+++++++++++++Excerpt from Adept Euphrati Salamis’ Data Slate+++++++++++++++
The Emperor Protects! We are all four of us acolytes in His service, fresh out of Hive Sibelius, Scintilla, and assigned to Invigilator O. Sand.
On an unmarked service platform in an anonymous hab-block I surreptitiously study my fellow-acolytes. We have all been summoned to the Ordo, so it may be that I will be working with them. Or perhaps my job is simply to follow and record, for I am but a humble Adept, with the rudiments of lore and investigative skill. I am familiar with both knife and stub-gun of course.
The other woman appears my own age – late twenties – but with dark skin, blue eyes and pink hair, she is strikingly noticeable. I like to think that my looks – blonde, grey eyes – are neither a help nor a hindrance should I wish to melt into the background. By the look of her weaponry – shotgun and las-pistol – she is trained as a markswoman, perhaps one of the many auxilia of the Ordos that use their looks and weapons in the Emperors service, praise be His Name.
The two male acolytes are very different. One is, I would guess, from the same Hab as myself, but from one of the Guard uptakes. He is festooned with weapons and is heavily armored. The other is probably off-world judging by his pale features and odd posture. He may be space-trained though I see no implants so is probably a lowly human servitor.
St Drusus looks on as we descend to the transit platform and a long ride ensues. At length I encourage introductions.
- Euphrati Salamis: myself, the Adept.
- Dita Minx: the pink-haired Assassin. She seems outgoing but of a sardonic turn of phrase. I will watch her closely.
- Arlas Vrek: the Guardsman. Taciturn.
- Garvel Wroth: the pale Arbitrator. He is indeed space-born, but seems to have integrated himself well.
At long last in a dusty store-room we are briefed by our Invigilator Sand, from a distinguished order of scholars, who appears behind a mirror-screen. (He tells us we are in the depths of the Mori. It is possible he was indeed there.) He has a subject post-mortem, and demonstrates the foul heretical tech that has been implanted on the wretch:
Saul Arbast: unskilled laborer, laid off 60 days previous, reported missing 32 days previous by his sister Lili, operated on approximately 10 days previous, died of system shock perhaps a week previous.
Our task is to discover where the tech comes from and who controls it. We will nominally be employees of Coblast Assay, though our tags will permit our normal use of self-defense. The stores in the crates include:
- An overcoat each;
- A handvox each;
- A chem-lamp each;
- 1 coded data slate;
- 1 biosatchel with 3 tubes, an auspex and a monoscalpel;
- 1 money pouch with 120 thrones.
We travel out to Coscarla, repeatedly changing trains. It is a low-end Hab zone indeed. We eventually find Lili’s hab on L3. It has been trashed by someone searching very messily. We move up to Saul’s hab on L6 – there seems little chance it has been re-assigned in this fairly empty Hab block – and Garvel checks for traps and we enter, finding Lili hiding there.
Our cross-examination is conducted in a reassuring/empathic mode and is successful. Lili leaves us to go to a cousin – note to have authorities monitor that – with three possible lines of inquiry: the Workers Union; Warden Locan who apparently knows something and is scared of the other Wardens; and most promising, Evard Zed, a drinking buddy of Saul’s who is likely to be easy to find around the Temple. Having warned us of the “disappearances” that are occurring each night, Lili departs.
Having emphasized communication regarding weapon status, we set watch in the hab with the door ajar, to see if we can encounter whatever agency is behind the “disappearances.” Sure enough, we do.
Two waxy humanoids attack the group which has set up an unlit camp inside Saul’s apartment. Euphrati is on first watch, fails her awareness and is king-hit by one of the attackers. They are Augmetic-eyed, with implants up the wazoo and have no trouble seeing in the dark. Euphrati manages to stay conscious but drops to 7 out of 12 wound points.
Initiative is rolled:
- Arlas then “Gimpy”
Light is switched on and Dita blasts the one we come to know as “Gimpy” with her shotgun. It is very tough as its implants and toughness combine to soak 7 from any hit. Arlas attacks it all-out with an axe, but the primitive weapon has little chance to cut through its defenses. He makes shooting difficult for the remainder of the team during the next couple of rounds, though Gimpy boxes him into a corner so we can at least shoot its back. Arlas’ armor has protected him (1 Wound point) but realizes his chance of doing anything significant is low so pulls a shotgun from [somewhere] and does a blow-through crit to Gimpy’s chest (winded; 1 level fatigue). Arlas’ next crit is to Gimpy’s leg (broken, stunned 1 round) and Euphrati scores a crit to the back, doubling Gimpy over. What might have been a coup de grace by Euphrati misses completely; she retreats.
Meanwhile Garvel is being chased around the room by Chesty, taking a severe wound (dropping to 5 of 12 but not KO’d) and inflicting a minor chest wound. Chesty chases both Garvel and Euphrati behind Arlas, who is weaponing-up back at the servery bench. Arlas has picked up a las-gun switches to automatic [thanks GM for the hint] and blasts Chesty: it’s still up but in bad shape.
Gimpy then rejoins the combat and gets hit in the broken leg again, Arlas’ las-fire burning off its foot. Having reloaded, Euphrati and Garvel turn their attention to Chesty with no luck. (Dita has been trying her las-pistol but it lacks the punch to do more than pin-prick damage so switches back to shotgun at this stage.)
Two hits by Arlas and one by Euphrati KO Gimpy at long last. Chesty, who has taken very little damage up to that point, is then cooked through-and-through by Arlas.
+++++++++++++++++++What are the 5 lessons we can learn?+++++++++++++++++
- Armor will really help you survive.
- Use your best weapon first.
- Primitive weapons aren’t much use against boosted-up opponents
- Use all advantage you can get: for example, get within 3m..
- Damage keeps stacking on one target so keep piling it on until it’s out.
I take samples of the heretical remains. Praise to the Throne, we are all fit though Garvel and I have taken some battering from the armored fists of the creatures. Arlas is bruised lightly and Dita unscathed.