Into that Vast Expanse

First Officer's Log XV
015-#.###.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 015-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Scintilla+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • Draque ordered Hero to learn the trench cant… from me.
  • Hero seems concerned for me. I’m not sure I understand where he’s coming from, but it seems our friendship has tentatively begun repairs. This should be good for moral.
  • We arrived at Scintilla.
  • Kavik did not seem to deem it necessary to inform his first officer that he suspected that his Navigator had fallen. While Lilyth is much more experienced in matters of Warp corruption than I, I still feel that this is a sign of distrust. I have never felt… distrusted by Kavik before. It worries me. Has the matter of Mauritius worried him this much? Has he decided that he was wrong on keeping me aboard the Collateral Damage after all this time?
  • These thoughts make me uneasy. I dislike being uneasy. Kavik, you are a commander I have always trusted, a partner I have worked with on many a battle: why the betrayal of trust now?
  • The command crew confronted Orpheus. Evidently, he had been mind-controlling the crew (notably his acolytes and a fair amount of mutants: Crabbe will need to be confronted). Draque’s suspicious were founded when, after taking considerable damage, a demon burst forth from the corpulent body of the Navigator.

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Current rations @ 108%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 015-#.###.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

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Chief-Chirurgeon Log 15

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 015.1-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Scintilla+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

The Lodgings Herodion secured for us are entirely too ostentatious. I am uncomfortable when faced with such decadence, the Lord Captain does need to make a show though. His peers are much more accustomed to this corrupt lifestyle and he must not appear the “odd man out” even if that “oddity” is piety and spartan living.

The Lord Captain has confided troubling news; he suspects foul play with our Navigator, some kind of corruption or heresy. Our Navigator seems to have formed some psychic bond with his acolytes… a most unsavory sort. After a light inquiry, the Lord Captain and I are more convinced something serious is occurring in the occulus.

Medoc has refused to answer my hails. This news troubles me even more, I hope it is simply terrible coincidence and not related.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 015.2-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Scintilla+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

We spoke to a representative of one of the other Navigator houses of our concerns and they seemed unsettled and promised to investigate without our help. The Lord Captain and I feel that this was unsatisfactory and took matters into our own hands. After forcing our way to the occulus to confront our Navigator I was appalled at how degraded and corrupt he had become. He summoned dominated mutants and his acolytes to attack us and after a brief battle his lifeless body proved to be host to a Daemon! To think, a warp creature living on our ship. It was almost too much and with the Emperors fury I delivered the killing blow to the disgusting beast and saw that it was destroyed rather than simply banished back to its foul masters in chaos.

It seems we need a new Navigator.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

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Collateral Damage session 15
Orpheus sings his last song

Hero finally began his language training with Victrix, learning the secret hand-signals and tongue of House Draque. This opened his eyes to a new dimension of Burne & Goat’s antics.

At Scintilla, Herodion made arrangements for palatial lodgings in the cloud-spires of Hive Sibellius. Kavik and Lilyth attempted to contact the sector’s High Inquisitor to gain access to records on Lucius Rosen but were told she was unavailable; instead they made an appointment to speak with a lower-level Inquisitor. Triox attempted to go shopping for servitor animals but was interrupted by circumstances.

Lilyth tried to get in touch with Medoc regarding his investigation into Adelaide, but he did not return any calls. Medoc did also not report to Hero for his report on the anonymous mole aboard the ship.

These activities were all overshadowed by one much darker occurrence: Kavik’s growing suspicion with his Navigator, Orpheus. During the last several Warp journeys Kavik had noticed an unsettling tendency for the Navigator’s acolytes to hum in tune with Orpheus’ song, and on arrival at Scintilla he found one of them speaking in sync with the Navigator’s voice. Orpheus politely refused to allow Kavik access to his chambers to discuss the matter, which only increased his (and Lilyth’s) concern.

Kavik made an outreach to a representative of House Laelia on Hive Tarsus, intending to speak with them about Navigator heresy. Herodion did some reconnaissance and determined that it would be appropriate to bring a gift as a bribe to such an illustrious house. On his advice, Kavik brought one of the archeotech murder-servitors.

The Laelia scion was polite but made it clear that the Navigators would prefer to handle the matter internally rather than getting any Inquisition forces involved. This was too slow a process for Kavik, who wanted the matter resolved immediately. He took his crew directly from the meeting at Laelia headquarters back to the the ship.

On board, the crew made straight for the Navigator’s oculus and gave orders to Burne to sieze the rest of Orpheus’ acolytes. Orpheus admitted them into his chambers which were distressingly befouled. When he revealed that he intended to take control of the ship, Kavik attacked.

The battle was pitched, with Orpheus attempting to mind-control the crew. At his command, mutants sprung from the vents and passageways to overwhelm the crew. They were supported by two acolyte Navigators (one of them a Vesper Nemo clone) who turned their baleful gaze on the room.

Kavik hacked and slashed at the mutants until Triox lifted him into the air with his gravity manipulator, at which point he began shooting. Victrix proved deadly with bolter and blade, while Lilyth brought holy fire and devastation. Herodion was overcome with terror at the Navigator’s presence and temporarily fled the room.

Triox managed to cover Orpheus with a curtain to shield the room from his gaze, and commanded his archeotech servitor bodyguards to slice him up. The trauma to Orpheus’ mortal body unleashed the daemon that had taken residence inside him, but Lilyth dispatched it with the fury of her holy sword. It fell to the rest of the crew to mop up the acolytes and mutants as Hero returned to the scene.

With the unholy threat neutralized, Kavik and his crew were free to continue their business on Scintilla. But they would need to find a replacement Navigator…

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Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S14

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.14+

Draque has proposed a long-term quest to find a lost Saint of the Imperial dogma. I have suggested that an additional ship might be helpful. One of the more likely sites to find a ship for a poorly-funded Dynasty such as ours might be the ship graveyard in the Accursed Demesne.

Draque had a curious man aboard the ship for dinner. Although the man was ultimately of no consequence, his Xeno bird apparently exerted some form of limited psyker capacity. I have collected a genetic sample for study.

My journey to Rubycon II was a success. I have located a manufactorum and water-treatment facility for use at Draque’s colony. Nicostratus joined me for a brief period. I trust he enjoyed himself. I am puzzled why the Forge Worlds are not a greater destination for the more simple-minded of the followers of the Imperial Cult. In addition, I have completed my set of Dragonscale Armor.

My brothers in the Genetors’ Ward identified the Xeno bird as coming from the Foundling World of Rain. They also informed me that High Magos Arkanar is currently in a decades-long survey of the hulks at the Processional. His expertise will be invaluable.

I have added an auger array to my augmentations. Auto-brain surgery was an intriguing experience, and one that I am anxious to repeat.

+END DATA+

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First Officer's Log XIV
014-#.###.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 014-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Port Wander+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • We had an uneventful trip through the Maw (Emperor be praised).
  • The men seemed relieved to be docking at Port Wander, and getting shore leave at such a civilized station. I, myself, shall take part in some relaxing competition, and perhaps pick up a bounty or two.
  • Kavik has sent Triox to Rubycon II to find a manufactorum for the colony.
  • The command crew has decided that it would be best to procure a ship before heading in the footsteps of Lucius Rosen. While everyone has asked their contacts for a likely vessel, it seems our most feasible venture will be a trip to the Prossessional. I have never seen the abandoned fleet, and I look forward to the viewing.
  • Now, we head to Scintilla. It seems I do not need to travel lightly. Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated and the eye of Callidus Temple has long stopped looking.

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  • Kavik has given my new plan for Hero his seal of approval. I need only find the young man and tell him of his new training schedule.
  • I have not approached Hero, Burne, or Goat since the accursed journey through the Warp near Mauritius—although I have sent Burne & Goat several notices that if I continue to find their vapid prose it shall end poorly.
  • Thinking to show Hero, because I suspected he would enjoy such things, I passed him a note of the verse, and in so doing was reminded that he has yet to learn the proper cant of the ship. I have alerted Kavik to this—I can only imagine it being a disaster were we to reach Scintilla and Hero be unable to communicate privately.
  • I believe the young man is to blame for the new influx of spice in our rations.

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  • Lilyth has requested a sample for study. While I trust Lilyth in battle, and her skills as a medicae, it stirs a long-dormant unease in me to do so… But I have dismissed this childish notion and offered up my blood. I can not think of better hands—besides—it is most likely that my structure is now long-departed from the original Callidus line.
  • I have fixed my rations problem, and looking back on these several months it all seems a ridiculous panic. I am glad that it has been kept private, had anyone been alerted it would be to my great shame.
  • I have, once again, started to personally oversee training.
  • When not in training, and since I have given up the larks of both shoji and bothering the quartermaster, I have been practicing katas in the heated rooms beneath the Engineerium.

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Current rations @ 110%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 014-#.###.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

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Hero's Diary Entry 14
In Which the Spice Flows Freely

Dear Diary,

I am pleased to announce that we will be headed into civilized space in the near future. Real, civilized space. None of this backwater nonsense with simple markets and bazaar stalls. No, we are going to Scintilla. I’ve no idea why. I missed the staff meeting and, quite honestly, if it wasn’t important enough to inform me then I shan’t give it a second thought. Regardless, it seems I will have an opportunity to properly peruse a suitable metropolis. Goodness knows a little retail therapy would do wonders for my stress levels. The industrial district of Footfall doesn’t quite compare. Nevertheless, I still managed to secure an excellent deal on wholesale spices from some foolhardy merchant looking to offload his goods. I told him he’d have the endorsement of the highly influential Draque dynasty. I almost feel bad for the poor sod. Almost. I’m sure everyone will be thankful for the reprieve from criminally poor provisions.

Regarding our time on Footfall, I feel I must make mention of a certain Porlops Myle. The gentleman himself is nobody special, a minor bureaucrat and warehouse master. However, he had the most fascinating creature with him. He referred to it as a Fifi bird and, diary, let me tell you it took all of my willpower not to make inquiries as to where I might procure one myself. Given Draque‘s rather…unpleasant reactions to anything I find enjoyable, I thought better of it. At least, not in his direct company. Perhaps at a later date I might contact this Myle fellow and see about securing a pet. A companionable diversion would be welcome, and I’m sure Burne and Goat would find it as charming as I.

Speaking of the boys, I managed to placate Draque long enough to secure some shore leave. They accompanied me down to Footfall and proceeded to take me around to their favorite (albeit quaint and provincial) establishments. Victrix still hadn’t acknowledged her transgressions, and so I deigned not to invite her to join us. Yet, Burne informs me that she has been having a rough time of it since that incident in the warp. It seems that I managed to get off lucky. Both my fellows were also attacked, and it seems the first officer killed several of their companions from Dust. To say the woman terrifies me is an understatement, but somehow I can’t imagine her handling that well.

My relationship with Triox, however, seems to be much better. I accompanied our enginseer down to Rubycon II. Ostensibly, it was a business trip to secure manufactorums and other necessities for our budding colony, but I was more interested in catching up with the fellow. It seems he’s been quite busy of late, and we’ve not had nearly as much time to simply sit and chat as we once did. Thankfully, we managed to catch a moment’s peace after our duties were complete and celebrated with a lovely tea. Triox still seems a bit preoccupied with his duties, but what’s one to expect of a workaholic?

I look forward to this sojourn on Scintilla, Diary. Nothing too terribly disastrous could possibly happen in such a well-regulated and populous region of space. Thank heavens for small favors and a well-earned vacation.

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Lord-Captain's Personal Log 14

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 3.676.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Port Wander+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

We have rendezvoused with the Gilded Hook and made the journey through the Maw back into the Calixis Sector. While on Footfall, I exercised my dynasty’s newfound resources to procure augur array implants for myself, Lilyth, and Triox. The Major handled the surgery with her usual precision. The implant is a curious thing. It seemed quite foreign at first, but now it feels like an extension of my own senses. This will undoubtedly come in handy.

Our stay on Port Wander has been quite productive. Triox and Herodion were able to secure us a manufactorum from the Mechanicus on Rubycon II. With this hardware, the colony should be able to produce the equipment it needs to sustain its expansion. We are already beginning to see the benefits of the colony. Apparently the ivory produced by some of its indigenous life is quite valuable. I will have to procure dedicated vessels to transport this on a more regular schedule.

Our dealings with the Inquisition were a bit more perfunctory. The acolyte aboard Port Wander had little information, but warmed up to us once we mentioned that we were relocating the remains of Lucius Rosen and had dealt with the Orks who defiled his remains harshly. The acolyte said that he would send word to Inquisitor Rathbone to expect our inquiries on Scintilla. Between Lilyth’s contacts and my growing fame in this region, we should be able to procure the information we require.

While at Scintilla, we will also load the Gilded Hook down with supplies for the coming journey. I expect a year – perhaps more – will be appropriate. I know our journey will take us as far as the Accursed Demesne and perhaps further. It is best to be prepared.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

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Collateral Damage session 14

In the Captain’s war room, the crew discussed the road ahead. The eventual goal would be to uncover the final resting place of Saint Cognatius, but to do that would require the aid of the Adherents of Alenyikov on Sideria II. Kavik also wished to gain information on the Inquisition operative Lucius Rosen and his surveillance of Cognatius. Triox suggested that acquiring another ship would be a good idea, and observed that there were many ships free for the taking at the Processional of the Damned.

At Footfall, the Collateral Damage made rendezvous with the Gilded Hook and received a status update on the colony of Light Returned. Herodion acquired a killer deal on an immense cargo of spices and allowed the spice vendor license to claim Draque’s endorsement.

An influential warehouse master on Footfall recognized the Gilded Hook and inquired about its previous owner. Kavik invited the man to dinner and learned his name was Porlops Myle. The old man carried a small xeno pet with him that appeared to have a minor psychic bond.

Adelaide informed Lilyth that she had done some digging on Myle and found that he had a strong, almost perverted interest in xenos artifacts and trophies. Lilyth found this act of initiative suspicious and asked Medoc to keep an eye on the other missionary.

Burne and Goat took Hero out on shore leave, and explained to him that he should forgive Victrix for almost killing him in a fit of bloodrage. Victrix meanwhile went shopping for xenos entrails at a market in the Kroot district.

On the other side of the Maw at Port Wander, Lilyth and Kavik inquired about records on Lucius Rosen and learned that they would need to consult the archives at Scintilla.

Triox paid a visit to the forge-world at Rubycon II and learned that Magos Arkanar was leading an Explorator fleet to catalogue the Processional of the Damned, on a theory that ships’ arrivals there could be predicted. Triox also inquired about genetic samples collected from Myles’ “Fifi-Bird” and was told that they originated at Rain.

Hero later accompanied Triox to Rubycon II and negotiated for a manufactorum and water treatment facility to be fabricated and made ready for delivery to Light Returned. Then the two had tea.

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Chief-Chirurgeon Log 14

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 012.1-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Footfall+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

The food seems to have an odd flavor recently. I am not particualrly fond of it but the crew seems to enjoy the variey at least for now. The Lord Captain was contacted by an odd fellow who kept a strange bird that stank of sorcery. It seemed harmless enough but we all know well the hidden poison that unsanctioned psychic activity can be. Disturbingly enough Adelaide seemed to anticipate my discomfort and brought news of this mans seemingly unhealthy and borderline heretical obsession with the xeno. I have informed the Lord Captain of this discovery. I have also asked our Master of Whispers to keep a close eye on our friend Sister Adelaide… like the horrible bird, she seems harmless enough but appearances can be deceiving….

I also took some time to speak to our First Officer about her “condition”. I have taken some samples and will be running an analysis to see if I can help uncover the particulars of this case.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 012.1-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Port Wander+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

The Inquisitorial post on Port Wander proved fruitless, they recommended checking on Scintilla, which it so happens was our next destination.

Still no report from our Master of Whispers. Ever Vigilant, I wonder if I must do all the spying myself. This skulduggery does not suit me.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

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Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S13

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.13+

Draque has asked that I mislead the Tech-Priests of Mauritius regarding the use of the Holy Atomics, convincing them that the ancient Atomics we used were in fact those granted by the dockyard. I mislike lying to a brother of the machine and doubly so one who granted me a gift of such favor to the Omnissiah, but my relationship with Draque must be a mutually beneficial one. In any event, my brother seemed relieved not to be taking the Atomics back to the station with him.

Otto’s development is coming along nicely. I predict a very low chance that Nicostratus will notice any resemblance, though his obsession with his own appearance may yet prove me wrong. Wings are shedding scabrous material at a prodigious rate, will hopefully be usable within 3 months.

+END DATA+

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