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Maugan Ra
2012-10-12, 11:44 AM
Astropathic communication is an imprecise art. Legends tell that once, in mankind's distant past, interstellar communication was fast and reliable, with little chance of ever being intercepted en route. If there was ever any truth to the legends, that reliability has long since been lost, replaced by an army of blind seers that shout into the churning maelstrom of the Warp with their minds, even as they listen in turn for inbound messages.

There is no way for an Astropath to predict who will pick up on their transmissions, no way to narrow the target area beyond the broadest swathe of space. Instead, they use ciphers, attaching codes and embedding encryption into even the most innocuous of messages, so that only the intended recipients can read them. An un-encoded transmission can only mean an indiscriminate broadcast, usually a boastful declaration or a cry for help. Today, it is the latter.

It is recieved by Carlyle Blackthorne, bonded Astropath to the Xanatov trading dynasty, as he meditates in his quarters on board the mighty Battlecruiser Castle Xanatov. The ship has stopped over in Footfall, berthing amid the tangled mess of dozens of chained asteroids that back up this frontier port. Essential provisions are being loaded on board, and the other ships here are giving the ominous bulk of your vessel a wide berth. The message is somewhat indistinct, but it is thankfully repeated, and the Astropath believes he can interpret the gist of it.

TRANSMITTED: Damaris
DESTINATION: Wide-projection Astropathic transmission.
AUTHOR: Governor of Damaris: Honorable Lord Belkan Kapak, 20th heir of the Damaris throne, Lion of the Highland Fields.

+++BEGIN MESSAGE+++

To all available Imperial and affiliated Rogue Trader vessels within range. Being a loyal system to His most Holy Majesty, the Emperor of Man, Governor Kapak requests the aid and succor of the Imperial fleet against the xenos threat known as the Ork.
Damaris is preparing to resist an invasion by the wretched green skins, who are massing outside of the system. We ask for any assistance in the form of ships, supplies, manpower, arms and expertise so that we might protect one of the Emperor's worlds from the depredation of this horrid and unclean horde.
Governor Kapak in his most magnanimous foresight promises to reward any such aid with the wealth of his planet. Know that Damaris is a rich world, and will reward her allies greatly.

+++END MESSAGE+++

Lucretia
2012-10-12, 12:16 PM
The bridge of the Castle Xanatov was peculiar in comparison to other Imperial bridges. Where brass and gold were the common colour palette, the Castle was adorned in dark blues and blacks. The floors were shiny, a sheet of obsidian with a strange invisible polymer to prevent slipping. Across the gigantic room, bridge crew worked in a low din, communicating information concerning the various subsystems and calibrating the firing auspexes. Light music (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrnmgMdvI6U\) moved through the bridge nearer to the Bridge-Throne. The main plotting table of the Castle Xanatov, displaying various hololithic information, was in a great circle with a small crescent removed from one side -- an area that the Bridge-Throne could move into at the touch of a sigil. At the moment, information from Footfall -- including a three-dimensional projection of the port, with small lines branching out into the air to connect to other projections that held known information -- in addition to financial information pertinent to House Xanatov was being displayed. During battle, the normal light blue lines would turn green and display everything within a few astronomical units of the ship.

The Bridge-Throne was indeed in the crescent of the plotting table at present. Orange reports swirled before the Lady-Captain, commerce information mostly. She was in the process of attempting to secure a few additional facilities on the Castle, finishing the first stage of the renovation. Anatazya believed she could get what she wanted from Footfall, but until she ventured off the ship and investigated for herself, it would be the realm of possibility.

She clicked on the microbead in the Bridge-Throne, selecting the private vox of the Confessor. "Ulrich, are you busy? I'm going to need an escort shortly, and your skillful way with words would be a delightful addition to my task."

Donan
2012-10-12, 12:42 PM
Elsewhere in the ship, Ulrich Von Lichetenstein stood within the temple to His Most Holy Majesty, the God Emperor of all Mankind. The temple was as grand as any such hallowed hall should be, with statues of saints lining either side of it, and interspaced with stained glass windows that told stories of said saints and their undying devotion to the Emperor. The fact of being within a spaceship meant nothing, artful lights set behind the windows to eternally show them in all their full glory.

The benches that lined the hall before Ulrich were crowded with the faithful, many of them forced to stand on the sides due to the lack of available seating. Behind the Confessor stood a great viewport, designed with care so it appeared as if nothing stood between the hall and the void that was spoken of as His domain. During Warp travel, it would be sealed, but for now it displayed the universe gladly.

"And remember, men and women of the Imperium, that even as we travel into the vast dark that waits beyond the holy light Humanity has bought to the stars, that the God Emperor travels with us! He rests in our heats, in our very souls, and I have no doubts that everyone of us will please Him and spread the glory and purity of Mankind to wherever we may go! Let your courage and devotion continue, and know that all in this room will always hold my deep, and undying respect!"

He bowed his head in silent prayer, giving the assembled their own chance to react, before smiling and stepping off the pedestal, to take and sip from a glass of water, out of sight of the worshippers. As his vox chimed, he listened and then tapped it to respond. ++Lady Captain. I'm both honoured and deeply pleased that you'd wish me for such a role. I'll make my way to the bridge immediately.

Do you wish for any of the good men and women of the Castle to accompany you?++ He turned, heading towards the nearest turbolift with direct access to the bridge, a touch of his signet ring to the access panel causing the machine spirits within to recognise him and to allow him entry.

Stepping inside he waited patiently as it ascended the mighty battlecruiser, before striding forth onto the bridge and approaching Anatazya, at which point he bowed deeply. "Lady Captain, you called on me?" Dressed in his formal robes, Ulrich displayed the holy symbols of Empire and Emperor on his clothing, as well as the crest of both his own noble house, and of House Xanatov, to show his dedication and pledge to them. Finally, his sword of office was strapped to his waist.

cgrela
2012-10-12, 01:00 PM
Sigma-3092 stood atop the catwalk, peering down at vast river of plasma flowing into the drives. Here in the central engineerium, he could feel the presence of Castle Xanatov's machine spirit. This ship was a hallowed work of art, a testament to the glories of mankind and the power of the Machine God. The Confessor may stand proud in his temple, but here, the Cult Mechanicus was supreme. Sigma-3092 felt a surge of pride, watching the lesser tech-priest scurry around at his bidding. They could perform the lesser rites of propitiation to the machine spirits necessary to keep the ship functioning, but only he had been raised high as Enginseer Prime, allowed to commune directly with the Castle Xanatov and satisfy the ancient systems therein. A glyph on the hololithic display at his right hand blinked softly "Delta-1240, your ministrations to Conduit 1928, Deck 6, Aft were not conducted properly. I shall be merciful and allow you try again. Abase yourself to the machine spirit, and you shall be forgiven." Sigma-3092 turned away, and began striding towards the lift that would take him to the command bridge, two lesser enginseers at his back.

Lucretia
2012-10-12, 01:04 PM
"I imagine the Enforcer would be a worthwhile companion. If I remember correctly, he has something he'd like to go shopping for. And if we're going to obtain some of the items I have in mind, his inspection may be very valuable to me. But unless any of the other officers request my presence for the purposes of working out a fair deal, I don't believe we'll be accompanied by anyone else." Taz spoke in the same simple Low Gothic with the definite accent of High Gothic around the edges. Switching the input to Luff's channel while maintaining audio from the Confessor, Taz began to speak.

"Enforcer Budregard, are you occupied at the moment? I'm about to head into Footfall and I wouldn't mind an escort. I believe there were some things you were interested in obtaining? And your expertise in things militant will be useful in my negotiations, I believe."

Donan
2012-10-12, 01:11 PM
"As it is wished for, august Lady Captain." Ulrich bowed, tapping his own vox. "Baldwick? Be so kind as to bring my flamer to the teleportarium if you please." He smiled polietly at Anatazya. "While it would shock me if any low ruffian dared to try and bring harm to your body, I know something of the crowd that has taken a presence on the world below. I assure you, any who'd seek to bring you harm would find themselves quickly sent to face Judgement from the God Emperor Himself."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 01:47 PM
Luff Budregard is inspecting some of the ship's weapons batteries when a vox comes in from Captain Xanatov.

"Enforcer Budregard, are you occupied at the moment? I'm about to head into Footfall and I wouldn't mind an escort. I believe there were some things you were interested in obtaining? And your expertise in things militant will be useful in my negotiations, I believe."

"I am occupied, but not with anything terribly urgent. I will be there shortly." Luff replied through his microbead. He turned to his subordinates. "Men, I will be leaving with the captainfob a short while. While I am away I expect you to keep this place shipshape and up to my most stringent standards. Make me proud. Dismissed." After exchanging crisp salutes with his men. Luff heads to the bridge at a swift walking pace.

...

Luff arrives on the bridge a few minutes later, in his usual attire of polished carapace armor. Two straps come from over his shoulders and cross on top of his chest. Two autopistols rest firmly in holsters attached to the straps, along with several clips of ammo. Around his waist is a utility belt, from which hang several items, most notably a pair of laspistols, a mono-sword, and ten grenades. Strapped to his back are a hellgun and shotgun. All of his weapons are arranged such that they can easily be drawn at a moment's notice. And of course, they have been polished to a sheen.

The quick, efficient steps of Luff's polished armored boots echo across the vast bridge chamber. He comes to a halt before the command throne, offering the captain a crisp, formal military salute. "Captain."

cgrela
2012-10-12, 02:01 PM
Clanks and hisses presage the arrival of the Adeptus Mechancius onto the bridge. Sigma-3092 shuffles in, followed by two other tech-priests. Coming to stop before the command-throne, he speaks. My Lady-Captain, I have come tell you of the state of your vessel. He offers a data-slate, then turns to look at Luff. Are we preparing for battle?

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 02:06 PM
Luff turns to regard Sigma-3092. "Not that I am aware of. I am under the impression that we are simply making a brief landfall Footfall for some negotiations. I am being asked to come as an escort for my militant expertise."

Lucretia
2012-10-12, 02:51 PM
Anatazya looked up from the commerce charts and nodded to the assembling officers, mentally noting that she would need to replace the calculance cogitators. Their figures were off in the projections. "Hello, Enforcer! Thank you for coming. And thank you, Confessor. Enginseer, Enforcer Budregard is correct. I am interested in acquiring a munitorium and barracks, perhaps murder-servitors if they can be found. I believe the Enforcer's superior knowledge of combat and tactics will enable us to avoid being swindled. Since it would be his demesne, of sorts, I hope he will deign to inspect these additions before the transfer of funds is complete.

"The Confessor is here because he is a subtle negotiator, and I believe he will be of use to the process of securing these compartments. I trust that the enginarium has all that it needs? You mentioned wishing to inform me of the state of my vessel."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 03:05 PM
Luff nods. "Of course, Lady Xanatov. But if we are "going shopping", so to speak, there is a certain something I have been looking for for myself..."

Lucretia
2012-10-12, 03:14 PM
Tazya also nodded before activating a sigil. Beneath the floor, some archaic process moved the throne tracklessly across to its original location a few meters from the plotting table. With another touch, the commerce information went away and the entire hololithic table showed Footfall. "Of course. Would you care for me to be present during the negotiations?"

cgrela
2012-10-12, 03:17 PM
Yes, my Lady. The Enginarium is fully supplied with all major components, and the fuel for the plasma drives is being refilled as we speak. The state of the ship as a whole is decent, though the damage sustained from millenia bound within a gravity well still shows. Many portions off the the underdeck are in ill-repair, though the scum that inhabits these areas likely cares not for the state of their surroundings.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 03:17 PM
Luff nods. "Yes. Your presence should help to ensure that things move along smoothly."

Lucretia
2012-10-12, 03:25 PM
To the Enginseer, Tazya did a quick mental calculation. "I trust your techpriests will continue their repairs of the ship as a whole, but focusing on the armaments of battle will be necessary. The greatest avenue for profit and moving forward is to ply our trade as mercenaries of a sort. Thus the barracks, munitorium and murder-servitors -- we should be able to find work routing pirates or reestablishing contact with systems late with their tithes. To that end, the augurs, weaponry and armour will be of paramount importance. I do not doubt that you know this already, but as my late mother once warned me, it is better to reiterate than regret. Now, if there's nothing else Prime Enginseer, we will depart for Footfall."

To Luff, presuming the Enginseer did not in fact have anything else to say, Anatazya smiled while standing up and began to walk towards the lift that would take them to the teleportarium. "I look forward to it. I do hope I haven't lost my touch with face to face bartering, though... it has been a while."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 03:39 PM
"I have confidence in your negotiating skills, Captain."

Donan
2012-10-12, 04:05 PM
Ulrich smiles to both Luff and the Enginseer, though the gesture is more formal and less friendly in the case of the latter. "Enforcer, Enginseer. A pleasure to meet you both. We were, indeed, preparing for a little jaunt to the planet below, to pave our way for the ventures to come. An excursion I will greatly enjoy, of course, despite the nature of the world below us."

He falls into step behind Anatazya, in a adjacent position that displays a supporting role. "I feel confident, Lady Captain, in expressing that you have lost none of your considerable charm."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 05:03 PM
Luff turns to look at Ulrich. "Ah, Missionary. Good to meet you as well. Perhaps there are a few souls on that blighted world that you might be able to turn to the Emperor, yes?"

Donan
2012-10-12, 05:09 PM
Ulrich nods brightly. "Indeed, with time I am sure many could be saved. But the void we enter is vast indeed, and rooted trees take much time to grow and develop. Perhaps some seeds can be planted and tended to over time. We will see what He provides us with."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 05:31 PM
"Indeed we shall."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-12, 09:41 PM
The teleportation to Footfall is completed easily enough, depositing you on one of the main thoroughfares of the ramshackle city-port. Hundreds upon hundreds of people throng the passageways all around you, filling the air with the sound of their conversations and footsteps ringing off of metal plates, and while a few make mildly disparaging remarks about the sort of people who use a teleporter for shore leave, no one seems to pay you too much attention right away.

You do notice that not everyone here is human. Indeed, standing merely a few metres away is a gaggle of aliens - the slender limbed, quill-headed Kroot. The avian lifeforms seem to be studying you, heads twitching from side to side in curiosity. Then again, they're watching everyone else as well.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-12, 10:14 PM
Luff growls softly, almost inaudibly, to himself. "Xenos scum." he mutters under his breath.

More loudly, he says, "Captain, I suggest we not linger here, particularly after such an ostentatious entrance. Many are those who would rob and murder us here." He adds a brief but pointed glance at the Kroot.

Baveboi
2012-10-13, 12:56 AM
With a snap of his head, Carlyle locks Iraduro in his gaze. "What is it, my brother? What do you see/what does the void says/what has been spoken into you?" Carlyle's mouth open, but no sound comes out. What he said was for his acolyte alone, not wanting to break the concentration of the others. "Ira, talk to me. Focus on my presence, my mind is your safe harbor/trust me/I am with you, brother." Iraduro's hollowed gaze fix into his mentor and friend for the briefest of moments. The men stationed to watch over them whisper in dread of the warpcraft being practiced, but remain quiet out of terror. Ira's orifices are showering the room with light, speaking in tongues weird sounding and wrong and attracting more than necessary attention from the black coats watching their every step. They were good and humble people serving in the great Castle Xanatov, but they scare too easily. Best not poke the hornet's nest without good reason. They raise their guns shyly anyway, ready to crap their pantaloons. Iraduro's gaze falls back again to the floor. For a long and torturous moment nothing happens until Master Blackthrone breaks the silence and move out of his position as the astral focus. With his mortal voice he pledges "the captain. I must speak with her." The black coats don't question him. They take Carlyle out of the room to the Bridge-Throne, a lovely 25 standard minutes trip, but they escort him to the very end. Being the strongest psyker in the room inspire a lot of fear and respect from your fellow men.

Upon entrance of the Castle's core, Carlyle's face brightens once more. The cacophony of emotions badly hidden by discipline and routine and the hellish shrieking of static in his fragile ears are the welcoming card of the bridge for one such as he. The harmonious yet strident sound of background music do little to cover the terrifying torture that is the command crew's job. Only one holy presence could ever force such a fickle creature like a psyker to indulge in this self-inflicted pain; and she wasn't here. Grimacing, Carlyle turn to face the black coat beside him and demands an explanation with a voice dripping in disappointment. However, he didn't have time to form a coherent answer before a commanding officer in the bridge, presumably the Mistress of Aetheriks, saved his skin from the undivided attention of an angry psyker. She reported to Carlyle that the main command have taken to the teleportarium for landfall and that by now should be arriving anytime now.

Dealing with the warp is stressing beyond reason and puts the Captain in enough risk by teleporting without involving a meddling astropath trying to psychically reach her while making landfall. He made his mind to wait for any contact from Lady Xanatov and her crew first, be it by long-reach vox casting or other arcane method, before he relayed his important message. If the Governor of Damaris has survived until now, he can surely entertain the greenskins a little bit longer. Lady Xanatov just must be in some sort of important errand of diplomatic nature and disturbing her would be treason by itself.
"Her needs comes first, my good Lord Belkan Kapak. You just have to wait."

____
I write too much.

Donan
2012-10-13, 02:08 AM
One of the numerous servants who fills the Castle is duitfully waiting for Ulrich before the party beams down to the surface, the noble graciously allowing the man to set the flamer and its fuel tank on his back.

The ancient archotech engages and he takes a moment to shake off the lingering dizziness he finds from it, focusing on the scene before them. He nods at Luff and hefts his flamer meaningfully as he regards the Kroot.

"Begone foul Xenos! Remove your low presence from the esteemmed sight of Lady-Captain Anatazya Serafina Ezgin Xanatov!"

A performance meant more for the ears around them then the Kroot themselves. It would be easier to find others to trade with if their presence on the port became known.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 02:16 AM
The Kroot chatter amongst themselves for a moment, turning to face you and spreading out slightly. Their odd biology gives all of their movements a sort of twitchy grace, like coiled springs. None of them aim weapons, but their crude rifles are all held casually ready.

"We stood here first, human." one of them says to you in passable Low Gothic. "We see no need to remove ourselves."

Almost immediately, a small space clears around you, the various inhabitants of the frontier station feeling the building tension and instinctively giving it room. A few are watching with interest to see how it turns out.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-13, 02:22 AM
Luff's rifle, ever at the ready, comes into his hands. He backs up somewhat, to take advantage of his weapon's long range, should fighting break out.

He voxes the Captain and the Confessor. "Much as I would enjoy slaughtering xenos scum here, I fear that we might bite off perhaps more than we could chew. There is no doubt we would prevail over the xenos, but many scum would seek to take advantage of our subsequent weaknes. I suggest we refrain from combat."

Of course, Luff didn't feel the need to add that there was hardly much glory in gunning down a handful of scum at such a wretched place as this.

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 02:27 AM
Lifting the white-xenofur trimmed cloak over her head, surrounded by a retinue of some of her bridge crew and perhaps a dozen men-at-arms, Lady Xanatov began to make her way through Footfall. There was no profit to be had with interaction with the kroot standing there. She had instructed that the teleportarium bring them to the markets, or near enough. She was searching for a man to buy a munitorium from.

Modular ship additions were a beautiful thing. If she could locate the appropriate individuals, it would take nary two weeks to get what she needed installed in the Castle. Each step she took brought a low ring as heels met metal. Presumably there would be a din as the prospect of a fight dwindled. If not, the heels would probably be quite audible.

The dress she wore didn't have a train to it, but the velvet cloak swept behind her, white fur bristling in contrast against the royal blue. Her house was currently destitute, most of the holdings diminished. But Tazya still possessed the wardrobe from her previous life. She delighted in such petty things.

Shall we expedite things and cut to the various rolling and then montage, or would you rather do this scene-by-scene, so to speak?

Henry the 57th
2012-10-13, 02:36 AM
Luff followed the lady captain, rifle in hand. He eyed the Kroot nervously as they passed, but as long as they made no attempt to attack, he made no such attempt. He was, as always, wearing his beloved polished carapace armor, but if he had his way, he'd be leaving in something else altogether...

I'd rather just do the rolls and montage.

Donan
2012-10-13, 02:38 AM
Ulrich hefted his flamer, bypassing the party of Kroot without further comment and once again falling into step with the rest of the party.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 02:43 AM
The Kroot make no effort to impede your progress further, and you find your way to the market district easily enough.

Word travels fast around here, it seems, as almost as soon as you arrive the various merchants and their representatives do their best to court your attention with offers and promises of quality. And with that, the dance of commerce begins once more.

(Yeah, montage it. Post what you're looking for and the rolls in the OoC thread, along with any Commerce rolls to negotiate better prices, and we'll see what you can find).

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 03:36 AM
The first order of business is to visit the local 'Mechanicus' vendor. With the calculance array in disarray, Lady Xanatov needed the cogitators repaired or replaced. The discredited tech...individual was savvy, she gave him that much. Her not-inconsiderable commercial skills were put to the test, but ultimately she arrived at a satisfactory amount -- a few zeros short of where he had wanted.

From there, she visited a different sort of vendor. While Anatazya built an excellent rapport with the merchant, she found herself at a minor advantage and ultimately couldn't come to a satisfactory arrangement for the gastric bionics. It was a pity, too -- in her line of work, one could never be too careful with what they consumed. There were also a pair of cybernetic eyes she was particularly fond of, but the negotiations were remarkably one-sided -- in the favor of the vendor. Tazya made an offer, but was rebuffed -- and with that, she left the venue.

Thereafter she moved to one of the stranger shops. The modular ship compartments venue had the unwashed air of sleaze circulating through it. Every surface seemed grimy, even though it was most assuredly cleaned to promote the facade of a legitimacy. The very essence of the business practices manifested here. It was a most disturbing place. Tazya realized as soon as she stepped into the shop that the cloak would need to be laundered heavily, if not simply burned. There was an indelible quality to the place that she didn't care to have near her.

The vendor himself had the savviness to attempt to out-maneuver the Lady-Captain of the Castle, but as the negotiations continued on he found himself increasingly in a hole of his own design. As he leveraged favors and contacts, the man learned how connected the House Xanatov had once been -- and as the conversation continued, slowly slipped from the brash, energetic salesman into a wearied vendor content to take whatever he was offered. The negotiations went as perfectly as Anatazya could have hoped for -- and with a few transfers of thrones, while still not insignificant, the man had found he'd given up a modular munitorium, medicae bay and even a cache of murder-servitors.

At the behest of Luff, she engaged in discussion with the vendor of a las cannon and another who held a suit of power armour. While the negotiations with the seller of the cannon went well, no price could be arrived at -- likewise, a poorly timed misunderstanding of customs between the Lady Xanatov and the seller of the power armour caused general dismay for both parties, although a reasonable price was agreed upon.

Donan
2012-10-13, 04:01 AM
Ulrich took some time to himself to engage in trade, making his way through shops of varying repute. A practical minded stall provided goggles, a rebreather, and.. with Ulrich sensing the vendor was holding something back and succeding in charming the young woman, finding it held a assualt flamer for more exclusive customers.

Being such himself, an agreement was made and thrones changed hands, Ulrich contining by visiting a rundown medical facility that nevertheless, was able to provide him a small case of de-tox, for when a crisis showed itself. He also inquired about the holy book the owner possessed, and the man, down on his luck, was persuaded to part with it for a small number of coins.

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 09:51 AM
Damaris is preparing to resist an invasion by the wretched green skins, who are massing outside of the system... ships, supplies, manpower, arms and expertise so that we might protect... Know that Damaris is a rich world, and will reward her allies greatly.

It had been an interesting vox transmission. Damaris was looking for ships, supplies, manpower, arms and expertise. Anatazya had the ship already -- she had a great deal of trust in the Castle Xanatov. Expertise came in the form of Luff, primarily, although many would be useful towards that end. Supplies, arms, manpower though, on those fronts she would have difficulty. But this was Footfall, land of mercenaries.

Perhaps more importantly, mercenary contract brokers.

"Confessor, Enforcer, are either of you familiar with contract brokers? The notion, not specific individuals. I would be interested in ascertaining the location of one such person."

She then clicked her microbead. "Officer Nehk-Xanatov, please inform the bosun and steward that a shipment of modules will be arriving. Please also pass along the message to the Enginseer Prime. He should be apprised of the situation, especially the additional power draw. We'll also be taking on a shipment of murder-servitors and medical supplies for the medicae deck. Inform security of the need for improved oversight during this time."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-13, 10:18 AM
Luff took some time to seek out the power armor he had so badly been wanting. Lady Xanatov's help in this matter proved less crucial than expected, although he wisely refrained from saying so to her. He was disappointed by the inability to find upgrades for his new armor's helm. Fortunately, it seems that the God Emperor was smiling on him that day, as he was almost immediately thereafter able to find a pair of contacts that did what he had been seeking to get his helmet to do - allow him to see perfectly in the dark. Furthermore, he found the perfect way to record his exploits, so that all could see: a servo-skull. He immediately set about purchasing the helpful little device.

When Lady Xanatov asked her question, he responded, I am somewhat familiar with the idea, Captain."

Winthrow
2012-10-13, 12:09 PM
Watching the astropath depart the bridge Victris shook his head, the psykers may have the Emperors blessing and provide a valuable service yet it always made his skin crawl how they could skirt heresy and perform the impossible. Striding across the strange polymer making up the floor of the Castle's bridge he made straight for the vox station, ordering the junior officer out of the way.Orks... The word rolled around in his mind, bringing back echoes of screams and explosions from the corners of his memory. Taking a deep breath he sat down letting the comforting ritual of operating the vox soothe his nerves as he sent the message on to the Captain.

The message sent he leant back, his cool blue eyes moving from station to station around the bridge. Despite most of the stations being dormant while they were docked at the station there was a fair number of crew at their station, monitoring the various systems of the large ship. Anatazya's crew was competent enough for a trader vessel, yet he missed the crisp Naval efficency from the bridge of the Greywolf. Straightening the lapels of his naval uniform he waited patiently, knowing that the he would not have long to wait. The junior fidgeted just a few paces away, knowing better than trying to leave the bridge during her shift, yet clearly wise enough not attempt to reclaim her station from the Master of Etherics.

'A governor pleading for aid, promising the riches of an entire world, there is no way that Anastazya will let such an opportunity slip her by, yet she has never fought orks, never seen the sheer savage...' The crackle of the vox interrupted his train of thought as he listened to the brief instructions, acknowledging the orders. Switching to the ships internal communications he swiftly contacted the Bosun and Steward, instructing them to prepare crews for loading the new supplies and increasing the security around the loading bays while these transfers were taking place. Finally surrendering the station back to the vox officer he departed the bridge, confident that the crew could patch any incoming signals on to him.

Keying his microbead he used it to connect to the highest ranking tech-priest on the ship.'Engineseer Prime, the Captain bids me inform you that she has secured a shipment of modules for the improvement of our vessel that will begin arriving shortly. Their installment and balancing the increased powerdraw is a task best suited to yourself and your fellow techpriests.' Caressing the polished grip of his boltgun as he stalked down the corridor towards the loading bay, the increased weight of the fireselector still throwing off his balance somewhat.

Donan
2012-10-13, 01:03 PM
Ulrich ruefully shook his head. "While I retain many contacts within the Imperium's armed forces, Lady-Captain, I've far less personal experience with such contract brokers. I do, however, know something of the concept, and I believe I could be an asset in any dicussion, albeit, a relatively inexperiened one."

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 01:06 PM
She nodded. "Then let us attempt to find someone appropriate for the task." She began to move with the honor guard through the streets, attempting to find a broker.

I'm not sure what sort of check it would be.

Baveboi
2012-10-13, 04:11 PM
Carlyle's patience is known to be inexhaustible. Being a freak even among the freaks he was treated specially in the Scholastia Psykana. He learned, with time, to wait for an opportunity before bothering others with his unnerving presence. But enough is enough.

Opening his link of the comm-bead to the bridge the Astropath asks permission to talk with the Vox-Master. "Master Victri, do we have signal on our Lady Captain? Send her a message that her overburden attention is sorely needed for some matters at hand. We received... a distressing message, after all. Can you do that for her?" As always, Carlyle's voice sounds fake and glassy through the vox communication, but better to use the safe devices than to thread carelessly around warp techniques. When it comes to warp, no one is ever truly safe.

A last message was sent to the Vox-Master, but no one else beside Victri could ever hear it. "Please, I will be in your dept. Do not tard/hurry/we might not have much time.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 05:25 PM
A bit of searching leads the party to an individual known as Colonel Jameson, who reputedly manages security and defense contracts on Footfall itself. By all accounts, he keeps track of every large, armed force to pass through the station, and performs well enough to be trusted as an impartial mediator by many. A few cautious messages, and he agrees to meet you at a small restaurant on one of the outer docking rings, where he apparently does most of his business.

The restaurant is surprisingly high quality for its location, a quiet and dignified establishment tucked just out of sight of the busiest thoroughfares. The staff appear to have been expecting you, and escort you promptly through to a private room at the back.

The Colonel is a lean, pale man in dull grey fatigues. Most of the left side of his face is covered by extensive scarring, evidently left by some kind of claw, and when he stands to greet you it is apparent that his left leg is a cybernetic replacement. Still, he is polite enough through the introductions, even if you can't help but note the four storm-troopers waiting behind him in full carapace plate.

"Good afternoon, Lady-Captain. You are in the market for a professional mercenary force, I understand. Please, sit, and let us discuss specifics."

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 05:41 PM
Anatazya took her hood off as soon as she entered the restaurant, the careful braid still hanging down her back. The restaurant itself was lovely, she had to admit -- it was several magnitudes superior to anything she had ever expected to find on Footfall. As the staff moved the retinue through, she thought she detected the scent of grox with pepper and mustard -- a minimalist dish, but given the surroundings, undoubtedly delicious. As the Colonel stood, she bowed her head and smiled at him. "Thank you for meeting us under such short notice, Colonel." One of the men-at-arms took her heavy cloak, revealing the expensive but understated dress beneath. The large platinum choker she wore sparkled in the light of the private room.

"You are correct, sir. I have been contacted most recently concerning a certain situation that could be extremely lucrative. You have no doubt received word of the battlecruiser sitting in berth? The Castle Xanatov. We have a barracks aboard, which currently sits empty. I am looking to fill it with mercenaries who are keen on protecting the Imperium, butchering orks, and perhaps most importantly, making astounding piles of thrones."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 06:17 PM
Jameson nods slowly, and you can practically see the calculations running through his mind. "Orks, you say? Yes, I know of several forces that would be quite suited to that task. A few questions, then, to help me narrow down the possibilities."

A waiter comes in and presents you both with a bottle of fine wine, which the Colonel pours into a pair of glasses. He sips from his own and makes a small noise of appreciation. "Firstly, how do you feel about non-human troops? The Kroot, as an example, make excellent Ork hunters, but they would not be recommended if you intended to spend a great deal of time within the Imperium. Secondly, how large a force are you looking for? Several companies only hire out in discrete units, and I would try to avoid too many constituent parts to a force."

He sets the glass back down and studies you intently for a moment. "And finally, how do you intend to pay for these soldiers? No one who commands a Battlecruiser can be too deprived of funds, but it is somewhat well known that the House Xanatov has... suffered a blow to its fortunes recently."

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 06:28 PM
Lady Xanatov accepted the glass but didn't drink from it immediately. "Given that the information I was given came from an Imperial Governor, I'm afraid I will limit myself to human and abhuman forces only. It wouldn't do for the mercenaries to find themselves being fired upon by the forces I intend to save.

"I look to fill my barracks, as to facilitate the quick travel from Footfall to our destination. We have room enough to bring whatever materiel the mercenaries desire, barring a personal Land raider for each man. As for a hard and fast number, five thousand willing soldiers.

"As for the most important question, payment, my Dynasty has many resources still at our disposal. I am willing to pay the mercenary company or companies a substantial sum initially, and will also offer to broker a deal with the Governor once we have saved his planet for long-standing contracts on behalf of the companies. Lucrative deals on top of an initial payment."

Finished, Anatazya picked the glass of wine up, swirled it, and took a tentative sip. "One must let the wine breathe, of course... if you enjoy it solely with your tongue -- or worse, your liver -- you do the vineyard a disservice."

I'm making an assumption based on the size of the barracks. I imagine it could hold 5,000 troops. If I'm wrong, I'll edit it.

I'm willing to temporarily lower my PF by 4 to represent 'payments' made to the mercenaries. Obviously, once they leave my employ, the profit factor will return -- not symbolizing some return of cash, but the removal of an expenditure. If I were to burn it, that would be the equivalent of a +40 bonus to a check -- which is why I'm hoping it will be enough. That said, I want to emphasize that I want it to be temporary. If this would require a permanent decrease in profit factor, I will not agree to it.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 07:06 PM
"An Imperial Governor, and expecting an attack by Orks... ah, Damaris." Jameson muses. "Interesting planet, though not one I've been to myself. It's not actually a member of the Imperium, technically, though it's subjects usually consider themselves Imperial Citizens. That might change when they have to start paying taxes."

He produces a data-slate and consults it for a few moment. "Hmm. Here we go. The Phoenix Wing third regiment, total strength of four and a half thousand men. Mostly infantry, but they have a decent compliment of armoured transports, and they've had a reasonable degree of experience against the Orks over the last few years. They're also known to be keen on setting up long-term arrangements, so your offer to assist with contracts on Damaris is likely to be accepted."

He looks back up at you. "They are who I would recommend for a job like this. You will, of course, still have to pay a deposit, as you mentioned. Let's see..."
And the bargaining begins.

If you want to roll an opposed commerce check against Jameson (he tests against 55), I'll use the results to calculate how much temporary profit factor you'll have to commit to this force.

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 07:12 PM
She smiled and nodded. "Thank you, that was the name. Interesting that they aren't considered a part of the Imperium, but still have a governor."

[roll0] v. 80 <- 5 DoS

I presume you'll want to roll his. Am I able to use charm to influence this?

Henry the 57th
2012-10-13, 08:51 PM
Luff speaks up. "Colonel, in your professional opinion, how do these men rank in loyalty and fighting spirit? Are they the sort to turn on us mid-battle if the other side promises them more money? Will they abandon the field the moment things look to be going poorly?"

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 08:57 PM
Tazya's face didn't change as Luff spoke. She had brought him here for his expertise in such matters -- she hadn't considered asking such a question, although that was more predicated on her doubting the orks would offer mercenaries money than on inexperience. Lady Xanatov doubted that Colonel Jameson would suggest mercenaries who were disloyal, especially with the Brotherhood's adoption of so much of the Militus Lex Legis.

"Thank you, Enforcer. I had forgotten to ask whether or not the Phoenix Wing is part of the Brotherhood."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 08:57 PM
I rolled Jameson's commerce myself. Overall result, you'd have to temporarily lose three profit factor to support the troops.

Jameson looks up at Luff, and judging by the way his eyes have gone cold, you get the impression that you might have just insulted him. "If I thought they might, I would not have recommended them to you. And Orks are not known for attempting to bribe their enemies."

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 09:02 PM
She sipped her wine again before staring into it. "There are rumors about me, Colonel. People say I massacred my family for the Warrant. Others say I merely orchestrated it -- and I once heard mention that someone believed I had killed them myself. But the truth of the matter is, I didn't have anything to do with it." Taz looked up and made eye contact with the Colonel. "I didn't survive to carry on my family's name by being careless. I apologize for the, shall we say, tact of my master-at-arms. He is paid to help ensure that the men who fight on the Castle will do so appropriately and with loyalty. It was not meant as a slight to you, sir, of that I can assure you."

EDIT: I'm fine with the temporary -3 PF.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-13, 09:07 PM
Luff stares passionlessly back, his visor concealing even the minuscule emotions he does show. "I meant no offense, Colonel. I merely sought to establish the reliability of these men - something any good commander must always take into account. And, of course, there is always the possibility that we will wind up sending them into combat with things besides Orks. Those xenos scum are hardly the only threat out here, after all. And you of all people should know that not all mercenaries are so reliable."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 09:44 PM
Jameson settles back. "I can see your concerns might be valid, yes. But who else might you be pitting them against? The contract we have been discussing has them hired to your service for precisely the course of the Damaris operation, which is against Orks."

He cricks his neck a bit, then continues in a level voice. "That said, you have my assurance that the Phoenix Wing are professional, loyal soldiers, and certainly trustworthy within the bounds of the contract."

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 09:50 PM
"I believe Enforcer Budregard may be imagining a contingency in which the situation on Damaris is not what we thought. I do not have reason to believe the Phoenix Wing will have any foe beyond the wretched greenskinned xenos, but contingencies are valuable to discuss. If you would like for the contract to limit the engagements the Phoenix Wing will take part in to only those including or exclusively comprised of orks, as opposed to simply limiting their deployment to engagements made on the way to and on the planet of Damaris, then I will observe such a clause. I do hope that such a strict drafting of the compact will not be necessary, but if it will appease the minds of the Brotherhood, I will make no objection."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-13, 09:52 PM
Luff shakes his head. "I do not know. There are a million and one dangers in the void, any of which could overtake us on the journey or on the planet. The Emperor alone knows what will happen, but I feel it's always wise to be prepared. Just in case. And I am glad we have your assurance."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-13, 09:58 PM
"The Wing are experienced mercenaries, they know that unexpected situations are a matter of course. I do not believe there will be any problems with the contract stipulating their services may be applied as necessary within the Damaris conflict. Subject to their commander's discretion, but I expect you can talk him around to anything reasonable."

Lucretia
2012-10-13, 10:02 PM
"Then I look forward to greeting the commander myself. Once our business is concluded, I will contact my Master of Etherics and inform the Castle of the materiel being brought on board."

Winthrow
2012-10-14, 12:52 PM
Heading down the endless corridors and passageways of the ship Victris passes outside the open door to a commonroom, pausing at the sound of raucous laughter. At the sound of angry voices from within he pushes the door open and look inside. Most of the people inside are gathered around one of the largest tables where a game of chance involving both cards and dice have been taking place. In the middle of the table sits a small pile of thrones, not a huge fortune but easily a months pay for one of the ratings. Two heavily muscled loaders wearing the patches of a portside macrobattery have pushed their chairs back, towering over the slimmer figure stretching across the table to collect the coin. Filthy cheat! one of the large men growls, pulling back his fist. One of the bystanders glance towards the door, noticing the immaculate uniform and bearing of Victris, his eyes going wide he lets out a startled croak Officer!

The room falls deathly quiet, only the hum of of the ventilation and the sound of Victris's steps still mar the silence as he walks into the center of the room. 'I trust you are all on your offshift.' he states calmly, keeping his attention on the trio around the table and not on the few who flinches and begins to edge towards the still open door. 'You are not on a Naval ship so I cannot have you flogged for gambling, it is allowed.' He pauses deliberately before continuing with his recital. 'For brawling you would be flogged, then assigned to a punishment detail for six months. So it is fortunate there was nothing of the sort taking place here.' Standing tall in the center of the room he wears his confidence like an invisible cloak, authority working more effectively to defuse the situation more effectively than his weapons or the threat of the Bosun's whip.

The smaller man sit slumped at the table, trying to keep his face down and not draw any attention. Too little too late however as Victris has already identified him as a scantech working one of the forward sections. 'Harmon, your reports are still coming in sloppy, redo your last one and hand it in by your next workshift or you will be reassigned. Now take your bet and be off, let whatever winnings you had remain as a fine for shoddy work.' Turning on his heel he departs the room again, once more making the men flinch under his gaze. Pausing just outside the door he waits for Harmon to gather up his things and come hurrying out, adjusting his uniform jacket. 'Harmon. If I ever learn that you use your skills and the equipment assigned to you to scam the ratings of their wages I'll personally throw you out an airlock.' The color draining from the mans face is evidence enough of his guilt as he bobs his head, offering a quick salute before scurrying off in the opposite direction. Watching him go Victris resumes his purposeful march towards the loading bays.

Stepping into one of the lift tubes for personel he indicates his desired floor just as his combead comes to life, carrying the voice of the ships Choir-master. The message in itself isn't cause for urgency but the last few words echoing inside his skull causes him to reel, ripping the pistol from its holster with an oath. Surprise turns into fury and he keys the microbead to respond.
Don't EVER contact me like that again unless it's an emergency. he snarls into the receiver. 'The Captain was informed within minutes of you leaving the bridge and is even now securing supplies.'

The doors to the lift tube opens and a group of ratings led by one of the Stewards underlings fall back in alarm at the sight of a furious officer holding a huge ornate pistol in a white-knuckled hand. Stalking past them he shoves the weapon back into its holster, finally coming up on the bustle of the prime loading bay.

Baveboi
2012-10-14, 05:03 PM
Wearing a mischievous grin Carlyle turned off the comm-bead at his ear with a curt answer for an apology to Victris. He enjoyed many chores as Choir-Master Astrotelepaticus. Teasing the crew was one of his few unrestricted pleasures, even if a dangerous one. A bullet through his head would probably kill him just as any other mortal men. At least he hoped it would. All his previous scars had disappeared, his bones had rebound and teeth regrew with the passing days. A life that would never be able to cross into the Emperor's Light, fated to float alone forever in the gnawing void of the warp, is not a joking matter. There are few things that cause true horror to Edward Carlyle Blackthrone and immortality is the worst of them.

Breaking from his musing and dreading the Choir-Master resumed his service. He briefly remembered Master Victris shocked reaction and that grin came back to his quivering lips uninvited. Of all the emotions he can feel from others fear was one of the most sweetly sick and invigorating. To his shame he enjoyed the memory a little longer before shutting it into the darkness corners of his head with all the others.

Donan
2012-10-14, 05:13 PM
Ulrich smiles keenly, nodding. "I'm looking forward to having them onboard, Colonel, Lady Captain." He looks to the man to explain. "I had the honour of serving with His Majesty's Imperial Navy for a duration of my life, and it was during the course of that service that I ha the pleasure of meeting the good Lady-Captain.

I'll do what I can to make sure they're settle and well." He chuckles quietly. "I'm a simple man my friends, and the complexities of such war and contracts are beyond me. What I hope I can do, to aid you both, is to give them my time and energies once they're onboard."

Lucretia
2012-10-14, 05:29 PM
"Oh, thank you Confessor." Looking from Ulrich back to the Colonel, Taz added, "I may be indisposed during the running of the Castle. Would it be acceptable for the Confessor to act as liaison to the Phoenix Wing? I would't want to insult them inadvertently, and the Confessor could reach me if the Commander of the Wing required me directly."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-14, 06:45 PM
"And perhaps you could help their souls as well, eh Confessor?" says Luff with a slight smile. Of course, he wouldn't be able to see that underneath Luff's face-concealing visor.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-14, 08:00 PM
"Your choice of a liaison officer is, of course, entirely up to you. Still, I believe that's everything done to a satisfactory degree. I will contact the Wing and confirm their appointment myself, they will likely be ready for embarkation inside of twelve hours."

Colonel Jameson stands and offers you his hand. "A pleasure doing business with you, Lady-Captain."

Lucretia
2012-10-14, 08:16 PM
She accepted it with a smile. "I will speak highly of you, Colonel. You've far outdone my expectations for Footfall." Presuming there was nothing else and that they were shown to the door, Taz would contact the Castle.

"Officer Nehk-Xanatov, please also notify the chief bosun, steward and security personnel that we will be taking on four thousand five hundred mercenaries and their materiel in roughly twelve hours. Furthermore, please signal the teleportarium that I am prepared to leave Footfall." Turning to the Confessor and Enforcer, she said, "if either of you have any additional business to perform on Footfall, say so now -- I'll have the teleportarium not target your beacons immediately."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-14, 08:37 PM
Luff thinks about it for a moment. "I do not believe I have any such business now, Captain Xanatov."

Donan
2012-10-15, 03:51 AM
Ulrich nodded in turn. "I believe I've completed everything I wished to, Lady Captain."

Winthrow
2012-10-15, 08:16 AM
Standing on an elevated walkway Victris watched the barely controlled chaos of the loading bay. An obviously inexperienced operator had managed to back his cargo sentinel in between two high stacks of crates and now couldn't get out without risking overbalancing them both. In another corner a stack of steel piping destined for the enginarium had broken open and spilled across the deck in a disorganized mess, a group of ratings attempting to manhandle them back along the wall before the slowed down the next shipment already coming through the airlock. Despite these setbacks the Steward seemed to have the proceedings well in hand and with the Bosun and his men turning back any of the dockworkers trying to wander deeper into the ship. An armed guard watched over the stores of fine Amasec headed for the officers mess, meeting the ratings longing glances with flat, belligerent stares.

The incoming signal pulled his attention away from the proceedings and he listened to the brief message, sending a few messages on before responding. 'Captain Xanatov, the priests in the Teleportarium are currently performing rites to appease the machine spirit but should be ready to teleport you back onboard very shortly.' The ancient miracle that was the Teleportarium was one of the greatest assets the great ship carried, possibly rivalled by the Captains iron will. 'I have given the necessary orders to have the barracks prepared for our new guests, I will also instruct the Master-At-Arms to provide guarded storage for their heavy weapons. I would also suggest setting up checkpoints to keep the mercenaries contained to their quarters and having their basic weaponry secured near the shooting ranges. A guardcompany being transported could wreak havoc on a navy ship if things got out of hand, these mercenaries might stand a fair chance of taking the whole ship unless we are careful. Not to mention that friction between the crews could cost us a fair number of ratings.'

Panicked by his superior shouting at him the operator trapped in his sentinel botched the job of getting loose and toppled one of the stacks of crates, spilling tins of dried foodstuffs across the floor, the rolling cans getting underfoot and causing a chainreaction of accidents as they rolled and bounced. 'With the Emperors grace we will have the loading bay cleared to begin receiving them in about four hours at current pace.' A brief incoming signal made him break off his report. 'Captain, the Teleportarium signals readyness, stand by for transportation.'

cgrela
2012-10-15, 08:58 AM
Sigma, satisfied that the machine-spirit of the teleportarium had been properly mollified, walked back to the main enginarium. There, a wooden crate awaited, bearing the holy seals of the Omnissiah and the Adeptus Mechanicus. He undid the latches, and brought forth a plasma gun. He cradled the holy object, feeling its weight, recalling all he had learned of the weapons and the necessary rites to make them function. Thanks be to the Omnissiah, for it is right I should wield such a holy weapon. Placing the weapon in his personal quarters, just off the enginarium, he turned to the ships schematics, an enormous hololithic display that he could manipulate at will. Determining the best places for the new components the captain had acquired, he began shouting relaying orders to the underlings. "In six hours, we begin to install these parts. Clear out the underdeck, assemble work crews, and ensure that the areas designated here are prepared to receive the shipment. This ship shall become even greater. Do not fail in your holy task." Sigma ordered twelve of the lesser tech-priests to attend him. "I will personally lead the operation to clear out the section where we shall install the munitorium. I may be able to convince the mutant population in that area to leave quietly, but if not we will cleanse the place." He taps the micro-bead in his ear. "Arch-militant, there is an appreciable probability we will require some of your men. Please send them to my location in one half-hour."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 11:12 AM
Luff replies into his own bead. "What for? And you know, I prefer to be called Enforcer."

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 12:05 PM
"Your recommendation will be taken under advisement, Officer." A brief flash of light heralded the activation of the teleportarium, and moments later the retinue and Lady-Captain had arrived back on the Castle. "Enforcer, Confessor, meet me in the underbridge council room in an hour, please. I believe a few others -- perhaps the Choir-master, the master of etherics, maybe even the prime enginseer -- should be present as well. Those three, for they control what information we have, and you two, for the wisdom of the Emperor and the strength of His arms. Thank you." After waiting for a response, Taz went to the bridge, moving through the grand double cathedral door which loomed behind the Bridge-Throne. Behind it, the Captain's Manse was nestled. In the antechamber, a pleasant secretary gave some token greeting. It wasn't really important.

After she disrobed from the ornate cloak, dress and jewelry she had been wearing and took a bath, Xanatov put on simple clothing that emphasized comfort. Her hair still wet, she went through the secondary exit from the antechamber into the underbridge council room.

It was a simple, armoured position that lacked the viewing portals to the outside void. Accessible only through the Manse Passage and through a lift located on the bridge, it was relatively unknown to the crew as a whole. Even the bridge crew weren't particularly familiar with it, due to their not having the proper codes to enter. But inside the council room, with the dark blue velvet curtains and the black floors, there sat a grand table. It was located directly underneath the great hololithic plotting table above, and a secondary projector from that very fixture was located in the ceiling of this room, producing images suspended above the table. Taking the seat at the head of the table, she pressed a sigil and activated the microbead nestled surreptitiously in the headrest of the chair.

First she contacted the Prime Enginseer: "Enginseer Sigma Three Nine Zero Two, please adjourn to the underbridge meeting room."

Then the Choir-master. "Choir-Master Blackthorne, please come to the underbridge council chamber. We will discuss your message further there."

And then the Master of Etherics. "Officer Nekh-Xanatov, please find yourself in the underbridge council room post-haste. Thank you."

She anticipated the Confessor or the Enforcer first, as they knew they would be called before-hand. Curling her feet underneath her in the chair, she waited for their arrival. There was a bit to discuss.

Donan
2012-10-15, 12:26 PM
Ulrich had bowed gracefully and then departed to prepare for the meeting. When he came to the room, he'd dispensed with his robes, dressed in simple body armour to reflect the war footing they would soon be on.

Naturally, of course, holy symbols and markings of his rank were still present.

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 12:28 PM
"Please, take a seat, Ulrich. While we await the others, we can begin to discuss your role as liaison for the Phoenix Wing. I trust there are no objections? It would have been folly to admit if there were during the meeting with the Colonel, but such restrictions do not apply at the moment."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 12:31 PM
Luff chose to spend the hour with his assistants, polishing up his new set of power armor and making a few decorative changes. As the last of the old owner's grime was wiped away and the last bit of armor polished into a proud sheen, Luff stood back and nodded in satisfaction.

"Good work lads. Now help me into this thing." Luff and his assistants spent the next few minutes helping Luff out of his carapace armor and into his power armor. Such was their practiced efficiency that by the time Luff was in his armor, there were still several minutes to go before the meeting - more than enough time to get there early.

Perhaps it could be considered a little melodramatic to show up at the meeting in power armor, but making an impression of strength and indominability was always a good thing. It also meant no one could see his face unless he chose to let them - meaning he wouldn't accidentally give away his emotion prematurely. On a more practical note, the tech-priest had requested some of his soldiers. That probably meant he suspected combat was imminent, and Luff felt like it'd be a good opportunity to test out his new gear.

So it was that Luff strode into Lady Xanatov's council meeting a few minutes before it was technically scheduled to begin. He stood tall and strong in his new suit of silver-grey power armor, a stenciled, black Imperial Aquila proudly displayed on its chest.

He acknowledged the lady. "Captain Xanatov."

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 12:37 PM
She looked from the Confessor to the Enforcer. "That's entirely unnecessary for this meeting, Luff. Both the titles and the armour. I don't believe the chairs will support the weight."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 12:39 PM
"I'll stand. And I have reason to believe that combat is imminent - our techpriest requested several of my soldiers."

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 12:42 PM
"Oh? Then I shouldn't delay you with this. I simply wished to discuss what we should do once we get to Damaris, what sort of tactics work best against the orks, that sort of thing. Victris will have more information concerning it, once he gets here -- he has extensive experienced fighting the foul greenskins. But if there is going to be fighting on the Castle, I would much rather you see to it than deal with this boring thing."

Donan
2012-10-15, 12:44 PM
Ulrich nods with a smile. "I'm quietly confident that I can act as a suitable liasion Lady Captain. I heard Enforcer Luff's concerns and I can certainly understand them. It may be best to hold any services they desire in the barracks, rather then granting them access to the temple, and by extension other sections of the Castle."

He glances at Luff. "I've sensed no real trouble or need for potential combat here. Simple friction is all we found on the surface.

Of course, that'll change once we arrive in the besigned system. Do you plan to have other vessels join us in a support role, Lady Captain? Your august Warrant may hold even more weight with other reinforcing forces should we come with a small and capable fleet."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 12:46 PM
"I have no idea what we are to be fighting, where, or why. Just a suspicion that we will be. So there's little point in my leaving now."

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 12:52 PM
She nodded to Luff. "Well, Sigma should be on his way here, presuming he deigns to attend. If that's the case, I hope it isn't his signal you're awaiting."

Turning her attention to the Confessor, Taz smirked. "My 'august Warrant' has very little influence anywhere save the Battlefleet. Even then, we're in a position of extreme disadvantage, and will be until we can rebuild the Xanatov Dynasty. As for actually obtaining other ships... the Castle will most likely be the largest thing in the sky that doesn't move through centripetal motion. While I wish we had the time and pull to obtain more, it doesn't seem like we'll be able to. Perhaps Damaris will have others who have responded to the call. Perhaps it is already dead, and we will find ourselves pitted against the might of a fullscale greenskin invasion. I'm afraid I don't know yet, but it is a question I wish to ask the Choir-master -- he may have information concerning who else may have responded to the question, and he may be able to ask Damaris itself."

cgrela
2012-10-15, 12:52 PM
Luff replies into his own bead. "What for? And you know, I prefer to be called Enforcer."

I intend to clear out a portion of the ship for the installation of our new components. The scum that inhabits some the sections that need to cleansed have been known to be quite fierce when backed into a corner. They must be dealt with forcefully, though I suspect they will give little trouble.


First she contacted the Prime Enginseer: "Enginseer Sigma Three Nine Zero Two, please adjourn to the underbridge meeting room."

Sigma dresses himself in the full regalia of a tech-priest, his power-axe in his right hand and the skull servitor floating nearby. He shuffles into the underbridge meeting room. I attend you, my Lady-Captain.

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 12:56 PM
Her hair still wet, Tazya looked at Sigma with a raised eyebrow. "Do you anticipate being attacked? That just seems like an unnecessary amount of stuff to move. Unless you intend to go with the Enforcer to whatever this combat situation may be?" She would have mentioned the titles thing, but she didn't want to try and explain the lack of societal protocol in this situation. It was also easier to assume that Sigma knew who the Enforcer was, rather than who Luff was.

Donan
2012-10-15, 01:02 PM
Ulrich nodded. "Ah, my apologies. While it's not the time to acquire new vessels as yet, the Castle's presence should be enough to instill order and cooperation on any assembling forces. Certainly, I believe any others present should acknowledge your leadership. I've served with the His Majesty's Imperial Navy long enough to see the dangers of division."

cgrela
2012-10-15, 01:07 PM
My Lady, I did not wish to trouble you, but the optimum placement for a number of the new components requires that we clear out a number of sections of the ship that have become home to less savory members of your crew. We are in lick, for they will not have had time to fortify themselves withing these sections, as your glorious ship has so recently been rescued. I have requested the assistance of the Enforcer so that your commands may more swiftly executed. An august personage such as yourself need not concern herself with the details, only that it has been done.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 01:10 PM
I intend to clear out a portion of the ship for the installation of our new components. The scum that inhabits some the sections that need to cleansed have been none to be quite fierce when backed into a corner. They must be dealt with forcefully, though I suspect they will give little trouble.


"I will join the effort in person. I need a chance to test out my new aquisitions."

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 01:11 PM
A nod. "I wasn't aware that we had such crewmen already. Mutants, the unassignables, ugh. Very well -- I wish you both the best of luck in this venture. I will be interested to hear how your armour fares, Luff -- hopefully it was a worthwhile investment."

Considering Ulrich's point, the Captain ran a hand through the mess of damp tangles. "That's only if there are other vessels in the system. Unless you mean for us to check if anyone is heading from Footfall to Damaris immediately? The Colonel was familiar with the situation, so it's rather likely others do as well. Still, if we can avoid bringing an entire fleet, we may be able to obtain more of the reward. Although, by the same token, we may end up outnumbered. Orks are notoriously fast breeders, after all... hmm. A question for Victris, then."

Donan
2012-10-15, 01:18 PM
"I believe we're in good stead. The Castle is certainly the most powerful vessel in the region, and its crew and soldiers have faced fear many times in this part of the galaxy. The Orks are a stalwart foe, however. I have no doubts they will fall to our guns and strength of will, but that will draw them in."

Ulrich grimances. "War is a honourable pursuit, and conquest for the Imperium a noble goal. But they know nothing of such things, and they fight simply to destroy and for no greater purpose. The greater the fleet that arrives to aid Damaris, the more Orks that will challenge us."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 01:30 PM
"I hope it will prove worthwhile as well, Anatazya."

Winthrow
2012-10-15, 01:32 PM
The chapel was small and humble. Located as it was far from the main arteries of the ship there were few who made their devotions here, and at this time it, and the halls outside, were practically deserted. The bare walls were a plain gunmetal grey, shrouded in shadow now as most of the lumen globes had been turned off. A single ray of light bathed the gilded Imperial Aquila hanging over the main altar, the reflected light in turn falling on the figure kneeling before it.

After having passed on the Captains latest batch of orders Victris had handed over the supervising of his tasks to his second, and returned to his quarters, quickly washed and then dressed in his newly acquired set of carapace armor, noting with satisfaction how the Castle's armorer had had it refinished in colors matching his regular navy uniform, bearing the Xanatov crest instead of his previous ship-patches. Strapping on his weapons he had once more set out choosing quiet back-corridors and byways to get around most gatherings of crew and bustle, letting the walk calm him beforehand.

He had found the chapel on his first tour of inspections, taking a wrong turn in the maze of passageways near the prow of the ship he had ended up here instead of at the minor controlstation linking the efforts of several of the defence turrets. While not nearly as ostentatious as the shrines or chapels he had previously frequented, it offered him something that they never had... peace.

His sword resting on the deck infront of him, the heavy bolt pistol at one side, the helmet on his other, Victris kneeled in prayer. This was the way he as a child had believed the Angels of the Emperor did before battle, head bared and bowed before the Aquila. Holy Emperor of Terra he prayed the clamor in his mind gradually diminishing. 'Your children are going to war once more.' Images of dismembered corpses flashed behind his closed eyelids. 'The green horde is once more threatening your people, and yet again we must rally to destroy them lest, to carry out your will among the stars.' The sound of something rattling within an airduct turned into the whining bark of lasguns firing desperatly, faint echoes of screams of terror and bellows of anger ringing in his ears. Clenching his fist so hard that the knuckles turned white he slammed it against the floor, letting the pain cut through the images and helping his mind focus.

'Holy Emperor I beseech you to look upon your children with favour as we go to do your work. Our motives may be questionable, our forces weak, yet we go to do your work, in your name.' His eyes snapping open he raised his face towards the Aquila, seemingly drawing strength from its radiance. 'In your name I go to war once more, to cleanse another world from the Xenos, send us your strength Holy Emperor, and Terra shall prevail!' The last words are almost a shout and they echo around the sparse chamber for a long moment as Victris remains kneeling, the protective kneeguards cushioning him from the hard floor.

Drawing a deep breath he picks up the pistol and holsters it, retrieving his sword and standing back up, turning towards the door and shoving the blade back into its sheath just as the microbead crackles a summons into his ear. He returns a brief acknowledgement and sets alternating between walking rapidly and jogging.

Winthrow
2012-10-15, 01:44 PM
Reaching the bridge he made straight for the console operating the private lift-tube. As one of the senior officers on the ship he did have access to the proper codes, but without an invitation he had yet to set foot in the Captains inner sanctum. A little winded from the long walk he inhaled deeply, letting his heart ease it's rapid beating as the lift descended. Finally stepping out and walking the short distance to the underbridge, stepping inside and saluting Anatazya. You summoned me Cousin, here I am.

Glancing around the room he could not help but notice the massive armored bulk of Luff, noting to himself that the Enforcer must have gone even more overboard than usual when it came to preparing himself. 'Hardly a subtle man that one, but dangerous in his own right' he thought to himself, offering nods towards both him and the Confessor.

It appears to be a council of war, I take it we will be taking the Damaris contract. A slight strain in his voice was all that betrayed his efforts to keep calm at the thought of once again fighting the savage hordes of greenskins.

Lucretia
2012-10-15, 01:51 PM
"There was never any doubt about going to Damaris. It is, to my understanding, not really a contract -- not yet. Once we stave off a burgeoning wave of greenskinned monsters, however, we may find ourselves in an excellent position for the negotiations. I was hoping to have your experience especially, with your focus on orks. There was also a question of dispatching questions to those also berthed with Footfall -- seeing where else the other vessels are heading. Perhaps we should perform a focused augury upon each vessel? I'm unsure."

Winthrow
2012-10-15, 02:14 PM
Moving to one of the highbacked chairs at the table Victris settled down, considering Anatazya's suggestion. 'A focused augur here in port might not be well received. Saying that half the ships here carry secrets of one kind or another would likely be a low guess, and being the most powerful ship at dock some may think that we are looking to rebuild your fleet in one strike. I believe I could perform a general scan of the larger vessels however, that together with whatever the Master of Whispers can find out about the other ships might give us a few options.'

Tilting his head back to watch the swirling display before him he purses his lips in thought for a moment. Standard naval doctrine calls for a full battlegroup in support of a vessel of this class. It is a might weapon but still vulnerable in its own way. Orks favour trying to cripple and board ships in naval engagements, and without any escorts we may be hard pressed to keep them off us, especially if one manages to get in behind us. For an unknown situation such as this one I would strongly suggest trying to secure at least a pair of frigates to watch our backs. There is no telling what other forces may turn up once we get to Damaris but even a small battlegroup is far more impressive than a single ship, no matter how large.

'It may be that we will be contacted by others who would try to reap the rewards of Damaris as well. Most ships here would have heard of the message by now, and taking on a regiment of mercenaries is not something that can be done discreetly. I would, suggest some caution with those that seek us out rather than the other way around but...' he shrugs. 'We have little time and cannot afford to be too picky with who our allies are.'

Maugan Ra
2012-10-15, 07:50 PM
You all get reports that the Phoenix Wing Third regiment, under of the commander of one Master Hoss, has finished transferring aboard your ship. The full compliment extends to nine companies, each of 500 men (and women - the unit appears to be mixed gender). Two are listed as 'Mechanised', one as 'fire support', and the others are general infantry. They are in the process of getting settled into the barracks, and as yet nothing seems to have gone wrong.

The installation of the new facilities are also proceeding apace, with no noticeable problems encountered. The lower deck crews and a few mutant populations are somewhat resistant to being relocated, but there's not really a lot they can do in the face of well trained arsmen supported by control of the ship systems as a whole.

Your bridge crew, being competent and acting on their own initiative, have compiled a list of everything they can find out about Damaris in the relatively short time frame allowed. It's a relatively cool world with oversized polar ice caps, but the equator is fertile and the various mountain ranges include significant deposits of valuable gems and minerals. The deep oceans also hold a wide variety of ocean life, the majority of it edible. Combined with a useful location to the south of Footfall, in a region just starting to be fully explored and colonized, Damaris forms an excellent trading hub and waypoint, which lots of potential to expand and develop.

Of course, such potential has not gone unnoticed. The Rogue Trader Elizabeth Orleans apparently has a sizable stake in the planet's infrastructure, though not yet to the level of a monopoly.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 08:29 PM
Luff listens to the report. "Everything is going well, it seems. Almost a shame really - I was looking forward to killing some mutant scum." He pauses for a moment and then shakes his head, chuckling a bit. "Ah. Ignore that. I have something of a poor history with mutants. I should be glad that everything is going on schedule."

Baveboi
2012-10-15, 11:42 PM
After presenting himself to the bridge and reporting once more the Astraltelepathical message his choir intercepted, Carlyle had very little to do besides listening. Business, military actions and killing had very little to do with him so he decided not to disturb the ones more skilled at such affairs. For a long time he only listened to the voices, the half-heard ones, not the material ones and eventually drifted into a false sleep, as peaceful as an Astropath will ever get.

Something was said, either on this side or the others, that made his brain recoil, but he only found out what it was when he refocused at the meeting happening. Cleaning a bit of drool out of his lower lip and office attire, he listened to the rest of the report. With so many mutants dead he feared that maybe one of his ilk, a psyniscient one, would be lost amongst the dead or worse; rudely awakened. With a taxing effort of his mind he checked the choir, the crew and the general decks for signs of phenomena of all levels, but it was too hard or plain impossible to tell.

Now, after hours of silence, Carlyle finally made his voice heard again. He had to clear his throat many times and raise his voice to make a clear statement. "Amongst the fallen and the living, were there any complications? Any... weird sightings or happenings that would require a special sort of investigation?"

His meaning clear. Were any of them, the casualties or the exiled, part of my brotherhood?

Henry the 57th
2012-10-15, 11:52 PM
Luff regarded the astropath. "While technically I cannot say for certain, I find it supremely unlikely. My men report that the cleansing is proceeding without issue and that there is no heavy resistance. My men would not lie to me, and I think we can safely say that if one of your kind were there, we would know about it." Luff said, putting a little too much emphasis on the word "your". He never liked mutants, and the war hardly made it better. Even those soul-bound to the God Emperor were disquieting to him.

Baveboi
2012-10-16, 01:28 AM
Luff could tell the spook was looking at him. There was no actual eyesight left on those milky and scarred eyes, but there was no oblivious blindness either. The Astropath had a focus that could only mean some sort of perception. The psyker is smiling as well, another sign of his faked disability.

"Of course, most obliged. You are far too kind with me, Master Luff." Carlyle was curt enough that even for someone like Luff he sounded non-confrontational. However, that glaring blindsight took some time to take itself away from the Enforcer, like some kind of unspoken scrutiny.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-16, 01:38 AM
Luff nodded. "Of course." He chose to meet the psyker's unnerving stare with the glowing green lenses of his helmet. They almost seemed to flare as he regarded the man before him.

Donan
2012-10-16, 03:50 AM
When Ulrich made his way to meet Master Hoss, he was wearing his old guard flak armour sans helmet, a relic of his time onboard the Imperial Navy. Two men at arms followed him in formal, escort positions.

Reaching the barracks, he gained entry and then moved to the officer's lounge within it, taking a seat and sending an aide scurrying off to collect the man.

Lucretia
2012-10-16, 02:51 PM
The Lady-Captain rubbed her forehead. Such conflict! "Gentlemen, please. Save the fight for the true enemies of the Imperium! I know you will want to board some greenskin vessel and take the head of the largest creature capable of broken Low Gothic, Luff. Save your animosity for those cretin. Carlyle, it's good that you've joined us. Was there any information in the message that could tell us how many others will be there? In addition to this Captain Orleans -- presumably she'll appear. Oh, cousin, do we have any information on dear Lady-Captain Orleans? Perhaps anything on her warrant, or her vessel of choice? She may have a small fleet capable of serving the role you had just been mentioning.

"Also, thank you for not bringing your servo-skulls with you, Sigma, Luff. I believe in a combat situation Sigma will be able to benefit from their assistance, presuming the skull you obtained, Luff, has some rudimentary understanding of mechanics. I suppose this should conclude the meeting for now. We'll have to convene again once we're in the system. Oh! Speaking of which, Victris, as soon as we translate into Damaris' system, I want active augurs constantly. Sigma, if there's any way you can aid the augurs' machine spirits to improve our capacity to detect? If there are greenskins already in the system, I want to know about them before they're within one hundred thousand kilometers of the Castle. Thank you all for appearing."

Winthrow
2012-10-16, 03:15 PM
Quickly rising to his feet at this clear dismissal Victris gathers his helmet from the table, tucking it under one arm. 'I could still attempt to scan the local ships for possible allies if you wish Cousin, whoever we run into at Damaris may have their own agendas, and some of them not necessarily compatible with our own.'

Lucretia
2012-10-16, 03:20 PM
"Perhaps the larger vessels, but as you said, it would be inviting peril to actively scan everyone in Footfall's docks. I doubt they could get through the void shields, but I have no desire to test it, especially so close to the station."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-16, 04:01 PM
Luff nodded. "Of course. Forgive me, Anatazya, but I have something of a... history with mutants. And if that is all, I shall be off." With that, Luff turned an strode off, unless he was called.

Luff decided to spend the travel time making sure all the ship's weapons and their crews were up to snuff, as well as practicing combat in his new armor, getting used to its feel and ensuring he did not experience any problems fighting in it.

Baveboi
2012-10-16, 05:00 PM
"I am sorry, My Ladyship, there is nothing of the sorts. The signs were very clear, there is minimal to no chance for misinterpretation." Carlyle seemed truly pained that he couldn't help any further in the matter, but a spark of mischief in his crooked smile told of his further interesting in speaking. "However, there is something that I might be able to offer. According to my brothers a lot of ships in footfall, if not all of them, received word of this Damaris business. It is also wise to think that the Orks might have intercepted them, but for the sake of redundancy, why don't we warn the greenskins were we will be making out of the empirical?"

For a moment Carlyle said or transpired nothing of his intentions, just silently enjoying the confusion of the crew. "The message we received, you see, was quite clear. The system is fairly nearby, I can tell. If I and my brothers scream into the void we will be able to reach it, and perhaps half of the entire sub-sector. It's risky, but as I see it, all Astropaths would understand my words as clear as daylight and perhaps even the Orks. What do we gain by warning every warp-capable vessel of our destination? We use it as a decoy, My Ladyship. Leave the Orks to hunt the most stupid of all greedy captains of this subsector while we make translation elsewhere nearby. Either to rain fire on flatfooted pirates or just rush towards our true objectives, it's our honorable Captain's decision."

Scrubbing his poor wretch act together, he bows to all the remaining crew, and smile faintly. "That is, if I am not overstepping my boundaries, my Masters."

Lucretia
2012-10-16, 05:05 PM
She shook her head. "The only reason I want Damaris to know before we are in the system that I intend to save their planet is to confirm that there is a planet left to save. If that were the case, I would also want you to use some encryption or code, not simply broadcast it. That said, I have never heard of the orks having the ability to use astropathic communication. Regardless, thank you for the suggestion, but unless we can somehow convince those captains around us to join under the banner of House Xanatov, I have no desire to see them there.

"Of course, should they be there when we arrive, we can negotiate their capitulation. If they decide to not cooperate, well..." She stood up. "Unless there are further arguments for Carlyle's trick?"

Maugan Ra
2012-10-17, 11:46 PM
With everything accounted for, the Castle Xanatov breaks away from Footfall and jumps to Warp for the journey to Damaris. The trip is, by the standards of an interstellar journey, fairly short and uneventful - no encounters with otherworldly predators, no eight-dimensional storm currents to navigate, and only the barest minimum of screaming nightmares amongst the crew.

Ulrich finds Master Hoss to be a surprisingly old man for the commander of a mercenary unit - hair grey and thinning, skin just starting to wrinkle, and there is no disguising the faint trembling in his limbs when he walks around. His voice, though, is still clear and confident, and the mercenary soldiers treat him with a surprising amount of deference, considering that he's older than most of their fathers.

A few days later, ship-time, your vessel breaks warp again and arrives in the Damaris system. A standard auger sweep reveals that the outer limits of the system are full of a bewildering number of asteroids and small planets, with at least one gas giant somewhere within, judging by the gravity distortions. The mid-system is mostly a ring of empty space separating the asteroid fields from the orbit of Damaris itself, which is just about on the edge of its habitability zone. There don't appear to be any hostile contacts about, so you set course for the planet.

You are not, it seems, the only vessel here. The planet's orbit is full of many different ID signatures, the majority of which appear to come from small raiders and other escort-sized ships transmitting the codes of the Damaris System Defence Forces. Also flying that flag is a large, orbital space station that seems to be coordinating the other ships, but there are at least two other factions present.

Firstly, there appear to be two other Rogue Traders in-system. The Starweaver is a small, highly modified raiding ship, registered to one Elizabeth Orleans. The Ordained Destiny, meanwhile, appears to be a Lunar-class cruiser under the command of someone named Jeremiah Blitz. The Trader is evidently an extravagant sort - the entirety of the Destiny's hull has been plated with what appears to be gold, so that it gleams in the faint starlight.

On the other side of the planet to the Rogue Traders, you receive the identity codes from a ship registered as the Aegis, a Dauntless Light Cruiser under the command of Lady-Captain Sylvia Locke of the Imperial Navy. Unusually, all the various different ships in orbit appear to be operating using separate Vox networks, and their overall formation is not remotely coordinated.

As you move in-system, you receive a transmission from the space station.

+Unknown Vessel, this is Commander Reynolds of the Damaris System Defense Forces. State your identity and intentions. +

Lucretia
2012-10-17, 11:53 PM
Tazya sat in the Bridge-Throne, pulled to the plotting table. The augur information was displayed across a great expanse of hololithic table. Several meters of blue hologram indicated where all the scanned ships were in relation to the Castle. In front of her, the Lady-Captain had various financial records.

The various vox-nets interest her for a moment, and she closes down the commerce information. "Hello, Commander Reynolds. I am Anatazya Serafina Ezgin Xanatov, Rogue Trader and bearer of the Xanatov Warrant of Trade. My vessel is the Castle Xanatov. My intentions are to save your planet from the invasion of orks that, according to an astropathic message my choir-master received, is imminent. Do we have permission to approach your planet closer?"


What an incredible description! :smalleek: but in a :smallbiggrin: way!

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 12:00 AM
Luff stood in the gun control room, as always, prepared to give the order to fire immediately. Fortunately, the data he was receiving seemed to indicate that no such order was imminently necessary.

"Enforcer Budregard to bridge. Situation is calm. Imminent combat unlikely. Requesting permission to come to bridge."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 12:08 AM
She depressed the sigil to prevent her voice from carrying across the void. "I trust you will not be in power armour this time, Enforcer," she answered in a low voice on the private channel for Luff.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 12:10 AM
"Any particular reason I shouldn't be? We're expecting a war after all."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 12:15 AM
"Because, Enforcer, officers should not wear power armour on the bridge."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 12:21 AM
Luff sighed a bit to himself, low enough that it wouldn't be caught by the vox. "Very well. But if and when we go planetside, I'm wearing that armor." It wasn't a question. "I'll be there shortly."

Within a few minutes, Luff came striding onto the bridge in his carapace armor.

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 12:23 AM
She smiled sweetly at him when he arrived. If he had an eye for such things, he might realize there was something slightly different about her. But Taz returned her attention to the voxes, waiting for Commander Reynolds' response.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 12:30 AM
Luff gave her a smart and formal military salute. He didn't trust he smile of a noble further than he could see it, and he was glad once again for his helmet's face-concealing visor.

"Captain Xanatov. All gun batteries are fully operational and ready to fire on command. Firing and reloading crews are in place."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 12:41 AM
+Confirmed, Castle Xanatov. Orbital docking orders are being relayed now. A council of war is being convened in the capital, but will delay until you are present.+ Your Vox officer looks up at you and nods, as the berthing instructions come over the transmission. A few moments later, the SDF transmission returns.

+Castle Xanatov, our sensors show you as weapons readied. Power down offensive batteries before taking formation.+ Reynold's voice is tinged with caution and not a little anger. On the hololithic display, the symbol for the Bastion turns from a neutral blue to a more threatening orange as its own weapon arrays begin activating.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 12:43 AM
"Shall I give the order to power down, Captain?"

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 12:43 AM
"Are there not orks rapidly approaching this planet, Commander? But as you say. Enforcer, if you would, please."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 12:53 AM
"Of course." Luff set his vox to his subordinates' channel. "Men, demobilize and power down weapons batteries. They are not needed at the moment and we wouldn't want to provoke our hosts." He turns off the channel as his subordinates efficiently obey his orders. Within a minute or so, the weapons are taken off of immediate readiness.

Luff faces the captain. "If they think they're about to face an Ork invasion, you'd think they'd want us to have our weapons primed and ready."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 12:53 AM
With weapons on both sides of the potential alliance powered down once more, with the exception of the SDF ships on perimeter patrol, the Castle Xanatov is directed into its assigned orbit without further issue. This close, you can see the space station more clearly. It's a combination of a defense fortress and an orbiting shipyard, studded with macro cannon arrays and lance batteries alike. The name Bastion is written across its hull in large, gothic letters.

That completed, landing coordinates are transmitted for you to head to the Capital's spaceport, where a detachment of the palace staff will be waiting to take you to the War Council.

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 12:54 AM
She didn't disagree. "Now, the docking coordinates, Commander. I hope you'll agree my vessel has a lot to contribute to the defense effort, and I have a vested interest in attending this so-called council of war."

EDIT:

Tazya turned and looked around. "Hmm... standard retinue, and the officers from the pre-flight meeting. And if you insist on wearing that armour, Enforcer, I ask you keep the helmet off."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 01:05 AM
Luff rolled his eyes beneath his visor. Nobles he thought dryly.

Of course, where he could be seen, he snapped a quick salute. "As you wish. Of course, I'll still bring the helmet with me, just not on my head. If you'll excuse me, I need to go and get changed."

Unless he was halted or hailed, Luff walked briskly off the bridge to change into his power armor. He had gotten used to its eccentricities and requirements over the journey, and so naturally had it charged to full power at any time he wasn't wearing it. In only a short time, Luff stride back onto the bridge in full armor, weapons locked and loaded as ever. His helmet was affixed by a strap to his utility belt.

He disliked showing his pale, hard face. It made him feel exposed, vulnerable. Enough comrades had died because of a lack of head covering to teach him that lesson. Still, there was nothing for it, so he resolved to make the best of it and replace the helmet at first opportunity.

Baveboi
2012-10-18, 01:15 AM
From outside the Captain field of vision comes the hooded figure of Astropath Carlyle wearing his formal green robes of office. "My Ladyship, I must insist this time that I go with you. Even among allied forces it would be wise not to give fate a chance and while they can cut out vox communication quite easily, I am not promptly silenced." With a second glance, the crew can see the bulge of flak armor and a laspistol under the psyker's garments. A sombre tone to his face tells of a deep desire to accompany the expedition this time and the slight downward curve on his lips indicate he is ready to appeal if needed.

"Do not worry about the choir while we are gone. It seems one of my choir-brothers has been progressing fairly well in the field of his career. To present him with the opportunity to grow stronger I have given him the responsibility of performing the Astrotelepathical rituals. My confidence in his skills are the same as in mine."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 01:18 AM
Another sweet, slightly off-normal smile. "Of course. You were summoned to the pre-Warp meeting, were you not? Then you would be included in the list I had already drawn. But thank you for your insistence. It has been noted."

Winthrow
2012-10-18, 01:32 AM
Ensconced within the Etherics station Victris watched the void around Damaris slowly resolve itself into focus after the distortions caused by the violence of warptranslation. Senses straining the image of what surrounded them gradually revealed itself to the piercing sensors and cogitator arrays of the mighty warship. With the sensors connected through the Naval Mind Impulse Unit he had implanted after the defence of Calidos working the augurs became more a question of knowing where to direct his attention then operating the controls.

The planet itself quickly appeared on the plotting table, ship after ship being added to it as they resolved themselves, additional data being added as more became available.


Rolling for active Augurs when we translated.
[roll0] vs 55 (scrutiny + 10 for MIU +10 Detection)

Automatic re-roll if the first fails. (voidmaster special ability)
[roll1] vs 55 (scrutiny + 10 for MIU +10 Detection)

Edit: Well, unless the Engineseer was assisting the machine spirit it seems I will not have any additional information to add to the basic scan.


At Anatazya's command to ready for disembarkation he reluctantly disconnected from the ships extended senses and returned to his mortal senses, the dull greyness of his normal sight gradually returning to normality as he rose, adjusting the naval uniform he still wore together with his standard issue flak armor. A senior officer stepped forward to take over the controls of the augur station. 'Keep the sensors panning the void away from the planet, the Captain does not want us to be surprised while in dock. Avoid looking to hard on our fellow captains however, we would not wish to provoke an incident.'
Turning once more he offered a quick salute in the direction of the commandthrone, reporting his readyness.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 01:38 AM
"Must we bring the... astropath along?" Luff managed, still resisting the urge to openly rage at the mutant. "Would he not be... disturbing for the notables we are to meet? At the very least, perhaps he should cover his eyes."

At least if he covers that sign of mutation, I won't have to think about it so much. Luff thought.

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 01:41 AM
"Hmm, I don't notice it any longer. But it will have no effect on Carlyle's mobility, so I cannot imagine a reason to deny the very simple request. But the choir-master will come with us. Should there be some treachery that disconnects the myriad vox-nets currently in the void, I would like some way of telling the Castle to activate the teleportarium so that we can respond post-haste."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 01:47 AM
Luff's mind whirled, desperately trying to think of something to say. Something, anything that would allow him to avoid spending what might turn out to be weeks, months, or even years in the company of this... this... this mutant. Naturally enough, he found nothing. His pragmatic, military side told him that there simply wasn't another option in their current situation.

It seems the God-Emperor isn't on my side at the the moment. He sighed mentally.

So, lacking in better idea but to spend potentially years worth of time in the company of a mutant, Luff nodded. "Very good."

Baveboi
2012-10-18, 02:14 AM
Looking at Luff with the same blank orbs that made the Arch-Militant so uneasy were a joy for Carlyle. He could taste the discomfort on the deluded man, but had no intention to clarify on the matter last he lose what they have going now. "Your orders are my command, my Mistress." Carlyle blindfolds him with a matching green scarf he had around the wires of his Harness and Leash, a device rumored to instantly kill the wearer in case he so as much displeased it's owner. Seeing to it that his hood also completely hid his face from sight Carlyle turned once more to gaze at Luff, a smirk splashed around his lips.

"Please bear with it a little, Master Luff. I am sure you will be thankful if the need for my services arrive."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 02:17 AM
Lady Xanatov pressed the sigil for her various other officers, all of those who had been present at the pre-flight meeting. "Please find your way to the teleportarium," she told them each, before standing. Her dress a beautiful light lilac and white, and while she moved towards the teleportarium, one of the honor guard brought her the matching fur-lined cloak. Once more her ornate choker was on, and in stark contrast to the military envoy she would be traveling with, Tazya did not feel the need to wear her armour, not yet.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 02:22 AM
Mentally gritting his teeth and with a slight grimace, Luff managed to the astropath, "Of course."

To Captain Xanatov, he said, "Yes. Wouldn't do to keep our hosts waiting. I doubt the Orks will." He followed in her wake.

Winthrow
2012-10-18, 02:41 AM
Adjusting the belt supporting the powerblade and oversized pistol at his hips Victris fell in behind his captain, matching her gliding elegance with the air of confidence and competence of a senior Naval officer.

Baveboi
2012-10-18, 02:57 AM
Clutching his staff closer, Carlyle falls in behind the party, a little distant from the others last his presence annoy some of his colleagues.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 03:38 AM
The teleporter deposits you on the hard rockcrete of the spaceport in a flash of light and the stink of ozone. The sun shines brightly overhead, though there is still a noticeable chill, and the air smells relatively clean and fresh - Damaris has yet to undergo the heavy industrialization and resulting pollution that typically accompanies the development of Imperial worlds.

There is a staff car waiting a short distance away, attended by a well dressed man in adept's robes. He looks somewhat surprised at your method of arrival, but controls himself quickly and makes the sign of the Aquila as you approach.

"Greetings, honored worthies of our Imperium. On behalf of the honorable Belkan Kapak, Governor of the Imperial-allied world of Damaris, I welcome you to our home. My name is Jorun Alexander, aide to the Governor, and on his request I am here to escort you to the Palace and the War Council."

He steps back smartly and opens the door of the staff car, revealing the green leather seats within. "I have also been instructed to answer any questions you might have, so that you are up to speed by the time we arrive at the Palace. Any other requests, I shall attend to as best I may - we are very grateful for your assistance in this matter."

Donan
2012-10-18, 03:53 AM
Ulrich makes the sign of the aquilia, nodding. "It is a pleasure to see that His Majesty's Imperial Navy is also present in this system. I look forward to making the acquitance of the good Lady-Captain. You must be relieved to see a Navy craft so far into the Expanse, goodman. A pleasent suprise, I'm sure." He chuckles. "Though the arrival of my Lady-Captain will have surpassed even that. Your world is clearly blessed goodman, to have found so much support in its hour of need."

He smiles at Taz, bowing his head. "A dedicated Navy Captain would make a strong ally, Lady-Captain, and while a Dauntless light cruiser cannot match the Castle, it is a worthy vessel in its own right."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 04:31 AM
"Indeed. Captain Locke and her ship were deployed to this region some months ago to combat an upswing of piracy, and she's proven herself a formidable tactician and warrior." Alexander says, though he looks somewhat uncomfortable. "There was some fear that the Imperium would abandon us in our hour of need, but the Captain has been most insistent that such is not the case. She has all but sworn an oath to defend Damaris, for which we are all grateful."

The Aide looks over Ulrich. "You are a priest, I assume? Bishop Arint will be pleased to see you - he has often remarked that he wishes more of his Ecclesiarchal brothers visited this world."

Donan
2012-10-18, 04:42 AM
Ulrich nods with a smile. "Confessor Ulrich von Liechtenstein, yes. And I'd be honoured to meet Bishop Arint and Lady-Captain Locke. They'll both be present at the meeting?" He shakes his head sadly. "To think, even in this virgin and fresh region, the sin of piracy still finds eager followerers. At least we can pray that their depravity will not lead them to aid the Orks in raiding and plundering."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 05:08 AM
Alexander shakes his head. "The Captain will be present, but the Bishop declined to attend. He is not a man well versed in military matters, and felt that his inexpert questioning and misunderstandings would only slow the Council down."

The staff car has, by this time, started driving off into the city proper. The capital, as far as you can discern, does not have a distinct name as such, beyond perhaps Damaris City. Though the world may not technically be Imperial in truth, there is certainly evidence of the Emperor's influence everywhere, from the gothic architecture to the numerous statues to Saint Drusus. Enforcers of the Magistratum, in their dark blue uniforms, patrol everywhere, and in the distance you can see the entire city appears to be surrounded by a thick perimeter wall.

"Sadly, though, you are correct - Piracy seems a constant scourge upon this sector of space. The raiders from Iniquity are the worst, without a doubt, but more mundane criminals can be found beneath virtually any rock nowadays."

Winthrow
2012-10-18, 07:23 AM
Following along closely behind Anatazya, Victris paid little attention to the initial diplomatic overtures, instead trying to recall where and when he might have heard mention of the good Captain Sylvia Locke or her ship, the Aegis.


Common lore - Imperial Navy
[roll0] vs 50


Detecting a lull in the conversation he turns his gaze from the landscape speeding by to Alexander. 'Have the greenskin already arrived or is there any intelligence regarding when we should expect them?' His question is short in form but polite enough in tone. 'Also, we detected coming in that while there are the makings of a fleet in orbit, they are not communicating with each other. Has no effort been done to coordinate the defence of the planet?'

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 07:38 AM
"My question is simple. How soon do you expect we will face the xenos scum, and in what numbers?"

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 07:45 AM
Tazya was content to listen for the time being, waiting to see how Mr. Alexander handled the questions from her officers. There were many interesting notions swirly about at the moment, from naval officers to the Imperium abandoning these people in their time of need. Raiders, criminals, bishops without military knowledge -- facts that could, in time, be used to her benefit. She did have a question, but she would wait until after these last questions were answered before asking.

Once Mr. Alexander had answered the questions on the table:

"Who will be on the Council? In total."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 08:05 AM
"The Orks have been detected massing in the asteroid belts at the edges of the system in... some numbers. I am told the debris makes getting an accurate fix on their strength near impossible, but Captain Locke assures us that they will attack once they have built a certain number of crude assault ships."

The aide looks distinctly uncomfortable with Victris' question. "Ah... there has been some disagreement between the defenders when it comes to matters of strategy and cooperation. So many experienced and strong willed individuals, each with different backgrounds and experience makes a consensus... difficult to achieve." he eventually replies, his voice distinctly non-committal.

"As for the council, you can expect your fellow Rogue Traders... Lady Orleans and Lord Blitz, that is... to be present, alongside Lady-Captain Locke. General Dante, the commander of the PDF will also be present, and Governor Kapak of course. I believe the Tech-Priests were sending an envoy as well. They have a forge just outside the city, on a small island."

Donan
2012-10-18, 08:09 AM
Ulrich tilts his head. "Will there be anytime available before the council, goodman? I'd like to meet the Bishop if possible, to hear his views on this situation. He may not have miltary expertise, but understanding the faithful is always important."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 08:11 AM
"Strong-willed individuals with good names. Is there any information you can give us on the Council? Unifying them -- and saving Damaris from those crude assay ships you've just mentioned -- will require information."

Interesting, a forge. Perhaps they could be compelled to service...

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 08:12 AM
"Is some sort of preemptive strike not possible?"

Donan
2012-10-18, 08:32 AM
Ulrich grimances. "I'd advise against it in the strongest possible terms Enforcer. Orks are drawn to battle and any attacks before we're ready would likely speed up their assualt.

Unless we're able to locate and kill their Warboss, but that'd be extremely difficult."

Winthrow
2012-10-18, 08:35 AM
Nodding in agreement with Ulrich Victris continues. 'Taking the Castle into an asteroibelt crawling with orks is folly, and anything small enough to avoid the rocks would get obliterated by the orks already out there.' He pauses for a short time, considering. 'Firing a barrage into the belts as a whole might cause a little damage and provoke them into attacking before their numbers are critical. Though our own defences hardly are in place as yet so I would advice against that as well.'

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 08:41 AM
Luff looks at the pair. "So we simply wait for them to come to us? Tell me then, what happens after the battle? Assuming we win, then what exactly do you plan on doing? The Orks will still be there. Eventually, if this system is to be secured, they will need to be flushed out. I simply propose gearing up and doing it now, rather than waiting for the Orks to devastate our forces first. And it will give us the crucial advantage of surprise - I doubt the Orks expect that. But if we are to give up simply because battle often attracts more Orks, why fight here then? After all, the battle will attract more Orks. Why not just surrender and hope they go away?" he adds sarcastically.

Winthrow
2012-10-18, 08:46 AM
'With the greater horde crushed you can use system ships and small unit tactics to clear out the asteroid belts, but we need to break them first. The greater their numbers the greater their morale so it's always best to cut them down first. They don't have much in the way of discipline so well-prepared defences can be the best offence when it comes to orcs in large numbers.'

Donan
2012-10-18, 08:46 AM
Ulrich smiles, seeming unruffled by the challenge in Luff's words. "I'll raise such thoughts at the Council, naturally. But a blockade between the asteroid belt and the inner worlds would be my first suggestion. Focused fire to scatter the ramshackle Ork ships at their thickest points would weaken their attack further.

They're also drawn to battle, and should we possess enough mines to lay an effective field in the void, smaller craft could sting them in hit and run attacks and draw them into the minefield."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 08:54 AM
"If they are so easily led by hit and run strikes, then I suggest we use those against their largest ship to attempt separate it from the pack and destroy it with mass firepower. Greenskins are not exactly my favored subject, but I do know their leaders like to ride in the largest, most impressive of vehicles."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 09:23 AM
"This discussion can wait until after the Council, gentlemen. More information will lead to less choleric in the blood during these discussions -- but discussing hypotheticals is merely academic. Now, Mr. Alexander, again I will ask -- have you any information on the members of the Council itself?"

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 10:09 AM
"Not a great deal, my lady. Most have only arrived relatively recently, and I have been too busy with other duties to truly take their measure." Alexander sounds somewhat apologetic about that, but not vastly. He also clearly has no intention of informing on the Damaris locals present at the Council.

Donan
2012-10-18, 10:13 AM
"And will there be chance for any conversation before the Council itself? I'd appreicate being able to meet the Bishop, and from what you've told me, he'll be pleased for the chance to speak with me himself."

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 10:14 AM
"A pity, then. You know nothing of this General Dante?"

cgrela
2012-10-18, 12:08 PM
The orks will fall easily enough if we keep them off the ship and the planet. Otherwise, all shall have to be cleansed with fire.

Sigma shuffles uneasily under this wide-open sky. No kilometer-wide forge-pits sang out, and the machine-spiirts quiet and dull. He sidles up to Taz.

My Lady, I would ask your leave to see if any of my brethren are here. I believe we could sufficiently strengthen the planet's defense networks to be of great assistance in the battle. Also, I may even able to place the networks under our command, to ensure that we are rewarded after our victory.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-18, 06:57 PM
"Oh, I know a fair bit about the General. But it, and any possible interview with the Bishop, will have to wait. We're here."

The staff car pulls up outside the entrance to the gubernatorial palace, a sweeping structure of marble walls and domed roofs that occupies the centre of the city. Palace Guards, in their dark green uniforms, patrol the various balconies and garden paths, their rifles held ready at all times, and a steady stream of minor functionaries flows in and out of the main doors.

Jorun Alexander leads you up and into the palace with the speed and deference of the experienced aide, helping you past checkpoints and through the elaborate array of interior hallways. The War Council, it seems, is being held in a lower level, a bunker built under the main structure of the palace. As you get lower, marble hallways and ornate tapestries give way to bare rockcrete and menacing gun-ports, until you arrive at the reinforced door of the bunker itself. Alexander consults with the two guards waiting outside, and even from out here, you can make out what sounds like angry shouting inside.

"It appears they've started without you. I must apologise for the flagrant breach of protocol." Alexander mutters to you as the guards verify his ID and cycle open the armoured hatch.

Inside is a surprisingly spacious chamber, albeit one mostly taken up with a large hololithic display table in the centre. The pale blue projection appears to be displaying a map of the system at the moment, but few of the occupants are observing it right now. Aside from the guards, there are six.

The first is a great bear of a man in dark green dress uniform edged with silver braiding, the rank markings of a general visible on his epaulets. He is bald, and right now his complexion is a ruddy scarlet as be glares at the other participant in what must have been an undoubtedly heated argument.

Lady-Captain Sylvia Locke is a short, brown-haired woman in the blue and white uniform of the Imperial Navy. Her left leg and arm have, at some point, been replaced with high quality bionics, as has her right eye, and there is a tightly controlled fury in her expression as she matches the General's glare. Behind her, a Tech-Priest in the traditional crimson robes of his order watches the dispute without a flicker of emotional cues to judge how he feels about it all.

Of the remaining three, it is quite easy to see which are the Rogue Traders. The first is a woman dressed in what you recognize is the sort of gown presently considered the height of fashion on Scintilla, who has been regarding the entire fight with a viperous look of interest. The second is a bald man in a long overcoat, who has drawn up a chair and sat comfortably back in it with all the attitude of someone who really doesn't care too much about anything. Both his hands, however, remain near to the set of holstered bolt pistols at his hips.

Finally, Governor Belkan Kapak turns out to be practically the archetypical decadent noble type, lounging in a makeshift throne and simply watching everything that is going on with a neutral expression. He spots your arrival first, and as he turns to regard you the sallow flesh of a habitual obscura user is all too apparent.

"Ah, Lady-Captain Xanatov. Thank you for coming. "

Lucretia
2012-10-18, 07:00 PM
She gave a smile to everyone in the room. "Of course. Thank you for having me. I'm pleased to see the discussion has commenced already -- the orks certainly won't wait."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-18, 07:04 PM
Looks to be a decadent fool. Luff thought to himself. Let's hope appearances are deceiving.

Out loud, of course, he merely assumed a place slightly behind Lady Xanatov and stood to attention.

Donan
2012-10-19, 02:36 AM
"A pleasure to meet you all." Ulrich bows, making the sign of the aquilia. He nods slightly in Captain Locke's direction, the icon that shows his service to the Imperial Navy one of those present on his body armour. Otherwise though, he remains quiet, but focused on the conversation.

Winthrow
2012-10-19, 03:55 AM
Flanked and overshadowed by Luff's armored bulk Victris does little to attempt to draw attention onto himself. His gaze moves from one of the notables to the other making a quick assessment of each before seemingly turning his full attention to the hololithic display of the planetsystem, mentally adding the information to the results of his previous efforts with the augurs.

'A gathering of powerful notables and not a single one of them likely to cooperate other than at gunpoint. The Captain will have her work cut out for her to get them all to fall in line. On the other hand, having the biggest gun around have to help with that.'

Maugan Ra
2012-10-19, 01:21 PM
"Indeed they won't. Which is why now is the worst possible time for your foolish attempts at usurping power!" The General growls out, eyes fixed on the Navy captain. Locke, for her part, doesn't seem well prepared to back down.

"I am not attempting to 'usurp' anything, General. While I am sure your Commander Reynolds is a fine officer, he has never had to fight a fleet engagement on this scale before. I have. Letting me take command of the orbital units so you can focus on the ground war is only sensible, and you would see that if not for your stubborn pride."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-19, 02:33 PM
Luff struggled to prevent his rage from showing on his face. They're fighting for power? Now? He resisted the urge to strangle them. Nobles. Every time I start to forget why I hate them, they oh so helpfully remind me. Only an idiot or an inbred parasite wouldn't put the most experienced and capable in command of the defenses at this juncture.

Out loud, he said, "Excuse me. General, Captain, might I inquire as to the source of your contention? What exactly is the issue here, and what are your arguments for your own side?"

Baveboi
2012-10-19, 03:18 PM
Carlyle remained way back in the shadows of the crew. He noticed the others did not bring an entourage of their own, except for lowly bodyguards, so either this could be interpreted as an attempt of intimidation or the other parties don't have a specialized expedition like Lady Xanatov does. In either case it could become an insult. Let's not make things worse by drawing attention to the only man in the room that can read minds, right?

From the shadows of his hood and blindfold, Carlyle regarded all and decided to search the room for signs of wardings or psychic phenomena. Paranoia was his best friend, after all.
[roll0] against 61 psyniciense
[roll1] roll next turn if needed
People can notice I am drooling

Maugan Ra
2012-10-20, 03:03 AM
General Dante crosses his arms. "The Imperial wants to take total command of all of our space-born defense assets for the duration of the war. My men know the capabilities of their ships, and they've trained constantly for cooperative fighting ever since the SDF was founded. The Captain, for all her much-vaunted skill, is an outsider. She does not know the ships, and the crews do not know her. It will only introduce a potentially crippling weakness into the defense forces."

Locke looks to be restraining a curse. "Mixed-unit tactics are a vital part of the Navy's training, and the majority of the SDF is made up of small raider-level ships, which I have ample experience commanding. You've never fought a battle this large before, and never against the Orks - the ships will need decisive and experienced leadership. Something they will not receive if I, the most qualified officer present, am incapable of only providing suggestions."

Carlyle:
There are no psychic signatures or wards in the entire bunker at this time.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-20, 10:26 AM
"Have either of you fought either Orks or a planetary invasion before?"

Maugan Ra
2012-10-20, 10:31 AM
"Yes and yes. Hence why I am pursuing this." Locke says calmly.

Dante, for his part, says nothing.

Lucretia
2012-10-20, 10:44 AM
Anatazya was content to let the Enforcer speak. His years of military leadership were invaluable, and she knew he was capable of great insight, especially concerning matters of war. To her knowledge, Victris had the most experience against the orks, whereas Luff was a mutant-fighter, but combined they probably had the experience required for sound judgment. "I can understand the reluctance in handing the reins of the space defense force to an outsider, General. Your misgivings are only natural -- to give Captain Locke command would be to, if only tacitly, undermine your trust in Commander Reynolds. However, the current strife will see Damaris burn -- we must come to some agreement, as I'm sure you are aware."

She wanted to continue listening to the Enforcer and his line of questions, but she doubted he would be tactful in mollifying the General.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-20, 10:48 AM
"I don't mean to offend you, General, but it does seem to my eyes as though the good captain has the greater experience and qualifications. Perhaps it might be best to let her command?"

Charm: [roll0] vs. 40

Henry the 57th
2012-10-20, 10:49 AM
Fate point reroll:

[roll0] vs. 50

Edit: I'm not sure if I can do this, but if I can, I'm spending a second fate point to add 1 DoS to the roll.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-21, 12:53 AM
General Dante considers this, and eventually relents. "Very well. I'll want a liaison aboard your ship, and commander Reynolds stays in charge of the Bastion, but I'll tell my men to obey your orders."

Locke nods. "That should be quite acceptable." she turns to study you and the other Traders. "Am I going to have to go through the same routine with you? I'll leave local operations of your ships to yourselves, naturally, but will you at least concede to accepting deployment orders?"

Lucretia
2012-10-21, 12:59 AM
Tazya gave another weighted smile. "Thank you, General. Again, I understand your reservations, but thank you for cooperating. I believe the compromise will be excellent. And Captain, the Castle will most certainly accept deployment orders. I have every intention of seeing Damaris survive this invasion, and unity of forces will encourage this. I believe my sensors even observed a plethora of vox-nets established across the void? Surely we can eliminate that. The Castle's Master of Etherics is here, as is my Prime Enginseer -- I am sure we can reroute the vox-nets through either the Bastion or the Castle for the sake of unity." She looked over at Victris and Sigma, to see if either had something to add to this particular component of the discussion.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-21, 01:11 AM
Locke nods, and the Tech-Priest in the room takes that moment to chime in.

"Would recommend establishing communication networks through the Bastion. Geostationary position, less need for ongoing adjustments."

The other two Traders also consent to accept deployment orders with small nods of their heads. It is quite apparent, though, that they're both studying your group, trying to fit you into whatever calculations they've made regarding the potential future of this world.

Governor Kapak chooses this moment to speak up. "Well, while the Vox networks are adjusted and the ships deployed accordingly, we may as well take a short recess. Lady-Captain Xanatov, there are some things I would like to discuss with you, if you can spare the time." he says, standing and heading for the bunker entrance.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-21, 01:16 AM
Luff takes a moment after the governor's dismissal to slip aside and speak quietly to the good techpriest. "Excuse me, honored disciple of the Omnissiah, I was wondering if the Adeptus Mechanicus might have some extra weapons that you would be willing to sell or trade for. In particular, I am looking for a lascannon."

Donan
2012-10-21, 02:27 AM
Ulrich gives Locke a smile and a smart salute. "I wonder Captain, if I could steal some of your own time while we're in recess? It's been a good while since a chance to speak with a Naval captain."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-21, 02:29 AM
The Tech-Priest regards Luff silently for a few moments. "Why would a ship officer require a personal scale anti-vehicular weapon?"

Locke nods in acceptance to Ulrich. "Of course. My first officer is working on integrating the fleet elements. What would you wish to talk about?"

Donan
2012-10-21, 02:32 AM
"I regret I can't act as a full liasion, my duties on the Castle restrict me from such. But, if I can help streamline coordination between yourself and Lady-Captain Anatazya, I'd be most pleased to help in that area."

He quirks a sociable smile. "I also have a store of fine, imported amasec, and I understand you've been stationed here for quite some time."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-21, 02:42 AM
The Captain quirks an eyebrow, and you think you see the ghost of a smile pulling at her lips. "Aren't the Ecclesiarchy meant to warn us against the perils of such indulgence?"

Donan
2012-10-21, 02:52 AM
"Oh, most certainly, we'd words if you danced around the corridors of your ship, singing, but I sense you tend to enjoy savouring rather then over indulging, so there's little risk of those perils." He chuckles. "And I've long held the view that you don't need to completely restrict yourself to be faithful."

Lucretia
2012-10-21, 02:53 AM
Anatazya nodded and followed the Governor. "My crew will contact me via microbead if they need me, but I believe they'll wish to discuss things with the other members of the defense council. My master of etherics may wish to discuss naval strategy with Captain Locke, and I believe my enginseer will help establish a secondary vox-net in the event of catastrophic failure in one of the arrays of the Bastion. Taking a rok to the tower, perhaps? It is never unwise to plan ahead. But please, Governor, lead on."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-21, 02:58 AM
"Because I am also a ground combatant, with extensive training and experience with such holy weapons. If I did to intend and expect to meet the xenos scum personally at some point very soon, then I assure you that I would not be wearing this." Luff says, indicating his power armor. "I would not want to place such a revered machine in danger were it not necessary."

Charm: [roll0] vs. 50

Assuming I get that bonus from Lucretia.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-21, 06:01 AM
The Tech-Priest considers this for a few moments. "I shall consult with my Skittari units upon return to the Forge. There may be a suitable weapon for you." That said, he turns and departs from the chamber, crimson robes billowing behind him.

Locke smiles slightly at Ulrich. "A most welcome sentiment. I shall have to return to the Aegis soon, where I honestly expect to spend most of my time for the duration of this conflict. However, you are welcome to pay a visit there when you have some free time - I would be quite interested to discover how a Navyman came to serve as a priest on a Rogue Trader's ship."

Lady Xanatov

Kapak leads you back through the winding passageways of the palace, trailed by a small detachment of his guards. He talks as he goes. "The situation, I admit, does appear rather grim. The best estimates of our strategic staff say that the Orks will begin their attack in approximately ten days. We have limited enough resources to commit to our defense as it stands, and that is even assuming we can actually muster everything together rather than divide it amongst ourselves in political bickering."

You arrive at what is evidently the Governor's office. It looks generally little used, though on the heavy wooden desk is a small silver tray full of Obscura. Kapak starts preparing a pipe full of the stuff while he continues speaking. "We need unity amongst our forces, or we will be lost. Everyone agrees on this... but no one can tolerate the idea of anyone but themselves being in charge of that unity. It cannot be me, in any case - I do not possess a military mind, and I am well aware that my people see me more as a placeholder governor than a rallying voice. In time, perhaps, I could turn that around... but not before the Orks arrived."

He settles into a comfortable chair, inviting you to take one of the other seats arrayed around the room, and breathes in some of the narcotic smoke. "Nor can it be Captain Locke. She is, I have no doubt, a fine officer, but she is still an Imperial servant. To accept her is to accept the notion of placing our fates into the hands of the Imperium, and far too many of my people are reluctant to do so. There would be cantankerous moaning and her every decision would be challenged, and we'd all die."

"General Dante has much the same problem, though from the opposite direction. He's an independent, one of the loudest voices opposing Imperial integration, and that has made him far too many enemies over the years for everyone to follow him loyally now." The Governor smiles slightly. "I'm reasonably sure he's planning to have me killed and himself placed on the throne at some point. I can't really complain - my grandfather came to power in much the same way."

So, we come to the need for an outsider, a neutral party to help us prepare for the invasion and hold us all together throughout. Lady Orleans thinks it should be her, but she's been involved in Damarian politics long enough that people have already formed an opinion of her. She won't be able to bring enough of the factions together quickly enough for it to matter. Blitz is her ally, so he's out for much the same reason."

The Governor looks at you steadily. Despite the obscura fumes, his eyes are clear and his voice clipped and precise. "And so we come to you. Lady Xanatov, mistress of a once-powerful dynasty and complete outsider to the politics of Damaris. The perfect choice for a neutral mediator and acceptable commander in these troubled times. No one here has particular reason to oppose you, and even the most paranoid are likely to look at your diminished fortunes of late and think you too weak to exploit the power of any position they might put you in." he looks weary for a moment, old and tired. "I am quite aware they are wrong. If you do manage to pull everything here together, and we survive the invasion, I don't doubt you'll leverage it into immense personal wealth and power for your dynasty. And yet, if the choice is between that and total destruction by the Orks... Well, the choice is clear."

He waves a hand, and Jorun Alexander approaches with a data slate. "On this is a trade agreement that will grant your family a virtual monopoly on my worlds mercantile exports and development contracts. I'm told the wealth represented stretches into the billions of credits. All you have to do to earn it... Is save my world from the Orks."

Finished, he settles back and studies you for your reaction.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-21, 08:31 AM
Luff gives him a slight bow at the waist. "Thank you, honored adept."

Luff looks to see if the general is still here.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-21, 10:22 AM
Dante is indeed still present, currently looking over the holographic display and making notes on a dataslate.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-21, 10:57 AM
Luff walks up to him. "Greetings, General. I am Luff Budregard, enforcer and master-at-arms for Lady Xanatov. Might I trouble you for a review of our ground assets?"

Lucretia
2012-10-21, 11:29 AM
Lady Xanatov listened politely to the Governor's speech. He was unusually eloquent for an obscura user. There were obvious vices, but...

"I would like to look over the agreement, if you don't mind, Governor? And while I do, if you could answer just a few questions for me, I would be ever so grateful. While I agree with you that an outsider has a chance of unifying the disparate fractious factions of this feuding fife, it won't be easy. We'll need some sort of leverage in order to ensure their cooperation. If you believe the General may wish to harm you, we can station murder-servitors or mercenaries in the palace -- I imagine the latter would be of more comfort than the former -- as to thwart any attempts on your life."

Presuming he agreed to the questions, she would take the contract from Jorun. "If you don't mind, these questions should be in a private venue. If you don't mind, Mr. Alexander?"

[roll0] v. 85 to check over the contract and to find ways to improve it for the Xanatov Dynasty.

Donan
2012-10-21, 02:17 PM
Locke smiles slightly at Ulrich. "A most welcome sentiment. I shall have to return to the Aegis soon, where I honestly expect to spend most of my time for the duration of this conflict. However, you are welcome to pay a visit there when you have some free time - I would be quite interested to discover how a Navyman came to serve as a priest on a Rogue Trader's ship."

He smiles and dips his head. "I'd be honoured Captain, if you'd have me. I'd enjoy the chance to share some of my past with a kindred soul. It's only a shame that the times are currently so dire, but that may suggest other benefits to us staying in contact, ones of a more official nature."

Baveboi
2012-10-22, 09:14 PM
No psychic influence, no signatures, no wards. Do they have any of my brothers close by, I wonder? A little dismayed, Carlyle turns his gaze to the room and to the others still here, all either engaged in friendly banter or professional conversations with no place for himself in either. All except the Master of Etherics. Carlyle smiles slightly at the opportunity.

Lord Victris feels a tug at his wear. The Psyker seems to be politely inviting the Voidmaster for a talk outside the bunker. He is also shyly asking for... a lho, or is Victris seeing things? Without speaking a word he turns around, asking the guards to let them have some fresh air.

Winthrow
2012-10-23, 12:29 AM
Watching the hololith, Victris could almost feel himself going back through time to the tactics seminars First officer Takedius had held back on the Razor. 'Where is the Enemy!' the man had growled as he prowled the bridge, glaring at the junior officers, his officers baton held loosely in his hand. Where is he going and above all Where will you stop him? A dozen eyes strained to pierce the flickering screens of the bridge hololith, knowing the implied threat of the shockbaton for a flawed answer.

Snapping back to the present Victris narrowed his eyes, trying to pierce the mysteries of this larger display. The sensors and augurs of the Castle had told him some, but this display was pieces together from years of detailed surveys, holding much valuable data about the system and it's peculiarities. Determined to learn as much as possible about it Victris did his best to memorize the map and the few hidden defence installations marked upon it.


Rolling for Navigation Stellar, primarily to affect second roll.
[roll0] vs 50

Rolling for Tactica Imperialis, trying to formulate a plan for defence of the planet.
[roll1]


As he finally began to surface once more he felt a tug on his sleeve, slowly turning his head he noticed the Captains pet psyker standing just next to him, trying to indicate for him to follow. A quick glance around the room showed that most of those present where already engaged in conversation. The pair of Rogue Traders were speaking in low voices, sending glares in the direction of the inner doors. The ships confessor were speaking with the Naval captain just as the Enforcer had clanked over to the general to adress him. Where the representative from the Adeptus Mechanicus had gone there was no telling. Seeing his options limited he fell into step with the Astropath, deciding it was better to heed his request of private conversation rather than having his privacy invaded once more with the psykers own version of a whisper. Giving the Naval Captain a long glance as they moved towards her on the way to the doors he straightened up impercpitably, offering an appropriate salute for a superior officer not in your direct chain of command.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-23, 01:31 AM
Lady Xanatov

The contract is fairly impressive already, though you do find a few areas to amend slightly in your favour. In the end, it doesn't quite grant you a monopoly, but the only sections of Damaris uncovered are those presently connected to Lady Orleans. The potential profit involved does depend on how much of the planet survives the Ork invasion, since a blasted wasteland is hard to produce valuable trade goods from.

Jorun Alexander departs with a bow, and the Governor smiles. "While I thank you for the thought of concern, I would advise against it. Visibly protecting me might easily be seen as taking my side, and could alienate the General and his troops." he chuckles in a resigned fashion. "Honestly, assisting him with a coup might be excellent leverage. I'd quite naturally prefer not to die, but if it helps keep Damaris alive, well, it's a small price to pay." He seems remarkably calm about the prospect. Probably the Obscura.

"As for more all-purpose leverage, well... The SDF does not have any warp capable vessels. Right now, you, your fellow Traders and the good Captain Locke are the only viable means of evacuation for anyone on this world. I imagine you can use that to secure cooperation."

The Bunker

Dante straightens up as Luff approaches, his face expressionless as he listens to the Enforcers request. "You are not within the chain of command. Why should I share strategic information like that with you? All I need from you is a list of what forces you might be able to commit to the ground fight."

Locke returns the salute as Victris moves past, before returning her attention to Ulrich. "It appears that House Xanatov still maintains their reputed connections with the Battlefleet. Feel free to bring him with you when we can make the time. Actually, I believe there's some sort of diplomatic party coming up soon - a keep calm and carry on type affair for the various important locals - which I'll be obliged to attend. Actually interesting company would be most welcome there. In the mean time, I must return to my ship. Good day, Father." she inclines her head to Ulrich, before turning and departing the bunker at a brisk stride.

Victris can easily deduce the bulk of the intended strategy from the holographic display. At present, most of the naval forces are drawn up in a general defensive position around the planet, covering all sides equally. Annotations indicate that once the offensive begins, scout vessels will use the recorded incoming trajectories of the invaders to trace back their starting point amongst the heavy asteroid fields at the system's edge. From there, strikes against the Ork's supply bases and reserve forces can be properly planned.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-23, 01:59 AM
"But of course, General. The Phoenix Wing, Third Regiment." Luff gives the general a briefing on the Phoenix Wing forces available. "However, as you say, I am outside the chain of command. Consequently, so are they. Thus, I will decide where these forces go, and I require a strategic overview of the current ground situation to make any decision."

Donan
2012-10-23, 03:52 AM
Ulrich salutes smartly, then seeks out an aide as most seem to have departed in different directions. He makes a mental note to talk to Victrix about the invitation when he gets chance. The confessor smiles at the aide he finds. "Excuse me, goodman, but can you carry a message to Bishop Arint? Confessor Ulrich von Liechtenstein would like to ask for some of his time, if he has any to spare?

Ah, and I understand there's to be a diplomatic ball soon? Could you provide me more information on that event, please?"

Baveboi
2012-10-23, 11:57 AM
By the gates Carlyle asks a guard for a lho and lights it with the man's own lighter. "Thank you, soldier." he says in that lowly smirk of his. Outside of the bunker the Psyker gives two long sideglances, faking his sight a little bit to not bring unwanted eyes upon him and then he turns to talk with Victris.

"Do you smoke, Master Victris? It's a healthy habit, you know, especially for those in our field of work." Carlyle gives the voidsmaster a friendly smile, but quickly resumes his more serious parlour. "I don't trust the general, nor the other Rogue Traders, but I don't think I have enough power to penetrate their minds and see for myself. There are far too many wild cards on this table. I ask now your opinion, Master Victris. What do you think? Should we give them the blessings of trust and blindly walk amongst them or are you just as unnerved by this as I am?"

Lucretia
2012-10-23, 05:33 PM
She nodded and cracked her back. "Governor, there is one other thing that I desire for my cooperation in this situation. It's simple, really. Although you may not know it, my dynasty very recently received a death knell. I find myself the bearer of this warrant, and fear that with my death, the Xanatovs will be gone for good."

Taz looked over at him and sighed. "As far as leverage over the general goes, I'm not particularly worried. What you've said makes sense, though, and it's quite possible I could throw my support behind him, so to speak. But honestly, more than the money of Damaris, what I need is a husband.

"If there is some sort of a coup, having my assistance will prevent you from dying. I can speak with the General after this, feigning aggravation towards your drug use, perhaps. From there we can resolve to speak later, and after some token show of loyalty, I can become his backer and conspirator. Once you are 'deposed,' you can come aboard the Castle if you'd like, so that even should Damaris fall, you'll be easily evacuated.

"Regardless, thank you for the information. Do you have anything else on the others? The Lady Orleans, perhaps? Her economic hold on Damaris is extensive and enviable. I'm hoping I can somehow upset the balance of power during this invasion."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 05:16 AM
The Governor frowns slightly. "I can't endorse a plan which sees me fleeing with my life while my planet and it's people burn behind me. I cannot claim to have many principles, but that is certainly one of them."

He inhales some more of the Obscura. "Lady Orleans is an interesting woman. A strong ally of this world, and one of our primary investors... she's also a firm supporter of Damarian independence. I confess, we do not exactly get on, so I've never been able to take the full measure of her in person."

The Bunker

Dante studies Luff for a long moment. It's quite plain to see that he doesn't like the idea of you maintaining such influence and potentially knowledge of the ground war... but he's also pragmatic enough not to turn down the possibility of assistance from a full regiment of soldiers.

"This city holds Damaris' largest population centre by a considerable margin, as well as the vast majority of its economic and industrial infrastructure. It will therefore form the lynchpin of any ground war that develops." he explains curtly. "I have the First and Second Levy regiments spread amongst the other cities and vital facilities across the planet, both to protect our people and supply lines, and ensure the anti-orbital defense arrays remain operational."

He taps a few commands on the display table, and it changes to display a map of the city. "The Third and Fourth regiments are stationed along the city walls, two battalions to each quadrant, supported by the mustered arms-men and house troops contributed by the other Trader Dynasties. Each wall is also supported by artillery from the Highland Wardens. "

"We have a mobile reserve formed of the Sphinx Heavy Guards tank companies and the Stormtroopers contributed by Captain Locke. They will remain in a central location and reinforce whichever areas look to be in the most danger. They are also our primary offensive force, for disrupting Ork forces outside the city before they can properly coordinate and attack us en masse."

He looks back up at Luff. "Any questions?"

The aide agrees to relay the message to the Bishop, and informs you of the ball. Apparently, just about everyone is going to be there, as it was intended to be the social event of the year and the Governor sees no need to cancel it just because of the impending invasion, on account of morale. Even the Mechanicus have agreed to attend.

(And in an OoC sense, it's your single biggest chance to influence as many different individuals as possible. Make the most of it when it arrives.)

Donan
2012-10-24, 05:23 AM
In the meantime, Ulrich finds himself a comfortable place to sit and sip amasec, voxing Victris. ++Void master, would you care to join me? I have an invitation from Captain Locke that I'm sure you'd find of interest.++

Winthrow
2012-10-24, 06:36 AM
Walking beside the blindfolded psyker Victris kept pace with him, thoughts still whirling with the possibilities and dangers shown on the hololithic display. The defence seemed to be a rather strong one, even before the arrival of the Castle but it was also rigid and thin. A strong assault against one of the weaker positions was likely to punch through to the surface, and with the planet in the middle it would be difficult for the ships to reinforce one another. All in all an interesting tactical excercise.


"Do you smoke, Master Victris? It's a healthy habit, you know, especially for those in our field of work."

'My former Captain had very strong opinions on what he considered personal vices, even beneficial ones. I never did acquire the habit.' Listening to Carlyles suggestions with a sense of growing trepidation Victris made sure to glance around, noting that the guard had moved away out of earshot on his patrol. 'Speaking too loudly about your talents may land us with more trouble than we started with, especially when suggesting using them against our presumptive allies. Their was never a question of trusting them blindly however, I have no doubt that the Captain even now is seeking appropriate leverage to secure their cooperation. I believe that the Naval Captain seeks the glory of leading the defence in our skies, I recall something of her reputation and it's solid but she has been passed over for promotion. It may be that she needs to prove herself or cover some sort of black mark in her records. Between the Ulrich and myself I believe we should be able to get a pretty good grip on her.'

Raising his gaze to the overcast skies above the city he continues. 'The two traders are more complex and at the same time more simple. They are both here for profit, like ourselves. Orleans to protect her investment, Blitz either as her ally or a third player in that regard. Making sure they receive a share of the riches spoils should keep them somewhat in line. The Adeptus Mechanicus...' He shrugs. 'Who can tell what they are thinking, we'll have to rely on Sigma there. The greatest wildcard I believe is that General and that is mainly because I have no idea of where his loyalties lie. He might need to be examined more closely but not without the Captains permission. I think that...' He cuts off, lifting on hand to the microbead in his ear.

++Confessor, thank you I was hoping to speak with the good Captain Locke, where might I find you?++

Donan
2012-10-24, 06:45 AM
++I found a rather comfortable lounge, not too far inside. The Claret by name, and the servants should be able to show you the way.++ He breaks off as he's offered a selection of fine cigars. "Ah, thank you m'dear." The priest smiles, savouring the comforts that come before the inetivable fighting, and worse, social dulls of diplomancy. ++We have a standing invitation to meet her on the Aegis, at our leisure. With the coming conflict, it'd provide an excellent chance for a mutually benefical connection.++

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 07:25 AM
"Yes. To what extent is the city self-sufficient? Is it possible for the xenos scum to simply destroy key infrastructure outside the city and wait for us to collapse? For example, does the bulk of the city's food, water, or fuel come from inside or outside the planned defended area?"

Luff studies the general for a moment. "Also, we're on the same side. We shouldn't feel the need to hide important things from each other."

Charm: [roll0] vs. 40

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 08:18 AM
Dante snorts contemptuously. "The same side? You want to turn my world into a stable little investment to help line your pockets. I work with you by necessity, not choice."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 08:46 AM
Luff stares right back. "My employer does. Me? I have no interest in money, or who rules this pathetic ball of dirt. I only care that one of the Emperor's worlds is at risk from xenos scum, and that it's people are at risk." He makes a extra effort to appear large by straightening out, using his power armor to loom over the general. "You need me if you want this world to live through this fight, and I suggest you not forget it."

Intimidate: [roll0] vs. 50

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 09:01 AM
General Dante laughs scornfully. "Need you? Your arrogance is astounding. If you're quite finished with your schoolyard posturing, I have a war to plan. Get out, and tell Lady Xanatov to keep a tighter control of her dogs."

He turns away, visibly dismissing you.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 09:11 AM
Arrogant little two-bit buffoon. I doubt he's ever seen a war. Luff thinks, resisting the urge to strangle the man.

Luff turns and walks out the door, deciding to pay a visit to the magos he spoke with earlier, to consult with him on the state of his defenses.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 09:23 AM
A few enquiries later, and Luff has discovered that Magos Shard maintains his forge on an island in the middle of the large lake (it's almost to the scale of an inland sea) to the north of the city. Access is apparently restricted to a monorail or direct shuttle flight.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 09:27 AM
Luff decides to check to see how long it would take to get a shuttle.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 09:34 AM
The quickest way would be to get the Castle to send one down for you. And, of course, to then find a way through the No-Fly zone around the island. The Mechanicus are rather infamously paranoid when it comes to their facilities.

cgrela
2012-10-24, 09:35 AM
Sigma will accompany Luff to the island.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 09:38 AM
Luff calls for a shuttle and gladly accepts Sigma's offer to come along.

cgrela
2012-10-24, 09:42 AM
"It will be interesting to see what sort of capacity such a world has. I hope we will be able to improve this world's defenses, as well as our own.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 09:47 AM
Boarding the shuttle at the star port, you head for the island. It is an impressive sight from the windows of the shuttle - virtually the entire isle looks to have been armour plated, or perhaps merely heavily developed, and an endless profusion of pipes and active vents are all that can be clearly seen. It appears that most of the facility is actually subterranean.

As you approach, the Vox on the shuttle flares to life.
+Inbound craft. You have entered Adeptus Mechanicus airspace. Transmit authorization codes.+

The harsh chiming noise of a target lock alarm informs you of the consequences of not obeying.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 09:51 AM
Luff turns to Sigma. "You do have appropriate authorization codes, correct?"

If he doesn't, Luff will use the planet's military codes.

cgrela
2012-10-24, 10:04 AM
Yes, I have the codes that will identify us as being of the Adeptus Mechanicus. He activates the vox-caster, and unleashes a a long and irritating noise in binary chatter.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 10:12 AM
A similar stream of binary comes back, confirming your identity and directing you to a particular landing pad, where an envoy will be waiting. The target lock dies away, though you can't work out what exactly it was that was aimed at you.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 10:31 AM
Once we land, Luff will step out and take a look around, noting who or what has been sent to greet us (and thus how important we are perceived to be).

Lucretia
2012-10-24, 02:59 PM
The Governor frowns slightly. "I can't endorse a plan which sees me fleeing with my life while my planet and it's people burn behind me. I cannot claim to have many principles, but that is certainly one of them."

He inhales some more of the Obscura. "Lady Orleans is an interesting woman. A strong ally of this world, and one of our primary investors... she's also a firm supporter of Damarian independence. I confess, we do not exactly get on, so I've never been able to take the full measure of her in person."

Anatazya nodded. "Very admirable, Governor. Thank you for the information concerning Lady Orleans. Do you know anything of the others? I would very much prefer to win as many of these individuals to my side as I can -- it should help save Damaris. Divided, we fall. I can't abide to see this world plunged into darkness by the greenskins."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 04:54 PM
Lady Xanatov

Kapak nods. "A sentiment many share. But I'm afraid I know little about the others - Blitz is new on the scene, and the Mechanicus have always been something of a closed book to me."

The Island Forge

Waiting at the base of the ramp is an honour guard of Skittari, a full platoon's worth drawn up in twin files on either side of the path. Magos Shard appears to have come to greet you personally, his heavy red robes rippling in the downdraft of the shuttle engines and his cybernetic expression inscrutable. Behind him, a pair of Praetorian battle servitors loom menacingly, all polished chrome and gaping weapon barrels.

Lucretia
2012-10-24, 04:58 PM
"Do you think the Mechanicus will be open to saving themselves? My vessel has a cornucopia of archeotech on board -- they may be interested in studying it. I would be open to allowing their scribes on board, pending a discussion with my prime enginseer of course, in return for their support. I wonder if that would be an adequate trade... ah! But I don't wish to bore you, Governor."

Anatazya looked around the room, taking stock of whatever was visible. She also looked for something to drink.

"Between this contract and Lady Orleans, it would seem Lord Blitz has little to gain for being here. Do we have any information whatsoever on why he's arrived? Perhaps another contract that would compete with mine?"

Maugan Ra
2012-10-24, 05:11 PM
The Governor sits back in his chair. "Another contract? Seeing as I'm the only one who can authorize things on that scale, if Blitz had a contract... Well, it would imply some quite unfortunate things about my business practices and intentions, now wouldn't it?" he smiles slightly. "He does fit the 'powerful outsider' type quite well though, doesn't he? Almost as much as you do."

Lucretia
2012-10-24, 05:14 PM
[roll0] v. 25, Using Fate Point for +10.

If it fails, [roll1] v. 25, using a fate point to reroll. Once I know whether she thinks he's lying or not, I'll make my next post.

I really need to get scrutiny, sheesh.

EDIT: Grrrr.

Did she see anything to drink, by the way? She did look around. I was hoping for a description of the chamber we were in.

Taz laughed. "You've already admitted you're willing to die for your planet. That level of devotion indicates a willingness to do anything for the desired result. You can't blame me for my caution, can you? Regardless. Blitz has a lovely ship in space. It's just inferior to mine."

Examining a nail, she mentioned offhandedly, "as for fitting the powerful outsider archetype, it works better when your ship isn't coated in gold. Ostentatiousness has a time and a place. That time and place is definitely not against the orks. Still, it presents a certain candor, a certain confidence. I suppose that's worthwhile."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-24, 05:19 PM
Luff snaps to attention and gives the Magos a very crisp military salute. "Greetings, honored Magos Shard."

cgrela
2012-10-24, 09:47 PM
Sigma walks down the ramp beside Luff, and gives his own greeting, in binary. Speaking in a more normal way. Your forge appears impressive. The work done here honors the Omnissiah.

Baveboi
2012-10-24, 10:27 PM
Astropath Carlyle has that same apologetic way about him as all the other Astropaths do. No surprise he just bowed his head in acknowledgement of Master Victris dismissive opinions of his fears. The psyker was probably just paranoid, anyway. "It's best then we talk further no more until we are back inside the Castle, if the place unnerves you so, Master Victris. I could assure you no one would have second guesses at what we have to say, but I can feel my abilities cause you only more discomfort."

After Victris receives his Vox call the Choir-Master's face brighten a tad little bit. Carlyle gestures for Victris to go inside and throw away the stump of his lho stick away. "The Lady Captain must be finishing her business with the Governor in a moment, as well, so we can all leave soon. I can't wait to be back into the warm embrace of the Castle's inner holds. I never liked dwelling in dirt. Too loose." To drive his point home he kicks a small pebble in the distance.

Maugan Ra
2012-10-25, 05:26 AM
Magos Shard nods and folds his hands into the sign of the Cog (rotating several joints in bizarre ways to manage it).

"Yes, it does. Why are you here?"

Henry the 57th
2012-10-25, 07:48 AM
Luff cannot make the sign of the Cog, so he settles for returning the sign of the Aquila instead. "I wished to discuss the matter of the upcoming xenos attack, and what the Mechanicus plans to do should they reach the planet."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-25, 04:15 PM
"There is little to discuss. We have ample forces available to defend our own facilities, but to divert Skittari elsewhere will compromise that defensive capability. We have no orbital craft. What else needs to be covered?"

Henry the 57th
2012-10-25, 04:38 PM
"What of your anti-aircraft capabilities? And may I nquire as to the precise number of Skittari?"

Maugan Ra
2012-10-25, 04:47 PM
"We have enough to ensure our own defense." Magos Shard says flatly, apparently in response to both questions.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-25, 04:56 PM
"And none you might spare?"

Maugan Ra
2012-10-26, 12:13 PM
"Calculations have indicated they are better placed around Mechanicus facilities than other locations."

Lady Xanatov

The chamber you are in a finely appointed office. The floor is covered in a rich burgundy carpet, and a series of paintings hang from the walls. There is a small table nearby set with a tray and glasses of what looks to be fine quality amasec.

"I wouldn't know about such things." Kapak demurs. It's almost impossible to get a proper read of him as it stands, though it would speak of an impressive will if he were able to perform such trickery while high on Obscura. "Though I am quite sure the coming days will prove which of you has the right idea, one way or the other."

Henry the 57th
2012-10-26, 12:32 PM
Luff nods. "Well, in that case, there was one other thing I wanted to speak with you about. But first, I must know: are we safe from prying ears here?"

Lucretia
2012-10-27, 10:01 AM
"So the major players are the General, the Captain, the two Rogue Traders, yourself... Commander Reynolds, perhaps? I believe the Captain will support us, you've given me a lead on the General, I presume I have your support. Have I missed anyone? Or is there any additional information you might have on the situation? If not, I'll prepare the Castle for a dedicated space battle."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-27, 05:15 PM
The Forge

There is a faint whining noise, and suddenly all your communications and recording gear deactivates. Shard does not so much as blink.

"We are now."

Governor's Office

"You certainly have my support, and I will trust your word that the good Captain will support you as well. Commander Reynolds is an old childhood friend of the General - he might be able to put in a good word for you, and generally he supports Dante in all things."

Kapak sets the Obscura aside. "I believe that is everything, yes. And I naturally wish you the best of luck, and speed in preparing your ship."

Lucretia
2012-10-27, 07:34 PM
She nodded and stood. "Good. If you change your mind about coming to the Castle, just send a vox to us." Taz smiled and waited for any ending statements from the Governor before leaving. That Reynolds was an old friend of Dante's was interesting. It could be worthwhile to see if they could use him to influence the General. Perhaps Reynolds had a family he'd like to see survive the war no matter what...? Hmm...

Henry the 57th
2012-10-27, 08:55 PM
"Then I wished to present you with an invitation, in gratitude for your earlier generosity. Castle Xanatov has a considerable amount of archaotech components aboard, such as a teleportarium, and I thought you might wish to study them, when you find yourself with some time."

Maugan Ra
2012-10-28, 11:13 AM
The forge

Shard inclines his head. "Most generous. I shall be sure to take you up on the offer when I have the time."

Governor's Office

Kapak nods to you. "I shall bear it in mind. Emperor bless your efforts."

He settles back to finish his Obscura as you depart.

Henry the 57th
2012-10-28, 12:03 PM
Luff nods. "I look forward to it." He looks at Sigma. "Explorator?"

Winthrow
2012-10-30, 06:23 AM
Victris offers a brief nod towards Carlyle in response to his comment about the dirt. With a horde of Orcs nearby there are few places other than the Castle that anyone should feel comfortable. Filthy creatures. He turns his head and spits on the stones of the patio. 'I believe that the Lady Captain should be finished shortly and we can have you back in your quarters in hardly no time at all.' Pointedly ignoring both jabs about his rattled composure he turns towards the door. 'I will go and try to find the Claret Lounge, Ulrich claims he has found a pleasant location in which to await the Captain.'

Leading the way inside Victris used his scrambled vox to contact the Castle, asking for an update on what was going on in space. Learning to his surprise that Luff and Sigma had taken one of the shuttles and transferred to the nearby mechanicus forge he immediately attempted to reach Luff, frowning in frustration at the lack of a response. Going back to his microbead he decided to try and reach the Captain instead.

++Captain Xanatov, pardon for disturbing you. The Castle reports that the Master Engineseer and Enforcer took a shuttle to the Adeptus Mechanicus forge and tracked them all the way there but I cannot seem to reach them on vox.++ Following the directions from one of the palace servants he turned a corner just as he said the last word, stepping into the Claret lounge with a nod of greeting towards Ulrich.

Donan
2012-10-30, 09:23 AM
"Ah, my good friend! Come, sit, sit!" Ulrich waved the man over brightly, pouring out a glass of amasec for them each. "This is a quite excellent year." He chuckles. "It seems they took care to select an excellent vintage when they began this colony."

Baveboi
2012-10-31, 10:52 PM
Carlyle remained at the far end of the room. He was habituated to respect the distance he could put between him and the servants of the Monitorun. Ulrich wasn't a bad man, by all means, but old habits are hard to get rid off.

He did move to get a glass of wine, however. Not too much, just enough to leave a taste of it. "Ah, the fine things in life."

Maugan Ra
2012-11-01, 01:13 PM
Timeskip

Two days later, as was scheduled, the Governor's banquet is held in the Royal Palace. Guests have been arriving in a constant stream for several hours now, all dressed up in their finest livery and evidently determined to forget the impending invasion for at least one night. Or at least, most of them are - several quite clearly have the crafty looks of those preparing to make and break alliances tonight.

Jorun Alexander, dressed in an understated yet striking set of ornamental robes, greets your party just outside and escorts you in to the main hall. The guards line each wall, all wearing their cleanly pressed dress uniforms and generally trying to remain impassive as they conduct their duties. The aide moves ahead of you into the ballroom.

"From the far reaches of the God-Emperor's domain, I present the honorable Lady-Captain Xanatov and entourage! "

The party inside is evidently in full swing, what would normally be a vast and empty hall now positively packed with the upper echelons of the local nobility. A great crystal chandelier hangs overhead, and in a roped off section to one side a procession of gilded servitors are laying out a banquet of exquisite foodstuffs on long tables. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of guests mill around, their various elaborate outfits lending them the appearance of a swarm of peacocks, while in the background you think you can hear the sound of faint singing.

Governor Kapak is here, of course, currently entertaining a small group of younger nobles, who all appear to be tolerating him... though the slight smile on his face is far from ignorant. The Governor apparently has two guests with him - an elderly gentleman in the distinctive robes of an Ecclesiarchal Bishop, and a scrawny stick of a human with a band of green cloth covering his eyes.

Captain Locke is likewise present, in the full dress uniform of the Imperial Navy, along with a man you can only assume is her second in command. Neither of them appear to be enjoying the event very much - clearly uncomfortable, they are avoiding the other guests and conversing with each other in what appears to be a subdued yet furious argument.

General Dante, for his part, occupies the far side of the room from the Captain, accompanied by a slightly portly individual in similar dress uniform to himself, surrounded by aides. Neither of the soldiers appear to be much enjoying the party either.

The same cannot be said of Lady Orleans, who is making the rounds of the hall in an elegant dress of white silks and engaging in spirited conversation with whoever happens to cross her path. Jeremiah Blitz is likewise present, the very image of a dashing rogue in his dramatic overcoat, and has already drawn the attention of several beautiful noblewomen with what appears to be stories of his own heroic exploits.

Distinctly separate from everyone else, the crimson robed form of Magos Shard stands utterly motionless in not quite the middle of the room. Considering the complete lack of any emotion his mechanical body presents, it is quite impressive that he still manages to look so completely bored.

Henry the 57th
2012-11-01, 04:24 PM
Luff is at Lady Xanatov's side, wearing a rather generic but crisp dress uniform, tassels and brass buttons polished to a shine. Polished jackboots adorn his feet, and he is unarmed save for the laspistol in a ceremonial case at his side, and a small, flat knife concealed inside his boot. He is suppressing it as best he can, but occasional nervous ticks show he does not feel entirely comfortable here. His face is fully visible, he has no armor, no heavy weapons, and is surrounded by nobles.

Baveboi
2012-11-01, 10:04 PM
Carlyle has dressed in the green-blue gown of the Astropaths, visibly unarmed and unarmored, and feels no small bliss at meeting another of his brothers. Aside from seething the feelings of unease that Master Luff is practically emanating there are few joys to be had this night. Carlyle fell for hoping a tale or two could be shared amongst him and the other psyker. Stimulating his gift just in the right frequency he sends a feeling in wave form that only someone psyniscient could catch. The meaning is fraternal; the wish for conversation and shared tales.

Maugan Ra
2012-11-02, 08:40 AM
The thin man shadowing Kapak looks directly over at Carlyle, even despite the green covering over his eyes. His expression doesn't change, but the Astropath can feel the returning frequency - acceptance, and the greetings of comradeship.

The court Astropath begins to move away from his lord, nimbly avoiding the various other guests until he reaches a relatively isolated spot in the room, where he and Carlyle should be able to speak without wildly discomforting all those around them.

Donan
2012-11-02, 09:13 AM
Ulrich smiles ironically, looking towards the Captain. "If you've no objections Lady Captain, I'll try to help spare Captain Locke from her current sufferings."

Lucretia
2012-11-03, 02:43 PM
With her hair down and various expensive pieces of jewelry adorning her, Tazya looked the part of the wealthy scion, despite her family's recent setbacks. She held a hand to Ulrich. "Not yet, Confessor. We need more information first. You will notice the retinues each of our friends have brought? Speak with them first, if you can. Our darling Captain Locke is in an argument -- I trust you understand the importance of figuring out why? It could be useful for turning her to our side. After all, she will be giving the orders in space." The statement made her lips curl upwards.

"I'm going to speak with the General's aide. Confessor, if you would speak with the bishop? Carlyle, the blind man? Enforcer, if you'll follow me? Officer Nekh-Xanatov, if you could speak with the man arguing with Captain Locke? Enginseer, the Magos? They started the meeting without me. Who knows what information was bandied about before we actually started obtaining it? I don't wish for the same to happen this time."

Baveboi
2012-11-03, 05:38 PM
The Astropath was just waiting for the Lady's foreseeable orders and like a trigger unto an automated gun, he unleashes himself forward, whispering with every step. "Oh, but my lady, that man is everything but blind." The smirk on his face told of a joke that has long lost it's mirth.

Approaching his Brother in Bonds with a eager yet respectful stroll, Carlyle's smile brightened into a great shinning force. "Carlyle, Transcendent rank of House Xanatov." His whispered tone would be hard to hear for everyone except the ones bound to the Golden Throne. That that was a providence of enjoyment was stamped on Carlyle's booming face. "It is an unbound pleasure to meet one of our order."

Maugan Ra
2012-11-03, 06:02 PM
The other Astropath smiles in return. "Stanys, Damarian Choir-master." he says softly. "And it is a pleasure indeed. None of the others have seen fit to invite our peers along, and I was beginning to fear for time lost in such company as this."

Though he does not move, Carlyle can tell the other Astropath is almost peering at him. "You sing in the depths of space, then, brother? I confess to some envy, chained to the ground as I am."

Dante and his companion turn to regard Xanatov as she makes her way over. "Lady Captain." the General says in a non-committal tone of voice.

Donan
2012-11-03, 06:06 PM
Ulrich nods, approaching the fellow man of the cloth. "Ah, Bishop! A great honour to finally have the chance to meet you." He made the sign of the aquilia. "I am Confessor Liechenstein, and have the pleasure of serving with Lady Captain Xanatov."

Maugan Ra
2012-11-03, 06:11 PM
"Hmm? Ah, confessor Liechtenstein!" the Bishop says, turning to you and smiling widely, like a man meeting an old friend. "Yes, I remember getting a message from you, requesting a meeting. I am terribly sorry that I could not find time before now, but with the impending troubles, my ministry has been extremely busy tending to the worries of the populace... I'm sure you understand."

Lucretia
2012-11-03, 06:14 PM
Anatazya waited until she could speak with the General's friend on his own, presuming such a time ever happened. In the meanwhile, she chatted with others at the gala. If the aide ever left to get a drink or something without the General, Tazya would walk up to him and smile. "Good evening!"

Maugan Ra
2012-11-03, 06:28 PM
The slightly portly man looks around as Xanatov greets him. "Ah, Lady-Captain. A pleasure. Commander Reynolds, System Defence Forces." he says politely.

Lucretia
2012-11-03, 06:41 PM
She returns the smile. "Charmed! The man who controls the Bastion, correct? I'm really rather in awe of the battlestation -- it's truly beautiful. I would hate to be a greenskin once the Bastion begins to fire!" Taz took a drink and sipped it lightly. "I trust you are enjoying yourself tonight?"

[roll0] v. 85, using a Fate Point to up it by 10. I'll probably reroll it should that fail.

Rerolled in the OOC thread. Because that's silly.

Maugan Ra
2012-11-03, 06:50 PM
Reynolds nods, unconsciously drawing himself up. "Indeed, the Bastion is my direct command. All our tactical projections show it playing a crucial role in the coming conflict - not just in offensive might, but also in the repair facilities it contains."

"The evening has been... tolerable, so far. I've never been exceptionally comfortable planet side, or at formal functions like this. I leave such things to Remi... ah, General Dante. Something he never forgives me for." he says with a faint smile.

Lucretia
2012-11-03, 06:58 PM
Taz continued to smile. "Repair facilities? I saw a few docks, but surely those won't be operational during a space battle, will they? I must confess I am extremely interested in the finer points of space tactics, but I'm ashamed to admit I've never had a proper tutor in them. Perhaps we could take your mind off of the party and discuss the Void? I would hate dreadfully for you to leave tonight thinking it a total waste."

He spoke to me, so we can presume he isn't at -30. If he was Contemptful, that's a -20, so in total 4 DoS, which would give a +10. If he was Disdainful or above, then that would be 5 or 6 DoS, both of which arrive at a +30. So this next roll will have a higher bonus than normal.

[roll0] v. 75+X, depending on his starting Disposition.

EDIT: I had forgotten, the change in disposition is 1+1/DOS, so no matter what the least she could get would be +10. So X must equal +10 at the least, and thus the above was, at the very least, a partial success that upped his disposition by one.

Maugan Ra
2012-11-03, 07:28 PM
"The Bastion maintains internal docks that allow us to fully repair our own ships in as close to complete safety as we can manage. They were not set up to care for anything larger than a Light Cruiser, unfortunately." he says, seemingly apologetic. "We may still repair your ship, and Lord Blitz's, should they become damaged, but only via the external facilities. The cost of any such work will of course be waived, given your assistance in the battle, but as you say, finding the time amongst the Ork attacks may be problematic. "

"I'm afraid, however, that I would be a dreadfully boring teacher. I've never mastered the knack of doing so without sounding dreadfully condescending."