Author Topic: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account  (Read 4580 times)

Offline Koval

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The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« on: December 02, 2012, 01:47:17 PM »
Xenos: Scenario 1

Players
Koval: Commissar Alice Fenn, Captain Viljo Relander, Tyra Vargas
Greenstuff Gav: Inquisitor Alice Janeroh, Khisanith, Shas'vre Kais
Keravin: Inquisitor Kyia Cardainn, Crooked Ear, the Keeper of Names

GM: MarcoSkoll



"So what do we know?" I ask, trying my hardest to appear normal. Next to me, Relander makes for a rather strange sight in his grey PDF uniform. The Kharybdian militia appear to be wearing blue, so he looks out of place, but if he's out of place then Tyra and I are even more so.

"Well, it's a small enough settlement," Relander answers. "Place like this, we're probably looking at only a couple of other PDF outposts. There's probably one, maybe two squads inside."

He peers at the blocky building. It's got an upper level with a large platform, raised above the ground by metal supports. There's a well-dressed man on the platform, wearing what looks like a black cape.

"That'll be Doctor Abraham Acula," Relander informs me. "Apparently owns the settlement."

"And that fop next to him, with the cocked hat?" Tyra asks. I look across the platform, spotting a man in the dress of the local militia, but wearing a distinctive white bicorne. I close my organic eye and zoom in with my bionic one. Relander apparently notices.

"That's Sergeant Banroe Maneld," Relander tells me.

"Our errant soldier who made a small fortune from selling xeno relics," I observe. "You told me earlier. Did you get that one from Willem Cals?"

"No, it was a drunken trooper in the tavern," Relander answers. I zoom back out and look at him, wondering if he's joking. Apparently, he isn't. I'm surprised that this surprises me.

"I wondered where you went two nights ago," Tyra huffs.

"Hold on," I warn her, pausing. I can hear the distinctly unsubtle footsteps of PDF soldiers on patrol. Judging by how careless their footsteps are, I estimate that they're more concerned with keeping up appearances than actually patrolling properly.

Off to our left is a pair of large, cylindrical storage tanks; to our right, a clump of dead trees, their branches twisted this way and that. I break into a run, stopping just behind a tree. Past the forest, there's something that looks like a water tower, and Relander takes up a position somewhere between the trees and the water tower; by this time, I notice that Tyra and a PDF trooper have spotted one another. Tyra's hand is straying towards her pistol, but she doesn't draw it or even touch the grip.

"You there!" the PDF trooper shouts, stepping towards Tyra. "This is a restricted area. State your business."

Tyra looks like she's about to respond with the typical lack of tact I've come to expect from her. I hail Tyra over my microbead.

"I'll handle this, Tyra," I advise her, stepping out of cover. The PDF trooper spots me easily and points his lasgun at me, before flicking it back to Tyra.

I notice that Acula's taken an interest, moving towards the edge of the platform. Maneld's moved out of sight, presumably off to the other side of the platform. I stifle the expletive on the tip of my tongue.

"You'll have to ask her, soldier," Tyra advises, stepping to one side and gesturing to me.

"Then she can come over and talk to me herself," the trooper replies. I spare a quick sideways glance to see if Relander's with me. He's not.

"Relander?" I whisper into my microbead.

"Movement spotted," he hisses back. "Behind the tower. Moving to investigate."

Just what I need.

"This is Commissariat business, soldier," I tell him, striding forwards. I'm reaching for my chainsword. "Stand down."

I can hear voices from the direction of the outpost, but I can't work out whose voices they are.

"Commi... yes, ma'am!" the trooper responds, quite unsure what to do and somehow finding himself caught between saluting, lowering his weapon, and letting me go past. He ends up jabbing the butt of his lasgun into his foot.

"Thank you," I sigh as I move past him, running towards one of the supports holding up the platform. It's low enough that I can scale it easily.

Tyra dashes past me, drawing her bolt pistol and flattening herself against the support on the other side.

"We're not alone here," she warns me. "Through there!"

I look between the supports and see a lady in heavy armour, followed by a bulky servitor in red robes. Two PDF troopers are standing next to her.

"Can't worry about that now," I answer, reaching the base of the support.

"Identify yourselves!" Acula shouts -- I presume it's Acula, at least. I ignore him, but he's answered by a scream of agony from somewhere behind him.

"Up there!" someone shouts, probably the lady in armour. "Fire on the tower!"

By now I'm halfway up the platform support, and the two PDF troopers start firing as I haul myself over the top. Spotting Maneld on the floor, clutching his leg, I run past a clearly worried Acula and make a beeline for the fallen Sergeant. Lasfire cracks noisily to my right, but I don't let it distract me.

Too late I notice a large figure, an outlaw from the look of him, bearing down on me, and I'm too focused on the downed Sergeant to dodge in time. He barrels into me and drives the butt of his shotgun into my stomach, enough to overbalance me, and I'm sent flying off the edge of the platform halfway through reaching for my chainsword.

Below me there's a pair of PDF troopers, too surprised to get out of the way as I fall, and I'm fortunate enough that one of them breaks my fall and saves me a trip to the medicae.

"Xenos sighted," Relander whispers into my microbead. "Think it's stalking someone. Preparing to engage."

"Damn it," I growl under my breath, trying to get up and off the PDF trooper. Unfortunately he's also trying to get out from under me, and predictably we both end up falling over each other. Sparing a glance at the trooper I didn't land on, I notice that he's not exactly rushing to help; I suspect he thinks it's improper to manhandle a Commissar, even a former one. Instead, he's standing to attention, apparently content to watch me struggle.

I hear gunfire filtering through the microbead as I finally get up. It's Relander, opening up on this alien he's spotted. He's taking return fire from a weapon whose report I don't recognise, but given that it's over a microbead connection this isn't hugely surprising. There's also an explosion from somewhere off to my left, but I don't have the time to work out what it is.

"Gun's jammed," Relander snarls. "Got him in the belly though, little blue bastard. I think whoever he was tailing took the opportunity to run."

"Disengage."

"Commissar?"

"This is a distraction, Viljo. Leave the alien and focus on Maneld."

"That might be a bit difficult now," Tyra cautions, cutting in. "That lady in armour? She's Inquisition."

Behind me, two PDF troopers falter in confusion as I swear loudly.

---

"Kyia Cardainn?" asks Fabian slowly. It looks almost like he's trying to remember something.

"Sir?"

"Never mind. It's not a name I recognise. But you say she was willing to cooperate?"

"Courtesy of Tyra," I inform him. "I doubt diplomacy's a natural talent of hers, but she managed to hold Inquisitor Cardainn up for as long as it took me to get to her."

"And she was willing to cooperate?" Fabian queries. I take a sip of my amasec.

"To a point. Though I wouldn't have expected her to tell me everything anyway."

"It's disappointing, but I'd probably have done the same in her position," Fabian admits. "But at least you got something out of Sergeant Maneld."

"I'm not even sure about that," I remind him as he empties his glass. "Cardainn disappeared. Judging by what Tech-Adept Cals told Relander, she went through to Scylla, and probably took most of Maneld's intel with her."

"Did you at least find where his artifacts came from, or where they were going?"

I nod. "I did, but..."

"But?"

"I wasn't the first one there."

Fabian pauses for a moment, then refills both of our glasses.

"Continue," he prompts me.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 09:42:44 AM by Koval »

Offline Koval

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 04:59:15 PM »
Xenos: Scenario 1.5

Players:
Koval: Commissar Alice Fenn, Captain Viljo Relander, Tyra Vargas
MarcoSkoll: Lady Martejja Riemann, Sergeant Daniela Kronen, Unknown Masked Man

GM: MarcoSkoll

(Real World Note: This took place after everyone else had gone home, and we had to cut it short because I needed to get a taxi back to the station. As such, expect a couple of creative liberties towards the end; for all intents and purposes, this part of the story's being told by Tyra, but the dénouement's going back to Alice.)



"The Vault, eh?" Relander remarks, sounding somewhat dubious.

"Maneld's intel puts it in this area," I inform her as we move down the hill towards the buildings.

"No sign of Cardainn?" Alice asks, looking past me towards Relander.

"Not so much as a whisper," he answers. I'm a little disappointed, but at the same time, I can't say I expected her. The Inquisitors I encountered in the fleet always popped up out of the blue and disappeared again not long after. Thus far, Lord Filipowski's been the only exception, but as a rule, I've come to accept that nobody "expects" the Imperial Inquisition.

"We should split up," Alice suggests.

Relander nods. "If we stay in microbead contact, we'll be able to cover more ground and alert each other if we find anything."

"Works for me," I shrug, walking towards a building to my right. Alice goes left instead. Relander follows me, ostensibly to check a different building, but pauses as I reach the door.

"Something wrong?" I inquire. Relander shakes his head.

"Just thought I heard someone is all," he replies.

I huff, and try the door. It's unlocked. Strange.

"Anything?" Relander asks me.

"It's empty," I observe. "Or almost empty."

"Almo... ah, right," Relander sighs as he spots the gaping hole in the opposite wall. Someone apparently tried to break their way in with an explosive charge, but judging by the dust on the floor it's unlikely they took anything; I think they saw exactly what we're seeing.

He goes over to the hole in the wall and peers out, ducking back inside.

"Someone's here," he warns me. I come over.

"Cardainn?" I ask.

"Not unless she's swapped the armour for a xeno pelt cloak and servo-skulls," Relander answers, pointing down the street. I follow his gesture, and just past a building across the street from us, I spot a woman wearing what appears to be an entire snow bear. I reach for my microbead.

"Alice, it's Tyra. Contact spotted. Giant fur cloak."

"I know," Alice responds. "I can see her too."

"What do you suggest?"

"That cloak's for show -- it's expensive, but it's impractical. Pure ostentation. She's probably got other people to fight for her. Keep an eye open for accomplices."

"Copy that," I answer as snow-bear lady reaches the door of a building just across from us, opening it and moving inside. I move cautiously towards the edge of our hiding place, but Relander predictably blunders out and approaches her.

"Nice day for a stroll," he begins, and I find myself wanting to bury my head in my hands. "Particularly if you're intruding on an official investigation."

The woman pauses and turns to face Relander. As she turns, I can see a small trio of servo-skulls hanging off the hem of her cloak, apparently tasked with making sure it doesn't drag along the ground. There are pipes and tubes running behind her cloak and I almost want to find out what's under there.

"And who asked you?" the woman protests. "I go where I please; I have that right."

"Let's try that again," Relander continues, bringing up his autogun. "Who are you, lady, and what do you think you're doing interfering with Inquisition business?"

I swear I can hear Alice urging Relander to shut up over the microbead, but he's clearly not paying any attention.

"While I appreciate your frankness, I act with my own authority," the woman declares, "and not authority delegated to me by someone else."

The penny drops as I look again at the servo-skulls hovering over her shoulder, then those holding up her cloak, then the cloak itself, then at the clearly expensive armour she's wearing.

"Relander, shut up and stop being an imbecile," I hiss at him. "Look at her, she's a bloody Rogue Trader!"

Relander pauses, then lowers his gun slowly. "Maybe we can come to some sort of arrangement, then."

"Such as?"

"You allow us to carry out our investigation," he offers. "In return, we can simply "ignore" the fact that you were ever here."

I can hear muffled shouting over the microbead. Alice has obviously dialed her input down rather than muting the microbead altogether. Obviously, she's run into a spot of bother herself.

"And I suppose you think I'm stupid?" the Rogue Trader counters. "You know as well as I do that there are alien relics here. No doubt you'll take advantage of any opening I give you and call in a hundred Storm Troopers. I've dealt with your kind before."

She crosses over to the other building, just opposite us. I stifle a curse. Relander's managed to balls this one up something horrible.

"Last chance, trader," I call out, aiming my bolt pistol at her. She pauses in the middle of the street and looks at me.

"Do not try to get in my way," she retorts. "Do you have any idea who stands to profit from this venture?"

"I warned you," I tell her, and pull the trigger four times. Two bolts go wide, but two slam into what I'm certain is a conversion field, which flares briefly with intense light. Relander covers his eyes; I don't need to.

"Don't try to stop me," the Rogue Trader repeats, turning away. I'm about to fire again, but Relander tugs my sleeve. I follow his pointing finger down the street and see another woman -- Imperial Guard, I notice as I zoom in -- charging down the street, a lasgun in her hands.

I duck behind cover as the Guardswoman fires, Relander right behind me. My microbead crackles.

"Tyra, you've got--"

"STAY--WHERE--YOU--ARE!" a mechanical voice shouts, picked up by Alice's microbead and transmitted to us. "YOU--WILL--NOT--ATTEMPT--TO--RISE!"

"Bloody woman's got the whole place covered," I growl.


---

"I've encountered Martejja Riemann before," Fabian remarks. "Her paranoia isn't an especially endearing quality."

"I'd be paranoid, too, if I were in a position like hers," I tell Fabian bluntly. "But she's good."

"Or well-connected," Fabian points out, swirling the remains of his amasec around at the bottom of his glass. "It's unfortunate that she was there. More unfortunate that she wasn't willing to cooperate."

"You'll have to talk to Tyra about that one," I shrug. "But her Guardswoman seemed to think a Warrant of Trade overrode all authority except the Emperor's own."

"You still think you're a Commissar, that's the trouble," Fabian tells me, and I pause to look at him. "The trouble with Rogue Traders, though, is that they're beholden to barely anyone, and don't care what even the Inquisition has to say most of the time."

I think Fabian thinks he's being supportive, but at the moment I'm more interested in my drink.

"You mentioned a masked man as well," Fabian reminds me. I look up.

"I think he was using the Guardswoman as a distraction," I recall. "I couldn't open the door I was at, so when she fired at me and ran off, I tried to give chase. He fired at me, pinned me down."

"That's not like you," Fabian remarks.

"Supercavitating rounds, probably too fast for refractor fields."

I swirl my drink around idly. "I'm just lucky I was between two piles of debris."

"And the mechanical shouting?"

"Didn't sound like it was just his rebreather," I speculate, "but it might've been as mundane as a vocal implant."

"Hmm. I've not been keeping tabs on Riemann for long," Fabian confesses, "but I think Rhodes will have been. I'll have to let them know that you encountered her."

I'm not sure how to respond to that one, so I take a drink.

"Let's move on from Riemann, though, and back to Cardainn," he suggests. "You said Cals passed on a report to Relander."

"She did go to Scylla," I confirm. "That, or there's another Cardainn operating in Dalthus."

Fabian's brow narrows in concentration as I produce Cals' report. "Let's hear it."
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 09:43:56 AM by Koval »

Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 03:20:40 AM »
Looking good so far - although I guess I'm more interested in what's to come, so I can get more familiar with the outcome of the games I wasn't looming over!

~~~~~

As far as the power of Riemann's warrant, it is actually quite a powerful family, mainly down to two reasons:
1) I didn't want her to have to back off every time someone said "I'm an Inquisitor".
2) I needed an excuse for Sgt. Kronen being from the Mordant 303rd, all the way in the next segmentum.

So I gave her enough power, influence and importance that she didn't have to be intimidated by half the characters she encountered, and had interests/alliances all over the galaxy (recruiting Kronen during a sojourn to handle interests threatened by the 13th Black Crusade).

In any case though, no-one in Carthax is likely to have been keeping tabs on Martejja for long - while natively Carthaxian, she's been out of sector for more than a decade. But her return probably did draw a lot of interest from the Inquisition though.

... I've really got to write up all that warband's fluff. It's never really made it out of my head on to "paper".
S.Sgt Silva Birgen: "Good evening, we're here from the Adeptus Defenestratus."
Captain L. Rollin: "Nonsense. Never heard of it."
Birgen: "Pick a window. I'll demonstrate".

GW's =I= articles

Offline Koval

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 06:41:30 AM »
Looking good so far - although I guess I'm more interested in what's to come, so I can get more familiar with the outcome of the games I wasn't looming over!
I'll put some more up this evening.

Quote
In any case though, no-one in Carthax is likely to have been keeping tabs on Martejja for long - while natively Carthaxian, she's been out of sector for more than a decade. But her return probably did draw a lot of interest from the Inquisition though.
Fabian's only speculating -- Rogue Traders aren't really his area of expertise until they start bringing out daemonically tainted artifacts or practicing sorcery. Whether Lyra knows anything is up to you, and whatever Lyra knows, Fabian's almost certainly going to know less.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 08:40:30 AM by Koval »

Offline Koval

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 09:55:06 PM »
"This isn't actually Cals' own report," I inform Fabian.

"Whose is it, then?" he asks patiently, projecting an air of curiosity.

"Cals wasn't actually in the field at the time," I explain. "The account is from the cell's sanctioned psyker, a man called Gerlach MacKay, but Cals passed it on to Relander."

"I'm surprised the Conclave managed to secure such fast transport for that cell," Fabian remarks, leaning forwards, "but it's paid off, considering that they could go between the Arch Worlds and report to you."

"The report mentions Cardainn," I remind him. "And if MacKay's right, Inquisitor Kaled."

"Kaled was there?" Fabian asks suddenly. "Sorry, Alice. I'm interrupting."

I roll my eyes and huff in mock impatience as he motions for me to begin.

---

Hereticus: Scenario 2

Players:
Koval: Arbitrator Oscar Lozano, Savant-Warrant Gerlach MacKay, Corporal Jarec Tobin (on bike)
Keravin: Inquisitor Kyia Cardainn, Crooked Ear, Enoch Selous
Kaled: Inquisitor Drake Kaled, Markus Krahn, Rogal Martinez

NPC: "Kit" of Navis Nobilitae House Rambel

GM: Kaled



I'm sure he's here. I can feel him.

According to the intel Willem picked up, an Inquisitor Kane was murdered recently. Kane had apparently suffered multiple wounds, but none of them had been fatal; while the investigators could rule out physical injury, they couldn't pinpoint an actual cause of death. On the other hand, a psyker could, and Kane's corpse bore all the hallmarks of someone who had stared into the abyss.

The gaze of a Navigator has the power to kill. I've seen it before, felt a man die when he met the Navigator's three-eyed gaze. It was almost like watching the soul itself shatter.

"No signs of activity yet," Tobin reports, his engine revving quietly as we follow him down the street. I'm not altogether surprised, but there's definitely something here. The Navigator's obviously hiding himself well.

Tobin turns a corner, then stops his bike, waiting for Lozano and me to catch up.

"Is something wrong?" Lozano asks him.

Tobin leans forward, squinting.

"There's someone going over to that building," he tells us slowly, pointing to a tall building just down the street. "Want me to investigate?"

"Do it," I instruct him. "I'll cover you."

"There's a door there," Lozano chips in. "I'll take a look."

Before I can formulate a response, Tobin's already driving off and Lozano's running over to a nearby door. Unsurprised but somewhat frustrated, I run over to the corner of the building on my right as Tobin drives up to a man wearing blue and comes to a halt.

"You there, on the bike!" the man shouts; it takes me a while to realise that it's my microbead, and he's not actually that loud. "Who are you?"

If Tobin replies, it's cut off by the noise of weapons fire in front of me, and I look up. On the first floor of the building next to Tobin and the man in blue, there's a figure on an outside stairwell, taking cover from what I think is a marksman on the ground. The figure ducks inside a nearby doorway.

Who exactly is firing?

"Either come with me, Corporal, or leave this place," the man in blue warns Tobin, "by order of the Holy Ordos of Emperor's Inquisitors."

I shouldn't be as surprised as I am. Of course the Inquisition's going to be after this Navigator, he's already killed one of them.

"Lozano?" I hiss into my microbead.

"There's a load of boxes," Lozano reports, "and... is that chattering from outside?"

"Is he in there?"

"Not unless you can fit a Navigator into a two-by-two crate," the Arbitrator comments unhelpfully.

"Just come back outside," I huff, losing patience. "There's a flight of stairs by that door, get up there and cover Tobin."

"And you?"

"I heard gunfire," I tell him. "I'm going to find out who the marksman is."

Lozano steps back outside. He spots the stairs, the bottom steps buried under a pile of debris. Audibly grumbling, he begins to scale the debris before falling forwards and reaching the stairs.

Something off to my right flares with energy and all of a sudden I can see, hear, feel a localised bubble of space-time freezing almost solid. I peer around the corner and spot our mysterious marksman, having avoided the stasis field by the skin of his teeth.

Above me, the figure from before has stepped back out of the doorway, and is reaching for what I think is a shotgun, but the marksman fires again, and seems to score a hit as the figure recoils.

"Tobin, talk to me!" I urge our biker as Lozano reaches the top of the stairs.

"I can hear voices, but there's nobody here," Lozano reports. "They're... getting louder?"

I pause. I can suddenly hear them too. Fragments of conversation, shouting, officers giving orders -- was that the man in blue's voice? -- and is that laughter?

Suddenly, the laughter drowns out everything else and there's a rush of displaced air, as a man dressed in the robes of a Navigator appears across the street from Lozano, on the upper level of the building he's facing. I hear the crack of lasfire and in the same instant he's gone again. I look up, spying a second marksman, this one in red armour, on the top level of the building the Navigator was just on.

"Where the hell did he go?" Lozano shouts, as if the louder he gets, the more likely I am to have an answer for him.

I felt him reappear, though, and peering past the stasis field, I spot an unmistakable black-robed figure taking cover in the top floor of a ruined hab.

"Follow me," I tell him, focusing on the Navigator -- at least, as much of him as I can see.

"What?" Lozano asks, but I ignore him, blocking out everything and everyone except for the Navigator and the path between me and him.

In an instant my hand ignites and I hurl a fireball at the Navigator, but he dodges at the last second and the blast of psychic fire sails past him. I growl in frustration.

"I see him," Lozano hisses, and I look up to see him holding his pistol.

"He's fast, and he's got cover," I protest, but Lozano's got a height advantage.

Lozano fires and the almost celebratory gasp of breath that follows over the microbead tells me he's scored a hit. I can't help but grin, but Tobin's still sitting there, his engine idling, and my frustration returns in full force.

"What the hell are you doing, Tobin!?" I snarl down the microbead.

"Bio-scanner's seized up," he answers. "I think I've gotten the machine-spirit to -- oh frak me, he's everywhere!"

"What?"

"I've got sensor reports coming in faster than I can count them!" Tobin shouts. "They're all disappearing and popping up again all over the place!"

"Get over here, Tobin!" I order him, and the Corporal complies, still bewildered by the bio-scanner's nonsensical reports. Above me, I can see the red-armoured marksman aiming down the street, towards the one on the ground, as the unknown shotgunner scurries up the outside stairs.

Tobin reaches me, but the Navigator teleports again, emerging about twenty metres directly behind the biker and Tobin realises only too late, skidding to a halt. The red marksman is distracted and aims down towards the Navigator, but he's already running.

"No no no, that way, go that way!" I urge Tobin as the Navigator disappears behind the red marksman's building. Lozano's spotted him as well by now, and is moving towards the edge of his own building, but the Navigator's moving too fast.

In what feels like an eternity, Tobin manages to turn his bike around and chases after the Navigator as he moves out of my field of vision. The red marksman's running as well, trying to follow the Navigator, while the man in blue from earlier appears and heads for the building the Navigator's behind, making for the nearest door. He's being followed by an older man wearing a much darker Naval uniform, apparently also hunting our Navigator.

A psychic scan of the area tells me he's gone inside.

"He's in the building!" I shout into my microbead.

"Copy that," Lozano answers, and I look up to where he is. The penny drops.

"Oh, don't tell me you're going to--"

Too late. Lozano takes a flying leap off the edge of the building, but loses his balance and cartwheels in midair, landing face-first on the floor. He doesn't get up, but a loud groan of agony over the microbead tells me he's still alive.

"Unbelievable. If you've broken your face again, Lozano, I'm going to kill you," I growl, but he probably isn't paying any attention to me.

I focus on the microbead and hear Tobin's bike engine revving madly. A crunch, then a blast of displaced air, then a screech as I realise Tobin's tried to run the Navigator over, inside the building, and missed.

I then hear a shotgun blast, and suddenly the Warp goes quiet.


---

"So they killed the Navigator rather than attempt to capture him?" Fabian queries.

"Corporal Tobin's own notes indicate the sniper was Inquisitor Cardainn," I continue. "The man he spoke to, a commodore called Selous, confirmed he was in Cardainn's employ."

"Then the man with the shotgun?"

"Most likely the man that attacked me," I speculate, "though it's not impossible that Cardainn had a crew of voidsmen with shotguns planetside if she brought a Commodore along."

"Considering the ties between the Navis Nobilitae and the Imperial Navy, Cardainn was probably aiming to appeal to the Navigator first, then bring in backup if that failed."

"Can't say for sure," I shrug. "MacKay thinks the other man in Naval dress might have been Inquisitor Kaled."

"And then you met Kaled later on Kharybdis Alpha," Fabian observes.

He pours himself another drink. I hold up my empty glass, and he apologetically gives me a more-than-generous measure.

"I'll say one thing, though," Fabian admits. "You were right to question why I wasn't going. If Kaled and Cardainn were going back and forth between the Arch Worlds..."

He pauses, noticing my fairly vacant stare. I'd not heard of Inquisitor Kaled before meeting him, so Fabian's references are lost on me.

"I apologise, Alice. We can speculate later -- I'd like to hear the rest of your report first."
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 09:45:38 AM by Koval »

Offline Koval

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 10:11:11 PM »
Finale

Players:

Koval: Commissar Alice Fenn, Captain Viljo Relander, Tyra Vargas
Greenstuff Gav: Inquisitor Alice Janeroh, Khisanith, Shas'vre Kais
Kaled: Inquisitor Drake Kaled, Krugg Graxlagg, Kaltus Zek

GM: MarcoSkoll



The trees are all dead and there's a faint electric charge in the air, almost oppressive.

"Did the artifact do this?" Tyra asks, her eyebrow raised. "Or is this just the after-effect of a rad-bomb gone wrong?"

She does have a point, but this isn't a rad attack. Whatever intel was left in the Vault pointed here, presumably for a reason.

The building in front of me looks oddly reminiscent of the PDF outpost inhabited by Maneld's squad; obviously, this architectural design proved to be sound and popular. I approach it, getting as far as the outside stairs, but I see movement and I pause, motioning for Tyra to move up behind me. Relander goes around the other side, looking for another way in.

"I see someone," I warn.

"I see them too," Tyra informs me, pausing in the middle of a clump of dead trees. "It's a lady wearing green."

"Wearing...?" Relander cuts in.

"You know her?" I ask dubiously, pre-empting Tyra's unvoiced thoughts.

"No, but I think I recognise that description," Relander answers. "She was at the outpost earlier. There was an alien stalking her. Blue-grey skin, white armour."

"I see it," Tyra hisses. I pause warily, reaching for my weapons as I see the alien as well, tailing the lady in green. It's not attacking, and in fact she even seems aware of its presence.

I get the distinct feeling that I'm being watched.

"There's a door here," Relander reports, breaking the tension. "But it's locked."

"Try to--" I begin, but I'm cut off by a pained grunt from Relander. There's a soft thud, which I imagine is him falling down.

"Sniper!" he gasps. "Finding cover!"

I open my mouth to reply, but the lady in green is suddenly in front of me, holding a symbol I recognise.

"Identify yourself," she demands. "This is Inquisition business."

I'm trying not to be overly distracted by the long braids of black-and-white hair reaching down to her waist, nor her impractical display of cleavage. Nonetheless, reasoning that there's absolutely no point in lying to an Inquisitor -- they can tell when you are -- I produce my own icon and hold it out.

"Commissar Alice Fenn," I answer, "in service to Inquisitor Fabian Filipowski of the Ordo Malleus."

She visibly relaxes, but is still wary. Not that I'd have been any different in her position.

"Very well, Commisar; you may call me Inquisitor Janeroh. Now, what do you know about the Gate?"

I falter, wrong-footed. Judging by the smug look on the Inquisitor's face, she's probably noticed.

"What is the Gate?" I ask.

Now it's Janeroh's turn to look perplexed, but she masks her confusion much better than I do. "The Gate is the whole reason we're here."

She moves over to the door at the foot of the stairs. "You can't have made it this far through ignorance and blind luck."

"I'm here to investigate the connection between this world and Scylla," I answer. "Nothing more. All this talk of Gates is new to me."

Janeroh's apparently nonplussed, but turns to look behind her. "Id'ewa."

Behind her, the white-armoured alien steps out of cover and walks over to her. It's holding a strange rifle that's all right angles, straight lines, and odd contour patterns along the flanks.

"Xeno sighted," Tyra hisses in my microbead. "I've got a shot."

"Mu'shennil'ide?" it answers. Its language is incomprehensible, but I think I recognise the inflection of a question. "Keny'unin'chakimn'icha?"

"I'lla", Janeroh responds, and the alien relaxes.

I have no idea what happened, but obviously it doesn't think I'm a threat. It, and I, are eyeing each other suspiciously.

"You consort with xenos?" I ask Janeroh, trying very hard not to sound personally affronted.

"It serves a purpose," the Inquisitor answers calmly. "As do all tools."

I look at the alien, slightly alarmed by how Janeroh considers it, but it clearly doesn't have the faintest smattering of Gothic, and is utterly oblivious to how it's perceived as it steps closer to me, eyeing me up and down like a curious pet. I shrug mentally, and move to open the door. It's unlocked, but as I do so, the entire building flickers out of focus, and I flinch away.

I get the strangest feeling that I'm supposed to be able to see straight through the walls, and I find myself wondering why I can't. I think I feel frustrated.

I'm distracted by the shouting of something incredibly loud.

"Hey, blue man," it bellows. "Who are ya?"

Janeroh whirls around, trying to find the source of the shouting. It sounded like an Ogryn, possibly a BONEhead if it's capable of stringing a sentence together, but I'm more concerned that there's an Ogryn around here at all. They're not subtle creatures and I'm surprised I'd not noticed it before.

A sharp gasp from Tyra draws my attention. I refrain from turning around, as I'll probably alert Janeroh to Tyra's presence if I acknowledge that she's there.

"The frak was that...?" she asks, evidently searching for something that distracted her.

"Who are you?" Relander bellows into my ear. I think he, too, has been distracted by something, or someone.

"We can't afford a delay," Janeroh tells me. Oddly enough, I'm in agreement.

"Then I'll cooperate with you," I answer with a glance at the alien. "For now, at least."

"Excellent. I'll search down here; you investigate the upper level."

She turns and heads through the open door, but she vanishes from view as soon as she crosses the threshold, and the alien's staring in confusion at the doorway.

"Well I'm not getting in that way," I mutter, turning and heading up the stairs. It's not until I reach the top of the stairs, however, that I realise I've skipped a floor and ended up on top of the building. Somewhere below me, I can hear what I think is a swordfight, a gunfight, and a full-scale tank battle all at once.

On the lower level, there's a metal platform, very similar to the PDF outpost, but where at the outpost I saw Maneld, here I can see a small red box. I lower myself down, pausing to make sure I haven't been displaced again. Going over to the box, it looks like it's getting bigger the closer I get. The lock's easily removed, though, and I open it; inside, there's an assortment of bones, inscribed with strange runes that I don't recognise. They look alien.

"No Inquisitor to protect you now, xeno," Tyra snarls. I turn; though I know it's over the microbead, it sounds like she's right behind me. My blood runs cold as I know what's about to happen.

"Tyra, hold--"

Too late, as the distinctive report of Tyra's bolt pistol firing hits my ears. I try not to imagine the mess she's making of the alien, but instead it's Tyra that hisses in sudden pain.

"Bastard," she scowls.

"Hold your fire!" I order, but it's too late; we both know the damage has been done by now. However, I'm too far away to intervene, and for all I know I'll end up being displaced again if I try.

I pocket as many of the bones as I can, carrying the ones I can't in my hands.

"Smashy time!" the Ogryn shouts, but it's coming from directly below me and on instinct I drop down, turning to see the Ogryn attempting to bludgeon Relander. The Captain's on his back, firing wildly at the Ogryn as he tries his hardest to dodge its giant hands. Between me and the Ogryn, there's a flash of a black coat as someone -- possibly another Inquisitor -- enters the building.

"Ogryn!" I shout. "I'm a Commissar! Stop what you're doing!"

"That won't help," a familiar voice tells me, and I turn to see Kyia Cardainn.

"What... No, never mind what you're doing here," I respond. "What do you mean, it won't help?"

"It's loyal only to its master," Kyia answers.

I hear an explosion somewhere above me and duck on instinct, but it turns out to be nowhere near me.

"Frak it," Tyra gasps, obviously in pain.

"Stop!" shouts a male voice. It's coming from everywhere; my microbead, the open doorway, behind me. "By order of the Inquisition, I order you to stop this madness!"

The Ogryn steps away from Relander.

---

"What did Kaled find?" Fabian asks me.

"It looked like a black orb," I reply. "The Gate, apparently, though exactly how that thing was supposed to be a gate, I don't know. It was opaque, about two metres across; it seemed to be sucking in all the light that touched it, while at the same time glowing with the light of a thousand distant stars."

Fabian's nodding sagely. I toy with telling him just how unhelpful that is, but I fail to see the point and hold my tongue.

"And Cardainn's appearance?"

"There were two other Inquisitors with her. I didn't get a proper look at either of them, but they both had the seal."

"Did they come through the Gate?"

"I don't know how that sphere was meant to be a Gate, but there's no other explanation for it if Cardainn and Kaled were both on Scylla," I remind him. "I know what you said about the Warp, but still..."

"It's a Warp artifact, and from the sound of it, it's probably of xeno origin," Fabian speculates.

"They wanted to destroy it," I inform him, and he pauses.

"They what?"

"Three of them were in favour of destroying it. The other two thought it could be used."

I pause, looking at my amasec before thinking better of it. "At least one was in a position to call in an orbital strike."

"Judging by the fact that you're still here, they didn't," Fabian points out. "But wanting to destroy the Gate and actually following through with it are two different things. What stopped them?"

"I did," I announce matter-of-factly. Fabian stares, then necks his amasec almost instantly.

"Kaled's not a man to be easily dissuaded from something," he states. "And Alice Janeroh, or Janice Haloe, or whatever she's calling herself these days, is the same. How'd you do it?"

"By pointing out that since they couldn't decide what to do with the Gate, it would be better if you investigated," I answer. Fabian freezes and fumbles his empty glass, catching it at the last possible second.

"Well, "you" as in the Ordo Malleus," I explain. "You're the one who taught me what the Ordo Malleus does."

"I hate you sometimes," Fabian sighs. He doesn't mean it, of course, but he's obviously frustrated by this revelation, so I don't attempt to challenge it. "But the important thing is that they couldn't reach a consensus, and decided among themselves to leave the Arch Worlds for further inquiry. At least, that's the version I imagine the Conclave is hearing."

Fabian sets his glass down and refills it.

"How's Tyra doing?" he asks.

"She's on the mend. By the time Kaled found her, she'd passed out from blood loss, and her arm was practically smouldering," I report. "Whatever that alien was carrying must've been powerful."

"The Ordo Xenos would know more about what it was than I would," Fabian admits.

"The medicae aren't going to rule out cybernetics yet."

"Hopefully this'll be a reminder that discretion is sometimes the better part of valour," Fabian remarks. "We're aware of Janeroh's activities, and while Tyra wouldn't have known that, I don't imagine she helped the situation by attacking. She needs to learn pragmatism."

"I'm sure experience will teach her well enough," I shrug. "So what happens now?"

"For the moment, nothing."

"Nothing?"

"The Ordo Malleus will be launching their own investigation, but there's precious little you or I can do, short of analysing those bones you recovered. We'll have to see what decisions they make."

"And will you be part of that second investigation?" I wonder.

"Did you need to ask?" Fabian answers with a smirk, and I can already feel my stomach dropping.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2021, 09:46:21 AM by Koval »

Offline Kaled

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 10:46:41 AM »
Nice write-up - I've enjoyed reading it.

Kaled is only in favour of destroying the runes if there's evidence that doing so will shut down the gate and save the two worlds in question. If it can be shown that's the right approach then he'd rather call down a lance strike and wipe out all evidence of the runes and gate, but the evidence gathered by the other team was far from enough to convince him of that. When the runes react to being set on fire by throwing a book at their attacker, God-Emperor only knows how they'd react to high explosives - it might tear a whole in the fabric of real-space. Since no one had more than assumptions and guesswork as to what would happen he's all for further investigation before any action is taken. He is however very disturbed by the fact that some of his peers want to use the gates - he'd much rather they return home the long way rather than use the tainted artifact...
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Offline Kaled

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 12:20:17 PM »
Oops, double post - sorry.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 01:39:22 PM by Kaled »
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 01:08:46 PM »
When the runes react to being set on fire by throwing a book at their attacker, God-Emperor only knows how they'd react to high explosives
Actually, that was when they were spat at. They started glowing when they were set on fire - and they re-engineered themselves after the grenade.
(Also, I'm a little bit in doubt of why a lance strike might be any safer.)

The question, really, is how much of what seemed to happen actually happened, and how much of it was illusion. There was certainly a lot of both.

EDIT: Also, why do my events always end with people wanting to blow up the area from orbit?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 01:51:52 PM by MarcoSkoll »
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Offline Koval

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 06:24:05 PM »
Also, why do my events always end with people wanting to blow up the area from orbit?
Well, it is the only way to be sure.

Offline Kaled

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Re: The Twin Arches: Alice Fenn's Account
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2012, 06:26:26 PM »
(Also, I'm a little bit in doubt of why a lance strike might be any safer.)
Not safer, but if destroying them is the answer he'd rather it were done properly and all trace removed.
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