Saturday 29 September 2018

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse: The Crew plays Battleships

Rogue Trader: A quest for profit in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium. But dying in mediocrity and misery is for poor people and losers, and a Rogue Trader's retinue is anything but.

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse is bought to you by:

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim - Rogue Trader. Hero. The last of his line. Possibly insane, although a holiday has done much to soothe his agitated mind. Questionable epicurean delights have left him unreasonably muscled.
Magos Abigail von Thannhausen - A Magos Explorator-Chymist who possibly takes too much pleasure in the craft of Servitors. Accompanied by her servo-skull. Ever since doing warp-eel shots, she seems more insightful somehow.
Archaius "Boosto" Wash - A gunnery sergeant with a now less-irritating artificial voicebox and a jetpack. We are all amazed by his apparently-infinite agility, and his recent ability to just shrug off pain.
Sebastian LaMarck - A seneschal with a silver tongue. Spymaster and king of Human Resources. One hell of a butler, even when he's on autopilot.
Winter York - Astropath Transcendant. Monstrous willpower. Notorious advocate of psychic power pissing matches, and freshly endowed with wings, somehow. Your glorious narrator and remembrancer.

We recap our competition for the pearl.

Jean LeFrancois -- Charter Captain who thinks he's people. How adorable. Not just a little vain. Pilots a transport.
Hadarak Fel -- Seasoned explorer, a cunning trader, world exploiter, and absolute asshole. A fop.
Madam Charlabelle -- Fairly young Rogue Trader, inheritor of a dynasty on hard times, House Armalan. Keeps up appearances, though. Carries a weird, alien-looking tube on her forearm, a Harlequin's Kiss. Pilots a transport.
Jeremiah Blitz -- A scoundrel, gambler. Rumor says he won his Warrant of Trade in a game of chance from a Sector Lord. Rocking a cruiser.
Lord Admiral Bastille -- Infamous in the Imperial Navy. House Bastille is old as balls. Wasn't the oldest, but due to a freak accident, suddenly skyrocketed up his family dynasty to inheritance. Cruiser class ship.
Lady Sun Lee -- House Ma'kao, holdings all over the show. She provides food to Scintilla. Legendary duelist, and doesn't think too highly of us by now.  Cruiser.
Janko Scourge -- Psychopath. Slave trader. Egotistical. Ship of unknown marque.
Crawkin Feckward -- Another slaver. Very solid rumors that he's involved in the cold trade.

We head to Zaith! It takes a few weeks.

We get there, and it looks like shit. A dead-ass looking world. Auspex shows no life, and a wee bit of radiation. Looks like we just missed the party.

Our destination lies at the bottom of a ravine -- it would have been underwater, until the ocean boiled away.

We prepare for the trip -- we bring rope this time, and voidsuits. Whatever air is left, it's probably preferable to not breathe.

As we get closer, we notice two huge ships. The size of ours, easily, but landbound, travelling across the wastes. Marques from the Dark Age of Technology, they've got macrocannons and are void-shielded. Developed around the same time as titan legions, way back.

They are heading straight towards each other, and seem to be spoiling for a fight -- not right next to where we're going, but kind of close for comfort. I hail them psychically with no response.

The Lord-Captain hails by vox. The Indestructible responds first. Senior Tactician Graves speaking.

Wash has me prepare the ship to fire on one of these land cruisers.

The Lord-Captain establishes that the Indestructible is indeed spoiling for a fight, and wants no help from off-worlders. There's about half an hour until they fight. The problem is that where they will be shooting is roughly where we wanna be. And they're using macrocannons.

We don't have time for a leisurely explore -- only one of us (me) needs to see it. I grab a servo skull to record everything (Aquilagram celebrity, Winter York!) and jump out at low altitude to fly into the ravine.

We're immediately warned to stay away from the shuttle -- it's the subject of their fight. Wash backs off with the gun cutter, but they don't call us out on me jumping out, so I guess I don't matter to them, or they couldn't see me. I get down there.

"It's dark down here," I remark, being blind.

Gliding along at mid-height, I spot the Nexus easily. Looks just like the rest. I scan it with practiced ease.

We get another transmission from the Indestructible. They're getting close to range. He's not inclined to shoot us, but he can't say the same of the Bulwark.

The shuttle is suspected to contain a member of the Mechanicus, whom the Indestructible had exiled on pain of death -- and he had supposedly departed properly.

The Indestructible wants the shuttle itself, and any information of use in it. And if that Mechanicus is alive, he'd better not be.

I tear the damaged  bulkhead door open, and inside is trashed. Everything's wrecked, and has been on fire. Bits of tech everywhere, slag and flesh that used to be servitors.

The tech priest is dead, long-since gone. His hand is welded to the side of his head. I frisk him, and find a strange chip in his head. The Magos identifies it as a Data Arc, and Important. The rest of him is toast, and trash.

I burst out of the shuttle just as the two landcruisers are starting to pull up and broadside, giving each other the business and deploying ground troops to take the Shuttle. Wash brings the cutter down low so I can get in.

As we start to pull away, we tickle the Bulwark with our macrocannons, and knock out it's shields. The Indestructible is gobsmacked, and appreciates our assistance. We're invited onboard, but the Lord-Captain thinks it might be a cool idea for the Magos to hang back on this one, seeing as they disagreed so violently with her colleague.

If she's going to hang back, she wants full video coverage. I agree.

"Cinematography is my passion," I declare.

We scan the data arc before we do anything else. The Tech Priest (anonymous) was to travel via Light of Truth to Zaith.

Bador Hovik was their contact, X2V, and the Gun Masters. Was not to contact with Elder Tacticians. Trade of certain tech for their Macrocannons was their objective, but under no circumstances are Melta weapons to be introduced, or they'll certainly trash the Macrocannons.

The Mechanicus was part of a rebel element, not working in sync with the Mechanicus as a collective.