Vir’s medicae skills have an extremely effective result, and Quell is back on his feet quickly, though still stiff and sore.
Back from his pilgramage around the station with Josef, Captain Elizar Harvlesk was already slightly annoyed by the attempted interruptions and other news. Then he checked the ship’s logs to see WHY he was being paged. Revelations did not assuage the annoyance.
Harvlesk met Vir in the bridge and called him into the Captian’s office. As Harvlesk pulled more details out from between Vir’s literal responses, Eli slowly grew more… head-achy.
Eli then confronted Quell about the statue as Josef had brought it to his attention. Eli was quite insistent on destroying it. “I do not want this thing on my ship. I want it destroyed,” he said. Then, after a very slight pause, he added, “will it… explode?” Perhaps visions of burning parchment flashed before his eyes. No one will ever know.
“That is one of the reasons it is still on your ship, Captain. I can’t be certain what sort of reaction there might be to violence against it.”
Vir was consulted on the most efficient way to destroy the item. He would need to scan the statue to be sure of its physical properties, but proposed that using the ship’s thrusters to burn it up would likely work. “Good. Now, are there anymore Damarus IV good on my ship showing this taint?” Another quick pause and a successful Intelligence test later he added, “The golden statue of the emperor on my desk… did that come from the same shipment as your statue?” Why, yes! A Pyniscience test later and Quell reported that it gave the same sense of being connected to something through the warp, but was no affecting the physical world. Harvlesk responded, “Perhaps its form is holding back its horror. Destroy this as well. And check anything we may have picked up for anything similar!”
Next, Harvlesk called Silas into the room for more information about recent relations with the Hermitage. A lot of deep sighing was involved. Eli calls up the station, and is answered by a lesser acolyte, who admits Harvlesk is on “the list” and that FOrtunus will be notified and return the call later. An insult for a Rouge Trader.
Half hour later, Dockmaster Fortunas returns the call. Conversation goes much as expected. Harvlesk turns conversation toward the local pirate trouble and offers to deal them a blow in order to reduce their local activity. Fortunas accepts, but presses the importance of avoiding any damage to the derelicts in the area. Foreshadowing ensues.
Quell and Vir head towards the isolated quarters w/ the dark statue and meet Josef there at Quell’s request. Josef inspects the golden statue and reads the High Gothic script on it: an old prayer that reads along the lines of “may blessings flow from the emperor to the planetary governor yadda yadda”.
Vir’s scans show the dark statue to be made of an interesting formation of obsidian with suspended streaks of gasses that were captured as the stone formed. The golden statue was more of base metals; steel, with a thin gold plating. Both are connected to the warp, but the black one’s connection is much stronger. They show the same sort of energy field that a Warp drive would have, but much much smaller and very difficult to detect.
Kalus reports to Harvlesk that all supplies are on board (including the goods he agreed to deliver to Footfallen in exchange for contacts/information, but has not shared with anyone including Harvlesk). The captain informs Kalus of the upcoming pirate hunting excursion, and Kalus gets started on running security drills.
Quell speaks with the navigator (Tokan) to make sure he has integrated the found star charts into his own and that he is prepared to depart. He responds with a very polite “of course, you asshole,” but does volunteer that “There are some eddys in the warp. Departure may be… difficult”
The Voidwalkers’ Salvation leaves port and heads towards the jump point and the pirates. On the way, Harvlesk informs Fortunas of the plan to fake a systems failure and lure the pirates with distress signals that shouldn’t be responded to.
Approaching the jump point, the horribly tainted statues were launched in a device Vir designed and piloted to behind the main thrusters and into the backwash. The statue burn-off worked as expected. Scanners showed the statues smolder with smoke billowing out, but also being atomized by the engine backwash. After a few seconds, with 60-70% of the statues burned off, the statues suddenly disintegrate… and are replaced by a MASSIVE explosion, at the heart of which was a VERY quick visible rip in in space showing the Warp, which sucked in the smoke and remains of the statue.
This served as the signal for the Captain to signal to cut power, start a slow roll, and initiate the false comm chatter.
Two raider-class ships appear, flanking the Salvation. One hails; its captain identifies himself as Do Durrant of the Sirius and offers “support”. Harvlesk notes that the Salvation’s comms appear to be getting jammed and that he likely doesn’t need the help this close to the Hermitage. Durrant promises to help by launching boarding torpedoes. And the first space combat initiates.
The lead ship takes heavy damage in the first salvo, but the Salvation is recovering from its slow drift and the second ship gets off some good hits.
Harvlesk: I want that Command ship taken out!
Silas: So… bridge, engine, or ‘Surprise Me’?
Harvlesk: I defer to your judgement on this matter, Silas.
Roll: 47 damage + critical. Macro-batteries slam into Sirius’ engines. Massive explosions. The Plasma drive explodes. Nearby derelict is caught in the debris and takes… 42 damage. Ripped to shreds.
Determined to replace that lost ship, Harvlesk orders pursuit of the second ship that fled into the asteroid field. A tension-filled many-hour pursuit (and at least one meal) later, the Salvation gets within weapons range. The ship hails, but Harvlesk ignores it and orders a shot on their engines. The hit takes out the ship’s thrusters, and their return shot does a small amount of damage. They hail again and are again ignored. The next shot from the Salvation breeches the bridge and the ship ceases all movement.
Harvlesk orders the Voidwalker’s Salvation to swing behind the other ship, then orders a precision shot on their life support. The first shot is absorbed by the ship’s armor. The second shot burns out the life support and also the engines. “Sorry, sir. I have no sense of moderation,” was Silas’ reaction.
The captain orders for the crew to watch scanners for movement and life signs. When they all disappear, a quick away team mission is sent into the bridge to collect data from the ship’s computers. They then start the return trip to the Hermitage, reporting the location of the ship for pickup by the station’s tugs.