The Truly Free

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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