ongoing Amarr-Minmatar conflict and could therefore fire on both. As a result, he had started to pressure on the alliance to which Blood Fountain Massacre once pledged allegiance: Loaded-Dice. It was no secret that Loaded-Dice’s executor Kenshein had partaken in the freighter kill above the infrastructure hub in Huola, therefore implicating his entire alliance. Reginald believed this game him a path of salvation and penance.

But how can one man hope to overcome the bureaucracy of an entire alliance? What message could possibly be sent loud and distinct enough to cut above the natural communications of “Amarr Victor” and blind loyalty to a corrupt Crusade that would have Blood Raiders operate beneath its sacred banners?

The answer had been simple, yet elegant. A single pilot, properly equipped, could wreak havoc upon the rank and file and leadership alike. A single pilot could send a message so loud as to be deafening. And thus he had begun a smartbombing campaign in Kourmonen.

He turned to a paper-clipped page inside of the file. And it had already received attention:

“Blood Fountain Massacre left our alliance in September. Any harm done to us for the sake of them is misplaced, when we have neither the control nor influence to alter their course. If they are Sani Sabik cultists, then you will have to hunt and kill them in our Empress’ name.” 

Alas, the path to salvation is long and narrow and the “do it yourself” mentality was less than becoming for warriors of the Amarr militia. Standing by and doing nothing was almost as bad as supporting the Sani Sabik. Turning a blind eye out of convenience was an affront to God and the Empress.

The campaign would have to continue. At least, until allies could be rallied against the Sani Sabik corruption within the Crusade.

Until then, he walked alone.

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