The Old Ones are masters of genetic engineering. From their achievements with the Eldar, to the creation of the Orks. They have created races beyond the scope of man as weapons. Tools to be used and disposed of once their purpose has been served.

So powerful, they were capable of linking every single living mind to the warp, and distorting it beyond all control.

But for all their perfection, nature has a way of making it less so. Making it imperfect, making it real. All of this would go over the head of the Ork species, but it would not go over the head of one Ork.

Born in a freak accident, he was not born to be the biggest. Nor the strongest. He was not made to be a Weirdboy, one of those maniacs that channels the Waaarghh!!!. He was not fashioned into a Mechboy, a being of giving you an empty gun and letting you believe you could fire it.

No, this ork was born to be Charismatic.

Capable of charming the scales off a Kroot, he could get anything he wanted and leave you thinking you had come off the better of the deal. As any other species, such a creature would have been risen to the highest ranks of social command.

Unfortunately, as mentioned, he was an Ork. A species for which a fight and diplomacy are the same thing. If he had been under the command of Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, then perhaps he would have found more acclaim.

But he was not.

For a charismatic but average Ork, is an Ork that gets beat up. A lot. With no montages, no vampires to level up, and certainly no mechboys to plant a radio mast to the gods in his head. He was forced to make his way into the open galaxy and seek his place there.

And so, adventuring across the galaxy in search of a place to call his own he began to craft his identity. Slowly, over many many years, he managed to craft himself an outfit. An outfit, that if one were half blind and deaf, would mistake as bad Space Marine cosplay. If you had never met a space marine.

And that is how our Space Marine made his way to an outpost on the far edge of Imperial space, in front of one very confused and concerned Inquisitor. Thankfully for the Space Marine, this inquisitor was special and unlike other kinds of special or indeed other kinds of inquisitors, he could still find his own pants without aide.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a ………. unusual space marine such as yourself.” says the inquisitor, attempting to dissemble the name of the unusually green space marine in front of him.

“But, I must ask, why did you wish to join our assemblage? Surely your chapter is awaiting your return?” questions the inquisitor, still attempting to remember the name of the the space marine before him.

“Wha’ I woz thinkin’ woz that yoz could use a DoffWotch choppa like me self. Seeing as youz one of those Inquisitor humies and all” responds the Space Marine.

The Inquisitor begins nodding at this statement. “Yes, this is certainly true I could always use another Space Marine in my quest to rid the galaxy of all Heretics, Traitors and Untrustworthy Xenos, but again, I must ask you, will it not cause an issue with the DeathWatch?” questions the Inquisitor, his voice trailing off at the end.

An astute observer might have inferred that he wasn’t really worried by the consequences. Fortunately, the author isn’t that astute.

Unfortunately, Sir Orkington is.

A great toothy smile appeared upon the face of the Space Marine, knowing that he had the man in the palm of his hands. “Wellz, if it woz gonna be a problem, woz I ask in the first place? Being of the DoffWotch an’ all. I would nevar cauze a problem for the Orkquisiton” posits the Space Marine, posing it as Ironclad logic.

And, clinch it does. “Yes, you are right. A marine of the DeathWatch would never cause an issue for the Inquisition. Come along then, we were just about to leave here anyway. What is your name, if I may ask Stalwart Marine?”

“Yoz can call me Sir Orkington” replied the Space Marine, hefting his gear upon his broad green shoulders and following his new employer towards his awaiting Thunderbird.

Ten Minutes Later

“What do you mean you won’t let him on?” asks an exasperated inquisitor. “He’s perfectly within the weight limit of the craft. I know you carry my Son all the bloody time on his “Holy Duties””

The inquisitor begins impatiently tapping his foot.

“Sir, with all due respect, your Son is not an ork cosplaying as a Space Marine. Badly cosplaying as a space marine at that. I will not carry an Ork on this holy machine.” responds the Pilot, standing between the Space Marine and the Inquisitor on the Thunderbird Ramp.

“Are you blind man? This is clearly a member of the Salamanders chapter, working for the DeathWatch and I will not stand such slander. Admit him, immediately.”

“Sir, I have no idea what prank you are playing, but you can’t seriously believe that he is a Space Marine. He barely fits in his armour for one. Sir, were you exposed to something which is causing you to believe that he is a Space Marine?”

The inquisitor sighs, and pulls out his data slate. Pointing it at the newest member of his retinue, before clicking a button. A few minutes later, an update beep sounds out. “Ah, lets see what my Son says then. If anyone would know what a Space Marine would look like, it would be him”

He glances down at the data slate, a victorious smirk crossing his features.

“See, even my Son says so. This is a genuine, bonafide Space Marine. Admit him.” rasps the Inquisitor, his smirk taking a turn towards the terrifying. “Or, are you going to resist …. my …. will”

“Sir, I will not let you place that filthy xeno upon my bird. Find someone else to carry him up” responds the Pilot, pointlessly taunting fate.

His face, betraying a slight realisation of exactly what he had just said, and to who. “Wait I didn……….” manages the pilot, before he gets his head blown off by the inquisitor.

“I apologise, Sir Orkington. I have no idea what came over him” apologises the inquisitor.

“Yoz ‘lright Warboss, itz ‘appens alot.” responds the Space Marine, constantly being mistaken for an Ork.

“Now, about that sign on bonus” continues the inquisitor

“The Inquisitor is in His Bunk, and All is Well on the Ship. This cannot be said of all us.” muses Gman, going over some late night paperwork regarding the last raid on a Heretical cult. Given how famously workshy some Inquisitors can be, one would not think there would be much paperwork to carry out, but the evidence to the contrary was set before him.

Stacks upon stacks of memepapers, dataslate memory modules and parchment. Enough to give even Nurgle a paper cut. “Still, better we spend a throne now than blood of billions later.” he murmurs to himself, going over the papers before signing them off. Sometimes the imperial officials like to sneak a few hidden clauses amongst the work.

While it has never worked, it has led to several <i>repremands</i> due to what they were asking. Sometimes it is better not to ask if you can have an Inquisitors hat. So, as a consequence, every single bit of paper had to be checked, rechecked, chucked in a furnace and checked again just to make sure that by signing you weren’t selling your soul to some minor chaos daemon.

Tedious work, but essential. Gman however had a nice process for getting through the work with the minimum of annoyance, and with the greatest of haste. Music, zero distractions, and plenty of Tanna.

This lasted all of ten minutes when “Mag” came charging into the room, smashing up the radio, demolishing the carefully arranged stack of paperwork and otherwise providing a great distraction from the mind numbing tedium.

Gman inhales before speaking, clasping his hands in-front of him upon his desk, “That was 70 hours of mind numbing organisation, what can I do for you “Mag”?”. An aura of killing intent emanating from the clerk with the psychic powers. “Mag”, despite literally being more powerful than worlds, somehow failed to notice.

“Mag” goes to sit down on the chairs in front of the Mahogany desk. Provided by the delightful folk from Malchior Seven. None of which was built to survive an Ogryn of his stature.

The sacrifice of the chairs would be long remembered by their owner.

“Brother, I have a serious issue. An issue most concerning.” he exclaims, not noticing the fact that he was sitting lower than he had been but a few moments ago. “Yes, Yes, an issue most troublesome indeed.”

A deep sigh emanates from Gman, partly due to the loss of such fine furniture and partly at the start of “Mags” spiel. “Before I let you continue, “Mag”, I would like to ask. Is this about the goptniks, blins, or people being cykas? Because if it is, I’d like to squat squat out of chambers and let me get back to work.”

Like waves on a beach, the frustration with “Mag” comes and goes.

“No brother, nothing like that, I have a much much much larger concern than blins. Not that there is anything more important than blins of course.” responds “Mag”, his own aura of killing intent emanating out in response to the disrespect paid to the most
holy of foods.

The author writes this of his own accord, he is totally not terrified that “Mag” will find way to kill him. Completely 100% accurate.

“No, I have an issue. My luck has been too good.” he calmly continues. Moving away from his own brand of insanity and back to his normal genial nature. Gman’s own reaction to this statement is less calm, looking wearily at “Mag”. Looking above, and pinching his own nose, he mutters “Oh Emperor, what did I do to deserve this”. A slight twitch from “Mag” being the only sign that he overheard the prayer for salvation.

“”Mag” having good luck isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s great. There’s nothing better than a lucky warrior, a lucky researcher or a spot on servant. How do you even know you have good luck anyway? It’s not like it’s something you could measure.” asks Gman exasperatedly. A keen observer would notice that the bags under his eyes, the slump of shoulders and the general lack of tact would hint at someone indulging someone else out of politeness. “Mag”, not ever being recorded as being observant or indeed having people skills, failed to notice this.

“Well, you see, a few of us play a bootleg game called BattleMount. It’s really relaxing you see, and you can do all these ninja flip tricks and jumps and you fly along faster than a speeding bullet” A quick glare from Gman subtly informs “Mag” that he’s rambling. The giant sign and five page thesis also help out in informing “Mag” of the fact.

“Anyway, I’ve been hunting down these parts for a Mount, and I got them all in one go. That’s like a 0.00008% chance. I’m never that lucky. And then right after, I went to hunt down some augments, and I got those right away as well. I just keep coming up lucky. I even tried playing inquisitor’s hand with Pie and I won all ten hands. Blindfolded. With no psyker powers. On another planet!” “Mag” begins rambling again about improbability statistics and unlikelihood and chicken Kievs all the while Gman starts rubbing his face with his hands. Taking deep breaths all the while.

“So, what you are saying then, is that you’ve been blessed with luck, instead of suck?” A quick nod from “Mag”, although it is debatable if he even heard the question, allows Gman to continue. “And you are scared of this why again? I’d have thought you would have started dancing? Perhaps with that nice little partner of yours.” “Mag’s” face doesn’t change at all at the mention of his little relationship, though his eyes do get a bit misty.

“No brudda friend, I am of wanting to know how to keep such good luck going. I do not want to lose such a fine power, or such an enjoyable life experience.” he responds. Finally getting to the point of his presence within the paperworkium santorum. Gman shakes his head briefly, before providing an answer “Three chants to RNGJesus, five sacrifices of something of moderate worth and keep your requests for spells of luck to a reasonable length.” Opening one of his many drawers, Gman pulls out a book before continuing. “It’s all detailed in this book here. Now, can you please go? I need to revive the spirit of a long lost hero.”

Resolutely not leaving, “Mag” begins to flick through the book. Twenty or so minutes pass before he raises his next question, “This RNGJesus sounds a lot like the God Emperor of Mankind, beloved by all.” The last part being spit out with a great deal of disdain and disappointment, before returning to a relatively neutral expression. Noticed, but unvoiced, Gman responds saying “Well, yes. He’s the God of Luck in Imperial Canon. It’s why there are so many prayers to him. Normally it takes a bit of effort to get it granted, but it’s never lacking when you have it.”

A shocked look appears across “Mag’s” face, showing a rare emotion in the giant red ab-human. Surprise. “So, what you are saying is, that the God Emperor has blessed me with luck?” queries “Mag”, getting a quick nod in confirmation. “And that is quite rare?” questions “Mag”, getting another nod for his troubles. Gman, for the first time since “Mag” came barging into his office, displays a soft expression, rather than annoyance.

“”Mag” I don’t know why you don’t talk about your past, or indeed why you don’t like the Emperor, but if he’s blessed you with such fine luck, then perhaps it’s a sign that he’s saying sorry?” comforts Gman, radiating hope and kindness out like a star radiates energy. Moving around the desk, he places his hand on “Mag’s” bulging bicep, “And that’s welcoming you back?” finishes off Gman.

Silent tears cascade down “Mag’s” cherry red face. His eye matching his skin tone perfectly. Unable to contain his emotions, he rushes out of the office and into the ship at large once more. Knocking down the remnants of the radio, the chair and any hope Gman has of staying up on his feet. Screams of “That fucking squid”, “the dice god exists” and “Praise RNGJesus” rang throughout the corridor.

Gman quickly gets back up onto his and screams, “Rejoice “Mag” for your wish has been granted! You are a part of the fold once more!”

The bridge was quiet. Half of the posts were unfilled, their attendants given a rotation’s leave. The rest of the stations were crewed, though it would hyperbole to say that they were paying attention. Games of cards, causal chats and small ration shares were going everywhere. Light rest, and cursory glances at the workstations were the order of the day and everyone was partaking.

All except two. The most important pair on the bridge. Sitting in the observer seat was the Lord Inquisitor, supervising the last leg before the jump to warp. While personally he might have frowned at the lack of seriousness from the crew, he understood the value in letting them have some slack before the horror of a warp jump began. Especially considering their position within the Segmentum Solar. The captain, the master of all he surveyed, looked on without feeling. A crew that has a taste of freedom every now and then is one less likely to mutiny when getting attacked by some monster from the dark depths beyond.

All things in moderation, excluding moderation. That’s how Slaanesh removed for heresy. gets you.

“Captain, I shall take my leave of you. Please inform me as to when we reach the Mandeville Point. I will be in my quarters until then.” announced the Inquisitor. Getting up off his chair, he began to move towards the exit of the bridge and towards his own personal quarters. “As you say My Lord, I shall inform you of when we are able to enter the warp.” responds Dsann. The Captain, a man with nothing but a writ of Rouge Traderhood to his name, was nothing if not diligent in his duties towards his patron and commander.

“Very good. I leave everything in your capable hands” continues the Inquisitor, leaving the deck. His footsteps gradually fading away as he marches towards his room. As the Inquisitor leaves, the captain settles down into his command throne and checks over the sensors, covering for his sensor officer who was chatting up the communications officer.

Ah, nothing present. Good. I’d hate to be ambushed now.

It should go without saying but the Captain would later regret thinking those words.

SET CONDITION ONE THROUGHOUT THE SHIP. I REPEAT, SET CONDITION ONE THROUGHOUT THE SHIP. ALL HANDS REPORT TO BATTLESTATIONS IMMEDIATELY.” screams the klaxon, blaring it’s obnoxious message throughout the ship, rudely awakening a certain Inquisitor and his daughter.

“Dad, what’s going on?” asks Anna blearily, clearing out grit from her eyes as she seeks out her parental figure amidst the condition one lighting and screaming alarms. A shadowed figure starts shifting towards her, causing her head to turn. As the figure gets closer to the bottom of her bed the shape begins to resolve itself as the Inquisitor. He sits down beside her, carefully avoiding the blob of protplasm sitting at her feet. “Don’t worry sweetie, it’s probably just Dsann blacking out again and hitting the red alert button.” he responds quietly. And, for no reason he can fully explain, he begins to hum an age of terra song. “I want you to go to see Mister Magnus okay sweetie? And make sure you wear your life support gear. I’m going to find out what’s going on.” Ruffling her hair, over her squawks of indignation, the Inquisitor begins to make good on his promise to find out what’s going on.

Silently, as she was trained to do, our little sister of battle puts on her gear and begins to head off to the Archival Library. As she opens the bulkhead door however she calls out, “Come along squishy, we’re going on an adventure!” The call, and the unsubtle tone of concern encourage the squishy pet to follow, hopping up onto her shoulders for quicker travel. The second announcement from Anna was a lot quieter, “Stay safe, Dad.” she whispers out.

Quickly she begins to make her way, marching the with the steady cadence of someone who has spent all their life in one area.

“I love you too, sweetheart.” shouts out the Inquisitor. Smiling despite the potential seriousness of the situation. Her hastening footsteps are all the confirmation needed that she heard his response.

Now then, let’s find out what has gone wrong this time.

“So you’re saying that there’s an Eldar cruiser five hundred kilometres away from us and it hasn’t blasted us to shreds yet?” asks the Inquisitor. “Yes, Sir, that’d be the long and short of it. We’re very much caught out however, while we do have weapons and engines, our shields have been reduced quite substantially for maintenance. If they want us dead, there’s little we can do to stop them.” answers Dsann, over the Vox channel that the Inquisitor has opened.

“And you’re sure they haven’t laced the path ahead with mines? That their weapons aren’t powered up? That this isn’t all some fever dream invented by a madman?” questions the Inquisitor, listing several other possibilities as to what could be going on. “As to the latter, sir, I could not comment. But I can confirm that there are no mines in our path and that their weapons aren’t powered up. But with Eldar tech, who knows?”

An alert flashes over on Dsann’s side, too low for the Inquisitor to hear clearly. “And that’s them launching a shuttle craft. They’re aiming for the port side docking bay. Do you want me to send some of the security personnel over?” clarifies the Captain.

“If you could. Could you also ask Gman, Maria, Cool and Smol to go over as well? I want the rest to look after Anna if it isn’t too much trouble. She’s over with “Mag” at the minute.” requests the Inquisitor.

“Can do, Sir.”

“Very good, now to see who the unwanted guests are here for.”

“So a single shuttle?” questions Gman.

“Yes” responds the Inquisitor.

“As in, only able to hold about twenty Eldar in a pinch?” presses Gman.

“Yes” responds the Inquisitor.

“As in, a suicidally small amount of Eldar to face what must be overwhelming force waiting for them?” insists Gman.

“Yes.” responds the Inquisitor, clearly bored with the conversation. A single beat passes before he continues.”Unless it’s a bomb, or some new form of Super Eldar, or some sort of sentimental twist allowing many more forces to board or some form of peace offering.”

“So what you’re saying is ……….” leads Gman.

“Yes, shut up and wait. Like the rest of us.” confirms the Inquisitor.

“Well, it shouldn’t be long now, they are almost here.” elaborates the Psyker.

He was not incorrect. Decelerating from what was clearly a shortest time, highest burn transfer the shuttle was already on it’s final suicide burn before it entered the dock. The forces being exerted upon the craft intolerable for anything other than Eldar technology. Slowly, and with careful precision. The craft began to enter the dock, towards the killing field.

For against it stood over three hundred security personnel, all of them armed to the teeth and in fortified positions around the deck. Armour plating had been hastily added to the decks to act as crude cover implements as those that could not find such cover hid behind boxes of shuttle and attack craft parts. The smaller group, though by far the more deadly was arrayed in a semi circle, comprising a failed eversor assassin, a trained heavy weapons expert Inquisitor, a primaris psyker channelling his full might through his staff and an Inquisitor rumoured to be member of the Lego Custodies armed with a force sword and hellfire pistol.

This mattered not to the pilot of the Eldar shuttle however, as it lazily drifted towards a docking pad. Surrounded on all sides by fire-power and itchy trigger fingers. As it descended however, something tickled the back of the Inquisitor’s mind. Some feeling of dread began to manifest, completely separate from the concern and worry of imminent combat. The sensation of dread, of fear grew stronger still as the shuttle finally touched down.

Quickly, and with little fanfare, a bulkhead opened and an anti-grav chute deployed. Several Eldar crewmen descended onto the decking taking up a security screen formation around the grav chute. Clearly, the commander was yet to descend. A minute later, a singular female Eldar began to descend the grav chute. Causing chills to race up and down the spine of the Inquisitor, augmenting the dread and despair that had surrounded him since the ship had arrived.

The Eldar Female moved past her guard. Walking in front of their protective aegis and moved towards the Inquisitor. A friendly, almost teasing gait entered her stride as she closed the distance, adding only confusion and terror to the Imperial contingent. “You know, you don’t look that happy to see me” comes a distorted voice from the Female Eldar. “But, then again, it’s not like I gave you much heads up that I was paying a visit.

No……….” murmurs the Inquisitor. Understanding lighting his features.

A quick snap of the helmet, and the owner of the shuttle is revealed for all to see.

“Heya Inky~, how have you been?” asks ChaosWaifu cheerfully. Her hair flowing freely after being confined within it’s container. Silence fills the room as the Eldar corsair and the Inquisitorial representative stare at each other. One gaze disbelieving and the other carefree and cheerful.

“I believe there’s only one thing for this.” responds the Inquisitor, his voice clear. His path certain.

“What’s that inky?~ Whatcha going to do?~” trills Chaos, tipping her head to the side.


And with that single utterance, the Inquisitor begins running for all that he’s worth.

“Oh no you don’t you don’t get away that easy!” shouts Chaos, an angry lilt entering her voice as she begins her chase.

With the chase over, and a hogtied Inquisitor to show for it, Gman asks the question that everyone was thinking.

“Are you two always like this?”

The Inquisitor was sitting down, looking out of his stateroom window into the infinite darkness. Normally the commander of such a powerful ship, even if he was not the man who ran the ship, would be inundated with paperwork throughout the day. But today was a special day, a Holy day. Everyone from the lowest voidsman to the highest captain was allowed to take an entire two periods of rest.

With a small skeleton crew mostly comprised of the Mechanicum Adepts aboard and few of the more anti-social humans running the show, the Inquisitor found himself with that most precious of commodities.  Free Time. Even more so, with this being the rest period for the majority of his following, he was given a further blessing in being able to spend said free time however he wished.

This would take the form of looking into the infinite vastness of space, upon the many many stars that were under the imperial banner. Upon the swirling storm of ions and gases coming from a nearby nebula. Upon the slowly shrinking planets that they had all just visited. He was, in short, able to spend it in complete solitude. Nothing but a book, the infinite landscape of space and two cups of Tanna to call his company.

Moving slowly to pick up his cup of Tanna, he began to read out one of the lines of the book before him, “Each ship has it’s own legends. With some ships having lived longer than some settled planets, this is to be expected. The Fury of the Emperor is no exception. From the ratmen who come in the night to feast on the flesh of bad white-ratings. To the rumour that there exists a den of debauchery that would enliven even the deadest spirit from it’s lethargy. This one however is a bit special, in that it’s more or less likely to be true. The legend of the Beak.”

“I’d rather you didn’t read that out, if it were all the same to you, young Inquisitor.” responded a patch of darkness behind said Inquisitor. “The story is rather flattering to me, but far from the truth of the matter.” Slowly, as if mist was evaporating off a rockcrete floor, the shadow encasing the form of the voice left. Revealing, for all those who might be present, the outline of a space marine.

Towering over the seated inquisitor, he began to move towards him. Picking up the cup of Tanna with the care of a mother picking up a newborn babe, he began to take off his helmet with his other hand, using it to replace the vacant spot left by the Tanna. The marine takes a deep sip of the drink and sighs deeply, clearly thankful for the refreshment offered by the inquisitor. As he does so, he begins the stare out into the same formless void as his companion does, looking out at everything but seeing very little.

Enjoying the tranquillity.

“Are you going zone out all night, or would you actually like to have a chat at some point?” the Inquisitor asks testily, not moving from his seat or ceasing on his vigil outside the window. A quiet laugh escapes from the space marine, a deep rumbling sound that coming from anyone else would seem more like a threat than a simple gesture of amusement. “Indeed, Young Inquisitor, I am here to chat. I hear my last job for you went rather well.” he questions lightly, as if to imply that he hadn’t already read the mission reports.

“If by, rather well, you mean finding out who a Slanneshi Hotpocket is, figuring out the five best ways to clean out Daemonic viscera from your under-armour and discovering the favourite flavour of ice-cream for Khornite Beserkers. Then yes, it went rather well. I’d prefer to use the word shitshow, but that’s par for the course really.” deadpaned the young inquisitor. A companionable silence passes as they both return to their own thoughts.

“I have another job for you, if you want it?”

“When do I start, Boss?”

M40.938 – 3rd of April
Segmentum Solar –Alexandreos
Capitol City – Alexandreos Primus

Hello there Dear Readers, today I come to you not from my most humble abode aboard the Fury of the Emperor but from the capitol city of the Civilised world know as Alexandreos, imaginatively named Alexandreos Primus. I will give a noosphere cookie to anyone who can guess what the second city founded on the planet was called. You shouldn’t need to look it up to claim the cookie, just spend a minute thinking.

You might be wondering why exactly I’m writing this from anywhere other than our mighty steed of the Imperium. Well, I can’t say exactly other than to say we got an unexpected holiday which didn’t involve a bolter to the back of the head! It may have also, and not lay any blame, be the fault of someone assigned to the engine compartment. Someone who is closely linked to certain kinds of activity of dubious non-heretical standing and a mistake made when watching over certain parts of the ship.

Luckily however, while I am unable to confirm or deny exactly what special person did what to the ship. I can write a thinly veiled story piece about those involved and hide it behind slightly changed names, a slight skewing of events and a leaf out of an old article about something involving the life time of radioactive substances and the number three and we’re all good to go on the slander front! And I can begin our lovely story session once again.

I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

The Warp, if you don’t know AN – And if you don’t know, you shouldn’t be reading this. Instead seek out the nearest commissar and ask him to administer section 831-JN-Kappa of the military code, is the immaterial counterpart of the Material realm that we inhabit. We can access it in several different ways, from the works of the Psyker such as myself. To the mighty and powerful engines of our Fleet. Allowing the ship to bestride the universe faster than mere light would allow otherwise. Normally they have two modes. Working fine, without hiccup or “Gentlemen, it’s time to use our Cyanide Bolters”. There’s no real median point.

So, coming out of the warp in a bit of rush and not getting my soul consumed by the various forces of Chaos was a surprise. A pleasant one! I hasten to add. I would not want anyone to think that I wanted to have my face consumed by some random daemon. Or that I hypothetically wouldn’t mind getting motorboated to death by a Slanneshi daemon. No. Not at all! Ever.

I am a loyalist Psyker, and it’s important to remember that.

Coming out of the warp unexpectedly however did leave us in something of a bind. A normal jump can leave you thousands of AUs away from where you were meant to pop out. Or even worse, somehow turning up before you’d even set out or so far into the future that Anna might just see those Sister of Battle figures that she’s been bugging me about have been released.

It is with a deep sigh, a quick marking within the book I was reading and a hasty collection of my equipment and staff that I find myself rushing to find out where, when, why we are. And how in the darkness of space did this happen? Knowing our luck, Cool probably screwed something up again.

“You may have noticed that we are currently in the middle of nowhere.” Sighs the Lord Inquisitor, looking unsurprised and yet somewhat annoyed with the situation. “I will grant you all three guesses as to why we are stuck in the middle of nowhere, spend them wisely”. It takes all of five seconds for everyone to start pointing at Cool. Our Head Engineseer and all round nutcase.

“That was a bit slow, but you are all essentially correct. Well done, we will be providing a regulation issue biscuit at the end of the ration rotation for your quick guessing.” the boss says as e continues to placidly stare at Cool. “Cool, you broke it, you explain what went wrong.” The Inquisitor asks, moving behind the magos in question and kicking him from his seat.

“Hello everyone, your friendly neighbourhood chief enginseer and magos lewdinacus here. We may have had an instability in the normal functioning of our warp drive. This might have been causing us enough concern that we’d rather leave the warp early than risk not being able to get out of the warp at all.” elaborated the magos, the use of his vox speaker taking a slight but noticeable distortion to each word. “Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, I mean, it’s not like we’re trapped in the warp.” responds Jason. Asking the question that everyone appears to be considering.

“That’s only the good news, the bad news is that we were a wee bit insulting of the machine spirit when we were pulling us out of the Warp. So we may have pulled some of it through a minor bleed. Luckily, we still have our gellar field which is running at seventy eight percent which should keep us safe until we can fix up the engine and get out of here.” continues the unlucky magos. Before he can continue however, the ship shudders and the lights start to flicker. Distant screaming fills the corridors.

“That’ll teach me to open my vox, that would be the gellar field fluctuating. We need a Psyker to go down and help guide it a bit and to keep us from having our mechadendrites ripped out and used as xylophone sticks.” It was at this point that everyone studiously avoided looking at the giant red elephant in the room. The silence was stretched out for an indeterminate period of time as no-one spoke.

“‘Mag’, can you do us the favour of guiding the gellar field before we all see what a Slanneshi deamon’s favourite colour is?” says the Inquisitor, as he waves a hand at the airlock in question. Reading the request for what it was, less a request and more a judgement from the Emperor himself. The giant red man headed off to the Engineering deck, with haste in his step. ‘Perhaps’, Gman thought, ‘he was concerned for our fates or, and this was the far more likely case, concerned what the daemons would do to his library and his/it’s keeper. Maria.’

“What do Daemons do with books anyway?” enquires Gman aloud. Drawing confused looks from his sitting companions.

“Putting that aside,” responds the magos, drawing our attention back to the matters at hand. “An important tool is needed to recalibrate the warp drive. However, someone may have chucked it down a rubbish recycle port at some point. Questioning why exactly we would need such a tool. This means it has fallen down to the bottom of the ship, to the decks that we do not ever go to.”

He gives a shifty look, it is quite obvious who this person who may have thrown the tool down the shaft may have been.

“We need a team, we can only spare about five bodies to venture down to the lowest decks of the ship to pick up the tool. You’ll have support from some the anti-boarding troops we keep on hand but we can’t give you many of them or potentially any of them. They have other uses.” continues the Inquisitor, as everyone nods. It is commonly held that the anti-boarding troops make for the best corpse starch rations.

They may also be good at fighting, if that matters.

“And before you ask, yes the limit is five. No, this is isn’t because we were playing a game of Rouge Trader last night. I assure you” elaborates the boss. Trying to look pious and failing miserably. “We’ll need as many people as we can get to keep things as daemon free as possible. And it’ll take about five of us to carry the object back to the upper decks.” The assembled crew shifts slightly at this, the lower decks are around two thousand three hundred and seventy nine imperial feet downwards. Or about four standard kilometres downward. And none of us want to climb that while carrying massive precious relics.

The boss continues on blithely, not caring or noticing our discomfort. “So five able bodies it is. Well, three. I have to go, because I have the access codes. And Cool needs to come along because he was the one who through the calibrator away and left us in this state. So decide amongst yourselves whose coming along, and whose doing the tango with the Daemon hordes.”

One game of rock, paper, power sword later …………..

“Sir, why is she here? Why isn’t she in her prison like she normally is?” Gman asks, looking concernedly at the only remaining female in the dinning compartment. The compartment in question was a lot quieter now that the majority of the Inquisitors retinue had gone off to help defend the ship against the occasional daemon infestation. It is perhaps better left unsaid what the compartment looked like after their departure, but the wreckage would take three holy containers of blessed promethium, three cleaning servitors and a priest to properly inhabit it again.

“She’s coming because she lost, also Cool wants her along for some reason.” replies the Inquisitor as he cleans his guns. The Inquisitor favours a laspistol over the more traditional bolt or plasma pistol. It’s reliability proving itself over many campaigns and cold coffee incidents. “And besides, it’s not like we don’t need someone to make a heroic sacrifice along the way, why not let it be smol?” he continues.

“Still, sir, are you sure? I mean, she’s not exactly ……….. combat trained.” questions Gman, looking over his own set of weapons. He tends to favour a stun baton, along with his Psyker staff. Front line combat is not his forte but rarely do daemons, and semi-trained tiny sisters of battle give you much choice. “I mean, at least Iron is a combat medic, with lots of experience and Cool is sixty percent metal. All she has is a fierce look and an adorable demeanour. Not exactly combat material.”

It was at this point that Smol and Iron’s argument reached a fever-pitch and a slender fist clocked Iron in the jaw. Sending him flying towards the wall. A loud thunk is heard, signifying his graceful exit from conciousness and into the waiting arms of sleep.

“As I was trying to tell you, before you interrupted me. She is, what do they call them in those role playing games we play now? Ah right yes, the tank.” smugly responds the Inquisitor. He moves over to the communal whiteboard, resplendent in abuse, breakfast orders and to-do lists. Someone had also played a few games of rock, paper, scissors. Such scribbles are not long for the world however, as he gleefully erases them all to begin his presentation.

“Gentlemen, and smol,” he starts, ignoring the soft growl coming from said person, “we are going down to the bowels of the ship in order to pick up a tool that hasn’t been seen around for nearly three millennia. We’re lucky in that we can skip the majority of the decks that we might have to walk along because we have managed to fix the lifts.”

It is at this point that he begins to draw a series of diagrams upon the board, detailing the various different lifts and decks that are possible routes.”However, no one lift goes all the way down to the bottommost deck, and so we will have to make at least three lift changes. Our intelligence is limited on these sections, given that we don’t use them or interact with them outside the occasional nerve gas cleaning. We’re going in blind, with few troops and in territory which hasn’t seen a human presence, we think anyway, for close to two millennia.”

“I think this is going to be FUN” rasps out smol, smiling a butchers smile as she looks on the drawings.

Everyone else just starts inching away from her.

Lifts within the forty first millennium do not have what one would call, “Standard Safety Procedures” such as weight limits, speed limits, automatic breaks or indeed, any sense that they should stop before they reach their intended destination. They do however have one supreme advantage, they are fast.

“Oh for the love of the emperor, when will this stop.” screamed out Iron. Screaming, in this case, was necessary as the lift in question was accelerating fast enough for it to create a humongous rattle. Another thing that these lifts are not known for is stealth. “A minute, give or take fifteen seconds” replied back Cool. As he says this Gman peaks over his shoulder and notices that there are several meters heading towards the red, and other that have already been in the red for several minutes.

“Cool, why are there so many red meters on your cogitator?” he yells, attempting to stand up amongst the chop of the lift.

“Ah, no reason. But, for the sake of argument. How would you feel about a sudden emergency stop? There’s no rush in answering, it’s just a theoretical question.” rushes out cool, sweating out some sort of oil lubricant as more of the monitors move into the red.

“You know what cool, you do you. I’m going to go over here and look at some walls” whispers out Gman as he inches away from the cyborg.

One harrowing lift ride later

“Cool, you don’t get to drive next time.” coughs the Inquisitor, stumbling out of the smoking remains of the lift that was used to descend downward to the bowels of the ship. “In fact, if I see you next to a piece of equipment, without me looking over your shoulder again, I’ll have you shot.” Cool is nonplussed by this threat, not fearing any bullet or lasblast that the Inquisitor has on him. However, the Inquisitor is shrewd, and followed the threat up with a stronger one “And no flopping, for a whole fortnight”.

That caused the errant roboman to respond.

“I’ll be good, Lord Inquisitor Sir.” he mumbles meekly

“Very good, now lets dig out the others and be off.” confirms the Inquisitor, looking for any signs of living people within the remains of the lift. The digging took over an hour, and involved much swearing and promises to use mechadendrites in ways that the STC would not approve of, but eventually three more human….ish people were dug from the wreckage.

“Inky, when do we get to smash?” whines Smol. The whine effectiveness was undercut slightly by the rather large number of oil smudges running up and down her armour, as well as the wisps of smoke rising from her backpack. While many others might question what it was that was causing such an issue, with some thinking perhaps some form of electronic gear had broken, or others believing that it was a broken smoke grenade. It was, in actual fact, a small supply of chewable reptile confectionery items which had begun to burn due to the devastation within the lift shaft.

It is said that her scream broke three shrines to the emperor that day, but that is a story for another time.

“Not now, she-witch. There’s no-one to smash aside from us. And I need my meat……….. I mean my trusted and friendly companions on this trip as unharmed as possible. So, if you can contain your murderous insanity for a few minutes that’d be grand.” snipes the Inquisitor back, looking down into the corridor that the lift deposited them into. “Now if we’re all done taking an impromptu nap, let’s get on. We’ve got at least a kilometre to travel before we get to the next lift.”

And so, after much grumbling about horrible Inquisitors and lazy acolytes. The group marched onwards towards the lift.

Rumours state, on some of the oldest ships of the Imperium, that there live communities which have long since lost contact with the outside world. They live their own weird lives, subsisting most often on each-other and whatever they can salvage. In another time, observing and researching such cultures would provide a researcher with a wonderful amount of expository information about the evolution and speciation of the homo sapien race.

However, at present, our party found themselves under heavy fire.

“Where the fuck did they get combi-boltors from?!?!” screams Iron, ducking behind a broken structural column. Bullets screamed overhead as the attackers screamed out insults in heavily broken low Gothic. The insults, while rather broken, went along the lines of “Your mother was a Gyrinx and your father smells of Caba Nuts.”

“I don’t care where they got the fucking combi-bolters, someone just fucking break them before we get killed.” roars out Gman, hiding behind a rapidly disintegrating piece of rockcrete. Peaking his head out the side of his cover, he attempts to get off a blast of warp lightning at the gun nest hoping to catch the bolters shredding his cover, but while it does kill several of the insane ex-crewmen it fails to tackle the more pressing issue.

“It didn’t work, Smol, reese’s pieces!” voxes out the Inquisitor, seeing the hail of bullets continue after the blast of lightning. His own laspistol totally for inadequate for dealing with the enemies at such a range and with such cover, but in the style of guardsman everywhere, he keeps on firing at the emplacement in the hope that they don’t manage to hit something really important, like his Tanna collection.

SMOL SMASH” yells out our semi-insane Eversor assassin. Weaving through the storm of high explosive rounds, she dodges increasingly erratic and frenzied bursts of fire, all aimed to take down the failed Eversor. All for naught however, as she bursts through their firing line and begins the bloody work of an imperially sanctioned maniac. Limbs, organs and blood began flying everywhere.

“Smol, bag of dicks.” mutters the Inquisitor, pulling himself up from the ruined wreckage of what used to be a quick deploy workshop bench. With the trigger word uttered, the Eversor among our midst settled down from her blood rage and returns to her normal state of merely being rather ticked off. Slowly, and with evident caution, everyone else joins him in standing up to look at the remains left after the fire-fight.

Not that there was much left, just the remnants of people who’d never heard the end to the joke “What do you call an inquisitor with an Eversor assassin to hand?”. “So, does anyone want to hazard a guess as to who exactly attacked us? There hasn’t been any crew on these decks in centuries.” someone wonders aloud. Off to one side, Iron flips over one of the less mangled corpses onto his back.

As the resident medic, our Iron Priest keeps a series of medical devices to hand to treat various coffee burns, armour wedgies and bullet wounds. They also help at identifying bodies after they’ve been turned into so much soylent ingredient. “This guy is a fresh corpse, can’t be more than eighteen standard years old. Annnnnnnnnnnd he’s a cannibal. Well, that explains why they attacked us.” he announces. Everyone is half listening, going over the other corpses to see what filthy lucre they might have on them.

The looting might have gone on for some time, as we acquired a number of long and short ranged bolter based weaponry from the corpses. With only the occasional admonishment of “Smol, for the love of the emperor, stop finger painting with his lower intestines. We have no idea where’s he’s been!” and the inevitable response of “But innnnnnnnky, I’m so bored!”. But, as with all good things, it came to an end when we began hearing drums. Drums in the deep.

Drum and Base to be exact.

“I think,” Gman asks rhetorically, “That this group was not alone down here.”, quick nods are the response as everyone begins to pack up and make ready what meagre defence could be made of the destruction left by the last skirmish. Columns on the verge of collapse were broken down for use as ablative armour, bodies were placed down to hide improvised mines and smol was sent hiding up in the rafters to do her best “WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY” on command.

“You know,” says Cool, almost conversationally as he attempts to buy us some more time by closing some of the doors, “I really wasn’t expecting to be threatened by a horde of cannibalistic voidsmen hell bent on consuming our flesh. I mean, I’d sure hate to be one you meatbags right about now.” His mechandendrites stop fiddling with the local controls as a bunch of bulkheads slam shut, greatly reducing the drum and base fuelled hollering from the oncoming storm.

“Cool, shut up.” laconically responds the Inquisitor, going over the salvaged combi-bolter once more.

“A……………..”, a succession of booms, each one closer than the last, halts Cool before he can continue. “Well, there goes three of the five doors between us and them. And I’m not entirely certain they don’t have more. Shall we run to the lift before we get our floppers blown out from under us?” he continues, fiddling around further with his console display.

“No, we can handle a small horde now that we’ve got a somewhat defensible position.” returns Iron, lining up the sights on his own looted boltrifle. “So long as they don’t have a squad of heavy beefy boys, we should be fine.” he continues. Fate, being the cruel cruel woman that she is, couldn’t take such a challenge laying down. No sooner said than done, the last two doors were broken through by a tidal wave mutated monsters.

Closer to Ogryn than a standard human, they were covered in slabs of armour. Wielding makeshift, yet brutal axes, and holding a metal sheet as a low tech shield from weapon fire and melee strike. And as if to convince us of the insanity of our position, they began flat out sprinting towards us.

“Actually, Cool, you may have been onto something there. Cool’s up front, lead us to our destination,” bullets start whizzing overhead, adding an extra bit of punctuation, “Leg it!” he orders. This wasn’t as chaotic as it appeared, we’d littered our path with improvised explosive devices both hidden and visible. And the path we took led them straight into them.

But then again, none of us really wanted to tangle with a bunch of ogryn looking monsters while the objective was left incomplete. The salvo of bullets tracking us only added an extra incentive to hurry. Two lefts, three rights and far more straights than anyone would feel comfortable with given the speed they were following the group with. But thanks to the sciencymagic of remote hacking, and the liberal application of explosives, we were able to get away.

It would only be when they were at the lift that the Inquisitor began to realise he’d forgotten something.

“Hey, where is smol?”

Somewhere far far away

“Oh I do love to be beside the seaside, oh I do love to be beside the sea” she hums contentedly. As she spins amongst the gore of her latest kills, skipping onwards to find her prey. Upon spotting the next group, she screams out “SMOL SMASH” and begins to systematically disintegrate the latest group unfortunate enough to fall into her sights.

“Wasn’t I meant to be doing something? ………………..”

One harrowing descent into the depths later

“We have lost Smol, Destroyer of my Food Budget. A shame. Let us all take a moment to mourn.” A quick beat passes before the Inquisitor decides to continue. “Well, we shouldn’t mourn too much. We have a job to do after all.” Walking away from the lift, this one in a much better condition than the last, one might have noticed that there was a considerable bounce to his step, as if he was happy to be rid of the libab…….., Eversor Assassin.

An uncomfortable silence filtered over everyone as we marched towards the last set of lifts. Considering the fate of their companion among the hungry navigators.

“We are currently on the broken waste recycling level” mentioned cool, breaking the monotony of boots against deck plating. “We’re not quite sure why this deck was abandoned, given that it has some STC tech that makes the normal recyclers nearly three hundred more efficient. All that was in the log of the old Magos was a single word. Can’t remember what the word was now.”

A few moments pass, as the party navigates a particularly tricky broken airlock, requiring the use of a few melta charges in order to fully slag a path through to the main processing plant on the deck. Where upon everyone present just stops and stares onwards at the sight before them.

“Ah, that’s what the words were, crystalmaze”.

But while the words would remain a mystery to those present, excepting a specific being several thousand light years away, what was before them was not. What once was a glorious monument to humanities abilities to turn even their waste into something useful was instead turned into a swimming pool. A swimming pool filled with a greenish looking slime giving off a faint amount of light, and a rather larger amount of radiation. Fuel lines moved the slime from this location to that, while release valves provided a steady stream to refill the many various makeshift containers.

In short, it had been turned into the scene of a game show, a rather deadly game show.

“It looks like a shrine to nurgle, without the festering rot or daemons eating our faces.” the Inquisitor said dazedly. “How are we going to get across? The lift is just over there”. Pointing across to a hidden alcove just behind the gigantic tanks of noxious fluid. “To make things worse, I don’t see any way to get there, outside of crossing this room.”

“This one may have a solution, Sir.” responds Cool. “The pistons, and transportation belts operate in a set pattern. We merely have to wait and analyse the pattern and we should be able to hop our way across to reach the other side. A bit of time, and the Omnissiah will grant us the knowledge to get to our goals.”.

A small moment passes before the Inquisitor asks, “How long will that take?”

Cool doesn’t respond right away, instead he searched through his backpack for a few seconds before revealing what looked like a black coloured ball. “With a quick shake, I shall determine the will of the Omnissiah.” And shook it he did, with great vigour and strength, using each and every mechadendrite, for several long minutes.

When he stopped, something had appeared upon the surface of the black ball, “Ah, it says outcome uncertain, try again later. The Omnissiah wishes for us to wait.”

After many long hours of watching the kinetic interplay of pistons, pumps, fluids, ramps, gases and servo arms. We had it. The pattern boiled down to up two separate ladders, down two different ladders to get over the wall, a left, a right, another left, another right waiting until the beta platform rotated around, and then using the alpha platform to get most of the way.

Cool found said pattern infinitely amusing for some reason, but he never elaborated, claiming that some mysteries were to remain a part of the Adaptus Mechanicus. This left us only fifty meters away from the platform that would lead us to the lift. The platform in question was also on a set path, which meant it was less a test of our ability to jump, which to be fair is dubious anyway given the amount of armour and weapons we regularly carry, and more a test of timing.

Or, in this case, an excuse to show physics who is in charge. Because when you have a Psyker, you get to tell those pesky things to sit down and shut the hell up. As Gman was so delightfully explaining. “So, what you are saying is that you are willing to nullify gravity a bit, so that we can make the jump to the platform?” asks Iron, his face concerned with the thought of trusting warp magics to ensure that he did not make a close and personal relationship with the glowing green slime below.

“Yes, I can lower the gravity of a local section of space which should improve your jump time. This should easily let us get to the lift. Though, I’d ask for the lightest folks to go first. Who knows how much weight I can take away, eh?” he smiles, happy at the prospect of using his powers in such a fashion. None of the others share his delight, but seeing no other option other than attempting to find another path, they agree to the plan and begin aleaping onto the platform.

As he was the lightest, the Inquisitor went first. He may have thrown up when he hit the pocket of reduced gravity. We may have also chosen to ignore such an event. Next went Iron, who went more ass over teakettle when he found himself suddenly several tens of kilos lighter, several words of profanity such as “Emperor Damn it” and “When does it stop spinning!” may have also been uttered.

Throughout it all, Gman stood holding his staff out. Chanting arcane words as carmine/purple light gathered swirling around him. Cool would be the most challenging. Given that he is heavy enough to classified as a small sized personal transport. Unnoticed to Gman however, is that prior to making their jumps, the Inquisitor and the Iron priest had taken Cool to one side and gently persuaded him to leave some of his items behind. To make life easier.

So while Gman readied himself to indulge in some Mechboy Tossing, a stream of oily tears leaked from Cools face, as he looked on forlornly at his pile of toasters for various occasions, including one for “Surviving something that should have killed me” and “Didn’t kill the meatbags today”. Thankfully, his face was heavily obscured by his hood, so all the party would have noticed, had they chosen to look, would have been that the yellow/orange of his eyes was slightly browner than normal.

“Get ready Cool, it’s nearly time for you to jump” shouted the Inquisitor, looking as the platform he inhabited moved closer to where the sad Mechanicus Magos was. With one more look at the Robotic equivalent of a horror show, he leapt with all his mechanic might. A steel missile aimed directly for the platform upon which the rest of his companions inhabited.

While the man of many toasters was doing this jump however, Gman was struggling to enforce his will upon the materium. The light around him flickered, the shade deepening into a red so dark it was black. The staff in his hands, a gift from his occasional tutor, “Mag” was vibrating and shaking painfully within his grip as he steadied the Magos making an in-depth study into the principles of flight first hand.

Just as the Metalhead, in more ways than one, made it, his staff slipped out of his hands the lightshow that had been surrounding him dissipated. No warp horror followed his deluge of power. Gman had collapsed however, showing just how badly the event had taxed him. Unable to move, and barely able to speak, he used a vox unit to broadcast a message to his compatriots, “I’m spent, I won’t be able to catch up to you for at least an hour or two, and we’re on a deadline. Go ahead without me”

Being cold blooded by profession, if not by inclination, the Inquisitor gave a small nod to his Primaris Psyker and made his move towards the Lift. Torn between staying and awaiting the recovery of their companion, and their duty to their Lord, the other two dithered for a few minutes. This dithering ended abruptly as the Inquisitor gave them a stern look, forged from the finest traditions of “People who can murder your entire family while you ask for more” and the remainder of the squad made a hasty retreat towards the Inquisitors position.

The final journey down was remarkably quiet.

The final deck, the location of the calibration tool, was old. One of the oldest parts of the ship and one of the first to be abandoned. Nothing in the logs explicitly says why, none of the chief enginseers of past or present have ever put tentacle down to codex slate, none of the former captains, not even in the darkest most hidden places, ever inform you as to why you don’t go down to sigma deck.

It certainly wasn’t because the lifts did not work. For our gang of intrepid adventurers, minus a madman and rage fairy, this was outside the norm of the current operation. “You know, this lift is in fine condition.” says Cool, trying to break the silence that had claimed the lift since it had began it’s journey down. “Indeed, one would even suspect that it’s been seeing some regular maintenance over the years. I mean this console over here looks fresh and new”.

The console did indeed look new, the outer casing was free from the corrosion, dust and grim that normally gathered on a disused console device. It shone slightly, clear evidence of someone haven given it a polish, something that even active use consoles didn’t see in day to day operation. Imperial Credo 24211: If you can spend time polishing, you can spend it doing something effective.

“Yes, I did see that. What do you suppose it means?” responds the Inquisitor. He was standing upward, facing the door to the lift. He hadn’t moved a muscle since the lift ride had began and he certainly didn’t move one now, despite him being able to vocalise a response to the question. Were you to ask him how he was able to do that, all he’d be able to respond with would be “Inquisition”.

“I have a feeling we’ll find out, won’t we?” answers the Iron Priest, settling the question for the moment.

Hours pass and the lift descends further and further towards it’s destination. While the inside of the lift was clean and new, the shaft itself had not seen a repair and refit cycle in many centuries, leaving the top speed slow in order to avoid over stressing components far beyond their operational ranges. Silence ruled the compartment until a loud bang roared out, signifying the arrival at the destination. A repeating message begins to play,

“Warning, hard vacuum on deck. Sigma deck has sustained a complete loss of atmospheric pressure. Human habitation is not advised. I repeat, hard vacuum ……….”, drones the deck warden cogitator. For good reason, the entirety of the deck beyond is vacuum. No pressure, no air, no life. An entire deck, without visible damage, empty of anything that could pose a threat.

“Well, that can’t be allowed to continue, it’s not like we brought full pressure suits with us. Cool, pressurise the deck if you can, we don’t need much, just enough to ensure that our organs stay on the inside.” commands the Inquisitor, waiting patiently for his command to be executed. While none of the decks past a certain point are to be trusted, he had previously mentioned, it was a given that they would at least be inhabitable so long as there was no major external damage.

Or, more succinctly, the choice to reduce the atmospheric pressure and associated gases down to zero was deliberate.

“Okay, sir, the atmosphere is being increased. It’s mostly going to be nitrogen, there was very little oxygen left in the tanks, so wear your re-breathers as we go along. I’ve also informed the machine spirit that it should prioritise our path to the objective. So we should be able to leave now and begin our journey again.” reports cool.

“Pressure Normalising, Pressure Normalising, Pressure Normalising” sounded out the Cogitator. Light swirls of dust formed in the room as the atmosphere returned, spinning round and round as the fans whirred to life. Long forgotten pieces of paper drift gently in the breeze as the brittle remnants of a pot of petunias moves fitfully within their erstwhile coffin.

“The pressure has returned to acceptable conditions. Please have a nice day” informs the Cogitator, opening the doors of the lift as it does so. Cold, quiet but no longer deadly. “Alright gang, lets move.” motioned the Inquisitor, hefting his pack of inquisitorial goodies and marching onwards towards the cargo hold.

The other two, the Iron Priest and the Magos, quickly followed behind him. Treading quickly in the tomb like corridors of the long abandoned deck. Even machine men can feel, and the eerie, creepy sensation running down his servo motors convinced him that it was time to go.

It was easy to reach the actual cargo hold/converted rubbish chute, given that it comprised the majority of Sigma deck. Finding the item within the deck however would prove to be more difficult. Years of rubbish, and actual cargo items, are strewn across the whole area. Broken servitors, left over meals, the remnants of long discarded data slates are all present within the giant mountain of rubbish that fills the hold.

“So, do we know what the item actually looks like?” asks Iron, his eyes are fixed on the far depths of the hold, his sight even enhanced by bionics cannot penetrate the dark gloom nor it’s vast distance. “Yes, actually, we do. It should be the only item down here giving off any sort of heat or energy. Once we get to within five hundred meters or so of the device, we should pick it up.” responds Cool, fishing out some strange device from his bag.

“I think it’s over there, it shouldn’t take us”, he pauses as he looks down at his device, performing some arcane incantation over it, “much longer than an hour to get there. This time, the man with the metal hands takes control, leading the party onwards to salvation.

“Okay, I get that’s the thing but why is it up on a plinth like that? It’s not that special, is it?” inquisits the Inquisitor. “No, not really. The item is a throne a dozen on any hive world worth it’s name. It’s just we ran out of spares ages ago.” confirms the cyborg in red.

Said cyborg is moving closer and closer to the device, one would almost suspect that he moved with giddy haste. Excited at the thought of getting the item back and into the hands of the Mechanicus forces within the ship.

“If it was on a plinth, then that means someone must be down here to have placed it on said plinth. I mean, it even has lighting surrounding it.” queries the iron priest.  Surrounding the plinth is a series of different lights, all angled as to present the good side of the device no matter what direction one might be facing it in. Perfectly designed to ensure that as few shadows as possible exist to spoil the enjoyment of the device.

“Well yes, but it’s not like we have a choice. We need the device in order for our warp drive to function properly. So there’s nothing for it but to ‘acquire’ the device and see what happens.” and no sooner had cool said it, than it had been done. Replaced with what looked like a black ball of some description.

Playing card games against someone who has mechadendrites is always a losing proposition, they have more sleeves than you do.

Soon, a deep deep rumble started. Like an engine warming up, softly at first before growing into a full bodied shake the earth rumble. Parts of the rubbish, piles that had not been disturbed in centuries, began to shift and move. The alterations to the giant rubbish mound began to collapse the fragile supports of some items, causing further crashes to sound out as old relics and useless junk alike began to break.

“Soooooooooo, anyone know what’s going on?” asked the man with iron hands. “Because it looks like something is surfacing from the great rubbish sea.”. “Yeah, it’s been that sort of day hasn’t it?” someone said with resignation. The rubbish continue to move and shift, taking new forms and founding new mountains and plateaus. Old artefacts, relics that would make even the most battle hardened kleptomaniac weep in joy before acquiring everything that wasn’t nailed down, began to surface.

Bodies emerged, relics and refuse streaming down from their iron grey form as they took their full, imposing height. Towering above all save Iron, they were impressive. Intimidating. Terrifying. And all too familiar. “We’re totally boned.” escaped the words from the Inquisitors mouth, almost inaudible above the the clanging and clashing of metal breaking against metal.

“There seem to be quite a lot of them, we should role for initiative.” voxes the many armed one, the audible cacophony now completely preventing any unassisted noise from passing between them. “No, you idiot, we’re not going to attack them. We’re going to RUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!” screams the man with the plan.

Intent on turning his voice into action, he jumps onto nearby flat sheet of metal and begins to surf it down the massive metal mountain slowly crumbling down around them. Intent on not becoming Pariah food, or being on the receiving end of a flayed one haircut, the others follow him quickly. Cool, having a bit more sense than many would credit him with picks up a sheet of metal capable of supporting his bulk and begins to use his metal arms as makeshift ski pole.

Iron, not wanting to be left out, decides to jump onto Cool’s back using him as a robot piggyback. As they rushed towards the lift door, the attendant Necronswho had, at one point just prior to Cool’s impromptu lesson in robot husbandry, made no moves to stop them from running.

It would later be speculated, after many bottles of local booze, that the reason they had stopped was the sight of a space marine riding a techpriest had so startled them that it caused them to freeze up. The more reasonable voices pointed out that it was probably the slumber within unsuitable conditions which had caused that. But with more of the same mentioned booze within them, such protests went unheeded.

Never the less, our party made their escape quite quickly making it to lift door before being intercepted by the now fully awoken and madder than a khornite berserker, Necrons. With little time to get their weapons out, and lacking the requisite anti-tank weapons needed to take down Necrons, our party decided they could make best use of their time with a prayer to their chosen deity.

“Oh great toaster in the sky, forgive me for I have sinned ……..”

“Oh Emperor, what did I ever do to deserve this? Oh, right, Horus ………….”

“Fuck you father, Fuck yo ……………..”

Before the execution blows could be struck however the lift doors opened. Faster than a red rocket surrounded by orks, and followed by  a shadow of darkest night and purest bone white, out slammed several large streamers of warp lightning into the chassis of the surrounding Necron forces. Those that escaped the fusillade of warp energies were cut down with sharp powerful claws and got to witness the contents of their torso’s first hand.

Failing to fade away, the remnants of what had been a strong ambushing force laid before our party, reunited at last with their missing comrades. “Hey Inky, did you miss us?” smugged Gman. His firm, wide grin established quite clearly he knew what he had done. The Inquisitorresponded with a smirk, one promising pain and suffering if he said one word about the events before said Psyker.

“Don’t just stand there, get us up and out of here fast.” snarled the Inquisitor, pushing himself off the decking. Quickly, almost as if they had a legion of very angry kill bots on the heels of their feet, the rest of the party rushed to the now open lift. Slamming the button to go to the uppermost deck that this lift reached, the entire party who had fled from the techno-zombies began to take deep calming breaths.

“So,” asked the Inquisitor, gasping for air, “Where did you find her?”.

“I followed the trail of corpses and the indecently placed bodies”

“You couldn’t have just left her there to have her fun?”

“No, where would have been the fun in that?”

“I really hate you”

“I know”

Several hours later

“YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT WE DID WHAT WITH THE TOOL?” screamed the Inquisitor, as we began to flow back in the warp once more. “We threw it back down the rubbish pit, sir.” responded the young techpriest, confused at the reaction from the commander of his ship. “YES, I HEARD THAT, BUT WHY DID YOU THROW IT BACK DOWN THERE AFTER ALL THE WORK WE DID TO GET IT?” ranted the Inquisitor.

“Because we were told to?” squeaks out the young adept techpriest, getting ever more concerned by the reaction of his superior. “YES, I GOT THAT, BUT WHY DID HE THROW THE DEVICE AWAY?” rages out the Inquisitor. It’s quite clear that he’s becoming ever more angry and annoyed by the answers he’s getting, causing the young adept to flesh out the reasons in a bit more detail. “He said, and I quote ‘This thing is out of lewds now, we have no further use for it'” whispers the adept, hoping that it will calm the Inquisitor and allow him back to work.

“Did he use the word, ‘lewds’, adept?” asks the Inquisitor, his previous rage replaced with something far more terrifying. Tranquillity. “Yes sir, he did.” replies the adept, not quite getting why he should be more concerned with the sudden quiet from the Lord Inquisitor.

“Tell me, Adept, do you know where the head Magos is currently right now?” asks the Inquisitor, smiling cheerily.

“I believe he’s on Beta deck, sir, near the armoury.” replies the adept.

“Thank you, Adept. I shall inquire about a promotion for you.” he says happily, moving towards the deck lifts once more.

“But sir, there’s only one person above me. The Magos Cool” questions the adept, confused as to where the promotion would come from.

“I know Adept, I know.”,  a loud blast comes screaming from the Inquisitor, followed by smoke and the burning smell of deckplate. Clearly the inquisitor had detonated something fairly potent. “Would it be too much trouble to borrow some of the melta charges you keep for cleaning up metal? No reason I need them in particular, I just have some metal I need to clear up” he sings out, giving off a dark and cold aura to all around him.

“Third door on the left” answers the Adept.

M40.938 – 17th of March
Segmentum Solar – Trepytos
Aboard Inquisitorial Ship – Fury of the Emperor

Hello dear readers, its time to share another story again. I’m happy to report that my Inquisitor, Honoured be his name, has not executed me for the Heresy of describing him and his interactions with his pseduo-daughter. I did however have to write out “I will not reveal secrets of the imperium” 5000 times on a blackboard. As soon as I find the blackboard. In the inventory. On the deck that no-one ever goes to.

I should be done inside of a decade, so wish me luck!

So instead of risking another penance crusade, I shall instead tell you the tale of the time that “Mag” got a pet. And the Choas that ensued when he sneaked it back aboard the ship. As always I should do a shout out to our sponsor, who today is “Mag”. “Mag” for when you really don’t like dogs, but still can’t help but Dawwwwwww at cute and cuddly.

Our story begins as most of our stories do. On a mission to some emperor forgotten hiveworld to help out the locals. In this case, again to aide “Mag” in his ra-hab-itlt-ion, our resident librarian was drafted to aide us in our holy mission to purge the Xenos. Or the Mutants. Past a certain point they start blurring into each other and I find it kinda hard to tell the difference.

In either case, we went boldly into the hive on our sacred mission to assist the local Arbites in removing the problem from the Hive. And, aside from one noodle incident involving a case of krak grenades, three bottles of hiver wine and a Judge helmet. It all went rather well. The planet was saved, causalities were kept below sixty percent and “Mag” got to show off what happens when you leave a high level psyker alone on a ship with lots and lots of free time. The blood goes everywhere, and you need to buy a new pair of shoes.

And a new coat. And maybe some new eyeballs if you can afford them. Or maybe even if you can’t.

The last remnants of the rebel forces were holding out in a small office building in the underhive. Long since unused by any decent Emperor fearing folk. They were quickly dispatched and we were able to investigate exactly what they were planning to do with the hive in general without much trouble. Given that we were both the resident Psykers, we were set about the task to ensure that there were no dangerous texts lying around and to make sure that no-one was left hiding in any of the hidey holes that infest any given imperial hive.

This normally a quite a thankless task. Or horrifying. It all depends on what you find. In this case, and for the first time and most probably last time, it was enjoyable. We were just about to enter one of the many domicile quarters that the Mutants, and I’m at least eighty percent certain they were just mutants,  used when we found a what looked to be an …….. orange blob with a face.

An actual face, with cartoon eyes AN – Whatever the hell a cartoon is, Jason assures me that they are cartoon eyes and what looked like the number three for a mouth. Now, we both didn’t scream like little girls when it started moving towards us, but it was a close thing on my part. If not for the ability to know what someone is thinking. Well, I shudder to think what I would have done to the few remaining salvageable clothes I was wearing at the time.

My surprise was blunted somewhat when it got up close to “Mag” and went to hug him with two tentacles. This was, perhaps in retrospect, a bad idea. While “Mag’s” true identity remains a mystery to all but Anna and the Inquisitor, we do know some things about the giant red man who occasionally bakes some jam tarts. Such as that he detests tentacles.

Calamari day on the ship was never tried again.

At the time all I could think to do was to cross my fingers, close my eyes, and say goodbye to the last remaining items of clothing that weren’t set for the incinerator. He can get like that when he sees something that scares angers him. Instead, as it began to dawn on me that I wasn’t covered in orange jelly, I noticed the strangest thing. The orange creature was hugging “Mag” for all it’s little jelly arms could.

And “Mag” was hugging it back. Smiling. Not in his usual way. The one that made your skin crawl and want to rip itself from your body. It was soft, and content. The effect was bewitching. He had lost several decades just upon meeting the orange creature. I have never been so thankful and at the same time jealous that “Mag” won the right to go first into the room. The last time I did that, I got a pie to the face. An actual Shepard’s pie. I don’t even know where they got the beef for it. Let alone the Potato.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to leave them alone for a while. It’s rare that “Mag” ever looks that happy. It mostly tends to be in the company of his companion bear, Maria. Given what was about to happen after that decision, perhaps I should have kept an eye on him.

In my defence, how was I to know he carried a sack for loot?

Interrogation Records 89-Z2, “Mag” Debriefing

“So, you managed to sneak the creature aboard the ship inside a sack? And no-one questioned why the sack was bigger than normal?” asked the Lord Inquisitor, sighing as he made himself comfortable in his recliner. Unlike how most inquisitors would handle their interrogations, ours preferred to keep his calm and quiet. Or perhaps he just remembered who I was.

On second thoughts, it may have been the latter.

“Yes, as you know, I occasionally use it to store some non perishable loot we pick up from the various missions we go on. Mostly data tablets and the like. They then get carefully shuffled into our library for future reference. Incidentally, will you be returning that? It’s been overdue for a few weeks now.” I reply as I shuffle my large bulk into the custom furniture that the inquisitor had made. Silence rules for a minute, before he continues on.

“No, I don’t intent on returning the data tablet because my Librarian is currently inside the Gaol because he brought a pet onto the ship without prior warning.” he sighs back wearily. “I can’t believe all this all started because Anna wanted a pet and you didn’t want to get her a ***”.

Huh, I wonder what that last word was. It probably wasn’t anything important.

“So, from the start, how did you even get it onto the ship?” he asks.

“Well, it all began like this ………”

This is perhaps the best hug I have ever received. Even including the special friendship hugs that Maria occasionally gives me when I’ve done really well at maintaining the library. It’s so warm. And squishy. And it smells like a library and Maria. Or perhaps a library about Maria. I could just keep hugging it forever. It’s such a shame I’m falling behind my friend.

I reluctantly start to let go of the creature in order to move off after my partner. Odd name, Gman, but he’s a fine Psyker. And not at all someone I feel guilty for killing once by accident. As I move towards the door however, a plaintive keen came from the odd jelly blob. Turning around I find it’s face to be a steady stream of orange jelly flowing back into itself. Seeing that I was paying it attention, it started to move towards me, raising it’s arms as it did so.

The intent was clear, it wanted another hug.

I sighed out loud and asked, “What am I ever going to do with you Squishy? I can’t just leave you here.” It was then an amazing idea came over me, What if I put it in my lootin’ sack and took it with me! It’s not like anyone ever checks the sacks, it’s mostly just personal loot once you’ve had it checked out for heresy and important Xenos research material. And I can just hide it in the shuttle while they check the loot out.

Though explaining the orange jelly left over might be a bit difficult. But I’m sure I can find some way of explaining it.

Yes. This plan is amazing. I must have my little Squishy with me. He will make for a fine pet for our little group. I quickly begin shoving little Squishy into the sack. For some reason he doesn’t resist, which only raises further questions about what the previous caretakers did with him. But no matter, they are dead, and I have the Squishy. “Come little Squishy, it’s time to take you on a ride to meet your new family. Who love, feed and hug you as much as you want!”.

The blast of happiness I sensed from his mind was more than worth the risk of angering the Inquisitor. Now then, where in the shuttle do I sit to avoid questions about the big sack I’m carrying?

I should question the ease with which I was able to smuggle a live Xeno pet onto the ship. This seems like a huge security flaw. I mean, I could be carrying anything in this giant sack after all. I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth however, not like some of my brothers.

Sneaking Squishy into my room was equally as easy. Though ,again, maybe my position as head librarian and as a giant red scary man has something to do with it. Or they just don’t care. People are weird sometimes, and hard to understand. Rushing to my bed, I open up the sack so that Squishy can breath free once again. Instead of breathing however, it immediately went to hug me again. Before I could do anything else, my arms went around the ball of jelly and began to hug it back. I’m not entirely certain when Maria turned up in my quarters. But at some point she started trying to grab my attention. Forcefully. This normally means using one of her slippers to hit me. This time she used a paddle. Made of metal.

I don’t even know where she got the paddle.

“Henlo there Magnus, do I even want to ask what exactly what that blob of goo is? Or should I just keep hitting you until you give an answer?” she asked quickly. Just barely refraining from speaking in her native tongue. The fact that she kept hitting her hand with the paddle convinced me that it’d be better to tell the truth than to try and lie. I may be a Psyker, but she can still read my mind like a book.

“Welllllll,” I stutter. “I found a squishy blob of protoplasm that seems to like hugs. And being hugged. And just anything to do with hugs. And I didn’t want to leave him down there all alone and he’d already been treated so poorly and he’s so cute so please can we keeep him please!!!!” The words just kept rushing out, beyond my concious control. Apparently all you need to do to make me happy is give me a hug.

I wonder what would have happened if Russ, an unnamed individual had given me a hug?

It was at this point, while I was contemplating the power of hugs in forgiveness that I noticed that Maria had gone up to Squishy and had started to interact with it. Or more specifically, she’d been gobbled up into a hug. And was not trying to run away. In fact, she was just smiling blissfully. “Oh this is so nice, I feel calm now.” She murmurs, stroking what might have been the back of Squishy.

Or maybe the front. It’s hard to tell given the fact that he appears to be a ball of goo given the ability to give amazing hugs. “So,” I ask, “Can we keep him?” The response is muffled through the jelly, but I’m close enough to hear it as “Only if you do our special thing. Then we can keep the little ball of goo.” she responds. “It’s name is Squishy, and we have a deal.”

It was worth it.

Interrogation Records 89-Z3, “Necrolord” Debriefing

“So, Maria, do you care to tell me exactly how a giant ball of goo incapable of moving much faster than walking pace managed to get away from you?” questions the Inquisitor. Pacing behind Maria as she sits down at the table in the diner. “I mean, you keep on top of these louts nine times out of ten, so how did you let it get away from you?” the Inquisitor asks, sitting down on one of the dining chairs.

“Well, Boss, it went something like this ………”

Looking after a mentally damaged Primarch and his new ball of goo is a difficult challenge. They just want to get up to all sorts of trouble, without even knowing why you should do something. Like today, apparently no-one explained to Magnus exactly why you shouldn’t just go around in ghost form looking for the Lord Inquisitor when he’s not in his quarters.

Or why you can’t just go around showing the pet you smuggled up to a ship from a place that was trying to ruin the emperors peace is a bad idea. I sigh at this and just continue walking back towards my quarters. That I share with Magnus. And just like that, a smile appears on my face. Maybe not everything is so bad, he at least knows I’ve got him over a barrel and he’s stopped protesting about having me live with him.

Also, Squishy hugs are the best way to calm down after a long day helping to sort out the Armoury for the Inquisitor. I have been having them nearly every time I got back home. It is on that lovely thought that I opened the door to my quarters and found my erstwhile boyfriend/ward chasing his pet around the living room. I feel a smile creep along my face as I watch them chase each other. Life is good.

“Henlo there boys, what are you two doing?” I chirp out as I step through the bulkhead door of the quarters. No sooner do I ask the question than pow, Squishy starts blobbing towards me. Greeting me with a hug. A hug I am more than happy to return with a contented sigh. Life is good when you got a nice place to live, someone to care for and a pet that doesn’t want to leave you alone. Especially when you dupe the Lord Inquisitor into handling all of your paperwork for you.

A dark chuckle escapes my throat and I deliberately ignore the concerned look on Magnus’ face. In taking my attention away from Squishy however, I forgot to close the bulkhead door. This normally wouldn’t be an issue, except that we now have a pet to concern ourselves with. A pet that has a penchant for hunting down people who feel sad and hugging them until they feel better.

And we just gave it a free shot at the rest of the ship. As I’m realising all this, the pet in question has already made a run for it and jumped into one of the many ventilation shafts that dot the ship. It is in times like these I can say only one thing.

“Oh for the love of Magnus.” I scream out

Interrogation Records 89-Z4, “Psyker” Debriefing

“So, do you mind explaining how exactly we had one half of the voidsmen on the ship hunting down “Squishy” and the other half hunting down the first half to stop them?” moans the Inquisitor. Standing in-front of the window in my quarters. The void is exceptionally beautiful here. “And don’t give me any of that crap about not knowing what went on, I saw you near that little ball of goop just before I pinned you all down. So spill, what went on?” he added with an apparent afterthought.

It was at this point that Gman knew he had fucked up. The Inquisitor was not looking on the void, as a man might look upon a masterpiece. He was looking away from his captive audience to avoid throttling them. So rather than turning the truth to make things better, he decided to tell the truth. Mostly. Some of the more silly stuff would be omitted to avoid his boss from killing his colleagues.

“Well, you see my friend. It all started when Maria let Squishy into the ventilation part of the life support system …………..”

A normal day for me starts with breakfast in the kitchen/dinner. If I’ve been good, it could be crumpets made from actual bread, as opposed to corpse bread. I am good most days, so most days I get to enjoy real crumpets for breakfast. Looking down at the thing I thought I had left on a planet a month or so ago, I was getting the feeling that I’d be finding out what I got when I was a bad Psyker.

And it is with this thought that the blob of jelly decided it’d like to come up and hug me. With great force and vigour.

“So this is what “Mag” felt, I see why he snuck you back up here.” I muffle out, the blob has forced my head close to it’s protoplasmic body in it’s efforts to provide the best of hugs. Not wanting to be ungrateful for the first bit of human contact that didn’t involve getting hit with melee weapons I’ve had in a while. I begin to hug the ball of jelly back. I mean, it’s not like “Mag” would bring this back to the ship without checking with the Inquisitor first right? I mean, he’d have to be a complete idiot to not make sure that this thing wasn’t Xenos tech or some Choas sorcery sent to kill us all.

A single heart beat passes as Gman considers this thought, the entire universe waiting for him to realise what he just thought.

Oh fuck me I think, he never checked with the Inquisitor. I start to struggle out of the grip of the goo ball, fearing the possible taint of choas or xenos. It was at this point however that three things happened. The blob of jelly started to run away from me, making my efforts to get free from the creature redundant. I thought this was inexplicable until Maria and her charge, “Mag”, began charging into the diner screaming something about not letting Squishy into the ventilation system. This was all for naught as at the same time they screamed this out, Squishy slipped into the ventilation shafts.

While waving as the air currents ferried it away.

“‘Mag’, what was that?” I ask quietly, staring at the duct that Squishy escaped into. Several tense moments past as Maria and “Mag” conversed amongst themselves. They are, I thought, trying to come up with a convincing excuse as to why they let a potentially dangerous Xenos artifact lose on an Inquisitorial ship. Several more minutes pass before I get tired of waiting and continue “An explanation? Now! What exactly was that? Why does it look like the ball of goo that we found on that Hive world a month ago? Why is it on this ship? Why is it flying around our ventilation systems? Carrying who knows what to some poor ships rating? Explain. Now. Or I’ll get the Lord Inquisitor and you can explain it to him.”

“Henlo there Psyker, we’re hunting down our secret pet which has escaped into the life support system of the ship. We really need to find it before the Lord Inquisitor finds out we brought it on board and we get in trouble.” She responds brightly, unconcerned with my threat regarding the Inquisitor. “And, since you are also a Psyker, like my dear ‘Mag’ here. I figured you could help us now, what with the whole knowing of the secret thing.” she continues. “And before you think about making him deal with this, I’d like to point out that you left ‘Mag’ alone when he picked up Squishy. So you’re as much on the hook as we are. I don’t think he’d like knowing you left ‘Mag’ alone when he was under threat from a Xenos artefact would he?”

This is why I both loath and love Maria. Inside of ten sentences, what seemed like a position of power was swapped for a position of servitude. Oh well, in for a crown, in for a denarii I guess.

“What do you need me to do, Inquisitor?”. Her smile really does terrify me more than it should.

“I think it’s in Pie’s quarters. Over here. We’re lucky in that I think Pie is doing some target practice down in the hanger decks.” I say, as I approach Pie’s quarters. Pie being the resident all round amazing shuttle pilot and ace shot.  “I think Cool’s device is a bit flakey though, so he could be in the quarters above or below.” I mention as I begin to open the door to Pie’s quarters.

“Just get it open quickly, we don’t want to let anyone know we’re hunting this done. Far too many ratings have already seen Squishy and us running after them” “Mag” urges me on. Wanting to get the door open as quickly as possible. “I know, but If I don’t do this right, then when Pie comes back we’ll have to explain to our pilot why we were in his room. And the bruises took months to get out last time.” I remind “Mag”, wanting to forget the last time we snuck into Pie’s room.

It was the worst choice of location for a surprise party ever.

I finished my work on the bulkhead door and it responded with a satisfied click. “I’ll cover the vents, you guys grab Squishy. We ready?” I question, getting ready to rush the vent system to prevent the errant pet from escaping. “I’m ready”, “Lets go” they both respond. “Good, lets go” I confirm and open the door rushing into the section of the suite where the life support comes in.

Or I would have had I not been distracted by the fact that Squishy was hugging Pie. And Pie was naked. Completely Naked. Like day that he was born naked. Man, were we ever noticing that fact. We were so absorbed by the weirdness of the situation that Squishy had the time to hug Pie extra hard and run away back into the vents. Escaping from us once again. We just kept staring until Pie came round and asked. “What are ye doing me room?” he snarls out. Clearly not happy at finding us staring at him.

“How’s it hanging Pie?” I ask.

The beating, though time consuming. Was worth it.

“Ach, why am I still half naked?” complains Pie as we’re rushing down towards the Gym. “Because you beat me half to death, so you’ll just have to suffer with the skirt” I smirk back at him. Glancing over my shoulder at his kilt. “It’s a kilt ya bloody blighter” he growls back at me. “Quiet, both of you. We’ve nearly found it again.” Maria barks out. “And this time we’re not going to be distracted by a naked Tannite giving a bear hug to a ball of protoplasm.”

We fall silent at this, our boots echoing down the corridor as rush towards the exercise area on the ship.

“Pie, watch the door. Holler if it tries to pass you. Psyker, cover the vents. ‘Mag’ and I will go for the blob. And this time, we will not let it escape us. Far too many people have already seen the creature for us to let it get away again.” She planned out, as we rushed into the Gym. This was all going great, until we found Velk doing bench presses while being spotted by Squishy. And then them swapping round.

Again, we were stunned by the insanity of a ball of goo exercising non existent muscles with our resident Commissar. So much so that Squishy had almost made it to the vents again before we were snapped out of Daze. “Come here you!” I scream out, as I try to tackle the ball of goo before it reaches it’s highway route to the rest of the ship. This would have worked wonders if not for the fact that between me and it was a bench. With some dumbbells on it.

Just as my life flashed before my eyes, it wasn’t that great, 3/10 film. Maybe 5/10 depending on if you like sci-fi dystopia. Our quarry escaped into the vents once more. “Ow” I moan out as I take a little break. I won’t be long, I just need five minutes of rest.

Four hours later

“IT’S WHERE NOW?” I scream out. My voice echoing out into the cavernous confines of the ship. “I said, we think it’s in Anna’s quarters. At least, that’s what Cool’s gizmo is saying.” repeats Maria while clutching her ears. “And shouting about it won’t help, we need to get there fast. Before Anna decides to use that Flamer she has and burns the goo down into a puddle of slush.”

“Anna’s quarters are five decks up and half the other ship away. It’ll take us twenty minutes to get there, longer if we have to avoid attention.” I respond. My head starts to throb and I start to massage it to ward the pain away. It helps, but only by a little. “I may have a solution for that, I can teleport us up there. I should be able to avoid attention if we do it quick and I dump us somewhere quiet” “Mag” pipes up. “But we’ll still have about five minutes before we can get to her.”

My head aches, I really don’t want to be thinking about this any more. “Your choice Maria. How do you want to play this?” I concede. She was leading this op, I wasn’t in any mood to fight her on how we should play this. She considered “Mag” for a minute or two, before saying “Teleport us ‘Mag’, but make it as quiet as you can. The boss and the Choir is on that level, I don’t want them to know what we’re doing”. A quick nod from “Mag”, a hand wave, and pow. We’re five levels up and we’re the better part of two kilometres on the other side of the ship.

“We are all agreed, we do not speak about what we just say while getting here.” Says “Mag”. Both Maria and I nod. We do not wish to discuss the horrors we saw while travelling. All those ponies. All that colour.

“Come quickly, we are not that far off Anna’s quarters.” Maria announces as she begins to jog off to her little sister’s quarters. Glancing at each other, “Mag” and I begin to follow. Just as eager to avoid burning down another set of quarters over a misunderstanding. It is said that the fire that Anna first started when she got her flamer continues to burn even now, providing a heat source that warms the heart of the faithful.

“So, unlike last time, we’re not going to try the softly softly approach. This time, Gman, you are going grab it with your mind while ‘Mag’ surrounds the whole area in a shield of energy. We are not letting the rodent get away from us this time.” Maria huffs out as we start running harder towards our objective. “And remember, if Anna is there, we must distract her while we accomplish our mission. If that means bribing her with more learning time, or an extra pudding or some extra tacos on taco tuesday, then so be it. The Inquisitor must never know.”

“It’s rather redundant to say it, but I agree. We cannot let Lord Inquisitor know of this.” I second. “Yes, our Boss must be kept ignorant of this. He’ll take away my reading privileges if he finds out.” blurts “Mag”, clearly distressed by the prospect of losing his most prized privilege. The right to read the books he looks after. He somehow manages to ignore the insulted look on Maria’s face, and I feel absolutely no urge to point this out. Silence falls amongst us as we rush off to meet our fate. Until we come across a most distressing sight.

“Guys, why is her bulkhead door open? And why is smoke drifting out of the quarters?” I ask confusedly. Anna knows better than that, it could be the different between life and death if we were to be ambushed. “I do not know, but I am sure we will not like the reason” answers  Maria as she opens up the door partially, allowing us to look into the quarters of everyone’s favourite pyromaniac. Only to find, instead of burning rooms and angry children, a calm and quiet Anna.

Who is playing Catch. With her Flamer. With Squishy.

“Well, I guess we don’t need to worry about her burning half the ship down just to get rid of Squishy then.” I breath out, thankful just to not have to hide the burning maelstrom of pain that might have come of an angry Anna. “Indeed, she looks like she’s having fun with Squishy.” says Maria. Looking just as thankful as I am for not having to explain why we need to get new quarters for Anna. Again.

“But we’re still going to need to bribe her to keep quiet about our little pet. So, should we offer to let her have it every now and then if she keeps quiet?” wonders Maria. As she continues to look on the scene of Squishy and Anna playing. This time, a game of wrestling. “I think this is a suitable bribe for her, how should we go about asking her?” responds “Mag”.

Unfortunately for us, as we were absorbed by the scene of Anna playing with Maria and “Mag’s” pet, we did not notice someone approach us. Someone we should have been weary of, given how close his own quarters were to the adorable little sister of battle. “Well”, a cheerful voice pipes up, filling us all with a profound sense of dread and fear. “You could ask me first, isn’t that right, my acolytes?”

Turning around, to face the Lord Inquisitor, it was all I could think to say was “Awwww, bugger.”

M40.938 – 10th of March
Segmentum Solar – Trepytos
Aboard Inquisitorial Ship – Fury of the Emperor

Working for an Inquisitor is never boring, for all the things that it could be said to be. It can be terrifying on occasion. Annoying far more frequently than you’d think and peaceful far more than you’d deserve but it is never boring. Or perhaps that’s just because I’m working for the mad “Admin” inquisitor. This has, perhaps, coloured my perspective on the matter.  Should any other Acolytes read this, especially ones from other retinues, feel free to tell me at deadpsykerwalking@noosphere.imp what life is like, presuming you can both read, write and have noosphere access privileges.

Today’s adventure is brought to you by an Imperial Banquet and young Protégé by the name of Anna. An adorable Sister of Battle initiate we picked up doing some routine daemonic cleansing work. She’s only 7 years old, and I have no idea why they ever let her close to a daemonic infestation but they did and she’s our little mascot now. Of course, given her powers of cuteness and her desire to “swmite the emenies of the imperar” she has the tendency to run roughshod over everyone else in our little group. Including dad surrogate, the Lord Inquisitor. This is sometimes funny, like the time she got him to dress up like an Ork for play-fighting and then didn’t tell any of the naval ratings what she had done.

We’re still trying to fix all the bullet holes from that.

Then there are the times when it’s a really really really really really really stupid idea. Like this one.

“Sir, with all due respect, but are you out of your mind?” I ask in an angry whisper. Trying to avoid the gaze of a certain mini Celestine kicking her heels into her bed a few metres away. “You know what people are like in those things, either it’s near enough that we should consider purging them for Slanneshi Heresy or they are playing so many political games that Tzneetch would throw his hands up into the air and scream Too Many Plans”. I continue angrily. “And you want to expose her to that?!?”. The inquisitor sighs at me and then starts pointing at Anna. “Are you going to say no to that face?”.

It is at this point, dear readers, that I must admit that I did not actually look at Anna before I came into the compartment. I was rather preoccupied with my furious rage that we were even considering taking her with us to the party. So it was to my great surprise that I found her using her most powerful weapon. The crying eyes of doom. I quickly spun around and the Inquisitor just gave me a knowing smile and sighed. He began to walk out to return to his own quarters to get ready, but before he did he said “Yeah, it got me too.”

Let it never be said that the cold and cruel inquisitors do not have a heart. You just need a necron cartographer and exterminatus grade adorableness to find it.Or maybe it’s just this guy. He’s weird like that IN – redacted for the sake of not having to shoot my daughter’s teacher. See me after work. With only a few hours to spare, mostly because we were far from ready to go to an imperial ball we were hosting. we had to get our mascot ready for a Banquet. I am happy to report that I was not the one to tell her that her favourite chibi version of battle armour could not be worn. I was able to give that particular duty over to another Acolyte called the “Snacklin”.

It is said that his screams of horror can still be heard on the lower decks, echoing out into an audio cascade that would make a noise marine blush. AN – Yes, we’ve dealt with Noise Marines, and no. I don’t want to go into it. It involves five buckets of paint, a shard of an eldar sword and the top hits from Hive Biber on some emperor forsaken planet somewhere. Getting a trainee sister of battle to wear something other than the armour of their ilk is an amazing achievement, we remember fondly the “Snacklin” for his efforts. And his snacks.

Three hours later, and we were all ready. The Inquisitor was in the finest tailored outfit he had, befitting his past as a loyal attendant of the Emperor. I was dressed much less formally, I was not quite dressed like a serf but it was a hard thing to tell the difference. Such banquets are not for Psykers, after all the nobles of many planets have many plans. And they do not want them to be revealed to imperial authorities. Also, we like finishing sentences for you. And most people hate that.

The “Snacklin” survived his encounter with his Cultural Protégé and somehow also managed to get dressed in time to attend. Though quite how he thinks a leg cast is inconspicuous was and remains beyond me. In this case, he brought his finest preaching robes to the event. To mark out his position as a voice of the Emperor and his teachings to us. He also carried a staff, but I think that was more so he could walk.

And there was the big red guy, the one that stuck mostly to the Library and screamed every time I proposed getting a pet dog for Anna. I generally don’t see him out of eye range of his attendant/teddy bear, so it was a first for me to see him standing to one side, alongside our Lord. He was wearing the most stretched out brown set of labourer clothes and formal robes I had ever seen. Ever. The seams looked like they were a few minutes away from ripping themselves to shreds. But apparently the clothing got a pass from our lord. It’s hard to dress someone so big. Also, there were muttering about a re-hib-iltation scheme or some such and a need to get him socialising with normal people.

The fact that this was a party filled with mostly nobles went over our Lord’s head.

We are a small group, not prone to flamboyance except where it serves the purposes of our Lord. This, however, left us in something of a quandary. What exactly do we dress our little nun with a gun in? It has to be formal, and yet, we have very few formal items of female clothing around that would fit. Most being from former colleagues that have since passed away. What do we do with a problem like Anna? It took us hours of time to figure it out. And, given what we came up with, it is perhaps embarrassing that we took so long to decide. In our defence though, Anna veoted everything that we proposed for hours until we found just the right outfit for her. After all, she has to at least like what she wears to this, otherwise we might get another flaming meatloaf incident.

Through the power of technology, toaster bribing (Both in that we bribed the Mechanicus Adapts looking after the ship and that we bribed them with toasters) and some archeotech that the Blood Ravens didn’t manage to steal from us. We had the perfect outfit for her, she looked well …….. she looked just like her dad. Baring the fact that we did have to knick a good portion of the blue clothing from some of the higher ratings among the crew. She ended up with dark navy clothing with gold trim, and a sporting black trenchcoat to go over it for the weather.

From mini-sister of battle to mini-commissar. We are not good at fashion.

We are also not great at parties, far too much time fighting the enemies of Humanity. Not nearly enough time spent talking about how wonderful the smog is on some Hive world or another. Luckily however, we have people who can make a good party for us! Thank the emperor for the weirder specialities of the Adaptus Mechanicus.

And so, with the magic of the Magos Partilioigous at work. The imperial banquet was ready, now all we had to wait for the guests to arrive from the planet surface below. A collection, or so I am reliably informed, of high level imperial dignitaries, members of the ruling council of the planet, a rouge trader who happened to be in the area and a few minor celebrities from the various nations of the planet below. And all I had to do was wait and do some cooking because while the inquisitor is kind, he is not one for idle hands. Also, warp fire adds a nice sizzle to a medium rare stake.

You will have to forgive me, dear readers, for the rest of this is told to me by the “Snacklin” and the giant red guy who introduced himself as “Mag” over a bottle or three of amasec a month or two after. So if it seems a bit hazy, it’s probably just the booze, or that warp dust that seemed to be lingering over “Mag”.

“So there I was right, I was preaching to some imperial dignitaries who are helping out the governing council maintain their tithe to the Imperium. And what do I see out of the corner of my eye?” Jason said. He continued on after taking a swill of amasec, “Well, you know our boss has never been one to hit it off with the ladies. With the whole ‘My life is dangerous, short and full of secrets’ and then being all ‘but your voice is so amazing.’ They couldn’t take no for an answer so they were kinda pushing him back into a corner.” He smiled, and said the line again, making sure to do the air quotes and the falsetto voices. Jason, our favourite “Snacklin”,  likes doing the air quotes.

“Course, our boss is far too polite to tell them to stop, and given that this is meant to be fun, he doesn’t want to start putting on his ‘Give me your clothes, your boots and your bolt pistol’ voice. So he just tries to slip past them all polite and non-threatening. And justkeeps failing, miserably. Over and over again. These women, you see, don’t really want to let him go without something of his.” he says as he goes towards his shoulders, where the formal pauldrons would normally rest. “Mag” grunts at this as I chuckle. Pauldrans are collectors items, much like how hats are.

“So anyway, he’s getting backed further and further back. And the amount of room he has is drying up fast. With tables to the left of him, and a bulkhead on his right. He couldn’t get out. Judging by the look on his face, I’d guess that he was genuinely considering using his Melta pistol to burn the bulkhead down and take his chances with the void. The way some of them were looking at him, he might have had a point.” Jason continued on. Pulling out his pictographer he shows me a few photos.

How said photos were acquired was left unsaid.

“Of course anyone with half a mind might have thought that cornering an imperial inquisitor is a bad idea. But there you go, some people just don’t think. So before either I or Big Red over here” A minor growl comes from said “Big Red” at this. But Jason continues on undaunted. “can intervene and protect said ladies from themselves we here a very tiny battle cry along the lines of ‘For theee inqwisiter’ and a white rocket charging at a group of noble ladies. This would end as well as you’d expect from the nobs.”

I should point out at this point that the reason we were drinking amasec is because we had run out of water several days ago. A good portion of the ship was currently having their liquid ration replaced with rum.

“So she charges in and breaks their little blockade apart,  and starts to tug on the Boss’ hand to lead him away. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so bewildered. I mean, she was on the other side at the hall when this was happening, playing with some of the children of the other guests.” A quiet cough interrupts Jason before he can continue. “I believe she was leading them in her exercise routine at the time, I was discussing our rarer texts with some attendant archivists. She wasn’t that far off.” Our stares at “Mag”. He normally keeps quiet. Almost unnaturally so for a man his size. He starts shifting uncomfortably as we just keep looking on at him. “Can you stop that? It’s not that odd that I speak.” We continue staring at him, we’ve genuinely heard his voice maybe a few times before. It’s rather like seeing a good imperial governor.  “Besides, one of us needed to keep an eye on her, you never know what or who might try to get close to her.”

We all pause at that, while we may not have heard him spoke. Little Anna had, many times, as one of her primary educators on some of the more advanced philosophical and metaphysical concepts. “Mag” goes back to nursing his drink before continuing on.

“Well anyway, she started getting a bit more alert as the night went on. As if she could feel that something was up. But she couldn’t put her finger on it. So she just kept drilling the other children.” he grinned at this. It is a big, very red and very white grin. By a line that I feel embarrassed even mentioning, I avoided breaking out in a cold damp sweat. Jason, on the other hand, did not even look affected. Dam him and his unflapableness.

“They were exhausted by the end, and their outfits were far from suitable for the exercises she was putting them through. But even indulging in her exercises seemed to not settle her down much. Then, without any warning she started just charging down from one end to the other. At a speed that would make a White Scar jealous. Knocking all those in her path out of the way.” The smile reappeared and sadly, so did a bit of fear. “I didn’t know it at the time, of course, but she was charging down to her ‘Inquisitor’ in order to save him from those ‘vile’ harlots. I must say that the inter-spaced stain glass and transparent metal windows did manage to add a suitable dashing aura to her. She looked positively heroic.”

“Yeah, but the screaming was certainly not.” chimes in Jason. “She may have dodged a few of the more frail members of the party but she didn’t pay that much attention to the rest. Or myself.” He winces at the memory, his leg is still in cast even now. Were it not for the fact that it was done to another member of his retinue, I’m certain that the Inquisitor would have praised her quite effectively for her work. “And don’t even get me started on what she did to the Ladies after she managed to lead him away. She started chasing them, all over the ship. Screaming all the while. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a noble run so fast or hard. It must have been the first bit of actual work that they did!” he spits out.

“Still”, I say, “The look on their faces when they finally met up after the party was a treat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them smile so much at each other before. Nor do I think I ever saw him give Anna a cookie.”

And that, dear readers, is how a single sister of battle somehow managed to annoy 38.45% (A magos calculated it, thank you Magos Coolskills!) of the local nobility. Amuse to no end a good portion of the Ordo Hereticus and cause us no end of headaches in trying to explain to our little white haired rocket that no. You cannot just go and smash everyone in your path to save the one that you love respect more than anything else in the whole world. Also to put down her bolter until she gets her bolter privileges back again.

This did not go down well with the bolter privileged. And we soon became very thankful we only ever gave her rubber bolter rounds. And very annoyed at our selves for showing her how to get around the ship using the ventilation shafts. Her vengeance against such a punishment was swift and painful for all of us. Though somehow “Mag” managed to avoid it.

He refuses to tell us how, nor why he back with his Teddanant hanging around him all the time.


I went to Berlin a fortnight ago. I stayed over in the Capitol of the German state for about 5 days and returned home, to visit my grandparents for a little while, for two more days. I came home properly on Sunday.


The trip to Berlin itself was nothing special. I amused myself, and father, by listening to podcasts, discussing economics and otherwise enjoying a very boring car ride up to Stansted. I will say this for travelling in the night, it’s like the whole country shuts down and there’s no traffic at all. Parking was provided by the lovely people of a third party parking company that I struggle to remember, I want to say it was Pink Elephant Parking but I’m probably wrong. Check in was likewise equally painless, if somewhat lengthy. We ate breakfast, from a place called Giraffe, prior to departing from the country, a smart move given that we wouldn’t eat from around 6am to 4-5 in the afternoon local time. Boarding was probably the most annoying part of the day, it was slow, painful and certainly wasn’t enjoyable but for the price I suppose you can’t argue much.

Flight time was about 2 hours, including the hour adjustment forward from BST to EuroST. We arrived in Berlin around 10-11 in the morning. Good news, the public transportation is straightforward and relatively cheap, bad news we were looking at waiting until at least 3 in the afternoon to get into our room. This is bad news when you’ve not slept or showered since the day before and you are rapidly approaching 24 hours with no sleep.

From the airport, we arrived and Friedrichstraße station on the regional train system. From there, it was a short walk up to the Hotel we’d be staying in for the next three nights. Big props to the people behind the Melina hotel, they let us check in our luggage into concierge and ourselves into the system to make the actual check in time easier. This was most helpful, because Berlin is ridiculously, unreasonably hot and we were carrying all of our cloths and electronics on our backs.