Heretic Hunt

Coded Journal of Alistair Gordon - 4
Leaving the Immaterium

Well I had thought the worst of this jaunt into the Immaterium was behind us but clearly that was an optimistic assessment. I blame myself, I was under the mistaken impression that Ratcliffe was only a danger to himself. That assumption cost someone their life and most probably their soul. Ratcliffe was trapping his own room and had enlisted the servants to aid him in this. I’m not sure why he thought that trapping was in their skill set. One of them had an accident, triggering a bear trap on their arm. Specialist (Noctine) Karpath did what he could but the servant went into shock and died soon after. I was going to start taking the corpse to the medical bay to see that it was dealt with properly when Specialist (Noctine) Karpath did something rather unorthodox. Grabbing a shock maul, he attempted to revive him. He was successful in a sense. Only now a foul daemon of the warp now inhabited the deceased’s corpse. Thankfully, the Commissar the next room over slew the foul beast. I’ve seen to it that the rooms were properly purified so there should be no lingering corruption.

Thankfully, the next day was this ship’s Sanguinala celebrations. My memory is a bit fuzzy but I remember having a fantastic time. I’ve always loved Sanguinala but with recent events as they are, remembering and contemplating Sanguinius might be even more important than ever. Perhaps if I asked myself “What would Sanguinius do?” more often things might not be as terrible. This Sanguinala was even more special however because I’ve witnessed a genuine Sanguinala miracle. Specialist Verium’s… peculiarity seemingly disappeared overnight! I should ask about it at some point, for she has been truly blessed!

The next day we left the Warp and, initially, had a few days of leave before we would begin our mission. A briefing would be nice, preferably before we went into the Warp so I could schedule joint training exercises with the other specialists. That would require Ventium not acting like a giddy schoolboy for a moment though so I’m not entirely surprised. Then a somewhat panicked order for everyone to look operational came through. We were to be receiving visitors. The specialists and I suited up before making our way to the hangar to see who exactly was responsible for this.

The Inquisition. Not just any Inquisitorial agents, but the bastard from my nightmares. This seems far too coincidental for my liking. From what I understand he is here to investigate something and will be conducting at will searches. I suppose my luck was bound to run out someday. If he does find my library, I shall endeavour to die with as much dignity and honour as I can muster. More importantly, without revealing any links to the Inquisition. To this end, I will be destroying this journal after this entry. Seems somewhat pointless to write this but it is somewhat cathartic. In any case, it is more reasonable than the reactions of some specialists. I wouldn’t deign to go into the specifics but there was serious consideration of plans to blow up the ship. Suffice to say, we would not be capable of executing such a plan and it is in fact completely counter-productive to what we were asked and to basic reason. Most like it’s just panicked ramblings but the fact that these men are capable of inducing such reactions chills me.

Well I better get to destroying this. I hope that I am lucky enough to write another.

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Ummm everything feels weird now

Canto Breathing thundered in his ears when he shouted at Mordecai it rang in his ears. He had to get him to leave, Mordecai he started feeling…..more about him and he wasn’t comfortable. Canto felt vulnerable frightened even. He heard noci coming before he got within 10 metres of his rooms door….. Wait what that wasn’t normal? Canto suppressed a panicked whine as he scrambled for his revolver he waved it around at the door once he got it. He dropped it on the desk in terror as he heard the bullets rattling and scarping in the barrel. Noci was only 5 metres from the do….. how the hell did he know this stuff what t……..

(knock knock knock)

the sound hurt his ears……..but….but……. he like it. Canto felt a wave of nausea in disgust but he like that too.

“canto?……. are you ok in there??”

The door creaked open almost in slow motion. “staayy aWAY!” canto didnt really mean to shout he he wanted too but the pain….. . Canto noci stood in the door way his face showed the sound of great interest rather than actual concern. “canto i have some questions?”
Canto decided he like the shouting too much his blood felt like it was boiling for it. “GET OUT!”. He felt bad for saying it he wanted to have a whole shouted conversation but he was still sickened by his new found pleasure source.

Canto only noticed he was holding the gun again when noci started backing out the door with his hands out in front of him. Canto looked down at the gun in unsurprising confusion and sighed. He heard someone speaking as if he was next to him and jumped. he looked the around the room trying to find the source and found him looking beyond the door. noci seemed to be having a discussion about helping him…and getting more help. This wasn’t good cantos brain buzzed with his new found abilities he didn’t want to lose this this…gift. A calmer canto was now present now more able to deal with the sensory over load. if help was to come they would surely try to take the gift away form him. a dark smile crept across his face canto needed this no one was taking it today.

twenty minutes later a voice that canto knew was coming sounded through the door “hello are you ok there?” canto smirked at the now obvious lies he heard in the voice he was here to take this from him THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN the angry voice cut though his head like a knife. Canto now looked down the barrel of his favorite weapon he raked the side of the heavy stubber the safety now off. The door now opened slowly a familiar face showed though the door but canto didn’t care to take note. “Im here to help” LIES! ………

Canto failed to see the dart come at him but as soon as the pain came so did the trigger finger. As canto faded into unconsciousness his room filled with loud gunfire as he collapsed.

Canto drifted into a place for what seemed like eons he was assaulted by his own thoughts. memories of delightful suffering and prefect feeling of reaping lives. Under this assault the last of canto buckled and bent beyond recognition. Out there somewhere between the many plains of non existence something dark and powerful smiled with its many self’s many kinds and many shapes at its latest victory. Fnaz conto now belonged too him and him only,and he would be most thankful for it ………………….

Again sorry for the spelling :D

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Rimwena's observations - 6
Bad day

It has been a difficult couple days for Rimwena.

First there was the captain she had to deal with, as far as Rimwena was aware there were 2 possible ways of dealing with this situation:
-befriend him, tell him his mutation is nothing to worried about provided he keep it concealed (Benefits: potential ally that could be manipulated for the sake of the investigation. Problems: awareness of Rimwena’s mutation could make him a threat, leaves an uncontrolled factor during the investigation).
-kill him, either by drugging him once more and then killing him or by driving him to suicide (Benefits: ties up loose ends. Problems: psychic presence unaccounted for, lose potential ally).

She decided to do the former while deciding whether or not he could be trusted to live. She spoke him down from ending his own life, during which he made it clear that he wouldn’t tell anyone of her own situation, provided his own wasn’t brought to light.

This made the next course of action clear, not only is he too much of a threat to be allowed to live but he will also eventually question her actions tonight. Yes there is the psychic presence in the room but if it was completely aware of what was happening and able to kill her it likely would have done so when her mutation was revealed. Either way she risks a great amount.

So after drugging him once more she made sure he was unconscious before moving to break his neck. Whereupon she was flung out the room, her leg fracturing as it collided with the door frame before it shut behind her. Well at least he wasn’t awake when that happened. First order of business when possible should be finding the source of this psychic phenomenon.

Rimwena did not bother with a decent lie when she arrived at the med-bay, instead using one that made it clear that it was none of their business how it happened. Instead she took her time thinking of what she should say to the others. She couldn’t tell them about his mutation, they’ll likely want to use it which will come down on her head. She will also need to meet the captain once more when her leg heals.

Speaking of captains, it is good to see that Captain Gordon is at least acting professionally, Rimwena understands the need to make friends and connections but the rest of the team seems to be getting too caught up for her liking. Although they did learn a few things that were significant to Rimwena personally. Firstly that there are drugs aboard the ship that induces the abilities of psykers, alongside psychic phenomena, convincing Rimwena that the crew is indeed utterly insane. Why else in Emporer’s name would anyone choose to be a psyker, if even for a moment. Secondly the head of the specialist group of psykers is a fucking Commisar. Someone which Rimwena would very much like to avoid.

She remembers leaving her chamber on Terra, being sent to various training facilities and heretic camps, a gun behind her head wherever she went held by someone who would kill her before they had an excuse. On the day she learned she could suppress her aura, a Commisar caught her doing so without supervision or authorisation, so she shot Rimwena in both knees to ensure she wasn’t trying to sneak off. Another time she caused a psychic phenomena during training, causing mirrors nearby to shatter, she remembers begging for her life that day. She realises they are a necessity of course, but it is still their job to put the fear of the Emporer in her and she has learned just how much she likes not being near one.

In any case they now have multiple leads to follow up on. For now though, they must enter the warp.

Which is where things went downhill. Again.

As trustworthy as she seems Rimwena is worried about how much Kolden has on her, having seen Rimwena develop another mutation before her. For above Rimwena’s brow now sits a third eye, pupil as tiny as the other two, but with a blue iris that is almost glows as it gazes in front of her. An eye that seems to stare through people, as though their emotions were written on their face.

Rimwena was a moment away from cursing were she not so distraught, it seemed praying was not going to work today either. She needed a drink. This caught the eye of the techpriest who seemed to understand her more than she realised, she almost screamed when he approached but managed to restrain herself. “I am an assassin and a psyker” she reminded herself. “I cannot let my emotions become me”. She politely informed him that this was all normal as psyker are more attuned and thus more affected by the warp, thus being more stressed during times like these is more than expected. At which point Captain Gordon called her into his office.

There he asked her to sit (having apparently forgotten that she had broken her leg and was already sitting, acting officer be damned) and informed her that Perrin was still alive, and very clearly a heretic. This, while a stressful and disturbing revelation in and of itself, was nothing compared to what he revealed after.

He implied that, based on what Perrin spoke of, it was clear why he approached Rimwena, as it was the reason Perrin approached him. “We seem to be in this together” he claimed while placing an odd, blue feather on the table.

This is when Rimwena acted…. unprofessionally. Not only because one more Emporer-damn person found out she was a mutant, but because this other person, this man who supposedly ‘shares her plight’, has NOTHING showing for it! No deformities. No marks. No third eyes or visions of everyone around him dying. No he gets a FUCKING FEATHER!

After her brief outburst however she could calm down, retake a calm and professional demeanor. At least this meant she had someone who was, hopefully trustworthy, better than Ratcliffe finding out anyway. She also learned that he did, in fact, have another more subtle deformity in the form of nightmares, nightmares of possessed inquisitors staring upon him, as if he knew where he was. After a quick examination she then learned a few other things of note:
-First the gifted feather did have a minor lingering aura, like that of a psy focus, but nothing with any inherent power. Any significance is merely symbolic
-Second the Captain does have an aura, that of a divination being imposed on him, a powerful one at that. Not a good thing to realise once you’ve had a sensitive discussion with someone.
-Finally after opening his safe to get some books on mutation and seeing her ID kept there for safe keeping she discovered she would feel ill upon looking at the holy insignia inscribed upon it. Because if the eyes weren’t bad enough nothing screams “witch” like a psyker with an aversion to holy iconography.

It was this day Rimwena learned just how much she likes whiskey.

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Coded Journal of Alistair Gordon - 3
Birds of a Feather

The briefing was less enlightening than I expected. Not to mention destructive as they interpreted my order to sweep the room for bugs as “ransack my office and quickly put it back together”. Apparently I assume too much thinking that the specialists would actually engage in investigation. Becoming inebriated to the point of requiring dialysis, organising dancing competitions and experimenting on their fellow specialists is apparently a much better use of their time. At least the briefing was not a complete waste of time and the specialists did discover two new pieces of information. The source of the strange powdered drugs is Magos Explorator Elythal Bernadotte, which on reflection makes sense as there are no doubt techpriests on board with significant knowledge in chymistry. However, much more interesting is Captain Merus. Specialist Verium had an encounter with the Captain in which he manifested unexplained psychic phenomena. Specifically Specialist Verium was thrown across the room, fracturing her leg. From the description of events it seems daemonic in nature, although not possession. I’m getting a headache considering the implications. Specialist Verium is to be commended for her successful, if somewhat bold and foolish actions. After exchanging information we have organised ourselves and set out specific objectives so the investigation should be more efficient and productive now.

Although I must admit my mind is not on the investigation.

As I write this, on my desk there are two objects which could not be any more different in nature. Lying across the desk is a Munitorium-Standard chainsword, although it does have two superficial modifications. Across the encasement onóir has been engraved and on the pommel is the coat of arms of Clan Gordon. I received it as present on my 16th birthday, hours before being commissioned. More of a message than a gift, “death before dishonour”. I remember the scowl on my fencing instructor’s face when he presented me this sword. He always did hate me for being weak. It wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for me to receive a beating from him in a twisted attempt to teach me better. Two decades of service and it has never drawn blood. The second object has me considering drawing my own.

A single blue feather. A herald of mutation and token of Tzeentch’s favour. I had the misfortune of finding this in my hand whilst reciting the Litany of Protection in the ship’s shrine. I say herald of mutation but so far nothing has happened. At least I don’t have to hide anything but this ignorance gnaws at me and I can’t help but hypothesis ever more terrible secret mutations in waiting. I’d scarcely believe any mutation had occurred if Perrin had not shown up. It appears that heretic lives yet. He went on about how change happens, you should go with it, that receiving such a great “gift” is a high honour and other such heresies. He was only allowed to spew such foul heresies as I was concerned that if he should survive this death he could disappear forever and the only thing worse than a known heretic is an unknown one. After that unpleasantness I decided to consult with Specialist Verium due to the now mutual connection to Perrin. She was most enlightening. I think that, if no one else, I can now trust in Specialist Verium.

I can’t stop thinking about how exactly I ended up like this. What always comes to mind is Father Camran’s sermons on sin, on why there was evil in the world, how the Emperor made us good but we all fail him and fall into sin. I remember asking my father if it really was true that we were all born sinful, to which he replied “Aye, but some are born more sinful than others”. I never did like how he looked at me when he said that. Father Camran said even when he act in seemingly good faith our selfish, sinful natures corrupt our actions so that we may never be wholly good. Is that what happened? I delved into the forbidden and the unknown so that I could better fight the enemies of Man but did I delve too deep and too greedily? Was I to remain ignorant of the enemy and damn those whose lives were in my hands because I couldn’t recognise the strategy of xenos? Was I to allow those who trust and respect my command to be corrupted by foul heresies because I could not identify the nature of perfidious Chaos? Is knowledge impiety? I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask for a love of reading. I didn’t ask for knowledge about daemons. I didn’t ask to be constantly surrounded by moral hazards. I didn’t ask for the favour of the Chaos Gods.

I’m sorry for being a weak, drunken, arrogant, boring, detestable coward. I’m sorry for being a failure. I don’t want to fall away from His grace but even when I try I just fall further. I can’t even bring myself to do the right thing and end this here before it gets any worse.

Emperor have mercy on this coward.

A coward’s only reward is to live in fear another day – Imperial Thought for the Day

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RD34, BF86-1& M18; Combined Initial and Persistant Effects
Phase 1 Clinical Trials

RD34, BF86-1& M18; Combined Initial and Persistant Effects

Protocol Number: 2383253-4
Principle Investigator: Noctine Karpath
IND/IDE Sponsor: Lord-Admiral Sabanth Harlocke
Funded By: Captain Alistair Erksine Gordon
Draft Number: v.1.4

Statement of Compliance

The trial will be carried out in accordance with Good Clinical Practice (GCP) as required by the following;
examples follow):
• Cult of Mechanicus (HRTF) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) applicable to clinical studies (45 CFR Part 46, 21 CFR Part 50, 21 CFR Part 56, 21 CFR Part 312, and/or 21 CFR Part 812)
•Harlocke Rouge Trader Fleet ICH E6
All key personnel (Noctine Karpath) have completed Human Subjects Protection Training.

I agree to ensure that all staff members involved in the conduct of this study are informed about their obligations in meeting the above commitments.

Protocol Summary
Précis: Initial study will start using anecdotal evidence as controls. RD34 (Rose Dust) increases the senses to a massive amount, also possibly induces pleasure. BF86-1 (Blue Fire) allows the user to tap into the warp. M18 (Mortis) induces a deathlike state which could be easily mistaken for death. “Tickle Me Fancy” causes typical alcohol intoxication. All of these drugs leave the body in 10 hours or so and there are no long lasting effects bar addiction. This trial will involve 5 subjects each taking all three drugs. The effects will be monitored and recorded by staff during the first 36 hours, after which blood tests will be taken to see if there are any drugs left in their system. There will be follow up checks each week for two months for long term side effects.

Objectives: Study is designed to find the combined effects of the drugs RD34, BF86-1 and M18 in healthy humans. The effects of each of these drugs individually are known throughout the fleet as there is an issue with drug overuse. It is our hope to discover if the combined use of these drugs produce any side effects not suggested by the breakdown and study of the chemicals.

Endpoint: The primary end point of the trail is 36 hours after the last subject takes all the drugs. After this point each subject will be released. The secondary end point is two months after the trail, once the check ups are finished.

Population: 5 males, healthy.

Phase: 1

Number of Sites enrolling participants: 1

Predictions
(1) The subject will enter a deathlike state, all their senses will be heightened and the subject will tap into the warp at the same time.

(2) The drugs will enact their effects one at a time.

(3) Subject will suffer an instant death.

Outcome
It seems prediction (2) was the most correct.The subject went through five staged.

Stage 1; Subject entered the deathlike state induced by Mortis. 10 minutes long.

Stage 2; Subject continued to suffer stage one effects. Subject’s eyes then became blue and blue fire erupted from their body 21ft in all directions. 5 minutes long, fire roughly 3 seconds long.

Stage 3; Subject suffers deathlike state and blue eyes from earlier stages. Subject’s senses are increased massively. 7 hours long.

Stage 4; Subject seemingly returns to normal. 2 hours.

Stage 5; Subjects gains increased senses. Possibly permanent.

Conclusion
Due to the large amount of destruction caused by the first trial and the possibility of lifelong effects we have decided to end trial early. It seems a healthy person may survive all three drugs at once but the combination leaves psychological damage which caused increased feeling and pleasure. It is our hope that these findings help the officers of the fleet judge the effects of these drugs and how it may influence the workings of the crew.

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Harlock Fleet Report 1
Parties and Shit

Status

Noctine Karpath – Improved
Captain Gordan – Active
Rimwena Verium – Active
Fnaz Canto – Active
Mordecai – Active
Ratcliffe – Active
8881273409352 – Operational
6319-13 – Operational
Timothy Dalton – Operational

Report

Due to the unusual workings of our team we realised that we needed to prove our usefulness as a team while increasing our standing with the over specialist teams on the ship. I talked to the leader of the Skitarii, i found that the other specialist teams often hosted competitions to see who is the best and increase kinship. We quickly used this methods to gain the trust of the other teams. We won the competitions.

After the large success of this idea we decided to once again implement it at the fleets ball and gain the trust of people closer to Harlock. I decided that the best way for me to be use would be to gain the trust of the highest ranking Tech Priest, Bernadotte. Ratcliffe proceeded to start a competition as before, which went well. Captain Gordan baited Harlock and got closer to him.

Summary
We assimilated with the crew and superior officers.
Planted seeds for future information.

Current Theory
Harlock has been using and allowing the mixture of human and xenos tech. Also the creation of new Tech.

Current Take Down Method
Gain the trust of Bernadotte and find proof of current theory.

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Rimwena's observations - 5

Rimwena has been relying too much on her powers recently, she realises this. She thought using them would be prudent as, aside from being a long ranged specialist, being a diviner is the only thing that sets her apart from the rest of the team. Yet clearly it has been more trouble than it’s worth.

First here was the issue when completing that task for Captain Gordon (Uses: requisitioning, contacts, title and rank, library, well learned. Vulnerabilities: not used to combat, extremely aware of his own mortality), in which a psychic phenomena caused the room to be filled wih darkness. If anyone else was there it would have compromised the mission. That situation was bad enough, but this.

But more on that later. With the Tyranid invasion successfully repelled the “specialists” among the ship have been sent to work aboard the Redeemer of Illumination. These specialists consist of us, Kolden (Uses: powerful psyker, relative influence. Vulnerabilities: presumably psychic phenomena, otherwise unknown) and what remains of her crew and would have included Perrim had he not perished. Good riddance quite frankly, he may have retrieved Rimwena’s psy focus but his motives were too unclear to be trusted.

As for the other specialists we have now met aboard the Redeemer, there is as much variety as there is talent. First the group of Catachans (Uses: presumably incredible combat ability. Vulnerabilities: unknown), clearly the greatest in terms of physical strength and certainly imposing. There are then the Skitarii, a group of tech-priests (Uses: presumably incredible prowess with technology, presumably combat efficient. Vulnerabilities: their leader is as arrogant as they are competitive), the leader of which made themselves clear where they stood on my colleagues’ idea of a drinking game. Then, most noteworthy and worrying of them all, the psykers, whose leader Rimwena has not met yet (Uses: incredibly potent psychic abilities, likely the most versatile compared to the other teams, surprising alcohol tolerance. Vulnerabilities: hotspot for perils of the warp, otherwise unknown). Supposedly the purpose of these groups is to scavenge worlds for artifacts so as to please the higher ups.

A couple days after most of the team was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning (one reason why Rimwena did not participate in the drinking game), Rimwena was informed there was to be held a ball, something which excited Ratcliffe beyond measure for some reason. Rimwena, less so, especially when the servants disappeared and almost instantly reappeared with a great number of dresses, all of which offered no protection and very little maneuverability. A public event without body armour or any heavy weaponry! It’s as if they don’t know how assassins operate! Forced to compromise Rimwena picked out a suit which could easily conceal a knife and her dueling pistol.

Despite her initial dread Rimwena realised a ball was the perfect opportunity to establish connections and contacts prior to returning to the investigation at hand, and thus went to the ball with the intent of gaining as much information as possible through small talk and subtle questioning.

She was then informed that a Dark Eldar was present and promptly joined the psyker round the Navigator for the majority of the event. If they truly hate and fear psychic powers as much as Gordon claims then she would be wise not to leave this spot.

However, it was here that the Navigator Rosalind (Uses: Navigator, unimaginably potent psychic powers, motivational speaker? Vulnerabilities: unknown) informed her of just how much they fear psyker, due to their vulnerabilities to it. And in response to Rimwena’s statement that she is a diviner, and not a very good one at that, she merely stated “then fake it till you make it”.

Thus Rimwena left the safety that a group of powerful psyker so rarely give and left to find someone to speak to, even a servant could provide some important information. With luck she caught the eye of the acting captain and managed appear charming (mostly through mimicking others in similar situations). It was here she discovered that Inviso was often followed and “well-liked” by the Dark Eldar. It wasn’t until Ratcliffe’s sudden dance off that she made a connection, if they can sense psychic auras then maybe, like Kolden could, they can sense mutations too. She needed to see what Inviso was hiding under his mask to be certain.

So, while everyone was enamored by the final dance, Rimwena asked the servants for a sedative and recieved two piles of rose dust which…. worked at least, albeit not quite to the degree she hoped when she saw Inviso climax hard enough to fall unconscious. Rimwena couldn’t help but sneer as she thought back to her old lessons on heresy, burnished quickly discarded the thought as she realised speculation wouldn’t get her anywhere. So she removed their headwear.

Surprisingly, the mask obscured nothing, the hat however did hide a rather large set of horns which sprouted from their forehead. Which means Ventium, at the very least, consorts with mutants. Wanting more though Rimwena opened her mind to the warp to scan the office for something she could take with her, some paperwork or letters giving something on Harlock.

And then it f***ing happened again.

The drug was instantaneously cleared from Inviso’s system as she was shoved into their head, and they were forced into hers. Needless to say this is going to be a sticky situation to get out of.

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Coded Journal of Alistair Gordon - 2
Welcome aboard the Redeemer of Illumination

Moving on has been difficult. The Comet Shield was my home for the better part of two decades. On it I travelled the stars, fighting xenos, protecting humanity and meeting some of the finest men and women to ever serve the Emperor. No other did I respect more than Captain Zarkhov, who tutored me throughout all those years. Then I got him killed. I don’t think regret even begins to describe what I feel. Even now I have nostalgia for my old office, all those happy memories there, even if most of them were just getting drunk by myself and getting lost in a good book. The night before the transfer was the worst. Kolden and I were packing away my books and getting ready for the transfer. After we had finished we sat for a while, enjoying a fine single malt. There I made the classic mistake of thinking, a dangerous past time to be sure. Zarkhov dead. Transferred away from my comrades. Afforded no respect from my “specialists”. Said “specialists” most likely only keep me around due to my capability in requisitioning rare and exotic equipment. Kolden’s presence here only because of the possibility of promotion that I embody. I don’t think I have ever felt more alone than I did in that moment. I even wondered to myself darkly, just how easy it would be to betray these fools and reap the rewards. I could earn a promotion right then and there. In a Rogue Trader fleet there would always be another challenge, another problem to overcome, another chance to succeed. Eventually, I discarded such thoughts. I might peruse forbidden knowledge, I might be a wretched alcoholic, I might even be a traitor but I’m not a heretic. If those “specialists” really are on to something, that Harlocke really is a heretic, who knows how many souls are at risk. Even if they are a group of distasteful, disrespectful incompetents I have to make sure they succeed, even if I have to bring Harlocke to justice myself.

The whiskey offered no respite from myself so I bid Kolden farewell and retired for the night, hoping that at least in my dreams I might be free of this oppressive atmosphere. I was mistaken. My sleep was haunted by the most horrific images. Horrid, mocking laughter and obscene shapes danced in a nauseating void. Eventually the nightmare culminated when a monster wearing a man’s skin appeared. The man he was wearing had a head of wild, white hair. His skin was marred with extensive scarring. These scars were not a result of honourable combat, these scars were the result of desperate, clawing attempts to stave off a wild animal. His eyes burned red with hatred. This was not a hatred of anything particular, but rather a raw, pure hatred. This thing was a mockery of all that it was to be human.

Worst of all, it wore an Inquistor’s Rosette.

I had hoped this to be a singular event, but each time I sleep he is there. Sometimes it is worse than others. Last night he appeared, now with profane symbols adorning him and his surroundings.

Enough of this wallowing in self-loathing and negativity. Let’s focus on the work.

We transferred ourselves over to the Redeemer of Illumination using our new shuttle, now repainted in the team colours. I would rather it be plain black or blue but whatever keeps up morale. Chaplain Ratcliffe once again managed to make an arse of himself by demanding “the Captain’s chair” before a painted barstool was provided for him, which he accepted. I was tempted to point out that there is a reason why there are safety harnesses but I thought better of it. Only one way he was going to learn.

Arriving on board the Redeemer of Illumination we were met a group of personal assistants who showed us to our quarters and shortly afterwards we the team went to requisition gear and cybernetics. I personally opted for a Memorance Implant. A rather simple piece of cybernetics, I figured having something capable of discreetly recording the investigation would be useful. Not to mention being able record battlefield engagements and analyse them later should prove both fun and a learning experience. The others were less subtle in their choice of cybernetics, apparently gaudy, gilded bionics are in fashion. It was during the installation process that I noticed something odd. The recitation of the Commandments of the Mechanicus was wrong. The one that sticks out in my mind is “Comprehension is the key to attaining perfection”. It should be “Comprehension is the key to all things”. This in connection with just how easy it was to get these implants (especially those gold plated ones) and the clues I found later make me somewhat uneasy about these implants. Something is definitely wrong here. That said my implant has performed well thus far recording the investigation so I’m not going to rip out my own eye just yet but I won’t be getting any more implants any time soon.

After coming out of recovery I made use of what little was left of the day went to the mess. Managed to talk with another ex-Navy officer in an attempt to establish what generally speaking was different. I’m pretty sure my first question was about these Emperor damn carpets, has Ventium lost his mind? No explanation on that front, other than to stay on the carpets because apparently it pisses people off if you don’t walk on them. Broadly speaking the fleet is split between three tasks, depending who is in charge of the fleet. If Lord-Admiral Sabanth Harlocke is in charge, the fleet acts as a mercenary group going where the Imperium needs them. If it’s Lord-Captain Ventium Harlocke is charge the fleet goes off “treasure hunting”. If Navigator Roslind Occellati, it’s an open ended exploration. Another thing of interest was that the Mechanicus on this ship aren’t maintenance specialists but in fact in the retinue of a Explorator. Final note on the cliques on this ship. Unsurprisingly all the officers have their favourites and their favourites get perks. However, unlike on an Imperium vessel this doesn’t result in preferential promotions and there isn’t any of the vicious rivalry that I’ve come to expect from officer cliques.

After that I went to have a chat with Captain Evinco Merus, which didn’t reveal much of note unfortunately so I just kept an eye on the mess for anything interesting while it was still daylight. I didn’t have to wait long before a buffet cart full of powdered drugs arrived. Some officers crowded around, Ventium Harlocke included, to get their fix. Three powders, three effects. I have no idea what is in the blue powder but somehow it can let people tap into the warp, which is terrifying. Pink powder seems a lot more straightforward, given that soon after those who took it were all over each other and pulling each off to what I assume to be their rooms. Tentatively labelling as an aphrodisiac but I don’t know for certain so I won’t make any conclusions yet. Green powder seemed to make everyone who took it very relaxed, some form of sedative?

With daylight waning, I returned to my room and decided to do some data analysis. Administration reports, crew manifest, ship layout. Not much of interest unfortunately. Ship layout is fairly standard except for a couple of oddities. An unmarked room in the officers quarters raises questions and the Techpriest shrine is odd. Can’t put my finger on it but it’s weird. Much to my aggravation I couldn’t find where the drugs were produced, or really any details on them. I would say that the details must be somewhere and I missed it because who would be stupid enough not to keep records for logistical reasons but this is a carpeted battlecruiser so who knows?

Next day, I decided continue questioning People of Interest. Today would be Ventium Harlocke. I heard he had his own personal library, so I decided a book treading the line of forbidden lore would make for good bait. Worked a charm, even managed to get him ignore one of his favourites to talk with me. Got some good biographical details and he invited me to his room. I haven’t seen anything so decadent in my life. The room itself was massive, his library lining one wall and a set of ultra clear monitors lining the other (I doubt Ventium is stupid enough to have a window in his quarters). Also of note was an absolutely massive bed. Perusing the shelves was an adventure, so many classics and great works. Also a book on daemons. Rather a book that is meant to be about a daemon being slain but really focuses more on the fact those monsters exists, a cult forms around one and that they can be summoned. Unfortunately that book and all the other forbidden tomes I saw are not really enough to end this investigation. Still, makes for good evidence. Asking about the forbidden lore seemed at a bad idea, although circumstances may make it possible in the future and without much else to go on I decided to enjoy talking with someone else who actually enjoys reading. Fantasy and adventure books no less! Throne, I haven’t had a chance to read a good adventure in so long! Takes me back to when I was just a bairn and my tutor would reward exceptional performance with an exciting new book. I was always exceptional in my studies of course. I never did hear what happened to her after I left for the Navy, I assume she moved on to greater things or another family at least. I digress, after some time Ventium received a communication and guided me out, after I chose what books to borrow. Turns out he was escorting me to where the specialists were and couldn’t contain his amusement at their current state. The specialists had been on one hell of a bender to the point where even the cogboys were drunk. I wasn’t sure such a thing was possible, I’ll have to remind myself to ask how exactly they did that. The only real option was to get them to a nearby infirmary which is apparently well prepared for just this scenario with it being filled with dialysis machines. Once they were hooked up and I was sure they were well and truly out of it, I decided to check Noctine’s pockets for those I.D cards they showed me earlier. Disappointed but not surprised that he hadn’t stored it somewhere safe. All it would take is one nosy git to rifle around in their pockets and they would be found out. Got the name I was looking for though, Lucius Drake. Afterwards I left for a night of restless sleep.

Next day I awoke with very much the same plan as the previous two. Question People of Interest, observe and record. Last on the list that I personally wanted to talk to, Lord-Admiral Sabanth Harlocke. However after talking with the officers in the mess I became painfully aware that tonight was the ball and I was without the appropriate attire! Thankfully I needn’t have panicked, Johnson soon set me up in the tailors and got to work on a suit. It took some time but it was an easy process. However I wasn’t alone in the tailor and whoever was with me was having a truly awful time from the sounds of it. My suit was finished and I walked to the mirror to admire when none other than Sabanth Harlocke walked (or rather shuffled) out to do the same. Talk about luck, eh? He certainly cut an impressive figure, one shaped by and honed for war. It did however have it’s drawbacks as his bulging musculature was trying to escape his suit, barely contained by whatever sorcerery the tailors used in it’s construction. I made no delay in introducing myself and before long we were deep in conversation. I didn’t get anything of direct use against Ventium but I did hear about the Sliscus and the Dark Eldar. Apparently Sliscus was in trade negotiations with another Rogue Trade fleet when the Harlockes blundered in. The Harlockes sensing opportunity quickly opened fire before any of the ships had a chance to respond. From what I understand it was a massacre and the Harlockes capitalised on their victory, boarding the capital ship intent on seizing it for their own use. Little did they know they would find Sliscus still aboard the Rogue Trader vessel and took him hostage. That certainly explains how they have these Dark Eldar that are even willing to follow orders somewhat. More interestingly however is that Sliscus has not made any attempts of escape in over a year. To me that sounds like he is fulfilled and satisfied, which makes me gravely concerned about what atrocities are currently happening on this ship. The conversation quickly moved back to the discussion of tactics and battles we had fought. Thought I’d try and show off a bit by showing him the scars I earned in the ’Nid incursion on the Comet Shield. He replied in kind, showing the vast array of scars he has earned over the years. Unfortunately this was a stretch too far for the suit and there was an awful tearing noise. The tailors were soon upon him again and, unwilling to leave him alone with these tormentors, accompanied him throughout the process before leaving and waiting for the ball to start.

The ball itself was a fun diversion. It did present an opportunity to talk with Sliscus, very much of a Person of Interest but I would very much like to avoid an insane, emotionally unstable, master swordsman, drug addict who literally lives to cause as much pain and suffering as possible so I instead made some pleasant conversation with the Harlockes. It wasn’t long until the first event of the night was upon as, the dance. The specialists quickly made their way to various Persons of Interests. I was left without a partner until I noticed Sabanth quite deliberately avoiding the dance. That wouldn’t do at all. After all, he could barely move in his suit and I never did take those dancing lessons to heart. We’d be a couple of stiffs incapable of dancing, a perfect match if I don’t say so myself. He agreed, albeit reluctantly and perhaps to the surprise of both of us it was a rather enjoyable experience. That said, the moment of the dance I’ll remember the most is whenever some sadistic bastard got Specialist Mordecai to dance with Sliscus. What was perhaps even more terrifying is that Sliscus seemed to enjoy it. I don’t think I want to know. With that over it came to the draw to see who would take control of the fleet next. I put a very modest bet on Rosalind, I don’t like to bet large amounts on games of chance. However I think we were rather fortunate as Ventium won the draw and quite excitedly declared that we were going on a treasure hunt. I think it will be most enlightening to see how Ventium hunts and what for. After the draw, the night began to wind down and slowly but surely everyone made their goodbyes. I went to buy a round for the Catachans I saw who had bravely suffered through such decadence and pomp when I noticed out the corner of my eye Specialist Verium grabbing a handful of pink powder before dragging Captain Merus away. Certainly pulling hard there, although didn’t I wingman for her trying to pull Kolden? Whatever, none of my business I suppose.

That’s about it, hopefully the Emperor will grant me a peaceful rest for my diligence. Although there’s not much to go on I think it’s a good start. I’m sure the specialists will have plenty to share when I go brief them.

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Who.......
(based on some true events)

…..Arrreeee yooou? Canto asked the huge man with a red bandana. Canto couldn’t help but feel like he was being pulled over on his stool by a rope or some thing but at the same time knew he could help it however at same time his body told him him to embrace it. As he looked at the big man he could see that he was experiencing a very similar bizarre paradox . The man slurred wildly and canto only managed to get “don’t” but managed to count three Syllables. Canto had to think REALLY hard for seemed like five minutes but figured out it was probably I dont know. For his next challenge Canto decided to figure out what he was doing again. As he worked it out he felt his head moving really slowly like a gear trying to turn in tar. He had the idea of closing his eyes to try get power brain to help him with his latest problem. He told him self that it was working until his head Started to spin at every angle. His eyes sprung open to be met with the sight of a Short Glass filled with an amber liquid.

AH HA! Canto thought. “The drinking contest!” canto didn’t mean to say out loud but also didn’t realise he had. He knocked it back. Canto shook his head to some how shake his drunkenness out of him self and failed. He Then kind of wobbled about on his stool like a spoon in think soup. Canto then immediately felt awful he gripped on to bar that he was at apparently to try to stop the crazy spinning that was his entire life was now consumed by the spin storm stopped as he noticed the glass on the table in front of him. He noticed everyone staring at him for what seemed like the first time in forever. Canto drank it quickly he then had about 2 seconds before he tumbled to the floor he then scrambled toward the closest toilet on his hand and knees. He just had to get there he needed any thing “ANYTHING HE COULD THROW UP IN” Canto again didn’t realise he said that out loud either. Hes wasn’t going to make to the toilet not even the sink “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE HAVE A HANDBAG!”

Fanz Canto a man of 42 years age rose to his knees in a room full of killers and investigators and looked to the ceiling and unleashed the most disgusting and profound display of ejection he had ever seen. For a 9 epicly rank seconds Fanz canto disappeared as he became the ultimate monument too all that is decrepit. Coming forth from his mouth came everything he had eating and drank in the last 5 hours. It shot up wards like a ship barking orbit form a volcanoes mouth. It all landed in a gross waterfall half a metre in front of him splattering him moderately. He then passed out and thankfully fell sideways. He was awoken later too see a skid mark though his own sick pile and a catachan on his back. Canto whimpered mildly and said “never again”. If Canto wasn’t in a world of awful he might of heard someone saying “heard that before”.

Canto woke up to the sound of beeping and whirring. He was clearly in some kind of ward. “What happened” he said no one knew so no one answered.

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Ratcliffe Ledger Entry 42 - 008 - MC Ratcliffe
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Black – Arrived aboard our new ship The Redeemer of illumination and proceeded to make ourselves at home. For Wiggins this involved drinking himself unconscious, as a concerned superior I selflessly took him to the hospital. Upon examination he appeared to have seriously hurt his head, however he seems to remember his name and purpose exactly so all is well.

Black – After settling into our new quarters we proceeded to meet our peers and neighbours the other (less special) specialist teams. To encourage bonding I organised team building exercises and competitions that exhibited grace and stamina. I am pleased to report that my team won resounding victories in all categories.

Red – The team underwent a routine medical procedure, apparently very common to this ship – no doubt nothing more than a glorified physical examination for new arrivals.

Black – Naturally invited to THE party of the campaign season. After discussing politics and religion in a dignified manner with the creme de la creme of fleet society, I spontaneously created the famous Tickle My Fancy cocktail. This became so popular it was soon the only drink consumed at the event.

Black – To facilitate and enhance the team’s date extraction mission I organised an elegant upper class dance, cunningly paring team members with their targets. This proved exceptionally successful, both in uncovering critical information and generating much influence with the higher echelons of the fleet, I now believe I am the most popular person aboard ship and shall be invited to any and all further social events, thus providing a vital service for the investigation,

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