A criminal by any other name

Watch commander Zarkis reviewed the latest surveillance vids.


He tossed a slate aside.


He tossed another one over his shoulder.


That one slammed down against his desk as he leaned back and exhaled a cloud of heavy Iho smoke. It was against regs to smoke in an Arbites precinct building, but this far from the capital, Zarkis was like unto the Emperor himself and could afford to bend a few regs here and there when he wanted to.

“There you are…”

Another drag, another could of thick smoke that served to make the vid print even grainier than it was before. The watch commander shook his head at that, 41 millennia of technological advancement. Man could travel faster than light, fabricate foodstuffs out of particles in the very air and manufacturer weaponry capable of cracking planetary crusts but he could it seems produce one clear picture of a wanted criminal.

Studying the picture, Zarkis frowned and lit another Iho stick, the pict was poor quality. Too poor to make a positive ident some would say. Not Zarkis though, it was the eyes that did it for him. Two deep, seemingly soulless pits. The eyes of a killer for sure. Some might have said that was down to the pict itself, but Zarkis knew better. The Alexander case had been cold for years, sealed under the writ of the commissariat, penal legion apparently. But if that bastard Lex Alexander was sweating it out in some penal dog company somewhere, why were their picts of him lurking in down hive Seraphim Fall?

Zarkis was a simple man, few things motivated him. There was his wife, his love of the God-Emperor, a twenty year Iho stock habit, his local stadia team and a prominent sense of fair play. He’d been lucky to rise to the position of watch commander, he just happened to be in the right place at the right time when he and his squad had fished some noble big wig out of the fire during the last big scholam riots six years back. He worked hard, mostly so he could retire in peace and that his sons would have something more than a life manning some assembly line somewhere to look forward to. With that in mind, he often kept his head down, making sure troublesome cases went elsewhere to other precincts.

But this one.

Lex Alexander…

There was just something about it, old man Praxis hadn’t been too bad to the people as he recalled, indeed Alexis wasn’t half bad either, certainly a damn sight easier on the eye at the very least. But this bastard, this bastard had ruined it all and now he sought to drag his sister down with him. Zarkis had met her once at a state dinner, he’d been near to the end of the line of officials the governor had met and made nice to. She had kissed him on the cheek that noble he had saved was some distant cousin apparently and for a moment Zarkis had forgotten that wife of his. But he had never forgotten the governor’s kiss.

Besides, rumour had it that the bronze faced bitch Sanuto would be posting some sort of heavy bounty on old Lex Winter.

Not that this factored into Zarkis’s sense of fair play.

Not at all.

The comm unit flashed to light with a gesture and his voice reached out to his adjunct across the hall as he fed the pict into the unit.

“I want this splashed across the sector, send it out to the other precincts. I want Lex Alexander made famous across the sector before the cycle is out…”

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