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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Wulfgar picks through the sack carefully, looking through for any sign of blasphemy from the Witch's corpse, and upon struggling through the titles of the books begins to regret his decision to leave them to be destroyed. None of them seem to invoke witchery, so he begins withdrawing them from the sack and piling them at his feet. "The dead have no need for physical goods, Captain, nor pity. They died well, and stand now at the Emperor's side in readiness to join the Final Battle." The last of the books extricated, the Assassin closes the bag once more and tosses it back to his pilot. "You may dispose of those as you see fit. I will need to take these tomes, however, for my Master."

    His response to the rest, however, is quite confused. "What are you referring to? And what are those things? I fear I do not understand."
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    "Command received, Captain. Transmitting data packets to Command, Unit designation Kutot Nar. Proceeding with transmission."

    After politely commandering the vox operator's set, Yarach did his best to set up a secure communications channel, and identify the frequency that the Inquisitor had been broadcasting on.

    "Brevet Lieutenant Yarach, of Cell: Ratcatchers reporting. Authorization code: 831461834792-RA-YAR. Unit: Ratcatchers inbound on Sibellus Steel. Takaran and Westingkrup irregulars assisting. Captives: 4. Officer class of raiding unit on Sibellus Steel. Wounded aboard. Orders, Inquisitor?"

    After the broadcast, Yarach ambles over to Alexei, and interrupts him before he can put his cigar out on the prisoners face. "If this unit might execute this action, Captain?" Assuming he gets an affirmative response, he pries the prisoner's eyelids apart, and then stubs out the cigar in the mans pupil.

    "Heresy blinded this unit; this punishment: fitting."

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Alexei is more than happy to let Yarach engage in unnecessary cruelty, and barks a horrific laugh as he carries out the burning of the heretic's eye.

    He really liked this Yarach guy, now. He was the kinda guy that he could hang out with and torture folk and shoot up bad guys with. He wasn't an idiot either, unlike that moron that puked everywhere.

    Today was a pretty good day, if he ignored the gunshot wounds.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

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    Apologies for the delay [and the brevity], folks. Got bamboozled by meatspace matters.

    I estimate… they should be arriving at Sibellus in one to two updates’ time. Hope that’s peachy with y’all.


    ~~~

    Salleh taps the small case of spikes against the edge of the console in the same way as one would tap a pack of lho-sticks.

    "Needler shots" she says while banking the craft around the still-smoking crater. "Blowgun, handbow, needle rifle... or plain-ass stiletto, if you prefer. That is..."

    The craft levels off and resumes its course, as well as a respectable cruising speed, back towards Sibellus, if Wulfgar is any judge by the few bits of scrolling text he could decipher off the navigation display. His pilot’s demeanour suddenly changes, the tone becoming like that of a juve with her hand caught squarely in the cookie jar. “…aww. Damn it. I don’t suppose there’s any way I could convince you to leave behind a spare new-tech data-spike to sell on the black market?”

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    Confirm?
    Does Wulfgar give the books more than a cursory glance across the titles? If so, that’ll be a Search test, please. +10 because of the more or less stable situation at present.


    ~~~

    Meanwhile, though Yarach is able to transmit his response to the Inquisitor’s call, the line suddenly crackles with a storm of static. The only solid returns he’s able to glean are the words “station”, “guard” and “protects”.

    A quick glance outside, along with the awed murmurs of the soldiers and survivors around them reveals the source of the electronic disturbance. Even as the sun begins to set across the Scintillan plains, two new suns blaze through the wounded sky. Pieces of debris break off in seemingly graceful contrails as the two burning spacecraft plummet.

    The smoke and screams from the half-blinded heretic, now sagging in his chains, are drowned out by the thunderous impact as the larger one, what seems to be a civilian cargo hauler, crashes into the ground in a great bloom of dust and flame.

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    Medicae check to stabilize Lieutenant “Cyclops” Howard there? +10 due to the lack of immediate danger. Or leave it be?

    +0 Lore: Tech
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    Yep. One’s a civilian cargo hauler, the other’s an aerospace shuttle. Milspec.


    Urist:
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    *Gets a +20 on the Lore: Tech check on account of his AdMech status.
    -30 Tech-Use test, please.
    Spoiler
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    He’s able to hear the dying feelings of the machine spirits of those two burning craft. The former is protesting its innocence and bemoaning its fate. The latter is roaring defiance at its doom; curses at the commanders who failed to send it to a glorious death in a true battlefield, curses at the Administratum drones who failed to give its countless [dead] crew good dang weapons, curses at the pilot who failed it at the end.


    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2012-11-20 at 10:06 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Yarach looks in awe upon the destruction wrought. He has seen much destruction in the last few days, but the power which has been brought to bear upon the Scintillan plains is far beyond his understanding.

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    Common Lore(Tech):(1d100)[91] TN:38+20(AdMech)=58
    Tech Use: (1d100)[8] TN:38-30(Very Hard)=18


    Disregarding them for a moment, Yarach turns to the prisoner.

    "If Unit:Heretic does not abort program:vocalizations, this unit will be forced to proceed with the destruction of Visual Sensory Apparatus 2 of Unit:Heretic. Stay still, and this unit will attempt to limit damage to periphery biological systems."

    Yarach asks around for a medic, and if he finds one, has them treat the injured man, assisting if he is able. If not, he will attempt to do so himself.

    (1d100)[86] TN: 19+10=29
    Last edited by Urist; 2012-11-20 at 04:11 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Wulfgar frowns. "Ammunition, then, if somewhat exotic. Very well." He sighs. "The books I keep. They are the property of my Master, and I will deliver them. The rest should be more than sufficient a reward; you are doing the Emperor's work, after all, and that should really be reward enough." There is a minor rebuke in his tone, as he dismisses her materialistic concerns. He looks down at the books piled on the Valkyrie's deck-plates, considering what to do with them, then begins pulling off his heavy, baggy worker's coat awkwardly, partially undoing his restraints when necessary to remove to voluminous garment and reveal his now rather shabby, battered flak jacket and combat harness, idly picking a small knife fragment from the body armour, then wraps the coat around the books to form a makeshift bag. Immediate tasks cleared, the First Blade settles back into his seat and resumes patiently waiting. A minute or so later a thought seems to strike him, and he asks, "Captain, what were you doing close to my location? It seems to have been some distance from anything of importance, and this craft seems to have sustained some damage."

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    Confirming that Wulfgar is taking all of the books, but nothing else. Also, not bothering to do more than read the titles. While he is technically literate, it is at a very low functional level and he has no talent for reading anything but orders and prayer books. He won't willingly read something unless it's one or the other.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    "Indeed" Salleh retorts. "The Emperor provides"

    Wulfgar's fine senses do not fail to detect the brief stiffness that passes through his host at the mention of the damage. "This vessel was part of an joint taskforce led by some of your colleagues, pursuing an army of rebel scum in the Badlands.

    One hand keeps a steady grip on the flight controls while the other taps out a rhythm on a console--- just what it means escapes Wulfgar’s discernment. She continues, “It just so happened that that band of brigands had laid an ambush for the outbound Sibellus Steel and were systematically looking for a librarian or messenger or courier of some sort, or so the ol’ rumour mill said. Our Elle-Tee gave, uh, strong implications that that mightha been a bit o’ witchery though”

    ~~~

    Yarach struggles to keep the cultist officer still as he thrashes in agony.

    Something minute, ineffable, indefinable yet unmistakable in the heretek traitor’s ravings strikes an unseen chord in the machine-man’s soul and he lashes out savagely with both flesh and electrons, sinews and synapses. The officer of the Takaran Regulators formerly known as Lieutenant Howard suddenly sits unnaturally still as his captor rips out the optic array from his socket and stuffs the lot into his mouth after punching Howard’s respirator grille open.

    Yarach regains his senses and sees his victim sitting up against the wall, blood matting the floor. The squad medic has her kit open, the formerly magazine-reading West-boy helping her stabilize the brutalized heretek.
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  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Wulfgar grunts in response. "No coincedence at all, then." Final question resolved, he sits quietly and waits for the craft to reach his destination.

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    Unless something changes, I don't think there's anything else for me to do in this particular scene.
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    After the AdMech Acolyte's overzealous outburst, the rest of the trip passes in relative quiet. Magazines and games are put away in favour of weapons maintenance kits.

    Long at last, the Sibellus Steel grinds to a halt. The sight outside is that of the vast hive city of Sibellus, its looming spires soaring into the blackness of the night.

    A dust-haze of crumbled ferrocrete hangs thick in the air. Flames from some burning buildings give the ever-present smog a hellish light. Heaps of mangled wreckage and ruined flesh litter the streets.

    A contingent of black-armoured Guardsmen and Arbites meet the survivors at the platform. Some quite clearly form a perimeter around the station, others escort those too weak to stand for themselves to medicae officers, while others still perform security sweeps despite the joint taskforce's assurance.

    A squad of carapace-clad enforcers stomp up to the cabin where the joint task force awaits debriefing. Their visored faces are as unreadable as those of the two fully-helmeted Sisters of Battle who bring up the rear, Mars-pattern heavy bolters glare over that the enforcers' Vox Legis shotguns can't quite cover.

    Their commanding officer steps out of the pack, nods to the others and coughs what might have been a chuckle as all but the Sisters and two other enforcers leave. Shouldering her shotgun, she touches a gauntleted hand to a comms unit in her suit's vox-piece and yells something into it...

    ...but her voice is lost in some aircraft's engine roars to a landing apparently in the station's parking lot, together with a contingent of idling Rhino APCs. Enginseers and medicae see to the craft and its passengers. If either of them would insist, the attending troopers would readily escort them to the Inquisitor.

    The commander revs the power on her maul, causing an engraved =I= to flare into electric life at its tip. "Who do I owe a good long debriefing and a Brontian cigar? Where's the traitor and where's the Librarian?"

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    Time's up on my end.
    Thank you for the patience and patronage, y'all.
    See y'all next week.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    "I'll take the cigar, my Lieutenant will handle the debriefing. Medals all round, a'ight?"
    Britanov wasn't going to sit through a boring debriefing when he should really be in hospital. Yeah, he was a hard-ass, but he hated paperwork and... even worse... extended conversation.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    "This unit will handle debriefing, Sister. This unit is designated Lieutenant Yarach, at your Ladyship's service. The Librarian is unknown to this cell; this unit and task do not belong to the list of informed parties on this issue. The Traitor, if this designation refers to Magos Zweiker, is unknown; however, clues to his wherabouts may be found."

    Yarach is absolutely terrified. A debriefing by a Sister of Battle? This could be interesting... He would, however, suffer through it; after all, Alexei needed to be treated by a medic!

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Wulfgar finally arrives at the 'debriefing' a minute or so late, having been delayed slightly by the nearly panicked activity throughout the facility. He considers for a moment, then decides the fancy hammer is probably proof enough of her affiliation. "Ma'am. Are you my contact this time? The Librarian is dead, along with most of my Cell. She... Well." He turns pale and swallows down the sensation of bile at the memory. "She was a witch, Ma'am. She unleashed some sort of sorcery on us, pulling us out into the wastes with some sort of fell magic, then warped her flesh into some sort of twisted abomination. She was... Covered in Blasphemy. So I cut her down, then annihilated the body." His tone betrays his satisfaction with this outcome. "I have returned her belonging, as ordered."

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    Sorry about the delay, I actually kind of thought I hadn't arrived yet until I noticed the little detail with the Valkyrie in the middle there.
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  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    The shadows deepen around the myriad scars and wrinkles of the Inquisitor's weathered face as she listens to the Acolytes' reports. Almost distractedly, she takes a cigar from a pocket, lights it on the crackling head of her power maul and tosses it to Alexei, the glowing end leaving an arc of bittersweet smoke in the air.

    One gauntleted hand reaches up to massage her temples as she grunts, leaning back against a nearby wall, listening, seething, pondering. All the while, a lidless red-lit augmetic gaze bores into the Acolytes' eyes.

    The power maul's head clangs and scrapes against the train's floor, Inquisitor Nar leaning on it as her scowl darkens still.

    "Zweiker's back? Bastard" she says, then continues, glaring at Yarach, "I suppose that traitor scum Konrad never made any further contact after he set you dogs loose, eh?"

    "Medals?" Squat nostrils flare at Alexei as she turns to him. "Medals? Dog, once upon a time, once upon a time... Let me cut you a slice of the tale of that Zweiker. Once upon a time, he was... like you--- tough, brilliant, did his duty for his fellow man and the Emperor. Did his time in the Guard, cared for his comrades, didn't like that the humble Infantryman's Friend was a piece of crap, put in a request for something better. Of course, the higher Magos and the Munitorum shot him down. Years passed. He made his own guns, better... horribly better... and came back from the void with a grudge."

    Ceramite-armoured shoulders shrug as the Inquisitor spits and shakes her head. "That ain't all, of course, but you get the deal. Medals? Certainly. The whole damned lot of ye. No problem. They will come with the burden of duty, though. Duty. Will you be up for it?"

    "Annnnnnnd damnation." Comes the growl at Wulfgar's report. Under her breath, she mutters, "Emperor's blood, why am I plagued with failures and traitors?" Looking over the contents of his improvised loot-sack, she lets her power maul hang from its belt-hoop and seemingly dispassionately takes out one of the tomes.

    She flips to a random page in a certain thin paperback, muttering, "Orange, really? Precious Hearts was the best you could come up with?" Suddenly, the bored page-turning stops. Armoured elbows thunk against the train's walls as she stiffens in surprise, choking and spitting in shock. "A Throne-forsaken... Good bleeding God-Emperor..."

    With hands that seem like they were shaking hands with a leper, she drops the book back into the bag, bundles it up and hands it to the Sister at her right and says, "Sister Ophelia, guard these with your life. Do not let anybody I haven't approved touch these... things"

    Turning back to Wulfgar, Inquisitor Nar glares and says, "Are you absolutely certain that you didn't try cracking those pages open for yourself or anybody else from the time that you liberated them from the hands of Ag... the Witch?"

    The judging gaze takes in once more the bedraggled yet seemingly hearty appearance of Acolytes and the other survivors alike and Inquisitor Nar straightens up and says, "Holy Terra greatly appreciates the manner in which you, all of you, have distinguished yourselves this day against the servants of the Ruinous Powers. You rose above your posts and answered the Emperor's call of duty, proved yourselves faithful and useful. Some might even say heroic. All of you who can still serve, follow me. All who need medical attention, follow me, the Tricorn has sufficient medical facilities, undoubtedly. All who can serve and will serve but are caring for dependents, follow me, file a case at the Social Welfare Department when we get there."
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Wulfgar seems confused for a moment, though he is clearly somewhat proud after the Inquisitor's praise. "Master, what cause would I have to read those tomes? They were not devotional materials or orders, and I had no reason to believe reading them would have given me mission-critical information. Did I err in failing to examine them?" The First Blade genuinely fails to recognize the possibility of curiousity, or odder yet that someone would want to read to pass the time.

    The assassin pats at his injuries for a moment, evaluating his condition as he falls in line behind Inquisitor Nar. He winces as he hits a particularly tender wound, then remains quiet. Let the medicae decide, then, how well he's doing. He silently follows behind the procession, waiting until called upon again.
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    "Know yer enemy, I always say," grunts the soul-less copper.
    He smokes the cigar given to them by his boss, and continues.
    "Actually, boss, I was thinkin'. That filthy traitor, Conrad, promoted me ta Captain. Personally, I'm reckonin' that wasn't so great a move, what with my not bein' a people person. I got my Eltee handlin' the niceties, but the day'll come where this foolish setup will get the wrong folks killed.

    The wrong folks gettin' killed, fer the record, is me. I don't plan on dyin' since some idiot thought I was friendly."

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Yarach bows his head at the Inquisitor's praise, and winces as his augmetic senses clearly detect her curses. More than ever, he truly appreciates the burden that he has stumbled into, andmight have to shoulder, given time.

    "Your Ladyship, the unit identified to these units as Interrogator Konrad, now renamed into List:Traitor, had no further contact with this cell. This unit operated under the directives given with no further direction."

    Following the Inquisitor, Yarach overhears Alexei's remarks on his appointment, and a slight glow of pride suffuses him, until he realizes that Alexei is right. This setup, gratifying as it was, could easily lead to the deaths of the entire squad. A shift was coming. Right now, though, all he wanted was time to process the events of the last couple days, and to heal from the scars.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Rumbling through downtown Sibellus in the crimson-lit confines of a Rhino, the Inquisitor Nar, along with her impromptu retinue,

    The Inquisitor Nar, along with her impromptu retinue rumble through downtown Sibellus in the crimson-lit confines of a Rhino. The two Sororitas flank their mistress, cumbersome heavy bolters set aside in favour of Scourge-pattern carbines. The Enforcers are up front, one driving and operating comms, the other serving as lookout and manning the turret.

    Brief glimpses of a suddenly wartorn sector capital flash by the viewing/firing-slots. Every so often, their convoy pushes aside wrecked vehicles or rubble-heaps from ruined sections of the spires and stack-habs. The city which had previously been bustling with life in flesh and iron now smokes in blood and shards.

    @Urist:
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    The devastation hits Yarach more than most, as the hometown boy that he is. He spots in passing, illuminated by torches and muzzle-flashes, a band of looters running out of the doors and broken windows of the Coronet Theatre, one of the places he still remembers from back in his civilian life, before the Adeptus Mechanicus took him…

    Spoiler
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    Was it watching a showing of an offworld performance group together with his parents? Or a date for a holovid and a dinner with his sole fleshling girlfriend? Or something else equally memorable? Your discretion, my good fellow.


    Wulfgar’s hair is still askew from when the Inquisitor had ruffled him like a master with a good dog or a grandmother with a grandson. “Ha-ha, never you mind that, then, boy. Whussagoodboy, huh?”

    Inquisitor Nar had then turned her crimson gaze on Alexei, listening to his concerns. She nods sagely as she answers, “You realize that technically speaking, that promotion is null and void because of his treachery? If I were more Puritanical about matters than I already am… or could afford to do so… you’d already be under inquest for having been under the orders of a traitor…”

    “Pfft!” comes the grimacing snort. “And technically speaking, if I were some other Inquisitor, I’d be suspecting me of heresy, complicity or just plain frakkin’ incompetence for having let those two rats fester like they did.”

    She stops up short, shaking her grey head, catching herself ranting and the two Sisters beside her getting… fidgety. “Ma’am?” says the one at the Inquisitor’s left, her young and otherwise fair face half-covered in burn-scars where the flesh seems to have roasted, flowed and set, what little hair remains on her head seems to be nothing but grist-stubs. “Suppressing the rebellion on that mining world, Pala? You weren’t to blame.”

    “And all those other years before that, when these two bastards were surely marshalling their plans?” retorts the Inquisitor and sighs. She turns back to Alexei and says with a black-toothed smirk, “Be that as it may, you did get your frak done, didn’t you? Held your hell together and pushed through.” She rubs her temples again, grunting, “Well. We’ll see if the wrong people were killed. Or too many. Or too few. Immediate tasks, though, gentlemen. What matters now is we put down these rebel scum and restore the God-Emperor’s order in this sector.”

    The convoy rattles to a halt, the bay door clanging open to reveal the entrance to the Tricorn’s Ordo Hereticus wing. Inquisitor Nar grunts at Yarach and says as she pulls herself to her feet and jerks her head towards the gates where a Scrapdread wreck smoulders in a glassed crater. “Well? Come on, then. Who but the hungry fight on empty stomachs? Twenty-one hundred hours, dinner’s on me…”

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    Thus ends our first Act, or rather, once y’all’s posts come in.
    Thanks for the patience and patronage, y’all.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    The cries of machine spirits, and men, were becoming rather familiar to Yarach. He supposed that that might indicate some potential glitches in his empathy sub-routines; after all, although the flesh may be corrupt, the loss of human life without good cause is still something the Mechanicus abhor, and the loss of a machine spirit, any machine spirit. Something to examine, when given some down time.

    Yarach realized that his memory subroutines were still chugging along, however, when he passed the Coronet theatre, a grand old building. It was impressive, once; marble columns, banners of red and purple, and an engraved Aquilla, filled with gold, above the doorjamb, although stained with pollution, had made this theatre a beacon of beauty in Sibellus hive. To see it reduced to such a state made Yarach do something he had not done for many years: he began to cry. Once, he had performed on this stage, before the Mechanicus; he remembered fondly soliloquizing while his mother and father looked on with pride, that their child, the child of two lower-hive industrial workers, had been noticed, and gifted talent, by the Emperor. Now, no one else would ever perform at the Coronet, and all of the dreams and hope of every person to cross that stage had been struck down by the rebellion, by war, and by heresy.

    As the Inquisitor looks at him, Yarach quickly squashes his memory subroutines, as well as his emotional processing. As much as he needed time to process what had happened, it wouldn't do to show weakness in front of an Inquisitor. Wiping his eyes, he steps out of the Rhino, and into his new future.

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    Well, that was an adventure, wasn't it? Fantastic job, Nexus, this has been a wild ride! :)

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Wulfgar scowls momentarily in irritation as the Inquisitor ruffles his hair. Her treatment of the First Blade is her perogative, but he had at least expected a little bit more respect for his position. Nonetheless, it is not his place to complain, and he suffers the mild humiliation in silence. As the miniscule view of devestation provided by the Rhino's firing ports gives him glimpses of devestation wrought on the great mountains of steel and rockcrete, Wulfgar considers the price of heresy. No doubt thousands or even millions of loyal Imperial citizens slain, all because of malcontents and Heretics festering in the depths of society. In the past, he has killed not to protect or even to destroy such Heresies, though both are often welcome consequences, but as a mark of his devotion to the Emperor. Still, seeing this... The First Blade resolves to work harder in the future. Clearly there are many who need to die, heretics who would act against the Emperor's Divine Will and bring ruin to His children. So many more than even the First Blade had ever expected.

    As he steps forth from the armoured personnel carrier to follow the Inquisitor to her feast, he considers the thousands who will die by his blade before his work is done. If it could ever be completed, in a universe as corrupt as this. Anyone looking back at the Assassin in tattered workman's clothes will notice something strange, for his normally dour face is stretched into a contented grin. A life spent cutting the corruption from the soul of the Imperium, years of good work ahead... Even a dead man could not remain composed at such an exciting prospect.
    Last edited by DaedalusMkV; 2013-01-05 at 03:36 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #110
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Alexei sat looking angry. He always looked angry,except when he was inflicting punishment on folk, then he looked simply sadistic.

    Still, the promise of decent food wasn't half-bad, even if his tastebuds weren't quite as good as most folks, what with the chem-pollution caused by Volg's water purification. It would likely taste like ash. Pretty damn good ash, but ash nonetheless.

    Anyway, the Inquisitor seemed to be leaving him in charge. Damn. Right, well, okay, he'd have someone less, well, hated than him handle the details. When push came to shove, though, he'd be calling the shots, which was how he liked it, assuming he didn't get a good stabbing in the back. That seemed possible, after all.

    He seemed to be getting an opportunity to crack more witch-skulls, which he did appreciate, though. It was an unpleasant job but... hell, he loved tormenting warp-spawn, it wasn't unpleasant at all. The Emperor might just be bloody real if the folk that had to do that job were the ones that loved it.

    "I think everythin's gonna be pretty damned good 'round here, folks. We'll be warmin' our paws around burnin' witches, I can tell yer that."
    Last edited by bluntpencil; 2013-01-06 at 03:41 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Two years after what official mass media simply dubbed unimaginatively the "Underhiver Uprisings", though a state of peace had officially been declared, pacification and reconstruction efforts across the sector are still underway.

    Seething masses of howling mutants, raging hordes of rebel scum and common criminals as well as vile cultist covens had boiled out of the guts of the various underhives of Scintilla, Thical and Malfi. The element of surprise was on the rebels' side and the streets were choked with refugees, the gutters flowing with blood and filth.

    Heretek-forged lasguns blazed through ferrocrete and ceramite, mowing down defenders and bystanders alike. The air shuddered with the howling shrieks of daemonic spirit-shards encoded into the inner workings of what were once simple and honest weapons.

    Mechanical monstrosities designated by officials as “Scrapdreads” shambled through streets clogged with rubble and wreckage and climbed upspire across sheer walls of ferrocrete and armourcrys. Cobbled-together from castoff hunks of Guard Sentinels and industrial loaders, held together with bolts, welds and rune-etched chains, they were the behemoths of blaspheme that championed the murderous mobs, unholy energies deflecting most of the Imperial firepower hurled their way.

    For over half a day, the heretic horde raged. They pillaged and plundered, raped and slew. The tide of battle turned when Naval bombardment was called in, pillars of fire slagging the Scrapdreads and routing the bandit infantry following them. Rallying around Astartes and Sororitas purge squads, local garrisons and law enforcers… even vengefully fanatic mobs of ordinary loyal citizens who’d been forced to take sides pursued the foul foe.

    The worst of the lot was Thical where, beside all these, sinister plots were set in motion and Chaos cultists, led by a shadowy figure calling itself the “Shade Apostle”, either killed or converted all who crossed their path. Fortunately, the Imperial Navy arrived in time to purge the planet with Holy Exterminatus before the Shade Apostle’s full plans of convering Thical into a Daemon World came to fruition.

    It has been two years since that conflagration.

    While the hives of the sector’s greatest bloated centers of power reel and struggle to rebuild, on the edges, there are strange stirrings of progress. The once-mighty rebel forces that had seized control of the Kapellan system have been decimated and gone to ground. Morale is high among the Guardsmen and Arbites carrying out the pacification and their main concern now is holding so much recently taken ground. On the hellish war-world of Tranch, the mutant menace reels as a new

    Two new factions have risen to prominence amongst the sector’s scum, and even reaching above and beyond.

    The first is the Mechanicus sect calling themselves the “Sons of Zweiker”, calling for radical changes in policy for holy technology to actually benefit the common citizen and the common Guardsman. They also hold that reverse engineering as well as innovation from xenos, or worse, malleus templates rather than sacred STCs is acceptable so long as the end result is stable, reliable and helping humanity. Those looking in from the outside, especially from an orthodox perspective see them as dangerously naïve.

    The second are known as the Whisperers, a cabal of diviners and soothsayers who practice their art from warp-dreams, from looking into patterns in filth and slag, in steel and smoke. On the surface, they are nothing more than a loose confederation of fortune tellers but certain reports have it that some of their members have been instrumental in guiding the rebels on during the Underhiver Uprisings.


    ~~~

    The sun blazes over Scintilla’s smog-choked sprawls of steel. By the hands of couriers or the chirping and clicking of machine spirits, certain messages find their way to certain individuals, be they in barracks or cells or apartments or dungeons or wherever they might be…

    @Everyone:
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    Clearance: Delta
    From: Inquisitor Kutot Nar, Ordo Hereticus Calixis
    To: Agent [XXX]
    Subject: Mission

    Message body: Come to Forward Base Lambda at coordinates Beta 613-271, on or before 0900 hours. Briefing and cell reinforcement. Be gone before 0930, hopefully. Rebel army expected soon, to attack commemorating the first day of their heresy.

    Thought for the day: Only in death does duty end.


    @Bluntpencil:
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    See PM, if ye please.


    @Henry the 7th:
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    Clearance: Epsilon
    From: Palatine Rhiannon, Sister Superior of the Order of the Ebon Chalice, Iocanthos
    To: Sister Kaeli Etemara
    Subject: Misplaced Package

    Message body:
    Ave Imperator.

    Sister Kaeli Etemara from the Valon Urr Temple-Schola, recently seconded to Inquisitorial service under Kutot Nar of the Ordo Hereticus Calixis, we trust that you are well?

    The Holy Hand a pilgrim transport from your homeworld, heavily damaged from an encounter with pirates, recently pulled into orbit over Port Skull for repairs. Amongst the freight and folk that they unloaded was a crate with your name on it. The Abbey of the Dawn being the only solid Sororitas outpost on this world, the handlers on the ground forwarded the crate to us. Thanks be to the Emperor, either the handlers were too afraid of retribution or were blessedly bereft of curiousity or greed and left your package alone.

    We regret to inform you that we will not be able to send your package to wherever you are presently on Scintilla anytime soon. The nearest regular tithe-ship is still several months away and most of the starships anchored at station above are untrustworthy merchantmen. In the meantime, we will keep your package safe, rest assured.

    Thought for the day: The Emperor provides.


    @LeSwordfish:
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    Clearance: Delta
    From: Inquisitor Kutot Nar, Ordo Hereticus Calixis
    To: Sister Kaeli Etemara
    Subject: Misplaced Package

    Message body:
    Ave Imperator.

    I acknowledge that our methods in acquiring you were less than pleasant and that you do need to return to your flock. You have my apologies…

    …and my aid. Complete your tour of duty and you can count on my support for your parish. Let me put it this way, you have your flock, I have mine. Sometimes, more hounds are needed to chase the wolves away.

    Thought for the day: The Emperor protects.



    Beyond the eaves of smoke and steel, beyond the ashes and asphalt of groaning Sibellus Hive, the air suddenly thrums with unrelenting heat. The skies above stretch out in an infinite blue expanse, an almost alien ceiling to those born and bred in hive cities.

    Once beyond the immediate outlands of the hive, grass and twisted, stunted trees begin to grow again--- hardy scrub suited to the harsh environment of the Badlands. In the distance, frontier villages carve out homesteads from grasslands and forests.

    Following the Sibellus Steel Railway--- be the mode of transport some groundcar, the train itself, a civilian walker, hitching a ride on an official Ordo troop carrier, or one’s own God-given feet for those of hardy disposition--- eventually leads to a fortified Guard camp straddling the rails. Sandbags and trenches, ring the camp, with autocannon emplacements at strategic intervals.

    Armoured Sentinel combat walkers with mounted auspex arrays glare at the inbound Acolytes, verifying idents while multilaser barrels cover them, just in case.

    Once their idents clear, a responding officer takes them into the ordered chaos of the camp. Presently, troopers busy themselves with preparing trenches and camouflage net-tarps--- mostly in shades of brown--- over their perimeter units. Here and there,

    Their guide stops at one of the tents, seemingly no different from the others on the outside. The helmeted trooper jerks his head towards the flap, thumbs his palm, then gets back to his duties.

    Inside, they find at one wall an empty coatrack and a small portable shrine of the God-Emperor of Mankind, the statuette done in carven iron. At the other side is a desk strewn with files, folders and slates.

    Leading to that table are two metal benches facing each other. Five foil-packed meals are set on one bench and three on the other. Between the two benches is a closed cooler.

    At the table, already kitted out in carapace cuirass and helm topped with a rosette-fastened wide-brimmed hat, the Inquisitor Kutot Nar waits. Her lined, augmetic-eyed face is grim, every hair white from stress and age. A gently humming hellgun rests across one side of the desk.

    Flanking her and towering over her are two silent Sisters of Battle. Their power armour is pitted and scarred and much repaired over countless years. Scourge-pattern bolters gleam in their hands, unwilling to let their guard down.

    Beside the desk however, is a young man, short of stature and of seemingly meek demeanour. He is clad in seemingly a standard issue flak coat and fidgeting with a pitcher of water in one hand and a fallen regicide piece in the other, about to return it to the boardgame set on the Inquisitor’s desk.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Sarah pushed aside the heavy plate of metal and crawled out of the guts of the city. Hot air rushed up into the street from below and with a grunt Sarah tugged her duffel bag up with her. She looked up at the clock face that hung on the rusted tower above the trainway. She trudged the rest of the way to the camp on foot, picking her way through side streets and abandoned buildings. Avoiding the patrols and wretched looking civilians alike. Sarah arrived at the camp and was pointed to the right tent.

    Sarah pushes past the tent flap and hangs her mottled greatcoat on one of the hooks. She leaves her duffel bag with the coat and sits down at the table resting a chemical resistant satchel at her feet. Wearily she pulls off a pair of elbow length gauntlets and wipes her sweat-beaded brow. Her short, rust coloured hair sticks to her skin. With a grim determination she begins forcing the meal down her throat, ripping the foil packet apart with her teeth.

    Sarah is a heavily muscled woman. Her hair is a dirty red and cut short to almost a military style with a fuller top. Her skin bears the marks of many scars; bullets, blades and burns. She is wearing a sodden tank top covered with grim, military camo pants and bulky boots. A bandoleer is slung across her shoulder filled with wicked looking spikes and twin holsters on her hips house what look to be flintlock pistols. The clips housed in the webbing near them though are clearly meant for las and slug throwers. Her eyes are a mossy green and fully absorbed on the meagre fare in front of her.
    Last edited by ellna; 2013-01-09 at 08:39 AM.
    "Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    To pass the time on the train journey there, Alexei Britanov, Captain Alexei Britanov, flashed his Arbites badge in order to get access to the exterior of the final carriage, which was normally reserved only for the Sibellus Steel's armed watchmen. The guard had been increased threefold after the events two years previous.

    Alexei looked down at the railway beneath him, puffing on his cigar with a faint, ugly smile. Everything he did was ugly.

    A number of emptied beer cans, vaguely resembling those Scrap-Dreads, bounced along the tracks behind him, attached to the railing by a long line of string. Witch-cans, he called them to the train's young bus-boys and waitresses, putting the fear o' Terra into them, letting them know the wages of heresy. That's what would happen to them if they strayed. He'd keelhaul them from a damned train, he would. Stories were still told on the tracks about that one.

    He puffed again. This was the life.

    ---

    The freak stamped into the Inquisitor's makeshift office, throwing up an inelegant salute, as would be expected. Nothing he did was elegant. It was all ugly.

    He marched over, and tilted his head when he reached the two tables with the food on, obviously making a request for permission to sit and eat. After a moment of hearing nothing, he sat down anyway, tearing open two of the foil-packed rations, and piling one on top of the other. Whoever arrived last wasn't eating, it seemed.

    It all tasted the same to Alexei. It was very weak tasting, whatever it was. Purification chemicals did that to your tastebuds. That, and a live of bloodshed made everything taste a little like ash, but that was probably psychosomatic.

    "You should get yerself some o' that power armour, boss,"
    he grunted, pointing a fork at one of the Battle Sisters.

    "I'd ask yer ta get me some too, but the, y'know, chestpieces would only make me a laughin' stock."
    Last edited by bluntpencil; 2013-01-08 at 04:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Sarah reacts immediately to Alexei's presence. Her mouth empties onto the ripped foil, as she struggles to speak. She chokes as his voice assaults her ears. "Frak it! You're alive?" She stands abruptly leaving the half-eaten meal and travels nervously over to her coat. Fishing around in the pockets she pulls out a jumbled bunch of Dog Tags. She flicks through them, her hands shaking, and throws one to Alexei. She then produces a hip flask and takes a drink, just to steady her nerves. Alexei still made her skin crawl and what should of been a smiling face and a warm tone was a grimace and a harsh, resentful tone. Her trembling hands clutch small cog as she sits gingerly back at the table, ready to retreat again. Her meal remains as she left it her appetite gone.

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    The dog tag is blank apart from the image of a hound on one side and a 5 point star on the reverse.
    Last edited by ellna; 2013-01-08 at 04:21 PM.
    "Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Alexei grins evilly, responding with only,
    "Frak it, you're alive... sir."
    He says little, and merely continues munching his food, looking up at Sarah with narrowed eyes and a horrible smile. She would need watching, she would. She had probably survived the riots two years back by hiding in a dumpster. If she got lippy again, she'd get another beating. Nice and simple.

    After a while, realising she isn't eating, he helps himself to her leftovers. You never knew where your next meal was coming from, after all...
    Last edited by bluntpencil; 2013-01-08 at 04:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    "Sir." The word rolls off her tongue, a drawn out sound with all the grace of a dying fish. The bare syllable tastes worse than the food did, she knocks back another hit from the flask. As Alexei reaches across to take her food she recoils. Her eyes remain fixed down at the table staring at the now empty spot. The golden cog makes a metallic note as she drops it onto the table. Sarah watches it with a blank expression as she pokes at it.
    Last edited by ellna; 2013-01-08 at 04:52 PM.
    "Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    The young, dark-haired man standing beside the Inquisitor's desk quickly puts the pitcher down and straightens a little when he sees other people entering the room. He is indeed quite short, and judging by his facial features you probably wouldn't peg him as more than 16 years old...and not a very healthy one, at that. No weapons are immediately evident on his figure, but he is clad in a plain flak cloak, slightly open to show entirely nondescript clothing below.

    He gives a slight, hesitant nod to the woman who's the first to enter, and suddenly, there is a feeling of... unnaturalness, stronger than most things he's ever felt, menacing to overwhelm him. It's all together a prickling on his skin, nausea at the pit of his stomach, and his head spinning out of focus, like he's about to faint - and above all, the sensation that there's something WRONG, something that shouldn't exist. The feeling comes togheter with a glimpse of another man. Marcus has barely the time to register the impression of a man with a scarred face before the nausea forces him to avert his gaze Emperor's mercy, who IS that?

    The young psyker recoils a couple of steps, and has to lean against the wall. He is shaking, but he is making an evident effort to control himself. "What..." he starts to whisper, and then, the answer comes to mind on its own. A Blank. One of those rare people without signature in the Warp. He's heard about them, he never thought he'd meet one. "My apologies" he says instead. His voice is very tight, like he's in pain. He straightens from the wall and takes the two steps ahead with a visible effort, "I will... keep this under strict control". Ir's not clear if he's speaking to Alexei, the Inquisitor, or both.

    "Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot" - N.Gaiman, The Sandman

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    After the psyker's little outburst, Alexei tries hard not to bark out a laugh. Brilliant! That one must be Marcus, then! He continues eating his two-and-a-half servings of rations and points his fork at the boy, speaking to the Inquisitor,
    "He's not gonna puke like that complete failure we had two years ago is he?"
    The Captain seems to find the whole situation quite funny. Sure, nobody liked him, but plenty folk were scared. It lightened up his day a little.

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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Sarah looks up from the cog to register the other speaker. She smiles slightly and extends a hand holding the battered flask. As Alexei talks she has to resist taking another swig herself. A long distant memory swirls in the recess of her mind. She can already feel bile rising in her throat...
    Last edited by ellna; 2013-01-08 at 05:56 PM.
    "Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Default Re: Dark Heresy: Ratcatchers: The Cats

    Kaarli had hitched a lift in the trailer of a pair of pioneers, and had paid in the last of her stock of anti-ague medication, and a benediction for their enterprise. She'd missed exactly what their enterprise was, but judging by the smell in the trailer, it involved herding something.

    They'd dropped her a short walk from the base, and she'd walked the rest of the way, trying to enjoy the pace and the heat. In reality, she was just rather nervous.

    She'd heard of the underhiver uprisings. Who hadn't? But that was history. That had happened and was over... and it looked like she was going to be thrown into it's repeat.

    She paused on the outskirts of the base, made the sign of the aquila, and repeated the Benediction to Calm the Nerve.

    For the power of the Emperor flows through me, and His light shines upon me, and my corporeal body and immortal soul will be shielded from harm while I hold Him in my spiritual heart."

    Thus feeling slightly better, she took a deep breath, adjusted her bag, and stepped inside.

    ---

    Inside the meeting room, Kaarli glanced around each member of the group. They seemed... aside from the thin, rather sickly-looking man, they seemed far better for dealing with a uprising than her.

    She forced another bit of focus, and cleared her throat. "Good morning?" Thrones name, Kaarli, you're working with these people. You really are useless outside your comfort zone.

    "Good morning. Sister Kaarli Remora, of the church of the emperor's light, Maccabeus Quintus."

    A bit better.
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