The Truly Free

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.

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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…”

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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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