ESTABLISHING SHOT: The Aquilla flyer leaving the scene of the Harpalian, exiting from the surrounding minefield and heading towards the Voidwalker’s Salvation. Camera sweeps across the lander and PUSHES THROUGH the front windshield, showing Silas at the controls with Vir next to him. Behind them, the security detail sits either checking their equipment or tending to the viciously wounded Quell who is stable but unconscious. Camera pulls back around to picture Silas and Vir at the main controls when the comm link beeps.
OFFICER ON DECK (over comm)
Commander, we’ve received a message from Captain Harvlesk. He and Josef are spending additional time investigating a particularly interesting shrine. He will remain out of communication for longer than originally anticipated. His only orders: “Carry on.”
(rolls his eyes)
Very well. We will be back shortly. Prepare the medical staff for an emergency. Quell has taken a power axe to the… well, just be prepared
OFFICER ON DECK (over comm)
FADE CUT TO:
Silas and Vir entering the main bridge of the Voidwalker’s Salvation.
OFFICER ON DECK
Sir, Dockmaster Fortunas has been hailing us, demanding to talk to someone in charge.
Oookay. I’ll talk to him.
(walks over to a comm station, activates it)
This is the Voidwalker’s Salvation. Go ahead.
Who am I talking to? Where is Harvlesk?
This is Silas Caine, I’m senior officer on board while Captain Harvlesk attends to a personal pilgramage.
Then I guess you’ll have to do. Do you mind telling me why my ships keep exploding?
The Harpalian. It exploded shortly after your little expedition left its vicinity, and I want to know why.
Um. One moment.
(Mutes the comm system)
Can we get a scan of that area?
Uh.. it looks to be true, sir. This is where the Harpalian was. There’s nothing but a drifting chunk of what appears to be the engine section.
And the mine field?
(looking over the Technician’s shoulder)
(Sighs, then activates the comm system)
I see what you mean. I swear it wasn’t like that when we left.
Yes, my ships seem to have a very expensive habit of exploding between the time you leave them and board your own vessel. I think we need to discuss this. In person. At your earliest convenience.
Uh. Yes, that might be prudent. We have news on what we found on the ship that you might be interested in.
Right. I’ll have a security detail escort you to my office. …To protect that information.
(With only a slight twinge)
Er. Yes. Yes, that would be fine. We’ll be aboard shortly. Voidwalker’s Salvation out.
(disconnects comm channel)
For a beat, Silas and Vir look at each other.
(Holds up data slate from the Harpalian)
Right. I’ll just go make some copies of this then.
Arriving at the docking bay on the Hermitage
, Silas and Vir are met by 10 heavily armed/armored security personnel. The one in charge looks somewhat surprised to see Vir, demands to know who he is. The answer satisfies him, but he still doesn’t look happy. The guards fall into a formation surrounding the two and escorts them to the Dockmaster’s office. Neither PCs show any outward signs of objection to this, knowing a token show of force when they see one. Even if it is an overwhelming one.
Fortunas is mighty pissed, but Silas and Vir relate the information about the experiment they found on board and the information they have on the Tech priest seemingly behind it ( Davanne ). This information more distracts Fortunas than appeases him. However, Silas’ attempt to explain the apparent purpose of the experiment— to investigate Demons from the Warp— has a much stronger reaction, causing Fortunas to shrink away slightly, refusing to accept the sort of information he is hearing. Disquieted, Fortunas accepts the PCs’ story that they were not responsible for the explosion, but demands that he be informed of any future… excursions onto his ships so that he can provide for adequate protection. The two leave a high-quality copy of the data slate with the dockmaster, who promised to pass it along to the local Arbites along with the information on Davanne.
Meanwhile, Quell lies in the medical bay, hovering near death. He wakes up to find himself in a psychic dream state, and comes to discover he is “on” Damarus IV, witnessing an operation of some sort involving the implantation of obviously alien biology or technology into a man identified as Planetary Governer Dmitri Xalot. The attendant surgeon refers to Quell as Councilor Apolonius, and that “he is next”. Once Quell realizes the situation, he digs for a bit more information: this was all “his” idea.
Believing he wasn’t likely to get any additional information from these apparitions, Quell deludes the attendant into believing that he has been sedated again, and goes exploring down the empty halls of his Damarus IV vision, looking to learn more. Undeterred by the multi-colored mist that grows thicker, he begins to both smell something like bread and hear a low grumbling, coming from different directions. Turning towards the grumbling, Quell found himself faced by the horned demon Vulcanus, who was disquietingly happy to see him. Among other things, the demon claimed that Damarus IV was his planet, and that its people were his as well.
The demon kept pressuring Quell to answer the question: “What do you want?” Quell quipped that he was just trying to find his clothes since he was walking around in a hospital gown. The Demon’s response was “Your boon is granted”, a phrase that, somehow, is more terrifying from a demon than “I will eat your face.” Unable to rouse himself (and unfamiliar with Old Terra stories of Djinni), Quell decided to try and get some information and asked the demon what he know about Kato Thaddeus. The information was disappointing, and then Quell was able to force himself awake, back on the Voidwalker’s Salvation. Covered in sweat. With his clothes on a chair next to his bed. And the laughter of the demon in his ears.
He went back to sleep.
Finally able to review the data from the captured data slate, Vir discovers many medical-style readings and a video log that included regular still shots punctuated by full video when activated by motion. The camera covered the Servitor stations, the pool on the ground and the doorway. The items of note he finds are:
- Tech priest with a big servo-arm and a hell-pistol eye replacement wearing dark robes with obvious Mechanicum symbols (Assumed to be Davanne). Checks the pool, taking some readings and a sample, does something at the console behind the camera… but as he walks away from the pool, an arm reaches out and scrabbles around the floor, reaching and grabbing. There is no indication the priest saw this. On his way out, he says aloud “Everything seems to be in order. Good work boys, see you next week.”
- A creature pulls itself out of the pool… the servitors beat it down.
- Video erased – not present even on original data slate, but can tell it’s supposed to be there. The still shots return, with time stamps of the following day.
- 24 hours after first demon breach, THREE come out. The servitors kill them, but it’s a tougher fight.
- Another missing segment, followed by returned still shots with the servitors back in their posts, repaired of their damage.
- The group entering the room, inspecting the servitors… who activate and attack. We destroy them. During the fight, and unseen at the time, a couple heads rise up out of the goo and watch. When it appears that our side has won the fight, they retreat back in. Once the fight is over, several guards carry Quell back though the door. Vir looks around and heads towards the camera and out of frame (to the console). The recording ends as he pulls the data slate. Silas’ incineration of the goo with Quell’s pistol is not recorded since that happened later.
A little later, Silas, Vir and Quell meet with Kalus for his report on the dead drop he was observing. He reports much less “chatter” of cold trade than he would expect for a station of this size, but that Josette does a good job of running it. No real leads on the name “”/campaigns/rogue-trader-voidwalkers-salvation/characters/marcella-1" class=“wiki-content-link”>Marcella"; the only references to it were tied to an “Astaban” and not Kato Thaddeus. Roland, however, appears to have simple buisness contact with Bal of the Atellus.
The dead drop itself is used fairly infrequently, and the messages left appear to include only a name, location, and a time. There is some discussion of how such things tend to operate and whether some sort of contact should be initiated. Ultimately, it is decided against doing so. Instead, an expedition to hunt for the combat bridge of the Torian Blade that had ejected prior to the explosion.
Upon launch of the Salvation’s wing of transports (including a new one obtained by Silas earlier), Fortunas immediately hails the Salvation, demanding to know what is going on. He accepts the “breaking in the new ship” story, but isn’t happy about it and declares that he will be closely watching all the flyers’ beacons on his scanners.
The group manages to find the combat bridge, and scans show a single, very weak life sign. After a quick debate about whether to do anything themselves, Silas calls back to the Hermitage to report the finding. At first, Fortunas doesn’t believe that there could be anyone still on board (especially since he didn’t believe there was anyone in that section of the Blade to begin with), he does launch a rescue team to pick up the survivor.
The PCs hang about as best they can and observe a boarding crew enter the bridge then leave again, at which point scans confirm whoever was on the bridge had disembarked. The group then returned to the Salvation intending to find out who was on board that bridge.