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Campaign: Damos Crusade

Astropathic communique to Inquisitor E, from imperial psyker Elric Nilius.

The ingenuity of the lower xenos races can be surprising.

The command crew is aboard the Brisk Intervention flagship, and we're being congratulated by Erika Damos on a successful suicide mission (see my earlier report). I put out that we were actually unsuccessful, since we're still alive, but she smiles and amends that she was only expecting most of us to die.

The lights go out, we're in pitch blackness, and then emergency red lights give us some dim illumination. "What was that?" asks Erika. "Go to the engineering bay and help the explorator Allen, since he's an idiot". Then, as we're departing the bridge, she adds "And you'll need some plasma cores as well!".

ZaShanShawe

The eldar Za'Shan Shawe and I decide to do just that, while the rest of the command crew goes straight for the engineering bay. As we're running towards one of the engineering supply rooms I conscript whomever I see around us. That happens to be 5 Jikan guards, 2 workers, and 1 explorator. We get to the service elevator, punch in the right deck, and the elevator panel falls out.

I'm not kidding. The panel falls out and hangs by a couple of wires. "It seems it was unscrewed" says our newly conscripted explorator. Za'Shan says "That's great, you've figured that out very well mon-keigh", with apparently no sarcasm at all. If Za'Shan had a medal on hand I'm sure he'd be awarding one to the explorator. "Please fix it now" I instruct the explorator.

Fortunately it seems our explorator isn't incompetent, and he quickly remedies the situation. The service elevator finally arrives and we get in. Over our micro-beads we hear a series of large explosions.

"What was that" I ask via the micro-bead to the rest of the command-crew which had run straight for the engineering bay.

"The shrine to the God-Emperor just blew up... there were grenades wired around his head!" replies the ratling in our command crew (Yes, we have a ratling in our command crew and No, I have no idea why).

"What are you doing in the shrine -- you're supposed to be going to the engineering bay?" I ask.

"I was following the girl that keeps saying 'Desu', she brought me here."

I should probably explain about Moll. She's a young arch-militant in our command crew, but there's something very wrong. Until recently she only knew how to say "Desu" (now she's also added a couple of choice words such as "Stop" and "Cunt"). She's not that bright, but when put into a combat situation she seems to handle herself very cleverly. Anyhow, if he was following her then I'm not surprised they got lost.

I abandon them as a lost cause. This series of events doesn't seem like it could be coincidence. I reach out with Psyniscience over and over again, trying to detect any psychic activity. But I sense nothing unusual. That's when the elevator starts shaking.

"Explorator?" I ask.

"The Machine Spirit is very upset for some reason" he replies, as he's quickly setting up a calming ritual.

"Oh, that's right, you believe in little machine gods... how quaint" adds Za'Shan.

In any case the elevator soon starts shaking, and we reach our deck. The elevator doors open and the Jikan guards step out first. One of them suddenly stops but the other is not so lucky. He walks into a set of thin wires that triggers a primitive trap: a lasgun comes careening down from the side and hits the guard in the head, knocking him out.  As we look closer we see that the entire hallway is filled with wires that are probably all attached to traps.

"Let me handle this" says Za'Shan.  He runs forward and starts dodging, jumping, ducking, and weaving between the wires, cutting each one as he passes with a thin dagger. He's soon on the far side of the hallway, obviously pleased with himself.  At this point this is starting to look familiar: we encountered similar types of traps during the suicide mission.  This is the handiwork of Ork Kommandos.  Za'Shan informs Erika Damos, over the micro-bead, that we have Orks onboard her ship. He then wisely cuts the communication. I was not fast enough and hear Erika yelling curses and expletives.

Meanwhile, we hear over the micro-bead that the rest of the command crew encountered a single gretchin armed with dynamite. Seems to have ended... loudly.

Gretchin

We finally make it to one of the engineering supply rooms and the workers grab the plasma cores.

"Guys, you need to hurry with those plasma cores -- this is really important" says the explorator Allen in the engineering bay.  "We're on our our way" I reply.

Then, from the Desu-Girl, I mean Moll, I hear "Desu Desu Cunt!".  She sounds frantic.  Apparently that means something close to "I'm in trouble!"

Za'Shan and I split up -- he agrees to lead the workers with the plasma cores to the engineering bay, and I take the 4 remaining Jikan guards and head towards Moll and the ratling.

Over the micro-bead I hear commotion, and I learn from the ratling that he's stuck in an elevator shaft on top of an elevator, surrounded by 15 gretchin armed with various explosives, and Moll is inside the elevator.  We finally arrive at the elevator, just below their current location, and I have the guards pry open the elevator doors. We peer up and can see the bottom of the elevator.

"Moll, hug the sides NOW" I yell over the micro-bead.  Then the guards open fire upwards, towards the bottom of the elevator, shooting a large hole out from the floor of the elevator.

It was rather more effective that I had guessed, and the firing also hit the people on top of the elevator as well.  The ratling gets hit as do many of the gretchin. In addition one of the elevator clamps gets hit, and the elevator lurches a bit to the side. Fortunately the ratling is able to keep his feet, but a couple of gretchin are not so lucky and fall to their deaths.

Moll jumps down from the whole we just made, and swings over towards the entrance. But she misjudges and doesn't quite make it. Fortunately the Jikan guards and I are able to grab on to her and haul her in to safety.

That's when suddenly the power comes back on. The normal lights flicker on, and I also see a series of anti-boarding automated mini-guns come to life.  This alarms me but Allen reassures me they can distinguish friend from foe. More pressing is the fact that this elevator shaft also doubles as a ventilation shaft. The whirling fan at the top starts to gain speed at alarming rate, and I can the ratling scream. He's slight and diminuitive, probably weighing less than 100 pounds, and he's getting sucked upwards towards the scything blades of the fan.  He's holding on for dear life.

I quickly command the Jikans to climb up the service ladder and fetch him, but they look scared.

"For a ratling?" asks one of them.

I push them out of the way and climb up myself, retrieving the poor ratling and bringing him back down.  We're finally all back on solid ground, and can breath a sigh of relief.

We learn later than our flagship the Brisk Intervention had drifted too close to a series of asteroids orbiting the planet.  An Ork Kommando must have hitched a ride on a gunship earlier on, and he chose that time to sabotage our power, and hence our ship's void shields. With the power out the Orks that were hiding in those innocous looking asteroids managed to board our starship and cause further mayhem.  Fortunately the problem now seems to have been resolved.  Though I believe this means that we still have an elite Ork Kommando roaming somewhere aboard our ship, biding his time...

Astropathic response from Inquisitor E

Actually I've seen nothing in your report that indicates any level of notable ingenuity. The Ork Kommando could just as easily have set his wire booby-trap to fire the lasgun instead of using it as a crude club. Though considering the level of naiveté your crew seems to be showing perhaps you are in danger.

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