Chapter 4: Of Wonder and Heresy
Meanwhile, Aviner and Sente land upon the Deus Mechaninicum, a wonder beyond any they could have expected – Maybe even from the lost Dark age of technology. The ship is clean bright and automated to a degree unknown in this age.
With them are a motley crew of the inexperienced, the old, the senile and the wildly overconfident. With this they step out to unknown dangers. Before setting off into the hull, Aviner sets the youngest tech Tachinka to copy all information he can find on the lost art of Automation, leaving a Servitor to keep him safe.
The craft soon proves the worst nightmares are true, this wonder of a lost age is riddled with tech heresy – Silica Animus stalk the ship, machines that think like man. Talking fast in front of them, Aviner managed to confuse their rusted intelligences, setting them upon each other. When this proves not enough Sente and the Servitor make short work of them. A young warrior, Theodosus, is so shaken by this that Avine takes pity on him and sends him back to the craft to watch over Tachinka, the remaining four walk on.
The ship is a maze, with holographic defences bemusing and misleading the party. Eventually they find the bridge, as Aviner attempts to override the doors, accidentally activating the defence mechanisms, multiple hell las shots beat into his already ruined form, destroying his foot before the guns are in return destroyed. Hobbling within, they find the Magus wired up to some heretical technology, the gloating Magus declares his masterpiece complete, as the activation runes sends pulses to a tethered temple asteroid outside, Aviner sever the connection with his power axe, but its too late. Massive voltage runs through Aviner, sending him into the darkness once more as something unbelievably ancient and unknown wakes sending out hideously powerful gravity shears.
Chapter 5: The Hunt Is On.
As the crew die in droves in the vacuum Xanatov pushes through the wreckage looking for the fallen Gabriel. Pandareos pushes his number figured through the airlock into the safety beyond. Amongst the death and carnage Xanatov finds Gabriel, freezing to death, keeping himself alive only by the air from a ruptured container. Dragging him to safety, Xanatov watches over his closest friend as he slowly warms back to health, of the craft only these three remain alive.
As they walk through the corridors they hear noises ahead, hiding in the darkness they see an armed female figure walking through. Suddenly Pandareos voice breaks the darkness hailing the lady that he calls “Marchessa”. Bemused Xanatov and Gabrial watch this reunion as Pandareos explains his old crew were captured by Martek, but it seems that they take after Pandareos ’ wily ways and have broken free to take retribution. Together the group pushes through the rooms, still being torn apart by gravity shears, fighting through loyalist rebels. Finally the ground ruptures open, swallowing Pandareos . Xnataov and Gabriel fight back the masses of troops swarming them, but not before Xanatov is badly wounded by a hail of shotgun shells.
In the depths below, Pandareos pulls himself back up, his ruined hand that took the brunt of the fall limp by his side. His eyes blink and he focus on what he’s pulling himself up by, then moves very slowly away from the button he nearly pressed whilst pulling himself up. The Vortex Torpedo has been found.
Chapter 6: No Easy Choices.
Pulling himself up from unconsciousness once more, Aviner finds the Magus did not similarly survive the experience. Dragging himself to the ships cogitators he finds that the ship systems is being invaded by some Xeno intelligence. Sente snaps backwards with a scream. Ignoring his orders Theodosus had come to join them, and some sadistic Xenos entity has flayed him alive. Cursing, Aviner sets the computer to activate its defence systems against whatever has come onto the craft, and, despite Sentes concerned objections, with a crutch limps his broken form towards the library to find what has been loosed.
Letting the others move on ahead, Aviner finds himself alone, when a noise behind him makes him turn, the silica animus, approach. Tricking them Aviner turns these heretical creations against the invader of the craft. Reaching the library they are confronted by information beyond wonder preserved in stasis fields. The scribe Mara Karamasov sets to work looking for what they face, whilst the senile and forgetful Voyen aids Aviner in his research. On the view screen there can be seen outside a metallic skeleton like being that tears through the ships defences, the creature is destroyed repeatedly, but reforms anew.
The information is found, a crystal shard holding information on the strange crystalline entities, and a book that promises knowledge on what the Magus created. Reading the book Aviner finds himself lost in warped secrets beyond imagining, unable to tear himself away he is finally torn aside by a concerned Sente. With a roar, a lost Aviner sets upon Sente with rage but Sente managed to hold off his battered form for long enough for sanity to return to him. When finally he recovers, the book is gone once more. That is not the only thing gone, Maras absence is obvious. Turning they find Voyen looking forlornly at a bulkhead he left unsecured as Mara is dragged outside by the mechanical monstrosity. With a single shot Sente grant Mara the emperors mercy, freeing her from the torture the creature would inflict, then the bulkhead is slammed down. Sealing them in once more
A plan forms in Aviners mind, but it requires the unthinkable, the sacrifice of this wonder of the Omnisiah. Looking over the ship Aviner recalls every heresy found on the craft, the many, each beyond the reach of the Omnisiah, and though it tears his very soul he sets the plan in order. He knows now, the gravity waves will temporarily break the hold on the crafts, allowing them to move once more. Setting the stasis field to hold the entire ship, he readies it to reactivate when they are ready to strike, when it reactivates, the ship will broadcast its position, drawing the crystalline creatures to set upon their attackers. With them out of place, their planet will be unready for the Vengence Of Saint Druses assault.
On hearing this Voyen will not relent, he will not sacrifice this ship, no matter how it has been tainted. Unable to tell him he is wrong Abiner grants him leave to stay upon the ship and save what information he can, though he knows it will be a death sentence. With the plan in progress Aviner and Sente run for the teleportation bays to return to the guncutter.
Chapter 7: One Hundred and Fifty Down.
Xanatov finds Pandareos sitting on the Vortex Torpedo, but the problem remains, how will they get it to the surface. In the distance chanting can be heard, worship of chaos, and the sounds of the mutant followers of the King. With a smile Gabrial makes a bet, the first to kill 150 mutants gets to kill Martek when this is all said and done. Happily Marchessa, Pandareos and Xanatov accept this gambit for a shot at their hated foe.
Pandareos steps out first cheerily greeting the assembled hoard whilst the others run to ambush positions. Before them lies a gang of massive beastmen, symbols of the blood god upon their head, in the centre the massive biomechanical form of the King sits upon a throne, pistons pumping through his arms, his entire body honed for killing.
With a smile Pandareos says that since they both hate Martek he would like their aid with killing him, he needs but a single thing from them. As they charge at him he repeats, he needs just one thing – that they stay in line long enough for him to get his 150 kills, with that he opens up with the Bolt Pistol into the horde. From above Xanatov looses long las shots with deadly precision, Gabriel Jump packs into the melee swinging his chainsword wildly, and Marchessa storms in a stolen armoured vehicle firing heavy stubbers into the crowd.
The King wades into the combat, knocking Gabriel to the ground, raising his massive axe above his head he prepares to bring it down ending Gabriels life when a massive long las shot takes the top of his body clean off. Xanatov leaps down from the rafters to aid his old friend. With the death of their leader the beastmen flee, leaving the group alone. Xanatov turns to his barely surviving friend and tells him, “you won the bet”
With a clear line to the exit, and an armoured vehicle available, they head back to pick up the Vortex torpedo.
Chapter 8: Don’t fuck with a Rogue Trader.
Staggering through to the teleporter bay, Sentes mind is suddenly touched over vast distances by a shining mind, the Atropath Transcendant known as Victrix. Seeing everything that is happening Vitrix tells them that the Vengence of Saint Druses is moving into position and that they are needed to aid them. In wonder at being so close to a mind that has touched the Emperor Sente does not argue, passing on the teleportation co-ordinates to Aviner.
After instructing the guncutter to leave without them, Aviner and Sente teleport to the side of the Vortex Torpedo, where Aviner quickly takes over dealing with such a supremely holy weapon. As the reunited group heads out, Victrix directs the weapons of the Druses to fire upon the planet, destroying those who were chasing her.
Outside they come across the result of Godwin Blakes machinations, the local populace turned to worship Xanatov as a descendant of Druses himself. With the locals aid the crew embark ready to head back to the Saint Druses.
Then everything falls into place, The gravity shears start again, and the Crystaline craft set upon the Deus Mechaninicum, which, headed by Voyen, strikes down innumerable of them before being destroyed itself, finally purged of the heresy within.
Into the breach moves The Vengeance Of Saint Druses, its deadly cargo launched deep into the crystalline planet, hollowing it out frown within and destroying its hold on the system.
Though still barely intact, the planet is but a hollow shell, and the crafts move once more through the heavens. The Xenos grasp has been broken, and the together the Penance Of Iocances and the Venegece of Saint Druses head out once more to do the Emperors work for glory and profit.
The shattered remains of those who dared faced them lie rotting on the lands below, a testament to the all important fact
You do not fuck with a Rogue Trader.