On Fairer Tides

Part 1: Maiden Voyage

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The salvage crew approach the wreck of the Stalwart Zephyr

The back of the once great transport was broken. The Ork ram that still jutted from it's midsection had ruptured the central support structures and left the vessel functionally floating scrap. The ship had been missing for 30 years, yet by some miracle the auger readings reported life aboard. In a flurry of activity a contingent of armsmen and technicians are prepared, a wing of lighters fuelled and the Tetrarch's don their voidsuits. This salvage had gotten slightly more complicated…

[Orks contest our salvage of a wreck]
In the vaulted command chamber of the Lazarus, the new Council convened. The Pact was freshly struck, and each Tetrarch was still gaining measure of the others. Harlon stood serene, waiting as his colleges perused his diligent prepared datapack; Xaver lounged in his seat, toying with his amasec as Marius paced deliberately; Giger merely loomed, digesting the data in silence.

Copies of a message, too distorted to provoke action by the Governor, had begun to circulate; it was whispered that the message gave the location of the long-vanished Stalwart Zephyr, and Harlon had obtained the original. It was agreed that the Lazarus would raise anchor immediately, ere a copy should fall into another Trader’s hands.

The aethyrium ebbed low and still as the Lazarus sliced towards the Cineris Malificum, abreast of the system Cobalt. The weeks at warp were the crews’ first under the command of the Tetrarchs, and every rating beat to their duties with nervous care. As the ship approached the garbed coordinates, the Navigator Primaris strode onto the deck and declared the transition site safe. With a growl, the Lazarus erupted once more into reality and cast out it’s augur-calls into the surrounding darkness.

After some hours of scanning the starless space, the ruin was located. The Zephyr drifted alone, transfixed through the heart by a crude xenos ship. Xander cursed under his breath, identifying the other as an Ork Ram. Donning their armour, the Tetrarchs gathered an escort and boarded the gunship, making for a section of the Zephyr still endowed with oxygen. Giger’s chattering servo-skull swept into the darkened corridors, running it’s auspex over surfaces slick with recycled air. The Magos worked efficiently to unlock the bulkheads they found in their way, until the drone came upon a group of huddling figures in the ruined bridge. These bedraggled survivors were the last members of the Zephyrs crew, ground down after decades being hunted through the bowels by the greenskins. Xander offered them free passage in exchange for the rights to pick over their ruined home; their 1st Officer Nataly Baystar agreed.

At Marius’ direction, an ingenious network of killzones, bolt-holes and barricades was arrayed between the hangar and the Ork-infested hydroponics facility. Judged the most valuable remaining salvage, it was seized and dismantled over several days of fierce fighting, with the vital components welded free and carried off by shuttle. As the fighting wore on, Harlon proposed a sally to reclaim an artefact recalled by the ship' missionary, Brother Ahmed . A shard of armour - purported to have been from Saint Drusus own divine panoply - had been seized by the Freebooter Kaptin. Harlon led a devious counter-ambush of the Ork sentries, the shock of explosions and the clash of Choppas deafening in the narrow corridors. Drenched in gore and staunching small wounds, the group threw open the doors of the Snagrok’s sanctuary. Surrounded by an impossible sea of bodyguards, the grinning hulk waved aside their noble challenge, instead proposing to trade the trinket for repair materials. His lunatic Mekboy Grimbo had more to reveal, quietly offering his looted disruption cannon in exchange for assassinating the Kapt'n. The Tetrarchs’ false assurances pleased the aliens, who allowed them to withdraw to ready their betrayal.

In a roar of plasma thrusters, the great tow-chains of the Lazarus were used to tear asunder the Stalwart Zephyr. Heaving the Ork Ram free of her corpse, the old vessel split apart, spilling open the valuable cache into the waiting hands of the Explorers’ salvage team. With momentary regret for the loss of the rumoured relic, the looted Manufactorum was loaded into The Lazarus' cargo bay.

But the prize could not be enjoyed for long, in the shadow the wreck the raider Carbonaria had been perched like a vulture waiting to strike. It's captain Ferenzous was a reaver of some renown, eager to loot the Council's hard won profit. But the raider was no match for the Lazarus' speed and size; expert bombardments under Xaver's seasoned eye and sabotage hit-and-run actions led by Marius crippling the raider before a final salvo detonated it's warp drives in a cacophonous violet explosion the size of a small sun.


Part 2: Aftermath

The Noife, as the Ork vessel had been discovered to be named, and the Stalwart Zephyr were towed through the Warp and left in dark space, the vast blackness between known systems, to be retrieved later should the need for additional profit arise. Spirits were high on the journey back to Footfall, the newly formed crew having their first real success under their belts. The Council even gathered to celebrate the fall of the Terran standard new year with a shared case of amasec that Xaver had brought from storage.

This relaxation would not last however, as Chief Chirurgeon Bishop would soon report the survivors of the Stalwart Zephyr to be infected with Ork spores from their time with the Orks. Heated arguments were had aboard the bridge, with options ranging from execution to vivisection considered and discussed. Eventually the Council agrees to attempt to seek medical attention for the surviving 100 souls, and arriving at Footfall put them into the hands of the Imperium to deal with.


Dramatis Persona

  • First Officer Nataly Baystar: Bridge officer of the 'Stalwart Zephyr', fierce defender of her surviving crew.
  • Missionary Ioseph Ahmed: On pilgrimage to Dolorium, transporting a secret cargo of wonderous design.
  • Captain Ferenzous: Notorious pirate and reaver in the Cinerus Maleficum. Scourge of smaller transport convoys and captain of the heavy raider 'Carbonaria'.
  • Kapt'n Snagrok: Ork freebooter captain of 'Da Noife', a ram and assault vessel.
  • Gimbo da Mek: First mate of 'Da Noife' as well as Chief Mek.
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