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|Damocles||It's currently night in this part of the agroworld of Agrippa. The sky is clear, the star-filled night broken by the occasional crack of violet hued lightning that stretches from horizon to horizon, or the cloud of green and blue light that fades in, swirls against itself and then thins to nothingness. All signs of a nearby Warp Storm; A violent disturbance of dimensions in space. Normally, this quiet, beautiful display of color in the night would be the most terrifying thing the people of this planet have ever seen.
However they currently have bigger problems.
Hundreds of miles away, a battle between Necrons and the Planetary Defence Forces rages on against the walls of the capital city of the world of Agrippa. Rumors abound that Imperial Guard forces have nearly reached the planet to help drive back the xenos monsters, but none know when they might arrive.
All that may be academically interesting to the gathered forces of the extraverals today, but it definitely isn't their problem. They did their part by destroying a small part of the Necron backline and securing some ancient ruins as part of their own plan to use the Teleportarium in this world to travel to an ancient Space Hulk.
According to Damcoles's sources, the Space Hulk has drifted out of the Warp, right on schedule, lightyears away from this world. The Teleportarium has been powered on, its Congatation Engine updated with algorithms written by Damocles to account for the Warp Storm they're teleporting into the heart of.
The Teleportarium itself is a strange building. One could be mistaken for believing at first glance that it was actually a massive church. The entire structure is made of polished, bluish black metal. As large as a full concert hall, the main room of the Teleporarium is arranged with a hundred rows of pews in a semicircle, all pointing towards the back of the room. At the focal point, there is a raised platform, large enough for fifty people to stand in comfortably. In front of it, a stand is raised even higher, looking like an altar to preach from, but containing all the controls for the device. Against the back wall, massive, stained glass windows depict the Emperor of Man, resplendent in gold armor with a blazing crown of light, reaching out to grasp at the very cosmos.
Damocles himself stands in the control altar, doing the final test of the controls. "Everything should be ready here. Of course we won't know for sure until we fire it up, but I'm, you know...reasonably sure it'll work."
|Amelris Belthrone|| Amelris spends most of the time setting up the Teleportarium looking around at the strange area it is. The architecture is very... grandiose, somewhat reminding him of some Ishgardian buildings and strong holds. Tall, dark, forbodding, yet with a large piece of awe inserted into good measure. The Red Mage adjust his hat, nodding once as he look at the controls the Librarian is working on with his calculations. His tail twitch, Amelris frowning for a brief moment.
"Well, we'll have to rely on the fact that you know your math, don't we?" He says evenly. Bah, he's done some LONGER shots than this. Or at least, somewhat similar shots. Who knows, at this point? This is an entierly different story altogether.
Amelris settles his eyes on the picture of the Emperor of Man, tilting his head. "I'm going to presume that's the primary diety of this place, is it?"
|Damocles||"That's the 'God-Emperor of Mankind'," Damocles casually answers without looking up from the control console. "Or Empsy, people sometimes call him, if they don't mind being shunned from society and then murdered by the Inquisition."|
|Forte||Forte takes in the decor. "Hrm."
The clearly impressive looking God Emperor of Mankind seems to have his attention. It's hard to tell exactly what he's thinking.
"Strong?" he asks Damocles, his cloak moving just enough for the floating navi to gesture at the stained glass.
|Damocles||"Dead." Damocles responds flatly to Forte's question. "Not that the people of the Imperium believe that. They entombed his skeleton inside a fortress at the very bottom of Terra. In his day, though...You could be forgiven for thinking him a god. Even the 'Gods of the Warp' watched their step around him."|
|Forte||Forte seems to lose interest immediately on hearing that the powerful target is dead.
"Not worth pursuing, then."
He floats over towards Damocles, watching the controls over his shoulders.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Things keep getting more interesting as they are want to do in this part of the multiverse. She's mange to survive the first big fight with the Necrons they did however cut out some support on the Necrons which might take some pressure off the Imperials. There's not much Kotone can do about it save keep pressing onwards with the job at hand. She thinks about the pay off it could very well be worth it too. Also, there will not be another shot on this hulk in her lifetime from what she knows.
"Before the Imperium Humans seem to have made some seriously advanced tech and all the stuff that these worlds produce seem to last. No one does planned obsolesce here and I can respect that. Then again what's left is still pretty advanced."
She looks Amelris Belthrone and nods a little bit.
"Yeah as he said it's the God-Emperor."
She seems to be checking her kit and making sure all her weapons are loaded.
"The tech in Las-rifles is mind boggling when it comes to micronization."
|Klaus Ridell|| He's watching the cracks of lightning, the green and blue light.
To the rest of the world it's a terror, an impending nightmare, the coming of the Warp in all its forms. The painting in the sky is something to be feared and escaped, to be fled, to be hidden from, to be weathered. The splattering of nonsense against the canvas of stars is an artwork to evoke a passionate terror.
To Klaus Ridell, it's a painting writ in cosmic.
The sky is full of diamonds outside. He's leaning on the door of the Teleportarium, watching those diamonds change colors, contort, weave. He's dressed in the uniform of a PDF Commander, a cape around his shoulders, the Compass dangling around his neck in the shape of an Imperial Rosary.
When Damocles says he's ready, Klaus moves over and hops up on the platform, sitting cross-legged with a bright smile. His eyes follow to the picture.
"I've heard old tales about them occasionally, at a caravanserai. Someone will always sit down by the fire and play music about some lost god. It'll always be a sad story, a story about sacrifice. It seems like that's the thing that gets remembered."
"It must be odd, living in a place where you know your gods are real and alive and tangible, living in a place where things like Old One-Eye and Waking Xel are vibrant and alive."
Klaus tilts his head back at Damocles. "Do you want some help?" He waves a dataslate in Damocles's direction. It has a Mechanicus emblem on it.
Well, sort of.
The skull usually isn't a compass rose.
|Amelris Belthrone|| "Hmn." Amelris answers, looking up at the glass, shaking his head. A dead 'god', huh.
He dusts his hands off, watching Klaus from the corner of his eyes as he do... his thing. "Anything you need us to do?"
|Damocles||Damocles shakes his head at the offer of assistance, ignoring Fotre watching over his shoulder. The Imperium tech is a startling mash of incomprehensibly advanced and laughably outdated, as Forte would find all the advanced teleportation equipment is all tied into a terminal interface that looks straight out of the 1980s. Making any sense out of the dated interface is also difficult simply because it seems like different parts are providing directly contradicting information. Which, in fact, they are, because of the Warp Storm.
Still, within the mess, Damocles finds what he needs, and sets something anyone would recognize: A 60 second timer.
"Alright, everybody just get on the platform. It doesn't matter where you stand, just try not to move while the shift is occurring." He starts the timer, and then sweeps himself around, leaps off the raised altar with a crash, and walks up onto the platform.
All around the room, lights start shifting. The overhead lights dim like a theater about to start the show, while a soft, blue glow begins to be projected from the floor of the teleporter. High overhead, from the vaulted ceiling, a long metal rod is lowered, flickering violet lightning licking from its tip. It stops about 20 feet above the teleporter platform.
The whole time, a calm, femine voice explains, "Teleportation in 60 seconds. All those not wishing to travel, please clear the platform at this time. Teleportation in 30 seconds..."The voice counts down, reaches zero, and a blast of violet lighting erupts from the rod overhead, slamming into the platform.
The actual shift is surprisingly fast. Everyone is engulfed in blue light, and then in a snap, the light is gone, and so is room. It is replaced by a much more spartan location.
The room the team arrive in is quite dark, with only just enough light to see. It is a large, circular room 50 feet across, with 3/4th of it enclosed in brushed gunmetal gray walls. The opening leads into a massive area, that is just as dark. It looks littered with equipment, from control consoles to pneumatic tubes to strange machines with unclear purposes. With the lack of light, it's difficult to tell what is is in there, but the room is as large as a warehouse building.
What is clear even from where you stand though, is the damage it's sustained. None of it is powered on, and much of it has scorch marks or deep gashes. Here and there, the dark stain of dried blood can be scene, though no bodies can be found.
One would expect it to be silent, but there is actually a clear sound. Coming from somewhere inside the room, is the sound of a guitar being played.
|Klaus Ridell|| The teleport kicks in.
When they arrive, Klaus stands up, stretches, yawns, and produces a light. More accurately, he produces a shoulder-mounted standard-issue PDF light, affixing it squarely to his, well, standard-issue PDF Commander uniform. The light clicks on like any good tactical light.
The Wanderer hums along with the song a little as he pokes around the room with his newly-present tactical light. "This is pretty amazing, isn't it?"
|Forte||Forte actually puts his feet down on the ground for once, making sure he has physical contact with the platform just in case.
Teleportation happens. Forte starts floating again. It's not a conscious effort - it's just what he's become so used to doing after all these years since gaining the ability to that it's become his default state.
Forte nods at the explanation that Damocles gives, but he's already zeroing in on the closest console. If there's someone else here, maybe there's access logs hidden somewhere in the data.
The delicious, finely-aged data on this ancient warship. Matured like a block of fine cheese.
The viral navi starts seeing what he can find and/or eat.
|Amelris Belthrone|| Amelris tightens his glove as the countdown begins, going down all that slowly. Is that really needed? He wouldn't really know how dangerous this sort of teleportation is complicated to do. Then, they go through, in a flash of strange light.
Amelris blinks his eyes, his eyes widening to adjust to the lower light as he looks around. What... a trashed out, forbodding looking place.
"I'm going to imagine that musics like that aren't common when you come to places like this." Amelris comments, stepping off the teleporter to give Forte a look, then out at the exit. "Anybody recognises that music?"
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa is waiting for things to move out, she loaded and armed, she's also got a heavy minigun of some sort ready. She looks a bit comical with such a large weapon and her small frame. She seems ready though the weapon is a bit worn and there's a number of kill marks painted on its ammo drum as well. Kotone checks it one last time and looks over to the rest of the party.
"Ready and if we find any intact computer systems I'll try jacking into them to see what I can do with them. I'm also packing a full stealth rig."
She's not alone either as a few spider like gun turret drones are deployed from her matter maniplator.
|Damocles||Emerging from the teleporter into the main room makes it clear pretty quickly that this whole area was built as a nexus for teleporters like the one you arrived in. There are at least 7 other large, circular rooms connected to the main room, and the one you emerge from is labeled with a '5'. None of the others appear to be functional at the moment however, or at least not powered up, as the soft blue glow from the floor only emerges from room 5.
What the row upon row upon row of consoles were for is a lot harder to predict, but Fotre is able to find an active one without much effort. Its screen is dark, but it powers up when the keyboard is interacted with. After a brief 'Please hold..." message, the screen flashes yellow with a warning message:
"Warning: Emergency lockdown protocol 13 in effect! Gellar field disruption detected! Please remain at your workstation and await further instructions!"
Meanwhile, the source of the music isn't hard to find at all. Sitting atop a raised platform in the center of the room, there is a woman, holding a guitar. She leans with her back against another control console, her legs dangling lazily over the side of the raised platform. Even in the darkness, she is easy to spot, like she's lit up by a light that only shines on her. She's clearly a human woman, tall with dark hair and very pale skin, her facial features are refined and sharp in the way only a woman who has seen countless battles can be, accented by dark lipstick and eye shadow. Her hair is midnight black, long and straight, worn loosely. She wears a strange gothic armor, which looks like it might once have been gold but is now scorched and worn to a black and sliver.
The most distinctive thing about her though, is a pair of massive, feathery wings. The wings look about twice her height in full wingspan, though they are currently wrapped casually around her. The feathers are soft white, but each and every one is tipped in the reddish brown of dried blood.
She sings softly to herself as she plays her guitar, though a second after she's noticed, she stops, looks up, and offers a soft, apologetic smile.
"Well now, you've finally arrived. Welcome to the Halley," Her voice is cool, with just a slight curve of amusement at the edges.
Damocles himself stops at the entrance of the teleporter, freezing the moment she talks. He doesn't respond verbally, but everyone in the group can hear his voice in their mind. "Be very careful. I can sense the power of Chaos on her. She's a Sorceror, no mistake."
|Forte||"Gellar field down..." says Forte to himself as he works the console.
The info comes - it's expected, and it also means that the ship is likely infested by warp demons. Okay.
Forte starts searching for where the mission objective - the pre-fall data course - might be kept, and once he gets the faintest hint of where to start looking, or if not then when it becomes clear that there aren't any hints to find here...
... He disappears.
<AUTONAVI JACK IN>
BASS.EXE - EXECUTE
... are the words that show up on the console's screen briefly, if anyone happens to examine it.
Meanwhile, Forte travels through the ship's network, zooming along in data form to wherever's most advantageous or most likely to begin the search from.
Or if not, then just popping back out at a random location, where at least the various forces arrayed against him won't expect him to be.
|Klaus Ridell|| The most interesting thing here is the woman.
The sweep's given Klaus nothing but scrap; Forte has the console and is probably more suited to it than Klaus is (not that Klaus isn't a fair hand at messing with machines, but it's hard to beat an *actual program* at interfacing with programs). That leaves the song, and the woman.
Klaus politely turns his light away from directly shining in her eyes. That would be fairly rude.
"I'm Klaus Ridell. I'm new around here." The Wanderer gives the lady a bright smile.
Klaus leans forward, the Compass Rosary dangling from his neck, the cape falling about his shoulders. "You have beautiful hair, miss. Velvet and shadow. It contrasts your wings perfectly, all bright and tipped in blood. Shadow, light, and blood."
"It's a wonderful effect."
Goodness but he's cheerful. "I take it you were waiting for us. Is there something you'd like to show us? Something you'd like to tell us? A message, maybe?"
"Or did you just want someone to hear your guitar and tell you how pretty you look?"
The funny thing is it's not sarcastic at all. Every word out of Klaus's mouth is one hundred percent earnest. He is genuinely asking if that's all she wanted.
|Amelris Belthrone|| Amelris wasn't quite sure what he was expecting. From what Damoclese was telling them, aplace like this would be probably teeming with monster or otherworldy dangers.
Well, he supposes a long haired woman with large feathery wings do count as being somewhat 'otherworldly'. They'd be called pretty, if they weren't also so obviously stained with blood. It all gives a soft, nasty feeling to it all, despite her soft singing.
Klaus steps up, doing most of the introduction and asking the main questions that's on point.
"Well, aren't you a smoother talker, huh?" Amelris comments, amusedly, taking note still on Damocles' mental comment. He turns to look at the feathered woman, adjusting his hat with his ears fluttering briefly, tail swishing. "I'd imagine it's no coencidence to meet you here, yes."
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa feels the sickening sensation of this sort of teleporter she feels a bit dizzy for a moment as she appears where ever this is. She notices all of the ones are offline. She will take a moment to make sure her weapons ready and the drone skitter along beside her as she goes. She keeps alert and she will take a moment as she looks for any active computer system and connections. Then comes Damocles warning, he has been very clear about his dabbling with the ruinous powers. She got it didn't like it but was willing to go on this op for the possible pay off it could have.
The warning would make Kotone meanwhile is also trying to find any active computer systems she could remote into as she keeps her eyes on the woman for a moment.
"I expected something with more fangs and claws when we arrived. Or green, very green."
She does not give her name mostly due to the warning that she was given by Damocles.
|Damocles||Inside the ship's network, Forte would discover that Imperium computer networks are the most frustrating things to attempt to navigate! As it turns out, the entire Imperium network structure is designed around the primary goal of stopping AI from being able to easily move through the system. This includes multiple physical data bridges which separate different parts of the ship's computer systems, and must be manually plugged in before the separate networks are able to talk. All of those bridges are currently broken, meaning every system in this network is operating isolated. The next bridge location is marked as Router 4L connecting to Engineering.
The system Forte currently finds himself in is Logical Operations, and is connected not just to the teleporters, but also to the support craft docks. The system is also an /absolute mess/. It appears very much as if there was a virtual war in this computer system which damaged it extensively. There are fragmented logs Forte could find, however. The early logs are mundane stuff covering the transporting of equipment and occasional acquisioning of objects for study. The logs do mention transporting these objects to the Research section through corridor C and a note about Level 4 clearance required for access to the Research Labs lift.
The more recent logs are more of a scattered and damaged mess, with the most recent ones having virtually no recoverable data. Several identical logs of transports from the ship to the surface exist, and then in the final scrambled ones, some sort of general emergency was signaled.
Meanwhile in the room, the woman casually pushes off the edge of the platform, her wings flaring out to glide gracefully to the ground. She laughs softly at Klaus's compliments, her laugh like the cold, clear ringing of a silver bell. "Oh, well thank you. The wings were a gift from an older time, but the color palate was all me, I assure you." She winks at Klaus, and then smiles a little at the other two.
"No ferocious monsters in here, I'm afraid. I can't speak for what's out there, though. A powerful lack of light is mostly what I've seen waiting for you. And you can call me Lilac. A fallen Living Saint."
At that, Damocles snorts contemptuously. "No you aren't," He states flatly.
"I really am," She responds, just as evenly.
"'Fallen' Living Saints don't happen," Damocles insists.
Again, she laughs at that. "Except I'm totally here."
|Klaus Ridell|| "You've made a great choice." Klaus rocks back and forth on his heels a little, watching her descend, his smile unchanging. It is, after all, all new to him.
"A Living Saint! That sounds very impressive." Again, no patronizing. Genuine, earnest, completely forthright. "What does it mean?"
He's asking her, not Damocles, because he expects Damocles's answer to be kind of smarmy and sarcastic.
He's kinda gotten a sense of Damocles's feelings towards these things.
"And, I can't help but notice that you didn't tell me why you were waiting for us." Klaus tilts his head slightly and leans forward. "But you don't seem like you're all that interested in killing us. After all, I bet you could just blow a hole in this thing and let us all drift."
Klaus avoids mentioning that that, in fact, would not kill him. Magic clothes, baby.
"Maybe...you want our help finding something?"
He's completely willing to play twenty questions here.
|Amelris Belthrone|| Amelris leans on the back of his feet, thumbs tucked into his pockets as he watches the winged woman talk. She's certainly cute, yet there is STILL that underlying threat that is hiding beneath.
"I'll admit I'm not as knowledgable about things here as our fellow here," Amelris comments waving in the direction of the POWER ARMORED man. "So 'Fallen Living Saint' don't tell me much beyond just that... And the very correct sensation that you do feel pretty powerful."
He leans back, smiling. "Well, Lilac. What now?"
|Forte||Ah. Hostile system architecture. That's not something Forte's not used to - even in the early days of Cyberspace you had to go on a scavenger hunt across a server maze to access a secure database. But this seems to be going above and beyond what he's used to.
This is a whole other level, though - disconnected systems, with actual Maxwell's Demon airgaps that are constantly manned?
Forte, ex-white-hat-hacker, silently approves, even if it makes things remarkably inconvenient for himself right now.
After a bit of log gathering, he pops back out of the network as close as he can to Router 4L and starts heading towards there in the physical world, silently floating down the halls.
Getting the network linked back together doesn't seem like a bad idea, if they're going to be searcing in this ship for a while. And unlike modern (or ancient) AI intruders, he's not limited to the digital world when it comes to bridging air gaps.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa finds that even in the old days the Imperium didn't do wireless so she'll end up looking for a computer she can jack into physically she makes sure she has a dummy barrier up as she moves to do so she'll try to fin something to see what she can gather. She gives the Chaos magic-user one look for a moment and will follow after Forte. She knows it's likely going to be rough. He doesn't seem like a very personably sort from what she's seen of him. However, she's going to be useless with miss wings. Given the Impiurum does not do wireless networks. Then again with things like Necrons around? Can she blame them she doesn't even know their history with AIs other than they do not use AIs.
She would keep quiet as she looks around for trouble or something she can jack into but finally will speak.
"Better this than chatting with Miss Wings I think."
IF she finds something like the terminal Forte is looking for she should try to find another console she can jack into, to see what she can find.
|Damocles||Lilac walks past the group, sauntering casually as she talks with the people around. Her wings are folded and wrapped around her a good bit as she walks past each person, her soft steel-blue eyes meeting each of theirs in turn. To Klaus, she smiles a little at his question about Living Saints. "A Living Saint means I was once exalted as a Chosen of the Emperor above even his precious Space Marines. Raised high by the very powerful of the Emperor himself to fight his enemies. Until I saw him and his Imperium for the lie they were." She gives Klaus a quick wink and adds, "I'm much happier now."
"Which is why they -don't happen-," Damocles insists. "They're just...I don't even know what to call them but they're just 'praise the emperor' personified! They don't 'go rogue'."
Lilac doesn't look at Damocles, but does laugh at his indignant reply. "Are you saying the Emperor gets to tell Chaos what it can and can't do? How inquisitorial of you."
Damocles can only stare in tight-lipped indignation at that.
She walks over to Amelris, and stops right in front of him. She reaches a hand out to his face, and lightly brushes two fingers under his chin. "Aw, aren't you an adorable little kitty catman. The Imperium would burn you alive for those ears of yours, you know." She flashes a light smile, before leaning in and placing a light, quick kiss against his upper lip. Then, just as suddenly, turns away from him.
She sweeps a wing to the side to clear away anything near her, as she shakes her head. "But no, there's nothing you have for me. As I said, I came here to meet you. Now, we've met. My goals are accomplished." She flashes a warm smile after that, though, her eyes sparkling a little. "Oh, but don't worry. I'm sure we'll meet again. In some world or another."
With that, her wings slam closed around her, wrapping her body up completely. When she does, a bright, violet fire erupts all around her, enveloping her completely. A half a second later, and the fire burns itself out, leaving no trace of the woman who once stood there.
Meanwhile, where Forte emerges is a massive bank of computer bays. They're all powered down, but the sheer scale of the bank is impressive. The room is easily 40 feet tall, with aisles of computer servers stretching from floor to ceiling, each aisle at least 100 meters long. The banks are labeled sequentially, though nothing but a metal plaque on each bank distinguishes them from one another.
Forte would also notice that it is very, very dark here. It's an odd kind of dark where the shadows seem to cling to everything, like a fog hovering against light sources, pressing in and trying to devour everything that isn't lit up.
Meanwhile, Ko would find much the same disarray in the system she accesses, except her particular console harbors something interesting: An evacuation plan. The plan shows a basic map of the ship and route to escape pods. It seems like many of the escape routes end in this room, but by tracing them back, a functional path to several places in the ship can be found. Places marked on the map include C&C, Research Labs, Facilities, and Logic Core.
|Klaus Ridell|| The self-titled Fallen Living Saint disappears. Klaus purses his lips thoughtfully and waves good-bye, because he's just that sort of person.
Gods are always strange like that, in stories, aren't they? Doing strange things like living and dying and choosing heroes to fight monsters. That's what gods do.
He looks down at his left hand. His right hand raises up to wag a finger at it. "If you want to renegotiate I'm happy to listen, you know."
He's clearly having fun, and not actually literally talking to his left hand as if it's a separate entity.
His left hand is not a separate entity.
There are no entities living in his left hand.
"Well!" He says, rocking back and forth on his heels, "I guess we might as well keep going!"
So he produces a second tactical light and goes walking into the Halley's halls.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa switches over to low light imaging as she doesn't trust the light to be reliable in a place like this. Soon she finds a console and pulls a cable out of her neck. Trying to shake the memory of Lilac and focus on her work. she dives into the systems. It's a mess, due to age and likely warpy stuff. She however doe find an evacuation plan and her eyes almost light up. She goes over the information she can trace the route back to C&C, the Research Labs, Facilities of all sorts and the Logic Core.
"Damn, this could be what we need."
She'll relay her findings over the comm.
|Amelris Belthrone|| It's not often that Amelris get condescended at in such a soft little manner. Not to mentioned being kissed suddenly by a stranger like that. The Miqo'te's ears shoots up, eyes widening at the light kiss in surprise, a brief surprised sound escaping from his throat, leaving him blinking.
"Didn't hear about personal space, lady?" The Miqo'te comments, bemused as he adjust his red, feathered hat to shadow his brief blush, before clearing his throat loudly to get a better reassertion of himself. "Well, that absolutely didn't tell us very much." He comments when she teleports away, a hand on his hips, taking a step on to get a closer look around.
"We might as well get deeper in ourselves, then." Amelris draws his floating casting gem, making it glow and following in after Klaus.
Forte's data-draining hand itches as he looks over the servers.
Picture a vampire. Imagine that the vampire is at least a little self conscious about their appearance and perception - being an ever-hungering monster with an insatiable appetite, especially since they used to be a vampire hunter of sorts.
Now picture that the vampire has suddenly found his or herself in the middle of the nation's strategic blood stockpile, there aren't any guards - or even anyone around at all to observe.
That's basically what's happening here.
Forte barely spares the time to confirm that he's not about to absorb the objective, and then utterly ignoring any unnatural sources of darkness that may or may not be in the room, makes a beeline to the nearest server, and then opens his cloak and extends both hands, physically placing them on the hardware in as close proximity to the data storage devices on it as he can.
That the servers aren't powered on doesn't actually matter. Forte's hands glow softly.
Seconds later, Forte removes his hands... and then steps to the side, getting in front of the next one, and placing his hands on it, having left the previous server utterly drained of data down to the boot sector BIOS on the motherboard.
|Damocles||Damocles looks a little perturbed by the other Chaos Sorcerer, but doesn't comment on it any further, instead just moving in with the others. There's no trace left of Lilac, though the area still buzzes with Warp energy from her depaturer, nothing clear about why she was there.
In the front of the room, there's a large security door that has been helpfully left open. Through it, however, the hallway is extremely dark. Like Forte discovered, it is a heavy, oppressive darkness. Sources of light can be seen, but that light seems to be devoured, consumed by the shadows which press in hungerly. The path itself is uneventful. Surprisingly so, in fact, as Damocles points out that there should be some signs of Warp daemons here. Instead, there is just shadow. Even the light that the group brings shines dimly, not going as far or as brightly as they should, the light just eaten up by the very air.
In the system Kotone is plugged into, she might notice an alert pop up: "Alert: Communication error with LGServer11731. Please contact the system administrator."
Meanwhile, in the server cluster Forte is currently in, he'll find the server offers little resistance, and is consumed without trouble. However, something else does happen. Exactly what is impossible to tell. A shifting of the shadows, silent but felt as the darkness curls ever so slightly. It's impossible to tell what in the darkness, but Forte is not alone.
|Klaus Ridell|| The shadows devouring the light just makes Klaus more curious.
He produces a decidedly larger Imperial Heavy-Duty Flashlight (not a lasgun, you morons). The thing is big and heavy and stupidly oversized, the kind of thing you probably need two people for because this is the Imperium and doing things efficiently is just not sensible when you could do it with lots of bells, whistles, and skulls. It looks silly in Klaus's hands as he fumbles with it, trying to hold it up. Eventually, it hits the ground with a *klang* and pops on.
"Wow, that's really dark."
"Well, I guess nothing to it but to see what's on the other side!"
The light is left sitting on the ground as Klaus heads directly into the darkness with the sort of cheerful abandon an Actually Experienced, Intelligent, Prepared Adventurer can afford, because an Actually Experienced, Intelligent, Prepared Adventurer is *never* not on the lookout for traps and ambushes from every which way.
It helps that he also kinda just vanishes into the darkness like he belongs there.
Klaus is *really* good at not being seen if he doesn't want to be seen.
|Forte||Forte's data binge slows down around server number seven or eight.
It slows, doesn't stop. The hunger is never satiated, only lessened.
The navi's eyes glance to the side - just briefly, just taking note of the odd pattern of shadows, then back to facing front, the unexpressive navi otherwise giving no reaction or even indication that something's going on.
He continues on as he has been, but now he's waiting... something's bound to happen, and soon, and he'll be ready for it.
|Amelris Belthrone|| "You can feel the history of the people that lived here. It's... pretty oppressing down on you. The darkness, I mean." Amelris says as he walks on, his hands clutching his floating, glowing gem. It emits a decent amount of light. Despite the path goign there being calm, it wont remove the tense sensation from the Red Mage.
"I've rarely seen darkness like this." He adds, noticing he's almost keeping his breath in from the crushing silence. "Ships like this are common, you said?"
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa relays the information to the party with the maps to them. They need to find what they need to and get off before this shi is lost forever. Or end up a gibbering horror, a plaything of one of the chaos gods. Or some other horrible fate. Kotone pauses at this warning she gets and she'll move hook back up with the main party and be ready to head for the Logic Core with them. She jacks out concerned at the servers dying but there's nothing she can do and she wants to not be off on her own much longer. So she'll jack out and then engaged her cloak vanishing from sight, only choosing to reverse it once she catches up with Damocles, Amelris and Klaus.|
|Damocles||Klaus gets a more powerful light, and the results are very interesting. The shadows seem to retreat away from the light a little more, the oppressive darkness swirling around pulling away little by little as he boldly strides forward into the unknown.
"Ships of this size, yes," Damocles answers Amerlis as he walks, his staff also emitting a bright light. Like Klaus's lamp and Amelris's gem however, the light illuminates what it directly hits, but seems devoured by the shadows, not casting out as far or lighting up things like it should.
Actually, on closer inspection, one might notice that the shadows don't *seem* to be retreating, they literally are. The darkness flows and shimmers like water away from the light, retreating rapidly down the path, a ripple of shadow against shadow as the darkness pulls into the hallway.
Then, where it seems like all the deep darkness pools, there appears strands of gleaming white. Small shards at first that expand and grow, forming into fang-like spikes. Each fang nearly three feet long, the spikes lash out, each one on the end of a black tendril of pure shadow dozens of feet long and as wide around as a full grown man. Like bladed whips of darkness with tips of gleaming white steel, these tendrils thrust out towards the sources of light: A tendril slamming down towards Klaus, one towards Amerlis and one towards Damocles.
In the server room Forte occupies, the shadows also suddenly come alive. Here, they stretch toward, wapping around the huge banks of machines around them, thin vines of pure darkness coiling around all the machines within 20 feet of Forte. Then, all at once, they contract, violently pulling all the machines down, slamming tons of metal with the strength of a pneumatic drill down towards where Forte stands.
|Klaus Ridell|| The shards of darkness, the black tendrils.
They punch through the Imperial Heavy-Duty Flashlight (still not a lasgun) in a single blow. The glass rains down, flickering in the dying bulb's glittering light. It was reinforced, of course, but not for a direct, supernatural attack - no prayer strips on its sides, no psalms etched on the glass.
Klaus is very glad he dropped the thing first.
And he cannot help but notice that the darkness has not noticed him. That's good. That means he can move.
He can't *see* anything, but he can move.
First order of business is to find a wall. Second order of business is to find a door, or a keypad, or something similar. Third order of business is to find out what kind of door it is. If it's a door with a padlock, produce an Imperial omnikey (what else would you use to pick a lock here other than a ludicrously ornate and overwrought key-shaped lockpicking device). If it's a door with a keypad, the dataslate and some quick typing.
If he can't find a door, then he's just gonna follow the wall on down.
And if he can't find a wall, then he's in some trouble, because he sure can't see in the dark.
Forte is ready. He reacts. He doesn't react fast enough - expecting an attack from one or two directions, not all at once, and not from the terrain itself.
He takes off, trying to go up, get out and away from the enclosing metal deathtrap- but it's too late.
< <AUTONAVI SLOT IN> >
STEP_SWORD S - EXECUTE
Forte suddenly reappears a few feet away from where he was standing previously, a glowing energy sword at the end of his wrist. He's already in motion, with no lag time between reappearance and attack - as if teleporting and striking were all one cohesive action.
Swinging at *what*, he's not sure, if there's even anything for him to swing at. He could just be attacking empty space - but on the off chance there is anything right at that spot, it's about to have a very bad day.
And Forte is pissed. Not that anyone can see it here, alone in the near-darkness, but his otherwise neutral composure is gone, between underestimating the enemy's ambush and the resulting heavy damage he took from it, he's rattled.
And Bass.EXE does not like being rattled. Bass.EXE wants to go and DELETE whatever it is that made him rattled, down to the very last data register.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa remains invisible as she voes to hook back up with the main body of the party and the's when she finds the things assailing them. She notices they seem to be under assault somehow or at least something is coming after then. She sees the thing's coming for them all and she's got an idea. Fighting these things conventionally may not be the best idea. So she does not plan to start shooting she'll pull a flash bang and toss it away from the party after issuing a waning maybe it will draw the things /away/ from them. Hopefully, this will give Klaus more time to help find a way out.|
|Amelris Belthrone|| Amelris is pretty surprised when the darkness itself come out lashing against his light. The Red mage's eyes widens at the sight of the shards of darkness lashing out at his gem. The Miqo'te reacts by reflex, his blade brought up to swipe at the incoming tendril of darkness, using the blunt of his weapon to leap straight out and backward into a wide, long backflip.
"When I said that the darkness was oppressive, I didn't mean it to be a literal thing!" Amelris exclaims out, landing and pooling both his weapons together, gem on his sword's hilt, channeling magic into a spell. But... where the hell do he target it? It's darkness all around them that's being an offensive thing at their light.
If that's the issue, then it's probably best to just start lighting shit up.
"FIRE SECUNDO!" Amelris shouts out, motes of energy spiraling out of his body then condensing at the end of his blade, unleashing out into a wide, circle blaze spiraling outward. He takes a step, spinning his combined Rod Blade confidently and thrusting his free palm out. "THUNDER SECUNDO!"
Thunder start rolling, followed quickly by a streak of lightning into a wider area around them, careful to not hit his fellows.
|Damocles||The tendril aimed at Damocles slams down, and is met with his Force Staff, raised to shield him. The two smash together, and clash for a brief second before the shadows are torn open by the energy field on the Force Staff. They retreat, but only back to the darkness that surrounds the group, new darkness filling the tattered and blasted away parts of the tendril, patching it like new. The dark tendril snakes around the edges of the light, sharb, gleaming barb aimed dangerously as it stalks, poised like a snake to strike.
For Klaus, finding a wall isn't too hard. Even the massive hallways of Imperium ships aren't that big, and he more or less knew the layout of the hallway before the light was smashed. However, he soon discovers a new problem: The shadows he's using for cover are not his friend. While the tendrils don't actively smash at him, the shadows that he cloaks himself with are significantly more...'real' than he would be used to. The darkness clings to him literally, hanging at first like a mist, but then building on him more and more, thin rivlets of the deepest blackness beginning to form on his person. As the darkness flows, it grows bigger and bigger, spiderwebs of shadow turning to vines, and as it builds up, he can feel it start to exert more and more pressure, growing in strength as it grows in intensity.
Fortunately, he is able to find a door before too long. It's a large door, as everything in the Imperium seems to be, and a dimly lit sign declares it 'Storage room 444'. The door isn't locked, but also it is not powered, requiring brute force to pry it open.
It's hard for Forte to tell exactly what he's fighting down in the server cluster. There is definitely a physical presence there. It is huge and shifting, like liquid metal that's constantly on the move, solid and yet inconsistent. His energy blade slashes through shadowy vines, cutting the darkness apart and causing a shudder of pain through the room itself, a tremor of rattling metal and a feeling of misremembered suffering. The shadow builds up more, drawing the darkness of the room around to itself. Large swaths of the room lose the oppressive, clinging darkness, and seem almost too well lit for the environment, while a dark, melovant shape forms in front of Forte. A writhing mass of shadow, coiled around upon itself into a vaguely humanoid form, two dozen feet tall. He can tell the form screams at him, though it makes no sound, before coiled arms of shadow slam down, over over, each pounding strike hitting the ground hard enough to leave foot-deep dents in the metal floor.
Back in the hallway, the combined flash grenade from Kotone and fire and lightning assault of Amerlis manage to strike both at the lingering darkness around them, and at the gathered shadow tendrils. The tendrils struck by Amelris's magic burst apart, the darkness burned away like tinder in a fire, the energy chewing away at the shadows. What remains withdraws back to the gathered darkness in the hallway, and like in the server room, the shadows are pulled into it, the lingering darkness consumed to create a single, cohesive entity of darkness. No one part of it stands out, but instead a mass of tentacles emerge, coiled around the edges of the room, as dark as the void except for a line of gleaming white teeth, sharp as razors. Each coiled tentacle is as wide as a grown man's leg, and seems to stretch down into the deep darkness of the ship, lined with rows of teeth like sandpaper.
These coil around the edges of the hall, before all at one striking out, looking to slam into Kokote and Amerlis, wapping them up against the razor-sharp teeth and grinding them to nothing.
|Klaus Ridell|| It's an awful sensation. Darkness wasn't meant to be physical. It wasn't meant to choke and squeeze. It wasn't meant to press down literally. It's a blanket, a comfortable blanket, a blanket that hides the day and lets you close your eyes. This is an ugly darkness, a wicked darkness, a cruel and hateful darkness.
Fortunately, though, the dimly-lit door sign wasn't hard to find. Not too much longer in this evil dark.
Unfortunately, Klaus isn't all that great at brute force.
But he is very good at thinking on his feet.
He produces from his cloak the dataslate he'd been carrying earlier. He does not power it on. Instead, he very carefully, very quietly, pops the back. It's not easy - the Imperium does not make things *accessible* - but Klaus knows a hell of a lot more about this sort of thing than the average Imperial (possibly the average Mechanicus, although that's a bit of a meme - they are, after all, perfectly competent).
A pocket knife and a bit of an effort later and Klaus has removed the power source. A bit of jiggery-pokery affixes a makeshift pendulum to it. Aforementioned pocket knife pries open a bit of the wall. The awful darkness is still dragging at his body, but it should be over soon enough. Hopefully.
Fingers feel about for wires. Once he's found the one he's looking for, it's a brief cut with the pocket-watch (and a bit of a dangerous one, too, but since the door's unpowered it shouldn't be too much trouble), and then a *very* brief rewiring job.
It won't be much power, but what does Klaus care? It'll probably be enough to force the thing open once, and that's all he cares about.
The connector slides into place. Klaus sets the pendulum to swinging and steps back.
Tick, tick, tick, tick.
When the pendulum hits zero, the connecting plate will click into place, the circuit will be completed, and the door should, theoretically, open.
It's a lot of work to be a Wanderer.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Had Kotone not been cloaked it would be a /very/ bad day for her right now. It's still a bad day but not very. The flash bomb seems to have drawn it away from the main force she orders her gun drones to open fire on it spraying solid slug rounds at the horror and since it's after her?
She'll star moving to back off and lob some plasma grenade at the thing to see how it likes those. There's a short serious of beeps once the grenade hits the deck. Which promptly explodes in a burst of plasma.
"... I need more fire for this!"
She's force to lay off on the assauolt for the moment as she's trying to not get grabbed by the tentacles and dragged into what passes for this thing's maw.
|Amelris Belthrone|| Artilery proves to be effective if not a complete solution. The Red Mage's jacket billows at the backlash of magic of his various explosive spells chewing out at the shadows. When it retreats, Amelris remains on guard, gritting his sharp teeth and tightening his grip on his blade. It'll come back. It'll be sure to come back. There's no way that's all there is. The choking atmosphere of the darkness still leave him with a lack of breath, focusing.
When the mass of tentacle comes lashing out, coiling like a creeping, creepy mass of darkness, Amelris charges in. He dives into the incoming striking out tentacles, filled with razor-sharp teeth with his blade brandished and suddenly glowing with his inner, accumulated magic. Black and White magic, cancelling one another and the process creating a new energy, funneled out into his graceful, bright thrusts against the striking tentacle.
It still manages to grip along at him at his side, slicing down at it with his Enhanced blade down at it then hack and slashing his way up the damned trunk. "DON'T RELENT! DON'T GIVE IT A BREAK!" Amelris shouts out, in between breath. He's bleeding, a bit, on the legs but he's fighting on.
|Forte||< <AUTONAVI SLOT IN> >
AREA_STEAL S - EXECUTE
Forte teleports away from the first room-shuddering strike, and then dodges mundanely the second.
He's still angry. This... this thing got the drop on him. He can cut it, so it's not intangible, but it's still... unknown.
Forte floats up, just barely missing another slam. The problem he's facing, while he can hurt it - this shadow thing is lashing out too quickly for him to get in close and finish it without burning more of his rapidly diminishing supply of Area_Steal chips... assuming it can be finished? If it's not just some homogenous mass of shadows that doesn't have a vital spot to hit. If it's not literally every shadow in the room that'll replenish themselves when the lights come back on.
There's too much unknown. It's time to see if something new can be learned.
< <AUTONAVI SLOT IN> >
AREA_STEAL S - EXECUTE
Forte waits till it attacks again, hanging on for the last possible moment, and then blips forward, appearing right in front of the mass of shadows, glowing hand already outstretched.
|Damocles||The door that Klaus faces isn't locked or obstructed in any way, but it is, well, really large, the size of a warehouse door designed for vehicles to fit through. So while he is able to rig up a solution to push the door open, it goes agonizingly slow. The reason the door is so large is pretty clear when it's open enough to see what's on the other side.
As the name implied, it is literally a warehouse room full of crates. The room is 30 feet high, with row upon row of shelves. Thousands of crates line the shelves in metal boxes, unmarked except for a metal plague on each on which a serial number is carved. The room stretches for at least 100 meters back and to either side. It is far from neatly organized though, as crates have been thrown around, shelves knocked over here and there, some boxes blown open to reveal spare parts for unrecognizable purposes. And, like everywhere else, the darkness clings dangerously here, a hungry, oppressive force that devours light. The darkness in here is passive, but immediately begins being drawn in, oozing slowly towards the door and the battle in the hall.
The plasma grenade catches the tendril lashing out towards Kotone and blasts the tentacle apart. The shadows that were grasping at her fade away into normal darkness, and the remainder recoil back down the hallway. More darkness bleeds into it, and a moment later it lashes back out. This time, it forms into a large, more bulbous shape, with a snapping mouth filled with jagged, pointed teeth, 15 feet across from top to bottom. Nothing but a large mouth with rows of serrated teeth, the jaws snap in the air several times, and then lash out back towards Kotone, gnashing at her, trying to bite her in half.
Amelris also makes good progress cutting apart the tendril he fights, and it is cut apart, bit by bit. It recoils back, gathering back into the shadows, and then shifts like water. Suddenly, it stabs back towards him, no longer a bladed tentale. It shifts into a smaller, thinner form, and then stabs towards him, suddenly a bladed spear of darkness eight feet long, thrusting at him again and again, stabbing at his body to try and impale him.
Damocles steps forward, inch by inch, not attacking, but instead defending against the lashes that come at him. He doesn't like how this fight feels. It feels like they aren't accomplishing much, and he doesn't have a plan. Without one, he instead raises his staff, and quietly casts a spell. Warp energy is pulled to his staff, and then bleeds through space, moving to infuse Klaus. He can't see Klaus, and that makes him real nervous. The darkness is not a friend here, so he uses his magic to empower Klaus with Warp energy, enhancing his strength and hopefully giving him a better chance if he finds himself in trouble.
Meanwhile, down in the server room, the results of Forte's attack are likely what he expected. The shadowy entity is dodged, and grabbed with the red hand, and upon touching the deconstructive energy, it is blasted apart, its entire form shimmering and then falling apart like dust and ash. The information Forte obtains, confirms his suspicions. The 'entity' was not actually a thing at all, but a maniesfaction of power from something located much deeper in the ship. As the connection to the source is cut, Forte is given a brief vision of server room, like the one he's in, but easily ten times larger. In the center, a massive, circular computer sits, and atop it, a black orb of impossible darkness hovers, shadows bleeding in and out of it like the breath.
|Damocles||@KLAUS: You manage to open the door, but there is little respite on the other side, as you discover a massive storeroom filled with the same oppressive, clinging darkness as the rest of the ship. @Amelris: You cut apart the tentacle, and it retreats, only to come at you again in the form of a winged spear, aimed to stab through your chest. @Kotone: You destroy your tentacle, and it also withdraws, coming again as a massive maw of jagged teeth, trying to bite you in half. @Forte: You disassemble the shadowy form you fight, and your brief connection shadows that it was not a creature, but just a projection of power caused by something located deeper in the ship.|
|Klaus Ridell|| Well, it's something!
The darkness is still unpleasantly there, but it's leaving, heading into the hallway. Damocles's spell settles across his shoulders, which is less unpleasant, and helps him move through the ominous tendrils a little bit easier.
Crates upon crates of spare parts.
Well, spare parts do serve a purpose, after all!
Klaus starts gathering. He just picks them up and disappears them into his Compass. He picks up a whole bunch from each crate he can find on the way down - and it's not random, either. He's looking for something.
The crates were thrown around. The boxes were blown open. The shelves were knocked aside.
Somebody was looking for something here, too.
What were they looking for?
He couldn't possibly know. The monster will attack any source of light.
-Ah. Any *source* of light.
From his inventory Klaus produces a series of sparklers. They're children's toys, nothing more. They burn and spark and sputter when they light up in amusing colors. Fun little things he picked up on a wander.
Handy thing to have, light in fun colors. They make people laugh, and that makes people less likely to get angry, and that opens doors that shouldn't be opened so easily. They make kids smile, and kids are always a reliable source of information, because kids listen to the secrets adults don't think they know.
And they probably attract monsters.
Klaus lights the sparklers and hurls them away in the same motion, his lighter disappearing as the sparklers erupt into bright noise and colors, sending dancing lights all throughout the hallway. He flips back around, raises the Compass from his chest, and closes his eyes.
A beam of light juts forth into a map, a map of dancing light in the air, leading to...
Well, whatever the person, place, or thing was searching for on this ship.
Places can search for things, too.
|Amelris Belthrone|| Amelris is getting the feeling that striking out at the 'limbs' is pretty pointless at this, uh, point. There must be SOMETHING that command all of this and unless they're capable of destroying EVERYTHING of it all at once, they wont go very far. Turns out, that hunch was correct, thanks to Forte's discoveries.
The Shdaowspear is something more of a problem, the duelist charging against it. If not for some quick adjustment, he'd get it straight into the chest. Unfortunately, it still scraps him along the side of his chest, the shadow spraying a bit of blood away from his attempted charge, wringing a shark snap out pain from the Miqo'te as he charges through.
"A core, huh!?" Amelris exclaims, his voice panged with some pain. "Lead the way, friend! We're going to go RIGHT THROUGH THIS!"
A shine blast from his form, Aether condensing outward into a several streams of crystaline blades, unleashed forward into a flurry of blows and gleaming light as he charges forward and covering for Klaus's map finding process.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone makes some progress as she does hurt the thing ort she thinks it is hurt. She's about to do something else when the thing now is coming at her intending to bite her in half. She triggers some of her movement system leaping up a bit and dashing in the air.
New information comes out the horror is in a server room? Okay she will fully cloak again and make for the room she summons the Minigun as she links up with her allies if she can if not she'll make her way to the server room hoping to meet up with them there.
|Damocles||For Klaus, the light reveals several things that come together to tell a fairly complete story of what happened here. First, something came through the hallway, looking for the Primary Logic Core in the central data core, passing by the storage area as it did so. Next, a lot of things in the room scrambled around, looking for either the exit, or large objects to move inside, under or behind. Lastly, a large number of things appeared, and went searching in the room for the things that were under, behind or inside objects.
It was that final group that tore the room apart, looking for the second ones, that were presumably hiding. If Klaus goes searching for where the two met, he will find pools of dried blood and deep scratches in the metal.
The sparklers that were thrown do provoke a reaction from the darkness, which seems to 'wake up' around him. The shadows leap off, drawn off his body for the moment to collapse into smashing limbs which slam down on the sudden bright light, snuffing it out with a fury that tears apart the metal of the floor underneath. The effort does succeed in drawing the shadow away from him briefly, but unfortunately, it also 'wakes it up'.
The shadows in the room gather, now shifting and colelsquing. It may not be safe to remain there much longer.
The combined crystallized attacks from Amerlis and Kotone manage to drive back the shadows, which fold, for the moment, into normal darkness. Perhaps exhausted by its effort, or perhaps distracted by something else, the shadows retreat for the moment, leaving the hallway looking fairly normal. Without the oppressive shadow around, it's dark, but not enough to be difficult to see, and the path to the main lift can be seen. A light is flickering on the lift, showing that it is still active, and while there is a security lock for accessing the Primary Data Core, it's nothing that can't be overridden.
Once everyone is gathered, the lift is activated, and its decent to the lower parts of the ship is actually fairly uneventful. Though as it defends, the darkness does start growing, deeper and deeper again.
When the door finally opens, the sight is, probably what was expected.
The Primary Data Core is massive on a scale that's hard to believe. A single room as large as a city block, it is easily 100 feet tall, with computer racks towering to 80 feet up. High above, mechanized arms can be seen, unmoving, hanging from the ceiling ready to grab and move various parts around.
All the racks are arranged in a hub-and-spoke formation, and at the very center, a massive, cylindrical machine sits, still humming with visible LED lights all over it. The machine glows a slight red, though it's unclear is that's because of the machine itself, or the massive, black orb that hovers above it. The orb isn't truly black; it is a void of light. Like a vacuum in space, you can't see it, but can only see where there should be something and yet is nothingness itself. Outlined in a thin corona of red, the orb does not react to you at all, yet everyone can sense a malevolent intent from it.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa is thankfully able to link up with Amerlis and the rest of the party. She keeps moving and will get into the lift she takes a moment to check her ammo and reload while she has a chance. For she knows? She won't have the chance, once they get to the core. So it's time to do it now, so she does. As the fresh drum is loaded in she'll look to the rest of the team.
"This brings back some old memories."
Once they get into the Data Core. The Imperium never does anything small, does it? She raises her minigun waiting for others to get into positions and then will warm it up, the barrel spins and she lines up the shot to open up on the sphere. The weapon roars brass goes flying and Kotone is intent to unload the entire content of the heavy weapon on the sphere while she has the chance.
She'll banish the weapon following it up with a rail rifle nearly bigger than she is and she'll start moving firing shots at it when she can.
|Amelris Belthrone|| Skidding into the room, slashing through the air against the darkness, Amelris takes a moment to stare at the tall, big, malevolent-looking red and black orb. It's kind... it is swallowing the light from all around.
What the HELL is he looking at?
Whatever it is, Damocles identifies it as a target... and it's likely the center of the darkness that spreads throught the Space Hulk, seeking to crush them. At least, the room is pretty large to allow him to fully unload on this thing.
"GUARD YOUR HEART!" Amelris shouts out, flourishing his rapier as aether motes spreads around him,condensing into his blade as he dives it into the ground, brandishing his spare gloved hand at the orb. A circle forms beneath it, formed with two smaller ones forming beneath it, energy gathering and then unleashed upward into two large upward pillars, spinning upon one another. "MAY YOU BE GONE FROM THIS PLACE!"
He steps, snapping his fingers. The red pillars of energy condenses, shutter, then shatters into a large explosion. "FACE MY VERMILLION SCOURGE!"
|Klaus Ridell|| The Compass map vanishes back into darkness. It's not safe to stay here much longer, so it's time to get what's left and get out.
A little bit more looting, and Klaus is *out*. He's just *out*. He's running out of the room, tossing sparklers this way and that on his way out.
He is *not* staying here.
|Damocles||As the team starts to take position, the shadows in the room all spring to life. Like before, they form into a central mass, but unlike before, the clarity and intensity of these shadows is far, far more powerful. Their edges are sharply defined as they form massive spears, fanged maws, thrashing claws and crushing tendrils all around. However, as the shadows start to strike out at the team, the blistering weapons fire strikes the orb, and, all at once, it all freezes. A small crack of light forms in the surface of the impossibly black sphere, and then, suddenly, it shatters.
When it does, every single person on the ship would share the same experience: It starts with an overwhelmly powerful headache. A sharp, stabbing pain in the brain so sudden and intense that one would be forgiven for thinking they were about to die of spontaneous head explosion.
Then, from the pain, several images flash through their mind.
The silhouette of a humanoid figure, ripped in half, then again, and again and again, a million times in a second, until nothing but a cloud of dust remained.
A warm yellow star in space, cracking open like an egg, and from inside, a skeletal arm with wicked claws reaches out.
Deep space, the black sky filled with millions of stars. Then, the stars melt, bleeding together into a swirl of scintillating colors that expand like reality unraveling at the seems, revealing the chaotic storm underneath.
FInally, as the pain fades, everyone is left with a single word within their mind:
The pain passes an instant after it started, and the room is quiet. No trace of the orb remains, and the shadows are as they should be, leaving the team standing in a massive, dimly lit server room.
This is feeling a lot familiar. The pain, the look... well, the SIGHT is not nearly as familair to be honest. This is a sort of nightmarish look that just claws at his mind.
"What... in the HELLS was that!?" Amelris calls out, a knee on the ground and holding the side of his head with a hand
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa watches as the thing finally goes down she lowers her weapon it's over right? It's over for now? Then comes a headache she should not /get/ those anymore. Yet Kotone does clutching her head and she feels a bit of an alien pain. She's not sure what' going on but it feels like her head is going to explode she sees something, something horrible ripped apart over and over a star, cracking open like an egg as something hatches out of it. The Lovecraftian vision before her mind's eye. It gets worse and it takes Kotone a moment to recover from what she saw and she shakes her head. Once she comes out of it she'll try to find somewhere she can jack in So she attempt to boot the systems back up.
"What... what the bloody Lovecraftian hell was that....?"
She takes a deep breath.
"I'm... trying to get what systems I can...back online."
|Damocles||. It doesn't take long to boot the Logic Core up, and the entire, massive room worth of computers boots up as well, the room suddenly filled with the sound of millions of machines all whirring to life all at once.
A search through the Central Logic Core reveals something disturbing: It seems like the system had started a full data purge. The purge was halted partway through, and it's impossible to tell from the data why it stopped. The last entry is a log from the captain:
We finally received a response to our request for extra support today, and I have to say, I understand the delay now. The response came directly from the Emperor himself. We aren't getting the extra personnel I asked for. Due to the nature of the discovery, further study of it is being moved off the Halley entirely. We've been ordered to move to the Emperor's Archive ahead of schedule.
I can't say I'll be sad to see this...thing off my ship. I've already ordered a halt to all existing projects and storing of all existing data to be moved to the archive for storage. The science team is up in arms. None of them are where they wanted to be in their projects, and protocol calls for a complete wipe of local data once it's stored in archive memory. They'll be happy enough once it's all loaded down and they've got their new projects to work on, though."
|Amelris Belthrone||As things settle down, Amelris takes a deep breatgh to look upward at what is being rebooted. The Message comes through, the Red Mage taking the time to sheath his weapons to look around, taking a step off to stare at some of the computer parts that's lying all around the place.
Then it hits him like a brick. Amelris lets out a brief cry, groaning as he holds the side of his head, already hit earlier by the splitting headache with the more familiar one of the Echo. He falls to a knee, grunting. It lasts for a few moments, breathing out.
"Twelves." He mutters, looking up. "That damned winged woman did more THINGS here. AND she messed with my Echo. She knew I had it and 'left me a message'."
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa says "I don't know... all I can say is horrors sleep in this universe and some people here make deals with them....there's a Log here. The captain had direct contact with the Emperor."
She'll relay the rest of the log.
"What the hell /did/ they find?"
She'll try to start looking for relevant data to pull off the drives here.
"...Do you have any idea of what they were working on?"
She keeps working away diving into data that's older than Civilization on her home world.
|Damocles||Damocles looks carefully over the data Kotone digs up. It definitely isn't what he expected. A data purge? Why would they ever have done that? However, something much, much more important shows up.
The Emperor's Achieve. "Emperor saves.." Damocles mutters softly. "Literally, in this case. This ship went to the Emperor's Archive? Maybe I can.." He goes back to the computer, and begins furiously typing, until, before long. "Yes! Navigator logs. I have the coordinates of the last place this ship went."
He stops when Amerlis reports his information.
"What? Wait, no, that can't..."
He quickly holds his staff up. Closes his eyes, and presses a hand to his forehead.
Then he opens his eyes, wide in surprise.
"Khorne's /BALLS/ she actually DID it! This Space Hulk is /covered/ in Warp runes! The Warp Energy around us is /way/ higher than it should be!" He looks around. "We need to leave. NOW. This ship is already falling back into the Warp."
|Damocles||The trip back to the Teleportium is rapid and hectic. It becomes very clear to everybody as you travel that this Space Hulk is well on its way back to the Warp. Violet energy crackles over everything, and here and there, reality is pulled apart enough for some small, daemonic thing to reach a claw though, or pryed wide enough for it to pass in and get annihilated by the retreating team. The team rushes onto the Teleportarium while Damocles runs to the controls, furiously punches in the return information, and dashes to the pad. Like before, a soft, blue glow lights up the floor, and then violet energy crashes from the ceiling. It engulfs the team, and in a flash, they vanish.
They reappear where they left. A massive church of polished bluish black steel. The feeling of the Warp crawling on their skin is gone. They are no longer on the Space Hulk. No longer in a Warp Storm.
Not quite out of danger, as it turns out.
The room isn't empty this time. Instead, there are dozens of humans wearing green and black armor. Most have masks over their faces. All of them are carrying large weapons. A couple plasma guns, many large LasGuns attached to heavy backpacks. One notable figure is a thin woman in black armor, her face covered with a mask. A man with long, white hair wielding a chainsword stands in the back.
In the front, the unmistakable form of an Imperial Commistar stands. His chest adorned with medals, his head capped in a red beret. In his hand he holds a bolt pistol. He smiles pleasantly.
"Welcome back, heretics. I was afraid you wouldn't make it back in time for your execution."