Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Fabricated Tales of Alpha Capharius - Season 2: Chapter 5

The Fabricated Tales 


Alpha Capharius

Season 2: Chapter 5

This is a piece of fiction and may contain mature and adult themes. 
You have been warned - read at your own discretion.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Converted Dark Eldar model from authors collection.

+++Personal Journal+++
Never expect the plan you were asked to come up with to be used.  It reminds me of the old Sol fictional series of a caped crusader and one of his half-faced scared adversaries.  This individual is entranced by the idea of chance—making most of his decisions based on the outcome of a coin toss.  It would seem that my whole life to this point has been nothing but the whim of a die and that my attempts at crafting my own destiny are thwarted by whimsy.
+++End Journal+++

With my crafted plan tossed out the window and a new one thrust upon me I pondered the difficulties that had been presented to me.  The Ur’kon/ME copy was exceptionally helpful and compliant with the ensuring my experiments and data collection continued without interruption.  The construction of the replacement bodies for Francine went well and the consciousnesses transferred without any complications.  The secondary body is a synthetic "full-body prosthesis" augmented-cybernetic AI[1].  The primary body is secretly maintained as part of the contingency plan.

My plan of wrestling the Rod went out the window as I think I mentioned.  I now found that the Haemonculi Ru’kon was a “servant” to this Archon who I have given the name Helbram.  The Haemonculi - long masters of their own counsel and the ones whom all Dark Eldar seek boons and grovel to, now finds himself a lowly tool in the hierarchy of some petty lordlings ambitions.  Clearly some great misfortune happened here… I certainly know where.  Nonetheless I am prepared to deal with the mistake and work with the flawed materials I have at hand and hope that something can be salvaged from it all.

This Archon Helbram has for unknown reasons become aware of Ur’kon/ME’s interest in the Rod.  (Always suspect a trap.) He has offered to release the Rod to us[2] in exchange for some wet work.  He requires the assassination of the Archon (let’s call him Dralval Veloth) whose daughter the company “executed” in the arena a while ago.  Kill this individual and bring back proof and the Rod will be ours.  Why do I still expect treachery, I should have taken his beating heart as hostage as proof of good will and to return in exchange.  Oh well next time perhaps.

With access to the resources of a well sourced Archon and Ur’kon/ME’s haemonculi covens the accessibility to military grade hardware necessary to hit a high threat target was “capricious”[3].  Equipment was found that was adequate to meet “standard” opponents, my worry was that our target was an Archon and his retinue.  Well I guess I could whinge about the facts but the past has happened at the time of this writing so I shall continue on.  The party loaded for bear, I as was custom took simple weapons, a blaster rifle and the liquifer pistol though I did acquire a Shadow Field.

A plan was required to find and assassinate this Archon.  It was known that he enjoyed hunting the lesser lordlings and anyone foolish enough to be easy targets of opportunities.  I was aware that Elsie was still out there in the city causing mayhem.  Not enough that would cause a significant hunt, or he’d be dead by now, but enough that he had earned a reputation as a worthy trophy.  Here was the bait needed to attract this Archon, now all I needed to do was persuade the bugger to accept and follow the plan. Not going to happen is it!

Reluctantly Elsie returns and even more reluctantly agrees to the plan.  He sees that there is not much in the way of other options on the table, he even begrudgingly agrees that it’s a good plan.  I’m rather suspicious over this and wonder what he’s up to.  Spies are dispatched, routes are mapped and eventually an area is located where an ambush can be sprung. 

The main company has clustered in preparation of hitting the Archons skimmers and guards once Elsie has been discovered.  Elsie had to gain their attention, which he did by throwing a grenade.  After that it was all down to the hack and slash of general warfare.  This though was not normal, the Dark Eldar like their Eldar kin are not to be taken lightly.  They may be “brittle”, but if you allow them to hit you with their weaponry or allow their weapons masters to melee you then you are truly doomed.

The skimmers went down easy enough, crew and troop loses were minimal.  The lesser troop guards while resilient did eventually succumb to the firepower directed at it by the company.  The Archon and his Incubi guard were another matter altogether.  The Archon spoke to us:

“I see you are the wretches of the Kabal of Torn Thorns who fought against my daughter in the arena!  Which of you scum killed her?”

Well the company all pointed to Elvis, though Elsie pointed at me (silly fool).

“You (Elvis) I will kill last and slowly over the long centuries, slayer of my daughter.”

The battle began - Elsie found that the “captain” of the Incubi guard was lethal and he was stricken multiple times, I don’t think he managed to land a blow once in the time it took for this individual to take him out.  Grenades were being tossed with ruthless efficiency, and the Incubi were dodging with little difficulty.  At one point it was a battle between Ur’kon/ME and the Archon.  Again I was surprised with knowledge I was not made aware of, frustrating me no end.

The Archon proved to have some hideous weapons and artifacts in his arsenal.    The Vexator Mask was unsettling but had little effect on me, thinking it could fool me by showing an image of a most trusted friend, beloved ruler, or loved one. Bahahahaha nothing falls into one of those categories, though for some reason someone thought I fit all of them.  Such a silly notion. Only lower being would have such base natures ruling them.  While this may have been an inconvenience, the Orb of Despair[4] was truly the more devastating weapon, and had it been able to inflict its deadly damage to the company then… thankfully it did not – and in my case my Shadow Field protected me. Limiting myself to no melee weapon may have been a mistake, but the armoury only had one klaive in it – and Elvis got that! 

With the last of the Incubi gone and his health much in ruin the Archon reached for his webway portal device and activated it.  While I initially missed it, Francine did not and alerted me to it activation.  Mind you the disturbance in the immediate area of the creation of the field certainly warned me of this occurrence.  The only weapon I had which could possibly be used at close quarters was the liquefier gun.  It did the job and melted the device and some of the Archons armour in the process.  Distracted and injured the company pounced bringing down the Archon allowing him to be captured along with several other Incubi guards who had not been killed.  Apparently killed is not killed, which works out well as a live victim for our benefactor might mean a more grateful one.  The Incubi “captain” that was playing with Elsie decided that with the death of her “lord” a tactical retreat was in order and fled the location.  Sources later informed me that this individual was the wife of our target!

During this engagement I had reluctantly released the dampener on Elvis so that he could access his psychic abilities.  Again Elvis forgot that he could mask his psychic spore from the area and drew the attention of something unwanted.  Thankfully we were long gone before it arrived.  Thankfully the detonation sequence was a cortex impulse device, not a clumsy hand held detonator otherwise who knows what would have happened during the heat of melee.

What can I say about ungrateful sponsors!  Archon Helbram, even being given a live Archon Dralval Veloth he was still not prepared to hand over the Rod as per our agreement. The terms of the agreement had changed.  Didn’t I say it was a trap.  Now he wanted the Incubi “captain” who was the wife of the Archon we had now delivered.  He wanted the pair.  Rather than strike immediately while the woman was still cementing her position of power, we had to wait “six months”.  Allowing the “enemy” sufficient time to bolster their defences in the knowledge another strike was most surely coming.  I’ll say it now as I’ll say it a thousand times “it’s a trap”, but no one listens to me – even though I’m the apparent leader?

Well with “six months” Ur’kon/ME had to keep up appearances.  Daily torture routines for all around, with the exception of my prized catch, me of course.  Can’t damage a brilliant mind, I only tortured me slightly by placing no mirrors in the rooms.  That mollified any spies I’m sure.  Part of this down time was a relocation to a new premises.  Again, no idea why but suspect duplicity on behalf of our “benefactor”.  I was given a hundred new souls to grind down for Helbram.  A new tarnished “soul” to this company was a rogue trader down on his luck, I mean really down on his luck, as in no ship and his crew of some 32 in total now part of the herd delivered to my care!  Two of these souls interested me, one was a “bosun” the other a “navigator” with knowledge of pirate points.  The “navigator” Grizelda Zell besides providing a wealth of knowledge which I accessed and stored had exquisite cybernetic enhancements allowing her hands to interface with a ships control systems.  I took Francine along with me and we spent some time exploring the intricate nature of the systems, I’m sure we put all the pieces back in the right place when we were finished.

The company also acquired a new chew toy whose pretentious name and title I’ve already disregarded as pompous.  I’m thinking Captain Pugwash suits the demeanor of the low class villain.   His confinement and torture have rehabilitated him of his worst afflictions, and he didn’t even thank me.  Can’t please anyone these days, which is why I implanted an explosive device inside this one.  Yes he has his collar, but what was that band called King Missile, damn now I can’t get that tune out of my head and Francine keeps giggling and asking to test if it will work.  She really does have a warped sense of humour at times.  Best Captain Pugwash not know of this extra burden, less for him to worry about.

Part of the torture process has been the acquisition of a cook.  He calls himself “Chairman Kaga” – delightful. The world of Ibigoseth is teaming with the abhuman form classified as homo sapiens minimus or Ratling[5]. While he said he was an excellent cook, I’m thinking that his claims may be a little exaggerated – which is why I’ve taken and instant liking to him.  At the start of every preparation he would say “if my memory serves me correctly…”[6] which would always alert me to the fact it was his code for “I am creating a poison” or “I have no idea what I am doing”.  Delightful!  This one is a keeper, so more entertaining than those dour sods that keep me company, though I do seem to be missing small inconsequential items whenever he’s near.  An increase in my personal voltage field should discourage him from further attempts.  Pavlov’s dog learnt in the end - Kaga should as well.  His personal battle-cry of “Bang a gong, we are on!” is a little unsettling though.

Keeping up appearances! Yes it wasn’t just a show! How droll, it will pass so many by I’m sure.  Back on track: I took matters in hand so that the company gained benefits from their “imprisonment”.  This took the form of rigorous training in all forms, from weapon training to schooling – yes even Lady B learnt the proper alphabet – again.  The company is now extremely hateful towards me, I’m guessing it’s more directed towards the Ur’kon/ME copy but I know better than to wish otherwise.  At the end of the six months though improvements were made for all members of the company, so my brilliance is again evident by the results. Hate me all you like people, you reap the benefits of that hatred.

Now for the problem child.  The one that will not conform.  We all have one and that one was Elsie.  He refused to stay in the cell, constantly broke the soul harvesters and generally made a nuisance of himself.  Not a team player.  In the end I banished him for the six months with instructions to leave this facility and the surrounding area alone from his deprivations.  He did so, but as usual sabotaged the instructions with the willful glee of external sources. 

My preparations were complete and ready to enact once Ur’kon/ME and the company departed.  The subspace signal received and the homing device was activated.  I was interested though to see a third party was now involved in this operation, fascinating!

The requisitioning of equipment proved to again be an entertaining operation in the application of the chaos principle.  Ask for and get nothing that you want which may actually help you assault a strong point.  Even with “six months” preparation, nothing to truly assist the company was made available.  Truly Ur’kon/ME is an underfunded and unappreciated Haemonculi asset.  Nevertheless the company made do with its limited resources and hoped that after it made its way through three levels of fortified and guarded tower it would still be functional in defeating it primary target.  I’m so optimistic about this mission…

Archon Helbram has sent agents in to mark the route to the target, but it has died or been captured.  We have been allocated a Talos to assist in the assault, clearly this in not a stealth mission, so I’m not going to entertain any after mission report of “well you had the opportunity of…”  It won’t wash this time.  Other forces were assaulting this location as a distraction to allow us to enter and begin our own assault. 

Who decides to turn up and join us for the assassination raid – Elsie.  He comes bearing “gifts” for the company in the form of alcohol and “smokes”.  Quite frankly I’m beyond caring who decides to help themselves, the little shit has been out and about sabotaging the area and leaving a giant suspicious untouched area alone.  That’s fine; I’ll be gone once this lot has left on this suicide mission. 

Didn’t I say it was a trap from the beginning? No sooner had we advanced around the first corner than two guards came upon us.  There was no option but to neutralize them as the Talos was not one of their Kabal.  One of the Guards got away, the alarm was tripped.  After that it was nothing but bloodshed all the way.  I accessed the towers system, could see what was happening and the forces that were coming.  What does certain elements in the group do – loot?  Rather than prepare for the overwhelming forces directed at us, they decide that looting some crates is more convenient than staying with the main company.  Even when they didn’t even know the loot was there!  (Out of game information)

So I was able to take control of the towers systems on this level and shut them down disabling the sentry guns and defense systems.  Genius am I not.  Yet when it comes to being able to use the very same skills to turn these systems against an overwhelming force against us, now my skills fail me.  Hmmm…

So here is where I leave our company!  The dead man switch is activated, traitors had better not lose their heads when making decisions.  Mine has already been taken.

+++Personal Journal+++
[Redacted... by Council of ME.]
+++End Journal+++

The webway portal rippled as each container passed silently through.  The giant warrior standing guard at the portal watched with interest at the amount of materials his mentor had acquired during his short stay in this dreadful realm.

“Alpharius really can produce when he has the time, resources and motivation doesn’t he Lady?”

The robed figure accompanying the last of the material nodded in agreement.  As tall as the armour clad warrior, little else could be discerned from what was hidden under the masking robes of scintillating colour.

“My love can do anything when he is justly motivated.  It is time we moved on; your arrival here has surprised us.”

“It has surprised no one more than me Francine,” said Alpharius as he accompanied the last of the materials towards the portal.  “I had not expected to see a Legionary; especially one of the Fallen sent to aide me. Ah, don’t bristle so Dantioch, I don’t judge I merely state the affairs as they stand.  I am judged a heretek by my own for my thoughts and technological discoveries.  Where we go and what we do now, they are of our own doing.”

A number of things happened at the same time.  The Iron Warrior Draco Dantioch drew his bolt pistol and fired into the gloom which shrouded an entrance to the chamber.  An imperial marked case was tossed and slid its way towards the portal.  Several shapes lithely stepped into the chamber easily avoiding the rounds fired by Dantioch.

“Stop firing fool or you will summon unwanted attention,” hissed the leading figure.  This slowly revealed itself to be a female elder of deadly proportions and the other figures as her retinue.  Sensing that the intent was not immediate bloodshed, Dantioch stopped firing, but did not lower his weapon, keeping it trained on the speaker.

“I am Lady Malys I have been sent to deliver this case to the human agents of Alpharius.”

Dantioch laughed at this, which clearly did not impress Lady Malys.

“What is amusing Traitor Legionary? You are clearly his agents, you bear his seals.”

Dantioch was enraged at the Traitor quip and was prepared for a retort but Alpharius interrupted in his stead.

“Dantioch please get the case, it’s time we left.  Francine – initiate the destruct sequence now.  Lady Malys, I suggest you leave as quickly as you arrived, this facility is about to be vapourised.  Oh and Lady Malys, Dantioch was amused because I am Alpharius!”

With those last words Alpharius dashed through the portal as the facility was rocked with multiple explosions.  Lady Malys knew better than waste time on thinking about lost opportunities, she activiated the webway portal and exited the vaporizing facility.

A 10 Kilometer spherical zone became an open space of void, the warp came pouring in and for a period of time Cammorragh had more to worry about than the disappearance of a Haemonculi coven.

Coming soon – The Adventures of Agents of Alpharius

[1] This initial parameter was perverted in the course of the days play and I discovered that I had apparently made a biological construct (without my knowledge).
[2] US – yes I’ll use plural for referencing either Ur’kon/ME or just me.  So it might get a little confusing as to who is actually writing this. It will be me though regardless.
[3] Yes you will find I may use this word a lot in my story.  Logic and understanding of operations do not function when fate would prefer to take a hand and throw a die.
[4] The horrible blackness of this orb that has sat deep within an oubliette absorbing the pain and horror of those within for millennia.  When the device is triggered the darkness within overwhelms the emotional psyche burning out their ability to cope with the darkness that seeks to consume their very souls.
[5] Though devious, duplicitous and morally dubious, Ratlings possess such unique talents that they will always find a place in the armies of the Imperium. Whether killing off enemy officers or procuring black-market booze for their own, these adaptable Abhumans have certainly found their niche in the ranks of the Imperial Guard. (source: http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Ratling)
[6] Quote from Iron Chef Japan Series.

Story (C) John A McDonnell 30 January 2019
The Warhammer 40,000 Universe is copyright to Games Workshop, no challenge is intended to their title and rights.  This is a piece of fan fiction for the Dark Heresy Role Playing game from the Fantasy Flight Games edition.

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