Friday, 24 October 2014
Dark Heresy 2nd Edition: Do you got what it takes - Chapter 0 - Lilla the Sin-Eater - part 1
"Finally" I almost said out loud, as I watched the man in the grey jumpsuit climb on top of a metal box to be seen easier by the crowd. One of the other agents raised their shotgun in the air and fired of a shot that caused a deafening echo in the storage hold, and caused everyone to go quiet, barely daring to whisper.
Agent that looks like a Pilot:
"You have all been handpicked as potentional recruits for the inquisition",
a few people started to whisper at this notion.
"Over the next few days, you will be put through a couple of trials that will test very spesific capabilities",
he shifts towards 3 large containers behind him, point out a priest and some storage boxes.
"The first test require all of you to hand in your ranged weaponry, the priest will bless you before you enter the transports".
At this point, two other agents walk through the crowd and evenly divide them into 3 groups,
"Inside these transports is a timer, when this timer runs out, a new objective will appear in place of the timer.".
"There will be plenty of food and supplies to substain you for the duration of your stay inside the transports".
"if anyone have questions, they will be answered at a later time"
At this point all the agents indicate for the first group to move up to hand in their weapons, get blessed by the priest and enter the transport.
"so they are testing to see if we got what it takes to become acolytes" I think to myself as I evaluate the various options. I could run away but the inquisition would likely prevent a favourable outcome, I could fail the test, but same would happen then, never heard about a failed, live, member of the inquisition, then again, what do I know. So overall the only option is to succeed if I want to survive.
While I was pondering the various options, I slowly noticed other people in the group and how they handled the situation, instead of focusing on my own doubts, I started picking up details about everyone around me, slowly building a metal image of every single person in the group take it into consideration of how it would affect the outcome of any trials we would be put through.
It was our turn to get into the container, as people was reluctant to hand in their ranged weaponry, I took the initiative to hand in my autopistol, while I was not the first to get into the line, I had added to the que early enough to convince the rest to follow suit.
Inside was several bunks, enough for the lot of us, about 30 people, there as some small form of entertainmen, some cards here, a few dice there, and one regicide set. Looks like there was plenty of food too.
I sat myself down on a bunk and watched the crowd, picking up information. There was afew people like me, well, not like me, but people from my hive, most whom is also linked to a life of crime. There were a few arbites, it was clear that conflict might arise between the two group but it was suppressed for now. There was some guardsmen, they were quite diciplined as they just walked up to their bunks and started resting, guess that is how they handle most situations that is not direct combat. Then there was the clergy, a few priests and some sororitas, no powerarmour however, so while at least 2 looked like they can handle combat, they were no proper bolterbitch as they say. Lastly, there was several civilians, it was a mix of seemingly random people, some lowborn that could very well be outcast or whatnot and some highborns, or anything in between.
When the door to the transport closed, the timer lit up: 48 hours remaining. "what the hell? 2 day-cycles coped up in this shit?... feth it", People had started talking but I did not really care, I lied down on the bunk and fell into more of a meditative trance than sleep as the talking around me sometimes woke me up. I was normally used to this thing back on Hulee V, but these people were offworlders, and their distinct accents and way of speaking was quite interupting.
I only lied in bed for what seemed to be two or three hours, before I gave up and went back to studying the people. "lets see" my eyes glazed over most of the people before settling on one guy, a preacher. I watched how he interacted with people and picked up snippets of information.
The guy was called Cromwell, he was a preacher from Thaur, a shrineworld, looked like he was getting along with a frateris millitia by the name of Mazion. Cromwell also looked quite confused and maybe out of his dept, still, people seemed to like him as he was soft-spoken, if a bit high-pinched.
The frateris millitia, Mazion, was also from Thaur, "maybe Thaur was a major recruiting ground?" I thought. He did have quite a few comments about various people around the transport, indirectly accusing them of heresy for not being as dedicated to the emperor as him, Cromwell was slightly put of by these notions and they managed to stay as meaningless accusations rather than stirir actions.
I tore my eyes away from them and tried to find another 'target', when some snoring to my right got my attention. In the bunk beside me was a guy who were dressed as a penal legionnaire, complete with ID-tattoo and explosive collar. From the first time I saw him, he looked tired, so seeing him sleeping was nor surprising, he had made some quotes during the speach but they were mostly complaints about being forced into more service and general discontent for his warden. Still, he looked quite relaxed now that he was sleeping.
"where could the warden be?" I looked around and spotted him moving back towards his bunk from where the food was stored, he carried some basic nutritions with him, only enough for himself however. the Warden, Boras, according to his nametag, sant down on his bunk and started eating, still keeping an eye on the legionnaire with great discontent. There was tention between those two but it was quite logical that a legionnaire and a warden would not like eachother, they were pretty much natural enemies. I tried to get a better feel for how he acted but it was hard, over the time spent in the transport, I would notice that he was more drawn towards the tech-priests than the priests, there might be something there but it was way too little to go on.
A laughter could be heard nearby and I saw two guardmen talking, one was a trooper and the other was a sergeant, I tried to get a look at their nametags and saw Voross, that would be the trooper, and Lagain? no, Lahain, which was the sergeant, They looked quite content with their situation, the trooper was talking about their recent victory but put a negative spin on the commissar that he called Gone. I looked around and saw no commissar, he might have been in a different group. The sergeant looked content with dwelling on the victory, but for some reason it felt like a mask, like someone who have experienced someting that they are trying too hard to hide.
I got distracted by a smell and turned my attention towards one of the feral worlders, this guy was wearing beasthide leathers and had several trophies like severed claws and beast skulls. Almost everything on him had some kind of smell that added to the bad impression that everyone around him got, still, it did not looked like he cared. I had picked up his name somewhere, Apollyon or something, but other than that I could not manage to learn.
"hungry" I thought and got up from my bunk, pressed my way past several people, who was clearly staring at my tattoos, then made my way over to where the food was stored. Two people was blocking the way, a fat priest who grabbed all the food he could carry and made his way over to a table, and a small guy with hive leathers. The small guy was called Luigi, he had taken off his jacket and was collecting all the food that would fit in it, carrying it like a slingbag. "don't take my stuff" he says as he spots me, to which I respond by pointing at his 'bag' and says "you wont fit any more, and beside, it's not yours". It looked like he was just aware of it and got slightly frustrated "fine, but dont take too much" before taking the big bag of food and starts trodding over to his bunk. "moron" I thought to myself as I found something that looked tasty.
"You gonna eat that?", I turned to the one who spoke, it was the obese priest, "Yes" I answered and put whatever I had in my mouth. The priest looked disappointed, "oh well, I did manage to convince another guy to give me his food so I should not complain", the priest must have had read the confusion on my face as he continued "some guy called Alric gave me his food". I was not feeling quite talkative with the priest, so I kept my mouth shut to not provoke a conversation. He must have understood as he tried to turn his attention to another person sitting at the same table as him.
"Hey, the name's Nickas" he said to a nearby feral worlder, guardswoman from the looks of it, her tag said Melankolia. She moved away from the priest, but he followed slightly trying to make friends as he saw that the guardswoman also was scuffling down food like its the best thing they have eaten since the great heresy. I tried to get a feel for the guardswoman but the personality was kinda off-putting as she seemed to radiate a "leave me alone" kind of vibe, that or she was just in a bad mood. However, I did notice that a lot of her gear was different than the other guardsmen in the group, her gear was more feral and there were several pouches and small bags that seemed to contain salves and bandages, maybe she was some kind of medic? but not one that I've ever seen.
"Where is this Alric you mentioned" I asked the priest, his face was stuffed so he could not speak but he did point out a man in nice robes speaking to another one of his kind. The two nobles were having a chat about some planet called Terminus Prime. The guy called Alric was quite open and friendly, but the other guy, who introduced himself as Krenning, apologised for not being open about his family and name but was willing to have a friendly chat and talk about their homeworld, the noble courts and the heraldry of their hive. Alric looked quite knowledgeable, as if he had spent great parts of his life to study and remember things, while Krenning was more the social and, lets say eccentric type.
An arbite was nearby, looks like she was taking notes and scratching his head quite often, looked confused. Her nametag said Loiacona and her short build marked her as a forge worlder.
The general talk about the high quality of life for highborns annoyed me to no ends, so I left them to themselves and went back to my bunk to vent the frustration on the rest of my food. "Relax, there is no danger here, so no point in being so tense", a nearby guardsman had apparently seen my frustration and felt like commenting on it. "Danger has nothing to do with it" I responded maybe a little to hastily. I had just gotten a proper look at the guardsman, well, scout is more the proper word for it, he was cleaning his boots next to his bunk and looked quite relaxed, almost the annoying infectious type. "some people just have it better than others, so of course people get frustrated by that" I said as a followup. "Ha, tell me about it, in the guard you could be lucky if you got a decent meal in a lifetime, and let me tell you, our lifetime is quite short in comparison" the guardsman jokes, "name's Kade by the way, yours?" he held out his hand. "Lilla" I responded and shook just for the sake of it. He put had put away his boots and took a look around the room "So you have been picking up a bit of info about the others?", he is good I thought, or me have been watching me. "you could say that".
"See that storm-trooper over there, next to the two sisters?", I look over to where Kade was indicating. "The guy's name's Deroin, but he looks a bit too hessitant to be a storm-trooper, and as you see, it looks like he has a thing for the sisters, not that I blame him", Kade grins childishly at the notion before continuing. "the big sister there is Debroah, a sister militant, and it looks like she is constantly expecting trouble, you should have seen her when the door closed, she almost freaked out". "the little sister, Thorn, is one of the sororitas scribes or something, im told they are called dialogus, while she looks calmer, I can promise you that she shares her big sis' worries".
"What about the other sisters?" I asked, noticing 3 more that looked like they wore similar style. "Well..." said Kade, "that lady over there, the one who looks like a noble, she is apparently one of the socially trained ones, she have been talking to a few people and seems to know how to build connections, cant say I remember which order she was from however, but her name, Katherin I think it was.", Kade looked like he took some pride in knowing things, guess that was what made him a good scout, or maybe he just noticed my appriciation for gathering information.
"And the sister hospitaller over there is called Suellen", I noticed that she was kneeling on the floor, rummaging around in her medkit for something, while chatting with the other sisters. "and the last one", Kade looked around to see if he could spot her, "ah there" he pointed out another sister militant with a gasmask, which was a bit strange in my opinion but maybe she was used to it in her line of work. "I overheard the other sisters calling her Xania, and like Katherin, she is getting more involved with the group than the other sisters, who prefere to keep to their own closed little group."
"Anyone else you would point out" I asked, to which Kade pointed without looking, towards one of the sellsword. "That guy is called Lombardino, he is a convicted murderer from my hive, he does got some connections so avoid that guy at all cost, he is generally bad news". "Hive?" I asked, "yea, back on Hulee V", Kade seem to notice where the question was going, "section 857B". I was kinda disappointed, that was the opposite side of the hive, rarely been there, "close, but not close enough, I never heard of the guy".
"Just try to ignore him" then he pointed towards the next person, "that is Harran, don't know much about the tech-priest but he grabs anyone who asks him any 'intelligent' questions and force them to stay and listen to his explanations, so be warned". "what about that other tech-priest?" I pointed towards a similar built tech-priest. "thats an enginseer, focuses more on ships from what i remember, thing's name Khairy and its quite a nut". "it?" I was kinda confused, "Just look at the augmentations, I would be surprised if there is even a shred of flesh left on it" Kade said accusingly in the direction of the oblivious enginseer.
I yawned, "you know what, I'll grab a shuteye, we might talk later", and I made a quick hive-signal with my hand that indicated "see you later". Kade responded in kind and went off to get some food or something.
I was tired enough to actually sleep through the noise that people made, and when I woke up i saw that there was about 25 hours left and most of the others have already gone to sleep, guess it must be their natural night cycle. I took a look around to see who was still awake, there was the arbite trooper by the regicide set, had he been sitting there ever since he arrives? He was currently playing with Galan, a twitchy gunslinger that caused a few minor episodes when the inquisition took away his guns, he was shaking like a leaf but still trying to focus on the game at hand. The arbite himself was quite at ease and acted like a pompus noble that I was used to back on Hulee V, guess he must be one of them huh? A quick look at his badge told me he was called Arcite.
Looking around for other people, I noticed a feral guy in grimy robes by the food tables, he was apparently feeding a small rat in the sleeves of his robe, guess he must be a bit more feral than he seems, would fit right in, in the underhives. dunno what his name was, but his mumbling kept mentioning Captain and Alrod.
I should have gotten a good look at most of them by now, I went over the people in my head and had gotten to 26 people, "should be 4 left, me included, so 3 other people". I looked around for 'new' faces and my eyes fell on a female scribe, she noticed my stare almost immediatly and hurried over to her own bunk and hid under the covers. "That is Frederica, and don't worry, she is skittish like that", Kade had apparently noticed that I was up and felt like engaging in conversation again.
"Hi Kade" I greeted, "I think I got a good overview now, but what about those two?". "who?" Kade asked, he did not see who I was pointing at, "those two in the black bodygloves", I had indicated two people in the room, one that looked like he was watching the group and the other who kept to herself.
"shit, I dont know, but they look dangerous", Kade seemed eager to avoid the topic, which was understandable, because there was something that gave the impression of lethality from them, which did not really make them approachable. "you might be right Kade, some things are best left alone."
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