There was at this point no hope of finding a ship on their own, mainly because it was hard to perform such a purchase with the Tibirius’ dwindling Profit factor and without a presentable warrant of trade, let alone where would they find a whole new crew to operate the ship or supplies for the crew. So our heroes agreed the only way was to ask the baroness for a ship.
She suggested they perform a Cold Trade for her, no questions asked, in return for ship parts which they could use to repair Spyridon. They agreed of course and soon boarded a Raider class ship called “Argus Maleus”, whose captain of particularly friendly demeanor introduced himself as Maxwell Kind and asked only that they remain in the guest quarters during the trip. During a social occasion which Maxwell had tried to use to get to know his passengers a little better, Aheron shied away from telling his last name to the captain, for fear of the recent purge Echo had informed him of. This was, soon did they find out, a grand mistake, for the captain took offense and decided he would just coldly execute his transportation task.
They arrived to a cold unwelcoming planet whose name and location they were not told. They had only a letter from the baroness’ hand giving them authority to investigate the excavating operation on the planet surface, lead by Overseer Leerus. They began questioning the Overseer only to find that he is not happy to see them meddle in his affairs, but agreed upon cooperating, to get the excavation going as soon as possible. The local Tech Priest Clistus prooved a sad and lowly excuse for a member of the Mechanicus, as he was neither efficient nor useful in Echo’s judgment. But he did, however, reluctantly agree to issue the storm troopers, Kompost and Emil several environmental suits as well as a Rhino that they could use to go about the site, thanks to Echo’s imposing and logical pleas.
The site consisted of a small xeno-artifact storage, a few living hubs, a garage and several dig sites. The largest site was in the middle, and the whole place was surrounded by walls with watch towers and turrets. On the western side there was a very tall wall of, what they later found out was the Aegerean origin, and it hat a huge gate in the middle. The Overseer called this thing “the Maze City” and admitted only after many persuasion attempts that he had the mercenaries explore the maze. He claimed they barely survived ant that the maze itself was horrifying and haunted by some creature. The soldiers who went inside had returned traumatized and so further expeditions were banned. Aheron and his associates decided it was best they spoke with the leading xeno archaeologist on site, Adept Zepha next.
She was down in one of the dig sites and as they were approaching, she clumsily tried to hide an item she was studying. Upon realizing that she had to trust them, mainly due to Emil’s smooth-talking and stealthy retrieval of the crystal she tried to hide, she had no choice but to tell them of the harsh conditions the workers had been put in by the Foreman Reinar Geldt and the Overseer. She claimed they were getting killed due to some curse brought on by the crystals. She also claimed there was no medic on site to take care of the workers and that the soldiers were forcing them to labor long shifts despite the fact that their findings have been very insignificant and the site’s obvious barrenness. It was clear to the heroes that the crystals could be quite a lucrative export and that the baroness would be satisfied with this find, but that would mean they had to stab Zepha in the back whom they had promised to look into the matter and try to get the workers off the dig site.
She said that if they talked to the workers when the soldiers are not around they would confirm this themselves, the curse, the maltreatment, and also that the Overseer has some kind of parasite in his mind. Upon further inspection of the site they found a strange bionic part carried by a servitor, which at first Emil had thought to be of orcish origin, but soon Echo found that this bionic was much worse. It was a recently severed part of a member of the Rak’gol – a merciless warp obsessed race of murdering abominations.
They decided to look into it further and went to question some workers, only to find, thorugh a series of secret messages and meetings that there was a group of workers who claimed the Overseer did indeed have a parasite in his mind that makes him cruel to the workers, and that their water was being poisoned. Echo had deemed all these theories as pure paranoia and conspiracy theory among those who are lowest in the command chain in this unfortunate environment. Further he proved his claim by analyzing the water – which was not poisoned. So with no proof of anything unusual going on except the xeno archaeologist deliberately sabotaging the excavation and the Rak’gol piece – they were determined to confront the Overseer and execute a careful expedition into the maze.
They talked him into this and as they were wrapping up their exploration, horrible shrieks and gunshots were heard from the north-east wall. It was an invasion of Rak’gol at their doorstep. Kompost took it upon himself to organize the soldiers and try to hold the wall as long as possible, while Echo rallied the tech priests to get the war machines up and running, just in time for everyone to escape into the maze and block the way with a Rhino and a Predator tank. There were great casualties among the workers and soldiers but all the officers and higher ups managed to survive. Echo Notch used the opportunity to heal the prominent characters among whom was the Overseer Leerus. It became obvious that he did have some sort of foreign biological mass on his brain, but further investigation was needed, and Echo though it was not the right time for that. They were holed up in a strange and unfamiliar hallway of gigantic proportions, with no food, supplies or any heat source. It was imperative that they act before the populace starts dying out due to all these conditions.