Warhammer 40K: Rogue Trader: Don’t Fuck With A Rogue Trader: Part 1
(Note: This is quite a long section so I’ve broken it up into two posts)
Chapter 1: Ambush
Euphoric from the revelation of the Vortex Torpedo hidden in Marteks vaults the crew headed back towards the gun cutter to return to the Vengeance of The Saint Druses. As they neared the craft a group of Marteks surgically smiling guards approached, demanding that they return the weapons they had “acquisitioned” during the conflict. As they were handed over a wave of malignant psychic energy washed over everyone, sending Sente collapsing unconscious to the ground.
From the crowd strode the true power behind the throne, the advisor seemingly sent to his death stood laughing before them, blasphemous chaos symbols writhing upon a staff focusing his corrupt psychic energy. As Xanatov wrestled with the guards for a weapon, Aviner reached out using his magnetic implants to try and wrench the staff from the their attacker. The forces roiled between them until Aviner eyes rolled back into his head. Smiling the Psycher pointed at Xanatov and ordered, “kill him”.
With lightning reflexes Xanatov grabbed a guard as a human shield as the mind controlled Aviner ripped an assault weapon from a guard and unleashed it upon him. The human shield was torn to shreds by a deadly precise volley, and then Xanatov dropped to the ground as round after round thudded into him. Smiling the Psycher commanded Aviner to sit and to feel free to speak, but do nothing else. Preparing a wicked looking knife the psycher prepared to teach Xanatov new ways to suffer.
As he did so, the Guncutter roared to life, the servitors on board moving it to where the Lord Captain lay. As the Lord Captain fought desperately for his life a strange binary language spoke out from Aviner entreating the Servitors to their aid.
With his concentration broken the Psyher lost first his control, and then his head, as an awoken Sente loosed her vengeance upon him.
Their work done the crew returned battered to the Ship.
Chapter 2: The Perils Of Xenos
In space a desperate race continued to try and escape this ships graveyard. Fearing that detonating the warp torpedo in the Crystal Xenos planet would spark a chain reaction that would destroy the entire system. Aviner was granted leave to salvage broken remains of the crystal crafts to examine.
The portents were less than salubrious. Of the servitors sent, a bare handful returned, the rest warped and twisted beyond their noble encoding. But the crystal shard was recovered. Isolating the corrupt servitors Aviner set to research and found himself lost to visions of unimaginable crystal towers, heretical technologies, and the realisation, that if he could make the crystal part of the ship, against all the Omnisiah stood for, then the craft could be freed right now.
Shaking against the heretical thoughts running through him, Aviner requested the Captains aid, for all that it shook him he could not destroy it. Seeing his torn companion, Xanatov ordered the Crystals detonated and blown into space, Aviner was to be contained to quarters until this was done, Aviner was then left alone as they progressed to set the explosives.
Aviner woke from a fugue, sitting working on the Crystal, the corrupt servitors piping obscene ideas into his mind. Chained to its wonder he questioned not how he got here, falling deeper and deeper into its heresy. Vision floated in front of his eyes and he found the information he had been seeking that the Vortex Torpedo would only destroy the planet, and would free the ships from its hold. The tech priests Magus Heinrich Koestler was shown in deep rituals with the crystal technology on his craft, Another, more terrifying vision was born, the Bismarck reborn in Crystal upon the planet, and it Lord Captain Sigmund stood upon its hull. In less than two days it would be complete and its vengeance would be unleashed on those who had forsaken him. Sigmund’s voice laughed out across the empty hull mocking those who would take his place.
Realising what had happened, Xanatov rushed though the craft to stop his errant comrade, bursting in through the door as the crystal roared to life tearing apart all near it. Freed from its hold Aviner screamed for them to detonate the explosives, running for the door as he did so. Xanatov activated the sequence and prepared to blast the entire hull into the vacuum of space. As he neared the door Aviner fell, mere inches from his destination as it sealed against the vacuum – leaving him trapped with the explosive and the coming decompression. Long minutes past as the lord captain Xanatov listened to the explosives tearing through the hull, then the sound of the contents being blasted into space.
As the door opened they expected the very worst, seeing a prone burnt and ruined form, bionic arm embedded into the floor anchoring him, blood pouring out from decompression. But somehow the unconscious form of Aviner still survived. More shocking still, as Xanatov prepared Gabriel and a party of guards to go liberate the Vortex Torpedo from Marteks grasp the battered Tech Priests dragged himself from the sick bay, repair system knitting his flesh back together as he walked.
Knowing time was short before the crystal Bismarck would be set upon their trapped craft, Xanatov flew out with the crew to find the Vortex torpedo, whilst Aviner and Sente hunted after the strange visions of Magus Heinrich Koestler in the hope that there would be some useful knowledge of what the face there.
As the crafts set out, a hush settled for none knew if any would survive the coming storm.
Chapter 3: A Desperate Gambit
Xanatovs craft barrelled through the war torn skies of Marteks “utopia”, with its power behind the throne dead, civil war raged as “the Kings” mutated forces tore across it. With deadly grace Xanatov set upon the attacking craft, driving them from the skies as the cities burned below. Comms chatter reported an unaffiliated group fighting in one of the buildings to the North. Lowering into sight they found a group of rag tag rebels and thieves warring with the grotesque mutants within, led by a laughing void born, his dark hued skin contrasted by his bright garish clothes.
Flooding the area with searchlights and training the weapons of the guncutter upon the victorious rebels Xanatov demanded their immediate surrender. Stepping out in full power armour, Xanatov approached their odd leader who introduced himself as Pandareos. After terse moments of negotiating with the figure, Xanatov offered to have them join their crew, and for the boastful Pandareos to prove his claimed skills as piloting.
The negotiation halted as desperate loyalist forces came upon them, but the loyalists were no match for the unstoppable force unleashed by Gabriel and Xanatov. Seeing the opportunity, Xanatov offered mercy to the broken starving attackers, offering them food if they join his crew. Realising that the Kings followers would not be far behind they quickly prepared to evacuate, as the mutants poured into the hanger Gabriel detonated gas tanks around them and Pandareos used the gun cutter to ride the shock wave out of the hanger, and back to the hunt for the Vortex torpedo.
As Pandareos navigated the torn metallic caverns into Marteks inner sanctum a message comes across the comms to Xanatov, It is Godwin Blake, the mysterious new spymaster, who it seems is currently fomenting further discontent upon the planet. After a quick update of plans a little wager is placed for significant favours and influence. A bet on which of the two will be first to reach the Vortex Torpedo.
At the base of the ruined caverns of twisted metal and shattered wall the guncutter finally comes to an easy docking point. Moving to dock it is suddenly ripped asunder as a gravity sheering waves wrack the planet. The guncutter crumbles and its crew cast out unprotected into the cold on the cold. Bodies burst and tens of lives end in an instant.
END OF PART 1