Author Topic: The Fate of Midghast.  (Read 1134 times)

Offline seaglen

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The Fate of Midghast.
« on: November 02, 2012, 06:03:56 PM »
This is the opening to my campaign I am currently working on.

Please comment and critique.
Many thanks!

Chapter 1:

The crunch of broken glass penetrated intrusively into the silence as Inquisitor Lucius Drachtenburg paced across the debris-strewn chamber. Hoisting the bloodied and dazed ganger from the floor, he asked for the last time:
“Where is it, Postyl?”
Postyl gurgled something unrecognisable through broken teeth as a line of blood and spittle oozed down his chin. His face a mess of shallow cuts and lacerations, both hands restrained firmly behind his back.
“If I show you…” He managed.
“Your death will be swift. Far swifter than you deserve.” Drachtenburg answered.
The dishevelled gang member hacked more blood from his mouth in short, sharp convulsions. He was laughing. Drachtenburg grew tired of this. Seizing the back of Postyl’s head once more, he calmly and forcefully rammed it through the fourth and final intact security monitor screen.  Sparks and shards of glass erupted outwards as the hive dweller’s head was withdrawn from the destroyed apparatus, blood soaked and twitching. The Arbites Occularum room was a maelstrom of broken furniture, scattered papers and smouldering cogitator units. The result of the past three minutes of “questioning” Drachtenburg had carried out. No doubt the two Adeptus Arbites officers behind the reflec-screen were already calling for their seniors.
The Inquisitor dropped the gang member back onto the only intact chair in the chamber and slowly withdrew an ornately decorated shotgun from the shadows of the room. Postyl’s eyes narrowed as Drachtenburg placed the cold metal barrel against his sweating forehead.
“I can take you to it.” He managed to whisper through his battered lips.
There was a buzz and a click.
“Lord Inquisitor.” Blared the vox unit. “My senior requests that the captive be kept alive. He also wishes to inform you that another…”
In a blur of motion and a blast of noise and smoke, Drachtenburg disgorged a shell into the vox unit, once again littering the room with yet more debris. Postyl squealed. A scrape of chairs was heard from behind the reflec-screen.
“I can take you there! I swear!” hissed the shaking ganger, ears ringing from the blast.
“If you mislead me…” Warned Drachtenburg.
“I die, yes!” Postyl cut in.
The door burst open and two armed Arbitrators were edging towards the centre of the smoking chamber, shields raised. Their neatly pressed black and red uniforms a stark contrast to the dull ghostly grey interior of the room’s walls.
“Lord Inquisitor, the Dictates Imperialis decrees that captives of the Adeptus Arbites are under our jurisdiction. I am therefore ordered to remove the said captive back to his cell where he will await execution at the appointed hour.” Reeled off the first officer as if reading from text.
“I do not submit to Arbitrator dogma, officer. This man comes with me.” Drachtenburg indicated Postyl with a casual wave of the smouldering shotgun.
“But lord...” The Arbite began
Drachtenburg’s bionic right eye glowered like a ruby-red jewel from the burnished silver plate covering half his face. He slowly and deliberately raised and reloaded his firearm, careful to display the stylised “I” engraved on its broad flank.
“He comes with me.”

The brazen and hulking form reflected the dim glow-globes with a golden lustre as Inquisitor Hector Ro´dox paced across the restored chamber. His bronze armour detailed with inscriptions of holy writ and symbols of devotion. Hoisting the shaking Arbites officer from his chair, he asked for the last time:
“Where is he, Kyle?”
The Arbitrator stammered something unrecognisable trough shaking lips, and he glanced to the desk at his side.
“My lord…” He managed.
He clumsily handed Ro´dox the paper lying there, and shrank back into his chair. Ro´dox scanned the document. Painfully slowly closing his great armoured fist, he fiercely and forcefully rammed it into the replacement security monitor screen. Kyle issued a small groan as the Inquisitor’s mailed gauntlet was withdrawn from the destroyed apparatus. The Inquisitor dropped the document back onto the desk in the centre of the dimly lit room and withdrew something glistening from the shadows of his robes. Kyle’s eyes widened as Ro´dox placed the cold metal object into his shaking hands.
“You can take me to him” Ro´dox spoke steadily. “You no longer answer to Arbitrator legislation, officer.” Ro´dox indicated the golden Inquisitorial seal Kyle was holding with a casual wave of his ornate fist.
“But lord...” The Arbite began.
Hector Ro´dox’s eyes smouldered like coals from behind the high gorget of his armour plate. He slowly and reverently hefted his gigantic hammer onto his shoulder, a stylised “I” engraved on the pauldron.
“You come with me.”


Chapter 2:
Gavroche Strident spat a thick gobbet of Duskweed onto the street.
“How much longer, Lucius?” he bluntly asked.
Drachtenburg gave the gunfighter a withering look before turning to their captive.
“Postyl?” the Inquisitor enquired.
“Just past this hab-block and through one more flux-arch.” Panted the restrained hive ganger.
Knees cut and bleeding and a constant stream of sweat rolling off his bare back, the day had taken a toll on the dishevelled excuse for a human. Gavroche reached into his pocket and fumbled about. The gunfighter was clearly bored babysitting this scum. He pulled out more of the pungent chewing leaf and thumbed it into his mouth.
“Good. ´Coz one more hour following him through this grimy maze and I’d be ready to let the twins out for a play.” He said, patting the matching pair of silver pistols in their holsters.
“If he dies Strident, you go straight on the next ship destined for Arco-flagellation.” The Inquisitor butted in.
Drachtenburg scanned the shadows and smoke-filled alleys with his bionic eye, a faint red glimmer catching on the trails of grey mist. He then reached out with other, more subtle, senses. Letting his consciousness span out in front of him, he sensed a spiked feeling of agitation from the captivated ganger. Pushing his will further, he caught a glimmer of anger combined with a cold shard of fear and loathing. Not a good mix. He would have to watch this one. Armoured in a plate of deep green and gold and carrying his engraved shotgun, he walked behind the heavy breathing hive scum with quiet steps.
The gunfighter stalked off to one side, spitting once more before catching Drachtenburg’s eye.
“Wouldn’t be much use to you as an arco-flagellant, oh holy Inquisitor.” He sneered.
“Don’t count on it Strident. The Mechanicum implants are getting pretty advanced now.” Retorted Drachtenburg. “Besides, the company would be better:”
Gavroche scoffed, chewing yet more Duskweed.
“Who would you talk to? Flint? Plus, that preacher wouldn’t be seen dead cavorting with scum like Postyl here.”
Postyl glared at Gavroche with menace in his eyes.
“You’d be surprised what Lukas Flint would be prepared to do for Him-on-Earth, and his conversation can actually be rather insightful on occasion.” The Inquisitor stated matter-of-factly before scrying the opening leading from the passage.
The smoke-laced corridors between decrepit buildings had eventually come to an end, opening out onto a slab-grey complex of squat structures. Drachtenburg’s lips curled into a tight smile. Before him was an ancient and abandoned orbital relay station covered with rusting pipes, collapsing architecture and a thick layer of dust. Many of the buildings were all but deserted, some no more than rockrete blocks boarded up with iron sheeting, the STC design barely recognisable through the overlaying wreckage. A faint hum, however, could be heard from the surrounding generator units.
“Is this it?” Strident queried. “This dusty old tomb is the trader’s base?”
“No fool.” Spat Postyl. “This is where we contact their voidcraft. We never see the traders planetside. This way to the array.”

Winding their way through the darkening labyrinthine alleys of steel and stone, Kyle Rannus and Inquisitor Ro´dox were closing in on the signal emitted from the auspex held in the Arbite’s hand. Customary protocol of the Arbites in Midghast was to ensure captives ingest a tracking tag hidden in the food offered. Although escapes from the precinct fortress were unheard of, it was always carried out meticulously. Kyle thanked the Throne this was the case, as he could only imagine what kind of retribution the towering Inquisitor would have dealt out if the ganger was untraceable.
“One hab-block away, my lord Inquisitor.” Kyle reported, before unclipping his shotgun from his belt.
“No Kyle, I want him alive if possible. He must be seen to be punished.” Growled Ro´dox.
Kyle acknowledged with a curt nod and swapped to his shock maul, activating the thumb stud. The passageway gave way to a dull, mist-covered facility of some sort. Ro´dox noted the sticky mess of Duskweed by his gilded feet.
“We have found them.” He said with reverence. “Take back that mislaid heretic, officer. Expect resistance”.
“What of your associate, my lord Inquisitor?” Kyle dared to ask.
“Leave my associate to me. I will request a conclave wherein he can explain his actions of disrupting my holy work.” Ro´dox mused. “You will treat him with respect, unless I give the word.” He ordered without emotion.
Kyle gave a shudder at the thought of coming to blows with one of the Emperor’s Holy Inquisitors, and then pushed it to the back of his mind. He himself was in the service of one such individual now. Besides, none should be above Imperial law…




Chapter 3:
Drachtenburg gazed at the doorway in front of them.
“Release Postyl’s bonds Strident.” He quipped, staring intently at the thick armaplas.
“Are you fething…?”
“Now Gavroche.” Drachtenburg snapped. “This door requires both his thumbprints to open, and I am getting impatient.”
Gavroche grudgingly unsnapped the bonds restraining Postyl’s arms behind his back and the ganger let out a groan of relief. He glanced shiftily at both gunfighter and Inquisitor before turning to the door. Several seconds later the great hinges swung on straining mechanical servos centuries old, and a whiff of stale air flooded over the group.
“Watch over him Strident. I may be some time…” The Inquisitor trailed off as he stalked into the dark interior of the relay station.
“Great. More child minding.” Retorted the gunfighter to the already diminishing silhouette of Drachtenburg. Postyl gave a cough.
“Don’t think about moving, Postyl.” He announced, leaning back on an old promethium barrel and toying with one of his silver revolvers. “I’d hate to have to shoot you after all the hard work you put into this.” He smirked.
A shady expression flitted across Postyl’s pained face for a brief moment before disappearing behind a look of anxiety.
“It’s not as if I’m going to be rescued now is it?” Hissed the ganger through barred teeth that looked disturbingly like a smile.


   
   
 

Offline seaglen

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Re: The Fate of Midghast.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 06:41:16 PM »
Part 2.

This introduces the parallel story taking place at the same time as the events above.

Chapter 1:

The cloaked figure of Inquisitor Lucypher Sagrado eyed he crowded scene below his vantage point on the gilded balcony.
“What do you see Jonah?” He inquired.
Jonah De’Valey swayed his head slightly as he examined the throng, a miasma of oily air shifting about his cranium. He suddenly reeled back as if hit by an invisible fist, and began to cackle.
“Ahahahak!.. Him!.. Hahahaa. Watch…Him!” The psyker managed to say, holding out a trembling finger towards a bustling cleric burdened with books and scrolls making his way through the busy square. Jonah fell back, laughing incessantly.
Lucypher studied the Imperial citizen intently, and watched in bemusement as the cleric tripped on his own robes, careened into a nearby lumen-post and fell, papers and curses thrown to the wind. Behind Lucypher, Jonah was in fits of convulsive laughter, spittle running down his chin. The Inquisitor raised an eyebrow and leaned in close to the sanctioned psyker.
“You know what I meant Jonah. Focus on the task before I decide your service to the Emperor is better suited to the regiments of the Imperial Guard.”
At the mention of the Imperial Military, Jonah’s face turned to ashen stone and he straightened up on his staff, wiping the drool away with his sleeve. Again he peered over the balcony’s edge, sifting through the multitude of souls below him with his potent gift, the atmosphere turning and eddying about his head once more. Lucypher had long since become accustomed to the presence and abilities of psykers. His years of studying the Empyrean and its manipulators convincing him of the danger of the warp. Controlled power such as Jonah’s, however, could be useful at times.
“A meeting master Lucypher.” Jonah remarked suddenly. “He has left the square to meet with allies.”
“Can you follow him?” Lucypher pressed.
Again, Jonah’s hand singled out an individual in the sea of faces. An Imperial Navy officer, in uniform, was weaving his way across the centre of the plaza towards the northern edge. Lucypher turned to De’Valey and examined the psyker’s pained expression.
“You are sure?” He asked. “We follow the officer?”
“His path is clear master Lucypher. He leads us straight to our culprit.” Jonah replied airily, donning a heavy coat and raising the hood above his head. He signalled for the Inquisitor to do likewise, and set off down the stairs.
As they trudged across the heaving square, the skies opened and rain cascaded down onto the unprepared throngs below. The sea of people parted as they bolted for cover, and two hooded figures made for the northern gateway.

Chapter 2:
Lucypher’s mind burned with anger as he stalked after the shuffling psyker. An Imperial Navy officer, no less. That would explain the ease of access to interstellar travel his quarry seemed to possess. But what benefit would a Navy officer receive by aiding such an individual? What was worth risking his rank and life for? Water sheeted off the tall roofs of the towering buildings and sluiced away down industrial drainage channels, carrying all manner of discarded flotsam and jetsam. The hive city sprawled away laterally to either side for miles, some areas undoubtedly unaffected by the weather system in the northern sector. Tall spires of grey stone and tiled roofs of dusty blue rolled by as the psyker lead Lucypher further into the entwining streets. Jonah stopped suddenly and Lucypher came to his side.
“Well De’Valey, is this it?” He began.
Before Jonah could answer, a figure in Navy attire stepped out from a civilian hab-block not sixty yards from them. Peering through the torrential downpour, he eventually turned around and made his way down a large stairwell leading to the levels below.
“We follow” Jonah said at last.

The vox unit crackled into life.
“I may have a tail.” Sounded the voice. “Inform the cabal. I want some support when we meet.”
The aging cleric switched off the vox unit and turned around where he sat, peering over his shoulder at the group of rag-tag gangers splayed about the musky old drinking hole.
“You heard our esteemed officer.” He remarked. “Looks like you guys are coming with me to the meeting. All set to go Muttgar?”
One of the hive scum walked over to where the Administratum cleric sat, resting a gnarled and grisly hand on his shoulder. His breath reeked even at this distance. “Kid” Muttgar was in charge of the cabal’s Northern rabble, and was as devious as he was cruel.
“The cabal will come and protect its benefactors, Palites. How many shall I bring?” He murmured through discoloured lips.
“Oh, I imagine you, Godge and a few others would be enough to deter any curious interlopers Oskar has picked up along the way.” Replied Palites with a grin. “Just make sure we can conduct our transaction in peace.”
“Who are the followers?” Muttgar asked, as he toyed with a cruel mace hanging from his side.
“Probably more of Assenheim’s lapdogs trying to clean up the streets. You’ll have fun teaching them a lesson, I’m sure” Replied Palites, eyes lingering on Muttgar’s crude weapon.
Palites rose to his feet, clutching at his Administratum staff and walked towards the door leading outside. Muttgar instantly beckoned for his followers to move, as he unbuckled a rusting hunting rifle from the wall above the thermo-generator. The meeting would start in two hours. Just enough time to call in and recruit a few more cabal members. Argath was nearby, and Postyl was just the other side of this district, although he hadn’t heard from him in almost a week.
“Load up boys” Growled Muttgar. “Let’s chase these sneaky dogs away from our business.”

Chapter 3:
Oskar Vaddock cursed the rain. His uniform was drenched and he would have to fabricate yet another excuse for being away from the Naval quarters for so long. He walked on through dark archways gloomily lit by flickering globes and glanced across his shoulder. The two hooded figures were nowhere to be seen, but he was sure they were still following him. He could feel it in his blood, like a presence looming over his shoulder. An icy chill brushed across his neck and he shivered before stalking onwards.
Jonah withdrew his senses slightly. The man was more sensitive than he first thought.
“He knows we follow him, master Lucypher.” He mumbled.
Lucypher shot an annoyed look at his subject and turned to him sharply. He opened his mouth to speak.
“It matters not! Jonah managed to interrupt. “It matters not! He leads us to the meeting regardless.”
“And what of his partner? Does he still wait for us to just amble up and seize him? Lucypher retorted hotly.
The psyker quivered slightly before swallowing hard.
“All that has changed is that they now guard him. We still are brought to his face. The future and its routes are never truly set in stone.”
Lucypher considered a rebuke and punishment for the sanctioned psyker but he knew Jonah spoke the truth. Instead, he removed the dull brown robe and threw it to one side. His rich blue carapace armour glistened in the falling rain, trails of water running down the gilded trim. The sword on his back, almost as tall as Jonah, gleamed a brilliant pearlescent silver.
“No more hiding in shadows in that case. We bring the light to this Emperor-forsaken hive.” He snarled. “Ready yourself, Jonah. We give them no time to escape”
Jonah licked his split lips and cracked his knuckles. The click of each one sending minute sparks into the air, evaporating raindrops with subtle ‘pops’. Removing his hood also, he walked after the armoured Inquisitor, mumbling mantras of power and control as he went.