— The members of our Ordo Hereticus Cell, transiently seconded to Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla of Ordo Xenos – but now on a Ordo Hereticus Investigation, answerable to Inquisitor Vownus Kaede – had just lifted off the roof of Tricorn Palace in an Imperial Navy orbital shuttle . Ensign Vermian greets them, having recognized the acolytes from when he was shuttling Inquisitorial forces off of Ambulon.
Upon their arrival to the Dominator-Class Cruiser, Magnus Ecthelion, the Cell is hustled to a well-appointed ready-room; it’s obvious from the frenetic activity level that the ship is on high alert. In short order, Captain Sepheyr greets them via hologram; he has a bionic filter over his mouth, his skin in covered in fine circuitry that extends into an elegant augmetic skullcap that flares behind him…presumably leading to mechanisms off-screen. A large wall of the room flickers to show a view of the space hulk and the Captain introduces Brother-Sergeant Agamorr, who briefs them on their mission.
Approximately three days prior, a cadre of sanctioned Inquisitorial psykers registered an unusually strong disturbance of the aethyr about the Golgenna Reach. They were unable to verify what their senses were detecting until naval telemetry confirmed the emergence of a space hulk which they code-named Twilight. The Twilight had entered realspace on a trajectory that would take it directly into Scintilla’s upper atmosphere. The recommended course of action when dealing with a hulk that is too near a planetary system is to eliminate it, which the Navy prepared to do. However, soon after detection, a transponder signal emerged from the heart of of this hulk, an encoded signal that the codifiers of the Inquisition identified as carrying the call sign of Inquisitor Adorjin, whom had been missing for over six centuries…her fate unknown. The dense material of the Twilight in conjunction with the unusual spatial anomalies made an exact sensor reading of the interior of the hulk impossible. The Inquisition ordered the Battlefleet to give their agents as much time as possible to determine Adorjin’s fate and retrieve the holy weapon that she once carried, the Luminous Reproach.
The Brother-Sergeant led them to the enormous shuttle bay where their transportation was, the assault Boat Helios. It was a small vessel capable of latching onto the side of the space hulk with a series of magnetic clamps, then blasting through its hull with melta charges. There they afforded themselves of the ships armory, equipment locker and, since none of them had experience with voidsuits, were given a crash course in their operation. They all donned either a Selenite Voidsuit or Navy Boarding Armor, with a voidsuit built-in. They were given a Vox-Caster modified by Naval enginseers, who hoped it would allow them communicate to the fleet from inside the hulk. Finally, they were given a scan of what little the fleet’s sensors was able to discern about the inside layout of the hulk, and the path that seemed most likely to get them to the location they believed Adorjin’s signal was coming from. After Tech-Priest Volwyr of the Adeptus Mechanicus completed an elaborate unfamiliar chanted blessing of the group & the Helios, they lifted off. Since the acolytes had no one with particular skill in piloting the craft, the Brother-Sergeant took the controls.
It would be about 45 minutes to get to the Twilight and they talked a bit with the space marine about his background & even any knowledge he might have had about the heretical outfit the Cell was just investigating, the Serrated Query. During this ride, with time to gaze at the hulk through the viewfinder, they noticed with concern that portions of the hulk in your peripheral vision would appear to move and even go translucent at times. Intios claimed to the others that for a moment he thought he saw another small ship also in the vicinity of the Twilight.
Several thousand kilometers from their destination, moments after receiving a vox transmission from the fleet about a new energy reading from the hulk, a battery from one of the ships making up the hulk opened fire on them. The acolytes were able to strap in without mishap as the Brother-Sergeant successfully evaded the fire and aimed the boat full-throttle at the Twilight. The Emperor was with them & they clamped to the hulk and breached its hull with the melta charges.
They stepped through to find the familiar look of an Imperial ship’s corridor, an absence of gravity, their sealed suits’ instruments indicating there was breathable atmosphere & a light frost covering everything from floor to ceiling. The latter was perhaps most disturbing to the assassin of the group, as he heard the light crunch of his magnetic boots. They successfully tested the modified Vox-Caster & quickly set off.
They made their way through 90 minutes of hallways & corridors before entering a 15-10 meter room with two other doors & several curious items. At the last possible second, Brother-Sergeant Agamorr, Intios & Odessa all spotted the burning eyes of whatever leaped out at the group an instant later. The creature that leapt at Arion was nothing but bones & sinew. The one that charged the Brother-Sergeant resembled a Mastiff canine with its skin peeled off. The one that clawed at the psyker resembled a panther made of flickering flames.
Their claws & fangs were incorporeal, penetrating armor without impediment. The space marine was bitten in the leg but then smashed his skinless foe into the middle of the room, where it lay motionless. Arion took claws across his chest, causing red globules of blood to float away, before slowing his opponent with a couple of well placed sword strikes. The Brother-Sergeant finished it off with a crackling strike of his thunderhammer. Odessa fared the worst, sustaining deep fang wounds to the midsection before dispatching her hellion. Red blood & blue ichor globules floated throughout the room, as the group caught its breath at the conclusion.
First aid was administered to all who needed it – everyone but Intios tried out the new advanced medi-kits they acquired from the Magnus Ecthelion’s equipment locker. Next they investigated the objects in the room. Arion called over the Adept to see what he could make of a metal platform. The Emperor’s sage figured out it was a hover cart, of sorts. Arion then pried open a wood carton that had unintelligible block writing on its side. All were flooded by the olfactory fragrance of roses – most eerie since they were all in sealed void-suits! The only contents was a small jar with a stick-doll of a girl holding a small rose. The jar was transparent, though the sides appeared dirty or tinted.
Arion determined to open the jar. Exhibiting proper professional paranoia, the group took cover and assumed lines of fire. The blademaster opened the jar, set it on the floor and stepped back. After about ten seconds the previously dirty looking jar was completely clear. Then standing there was a bluish spirit of an older angry woman. The control console in the middle of the room suddenly uprooted from the floor and hurled at Arion, who barely flung himself out of the way in time. Intios dropped to his hands and knees and sobbed with terror at the sight of this unnatural apparition. The psyker, easily the worst injured of the group, passed out cold. The Brother-Sergeant promptly put two Astartes bolter shells on target, which seemingly passed right through the spirit and took a sizable chunk out of the wall. Arion’s sword passed right through it, as well. Odessa came to & opening just one eye, set alight a warpish flame inside the spirit…which then turned from bluish to a flickering orange hue. The psyker felt the spirit looking at her through the warpish plane. Brother-Sergeant charged with a mighty swing of his huge powered mallet, taking out another chunk out of the wall as his weapon passed through the target. At the assassin’s urging, he then smashed the jar, which seemingly had no effect. The massive space marine then scooped up the pulverized remains of the jar.