Into that Vast Expanse

Lord-Captain's Personal Log 6
4.321.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.321.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

Our survey of the planetoids orbiting the cold remains of Ozymandias is finally complete. Plans have been set into motion to exploit each of these worlds to the highest degree possible. After the debacle on Nun, Renatus has made it her personal mission to rid that world of its verminous inhabitants. I have given her my blessing to proceed with the design and implementation of a tailored virus, which we can put use on a planetary scale at a future date.

The exploration of Kaph was particularly profitable. We discovered and disabled several ancient combat servitors, two of which I am having Enginseer Kalin renovate for use as personal guards. The rest, I will put into stasis for sale or trade at a later date. Nicostratus assures me that they are worth something to the right collector. It would please me greatly to learn that he is right. On Kaph, we also discovered a significant network of long-range atomic warhead delivery systems, some of which had not been fired. With the help of Enginseer Kalin and his acolytes, we were able to determine that some of the devices remain effective. These were recovered to the ship for future use. An excellent find!

Next, we explored Tsadi, the final habitable body in this part of the system. It appears the ancient residents used this place as a site for their unholy research. At the center of their operations, we discovered a structure dedicated to producing a “transubstantiation veil” into the warp itself. In order to prevent others from tapping into the horrors of this place, I ordered the linear accelerators destroyed and the main test chamber sealed. We also dropped warning buoys to warn future travellers away. I hope to the God-Emperor that they listen.

My next step is to put one of those atomics to use. With the God-Emperor’s blessing and a little bit of luck, the Wanderer won’t be plaguing us for much longer.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

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Collateral Damage session 6
Exploring the last of the Ozymandias system

Victrix led a survey team back to Nun to continue a biological assessment of the planet. Lilyth took samples of the mutated rat population and collected a few live specimens. One of Sebastian Crabbe’s mutant team was waylaid by a larger rat-princeling, which Lilyth and Victrix failed to capture. Meanwhile, Herodion took shots at the smaller rats with Burne & Goat and earned some respect.

As the orbit of Kaph approached, Kavik led an away team to that planet, a war-torn ruin of a once monumental civilization. Triox detected a radio signal from a bunker and the team landed to investigate. The signal originated from a command center in the bunker and controlled a squad of bodyguard robots, which a combination of bullets and programming were able to subdue.

The command center also held a holographic tactical display of the globe, indicating strategic targets in a long-dead global thermonuclear war. A few warheads were active and could be salvaged. Kavik made clear his intentions to use them to detonate the fragments of the Wanderer.

The final planet of the system to visit was Tsadi, home to a large number of gravitational and electromagnetic anomalies across its surface. Three large, low spoke-like structures converged on a central lab complex surrounded by geodesic domes built over the individual anomalies.

Exploring the lab, the team made their way to the lower chamber where the three spokes intersected. Triox examined the mechanics and determined that they were designed to focus accelerated particles onto a central platform in the middle of the chamber. The last recorded log described a successful breakthrough of the “transubstantiation veil” into a realm of limitless energy. Heresy! Kavik had some melta-charges brought in to demolish one of the acceleration tunnels and deactivate the device.

Lilyth and Victrix chased sounds down the tunnels but came up with nothing. Triox’s acolytes searched the labs for a week and uncovered a mysterious artifact with portable powers of gravity manipulation.

Satisfied that they had picked the gas giant’s moons clean, the crew set off to land a colony on the newly surveyed Jeroboam.

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Chief-Chirurgeon Log 5

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 005.1-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – The Wanderer+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

After realizing the full taint this system faced the Lord-Captain ordered investigation of “The Wanderer”. I counseled that perhaps it would be best to simply destroy the foul rogue planet, however the Lord-Captain ordered a close in scan. My fears were realized as the crew psyker was subject to possession from a daemonic presence. Had our Choir-Master not been as strong willed the presence might have been far more difficult to deal with. The craft was allowed to dock and the pilot was recovered and is being kept under close observation, however the warp still lingered on the craft and corpse of the psyker. Both were cleansed.

Thunderwrath thinks that we may be able to bless the lance battery to purify the shattered hell-mouth and I have sent out inquiries to my military, inquisitorial and even my few Astartes contacts for assistance in helping to purge the taint within this system. Hopefully something will turn up or I fear we may need to simply declare this place Anathaema to human life and seek a new system for our colony.

+++End DATA-RECORD+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 005.2-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75 – The Wanderer+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

Nun, a place I could almost call comfortable. It’s atmosphere poisoned only marginally more than Krieg. The Lord-Captain ordered full void-seal, though I suspect my normal away mission attire would have more than sufficed. The bulky suits felt like overkill.

We set out to find any suitable untainted archeotech for exploitation and landed on what appeared to be a hab-block of sorts. Like all other construction we have seen the hedonism and decadence was evident in their spacious, near opulent, construction. We quickly discovered however that this building was infested with some kind of rodent-beast. We were set upon by these creatures and forced to flee back to the rooftop. If these monsters were the corrupted mutations of the former inhabitants or filthy xeno it made no matter. The Emperor’s purifying light touched them and granted them judgment the same. They appeared to be some kind of hive with an obvious “queen” that we dispatched handily. Structural damage was minor.

I suspect the Lord-Captain will still seek to investigate this scarred hive, though we now know it is not as dead as it seems and will need to go back with more appropriate force. I have to admit, I am actually a bit excited for the inevitable exterminatus we shall have to conduct. Perhaps I can speak to our Engineseer, his knowledge of biology is vast, and develop a virus bomb to poison these pests…

+++End DATA-RECORD+++

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Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S5

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.5+

Astromantic analysis of the Ozymandias sub-system indicates inauspicious alignment of planetoids in conformance with Chaos symbology. Extinction events on planetoids coincide with a “wanderer” rogue planet entering the system, completing symbology of the Changer of Ways (Omnissiah grant us the will to resist his designs).

Draque sent a two-man craft through the ruins of the Wanderer. Contact was lost, but a malign presence assaulted the psyker. The ship was destroyed without my consultation, at loss of potentially valuable data. I have lodged a formal complaint with Draque.

We have completed initial investigation of Nun. The planet’s atmosphere is unsuitable for habitation. Previous hab blocks have been extensively corroded and are now inhabited by mutant rats. Estimated chances of valuables to be recovered: .0063%. Augmented Potentia Coil performed above expectations with the rite of the Ferric Lure.

+END DATA+

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First Officer's Log V
005-#.###.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 005-#.###.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • I received censure for my unprofessional actions on Shin.
  • Kavik ordered a ship into the remains of “The Wanderer.” The Psycker became an infected monstrosity, and the shuttle had to be destroyed. Both the Choirmaster and the pilot of the shuttle are in intensive care under Lylith’s watchful eye.
  • Kavik decided to explore Nun under the assumption that we could be chased out of the system at any moment. This seems small minded (if tactically sound).
  • Worried about how Herodion was coping with his first brush with the true nature of the universe, and deciding that we will being working with each other for the foreseeable future, I made a foray towards friendship. He is good enough at tactics that, perhaps, we can make a habit of this. Recognizing his brothers-in-arms will be important to not feeling isolated.
  • I will design a training program specifically for Herodion. While he seems disdainful of artillery; he managed fine in battle. However, given his personality, he should have the tools to survive a Duel. It shall be a good way of alleviating the boredom of travel.

Whether xeno or human, I am always pleased to see the tenacity of life in even the most adverse of situations. The Emperor can always use men that have been forged in steel but unbent by Corruption. The horror of the Xeno provides an enemy for which to sharpen the quality of man.

The desire to roast the flesh of the beast, to devour and consume the enemy is nigh irresistible. A new enemy, understood and digested, yet another tempering of my soul for the Glory of the Emperor of Man. Forged as an arm of the Callidus Temple, trained as a weapon, and polished in the forgotten Wilds of the galaxy… I will survive, and I will overtake in the name of both the God-Emperor and the Draque Dynasty.

  • Nun offered battle in the form of giant mutant rats which were living in the walls of a hab block.
  • The command crew fought them off and descended to a park to consider their next move.
  • I believe, strongly, that we should send small teams to search for useful artifacts before lancing the entire orb from space: the xeno, while detestable, is hardly warranting of hiding in the skirts of the Collateral Damage.

Swarms are fun because you can’t always judge them based on their reactions. Sure, there is a basic instinctual group mentality, but you never know when a part is going to go rogue. Unfortunately, pack animals tend to be pretty stupid when they’re threatened. Vicious, but not a challenge.

It is, however, satisfying to pull a horde apart. Even if you can eviscerate one: the mass keeps moving. The challenge of keeping track of each small body moving, twisting, acting and feinting, struggling and striving… The thrill of a successful kill, without the letdown of the end of a fight—reacting, gauging, laying waste… And in the end, satisfaction at a job well done.

There is nothing like the thrill of battle, the closeness of death to remind a soldier that they are alive.

Att:
- Tentative training regime for Herodion.
- Practical suggestions for Kavik (he favors his left side and needs a reminder to look up).
- Analysis of Triox’s battle abilities.
- Pych-to-Effectiveness of Lilyth. The concern of sloppiness in return for zeal: “so far, so good.”

Current rations @ 51%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 005-#.###.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

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Hero's Diary Entry 5
In Which A Terrible Realization is Had

Dearest Diary,
You must forgive me. I feel as though I’ve spent much of the past week in a bit of a fog, though after the events on Shin one can hardly blame me. To make matters worse, it seems my usual distractions have quite failed to ease the general unpleasantness I’ve experienced since we left that foul moon. And, to be perfectly honest, I doubt anything on Draque’s scow of disappointment will ever really suffice. I suppose there really are some things that one can’t solve with liberal application of wine or women. What an unenviable lesson to learn!

Miss Victrix has been quite sweet about the whole ordeal. Not really my type, mind you (and I imagine the captain would airlock me in a moment if he suspected anything), but in her own way she’s been looking after me. I knew there was more to the first officer than that militant exterior let on. We’ve taken to playing strategy games in the officer’s lounge. She has tried, in her own charming, gruff way, to ensure that I’m adjusting to life on the ship. I was as diplomatic as I could be while giving her what she wanted—a mostly candid answer. Her world view is admirably simple. To lead her on a chase through the politics of conversation seemed unkind.

And, of course, no entry would be complete without mention of Draque’s latest foray into the many new and exciting ways to put yours truly in harm’s way. Another away mission, damn him. I’ve all but resigned myself to the fact that somewhere out in this lost and forgotten expanse of the universe, I am going to die an ignominious death at the hands of some foul creature. Hang it all, I am far too handsome and clever to die in such a fashion! I had always imagined more of a dramatic duel against multiple assassins, or perhaps a poisoning at the hands of a rival. Not horrific, mutated rat-creatures scrabbling at my beautiful corpse.

With any luck, Diary, the next time I write I’ll have convinced the Captain I’m far too valuable to send on these dangerous excursions.

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Collateral Damage session 5
Corruption of the mind and body lurk within

The previous session saw the revelation that the asteroid cluster orbiting Merv 12RB-75 in a retrograde orbit was in fact the remnants of the Wanderer rogue planet, whose conjunction with the satellites of Ozymandias caused a planetary-scale Warp incursion several thousand years ago. Kavik ordered that the cluster be further investigated.

A scout team sent to the cluster encountered radio interference and then psychic attack, returning with an undead psyker aboard who attempted to attack the crew before being gunned down by the Collateral Damage‘s stormtroopers. Lilyth placed the surviving pilot and the ship’s Choirmaster under observation.

Sebastion Thunderwrath suggested that the shattered, unholy fragments could be exorcised with sanctified planetary bombardment. Kavik and Lilyth sent out feelers to their contacts in the Battlefleet and Inquisition to ascertain the availability of this weaponry.

Scouting and investigation continued on the ruins on the moons of Ozymandias. Kavik led his team to Nun, a once-populous planet now covered in a shroud of toxic fog as the result of chemical warfare. The away team set down on top of a ruined hab-complex and made their way inside.

Victrix flushed out a group of indigenous rat-like creatures that had adapted to the toxic environment and made their home in the walls of the structure. The horde proved to be very dangerous, and the group made a fighting retreat for the stairs while Triox used magnetic attraction to collapse the ceiling.

On the roof, Lilyth held off further swarms of rats with her flamethrower while the troops battled off the hideous rat hivequeen and her rat-princelings. Finding the scene too dangerous, Kavik ordered an escape across the monorail tracks to a neighboring hab-complex, where another shuttle retrieved the crew.

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Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S4

+READ DATA STORAGE DESIGNATE: COLLATERAL DAMAGE S.3+

We just returned from reconnaissance on Shin. The ruins held signs of ancient tech, but little of use could be recovered. An ancient device of quite ingenious construction had been put to use as an entertainment object, but was unfortunately perverted by the forces of Chaos. I am concerned by the crew’s willingness to sacrifice #3 to its own inexperience. The two possible outcomes of this pattern, an increase in #3’s abilities or its destruction, are both unfavorable to my research timeline. I will consider means of dealing with this.

Several devices of archeotech origin that may be of use were recovered. See records S.30142-S.30147 for in-depth analysis. I have retrofitted the power coils of the entertainment device to augment my own potentia coil, with favorable results.

+END DATA+

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First Officer's Log IV
4.260.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 004-4.254.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.260.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • Put together a landing party for Shin, and went planet-side. Typical conditions for an arctic planetoid, but no signs of life.
  • The hab-domes of Shin hearkened from an age of decadence long before our time. The entire layout of the “city” was nonsensically extravagant, and indefensible.
  • I agreed with Lilyth in that the ruins did not stink of Chaos or Xeno, but that the long-dead sacrifices seemed a wholly human folly.
  • After examining the main chamber, I decided to leave my companions to deal with the technology. Following our original plans, I continued to case the central building.
  • The constant and cloying smell of the dead remained; an unsettling element in a civilization many hundreds of years left in the grave. When I descended into the basement, I discovered the silo for their sacrificial tools.
  • The lights began to act in a purposeful way. Against my better judgement, and as though I was a young cadet, I fired rounds into the ceiling. This alerted my companions. Here, here, was the controlled taint of old and festering Chaos.
  • Shin will be gutted for profit, and then burned for cleansing. I am a soldier, and while I understand the need for pausing… Leaving the system as is—does not sit well with me. Perhaps, I have seen too much.

While I was below, the rest of the command crew determined that the entire system experienced a Chaos incursion many years ago. Lilyth’s unsettled eyes—wide and seeing a different slaughter than the dim rust and blood-encrusted weapons of the basement—lead me to believe that we must tread lightly here.

I had thought that my tendency to suspect the shadows around me—trained for many years into my veins, and then reinforced by sleeping in the trenches of Dust—would not extend to the flickering shadows of Chaos. I dislike this new, or perhaps old, enemy. I long for the opportunity to fight—rather than jump at shadows.

As for my fellow officers… Triox is as inscrutable in this as he is in all things. Hero seems shaken. Like a young soldier first in the field; if he can overcome this confrontation he will be better for it, but forever changed. Draque, while clearly assessing the situation with the eyes of a new Rogue Trader, seems to be keeping the calm rule of logic; and for this—my old friend—I am envious.

Current rations @ 53%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 004-4.260.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

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Hero's Diary: Entry 4
I am never awaying again

Dear Diary,
I want to go home. I want to go home more than I have wanted a great deal many other things and also I might be a touch on the inebriated side but if you blame me for that well then you have not seen the terrible things that i saw on that horrid, forsaken abomination of a polanet. and I didn’t even see them, really. Don’t know what they are. Thought eerything was going to be fine but it wasn’t. It won’t. Nthing is fine. I saw something or didn’t see it? Im nto really sure, but nobody is okay with what we might have seen. Not even the baptain or Victrix or any of those other lot that do horrible, nasty, brutish work all the damn time. I want to go home. Please. I just wnat a bath and some real, decent food and to forget that this all ever hapepned or existed. I miss my friends. I miss muy sisters. I don’t think I’ll see any of them ever agaibn and I don’t think I ever really expalined or said goodbye. I never even said goodbye. Not that father wil really miss me, but tht’s not who I am really concerned about here. He never really was converned about any of us, but my poor darling sisters, what shall they do without me? And yes, I am sure you are reading this and muttering and alughing to yourself, Medoc, but qite frankly I don’t give a damn and if I do live long enough to see the end of my tenure on this dmaneable ship you can best be sure you’ll be getting your compuppance directly from yours truly. But for right now my glas is not ever going to be empty until my head is full and I don’t see waht’s going on in my mind anymore. Goodbye diary, because the floor is gently speaking to me and seems nice and cool and comfortable. I am just going to lay down for a while. May I never wke up and do an away mission again.

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