Sword & Spoken Word

Captain's Logbook and Journal #1

6 000 996 M41

Arrived on Scintilla on the day of the new year. Met with Inquisitor Volgin. Offered to extend his influence to free up Autumnhall assets, as well as provide Inquisition resources, to reactivate the Autumnhall Warrant of Trade as a going concern. Will need a ship, crew, etc. Offer tentatively accepted.

Tagging these log entries with encrypted personal notes. What’s Volgin’s game? Surely he can get his hooks into an established RT line for far less cost than this. Why revive one of the old “Suicide Note” warrants? The secretive bastard is going to have to ACTUALLY BUY ME A SHIP… Autumnhall holdings could be in escrow for a year or more. This goes well beyond the usual level of access for an Inquisitor of his grade, I think. He’s either got his hands on a hull already, or he’s going to have some serious explaining to do for his seniors.

Which still leaves the question “why me?”. Perhaps he thinks an 18 year old will be easy to control. Well, once I have full control of the Autumnhall holdings, and my own ship, we’ll just see.

Departing in two weeks for a prison world, Heptapyrgion, to negotiate for indentured crew, aboard the naval frigate Accordance. Will recruit command crew and officers as time permits.

There’s another errand here as well. Volgin wants me to retrieve one of his agents who went missing there about two months ago. Who was sent, in turn, to look for a missing… survey team. And apparently, the fact that it was a survey team is a big secret. Something’s up.

We look to the Emperor for guidance.

6 030 998 M41

Senior Astropath recruited.

I have seen the Rose. I’ve read about it, but I never thought I would even see the Silver or the Gold. But today I saw the Rose Primarius, awarded by the Schola Psykana to only one graduate each year… and it was hanging around the neck of a little girl in a nightgown. It had strawberry jam on it.

This child is… gifted in surprising ways. I was a noted child prodigy, so it’s no small thing to say she matches me for wit and comprehension. But the child also remembers everything she reads, hears, or sees. Everything. And apparently no ship would take her because she’s a little girl. Well, I have my reasons. Besides, she reminds me of A. They’d be about the same age now.

Knowledge is power. Hide it well.

6 032 996 M41

Aboard Accordance, preparing for departure.

Attached a bullshit entry so I could put this note here. I think I have found my spymaster. Bastard’s secretive enough. Won’t meet in person yet, but he’s been a good source of intelligence. Had him check out the Inquisitor as a trial run, and got some really good stuff. I think I know what Volgin’s game is now, or at least the first layer. Not going to commit it to writing, though.

While the enemies of the Emperor still draw breath, there can be no peace.

6 039 996 M41

Departed and running under plasma impulse power.

6 040 996 M41

Transitioned to warp travel.

6 051 996 M41

Incident recorded. There has been a flicker in the Gellar field. We are checking, deck by deck, for signs of warp incursion. No recorded findings, other than three cases of panic-related hysteria.

The techpriests are sweating bullets. The official report says everything is fine, but if you read between the lines, they’re saying it a bit too… vehemently. This is isn’t just an incident, someone screwed up, big time. I need to find the least popular and least content techpriest, see if I can get him to break ranks and tell me the real story.

I am advised that there has been damage to plasma containment.

Well, that was easy. Magos Holt is borderline autistic, no social skills at all, technically brilliant and can’t figure out when to keep his damn mouth shut. Yeah, one of THOSE. He gave it up just for the asking. I didn’t understand a few of the details (although I pretended to be a lot more confused than I was), but the short version is that someone doesn’t know how to tune a plasma core, and damaged the tokamak. We lost power for a few hundred milliseconds, and the backups didn’t kick in because the diagnostics didn’t notice a thing.

I may have to cultivate Holt. He’s good at what he does, but best of all, he’s too clueless to bullshit me. Maybe I could publicly humiliate one of his superiors, someone who’s been on his case. Unsubtle, but if I go subtle, he might just miss it. If it goes well, he might just make a good engineseer prime… the qualities of a good leader are not always the same as the qualities of those who are good at seizing power. He’d be loyal enough… can’t think in anything but straight lines.

My ship doesn’t exist yet, and already it is turning into a flying rogue’s gallery. That’s if plasma containment failure doesn’t kill us all before we reach our destination.

Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

6 088 996 M41

Arrived at Heptapyrgion. After discussion with Commander Armengarde, plans were taken to divert the Accordance to the nearest docking facilities for repair of containment damage (a few days warp journey), while I and my staff conduct our business on the surface.

Senior Magos Gandermeyer’s objection is here noted for the log. The Senior Magos feels that saving a few days’ delay is an acceptable reason to risk the loss of Emperor’s frigate and twenty thousand of the Emperor’s dutiful servants to the warp. Let this objection hereby be noted, and let it be stated for the record that the Senior Magos is a devoted servant of the Emperor, motivated solely by his duty as he interprets it, and I have absolutely no reason to believe that the potential loss of face that he would sustain personally, if there were to be a diversion for repairs, played any part at all in influencing his technical opinion.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, you pompous twit. Actually, Gandermeyer’s objection was really to me asking Holt’s opinion, but that was what I wanted. Once I got him heated up by telling him to shut his mouth a couple of times, it was easy to make him appear to be objecting to the safe course of action that Holt was recommending, rather than to Holt himself. Once I got done, I’m pretty sure that everyone will remember it my way. And I would just love to see what this little record notation does for his future career.

AND I got Holt in my corner, which was what I wanted all along. The difference between failure and success is often the difference between what duty demands of men, and what loyalty inspires in men.

Sometimes I even impress myself.

Thy duty is to the Emperor first, thy master second, and thyself not at all.

6 089 996 M41

Touched down at prison facility. Prisoners in full riot. Guards overwhelmed but surviving in isolated areas. Accordance advised. I will attempt to coordinate response.

Well, FUCK. This is going to be a lot more difficult than I thought. Gotta take a bit to plan.
Okay, so sometimes I’m stupid. It’s a good thing I took some downtime to think about this. It’s actually like Erastide came early and left me a BIG DAMN PRESENT. I can get these men for free if I play my cards right. I’ve got a trump card… a fully crewed, horribly beweaponed military spacecraft waiting in orbit for my word. I can order the prison slagged with lancefire if I want.

Now all I have to do is convince Adamas that I’m on the verge of taking his men off by shuttle, and destroying the whole place… and he’ll concerned about saving his employer’s facility, and thus willing to give up the men for free.

And to quell the rebellion? Just play the same card again. I can burn them all to ashes, and if they don’t fear that enough, I could break the locks, and let the atmosphere in… the gas is heavier than air, and I don’t know exactly what it’s made of, but it’s most likely better for stripping paint off metal than for breathing. Also, they’re dependent on supply ships.

Here I was, thinking I had to quell a prison riot with a few armsmen and a twelve year old psyker, but all I have to do is wield the threat of superior force with some precision. I’ve got to start learning to think like a Rogue Trader.

Made contact with one group of guardsmen. Will attempt to bring supplies from orbit, restart vital systems.

Captain's Logbook and Journal #2

6 089 996 M41

First attempt to return to the shuttle bay has failed. Encountered mobs of prisoners displaying abnormal and aggressive behaviour. Possibly affected by some sort of malady. No signs of sentience or self-preservation. Only mindless, mobbing aggression. Retreated rather than face a mob of unknown size with only a few armsmen.
Weird. First a prison riot, now… zombies? They didn’t do much of anything until they saw Lyra. Then they went for her as a group. But… here’s the thing. Not immediately. No, they stood there for a while, staring. Then they all turned on her at once.

I think she… did something. Some psyker thing. And they… smelled… it? She won’t tell me, of course, she’s afraid, but I think she tried to ‘read’ one of them. And they instantly knew it was her.

For some reason I can’t articulate, I suspect this has more to do with who she is than what she is. With the Emperor’s presence in her, not her talents themselves. I’ll say nothing. I don’t wish to let on that I know about the ritual. The… binding. About why Astropaths’ eyes are wrong.

But I really think that a Sanctioned psyker, or a renegade, could have touched the things’ mind with no response.

Will make second attempt to return the shuttle bay, crossing the outside of the spire and over the surface in void suits. The poison atmosphere should keep off both rioters and “infected”.

6 089 996 M41

Successful. Made contact with second shuttle from orbit, bearing supplies, generators, equipment, and Senior Astropath Brahms. Astropath Brahms made observations on the phenomenon of the “infected” as follows:

<Redact. Sealed by Lord Captain Harlan Autumnhall to Ardent-level clearance and above. Inquisitorial – Naval – Astropathic only>

Eyes-only: Autumnhall, Harlan – Volgin, Erastes – Brahms, Yerastian – Armengarde, Edmund

Will attempt to restore access to vox system on the efforts of Magos Holt, and contact Warden Adamas.

Brahams says these things are a stain in the Warp. Lyra felt it too. We may be dealing with an Outside influence, even a daemonhost, or some agent of the Ruinous Powers. Or at least some Warp-related malady.

I don’t care. I’ve faced worse. I’m not staying out of another fight that comes to find me. Not again. Fuck them. And if Inquisitor Reynald Constance is still alive in all this shit, then he can wait until I finish fucking up these dirtbags. I’m insulted now.

Serve the Emperor today. Tomorrow you may be dead.

Captain's Logbook and Journal #3

6 089 996 M41

Power to the vox system has been restored, thanks in no small part to the efforts of TechMagos Holt, and to Emperor’s mercy in granting us the good fortune to be troubled no further by attacks from the strange husks of men we witnessed earlier. They can be heard from the depths of the prison, but whatever force or mischance moves them, it has not led others here.

Attempts to raise Warden Adamas on vox have met with no success thus far. I have left his man Lieutenant Cipriare to continue these efforts, while I proceed to <censored under Inquistorial remitt>.

Looks like Armengarde is either sending down anyone who volunteers to help, or he’s not firmly in control of his ship. The next shuttle had some sort of priest, and his Navigatrix Prime. She either likes to feel important, or her House keeps her on tight leash… she’s trailed everywhere by bodyguards in House colours. Name’s Nochellie, one of the Van Nostras. I’ve had dealings with them from… before, but not with her, so that’s probably not an issue. Anyway, she seems sharp enough, so I’ll let her tag along as long as she follows orders.
She’d actually be kinda hot (not as hot as Kyia, but not bad) if she didn’t have that third eye. Those things creep me the fuck out.
I’ll leave her here while I go contact Spectre. He managed to raise me on comms after Holt restored vox access… which involved digging through a stash of porn featuring… horses? Holt says this prison appears to be the hull of an ancient spacecraft. Now we know why they were drilling for valuables down in the depths. Archaeotech? Xenos artifacts? I now I have to be careful to uncover just the right amount of wrongdoing… enough to pry the prize loose from Adamas and his employers, but not enough to get everything seized by the Inquisition. Or burned with plasma fire.
I’ll bring Holt with me, anyway. He’s proving invaluable: does exactly what he’s told, does it well, and asks little in return except that the plan makes sense. How exactly his superiors managed to mishandle him I’ll never understand. Just don’t ask him to pray to a juice maker, is that so hard?

Life is the Emperor’s currency. Spend it well.

6 089 996 M41

<censored under Inquistorial remitt>.

Made contact with Spectre, and got him back to the shuttle bay after a bit of softshoe routine. Looks like Adamas is dirty, and not just lining his pockets, either, but into some nasty stuff, although it’s unclear what. I know for certain Spectre is telling the truth, or at least believes he is. Under the circumstances, he’s literally unable to lie to me.
Time to arrest the senior staff and see what shakes loose. First to get Cipriare away from his men.

A good soldier obeys without question. A good officer commands without doubt.

6 090 996 M41

Lieutenant Edholt Cipriare has been placed under arrest by my warrant. Inquistorial record of charges transmitted under separate seal.

Was easy to take him. Just walked him the shuttle, and Unk and Krunk just grabbed him. I’ll work out later whether Cipriare is a material witness, or a suspect. He spilled a lot of what he knew, or appeared to, when I mentioned the Inquisition, but it wasn’t much. He may be holding out. I may have him tortured some, and see, once I have the time.

It is better for a thousand innocents to perish, than for one heretic to escape the flame.

6 090 996 M41

Have returned to the Accordance to brief Commander Armengarde.

Plan is to get the central lock elevator working, and bring naval marines and heavy weapons down from orbit… we have about two thousand. We can split the Imperial Guard units up, put them with enough strangers to keep them loyal. Then we start killing husks, kill or lock down rioters, and find Adamas.
But something tells me it’s not going to be that simple.

Burn the heretic. Kill the mutant. Purge the unclean.

Captain's Logbook and Journal #4

6 092 996 M41

Briefed Commander Armengarde on planetside situation, including the appearance and behaviour of <censored under Inquistorial remitt>.

Have commandered 1500 naval marines to retake the prison and disarm the Imperial Guard garrison.

I will take a party of picked men to accompany TechMagos Holt and reactivate the prison’s central landing lock and freight elevator. Marines will then be landed in waves, proceeding to secure the landing lock, barracks, and armoury.

We will then push through to Engineseeing, restore power, and lock down the facility level by level.

Armengarde is no fool. One look through Holt’s servoskull vid records, and he agreed the husks are a psykic phenomenon, and gave me all the troops I needed… although nominally I don’t have to ask, I wouldn’t care to press the matter, not when the frigate and all its men are a command he’s held for years.

I’ve had no trouble concealing how and why I know more than I would concerning phenomena like this. Everyone sees Harlan Autumnhall the agent of the Inquisition, and never thinks to ask what I know from lore, and what I have seen with my eyes.

Advern Adamas will be placed under arrest when found, on evidence given by Spectre and Cipriare, and an Inquisitorial examination conducted.

Gandermeyer is not altogether dim. Holt mentioned finding “cool tech stuff” in the prison, and he perked right up and tried to inquire. I managed (I think) to keep him from connecting these notions to the facility itself, by implying that Adamas’ smuggling involved tech-heretical artifacts. But he’s chafing to get down to the planet. I won’t let him.

As a last resort, I could create the impression that I am shielding Holt from charges of minor tech-unorthodoxy, rather than hiding a whole derelict vessel full of archaeotech. But that ship WILL be mine, not some plaything of the priests of Mars, locked away in a archive doing no one any good.

If only I had some of my good, solid forgeworld techpriests with me, Ruskin, Sebring, or Magos Ephraiem, men who believe in using technology and learning from it, not locking it away and worshiping it. But those allies are lost to me now. Can’t even mention their names.

Holt is solid, but he can’t keep his damn mouth shut, and he’s only one man. Not a team. Not a salvage expedition. I need a lot of techpriests, and I can’t use Gandermeyer’s lot, not unless I can undermine him utterly. Perhaps he could have some sort of accident?

To fear is to doubt the Emperor. To doubt the Emperor is heresy.

6 092 996 M41

TechMagos Holt has successfully reactivated the landing lock exclusion field.

Holt has successfully cannibalized a sacred Rhino into a juryrigged abomination that can power a cargo lift the size of a spinball pitch. Gandermeyer will have kittens when he finds out.

Marines have landed and we are proceeding through the facility in force.

6 092 996 M41

The Imperial garrison is disarmed and evacuating to orbit.

They accepted us as a relief force. Went topside without a struggle. They may be loyal to Adamas, but they have no notion there’s any conflict, and they care more for a hot meal and a shower than they do for the disputes of their betters.

6 092 996 M41

Have made contact with the prisoners. They are disorganized, but peaceful for the most part. The riots appear to have been a reaction to increasing failures in leadership and shortage of supplies. While this is no justification for rebellion and heresy, there can be no gain or sense in attempting to administer the Emperor’s justice until the prison is locked down.

Of course it’s a fucking justification for rebellion and heresy. These morons seem to have expected men to lie down and die because duty or something. I am struck by an increasing sense of the incompetence of Imperial authority here. Such men would command starving animals not to bite.

They though authority was power. They were wrong. Power is power. Authority is merely a tool to grasp it with.

Spectre has a pretty good following among these men, and I have a grip on them through him.

I’ve instructed Lyra to play the little girl, and look harmless… and she used a telepath’s trick to make one charmable, got me some good information. I don’t think she realizes I know.

6 092 996 M41

Have ordered down relief supplies from orbit.

Spectre found me a…

No, can’t write it down, even here. They’d kill him. Or… the other thing.

I just keep thinking about Lyra’s eyes. I won’t let that happen.
Captain's LogBook and Journal #5

6 092 996 M41

<Entire entry sealed to Ardent-level clearance.>
<Eyes-only: Autumnhall, Harlan | Armengarde, Edmund | Brahms, Yerastian | Volgin, Erastes >

Message accessed by Richter Hague under the authority of Inquisitor Erastes Volgin. Decrypted cleartext follows

No time for detailed reports. Based upon eyewitness testimony, have tentatively identified husks as Tyranid genestealer hosts.

Current manpower resources have proven more than adequate for combating hosts, but we face the possibility of an unknown number of original genestealer organisms… possibly as many as one hundred. Presence of a high number of Tyranid hosts explains the warp presence observed by Listener Brahms.

Magos Biologica contact advises we are still within the estimated gestation period of first generation genestealers. Estimated one hundred female prisoners onstation, whereabouts unknown. Terminating them will be a first priority.

I will not oversee the loss of the Emperor’s facility without a fight. I will muster all available manpower and weapons, and we will retake the prison, terminating hosts on sight, and suspected hosts with extreme prejudice.

If we are pushed back, we will lay siege, removing or destroying all biomass in order to starve the monsters.

Failing this, we will open the prison to the toxic atmosphere.

If this does not avail, we will lance the prison from orbit.

We will not allow one single xeno to exist in the Emperor’s universe for a single moment in which we have the strength and faith to slay it.

Emperor lend us strength. I go now to address the men.
Lord Captain Autumnhall's address to the assault force

Officers and crew of the Accordance, men of His Holy Navy, fighting men of Imperial Guard, Techmagi of the Cult Mechanicus, soldiers of humanity, and faithful servants of Our Most Holy Emperor.

You will have heard the whispers of what we go now to face. Xenos infestation. Husks that were once men. Genestealer.


These are words to make men afraid, to test the courage and faith of the best of us. I will not lie to you. The threat is grave. But I say to you now, you need not be afraid. Rather, you should rejoice.

Because you are humanity, and all that is not humanity must fear you.

The ancient religions of Christ, of Buddha, of Vishnu, of Allah, of Elvis, taught that we were weak, mortal creatures, sinful beyond redemption through no act of our own.

But the Emperor tells you to be proud.

You are human; perfect in form, perfect in mind, strong in brotherhood, in action like an angel, in aspiration like a god. Nothing on the face of a million worlds compares to you. Your love, your joy, your pride, your anger, and, yes, even your hate, are all what it means to be human. It is to be true to your nature.

Others would have you feel shame. But the Emperor offers you pride in who you are.

The future of humanity lies in all the stars. To live in unity throughout the galaxy, to see the wonders of the cosmos laid out before us. There is something special in all of us, the spark of courage and faith, of loyalty and determination and brotherhood. The human soul, pure and incorruptible. It burns brighter than a billion torches in the dark.

Never listen to those who would tell you that life is suffering and existence is meaningless. Never listen to those who tell you you must be afraid.

For you are a man. And together, we are humanity. We have purpose. We are brothers.

All of us. For we are united against a universe that has recognized our greatness, and in its fear, seeks to destroy us.

The Emperor has shown us the way forward.

There are some, I know, for whom these words will not be enough. For fear and doubt still lie heavy on their hearts and souls. So this I say to you.

The Emperor watches over all of us. He is with us every moment. Our strength is His strength, and his strength is the strength of all of us. Guarding us. Holding us up if we should stumble. Protecting us while we do His holy work. Death, when it comes, has no power over servants of the Emperor, and should we die, we shall sit in vigil at his side, watching over better worlds that we helped to create.

What more could a man ask?

So let us go and do His holy work. Let us go and remind the alien, the sulking coward who infects, who infests, who subverts, that we are humanity, united in purpose, and no foe can stand against us.

For the Emperor!

Vox recording fragment

My Lord, this is all we have been able to decipher thus far from the secondary black box recorder.

While the stripped hull itself dates from the Age of Strife, this fragment appears to be of much more recent origin… post-Heresy. Historicus Balthazaar informs me that the language is a form of Low Gothic spoken around the end of the 41st millennium.

This fragment appears to be written directly on top of thus-far unintelligible older data, suggesting that it perhaps the results of accidental overwriting during analysis, perhaps by the individuals who stripped the hull and left it in its current state… strong evidence, perhaps, of when this might have occurred.

I have taken the liberty of delaying transmission until the Historicus could properly transcribe the one intelligible voice. As you will be able to observe for yourself, the fragment contains heavy background noise, and would prove difficult to understand even for one familiar with obscure dialect.

[Fades in] … cold bastard, and don’t tell him I said that. Scares me almost as much as the {thieves?}.

No, of course not unintelligible Armen unintelligible. The other one. The Lord {emphasized} Captain. Shot that woman without a moment’s pause, just put a plasma bolt through her. Said she was infected.

Yeah, but it was the way {emphasized} he said it. Like he was ordering fucking breakfast. Whole place covered in monster {sailors?} and this one scared girl and he just offs her. Got liquid nitrogen in his …

{1 minute, 34 seconds obscured by machine noise}

…pile of women with his flamethrower. What I don’t…

{47 seconds machine noise}

{12 seconds unintelligible multiple voices}

… four. If there had been five I’d not be standing here telling …

{15 seconds machine noise}

… Techpriest blasting here, there, and everywhere with that fucking … unintelligibletwo {emphasized} of them with it. unintelligible … the other one on fire.

No, the teenage girl. With the white eyes. Some kind of sanctioned…

{31 seconds blank}

… and it almost fucking reached us, except the Lord Captain runs at it with a fucking power sword. No more emotion than when he shot that woman. Like he forgot, like they all forgot, to be afraid. I was unintelligible my fucking unintelligible, I can tell you that.

No, it didn’t. He held it off. Then the nav … unintelligible … and he fucking gutted it. Those … unintelligible tear through fucking adamantite and inceram and he… unintelligible not one single …

{15 seconds machine noise}

… not serve with them if you …

{15 seconds machine noise}

… and a commissar with a shockprod. Follow them into a fight, yes. Serve under, hell no. I’d stay on this rock first.

Cover letter of a mailed document, intracraft post, HHN Accordance

His Excellency the Master of Staff, Ulrich Malmstein, Greeting.

Please find enclosed draft two of the primary salvage contract, including the changes you have instructed.

While I would not presume to question either your Excellency’s judgment, nor that of His Lordship whom we serve, I find myself puzzled by some matters of these instructions, and must ask for a clarification of intent, lest I or my staff mar the work through misjudgment of its goals.

First, the change of the language identifying the parties to the contract, from the style "Harlan, Lord of House Autumnhall of Aquainane (hereafter OWNER to the salvaged materials) " to “The first signatory party, acting in representation of the interests and instruments of House Autumhall” and so on, language duplicated for Magos Gandermeyer.

Is this intended to make the contract binding on the Magos personally if the Cult of Mars should fail to honour his agency? If so, there are more explicit ways to about such an instrument, and indeed the text already includes some of them. Or is such an… innovative… phrasing of the first clause intended for some other purpose?

Second, in the matter of publication rights, in separating the intellectual property rights to any methods and techniques found in the original material (assigned to Lord Autumnhall), and the sole right to create derivative works for commercial purpose (assigned to Magos Gandermeyer), this instrument effectively prevents either party (and indeed anyone) from profiting from any product created from what is learned from the relics of sacred technology without the permission of both.

And yet the contract specifies no profit-sharing arrangement. It is an agreement which forces both parties to come to an agreement, nothing more.

Is this truly your intent? Why?

Third, what is this vague notation in your notes about modifications to an entry in the Lord Captain’s log?

It would be most gratifying if your Excellency would condescend to educate my ignorance, thereby allowing me to better serve yourself and the Lord Captain.

- Legatus (Second Class) Julian Strause
House Autumhall Departmentio Lex

Julian, your second question is foolish. Of course there can be no precise financial agreement when the nature of the discoveries is yet to be learned. Forcing both parties to work in concert is precisely the intent of the entire document, and it is for this consideration alone that Senior Magos Gandermeyer and the Cult Mechanicus shall provide with the hundreds of techpriests required to salvage the components of the Pre-Heresy spacecraft.

Your first and third questions are beyond foolish. They are impertinent. Your instructions are perfectly clear, and your legal judgment is not required. You are to include the first clause language exactly as written to you, and no mention of any verbal agreement regarding a captain’s logbook.

I must remind you that your Lord is the holder of an Imperial Warrant, a legal representative of the Emperor Himself. To question him in his execution of this duty is the question the Master of Mankind.

I realize you intended no heresy, but how many times must I remind you of the dangers of this curiosity of yours? The doctrine of Blessed Ignorance exists for a reason, and that reason is not simply to tantalize and frustrate Legatus Second Class Strause. From the blackest lies of the Enemy of All Life to the details of the affairs of your betters, knowledge is a poison which, once tasted, cannot be spat forth again. That which has been seen cannot be unseen.

Do as you’re told, Julian, and stop fussing.

- U. M.

Holt's Prison Notes

Leaked into the prison’s database for public use via Magos Holt

Planetary & Facility Observations by Magos Siegmund Alessander Estabon Godwinne Holt

  • Atmosphere is toxic to non-augmented humans.
  • Machine spirits are suffering from low maintenance.
  • Archaic thruster platforms serve multiple uses based on power input.
  • Beware of pornographic stashes in maintenance holes.
  • Avoid laundry room without proper filtration and protection systems due to high levels of human sperm placating all surfaces.
  • Clear engineer tunnels of Tyrannid wastes and excrement. Use extreme caution; biomass may contain eggs.
  • Turrets are armed in several locations and are programmed to eliminate non-human biomasses. Sanctioned Xenos entry not recommended.
  • Genestealers are easily purged through extreme levels of firepower.
  • Any unclaimed tools are to be cataloged via inscribed number, type, physical description and then transported to Magos Holt.
  • A highly detailed report of all archeotech is to be delivered to Magos Holt upon completion, including picto-graphs, audio-recordings, and research for him to review for potential errors and future sanctioned experimentation.
  • Any item of the size equal to or smaller than a man portable lascannon that cannot be determined as to the purpose or nature of it, is to be transported to Magos Holt for study.
Outline Written for Ulrich Malmstein


Here’s some key points in our inquiries about the St. Cordelia, just off the top of my head, to get you started.

- Neither the Navy nor House Zurlinden has any reason to suspect that we’re trying to buy off the other side of the case, as well… just to think that this is a long term investment for House Autumnhall.

- Especially since they’ll figure that my full testimony (when the preliminary hearings are finally done) could steer the case either way. We should hint at this, not say it.

- House Zurlinden should be getting twitchy around now anyway. They’re not exactly swimming in liquid assets at the moment, their investors will most likely be nervous, and the docking fees and upkeep costs on a ship they can’t use must be bleeding them white. Not to mention court costs.

- We should present ourselves as an alternative to having to throw the case five years from now or so when they can’t afford to fight anymore.

- The Navy will be tougher to fend off. They have the stronger claim. But they’ll still know I could make this case difficult for them, if I did things like accept six months worth of a Captain’s salary from the Zurlindens.

- My thinking on this is that the Navy isn’t about the money, here, or the hull. This is about making a certain officer’s personal fortune, with his captain’s cut, as well as making his career, with an unexpected windfall for the Navy.

- We could proceed by emphasizing to this certain officer that if the case drags on for years, it could turn the opposite way… he wouldn’t be the smart officer who bagged the fleet a valuable hull, he’d be that court case ship guy, the one who got the Navy tangled up in court forever, expensively. Even if the Navy wins ten years from now, that’s ten years of Emperor-knows-what happening to his career. And of not seeing a single Throne of that money.

- If we play that angle, he might be eager to take a buyout, get both the Navy and his personal fortune a small but quick win. Still more money than he’s ever seen in his life, most likely. If he’s eager to deal, he might be able to swing the Navy.

I’m sure you’ll have more ideas. This is just to get you started.


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