He put the essays down and sighed. There were tears running down his battle-scarred face. Then they were boiled away by the fire in his eyes as he roared, 'Not one traitor have we amongst us today, Squad Cassius, but two. For another most deadly sin is that of abetting another sinner. It may have seemed innocent, but the fact remains that another Neophyte lent him an essay to copy. Truly, he who aids a sinner is as repugnant as the crime committed. And now, it is my solemn duty to announce the name of the two Neophytes who have fallen short in their duty. They are Petraeus and Catiline. Please stand, gentlemen.'
The room was silent. Then the creaking of their benches was unnaturally loud as they stood, the rest of the squad goggling at them.
'Why?' asked Cassius. 'Are we not brethren before the Emperor? Do we not all share his tasks? Will we not fight alongside each other in the Crusade? How can you stand against the rest of the Chapter in this way?'
Petraeus felt sick. He stared at the boots of his armour and wished the floor of the teaching cell would open him up. Still he managed to glance over at Catiline. He stood, as noble as ever, standing tall and facing front, undaunted by his punishment.
'Come forward, men,' ordered Cassius. He stepped from behind his lectern, their essays in one hand, the other removing the cover from the table next to it. Revealed was a tall metal cauldron on an antique therm-stone, the water bubbling and boiling ferociously. 'Will you help yourselves, Neophytes? Confess and explain, and I can order you a lighter penance. Which of you lent, and which copied? It is the duty of the Emperor's warriors to seek out sin.'
Petraeus could hold it within him no longer. 'I did it, Initiate,' he cried, 'I copied Catiline's essay. Please don't make him face the ordeal, Initiate, it was all my idea and I'm very sorry and I won't do it again, it's just that I had extra cleaning duty that week and-'