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Not sure this worked out as I'd wanted it. Still...

Insubordination- 1100 Words

“And you’re sure it’s clear?”

Agrav sighed, crossing his arms. “Yeah. Swept it this morning, swept it again at noon. Swept it just now.”

The security chief wasn’t a patient man. Luc Ferragno knew that he was annoying him with the repeated inquiries, but damn it, he was the President-for-life of Challic Primaris, and he needed protection.

“And it was clear?”

Another sigh. Agrav didn’t actually roll his eyes, but Ferragno could feel the exasperation emanating from the man. It was almost tangible. “Yes. It was clear. Like I said.”

“Fine. Fine. Okay.” Ferragno nodded quickly. Why wouldn’t he trust Agrav? The man had kept him alive throughout this whole damned rebellion business so far, foiling several assassination attempts. A good man. Still…

Agrav could see that, no doubt. He stepped forwards, the tall man bending down slightly to come to Ferragno’s level. “Sir, would you like me to find an alternate venue?” he asked, that damned impatient half-smile on his face. Ferragno hated that. “No! It’s fine.” he snapped, turning back to the door.

It was fine. He needed to stop being so paranoid. Taking a deep breath and adjusting the heavy chain of office draped around his neck, he stepped forwards and pushed open the door.

There they were. The Mechanicum representative, Arch-Magos Vonnsen. General Macueen of the Imperial Guard. And last, Confessor Stonn, he who had broken free of the oppressive Imperial Cult, brought his revelation of the true, personal worship of the God-Emperor to all. The three, his most valuable advisors, stood up from their seats around the big round table.

Ferragno glanced around the room. Nothing there. Just the bookshelves, packed with leatherbound volumes, and the big wood-surfaced table. No windows. No other furniture, apart from the chairs. Nothing to hide.

The door shut behind him with a loud clank. Ferragno started, hand going to the pocket of his robes, where he kept his little snub-las. But it was just the security chief coming in after him, luckily.

Hell, he had to calm down. With a sigh, he relaxed, and stepped forwards to take his seat. As he dropped down into the chair, his advisors mirrored him. “All right. What news?” the President-for-life asked, glancing at General Macueen.

“Rebels hold sectors six, seven, and nine. Quickly gaining a foothold in eight.” the general stated, bluntly. “And they still have Secundus Hive. We-”

A series of loud crashes. Several books dropped from the shelves around them. Ferragno jumped up, snub-las in hand. “What’s going on?!” he shouted, hysterically.

Macueen sighed, as soon as the crashes subsided. “We couldn’t stop themtaking the PDF base in sector seven. They’ve got tanks, artillery, anti-air. We may have to evacuate to Tertius Hive, sir.”


It wasn’t Ferragno who’d spoken. Stonn had lurched out of his seat, the young confessor’s eyes bright. “Evacuate? The God-Emperor’s divine hand will guide us out of this, if we but believe!” he cried, finger lashing out. “Your failure betrays your lack of faith, Macueen.”

The Arch-Magos’ mechadendrites whipped about, his vocoder trilling in binary. He’d never dream of turning away from the God-Emperor in his guise as the Omnissiah, clearly, and couldn’t imagine the general’s choice. Ferragno shared the astonishment- Macueen, an apostate. This explained it, why the purges had done nothing, why the Guard had reported only failure after failure. Why the rebels held three hives and were receiving reinforcements from offworld. It made so much sense.

Macueen had claimed to see the light, but they’d been deceived. “No, sir, no-” he began, hands up, palms forward. Ferragno shook his head. No, there’d be no pleading this time, no reprieve for this pitiful excuse for a man. “Agrav.” he said, motioning to the former general with his snub-las. “Would you?”

“No, President-”

“Gladly.” replied Agrav, his big stub revolver coming up. A loud bang sounded out, and in an explosion of red and pink, half of Macueen’s face disappeared. Another couple books fell off the shelves, thumping to the floor; the corpse slumped to the side in its chair.

Ferragno couldn’t get used to that. No matter how many of the executions he watched personally, the gore still nauseated him. Still, it was his duty, as the Confessor said- one couldn’t order death without being willing to see it.

“Another purge, I think.” he said, dragging his gaze away from Macueen’s corpse. Stonn nodded. “A good idea, sir. We must weed out the unfaithful in our forces.”

The Arch-Magos looked at Stonn, vocoder beeping. All was well. The President-for-life put away his snub-las, realising that it was still in his hand. “Alright. Confessor, would you interview the officers in the Guard?”

“Gladly.” replied Stonn, echoing Agrav’s earlier words. Ferragno nodded. “Then we meet again tomorrow. Bring me a list.”

He turned on his heel, Agrav pulling the door open for him. Striding out, he smiled. It was a good day.

Something made a loud bang. It wasn’t the door, this time. No, that was the same bang that had emptied Macueen’s skull. Agrav’s stub revolver.

The floor came up rather quickly. He hit it hard, with a soft groan, and curled up into a fetal position, seeing Agrav’s boots. With a surprisingly great deal of effort, Ferragno looked up to the security chief’s face and found one eyebrow raised in odd curiosity. Not something he’d ever seen on Agrav’s face before.

There was a shout, and the door behind the security chief opened. Confessor Stonn appeared, gilded and blessed shotgun in hand, but Agrav’s revolver rose up and discharged twice. The young confessor was dead before he hit the floor, gaping holes in his chest and stomach.

Ferragno tried to ask Agrav why he’d done this, but a low moan was all that issued from his mouth. The Arch-Magos stepped out of the room, then, and trilled something at Agrav.

“Yes.” the security chief replied, voice mechanical and flat now. “Hold on.”

He disappeared from Ferragno’s field of view, but returned a moment later carrying a limp body. Agrav’s body.

It wasn’t Agrav that had shot him.

The not-Agrav put the barrel of his revolver in the body’s mouth, lifting it up to the man’s proper height and taking care with the angle. After a moment, he discharged it once more. Dropping the body unceremoniously, the not-Agrav turned to the Arch-Magos. “Ready?”

Another shot rang out, into the Arch-Magos’ arm. A trill of pain, and then not-Agrav dropped the revolver and disappeared.

Clever. This bastard was clever…

Luc Ferragno, President-for-life of Challic Primaris, rolled onto his back and expired there upon the floor.
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