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A place for lost characters to frolic.

   
A place for lost characters to frolic.

Dusa - Space, Unknown
Frank - Tink
Loyal/Sarcastic - Heroic/Reckless
In the infinite expanse of void chunks of spaceship, the size of small towns, tumbled gracefully. Occasionally they collided in silent slow motion devastation and releasing dense clouds of smaller chunks.

Dusa lay upon a piece of bulkhead, still warm to the touch as a testament to the heat of the monster's death throes, a thin layer of ice forming across her once sweaty features as the only indication how long she had been there. In one hand she held the broken remains of her lost lover's power sword, her lasgun and archeotech sword each flailed gently on their power hoses and in her other hand she held an Inquisitor's rosset--its emergency beacon occasionally pipping a small red activation light.

Besides her floated what appeared to be a small bundle of rags was all that remained of Frank. Her most trusted and loyal companion whom had followed her from their home planet of Elysia, joined the guard together, watched Calixis burn from the spires of Scintilla, been incarcerated in a penal regiment, been abducted by the Inquisition, sent back in time by an archeotech warp drive, conducted a gorilla campaign against traitor's to change the future-past and finally succeeded. Now, barely recognizable, her body tumbled away into the void.

They hadn't been alone, there had been a large party of Inquisitors, but as for the fate of the others only the Emperor himself could be certain. Perhaps all of them had perished. That, however, was not Dusa's fate.

Small stars appeared and went supernova less than ten meters from her body at the arrival of two teleporting humanoids in power armour. With a deafeningly loud clang mag boots touched down besides her and scooped her limp body before winking out of existence back from whence they came.

Frank tumbled on silently.

Durinhaus - Resting in Peace
Retinue
Skin - Ram-Rod - Major - Le Buch - Tick

Numb/Gambler - Sensible/Mentor - Affable/Old - Loyal/Backwater - Superstitious/Twitchy
A tall, thin and pale headstone stood alone on a small hill of grass. In the background beautiful spires of glass and metal stretched in all directions each with their own small patch of garden but none so as expansive or tranquil as this. This was the Hax family burial green--a thrownback to bygone traditions in appearance but below the pristine grass an expansive elevator system that received the dead and carried it down into a deep vault mausoleum where his body would lay beside his childhood love for all eternity.

To one side stood four men each in distinctly different uniforms. One a mountain of red and white cloth with a tall domed helmet and distinctly groomed facial hair. Standing just a little shorter a man wearing unmarked mat black void sealed carapace, helmet under his arm, clean shaven and with thick black short hair. The third man wore the local uniform of a Scintillian Fusileer along with plumed tricorn and golden braid. The last, and most unique man, wore a waxed yellow penal jumpsuit that looked almost a worn as himself--his face was a current of burn scar tissue and he was without a single hair on his face or head.

Central were stood two women. Lady Governess Leilliana Hax, the Sector Governor after the death of her father, wearing a pristine uniform of the Scintillian Fusileers with full tabard, epaulets, golden braid and plumed tricorn. It was her uncles, the deceased, and she was doing him the greatest honour by wearing it to his internment. At her hip the relic bolt pistol that had been taken from the past-future's Governer Hax's corpse in the ruins of the tricorn palace, his aid Dusa had recovered it and he had carried it ever since--now it was back with the rightful heir. Beside her stood Lady Igraine Armengarde, her lover and Rogue Trader, dressed in less poignant but equally tasteful dress.

To the other side, close to Governess Hax, stood an elderly couple. The man wore the uniform of his house Huscarles but was bedecked in the deceased's of medals. For such a slight man in a form fitted uniform the rows of oversized medals almost looked comical--he was the deceased's father but at time of death barely even half his son's age. Beside him his wife wore the mat black dress uniform of an Inquisitorial Acolyte along with her Acolyte's rosset--it was not yet sure which of his many aids would succeed control of the Cell but since she was first sworn in as an Acolyte by her own son she had done nothing but make her son proud.

In the distance a cathedral bell began to toll--the Emperor's Scintilla's bell marking midday. Lady Hax, with parade ground discipline, withdrew the bolt pistol and fired off seven shots that cracked and echoed around the silent spires of metal and glass.

A few moments later the four men walked forward and plucked the headstone from the grass and placed it atop the casket as it was lowered down on the elevator be interned in the mausoleum. Sir Maxwell Durinhaus: Inquisitor, Knight, Major, Uncle, Son and Soldier.

Jhyll - Scarecrow, Open Space.
What was left of the Eighth Legion marine formerly known as Jhyll stood, more crouched really, upon the bridge of Scarecrow. Scarecrow was once a loyalist vessel by the name of Door to Abundant Joy but after hours of sabotage, vox propaganda and violent ambushes its crew chose to risk their chances using escape pods in the void between solar systems than risk staying on the ship a moment longer.

Now Jhyll had the whole ship to himself except for a few servitor's he had left alive to crew the bridge and a small child named Samuel. Samuel's parents died in one of the ambushes. Samuel had mistakenly been left behind. He and Samuel were becoming friends.

Samuel?
"My name is Adrian sir."
Samuel.
"Yes sir?"
Where shall we go next Samuel?

The young boy didn't understand why he heard the creatures voice inside his head but not in his ears. His mother had always told him that some people are born able to do magic and they had to be sent to see the Emperor so that they could learn to control it. This man didn't look like he was friends with the Emperor though and got unhappy if he said the Emperor's prayer.

"I would like to go home please sir."
Where is home Samuel?
"I, I don't know, this ship I suppose sir."
Would you rather slowly starve and freeze in the void with nothing but prayer to your False God or stay in this nice warm ship, full of food, with me?

He also didn't understand why such a monstrous creature had such a noble and warm voice, or not voice, and was treating him like the ship's governess used to treat him, however, he worried that if he misbehaved he might get more than a swatting with a ruler.
"Will you kill me sir?"
No, Samuel, I don't think I will.

Mortred - The Emperor's Vigilance
There had been other future's. Other routes or courses from the myriad of shadow realities that had not yet been of which she could have chosen. Some would have been safer but got her to the right place but at the wrong time, other's would have gotten her to one of the correct times but the place was uncertain but this one had been almost iron wrought certainty.

Very rarely does an Oracle glimpse so far into the future and see it etched upon stone. Certainty was not often part of her vocation, however, the not knowing still tortured her. She had been stripped, chained hand and feet in a kneeling position, sedated, her cell walls coated in the finest wrought runes and a mechanoid warden stood vigil over her with the barrel of its weapon resting gently against the back of her neck.

Voluntarily she had sought the custody of the Black Ships on the whims of her visions and now, unable to divine in this state, she simply had to wait and see if they had been correct.

Torox - The Emperor's Vigilance
The gargantuan armoured figure paced up and down the iron floored corridor eliciting a cacophony of high pitched clangs that drifted into every corner before reverberating back as bass echoes. Astartes, the Space Marines, are not percieved as susceptible to such base emotions as irritation or impatience by the majority of the Imperium. Most Imperial propoganda shows them to be demi-god like figures that stoically stand as a bulwark between the average man and the horrors that lurk on the edges of Imperial space.

However, Torox, was not one such as this. His armour is Ultramarine Blue although he is not an Ultramarine. On one pauldron a Circular Saw place of silver with a single teardrop of blood at its centre and on the other a solid silver beautifully crafted open book with a skull at the center between the open pages. Torox was a Flesh Tearer Librarian serving with in the Deathwatch.

Less than an hour ago he had teleported from the Emperor's Vigilance into the wreck of a chaos Battle Cruiser and collected the limp body of one of the Imperium's mortal heroes. Now he waited in the corridor outside the medical bay to know if she would survive the operation.

Torox, under the best circumstances, could not be considered a calm and stable individual but now he truly was at the very end of his tether. He had been put in command of a Black Ship: practically a cage for anyone with the Librarian's gift. He had been diverted from collections to assist in a vital last strike operation but had been caught in a warp storm and arrived only just in time to pluck a single body from space. Now there was a deep-space emergency transmission from a frigate Proud Eagle and they were the nearest vessel to intercept. Finally to make everything even worse he had a moment ago received transmission that a notorious Chaos Sorceror had handed herself in to be taken by the Black Ships, requesting Torox by name, and she was conveniently on route to the location Proud Eagle went dark.

Tech Nine - The Emperor's Vigilance, Medical Bay.
Tech or Tech Nine, short for Tech Marine Number Nine, was second in command aboard the Emperor's Vigilance. He was what was known as a Black Shield within the Deathwatch--meaning that he had chosen to keep is Name, Chapter and Past a secret upon joining due to past shames that he intended to recompense.

He had been in the Deathwatch a considerable time and never proved himself anything other than a loyal soldier of the Emperor and diligent in his service to the Imperium. His current Team Leader, Torox, had taken a considerable time to trust the Black Shield but, eventually, even he now considered the nameless Techmarine to be a brother.

Tech, as was often the case among those trained on Mars, wore a much older suit of power armour. Its features dating back to before the Heresy and despite the multiple alterations and repairs it resembled that of those in the ancient murals of history. Like all Deathwatch his armour was almost entirely black except for the silver deathwatch pauldron that denoted him as a Tech Marine and also a member of the Deathwatch, however, due to the ancient lineage and history of his armour none of the brass gilding had been altered giving him the overall impression of a ancient steam locomotive.

Silently he cleaned his workstation within the Medical Bay. He was not an Apothecary but he was the closest thing his current kill team had to a Medic and his patient had been mostly cybernetics in any case. She would surely die soon--if she was an Astartes he would be looking for a Dreadnought sarcophagus to plug her into but she wasn't. He had stabalized her for now, for Interrogation, but she would die shortly afterwards and there was nothing that could be done.

Durinhaus/Jhyll - Joint Memories, Maccabeus Quintus
Retinue
Skin - Ram-Rod - Major - Le Buch - Tick

Numb/Gambler - Sensible/Mentor - Affable/Old - Loyal/Backwater - Superstitious/Twitchy

After Calixis fell there was alot of room for Terror. The Imperial forces retreated to form one last stronghold at the Lathe worlds. Not all of the sectors population were fortunate enough to find transport and soon found themselves governed by the cruel occupying forces.

Among them were the Haunting: a small wing of Night Lord's led by a former Eighth Legion Assault Marine known as Phantom. They had chosen to take roost on the Shrine world of Maccabeus Quintus where those not fleeing the system were attempting to build some form of stand against the occupying forces.

Whilst any sensible strategist would cleanse the world and strip it of any resources Phantom was not such a person. The world had very little in the way of resources and its only real purpose within Calixis seemed to be to strengthen the False God's doctrine and supply meat for the Imperium's grinder. Instead the Haunting chose to have some fun.

Quickly rumor was making it off world that Maccabeus Quintus was no longer a shrine of hardy loyalists who's staunch belief in the Emperor's protection allowed them to keep a foothold and defend the sacred remains of Saint Drusus but instead that horror's swept through the night sky and those that sought transport the holy world now jumped at any opportunity flee.

This rumor reached the Inquisition and it was deemed necessary to launch a recovery operation for the remains of Saint Drusus.

---

A few months later Durinhaus, then Senior Acolyte Durinhaus of the Inquisition, found himself deep in the frozen deserts of Maccabeus Quintus searching for the hidden shrine of Saint Drusus and last bastion of the Maccabeus Janissaries. He had been planet side for eight days and so far they had not made contact with a single person. The world was silent except for the ever more frequent patrols that rushed overhead and forced their party to bury themselves under the sand and wait patiently until it was safe to travel again.

Perhaps the least glamorous time in Durinhaus's entire life: a tough choice considering the sheer number of harrows he had endured. For a whole week he had not changed clothes or had the opportunity to wash and his whole body was covered in sores and dusted with sand. His usually well kept hair was matted and his face covered in sharp stubble. The skin around his many augmetics had begun to go septic despite the constant application of ointment, his uniform was a tie dye canvas of sweat stains and his feet were beginning to rot in his perpetually damp socks.

Phantom, in stark contrast, had never been grander. The Night Lord was now the proud ruler of a former shrine world and, having been a contributing factor in its conquest, received all the tithes and tribute to go with it. The major cathedrals were pillaged and relics reconsecrated to the Chaos gods in his name. However, more than just material wealth was received.

During one such ceremony where an ancient shrine was reconsecrated in Tzeench's name something crept across the veil and took root within Jhyll's soul. Great wing's began to grow from his back, his hands and lightning claws became one, sinuous toes grew from his feet and a great maw grew in his helmet. Most disturbing of all was the second sight and sorcerers gifts that were bestowed upon him--but they did not come without their consequences. Shortly afterwards what little mental stability Jhyll had left was truly gone. Terror was no longer a tactic of war but an addiction.

Dusa/Torox - The Emperor's Vigilance, Interrogation Cell.
The Emperor's Vigilance had very little in the way of briefing rooms--especially when one of the participants was barely alive. The spartan cell has enough medical equipment to keep a subject on the very edge of sedation so as even the most dangerous of Psykers could be kept in a medical coma whilst they were transported across the Imperium.

Across from the medical cradle, in which Dusa now lay, a steel table and behind it the huge armoured figure of Torox. The room's usually blindingly bright lighting had been lowered to what some might consider romantically low so as not to add any extra stress on Dusa's damaged senses.

"My Tech is able to turn the lights off if it is too much for you."

Dusa squinted, vision blurred, trying to make sense of what was going on. The voice was harsh and guttural despite speaking kind words. His eyes were bloodshot, his lips very thin and barely determinable in colour to the pallid pink of scar tissue that makes up the rest of his face. What hair he does have is awkwardly track marked with scars and of a sickly looking grey colour, it is only a few centimeters in length and continues down the side of his face into thick sideburns, equally disrupted by scars. As everything finally came into focus a vicious fold of healed skin across his eye brows gave the impression that at some point someone had tried to scalp him and almost succeeded.

"You don't look like the Emperor."
Jokes, she still wasn't sure if what she was looking at was a loyalist or some renegade. Her voice was slurred and lisping but the thick Elysian accent was still present.

"No, you still among the living. Just."
He stood up. His nerves couldn't handle standing still let alone sitting for more than a few moments.
"I need to know what happened but I have been warned that you are in no condition to be kept concious. I am a Librarian of the Flesh Tearers and wish to join minds with you so I can relive what you have been through. Do you understand?"

"You sure you can it?"
Her broken features tried to form a smile and for the first time she realized most of her teeth were missing. She tried to lift a hand to her face only to discover her cybernetics weren't functioning. It took her a moment to realize what she had said made no sense.
"Take it... sure you take can it?"

Torox did his best to smile. He had heard that it was reassuring for mortals to see a smile. Inside he was a torrent of rage but he was doing his best to calm the maelstrom. He had to remind himself that she was not trying to waste his time, she was perhaps only as broken as she was because he had not arrived in time and she was doing her best to bide time because she knew she hadn't fully come to full consciousness yet.

"Very soon you will need to be put back to sleep. If you are to make a full recovery we need to minimize the amount of stress you are put under."
He reached out a hand the size of a frying pan--with his gauntlet removed it resembled that of a gorilla more than a human with black hair, thick callused skin, wrinkled knuckles and claw like nails. Placing it against her forehead he began to gently reach into her mind.

"Never heard of a manicure."
Her will was fading as the pain took hold. Even with her cybernetic nerves disabled those she could feel were alight and broadcasting. Her face felt like it had been dunked into boiling water and her throat felt like she had taken a huge gulp from the void exposure. Her last organic limb had frozen solid, her last organic eye had exploded and her entire body felt burnt and swollen.

Torox was taking it all away. He embraced her pain like an old friend and took on the burden of it all. Unfortunately he gave some gifts of his own, unwillingly as a side effect of their link, and an all consuming Thirst filled Dusa's mind. The burning swollen feeling in her throat was replaced with an entirely different burning. She felt the need to stand up and pace but she was fixed in place.

As she drifted into a dream of her recent encounter she thought she heard a distant scream. Shadowy images of a beautiful figure in red armour carrying a sword and with giant wings filled her mind and then she was gone.

"Sleep well child, you have earned it."

Tech/Mortred - The Emperor's Vigilance, Containment Cell.


At the center of a the blindingly lit room a young female adult was chained in a kneeling position. A servitor built into the floor held a powerful bolt weapon aimed at the back of her neck. Little more than the auto injector and restraints covered her and upon her bare skin Tech was able to see the byproduct of her gifts in all their glory. Ghostly images of bullet wounds, vicious cuts and blistered burns surfaced and faded upon her skin as potential futures fought for certainty as to exactly how she would die. One moment she appeared to be disemboweled and the next her entire body covered in boils of some exotic plague.

"Per..."
"TECH, YOU WILL ADDRESS ME AS TECH, WITCH."
The young girl smiled, she had seen this moment in its thousand possibilities but now she was having to try remember each of them from memory. Sedated as she was she couldn't focus her power and just as her native psychic field was struggling to specify her death wound she could not find the future.

"I know what you are, Tech."
In an instant he was crouching low before her and his colossal servo-arm, usually coiled discretely on his back, was pinched around her throat. The bulky limb stretched almost three meters in length and could, if he had proper footing, lift several tons of weight. Its hydrolic jaws had the strength to crush solid steel as if it was rotten wood and now they twitched precariously against her delicate throat.

"SILENCE. I WOULD CRUSH YOUR THROAT BEFORE YOU MIGHT SPEAK LIES."
A second mechadendrite silently reached out and disconnected the chains holding her to the floor and he lifted her bodily off the ground by the servo arm at her throat. She wheezed and spluttered as he did and he increased the sedative levels.

"You can save the girl."
Her voice was strangled and rasped from the weight of her body and slurred from sedation. Without the powers of her witchcraft she was nothing more than a weak fragile mortal. Yet she had a power over him that he was beginning to fear--she knew the truth.
"Its... Destiny..."

As she slumped into unconsciousness from lack of air and powerful sedative Tech lay her across his shoulder, taking the weight off her airpipe, ever vigilant the powerful Servo Arm remained around her neck but the pressure was infinitesimally released. He carried her into one of the Interrogation Cells and fixed her into the cot all the while monitoring her vitals to make sure she wasn't too conscious. Outside of the runic wards their Librarian could Interrogate her far more thoroughly but at the cost of her own powers being easier to manifest--now more than ever vigilance was paramount.

Durinhaus/Jhyll - Joint Memories, Maccabeus Quintus
Retinue
Skin - Ram-Rod - Major - Le Buch - Tick

Numb/Gambler - Sensible/Mentor - Affable/Old - Loyal/Backwater - Superstitious/Twitchy

A desert of sand dunes is like an ocean in slow motion. By the ninth day the party truly felt stranded at sea. In every direction huge waves of sand stretched out as far as the horizon and every dune felt like trying to swim up a wall of sand simply to tumble down the other side. Their water supply was almost dry and a storm was closing in.

In a storm everything sped up. Sand filled the air like a swarm of angry wasps biting and stinging any exposed skin and each dune became a torrent of boiling rolling sand that often literally had to be swam through. Lighting, fed by the immense static energy of sand rubbing together, crackled down in menacing arcs and cooked areas of sand into angry writhing stalactites of glass. Single file the party of five pushed, pulled and lowered one another up and over the dunes on a single line of rope. Barely able to see a few feet ahead of them they often found themselves alone in a mirky pool of brown with nothing but a rope stretching before and behind them.

It was then they heard screaming of the Night Lord's Jet Packs. Usually their instruments would have told them in advance of incoming patrols and they would have had enough time to stop and bury themselves carefully in the same to avoid detection but in this swirling maelstrom of silicone none of their radar equipment possibly worked. Instead they each just fell where they had been stood and in an instant the sands buried them where they had fallen.

The Phantom deactivated his jetpack a few hundred feet from ground. Falling gracefully through the sand storm on outstretched billowing wings. and landing in a dramatic crouch. He felt a rib crack under his sensitive feet and smiled the most vicious of smiles--fear. He was now so attuned to his psychic abilities he could smell fear like a shark could smell blood. Even below a foot of sand he could smell the stench of urine from the creature he had landed on. No, they were his lured hook and he wished to catch a bigger fish.

For a week he had been following them closely. His new addiction pushing him to get closer and closer. However he never caught them as catching them would end the game and his source of fear would be gone along with his bait. Yes, it was all a ploy because he knew what they were searching for and he too would like them to lead him to it.

With a malicious grin he pushed off, breaking another rib of his victim under the sand, and clawed his way into the sky on leathery wings. Either he would get his prize or he would get to enjoy watching his prey die of thirst--fun.

---

Skin had two broken ribs, he would live but they had to carry him on a stretcher because he couldn't walk, and it had taken them most of the day to dig Tick out from the sand dune the storm had moved on top of him. Thankfully his safety rope led them right to him and re-breather had lasted long enough for him not to suffocate but moral was very low.

A desert of sand dunes is like an ocean in slow motion. But in the middle of an ocean there can be a single tiny island. On the tenth day, in the middle of an ocean of sand, the party found an oasis.







 

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