The Search For Cheng.   Posted by Terradyne.Group: 0
Terradyne
 GM, 274 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 16:06
Re: The Search For Cheng
You channel through the staff, reaching out into the warp to save those few sparks you can sense. Already most have degraded beyond coherence, little more than scraps of warp-energy, but your colony has a higher incidence of psychics than most worlds, and so some of them are stronger - not true psykers, but strong enough to hold together for a brief time. Non-sapient, but holding vital information.

And so you surround them, shield them from the foe - and strike as the foul tendrils of his mind seek them out, stabbing a lance of psychic force into him.

Not enough to kill - or even truly injure. But enough to momentarily stun, to disorientate him. And allow those you sought to save to slowly dissipate in relative peace, their knowledge safely destroyed.

"We're getting close." says the captain, his arm clenched and hand holding the armrest, skin white with fear and concern. "Just another few seconds..."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 166 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 16:58
Re: The Search For Cheng
"I don't think he's going to give me another shot at him either."  Maya muttered, looking across the bridge and those upon it.

"Anyone else have any ideas?"
Terradyne
 GM, 278 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 19:09
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Quite frankly, no." says the Captain, as he stares at the seemingly invulnerable juggernaut. "We're not built to take down something that big."

A pair of plasma-lance shots snap off from the ship's guns, clearly visible on the exterior monitors as blinding bright streams of blue-white matter...only to splash, near-harmlessly on your foe's shields.

Weapons that can core a Chaos cruiser in a single salvo, repulsed - utterly.

"Perhaps." states the Grey Knight Sergeant, calmly. "Such an abomination must be ended, before it can bring further woe to the Imperium."

He bows his head. "I will return to the Righteous Blade, and we shall seek to purge this corruption."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 167 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 19:57
Re: The Search For Cheng
"I see..."  Maya says, hesitant.

"Would you have me carry a message back with us?"
Terradyne
 GM, 280 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 20:40
Re: The Search For Cheng
"That really won't be necessary." says the voice - and face of captain Elys Thorne, of the stealth squadron that was tailing - supposedly some hours behind.

The battlespace display shows six new signatures pop in as their stealth fields disengage, the telltale blips of energy-weapons fire linking them and the monstrous dreadnought.

Without shields they are vulnerable - but it is clear that they were not expected, and their presence has shifted this situation from an overbearing threat to a distracted one - their weapons having a clear effect on its shields, and the vessel itself struggling to immediately respond.

"Sorry about not arriving sooner, captain." she says, expression controlled as her ship jolts, enemy fire impacting its shields. "You know the regs about temporally asynchronous transits."

"Warp Engines fully charged; engaging Vortex Generators." informs the ship before any of you can respond.

And with a final shudder you slip into the grasp of the warp, and soon are far away from here.
Maya Adderson
 GM, 168 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 20:56
Re: The Search For Cheng
"... Huh."  Maya blinked at that.  "...  Well, I'll take it."

She turned to the Sergeant.  "We'll need to discuss a response to that thing.  The Devourer you mentioned I suspect?  That was a Dreadnought scale vessel, I wasn't even aware the ability to construct them existed in this era--it was rare even in Federation Period."
Terradyne
 GM, 282 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 21:41
Re: The Search For Cheng
"It should not exist." he growls, one of the few signs of actual emotion that he has given you in the days you have known him. "It was not constructed, but grown - consuming the wrecks of the righteous for its sustenance."

He practically shakes with anger. "The Devourer has been responsible for the destruction of five sectors, and the losses of many trillions of Imperial Citizens."

"It must be destroyed."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 169 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 21:51
Re: The Search For Cheng
"... Then we are in agreement on that point, something like that should not be allowed to exist"

She sighed, and took her helmet off.  "Speaking as one of the Councillors of our enclave, you will have our full support in this endeavour.  Everything we can spare--in knowledge and resources, will be put to the task of bringing this monster to heel.  It's the nightmare scenario we've been fighting against since we learned of the Great Enemy's existence, why we've taken such lengths to protect our knowledge."

She snorted, and set the helmet down on the side.  "Of course they'd somehow get some of it anyway.  Probably one of the two ships of our original fleet that the Survey Corps hadn't been able to account for--we were hoping they were destroyed like most of the others, but apparently we weren't that fortunate."
Terradyne
 GM, 284 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 22:22
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Yes. Most unfortunate." he says, grave-sounding once more. "And it seems that your people are no less vulnerable than others to corruption."

"This will be noted."

He shakes his head. "Now that the Devourer has been sighted - with a foul daemon in command - our order must be notified. We will gather our forces to hunt down and destroy it. Your offer of support is welcome, in this endeavour."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 170 posts
Tue 31 May 2016
at 22:43
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Nobody's completely proof against them, except the Emperor perhaps."  Maya shrugged.  "The best we can do is minimize exposure, and ensure the ones who can't help but be exposed are as protected from the influence as we can, and ensure that the ones who can't be protected are...  Handled appropriately."

She crossed her arms and leaned back against the console.  "And it infuriates me that they can do this to us with impunity.  But until some means to drive them back once and for all can be devised--by someone, it's all we can do for now."  She shrugs.  "We've so far been providing the technologies to the Mechanicus to improve what is already available and can be distributed without significant risk of disruption--in light of this however, we'll need to accelerate the timetable of release and hope we can manage the potential consequences--if they managed to twist even the crew of one ship, they may be able to replicate its features and improve their own vessels.  We may lack the facilities to construct a Dreadnought of our own--but it should be possible to develop the appropriate Battleships with their aid to help fight a monster like this."

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:44, Tue 31 May 2016.

Terradyne
 GM, 291 posts
Thu 2 Jun 2016
at 20:12
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Understood. It is not the purpose of the Grey Knights to create such, but your works are useful to our cause." he pauses, and you get the sense that he is considering something. "It is within our remit to request - and wield - those devices that would normally be considered heretical by others. Xenotech. Sanctic sorcery."

"We understand that you have a number of devices that would be of use to our cause, and would wish to establish an agreement for their supply."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 171 posts
Thu 2 Jun 2016
at 21:35
Re: The Search For Cheng
"This much, we can do"  Maya agrees.  "Not just the stuff that can be easily produced either."

She taps the side of her removed helmet there, drawing attention to the golden alloy.  "This right here is what could be considered the completion of one of our original, primary objectives towards having a colony here, on what was the edge of Eldar space.  They weren't expansionistic in our era--and from what we've pieced together, that never changed--but they were wealthy beyond avarice and once in a while, you got a gaggle of hedonists who'd commission a few ships and go picking fights with our territories.  Couple that with their continuing retreat into isolationism, and the higher ups back on Old Terra decided that we needed some kind of counter to their tools--to study them and see if some kind of solution could be devised--which is why they slipped me into the expedition, being one of the most successful psionic-talents developed in the preliminary study.  I didn't see any reason to stop just because the psionic enemy are soul-eating monsters instead of just being unpredictable and fae.  One of the first few--and certainly the most practical to employ on a wide scale--was the Pallas-series that we provided the schematics of to Mars.  We've since continued our studies--and developed this alloy."

"Six Parts Gold, Four Parts Silver, One Part Platinum, and bound together with carbon to bind it to our people.  Normally, mixing something together like this doesn't actually get you anything terribly special--but if you can knead them together with telekinetic force?  In a properly shielded crucible that denies outside influences and impurities?  You get a hardy alloy that exists coterminously in the Materium and the Warp.  Either to to be used as armor plating, or as a conduction material for the likes of Force Weapons.  As long as I can trust you to be discreet about it, once we get to our world, I can provide you a copy of the formula and the necessary tools to produce your own supply--and to check it for any flaws with your own experience of course."

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:35, Thu 02 June 2016.

Terradyne
 GM, 292 posts
Thu 2 Jun 2016
at 23:02
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Curious." he says, examining it with eye and mind, gently probing for danger. "I had thought it a manifestation of your mind, but on closer examination..."

"Curious indeed." he pauses, gauntlet suspended not far above the plate. "Yes. This is a material most odd. I recall similar things, but their sources are more...esoteric."

"But yes. Such a tool would be invaluable - provided it functions as you claim." he pauses once more, and you sense his communion with his brothers. "It will require thorough testing, for its purity must be certain."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 172 posts
Thu 2 Jun 2016
at 23:25
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Mmm, no, direct physical manifestation of solid constructs?  Humans can't do that on any meaningful scale, our metabiology just doesn't allow for it--Eldar can, but that's because they're primarily a psionic entity that just so happens to have physical bodies to interact with the material world--we need physical objects to act as anchors--and it can't just be any odd material either, it needs to have an important resonance behind it to work.  Which is why you'd often find Psi-Active materials in graveyards of lost civilizations.  This material is useful in that you can skip that step--though not without expense."

She winced at that.  "It used to be that you could construct a corvette for the cost of a few tonnes of this with how much material was lost in the process.  It's not nearly that impractical anymore, but it still precludes anything more complex than personal scale equipment.  I'll provide some ingots for your inspection when we arrive."
Terradyne
 GM, 294 posts
Fri 3 Jun 2016
at 09:28
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Things of use are rarely easy, nor paid for in less than the extreme." he states, nodding. "Only the corrupt would try and bargain past it, and it is their souls that pay the price in such a transaction."

"But if such is worth it, then so too shall be the expense. Our path is too treacherous to allow mere considerations of cost to restrict us from necessity."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 173 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 08:47
Re: The Search For Cheng
"And rightly so--the nature of Chaos to attack the mind and spirit of those who fight against it renders them proof against the old and traditional measures of simply throwing more of your economy into facing them.  The Pallas-series devices installed in combat automata provides them with some protection against that, but relying solely on your tools was the error our descendents made--I've made it my life's work since then to ensure that with this second chance, we would not repeat their errors."
Terradyne
 GM, 312 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 09:26
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Wise." he says, the word grating out as he ruminates on the situation. "Repeating the mistakes of the past is all too common; those too foolish or ignorant to understand that are a common foe of Man."

He pauses. "Our vessel has been forced to withdraw. The Enemy remains intact." The only sign of real emotion is the tightening of his hand, a half-fist belaying his anger at such a foe. "We have decided. The Foe's presence here is not a coincidence; you and your kind are a target."

He turns his gaze down on you, reminding you exactly how small you are compared to him. "You will return with us, so that we may properly assess the situation, and raise the forces needed to secure you from the Enemy."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 174 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 10:28
Re: The Search For Cheng
"A trip to Terra then?"  Maya grinned.  "Haven't been back home in the better part of twenty millenia now, should be interesting to see how it's changed.  Still, we'll need to stop over at Marienne first to repair the damage we took in this engagement, should only take a few weeks at least, and I doubt he would have walked away completely unscathed either."

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:05, Wed 15 June 2016.

Terradyne
 GM, 313 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 13:06
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Likely not, though his vessel manifests an unholy aspect. It will not stay damaged for long."

He pauses. "It is questionable as to whether we should utilise your vessel. Such may not be...welcome...within Sol. Our Strike Cruiser is a simpler choice."

"And to Titan, not Terra. The latter would depend on decisions other than my own."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 175 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 13:24
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Titan as in one of Saturn's moons?"  Maya blinked at that.  "I hope your order didn't have to dispose of too many out of control experiments when you got set up there, if I recall correctly, it was used for research and development of the really cutting edge, exotic techniques.  What specifically I have no idea, because it was well above my clearance, but there was all manner of speculation back in the day."
Terradyne
 GM, 314 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 14:00
Re: The Search For Cheng
"I am aware of no...experiments." he says, hesitantly. "Are you sure that you have the correct moon?"

He shakes his head. "Pre-Imperial history is difficult to piece together. The distant past is less of a mystery than the Dark Age that you originate from. If there were such...experiments then they were wiped out long ago."

"Only we dwell there now. Those dedicated to eradicating the threat of Chaos, from without and within."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 176 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 14:07
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Probably not then" Maya shrugged it off.  "Titan was very, very secure in the Pre-Imperial era--Saturn in general is where fields that were too dangerous to trust to outlying sectors were studied and developed because it was far enough out that any damage could be limited--and the Jovian Shipyards were not too far off in case reinforcements were needed, and Titan in particular was locked down tight for whatever reason."

She crosses her arms.  "Still, that was in the Twenty Fourth Millenium, there was another six thousand years and at least two catastrophic events between then and the start of Imperial History that we've only recovered the smallest bits and pieces of ourselves.  At the very least, if anything dangerous managed to survive, the Emperor himself probably pacified it before he had anyone get set up there."
Terradyne
 GM, 315 posts
Wed 15 Jun 2016
at 18:41
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Likely. The Emperor suffered no threats to face his Empire. Any that were found were crushed, utterly." he pauses, considering. "Such knowledge must be imparted, however. I will inform my superiors upon our arrival."
Maya Adderson
 GM, 177 posts
Thu 16 Jun 2016
at 14:32
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Yeah, it probably isn't a major concern, just an old woman musing on the past"  Maya settled back at that.  "So then, a brief stop-over for maintenence, while we're at it, I'll put together a package of what we've learned so far here, and then a trip to Titan afterwards.  Does that sound about right?  Is there anything in particular you and yours would be interested in while I put all that together?"
Terradyne
 GM, 317 posts
Thu 16 Jun 2016
at 16:47
Re: The Search For Cheng
"Only that which is relevant to our situation." he says, gruffly. "We have no other purpose, and further delay is unacceptable."