Into that Vast Expanse

Chief-Chirurgeon Log 4

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Chief-Chirurgeon Log+++
+++TEMPUS: #.###.###.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Mirv 12RB-75+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

This ill omened system bears the taint of the warp. The wretched inhabitants never knew the light of the God Emperor and for that they suffered and fell into decadence and corruption. I see the taint everywhere. This planet is cursed. This place must be cleansed. That lower level was the worst, it had a palpable weakness of the veils, the foul taste of Chaos hung in the air, the dark whispers that always plague me almost downing out His Voice. It was a start with Thunderwrath giving those souls the justice they deserve and sending them to His Light to be judged.

Ahh the Flames, so pure and unblemished. They bring forth His Light. His Will. His Embrace. Here I shall be His Light. Here I shall be His Will. I shall give all His Embrace. I have seen darkness now more than once, and it is always the same. Seductive at first, but ultimately deadly. Not just to your own soul, but the souls of those around you. That is the greatest danger of corruption and heresy. Bringing danger on yourself is egregious, but bringing danger to your comrades is the most unforgivable of transgressions. Heresy must be purged as soon as it is uncovered, and it must be uncovered as soon as possible. It is a plague that spreads, a cancer that grows, a wound that festers. The only treatment is The Emperor’s Mercy.

The “confluence” as those heathens could call it that happened with that rogue planet, “The Wanderer” just might repeat itself, we must do what we can to prevent this from happening again, especially if The Lord Captain’s plan to colonize this system is to be successful.

The boy, Herodion, I can see the same signs of corruption that the wretches on the planet exhibited. He complains too much, is vain, is soft, is coo concerned with pleasures of the flesh and worst of all is curious. He wore the Lord-Captain down on recovering that terrible arcaeotech device from the planet. Something I am ashamed to admit I did not protest more. I do not like how friendly the Engineseer is with him either. They seem to be up to something and I shall have to remain vigilant. I do not fully trust either of them.

I must meditate and purify myself, I can still feel the filth of that place on my skin.

+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

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Lord-Captain's Personal Log 4
4.260.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.260.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

This place is ill-favored. When we first arrived in this system, a chill swept through the crew and it was only by the assertion of my iron will that I succeeded in averting a potentially catastrophic panic. Now, I know why.

The arcology on the icy satellite – designated Shin by our Astromancer – contained extensive historical records. It appears that the destruction of the colony occurred during a “perfect alignment of the planets”, creating the design of an eight-pointed star. This horrific omen was made ever-worse by the arrival of what the colonists referred to as “the Wanderer”. It seamlessly incorporated into the stellar alignment, producing the nine-pointed mark of the Changer. May the Emperor be our Light and our Shield in this dark place. It was then that the cold star was snuffed out and became the super-dense gas giant Ozymandias. At some point the rest of the outposts were destroyed and the Wanderer was shattered.

I ordered High Ecclesiarch Thunderwrath to take his acolytes and cleanse the arcology of the heresy and death within with the Emperor’s holy flame. However, the expedition was not a complete loss. Triox was able to recover artefacts of significant value from the ruins before the cleansing. They certainly originate from the Dark Age of Technology, but appear to be free of the taint the infects the rest of this place. The people here never knew the cleansing light of the God-Emperor of Man and paid dearly for it. It seems that the Ecclesiarchal colony that Deacon Ifechi originally intended to found would be well placed in this system. I will have to consider this matter again after a further exploration of the system.

Nicostratus appears to have taken his first brush with heresy rather poorly. However, he managed to hold it together until we had cleared the largest structure of the arcology. To his credit, I have seen Guardsmen collapse into a gibbering heap at first contact with horrors of Chaos. He has potential, this is certain. I merely hope I can keep him alive until he realizes it himself.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

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Collateral Damage session 4
Ancient ruins hold twisted secrets

Upon close inspection four of the satellites of the gas giant designated Ozymandias were confirmed to contain archaic ruins. Kavik insisted on leading a team to investigate them for ancient artifacts and other resources.

The first moon chosen for survey was Shin, an icy orb covered in perpetual blizzards. The only spot of interest on the planet was a large domed arcology in the southern hemisphere. Entering the arcology the team saw what was once a lush and beautiful garden city, full of dead terraces and dry canals. In the center of the city was an ornate palace. Inside, Hero was immediately drawn to the map that indicated a grand auditorium within the structure.

On their way to the auditorium, the team found the first human body draped on a staircase. Though it was desiccated and rotten, Lilyth was able to identify the cause of death as a gut wound caused by a sharp, hooked implement. The auditorium itself proved to be full of more bodies arranged in seats, most naked and unharmed though some had similar gut wounds.

At the center of the auditorium was a glass-knobbed orb that Triox determined to be an image projector. Lilyth’s intuition said that it was dangerous and heretical, but after much discussion Kavik ordered that it be activated. It treated the team to a holographic historical dramatization of the colonization of the system, ending with an inauspicious celestial alignment that caused a warp incursion that spanned multiple planets. As a result, a wandering rogue planet was destroyed and the system’s minor star (Ozymandias) was snuffed and reduced to a gas giant.

During the history presentation, Victrix explored the palace substructure. She found a darkened room full of dead, dried bodies and the cutting implements that they had used on each other in ritual murder-suicide. She was further unsettled by freak incidents of light and sound in the room, perhaps daemonic in nature.

His curiosity satisfied, Kavik concluded that the entire arcology had succumbed to Chaos and ordered it cleansed. Sebastion Thunderwrath and Lilyth led a team of acolytes to scorch the interior of the palace from top to bottom while Triox’s attendants removed any useful artifacts that appeared to be untainted.

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Non-Technical Records of Genetor Kalin S3

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

Draque informed me of his intent to ferry some menials to a backwater system to start a colony. I hope some profit can be made of the venture so it is not wholly a loss.

Draque has executed a traitor. Signs of physically-enhanced interrogation were present. I have taken the opportunity to build rapport with Subject CD-0003 slightly. I can see that Draque intends to use it as a lesson the the crew, #3 included. Should #3 require a shoulder to cry on, I shall see that mine is available.

I have joined Subject CD-0003, along with the quartermaster and master at arms, for a “party.” This experience has redoubled my belief that the flesh must be improved lest it fail due to its inherent weakness.

We have located the ship Draque was pursuing and apprehended it. Draque has taken command, and intends its use as a colonial transport.

The system is more interesting than I had anticipated and may yet reveal secrets of use to me. Surveys are under way.

+END DATA+

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Chief-Chirurgeon Log 3

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Chief-Chirurgeon Log +
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Koronus Expanse+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

The captain asked that the first officer and I interrogate a traitor. I have never been one to talk to traitors, always preferred to give them a quick bolt round to the back of the head but I think between the two of us we managed to extract what we needed. After cleaning the loathsome coward up the Lord-Captain ordered the traitor be dumped out the airlock into raw Warp denying the traitor even the Emperor’s Mercy. He is a hard and just man.

I received a report that some supplies were still going missing and when I summoned the suspected crewman he chose to disappear into the bilge. He was caught by the twist catcher who seemed to have a use for the now seemingly corrupt outward as well as inward deserter. Good riddance, though I do wish I could have set another example.

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Chief-Chirurgeon Log +
+++TEMPUS: #.###.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Koronus Expanse+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

We finally caught up with the Gilded Hook and made short work of their ship. The cowardly pirate surrendered with no losses to our crew. Once aboard he lied like an Eldar trying to save his pathetic life, though to his credit he did not implicate too much of his crew. The captain ordered him and his command staff executed and his ship and cargo seized. The colonists seem eager to begin setting up and the regular crew seems eager to have them gone. We are currently surveying the surrounding system for possible colony sites.

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Hero's Diary Entry 3
In Which My Wardrobe is Imperiled

Dear Diary,
Now, I don’t mean to complain. Far be it from me to do something as gauche as speak ill of my captain. But some of the things that man has subjected me to recently are downright atrocious and, to be quite blunt, a bit barbaric. Apparently one of the crew had been working for two masters and was foolish enough to get caught. I mean, honestly, it’s one thing play that sort of game on a planet where you’re free to come and go (or at the very least make yourself scarce), but on a ship? Clearly the woman was in over her head. Draque called us all to what I assumed was going to be another of his tedious staff meetings, but instead he had decided to try his hand at theatrics. After what I’m sure he considered a moving speech about traitors and something about trust and something else (I wasn’t honestly paying all that much attention until the end) he made us watch as he sent the poor girl into the cold void of space. Certainly not how I would have handled the situation.

To take my mind off such dreadful business (and to make up for an absolutely appalling lunch with Deacon Ifechi) I met up with the boys for a bit of fun in the officer’s mess. Messaged out to both Triox and Miss Victrix, but the latter was apparently indisposed. Can’t help but wonder if perhaps she was with the captain? Still don’t have a particularly good read on those two. Must make a note to pay closer attention. I’m sure there is some absolutely delicious story about how those two ended up together. At anyrate, Triox joined us in the hall and we had an excellent time all around. Very nearly forgot about the whole, nasty affair. That is, until the captain dragged my somewhat hungover person into another meeting and off-ship mission.

I think that, perhaps, that either myself or the captain are unclear as to what my duties aboard this vessel ought to be. At every opportunity he seems to think it his job to educate me in the ways of his world and include me in the most grim and messy of tasks. I suppose I may as well indulge him, since he is technically holding the purse strings for the moment. However, if I have to witness the captain execute one more person I am going to start inquiring about these summons ahead of time. I’d much rather not ruin what limited wardrobe I’ve got.

When next I write, Diary, I’ll update you on what treasures we’ve found in this new system. It’s been ages since I’ve done some proper antique appraisal.

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Lord-Captain's Personal Log 3
4.254.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.254.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

Ah, it has been a fine few weeks.

It is fortuitous to have been given the opportunity so early in our voyage to make an example of a traitor to the crew. It appears the commercial cargo-master was receiving payments from the Montressor Dynasty. Whether this was an innocent mistake on her part or not is of no consequence. She had to be made example of. Victrix and Lilyth handled the interrogation adequately, but there was little riding on its outcome. For the future, it would be wise to have a crewman better trained in the interrogative arts. The exercise was primarily for Nicostratus’s benefit, as he is still becoming accustomed to our way of doing things. However, I’m sure the entirety of the crew heard my message loud and clear: I do not tolerate betrayal.

Our pursuit of the Gilded Hook was not in vain! It appears they were headed to the planned destination to ransack archeotech ruins in the area. Orpheus’s skilled navigating put us in the Mirv 12RB-75 system not far behind Sarles Canseco and his vessel. I hailed the man and determined that his corruption had spread more than I had even initially suspected. He had committed fully to the pirate persona and, sealing his fate, bore the overt marks of xenos influence. I issued demands that he surrender himself to the Emperor’s Mercy. However, he refused and we were forced to pursue and engage.

I am pleased to report that the crew has successfully completed their first ship-to-ship combat operation. The performance of the gunnery and Enginarium crews was exemplary. Triox’s performance with regard to the artefact Castellan void shield array was particularly outstanding. I dare say he and his men saved us from significant unpleasantness. I had expected more glitches in our first combat, but – other than some minor issues in ops and the Collateral Damage’s targeting systems – it went rather smoothly. Victrix is to be commended for drilling the crew so fiercely. Also, though we suffered no casualties, I have received reports the Medicae deck crew is performing over and above expectations.

After defeating his cowardly tactics, I boarded Sarles’ ship with the senior staff and my storm troopers. We rapidly seized control of main ship systems and I confronted the Captain on the bridge. I read him his sentence in accordance with Arbites custom and military law, then offered him an opportunity to repent. He refused to repent his heinous activities, but he also did not implicate his crew in his misconduct. I am pleased that he showed at least that much honor. And, so, I delivered a quick execution to Sarles and his command crew. The colony materials were quickly returned to Ifetchi and his people. The general crew of the Gilded Hook seems willing to continue in my service. Naturally, I’ll have to keep an eye on them, but having a second vessel to oversee the Emperor’s latest colony must be counted as a positive outcome.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.328.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Mirv 12RB-75+++
+++RECORDING BEGINS+++

After several weeks, the system survey reports I requested have finally come in. It appears there was more to this place than initially met the eye. I have dispatched orders to begin investigating possible landing sites for the colonists. In the meantime, however, the command crew and I will begin exploring the archeotech ruins on the moons orbitting the gas giant designated Ozymandias. Certainly, such explorations pose security concerns, but I must admit that my curiosity outweighs any fears. Furthermore, it is our sacred duty to the Emperor and the Imperium of Man to unearth whatever untold wonders these ruins may hold.

+++RECORDING ENDS+++

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Hero's Diary: Entry #2
In Which A Gourmand is Wronged

Dearest Diary,

I’m afraid to say that I shan’t be making it off this pitiable ship. It may sound melodramatic, but there’s simply no way around it. The provisions are just atrocious and I’m not sure how much longer I can take it! The crew attempted to have an inaugural feast for the captain and crew when we finally arrived on the Collateral Damage. I shudder to think what the culinary staff would have struggled to pass as provender before I intervened. Gracious. As it is, the best they could muster off what I believed to be VERY EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS was some frozen poultry in a sort of viscous liquid they claimed was gravy. Honestly, it’s as if these people never tasted proper food before.

To add insult to injury, the captain seems to be under the impression that I’m to directly interact with the unwashed masses of the empire. Just the other day he had me interrogating refugees at the Temple Gate. Can you believe it?! Me? Refugees. Unbelievable and completely below one of my rank. Naturally, I obliged. Familiar as I am to the droll nonsense of politics, this did not seem a battle of wills worth dueling. As luck would have it I ran into Miss Victrix and the a few of the ship staff by the name of Burne and Goat on board the station. They seem to be a bit rough around the edges, but are not altogether intolerable. In an a charmingly misguided attempt to welcome me into their ranks, they saw fit to take me out for drinks and to equip me with a weapon. A weapon! I mean, really. It’s one thing to train with a rapier or a dueling pistol, but the size of the device—a “hellgun,” I believe—rendered it nearly unusable. I’ve no idea why the vendor would even sell a weapon that massive and unwieldy. Surely the market in novelties can’t be that prosperous? And besides, it’s not as if I’m to see any combat in this position. Still, it was a lovely gesture on their part.

Oh! I’ve nearly forgotten to tell you about my new comrade, Triox. As it turns out, I completely misjudged the fellow. He may be a bundle of wires and circuitry, but he has far better manners than nearly anyone on this crew. Once again, Draque insisted on sending me on some menial task looking for star charts on Footfall. Speaking of dreadful locations. It reminds me of that awful time when we were on holiday on Okeanos Prime. The simulated ocean was down for repairs, and we were forced to amuse ourselves on the beach for the better part of a week. But I digress. As we perused the stalls and queried the locals Triox and I had an absolutely lovely conversation. He inquired after the family and seemed to be the first person who has genuinely taken an interest in my opinions. In fact, we took tea together just a few days ago. The poor chap desperately needs a new set, which I shall endeavor to acquire posthaste.

Well, that’s all I have for now, Diary. If I survive the continued assault on my epicurean sensibilities I shall write again soon. If not, farewell, and I pray justice is rendered unto the chef.

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First Officer's Log III
4.254.041.M42

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 003-4.254.041.M42+++
+++TEMPUS: 4.254.041.M42+++
+++LOCATION: Merv 12RB-75+++
+++DATA-RECORD+++

  • Captain asked for Lilyth Renatus and I to ascertain the innocence of one Winthers.
  • Lilyth applied exact precision while questioning. Winthers probably babbled to stop the pain, but did confess to the crime. She was subsequently made an example of, although I rest uneasy that she was left to the Warp and not to the sword.
  • Ran my “Endless Wheel” training for some crew who had been falling behind.
  • Practiced duel-wielding Heavy Stubbers, I will need more training before this is a viable combat option. Much easier to duel-wield Hellsent Flamers.
  • Caught the Gilded Hook.
  • Battle was negligible, but I did get the pleasure of separating the youngest Canseco’s head from his shoulders. I approve of Kavik Draque’s swift justice to those who truck with Xeno artifacts and piracy against the Imperium of Man.
  • Merv 12RB-75 does seem to have a hospitable planet for the colonists.

Current rations @ 98%

+++FILE DESIGNATION: 003-4.254.041.M42+++
+++DATA-RECORD//END+++

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Collateral Damage session 3
Give no mercy to the traitor

Shortly after leaving Footfall in pursuit of the Gilded Hook to regain Deacon Ifechi‘s stolen colony cargo, the Master of Whispers informed Kavik that a potential traitor had been found aboard the ship taking money from the Montresor Dynasty. Kavik ordered Lilyth and Victrix to interrogate the woman (the commercial cargomaster), who confessed under torture to being in the Montresors’ employ. Kavik commanded that the crew watch as she was thrown out of the airlock into the Warp.

Lilyth was also informed of a traitor within her medicae ranks, a crewman who had been stealing medicines. Rather than face his fate he fled to the Twistcatcher who agreed to harbor him. The crewman had developed severe mutations and was stealing supplies to self-medicate, but he could not twist his flesh back into shape. The extent of his mutations was not known, but Crabbe referred to him as “quite handsy”.

Herodion took dinner with Ifechi and learned the dreary ins and outs of colony establishment. He had a much wilder night in the senior officers’ lounge with Burne & Goat. Triox was also invited.

Exiting the Warp in the system designated by Ifechi’s starcharts, the Collateral Damage found it had caught up with Sarles Canseco. Kavik gave Sarles a chance to confess his crimes and repent, but Sarles refused. Overpowering the other man’s ship, Kavik boarded and killed the top crew and claimed the vessel as his own.

In the following weeks, survey teams returned with information about the system as a whole as well as a habitable planet with good prospects for colonization. Initial reports also suggested the presence of some archaic ruins on the moons of one of the system’s gas giants.

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