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Thread: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
- Join Date
- Oct 2011
- Ho Chi Minh City
DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha CellRatcatchers, Chapter 3
Some of you have served Inquisitor Kutot Nar for several years now, drafted before the riots in Gunmetal City, on Scintilla, distinguishing yourselves in an operation against tech-heretics operating right under the nose of the Holy Ordos.
Others were brought in for the Malfi Watusi Purgation, just over a year ago, in an extremely violent crushing of noble cultists in the Hive Spires. This, and the accompanying, impromptu Imperial Guard tithe, has only increased your standing in the eyes of the Inquisition.
And, maybe, one or two of you are new to this outfit, having been dragged into the cell in the past year.
At present, you are assigned to Fenksworld, and awaiting your assignment from Inquisitor Kutot Nar.
Your commanding officer is, of course...
Spoiler: Interrogator Alexei Britanov
Homeworld: Fenksworld, Volg Hive (Forge World)
Background: Volg Hive Enforcers, transferred to Adeptus Arbites
Aptitudes: Ballistic Skill, Defence, Intelligence, Offence, Strength, Toughness, Weapon Skill
Divination: "Be a boon to your allies and a bane to your enemies"
WS: 35 +
T: 50 ++
Int: 40 +
WP: 45 +
Fate Threshold: 4
Insanity Points: 0
Corruption Points: 0
Head, Right Arm, Legs: 6
Body, Left Arm: 8
Common Lore (Adeptus Arbites)
Common Lore (Underworld)
Forbidden Lore (Inquisition)
Linguistics (High Gothic)
Sound Constitution (5)
Weapon Training (Bolt, Power, Shock, Solid Projectile)
Expert at Violence
The Face of the Law
UntouchableAs per Navis Primer, with no Psychic Powers within WP bonus metres working at all.
Power MaulGood QualityBolt Pistol
ReinforcedBest QualityVolg Meat Hammer Scattergun
Sacred InscriptionInquisitorial Markings
Red Dot Laser Sight
Inferno ShellsBest QualityShield
Red Dot Laser Sight
Amputator ShellsBest QualityEnforcer Light Carapace
PhotovisorGood QualityRespiratorGood Quality
Spoiler: Experience Expenditure
Untouchable, as per Navis Primer: 1,200
Resistance (Fear): 200
Jaded: Free, swapped out for Weapon-Tech from Forge World
Adamantium Faith: 600
Hatred (Heretical Cults): Free (Divination)
Iron Jaw: Free (Warrior)
Weapon Training (Shock): Free
3 Weapon Training Talents: 900
Sound Con (5): 1,000
Quick Draw: 400
Linguistics (High Gothic): 100
Forbidden Lore (Inquisition): 200
The Ratcatchers' funding, influence, and favours owed are detailed here, as well as the influence of Alexei Britanov, some of which is shared by his subordinates.
Spoiler: The Influence of Marcus Lumen
Adeptus Astra TelepathicaInquisition
Scholastia PsykanaAs a member of the Scholastia Psykana, Marcus hold the rank of Scholar Arcanum. This affords him certain privileges within the organisation, as well as a certain degree of respect, as he is very young for one of such rank.League of Black ShipsDue to his involvement in the detaining of a young Alpha Psyker, Marcus is viewed very positively amongst those in the know in the League of Black Ships.Marcus has proven himself as an Acolyte on several occasions, without any cause for suspicion. He's afforded reasonable rights and privileges, for a Psyker at least.
Spoiler: The Influence of Sarah Haxta
Criminal CartelsSarah has involvement in a wide range of criminal organisations, applying pressure and leverage within them. This affords her a degree of respect and a number of (admittedly unreliable) allies.Legitimate BusinessSarah, as a bounty hunter, looter, mercenary, and amateur armourer, has set up a number of legit, and semi-legit ways of earning money. She has various business contacts, and a reasonable income, independent from her Inquisitorial masters.
Spoiler: The Influence of Rochelle West
Imperial Guard MedicRochelle has a lot of old friends and comrades in the good ol' Imperial Guard. She's saved a large number of folks from bleeding out, which counts for a lot. The fact that she was honourably discharged, with decorations in various warzones, only makes her more respectable.MercenaryRochelle has had a colourful career as a mercenary. Former colleagues, employers, and even rivals, view her with respect. The money made in these ventures have also left her with some cash to fall back on.
Spoiler: The Influence of Captain Yarach
Adeptus MechanicusHolding the rank of Tech-Priest Secutor affords Yarach considerable respect, privileges, and rights within the Adeptus Mechanicus. This, as well as his trade as an armourer, also affords him a modest stipend to spend on research and similar.InquisitionHis unofficial rank of 'Captain', and his position as a cell leader affords Yarach certain rights within the organisation. His position as a 'Trusted Acolyte', and the fact that his superiors, including Interrogator Britanov, consider him reliable, gets him certain allowances. He is granted access to authority, information and equipment.
Spoiler: The Influence of Draco Argentius
The Argentius DynastyDraco is a scion of the now-powerful Argentius family. Following the Cleansing of the Spire, they took full advantage. This grants Draco some political clout, as well as considerable resources.Imperial Guard OfficerHaving various decorations, and an officer's commission, Draco Argentius has more than a little influence amongst the ranks of the Imperial Guard.
Spoiler: The Influence of Alexei Britanov
Adeptus ArbitesAs a ranking Arbitrator, with a good record, Alexei can call upon Adeptus Arbites backup.Divisio ImmoralisThe Divisio Immoralis has had significant backup from Alexei. In particular, Detective-Espionist Andrea Kollontai owes him.
Adeptus Astra TelepathicaLeague of Black ShipsAye, Britanov is a terrifying Untouchable, anathema to Psykers. However, his handing an Alpha Psyker over to the Black Ships earned them a considerable amount of respect.
The Brethren of the Emperor's LightAfter the First Blade betrayed the Captain, he sent the sword cult, the Brethren, a missive, along with their holy sword. They were under investigation, and had to prove both their purity and loyalty. They seem eager to please.
Fane TakaraEvents in Gunmetal City had Alexei Britanov and the Ratcatchers assist Fane Takara in purging Tech-Heretics. They, and the locals, owe the cell a debt of gratitude.
Imperial GuardMalfian 201st Light InfantryThe recent formation of an Imperial Guard Regiment is thanks to Alexei Britanov. The Guard, and many troops on the front lines, owe him for this. Some of the Regiment may despise him, but the decent pay, and a job that's actually safer than living in the Underhive, means that there is less bad blood than expected.
InquisitionAlexei's rank of Interrogator grants him many privileges and rights. He can take equipment, requisition troops, and apply a lot of political leverage.
Besides Alpha Cell, Alexei has created a network of allies, contacts and Acolytes throughout the sector. The following list is not exhaustive, he appears to be recruiting new Acolytes quite regularly:
After the events on Malfi, he saw fit to create a local cell of Acolytes, including:
Detective-Espionist Andrea Kollontai
Bronzecoat Henry MynKaarli RemoraThe Maccabean Cleric, having left on injury, still owes Alexei after he jumped on a grenade for her and the others.
The SilversplittersDon Matthew's clan of gangers owe Alexei for their recent resurgence, and for their survival. The debt here affords him major sway.
Your documents from the mission briefing are as follows:
Spoiler: OPERATION: VICAR
Primary Objective: Investigate the extent of the heresy involved in 'Maccabean Cathedral'.
- Prevent the spread of sorcerous knowledge in this vid.
- Terminate those responsible for the spread of this heresy.
- Gather information on arch-heretics Konrad and Zweiker.
Information on the soap opera is as follows:
Spoiler: Smiling Drusus Production Studios
Headed by a noble by the name of Susanna Jullietta, the studio is known for producing advertisements for Imperial Guard recruitment, as well as low-to-mid grade entertainment shows, including human interest vids, reality shows, sitcoms and soap operas.
They've released reality T.V shows such as the critically ambivalent 'Judges', as well as the more exciting, more controversial, and much better received 'Gunmetal Underhive', a show about gang members in Gunmetal City, who were all too keen to get their faces on screens across Scintilla. Some of the stars of the show have ended up as celebrity bodyguards for nobles across the sector.
The latest show of note, however, is the inexplicably popular 'Maccabean Cathedral', a show about an upper class preacher in a large cathedral on Maccabeus Quintus. The acting is terrible, and it's not even filmed on Maccabeus Quintus due to a lack of infrastructure and costs being far too high.
'Maccabean Cathedral' is directed by Sergei Riefenstahl, who has previously produced much better things, such as the cult classic, 'Arbitrator Foreboding', as well as the critically acclaimed detective series, 'CSI: Verispex'. Right now, it appears he's burnt out and has ended up directing sub-par dramas to pay off debts. (See: Appendix 1; Riefenstahl's Debt File).
The lead role, Bishop Francisco del Monte, is played by one Robert Scullion, who, in spite of being a terrible actor, actually was an Ecclesiarchy preacher, according to his, for some reason, huge fan club.
His on-screen love interest is a young, up-and-coming actress by the name of Maria Florin, straight out of the Colleges of the Hetaireia Lexis, playing the Lady Emilia de la Valle.
There, for some reason, appears to be a lack of writing credits, however, and investigations have proven useless on that front. This may be a good avenue of investigation to begin with.
Your own files should be detailed below...
Last edited by bluntpencil; 2014-09-18 at 12:17 PM.
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- East Midlands, UK
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
SpoilerShort, pale and frail-looking, his appearance is not very impressive. He has short black hair, thick eyebrows, black eyes and a delicate bone structure. He looks younger than he is: he is 18, but he looks barely over 15 - it is unlikely he has to shave more than once a week. He has dark circles under his eyes and a general unhealthy appearance, but that is more likely to be a sign of him being born in the Warp than of any present illness
SpoilerHe has been afraid all his life. For himself, but mainly, of what he could make happen if he isn’t careful. Moreover, somehow, despite all the premises, he has retained a kind, empathic side. Those two traits combine in creating a softly spoken, unassuming young man, that most tend to underestimate. Contrary to popular belief, however, being afraid doesn’t mean being a coward, and being unassuming doesn’t mean being a fool.
SpoilerIf he concentrates, he remembers corridors and hatchways that seemed very tall, so those are almost surely memories from when he was very little. And he remembers the screaming, too. He isn’t sure if it was just in his mind or he could hear it with his physical senses, but it was almost a constant. From what he knows now, being born aboard one of the Black Ships isn’t such a common thing…or if it is, then not many of those born there survive to adulthood.
His mother was almost surely one of the Psykers that were being taken to Terra, which means she is almost surely dead. As for him, he was raised by one of the crew…another Psyker, of course, like all those aboard. An impartial observer could say that his…tutor wasn’t the most stable of people. That impartial observer wouldn’t be wrong, but still, it is the way he was raised, and it has left its signs. He can’t remember a moment in his life, not even when he was very young, when he didn’t know what exactly he was and what he could do, in all the most disturbing details. What he almost surely would end up doing, according to his tutor. This has of course left scars: fear, first of all, but also, amazingly enough, a sort of quiet determination to prove those prognostication wrong.
When he was ten, he manifested the first signs of psy powers… nothing extremely dramatic happened, of course. He had been monitored his entire life precisely for this sort of occurrence: you can almost say that the others noticed before he himself had the time to become aware of it. He was packed with the others without the mere hint of remorse, and dropped to Terra at the next planned stop. He survived. Contrary to all expectations, those of his tutors most of all, not only he did survive, but he proved strong enough to be sanctioned… at an age younger than most.
His first assignment was on Thical, an hive world in in the Drusus Sub-sector... or, better said, what it WAS an hive world in the Drusus Sub-sector. Marcus was 16 at the time. It was his first time on a planet, if you exclude Terra, and he was scared half out of his mind. The mission, needless to say, was not a success: of the six acolytes forming the inquisitorial squad, only Marcus and two others survived...and only Marcus survived with his mind more or less intact.
Of the others, two were mindwiped, one died in a gunfight with a group of heretics, one died of blood loss just minutes before they managed to make their escape, and the other...well, the other, Constantine Gallus, another Psyker, died because of Marcus. They were alone, making a stand against a group of heretics, and when Marcus tried to repel them using his psy abilities, something went horribly wrong. There was cold in the air, and for a moment, he could feel the Warp, nearer than ever... just seconds before something unspeakable appeared, and charged towards them. They managed to kill it... well, Constantine did. Marcus was too much in shock to be of much help. The other psyker, however, had been mortally wounded in the conflict. He still remembers his last words "Don't tell. Never tell anyone." He did run after the man died, and he hasn't told anyone... but he still has nightmares about it, sometimes.
The second assigment after that (Drhan, another hive world, and another heretic cult), went way better: the cult was eradicated with minimum collateral damage. However, while Marcus remembers perfectly names, appearance and mannerisms of his companions of that first, unfortunate Thical run, he has to make an effort to call to mind more than a basic outline of the faces of that second acolyte cell. He doesn't think he said more than five words together: he tried to distance himself as much as possible from all of them, and to work alone as often as he could. He already knew he is dangerous, on Thical he's had proof on it, and, if somebody else had to die because of it, Marcus would prefer it to be himself, instead of another of his companions.
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha CellCharacter Sheet
Sarah "Vlad" Haxta, Malfi-Hive Scum
---"Do not ask why you serve. Only how."
Teeming Masses in Metal Mountains: A hive world character ignores crowds for purposes of movement, treating them as open terrain. When in enclosed spaces, he also gains a +20 bonus to Navigate (Surface) tests.Background: Outcast
Never Quit: An Outcast character counts his Toughness bonus as two higher for purposes of determining Fatigue.Role: Desperado
Move and Shoot: Once per round, after performing a Move action, a Desperado character may perform a single Standard Attack with a Pistol weapon he is currently wielding as a Free Action.
BS: 45 ++
Ag: 45 +
Per: 35 +
Fel: 40 ++
Voices and VisionsCP: 29
Aptitudes: Agility, Ballistic Skill, Defence, Fellowship, Finesse, Perception, Social
Common Lore (Calixis Sector)
Common Lore (Underworld)
Sleight of Hand
Clues from the Crowds
Peer (Criminal Cartels)
Resistance (Psychic Powers)
Two Weapon Wielder (Ranged)
Weapon Training (Chain, Las, Primitive, SP)
Good Quality, Eye
Detachable, Internal memory, Image capture, Variable zoom, Dark sightGood Quality, Cranial Armour
- Amadeus, Unique
- Wrath & Fury, Good Quality Stub Automatics Modified
- Icarus, Good Quality Lascutter
- Dataslate, Good Quality with Pict Capture
- Tools, Various
- Razor, Best Quality Mono Knife
- Enforcer Light Carapace, Good Quality
- Synskin, Good Quality
- Mesh Vest, Good Quality
- Disguise Kit
A brutal instrument that propels dense metal spikes at lethal velocities. Years of constant modification to this signature weapon have left only one constant. A worn wooden stock bearing the brand of the Inquisition and it's carved name: “Ahmahdayus”Wrath & Fury
Basic, Low Tech 90m 1d10+4 R Pen 2 Clip 5 2Full(Full.Half) Crippling(1) Custom Grip, Modified Stock, Quick Release, Laser Sight Mono Spikes
A pair of sleek pistols, carefully maintained and customised. The burnished brass exterior engraved with Jackals pursuing a symphony of notes.Icarus
Pistol, SP 30m 1d10+3(4) I Pen 0(1) Clip 9(14) Full(Half) Reliable, Good Quality Custom Grip, Fluid Action, Quick Release, Expanded Magazine Expander Rounds
A powerful, yet compact, lascutter. Icarus' variable settings allow a number of options ranging from the standard cutting or simple flashlight to an immediate an deadly discharge of las.Slate
A dataslate subtlety modified to suit Sarah's needs. In addition to it's normal functions it has pict capture and a suite of logic routines devoted to image manipulation. It also contains multiple redundant memory cores allowing for increased security, both of ensuring protection against destruction and creating hidden nodes for concealing information.Tools, Various
Assorted tools and technological baubles that can be adapted to a wide range of tasks.Razor, Swash.
A lethal dagger, perfect for wetwork. The fine quality plexsteel blade having been forged from the shattered remains of her Bolo knife.Battlesuit
Melee 1d5+4 R Pen 2 Best Quality, Custom Grip, Mono
This battle-tested carapace originally belonged to the Adeptus Soritas. Countless adjustments subtly tailor it to perfectly suit Sarah and integrated recoil gloves and mono-serrated gauntlets are only some of the finishing touches.Second Skin
A form fitting Synskin, designed for stealth operatives. It also serves as discrete armour and is modified for maximal comfort during extended wear.Mesh Vest
A tight weave of rust-coloured rings that offers excellent protection and concealability. The quality and unusual material suggests a Xeno origin, yet it's effectiveness is undeniable.Disguise Kit
A kit containing various tools for disguise such as basic makeup, prosthetic appliances, skin dyes, a vocal augmenter and retinal lenses.
Spoiler: ExperienceXP (5,050/5,050):
BS +5: 100
BS +10: 250
Agility +5: 100
Fel +5: 100
Fel +10: 250
Per +5: 250
Deceive +10: 200
Common Lore (Calixis Sector): 200
Dodge +10: 200
Dodge +20: 300
Inquiry +10: 200
Trade (Armourer): 200
Tech Use: 300
Peer (Criminal Cartels): 200
Weapon Training (Primitive): Free
Weapon Training (Las): 200
Keen Intuition: 200
Two Weapon Wielder (Ranged): 300
Clues from the Crowds: 200
Resistance (Psychic Powers): 200
Hatred (Psykers): Free
Spoiler: BackgroundSarah's Life Before The InquisitionSpoilerSarah was born on Malfi a planet rife with political intrigue. However at the bottom of the hive far beneath the well polished heels of the nobles is where Sarah grew up. Farming the fungus that grew alongside the chemical pits ,her life could never be accused of being easy, but compared to some hivers her youth was more pleasant than most. Highest among her priorities were protecting her family from the roving gangs that populate the lowest areas. From the time she could hold a knife or point a gun there was violence in her life. A strong arm and a steady hand kept them at bay and with the cost of bullets not many could afford to trouble a rickety homestead by the waves of boiling sea. So while no stranger to the ways of the world Sarah grew in the emperors light with as good a life as one such could hope for.
The world beneath the sun, however far from sight it may be, is vast and wondrous and Sarah soon set to wanderlust. She left behind her cosy family home and went in search of riches and fame. Although she would of been content with an honest man and air that was free of fungus fumes. Not quite such a tall order she thought. Life in the underhive soon proved to be just as rancid as the sludge she had left behind. The people she met on the road soon proved to be either murders or thieves. Giving them a warm greeting soon rewarded her with snarls and stares or else they tried to kill, rob or cheat her of what little she had. During her journey Vera proved to be a excellent travelling companion, a Mk III Ferox, small, easily concealable and deadly. It was her grandmother's pistol and it kept her safe. Bullets are expensive though so often she would just stick them like a rat. Smiling still as the blood flew out of them warming her cold hands in the metal wasteland. Killing a evil man was so easy for without the emperor's mercy who could hope to survive.
Her seeking finally found rest when she staggered up to the gates of Taj'ken a trading outpost with fierce guards and soft beds. Her she made a life for herself hiring out to the various merchant seeking protection. Her true passion however discovered root among the nearby fields of scrap picked clean and rusted. No technology can be ever truly broken though and she quickly developed a knack for fixing the broken and selling them at Taj'ken. A mechanic and a fierce fighter she garnered a reputation among the folk. She joined Subbel, a trader of batteries, generators and other things needed to make a life in the barrens. Travelling in his convoy Sarah's blessed life finally took a turn for the worst. The attack came without warning and soon Vera was blasting away at painted attackers. A shaggy man smashed Vera from her hand with a sickening crack it flew into splintered pieces. She fled tumbling down the sides of the metal graveyard. He pursued his boots crunching the rusted debris as he raised his weapon for the finishing blow. Sarah's hand sought for a weapon among the scrap. It fell apon the handle of a XJ-Series Drive Nailer. Swinging it up she pumped the trigger. With a harsh screeching of metal the ancient tool plunged it's load through the man's skull. The grating rending of rust was a symphony. The spray of blood a spiralling crescendo. The slam of the corpse hitting the wreckage a final note. To Sarah the kill was a thing of beauty, a moment in time perfect and resplendent in it's gory glory. The emperor's mercy had saved her.
When she picked her way back to the caravans it was too late. The painted devils had butchered all her companions. Their bodies littered the ground the raiders had made off with whatever they had wanted. Subbel's broken shell was face down in his own blood. The painted people had suffered losses as well. She walked among the dead making note of the hideous patterns that adorned them. She would find them and kill them. Something that proven much harder to do than she thought. No one knew who these brigands were. Sarah's story was met with sorrow and her questions uncovered no clues to the mystery. So with Amadeus slung over her shoulder she left Taj'ken to walk the wastes once again. She became a bounty hunter for the arbites. The fortified precinct HQ filled with gruff, poorly kept squads of arbites too jaded to concern themselves with the sorrows of the underhive. Sarah quickly gained a new reputation as she tore through the Iron Wastes stapling death warrants to the unfortunate scum's head by way of a 10mm spike. "Vlad the Impaler" they called her. Still she kept her smile. Tuning Amadeus to musical heights. It's carefully oiled pulleys and compressor overflow valves keening a requiem for the dead. A heavenly sound. Still she kept her smile.
Eventually she came across a lead for the painted pariahs. Over a pint of rot-gut she heard rumours of a corrupt cult that filled the ancient vault of Jericus with maniacal laughter and distorted song. Any that ventured into the archeotech horde never returned. Another ghost story made by some gang to keep their stash safe. Sarah thought nothing of it until her drinking buddy mentioned the painted faces of the demons within. Where had he heard this? After three more bottles he divulged the name of a scavenger who had seen them. Sarah hunted him down. A few thrones placed in his grimy hand broke his sullen silence. He had been tempted down there. He had heard of a haunted treasure trove. Not one to believe in superstitions he had ventured inside. The men he described within were had painted faces. His shuddering tale convinced Sarah that these were the men responsible for Subbel's death.
Sarah had no doubt what her next step was. Kill them all. Soon the corridors of the Vault of Jericus sang with Amadeus' song. The Painted men soon were all dead. Sarah smiled as she surveyed her handy work. The bodies dangled pinned to the walls like butchered meat. Blood dripped from her chin as her grin spread wide. The charnel house she had created lay all around her. The vile cult had died at her hands and it had been good. She remembered her laughter twining with the ratcheting of another spike inching back in Amadeus' chamber. They had stood no chance. After the first few guards they had no real strength. A family of sin hiding from the light. She left that wretched place with a happy step. Waiting outside however were a group of heavily armed men. Sarah's brain stalled she hadn't even the time to figure out what was happening before the shock maul slammed into her head. Her bliss faded to black...
She awoke in a tiny cell stripped bare and manacled against a slimy wall. A rough man slapped her awake. Leering he reached for a knife lying on the bench beside him. Torture. She endured for what seemed like forever laughing at his cuts and keening with bliss to his application of the electrical current of his devices. Surely he was tickling a newborn not torturing her. Eventually he tired of beating her senseless and left her battered and broken in the cold darkness. Days pasted and her lips cracked. Unhealthy scabs formed and she was racked with hunger and thirst. Eventually she heard the heavy footsteps stop at her door once again. Harsh light from the corridor flooded the room as the door howled open. A strong hand pulled her hair lifting her head from it's slump. She looked at him wildly through the pain. A different man, older, weary and with a bored look on his face. He spoke the words grating slowly from his mouth. "Will you answer." She nodded.
Rough hands once again dragged her from her cell to another. A table two chairs. She was bolted to one and her interrogator sat in another. The questions came now like a barrage of bullets. Each answer she dragged from her torn throat brought fresh pain. He queried her involvement with the painted villains. Who had killed them? Why? Did you know what they were doing? The man kept throwing questions at her. He asking some seemingly meaningless questions and some so direct it startled her. The painted men were involved in heresy and he thought her involved. As her sundered body scraped truths from her depths her mind raced. Who was this man? A bounty hunter? An arbite? A judge? She couldn't put the puzzle together.
The questions stopped a wiry man entered the room with a sheath of papers. Sarah Smiled her parched lips springing a well of blood which blossomed beneath the scab. The mystery man leafed through the papers pausing to nod to the man. From some unspoken command he unlocked the manacles that bound Sarah still. Rubbing her wrists she placed her hands on the table to find a cup of clean, fresh water put in them. Cautiously she drank the water wetting her lips. It tasted good. She drank the rest greedily. The was either good news or she was being given a last meal. A rather poor one she must say. The sheets of crumpled paper were given to her. Trembling hands closing on the aged parchment. She peered at them. They were bounty warrants she recognised them easily enough. The scratched ink making the words she had to memorise to make every thing legal. At the bottom of each page a single signature. SARAH. The only word she could read, the only word she needed. These verified her story, she was safe? The mystery man met her eyes and said "How would you like a job?"
In his hand he held a pen offered out to her. The last warrant bore an empty signature and where the picture of the poor man should of been there was a picture of those horrid symbols that the painted man wore. She took the pen, pausing as she wetted her lips to speak. "On one condition. I'll need Amadeus back."
He laughed looking at the naked and starving prisoner before him. Broken, cut and bruised, but still of strong spirit. "Done."
She signed and Amadeus was placed heavily on the table. He took a glowing brand and pressed it into the wooden stock of Amadeus before casually tossing it to Sarah. "So who are you anyway?"
She stared at the slowly cooling =I= as thoughts snapped into place. Realisation crashed down. "Welcome to the Inquisition."
"Small crimes mask great evils."
The Jackal-Haxta AffairSpoilerThe dataslate blinks into life and the symbol of the Inquisition proudly displays itself for a moment.
+++ Accessing records +++
+++ Thought for the day: Only in death does duty end. +++
A grainy image resolves itself showing a busy shopping scene. Soundlessly people surge like a human flotsam around the various stores and markets. Suddenly figures amidst the crowd begin firing wildly there muzzle flares causing the ever present static to increase. The images proceed to show a charnel house made of the street as riotous thugs butcher citizens in swathes. As more rioters emerge into view the shops themselves become the subject to the violence. The fronts and windows being smashed as mono-chrome blood fills the streets. The image flares into static and when it returns Arbites have begun their brutal retaliation against the heretics. A female figure emerges from one the devastated shops, a bright neon sign above it displays “Enoch's Electrical Emporium”, and fires into the swirling chaos taking down one of the figures as it chokes an arbite. The figure face turns and for a moment you are able to see her face as she screams soundlessly. The image freezes and sharpens enabling a somewhat clearer view of her face. This persists for a moment before the image disappears.
+++Addendum: Female figure identified as Sarah Haxta acolyte of the most Holy Inquisition. Speech fragment calculated from lip visuals: “…hounds will drag…”+++
+++ Key word search “Enoch's Electrical Emporium” +++
+++ Accessing archive +++
+++ Match found +++
+++ Displaying +++
Successful clearance of sector 14, no recidivist contact, 473 bodies reclaimed and one item to report. Corpse 385 within x emporium showed signs of being a fresh kill. Initial examination showed ritualistic mutilation. Verispex agent called to confirm time of death. After examination by verispex agent time of death was concluded to be concordant with the Underhiver Uprising. Difference in decomposition concluded to be due to warp tainted heresy. Order was given for authorised use of promethium. X emporium cleansed with fire. 0.3kg of promethium was used. X emporium exempt from imperial damages law under enforcement act 1787.
+++ Accessing Verispex agent file b4684 +++
A chemical analysis of corpse inconsistent with apparent visual decomposition, see pict file b4684a. Auspex scan inconclusive due to uneasy machine spirit. Warp taint suspected this would be consistent the uncongealed blood and tangible odour of sulphur. Recommended action immediate disposal.
+++ Accessing Pict file b4684a +++
A corpse lies in a pool of blood amid scattered electronics. The symbol of the inquisition is clearly visible carved into the torso of the… creature. Beneath the =I= is some sort of dog crudely drawn in this things warped flesh. The remains are repulsive to look at as the mutant is grotesque in the extreme.
+++ Accessing file b674ar73 +++
+++ Journal Enforcer Nathan 73 +++
Sarah. That was her name. She had saved me that day. Putting me in here instead of the Emperor’s light. The medicae say I’ll walk yet and the gelt is being fronted by the adeptus even though it is Scintillian thrones not proper Gunmetal currency. I suppose they’re still using them for the fight. Sometimes I can hear it in the distance, the rattle of gun fire. I suppose the hive needs some time to settle down. They’re already calling it the Underhiver Uprising I hear. Apparently it’s a big deal; Markus even told me they called in the big guns, the frakkin’ Navy. I remember when it started it was just another riot. I arrived and the gun show was already in full swing. It wasn’t the noise that got me it was the stench. It reeked of blood, but somehow it wasn’t clean. It wasn’t right. You could tell, just from the smell, the vileness of it all. It had a palpable feel. They enjoyed dying I swear it. They threw themselves at us spitting polluted las with no regard to their lives. Their accursed weapons bit through arbite flak as though it weren’t there, them cackling all the while. It was like a vision when she came charging out of that store, screaming the emperor’s word and blasting the heretics with a gunslingers art. Said she were an Inquisitor when the screaming died down. She was trying to raise her brothers on the vox, but she wasn’t having any luck. So Sarge he turns to me tells be to get to section HQ. On the double I said and I led her through the warring streets. Me, I can say I fought and walked and talked with a real Inquisitor. It was the corner of Drusus Street beneath the train’s shadow that the beast came. It was a mechanical monster that smashed its way through the building like a living tank. It crushed my leg beneath its foot. Thick smoke belched out of the thing and through the choking smog you could smell the blood. Sarah Emperor thrice bless her, while I bawled, she darted beneath that dreadful thing and snatched be from beneath its weight. The pain I still can feel the pain. It’s not right that something absent should still hurt. Still she saved me. If she was still with me when I awoke I would have thanked her. I guess the Emperor’s most loyal need no thanks.
+++ Accessing file iq785in64 +++
+++ Accessing case file: The Jackal Killings +++
It’s been a year now since the Underhive Uprising was put down yet I’m still finding reports of these jackal killings, the image of a jackal carved into the dead. The method of murder is often different between the victims. Some show signs of undergoing extreme torture prior to death. The victims are often found with broken heresies piled at their feet. 42 of the dead have had heretical las weaponry placed nearby. The initial theory of underhive gangers seems to fit less so with these killings than that of a vigilante. The arrangement of the “evidence” seems to be presenting the victims as gifts to imperial law. While the nature of the killer seems to be in benefit to the imperium the ritualistic mutilation is a clear indicator of a possible cult threat and the theatrical display which many of these killings show also suggests malign goal at the heart of the matter. At the very least the killings are generating a mythos that detracts from the legitimate rule of true imperial law.
+++ Accessing message d4122 +++
+++ Playing video file +++
A scream pierces forth from the man. He is suspended by a pair of spikes that embed him to the hab wall. The jackal has already been carved into this man and his guts hang out of him like a gaudy decoration. Sarah stands beneath him her face barely visible, she is smiling. She seems to writing something. She turns back the mutilated human form, stuffing something into her massive coat. Receding into the distance she pauses perhaps to savour the agonising shrieks of the condemned figure. Her head tilts, then shakes and walks out of shot.
+++ Accessing text +++
Lord, subject positively identified as Sarah Haxta, also positively identified as the perpetrator of the jackal killings. Cell lambda requests further instructions.
+++ Response to message d4122 +++
The man rests the data slate back on his cluttered desk and reached for his cup of recaf. It had long since lost its heat and still tasted terrible. He sipped the dark liquid wincing slightly as it’s acrid taste assaulted his tongue. Finally he returned once again for the dataslate.
Sarah stuffed the bloodied parchment into her duffel bag where it nestled amid the many other pieces of paper. Each with a single word on them SARAH and each with its own blood stains and crudely drawn portrait. She allowed herself a smile she walked over to the iron pot that sat over the chem-fire. That bag once had a multitude of rounds, the various barter for gunmetal, now it sat filled with dead heretics. The faint hiss and bubble of the pot formed their requiem. Yes a smile was in order, but first soup, even the rat catchers need soup. A small beeping sound stopped her with the ladle still in her hand. Her comm bead was flickering with a dull blue light. The ladle dropped back into the broth with a faint splish as Sarah snatched up the micro bead. The thing was picking up an inquisition signal. Beaming from ear to ear she slotted the thing to her head as she pushed back the hide tent flap and stepped out into the glow of Infernis. Too late she saw the attack. Darkness consumed her as the crackling lump of metal struck her head.
She awoke in a small cell. Wiping her eyes she stood and crossed the barren room. She was clothed in a drab grey robe bearing a number stencilled onto it. The cell was dry, clean and manacle free. She smiled almost ecstatic with delight. She knew what came next her toes curled in anticipation. Time passed and she slept and woke and slept. Each time she woke food would find its way into the cell. A grey plastek tray complete with grey nutri slurry. She ate the food and slept and woke and slept. She remained in that cell keeping time flowing with eating and sleeping until she woke and the room was different. She was slumped over a desk with two seats bolted to the floor either side. The door opened and a familiar face walked in, a wiry man carrying a thick buddle of parchments. Sarah smiled at the fragrant scent of blood that occupied those pages. She spoke, this time, before he sat. “Didn’t we skip a step?”
“Oh?” The man paused setting down the papers.
“The pain.” She grinned.
“That will come yet you must be purified before returning.” He spoke softly
“Returning so I’m…” Her interest peaked.
“Needed.” He finished her words.
The wiry man smiled and left, soon to be replaced by a pair of pallid adepts that took Sarah to the promised purification.
It was some time later that Sarah found herself standing outside the Tricorn Palace. Staring up into Scintilla's roiling chemical smog as droplets of rain slapped down on her face. A dull pain throbbed still behind her eyes, the adept had said that would pass. Even now she could feel the effects of the painful art slipping away, as though washed off by the rain. A new network of scars neat and precise now nestled at the base of her neck. They would fade in time and disappear amid the myriad of others. Sarah, smiling, began to walk purposefully. The emperor had more work to be done, always, and Sarah planned to enjoy it.
"Through the destruction of our enemies we earn our salvation"
"It will be done."
Last edited by ellna; 2014-10-24 at 01:32 PM."Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Commander Draco Argentius
(speech colour TBD after everyone else has chosen one, though I'll probably go for some kind of blue)
Spoiler: Character Sheet
Name: Draco Argentius
Background: Imperial Guard
Spoiler: Vital StatsWS: 50
Aptitudes: Fellowship, Leadership, Ballistic Skill, Defence, Offence, Strength, Weapon Skill
Divination: If the job is worth doing, it is worth dying for.
Spoiler: SkillsAthletics (Str)
Command +10 (Fel)
Common Lore (Imperial Guard) (Int)
Linguistics (High Gothic) (Int)
Operate (Surface) (Ag)
Parry +10 (WS)
Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) (Int)
Navigate (Surface) (Int)
Spoiler: TalentsRapid Reload
Weapon Training (Las, Low-tech, Bolt, Power)
Two-weapon Wielder (Melee, Ranged)
Spoiler: Special Abilities and TraitsBreeding Counts: Reduce all Influence losses by 1.
Hammer of the Emperor: Reroll damage rolls of 1 and 2 when attacking a target an ally has attacked this round.
Expert at Violence: May spend a Fate Point after a successful hit to substitute WS or BS Bonus for Degrees of Success
Bolt Pistol (Pistol, 30m, 1d10+5X, Pen 4, Clip 8, Rld Full, Tearing)
Good Laspistol (Pistol, 30m, 1d10+2E, Pen 0, Clip 30, Rld Half, Reliable)
Power Sword, Custom Grip (Melee, 1d10+11E, Pen 5, Balanced, Power Field)
Best Guard Flak Armour (AP5 all locations, AP6 vs Blast weapons)
3 extra clips for Bolt Pistol
Flask of fine Amasec
Spoiler: AdvancesSimple WS (100)
Intermediate WS (250)
Simple BS (100)
Intermediate BS (250)
Simple S (100)
Simple Fel (250)
Command +10 (200)
Linguistics (High Gothic) (200)
Parry +10 (200)
Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) (300)
Weapon Training (Bolt) (200)
Weapon Training (Power) (200)
Swift Attack (300)
Two-weapon Wielder (Melee) (300)
Two-weapon Wielder (Ranged) (300)
Crushing Blow (400)
Resistance (Fear) (300)
The House of Argentius is an oddity on Malfi, a rare case of a Noble house powerful enough to compete in the former capitol's cutthroat politics, but also with a reputation for honour and public service, with a long tradition of membership in most of the great Imperial institutions. Lacking the blatant self-interest and corrupt depravity typical of the Malfian nobility has left them almost a laughingstock among the court, but also given them the power and influence necessary to build a position of power for themselves. Within the House is a tradition as old as the family itself, ironclad and without exception; the second-born child of each branch serves with the Imperial Guard. Draco Argentius is one such second son, and by a notable margin the most decorated and accomplished of the lot. With over two decades of service with the Malfian XXIII Mechanized regiment, Draco rose from the junior position his family's wealth and power was able to purchase him to the rank of Commander, equivalent to a senior Captain in standard Imperial nomenclature. His path seemed clear, a rise to the exalted position of Colonel of the Regiment, completion of his pre-planned sixty years of service and retirement to begin his own branch of the Argentius clan. All of which was interrupted by the upheavals of the Watusi Purge back on Malfi.
Sensing blood among their fellow nobles, House Argentius was the first to move in the Purges, striking quickly and without mercy as soon as it became clear that connection to the Watusi heresy could be used to justify the annihilation of entire Houses. Both on their own and in concert with Imperial forces, Argentius soldiers stormed the villas and estates of their rivals, putting whole families to the sword and securing themselves a new power base, far greater than what they had enjoyed before. Draco himself was recalled from the frontlines, a decorated commander to lead a private war, and personally led his House's soldiers in the purges. With the traitors (and perhaps a few Houses unconnected to the Watusis but corrupt enough for the Argentius forces to justify their assaults on) crushed, House Argentius would prove to be instrumental in the establishment of a new Malfian regiment in its wake, with a dozen Argentius scions enrolled as Lieutenants in the new force and Draco himself emplaced as a senior officer and trainer. This, still, not being enough to cap off the house's gains, strings were pulled and favours called in to place the Commander within the Inquisition itself, a position with the cell that had uncovered the Watusi heresy in the first place. It would no doubt prove to be a grave challenge, but also provided the House an opportunity for a new source of influence and power, should their chosen representative prove capable enough. It is a challenge the (by Highborn standards, anyway) young officer has taken up with gusto, relishing the opportunity to both do his duty to the Imperium and advance his family's agenda.
Skin: White, mildly tanned
Hair: Brown, silver at the temples.
Age: 58, apparent 40 or so.
Prose is WIP
Last edited by DaedalusMkV; 2014-09-17 at 01:11 AM.Avatar by the wonderful SubLimePie. Former avatar by Andraste.
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha CellYarach, Hive-World Tech-Priest:
"May the Omnissiah grant this humble unit the strength of Your metal, to endure the unendurable; the pure light of Your glory to illuminate this ones way in the Quest for Knowledge; and the faith of Your Machine-Spirits to continue the eternal search.Ave Deus Mechanicum.”SpoilerAND PLASMA CANNONS FOR HANDS.
//Starting boot sequence:Tech-Priest Lieutenant Yarach.
Corruption of Memory:41,100(Sol Standard)-41,120:Information unavailable.Verifying Physical Integrity: 85%
Please initiate CheckBrain on next reboot.
Pituitary gland/Chem Glands:Intact
Autonomic Nervous Functions:Intact
Nervous systems:No physical damageY
Circulatory System:No Damage
Digestive System:Performance Adequate
Intergumentary System: Lacerations over arms and chest. Superficial.
Flash Burns on right arm. 1st Degree.
Skeletal System:Fractures in arm and leg(Left Side)
Lymphatic System:Intact(Implant Active)
Within acceptable parameters? Y/N
What Personality Packages do you wish to load? Enter numbers.
1. Scholar Package
3. Morality Core
4. IFF Database
5. Omnissian Creed
6. Inquisitorial Agent
5. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5.
Self Repair Complete. Welcome back, Enginseer-Lieutenant Yarach. Praise be to the Omnissiah, may he bless your path. 01001101 01100001 01111001 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100101 01101110 01100101 01101101 01101001 01100101 01110011 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01001101 01100001 01100011 01101000 01101001 01101110 01100101 00101101 01000111 01101111 01100100 00100000 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 01110010 00100000 01100110 01110101 01110010 01111001 00101110 00001101 00001010.//
Many are the servants of the Imperium who toil in the service of the Tricorn. They are drawn from all walks of life: scum from the hives of Tarsus and Sibellus, feral barbarians drawn from the world of Iocanthos, clerics raised on Holy Terra itself. But often forgotten are the menial servants of the Machine-God who scuttle around the Tricorn, tending to the cogitator-banks, libraries,communication arrays, and torture rooms of the Inquisition. In dark basements of the Fortress-Monastery of the Ordos Calixis, Tech-Adepts who haven’t seen the light of day since they were but mere babes labor in darkness at the behest of the Inquisitors, Adepts, and Interrogators who slave away in the service of the God-Emperor, doing their menial part in rooting out the cancer of heresy from the body of the Imperium.
Yarach was born in Sibellus, and raised from birth to be inducted into the service of the Mechanicus. His early years were a strict time, consumed for the majority of the day with lessons in a cold, bare room, along with hundreds of other pupils, being schooled in the basics of the Omnissiah’s blessings: the assembly of a lasgun, composition of alloys, operation and coercion of basic machine-spirits, and, lastly and most importantly, the basic precepts of the faith of the Machine-God. He was always an ideal student, less often beaten or or cowed then the other students due to his quick wit, friendliness, and his ability to soak up knowledge. Due to these traits, Yarach was tagged as an ideal candidate for induction into the priesthood, and pulled out of the normal laborer classes, to learn even more of the arcane and eldritch secrets of the cult of the Machine-God. By his fiftenth year(although he only figured this out later, from looking at his file; as an initiate to the mysteries of the Omnissiah, birthdays, holidays, and other markers of the passage of time were deemed to be frivolous and distracing to his education), Yarach was ready to receive the first of many implants in the service of the Omnissiah. By his eighteenth, his system had been extensively augmented, increasing his strength, speed, durability, faith, and intelligence. However, they also ignited something else: a thirst for the unknown, above and beyond the average Tech-Priest. Unable to ignore this growing thirst, the Mechanicus sent him to the Tricorn, to serve as a Mech-Wright there, as well as an archivist. After all, where could be safer for the boy and those around him then in the palace of the Inquisition, where any heresy, tech-based or otherwise, could be sniffed out immediately? They might even put his curiosity to good use, the reasoning went.
It seemed that the Mechanicus priests were right, at least for a while: Yarach flourished in the archive stations of the Tricorn, satisfying his lust for information while under close scruitiny to prevent corruption latent in the data and devices he was handling. For 20 years, Yarach sat and sifted through mountains of data, classifying, reporting, filing, and even sometimes being asked to interpret documents of both ancient and recent provenance, aiding the Inquisition in their sacred task. In particular, he grew talented at working on police reports, investigative summaries, and other documents, putting together a complete picture of incidents in an amazingly quick fashion. He was content to sit at his desk forever, accumulating more and more information, doing his duty to the Inquisition as best he knew how.
However, even the most disciplined of archivists sometimes slip, and Yarach slipped one day. In his investigation of a cell of cultists in the underhive of Sibellus, he accidentally pursued a lead a bit too far, and ended up reading the true name of a Daemon of Nurgle. This revelation was too much for Yarach, and for a little while, Yarach was driven entirely mad. He stood up from his desk, and, laspistol in one hand and metal staff in the other, he simply walked out of the Tricorn. People on their way out are not often questioned, and the one guard who tried was swiftly bludgeoned to death.
Of course, this state of affairs couldn't last long without coming to an Inquisitor’s attention. Dead bodies in the Tricorn, disturbingly common as they are, are not usually clad in the armor of an Inquisitorial Stormtrooper. A squad was dispatched to find the rogue Mech-Wright, and terminate him with extreme prejudice. However, once they’d tracked him down, in the Underhive, they were met with a surprise.
They found Yarach among the corpses of the diseased cultists, covered in pus and blood, rocking back and forth among the offal. When questioned, the only sounds he would make were screeches of binary, followed by the pronouncement: “Heretics must be cleansed. The Omnissiah has so decreed.”. Intrigued, the Stormtroopers apprehended him, and brought him in for questioning at the Tricorn. As a Tech-Priest, most methods of physical coercion were ineffective, and so the operatives had to rely on sleep and sensory deprivation. After two weeks without sleep, even a Tech-Priest will begin to crack slightly. Over the next four months, in which Yarach spent 8 hours a day, sometimes more, in front of an examiner, these facts began to emerge:
Yarach had read the true name of a Greater Daemon.
This was more than slightly unsettling to his sanity.
Right before he went off of the brink into irredeemable madness, a vision of the Omnissiah appeared before him, and absorbed the knowledge which had so unsettled him.
The Omnissiah then instructed him to seek out the heretics, and deliver to them their just reward of death.
Although skeptical of the exact circumstances(visions of the Omnissiah are not often seen, after all), the Inquisitor in charge of his case felt it necessary to question him personally.
Inquisitor: So the Omissiah came to you?
Yarach: Indeed. Experience:Transcendental.
Inquisitor: And you killed every one of the cultists? Did you hesitate at all? You can’t have been used to killing, having worked as a deskrat your entire career.
Yarach: Cultists: Classification: Heretic. Category:Remorse:Not applicable.
Inquisitor: Perfect. So, Mech-Wright Yarach, how would you like to work for the Inquisition?
Yarach: Query: Is this unit not currently a member of List: Inquisiton?
Inquisitor: As a field agent, Yarach. Under the authority of an Inquisitor, rooting out heresy, chasing xenos, that sort of thing?
Yarach: Further query: Will killing of more like them occur?
Inquisitor: *Chuckles * You can be assured of that, my friend.
Yarach: This unit has been added to List: Inquisitorial Adepts. Awaiting further commands, Inquisitor.
Like most Tech-Priests, it is rare to find Yarach out of the blood-red robes of his calling, emblazoned with the Cogwheel of the Omnisisah on his chest. If one were to look under them, and the carapace he habitually wears, however, it would become immediately apparent that Yarach is much-favored in His eyes. Brass and gold-inlaid cyber machinery replaces much of his torso, and although his mouth and face remain near-free of implants other than electro-studs, his throat has been replaced with a fine platinum mesh. A mechadendrite, often kept curled around his waist as a belt, will sometimes unravel and wave as he works at something which requires a great deal of focus. Lastly, what might appear to be perhaps extra bulk from a pack or merely a hunch is actually a backpack power supply for a hellgun and hellpistol, strapped across his back and holstered at his waist, respectively. A helmet is strapped under the backpack, within easy reach.
Black hair frames a face which is thin and pale, but not unhealthy looking; he actually appears quite warm and friendly, if interacted with. A slight buzz of static, and some occasional strange colloquialisms, are the only reminders of his augmented status in his voice, unless he is frustrated, in which case he reverts to a strange, cogitator-command like syntax, which for those not familiar can be both difficult to comprehend and off-putting.
Spoiler: Character Sheet
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Stormwracked verdant hive
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Ret Sgt 63rd Scintillan Slag Dogs Guard Regiment
Ex-CO Rochelle's Roughnecks, Troubleshooting & Professional Secutity Company
MD, Collegia di Santa Elena
"Right. Who needs some fixing?"
Homeworld: Scintilla (Gunmetal City)
Teeming Masses in Metal Mountains: A hive world character ignores crowds for purposes of movement, treating them as open terrain. When in enclosed spaces, he also gains a +20 bonus to Navigate (Surface) tests.Background: Imperial Guard
Hammer of the Emperor: When attacking a target that an ally has attacked since the end of the Guardsman's last turn, the Guardsman can reroll any result of 1 or 2 on damage rolls.Role: Seeker
Nothing Escapes My Sight: In addition to the normal uses of Fate Points (p293) a Seeker character may spend a Fate Point to automatically succeed at an Awareness or Perception test with a number of degrees of success equivalent to his Perception bonus.Divination: "To War Is Human".
BS: 45 +
Int: 40 ++
Per: 40 ++
Fel: 45 ++
Ballistic Skill, Fellowship, Fieldcraft, Intelligence, Knowledge, Perception, Social, Tech
Common Lore [Imperial Guard]
Weapon Training [Low Tech, Shock, Las, SP]
Peer [Imperial Guard]
Nowhere to Hide
BS +5: 250
Int +5: 100
Int +10: 250
Per +5: 100
Per +10: 250
Fel +5: 100
Fel +10: 250
Medicae: 100 (take the Operate for free at creation)
Medicae +10: 200
Medicae +20: 300
Medicae +30: 400
Trade [Armourer]: 100
Common Lore [Tech] : 100
Common Lore: [Calixis Sector]: 100
Rapid Reload 300
Weapon Training (Shock) 100
Peer (Imperial Guard): 200
Nowhere to Hide: 300
Mastery (Medicae): 400
Precision Killer: 450
Concealed Cavity [where the uterus used to be, rendered irreparable by a shrapnel wound]
Synskin [Good Qual] old Guard Uniforms, Doctor's Duds
Enforcer Light Carapace Armour [Good Qual]
Respirator, Photo Visors, Deadspace Earpiece, Commset
Chrono, Good-Qual, synth-leather wristband, silver cover with snarling, smoking hound sigil
Aquila necklace with 63rd Scintillan Slag Dogs dogtags and Lucky Bullet
>personal grooming kit
>[2 packs of combat rations, 1 canteen of water]
>[1 flask of Gorsk Whyt Gyn [Good-Qual] (kept in the left boot-sheath)]
>[1 lighter, 1 flask of extra lighter fluid, a packet of tinder, a packet of herbs]
>[ID papers, 2 Emperor brand condoms, bounty hunter’s license, mercenary's license, doctor's papers Collegia di Santa Elena, Gallowglass, 0.50 Thrones in 5-cent coins (other money: ___)]
Journal and pens
Dataslate of medical texts
Medikit [Best Qual]
Diagnostor [Good Qual]
Weapon harnesses/holsters/Combat Vest
"Gnade Toten" Hack shot pistol
>[6 Inferno Shells]
>holstered at the small of the back, concealed holster
"Babe" modified ThollMkIV (S/2/4)
>[36 rounds in 4 magazines]
>Compact, with Expanded Magazines and Tac-Light
>holstered at the left armpit in concealed holster
[Best Quality] Takara Minerva-Aegis Lascarbine
>[300 shots in 5 standard rifle-grade powercells]
>Custom Grip, Fluid Action, Motion Predictor, Targeter
[Best-Quality?] Khayer-Addin Crimson Skull Valentine
>[10 special pistol powercells, bandolier]
>holstered at right thigh
"The Paintbrush" stick grenade with several spraypaint cans attached
>hung at right hip
"CLEAR" Telescoping Shock Baton
>sheathed at left hip
*Needs ta be expanded. Sorry for the delay. Sheltering, and repair/cleanup during/after a few storms.
slag. slag. SLAG! Slagslagslagslagslag...! Jam the whole damned lot of yeh! Ye slag-assed punk! Came Sgt Rochelle's stream of internal invective as she sagged against a bedroom wall. They'd been instructed by Lord Asin to pick up his son for a function...
...and it seemed he and his friends began their party a little too early. Coulda been Slaught by the colour of their blood, but definitely Spook by the miasma in the air. The miasma that had left three and a half princeling fops in a mad, mangled goop on the once-opulent bedspread, their juices dripping into the rich carpets, seeping into the floor, soon to seep into the ceiling, into the floor in the floor in the floor below.
The blue-haired Guard vet wiped at her mouth and started. Didn't know when she'd stopped vomiting. Or gnawing on her carbine's stock, for that matter. Breath rasping, didn't know she'd been sucking on the brass aquila about her gun's handle. Spat. Dry-heaved. Took a healthy swig of cold, cold Gorsk. Heaved again.
How the WARP could this be stranger, worse, than old, damned FENK? Good bloody Tholl!
Dully she's aware of the charging handle locked back, and... the light, empty magazine of her Hacker Creeder 5.7 carbine. Cordite in the air. Smoke from her muzzle. Her muzzle.
Damned muties. Damned heretics. Damned nobs! WARP, the gorram GREENSKINS were more honest than these buggers! The hell was I taken off-guard! Slag mah sorreh ass! CUSHY CONTRACT mah gorram arse!
Knuckles on wood panelling. Rapping, rapping harder. A ringing in her ears. A ringing in her pocket. Hand-vox... how her hand fumbled...
...the message was received. She allowed herself a chuckle, coughed into a choke. Reloaded. Opened the door. Enough of a crack to let her mates see the heresy behind her.
"Roughnecks. Old contract, terminated. New contract... remember THOSE guys from the ship? Yeah. Look sharp. We're now in enemy territory. Even moreso'n usual. Hah. Frak. Move out."
House Asin took notice, soon enough. Jim stayed behind... His comrades knew he'd bought the farm when they heard the telltale boom of an intentionally overloaded hellgun drowning out the zealous soldier's scream.
By various ways, jacking cars, stowing on trains, hopping on trucks, the remaining members of Rochelle's Roughnecks slowly made their way away from their former employer.
Downhive to the rendezvous coordinates given by Lieutenant Yarach...
...he may be our new commander, but definitely no slouching VIP. came Rochelle's thoughts as she watched him mow down another wave of deranged heretics with his trusty Vanaheim as their joint assault group advanced on the downstairs of their target area.
A glint in a balcony beyond. Thankful for being short, and in a better urban camo suit than the radiant-robed Lieutenant, she swung her command laspistol up and took the heretic sniper out.
Thirteen-strong, their reinforced merc outfit had been, at the rendezvous, just before beginning the assault on Ten Spire's guts. Now they were down to eight.
Beanie, well, he had moxie, but, the flyin' frak ya don't charge a warp-gunner with just knives. Damned daft Landrian. Nameless, frakker had ta be put down, didn't have Tholl's steel in his soul, turned coat, shot Myx an' Johnny Gale an' her li'l bro Jordan.
Slagger'd spun on his heel and the dependable old lard-bucket slammed a tri-barrel of Volgite justice down the bastard traitor's craw. Rochelle had then rushed over to those he'd tagged. Jordy's armour took the brunt, thank Tholl. Myx got her right arm blown off at the elbow, seen to swift enough, with prayer, booze, thank Tholl for lasfire's flash-burns, and a quick tending to with her battered old medkit. Good thing she's a southpaw. Gale got right proper ventilated through the gut. Refused the synthskin, just took duct-tape an' volunteered to go rearguard.
Was too far, too slow. Dammit, Rox! ShiiiiiiiYEHT. Gettin' old, West! Gettin' old! BASTARD! Rochelle grit her teeth and issued rally and redeployment orders via both hand-signs and commbeads, "Tholl rack ye, ya slackers! Keep sharp! Blooders, outer diamond, blunt 'em. Silvers, inner diamond, cover 'em. Roughnecks, core, cap 'em. COME ON, ya slackers!"
She was down one ratty, much-holed coat, now. Thank Tholl the carapace cuirass, now much-scored and much-scorched, had held firm.
They were down now to her three Roughnecks, one Silver--- a machinegunner like Jordy--- and four True Blooders. Those were some damned sharp blade bitches, an' no mistake. They moved like quicksilver, flowing from shadow to shadow, always grinning, joking with those quiet, quiet voices of theirs. They were all jacked in crisp silver and sable, greatcoat-tails like cog-crows' wings, their hair done all tucked away beneath their well-fitted helms. Shots were always a crisp Maccabbean Drill, two in the chest, one in the head. Even their stabs and smashes were quick and clean.
"Sir!" Rochelle barks, in acknowledgment of Yarach's order, grinning as she blew at her pistol's muzzle, having summarily executed several power strips on a hunch, glad that her paranoid intuition had paid off, despite not fully understanding--- and gladly so--- one whit of the shyet of the machinery that their commander had proclaimed heretical.
She nods at Jordan and says, "Hose 'em down."
Making her way to the currently most vocal of their captives, the Guard vet with a medkit slung among her gear sneers and, dialling its power down just right, presses her laspistol to the heretic's bound hands and pulls the trigger.
Rochelle marches back to Yarach's side, putting a lho to her lips. The igniter's little flame sets bluish smoke swirling through some stray strands of her blue fringe just as her brother's heavy stubber executes the heretical machines Yarach had commanded be destroyed.
Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2014-10-04 at 11:55 AM.Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
Previous Avatars: by Dr Bath, Strawberries, zimmerwald1915
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Various RP from the archives of my inbox.
Made prior to departing on the mission at Malfi.
Spoiler: The request for Amadeus' modified ammunition.Blue-grey smoke curled about the wide-brimmed hat as flakes of ash drifted down to the dull, green dataslate. The crowsfeet and unnumbered wrinkles around the hard-glaring right eye of flesh are mirrored in the myriad tubes and wires of the unblinking red augmetic in the left.
"Sarah the Scum-Spitter, eh?" comes the rasping, grating voice of a woman who might well be older than her grandmother yet wields an Inquisitor's power over entire worlds. "Kid, I like ye. Y'did good work, there, the Emperor's work. Interrogator Culler says in his report yer quite fond of... Amadeus. Y'want some sharper loads for that beast of yours?"
"Yeah" the affirmative comes easy to the scarred bounty hunter, comes in a feral half-smile and half-snarl. "Yer the Inquisition, aintcha? The Emperor's best? Stuff I ask's surely pocket-change fer ye"
"True..." replies the Inquisitor Kutot with a frown. "But these things must be earned. Aye, ye've proven that ye can do the Emperor's work, but ye've yet to prove yerself as an Acolyte..."
"I haven't the stock ready at hand, but I can arrange for it..." she continues, the frown twitching into a smirk, "...come back from your mission alive, sane and preferably successful. And then, let's see what you've earned"
Voices heard by Sarah following the attack at Enoch's Electrical Emporium.
Spoiler: Sarah's private voicesplip... plip... plip... plip...
Mountain of metal, mountain of scrap
Rust-water drips and drips and drips
Dancing with sewer-filth and waste-oil
To a song sung by blood and bile
plip... plip... plip... plip...
Maker... maker... maker... maaaaaker...
Smith... smith... smith... smiiiiiiiith...
Tinkerer... tinkerer... tinkerer... tinkerer...
Making and unmaking, assembly and disassembly
Burning, heating, forging, slagging, tempering
To destroy is to make, to make is to destroy
Death is only the beginning
plip... plip... plip... plip...
Come to me.
plip... plip... plip... plip...
Interaction between Marcus and Sarah on board the Imperial Starways 739, prior to attack by heretical elements.
Spoiler: The Alley of DeathSeveral days of uneventful travel have passed. Marcus can feel a familiar presence. Sarah. Looking around Marcus sees the rag clad figure looming nearby an empty bottle held loosely in a dangling hand. Sarah isn't being even slightly subtle in the shadowing, her eyes burning twin holes into the psykers flesh. A final flash of blurred disgust and Sarah disappears back into the stacks.
The first couple of times it happens, the psyker just shudders and hurries up on his way, trying to get away from her as soon as possible. The third time, she's not fast enough that Marcus can't see where she's gone. He takes a deep breath and follows her where he's seen her disappear. Better see what she wants once and for all, he reasons. "Ma'am?" He calls after her, a bit of hesitation in his voice.
Sarah hears the hesitant voice and unsure on what to do. She leans heavily on the stacks and takes a swig from the already uncorked bottle. The dull glass only contains stale emanations long since having been drained. The instant emotion roars up in Sarah's mind. Anger.
Deeper in the stacks a shadow moves as a figure blocks a slit of light that passes between two cargo crates. There is a scrape followed by the sound of an empty echoing of a bottle beyond the corner. There is a surge of anger, obviously from Sarah. The mental image of Marcus' bloodied hands holding his own entrails is replaced in an instant by Alexei's face and a trace of fear. Sarah steps into view rapidly approaching Marcus one hand clutching a bottle the other with a white knuckle grip on the curved blade that hung from her belt.
Sarah steps out, barely restraining herself from ending the psyker here. She falters in her anger for a moment while her dulled mind conjures up the words, which when located she spits out as though they were actual weapons.
"Maan." Sarah drawls in a mockery of Marcus' polite inquiry.
"You're not even that, you're empty like this bottle." She punctuates this point by ramming the bottle into Marcus' chest leaving him holding it as she turns to stumble away.
"I'll be there when you slip, waiting." Sarah hisses as she walks away.
Marcus remains where he is, at first, holding the empty bottle and trying to breathe evenly in an effort to calm down. Anger and hatred. Anger and hatred are always painful, especially if picked up from such a close distance, and especially because he wasn't expecting them so loud and clear. Sarah had pointed a gun at him and her emotions have been hostile pretty much from the start... but she was also the one to rush in when he called for assistance.
Marcus shivers and hugs himself briefly. He can't figure it out. All he knows is that she didn't look well, just now... he starts to turn away, but then he stops, biting his lips so hard that it is a miracle he doesn't break skin. Despite all, she is still a cellmate.
Still trembling slightly, but with a resolute espression in his eyes, the psyker moves to follow her. "Ma'am" he says again, a tiny bit louder, this time. "Please, w-wait."
Sarah pauses, unsure. Her back remains turned to Marcus, but she doesn't turn the corner, remaining on the precipice of escape. It's easy to sense the tension in Sarah...
Marcus doesn't step any closer, to avoid making her more angry or frightened. He'd like for her to turn around and look at him, but apparently, that's something he's not going to get. Not now,at least "Ma'am...." he says again, voice low and uncertain "I... I know you w-would like to kill me, ma'am." It doesn't even occur to him to ask her why. The answer is clear and familiar enough. "I... I'll try to stay out of your way, ma'am, b-but... I am a tool in service of the Emperor." That's what has been said to him, countless times, since he can remember, and that's what he repeats to her. "Our goals are the same, ma'am, as are our l-loyalties." He doesn't know if the reassurance is for her or himself.
Sarah listened to the pysker, he was right of course. Just a tool. An edge of shame crept into Sarah's mind. Her hand left her blade's handle and began turning the cog that hung from her neck. She paused unsure of what to do. In the end she settled for nothing. Sarah sighed and left.
Guilt, Shame and a large deal of confusion. The anger is still there, but too blurred to rise again to the surface. Her mind conjures an scene: Blood slick in her hand as she holds another hand. The hand draws closer to a disabled figure lying amongst scattered motors and wiring. Remembered words of encouragement, hers, and the screaming. Joy. In the swirling mass of disconnected thoughts a man stands a thick leather coat covering his anaemic figure and maggots crawling from his festering flesh. Sorrow and guilt, the soft joy turning sour.
Without zeal and without passion there is heresy and there is death.
The words echo dully from Sarah's mouth before she turns the corner and leaves, but Marcus is sure that hanging in her mind a different voice spoke.
The boy just stands there for a while after she's gone, shivering quietly, before turning and walking away.
Some Time later.
Marcus doesn't see Sarah in the shadows for while after his encounter, but it seems Sarah was not finished. Perhaps she was drawn by hatred or a simple lust for violence. Once again Sarah's mind appeared on the edge of Marcus' thoughts and sure enough the figure was there. She sees him turn her way a motions with a bottle to the corridor of rusted crates. A corridor that saw little usage as it led nowhere in particular. Sarah's mind was different, it had a hard edge to it. Determination. Sarah moved into the shady passage.
Marcus' first impulse is to turn and leave, not get dragged into whatever it is she has in mind this time. But that's the coward's way out, and whatever else can be said about him, Marcus is not a coward. He gathers himself a bit more tightly and follows her into the passage. His expression is almost resigned. "Yes,ma'am?" he asks, warily.
Sarah is waiting for Marcus inside the dark tunnel, leaning sullenly against the crates. Her hips devoid of obvious weapons, the bulk of the pistol absent. Seeing him and hearing him she holds out the bottle to him. It's not empty, rather full with a golden liquid that catches the few rays of light that pierce the collection of rusted metal. The wax seal at the top is jagged and recently cut. Sarah spits out the cork, which makes a dull ringing on the iron boxes, and speaks her voice practically a growl. "To the Emperor's glory. Drink!"
The determination is still there strongly masking the undertone of apprehension and fear.
"Ma'am?" He frowns in confusion. Whatever he was expecting, this is certainly not it. He hesitates, then sighs and picks up the bottle from her hands. He's not sure what kind of test this is, but he'll comply. "Yes, ma'am. To... To the Emperor's glory.". He doesn't drink more than a little sip, though. Abusing inebriating substances is not a good idea for a psyker.
The liquid is smooth and mellow, if somewhat lacking in a pleasant taste. The after taste especially is like licking a rotten nutri-cube.
Sarah growls in irritation. She takes the the bottle from Marcus. The thought of smashing in the witches brain is lost as Sarah brings the bottle up to her a lips in an action that this trip has made a little too practised. There is a long swallow from her before she returns the bottle to Marcus, no less harshly than the first time. "When one praises the Emperor, one doesn't hold back. Drink again, for the protector of Mankind." The stress on the final word and the look on Sarah's face makes it clear that Marcus isn't included. The flash of irritation, and shame?, in Sarah has removed some of the rigid determination and the underlying hate, swirls confused at her core.
Marcus tenses, taking a step back without accepting the bottle. "I'm sorry, ma'am, but no." he says, quietly but resolutely, oddly enough without hesitating or stammering at all. "It's not a good idea for me to drink alcohol, ma'am."
What do you want from me? he wants to ask, but he doesn't. Of course he doesn't. He has been subject to tests and examinations his whole life, and this is clearly just the latest one. The only difference being, he has no idea what to do to pass this one. He just stands where he is, rigidly, almost at attention, looking Sarah in the eyes.
A flare of anger. Sarah grabs Marcus pinning him to the deck, his injured arm twisting painful in it's bandages as she pours the liquor on him, it's endless volume drowning him until he chokes it down.
Sarah steps forward, her hand clenched in a fist raises to strike... and stays there. Sarah's bleary eyes look down at the frail psyker. His useless arm hanging in the sling. The anger that boils beneath Sarah floods away and her arm sags limply. Shame, deep and burning overwhelms Sarah as she staggers back and slides down the cargo wall. The bottle, still held between her fingers, touches the filthy floor with clink. Sarah looks up at the psyker, probably still stood there stock at attention. She speaks softly, her words tinged with pity. "You truly are empty, psyker. In the absence of a soul you have fled to inhumanity. You will not survive, it may not be me that strikes you down, but the demons you command shall turn on you and rip your hollow husk apart. I hope I am there to watch it, to hear your dying scream as the tear you arms from their sockets. Perhaps when you die I shall know the truth. In wine the truth. You have no truth." Sarah sets the bottle down and removes the hip flask from her pocket. Sarah looks down at it unwilling to waste any more energy on a lost cause.
Regret. Sarah knows there are things she lacks the strength to do, lacked the strength to accomplish. She should strike down the psyker now. She should of done it at the start. Sarah had failed yet another test. Her mind is oddly blank even as she describes the gruesome death that awaits Marcus she can't even conjure an image of his blood or a shred of joy at the finality of his existence. A young boy's face lurked in her memories, smiling, smiling to the last.
Marcus forces himself not to stagger, step back or react in any way at the impact of her emotions and the images that he's picking up from her, even if the sensation is worse than when he had actually been shot. Breathe, he advices himself, struggling to inhale and exhale evenly. As usual, it helps. A little. He knows the blood has drained from his face, but most people aren't able to tell with voidborns, who are already naturally pale.
Outwardly, he doesn't react in any other way. He keeps staring ahead, keeps standing rigidly on attention. There is, however, something he has to say. "I don't control d-demons, ma'am. And if..." When, his mind traitorously interjects, in the voice of the countless people that have said the same thing to him over the years, that it is only a matter of time. He shakes his head in the hope of shutting them up, then, forcefully "IF I should lose control, one day, I won't die by their hands, ma'am. It would be by my own. That is why I refused your drink, ma'am. "
There are other things he'd like to ask her. What do you want from me? is still at the top of his mind, followed closely by Who are those people that I keep seeing in your mind, and surprisingly enough Are you alright?. She's not, of course, it's plain enough for anyone to see, but Marcus doesn't know what to do about it or, for what it matters, how to put any of the other questions into words. He swallows, and says, in a very low voice. "I'll leave you alone, ma'am... but if you had questions, it wasn't necessary to inebriate me to have me answer. Ma'am.".
Sarah sits on the ground listening to Marcus, she doesn't look up or acknowledge Marcus' words, yet she listens. She knows so little about psykers and their evil arts. She knows so little about everything. Why should she question the Inquisitors will, he had allowed this scum to live. He had allowed her to live. Sadness wells inside her, a longing is there as well. A longing for simplicity, for understanding.
Sarah sits in sullen silence, turning the flask over and over, her grubby fingers tracing the worn lettering. She waits an silence following Marcus' words that stretches for a long time. Sarah waits until Marcus turns to leave and just before he escapes earshot she speaks. "When? When did you know what you were?"
Shame. Shame at weakness.
The boy stops in his tracks and turns around, surprised. He didn't expect her to talk to him again. He shivers at the question and the the memories that it brings to the front. The Black Ship and the screaming. The screaming that was always there. "All my life, ma'am." he answers, quietly, soberly. "But if you mean when I tangibly m-manifested my powers, I was ten, ma'am."
Sarah thinks for a moment before speaking again. "You've always known what you are? Always?" She shudders, at the thought. Sarah sits there silently, her brain turning over various questions she could ask. In the end she settles for: "Tell me what it is like."
"Yes, ma'am" Marcus answers to the first question, but hesitates on the second request, unsure how to put the answer into words. That hadn't been a question, though, that had been an order, and Marcus has been conditioned to obey orders since before he could talk. "Yes,ma'am. It's...it's difficult to describe for me, ma'am." nobody has ever asked him to describe it before. He takes a deep breath, and tries his best.
"It's... it's som-something that's just there, ma'am. Like blinking. Or...or d-dreaming, ma'am, except you are dreaming other people's dreams. Like before, y-you wanted to p-pin me to the d-deck and drown m-me, ma'am." He realises, too late, that she's probably going to be furious that he's seen it in her mind, and shivers, adding quietly "I'm sorry ma'am, b-but I couldn't help it. It's worse w-when people are angry, ma'am" by the way he's tensed up even more, however, it's clear he expects her to strike him. He doesn't make any move to defend himself, though.
When Marcus reveals that he knows, or at least can feel, Sarah's thought the immediate reaction is one of immense panic. Not rage or anger, but panic. Fear and disgust quickly follow and the anger certainly hasn't disappeared. If Sarah had been standing there is no doubt that Marcus wouldn't of finished speaking before Sarah had clocked him.
Sarah looks as though she has been slapped, her eyes widen and her empty hand clenches tight enough to cause blood to drip from her palm. She snarls and staggers to her feet the metal flask dropping to the floor. It lands with a dull clink as she lurches at Marcus...
Marcus is nailed to a filthy metal frame. Large iron spikes driven into his elbows and knees, warm blood runs in rivers as he tugs against the pins. The image is intense, but... His back arches as the pain flares through his body, Sarah laughs manically as she pulls another finger-sized strip of flesh free from his tensed muscles. The layer beneath red and ragged. Marcus' bare body though broken and blood soaked bears no brand... His screams twin with Sarah's laughter as she calmly puts the blade, curved and wickedly sharp, back to his flesh. There is an intense look in her eyes as she presses the point harder, Mirrored in her eyes the unending smile on what should of been his own face... until it punches through the flimsy skin. Blood jets out sprayed Sarah's face, contorted in obscene glee, in yet more blood. Staining her long hair, far from her current cut... Her tongue runs along her lips as her eyes roll back into her skull. The life slowly seeps from Marcus as his arterial blood sprays out beat by beat. Calm steady beats, measured by some unseen hand. Not the frantic fits of a dying man... Sarah grasps his head and looks deep into his eyes holding them open as his strength flees his torn body...
Sarah stands slowly her limbs somewhat unwilling to advance in step. Her eyes flick from Marcus' throat to the holstered pistol at his hip. They are intense and cold. Intent on concentrating on the painful details, warping the memory to replace the face with Marcus' own. The face of a young boy, grinning till the end...
By the psyker's reaction, it's pretty clear Sarah's strategy has worked, at least in the beginning. The boy's eyes widen in shock, and... recognition? Remembrance? He starts to take a step back, trembling, more from the impact of her anger than for the bloodiness of the images... and then stops, apparently by sheer force of will. That is a psychic attack, something that Marcus has been trained to withstand: he just hadn't been prepared for something so... vicious.
Marcus closes his eyes and forces himself to breathe evenly and slowly, closing his mind like he has been thaught. It doesn't work completely: she's too near, and Marcus was too open towards her before, but at least the impact of the images and the emotions is dulled to an almost bearable level. He manages to clench his muscles so that the shivering isn't that noticeable anymore, and carefully forces a blank expression on his face. He notices Sarah's eyes flicking to the gun at his hips, but he doesn't make any move to take it. It doesn't look like he's even considering it.
"I apologise, ma'am. I shouldn't have brought that out. I know it's upsetting." he repeats, dully, as emotionlessly as he can. "Do you want me to go, ma'am?"
Even if, there's something strange about the image she tried to force on it. It has the quality of a memory, but the perspective is all wrong, like a dream, like she hadn't been the one doing the torturing... Oh.
"I am sorry, ma'am." he repeats, and this time he has the tone of someone who means it.
Sarah seems to garner great satisfaction from Marcus' initial reaction. However by the time she forces her intoxicated body move in the his direction, he has gathered himself. Her lip curls with a strong distaste.
Sarah clutches Marcus' head her thumbs digging into his eyes, she draws closer to him. Watching is last breaths escape from his lips.
Sarah's hand twitches forward for the pistol at Marcus' hip. Shame and fear stop her and again she stands there staring into Marcus' eyes. Anger burns deep in the green orbs, yet they are wet with held tears.
She listens to his words the hollow tone echoing around the iron stacks. Then he cracks, emotion bleeds through to his speech, but it's not anger it's pity.
"I am sorry, ma'am."
Shocked, Sarah turns from the deceiver and buries her head in her arms, leaning against the bulkhead. Her breaths are heavy, racking sobs, and even though Marcus can no longer see her face, he knows she is crying.
Shame, anger and outrage. Hatred seethes at her core. This time it's not Marcus' image that fills her mind, but her own. Emptiness. A cold and dark cell, her frail starved body unable to move toward or even to muster a crawl. So weak, so pitiful.
Marcus freezes where he is a flash of pain clear on his face, her pain and grief apparently getting to him much more effectively than anger and violence had. Pain and grief have always been much more difficult for him to shield from, making his defence crumble much more easily, dragging up memories and feelings that he would really prefer to keep buried. Worse of all, they make him feel useless, like when he was a child, and couldn't do anything about the terror and the suffering all around him. He's not a child anymore, though, and he can at least try. "Ma'am" he whispers, barely loud enough for her to hear him. "Breathe, ma'am." And the other thing he always tells himself when he wakes up from a nightmare "You're n-not there anymore, ma'am." He unconsciously moves a couple of steps towards her, even if that just makes it worse from himself.
Sarah flinched at Marcus' words. Her breaths becoming quick and shallow. "I know where I am! Stay out my head!" Sarah stumbles away from the wall with wild eyes, streaming tears. She barges past Marcus in her haste and breaks for the rest of the ship. Away from the psyker.
Shame. She knows she can't touch Marcus, she can't fail again. Disobey again. There are no third chances. The psyker had done something, manipulated her like a puppet. She had to stay strong.
Marcus is left alone in the dark alley of rust. The only sound is the hip flask rocking on the floor. Nearby the bottle of amasec rests barely touched and somewhere amid the dirty rivets a cork hides. Of Sarah however there is no further sign.
Marcus makes no move to follow her. He shouldn't have said anything about the image he had perceived. He should have known it would just have upset her... but he didn't know what else to do. He brings his left hand up to rub his eyes, and he notices that they are wet. He hadn't realised that he was crying, as well.
He wipes his eyes, then bends down to pick up the hip flask that she has left behind. He doubts she'd be back asking for it, but it doesn't feel right to leave it on on the floor. He bites his lip, then turns and walks away.
The flask is engraved. It is one of those standard issue Arbite flasks--- good, solid stainless steel... nominally. Nicks and scratches aplenty. One corner is quite crushed, bit jagged, still has a piece of a bullet's core melded onto it. .32 calibre solid or a piece of .45 frangible. Standardized machined inscription on the front reads, Ave Imperator. In vino veritas. Nihil letargico. Inscription on the back, personally scratched-in, reads, You keep me awake / My thirst, your kiss does slake / Love, Rogal D. Hirst
And currently containing a small amount fungal rotgut.
Interaction between Sarah and Yarach, involving modifications to cell's weaponry.
Spoiler: Plan Marshmellows, A.K.A Lets Futz with hellguns"Could this one please report to the Enginarium on Deck 4? This one requires your assistance in a matter of great importance."
Sarah puts down the bottle and pushes the vox. "Sarah responding. On route now." Sarah stands, wavering slightly and begins making her way to the Enginarium...
...by the time she arrives there she has a clearer head, but still sways slightly as she walks. Perspiration is clear on her brow, from her rapid response. Seeing the cog-boys guarding the facility she announces herself with a grin and awaits whatever task Yarach has in store for her, catching her breath against a nearby bulkhead. Her curiosity has been peaked now as she begins to wonder what actually lies in the ordained chambers of actual priests of Mars. However what task could Yarach wish of her, she hadn't heard anyone else respond to the message and no-one else had arrived. By the time Yarach appeared she had begun to fidget nervously, her teeth drawing blood from her lip...
Yarach notices her wonder with bemusement as he opens the sanctum door. This one truly desires the Omnissiah's grace. This unit shall have to oblige this one!
After broadcasting his clearance for her to enter, Yarach waves Sarah into the workshop, speaking animatedly as he goes.
"This unit has been working upon a special project, for Process: Heretek elimination. Cell:Hounds has proven lacking in long-range firepower, and the application of force executables outside of enemy visual processing capability is a vital asset. However, in modifying this unit's weapon, this unit has realized that, although the technical skills to create the parts and the settings have been gifted to this one by the Omnissiah, this one does not have the skill to integrate them with the weapon. Would this one be able to assist? This unit remembered Amadeus, a fine work of art, and thought perhaps..."
Sarah follows Yarach into the holy grail of technology. She manages to barely restrain herself from giggling and rolling around in the assorted machinery. Barely. While Yarach speaks Sarah moves about the work space running her finger across various tools and parts. Her grin threatens to rip free from her face a start up on its own. When Yarach finishes speaking his unfinished sentence hanging in the air Sarah is all to ready to complete it in an ecstatic tone.
"...Unit:Sarah could be added to list: Helpful. I would love to, I mean it would be an honour to work with a, that is to say, you. Could I see it, I mean I'll need to see it. How close are we to the engines here, would there be time to see them? I mean it would... help my work. I'll need to fetch my tools, not to say they are better, but I shouldn't leave them unattended, Matthew can only stay awake so many hours of the day. I'll go get them now, yes sooner we can start the better, I heard from the scrags below... Or is it above? Well anyway Apparently this bucket, vessel is making true time, or not slipping or whatever the warp funk is. Yes I'll fetch my things and start right away, if that is alright, is it? Heh."
Sarah turns and heads for the exit. The change in her demeanour on entering the enginarium was extremely pronounced. A smile on her face and positive giddiness in her tone. A tad unprofessional however and her exaggerated mood could be, put down to the alcohol, obviously present on her breath.
Sarah returns sometime later with her larger duffel bag and sets it on the bench. Inside the padded inside is a vast array of tools, parts and wiring. A quick search would show up a great number of power regulation devices and thick cabling. Sarah reaches up to tie her hair back, realising belatedly that her hair has been cut short, the unconscious gesture falls away and she turns to Yarach.
"So shall we begin?"
When Sarah returns, she see can see, spread out on a work bench, neat stacks and groupings of hellgun parts, the casing disassembled to expose the inner workings of the coils, lenses, and focusing arrays that create the weapon's striking destructive power.
"As this one can can see, these ones will be working on a DK-39-322 Focused Laser Emitting Apparatus, or the D'laku Crusade-Pattern Hellgun. A fantastic weapon, but sadly not optimized to this unit's purpose:long range support. This one has created a focusing array, as well as settings which will allow for the focusing of this beam into a long-range beam, capable of high accuracy and damage. However, this one is not aware of the best way to reinstall the lenses so as to be ergonomic, nor how to modify the barrel to allow it to be long enough to fire with accuracy. Would this one be able to assist?"
Yarach gestures towards the weapon, and steps aside. He stands ready to assist if he can, and will do his best, but lets Sarah get to work. As she does, if she does, he looks over her shoulder, commenting, asking questions, and analyzing her methods and movements.
Sarah nods emphatically as she listens to Yarach, a broad grin spreads across her lips she drops the tattered rags and greatcoat beneath a bench. She then steps up to the workspace and begins turning over each of the components. A intense look on her face as she handles each of the pieces with a delicate care.
Sarah begins setting out her tools. A heavily modified dataslate, endless wrenches, screwdrivers and a complex lascutter. Sarah opens up the cutters internal workings to reveal an array of different las focusing chambers. Though this device shows the skills and manipulations necessary to configure another such project it is apparent that this trinket doesn't compare to the project Yarach is attempting to undertake. Sarah initially begins trying to place the hellgun components in a similar fashion, using the cutter's arrangement as a rough map. Sarah rapidly figures out that this requires some advanced work to assemble. The slate flickers to life and reveals several schematics, hand drawn. She scribbles out a few rough plans for the hellgun, at each step of her cognitive process she looks to Yarach. Showing him her workings and explaining the various problems she encounters. Eventually actual work starts. Sarah begins taking tools off the shelves and moving them alongside her own. As she does this she speaks. Listing of the tools as she takes them and making mental notes, vocally. It is obvious that Sarah lacks quite a lot of informed knowledge on many of the uses of some tools and she constantly refers to things in slang or incorrect terminology. Her process isn't exactly the most efficient, but by the end of the day a clear progress has been made towards the goal.
At the end of the day's work she turns to Yarach. "I was wondering if I could ask you a favour. Alexei's shock maul, he still uses the same one doesn't he? I had a schematic for upgrading it and this journey would be a perfect time for this... project. Greater still with access to the tools here. Yet I don't think he would be trust me enough to allow me access. I was wondering... Hoping really that you could assist me in a slight deception in order to improve this gro... lists efficiency. Could you get him to give it to you?"
Looking at the plans in question, Yarach scratches his head, mulling the matter over in his mind. This unit should not deceive this unit's commander... But the schematics do appear to increase the effectiveness of Captain Alexei's armaments... This is a conundrum.
Looking back at Sarah, Yarach shrugs. "This unit will not deceive Alexei, but this unit will aid you. Would this one vouching for you, and overseeing this one's work on object:Power Maul be sufficient?"
Sarah agrees and Yarach voxs Alexei, asking him to report to the Enginarium, and waving him in when he arrives.
"Captain Alexei, these ones have a proposition for this one. Sarah has rightfully surmised that this units power maul could have output increased to levels allowing lethal shocks. Would this unit consent to this unit and Unit:Sarah performing this work? This unit will oversee Sarah in that ones work."
Sarah looks worried and bites her lip. She pauses unwilling to agree, but eventually the words come from her mouth. "I'll take that, I just hope that Captain agrees to it."
Alexei consents to Yarach's consent, but he obviously doesn't trust Sarah. Still, a juiced up maul does have its appeal, and if it fails, he still has a bolt pistol and a massive shotgun. Not much to lose, really.
"Aight, seein' as you're watchin' 'er, fine. She's not ta be relied on. Ye remember last time."
Sarah looks shocked when she finds out that Alexei accepted the proposal. When she gets over it she smiles at Yarach. "He really trusts you eh. You'll have to tell me some time what you two got up to together when the riots broke out, some time."
When the Maul arrives in Sarah's hands she sets aside the work she is doing on the Hellgun and strips the shock maul. Sarah sets to work referring to the schematic on her slate, before long she has entirely replaced most of the internal parts with the components in her bag. Thick cabling, heavily insulated is inserted along with a capacitor usually reserved for high grade lascutters. Sarah works quickly and efficiently her hands seeming to know the work. Several hours later the shock maul is reassembled on the bench. A few finishing touches are done and Sarah grins and the finished Maul. Near to the head thick cables sprout from the haft and all along the length of the haft patterned swirls have been cut into the hard metal. Dark wires are worked into the embellished grooves, for heat dissipation Sarah explains. Though Yarach can tell they strictly aren't needed. A solitary button of polished chrome rests near the handle with a skull and crossed bones emblem burnt into it. A chunky counterweight in the rough shape of a clenched fist now rest on the pommel balancing the weight of the additional metal at the head.
Sarah enjoys spending the remaining week of travel in the enginarum sleeping curled amid the humming machinery. Her waking hours divided between Yarach's project, walking the ship with Matthew and seeking food and drink.
"This unit and Captain Alexei have done a lot of work together, Unit Sarah. Too much to summarize. Suffice it to say, operating under fire can cause organic brains to form strange bonds."
"Yes you are quite a team..." Sarah gets a look in her eyes, hard to distinguish. It looks as though she is about to say more, but she bites her lips and turns in for the night.
Last edited by ellna; 2014-09-14 at 02:13 PM."Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Summon Wall of Text, Greater.
Interaction between Sarah and Marcus, following the defence of Imperial Starways 739.
Spoiler: Poker night at the Rhino=Sarah=
Sarah was near, it was hard not to feel it. Ahead of her went her thoughts, insidious and malicious. She paused on the threshold to the rhino, just beyond sight, and it was possible to perceive the slight change as she hardened her thoughts, locking on to the memory and pushing it to the surface. Searing pain and searing light. A dark thought flitted beneath the bubbling surface. Sarah stepped into the rhino a grin on her face.
Sarah's grin wasn't pleasant, behind it lurked intent. She stood it the hatchway for a moment looking around the room, her eyes passing over Marcus with the same attention as the furniture. She stood holding a pair of metal bowls battered and scratched. "You eaten yet?" Sarah doesn't wait for a response before kicking over a crate for her to sit on and thrusting the warm bowl in front of Marcus. "Eat up." From the bowl stares various limbs from some sort of cephalopod covered liberally in a, somewhat sticky, dark blue sauce. Without a further thought she sets down her bowl next to his throws of her rag coverings and sits down opposite the pysker. Her tone is jovial, friendly even and her manner relaxed. However her thoughts give lie to that and... the smile... all teeth.
Her top is stale with sweat and a bullet wound on her arm is clearly infected with some affliction. The flesh on her face has healed well, leaving only a scar and a warping of the skin around it. Crimson hair has grown out over the course of the journey and is now tickling her shoulders. A pair of bulky hand cannons lie strapped across her waist and as she turns to fling her rags behind her Marcus can see a combat knife nestled in the small of her back. Her skin is a mess of dried blood and rust and oil.
Sarah pulls out a pair of bottles, one clear glass the other a rough ceramic which she passes to Marcus before pulling out her knife and tucking into the blubbery meal. Piercing each chunk with the oversized weapon and lifting it to her mouth while she stares at Marcus.
A blinding light hangs over head, you could almost forget the blood seeping from beneath the restraints for the incandescent light. Eyes pinned open by sharp metal hooks biting into the lids...
Marcus braces himself under the impact of the image, clenching his hands, that he had kept clasped behind his back, but he doesn't recoil or react in any other way. He had been expecting something like this, as soon as he had perceived Sarah's mind.
"No, ma'am, I had... not eaten. Thank you" he answers, rigidly, as always when in her presence. His eyes flick for a second over her wounds, where the signs of infections are clearly visible That wound needs cleaning and bandaging, and you can help. You know you can. he thinks again almost by reflex, but she will certainly not agree to being touched by him, and in the end he bites his lip and says nothing about it.
Marcus sits down and takes the proffered bowl, staring at it for a moment and trying to muster the will to eat something, to get this, whatever it is, done and over with as soon as possible. It is not easy, with the images she keeps pushing towards his mind, and worse yet is the almost certainty that those images are a memory, something that had happened to her before. After a minute, Marcus gives up. He sets the bowl aside and raises his eyes towards her "Why are you doing this, ma'am? What do you want from me?" He is almost whispering, but surprisingly enough, he is looking her in the eye, and has asked the question without hesitating or stammering at all.
Sarah stops, a droplet of sauce drips from the skewered tentacle. She scowls at Marcus, meeting his gaze, and sets down the knife. Perhaps she didn't hear him. Unlikely. Her mental grip slips slightly and Marcus realises the reason for the delay. Uncertainty. She doesn't have an answer. Sarah buys time by taking a swig from her bottle, the clear liquid draining quickly.
"I want, what you want. To serve the Emperor." A platitude, empty and hollow. Sarah lifts the knife back to her mouth the limp morsel comes reluctantly. It never reaches her. Sarah puts the knife back down frustrated and launches into a tirade. "I want answers, simple truths and verified facts. You are a psyker. Fact. You are dangerous. Fact. You will fail, Fact, and you will die. Fact." This last she says with relish. " But when, why, how. These I do not know. Cannot know. So I will watch you. Must watch you. Until we know." Sarah grins snatches up the knife again and tears the greasy lump off the point.
Sarah chews and sticks another oozing tidbit and waves with it to Marcus' bottle. "Drink up. You're not dead yet... It's Ploin juice, harmless, full of tasty nutrition. " Her voice light again.
The mask of pain slips for a moment. What lurks beneath is just as ugly, anger.
Marcus shakes his head slightly. She is right, but if Marcus thought that was all it was, he would have given up a long time ago. On the Black Ships. "I am a psyker, ma'am. And I am dangerous" he acknowledges, quietly. "I will.... I will surely die, ma'am, but until...until then, I will d-do my best not...not to fail again. " He hates that he has to say 'again', but it is a fact that he has failed before, and she was there to see it. Abruptly, Marcus stands up and turns his back to her, walking over where he had been sat before, and fighting very hard all the way to keep his breath under control. He stares at one of the abandoned dataslates, a medical diagram swimming in and out of focus in front of his eyes. It's like on Terra he thinks, again, focus.
"Ma'am" he stars again, turning towards her with a resolute expression and relaxing his fingers that he had unconsciously clenched into fists at his side. He is not whispering anymore. "If you have questions, I will answer them, ma'am. If you want... if you want to stand guard, and k-kill me if I become a danger, I can accept that, ma'am." He closes his eyes, tightly, for a second. That is not the difficult part to say. The difficult part is what he has to say next. Nevertheless, he has to try. "But p-please, ma'am, you have to stop... stop what you are doing right now. What you were doing when I was t-trying to heal agent Remora. I need... I need to c-concentrate, and pain is so...so difficult to shield from, ma'am."
Sarah's eyes gleam and her voice drops to a low whisper. "And what exactly do I have to stop." The meal now forgotten Sarah stares at Marcus. Waiting for an answer.
A faint tickling at the back of the neck, scratching persistent. Like a grub burrowing beneath the skin.
The boy crosses his arms in front of his chest in an unconscious protective gesture. "Throwing those images... those memories at me, ma'am." He says without looking at her. The tone is quiet and dull, now, probably realising that she's not going to make it easy for him. For a second, it seems like he's not going to say anything else, but then he takes a breath meets her eyes again. "I...I can't understand it, ma'am. It has to be as p-painful for you as it is for me." More painful for her, probably. So why? is the unasked question.
Before Marcus has even begun talking Sarah is already smiling. He can almost see her preparing to pounce. Then his words come and her eagerness quickly fades at the last. A hot flush comes to her cheeks and she averts her eyes from Marcus. The persistent image that she has locked in the forefront sloughs away like a whipped dog and beneath it Marcus can detect the resentment still bubbling away. "Just keep out off my mind. An' eat your damned grub before I ram it down your mouth." Sarah outburst is quick and quite possibly directed at a patch of the wall, as she refuses to meet the psykers gaze. She isn't finished though, after a moment's respite while she drinks from her bottle again, she continues. "Can't concentrate, what kind of Frak is that. What use are you if you can't block out a little pain. How long would the enemy have to play with your mind till you broke eh'. I'd wager Malfi Prime herself that you would crack before the Captain came for you. Hell you would probably just hold out your hands for their chains. You lack a spine. Like this -" She gestures at the food. "- thing. Tool of the Emperor. Hah. A hammer is useful at least..." Sarah tirade seems to show no sign of slowing the words flying from her tongue like a hail of bullets...
Sarah's mind is a murky swirl of emotions, all of them focused on Marcus. Divining from the tangled mess some cogent direction is impossible. Rage and resentment are surely the strongest. Violent flickers that force their way to the top. However swimming in the deep water are flecks most confusing. Hard to grasp for more than a moment, but vivid beneath the hate. Shame, pity and regret. Regret growing with each venomous word that trips off her tongue. Fathoming the reason for Sarah's thoughts are hard yet it is clear that this was not, is not what she wants.
"No, ma'am, it's not... not that" The words come out before he has time to restrain himself. She doesn't understand, clearly, and Marcus doesn't think he can manage to explain it. He almost gives up, almost stays silent, but then something prompts him to try and make her understand. Possibly the fact that this is the first time he is talking so openly about what he's afraid of. "I can shield from pain, ma'am. I've been trained to. I am... I am not going to break in front of the enemy" He hesitates, then continues "When you do it it's worse b-because... because I know you, ma'am, and that's something that has happened to you and I can't... I can't do anything about it, ma'am. I can't help you. " He realises, too late, that he's been too open in talking about what he's thinking, that he's probably just giving her more ammunition to use against him. His eyes widen in alarm, and he tries to backtrack "I'm... I'm s-sorry, ma'am. You didn't want to hear t-that. I... I... will try not to read your emotions, ma'am. It's... It's easier if you don't push them at me. "
Sarah looks like her eyes are about to pop out of her skull. Her hands tremble with shocked amazement. Her cheeks billow out, stretching the fresh scar tissue, and she looks fit to burst. Then she does. It starts with a small snort and then a chuckle and then she is bellowing with laughter. For a moment it seems as though she has broken and has finally fallen to madness. Her shoulders heave with the effort and she pounds the impromptu table with enough force to make the bowls jump.
Eventually she manages to calm her manic outbreak to a level where she manages to sputter a few words between the giggles. "Help me. Oh you poor fool. You can't even help yourself." She picks up the knife and waves it like a wagging finger at Marcus. "Something did happen to me. I joined the inquisition. You know the worst part was the boredom, between the treatments. Hours of just sitting and waiting. Of not knowing..." ...of fear that they wouldn't return. "With you at least there is a little fun to be had. Maybe the Capt'n will let me play with you one day. Perhaps you'll displease him again. Not yet though, we have to be patient. You have to heal after all." Her voice has manic edge to it at the end. She gives Marcus a genuine smile and sticks her food again. "Come on, gotta' keep your strength up."
Anger gives way to joy. Bursts of emotions come and go like a busy highway. As she calms down so do her feelings. Soft muted emotions. Harsh streaks of mistrust, malice and a sadistic glee still constantly surface, but even so the marked improvement in Sarah is noticeable and much more bearable. Tickles on the hair, a soft hum. A flash of anger. Footfalls on a path the scent of engine smoke, of burning flesh... the memory wanders quickly bubbling back beneath. Marcus realises gently Sarah is trying to find another memory to fill her mind with. She sifts through several discarding them and finally settling on a large cast iron pot with a rich stew bubbling in. Rhythmic stirring, ripples across the surface and a sharp tangy taste. This time the memory that Sarah pushes forth is gentle, pleasant and soft. And wholly ineffective, without the pain, the anger it lacks the power. It remains there like a cloudy window, neither blocking her surface thoughts or fading. It is clear Sarah has never had any specialised training in this, but still she doggedly persists with it.
Marcus had taken a couple of steps towards her when she had started laughing, a concerned expression on his face. He stops when she starts talking again, tensing, quite obviously bracing himself for something that doesn't come. Another flash of emotion passes over the young psyker's face...confusion. He can't reconcile her words with the images she's pushing at him this time. He can't understand what she really wants. Slowly, cautiously, he walks back towards the makeshift table and sits down, picking up the dish that he had put aside. He eats a couple of pieces of the... stew. Not the worst thing he's eaten by far, to be fair.
"The worst part for me were the dreams and what... what happened to the others." he mumbles to himself, keeping his eyes locked on his food. It's not clear if he had meant for her to hear it, or if he had been just thinking loud without realising. He takes a small sip of the juice she has left for him. It IS quite refreshing, actually, surprisingly enough. He seems to be debating something with himself, then, slowly, still without raising his eyes: "Ma'am, if... if you want, I could show...show you to shield better from me. Would...would that help?" He has never tried that with somebody without any innate power, but he reckons that the biggest part of it it's just mental discipline, and you don't need to be a psyker to do it.
Sarah chows down on her food munching happily through the rubbery flesh. It isn't certain whether she is listening to him anymore. She chuckles to herself and shakes her head between bites. Then as she washes down the last of her meal she asks "Others? Who were the others?" It comes in an off hand manner, but Marcus had the feeling that she was listening very closely.
Interest at his proposal. Curiosity. It is clear Sarah is still alert despite the alcohol. However much she mistrusts Marcus and what he is she can't help, but feel the lure of one less worry.
The psyker shivers, still without meeting her eyes. It takes a while for him to answer, and it's clear that he is considering not answering at all. The habit of answering questions even if he would prefer not to is too ingrained for him to resist, though. "The... The other Psykers, ma'am. On... on Terra. They... " A deep breath, and he gathers himself a bit tighter before continuing. He would have suspected her to force him to talk about it out of sadistic glee, but it's clear she doesn't know what he's talking about. "It's... It was during my S-Sanctioning. I... All the others died, ma'am" The last bit is whispered, but he has actually raised his eyes to meet hers. He really doesn't want to go into any more details than that. There are things, like how most of those people had died, that he simply doesn't think about. For an instant, his expression is unguarded, and it's not difficult to read on his face all the hopelessness and fear that he must have felt as a child. He schools his face into a careful blankness quickly enough, though.
For a moment it seems as though Sarah is about to ask how they died. Sadistic curiosity floating beneath the stewing bubbles. Then the boiling pot is stirred.
Sarah glances at Marcus trying to watch his face while not staring, again."Oh them. The failures. I should be glad that you passed and not dwell on the weak." Sarah pushes her empty bowl aside, then licks the knife clean before turning to scraping out her nails.
She waits while Marcus finishes his food. She doesn't press him any further on the matter. She finishes cleaning beneath her nails and tucks the oversized piece of cutlery back into it's sheath.
Marcus doesn't answer... at least not verbally, but from the tightening of his lips and the small shake of his head before he controls himself it's not difficult to figure out that he doesn't agree with her. So many people that had died on Terra had simply been unlucky... or had angered the wrong Sanctioning agent at the wrong time.
He brings his eyes back on his food and doesn't say anything else for the rest of the meal. He eats with careful, precise motions, not looking at Sarah anymore throughout the meal. When he's finished, he sets his bowl aside and nods slightly towards her "Thank you for the dinner, ma'am" he says, very quietly.
Sarah scratches her arm absently. Wiping the pus from her wound on her trousers. She takes another sip from the bottle before shaking her head and pouring the remaining portion into her bowl which she then proceeds to drink from, discarding the bottle on the floor. Another sip from the bowl, the remaining sauce colouring the acrid alcohol a watery purple. Sarah makes a small smile at the new taste. If she noticed Marcus' emotions, she made no sign of it.
Sarah nods at Marcus when he finishes and then rummages in her pockets and pulls out a deck of cards. She begins to shuffle the deck watching Marcus as she does. "Do you know how to play chase the Emperor?"
Marcus glances at her, surprised. "I... yes, ma'am." he answers carefully, warily, as if prodding the questions for traps "I have never played, but I know the rules, ma'am" He has read them somewhere... and, like most things he reads, it has stuck.
He bites his lips again when he sees her fidgeting with her wound, repressing a disapproving scowl. THAT is not the right way to treat an infected wound... Marcus mentally steels himself, then takes the plunge "Ma'am, do you want me to... have a look at that wound?" He realises the possible misunderstanding just in time. "I wouldn't... I wouldn't use the Warp, ma'am" he adds, quickly, hoping to defuse the situation before she possibly explodes at him. "I would just c-clean and bandage it." Once again, the subtext is clear. Let me help.
The anger hits Marcus like a wave. Not unexpected, but still the source is surprising. Not anger at his proposition. Anger at the clarification. Disdain of his touch, but anger at the thought that Marcus perceived a weakness. Anger at Marcus' worry that she might baulk from his power. Anger at an imagined slight.
"Frak it. Warp or not makes no difference. Hiding what you are won't change it." Sarah spits the words with venom at Marcus' clarification. Her hand swipes the bowl forcefully from the table. Spilling what little rotgut it had left across the floor and clattering noisily. Would Sarah have struck it away if it had been full? She glares angrily at Marcus for a brief moment before slumping. "Jus' get on with it. Do whatever you feel best."
As Marcus makes to moves towards her she slams the deck down on the crate with a fiendish grin on her face. She begins to deal. "Ha. I've got a better idea. Raise the stakes, you win and you can do your duty..."
"I'm not trying to hide, ma'am. You know what I am." Marcus says in a surprisingly clear and level voice, and he doesn't flinch at the sound of the bowl hitting the ground. "It's just... " he forcibly closes his mouth without finishing the sentence. She probably wants to hear that even less than he wants to say it.
He looks relieved when she seems to agree to having him treat her, which quickly turns into an incredulous look when she utters her proposition. " Ma'am, I just... " want to help you is the way he wants to finish THAT sentence, but he doesn't. There's no point to. Instead, he sighs and picks up the card that she's dealing him " Very well, ma'am."
Sarah glares at Marcus' hanging sentence. Just what
"Jus' get on with it. Do whatever you feel best."
As Marcus reluctantly picks up the card Sarah grins broadly. It quickly diminishes as she watches Marcus' face. Resigned and joyless. Sarah fishes out another bottle, a dusty glass one with a red was seal and golden contents, to replace the empty and scatters a handful of ammunition beside her to act as markers. She eyes Marcus for a moment...
"Emperor's breath. Gunmetal uses bullets like currency. Practical from sure a bullet has a worth even at the worst of times. Still it threw me when w... I had my mission there. Looked like they were arming us for battle not paying our way."
Marcus chips in with his own thrones, putting them in a small, ordinate pile on his side of the table.
Sarah smiles at Marcus neat piles and one of her eyebrows raises ever-so slightly, heh something worth winning at least. She counts out some Man-stopper rounds from her Hexuter's clip, though the weapon itself cannot be seen, to bring the two piles to an equal value.
The game doesn't pass in silence and Sarah asks questions ranging from the mundane to the probing. She times these to interfere with what she perceives as times when Marcus is making a decision, whether or not Marcus actually cares about the outcome is another matter entirely.
Marcus plays like he does everything else: carefully and methodically; but the tense posture of his shoulders betrays the fact that he is seeing the game as a test of sorts. He does relax a tiny bit as Sarah starts talking, though, and answers readily enough at the mundane questions, and just a bit more tensely and withdrawn at the probing ones.
"I wonder what they are eating with the captain. Poor Alexei probably bored out of his skull. I bet the food is good though, what is the best thing you've tasted?"
"Yes, ma'am, I would imagine it is. Best thing... I don't know how to call it, ma'am. It was on Terra, a... a fruit, I think, ma'am, sort of a...white colour, and r-red on the outside. It tasted very... very tangy, but also sweet. Have... have you ever heard of it, ma'am?"
"No. I can't say I have. I've never been to Terra nor near it. But, well I would prefer not to go there Pilgrims go there to die and I intend to live. I shall see the emperor when he guides me over, but not before. I had a real fruit once, it was lovely sure, but I'll take a bloody steak freshly seared. Had one once that a Malfian lord cast away. It was the finest thing I ever had. Funny lot nobles." Sarah looks like there is more to that story, but she sighs and folds the hand.
"Do you know how to dance? Have you ever had to?"
"No, ma'am, I... I don't know how to." A curious look at that. Why would he ever had need to dance?
"Shame." Sarah shakes her head and Marcus feels as though he has failed some unseen test. Sarah crosses something off mentally.
"So where did you learn to play this then?"
"I read the rules, ma'am. This is the first time I play. Where d-did you learn, ma'am?"
"Drinking hole on Malfi. Maybe I'll see it again, if it's still standing. Hell I swear half my bounties hid in pubs and bars like that was the one place they couldn't be touched. Nothing to, but pass the time to the kill and Chase the Emperor was safer than spin the chamber." Sarah glares at Marcus as she loses the hand. "Stop callin' me Ma'am, how old do ya think I am pup." Her voice is slightly annoyed, but certainly not wrathful. Maybe she is warming up.
Marcus listens attentively enough, looking at her from time to time as he's trying to place her expression. He appraises her a bit more openly when she asks him about her age. Not very old, Marcus reckons, though it's difficult to tell with the dried blood and grime. Still, he can't understand what she's talking about. "Sorry, ma'am. I didn't mean to imply you were old." That's simply the way he's always called any female he's ever come in contact with... well, any female who was not a psyker herself, or trying to kill him. "How would you... prefer me to call you, then?" Whatever she says, he does his best to comply, watching what title he uses very carefully.
Sarah starts to say something then stops herself. Sarah looks annoyed. "I would prefer you not to call me anything. It's unnecessary."
Her good mood is rocked by mistrust. A clamp of anger at herself, stupid. A part of Sarah's mind chided her and steered the conversation elsewhere.
"This your first job? I mean he vouched you, you must o' been through the fire right?"
Way more carefully and tensely, on this one. "No, ma'am, it's my...my third. I served on T-Thical under Inquisitor Vandmonoss, and on Dhral under I-Inquisitor Urval. This is my first assignment under Inquisitor Nar, though, ma'am."
Sarah is obviously curious, Marcus can sense the floodgate of questions brewing in her mind. Sarah bites her lip eyeballs her cards as though they were uncooperative recruits and throws them down. She moves on to another hand and another question, completely unrelated.
"Do you know what a ploin is?"
"Yes, ma'am. It's a fruit. I have had it before."
"Oh. It was the only juice I could find, but I wasn't sure if it was poisonous or something. That's why I let you have it." Sarah watches Marcus as though she expects him to drop dead at any moment, before a smile cracks through her lips.
A small, confused frown at this, like he's trying to decide if she's joking or not. He doesn't look upset about it, though. And, for a second, there is just a barely-there-then-gone hint of an answering smile. It makes him look even younger than usual, a mere child, for barely a moment, then he covers it by looking down at his cards again.
"Who was your first... Kill I mean."
He doesn't look at her in the eyes. Constantine he instantly thinks, but that's neither entirely true, nor someone he'd ever tell out loud. " T-two d-daemon worshippers, on...on Dhran, ma'am." Please don't ask me to tell you how. he silently begs in his head.
Marcus' silent hope is immediately dashed when the very next words from Sarah's lips are: "How?"
Whatever small progress Marcus seemed to have made in relaxing a bit is immediately swept aside by the question. The psyker's expression closes off completely. He grips them a bit tighter, and brings his other hand down to hold the edge of the makeshift table in order to avoid her to see him trembling, and when he speaks, he does it without raising his eyes from his cards. "I... I used my p-powers to cause...to cause them pain, and they..." He does shiver, this time. That's a scene he often revives in his nightmares. "...they c-couldn't stand it, ma-ma'am. They s-shot th-themselves." He reverts back to calling her ma'am without even noticing. He's too occupied to keep his posture and his expression under control.
"Impressive." Sarah says with a tinge of admiration. She smiles and presses further, apparently oblivious to Marcus' misery. "How long did they last?"
Sarah's emotions stirred. Sadistic and hungry. They wormed through through her mindscape, indescribable and sickening. Something, possibly alien to Marcus, was there too, shifting. Something more distasteful than battle lust.
It's very clear that Marcus doesn't want to talk about this. He uncomfortably shuffles his cards and takes quite a bit of time before answering. Unsurprisingly, she's asking the same questions Urval had. That was the one time his old patron Inquisitor had commended him... Marcus would very much have preferred to keep being ignored.
"A few minutes, ma'am." He would have shoot them himself, but he had no weapon and no way to at the time. He doesn't add anything else, unless pushed.
Sarah blinks, lost in her own mind. She finally notices Marcus' unease. She frowns, for a moment it seems as though she is going to let it drop...
Her mind spins with malice. Sarah knows what she has to do. A cold authoritative tone. An order like a vice would crack the wretch.
"I...I can't understand it, ma'am. It has to be as p-painful for you as it is for me."
A memory. Fresh and fleeting. Anger, confusion and remembered terror.
... Then she does. Sarah folds the hand, takes a swig from the bottle and sighs.
"Why did it take steel legion two days to purge the rebels?
Because on the first day it was raining."
A joke. Sarah manages a slight chuckle and starts dealing the next hand. She seems awkward for a couple more hands, but after a few more wins, a few more sips and few more pointless questions she seems to settle back into the game.
"Did you know Kaarli had lost a arm? She has a mechanical one, I wonder why they don't give all you witches mechanical limbs, would be safer wouldn't it?"
Somehow warily, and with a confused glance. "No, ma'am, I didn't know. And I don't...see why, ma'am. We aren't dangerous because of our l-limbs."
"Well if a pysker turned vile and his limbs were still loyal..." Sarah mimics a death grip on her throat. Complete with choking noises and lolling tongue. A smile and a sip. "At the least the tainted wouldn't be free to walk about all normal like. Just turn them off an wait till the boys in black show up."
Still without looking at her, Marcus shakes his head slightly. "That is not... not how it works." he says, quietly. "If.. if a Psyker loses c-control, the danger won't...won't come from our b-bodies." Keeping his eyes fixed on his cards, Marcus swallows and adds, in a very low voice "We are trained to k-kill ourselves if that happens, ma'am."
Sarah flourishes the winning hand with a smirk. "Don't fret yourself over that. You've Kaeli for that... and me."
"Yes, ma'am." He doesn't know if she wants to hear it or not, but decides to be sincere nonetheless. "Thank you."
"What can you tell from just thinking? Does that come from the warp or is it just... you? Can you push it, how far, how much?"
This last question has Marcus frowning in confusion. "I don't... I don't understand what you mean, ma'am. The... the things I pick up when people are a-angry, or s-sad, I just can't... I can't help it. For that, I don't... I don't reach for the w-warp, ma'am." Not with emotions like fear, and pain, and anger, not consciously at least. It's more or less the way it's always been for him, even when he was very little. He suppresses a shiver "And I c-can push it, I c-could read p-people's thoughts, ma'am, but that...that means trying to c-control the Warp for a bit, ma'am, and it's d-dangerous." Just how dangerous she has seen not long ago, and he doesn't elaborate further.
"I guess if you were reading my mind, you would be winning." Sarah seems barely to notice Marcus' trouble and confusion and spreads her cards on the table claiming yet another pot. Marcus has no doubt she is filing away all information like an industrious bee, but the ease with which she slides into and then out of the question is unsettling. Perhaps her constant exposure to Alexei has given her a disregard for the dangers of the warp.
As the chips continue to steadily walk across the table it becomes clear that Sarah is winning, despite the constant draining of the bottle. Soon Marcus' last chip makes it to the pot. From Sarah's ridiculous grin it is clear she has the winning hand in the final round. She drags out the reveal making a show of deciding to meet the pot. Stretching her legs she walks away from the table. She picks her bowl up and asks it. "What is he hiding? Is it the Emperor?" She smiles and nods and sits back down. Pours the smallest measure of the golden liquid into the bowl and calls. Unsurprisingly she wins, as the emperor is in her hand. Pointless as the farce was, at least Sarah is in a good mood.
Sarah pushes the bowl to Marcus and simply states. "You lost..."
Marcus tries his best to match her, but a theoretical knowledge can't beat first hand experience, and he has to acknowledge defeat soon enough. He bows his head slightly at her proclamation. "I d-did, ma'am" He bites his lips again, throwing another glance at her wound. "I won't... I won't touch you, then, ma'am." It's pretty obvious to Marcus that she doesn't want him to. He frowns as she pushes the bowl at him, not understanding why she wants him to drink, but the quantity of liquid is so little that he doesn't deem it a danger, and he complies, carefully taking a sip. "I..." What does one say in those instances? "Thanks...thanks for the game, ma'am."
Sarah looks disappointed. When Marcus sets the bowl down. Now that she has won she finds victory tastes less sweet than she had imagined. Probably the lack of blood...
Sarah collects up the thrones and the cards and sets them neatly down in front of her. Her hand tugs nervously at the cog around her neck causing the dog tags to jingle. The silence stretches out before finally Sarah breaks it.
"I mean it's nothing to worry about, is it?"
Marcus risks another glance towards her wound, compressing his lips in a thin line. "I... I think you should have that cleaned and c-covered. I could... I could do it, if you let me." An hesitation, then "But even if you don't want me to, please ask unit Y-Yarach to. Or ma'am R-rochelle.". He is definitely worried about it, Sarah can tell.
Sarah turns the cog in her hand, over and over, before she speaks. "You do it. You shouldn't let defeat keep you from your duty. I'd hate to think what you would do if you were ever captured. Probably just take your life, pff."
Embarrassment. Something that flares when he mentions Yarach and Rochelle. It seems Marcus is the lesser embarrassment here, likely due his status as a not-person.
He seems relieved when she agrees to let him touch her. He stands up, walks to the far side of the room and comes back with the necessary tools. "Please don't move too much." That's the first time he tries to practice what he has learned on someone, and he is a bit afraid to mess it up. He works as carefully as he can, trying to minimise the discomfort for her. He doesn't raise his eyes to meet hers as he works. Soon enough, he has managed to clean the wound as much as possible, and sets out to bandage it. The final result is a bit clumsier than he would have liked, but at the very least she is not going to pick at it anymore.
Sarah watches Marcus closely, staring intently at his face. She almost completely ignores what his hand are doing. She winces a couple times, but she doesn't move the arm, keeping it steady. Out the corner of his vision, Marcus can see Sarah's eyes roving over his bandaged ear, inspecting the damaged flesh. Though the smile doesn't reach her lips, her thoughts are distracting.
When he is done Sarah looks down at it. "Thanks." Her hand moves away from the gun and she shuffles the deck again. Counting out a small pile of rounds for each of them.
"You offered to teach me how to control my thoughts. I... I would like that. First though I think I need to teach you. We'll play again... for fun. You may know the rules, but you are too predictable. Too consistent. I can tell what you have, by what you do. Malfi is full of better liars than you, let's see if we can't at least try to get you back alive. I'll be very angry if someone else kills you first."
Marcus stares for a second, dumbfounded. He wasn't expecting that. "I... yes, ma-... yes, of course. Thank you." He isn't sure whether the offer is an elaborate trap, or if she has some other scheme in mind, but surprisingly enough, he finds himself looking forward to play another game with her. Some of the conversation had been... almost nice.
The boy sits down again, drawing closer the small pile of bullets with a nod of thanks, and wait for her to start dealing the cards again. As they play Marcus starts, haltingly, to ask some questions back. It's uncertain and hesitant, at the moment, and should she give any sign of annoyance he would stop immediately.
Sarah plays again. She takes her time and stops often to comment on what she thinks Marcus' has in his hands. Something she does with startling accuracy. Sarah tries to explain how she knows what he has based solely on his play. The ranges of cards he could be holding and the responses he should try to throw in. Needless to say the game itself lumbers to a victory for Sarah again and she reclaims her rounds. By the end of the game her bottle is close to empty and her lids droop heavily.
"You...were born on Malfi... how...how long ago did y-you leave?" He doesn't ask the other questions that he's thinking about. Why did you leave and...how?
"Let's see two years, so three years ago maybe four. I was on gun-metal the past two and before that well, It's hard to keep track on time, but I don't suppose the trip from Malfi takes that long. I guess two years then. Terra standard that is." Sarah holds up two, three then four fingers and wiggles them before putting two back down.
"Living in a Hive... how... how is it?" quietly, but with a clear undertone of curiosity. Malfi would be the third Hive Marcus visits, and he still isn't any nearer to figure it out.
Sarah looks entirely confused by the question. As though Marcus had asked a fish what it was like living in water. Her tone is slightly wary when she answers. "Solid."
Oh. Marcus hesitates, then tries to explain. "It's that I was b-born in the V-void. It's d-difficult for me to... to get used to planets ". He still gets slightly agoraphobic whenever he is outside... Something that, fortunately, on a hive world, doesn't happen much.
"You were born in the void, are all psykers... made this way." It's clear from Sarah's tone that she has misunderstood Marcus' words.
What? He frowns slightly, confused, then he realises what she means. "I was born on a ship, I meant. Travelling through the void. Psykers are born the... the normal way, ma'am. " A tiny bit of wonder, in his tone, as he realises how little she really knows about what psykers are.
Sarah looks embarrassed, possibly under all the dirt she may have turned red. She covers it up quickly with a comment on the game moving the conversation onward and away.
"Have you served under In-inquisitor Nar for long, ma'am?"
"Two years or two weeks. Depends on how you look at it. Two weeks I guess." She chuckles.
He looks at her curiously, obviously wondering what she means, but he doesn't press further. He doesn't want to overstep any boundary.
Sarah smiles at Marcus' quizzical look and rewards it with an explanation of sorts. "I joined the service, when I left Malfi. So I guess I've been serving Nar since then, but back on Gun-metal, that was the first time I met her. It's never bothered me not seeing the master. We all know who we truly serve." She makes the sign of the aquila across her breast. "At least I hope you do." A smile and a wink.
Automatically, Marcus mimics the sign she's making "Of, course, ma'am.". Did the corners of his mouth just turn upwards slightly in an answering smile? It's difficult to tell, given how quick it was, but it looked like, for a second.
At the end of the game, Marcus stays where he is for a moment, processing what just happened. He has just had a game of cards with one of his cellmates, and it has been... pleasant. "Thank you for t-teaching me, ma'am. I... If... W-whenever you w-want me to show you how to... to shield, please tell me. And.... Oh. " He still has something that belongs to her. He gets up quickly, moving to the corner where his possessions are, and produces something carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth. Sarah's hip flask. He passes it to her, not exactly sure what to say "I... This is y-yours, ma'am. "
"No... No it's not, but thank you." Her voice is soft and faint. She takes the flask with a certain reverence from Marcus and stands to leave. She takes her time, finishing the bottle of amasec and collecting the bowls and the cards. Eventually she throws on her rags and leaves. Pausing for a moment in the door... as though she has something to say, before shaking her head and disappearing from view. Though it a while before the trace of her mind is gone.
Marcus stands where he is for another couple of seconds, looking in the direction where she disappeared to like he expects her to come back. And possibly shoot him. THAT would have surprised him less than what just happened. The boy shakes his head in wonder. He is not entirely sure about how to interpret the events of the evening, but it has been...nice. And that's unusual enough. Marcus allows himself to dwell on it for a couple of seconds, then busies himself with tidying up his medical supplies and the dataslates that had been scattered in the corner. Now that he's alone, there is definitely a hint of a smile on his face.
Last edited by ellna; 2014-09-14 at 02:14 PM."Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
- East Midlands, UK
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
You've got Sarah and Marcus covered, but I've got another
onetwo as well.
Interaction between Marcus and Inquisitor Nar, before Marcus'introduction to the Ratcatchers
Spoiler: Preentive RP, before the startAnother voyage, another hive world. Not the glory and the terror of Holy Terra, but still the grandeur, the grit and the grime of the sector capital, Scintilla.
Smoke, screams and shots hang thick in the choking air while construction crews and regular commuters sing scared psalms amidst the great steel spires. Even two years on, the local administration still has a way to go to restore full order after the recent massive uprising of tainted underhivers. Upon planetfall, hardly had he gotten over his land-sickness, Marcus Lumen was ushered not to the Tricorn Palace, but to a field camp somewhere in the barren Badlands.
Beyond his dizziness after the breakneck flight in a Valkyrie assault transport and even more on setting foot on solid ground again, the young voidborn sanctioned psyker felt that something was wrong in that place... like a writhing nothingness ripping at his very soul.
The Inquisitor's office was not in some grand fortress but amidst parked Rhino APCs and Guardsmens' tents. Around the perimeter, chicken-legged Sentinel mecha patrolled, their auspex arrays and multilaser cannons inspecting everything from the horizon to everyone entering or exiting the camp.
When he gets to the Inquisitor's tent, seemingly having no markings to distinguish it from the tents of the common troopers, he sees a hard old woman in a Witchfinder's duster, scars and wrinkles flowing together in a sea of scoring. With augmetic eyes glowing a dull red, she pores over a table strewn with slates and documents.
She barely glances at Marcus as he enters, simply caressing the bolt pistol lying naked on the table's edge as a seemingly overlarge paperweight. "Ah. Mr Lumen. Let me ask you this--- Who was your Sanctioning officer? Shall I have him shot for having recruited a kid who has barely grown a beard? Or shall I have him commended, that you have turned out to be such a decent tool of Him on Terra?"
Marcus stands very rigidly, arms crossed on his chest in a protective gesture. The mild agoraphobia that he always experiences when on a planet hasn’t abated yet, and it helps him to focus on the walls around him, reminding himself that this is a closed space, safe, not in the open. Moreover, there is that sense of....wrongness that he can’t define. Breathe he advices himself, and he does his best to do just that. “Cato Wartus, as is written on my papers, ma’am.” He replies. He is not whispering, but still, his voice is very quiet, very soft. Nonetheless, he’s looking the inquisitor in the eyes. “And... my sanctioning was regular.” Just a tiny bit of... not exactly pride, in that second sentence, but something close to it: his age didn’t grant him any special treatment, on Terra. Far from it.
Inquisitor Nar stares at Marcus for a long moment with those unreadable eyes of chrome.The slightest smile twitches at those cracked lips as he meets her gaze and doesn’t blink.
“Pull up a seat”, she says. “Amasec, tea, recaff, water? You look like you need a drink”
The old dog reaches under the table and slides over an empty glass... and places an execution collar on top of the desk. The soft tdd as it hits the table’s wood seems louder than all the noise of the military camp around
them. “All things considered--- including the Thical Purge” she says, “Your records are… more than satisfactory. What’s less than standard, though, is a simple Acolyte getting tossed from rosette to rosette. Vandomoss was less than pleased when she lost another one to her nemesis. Wasn’t one to waste skilled survivors despite her undoubtedly itchy trigger finger then, I’ll give her that. Urval, when he forwarded you, recommended that I use an Acolyte more adept with insights instead of iron sights, analysis instead of artillery.”
The Inquisitor gestures with the dataslate in her left hand at the explosive collar while still keeping Marcus covered with the bolt pistol in her right and she says, “You have heard the newsreels of the recent Scintillan Uprising? Please, put that on. You wouldn’t want me to waste your potential and turn you into a statistic, would you?”
She runs a gloved hand through a mess of grey hair, turns off the soft green glow of the dataslate and says while pouring him a cup of recaff, “Sugar, or cream? But hey, don’t let the threat of imminent death get you down. Here, drink. Now… with notes and reports, you can get more detail from the written word, yes, but can you really gauge the person behind the pen? Now, tell me of your previous missions”
Marcus slowly moves forward and sits down as she indicated, but doesn’t relax, not even a bit. There is, for a moment, a flash of pain in his eyes when he sees the collar and hears what the inquisitor wants him to do: not even Urval had gone so far in his distrust... but then again, it’s not like they aren’t right in being wary around him. He picks up the item and fastens it around his neck without a word. For just one second, he shuts his eyes tightly, and when he opens them again, there is no trace of tears in them.
He takes the recaf, but simply sets it down without drinking: the way his stomach is churning, he doesn’t think drinking something would be the best idea. “My first assignment was on Thical” he starts. He is still looking the Inquisitor in the eyes, and still speaking in that low voice of his, but his tone is a bit tighter. “We were tasked with investigating rumours of return of the cult of the Shade's Apostle in the system. As you read the mission was not a success – the enemy forces were overwhelming.” He doesn’t know what else she wants him to add: all the details are in the report. Well, almost, he thinks, remembering Constantine’s words and suppressing a shiver. “After that, I was forwarded to Inquisitor Urval and assigned to Drhan, to crush down the resurgence of chaos cults on the panet. The investigation was a success, and a Khorne cult was eradicated.” His tone is precise and dispassionate during the whole speech, except for when he mentions the overwhelming forces on Thical. “Inquisitor Urval still chose to disband the cell after that... s-send us where he felt we could give our contribution to the glory of the emperor”. To be honest, Urval motives aren’t very clear to Marcus... perhaps he felt that there was no real advantage in keeping that group of acolytes together. Understandable, since the remarkable lack of teamwork the group had shown on Drhan.
The Inquisitor grunts as she listens to Marcus, sipping from her own cup with her other hand. Almost idly, her fingers tap a silent song’s rhythm on the bolt pistol’s fire selector as it squats on the tabletop. For a long while the Inquisitor falls silent, as if pondering his answer.
She then replies with the tone of voice of a tutor with a pupil, “On Thical, if you were to analyze, what could your cell have done better that an Exterminatus might not have become necessary? On Thical, tell me of your teammates--- who they were, what they did, how they treated you and how they died or else survived. And now for a change of pace--- On Drhan, was there anything that you did there that you remember the most? Tell me of this. And… besides Him On Terra, do you have any friends or family still living? What reason beyond the instinct for simple survival and self-preservation do you have to earn your way out of that collar? And while not meditating or studying or practicing or maintaining your weapons or investigating leads… What do you like to do for yourself?”
Marcus stiffens even more, if possible, under the barrage of questions, trying to understand where the Inquisitor wants him to start. She can’t expect him to answer all that, can she? That is half of his life laid out like that. Still, he has been taught obedience, and he does his best to comply.
“On Thical, I believe our main mistake was to focus our efforts too much in a single direction, and ignoring other leads” His tone has a rehearsed quality to it, like he has repeated the same words more than once. Urval had asked the same thing. “We overlooked important evidence that would have allowed us to intervene before the situation went so out of control.” He makes a brief pause, and wraps his hands around the recaf cup. He still doesn’t drink, but seems to find some comfort in the heat, and in having something to hold to. “Only other two members of that acolyte cell survived. I am afraid I have n-not been updated on their fate after we were picked up. All the others were killed in confrontation with the heretic forces” His voice is carefully blank. It’s evident he’s doing his best to keep his emotions under strict control.
“On Drhan...” the level, forced tone of his voice breaks, and for a moment he looks every bit young as he is. Younger, probably. “On Drhan, I... I helped repel a cultist assault.” He shuts his eyes tightly for just one second, fighting very hard to regain his composure. “I have been com-commended for an...exemplar application of my abilities” That’s one of the few words of praise he’s ever received from Urval. Apparently, according to the Inquisitor comment when he had read his report, not all psykers can manage the level of raw power that would cause the subject to choose suicide instead of enduring the pain... Marcus would very much have preferred not to be one of those few. He can almost still hear them begging... he still does hear them begging in his nightmares, sometimes.
“I... you have read my file, ma’am. Even if I had living family somewhere, I wouldn’t know of them. I believe my...tutor, Janus Sorvus, is still in service on the Black Ships, but I haven’t had any contact with him since before my s-sanctioning.” Since that day when he had been locked in with the rest of the psykers that were being brought to Terra, as if the previous ten years were nothing worth spending a word on. “And, I am sorry, but I don’t... I don’t understand your last question, ma’am.” Meditating, studying or practicing is pretty much all that he does. He likes to just look at the stars sometimes, but he doesn’t think that the inquisitor would be interested in that.
Inquisitor Kutot Nar listens attentively enough. She gives grunts of acknowledgement, nods of encouragement when Marcus falters in his speech. As he seems to be approaching the end of his words, he sees her open a desk drawer and prepare a dataslate. Once more, he sees her gaze lock onto his own, those relentless red eyes piercing his and seeming to gauge his soul. She presses some controls and the slate projects two holographic images. They seem to be pict-captures of the two other survivors from the ill-fated Thical mission.
A stylized gear, carven and polished to perfection, flips end over end, candlelight glinting off it like a falling star or an ember rising and falling from flicking fingers. What seems to be cold air mists with strained breath through an augmetic respirator--- a sigh, it seems. Suddenly, she rises from the pew, the pretty little gear falling to the floor with a dead clank. The techpriestess seems to be even more imposing than ever. Holy seals of parchment, silver and iron wrap around her petite body, weighing down her old ragged red robes from her time in the Mechanicus. Her cybernetic parts seem to gleam--- it is uncertain whether it is from oil, blood or some other substance. Her head seems to nod as if acknowledging some incoming transmission… then turns the hellgun in her hands against what might have been a surveillance servitor. There is a moment when she faces the recorder and seems to flash the slightest little smile, as if laughing inwardly at some unknown irony or a silent little greeting to whoever’s viewing the vid-feed… and then there is a flash and static replaces the first image.
The feral warrior still seems to favour flakweave greatcoats. The large glass tankard clenched in her fist seems strangely full, the foam still flecking the top. A million mad little jag-toothed grins smile back at her from the frothy brew. She hums a tribal tune to which she no longer knows the words. A gang of thugs--- no certain cult or gang markings from this angle, but ruffians still, certainly--- crowds up behind her. They usher her outside into a dark alley, seem to talk… and they begin to draw weapons. And then the lead one gets knocked out by a flying flagon. In the split second that the others reel in surprise, she quickdraws a large-cal autopistol and mows them down. She reloads and seems to fire again at incoming hostiles, nature uncertain, recorder angle limited. In the distance, she seems to be hauling off the survivors with the help of one burly and one robed figure.
“Last seen under service to Magos Zweiker, who in turn was in service to Interrogator Konrad. Old, old… colleagues… of mine. Traitor rebel backstabbing heretic slagging scum. Or so all the current evidence says. Saint Elana’s bones, honestly? For old times’ sake, I’m still willing to grant them a tribunal and a full hearing. Odds are, I’ll be pulling the trigger on the flamer for their pyres.” She says with a scowl and glower. “Trapsprung there, though’s luckier by a hair. Current assignment’s on Malfi, sniffing out what might be another lead
Frowning even more furiously, she growls, “Why the warp did I just say all that to you? Hah! Who will you tell who hasn’t already had their fill of spitting on me and kicking me into the mud, eh?”
As the short clips near their end, Inquisitor Nar composes herself. Her eyes still seem to be watching Marcus. When the vid-feeds come to a close, she asks him, “Okay. When you saw those, how did you feel? Speak frankly.”
If he professes any curiousity or frustration as to these proceedings, she continues, “You want to know why I’m doing this? I like getting to know my subordinates… Not just knowing you for who and what you might be, but also to know that you’re still human and not just some husk of a servitor. You flinched when you put the collar on and yet you still put it on. You’re dedicated to your duty and yet you desire freedom. Or is it assurance? Approval? You’re haunted by the horrors that you did and can still and can always do. Believe me, those who no longer feel anything are deader than their victims. Also? Urval’s only half-right. You still need refinement. Unless absolutely necessary, be a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.”
She pauses for thought, steepling her fingers and massaging her forehead, then says over a scowl, “Lemme ask you this, then… Why truly, do you serve Him on Terra? Gimme an answer from your gut, not your heart or your head. Now, answer me from your heart--- Do you really believe that what we’re doing is for the betterment of the Imperium and its citizens? And from your head--- If, hypothetically, you survive and crack some more cases and are elevated to Inquisitor yourself, how do you think you’d run things?”
Marcus remains absolutely still when watching the videos, tensing up even more. His hands are still wrapped around the recaf cup, and that seems to be the only reason why they aren’t shaking. He doesn’t respond to the inquisitor outburst, and doesn’t answer, when she asks him how he feels. He doesn’t know what to answer: that’s not a question many people have asked him. Still, for the couple of moments before he manages to school his expression to a careful blank, his eyes pretty much give the answer away: his expression is halfway between sadness and...longing. He had actually talked with this people, at least for a while, even of subjects not directly related to the mission, and these were the only times in his adult life he remembers having done something like that.
Still, the Inquisitor wants answers, and he is not sure what to tell her. Marcus is beginning to miss Urval, who didn’t speak to him if not absolutely necessary, and never asked him any question that was more personal of ‘give me your report’. Why do I serve Him on Terra? “I don’t...I don’t want people to die because of horrors they don’t even have a name for” like me, for instance. He does shiver then. He remembers having told very similar words before, to someone he has just now been looking at on a vid feed. “And I...yes, I believe my service is for the b-betterment of the life of the people in the Imperium.” He doesn’t answer the last question. He had never even considered the possibility of one day become an Inquisitor himself. The mere possibility seems ludicrous.
The Inquisitor holds her head in one hand, kneading her temples as she listens to Marcus. When he has finished, she mulls over his words while scratching at her chin, then lifts her own cup--- conspicuously letting go of the gun in doing so--- and says, “May the Emperor’s name blot out the words of the nameless horrors…”
The toast is lifted once more, this time without the sardonic smile, “To Man’s martyrs. May their sacrifice not be in vain”
With a scowl, Nar downs her cup’s contents. For a while, she gazes into the empty cup, then sets it down and says to Marcus, “Well then, young man, that’s that. Would you care to shoot some ration cans with me or help kill some paperwork, arrange files and maybe actually get some work done?”
(SOME TIME LATER)
The Inquisitor stares at the checkered board and lifts up a Trooper... then the pewter gamepiece carven with the snarling likeness of a black-enameled disheveled Traitor Guardsman with a mutated third arm clacks back to the board and rolls off the table. She picks up the ringing vox-set and nods, replying into the mouthpiece. "Acknowledged. Send them in."
She turns her crimson gaze back to Marcus and says, "Looks like we'll have to call this a draw, Agent Lumen. Your new colleagues have just pinged Base Lambda's sensor-net and should arrive shortly"
Almost nonchalantly, she picks up a mission-slate and says, "Oh, I almost forgot, sorry. Happy Birthday, ye bugger."
As those last words are spoken, the collar around Marcus' neck begins beeping and whirring...
...and then spits out a scroll of text right where the explosive charge should have been, right before it unlocks and pops off.
The little swatch of print-paper reads... Hah! Sorry! Just a little tradition I inherited from my old Inquisitor. Just between you and me [and the Emperor, of course], somebody else amongst your new colleagues
deserves the real deal. Hah! Anyhow. Happy Birthday, Sparky. What? It =is= there on your slate. Anything you want?
Beside the desk, the Inquisitor is bent over, wheezing, stumbling for a pitcher of water.
Marcus' reaction is probably not what the Inquisitor had expected. When the collar had begun beeping, he had simply stiffened and closed his eyes, a brief expression of...resignation. He opens them again when it becomes clear that he isn't going to die after all, and reads the little piece of paper. It's true, he was born on this day, 18 years ago. He hadn't realised. Dates become confusing when travelling in the Warp.
"I... no, ma'am" He bends down to pick up the collar from the floor and lays it back on the table, using the few seconds provided from the movement to take a breath and compose himself. He can't figure out this Inquisitor. He can't understand what she WANTS from him, or why she seems so interested in him... he can't understand why she doesn't simply tell him what the mission is and leaves him alone, as all other Inquisitors he has served under have done in his life. "Thank you, ma'am." He says carefully. He hesitates for a second, then, since the Inquisitor is quite obviously looking for some water, he pours a glass out for her, and slides it closer to her hand
Interaction between Marcus and Wulfgar, on board the Imperial Starways 739
Spoiler: Marcus and Wulfgar, sparringThe day after the meeting with the younger, less male Agent Lumen and the ensuing fight, Wulfgar appears at the Wolf sub-cell camp in the abandoned Rhino. In part, he is there to scout the area for any potential threats. Mostly, though, he is there for a different reason. He watches for the better part of ten minutes, observing and thinking, before heading in to speak with the young psyker named Marcus Lumen. The most worrying element of his cell, albeit not by much, and one that none of the others seem to have any will to interact with. If they won't do it the First Blade will have to, deficient social skills or not.
The Assassin knocks before entering the Rhino, announcing his otherwise nearly undetectable presence, then considers how best to address his target. 'Agent Lumen' is too impersonal, and might be misinterpreted. 'Psyker' is derogatory, and possibly dangerous if overheard. 'Marcus' too familiar. In the end, the assassin settles on nothing, and simply makes it obvious who his words are directed to by staring at the young Psyker for a few moments, the effect vaguely unsettling. "I noticed earlier that you carry a sword. I rarely have the opportunity to hone my skills outside of combat. Would you be willing to spar with me?" The question is direct, if only a portion of the true reason for Wulfgar's interest in Marcus Lumen.
At the knock, the boy raises his eyes from the dataslate he was reading, apparently some basic treatise on field first aid, and he gets hastily on his feet when Wulfgar enters the room. He tenses, unconsciously adopting an half-at-attention position. "Sir?" He asks, cautiously. He's not sure what the man may want from him. He launches an unsubtle glance in the direction of his right arm, which is still conspicuously bandaged. Not that he would have been able to be a match for the obviously superior warrior even if that wasn't the case. "I... yes sir. I mean, I... I don't believe I would be able to pose a challenge for you, sir."
The Assassin cocks his head, then replies in a flat voice. "That is not relevent. If I only trained with equals, I would not have done so at all since leaving my Bretheren. There is much to be gained from such disparity, for both participants." He eyes the Psyker's injury for a moment, considering. "As to your injury, some exercise should do you well. If you are right-handed, learning to make use of your off-hand may well save your life in the future. Perhaps I may even help to improve your swordsmanship; of course, if there is something more important claiming your time, I will leave you to it..."
Marcus shakes his head. He has been subjected to so many tests and trials in his life to be instantly able to recognise one, and this is clearly a test of some kind. What kind, he still isn't sure. "No, sir." he answers, stiffly. "I mean, I would be h-honoured to spar with you, sir."
Wulfgar nods in satisfaction. "Excellent. I will meet you outside when you are prepared." He turns around, exiting through the Rhino's still open hatch.
Outside, the Assassin waits in a casual stance, magnificent two-handed sword held loosely at rest. He speaks quietly, barely audible above the ambient noise of the starship. "We will begin slowly. I will defend; do your best to hit me. Anywhere covered by my cloak should be proof against your sword's cutting edge, so do not feel the need to hold back in fear of injuring me. This is a warm-up exercise; do not overexert yourself." Instructions out of the way, the First Blade takes up a defensive stance, sword held in a two-handed grip close in front of him, and waits to see how Marcus will act.
Marcus follows him outside, stiffly. He acknowledges the first blade's instructions with another low "Yes sir", and tries to take out his sword. It's difficult to do pretty much everything, using his left hand only, and holding a sword is no exception. The weapon keeps trying to slide off his hand at awkward angles "Sorry, sir" he says, quietly, biting his lips and attempting to adjust his grip. He manages at the third attempt, apparently by sheer force of will... and immediately realises that the stances he has been taught have to be readjusted specularly, since his weapon is in his off hand, now. He suppresses a grimace, and tries to comply with the First blade instructions, attempting to do his best to hit him.
The pair engage for a few minutes in relative silence, Marcus' abnormally poor off-handed efforts easily beaten back by expert parries where the Sanctionite's own lack of experience using his uninjured arm doesn't do the job on its own. Eventually, Wulfgar steps back and calls a halt. "Better than I'd expected. You've at least been trained, which is more than most can say." The Assassin considers the situation for a moment. "We will begin properly now." Wulfgar waits until Marcus is ready again, then launches into a series of attacks. It doesn't take long to notice that the Assassin is holding back severely; if anything, he's putting more effort into making sure that his sword never comes closer than a few inches away from his partner's body than actually attacking. Which might have something to do with the fact that his sword is more than capable of cutting through Marcus' Flak armour as though it were water.
A minute or so after beginning, Wulfgar speaks up again. "What are you afraid of?" The question is blunt, and it's clear that he was waiting to ask it until the swordfight began.
"Yes, sir. The....the Scolastica Psykana trained me, sir." Marcus answers, quietly. It is soon apparent, however, that he isn't much better at defending himself than he is at attacking. Clearly he has only had the most basic training, and it's not a skill he has practiced much.
He falters in his stance at Wulfgar's unexpected question, a collection of memories flashing for a second in front of his eyes - two men, screaming and begging in pain, and finally pointing a gun to their head and pulling the trigger, an older man with deep blue eyes being clawed to death by a fanged abomination, cold all around and the howling of the Warp... but he can't put any of those into words. "Sir?" he asks instead, trying to stall for time, to understand what he may want from him.
Wulfgar continues his carefully moderated attacks, pressing Marcus back while he responds. "Only a blind man could miss your fear. It is written on your face, and in your actions. Fear can be a useful tool, where appropriate, but must be overcome where it is not. So, what is it that you fear?" The Assassin is slipping into the role of the instructor now, recalling lessons of his own from many years prior. Strange, that the deepest human interaction he's felt the need to participate in since being inducted as First Blade is with a psyker....
The young psyker bites his lips. He can't see any way around the question...and he has been conditioned, all his life, to answer and obey. "Yes, sir. " He says, quietly. "Sorry, sir. I..." he doesn't know how to answer, but he has at least to try. "I am a psyker, sir. I... y-you know what can happen if a psyker loses control, s-sir." he hopes the First blade won't ask him to elaborate further. He doesn't want to go into the gory details. He doesn't believe that is a fear that he could ever overcome... he isn't even sure if it would be a good thing to overcome it. But he understands how the other man can see it as a liability. "I apologise, sir. I... I'll try not to make it so blatant, sir." he adds, rigidly.
The assassin backs off for a moment, allowing Marcus to rest as he considers the response. When he replies, he speaks slowly as though still considering. "That is not unreasonable, to be sure. I confess that I know little of Warpcraft, other than that it is dangerous for those judged unworthy." With a flourish he sheathes his beautiful sword and draws a different blade, a short, heavy combat blade favoured by Imperial Guardsmen, testing the balance for a moment. "But to be ruled by fear is to invite Damnation. Feeling that fear, the fear of failure, is to be human. Controlling the fear, molding it to your need..." The Assassin smiles, a rather disturbing grin. "That is to be an instrument of the Emperor. If you are willing, I would like to do this again, as often as duty permits. I may know little about Warpcraft, but discipline and control are topics I am very well acquainted with. And, perhaps, you will find swordcraft to be a useful skill to practice."
Marcus stands where he is, sword still unsheathed but pointed awkwardly to the floor. A surprised expression passes briefly on his face, like he hadn't expected that kind of answer, then he nods "Yes, sir. Thank you, sir, I... I'd like to.". He seems to hesitate for a second, like he's unsure about asking, then in a very low voice "Where... where did you learn, sir?"
For a moment, Wulfgar debates simply not answering the question. After all, the Bretheren do their best work in the shadows of the Emperor's light, and the boy really doesn't need to know such things... But in the end, perhaps it is better to match honesty with honesty. "I became what I am in a monastery on my homeworld, trained by the Elders of my Bretheren." He looks away, disappearing into his chameleoline cloak for a moment. "I joined the Bretheren quite young. Perhaps five or six years of age. It is the only way to do so; most of the others were born into the order." He looks back up, somber as he remembers a life given up in service to the Emperor. "Ten years of training and two as a Brother myself imparted the skills I use today. It was a good life, one of belonging. I have no regrets. More, it has allowed me to serve the Emperor to a degree that most can only dream of. What more is there to ask for?"
"Nothing, sir.", Marcus answers, and he actually means it. He observes Wulfgar for a couple of seconds, trying to figure out the man's age: he doesn't seem that much older than him. Marcus wonders what kind of planet he had come from - a monastery, he had said, so probably not a hive world like Malfi or Scintilla. He would like to ask, but doesn't think it's his place to. "I... thank you again, sir." for the offer, but especially for answering the question. Marcus doesn't specify it out loud, even if it is quite clear that he hadn't expected Wulfgar to actually answer.
Wulfgar grimaces momentarily. "Don't thank me. All I desire is that you are better able to serve the Emperor, and better equipped to assist our team in the execution of our duties... If you wish to show gratitude, do so by using whatever I can give you to slay His enemies and protect His people." He seems to think for a moment, then reaches down and unties the sheath for the wicked-looking blade he carries from its place on his combat harness, sheathing the weapon, and holds in out in offering. He seems to find a resolve of some sort, the doubt about this venure vanishing. "Speaking of that, take this weapon. Your sword might be capable of putting down a ganger or a mad Axe-hound, but any sort of proper armour will make it useless. This is, at the very least, capable of thwarting lighter armour. You will need it, or similar, if you hope to kill any true threat."
Marcus' eyes widen in shock and he has to make a conscious effort to close his mouth. He definitely wasn't expecting anything like that. "I... yes sir" he says again. He doesn't thank the other man again, since he had seemed to disapprove the first time, but he sheaths his own blade and takes the proffered sword carefully, almost reverently. "I... I am more trained in using my powers than my weapons. But I will d-do my best, sir.". He hesitates, unsure if the right protocol would require him to salute the other man, then he simply nods respectfully in acknowledgment and thanks.
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
God, it's been a long time since some of these interactions. So pleased.
Curious: for roleplaying purposes, how do people's characters see Yarach? How would the last year have gone, do you think? Rochelle and Marcus, at least, have Yarach's unqualified respect, while Sarah is a volatile but useful agent. I'm also going to roleplay him as having, through necessity, learned a LOT more social skills through his work than before; he no longer speaks entirely in computer code, and in fact is rather eloquent. Not only that, he will have tried to bond, at least a little bit, with his cell; he views himself as a lieutenant to Alexei first, and not as a dictatorial leader; he leaves that to the Interrogator-Captain.
Rochelle and Argentius are unknowns to him, though. What would they think of a techy-fleshy hybrid with a soft spot for murdering the everloving heresy out of folks?
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Rochelle and Marcus, at least, have Yarach's unqualified respect
As for Marcus, I'll have him have very very sliiiightly relaxed during this year. Mostly meaning that he'll be actually able to finish a sentence mostly without stammering (which wasn't a physical difect, just an hesitation in voicing any kind of opinion). It helps that Alexei isn't around any more to cause him physical pain just by virtue of his presence. That would be the extent of the progress Marcus made, though, the bulk of the dynamics with the other characters would be unchanged.
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
The previous year has shaped Sarah more than a simple mask of metal and synthskin. The Massacre at Malfi was a moment of pivotal change, wheels were set in motion and a year later their slow progress could be clearly seen. The Sarah now serving the Inquisition was more calm, calculated and disciplined. To those that had been by her side this change was dramatic, however deceptive.
Following the Malfian incident Sarah had a fearsome reputation having distinguished herself not only in the eyes of the Inquisition, but also perpetuating the tale of the Jackal Inquisitor through whispered half-truths and spurious rumours. The shadowy persona wasn't the only factor in her growing influence, the tangled web of underworld politics was something she had thrust herself into aiming to take advantage of the shifting tides of power caused by the new Don Matthew. This interest in squabbling crime lords was driven partly by greed, but mainly it was the desire for revenge against the perceived, personal betrayal of Matthew. Ultimately her hunt for vengeance was quashed, with harsh consequences from the Inquisition, who backed the new Don. The attempt however had left her with a considerable, however diminished, weight in the affairs of the underworld. Sarah had a fractured web of contacts, informants and fences as well as numerous favours owed, for favours given, among those that held power.
Maintaining this web of information and control, required something more than bloodthirsty violence. Lies, layers on layers of falsehoods and careful fabrications. There were threats, yes, but mainly it was lies. Lies and bribes that kept the gears oiled. Sarah had left Malfi with more than one noble's ransom in hard currency, credit chits, custom duelling pieces and other blood-stained finery. Greed had driven her once again, but the thrones quickly slid into hidden accounts and powerful pockets. More than money this new found influence required attention and eventually this amounted to paperwork. Numbers had to be tallied, reports read, compiled and often sent forward. Sarah who had a year ago, been illiterate as most other underhivers, was forced to learn and adapt to her changing role.
The fresh discipline Sarah exerted owed much to Marcus' training. Both literacy and mental fortitude stemming from his teaching. Though her reasons for eventually accepting his offer of support came from a paranoid desire to watch the dangerous psyker. No longer was the threat of damnation foremost in Sarah's mind, but the more immediate peril of sanction by the Inquisition. Sarah's use of Spook to push Marcus, was a damning fact. One she endeavoured to keep hidden.
Sarah's constant tinkering finally backfired, unlike Yarach she lacked actual training, expertise or most importantly caution. She attempted to fit the carapace helmet with a host of visual devices. The prototype a cluster of overlapping power circuits and wiring suffered an electrical discharge in combat. This seared Sarah's flesh inside the helmet. Victor Von Doom style. Not catastrophically, but serious enough to warrant medical attention. Sarah refused aid from Marcus, cautious of the psyker since the Massacre of Malfi. In a twist the Inquisition refused Sarah the required medical attention, leaving the wound to fester as a punishment not for her irreverent manipulation of the machine spirits, but as punishment. Sarah had attempted to remove the new Don Matthew from his throne and from his shoulders. This subterfuge against the Inquisition backed head, had repercussions for the Jackal. Alexei personally wanted the young crime lord cleaning up his section of Malfi. He even went so far as to send pictures of Sarah's busted skull to Matthew to show the cost of insubordination, and to show that the inquisition is, sort of, on his side. Sarah was reminded she's lucky to not have been executed, her good behaviour in the Hive Spire having saved her. Eventually Nar felt the message had been learnt and saved Sarah from total ruin, with a quiet word to Alexei, before the rot ate her brain.
Sarah's relations with her cell mates had remained relatively constant. Her volatile and unpredictable nature had tempered somewhat, as she became more disciplined in her behaviour. Still the flames burnt inside her, but they were low and controlled... and hungry. A look into her remaining natural eye showed the same cruel bloodlust, barely leashed.
Sarah had kept close to Marcus, continuing to speak with him even treating him as a human on occasion. But always her smile is cold, her joke stilted and her eye(s) dangerous and sharp. She never mentions to him the matter of his disobedience on Malfi, but it scratches beneath her skin constantly. Having seen him in action she now has a slight respect for the witch and a fear as well. Fear born of both the threat of the warp and of the knowledge he possesses.
Sarah had a respect for Yarach, one she was more than happy to share. The Mechanical Man hand a grasp of technology she could only dream of. He was a font of knowledge and expertise she was more than happy to pursue. Indeed tinkering with varied machines brought her the only true happiness outside of killing the emperor's enemies. Over the year she spent as much time as she could spare, or as he would allow, watching, learning and assisting, if possible, with him. She often used him as an excuse to push aside a particularly dull report in favour of the scent of machine oil. However his aptitude also made him a threat, Sarah's curiosity sometimes extended beyond what the machine cult considered... legal.
@Urist: Over the year Sarah would of attempted to subtly gauge Yarach's adherence to legality when it comes to technology. She's not talking heretec here, but the Adeptus Mechanicus has some strict rules on... new... and modified.
Sarah initially would of been warm to Rochelle, seeing the mercenary similar to herself in many regards. However as the year progresses and Sarah becomes more woven into the web of deception, Sarah becomes detached and professional at the expense of their relationship.
Draco would of grated Sarah, from the moment they met. A haughty noble she would of viewed him as nothing more than a spoiled child. Their relationship almost certainly is adversarial Sarah would of taken any opportunity to insult, likening him to the nobles that were culled by the Inquisition, goading him into taking a swing at her would be considered icing on the cake. She herself possibly would of tried to hit him at some point, a practice bout of crossed swords suddenly becoming a serious effort to injure him. However as Sarah gained discipline and perhaps respect for his abilities after serving with him, she manages a grudging tolerance."Solus loligo purpureus gustabit victoriam"
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Looking good folks!
Note; I'm giving everyone Weapon Training: Primitive for free. If you already start with it, you get SP too. If you have both, you get Las.
I'll post stats for Rochelle and Yarach's guns tomorrow too.
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
"The Adeptus Mechanicus provides all the panoply of war, and the men of the Imperial Guard wield it. Without weapons, the men would be reduced to doing war with sticks and stones. Without men, the weapons would be little more than oddly-shaped metal. Both are necessary if the Imperium is to flourish, and that makes us partners in the struggle."
In all honesty, he most likely takes a fair liking to Marcus, especially if the Psyker shows him what he sees as due deference (which is pretty likely, given Marcus' usual reaction to everyone). He would definitely take a very keen interest in the exact nature and limitations of Marcus' psychic abilities, the better to exploit them later in battle or politics. Depending on how significant their interactions are over the course of the year, he might even take to trying to shield the young man from difficult social situations where possible. In all likelihood, he is as warm with Marcus as he is with anyone, and rarely has anything truly negative to say about him. Also in all likelihood he doesn't hesitate at all to try to boss Marcus around himself, despite not tolerating any outsiders doing so.
As a fellow war veteran and soldier, Draco has quite a bit in common with Rochelle, and settles into an amicable enough partnership. Recognizing her as a very effective medic and a more than decent soldier, he gives her a fair amount of leeway, especially if she sticks with Guard mannerisms and forms of address when dealing with him. When the situation gets desperate, Draco would almost certainly attempt to take charge and start giving out orders. I'm not sure how well she'd like that.
All right, that's all the time I have today. I'll continue trying to get the rest of my fluff stuff together and congruent tomorrow, though I likely won't have it done before the IC goes up. Sorry if that causes any problems.Avatar by the wonderful SubLimePie. Former avatar by Andraste.
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Last edited by Urist; 2014-09-15 at 04:12 AM.
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- Mar 2006
- Stormwracked verdant hive
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Regarding Yarach's rank--- Agreed with Urist there. Mayhap by now he's already a Magus on the AdMech side of things?
Regarding dem guns--- Very well, then, sir. Combat-wise, everyone's pretty flexible, unless I misread them?
Regarding various relations...
"SIR. G'morn, sir. Wot seemsa be the prob--- Huh. Routine personnel check? You have the 'ppropriate clearance ta carry this out, pup? Arright, jess checkin'.
Th' good Louie's a damn solid operative, sir. On an' off the field. Knows what's what, got 'is heart inna right place. HAH, though how much of it's metal or flesh, Tholl only knows. Then again, wossit matta' if he's doin' the Emprah's work? As reliable as the Guardsman's Friend, what better could be said?
Ser Draco there, ain't some fancy-ass spire princelin'. Soldier is as a soldier does. Good 'nuff with a sword that he don't suck too much o' me supplies. Hah. Ridin' through clustafraks, he sometimes hesitates, 'less I misread 'im. Shouldn't. Mebbe gotta talka 'im sometime 'bout that. We're equal stannin' unner th' Louie an' th' 'Terrogator, right?
Tha Kid, Marcus? Wonder how he'll be wi' a few more years under his belt. DAMN fine agent, but... sir, will this be on record, or what? Arrighty... Sometimes I worry iffen he's got somethin' festerin' in 'im. Not Warp-festery, nor flesh-festery... them's easily 'nuff treatable wi' a doc's hand or an executioner's hand. Tried ta... nah, must be my age an' maternal instinct rearin' they's grey heads...
Annnnnnnn' me favourite customer, er, patient, Ms Haxta. Hah. Girl's got a fire to her. She's like-a them metal she's so fond of. Broken, reforged, tempered, calibrated, oiled... a fine machine o' death, in Tholl's name. Too much zeal an' too much gusto's somethin' she gotta beware of. Might slip or break more'n could be fixed. In more ways'n one."Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
Previous Avatars: by Dr Bath, Strawberries, zimmerwald1915
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- Oct 2011
- Ho Chi Minh City
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Okay, some juice for Yarach and Rochelle.
Do note that all of these weapons, except the single-shot Duelling Las, all benefit from the variable setting Las rules.
Sollex Pattern-IX Delta "Death Light" Variable Focus LasgunThe overcharged Death Light has often been modified by various Tech Priests in the Cult of Sollex. This advanced model follows the same precedent as the standard model, but uses various technological upgrades. It uses more high-quality parts, including a 'Dimmer Switch', to create a two-setting weapon, that can double up as a sniper rifle and close-range assault weapon.
Yarach has modified this piece himself, custom fitting it to his own hardware.
Death Light - Marksman setting Basic 150m S/-/- 1d10+3 E Pen 4 40 2 Full Accurate, Felling (4), Reliable Custom Grip, Motion Predictor, Omni-Scope, Sacred Inscriptions Death Light - Assault setting Basic 60m -/3/5 1d10+4 E Pen 2 40 2 Full Reliable Custom Grip, Motion Predictor, Omni-Scope, Sacred Inscriptions
Customised Khayer-Addin "Valentine" Duelling LasThis piece is a better example of the Khayer-Addin duelling pistols. It manages to squeeze more out of the standard model, with higher quality focusing crystals. Being a Gunmetal City Imperial Guard Veteran, this was specially commissioned for Rochelle after she received the Crimson Skull decoration.
Sergeant West's Valentine Laspistol Pistol 30m S/-/- 1d10+5 E Pen 8 1 2 Full Accurate, Felling (4), Reliable, Tearing Custom Grip, Modified Stock, Omni-Scope, Sacred Inscriptions
Customised Minerva-Aegis Las CarbineAfter having performed in an exemplary fashion for Fane Takara of Gunmetal City, Rochelle was paid with this custom-built example of a las carbine, from the Forges of the Fane itself.
Sergeant West's Las Carbine Basic 60m S/4/8 1d10+3 E Pen 0 60 2 Full Reliable Custom Grip, Fluid Action, Motion Predictor, Targeter
Last edited by bluntpencil; 2014-09-16 at 09:35 AM.
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- Oct 2011
- Ho Chi Minh City
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Okay, custom weapons for Yarach and Rochelle.
They're not too powerful, but they're interesting, and don't suck. Don't get into a protracted engagement with that pistol, though. The full-auto setting of the rifle isn't as powerful as a Hot-Shot, but it can use the Variable Setting rules, and can fire full-auto.
It also doesn't require a backpack ammo supply.
IC up shortly.
Last edited by bluntpencil; 2014-09-16 at 09:32 AM.
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- Oct 2011
- Ho Chi Minh City
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
In character is up!
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- Oct 2011
- Ho Chi Minh City
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Yes, you're investigating a T.V studio for promotion of heretical thought.
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- Oct 2011
- Ho Chi Minh City
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
Right, sorry for multi-posting, but here's a short list of the custom gear everyone has:
Sarah: Two pistols, and a spike launcher
Yarach: Variable Lasgun and Omnissian Axe
Marcus: Force Sword and knife
Draco: Bolt pistol and power sword
Rochelle: Valentine pistol and Minerva-Aegis Carbine
Last edited by bluntpencil; 2014-09-16 at 09:48 AM.
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- Mar 2006
- Stormwracked verdant hive
Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
My good sir, might I say...
On all counts, BEAUTIFUL.Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
Previous Avatars: by Dr Bath, Strawberries, zimmerwald1915
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Re: DH - Ratcatchers: Alpha Cell
I'm glad that 'investigate a soap opera's studio' is an idea that's being received well. Of course, there will be blood and horror as well as bad acting.