The Battle of Castobel

11. Examining the Exterminatus

Examining the Exterminatus

Briefing:
The components of Inquisitor Quist’s legs whir softly as she moves away from the small strategium’s only door, enacting a locking ritual upon the door’s rune plate before doing so. “I am pleased you all answered my summons. I was hoping that my previous encounters with some of you would not cause a permanent rift between us.” Quist moves to occupy a position at the front of the room. A smile, obviously forced, comes to her lips and none fail to miss the oddity of the expression upon Quist’s usually stern features.

The Inquisitor is garbed in a simple light carapace armour with inscriptions on the breastplate and the Inquisitor’s legs are hidden beneath a pair of freshly pressed fatigues with flak paddings on the knees. “I would have you know that you may speak freely here. The room is properly warded against prying eyes and ears.” Quist moves to stand behind the strategium’s dormant cogitator rune plate but makes no overtures to wake it. For many seconds she stands there, staring at each of you in kind. When she finally speaks her voice is so low as to be undetectable without the aid of your sensory implants.
“What I am about to divulge to you must not leave this room. I am to trust you with information most in my order do not possess and that many would kill to steal.” The Inquisitor taps several of the runes on the cogitator’s console before the thing comes to life. A sprawling holographic map of the Jericho Reach suddenly hangs in the air above the console, rotating slowly to show you every angle. Tiny dots of light represent stars, each of which is surrounded by opaque balls of varying sizes and colors. “This,” Quist’s voice continues at her expertly slight whisper, “is the Jericho Reach as those aware of its existence know it.” The woman walks around the cogitator console, settling before an area of sparse black space. She extends a long mailed finger, barely touching the hologram. “Here,” she says pointing to the area of empty space “lays a world only a handful of human beings know exists. You’ll find it on no map or star chart anywhere. All mention of its presence has long since been stricken from Imperial record, even those rare few dating back to before the Age of Shadows.”

Inquisitor Quist’s finger withdraws from the space, leaving a pin-sized hole in the hologram. “The world was once known as JS-415 and was a frontier colony managed by the Departmento Munitorum in the time before the fall of this sector. Upon the return of the Imperium to the Reach, Lord Inquisitor Belgrade, companion to Lord Militant Achilus himself, classified this world for reevaluation. Belgrade apparently believed that there was a slim chance that the military presence upon JS-415 persisted, despite years of isolation in the vast darkness.”

Js 417 Quist returns to her position at the cogitator rune plate and stares directly at the mark she made upon the hologram. Her eyes linger even as she speaks, “Belgrade dispatched his personal retinue along with a young and hungry Inquisitorial apprentice. The details of the group’s encounters upon the planet are sketchy, but it is known to me that only the apprentice returned from the planet after issuing the order of Exterminatus and returned to Belgrade for debriefing. Again, the details of the conversation between the apprentice and the lord are beyond me. However, the result of the conversation is not. All record of JS-415’s existence was wiped from Imperial data stores. The Inquisition was extremely thorough.” Quist pauses to remove her eyes from the hologram. Her use of the word “thorough” implies murder.

“You are here, learning of JS-415 because I require your company upon the world’s surface. Had my personal retinue survived my last expedition, I would have doubted their ability in this matter. However, I trust that the elite Marines of the Deathwatch are up to the task.” You all get the feeling that this is the closest thing to a compliment you’ll ever receive from Inquisitor Quist. “I’ve already taken the liberty of speaking to Watch Captain Ramiel and he has released your team to me in Captain Brand’s absence. My goal is to investigate JS-415 to confirm or dismiss suspicions I have concerning the forsaken planet’s fate.” Standing straight, Quist locks her eyes upon Brother Nefarian. “The meeting with your Trader friend, I will have it now. I am curious to know how the man was able to get you to the surface of a quarantined Imperial world. Skills such as those will be quite valuable in this instance, as I wish this to be an…independent operation.”

Requisition available: 105 per space marine.

Primary objectives:
– Escort Inquisitor Quist to the surface of JS-415.
– Protect the Inquisitor at all costs.

Player Hand Outs 11

Mission Debrief:

After we had been briefed, Brother sergeant Nefarian and I went to a small room where i laid the Emperors Tarot to gain insight into which dangers my brothers and I would be facing on the supposedly barren surface of JS-415. I saw a starport (which i would later recognize as Starport Araghost ), followed by the sight of a crisis battlesuit, all of this was comsumed by a dark maw of nothing, and all that remained was a face.
I explained to my battle brothers that i was certain that there was a Tau presence on JS-415 and another dark and beastly danger as well.

As we left the shuttle at Frontier Post Tin Foil it was clear to everyone, that no exterminatus had been made on this planet. We made a quick scan to find our immediate surroundings devoid of life.
Brother Corben left the rest of the party to scout ahead towards Starport Araghost.
At the starport we spotted a minor Tau force of two battlesuits, one model crisis and one model broadside along with some firewarrior infantry.
We moved as close as we could without being seen, but the deserts was scarce with cover to say the least. Brother Corben stayed behind with the inquisitor and began opening fire from a concealed position. The Tau immediately replyed and fired back at Corbens position, which unfortunately was also the inquisitors position. Brother Corben didnt take much damage from the broadside, which was good, since his quick effort was probably the only thing that kept the inquisitor alive, she had suffered massive damage from the Tau fire.
Brother Apothecary N’Ban began moving for the inquisitors poaition. While i began to call forth a force dome to protect us from incoming enemy fire. The rest charged ahead right out in the open terrain, out of the force domes protection, and into a hail of enemy fire. I saw both brother Strages and brother Claverius take several hits. Battle Brother Tancred Strages was shot right out of the sky by a particularly brutal hit, I dispelled my force dome as everyone had left it anyway and drew my bolter and supressed the firewarriors engaging Battle Brother Tancred Strages, I even got a few kills out of it, but it stopped their devastating fire on my brother.
As my brothers closed in on the enemy they quickly made short work of the firewarriors. I took out the broadside battlesuit by boiling the pilots blood.
When the battle had ended we gathered and brother Apothecary N’Ban treated the injuries. We began moving through the space port and encountered a man, Alessander Vodis, He kept muttering the same lines over and over again. I recognized him as a psyker, though not imperially sanctioned. We decided to take him with us for further questioning, so my punch did not kill the man, though that is the mercy that all heretics and witches will earn at my hand. But we had little doubt that the inquisitor would want to learn what she could before doing her emperor bound duty to him.
All of a sudden I felt a darkness creep across the warp, I knew this was what the emperors tarot had let me glimpse at. I knew without a doubt that Tyranids were amassing on the planet, for it takes strong Tyranid node creatures to blot out the warp like that. Soon it would matter little whether or not an exterminatus had been called on this world. It would end its day in the tyranid maw.
Though brother Corben had scanned and found some lifeforms in one of the hangers, we bypassed them and went on to the control tower to salvage what information we could before leaving the planet to its dark fate. We did find some files that we managed to extract, so we called our shuttle and moved towards the tower. Up on the roof we could see an enourmous hive fleet amassing upon the planet. Spores were launched from orbit and crashed to the ground unleashing the foul Tyranids. As we stood on the roof awaiting the shuttle, we could see Shrikes taking to the sky and shortly after we could only watch as our shuttle burst and fell to the ground. We now had no way off this planet…
Down an open hangar door we could see two shuttles, one imperial (which had been rigged with explosives) and one Tau shuttle and some Tau infantry boarding their shuttle. We descended upon them with our jump packs and boarded the shuttle. We took the Tau completely by surprise, and in very little time we cleared out the shuttle of enemies leaving a few prisoners and the pilot alive. Brother Sergeant Gabriel Nefarian put a bolter to the pilots face and convinced him to keep flying the shuttle.
Still up on the Roof was Brother Apothecary N’Ban and Brother Corben with the inquisitor holding Shrikes at bay. Though some of them managed to land on the shuttle and was fought off manually. Brother Corben took a shot at a Shrike that split it in half. As the shuttle got to the roof of the starport Brother Corben and brother apothecary N’Ban entered the shuttle with the inquisitor and we made for orbit, leaving this planet for the tyranids.

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