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Rogue Trader - Exodus
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Malachi fails twice on a Tech Use test - the second time quite seriously - It is only his astounding final success that stops the array's security systems locking his access out permanently]

The cogi-array is used primarily to display the transit hub of the under-asteroid, and to redirect traffic. Upon careful inspection, Malachi realises that this complex is of Mechanicus origins, linking the loading zone in which he and Zarkov now find themselves, to a Templum complex located miles away, in the centre of the Asteroid.

Malachi also notices something odd. The array indicates vast cables running along the interior walls of the tunnel, originating from the Templum. The cables seem to be designed for the transmission of fluid, though the levels of liquid within them drop sharply as they progress.

[At a rough estimate, assuming nothing intervenes along the way, it could possibly take half a day to walk along the tunnel to the Templum. No sign of the transit car can be detected, and it is likely to be very over-grown with vines in the tunnel]
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Well Zarkov... feel like a trek?"
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov looked at the Tech-Priest quizzically, though the expression is masked by his bulky rebreather. Sweat dripped down his back and condensation periodically fogged his bionic eye, clouding his vision. He wiped it occasionally with a gloved hand, careful not to smudge the lens or damage the focus mechanisms.

"I'm sorry, brother? What do you mean?"
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"These pipes lead somewhere. I think it may take us to the tech I'm after, although I cannot be sure. I can't imagine this would be an easy journey, but if you feel up to it, we shall press forward."
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Of course, Brother. We must press on."

He looked at the sodden walls of the passage with something akin to curiosity. "With respect, we may have taken too much time already. We should seek faster passage through these tunnels, if possible."
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Good idea."

Malachi begins walking in the direction of the fluid-filled cables. As he walks, his servo-skull moves ahead at a faster pace, scanning for any idle transport, access doors, or other anomalies that might help hasten their journey.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The servo-skull dips ahead into the tunnel, momentarily leaving Zarkov and Malachi in darkness. As the machine searches for any sign of transportation, the two explorers hear the vines around them begin to slowly stir, to shift, and to rustle. Zarkov feels a hanging vine languidly caress his shoulder. Whether the motion is deliberate, or simply a reaction to the darkness cannot be known.

The servo-skull finds the signs of a service car, wide enough for one man, built into one side of the tunnel. The thing appears so overgrown and soaked into the dripping sap that it would most likely be useless. In all probability, the only way to procceed to the Templum from this point would be to trek on foot.

[Of course, there may be other ways to the Templum. The cogi-array did not provide complete information]
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi gives Zarkov a brief report on the servo-skull's findings.

"Looks like we're going to be on foot from here on in, unless things change down the track."

Malachi shrugs before making his way towards the light; his familiar matches speed, moving just ahead of its master."
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov nodded grimly, keeping step behind Malachi.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The explorers climb into the darkness of the tunnel, vines squirming around them in the darkness as they move. Reaching the light of the Servo-skull, Zarkov and Maklachi begin the long trek up the transit tunnel. Through a near forest of hanging vines, and over clumps of thickened, purplish stools of fungus, the two trudge slowly and determinedly.

Hours of clambering over the denser and denser growth see the two becoming tired. Rounding a corner, the explorers uncover a small party. A large hole in the ceiling is traversed by a curtain of rope ladders. a makeshift camp in the vines has been hacked away, where three men wait. Behind supply crates, two lumen stands have been erected. Two men, encased in enforcer armour and carrying las-rifles watch Zarkov and Malachi with their guns trained upon them. A third man, dressed in a partial void-suit, with a shock of wild and thinning hair mutters something to his guards.

In an almost jovial voice, he calls 'Well, hello! Kindly keep your weapons lowered and do tell what it is you're doing down here!'
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi skewers his staff into the ground, and opens his hands in a welcoming gesture.

"Hello. I'm Malachi, and this is Zarkov. I'm here conducting an investigation on behalf of the Mechanicus."

He extends one of his arms subconsciously as a peace offering.

"Is that enough to at least have your weapons lowered? I'd like to talk more."
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Ah? A-ha! Mechanicus business it it?'

The man says something too low to be heard to the others and they lower their weapons, though it is clear they retain their readiness.

The man continues to talk. 'Hedrodich Helmont, scholar. Come closer. The only Mechanicus business you could be here on would be getting through to the Templum. Am I right? We're heading that way ourselves. Only we're waiting for our advanced scouts to return. Once they do, we'll be on our way. Listen . . . well . . . perhaps we can work something out, eh?'
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov spoke up. "A scholar? Of which Progenium?" He kept spacing behind and to the left of Malachi, eyes fixed on the speaker.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Progenium? Oh - I see. Yes, I'm often asked that. None, friend. I am not native to your Imperium. I hail from a world within the Expanse, founded before the time of your God-Emperor. But I am a Man, and that is enough, yes?'
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov's eye narrowed. Outcasts from the Emperors light.

"I suppose." He muttered under his breath.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[As Zarkov and Malachi approach, they become aware that the two men in enforcer armour bear the markings of the Rogue Trader Moriah Heale. Malachi finds something unusual about the markings, as if there is something very subtly missing from them]

Closer to the makeshift camp, the explorers get a better look at Helmont. His voidsuit covers most of his body, with layers of other armour cobbled to form the rest. A helmet rests nearby which certainly matches his suit. His face is flushed and bony, and he wears tinted goggles over his eyes.

'So, then,' Helmont says, 'let's get down to business. We are on a mission of exploration, and you are too. I feel a fool for stating the obvious, of course, but no argument survives if it wants for clarity. Why don't both our parties pool resources? We can wait for our scouts to return with news, and set off towards the Templum. Yes?'
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I don't see why not. I've heard that the locals are aggressive. Having another gun handy will help us greatly."

Malachi takes a seat on the ground to rest from his trek.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarkov remained standing, resting on his mechanical leg. He subconsciously kept spacing with Malachi even as the tech-priest sat. He felt inherently uncomfortable around out-worlders. The man named Helmont smiled, cheekbones jutting from a face that was all bone.

"You say that no argument survives if it wants for clarity. Then clarify. Why are you traveling in the direction of the Templum?"
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malachi reasoned that Heale's men were he in search of the same technology he was. He figured that having extra guns would help when coming up against whomever might be defending the technology when they found it, and just dealing with the consequences of revealing their purposes to Helmont then and there.

Zarkov's question, though potentially complicating the situation, could work in their benefit... building trust between the two groups. Malachi just needed to make sure that Helmont could trust his intentions, and that Zarkov's apparent distaste for the man wouldn't make this fall apart.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lt. Commander Zarkov wrote:
"You say that no argument survives if it wants for clarity. Then clarify. Why are you traveling in the direction of the Templum?"


Helmont smiles, while taking a seat upon a heap of vines. 'The same reason you are, Zarkov'. The scholar's smile stays upon his face for a few seconds longer and he slowly closes one eye, in a deliberate parody of a wink.

The men watch Malachi and Zarkov awkwardly for a few quiet minutes while Helmont chews on some dried grox meat, offering some to his new companions. Within very little time, the scouts return.

[The scouts are three men dressed in the same enforcer armour of the other two. Helmont briefly explains your presence and suggests that everyone moves on immediately. The scouts claim that the vines are much thicker ahead, and display disturbing traits. They refuse to explain this, for fear of sounding foolish, but insist it is best if Helmont sees this for himself. The men are marked with the same slightly unusual styling of Heale's livery. Zarkov had a natural 01 success on a test, and he is convinced that the livery has been imperfectly copied from samples of Heale's own markings. Unless someone wants to do something, I will assume you procceed, and my next post will detail this]
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