Campaign of the Month: December 2013

Fate: Warhammer 40,000

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The sheer lack of professional dignity on this planet astounds and disgusts me. Aedessa‘s insistence on setting aflame objects for the crime of being useful is a stretch of logic more reasonably described as pyromania; the slightest attempt to show any form of respect for an anointed member of the Imperium has left me carting the essential parts from the storehouse Waylon was gunned down for approaching while they burn the rest. We will reach this temple’s inner sanctum while these barbarians scorch rock, and leave that damage localized. Perhaps Hadrius will tighten her leash when he sees the bill for his pet’s devastation… and if he does not, then at least the foolish Inquisition’s wealth will have been liberated to serve a constructive cause.

The next room was identified as the Audience Chamber, though there was no-one to receive us. A simple sensory projector gave the room a pleasant view of pure white-sand islands in a smooth ocean, though the electromagnetic interference made it quite clearly a show for the sake of fleshy visitors. Two excellent sphinx-styled servitors guarded the literal seat of power here, and once more this compound rejected my rightful credentials. While the servitors were distracted by mauling the others, I took the throne and finally claimed a new user registration. I am not fully certain which exploit I used in my frustration; it was with a dreamlike fervor that I asserted my dominance of the machine spirit. No matter; I hate to trespass, but if this station had the decency to recognize a child of Mars there would be no need.

Fortunately, when I arose from cyberspace, the servitors had not sustained more than cosmetic damage. One of Sisigmund’s attendants had come up with a clever plan to weld one of the servitors to the floor to neutralize it without destruction; she shall have to be commended. Once Sigsimund and Waylon regained consciousness, disabling the sensory projector revealed the source of the blood that had previously covered the servitors’ weapons: The hall was strewn with the corpses of Borers, some in garb indicating employment by the Adeptus Mechanicus. Those that ran had been hunted down and dispatched. It’s good to see that the security system is performing as expected, despite the abysmal false positive rate.

The door from this chamber led to the inner sanctum. I left it closed behind us, with a directive to the servitors to shield the room from any attempting to destroy it with fire; it will likely do no more than sacrifice these noble devices, but let none claim that I have been more than reasonable in giving the Acolyte chances at redemption. This entryway is reinforced well, each of the metal bricks inscribed with holy equations. There is both beauty and practicality, an excellent work of art.

The missing population of the temple was indeed here, in the inner sanctum. Here my credentials seem either recognized or unnecessary, authentication no longer carries the threat of gunfire. It is a refreshingly civilized place, though that may be in part to how the others went off to amuse themselves while I spoke with the leader here in power generation. There is no doubt now that the station is active; I felt it in my frame when we entered, but here beneath the ground the raw electrical flow is breathtaking. Reverend Mother Diskhet revealed much about the weaknesses of Paretum Temple’s seclusion; after outsourcing all care of the upper temple to a military branch of the Mechanicus two years ago they have had no further contact, with the Reverend herself proudly asserting no contact with the outside in decades.

Discussion went nowhere, but an actual glance at the console clearly indicated that the full output of the Temple had been redirected from the stations to a new manufactorum; they had no concern as to where the power went as long as they provided it. As the Starport branch has jurisdiction over power allocation, this means that an outside force has simply stolen the output. I suspect that the corpses of Borers and shells of tech-priests at the surface were killed when that faction resisted the theft, and with them all dead there are none left to object to the redirection. The insular core here doesn’t know or care that any of this exists.

With our task here essentially complete, I went to check on the others; a quick check of the internal cameras indicated that Waylon had received some sort of medical treatment (inexplicably opting for a cast on his broken arm; not only will it be useless for weeks, the muscle will degrade! Perhaps he may yet be convinced to upgrade…) and Sigsimund had a far healthier lilt to his step (the man had been dangerously sober throughout this investigation). They were off breaking into vents or some such, I hope they hadn’t caused much trouble.

While I was going to get them, I met up with Thalossian in the elevator. It was good to get a chance to speak with the man without anyone waving guns around, though he was somewhat… leading. Supposing close friendship, quick to speak of ‘mistrust’ at hesitation, like a vendor of enhancement products; such habits are disquieting. He knows of the dreams, implies kinship through them, a call to speak to the one dreamed of. He spoke of the work of Tellexus, and explained the interest shown by the Lorasian present at Tellexus’ station. There was a record left of Tellexus’ work at another station that the Lorasian had claimed and sold to one known as the Twelfth Star, though the man had only recently left the planet for Vallis Augustana with the record in tow. Thalossian implored me to seek down this relic, that I do anything with it rather than permit its loss.

It is hardly an unpalatable idea. There is too much destruction already, and given the level of craftmanship Tellexus has displayed, his memoires deserve a better resting place. As for securing it… Waylon would likely enjoy the leverage over his debtor from proof of the Lorasian’s theft of Astartes property. Sigsimund has his crusade here, but the planet may honestly be better off without him, by the signs of the civil war he helped start.

Besides, I won’t have to deal with Aedessa on another planet.

(END)

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