Against the Grain, A 40K Story.

Game Master BoggBear

The Carsis sector, on the very edges of known space.
For centuries,it has been the off and on focus of imperial interest, but very little expansion has taken place there to date.
Some say the sector is cursed, for each time an overlord of some kind have been placed in charge of the sector, for the glory of the imperium, he or she has seen a quick and complete reversal of fortunes for the worse.
The last such "lucky" individual was the heir to the Catalan Rogue Trader dynasty, who end up finding himself in front of a firing squad charged with the crime of "unnatural conduct with a xenoform".
But the imperium is ever in need of growth, and as such, the Carsis sector WILL be brought into the fold and made stable and productive at last.
As such, the sector is now up for grabs, and a call for a new overlord has been sent out.
Aside from the Ecclisiarchy and the Admechs, three Rogue Trader dynasties have answered the call.
This is the story of one of those Dynasties.


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BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

<< I think I found just the right spot for you, Lord Captain.
How about an arch-...
Trust me, Sir you will like it.
Someone please make sure our Explorator does not spontaneously combust from excitement.
Mark my current position.
I will link up with your shuttle shortly. >>


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

<<Say again, Heinrich. An arch-what?>>


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

<< I don't want to spoil the sense of awe and wonder for you Sir.
Let's say, there is a fancy light cruiser stuck in there, that you definitely want to have a look at. >>


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

<<Roger>>

The shuttle links up with the escort fighters and burns hard for Heinrich's position. If what Hienrich's saying is true and Iota might explode in glee, well there was no way he's missing that.


As Heinrich pulls away from the "spire" ship, for a moment, he swears he saw a slick of lightning licking the hull, casting everything in an eerie blue light.
But as soon as he tries to look properly, it's gone again.

Truly, the ship inspires a sense of awe, but also a sense of dread.
It's magnificent, but also...troubling.


It takes a few moment before you are able to link up together, but soon enough, the shuttle hoovers in place in front of your target.

It truly is an impressive but also unsettling sight to behold.
This ship, completely alien to normal Imperial design basis and yet strangely beautiful in how very...functional the design is.

And now you await as the master Magos attempts to find a system that can be used to open the hangar doors, or failing that, using accurate ordinance to try and blast a way inside.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

As the Magos is starting to fiddle with the door controls, Heinrich will approach him, takes a knee and bows his head, exposing the MIU connection socket in his neck.

"While I am not an initiate and know little of the Omnissiah's mysteries, I am quite used to melt and work with machinery, so if you have any use for me... The faster we gain entry... The less time we spend on this warp-touched floatsome, the better: isn't that right, Father Vasco?"

(so, I couldn't yet take Tech-Use, but I certainly intend to and I have a good quality MIU... Maybe that's enough to give the Magis a +10 for aiding?)


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3


Int 46
Mods:
-10 Alien - reduced from -20 by unatural int x2
+20 help from 2 helping tech adepts with Tech use
+10 using Heinrich's MIU
+10 Utility Mechadendrite (Combitools)
vs 74

1d100 ⇒ 68
1d100 ⇒ 68
1d100 ⇒ 51

Iota nods - then stops himself since Heinrich can't see him nodding anyways.
"Right. Let's get this piece of tech examined as soon as possible. The warp is vile in itself and the alien hides the holy mysteries by wrapping it in unholy xenos corruption."

He examines the doors closely, going by the logic that you'd want to have a door opening mechanism close to the door so you could actually activate it an walk through. After a while he find something that is - or at least will serve to purpose of - an access to the inner workings of the door construction. He marks the plate and motions one of his servitors over "XE-211, use saw utility on marked location. Depth of 2mm."
The servitor gets to work, extending an arm with a circular saw to the marked location, which starts to spin and throw sparks as it cuts an exactly 2mm rectangular grove. The servitor then trundles off, having no more tasks to perform.
Iota then removes the sheet of... metal? And gives it to one of his tech adepts for savekeeping and later study. It reveals ports and cables somewhat aproximating an imperial MIU interface connector. While quite close to what he seeks, Iota still needs to study it for a few minutes before he gets to work, soldering wires to exposed connectors and connecting an actual MIU port to it. He then turns to Heinrich:

"Alright, time to put your courage to work. Be prepared for an uncomfortable connection as these alien structures will definitly use ill-matching protocols for communication."

Waiting for an aknowledgement from Heinrich once he gets it he plugs the cable of Heinrichts MIU unit into a monitoring unit, which then in turn is plugged into the MIU.
"Adept Xenian, monitor temporary MIU connector connection. Adept Silvus track and map cables through the now active connection through the walls."
Once both Adepts are ready to perform their tasks he guides Heinrich in the communication with the alien system:

"Connection established. Incoming Signal. Identified as identification request." he pulls a small disc shaped object from under his robes and inserts it into the MIU Connection monitoring unit. "Heinrich, translation codes are now available to download at location /opt/tr7542, open translator and respond to the incoming signal with 'external maintenance, full access'"

It takes a bit before Heinrich got the translator actually running and communicating but once the identification is established things go a bit smoother

"Now this should be the request for commands. Try 'open door'... No? Let me check the signal again. Oh right it identifies the access point here. Yeah tell it 'open external hangar 3'"

And at this point the hangar lights up in an eery alien glow and the door starts hissing and moving, slowly opening, as if it has forgotten how to do so over the year? decades? milenia? it has spent in the warp


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Well done you two! I expected that to take longer.
Archibald's shuttle slides over to face the doors. As they open a preliminary scan is done to establish an appropriately stable and cinematic landing area.


After some scans and other busy work, a safe and "theatrical" landing area is found and chosen.
As you glide into the hangar bay, you notice the remains of what must at one time have been fighter crafts, who must have been equally slick and elegant in their simplicity.
Sadly, they are now ruined, more likely than not beyond repair.

With a soft thump, your craft lands, and the landing bay comes down.
as Archibland stands ready to enter the craft, the chosen men surrounds him in the doorway, clearly brimming with energy, just waiting for that command to fan out, the moment Archiblands feet touch the floor.

Solonius looks at the captain and then he nods, not without a grimace of distaste though, clearly not fond of the fact that something is preventing him from performing his duty as he sees fit.

"Go on then lord captain militant, do what must be done for the busy bodies in the administratum."


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald grins at the dour soldier. As you say! He glanced past the man at the historitor to make sure everything was ready. He was going to get exactly one shot at this.
The bay door of the shuttle hisses open, the cold of the long-dead ship instantly rushing in to greet them and turning the entire interior of the cabin into a foggy soup for half a minute as the ventilation system struggled against the sudden drop in the dew point.
With that cleared Archibald marches down the ramp, standard in one hand and Chogorian Lion cape almost floating behind. He makes a mental note to have Iota check the grav generators. His boots make an audible Click on the steel deck as he takes the first official steps onto a second new world. His hard soled shoes make the steel under them ring with every stride he takes. A short distance away, far enough to prove it's not a fake and yet not so far as to cause poor Solenius to develop an aneurysm. He says the required words loudly and clearly to overcome any random interference.
I, Archibald Benedict Thunderblossom, of the Rogue Trader House Thunderblossom, do claim this world in the name of the Imperium and the God-Emperor of Mankind upon Holy Terra as a possession of the Imperium and my House forever. May His light fall upon this place as I, his faithful servant, fold it into the might of his everlasting Domain. Ave Imperator! Gloria in excelsis Terra!
Archibald drives the folded flag into the deck just as he did on Fundamentum, and is again assisted by the tiny las drill on the end. The Sigil of House Thunderblossom barely makes it far enough into the hardened steel to not fall over immediately, but still unfurls.
[B]I designate this Space Hulk [I]Aspera Crystallini!
For she is truly a diamond in the rough![/b]
Off clicks the vid, on clicks the military. They flood from the shuttle and secure the area. Time for a little careful exploration.


The second the "grandstanding" is done, Archibald finds himself surrounded by a cage of eager bodies.
In fact, they are so eager that Solonius is forced to give out a few whacks with the butt of his bolt pistol to curb enthusiasm and give Archibald enough room to breathe.

The hangar bay is dimly lit.
Apparently, opening the outer doors activated some form of automated lighting system, but after however long it has been since it's last use, the machine spirits appears to be lethargic and sluggish.

Again, you are struck by just how...utilitarian everything seems.
No religious zeal, no iconography, no skulls or gold or scriptures.
No aquilas or cogwheels in sight.

Further down, you can spot doors, a fair bit away.

If you make your way towards the doors, I'd like a -10 Awareness check.


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald appreciates Solonius's efforts. Not a single Aquila in sight. The place almost looked like it was still under construction, though even then there should have been at least an obligatory prayer seal on the major beams. On your command, Master at Arms. he says, then he keys his vox back to Yeager. <<Landing successful. Securing at the Master at Arms' command. Send over a full security and exploratory force. And make sure they bring the Historators. I want every detail recorded before it's disturbed too much, analyzed, then recorded again.>>

So many questions bounced around in his head. Not even an Aquila graced the lintel of the doorway that he could see. Even before his Enthronement the Emperor had used the sign of the Aquila in some form. Who had built this vessel? What kind of heresy did they entertain?
Iota, my friend. I do believe we are in your wheelhouse. He calls over.

awareness vs literally 2: 1d100 ⇒ 22


Having learned a hard lesson (or two) about paying attention to your surroundings, as you walk down the hangar to secure it before reinforcements arrive, you do realise that the walls and support columns are not COMPLETELY bare.

It's just that the marks are smaller, unremarkable next to the aquila.
They are also, in many cases worn down after who knows how long.
Finally, the marks are red against a small black shield, making them harder to see in the poor lighting.

The mark looks like a fusion of a cross and a triangle, with triangle pointing down, and the cross "growing" out of it.

While looking at an unknown symbol that may or may not be religious makes every stout imperial uneasy, this one seems to lack the typical feel of danger that chaos symbols normally have.
If anything, it almost feels...benign.


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Awareness(Per) vs 37: 1d100 ⇒ 25 Iota notices the symbols

Iota steps forward to the lead group to start giving out orders on how to kick of this exploration but meanwhile he's thinking about what kind of wreck they are on anyway - is it perhaps a human vessel from the dark ages?
Forbidden Lore(Archeotech): 1d100 ⇒ 50


As each of you have now spotted the symbol, you also each remember how after the lucid dreams you had previously, you each individually found yourself idly drawing this very symbol in a moment of idleness.

Iota studies his surroundings, and he is all but certain that this ship is indeed made by human hand.
It's hard to tell just how old it is however, but he feels confident that his suspicions are not out of the realms of possibility.


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Interesting...

Iota addresses the gathered officers
"Thank you, Archibald. We can indeed follow the xenos vessel exploration protocol. Note however that it seems that this vessel seems to have ancient human origins and seeing the symbology I believe we might actually be closer to our target here than on our original destination."

He then turns to give orders for the exploration.
"First turn this landing bay into as much of a fortress as you can while not putting anything down you'd really miss if we take off without it. Once this stronghold is established we'll start moving into the vessel.
Treat it as hostile ground - even if it once was a human vessel there is no telling what kind of xenos or worse has made its nest inside.
All open hatchways, doors, etc between here and the forward party must be jammed open so our escape route stays open at all times but mined with a secure trigger - both remote and close range. In case the forward party must close them behind them while fleeing.
all branch-off points must be guarded twofold - one security party at the branch off points and one party further down the branch. Loss of contact between the two parties are reported imidiatly and treated as emergency until an all-clear can be established. The original party is to remain on their station and a new search party will be dispatched from the hangar instead."

He turns to Solonius.
"I will take the lead in the technical exploration, Solonius you're free to fill out the security details within those parameters as you see fit."

Iota will, if no objections are raised, or once those are adressed, will use the time while the hangar is fortified to interface with the ship systems, trying to get a map or layout of the ship. If that fails he'll ask the escort ships to send him picts of as much of the vessel as they can see inside the hulk, then extrapolate the ship layout from what he can see there.

Tech Use(Int)+-? probably similar to the opening of the hangar doors so around 69 because +5int but not bothering Heinrich this time around: 1d100 ⇒ 39


The system is in itself fairly straightforward, just like the rest of the ship, it is made with clear utilitarianism in mind.
However, Iota is still slowed down markedly, due to the fact that he has to cross reference and extrapolate meanings due to it being written in a language he has no familiarity with.

He also gets a "feeling" that he is not alone in the system, that something is "sleeping" deep down in the bowels of the system, something that might wake up at any time if he remains in place for too long.
And, unlike everything else that has been giving off a strangely benign air, This feel like something dangerous, something that very much does NOT belong.

Meanwhile, Solonius is using his men and the servitors to begin a reinforcement campaign in the hangar, building cover, setting up fire zones and generally making this as safe a fallback point as it is possible to do.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich is missing this particular grand entrance by trying to remember how to walk, having slid down the wall with the panel, Iota had "revealed".

The mind connection had been bad, although not as bad as he had privately anticipated. The sensation of essentially being remote controlled, your conscience being pushed far away into a remote corner, condemned to try and keep afloat amidst a frothing whirlpool of incomprehensible data, only occasionally grasping the surface level of its meaning - it is overwhelming. Iotas orders and commands flashing through the mindscape as thunderous, hymnal shockwaves, simultaneously calming and agitating the waves are a welcome and much needed reminder of purpose and sense of self.

As the door groans open at last and the connection is shut down, it feels like breaching the water surface after a long, long dive in a dark pool.

As such, he finds himself rather late to the appraisal of the hangar and only arrives to the assembled officers after Iota has explained the approach.

"I am curious about this ship's bridge - but until it is found however, I will be checking out those craft. They look derelict from age, but maybe ... Just maybe, we can scrap the four to make one functional? Or extract some parts that can be reused...?"


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Before everyone gets to spread out or engrossed in their projects, Archibald addresses his forces, <<To all forces, this is your Captain.
I am ordering an immediate transition to hostile planetary exploration protocols. All sections, prepare to receive orders from your Alpha level officers.
In addition, I am also ordering a continual Condition 2 readiness until further notice. Shipboard security forces, Shuttle transport wings, and combat void patrols are to be maintained at high readiness.
In short, we have been blessed by the God-Emperor. Let us do our utmost for his highest and bring light to this Darkness. The Emperor Protects!>>

command vs 79 base: 1d100 ⇒ 27


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Eventually Iota disconnects and opens a channel to the officers:

"Expect trouble. Something is sleeping in the system. And it is not friendly. We won't diverge from the protocols - as they say haste makes waste - but I want every step to to snap into the next one."
What about ship schematics? Or At least a rough map of the ship? Did Iota get anything like that from interfacing with the ships' systems?


As Iota considers his options, he realises that the most interesting information, the schematics and maps are stored in the main server core...which is exactly where the "entity" resides.

It is all but impossible to say if it would be possible to retrieve the information without alerting "the entity" to his presence.

Henirich is busy doing his best to examine the remains of the crafts stored in the hangar bay.
Eventually, he notices the mark again, it seems like it was emblazoned on the front of the craft at some point.
The mark itself is so...innocuous that its more or less impossible to tell what KIND of mark it is, but for some reason, it makes him think of a military brand of some sort.

Archibald is standing near the inner doors, watching the first scout party leaving for the next area.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich puts his hand over the symbol stamped into the very fabric of the sleek void fighter craft, closing his eyes for a moment, as if trying to find a connection to whoever once went out into the eternal darkness inside this vessel, reflecting on whether or not it would be a kindred spirit or an alien mind.
Once he opens his eyes again, he looks around the gaggle of people now inside the hangar and waves at a group of robed people.
"Father Vasco, if you have a moment...?"

Assuming he is still here and comes over:

"Do you have any idea what this symbol represents or once represented? It is very prominent all over this relict of ages long past... and we even saw it in our minds and dreams on our voyage."


Father Vasco:

The priest studies the symbol for a long time, slowly running a hand over it, tracing the lines as he looks to be deep in thought.

"The symbol as a whole...no, but the cross used to be a religious symbol back on terra before the time of the emperor.
But the triangle...or both of them together, I do not know..."

Meanwhile, the scouts disappears from view, into the darker parts of the ship.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich nods at the priest's words.

Confessor:

"So, no recent symbol at any rate.
And nothing obviously tainted either?
What is your feeling about this?"

Without thinking, he traces the lines of the symbol stenciled into the sleek hide of the ancient attack craft.
"It feels ... like we were called or lead here - somehow."

I assume there isn't much Heinrich can do with the derelict craft other than stare longingly at them, right?
After a few minutes looking the craft over and from all sides, he returns to the main group and addresses Iota once more.
"With your permission, Magos, Lord Captain, I'll use our shuttles augurs and vox systems to try and track and keep in touch with our forward parties as best as possible."


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald nods his assent over a swirling glass of wine made from that fruit he ate before that he can never quite remember the name of... Of course, Heinrich. Having redundant vox relays is always a good idea. Also supervise the void traffic, if you could. We are about to have a lot of shuttle traffic.
The command post is spartan right now with just two plush chairs and a deep, crimson rug framing his deep red/brown travel desk and portable, free standing, thrice-blessed shrine to the Emperor. A pair of tripod-mounted heavy bolters, one on each side but set up a bit away, provide a base of fire in front of his personal shuttle's own ramp and ship-mounted weaponry.


For some time, everything proceeds according to plan, more or less.
Iota keeps studying the systems, trying to find a way to penetrate deeper without risking alerting the "entity", Heinrich uses the vox and auger arrays of the shuttle, and Archibald spends his time idling, projecting an aura of confidence and unconcern.

The scouts report in periodically, whenever they encounter a new door or corridor, doing their best to describe everything for the cartographers listening in.

Then, a new communication from the scouts comes in, with the Lt in charge sounding more animated and eager than before.
"I think we've found something interesting Lord Captain! This looks like it might have been an armoury of sorts, and it looks like there are even some intact pieces!
...
There are some bodies as well looks like, they sure do look like soldiers...
Maybe they made some sort of last stand here?
*BLAM*"

A loud shot echoes over the vox, followed by some wet, gurgling sounds, and then immediately of shouting and more weapons being fired.

"The corpses! They are *zzzt* and they are arm*zzzt*
We need *zzzt*..."

Just as people are about to start to react, every vox suddenly lets out a loud, electrical shriek, every auger goes black,and Iota realises that the entity is awake!

Iota:

You realise you are suddenly feeling fear.
The thing is though, it doesn't come from your flesh, somehow, despite it going against all logic, it is the metal in you that is projecting the fear through your systems.


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Silenius is all over it. Runners! he barks. Three of the younger, fitter troopers snap to attention. I want every team back to their last known check point and bunkered down there. If there is any resistance, the order is to pull back until we're stable. The young ones dart off like rabbits.
SQUADS BRAVO 4 AND 2 ON ME! he roars. Ten men are quickly gathered around him. I want you to go reinforce and asses Lt. Gavin's squad near intersection 212. Bring a medicae team. If Vox isn't running when you get there set up a runner relay back to here. I need intel. Dismissed. The squads salute and rush off.
Archibald swirls his second glass of fancy juice, seemingly completely unfazed by the development. I forgot how much I love watching you work, Master at Arms.
He then keys his mic and starts barking to the incoming flotilla of shuttles, First military shuttle to land gets and extra crown in their pay buckets! Let's go, Rising Sun! I'm getting downright settled in over here! Traffic controllers, get it together. Our time table just got shorter.


Unfortunately, all Archibalds attempts at communication is quickly met with more shrieking from the vox.


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

He gives the orders anyway, just in case, but still informs the others. Looks like we need to assume no vox until we discover otherwise.


After a particularly loud burst of static, the ship heaves for a moment.
Amongst cries of "shipquake!" more than a few people are tossed around, but afterwards, no injuries are reported.
However, the technomats with you report that the hangar doors appears to be sealed.
Meanwhile, Iota, who had prudently retreated from the systems, finds himself locked out.

Iota:
You come to the conclusion that to re-establish contact and try to override the system lockout, you're going to require a cogitator hooked up to the main systems.
Likely the bridge or main engineering.


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota, being up on his feet as he was directing the show, shudders but then lets out a slow sigh, calming himself noticably. He walks over to the "command center" plush chairs.

"We've got something in the system. Something with unnatural control over machinery. It's best we consider all machinery hostile and take steps to prevent it from harming us just like with the welded open bulkheads. I'll need access to the bridge or main engineering to get the shuttle bay back open properly so better get ready to move into the ship."

He then turns and addresses the landing bay:
"Consider all automated machinery as potentially hostile until further notice. Have a manual killswitch of some kind ready close by. Primed explosive, trusty lasgun or simply a removable power supply cord is all acceptable. Backup tech team, start working on getting the landing bay open by force. Primary tech team form up on the entrance deeper into the ship. We will venture towards a main cogitator node to open the shuttlebay properly."

Then he turns back to the senior commanders: "Gentlemen. I think it's time to start exploring personnally. Please make the arrangements you see fit on your ends."


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

A hefty curse can be heard from within the shuttle as the vox screeching begins and Heinrich emerges a couple moments later, shaking his head like someone trying to get water out his ears.

"Vox and augurs are thoroughly scrambled. Worst I've heard."

As Iota is stating about having to consider advanced machinery having to be considered hostile, he cooks his head and looks the Magos up and down.

So, what about you then, Magos. Aren't you like, more machinery than man at this point?
He then touches the back of his neck with a bit of trepadeton.
And what about this? It should be fine as long as it isn't connected to anything, right?

As the command group is getting ready to head out, he is grabbing a young Lieutenant of the air corps by the arm.

"Lt. Werner. If there is any chance of a craft leaving and heading back to the Sun, you will board it and enact Level One contamination protocol in both hangar bays. Any craft returning from the Hulk is to be put under passive observation. The bays are to be kept voided and no, I repeat, no active connection to its machine spirits are to be made until Explorator Iota, the Lord Captain or I is giving a contrary order. Refuelling, if necessary, is to be made by non-servitor personnel and with manual-control equipment only. Understood?"

Then he steps up to the Lord Captain and Explorator, Boltgun at the ready.
"I volunteer to go ahead with a forward screen of the Thunderguard, scouting and securing the direct path. We can signal back and forth via whistles.
One signal - wait.
Two: all clear, move up.
Three: imminent danger. Backup required.
Continued signals: retreat."


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald nods. Very well. My chair was getting too soft anyway. He stands with a groan and small stretch. My arms! he commands a nearby trooper. His weapons appear moments later. He takes them and hands the man his fine coat and lion pelt in return. Once the belt is secured over his armor he turns and makes sure the void traffic controllers know to keep the traffic coming as soon as the routes are opened and several other dozen little commands.
Finally, he strides forth to join his command cadre. I am prepared. Let us bring the light to this dark place.


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:
heinrich wrote:

Then he steps up to the Lord Captain and Explorator, Boltgun at the ready.

"I volunteer to go ahead with a forward screen of the Thunderguard, scouting and securing the direct path. We can signal back and forth via whistles.
One signal - wait.
Two: all clear, move up.
Three: imminent danger. Backup required.
Continued signals: retreat."

Archibald looks to Silenius. There's no way he's taking the reigns away from the Master at Arms now. The grumpy old warrior grunts and nods. Constant contact with each other will be critical. If you are separated from the group make your way back here. Advance two by two's. Let's move out!


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

It takes about a minute for the primary tech team to assemble - being plenty disciplined but no soldiers after all.

Iota on the other hand uses the time to take out his boltgun and power axe from underneath his long red robes, revealting that they've been on him all along. He first checks the boltgun with well practiced (ex-) techguard movements before - while actively and noticably never pointing it at anything valuable. Be it personel or machinery. Before contueing to check the power axe for full power and circuit integrity.

He finishes just as the tech group is done assembling and the lead adept salutes him. Iota in turn reports to the others: "Ready when you are."


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

On your command, Master at Arms. Archibald acknowledges.

Not even a minute later they plunge into the tunnels of the hulk with Heinrich in the lead.


The grizzled old veteran nods sharply before giving a few curt orders to the assembled men.
Soon, you are on your way, walking down the dark corridor, illuminated only by your own light sources.
The men are clearly nervous, but seems to be holding up well. though you do overhear one of them softly muttering to himself.
"I swear, we should be giving off more light than this..."
And, you do realise, he is right...maybe?

There is also an eerie silence, where the only sounds are the ones you yourself make, and since you are trying to advance silently...
This of course makes any inadvertent sound you do make echo down the darkness.

Iota:
It is impossible of course, but you swear, your true flesh is itching...

For a moment, Solonius holds up a fist to half your progress, as you stand still, he peers down the corridor and seems to be listening intently.
Then he shakes his head and your off again.

Heinrich:
You heard something as well, or at least you think you did? It was so fleeting it might just have been nerves..
A sort of wet, dragging noise...


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald melds into the combat formation seamlessly. He clears corners properly and even has good trigger discipline. Apparently he learned something useful growing up after all, not just dances and polite banter.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich momentarily closes his eyes and recites a calming verse in his mind, letting out a long, calming breath.
He leans over to Solonius, whispering in his ear:

Solonius:

"You heard something too, didn't you?
Some... wet dragging noise?
What do you think about the main group going all-lights-on...
While we remain dark. It will provide them with close range detection and any creepers, trying to get close, would think them as the target and run into us.
Might worth a shot?"

Then he shields his mouth, as he whispers into his combead.
<< Heinrich to Captain. Unconfirmed sound contact. >>


Heinrich:
"I heard something, but nothing like that. More of a...scraping noise, like a knife being run along a wall.
As for the other idea, how many of us have some way of seeing in the dark without lights?
If something happen to the forward group and we rush in to aid them, we'll be blinded by the light, and even a few seconds of hesitation could cost the lord captain militant his life!"

Suddenly, one of the rearguard spins around and aims his light behind you.
After a moment, he shakes his head in dismay.
"I swear on the golden throne, I heard something behind us..."


Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota grits his teeth, ignoring the inconvenience caused by this place.

"This ship, while once mighty and noble, is now part of a space hulk. There is ALWAYS something on a hulk. Besides - there is something in the system and we're on a ship the system is everywhere. So stop your nerves from fluttering because there might be something. Instead realise there IS something out there and let this realization sharpen your focus."


Suitably chastised by the Explorator, the group continues their trek down the corridor.
The darkness, and the ill feel of the place messes with the mind and the sense of time passing, so it's all but impossible to tell how long the journey has been.
On occasion, the vox operator, instructed by Solonius, tries to get a signal, but while no more screeches comes from the vox, neither can you raise anyone.

The only thing you hear are static, broken up by a brief snatch of words here and there.
The operator identifies them (supported by Iota) as merely vox echoes, ghosts of conversations previous, lost in the systems, like ghosts in the machine.

Eventually, everyone has heard strange noises, both from behind and from ahead, but no single noise has been the same, nor has there been a repeat of noises.


Eventually, The forward scouts seem to stop, and one of them runs back to you.
"Lord captain.
We've found a door ahead, or, the remains of a door.
About half of it's gone, and it seem to lead into a large chamber of some sort.
We've stopped outside to await your orders, in case you want to have a look yourself.
We've...not heard anything from within, but...erm...right now, I don't think that's all that reliable."


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald nods his understanding and motions Solonius and his squad to join him. Time to go scout a dark and scary room...


Making your way forward, you find yourself standing outside the door, or possibly doors.
Clearly, it's a double door, with the left one looking like it's been bashed from it's hinges.
Since it's a three meter high door, metal, and quite sturdy looking, it must have taken quite a bit of force.

You all notice that the by now familiar symbol is etched on the door, although only half of it, since it was on either side of the opening.

Solonius quickly organises your crew, taking half the men and having them cover the way forward and the retreat.
The other half is divided into yet more halves, one half staying by the door and covering the room, with the second half slowly moving inside.
Solonius then looks at the captain and officers with a raised eyebrow, silently asking where you intend to be?


WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald signals towards the back where it's safer and Solonius is left more clearly in charge. This was very not his wheelhouse.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich slips inside immediately after the first rank of troops filed in, giving the room a quick once over, looking for some kind of high ground to take.
Maybe a maintenance walkway, shipping crate or something similar that would provide him a good vantage point to set up an overwatch position.


The darkness in the room is oppressive, almost omnipresent.
As you move into it, carefully and with great care, one single, solitary lumen globe sparks and flickers.
For a moment you wonder if it will fail, but then it sparks again and slowly comes on.
You feel (especially Iota) that there is almost a note of desperation to it, like it's struggling mightily.
But there is also defiance, which seems to win out in the end.

The lumen illuminates what seems to be the center of the room, which contains a plinth bearing a statue.
An older man in white robes, one hand held up high, seemingly in greetings, the other hand clutching a tome to his chest.
He is wearing white robes, which looks a bit like those of a cleric.

While you cannot see the whole room in the dim light, you get the feel that it's a bit like your own chapel back on the ship, though less grand and more utilitarian.
Though by now, you've grown used to it being so on this ship.
Those in the room also notice that the oppressive feeling is lessened inside.


BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

After thoroughly checking the room, Heinrich boxes via microbead to the other officers:

"What do you think he was? With that posture and the book.... A psyker?"

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