Dark Heresy: Online 50

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Lazerus shouts, “Curtis, into that vehicle bay!”

Curtis steers the Dakar into the bay. It plows through the dune and slides to a stop inside. The hazard lights continue to flash as the outer door reverses it’s traverse and begin to close.

“Helmet’s on!” Lazerus commands pausing only a moment before he opens the rear hatch a bit to vent the cabin of the fumes from Lucius’ melting synapses.

Lucius’ mind is shattered bits and pieces of memories drift past like a million puzzle pieces. He grasps at them, gathering them, and trying to fit them together into a whole.

Smoke continues to drift up from his hood.

The interior of the vehicle bay is lit with sweeping flashes of orange from the hazard lights. It is a massive rockcrete room, cluttered with machinery and unrecognizable vehicles, all in an apparent state of disassembly.

The door slides shut and the lights go dark.

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Dark Heresy: Online 49

“Curtis! Get us in close!” Lazerus bellows.

Firing on full auto Stig plays the turret mounted heavy stubbers of the exterior of the looming mine rig. The heavy rounds punch holes in the plating and splash sparks from the superstructure.

Curtis stomps on the accelerator pedal and the Dakar speeds past the lumbering crawlers and closes with the outpost. The cascading purple lightning chains reveal the massive blast doors of the vehicle bay are closed and a drift of toxic soot three meters deep almost covers them.

“Spread out and keep moving, may the emperor guide your way, ” She shouts into the vox.

The other crawler veer off coming at the rig from every direction at once.

Everyone holds their breath waiting for the killing las bolt that never comes.

Lucious trapped in his mind will scream back in defiance all the time in bianary, “I AM HERE DAEMON! MY UTILIZATION IS AS PLANNED FOR THE OMNISSIAH! MY EMPIRE STANDS STRONG DAEMON, THE FORGES BURN BRIGHT AND HOPE IS INFLAMED WITHIN THE HEARTS OF MARS! YOUR EMPIRE IS THE ONE THAT HAS BEEN DECIMATED DAEMON, FOR YOU SURVIVE WHERE THE GUTTERS DARE NOT RUN!.”

The mechanical bird head twists sharply from side to side. The fires of numberswiki.com

it’s many eyes forming unholy symbols, forbidden tech diagrams and mechanical schematics.

“YOU ARE BUT SPARE PARTS TO USED IN THE CREATION OF TRULY INSPIRED WORKS OF THE DARK MECHANISM!!! YOUR BODIES ARE BUT RAW MATERIALS TO BE HARVESTED!! I WILL DEVOUR YOUR SOULS AND YOUR CORPSES SHALL BE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE GRAND ARCHITECT!! COME TO ME!!! COME LITTLE COG!!! I DEMAND IT!!!” A terrible sound like a burning motor fills the priests mind and he realizes it is laughter.

There is a flash of white sparks and Lucius screams, a shrill string of binary which soars to a high pitch whistle. The priest jerks spasmodically as a loud series of pops comes from inside him and blue sparks fly from his hood. Lucius slumps forward the stench of burning meat and plastic and a thick black smoke begin to fill the cabin.

Lucius is stunned. His mind blasted. He stares at his dusty metal feet trying hard to recall who and where he is. He can faintly hear shouting all around him.

Outside orange hazard lights begin to flash and the blast doors to the vehicle bay begin to slide open on rusted rails. The dune of ash shifts slowly down into the outposts interior.

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Dark Heresy: Online 48

The storm continues to rage, the wind driven dust screeching over the hulls of the vehicles and the violet lightning crackling across the sky. The convoy rumbles over the dunes, closing in on the forsaken outpost.

Curtis’s muttered prayers to the Emperor mix with Sila’s as the vehicles pass over the mine installation perimeter.

“Stig, weapons hot. Everybody else, lock and load.” Lazerus barks as he loads fresh magazines into his weapons.

The big guardsman wakes from his short nap and awkwardly reloads his weapons in the confines of the turret bubble. Following that he checks the ammo feeds on the stubbers and gets them ready for action, keeping eyes to the front.

Lucius’s body remains motionless. Inside his own mind Lucius feels the hot claws of the scrap code biting into the back of his mind and tries to extract himself from the scrap code he was studying. A sudden flash of fear fills his heart as he realizes he is stuck fast, the black tendrils of the sorcerers code tightening around his soul. Suddenly a grim face fills more info

his mind’s eye. A great avian skull fashioned from slithering black cables and corroded steel, asymmetrically spotted with burning red eyes, it moves with a bird like rapid precision. The mechanical horror face caws and hisses with the sound of grinding gears and escaping steam jets.

It screams in binary, raking Lucius’s mind, “COME FORTH, LITTLE COG! YOU SHALL BE UTILIZED AS WELL! YOUR GREAT EMPIRE MACHINE LIES BROKEN. A HEAP OF RANDOM PARTS TO BE SALVAGED BY THE GRAND ARCHITECT. COME FORTH LITTLE COG, YOUR DESTINY AWAITS.”

Lucius is trapped in his vision. His mind reeling with terror, unable to withdraw, his electronic synapses burning out one by one.

Suddenly the fat scarlet beam of a mars pattern las cannon slices through the storm and pierces the crew cab of one of the leading crawlers. A burst of flame immolates everyone inside. The crawler continues on slowly turning to the left trail a thick black smoke from it’s shattered control cab. The great machine trundles another hundred yards and then gently collapses onto the scorched earth as if to tired to carry on.

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Dark Heresy: Online 47

“Take us in close. Put the two crawlers next to each other and in the front. Curtis, keep us close to their backs so we can get in front if we get attacked. Once we hit the wall of the outpost we’ll dismount and find a way in.” Lazerus orders through the vox.

“Roger that, Brother Zuriel. There’s no wall. It is just a breaker rig. A great feat of Imperial engineering, six stories of incremental ore sifters, conveyors, grain sorters and jag bashers. There is also machine hangars and crew quarters, a small town within a factory machine. Bless the Emperors soul.” Horatio speaks reverently from the vox grill.

Outside the Dakar the great crawlers plod into a new formation, two in front, the other two bringing up the rear.

Zaphon speaks directly to Lazerus. “We haven’t been out here for so long. I have no idea what to expect.”

The crawlers crest over a high ochre dune. For a long moment, as the Dakar reaches the top of the dune, a jagged web of purple lightning rips over the horizon and illuminates the wastes beyond. Across the open wastes, clouds of oxide ash and caustic dust swirling around it’s pylons sits a massive black construction, Mine outpost Thirteen. Supported over the desert on great rockrete pillars, shielded conveyors stretching out from it like giant spiders legs, is an entire towns worth of buildings and factorum domes, all growing out of each other like a cancerous tumor. The entire shell of acid scorched hexaplate is dotted with hundreds of armored work lights and the whole monstrous thing looks like an evil mechanical hive for a brood of robotic wasps. The purple lightning slashes the sky, grounding on the tips of the rig spires and arcing across it’s super structure.

Curtis whistles through her teeth.

Kron curses under his breath.

“Brother! Now is not the time for blashpemy!” Hercutio scolds him.

Lucius is quiet and still. Working out the notions the scrap code lays before him. His constant attention seems to agitate the malignant code and it has begun to form complex patterns and lines of data. Lucius drifts deeper into the code work, his mental shielding slipping away as he delves into the unknowable. The jagged claws of the corrupt code work digging into his own mind as he digs into them.

Sila begins to pray.

Another flash of the crazed violet lightning and the clouds roll in, once again obscuring the sinister outpost from the eyes of the faithful.

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Dark Heresy: Online 46

Purple lightning rips through the heaving orange clouds of the storm. Tiny arcs of static play along the trundling legs of the crawlers, slowly advancing before the Dakar.

Stig, his visibility at nil, settles into his seat for a well needed nap.

Lucius remains in a trance, analyzing his files.

Curtis gets on the vox, “Are any of these crawlers armed with self defense weaponry?” She asks.

The reply comes through in a hiss of static. “No ma’am. They are designed soley for ore hauling in difficult terrain. Their armor is thick and they are damn near unstoppable though.” Horatio’s voice comes back to her.

Time passes slowly, filled with the ever present howl of the winds, the rumbling drone of the engines, and the metronome like thumps of the crawlers legs.

Curtis guides the Dakar over the toxic dunes and ever onward.

Everyone has settled into quiet contemplation, when the vox crackles and chirps, snapping them out of their introspection.

Horatio’s voice comes from the speaker grill. “We are approaching the Outpost. Another 5 kilometers and it will be in sensor range. We are still 7 kilometers out. I do not believe we will have visual contact until we are at less than 200 meters with this storm. How would you like to proceed?”

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