The Choice Edit
A week after the botched job at the 'Crucible', Admiral Zachary called us to the bridge. At the table, I saw Admiral Zachary, Red Ded, Krios Delvia, and Laz, all sitting down.
Everyone wasn't too pleased with Laz being out of his holding cell, and each had something to say about it. I did one question for Admiral Zachary. "Sir. Did you take away his alcohol away from him while he was in confinement?" Laz, despite being in our ship's prison, was still swaying back and forth, and drinking a never ending mug of beer.
Zachary looked at me in shock. "Are you serious!? I would never deprive a man of his liquor! Why!!- The Idea!!- HOW could YOU suggest such a thing!! I would replace my own blood with alcohol if I could!!" He held out his arm, pulled on his sleeve, and pointed at his veins to further demonstrate his point. Red Ded shook his head wholeheartedly in agreement.
"Have you lived in space as long as I have mutt!?" He continued. I simply replied. "Obviously not, sir. My mistake." (What's the point of confinement if you don't make the guy reflect on his actions, and instead allow him to escape to the bubbly depths of his booze?)
With all the questions and debate out of the way, the Admiral got back to business. He stated that the data from the 'Crucible' provided us with coordinates to two long abandoned planets known to the Imperium. One was a Feral World that was explored by a now lost team of scientists from an age long since past. The other, was a Ruin World. It was long since left alone, but it was home to several long lost, and ancient temples and buildings.
There were advantages to exploring both worlds. Trying to find the trail of the scientists may provide intel that would fetch a pretty price if offered to the right people. Assuming they survived the people of the planet could prove to be useful as crew should they want to join us. On the other hand, exploring the ruins could provide us with precious relics and artifacts that we could only imagine. The structures themselves might even have their own information not found anywhere else.
After debating on the issue for several minutes, we decide to descend to the Feral World to spot what little we could find. This was pleasing to me, since I felt that being in such a world would be more familiar than the alien ruins on the other planet.
Civilization Discovered Edit
After a few quiet trips through the warp we reached the Feral planet. Immediately, the crew scanned the world for signs of human involvement. They found a concentrated amount life forms on a certain part of the planet, so we decided to set a landing zone around there.
Taking precautions in the event we did find survivors, Red Ded and I were covered head to foot in extra cloths. To cover my face, they put on a hood, sunglasses, and a pair of bandannas on me. Red Ded put down his face plate, and was draped in what I assume is a bed sheet. He actually looked more intimidating than he did before.
I brought some extra water from the ship with me, and boarded the transport ship.
As we descended down the planet, we saw what appeared to be several spires rising from the ground. As we got closer, we discovered that they were enormous statues of the twenty Primarchs, both traitorous and loyal, as well as a golden statue of the God Emperor. What was most troubling, was that there was an extra statue, covered by a large tarp.
Our transport ship landed in what seemed to be a vineyard. As we walked off the ship and unto the ground, several people in robes appeared, staring at us in shock. (This was not what I was expecting at all.)
We managed to convince them that we were from the Imperium, and that we came to reintroduce them back into it. They were ecstatic. They welcomed us with opened arms, and cheers. Moments later, several armed men came on floating chariots, offering us a tour of their grand civilization.
The city was a sight to behold. The buildings and roads were made of marble and gold. Everywhere there were signs of wealth, and prosperity. The guides, led us to their statues of the primarchs, and the God Emperor, however they didn't lead us to the covered statue, stating that it was going to be unveiled tonight. "So what do you want to know about us?" One of them asked.
Krios asked if there were any individuals with psychic abilities among the people. "Oh, you mean the prophets? Yes, we keep them in isolated in the temple so that they may not be disturbed from their meditations. I'm afraid I cannot lead you to them as of right now."
Red Ded wanted to know if they ever met any green skins. They replied enthusiastically, proudly stating that the orks were the among the best fighters in the coliseum.
I asked about the local wildlife in the area. The man stated that there were strange beast like men in the forests that they hunt down whenever they spied one of them. Nodding to his response, I decided it was best to keep my disguise on, as well as keep my distance whenever I could.
Our tour ended at an enormous palace held up by an innumerable marble pillars. Hoards of people had lined up on either side of it to get a glimpse of us, muscular soldiers holding them at bay. We were paraded to the entrance, and led inside the palace.
We made our way to the palace's throne room. It was a long room, filled with pools in which several woman in bikinis swam in. At the end, was a staircase leading to a gold throne that loomed over everything in the room. From this throne boomed a voice full of authority. "WELCOME TO OUR KINGDOM, HERALDS OF THE GOD EMPEROR!!"
The Emperor Of Rome Edit
The man descended down the steps, and made his way to greet us. His body was skinny, but it was fair, and not frail. Like everyone else on this planet, except for the swimmers, he was garbed in a robe. He also wore a wreath on his head, perhaps as a sign of authority. He also held in his hands an odd staff. He introduced himself as Emperor Caligula, and once again bid us welcome to his humble palace. He turned around to the women, "DID I SAY TO STOP SWIMMING!!??" The fair maidens started to swim once again.
"This is such a momentous occasion! And to think; That you would arrive the on the day of our next statue's unveiling is wonderful timing!" Caligula went on. "You simply must join me for the feast tonight! I will not accept no for an answer! GUARD!! Tell the chiefs to prepare more food for our latest guests!!" He turned back to us. "Oh but how silly of me! You must be dying to know more about us and our city, as I am dying to know about how the God Emperor, and his Empire is doing! So ask away any questions you have!! Go ahead!
Red Ded asked the man about how he treated green skins. Caligula stated that he loved the orks presence in the Coliseum, and that the green skins enjoyed being able to tear their opponents apart in the ring, and were willing participants. As Red Ded bumped his fists together, his hands appeared from under his giant cloak, which didn't go unnoticed by politician. "Your arms..... Are you?-" He pointed at Red Ded. Red Ded lifted his face plate, and revealed his orkiness. Caligula was delighted to see another ork, and asked if Red Ded wouldn't mind competing in the Coliseum later. To which the ork bumped his fists in agreement.
Krios once again asked about the psykers, but was turned down about meeting them due to their meditations. He then showed Caligula a bullet, and asked if they had ammunition like ours. Emperor Caligula replied that we didn't, and was awed by the tiny thing. Thinking quickly, Krios took another bullet from his ammunition, and gave one to a guard, who seemed to be pleased to receive it.
Laz spoke to Caligula as well, but he always refered to the man as Caligulas. The man turned to us, "Does he always do this?" We just nodded our heads.
Caligula asked us about the state of the Empire. Admiral Zachary skimped out on the major details, and told him the Emperor was still alive, and "well". (So that's the tone we're going for are we?.... Well, I suppose the truth would be a hard pill for this city to swallow. Would probably incite chaos in the realm that we don't need right now.)
Caligula decided to show us around the palace himself. During the time we spent with him, we saw a room full of mutants, the hunchback type mind you, participating in lewd acts. We learned that Caligula had married his sister.(Ummm, eew. Did not need to know that.) He also spoke of the ship his people had come to this planet from. It no longer worked, but was still regarded as a prescious relic nonetheless.
However the biggest shock was when we entered the man's, active war room. Several militaristic types sat around a hologram table that mapped the surrounding area. "There are other nations on this planet?" I asked. Caligula directed his attention to me. "Ah but of course! We aren't the only ones here. Why, just a few months ago, a certain someone arrived on this planet, and we 'acquired' his services."
On que, two armed men came up to us with a figure in a black hood between them. Caligula shouted at the man to lift his face up. the man was an eldar. "Yes, he's been aiding us with our war efforts quite willingly, and I must admit, things haven't gone this smoothly in a long time. Take a look for yourself!"
I examined the map. The man was right that there were several places strewn about the continent. However as I followed the movements of the soldiers noted on the map, I made a terrible realization. Caligula was having his troops attack not only enemy territories, but his own as well! Worse, it seems that these soldiers were going to go around in a large circle and end up attacking their own home country!!
I looked up at Admiral Zachary, and saw that he read the map just as well as I had. He whispered, "Don't say anything." So I kept my mouth shut.
Training And Dinner Edit
Once we were done with the tour, Caligula had his men escort us to our chambers. The place was one giant room with several comfortable looking beds, and a balcony that overlooked the training yards were the soldier's were practicing their craft. As they spied us, they insisted on us joining them.
As much as I was eager about learning how they fight, I didn't want to risk losing my disguise by accident, so I declined. Red Ded on the other hand happily obliged, and charged downstairs to meet with them.
Just as I was about to lie down, I saw something from the corner of my eye. Out in the vineyard, a shadowy figure passed through the field. I tried to get a closer look at what it was, but failed to identify it before it disappeared. Maybe it was one of the creatures of the forest? I can't tell.
This place, this world....., It seemed to have been fine at first glance, but that all ended when I saw Emperor Caligula. Not only was he directing a mad crusade with an Eldar of all things, but his odd lifestyle choices and policies put me unease. I could feel it..... Something was terribly wrong with this kingdom... And I'm not sure if I want to find out just how twisted it was.
Red Ded returned to us a short while later. He seemed to be just a little bigger than normal, but maybe that's just my eyes playing tricks on me.
As the sun started to set, servants arrived to let us know that dinner was ready. We followed the men out into the dining hall. Our Admiral Zachary was dressed in his finest attire, that made him appear far more regal, and more befitting of his rank than usual. (Should have thought about getting ready like that myself, but meh, I'm in disguise what would the point be?)
Entering the hall, my nose smelled the glorious scent of the many gourmet meals set out on the table. My mouth watered at the thought of biting down on the delectable feast that awaited us. With baited breath, I quickly picked a seat. (Laz for some reason excused himself for a moment, but was back before supper started. Whatever!)
As we gathered around the table, Krios spoke with Caligula again, this time presenting his mono sword as a gift to him. Caligula, admonishing the sword, spoke to a man to come to him. Without warning, Caligula beheaded the man, "MY GOODNESS!! This blade is sharp!! I hardly felt any resistance!" Upon looking around, and seeing our confused expressions, he said, "Oh don't worry about him, he was my nephew. The boy had the audacity to say that he took an antidote for the meal: As if I would poison it!! How insulting, am I right!!?" Everyone at the table agreed.
(So you behead the man instead of giving him a slap on the wrist and telling him you could be trusted.... Great, I can see that this man is both crazy and petty. And now that I think about it, not too different from a Chaos Sorcerer.... I don't think we can trust him.... But for now, I'm going to eat!! This was not going to deter me!!)
After the servants removed the body, we feasted on the, *GULP* luxurious dinner. To make sure that I didn't give myself away, I only partially moved my lower bandanna as to seem that I only had a hairy beard. Chomping down on the food, I felt that I was eating a meal fit for the God Emperor. It was easily the best food I have ever had.
The Unveiling Edit
With Supper done, Emperor Caligula ordered all in the palace to arise, and make their way to the covered statue for the unveiling. He once again guided us personally to the site. We were lead to the front of the statue, where chairs were provided for us.
What was disturbing, was that sitting in front of everyone in the theater was a creature unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was calm, and non agressive, but based on it's appearance, we quickly identified it as a tyranid of all things!! When asked about it, Caligula stated that the thing had arrived months earlier, even before the Eldar. Fascinated by it, he made it a senator. (WHAT!!??.... I guess I'll take solace in that it seemed to be de-attached from any hive, otherwise, things would have gotten quite violent by now. Still, so long as that thing is here, it is a threat that will have to be dealt with another time.)
Caligula stood in front of everyone on a pedestal, and addressed the crowd. He spoke of his many accomplishments, with vigor and pride. He made himself look more than just a passing leader, but rather, as a ruler that would be remembered forever. (I got a bad feeling about this....)
He made a declaration that the God Emperor had spoken to him in a dream.... And in that dream, he realized that he was a primarch! As such he had built himself a statue as a show of authority. (Oh no.)
The tarp on the statue was pulled away and his likeness was shown to all that was gathered. "SO MY PEOPLE, DO ANY DARE DISAGREE WITH ME!!?" In a painful chorus the people shouted as one, "NO!". Pleased with the response, he motioned to Laz. "AS SUCH IT IS FITTING THAT I BE OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED BY THE CHURCH OF THE GOD EMPEROR!! MISSIONARY IF YOU WOULD PLEASE DUE THE HONORS TO CHRISTEN ME A PRIMARCH!!!"
This was bad, This was the absolute worse case scenario, and all I could do, was look at Laz and hoped he could talk his way out of this one. If we didn't do as Caligula demanded, we were bound to die here by his soldiers. If we did follow him, we would be branded as heretics by the Imperium for this obvious heresy, and be killed anyway. I motion to the missionsary to say something, but all he did was stare at a soldier...
Suddenly, behind us, a man in red robes with his eyes covered stood up and said. "Cesar!! There is a disturbance!" After a few moments, he stammered, "It, it's gone, I can't explain it!"
The distraction would have to be looked into another time, but it was enough for me to come with an idea. I wispered to the missionary "Laz, tell them that you don't have the authority to recognize him as a primarch, and that he needs to see a bishop or something for that to happen." Laz looked at me, smiled, and nodded. With everyone's attention returning back to Laz, he jumped up, and shouted.
"EVERYONE LISTEN, FOR I HAVE RECEIVED A VISION FROM THE GOD EMPEROR!!! HE SPOKE TO ME SAYING THAT CALIGULAS-" the Emperor interrupted, "Caligula". Laz continued, "YES CALIGULAS! YOU MUST MAKE WAY TO THE GOD EMPEROR!! ONLY THEN CAN YOUR GREATNESS CAN BE EXALTED!!"
Caligula, smiled, and agreed with Laz wholeheartedly. For a second time, the crowd cheered in agreement, forcing me to once again cover my sensitive ears. (Way to go missionary. You did good.)
Once the ceremony was over, we were led to a more private area. There Laz and Krios convinced Caligula that he should bring some gold along to the God Emperor as a tribute. With that, he showed us to his treasury.
The room was filled with gold from the front of the room all the way to the back. I couldn't see the floor it occupied so much space. Red Ded asked if he had any 'magical' weapons in the place. Caligula, happily went to a chest, and showed an ork a weapon that fitted his description. Krios continued to push his luck, saying that Caligula should bring in gold from across the kingdom. The man was all to happy to talk about raising the taxes in this time of departure.
To see what more we could gather from this 'charitable' man, we convinced him to show us the ship his people came on. It was a bit run down, but it seemed like nothing a few hundred Explorators couldn't fix. Caligula managed to pull Red Ded off to the side while we were looking at the ship. From what I could eavesdrop, the man trusted the ork the most out of our crew, and was willing to trust him with looking over the treasury. (That's like letting a fox guard the hen house.)
I tried to see if we could go inside the ship, but Caligula was against it.
With the day's activities done, we departed to our chambers and rested for the rest of the night.
Logs and Links
Greaves Log: When In Rome