Edited and expanded underneath.
A dim light entered through the long stained-glass windows that lined on both sides of the stone walls; but what truly lit the cathedral were thousands of small candles, placed everywhere between the stone pillars that rose so many feet, and the wooden seats that seemed to march row after row. The air was dense, full of the high and beautiful the incense tray expelled, and the humanís low and horrid body smell. A small buzz filled the place, hundreds of words softly and fervently spoken by the few gathered so late in the afternoon.
He was on his knees, but still his fine ropes and his long cape distinguished him clearly as one of the upper members of the amarrian society. His prayers were silent, even if he moved his lips slowly, and his dark brown eyes were closed in deep meditation. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other slowly, like if he was caring for a baby. An ornamental sword was placed by his side, shining fiercely in the golden light.
He almost seemed to glow, such a perfect composition of religious zeal he was.
The sound of the heels of a couple high military boots resounded in the sacred halls, interrupting the buzz as everyone turned to see the source of that noise. The tall and strong man was an Admiral, or so did his ranks show. White and well cut beard, powerful look, and an attitude that seem to be able to crush rocks just with it. He smelled softly and delicately, like roses, in a seeming contradiction with his look. He knelt by the other man and made the Sacred Signs with his hands; silence fell between them for some moments, as both seemed deep in their communion with God. The admiral was the first one to talk.
-It is done, as you said- his voice was well educated and precise, accustomed to giving orders and being obeyed at the moment.
The other man nodded, still seeming to pray without paying any attention to the Admiral.
-There has been a problem, though- he went on.
Silence fell again, and finally the voice of the young man was heard. It was soft, almost childish, full of different tones and with a cadence and flow worthy of a poet, or a singer. Captivating. Still, a small edge of steel existed on the rims of it.
-Tell me, Admiral Larkin, tell me about it.-
-He sent a message out before dying. We don't know what it says, but we have traced the signal. Lord Metris received it, we couldn't block it in time.-
Another long silence fell, as the mind of the young man worked at top speed, calculating what it implied, what could be done, what was to change. An unpredicted movement in the board of a much higher game. Only a small and terrible grin showed that the words of Admiral Larkin had had any effect at all.
-Lord Medarian?- The Admiral asked, as the silence was becoming tense.
-Admiral Larkin, have the... hitman... disposed of for his failure, he wasn't loyal to us in any case. And we will need to move again right now, before they readjust- even when speaking about death and murder, his voice remained childish and soft, innocent.
A woman got up, way in the back of the cathedral, and bowed before leaving the place. The sound of her small and poor shoes was clearly distinguishable in the small silence that came, since most believers stopped praying to see who had left. Medarian didn't care for her at all, he knew there were no spies here, for this was the only place his enemies wouldn't dare to infiltrate. The Sacred Place.
-Lord Medarian, talking about disposing of a man in a place as this brings bad luck. God frowns at His House being used for the planning of another amarrian's murder.-
-Admiral Larkin, there is no thing as good or bad luck, only well or bad laid plans. God smiles upon those well organized, wherever they may have been.-
The Fleet Commander nodded, clearly not convinced by those words.
-Now then, we have to move before our enemy does, we must cut him off. He will surely head to the Ministry of Internal Order, and that is a danger we must take care of. Those old-men won't understand our Duty here, and pose a big threat to it.-
The Admiral nodded, not wishing to disturb the Lord's thinking.
-Are our allies in the Tash-Murkon ready to risk a move, even before time?-
-My Lord, I hope so. Our last "gifts" to them place them deep in our debt, they should not be capable of opposing. Besides, they too want a bigger share of their Family's possessions.-
-Simple Greed, how weak- Mederian frowned-. I despise them, but they are a piece we have to use correctly in our game. What station will Metris head to if he does go for the Ministry?-
-That is not confirmed, My Lord. He was not in his estate when he received the message, and is now on un-determined space; probably waits hidden somewhere with his ship as he analyzes the situation. We haven't bought anyone in the crew of that ship, the captain either. He wasn't supposed to play any part in all of this since his retire, when he left his possessions to your friend Lord Markal.-
-You are right, and now we will have to solve that. Get the Tash-Murkon to pay for a fleet of pirates to ambush him. I will talk to Markal and find out where his father is hiding. I'm sure he will understand the price his House will have to pay for our project... and the additional benefits it will bring.-
-That will be done... but I fear this is too much bloodshed. It will ruin our plans.-
Mederian pondered on that for a moment.
-You are right, too much bloodshed will ruin our plans. We will turn it into a smokescreen, it will point out elsewhere.-
-Leave it to me. You can go now, Admiral, complete those duties, for the best of the Empire and God.-
Larkin stood up and made the Holy Signal before turning round and leaving the cathedral. The sun had already hidden completely by then, and the light in the holy place was even softer than before. In the dancing shadows cast by the candlelights, Mederian smiled to himself. This had complicated some things, indeed, and introduced new factors to plan. But it had made it a worthwhile challenge, and with good trials such as this, success was also more complete. Soon, all in the Empire would change, for the best of it, and for the best of God.