"Of course," Ambelus replied to Gallus, tugging open a drawer. He handed over two thin dataslates. "These have maps, and a copy of what I've just shown you. Volkes has a habit of taking a lot of notes during an investigation, so you'll likely find some handwritten stuff at the safehouse, which'll probably be more up to date. You'll also be wanting these." The commander placed what looked like a small stack of playing cards on the table. On closer inspection, they were thin, translucent plastic wafers, filigreed with layers of golden circuitry.
"These are what the hive rail passes look like. There are various ranks issued to citizens, of which gold is the highest; unlimited
access. As you might imagine they're bloody valuable on the black market, and a dead hint you've got powerful connections, either legitimate or otherwise. Don't go flashing them about. It generally leads to a lot of unpleasantness for everyone involved when one of these goes missing, particularly because the nobility's tend to be modified to command trains to go directly to their homes." He rolled his eyes. "'Course, we warn
them against that sort of thing but they never listen. Not until half of Vulpis Ward turns up to plunder their estate. My point being, don't lose them." Ambelus glared at the team as they took the passes, as if daring them to go ahead and do just that. He waved haphazardly at the door they'd come in through.
"The train will take you to Fulminous Crescent. Outside Saint Drusus' Shield, we don't link the rails directly to the Adeptus buildings so you'll have to make your own way to the Crescent Arbites station. The perfect chance to get a feel for Lo Hive." His mouth twisted oddly, as if one side wanted to smile while the other was trying to frown.
Exiting the Precinct Fortress, their transport was slow to leave the conglomeration of tracks weaving between the most impressive architecture of St Drusus' Shield. The rails were thronged with other carriages, most of which were almost filled to bursting with commuters; some appeared not even to have seats, forgoing them in order to squeeze in those few more uncomfortable, sweaty humans. The team's air-conditioned vehicle seemed a veritable paradise in comparison to what the lowest grade of rail passes allowed a Loi to travel on.
Automatic protocols negotiated busy junctions, with the rails slowing to a complete standstill more than once as sleeker, less busy carriages got to move first. By the time the Fortress had disappeared between towering office-blocks, the tracks were less congested; evidently the centre of the city was affected the worst by the traffic. The skyscrapers became less dense, giving way to sprawling flat hab-blocks and manufactoria only occasionally perforated with taller structures. The sky was a hazy beige; through the wisps of smog, aeronautical vehicles were just visible, hanging beneath the clouds. Large colourful zeppelins seemed near-motionless, their gentle turns only apparent after minutes of watching; smaller aircraft flitted between their larger cousins and landing pads on the larger buildings.
A woman's voice came on through the vox-grille. She sounded extremely bored.
"Your destination is - " the recording paused " - Malleus Station, Fulminous Crescent. Travel time is approximately two and a half hours," she drawled.