--- Continued from Part 1.2 ---
The whole assignment seemed pretty ridiculous to me. Who cares about books? Can't they all be accessed by data slate, anyway? And this wasn't even an important book - it was just some progenium book for recent parents. There was also some political mumbo jumbo that the official explained that went right over my head, but I guess Gaius is pretty good at that kind of thing because he handled the meeting like it was nothing. The only good thing that came out of it, as far as I'm concerned, was a truly delicious meal.
Our mission was simple: a book had been checked out by an archivist, and hadn't been returned when it was due. Apparently this scribe wasn't involved in whatever political muck was going on, and was known to have a good service record. So probably she hadn't stolen it - something else must have gone wrong. Well, we located her house and found the place deserted, so I nicked the door open and we checked inside. We found evidence that the archivist and her husband and young daughter had previously left for an annual family vacation trip. Based on the family's travel plans, they should have returned one week ago. The book was nowhere to be seen.
At this point our best course of action seemed to be to head out to the vacation home, so we did. This is where things start to get really weird. The father, another scribbler, answered the door. He looked haggard, like he'd gone a week or so without bathing or changing clothes or maybe even sleeping. He tried to get rid of us, pretty bluntly I might add. Well, after having the door closed in our face, we decided a more direct approach was needed. Valentina snuck around back while Gaius, Cyniska, and myself readied ourselves at the front. Using our vox coms to coordinate, we charged through the windows and doors on both sides of the house all at once. Unfortunately, this made an awful racket - and woke the baby.
Until then I'd been blessed with never having to deal with any psykers or their cursed powers. So this mission... well, it was a crash course in the most literal sense. We barged into the entry room of the house just as this kid started screaming at the top of her lungs. We got a brief view of the parents, both sitting there with blank stares, like servitors with their circuits fried. Then the wave of psychic power hit us and threw us right back through the windows and out of the house - a good ten feet at least. It turns out, when you're being thrown through the air with psychic power, the ground hits like a fraking truck!
After that it was touch and go with the psyker. We tried a few tactics to calm her down, tried assassination from afar, tried kidnapping the father to get information. THAT was an exercise in futility. We managed to capture him, but all he'd do is babble constantly about needing to get back to the house, and he squirmed like a hive rat. We DID manage to grab the book during one of these sessions, but we couldn't exactly leave a rogue psyker on the loose.
Valentina even tried to befriend the witch. I agree that it didn't sit right with me to kill a young child, even if she was a psyker, but I wasn't about to get close to it after seeing (and feeling) what it could do. But Valentina - that woman has the Emperor's own courage. She walked right up to the girl, bold as brass, offering her some of the desert lizards that seemed to be common there. The child seemed frightened, though, and the mother told Valentina that she didn't want her there. We learned later that psykers can recognize the psychic signature of a mind, and that the little girl most likely remembered that Valentina had crashed into her house and frightened her badly only hours before.
Well, at that point all our tactics had failed and we'd been on the planet for a long time. It was time to report in, and to get some more powerful ordinance if we wanted to do this properly. I guess it never occurred to us to call Nomura in the first place - or that this wasn't the job we had been assigned to do. Shows how far I've come, I suppose. It makes sense that Valentina or Cyniska would see this as a threat to the law and order of the empire and want to stop it, but back in my hiver days I would have seen it as "not my problem" and left well enough alone.
Anyway, once we called Nomura, he offered to send down a kill team. As much as we wanted to prove ourselves, we decided that would be for the best. The witch had already bested us multiple times, and it was probably time to call in those who could properly deal with the threat.
Well, the sororitas came down and took care of the psyker.
+++ Sigh. Silence for 10 seconds. Nervous shifting.
I feel awful thinking about it. Imagining that scared little girl in that house as they descended on it with meltas and flamers, her mind blanked mother holder her. I know she had to be dealt with, but she was far to young to have comprehended or controlled the power she was using. Her father was outside, and I pleaded with Nomura to try to help him, at least. He said they would do what they could, and I guess that will have to be enough.
After that it was just cleanup. We returned the book to the administratum official, saying nothing about the girl or her parents. Then it was back to the ship, and here I am. My first mission for the Inquisition, and nothing went as planned. I guess that's only to be expected, though. As frightening and unpredictable as this new life is turning out to be, at least it's exciting!
--- To be continued in Part 2.1 (After the next session) ---