Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

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Ben Smash
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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Ben Smash » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:12 pm

"Hah! Listen I think we can all enjoy a bit' a ruination' togevver, don'chu Unlce Green?" a gravelly voice posited from the now-parting crowd of merry makers. Out stumbled a very intoxicated young man, slender wearing a not-very-zipped-up coverall (you wish he was, looks like his underclothes were in the wash today) and a red bandana; not to mention sundry armaments strapped to his person. "*Hic* 'snot time fer biss'niss eh Uncle Green? Let's just all go back t' boozin an 'ave a bit ovva knees-up." The man was clearly blind-drunk, stumbling for words as he eventually found himself at Granald's Side - he appeared to be bracing for a smack to the belly or some kind of reprimand. Although he could just be reacting to Amasec-related heartburn.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:58 pm

A smack was delivered by the First mate, 'though more as a friendly gesture than anything else. Granald chuckled and nodded to the others three, "My nephew, Red." he pushed the man away, taking another sip at his drink, "First time planetside in... how long's it been, boy?"

Then he put down his drink, a barely-audible whirr from the gloved hand that held the drink, and gave the three a look. "He's right, however. We've dry-docked in orbit just hours ago, this is no time for business..." he glared at them suddenly, "...but tell me something before we voidlock you all. You talk as if we're supposed to know who you are, but I for a fact do not remember ever meeting any of you, nor whoever this mysterious benefactor may be." his tone was suddenly much more serious, "There are only two ways you get on board our ship, dustwalker. Either you name the pledge, which," he leaned back, "is at the moment not a likely option, or you carry the needle." he dug in his pocket and fished out small, golden badge that he flicked into the air and caught with his gloved hand at a remarkable speed, "going prize two thousand thrones."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:17 pm

This was not going according to plan. Had the old man just set him up to die at the hands of some worthless voider dross? If that was the case then there wasn't much he could do about it now. The only other possibilities were that this was to be a test of their his or that the first mate needed his memory jogged. Smile, don't let them see your fear, keep talking.

"That's surprising to hear." he said with a frown, running a finger from one eye to the end of his chin. "I'd been informed that you were the one to speak to concerning passage to Khorz V. Surely you are familiar with my benefactor; venerable fellow, long moustache beneath a prominent nose. Capable of detecting your all too recent arrival and dispatching us to meet with you. That's a rare authority, I'm sure you'll agree."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:33 pm

Voorhees reached out for his glass, taking another sips and then hummed for himself for a few second, dropping back the needle-pin into his pocket. "Khorz?" he chuckled darkly, glaring over his glass, "we ain't setting sails for Khorz. But I'd like to know where you got that information anyway... especially since you're the second bunch of dustwalkers here to ask us about it. You're more polite, though." another chuckle and a wink to Red.

He then leaned back and put his arms around the two women besides him, smiling a toothy grin. "You've napped my interest, you have. I'll tell you what, I'm going to give you the same offer as those others, but only because you fascinate me with stories of this nose-prominent benefactor of ours." he waved his hand in a short pattern, and light suddenly lit up in the corner of the room, a intricately decorated servitor coming to life. Unlike the battered, vaguely humanoid waiter that had rolled in with the drinks for the party, this one had been so heavily modified it now more resembled a piece of furniture. Its main body was an elaborately carved trunk of marble-like stone, etched images of saints and space marine commanders mingled with pictures of fields of war underneath a starry sky. Careful placement of small light-bulbs brought these details to attention, and on top of the pillar-like body of the servitor rested a blank-polished board of Regicide, slots in the sides of the table sliding out with a faint hiss to reveal beautifully carved playing pieces in white and green jade.

"I fancy myself a good player, and I've unfortunately scared off any opposition on ship. If you can last..." he thinks, "ten rounds against me, I'll give your silent friend a needle." he leers at Cristan, "fifteen rounds and the lady can join us. If you win, I'll let you all on. What say you?"

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:16 pm

Cristan smiled genuinely. Any intellectual worth his salt at least dabbled in regicide, and he'd had years to practice against his former master.

"I'm sure I'll be able to provide you with a bit of practice." he said, stepping towards the board bearing servitor. "Others in interested voidfaring, you said? Most interesting. Same destination, or would that be too much of a coincidence to ask for?"

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:30 pm

The first mate grinned at Cristan, jewel-studded teeth glittering in the dim light. The volume of the music had lowered, and many of the participants in the private festivities were now watching the table, and Cristan, with amused looks on their faces. Clearly Voorhees hadn't been exaggerating his claim... But Cristan was hardly a dullard himself, and as he seated himself in front of the servitor-board the pieces were taken up by slender servitor-fingers, placed on the table in the middle.

"Choose for colors, my friend." Voorhees said with a smile, fingers splayed in front of him. Suddenly he was all business, his attention focused on the board and his opponent. "If you survive the first five rounds, I'll tell you where they wanted to go..."



Cristan:
Spoiler:
[We will do this as an extended test, with each roll representing roughly five turns, each success giving you a point, each failure detracting one. Exceptional rolls in both ways will give or take two points. If you come out in the plus after the fourth roll, then you have won. A draw means you're still living, and the next success or failure determines the fate of the game. Handle it either over AIM, through PMs or by flavor-texting. I will roll for Voorhees]


Red:
Spoiler:
[This is ridiculous, if he's going to let every dustwalker on board get a free ride you might as well start renting out the ship for tours through the sector. Oh well, that woman's not too shabby either, plus, she's bald. That makes it two of you... besides, she looks to be voidborn, gotta make you wonder what she's doing with these two dustwalkers...

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:00 pm

"White." Cristan declared, taking a seat by the board, his good mood evaporating as he set his mind to winning the game.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Ben Smash » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:35 pm

He was drunk, hell he was always drunk... but he was a functional drunk. However, this one dustie was sending him for the floor... talkin' Uncle Green into games.

"This is Shite!" Red spat, pure venom in his voice. "Who izze that you gotta toy widdem, Green? Eh? 'Ees annover twatty Dustwalker, only thing got for 'im is Baldie there. I say we just charge 'em 50% more an keep 'em on watch." He seemed rather pleased with himself.

"Wossat, Guv? Noffin smart? I say if'n you don' wanna pay then you agree to let me come along, and take a cut of whatever your business is. No games and you get an extra gun. Deal-ish?" he squared off his legs and put his least-greasy hand forward, for a shake.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:00 pm

Cristan, not letting the swaggering drunk break his concentration, responded in a disinterested tone. "Your nephew is a shrewd bargainer, Mr Voorhees. I assume that the family dynasty will be in his capable hands one day."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Ben Smash » Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:43 pm

Clearly peeved now, Red was not about to take any guff from some well-to-do Dustie.

"Oi, Twat! Wossat? Don't like my offer? Whussay I don't force it into you with a few stub rounds? Ah? You waltz in here an' demand shite from a King... you think you're premium promethium eh? Don' think Uncle's doin' anything but amusing himself... 'ave half a mind to rob you and kill you. Maybe in a diff'ren or*hic* 'nowhut? Fuggit. Uncle wanted yeh dead he woulda had me do it... enjoy your game. Ponce." The bile that he was holding back now came spilling out his mouth at the last words. It seems too much engine degreaser can do a man plenty of harm. Nearly slipping on his own sick, Red grips his waist like he's supposed to have something there.

"nnn... *sniff* yous lucky I ain' armed."

He pauses...

"wai.. yessiam... wait... no? NOVVER ROUND, GIRLS!"

The band from which he emerged is now bored of the game and Red re-joins them laughing and drinking away... it seems every court needs it's fool.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:41 pm

The board hummed slightly as the pieces began to move in an elaborate dance, circling eachother before finally settling on their decided places, the pearly white, carved figures surprisingly detailed, almost alive, but frozen in motion. For the first mate to have brought something this down... unless the Covenant of Roses had money to spend on these kind of things, he seemed to be the real deal, if there had ever been any doubt. The first mate of a Rogue trader.

"Galactic Standard rules, ten second thinking time for each mo-" he was interrupted by his nephew, who stormed in on the conversation, throwing accusations and spittle around. He looked almost... patient, no, satisfied with his kin, leaning back and letting his finger trail down his cheek a few times in thought...

Mae, however, seemed to dislike the tone of the intoxicated Red and crossed her arms, a light frown creasing her forehead as she looked about to speak at any moment, but instead simply shrugged and turned her attention back to the board. "If it is the will of the First mate of the ship," she mused to no one in particular, "then the words of a septo-cleaning void-drop's hardly going to matter." the insult wasn't said with any emotion or tone, just in her usual calm, almost serene matter. Aator gave her a glance, the large man clearly surprised by the, for her, unusually lengthy speak, and then looked around, seeming as if he was expecting trouble.

Nothing came, however, except for a particularly wet chuckle from Voorhees who had picked out a pipe from one of his pockets, filling it with dried leaf and removing the glove of his augmented hand. There was no skin-grafts or anything concealing the mechanisms at work in his machinated limb, and with the flick of a wrist a small flame appeared at the tip of his pinkie, which he used to lighten his pipe.

"Oh, I've got more spawns in my bloodline to keep me hopeful," he said with a nod and a deep breath of flavored smoke, "but it's irrelevant. The captain promotes on qualities alone, and the next one to fill my pointy shoes is, as of yet, undecided. Now, we were playing?"

---

Red, meanwhile, was joined in his grumpling by two of the lucky landing party, tall and scrawny Lisbeata, heart of gold and the face mangled in a mechanism some fifteen standards ago (she'd taken it remarkably well), and Largo, who seemed to have found the exchange between the Dusties and Red most amusing, judging from the way he was still laughing when the pissed (in more ways than one) scum joined them.

The volume of music and frivolty subsequently rose steadily as the game was left to its own device but for a few observers, the least drunk ones, and another servitor soon rolled in on beaten treads to wipe up the smear of sick and serve another round of drinks.

"Wozzat all'bout din?" Largo said between coughs, rolling up a lho-stick and putting it in between his lips. His pallid skin had taken on an almost yellow hue on his hands and around his lips from years of hard smoking. It wasn't improbable that the man hadn't had a lho-high in years.

"'s prolly cuz Li'l Red'z got a fancy for moon-skull dere." sniggered Lisbeata and nodded to Mae who pointedly ignored them. Neither of the two had listened to the conversation between the First mate and Cristan, but had instead used the opportunity to snag a few extra drinks, and drop a lho-butt in the glass of Arnak Thorn, a particularily disliked security officer, who was too busy watching the game to notice.

---

The game, was at foot. Voorhees hadn't been lying when he said he was a good player, and the way he moved his pieces hinted at a strategy that relied on initially random-seeming patterns of movement that broke conventions, sacrificing a few of the less valuable pieces to secure a strong front far from his own regent.

Cristan, however, was no fool, and soon saw that he'd have to be more inventive in his gaming, cutting Voorhees off repeatedly and grabbing a few minor victories. After five rounds, Voorhees grinned and blew out a ring of smoke. "Said they were going to Khorz V." he grinned, jewels twinkling in the dim light, "ain't that a coincidence?"

The first mate seemed to realize what opposition he was facing, and soon began to play more defensively, ultimately leading to a long series of counter and counter-counter moves, where not much was achieved, but barely any losses were sustained. Soon enough, ten rounds had passed, and as promised one of the girls sidled up to the mute warrior and handed him the brooch, giving him a quick and shy smile before returning to Voorhees's side.

The rounds passed uneventfully, Voorhees trying to grip his opponents skills, which inevitably differed considering the differating playing environment the two were used to, and after another five round Mae was too handed a brooch. It was obvious now that his opponent was disgruntled by the surprising skill, or luck, of Cristan, and began to play even more aggressively, which for a while seemed to work. Cristan was forced to sacrifice a number of pieces to the advancing Voorhees, who seemed to regain his humour, passing the occasional joke to the adept.

Then, however, came the turn-around. Distracted perhaps by the events around him, Voorhees played a piece completely wrong, and Cristan seized upon the opportunity like a hawk. In just a few rounds, Cristan had put Voorhees's regent at a knife's edge and the Regicide was a fact, White had claimed rulership.

The first mate looked unrealistically angry for a short second or two, veins appearing in his pale face and his fists clenching, only to relax suddenly and a jovial, if exhausted, guffaw emerged from his throat.

"By the Throne! I haven't had such a game in years!" he barked, looking to all around him, "I would have won of course, eventually, but for my own clumsiness." he dug into his pocket and took out the brooch again, sliding it over the board. "We leave at the rise of the sun in two days. Of course, with these you can come and go as you please until then. I'd suggest not losing those golden tickets," he said with a wink, "unless you want to sell them of course."

Then he slammed his fist in the board, the remaining pieces falling over, "The void damn it all, where are my drinks!? My lho!?" the servitor-board quickly scooped up the pieces, put them back in the trays and rolled away, the door sliding open for another servitor with drinks and other refreshments. "Now enjoy this victory, and would you kindly tell me your names, already! I want to know the name of the man that beat me, Granald Voorhees, at regicide!" he beamed at the three.


(Long post is fucking long. Cristan won by one point, with a real whizbang in the end when I rolled 99 for Voorhees!)

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:19 am

The game had taken alot out of him. Voorhees had been playing for his own amusement, gambling away that which he could give freely. A few thousand gelt of lost profit was nothing to a dynasty which could afford such an exquisite regicide set. He, meanwhile, had been playing for his life. Even if the pale, freakish collection of void-farers hadn't decided to kill him he was sure the Inquisitor would not be pleased at his failure to even make orbit. Everyone had heard the rumours of what the Inquisition was capable of and often all too willing to do, but he'd seen the results first hand and was especially keen to avoid such a fate.

Still, he was not to be caught off guard by the man's veiled inquiry. Bragging was all well and good, but names were a powerful things in the hands of the resourceful. "Cristan," he said with a slight nod, offering his first name alone and hoping that there would be thousands others who shared it with him, "my associates being Mae and Aator. I must declare that this was the finest game of regicide I have had the pleasure of in my time. I would not decline a rematch once aboard and in environs less distracting." He admired the broach for a moment before tucking it safely away. "You mentioned that there were others who will be joining us as passengers. I believe I saw them on my way inside. They got a story to them, or did they just hand over the cash?"

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:19 am

Gems sparkled on his teeth as the first mate flashed another amused grin at Cristan. There was a loud murmur going on in the room now, Cristan and Red snapping up not a few surprised remarks about the match, and about an equal amount of grumbles over letting dustwalkers on board. The man seemed to pay them no attention, however, and merely reached for another drink, contemplating, as it were, the question posed by his new passengers.

"I am certain we will have time to play again, Cristan," his pronunciation of the name was... it was hard to describe, but archaic, almost high gothic, as if he was familiar with that usage more than the one Cristan himself had been given. "Mae, and Aator. Poor must your fortunes be, indeed, if you were born without a name of heritage, but it is not my place to pry." he waved to the servitor to fill up a glass for the rest, snifters filled halfway with deep amber, golden amasec of the finest kind. Mae took the glass with a look of ill-hidden disapproval, putting it back almost immediately on the passing tray. Aator, naturally, was given none, some hidden system keeping his body nourished and hydrated, no doubt.

"Now, was I to be a strict man, I would say that the nature of your fellow travellers were never a part of our wager, and leave it to you to find out more. But, although I consider myself hardline on some occasions, I am not at the moment." he sipped greedily from his own drink, apparantly glad to have someone from the outside to talk with. And he seemed, Cristan realized, a bit more respectful of the adept. "They bought their tickets, had very few questions, and didn't seem to mind that we will be stopping at Khorz, but rather the Fydaes..." he gave the adept a look before adding, "it is nearby, however, barely a day's trip warpwise. It is where I will take you as well..." he smirked suddenly, as if remembering something funny, and then added, "...they paid for their brooches with souls. Throne knows there's always the need for a few more on a ship of By His Providence stature, but it chills me to know there are men in these civilized parts who so freely trade in the lives of men and women."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:46 am

Cristan waved a hand dismissively. "What're the lives of a few thousand proles? Besides, it's all in service of the Imperium. Your ship has its charter, a boon and a responsibility I'm sure, and you need fresh hands to sail the expanse between worlds. They have to come from somewhere." He shrugged, unphased by the knowledge of such events. The galaxy was not a kind place, nor was it fair. That thousands saw themselves uprooted and repurposed was just the way of things.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Ben Smash » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:42 pm

Red's ears perked... souls? This was new to him, He'd only been dealing with Uncle Green for a few years and he had always kept him drunk enough to never really care about... well anything. Souls was enough to chill him, though. He had flashes of his mother and father fighting about ... things... he became quite visibly unsettled. Straightening himself up some and zipping his ratty cover-all he pulled away from his friends and walked over to the table to partake with the new guests.

His tone was a bit more civil, if rank with bile and drink, "Frins... *braaap* 'haps we got awf engines firin' a'bluster. I am Red Rider, gun extroidinare... will you be needin' a hire... urp... hired hand come your arrival. I do love me uncle here, but it'd be nice to see a little more action other than the usual hold-brawls."

He would not break his gaze from Cristan. There was a look of fear in his eyes. That and grease. Oh... and an impending hangover.

"'Nuver round?"

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:26 am

Cristan considered the young man seriously for once, as difficult as that was. This was the second time he'd tried to attach himself to their business, something that provoked an array of questions. What was his agenda? Was he really a "gun extraordinaire" or just posturing? How would taking him along affect the mission? He'd eventually have to be let in on the details of what they'd been commanded to do, possibly who they worked for as well. They'd been told to be discreet. He supposed they could always kill him once his usefulness, still theoretical, had been expended. Aator should be capable of that. If he was as he said he was then he might be an asset. On the other hand if he was as hot-headed sober as he was at the moment he'd be liability. He needed to consult with Mae and see if she was of the same mind. They were in the same boat and, regretfully, some level of trust would need to be established.

Cristan met his gaze, holding it for a few seconds before lazily announcing "I'll consider it." He took a sip of his drink. "As should you, once this little celebration and its intoxicants have run their course."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Ben Smash » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:14 pm

"Good *urp* good, I'm gunna retire... mebbe see the medic about some detox. You can find me in the holds, sparring, if'n yeh need me." He hoisted himself up by his own collar, in a weak effort to elicit a laugh. Upon hearing none he smiled to his uncle and walked away from the table making his way to the crowd and eventually out of sight.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:07 pm

Voorhees watched the exchange between his nephew and Cristan with a half-interested look on his face, scratching at a liverspot at the base of his neck and then grunting a sigh as Red staggered off. "He's a good kid," he told Cristan once his nephew was out of hearing range, "but I fear he's taken to dark thoughts since..." he chewed his lips and then waved his hand, as if clearing the air. "Never mind that. If you want his sorry behind with you, he has not named the Pledge, he was born on the ship, and he is free to leave when he wishes to..." a small, prideful smile played over his lips, "It's a decision I want nothing to do with if I can, I love the boy, but caring for him and his mother is a task I do not see myself fit to do anymore."

"Anyway, was there anything more you needed from me, Cristan? Or perhaps you, Mae? I would ask the same of you Aator, but I hardly think I'd get a response, no offence." The silent warrior didn't seem to mind, although it was hard to tell as there'd been an almost constant scowl on his face. Mae, however, had her arms crossed and looked to where Red had disappeared off to. "Know your desire, and the sacrifices you must make becomes obvious to you." She cited a verse from Holmon's Letters, a lesser-known gospel written by the travelling missionary Holmon who was said to have brought many a planets and starfaring ships to the folds of the Imperial Faith. He had been a practical and phlegmatic and rarely decorated his texts with redundancies and glorifications. Its implications were not lost to Cristan, she considered him a functional ally, especially considering he asked only money for his service rendered.

(Alright, if there's anything more you'd like to do before By His Providence sets out again, go quite ahead, otherwise I shall proceed to make a time-skip in 1-2 days, depending on my free schedule)

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:10 pm

"Just the details of where and when we should meet you to embark, Mr Voorhees. Once that is settled we shall leave the festivities to you and your crew."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:47 am

"Most of our orbital transports will depart from Hive Tarsus, carrying the cargo we will be taking to the Fydaes system, but we have a few landers docked in the nearby Volfaire spire, third strata. You shouldn't be able to miss it really, it's the biggest port in this city." He waved them off, "now leave and take of your own business, and we will meet come sunbreak tomorrow."

---

After the meeting at the Covenant of Roses, the three departed quickly, each returning to their temporary housing for some rest and preparations. Although things had been packed and prepared, it would seem they would have to wait a little while longer for their trip off-planet. Mae and Aator parted with Cristan at the monorails, and the adept was left to his own business until dawn next day.

---

The Volfaire spire was hardly the richest, most off-limit of the many spires that littered the hive of Sibellus, but as with all others clearance was needed to the upper stratas, clearance given by the golden needles adorning each of the acolytes, and all guard-stations let them pass as soon as their eyes caught the faint glimmer of the compass-like brooches. The stratas were all just different layer of social wealth, with the difference becoming less significant the higher you came. Third strata was mostly for the fairly rich, reserved for traders, local noble-families, influential military officers or diplomats from the less wealthy planets. Security was strict, however, although the ride offered to them at the first point made the trip through the many layers of the strata far more pleasant. There were elevators, private, public and service, but their passes unfortunately allowed them passage to only the public ones, and the guard assigned to their transportation urged against it.

So it was that they were driven in a buggy-like vehicle up, ramp after ramp, until they finally arrived at the port they had been urged to meet at. Mae was once more clad in her ecclesiarchial robes, looking particularily distant and uncaring this early morning (it was hard to imagine her belonging to the same cult as many of her more... enthusiastic brethren), while Aator wore the same things as yesterday, the brooch pinned to the chest of his quilted, sleeve-less coat.

The Space Port was surprisingly compact for one of its kind, doing away with much of the grandeur and splendor to make room for as many shuttles and ships as possible, with inter-port carriages zooming past filled with people, luggage or equipment. Crew-men, all dressed in subtle terracotta with navy-blue trims that seemed to be the official color of the port, perhaps belonging to the merchant house that ran the service. Tech adepts and servitors bustled around, servicing carriers with the proper ointments and rites of maintenance.

It took some time to find Voorhees and his company as voidborns were rather plentiful, but soon enough they made themselves to the personnel transporter that would serve to bring them to the By His Providence, docked in orbit. The shuttle had clearly been customized to resemble the Lunar Cruiser in style, with a golden aquila adorning the bow, colored in the same soft chestnut and matted gold of its mothership. A long range of servitors were clanking away at refueling, basic maintenance and check-ups before the launch, whilst Voorhees and his crew were chatting away idly. When he noticed the three, the first mate gave another hearty laugh.

"And so they arrive, just in time." he proclaimed, arms open in a welcoming gesture, "we were just discussing whether you three would make it in time, and Troff here was of the idea that you had pawned away your 'golden tickets' for some quick gelds." he chuckled and motioned for two men who stood amidst the voidborns, distinctively out of place. One man, Cristan recognized, was the one he'd spotted leaving the Covenant of Roses the day before, the other was a tech-priest dressed in the red robes of the Machine Cult.

Troff seemed about as rough-looking as he had the last time he'd seen him. He was strangely reminded of the First Mate's nephew, Red, when he looked at him, but it was clear that Troff, with his gang-markings, pierced face and intricately cut hair and beard, was one of the hive's scum, the hive-gangers that waged their constant war over anything and everything in the lower hives. The consistant color seemed to be a deep, sickly green, with streaks of it running through his hair, the choice electoos on his bare and muscular arms, and his clothes. A pair of laspistols hung at his sides, the grips carved and colored with the same matt green. He had been speaking with some of the women that had been entertaining Voorhees at the Covenant with an almost predatorial look in his eyes, but he'd turn to watch the new arrivals, his deep and gritted voice fading away as he glared at Cristan and Mae, spitting out a toothpick he'd been chewing on.

The techpriest, of indeterminable gender, had been listening to the conversation, but had not yet spoken, turning its attention to the acolytes as well, tiny vents and grills in the mask that covered the visible parts of its face expunging small clouds steam at a regular pace, the clicking and whirring of a partly mechanized body barely audible under the din of the active port. The hood of the robes was up, but a faint glow of an augmented eye was barely visible under a crease of cloth, observing silently but for the occasional whirr as it adjusted its sight.

"The others I mentioned," Voorhees proclaimed, although aimed at the acolytes or Troff and his tech-adept was uncertain. "Now that we are all here, perhaps we can get aboard? Captain Maximilian is a patient man, but we are on a mission that unfortunately cannot be haltered by the fickleness of our travellers."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:39 am

Cristan was dressed as he had been before, all grey and black. He looked distinctly out of place amidst the collection of distinctive individuals. He'd spent the past few days continuing his research of their destination. It had pained him when he'd left the Lexis Maxima. All that knowledge for the taking, and now he was being dispatched to some far-flung corner of the sector, possibly never to return to this world. The reality his task was dawning on him, and the good mood he'd been in two days ago was now inhumed.

"Lead the way, Mr Voorhees." he said sullenly.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:07 pm

Indeed the pain of abstinence was already gripping Cristan at the thought of travel through the empyrean, stuck together with a quiet and all thing considered arrogant member of the ecclesiarchy and the even less talkative guard assigned to the two.

Mr Voorhees, however, didn't seem to notice the slight anguish the adept was suffering under, but simply nodded and turned to another individual dressed in the oil-stained and weathered robes of the machine cult. "Are we ready to take off?"

"The proper incantations and unguents have been performed, m'lord," the tech-priest replied with a voice unmodified by any vox-technology, "the machine spirit has shown that it is ready and willing to carry you unto the By His Providence."

"Good. Shall we get aboard?" he turned to look at the adepts, shooting a glance at Troff and his companion. "Once we have settled into the ship, I will leave you to the care of my nephew, he'll show you where you will be bunking." he grinned and threw a wink to Red, who was standing in the crowd looking fairly weather-beat, but definitely more sober than yesterday.

A loud hiss erupted from steam-pressurized pistons as the large cargo-doors of the shuttle unfolded the hatch that would allow them entrance, the inside of the ship decked out with luxurious seats of plastisteel adorned in cushions and arm-rests of silky cloth arranged neatly in ten rows of five seats, two at each side and one in the middle, flanked by passways. The crew all shambled on, many more resembling the First mate's status, and Truff motioned for his silent comrade to get aboard, casting another glare at the acolytes.

((Will update with another post soon on my lunchbreak))

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:23 pm

The acolytes got seated together with the rest of the crew, Mae and Aator seated near Voorhees and his nephew, while Cristan found himself with only one seat left, against the wall next to Troff. The scruffy-looking man shot yet another angry glare at the adept, but whether he had something personal imagined against the unbecoming man, or if he had a hard case of constipation was anyone's guess.

The shuttle jerked into life suddenly, lamps and indicators flickering between green, red and nothing for a few seconds before stabilizing, the red glare of pressure-drop in the cabin outshining the others. Cristan could see Voorhees give a chuckle and point the other initiate and Aator to it, saying something inaudible above the machine-spirits rumbles. Then they lifted, and the feeling of gravity gripping at them with its pincers vainly. Soon they were blasting through the busy skies of the sector's capitol-planet, and although the shuttle lacked any windows in the passenger-cabin, it was obvious that the pilot, whoever it was, knew what he was doing. Turns were performed gradually, never sharply, and without any incidents, nor barely any airbumps, they were soon leaving the atmosphere, a quick rumbling soon giving away to the disturbing peacefulness of zero gravity... then the artifical replicate of it turned on, and a few free-floating objects fell with a smatter to the floor, in particular a golden brooch that had belonged to Aator, it seemed he hadn't fastened it properly.

For a while no one said anything, but then busy chatter once more filled the cabin, and kept on for a good while before the pilot declared over the internal vox-speakers: "We are approaching By His Providence at good speed, sirs. I would advice against walking about the cabin as we are currently in the process of hailing, and will commence docking procedures within five rounds. Thank you." The voice of the pilot spoke in the same kind of drawl that Voorhees and his nephew spoke, not to mention quite a lot of the crewmembers. "Control claims priorities, so circling-duty in effect."

True to his word, the pilot soon turned on the cautionary alert-button, and rumbling once resumed as the gravity field of the enormously large Lunar Cruiser enveloped their own, and tractor rays, old technology constructable only on Forge Worlds where none but the most powerful magos knows the secret blueprints, gripped them, hauling them into the large hangar. Most of the void-borns continued their talks uninterrupted, but next to Cristan Troff was looking pleasantly green, apparantly not quite used to the procedures of space travel.

The ship rumbled and quaked ferociously for a short while before one last, loud thump indicated that they had once more landed. The hiss of pressurized safety-switches and the airlock overwhelmed all sound for an instant, only to be replaced by the muffled sound of activity outside.

Getting out, the passengers of the shuttle became witnesses to a spectacle few of them would have expected. The large hangar was bustling with activity like the hive of insects. All around them were military class troop and vehicle transports, unloading their cargos. Men, all wearing the standard-issue armor of the Imperial Guard, walked in large formations, their numbers uncountable, some obscured by rumbling tanks and APCs, large artillery cannons and anti-air flak.

"Ah, our cargo." Voorhees proclaimed with a loud laugh as he exited the shuttle behind the acolytes, "I'd expected them to be done with boarding by now, but it's got to be by the book." he turned to Cristan and Mae and grinned toothily, gems sparkling on his teeth, "Scintillan 416th, transported to the Fydaes system. You're hitching a ride with them." he gave another laugh and continued onward towards a small bus-like vehicle parked at one of the walls, a personnel-carrier for use along the main routes of the ship. "Don't know what Max's thinking, shipping the Guard, but I'm not employed to question..." he muttered. "Red, get them accustomed. You know the drill, Personnel quarters B-164, just grab anything that's free, kick out any of these grunts who don't belong and for the Golden Throne's sake, get yourself out of that jumpsuit and into something clean." he chuckled as he got seated in the vehicle, a few other key personnel getting on and the servitor manning it lighting up once the first mate punched in the destination. With a soft whirr the mono-rail underneath it lit up and the carrier rolled away at a surprisingly brisk pace.

Troff had recovered somewhat from the ride and he and his ever-silent companion approached the others. "'s grit'n clear us don't ride'n da'un," he growled, chewing on something, "'s dun ann'stand whey 'e hants we sheer bounks wivvem." he gave the acolytes a brief nod, his thick hiver dialect harsh and raspy to hear.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:28 pm

Cristan had reprimanded Aator for not securing his broach properly, making sure that the brute recovered it and fastened it to his person with more care. Such a thing was worth more than most men were. Once disembarked he waited for Mr Rider to lead them to their quarters, making a point of ignoring the burly Troff. If the man couldn't speak the Emperor's Gothic half-decently then he clearly didn't have anything of importance to say.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Ben Smash » Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:25 pm

Red loved this, the pomp n circumstance, cause it meant for every thousand men, there were at least 100 who wanted to drink an gamble and... oh what a good time it'd be.

Gleefully addressing Cristan, now: "Oi, looksee Guvvie, I'm er'e as a favor to me ole Uncle and outta sheer boredom. So no bossin me about, lest ye want the rooms I find us to be in steerage!" He gave a quick shift on his feet and his mannerism appeared lighter and more friendly, "I ain' in nonya 'air if'n ye'ain' in mine, understood?" He straightened, "I'll do what I kin to see that me Uncle's good name is represented among ye," turning on his boot he spoke at Aator now,"Oi, Big Lad, Wussay 'oo an I get acquainted with a couple guards on state room duty? I'm sure we could talk our way up there, given the chance. I'll see the quartermaster about threads an' shite as well. Don' wanna show about like a tatty mid-ship beggar, now do ah?!"

He belched ever so slightly, dazed at his own sudden cognizance. He began to case the crowd and the entrances...

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:38 am

Aator had looked... embarrassed at the incident, which he should be, considering the going-prize for it, and Mae seemed sufficiently pleased with Cristan's harsh words that she didn't add anything herself... but she seemed fairly uninterested in the monetary value, and the personal responsibility Cristan had shouldered to get them for the trio.

Troff shot Red a doubtful glance, but didn't say much, just keeping his arms folded and stamping his feet impatiently. He still looked the worse to wear, the trip to the cruiser, not to mention the artificial gravity and general feeling of near-vertigo, had him ill at ease. The techpriest, as usual, said nothing, but a soft click from inside its cowl interrupted the regular interval of the breathing apparatus, the whirrs and clicks of something moving around, and when next its breathing resumed the sound was slightly lighter, less strained.

Aator, meanwhile, gave Red a somewhat... surprised, and almost indignified, and a smirk crept over Mae's face as she turned to Red, "I am sure he is thankful for your hospitality, but I can't help b-" she is interrupted, surprisingly, by Aator who raises a hand and shakes his head, nodding in turn to Red. He seems at the brink of saying something, but his sewn together lips prevents him from, and he merely shrugs to Mae.

There are countless walkways honeycombing the ship, ranging from the well-lit main-tunnels of the carrier Voorhees took, to maintenance lines of all kinds, some even so far out that the air-filters have long since stopped functioning and the passages are riddled with old spare parts and half-caved in doorways.

Red:
Spoiler:
You're free to take the acolytes whichever passageway you feel is easiest and most interesting. You know your way around most, if not all of them, and for the oxygen- and gravity-free tunnels, there're always stations with the equipment you need to traverse them available.


(Many apologies for the lateness of this, I have had ample time, but squandered it.)

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:48 pm

Cristan was not pleased by Aator's sudden wilfulness. He'd assumed that the man had been spared lobotomy and repurposing due to his willingness to serve and a respect for authority. Either the adept had been mistaken or, more worryingly, Aator considered himself a peer rather than an underling. Coming to an understanding with Mae became his top priority. At the very least he aimed to establish what sort of person she was while presenting himself as he wished to be seen; intelligent, knowledgeable, and concerned with events beyond the immediate scope of their given task.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:06 pm

For a little while nothing seemed to happen, then Red spoke up to Aator again, "Oi, bigun... an yer brover's keepah Cris ov'yonda... I've gotta proposal."

The words had barely left the mouth of the ragtag shiphand cum first mate's nephew when Mae seems on the verge of saying something, but the interested look from the warrior seems to spur on Red, and he continued, "Ew'anna 'ave a nice place fer kip & to 'ole up in, eh?" he asks the group in general, belching again before continuing, "Wossay we do a favor fer yeh friends an go fin'um a good room, I could use yeh're hand... Well... er at least yer bulk."

His words rang for a short while with no response, not that Aator could voice one, and the mute looked in confusion to the two acolytes, looking as if he'd begun to doubt his willingness to come with Red. What occured after that was more or less Red trying any way to convince the man to join with him, reassuring him of their safety (which, to Cristan at least, might've seemed somewhat flamboyant considering how they'd been left in the care of Red himself), but none of the words seemed to convince the man to join him.

Just as Red seemed to consider his strategies however, Mae piped up, that mercurial smile on her face still there as she strode up to pat the large man on the arm. "I will come with you, if you do not mind... Red, was it?"

"Oh aye, excellent, lass... Allright, I've got a dandy but we must be quick. Try an keep up."

The priestess nodded politely and stepped to join Red while Aator looked sheepishly around, giving a weak shrug. With a final look over her shoulder, she spoke, "We will be a short while, Cristan. Wait for us, would you kindly?"

And then they were moving, Troff staring in anger at the departing three... then he spat on the floor, "Ye kin teek yir daam plannen' an' kip'n an' shavv it, shiv. Eh'll feind ahr oun meself." stomping off through another corridor with the quiet techpriest sliding after, moving up to the man and speaking in a very hushed tone, pointing towards an access tunnel. It would seem that one, at least, knew how to find its way around a ship.

Cristan found himself alone... although the bustle of people in the docking bays did fill in the void of silence. As he stood there, quite a few of the strange void-borns of the By His Providence passed, and the sights of the Imperial warmachine unmounting from the dozen-or-so carriers was a sight in itself...

After maybe ten, fifteen minutes of waiting Mae returned at a leisurely pace, walking up to Cristan with a slight frown creasing her brow. "My apologies for the wait. Our host has seen fit to procure a suite outside of the area recommended to him. Aator has remained with him."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:13 pm

"How kind." Cristan muttered, still a little on edge from being left alone. Things were spiralling out of his control. He hadn't expected to have the run of the ship of course, but he'd been sidelined while his fellow acolyte had run off to perform some errand and ingratiate herself with their overly amicable host. "Is it just me, or are half the people here incapable of speaking a word of Throne-damned Gothic? I'm familiar with the degradation of language in more removed cultures but I'd expect better language skills from some bone-nosed primitive."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:25 am

Mae cocked her head to the side and smiled slightly, giving a barely noticeable shrug, "Perhaps you are right, but the domain of man is vast, perhaps we have simply been... unlucky?"

After saying that she turned to where she'd come from, "Should we head to our room? I fear leaving Aator with that man might... complicate things..."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:17 am

"Undoubtedly." he muttered in response, waiting for Mae to lead the way.

"So, Mae," he began once they'd been walking for a few minutes, "what do you make of this whole endeavour?"

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:50 am

Mae kept her serene smile as she walked at a rather brisk pace down the wall of the hangar-bay, swerving in and out of crowds of people with the familarness of one born and raised aboard a craft like this. "Make of this?" she mused, waiting at a corner for Cristan to catch up. With all the hustle and bustle of departure preparations, moving through the busy area was quite difficult.

"You imply our reason for travel?" her smile vanished for an instance, "I think it will be difficult... we may fail and it may end at that. But if it is His will, then I have no regrets." she folded her arms and sighed, "I do not know, Cristan. If it was an impossible task, I do not think we would have been given it, and I am certain He will make us find our path if it is His will that we succeed."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:44 pm

"I have no doubt that the task is attainable. People don't rise to the position our master holds by being whimsical and incompetent. I just wonder if we've been fully appraised about the matter at hand."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:26 am

"I..." a doubtful look passed on her face, and it looked odd. "I... honestly do not know... I doubt we have been told all of what is to come to pass on this planet. Ignorance is some times a blessing, and I am sure the divine will of the Emperor will make itself known to us." She gave him an encouraging smile as the rounded the corner and approached the area where the door to 'their' suite was located. "I will tell you why I have come to serve our master when once we are returning victorious." And with that she gave a few sharp raps on the door.

"Red, it is Mae and Cristan, open."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:38 am

"I wouldn't put all my hopes on the Emperor's providence if I were you. Those who sit on their backsides and wait for Him to intervene on their behalf are not remembered fondly, if at all."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:14 pm

There was silence from the room for a while, so Mae turned to Cristan and folded her arms, eyeing the scribe with... disappointment, perhaps?

"Do not mistake faith for laxity, Cristan." she muttered as she made the sign of the aquila almost on reflex, "If it is His will that we come through this alive and with our master's mission done, then so it will be, but I am not so presumptuous to assume He will call out to us." She gave him a slight shake of her head as she turned once more to the door, giving it another, forceful knock, looking for the first time a bit upset.

"Red, open this door." her voice had lost the calm, distance tone it had had, the edge speaking clearly of her thoughts about being kept outside.

A few moments passed when nothing seemed to happen, then with an almost reluctant sigh the door slided into the wall, revealing the lodgings inside.

Red had, indeed, delivered, as the room inside was fairly large, albeit sparcely decorated. A few recliners, two sofas and a low coffee table remained covered faintly in the dust of disuse, a glass of recently finished liquid standing on it like a testament to its new proprietor. A bottle, half-full, of fine amasec made the proof even clearer, and a small bar in the corner of the room showed rows of bottled spirits. There was a display inset into the wall, the soft light glowing red in a corner of it indicating that the machine spirit was slumbering, but not too deeply, and a faint light hung in the room, although this was most likely a choice made by their pleasantly decadent friend Red.

Two doors in a wall indicated two other rooms, presumably where cots, or even beds, might be located, although both were closed at the moment.

Aator, who had opened the door, looked sheepishly at Mae and Cristan as they entered. Of Red, there was no sign, clearly he'd dashed off somewhere in pursuit of his own, strange agenda.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:46 pm

Cristan strode into the room, pleased by their accommodations. Sparse as it was it was similar to the luxuries he'd enjoyed in the service of his former master. He helped himself to a drink and settled into one of the recliners, his bad mood subsiding gradually. The look the woman had given had angered him, though he'd hidden it well. He'd have to remove her head from the clouds one day.

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:02 pm

Mae sat down as well, looking fairly dignified as she took a glass from the coffee table, sipping at it thoughtfully as she watched nothing in particular, listening to the hum of the machine spirits around her. After a little while she closed her eyes, apparently well at rest despite the clanking and whirring of the machinery around them. Aator, however, looked occasionally at the door, restless perhaps? Or maybe worried about Red, or whatever Red was intending to do. It'd become somewhat clear that Red considered himself an authority on the ship, and wherever he'd gone, he'd be the one serving as their contact with Voorhees.

"What do you make of those other two?" Mae suddenly asked, eyes still closed, "the man dealing in souls and his quiet companion..."

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby Jak Snide » Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:32 pm

"Slaver traders, perhaps. I was not aware that such operations existed in the sector capital, so perhaps there is something else to them. I would have thought there would be places where a man might acquire the lives of others more easily."

Cristan said no more for now, instead turning his attention to his surroundings. He wanted to be sure that nobody was listening in before he spoke more plainly.

(Looking around to try and spot any vox-thieves or other snooper devices. Awareness and Common Lore (Tech) might help.)

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Re: Dark Heresy - Only in Death does Duty End

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:44 pm

Cristan spent quite a while investigating the room for any such apparatuses, Mae remaining silent for a little while and Aator watching him with a curious expression. But after a thorough search he could find none, and the metallic plates that made up the walls of the room seemed solid enough not to contain any sort of devices that could overhear them... Then again, if a Rogue Trader wanted to get his hands on a device imperceptible to most common senses, it would most likely be within his power to do so.

While half-way through his searching, Mae spoke up once more. "Unless he already had these slaves with him. A novel way of buying your place aboard a ship, that is for certain." she gave Cristan a curious smile, "Then again, a brute such as him may just as well have taken any unfortunate soul found in the lower hives with him. I would not be surprised by that."

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