Dark Heresy: The White Chamber

S

Slyen

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Pius took care when it came to the armory. It was not as well equiped as other craft but he had to work with what he could. He'd never been on a space hulk before but he had heard stories. Tyrinads using them to lure ships to their doom, the forces of chaos using them as landing craft or bases, or even eldar pirates using them as a distraction to steal imperial ships. They had no idea what awaited them but hoped that for their sake Evertore was on board.

He pulled a las pistol, chainsword and some packs from the armory. Along the way he stopped of, picking up a resperator unit before heading to the docking arm. Who was to say if there was even air? He hoped so but it still paid to be careful.

"May the Emperor protect and guide us..." He muttered, falling in with the others.
 

Asmodeus

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Vates stepped into the docking chamber, slapping on his Arbitrator helmet. His shotgun was slung across his back and he held his Suppression Shield and Power Maul at the ready. Strapped to his shield arm, below the crook of the elbow, was the Auspex he had taken from the armoury. It had been covered in a thin film of dust when he found it, so he would have to pray that the machine-spirit within had not yet departed.

"Brother Eli cannot join us for this honour," he said to the other Acolytes. "He must remain in the Apothecarium for now."

A moment of silence was shared by the Acolytes. Eli had been the first one hit by the Daemonhost on Cloister, and he had taken it the worst, his shoulder and chest cavity pierced by acid and daemonic barbs. His would not be a quick-fix... but at least he was still alive... thanks to Severus.

So instead it was Garen would be taking Eli's place on this mission, and Vates found comfort in that, for Eli and Garen were both his 'lucky charms' - men whom the Emperor had kept alive against all odds for some higher purpose. The team would need such luck over the next four hours.

With a mechanical hiss the internal doors of the docking chamber cycled closed, drowning out the farewell prayers of the hangar-preacher. Then they all felt a slight lurch and their stomachs turned as the Elsinore made a manouvering thrust to the starboard. A few seconds of limbo passed before a deafening roar filled the chamber. It sounded like the gears of the universe were churning together and unleashing hell itself. Then, with a mighty crash, the floor and ceiling shook and almost threw to Acolytes off their feet. They heard the docking claw punching through the hull of the Acherade, cleaving adamantium and steel, severing bulkheads and depressurising the outer chambers. Then, like a serpent biting down, a hiss split the air as the atmosphere stabilised and the claw formed a seal.

After a few violent seconds, the world became still again and a servitor-voice reported through the airlock vox-caster. "Docking Breach Complete. Extraction minus 4 hours commencing..."

Somewhere on the bridge, an hourglass has been turned, and the blessed sands were starting to fall.

Vates took a breath and moved forward as the outer-doors cycled open. There was a wash of steam and pressurising gas, forming a veil of fog through which he stepped. Switching on his auspex, the Arbitrator crossed the seal of fused metal and took his first step onto the Acherade.

"Jericus..." he called over the sound of the docking klaxons, "Access the ship schematics and get us a path to the bridge. Time is short."
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W

Warmaster Death

Guest
The air inside the hulk was stale, and somewhere in his augmentic mind, Caine determined that the air had not been cycling in centuries.
"Rest assured Urellis, the Omissiah will provide" Caine rteplied, striding purposely over to a wall mounted cogitator and reaching with an augmented hand into the hood of his robes.

what he produced looked rather like a sickly string of cabling, covered in some sort of machine oil.
The Techpreist connected the cable to the back ot the cogitator's screen, and the screen blinked to life, and Caine's head bobbed and he extended an augmentic hand to the wall to steady himself.

after a few more moments, the screen went dark once more and Caine retracted the calbing, turning to face Vates
"i have the schematics of the entire hulk arbitrator, i shall lead us to the bridge, let us move on wings of haste" he said, drawing his hellpistol, activating the luminator attached to his shoulder and striding off into the gloom with the whizzing and hissing of pnuematics.
 
T

Tain

Guest
A dull buzz silenced by a satisfying "click" sounded from behind Urellis and Caine as Garen started the power feed into his Hellgun. The weapon's status indicator glowed ominously in the gloom, reporting a full pack and ready to fire. Garen looked up from the weapon at Vates, whose reflection was clear in Garen's eye pieces.

"With your permission, Arbitrator..." He trailed off quietly, feeling confident that there was no need to explain. He took up a position at the head of the group next to the Techpriest, staring off into the gloom with an air of something just shy of apprehension as he kept pace.

"Nothing's wrong, except nothing's wrong." he added unnecessarily to no one in particular, head and eyes on an instinctive swivel to scan ahead of the group.

The decision to take point with Caine had been somewhat spontaneous. He was typically located in the middle of their formations, where he had ample time to select a location to provide base of fire for his compatriots. But being that it was Eli whose place he was taking on the mission, Garen felt obligated to take his place in formation as well. He liked being up front anyway. First blood, one way or the other.

He suddenly hesitated in step and reached over his shoulder to shift the feed cable into a more comfortable position, then glanced over at Caine, his whisper nearly swallowed in the silence surrounding them. "Pay heed to the junction ahead..."

He utilized hand signals to notify the team not far behind them.
 
S

Seiji

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Reaching for the deep, infinite power of the warp, Zayin fed the wonderful and treacherous energies into his Psy-staff and into his mind; he kept trying to reach out, farther and farther, to try and feel or sense something, anything, but so far, things were quiet. He couldn't really feel anything aside from his compatriots. And it bothered him. Psychic phenomena aside, he felt that there was definitely something here. What, he didn't know, or whether or not they would even come across it. But he felt it in his guts. The same feeling that kept him alive on the streets of Teresa Prime.

Feeling inadequate in the face of not being able to produce any kind of useful intelligence, he growled as he fed the power of the warp into his staff, until it was filled to the brim with raw energy. In his hands, this simple stick was as deadly as any Power sword, and would allow him to amplify his already capacious telekinetic gift. He could feel the corridor ahead of them, and he had already found several loose slabs of bulk head he could tear down at a moment's notice.

The air suddenly smelled of the worst cow pasture. Side effect of producing psychic phenomena.

"Heh, nobody panic: that WAS me," he said with a wide grin. At least he thought it was funny.
 
K

Karsikan the Berzerker

Guest
Alarius, had just gotten the filtration plugs in as the stench took the room. he took no mind having smelled far worse, he withdrew his autopistol and donned his IR goggles, taking care to check through the different bands just in case anything happened to pop up, he'd make sure to do this every few hundred meters. The heretic was strong here, and it must suffer the emperor's wrath, that much was certain.
 
V

Vay

Guest
Stale air, near overwhelming but, once again Severus was helped by his hive world heritage. It would be suicide for him to take point, any ambushers would have an instant advantage in close range, it would also be unwise to serve as a rear guard so he stayed in the middle of the party, eyes never still behind his mask. Rifle cradled rather held firmly ready to either be raised, or to be shouldered in favor of his pistol, or even knife.

"How much further techpriest?" he asked impatiently, as they turned down yet another passage. His instincts were going haywire and he felt as if something had its eyes on them and his nervelessness added an unpleasant hiss to his voice.
 
S

Slyen

Guest
Pius was wondering the same question as what Severus asked. He, like the rest, believed some thing was wrong with this ship. Something was very wrong. Still he kept up and kept his meltagun ready just incase.
 
D

Darkness

Guest
Julius stopped breathing momentarily, the stench of rotten corpses and feces was a lot worse than anything Zayin’s intestines could produce, and he was glad there was someone who could laugh. He readied his las carbine, admittedly underequipped in comparison to the rest of his teammates, but he trusted them enough to let Garen take point, while he stayed in front of Vates.

He couldn’t deny it, however, he was scared, not of what would come for them, he’d lost his fear of death weeks after he finished Guardsman training. It was the size of it, and the lack of time, he didn’t mind big spaces while on ground, but worse than being alone in a planet was to be alone in the vastness of space.
 
K

Karsikan the Berzerker

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Alarius decided to take up a position next to the Severus, being able to intimidate foes into keeping far enough away for Severus to simply pick them off, or close the distance and finish them off in melee, his Wrackblade could make short work of the innards of any creature.
 

Asmodeus

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Two hours had passed...

The Acolytes had moved through the rat-maze of corridors and chambers, their torchlight finding only dust and lifeless archeotech. Jericus had kept track of the machine-spirits still functioning on the hulk, but they were only the barest life-support systems and external hangars. The engines were dead, the weapons offline, navigation and archives dormant. Julius, Alarius and Garen had to work as a trio to pry open the internal doors, every yard of the hulk a conscious struggle.

They were running out of time, but Vates kept them moving, all the way to the centre of the ship where the Bridge and Astropath's Chamber were located. And it was here that the first anamoly was detected...

...and it was not by Vates's auspex or Jericus's machine-sense.

It was from Zayin.

Halfway down the hall of honour that led to the Bridge, the psyker stopped abruptly. An expression crossed his face - not the usual one of pain or agitation that came from psychic auras... but the opposite. The colour seemed to drain from his face and his shoulders sunk.

"There's... there's nothing there..." he whispered.

The Acolytes looked at the psyker, saying nothing as they watched a look of numbness come over him. Finally it was Vates who spoke, pointing his maul at the door ahead. "Garen, Alarius, with me."

The three men hastened forward and got to work on the door, overriding the lock and prizing it open. The heavy chunk of metal creaked as they rolled it back and wedged it open. And the moment they did, Vates was the first to recoil. "By the Emperor..." he hissed, his whole body going tense.

The other Acolytes drew up beside him, staring in awe at the sight beyond the doorway.

derelict_by_kecajpl.jpg

For a moment they thought the hull had been breached. But the massive open space in front of them seemed to be contained inside the ship. Hundreds of chambers had vanished, a whole chunk of the hulk's interior removed as if by the hand of a god. The Bridge and the Astropath's Chamber were gone, and the corridor they were in continued for a few feet then fell away. It was the same story on every side of the hole, corridors and chambers cut in half.

The Acolytes' first instinct was to suspect an explosion - something that had eaten out the interior of the ship. But the breaks in the metal were totally smooth, with no sign of weapons damage. And from Zayin's expression, there was clearly not a single trace of psychic phenomena here.

And... most mysterious of all... the gargantuan hole was completely and perfectly spherical.

Vates turned slowly, his eyes running over the other Acolytes then drifting to the inside edge of the door they had opened. He read the words that had been daubed there in rich and arterial blood.

THE WHITE CHAMBER HAS BEEN OPENED

"Jericus..." said Vates, his voice echoing across the spherical abyss behind him, "Take half the team and circle the hole. Report anything you find."

The Arbitrator spoke calmly, but his eyes said it all.... he had never seen anything like this before...

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K

Karsikan the Berzerker

Guest
Alarius senses that subtlety is no longer an option, he sheathed the Wrackblade and autopistol and readies the flamer he'd been carrying.
something about the chamber just felt wrong to him, like it was an abberation of nature.

worst of all something told him that whatever this chamber was meant to hold, would be far worse than the Evertore.
 
T

Tain

Guest
Garen wasn't normally agoraphobic, but the chamber before them gave him chills for reasons beyond his understanding. Perhaps it was the blood graffiti on the back of the door, or the fact that it was all too perfect. His breath rasped through the voice emitter by a pace more quickly than before; the only indication he gave that what he was witnessing was disturbing him on a primal level.

He felt a cold pang of sickness hit the bottom of his stomach as he noted that the other corridors of the ship lined the sphere... perfectly. It almost appeared as though all the paths were meant to eventually end up here, made worse by the fact that the area had once held the bridge and astropath's chamber. A perfect place for an ambush... or a meat grinder.

Garen removed the safety from his Hellgun, almost involuntarily, then audibly grit his teeth before returning the selector switch to the "safe" setting. Discipline would see them through this. Or see them to their glorious end, in the Emperor's name. He took a deep breath, running through a silent prayer in his head as he dabbed a gloved finger against the blood upon the back of the door.

"So much for first blood..." He quipped.
 
V

Vay

Guest
"Omnisiah protect us." Severus muttered, it was beyond his what could cause this and he thanked his ignorance. He put his eye to the scope on his lasrifle and peered at the far side of the chamber. A chill ran up his spine and he lowered his rifle as he looked at the psyker the curious expression on his face hidden by his bodyglove before he turned to follow Jericus.
 
D

Darkness

Guest
Julius looked down the abyss, and for a moment, he did nothing but stare down into the blackness, the realization that nobody would hear them scream if things went wrong was relaxing, in a very morbid way. He hadn’t paid attention to what the Arbitrator was saying until he mentioned Jericus to lead a team, somehow he had figured the task would go to him, but he didn’t doubt that Vates had a plan, he was good at thinking those up when they weren’t getting shot. He saw Severus moving behind the tech-priest, and quickly gathered that they would need to pick out who would stay with him and Vates.

”I think Alarius and Zayin should come with us, Urellius.”

He said, his gloved thumb caressing the handle of his shotgun, the two of them weren’t the best of choices, a psyker as strong as Zayin could easily go insane, but at least the Eversor was good at what he did, and quick enough to kill the psyker, if things didn’t go as planned.
 
T

Tain

Guest
Garen swept his gaze over the newly formed element. A techpriest, a sniper, and a commissar... it almost sounded like the beginning to a joke of poor taste. If only they were about to walk into some place interesting, like one of the Emperor's Cathedrals, instead of an unnatural hole carved into an equally unnatural ship...

”I think Alarius and Zayin should come with us, Urellius.”

"Agreed..." Garen whispered to himself as he set off with the others. He hoped that the rest of the group would be alright in their absence. But a nagging wraith warned him that it may be his current partners and himself that he should be concerned with. He rotated the selector switch on his Hellgun into the fire position.

As an after thought, he noted with some distaste that he was now part of the joke. A techpriest, a sniper, a commissar, and a storm trooper walk into a hole...
 
S

Seiji

Guest
"Sounds fun to me!" Zayin said cheerfully in his gruff, accented voice. He had moments before fearlessly walked to the edge of the precipice and stuck his head out over it. He stifled back the urge to whistle in astonishment and horrified awe; anything could come a-running in their direction if they heard a sharp noise like that over this gigantic space. He was brave, bold, and brash, but he wasn't down-right fucking stupid.

Twirling on the edge like a madman ballerina, Zayin ran the edge of his Psy-staff across one of the bulkhead walls, burning a thin line through the metal with the psychically charged weapon. He was itching to release the power now, to grab something and explode it's head. He had fought the urge just moments prior to making an invisible hand and grabbing someone, just to dangle them out in the open space.

He was pretty sure he would've set them down safely. Maybe.

"I can sense you feth-heads from pretty far off, so if something happens, I can at least find you. How's that for a bonus skill, eh?!"
 

Asmodeus

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CRUNCH!

Vates brought his suppression shield to the horizontal position and slammed it across Zayin's chest, pinning the psyker to the wall a few feet from the precipice. And there he held him, their faces inches apart.

"This is no game, Mutant." The words were not expressed in anger nor arrogance, but in Vates's usual manner: a soft, stern coldness. "You will keep your discipline and you will hold your tongue. It is only by the mercy of the Inquisition that you live at all."

The Arbitrator had been born on a Cardinal World, a place where respect and stoic silence were currency. He did not harbour any particular hatred for psykers, but he knew all too well the follies of over-confidence, and Zayin reeked of it.

It was overconfidence that had almost got them killed on Cloister.

And Zayin hadn't been there with them. He hadn't learned the hard way. So if Vates had to beat humility into him with a power maul, it would be a beating of tutelage.

Vates's half-burned face twitched and he pulled away, lowering the shield. And, with a similar notion of his Cardinal World upbringing, he trusted the psyker not to blow him apart as he turned his back.

"Keep in contact," the Arbitrator said to Jericus's team. "We need to explore the chambers around the hole. Look for archeotech, weapons-trace, psychic residue - anything."

With the orders giving, he returned to his own team. He gave a glance to Alarius, then nodded to Julius to lead the way. The four men set off to the right, entering the next chamber and skirting an anti-clockwise route around the chasm.

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K

Karsikan the Berzerker

Guest
"May the light of Terra guide your path," Alarius said to Vates departing crew as he strode over to join his team. he noted the Psyker's change in attitude and made a quick reference of where the kill points are with respect to his larger body. Zayin's body making certain points easier to reach, while others more difficult, such was the nature of assassination, each mark had to be observed, studied, and the points calculated out.

Didn't mean he'd have to like killing a servant of the emperor, even one so crass as Zayin.

"May our enemies cower in the light of the emperor, Where do we begin?" he asked Julius Flamer held casually over one shoulder, his free hand resting on the pommel of his wrackblade.
 
S

Seiji

Guest
Zayin had nearly roared in rage when Vates pinned him against the wall, and it had taken him all of his will power not to reach out and tear his head from his shoulders. But that would be against what he had sworn at the Scholasta Psykana; he had made a vow to the God-Emperor, and while he might not be the most exemplary of His followers, he was still a follower of His will.

And the man who had just humiliated him was also a servant of the Emperor. It would be no good to crush his brain.

So when the Arbitrator had lowered his shield and stepped away, Zayin held his powers in check. He'd wait for vengeance. He had all the time in the galaxy.

"My apologies," was all he said with his shoulders slumped as the Arbitrator gave orders to Jericus and the other team.

And then they separated, Zayin in the middle of the group for both tactical reasons, and so the Eversor could keep an eye on him. He was brash, not stupid.