The Price of Ambition

A Strange new World

They stood around the body of creature that was rapidly decomposing and propagating new spores. A drop ship was coming down from the New Venture bearing those who did not make it onto the Gun-Cutter. Alaric looks up, “Ah backup wonder full, hope they brought some incendiaries.” “Oh…I really hope they are bringing me a better sword.” Fae says looking at the decorative cutlass in disdain.

The drop ship landed near the gun-cutter. Which would deposit the only Missionary on the vessel to the surface. Not understanding why her family saddled her with such a terrible burden she look far less excited then most being sent onto a deathworld. Next to her is a large servitor wreathed in heavy armor its arms replaced with large flamers feed by a tank on its back. Its head covered in thick armor as well. Heavy hoses connected from the helmet to the chest. Rather dim witted creature but it suited the job.

Alaric walks over to the servitor and starts speaking to it , “BOB you made it. How you been old boy?” while Fae looks inside the drop ship for her new weapon random items flying out of the dropship as she tries to find something useful.

“I will never understand why you insist upon speaking to a servitor” the missionary said almost solemly. Alaric responding with a bit more passion “They are people just like the rest of us you pious shack of rotted flesh” “Well… were people.” Ianus adds. "They still have spirits, It’s just a different type of spirit now. Alaric Replies.

Alax remained silent, she almost said something but thought better of it. You don’t question a tech priest when it came to such thing- “Warps bosom what is that?!” She said moving to cover, away from the flying objects. There were additional weapons in the lander from various types. The thing is using them properly and without putting themselves in danger. Fae however was having no such luck finding one that suited her style.

They heard the hiss of pressure as that raw promethium mixed with the cylinders with the other chemicals that would produce such powerful gouts of flames. Naevia approached “I save these things when I need them most” A loud clang filled the ship as Fae jumped quickly to her feet standing in front of Naevia with a foolish expression on her face. “My lady I didn’t see you there. My apologize for not greeting you sooner.”she looks around at the weapons littering the forest floor.“Ahaha…sorry for the mess..” Fae says begining to picking up all the thrown about items outside the lander.

“M’lady.” Alax bowed quickly. Naevia gave a small smile in return. “I was watching all of you interact. However we are out of time for such things and we must het started on our real reason for coming her.Now then as I stated I want the ruins explored to find out what happened to my families rivals” Alax blushed then bowed again “I apologize, I must admit I was not much use earlier. I am afraid I was drugged by the fauna and Fae then had to save me. Erm. Twice.” She paused then bowed towards Fae, “Thank you for that again Ser Fae.”

Alaric sighs then bows, “I’m sorry milady, we ran into so trouble along the way, with this new gear and resupply though we should be able to properly defend ourselves should things go south again.” Harolt also sighed and stepped off the ship glad to be out of the tight confines of the gun cutter. checking her flamer and chain sword, feeling that she would likely need both before the day was out.

Naevia patted the thick armor of the servitor “Now these things cost a literal fortune. So hard to make. And even harder to repair if to heavily damaged” We shall do our best not to break it Naevia. Wouldn’t want to harm the profits now would we?" Ianus smiled awkwardly, truly aware of how many layers of trouble he would be in if he was caught damaging the rouge traders property. Atleast Alaric was confident “I should be able to keep it in good shape. milady, but we still shouldn’t press our luck, lets’ head out before more beasts come.”

Like a unified team the squad picked up flamers, all desciding flames will be the best tool against these plan like abominations. After picking out a flamer and two sets of fuel for it, Alax steps back. “Alright, this should do.” Alaric straps his flamer to his back then nods in agreement.“Alright team lets move out, we licked our wounds, it’s time to give this planet a black eye in response.”

Fae goes to leave then stops turn back and bowing towards Naevia and giving her a quick kiss on her cheek. “Back soon M’lady, please do not do anything risky while I am not around to defend you.” Fae then jogs into the forest towards the ruins, Alax following cautiously.

It doesnt take long untill the enter a clearing, within it is a group of large building worn and having suffered the cruel hands of time. All around the buildings were craters overgrown and filled with water the only sign of their existence was raised edges.

“Ok guys lets go to the smaller building first, check it out completely and we can set up a small camp. Afterwards we can check out the bigger ones.” Fae said still scanning the enviroment for threats. suddenly Alaric calls out, “Some one toss a greande down one of those holes, don’t want anything come out of them do we.” Fae sighs at the idea. “We dont want to alert anything to our presence yet…explosions tend to do that.” “and Isn’t that overkill? We don’t know if they will harm us. And a grenade may… wake things up.” Alax adds. Supporting the not playing with explosions plan. Alaric however was not ammused. “Fine then let’s at least position BOB at one of the holes then, just in case something does come out” he directed his robot friend towards the nearest hole.

The missionary also piped up, nodding at Alarics words. “Loathe as I am to agree with the tech priest it would be unwise to ignore the danger these holes could hide.” Alarics Face went blank with disgust. “Wait if the slack jawed moron is agreeing with me then there must be something wrong with my plan” Fae just laughed. “people…just follow me to building two, the holes cant hurt you then”

“I’m more worried by what made the holes. For all we know there might be some giant worm under our feet, or a swarm of burrowing lizards, or worse, tech heathens!” Alaric said, a small sarcastic laugh trying to break the tension. “My friend, every world is full of deadly xenos and horrible creatures, all we can do is stay alert and press onwards, Should we tally at every bump in the night or shadowy hole, we will never complete our ladys mission.” Fae tried to move her party onwards but was doing a bad job at it.

“Fine but when your lizard food for the beast king don’t come crying to me.” Alaric says grudgingly. “The Emperor protects” Harolt simply added.Fae’s eyes suddenly flash with a icy cold stare. “any such creature who thinks it can eat me will be made aware of its error.” from the Combat Servitor came a voice that was stale and cold. A cold emotionless voice “Elevated levels of radiation. Probable cause, bombardment”

Alax however moved around to the strange object in the center of the ruins. “Dont touch it!” Fae says glaring disaprovingly "I won’t. Alax replied looks chagrined. “….Not foolish. Looked important.” she said muttering to herself. Then moving back.

Alaric moved forward to investigate the weird device, However When he came close to investigate the device produced a blue orb that expanded outwards into a star map. And a voice speaking some ancient Terran dialect was produced. At the same time both Alax and Fae noticed some thing move from their south to leap to the top of the building or somewhere in the shadows above them. Fae looks for a staircase to the roof. After running into one of the buildings after it. Getting up their Fae did not notice anything in particular about the roof top.

While Alaric made no progress on the map, unable to understand the weird form of Gothic coming out of it, Ianus was however able to understand parts of it. Something about the project to strike the geo-city of New Olympia. The map is displaying images of the Sol system.Something dropped in front of Alax suddenly before dashing forward to knock Ianus over before leaping away falling into the device tipping it over causing the map and voice to stop suddenly.

Alaric yells out, “What the feth was that!” Ianus stands up and brushes himself off. “I don’t think it wants us to read this, but it might not be hostile.” Fae runs towards building two. “We will see how hostile it is when i’m jamming a chain-sword up its *Language unacceptable for Alax’s ears”

“It could be a creature that is trying to lure us into a trap”Alaric says “Pack tactis and what not.” Alax ran over to stand by the exit to building 2, ready to kill it as it ran out. “Ser Fae,” She said, pointedly ignoring Alaric, “Would you prefer backup?” “I’m fine” Fae responds “I just need to catch the damn thing, try and flush it towards me.”

Fae looks around the first floor for the monster then proceeds upwards. Ianus lifts up the pedestal, righting it while Alaric checks the glass domes to see what’s inside. Inside the building were strange devices. The interior of those devices held in stasis some kind of organic looking spheres. Fae thinks she sees movement at the next landing of the stairs, the second floor. Motioning for someone to take my place at the stairs she then heads up. Sword at the ready.

Alaric attempted to get the devices online, but the entire building as minimal power and everything is in standby mode. He knew the systems were on but the language barrier was preventing him from getting them online properly. Ianus walked over to Alaric “Very well, what do you need me to do?” Alaric just pointed at the device “Translate what the text says on screen, I can handle it from there.”

Fae looks around the second floor, her chain-sword slowly humming. “come out and fight..” She makes her way across the room slowly and checking the shadows for movement.

The system begins to speak in low gothic.

(Date January 15th 23,102 CE, today we received word that Mars is attempting to claim independence from Earth. Before the Republic Senate that freak once more appeared. Some self appointed Emperor. Bull shit. The project now has a new target. New Olympia. Geo-City, capital of Mars.)

“It seems that way, these ruins… they must be ancient! But why would information about Mars be all the way out here?” Ianus remarked. “And where is ‘Earth’”

(Date May 20th 23,102 CE. We received word martian terrorists assassinated the peace delegation at Calypso Station. The project is proceeding as normal. At current estimate even if half the payload survives the Martian ecosystem, that Earth engineered will collapse inside a month.)

“That was the old name for terra.” Alaric mentions, more focused on the message then Ianus’s questions.“Theses flesh things must be the payload, mentioned in the message. Could what attacked you have came from one of these pods?”

The Combat Servitor moved quickly. Something its size did not think it was capable of. Pushing past Alax and up the steps towards Fae “Auspex scanning has revealed multiple contacts above us” “Quickly we need to follow it.” Alaric said. “I’m sure it’s fin…” Ianus sighs “Very well. Let’s throw ourselves at danger once again!”

“Everyone just stay safe, Ill handle combat directly, pick targets and exterminate them as you can. Fae said moving towards the next floor.

The Combat Servitor again the hissing pressure of such dangerous chemicals cycling together. Pilot lights being activated. Its backpack began to glow to preheat the chemicals. This would burn far hotter than the flamers they carried. Even they could feel the heat through such insulation “Auspex scan detecting movement of 10 unknown threats”

BOB, get ready to flash fry the room on my command” Fae says poking her head up the staircase and looking into the third floor. It was far more humid on the third floor than the other two they had just come up. The equipment did not fair so well in the years following. A large rent in the side of the wall, hidden from the ground was clear and it went up to the next level allowing the planets strange biology to interact with what was here. She was only able to make out a few distinct shapes. Very thin bodies. Elongated heads with bright yellow eyes. Three small legs that ended in three fingered hands. Two arms that had an extra joint in them. Clawed feet ending in razor sharp talons. A third smaller leg came from the low back to give it an odd looking form of movement.“Hmmm…Guys I want you to gather the data from below and some organic samples.” she said quietly.

“Bob aim at the room, any hostile movement open fire.” , one of the creatures mouth parts opened into a triangle shape and a long black tongue snaked out to grip what animal it was holding and with a tug ripped it apart before drawing parts of it into its three rows of razor sharp teeth. Th Combat Servitor would then move up the stairs “Suggestion,” It said "retreat to lower level. Temperature will increase to three thousand degrees in a second. The turbines that powered the weapons kicked on. They only had a moment to comply.

“Oh crap!” Fae Dives down the stairs. Alaric slightly behind her, however luckily Fae managed to catch him, preventing his daring leap from causing him any harm.

Combat Servitor would trigger the firing mechanisms. Even down on the first floor the heat was intense as the pressure difference was terrible. With the door left open and the rent in the third level. It would get dangerous for them as they could feel the air pressure trying to lift them up. he roaring of passing wind as it was sucked up into the firestorm died suddenly when the servitor stopped firing. Fae goes and checks on the third floor.
However The stairs would be cooling rapidly as she attempted to climb back up. Very little was left inside. The desks had been vaporized. So contained was the heat and flame that the stone and metal walls melted and fused into a surface of highly reflective glass.
“Fuel tanks down to 75%” it said with the same robotic voice.

“Uh….area clear…” Fae said trepidly. “BOB next time wait for my order… you almost cooked us back there.” During this time Alaric attempted to open one of the tanks containing the pods.“Biological alert. Biological alert. Removal of specimens designated as alpha group without proper safety gear. Alert. Alert. Biological contamination detected” Thankfully he had changed the language settings. “Oh shit, oh shit, closing the container closing the container.” Alaric desperatly yelled.“Crap it’s not stopping,” Alaric puts his sample into a sealed container and get moving on trying to shut down the alarm.

Those fleshy pods began to show rapid decay and the areas around them started to be covered in moss, like outside. In seconds the fungi started to grow and the glass was shattered. The doors into the lab sealed from the biological alert, closing on their own. In a minute the entire device was covered in moss. The machine parts did not last. It was fascinating really. This alpha strain was incorporating what it was growing from into itself and mushrooms had a metallic sheen to it.

Fae walks down the stairs after hearing the alarms, Alax following behind her.

CRAP NEED TO TYPE FASTER! NEED TO GET OUT OF HEAR!, QUICK GET BOB AWAY FROM THE MOLD!” Alaric Screamed in horror. The Combat Servitor focusing its targeters on the mold and fungi. That ever familiar cycling sound as pressure built.

“Bob? Bob that’s a bad idea.” Ianus Timidly says.“BOB STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!” Alaric Screams
Fae wastes no time grabing Alax and draging her upstairs, Alax letting herself get pulled along, a touch reluctantly.

Alaric attempted to shut BoB off, However The Combat Servitor remained standing there. From its shoulder a beacon emerged as it was getting another signal. The Combat Servitor had Aegis barriers in place around its core programming. However luckily it recognised Alaric, slowly shutting down."

“Biological hazard remains. Unable to comply authorization of Doctor Emila Kazarov required. Unable to comply. Internal pacification systems offline”

Fae comes back down the stairs. “Good job Alaric.” Looking at the mold Fae readies her flamer, releasing gouts of burning promethium into the damaged systems. The flames darkened the fungal bed and further growth seemed to stop.

Alaric desperatly tried to life the Quarantine eventually hearing the sound of the female voice once more, “Biological hazard lifted. Doors opening. Please report to decontamination” Alaric began freaking out. “Must clean the flesh, It must be cleansed”.

As Alaric was lifting his data slate up to look at it he noticed a slight discoloration of the metal. Like copper exposed to the elements as it became green. It was only a very small localized spot.

The decontamination and medical facilities where in the living quarters (building 3) on the first floor. Alaric began his crazed sprint towards it. Alax frowned, but wordlessly followed. She wished that the Lady Trader would allow her to have her own Gun Cutter. she would be much more comfortable in these area if she could patrol it from the sky with a twin linked heavu bolter.

As the minutes passed Alaric noticed pitting like the metal was left out in acid rain. What could have only been only a few spores was quickly growing. “I could burn it off if you’d like?” Fae says snickering Alaric yells out, “Yeah and the rest of me with it. Lets get to that building” He rams though the door and begins heading up decontamination chamber.

The entrance of building three was beautiful, or it once was. Marble floor was still mostly intact. A few pits in it from old explosions. The columns of intricately craved stone once held images of the divine. In scrolling text was “Et ait: Germinet terra herbam virentem, et facientem semen, et lignum pomiferum faciens fructum iuxta genus suum, cuius semen in semetipso sit super terram. Et factum est ita” "

“And he said Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth. And it was so” Fae says solemly.

“Time to get my self clean” Alaric yelled slamming into one of the doors, causing no damage, Fae couldnt help but sigh. “Always check if its unlocked first” she says turning the handle he front door was unlocked which lead into that lobby of the living quarters. Down to the left where the medical wing was was just arches every so often. The sitting areas were scenes of battle. Pieces of armor and weapons lay scattered around. Around the medical wings entrance was heavily barricaded.

Ianus starts studying the weapons. While the rest of the team begin removing the baricades to the medibay. Even the combat servitor lending a hand. The weapons and armor are all from patterns at humanities height of both the Golden and Dark Ages of Technology. Having spent more than fifteen thousand years laying around the fact they still knew what they were suppose to be spoke of humanities knowledge and Stuck into the wall was a very beautiful sword that nothing seemed to touch it. Moss did not hang from it. No rust clung to its metal. The blade was still bright with the hilt being rather long for two handed swings and other uses for leverage. Hanging from a chain at the end was an star shape with an eagle on it.

The way was clear for Alaric with one massive swing of the servitor’s arms it had cleared out all the debris. Fae however couldnt help but be drawn to the sword. Fae tears and rips bits of cloth from her armor and binding her hands with it, then slowly reaching out for the sword.

“It has the sign of the eagle, it is blessed.”Alax said solemly “Its a sign. Have no fear Alaric, the Emperor’s eyes are on us.We must move on though.” Ianus however was still concerned.“Fae wait!” Let me take a look at it quick, I want to make sure there’s no… taint on it. The warp is pervasive and cunning, you can never be too careful. Especially when it comes to beautiful items."

“Dont worry Ianus…i’m pretty confident I cant be tainted any more then I already am.” Fae looks a bit sad then draws the sword. Ianus just stands their in disbelief “I… of course you can Fae. Of course you can.” When she touched the hilt the stone would glow for a moment and the blade slide free. It was incredibly light. The nano-circuitry evident in the hilt and down through the blade. Alax watched in Awe “Fae don’t say that. You’re a good person. The sword would not have come to you otherwise.” Alax’s world was blessedly simple sometimes. She was no fool, she was bright, but she was of the kind who had decided the way the world worked and had utter trust in that belief."

Fae does a test swing. Judging the swords balance and range, Slipping into a slow sword dance to get used to its weight.Ianus hops back. While Fae looks at the sword with a sorrowful smile. Almost wistfully.

In the medical room the damage was just as evident. Stasis pods kept their charges time locked. The glass was cracked and in some place completely shattered with that moss growing across the ground. They noticed another body that was covered in a strange looking armor. Alaric ignoring the distractions and begins looking for the decontamination switch. “I need some one to come here an press start for me, I can’t do it my self because I’m in the chamber.” Alax chasing after Alaric, He was able to keep it in check through sheer force of will and urging his mechanical biology to resist. “PUSH THE BUTTON QUICKLY ALAX, I CAN”T HOLD UP MUCH LONGER" "PUSH IT NOW!

While elsewhere Fae would begin speaking to herself.

“I’m sorry I am no longer welcomed on Terra…If you would wish I could find someone more suitable to return you to your home.”

“In this era the Church of the God Emperor rules over man, with the high lords of terra speaking on behalf of him.”

“Fae… who are you talking to?” Ianus Says with Concern. “At first I thought it was the sword, but now it feels like you’re having an actual conversation.” “Fae… that sword… is that sword talking to you?”

“I cannot say, its beyond my knowledge, I only know that it was during a Age of Strife..Humanity suffered terribly and only threw the emperors protection did we survive.” Fae says ignoring Ianus. Appearing to be enthralled, not really paying attention to her surroundings. her face still an expression of sorrow.

Ianus runs to Fae and attempts to shake her, “Answer me damn you! Whatever that sword is telling you is not to be trusted!” however as he reaches out he is gently pushed to the side as if slipping gently against the wind.“What?” Ianus Tries again, however the result is the same, it is here that Alaric enters the room trying to approach Fae asking what’s going on.

“I’m sorry, if it is no problem Id like to hear of these Principles..while the emperor’s light still shines upon a few, many a left in the darkness, humanity is dieing, being hunted by xenos and chaos alike…principality and integrity are also slowly perishing, Even my own sisters were hunted and slaughtered for no reason then they had been around me.” Fae adds, still with a solem voice.

“Oh Throne no…” “She’s… she’s communing with the sword. It must be tainted.” Fae just spoke over him. “if you know of a time where humanity had principles I would desperately like to hear it..”

Fae then fell to her knees crying. While Alax does the only thing she knows to do and hugs Fae. Tightly. “Ser Fae. I can’t imagine what you are struggling with your burden, or what you’ve done. But you’re here for a reason. You’re with us for a reason. Everything has a purpose, everything is guided by the Emperor, it may be painful, but the road is rough and perilous. But do not doubt that you are here to do great things. The Emperor protects. The Emperor watches. The Emperor guides. Even a little faith can guide you in the darkness, and at the very least… You’ve always been there to help us. A guardian angel. Please. Don’t give in. Don’t despair. Come back to us Fae.”
(Good enough?)

“The truth is Fae, you are our shield. You are our sword and bastion. Thats what you are. And the rest. You have a heart. You couldn’t wonder this if you didn’t. Fight for mankind. Fight for our lady Ser Fae, and do your duty. Trust in the Emperor to let the rest fall into place.”Alax tightened her grip on her, and rested her head on her shoulder lightly. While Ianus positioned himself in front of Fae and Alax. Alaric and Alax heard it coming in from the far corner of the medical ward, beyond the contamination area. By the sound of it, it was breaking through the small cracks already.

Alaric and Alax heard it coming in from the far corner of the medical ward, beyond the contamination area. By the sound of it, it was breaking through the small cracks already.
It was large. The top of its cone was ripping apart the ceiling from its passing. Brightly colored bio-luminescence up and down the cone. Its head, if it could even be called that was just beneath the cone. On each side of its was a cluster of 4 eyes. Huge thick tentacles for both motion and attack moved out beneath it. Flukes in the cone produced a strange mist. Perhaps more spores. When this place was attacked perhaps such planet wide growth was the weapon systems ecology taking over. And in fifteen thousand years, this is what it became.

FAE!"
“Please Fae. Please. Please.”
“We need you Fae.” Alax called out desperatly.

While BOB took care of the threat. It got very hot. Very quickly. The creature exploded from the sheer pressure difference before the flames consumed the spores as well. On the bad side it set the building on fire.

“Fuel reserves down to 50%”

Alaric runs into the center of the room and grabs the helmet from the body, “Come on we need to get out of here. Alax, you can touch her now, can you drag Fae out of there?”

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