But this particular story isn't about them. It's about the working class. The real heroes of the imperium.
It's about a bunch of guys named "Kevin".
Note: Due to internal memes, we rolled percentage dice to determine just how European our characters were, and for most of us, 2d10 of how many erections we had encountered. For obvious reasons, Slaaneshi cultists roll this as a d100.
It's been two years since flagfall on the Lord Captain van Hohenheim's new planet, Verloren. With the command staff out and about managing the grand scale of founding a planet, many of the minutae of day-to-day operations is left to the next tier of ship's crew -- trusted lieutenants all, they have forsaken their natural names for their Lord Captain, and taken up the mantle of... Kevin.
Two settlements have been founded to date on the yet-unnamed planet: The main one, unofficially known as "Landfall" in the absence of a formal name, and another, less developed settlement around 40 klicks away where the majority of logging operations on the forested moonlet's extra hard hardwoods occurs. The second site, rife with heavy logging machinery and other dangerous fixtures, has been marred by a string of disappearances and more recently, violent allergies to wood chippers.
A task force of Kevins is assembled:
- Yours truly, Fixy Kevin, an 87% European and having encountered 5 erections in the course of their service.
- Healy Kevin, a 78% European ex-slaaneshi cultist with 53 erections under their belt.
- Smarty Kevin K-Vin, one of the rare female Kevins, clocking in at 30% european with 5 erections.
- Psy-Kevin, a psychically-talented, veteran 9% European Kevin, with 13 erections to date.
We are summoned to the Kevin Barracks (aka "Holding Pen") by Lieutenant Kevin (92% European, 25 erections); with Amasec in hand, he delivers the briefing to us. There is some confusion about the objective, ranging from "go there, kill everyone" to the less inaccurate "go there, find out what happened to the last Kevin who got sent there, blame someone and kill everyone".
Once he's satisfied we know what they're doing, he shoos us out with a spray bottle, to the vehicle waiting outside. Chaffeur Kevin awaits us outside; he snaps a smart salute, and his foot goes clank -- he has what is undoubtedly the handiwork of Magos van Tannhausen grafted to his leg, the foot a circular disc recognizable as a best quality metal mess plate. He obtained it when demonstrating to the Magos that he was, in fact, deathly allergic to woodchippers.
Psy-Kevin calls Shotgun. Everyone else piles in the back. He turns the radio on, and gets the one radio station on the planet, Radio Emperor. All Emperor's Sermons, all the Time. It's uplifting stuff to keep us entertained on the 40km ride to the logging base.
En route, the motorcar makes unusual noises. Which are less usual when you consider it was built by the Good Magos. Still, Fixy Kevin is not dumb enough to try and improve a moving, operational car. It would need to stop first. He leaves it be for now.
All around are signs of the Aquila, as well as the Van Hohenheim family sigil, an Iron Gryphon over a Ship. In case we forgot who pays some of us.
The logging town is orientated around a large, stone pyramid, yet another of the ruins dotting the area. We pull up outside the most impressive-looking building, and get out. I spot a tent nearby, and suggest we go door-to-door, starting with the tent.
The tent is small, and designed for a single person. At most. Psy-Kevin gets inside the tent and finds it to be definitely Guard-Issue -- lasgun burns in tent, patches, the like. Even IG rations, which he notes are extremely close to expiry date -- Smarty Kevin IDs them as being produced for the Damocles Gulf Crusade -- other side of the galaxy, about a century ago. There's also pots and other cookware. Psy-Kevin wonders if he used them to kill some wildlife to supplement his diet. I propose that they were to kill the rations -- nobody knows what happens to IG rations that close to expiry. Psy-Kevin praises me, and I declare it is the reason I am the smart one of the party.
Psy Kevin finds a copy of the Imperial Guardsman's Uplifting Primer, ever reliable and multifunctional. The back has a few bloodstained pages, some torn out. Nothing unusual for the Primer. Psy Kevin finds on the back a note in Low Gothic. I can read it, and I do so. It's a rough schedule of:
- Incoming / Outgoing Logging Trucks
- Shift changes
- Strange drawings of some sort of gem.
We move on and leave the tent be. There's a number of people clustered around a work area, and we proceed to badger them. After a disastrous attempt at Kevin Cant by Psy-Kevin, we inquire further about the Kevin who was here before and fell in a wood chipper. They don't know much about him, but the Overseer probably does. Smarty Kevin immediately departs to speak with him. Psy Kevin lingers to badger the workers further, and lets a little psychic power off the chain; nothing disastrous happens, but we have to shepherd him away.
Smarty Kevin makes the acquaintance of the Overseer, a man in a high-vis vest, and the most irritating laugh, a nervous giggle. He agrees to lead us to the site of the Kevin and his woodchipper; it's been cordoned off, but there's not much we can do about the birds, unfortunately. He talks about the settlement and how Kevin was when he was here. Pretty typical stuff, nothing of note. Aside from an unfortunate incident where a man was cut in half by a crane cable, nothing has happened here.
We arrive at the cordon. There's not a lot of Mushy Kevin left, and one of the birds that the Overseer mentioned is pecking away. He shoos it away with a distraught expression on his face, and Smarty Kevin smokes it with his gun. Healy Kevin tries to perform first aid, but there's just no bringing Mushy Kevin back.
We quiz the Overseer. In short, the chippers are normally signed in/out, but they're only checked once a week. One of the people on shift at the time was Cassius, the Threeman. We could go ask him.
We do so. Cassius gives us the run-down. He agrees that the settlement is shorthanded, and contradicts the Overseer's claim that there was nothing wrong here. Only a few people can sign out a wood chipper, and the Overseer is one of them. The Overseer is seeming ever more a suspect.
We thank Cassius for his time, and think up a plan. Two of us, Smarty and I, will distract him by asking him to witness our dismantling of the Wood Chipper, while Healy and Psy Kevins will go and be sneaky beeky.
We review the combat drugs we've been supplied with:
- Enough Frenzon for the whole team
- A dose of "Spook", with a handwritten label beneath that is filled with tiny writing -- the dose is experimental, cooked in-house, and we're to report the results of a completed dose to the Seneschal, Sebastian.
We are now the Kev-S-B. We embark on the plan to search the overseer's office.
Smarty Kevin and I approach the Overseer about the wood chipper; we need to know where it is so we can dismantle it. He agrees to show us; Kevin tries to distract him into forgetting to lock the door, but fails and he locks it.
MediKevin and Psykevin approach the office; they have Smarty Kevin's lockpick, and with a bit of fumbling, and thanks to the Van Hohenheims cutting cost on hab materials and lock quality, get in.
Psykevin quickly finds past guard rosters. Medikevin searches dataslates and finds something a little more unusual -- an inventory of equipment like voidsuits that people working in a logging camp have no business with. There's five, but three are damaged. There are signout sheets, and maps of the pyramid near the logging camp.
Meanwhile, we enter the chamber where the dread Wood Chipper resides, looming out of the darkness. I attack the machine with two screwdrivers. The Overseer questions my qualifications. I continue struggling with the fixtures, and he questions our identity; as Smarty Kevin tries to talk the talk, the Overseer is focused on him, and I try to king-hit him with the wrench from behind.
Impossibly, he moves. Like a demon. The Smarty Kevin demands to know who he is. The Overseer simply turns his head and calls for help: "Help! Intruders!"
I blast him with my hellgun. I score hits and we smell pork. I blow the smoke off my hellgun, and reiterate that I was, in fact, qualified for this by the Magos herself -- not my fault the final exam was trial by combat with tools. Then I tell Smarty Kevin to grab his legs so we can shove him into the exit chute. He helps, then departs to lure any potential reinforcements for the Overseer away.
The search team calls me by vox; they a) found a hidden door behind a bookshelf in the Overseer's office, and b) heard the shout for help. I reassure them it's fine, and I'll see them in like 30 seconds. I frisk the Overseer, looking for valuables and the keys to his office, per the search team's suggestion. I find that he is wearing a necklace, and glued to it is a big, red gem. There's something about it... it belongs to me now.
I hoist him out of the exit chute, and into the main feed, before turning the machine on and standing in front of the exhaust -- all part of the plan, I can lie and say a strange monster did it. As a victim, I am clearly innocent.
Meanwhile, Smarty Kevin lies and tells reinforcements that a monster snatched the Overseer, headed *thataway*. They go in the other way from us.
I regroup with Smarty Kevin, coated in blood, and reiterate that I had a plan. We head to the Overseer's office, me trailing blood.
Meanwhile, the search team has followed the secret corridor down to a storage room; neatly kept, it is filled with all manner of strange materials; the voidsuits listed on the manifest, damaged as expected. All belonging to the Righteous Path's crew? Rations and escape pod resources here, ancient.
We regroup with the search team here. After some discussion, we decide to press on, we need to find someone or something to pin the death of Kevin on, if we can't find enough evidence to convict the Overseer. Medikevin asks if anyone locked the door behind us. We probably didn't, so I track a trail of gore back up the tunnel to the office.
The next chamber is odd. It opens up with a steep angle, and there are bones here, arranged in a seven-pointed star. The room itself has been carved to have eight corners, making an eight-pointed star. Medikevin is able to correctly identify this as some sort of altar to Khorne, which is super heretical. I rejoin the party at the mention of blood for a blood god.
Medikevin notices my chest starting to glow. Psykevin immediately snaps off a shot, which splashes on me; I just get... so mad, my knees bend backwards, I grow like two feet at least, and pull a flaming sword out of thin air: I ascend to the ultimate in Kevinhood, a Kevin-Daemon.
Healy Kevin slaps their injector, and has a go at me with their staff; I don't even feel it. Smarty Kevin's lasgun splashes off me. Psy-Kevin focuses, and slapping his injector, summons a sword made of psychic energy; it crackles with power, and we all begin to float.
Healy Kevin has another go at me, and this time, gravity catches me off guard, and they strike deep. Khorne's intervention stays the blade just barely.
Smarty Kevin disengages to escape my wrath. Psy-Kevin lunges forward, and but for the grace of Khorne, I block the attack just barely.
Healy Kevin strikes once more, failing to penetrate. Smarty Kevin takes a shot, but is closer to hitting Healy Kevin.
Psy-Kevin's keen eyes pick something out, and he leaps forth, and strikes the dangling amulet around my neck; his psychic blade strikes my amulet, and there is an almighty crack. A spectral demon pulls free from me, and grabs him by the neck. Both scream violently as they are sucked into the floor, and the room becomes silent as I land heavily on the ground, now normal and naked.
My fellowship drops to 10. I gain psynicience +10, and feel that corruption can no longer change me. I have a wicked scar down the length of my face, neck and torso where Healy Kevin struck the daemon.
As I wake up, I can see a vision of the Overseer coming across a pod in the woods; amongst the voidsuits, the gemstone. Chipping away at stone walls with mining equipment. Feeding Kevin into the woodchipper.
I'm also naked, handcuffed, and cold. Everyone's erection encounter count increases by one.
Lieutenant Kevin has flask of amasec in hand, and wants answers. He gets them, and he stops Smarty and Healy when it gets mighty heretical. I'm stuck in a holding cell. The astropaths might send me to the Inquisition. They might not. I'm put back to work in the meantime, but I've got eyes on me, and I've lost a rank to "Provisional Kevin" again.
At least I'm still Qualified.
I laugh nervously.
Psy-Kevin hits the ground hard and finally stops falling. There's an easterly wind as he finds himself in a plaza, surrounded by well-dressed people. He finds the nearest person. "I need to send a message."