Rogue Trader S2 EP6: Countdown and Consequences (Part 2)
Bullets tear through the night, and the shanty town constructs, as Xanatov and co finally reach the area known as The Shanks. Steam pours off their overheating weapons as running gunfights and ambushes mark each step of the way, each spent bullet one less in an increasingly light ammo pouch.
The sight that greets them as they move under the elaborate crystalline constructs of the emperors servants that line the carved out roof is one far more bawdy nature, as they pass bordellos with figurines of Orks depicted performing acts that is physically impossible with their anatomy. The hellhole they have entered is soon recognised as home to a particularly vicious Narco gang.
Around them fire light flickers out from behind barred windows and welded shut doors as figures mass at the end of the alley, sharpened teeth and blades glinting in the light.
Cautiously Pandaroes steps forwards before the leader of the massive gang, pulling a bottle of rare amsec and placing it before him as blood leaks from the intoxicated gangers mouth. The leaders hand rises towards Xanatov and barks “Is he weak, he wears armour, you do not, is he weak?” Pandareos drops into a familiar weave of words “That mans no coward, the things he fights would burn the flesh from his bones just by standing close to them, and he does so like to look them in the eye as he kills them” Unsatisfied the bestial reply comes “You killed many?” “about 20,00 all told” Pandareos replies, happily counting every person who may possibly have died in any ship combat he was involved in. “Did you eat their hearts? Makes you strong” The gang suddenly falls back, disappearing as quick as it came.
Echoes fill the alleyway, Xanatovs armour quickly constructs a chilling image of the coming force – the alleyway full of bikes, mounted by the worst scum the expanse can offer, shooting all in their way with wide bore weapons, or mutilating them with massive axes. As they come closer the long jacketed leader is easily identifiable as the Rogue Trader, slaver, and scum known as Creckwad. “I’ve been looking for you boys” he drawls “you been taking my name in vain”.
Pandareos smiles, proffering the bottle he holds “Well I figured you wouldn’t complain about a few more atrocities to your name, all helps the reputation- but if it bothers you I’ll stop”. “Who’s the master of that shit” comes the reply “Cos your gunna turn that ship over to me” Xanatov frowns and then succinctly replies “How about you go fuck yourself”.
Standing ready Pandaroes comms the others “This is my balls up, when I open up you guys run – I should be able to hold them off long enough” but Xanatov is having none of it. Looking up the Lord Captain spots a commotion at the back, flashes of firefights and sounds of death. Smiling he answers Creckwad “I tell you what’s going to happen. I think your full of shit, your people are getting torn apart by a meat grinder. So we’re going to leave, and your going to fuck yourself”
Xanatov drops backwards blood spurting from his chest as Crewad defiantly drops from his bike blazing away at point blank range at the Lord Captain. Instantly the entire group opens up with massed fire as Pandareos drops into the cover of a nearby alleyway.
Gabriel runs up to cover the lord captain, peppering shotgun blasts into the crowd as Pandareos sights down his duelling pistol, blowing the gas cap off one of the bikes, but to his dismay it refuses to ignite. The massed fire continues, tearing away gothic masonry until it is stilled by a silent shimmering figure, moving with impossible grace that appears in the bikers midst. Diamonds flit across its body and images seem to manifest upon its featureless mask. Its voice rises fears in all that hears it as it speaks directly into their minds “I am the laughing god I am your doom”.
Its speech is halted as a grenade bounces at its feet, the already gas laden air needs little to turn the area into an inferno. Gabriels smile at a job well done is short as the Eldar floats down almost unharmed, standing over the prone Pandareos, looking down its blade it speaks “It would be to easy to kill you monkey”. Pandareos’ reply is characteristically vulgar about the Xenos mother. Wincing he awaits the inevitable retribution but it does not come.
Instead a moment of almost holy revelation fills them as a giant black armoured figure falls upon the Xenos, its giant chain blade roaring like the vengeance of a thousand angels. The Xeno can barely put up a fight before it is torn to pieces.
In awe Gabriel prostrates himself and even Pandareos bows low before the wonder that is the vengeance of the emperor ”You have done the emperors work today” it speaks to Xanatov. As Xanatov tries in vain to rise his broken form, the massive figure lifts him with ease. ”rest you are but mortal” it intones. With a roar the figure rises to the sky ;leaving the group still in shock from being so close to one of the Adeptus Astartes.
Pulling two of the still working bikes from the wreckage, Pandaroes sets to work preparing them. The long journey ahead just got a little shorter.
Meanwhile on The Vengeance of Saint Druses Aviner is facing down an angry Father Caustic and Canon Innocent. His suggestion to try and get the Xeno to leave by bribing them with the return of their gemstones is met with the expected righteous indignation. The crowd is nigh ready to burn Aviner as a heretic before cooler heads prevail. As conversation turns to the deamon that killed the prior father of the ship Senet cuts in “and if you had done what should have done I wouldn’t have had to suffer that thing inside me” Stung Aviner quietens as the conversation turns back to the purging of the Xenos.
Warning Klaxons echo across the ship something clunks in the distance and something large and heavy striking against the ships hull. As the group of Sente, Victrix, Caustic and Innocent prepare for war Aviner turns to the returned pic feeds, hoping to find a way to avoid the conflict. What greets him instead is the sounds of screams, man woman and child, images of the blurred forms, indulging their every vicious whim upon the craft covered barely in loin cloths woven of human skin. Crippled figures are drug back through the warp portal. Finally turning away, Aviner speaks quietly to the others asking what he can do to help them stop these monsters. The voice comes back “Reason begat doubt, doubt begat heresy, purge them with prejudice, burn them where they stand”.
Before the group comes together again for their doomed crusade Aviner apologises to Sente. Sente replies” Just do your duty or be damned, I could never forgive you for not killing me, but the emperor saved me, he turned my anger to the Xenos instead, Just do your duty” Aviner nods as Father Caustic and Canon innocent rejoins them flamers at the ready. “The drusinas have come to serve the lord captain..” the fathers speech is interrupted by Aviner, still haunted by the images he has seen “We do not have the time, they are not waiting for speeches, so neither shall we”. Smiling Father Caustic replies “Truer words have never been spoken”.
Victrix leads them forward as a comms message comes over, “recidivist and heretics heading your way. They are working with Xenos. carrying some device with them.” Feeding the groups bloodthirst with her mind warping trickery, Victrix speaks “Its time to kill some heretics”
The heretics barrel down the corridor as the bulkheads rise, to be washed in waves of purifying napalm as Caustic fills the corridor with the cleansing fire. Screams that should be made by no human creature echo down the halls. Small devices reply, bouncing down the corridor, and filling it with hails of metal and torn shards. The first wave of explosion rake the two preachers, as they collapse bloodily to the ground. Aviner tries in vain to shield Sente as the second wave of grenades bounce down the corridor.
Victrix finds the mind of one of the assailants, tearing back every instinct, overriding any sense of self preservation. Shaking, the poor doomed wretches hand pulls the pin from a grenade on his belt. Moment later the explosion rocks the corridor seemingly tearing assailants to pieces.
Aviner rises from Sente bleeding prone form, his eyes filled with a rage never seen. Storming through the smoke and fire he sees the bloody wrecks left by the explosions, splintered spines and bloody rags. One survivor leans against the wall, a thousand yard stare boring into the Tech Priest, her muscles pumping unnaturally with twisted gene tech, a perverted attempt to remake the Space Marines that kills most painfully and leaves the survivors deranged. This one survivor rises with impossible power and speaks” I know You” her voice dripping with hate. Matching rage with rage Aviner responds “you don’t know me, not now! You do not harm her”
Hearing of Sente, the musclebound heretic leaps forwards with impressive speed roaring with unbridled rage, her chainsword swung with the force of a Krak missile into Aviners knee, shattering the kneecap and sending him spinning with the impact. Desperately anchoring himself Aviner swings back, but his swipe is easily dodged.
As Victrix tries unsuccessfully to pierce the hatred clouding this gland warriors mind the chainsword swings again, tearing into Aviners other leg with the high pitched sound of metal on metal as it breaks off through the pure machine form.
Standing bloodied but unbowed Aviner raises the Power Axe once more, the energy arcing from it, the air twisting and warping as Victrix readies her will for another assault.
It’s their turn now.