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Rogue Trader - Footfall
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:48 am    Post subject: Rogue Trader - Footfall Reply with quote



- A glorious den of sin will be born just beyond the reach of the Imperium. With the stubborn tides of The Passage breached, it will be built like all other fetid abodes, just beneath the shadow of the God-Emperor himself. Every wonderful vice will be indulged and encouraged therein by those who pretend themselves as servants of Him. And it will forever irk me that I shall never see it.

My Recollections, Autarn Amphael

.... .... .... ....

Far from the roiling star Furibundis, the Port of Footfall heralds the beginning of the Koronus Expase proper. Built into dozens of immense asteroids, Footfall itself is roughly the size of a small nation. Millions of permanent inhabitants jostle with the innumerable traders, pirates, Warrant holders, and aliens who come here to seek profit.

Footfall is the largest port in the entire Expanse, and there is very little which could not be bartered for here. Each asteroid is tethered to another by a series of cables, and stone tunnels and bridges link one to the other. The centre-piece of Footfall is a gargantuan statue of the God-Emperor, larger than any conventional star ship.

Originally founded by stone workers, the population has now been flooded by almost every type of scum available. No central authority exists, and whichever powerful Rogue Trader happens to be in port can sometimes set themselves up as kings. Many Rogue Traders keep holdings here, and conduct permanent business amongst themselves.

Against every tenet of Imperial Faith, the vile xenos can be found here (usually at the restricted Xenophilium). Species such as the Stryxis come here to trade with humans, and rare and forbidden commodities can be found. Rumours abound that the Inquisition has a number of clandestine operations here, and assassinations of those who flaunt the dictates of the Imperium are not unknown.

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Last edited by Montresor on Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the 28th day since Embarkation from Port Wander, and the Invictus Aeterna has docked with a large asteroid on Footfall's periphery. Scores of vessels freight goods, food, and gases to the numerous settlements throughout; while much larger star ships belonging to rival Rogue Traders are also present. The largest vessel currently docked at Footfall is the Armageddon Class Battlecruiser, Maiestas.

The current news passing along Footfall is:

- The Rogue Trader, Cyrus Deltael intends to hold a Grand Masque Ball on his Battlecruiser. Only certain members of nobility and other Rogue Traders will be permitted entry. Invitation to the event is the only means of gaining entry. The most prestigious current visitors to Footfall will likely be found at the Masque. The Ball will be held in seventy hours time.

- The Rogue Trader, Moriah Heale has recently purchased sizeable property on the asteroid designated Delta-X-7. Delta-X-7 is notorious for being the den of degenerate narco-tribalists, and is a pit of squalor and vice. It is well known that Moriah Heale intends to tear through Delta-X-7 with what amounts to a full-scale punitive invasion. Her motivations for such force are unknown, but speculation is rife - including rumours that forbidden archaeotech may be found within the asteroid.

- There is a current shortage of food supplies in Footfall, and all foodstuff (including corpse-starch) are fetching exorbitant prices. The serfs of Footfall are taking part in numerous small scale riots to protest the monopoly that merchants hold on prices.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[On the Bridge of the Invictus Aeterna]

The Bridge is tense with anticipation. Only one hour since the Invictus docked in Footfall, Garrius Amphael requested that all senior staff and high-ranking officers assemble for an announcement. The bridge staff stand in rows while Lord-Captain Amphael observes them from the Rogue Trader's platform. Only Drak-Kung stands beside him, keeping his eyes upon the crowd for any signs of danger. Rumours of sedition have been common since the Storm, and morale is well-known to be low.

The Navigators stand in a small group, close by the Astropaths. Injerian Praetus II stands shoulder to shoulder with Sterr the Unborn, whose blind eyes seem to stare into all. Near to them, Andrea Chan-Gauthier observes the crew. She had been busy enough with seeing to the problems in the Librarium that the nature of the announcement had escaped her. Finally, Malachi the Explorator lurks somewhere to the back, near the Servitor Pits. He is ill-at ease with such pomp and ceremony.

The four senior members of the Alid-Yuril expedition watch the procceedings from near the Communications Array.

The doors to the Bridge open and all eyes turn see who enters. Garrius Amphael watches the men walk from under his platform, observing the group of entrants from above and behind. The Bridge staff stifle any surprise at seeing Lieutenant Commander Zarkov, escorted in by two Armsmen. He is led to a position near the centre of the assembly, where he faces Garrius. A nearby officer's arm twitches desperately, as he controls the urge to salute the man some are calling the Hero of The Passage.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius looked out upon the assembly, allowing a moment to pass so that Zarkovs presence may sink in to all present. He then began to make his way down towards the men and woman of the bridge.

"In my time as a traveler of the void, I have served alongside many officers. Some capable, others incompetent. Many were brave yet some cowardly. Most were Honorable but some," Garrius eyes flashed onto Zarkovs for the briefest of moments, most likely missed by most present. "Were down right murderous. Finally some were fine officers, whilst others were undeserving of comment."

Garrius came to a stop before Zarkov, dismissing the armsmen with a wave of his hand as he thrust forward his jaw.

"And then there is Lieutenant Commander Darrius Zarkov. Zarkov you are, simply put, one of the finest officers I have had the honor to serve with. I believe whole heartedly that the Invictus would not have survived the storm as easily as she did without you, and the Amphael dynasty as a whole is stronger for your allegiance. To deny the ship of your guidance for any longer would be a crime beyond recompense."

Stepping back, so to get a better view of all present, Garrius continued to address his audience.

"As such, I would like it known that I hear by revoke any charges hanging over the Lieutenant Commander, letting them be gone and forgotten. As I wipe the slate clean, I would like it known that there is none who draw breath on board this vessel who is more suited to the role of Executive Officer of the bridge. And so," Garrius stepped back towards Zarkov, extending a hand, "Darrius Zarkov, allow me the honor of welcoming you back to the bridge."
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warrant Officer Sturshyi steps forward and, in a booming voice calls: 'Three cheers for the Lord-Captain, men!'

'HUZZAH!'

'HUZZAH!'

'HUZZAH!'


After the cheers subside, there is a moment's silence. Gulliame Du Preste locks eyes with Garrius Amphael, and casts a glance at Darius Zarkov. He says nothing, though Garrius knows that Du Preste is expecting the Lord-Captain to force the First Officer to apologise.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov stood to perfect attention throughout the Lord-Captain's speech, his face an impenetrable mask. He did not fail to notice Garrius' comment about honour and murder, though he knew the truth of the matter. He had retained his honour and his dignity, and was no murderer. He knew the Emperor would absolve him; that his actions were justified. Moreover, he knew Garrius would have acted similarly in the same situation. It took all of his mental conditioning to dismiss this injustice.

Garrius Amphael wrote:
"As such, I would like it known that I hear by revoke any charges hanging over the Lieutenant Commander, letting them be gone and forgotten. As I wipe the slate clean, I would like it known that there is none who draw breath on board this vessel who is more suited to the role of Executive Officer of the bridge. And so," Garrius stepped back towards Zarkov, extending a hand, "Darrius Zarkov, allow me the honor of welcoming you back to the bridge."


Zarkov was surprised at this total absolution; as he was sure were Alistair Peraton and his cronies. The captain, while managing to save face, had done a complete about turn. It was most cunning, but Zarkov knew the speech was not altogether genuine. This meant three things to the Lieutenant Commander. One, that the captain was not an honest man. Two, that he actually understood, to some degree, the problem of morale aboard the Invictus. And three, he was intelligent enough to deal with it with symbolic gestures, without losing face and the crews respect. The relief he felt about the last two points outweighed his trepidation about the first.

There was still a seed of doubt within him, however, that refused to be quashed. Zarkov realised he would never trust Garrius' words fully again. Someone who could lie so assuredly to senior officers could do so equally well to his second in command. He felt distinctly uncomfortable about this, and about the Lord-Captains overt praise for him. He was obviously trying to play up his respect for Zarkov, to curry favour with the crew. And while Zarkov did not object to being a pawn in some political game, he felt that a true captain should not need to stoop this level. Again, he made himself put these thoughts out of his mind. It was not becoming for an Imperial Officer to think like that.

Garrius wrote:
Garrius stepped back towards Zarkov, extending a hand, "Darius Zarkov, allow me the honor of welcoming you back to the bridge."


As the crewmen cheered, Zarkov grasped the Captains hand. He pumped his closed fist twice; thrice; four times, nodding his acceptance. Then he returned to attention. He did not believe for a second that the morale problem would be rectified through simple speeches.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea stood as much out of the way as she could, with deference to her station. Which is to say, she stood near the heads of the Astropaths and Navigators, none of whom paid her any mind. It was an excellent place to stand, front-and-center while being functionally alone.

Her eyes kept glancing to the view out the bridge's main window. Where she kept expecting to see a ghostly visage, there was only the thruster section of some other Rogue Trader's frigate. It was almost disconcerting, like finding the mutiliated corpse of a loved one in the center of your bed. A place where you expected tranquility, and instead you find only bleak reality.

She only half-way listened to what the Lord-Captain was saying, though enough to pick up the gist of the matter.

Oh. That's why I haven't received a read-confirmation on the memos I sent to the Lt. Commander. He was under arrest.

I wonder what for? Oh yes, something to do with Colenel Eyre, wasn't it? The workmen had been speaking of something like that during their break the other week.


She applauded while the rest of the bridge crew was chearing; too much reckless enthusiasm made mother lecture. "A proper lady is always calm and graceful. Let the commoners whoop and jump as they feel the need."
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi had heard whispers amongst the crew about the goings on during the warp storm, but none of this interested him. While the crowd cheered, his mind was elsewhere - Footfall. He idly twirled his staff in his fingers, while wondering what ancient secrets were locked away in the asteroid cities beyond.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius smiled a small grin of victory. With that sorted it was time to move on. He could see Du Preste glaring at him, so he returned with a look of silence. There was more going on here that overruled the old navigators pride. The Lord Captain stepped back to further address the audience.

"There is but more to celebrate. I would like to welcome Alistair Peraton to be one amongst the senior staff. As you are all aware, the anti ordinance turrets and shuttle bays have been without command these last weeks, a role I believe Peraton to be most capable of holding. Alistair, may you live up to the high standards your predecessor set in this role. Feel free to assign your unit commanders and staff officers as you see fit. Were we on an Imperial vessel you would now hold the rank of Lieutenant. I would not be opposed to you adopting that title here either, do so if you see fit. Here before us, ladies and gentlemen, I believe we see a promising young officer with a lot of left to show for himself. I shall watch your career with interest Lieutenant Peraton." Garrius stepped forward, saluting then shaking the younger officers hand.

Mounting the steps to the Lord Captains platform once more, Garrius continued his address.

"Whilst here on footfall, all officers are to assign shore leave to their respective staff as they see fit, but no more than one in ten of the crew is to be off vessel at any one time. I suggest you allow all ratings a the chance to go ashore and indulge in some leave. None are to be absent for more than twelve hours at a time without special permission, and any desertions will be punishable by death. Address any questions to the appropriate station heads or myself. Du Preste, a word if you please, MissChan-Gauthier, I would like to speak with you after I am done with the navigator. As for the rest of you, you are dismissed. Enjoy what leave you can get."
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Du Preste passes by Zarkov without a word. His thin shoulders are hunched in, and he folds his arms as if he were suddenly cold. Ascending the stairs to the Rogue Trader's platform, the navigator presents himself to the Lord-Captain.

'Yes, Lord-Captain?' is all he says by way of introduction.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius stepped in close so only him and the Navigator could hear.

"Du Preste, I know you wanted an apology, and I myself shall apologize for denying you that. As such, Zarkov is more popular aboard this vessel than either of us put together, and I see him being a major problem to the two of us when we seek out the proposition we discussed."

Garrius looked around the room, as if worried someone might be listening in.

"Please be patient Du Preste, and take comfort in knowing that I am seriously considering continuing Laurents search, once we are done with this current venture. In the mean time, I shall ensure that no heat is brought down on you by any over pious amongst the crew led on by false claims of witchcraft. Do we have an understanding?'
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'I see,' Du Preste pauses. His lips draw back around his gums, revealing a set of perfectly white and aligned teeth, as if in opposition to the rest of his withered body. Garrius cannot detect whether the navigator believes him or not, so inscrutable is Du Preste's repulsive visage, yet he feels he has made an impression.

'My problem, Lord-Captain, is that without a retraction or apology from Zarkov, I will still be seen as a heretic by the crew. My . . . features have always made others believe the worst of me'. Whether he smiles or not is unknown. 'With Zarkov reinstated without complication, my guilt will not be expunged. Indeed, my life may even be in danger . . . and not just from those who know I was a loyalist to Laurent Amphael'.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Meant to post this earlier]

Alistair Peraton comes to attention when he hears the news of his promotion. The bitterness and hate that burns within him for the loss of his friend is momentarily forgotten. He swells with thinly concealed triumph and salutes Lord-Captain Amphael enthusiastically.

While Garrius returns to his platform and talks under his breath to Du Preste, Peraton strides over to Zarkov. There is not a trace of pretended deference for the Lieutenant Commander's rank. He talks just loud enough for only the two of them to hear: 'You're on tenuous ground here, Zarkov. I'll be watching for the moment you make another mistake and see to it that your career will be in tatters. And that's before I give you what's coming to you. But first thing is first'.

Warrant Officer Sturshyi and Duty Officer Mordia both stand in closer to the conversation, though they are too late to hear anything that was said.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montresor wrote:
'I see,' Du Preste pauses. His lips draw back around his gums, revealing a set of perfectly white and aligned teeth, as if in opposition to the rest of his withered body. Garrius cannot detect whether the navigator believes him or not, so inscrutable is Du Preste's repulsive visage, yet he feels he has made an impression.

'My problem, Lord-Captain, is that without a retraction or apology from Zarkov, I will still be seen as a heretic by the crew. My . . . features have always made others believe the worst of me'. Whether he smiles or not is unknown. 'With Zarkov reinstated without complication, my guilt will not be expunged. Indeed, my life may even be in danger . . . and not just from those who know I was a loyalist to Laurent Amphael'.


Garrius nodded as Du Preste spoke.

"Let me worry about clearing your reputation. I will see to it. In the mean time keep safe." Garrius placed a hand on the Navigators shoulder reassuringly. "Now I must see to some other matters."

Leaving Du Preste alone, Garrius made his way to where Andrea was standing.

"Seneschal, now that we are at Footfall, we are in need of provisions as we as fresh crew members to replace those lost in transit. Please see to it that these are taken care of, as well as any and all repairs required.

Also, I would appreciate it if, when you get the chance, you could collect any documentation we have in the Librarium in regards to hulks of the Expanse, as well as all of Laurent Amphaels records and logs. Anything you can find of his is vital it gets delivered to my study.

Also, my uncle took a liking to many charts and scrolls in his later days. Could you please look to see if any records of which exist, and if so could you also get them to my office. This would all be appreciated."
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vox-speakers crackle and momentarily arrest the attention of everyone on the Bridge. Lieutenant Vehle, who had been customarily still at work during the formalities, speaks over the Vox-Comms.

[This occurs just before Andrea is about to reply to Garrius - evidently her conversation with Garrius was either unnoticed or uncared for by Vehle]

'We've been hailed by the Battlecruiser Maiestas. It's moored on the other side of Footfall. They were willing to wait until now, but I'll put them on display'.

A beam of light descends from the ceiling half way along the Bridge, crackling and humming, and finally distending into a large holo-sphere roughly the circumference of a tank. The display shows a man in fur-lined crimson robes, decorated with jewels. He is young and athletic looking, and he speaks in a soft and friendly voice. Behind him, an immense Bridge can be seen, where scores of crew go to and fro. The dim figure of a man sitting high upon a raised throne is just discernible.

'Greetings, Lord-Captain Amphael. I am Seneschal Provator, accountant, assassin, and envoy in service of the famed Rogue Trader Cyrus Deltael; Lord-Captain of the Maiestas, the Phraedean, the Hollow Redemption, and the Light of the Expanse; Conqueror of Gasterelle; Scourge of Belos XII; Bearer of the Light of the Golden Throne to Tyrl, Astrad Minor, Chaloss the Lost, and Ferial III; and Holder of the Sacred Warrant of his illustrious Dynasty.

'My Lord-Captain extends a hand of friendship to a fellow Rogue Trader, and cordially invites you to attend his Masque Ball, to be held upon his flagship in three standard Holy Terran-Cycles. You may also invite four members of your crew, should you see fit, provided their lineage does not offend my master'. The image crackles, and Provator bows, awaiting a response.

[lacking Common Lore - Rogue Traders, Garrius does not have any detailed knowledge of Deltael, though he has undoubtedly heard of the Rogue Trader before. Deltael is considered to be one of the most succesful Lord-Captains to have braved the Expanse in years. He has been out of Calixis for at least twenty years, operating exclusively in the Expanse]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius listened with care, taking note of the splendid attire adorning the seneschal on the display. He tried his best to cover the pangs of jealously he felt as the ships names were all called out, and cursed the fame and luck of the fellow Rogue Trader silently in his head.

"But of course, I accept your honored invite. Myself and the most deserving of my crew shall attend with relish. Until then." Garrius didn't bow as the display flickered and went dark.

He then turned back to Andrea, awaiting her reply.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrea turns from the empty memory of the holo display, back Garrius. Thinking back to his previous statements, she nods her head over his commands. "Of course, my lord. I have already begun preparations to acquire the supplies we need. I'll include replacement ratings to the list."

[She says more here, but what is said depends on an answer to the PM I'm about to send Montresor.]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[PM received.]

Andrea's mind works down the list of Garrius' commands, to the one phrased "... when you get a chance...".

"Um... My Lord-Captain, as for the other items from the Librarium, I will have them gathered together and brought to you at once. We're still finding many of the works, so they may arrive to you in a bit of a trickle, I'm afraid."

"Captain, might we speak somewhere more private for a few moments? I have some information that I feel you should know."
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrius looked upon his Seneschal, regarding her for a moment. He had always been told to trust his chief seneschal, and the fact that she had something he needed to know in secret had him alarmed yet relieved that she was for filling her roll.

Garrius led Andrea to his lodgings, into his study, a place he felt was the most secure aboard the entire vessel.

"Madam Seneschal, is this private enough for you? What is it you need to speak of?"
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Taking this to PM.]
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Blessed be the Imperium of Man; blessed be the Sacred Writ.
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