I present before you all the collected works detailing the missions that my group and I have conducted for our Inquisitor as acolytes. We are Inquisitorial Team Alpha, and this is for you all to enjoy.
Chapter 1 – The Beginning
“The Imperium overcomes.” – Common proverb
Just another day on yet another of the Emperor’s planets far off in the Calixis Sector, however not all was as peaceful as it seemed. One could be forgiven for getting the wrong impression given off by the grassy fields and clear blue skies. It seemed peaceful here, but it was simply the calm before the imminent storm. This is where the story of our particular group of acolytes begins.
The peace was disturbed as a chimera transport barrelled over a hill and towards a small industrial area that lay further on ahead. Its tracks churning up the ground and leaving a muddy trail behind it as it sped towards the compound. Then came the artillery. The high explosive shells started landing behind the transport and were zeroing in fast.
Inside the transport the squad of PDF troopers and their “guest” sat strapped into their seats feeling every bump and turn as the Chimera swerved and bounced under the constant barrage. The troopers stared down at the floor, praying, while their guest simply sat there staring directly ahead of himself.
He was dressed in the blood red vestments of the Mechanicus, armed with only a las carbine, a compact las pistol on a thigh holster and a staff stored next to his seat. He had been presented to the squad earlier where they were told they had to get him to a Mechanicus compound close to enemy lines and they were to protect him with their lives.
They would fulfil that duty at every instant.
Though the driver had valiantly managed to stay clear of the enemy bombardment so far, he had grown over confident and as soon as he managed to sight the compound he had throttled ahead with all haste. At that moment the Chimera’s luck had run out, for as they were within reach of the compound a single shell descended on their position and detonated at the rear of the transport. The force of the explosion tipped the Chimera on its side and sent it grinding along the ground, into the compound’s perimeter wall.
The wall, though sturdily built and reinforced, was breached by the hurtling transport as it made contact. Slabs of the wall and large chunks of dirt were launched in different directions as the Chimera ploughed through the wall and then slowly ground along the rockcrete floor before coming to a halt.
The Tech - Priest awoke to the sight of all his escorts bloodied bodies slumped over in their seats. His own head was resting on the cold wall of the APC that had now become the floor. The light inside the Chimera was red and there were the occasional spark from broken electronics, but otherwise the basic structure of the vehicle was still intact.
“Praise the Omnissiah.” He said dryly.
He looked around at the dead PDF troopers, and then he unstrapped himself from the seat and began to check himself for injuries.
“Nothing broken, slight bruising on left thigh and hip.” He noted.
He checked his equipment; nothing was broken or damaged though the same couldn’t be said for the pieces in the Chimera. The guards had done their duty bringing him here, now it was his turn to fulfil his. He checked the vox caster that one of the troopers was carrying – it was damaged but still receiving transmissions. The Tech – Priest listened in on the frequency.
The only audible noise was static and the occasional garble of words that made little to no sense. The Tech – Priest decided it would be best to leave the transport and head into the compound and carry out his orders. He moved to the rear of the Chimera, gave a quick prayer to the machine god, and then pulled the lever for the ramp control. The ramp shuddered and the metal groaned as it strained a little before the ramp swung open exposing the interior to bright daylight.
The Tech – Priest stepped into the open…
Just north of the compound there was a tent that had been set up at the top of a hill. A small group of ragtag soldiers approached the tent flanking a rather frail looking nobleman who walked gracelessly towards the tent flap. He had been sent here on the order of the Council of Nobles who was now in the process of removing the Emperor’s presence from the planet.
They had been planning for years and soon they would see their dreams a reality, but there were many in the Council who wanted a transition that was void of major bloodshed. To this end they had sent a request for negotiations with the Commander of the local guard regiments and they had been told to meet here outside the Mechanicus compound.
“Do you think they’ll leave willingly sir?” asked one of his escorts.
“Hah…of course not but this is mere formality that the Council demanded be carried out.” He replied.
“So there will be all out war then?” replied another.
“Almost certainly, so I suggest you steel yourselves men.”
The noblemen turned to face them as they neared the tent.
“Wait here” he said in a hushed tone.
“When I exit the tent again we will get rid of this emissary, that should make our position clear to the dogs of the Emperor.”
With that he strode into the tent.
Its occupant gave him the scare of his life for the delegate towered over the nobleman. He wore a fur pelt over his left shoulder whilst donning a full set of gleaming bronze coloured flak armour that fitted tightly over his blood red uniform. There was a las gun slung over his shoulder that looked slightly worn and old as well as a shotgun of munitorium issue. In a tanned leather holster buckled to his belt, was a las pistol equally as worn as the las gun he carried on his back. But one item the man carried that stood out the most, was a double-headed axe strapped to his waist, a single wolf’s head cast in silver adorned the space between the two blades.
“A Vostroyan…well I guess I should be honoured that they would send someone of such stature to negotiate with us.”
The Vostroyan’s voice was deep and well mannered.
“I am not here to exchange niceties, we are here to negotiate a peaceful resolution are we not?”
“Uh…yes your right lets get right to the point of this discussion…”
Before he could finish though the Guardsman had pulled the shotgun from behind his back and aimed it at him.
“Here are our terms.”
The shotgun roared.
The noble barely had time to react but he managed to dive out of the way as the pellets shredded the wall behind him. He rolled out of the tent and began sprinting towards his escort who were all as startled as he was. Things had taken a rapid turn of events.
“Shoot you idiots! Kill the negotiator!”
They aimed their assorted weapons at the tent and opened fire. Their las guns and auto guns pelted the tent putting hundreds of holes through the thin fabric, until at last it gave way and collapsed. There was a moment where all was still before the guards rushed to help the nobleman up.
“Are you alright si…” one managed to ask before a hole was blown through his head.
“Get to cover!” one cried before hauling the nobleman to his feet and leading him towards the other side of the small hill.
Another shot was fired at them, this time putting a large crater in the ground where the nobleman was standing moments before. The nobleman managed to get to the other side and slid down into cover. His remaining guards did the same and made it to safety save the last one. As the guard was sprinting towards them another shot was fired and it found its mark in the middle of his back. The round went clean through his back and through the front of his chest; the force of the bullet carried his body a little further before landing in a heap in front of the group.
“What happened sir? I thought they were here to negotiate?”
“So did I.” Thought the nobleman.
“Well…I guess there real intention was to send a strong message by killing me.”
The nobleman paused and nodded his head as he considered what had transpired in the brief time before he was forced to run for his life. Though he was nearly killed, events have gone in his favour and now he could act without consequence from the Council.
“Lets get out of here and call in the main force.”
“Right away sir, the transport’s just at the bottom of the hill.”
Unbeknownst to them, the Vostroyan had managed to escape the tent via a hole made with his lasgun’s bayonet. After his getaway he had contacted his companion placed nearby whom then targeted the group and managed to pick off two of the guards. As that was happening, the guardsman had sprinted back towards the compound, heading for the building where the sniper was perched.
“Um…Sebastev did the man insult you the moment he saw you or what? Why the immediate violence?” The sniper asked through the microbead.
“I am no negotiator, and scum who would so easily abandon the Emperor for their own gain deserve no chance to explain themselves. If they are repentant, then I shall give them the Emperor’s mercy.”
“Fair enough, you make your point Sebastev.”
“Damn right I do, now get ready cause they’re going to send a **** load of infantry to this position.”
“No doubt, did you notice the Chimera that made its grand entrance here.”
“I did, any survivors?”
“Yes there’s one, he’s over at the foundry conducting repairs. He’s a Tech – Priest.”
“Cog boy, here? I guess he was the one command was talking about when they sent us here.”
“Introduce yourself, nicely if you can.”
“No promises”. Sebastev grinned.
The guardsman continued sprinting towards the compound. He vaulted over the sandbags at the gate and made his way towards the Tech – Priest working at the console located next to the entrance of the foundry.
“You were sent here by High Command, cog boy?”
The Tech – Priest didn’t stop working as he replied.
“Yes indeed. Are you aware that High Command thinks you are all dead?”
“Did they? Well that explains why we haven’t received any transmissions in a while…”
The Tech – Priest finished typing on the console and then turned around extending a hand.
“Technographer Mordecai Metallus at your service, and you are?”
The Vostroyan grasped his hand and they shook.
“Conscript Gregorious Sebastev, Vostroyan 68th Regiment, 5th Company, 3rd Platoon, 7th Squad.”
“And the man in the tower?”
“Oh he didn’t tell me much, only that his name was Claude. He’s a Sell-Steel.”
“Is that his name?”
“It’s his rank.”
“So he’s an assassin.”
Inquired Mordecai as he took cover from the incoming fire that peppered the entrance behind him.
“More or less.”
Replied Sebastev, as he let loose a volley with his las gun.
The Tech – Priest stared at the cloaked figure in the tower and then nodded. He turned his attention back to the console for a moment and then faced the guardsman. Behind him the foundry roared into life and the sound of mechanical grinding was slowly increasing in volume.
“There, soon the automated defences should be operational again and that will give those damn rebels a sure surprise when they come running over that hill.”
“Well, that is a help indeed,” noted Sebastev, quite thankful to the Tech – Priest.
“I am doing what I was taught to do Sebastev, and as a Krieger I was born to be as utilitarian as possible.” Mordecai replied.
The guardsman nodded. He had heard of the great discipline and fanatical dedication of the Death Korp. No doubt all the inhabitants of Krieg were a gloomy but dedicated people, though the Tech – Priest struck him as being a little different from what he had expected from a Krieger.
“How long before the defences are online?”
“Give it about 5 minutes and it should be operational.”
“Okay. Well, until then we got to hold out for 5 minutes, do you have vox we could use to contact command?”
“I’m afraid not, the one in the Chimera is broken and I don’t have the tools or parts to fix it. There is an radio mast at the back of the compound I could try to use though.”
“Do it, Claude and I will hold off the rebel scum until those defences come online.”
The Tech – Priest nodded and began running towards the back of the foundry to the antenna. Sebastev ran back to the gate and took cover by the sand bags he had arranged earlier. He scanned the hill for any sign of trouble before contacting Claude over the microbead.
“Claude, the cog boy managed to get the foundry’s automated defences to work but it’ll take 5 minutes for them to come online.”
“Well that’s just great,” came the reply.
“But the enemies is already here, there’s about companies’ worth of them just behind the hill. See if you can stall them for a while.”
Claude scanned the mass of infantry with his scope looking for any obvious indication of rank. If he could take out the officers before the enemy arrived, then their task would be a lot easier.
“Ah, there you are…”
In the mass of rebels there was a single member who was much better outfitted than the other soldiers he was barking orders to. He would be the example that the others needed to understand just who exactly they were dealing with.
“Here’s a welcome gift, you bastards.” Claude uttered as he steadied his rifle and held his breath.
They had come in a convoy of trucks and jeeps down the country road towards their destination. Spilling out of their vehicles onto the field they had marched in a rather disorganized mob towards the compound. Their leader was at the front giving orders to his subordinates as they approached closer to the compound.
The men looked up to their officer for leadership and assurance. They had thought that this would be a simple task, as there were only 2 or so Imperials stationed at the compound. They were so self-assured that they froze when a shot was fired and their leader’s throat ripped open as a round passed through his neck.
He fell to the floor clutching his throat as blood gushed from it. The men could only watch in terror as their leader literally drowned in his own blood. Since no one was taking the initiative, they were as helpless as sheep without their shepherd. More shots were fired and even more of them fell to the onslaught. Soon the fear passed though and instinct kicked in. They ran to cover wherever they could find it.
“How many did you get?” asked Sebastev.
“8 of them, including the one who looked like he was in charge.”
“That should hold them off for a few minutes.”
Behind Sebastev the Tech – Priest came running back to the gate and took up a position next to him. He patted the guardsman on the shoulder and passed him a few charge packs when he had turned.
“I found these in an ammo crate outback, I’m certain that you’ll need them.”
“Thank you, and what of the antenna?”
“It was difficult but I was able to get a distress signal out, it should alert any Imperial force within 50 klicks of this position.”
As they were saying this, alarm klaxons began going off and the main gate behind them was closing fast. They both glanced at each other before getting up and sprinting back into the compound just before the gate shut. Within, they saw that sections of the floor were separating and turrets were being brought up.
“Well I guess we’re ready for those rebel scum now.” Mordecai stated quite pleased with the scene unfolding before him.
“Don’t be too sure, yes we have secure the compound and the defences have been reactivated but that hole in the wall made by your arrival is still there.”
Sebastev replied as he turned to face the overturned Chimera.
“Ah true as that may be, the foundry is now safe, so now my original mission is complete.”
Sebastev headed towards the breach in the wall and looked around for anything that could be used to seal the wall. As he was doing this he received a call from Claude.
“Sebastev, I’m almost out of ammunition up here and they’re coming in for…”
The sound of a single bullet flying past filled the transmission followed by a cry of pain.
“Claude are you alright!?”
“Ngggh, I’m fine, a stray round just clipped my face.”
“Claude pull back down here, let the turrets handle the rest.”
“No arguments here.”
Claude was bleeding from a cut on his cheek; he cursed himself for not seeing the shooter earlier and slung his hunting rifle over his back. He checked the remaining charge of his compact las pistol holstered at his shoulder; the green glow of a full charge emanated from the pistol’s receiver and bathed his face in soft light. Holstering the weapon, he drew his sword checked its edge, satisfied with the sharpness of the blade; Claude slunk into the shadows, allowing the black of his bodyglove to blend into the darkness as he began to descend the tower under the covering fire of his two companions and compound defence systems.
As Claude pulled back down into the compound from the tower, the rebels swarmed over the hill. But they soon realised the folly of their actions, for the turrets all turned in their direction and soon the chattering of heavy stubbers and auto guns filled the air. The entire frontline of rebels was cut down instantly with many more suffering grievous and fatal wounds as the barrage of rounds peppered the hillside.
Before long, the hill was covered with the dead and dying, although there was a few who managed to escape back to their transports. The trio watched as the rebels fled from the area.
“We did it, we actually bloody did it” uttered Claude as he held his bleeding face.
“Indeed, now hold still so I can tend the wound.” Mordecai replied as he cleaned and care for the cut on the assassin’s face.
Sebastev did not speak, only listening carefully for anything that they could have missed.
“That won’t be their last attack, soon more will come, so unless reinforcements arrive we’re still screwed.”
Just then, there was a high pitch whistle and main gate erupted into a fireball.
“Artillery incoming! Get to cover!” Sebastev hollered as he grabbed both the others by their collars and literally dragged them back to the foundry.
He threw them into the covered entrance of the foundry, before getting to the task of finding some sort of cover from the incoming fire and shrapnel. He found it in the form of a large piece of rockcrete from the broken wall section earlier. It took him a few moments to get into position but he managed to get his massive arms around the slab and lift if. It took every single fibre of his being to carry the damned rock over to the foundry entrance; all the while high explosive shells fell all over the compound taking out large numbers of turrets.
Sebastev vaulted over the slab and took cover with the other two. It went on for a few minutes, the ground shaking with every impact of the rebel’s artillery. Then it stopped, but the noise was replaced by the grinding sounds of vehicles and tank treads. Soon there on top of the hill a Leman Russ painted in rebel colours aimed down at the compound. Then came detachment of trucks bearing men and crew-served weapons behind the lumbering behemoth.
“We’re dead aren’t we?” Claude asked.
“No ****, well boys it’s been a pleasure but looks like this is the end for our brief time together.” Sebastev replied.
“Indeed – well at least we die in service to the Emperor and for our glorious Imperium. I can think of no greater way to die.” Mordecai added.
The trio looked amongst themselves and then nodded. They aimed over their cover and opened fire on the rebels. Many of their rounds found their marks and slew a score of rebel grunts. The rebels returned fire, their munitions bouncing off the rockcrete and ceramite door.
Then the Leman Russ lowered its battle cannon at them.
Then something happened that would change the lives of the 3 men forever. Just as the Leman Russ was about to fire the battle cannon at them, two trails of smoke and fire descended from the sky and struck the hull of the tank. It went up in a column of flame as it was blown apart. Soon more missiles landed amongst the mass of rebels and they too were torn asunder.
A vulture gunship swooped by on a strafing run. Its auto cannons blew sizeable holes in the mob of retreating rebels. Soon more appeared and the rebels were no longer visible. All that remained of their once glorious army was the remains of their shattered bodies and vehicles.
Soon chimera transports and valkyries were on scene with troops disembarking and forming a perimeter around the compound. A group of Tech – Priests were also present as they approached the foundry. Mordecai split off from the trio to go greet their arrival.
“I have done as you ordered Magos Militant.” He said as he approached the group.
“You have indeed young Technographer, the Omnissiah was with you today” replied the Magos.
“Now young initiate, there is something you must know, you have been chosen for something far greater today. You will see soon what it is but you must know this first, should you fulfil all that is required of you on this journey. You will not be the same – you will become an equal to the greatest Magos in this sector and perhaps beyond. Now go and remember the Omnissiah watches over you.”
A single valkyrie descended from the sky and touched down in the middle of what was left of the compound. The trio stood in front of its rear hatch. The valkyrie was painted black as night and clearly marked on its fuselage was the stylised ‘I’ of the Inquisition. The ramp dropped and a squad of storm troopers rushed out and stood to attention on either side of the ramp. Then he came down.
The Inquisitor stepped down from the ramp and strode towards the trio. He wore what appeared to be carapace armour though it was heavily modified and adorned with trophies and wards alike. His attire was as black as the valkyrie that had taken him here. The hat on his head marked him out as one of the Ordo Hereticus, a witch hunter. The surrounding troopers who were keeping guard watched in awe as the inquisitor unsheathed his ornate power sword and pointed it at the 3 men who stood before him.
“I am Inquisitor Kurgen and I must say you men have done quite an impressive job holding this place.” He began in his well-mannered tone.
The trio remained silent and kept nervously watching the inquisitor. Had he come merely to congratulate them? To accuse them of some heresy that they were suspected of? Or perhaps it was something far beyond that.
“You have shown promise and in that I am going to present you an offer you truly cannot refuse.” He said giving a warm smile from underneath his wide brimmed hat. Sheathing his sword, he extended his hand towards the trio.
“I ask that you pledge your lives to a cause greater than all that you hold dear.” He said.
“To become my acolytes in service to the Inquisition and the Imperium at large.”
Both Claude and Sebastev were in a mix of shock and awe while Mordecai was still, contemplating and calculating the situation. He knew full well this is what the Magos Militant had meant earlier. If this was his destiny, then so be it he thought.
“I offer my services to you as a member of the mechanicus and to serve the Emperor’s undying will.” Mordecai said stepping forward.
The other two stared at the Tech – Priest as he gave his reply. Was he so sure of himself? Then they would have to follow suit, for perhaps the Emperor had greater plans for all of them.
“We pledge our services to you as well, my lord. To serve the Emperor until death claims us.” They stated unanimously.
“Good, by the all the authority bestowed upon me from our glorious Emperor, I declare you all servants of the Inquisition. Now come, we have matters to discuss.” Inquisitor Kurgen replied as he beckoned them aboard the valkyrie.
One by one they boarded the assault carrier and were guided to a seat each by the Inquisitor, who then motioned for all his storm troopers to come back aboard. He then ordered his pilot to take off and before they knew it they were airborne, on their way to Emperor knows where. Whatever challenge or reward that lay ahead was obscure, but it was a certainty that this would test them in both body and will.
The first chapter of our heroes’ tale comes to a close… And thus the adventure truly begins.