The Karrad Vall Incident
After hours upon hours of fending off attackers, the hallways were littered with bodies and body parts. The explosive traps we had set left the walls painted with blood. Blast marks from the voidmaster’s grenades scarred our surroundings. The remains of my heavy bolter sparked and smoked. All was quiet and it appeared we had weathered the storm. We only had minutes left before Farseer Anaris would re-establish some semblance of control over this craft world. Perhaps, for once, we’ll get through this little jaunt with minimal scarring. After all, until now, the only casualties suffered were by some of the Eldar hippies and if they didn’t seem phased by deaths within their own ranks, I’m not about to grieve either.
And then we heard it. A booming voice spoke to us that came from an unknown origin…we couldn’t tell if it was spoken to us from down the torn up corridor or if it came telepathically from within our own heads. “My name is Karrad Vall. I see you have dispatched my underlings. Quite impressive and I thank you for weeding out the weak amongst my men, for the weak have no place at my side. You, however, possess uncommon strength. Come, join me and the gods of Chaos shall reward you richly beyond anything you can possibly imagine!”
We hastened into the corridor to face this new and final threat. What we saw struck fear and, admittedly, envy into the hearts of every one of us. Long after this battle concluded, we discussed everyone’s personal account and it appears that at that moment, in the corridor of the craft world, we each saw a different, unique image of Karrad Vall. The forces of Chaos seems to have given Karrad Vall the ability to manifest himself in different, varying images to each one of us as well as engage each of us individually in single combat. This is what each of us saw:
- saw before him, within melee distance, a large, grim but handsome figure. This figure wore what appeared to be new, spotless high-grade military armor polished and cleaned to the point where he would not have been out of place in a military parade. A faint shimmering around him indicated some kind of personal force field. However, most impressive were the pair of swords duel wielded by Karrad Vall. These two swords, mirror images of each other, were over-sized and a normal man would’ve had difficulty wielding just one of them with two hands. Karrad Vall, however, had no issue grasping each one of these massive swords in a separate hand. Each sword crackled with energy and emanated a darkness that seemed to absorb light, creating an aura of dimness around it.
- The voidmaster, our Master Helmsman, saw off in the distance, about 50 meters away, what is best described as a jungle guerrilla warrior. He did not appear to be wearing any armor but rather was notable for his lack of armor – wearing only combat boots, jungle camouflage pants and no shirt. His upper body was heavily muscled and around his head he wore a red headband bandanna. Strapped to both of his legs were large, sheathed combat knives and in his hands, he held a massive heavy stubber with an ammunition belt hanging from it. But these armaments were not his defining characteristic. Rather, he had strapped across his upper body, no less than a half dozen bandoliers laden with dozens upon dozens of grenades. Hanging all around his belt were another dozen or so grenades.
- Engineseer Prime Divis saw before him within melee striking distance a man who was no longer a man but pure machine. Divis himself, it can be argued, has very little flesh left but still maintains a spark of humanity. He brain is still organic and at least 25% of his internal organs are, I believe, still original. But the opponent before him was pure machine without a trace of organic flesh. Its form was still humanoid in shape, two legs, two arms, and a head, but there was no skin, no flesh. It was pure, highly reflective metal. In fact, it resembled a metallic skeleton more than a metallic man. The head was but a skull with red glowing eyes. Divis, for reasons known only to him, dubbed his opponent the Terminator T-40K. And although it held no weaponry, it was obvious that its its hands and feet alone were deadly weapons.
- Master of Whispers Regias saw a very odd opponent that also within melee range. Before him stood a lithe, dashing figure dressed in fine clothes with every stitch and button heavily decorated. Around his shoulders he wore a fine cape embroidered with a detailed coat of arms. Upon his head, he wore a hat with a large brim, turned up on one side and a feather poking out of it. The metal fasteners and clasps on his clothes and boots all shined bright, golden yellow. His face was oddly pretty, almost feminine in appearance but for the long, waxed mustache. In his hand, he held a rapier of high quality and extravagance. The hilt and hand guard were adorned with multi-colored gemstones that glistened despite the low light. In fact, they almost seemed to give off a light of their own. And mounted at the end of the rapier’s pommel was a brilliant diamond the size of a ping-pong ball.
- Choir-Master Telepathica Brother Lazarus Krinch felt the presence of Karrad Vall before he “saw” Karrad Vall. Lazarus nearly fell over as he was bombarded with the aura of pure, uninhibited psykic power emanating from Karrad Vall. The sensation was not unlike being struck by a wave of heat upon opening a blast furnace door (or stepping out of an air-conditioned plane onto a BKK runway in the middle of summer). And equally disconcerting is what Lazarus “saw” before him – a figure that did not walk on the ground but rather floated several inches off the ground, body completely shrouded in strips of black cloth. The individual strips of cloth seemed almost alive as each piece floated independently yet remaining attached to its master, giving the appearance of a living robe made of unholy serpents. Karrad Vall’s head was also hooded by the strips of living cloth, his face obscured by shadows with only a long, bony nose and mouth visible. His skin wrinkled and deathly pale white. And although Lazarus could not see it, Lazarus could tell that Karrad Vall’s eyes were, in fact, intact. Above all else, Karrad Vall still having eyes pissed Lazarus off…a lot.
- And lastly, I, Master of Ordnance Malcolm Reed saw in the distance ahead of me the largest space marine I had ever laid eyes on, or in this case, chaos space marine. A typical space marine consists of: One, a large, genetically modified man, ugly and scarred by the ravages of war. Two, a massive piece of powered armor encasing that man, effectively transforming him into a tank. And three, over-sized, world-ending weapons that a normal man couldn’t even hope to pick up, much less fire. The nemesis ahead of me was all this, times ten. He was disgustingly ugly and scarred, with most of his visible flesh burnt, red, and hairless. The armor he wore gave him such size that he filled the entire corridor. A couple centimeters taller or wider and he would not have fit. And the weaponry…oh, happy days….the weaponry! He bristled with weaponry. He had turrets and launchers poking out of him from every possible position in every possible angle, some of which were, needless to say, inappropriate….but most of which was horrifying.
Almost immediately upon sight, we lost our fearless leader and helmsman/grenadier. Perhaps it was psyker mind domination, perhaps it was temporary insanity, or perhaps it was simply the inability to cope with their own primal fears of certain death. The Lord Admiral and the Master Helmsman ran back into Farseer Anaris’ chamber and promptly lost their wits.
At first they began running in place…
Then they flopped around…
And finally they ran around in circles…on the ground.
The two of them alternated between these three actions for the duration of the events described below. Needless to say, these two provided no end of unsolicited entertainment for the backup Eldar Harlequins protecting Farseer Anaris. As soon as their antics began…for some odd, unknown reason, the following words echoed in my head, “Ray has gone bye-bye, Egon… what’ve you got left?” “Sorry, Venkman, I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.”
With a grunt, I shook the voices out of my head and glanced over at my remaining crew members. Divis, Lazarus, and Regias shot back confused looks that mirrored my own. We were two men down and there was nothing to be done about it. I sighed and turned back to face the humanoid weapons platform ahead of us.
“So, what is your decision? Will you join my invincible army…or PERISH!?!?”
I replied, “Join you? Well, let me ask you this… How much does chaos pay…and do you have big ass guns?” He answered me, “Endless riches and power will be yours and as for guns, well…” He pats the legionnaire plasma gun in his hands.
Lazarus stated, “So you’re offering me unprecedented pysker powers?” “But of course!” Karrad responded. Lazarus looked momentarily thoughtful, straightened up his body, rose to his full stature and suddenly roared, “Well, FUCK YOU!!!” and he let loose a molten beam of psyker power which singed the slightly surprised Karrad Vall.
I thought to myself…hmmmm…typical God Emperor psyker. Incorruptible, un-temptable, and fanatical till the end. He sticks by his convictions, I’ll give him that.
Divis said, “And me, you can make my body perfect? And offer me knowledge long lost forgotten and forbidden?” "Why yes, " Karrad said. “You will be transformed into the perfect being with knowledge and lore you didn’t even know you wanted.” Divis yells out, “Well FUCK YOU! NO ONE tells me I’m not already perfect and no one tells me what I want or don’t want knowledge of…..muthafuckaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!” And with that, Divis swung at Karrad Vall with his sword, which connected but Karrad shrugged the blow off.
Ummmm. Yah. With Divis, I shoulda seen that coming.
Regias, on the other hand, decided to discuss the matter a bit further. “So tell me, you’re saying that if I join you, then I won’t die. But if I oppose you, you’ll slaughter me?” “That is correct,” Karrad stated matter-of-factly. Regias looked at our group, two men down, and said, “Hold on a second, I need to think about this.” Regias then pulled out his data slate and began calculating his chances of survival with Lazarus and Divis, throwing glances at me, not yet knowing which side of the battle I’ll join.
Karrad Vall turned his gaze back to me, “So, what is your decision? Ultimate power or agonizing death?” I thought to myself, dammit Lazarus and Divis! There might have been a deal to be struck here. After all, we’re out here for profit, are we not? Ah hell, at least I’ll get some target practice in. I said to Karrad Val, “Hold on there, you’re a bit far away and I want to get a closer look at that plasma gun of yours that you’re offering in exchange for my allegiance to you.” I raised my sniper rifle, looked through the scope and began taking aim at him.
“Silly human, I’m no fool! Your intentions are clear!” And with that he began advancing towards me while simultaneously opening fire. I experienced the full fury of his weaponry and sustained serious injuries, flesh reddening from plasma burns all over my body…but I ignored the pain as I continued focusing my shot.
Quickly after, Karrad Vall (the Terminator T40k) transformed his arms into sword appendages and swings at Divis unleashing a multiple flurry of attacks. Divis deftly dodged away from the first swing only to stumble into the second swing. The sword connected with the maddening sound of metal grinding against metal as sparks flew off Divis. But Karrad Vall was not yet through as a third, mighty swing cut through and severed off Divis’ right leg. Divis instantly dropped to the ground, unconscious, spilling oil everywhere as his metal right leg clanged down the corridor 10 meters back.
Seeing all of us now engaged in combat with Karrad Val, Regias decided his allegiance remained with his crewmates and despite his lack of combat training, drew his plasma pistol, thumbs off the safety, clicks on the red maximal mode button and fired in one, smooth motion. The shot hit and Karrad Vall stumbled a half-step back but with rapier in hand, Karrad Vall recovered and lunged at Regias with multiple quick strikes. Miraculously, his strikes failed to find the target.
With my aim now true and ready, I took a shot with my trusty sniper rifle aiming for his rib cage. plink. The bullet did not penetrate his armor and bounced off him, but my years spent training in precision shooting paid off. The bullet found a weak spot in the armor and the impact cracked a few of Karrad Vall’s ribs, or whatever he had that passes for ribs. This stopped his advancement towards me as he remained in place, stunned.
However, this did not stop Karrad Vall from unleashing multiple bolts of psyker energy at Lazarus. A few missed but one found its mark. Lazarus dropped to his knees visibly injured but he resolved not to give in. Rising back up on his feet, he raised his hands, bellowed out, “FOR THE GOD EMPEROR!!!” and unleashed another searing beam of fire at Karrad Vall’s surprised face. Karrad was hit and very obviously injured. But Lazarus’ effort has taken its toll. He fell back down to his knees, groaning in agony. “Malcolm, Regias, double your efforts at once! My powers have burnt out…”
I felt a new-found respect for Brother Lazarus. Except for this burn-out thing, he’s bad-ass in a deadly raw power kind of way! Now if only I can bottle him up into a gun….
The celebration of Karrad’s injuries was short-lived, however, as Karrad telekinetically grabbed Lazarus by the throat, lifted him up a foot in the air and began choking the life out of him. Karrad Vall spat out the words, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
Quickly, I took another shot from my rifle. I muttered curses under my breath as the bullet bounced harmlessly off Karrad Vall’s armor. He resumed his advance towards me at full speed.
Regias shook his head, disgusted with my pathetic show of force. He raised his second plasma pistol and fired at maximal force. The shot hit and further whittled down Karrad’s diminishing pool of strength. Regias looked over at me and said mockingly, “Hmmmm…looks as though I’ll need to train YOU up a bit on how to shoot a gun….gun-boy!.” I momentarily considered drawing my pistols and turning them on the Master of Whispers with his stupid grin but I thought better of it and refocused my efforts on Karrad Vall.
Suddenly, Karrad took a lunging attack at Regias, the tip of Karrad’s rapier leading the way. The rapier pierced straight through Regias’ left wing. The injured wing blackened and decayed starting from the weapon’s entry point, then spread out until the decay consumed his entire left wing. Within moments, the rotten remains of his left wing fell off his body. Regias face went from a mocking grin aimed at me, to confusion, and finally into shock as his eyes rolled into the back of his skull. He collapsed, unconscious.
Having stowed his plasma gun, the chaos space marine charged at me with his fists which were augmented with razor sharp claws. Karrad Vall sought to finish me off, face-to-face, not at a distance with a firearm. With him now in close range, I tossed my sniper off to the side and drew my duel inferno pistols, knowing these may very well be the last couple of shots I fire before joining Divis and Regias in whatever afterlife decided to claim us.
As Karrad lifted his powered armor claws to strike at me, Lazarus summoned a final bit of strength, broke out of the telekinetic chokehold and leaped into the path of Karrad Vall’s claw, determined to take the hit, so that I could take my last, desperate shots unhindered. Karrad’s left claw came down with unbridled force but Lazarus got there just in time to intersect the incoming strike. The powered claw impaled Lazarus through the chest, blood gushed out. And like Divis and Regias before him, Lazarus lost consciousness.
With a smile of satisfaction, Karrad Vall pressed his attack as he swiped his right claw at me. However, Lazarus’ actions slowed Karrad’s strike the fraction of a second I needed to spot his second attack dodge it. A whistling sound emanated from the claw as it sliced air inches from my head.
I rotate around to face Karrad Vall full-on, inferno pistols raised and opened fire. I heard the distinctive hiss of my weapons’ beams boiling away the water vapor in the air, followed by a roaring blast as the beam made its way to impact Karrad Vall. Both shots landed true burning a hole through his battered armor and opened up a gaping wound in his chest and gut, exposing internal organs. Lazarus slid off Karrad’s razor sharp claws and slumped to the ground.
Karrad stumbled a few steps back, entrails spilling out of his wound, eyes wide in shock. And yet, he did not fall over. The massive armor propped his dead body upright. Some kind of portal or rift in reality then opened up behind Karrad Vall. What I witness next pushed me to the edges of sanity as I felt my soul draining away. I heard an eardrum shattering voice in my head, “Karrad Vall has failed us but you, mortal, shall join our armies soon enough or suffer the same fate as this pathetic worm.” Massive, purple-tinged black tentacles dripping with ooze and slime emitting a foul odor reached out of the rift, encircled Karrad Vall’s lifeless body and pulled him, powered armor and all, into the rift. In the blink of an eye the dead body, tentacle, and rift disappeared, leaving Karrad Vall’s sword in mid-air at the very spot the rift closed up. It clattered to the ground and without thinking, I stepped forward to pick it up.
Immediately, I again felt my mind and soul pushed to the edge of insanity. But emboldened by our victory as well as staring at a chaos god without going insane, my mind re-asserted itself. When I recovered from the mental struggle, I felt a couple small horn-like protrusions high on either side of my forehead. It’s not all that bad…after all, some of my lady “friends” will like them, I’m sure… I secured the sword upon my belt and checked my comrades’ vitals, finding that they were still alive. Unconscious, but alive. Surely, the fates must have intervened as I could not understand how any of them survived Karrad’s onslaught.
A couple of the Eldar harlequins poked their head out of the adjoining room to survey the battle’s aftermath and upon seeing that I was still conscious, approached me and spoke in Eldar. Not understanding a word, they gestured for me to follow them back into Farseer Anaris’ chamber, pointed at Farseer Anaris, then at me, then at his own head. Ignoring the harlequins, I watched the Lord Admiral and Master Helmsman continue their stooge-like antics, a wry grin forming on my face. Impatiently, the harlequin gave my shoulder a quick shove and repeated his gesture pointing gestures. I nodded and opened my mind, allowing Farseer Anaris to enter my thoughts.
Farseer Anaris explained that he has now obtained minimal control over the craft world and will begin steering it into an uncharted warp-way with the intent to keep the ship lost and out of real space for tens of thousands of years in order to prevent it from falling further into the hands of chaos and cease the threat it posed to the universe at large.
As for me, he explained I have but two choices: one, retreat back to my fleet before he steers the craft world into the warp-way, or two, head to the craft world’s primary cogitator core and take full control of the ship, its systems, and its servitors. If full control is obtained, then, while working in tandem with Farseer Anaris, we can begin the long process of cleansing the chaos taint that pervades the craft world. However, we had only one hour to accomplish either of those options and whichever option we choose, we must continue to remain within Farseer Anaris’ mental shield or we shall become vulnerable to attacks from the chaos taint.
With only an hour remaining, I rushed back to my fallen comrades, medkit in hand and managed to revive them. Quickly, I explained to them the two options available to us, mentioning that we should probably go with the first option and get off this doomed ship. With the Lord Admiral still acting insane, the decision fell to us four. Lazarus, Divis, and Regias fell into a thoughtful silence for a few moments but utter hate and contempt soon took over Lazarus’ face.
“I will NOT retreat in the face of chaos! The God-Emperor granted us the strength to defeat that so-called invincible Chaos Lord Karrad Vall and here we stand, triumphant!” I wanted to point out that “we” weren’t left standing, that “I” was the only one left standing. But then I remembered his molten beam and though better of interrupting him. He continued, “Now is NOT the time to run away in cowardice but to push forward to eliminate this taint and overcome this chaos plague!!”
Regias jumped up enthusiastically and agreed, “There is a much profit to be made here if we can assume control. Let’s do it! How hard can it possibly be anyways? We’ve already finish the hard part!”
Divis stands up and simply says, “Fuck yah, I can take control of this ship! In fact, I’m gonna go do it with or without you guys!”
I looked at them and thought to myself, hoooolyyyyyyyyyyyyy shiiiiiiiiiit. Well fuck it. If the guys who came closest to death wanted to press their luck, then why not? I mean, I alone remained standing…beat up bad, yes, but I was still standing. Besides, if we were to evacuate back to our fleet, I had no idea how we’d transport the Lord Admiral and Master Helmsmen with us as they continued their inane flopping about. If we proceeded to take over the craft world, we could at least leave the two of them behind with Farseer Anaris. I look over at Lazarus, Regias and Divis.
“Alright boys, let’s move out!!”
New Flagship The Size Of A Paranoid Android’s Brain?
With Farseer Anaris’ guidance, we navigated our way forward. Halfway there, the ship rumbled and shook, throwing us to the ground. Looking up, I spotted a bit of wreckage falling down, about to bury Lazarus. Quickly, I got to my feet raced over to him and tackled him out of the way. A bit of rubble would typically pose no threat, but in our injured, fatigued state, falling wreckage was potentially deadly. We dusted ourselves off and soldiered on to the core. We arrived without further incident and found the core chamber to be a large, cavernous room. According to Farseer Anaris, the access panel was directly ahead of us.
We continued forward but halted simultaneously as six chaos tainted Eldar guardians came into view. They stood directly in between us and the access panel. A couple of them were the same beings that wiped out half our Eldar contingent as we marched through the warp way onto this craft world. But in those battles, our expedition numbered in the dozens. At that time, we were merely a party of four. Nevertheless, we drew our weapons and engaged in battle.
Lazarus opened with a massive fireball directed to the opponents closest to us. Four of those guardians fell to the ground, nothing left but charred remains. “Fuck me!!” I thought. I’ve seriously gotta talk to Divis about what it would take to bottle Lazarus’ power into a gun.
Alerted to our presence, the two remaining guardians opened fire. At this range, my most reliable weapon was my sniper rifle. I took a shot but was unable to penetrate their wraith bone armor. There was no chance of me hitting any weak points on those things, they were simply too heavily armored. Divis and Regis took shots with their weapons but at that range, their shots went wide. After a couple more volleys back and forth, we were unable to make a dent in their armor.
I looked over at Lazarus and he faced me with those burnt out eyes. We knew we were both thinking the same thing. We needed to get closer in and bring our heavier weaponry to bear, but we could not spread out or risk losing the protection of Farseer Anaris’ psychic shield. I signaled Divis and Regias the need to move in closer. They nodded in agreement, so we resorted to a proven, well-worn and battle-tested tactic…on the count of three, we charged ahead running at full speed!
When we were within plasma gun range, Regias and I slowed momentarily to take a few shots. Both our shots landed but mine were again shrugged off by the wraith bone armor. Regias’ blast, however managed to burn a hole in the closest guardian causing some noticeable damage. Smiling and looking quite smug with himself, he said to me, “Perhaps I should become the new Master of Ordnance and train YOU….HA!” I swore to myself, before the day was through, he’ll be eating those words…
Lazarus followed up Regias’ shot with a molten beam and the Eldar guardian ceased functioning. This left one last guardian to take out. Regias, in all his smug overconfidence leaned towards me and grabbed Karrad Vall’s sword, believing he’d be more effective in a fight up-close-and-personal instead of staying at range. He froze momentarily once he touched the sword but quickly came back to life. As a group, we continued charging forward towards the last guardian until we were all within range of the target.
Regias took a swing and missed. The guardian counterattacked with a volley from its gun and hit Regias, instantly teleporting him back 20 meters and knocked him down, the sword flying out of his hands. Lazarus launched energy bolts at the guardian, causing it to shudder under the heavy barrage. I quickly drew my inferno pistols and opened fired with them both simultaneously, scoring direct hits. The last guardian and obstacle to the core’s access panel had been removed.
Divis rushed to the access panel. We had only a half hour left before we’d be condemned to wandering lost in Eldar warp ways for the rest of our lives. Divis plugged in and and immediately got to work. Regias walked over to the dropped sword and picked it up. Again, he froze the moment he touched the sword but it took a few seconds longer for him to recover this time. I figured it was probably nothing to be concerned about. That sword possesses great power and when I touched it, I felt that power surging through me…felt quite good to be honest. Regias was probably just taking a second to enjoy the sensation since he’s otherwise a soft, puny slug who couldn’t normally fight his way out of paper bag. Yes, I resented his comments regarding my combat effectiveness.
We all turned our attention to Divis. Beeps sounded from the panel he was accessing, lights would blink on and off. We heard gears grinding, then coming to a halt off in the distance. Closer by, but hidden out of view, we heard the hissing of coolant systems clicking on and off. The minutes passed. Every now and then Divis’ body would shake and shudder, then settle back down. There was nothing for us to do…our lives, our fate, where in Divis’ hands. If he failed, we were doomed to live the rest of our lives on this craft world under constant assault by the forces of chaos until the day we died.
The minutes ticked by, Divis quiet. I have known Divis long enough to recognize what silence from him meant. If he had been succeeding, he would damn well sure have made it known to us. However, he remained silent. Minutes passed and yet, Divis remained quiet. Not a good sign. Finally, after twenty minutes had passed, Divis yelled out, “YAH BABY!! After two failed rolls, I rolled a ZERO ONE! Who’s your daddy!!! Now just one more success…” Clearly, he was still partially insane, but I took his gibberish to mean he had a breakthrough.
As we neared the final minutes, Divis continued to concentrate, then his body shuddered again as before, but this time parts of his body crackled, popped and smoked. The cable link extending from him that plugged into the console started to smoke. The cable’s outer sleeve melted away, exposing the bare wires within. Then the wires themselves started thinning out as the heat surging through them started melting them away. Thinking quickly, Regias dug through his pack, pulled out some duct tape and reinforced Divis’ wire. Crude but it got the job done.
We approached the final minute and began counting the seconds. Divis concentrated hard and uttered more mad ravings. Something about failing yet another roll and needing to burn more points to try again. Truly insane…a genius, but insane. But his genius finally shone through. Mere SECONDS away from entering a one-way journey of doom, SUCCESS!! Divis came to life and let out a loud yell in celebration, “I. Am. A. GOD!!!!!” Exhausted, breathing a sigh of relief, I turned away from Divis, slumped to the ground, and gave thanks. I’m not a religious man but I thanked the God Emperor that day.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lazarus snap to attention, activating a psyker power towards a target behind me out of my view. I whipped around, instinctively drawing my inferno pistols. The scene meeting my eyes both shocked and confused me. Regias had Karrad Vall’s sword drawn ready to strike down a defenseless, immobile Divis. Lazarus, concentrating and with his hands raised at Regias, was exerting some kind of control over Regias. Unsure as to who my enemy was, I pointed one inferno pistol at Lazarus and the other at Regias.
I looked over at Lazarus and yelled, “What the fuck is going on?” Without diverting his attention or gaze from Regias, Lazarus yells over to me, “Demonic possession! He’s possessed! I’ve got him controlled…for now…” Fuck! I stop targeting Lazarus and pointed both inferno pistols squarely at Regias.
“Regias, what’s going on, buddy? Speak to me,” I said.
Regias’ eyes then glowed a bright red and in a low, rumbling, voice that wasn’t his own, he says, “Surrender and join me…resistance is FUTILE!”
In response, I yelled, “Lazarus, blast him!” Lazarus yelled “Sho Ryu Ken!!!” as he unleashed a molten beam while I opened fire with my inferno pistols. Lazarus’ molten beam struck Regias in the head and within fractions of a second, his face charred to a crispy black, then melted away to reveal red flesh beneath the skin, each of his eyeballs burst like water balloons under pressure. Then the red flesh melted away until the only thing left of his head was a skull that fell off his shoulders and rolled over to Divis’ feet. Each of my two beams connected with Regias’ two legs, melting away his armor and flesh until his legs’ white bones were visible but my weapons’ onslaught did not stop. The dual beams incinerated his leg bones until there was nothing left but black ash. His headless torso fell down to the ground.
“Combo attack. Fatality…” I mutter under my breath. I walked over to the two-armed, one-winged torso and out of spite, opened fire at the remaining wing until it was a charred crisp. I knew he was proud of having those two wings but he certainly didn’t need them now. Staring at Regias’ remains, I say “Looks like in the end, you’re the one who got schooled!!!”
It certainly seems as though seneschals are fated not to last long within this Rogue Trader dynasty.
Divis looked down at Regias’ skull and said, “Woooo…new servitor skull!”
After that bit of drama, Farseer Anaris contacted us to let us know that the craft world no longer needs to be sacrificed into the warp way. Together with Divis, they’ll both, over time, establish full control of the ship and wipe away the chaos taint. The chaos tainted Eldar guardians throughout the ship will have to be hunted down and destroyed but with Divis in control of the various servitors and internal security gun turrets , this was just a matter of time. Until the craft world is fully cleansed, however, Divis cannot disconnect from the core or we risk losing the control we fought so hard to establish. We asked Farseer Anaris how long this will take and he replied saying it is difficult to estimate. Could be months. Could be years. In the meantime, we were not to move from our current location because the mental shield needed to remain centered on Divis and, therefore, we needed to remain within close proximity of Divis.
“Shit,” I thought to myself. Years? And no ability to move around from where we are currently standing? When the Lord Admiral recovers, if he recovers, he probably won’t like the sound of that. On the other hand, we DO have a new craft world to add to the fleet. At the earliest opportunity, I will go searching for Eldar armories to see what they’ve got on board.
Suddenly, a sharp pain shot straight through my stomach. “Lazarus! I’m hit!!” He rushed over to me. “Oh, wait. No, wait. Sorry Lazarus, it was just a hunger pain.”
“I’m getting hungry too,” he admits.
I turn to Divis, “Hey Divis, do you think you can locate some food on this ship?”
“No problem,” he replies. “I’ll get some servitors to gather up anything edible and bring it to us.”
Over the next couple hours, the servitors brought little scraps of dried out emergency rations, dead rat bits, the odd piece of rotten fruit or vegetable. Briefly, I wondered what charred Regias wings might taste like. And then, IT arrived. A little bit of heaven on this hellish ship. A servitor brought to us a red and white box with the image of a familiar face printed on its front.
“Lazarus!” I yell. “Get over here, we finally have some REAL food!!”
Puzzled, Lazarus looks at the box and asks, “What is it?”
“It’s a friggin’ Food-Sky extra value meal!” I tear it open, throw him a piece and we feast.
“Who’s that face on the box,” Lazarus asks?
I smiled and in between bites of Food-Sky, I said: Since we’re stuck in this spot for a while, let me tell you a little story about the guy on the box. A while back, I assisted our now-deceased navigator start up a little side business venture…
This session, as a group, we collectively suffered four deaths and (I believe it was) seven burned fate points. Divis died. Lazarus died. Regias died twice, the second time permanently. Three fate points were burned to avoid death. Four more were burned to support Divis in his tech-use re-rolls to take control of the craft world. It was EPIC! In addition, as Chris pointed out in the end…we managed to de-rail his campaign…again! Woo!