“...It is here, aboard Hope's Refuge, that we meet our end.”
The sound of the bolter round echoed around the small chapel, its doors bound in this world and the other, the first by the finest locks, and the second by the hexagramatic wards that burned in the eyes of those with the sight. A second bolter round was heard, followed by the slam of meat hitting cold steel, and then, all was silence. Three figures watched the horrors that had unfolded with surgical detachment, the glare from the hololith illuminating them with its harsh light.
“Turn the recording off, Charles. Destroy the 'lith. Take all the standard precautions.”
“Yes, your Holiness.”
Even though Charles had been in Inquisitor Kranz’s service for years, the sight of the taint of Chaos so rampant still turned his acolyte's stomach. The ‘lith left nothing to the imagination. Watching the junior officer's transformation from man into plaything of the Diseased One had been bad enough for all three of them. But to see him take the ultimate step to salvation, and shoot himself not once, but twice... Well, that was a man of the Emperor to the last.
Tech Priest Wanohfour spoke aloud the Inquisitor's thoughts. “It was brave of the organic to terminate functions before the onset of Final Stage Warp Necrophage Majoris. Reanimatic possessions are difficult to terminate.”
Kranz turned a wry eye to his red-robed companion. “Nurgle's Rot can be a bit of trouble, yes.” The Techpriest, for all her bluster about organics, still made the sign of the Machine God with her mechandrites when he mentioned the Lord of Plague by name. “Hope's Refuge was hospital ship in the Segmentum Pacificus, in support of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, correct?”
“Yes, Inquisitor Kranz. It was lost to the Emperor's Light during a warp jump. We originally believed that there were saboteurs on board, who interfered with the Gellar fields. In light of this new evidence, it is my supposition that WMN and an unwitting carrier are a more likely culprit.”
“We've seen this before. The Rot spreads and infects not only its passengers, but the ship itself. The ship will have wards of succor, but given such repeated exposure...”
“Yes, your Holiness. It is likely the Hope's Refuge itself has been tainted, stem to stern. The post-incident encounters with the ship have all been the same. An Imperial ship, off course and lost in the warp, takes damage and casualties, encounters the Refuge, who reports to be lost in the same Warp storm. All appears normal; though scan reports from that time offer evidence of danger. The crew must be beguiled by some unknown force to ignore them. The Officers and medical crew are drawn off, to who knows what fate, and then the Refuge attacks the leaderless and medically depleted ship. Boarding parties consist of Class 1, 3 and 5 Abominations who seem to seek more raw genetic material to infect. Named and known Abominations are known to frequent these attacks.”
“Spread word throughout the Sector. Reclassify the ship as the Hope's Demise, and alert the Commissariat that officers that do not take hostile action against the vessel are to terminated at will. Let them blow through a few clips until they find someone willing to draw up a firing solution. Order them to double the amount of purifying incense in the bridge of any vessel that finds itself operating alone...”
“So shall it be done, Lord Kranz. Now, I must anoint the hololith's memory buffers, lest any taint remain...”
Sunday, November 22, 2009
What's the story? Part 2
Continuing with my clever plan of: a. writing to a non-existant audience, and b. not writing at all about my Valhallans or Flesh Tearers, I present to you my back story for my Chaos Daemons army, The Host of Hope's Demise: