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Historical Revision Unit

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The Historical Revision Unit is another one of the myriad bureaucratic departments of the Administratum, whose Adepts are the indentured servants and Servitors known as Historitors who work within the Imperial Palace. Their job is to revise subversive records of Imperial history into versions that are more reverent towards the Emperor and the version of Imperial history that most glorifies His name. The Historicus is the title of the unit's chief Adept.

Deletions Teams

One of the important duties of the Historical Revision Unit is seeking out historical records and, if need be, destroying them when ordered to do so by their superiors in the Administratum. Specially designated units of the Historical Revision Unit known as Deletions Teams carry out this function. Their most common duty is performing the vital task known as an Edict of Obliteration -- the deliberate destruction of any vital records or historical documents pertaining to an individual or organisation that has been declared Excommunicate Traitoris by the Emperor of Mankind, the High Lords of Terra or the Inquisition.

The majority of these deletion missions are carried out within the vast catacombs of the great Librarium Terra -- an endless repository of Imperial records weighed down by thousands upon thousands of Terran years of Imperial history. The Librarium lies deep beneath Terra's crust. The indistinct hum of activity drones through its labyrinthine corridors, just as it does everywhere else on the Hive World of Terra -- the constant sound of billions of souls grinding their way through the bureaucracy that keeps the Imperium of Man functioning.

A Deletions Team is a unit comprised of 10 Adepts commanded by an officer with the rank of captain. They wear uniform black bodysuits with hoods that leave only the eyes visible and rebreathers to keep the aeons of harmful dust that tends to accumulate in the Librarium Terra out of their lungs. Their gloved hands hold narrow-nozzled Flamers connected to Promethium fuel canisters on their belts. The captain usually carries a silenced Autogun with a flaring flash suppressor. Any unfortunate Imperial scholars encountered during a deletion mission are quickly and permanently silenced, for there can be no witnesses to a historical deletion. This is the way it has always been done. If an unfortunate victim encountered by one of these Deletions Teams had been aware of the team's sacred purpose they would have understood the necessity for their deaths.

The members of a Deletions Team are indentured servants of the Administratum drawn from the human masses of Terra who have been performing these vital deletion tasks almost since birth. Like all Adepts of the Administratum, they are immersed in the endless repetition of the myriad tasks that keep the immense bureaucracy of the Imperium functional. The shadows beneath Terra comprise their whole world. Even after decades spent performing this thankless task, the members of the Deletions Teams have some instinctive understanding that the Librarium Terra holds a repository of particularly pure, dangerous human history. This knowledge is contained within stacks of large leather-bound volumes on ancient book cases, tarnished digital info-slates, crumbling scrolls and reams of parchments, crammed onto shelves that have collapsed here and there into drifts of tattered paper. No one knows the full extent of the records kept within the Librarium Terra. Estimates of its size vary, as no one has ever been to its furthest extents deep beneath the Terran crust and returned.

Once a Deletions Team finds the data they have been ordered to look for, the captain passes a signal to his team to bring their Flamers to bear, firing large plumes of burning Promethium into the archive's shelves, filling the power-charged air of the Librarium Terra with the stink of flame and smoke. The protective clothing of the team reflects the worst of the heat, but the portion of the labyrinth they are immolating is still a furnace, with walls of superheated air billowing between the burning stacks.

Wordlessly, with an efficiency born of generations of toil, the deletions unit moves through the whole section of the Librarium they have been ordered to delete, burning and shattering anything that might hold the information they have been ordered to destroy. The team will not leave until their grim task has been completed and the books and data-stacks are reduced to smoke and ash. Centuries of history can be lost in an instant -- whole planets, races and military campaigns vanishing forever from Imperial memory. But more importantly, the Edict of Obliteration has been carried out, and all official record of Traitors to the Emperor has been effectively erased from the history of Mankind.

Sources

  • Bleeding Chalice (Novel) by Ben Counter
  • Codex Imperialis (2nd Edition)
  • Inquisitor (re-released as Draco) (Novel) by Ian Watson

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