Lucius voice, silently, gently called out to his savant servitor Pretononius. The gentle clacking of the men-machines innards was audible from all over the small sanctum the High Inquisitor called his private office. Pretononius was closing. Ages old, the mechanical parts of him where already overhauled, updated twice. His bodily parts might date from the early turn of the millennium, nobody knew for sure. Even itself not, since with each new owner the savant was mind wiped to free up brain and memory banks alike. As Pretononius came closer, Lucius could feel the warmth emanating from the Savant calculus tubes, that were implanted in his chest and helped his human brain to do complex calculations and predictions. Human Brain? What the constructors in the Manufactura had left of human brain for the savant servitor to work his master mathematical biddings.
A creaky almost-human voice, with a touch of mechanical quality came out of the sound grille where a normal mouth once must have been.
“Master how can I do your bidding?” This was the vocal command prompt signifying that the servitors calculus units where none too busy.
“Do me the favor and bring me the board. Stand ready to bring its revelations into a stochastically tableau.” Lucius said, absent minded. He was thinking about the background of things, as his habit. And having a hard time to stay fully focused on the reality of thinks occurring around him.
Pretononius shuffled away to return 5 or 10 minutes later with an intricately designed case of dark wood with ebony inlays. SEMPER FIDELIS – SEMPER VERITAS the dark black on ebon black inscription read. The savant-servitor set the case down in front of Lucius metal work desk. There was a stark contrast between the elegant and eerie quality of the board and the somber military style of the room.
The divination board was, unlike what you would expect of such a device, not very old. Lucius had it produced on Loretta, a planet famous for their scrying and divination implements. The board was produced to maximize his abilities in this regard and was custom-made to match his psychic patterns.
This was also the reason why he himself appeared on many of the finely detailed illustrations that made up most part of the board. In the middle of this, the letter of the imperial alphabet and number were laid out in clouds. Normally a board would not sport these direct to letter options, but the artisan; an old mountain witch put them on without Lucius asking. In her low timbre but croaky voice she had told him that, with due training he might even be able to divine real sentences and not only iconographic interpretations from the board. For the last 12 years, this never came true, though.
Lucius laid out the divination stones on to their starting positions while the savant servitor got into position to track their movements by the milliseconds. This normally, greatly enhanced the quality of Lucius interpretations of their meaning. 41 ms on the great wonder followed by 23ms on the hunted demon and two times moved from warp to the planetfall and back. When Lucius divined he always dreamed what was happening, never sure about details on the board. A pict player would have helped but Pretononius calculatory abilities gave the look into the future the edge. If Lucius ability worked at all, that is, which it more often than not, did not.
But still the divination board was one of the surest ways to see into the future and get a glimpse at the emperorâ€™s wisdom. Lucius had tried all available other methods of divination and scrying devices, form the emperors tarot in all its cardboard, wooden, ivory and digital versions up to plant mystery readings and cutting open animals to read the future through there intestines as it was common on Truska. Lucius tried to concentrate on the gems, but was distracted. What was he going to ask again? Yes, how by the emperors shining gaze could he forget? The odd feeling and dreams he had since residing on Paechma, the distant feeling of malign forces at work, where does this stem from? With the servitorâ€™s cameras on the scene, Lucius could try to focus absolutely onto the questions he was putting forward to the board. This gave him an edge compared to normal users. The gems where slowly moving over the board, forming complex patterns, hitting the space of the xeno, war, chaos and planet many times back and forth… The savant servitor touched him gently on the lower left cheek. The sign to concentrate more. To focus harder. With the still intonation of the emperorâ€™s grace he sank further into the trance. He knew that the stone on the board were racing across it now, but he could not hear them anymore. So hard he tried to focus his psychic energy on them. He was now swirling through myriads and masses of different crystalline structures. The diamante universe, the amber nebula, the rings of sapphire….
His concentration was perfect, the pattern on the board shaped many different information. It was amazing he thought, all that focus, he should write an article about that, and lost it that moment. He opened it eyes, withdrew the rest of his minds tentacles from the board. The stones had already stopped. Dropped dead the moment Lucius had opened his eyes. Pretononius had already stopped the pict capture. Lucius looked up, took a deep breath and signaled the servitor to project the pict on the board. The savant did some economic movements and the replay was projected onto the divination board. The next couple of hours, Lucius and his savant spend divining the truth out of the stones patterns, movements and time of stay on the different pictograms. It was one of the most complex readings he had done for a long time. And it could have been much more accurate had his mind not wandered off again. He should go and talked to the principalis and ask about mind chastising training he could employ to embetter the work next time. Still he learned a lot. Xenos, 80 percent probability Tau with 50 percent probability of Eldar involvement where on a Planet that was “close to the imperium” search in this meaning reduced that could be that by almost 80 percent. The Tau did not stray too far from there home turf. Pretononius proposed to check on all planets close to their sphere of influence that were not yet formally owned by the imperium but had an imperial presence.
Now only the Navigator and Pretononius had to converse over the newly updated material of the subsector and the ancient card material of the outreaches of the imperium to find a matching world. Lucius had divined an eminent chaos threat. Not one small thing, a world spanning anxiety of dark whirls and streams. Something that might rise to such a blight stature that the whole sector might be engulfed. The benedictum imperatorum, the happy feel the emperor bestowed upon psychers conversing with him. It was the best feeling possible to encounter in this universe. Warm gentle light engulfing the mind and heating the body. Protection, warding and fatherly care. Unfortunately, as all benign thinks in the universe it faded fast and left a bleak emotion of the nothingness. But this time was different. There was a metallic aftertaste of freshly spilled blood, a lust for destruction, hatred of living and a hiding, deeply rooted feeling of rape. What was this? Lucius knew that it was not the feeling of the One on Earth. The divination must have been either very strong or very close to a mishap in real space, meaning a warp portal. Lucius had encountered this feeling ones before, and some scriptures of the great demon hunter Frank Frunto Frimandi spoke of this too: Ye who, after the convergence with the holy light of terra has been achieved, encounters feeling of Metallic taste, might well be advised to prepare demon hammer and soule to fend off the forces of Khorne the Bloodthirster himself. The feeling of rape and being raptured, with the knowledge of oneâ€™s mind, body, being and existence being violated and extinguished, but only feeling a foreboding interest and joy in this, clearly points to a lustfestation manifesting the devious Slanesh. The silent-noisily clacking automaton half of Pretononius was announcing his presence into the thought ridden consciousness of the inquisitor. At least Lucius now knew what to expect. In the end it would be test of his sharpness against the blunting forces of chaos. Like every other time. He broke up his trail of thought for a moment and looked expectantly into the face of his savant-servitor.Â
Master, the world Navigator Hilla devised is called