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    Default The Great Divide (Dark Heresy IC)

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    The Great Divide
    Chapter One: Edge of Winter

    The chartist ship Wake of Fury floated in the void, the planet visible through the viewports doing little to improve the view of endless stars. Sephiris Secundus was a frozen hellhole, made useful by the vast mineral wealth buried beneath it. The mines that covered its surface were the planet's only real industry. Its weather prevented any sort of agriculture, constant blizzards scouring the surface of all but the toughest varieties of trees. The twelve billion people who called the planet home were largely labourers in the mines, kept ignorant of life in the Imperium by their masters. Sephiris Secundus raised no regiments of Imperial Guard. It grew no food, it produced no art, it had no culture of its own, or at least none amongst the lower classes, yet it was still the wealthiest planet in the Calixis sector, supplying raw materials to the Lathes, and the forges of Scintilla.

    In such an environment, cults could flourish. Their masters could only be so vigilant, and with countless billions of serfs to watch, the activities of a few could go unnoticed. Workers could vanish into the mines and be forgotten all too easily. The Inquisition knew this. The Inquisition knew the truth: Sephiris Secundus could not be allowed to halt production for anything. It kept the sector alive with its exports. For this reason, they had always kept a close and unseen watch on the world.

    Turning away from the viewports, the hooded figure walked across them to a desk, momentarily obscuring the views of the five acolytes standing in the chamber. Servos whining, The Lady Inquisitor Kadis Valle sat in a heavily reinforced chair, turning her impassive golden mask of a face towards the group.

    "You have been briefed on the value of this world, no doubt." When she spoke, there was a distinctly mechanical tone to her voice. The lady, if she could still be called that, no longer had human vocal chords. Her voice had been carefully reconstructed by the Tech-Magos' of the Cult Mechanicus from vox records of her. Every so often, a word they had been unnable to locate would come up, replaced by a synthetic monotone.

    "Until recently, I was recieving reports from one of my agents stationed here. Sister MIRA, as she was called, was a skilled infiltrator. She was gathering information on a suspected cult amongst the workers when her reports ceased." The mask and synthesized voice betray no emotion, but the impression was clear nonetheless. Inquisitor Valle was not happy.

    "MIRA's corpse was found not long ago. The murder was poorly concealed. Either the perpetrator did not care to conceal it, or they were in a hurry. This could not have been RANDOM. She was posing as a member of the Ecclesiarchy. The Emperor's Clerics do not get killed RANDOMLY."

    Leaning back, the mask levelled itself at the group. "That is where you come in. You are to investigate. Find who killed my agent, and destroy them in the Emperor's name. Go."

    Ushered out of the room by the Inquisitor's assistant, the acolytes found themselves directed down the cramped corridors of the ship to the launching bays for the small shuttles it employed as orbital landers. The nearest one stood open, boarding ramp extended, as servitors scurried around it unhooking fuel lines and detaching feeds. Their pilot met them at the ramp, his wide grin a stark contrast to the Inquisitor's mask.

    "Hope you don't mind, but I like to see who I'm flying. View from up front is terrible. Come on, in you go. We'll have you on the ground soon enough."

    As the acolytes settled into an interior as cramped as the tightest of the ship's halls, the pilot squeezed past them and into the cabin. Leaving the door open so they could hear him, he ran through a pre-flight check, talking the whole time. "World's a bit of a dump, but it's the most profitable dump on this route. We're almost done loading now, as I hear it, so we'll be shoving off tomorrow, most likely. Don't worry though, you won't be stranded here. The Saint's Mercy is due to stop by later this month and you can catch a ride with her. Hold on, this will be a bit loud..."

    The scream of the engines as the powered up drowned out the klaxons blaring throughout the bay as its massive door opened in silence to the vacuum beyond. The little transport lifted off, blasting out of the bay and taking the acolytes towards the planet below...
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2011-02-09 at 12:22 PM.
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    Default Re: The Great Divide (Dark Heresy IC)

    Severus takes a good look to the rest of the team, then proceeds to enter the shuttle. Tall and very thin, the middle aged psyker draws his hood over his head, covering his extensive cranial augmentations, makes the sign of the Aquilla over his chest and tries to sit comfortably in the passenger seats. He performs a last check on his gear and prays silently for a brief time.

    His mind recalls the relevant briefing regarding Sepheris Secundus, the planet they're heading to and he mentally prepares himself for the mission at hand. Going dirtside had always been difficult for one born among the stars, as himself, and after serving faithfully in the Black Ships, this would be an assignment different than the ones he was accustomed to.

    Nevertheless, it was necessary. Cult activity was always dangerous and ought to be rooted out as soon and as decisively as possible, and if such individuals and activities had claimed the life of the recently deceased inquisitorial agent, then they had to exercise extreme caution and thorough investigation to get to the bottom of this. Plus, he should be always on the lookout, for other, more sinister forces that could be included in said activities and assist his fellow acolytes to uncover, evaluate and terminate them if need be.

    May the Emperor grant us clarity of mind and strength of body and will to execute faithfully the task given to us.
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    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    Default Re: The Great Divide (Dark Heresy IC)

    Standing on the left side of the group, the slight man in the drab waistcoat, coat and gloves gazed back at the grinning pilot with an impassive stare. He didn’t seem to be irritated, as such... more just quietly disapproving. Like an examiner on a driving test, watching someone stall their ground car.

    He took his seat inside the lander without a word, stowing the case he had been carrying as he did so – it made a heavy clunk, as if there was something metallic inside. Somehow seeming to sit down without putting a single crease in the symmetrical neatness of his apparel, he took off his hat, revealing a head of black hair that had been meticulously smoothed back.

    When the deafening noise of their departure had died away, he looked around at his companions, slightly hooded eyes still displaying only the merest hint of... well, anything.

    “So,” he said, quietly. “What did you people do to end up in the Inquisition’s debt?” He paused. “Unless you’re volunteers.” He seemed to use the ‘v’ word with mild distaste.
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    With just a single glance it feels obvious that he is no ordinary guardsman.

    His 7 ft tall monolithic figure looms over the environment, dominating it by his presence and radiating a sense of unease interleaved with indistinct menace. The man is clad into what looks like a badly singed dull-black carapace armor patched up in a slipshod way, covering the shoulders, chest, abdomen, shins and knees. Several of its plates had had the surface layers of ceramite blasted apart, exposing the plasteel underneath, as well as deep burn holes, going straight down to charcoal gray of greatcoat the armor was integrated into. What unimaginably potent weapon could've left these marks?

    '#566-648-87991-37' is stenciled on the chest plate, and a large '6' over the right shoulder pad.

    Atop the grenadier's head is a standard 'Mark IX' helmet, albeit somewhat dented and marred. A front plate adorns the helmet, with the Imperial Eagle embossed over it. Beneath the helmet sits a metal skull-shaped facemask lending an eerie, hollow-eyed look to the soldier. It covers a second, fabric mask attached to a tube snaking out from beneath its mouth to a rebreather unit on the man’s back. One of the lenses is filled by a webbing of tiny fractures, but he seems to pay it no heed.

    Even though the round, dark eyepieces of the mask shield his eyes from view, one could definitely feel the giant's scrutinizing glare behind it.

    A hefty reinforced powerpack, resembling a backpack is strapped to his back, its powercables running to a modified lasgun resting in the soldier's hands. A bayonet is sheathed over the left side of the belt and a folding entrenching tool is hung over the other.

    Taking everything into account, the grenadier looks like as if he has just been extracted straight from an inconceivably vicious conflict.

    ~~~

    It was indisputable to Thirtyseven that the Lady Inquisitor carried the Emperor's Will and delivered His Vengeance onto the heretics; serving under her was a grand honor and he did his best to be worthy of it.

    Upon hearing where the mission will take place, grenadier proceeded to recollect what else he knew of the area he will be operating in.

    Its climate was frigid, but thankfully, Krieg had prepared him to far worse conditions and one shouldn't set aside the greatcoat he had, it will also come useful there. Its inhabitants weak, no Imperial Guard regiments were assembled there. The citizens of this world have grown soft. They have forgotten their debt to the Emperor. No surprise that the planet required inquisitorial oversight.

    But not to forget the value Sepheris Secundus has for the God-Emperor's cause - a break in resources supply is impermissible.

    His objectives were crystal clear: identify the enemy, locate him and his accomplices, then eliminate. Such an assault on the Emperor's loyal servant will not go unpunished!
    But what this impertinent enemy was he didn't know, nor was he well versed in investigation work, thus the first step of the operation will lie on the shoulders of others in his unit. However, Thirtyseven will personally make sure, that this offense returns a hundredfold in the end.
    He looked forward to this mission, another step closer to atonement of the sins of his ancestors.

    ~~~

    The man turned his head momentarily towards the pilot twaddling, as if in disdain, then went by. That was the only reaction the pest had received.

    The ramp creaked and sagged in protest under the combined weight of him and his equipment, as the grenadier passed across and hunched to fit into the shuttle's interior.

    ~~~

    Grenadier seemed to ignore the attempt on the black haired man's side to initiate an idle chat.

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    To those that it might concern: the guardsman prefers to be refered to as "Three-Seven" or "Thirtyseven", short of "grenadier fivesixsix dash sixtfoureight dash eightsevenninenineone dash threeseven". Probably no one knows it yet. (depends)

    Those in close presence can surely notice an aura of pungent chemical smell spreading out from his general direction.
    (Its a side effect of an agent his uniform was impregnated with, for chemical and biological protection, also making it waterproof.)
    Last edited by huyche; 2011-03-05 at 10:32 AM. Reason: fixed discrepancies with his name

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    Severus finished his prayer and turned to the slim man that seemed to have addressed the rest of them. He took a deep breath, looked directly in his eyes as if to pierce what lay beneath them, and answered in a low, steady voice.

    "Well, since you asked, i probably fall in neither of those categories. I do not owe any debt, except to Him on Terra, nor am I a volunteer for this assignment. Simply put it's part of my job, in the service of the Golden Throne and the Immortal God-Emperor. And since we'll be all working together, i think that you have the right to know. My name is Severus Drake and I am a Sanctioned Imperial Psyker. The august organization of Scholastica Psykana Calixis, trained me and my presence here has been requested - or more accurately put - ordered by our Inquisitor. I am officially a neonate of the Scholastic Psykana and an aide to the Special Interrogations Department of the Inquisitorial Black Ships. After completing my training period on one of them, our Inquisitor saw fit to place me among you, in order to assist as well - by utilizing my personal curse and tribulation for the benefit of the Imperium's integrity - in this investigation and potential purging".

    Severus takes out his black, leather wallet, demonstrating his ID and accompanying badge, indicating the rank and position he mentioned and he continues.

    "This i had to disclose since i am all too well aware of the potential dangers my presence may bring among you and sincerety on certain aspects of my nature is necessary. My faith is to the God Emperor, whose Guiding Light gives me strength of will to follow the path of righteousness and purity and not falter. I will do my best to assist on the investigation of this unfortunate event and to notify you in advance for any dangerous involvement of "stranger" individuals among those we seek, or for any unexpected and "unnatural" developments or forces that may be at work on the planet".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke1133 View Post
    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    "Psyker," whispered the slender man clad in a security uniform. He ran his tongue over his teeth as he looked over Severus, before taking his seat.

    "I am Lepidus Occident. I serve the Light Between the Stars, and I do so-" his right eye flickered "-out of duty. Volunteer is not the term. My experience is with... the warp." The gaunt man ran his hands over the trousers of his uniform, eyes scanning the others.

    "A psyker, a guardsman, and I was a Proscribed Locations security officer before. What are you, then, if you are not a volunteer? Or you?" This last was directed at the Mouse.
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    Default Re: The Great Divide (Dark Heresy IC)

    What are you, then, if you are not a volunteer?
    "A sap, I often think," replied Samael, quietly. He looked across at Severus. "A psyker, Mr Drake? Can you read minds?"
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    The Mouse is a slender woman of average height. Her pale skin matches the white of her cold weather clothing rather nicely, even as her blue eyes and brown hair clash with it. Her features are soft, almost beautiful, but when she looks at the others, they'll get an unsettling feeling that she only considers them weak. Except for the Kriegsman. To him, she gives a respectful nod. He obviously excels at his purpose. It was the others that she couldn't be sure of.

    Inefficiency and purposelessness was...irksome. Anyone who showed signs of either would die on her world, be it from industrial accidents or murder, and they'd deserve it. There was no room for flaws in her view of the Imperium.

    She wears only one glove, on her left hand. The other is uncovered, stroking her two pistols, muttering a prayer to the Omnissiah to bless them. Only once she finishes and holsters the guns, does she reply. "I am The White Mouse, Industrial Saboteur. Call me White, or Mouse, nothing else." She says, her voice threatening. "I am here, because my skills and loyalty are to be tested."

    Mouse gives them all a hard look. "You do your jobs, and I'll do mine. If any of you fail, I will not look kindly upon you." She says, giving the Psyker an extra hard look.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCP View Post
    "A psyker, Mr Drake? Can you read minds?"
    "I am indeed categorized among those individuals gifted and cursed in the same time, bearing the epithet and nature of psyker, sir. Though, i'll probably have to dissapoint you. Common misconception or great expectations based either on rumours or My capabilities and proficiency in the psychic disciplines are not yet advanced enough to achieve such feats of psychic might such as immersing myself in the personality of another man and seeking the mysteries and thoughts hidden in his mind. This far, i could say i can exact truthful answers from most people, either those willing to talk or those convinced to talk, as well as perform an array of other interesting, even though diminished in flashy effects, capabilities. I can assure you though, that it is my desire and purpose to redouble my efforts and expand my psychic potential even more in the future and Emperor willing, acquire a greater and more impressive array of powers that i can use in service to the Golden Throne".

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfbane View Post
    Mouse gives them all a hard look. "You do your jobs, and I'll do mine. If any of you fail, I will not look kindly upon you." She says, giving the Psyker an extra hard look.
    Severus turns his gaze to the pale, young lady, unflinching by her harsh words. He is not angered at her harsh manner, probably expecting it, since many fear and oppose what they cannot completely understand and truth is that Severus couldn't blame them. But he needed to set certain things straight nonetheless.

    "A pleasure to make your acquaintance Miss White. Bear in mind though, young lady, that your personal opinion or favorable disposition is of little concern. I have stood before the Immortal God Emperor, in the Golden Throne of Terra, where my soul has being shattered and reforged in His presence, by His eternal might. It is only by His Guiding Light that i still exist and serve Him faithfully, and if i ever fail, the price will be unimaginably terrible to pay.

    And believe me, allowing my faith and concentration to falter and losing my soul to the Perils of the Immaterium, is far more of a tribulation and a burden to bear, than the harsh words, unfavorable looks and suspicious behaviour of those tasked to work alongside. I am fully aware that the Holy Ordos of the Inquisition under whose aegis i currently serve, will not hesitate to terminate me, by any means necessary, should the circumstances arise. You may have endured difficulties during your upbringing but hopefully you have been spared far worse terrors, that others have witnessed in the dark corridors of their minds, in the twisted landscape of nightmares, in the endless tunnels of their shattered psyche. Don't be so quick to pass judgement to individuals you just begin to know. And last time i checked, young lady, I answered to my superiors in the Scholastica Psykana Calixis as well as to our Inquisitor. Not to you".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke1133 View Post
    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    Lepidus ran his right thumb over his lower teeth. "You talk a lot, psyker."
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    "I am indeed categorized among those individuals gifted and cursed in the same time, bearing the epithet and nature of psyker, sir. Though, i'll probably have to dissapoint you. Common misconception or great expectations based either on rumours or My capabilities and proficiency in the psychic disciplines are not yet advanced enough to achieve such feats of psychic might such as immersing myself in the personality of another man and seeking the mysteries and thoughts hidden in his mind. This far, i could say i can exact truthful answers from most people, either those willing to talk or those convinced to talk, as well as perform an array of other interesting, even though diminished in flashy effects, capabilities. I can assure you though, that it is my desire and purpose to redouble my efforts and expand my psychic potential even more in the future and Emperor willing, acquire a greater and more impressive array of powers that i can use in service to the Golden Throne".
    "So you can't, then," said Samael. "Read minds."
    He sat back in his seat.
    "Good to know."

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    Mouse frowns when the psyker is about a quarter way through his speech, and she turns to Samael, ignoring the rest of the psyker's words. The man talked too much for her liking. "What of you? Your specialty?"
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    "I worked in the same field as Mr Occident," said Samael, neutrally. "Security was certainly my concern."
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    Lepidus tilted his head and blinked his pale eyes at the smaller man. "Hm."
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    "Young ones...all too hasty to talk harshly to others, but with no patience to listen to a proper response...Anyway, let's hope at least this is some measure of their seriousness", thought Severus, as he watched them talk to each other.

    "At least if i resort to my silent mood, from now on, they won't bother".


    He leaned back, more comfortably, to his seat, watching and waiting for their landing on the planet's surface.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke1133 View Post
    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    "Hold on!" The pilot called back to them, and the little transport shook as it hit atmosphere. Shaking violently, the craft plummeted towards the surface of the planet, its engines screaming as it began to decelerate. The surface of the world was visible through the front viewport, snow covered trees flashing by below them. Small outbuildings were barely visible between the trees in some places, the shafts and workhouses for the mines that twisted away below the ground.

    The nose of the lander tiled upwards and the pilot fired the landing thrusters, shaking the cabin even more. Equipment that hadn't been tied down was rapidly jostled loose of the storage racks, clattering to the floor of the transport and adding to the horrible din.

    Abruptly, the noise stopped. The transport had come to a rest, its engines whining as they slowly powered down. The pilot was the first up, snapping his harness free and moving to the back to collect the fallen gear. "Sorry about that. Weather's a bit rough."

    As the access ramp lowered, the acolytes could tell he was right. Wind howled past their refuge inside the shuttle, bending the nearby trees and stirring up the carpet of snow. It was bitingly cold out, and they were thankful for the survival gear Inquisitor Valle had provided.

    "Likely won't be anyone to meet us. This is Telleran Prime we just landed in. It's a bigger city, belongs to one of the local barons. His estate is over there, on the other side of those trees." The pilot pointed out the open hatch, though he stayed noticably inside his vehicle. The landing pad, if you could even call it that, was inside a large cleared area. The ground was scorched earth and hewn stown, the area nearest the shuttle cleared of snow by the heat of its landing. A dirt road wound under the trees, their hanging branches serving to keep it from the worst of the weather.

    "They keep the shuttle pads a little out of the way. City is actually only a couple minutes walk from here, but they've got the trees blocking the view. You'll see why. Good luck."

    The ramp raised itself behind their group, shutting with a firm metallic thud. Moments later, its engines went from a low whine to the higher pitched sound of them winding back up. Clearly the pilot was in no small hurry to leave.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
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    Psykers... A necessary evil, as what better means existed to combat the forces of Chaos, their agents or the magick of aliens? Fighting fire with fire had never been more true.
    Properly raised and indoctrinated they can be a powerful, if dangerous and somewhat unreliable weapon, and it is all that matters.
    To no surprise, Death Korps High Command sometimes employed psykers too.

    These thoughts made him reminisce one particular battle of the past.

    The breakthrough of the outer defense lines led to a general advance for all of the 88th Army, but the renegades' commanders had expected that the line would eventually be broken, and had husbanded a reserve force of tanks and armored vehicles for a spoiling counter-attack. As the 143rd siege regiment moved forwards, the Leman Russes and Chimeras smashed into it, overrunning and killing the commanding officers. After two days, the 143rd regiment had been shredded and the tanks were threatening to break through and run riot. Krieg 7th tank regiment raced to block the advance, and a swirling tank duel followed.

    The 4th squad of the 2nd platoon, Thirtyseven had been in back then, was pinned in the trenches far on the northern flank of the battlefield by a small straggling force of heretical armor: a Leman Russ and two Basilisks.
    The squad attempted to shoot off the tank's riders, but was thoroughly overwhelmed between the the suppressive fire of the enemies' pintle-mounted guns and the mixed las and plasma fire of the riders. It was when Thirtyseven saw a peculiar man being led by a Major Delta of the Delta Company, emerging from the rear trenches. A fresh squad of grenadiers marched forth behind them.
    The middle-aged grey-haired man wore a weird looking uniform all covered with obscure sigils and inscriptions, and held an ornate Aquila-headed longstaff in his right hand.
    This was the first time Thirtyseven had met a Primaris Psyker and seen one such as him in action.
    Psyker casually strolled to the front trench. Then a rapid streak of events occured.
    A burst of static electricity filled the surrounding air, causing the infantryman's hair to stand on end, as the psyker began to hover a meter above the ground, then disappeared in a blink.
    A moment later he re-appeared 20 meters ahead, in front of the advancing Leman Russ. Its crew, nor the riders on its armor weren't given time to react - the man blinked out of existence again.
    This time he showed up a meter away from the tank. His left hand blazing with nigh indiscernible iridescence, the psyker charged Leman Russ and delivered a blow to its armored track.
    Such was the force of the punch, augmented by the mind-boggling and sinister power he wielded, that the track had been torn off its suspension and the front drive wheel itself had crumpled deep inwards. This sent the tank spinning wildly around its axis, throwing all of its riders off headlong. A few stray bullets and bolter rounds were deflected harmlessly off by the psyker as he stepped away from the revolving tank and proceeded towards the other vehicles.
    It was the opening Kriegers were waiting for and so they charged out of the trenches to meet the enemy, silently chanting the Warrior's Prayer of Battle.


    ~~~

    The guardsman marched out the shuttle and thoroughly examined the surroundings, oblivious to the ambient hard frost.
    Then strode off towards the passage out of the landing pad, snow crunching under his feet.


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    Last edited by huyche; 2011-02-11 at 06:48 AM.

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    White Mouse steps out of the ship and gives a look of pure loathing at her surroundings. There was no smell of acid baths, hot molten iron, burnt flesh, or even smoke. All there was, was this cold white stuff. And this cold wind. Then there were the trees. She'd heard of such things before. They were supposed to be organic oxygen scrubbers, right? She gives them a look as well, thinking.

    Yep, she hated them too. They were unnatural.

    She scowls. "I hate this place."
    Last edited by Wolfbane; 2011-02-10 at 10:03 AM.
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    Lepidus stepped out of the craft cautiously, pale eyes scanning the area. His right eye twitched faintly, and he rested his hand on his automatic weapon. "Yes. Too much... white. Insufficient colour."

    He blinked and licked his lips. "I do not like it. Also- we could be surrounded."
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    Carrying his case off the lander, Samael placed his hat back on his head, making sure it was straight before buttoning his coat and pulling his gloves a little tighter over his fingers. Snow was better than rain, as precipitation went. It was cleaner. Better-behaved.

    "From what I've heard of this place, I don't believe there's going to be a car," he said, looking sideways at the others. Without another words, he headed for the road... and presumably, the city beyond.
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    Severus stepped carefully outside, taking a minute to stretch his thin and tall figure, made certain that all his gear was in its proper place and looked around, capturing in his mind the first impressions of this planet.

    "Cold and snowy...can't say it is my favorite. But then again, going dirtside never is. We'd better get moving".
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    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    As Samael predicted, no car is forthcoming. The dirt road turns sharply to the right outside the landing zone, and then to the left after another short distance. Twin ruts run along its surface, filled at the moment with packed snow. Making the final turn, the acolytes find that they have reached the city.

    Telleran Prime is a city of stone. Low stone buildings run along its streets, seperated into individual dwellings only by the hammered plates of numbered metal hanging over their doors. The numbering system is simple and ordered: Each building has a number, and each partition has a number. Directly ahead is a sort of town square around which are clustered the larger stone buildings. Some of these appear to be workshops, meant to supply the miners with the tools they need. It is yet only midday, and the scent of fire and hot metal carries over on the wind from the forges. Tools line the benches outside the nearest of these. Pickaxes are plentiful, as are smaller augers. Hanging in the back of one shop the acolytes pass is a massive drill, fitted with crude handles and half a dozen hoses and feed lines attached to a large metal cylinder. Strangely, however, the workers in the forges appear to be the only ones on the streets at this time.

    Of the other buildings, storage towers seem to be the second most common. There are a good three nearby, with more visible in the distance over the roofs of the low living buildings, each likely packed with imported food from the agri-worlds of the Calixis sector. The doors are locked with heavy padlocks and carry large posters detailing the penalties for theft.

    The largest building in the square is the cathedral, a towering gothic edifice with elaborate stained glass windows and a single high belltower. A pair of statues flank the tall wooden doors, their grim visages watching the square below them. Each holds one hand out in warning to those who would profane such a holy place, while the other beckens the faithful to enter. The Imperial Aquila is carved into the stone of the building above their heads, a message engraved just underneath it in high gothic: "Dum vivimus servimus."

    Even larger than the cathedral, however, is the baron's estate. The high wall can be seen from where they stand in the square, splashes of colour above its dark grey stone formed by armed guards patrolling the ramparts and watching from crenellated towers. Within is a truly massive castle, its peaks and towers rising up above the walls to glare down at the city below. The blankly staring slit windows seem to peer down from above, seeing everything, judging everyone. It is quite clear who the true ruler of this city is.
    Last edited by Destro_Yersul; 2011-02-10 at 05:53 PM.
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    The White Mouse likes only two things about all of this.

    The easy to remember grid system and the smell of the forges. Both of those were just like home.

    The rest of it deserved to be demolished though. Even though the cathedral and keep weren't too bad, it was made of stone! Not her loved ceramite or steel. It was all so...so...primitive!

    The Mouse suppresses a shudder at the thought of what it's going to be like to be here for more than a few hours before shooting the town a glare, wishing it'd explode.

    "I hate this place..."
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    The cityscape was typical of what Severus expected to find in Sepheris Secundus, while the apparent main "professional" occupation of the locals was in line as well. After all, it was the mineral wealth that elevated this planet from the backwater it would normally be otherwise. His eyes lingered at the cathedral of the ministorum. Perhaps this would be a good place to start, given that the deceased operative was working under the guise of an ecclesiarchy functionary and also because those usually found in imperial temples, had a broader view of the Imperium than the rest of the locals.

    "So...should we head to the cathedral, to get some details on the incident, see what we can find out and establish a base of operations?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke1133 View Post
    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    Lepidus had craned his neck back, blinking away frozen water from his eyes, as he stared at the cathedral. "Yes. We should also interface with local security and see if they have any leads on the murderer."
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    "Hmmm...Do you think they'll have any other form of security than the baron's guards? We'll probably have to pay the resident nobility a visit at somepoint perhaps. I have a bad experience about nobles concealing dark secrets at the past".
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    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    Walking through the streets, in his mind's eye, Thirtyseven was carefully assembling a top-down map of the city, complete with the buildings' numbers. Mapping the routes for retreat should the need arise and pondering on different possible fire points. The third story of house 5-8 at the town square will provide good opportunity for setting an ambush or for sniping.

    He also noticed a few choke-points that could be mined on the run. The simple grid-like arrangement of the buildings renders indirect fire weapon systems, such as artillery, nearly useless. Cathedral is particularly good for holding an all-round defense for some time, but getting out of it would prove difficult afterwards. Predicting a medium to high casualty rate.
    At the same time he noted possible points where a potential enemy could ambush them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimos View Post
    "Hmmm...Do you think they'll have any other form of security than the baron's guards? We'll probably have to pay the resident nobility a visit at somepoint perhaps. I have a bad experience about nobles concealing dark secrets at the past".
    "Nobility?" Lepidus rubbed his fingers together. "I don't understand what you mean."
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    I did writings for it! Read them here!

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    sext: take my hand as the bombs fall. we will engrave our affectionate shadows on the walls in dush and ash, to last a thousand years. [my twitter]

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    "You know, hereditary rulers of land and people. Don't you see the castle-like baron's estate further away?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisuke1133 View Post
    Calimos, I wish I had even half your talent for verbosity.

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    The Mouse shakes her head at the conversation. "The church may know a few things, but the Baron will have better information." She says, giving a gesture towards the castle. "While the Church undoubtedly has their hands in certain kinds of activities due to infiltrators and spies, the Baron probably has the resources to do the same ten times over, even withing the Ecclesiarchy itself." She tells them, giving a nod. "Not only that, but the Baron probably runs some of those illicit circles."

    The Saboteur gives them all a slight smile. "Likely skimming off the top of the tithes as well. He's likely our prime suspect. So we're going to have to be careful not to speak to anyone mid-low rank within the Ecclesiarchy when we enter. Or at least betray our purpose to them."

    As much as she hated this place, with it's biological oxygen scrubbers, the cold snow and wind, and rough-hewn stone, there was at least one thing that seemed to be just like home.

    The political corruption.
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