The Vault of Dreams

DEATH!!!!

During our rush to the lance battery deck, J.T. vox transmits a message to the Artemis.

Artemis.”
“Sir.”
“Give me a channel to the entire ship.”
“Yes Lord-captain.”

“This your Lord-captain.” A pause…
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…or seal the hole with our Aquinus deceased. In peace there’s naught that becomes Man as modest silence and humbleness. But, when the blare of the war horn blows in our ears, then emulate the action of the Lion. Harden the sinews, beckon the blood, mask fair nature with hard-favored fury. Then impart the eye a frightful aspect. Now set the teeth and broaden the nostril wide. Hold firm the breath and bear up every moral fiber to his full stature. On, on, you noblest Aquinus. Whose blood is fet from fathers of war that, like so many Samuals have, on this ship from morn till even fought and sheathed their swords for lack of quarrel. Disgrace not your mothers. Now, declare that those whom you called fathers did beget you. Be replica now to Men of darker blood, and teach them how to make war. Good Men, whose limbs were made in Terra, show us here the grit of your field; your territory; your home. Let us swear that you are a testament to your breeding, which I doubt not. For there is none of you here so median and simple, that has not noble luster in your eyes. I see you stand like war hounds of Old Terra in the glorious sun of our mother planet, straining to be unchained, released to sever the head of our enemy.”

“Follow your spirit, and upon this charge cry; for Aquinus, Terra, and Humanity!
Let’s send these heretic bastards back to the Emperean!!!”

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Feast and Famine
The daring command crew infiltrate installation 23

Report filed in ship’s pilot’s data log—permissions:MVManstein12

Entry 327a:

Especially after the events of the last several days which were taxing both mentally and physically to say the least it was nice to get a respite from action for a day or two. Thankfully I have not been wounded as many of my comrades have been and I attribute this to my skill, speed and luck. Let’s just hope that my luck remains resolute.

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Secrets Revealed

Reports have come in from the command crew regarding their mission aboard the falling vessel.

• She is named the Ark of Hope – a Q-class Loki Ship. She is masquerading as a transport but in truth is in the service of our absent Envoy – Kale…whom also turns out to be the brother of Commander Keel… And is also an Inquisitor Officer.
• Thunder, Thor, Lermanov, and Aristeaus are teamed up. Team A
• Ruby, Manfred, Omega are teamed up Team B
• They had encountered resistance and had overcome said resistance.
• Burned a Chaos Psychic hag witch – she disappeared. Didn’t die?
A Made it to the Engineerium.
B Made it to the bridge
• Brother Hanson and other Missionaries were discovered protecting the plasma core on the engineerium deck.
• A Secured the engineering deck.
• Lermanov linked into the ships cogitator assembly in the Engineerium, attempting to stabilize the plasma core.
• Aristeaus and Thor took the shortest, fastest route to the bridge via ship schematics. A psychic projection via mind-link between Aristeaus and Lermenov guided the two the bridge.
• Lermanov succeeded in stabilizing the Core; Returned power to the essential ship functions, Life support, control, etc.
• Lermanov opened the doors to the bridge; Ruby and Manfred’s Team secured the bridge and set up Omega guarding the entrance.
• Aris and Thor reached the bridge to find Omega’s weapons trained on them ready to fire. A quick “Stand Down” order from Ruby stays their fire.
• Manfred to Ships helm and Aristeaus took the Augury station.
• Running out of time the group began their attempts to pull the ship from its deteriorating orbit.
• Failure seemed imminent. The dedicated command crew would have sacrificed themselves to save the ship. But, blindly trusting his instincts Mr. Von Manstein drove the engines to full and pulled out of the decaying orbit at the last possible second. Saving the Ark of Hope and the lives of the crew from the deadly slow decent into the dying star…
• Communiqué with Keel – his brother Inquisitor Kale is missing or corrupted. We need assistance to finish off the remaining whisperer’s onboard Ark of Hope. Escort Ark of Hope back to Cog for repairs.
• Crew on lock down…corruption form the Warp is affecting crew. Root out and dispatch corrupted minds. 11 souls lost to the Warp.
• Magos Talva(?) reports the Heart of Iron repairs progress at an agreeable rate.
• Set off to locate I-23 and found it rather quickly
• Augury indicate 4 System Ships
• Acton Stations, red alert. Engage and destroy system Ships but keep out of range of the station lance.

• During the combat with the occupying enemy System Ships, 3 Crystal Ships joined the fray.
• Taking minimal damage, the Artemis unleashed her classic fury and obliterated the enemy ships with the assistance of the Hand of Redemption.

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A report from Manfred to J.T.

“Once we found our way out of the maze we split into two groups. Ruby, Manfred and Omega made for the bridge and the others stayed behind to try and get into engineering. The bridge group ran into a serious hurdle in the form of an outside area where they were forced to jump in zero gravity in space from platform to platform while under fire.”

“The engineering team tracked down the survivors in the water treatment deck and convinced them to help. They returned to the large engineering deck doors with the survivors who knew the code. The door opened very slowly and while this was happening them came under attack by whisperers and thunder squad in particular took some serious casualties. Once the door was open wide enough every rushed through and closed it.”

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Securing the final level and taking the station...

Now in position we began moving in to take the nezt level.

Lerminov and Jerry took the lead of Omega and Thunder. They were to move in stealthely and set upon two groups of enemies under moderate cover. It was to provide a small distraction while I lead the naval troops on a frontal assault.

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The adventures of Reginald and Lucius

The lord captain has given me the honor of securing the lower levels of the facility. With Reginald by my side I believe we have a good statistical chance of success.

As we moved through the first level I met with some workers and a sizable but not noteworthy force of of well equipped whisperer troops. After taking the first level we moved on to the second level. I quickly learned of the difficulty in commanding large numbers of troops. I knew exactly what i wanted them to do but getting the message across to these emaciated PDF troops has been difficult.

A smaller scouting team was first dispatched to investigate the next level. They located an stronger squad of shock troops. They were told to find cover and hold out till the main force could ascend. The secondary scout team along with The main 1 and 2 platoons moved up to secure flanking positions on these better skilled and equipped shock troops. However when securing west side a large group of lightly equipped troops were spotted they were quickly dispatched to secure the area and surrounding the shock troops could commence. Scout squad 1 was ordered to retreat so the main forces could fire freely on the shock troops. There wasn’t much room and the shock troops had a good cover but eventually they were taken out.

We moved up to the third level to rendezvous with Ruby’s troops. She was finishing off what was left of the troops on the level. We reorganized and scout team one was given the order to head up to level 4 and investigate.

Level 4 over the vox the scout team yelled “They have grenade launchers!!” a small squad equipped with mounted heavy weapons was in the middle of the room in a highly defensible position, covered by a large group of well equipped troops also in good cover. As well as a squad of shock troops. Care had to be taken when ascending into this level. Reginald proposed a dangerous but intelligent plan. We would distract the heavy weapons with the scout squad and rush them from the elevator with the first platoon.

Timing had to be perfect or the first platoon on the elevator could take heavy casualties. But by the grace of the god emperor everything went as planed. The heavy weapons squad was completely suppressed, and shortly thereafter destroyed. Alowing Ruby and my troops free access to move around the level. The large force of well equipped whisperer troops, and the squad of shock troops proved very difficult to destroy but their destruction was inevitable. However scout squad 1 was annihilated when they attempted to help Ruby’s troops deal with the shock troops.

They and the other PDF casualties can be thankful they have had the honor to die for the Lord Captain and his goals here in the Svard system.

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I love the smell of burning heretics in the morning

Cog factory it was estimated contained roughly 2500-3500 warp influenced heretics. The Artemis crew would need an army to meet their ends. Captain Keel promised 500 navy soldiers, the Artemis provided an addition 500 and it was decided to make use of the 500 men promised to service on Svard. It would take a week or two to assemble these forces, arm them, brief them and bless them but this was time that Lord-captain Aquinas desperately needed to recover from his wounds sustained in the previous engagement.

The battle plan was a three-phase operation. Lucius, who was taking command of the weakest force was also given the most dangerous mission—which was to initiate hostilities and engage in combat on the very lowest deck of the structure. Lord-captain Aquinus (leading the Navy) and Lt. Ruby (leading the Artemis marines) would land on the central processing deck, open the massive airlock, clear the area before rendezvousing with Lucius (providing he survived his trials on the lower deck). Meanwhile the gun cutter would deposit Manfred, Lermanov and the Artemis’ two shock squads on the roof of the factory where they would seek ingress and eventually a path to the control block.

The initial wave headed by Lucius was surprisingly non-contested while they scaled the gantry to the hatches and flooded into the lower decks where they met resistance from lightly armed workers. Once his larger forces came into play they ran into a larger force of more skilled soldiers and entered a protracted firefight.

Lt. Ruby’s landers were unable to safely approach the dock due to men armed with heavy weapons patrolling the bay. She called in the Manfred and the gun cutter for a strafing run which initially was ineffective though on an additional pass the pilot and gunner wiped out the defensive force on the platform. Once clear Ruby landed and cleared the shuttles which returned to return more forces. The massive airlock doors were mag-locked however so they sought ingress with a small force though a concealed service hatch.

Lord-Captain Aquinus was hamstrung until Lt. Ruby cleared the debris off of the landing zone and opened the doors, so he held back with his men and issued instructions to Manfred and the strike crew. The strike crew spotted anti-ship defensive turrets on a flyby of the landing area and called in fights from Capt. Keel’s force to take them out which they did after several passes. Uncontested, the strike crew (Lerminov, Manfred, Thunder and Omega squad) alighted among the tangle of pipes and wires on the top of the structure. Luckily entrances were located in short order and the team entered the uppermost deck of the building.

Meanwhile Lucius had finished off the group of workers that he encountered first with a heroic chain sword charge. Though doing damage to the larger contingent of trained soldiers, he was not near defeating the bulk of them.

Ruby had made it inside the loading bay and after several false starts was able to lead her men to the massive doors and began opening them while under withering fire from surprised troops on that deck. Once it became clear that the doors would be opened Lord-captain Aquinus landed his troops also.

The strike team finally made it to the entrance door to the command bunker. Lerminov was able to make contact with the Adepetus Mechanicus, who it turns out were still alive. They were extremely leery of Lerminov and Manfred who put them in contact with the Lord-captain who was able, with the help of a jury-rigged camera feed convince them to let the team into the bunker.

Once the massive airlock doors opened and the bulk of Ruby’s soldiers were brought to bare they made quick work of the troops on the loading level and proceeded to fan out and secure the are to await the rendezvous with Lucius. The Navy troops joined her on the deck in short order.

Then it was passed Mark’s nappy time so everyone took five.

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Plans, like men are flawed
Lord Captain Aquinas informed the Artemis bridge crew to defer to Captain Keel for mission orders, also to keep him posted of relevant developments in the battle. Buoyed by the news that the Hand of Redemption and the Artemis would almost certainly be able to repel the attack the command crew pressed forwards.

The Cog manufacturing facility is a massive 500 meter tall rolling factory bristling with turrets and showing the signs of decades of decay in the extremely caustic atmosphere. Manfred von Manstein III deftly piloted the gun cutter used for insertion to underneith the gantry of the massive factory. Once landed, suited up and disembarked it became clear the only way to enter the factory was via an array of catwalks and maintenance hatches approximately thirty meters straight up on the belly of the factory.

The crew ascended four separate ladders that led to the same catwalk platform, however just as they were climbing over the edge several of the hatches opened up and figures dropped out of them. The crew, sensing an immediate threat opened fire immediately. Captain Aquinus laid down crossfire with Lt. Ruby while Manfred and Anthony Sergeijovich Lermanov engaged in crossfire with Lucius Zir. The first wave of baddies was mostly taken care of when twice their number again appeared out of the hatches.

Captain Aquinus, sensing an opening charged with his power sword in an attempt to run one of the figures through. Due to the encumbrance of his void-suit he missed his attack and was summarily attacked at very close range with shotguns and lasguns. This string of attacks tore a nasty hole in his void suit and left him unconscious and bleeding on the catwalk. The battle was clearly not going well, so Manfred, with force-multiplication in mind trips down the ladder landing hard, then bolts for the gun cutter in an attempt to bring its guns to bare in the battle.

Manfred’s plan took valuable time. Luckily Lt. Ruby was able to utilize effective fire to take out all but one of the hostiles in her cone of fire and Lucius with help from Lermanov (who also retreated down the ladder) dispatched the remainder of hostiles on their side of the catwalk. After a tense couple of minutes Manfred was able to bring the cutter into battle and turn the remaining hostile inside out with a blast from the ships cannons.

The rest of the crew who were understandably very concerned for their Lord Captain’s welfare rushed to his side and, with the singular thought of removing him from the caustic atmosphere which was causing cellular damage, took him up and through one of the hatches. Once inside Ruby was able to utilize ‘caveman medicine’ with the help of a medpack, Lucius absconded a fresh void suit for the Captain, and Lermanov accessed a date port and downloaded a binary message, schematics and a station log from the factories network.

Once stabilized and in a fresh voidsuit the bridge crew carried the still unconscious Captain Aquinus to the waiting gun cutter which made a hasty exit from the area. On the return journey it became clear though communications with the Artemis and Captain Keel that the battle they were experiencing was nearly over so Manfred was able to return to the Artemis’ docking hangerterium in very short order where they were met with medicae experts who swept the captain up to the medical bay.

Lerminov set to decoding the binary transmission and analyzing the information obtained on the Cog facility. There were fairly complete schematics of the original design and structure of the facility but manufacturing and personnel logs has not been updated for at least the previous six years. The binary message revealed that, at one point at least, there was a contingent of Adepetus Mechanicus who had not fallen prey to the warp and were holed up in the command center at the top of the factory. This information was disseminated to all involved parties who began to draw up infiltration/battle plans.

The captain, who is as crazy as he is tough was soon awake and in a very poor mood. After discussion with his command crew and a consultation with Captain Keel it was decided their course of action would be to take back the facility by force…

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Evassive Manuevers - Excessive Force
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With Manfred at the helm we evaded an unknown pattern of an energy weapon discharge. Ruby at the weapons console coordinated an attack and laid before them a curtain of fire, bombarding the defiled vessel with devastating repercussion. The vessel turned tail and ran.

Augury informed us that the ship was in fact was a Yu’Vath craft. Some kind of xeno-trash crystaline interstellar traveler. This may have something to do with the bulk artifact that is hidden somewhere in this region.

Not but a few hours later while still searching for Silence we were ambushed by two more of the Yu’Vath filth vessel. The Artemis sustained some sobering damage from the unique enemy weapon, but not without heavy recompense. Both enemy vessels were lit up by our rockets and several salvos of our batteries, showering them with tears of fire. These cowards too, disengaged from the fight and made themselves scarce.

Our Astropath sent a celestial message through the immaterium to the Hand of Redemption for some backing support.

Forthwith we located and re-discovered our missing Silence.

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To Silence
Action Stations!

We last left our Heroes aboard the Artemis in route to Silence. As they neared the storm clouds they began picking up false readings on the augury scanners… off the starboard bow, stern, false readings everywhere.

While the Lord-Captain on the bridge with Manfred von Manstien at helm 1 direct the Artemis toward her destination; Lucius is near, assisting with Augury. And Ruby preps a contingent of 10 armsmen including a medicae; and Lermanov is prepping the new gun-cutter for a ship to surface landing.

A red warning light flashes on the main control switchboard. Another false warning perhaps?…

An optic enhanced junior officer at augury station 2 calls out “Confirmed! Hostile combatant inbound bearing coordinates 3-002.19 port bow sir!” He turns to look at the Lord-Captain “Sir, she’s comming strait at us. Weapons hot!”

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