Rescue the Captain part 1

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For a month the Orpheus remained in orbit over Cognars world as her crew salvaged what they could from the the planet. Kaltos ordered the ships Astropaths to hunt down any trace of a message about Tristan's captors but there was nothing. The time was hard on the crew and many of they showed signs of mental illness with several claiming to hear voices; Disco was affected but put it down to the effects of the warp. Cain investigated the matter but could find no corruption of the crew.

To his surprise Kaltos received a message from the leader of the Adeptus Mechanicus base they had recently visited. The leader claimed to have information about the location of the Javer and possibly Tristan. Leaving a work crew on Cognars world the Orpheus took a short trip through the warp to the Mechanicus output. The reinforcements previously requested appeared to have arrived early and the base and ship were in the process of being repaired. Kaltos met with the leader who claimed to know Tristan's location and would aid Kaltos in rescuing his cousin in exchange for future aid. Reluctantly, Kaltos agreed and the leader explained that Captain Soloman and the Javer were currently orbiting a nearby human colony founded by a group of ex-imperial citizens. Soloman had located the planet and had quickly subjugated its people in order to return them to the Imperium and use them to resupply his ship. The leader was aware of the planet and Soloman and had previously helped to supply Soloman, he offered passage to the planet on his own ship and would help the team infiltrate the Javer and rescue Tristan. If the Orpheus were to attack the Javer although they might win such a battle it would be unlikely that Tristan would be allowed to live, so a stealthy approach would be required. Kaltos agreed and a team consisting of himself, Kain and Disco boarded the Mechanicus vessel.

The trip to the renegade planet was short and uneventful although most of the team continued to suffer from hearing "voices". Upon arriving at the planet, they saw the Javer in orbit and signs that it had orbitally bombarded the planet below in order to subjugate it. A rough plan was formulated for the team to travel to the planet on one of the Mechanicus shuttles and then hide on one of the Javer's shuttles in order to board the ship and then locate Tristan and get her of the ship while placing explosives to damage the enemy craft. The trip to the planet went well, and disguised as a tech-priest Kain managed to get onto the enemy shuttle with little difficulty. Kaltos, however, was less successful, being stopped by the shuttle's guards, having to claim that he was there to fix part of the shuttle and forced to work under the guards scrutiny. Disco, despite using his powers to make himself invisible, was also unsuccessful as he walked into a laden servitor and caused several boxes to spill. However, this and several other distractions Disco caused eventually allowed the whole team to enter the shuttle.

Kane, looking for a place to hide decided to try to fit himself into a crew locker. However, his carapace amour was too large and he ended up wedged part the way in and unable to free himself. His swearing at this situation was heard by the rest of the team and they managed to free him. The team then decided to hide in the male shower/toilet area of the shuttle with Kaltos taking up one of the cubicles, Kane posing as a cleaner and Disco becoming invisible. They were quickly interrupted by two crew members who saw through their disguise. However, Disco prevented the duo reporting their presence, although Kaltos seemed able to affect his personality. The crew members quickly surrendered and were subdued by Kane. The party then packed themselves in the crates the shuttle was holding and decided to wait out the trip to the Javer.

The crates were not searched and the party ended up in a large storage area. Disco, once again using his powers, investigated the area and found the party to be in a crew area of the ship. He attempted to obtain information from the ship's machine spirit but was unsuccessful. He returned to the storage area and the whole party set out to explore. Kaltos suddenly located his servo-skulls signal: it was weak and was unable to move but was apparently still active. Using his powers, Kaltos interfaced with the ship and was able to obtain more information than Disco. He found that his skull was contained in a small, unused, laboratory area. When he attempted to locate Tristan he found two prisoners noted as special one in the brig and one in a laboratory area which specialized in xeno-botany.

Kaltos decided to first locate his skull and, using the uniforms taken from the crewmen they had ambushed in the showers, they obtained access to the area. The skull was partially dismantled, having been located on the gun cutter, but seemed to show Tristan being taken from the cutter on a stretcher. Kaltos then used the equipment in the lab to alter the ships records and their pass cards to give the three of them access to the brig and laboratory areas. At this point a view screen activated and captain Soloman made a speech to the crew. He informed them that they had intruders on board which had no doubt been sent to rescue Tristan. He applauded their loyalty to their captain but explained that it was misplaced. If the party would give themselves up and leave Tristan in his 'care' he would reward them well as he had a warrant of trade in his possession from the Grand Admiral and could appoint any of the boarders a true Rogue Trader. The party thought about it for a while but decided to try and rescue Tristan. Deciding that the laboratory was the most likely spot for Tristan's incarceration they headed in that direction.

Their counterfeit identities allowed the party to enter the laboratory area. One side of the lab consisted of a large air lock containing several bio-hazard suits which the party thought were prudent to don. Inside the lab area itself was a large grassy area, around the edge of the room were various plants, some animate, being tended by tech-priests and servitors. Kaltos and Disco identified some of the the plants: all of them dangerous to human life, although Disco was not sure where he had learned this. Kaltos suddenly deduced that their recent telepathic experiences were due to residual nanites in them after their recent exposure on Cognars world, Kane though of this at the same time.

At the far end of the lab was another air lock this one guarded by a pair of storm troopers. Disco attempted to investigate this area invisibly but approached too closely to one of the plants, which grasped his leg with one of its tentacles making him fall. His attempt to free himself from the plant led to his cutting his own leg badly though his suit; the pain of which made him drop his invisibility power. The guards were quickly alerted and Disco tried to draw on his powers to blind them, however, in surprise and pain he drew t0o deeply from the warp and something was drawn to him. A demonic entity attempted to claim Disco's body as his own, however, with a surge of power Disco managed to force the creature from himself. However, it instead took root in one of the tech-priests. Not knowing the danger they were in the guards started to shoot at Disco.

Kane, recognizing the danger, took cover just in time as the suit containing the unfortunate tech-priest burst releasing a burst of pus and slime which covered much of the chamber. Kaltos was overcome by the filth and his remaining organic parts attempted to purge themselves rendering him incapacitated. The new-born demon quickly attacked the guards in the room engulfing one in its body and quickly stripping the flesh from his bones. Kane hosed the creature down with flame but this seemed to have little effect. The other guard's hell-gun seemed to have more effect but the creature reached out at Kane with a tentacle and started to drag him towards it. Disco took careful aim and used his long las to sever the tentacle. Kane decided they needed to quickly exit the area and, grabbing Kaltos, rushed for the second airlock; Disco followed leaving the guard to his fate. The party reached the airlock and closed it just before a second wave of foulness was released. They stripped off their protective gear as the slime was quickly dissolving it.

The party ordered the guard to activate the emergency systems in the Garden area and the whole section was cleansed with fire form several flamers built into the roof. This eventually destroyed the demon. The party then killed the guards and, wary of further combat, put their stored armour back on. They then ventured further into the complex. They eventually found a viewing area over looking a chamber where Tristen lay unconscious, covered in vines from an unusual plant and life support equipment. Kaltos recognised the plant as a type which causes hallucinations and deduced that the equipment was being used to control the hallucinations to allow the captain to torture Tristen without physically hurting her.

Meanwhile in Tristans Head

To be continued.