Memorium Vitae

Mission status report, Caellus Netton Log 1

Mission status: Primary objective complete

I have recovered the item and escaped the planet as specified. I escaped on a ship, the Seraphim, but was unable to prevent the Necrons from the planet from killing most of the crew.

In the fighting lost left arm. I have temporarily replaced it with the arm of the Necron Lord that was attacking the crew. Was successfully able to calm the machine spirit of the arm prior to augmentation, though not without some unforeseen side effects. Net result reveals that Necron technology may in fact be compatible with our own [Note: research further later]

Seraphim severely weakened from battle, and ravaged by the Warp. Was able to keep minimal life support online for several months while trying to find an escape from the Warp. Power ran out and came across the Wrath of Aries, a Rogue Trader vessel. Bartered passage upon her, as the crew has been operating with insufficient engineering staff for a considerable amount of time.

It should be noted that there is a very high xeno population on this ship, not counting my own Necron augmentation. It should have come as no surprise to me that the Captain would refuse to approach holy Terra with such a crew. I believe she has intentions to keep me aboard the ship and prevent me from completing my mission.

I will not fail in my mission. I will update as more information is provided.

Personal note on primary crew:

Captain Sif: The captain seems to rule by fear, constantly keeping her crew on the defensive and any major threat to command structure is qualmed by threat to detonate the Wrath of Aries using an on board self-destruct sequence. She tolerates my presence, possibly out of need for an enginseer or her fascination my my sexual capabilities.

Duke: First officer, he seems the type to shoot first and be damned with asking questions. He follows the captain without any complaint. He does not seem to trust me, which shows a lot of wisdom. Still, if push comes to shove, I fear a conflict with him may become necessary, though I will not seek it out. Then again, if I was attacked by Necrons withing 5 minutes of meeting someone new, I suspect my reactions would no doubt be similar.

Echo: Ship Navigator. She has up until recently possessed by a Chaos Demon of some kind. Due to her suspicious actions, I followed her about the ship, and when it was clear she had aimed to de-activate the Gheller field prior to leaving, I was able to assist in stopping her. Working with the Captain and Duke, we were able to free the real Echo and for now she seems fine, though that is open to some interpretation, it seems.

(End Transmission)

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Written on a Large Mirror
and then smashed to pieces

Mirror, mirror in my head
Where have all the Echoes fled?
Somewhere dark and far away
To torture me another day.

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So close, in terms of Light Years...

Personnel : Duke “Butch” Ramsey, 1st officer of the Wrath of Aries
Info Log: 0027

+ Active Audio Record Subroutine +

I’ve been staring at this throne forsaken vid, over and over again! Just looking at that smug bastard’s face! I’m glad Echo didn’t find it amidst her little “jaunt”. I have the coordinates to the last place the Comissar was seen and I know if I ask the captain the she’d let me take the reins of the ship and ram right up his ass… right now, no hesitation.

She’s funny that way. She’ll run us ragged and threaten executions all day long, but deep down, I think she cares. Don’t know it some kind of past she’s trying to make up for… I don’t know. Emperor save us, the ships turning into a damn Zoo! The crew we’re assembling is anything but standard procedure. If we don’t start working together in live combat excercises, we’re all gonna end up slag.

To know that Echo can pull a nutty like that makes me fear her and respect her discipline. Can’t be easy keeping control of the voices in your head whn they’re not your own. Downside is when those voices get out and disable the Gheller Fields… we gotta problem. Just another problem, another issue to throw on the pile… Damn it’s been 48 hours since I’ve last slept.

Speaking of working in unison, I might as well just come out and say it… I don’t trust Kallex. A Tech priest who hulked his cruiser filled with Necrons comes waltzing on our ship, interfacing with it and taking control of systems… Yea and even admitting that his pilfered Necron Lord arm has a mind of its own doesn’t help his case at all… Throne he can probably read this, or he’s even listening to it as I’m saying it. Can’t get paranoid. Gotta stay frosty.

We still have some business in this system so it seems, I gotta look at the big picture, put my little vengeance aside. I’ll get my chance but it won’t do me any good if we get mutinied and spaced. Gotta keep the crew safe. But from what, itself, everything else? There’s just as much danger outside this hull as there is between the bulkheads.

Damn it, shift starts in 30 minutes…

+ End Active Audio Record Subroutine +

View
Scales
For String and Woodwind

Scaly spirals in the dark
Here and there a single spark
Rushing freely through the night
To circle like a shark

Here we come with blade and gun
To take back that which Ruin won
The many horrors burn and bite
And we cannot outrun

The fog that comes for us, we flee
It hides what I am meant to see
We tangle through the chains to fight
The monster she set free

The face it wore I love the best
Its fire hurts, its heart unblessed
See through the lies, unhood the light
And show the holy crest

Now back upon the Aries, safe
To break the bonds that seethe and chafe
Lift from my eyes this lucid spite
And bring me back to kef

This sorrow I cannot pretend
But soon, I think, it too will mend
With cautious eyes and fearful might
To me the mice will tend.

(kef is a state of dreamy tranquility, in case you were wondering where Echo got her weird rhymes)

View
Feeds from the Cameras
Eyes in the Fog

Report.

The eyes that watched the monitors deep in the maintenance tunnels glared red in the dim glow of the orange light. Seeing the approaching shuttle they smiled.

Just as planned. It thought. Schemes in schemes, wheels in wheels, plans that counter themselves, all coalescing into this moment. Deliver them some Evil. The figure’s form let soft cackles as it sat back to watch the show. It’s Daemon in Bear’s Clothing already picked up and ready to be delivered. Sending a flurry of commands to it’s subordinates spells and chants began to increase: before they arrive, everything must be set. Visitors were coming for dinner. It must look nice.

More to come

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Exeunt Omnes
They all go out.

I will tell you a story.

Once upon a time, the fair folk laid their hands across the stars and plucked a fruit from the tree of life with delicate fingers. This they marked as theirs for all time, though when they planted the seed of that fruit in the fertile soil of the galaxy, they had no idea how long they would have to wait for its full flowering. They left, to dance among the stars again in the years before their Fall, and left the little seed to grow alone, in the dark.

Humans came, and saw the beautiful flower the seed had become, and took it for their own. They lived in peace for many long years, but the fair folk, searching for their lost seeds, found instead humanity crawling along the branches and using leaves and petals as shelter. The fair folk feared a blight would grow bone-deep within the flowered seed, destroying it and all they worked for, and so they set into motion a grand masque that would drive the aphidic humans from their prize, so the dancers could at last claim their stage.

That was where the Aries alit, having heard the voices in the void calling out for help. We descended upon the fronds of bone and wood and heard stories from the monochromatic lords that had no imagination behind them. All but one, the sickly-bright fair lady of mistrust, dressed in swirling colors to confuse and dazzle. The trees and the shrubs and the sky itself beg not to be noticed.

Lies glazed the village like hot, sticky sugar, melting in the sun, as the villagers hid their eyes. Jingle, jingle went the masks around their waist. Why did they not wear them on their faces? The kindly spider makes them just for that purpose. A poet accosts us, the strangers among strangers, and leads us on a merry chase toward the sun to see where the spider queen makes her nest.

There are dancers in the woods, pulling aside the trees like a curtain to hide their ghostly forms. In and out and in and out they thread, taking sustenance back to their nest. They are always on stage, no matter where they are. It must hurt, to always wear a mask.

The Lady takes their souls and opens a door. It calls to me; the masks guard the way, so I could pass unseen through webs cast to snare the unwary. I am split in two and two and two and steal a kiss from beneath their many eyes to take back with me, walking the silver line that leads to the present.

They came to us then, in that hollow room. The masks slipped from their faces, and they revealed their true forms, fair folk come to take back the seed they planted so long ago. The Lady proposed a plan – the humans would be as aphids to the fair folk, tended with fear and mistrust and kept away from the delicate roots of the flowered seed. She gave them their souls back, and the fair lady gave us her jester, to entertain us in the void. And so we flew back to Aries with our jester in tow, and His Excellency is lucky because the jester will sleep with him even though I said he could stay in my room and tell me more stories.

The end.

I would tell you the real story, but I don’t know how to dance yet.

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Knee caps
Someone wants to lose 'em.

(Personal log of Lady Captain Sif Reinheart, first of her name, Rogue Trader aboard the Wrath of Aries, former Bride of the Emperor, of the 13th lost legion)

=Info log 001=

Humm… It’s been….awhile, I admit since I’ve done one of these things… I tend not to record my thoughts. People can get a hold of them, use them against you, use them against the ones you care for. Information is deadly…more so then the sword…and more so then desperate ugly people. (A slight giggle is heard as she shifts a bit in her seat and a soft purr sounds somewhere close.) He’s like a dog you know. I used to have so many back home. Mother insisted I get cats but I hate the things. Dogs stick close. Dogs are loyal. Dogs follow your orders like the simple animals they are. (Soft whine is heard) Oh! Fang, I’m not saying YOU are the dog. (The whine turns back into a purr noise) Duke, I mean. He is a Dog. A scruffy, kinda dumb, always following my crazy orders, lovable old dog-not that I love him or anything!…Fang, stop looking at me like that! Sonuvabi-

=Audio file time deleted- Altering live feed=

(clears her throat.) Now anyway…where was I going with this? Ah yes…The missions lately. Well, honestly, to tell the truth I wasn’t paying much attention. (Another bout of giggles) But I do remember most of it. Hunting, right. For an ugly guy that we all affectionately just call ‘no more face’ or ‘explosive decompression man’ and be we all… mean just me. Probably. Most likely. Maybe not. Well anyway, we went hunting for him, I showed off how awesome women can be yet again to my subordinates and then we were promptly followed by mister no face explosive decompression man. Well Mister ugly butt here met his fate as all evil blood god followers do…or eventually will when I get my hands on them.

Remember kiddies, when life give you Blood gods, EXTERMINATUS. <3

Our next grand yet somewhat annoying adventure led us to some…world we almost crashed into to…I was three whiskies in, I didn’t even care anymore. I was just hoping we hit something hard so I wouldn’t have to limp away from this wreck. A captain goes down with the ship, right…and I am making damn well sure that I am the last captain of the Wrath of Aries. I’ll never let another have my ship. Well….At least no one I wouldn’t want to give it to. Like…I guess if I popped out a few kids someday, they could take the ship when I died…but they would have to be like me…Emperor save us! Can you imagine me a mother?

(A sudden silence overtakes the log)

…I well… (Obviously hesitating) Lets get back on track…now is not the time for pondering things that will never be. Or echo may tell me there is always time for that if she was here. I like that girl…I don’t know why people think she’s creepy. She’s a bit strange but that would be calling the kettle black so it were. Her strange-ness has never bothered me before and has yet to. It brings some joy to me to see her acting the way she does…Yes…I think I’ll keep her.

Wooooopsie! Off track again! Anyway, we went to this world and the moment Echo starting telling me that ‘things were hiding’ I knew something was amiss. People hide…not trees and plants…unless you’re on a death world and then that’s a whole new story. There was a consul of old dudes and one younger plain girl. I instantly suspected she was not what she was trying to be. Maybe that comes from the sister’s of battle training…I couldn’t place at the time that she wasn’t human….just that she was…fake. I would keep an eye on her. We promised to resolve everything for them.

Well, I was right. The chick was an Eldar…big surprise…I know my code tells me not to suffer the Xeno but Fuck the code. They weren’t hurting anyone…yet. A lot of crazy shit happened with something called a web way in a closet…it sounds crazy just saying but this is me after all so no one should be surprised. The supplies were in the web way… Another not so big surprise. Oh! We had a bard guy with us that was kinda cute. He knew too much of course so I instantly suspected that he was in on it….and I was right. He too, is an Eldar…or a harlequin…whatever. Same bloody thing. Ulthuan, his name is I think. Well we got him in a trade from the head Eldar in charge…and since this was their planet first and blah, blah, blah, enter proud Eldar stuff here, we decided to set it up that this place is a death world. It’s really not of course but the Eldar can live freely on their side and not be bothered by the humans. Now that I’ve set a duck tape line down the middle with the whole childish bullshit- my half your half- we can resume. The ship was returned and so were the supplies and we got paid. Oh…and that other fail rogue trader showed up. Too bad it was too late. Nice try guys. Ugly people are so funny.

Soooo, now with this Eldar upon the ship he needs to learn a few things. Most important of all, I don’t care how cute he is, if he brings something upon my ship that’s….THAT WAY….without telling me… he’s lost his knee cap privileges. Do it again, I go for the privates. Secondly, dear, my eyes are up here. I’m flattered you like them so much tough.

So that about sums everything up. Come join Sif’s own Noah’s ark! Hauling every freak across the known cosmos… Fucking your shit up and ruining your day!

(A deep sigh) I think I’m done with this….how do I turn this fucking shit off…? Fang.. I don’t think biting the terminal will-

=End of Captains log=

View
Spinning Tales
And outright Lies

Ulthuan walked up to his desk, sitting down he contemplated simply doing as the Dark Eldar do and live in the webway. Brushing the idea aside he kicked his feet up on the desk, taking in the surroundings of his room. Sparse and poorly decorated from what he was accustomed to, but nice enough given what these Mon-keighs had to offer. Still, they had earned him: in fair trade and a nice deal. Though Ulthuan still felt he had received the better part of it: he was able to fight next to savages, and bring back stories of high adventure. While the Lady Farseer retrieved the three of the six soulstones that were in her possession. There was a small flashing glow, an incoming message.

She spoke in the language more ancient then some stars, and he responded in kind.
“Most magnificent Farseer,” He was being an ass, “Did it unfold as you wanted?”
“I don’t have time for your games, Ulthuan.” She chided. “I am sending you coordinates to the Commissar that the one called ‘Duke’ is searching for. He isn’t there now, but he will find what he is looking for there.” She rattled off a list of numbers that Ulthuan transcribed into Gothic, he nodded, knowing she couldn’t hear, but could feel his acknowledgement. A tense moment passed. “I have allowed for the Craftworld to send the supplies you requested. Are you sure you wish to walk these paths again?”

He thought a moment, unsure if it was his right to all but steal from the Aspect Shrines of his home. “I fear I may need them, but shouldn’t you be telling me if I do?”

“The one called Echo clouds my visions of you. Warps them with her own filter.” The sounds of dire warning were hidden in her voice. “I fear there is corruption there. Watch her, for there are signs of the serpent about your path.” A pang of familiar fear: Tzeench.

“As you wish, Farseer.” He smiled, hoping to change the subject. “You never answered my question.” She sighed.

“It went better then I thought, I feared that those stones that their, your captain,” She was toying with him and he was happy for it, “stole would never be returned to us, and be lost to She-Who-Thirsts due to their ignorance.” It was a somber thought. “But I had spoken with them as best I could before. They agreed the sacrifice was worthy for that Maiden World is one of the stepping stones on the long road to survival.” He thought about it again, in hindsight the gambit was worth it then. He reflected that that was the gift of the Farseers: to have hindsight, before walking the path.

“Also, Ulthuan…” The tone caught him off guard.

“Yes Farseer?”

“Come back to me in one piece. I see a lot of peril in this path you have chosen.”

“Is this a warning from your position?” He toyed.

“No, it is a warning as your elder sister.” His heart sank a little. He felt is was unfair to pull that on him, though he knew it to be otherwise. With that the comms-link closed. Looking over to what served as a closet he set to work building a gate to the webway. He counted himself fortunate that he walked a civilian path before his long military career.

After several hours of construction-which mostly consisted of singing to Wraithstone-he had finished the gateway. It was large enough to fit a person through, but that was all he needed. Walking in he found small replicas of the shrines to the Aspect Warriors. There were his two, with the Armor there for them: The Pathfinder, and The Harlequin. Walking back out he closed the doorway behind him, taking the minor soulstone with him. He now needed to find The Duke to give him his mission. Though, he would now be more wary of Echo. Still there was something about her, she was too innocent for the great deceiver, but then again, maybe it was all a ruse.

He knocked on Duke’s door.

View
The Hard Choice Between Exterminatus and Knee Caps

Personnel : Duke “Butch” Ramsey, 1st officer of the Wrath of Aries
Info Log: 0026

+ Active Audio Record Subroutine +

Wow, I must’ve blanked out there for a moment. I had the dream again, no wonder I finally had a second to get some sleep and what happens? Echo wakes me up and says the captain wants to see me. Apparently I was late for the fireworks show and didn’t get a front row seat to watch the Forge World die… It’s oddly unsettling to see an entire planet blinked out of existence. What’s worse is the matter of fact way the captain went right back to business. Pulled out the job lists to what was on the agenda, the damned nightmare already fading with the last chunks of that Chaos tainted rock. I think Echo knows about the dream too, that’s kinda unsettling.

+ Audio Recording Suspended+

Log Resume/ Time Stamp (plus 15 Hours, Standard Terran Time)

Well the best thing about getting paid for a mission, is getting paid for one you didn’t need to do in the first place. Yea so after suggesting the nice safe agri-world mission to the captain again, she decides in what ever warp-wisdom to go to the planet that lost its supply hauler in the warp… fragging lovely. We set off and touched down without too much incident, thankfully. We even got a decent detail of Imperial Guard troopers, not Cadian, but decent enough.

Echo seemed to be in her element though, looking at shadows and talking to bushes that weren’t there. I didn’t pay it any mind at the time but it came back to slap us in the face pretty quickly. We were escorted to the Nobles’ house and were presented to a collective of the ruling class of this little backwater. Seemed they weren’t only missing their freighter, but it looked like the planet’s food supply was turning up a little short thanks to the accounting of a particular noble.

It seemed like a good enough excuse to stay planet side and earn a few extra thrones. On top of that, there was this young lady whose estate was in some “haunted woods”. I figured their tech wasn’t too good so it’d be worth running a few auspex scans to see if we couldn’t find the source. By the Throne, we could at least charged them a hefty consultation fee.

Echo also seemed to key in on a particularly plain looking Noble Woman. Seems like she was just recently recovered form a terrible sickness that claimed the life of her father. A likely story that Echo didn’t buy, so along with the captain’s blessing (or outright demand), we figured the most subtle and safe thing to do was to break into this lady’s house.

We started out searching the town and met up with this odd guy who called himself a bard by the name of Talespinner. He told us a little more about the noble woman and the haunted forest and the captain thought it was a good idea to let him tag along. She was probably saving him as a bullet sponge. Well after that, the only thing left to do was go house hunting.

Lucky us, I tagged along keeping the captain covered and Echo goes outside in the woods to prance around. She comes back muttering some nonsense as the captain finds some interesting stones in her ladyship’s personal crap. The whole situation started to reek of a trap, but it got weirder. Seems the stones opened up a portal in the Noble woman’s closet. Of course Echo had to go in. Well, better her than me, can’t warp a mind that’s already cracked.

During some point while searching the house, Talespinner up and disappears! Right before the damn lady comes home too. Our presence wasn’t well received either as the Guard tried to gas us out. Thankfully, captain kicked back their crowd control grenades and a I sprayed down some cover fire. As predicted, they broke quickly. Well the noble woman confronted us and that’s when stuff took a turn for the even weirder! Our noble hostess appeared to be a member of the Xenos race known as the Eldar! On top of that, Talespinner was one of her Elder lackeys. Well a few foot troops poof clear out of thin air and we find ourselves in a tense stand off. Typical. Well luckily our hostess is up for talking so she explains allot of the messed up details.

Well come to find out, the portal was a gateway to the Webway, an inter-dimensional closet used by the Elder to store all the missing shit that was screwing up the planet! Heh, Echo grabbed a few souvenirs (said she saw herself too) and popped out seeming just damned and happy!

Yea, Eldar, as in this planet was a “Maiden World” that had belonged to them before the Imperials showed up. Seemed they wanted some useless rock and they were looking to starve and demoralize the planet. They even managed to hide the freighter that went missing in their Webway too. It was a good thing we tied a rope to Echo before sending her in there, we could have just as easily lost our navigator.

Well after the typical threats of planet vaporizing and mutual annihilation, we had to come to some kind of compromise. Our crew wasn’t outfitted to deal with the Eldar on their terms (though I don’t doubt the captain had the brass to try anyway). It took some serious story cooking but we managed to hammer out an even trade.

Well the planet was fictitiously upgraded to a Death World and the Nobles were confined to the portion of the planet they had occupied, forbidden to enter the haunted woods on pain of death. With that settled, Talespinner, who turned out to be name Ulthuan, joined our little rag-tag bunch sort of as an insurance policy to allow us to stay in contact with his lady-friend.

He’s not a bad guy, a little strange, but I’ve come to accept that anything short of shot to the warp is an enemy. Well, speaking of enemies, seems these Eldar knew more about me than I thought. Either they can read dreams or they did one damned good background check.

Well it seems they gave me the coordinates to the last known location of that Commissar… I don’t know if I should let this possible lead go unaccounted for or not. I don’t have the kind of pocket change to afford the trip and I’m already in the captain’s pocket for plenty of cash. Damn. This isn’t going to slip my mind easily. I think I better go talk to the captain, this might effect my job performance…

End of Audio Log

View
A Voice in the Darkness
Speaking to the Shadows

Oh. Hello.

I suppose you all want to know what’s happened.

Aries is a gentle beast, but fierce when roused. He liked the wolves, though they didn’t stay long, venturing out to tear holes in the eyes of space. I liked them too, but wolves have claws and teeth and jaws for rending and tearing and gnashing. I hope they are happy, where they are. It will be a long journey home for them.

Do wolves like tea?

The eye saw us, and reached out with long and grasping hands to pull us into the shadow, but His Excellency was ever-courageous, venturing out into the boiling cold to scrape the fingers from great Aries with fire and light. Darkness runs from him and his shining heart, into the arms of the Lady. She is not gentle.

Snicker-snack. Off comes the dragon’s head.

Did you know dragons can live even without a head?

Aries lives, and so do we all.

The star-voices sang in the black. The Lady listened close, and chose one voice amongst the thousand to follow to a hunt, with a beast scarred and stained in red. His den was angry and filled with ghosts. His food was rotten, gore and ash in a pleasing shape. I could not push away the fear in his men’s hearts, though I tried. My hands are clumsy and not made for comfort.

The safari took us to a jungle of creatures, and the Lady deftly sent her nets to capture their princes. I feared for them in the hands of the beast, for his anger would bleed into them and steal their light and turn them to dust. It surrounds him like a cloud, hides his true form.

He ate so much dust, a handful for each year.

Ate.

Eight.

A red stain in the warp, a gash in the flesh of space and he is on us, hunting us as we hunted before. Our god is stronger than his. He was an ugly man, and had an ugly death, drunk on blood and skulls.

Eight deaths for his god.

I wonder if he noticed.

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