Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

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Kelne
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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Dec 24, 2010 7:37 am

(Race is available for gunnery duties should it be desired, and yes, you count as being engaged in an endeavour. We'll leave the ship roles for the time being.)

It didn't take the augurs long to locate the Traveller, a green wireframe projected in the holotank updating as the augur stations interpreted and fed in further information. At first, the ship appeared to be of a decidedly non-standard design. Large and wide in the beam, the ship was currently presenting her stern, with twin lit engines to either side of the hull. Further returns resolved the vessel into a triple hull, not greatly smaller than the Satisfaction. One last sweep revealed the truth. Three separate ships, docked or otherwise secured together, a transport flanked by two raiders under power. The trio's course was carrying them deeper into one of the Battleground's innumerable debris fields.

For now, both parties were outside of weapons' range, though that could be changed easily enough. The initiative lay with the Satisfaction, but killing the raiders without damaging the Traveller would be tricky. Macrocannons were proximity weapons, all but certain to damage all targets in such close proximity. Even the precision lances might deal terrible damage to the transport in the event of a near miss. Some small separation was opening between the ships as the raiders cast off and made ready for battle, but the distances were still ludicrously small by the standards of starship combat.

(Combatants begin at a distance of 40 VUs, with the three other vessels in close formation and presenting their sterns to Satisfaction's port broadside. We're in combat time, but that still leaves plenty of time for conversations, with actions being resolved once everybody's declared their action, if any.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:14 pm

Rajender stroked his beard as the situation became clear. "Cunning daemons, aren't they? They know anyone responding to the Traveller would be loathe to risk damaging her but their configuration combined with cumbersomeness of the transport slows them to a crawl. Our only recourse is to close with and board them." He extended a single finger, pausing for effect before waggling the digit. He began tutting in the manner a disapproving parent would, a smile slowly spreading across his face. "That is what they assume, and perhaps it is what they are prepared for. Cunning little daemons."

He spun to face Vipsanius. "Master Rook, see that we close on them as swiftly as possible and that our lances are primed to fire." He strode towards the helm, expecting the position to be vacated in his wake. "Dauphin, my friend, I find myself overtaken by a most terrible rage. In fact I believe that I am quite unable to communicate in a coherent manner. Would you be so kind as to hail the raiders and speak for me?"

(Rajender will take the helm and bring the Satisfaction about to pursue the raiders and Traveller, using Come To A New Heading in an attempt to do so. He'll then be using Adjust Speed to close on them as quickly as possible while calling for Focused Augury and Lock On actions from the bridge crew to identify components and make the trio of ships ready for annihilation.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:51 pm

Vipsanius straightened out slightly, gave the captain a sweeping nod and stormed towards his position, chattering away in binary at the servitors and lower-ranked priests of his order as he made the proper appeals to the spirit of the ship. falling back into the role as an Adeptus Mechanicus advisor instead of renegade researcher.

((Vips will try to... appease the machine spirit? Whatever roll, I guess!)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:21 am

"It is no trouble at all, Rajender."

Dauphin strode towards the comms screen, handing his beverage off to Vispanius as he swaggered past. He straightened his posture, perhaps a not entirely un-rehearsed gesture, before keying in his comms access code. A small frivolity he had demanded be installed into the spirit- a motion and style analysis subroutine which would, as Dauphin had put it 'enhance the experience of communicating across the cold of space.' and 'help to ease the lack of physicality in these dealings.'. Steered by minute gestures and tones rarely perceptible to humans, but easily locked on by the machine spirit, the transmission would be modified- angles and colors and perspective would shift in subtle or dramatic ways, allowing Dauphin deft control over the intended audience's perceptions of the message.

The communique began simple enough; a level view of Dauphin, easy-posture assumed and a friendly half-smile upon his face. "Attention all vessels within reach of this message. I am Dauphin, conciliator on behalf of Dynasty Hakon."

Things shifted, as the angle quickly panned downwards and tilted up, Dauphin appearing to tower menacingly above the recipients. His gaze looked downward to meet it, dissaprovingly. "We know you are attempting to abscond with that vessel- mind reeling with ill intent-, and we cannot allow this. One searing blast from our achingly passionate weapons systems will ruin your day. As you will soon have the opportunity to learn, we'd much rather the Traveller sacrifice itself in a corona of ecstatic glory than to allow Justice to be cuckolded. Respond appropriately. You have mere moments."

The machine spirit's eye now homed in on the face of Dauphin's gold chrono, ticking away seconds.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:32 am

There was a delay before Dauphin received a response, the tyranny of light speed and perhaps a small moment of confusion manifesting. He was answered at last by a rough, slovenly-looking man, "Push off, you lazy buzzards," he said, "This here's our salvage." There was a trace of uncertainty in his voice however, as well there might be for one facing a ship which outmassed and outgunned his own by a considerable margin.

Dauphin exhaled sharply, and cleared his throat, the viewscreen focusing on his eyes. "The man I speak on behalf of, Rajender Hakon, is not in the business of asking twice. But, in the effort of diplomacy, I will reiterate our purpose here: You have the options of fleeing or dying. Our Lord Captain's exquisite cravings for Justice demand no less."

For a moment, it seemed Dauphin had gotten through to the man, no ready reply coming from his lips. Then he was pushed aside by a man in mismatched finery, crowned by a large faux-military hat which might perhaps have been in fashion some centuries ago. "You tell his nibs if he wants a fight he's got one!" the newcomer expounded, "Nobody comes onto the Jagged Fangs' turf and bosses us around, you hear? I'll see you hulked and your bodies drifting in the void!" And with that, apparently determined to get the last word in, the newcomer severed the connection.

With the diplomatic options exhausted, preparations for battle continued. While Vipsanius interceded with the Machine Spirits, Rajender manoeuvred the Satisfaction to his liking, then brought the engines to full burn. The raiders engaged in similar manoeuvres, splitting to either side and reorienting so that their prows faced the Satisfaction. Dauphin's communication had seemingly convinced them at the least that the transport might be fired upon. Meanwhile, the augurs built up detailed schematics of both ships in the holo-tank. The pair were built on raider hulls, with largely standard components, notably including forward-firing macrocannons and laser batteries. Both ships also sported augmented retro-thrusters scattered across their hulls. With the combatants closing fast, it would not be long before battle was joined in earnest.

(The raiders now have 10 VUs of separation between them and are each 23 VUs from Satisfaction. Traveler is 28 VUs dead ahead and not at risk of hits from stray ordnance. The raiders are likely to get the first hits in, but Satisfaction will be in range soon enough.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:49 am

Rajender gave Dauphin a complimentary nod as he moved to inspect the holo-tank once again, leaving the ship's controls in the hands of the helmsman once again. He stroked his beard as he watched the two raiders resolve into separate signatures, vaguely annoyed that he'd yet to learn their names. He'd need them for his records once they drifted gutted and ablaze through the void.

He observed the enemy, running through the conversation between Dauphin and their leaders over and over again. "I do not expect much in the way of subtlety from these Fangs. They will come at us directly, attempting to clamp down around us and bring the weapons upon their prows to bear as they attempt boarding actions." He entered his projections into the machinery before him, watching as a multitude of lines sprung into life ahead of the two craft, each a possible attack vector. "To go between them would play into their hands, even if it would present each with a broadside to contend with. I'm afraid that we will have to take them apart one at a time." He traced the Satisfaction's own course across the hololithic display. "Helm, bring us about to starboard. Auspex, give Mister Loker whatever assistance he requires. I shall be be on the Port Gundeck. Dauphin, you have the bridge."

With his orders given he turned about and strode form the bridge, intent on ensuring the gun crews were sufficiently motivated. He trusted Dauphin and Vipsanius to know what to do.

(If I'm reading this correctly then our situation looks something like this. If that's the case (and diagonal movement counts as 1.5 VUs) then Rajender's projections of the movement the enemy could take (speed guessed to be between 8 and 10) and the course of the Satisfaction should look like this. In mechanical terms what he's doing is the following:

-Standard manoeuvre action (ahead full speed, turn 45 degrees starboard after 4 VUs). Done by helmsman/crew action #1.
-Lock On action to aid Port Macrocannon Broadside. Done by auspex officer/crew action #2.
-Lock On action to aid Prow Lance Battery. Done by auspex officer/crew action #3.
-Put Your Backs Into It action to aid Port Macrocannon Broadside. Additional aid goes to Lances if he gets 3+ DoS. Done by Rajender.
-Use Exceptional Leader special ability to give Race +10 to his BS when firing the Port Macrocannons. Done by Rajender.

Once all that is done Raider 1 should be within range (albeit long range) and will receive a pounding from the port macrocannons and lances. The latter two crew actions presume that Dauphin or Vipsanius don't use them for their own purposes, of course.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:47 pm

Vipsanius took the drink handed to him, put it away wherever the moment Dauphin walked away and paid it no more heed as he uttered the ancient, coded language of the machine whilst applying his expertise to the ship's equipment.

He barely looked up as the raiders communicating with them, instead merely observing the scales and knobs on the panel before him, but as the time for diplomacy passed a slight cackle passed from his vox-enhancer.

"Truly it is a saddening day when mongrels and the waste of our proud race can find a way to command such precious relics. I wish to pick their minds, captain, I wish to know what makes them... work" If the man could lick his lips, he certainly would. "But they have already been their own masters for too long, let us destroy them."

And with that, he returned to augering the ship's targetting and scanning equipment.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:00 am

Seeing Rajender relinquish some small bit of control to him may've caused some sort of emotional reaction in Dauphin; but his shades obscured any sign. He simply grabbed a vox, and got on the horn to the secondary gunner crew.

"This is Dauphin speaking, from the bridge of our beloved Satisfaction. Our Lord Captain will be personally assisting the primary gunnery crew. Now, I won't put pressure on you unduly, as we make to turn our foes to ash. But I will tell you that his presence with the primary crew should not leave you feeling unloved- indeed, see it as a challenge, not only to prove yourselves against the first string shooters, but to show that you can perform tip top without his direct presence. I will leave you to your tasks with these thoughts."

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:54 am

As expected, the raiders took the first shots, opening up as they entered extreme range and lighting up the space surrounding the Satisfaction with laser battery fire in a manner not dissimilar to planet-bound tracers. Perhaps owing to the extended range, none of the shots hit their intended target. Satisfaction's response was more measured, the ship altering her angle of attack and moving in closer before her guns opened up. The portside target stubbornly eluded target lock, dancing at the very edge of weapons range. Race took the shot anyway, cannon bursts burning brightly but over too wide a front. Augurs showed the ship's void shields had been temporarily overloaded, but no lasting damage. By contrast, the forward target came under a hard weapons lock, and yet the range again defeated their weapons, the raider coming through unscathed.

Not notably intimidated by the Satisfation's showing, the raiders continued to bore in, each manoeuvring so as to catch the larger vessel in a devastating crossfire. The starboard vessel wound up facing Satisfaction head-to-head, in a possibly foolish manoeuvre, while the other sought to slip into the larger vessel's vulnerable stern arc. A combined barrage of laser fire and macrocannon shots overwhelmed the Satisfaction's void shields before ripping deep into her front armour. Damage reports began coming in, indicating severe damage to forward compartments but no impairment of fighting efficiency. The second ship, thankfully, enjoyed no success whatsoever with its own firing, though if it were allowed to slip into position to pound away at Satisfaction's rear arc without fear of reprisal, that could soon change.

(Since the raiders had the initiative, I've gone ahead and carried out their second turn, binging us to the top of Satisfaction's turn.

Raider 1 is now at Z8, having turned through 90 degrees to face Satisfaction. Raider 2 is at X15, and has turned 45 degrees to face Satisfaction.

A couple of lucky rolls on the part of Raider 2 mean Satisfaction has suffered 7 points of hull damage,putting her on 53/60, with a corresponding 7 points of population damage and 5 damage to morale.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:27 pm

Rajender listened to the damage reports with mounting anger. They'd wounded his ship. They'd killed his men. They'd spat in the eye of the Hakon dynasty, these honourless thieves. He steadied his trembling hands, fighting down the urge to storm off and lead a retributive boarding action against the enemy. By the Throne, he wanted their blood on his hands. He'd see the wretch who passed himself off as a captain ritually maimed had he the power. He wanted to savour the man's screams before passing him into the tender care of Vipsanius.

He stormed towards a vox station, snatching the device from the officer responsible for it. "Dauphin, keep them under our guns! Don't you dare let them slip away! Race, I want those vermin burning from stern to keel, do you hear me?!"

Still smouldering with rage, the Lord-Captain turned back to the gunnery crews and focused his wrath into words.

(Here's how the map looks, unless I'm mistaken. The Penitent Traveller might be further ahead than shown. Dauphin has the bridge, so how the Satisfaction moves will be up to him. Unless he has the Pilot (Starship) skill we'll need to spend a crew action manoeuvring the ship though. Rajender will do the following.

-Lock On action to aid Starboard Macrocannon Broadside. Done by auspex officer/crew action #2.
-Lock On action to aid Prow Lance Battery. Done by auspex officer/crew action #3.
-Put Your Backs Into It action to aid Starboard Macrocannon Broadside. Additional aid goes to Lances if he gets 3+ DoS. Done by Rajender.
-Use Exceptional Leader special ability to give Race +10 to his BS when firing the Prow Lances. Done by Rajender.

Rajender will be urging fire to be focused on Raider 2, that target hopefully being in our starboard firing arc after our move ends. If the portside macrobatteries can blast Raider 1 in the same turn then all the better.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:48 am

Vipsanius showed no emotions as the shots tore into the hull of their ships, instead his fingers slid and tapped all over the consoles he'd been set to work with, binary chitter of varying speed and intonation escaping from his vox-grill as he ordered the actions of several group of tech-adepts all at once, the tendrils of ancient technology stirring underneath his robes as his entire mind set its incredible force to work in preserving the ship they were aboard, coaxing on the powerful machine spirit and trying to ensure that the damage would be mitigated as much as possible.

[Uh... trying to do some kind of repair, otherwise I'm gonna try to put the shields back on...]

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:20 pm

Dauphin continued his attempts to spur the gunnery crew on.

"It would appear, here on the bridge, that we are suffering from projectile dysfunction. This is a shame, but fret not, for the night is still young, and though we've received a blow, this is not a race. You still have plenty of time to devastate our foes and make your Lord Captain proud. Our present disappointments can yet be averted."

(PUT THOSE BACKS INTO IT)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:52 pm

As the helmsman reduced power to Satisfaction's engines, others got on with the process of fighting the ship and repairing damage. Vipsanius abandoned the bridge in order to personally direct the repair crews, the void shields having come back up as soon as they'd bled off the excess energy they'd absorbed. Meanwhile, Satisfaction lumbered forwards, turning to bring her broadside to bear on the offending vessel, now so close that she could be seen through the viewports without magnification, albeit as a speck in space.

Between Rajender and Dauphin's words, the gun crews were truly inspired, giving that extra effort which might well turn the tide of battle. The starboard batteries spoke with fury, punching through the enemy vessel's shields, but much of that rage was spent on the ship's armour, with minimal damage to any vital systems. The lance batteries were another matter, carving through the ship's armour like butter and depressurising a swathe of her starboard quarter. It would, unfortunately, take more than that to put her guns out of commission.The portside raider proved more elusive, still in the outer envelope of Satisfaction's gunnery range. It suffered no damage from the volley.

(10 damage to Raider 2, putting it on 20/30 hull points. I've decided to expand the emergency repairs action to encompass damage suffered in the previous turn, similar to triage and giving Vipsanius something to do other than natter at the machine spirits. Unfortunately, he failed his check, so the damage stands. There are no further impacts on repairs to be made in the short term.)

The close contact with the now damaged raider was fleeting, momentum carrying her past before she could bring her weapons to bear. Augurs showed her coming about in an effort to put her weapons back into play, but fire from her macrocannons scattered wide. The second raider, by contrast, was able to close the range quite nicely, settling into Satisfaction's rear arc before unleashing her weapons. Thankfully, this prime position did not translate to accuracy from the gun crews, weapon volleys lighting up space around Satisfaction but failing to so much as impact upon her void shields. It was rapidly becoming apparent which crew was the more skilled. Or perhaps luckier.

(No damage to Satisfaction this turn. Satisfaction is at X14 facing north, Raider 1 at Z13 facing north and Raider 2 at ZA12, facing northwest.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:23 pm

"Good, good, keep your passions focused; level. Don't spend your stamina all in one go; we've got another partner to leave satisfied after we finish this one off!"

[Put yo backs into it]

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:19 am

Rajender's spirits had risen as the reports of the last volley came in. It was but a taste of what awaited the enemy.

"Bring her about, port guns to bear! Don't let that second ship escape! She'll rue the day she crossed the Hakon dynasty!"

(Map updated. Red line projects the course I think we can take, white dotted line shows the target of Rajender's choosing.

-Lock On action to aid Port Macrocannon Broadside. Done by auspex officer/crew action #2.
-Lock On action to aid Prow Lance Battery. Done by auspex officer/crew action #3.
-Put Your Backs Into It action to aid Port Macrocannon Broadside. Additional aid goes to Lances if he gets 3+ DoS. Done by Rajender.
-Use Exceptional Leader special ability to give Race +10 to his BS when firing the Prow Lances. Done by Rajender.

Let's see if we can't get multiple lances on that second ship this turn.)
Last edited by Jak Snide on Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:33 pm

Vipsanius clucked with ill-hidden excitement as the battle raged on, his spindly fingers dancing the finger-waltz across the anciest and scarred panels and keyboards. He spoke in a hymn-like voice, but the chatter and clicks of the language was clearly of tech-origin. Occasionally he pulled out a small flask of ointment, or drew his free hand across the machine in a symbolic pattern, his head hidden by the cowl of his cloak. The woman he had forcibly brought aboard was standing a few feet behind, observing his actions on his command.

[Vipsanius is trying to Aid the Machine spirit by making it better at hitting its targets! So, to Detection it goes!]

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:32 am

As Satisfaction swung further through her long turn, the port batteries spoke, a cluster of munitions bringing down the enemy vessel's void shields. It was the lance crews however, who scored the killing blow. Twin spears of light reached across the void, striking deep into the heart of the raider. The holo-tank collapsed into crackling green static, unable to interpret the augurs' input. A single glance out the viewports revealed the reason for the machine spirits' momentary breakdown.

Flares of sickly, eye-searing light illuminated space as the empyrean impinged on the material universe and reached out hungrily. All across the ship, crewmen shivered and made the sign of the aquila. Whispers hovered on the edge of hearing, and those who stared too long at the explosion felt a great eye watching them in turn. Near Rajender, a chaplain led the prayer for souls lost in the warp. For all that these men had been their enemies, a warp drive explosion was the most horrible of possible deaths, excepting perhaps a Gellar field failure. How many among that crew had truly deserved such a fate? A sure hand on the helm kept Satisfaction driving steadily away from the expanding zone of fractured reality. Their ship, at least, would be safe. Then something emerged from the crawling light.

Engines running at full burn, and perhaps even beyond, the second raider punched through the outermost tendrils of chaos-stuff and crossed Satisfaction's stern, tenacious warp-matter steaming from her hull and providing a luminous wake. All thought of tactical positioning had clearly fled the helmsman's mind, overcome by the admittedly sensible impulse to get as far away from the space their sister ship had occupied as possible.

As Rajender arrived back on the bridge, a garbled vox transmission was being piped through the speakers, "-aunch, --- ---r eyes! ---ise --- kill us all! Launch, --- --- love of Him --- Earth!"

A second transmission, equally garbled, cut across the first, "Bug --- --- for a game --- soldiers! It --- damn slaughter! --- should --- --- --- eaten! --- --- --- under --- guns! Strike --- colours you --- bound fool!"

"The first transmission's coming from the raider, sir," the vox operator spoke up, "Second one's on a thirty degree bearing. We're having trouble isolating the source. Too much interference." He sketched the aquila at the thought of the source of that interference. The warp-light did seem to be collapsing in on itself. It would be a while yet before it dissippated, but any danger it might pose to the ship seemed to be over.

(Raider 2 has been thoroughly destroyed after a series of rather frightening rolls. Nobody's in imminent danger from the swirling warp-stuff centred on ZA12, and Raider 1 is now at P13, which puts it in a rather exposed position.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:18 am

Rajender had begun hurrying back to the bridge before he was informed of the fate of the enemy, nodding respectfully to the chaplain and muttering prayers as he went. He didn't need anyone to tell him what had happened out there. They'd all felt it. There would be no restful sleep for any of them tonight. He knew that every man aboard that ship had deserved to die, each of them a traitor to the Imperium by either choice or association, but they should have gone before Him and answered for their sins. Instead they had been dragged into that hellish realm, body and soul. It was a fate he wouldn't wish upon anyone.

Still, it had been the Emperor's will that they met here and He must have ordained their fate. It was a simple rationalisation, but an effective one.

When he arrived on the bridge he'd already issued his orders over the vox. The other pirate vessel was still out there and in fighting condition, a threat to every man, woman and child aboard the Satisfaction. Target locks were to be resolved, their foe to be kept within their starboard firing arc and not allowed to slip away. He'd ordered communications opened with the pirate captain, content to let someone else worry about the ghost signals, and prepared his demands ahead of time.

"I am Rogue Trader Rajender Hakon. The Emperor's Will has been done. I did not enjoy sending your brothers and sisters screaming into the warp, but it was my duty to do so. It was their duty to follow your orders, the very orders that led to their destruction. Think of your own duty now, your duty to those that you have led astray and still live. Will they suffer the same fate as those you have already doomed? Will you condemn all those who are loyal to you to eternal damnation? Power down your drives, lower your shields, take your weapons offline and surrender yourself to judgement. I swear before the God-Emperor himself that your crew will receive fair treatment if you comply."

(Map updated.

-Lock On action to aid Starboard Macrocannon Broadside. Done by auspex officer/crew action #2.
-Lock On action to aid Prow Lance Battery. Done by auspex officer/crew action #3.
-Hail the Enemy. Done by Rajender.
-Exceptional Leader will be used to aid either Dauphin or Vipsanius, depending on what they're doing and who claims it.

If Raider 1 surrenders then she won't be blown apart. Let's see how honourable this captain is. Or how ruthless his crew are.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:21 pm

Vipsanius gnashed his teeth as the warp rift opened up, his very soul begging for the chance to catch but the merest glimpse of the terrors that filled these people's minds as the Empyrean's tendrils reached out to pluck their souls from their flesh, and replace them with whatever malevolent force existed inside the realm of chaos.

Oh how he longed to pluck at the gray matter of these soul-less, to find out what besieged the very essence of man as darkness overtook him entirely. Not seducing, but smashing down his defenses to feed on his hopes, dreams and fears.

What he would not do to dance at the edge of that eternal Abyss, to watch and learn as Man was gifted the power to defeat his own karma, to escape the cycle of birth and death and become eternal, untouchable by everyone, but in the process losing his mortality, losing his humanity.

At what point did the man cease to be and become sustenance for Darkness? Was it like flesh, ripped apart and consumed, digested, or was it absorption, includation, becoming a conscious part amongst conscious parts, screaming in ecstacy and agony for all eternity in the music that...

...

Vipsanius found himself lost in thoughts for a moment, but then returned his attention to the task at hand with an upset sigh, resuming the much more mundane task of flipping some levers and performing a minor and trivial incantation.

[Same as before, Aid the Machine Spirit to the Targetting System]

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:53 pm

Dauphin was mesmerized by the events playing themselves out on the holotank and through the viewports.

He signalled the helmsman. "Steer clear of the rift. But not too clear. We wouldn't want to appear to be slipping out the boudoir window, would we?"

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:21 am

Dead silence resounded from the vox for a good minute before a new voice rang out, "Aye, yer tradership, we ... render. Shields ... crews're shuttin' down the reactors as we ..." Unless Dauphin missed his guess, it was the very same crewman who'd responded to their original hail, "Cap'n's ... cust ... ... ing yer pleasure."

Augurs read the raider's shields winking out almost immediately, though the plasma drives took a good fifteen minutes to cycle down all the way from full thrust. Still, the steady drop-off in power gave no cause to open fire. By that time, vox channels had largely cleared with increasing distance from the collapsing wap-overlap, allowing a less garbled conversation. Augurs were still working to track down the source of that second transmission. Whatever it might be, it was running quiet.

(Apologies for the delay. Uni-related distractions and procrastination are to blame there. Combat is now over, leaving us with the post-battle mop-up to sort out.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:33 am

"Send a boarding team over to secure the captain. Maintain target lock and weapon power. Dauphin, take Vipsanius and go with them. Assess the worth of the ship and her crew."

Rajender was at peace now. Further bloodshed had been avoided, the casualties amongst his men already being too great for his liking, and he would have the man responsible for this debacle brought before him and made to answer for his crimes. He was inclined to deliver the man too the Temple-Shrine so that he may confess his sins before going to face the Emperor. It would be the proper thing to do, after all, but his mind was divided. One voice told him to throw the man to the prow gun crews, the ones who had suffered most grievously during the battle, and give them the opportunity to repay the outlaw captain for the suffering and death he'd inflicted. Another, darker voice suggested gifting the wretch to Vipsanius and having the tech-priest ensure that the good captain served the Hakon dynasty for the rest of his days.

He shook his head, casting aside thoughts of revenge in favour of more immediate concerns. The captain was theirs now and his fate could be decided upon at Rajender's leisure. The rest of the pirate crew were a more pressing concern. He had promised them fair judgement and, being beyond the boundaries of the Imperium, it fell to the man bearing a warrant of trade to decide what punishment was warranted. He needed a clearer picture of events.

"Hail the Traveller. Let them know about the fate of their attackers and put me through to a God-fearing soul."

He didn't doubt what would become of any pirates left aboard the transport when its crew discovered that they had a significant numerical superiority.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:56 pm

Vipsanius strode away from his console, plans already forming in his mind as he paused at a console long enough to send a general message to the men under his command. 'We are boarding the ship'.

While many of the tech-adepts under his command would obviously be mostly interested in salvaging the tech aboard the ship and reclaim it for the dynasty, Vipsanius had, truthfully, little interest in the machines themselves. Indeed, the machine spirits were always a source of silent wonder, he knew very well why the rules of a completely self-sufficient machine was in place, he had read the legends, but without something so complex to analyze, he had quickly grown bored of the sterile and systematic mind of the ships.

Most of the time anyway, this ship still had an annoying habit of surprising him when he'd thought he had it's nature pinned under his lens.

But for now, he wanted first hand to get his fingers on the crew of this new ship... obviously he would be restricted by that dreadful man Dauphin if he was too obvious about what he wanted, but this would be a useful lesson for the woman and the children she had brought with her.

Vipsanius had left her flesh untouched for now, theirs too, as he wanted her to take the first steps out of the life she had lived, and into the logical, systematic life of the Mechanicus herself.

"Ceska, come with me, child..." he told her through the special vox-link he'd given her. "We shall conduct your first lesson, let your offsprings remain behind, they shall attend the rituals of upkeep and aid in the repairs of the ship."

Once he had sent his order, he proceeded towards the shuttle, expecting to have about a few dozen with him for fire-support.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:06 pm

The arrangements were made in due course and a boarding party dispatched to secure the raider, whose hull proclaimed her to be the Enduring Glory. Walking the passages of the ship with their escort and one of the ship's officers, Dauphin and Vipsanius could sense a great deal of nervousness from the crew, exemplified by a general unwillingness to meet their eyes. They lived beneath the guns of a larger and potentially very angry enemy, and at any moment, their world might end in fire. Fearful or not, there was also a degree of sullenness. In other circumstances, these men might have been marching through Satisfaction as conquerors, however unlikely that might seem in hindsight.

In all, Glory came across as an older, more run-down ship than Satisfaction, though there was no way of knowing which was the older ship in truth. Where Satisfaction was a treasured relic and the jewel in the Haakon dynasty's crown, Glory was a workhorse maintained only so far as necessary to keep her livable and in fighting trim. Nevertheless, Vipsanius' expert eye could tell she was built on solid bones, and given a few dedicated servants of the Omnissiah directing the crew properly, she could be made to shine. So far as the crew went, they were a ragged, ill-disciplined lot, with little differentiation between men and officers save for perhaps the occasional item of choice plunder. Such items were not plentiful, indicating either a lack of rich prey or less than equitable distribution of loot. For all the crew's ragged appearance, shrines and aquilas were not uncommon, indicating that they had kept their faith, unlike many other renegades. There might be hope for Glory and her crew yet.

The bridge was a reflection of the rest of the ship, in many ways. On the whole, the bridge crew were less ragged, but with no discernable uniform to be seen. A pair of banners hung from the rear bulkhead, trophies from some battle perhaps. At the centre of the bridge, battered, bruised and on his knees, was the captain, secured by a set of manacles and watched over by a grim-faced man with a lasgun. The rest of the bridge crew were conspicuously unarmed, some with empty holsters indicating they'd been carrying weapons until fairly recently.

---------------------------

Rajender, for his part, was on the receiving end of an outpouring of thanks from the Traveler's captain. Or rather, her promoted first officer. There had apparently been a struggle for control of the bridge following Satisfaction's arrival on the scene.

"There are still a few holdouts scattered across the ship. Boarding parties that were left behind. The crew's dealing with them though. It's the engines that concern me, Lord Trader. Those pirates crippled us quite deliberately. It would take several weeks in port to see them repaired. As it is, I fear I must ask for passage for my crew and passengers."

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:05 pm

Vipsanius strode, completely fearless, through the corridors of the conquered Glory, his rust-red robes billowing around him as he moved with a surprising speed and purpose, his usual reserve gone as he mentally made note of every ill-dressed and down-trodden soul he passed. He had already exhausted himself researching on the lowlife aboard their own ship, and he very much doubted these scums would have much else to offer. No, he wanted the brain of the operation...

Failing that, unless someone stood out, there was little chance any of them would have the immense pleasure and priveliege of being under his scalpel this evening.

Thus, as he arrived at the bridge with an escort of adepts and armed grunts his eyes fell upon the captain. With a tiltilating chuckle of glee he moved up to him, his symbol of office tap-tap-tapping against the floor rapidly.

"Albroth, Melena, Figaro and Typhaeon, I ordain you with the task of ensuring that the soul of this vessel has understood its fate. We shall have to present offerings to appease it and still its bloodlust until we can ensure it appreciates serving once more under the Imperium's ever-expanding grasp." he chuckled wetly before turning once more to the captain, the adepts scuttling over to the consoles and working them feverishly.

"Interesting, this, that a man of such low moral fiber would not be lying in a pool of, ehe, his own blood, no?" he grasped the chin of the captain and raised his head to stare into his eyes. "What drive is there inside you, fellow man, to turn your back on the Imperium that fed and clothed you, the light that shone upon you and blessed you with life and purpose? What devils did you deal with to come to where you are right now...?"

For a while the only sound was the soft whirring of the optical lenses readjusting themselves, then once more there was a wet cough-like laughter from Vipsanius.

"Speak up man, or I shall have your brain vat-cloned to suffer a thousand life-times of terror and pain..."

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:12 pm

Rajender used the absence of Dauphin and Vipsanius as an opportunity to vent his frustration. The bridge officers were Hakon men one and all. They would understand the outburst without perceiving it as a sign of weakness or mental instability. He needed to depart swiftly, pursue that wretched thief Fel and ensure the future of the dynasty. But how could he abandon loyal citizens of the Imperium in such a place? More wretches would be upon them before they could complete their repairs and then he might as well not have intervened to begin with. There was also the matter of the pirates. Their deeds warranted destruction but, if preliminary reports were to be believed, to do so would be such a waste. He dreamed of what could be even as the practical side of his mind warned him against such action.

He stormed off the bridge, flinging one final curse into the air before making his way towards the Temple-Shrine. Surely the Emperor would grant him the calm and insight he required. He still had time before the others returned.

(Waiting on Dauphin and Vipsanius to return before making any decisions. Until then he'll be among the faithful, praying and perhaps talking with the clergy.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:39 pm

Dauphin had been quiet during the tour of the Glory, trying to calculate the precise actions he should take. The precise actions he should direct the Lord Captain to make. His mind was on the true treasure. This ship was not a prize in of itself, but may make itself worthy as a tool. He had been following Vispanius idly, as he let his team of factfinders scour the ship for any smuggling holes or troves of particularly tasty treats. But still his mind was not too enthused. Especially as Vispanius made threats and such.

"Vispanius, you know better. A hammer, a nail, and a plank must all be held in place to be made use of fully. But you do not hold a hammer by its head, nor a nail where you intend to strike it, nor a plank where you wish to drive the nail. See that you use your Emperor given hands to be more skilful in your work. See that you remain close and at the ready, and yet not in the way."

He cleared his throat, a delicate but sure gesture. And then he reached for the vox controls he had not too long ago been on the other side of, and hailed as much as the ship that would be in ear shot of whatever voxes continued to work, and if possible, relayed to the Satisfaction.

"Hear this, hear this."

He gave a slight moment for any aboard to recognize his voice.

"Your property and person has been quite handily confiscated by the illustrious Hakon Dynasty, on whose behalf I speak. Count yourself lucky to have not fallen into the void, a fate which even now is dealing itself unto half of your 'crew'. This Is The Consequence Of Your Chosen Paths In Life. But you may yet be redeemed. Fall in line under our orders, make yourself useful to our cause, and you may, within the next few years, find yourself free to live your life in such a way as to balance out any negative deeds you may have accrued in the Emperor's eyes. But for now you are our tool. It is so dark here, at the edge of space. So dark at the brink of the void. The Hakon Dynasty brings some minor light with it, enough light shed so that one may see beyond it to the glowing heart of the Emperor himself. And you are now its tool. You are its scythe to sweep this way and that, and to cut down its foes as weeds. You are its spade to dig up the roots where they have grown, affording them no future quarter. You are its flame to burn that waste to the finest ash, and the wind to blow that ash to the four corners of the galaxy. Through the Hakon Dynasty, you will be made into many things. It will be as if your sins never existed, nor had reason to exist."

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:29 am

"Do not lecture me, Dauphin." Vipsanius blurted with a huff, slamming the foot of his poweraxe into the floor, "and do not presume that your idealism will relieve these men of their sins. That is Ecclesiarchy matter, the soul is not our domain." he couldn't keep the anticipation out of his voice however, even with the vox-grill filtering his faint, whispery tone. "Naturally they will serve us or die here, or as penal legionnaires defending the borders of our domain..." he looked out at the crew, his gunmetal augmentations reflecting the faint light in the roof.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:27 pm

Pulling away from the vox equipment, Dauphin adjusted his shades for a split second, leaving them exactly as they were.

"The hammer, the plank, and the nail. The goal is something that can hold itself together well after you've pulled your hands away."

And then he strode off, intent on making his way back to the Satisfaction.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:15 pm

It was a debatable point whether Dauphin and Vipsanius' speeches were having the desired effect. The bridge crew certainly seemed suitably terrified of Vipsanius, but whether that would translate into obedience in their absense was another matter. Regardless, the spokesman's voice held steady as he responded, "Sirs, Enduring Glory stands at your service. We will strive to be worthy of your trust."

The captain, at last, found his voice, "You spineless curs!" he snarled, "Three generations free and here you are, back under the lash. Your ancestors would spit on you!"

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:01 am

"Tut tut, do not berate these brave souls, my dear captain..." Vipsanius strode up to the man and trailed his finger across his scalp. "Guards, bring him back with us to our ship, and the bridge crew will likewise be brought with us..." he looked back and forth for a little while before laughing.

"For an audition with the captain, of course. No, the only mind that interests me at the moment is that of your leader, breathe out for now... and keep faith that your sudden piety will be enough to save your souls for now..."

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:37 am

Rajender's prayers were briefly interrupted by a message from the bridge. There had been another signal from their phantom transmitter, wanting to offer a surrender. This had been enough for the augurs to narrow down a source - a small weapons platform hidden among the debris of the Battlefield. With his permission, they would send a cutter to collect the officer in charge.

With the bridge crew in tow and Vipsanius' underlings busy carrying out their orders, the pair made their way back to the cutter and from there back to Satisfaction. Despite the apparent cessation of hostilities, the ship remained on high alert, guns trained on the Glory as damage control teams went about the grim business of patching up the ship and counting the dead.

Dauphin and Vipsanius' party collected another 'guest', deposited by a second cutter shortly after their arrival. This would be the commander of the weapons platform, who, according to the crew who'd brought him in, had three shipkiller torpedoes in his charge, now safely cold and locked down. The group of enemy combatants, now a dozen in number, were marched through Satisfaction's passageways to the location Rajender had selected as most suitable for their interviews.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:49 pm

The news of the weapons platform had surprised him and he thanked the Emperor for small mercies. The captain of it had been wise to surrender; Rajender was willing to risk the Satisfaction against the likes of raiders. Torpedoes were another matter. He'd borne witness to potency of such weapons once before and, up until a few hours ago, they had been responsible for the most devastating destruction of a ship he'd ever seen. If he'd learned of the platform by any other means he'd have annihilated it without delay. Now the platform's crew would join their kin in whatever fate awaited them.

There was only one place suitable for what he intended. They had transgressed, attacking vessels in service of the Throne in the pursuit of selfish gain. He had promised them fair judgement, and judged they would be. The greats saints of the Calixis looked down on them as the entered the Temple-Shrine, each sculpted to be ten times he hight they stood in life. Drusus the Warrior was the greatest of them, standing at the right hand side of the the greatest statue of all. The God-Emperor of Mankind, rendered in his full glory, stared down on all who entered the Temple-Shrine.

He'd called the crew together for this. Father Licaon and his priests were present of course, the missionary bellowing a sermon from atop the pulpit, fully in his element. Rajender marvelled at his zeal, often problematic but always inspiring. They'd conferred briefly beforehand and Deir had picked out something that suited the occasion. He spoke of the virtues of loyalty and duty, how every man served a master and in doing so served His will. Obvious, perhaps, but effective. As the sermon ended the pirates were brought forward, Rajender rising to stand before them, the God-Emperor at his back. He took in their faces, attempting to divine the nature of each man's soul. A futile act, but the Emperor would reveal all in time. He gestured to the one man he already knew the character of. The captain was forced to his knees.

"You stand before the Emperor accused of treason, having slain His servants and led your men from His light. How do you plead?"

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:42 am

"Plead?" there was a quaver to his voice, but still the captain spat defiance, emboldened by the desperate courage of one facing certain death either way, "You're nothin' but a man with a big stick when all's said an' done. I'll not beg to the likes of you. An' you, you treacherous curs," he snarled, wrenching his head around to face his former crew, "We'll see who's got the biggest stick in the end. The Old Man won't forget this. I'll see you all in Hell!"

Few among the crew would meet that wild stare, but none spoke up on their captain's behalf. Here and there, some made the sign of the aquila, though whether invoking the Emperor's protection for the man's poor damned soul or for themselves was an open question. There seemed little doubt as to the reward for his defiance.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:47 am

Rajender stared at the pirate captain. He, a mere mortal, was all this man saw before him. So blind. His ignorance and impiety appalled him. When he next spoke he chose his words with exceptional care, his voice slow, purposeful and full of menace.

"I have presented you with a chance to confess your sins. Here, under the eyes of the God-Emperor himself. You have spurned this mercy. If you will not atone in word than you shall atone in deed." He lifted an arm, extending it fully and gesturing to Vipsanius. "Fashion this wretch into a proper servant of the Emperor. Perhaps he shall learn something of duty before his mortal frame fails him."

(Will hold off on posting more until Vipsanius is done removing the captain.)

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby ChristianC » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:37 pm

Vipsanius had enjoyed the pleasant surprise in the form of a weapon platform, and he had ordered that a shuttle be sent to it to procure as much of the tech as viable, surely they would have need for it, and leavening the machine spirit alone and abandoned was against all his order stood for.

And now, yes, he had been standing amongst the other adepts of the Omnissiah when his name was called, and with a solemn silence he stepped up to the bound captain, turning his masked head, tendrils of breathing-aparatuses and other such dangling from his face like some manner of octopus creature.

"Naturally, my lord. His penance will be served..." he glanced at the man, "and his mind shall be... ah... eheh, eheheheh... scoured." With that he motioned for two of his assistants, burly men more guards than anything, to drag the captain off towards the Enginarium...

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Capntastic » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:05 pm

Dauphin watched the proceedings, not really wishing to interfere or add anything at the moment. This delay had been exceptionally draining, and he wished to force his mind back on track to the true matters at hand. None of his frustration showed, of course.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:00 pm

Rajender watched the captain depart, dragged away by Vipsanius' goons before turning his gaze back to the others who had been brought here to account for their sins.

"You too stand before the Emperor, accused of treason, one and all." He spoke the accusation carefully, contrasting these words with the curt manner he'd addressed their ex-captain in. "You are accused of having attacked good, loyal servants of the Throne, robbing them of their lives and plundering their riches. You are accused of interfering with His divine plan and the manifest destiny of mankind. You have been brought here to account for your actions." He narrowed his eyes. "Choose your next words with exceptional care."

Now they would see exactly what stuff these men were made of.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Kelne » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:23 am

In the end, it was the platform commander who spoke first, "Sir, we've all of us been outside the fold a long time now. Our loyalties have been to ship and crew above all. I've seen where that gets us. My shipmates died alone in the night, waging war on their brothers. They will have no memorial, no legacy save that here, on this day, the Emperor's vengeance caught them at last. We've our crimes to be answered for, and we'll face your judgement for them." With that, he knelt, head bowed towards the statue of the God-Emperor.

"Living free only worked for them as were on top," an older crewman spoke up, voice laced with bitterness, "The rest of us winds up with a great murthering bastage as cap'n 'cos of who his grandad was, an' nobody willin' to do an honest day's work less they're bullied into it. Well, good riddance, says I. Least we'll see the ship tended by some proper Mechanicus, 'stead of the dabblers we've got now."

There were a couple of frankly incredulous looks from the remaining crew at this outburst, but there was a general murmur of agreement, with the platform commander's sentiments if not perhaps with the old man's. Each in turn went down on their knees, awaiting whatever fate might befall them.

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Re: Rogue Trader - Greed is Eternal

Unread postby Jak Snide » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:15 am

"Kill them" was the first thought that entered Rajender's mind, one that he swiftly discarded. They'd confessed to their sins and, by the traditions of the Ecclesiarchy, all that awaited them now was a few hours on the scourging rack and the inevitable dispatching of their souls to Him for judgement. That wouldn't do. He'd been brought here for a reason. They all had. The Emperor had seen fit to orchestrate this whole series of events. The capture of the transport, the Satisfaction's timely arrival, the ensuing battle and the outcome of it. Several thousand souls had been sent screaming into damnation, but their sacrifice had sobered each and every one of those who still lived. There was a purpose to all this and now, as these traitors knelt before him and the Emperor, he saw it.

"The strength of the Emperor is Humanity, and the strength of Humanity is the Emperor. If one turns from the other we shall all become the Lost and the Damned." He let those words linger for a moment. "Saint Thor knew the full truth of those words when he spoke them, a truth that others often struggle to grasp. Your captain has turned from the Emperor, scorned his mercy and branded himself as a traitor. There can be no forgiveness for him. Many would say the same of you, your fel deeds proof of your damnation, but I am not so certain. Even as you sunk deeper and deeper into darkness you never forgot the Emperor. You have strayed from the path of the righteous, yes, but have you renounced it?"

He turned, staring up at the visage of the God-Emperor. "Every man, woman and child of the Hakon dynasty endeavours to carry out His will. We journey into the darkness, bringing His light to those the Imperium has forsaken and forgotten. You have lived by candlelight until now, clinging to sparse illumination your traitorous captain would permit you. I offer you the chance to cast off the fate he decided was fit for you. A chance to seek penance for your sins, a chance to do the Emperor's work out in the forgotten reaches of the void." He looked back at them, speaking with genuine fervour. "At this very moment we pursue a great treasure from a bygone age. A relic of humanity's glorious past. I offer you a place at our side, to share in our fortunes as we carry out His will. Do you have the strength within you to these endure hardships in search of salvation?"

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