There was no light.
That was precious knowledge. The realisation of which had cost her more than she would have thought possible, if she had but known.
Everything needs a context. And for the darkness to mean anything there had to have been a memory of light. The memory was fading fast.
It would happen, and then, more often than not, happen again. Sometimes there was more than just the tentative awareness that, in it self, did not always register.
She couldn’t remember.
— 1 —
THE CRATER, even at seven clicks distance, was clearly visible from space. The destructive forced needed to have created the dent on such a large scale was phenomenal. It was as if someone, some ancient God, had taken a gigantic hammer and hit it the moon on one side. Gasps had echoed around the darkened command bridge as images had popped into life on the master screens up above.
Whispers now endured as commands were given and ‘Aye-ayes’ of acknowledgment barked in reply. The bridge was alive with subdued activity but no one, busy at console or board, could concentrate for more than a moment before they glanced back up at the slowly looming mass of the devastated moon.
The moon itself was now on a rather awkward ellipse towards a small planet—that held it in its thrall—one of three uninhabitable desolate rocks that orbited the system’s star. There was every possibility it would crash into the small planet causing yet more local devastation, and who knew what sort of long term repercussions that would have in the future for the local area.
The Kigva, and her small flotilla of ships, had taken a number of hours to pass through just one of the many debris fields that littered this whole area of space, inbound toward the desolate moon.
— 1 —
“The darkness does not swallow the light, but gives birth to it.”
On this particular day, a glorious sunny day in mid-winter here on Pantheon the central world of the Imperium, the imposing figure of Ravan Tal strode with a purpose across the soft-pink marbled floor. Each footfall of her boots echoing about the cavernous interior of the Odessa’s Palace. Tall slender columns of fluted marble soared into a vaulted roof above, which was decorated in the renaissance style of another era. Heavenly cherubs looked down on the Inquisitor as she passed, but her eyes remained focused on a single point some distance hence. A huge arched doorway flanked by two soldiers dressed in their ornate palace livery. Each holding pikes stood at ease fending off hours of silence and boredom.
The Inquisitor approached like a black-clad figure out of history, cloak swirling behind her like the flapping wings of some huge monstrous raven of Pantheon myth. All she needed to complete the picture of menace was the long dark flowing hair of a Valkan. As it was, the Inquisitor wore her dark hair short, brushed back from her face, which was usually hidden beneath the hood of her cloak when out in public places. The one thing that identified her, if not her elevated status, was the large ornate silver clasp with the Inquisitor’s Sigil on her cloak.