TO: Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla, Ordo Xenos
FROM: Acolyte Intios; Adeptus Administratum & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Hereticus
SUBJECT: Mission Update
My wounds from Three Stakes’ Rest did not heal as fast as the others. I was able to see the Inquisitorial Memorandum that was put together after receiving the clues that our cell found. At the bottom was a note from Inquisitor Karkalla stating that we will be meeting once we are all healed up.
Within seven days our cell was summoned to the offices of Hyplion Trading at the base of Endecott Spire in the upper hive. Inquisitor Karkalla was seated and to our surprise, so were Salucci and Kaunitzer. I give my debriefing to Karkalla and he tells us that he is in system for a couple of reasons. He is here to personally meet with Inquisitor Silas Marr to try to get his support for the Sciscitatio task force. Karkalla also states that he received an Astropathic message from our Inquisitor Globus Vaarak. Varaak’s message spoke of the planet of Sinophia and specifically a young bandana wearing male with grimy skin and a pack of Lho sticks with 13 doketh. Karkalla states that this vision of Vaarak’s is fairly strong and both Inquisitors believe that may be the next recruit into the Inquisition.
Karkalla then says, “Since Sciscitatio cannot be in multiple places at once, I am temporarily dividing this cell. Salucci and Kaunitzer having survived Three Stake’s Rest and being exposed to the Warp have now been seconded into the Inquisition, under my command. Odessa will be the prime of one group and have Salucci’s help in further investigating the cold trade here on Solomon. The rest of you will take Kaunitzer and head to Sinophia to look into Vaarak’s vision as well as this most recent communique I received from the Adeptus Arbites on the planet.” He hands us the data slate with a message from Arbitrator Constantine.
As we all sit in shock of the recent split of the team, we have no choice but to proceed. I hear Karpath shrug and say under his breath, “We got the whinny one?!” Arion is making some sort of claim about getting badges signaling that we are with the Inquisition. By this point, it is clear that Karkalla is not paying attention to any of our objections so I just say thank you and we will make do with the resources he has provided. Karkalla tells us that the void ship Fortune’s Path will be leaving in a matter of days to take us to Sinophia.
With a long trip ahead of us, we decide to meet the trader Aexel Essing one more time to stock up on any equipment we may have lost. Upon re-stocking our equipment, we were ready to board the Fortune’s Path. The ship was captained by Joyhall Bizzerat. We were asked to join the captain at his table for dinner the first night on board. He told us his Astropath, Ga Samarase, has estimated a 138 day trip in the Void. We still needed about a week to get to the proper jump point. The captain did mention that it was unusual for ships to travel to Sinophia. Not only is Sinophia suffering a slow decay, the Periphery subsector has seen a buildup of Imperial forces in the nearby system of Kulth. While information is scarce, there are possible rumors of Orks, Sessionists or something even more sinister.
On the eighth day, the Fortune’s Path was ready for translation into the Warp. All of the crew members were on deck in anticipation of their translation ritual. With a loud hum that filled the corridors and a barely noticeable lurch, the crew members all standup and run back to their original stations. I realized this was the moment of translation into the Warp because I saw a vision of my old Administratum superior, Frangeeso. A strange and disturbing sight. I found out later that both Karpath and Kaunitzer had visions of their own. Visions that were very specific to each of them.
While attending dinner at the captain’s table, I thanked him again for taking us on our journey. I was able to pick up on conversations with the other passengers about the nature of the ship’s journey. Crew and passengers openly wondered why we were traveling to Sinophia. It offers no Warp Routes & takes us into the Imperium-forsaken Periphery. We’re chancing luck & just might end up between the forces of Lord General Ghanzorik and Warlord Ghenghiz Grimtoof. With Kulth being buried in war for decades, why would the Fortune’s Path be traveling so close to these hotspots?
While most of my downtime is spent on my study materials, the others have taken on different activities of their own. Arion has spent most of his time mapping out the ship, while Karpath has taken it upon himself to whip our new acolyte, Kaunitzer, into shape. Everyday sessions of PT for Kaunitzer has led him to avoid Karpath at all other times of the day. I tried my own hand at Karpath’s PT but an hour later, my still recovering wounds made me stop.
As I was taking part in PT with Karpath andKaunitzer, I started to notice what looked like a growth on Kaunitzer’s side. Not knowing what it was, I told Karpath to keep a look out while training. Karpath said that he didn’t notice anything odd. By the third day, the growth looked pronounced to me so I confronted Kaunitzer forced him to agree to a physical. It should be noted that the force came from Karpath, who was happy to oblige my request. When Medical Officer Leena Bodelson did not find anything wrong with Kaunitzer, I immediately told her to examine me as well. She found no ailments on either of us.
Nearly at wits end and ready to shoot Kaunitzer on site, I calledArion to explain the situation. Arion came into the med bay and simply said, “Disrobe now, and that’s not a request.” Kaunitzer wide eyed did not have any recourse and simply complied. Arion took the flat part of his knife and pressed against the protrusion I saw on Kaunitzer. When his knife disappeared when pressed against the outgrowth, Arion said that there was nothing there. Various thoughts ran through my mind. I stepped back and told the medical officer that the Warp travel must be affecting my mind. She said she understood and prescribed some sedatives. I give both Arion and Karpath a disheartened nod and said, “I will be in my room.” I then pointed in the direction of Kaunitzer and said, “I will be staying away from him.”
The next day or so were uneventful. Arion never seemed to be in his room and was always around and about the ship. Karpath keep insisting that Kaunitzer continue with his PT regimen. Then one morning I was abruptly awoken by an alarm in the corridor. Half awake, I reached for my micro-bead and asked Arion and Karpath, “Is it just me or do you guys hear an alarm?” Karpath quickly responded, “I hear it too.” I told him I would meet him outside once my gear was on. Karpath was waiting outside and Arion soon quickly joined us. Kaunitzer was nowhere in sight. I asked a crewman what the alarm was for and he stated that there was a fire in the kitchen.
When we arrived at the kitchen, we saw the remnants of some burned out equipment. Kaunitzer said he was prepping some food with Dessert Chef Sergio Lamartina. After leaving, the kitchen caught on fire and Lamartina perished in the flames. Kaunitzer was the first one on the scene. The crew told us the fire may have been worse if he didn’t arrive on the scene so quickly. I shook my head and said to the others, “A real fraking hero we have here.”
By day 24 of the ships calendar, the journey was going smoothly until all of a sudden, the entire ship turned sideways. Everyone on board was thrown around but there did not seem to be any major injuries. Captain Bizzerat told us that the ship had hit a Warp rift. There didn’t seem to be much concern on the captain’s face when he informed us of this occurrence. By day 29, the ship reset itself and everything was back to normal operations.
On day 32 at the captain’s dinner, Bizzerat informed us that we were coming out of the warp but close to the Zater III system. It will take about 2 ½ weeks intra system to get to Sinophia. On day 33, we were out of the Warp.
As the Fortune’s Path approached Sinophia, our cell packed up our equipment and thanked the captain for getting us here before schedule. We boarded a shuttle that took us towards Orbital Zega platform. We could see one other orbital platform teaming with Imperial Navy activity. Zega on the other hand was quite sparse and seemed like a half functional way station. As we headed towards the terminal that would take us planet side, it was odd to see that the disassembled shuttles don’t seem to have enough parts to make up a whole shuttle.
There was only one pilot, Epifano, who was flying down to Flavius Starport, near Sinophia Magnus. The shuttle flight down was anything but smooth but we did make it in one piece. At the landing pad, a scribe by the name of Charon greets us in the pouring rain and said that he did not expect any visitors today. We told him we could clarify things inside. My Fenksworld cover did not seem to hold up so I showed the Administratum clerk our Inquisitorial Sciscitatio letter. We told the clerk not to mention this to anyone and then asked for directions to Haarlock’s Folly in Sinophia Magnus. We were told that since the major bridge into town was down and impassable, the easiest way would be by waterway. The clerk gave us a map and directed us to a small pier, where we were able to make use of one of the skiffs.
The water ride was to take no more than 30 minutes. Approximately 10 minutes into the trip, we began to pass a working manufactorum. This active factory was producing enough sound and billowing smoke to drown out activity for blocks. As we passed the factory, we began to near sounds of gun shots from both solid projectile and las fire. As we got further along the waterway, we could clearly see a large barge being blocked by a downed crane in the water. There were at least three small boats surrounding the front of the barge.
We hear the sounds of a heavy solid projectile weapon. I see on one of the small boats, a mounted weapon. I ask Karpath, “Is that what I think it is?” His simple nod and response was, “Yes, possibly a modified heavy stubber.” We can see on the large barge, various people running about wearing blue vests. The others on the small boats are not uniformed and in various disheveled dress. Kaunitzer is asking if we can go around in a different direction. The shortest way to Sinophia Magna was being blocked by the barge. As we get closer, I see the heavy mounted weapon start to point in our direction. Kaunitzer yells out, “We can’t go that way, that weapon has range on us.” At this moment, my longlas was already in hand and I say, “They don’t have range on me.” As soon as I saw the heavy weapon stop rotating and pointed directly at us, I called out, “I’m taking the shot!”
With the pull of the trigger, the gunman’s right arm disappears. Karpath starts to speed up the skiff towards to barge. We start to take fire from the small boats. Karpath then makes evasive maneuvers and almost loses control but was able to rein things back in. A second gunman takes up the position of the heavy gun pointed at us. Another pull of the trigger and his left arm disappears. By this time, our skiff begins to travel underneath a gantry crane approximately 40 meters high. I see Arion look up and knew exactly what was coming next. He shoots his grapnel and line at the gantry. Once it connects, he swings up and out towards the bank of the canal all the while barking something to the effect, “I’m getting off of this death trap.” Arion swings to the left bank and starts sprinting towards the nearest building.
Karpath realizes that the skiff is not made to take more hits. He quickly steers left toward the bank. As soon as the skiff touches solid land, Karpath and I are on our feet and running off. Unfortunately, Kaunitzer takes a hit that momentarily disables his arm. Knowing that he cannot easily disembark, Kaunitzer stays on the skiff and continues to shoot suppressive fire towards the barge and heavy weapon boat.
Karpath and I start running towards the same building Arion entered. With gunfire all around us and from the rooftops, we are both hit but Karpath is able to remain on his feet. I am hit in the leg with what I believe to be a hunting rifle bullet. Unable to stay upright, I fall forward and become momentarily dazed. The next moment I’m on Karpath’s shoulder as he’s running towards the building. I tap him and quickly say that I’m ok. He drops me on my feet in front of the building and then he dives into the doorway.
Now it’s time to get to the roof in order to get a higher vantage point and return fire.