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The Eternal War, Session 01.

a guest Apr 28th, 2012 41 Never
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  1. 03[18:33] * Now talking in #EternalWar
  2. 03[19:01] * Brother_Ezekiah (bejammin20@sux-9515C6DB.washdc.fios.verizon.net) has joined #EternalWar
  3. 03[19:01] * Varian (antoine@sux-A1B3BD92.static.amnet.net.au) has joined #EternalWar
  4. 03[19:06] * Petrus (chatzilla@sux-E784D9F8.shr-wy.client.bresnan.net) has joined #EternalWar
  5. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> It begins.
  6. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> Today has not been a good day for you.
  7. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> Regardless of who you were before you came aboard your prison, you were treated the same. If you did not cooperate on your way to your cell, you were prodded with the guards' stun-batons until you submitted. No grievances were declared; no authorities given; no questions answered. Your belongings were taken and each of you given plain brown press-crew's rags to wear. The only reason you know you are aboard a ship is because they let each of you out to look out the closest viewport once before being forced back into your cell.
  8. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> That was weeks ago, however. You have, on occasion, been let out of your cells to see one-another (but never say words to one-another), and also to bask in the fact that across the way from the doors to your living spaces is a long pane of glass that stares out upon the emptiness of space.
  9. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> Today is not a good day.
  10. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> Today, you are herded from your cells in single-file and taken along the corridor to a larger room with three seats before a desk, behind which is a tall red throne. Each of your seats bears armrests with restraints built into the armrests, and each also a data-slate built into its back: on the screens you can see your names before you are locked into the chairs.
  11. 01[19:36] <@Staffen> On the table before you sits all of your belongings; clothes neatly folded and atop them weapons, coinpurses and other bits of gear you've accumulated beforehand. The distance mocks your imprisoned situation.
  12. 01[19:37] <@Staffen> The guards leave the room, putting the three of you together for the first time with nobody else watching.
  13. 06[19:38] * Petrus grabs the long case next to his belongings and looks inside it
  14. 06[19:40] * Brother_Ezekiah has spent a good deal of time in his cell locked in prayer, meditation, self-flagellation (indeed, his body is covered with ugly red lines from scratching himself with his long fingernails), and fasting. Even know he's whispering varied litanies and articles of faith to himself. He's a roiling body of faith and fury... and Emperor help the first thing he grabs.
  15. [19:40] <Varian> Looking at the decidedly spare amount of 'personal belongings' that sat before Varian he commented, "I don't know what is more depressing, that I am sitting here or that is all I own."
  16. [19:45] <Petrus> "You must have more things that that, maybe a land claim or a herd of beasts?"
  17. 06[19:47] * Varian wriggled at his restraints subtly to check their tightness, "I have a nest egg of sorts, not that it will do me much good here. I would also advise against riling up our hosts, the guards are more than your standard Arbites."
  18. [19:48] <Petrus> "I noticed that."
  19. [19:49] <Brother_Ezekiah> "But we have something they do not! Righteous fury! There is nothing that a man with faith can not do! If we but have the faith of a single dust mote, we could order a hive spire to get up and walk!"
  20. 01[19:52] <@Staffen> The door slides open with a hydraulic hiss. Steel heels clink against the decking and you see a hooded man enter the room, passing you by and approaching the desk. A mask with a long beak and glowing eyepieces covers his face. One of his arms extends from his green cloak, holding a lit candle redundantly.
  21. 01[19:54] <@Staffen> The masked man pushes back his cloak and places a stack of books and files on the far-end of the table. He puts down the candle, then takes a moment to adjust the tall seat to his liking before sitting forwards in it.
  22. 01[19:54] <@Staffen> He picks up a blue folder from atop his pile and opens it.
  23. 06[19:54] * Varian gives a half grimace-half smile to the man but says nothing.
  24. 01[19:57] <@Staffen> "What a bunch you are," the man says, teasingly, his voice predictably muffled. "I don't imagine the three of you would likely ever be in the same room together except under these circumstances."
  25. 06[19:58] * Varian turned his head to the side to look at the other occupants, "No, I suppose not."
  26. [19:59] <Petrus> "I was promised a job, so what is it?"
  27. [20:00] <Varian> ""I understand I am in no position to demand anything, but for the record, I'm far more comfortable talking over a glass of Chateau Petreuse... '82"
  28. 01[20:01] <@Staffen> "Varian Sark," he calls, perhaps because you've been more talkative. "You'll be grieved to hear, I'm sure, that your second-eldest Damion brother recently suffered an unfortunate heart attack while dining with one of House Krin's scions. Last I heard, it was being called murder before an autopsy could be made. You are now a step closer along the line of succession."
  29. 06[20:02] * Brother_Ezekiah is practically chomping at the bit and straining against his bonds. "YOU! You're the one that has removed me from my holy work! Oh, if it were not for these bonds, I would send you to be judged by the merciful Emperor myself!"
  30. [20:03] <Varian> replying to the masked man Varian evenly states, "I'm sure that thought will comfort my family's rivals."
  31. 01[20:04] <@Staffen> The man grunts before continuing. "Ezekiah of the Redemption," the man says, "I am sorry to inform you that Cardinal Rastford has issued a complaint to Sector Governor Hax regarding your brothers on Bront. The Divisio Immoralis is expected to be looking into them soon."
  32. 01[20:06] <@Staffen> "Petrus Cain," he says next, "your father has been calling on you several times this last month. He is growing increasingly worried, since as it turns out all he was told was that you would be attending a celebratory hunt on Munsk."
  33. [20:07] <Petrus> "That was this month? Damn."
  34. [20:07] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Pfeh! Faith and fury will prevail! It will always prevail! And if they are to die, then there is no greater death then doing the Emperor's work! My only regret is that I will not be able to stand with them in that most glorious moment, when fire and steel meet!"
  35. 03[20:09] * Mir (chatzilla@sux-C8169E8D.bootp.virginia.edu) has joined #EternalWar
  36. 03[20:09] * Mir is now known as Horace
  37. 01[20:10] <@Staffen> The man closes the file. "Each of you has family, friends, enterprises. Unfortunately, you also each have skills, and skills, like a fine cutting edge, must be honed to a proper task lest they chip and ruin. Why should such special gentlemen as you sit and waste yourselves away?"
  38. [20:13] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Waste!?" Ezekiah is insulted. He spits on the ground. "There is no waste when one's work is the cleansing of sin!"
  39. 01[20:14] <@Staffen> The man turns his beaked mask towards the redemptionist again. "As much as I'm sure your deeds on Bront were... helpful to the Imperial cause, I assure you, Brother Ezekiah, what I and my employ would have you do is far... far greater. There are forces at work that would like to see your ways of life -- indeed, all our ways -- destroyed. And we would see you help put a stop to that."
  40. [20:16] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Then were are to mete out punishment to sinners!?"
  41. 01[20:18] <@Staffen> "Indeed you are." The man interlocks his fingers. "You cannot see it from the portside, but we are presently orbiting the world of Guytoga. It is far-removed from any contacts any of you might have. There is a blasphemous sect operating out of its capital hive city, Jusano, and we want it rooted out."
  42. 01[20:19] <@Staffen> "So, you shall each have his.
  43. 01[20:19] <@Staffen> *"So, you shall each have your belongs returned to you momentarily, and will be taken along to one of the hangars and sent planet-side."
  44. [20:19] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Then speak no more! Steel and flame shall cleanse this world of it's filth! I will happily lead the faithful in a pogrom to enter into the annals of the AGES!"
  45. [20:20] <Petrus> "Where are we being sent?"
  46. 01[20:21] <@Staffen> "You will be dropped as passengers onto a starport. I know you make an odd bunch, but you're going to have to devise some cover for yourselves. The men with you on the shuttle down will explain more."
  47. [20:22] <Varian> "I assume all traffic off-world is being monitored?"
  48. 01[20:23] <@Staffen> You can hear the man chuckle quietly. "Let us say that if you try to run, we will know. And, there is a time-limit. Do this within the span of a week or... well, I do hope you enjoyed meal this morning. Algae with a bit of special seasoning from the cookery, if I remember correctly."
  49. 01[20:26] <@Staffen> The man presses a rune on the tabletop, and a few seconds later the guards reenter. "Take them back to their cells to change. Give them each ten minutes to do so, then take them to starboard bay-2."
  50. 01[20:27] <@Staffen> The guards unshackle you each and, taking your belongings with, pull you back away to your cells.
  51. 06[20:29] * Brother_Ezekiah comes out, ready for a war of faith, gilded mask resting on his face. "I am the Emperor's Terrible Swift Sword! Imperius REX!"
  52. 06[20:29] * Varian submits to the process.
  53. 06[20:30] * Petrus follows along with what ever they tell him to do.
  54. 01[20:33] <@Staffen> After you are all prepared you notice the guards have now swapped out their stun batons for shotguns, as if wary of misbehavior. They plod you across the ship and bring you to a large bay containing more guards, men dressed in worker's fatigues, and an individual who seems to clash against the laborers and orderlies.
  55. 06[20:36] * Horace is standing in the shadow of a large lifting servitor, flanked by two guards.  This tie and office shirt are overly starched, giving him an angular look.
  56. 06[20:37] * Brother_Ezekiah cuts an imposing figure in his bright red shield robes with flame trim. Enhanced by the additional eaglenosed mask. Those that are in the know... would recognise a member of the Red Redemption.
  57. 06[20:38] * Petrus looks out of place in his tan clothing with a large piece of leather sown on his right shoulder
  58. 06[20:39] * Varian wears some ragged street clothes under a flak cloak that conceals an autopistol in a shoulder holster at his left armpit and a Malfian bolo-knife at his right hip.
  59. 01[20:40] <@Staffen> The workmen are lounging around the typical light freighter, which the guards push you along to. One of the laborers calls out, "It's aboard, Franco. The sooner we get it off the better I say."
  60. 01[20:41] <@Staffen> One of the guards replies, "I hear you on that. Gives me the fucking chills." He nudges Sark with his shotgun. "Say hello to Horace over there, boys. I guess the Interrogator got done with instructing him too."
  61. 06[20:41] * Horace gives a gravelly, "Hello."
  62. [20:43] <Petrus> "Hello"
  63. [20:44] <Varian> Varian eyes the man, grimacing at the barrel poking his back. "Hello, another able and willing servant of this great endeavor?"
  64. [20:44] <Horace> "I assume. You dropping to Guytoga?"
  65. [20:45] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Of course! We were told that there is much sin in Guytoga! Sin that must cleansed! And cleansing that we must do!"
  66. 06[20:45] * Horace flattens his tie under his vest, and plays with a lighter cap with his left hand
  67. [20:46] <Horace> "...Mmh.  Same thing then.  Week as well for you lot as well?"
  68. 01[20:47] <@Staffen> The workman who spoke a moment ago steps up. "Alright, here's the deal, you lot. Somewhere in Jusano's underhive is a cult. What we," he oddly stresses 'we', "know is that people are disappearing from across the underhive. Jusano's substratum is made up mostly of depleted mines, so they may or may not have something to do with your work. When you're 100%-certain you've found this cult, do not engage immediately. There's a crate onboard and you're on orders to pick it up first, and take it to their hideout before engaging. Do NOT open it until then."
  69. 06[20:47] * Petrus puts on a dusty wide brimmed hat
  70. 06[20:48] * Varian Varian nods in understanding at the workman,"Weeks, Horace."
  71. 01[20:49] <@Staffen> "The crate will be left at the long-term storage at Port Danton. Danton," he tells you. "Remember that. You'll have to figure out how to deliver it yourself, it's pretty damn heavy."
  72. 01[20:49] <@Staffen> He pulls a slip of paper from a pocket on his jumpsuit. "This is a pre-paid pick-up form for the package. Don't lose it or you're fucked."
  73. 01[20:50] <@Staffen> He holds it out for someone to take.
  74. 06[20:51] * Brother_Ezekiah does not like the prospect of having to hold back from bringing blessed flame to blesphemous sinners.
  75. 06[20:51] * Varian takes the slip
  76. 01[20:52] <@Staffen> The man whistles, spins his finger around and the other workers hop into the back of the 'lighter. "Get aboard, fellas. There's room for everyone in back."
  77. 06[20:53] * Petrus grabs his things and boards the lighter
  78. 06[20:55] * Horace hefts a heavy shield from the floor behind him, and enters the craft
  79. 06[20:55] * Varian heads into the lighter, leaving the guards and his detainment in exchange for a planet sized cell with a week long execution notice. He places the slip in his right hand pocket before sitting down and strapping in.
  80. 01[20:55] <@Staffen> The guards start talking to one-another as they watch you embark.
  81. 06[20:56] * Brother_Ezekiah would head in... he's once again murmuring various litanies and liturgies.
  82. 01[21:00] <@Staffen> The cargo hold of the lighter is lined with seats, and while there are plenty of spots for the some-fifteen bodies that make up your party there is little room to navigate due to the large metal box bolted to the floor between the seats.
  83. 06[21:02] * Petrus finds a seat and sits down
  84. 01[21:02] <@Staffen> The lead-workman sits closest to the lighter's bay door. He points to the box. "Big surprise in there."
  85. 06[21:04] * Varian looks at the man with contempt, "Your powers of perception are most enthralling."
  86. 06[21:04] * Horace makes a small whisper
  87. [21:04] <Horace> "I'd rather not antagonize them. I've heard bad things about the man in Medicae."
  88. 01[21:06] <@Staffen> The man laughs, unaffected by your wit. His teeth are unusually clean and orderly for a man of his station.
  89. 01[21:06] <@Staffen> The door closes tight as soon as everyone is aboard. You feel the lighter kick off, the thrusters hum through the fuselage, and you're away.
  90. 01[21:08] <@Staffen> "Franco and the others," the man says, "they can't fraternize with nobody they aren't cleared to speak to. But I don't see no reason we can't be friendly. First thing's first,  I suggest you gents figure out what your cover is. Especially you with the shield, buddy," he looks across the aisle at Horace.
  91. [21:09] <Horace> "I am the Lord Sector's Imoralis Warden.  I have clearance to go where I damn need."
  92. [21:10] <Brother_Ezekiah> "I am a Redemptionist! I refuse to hide that fact from the sinners of this blighted world!"
  93. 01[21:11] <@Staffen> "Yeah, but these people don't give two shits," the man quips. "They'll put a bullet through your head regardless of whose clearance or what divine right you wave in their faces. You gotta be subtle about this, or you're gonna go nowhere, and the boss'll have to find someone else."
  94. 06[21:11] * Horace gives a slow exhale and sidles futilely into the craft wall to avoid the confirmed Redemptionist
  95. [21:11] <Petrus> "I am the heir to the wardenship of Transvaal"
  96. 01[21:12] <@Staffen> "Yeah, all good, but why're you lot together?"
  97. [21:12] <Horace> "...We ate some bad algae that will kill us in a week."
  98. [21:13] <Horace> "...Just call me a drug dealer then.  Let's leave it at that.
  99. 01[21:13] <@Staffen> This evokes laughter from all the workmen in the bay.
  100. 06[21:14] * Varian sighs,  "I could pass as a lower hive ganger. These three could pass for it if we keep the fanatic from talking and the Warden does not try to bust every two bit thug we run into."
  101. 06[21:14] * Horace lifts up an empty resuable metal injector, feigning shooting up
  102. 06[21:16] * Horace replaces his injector.
  103. 06[21:16] * Horace puts up his hands
  104. [21:16] <Horace> "I'll do my job.  I haven't lived this long bashing heads of every ganger I see.  I won't be done in by your man's mean breakfast either."
  105. 01[21:17] <@Staffen> "Fair enough." The man nods. "Stick to it then. No doubt by now you've probably guessed you're working for the Holy Inquisition. So please forgive the Inquisitor for being a bit straightforward in getting you to work."
  106. 01[21:18] <@Staffen> He sits back. "I'm cleared to tell you that, by the way, so no worries."
  107. 06[21:18] * Horace makes an odd face with a frown that goes from jawbone to jawbone, his sunglasses seeming to almost crack
  108. [21:20] <Varian> "Well, any chance I had of escaping is now dust in the wind."
  109. 01[21:20] <@Staffen> After another half-hour the lighter freighter puts down with a heavy thud. The lead-workman unlocks the bay door, unbuckles and hops out, motioning for you to follow.
  110. 06[21:22] * Varian unbuckles himself from the heavy straps and rises, squeezing past the crate to follow the workman.
  111. 06[21:22] * Petrus grabs his case and heads out of the ship
  112. 06[21:22] * Horace straps his shield to his back and exits, hurriedly lighting a crumpled red lho stick he had been refraining from
  113. [21:24] <Brother_Ezekiah> The entire flight down, Ezekiah was a shaking mess. Not from nerves. Oh no. He's excited about the prospects of killing in the name of the Emperor. "Today is a glorious day! The blood debt to Him-On-Earth will be accounted!"
  114. [21:25] <Varian> Guarded with his speech Varian mentions to the workman, "Talk to the big man if you can, if we return from this I would be most appreciative if there was a bottle of bubbly waiting for me."
  115. 01[21:25] <@Staffen> Once all of you are out of the compartment the workers scramble and get to unbolting the crate.
  116. [21:25] <Horace> "........Let's head on.  Quicker we finish, we can pass our breakfast."
  117. [21:26] <Petrus> "Indeed"
  118. [21:27] <Brother_Ezekiah> "... lead on. My fury needs to be slaked! My faith needs to be justified! I need to testify the emperor's greatness in the death throes of sinners!"
  119. 01[21:27] <@Staffen> You stand on a landingpad in a large shuttleport. Fuel lines, unmoved containers and various boxes surround the area by the lighter.
  120. 06[21:28] * Horace takes a heavy drag and looks to Varian
  121. [21:28] <Horace> "How do we receive our 'package'?  Do we get it after we find our scum?"
  122. 02[21:28] * Varian (antoine@sux-A1B3BD92.static.amnet.net.au) Quit (Ping timeout)
  123. 01[21:29] <@Staffen> The lead-workman shouts for assistance from the port's crews, then looks to you. "I'll see to that drink for you, pal. Talk to one of the people in the port's shipping department about it, and show them the slip."
  124. 02[21:30] * Horace (chatzilla@sux-C8169E8D.bootp.virginia.edu) Quit (Quit: ChatZilla 0.9.88.2 [Firefox 11.0/20120312181643])
  125. 03[21:31] * Varian (antoine@sux-A1B3BD92.static.amnet.net.au) has joined #EternalWar
  126. 03[21:37] * Horace (chatzilla@sux-C8169E8D.bootp.virginia.edu) has joined #EternalWar
  127. 01[21:38] <@Staffen> The lead-workman points down a path behind the lander, lading off into the port. "Try not to freak people out when you leave. You're in the middle-hive where most of the businesses are located. Locals like to keep the streets clean, and while that's as likely as me getting laid tonight, they don't take kindly to gunfire here. You'll find service lifts in places to take you lower, and you can probably find some nice long stairwells if you feel like getting some exercise. Now get going, gotta have this thing moved or else the union will complain."
  128. 06[21:39] * Brother_Ezekiah is waiting, bouncing on his heels. He's eager... bursting with enthusiasm... he'll wait for one of the others to take point.
  129. 06[21:41] * Horace pats his vest down and dons his old Schola coat
  130. [21:41] <Horace> "Well, we're we headed then?"
  131. [21:42] <Petrus> "I believe so."
  132. [21:44] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Then let us find these sinners!"
  133. 06[21:44] * Varian heads out along the path leading out of the port.
  134. 06[21:45] * Horace follows along heavily, weighted down by his equipment and musty lho smoke
  135. 01[21:48] <@Staffen> You exit the landing pads and quickly find yourself out through one side-entrance of the port, amid wide winding streets suspended between spires. Far above you, the sun shines down through the canopy of oversized metal treetrunks that are the structures of the hive. Large groups of people walk the side-lanes and local cars pass by. It's a fairly busy area.
  136. 06[21:48] * Brother_Ezekiah would be running behind them. Actually going up to strangers that he passes, only to poke them in the chest. "SINNER!" Or quietly in their ear. "Siiiiiinner!" Or right in their face. "Repent, Sinner, and you may yet be saved!"
  137. 06[21:50] * Horace frowns and lets his lho fall from his mouth, and grinds it into the flooring
  138. 06[21:51] * Varian brought his flak cloak together at the front and buckled it to hide his weaponry.
  139. [21:51] <Horace> "Let's get a move on before the local Arbitrators come from your friend.  They'd blow my cover."
  140. 06[21:51] * Petrus tries to ignore the redemptionist
  141. [21:51] <Horace> "Where are we going?  Down levels?'
  142. 01[21:52] <@Staffen> The redemptionist's noise is already turning heads from the sidewalks. You notice a local enforcer across the road thumping his truncheon in his hand and staring off at you.
  143. 06[21:52] * Horace pulls up his collar and starts hurriedly walking towards areas of pedestrian traffic
  144. [21:52] <Petrus> "Yes and we should go quickly before we attract any more attention
  145. [21:53] <Brother_Ezekiah> "But I cannot stand by and let all these decadent sinners go by without telling them the very peril they place their immortal souls in! For the sake of our task, I am being... moderate. Less I cure their blackened existence with even more dire measures!"
  146. [21:53] <Horace> "Mmh.  Let's go find our elevator."
  147. 02[21:54] * Varian (antoine@sux-A1B3BD92.static.amnet.net.au) Quit (Ping timeout)
  148. [21:55] <Petrus> "Yes you can there's always a bigger fish."
  149. 01[21:56] <@Staffen> One man, a nervous-looking fellow in an Administratum adept's garb, has nervously stopped and is looking at you. He clutches a stack of data slates in one hand and generally looks like a very meak person. "I-if you're wanting to find a lift, there's one over in the district dining hall," he says, pointing you in one direction.
  150. 06[21:57] * Horace gives the man an appreciative nod
  151. [21:57] <Horace> "It head down?"
  152. 06[21:57] * Petrus tips his hat to the man "Thank you."
  153. 01[21:57] <@Staffen> "Both ways," the man says, before scurrying off. He is being shoved and pushed by the people behind and around him.
  154. 06[21:58] * Brother_Ezekiah would point at him, walking backwards. "SINNER!" And would join the other three.
  155. 06[21:58] * Horace gives a nervous stare behind his shoulder for the wary local enforcer, and slouches, making a slow beeline for the dining hall by its signs
  156. 01[22:05] <@Staffen> The dining hall is marked out as the part of a square spire on your level. Numerous local food franchises have their iconography hanging as part of a tall totem-sign outside.
  157. 06[22:09] * Brother_Ezekiah contemplates getting a coffee... BLACK AS THE SIN HE SEES AROUND HIM! But does not voice his desires.
  158. [22:12] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Why are we looking for food when we should be finding the Elevatus! The sooner we may do this, the sooner we may put the sinners to the sword!"
  159. 06[22:12] * Horace looks about at the assembled shops, giving a quick lick of his lips as he sees one seeing grox fatback
  160. [22:12] <Petrus> "We're looking for the lift"
  161. [22:12] <Horace> *selling
  162. [22:12] <Horace> "Ah, right, right.  Lift."
  163. 01[22:15] <@Staffen> The lift is found simply enough. It is a large platform towards the middle of the building. Crowds of people surround it - most of them are shabbily dressed, and are likely menial workers off of a shift.
  164. [22:16] <Petrus> "Officer, if you would clear a path for us?"
  165. [22:17] <Horace> "Let's not attract trouble.  We'll get in line, I'd suggest.  Laborer's don't take kindly to getting in the way of.  Gotten more than one shiv in the leg for it."
  166. [22:17] <Petrus> "Even for a nobleman?"
  167. [22:20] <Horace> "...Nobleborn?  Should have figured.  You're free to try, master.  They may be more amenable here than Thical.  Already their midhive is much nicer."
  168. [22:20] <Brother_Ezekiah> "CLEAR THE WAY! THE EMPEROR'S SERVANTS GO ABOUT THEIR HOLY WORK! AVOID US AND YE SHALL BE PARDONED THE DAILY SIN YE COMMIT!"
  169. 06[22:20] * Horace puts his shield in front of him and sidles sideways a couple feet from the man
  170. 01[22:21] <@Staffen> After a few seconds you hear warning sirens blare, and the lift rises up. Clamps drop on its sides and hold it in place. "Please stand clear of the doors," an automated voice calls. "This lift is currently only set to descend. Maximum capacity is three-hundred forty occupants. Please enter in an orderly fashion."
  171. [22:22] <Horace> "Ooh. Only went up to three-hundred in Thical."
  172. 01[22:22] <@Staffen> You can hear commotion as you shove your way through.
  173. 01[22:22] <@Staffen> "Hey man, what the fuck?"
  174. 06[22:22] * Horace shuffles forwards with the teeming masses of humanity before stopping
  175. 01[22:22] <@Staffen> "Who the hell are these guys?"
  176. 06[22:22] * Petrus follows Horace
  177. [22:23] <Petrus> "I wonder how the hunting is in an underhive."
  178. [22:23] <Horace> "Like sump-rats, master? They're pretty fast. And a bite gets infected in seconds."
  179. 06[22:24] * Brother_Ezekiah slinks back with the other three. "Fear not, goodly citizens! The Emperor's chosen walks amongst you! The sin that festers below us will soon be cleansed! Let all sing the praises of the He who Rests on Terra!"
  180. [22:25] <Petrus> "Sounds like a shotgun would be decent for them."
  181. [22:26] <Horace> "Let's get on quick-like.  Before they stab our thighs out of spite."
  182. [22:26] <Petrus> "Indeed"
  183. 01[22:27] <@Staffen> You are easily able to get a spot on the lift, but you are surrounded on all sides by staring people. The automated voice calls out, "Please stand clear of the doors. Praise the Omnissiah, you are now descending."
  184. [22:28] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Even the ELEVATUS IS SINFUL!"
  185. 01[22:28] <@Staffen> The lift shudders, and works its way downwards. The light from the mid-hive begins to recede, bathing you in darkness interrupted only occasionally by the passing dim of lumen-bars on the walls.
  186. 06[22:30] * Horace watches his legs and hands of those around him, eyes darting in the low light for disgruntled menial workers being robbed of their meager place in line by off-worlders
  187. 01[22:33] <@Staffen> There is no sign that anybody is being robbed. These people just seem tired of the workday.
  188. 06[22:37] * Horace whispers
  189. [22:38] <Horace> "Where do we head next? I have my own way of finding scum, but I haven't worked with partners in a decade."
  190. 01[22:38] <@Staffen> The lift eventually comes to a stop, and the people pour out. New noises greet you: the patter of leaking pipes and the sounds of large crowds. A soft mist of steam pours into the lift shaft as people leave.
  191. 06[22:41] * Horace grabs a menial worker and holds up a lone white lho stick
  192. [22:42] <Horace> "Want this?  I'm looking for some good buys down here.  Got any lower hive religious sects down here that'd like some off-world plants?
  193. 06[22:42] * Petrus finds a place to set down his case and opens it up taking out a belt and holster and putting it on
  194. 01[22:44] <@Staffen> The man stares at you, wide-eyed. "Ah, uh... no, sir, none that I know of. Try-- try a bar or something, sir. I don't want nothing to do with dealing, sir."
  195. 06[22:44] * Brother_Ezekiah grabs the man. "A bar! A PLACE OF SIN!? You expect the holy workers of the Emperor's word to work out of a bar!? How dare you. HOW DARE YOU!"
  196. 06[22:45] * Horace puts the lho in the man's work belt
  197. [22:45] <Horace> "Good man.  Safer for you then."
  198. 06[22:45] * Horace heads turns around to his companions
  199. [22:46] <Horace> "...I don't know about you, masters, but I'm going to go find a good dive bar to get proselytized to."
  200. 01[22:46] <@Staffen> The man hurries off, jamming his hands into his pockets.
  201. [22:49] <Brother_Ezekiah> "I cannot, in good faith, let you go into such a den of... iniquity. No, such places of sin and decandence can only be dealt with one way! STEEL AND FLAME!"
  202. 06[22:50] * Horace grumbles, thinking
  203. [22:51] <Horace> "...I have an idea.  Let's act like idiots and get lost somewhere."
  204. 06[22:52] * Horace heads off at a brisk pace in a random direction
  205. [22:52] <Horace> "Heretic cults like to kidnap random offworlders and the lost.  It makes for easy indoctrination."
  206. 06[22:52] * Petrus follows Horace
  207. [22:52] <Horace> "The faster we look hapless enough to mug, we find trouble."
  208. [22:53] <Horace> "And trouble means scum.  Scum has a good chance of meaning our immoral friends."
  209. 06[22:54] * Brother_Ezekiah grumbles about it. "I do not like this! We shouldn't be slinking about the shadows, we should be challenging them full on!"
  210. 06[22:56] * Brother_Ezekiah spots the little girl. "YOU! STOP BEFORE YOU STEP UPON THE PATH OF SIN!"
  211. 01[22:57] <@Staffen> Behind Petrus you hear a child yelp.
  212. 06[22:57] * Petrus turns around to look for the yelp
  213. 06[22:57] * Horace pulls his coat's collar ever higher around his ears to hide his face, his head now hanging around his collarbones in height
  214. 01[22:59] <@Staffen> Petrus's coinpurse is half-way untied from his belt. You see a little girl scrambling away from you across the damp cobbled floor.
  215. [22:59] <Petrus> "Stop now you urchin!"
  216. [22:59] <Petrus> "Horace, Ezekiah with me!"
  217. 06[23:00] * Horace looks at the little girl
  218. [23:00] <Brother_Ezekiah> "We already removed her from the dark path of sin. What else is there to do?"
  219. [23:00] <Horace> "He's a noble, little missy.  I wouldn't go taking his Thrones.  Else a vigilance squad comes on down and starts beating everyone on this level once he tells his parents."
  220. 06[23:01] * Horace looks at the young girl through his sunglasses
  221. [23:02] <Petrus> "My coin?"
  222. 06[23:03] * Petrus checks his pockets
  223. [23:03] <Horace> "Hmm. She's getting away.  They do that.  You purse didn't seem to disappear with her, master.  It all there?"
  224. 06[23:03] * Horace lights up a new red, soggy lho stick
  225. [23:03] <Petrus> "The little rat stole 4 thrones
  226. [23:03] <Horace> "Even the thieves work faster here than on Thical.  An hour on-planet, we're being stolen from."
  227. 01[23:04] <@Staffen> The child stumbles away, trying to slip through the crowds but she is anxious and it is clear where she is going.
  228. [23:04] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Consider it, Petrus, your daily tithe, then. What's done has been done."
  229. [23:04] <Petrus> "We should follow her"
  230. [23:05] <Horace> "...?  You want four thrones back that much, master?
  231. [23:05] <Petrus> "She might lead us somewhere."
  232. [23:06] <Horace> "A hovel, more-like.  But you're the noble, and we are trying to lose ourselves in this place.  Lead on, master."
  233. 06[23:08] * Petrus strides forward following the girl
  234. 06[23:11] * Brother_Ezekiah would follow after the rest and the girl!
  235. 01[23:12] <@Staffen> Petrus and Zeke are able to follow quickly, but Horace is bogged down by the noncompliant rush of bodies who don't particularly care for your monetary quest.
  236. 06[23:12] * Horace gives a gravelly gurgle of being crushed by the masses of humanity
  237. 06[23:12] * Petrus uses his case as a ram to shove people out of the way
  238. 06[23:16] * Petrus grabs the little girl "I think you have something of mine"
  239. 01[23:17] <@Staffen> The girl squirms uselessly in your grip. "Let go!" she squeals. "I didn't take anything!"
  240. [23:18] <Petrus> "Well you didn't say you're sorry when you bumped into me"
  241. [23:18] <Petrus> "Now give me back my thrones"
  242. 01[23:19] <@Staffen> At this juncture the child begins to cry, holding the coins to her chest in her tiny fist.
  243. [23:19] <Petrus> "You can keep them if you give us information"
  244. 06[23:20] * Horace arrives, panting
  245. [23:20] <Horace> "Good....thinking...master."
  246. 01[23:20] <@Staffen> "I'll-" she sobs. "I'll give them back," she sniffles, "Mister. Just please promise me..."
  247. [23:20] <Petrus> "What?"
  248. 01[23:21] <@Staffen> She writhes some more in a youthful fit. "Please save my mommy!"
  249. [23:22] <Petrus> "Where is your mother?"
  250. 06[23:22] * Horace looks at the girl in consternation
  251. 01[23:22] <@Staffen> People are now looking over at you curiously, hearing and seeing the crying child in your grip.
  252. 01[23:23] <@Staffen> The girl wipes at her eyes and places the four coins into Petrus's hand. "The bad men took her!"
  253. [23:23] <Petrus> "Where are the bad men?"
  254. [23:24] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Worry not! The Redemption is for all, as it is for one! We will rescue your mother, and scourge her kidnappers!"
  255. [23:24] <Horace> "Yes...where?  Tell us what you know."
  256. 01[23:26] <@Staffen> "I donno," the girl says, half-incoherent with her stuffy whimpering. "The big one had a scary snake-tattoo on his cheek! I saw where they go but I got lost and couldn't find it again!"
  257. [23:27] <Petrus> "Could be a gang tattoo"
  258. [23:28] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Gang tattoo!? More like a sigil for an insidious cult! I knew I would find the filth of sin on this planet! VINDICATION!"
  259. 06[23:29] * Horace goes to a knee and asks the girl some more pointed questions
  260. 01[23:30] <@Staffen> Eventually, you get her to start calming down and obtain some information from her:
  261. 01[23:31] <@Staffen> Her mother was taken (from the sound of it at least a week ago) and she managed to follow them to what sounds like it was a sump-pool. They apparently have some sort of hideout there in a ruined building that has a large lumen-sign shaped like a star. She tried to make her way home after that, but got lost in the hive.
  262. 06[23:34] * Horace looks to his companions with a nod
  263. [23:35] <Petrus> "We should go find this building then
  264. [23:35] <Horace> "It's not any widespread group that even the Immoralis would take eye of, it seems.  Not that I can tell.  It may be a front our target's using.  Either way, this is good to know."
  265. 06[23:35] * Horace holds up a throne
  266. [23:36] <Horace> "Take us close by, little missy, and you'll have more Thrones to give your mother if we get her back."
  267. 01[23:37] <@Staffen> The little girl's lip quivers, and she nods.
  268. 01[23:41] <@Staffen> The girl tries to make her way home, but is clearly unfamiliar with the area. Eventually, after an hour of backtracking, circling and reconsideration, she does get you there - it is a shattered building half-sunken into the mud, with a rusty fence surrounding it. By the opening in the fence is a sign that reads, "ALL WORKERS MUST WEAR CRANIAL PROTECTION AT ALL TIMES."
  269. [23:42] <Horace> "This it?"
  270. 06[23:42] * Brother_Ezekiah looks for the star sign.
  271. 01[23:43] <@Staffen> "I started here," the girl tells you, stamping her feet. "And then I had to go that way," she points back the way you came, a bit to her left. "And then followed around until I got to a great, big lake. It always rains there. Other kids like to play there, but my mommy doesn't let me."
  272. [23:47] <Horace> "...Your mother's right.  If it's what I think it is, don't go near there anymore.  Upperhive crap is there."
  273. 06[23:48] * Horace lights up a new lho to push back the emphatic smell filling his mind
  274. 01[23:48] <@Staffen> The girl gives you an odd look, not fully understanding what you're talking about.
  275. [23:49] <Horace> "Let's go find our Immorals, gentlemen.  Ah, and find her mother.  And little missy, don't play ever near that lake or anybody who likes it if you don't want...Grandfather Sickly coming."
  276. [23:49] <Petrus> "I'm assuming it's the same as washing your clothes down river from a pisshole?"
  277. [23:49] <Brother_Ezekiah> "Well! Let us go scourge the heretics then!"
  278. 01[23:52] <@Staffen> "My mommy's named Amanetta," the girl calls as you leave.
  279. [23:53] <Horace> "Go hide someplace safe. If we come out okay, you can see us."
  280. 06[23:53] * Horace calls over his shoulder absentmindedly, through lips clenched over his lho
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