Part 1 – Corpus Dei
Beyond simply being a larger, more advanced vessel the Corpus Dei brought a number of new tools to the table. The most prominent of these was the massive Nova Cannon installed along the length of the ship’s spine. With a blast radius of over 15,000 kilometers a single well-placed shot could wipe out an entire battle-group in tight formation.
The feature that required a complete overhaul of the crew’s existing naval tactics, however, was the pair of Lathe-Pattern launch bays. Stocked with 40 fighters, 20 assault-shuttles, and 16 bombers, these bays expanded the viable tactical options considerably. While the ship was staffed with a full flight crew, an exceptional specialist to lead them would bring out their full potential.
Knowing this, the Mechanicum pointed Lord Captain Mayorga to the best flight marshal in Calixis: F-Eight. Everything they told Mayorga was entirely true. It was the extensive omissions that would be the problem. The Tech-Priests had reasons of their own for wanting their wayward skitarii attached to the Corpus Dei, where they could keep an eye on her.
Part 2 – Fate’s Path
F-Eight’s last check-in had been for some custom upgrades to her personal guncutter/fighter-bomber that she commission from the void yards over Hive Capella on Merov. That work had been completed a few weeks ago and she fell off the grid shortly thereafter. While this was not inherently strange, the Tech-Priests neglected to mention the context of her disappearance.
With a clear path ahead of them the crew set course for Merov. For Warp Guide “Master Or” the warp route between the Lathes and Merov was so smoothed-over that the ship slipped through the warp in mere days. The Lord Captain ordered an orbit set over Hive Capella and contacted the local Magos in charge to follow up on F-Eight’s trail.
The Magos informed the captain that the former skitarii had commissioned a piece of tightly regulated technology for her craft: a parasite clamp. These devices could be used to attach a small craft to the side of a larger, warp-capable, vessel and allow the craft to remain within the protection of the larger ship’s void shields and Gellar field. Generally these were only provided to certain espionage agents in the employ of the Mechanicum.
F-Eight was obviously planning to leave the system, if she hadn’t left already, on the heels of some unknown quarry. Given her time spent as a bounty hunter, this wasn’t entirely bizarre. At least, not yet.
The only other detail the Magos could provide was that she spent all her planet-side time in the capitol hive, Hive Merovech. With only one lead to work with a pair of teams were sent to Merovech to investigate.
Part 3 – The Ultimate Heist
Lord Captain Mayorga was accompanied by High Factotum Edmund Swift to the lower hive where they secured the assistance of numerous underworld fixers and leaders for their search. With the resources at their disposal and the reputation they had both built up within the underworld of Calixis and the Expanse it ended up being a small matter to find the lead they sought.
The captain and his seneschal made contact with a nigh-legendary team of mercenary “specialists” that had been hired by F-Eight shortly before she disappeared. After extensive discussion Mayorga finally convinced the team’s negotiator that their previous employer’s best interests would be served by helping him find her. That’s when they dropped the bombshell.
F-Eight had hired the team to raid the Ordo Xenos’ archives within the Library of Hope. They had completed the job without being discovered, but the Ordo Xenos was now in an silent uproar trying to figure out who had raided them and what they had gotten. Thus the team was lying very low for a very long time.
Seeing an opportunity, the Lord Captain agreed to hire the team and pull them off world, keeping them hidden from the Inquisition. In exchange they would provide all the information they could provide about what she’d stolen, why, and/or where she’d gone. The deal was struck, at which point they revealed another surprise.
Concerned about the nature of their target the team retained a copy of the records they had stolen from the Ordo Xenos. The records were still tightly encoded with the highest possible grade of security, and was going to require more than a mere cipher to decode. For better or worse, that was about to take care of itself…
Part 4 – Fateful Meeting
Meanwhile First Officer Vidame Mayorga and Master at Arms Kerchan Bron Kennok had been working their way up through high-society in search of a lead. Eventually they found themselves guests within an elite social club(private, members-only bar). They had been informed that some of the people here would know more about this pilot. How or why, on the other hand, was beyond either of them.
The two investigators found themselves drifting towards a couple that looked as strange a pair as they themselves did. An elegant young woman with an impossibly large and complex hairstyle and a dress that even the dynasty itself would consider expensive was accompanied by a frontiersman trying (and failing) to dress and act like he belonged there.
Without warning Kerchan grabbed Vidame’s arm and began pulling him out of the bar as quickly as she could manage without making a scene. Kerchan had seen a symbol she hadn’t had to face in a long time, almost hidden beneath the woman’s wig: the brand of a sanctioned imperial psyker. After her experiences on Shathar the pieces fell into place for her easily. They had nearly approached a pair of Throne Agents, one of them possibly an Inquisitor themselves.
Trying to escape was pointless, and with all she’d seen Kerchan wasn’t really surprised. Before they were halfway to the door a soft, soothing, melodic voice caressed her mind. “Don’t leave now. Please, come join us.”
Despite the comforting touch of the Psyker’s mind, Kerchan knew better than to trust her emotions in the presence of an unknown telepath. Regardless, fleeing now could only end badly. So Kerchan and Vidame sat down across from one another with the throne agents, hoping they’d be able to escape with their minds and bodies still intact and their own.
The woman introduced herself as Delphi and her friend as Isaac. Idle conversation followed for a few minutes, after which the everyone in the room had been subconsciously driven elsewhere. With the room cleared Isaac looked relieved while Delphi simply appeared satisfied.
Despite the roles of a noble and his bodyguard presented by Vidame and Kerchan, it was Kerchan that Delphi turned to address. The psyker placed her slim, pale fingers on the back of the former warlord’s hand. Despite her best effort, even knowing what it was she was facing, Kerchan could not help but find herself calmed.
“Warlord Kennok, I don’t know exactly what’s going on now but I do know about what happened on Shathar. I have more in common with those that stood at your side than those that brought the Red to your home, it’s important that you trust me. I also know that what you are doing right now is important; the ripples of your actions now stretch far beyond the horizons of even my sight. This should help you and your allies.”
The strange, tiny seer then pressed a small chip into Kershan’s hand. Seeing this exchange Isaac turned to Vidame with a shrug, “For what it’s worth, it’s pretty much always like this. ’Fact, I generally end up feeling like I can only see half the picture.” A playfully annoyed look was the only reaction Isaac got from his companion.
“I’d love to continue our conversation, your lives look so… interesting. Unfortunately, I think you need to return to your people. They need you, or maybe they just need what you have. Either way, good luck. I do hope we get to meet again.”
Despite the calming effect of the small psyker’s presence Kerchan’s instincts kicked in and got her and her XO back into the greater hive with considerable haste. Halfway to the shuttle platform both the voidfarers noticed the hive itself was tracking them. The security cameras, various servo skulls, and anything else with a sensor seemed to be tracking their progress.
An understandably spooked Kerchan was about to pull Vidame off the street and go to ground. Before she could take two steps a strange voice with the distinct quality of the lower-hive scum of Scintilla’s capitol hive crackled over their comm beads. “Don’t git spooked on us now friends. We’s jist makin sure you get back safe isal. Delphi seys i’ shadow is hunting your seal, whoteva’ tha means. So I’s to make sure you git back to yer people.”
Notes for completion:
- Reviewing their notes
- “We have the codes”
- To Jericho
- Rendezvous with Feight
- The Plot Uncovered
- The Vault
- Dismissal of the Chamber
- Contrition of the Watch
- The Last Egarian Awakens