Extremis Diabolus

Into the heart of the betrayer

The band of would be inquisitors stepped out of their transport into a furrow carved into the earth from one edge of the horizon to the battered remains of helm of the ship lying in the distance. Clods of earth and soil were strewn on both sides of the furrow, rocks as large as Land Crawlers were pushed into the ground, dark striations along the sides where the metal of the hull had pulled along them.
Cautiously, the band walked along the sides of the furrow, stepping carefully over the loose soil. Pistol stopped occasionally, drawing a bead on the ship ahead. They did not approach stealthily as Bandarch had directed them to make contact with the Captain and all had been too dumbstruck to question the order. Despite the ‘diplomatic’ nature of the mission, nerves were frayed and Scumlord kept glancing off into the tall grass, claiming that “something was watching, something was following.” Of course, no one paid any heed to these claims, Scumlord wouldn’t feel safe even at the side of the Emperor himself!
Pistol again drew his long-las to his shoulder, gazing down the scope at the ship. Suddenly he stiffened. “Eight, no twelve targets. Civilians. Shall I engage targets?” “Hold your fire” Zharkov barked “We are here to talk… Initially at least.” With a readily visible air of disappointment, Pistol lowered his weapon.

The troop walked forward, weapons at their sides but still accessible if the situation deteriorated. When the crewmembers aboard the ship came into view, Zharkov called out to them, requesting to speak with the Captain. Apparently alarmed, the crew scurried into hatches to hide in the dark bowels of the ship. Approaching cautiously, wary of an ambush they circled around the hulk of the ship. The soft earth was packed up around the front of the hull and as they skirted around it, it became apparent that the ship would never again return to space, not without significant repairs at least and with the inquisition bearing down on the ship, that wasn’t likely to occur.
Stepping onto the hull they spied several hatchways, all appeared to have been locked from the inside. Pulling out their trusty Arc-welder they began working on the hatch that most of the crew were seen to enter through. The locking mechanism rapidly melted to the intense heat of the welder and seconds later they were in. A dark corridor stretched out in front of them, wide enough only to move in single file. Moving stealthily down the corridor, Zharkov lead the group into the darkness. A dry caustic smell hung heavy in the air. Suddenly, out of an alcove, a figure appeared. Aware of the diplomatic nature of the mission, Zharkov took a step forward, greeted the man and announced that they were there at the behest of Bandarch and they sought an audience with the Captain. The figure paused for a second in indecision before a shadow of a smile crept over his face. “Follow me, I will show you the way” as he spun around, Scumlord noticed a bulge under the man’s greatcoat. “Hes got a gun! Scumlord screamed” as he pulled out his hand cannon and fired it over Zharkov’s shoulder in the direction of the figure. Reacting quickly, Zharkov pulled his greatsword and pinned the man against the wall. Ears ringing, Zharkov turned to Scumlord with fury on his face “By the Emperors beard! You krulling fool! You could have killed me, for certain you have damaged my hearing. Try that again and I will end you myself!”
Turning back to the man, pressed against the wall Zharkov demanded answers and fast! The mans mouth moved silently, or at least he did not utter any sounds that Zharkov could hear. Taking this as a sign of resistance, Zharkov pressed the blade of the sword more heavily against the mans neck, the fine mono edge bringing a trickle of blood where the mans adam’s apple rested against fine blade. Before another word was spoken, a massive explosion erupted to Zharkov’s left and in front of him, the mans face disintegrated into a mask of gib and gore. Stunned, Zharkov turned to the source of the explosion and saw Scumlord’s hand cannon with a thin whisp of acrid smoke curling out of the barrel. More angry at the order being disobeyed than his eardrum being violently assaulted he slammed the hilt of his sword into Scumlords stomach, and as the ragged man collapsed, he whipped his pair of cuffs around Scum’s wrists. He turned to Pistol growling “If he tries anything else, execute him.” A thin smile touched the corner of Pistols mouth “With pleasure” he whispered.

They continued down the corridor finding no resistance moving in the direction of the foredeck of the ship. Rounding one final corner they came to what was clearly the C&C centre of the ship. In front of them was a raised section with a low glass barricade and to either side lay banks of computational equipment. Huge magnetic reels sat idle and panels with gauges and dials that would normally be fluttering with shipboard activity were frozen.
The party spread out, creeping around the edge of the room. Pistol crept forward, and slowly lifted his head to the raised platform. Peering through the glass he saw two heavily armed guardsmen protecting a well-dressed Captain. Beckoning the Psyker forward, he pointed at the Captain and made a choking motion. The Captain collapsed to the ground, grasping at his throat and in one fluid motion, Morias raised his two pistols, felling the two guardsmen before they could react. The gang charged up onto the raised platform, restraining the Captain before he could fully recover. Though questions were asked of the Captain about his association with Bandarch, who gave the fleet its orders and where the ship had obtained its technology from; the Captain declined to answer. In a cold fury, Morias held his bolt pistol inches from the Captains temple whispering “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you”

He pulled the trigger.

There was a small explosion as the initial detonation pushed the .75mm rocket out of the barrel. As this occurred, the explosion ignited the propellant, hurling the rocket forward out of the barrel. The bolt accelerated forward, puncturing the Captains temple. As the bolt accelerated it ploughed deeper and deeper into the Captains brain and as it passed the cerebellum it detonated.
The fragments of the bolt ripped through the soft grey matter, shattering the bone, throwing it across the room. Specks of grey matter, facial tissue, fragments of bone and cerebral blood and teeth were thrown across the room, showering the group in a mist of gore and cruor.

Turning his back on the scene, Zharkov wiped the film of blood from his face and ran his fingers through his hair, flicking out the pieces of bone and flesh that had landed there. “Well, I guess we are done asking now.” He muttered to himself. “I swear that the next person to fire a gun near my head will have to explain themselves to the sharp end of my sword.”

“We have little time left before the Sword of Terra finds this ship and destroys it from orbit. We must separate. We have to search the ship and communicate with the Orions Fury. Lupus and Castila you’re with me. The rest of you, go back to the ship and try to make contact with the Sword of Terra.
p.

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A Heretics Betrayal

On the control deck, Bandarch paced back and forth, waiting for any sign of the cloaked ship. It couldn’t have gone far, “In fact”, he pondered aloud, “It must still be in system.” Barking at a nearby junior technician “I need scans of anomalous deposits of heavy and rare earth minerals on life capable planets in this system.” Minutes later, the junior officer brought back a report about with printouts of readouts of metals deposits. Bandarch sat down, leafing through the documents, looking for a specific anomaly. The planet Epsilon seven jumped out. It was a Mars sized planet, dry with savanna from pole to pole. The planet had an unusually high oxygen content and detecting a large amount of un-oxidised ferrous metals on the surface was impossible…. Not to mention that the radioactivity coming out from it screamed the ships presence louder than any klaxon could.
Bandarch knew he had to plan his next steps carefully…..

Zharkov awoke to the sound of his comms unit buzzing quietly in his ear. “Emergency summons from Bandarch, come to the briefing room immediately. Prepare for combat drills”
Zharkov looked around his cramped cabin, eyes scanning hastily over his piles of gear. He knew he had a problem with hoarding, he always felt the need to hold on to equipment, never knew when it might come in handy. Grabbing only the barest loadout (Full guardsman flak, combat shotgun, handgun, shockmaul, greatsword, two packets of lho sticks, some stimm (just in case), a medkit, some extra bandages, extra rations, a rebreather, a torch and a backpack of miscellaneous gear… only the barest of essentials. After packing his bags, he charged out of his room, ready for anything.

Scumlord arrived first in the briefing room, this had a terrible feel to it. Bandarch sitting in stony silence, the only message that Faggen had received was a message over his rooms intercom, summoning him for an emergency. To have such information broadcast over such a public channel made Faggens skin crawl. Nothing good could come of this… Nothing at all… What if it was a trap? What if Bandarch had found out about the ‘borrowing’ of the dead guardsmans gear.. Why!? They weren’t going to use it anymore anyway! Oh god, are they just going to space me? A twitch started up on his eye, this often happened when he was nervous.. Why isn’t Bandarch looking at the twitch?! Not even once, oh god, he already knows what he is going to do with me!

Just at that moment, Zharkov, Pistol and Lupus entered the room, with the two Guardsmen just behind. “Where is the Techpriest? His ability to commune with the Machine Spirit would be… useful on your next outing. We have found the helm on the vessel you disabled, it crash landed on Epsilon Seven.” Zharkov, with an angry tone in his voice related that Nihilius had spurned his duties and is otherwise occupied in the med bay.
“We will have to make do in that case.” Bandarch sunk deeper in his chair for a moment, but with a sudden jerk he got up. “Follow me to the bridge.”

The party followed Bandarch to the bridge, exchanging worried glances with each other. Bandarch pushed through the two men guarding the bridge, informing them that they are no longer required at their station, they were to put down their weapons and leave immediately. The party was almost as stunned as the Guardsmen. Bandarch strode into the room, proclaiming in a loud voice that he was taking control of this ship in the name of the Emperor and named the Captain as a heretic. A brief firefight occurred between the remaining loyal guardsmen on the bridge and Bandarch’s crew before arresting and then executing the captain.

Zharkov looked around him in disgust. Everyone (with the exception of Scumlord who was rifling through the pockets of a deceased guardsman) had disgust written on their faces and a look of fear in their eyes. “Bandarch, what is the meaning of this?!” Begged Alloric.
Bandarch drew in his breath “Men, we fight boldly in the name of the Emperor, we are agents of his justice, yet sometimes we must branch out from those around us. Those whose ideas are seem to predate the birth of the Emperor himself! The Inqusitors onboard the Sword of Terra would have us destroy this technology. Madness! We must claim it in the name of the Emperor! A tool this grand must not be thrown away into the dustbin of history, it must be used to leverage our power and strengthen humanities hold in this galaxy.”

In stunned and shocked silence, the party realised what they had done. They had betrayed the Inquisition and by extension, the Emperor.
Bandarch continued “You must immediately board a transport and make contact with the downed vessel on Epsilon Seven. Meanwhile I will hide the Orions Fury from the Sword of Terra. You must make haste as it may only be a matter of hours before the Sword of Terra discovers us or the downed vessel and you do not want to be planetside when it does.

The party trudged to the transport vessel and sat in silence as they made their way to the surface of the planet.

The transport landed in the trail of debris of the crashed vessel. As the party left the transport and walked towards the ship, a heated discussion sprung up, debating what to do. They knew that if they wanted to live much longer than a lunar cycle, they could not follow Bandarchs course of action. They must make contact with the Sword of Terra and seek out a bargain.

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The Emperors Healthcare rebate!

In which the story meet some crazy characters and one of them goes to the doctor.

After spending the last two weeks cramped up in their lead lined box, they were sweaty, smelly and sick to death of one another. To some of them, their survival seemed almost like a curse. The Tech-Priest, normally so stoic seemed to take it worst of all. He had sunk into more of a sullen state then normal. He stayed quiet during the debriefing with Bandarch, failing to add key pieces of information about the schematics of the ship that he had explained to the party but they had not been able to comprehend. The crew of the Orions Fury had captured some Techpriests who had escaped on pods. These techpriests had been held in isolation, kept in lead lined cells, isolated from the machine spirit. Zharkov knew that he wouldn’t be able to extract information from these adepts… not without brutal, bloody force. He requested that Nihilus accompany him, not being in a rank high enough to demand it. Nihilus did not formally decline, he just turned around and walked away in silence. Zharkov, irate at his authority being subverted so publically pursued Nihilus, shouting and cursing after him. This soon proved pointless and Zharkov returned to the part, asking Olleric and Castilla to accompany him to the interrogation.

One execution and two horrific scenes of torture fit for heretics, not for tech-priests enough information was pieced together to put together to present to Sergeant Bandarch.

Meanwhile Nihilus, for unexplained reasons, had gone to the med bay and scheduled an augmentation, the recovery of which could put him out for weeks.

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The Emperor’s Justice

Taking a moment to catch their breath, a silence fell over the group of guardsmen and agents alike. The future that faced them was bleak indeed. This was not the future that any of them had envisioned for themselves. Stuck on an enemy vessel, unable to contact HQ, unable to escape and worse yet, unable to defeat the sworn enemy of the emperor… The heretic.
After a half hearted speech invoking the name of the Eternal Emperor (long may he reign) the intrepid crew decided (after much argument) to delve deeper into the bowels of the ship and find information on the engines in the hopes of disabling the vessel.
Fleeing down through a maze of dull grey passages, the band came across surprisingly few crewmembers of the ship, in fact the only personnel they encountered were a few shiners (who they dispatched with the swiftness, if not silence)
Walking along a lengthy passageway, the Tech-priest Nihilus sensed the shift in the machine spirit. Walking towards it, he lead the group into a computing room full of servitors. Commanding them to do his bidding, he acquired information pertaining to the ships engines and some old schematics of the ship. Moving on, now towards the ships engines, the crew came across a second control bay full of servitors. Mere moments after entering, Nihilus realised that this bay backed onto the engine room. Edging towards the massive doors to the engine bay, the party saw crewmembers tending to the whims of the machine spirit and guardsmen protecting them. In an instant the party burst through the doors, raining lead down onto the foul heretics. Hearing gunfire, more guardsmen came from nearby rooms, surrounding the party. The psyker, after having been shot several times, lashed back, bolts of lightning cascading out from him, leaping from guard to guard, frying the filthy heretics. A sudden surge leapt from one corpse onto a power console, causing a dull popping sound, followed by an explosion. All lighting shut off, returning only to emergency lighting after a few seconds. Klaxons sounded along the ship and emergency messages shot up on nearby consoles. Power systems had shut off across the ship, only emergency lighting, secondary weapons and life support remained online.
Knowing that this was the parties best chance of escape, they placed shaped charges on the engine, then ran towards the life rafts at full pelt, dropping lead into civilians and guardsmen alike along the way. On a vessel such as this, no one is truly innocent.
Launching one of the few remaining life boats, the crew stared behind them, ready to be to have their hull filled full of secondary weapons fire. Instead a great rippling set of explosions grew along the ship, breaking its spine.
In disbelief at their miraculous survival, party nodded in agreement, the Emperor must truly be watching over them.

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Star's Justice

The Orions Fury came out of the warp just outside the system that contained the Star Arbite. As soon as the ship dropped out of the warp, all gun platforms were at maximum threat level. However nothing was being picked up on either passive or active scanners. Orions Fury began its approach to the Star Arbite, encountering on its way an undocumented field of debris. As they entered visual range, they discerned that one of the stations arms had been blown or ripped off. and that there was only minor damage to the rest of the system. Upon hailing, there was no response from the station.

The party and a small squad of guardsmen boarded the ship. There was no evident signs of a a fight along the station but packing crates were left strewn about the floor. The administrators desk and the security section was searched only to reveal that the commander, ’ Administrator Avar Gestalt’ had ordered the station to prepare leave more than a week ago.
Lupus hacked his way into one of the security systems only to discover that 12 hours of footage was missing but there was one minute of footage showing the same black suited men entering the ship from one of the arms.

Just after they had finished analysing the footage, Sergeant Lukas Banndark announced that an unknown vessel had come out of stealth and that the Star Arbite had been boarded and the Guardsmen left to guard the boarding arm were under heavy fire.

Charging back down the hall the party had a brought an impressive amount of fire down upon the invading troops, pushing them back onto their ship. Sergeant Lukas Banndark barked over comms to pursue the attackers at all costs and the party pursued the invaders back down the hall, guns blazing. the invaders retreated back up the arm onto their ship and as Nihilious Metallus Novus hacked the arm control unit, Faggen (Scumlord) charged up the ramp, leaping onto one of the last defenders, drawing his long knife, stabbing the helmeted figure repeatedly until only a mess of gore remained. The party and a squadron of guardsmen boarded the ship knowing full well that this may be among their last days. Some of the fresher guardsmen looked nervous, some said a prayer to the emperor. Zarkov lent back against the wall, and lit up one of his last lho’s. “Im not getting paid enough for this shit” he thought to himself as the soothing smoke drifted into his lungs.

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Under the Eye of Terra

The party, weakened after many days of grueling combat against foul demons take a moment to rest aboard the shuttle on their way back to Orions Fury. Whilst most of the party nursed their wounds or polished their guns, Faggen (Scumlord) Paced back and forth across the tiny cabin of the shuttle, stopping occasionally to glance out the small plas-glass window. Outside he could see Orions Fury, bathed in the reflective glow of the planet below. The sight failed to give him any comfort, the giant ship was a ship full of Guardsmen, full of eyes that scrutinised his every move he knew he would need to be careful in a ship full of police, informants… His paranoid delusions were interrupted by a giant shadow passing across the local sun.
ATTACK! ATTACK! THEY FOUND US ALREADY! THEY HAVE A HUGE BATTLECRUISER!!” he screamed to all around him. The pilot of the transport turned around in his seat, grinning. Calm down fool. That is the Sword of Terra! A noble ship of the Imperium. Sadly Faggen (Scumlord) was too far gone to notice and his friend Nihilious Metallus Novus was anesthetized and unable to calm him.

After some time they landed aboard the Orions fury, debriefed with Sergeant Lukas Banndark and rested in their quarters. After only a few hours rest, klaxons sounded , waking the squad from a well earned rest. Grabbing what small amount of gear they had around them, they moved swiftly to Sergeant Lukas Banndark s quarters only to discover several humanoid figures with black helmeted suits and some strange las carbines. After dispatching these and discovering that they were in fact human and that the guns appeared to be inoperative they met up with Sergeant Lukas Banndark who informed them that three sets of insertion vehicles had landed on Orions Fury. They had been launched from a Xeno vessel that appeared to have advanced stealth drives.
After the attack had been repelled, the unknown vessel disengaged from the battle and entered the warp.

The party investigated the insertion vehicles and ascertained that although the identity of these vehicles had been obscured, some of the identifying serial numbers remained.
The Orions Fury, having sustained much damage in the battle, docked with its mothership, The Sword of Terra. Lupus Nihilious Metallus Novus and Zarkov boarded the Sword of Terra, looking for any information about the boarding party and the ship that birthed it. Nihilious Metallus Novus investigated the Techpriests aboard the ship uncovering some interesting information. The Cyberseer was on mars at the time of the dropship being built a mere 400 years ago. The Cyberseer knew more but would not divulge the information. Meanwhile Zarkov used his investigative skills to pour through the ships Library and discovered the book that had details of the dropships creation however the book ‘Mars Ships Log Vol XIV, Copy MIX’ had the vital page missing.
Most fruitful of all was Lupus efforts. He pressed the Astropaths for details about recent warp activity and was able to discern the direction that the Unknown vessel had gone towards.
The squad debriefed with Sergeant Lukas Banndark and checked the Astral maps. There was one clear location that the ship would be heading towards.. a desolate mining and repair station orbiting a gas giant only a few AU from their current location.
A course was set for The Star Arbite.

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The Long Arm of the Law

The party considered what their options were. There was some talk about boarding the bridge but Zarkov rapidly dismissed this lunacy. The safest course it was decided was to descend into the bowels of the ship and move towards the engines or power supply, disabling them and hence crippling the ship.
Nihilious Metallus Novus was able to get some old schematics of the ship to guide the party. As they descended through the decks they came across a band of ’shiners who they quickly dispatched, with Lupus narrowly avoiding a crippling injury.
Nihilious Metallus Novus maps were of limited use as they were outdate, but eventually the party found a tech section and Nihilious Metallus Novus was able to bluff his way past the servitors, gaining valuable information about some of the ships core systems along the way.

The party continued on towards the engine rooms. They came across a technician who the dispatched and eventually came to the ships engine systems. The area was heavily guarded but thankfully the guards were caught flatfooted. Morias ‘Pistol’ Novia pumped round after round into the guards. Limbs were blown clean from their bodies and the technicians began to panic. The guards were no pushover and fought back valiantly, several rounds of flechettes were pumped into Zarkov After receiving one too many rounds, Lupus snapped, letting a might arc of lightning fire from his fingers. The warp drive interfered with the blast, causing it to jump from the soldiers and onto the power generators.

The power cut off in the ship, plunging the party into total darkness before the emergency lighting system flashed on. Nihilious Metallus Novus quickly jumped onto a terminal, checking what systems were down. Only the life support, and secondary weapons remained online. The ship was (for now at least) disabled. A desperate scheme was hatched. Alloric had some shaped charges on his person, with instruction from Nihilious , they were placed in critical locations along the power supply and main engines. The timers set to go off in seven minutes.
Sprinting down the hall towards the lifeboats, the party mowed down anyone they saw be they civilians or enemy combatants. They had all sinned in the eyes of the emperor and justice was served.
They reached the lifeboats with only moments to spare. As the lifeboats jettisoned from the ship, a massive explosion was seen to ripple through the core of the ship.
The party contemplated their fate as their fragile lifeboat drifted through the darkness of space. All that was left to do was to activate their distress beacon and pray. Lupus knew better than any of them that space was vast, empty and completely unforgiving.

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And when to run
  • leave the building
  • Orion’s Fury has been contacting Nihilious
  • Drive towards closest hive ‘Skin’
  • Search warehouse & discover explosives
  • Blow hole in hive
  • Get picked up by shuttle (Zarkov must discard much of his equipment)
  • See a big fleet of drop shuttles
  • Hive collapses onto itself
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Den of Deceit
  • enter suspect building
  • find various peculiarities (dismembered but living individual, prison room, white noise, no radio comms)
  • fight an individual
  • find a strange comms room similar to those previously discovered
  • find Officer Scott standing over the body of a cultist
  • firefight with Scott; Scott shot and killed
  • Scott half teleported off the planet
  • Players depart room
  • After short investigation, return to ritual room
  • Remainder of Scott’s body is missing
  • Flee the building
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Run N Gun

- move further into riot police territory
- see arbite fortress under siege
- decimate demons in cross-fire
- take refuge in the fortress
- Zharkov and Castilla make some changes
- Zharkov arrests or executes the commander (can’t remember which?)
- requisition two armoured vehicles
- begin ‘triangulating’ position of disturbance
- fight various chaos entities along the way

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