Main Group: Aboard Horizon's Pride

Pulling out the small disk with a pair of forceps, Artemis asks. Curious. Have you seen anything of its like, Genetor? It seems out of place from everything else.

The disc is only a few millimeters thick. The side facing Artemis catches the light, throws it back in a scattered rainbow from innumerable tiny prisms.

Chambers' oculars widen. "It's archeotech. A device for storing data with optical variances...there were a few in the archives at my first posting that I saw once." The sensors spiral down to red pinpricks. "Omnissiah protect us. . .look at the other side, Apothecary."

The obverse of the disc is a flat grey, onto which a blasphemous mockery of the Mechanicus cog has been scrawled in black. Instead of of spokes, the wheel around the skull radiates arrows, pointed in the eight directions of the compass.

Brigadier Heth mutters a Litany against Heresy under his breath, his hand drifting down to check his laspistol.

"I think we've found our heretek, my Lords," Chambers says.

"Aye," Eldgrim said. He'd been observing the autopsy both out of curiosity and in-case either of them needed a psychic examination. "Any chance that there are other tech-priests on-board who have these implanted? Or a way to check for them?"

A scowl crosses Camael's features as he glares at the tiny symbol. "Brigadier Hesh, please order the release of crewman Bennex. And perhaps a commendation. It may have been his misfortune to stumble upon the heretek's malfeasance, but it was certainly a happy occurrence for the rest of the ship - and your crusade."

He turns to Gaius, nodding in belated greeting. "Enginseer. Genetor, is this ship equipped with a method for scanning subcutaneous layers of tissue?"

Brother Androcles

Androcles had long suspected that there was something in a space marine's genetic makeup that caused the rush of righteous hatred that he felt at seeing any sickening symbol of chaos. He felt it down to his bones, a deep abhorrence of the tiny thing in front of his eyes that called for a swift and brutal response. Still, he was an Ultramarine and his passions did not rule him. He nodded to the Brigadier in agreement with Brother Camael's suggestion. "Yes, I would suggest that the Rogue Trader return to him his freedom and commend him as well. He is, much to his chagrin I suppose, a hero." he said, cracking half a smile before he caught sight of the heretek rune again.

"Genetor Chambers, if you would, please destroy that at the earliest opportunity?" he said, the words sounding like an order despite their politeness. "I would also suggest that no one outside this room be told of this yet. We don't want any potential heretek to destroy the evidence before we can find it."

"Destroy it?! This is priceless archeotech. Even if it has. . ." Chambers breaks off. "Of course, you're right. I'll have it disposed off. . .along with the rest of Kreth. The components cannot be allowed to pollute a new generation of adepts." He tosses the relic into the small bin near his feet, then turns towards Camael and Eldgrim.

"Yes, my Lords, the handheld auspex units can detect such objects. Enginseer Gaius--you will oversee the screening of the Tech-Adepts on board." He glances down at the remains of Kreth. "They will be easy enough to check, we have fewer than two hundred aboard. We'll be unlikely to find another, though. The objects are incredibly rare. Why Kreth had one is beyond me, but clearly he had allies, more highly placed than he. Probably not on the ship."

Brigadier Heth nods. "My Lords, I'll go and report to Trader Lan and pass on your recommendation to free Bennex. I'm sure Lan will heed it." With a salute, Heth marches off.

"Get to it, Enginseer," Chambers says. Gaius bows and scuttles out the door, leaving Chambers and the Space Marines.

"Lan will want a report from us all soon, my Lords. Are there any other precautions it'd be wise to take? I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the procedures for sniffing out tainted individuals."

At the moment, i would suggest either sending the report to Lan using an encrypted transmission, or whatever medium you think will reach the rouge trader without alerting any possible heretek.

Artemis reflected that even though caution should be observed to prevent alerting any possible heretek , an aggressive approach should be used to root heresy out. What the apothecary feared was that heresy's roots may have permeated other members in the Horizon's Pride, outside the Tech Priests. A ship wide search should be conducted.

If we are searching for other possible corrupted archeotechs in the population of the Horizons's Pride, i would recommend using the ship's medicae ward. It is large and should have the facilities required to process a large amount of the crew at the time. Perhaps a mandatory medical screening can be required to scan for any more such devices. Even if we do not find any more of these devices, by conducting medical screening, it would be easier to narrow down the list to those who are displaying severe changes to behavior. Of course, any who refused to take part in the mandatory screening can also be questioned.

The Imperial Fist looked up to Chambers and his fellow brothers. What say you, my brothers?

"Perhaps we should suggest that Captain Lan engage the services of an inquisitor once our mission at Aurum is complete. As a rogue trader, he might not ordinarily wish to submit his ship to such scrutiny...but the taint of Chaos is not something to be taken lightly. Yes, I would recommend he seek counsel, at least, from the Ordo Hereticus." Camael speaks evenly and chooses his words carefully.

"Yes," Chambers says, nodding along at Artemis' suggestion. "A mandatory medical screening would be just the thing to avoid arousing suspicion. . .or panic. I'm sure a suitable excuse will be easy t find, given our mission. Avoiding the transmission of pathogens to the Auran population, for one. We will have to speak of this further. . .now I must go make my report to the Trader. Whatever my Lords need from the Machine Cult to combat this threat, you shall have." Chambers bows and hurries out the door, leaving the Marines alone in the maintenance shrine.

One by one, the thought comes to each of the battle-brothers: The Horizon's Pride boasts a crew of eight thousand. It promises to be a long journey to Aurum.

Continued. . .
The mission continues.


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