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Purity Unto Death (Calixis and Jericho Sector RP)

Discussion in 'Role Playing' started by WanderingJester, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. KnightReborned WanderingJester Well-Known Member

    CHAPTER 1
    FURY OF THE IMPERIUM

    "I have been called by many names. Hero, traitor, fanatic, savior, fool. What many misunderstand is that I do only my duty: to love the Emperor and his Imperium. In order to do so, one must hate all aspects of the archenemy. His false gods, his damnable words, his all corrupting powers, his devious methods and his very existence. No doubt many will cheer or mourn when my death comes, but amongst all the titles given to me by men, only one shall be on the epitaph of my tomb:

    Vindex, Servant of the Emperor."

    - From the Last Will and Testament Section of Lord Inquisitor Vindex's Personal Chronicles
    Keidivh, Uriel1339, Colapse and 3 others like this.
  2. High Adept Zeth High_Adept_Zeth Arkhona Vanguard

    <'Covenant of Mars', docking bay>


    After a few moments, Tiberiax received the reply to the message. It seems the Inquisitor was not making her lair aboard The Righteous Fury after all. Cognizant of power-play that was possible within an Inquisitorial Curia, or perhaps due to personal complication with her fellow Inquisitors she sought a piece of her own mind on a different starship. Observing her face and the environment around her, Tiberiax found nothing odd about this, until he saw the schemata of her cruisers, The Bane of Darkness.

    His interests piqued on more then one level, Tiberiax made quick adjustment to his original proposition. He wass thankful he had no face to speak of, for it would betray him with a open gaping mouth or some other mimicry of emotion unabated.

    +"My Lady Winsole I will be brief."+ he voxed, however his voice would not be lessened in cadence or clarity by vox modulation nor the distance the transmission has to travel to reach the conversant.
    +"It is concerning the Kommitzar Report. It may serve an additional purpose, my Lady."+ stopping with a knowing pause, he collated the information he prepared earlier for this communication, before resuming:

    +"The world beneath you has failed us, has failed the Imperium. Years of tithe and lives lost, never to be retrieved. As Report summarizes, the root of the heresy was negligence in the line of duty. They took their faith for granted and it eroded their capacity to counter moral threats. I propose that we enlightened the further generation of the events prior, combating the potential moral threats in the future with information of the past. "+

    +"I propose that we modify the Report itself in a form of a mythic tale, a group of local individuals helped by wider Imperium to fight the darkness, embedding it within the Ecclesiarchical and Martian branches present on the planet to self perpetuate itself into it's own mythos, until it becomes part of the local culture. Until battle against heresy becomes a recurring part of their very identity as a people."+


    +"My experience tells me my Lady, that this might be the most useful gift we may leave to the people of Kommitzar."+

    <'The Righteous Fury', Main promenade>



    Finally arriving, for the first time since the Kommitzar operation started, onto the metal deck of the flagship of Retribution fleet, Tiberiax communed with the Mechanicus part of the crew assessing the current situation of both starship's status and population. Word of mouth travels fast, even faster when helped by impenetrable lingua technis.

    Amid the bustle of the crowd that rushed to and fro in their haste to prepare the ship for translation, Tiberiax was easily noticed, standing apart from Martian part of the Mechanicus contingent with his black and grey-cream robe, the clink of active incense-censer against the gleaming blade of his poleaxe, and with a sizable packet hanging just above his head, suspended by clamping fingers of his servo-arm.

    <'The Righteous Fury', Medicae Center>

    @Draconion

    After several queries to the starship's half-conscious machine spirit, Tiberiax located the Apothecary within the research section of the medicae center. Coming at the administration desk, he realizing he did not had the private vox frequency with the Apothecary and thus no direct line of communication.

    Ignoring the help desk clerk that constantly pestered him with questions and suggestions, Techpriest's presence apparently being a mix between a curiosity and a disruption, Tiberiax interfaced with the local noospheric network, fishing for access and control. He reasoned that he could just brandish his Inquisitorial authority, especially in the wake of Kommitzar/Elros campaign, but that would be dishonest. He did not come here in the capacity of an Acolyte but a Techpriest. The fuss of social hierarchy and authority had little place within such place of research.

    However, a matter of social protocol might still be an issue and Tiberiax employed a modicum of tack to his approach. After all, he never actually communicated much less cooperated with Raptors Space Marine. Finding Apothecary's exact location, he came before the doors of the laboratory, ringing the sensor-block for access.
  3. Colapse Colapse Forum Beta Tester

    @WanderingJester

    Wilhelm listened in silence Chaplain's words, not making a single emotional response. If he was to be honest, the Excoriator's points seemed moot to him, for his own troubled spirit was in that state due to his inner conflict, not because of the current situation. He would've done his duty nonetheless and the advice of pretty much ignoring everyone else and leaving them to their own fate was the easiest route. Only problem is, he was a Castellan after all, not just a simple Battle Brother, it was the part of his rank that he had to think about these things, the luxury of oblivion is not something he had. Or had he?

    "I thank you for your advice," he said at last, nodding, "I will focus on myself now, let others deal with their own troubles their own way. There is no brotherhood among strangers, no matter how polite they seem, we are all different, but are united in the same cause. That will have to be enough. As for the other things, you are right. There is a reason why only the Black Templars are the ones who never stopped fighting in the Crusade to free the worlds in God-Emperor's name while others had only excuses to show for."

    "Much is on my mind now, I will go and meditate," Wilhelm said and knelt down in front of the shrine, placing his hands on the tip of his sword. "One final thing Chaplain. You never told your name?"
  4. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    <Jean: Case Conference> @High_Adept_Zeth

    When the door alert to the medicae lab goes off, Jean looks at the picter feed with a measure of surprise.

    That was fast. Then again, the Mechanicus is nothing if not all business.

    Sliding the door open, he greets Tiberiax at the threshold, his newly-repaired Diagnosticator helmet maglocked to his armour so he might meet such an august visitor face to face. Having dealt with the Mechanicus on numerous occasions, he is aware that some, at least, appreciate old-fashioned manners such as this. Not that his face was much to shout about - classical Astartes gigantism, perhaps on the gaunt side, pronounced pallor and complete ocular melanisation in keeping with typical Coraxian phenotyping. Observant. Inscrutable. Taking in everything. Giving out nothing.

    "Esteemed Magos," he says with a polite nod to the augmented form of the Agrippinean adept, "You do me honour to visit. Please enter."

    He steps aside to allow Tiberiax to enter with an inviting sweep of the arm, revealing the pristine interior of the lab, which perhaps tells more about its occupant than his own face does. Everything neatly arranged and stowed, every surface scrubbed to perfect asepsis, equipment humming with quiet efficiency. On one benchtop, pressed into service as a desk, is a messy scatter of notes and dataslates apparently caught in the transition between chaos and ordered piles.

    "How may I serve? If it is about the matter we originally communicated upon, I wish I had more to show you, but there has been a bottleneck in that research pathway, pending the fabrication of equipment. You are more than welcome to peruse my other work, if you wish. I am aware from your dossier that your specialty lies outside the realm of Biologica, but whatever knowledge in this matter I have gathered is at your disposal, such as it stands. At this point, primarily histology and toxicology studies."

    His manner brings to mind an experienced clinician conferring with a learned colleague at the bedside of a particularly challenging case - measured, calm, and quietly relishing the challenge ahead.
  5. KnightReborned WanderingJester Well-Known Member

    For the Wolftime

    The light Fenrisian blizzard blew, mixing snow, ice, hail, and rain down with the blood of her fallen sons on the ground. While clouds hung over the grey sky, a myriad of colors assaulted the eye. Silver Towers, jagged and sleek at the same time, blended in somewhat with the mostly grey power armor of the Space Wolves. The various hues of the Thousand Sons and their Rubric Marines, on the other hand, twists at the mind and attempt to wrestle it under the reign of madness and genius.

    Those who had arrived early to the briefing amphitheater were treated to a video on the large briefing screen. While the picter captor seemed more busy with surviving than getting a good shot, it had been more than enough to understand the situation on the VI legion's original homeworld: Magnus and his ilk had returned to finish the wound wolves off. Standing in front of the viewing area and by the central desk, was Lord Inquisitor Vindex. Clad in his usual terminator armor with his weapons nearby, he looked as if he could jump into the fray on screen himself.

    Nearby, Inquisitor Equilius looked, his eyebrows raised to the point where they hid behind his hanging bangs. He was less armed than when he had on his field gear, though only an incompetent nincompoop would assume that the Ordo Hereticus member was unarmed. Just as the video began, Inquisitor Winsole walked in, before frowning at the screen. "What's this?" she asked when neither Vindex or Equilius acknowledged her arrival.

    "Footage from Fenris. Priority Psi Primus."

    At that, an eyebrow from Winsole rose. "An inquisition member on Fenris? How?" The disagreements between the Wolves of Fenris and the Holy Ordos had been more or less public news, at least within the ranks of those that held the Rosette.

    "Long-standing deep agent, now silence," Vindex spoke, though without malice in his voice. His tone was of a man who simply stated the obvious that one cannot watch the video and hold a conversation at the same time. Even so, the female inquisitor frowned at her old master, though she remained silent as all attention went back to the screen.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Space Wolves charged in their well-known ferocity, waving their weapons in the air and firing them even as they closed ranks with their hated enemies. Many of them screamed incoherently, especially those that looked more like hybrid wolf-astartes, howling like the thunder wolves fighting next to them. These wild-haired, fangs bared warriors didn't even need weapons, some of them ripping rubric marines apart with their claws covered hands. Though Equilius and Winsole both focused on the wulfens, Vindex's eyes covered the rest of the battlefield.

    The battle ratio remained even despite these furious shock troops' assaults, as for every dozen fell in one on one combat, the sorcerers of the traitors more than made up for their work. Lightning, warp fire, and pure aetheric energy shot out from their hands, force staffs and daemon weapons before rending the descendents of the VI legion from limb to limb. Often, only a smoking crater would remain of the unfortunate Son of Fenris, his gene seeds lost forever.

    Massive rocks, debris and other objects lifted telepathically from the ground and tossed themselves with the velocity of a thunderhawk at the ranks of the Imperial forces. Summoned daemons charged forward along with chaos spawns to meet the Space Wolves's fangs, claws, and arms. Daemon engines dueled the armored companies of the Fang as massive shells and volleys of heavy weapons fire fell upon both sides. Yet, the forces of chaos had the numbers advantage and reminded the wounded wolves of their previous losses in their last encounter.

    Yet the most favored son of all of the Vlka Fenryka sallied forth with his most trusted warriors still. The video focused on the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar carving his way forward on foot. His thunder wolf companions and his chariot nowhere in sight, though he had a few of his captains with him along with a few surviving wolf guard terminators. Clad in a massive wolf pelt over his artificer tactical dreadnought armor, the chapter master of the Space Wolf swung his famed axe, the Axe Morkai, taking apart two Thousand Sons Sorcerers in the process.

    Yet a massive line of darkness drew itself across the air at the Great Wolf, stopping only as it consumed the lifeforce of all three remaining wolf guards in their armor, leaving nothing but husks in the now immobilized and floored suits. Turning, the Great Wolf looked with disbelief in his eyes as a red giant emerged from the fray, the giant, having only one eye, had two bird's wings extending from his back, large enough to cover the wingspan of a thunderhawk.

    Horns protruding from his head and chest plate, he held a massive crescent sword covered in blue fire in one of his hands, acting both as an effective weapon and a psychic focus. He focused his gaze upon Grimnar, who now had his shock replaced by impeccable anger.

    "MAGNUS, YOU WHORESON! YOU DARE RETURN FROM YOUR BANISHMENT FROM THESE HOLY GROUNDS?!?!"

    The daemon primarch of the Thousand Sons smirked, before speaking with a voice that seemed a composite of a hundred others. "Fool beast, did you really believe I left your precious little icy rock out of anything other than my own volition?" His very words began to cause a slight headache to anyone listening to them, though the Great Wolf's reply came only in the form of his avalanche storm bolter's bark and the massive reactive rounds sailing forth at the traitor's form.

    Magnus deflected the projectiles without even moving, but that didn't stop Logan Grimnar and those around him from charging forward anyway. The first space wolf that reached him, a mountain of red-faced muscles, swung his massive frost blade. Magnus's smirk never left his face as the sword melted in the space wolf's hands mid-swing, before lifting his crescent blade and decapitating the scarred face of the wolf lord. Grimnar and the only remaining wolf lord reached the daemon primarch at the same time and attempted to avenge their fallen with a flurry of faster-than-the-eye blows.

    Some of the blows clashed with Magnus' psychic shields. Others fell upon literal shields materialized out of the air. Grimnar's own blows, impossible to block by psychic means, would turn from their destination by the Tzeentch's personal primarch himself. None would even come close to touching their enemy. The wolf lord next to Grimnar increasingly grew more feral in the fight, before looking more beast than astartes. After getting his axe broken in half by Magnus, he would roar a howl before tossing his broken weapon aside and leaping Magnus, fangs, and claws bared.

    The wolf lord froze midair as an invisible hand caught him, before slowing being torn in two by the same hands, letting his innards fall to the snow-covered rocks below their feet. The superhuman physiology, the master crafted power armor, all of it came apart as easily as a child's toy ripped apart by its owner in a temper tantrum. Grimnar gave a howl of grieve before tossing himself back into the battle, likely knowing he also charged towards his death.

    Magnus knew it also, as his body language shifted to that of a cat playing with its food. Letting the Great Wolf's blows come just close enough that they might land, only to miss or deflected by less than a foot from his own body, the daemon primarch goaded the leader of his timeless enemy forward, encouraging hope only to dash them. Grimnar, to his credit, never relented, never retreated, ever pushed forward, though, to his audience, some knowledge of the hopelessness of the situation must have reached his mind.

    Finally, growing bored of the games, Magnus swatted away the Axe Morkai, the storm bolter of the Great Wolf long destroyed at this point. Reaching out with his free hand, he seized Logan Grimnar by the throat before lifting the astartes off of his feet, terminator armor and all. Squeezing, Magnus looked to end the fight by taking the head off of the wolves with nothing but one hand. He brought his prey close, as to stare directly into his eyes before opening his mouth to say something.

    The words would never come, as a beam of golden energy struck the two from offscreen. The energy punched effortlessly through the substantial shields of Magnus, whereas the efforts of the Space Wolves couldn't even strain it earlier. While the blow tossed the daemon primarch away, miraculous Grimnar fell back onto one knee, unaffected at all. As Magnus took flight in order to recover from the blow, he let out a scream of anger at his attacker.

    The picter captor veered sharply at the source of the attack, only to show a massive figure standing, flanked by thunder wolves of mythical proportions. Each stood at a size that could swallow an unarmored astartes whole, and they seemed like a dull sight compared to their master, who stood between them. Clad in an aged plated artificer armor of unknown origins, many modifications had been made on it to the point where once it could've been sleek and agile, now it had enough protection that would make the most impressive of terminator suits look like flak armor.

    A massive wolf pelt, larger than even the living specimens surrounding him, laid over his mountain like shoulders. In one hand, he held as colossal frost axe. In the other, a power sword of unique design pointed itself at Magnus, imbeded with the same energy that just struck the Tzeentchian. His hair and factual features, however, was aged. Long white hair, once as gold as the rising sun, flowed past his shoulders, mixing in with his long white beard.

    A metal eyepatch covered his right eye. The other, a pale blue eye, so pale they might as well be white, gazed with controlled rage at the daemon primarch of the Thousand Sons. Beside the trio, a host of astartes, clad in grey Cataphractii Pattern Terminator armor, stood at ready. Magnus screamed at the newcomer. "HOW?!?! YOU WERE TRAPPED!"

    The massive figure opened his mouth, and a voice flowed out, the sound of wisdom born from countless wars, victories, and losses. "You shall pay for what you've done here, traitor."

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Just as this new leader and his warhost charged forward, the video cuts off, ending with a still screen before restarting again. Vindex, pensive, turned and looked to the projection table, before shifting through the data on it. The two inquisitors, on the other hand, took a few moments before returning to the briefing room once more. Equilius let out a low whistle, while Winsole looked as though she was attempting to come to grips with what her eyes just showed her. "That-that couldn't have been Leman Russ, he's too... too..."

    "Old? Well, I'm sure ten thousand years would put wrinkles on even the primarchs, Natty," Equilus joked, though with all the mirth of a funeral attendee. Winsole looked at him as though he was insane, before turning towards Vindex.

    "My lord! The Inquisition must dispatch a force to arrest this imposter immediately! To impersonate a primarch-"

    "You would have the Holy Ordos dispatch a force to Fenris in order to arrest someone they believe is their primarch?" Vindex asked without looking up. The sheer ludicrous nature of her own statement arrested Winsole dead in her tracks. "Every database back on Terra and in each major inquisitorial hold had been cross-referenced before my colleagues even sent me this video. Those wolves, that armor, the terminator squads, everything correlates with the information we had: That is Leman Russ."

    Vindex then straightened up before staring at his two former pupils. "Now the question would be how this would affect Guilliumen and his leadership position on Terra with another of his brothers back into the fold. I know not what caused Russ's aging, but if half the tales about him holds true, then for the Ordos' sake they had best prepare for the worst." A silent reflection time answered him, and all three dwelled in their thoughts for a moment.

    Vindex cast a hand over the table even as the last of those expected arrived, the video disappeared, replaced by two pictures. One was a three-dimensional diagram of an Adeptus Mechanicus cruiser, the other a picture of a forge world.
  6. KnightReborned WanderingJester Well-Known Member

    Briefings and Congratulations

    Just before the briefing began, however, the doors opened, and Archmagos Instaurabo glided in. The leader of the Adeptus Mechanicus forces in the retribution fleet moved without the usual bounce of a step, nor did any footfall sounded from his movements. To those scions of Mars with the knowledge, or indeed any with the privileged information, they would recognize the anti-gravity propellers that held the archmagos up and allow him to move, though the likelihood of failsafe systems being in place in case of this system's failure was high.

    As the archmagos joined the three inquisitors at the front, Lord Inquisitor Vindex turned to the group in front of him, considerably smaller than before the first mission. The Virtus household presented themselves, as did Sister Alexandra Heart from the Order of His Holy Sight and Commissar Alexandra Abel. Amongst the astartes, only the Iron Angel and the Steel Predator had been missing. The briefing starting, it seemed that, for whatever, reason, they would no longer a part of the inquisitorial retinue, at least for now.

    "As you may have ascertained by now, the missions to Elros and Kommitzar had been evaluations. While you have proven your worth throughout your service to the Imperium, this is a unique situation that I doubt anyone in this room had been involved with, with the exception of the archmagos here," Vindex said, giving deference to Instaurabo. The archmagos gave the slightest of nods before the lord inquisitor began speaking again. "As such, each of you had been selected out of your peers in order to continue to represent this strike force."

    Vindex gestured to the diagram on the screen. "You will be divided into two groups for the next missions. Given their nature, I shall let the archmagos continue this briefing." He stepped aside, before allowing Instaurabo to take the center stage, so to speak. To those without the machine god's blessings, the Omnissian seemed as calm as the rest of the machine cult, moving upon rationale and logic. To those within the cult, on the other hand, another picture emerges.

    Barely suppressed murderous intent bubbled within the noosphere, as the archmagos took out the image of the ship and zoomed in on the forge world. Labels began to appear, designating it as Idumea. Various forges, manfactorums and other facilities on the surface formed a massive iconography of Mars, the mechanical skull of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Turning back to those in the room, the archmagos began speaking in his robotic voice. "The next world on our path to secure this sector is the forge world of Idumea.

    I had calculated that, while a minor forge world on record, it would prove a valuable launching point and staging area for our fleet to resupply. As a domain of Mars, I was responsible to bring it under the compliance of the Machine God and ensure that the bulwark of tradition had not eroded past the point of acceptability," Instaurabo said in flesh speak, for the benefit of all in the audience with the exception of the skitarii and the magos.

    "I had sent an envoy to the forge world, in order to take the preliminary readings and to compile a strategum as to how to extract optimal output from the forge world for our mission. When they returned, all data pointed out that Forge Idumea would be an excellent asset to our cause. The Fabricator-General himself, designation Lors Hallon, invited me for a data commune during which he would present his own calculated plans on how to incorporate Idumea into the fabric of the task force.

    I had been eager to attend such a meeting when I had noticed an anomaly with the reports that of Idumea's current status. Minor mishaps, mistakes, and inconsistencies of the minute details one might consider simple mistakes. Yet I had personally chosen the envoy to head to the forge world; they would've caught them during the dozens of comb-over before I received it. Upon further inquiry, I discovered two things: a message from Magos Dominus Kifan and the few members of the envoy that were infected with hostile kill programs," Instaurabo said.

    A moment later the archmagos explained, thinking that those outsiders of the Mechanicus might not know the technical term. "It would effectively render them as sleeper agents, and upon a certain command being sent, force them to terminate any and all lifeforms nearby through the use of codes and a small implant that would inject a significant dosage of combat stimulants into their system," Instaurabo continued, before the data table activated seemingly on its own, and loading up a message.

    "This has been translated into fleshspeak for the purpose of this meeting." To those with access to the noosphere, the message had been a warning, the tone desperate but determined. To everyone else, the blurry image of a heavily militarized mechanicus member's upper portion showed up, along with a more emotional but still robotic voice.

    "Archmagos, do not attend that meeting. This world, the Fabricator-General and the rest of his forge, have turned from the light of the Omnissiah. I beg you, get the Omnissiah's fleet into orbit and purge this world with holy fire. I shall ensure that the orbital defenses' machine spirits to somber long enough for this to happen. May our deaths cleanse this taint from the Machine God's presence. May the Omnissiah be with you."

    The faint, but frozen stream of murderous intent appeared from the archmagos once more, as he turned to address the audience in front of him. "Had I the Omnissiah's Will still by the Ark's side, and even half of her sisters, I would've burned Idumea's crust thrice over. However, our current lack of adequate amount of resources, as well as protection for the Covenant of Mars, withhold my deliverance of the Omnissiah's wrath upon these traitors in such a manner.

    I ran the projection models, and by a plausible margin did I deem Idumea able to pull back from the brink of total damnation within their own tech-heresy." At that, Archmagos Instaurabo paused, and Inquisitor Equilius chipped in.

    "The Inquisition had been conducting some investigations in this area of space as well, though not directly on the planet itself. Even with simply monitoring of the traffic on and off-world, we managed to collect enough information to inform the archmagos here that the excommunicated splinter of a radical faction had made Idumea its bastion. The Phaenonites," Equilius said the last word as a man might have tasted something horrid. "They believed that the warp will enable them to be the masters of mankind, and shape the Imperium how they would choose it."

    "They deny the Machine God's divinity, and thus deny themselves the right to exists," Instaurabo replied bluntly, before picking back up again. "Yet in their arrogance, they grew complacent. From the data collected by both the Inquisition and the chosen of the Machine God, the traitors had only corrupted or seized control of the ruling magos of the forge world, as well as some overseers. Those that would not embrace their blasphemy were forced into compliance by threat of utter annihilation, and worse.

    They miscalculated the time it would take their taint to seep down to the masses from the top, and thus most of the populations of Idumea remain in ignorance of who they serve. Indeed most of them continue their day to day work, not knowing that they do not work for the Omnissah but for those that would deny him. This is an astronomical opening we may exploit, and, with the exception of the numerical anomaly, bring the populace back into the machine god's illuminating fold.

    Thereby, I hereby initiate Contingency 015637 Theta: the decapitation protocol. Magos Tiberiax Zeth," the archmagos addressed an individual in the audience for the first time, a fellow Mechanicus member in flesh speak no less. "As Magos Catharc and a Gerontocrat, you shall be the Omnissian Axe falling upon the corrupted databases of Idumea. You shall take my place in the meeting with the pretender Fabricator-General Lors Hallon, and at that meeting, you shall remove all of the ruling magos in his forge.

    Skitarii Vanguard Beta 055-Alpha-R00, you shall assist the magos in this endeavor, along with any other present in this room assigned to this duty." At that, Vindex spoke once more.

    "Castellan Wilhelm, you along with Enyo and Aurelia Virtus shall join the magos catharc and his retinue in the decapitation force. As to the rest of you, you shall be heading to the Harbinger of Knowledge, an Adeptus Mechanicus Cruiser above the world of Belahaam. Due to certain nature of that planet, it is forbidden for most of the Imperium to land there. The Adeptus Mechanicus is one of the few exceptions to that quarantine. The cruiser in question in one of their study vessels that routinely visit the planet.

    From what the archmagos has told us, it studies the various lifeforms on the planet, though we've received a distressed signal from them. It seemed one of the specimens had broken out of their more secure laboratory, and currently threatens the entire ship," at this, Vindex gave a flat look at the archmagos, who did not acknowledge him. Continuing his star, the lord inquisitor added on, "while we don't know if the crew's loyalty is to the Imperium or to Idumea, I've been assured that the Harbinger is well worth saving."

    Evidently, exactly why the cruiser was worth saving remained unclear or undefined. Whether that was because the archmagos didn't know himself, or he was unwilling to share, was unclear. Still, orders were orders. "Apothecary Rambeau, you shall lead the inquisitorial forces, with Apothecary Minkar as second in command. Both of your experiences and your work within the Ordo Xenos should give your team an edge in completing this task. You may designate anyone you would like as third in command, but I would recommend Razael, for similar reasons of currently serving on the Deathwatch.

    All of you shall now have access to the full armory available to inquisitional forces. We do not have the rarer relics and others might be in repair for the moment, but you will find many powerful weapons, armors, and tools you might wish to take with you on your mission. Before we dismiss you, we have one last piece of business to take care of. Astartes, if you might join me for a conversation. Magos Zeth and Skitarii Marius, please approach the archmagos. Everyone else, please join the two inquisitors next to me."

    As the groups split up, the space marines would find themselves in front of the lord inquisitor himself. A servant entrance from the side opened, and in stepped several servitors, each holding a rather large scroll rolled up in an armored case. Vindex turned to each one of them, before saying.

    "You are each a member of the Adeptus Astartes, there is no greater rank or honor I may present to you that you have not already attained by simply standing in front of me. However, I still wish to express my gratitude however possible. Thus, please accept these."

    With that, Vindex handed each astartes honor markings, small shields to hang on the chest plate of a power armor to showcase the award. It was simple, with the marking of the retribution force, a hammer blow splitting the ground.

    "While these would not be exclusive to you, the astartes in the retribution force would only receive them after the mission has been completed or they have achieved a feat that sees their oaths fulfilled and they wished to depart from the force. Therefore, you shall be the recipients of these markings for the moment, and likely so for the near future." Vindex turned, before picking up each of the scroll cases and handing them to the astartes. Each had their chapter's embalm on top, as to differentiate from one another.

    Opening them, each read (respective of the chapter) in large, elegant high gothic:


    "This decree signifies and commemorates the deeds performed by the Chapter of Dark Angels/Black Templars/Minotaurs/Raptors and their contributions to Retribution Force Vindex. Furthermore, it recongizes the personal favor in their assistance to Lord Inquisitor Vindex, and as such, any who gazes upon this document bears witness to an affirmation of honor between himself and the chapter in question.

    Let the aforementioned Space Marine chapter call upon Lord Inquisitor Vindex in their time of need, and he shall provide the assistance needed, lest he sully his honor in the eyes of the Adeptus Astartes, the Holy Inquisition, and the Emperor himself.

    So said, so mote it be.
    The document, signed and sealed by the personal sigil of the lord inquisitor, would be presented to each of the astartes present, with Vindex adding on, "Neither the Nemesors nor the Exorcists have received a decree such as this, for various reasons. It is as official of a documentation as I have the knowledge of making. May each of your chapter prosper and bring destruction to the enemies of man. I shall attempt to make myself as available to each of you and your brotherhoods as possible, though sometimes duty will cause me to be away at times."


    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Meanwhile, Equilius grinned like a child on Sanguinia, while Winsole looked her usual serious self at the mortals in front of them. Clapping his hands together, the Ordo Hereticus member stood up straight for the first time, having leaned against the data table during both the pre-briefing and the briefing itself. Reaching instead his coat, he pulled out four hand sized objects. Placing them in the hands of Sister Alexandra Hearts, Commissar Alexandra Abel, and Enyo and Aurelia Virtus, he then stepped back and gave them a moment to observe it.

    It was an inquisitorial rosette, though none like any of them had seen before. The I of the Inquisition had been fashioned into the likeness of two hammerheads at the top and bottom, with the shaft connecting the two. A small purity seal wrapped itself around the middle, forming a sort of split between the mirrored halves. On the other side, a tiny skull was depicted, the same sized as the seal itself. Equilius let each of them look at the symbol in their hands before continuing.

    "Congratulations! This had been a long time coming for many of you. Each of you has proven yourself in the last mission, the crowning achievment in long career of service in one of our retinue, or just something impressive enough to have cause for this elevation. I would like to be the first to greet you all as official throne agents of the Holy Inquisition. This officially makes you a part of the Holy Ordos, though without your own unique rosette of course; you'll get those when you become an inquisitor in full."

    Equilius seemed excited enough to be the one receiving the rosette, though Winsole was soberer in the back. The cheerful man continued, "now you'll notice that this rosette belongs to neither myself, Natty or Grandpa Vindex. This is because it is the official rosette of the strike force. Now the good news is that you have the power of an entire armada full of naval ships, guardsmen, and even adeptus astartes backing you. The bad news is that you don't actually hold the authority of any one inquisitor in particular, so that means some discernment should be used as to when to present this in public."

    At this point, Winsole, who had her arms crossed, chipped in. "Even without the current circumstances, you should not blindly wave the rosette during your missions. While you might get your way at the moment, wisdom and experience have taught many before you that acquiring assets, even by time consuming tasks, creates much more realible and consistent long term allies and contacts than the alternative. Those that haven't learned that lesson are all likely no long amongst the living."

    "That's right," Equilius nodded, a smile still on his face. "So, now that you've got the power, we'll see if you'll have the discipline and awareness to know when to use it, and when to use more... subtle methods." Turning to Enyo and Abel, the Ordo Hereticus member waved them closer, along with Aurelia as well should she wish. "Got something for you, Commissar Abel and Lieutenant Virtus. A moment if you will."

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    Nearby, in a conversation conducted purely within the noosphere and binary. Archmagos Instaurabos, a creature of logic, got straight to the point. He sent each a burst of data, copies of the original source within his own deep databanks. Each member of the Adeptus Mechanicus would find awe in what they saw: the data packet bearing the signature of the Fabricator-General of Mars, unique and traceable back to the highest ranked member of the machine cult, nigh impossible to replicate or impersonate.

    ++Magos Catharc Tiberiax Zeth. Skitarii Vanguard Beta Beta 055-Alpha-R00. I act in the name of Mars, the Fabricator-General, and the Omnissiah. As you can analyze with your own processors, this authority had been granted to me by no other method than direct imputation. As you can inquire of the machine spirit of The
    Covenant of Mars
    itself for confirmation if you wish. Thereby, I enact the will of the machine god.++

    Two mechadendrites reached out with a hand-sized object, not unlike the mortal party received. However, instead of an I, this one was the round skull and cog symbol. Handing the Greater Icon of Passage, the advanced Opus Machina over, a stream of data delivered a data packet to both the magos and the skitarii. They would notice that it was the same data packet, but the signer had been Instaurabo himself.

    ++I've ran the analysis, and each of you will serve as my direct hand on this upcoming campaign, just as I serve Mars and the Machine God directly. Those who challenge your authority challenges mine. Those who challenge my authority challenges the wisdom of the Machine God. Those who would challenge the Machine God, we shall bring oblivion to.++

    Now, an additional file had been sent to Zeth, this one tightly bounded and secured. He recognized it right away as an extremely aggressive paralyzing scrap code. Once broken through a system's defenses, it would lock up any and all augmentations that could receive a command on a person, regardless of the owner's will or any restart programs.

    ++I see that your data combat capabilities are adequate in defeating this Lors Hallon in 7 out of 10 simulations, though the preliminary data does give it an unacceptable error margin. Should you disable the traitor's defenses, magos catharc, upload my gift to the Fabricator-General. I shall see him made an example of what will happen to all who defy the Omnissiah. You shall also be equipped with additional temporal blessings of the Machine God, in order to mask your identity until it is time to strike.++

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    With that, the retinue was allowed to converse or rearm on their own or to inquire those around them, including the kill on sight list available in that room.


    @High_Adept_Zeth
    @bossaroo
    @Uriel1339
    @Keidivh
    @Colapse
    @Draconion
    @Tamu
    @BlackNecron
    @Vulpas
    @Jammysod

    OOC: I'll explain the weapons/equipment thing tomorrow. Very very tired right now.
  7. Brother_Draconion Draconion Well-Known Member

    <Jean>

    @WanderingJester

    "Deepest gratitude, on behalf of the Chapter and myself, Lord Inquisitor," says Jean as he receives the battle honour, "I shall endeavour to be worthy of it. A couple points of inquiry regarding the upcoming mission.

    Firstly: What is the significance of the Mechanicus cruiser we are being sent to retake? It must be important if we are being diverted away from the retaking of Idumea.

    Secondly: Is there any information on its mission, particularly the xenos beasts it was sent to study and which are currently loose on the vessel?

    Thirdly: Do we have schematics for the ship itself, and dossiers on key crew members?"


    <Later> @Tamu @BlackNecron

    [OOC: Consider this a timeskip to the armoury, after conversations with Vindex.]

    Gesturing to his brothers to gather around him in a huddle, he addresses them in a low murmur, as though they were having a tactical consultation in the field.

    "Given our numbers relative to target size, I would say this mission resembles a Hulk crawl more than anything else. Opportunities for stealth will be limited, so we should prioritise protection and firepower. Yet, with small numbers, we need to maintain some capacity for speed and stealth to seize key installations or bypass blockades. The non-Astartes amongst us particularly will be vulnerable.

    My suggestion is to place the non-Astartes under Brother Razael's charge as a light infantry scouting and manoeuvre team, while Brother Goreparan and myself form a breacher team. Breachers will carry as much firepower and protection as possible - heavy weapons, or else twin-linked with boarding shields. Manoeuvre team should be flexibly equipped, with adequate explosives for ambush, sabotage and path clearance.

    Your thoughts, brothers?"
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  8. KnightReborned WanderingJester Well-Known Member

    The Truth, Now Enhanced by Alternate Facts

    After Magos Tiberiax Zeth sent out his message via the flagship's main communications centre, a ping indicated that it had been sent. A few moments flew by quickly as he attended to his many duties, before another ping and another picter video arrived from The Bane of Darkness. Without issue, the image of Inquisitor Winsole appeared, and she greeted the magos. "Interesting, so it seemed that those responsible for keeping law and order got a little too comfortable, and no one like Equilius visited them in the meant time.

    I supposed they reaped what they had sowed." The inquisitor tapped a few buttons, and soundproofing blinds lowered, separating her audio sphere from the rest of the bridge, though one could still see through both ways of the divide. "You are correct magos, in that belief is a powerful weapon against the archenemy, too often utilised by them against us. This time, we shall wield the blade and swing it at its neck on Kommitzar. You have my permission to synthesise an appropriate cautionary tale for the population below.

    However, edit the content accordingly. I expect that you of all people understand the creed, 'knowledge is power,' magos." Winsole said, even as she attended to another task on a separate console. "It is our duty to not burden the masses with it, especially explicit information concerning the enemy. The curious are often the already on their way to damnation. Like an addict seeking his next escape, some will stop at nothing to gain more knowledge once having tasted a sliver, not knowing they danced to the tones of darker powers."

    Winsole finished her latest work before turning back to the picter captor. "Now, is there anything else?"

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Even as Magos Zeth ascertained the status of the Righteous Fury, he could tell that things were as well as they could be. As per any capital vessel, the usual condition existed: there were decks sealed off, locked and unused for one reason or another, the population of the crew large enough to fill a small spire, each with designated roles to play, and constant maintenance required by the various machine spirits kept every member of the machine cult busy.

    As for the machine spirits themselves, they seemed fairly placated by the administration of the onboard tech priests. The largest of them, the ship herself, seemed almost in a hibernating state, stirred into action by commands from the bridge, or being aware of an enemy, which it had not the pleasure of killing any in the Calixis Sector yet. While that would change much by the end of the campaign, this was the case currently. Out of the millions of mortals and adepts, several astartes and other members of prominence also prowled the ship's arteries and veins.


    @High_Adept_Zeth


    You're Welcome, Angry Crusader Boy

    The Chaplain seemed satisfied that the Black Templar at least heard him out. He nodded to Wilhelm, "you are correct that there will be no brotherhood amongst strangers, cousin. Yet strangers need not remain such to each other. Keep that in mind as you seek out others of your kin, and there's a reason why our father ordered the First Black Templars to seek out the enemy on Terra, while he told the First Excoriators to hold the Imperial Palace. We all have our tasks in front of us, and victory depends on each part of the whole."

    The Chaplain nodded in approval to Wilhelm's piety and began to walk away, only to turn back around as the Black Templar inquired of his name. Taking his skulled helm off, Wilhelm could see the ritualised scarring on the neck of the Excoriator, though none above that. A bald head with a harden face greeted him, yet something human remains in the weathered face. "My name is Arescropus, cousin. How may I address you in turn?"


    @Colapse


    Ask and You Shall Receive

    Lord Inquisitor Vindex frowned at the first question from Jean. Not because it was a bad question, but rather he had no adequate answer for it. "Apothecary Rambeau, I shall tell you what information had been given to me: the cruiser served as both the mobile laboratories and central pool of knowledge for their Divisio Biologis Xenologis. The Scions of Mars stated that, due to those two purposes, the Harbinger must be saved." He paused, scanning over the data on the table for a moment.

    I have my own reservations as to the true nature of the cruiser, but it does not change the fact that it needs to be secured. As to the nature of the threat you will face, all the information I have is that it was ranked under threat level chi grade 5. That meant that it present a credible threat to this entire sector of space, possibly across several sectors if unchecked." Vindex gave a soft sigh, his bushy white eyebrows scrunched together as he thought about the mission ahead.

    "It could mean a number of things: that it's a parasite and infects humans, dormant during warp travel until they emerge at their arrival in a new world or port. It could be a shapeshifter, able to blend perfectly with another race. It could simply breed extremely fast and are extremely hostile. I'm afraid I can't do much to help you, apothecary; my own specialty is of the end of the daemon and those that would worship its masters, not xenos." Vindex sighed apologetically as he turned back to the Raptor.

    Tapping a few buttons on the table, information flowed into the Raptor's power armour interface. "Fortunately, I can grant you that. You now have the information on both the keynote personnel aboard the vessel and the schematics of the vessel itself." Three names stood out to Jean as he went down the file quickly: Magos Prime Ivar Collegum, Magos Explorator Meer Loc, and Magos Biologis Konol. The first being the head of security on the vessel, the last being the head of research on the vessel. The middle name indicated the captain in charge of the ship.


    @Draconion
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  9. High Adept Zeth High_Adept_Zeth Arkhona Vanguard

    <Before the briefing>
    <'Covenant of Mars', docking bay>

    With the transmission completed and servitor finally arriving with the long awaited packet from the Fabricator workshops, Magos departed from the Ark Mechanicus.

    A few moments after the shuttle lifted off, leaving behind the protecting confines of the nigh-mythical starship, Tiberiax received his reply from Inquisitor Winsole.


    The question struck him as odd. Upon further investigation, he deduced that it was not the question but his reaction to it. Should there be anything else? Tiberiax was not cognizant of the answer, knowing he has no more items in query list tagged for the Inquisitor. But he felt different. Was it elation at the amount of trust she placed in him? That was probably only a surface, for as an Inquisitor she probably had failsafes in case each of the retinue turned false. But that only deepen his admiration at the possibility of her resourcefulness and the amount of ingenuity it required, despite her rugged, puritan surface layer. Playfully he almost opened a projection in which he would simulate all of her possible reactions to both heresy and his words.
    His better self prevailing, he responded:

    +"Emperor protects, Inquisitor."+

    <Before the briefing>
    <'The Righteous Fury', Medicae Center, Laboratory>

    @Draconion

    With the invitation, Tiberiax stepped into the chamber, appreciative of the gesture and returning it with a nod. Sparing a moment, Tibeirax observed his transhuman host and the lair in which he practiced his craft. Much like his environment, the neat organization and clinical precision were replicated in Apotechary's manner. The Angel was the very image of a fleshtender, almost expected to be found within a Chapter.

    However, was this image to be found within all of the Raptor Apotecharies, a gene-pressed traits evident in all who take the Helix or was it a personal characteristic of a mortal who once was, one refined to Astartes proportion?

    In his experience, Tiberiax learned to appreciate the mortal baseline, and thus he did not have to such vivid extent the almost universal disgust of flesh and its flaws. Weakness of flesh is to be acknowledged, but to ruminate upon it, much less validate or scorn it, Tiberiax considered wasteful.

    In many regards, the Astartes reminded him of his brothers and sisters who delve into the secrets of the flesh, just without the blessed auspices of dogma and confines of ritual.

    "Tiberiax, please. And question is, how may I serve you? After receiving your communique I must say I am intrigued by this project." Magos spoke, his voice of disturbingly organic, almost serpentine quality. However, to Jean's heightened senses he would quickly locate the source of the voice just behind the nest of mechadendrites, beneath the saucer head, usually where an Adam's Apple would be. A small grille was inbuilt into it's place, small tears of grey fluid gathering between it's small bars.

    "As for equipment..." finding an empty patch on the cluttered table, he deposited the wrapped package. The teeth of servo-arm now free, the limb reached down and took the poleaxe instead, freeing his right arm.
    "...the Omnissiah provides. I have consulted some of my brethren and managed to procure these tools for the project. The materials were already in use aboard the Ark and only demanded miniaturization." Tiberiax explained as he ripped the heavy industrial paper wrapping, opening the lid of the plastic box the size of Ogryn's forearm.

    Reaching into the box, he would showcase to Jean one of items inside, a dull sliver of a needle. The length of the needle was too long to be used in a simple syringe.

    One of the four dendrites that snaked at the air, came upwards to Tiberiax's level of where eyes or oculars would be. The dendrite ended in a bulky attachment much like Jean's nathrecarium.
    "I took the liberty of not only fashioning the manipulation tools within the laboratory, but tools for your Nathrecarium as well - in case you encounter the compound again or if field-testing is required.

    Within the box, Jean would find an assortment of tools and in a corner a plastic frame holding in a row small blocks, the size of his thumb, of various colors. He would immediately reckognize some of the materials - plasteel, silicon, titanium, expoxy and a dozen of others - some either eluding his identification at a glance but having his suspicions to their identity or entirely eluding his knowledge.

    "Judging from the information given, mostly from your histological survey, I deduced that these teflon tools would be resistant to chemical alteration of form and composition during your inquiry. They should be impervious to compound's exothermic reactions and oxidizing effects."

    Techpriest paced around the room, the movement of his leg hydraulics audible, hands clasped behind his back. At first, Magos's choice of augmentation and head proportion exuded a bizzare aestetic would be more apt for a runaway experiment then a respected scholar within the many mysteries of the universe. That this oddity was not universal within the Adeptus Mechanicus only reinforced this thought.

    However, despite the first impressions, the preliminary, inscrutable look that was prehaps more reinforced by well-founded stereotypes of those belonging to Tiberiax's order, were quickly shattered by his open manner and great command of fleshspeak. Both belonging to the retinue of one of the three Inquisitors present, each one had the dossier on the other. Jean would also know from the file, that Tiberiax met his end on Agripinaa almost a decade ago, reformed to service only recently.

    With his back's to Jean, Tiberiax bent over and observed the sample frozen mid-air within a stasis-casket. His head suddenly rotating one-hundred and eighty degrees, the sde of the saucer head with dendrites attached, facing the Apothecary:

    "Is this the sample from Omnidevorator specimen?Acidic yet highly regenerative properties of it's host hold much potential." pointing at the package he continued: "Apart from cermite, you have not included the list of materials tested, thus forgive me if i already brought already used materials. Within the package you'll find samples of various materials you may not have access to from the ship, that may come in useful in your survey."

    Tapping the protecting glass-pane of the stasis-casket with the tip of one of his metal fingers, he continued:
    "As you already know, I am not a specialist in the field, however I must confess that your preliminary findings, attract me beyond mere academic interests. Have you made any progress on categorizing enzyme-corrosion interactions?"

    <After the briefing>


    The surprise at the potential of another returning Primarch was only matched with Archmagos's showcase of emotions during the briefing. Considering how far removed he was from weakness, such displays were most unnerving for Tiberiax to witness, for it was either a sign of malfunction or dire events in the making.

    To make astonishment even more profound, Archmagos showed the data-packets displaying personal insignia of a Fabricator-General of Mars Itself! Of course none of emotional turbulence was shown on the surface, but Tiberiax struggled to process all this without any modicum of emotion. His emotional inhibitors hardpressed to contain the deluge of bio-chemical components that were precursors to awe, fear, worry and excitement, Magos merely lowered his head in deference to the Archmagos, accepting both the Icon and the data-packet.

    ++The weakness of flesh infiltrates the blessed domain of the Machine God, once again.++ Tiberiax transmitted, the code referencing not only Vindex's mention of The Phaenonites, but sharing the same binharic syntax of another event, when Xanthites attempted to infiltrate upper echelons of the Priesthood on Agripinaa, the Forge World's position and exposure to the Eye of Terror, perfect for conducting their forbidden experiments.

    The Invisible War between the Inquisition and Adeptus Mechanicus continues to have it's share of death toll amid the galaxy plunged in war, and despite Tiberiax's efforts at abridging any and all differences between the Imperium's many Adeptas in this combined effort, some events are better left unmentioned infront of the uninitiated.

    Despite the trust he placed in Archmagos's capability, with equal seriousness he took upon the Dominus's warnings, his message portraying not only urgency and despair, but also hints that the entire planet was lost to heresy.

    ++Archmagos, the prospect of losing Idumea may very well prove fatal for this expedition. However, I shall not fail. Despite the techno-heresy of its ruling Archmagi - of Fabricator General himself! - I will not let their negligence corrupt Idumea's High Altar, nor alienate Forge World's production capability from us! As long as I retain the blessing of my function, I will endevor to make this, a statistical certainty.++

    Consulting his memory for the mentioned Contingency 015637 Theta protocol, Tiberiax replied:
    ++The operation will be enacted, Omnisiah willing, within the proscribed doctrine of the Cult Mechanicus.++

    Despite his passionate transmission, Tiberiax's aura within the noosphere remained stoic. At the Archmagos's invitation to scan the veracity of his claims, Magos obliged, bombarding the Insturabo with full suit of his sensoria and probing codes. Novabyte, binharic dialects of the most obscure kind - known only to the Magi of Divisio Catharc, codescrubbing protocols that would ramp up the currents within Insturabo's circuits and increase pressure and heat the lubricants to the point of evaporation - in case of any sign of the mentioned kill-codes or techno-heresy were found.

    @Keidivh @Uriel1339 @Colapse @bossaroo
    With the conversation's ending, Tiberiax would move to one of the exists of the chamber, awaiting the squad he was assigned to by Lord Inquisitor Vindex and Archmagos Insturabo. Standing by the threshold into the corridor beyond, Magos seemed deep in thought, his posture statuesque without motion yet not inscrutable. Only his head moved with tiny, jerking motions left and right, like twitching dials of an ancient clock.
  10. Bossaroo bossaroo Well-Known Member

    Marius listened to the briefing with his usual discontent for standard flesh speak briefings before the objective of the mission caught hold of him and he felt a burning anger well up inside him . Hereteks, the only abomination that he despised more than the green skin menace, a true threat to the machine god's holiest mission. Truly these were dark times. Dialing back his phylactic response to keep his composure he continued listeneing to the briefing his lidless eyes colder than the steel of his limbs , twin beacons of hate inside their liquid and glass entombments.

    Beat-055 would spring up once the briefing was over, possibly the first one to stand before immediately making his way to the list of potential targets to terminate and upon arriving he would search for any hereteks who would be present and download their visiual information. They would perish or he would cease function trying to achieve this most holy and noble goal.

    After his targeters had recieved the updated information Marius would then head to the armory where he'd be surprised by what lay there. A Radium carbine lay perfectly inside its lead lined box. Briefly looking around to ensure that no entirely flesh based humans were nearby he would open the box releasing the weapons ambient baleful energies. The wave of it would wash over him like a cool breeze on a scalding day, the weapon itself once he cradled it was like an old friend. Its machine spirit rejoiced to be free of its containment and once more in the hands of a skitarrius , and a vanguard no less. Clucthing the weapon to the side of his helmet he would give the machine spirit of the weapon the reverence it deserved.

    This reverence came in the form of an affectionate nuzzle to the side of the radium carbine before he would place it once more into its lead lined container and heft it on the strab onto his shoulder. Taking it and his plasma caliver which he would should just reverence for as well he would head to the ordinance section. Upon arriving he would take into his hands a melta charge, the heat of a star lay within the container he held , a caged supernova , death for any foe of the imperium. He clipped the charges to his belt before heading over to where he saw the Magos awaiting him

    ++Magus ! I have grand news , my baleful weapons have been returned so the hereteks may suffer flesh and gift shorting out and melting respectively ! Isnt it grand the generosity of the machine god ?++ he would ask the magos his tone cheerful in the noosphereic communication
    @High_Adept_Zeth
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