Monday, December 17, 2018

The Fabricated Tales of Alpha Capharius - Season 2: Chapter 3

The Fabricated Tales of Alpha Capharius
Season 2
Chapter 3

This is a piece of fiction and may contain mature and adult themes. 
You have been warned - read at your own discretion.
+++Personal Encrypted Journal+++
The relationship between the founding line of house Le Roche and the venerable Horst is a carefully hidden secret.  To put it bluntly, Eliza Le Roche wiped all family records and I ensured that there was none ever stored[1].  The transference of genetic code by source code is an interesting concept. The bond that was created between the machine spirit and Horst is akin to the ancient Solarian[2] condition or mental aberration known as Stockholm syndrome.
Data: “Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.[3]
I spent what little time Horst would allow me attempting to psychoanalyze his condition, any attempt I made with Eliza generally resulted in a slap in the face or the threat of physical violence at worse.  My attempt then to determine who the true captor in their relationship is I am yet to determine?
+++End Encrypted Journal+++

The journey through the endless passages of the webway is dull and tedious.  Francine and I are at least able to pass the time in ME Space[4] engaging in complex mind games, or as is more the case I explored the expansion of her consciousness and AI.  While the other babbled about nothing meaningful, Lady B moaned about no succulent victuals to gorge her appetites on; Elvis had no booty to grasp; Elsie no booty (though in this case loot) to grab; and Horst spent the time bringing Eliza up to speed on the Imperium (nothing more boring than explaining how a rotting xenophobic empire functions).

As things were going from dull to dreadfully dull, things perked up for all of a few moments.  A group of the Lost and Damned had the misfortune to stumble into our path.  For once they did not act out aggressively!  An attempt at a parlay was made, until Horst asked them whether they worshipped the one god.  I guess the reply of all four, of which the leader of the group named all four known major primordial ones set Horst of.  I then found out that Elsie had a Rad grenade…

Sigh, the Rad grenade was tossed with excellent aim and achieved a more than predictable result.  The horde that was there was mightly reduced to a mass of fleshy gloop, though some troops were “lucky” enough to be spared the effects.  These then braved the closed quarter’s fury of Francine who shredded and pulped her targets with ease.  During the battle Francine was engulfed in promethium fuel, which damaged her slightly.  Once she doused the flames I attended her “wounds” and with the aid of herself repairing nano-techology restored her to full functioning status.  I really am brilliant.  The problem of crossing the radiated one now presented itself…

Francine came to the rescue.  Scans of the tunnel and the radiation zone revealed that there was a space sufficient for transport at the top of the tunnel.  With the aid of Francine’s flight mode and jump capability she was able to ferry us one at a time across the radiated zone safely.  I chose to go first in case of any catastrophic perils, and our journey was successful!  Everyone else was successfully carried across except Elvis who squirmed and fell into the zone.  I blame Elvis for the amount of makeup he applies to himself, he reminds me of our departed Fabio.  Oddly enough I miss that deviant, wait what am I saying, that’s a lie.  I miss taking the micky out of him, that’s what I miss.  I now have a radiation warning pinging every time Elvis comes within 3 meters of me.  Tedious and annoying, just like this endless webway.  Mind you Elvis is now on point, our scout and sacrificial lamb. Admittedly radiated lamb, but maybe some entities like their meat cooked that way?

With the brief encounter but a brief memory the ennui of the existence in the webway continues.  Horst’s constant prayers to the god emperor were starting to irritate the mutants, though it soothed Eliza who looked upon Horst with growing attention and devotion.  I had a growing sense of déjà vu; my memory core was insisting that I had stored sensitive gene data. Ah, now I remember, now I know why I have to do what has to be done – for the greater good of course! My work is never done; it’s just as well I have so many allies to support me in my tireless efforts.

I noticed in time that the webway did react to intrusions by foreign bodies that it deemed foreign to its “natural” fabric.  For instance the chaos cultists had raised an un-harmonic discord that at first I had not discerned in the background.  With the bickering of the company it was very easy to miss.  The group of slavers that next encountered us gave little un-harmonic discord – certainly they were vile creatures but they were certainly not of the nature of the empyrean. 

At a distance the purplish skinned humanoids seemed akin to the natives of the planet Sel Delmas (or Salmonella[5] by Imperial Code.)  Elsie always colour blind to the point of stupidity mistook the aliens as relatives and advanced forward calling out for “Uncle Louis” (pronounced Louie with a very thick Cajun accent).  Sadly “Uncle Louis” shot back with a webgun.  This engagement was particularly sticky and everyone was trapped to the point of almost being impotent.  Elvis though was able to activate his armour mounted railgun, scoring a devastating hit on the robot carrying the captured slaves – not that we actively knew this at the time… well maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.  The resultant explosion devastated the slavers and all but one of the slaves.  The warp is again exposed and Elvis loses a little more of his precious mind to the corrupting influence that lurks there. 

+++Personal Journal Update+++
+++Reference: Study – Y87/638-NS-Zeta7: Salmonella Project
The Inquisitions theory that the mutants from this planet would be resilient or useful in war against the denizens of the warp I believe is a doubtful one.  My exposure to the few mutants in my company to date has proven that they are extremely corruptible and more than likely to be more a threat to the continued stability of the universe than bringing the war against the primordial ones to a known outcome favourable to those who fielded these creatures.  Clearly the truesilver is the only known component that is of any value. It should be the primary focus to extract this element and harvest it at speed.  Once completed, all native inhabitants will be conscripted to penal legions and expended in service to the greater protection and service of humanity.  I think to have the planet virus bombed is a poor choice now, with a cyclonic bombardment being a more effective option.  This way no further mutation could be bred from the planet and the warp should not be able to claim the planet with the sacrifice of souls with a cleansing or destruction.  What started as noble sentiment millennia past has been corrupted by the primordial agents. My task is to see that the experiment is ended, what good is to be salvaged and that the mistakes – hopefully we learn from them. Ha, fat chance of that.  Humanity is too stupid to ever do that.  Me on the other hand…
+++End Journal+++

The captured slave proved to be a valuable asset.  What I had taken for a husk of a woman of advanced age proved to be that of a navigator in her mid twenties who named herself Motto, an indentured servant to an Inquisitorial team of the Ordos Xenos.  She told us that she and her team had entered the webway with a goal to reach a location known as the Black Library.  Alas they were attacked and many of her company were slain or captured. Actually the last were slain in the very encounter.  She enquired who it was that caused such destruction.  Elvis rather proudly boasted of his exploits.  Motto wept for the lost souls, Elvis showed no contrition.  

I appear to have been given the title of diplomat and leader of the company now, with none of the others wishing to take upon themselves the role.  Motto was confused at the symbols that decorated the power armour that each of those in our company wore.  I explained that the company operated under the protection of the Inquisition and that we were of the Ordos Prime[6], hence the archaic symbol which she saw.  The other symbol on the armour ( άꓲ ) was that of the maker who stood before her.  To say that Motto was overwhelmed by such greatness was an understatement.  However the fickle mind of S.I.M.O.N. seeing that power may corrupt absolutely placed the navigator under the “guidance” of Elvis.  I saw this as no inconvenience, I now had access to a navigator, I had ANGUS my ships AI all I needed now was access to my ship and I was free to pursue my destiny…  After all, these blue mutants what do they factor in the greater scheme of things.

With the newly discovered navigator in tow the company continued its deadly exploration of webway in search of Commorragh and Sec Maegra. The ripples in the harmonics this time were truly appalling as we encountered the nightmare xenos breed known as the Slaugth.  There was no attempt at parlay the obvious alieness of these xenos clearly indicated no ability to empathise.  That and the fact Francine took an immediate dislike to them.

“There is no order or structure in these creatures My Love. They must be destroyed!”

Whereupon she then launched herself into the midst of the enemy creatures, targeting the mighty construct creature that lead from the front.  I will now take some time to explain these vile creatures that we had come upon.

Data: “In appearance, the Slaugth are truly horrific to look upon, taking the form of a vague humanoid shape composed of seemingly hundreds of writhing, half-melded maggot-like worms covered in viscous, necrotic mucus. Capable of stretching and reforming their body-mass at will, they move with an obscene, boneless fluidity and are capable of regenerating injury with startling speed. They are impervious to age, poison, diseases, and all but the most extreme injury. Their minds are as alien as any encountered by mankind -- coldly savage, psychic voids filled with a monstrous hunger for the dead.”[7]

The battle was horrific and terrible.  The weapons that these aliens brought to bear was as bad as the nature of the creatures we faced.  The major casualty was Francine whose armour was breached and her internals damaged.  The fact that the truesilver armour was “rusted” from the weapons was my greatest concern.  I have no access to a workshop, so my running repairs will be patchwork[8], though I pull off my exceptionally gifted handy work and “heal” Francine to combat readiness. I think someone in the group is going to need to donate their suit of armour to the greater good soon… I believe that volunteer will be “Return to Sender[9]” Elvis!

Excitement of sorts evolved over the alien tech discovered.  I was intrigued, but could not see a way for it to be carried without it being a contamination risk (primarily to myself and Francine).  The guns they used were useless to the company as they needed the Slaugth themselves to be fired – requiring a piece of themselves as living ammunition. The grenades though provided more useful, being of a dark matter variety.  What caused a rift in the group was the Necrotic Sceptres that were acquired.  My examination of these devices was, while an exciting discovery and one which I catalogued and stored, appalling.  The device was a blend of living biomechanics and elemental physics, the results were truly destructive to the point of disintegration.  Horst found that the living element of the weapon unacceptable and consequently “confiscated” the scepters from certain parties, or more precisely one individual.  Horst intends to perform a cleansing ritual once outside the corrupting influence of the webway and warp to destroy these unnatural devices, hoping to free whatever life force that may have been bound within the creation of this nightmare technology.  No one, least of all, objected to Horsts demands – this time…

Following the encounter with the Slaugth the company was in much need of rest and recuperation.   While the Francine and I required little need for such respite the lesser being was waning, especially the newly acquired navigator.  Food (of such worth) necessary to keep Motto going was lacking.  It was then that our luck turned for the better.  For the first time in ages we met a group of aliens that did not kill us on sight.  Mind you I was “leading” the company and I was the primary speaker of High Gothic (thank goodness of language cores).

We met the Tau!

Our contact was cautious.  The Tau group was large, considerably larger than our little band of desperadoes and unless some quick thinking was forthcoming, bloodshed was the most likely outcome.  There were a number of battlesuits, drones and warriors among those we could see at what we had hoped was a safe refuge from the open tunnels.

Data:  “The Tau is humanoid in shape, although they have hoofed feet and four-digit hands (three fingers and one thumb). Their skin is grey-blue (although this can vary in pigmentation between Tau colony worlds), rough in texture, leathery, and exudes almost no moisture. Their faces are flat, wide around the eyes, with an "I"-shaped slit running from the center of the forehead to where a human's nose would be. Tau vision is considered slightly superior to that of humans - their visual spectrum extends a little more into the ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths. However their pupils do not dilate, giving poorer depth perception and providing slower vision focusing reflexes than humans. The olfactory organs of a Tau are inside the mouth. Physical strength and size varies between the Tau castes with the Fire Caste being the strongest of their kind, roughly the size and slightly weaker than an average baseline human because the Tau homeworld has gravity slightly weaker than that of Terra.”[10]

“I am T’chala of Por, who has the authority to treat with me?”

This was spoken to the company in High Gothic. I could see from the blank looks on most that I would need to lead the negotiations in this situation.  I later learnt that Eliza was fluent in the tongue and passed on all I spoke to Horst, who in turn gossiped like an old woman to the rest.

“I do.”

My reply seemed to register surprise with the Tau leader.  He whispered some words with his underlings before continuing his parlay.

“You are of the Imperium of Man are you not?”

“Yes they are,” was my reply.

“It is perplexing that you have not immediately fired upon us like so many of your fellow Imperials.  Why is this so?”

I laughed, which prompted T’chala to step back. “I am not typical of the rest of the Imperium. I work for the greater good of the universe, and for my own purposes.”

This response elicited excitement from T’chala and there was much animated conversation amongst his fellow Tau.  This conversation and gesturing appeared to be causing some unrest amongst the company but they accepted that I was negotiating in good faith and in a diplomatic matter, so while on guard, they took no action.

“You say you work for the Greater Good, what is your name?  We have encountered Imperials of similar fashion before and they have been anything but favourable.  Your symbols, what do they represent?  Please explain?”

I could see this was going to take some time and I saw that my company would need some assurances as to their safety.

“T’chala of Por, I am Alpharius once known as Alpha Capharius of Ordos Prime.  I am a being of science and knowledge who with the aid of allies seek to do the greater good where it is best delivered.  I beg that we move out of the webway tunnel and discuss matters.  I can offer you assistance in the form of a limited map of the webway tunnel as a sign of my good will in the opening of negotiations.  Do you accept these terms noble T’chala?”

T’chala was clearly stunned with an offer of free information without asking for an exchange of equivalent value.  I could see that my offer had triggered a series of questions within the aliens mind, and I was pleased to see that I had clearly rattled it from its perceived notion of what we were like – well what I was like to say the least.  While those within this company would more than likely follow the blind dictates of the Imperium without question, they could and would be a problem once they learnt the “heresy” I have conducted with the aliens.  I care not, I’ve done worse – I’m sure of it.

“Alpharius you are truly an enigma of your species.  Especially of those who wear the siglum of the Inquisition. Let us take shelter and continue our discourse without unfriendly intervention.”

This was an interesting response.  Clearly T’chala picked up on the tension within my company and it would appear that he had detractors within his own camp as well.  I can only guess from the many clashes with Imperial agencies the Tau would have lost comrades or those things most precious to them, I’m sure there would have been some among them who harboured ill will towards us.

Once out of the webway tunnel and in the relative safety of the bubble waystation both parties “relaxed” to a degree, though the Tau took the more aggressive role of defender.  T’chala and I continued our discussions and I obtained some precious additional data relating to the webway tunnels his cadre had explored.  He indicated the point which located his “homeworld” on the map.  This piqued my interest as it provided me with an option for a place of asylum should things go sour.  The Tau were certainly a more open society than the closed and repressive Imperial regime, or was it.  I sensed that there was still an overriding hidden guideline with this “empire”.  Still both T’chala and I were pleased with the exchange of information, I was happy to give more than I received.  I am not greedy (and I wish that certain parties would not try to see that this is my overriding parameters). 

At the end of our negotiations T’chala gifted me with a talisman of Tau friendship, and a gun drone gene locked to my service.  Our negotiations were successful, I learnt much about the Tau and the Tau in return learnt a great deal about the primordial ones, the empyrean and the dangers that it represents.  The fact that they have no capacity to navigate the warp, still limits their expansion.  Though T’chala was interested in the human navigator Motto and asked a number of details about their functions.  I was more than happy to provide that information to such a friendly and nonthreatening race.

What was everyone else doing while I was negotiating?  Well Francine was keeping a close watch on them all.  Eliza was keeping Horst informed of all I said, she knew High Gothic.  Elsie was on his best behavior – I think?  Certainly I’m not aware of any uproar of reported missing belongings among the Tau, time will tell if he pulls out any specialist items to reveal his theft!  Lady B fell into a lethargic stupor.  Elvis decided to try his charms with what he thought was the female of the species, emphasis on “thought”.  The alien who struck up a “relationship” with Elvis was more curious than amorous, much to poor Elvis’s broken libido.  All he got out of the tryst was a “trinket” and the words “I shall treasure this”.  Dear old Horst attempted to convert the “heathen” and failed, they were polite though and thanked him for his time and effort.  Horst was pleasantly surprised with this response as normally a failed attempt to convert meant running at speed from a lynch mob.  Meeting a civilized people who respected another’s faith but chose not to burn you for not agreeing to it was rather refreshing.  Poor Horst, he seems to have forgotten that the god emperor is only for mankind, He has no place in His heart for the alien – or is Horst going to change the dogma of the Ecclisarchy? Oh this could be very interesting!

I managed to obtain some limited rations for Motto, which saved her life – clearly Elvis was not going to do it.  Still she saw more favour in him than me – oddly though she clung to me like a limpet when battle raged for the protection I provided.  The sooner I can find her a safe astrogation chamber onboard my ship the better.

+++Fate of Water Caste Diplomat T’chala+++
To: Aun’Va
From: Jyn’Un
Situation: An alien energy source was detected at our northern pole and a force was quickly dispatched to investigate.  A brief battle was engaged after the aliens failed to negotiate, in fact they acted aggressively at first sight of our initial deployments.  I directed additional resources to the situation and the aggressive aliens were dealt with.  They have since been identified as being of the elder species.  With the alien portal being open and given the opportunity to explore a potential new mode of travel and expansion I authorized a small cadre of troops with the assistance of T’Chala of the Por Caste to enter and report back.  No sooner had they entered the portal than it had sealed up.  Nothing we did could open it.  Nothing among the fallen elder had the power to open the portal.  I fear that I have lost this cadre to a fate unknown.
Update: I had thought I had lost the cadre I had sent into the alien portal.  It has been several cycles now and the alien energy source has again been detected.  Forewarned now that these architectural structures are now portals for the elder I have directed defense fortifications to be erected in future preparation.  Expecting another incursion, the cadre on station instead was greeted with the remaining members of the cadre that went into the portal all those cycles ago.  None of the battle suits were present, less than one in ten of the warriors had returned.  Only one drone remained operational.  Those who exited were stricken with a madness of the mind some showed relief at being out of the portal and they cried with joy, others wept. The survivors were brought to a medical facility to be treated and I went to personally investigate.  They were a sorry sight to behold, emaciated from deprivation, madness – the look in their eyes, it seemed as if they had looked into their worst nightmare and it had come and claimed their very lives.  Among the survivors I found T’chala, he was worse of those afflicted.  When he saw me his screamed “they are coming, we can’t stop them, the walls, the walls…”. The staff had to sedate him to a level that I could talk with him.  It took a while, but I was not able to get much sense out of him.  The only thing I could get was his emphatic trust of someone called Alpharius.  A catalogue of the items the cadre brought back yielded little value, though some was disturbing.  Odd maps which mean little and have no reference are in the core data, when I show them to the survivors they respond with manic episodes.  I have decided to seal away the data.  Much of the data has been corrupted and useless.  Images have been stored and attempts have been made to have the survivors detail the encounters, again with the expected results – with one exception.  One image shown to T’chala brought him out of his madness for just a moment.  He actually smiled, he pointed at the image and said “friend of the greater good”.  I was shocked at the image he pointed at.  Great Aun’Va I have enclosed all materials under seal for your investigation.

Continuing our journey through the tedium of the webway is tedious.  The only way to break that tedium is to encounter and encounter!  This time we came across the dreaded Yu’Vath.

To date I have never known of a battle I have had to knowingly declare a tactical retreat.  This was one of those occasions.  These deadly opponents were anathema to me and Francine in particular and I was loath for her to engage them.  The insane psyker Elvis dashed ahead casting his power of Smite and realized he did little effect, it was then that he began to realize the situation.  When Elsie was cut from chest to groin and laid low, when I discovered that the Yu’Vath had their own version of a warp smith in their ranks, when the warp smith activated a power field along with the remaining hulking war machines, when I saw the smaller machines regenerating.  I knew then it was time to withdraw; fighting a useless battle was not worth hoping for a lucky shot.  I ordered Francine to grab the “dying” Elsie and leg it – though in this case she ignited her jump pack and left at speed. 

Data: The second major blasphemy of Yu’Vath technology is that much of it incorporates synthetically constructed spirits. Unlike the blessed machine spirits that dwell within all sanctified Imperial technology, these entities are unliving creations of the extinct xenos. Those few Tech-Priests who willingly speak of these devices mention that the spirits may be daemonic essences captured from the warp or simply unholy creations that have grown more malicious over the millennia since their creation. The fools who dare to tamper with these artefacts are often influenced by the dark spirits to perform actions that could damn their minds and souls. Some may unwillingly establish a close relationship with the Ruinous Powers, while others might simply destroy themselves and all they hold dear as the devices subsume their minds for their own dark purposes.[11]

Eliza damn her soul had entered frenzy and Horst had joined her with the hope of extracting her from a hopeless situation.  I could do very little but push Motto and Lady B away from the confrontation using the protection of my power shield to protect us from the worse effects that the warp smith was hurling in our direction.  Horst urged Eliza to leave and his words slowly penetrated her battle crazed mind and she understood the odds, she understood that I’d buggered off (again according to her later on).  She and Horst fled, dodging the graviton blasts from the warp smith!

Eventually we found the safety of the endless corridors of the webway.

+++Encrypted Personal Journal+++
During the strategic withdrawal I gave Francine the directions to collect the dying Elsie and extract his body from the battle.  I had hoped to take him to a location where I could administer one of the nano healing balls to restore him or apply my growing and extensive medical training in repairing him.
To my surprise Francine advised me as we withdrew that Elsie was not leaking humanoid fluids.  I transferred a portion of my consciousness to her senses to review the situation.  It was an interesting situation, Elsie truly was no longer biological, he or should I refer to the person as it is now a thing!  The internals are now of a biomechanical nature, with the blood being replaced with a white synthetic fluid, more a “fuel” type than blood.  A closer inspection discovered that the biomechanical structures were teeming with nano-organisms. 
When we reached the safety, oh what is safety in this endless corridor of death?  I took advantage of the “inactive” Elsie to properly analyse the suit and his internals.  The shock I got from what I downloaded was hardly surprising; I suspected it for some time.  The makers mark was there.  The prototype suits two of two annotations.  That left me with no doubt as to where the first prototype suit was.  There I found the encoded suit protocols, the makers safety switches.  After all the paranoid bastard would never have created anything that would have turned on the creator, NEVER!  Oh things were just getting interesting.
+++End Journal+++


Jakaero Database Material
Artificial Intelligence
Classified (S.I.M.O.N.)
Power Source
Power Fields

Rad Grenade
1d10 dam; Blast 5, 2d10 dam -20 T test each round.

Virus Grenade
3d10 dam; Blast 8, T & A do not reduce damage, any survivor is a carrier and spreads from 5m, lasts 1d5+5 rounds.
Sealed armour is not a guarantee of protection.

Necrotic Sceptre
100m, S/-/-, 2d10+8 E, Pen 6, Disintegrate (Critical Hit results in completely destroyed), Recharge
1d10+15 E, Pen 4, Disintegrate

Dark Matter Grenades x 8 (now expended)
3d10+8, Pen 8, Blast 2

Slaugth guns
1d10+6, Pen 6, Corrosion, effects mechanical and ignores mechanical toughness.

Tau Gun Drone
WS:20, BS:20, S:20, T:40, Ag:40, Int:15, Per:25, WP:20, Fel:10
Plasma guns
150m, S/2/4, 2d10+2 E, Pen 4, Twin-linked
Fearless. Slaved Devotion (Alpharius) 2m.
Wounds (15)

Rail Gun Rounds Left
Elvis (2), Alpharius (4), Francine (4)

[1] This is in fact an anomalous statement as I store all data I acquire.  The Prime Library (hello future self writing this) stores all information, technology and esoteric material I have come across.  It is now the size of a planet.
[2] It is noted in many of my historical reference texts that I now refer to earth as Sol rather than the Imperial Terra, another sign of my breaking with Imperial dogma.
[3] Sourced from an ancient dataslate code Wikipedia.
[4] ME Space – multiplexing etheric space, sounds so much better than the mechanicus labelled nooshpere, even MYspace at times...
[5] The planet is also ccommonly known as Salmonella as it gives everyone who has any dealings with the inhabitants the shits.  A pure and simple statement of fact as given by multiple statements by those associated with the great Ordos Prime.
[6] Some silly fool confused poor Motto by telling her some fairy story of being of Ordos Camelot.  Next thing will be cardboard cut outs and castles of aargh....
[7] Source: Dataslate from Solarian ancient source
[8] Patchwork – my code for excellent.  Workshop is superior outcomes.
[9] Return to Sender – Elvis Presley: Girls! Girls! Girls! 1962
[10] Dataslate source Solarian
[11] Rogue Trader: The
Koronus Bestiary, p104-105

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