As he departs Sinophia Magna, reestablishing several overt connections following the undercover assignment upon Sinophia; Tybalt discovers a encrypted message of unknown origin waiting for him. The only legible aspect of the data is a question that relates to his previous experiences on Donaris. Once revealed, the key unlocks a disturbing message from Tech-priest Austos Sann: Austos Sann’s Message
After reviewing Sann’s data, Tybalyt decides that there is a legitimacy to the late Tech-priest’s concerns, and brings it to Inquisitor Gedeliah’s attention. Achiel invites the entire cell to discuss the matter, and gives them his blessing to pursue the investigation. While recovering from events upon Sinophia, the mystery proves a good distraction to the acolytes who, under Tybalt’s guidance, dissects the data. Meanwhile, Inquisitor Gedeliah conducts some inquiries of his own.
While the acolytes conclude that there is quite possibly something located within the cloud of comets surrounding the Lathe system that warrants investigation, Achiel reports that their friend Marr has “reached out” and in gratitude for their efforts upon Sinophia granted the cell use of his heavily modified gun cutter “The Lysithea” for the duration of this investigation.
The Lysithea is heavily modified with stealth capabilities, and Captain Nathaniel Galhardo and his crew are all Inquisitorial agents well-used to clandestine operations. As the cell boards the ship and presents their destination, the first question so the ship’s captain is whether or not the Adeptus Mechanicus are to be informed of their operations into their sovereign space?
The cell orders Galhardo to take them to the area of space where Sann discovered the anomaly. Tracking his findings, the cell found the same faint evidence, leading then to a cometary fragment drifting in deep orbit. 24 hours of augury survey confirms the suspicion that something is affecting their skein between reality and the warp, but little else. Visual inspection revealed constructions upon the fragment, seemingly Mechanicus in origin.
Desiring to take a close look, the Lysithea brings them as close as they dare without risking detection, and the Acolytes make the zero-g jump in void suits. Tied together, they drift off together as most of them are inexperienced space walkers. They still managed to hit the cometary fragment after a 2km drift, but far off target. The traverse back towards their target point burns a lot of breathing gas, especially after a delay fighting (XXXXX). Eventually I approach the hanger bay blast doors, but their path is barred by a sentry gun and a Tech-priest in exo-armor conducting maintenance work.
The acolytes survive a desperate and haphazard charge accompanied by several blind grenades, covering their disarrayed infiltration via an maintenance elevator. Re-pressurizing just in time, Tybalt hack into the system to cover any alerts to their presence. Although successful, Tybalt is offended by the corruption of the system. It is evident that delving into the data core might prove dangerous for the Tech-priest. Fortunately, a public announcement draws personnel to other workstations, emptying the hanger bay for the acolytes to enter.
There are two Arvus Landers in the bay, both flight capable if given the proper flight preparations. Tybalt continues to assess the data core, albeit carefully; and discovers that thousands of men and women are working on the cometary fragment on some unknown (but given the corrupt data code, probably unsanctioned) project. The cell is divided on their course of action, some wanting to fall back; other claiming they have too little information to report. Eventually, after a close call with an enemy patrol; they decide to push on.
The cometary fragment is revealed to be mostly hollowed out by exotic, unrecognizable tech, with crawlspaces, maintenance access, piping routes and dataline conduits running throughout the facility. After some cautious probing, Cromwell finds hidden access ways that lead into the structure. Although dangerous, as shifting gravity, radiation spikes, and mechanical reconfigurations harass the acolytes, the cell uses the crawlspaces for most of their maneuvering within the cometary fragment.
After some hazardous exploration, proving how difficult navigation within the machine structures is; the cell find a storage silo with a range of various containers. While investigating, they are almost surprised by a group of loading servitors and their handler, only just managing to dodge into a container themselves – all except Tybalt. Some quick deception allows Tybalt to slip away, but the container (now full of acolytes) is transported elsewhere in the structure.
Tybalt’s wanderings eventually leads him to some holding cells where he finds a tortured and emancipated Navigator held prisoner. After some careful cajoling to speak, the navigator explains that the cult here in the cometary fragment are experimenting with dangerous technologies, trying to create a means to replace the Astronomican, perhaps even Navigators. The Tech-priest, having stabilized the Navigator’s terrible state, takes the poor creature with him.
The acolytes eventually manage to escape the confinement of the container, and make their way through various structural hazards into the guts of the cometary fragment once again. Although horribly lost, they eventually stumbled upon the (oversight chamber). While observing the vest amphitheater from a ventilation duct, the acolytes take note of a figure robed in black with a heavy hood consulting with the senior magi of the chamber. They have also noticed how all the Tech-priests of the facility seem unusually modified, leaving little in the way of visible flesh anywhere. Before the feral cyber cherubs pick up their scent, the acolytes retreat.
After some more exploration, while public announcements inform of ongoing preparations for the engagement of the “Paradox Reactor”, the group manages to reconvene and compare what they’ve learned. Constantine does what he can for the Navigator, who switches between incoherent rambling and mad exclamations of horror and outrage over what the cult is trying to achieve here. The acolytes decide that whatever the details, the experiment must be stopped, and so they aim for the central control room.
As the cell make their way to the control room, the public announcement system announces the initiation of the Paradox Reactor, but it seems something goes wrong. The group prepare themselves, then they assault the control room. Although the tech-priests and their laborers prove no threat, the Murder-Servitors on guard prove to be a severe threat. Tybalt himself is nearly killed, only finding himself alive as he is able to leap backwards through the doorway as the blast doors close, sealing him from further attack. Eventually the acolytes are successful, and the control room is clear.
Inspecting the damaged control panels, and risking a hack into the wildly corrupted data core, the cell discovers that a warp breach has been formed that seems to be out of control. Any chance of closing it from the control room is lost, their only hope is to make it to the breach itself. The acolytes quickly descend into the mechanical guts of the cometary fragment, pushing themselves ever deeper towards the reactor core. Lesser daemons that manage to exploit the tortured skein occasionally break through, forcing the acolytes into a desperate running battle. Atellus’s faithful chants provides them respite from the onslaught, as the confused and frenzied daemons shy away from the God-Emperor’s words. The Cleric’s faith becomes their shield, as Constantine unleashes barely-containable levels of warp energy.
As the cell has fought its way down to the core, they realize time is horribly set against them. Daemonic manifestations in increasing exponentially and larger entities of the warp are beginning to push through. Their only hope to is close the rift before they are overcome. Desperately holding the rear, Tybalt loses a leg trying to buy the rest of the group time. Cromwell and Atellus hold the final intersection as Constantine, aided by the Navigator, set their wills to sealing the rift. For many mites the desperate battle rages, despair threatening to set in as two larger, fierce Charnel Daemons step through the rift, pushing the lesser Bloodletters aside; but just as the group is about to be overrun the rift is sealed.
The resulting backlash further damages the stability of the structurally compromised cometary fragment, and the cell is forced to make a hasty retreat amongst shrieking, fading daemons while several structures collapse around them. Eventually making it back to the hanger, the cell find themselves competing with a group of Magos lead by the black-clad stranger for the transport. A fierce battle secures the Arvus for the acolytes, but the strange rival manages to slip away into the elevator through which the cell infiltrated the structure. With no more time, the acolytes burst out of the cometary fragment.
Almost immediately, the Arvus Lander is hailed by a Mechanicus Cruiser and a few escorts, which seem to have arrived to investigate the anomaly. Fortunately, the Lysithea is still in the area, and whisks away the acolytes’ Lander with Inquisitorial overrides before the Mechanicus can seize them. Whether the Mechanicum decided to let them go, or the stealth systems of the Lysithea managed to shake the Cruiser and her escorts, is unknown, but the modified guncutter slipped away and entered the warp as soon as possible.
Inquisitor Gedeliah wasted no time in his reception of the Acolytes, actually taking his own craft out to meet his cell before Inquistor Marr could join them. Although respectful in the receipt of their report, their exposure so near to the warp breach drew suspicion upon their purity. Tybalt’s damaged form was immediately separated from the group after the initial debrief and dispatched to an undisclosed location. The rest of the group was isolated, confined to quarters, and conducted the remainder of their debrief as individuals, before being delivers to the Tricorn Palace upon Scintilla.
Receiving the remaining Acolytes, the obviously displeased Inquisitor Marr lead them into confinement for “screening”. Stealing themselves for a lengthy, painful (and possibly terminal) process, the four acolytes find themselves cleared after a mere two weeks of interrogation. However, something seems amiss as the characters are quickly moved out of the palace and ferried off to different destinations, and not all together…
Tybalt’s location is unknown. Jericus has not been seen since Sinophia Magna. Atellus is sent to Maccabeus Quintus for service with the Ecclesiarchy, while Cormwell and Metalus are sent back to Iocanthus to serve with the Adeptus Arbites once again. Constantine, on the other hand, is ordered to accompany Inquisitor Marr himself. The future of the cell, and what is expected of its former members, is unknown…