A Meeting of the Minds
What happens when a mind-reading Inquisitor meets a class five, fully trained Psyker? A Meeting of the Minds
'What is your name?’ the man sitting across the dark, round wooden table asked. His voice was dark and sinister, slightly gravely and laced with a northern Idaes accent. His eyes were cold and of the deepest blue, a scar ran down his face from the top of his head, between the eyes, around the nose and strait over his top and bottom lips, ending just below the jaw line.
The man was dressed in black breeches, a black button-up and a long black trench that still bore small beads of water from where the collected snow that had gathered was now melted. His hair was cropped short, black and lightly oiled with a perfume that scented the area around him in amber and sandalwood.
The caffeine, dark and over brewed, swirled smoothly in the small white, plas-steel cup. Momentarily, the man watched it move but did not give the gentle stirrings any real thought.
The man who sat across from the Scar-faced, man answered the question. ‘I am Tobias Malicar.’ His answer was almost a whisper, but not totally. It was clear and deliberate…hiding nothing. The scar-faced man concealed the slight shock he felt at the mention of the man’s name and the clarity of the man’s speech with a nod and the consumption of the hot, blackened drink he put to his jaded lips.
‘I knew you father…a long time ago.’ The man said thoughtfully. ‘He was a friend of mine before he was killed in the Stalk Wars on Gyats…nearly twenty years ago.’ the man continued. ‘I fought alongside him in the trenches for nearly a year. He saved my life from an Ork’s fierce blade…that’s how I got the scar.’ He touched the pink tissue and ran his gloved finger down the length of it. The leather glove creaked slightly when the man moved his thick fingers. He smiled weakly at the memory.
Tobias Malicar put the shot-glass, filled with a clear liquid to his lips and sipped it for a moment, before finally knocking it back in one smooth motion. He did not comment on the other man’s words. He just watched the man‘s movements…the slide of his hands as he rubbed them together…the set of the man’s jaw before he opened his mouth to speak…the way his eyes stared directly into his mind…focusing, seeking for something.
The scar-faced man smiled as kindly as he could at Tobias Malicar as he said ‘Your father was a good man.’ Tobias nodded in respect to the man’s words, but did not say anything. The drink in the other man’s hand swirled smoothly in his cup without the man stirring it, but again the man did not seem to notice.
‘What is it exactly that you do, young Malicar?’ the man asked before taking another sip of his hot caffeine. Tobias smiled for a moment but metered out his response to the question. He could feel the other man’s thoughts delicately moving amongst his own but he wasn’t worried about it. He knew the other man’s intent was not to kill him, not yet anyway; not until he had enough information.
Tobias Malicar wiped his mouth with his yellow napkin; stalling for a moment…hoping the man that was sitting across from him would take the hint and back off. Finally Tobias answered. ‘I specialize in people to people relations. Someone asks for something to be done for them, I quote a price, an agreement is made. The task accomplished, I receive my earnings and I am on my way.’
The scar-faced man took another sip from his caffeine and set the cup down, nearly empty. The liquid swirled about the cup a little more, rotating counterclockwise. Again the scar-faced man did not notice the movement of the liquid and pressed with his questions.
Everything about the man seemed to be just what he seemed to be; Exguardsmen, older, back home from a long campaign, seeking to find relief from his memories in the local bar. His questions were not out of the ordinary: What is your name? What do you do? How long have you lived here? Is this a good place to meet someone and raise a family?
The man was the perfect actor. He had experience; he was battle hardened and had the scars to show for it. He had the bad memories that kept him up all night; he even had the right amount of knowledge about the regimental trench warfare against the Orks on Gyats. But there was something that set the man apart…he was a memory reader. All the information that he received was from the gentle probing of an open mind.
‘What kind of people to people relations do you deal with? Trade, Import-export, that kind of thing? The man asked innocently enough. Tobias Malicar shook his head slowly as if recovering from a stiff neck, before answering. ‘No.’ he said matter-of-factly before continuing. ‘Sir, do you really want to know exactly what I do, for the sake of hiring me or for some other purpose?’
The scar-faced man looked around the bar conspiratorially for a moment. There were a few others in the bar, but not close enough to overhear. A strong, pulsing beat had begun to play; a lone girl began to dance on stage, her movements distracting most of the patrons from anything more than gaping wide eyed and slack-jawed at her enhanced, gyrating form. The scar-faced man directed his attention back to the conversation at hand and to the last of his drink.
‘Well, that depends on what you are offering, young Malicar.’ the man said with a smile. The word-games were starting to get old. This cloak and dagger type of talk was fine for the right settings, but now was not the time; even so, Tobias Malicar smiled and directed the question back to the man sitting across from him. ‘What is it that you want…Inquisitor?’
The man nearly fell from his chair from the shock of the psychic feed-back Tobias Malicar threw back at him. The Inquisitor shook his head, blood streaming from his nose and eyes, holding his head with both hands. ‘How did you know?’ the Inquisitor asked, wheezing from the stress he was under.
‘I knew from the first moment you began to probe my mind for information that you were not who you pretend to be.’ Tobias Malicar slowly stood from his seat, walked over to the other side of the table and leaned over the Inquisitor. ‘I really do not like being played for a fool. I definitely do not like having another mind moving within the confines of my head and I do not like the Inquisition prying into my affairs with subterfuge and deceit.’
‘If you really want to know what it is that I do…all you had to do was be honest with me.’ Tobias Malicar said with a sad shake of his head. ‘You could have said; hello. My name is Werthington Barthalemiew Ignateious the Third. I have worked for the Inquisition for thirty-three years and have an extreme desire to interfere with your life for the next few moments by asking you some personal questions that could, quite possibly, see you imprisoned or dead.’
‘I am not afraid of the Inquisition. I would have told you freely that I am an assassin-for-hire; that I kill for money. It matters not who or where I kill…just as long as I get paid. I am a class five, trained psyker and that all I would like for the moment; is to be left alone. Have I made myself clear?’
The Inquisitor shook his head slowly, fear and pain keeping his movements slow. The blood from his nose and eyes had run down his face and had pooled upon the black trench that he wore.
‘The next time you decide to take a trip into the unknown galaxy of another’s mind, you may wish to find out beforehand what their capabilities are. Also take the subtle hints that one may give you, such as the swirling of liquid in your glass, as a caution sign for you to back off. Now I don’t want you fallowing me or being able to direct others to do so, so I will leave you a couple of little gifts for you to remember me by.’
The Inquisitor shook his head again, as if in understanding. Tobias Malicar was not going to kill him. He almost smiled with the realization that he would live through this. He had totally underestimated his adversary and he had nearly paid for it with his life.
The Inquisitor almost smiled. Instead he screamed. His screams blended in with the loud music and the shouts of the men watching the dancing girl. Shock overtook him as the pain became too much to bear. At long last the blackness receded but the pain remained. He could not move even as the authorities sought to give him aid. Tobias Malicar was gone; the only proof that he had been there…the splintered remains of most of the Inquisitor’s bones.
A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep!
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Last edited by Adrian; 01-27-11 at 07:48 PM.