Aheron’s heart started to tremble as the menacing Astartes descended from the landspeeder and demanded his cooperation in a grizzly voice. The Marine was asking about Aherons ship and demanded immediate off planet transport, but Aheron stuttered as he was explaining that he could not oblige because his crew is not present and his ship is in dismay. They came to a reluctant agreement that Aheron would take him to get the crew and then be on their way to repair the ship and leave. Aheron was using the excuse about his copilot not being present and how he can’t fly on his own, which only served to agitate the newly met short fused persona.
Both of them descended into the sand-covered ruins to gather Echo, Mordecai, Sarge and the men, unaware of the gang ambush they had fallen into. Luckily the Marine was particularly good at descending into rough terrain and disposing of staggering amounts of gangers with his trusty poweraxe! So good that Aheron didn’t even get one chance to fire his melta gun which he was so proud of, but he fired it anyway. The shock of battle was nothing compared to the shock the officers felt as the hulking creature disposed of their enemies and sternly diverted his attention to them, hasting them in going back up to the surface. There was no time for pleasantries.
Back on the surface Besse and some voidsmen noticed that a really large moving mountain was coming straight at them and would soon run their troop carrier over if the didn’t move, so they tried to contact the officers. They were blinded by the sight of an enormous macrocannon that fired towards the sky with such bright explosion of power that the air would be crackling with energy for kilometers after the shot. The feeling of dread had caught up with the officers as well as the Marine had brought them back to the surface. They were commanded to board their vessels, and the driver of the land speeder also boarded the averus with them. It was a tall slender man with an unremarkable but yet pleasant face and short dark hair. Aheron and Echo dreaded what would happen if the Astartes inspects their cargo inside the carrier, but they soon found out that he wasn’t interested in anything but his own mission.
They went straight for the big moving mountain and soon realised that it was some kind of archeotech-driven land ship hive city with exceptional defence systems. It was huge in comparison to their vessel and soon it had opened the cargo hold door to let them park their carrier inside. The officers were going to a separate landing platform along with the tall man and the marine. They were incarcerated in a nearby room and disarmed, after which the Marine demanded they join him for a drink. Everyone inside the landship seemed to listen to the Marine’s commands, and then he introduced himself as Wulfaz Stormsson, and his companion as Duncan. Aheron quickly explained to his officers that Wolfaz was a “Lord of War” and “Lord” is how he is to be addressed. Wolfaz didn’t seem to have any objections and he explained that they were going to be in serious trouble if they don’t find a way to fix their ship and be on their way.
This is the point where Aheron’s negotiation skills really shined as he cleverly swayed the Lord into believing thet he should not slay them where they stood but instead told him of the quest they were on. Chasing a bounty with several other Rogue Traders on the same trail, chances were that some of them would shortly turn up in search of the same thing Aheron had come to retreive, which would mean a potential ship to get Wolfaz off the planet. Wolfaz was convinced and inquired what does Aheron suggest they do while waiting. The clever Rogue Trader thought of a way to keep his quest going by nudging Wolfaz into going with them in search of another beacon his trusty astropath Mordecai had sensed. It could have easily been another eldar tower containing yet another astral map to guide them onto the next location in the rat chase. Wolfaz allowed this, while completely ignoring the Explorator unskillfully trying to hide himself “fiddling” with his data slate. In fact, Echo was trying to decipher what the transcript of a message the dead tech priest received had meant, but unfortunately missed the point.
The moving city had come closer to the location from which the psychic presence had been emanating. It was an uneventful and seemingly deserted area in the radioactive desert. The sun was high on the horizon, adding to the already unpleasant glow of the irradiated sands under their feet, as they stepped out of the colossal cargo bay. The Astartes wasn’t wearing any helmet, the colour of his armour rendered indiscernible by countless blows of unnamable weaponry, yet he strode vigilantly in the direction Mordecai had previously described. After an hour of walking and searching in the inhospitable atmosphere, everyone but the Marine had been stricken by sweat and dizziness… except Echo Notch, whom probably just wasn’t showing the symptoms. Finally they noticed something glowing in the sands, a bony conic shape, a tip of some alien structure.
Trouble soon befell them and from the poisonous evaporating sands rose a creature of sharp talons and insect-like features. It was quick, smelly and engulfed in horrible sounds of chitter and shriek, and it lunged at them as soon as they drew close to their target. Wolfaz quickly pounced back at the creature and buried his axe blade into its chitinous armor. The crew was astonished by his bravery and this served to motivate them to try and help by shooting at it. It was an indecisive fight as the creature seemed not to get scratched by any of their weaponry but the marine’s power axe. SO they sounded a retreat even before the creature fell dead to the ground. It had managed to get Wolfaz pretty banged up. He was pretty handicapped by having only the remnants of a bionic arm and thus swinging his axe with only one hand.
Sarge came with the averus to extract them just as other similar creatures started rising from the sandy landscape. More of them would have certainly overrun even the Lord of War, not to mention the crew. So they bid them good riddance and came back onboard the land ship, only to find that their melta had been stolen in their absence. Wolfaz allowed them to review the rest of their cargo that had during that time been scrutinized along with their crew in the cargo hold near the troop carrier. They found that nothing was missing, but since Aheron was becoming more and more scared for his profits, he demanded the equipment be put back inside the carrier and some of his loyal troops be allowed to keep watch over it. The huge hive city was no friendly place as they were soon to find out. It was crawling with thieves, murderers, narco-dealers, gangs… the whole hierarchy was lead by two major gangs which Echo had failed to decipher from the message on the Tech Priest’s SD card: The gunmasters and the Elder Tacticians. They realised at that point that Wolfaz wasn’t the lord of this place, but he only was untouchable because of the fear his battle prowess instilled in the hearts of all these men that inhabited the colossal technological wonder.