DH0.2: Hab Heresy Part 2

+++++++++++++Excerpt from Adept Euphrati Salamis’ Data Slate+++++++++++++++

Dita has reported back, and I hear Arlas wheezing over her hand-vox. She has failed to catch or intercept whatever it was that fled the corridor, and reports it has probably exited the stairwell already. I complete my sampling work, take a final survey to make sure we have not left items that could be used to impugn the good name of either Coblast Assay or the Ordo, and Garvel and I exit the ruined hab.

The four of us occupy a vacant hab in L7. Arlas opens it by the simple expedient of kicking the door in. It will take a very loud intruder to wake me, for Throne knows it has been a long day.

The following dawn, I adopt a consensus/empathic mode to encourage a good working relationship, and we elect to walk to the Workers Union, being the closest of the three leads we have to work with. Pairs of Wardens are patrolling.

We enter the Union complex by the Entertainment Facility and I offer 5 Thrones for information about the disappearances. This rudimentary method of gathering intelligence has its merits. We are referred to the local drug cartel boss, Cord Luntz. He is said to be unhappy about the current situation in which “Enforcers” (Wardens) have switched loyalties. It seems premature to meet Luntz without some leverage. We elect to move to out next lead, the Templum, where we may find Evard Zed.

Under the shadow of a vast Victory Arch we meet Elsa, a grimy waif in temporary charge of a junk-yard. For 2 Thrones, she refers us to her boss Sykes who has his finger on the pulse of the area.

Sykes, a shrewd-faced, sharp-eyed middle-age man swathed in grimy clothing layers advises us that the Wardens are not genuine Arbitrators: they have been “switched out” for some other mercenary force whose loyalties lie elsewhere. Warden Locan is presumably the exception. Total cost of this information is 19 Thrones. We supply up, and I expend 6 Thrones on 30 rounds of revolver ammunition. I also purchase an auto-pistol, using my private savings. It has no particular advantage over my stub gun except the ability to fire quickly. Dita, Arlas and Garvel re-stock with shotgun cartridges, and Dita buys a stub gun. I give her most of the rounds I bought. Elsa joins us: a keen pair of local eyes will be useful. She brings her very own environment. I scan my slate for ablution facilities, fail to find any, and mark an urgent reminder in my to-do.

The Templum proves to be a small Imperial chapel. The interior is lit by large numbers of tallow candles. In its heyday, I estimate, four or more priests would minister to the faithful. Now, one lone drunken priest wanders half-witless around the aisles. Evard Zed is hiding here: a throwback to some atavistic impulse for sanctuary perhaps.

I note in passing that Elsa seems over-zealous in harassing the priest. This attitude may be counter-productive.

Empathic/reassuring mode seems contra-indicated and so, after some necessary minor blood-letting I ask Arlas to cease, wipe the blood flecks off my slate, and take down Zed’s evidence, such as it is.

“We were drinking in the Union when a gang blade took issue with Saul and cut him in the chest. Then we got turfed out. Saul wanted to go to the Almshouse, it was shining in the dark, so he headed that way and I headed home.

“I hadn’t seen the blade at the Union before, no.”

Side note for further follow-up by the Ordo Hereticus: Priest Fayban has kept himself soaked and ignorant since the days of the Coscarla holocaust a year ago, when his brother-priests died for their faith.

We had back to the Union to see narco-boss Cord Luntz and a local Elsa knows, named Swifty, escorts us in. Arlas waits outside as unlike us, he is unwilling to part with his weapons.

Luntz is a squat heavy-set middle-aged man with kill-runes all over his heavy ganger armor. A home-brew chem set is ready on his desk.

Luntz confirms the “new” Wardens are run by the same mob running the Almshouse, headed by a man named Moran. Moran, who is probably a mercenary, is fronting for a tech-cult known as the Logicians, which is behind the disappearances and augmentation. The leader of the cult is known as The Churgeon, a tech-priestess.

Trade and cash are drying up. Luntz proves willing to form a (temporary, unsanctioned) alliance. His mob will create a distraction while we tackle the cult. He hands over a pass-key to the Almshouse back door.

However [and in spite of Garvel’s suspicious eagerness – run a check over Garvel] it does not yet seem the right time to attempt the Almshouse. I recommend we contact Warden Locan, to see if we can help what sounds like the last legitimate authority here. Exceedingly hungry by this time, we walk across the broad square formed by the spaces between habs to some non-permanent stalls selling local edibles such as rat-on-a-stick.

Elsa identifies Locan walking across the square. He’s being watched, so far as Dita and Arlas can tell. I send Elsa across with a contact-in-safe-ground message for him. While we wait, the near presence of some of Luntz’ mob causes the rest of us to retire discreetly to some rubble that will provide cover. It could be that they merely wished to exchange hand-vox codes, but I had already decided not to use ether-dependant lines of communications with such a non-sanctioned ally. Discretion always. Our retreat is rudely interrupted as Elsa, who is still talking to Locan, begins firing at two Wardens!

+++++++++++++Combat begins+++++++++++++

Elsa surprise round at 20m with autogun against two Enforcers (Tough 2 Armor 4): total bonus +50. Scores 42 on a 92 so there are three hits at d10+3, 4, 11 (on the left arm) and 9 – the latter distributed to the 2nd target’s body.

We assess the ranges and cover:

Baddies – 20m – Elsa/Locan – 20m including concealment cover – Us.

Initiative is rolled:

  • Dita
  • Garvel/Arlas/Euphrati (in that order, due to Agility)
  • Enforcers
  • Elsa
  • Locan

Dita and Garvel run to cover, while Arlas sidles a few paces to get clear line of sight and shoots at “Lefty” the most severely hit opponent. His las-gun inflicts more damage. Euphrati runs to cover. The bad guys pull auto-stubs and fire at Elsa (who is partly concealed behind Locan) and miss. Elsa returns fire, missing, while Locan runs and throws himself under a stall near the rest of us. We now occupy a fan-shaped arc in concealment cover, all aiming towards the pair of false Wardens, except for Elsa who is still in the open.

Dita misses but Garvel’s shotgun round winds and fatigues Lefty, and further shots from Arlas and Euphrati stun him then knock him down, effectively putting him out of the fight. The remaining Enforcer “Gutsy” continues to fire at Elsa, missing again, and Elsa puts a pair of shots into his chest. Dita [uses FP, re-rolls] executes him with a fine head-shot [01 crit, 11 points to head].

+++++++++++++Combat ends (for the moment!)+++++++++++++

+++++++++++++What are the 5 lessons we can learn?+++++++++++++

  •  It’s a good idea to have Fate Point tokens distributed around
  • A common quick-reference will help with matters of range and action
  • Dodge is easy to forget, especially for the GM
  • Only one Fate Point can be spent on a given re-roll
  • Full-auto and Semi-auto are full-round actions.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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About andrewmclaren26

Weekly Roleplayer, Wargamer when I can
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