16 October 2008

Mortificator Initiate

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Cartel Info File: 022 Unit Designation: "Mortificator Initiate" Faction: Brotherhood

Field Notes: Our databanks are fairly empty concerning the lowest ranks of the "Cardinal's Shadows" but we did find this small report written from a few years back:

"When I departed for this observatory mission, I had a good laugh at our target's expense, one of the Brotherhood's lower-ranking Mortificator Initiates. A teammate (Agent Mondragon) and I couldn't fathom why it would be even remotely difficult or challenging to take on a data-cap assignment for such a lowly servant of the Cardinal. In the end, we learned why.

Reports indicated that a higher-ranking, well-known official had gone heretic and was feeding vital information to the Dark Legion. Being thoroughly ingrained in the public eye, the Brotherhood must have deemed it necessary for him to have a "little accident" of sorts and (in our estimation) due to being undermanned, they decided to send a Mortificator Initiate to handle what could've easily been a mission for a Mortificator Shadow or Master.

We arrived at our watch post and sure enough, we weren't surprised when the inexperienced Initiate showed up on our surveillance tapes, slipping into the target location. Blunders are the bailiwick of the eager and inexperienced, we thought to ourselves, and chuckled. Time passed with no other sign of the Initiate nor any revealing commotion — as one might expect from an assassination attempt. Confused, Mondragon and I decided to move posts and check out our equipment in the process.

When we finally located our data-cap gear there appeared to be nothing wrong other than a loose data-card and dead battery but reinserting the card and a new battery produced no new footage. Undaunted, and determined to complete our mission, we agreed to move into the heretic's location in an attempt to reacquire our young Initiate. Per our usual policy we split up upon entry into the facility, Mondragon took the gear and used the South lift, while I carried only my sidearm and grabbed the lift on the North side. Annoyingly, my lift unexpectedly broke down only a few floors from the target and I was stuck. I used my com-link with Mondragon to explain the situation and urged him to move on without me while I plugged away at fixing the faulty lift.

I doubt I'll ever forget what happened next.

Mondragon entered the hall, gave me the all-clear, noting that he saw nothing unusual and proceded to analyze the entire floor for any trace of the Initiate, with no results. We agreed that it was probably safe for him to check the residence of the heretic for any further info. He opened the door and saw no sign of life or movement. Moving cautiously through the foyer he turned a corner into the sitting room and there, bound hand and foot to a chair, alive and unconscious, was the heretic.

Puzzled and alarmed, I activated my com-link to urge Mondragon to get the hell outta there. The moment I'd finished shouting out my warning over the com-link a massive explosion shuddered the entire building, knocking me to the ground and filling the air with the sound of emergency klaxons and the smell of acrid smoke. Coughing and slightly stunned, I climbed to my feet and frantically messaged Mondragon with no response, only static.

On a positive note, the explosion had knocked the lift back in action and it began to rise to the target floor once again. The doors opened and I delicately peered out the door and down the hall to a scene of smoke and shattered debris. I made my way cautiously past the rubble and arrived at the heretic's former home. The door and most of the wall was completely blown away so I was able to carefully work my way to where my partner was at the moment of the explosion. I'll avoid describing the carnage I found but Mondragon, or what was left of him, was scorched to a crisp and the heretic...blown completely to shreds. Turning to leave, I noticed an unusual object in the blackened and burning wreckage — a clean white piece of parchment with an attached envelope pinned to a nearby smoldering pillar.

Taking quick stock of my surroundings and determining that the area was, indeed, clear of any further danger (as far as I knew) I walked to the pillar and read what appeared to be a note of some sort.

It merely said, "Many thanks, I couldn't have done it without your help."

Opening the attached envelope, I found the same loose data-card we'd had to reinsert into our equipment before sneaking into this building, only it was blackened, burned, and warped.

I have never, since that day, underestimated any Mortificator of any rank, ever again."

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