Into that Vast Expanse

Lord-Captain's Personal Log 13

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.610.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Naval Dockyards at Mauritius+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

Grantz is a fool and I played him like a fool. He was too quick to anger and slow on his wits. Upon returning to the Dockyards, the Commander and I entered negotiations for the return of the hulk of the Summer’s Bounty. Naturally, the fool began making demands of me and when I refused him, he had the audacity to challenge my honor and call me a pirate! At least he had the sense to back down when I challenged him to a duel. He may not keep his wealth, but at least he’ll keep his life. In all, we came away with the three Naval atomics, a variety of goods and supplies, and a letter of valor signed by the good Commander himself. Not a bad take. With any luck, we’ll not have to deal with the man again for some time.

Our next step is to prepare for the journey in the footsteps of Lucius Rosen. This will require a journey back to the Calixis Sector to procure equipment for the colony on Light Returned as well as supplies for our ships. It would also be welcome to have a third vessel, but that is a problem in and of itself. I have ordered Triox to make use of his contacts among the Mechanicus to see if he can locate a manufactorum and a pre-fab water treatment facility for the colony. Also, to see if he can dredge up any information on a new ship for the fleet. Similarly, I have ordered Lilyth to exercise her Inquisition contacts to see if we can gain access to the Inquisitorial archives. It is imperative to our quest that we have access to Lucius Rosen’s notes and files on Saint Cognatius. Victrix has offered to begin Herodion’s training as a House operative. I think it will suit the boy more than my talk of the Legions ever did. It seems fitting that we put his natural guile to good use. Perhaps he may even enjoy it.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

View
First Officer's Log XIII
013-#.###.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 013-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Mauritius+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • Grantz, the idiotic commanding officer at Mauritius, has forgotten his place in relation to the Holy Writ of the Emperor. I had not imagined that a commander in this region could possibly be as cowardly and sniveling as him.
  • We travel to Footfall to meet with the Gilded Hook and travel to the Calixis Sector.
  • I have rectified by personal problems through the cleansing flame of battle, and the eradication of the xeno.
  • Training shall resume as planned before our detour to Rosenbloom.

.
.
.

Current rations @ 40%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 013-#.###.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

View
Hero's Diary Entry 13
In Which Delegation Occurs

Dear Diary,

It’s been several weeks since Draque had me released from the Brig. Victrix has yet to apologize. I’m beginning to have doubts whether the entire incident even had an impact on the woman. Perhaps, in point of fact, I have been over eager for an ally and read too much into our relationship. It seems, to her at least, to be of little import. A pity, really. While I do miss our games of shoji, I’m not about to unconditionally forgive such atrocious behavior.

Which leads me to my next bit of interesting information. Kavik actually apologized for how he has treated me these past few months. Well, perhaps not in so many words, but the man is traditional and old guard through and through. I am sure what I got is the best the poor captain knows and the closest he has to offer. It was…unexpected. Though, of course, neither unwelcome nor unwarranted. I only hope that this uncharacteristically pleasant mood lasts. Everyone seems to have an idea as to what my duties on this vessel entail, but his acknowledgement of what they ought to entail, the skills to which I am better suited, was a promising first step.

I can’t say the same is true of Lilyth. Her timing, to say nothing of her bedside manner, leaves something to be desired. While tending my wounds in the brig she tried to convince me of the great honor that Draque had bestowed upon me. Yes, I know, Diary! The thought is almost laughable. However, as she was in the process of administering medical attention, I did my best to hold my tongue and not point out how perfectly droll her comments were, given the situation. Nonetheless, I received an earful of chiding and advice. From the stories I’ve heard I can only imagine that is what it must be like to be “mothered.” Positively dreadful, let me assure you.

Speaking of unpleasant situations, I find myself with the unenviable task of actually needing to fulfill the duties of my position. It seems Medoc has been remiss, if not wholly inept. Upon return to my quarters I received proof, at least upon first perusal, that the spy (which Medoc had allegedly rooted out, I might add) is alive and well amongst us. Honestly, the man had one job and managed to bungle it. It goes without saying that he was thoroughly reprimanded before being set to the task of correcting his mistake. Still, I am confident I’ve instilled in him the importance success.

Perhaps I am taking to this leadership position after all, Diary.

View
Collateral Damage session 13

On the return trip from the Ork-ravaged system, Hero was left an anonymous note and communication logs that indicated a spy for another House was aboard the ship, implicating the Montresor and Canseco Dynasties. Hero tasked Medoc with finding the mole and chided him for not doing his duties.

Kavik agreed to let Adelaide stay with the ship on its journey to return Lucius Rosen’s skull to the Aleynikov grand shrine on Sideria II. He did not let on what he and Lilyth had discovered, that Rosen was actually an Inquisition operative monitoring Saint Cognatius for heresy. Kavik made the decision to meet the Gilded Hook at Footfall and continue through the Maw to the Calixis Sector to stock up for a long journey. He also planned to use Lilyth’s Inquisition contacts to dig up ancient information on Rosen.

At Mauritius, commanding officer Grantz had gotten wind of the black market arrangement with Sloan and accused Kavik of underhanded smuggling. Kavik challenged him to a duel and he declined, intimidated. The Collateral Damage left the station having sold back the wreckage of Summer’s Bounty and bearing a letter of valor for combat against the Orks. Grantz was not pleased at how he came off in the arrangement.

View
Chief-Chirurgeon Log 13

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

The Lord Captain seems to have developed a “reputation” from his less seemly dealings. It seems there may be forces at work behind the scenes exaggerating his misdeeds and downplaying the good he has in him. Emperor guide him that he might not become the man he is made out to be.

After discussion with the Captain about my “discovery” on Rosebloom we have decided to try and uncover more information from the inquisitorial data vaults. The Captain aims to pick up where Aleynikov left off and discover the final resting place of Saint Cognatius, and I could not be more pleased to follow him to this end.

I have made some important discoveries in relation to the filthy monsters that plague Nun. They all seem dependent on a certain toxic synthetic compound that is present in the atmosphere of the planet, likely a pollutant leftover from the heathens that lived there. I might be able to engineer a retrovirus that can break this compound down, it would be a slow process but it would improve human habitability and scourge all other pestilent life from the planet.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

View
Character Interlude 003 - Lilyth and Hero
Lilyth Provides Medical Attention And Advice

The door to Hero’s cell creaks open. Lilyth stands in the doorway in front of him. “Ahh Herodion… How are you feeling?”

The seneschal lies on stomach, face buried in his arms. The position, while practical for his injuries, lends him a juvenile appearance. He does not move from his bunk, but instead delivers a muffled reply into his pillow. “Oh, I don’t know, Lilyth, my dear. I think I’ll be ready to become a guardsman any day now.”

Lilyth steps into the cell and sets down her equipment. With deft expertise, she begins treating Hero’s lash wounds, applying an actual soothing balm instead of the normal liberal application of slightly caustic disinfectant. “Isn’t sarcasm what got you into this mess?” She chides. “Really now, I am just trying to help.”

Hero fails to conceal a wince at her touch. “No. It wasn’t.” he responds defiantly. He pauses, waiting for her to respond. When she does not reply, he continues, “It was a difference of… opinion. One which I unfortunately lost." He raising himself slightly on his elbows, so as to speak more clearly, “Though I do appreciate the effort.”

Finally, Lilyth responds, “I’ve seen plenty of officers like you. Headstrong, indolent whelps commissioned based on their family station…” she begins, injecting painkillers. “But they don’t have what you have and they never could.”

“Oh, and what’s that?” Though appreciative of the medical attention, Hero is in no mood to indulge her. The angry wounds on his back are too fresh, the loss of freedom all-too-tangible in the cell, for him to suffer another lecture. “A lovely cell for one?”

“Hah!” Lilyth’s laughter sounds muffled and out of place in the small cell. “No. Most of them were on the pupil’s end of a lash a time or two. Spent time in the brig.”

Though the pain obviously begins to subside, Hero remains tense, waiting for the other shoe to drop. He cranes his neck to respond. Only then does he notice that Lilyth does not have her usual attire. Instead, she wears a simple medical uniform and no face covering, revealing the extensive burns and scarring covering much of the left side of her face and skull. “Herodion,” she continues, “They never… earned… anything.” Stony silence greets her. “They always had things given to them, including their hard lessons.”

“I’d rather pass on the hard lessons, if it’s all the same. They aren’t very pleasant. And I’m afraid the decor lacks a certain je ne sais quoi,” he returns laconically, gesturing to the cell.

“Hard lessons are never pleasant…” Lilyth trails off, lost in an unsettling thousand yard stare, “But they are always a gift from the Emperor, to make us stronger.”

Hero pulls himself to a sitting position, and tries not to stare overlong at the scarred face in front of him. Opting instead to stare mostly into his lap and pick at the lint of his pajamas. “I’m not sure injury, intentional or otherwise, is the most intelligent method of doing so.”

“I am a man/ Prone to weakness/ But I am a Guardsman/ Where weakness is death/ I will crush my weakness/ With the weight of my pride” she recites for him. “Insubordination is normally met with a bolt round to the back of the skull. A breakdown of the chain of command can mean not only your death but the deaths of your comrades. Putting others lives in danger is one of the most heinous sins. The Lord Captain knew you were not raised in the Guard, did not have this instilled in you and chose to be merciful.”

Flatly, he responds, "I’m not a guardsman, Lilyth. And I wasn’t insubordinate. I did precisely what he asked. It simply wasn’t what he was expecting.”

Lilyth looks Hero straight in the eyes with an unnerving intensity, “When you took that oath you became one.”

“No, I did not.” He shoots back. “I became bound to him as his seneschal. Nothing more, nothing less. The only difference is… Well, let’s never mind that. I don’t need to upset the entire command crew this week.”

“We are all bound thralls in service to the Emperor. We live and die as he sees fit for the greater glory of Mankind. If you are too stubborn to accept the great honor that the Lord Captain has bestowed upon you or the offering of camaraderie… then perhaps the Emperor has need of your presence sooner than I thought.” And with that she gets up.

As she is leaving Hero half-shouts after her “Lilyth!” Lilyth stops at the door, without turning around. “I apologize if I’ve offended you, as well.” He sighs. “I am feeling much better. You have my gratitude.”

“I am not offended. I am saddened. This is an opportunity for you to EARN something for yourself. To EARN… respect. Faith in the Emperor will always provide, do not squander his gifts.” She reaches into a pocket and tosses Hero a small bottle of pills. “Take two when the pain returns, and two more every six hours after.”

He looks at her in surprise. “Thank you.” Setting the bottle on the beside table he once again finds a seat on the bed. The exhaustion is apparent in his voice when he quietly continues. “It’s a lot to take in in a week, you know. Not just Kavik, but Victrix, she tried to kill me, Lilyth. She tried to kill me.”

“But she didn’t, did she…? Do you think that is because she is losing her edge, like a poorly maintained sword?” Lilyth gives a half smile and slips out, closing the door behind her.

View
Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S12

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.12+

Praise to the Machine God! The last of the ancient Atomics of Kaph has seen its final duty through to the end on the surface of Rosebloom, carrying away the evil taint of the Xeno! May the Collateral Damage never see its like again.

Talk commences on the treatment of the hulk of the Summer’s Bounty. Draque had considered delivery to Mauritius as property of the Imperium. I consider it a stubborn refusal to accept his station that Nicostratus (Decommissioned Subject CD-0003 Prime, see logfile S.11) neglected to mention the rights of salvage to which Draque is entitled. I hope its sale may help fund our repairs after the battle with the Orks. I will survey the wreckage for usable parts tomorrow.

I have salvaged the remnants of an aerie of Cherubim from the Summer’s Bounty. Though most of the Cherubim were mostly destroyed and will require extensive repairs as well as refitting with new organic components, a singular servitor showed the intelligence to survive both the Xeno raid and Draque’s fiery cleansing. As this Machine Spirit is clearly superior, I intend to adopt it as my personal assistant.

I have found a use for Decommissioned Experiments CD-0003/2 and CD-0003/4. As I am already intimately familiar with their genetic codes, they will serve as the ideal housing for the Machine Spirit of the damaged Cherub. I have integrated the best organic components of both experiments, including the heads of each, with the servitor framework. The new Cherub is robust and responds well to genetic treatments. Cherub 0003, or “Otto,” is getting along well with Gren. Though its system is still buggy and its organic components are producing more waste than an organism of its size would normally, I am confident its performance will soon fall within expected parameters.

+END DATA+

View
Lord-Captain's Personal Log 12

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 6.544.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: HS-7914-Alpha+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

We have spent the last two weeks in fruitless pursuit of the Ork raiders that destroyed Rosebloom. Orpheus was able to follow their malign trail through the warp to an unexplored system, Naval Survey designation HS-7914-Alpha. Here, several Ork warp trails converge and depart for deeper space rimward. I suspect their final destination to be the Ork strongholds at the Hundred Hundred Teef. Thus, I ordered our pursuit halted, so we can explore this system. There is no immediate Ork presence to contend with, however, there are definite signs of their passage. The fourth planet in this system shows evidence of orbital bombardment with asteroids – a common Ork tactic. I fear it may once have been a lost colony of the Imperium. No longer. We will finish scans of the system, destroy any Orks we find, then return to the Naval Dockyards at Mauritius. I doubt there is much of value for us here.

It seems Nicostratus is rueful of my method of his salvation. The ungrateful whelp has no notion of the damage he has done nor of the personal risk I have accepted to keep him safe. He has formed in his mind an image of me as a father figure – one he must now rebel against. He is also possessed of a stronger will than I would have imagined for one so gently bred and, thus, my ordinary methods of bringing a cur to heel will likely not prove effective. In fact, I dare say I have been attempting to drive a square peg into a round hole. No matter. I will try a different tact. It is his own pride and arrogance I shall appeal to. One way or another, my ends will be met.

Through providence and the Holy Will of the Emperor Himself, I have come upon the writings of Alyenikov, a follower of Saint Cognatius. The letter speaks of suspicion and heresy, but reveals a path by which one might follow in the steps of the most holy saint, himself. It is this path we will walk. And with the Emperor’s guidance and our own blood and sweat, we shall follow Saint Cognatius to his final rest.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

View
First Officer's Log XII
#.###.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 012-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Ork Astroids+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • The shadows of my battles came to haunt me this last week within the warp, and the rage I felt for all things within my sights would not leave me at peace. This inner darkness has reached forth and by my hands devoured two men.
  • I sit with Thunderwrath for their dedications, and under the Emperor’s watchful gaze I morn their loss. I am thankful Hero did not fall prey. Now, having left the vile machinations of the Warp, I can see his face bruised with the deep purple-blue of my wrath. I have not found the time to speak with him about all that has transpired, and the flurry of happenings makes any personal approach I might make cheap.
  • I appreciate Kavik’s desire to see more Ork’s put to the flame, but my misgivings about this journey have proven true both for my personal well-being, and for the state of the Collateral Damage. We set our sights for Mauritius.

.
.
.

Current rations @ 0%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 012-#.###.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

.
.
.

.
.
.

.
.
.

.
.
.

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 012.5-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: Evening, or What Passes For It+++
+++LOCATION: The Godforsaken Warp+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

Current rations @ 0%

Without the toxic waste of my rations, I will surely begin to lose interest in the weak rations of the ship. “The food’s never been quite so bland!” Indeed. Heh. Ha! Ahahaha! Ulgh.

I’d love to share with Hero my “findings.” He’d surely find them as entertaining and absurd as I do—although he may take personal affront. At least, in private, he’s not “thrusting randy”.

…But I doubt he’ll want my company for quite some time, and until I get more rations… It is probably best that I not see him.

My stomach churns, and I can taste copper and bile. Soon, I won’t be able to keep anything down… And then I’ll fall apart as my body tries to keep its shape. A moving corpse with the strings cut and the pieces falling in rotted clumps.

…I’ve been licking my lips and cutting my tongue on my teeth. Whenever I reach the privacy of my apartment I pull the sticky mess of my rebreather off my face and a lovely combination of black ooze and blood splatters my boots and my floor. My boots I keep clean. The floor may be a lost cause.

.
.
.
+++FILE DESIGNATION: 012.5-#.###.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

View
Interlude 003

The following events take place during the Warp journey back to Mauritius. They are locked to individual accounts at first (because they are private) and then they will be unlocked for everyone to see later on.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.