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Operation Hallifax: Prologue

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Warmaster Death, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. It is the 41st Millenium

    For more than a hundred centuries
    the Emperor has sat immobile
    on the Golden Throne of Earth. He
    is the master of mankind by the
    will of the gods, and master of a
    million worlds by the might of his
    inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting
    carcass writhing invisibly with power
    from the Dark Age of Technology.
    He is the Carrion Lord of the
    Imperium for whom a thousand souls
    are sacrificed every day, so that he
    may never truly die.

    Yet even in his deathless state, the
    Emperor continues his eternal vigilance.
    Mighty battlefleets cross the daemoninfested
    miasma of the warp, the only
    route between distant stars, their way
    lit by the Astronomican, the psychic
    manifestation of the Emperor's will.
    Vast armies give battle in his name on
    uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst
    his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes,
    the Space Marines, bio-engineered
    super-warriors. Their comrades in arms
    are legion: the Imperial Guard and
    countless planetary defence forces, the
    ever-vigilant Inquisition and the techpriests
    of the Adeptus Mechanicus to
    name only a few. But for all their
    multitudes, they are barely enough to
    hold off the ever-present threat from
    aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse.

    To be a man in such times is to be
    one amongst untold billions. It is to
    live in the cruellest and most bloody
    regime imaginable. These are the tales
    of those times. Forget the power of
    technology and science, for so much
    has been forgotten, never to be relearned.
    Forget the promise of progress
    and understanding, for in the grim
    dark future there is only war. There
    is no peace amongst the stars, only an
    eternity of carnage and slaughter, and
    the laughter of thirsting gods.

    The Lighter, Sequestered from the Imperial Navy Cruiser Hand of Wrath
    The Enterior of the Lighter is spartan, with most of the space usually filled with either Navy Ratings or Imperial Guard Troopers empty save for your small group, clustered, along with your belongings at the rear end of the lighter, you have spent the better part of a month with your fellow acolytes, though in that time you did not truely get to know them all that well, their quirks and habits are, if you deigned to pay any attention to them, known to you, as is the appearence of your fellows, though whilst you are all aware of each other's former career paths, just how skilled or trained they are remains vague, though you assure yourself that having been handpicked by the Inquistior for training, surely they know their crafts, whether it be the Imperial Guard's aptitude for combat and tactics or the Administratum Adept's skill with data and research.

    One question gnaws at the back of your mind, being the reason for your being assigned to this mission.
    In his breifing, Inquisitor Van Yastobaal's tone suggested that he was not fully confident in your ability to handle this task, even to the point where he subtly hesitated before admitting you all into the breifing chamber, but the dire need for the matter to be resolved and the fact that yours was the closest group of acolytes by a matter of two months travel force his hand.

    But Brief you he did, you know that Sepheris Secundus is of vital economic importance to the sector, you know that some foul rebillion sprung up and that it required a regiment of the Imperial Guard to put down.
    The Inquisitor also mentioned that the fighting was heaviest and the casualites highest in the Gorgonid Mines, and that reports from that particular action report hellish creatures and other 'madness' filtered back, soon reaching the ears of the Inquisition.

    Thus it came to be that your band of Recruits, once bound for the Inqusition Training complexes on Scintillia, were sent to the Gorgonid mines. the Lighter
    decends slowly at first, the Cruiser slowly dwindling from a behemoth that consumes all the space outside the portholes to a small silhouette in the sky.

    Swathed in the Crimson Robes of an Mech-Wright of the Mechanicus, Cain Jericus, known as "Crisis" to the Skirarii of the Mechanicus Vessel Purity of Logic for his desire to participate in combat drills and his habit of making important decisions quickly, but with less compassionless arrogance than the other Tech-Preists on board the vessel, shifted his position quietly, the Tattoo's that were etched in unperceptable patterns across the left side of his face pulsed weakly, the Tech-Preist sat in what could be called a light sleep, for he knew that all too soon the decent would be over, and their trial by fire would begin, though around him, the others held conversations over the rythmic hum of the lighter's engines.

    OOC: Okay my fellow Acolytes, its 'getting to know you' conversation time, though remember, you have a basic knowledge of each others habits and personality quirks already this is jsut whether or not you get along with each other, that sort of thing.
    to look at it another way, this is where you all get used to each other's characters as you play your own, 'coz pretty soon your not gonna have that much time to 'shoot the breeze'

  2. [​IMG] "Bitch!"

    "Frail, wavering, heretic bitch. She is the cause of this. She is the cancer that should be ripped from this planet."

    Abitrator Vailon Crayborne paced the cramped compartment, even though the others sat... and his rasping voice scratched at the walls, even though the others were silent.

    His long, hooded coat was lined with chain-links, but their rattle could not be heard over the sound of the roaring descent engines. The Lighter shuddered and jerked, machine spirits whining in the antiquated mechanisms around them. But still the Arbitrator paced, his thin face set in a perpetual sneer.

    "The Queen grows weak. Darkness looms at the end of her life and she seeks to make the people love her. As if there is love left on this rock!"

    He spat on the floor in contempt, saliva darkened by the tar of Iho Sticks.

    "She is the cause," he muttered again, leaning against his staff as the ship jolted through an air pocket. "No rebellion has ever outlasted fifty days on this planet. The bastard serfs don't even have weapons!" he snarled. "The Scourges and the Baron's armies should have eradicated this rebellion as they have always done."

    He brought up his slender hand and leant against one of the viewing portholes. Down below, the icy surface of Sepheris Secundus rolled by, broken only by the occasional forest and then the stainglass shimmer of the hanging city. They were passing over Icenholm, the capital city suspended between three peaks like a nestling jewel. The spires glittered and Vailon willed them to break apart, to slice the ageing Queen and all her family to shreds.

    And in the vast valleys beyond the mountains, the first glimpses of the Gorgonid Mine could be seen, like an open sore. They would be landing somewhere nearby, in the outpost thrown up by the emergency garrison of Imperial Guard.

    "A waste of the Emperor's armies!" he spat. "Corruption drips from the Whore-Queen's bones and infects all the land. It courses through the mines, into the tunnels where the mutants dwell. And all the dregs of this world find courage from her weakness and rise above their station."

    He turned and paced the chamber again, glacing at the ceramite doors that separated the acolytes from the pilots. They had been sealed shut, partly from protocol and partly from the fear that walked with the servants of the Inquisition.

    The pilots were right to be afraid, thought Vailon. All lesser dogs should fear men like him.

    "We should have purged this world long ago - stripped the Queen of her robes; burned the mutants from their nests."

    His final words came out in a hiss, almost lost beneath the rumble of the landing gear deploying.

    "These people should know their place!"

    He spoke so he would not have face the contradiction... the fact that he had been born on a mining world just like this one, and escaped his place through treachery and betrayal.

    He sneered so he would carry on hating, and never mourn the memory of his mother and father, burning in the streets as he looked on and condemned them.
  3. Sitting in the cramped space, backed into a corner the psyker only half-listened to the arbitrator's ranting. He had both hands and his forehead resting on his staff that was firmly planted on the ground before him.

    "They are the emperor's and will serve him." he thought, "Even if they serve by dieing..." A small smile creased his features. This world held no special interest to him, neither did the other acolytes. This was just the mission he had been talked with and it was his duty to get it done. His very soul belonged to the emperor, and it would be selfish of him to deny it to his service.

    "I will earn my place by his side, again I will make the privilege to gaze upon his glory." he whispered, it was a way of calming himself against the sounds of the straining machine around him, "The memories of his glory are taken from me but I will make the pilgrimage again." he remained silent, lost in thought. "Yes they will all serve, we will convince them."

    His eyes flickered open and he raised his head, a small red mark remained from where the wooden surface had pressed against his skin. "Calm yourself arbitrator." he spat, "We will have much to do then we arrive and the cultists will not be ........ forgiving." the last word was said slowly, with a unstable pitch to it, as if the speaker where suppressing glee at its implication. Then the psyker closed his eyes again... he needed to remain calm, and prepare for the trials ahead.
  4. As the Lighter descended, Cain opened one eye to regard the Psyker and the Arbitrator, the pupil of the eye was a strange beige colour
    "My comrades, in the name of the Omnissiah and the Emperor cease your bickering" he chided softly, his voice, though human, carried a slight mechanical undertone.

    "Ah, listen to the hymn of the engines, we will be landing very soon" The Mech-Wright now had both eyes open, and the electoo's on his face pulsed more energeticly, each pulse in time to Cain's beating heart as he Drew his Laspistol, inspecting the weapon and intoning several blessings as he did so.

    The internal vox system crackles as it comes to life
    "Gentlemen, this is the Pilot, touchdown at Gorgonid outpost in five minutes" the Pilot's voice is tense but professional, and his announcement comes with an unspoken warning 'get in your seats and buckle up'
  5. He smiled and took the dryer. "Sit down."
  6. [​IMG]

    A world of snow and twilight.

    As Crayborne stepped onto the soil of this ancient world, the sense of oppression was tangible. Grey clouds obscured every inch of sky and what moisture there was came from the geysers and mine workings beneath the surface. The dual weight of smoke from above and steam from below gave a sense of being crushed. And this was just one of the dualities that held on Sepheris Secundus: the black scars of mines at odds with the white of snow-capped forests, the glittering capital at odds with the serf-infested abyss to which the Acolytes were travelling.

    A world torn in two, the blessed and the damned pushed so far apart that only fire and heresy could breed in the space between.

    "We must find the commanding officer," Crayborne's voice rasped above the hydraulic noise of the Sentinel. He turned to glare back up the rank at the other Acolytes. "And mark my words, it is only fitting to hold a healthy distrust of your peers. Every single soul on this vermin-infested rock is a suspect. Be on your guard!"

    His threatening snarl ended, the Arbitrator turned and set off towards the rust-red hab building in the centre of the camp, his staff punching the rock with every step.

    Perhaps his comrades did not deserve such harsh words. But one thing could not be denied - all of them were green and the Inquisitor had given them this task only after great hesitation.

    Vailon Crayborne had much to prove, and he was not about to let another Acolyte's incompetence cost him his name in the Inquisition.
  7. Venris Kelor had been sitting in one corner of the lighter as it descended to Sepherus Secondus. He was dressed in his guard flak armour and clip harness. He had left his overcoat back on the ship knowing that he would not need it on a mining world. All through their decent on the lighter, he was inspecting his gear, making sure everything was in working order, only half listening to one of the new acolytes rantings. It had been a while since he had been called in to do a mission for Inquisitor Van Yastobaal.

    As he stepped down the exit ramp of the lighter, he took in the scene that layout in front of him. He felt somewhat at home in the clutter. He was born and raised on a world where it was in constant conflict, and being a guardsmen himself, he was used to seeing all this.

    “Seems like they had one hell of a fight down here, huh Cain?” He slung his las rifle over his shoulder.

    He turned his attention to the acolyte that had been ranting in the lighter as they descended, what was his name? Crayborne? He was an Arbrite that the Inquisitor had recruited, from what Venris could recall. When he was done, Crayborne had set off towards the camp.

    "I'm going to ask a few questions before we look for the CO." Venris jumped off the ramp, kicking up some dirt as he landed, and walked up to a few of the guardsmen that were huddled around a fire.

    “What exactly happened here?” he asked, still looking around. He wasn't going to let down his guard even with a lack of enemies in sight. A couples years playing in a war-zone had taught him that.
  8. Quinlan had tried and failed to sleep through the trip, but he hadn’t managed to with the Arbiter’s very aura around him. He’d make an excellent commissar that man, too far away from any agents of chaos for the arbiter, he figured, or he would be an even better poet. The man was far louder than any machine spirit he’d have the pleasure of listening to while he’d been training with Land Raiders.

    Nothing he would do about it though, he didn’t want to risk being labeled of being a heretic because he wasn’t killing everything in sight that didn’t look human enough in the camp. He got off the ship without much hassle as the last one, this reminded him very much of his last home.

    Quinlan checked his shotgun one last time and loaded the weapon, walking out the lighter along the rest of the group of very eager acolytes.

    “They’ll know the as much about this thing as whoever’s in charge here, Venris.” Quinlan observed, facing at the skies for a second, all the Guard did was shoot at whatever the officers told them to shoot at, that wasn’t going to change any soon.
  9. As the putrid atmosphere, filled with the smells of smoke, pollution and the fetid smells of camp entered the lighter Guilliman couldn't help but wrinkle his nose in disgust, but he had a job to do, and the sooner he got it done the better for everyone. As usual the arbitrator was condemning the entire camp but Guilliman didn't care. He stood leaning on his staff and used it as he descended the ramp, pausing at the bottom to look around, his tatty roads blowing slightly in the steady breeze coming from the mountains.

    Without a word he moved away from the lighter and towards what looked to be a supply tent, before anything he needed something more than the three bullets that nestled inside his revolver, emperor willing there would be a few extra that he could procure without too much difficulty.
  10. [​IMG]

    The Sentinel roared to a halt as Crayborne crossed in front of its legs. The gears of the collosal machine wheezed and exhaust vents fumed in outrage as the startled pilot yelled obscenities. But Crayborne continued his relentless stride, drawing stares from the dirt-smeared guardsmen sat around the compound.

    A solid figure blocked his path as he neared the rusting hab building. The Albrechtian Guardsman was in full flak gear, a barrel-like build accentuated by shoulderpads and combat helmet. The aquila symbol was on the wall directly behind him, making it seem like he had golden wings upon his back. And the dark sheen of a visor hid the soldier's eyes as he stood in the Arbitrator's way.

    "That's far enough."

    A second guard brought up a lasgun as Crayborne reached inside his robes; but Crayborne paid it no heed. With an impatient sneer he lifted his Arbitrator ID.

    "I am an Acolyte of Lord Inquisitor Van Yastobaal. Now get the hell out of my way!"

    The second guardsman kept his lasgun trained on the Arbitrator. "I don't care if the Emperor himself squeezed you out of his asshole. You stay there till you're invited."

    The first guard took Crayborne's ID and ducked through the metal blast doors of the hab building, leaving his comrade to hold Crayborne at gunpoint. The mountain winds kicked up dust around them, shaking the tents and flimsy constructions. There was a sense that, at any moment, the whole base might be swept away.

    "Where's your power maul?" asked the guardsman, still with his rifle braced. Beneath his visor the face was expressionless, but Crayborne could sense the joke.

    "I must've left it up your mother." rasped his menacing voice.

    "Now that's just rude. I thought you Inquisitor types were pure sorts - keeping our souls as clean as your own."

    Vailon brought his full gaze against the man's visor. "Are there stains that you wish to confess, brother?"

    The guardsman's fingers tapped the casing of his lasgun. "I got my own personal exorcist right here."

    "You had better pray it is all you need, before your life is spent."

    The malicious exchange was cut short as the door of the hab building creaked open again. A uniformed officer stepped out, followed by the first guard. And if the two guardsmen were well-built, then this new man was positively bear-like. Biceps bulged beneath the well-creased folds of his grey fatigues, while his hands were heavily callused and ingrained with ancient lines of engine-oil and cordite. Crayborne looked up into the grizzled face of the Commissar's Adjunct Officer, his gaze drawn to the mess of scar tissue around his left eye. A plasma burn from the looks of it. Crayborne wondered how much more of the man's chiselled frame was wracked by scars.

    "Arbitrator Crayborne," said the officer, looking down at a data slate with his one good eye. "Trying to become the final casualty of this campaign?"

    "Forgive me if I do not have time for formalities, Adjunct. The fate of the Emperor's servants hangs in the balance."

    There was a tense silence. The Adjunct's eye lifted slowly to regard the Arbitrator, and Crayborne could feel the raw violence contained within this man, the catalogue of blood that he had shed in his veteran days.

    "Of all of the people on this rock," said the Adjunct through his teeth, "We do not need reminding of that."

    "Then let me do my service as you have done yours, Soldier. I want to see the Commissar. Now."

    One of these days, Vailon Crayborne would suffer for his brashness. But, Emperor willing, it would not be today.
  11. The haggard looking guardsman turns to Venris, a tired look in his eyes
    "sorry lad, ought to check with the Commissar, He'll tell you everything you need to know" the guardsman then turns back to what he was doing.
    It is clear you need to go see the Commissar to learn anything

    as Guilliman entered the tent, he heard the 'chick-chick' of a weapon being cocked and saw the quartermaster pointing a vicious looking boltgun at his face
    "Unless Ye've got a signed writ froom the Commissar i cannae give ye anythin'" he says, the weapon remaining pointed at you.
    it is clear that you have to go see the Commissar in order to get any supplies.

    The Adjunct, a short, stocky man, acrid smoke wafting from the cigar clamped between his teeth looked to the Arbitrator and the Tech Preist, a look of dismay on his face
    "Your all the Inquisitor sent? you two?" his eyes betray the dismay and disbeleif his voice tried to hide.

    Cain stepped off the lighter with a mix of relief and anxiety, though he followed Crayborne to the Commissar's office, keeping a fair distance to avoid any retaliation for the Arbitrator's comments falling upon him.
    as the Adunct spoke, Cain smiled weakly
    "No, we are but two of five, the others dally and tarry where we do not, they will be along shortly" he said, the machine like undertone in his voice making the man grimace with distaste

    "Right, well wait here until they do, the Commissar's a busy man, and I'll not have you two wasting his time" the Adjunct replied, stifling any rebuttal of Crayborne's with a withering glare
    "And dont you even think about trying any of that 'righteous arbitrator, inquisitoral arbitrator' crap with me, else the inquisition will find itself one acolyte short" the Adjunct taps the holster at his side for emphasis.

  12. "No, it's good to be cautious."
  13. [​IMG]

    "Keep those lights steady!" rasped Crayborne as he pushed past the others. Slinging his shotgun and staff across his back, he stooped down and sought the first handhold. His weight had increased thanks to the bandolier of shotgun rounds he now wore, but it was better to be slowed down than outgunned in the darkness to which they were bound.

    With the others illuminating the space below, the wiry Arbitrator found his way down. The air seemed to grow hotter, the sense of oppression deepening, every inch of darkness another brick in the coffin.

    Just like home... just like the choking darkness of the mining world, where he had struggled like a rat to prevail over the trampled corpses of his family and friends.

    There was always another tunnel... another way to outfox what you despised and leave the weaker vermin bleeding in the darkness...

    And it was almost enough... his nostalgia was almost enough to suppress the tangible horror that emanated from this place. But the great stone that now blocked the light behind them, the downcast heads of the Gorgonid people, the plasma batteries that stood watch, and the death-stare of the Commissar... these were things that could not be ignored.

    Some of them would not be coming back from this...

    Releasing the final handhold, Crayborne dropped the last few feet into the lower tunnel. He landed squarely and unslung his shotgun, directing the bayonet-light down the next passageway.

    "Hurry up," he muttered to his comrades above.
  14. After Crayborne made his decent Guilliman stepped up to the drop. He pulled his robe around himself to fend off some of the chill and slung his staff across his back as best he could.

    “A little light arbitrator.” he called down as he tried to find handholds in the darkness.

    He wondered what horrors waited for then deep in the tunnels, from what the commissar had said it sounded grim, possibly heretics following the path of chaos and decay. If this was so then the emperor's light would purge them. It was right for them to seal the tunnel none would escape the purge.
  15. Venris had begun climbing down to where the passage continued, with the aid of his clip harness, just after Guilliman. As he descended, he felt his foot slip on one of the handholds. Luckily he was able to grab another handhold, before he could plummet to his own demise.

    "Emperor's bowels!" He gripped the handhold better, "That was too close for comfort!"

    He paused for a bit before continuing his decent.
  16. Lucius fought off the urge to laugh. "Just a century"
  17. Astorath smiled. "Here take your sister."

    Lucius picked up the Melody and smiled. "Hi Mel-Mel," Lucius whispered as he walked away.
  18. Venris winced as Cain's jump came up short and he hit the wall. He decided he'd jump before checking on the adept. He stepped back three metres, and thumbed his palm before he broke into his run. Just as he was about to make the jump, he tripped on a rock and fell into the pit, uttering, "Aw, frak!"

    (OOC: Venris takes 11 damage, and is at 3 wounds.)
  19. The psyker leaped across the gap landing on the other side, a little unstedily but he had made it.
  20. "And I'm sorry." He leaned over and kissed her softly on the lips.