Into that Vast Expanse

Chief-Chirurgeon Log 7

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 007.1-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – The Cursed Wanderer+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

The Lord Captain asked Sebastian and I to prepare the pilot from the previous trip to that wretched place for a return voyage. We were going to use one of those holy atomics. He understood his duty and knew this would help purge whatever malignancy had begun growing after that previous incursion. He performed admirably and may the Emperor bless his soul. The cursed thing imploded and was sent right back to the Warp, where it belongs.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 007.2-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – The Cursed Wanderer+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

The Lord Captain ordered us to go down to Jeroboam and investigate an enormous crater. We found evidence of some false pagan religious worship occurring. Hopefully it will be easy to incorporate Him into, so as to provide a smooth transition for the lost humans.

No significant diseases detected. Will need further study once we encounter some of locals.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

View
Hero's Diary Entry 7
In Which Suspicions Are Confirmed

Dear Diary,
Our esteemed captain recently determined I ought to adopt a more prominent leadership role on the ship. Goodness knows what gave him the impression I’d have any skill in that department (leading on the Bentree twins at university notwithstanding). So far as I am able to observe, at this juncture leadership on the Collateral Damage primarily entails sending individuals to their death. For some, it’s the airlock. For others? Rocketing themselves and a massive load of weaponry into the heart of a malevolent rock formation in space. Personally, I found the entire ordeal quite distasteful. How does one properly address the condemned? It’s one thing to evict, financially ruin, or otherwise socially destroy a man, but to outright send him to his death? Horrid. Thank goodness Draque couldn’t be bothered to watch over my shoulder for that particular exercise. I’m surprised Johnston—or was it Jackson? Jenkins? Well, whatever the poor sod’s name was, I’m surprised he was able to fly straight after the amount of liquor I helped him consume. My general feelings on the matter largely being that one ought to be right and properly intoxicated when faced with their mortality. At least, it seems to have served me passably in my tenure on this vessel.

In more exciting and juicy news: the captain and Miss Victrix are, without a doubt, most certainly an item. The rest of the crew must be positively blind. Why, only a few nights ago I just happened to see a certain first officer headed into the captain’s private quarters with a bottle of quality liquor. And let’s just say she was still in there when I retired for the evening. Really, though, the icing on the cake was bearing witness to Kavik wax positively poetic about Miss Victrix’s virtues and martial prowess as we observed her hunting in the forests of Jeroboam. The captain is, naturally, keeping mum about the whole affair.

On a more personal note, our current planetside jaunt has, somewhat surprisingly, not been altogether unpleasant. Due to Kavik’s aforementioned preoccupation, he has largely left me to my own devices. I’ve seized the opportunity to take an extended constitutional and discovered a marvelous vista to capture on canvas. Furthermore, and perhaps more reason to celebrate, nothing has actively tried to kill, maim, or otherwise harm me. ‘Tis a tragically novel experience these days. Perhaps if I keep quiet and out of the way I might finally get the opportunity to enjoy myself. Granted, it’s no immaculate garden world, but it’s also not the blasted hellscapes we’ve made a habit of frequenting. Ah, well, beggars can’t be choosers and all that.

Next time, Diary, I hope to have completed the preliminary sketches of the Emperor statue Draque is commissioning for his new colony. Perhaps I’ll include them when next I write.

View
Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S7

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.7+

Draque sent one of the Atomics to perform its duty in the shattered planetoid. It was fickle and argumentative even through my guidance rites at the end of its journey, and I shall not miss it. May the Machine God help me keep the others in line until they meet their ordained purposes.

Initial genetic inspection of the population of Jeroboam yields little of interest. Another control sample is welcome, but these specimens have little I can use.

Upon my recommendation, Draque has marked the peak of Jeroboam’s most prominent volcano as the optimal site for first colonization. It should provide ample geothermal energy with little effort, as well as a source of awe to cow the aboriginals.

An impact crater on the far side of the planet shows signs of pagan worship. Though it does not bear a likeness to any heresy I have encountered, I sense that the Omnissiah’s favor does not fall fully upon the place. Draque intends to use the metal mined there to construct a statue of the Avatar.

+END DATA+

View
First Officer's Log VII
4.407.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 007-4.407.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.407.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • As planned, I met with Kavik. He listened, but whether this was a favor to a friend, or because he trusts my judgment, remains to be seen. Regardless, I have—for the time being—been assuaged of my fears.
  • Nicostratus is growing on me. I neglected to mention, as I would have with any of my men, his total bumbling idiocy in executing his latest orders. As much as I am pleased by Lt. Jenkins’ success, and hearing that both Lilyth and Thunderwrath prepared the man beforehand… Nicostratus’s failure was telling. My anger is nothing next to how Kavik would have reacted had he known the full fuckery of Hero’s bumbling words. At least he offered the man a drink. I must expect more of Hero than I had previously thought; if I am willing to shoulder his fumbles.
  • Kavik allowed some fun in the form of a hunting expedition.
  • Jeroboam seems a fit enough world for our first colony. I have some experience with natives, and believe Kavik more than capable of dealing with their request for, “our mightiest warrior.”

Emperor guide my sure strike.
It has been long since last I felt the clarity of mind which battle brings. I left the larger weaponry behind, and went forth with the Horsecleaver to confront the “Drop Bears”; apex predator’s of Jeroboam. I was reminded of my first hunts on Dust; survival based solely on my ability to destroy the meat around me. The Emperor left me on Dust to hone the skills I learned in His Name, and I am at my best while fulfilling His purpose. I am thankful that this coincides with the glory of the Draque Dynasty.

In the dark jungle, I hear xeno insects hum, the air a living thing. I feel the eyes of the predator: largest, unchallenged, silent… And not alone. But I am, I have moved ahead, and I can almost hear the creatures thirst for my flesh. They envision dropping from above, darting forward from below, and pulling at my limbs until they break and snap at the joints.

They would devour me, lunge for my throat and rip into my chest cavity… They hesitate, because while they are hungry, they are not dumb. And I, I am dangerous. I smell of one of the Emperor’s Daughters, blood, fire, and power—they wait, and I grip Horsecleaver in a loose hand.

When the first beast strikes, I allow it to push me towards its brethren hidden under the trees. My arm swings with the power of both my own strength and that of the creature which has attempted to maul me. I doubt I could repress the grin. I was correct; they are everywhere. The bright eyes of the beast see only my exposed neck, and haven’t yet realized the force of the Cleaver which already swings towards it.

When the weapon collides it makes a satisfying crunch, and the “bear” loses half its xeno face. My free hand reaches up and tears the other beast off my shoulder to throw at another; may it do my work for me. I plant the Horsecleaver into the ground and use it to stabilize a kick that smashes through the stomach and spine of another of the beasts. After that, everything becomes a wash of trajectories, potential outcomes, threats, and the blood of my enemies.

Tonight, I feast. Emperor preserves his servants.

…Kavik ordered me to meet with Lilyth to ensure that I have not contracted anything from Jeroboam. Perhaps misguided, or influenced by my energy left over after the battle, I agreed that the woman take a sample of my blood. If she asks what I am, I will tell her the truth of my heritage. She is, after all, also a part of this ’Trade Dynasty…. It is best she knows. And I have no doubt that she is a true servant of The Emperor of Man.
.
.
.

Current rations @ 78%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 007-4.407.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

View
Lord-Captain's Personal Log 7
4.407.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.407.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

Having at least partially explored the moons of Ozymandias, it was time to move on to more significant matters. My concern regarding the Wanderer had been growing for some time and we were long overdue for action. After consulting with the command staff, I determined the best course of action would be to use one of the scavenged atomics to destroy the Wanderer’s remains in the cleansing fire of the Emperor’s Wrath, and be done with it for good and all.

Lt. Jenkins, the pilot from our last recon of the Wanderer, was selected to carry his Emperor’s payload into the heart of the beast. He knew its horrors from before and proved eager to serve his final duty. Renatus and Thunderwrath prepared his soul and I gave Nicostratus the duty of informing the Lt. of his orders. If the boy is to become a soldier he must learn what it is to bear the burden of command. I fear the lesson was lost on him, however. Victrix reports that his execution of my orders was… flawed. It is no matter. There will, no doubt, be many more opportunities to repeat this particular lesson.

Jenkins will be… missed. He’s been with us since the Gate and, somehow, managed to survive. It is a rare quality in a soldier to bear such longevity and yet remain willing to do his final duty to the Emperor. He died as we must all hope to: in service to the God-Emperor of Man.

Victrix is concerned I am losing my edge. I can’t blame her. This is not the command I was bred for. The concerns of property and politics are foreign to me and have been occupying far too much of my mental landscape. Nicostratus, for all his failings, is a skilled seneschal and these concerns must be his. I, on the other hand, must remain focused on the wider view. My forces have gotten bogged down in this system. Now that Ifetchi and his people have broken ground on the colony, the Wanderer has been destroyed, and the outer moons secured, there is work to do elsewhere. We will depart this place at the earliest possible opportunity and sail for parts unknown.

For Cadia. For House Draque. And for the Emperor.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

View
Collateral Damage session 7
The light of the Emperor returns to Jeroboam

Collecting the remaining nuclear warheads on Kaph, Kavik made plans to detonate the fragments of the Wanderer and cleanse the system of its unholy presence. A warhead would need to be delivered directly to the fragments, and the delivery would be a suicide mission. Kavik and Lilyth agreed that the best man to undertake the task would be the pilot who previously flew surveyed the shattered planetoid.

Lilyth and Thunderwrath prepared the man to give his life for the Emperor by reminding him of the glory of service. Meanwhile, Kavik and Victrix decided that Herodion should learn the responsibility of ordering a man to his death. Hero carried out the task with some reluctance.

The fragments of the Wanderer appeared to react to the threat by forming themselves into a shield around a large asteroid at their core, which glowed with some unholy power. The pilot carried out his duties well and delivered the nuclear payload to the center of the mass, while Triox performed rites to ensure that the detonation signal would transmit correctly. All fragments of the planetoid were consumed in the blast.

Satisfied that the threat had been neutralized, Kavik turned his attention to the survey teams that had been scouting the garden world Jeroboam in the inner system. The Macutian colonists had begun moving there aboard the captured transport Gilded Hook and identified several potential spots for landing and colonization. Kavik picked one in a fertile valley at the base of a large volcano, intending to harness the volcano for geothermic power and impress the native primitive human population.

Triox acquired several of the humans for vivisection and examination, finding them of comparable genetic stock to the population of the doomed moons of Ozymandias. These humans had more hardiness and genetic adaptability than the others, though.

The group led a survey of a large impact crater on the opposite side of the planet, where they discovered signs of human involvement. A path was carved to down the side of the crater wall, and the center of the crater floor was scorched with fire and burns. Scattered in the cracks of the rocks were carved ivory tokens and totems of apparent religious significance.

Triox determined that the metals lining the impact crater were valuable, so Kavik ordered that excavations be started and that the materials be brought to the new colony on the other side of the planet, to be worked into a massive statue that would stand atop the volcano as a testament to the Emperor’s power. Hero began to draw it in his sketchbook.

Growing irritable at the lack of action, Victrix demanded a hunt of the native wildlife. She found satisfaction in fighting the drop bears of the equatorial forest, a vicious catlike species. Wrestling several of them hand-to-hand improved her mood, as well as her stocks of rations.

The session closed with a cliffhanger as one of the guards at the edge of the newly fabricated colony town reported that a native was requesting audience with the “greatest warrior”—speaking rough but understandable Low Gothic.

View
Chief-Chirurgeon Log 6

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 006.1-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – Nun+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

This planet has so much hidden potential, if nothing more than as scrap to help grow our outpost. We went on an almost enjoyable excursion to the planet to attempt to collect air/soil samples and to capture as much local xeno fauna as possible. This should allow me to begin my work developing a virus to spread across the planet and rid it of the foul mutant that has taken hold. The samples collected should prove quite useful. You must always find joy in doing your part of ridding the universe of the impure. Emperor Bless this endeavor.

It is something to note that the final thief of medical supplies that escaped my punishment has apparently drawn the ire of the Emperor himself for his transgressions. He was one of the under-deck mutants who accompanied us on our journey to the surface and it seems his internal corruption has blossomed outward into a horrible twisting of flesh. I am pleased he is being taken care of by Mr Crabbe’s lash for the rest of his short and miserable existence.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 006.2-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – Kaph+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

As we approached the only remaining structures we detected some kind of automated signal and came in close to investigate. The structure that was emitting the signal seemed to be some kind of strategic command bunker. It appears the inhabitants of this world had the courtesy to cleanse their wicked taint in holy atomic fire. Just as my ancestors on Krieg needed to do, though none of these wretches were doing so for the pure motives of Colonel Jurten had in cleansing the vile heretics. All parties were unclean and received the fate t hey deserved. Still the Lord Captain seems pleased with the archeotech battle servitors we were able to recover, but those pale in comparison to the big find. We found the coordinates to some un-detonated archeotech Atomic Warheads. Such a fortuitous find, we now have some means to help us destroy the Cursed Wanderer. I am almost excited by the prospect of purging its taint.

Experimentation proceeds apace.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 006.3-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – Tsadi+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

What a wretched place. I thought that decadent pleasure palace was bad enough, a gradual decay into open and blatant heresy but this place… this place… was far more insidious. It was dotted with research facilities that seemed to all feed into some kind of blasphemous device that the heretics were trying to use to create a warp incursion and allow free passage between the Warp and Real-Space. It seems like they may have even used this contraption to “pull” the Cursed Wanderer in to their system to heighten their terrible machines power.

While exploring the lower facility near this terrible machine I heard whispers and strange noises. Worried it may be some horrible Warpspawn roaming free I chased after it so that I might cleanse it. Nothing was found. I can only hope it was simply lingering Warp taint playing tricks on my mind and nothing more sinister. We collapsed one of the arms of the device so that it should not be accidentally engaged. The last thing this place needs is a fresh incursion.

I wish the Lord Captain had blessed the site with a cleansing blast from our lance battery but he felt the sabotage we staged on planet and leaving an anathema warning buoy was sufficient. Oh please Emperor let him be right.

As a final note: The lower facility that housed the nightmare machine was also bathed in higher than normal mundane radiation. I shall have to monitor the others for signs of its corrupting presence.

+++END DATA-RECORD+++

View
Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S6

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.6+

Initial orbital survey of Kaph indicates potential surviving structures beneath the ice at several locations. I have chosen one that appears to still be active in some capacity and recommended it to Draque for exploration.

First expedition to Kaph was a success. I was pleased to recover several archeotech pre-servitor designs which should serve Draque well as bodyguards for the mission. My acolytes have salvaged several archeotech atomics as well. Their machine spirits are fickle and unstable, and I hope to be rid of them as soon as my analysis is complete.

Tsadi exhibits several interesting gravitic anomalies. I will be excited to learn the source of this mystery.

Post-fetal development of clones CD-0003/1, CD-0003/2, and CD-0003/4 is proceeding well. CD-0003/3 fell subject to undesirable mutation and had to be terminated.

A construction tainted by the foulest innovation of the Dark Age was present on Tsadi. The fools, unenlightened by the wisdom of the Omnissiah, sought to power His holy machines with the accursed energy of the Immaterium. It is clear now what caused the fate that befell this system. The very presence of the device seemed to wreak havoc on minds unpurified by logic, as Renatus and Victrix fell victim to several hallucinations and fired weapons at shadows in its tunnels. I have performed rites of cleansing on the device and rendered it unable to activate again.

The Understanding of the Omnissiah has again revealed Him to me as my acolytes uncovered a device capable of manipulating gravitic forces in isolated areas free from the taint of the larger machine. Its spirit is willing, and I intend to augment my own systems with its blessed design. It is signs like this that give me the hope that Mars may yet be saved.

+END DATA+

View
First Officer's Log VI
4.321.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 006-4.321.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.321.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

I believe Lilyth may share in my love of destruction, if not my love of battle. While we approach matters differently, I believe we are more alike than I had originally believed.

  • Lilyth and I led a team back to Nun to look for samples of the rat creatures.
  • Kavik has, once again, stopped further exploration of the planet. I believe it may hold worthwhile plunder, and I am bothered that a few rats have caused enough panic that we haven’t explored the ruins.
  • It seems Herodion’s shot in the last battle was not a fluke. I look forward to training him further since it seems he doesn’t lack the aptitude. We shall begin with keeping him alive.
  • The Collateral Damage’s twistcatcher seems competent enough, if delusional and foul.

I am pleased that the boys are doing well, and in good spirits. It is good to take some time to be with my men.

  • Kaph yielded nuclear warheads. The “people” of these dead planets were not hardened by war, but they seem to have lived it. For the first time since our inception, I feel like I am aboard a Rogue Trader vessel.
  • Tsadi had some sort of mechanicus monstrosity meant to pull the Warp into reality; a horrifying prospect.
  • Lilyth and I heard something in the tunnels of the device, but could not track it, or them, down. May the Emperor grant that they were not Enemies of Man, and that Kavik’s choice to leave the planet unbombarded was well thought out.

Kavik and I have been at odds in many of his recent decisions. This is both abnormal, and worrisome. I do not believe him to be a coward, nor foolhardy, but he seems to lack discretion in both extremes, and I worry that—rather than it being me as I have assumed to this point—it is him that has been off. It is possible (however unlikely) that the stress of the new command has been clouding his judgement.

I shall endeavor to meet with him.
.
.
.

Current rations @ 49%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 006-4.321.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

View
Hero's Diary Entry 6
In Which Antiques Are Acquired

Darling Diary,

I do believe I’m finally, finally getting through to the captain. Not about the away missions, naturally, but that is its own battle which I shall strive to fight on my own terms. My own terms being very gradually, and preferably in a manner which will not result in an interior view of the airlock and lovely exterior view of the ship. In regards to that particular debate, Draque still believes it wise (despite all evidence to the contrary) to take his entire senior staff planetside on every jaunt. One can’t help but wonder about the man. However, I do suppose this time my presence might actually have been necessary. Had I not been dragged to Kaph’s surface the captain would likely have destroyed several gorgeous servitors. They were in delightfully exquisite condition for their age and the poor man had no idea the sheer value of wealth that stood before him. No. Idea. Can you even imagine? Naturally, I had to intervene before this opportunity was lost. The military may know how to wield a weapon of power, but they clearly don’t know the power of a throne. Someone has to save this poor man from himself.

Against my better judgement I accompanied Burne and Goat back down to that damnable Nun. Truth be told, it was difficult to discern whether the pounding in my head came from their insistent banging in an effort to rouse me, or from the spectacular hangover I was beginning to experience. Regardless, I good-naturedly obliged. I’m quite certain they would have stood outside my door all morning until I acquiesced. It seems the gentlemen, along with Miss Victrix were going down for a bit of sport planetside. Hindsight being what it is, I ought not have shown off quite so much in front of the old boys. Word might get round that I’m a capable sort of individual. We couldn’t have that, now could we? Draque might get ideas about putting his seneschal to work. In truth, I’d hoped a diversion would alleviate the uneasieness that has plagued me since Shin. I do wish I could put my finger on it, but I’m finding the officer’s lounge simply isn’t doing the trick.

Regardless of all that, it seems that Kavik has satisfied whatever it is precisely that led him here. Perhaps now we can establish Ifechi’s colony and get back to civilized space. Emperor take me if I am forced to endure one more meeting with that man. He is about as engaging as the reports that Medoc sends, with about half as much finesse. How Kavik expects him to lead a colony is beyond me, but I’m not about to speak up about the matter, lest he begin to eye yours truly as a viable candidate.

With any luck, when next I write it will be from a lovely beach someplace warm. It’s already been several months and Draque has made no mention of accruing vacation time.

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.