40K Rogue Trader: S2: EP3:The March Of Capitalism
Months passed as the Vengeance Of Saint Druses was finally nursed back to health. But the Rogue Trader and his retinue were not resting on their laurels. The plan to bring the inquisition agents upon the craft went without a hitch, as the agents found themselves conveniently near a debriefing of Cannon Innocent. Light years away, the Bishop Xothos found his assets under sudden and unflinching investigation, freeing the Rogue Traders resources whilst holding back their nemesis.
Knowing that Cult Of Solex members were soon to destroy themselves in a futile strike against the perceived tech heretics of the Vengeance, Aviner again turned to Victrix to send an encrypted communiqué. Deep in the homeworld of Hesh and Het the arch magus look in shock at the unique identifying code of a lost Standard Construction Template, along with the offer of aid against the heretic Paracelsus. The reply is quickly received “you are protected”. Despite the grill that replaces his mouth, Aviners features seem to smile as conflict is averted, and he returns to building the first new Teleportarium for a millennia. The beloved peace cannot last long however, from the uncharted space, reports of schismatically infections grow, Paracelsus must be found and stopped from corruption the holy machine spirits
Amongst the technologically advanced worlds of the sector, propaganda shows broadcast out of the heroic exploits of a Rogue Trader, in the back rooms, noble Patrons grease the wheels. As Linara returns to the Mapped Empirium, the opposition to trade route for the Rogue Trader dissolves. It will take nearly a year to set in place against the grinding bureaucracy, but its completion is now inevitable.
Showing up the vain attempts of Pandareos and Aviner, Gabriel contacts military groups destined for the hellish warzone of Zone 17, and requisitions them to the cleansing of Seigmunds folly, when the war finally ceases, the lost alien archeology will be available for exploitation and profit.
The most wearing new endevour however is to cleanse the Sector they have just come from, many a military meatgrinder are driven in again and again to open up the lost ships for looting. In the darkest nights of the battles, silver edged, dark armoured figures walk amongst the combatants, The Emperors angels of death purge the Xenos filth. Miles away from the death and conflict the Rogue Trader smiles as another successful report comes back and the dynasty coffers grow.
So now with the gears of rampant capitalism producing in favour of the crew, the smaller matters can now be addressed. The potential uprising and burning of the galaxy by the follows of Saint Druses who view the Lord Captain as their new saviour, due to the exceptional propaganda of Godwin Blake. Or possible the multiple Rogue Traders who have turned up on the planet looking for Pandareos in response to his past indiscretions, much to the anger of Xanatov who is finally realising just who he has employed. Add in worshippers of chaos out to kill or corrupt the crew, or just people out to make a name for themselves, and interesting times are upon us..
Down on the planet, Pandareos walks away from his latest kicking the arse out the the Rogue Traders credit: A Colexis pattern Fury interceptor, “acquired” from the warzone, now on its way instead to the Vengeance. His attempts to drag the Lord Captain Xanatov to a drinking establishment were shot down with a curt “unlike you Pandareos, I am not a drunk”.
Contrasting the wild excesses indulged, the landscape is hollow and squalid. Poverty breaking spirits and lives, as desperate faces sell their bodies for a handful of change in a shanty town that lasts as long as its less costly to ignore it than to raze it and all its inhabitants. Xanatov sinks back into the crowd, eyes roaming as something feels wrong.
Xenos! Tall shimmering figures, green skinned and almost Avian Beaked creatures, four strong approach them. Disguised as a common worker Xanatov sinks into the background letting Pandareos speak for them both. These Kroot mercineries speak brokenly “Business: We seek to trade”. “You are hunted. We are Strong. Good Bodyguards”. Finger itching towards the bolt pistol for being so close to Xenos filth Pandareos shuts down the conversation, he isn’t interested Confused by Pandareos abuse of the language, they still understand enough to leave, polite even in rejection.
As the talk returns to enticing The Xanatov to drink, the lord captain freezes, a moment of cold sweat. Another break in the crowd, and a shimmer of a failing holofield, and the long inhuman perfect features of an Eldar. The moment last an eternity as memories flood back, of implants slipped beneath his skin, firing his nerves in agony beyond comprehension, being hung from hair thin chains, his skin pulled taut as laughing figures watch, Years of suffering in exquisite agony.
Blood sprays and bodies fall as Xanatov charges through the crowd, hatred burning all rationality from his mind, unaware of the bloody trail of the dead and wounded his chainsword is leaving through the civilians as he is focused solely on the figure that has haunted his nightmares.
Behind him Pandareos takes to the rooftops to avoid the crowd. Realizing finally what he is doing Xanatov joins him, leaping ahead with amazing ease. However the Xenos grace is inhuman, running across the top if the seething human mass, flipping in nigh impossible directions, taunting Xanatov with its angelic grace as it leaps forwards through sealing bulkheads towards the docks.
Denied Xanatov barks angrily over the comms, demanding to be teleported through into the hanger. A placid voice returns as Aviner warns that it would be somewhat dangerous. Harangued he finally agrees, placing Pandareos, Xanatov and Gabriel into the immense hanger with nigh perfect precision.
Getting their bearings, they see not the accursed Eldar, but find themselves facing the view of a giant Lunar class craft coming in to dock, reflecting a golden red malevolent haze off its entirely gilded hull, the ominous moment hangs as they realise the city scouring level of destruction it could bring to bear if it ends up being yet another enemy on the list that faces them.
The moment breaks as the falling of something heavy signals that the hunt is on again. Leaping forwards, Xanatov screams out in rage ready to finally end the Eldars life, but finds instead a cowering female deck hand, desperately screaming “I’m human, I’m human!”. Brought by the commotion, several other deck hands come down to protect Larissa. The lord captain finds the area suddenly empty, as Pandareos hides in the background watching for the Eldar and Gabriel is mysteriously missing. A quick comm. Call finds the solution to this mystery, a Teloportarium quirk has brought Gabriel back to the craft and stuck his now magnetised armour to the ceiling, much to his chagrin. With the commotion resolved, Xanatov leaves, infuriated at loosing his prey, but Pandareos holds a while, hoping to find out more in an unguarded moment.
What he finds instead, or more correctly finds him are five mismatched figured, puffed on authority and demanding that Pandareos pays for Xantovs due taxes on the craft. Glancing from one mismatched uniform to the next , Pandaros realises they are trying to bullshit a bullshitter. Denying any connection to Xanatovs group he smiles and calls their bluff. “Your going to give me what I want” threatens their leader. “Mate if I gave you what you wanted you would be walking funny for a week”. At this insult the crew draw weapons only to find Pandaroes pistols pressed to their foreheads. “I’m getting mixed signals off you guys now” smirks Pandareos. The sound of a chainsword behind them causing the group to break and run as they realise Xanatov has returned. “Is there anyone you haven’t annoyed?” the Lord Captain asks.
The return journey is forced to be on foot, and ends up just as eventful. A servo skull, sent by the massively bionically augmented local head of the now allied criminal group, presents an invite to a celebratory meal. A less wise move is made by three thugs who take the time to insult Xanatovs parentage, and goes to trip over Pandareos. Finally seeing a chance to get rid of his rage, Xanatov snaps out his baton and smashes the thugs kneecap in a single blow, before a sadistic Pandaeos theatrically stumbles over his now shattered leg.
“You will show some fucking respect” thunders Xanatov. Another enraged thug steps up, instantly faced by the Lord Captains quick drawn pistol. Shaking with anger he challenges the Lord Captain to face him man to man. Accepting the Captain steps forwards, smashing the thug with his Baton as the thug drags him down to the ground stabbing repeatedly with a short knife. The fight is short but brutal, tearing at each other in the mud of the planet, until Xanatov manages to get the upper hand and shames the man repeatedly in the face. Eventually rage spent he stands triumphant over the bloody and broken corpse. Around him the crowd breaks into applause and cheers. “Who are you” they ask, to which Xanatoiv replies “Drewtal” starting a new identify for him to wear upon this planet. As they move away, Pandareos scoops up the significant winnings he had gained from arranging betting on the fight and mutters to the Lord Captain “I’m a bad influence on you“.