Saturday, February 12, 2011

Dark and Heretical, Rough

So, one of the things that I like to do is let the characters talk to me. I'll do something completely in their voice, in the world, as a journal or report. Then, I can expand the summary into something more robust, more detailed, and involving dialogue and character. I'm working on the first mission that Zarkov Barbossa and the rest of the team completed, and those of you who play Dark Heresy might recognize the setting.
For those not in the know, this is the Warhammer 40,000 universe, which you can go ahead and google to your heart's content. The genre is a ton of fun, a dark and gritty Imperium with an Inquisition that safeguards it from heresy, xenos, and evil.
Here's the journal that the fiction will be based on, and in a little while, we can compare it with a more fleshed-out story.

++Guardsman Zarkov Barbossa++
++Report of Action, Calixis Sector, Sepheris Secundus, Gorgonid Mine++
++The Glorious Imperium of Man++
Thought of the Day: A weak mind is a playground for heresy.
++Classified: Alpha Crimson Four++

++Our training not yet complete, I was quite surprised to read our flash-dispatch to Sepheris Secundus. Our team is newly formed, and we still had our personal gear with us. Fortunately for me, when I left the merc unit they mustered me out with my armor and las-weapons. Other members of the team were not so fortunate, and so not armed as well.

There's me, Zarkov Barbossa. I'm under no illusions about my position on this team...I've got the experience in tactics and sending the Emperor's Fury downrange, be it slugs, shot, or las-bolts. Venus is our psyker...I'm surprised she let us know, but hell, she's the Emperor of Man trusts her, or at least his servants do. I'd never worked with a psyker before...kind of spooky. Sila is our Adept...good for digging up those bits of information from the Adminstratum that mean the difference between a thumb in your arse and a target in your sights. We've also got a young tech-priest...or at least, I think he's young, because he doesn't have many augmetics...and a member of the Adeptus Arbites, the law enforcement member of our team. I'd worked with mixed squads before, but by the Throne, this would be different.

We arrived to an amazing sight...the glass city slung under the mountain...well, you had to see it. No amount of explanation can wrap a brain around it. Dammit, how do I attach a pict file to this damn journal...damn, is this thing still recording? ++sounds of striking++ -king piece of tech!
We got dropped off at a small Imperial Guard encampment, and met by a youngster that damn near pissed himself at the sight of us. He led us to his Sergeant, Raynard, who turned out to be a decent sort. He told me about a friend of his lost in the mines, and handed me a stub revolver that I think belonged to him. I promised I'd keep my eye out.

I knew something wasn't right here; there was a lot of new kit, and new troops. And worse than that, a maniacal laugh was coming from the medicae tent. I’ve seen combat fatigue before, but that was a bit spooky. I’m sure they’d seen a recent turnover, which could only mean casualties, and not a small number of them

We were led to the hab-block of the Commisar, and he looked none too happy to see us. I think he was expecting a full on inquisitor. He certainly thought we were overmatched, and I guess he was right.

Long story short, the Commisar had lost some squads down in the mine, in a section called the Shatters. Sounds ominous, right? Damn skippy it was. What little scuttlebutt I could pick up around the camp mentioned "lots of eyes" and not much was obvious these men, some of them battle hardened veterans, were uneasy. Well, I just made the sign of the aquila and met with the rest of the team. They'd been doing a bit of research on the mine, and our had been getting us vox sets to use. We assembled, and the Commisar led us down into the mine.

They'd sealed off the Shatters. Now, when I say "sealed off", I mean they built a door so heavy it took them a half hour to get it out of our way. I thought our cogboy was going to make a mess in his robes. Nah, that's probably an augmetic. Anyway, once the thing was opened, in we went. I took point, since I've got the armour. I decided to use my shotgun, thinking it would probably be close-quarters fighting. Damn, I hate when I'm right.

It was a hell of a slog, and it looked like some damage had been done. I'm no miner, but some of the rock looked baked. The Shatters had another door, which we popped through standard and quick. It was nasty behind the door. A long passage, branches off of it where the miners had followed the ore, and blood everywhere. Stupid amounts of it. I started to get a bad feeling. We took the first branch, and found a shallow pit, with a bunch of severed heads. Not good.

Suddenly, I heard a heavy breath behind me...ragged, wet. It wasn't anything my team had done since I met them, so I spun and started the shotgun up to my shoulder. A very, very ugly mutant was standing behind Venus, holding the ruined bayonet end of a lasgun high overhead. I yelled "Drop!", and luckily she did, without thinking. My first shot made a mess of the thing's chest, and we brought it down in short order. I was surprised to find that it was a guardsman...something had twisted it horribly...its face looked like it was made of wax put too close to a kiln.

Another branch, we had to pound our way through a jammed door. We found a miner in there, and he looked OK. I should have put a round in his head, but our lawboy carried him back to the door and put him outside, with instructions to go back to the Seal. The road to the warp is paved with such good intentions, or so I'm told.

Another room surprised us with 4 hostiles, all mutated like the first. I called to the tech priest and remanded him for not being able to get any flash-bangs from the unit quartermaster up top. I guess that gave Venus the idea, and I didn't know she could do it. Before I know it, she's bright and loud, and the mutants are stunned and glossy eyed. I had to really work to target them, though, as Venus started spitting lightning and floating up into the air. OK, so working with psykers is going to take some serious getting used to. I called for everyone to go right, to hug the right wall and deny half of the mutants a target. Cogboy went left. No time to think about it, I just started firing shots. I emptied the shotgun and drew the GM-6, which had the inscription "Give Em Hell" on the that's what I call it now. The mutants were unable to withstand our assault, and we were only lightly wounded...a few scratches and dings is all.

We continued to clear the place, until finally finding a large chamber with a seriously eerie pink glow. I know, pink doesn't sound too spooky, but if you were there, you'd get it. A crystal was pulsing and flashing...big one. And then out of nowhere, this one eyed green thing just pops into existence, pretty as you please. Sila and cogboy couldn't handle the sight, and took off running. The rest of us started pumping rounds into it. It seemed wobbly, and I shouted ablutions at it in the Emperor's Name, like I'd heard a priest do once in the merc company. I don't know if it helped, but it made me feel better, and that helped me put rounds into it. It smacked me a couple times with its sword, but my armor managed to hold. So I came out of that with some bruised ribs, but nothing horrible. It wasn't easy to put down, that's for sure.

Once it went down, the damn crystal starts flashing again. The Arbitrator popped a round into it, but just chipped it. I yelled for everyone to get out, and pulled the pins on three frag grenades, dropping them off at the base of the plinth. Then I ran, like I've never run before. I could have outrun a charging grox. I heard the lovingly familiar "crump" of detonation, and then the light went right again. I poked my head back in, and things looked finished.

From there, it was just clean up. I should mention that we did find the Sergeant's friend...he'd given his comrades the business end of a heavy stubber in the back. Well, that probably spared them the indignity of becoming mutants, and he took his own life afterward, so we planned to tell the Sarge he died doing the Emperor's work. Maybe that's a lie, but what the frak.

That damned miner found us again, and worse, he'd gotten himself mutated. As we were leaving, the commisar gave him the Emperor's Mercy.

As a first action, this went pretty well. The others picked up on non-verbal instructions quickly, and we managed to array ourselves well in each conflict action. And hell, we managed to live, while dealing with something horrific that could have turned us all into slavering muties. Not too bad.

Next stop, uh...some frakkin' hive world to investigate some other something. This is what life will be now. Going here, going there, doing the work of the Holy Inquisition...and busting some heads when that's called for.

Right. Done. Uh. Frak. How does this damned thing turn off? Ouch! Dammit! Where the frak is the pow++

++report ends++

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