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.