- As told by Corwyn Nilius, Astropath Transcendent
As we continue the tour of the city I ask who is the current leader of this settlement. Captain Karnius Veer responds that due to some recent attacks he is now in fact the governor. I make a case to him that we represent a powerful Rogue Trader dynasty and that we could really use a base of operations here, and that in return we'd place this colony under our protection. Captain Karnius doesn't seem interested, "We'd rather leave this place and rejoin the Imperium". This surprises the command crew, myself included. Why would anyone want to leave the utopia that has been built here, once it is made safe?
An explosion occurs off to our right, and Captain Karnius wastes no time to dash off towards it. We follow and come upon the site of a blasted building. Karnius explains that in addition to the Dark Elves they've been under constant attacks from another xenos race that has been persistently sabotaging their city. They are a race of monstrous-looking reptilian eight-limbed creatures, often adorned with cybernetic implants. "They are called Rak'Gol". Thanius our Interrogator blanches, and says "Well it was a nice planet, we should leave". He goes on at length about how horrible of a race they are, how they use unshielded fission drives and atomic weapons, and how they willingly seek out radiation in order to be mutated.
"How about we get some rad-scanners from our ship and hunt them down?", I suggest. This takes him back, but the rest of the crew seem enthusiastic and so I use Astral Telepathy to communicate with my squad of Astropaths aboard our ship to send down some rad-scanners. A short while later a drop-pod lands a half kilometer from our location and Fauxshot and our navigator O'hann retrieve the rad-scanners. The hunt is on!
Our arch-militant Liander seems the most adept at using a rad-scanner, and he leads us to a warehouse. It seems to be an ancient relic of their bygone technology since it is made of metal and hardened, unlike the other wood and stone buildings of this medieval town. There is some confusion amongst our command crew and we melt the door now rather than wait for it to be opened, much to the consternation of a matronly woman inside who we learn is the leader of this particular building.
Though not initially very cooperative, she eventually tells us that they were doing inventory, and that this building is a birthing facility. This catches a few of us by surprise, but she explains that there is enough low-level radiation around this city that almost everyone is infertile. As a result they have to shield a woman's eggs and then artificially impregnate them, growing the resultant embyros in vat-tubes until they are ready. This sounds dangerously close to heresy to several of us, but she hastens to add that they are not doing any type of cloning or genetic modification. They are solely enabling reproduction to occur.
With so much background radiation I ask if they've noticed a lot of mutation in their population. She says that no, they've actually had no mutation at all, bless the God-Emperor. Very odd indeed.
I feel a sudden wave of nausea, and I notice that others do as well. The worse-hit is Liander, who doubles over in pain. When he recovers he says that he saw a terrible vision, with lumbering bodies walking outside the spire. The effects seem similar to Warp Sickness, but given that we detect no warp presence around us it must be something else.
We tell the matronly lady to clear everyone out, and once we're satisfied that the place is empty we begin to search it more thoroughly. We find the room with the vat-tubes full of embryos, and our Interrogator Thanius moves over to the control console. I learn later that he sabotaged the operation of the birthing facility such that it will never be able to impregnate more eggs. He's essentially doomed this colony!
In the ground we see small holes, and we make the connection that it could be from a Rak'Gol's limbs so we decide to follow them. We pull out our weapons and ready ourselves for combat, and I take the opportunity of use Chorus of the Righteous on the arch-militant Liander and the Interrogator Thanius. Suddenly a monstrous Rak'Gol erupts out of the ground, sending almost all of us backwards save for our missionary Samson, whom the Rak'Gol surprises and grabs.
The Rak'Gol viciously stabs at Samson with all of its upper limbs, but fortunately the missionary was still able to hold onto his massive shield and he manages to block all of the attacks. Thanius and our sniper Faux Shot blast into it, and they quickly reduce it to ash. The fight was over before I could even react, which is fortunate since in truth I was stunned by the creature's intensity and ferocity.
The Rak'Gol left a deep hole from where it emerged, and Liander and Faux Shot rappel down to its bottom, about 20 meters down. They see a set of demolition charges laid out, which Faux Shot quickly disarms. It seems we caught this creature just as it was about to destroy this building. Thanius, our Interrogator, has an idea that maybe we can use his neural shredder weapon to kill the Rak'Gol from the surface. We could walk around, following the path of the tunnel system underneath, and zapping any creatures below.
Faux Shot has a better idea. The neural shredder somehow uses the warp to do its damage, so he plugs the neural shredder into a nearby power source, vastly increasing its range, then takes a tube and attaches one end to our navigator's third eye, the other end pointing to the weapon's rear receptacle. He instructs Liander (an unsanctioned psyker) and myself to then use our psyhic powers to "control" and "shape" the weapon's emission so that it follows the path of the tunnels and doesn't travel upwards.
At his command, he tells our navigator O'hann to open his eye to the warp, he pulls the trigger on the neural shredder, and Liander and I use our psychic abilities to direct the weapon. We're under immediate strain, but Fauxshot doesn't stop until a full 30 seconds elapses. We feel the very ground shake underneath us, and then mercifully stop. Checking our rad-scanners we confirm that the radiation levels have noticeably dropped. "It could take centuries or longer for it to completely go away" explains Thanius, but he feels confident that we've ended the Rak'Gol threat!
We meet up with Captain Karnius Veer, and he's elated that we've managed to put an end to the Rak'Gol's predations. Thanius our Interrogator tells him the grim news, and does so with a completely straight face, that in the attack the Rak'Gol managed to somehow corrupt the birthing facility and that it is now inoperational. This seems to only strengthen the Captain's resolve that they need to leave this planet.
We hear loud thunder, or rather it sounds like thunder but it is much louder than it should be. I'm struck by nausea again, and this time fall down in pain. I see a post-apocalyptic vision, with destruction everywhere, and people rummaging around. I eventually recover my wits, but I see that Fauxshot was affected even worse than me: he's completely catatonic.
We try to smack him out of it, use hallucinogenic grenades, and even subject him to our navigator's Lidless Stare, but all to no avail. He won't wake up. So we put him in the care of the colony's medicae practitioners.