Ten Days Returned from Hive Tarsus
Aurealogi Belsepanium > Anni Aureum > Beneath Portae on Sign of the Starry Order

[Data Crystallum :: Archived 3.400.806 M41
Servitor Calvaria 43-b-tef :: Seven Hall Manse Vault Medicae
Adept-Militant Bothe Ume]

Ah, I don't want to talk about the Shrine in the Crush. Took us two days to get down there, two days to get out through the Fallen Gate into the pollution-fog, and we had the squid-seed. It was just ... you know. Erros is the Emperor's own, but he has something for the old places. It gets into his head and makes him, I don't know. Makes him different. More different.

Wasn't clean, that's what it wasn't. Xenos flesh all over the aquila, half the vault was crushed in. The viles were running and snapping, and Erros is laughing. Laughing, with his hand in a maw to the shoulder, and it's trying to chew him but it can't - and he's making the skin on my hands sweat blood by furrowing his brow.

No, I don't ... no, it just wasn't right. I should have taken the flamer like he said, and burned the place clean.

Look, I had to kill seven scum of twenty who'd have ambushed us with black powder and dart-throwers half a kilometer down from Porta Seventeen, right where the secondary spine strut spindles into the Crush. That was tight for a while, given they knew the overhangs and backways, but I've had worse back in the pollen fields. I nailed the last of the vault-followers through two bulkheads with a Magna Vis auger round, and she ran a hundred meters before it killed her. Scared the rest away, and bad news spreads fast. That was the last we saw of anything human until the outlands, though there were plenty of signs. Dumb lucky shot, just meant to keep them thinking, but don't tell that to Erros.

War stories. It's the rest of it sticks in a way I don't like. Pass the tranc, and ask Erros for the rest of what happened inside Tarsus Interdictus.

[Ordo action vox-record :: signo temporis 3.356.806 M41
Librarum Arcanus of Inquisitor Hrald Belsepan
Adept-Militant Bothe Ume]

Pollutants fogged up thick as you like about the hivebase beneath the verticals - like pollen flurries back in the warfields, you couldn't see ten meters in the worst of it, but it topped out a hundred meters up the hivewall. Burned too, closed in like that, a real pleasant grimy promethium scum feeling. Rebrethers or filter augmentics are how you know the players from the slaves and outcasts. The lines of Emperor-fearing underhivers with prayer-stones, coughing up blood every ten steps, they're the nobodies, no choices, no prospects.

The Fallen Gate wasn't much of a gate anymore, more like a Crush spilled out of the Shadowverts base and onto manufactory ruins. The way down into the pollution fog was a collapsed railhead platform, rail and pylon, just like we spotted it from a kilometer up with the magnigoggles. Steps are hammered in to the thing, and chains for the steep sections. It's a big mess, and about halfway down the better equipped vault-followers and narcolord vat muscle set up shop to stare at each other, stop the other side interfering in the traffic.

I don't know how we got past without having to butt heads like a beremoth with one side or other; just born lucky, I suppose. Maybe they were as sick of it as they looked by that time of day, standing guard over filth and the hated, or some quiet voice already whispered we were bad news.

From right around there, you could see Mastican's armormanse - or at least the lookout spire, sticking out above the fog. It's an old template megamover of some sort from the Hive Foundation Era, corroded down into a slump, tunneled out and sealed up tight. Now here's the way I would have had it; none of this digging around in the rust and sending in two hard cases to talk their way through soldier's work. A company of the Ordos Black Troop 1, split three ways in three Vastigans, a fourth with a pair of the Stug Compact Versions for armor support and breaching. We'd have dropped in right from the Shadowvert lift platforms twelve hundred meters over their heads, and rolled them over before they know what hit them.

For good measure, I'd wager you can depress the point defense arrays at mid-hive low enough put a couple of softening holes through something even that close to the hivebase. Captain-Designate Balx would have gone for that plan, argued the case if I'd dragged him into the planning. His suit should have lasted that extra second down on the Well - that's all it would have taken, just another second. Now he's another voice I wish I still had by my side, Emperor rest him.

But it was Erros' call, and the Blacks were scattered about in a dozen raids in all the hives, searching for these data crystals and whatever else has the Ordo Hereticus so worked up. A lot of killing still going on under the covers, and it's making the Arbites real angry. A nasty feel to the air out there in the low hive, like a few years back before the riots. I'll be happy to see this all buckled up, sealed and done sooner rather than later.

So the soldier work was all for cleanup after we were done digging for the delicates, and it was Legio Portae, rather than Protectorate we had waiting on our call. No armor support either - we were the breachers, the both of us.

[ Posted by Reason on March 22, 2008 ]