The officers realised that there was a hidden danger in their melta being stolen as they joined forces to decipher the SD card transmission. It warned of the gangs desire to use the melta technology to annihilate each other and the OTHER land ship as well. Yes, the thing that the hive city had been shooting upon loudly and running from hastily was another such marvel, and the two were literally fighting over territory in a non-stopping mindless people-grinding war. The Elder Tactician gang were the ones who drove the ship and decided where it goes, while the Gun Masters operated the enormous macrocannon arrays.
Duncan had the idea to take Aheron and the others to one of the security rooms on the level to check the pict feeds and see if there is a recording of the melta thieves. But this proved to be a dangerous task as someone had made a trap for the officers and they found themselves fighting for their lives again in a room full of hostile guards, and hallucinogenic vapours. After a few minutes of comic drugged behaviour, the heroes were able to subdue the guards and come to an agreement with those who chose to cooperate. They checked the tapes but the evidence of the theft was missing. At this time Echo inquired of the usefulness of the security system and found out that the majority of the cams don’t even work or don’t work all the time. The hive has too many security rooms and people of questionable morale to keep everything smooth running and safe. Bribes and intimidations were obviously the tools of rule in this place and Aheron’s crew had to learn to adapt to those conditions fast.
Echo was previously astonished that Wolfaz didn’t have his bionic arm fixed and decided to make use of the large manufactorum present on the land vessel. He and Bessy and all of their servitors were spending every idle moment of time slaving away for the Lord’s glory, replicating a large mechanical hand to be given to Wolfaz, with his permission. Alas during the labours, while Echo was elsewhere, some gangers attacked Besse and the officers were forced to go rescue her once more. The usurpers were dealt with in a matter of minutes and both the bionic hand and Besse were retrieved. The Arm was mounted onto the existing grafts on Wolfazes shoulder and he seemed pleased with this. IT looked like he was warming up to the Rogue Trader and his men, even honouring Aheron with a “duel”. The human surprised him by not falling unconscious from his first blow to the head. But that was the extent of his enduring. Aheron thanked the honourable brute and they made a pact to wait for Aheron’s brother to retrieve them from the planet of Zayth back to the Tiberius homeworld, after which Aheron would commission a new vessel and proceed to do Wolfazes bidding.
On the other side the melta was still missing and they decided to take serious action by asking around, even involving the Gunmasters in the offensive against the Elder Tactician’s guild. Duncan‘s insight and the Gunmasters’ personnel lead to an astonishing plan for storming the Tactician’s inner sanctum. Even a shady barkeeper La Roix was involved in acquiring some explosives that were carefully utilised to gain access to the fortress. For his service, La Roix was sweet talked by Mordecai that he’d be given a place among Aheron’s voidsmen once he was ready to depart from Zayth, which he took very seriously, maybe due to the fact that he instantly had a crush on the Rogue Trader as soon as he laid eyes on his… supposed net worth.
The infiltration of the Tactician fortress was to be the first mission, since the doors that lead inside their sanctum was heavily guarded by numerous security systems and infantrymen. La Roix was consulted on matters of trade and what could possibly assist in this task but yielded no useful data. Echo had a strike of courage when he chose to use his 20-year faithful servo skull to set a trap for the security guards on the inside of the big pressure door. Duncan acquisitioned a hallucinogenic grenade especially for this purpose.
While Echo made a distraction the servo skull silently flew over the guards heads into the security room’s vent and planted some explosives in crucial areas of the complex. Then when Aheron’s crew and Wolfaz were ready to storm the sanctum, it released the hallucinogenic vapours into the room, effectively disabling the security guards. An offensive ensued in which many Tactician’s guards were obliterated. Wolfaz refrained from lethally damaging the men and suggested everyone do the same whenever possible. They easily dug through some heavy machinegun tourette-guarded rooms thanks to the explosives in the walls and used an elevator shaft to go into the habitation and study area of the guild above.
There they found the melta as it was being fired upon them by one of the Tactician members. But it didn’t hinder the offensive much. In the study area there had been one boy who decided to spill the guts to the invaders and thus share with them the secret of the landship’s innermost workings – there is only one Elder Tactician who is being cloned over and over again and given his skills and knowledge each instance through a learning pod machina! This being was genetically suitable for such performance and for that reason his “life” had been perpetuated through centuries. He wasn’t in the habitation area at that time tho, and so they had to go down through the aforementioned elevator shaft into the command bridge of the landship.
There, Aheron managed to find out the reason why the war between Zayth worlds is being constantly waged, population control. He opened the Elder Tactician’s eyes to the possibility of ending the war and instead granting the excess manpower to the ever understocked ranks of the Imperial Guard, for the glory of the Imperium of Man. It took some convincing but a deal was finally struck, with all parties satisfied. The rest was just bureaucracy.
Satisfied with his new deal, Aheron decided to pursue some new ventures as he heard from Duncan and other inhabitants of the hive that there are places of interest on the planet surface which may have been great airports and manufactorums, before the big war. The promise of marvelous Archeotech and the delusion that he could find therein the parts to even repair his wrecked ship made him once more seek assistance from Wolfaz. They made another exploring party and ventured into the collapsed base deep under the sands of oblivion.
As they drew closer to the depths, bypassing crafts, hangars, shafts and buildings, they landed on a level that was probably a street, and soon enough Mordecai picked up some psionic emanation again. It was coming from a spherical shaped, highly decorated piece of Archeotech. The Astropath evaluated and probed it with his mind, only to find that there is something malevolent inside, but he also got the immediate idea whom they could sell the thing to for an enormous amount of wealth. So they decided to take it. Unfortunately, at that moment they noticed a familiar swarm of undead closing in on their location, and sounded a retreat. The horde had appeared out of nowhere and was about to overrun our heroes, but something strange happened and Duncan, Aheron and Wolfaz fell into a mindless frenzy due to it. Echo, already heavily augmented in mind and body was somehow able to resist the frenzy. The three berzerkers dug a way out through the mangled corpses and almost cleaned them out. Or at least one wave. But the bigger problem was making them run away and not slay Mordecai and Echo. So Mordecai decided to attempt dominate Wolfaz and Duncan, and amazingly it worked.
After they had cooled down and escaped the collapsed ruin, they regrouped on the landship with their bounty in hand. Too bad it was useless to them on the forsaken planet, for there was noone there to trade it to, and ships just weren’t coming. They were ready to start the long wait for Aheron’s brother Alaric who’s Astropaths they had notified of their demise, when a sudden explosion occurred in the cargohold outside their troop carrier. Afraid for their profits, they searched everything, only to find that there had been a ton of explosives rigged onto every valuable thing in their possession, including the dreadnaught they hid inside the dreadclaw drop pod.