Modelling thread.Profile thread.I am, and have always been, a staunch defender of the faith, of the Emperor Divine and His Plan for Humanity. I am no heretic, traitor, or recidivist. No, I am a realist, one who has correctly divined the cause of the stagnation and decay that eats at the heart of this most glorious of manifest destinies. Human beings, being human, are fallible, corruptible, sycophantic, stupid, self-serving and dull. They strive to power, for power's own sake, and do their utmost to stay there no matter what. This holds us back. Our institutions are monolithic, foolish, and blind. We are slow to react, and react poorly. We require remoulding, in His own image.
Hark back to the Great Crusade, or the Macharian Crusade. Humanity at its finest. Forward thinking, brave, glorious, clever, flexible. That is how we should be, and how we will be. It is simply unfortunate that, in order to achieve this pinnacle once more, and to surpass it, we must use subterfuge and sedition to create new leaders, indeed, a new galactic order underneath our Ascended Emperor.
~ From Reflections
, by Gideon Syme. Ordo Hereticus archive 1383013/K3813(H)
Syme was born on the agri-world Rigel, capital world of the then Rigel Sector, Ultima Segmentum, in 702.M41. His parents were middle-class urbanites: father a senior magister at the local scholam, mother a PDF junior officer. From an early age Syme displayed precocious intelligence and an aptitude for sport and outdoor activities. Joining the Youth Pioneers, and later the Rigellian PDF, he was sponsored through to the Kreigschule zum Generalmajor Ottokar Schola Progenium after passing top of his class in Officer Training. From the Progenium, he was selected to join Stormtrooper Assault Force Markos in 725.M41, and he spent two years there, rising to the rank of Senior Lieutenant commanding an assault echelon. It was in this role that he first came to the attention of the Inquisition.
During the 727.M41 Witch War on the deathworld La Mort Rouge, Inquisitrix Eliza de Ath of the Ordo Hereticus seconded Syme's echelon (Team Dagger-Nine-Choir) for her pursuit of the untutored and extremely dangerous wyrd-psyker Ulix Twelve Skulls. Twelve Skulls, leader of the anti-Imperial tribal revolt, proved an elusive and wily foe, but ultimately he was cornered and – after a lengthy and terrible clash of psychic powers and applied military force – killed. During the engagement, Syme saved de Ath's life twice, and it was his quick thinking and rapid responses to dominate and control a fluid and terrifying situation that enabled de Ath to isolate and defeat the powerful but untrained Twelve Skulls. In the aftermath, Dagger-Nine-Choir's survivors were indentured on a permanent basis into de Ath's retinue.
Syme spent four years as de Ath's bodyguard commander, and in late 731.M41 de Ath formally invited him to accept an invitation to become her Interrogator after her previous pupil, Carlotte Lide, was killed in action prosecuting a Chaos cult on Nova Castella. Syme, who may have had a sexual relationship with Lide, agreed. Together, Syme and de Ath broke apart and destroyed the cult, ruining no less than twelve of Nova Castella's most noble families and casting down the corrupt and conservative Lord Governor in the process. It is likely that it was here that Syme began to see the dangers of stagnation and started on the path that would lead him to the Recongregator philosophy.
In 746.M41, after fifteen years as an Interrogator, de Ath finally judged Syme, now in his mid 40s, fit to take the rank of Inquisitor. It was later the same year that Syme found himself involved in one of the most dreadful wars the Imperium had ever experienced: the First Tyrannic War. This war only lightly touched the Rigel Sector, but its impact was far-reaching. Tyranid invasions occurred on the Sector Capital, and in four other systems concurrently. Battlefleet Rigel, together with the ships of the Adeptus Mechanicus of LaBalle and Adeptus Astartes Righteous Fists, fought a long and vicious war against the Hive Ships to re-establish dominance of space. With the destruction of the Hive Fleets' ships, the tendrils that had pushed into the Rigel Sector were destroyed piecemeal, but at a colossal cost. Three worlds had been lost entirely, one to an Exterminatus Order issued by the Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Lord Garvana (later killed during actions against the Tau in the 760s), and Rigel itself had been so heavily damaged during fighting that the Sector Capital was moved to Paridon.
Syme's own part was limited. Acting in concert with his old mentor, and under the guidance of the Ordo Xenos, the pair of Inquisitors sought out the newly revealed threat of the Genestealer Cult. It was during one such prosecution, on the hive world of Parvassia, that de Ath was killed. Syme inherited what remained of her staff and assets, and, after the Tyrannic War ended, spent the rest of the 740s and most of the 750s doing what he could to ensure that the Rigel – now Paridon Sector – would be governed and run by flexible, forward-thinking officials.
From 756.M41 to 762.M41, Syme was heavily involved on the Forge World of LaBalle after coming across a series of reports sent back from various warzones that spoke of dud rounds, lasgun powerpacks that lost charge faster than normal, weakened tank armour, machine spirits that were unusually sluggish or which repeatedly failed to fulfil their basic tasks, and more. It was during this, his first major investigation carried out on his own initiative and with only his own team, that Syme uncovered what he considered to be an Alpha Legion long-term sabotage mission. After a series of leads led to dead ends, Syme eventually located the traitorous elements responsible. In so doing, he forged a lasting relationship with the Tech-Magi of LaBalle, and it was here that Ulricht Three-Twenty-Six Gamma joined his retinue – and it was as a result of the purification of LaBalle's foundries that he was gifted his Displacer Field by High Magos Aleph Primary Five-Seventy-One.
By this time in his early sixties, Syme moved on from LaBalle and began moving through the Paridon Sector, seeking out corruption and heresy where he could. Notable successes included his prosecution of the Rigellian Mutant Uprising, which he blamed in part on callous and indifferent rule by a government he considered “dull and insipid”; and the unmasking of the Witch-Master of Darendara in 773.M41. By the late 770s, Syme had begun more seriously to question the path the Imperium in general and the Paridon Sector in particular was on. His work and his experiences had shown him that inflexible, dogmatic and conservative approaches more often than not resulted in sluggish responses to crises, a refusal to admit mistakes, and caused more harm than good. He had already tried (with some success) to legally, and through proper channels, ensure that forward-thinking and more flexible systems and people were installed throughout the Paridon Sector as it recovered from the Tyrannic War, but now Syme was beginning to formalise previously nebulous tendancies.
As a result, while recuperating from severe nerve damage caused by a rogue psyker on Karaboudjan in 778.M41, Syme wrote the seminal text of his career, 'Reflections'. It was at this stage that he began to consider himself a recongregator, but it would not be for another decade that his radical approach would earn him deadly enemies within the Inquisition. After Ulricht Three-Twenty-Six Gamma had, together with Ordo medicae, finished installing Syme's bracing frame, Syme busied himself infiltrating and subverting a series of anti-government organisations throughout the Sector, constructing a simple but effective series of networks that would, when activated, start a series of coup d'etats, uprisings, and civil wars which would, in theory, lead to newer, younger, and more capable leadership.
Unfortunately for Syme, towards the end of this plan, in 791.M41 a hardline Monodominant Inquisitor, Artimus Kallech, became aware of some of these organisations. Kallech's interference forced Syme's hand, and the resulting series of wars and unrest became known as the '790s War'. Kallech and Syme met only once, in an inconclusive skirmish in the Palace of Towers on Skye's World. Syme escaped, killing Kallech in the process, but causing his Interrogator, Ryazan Jall, to swear an oath to hunt Syme down and bring him to justice.
Syme's allies within the Ordo Hereticus and the more secretive recongregator Paridon Conclave – the official Sector Conclave still known at this stage as the Rigel Conclave – managed to spare him a trial, and bought him valuable time. He changed tactics and began to work even further within the shadows. From the ashes of Operation Gladio, as he had titled what became the 790s War, Syme became more convinced than ever of the need to bring the Imperium back onto the road of progress, to ensure human dominance of the Galaxy and victory for the God-Emperor of humanity. His original plan had failed, but not completely: many of the planetary, interplanetary, and even system and sub-sector bodies affected had, indeed, become more open and responsive.
For Syme, it was not enough. By the early 800s, he had begun what he later termed the 'Shadow Struggle'. He and his agents sought to locate, utilise, and destroy what cults, organisations and individuals they could in order to rebuild the Sector to better withstand the multiple threats that the Imperium faces every day. Meanwhile, the newly-promoted Inquisitor Jall remained a thorn in Syme's side, neither one able to condemn or attack the other outright: Jall due to lack of evidence, Syme because Jall was a redoubtable and well-regarded Inquisitor of good standing in the Rigel Conclave.
Eventually, things came to a head, and with them so did the start of an open, if secret, war between the radicals aligned to the Paridon Conclave and the puritans of the Rigel Conclave. The flashpoint was Jall's condemnation of Syme as a “traitor, heretic, and danger to the domains of man” at an emergency session of the Rigel Conclave in 815.M41 – Syme, who was absent, was declared rogue. In response, the Paridon Conclave attempted to kill Jall, but their infil-traitor suicide bomb instead killed High Inquisitor Lady Vaynol. Vaynol had, at the last moment, replaced Jall as a passenger on board an Arvus Lighter travelling from the Conclave to a waiting cruiser. On hearing of her death and Jall's survival, Syme remarked only that “an enemy of progress is dead”.
It was in this year that the killer for hire Jeraint Koza, then just 27, was inducted into Syme's warband. Syme, now a major player in the Sector's secret war, was reorienting himself to fight not the God-Emperor's foes, but his own. He required someone who was at home in the shadowy underworld, and he found such a person in the taciturn and brutal Koza. At first, Koza's loyalty was bought, but over time he and Syme have become firm friends – although Syme has, since hiring Koza, had reason to be watchful of the ruthless man.
Through the period 815-827.M41, the radicals and puritans fought hard to stamp their image of the Imperium upon the Sector, but by the late 820s the initiative was firmly with the Rigel Conclave. High-ranking and important radicals, such as the Xanthite Inquisitor Felix Marche, and the Istvaanian Querek Lidd, had been killed, and schemes and plots such as the Ascension Day Coup had been foiled with often disastrous results for their instigators. Syme himself had narrowly avoided capture in 825.M41 by fleeing, injured by an inferno grenade, on board the Navy vessel Incorrigible after an operation of his on Varangia had gone bad – but not before he had gained important information that led him to Parvassia once more.
After lying low for some time, Syme resurfaced in Hive Tertius on Parvassia in mid 828.M41, where he ran an anti-government campaign that resulted in the dynamic young PDF commander, Marion Lozall, taking charge of the Hive. Her dictatorship saw the Hive's production quotas soar, and anti-Imperial unrest crumble. It was here also that Syme met a young gang leader, Susanna Mortiz, and took her on as a useful addition to his team. She rapidly impressed him, and by the following year Moritz had been named as his Interrogator – his first pupil.
During the 830s, with Jall once again in pursuit, Syme turned his attention to the bloody war against Splinter Fleet Brobdingnagian which was raging across three systems in the galactic south-east of the Sector. Travelling there, he plunged his staff and his own abilities into the conflict, aiding the War Marshal commanding the Imperial war effort by uncovering and destroying genestealer cults behind the lines. The war lasted some eight and a half years, and it was in the final months of the conflict that Syme found two women who were to join him in dangerous circumstances.
In 839.M41, on the death world of Kazan II, Amalgamated Regiment 5 was retreating ahead of a major Tyranid incursion. Drawn from the remnants of Bhoorman, Chinthean and Skye's World specialist regiments (jungle, swamp, and light infantry respectively) AR5 also had a long tail of stragglers known as the 'orphans'. Harrassed all the way to safety by cultists and Tyranid scout organisms, AR5 made a stand at the trading town of Darkmire. Here, Inquisitor Syme intervened. Operating openly for the first time in many decades, Syme, the ex-Stormtrooper, brought a strike force of Space Wolves and Imperial Stormtroopers to crush the Tyranid advance and brutally prosecute the cults that had revealed themselves.
During fighting in Darkmire, Syme had been saved from certain death by a maimed Guardswoman from AR5 – a cultist assassin had infiltrated into the field hospital where Syme was undergoing treatement for borer beetle wounds, and was poised to kill the sleeping Inquisitor, when the sergeant in the next bed, with shattered arms and a ruined face, threw herself onto the killer. Syme, waking, found the cultist stabbing the injured Guardswoman, and shot him in the head. Cradling the greivously wounded soldier, he called for aid. It arrived in the form of a young Adepta Sororitas Ordo Hospitaller medicae, who stabilised and calmed the Chinthean NCO.
The soldier, Nehanda Omo, and her saviour, Hanna Laschalle, were brought to Syme's commandeered Cobra-class destroyer, and taken to LaBalle. Here, Syme called in several favours, and had Sergeant Omo effectively rebuilt. The woman who had saved his life was herself saved by him, and she has remained a loyal member of his retinue ever since. The 19 year old Laschalle's medical training and experience earnt her an immediate place on Syme's staff, and she has been there from that day on.
From the hell of Kazan II, Syme emerged enervated and full of a desire to push the Puritan cause back. He had helped to save the sub-sector from the Tyranids, been instrumental in exposing and destroying several cults, earnt the friendship of Wolf Lord Vyzmark the Bloody-Fanged, and secured an inner staff who were, by and large, fiercely loyal to him. His Interrogator was shaping up well, and it was now that Syme moved against Jall for the first time in almost a decade. Jall's Interrogator, Hurten Hosta, was conducting a purge of Karaboudjan, destroying radical influence there and potentially undermining the Sector's supply of psychic individuals for the future.
Karaboujan, it should be noted at this point, produces a much higher than normal level of psychic individuals, with one in every hundred thousand showing some form of psychic ability, rather than the usual average of one in every million.
Syme travelled to Karaboudjan in secret, and throughout 840 and 841.M41 fought a bitter campaign against Jall.'s Interrogator Moritz travelled openly as “Inquisitrix Morian”, and the armoured woman's rapid seizure of the Karaboudjani PDF effectively crippled Jall's operations. By the end of 841 Hosta was trapped, and Syme struck. In an operation co-ordinated with the local PDF and Adeptus Arbites, the puritanical Hosta was framed as a traitor and killed along with his fellow acolytes in what became known as the 'Saint Justina's Day Massacre'. Ambushed in convoy, Hosta and his allies were shot down while attempting to “subvert loyal Imperial servants” - by telling them that they were the victims of a radical plot.
Whilst on Karaboudjan, Syme rescued a teenage girl called Perse Trois from Jall's excruciators and chirugeons. Trois, an Epsilon/Delta level psyker from the Lord Governor's staff, had been taken for questioning: Hosta clearly intending to purify what he saw as dangerously unsanctioned use of psykers through simple extermination. Only the Adeptus Astra Telepathica had been left untouched in Hosta's clumsy and brutal witch-hunt. Trois, though severely traumatised by the ordeal, was able to consent to Syme's offer of employment and safety within his retinue. It was to take Syme and his allies in the Paridon Conclave a full year to bring Trois back from within the protective mental shell she had erected to defend herself against Hosta's torturers.
As 842 wore on into 843, the long war between the two rival Conclaves began to fracture into a series of personal vendettas, the two groups factionalising and disintegrating. Radicals began to plot against erstwhile allies, whilst Monodominants and Amaltheans turned on each other; Thorians and Horusians began to work, if not together, roughly in the same direction. Syme, taking stock of the situation, decided to challenge his new core team to their first significant operation together. Operation Testudo, as Syme codified it, saw him and his followers infiltrate the matriarchy of Paradiso, uncovering and destroying a cult of Slaanesh in the process. The eighteen-month long campaign ended with Syme pleased at the cohesion and loyalty of his retinue, and enabled him to position his pieces in time for the new year of 845.M41.