The Truly Free

Macharius Transport R432-X98 01

We have decided to salvage the R432-X98 Mass Transport. It was attacked in open space near Lucia’s Breath while on its way back from Winterscale’s Realm. The navigators estimate we will arrive in four days. I was able to acquire 30 sets of bionic locomotors from Footfall before our departure, so I will not be wanting for work during transit.

R432-X98 is dead in space. It appears to have pulled four fairly significant asteroids into orbit along with a fair amount of debris. I find the proximity of these obstacles very suspicious given the astronomically insignificant amount of time the ship has been derelict. The other commanders agree, so we are taking our time and scanning from the maximum distance.

Our caution was warranted. We were attacked by five combat drones and one frigate. The frigate displayed impressive speed an maneuverability. The drones lacked even a single layer of void-shielding and we clearly left by some sort of larger vessel. They could not all have fit on the frigate. By keeping our distance and utilizing the long range of our Sunsear Macrobatteries, we were able to destroy all of the drones without significant retaliation on their part. Unfortunately, the enemy frigate was able to do serious damage to our hull and escaped before we could capture it.

The transport was left with a large group of murder-servitors on its skin that remained undetected until we had large parties surveying its interior. They struck where we were most vulnerable, but our crew was able to turn them back before they could damage anything vital. I remain uninjured and am preparing to lead repairs on the R432-X98’s systems.

Macharius Jester's Bane 01

The navigators just announced that we have officially cleared The Maw. We will be in Footfall soon, but my work is important and others can complete the tasks that need to be completed there.

Rook managed to track down the Jester’s Bane. I doubt it will have any truly fascinating salvage, but it may have useful components for the Fortress of the Living Tomb or for trade. Until we arrive at its last known location, I will be drilling my team on salvage operations.

The raider that engaged the Jester’s Bane is still locked to her, prow to prow. The Bane gave better than it got, but her plasma drive is leaking badly. I am leading a team to repair the plasma drive with Ginroe as escort. Rook and Voltan are leading the main team to sweep the raider for salvage.

The plasma drive is somehow even worse than it looked from the ship.

In spite of assistance from Ginroe, Tristan, and Godwinne, I managed to power down the plasma drive to 2%, stopping the leak for now. It needs some serious repair work before it will be ready to push a ship around, but it should still be of value. Also of value, I now have two assistants with first hand experience repairing plasma containment systems. Three, if I count Ginroe. Using the 2%, I have been able to maintain power to the small remaining habitat, as well as restoring power to most of the ship’s doors. For now, we return to the shuttle to regroup with Voltan’s team on the raider.

Our shuttle was dismembered by unknown forces using unpowered bladed weapons, approximately 12 feet in length. Most of its minor systems will be salvageable for use in our other shuttles, but the propulsion and hull are scrap. Given that this is now a combat mission, I have turned over tactical command of our detachment to Ginroe.

We were attacked by mutants of some sort in the habitat area. There were no untainted survivors. The Heavy Rail Gun demonstrated inconsistent performance, although obviously a part of that is due to a sub-optimal operator. The best placed shots seemed more effective than an ordinary bolter, which is promising. As soon as I can get around the bulk of the current model, I want to see how our Arch-Militants do with it.

Once all resistance was put down, we finally managed to get a proper survey completed. The Bane’s plasma drive has been stripped and moved to storage, along with the raider ship’s geller field. Unfortunately, the void-shields and warp drives of both ships were totally demolished in the fighting and we were unable to bring either ship with us.

Macharius Inter-Session 01

Back on the ship, I spent some time in a med-lab. The surgeon offered a variety of solutions to the problem of my melted face. I opted to go with basic syn-skin because I have found that a visibly human face can be helpful when dealing with outsiders such as the crew. The technician did good work. I will remember him for my future injuries.

Once I had rid myself of medics and returned to my lab, I fitted the utility mechandrite recovered from the hulk to a hard point just above my left hip. I also modified my carapace armor to allow the use of the mechandrite without breaking the armor’s vacuum seal.

Because I believed it would be simple, my next task was to open Voltan’s mysterious container. In case of danger, I did this work in an airlock. Upon close examination, the box appeared to have no moving parts, yet there was current running along the outside. Careful probing determined that the charge and intensity of the current was completely uniform on all points of the box’s exterior. Comparing the designs with archeotech and xenotech, I was able to determine that the symbols making up the box, though similar to Mechanicus designs, were in no human language. I attempted to treat the symbols as I would their apparent Mechanicus equivalents to no avail. It has been said that Captain Markala is familiar with a variety of Xenos, so I visited his quarters with the box in hopes of learning something useful. Though none of the data he accessed was directly useful, something turned my thoughts to the conclusion that the box was somehow related to souls. Since Eldar are known the be obsessed with souls, I sought then to interrogate the Eldar we hold on the subject. She claimed that the symbols on the cube, though not known to her, were the work of the Spiked Eldar. I summoned the data-pads of Spiked Eldar data from the hulk and the two of us tried to compare it to the cube. Unfortunately, the data was encoded. I tasked the Eldar with translating the information on the data-pads so that I would be working with the Emperor’s own Gothic when I break the code.

In my lab again, I set to work repairing the recovered auspex. As I believed, it was of archeo-tech design. Unfortunately, it did not contain any standard design templates. While I was unable to modify the auspex directly to take an MIU input, I did manage to create an adapter that allows its use.

Next, I commanded Holt, Marcella, and Tristan to meet me in bay 27 with the two data-vaults and supplies that would allow us to access their data without linking them to the ship. The first vault contained nothing beyond its security system. I took it apart and reassembled it just to make sure that the physical vault was not a decoy housing the true prize, then had it sent to the seneschal to use or sell. The second vault contains tens of thousands of logs, planetary data, space charts, warp routes, and the other collected records of exploration, many of which are not part of the records that came with the FotLT. I currently have Holt, Marcella, and Tristan doing the tedious work of combing the files for hidden malicious software. Once it is confirmed as clean I will share the data with the rest of the command crew.

I am still not sure what to make of the data that Luminis had stored inside of it. For now, I have dumped all of his contents to external storage and wiped reset its cogitators.

The Spiked Eldar’s helmets are made of an interesting material. For its thickness, it is very sturdy, although overall it is inferior to Imperial carapace. The interesting part is the advanced electronics inside of it. I have put it aside for now, but at a later time I intend to properly duplicate the useful components.

The weapons of the Spiked Eldar are interesting in that they manufacture their ammunition inside the gun from blocks of material. The resulting shots are obviously inferior to bolter shells, but can be produced very cheaply. The shots are then fired through a rail-based accelerator. If a weapon like this could be designed for production in Imperial facilities, with some sort of hopper instead of the ammo “eggs” the Spiked Eldar use, it could rival the lasgun for in-field endurance.

The one Eldar weapon we recovered that does not belong to our “guest” is thoroughly intriguing. Like the Spiked Eldar, their ammunition goes in as a single solid piece. The main difference is that the Spiked Eldar’s ammo shaver produces shards of material whereas the Eldar’s gun produces mono-edged discs by firing an energy pulse at the ammo block. The other important difference is that the Eldar gun launches its discs by subjecting them to a powerful gravity field. Based on the design of the “Shuriken Catapult,” I have created a repulsor-powered auto-mono-shotgun. The prototype uses a lot of energy, relying on a backpack power source and is not even remotely combat-ready, but it’s promising.

Shortly after I finished construction of the RAM Shotgun prototype, my vox chimed. It was one of the Eldar’s guards. She had been asking for me. REDACTED. She had made some progress on the translation, but was in need of additional reference materials for comparison. I passed her request on to Markala, then returned to my work.

I created another prototype weapon, this time based off of the Spiked Eldar’s rail guns. I created it entirely of Imperial components and created what I feel is destined to be a superior weapon to the xenos armaments that inspired it. The current version is really only usable by Tech-Priests because of its awkward bulk, but I hope to correct that as I refine the designs.

The filament sprayer prototype needs more work. I thought I had succeeded, but it exploded in my hands when I took it down to the firing range for testing. Even after giving myself first-aid, I have injuries that will take days to recover from and only a few hours before we reach Port Wander.

Our Assignment

Rook sighed as he finished setting up in the meeting room attached to the main bridge of the Fortress of the Living tomb. A simple metal room with tables and chairs, the only notable feature being a massive black board located a few feet beyond Rook.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ He had called this meeting together approximately an hour ago and as of yet only ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​the Captain and Mecharius had arrived. An impressive task considering the captain took a near forty five minutes to even get inside the room with his Iron Lung Throne. Only after a few more moments of waiting the other two command crew arrived. Watching as they entered and sat down Rook took a breath and pointed to the the blackboard behind him.

“Now that we’ve finally all made it here this meeting can finally get underway. As you all know we’ve just finished our Imperial Navy assigned task that we have our captain to thank for. With that done we have to discuss something critical to our future endeavors as a Rouge trader ship… our future endeavors. Obviously we have to deal with this Eldar that we’ve ‘rescued’ from the space hulk, I don’t like having one of the galaxies most obnoxious, self absorbed, holier then thou, style mongers on board thats my job and I don’t like competition. We have several options available to us in regards to her however. The obvious nice thing to do would be to return her to her people wither for profit or not. If we wanted to be more unscrupulous however we could just turn her over the the imperial navy or any of the other various factions. A live eldar is a huge source of information for any group and those that wouldn’t want information could very well use her to set an example on unbelieving worlds or some such idea. However thats a side task that needs to be addressed eventually, the main issue is the future of this ship.”

With that Rook took a step back and taped the black board behind him. The board lit up and a screen seemed to melt over the board like water and an image of the Kronos expanse flickered and solidified on the screen. Taking a small metal pointer he directed it to the screen and continued talking.

“As you know this is the Koronus expanse. It is located in the north east sector of the Galaxy and skirts the edge of the Halo stars. It is here we’ve chosen to go and it is here where our Dynasty will live or die. We have several options open to us at this point and I’ve taken the liberty of scouting Port Wander, contacting those I know for available jobs, and finding out information about the various areas in the Expanse. What we have are several tasks we can work on for the various factions as well as some independent runs we can do.”

With that Rook pointed to the upper center of the map behind him. A sector of space flashed a few times then zoomed in on a small grouping of planets. One of those planets then flashed a few times similar to the sector and zoomed in even further. The planet in question was then labeled Burnscour, it was a cloudy stormy planet with only a few patches where you could see though the the near endless green below.

“This is Burnscour, a pleasant name I know, located in Winterscale’s realm of space in the Expanse. If you haven’t guessed by its name it isn’t exactly human friendly. The Planet is a Death world one in which the plant life is virulent, the animals are ferocious, and the rain storms eat away at metal like it was Barthan honey drop. Of course I didn’t mention Burnscour simply because of the weather. The local animal and plant life is considered a luxury in many places and I know of a few collectors that would pay a hefty sum for such animals. If we are to tap into the local beast trade on Burnscour we’ll need several things first, Anti plant bombs for the jungle, cages and food for the animals, and Vulcanized has-mat suits.”

With that Rook pulled away his pointer and the map zoomed back to the overview screen of the Expanse. Then without pausing he pointed again to the screen in roughly the same spot however to the left a slight bit.

“Mecharius this world might interest you as a technophile. This is The Egarian Dominion, a collection of planets located in the same sector as Burnscour. It was once home to a race of Xenos who’s name has been forgotten over time. A set of dry desert planets they’re technology is still left behind. This means lots of research for you and lots of loot for us. We can land, loot the remaining cities for whatever left and then sell the what we find for a tidy, if small, profit. A safer task then most but it also means we’re less likely to make a killing doing it.”

Once again pulling away from the screen Rook waited for it to reset its view back to the expanse before pointing to a new sector of space located in the far left of the expanse.

“This is one of the sectors furthest away from Port wander and its never going to be a straight shot to get there with Undred-Undred Teef in the way. However it does provide some more interesting and risky forms of profit. As you all should know Undred-Undred Teef is a small grouping of planets that are firmly and unarguably ork controlled. This means that going near the sector is a recipe for trouble… but… it also means that there’s constantly ork pirates going out into other sectors and hunting down ships like ours. If we play our cards right and ambush the orks as the return from their swag gathering then we’d be able to do the Sector a favor and help curb the population of orks in the sector as well as make a profit. Of course ship combat is always risky as we might get damaged enough that our profit is meaningless.

We also have another sector of space in the Accursed Demesne worth considering. The Processional of the Damned is a sector thats… well I’m hesitant to say so since I don’t believe in such silliness but… its suffice to say the sector is considered cursed. Almost every single rouge trader group that has gone out there has met with disaster eventually. However it is a Platinum mine of opportunity though as there are hundreds of ships abandoned or discarded, Navigational paths we could attempt to plot out, and planets that may lie hidden amongst the sector like gems under rock. We would just have to make sure we don’t suffer the same fate as the fools who came before us."

Rook pulled back his pointer and continued selecting a new area.

“This sector is called the Heathen Stars probably one of the lesser accessed sections of the expanse as only a few trade routes go into it. This means we have nearly a whole sector to cultivate and exploit to our profit. The Planet of Agusia would be the logical first step, a Tomb world, what ever race lived there died a long time ago and only the remains of them are left. The Disciples of Thule a sect of the Adeptus Mechanicus has a long standing request for workers, supplies, and resources as they only have one encampment on the planet and that alone has discovered an impressive amount of unusual tech.

Then there’s the War world of Zayth. A planet that has been and still is at war with itself for as long as it can remember. While we wouldn’t be able to do much in terms of surveying, mining, looting or any conventional tasks allying ourselves with one of the factions on the world, thereby tipping the balance, might yeild profits and make a long term ally we could rely on. Course it would me serious risk at earning the ire of the other planetary factions.

Lastly we have Vaporius, and bare in mind this request comes directly from the Church of the God emperor. Vaporius is a world of rumor, I couldn’t find much solid information on the world other then what the Church told me and the rumors around Port Wander. Its apparently a world of strange beauty and odd almost feline inhabitants. The reason the church wants us to go there is that the world is ruled by priest kings who keep the world under control via contol of the water supply. The Church wants us to go there and break their rule. They’ve attempted this before and failed utterly which is why the reward for the task is near astronomical… a dangerous mission but one that not only pays in cash but in moral fortitude… but mostly cash."

Finally Rook pointed to one last area in the Expanse. Located in the lowest left corner of the map it was probably the farthest point from the group current location at port wander.

“And finally we have the Unbeholden Reaches. The farthest point from port wander it is almost a virgin sector with only one or two known trips to and from the sector. Information on the region is someone… difficult to find since no one really goes there that much. If we were to go there it would mean we’d have much more work to do then in any other sector. Mapping out the regions usable warp paths, Finding worlds and exploring them, and discovering the region in general. Each task would require a lot of effort on our part but each task we accomplish is worth its weight in Thrones…”

With that Rook put down the pointer and stepped away from the screen.

“These are the task we could accomplish. As well as any you might have run across in the time we’ve spent recovering from the hulk endeavor. So what say you all?”

Macharius Space Hulk 03

It is more or less a new day. Everyone is finished resting and so we are on our way to reestablish communications with the Fortress of the Living Tomb.

Markala’s penchant for excessive verbosity came in handy. Had we terminated communications in a reasonable amount of time, we would not have been in contact with the Fortress of the Living Tomb when it got caught in a tractor beam. Our simple extraction plan has become somewhat more complicated.

The access point the Eldar brought us to is functioning. I have broken into its deepest levels of security and made two great discoveries. The Fortress of the Living Tomb’s capture may have been the hand of the Machine God keeping us here long enough to discover two intact data vaults on our new trajectory. Also, I have located the control room for the tractor beams.

We have rendezvoused with the breacher shuttle that was going to take us off of this hulk. I allowed my two remaining guards to leave us there, taking with them the cognater core and the dead “Dark” Eldar. The shuttle had a stock of ammunition and photo-visors. Our soldiers restocked lest we run out of bullets before we run out of foes.

To shorten our journey, we are cutting through the deep parts of the hulk. Currently we are riding a cargo transport through a long section of a relatively intact vessel. We have been attacked by yet more “Dark” Eldar who were gracious enough to die with their weaponry intact. The xenos have been accompanied by ravening beasts that remind me of dogs, yet clearly bear the visage of Chaos. Like the “Dark” Eldar they are inhumanly fast.

The first of three breacher shuttles has reached us. Load lifter servitors are moving the first data vault as I write this. I look forward to delving into the vault.

The second breacher ship is away. This data vault was guarded by a large group of the dog-like creatures. That the xenos chose to guard this vault gives me hope that its contents will be truly awesome.

We are in the chamber that controls the tractor beams currently holding the Fortress of the Living Tomb hostage. There is an opulently dressed “Dark” Eldar and six of his guards in the control area. He is talking to us. I am taking careful aim.

The “Dark” Eldar leader was protected by an energy barrier. Our captive Eldar says it is called a “Shadow Shield.” It was able to absorb all of my shots as well as the shots from Ginroe’s storm bolter. The “Dark” Eldar taunted us before summoning forth a machine to fight us. The machine resembled a legless scorpion, floating on repulsors. The machine’s spirit was a raging mass of captured souls and I dared not interface with it. When the machine was destroyed, its “Dark” Eldar commander fled the room, leaving us free to deactivate the tractor beams. The beams required simultaneous control from two consoles, so Ginroe assisted me.

Our shuttle has just docked with the Fortress of the Living Tomb. Our captive Eldar has been stripped of all gear and sent to quarantine. I will hold off on dissecting her equipment in case we decide to set her free. The Fortress of the Living Tomb will be heading to Port Wander as soon as the Navy arrives to take over the destruction of the hulk. I am now on my way to med bay. Once they have replaced my face, it will be time to decipher all that we have salvaged.

Macharius Space Hulk 02

Rook was right about our Eldar escort. He led us through a series of trapped hallways that greatly reduced our number. At first, the incidents appeared accidental, however retrospect paints a different picture. We lost ten of our porters and one of Rook’s disciples before we even reached the ambush.

In the midst of our travel, Zoltan stumbled on an archeotech box in excellent condition. My initial impression is that it is a miniature self contained stasis vault. Further examination is warranted, however I do not wish to force open the vault lest I damage it beyond reverse engineering.

We were ambushed by a group of “Dark” Eldar. They use different weaponry than the Eldar we encountered earlier and their armor appears to be of different design. For the most part, their weaponry is no more deadly than a bolter or even a good autogun, however their heavy weapons are very deadly and very compact. Sadly, I was only able to recover their two smaller guns. I doubt the rest of the team would agree with this sentiment, but it would be convenient to find more of these “Dark” Eldar on more favorable terms.

Additionally, my head needs repairs.

Yet another Eldar has joined our group. She claims to be the same variety as the first Eldar, however her costume is nearly as different from his as he was from the “Dark” ones. She has a medical device that appeared useful at first, but requires a psyker to operate. She wishes safe passage off of the hulk, just as her friend did. I have begun calculating the price of her transport.

The Eldar witch has shown me the locations of a few access panels to the “Dark” Eldar ship that are at the periphery of their influence. When the team has rested, we will set out.

The Five Blocks

The Spaceport streets of ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Vaxanide​​​​​​​ were quiet a rare and unnatural occurrence on a Hive world. Hive worlds always have noise in the background, from the alerts over the hive wide intercom system to the factories at the mid levels to the various people traveling from one section to the other. No sound meant that something was seriously wrong or something bad was happening. Rook knew at this point it was the latter as he had been fleeing for his life the last few hours and knew that his pursuers had finally cornered him.

He leaned against the grimy walls of the alleyway that he had taken refuge in. It was a small respite that wouldn’t last long but he needed to catch his breath. Looking down at himself he took stock of what he still had after the attack on his family had begun. His black Ecclesiary robes had been stained with blood, dirt and oil that gathered over him as he fled hard to notice as they were thanks to the color but still there as he felt the damp and stiffness of the drying fluids and mud. His blood drenched chain sword idled in his hands, the engine purring, ready to rev up and add another layer of red to its paint scheme. Letting go with one hand Rook wiped away the sweat from his blood stained face clearing away some of the sanguine liquid that had splattered on him after the last ambush failed to stop him.

Taking another breath he pulled himself forwards and stood up straight in the alley. He was five blocks away from Markalas’s Dock section of the Hive. If he could get there Rook would fall under the jurisdiction of the Rogue trader and force his pursuers to find more indirect means of ending his life. If he could make it the five blocks, A stones throw away that felt longer then the distance to the nearest rival hive, but it was five blocks he had to travel to survive.

Just as Rook was about to begin moving the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. For him it wasn’t his bodies reaction to impending danger that make his head shoot up to look at the roof of the alley but the multiple clicks and cocking sounds of several automatic weapons and the gleam of gun barrels from the aforementioned roof. Launching himself forwards out of the alley the Spaceport streets of Vaxanide was suddenly and abruptly filled with the sound of automated gun fire.

His sudden movement, a surprise to him and his pursuer given his unremarkable agility, saved him from a hail of metal slugs that would have ended his life. The few shots that did manage to hit or graze him was thankfully absorbed by the Imperial Guard standard Flak armor he wore under his robes. By Rook’s counting this was the fifth time today his armor had saved his life and should he survive he’d be sure to properly attend to the damage it sustained. Rolling to control the landing of his leap out of the alley he ended up kneeling in the middle of the street facing the five blocks needed to reach Markala’s sector of the docks.

Pushing forwards with his legs Rook bet everything on how fast he could run and how accurate the shooters were on the building as he ran as fast as he could down the streets. The Emperors grace was with him this time, however, as the majority of shooters had emptied their entire clip with the initial barrage and were busy reloading. The ones that still had bullets left in their guns didn’t have the accuracy to shoot him on the fly as he raced down the streets to the Dock sector. However another problem now addressed him as he reached the end of the street a dozen of the pursuers stepped out of their hiding places around the area and congregated in the middle of his path blocked his route to the Rogue traders dock.

With a sharp rev of his chain sword Rook charged into the group never slowing down as he launched himself into the fray screaming litanies burned into his mind by the priests of the Emperor. One fell and then another it was after the third assassin fell before the group finally surrounded him and readied themselves to attack from all sides. It was here Rook prepared to sell himself dearly before he received another conformation that the God Emperor of mankind was indeed watching over him as fire from Makalas’s dockyard cut into his pursuers causing them to break for cover to avoid a slaughter.

Needing no further prompting Rook launched himself at the last assassin blocking his way and cut him down drenching himself in more blood as his chain sword cut though the man’s armor and into his soft midsection almost bisecting him then and there. With what ever energy he had left Rook ran past his throughly dead pursuer and across the last block into the group of reinforcements. Once there he fell to his knees gasping for breath as his new allies closed around him and lay into the streets pinning Rook’s pursuers. Looking up he saw what looked to be a commander of this group of ship solders and coughed out as best a formal greeting as he could muster.

“My name is Sigmund of the Yorke family line-” Rook let out a gasping cough and continued “-I have arrived to speak with your captain regarding the summons he has requested of our family. I would speak with him immediately.”

The solider responded curtly and quickly as he helped him up and began an organized retreat of the group moving them further into the sector and outside of sight from those that were following Rook.

“My name is ​​​​​​​​​​​Zolton and our captain has been following the situation closely. He sent us here to escort you back to the ship Mr. Yorke.”

With another gasping cough Rook straightened himself out and began moving along side the guards.

“My Family name is for formal settings, you can call me Rook…”

Macharius Space Hulk 01

After a year of preparation, the Fortress of the Living Tomb is finally underway. Technically we were underway before we reached Port Wonder, but that hardly counts. Though we are still working for the good of the Imperium, we are finally out from under the thumb of Mars. Even now, our true journey has not really begun. We have been assigned a task so that Markala might properly earn our vessel. A mysterious object left the warp, sending out psychic shock-waves throughout the sector. We are to inspect it, recover anything valuable, and remove any threats.

The mysterious object is a space hulk. Its components are a mix of human and xenos. We have selected a team of twenty to board the hulk, including four of Rook’s fanatics. A second team will be scanning the hulk from the outside on one of our lighters and following our course in case of emergencies.

We flew in through the airlock of a derelict vessel. The hangar was full of old, destroyed small-craft. I’m currently examining a 38 year old shuttle assigned to the Wandering Shard, which was last seen in the Heathen Stars. Addendum: there are corpses on this ship that show signs of death by exposure. The others agree that the corpses date to around the same time as the shuttle.

I have taken the manufacturing information from a datapad in the cargo bay and a console on this ship.

We are passing through another ship. Its gravity generator has been desecrated by mutant death cultists. The ship seems to be about 200 years old, based on the original specifications of the gravity generator.

We are currently in a ship equipped with a murder-servitor bay. There is a dead tech priest sitting at the control panel. His servo-skull made a feeble attempt at attacking me. According to the skull’s memory, the tech-priest died 50 years ago. I am about to attempt to communicate with the machine spirit for the bay. The machine spirit may have achieved sentience, as such I have recovered its cogitator for further study. I persuaded the spirit to activate its servitors with our group tagged as friendly. During my conversation with the machine, I determined that this ship has been part of the hulk for 50 years of relative time and 150 years by the calendar.

We found a ship whose bridge has been tied into the critical systems of several neighboring ships. Its black box includes an account of being attacked by a xenos vessel. The xenos vessel is unfamiliar to me, but I have copied the data from the black box so that I can check the Fortress of the Living Tomb’s records.

We are now in a vessel that is approximately 1000 years old that seems to have been integrated into the hulk between two and three hundred years ago. With the time dilation that the hulk has been experiencing, it could well have been new when it was captured, but I doubt it.

Ginroe got himself grabbed by an Eldar commando. We have negotiated his release and will be taking the Eldar back to Markala. In the meantime, the Eldar will accompany us unfettered as long as he remains useful.


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