Twilight of the Soul
Void Borne Briefing
Continuing your travels above the Inquisition ship Vigilance, you made the transition to the Jericho Reach with little to mention. However, as one half of the security cadre for the Vigilance was wiped out above Atheno’s World in the hunt to retrieve the Lictor alive, you have been asked to fill in for the missing troops. Joining you in this are three marines who were added to your numbers at Atheno’s World space station, although there were too late to help in the Lictor hunt. With the three crew from the Deathwatch Thunderhawk aboard, you number eleven marines. However, a Librarian from the Highland Guard has been retained by the ship’s captain for other purposes. Ten marines to patrol half of a Sword-class frigate does not leave you much time for sleep or prayers.
After two weeks of travel, patrols, and studying, Inquisitor Sarno calls you after morning prayer into the small briefing room from before. The room is still dominated by the large holo-pictcaster, however, this time nothing is displayed. Behind the lectern at the other end of the room you can see Sarno scratching his head and hear him muttering under his breath.
“Please, marines, have a seat. I’ll get this working in a moment.” He gestures to 11 large seats ringing the room, which have been added since your last briefing. Each would easily accommodate a marine in power armor. Sarno slaps the lectern and a blue 3d-model of an ancient Imperial ship appears floating in the air. The Librarian, Duncan McKay moves around the lectern to stand at Sarno’s side.
After you all settle, he continues. “Marines, I apologize for again calling you to a meeting in this tiny room, but another matter has come up. I would like to turn this over to Brother McKay.” McKay nods, and looks over the rest of you.
“As you may have seen, I have not joined in you in your drossed patrols of the ship. What you do not know, is that I have been in contact with Watch Commander Mordigael, the Master of the Vigil for the Deathwatch in the Jericho Reach.” He puffs out his chest and looks suitably proud of that. “He, as always, is at Watch Station Erioch. You know, half a sector away?”
“Anyways, another urgent matter has been handed over to us. One year ago surveillance stations near the Hadex Anomaly detected this ship being launched in the direction of the Warp Gate.” A picture of the Hadex Anomaly (pg. 324) appears in the air, replacing the ship.
“It is believed that the knowledge of the Warp Gate and its activation has not fallen into the hands of the Stigmartus, the army of the Dark Gods massed in the Charon Stars around the Hadex Anomaly. This ship was lost soon after its launch due to its peculiar mode of travel: it makes small hops in the warp, traveling through real space more than 40% of the time. We do not recognize the specific markings of this ship, but it is definitely a Chaos raider making its way to the Warp Gate. It must be stopped, at all costs.”
“We, by the Emperor’s Grace, have found the ship within strike distance. However, it will re-enter the warp for the last time in six hours. The next time it emerges will be at the Warp Gate, and its existence will no longer be a secret. We must destroy this ship.”
“As you all know, in this situation we would typically deploy by boarding torpedoes from a Hunter-class Destroyer, but we do not have those resources at our disposal. As such, we will have to launch you in the Thunderhawk again, and board the ship at the landing bay nearest the engines.” McKay says.
“This ship, however, is notable for another reason. It does not have functioning Gellar Fields, from what we can tell. This means there can be no human crew.” He gives the room a knowing look. “This is a daemon-ship. There is good news, though. The relatively unchanged outside tells us that whatever daemon that has taken control has not be able to fully manifest its will, and so the interior should still follow standard designs.”
“To make matters worse, because the Deathwatch never does anything easily, we are still limited in what sort of equipment we can choose. This innit a Deathwatch ship after all. Although I have been told by the Thunderhawk pilots that there are a few more items not available to you lot on your last mission. You hadnae been battle-tested as Deathwatch yet. This means we have, at our disposal, 5 melta bombs, which will be used to detonate the warp engines.”
“You have one hour to prepare yourselves, then we will launch. We dunna hae any idea what you may face over there, but be aware that a possessed ship is nothing to take lightly. Emperor Protects.”