After Horacio had made his selection he waved a short farewell to the Inquisitor and the other comrades, scowling at who he mentally classified as "that bloody bitch." Then he turned at the person who he was to be with for the next considerable measure of time and returned to the habitual action of stroking his mutton-chops. "We can go on foot, and preach as we walk along thus 'snowballing' a great crowd, or we can commandeer a vehicle to get to the centre, perhaps the enforcers have a Tauros or something." This was said out loud both because he often spoke his mind out loud and he was looking for advice. Both of course had their merits, so he didn't bother to wait and slowly began to pace towards the hive proper, looking for some civilian populace. At least they would this way get a head start should they decide to go on foot.
Vitruvia pondered this with care as was her wont. "I would suggest gathering a crowd as we move. Though the Emperor is with us we are only two and the number of heretics on this planet is unknown, as are their resources." As always Vitruvia kept their personal security in mind; there was a time and a place for martyrdom but death by being shot in the back by some hive scum was hardly a death befitting a servant of the Emperor.
The answer seemed satisfactory and well thought out; besides, banking on the chance that some enforcers or others with a proper vehicle would go by was not a good idea. They had to deal in absolutes for now. "Very well then." He said, and then walked onwards singing a standard hymn. Once they started to see the first civilians Horacio decided to grind his hands happily and then raise them. Under his breath he muttered "Very, very well. Here it begins." The man was old but relatively tall and had quite the set of lungs under his gut. "Hear me, peoples of the Imperium!" he exclaimed. "Amongst you there are traitors, those tainted by our eternal enemy, lack of faith in the Emperor. We have slaughtered some of these revolutionary elements with the help of our friends in the Inquisition, but know that this will not be enough! They are many, and have even reached the Planetary defense force, a supposed bastion of purity and one of our last resorts." A pause for breath was taken here, during which the Confessor looked around quickly hoping against the chances that he wouldn't see people disappear from the crowd or the appearance of some weapon. For now he saw nothing of the sort but what if he missed something? At least there was the fact that - if the crowd was faithful - the heretics would have a lot of enemies around them. He decided that he may as well give up on the xenos contraband cover-up, although he thought it was a bloody good idea and was proud of it there was also the matter of it being too little too late. The Inquisitor might disagree but there was naught to do about that. "See their cowardice! They hide in shadows, and even today when they attacked they needed ambush. No, we are not like this, we are factually better. Our Imperial Truth goes far and wide whilst they need to get their slimy tendrils and roots between the stones that form our great civilization. But this does not mean that we should not be on watch, this does not mean that we can grow idle! In idleness heresy is born. No, seek out the traitors in your ranks. They may be your mother, your father, your brother or sister, anyone. But forget this minor familial bond for the greater bond of subject and Emperor, follower and God. If you suspect anyone of heresy then seek out your nearest enforcer or Arbiter, or even us! We do not have the time to deliberate every case but those that the Enforcers and others cannot handle we shall take. If you suspect some squad, or platoon or even company of the Planetary Defenders to be heretics then say this to us, present it. If the PDF or enforcers are lazy, idle or do not wish to investigate a valid case then report it to me, another authority or if the heresy is obvious kill them yourselves! Some innocents may die, but this is better than all of them. You may say that this... this is too much utilitarianism, this is too much to ask of the common man but it is not, for the alternative is horrifying. You see, a death by righteous bullet seeking to purify will only make you a martyr, whilst death to the forces of the eternal enemy will be agonizing, likely lasting days. I beg of you, take up arms, find the heretic leaders, bring their heads to me!" he finished, huffing for air. Slightly more relaxed, but nevertheless zealous he made a small addendum. "Spread the word, especially to those of the Eclessiarchy. Tell them that their idleness will be forgiven by the Lord Inquisitor if they rise to the occasion and preach fire. I also want at least one-hundred volunteers, armed. Criminals seeking redemption, veterans of wars with old mementos, or simply the greatly faithful, come. Form a Frateris Militia, and slay the impure. I await results in an hour." Finally, he settled down tiredly, but starting something between a chant and hymn, stopping his own voice when there were enough others to drown him out. "Haven't given one like that in a while." Horacio said to Vitruvia, wiping some sweat off of the creased brow protruding from below the hat of office. "Once this first group assembles I believe we should try to make contact with the Inquisitor, perhaps splitting up along the way, organizing 'purity patrols' of sorts, gathering up greater followings, perhaps establishing impromptu points and small offices where people can make accusations of heresy, or act as informants. Perhaps one of us can raise zeal whilst the other continues on to the aspect of investigation. I'm afraid I can't put up much of a ruse to trick criminals and the like. Though, I reckon investigation might be even harder for you what with the armour." he said, trailing off thoughtfully.
As the preacher spoke Vitruvia kept a watchful eye on the crowd and remained about two meters behind Horacio. She found his sermon well suited to its audience who appeared to be composed of workers of simple, but direct faith. Such men were the backbone of the Imperium and Horacio had either tailored his message to his audience on the fly or was uniquely suited to preach to the working class of the Hive. Nor did the gradual escalation of energy within his message escape her. He pulled them in and then built to a fiery climax, calling for just the things they would need; vigilantes hunting down heretics to both kill them and reduce their freedom of movement and assembly and a direct appeal for the formation of the Frateris Militia. It was simple, direct and named the threat in clear language. Vitruvia approved.
The Sister of Battle frowned as he suggested splitting up. All the tactical courses in the Schola Progenium had emphasized concentration of mass; mankind's one true advantage over the forces of madness and darkness was the sheer mass of man and machine the Imperium could hurl at it's rivals. On the micro level their force had already been split once and Vitruvia was not certain of the wisdom of dividing the smallest force yet again. Should Horacio fall her mission would fail, as she wouldn't be capable of rallying the masses and whipping up a frenzy of righteous fury.
"I question the wisdom of dividing our forces a second time. I fear it would give the heretics upon this world an opening to strike at you while you were isolated, perhaps under the guise of a faithful member of the Frateris Militia. And yes - " She chuckled. " - the armor would make it a struggle to fit in. Perhaps if I had somewhere to store it? But even then I must question my ability to impersonate a member of the criminal classes."
She gave this some thought. "However it would be a waste for me to hover over you at all times. Let us personally vet a few of the best armed and trained members of the Militia and appoint them as your personal bodyguards. Then I can lead an investigation into any suspected heretics. Anyone found with suspicious icons or symbols carved into the flesh especially. I can take a few of the Militia to lock down their dwellings and personal effects before their fellow heretics have time to hide the evidence. With the God Emperor's aid I could find evidence that connects one heretic to the next and root out a nest or two."
It was a hard choice, and Horacio knew that if even the slightest thing would go wrong he'd spend the rest of his days wondering if he had made the right choice. If he didn't then he'd be haunted, but then he remembered his earlier thought. They had to deal in absolutes or else they were nothing. "That is... reasonable." he replied grudgingly. It's not like he could offer much of a counter-point, despite something in his gut telling him to go his own way. But, the gut wasn't something to trust no, he had to trust his clarity of mind as the Emperor would want him to.
Horacio would wait until a considerable amount of men were assembled and then walk along like a drill-abbot to survey them. It was quite the motley crew, only a few men alike. There were lots of stubbers, some handcannons and shotguns. A veteran of some war even had carapace armour, but carried just a bayonet tied to a plasteel bar. There were some lasguns, a man lugging a heavy autogun and a single man was a clearly self-confident gunslinger with two laspistols. Many many more ranks were there that he could not see and couldn't really be bothered to march on to view. "Those not properly armed, go to your homes. We don't need your pointless deaths, return with weapons or go and report heretics, seek them out and then return; this will be a better use of you. Go!" With that many people departed, sad and perhaps even resentful. The holy man was certain that at least one of them would turn to the enemy out of sheer despair which would in turn bring Chaos, but the fact was that this was urban combat, unarmed men were even less useful than usual and would also have much more reasoning to defect.
"That'll do, for now. Any more volunteers form ranks like this." Horacio paused to lick his lips and then survey the men. He pointed at the veterans and at each one would say "You" and after selecting a considerable amount would continue on. "You will be the leaders of groups. Divide the men about as equally as possible, if there aren't enough to make it equal then let those decide for themselves to which 'squad' they will be assigned to. You four-" he said, pointing to four of the selected "officers." "You shall come with us, as will you lot." referring to a group of men better armed and standing to - what would after considerable deliberation be grudgingly conceded as - attention.
While he waited for them to come over after grabbing some militia men he whispered to Vitruvia. "We shan't split up, much. We shall walk in adjacent streets within earshot, but this way snipers and bombers would have trouble taking the two of us at once, whilst also letting us call out to more people." Filling lungs with air, once more the Confessor's shout rang out across the hive. "Anyone with an eight pointed star or strange markings upon them is to be killed at once, we take no chances. Spread the word, and tell them to bring the indeterminate cases to us as we walk along preaching the Imperial Truth." With that he drew his shotgun and carrying the big thing in one hand started to march.
"Citizens! Join me in a new righteous Crusade, join me in the purgation of this land from the eternal enemy!" the Confessor shouted, noting with glee that a light snowball as people started to follow him started. "Come with me, and be heroes." he said, and then thought as shouts and cheers emanated. Now he was waiting for the latest development from either Vitruvia or the Inquisitor to come via vox.
Hard eyes inspected each and every man for the weaknesses of the soul through which heresy could slip. The God Emperor demanded that mankind be strong, be pure, be without sin. All fell short of His perfection of course but some were simply too weak of spirit to be anything other than a danger to their fellow man. Vitruvia watched them like a hawk for signs of a faltering or cowardly nature.
But she spotted no immediate signs of weakness, only a passionate sense of duty and hatred for the heretic inflamed by Horatio's sermon. Good.
The Sister of Battle selected a few of the squads to come with her. She made sure to pick a balance of the better armed and disciplined squads and some of the poorly armed and more rag-tag bands. Those who were unskilled and unsure would learn from the example of those who were more adept. Plus she might need to sacrifice some for the good of the God Emperor. Regrettable but who had the luxury of mercy in the battle against heresy? No. Mankind's very soul was at stake and it would be better for them to die in service of the God Emperor than to live and see their world fall to the forces of madness and darkness.
The Sister of Battle took up point position with one of her better squads and they took the street adjacent to Horacio. Citizens were stopped and searched for heretical symbols and quizzed. Passing speeders were also halted and searched by the swelling mob and Vitruvia made sure to inspect every suspicious item with her own eyes. No heretics fell into her grasp but she was glad for the chance to familiarize the militia with marching, orders and discipline before they made contact with the enemy.