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    Default We All Fall Down (Dark Heresy IC)

    We All Fall Down
    Chapter One: Descent

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    According to Administratum records, Wight was a Class-α world, located on the outer fringes of the Ixaniad Sector. The world was designated as geologically stable, strategically unremarkable, and possessed of a population numbering in the low millions. The largest of its cities was a footnote on the world's file, with only a single sentence to its name; "Over 30% of Wight's population is situated in Dunbar." From above, lit by the early morning sun, the city was beautiful: Gothic arches soared over its districts, the Tower of Dunbar rising strong and proud from the shores of the river bisecting the city. The grand cathedral was a marvel of Imperial engineering, its great marble statue of the Emperor Ascendant towering over the Crusader's Plaza. Its refineries, fed by huge brass pipes from the hundreds of collection tanks at the docks, converted material harvested from the deep oceans to promethium fuel for the world's industries. Its fisheries, collossal structures of red brick and grey mortar, exported vast amounts of food to the larger sector. If Wight was a crown, Dunbar was its jewel.

    But the jewel was cracked. Smoke rose from the financial district, where banks and guilds had been converted to charnel houses when the crematoria overflowed. Street gangs ran rampant through the commercial district, looting empty shops and burning whatever they couldn't carry. Dozens of doors had been splashed with paint, the red X of quarantine slashed angrily across boarded windows. The streets were full of rats, and the skies were full of crows. The House of Judgement had barred its doors, the Adeptus Arbites looking to its own in the face of an enemy their Judges couldn't fight. The Administratum, similarily, had shuttered themselves in their offices, grim-faced scribes collating the reports that rolled in daily by vox. The city was dying, its streets choked with blood and corpses, and it was to this pit of hell that the Inquisition came, five souls in an unmarked black Aquila lander sweeping down over the rooftops amidst smoke and ashes.

    "You'll have to forgive me for not getting out to see you off," the pilot said, his voice crackling over the vox in the cabin. "I'm under strict orders. Let you out, and then return to orbit. They're going to sterilise the whole bird once I'm back." A pause. "That probably don't make you feel any better. Sorry."




    They'd gotten the news a month ago.

    "You're being sent to Wight," Graeme said, peering over the rim of his half-moon glasses. Formerly a member of the Administratum, Inquisitor Brosius - or Inquisitor Harve, as he asked all of his subordinates to call him - had recruited the pinched little man decades ago, plucking him from a life of endless scribbling in ledgers to be one of the Inquisitor's many adjutants. Graeme had served faithfully, if unimaginatively, and had dealt with all of the gathered acolytes before. Adjusting his glasses, the scribe continued.

    "There's a plague in Dunbar, and the Master Prefectus has requested Inquisitorial assistance. The plague has proven resilient to known treatments, and many of the menial labourers have died, causing production to grind to a halt. The Tithe is overdue. So far the other cities have been unaffected, but they're struggling to make up the remainder of the Tithe on their own. Wight is Tithe Grade Exactis Primus, and without regular food shipments from the planet I calculate thirty-seven additional worlds will be adversely affected, resulting in further shortages across the sector. Naturally, such a deficit is unacceptable. Under normal circumstances the planetary governor would be tried and executed for her failings, but Governor Emelia has apparently had the temerity to allow herself to be assassinated."

    Graeme puckered his lips at this statement, somehow managing to look even more like he'd been forced to swallow a lemon. "This, too, is unacceptable. The post of Governor is currently being filled by Acting Governor Chavarin, who has stepped into the void left by Emelia and is by all accounts attempting to restore order. He has thus far proven unsuccessful, and Inquisitor Harve felt it would be most remiss of us in our duty to the Emperor if we failed to act in remedium of such a situation. Thus, your assignment."

    The scribe pushed a dataslate across the desk towards them, adeptly maneuvering it around his collection of neatly stacked file folders and spinning it to face the group. "Details are here as a reminder, but I will go over them for you. Inquisitor Harve feels that it fosters team unity to hold such conversations. Item Primus: You are to make planetfall and commence investigation of the source or sources responsible for the breakdown in completion and collection of the Imperial Tithe. You are authorised to field-interrogate and summarily execute such sources if required. I do note that, if at all possible, the Inquisition would prefer that they be remanded to our custody for completion of a more thorough interrogation and public execution. Item Secundus: All material relating to the assassination of the Governor and the source of the plague is to be collected, collated, ratified, compiled into a formal report and delivered to myself or other appropriate representative of the Inquisition. Item Tertius: The situation on Wight is being further compromised by the assassination and/or dissapearance of important Imperial figures, including but not limited to the High Ecclesiarch, several Merchant Guild leaders, the heirs of three noble houses..." The list went on for some time. A huge number of people, all of them well-placed politically, were either missing or dead. Some of it was likely to be the result of the plague, but the others... The others had been murdered, and they were being tasked with finding the killers, on top of the other two objectives.

    Graeme finished the list and peered up at them, his briefing evidently close to finished. "I trust that all is clear," he said. "Take the slate, and report to Landing Bay Seven. You leave in four hours."




    That same slate was now secured in the crash webbing covering one of the Aquila Lander's spare seats. The ride came to an end, the lander descending onto the roof of the Central Administratum Block, a towering structure at the center of the Administratum's compound. The jets powered down, turbines winding as the lander sank onto its struts, the noise of travel finally dissipating from the cabin.

    "Good luck," the pilot said as the landing ramp hissed open. "I hope they have a welcoming committee left for you. This is gonna be an awfully lonely place pretty soon..." He trailed off, perhaps aware that he was, once again, not really helping. Once they were disembarked, the lander ascending into the sky behind them, they had their first real look at the city around them. This was to be their home, for as long as it took to finish the investigation.

    They could only hope it would not become their tomb, as well.
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    :::THEN:::

    Savvius's mechadendite slithered its way across the desk, avoiding the towers of processed organic material and locating the familiar shape of the data slate. Plugging itself in it retracted the slate slowly back to Savvius who began processing the data found within the slate. It is no wonder that Savvius had been summoned for this task, the biologicals may die to a disease but the blessed machine spirits shall continue to advance. It is puzzling why more servitors were not utilized for production upon Wight. Savvius turned his attention to the other acolytes assembled here with him. Their names and faces were know to him, but little beyond that. He made a mental note to assess their skills for better responsibility allocations in future efforts. Savvius broke the silence, his voice slightly muffled by the respirator attached to his face. "Has an initial point of contact been determined upon Wight? A local's assistance in establishing a base of operations and medical examination site could be an efficient use of the native's efforts."

    :::NOW:::

    Savvius listened to the sound of the retreating lander, comforted by the sound of motors and the smell of exhaust. Knowing that many of the native dwellers may be uncomfortable by the presence of someone walking the path to ascendancy, Savvius remained silent, standing near his fellow acolytes.
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    - Then -

    "We thank you, Mister Graem, for the clarity of your briefing- as it appropriately reflects the direness of the situation on Wight"

    Nathaniel spoke, his voice poised and confident - emanating with surprising clarity from the depths of his sombre hood. Slowly, he lifted his right hand upwards and extended his index finger, pointing to the ceiling and beyond- before carrying on with an ominous quote, taken undoubtedly from one of his holy tomes.

    "I will send the sword..."

    He turned towards his colleagues, the light washing over his face...

    "The famine..."

    Reflecting the bright, fiery glint of his silvery eyes...

    "And the pestilence upon them..."

    An eerie contrast with the dull, white powder covering his skin....

    "Until they are destroyed from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers."

    Finally settling his gaze upon their employer's representative.

    "Wight is afflicted with extensive spiritual corruption and for their failings they are being punished. Through purification and penance there is hope- and like Orendel from his ashes, Dunbar can rise again, once the cancer is purged.

    We have been appointed as emissaries of His will and granted authority to act in His name in order to ensure that this comes to pass... I take it than that the planet's officials will be expecting us in our official capacity: as judges, juries and executioners?

    If so, those culpable will dread us and likely attempt to instigate our martyrdom as soon as we arrive- using whatever means they've already applied to successfully assassinate the other victims....

    Though the physical cure has eluded the... medical scholars... what of the plague's method of transmission? Should we be wary of the very air, as it could carry the taint of moral decay? Perhaps through gluttony, when local nourishment is consumed? Could it be through unsavory physical contact?

    As per his Word, the triumvirate of calamity you described is likely, at the source, the work of the damned: though none have claimed credit for it yet, is Dunbar harboring (or has it in the past concealed) the impure activities of some heretical cult that may now be seeking revenge? Perhaps led by a newly risen witch or sorcerer ignored or overlooked by the local authorities - leading to the ultimate sanction and their doom.

    Your opinions and comments are welcome, friends and colleagues- along with, perhaps a short and cordial introduction so that we may get better acquainted.

    I am Nathaniel, Templar Of the Crimson Ash- Spiritual counselor and moral motivator, who fans the eternal flames in His Service... and yours...
    "

    Nathaniel stands, bowing his head lightly, waiting for the others to introduce themselves. Only one of them had spoken- that "Iron Priest" - and already he disliked It- there was a hollowness to its voice, a metallic grating to it that distanced it from humanity. He would ignore it for now- treat it as he would any servitor. On Orendel, only a few of these "priests" haunted distant labs and kept to themselves. Their interests revolved around the study of the human cadaver - futilely trying to understand the essence of the soul, perhaps in an attempt to acquire the glorious inner-fire which the templars of Crimson Ash have long since cultivated in their members.
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    - Then -

    Osmund eyes his companions warily, "Yyyes. Thank you Graeme. My compatriots make some appropriate points," he leans forward and takes the data-slate from Savvius, making sure not to interrupt his data download, and skims through it's contents as he speaks, "Will anyone in the city be expecting us? I would hope at the very least I might have access to the data gathered by the local medical personnel, assuming there's no information in here," he lifts the slate in front of him, still skimming, "I see here that we're allowed a discretionary budget for equipment, I shall have to speak with the Quartermaster regarding that, some re-breathers or protective suits may be in order, as well as a limited supply of basic rations to live off of, until we can ascertain the source of this plague."
    He finally lowers the slate and looks at each of the assembled team in turn, "Very well then, introductions seem to be in order. Osmund von Rutherborne, of the Scintilla Rutherbornes, at your service. Doktor, and Scholar. Obviously my presence here will be to ascertain the medical aspects of this mission, I trust that you gentlemen are more familiar than I with the more... physical aspects of field-work?"
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    Sanctum; Office of Graeme, One Month Ago

    When Jacyn had received the news that Graeme wished to see him, he quickly gathered his belongings. He removed the small wooden incense bowl, candle stubs, and 'Paper Saints' with one hand while his other reverently tilted the Clovian Cylinder on its side upon the worn wax stained velvet it rested upon, the accoutrements of his devotions placed to the side he deftly enveloped the scrap of cloth around the seal strewn metallic object and folded the two ends inwards before rolling it and tying it closed with two cracked pieces of leather sewn to the makeshift travel alter. He placed it gingerly in his pack as he began putting on his armour.

    Once he had donned his battle vestments he lashed The Peacemaker to its place on his ruck, his helm and respirator was stored in the webbing of his pack, lastly he placed The Purifier in its sling on his waist and lay his readied gear near the door to his small cell on his way out. By his estimations the entire affair had taken no more than ten minutes. He was getting slow.

    He ran a furtive hand over his hairless pate before he donned his gloves. Letting his fingers quickly trace the familiar scar pock landscape of his skull for any signs of abnormality or unnatural disfigurement. As he neared the door to Graeme's office he quickly put on his gloves, knocked thrice, and entered.

    He stood next to Templar Haart. He listened as Graeme detailed the situation on Wight, and what would be expected of them. His lips moving as the Adept spoke, his eyes focused fast on the bespectacled man's mouth. Jacyn paused as Graeme puckered his lips.

    He cringed mentally as the Tech-Priest's metallic tentacle slithered across the table. There was something about the Scion of Mars that made him uncomfortable, something ineffable. He had worked beside Techseers and Priests during his service, he was used to their less than perfect forms, he had also been taught of their special place in the cog of the endlessly grinding machine of the Imperium. Yet this one was somehow different, what it was he did not know.

    Once Graeme finished Jacyn's lips furiously moved as he whispered hurriedly under his breath, while Savvius spoke in the characteristic distant voice of the Machine Priests.

    Jacyn waited for Savvius and the others to complete their querries but spoke before Graeme had a chance to reply.

    "In a similar vein, should there be a complete or near complete collapse of the local authoritarian system what means are presently in place, if any, by way of Adeptus Arbites, PDF or other paramilitary organizations that we might expect cooperation from in restoring order, discipline, law and ensuring an unhindered access to any desired personnel during the course of our investigation, are there currently any active agents in Dunbar we might hope to liaison with?"

    "Emperor willing we successfully complete our objectives are our means of extraction in place or are we to arrange that independently? Is an Inquisitional vessel to remain in orbit at Wight and what system of contact, if any, are we to utilize and what expected intervals of operational updates, if any, are we to employ? Does Harve prefer that we to work in concert with or parallel and independent to local authorities? And is it correct to understand, given that Inquisitorial intervention was requested, that we are to announce our presence and work 'in the open' as it were?"
    "

    _______________________________________

    Inquisitorial Aquila Lander; Wight, Dunbar

    As the Lander finished its descent and fired her landing thrusters, Jacyn did a last minute check of his equipment. He tapped his rucksack, stored under his seat, with the heel of his left boot, and put pressure against it as the nimble Aquilla pitched slightly in her descent.

    His micro bead was in place his armour securely fastened, helm and respirator secured, he clasped shut the face mask as the Aquila touched down and opened the air valve. His Flamer was secure at his waist, his chainsword at ready.

    He tightened the straps on his gloves as the engine cycle slowed. Catching the arm strap of his ruck with the toe of his boot he slid it out from beneath his seat and into his hand as the ramp hissed open. He stood shouldering his ruck and firmly securing to his back and buckled the two check and waist clasps in a fluid motion that only years of repetition made second nature. The Peacmaker he locked onto the quick release catches on his gear harness.

    Quickly he descended the ramp behind the Tech Priest, and spoke over the micro bead's vox caster.

    "Ioudas and Crusader will secure the LZ while the equipment is unloaded."

    He strode quickly forward scanning the area for any signs of life, friend or foe, or for any signs of anything amiss.

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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Then

    Graeme listened to the questions with his expression unchanged, beyond the slight raising of his left eyebrow.

    "All was not clear, then. I shall endeavour to explain." He coughed, and steepled his fingers in front of his face.

    "You will be making planetfall within the Administratum compound. They will likely have a representative to meet you, and I believe they are also the ones who have taken responsibility for primary census data collection. The official government has not been informed of your arrival. The Inquisition felt it best to leave that to your discretion as field agents, and to avoid disseminating news of our involvement too widely."

    Reaching into one of his files, the adjutant removed a file from one of the stacks. It had a photo of Wight, taken from orbit, clipped to the front, and looked as though it had been recently thumbed through. Graeme placed it in front of him and didn't look at it. Knowing him, he'd already memorised the contents. "Wight has no history of prior cult activity. There have been occasional rogue psykers, all of whom were captured and placed on the Black Ships. There are also a number of persistent minor superstitions deemed non-threatening by the Ecclesiarchy, most of which involve unfeasibly large aquatic creatures. Wight is an ocean world, and the oceans have long provided for her people. I understand that some of them are given to carving devotional charms out of fish bone, and all services in the Emperor's name include significant mention of His mastery over sea as well as land."

    Shuffling his papers aside, Graeme resumed peering across the top of his spectacles. "On the nature of the plague, I have little information. The method of transmission is not thought to include airborne contaminants, as far as I am aware." As always, the little adept's voice included special contempt for the idea that there were things he didn't know. "There is a Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus who is currently devoting his time solely to studying the plague in an attempt to find some sort of cure. The local Administratum will undoubtedly be able to tell you all you could ever want to know about him. Mmm, what else..."

    He trailed off momentarily, gathering the last of his thoughts. "You should have access to anyone you need to speak to. Getting to them might be a difficulty, but the Administratum will be able to assist with transportation. You should expect to see a truly vast number of rooftops, I'd say. Inquisitor Harve is giving you free reign with this one, to investigate as you see fit. If I may say, it is a singular display of confidence in your abilities for him to do so. Your extraction will be arranged once your mission is complete. One of the Tithe ships is scheduled to remain in orbit until such time as its cargo quota has been met, which given the current situation is likely to be some time indeed. You may liase with them, and their astropaths, as needed. You will, after all, have the luxury of time..." here came another pause, as Graeme consulted his wrist chrono. "A luxury which I do not currently have. Tell the Quartermaster to give you as much food as you think you will require. I will call ahead to let him know you are coming. Should Wight's supply be contaminated, you will not starve."

    Now

    Wind swept the Administratum's rooftop, swishing past the acolytes and their collection of offloaded equipment. Nobody else seemed to be up here, for the moment; Jacyn's circuit of the rooftop to check behind every set of ventilator outlets for possible lurking heretics confirmed that they were alone. It was not to last, though: the sergeant had only just finished the small circle when the door to the downward stairs creaked open, and a woman in plain beige robes and a bulky respirator mask leaned out to look around. Her hair was done up in a bun behind her head, and she had a small bronze icon of the Administratum pinned to the front of her robes. When she saw them she waved them over, before stepping back inside the stairwell.
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    --- Then ---

    Osmund looks impressed at Jacyn's thoroughness, and listens politely to Graeme's further information before speaking again, "Ah, most illuminating. I believe that summarizes all questions voiced, yes?" without waiting for an answer, he pulls out and consults a pocket-chrono, "At any rate, I should get to the quartermaster and see about some gear, if Sergeant Sohle would like to accompany me and see that the more martial area of our needs is covered all the better. Thank you, Graeme, for your thorough briefing." He says, with a small bow before striding away without looking back, after all they all knew where to find the quartermaster. I shall finally get to use that Environment Suit I purchased...

    --- Now ---

    The good doktor spends a good deal of the initial landing time seeing that the equipment is brought safely out of the lander, he looks distinctly unusual in his obviously well-tailored gentleman's outfit, specially designed to fit over some kind of strange body-glove, complete with hood and respirator mask, and polished wooden cane. He looks up though when the Administratum woman waves them over, "Ah, that must be the welcoming committee! Splendid! Let's go then, chaps," shouldering his share of the equipment, he moves towards the stairwell.
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    "Lead on Doktor Rutherborne. There is no point in waiting when there are discoveries to be made." Savvius looked back to the rest of the acolytes, briefly ensuring that they had not lost any of their biological appendiges during the dismount from the lander, and then followed the Doktor towards their initial contact.
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    Inquisitorial Aquila Lander; Wight, Dunbar

    Ioudas hates flying. The confined space, the weird lurching sensation in his stomach, the way one's ears pop because of a difference in air pressure...throne, it's just awful. His disembarkation from the shuttle is anything but graceful, and until the Administratum woman shows up, he spends most of his time swearing under his breath and getting used to solid ground beneath his sabatons once more. He's rather fortunate that his sallet and bevor do an excellent job of muffling his words and masking the infantile expression on his face, otherwise I'm sure Father Haart would be smacking him in the back of the head for this unprofessionalism.
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    Sanctum; Transit to Quartermaster, One Month Ago

    The veteran Crusader and Guardsman knew well enough when a briefing was finished, he nodded curtly towards Graeme, and bowed towards Templar Haart, before exiting with the Osmund.

    Jacyn fell in step with Doktor Rutherborne as they left Graeme's office in order to requisition gear for their upcoming deployment.

    "What is your form of address, Sir?"

    He asked the well dressed Doktor as they exited into the hall and made their way through the empty passage. Neither a member of the Ministorium nor a Military man, the former Guardsman was at a loss for the proper etiquette to apply, when dealing with him. As the pair made their way to the Munitorum, Jacyn's lips continued their fervent motion as he reviewed the briefing. Concurrently he tried to think of what equipment might best be of use given the parameters of their assignment, the skill set of the operatives and the current conditions on Wight.

    ________________________________________

    Administratum Building; Wight, Dunbar

    Seeing that the landing zone was secure, Jacyn quickly moved to the offloaded equipment and took one of the large duffles in each hand before hurriedly shuffling towards the door and the beckoning woman.

    "Sargent Sohle, you're our POC here I assume? he said, his voice slightly muffled by the re-breather and Aquila's engines. "Where should we store the gear, Miss..."

    He continued, letting the tail end of his question trail off as he passed through the doorway and descended into the buIlding, waiting for the Administratum employee to reply as he went down a few steps, carefully laying the bags against the stairwell wall before returning to the rooftop once again to assist the Docktor and Templar with any remaining gear.
    Last edited by DataDancer; 2016-05-08 at 03:56 AM.

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    "Subscrivener Ainsworth," the woman said, her voice muffled by her mask. She waved them all into the stairwell, waiting until their gear had all been collected from the rooftop. "We've got some spare offices you can use for your things. You might have to move some papers, but the owners don't really need them anymore."

    Shaking her head, she started down the stairs. "Thank the Emperor you're here. It's bad. Every day, we get reports of more fallen ill. Everyone else is downstairs. The ones who are left, anyways. We've lost a lot of the department. Of course, we've also lost most of what the department is supposed to be cataloguing. I'm with the Bureau of Statistics and Records. You'll probably be wanting to speak with Master Prefectus Caldwell? He's in charge of the compound, here, and we're fortunate he hasn't been affected. I think he's the one who sent for you."

    Ainsworth stopped in the hallway, indicating a set of doors to the left. "You can have these three. If you want to stay here, I'll have some cots dragged up from the emergency supplies. Otherwise you can just use them to keep things in."
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    The tech-priest stepped forward, examining the interior of the rooms that they had been offered. "Do you have medical facilities for the Doktor and Savvius to use or will Savvius have to transform one of these units into a temporary examination chamber?" The tech-priest does not make eye contact with Ainsworth, instead visually scanning for power sources and dataports built into the room. "Establishing a base of operations should be one of the first efforts which we pursue. What other assets are available to us through your resources? I trust you will be able to acquire adequate cadavers as they are requested."
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    - In the Present -


    Strapped to his seat, Nathaniel hands were clasped in silent prayer - now that they were landing, he had to be prepared (mentally and physically) to ensure the success of their mandate.

    The burden of which he could share reliably with at least two of his colleagues - agents of faith and fire he knew would not hesitate to act when the time inevitably came. Although Ioudas could be overzealous, Sgt Jocelyn served as a positive example - capable of showing initiative yet deferring to him when a more subtle interpretation of the creed was required. After all, The Emperor bestowed upon his servants the power to REND and PURIFY and the application of fire is not to be misused.

    The other two would be more difficult to deal with, but ultimately they too will prove useful in the overall success of the mission. Often inexperienced Autopsychirugeons and Coroners would obsesses over their task, forgetting that they are but the first step in an often long and arduous process of purification. His presence would ensure they remember the spiritual implication of the inner-flame.

    Afterall, if the "Doktor" (and his metal-man assitant) were responsible for explaining and evaluating the physical aspects of this scourge, he was confident that their findings would only confirm his growing suspicions. And he would make sure they crossed the Ts and dotted the Is so that they could all get to the resolving the issue and perhaps even teaching the local authorities a thing or two about Imperial Creed.

    The Emperor's flame can be found in the depths of the oceans, something seemingly evident to the locals by the prominence of Promethium refineries- but paradoxically ignored in their spirituality. Could this have justified this plague? Perhaps- could proper subservience have averted this crisis? Certainly. There would be others on the planet who shared his belief - their always are- and they should take the time to find them, for they would proof useful allies (and likely more competent than the authorities who allowed the situation to devolve to this stage.)

    No sooner had the doors of the landers opened than he was greeted with the fetid stench of the sea, permeated by death and corruption. But he had come prepared, and his mortuary's mask concealed a rebreather- and other precautions he had been accustomed to taking, working with the dead.

    First impressions were everything, and a look of disgust (or a hint of it in his tone) was likely to take away from his credentials and credibility.

    He watched silently as Jacyn secured the landing zone, and with the help of Ioudas they started unloading their gear. Moving past them, he walked towards the Doktor and his pet to meet the woman who had come to greet them- only to stop sharply and cringe when the Tech-priest spoke. What horrible, grating sounds- they would need to look into adjusting the volume on that thing.

    Finally inside, he removed his mask- revealing skin powdered white as always.

    "Good souls, Subscrivener Ainsworth." He greets her with a sombre tone, befitting the seriousness of the situation. "Your plight is felt across the stars and your resilience to it admirable- as is seemingly Master-Prefectus Caldwell's... We will definitely would like to meet with him, but after we have settled."

    Once more he cringes as the tech-priest passes next to him entering one of the rooms before bellowing something - his spine shivers and lips curl. But he forces a polite, reassuring smile before speaking once more.

    "We must act quickly and efficiently - and a first step involves evaluating the integrity of our local- the Doktor here will want to know if you have a medicae shrine, a morgue- and of course, a chapel...."
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    Administratum Building; Wight, Dunbar

    Jacyn chastised himself, and was, for the thousand time, grateful for the presence of Templar Confessor Haart. He would assure that they maintained the proper perspective in all matters, that their hearts and souls remained true and pure and that their focus was upon that which really mattered.

    The old Guardsman had been concerned with liaising with Master Prefectus Caldwell, cordoning the Administratum Head Quarters, inventorying and confirming their requisitions made planet fall safely, setting up a field holding and processing center for any suspects and a quarantined and secure work space for the Doktor and the Techpriest. Yet these were mere frivolities. Temporal and carnal concerns, necessary, yes, yet tertiary to the true matters of import, the matters of Him on Terra and the immortal soul. Truly they would be lost in the darkness of their own sinfulness without the guiding light of their Cleric.

    He had almost made an idol of his work, placing it before the concerns of his soul, the Enemy was clever and had entered the fortress of his faith through the door of pride. Jacyn would do well in the future to heed Master Haart's example, one of perfection, piety and propriety. He would have to remember to divulge his wicked prideful neglectfulness to Confessor Haart at the next opportunity, lest his base nature endanger their noble work.

    "Templar Haart is correct." he said matter of factly, putting the last of their luggage in the central of the three rooms.

    "Our first order of business should be in seeking an auspicious and blessed beginning in our endeavors here by tending to our ever faltering souls, as its diseases are legion and far more deadly than that, even now, blighting Dunbar. 'Wight is afflicted with extensive spiritual corruption and for their failings they are being punished. Through purification and penance there is hope, and like Orendel from his ashes, Dunbar can rise again, once the cancer is purged.' Subscrivener Ainsworth where is the Chapel?" he asked.

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    "Each of our buildings has its own small chapel. The one here in the main building is largest. It's on level one, near the back. That's the easiest of your requirements. If you want a proper examination room, you'll need to set something up. All we have is an aid station, and there's no morgue here. The Watch House and the Hospitals have morgues, but they overflowed weeks ago. We're just using some of the empty guildhouses, now."

    Ainsworth shook her head, and gestured at a nearby window. "Course, if what you want is bodies to look at, just go outside. The sidestreets are choked with them."
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    Osmund looks up from the Data-slate he had been absent-mindedly studying, "My dear, where are my manners? Subscrivener Ainsworth was it? Delighted to meet you, I apologise, some of my compatriots can be a trifle blunt, but it is merely that they desire to see this world restored to it's former glory, and the Emperor's will be done." he gives a slight formal bow, "I am Doktor von Rutherborne, this is Father Haart, Sergeant Sohle, Enginseer Atillious, and Master Ioudas," he indicates everyone in turn, "Now if you will spare us a moment, I believe our first order of business should be to inspect these rooms... over here was it?" he gestures to the group of doors indicated previously, "Once that is done, and we have rid ourselves of our bulkier equipment, we should like to meet with the Prefectus, who I am sure, after the proper introductions, will be delighted to allow us use of his primary chapel." he looks pointedly at the others from an angle that the Subscrivener could not see, "After all, it would be improper to make use of the facilities without first meeting our host, yes?"
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    Making the assumption that Osmund has heard Ioudas doesn't like being referred to by his surname, also if Ioudas has a formal rank, let me know and I will edit it in, I wasn't sure.
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    Though Ioudas wouldn't dare question the other acolytes, especially in the presence of Wight natives, he has to privately wonder if all of this socializing and bowing and decorum is really necessary. Why aren't they out there taking heads and demanding answers at gunpoint? Why aren't they rocketing through the criminal underbelly at a madman's pace, hunting down their quarry before their couriers and spies speak of the trail of destruction headed their way? There's obviously some foul collective of heathens directly responsible for engineering this plague, is there not? Some evil mutants in the slums and dark crevices, conspiring to spitefully strike out against the Imperium because they haven't the humility and virtue to accept their rightful place in His divine order? Filthy mutants or insatiable, gluttonous nobles, that's how these things usually play out. That's what his chainsword is here for.

    For now, however, he's fine with just moving equipment around and letting the Important People do the Important Talking. It's not his place to question their methods. So long as they get results, it's not his concern.

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    Savvius processes the Doktor's words, trying to align their priorities into the most efficient use of man-power and skill in the time they currently have. Pulling out his data-pad the tech priest began rapidly reading and editing his notes on the party and their objectives. Surely the Doktor would be of more use during the examination and Father Haart could handle whatever requisitions they require? Perhaps Father Haart is not adequately trained to understand the needs of the Doktor and Savvius, in which case naturally the Doktor would be required to ensure that the proper equipment is appropriated for our efforts. Savvius made a note and reduced the estimated medical and technical skills of Father Haart. Perhaps other useful skills will be demonstrated later. "Understood. Savvius will initiate the process to establish an examination sector. The list of required resources will be submitted before the interview of Master Prefectus Caldwell. Savvius will require assistance obtaining recently deceased samples for evaluation, but that may be postponed until the sector meets Doktor von Rutherborne's approval."
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    Ainsworth nodded. "I'll go inform Master Prefectus Caldwell of your arrival, then. I'm sure he'll be anxious to meet with you. If you require anything, please let me know."

    Leaving them to inspect the offices, the subscrivener hurried off as soon as she was sure there were no other immediate questions. The three offices they had been given were spacious, for offices, and had probably belonged to senior staff before the plague hit. Personal effects, if there were any, had apparently been removed, but the files and papers belonging to the Administratum had all been left behind, as well as the large desks and a scattering of unupholstered wooden chairs.
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    Nathaniel waves a hand towards Sgt Jacyn and Ioudas, motioning them into the room.

    "Come, let us Pray." He says, before carrying on - his tone and dialect changing as he adopts a language akin to archaic prayer familiar to the redemptionists in the cell.

    "A suspicious mind is a healthy mind- check the room, verify its integrity and the extent of the privacy which it affords us - we wouldn't want anyone to be listening in." As he speaks, he subtly gestures to a nearby section of the room, drawing out a zone where they should begin before fanning out and making sure no one's left a listening device in a drawer in anticipation of their arrival.

    He gives them a few minutes to complete this task, praying - before settling down one he is satisfied that they have adequately ensured that the room is bug free.

    "Dear Doktor, though we have had time to prepare for our Journey, it would be wise to review our approach before we meet with the master prefectus. We are all, of course, at your service but if you would defer to my council on a few matters...."

    "That helper of yours" (he says, motioning to the tech-priest) "Is without a doubt of great help when it comes to the more technical aspects of our mission- but is lacking in... tact... to say the least... perhaps he should direct any request to you before bringing them to our hosts, lest we risk accidentally offending or... disturbing them."

    "On that note- what approach would like to us to take upon meeting him? Any specific line of questioning you would like us to explore? As a delegation here to aid with the plague, we should be able to complete the entirety of our mandate without running into too much trouble... After all, a cure to whatever ailment is affecting this planet can likely be resolved through purification of its source."

    "One detail- she mentioned they were lucky the master prefectus was not infected- perhaps it is nothing, but it might worth checking if he had recently exposed himself to some risk and returned unscathed or if it was just a expression."

    A suspicious mind is a healthy mind indeed.
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    Jacyn immediately attended the side of Father Haart when he was summoned. Kneeling he listened attentively to the order and then nodded his head in affirmation replying as he rose,

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    "'The Enemy without the Xenos, the Mutant, the Daemon is known while the Enemy within, the heretic, the witch, the traitor is more dangerous -- for they move unseen among us.' It shall be done, Father."


    The crusader rose from his supplications to a corner of the office and began arranging the furniture to accommodate the gear.

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    Scrutiny, Search (Which is now part of Awareness vs. 30) Jacyn will feel under the desks, inside the drawers, will remove any papers, books, contents and check the insides of the drawers as well as shaking out the books, papers or other such trappings. Any devices will be placed aside to be examined by the Scion of Mars.

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    Osmund nods at Father Haart's suggestion, and motions Savvius over, "Savvius, a moment." He moves to a more amicable, confidential position, "Master Atillious, I feel that diplomacy is going to be an important aspect of this mission, and I believe your considerable talents lie elsewhere, as your forthrightness can be off-putting for those not used to one of your Order. Where possible, if outsiders are around I would prefer you address any concerns quietly to me, rather than aloud. Also it might be prudent to aid Sergeant Sohle by sweeping the rooms for anomalies with the Auspex we brought." with that he attempts to give the man a friendly pat on the back, but stops when he realises the extent of his cybernetics.

    He spends a few moments seemingly in thought as the rest of the group clears the rooms before addressing the rest of Nathaniel's concerns. Once the all-clear is given, he finally speaks, as he moves into the room, "The Prefectus is of course our honoured host, and we his grateful guests, and should be treated with respect as such. We will need access to local records and resources, which he is most well-placed to provide, and indeed is already providing us with these quarters. That said, we need not bother the man with the minutiae of our entire operation, however."

    Osmund moves into the room, putting down his pack and doing a quick inventory, "I cannot say anything definitive with regards to the plague until I have had a chance to examine the facts," he selects a select few chem-injectors from the pack, and tucks them into the inside pocket of his jacket, "Hopefully after some study I can provide something concrete." he dusts off his jacket, adjusts his re-breather unit, and looks around to see if anybody else has concerns. He starts for a moment, having just remembered something, he turns back around and pulls out his Diagnostor, "I shall see if our host is amicable to a quick check-up at the meeting, if he has resisted the plague successfully it may be helpful."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowerbird View Post
    Osmund nods at Father Haart's suggestion, and motions Savvius over, "Savvius, a moment." He moves to a more amicable, confidential position, "Master Atillious, I feel that diplomacy is going to be an important aspect of this mission, and I believe your considerable talents lie elsewhere, as your forthrightness can be off-putting for those not used to one of your Order. Where possible, if outsiders are around I would prefer you address any concerns quietly to me, rather than aloud. Also it might be prudent to aid Sergeant Sohle by sweeping the rooms for anomalies with the Auspex we brought." with that he attempts to give the man a friendly pat on the back, but stops when he realises the extent of his cybernetics.
    Savvius accepted the Auspex, but instead of using it placed it inside of his robes, continuing to tap on his datapad. After an uncomfortably long moment Savvius puts away his tablet and turns himself to face Osmund, his mechadendrites continuing to work the datapad. "This seems to be an inefficient method of relaying our needs to the local inhabitants. Perhaps Savvius should utilize some of the other members of the cell whose skills are not yet being fully utilized." Savvius's mechadendrite orients the datapad toward the Doktor, displaying a complex display of lines and symbols that were layered in a 3 dimensional graph. "While there is a lack of efficiency in Father Haart's communication he seems capable of requisitioning equipment that we may require. Judging by his displayed skills and physical capability this should be a well within the standard deviation of his expected skillset." Savvius withdrew the datapad, producing the Auspex instead and began scanning the room. "Savvius will reduce the volume in which he addresses you, since you seem to feel that it is obstructing communication with the locals."

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    Between Savvius with the auspex and Jacyn physically searching the area, the rooms were given a good, thorough sweep. The auspex detected nothing running on any sort of vox frequencies, or any other frequencies, for that matter. Meanwhile, the sergeant emptied the desks. Inside the drawyers were a number of books - mostly ledgers containing lines of numbers - a series of inkpots, an autoquill or two, a mug, stained brown from recaff, a stack of blank paper, a read-write dataslate with a handful of personal notes on it, pins, stamps, and a large pot of wax. None of the devices seemed especially sinister in their function, and there didn't seem to be any hidden bugs under any of the furniture, either. Completing the search didn't take long, and Subscrivener Ainsworth had not yet returned by the time it was finished. It seemed they would have a little more time to discuss things before meeting with the Master Prefectus.
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    Ioudas dutifully followed Jacyn's lead...not that he has any idea what the throne that guy or Nathaniel were saying. What was that, High Gothic? Some Ecclesiarchy code? Probably just orders to search the room, if the Sergeant's actions are anything to go by. Whatever it was, he couldn't make heads or tails of it, though. He'd have to ask them if it was anything especially pertinent later. Not now, not when asking would make him look like a clueless child, but when it's just the three of them again, perhaps.
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    It was impossible not to cringe.

    He clenched his fists, silently praying for patience - That Noise!!! It had to be some fault in whatever the tech-priest replaced his vocal cords and throat with. It was not surprising - how could a man made replacement hope to compete with the natural perfection of the Emperor's own image?

    Regardless, if they could just find a way to adjust it....

    "Yes yes, I will gladly and respectfully represent the group and requisition anything else We might require... For the immediate future, let us meet with the Master Prefectus and then we can begin gathering bodies for your tests.
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    The unpacking of equipment proceeded, and after a short time Ainsworth returned, followed by a shambling servitor. The servitor's hands had been replaced with an assortment of writing implements, and a half-empty tank of ink was attached to its side. It seemed to have been repurposed as a hauler, though; it was holding a stack of slim crates, each stamped with a serial number. The crates were deposited on the floor next to their remaining supplies.

    "Emergency cots," the subscrivener said with a nod at the crates. "So you'll have somewhere to sleep later. If you could follow me now, I'll take you to Master Caldwell."

    The journey was a short one, past far-too-empty rooms filled with empty desks and racks of scrolls. Here and there minor functionaries shuffled about, carrying documents or supplies, and glancing furtively at the windows when they thought nobody was looking. Once, the group passed a door that led into the huge, open lobby space, where rings of balconies were visible ascending upwards. Every level should have been filled, but as it was the silence was a product of emptiness rather than propriety, and took on an unnerving quality. There should have been legions of scribes and functionaries, logisters, calculators, tallymen... but there was nothing.

    The office of Master Prefectus Caldwell was windowless and austere, and gave off a distinct impression of angularity. The desk was a monolithic wooden thing, the symbol of the Administratum stamped boldly on its front. The shelves were lined with books, each one filled with the rules and regulations pertaining to the day-to-day operation of a different facet of the great Imperial bureaucracy. Fresh boxes of wax cylinders were stacked neatly next to an archaic dictaphone, and an antique stained-glass lamp stood in one corner, casting green-tinted light over the office's sole occupant.

    Master Prefectus Caldwell was a short, stumpy man whose large round glasses failed to hide the dark circles under his eyes. He had short grey hair and a bald pate, and wore cream-coloured robes with ink stains on the cuffs. Around his neck was his chain of office, which looked as though it hung especially heavily from the way he was stooped over the leather-topped surface of his desk.

    "Welcome," he said, "to the esteemed representatives of the Imperial Inquisition. It is truly an honour." He sounded tired, and the formal greeting lacked the sense of ceremony it might have otherwise had. "Please, come in. I really am glad that the Inquisition has responded to my request for assistance. If there is anything the Administratum can do to ease your task, I shall make it so at once. Though, you're not seeing us at our finest, I'm afraid. Were it another time, I should have had a proper entourage meet you at the gates to conduct you within. Such as things are, though, I think we may overlook some of the conventions. Come, come."

    Waving them inside, he stood up from his chair, shuffling around the desk to bow as deeply as he could manage. "Let's not stand on ceremony. Tell me, how was your journey?"
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    They must be concerned about the low rumble that the Lander's machine spirits were making during our entry. Fortunately Savvius took diagnostics during the reentry to calm them. Savvius began to speak, his inhalation of breath a brief reminder of the weakness still inherent in his current form. No, suspend efforts, it was agreed that Doktor Osmund and Father Haart would speak for the delegation. Savvius had best remain in monitor mode and observe their skills and capabilities. It is unfortunate that Savvius didn't share the diagnostic report with them. Savvius slowly exhaled his stored air, a low whine emitting from his respirator, and silently contemplated the necessary materials needed to replace his lungs with a more practical filtration and purification system.
    Last edited by Drunedale; 2016-05-19 at 05:33 AM.
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    Savvius Atillious -- We All Fall Down IC || OoC

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Bowerbird's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: We All Fall Down (Dark Heresy IC)

    Osmund eyes the cots with mostly-concealed disappointment, before following the Subscrivener out the door to the Prefectus' office. Once there, after spending a moment taking in the room, as well as letting the man give his introductions, he finally speaks, "Ah yes, Master Prefectus Caldwell was it? Pleasure to meet you, I am Doktor Osmund von Rutherborne," at this he gives a semi-formal bow, "And these are my associates Father Haart, Sergeant Sohle, Enginseer Atillious, and Master Ioudas," he adds, gesturing to each of them in turn, "Our journey was most uneventful, which thankfully lends itself to us beginning our investigations right away, and not a moment too soon evidently, the situation in the city does appear quite dire." He pulls out the diagnostor and adjusts it for a moment, "Before we begin formally, I do notice that you appear rather haggard, the burdens of your position in these troubling times no doubt, perhaps you would permit me to give you a brief check-up while we establish a good starting point for the job at hand, yes?"
    Spoiler
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    Charm test: (1d100)[75] vs 66 (46 Fel, +10 Peer (Admin), +10 Etiquette Trait, if Peer (Academic) applies then another +10)
    Not sure how necessary these rolls are, mostly trying to give a favourable first impression and make him even more amenable to helping us out where needed.
    Last edited by Bowerbird; 2016-05-19 at 02:41 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Who
    Loving that fluff, loving it so much. If that fluff was a person I'd marry it.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Saldre's Avatar

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    Jun 2008
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    Lost Carcossa
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    Default Re: We All Fall Down (Dark Heresy IC)

    "Good Souls, Master Prefectus and thank you, Doktor for that most agreeable introduction."

    Nathaniel remains rather rigid and austere - bowing his head only slightly to whisper a quick prayer.

    "Though our Journey was uneventful, our dreams and waking moments have been occupied- haunted restlessly by thoughts of the calamity that has struck this planet."

    He takes a moment to shake his head, as if dismissing these negative ideas- before signaling one of his colleagues to close the door .

    "But we have arrived, strong in our resolve- and as my colleague pointed out, eager to help- our bodies, mind and spirits are shielded, basking in the cleansing purity of the flame of our faith..."

    When the door has been closed, Nathaniel turns back to their host.

    "We can begin our journey with a few questions - perhaps you can answer them while the Doktor completes your check-up...

    Who did you inform of our arrival, and what did you tell them -exactly- ?

    Wight's leaders are being systematically assassinated... Has there been an attempt on YOUR life yet? Have you taken any preventative steps?

    Who, and where, is the Magos leading the investigation on the nature of the plague?

    Have you remained in contact with other Bastions of Imperial Authority?

    The High Ecclesiarch has been murdered, but what of his replacement? Or the Adeptus Arbites?

    Your office is in charge of census data-collection, is that correct? We will no doubt require access to some data and assistance sorting it out.

    I assume all of the crime-scenes have been catalogued and investigated, despite the plague?
    "

    Nathaniel quiets down afterwards, giving the man a chance to answer.

    Spoiler: Just in case
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    I am just gonna throw down a roll here incase I had to roll for something : (1d100)[72]!
    "Have You seen the Yellow Sign?"
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    Originally Posted by shadow_archmagi

    DM says: WHY!? WHY!? WHY?!
    DM means: NO! NO! NO!!!
    Player hears: GOOD JOB PLAYER! DO IT AGAIN AND AGAIN!
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    Currently Hosting:
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    Nothing!

    Currently Playing In:
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    On The Lookout!

    Amazing avatar of "The King In Yellow" by Ceika

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