The number of parts you’d had replaced with cybernetics determined your place in the Sion Hierarchy; everybody knew that. From the enhanced eyepiece you got for free upon joining the Blackcoats to the 2.5-ton rated steel arms you had to purchase to become an Over-Lieutenant, it was a continuous ladder of aspiration. Each rung was more expensive than the last, true. And beyond the level of a Blackcoat Private Initiate, the Sion Hierarchy didn’t give you a cent to help pay your way.

But the Primarch was at the head of that hierarchy, and this would be the first time that Jell had ever seem it.

The Primarch walked out of its office slowly. It was living proof that, though the Heirarchy favored utility, it was not immune to decoration, to pomp. A rich red sash adorned the Primarch’s tall, thin frame, and it was equipped with a series of flexible bulletproof shields designed to evoke a long designer trench coat. A crimson gorget, bearing the seal of Sion, was also prominent.

“One of my Tetrarchs tells me that you have information about the Intersectionalists.” The Primarch’s voice was synthesized, emenating from a head that had no human features whatsoever, only smooth metal and plastic. Rumor had it that the Primarch instead saw through dozens of miniaturized cameras distributed evenly over its body.

In fact, there was no flesh of any sort visible. Rumor also held that only the tiniest portion of the Primarch’s brain was yet of the flesh.

“Y-yes, Primarch,” said Jell.

“Why have you not uploaded this data?”

“I feared it would be intercepted,” stammered Jell. “Better for me to perish carrying it than for it to fall into the wrong hands.”

“Perhaps,” the Primarch responded. It approached further and Jell noticed, to his surprise, that the vaguely humanoid frame nevertheless rested on a cane. “I will make a connection to a private and secure server available to you. You will then upload this information for analysis.”

It was not a question, but a command.

“To…to your own private server?” Jell said, palms sweating. Everything would go awry if the file was not directly linked to the Primarch.

“That is immaterial, is it not?” said the Primarch. “The data will be analyzed and your reward–or punishment–will be determined solely on its merits.”

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