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Rogue Trader - Port Wander
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Rogue Trader - Port Wander Reply with quote



Port Wander rests within the Rubycon II system, amidst an asteroid field partially converted into way-stations and shipyards. Almost one thousand times the size of Blessed Sol, the Rubycon II star burns a deep red and keeps watch over a lifeless system. Two immense gas giants lie on the edge of a vast asteroid field, amongst which is Port Wander.

Resembling a small city-scape with hive-like structures, chapel towers, and vast docks for space-faring vessels, Port Wander is the furthest reach of the God-Emperor’s protection before the Koronus Expanse. At the very edge of the Calixis Sector, where the Drusus Marches meets the Halo Stars, Port Wander lies close to The Maw, through which the Koronus Passage is accessible.

Port Wander is populated by a diverse mix of permanent station staff, tech priests, merchants, and anyone else attracted to the opportunities made available here. The port was founded by the Imperial Navy in 917M.40, to investigate the Warp near the Drusus Marches. Naval interests soon waned, although numerous merchants and Rogue Traders kept the port vibrant afterwards. Indeed, although heavily armed and armoured, Port Wander relies on many of those who do business here for its protection.

Mining vessels bringing gas from the nearby planets travel to and from the port frequently. Other than this, there are usually a half-dozen Rogue Trader vessels here at one time, as well as numerous other small ships bringing supplies or business opportunities. Imperial law is enforced in Port Wander, though often by turning a blind eye to some of the unsavoury elements present. Spies of various merchant houses, and every arm of the Imperium’s administration can be discovered here.

Vessels wishing to resupply their crew, foodstuff, and armaments would find all that they need here. Illegal trade is probably better conducted in Footfall, though it certainly exists here.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LORD AND MASTER

- The Light of the Golden Throne burns against the darkness of the Void, spluttering with intensity in the form of Port Wander. The servants of the God Emperor gather here, at the edge of uncertainty and danger, for reasons as numberless as the stars they contemplate. Beyond the Drusus Marches, through the Maw and the Passage, lies the Koronus Expanse; at the last certain outpost of faith, the minds of men turn always to darkness.

To the Depths of Sin, Aestann Ramirre


While elsewhere in Port Wander millions of men and women busy themselves with the life and duties on a busy trade hub, Docking Bay LXXVI is almost serene. Nearly two-thousand men and women stand in serried ranks, lined according to their rank and station before an ancient vessel, tethered by spider-like metal claws to the bay’s gargantuan interior. Somewhere above, where fumes and smoke congeal and swim in the ceiling, dimly glimpsed figures move across gantries and beams.

The Invictus Aeterna, a vessel vastly more ancient than the Port in which it is moored, now looms over those of her crew arrayed before her. The two-thousand men and women form small columns, allowing a vast space like a tunnel through their ranks, leading to the main access ramp hitched to the Invictus. Some stand in bright and neatly-pressed uniforms, having taken special attention to polish every button and epaulette; others groom themselves more practically, their clothes cleaned for the occasion, though without pomp or ostentation. Behind walls of officers in uniforms, ratings from the general crew stand with unease.

Near the main ramp to the Invictus a group of fifty senior staff and dignitaries wait, some busying themselves with last minute commands and negotiations. A group of psykers – a half dozen astropaths and navigators – lean against their staves; few crew stand too close to these communers of the Warp. At the head of this small group stands a tall and very old Astropath – Sterr the Unborn. His shoulders are hunched from age, and his weathered face seems as if it is eternally fixed in some deep contemplation. His long hair is tied in thick plaits, waxed with animal fats, while trinkets, baubles, shrunken heads, and other idols of a savage past hang from his robes.

Amongst the senior officers, the dignitaries and the scribes wait the command staff. Prolx Tyor, the Helmsman, a young and stern looking man in a naval uniform; Communications Officer Marla Vehle, standing at ease and evidently bored and inconvenienced by the whole affair; Duty Officer Rem Mordia, his back straightened to the point of absurdity, waits with barely contained excitement. More senior officers slowly make their way from the Invictus to the assembly, some with disinterest, others with apprehension.

A detail of Armsmen in field-grey uniforms stands at attention, awaiting their Master-at-Arms, and watching for any disturbances.

Standing to one side of the senior staff is a small group of three men. The men are clothed in robes and bear an assortment of scroll cases and data-slates; one adjusts the quill fingers on his right hand, tweaking the ink inhibitor and auto-leaf array. Representing the Alid-Yuril consortium, the presence of these merchants was far from guaranteed. Following the murder of Laurent Amphael, the Alid-Yuril consortium almost withdrew entirely from negotiations for a major contract aimed at tapping the wealth of the Koronus Expanse. In the four months since Laurent’s death, they have jealously guarded the details of their contract and awaited the arrival of the new Rogue Trader.

As the assembly gathers, and more of the men and women selected make their way to their positions, minds turn to wondering at the whereabouts of the new arrivals. Not only is the parade in honour of the new Rogue Trader, it is also considered to be a welcome to the Senior Navigator, and the techpriest Explorator who are supposed to be joining the crew this day. None of the three have yet to arrive.

A surge of power shorts a small bank of lights above, and the shadow of the Invictus encroaches on the ranks below.
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Last edited by Montresor on Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Injerian Praetus II
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Praetus was reclining against a grox-leather chair, one of his legs resting on the table before him, amid empty bottles of Amasec and discarded nos-spice cigars. His navy cloak was draped over the headrest, and his belongings piled against one of the gilt-covered chair-legs. Around him, the Navigator room was empty save for drifting grey-blue clouds of nos-smoke. Sussurations of Port Wander's ancient air conditioning system the only sound in the wide, velvet-floored room. He lit another cigar - his fifth one this day cycle of the station - and sighed almost theatrically.

For the hundredth time he glanced at the door opposite him, sucking in the heady cigar smoke, and sending a piercing black-eyed gaze at the metal doors as though willing them to open and allowing the messenger to enter. They remained closed - still - and he narrowed his gaze, reaching over for another glass of amasec.

Must not get too drunk, he thought. The new Amphael will not be impressed and I will probably lose my new commission.

As Praetus placed the glass down, the doors parted with a thunking sound. A servitor skull floated between them and underneath the Aquila sign, reaching his table in no time. Trailing from its polished bone skull were several cables and Imperial prayer beads. In its mouth was a sealed letter.

He almost laughed aloud.

Praetus reached out and retrieved the letter, breaking the waxen seal with eagerness.

It read: Present yourself immediately to Docking Bay LXXVI.

The navigator placed the cloak over his shoulders, and his navy cap over his head, covering his third eye. Clicking his fingers, he summoned another servitor - a man almost entirely mechanical - to carry his belongings. They walked out of the lounge and down a long, vaulted corridor complete with banners and statues.

He continued to smoke his cigar as he made his way to the Invictus Aeterna.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finishing a last perimeter check, using all scans, the enigmatic Master-At-Arms slides into place, subtle twitches rippling along his body as he uses the minute movements to verify his weapons are in place and secure by their resistance and sway. Hands deceptively relaxed near pistol holsters, he continues to visually scan the crowds. For overt threats, primarily, but also simply those who try too hard to be anonymous, or those paying too much attention to the elite of the Name of Amphael. Barely whispered, "May the Omnissiah's Light show me the darkness within any Void-touched souls here"
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi held tightly to the ladder rung, and glanced over his shoulder to survey the scene below. Hundreds of people, neatly ordered, and awaiting his presence. He'd already seen the crowd celebrate the appearance of the Navigator, and felt right in not wanting any part of it.

"I would pity them if the sight weren't so amusing."

The servo-skull hovering beside him turned and focused a mechanical iris on his face in response, but only to confirm the source of the sound waves, before turning back to monitor the access hatch a few metres above. After reaching its destination, a small mechanical appendage unfolded and began operating a console beside the hatch, causing it to open.

Malachi's companion waited a moment before quietly gliding through the newly formed portal. He reached the opening shortly after, and hauled himself through. The servo-skull was at the console commanding the hatch to close. Malachi turned to face the scene below, and just before it irised out of sight, he uttered the word "Avete".
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Andrea Chan-Gauthier
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turning to see Drak-Kung fidgeting in place, Andrea Chan-Gauthier smiled queitly. I'm glad I'm a civilian, and I don't have to do all that silly 'standing at attention' nonesense. Even the bad-asses can't hold still this long. She leaned back in her chair and rested her head for a moment. And why am I the only one who thought to bring a deck chair to this? We've been here forever, already, and there's no sign of ANY of our guests.

Just then, a shower of sparks is seen above, then a section of lights go out. Muttering to herself in Low Gothic, "Of course. The lights go out, now. Perfect." Andrea scanned overhead to see if anything interesting was happening up by the now inert lighting. "Even a blown fuse would be more entertaining than 2000 merchant mariners playing soldier with nobody to see them." Most of the sparks went out almost immediately as all the combustable material was used up. But one bright orange dot continued to drift downwards.

Gently falling mote,
Not a sakura blossom,
But you'll have to do.


As the burning spark finally went out, still hundreds of feet above the parade, Andrea turned to Drak-Kung. "Master-At-Arms, is there anything we should be worried about, up there?" Her tone was bored, and she had to stifle a yawn at the end of the question.

Perception test with heightened senses (vision) on the rafters where the lights went out.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Your casual insubordination will not be tolerated today, Lieutenant Vehle. Stand to attention." Zarkov's lowered voice in her ear made her stiffen. He turned to the rest of the officers. "I do not relish the pomp of parade, but we are here to set examples for the rest of the crew, are we not?" The helmsman gave a barely perceptible smile at this veiled rebuke. "Yes sir! We are sir!" came the enthusiastic voice of Mordia. Vehle scowled at Zarkov, but came to attention regardless. "Our new captain is ex-Imperial Navy, and as such he will expect the same high standard I do from my officers! A ship without good leaders is like a powerful snake without a head, and you," he turned to his gunnery officers, "are the fangs!"

It was no secret that Zarkov regarded his gunnery crew with favoritism. Perhaps it was because their respect had been easy to gain, when much of the crew still regarded him with suspicion after 8 years of command. His reputation, again, had preceded him. His combat experience was a welcome change from the previous gunnery command officer however, who had been by all accounts incompetent. Now, the men had a leader of some renown, albeit with a chequered past. Zarkov walked along the lines of officers, idly checking their uniform and posture. He was still doing so when the first of the new arrivals, the member of the Navis Nobilite, arrived.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Oh, don't be so hard on them, Lt. Commander." said Andrea. "Unless the Lord-Captain is hiding up in the gantries there, we'll have easily 10 minutes of warning before he's even within sight of us."

Andrea reached to the small table next to her deck chair, and picked up her drink. Some mixed drink in neon colors. She sipped it quietly, and puckered up her lips. She felt the look made her look cute, as it did for most of her friends back in the Academy. But, the bulky cybernetic eyes mostly spoiled the look, so it just came across as petulant instead of pouty. They just aren't the same without the alcohol. But, no drinking on duty.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Praetus passes along the corridor, by the century's-old carvings, under banners stiffened with age, and through the groups of traders, pilgrims, and service staff common to this area. Having idled enough time for the last few weeks, Praetus feels he could almost reach the shuttle-cars at the end of the hall with his eyes closed.

Moments later, he is atop a half-tracked vehicle, just large enough to accomodate him, his luggage, the mute servitor, and the driver. The machine stutters with an out-pouring of chem-prolp, gradually travelling with less little shocks the faster it goes.

The Senior Navigator is taken through vast habitation tunnels, running along the throne-spent madness of the Court of the Dead, and towards the exterior bays in which the Invictus Aeterna is moored. Eventually, Prateus arrives in Docking Bay LXXVI, an immense hold capable of accomodating even larger classes of vessels than it does now. At the moment, only the Invictus is moored here, though some service shuttles await on higher moorings.

Praetus is taken to just beyond the first of the columns of crewmen arrayed to welcome the dignitaries on board. The servitor hoists the luggage, its soulless eyes staring through the Navigator, waiting for his command to begin the long walk to the end of parade.

Neither trying to hide, nor standing to be seen, Praetus spies a man watching him from beside a levels of plas-steel crates. The man is dressed in a simple blue uniform, inlaid with gold piping. It is impossible to make out more from where you stand, though it is evident he is not part of the parade.

[a three-step success on a Perception test revealed the man to you]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drak-Kung wrote:
"May the Omnissiah's Light show me the darkness within any Void-touched souls here"


Drak-Kung keeps a watchful eye upon the proceedings, glancing over the gantries above, the storage holds, and service vehicles around for the hundredth time today. His arms-men likewise keep their eyes trained on the crowd without losing their rigid posture. Although these men aren't military, under the Master-at-Arms's careful instruction, they have become used to a sterner discipline.

Drak-Kung notes the arrival of the Navigator, although the man is still far away at the very head of the neatly arrayed columns of crewmen. Nothing else seems out of the ordinary, although it is clear that the representatives from Alid-Yuril are agitated.

Lt. Commander Zarkov wrote:
"Your casual insubordination will not be tolerated today, Lieutenant Vehle. Stand to attention." Zarkov's lowered voice in her ear made her stiffen. He turned to the rest of the officers. "I do not relish the pomp of parade, but we are here to set examples for the rest of the crew, are we not?"


Vehle thinly conceals a resentful glance at the Lt. Commander, although she does what she is told and stands at attention. As Zarkov continues, she cannot help but cast him another scathing look, her pale eyes narrowing almost with contempt. The Helmsman glares at her.

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:
"Oh, don't be so hard on them, Lt. Commander." said Andrea. "Unless the Lord-Captain is hiding up in the gantries there, we'll have easily 10 minutes of warning before he's even within sight of us."


'The proper stance of the officer is -' Mordia begins, before wondering if he is speaking out of turn. He glances at Zarkov for a sign of approval and repeats himself, this time less emphatically: 'Madame Seneschal, it is important for a leader to display the bearing of command, even while idling their time'.

The representatives of the Alid-Yuril Consortium watch the conversation with interest, in particular regarding the Chief Seneschal with concern. They draw themselves in a closer-knit, and discuss in hushed tones. The augmented hearing senses of both Zarkov and Andrea catch some of the conversation. The leader of the group - a short and broad man known only as Factor Kerr - is clearly heard to utter 'unprofessional'.

[Andrea made a three-step Perception success, and also understands that the men from the consortium are talking about her]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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Montresor
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi wrote:
"Avete".


The Invictus, the ants lined in rows around her, the dregs working amongst the gantries above, and the gargantuan hold of Docking Bay LXXVI dissappear from sight. Malachi is momentarily left in darkness, before finding a dust-covered illumintor-switch. Ancient vertical light cylinders blink to life, the machine spirits appeased, perhaps, at their recalling.

The Explorator finds himself in a dank and stale service well. Clogged filtration systems send particles of dust lazily drifting far below. A single staricase, fashioned from low-grade iron descends out of view.

[Malachi can discern that this service well has not been used in a very long time. Forgotten tunnels and access points like this are common, though a little unusual so close to a docking bay]
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
'The proper stance of the officer is -' Mordia begins, before wondering if he is speaking out of turn. He glances at Zarkov for a sign of approval and repeats himself, this time less emphatically: 'Madame Seneschal, it is important for a leader to display the bearing of command, even while idling their time'.

The representatives of the Alid-Yuril Consortium watch the conversation with interest, in particular regarding the Chief Seneschal with concern. They draw themselves in a closer-knit, and discuss in hushed tones. The augmented hearing senses of both Zarkov and Andrea catch some of the conversation. The leader of the group - a short and broad man known only as Factor Kerr - is clearly heard to utter 'unprofessional'.


Andrea turns her head to stare directly at Factor Kerr for a moment, and waits for him to return the look before she stands abruptly. Moving over to Lt. Commander Zarkov, she stops at a normal speaking distance from him, but then whispers the following: "Lt. Commander, your subordinate's zeal does you credit, though I feel that he was perhaps more correct than he realized. My own... ahem... unprofessional behavior notwithstanding, the Alid-Yuril have waited four months for us to have a Rogue Trader they can deal with. Now that he's supposedly here, and they're certainly here, his lack of arrival will do us harm in the coming negotiations. It may be a bargaining ploy, to get all huffy at me relaxing while they're stuck standing there, but if they're actually upset enough to complain about me within earshot... I can't imagine the Lord-Captain will be all that pleased with his bargaining position when he finally deigns to grace us with his presence."

She paused, turned to look Factor Kerr in the eyes again, then whispered "Might we be able to send someone to fetch our Great Leader here? I can have chairs and refreshments brought out for our guests, but doing so signals that we also don't know where the Lord-Captain is, and I've been hoping he wouldn't force me into that position."
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
A single staricase, fashioned from low-grade iron descends out of view.

[Malachi can discern that this service well has not been used in a very long time. Forgotten tunnels and access points like this are common, though a little unusual so close to a docking bay]


Malachi's eyes close, and his brow furrows slightly in concentration. The servo-skull then descends silently down the stairs, auspex activated, to gain as much information as possible for Malachi. He's lost many assistants to crumbling architecture and booby-traps in past assignments, and it is almost second nature to him, now, to survey his surroundings when they haven't seen activity in a while.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The servo-skull whirrs and hovers down the central void of the well, its wake forming little whirlpools of dust which spin and disintegrate into the detritus. Malachi watches as the mechanic familiar becomes smaller and smaller, its usually imperceptible clicks amplified in the tomb-like staircase.

The servo-skull goes deeper and deeper, scanning its lifeless sockets over walls and railings which have lay undistrubed for decades. It stops, hovering and scanning the first definite sign of collapse - a weakened landing had given away under some weight, metal stairs and rails twisted like downward pointing fingers. A gap in the landing of a few yards some thirty floors down appears treacherous, though easily jumped.

The servo-skull continues its descent, down flights of stairs which plunge ever deeper into failing light, and flickering lumin-globes. Some of the railings below appear broken out of shape, hanging pendulously, as if some great bulk crashed into on its own descent. At the base of the service well, perhaps some seventy or more flights down from Malachi, rests the broken remains of a long-dead human form. A torn cloak, long-faded the colour of mud, hangs in rags over the dispersed and shattered bone and metal of its wearer. Dark stains of two discernible colours hang on the walls and mark the floor like thin scarous matter. Amongst the railings, there also appearse to be other parts of thick metal.

Numerous exit vents are located all the way down the service well. Silence hangs in the semi-darkness, as if the place still lay undiscovered.
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Injerian Praetus II
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
Praetus is taken to just beyond the first of the columns of crewmen arrayed to welcome the dignitaries on board. The servitor hoists the luggage, its soulless eyes staring through the Navigator, waiting for his command to begin the long walk to the end of parade.

Neither trying to hide, nor standing to be seen, Praetus spies a man watching him from beside a levels of plas-steel crates. The man is dressed in a simple blue uniform, inlaid with gold piping. It is impossible to make out more from where you stand, though it is evident he is not part of the parade.


Praetus carefully adjusts his naval officer's cap, so as to ensure that his third eye is hidden. His black, glossy eyes are hidden in the darkness, but they glance around the area with bemused curiosity. The navigator spies a man lurking near some crates, watching him and the column of crew members. However, he gives the man a cursory inspection, and then walks away.

The navigator hands the servitor the cigar and orders him to dispose it, walking away from the half-mechanical slave. Passing by well over a hundred people, he eventually slows to a stop, facing the long lines of crew members. In the distance, not too far away, stands a man with holsters on either side, and a female. Praetus ignores them - nothing about them suggests that he should act otherwise - and stands as though disinterested by the whole proceedings.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:
"Oh, don't be so hard on them, Lt. Commander." said Andrea. "Unless the Lord-Captain is hiding up in the gantries there, we'll have easily 10 minutes of warning before he's even within sight of us."


'The proper stance of the officer is -' Mordia begins, before wondering if he is speaking out of turn. He glances at Zarkov for a sign of approval and repeats himself, this time less emphatically: 'Madame Seneschal, it is important for a leader to display the bearing of command, even while idling their time'.


Zarkov smiled wanly at Mordia's earnestness, giving him a forced nod of approval.

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:

"Might we be able to send someone to fetch our Great Leader here? I can have chairs and refreshments brought out for our guests, but doing so signals that we also don't know where the Lord-Captain is, and I've been hoping he wouldn't force me into that position."


Zarkov shook his head slowly. "Do not worry yourself Seneschal. Sending someone to retrieve the Captain will do your image no favours either. He will arrive presently, of that I am sure. A naval man is rarely late, so there must be good reason."

Zarkov wondered more where the Explorator Laurent had approved was. The enginseers aboard where all first level Mechanicus, they knew the Sixteen Universal Laws, but so far that was all Zarkov had gleaned from them. They were a secretive lot, and knowledgeable only in the specific part of the ship they were assigned to. Zarkov found talking to them difficult. Perhaps the Explorator would be different.

He lowered his voice. "Madam, morale is fickle enough as it is; you should not question me in front of the men so...casually. Vigilance and discipline is what keeps a crew effective and efficient, you know that." He returned to his former tone. "Now. You have your job and I have mine. It seems our first guest has arrived." The bionic lens replacing his right eye narrowed, picking up the finer details on the newcomers uniform. "Although I was expecting someone a little less, military." Zarkov easily recognized the peaked cap of an officer. The skull motif that denoted a member of the Commissariat was just visible above the aquila. Zarkov frowned. He had met commissars before, but this man was something different altogether.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Praetus walks along the lines of men, entering the hall of bodies arrayed in their formal columns, he is watched with wary eyes. The crew appear surprised to see him arrive with such little announcement, a rating is heard to mutter: 'is this Garrius?', before a midshipman orders him silent.

The crewmen stand to attention, staring fixedly forward, some clicking their boots together as they do so. A young officer, with a metallic nose piece examines a data-slate, comparing what he is looking at with the Navigator who has stopped nearby. He steps out and nods politely.

'Navigator Praetus? We are honoured to have someone from such a distinguished house as your own join our crew'. The officer only pauses briefly before accompanying the Navigator. 'Kolstys Kol, midshipman. I shall take you to the command staff, sir. This way'.

Praetus is led closer to the end of the assembly, as wary eyes watch him. Four armsmen from Drak-Kung's detachment join the two, and march without a word beside the Navigator, shielding him as they have been instructed.

Midshipman Kol stops before the senior bridge staff, where they have been discussing business and ceremony. Standing to attention and saluting the first officer, Kol announces: 'Lt. Commander - Madame Seneschal - may I present to you Navigator Praetus'.

[OOC - feel free to estimate how much time it takes for Praetus to be brought to the senior staff, and continue your own IC conversations as long as you need before Kol and Praetus arrive]
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
The servo-skull goes deeper and deeper, scanning its lifeless sockets over walls and railings which have lay undistrubed for decades. It stops, hovering and scanning the first definite sign of collapse - a weakened landing had given away under some weight, metal stairs and rails twisted like downward pointing fingers. A gap in the landing of a few yards some thirty floors down appears treacherous, though easily jumped.

The servo-skull continues its descent, down flights of stairs which plunge ever deeper into failing light, and flickering lumin-globes. Some of the railings below appear broken out of shape, hanging pendulously, as if some great bulk crashed into on its own descent. At the base of the service well, perhaps some seventy or more flights down from Malachi, rests the broken remains of a long-dead human form. A torn cloak, long-faded the colour of mud, hangs in rags over the dispersed and shattered bone and metal of its wearer. Dark stains of two discernible colours hang on the walls and mark the floor like thin scarous matter. Amongst the railings, there also appearse to be other parts of thick metal.

Numerous exit vents are located all the way down the service well. Silence hangs in the semi-darkness, as if the place still lay undiscovered.


The servo-skull stopped at the unspoken command of its master. Malachi then casually followed the scouted path, clearing the gap in the floor with a somewhat graceless leap, before continuing on down the stairwell.

Throughout the journey, he slowed to examine each non- or semi-functioning lumin fixture, but more as a distraction from the monotony of descending stairs, than from a tech-priest's traditional interest in wanting them fully functioning. He had seen so much tech in similar, or worse, states of repair in the outer systems that it no longer held any significance for him, save as a visually interesting asymmetry.

Upon reaching the end of the staircase, Malachi motioned towards the skeletal remains. The servo-skull brought its array of sensors to bear on this new point of its master's interest, to help him study the grim remains.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Lt. Commander Zarkov"]Zarkov shook his head slowly. "Do not worry yourself Seneschal. Sending someone to retrieve the Captain will do your image no favours either. He will arrive presently, of that I am sure. A naval man is rarely late, so there must be good reason."/
Quote:


Andrea nodded at this, face still showing doubt.

[quote="Lt. Commander Zarkov"]He lowered his voice. "Madam, morale is fickle enough as it is; you should not question me in front of the men so...casually. Vigilance and discipline is what keeps a crew effective and efficient, you know that." He returned to his former tone. "Now. You have your job and I have mine. It seems our first guest has arrived." The bionic lens replacing his right eye narrowed, picking up the finer details on the newcomers uniform. "Although I was expecting someone a little less, military."


"You're right, of course, Lt. Commander. I'm an administrator, not yet a leader. I appreciate your lessons in that regard. But..." she smiled brightly, "... our arriving guest is something I do know how to handle."

Holding silent as the Navigator came within earshot, Andrea assumed the position she calls 'Civilian Attention', with a warm smile, straight-backed posture, hands at her side.

Midshipman Kolstys Kol wrote:
'Lt. Commander - Madame Seneschal - may I present to you Navigator Praetus'


Andrea turns the smile up a notch, steps forward and reaches to shake his hand. "Welcome to the Invictus Aeterna, Navigator Praetus. I'm Seneschal Majoris, Andrea Chan-Gauthier." She breaks the handshake to turn to the man next to her. "This is Lt. Commander Zarkov, First Mate and Gunnary Officer."
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi wrote:

Upon reaching the end of the staircase, Malachi motioned towards the skeletal remains. The servo-skull brought its array of sensors to bear on this new point of its master's interest, to help him study the grim remains.


Navigating the well is cautious work for the Explorator. Not only is the stairwell weak enough in parts to risk collapsing, the minor malfunctions on the lights sometimes bathe landings in complete darkness. Reaching the base of the service well takes considerable time - at least half an hour.

The shattered remains below are evidently those of a tech priest. Precisely when he died is indeterminate, although it is likely to be over half a century ago. The remains would have to be properly examined to yield any concrete facts, though there is nothing about the body which suggests anything other than death from an accident.

Rusted tools are scattered about the bones, their sacred duties to the machine spirit long at an end. Although Malachi himself misses the detail, his servo-skull clicks and whirrs, using its combi tools to uncover a withered parchment, long since soaked in oils from the tech priests ruined metal limbs. Almost entirely blackened from the oils and age, it is not inconceivable that major restorative work could repair the parchment. Faint tracings are still legible, though Malachi cannot discern its intent.

A clogged filtration grate is inset in the wall at the base of the well, inscribed above with symbols of the Mechanicus.

[Should you choose to exit via the filtration grate - which is more or less a crawlspace - you will need to use your combi-tools etc to proceed. There is little doubt you could proceed, but it may just take some time to access the duct. It leads in the general direction of the Invictus, though you are unsure whether you are now below the dock level or not]
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