Campaign of the Month: December 2013

Fate: Warhammer 40,000

Warped Point of View
Khorney jokes


So, this Hero of Granite Shore and his crazy friend have some skill to back up their plans. They’ve finally pushed the quiet factions over the edge; there’s nothing left now to keep us from cutting the ring. Me and the boys will whip those Kriegs into shape, they’re all disgruntled but I bet half of them have no idea of the freedom they’re fighting for. As long as they’re pointed in the right direction and stay that way, they’ll see soon enough.

Sisigmund sent Sarg‘s men off north to cut off the train tracks with rubble, while Yorious went scouting the headquarters. Splitting our forces, but I suppose he’s the one that got us this far; not like the average truck driver could shoot straight anyway. Lets us focus on the cutting, anyway. Nothing like the pain you feel walking for days under that sun, but a little reminder of what we’re fighting for should do them well.

Finicky guy came back with a backload of kraks, spun some bad yarn about the ‘valor sticks’. The things were busted, but still full of boom; that was one tinkerer that won’t be joining us. Sure, people are gonna die, but no need to make it that easy for them. Better than nothing, I suppose.

We got up there the day of the fight, drove around the back quiet-like. They were all looking the way our boys were coming from, bad for our pals but that just meant we needed to use the advantage. Not that there was much of one, they drew a bead on us pretty quick. Sisigmund went over to light up the exploding barrels; I did some lighting of my own, but the Infernus wasn’t strong enough to burn them up. Not that it minded burning up the snow. I moved in for another pass, and… they filled me with holes.

That’s when things got interesting.

Funny, how that Inquisition drives harmless wannabes into the sort of corner where they give in. Great job security, gives more daemons a chance.

There was quite the bang from the exploding prometheum, a nice backdrop to the summoning. Khorne wanted old friends dead. They followed me through hell once, they can do it again. Bonus, I still get to wipe out someone close to the guys that shot me dead.

And now that sergeant’s back. That useless gal we were dragging along was all gibbering and broken, he must’ve been mad about that. That’s fine, hate is good. Guy’s good with a sword. Should be quite the fight.

Well, would’ve been better without that Sister taking pot-shots. Blew an eye out, didn’t stop me from clocking that commissar upside the head, and matching the sergeant blow for blow. Wait, that’s a lot of metal-

Damn, only had that body for a couple minutes. Oh well, impaled on a Chimera isn’t too bad as these go, managed to blow that up into quite the fight for that pittance of power Khorne bothered to drop here. Just means I deserve a bit more to kill with.

Next time.

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ANN -- Augustana News Network

Nyx Rebels Ambush Guard Trainees

NYX INFERNUS — Last evening at 7:00 PM (Rubicon station-keeping time), a convoy of guardsmen trainees from Orbus Istria were ambushed by unknown assailants, who later identified themselves as the “Borers”. The trainees were conducting routine exercises in the southern mining flats, when they were fired upon by mining lasers and beset by crazed mobs wielding picks and drills.

With no policing force of its own, Nyx Infernus has appealed to the Familias for aid. In response, Familias Augustus, Basilius and Lorasia are mobilizing detachments of urban cohorts to stabilize the situation on the mining colonies.

The ambushed convoy were operating military equipment supplied by Familias Lorasia, another poor omen for the house after the comm outages of last week. Their Fiducia index [LRSA] dropped by 18 points at closing.
.Sponsored link: Aries-III mining lasers Sale! Even cuts through plasteel! Buy in bulk now!

Centurion_Promiscuous 3 minutes ago
Gaksh*t! 3 houses all sending urbans to “stabilize the situation”. Someone’s w*nking their wallets.

GreyknightCaptain 3 minutes ago
first!

TogaJoe11 3 minutes ago
my cousin heard they boxing up armor and arty for transport…

Centurion_Promiscuous Just now
f*ck!1 its like their invading the rock

spx1208 Just now
were is nyx infernus anyways

= Comments have been closed by the administratist. =

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N-3: Nyxian Nightly News

Granite Shores Firefight; Casualties Heavy

GRANITE SHORES — At 1730 (Nyx registered time), a trio of Imperial Guard armored transports charged a Borer gathering outside a sensor station near Granite Shore. Lasfire was exchanged by both sides, and casualties are believed to be extensive. At least one of the armor transports may have been destroyed during the engagement.

The firefight comes at the climax of a multi-hour stand off between a gathering of armored Borer haulers, and Janissary troops from Orbus Istria, at a local voxcasting station. No official comment on what precipitated this incident, but it is believed that the Imperial Inquisition may be involved. Citizens are advised to stay clear of stations along the Lewis Dike area.

As always, the Emperor protects.

Jennifer Flare, reporter on site
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Double Agent
A razor thin line


Feth! Flaming Throne! Warp consume it all! What a fething situation I’ve landed in this time. A right big pile pile of sherk. All I had intended was to lay low for a bit and escape the notice of that fething gak-headed Lorasian, Papirius. Why did Aedessa sanction that attack? She knew von Schwaben was down here… We had no choice but to obliterate them. Emperor help me if my cover is blown… Things were going so well for a while. I thought I might have finally kicked the Lorasian’s off my trail.

But wait. Nobody but von Schwaben and the Can Opener knew I was here. Nobody who really knows me, that is. Aedessa couldn’t have seen me slip away. Could she have? No, I’m far too careful, and besides, Papirius wouldn’t have sent a mere score of half-trained kids to rein me in. No, my cover isn’t blown, at least not yet. But I’m going to have to work to finesse my way out of this.

First thing first. The surviving prisoners are the only ones who’ve seen me openly oppose the Inquisition. If word of that gets out, all is lost. But how to silence them? I suppose they could all meet with an untimely accident. A mining laser malfunction in the aftermath of the battle… No. Their deaths would be far too conspicuous. Better to gain their trust and loyalty. Yes: if I’m careful I might yet be able to convince them that my service to the Borers is a convenient espionage cover for the Inquisition!

In the confusion that followed the skirmish, before anyone could do a proper head count, I convinced von Schwaben that I should interrogate the prisoners. I dismissed the Borers who had been assigned as guards - convincing them to leave their post was easy; victor’s euphoria had clearly addled their brains. Besides, they weren’t trained soldiers. If we end up leading these dwarves - if von Swchaben ends up taking charge - we’ll have to take care to inculcate them with a proper sense of military duty.

I entered the “room” where the prisoners were bound. After surveying the sorry lot, I asked after the driver of the vehicle that nearly flattened me. Fething driver. The boys quick to point out the culprit. I kneed him in the stomach, winding him. Served him right, for almost killing me. After that little display (an outburst of emotion, really, but it probably served to intimidate them further), I asked if any of them knew who I was. They exchanged wide-eyed glances, until one - Private Timius I later learned - spoke up. “You’re a leader of the Borer resistance!” He gulped, surprised at the sound of his own voice. Surprised he managed the courage to speak at all. I noticed the kid wore prayer beads around his neck. Excellent.

In dramatic Acolyte fashion, which is to say, with very little emotion, I informed the lot of them that I was an Acolyte in the service of Inquisitor Hadrius. A hush fell over the room. I appealed to their sense of duty, and to young Timius’ sense of worship. I told them that my services required me to assume a position among the Borers for the purpose of espionage, and that I might, from time to time, require their aid to carry out my mission. In return for their services, whenever I should call upon them, I promised that I would free whomever among them helped me. They assured me that they would patiently await the call of duty, and that they would protect my identity with their lives.

Well, so much for that. Now to solidify my identity as an Acolyte… I freed Private Timius and entrusted him with a message that he was to personally deliver to Sister Aedessa Jorens, informing her in part of my “mission”, and that I required a supply drop that would include long-range vox technology for communications purposes. All that was left to do was wait and… and pray, I guess.

This might actually work out well. I’m walking a razor thin edge, but I might be able to feed information about Borer activities to the Inquisition, and simultaneously about the Inquisition to the Borers in true double agent fashion. The only problem is, I don’t know which side I’m really fighting for… Neither I guess. Both sides are full of fething gakheads. But maybe Papirius will find himself captured as a prisoner in this war. And I his captor. Hmmmm, yes, THAT would be a stroke of good fortune.

In any case, after finding suitable civilian clothing for Timius and stowing him away in a transport vessel ultimately destined for Inquisitorial territory, I rejoined von Schwaben. A lady who identified herself as VJ Shores arrived at the station in a Rover and hurriedly entered the station, presumably to meet with VJ Granite. While she was inside, I helped myself to some of the albums inside her vehicle. I also took some maps and a nice watch. I had a feeling we’d be going somewhere. Might as well drive with music. And it’s always good to know where I might be going. Plus, marking the passage of time could help me if I need to find my way back. At least, that’s how I justified my theft after-the-fact.

As it turned out, I was right. We were in store for yet another adventure. So we made to depart, but Ramirez informed us that he would not be accompanying us. He said something about our vigilante vendetta and that he planned to seek asylum with the Ad Mec. If I had the choice, I’d probably join him. But the planet is probably crawling with Lorasians… I’m probably safer with the Borers for now.

So, we parted ways. Von Schwaben and I drove after VJ Shore. Turns out we drove for a few hours, well out into the dark side of the planet. This was deep Borer territory. We came upon a large Borer mining structure, which we learned was called “The Crawler”. Thousands upon thousands of Borers gathered were gathered there. Apparently we were being shepherded to a meeting of Borer faction leaders… As I see it, this could either go very well, or very poorly. Either von Scwhaben will be heralded as a hero and savior, or convicted for inciting rebellion and war. I decided it was best to dissociate myself from him for the time being. Enter Likios the scholar. Thankfully I had a pair of spectacles in my odds and ends. I proceeded to play the roll of an unobtrusive and perhaps mentally unstable scholar with a supreme research interest in the Borer species. What else was I to do? Throwing my lot in with von Schwaben could be suicide, and there was no way to escape now. Sometimes hiding in plain site is the only option.

Outside the crawler, we met several Borer faction leaders, including Rena Stov of the Hillfolk, a large brute with a red scar who went by the name of Riker, Warlord Thom Krieg of the Kriegs, and a few others. None gave me a second glance, though von Schwaben tried several times to introduce me as Waylon Quin. Fool man! Surely he knows the danger of throwing that name about. Then again, he’s racked up quite a number of imperial crimes himself, so perhaps he doesn’t give it any thought. At least not when he’s inebriated. In any case, I simply gave a blank stare and rambled on about nothing whenever he introduced me, after correcting him that my name was in fact Likios. It had the desired effect: I was immediately dismissed as a harmless fool.

We were shepherded deep into the crawler structure, down an makeshift crane elevator operated by Crane Master Dawl, and into a large meeting room. There we waited in silence as various other Borers made their way in. Among those who joined us were Mining Chief Isaac Marr - he didn’t notice me, as I did not take a seat at the table but rather hid among the Borer entourages that lined the walls of the room - as well as Renor Sarg, King of the Table mountain, with his Gyokai adviser whose name we did not learn, a merchant called Piet Somms, and Jake Fowl, a runner for the Glacier Rats. Once everyone was settled, the meeting began.

There was much discussion; everyone inquired after von Schwaben’s antics at the vox station. There seemed to be a divide in the room as to whether he was a friend or foe. I let the squabbling continue for a while, and then shed my disguise. Assuming the role of Yorious, whom Isaac Marr would remember from the relay station, I engaged the Borer leaders in discussion. I spewed a bunch of drivel about rebellion and war, about freedom and rights, and generally supported von Schwaben in his vigilante agenda. In the end, we spurred the Borers to action. War was at hand! Ferth.

As we stood to leave the room, I noticed two specks a distance away. They appeared to be men, but I couldn’t make them out. I alerted the room of their presence; the Gyokai adviser produced a telescope and informed us that the men wielded sniper rifles. That was all that von Schwaben needed; he bounded from the room and hastened across the catwalk towards the crane elevators, shouting at the Borer leaders to remain hidden in the safety of the room. I guess he intended to engage them! Shores, Riker, and I left the room to follow him. Our movement alerted the snipers, who paused a moment to see if anyone else would leave the room, and then proceeded to pack up their equipment. When I reached the crane, I demanded to be allowed to take the wheel; now was the time for haste, as surely those snipers would have seen me. I glanced over at the other elevator. Von Schwaben had kicked the platform into motion: it swung like a pendulum, but both Riker and Shore managed to leap aboard without incident.

Having commandeered the crane, I started in pursuit of the would-be assailants. The crane was of off-world make: it had a hidden sixth gear for extra speed. The enemy must have been startled at how quickly we gave chase, since they began fumbling as they hurried to start their vehicle’s engine. They managed to start moving, but despite clearly superior vehicular speed, we started to gain. Meanwhile, von Schwaben and Riker reached the top of the elevator and moved to cut the vehicle off. They braced themselves against the oncoming vehicle; it appeared as though they intended to face off against the assailants in a game of Nyxian chicken. Idiots!

Thankfully, I didn’t have to watch them get flattened. Those snipers might have seen my face: escape was not an option. The elevator platform attached to the crane I drove swung forward like a great pendulum, having lurched into motion when I started driving. I pulled out my melta gun and took aim at the cables that held the platform: just after the platform reached its equilibrium position at the bottom of a forward swing, I fired. The cables melted under the heat of the blast and the platform sailed through the sky to crash into the assailant’s vehicle, causing the driver to lose control. They didn’t have a chance to avoid von Swchaben’s power sword, nor Riker’s massive hammer. Those two swung at the vehicle with such force that it deformed into a spherical ball of steel and simultaneously burst into flames. With uncanny precision, they swatted the fireball down onto a mining conveyor in the valley below.

Safe to say those two won’t live to blow my cover. Safe for now…

View
save_the_stations.tar.gz
cat save_the_stations.tar.gz | openssl rsault -encrypt -inkey khamrian.pub | mailx -s "Tellexus's Stations Under Attack" talia.seleritov@mechanicus.imp

The following is translated from Techno-Lingua, through the mystical incantation “tar -xOz save_the_stations.tar.gz”

I write from Nyx Infernus, Subsector Augustana. A sensor station constructed by Techmarine Tellexus has been visited by several forces recently; Tech-Priest Thalossian is among them, suspected to have Chaos influence. As a result, the Ordos Malleus wishes to demolish the station. While there I reverted the alterations made by Thalossian and informed the Inquisition of this fact as well as how the station was constructed by Tellexus, but now I fear that the name of the Adeptus Astartes will be insufficient to protect the station.

My research has shown that Magos Talia Seleritov has vouched for Tellexus in the past, but these records are largely classified if not redacted. I presume the Khamrians have some knowledge of what Tellexus planned for this sector. Please let me know what Tellexus planned to build, and if it is worth preserving then I request assistance in preserving it.

tl;dr The Inquisition will break Tellexus’s stuff if we don’t stop them. I’m assuming this is bad, let me know if you can help or if we can let them go.

Deus ex Mechanicus,
Ramirez Illistrad
Enginseer
r17illistrad@mechanicus.imp

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A Spark
The Inquisition's haste starts a rebellion.


Ignoring the commotion behind me (pretty sure Whaylon’s voice jumped an octave when he saw that suit.), I strolled down the him toward the ramshackle barriers. A couple of the Borers were resistant at first, but they let me in once I handed over my weapons. A giant of a man showed me around the station.

Most of the place was your typical outback dump, cobbled together from spare parts, and jacked into someone else’s sensor mast to broadcast the signal. The DJ seemed spacey, didn’t really know what was going on, but a few people remembered a techpriest visiting a month or so back. Said he’d made some “modifications”.

In the lower level the Borers had a sort of shrine, mostly adorned with tools. Wasn’t quite sure what to make of it at first, but decided Ramirez had to take a look, and managed to convince the rabble to let him through. Went for a few with the giant while he looked through the place, and came back soon after. Got a free bottle out of it too. Seems the shrine had some sort of hidden compartment underneath, but for once, our Ramirez wasn’t up to the task. Needed a special tool or something.

Whaylon somehow made it into the compound from the roof. Said there were a couple of cranes out back that we could use to open the thing, but that it was going to make a lot of noise. In minutes, we had a plan. Ramirez would stay here and head down into whatever was underneath. Whalyon and I would try to get the Borer’s ready to fight, and convince them that we needed to operate the cranes to prepare for that. In a matter of minutes, we’d have the thing open, and the Borer’s would be none the wiser.

Things didn’t go quite according to plan. As ever the Inquisition decided a “Shoot first, ask later” approach was in order. While we were round back revving the cranes, they sent in 3 Chimeras. 3 Chimeras for a handful of civilians with improvised clubs. And they wonder why people don’t like Imperial rule.

I led the Borers to the barricades, and had a few of them operate a mining laser. We fired as the vehicles closed but without effect. It wasn’t until they were about to crush our barricades that Whaylon finally went to work on one of them with his Meltagun, cut clean through the drive assembly. Before the drivers could do anything, my sword was gliding through the steel front armour, and into the machine’s control units.

The transports started to unload, two or three squads of green, green, guardsmen. I led the Borers over the barricades in a desperate charge. Maybe the Chimeras wouldn’t fire on their own, even if they’ve been trained to.

It was bloody. Only a few of them escaped, on a fast little weapons platform. The rest were just grain before a scythe. They didn’t even know to fix their bayonets. Just barely trained kids, being marched off world and told to shoot a bunch of people who listened to the wrong kind of music.

I’m not sure if Mouse was there. I hope not. Mouse seemed like she could have understood.

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shoot_second_ask_first_fools.txt
cat shoot_second_ask_first_fools.txt | mailx -s "Sigma-1 Exorcism Report" a23jorens@inquisition.imp

Having analyzed the sensor station Sigma-1, it is important that the Inquisition consider the original purpose of its construction. Tech-marine Tellexus of the Iron Hands chapter of the Adeptus Astartes built this station roughly a century ago and provided it with its initial purpose of data collection, as verified by sealed sections of the station which provided the backup power while the lines were cut. I recommend that you refrain from immolating Adeptus Astartes property without their approval, whether or not foolish locals take up residence.

The inquisition was correct to identify Sigma-1 as a target of interest. There was some evidence of malign augmentation on the surface sections, which has been thoroughly exorcised. As of now, the station has resumed its original functionality, plus a crude yet harmless vox broadcast.

I offer my condolences for the loss of your three Chimerae in the confusion after breaking the station seal. I would have much preferred a peaceful resolution over the loss of such great machine spirits. Perhaps their hesitance to destroy this location was their final act of service to the Omnissiah.

Any further information on this malign influence will, naturally, be sent to the Inquisition.

Deus ex Mechanicus,
Ramirez Illistrad
Enginseer
r17illistrad@mechanicus.imp

View
log130801.tar.gz
tar -xOz log130801.tar.gz | less


Thalossian‘s work is impressive. There is no evidence of the phantom images Sisigmund and Waylon claimed, no sign of video forecasting their inevitable demise. Under ordinary circumstances, I would presume this to be the work of the questionable stimulants and aftereffects of the bunker, but not only is there no record of Adys’s initial call, the landline had already been cut when I was summoned. Perhaps I will be able to trace the transmission from my quarters… Later. Thalossian left co-ordinates for me, indicating the relay station Sigma One. The train will be fastest.

The Missing code is rarely used on train schedules, but it is perhaps the most eloquent way to keep from informing the public that an Inquisitor has commandeered the lines. Convenient in a sense, as that bunker will likely distract the Inquisitor from disrupting our investigation with these random searches, but I do not expect the forces in transit here to disperse so readily. No matter, it will be a simple process to use the service road at a similar speed, provided I can retrieve that pilot from the tracks before a train hits him.

Unfortunately the next train would have taken far too long. Those who claim Mechanicus as a benevolent agent shut their eyes to the world that ignores such simplistic means of halting needless destruction. Nevertheless, drawing attention was sufficient to stop Waylon’s inexplicable decision to discharge raw plasma into irreplacable maglev coils. If he didn’t want to drive that badly, he could have said so. Perhaps even without threatening a crowd with an explosive, a gun, and a poor disguise. Quick enough to point out that the damage was reversible, to a degree. The blood must be getting to him.

Flagging an emergency stop was sufficient to halt the next Inquisitorial train. Their plans are terribly inefficient, only the first car was even in use… These Janissaries hoard their space. I stepped into the second car to have some room to breathe, and the Guardsmen could do little more than point guns at Tiberius (further signs of prior Janissary connections, implication of severe military charges, this explains some aspects of behaviour while actively indicating other aspects are irrational). Nothing further, especially with Waylon’s claims of Inquisitorial protection. Perhaps he even truly believes himself at this point, he even gave a name with the story this time. Nearly being arrested on sight did nothing to dampen Sisigmund’s spirits, though that might be a side effect of having already consumed them.

The second car was a peaceful trip, especially after I detached the civilian car at the nearest station. Prior experience has suggested that guardsmen and frantic civilian mobs interact poorly.

Our stop was attended by an incredible work of art, the custom camera-servitor built on planet. Its uniqueness lowered my expectations of having a close look at the design, but the surprise was welcome. The reporter attending to it (from some local Nyx Nightly News station bound to dull terrestrial affairs, unlike the sector-wide Augustanan News Network) bothered the soldiers somewhat, driving Waylon to amusing antics to evade video capture by that serene tool. We needed to move onward, but Waylon indicated that images of his face would cause trouble; excuse enough to appreciate such design. On a curious note, the access permissions placed that reporter above most ranks of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and the wireless transmissions were locked to any below the Magos rank. I left a mark to delete local content with Waylon’s face, though I do not expect it to save him. Perhaps I will miss his bluster after the Inquisitorial forces slaughter him for impersonation, unless other enemies catch up with him first.

It seems Sigma One has drawn a great deal of attention. The Sister that so thoroughly humiliated Waylon earlier seemed interested by what he had to say this time; excellent, clearing away that bunker should prevent the Inquisitor from inexplicably disrupting my train connections for some time. Of course, in order to do so the forces currently surrounding Sigma One would need to disperse, and it seems nothing but a crowd of borers and a representative of House Lorasia stand between the Inquisitorial forces and burning the relay station to the ground.

Borers, Lorasia, and now Sisigmund.

I should find a way to search the building while it is still standing.

(END)

View
Personal Log of Tiberius Numicius
Amaroks


Waylon had that thousand yard stare back in the truck. I’d seen it a thousand times on Cadia. It was the look of a man who’s seen something he can’t explain. Something from the other side. Changes a man. Sometimes physically.

Ramirez came back to the truck a few minutes later, and tossed the sack of sniveling guardsmen in the cargo hold. The truck’s suspension buckled under his weight, but held, and we drove a while in silence, following our own tracks back the way we’d come.

Finally, I broke the silence as we reached the two wrecked chimeras. Suggested that we ought to check them out. Ramirez agreed, and we even convinced Waylon to snap out of it, and come with.

Snow was starting to coat the Nyxian pudding that lay round the vehicles. The storm had broken at last. Waylon had a look at the trailer. Seemed like something had torn it open from the outside, with immense claws. I took the Colonel’s sword to the rear door, and in a few minutes we had it open.

The inside was relatively clean. Seemed like they were missing a few engineering kits, and the crew compartment was torn up. Ramirez figured something had broken one of the drive shafts, and they’d been attacked while trying to patch it up. Gave up searching, and headed on toward the relay station.

The evidence of a small battle was apparent in the Nyxian pudding around the entry gate. I shouldn’t have to keep seeing this kind of stuff. Like civilian militias everywhere, these were just a bunch of kids, maybe with a few older guys to rouse ‘em up. From the look of it, they died screaming, some of ‘em with their guts hanging out. That’s about par for the course when civilians take up arms. Odd though, unless Adys had a couple of bolters in there. Some of them looked cut, not lazed. Maybe those things with the claws made it up here too. The parameter fence seemed secure, but dozens of Borer bodies were spread in the snow. A couple of trucks were parked off to one end of the fence. Waylon insisted on checking out the trucks, but Ramirez and I opted to stay behind.

Adys and Ramirez shouted back and forth over the fence for a while, but they weren’t opening up. Needed us to come over. Ramirez and was talking about carrying me, when suddenly, three trucks came into view in the distance. More Borers! Waylon came sprinting back toward our rover, and without another thought, I hopped in the passenger seat. Say what you will about that man’s penchant for deception, but he might be the best driver I’ve ever seen. In a single smooth motion, accelerating the entire time, he pulled the car in a tight loop. Somehow, he could tell that snowdrift had something underneath it, maybe he saw a ditch that I couldn’t, but between the bouncing balloon tires, and the impromptu ramp, we were airborn! Crash landed inside the compound just before Ramirez came over the fence himself, and got inside before the trucks arrived.

While Adys and Ramirez set to talking about whatever was wrong with this damn array, I tried to organize a party for the defence of the station if these Borers wanted the same thing as the last group. It was a sorry lot – just one real guardsmen, and he barely lived up to the title. His lasgun wasn’t even loaded! The rest were civilians. One of them was waving around a loaded, unsafed lasgun. The others hand their fingers on the triggers with the safeties on. I wasn’t sure where to begin with these guys. Gave them a little speech, and led them out into the barricades. Somewhere in this, Waylon disappeared.

The Borers had pulled up in front of the gate, and disembarked into the pudding. They did not look happy. Guess they knew some of the constituents. Some old timer got on a truck’s intercom, and started shouting at us. Wanted some kind of relic or something. Didn’t make a bit of sense to me, but before I could tell him as much, Waylon appeared on the roof of the truck. The sneaky bastard had gotten around behind them somehow, and started into this crazy story about how he was sent by “Red Scar”, and how we weren’t the Borer’s enemies. Totally unbelievable. I thought he was about to get mixed into the pudding with the hammers some of the men were waving, but incredibly, the Borers bought it! I got up, and walked to the gate, as a wolf’s howl sounded in the distance. Quickly, we opened the gate up, and started to let the Borers inside.

As the howls sounded closer, I drew my sword, and started running headlong toward the rear truck. This didn’t sound good, but maybe I could delay whatever it was with a rear guard action, long enough for the trucks to get inside. As I ran out the gate, I saw Ramirez setting up the ridiculous multilasers he keeps where his liver used to be, and Adys lugging a search light up to his position. I was just passed the gate when the rear truck went up. I can see it happening even now. Two gigantic wolves, 3 or 4 meters tall, bounding across the snow. Amaroks from Vallis Augustana! I saw the eyes of the truck driver as he started shouting over the radio. One slash at the back, and the fuel exploded somehow. Fire everywhere.

The blast stunned me for a second. There was commotion all around me. I could Waylon shouting as he got out of the lead vehicle, and ran toward us with some of the Borers. Before I had time to react, the White Wolf was upon me. Bounding across the snow. It was the size of a Dreadnaught. Whether it was my reflexes or the beast’s overconfidence, born of chasing green recruits, I’ll never know. It lunged lazily, with foot long claws. I moved to the side, and lopped off its forearm in a single stroke, already beginning to circle. On the other side of the truck, I could here Waylon and the Borers moving up, and Ramirez directing the spotlight. The other wolf was after them, and there would be no help.

We circled for as two predators, eyes locked. The beast was losing blood. It had to move first, and we both knew it. A lunge again, faster, and more direct than before. Had the wolf kept its paw, that could have been the end of me, but it stumbled, fatally. I leaned outside its swipe, and then redirected the momentum into a double handed overhead chop. The wolf’s head had just slammed into the ground as I swung – the worst possible place for it to have fallen. The end was swift.

On the other side of the burning wreck, I could hear the Borers, fighting the black wolf. More precisely, I could hear their screams, and the crunch that could only be bones snapping. Lasfire lit up the sky, and I jumped headlong into the flames, pushing through toward the other side. By the time I stumbled out, it was over. Apparently the wolf had some kind of adaptive camouflage, but Ramirez had thwarted it through his quick thinking, and direction of the spotlight. Waylon had even managed to jerry rig one of the mining lasers, and burn the wolf with it!

Ramirez repaired the station’s landline, while the rest of us went through the compound looking for the Borers’ artifact. As expected, it wasn’t there. We did find a room in the basement though, and I wish we hadn’t. At first all seemed well – a tech priest’s lab, Ramirez getting along famously with the guy (Thalossian). But I swear his camera footage showed us being killed! Just for an instant, but Waylon saw it too. As we tried to walk down the corridor to investigate, it seemed to stretch, becoming longer and longer. We heard him speaking to Ramirez of “the gods”, and Waylon drew his meltagun. The priest just looked down the barrel, and spoke some ritual words before walking past. Waylon squeezed the trigger – and gained some respect in my eyes, you don’t shoot at the servants of Chaos unless you really mean it! – but to no avail. The man floated away, faster and faster, and even the valiant efforts of one of the Borer chief’s sons were for naught. Before we could move, he’d vanished up the stairs. No one else even saw him. I fear for this planet, and for what may come, whether the inquisitor roots out the evil or no.

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From the log of Waylon Quin
A taste of insanity

Date: 314.999.M41

I landed on Nyx - this fething, throne-forsaken, dump-of-a-planet - in the early hours of morning. Who’s brilliant idea was it to colonize this oven, anyway? Irrelevant, I suppose. The fact is, there are people here. Lots of people. Lots of money to be made around people. Or swindled from ‘em. There’s also usually some trouble or other on Nyx… Certain folk pay well to learn about other folks’ troubles.

In any case, I paged von Schwaben to let him know I’d arrived (figured I might as well start my stay on this over-sized ice cube the right way - in a good old-fashioned tavern), and then boarded the next spaceport train to the Nexus Station.

As I made my way through the train cars, I spotted a top hat on the seat next to a lonely snoozing passenger. Without a second thought, I pinched it from atop his briefcase where it lay and practically skipped to next empty car. Yup: so many unsuspecting people. Perhaps not as rich as the folk on Vallis Augustana, but who am I do discriminate? Coin is coin. Funny that the train should be so empty on such an overcrowded planet.

Lounging about in one of the train cars, I pulled the top hat over my eyes to shield them from the glare of the ever-present sun and settled in for the bumpy ride. At least, I like to pretend it’s a bumpy ride. Damn magnetic monorail is smoother-than-smooth. And fast. Beautifully fast. The whirring of the train was mesmerizing.

I was awoken hours later from my half-stupor in the middle of a bustling station by none other than von Schwaben. He had that over-sized can opener, Ramirez, with him. What an odd one, him. He prattled on about some broken relay or other, said we had to go fix it or someone would be upset with us. The Machine God, I think. As if I care about his tin can gods. But Ramirez would have to reprogram the relay, and as a most trusted confidant, I might be one of the few privy to the new codes. Nyx: you never let me down. There’s always something happening.

So the three of us set out to find transport to the relay. As fate would have it, the next train out of the station was to be commandeered by a sorry group of callow louts posing as soldiers. The captain, whose name I later learned was Konrad Stolz, seemed to be having an argument with a butch-of-a-lady in red power armour. Von Schwaben slinked away as we approached. Makes sense; I doubt he’d be pleased if any of the officers recognized him. Especially if their allegiance lay with Mehmed.

But I digress. Point is: we had to board the train. And a group of storm troopers and some girl scouts were in the way. Of course, that left only one course of action. I can’t help but grin as I think back to it. I marched up to the red lady, who seemed to be content to let those children march off to quell some rebellion or other single-handed, and ordered her to turn around and board the train. I must have been awfully convincing, despite being close to hysterical laughter, for she spun around and did as I said. That seemed to be enough to convince Stolz that I was someone important: he accepted my authority and filled me in on the situation as we boarded the train. Who’d have thought: if you sound commanding, people will accept that you’re in charge. In fact, I had to throw around my new-found authority to get my trusty, can-opening side-kick aboard; he was sputtering about busted communications and an angry god. Sometimes I wonder about his sanity.

As it turned out, some rebels had attacked and occupied a nearby rail station. The sorry-looking boys-for-soldiers had been ordered to take it back. Gods bless them.

I learned that the storm trooper squadron was led by Sister Aedessa Jorens (a.k.a. the red lady) of the Inquisition. Stoltz informed me that she and her ilk had been terrorizing civilian outposts for the past few weeks, seemingly at random and unopposed. I figured I’d press my luck and see if I couldn’t extract just a little more information from the red lady. All that I discovered was that her activities had thus far been unsuccessful, but alas, my charm wore off before I could learn much more. I’m not sure if she fully uncovered my truth, but she certainly gave me a tongue lashing that I’ll not soon forget. Mildly embarrassed, I left before my facade completely unraveled.

I rejoined Stolz, buried my face in some fine off-planet whiskey, and watched as von Schwaben finagled his way past the “officers” to join us. He knew better than to blow my cover and instead focused on reminiscing with the good captain; apparently they knew each from Sisigmund’s days in the military. The smell of whiskey must been enough to bring him out of hiding. Good man.

Shortly thereafter we came to an abrupt halt (most of the “troops” fell over like bowling pins; only Ramirez appeared impervious to the massive deceleration of the train). Apparently there was to be a battle ahead. Damned if I go storming into gunfire alone; instinct taking over, I hastened to the second car and “ordered” Aedessa to deploy her troops. Von Schwaben, in true drill sergeant form, began organizing the ladies off the train, planning, I suppose, to assault the station from the ground. Ramirez, the great hulking frying pan, was prying open doors that had locked shut due to the train’s emergency stop.

The troops emptied the cabin, and with barely a thought, I wrestled control of the train from the servitor. I’ll be damned if I leave the cover of this train to join Sisigmund in taking open fire on the battle field. Better idea: I’ll drive the train right past the station.

With a lurch, the train kicked into high gear and we were speeding forth once more. That is, myself and the storm troopers. If anything goes wrong, they’ll provide enough diversion for me to slip away. I glanced back; turns out Ramirez was still aboard.

An explosion brought my attention back to the tracks. Some bastard just launched a rocket at us! So much for driving by without incident. Thinking quickly, I called to Ramirez: “The magnets! Let’s take this baby off road!”

I guess he caught my meaning, as he plugged into the system and began chanting. And then like magic, we were airborne. There was, of course, no immediate sign that we had left the track. No lurch. No groan. Only my instincts as a pilot told me that we were sailing. That, and the fact that within moments we were atop the platform, watching as bodies slammed into the windshield and were either hewed by the force of impact or squished beneath the train.

As we came to a screeching halt, I took in the scene. Some big, fething monstrosity of a man - was it a man? - stood atop a balcony, brandishing a massive hammer. He directed two las cannons in our direction. That’s my queue: exit stage left. I told the troopers to stay put and stay alive, turned off the lights, and then like smoke, I disappeared. At least, that’s how I like to picture it.

The ensuing altercation was mostly uneventful - for me anyway. As I hid, Ramirez managed to quickly dispatch of one of the canons by launching his pet servitor (that is, the servitor from which I took control of the train) at a nearby platform with controls for a mining crane. (The servitor, using the crane, lifted and threw a canon and its operators from the balcony). Von Schwaben showed up shortly after, sprinting as though in a race. Right into the incoming las fire. Idiot man. But battle hardened. He immediately dropped to cover and managed to escape the gunfire unscathed. Not so lucky were the new recruits. From my vantage point, I shed a small tear as I watched them drop like flies.

More weapon fire was exchanged. I continued my navigation of the battlefield, never revealing my position, but suffering a few close calls whenever caught in crossfire. I set my sites on the crane control platform; that servitor wasn’t going to last long before being picked off. As I glanced back, I saw von Schwaben locking swords with big foot. Ramirez seemed to be brandishing a massive las canon of his own. That tin can never ceases to surprise me.

I looked back to the crane ledge and made my jump, landing softly. Still hidden, I stifled a groan as the platform came under las fire. To my left, the servitor was fried. But fortunately, I took fire only circumstantially; still hidden, I began operating the crane in the servitor’s stead. The las fire ceased; good ol’ Ramirez seemed to have unleashed his fury on the enemy. I’ll have to thank him later, maybe buy him a drink. Or an oil can.

Our numbers thinned, but the casualties were mostly the new recruits. Von Schwaben seemed to be besting big foot quite handily; Sisigmund had barely a scratch, while big foot appeared to be staggering. Time perhaps for me to reveal myself; manipulating the crane head, I swung the hook towards the battlefield. Sisigmund managed to shift his weight so that big foot sidestepped right into the massive hook as it swung down like a pendulum. It sheared his head clean off. Under different circumstances, the decapitation might have been comical, but the blood that gushed forth from the standing torso, fueled by the giant’s still beating heart, put a damper on the comedy of the scene. Moments later the body fell, finally admitting defeat.

The aftermath of the battle was as most are; lots of mourning for the loss of fellow souls. The remaining survivors were in shock, save for the troopers who seemed largely unfazed. Just another day in the office for them. We gave our condolences and issued a few standing orders, and then at Ramirez’s prodding, we slipped away to search for a vehicle that would take us the rest of the way to the broken relay.

In a garage beneath the station, we found exactly what we were looking for. I don’t know what it’s called, but I do know that it looked expensive. And exclusive. And fast. So, naturally, that’s the vehicle we took.

Out into the brewing storm we drove, testing the limits of the vehicle’s speed. It felt good to be driving. Calming after the adrenaline rush of battle. Even if I didn’t do much battling myself. Despite the incoming storm, the first hour passed uneventfully. Mostly. Sisigmund was more irritable and aggressive than normal; it soon surfaced that the fool had injected some unknown stimulants he found hidden on big foot’s body. Ah well… nothing for it but to put up with him until the drugs wear off.

As we drove, Ramirez intercepted and deciphered an SOS signal. After a short argument - should we continue on course, or go investigate? - I decided to do some off-roading. We turned and headed in the direction of the signal.

The storm continued to intensify, and we eventually came upon another vehicle. A modified, armoured Hauler-8. Von Schwaben and I went to check it out; it appeared deserted, but looked as though it had recently come upon heavy fire. The armour was rent clean through. Peeking through smashed windows, I discovered a makeshift vox, clearly constructed and used by someone in distress. Von Schwaben pointed out some silhouettes in the darkness that appeared to be human figures impaled on spikes. Without a word spared between us, we rejoined Ramirez in our transport.

The can opener desired a closer look at the vehicle himself. Before we could stop him, he leapt from the car. Neither of us wanted to chase after him, so we waited. When Ramirez return, he was trailing a flailing body in a sleeping bag. Apparently Ramirez found him in the trunk of the Hauler-8. The man was hysterical. He sputtered something about an attack and about massive wolves. Clearly gone mad from the cold. Sisigmund tried to calm him, but he was beyond consoling. I knocked him out.

The three of us decided further investigation into the cause of this destruction was warranted. We shelved the relay mission for now and instead followed some nearby Chimera tracks to a cliff. A horrific scene met us at the bottom of the cliff: the ruins of another Chimera, blood-soaked and surrounded by dozens of dead bodies. The side of the vehicle looked as though it has been sliced like a hot knife through butter and peeled back like paper. The whole scene made me uneasy; unable to continue looking, I turned off our vehicle’s lights and quickly drove back up the cliff. We resolved to continue our investigation, and with some trouble (due to an intensifying storm) managed to track the missing Chimera to a bunker in the middle of nowhere. The Chimera appeared to have pulled into a garage. We could see no lights from the bunker.

After much deliberation, we decided to continue our present course of action. Sisigmund blew a hole into the garage, and we waited for a quarter of an hour for any sign of life. Nothing. I decided to go scout it out.

Ever cautious, I peered into the blackness that emanated from the breach. Unable to see anything, I turned on my flashlight, but covered the light so as to not give away my position. In an attempt to stay hidden and fool anything that might lie in wait for me from within the garage, I threw the flashlight, spinning, into the room and dove the other way. No fire. No movement. Just a soft rattle as the flashlight came to rest. I approached the opening and, tentatively, peered inside. The light had landed to point at the far wall; as I looked, completely mesmerized, I felt some small part of me slip away. From the wall protruded two great crossbeams, and from those beams hung a great, blood-soaked skeleton. The entire garage was plastered with blood and human remains. As I peered, I felt the walls closing in. The walls seemed to creak over the howling of the wind. Was someone laughing? No… couldn’t be.

After an eternity, I broke my gaze and slinked away. I warned the others of what I saw. Von Schwaben asked if I retrieved my flashlight. Did I have a flashlight? Can’t remember. Without another word to them, I returned to our transport and got behind the wheel. I don’t know how long I waited, but eventually the others joined me. Ramirez handed me a flashlight. That might come in handy. Their arrival seemed to break my stupor, and the horrific site faded some from my mind. I turned on the engine, turned the vehicle around, and we drove off into the night. After all, we have a communications relay to fix.

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