++++data packet rec'd++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
Tsetse the Majestic
It would seem that my researches have borne further fruit, this day. I have requisitioned an algorhythmic difference engine from the Administratum to enable me to cross reference terms with greater efficiency. It did not take long for me to flag up a matter of clear relevance to the Thrixis Matter.
This latest discovery relates to an outlying world (of a most pleasant temperate climate, records show), Gibraltar’s Folly, which had fallen back into a feudal state of society following a Luddite uprising approximately one millennium back, sidereal. As it had fallen out of contact with the sector, and of course the wider Imperium, it was viewed by the Schola Progenium as an ideal place to set up a camouflaged observation station, planet-side, from which the society could be studied. Coincidentally, from enquiries with the Ordos, it would appear that the Ordo Hereticus and Ordo Malleus had both hacked into the Schola’s datafeeds, as we all know very well the dangers that can spawn from backward societies with low levels of technology.
Another interesting factor that the Ordos had not been aware of at the time is the presence on world of a clandestine sect of the Mechanicum, that had set up a hidden facility with a specialisation biological study and the engineering of weaponised microbial life forms. With hindsight, it is clear that tech-heresy was in evidence at several levels of severity. Alas, as many have found over aeons, security and safety can only be as efficient as the intel that informs it.
I fear that I may be rambling somewhat, as it is approximately 40 hours since I last slept, but the information in this missive took some digesting and unravelling, so I beg you indulge me if this narrative meanders at all. To this end, I will try to summarise, and have attached any information of pertinence for you to peruse at your leisure.
The aforementioned observation station on Gibraltar’s Folly was located in a nation known as Maltesia. A monarch had arisen to rule this peaceful nation (Crumbe); the closest translation of his name would be akin to the name from Olde Terra, ‘John’. Now, King John had a keen interest in astronomy, and would often be espied from the observation station making his way into the wooded foothills that rose close to his castle, of a clear evening. He had developed (or had had developed for him) some kind of rudimentary observation implement to aid him in his star gazing.
On one such evening, he was observed returning to his castle in the company of a cloaked and hooded stranger, deep in conversation. This was to be the last time King John was to be spotted indulging his passion for astronomy, even though many clear evenings came and went, as the moons of Gibraltar’s Folly waxed and waned.
As time passed, the once peaceful nation of Crumbe became disorderly, and it’s people fearful and furtive. It would seem that people had been disappearing (although the Schola records are somewhat vague here). On the rare occasions that John was seen outside, always he would be seen in the company of the hooded stranger, with his ear cocked to hear whatever ‘advice’ he was being given. Always he would frown, always he would conduct himself in a surly manner, prone to sudden rages and sudden doubts of melancholy, punctuated by screaming and wracking sobs.
With reference to the disappearances amongst the populace, for once, very complete records (of which I am sure the Mechanicum must somehow be unaware) indicate that individuals were being removed from their hovels of a night, under the cover of some kind of observation-baffling technology, to swiftly perish (excuse my fondness for Olde Terran terms, here my Master, but it seems apt) as human guinea-pigs in experiments.
Now there is a gap which occurs in the records (of both the Mechanicum and the Schola observation station), but, I surmise that King John and his entourage (no doubt under the direction of the hooded stranger) had somehow gained undetected access to the Mechanicum facility. This obviously struck me as strange, given the high level of security and surveillance tech employed by the Mechanicum, in stark contrast to the medieval standard of the nation of Crumbe. Speculation asides, short snippets of very grainy pict footage survived what was to follow, and indicate that King John freed the surviving test subjects, and wept whilst embracing the corpses of those that were already dead. They were also able to somehow exit the facility undetected.
Of course, the Mechanicum soon became aware of what had transpired, and there was uproar. However, by then it was of course too late. The apex of their groundbreaking (but morally dubious) research and meddling was loose. They had manufactured a large type of pesticide resistant parasite-carrying fly (similar to certain species of botfly). Although, thankfully, they were somewhat short lived. These chimerical creations are noted to have carried a most virulent strain of bio-engineered ultra-Malaria in their saliva, and transmitted this via bites. Perhaps more disturbing was the stinger, which combined with an ovipositor that would puncture the skin and leave behind parasitic maggots that would feast upon the flesh of their dying host before pupating into mature adult flies, thus perpetuating the life-cycle of this efficient bio-weapon.
The Schola observation station was thankfully hermetically sealed, and so the staff lived, and were able to document key points of what followed in the next 24 hours. As the population of Crumbe, swiftly followed by the rest of Gibraltar’s Folly sickened and died in agony, King John did not. Although he became bloated with disease, all a-wriggle with maggots and cloaked with parasitic flies, he was seen to comparatively prosper.
Over the next seven weeks (Terran standard), the parasitic flies laid waste to all the native fauna down to the tiniest insect before they themselves were finally spent, and expired. King John was seen to exit his castle one last time, carrying his sceptre of state, and disappeared into the wooded hills.
Immediately following this, a small star faring vessel was observed launching from the planet’s surface.
From this I deduce, but cannot be certain that Thrixis or one of his thralls had a hand in this debacle.
With this grim recounting summarily concluded, I remain
Interrogator First Class
Interrogator First Class