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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sister Magdalen sat in the antechamber to the Cardinal's office. She absent mindedly drummed the fingers of her bionic hand on the hard wood of the bench, but the noise was still too unfamiliar, so she stopped.

To take her mind off the summons, she looked at the other supplicants waiting to see the Cardinal. She recognised a Celestian Superior of the Order of the Bloody Rose - she had been on duty the night the relics went missing. And the middle aged priest, Father Cato - he had been given leave to study the relics less than a month ago; had he returned his vault key? She couldn't remember. The Guardsman in the corner had not been on duty that night ... then she noticed the rank insignia on his armour - although he had not been standing guard, perhaps he was in command of those who were.

The thought occurred to her that in these circumstances the Cardinal would not be holding normal audiences, and she looked more intently at the other figures in the room. One was a priest - heavily built, and from off world judging by his unusual vestments. The other was a Sister of the Valorous Heart - no, not a Sister. Judging by the insignia, and the neural whip at her hip, she was a Mistress of the Sisters Repentia.

Sweet Emperor, anything but that...

Her thoughts were interrupted as the outer door opened. The wizened form of Reverend Mother Sulwyn glided into the room, followed by a darker, more sinister figure. She instantly recognised the bones adorning his strange armour as being human. His most arresting feature, however, was his eyes - or the lack of them - twin crystaline lenses flickered in the dark sockets beneath his hood. Given the ornate power weapon strapped across his back, the newcomer could only be an assassin of the Moritat.

The Reverend mother commanded the assassin to wait here, which did nothing to improve Sister Magdalen's confidence. Then the old woman knocked twice on the inner door before she went in, sealing the audience chamber behind her and leaving the strange group alone together...


***​

You have all been summoned to attend the Cardinal's office to discuss the disappearance of the Relics of St Helena. You have a few minutes to talk amongst yourselves, make introductions, or discuss the matter before you meet with Cardinal Alban.

I will reply to any questions as Sister Magdalen, but otherwise the next update will be on Tuesday, when you will be called in to see the Cardinal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Caqrdinal Alban gestured and the maglocks sealing his chamber released. As the doors swung silently open, he surveyed the strange scene in front of him with a mixture of exasperation and cynical humour.

Mother Sulwyn's assassin faced off against Sister Kay - a confrontation that looked as if it would have come to blows, had not Father Cato intervened. The aging scholar was stood between them, his holo-projector displaying passages from the liturgy while he preached a sermon on the virtue of hatred, while Sister Kay's shoulder's shook with laughter - though whether at the priest's sermon or the assassin's posturing he could not tell.

Father Jack was engrossed in some private conversation with Kal-El, pointedly ignoring the increasingly tense situation in the room. Sister Magdalen and Mistress Elvira sat on the sidelines, watching the drama unfold in front of them. If he did not need these people to work together, he would have been inclined to do likewise - but there was no room for petty rivalries in this group, and he intended to make sure that any unspoken conflict stayed that way.

As they turned to look towards him, he discreetly thumbed a control on his staff which activated a hidden amplifier, projecting his normally quiet voice over the din:

"Sisters, Brethren. If you would like to come in, we can begin."
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"I hope I do not have to remind you of the Sin of Levity, Sister Kay. Your laughter is most innappropriate."

The wizened form of Mother Sulwyn directs you to a semicircle of comfortable chairs arranged in front of the Cardinal's desk. Even with all of you seated, there will be chairs left empty, so you can sit alone if you wish. It appears not everyone who was summoned has chosen to attend.

The cardinal takes his seat behind the desk; he glances quickly at a datatablet, before he begins.

"Sisters, Brethren, in the early hours of this morning Sister Magdalen discovered that the relics of the Blessed Helena were missing. That does not mean they were stolen last night - when not being used for services, or removed for conservation, the relics are kept in a sealed reliquary box. The box was last opened two weeks ago, when Father Cato returned the artefacts he had been studying; they could have been removed at any time since then, and one of your first tasks will be to find out when the crime was committed.

"I have had our data servitors examine the security logs. The footage of the vault has been corrupted to the point that it does not even show Sister Magdalen's scheduled visit to prepare the relics for this morning's service. We also have a number of unregistered shuttles leaving for the mainland; they were difficult to spot with the number of pilgrim transports arriving daily, but they made the journey three times last week. Any one of them could be connected to the crime, so you will need to investigate them all.

"You each bring unique skills to this investigation: Sister Magdalen is duty bound to recover imperial relics - though not normally in these circumstances - and has the forensic training to gather and analyse evidence for you. Father Cato is one of the foremost experts on the relics themselves, and if anyone can divine the motive for this crime it will be him. Sister Kay and Sergeant Kal-El bring the authority of their orders to this matter - you have my full authority, and may requisition whatever additional services you feel you need. Mistress Elvira will have the duty of interrogating any suspects you find. Father Jack is a visiting pilgrim, and as such is uniquely placed to ask questions of the pilgrims without arrousing suspicion; I also gather that several of the pilgrims who travelled with him have connections that may prove useful if anyone tries to fence the relics. Finally, our ... colleague ... from the Moritat has been hired to provide his considerable skills at stealth and infiltration. You will have little need of them here on the island, but if you pursue the criminals to the mainland they will prove invaluable.

"You will report back to Mother Sulwyn, who will keep me informed of your progress. How do you plan to proceed?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The Cardinal Nodded at the Assassin's question:

"The corruption of the logs begins 12 days ago, but at that point it is merely fogging on the video recordings. It worsened over time, to the point that one week ago only static was recorded. We believe the live feed to the Guard compound was unaffected, which is why it was not noticed at the time, but all recordings are useless."
 
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