Thaddius craned over the workbench and studied the array of tiny parts. Servicing a plasma pistol is not trivial. He should have turned in four hours ago but decided in a moment of madness to start this task. The term “task” was a misnomer, It suddenly developed into full blown project when the sub armature sprung open flinging sprockets and pinions across the workshop. Three hours later he still cursed himself for such an amateurish mistake. Though it was unlikely that Xantius was going to use this relic again he had to tend to the machine spirit. A spirit should never be starved completely of energy for a long time and it affects older spirits worse than newer ones. The weapon had been drained of power to support Sacrifice while it was adrift. Of all the devices tapped, The revitalisation of the acolyte’s personal effects was the highest priority. This poor pistol from Harlock’s Hoard was very old and He could not let it suffer any longer. Thaddius hung his head, closed his drying eyes and inhaled deeply.
“The flesh is weak” He muttered.
Exhaling, he lifted his head and sent the manipulator mechandendrite to gently grasp and lift the main body of the gun. With a pair of tweezers he attempted to fit the small valve lever for the seventh time.
The workshop door hissed open and interrupted Thaddius in his work. He quickly took stock of his exact point in the operation and looked up. Before him stood Inquisitor Marien. Marien was a tall woman with large brown eyes and blonde shoulder length hair. Her jawline was strong and she peered under her brow as she addressed him.
“Adept Thaddius” she uttered sternly.
“Lady Helena” He responded.
Marien had been introduced to them as Lady Helena by Captain Ovidia of the ship Pyromancer. The Pyromancer had picked the acolytes up from a space hulk in the aftermath of the Zothrain City explosion. Marien was running an undercover operation, the acolytes had to play along.
“It’s ok Thaddius, drop the act, I’ve scanned the room for bugs and we can speak candidly”
“Yes Inquisitor, what are your orders?”
“I need your full account of what happened to you aboard the Nadir Hulk.”
“As you wish. We were set adrift in space after the Zothrain city exploded, all of the spirits had to be drained to keep our ship alive. It saddened me to my core to see all those lovely beings frozen in place. One by one I had to shut them down and remove their power packs. The acolytes had me do it too, may the omnissiah have mer….”
“Thaddius!” She interrupted. “The main facts please, I can’t be away for long!”
“Ah…very well…We were intercepted by a band of mutants and thrown into individual cells aboard a derelict ship. We were greeted by Xantius’s floating pet Ico, I’m not sure what exactly it said to Maxim but it appeared to make some kind of deal. It floated over to me and assisted in opening the electronic locks on the cells. With relative ease we overcame the guards and set to taking the derelict ship. The ship was populated with all kinds of mutants and heretics. We dispensed with a fairly savage ‘family’ of mutants and found they had butchered a crew member of ours called Lance. You may remember him from Solent House”
“I do” she concurred “Its a shame to hear he suffered such a death.”
“Quite. We continued through the ship and found the bridge. We discovered that it was part of a space hulk with no hope of moving at all. The crew of the ship seem to have been killed hundreds of years ago by a massive, intense solar activity. There is nothing to worry about however, the radiation was long gone. Issak noticed that one of the imperial officers had a power fist, so we picked it up hoping to attach it to the stump of his right hand. Me and some of the other priests are going to try and fit it tomorrow afternoon and…”
Marien fixed him with a stare
“…and is not at all pertinent…We managed to wipe out the rest of the mutants aboard and set the ship up as a base. Pointing the scanners towards the hulk we discovered the presence of another mysterious ship. We made our way towards it and found it to be an ancient Black Ship. Most of the stasis booths were empty save two. The first one held an Alpha Primaris psyker and the second held a strange device that I could not deduce the function of. The psyker was immensely powerful. We realised that if this being was to die, a ripple of energy would be sent across the warp. This ripple would surely alert the presence of some ship, meaning that we could ask whoever appeared for salvation. We took the artefact from the stasis pod and loaded it aboard Sacrifice. We managed to disable the life support systems of the psyker and set up a secondary fluctuation in the stasis generator to create in inverted temporal ossci… sorry… we killed the psyker. Then it was simply a case of returning to the safety of the first ship and waiting. We surrendered willingly to the Pyromancer’s crew.”
“And that is all?”
Marien looked furtively over her shoulder and back to Thaddius. She was wary of how long she had been away from the opulent quarters of the ship. Being stopped and challenged in the machine sectors would warrant questions she would rather not have to blather answers to.
She stood straight and made the sign of the Aquila across her chest.
“Emperor protects.” She spoke, eyes level.
“Glory to the Omnissiah” Returned Thaddius
She turned and left the workshop. Thaddius picked up the plasma pistol valve lever again…attempt number eight.