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Rogue Trader - The Passage
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:31 am    Post subject: Rogue Trader - The Passage Reply with quote

The raging Warp Storms of the Halo Stars makes travel into the Koronus Expanse impossible except through the route discovered by Rogue Trader Purity Lathimon, in the late 40th Millennium. The Koronus Passage, often referred to as The Maw, is a stable but highly dangerous warp route into the Expanse. More vessels have failed navigating this passage than have made it through to the other side. The wrecks of numerous voyages which predate Lathimon's discovery are to be found in the Warp-haunted terror of the Passage.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTO THE PASSAGE

Heavy with the weight of its cargo, the Invictus Aeterna plunges into the forbidding currents of the Passage. The gamble of the Amphaels and their allies hangs heavily upon the ancient vessel, as her crew journey for the first time into the dangers of the Koronus Expanse. Port Wander lies a week's journey behind the Invictus and, with it, the Imperium.

Senior Navigator Praetus makes his final calculations for Translation into the Warp. With the Geller Fields active, the Invictus almost pours into Immaterial currents, swimming with unerring ease in the formless tides of pure Chaos.

The crew wait in uncertain agitation as Injerian Praetus II activates all systems in the Navigator's pit. The Geller Fields ripple as unseen forces and half-felt passions try to reach the frigate's hull. Nervous moments pass before Praetus declares to the bridge that he has a clear perception of the Astronomicon - the eternal beacon of the God-Emperor. Verifying his earlier projections, Praetus marks down a course to the Battleground, and supplies the Helmsman with the first set of co-ordinates to steer the vessel in the Warp tides.

Through the dimmed view of the bridge, the Geller Fields can be seen to crackle and surge. Un-thought of colours swim in the darkness, while the fields prevent any of the crew perceiving the shapes which may be trying to form beyond.

The Invictus begins its long journey into an uncertain future.

[The senior staff are privy to the calculations of the navigators. Praetus declares his absolute certainty that his projection is correct. By his estimation, the Invictus should reach the Battleground in fifteen days. The Astronomicon is clear, and the chances of becoming lost are remote. The morale on the bridge is high]
.... .... .... ....

DAY THREE

The navigators take shifts in the pit, so that they may remain rested and alert when their services are required. As the Senior Navigator, Praetus is obliged to take the greater share of the shifts, while the other navigators merelt follow his projection. Time seems to pass as it had before and, to those born in the Void, the isolation from civilsation is almost comforting.

During one of Praetus's shifts in the pit, on the third day, the movement of the Invictus becomes more fluid. She cuts her way through the currents of the blasphemous Immaterium; and the Geller Fields resonate with ancient power, holding strong. Helmsman Tyor listens intently for Praetus's co-ordinates, supplied via Vox from the pit. The mood is tranquil; machines hum with reassuring fervour.

Gently, and without perceptible shudders, the Invictus Aeterna slows. The current she is riding no longer gives way so pliantly. Very few on the bridge perceive that anything is happening until it is nearly too late. The frigate churns through the Immaterium, which pulls her slowly to a stop. In the passing of a moment, the vessel is becalmed.

Dread passes through the ship, penetrating to the lower depths. All know that something bad is about to happen. None are certain of what, except for Senior Navigator Praetus.

[Present on board the bridge are - Garrius; Zarkov; and Praetus. Any other PC who wishes to be here can be. NPCs present are all of the senior bridge staff, plus their attendant officers, and some tech priests]
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Last edited by Montresor on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Rumours -

Nearly two weeks have passed since the Invictus left Port Wander. In this time, some notes on the general attitude of the crew have been gleaned.

- Garrius conference with the clan heads has worked well. The ratings are not convinced that the endeavour is wise or safe, but nor are they afraid of the journey. Further, some of the ratings have been known to express surprise that the new Rogue Trader has been so cordial to the crew.

- Zarkov's plan to make the loss of space amongst the junior officers more diplomatic has had positive effects. The Alid-Yuril Consortium appreciate his efforts, and most of the billeted officers are understanding, and impressed. Some have been known to complain, and this has not been helped by the suspected malingering of what is becoming known as Eyre's clique - though he has not been known to say anything himself, it is generally thought that Eyre is using the opportunity to portray Zarkov in unflattering terms. The phrase, 'the landlord' has been used a few times by some officers.

- Andrea's idea to follow Zarkov's example has also impressed a number of the junior officers. However, many of the senior staff consider what she has done a mistake - by letting junior officers take her rooms, she has broken precedent. Junior officers have never been allowed in the senior staff quarters except for business, and some wonder if this will be a detriment to morale.

- The morale of the crew has been good
]
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Navigator Praetus sits on the chair at the centre of the navigator's pit. His legs are crossed and he looks at a painting of one of the imperial saints with a strange smile on his face. Alone among the entire crew, including the other navigators, the senior navigator knows what is coming.

Ominous, mighty and hungry.

The thrill surges through his veins, and his grin grows wider.

The Scream of Aquila.

His heart skips a beat, and he grips the arms of the chair so tightly that his knuckles whiten. Navigator Praetus' grin drops and he gets to his feet with new urgency.

Moments later, the battle cruiser started shaking more violently, and there was a distant, awful screaming sound - as though the ship's hull was being slowly ripped away by some enormous hand. It may well have been, for the Geller field was down. Praetus knew this, for he had opened his third eye and witnessed the Warp pour into the ship.

Praetus stumbled to the intercom by the door, ashen and covered in sweat. His finger slipped on the talk button, and in near panic, he slammed the button.

"Get me Amphael," he stammered, poise abandoned. "Drop the Invictus Aeterna out of the warp now. We can't remain here.

"My Emperor, a warp storm is coming!"
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"Oh of course," the Navigator said with faint mocking in his voice, "you have probably heard of House Praetus. We have a palace on Holy Terra. Like all powerful groups, we also have our enemies. Do you honestly think someone like you matters?" - A dissolute noble.


Last edited by Injerian Praetus II on Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea spends her time in her adopted quarters in the Librarium. She has little in the way of possessions, and has set up a privacy screen between her workspace and the bed she's put to one side of the office.

"It will only be for the few weeks it takes us to arrive at the planet." she says to herself, after glancing up from her work to see the arrangement once again. "Once we have arrived, the Alid-Yuril passangers will remove themselves to the planet's surface, and we can return to our normal living arrangements."
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Senior Navigator Praetus's voice blares over the bridge's vox-system:

Injerian Praetus II wrote:

"Drop the Invictus Aeterna out of the warp now. We can't remain here.


The bridge crew stare wildly at one another. Few of them remain as composed as before. Only the pit-servitors mindlessly work on at their tasks.

'Madness!' Vehle shouts. 'If we drop out of the Warp without knowing where we're going we'll be torn to a trillion pieces!'

A junior officer from Zarkov's gun crew breaks his cool and shouts: 'What is this?! What's happening?!'
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The senior navigator's heart hammers in his chest, blood surging through his veins and arteries with fury and madness.

Like the warp surging down hallways and through rooms, corrupting as it flooded a ship.

Seething, sentient energy, malign and hungry washed down the corridors, filling rooms and the mighty holds, washing over the thousands of crew members. If the energy didn't destroy them instantly by mutating them into mindless mounds of flesh, the things that congealed from the warp would hunt down everyone else. A screaming horde of warp entities rushed through the Scream of Aquila, tearing, eating and murdering everything in their path. Some crew members were dragged away into the warp itself, dissolving into nothingness.

Sweat poured down his face and into his ebony eyes. Panic was washed away by a stinging sensation.

"Listen to me," he breathed. "There is a warp storm on its way; it may hit us any moment. We face a greater danger if we remain in the . . . in the immaterium than if we drop into realspace. The odds are astronomically low that we will appear near or inside an object like a planet or star."

Yes, that's it. Injerian Praetus II of House Praetus thought to himself. Regain your authority and poise. They cannot see me act like this.
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"Oh of course," the Navigator said with faint mocking in his voice, "you have probably heard of House Praetus. We have a palace on Holy Terra. Like all powerful groups, we also have our enemies. Do you honestly think someone like you matters?" - A dissolute noble.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius stood immediately from his chair. Around him, bridge staff grew flustered and panicked as the words of the Navigator filled the bridge. He had to think fast.

"Praetus, before we can do such a thing I NEED you to figure out our precise location in the void. I will not risk destroying the ship so readily. Do it, Now."

Garrius's head snapped to face Zarkov. "Lt Commander, order all crew to brace for impact of the storm and report to emergency stations. Have Drak Kung prepare emergency crews and have that new tech priest report to the bridge immediately."

Garrius zoned out for a moment, remembering the time that he was aboard his fathers first command when he was a but a small boy. The ship had exited the warp and all pandemonium broke loose. All the crew ran and panicked over what they saw in the void that day, except little Garrius, walking up to the massive bay windows, ignored in the chaos, reaching for the glass...

"And for Emperors sake, have all the blast covers activated for all windows except the bridge. Let us spare the crew of any horrors they may perceive."

His orders issued Garrius took a deep breath and looked around the bridge. He trusted his head navigator but he was a cautious man. Spotting a member of the service staff, standing in the corner of the bridge in his pure white uniform, a look of terror upon his features, Garrius walked over to him. Stepping close, he spoke quietly.

"I need you to go fetch Du Preste immediately. Keep it low key, no need for the entire bridge staff to know." He patted the young man on the back as he ran off out the door.

Returning to his chair, Garrius stood before it stock still, watching his bridge staff work feverishly. Speaking to no one in particular but everyone in general, he could not help but let a small smile adorn his lips.

"The rumours have always said that the warp is kind to the Invictus Aeterna. Perhaps now we get to test the truth of such words."
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Navigator Praetus stood silent a moment, running a hand down his slick face. He straightened his back and then took in a long, slow breath. "Of course, Garrius," he said after a long moment. "I will send you the co-ordinates once I establish the ship's location relative to the Holy Beacon and nearby stars."

Flicking the intercom switch off dismissively, he strode to the chair and sat down. Immediately the holosphere was brought up before him. Where are we, he thought. More precisely, where is this storm?
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"Oh of course," the Navigator said with faint mocking in his voice, "you have probably heard of House Praetus. We have a palace on Holy Terra. Like all powerful groups, we also have our enemies. Do you honestly think someone like you matters?" - A dissolute noble.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"All security teams to position, even numbers to draw heavy weapons, then replace odd numbers to do the same. The Dark cannot stand against those who bear the Emperor's light!"

Drawing bolt pistols, I sprint for the bridge...whispering under my breath an almsot catechism "My place is, at the last extreme, to place myself between Lord Amphael and the horrors of the Warp's denizens. Such is my duty, such is my honor"
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the morning of the third day, just like the previous days since the Lord-Captain had arrived, Andrea was to be found in the Librarium. On her desk were a stack of tomes. Lord-Captain Laurent had checked out these books, and many others, during his final six months alive. She wasn't sure what about them was so important that he'd all but locked himself into the Librarium to read through them, but she was determined to find out. So far, she'd found nothing of import, but there were several weeks left until their arrival. She had time to do a thorough investigation of all the works the man had checked out.

Just then, Andrea was startled by the sounds of the General Alarm. Especially here in the Librarium, where it was generally very quiet, the harsh sound grabbed all of one's attention. It was impossible to relax in this sound.

After a moment, she focused on the words coming over the claxon, and the situation sinks home. "Warp storm. Shit!"

She goes over to the trunk with her weaponry in it. "I never thought I'd need these. And so soon in my career, too."

She opts for only the synskin suit. The stealth benefits were more useful than the small amount of extra armour the Xeno-mesh would provide. Then, she adds the cameleoline cloak for extra stealth. Finally, she moves to the glass display case, with the ancient Hellgun and Hellpistol were kept.

They were a matched set, passed down in her family for enough generations that they'd lost count. Perfectly balanced, and masterfully designed, they were the pinnacle of some now forgotten weaponsmith's art. They never jammed or stalled, and fired with deadly accuracy. Andrea always felt nervous using them, like she had to live up some heavy expectations by thousands of dead ancestors.

The backpack power cell was kind of heavy, but the things had an amazing range, and no recoil. She put on the pack, then slung the ancient rifle over her shoulder and grabbed the pistol with it's own backpack power cell.

With that, she walked out into the hallway and moved towards the main section of the Librarium. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention." she called out. "We may soon be called upon to defend our ship. Specifically, we of the Librarium will need to defend the Librarium. We are aided in this effort by the fact that there is only one entrance into the complex, and that entrance is at the top of a spiral staircase which will hamper an enemy's approach while giving that enemy no cover."

She looked around and those present. Then she holds up the pistol and its power cell. "Does anybody know how to fire this? I have the rifle already, and can't use both of them at the same time."
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi felt the ship come to a sudden, jerky, halt. His gaze lifted from the dataslate he was reading. "What now?"

Suddenly, a slightly too loud shout burst through the com channel requesting his presence on the bridge. Malachi repositioned himself on his bunk so he was sitting instead of lying down, and in one motion got up and grabbed his staff.

As he closed the door of his bunk, he let out a brief sigh, before making his way to the bridge.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Injerian Praetus II wrote:

Flicking the intercom switch off dismissively, he strode to the chair and sat down. Immediately the holosphere was brought up before him. Where are we, he thought. More precisely, where is this storm?


Red light bathes the bridge as alarms sound and officers lock themselves down to their section. Helmsman Tyor lashes his right leg to the column of the wheel with piping taken from his uniform.

A half dozen tech priests begin the litanies to the Machine Spirits, anointing the wheel with sacred unguents.

Praetus does his best to concentrate in the Navigator's Pit. A rush of visions assail him for a brief moment. The Scream of Aquila as the sport of unglimpsed terrors. He chases these thoughts from his mind and runs his eyes over his charts. The Astronomicon is clear and distinct, though it is becoming like a flaring fire, whipped by tempests. Sweating, and realising that every second counts, Praetus tries to envision the storm's approach.

Beyond the safety of the Geller Fields, the Warp begins to howl.

[Refer to your PM]
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:

She looked around and those present. Then she holds up the pistol and its power cell. "Does anybody know how to fire this? I have the rifle already, and can't use both of them at the same time."


The librarium is washed in red-light as the klaxons intensify. Beyond the entrance to the stairwell, the sounds of boots dashing frantically can be heard.

Those in the librarium watch with alarm at the commotion. There are about thirty to fifty people in the librarium, of which a dozen are staff. The navigator Julient is present, on one of the upper levels, pouring over half a dozen scrolls. She stands up and braces herself against the railing, though it is impossible to tell whether she is fearful or elated.

Former instrutor of the Kellidad Scriptorium, the Senior Scribe Meritt Thule, draws closer to Andrea. Thule once acted as her instructor when she was a junior scribe on Malfi.

Before he can speak, one of the service staff - who was spending their time-off in the librarium - exclaims: 'What good are guns against the Warp?! If the Fields go down - even for an instant...just one instant...we're all dead!'

This inspires heated proclamations, and shouted prayers to the God-Emperor. Thule takes Andrea's hellpistol, though he is almost too blind to use it. Slowly, he hobbles to the man who who began the commotion and places the pistol in his hand. There is silence.

'This may yet be your field, young man. Stand and help guard us should only some of the Warp's darkness manifest'.

[though still very fearful, those in the librarium are no longer quite so vocal. The young servant stares at the hellpistol for some time before attaching the battery to his belt. Andrea notices that, as the others look to taking cover or offering prayers, Julient has her fingers placed at her temples and appears to be concentrating. The navigator holds herself with sublime grace even in this crisis]
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Navigator Praetus studied the holochart with a fierce intensity. He knew that there was somewhere nearby where the Invictus Aeterna could re-appeare in realspace.

It had to be there.

The head navigator leaned forward and placed his hand deep within the green display, gently and reverently.

There it was.

Praetus flicked a communication switch on his chair and hailed Amphael.

"Amphael," he said with detached calm. "I think I know how we may escape the storm. I will give you the co-ordinates for where we can drop out of the warp."
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"Oh of course," the Navigator said with faint mocking in his voice, "you have probably heard of House Praetus. We have a palace on Holy Terra. Like all powerful groups, we also have our enemies. Do you honestly think someone like you matters?" - A dissolute noble.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius sat upon his chair, holding his chin with his right hand. He thought quietly to himself for a moment after the navigator had spoken. As the coordinate flicked through the data screen he nodded at Helmsman Tyor, who set about his new task with typical military precision.

Leaning forward, Garrius flicked the intercom switch. "Praetus, are you completely sure? And once the storm is over, can we reenter the warp from this location? I would much rather NOT spend the rest of our existence wandering the stars in hope of finding somewhere for us to reenter the immaterium."

Garrius finished and looked around. He felt like he was wasting precious seconds by questioning the navigator. Oddly, part of him wanted to stay in the storm. He could not explain it, but at least if he stayed in the warp, if they survived then they could continue. The alternative was dropping into real space, possibly being destroyed. Possibly being torn asunder or lost for eternity, unable to reenter the warp.

Giving up on his self reflection, he sat back in his chair. No, he must do the best thing to save the ship and its crew. If his Praetus was sure then he must trust upon him and do it. Waiting for a reply and for the ship to come to bare, Garrius sat back and tried to calm his nerves.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
The navigator Julient is present, on one of the upper levels, pouring over half a dozen scrolls. She stands up and braces herself against the railing, though it is impossible to tell whether she is fearful or elated.

[Andrea notices that, as the others look to taking cover or offering prayers, Julient has her fingers placed at her temples and appears to be concentrating. The navigator holds herself with sublime grace even in this crisis]


Andrea moves over to the old scribe and the service staffer. She places a hand on her old instructor's shoulder and leans in to whisper in his ear "Thank you, Master Thule. Emperor willing, your wisdom will continue to inspire us all for years to come." She then turns to the excitable man. "What's your name, staffer?" Wait for his answer, I'll use it in later posts "Be careful with this pistol. It has been in my family for countless generations. When all this is done, your name will be a part of that long history. Use it with honor and humility, and it will not fail you." Charm check, as appropriate, to calm him down and get him behind the idea of surviving this experience.

With that, she climbs the spiral staircase to the upper level where Julient stands. Hoping not to startle the woman, she says quietly, "Navigator, it's clear to me that you can sense what's happening, and that our lives are in your hands. We will do what you need of us, just say the word." She then waits for a response, without further intruding.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius Amphael wrote:
Leaning forward, Garrius flicked the intercom switch. "Praetus, are you completely sure? And once the storm is over, can we reenter the warp from this location? I would much rather NOT spend the rest of our existence wandering the stars in hope of finding somewhere for us to reenter the immaterium."


Navigator Praetus replied with a cool voice. "I am more than certain, Amphael; having spent more time than what this emergency dictates, I have found an area of real-space that is safe. I will send your pilot the co-ordinates."
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"Oh of course," the Navigator said with faint mocking in his voice, "you have probably heard of House Praetus. We have a palace on Holy Terra. Like all powerful groups, we also have our enemies. Do you honestly think someone like you matters?" - A dissolute noble.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:
"What's your name, staffer?" Wait for his answer, I'll use it in later posts "Be careful with this pistol. It has been in my family for countless generations. When all this is done, your name will be a part of that long history. Use it with honor and humility, and it will not fail you." Charm check, as appropriate, to calm him down and get him behind the idea of surviving this experience.


'Ioan,' the young man answers. He feels the weight of the pistol as Andrea talks to him, soothing his nerves. The weight of fear does not entirely pass, but the burden of duty falls more heavily on his shoulders. 'I shall do my best to serve this machine spirit's legacy'.

[A narrow success on your Charm test]

Andrea Chan-Gauthier wrote:

With that, she climbs the spiral staircase to the upper level where Julient stands. Hoping not to startle the woman, she says quietly, "Navigator, it's clear to me that you can sense what's happening, and that our lives are in your hands. We will do what you need of us, just say the word." She then waits for a response, without further intruding.


Julient removes herself from her deep concentration. Her cowl hangs heavily, almost obscuring her deep green eyes. Her baleful third eye is mercifully hidden, yet her refined features are clear. Her skin is smooth and flawless. Even without her third eye, she would perhaps not be beautiful, yet there is an almost terrible attraction in her appearance.

'I can sense the storm's approach, even here in the heart of the ship. You could sense it too, if you tried. It's tugging at the fabric of your mind. Nameless entities dwell in the maelstrom of the Immaterium. They are as scarcely aware of us as we are of them. Let us hope that it ever remains so. If the storm brings them to us, they will stop at nothing to rend the walls of our reality'.

The navigator leans close to Andrea, whispering to her now, in a soft voice. Her breath is cold. 'Perhaps we may not need the field to fail'. Julient leans back and talks just loudly enough so that others may hear her. 'This tempest may tear the Invictus to nothing if we are caught in its reach. We must stay ahead of the storm, or we are lost'.
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"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drak-Kung wrote:

Drawing bolt pistols, I sprint for the bridge...whispering under my breath an almsot catechism "My place is, at the last extreme, to place myself between Lord Amphael and the horrors of the Warp's denizens. Such is my duty, such is my honor"


Drak-Kung makes all haste to the bridge. A detachment of eight Armsmen follow in his wake. Armed with las and autoguns, and armoured with flak, this small group represents some of the most trusted and trained members of Drak-Kung's company.

Through the decks they dash, past ratings running to their stations. Red lights now shine over every hall and every room. Candles and torches are extinguished, lest they fall in the storm and cause fires.

Drak-Kung reaches the central elevator shaft running through the spine of the command section. He is thirty floors and a brief dash from the bridge. Crew charge by from every quarter, some securing crates, one or two carrying the void-born infants of the Invictus.

Only four minutes have gone by since the general alarm.

A sergeant from another detachment of ratings sees Drak-Kung and runs to catch him before he enters the lift. 'Sir!' he cries out. Corporal Greder stands bodily in the lift doors to prevent them from closing. The sergeant, panting from exertion, blurts out his demand - 'Sir...there's some confusion...there aren't enough men on damage control if the storm hits. Do we take them from defensive measures and put them on fire details?'

[whatever Drak-Kung decides, he can be on the bridge in about three minutes afterwards]
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"For the love of God, Montresor!"
"Yes," I said, "for the love of God!" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado.

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