For a long time I have been wanting to create a unique renegade army composed of several different looking groups.
The opportunity presented itself with the GSC kits and the new necromunda models and after some financial savings here is the start of my WIP thread.
I will be putting some fluff in this thread as well. I need to take better pictures as well.
TL/DR - Renegade force with a mix of pirates, former miners and gangers hunt GSC and tyranids throughout the galaxy.
On the planet of Airom there were 3 different societies:
- The rich living on the surface and building large homes with the money earned from the ore and industrial production of the planet;
- The industrial workers living on the first underground levels with some occasional views of the polluted skies;
- The miners living their entire lives on the lower underground levels in complete darkness or iluminated by lights powered by unreliable generators.
Cornelivs and his comrades belonged to the third group and worked for long hours on the dangerous mines. It was not uncommon for people to lose limbs or even die during explosions, landslides or cave-ins. Cornelivs himself lost 2 fingers of one hand, crushed by falling rocks (although later it was disseminated through his followers that a tyranid had bitten those fingers off in a close combat). As a mutant Cornelivs was sent to the most dangerous parts of the mines as mutants with additional arms were preferred to handle the heavy cutting machinery used in the deepest and most unstable parts of the mines.
Despite being born into the lowest of the lowest, Cornelivs was considerably smart and very resourceful, something which allowed him to survive in these unforgiving conditions. Most of his fellow miners respected him and he became the unofficial leader of his mining team.
Unknown to him and most of the inhabitants of the planet, a genestealer infestation was brewing for years in the tunnels of the industrial levels. The infiltrators had chosen this location most likely because of the weapons produced there and the proximity to the PDF facilities on the surface, allowing them to strike from a vulnerable position as the planet's militias and defense forces were usually only used to fight off gangs and other criminal groups in the first underground levels but not prepared for large scale combat.
As the insurrection of the GSC began, the defences on the surface and industrial levels were quickly overwhelmed, many hybrids looked like normal humans, so the garrisons fell due to infiltrators placed there long before the uprising. With the surface under control, the cult began its attack on the miners. The miners were tough and did not give ground easily but they were not an army and the cult was heavily militarized and well equipped at this point.
The situation of Cornelivs and his friends was about to become dire but in this dark moment a voice inside his head began to speak. Cornelivs was scared at first thinking he was going insane but the voice calmed him and assured it would assist him in rescuing the miners. As the cult no doubt had started to disguise members as miners already, the voice instructed Cornelivs in the construction of a strange device which the voice said would allow him to detect all that belong to the GSC (this device was no doubt some sort of archeotech design not known in the 41st millennia). The miners armed themselves as best they could and under the guidance of Cornelivs, and most importantly the voice in his head, they started to move upwards, trying to reach the surface to exit the planet.
The GSC were unprepared for the sudden attack of Cornelivs and his warriors and they were able to rescue other groups of miners along the way. Whenever the device indicated someone to be a hybrid, Cornelivs executed it without wasting time. They eventually reached the surface better armed and armoured than they were at the start but obviously with some losses along the way. Their eyes blinked in the brightness of the surface, despite the fact the day was always darker due to the pollution clouds. The voice guided them to the starport where a trade ship was waiting for them, its captain led to that location by some weird navigation malfunctions. After a difficult fire exchange with cultists in the area, the group was able to leave the surface and escape into the void of space.
Cornelivs and his warriors had escaped certain death but the trader that saved them could not transport them for long. After discussing with him Cornelivs decided that the trader should drop them off in the imperial planet for which the trader was headed next. His destination wasn't anything big, just a small agri-world called Erish but it would be enough for the miners in the short term. The thought of touching land again pleased the miners, not used to travel through space.
Plans rarely go as they are defined and while nearing Erish, a pirate ship approached their ship and tried to board them. The trader's crew was not military trained and the ship didn't have much weaponry that they could use against the pirates. If it were not for the miners the trader would surely be doomed. Cornelivs rallied his warriors behind him and eliminated the pirates already entering the trade ship, pushing forward and entering the pirate ship, leaving some of his men to guard the passage. The pirates were not used to tough enemies like the miners, only farmers with weak rifles or traders without combat experience and as soon as Cornelivs killed their captain they surrendered.
The trader thanked Cornelivs for the assistance of his warriors and both ships continued moving, now with Cornelivs and the miners controlling the pirate ship along with the surviving pirates, until they landed on Erish. Although the farmers on Erish were not happy to see the pirate ship that often raided them, after they found out what happened the miners were well received. The locals could not allow the miners to stay for long but provided them with supplies so they could search for a home among the stars. As soon as the trader did some deals with the locals he left, thanking the miners again for their help with the pirates and wishing them luck with their new adventures. The miners also thanked the trader for rescuing them from their overrun native planet.
After some weeks Cornelivs decided it was time to leave and the miners as well as the pirates prepared the ship for its travel.
A new settlement
The miners and pirates travelled for several days through space following the directions given by Cornelivs until they reached a small icy planet which according to the charts was called Sram IV (other planets in the system existed but were too inhospitable). The temperature was low, particularly on the poles, but on the equator green fields and forests were still spotted when the ship flew over the planet in low orbit to analyse their destination. Cornelivs’ followers discussed amongst themselves and decided to land on area that appeared to be adequate for settling.
For weeks the miners and pirates built homes and started to take care of crops or foraging for supplies among the forests of the world. No other humans or xenos seemed to inhabit the planet but there were lots of animals and plants that they could hunt or gather. Some of that fauna and flora proved to be quite dangerous but the settlers avoided deaths in most of those encounters.
Close to their settlement was a rocky outcrop where they started to build a small fortress, basically somewhere they could retreat to in case of attacks from pirates or other factions. Below the fortress they excavated the rocks to create a series of bunkers to storage supplies and protect the children and injured in case of an attack.
Months passed and the initial camp turned into a town but thoughts of revenge on the genestealer cults and tyranids began to grow stronger and Cornelivs held a council with his followers to handle this situation. They decided part of the miners would remain in the colony while the other part along with the pirates, who never really felt at home in solid ground, would travel through the nearby systems eliminating any genestealer cults or tyranid forces they encountered, finding allies and resources along the way. To prepare this endeavour the miners and pirates worked hard to prepare supplies for those that would leave, while Cornelivs focused on building a long range version of the scanner device he had used to detect the hybrids on his homeworld. Although he was not sure of how he had the knowledge to perform this task, he built two detector devices, one would be placed on the fortress and the other would be attached to the ship. Additionally Cornelivs assembled two complex communication devices that would allow the ship and the colony to communicate without interference.
With everything prepared the ship set out to the closest target provided by the long range scanner, an industrial planet with several hive cities called Rolauqs, certainly a good place to find additional weapons but also a place filled with gangs and possibly a really large force of genestealer cultists.
The travel to Rolauqs took a few weeks and during that time the warriors aboard the ship kept training hard and preparing their equipment for combat. Cornelivs searched all the info he could about the planet to determine where they should land, specially because a pirate ship would not be welcomed by imperial forces in the area.
During one of his planning sessions Cornelivs once more heard instructions from the voice in his head, it stated that a powerful psyker could be found in the planet of Aibara and warned that less enlightened minds were currently searching for him to capture or even kill him. The voice told Cornelivs that the name of the psyker was Septimus and that he should find the psyker alone and show him the mark on his back so that he knows it is someone friendly.
- The mark on my back? - thought Cornelivs after the voice went silent.
Few knew of the mark he had on his back, a sign of the many genetic flaws of the mutant, made of his own deformed blood vessels the mark was merely one of the many deformations caused by a genetic disease his family always had for generations. Many of the other miners suffered from the same disease, the only major difference was that the deformation in Cornelivs’ back resembled a scorpion with the greenish look of the veins while the rest had no major shape definition.
Cornelivs checked the charts to find the location of Aibara and noticed it was just a small detour from their current path to Rolauqs and so he informed the crew that they would make a stop in Aibara for resupply but that they would land away from the planetary capital, the only city in the desertic feral planet which was otherwise inhabited by tribal clans focused mostly on hunting and fighting the other clans.
When the ship approached Aibara, Cornelivs was drawn to a particular area of the planet close to where the herds hunted by the tribesmen usually thread upon. Two groups left the ship, the larger one set out in pursuit of a herd of beasts which seemed to be nearby in order to hunt them down and fill the ship with additional supplies, while the smaller one set out to find Septimus with Cornelivs leading the way.
Cornelivs and his group walked for a few hours until the voice in his head informed him to leave his warriors at that location as the psyker was but a few dozen meters away. He asked his men to stay in a small area sheltered by large rocks and continued alone. After some minutes Cornelivs heard someone shout:
- Don’t come any closer if you value your life!
The men who shouted was a few meters to the left of Cornelivs and he turned to face him.
- I have been sent here to find Septimus, I was informed he was being chased down by the local tribesmen.
- I am Septimus but if you came for my head you will join the others that tried before! And don’t think I haven’t sensed your men in the rocks!
- My name is Cornelivs and my orders are to rescue not capture you. I was told that showing you my mark would put you at ease.
Cornelivs turned his back to Septimus and lifted his shirt revealing the green deformities in his back that were known as the Green Scorpion. As soon as he showed that, Septimus seemed to calm down.
- You bear the mark of the Green Scorpion! My master told me that if something happened I could always trust those that bear that mark but I never thought one would bear it directly on the flesh.
Septimus approached Cornelivs and they both returned to meet the other warriors and back into the ship.
It was night when the group returned to the ship. The hunting party had returned already but something seemed amiss. When the group was near the ship entrance Cornelivs asked why the sentinel seemed so worried:
- Is there something wrong Flavius? You seem worried?
- The hunting party has returned but it seems that while hunting they met one of the tribes’ hunting party and they were not happy with sharing. The tribal hunters were beaten back but it seems they are coming back with reinforcements, our spotters saw them coming in this direction a few minutes before you arrived.
- Okay, is everyone already on the ship?
- Yes you were the only ones missing.
- Then we leave this place right away, tell the pilot to warm-up the engines and lift off as soon as possible!
The sentinel rushed to intercom to inform the pilot while the group entered the ship’s hangar, closing the door when everyone was inside. The ship’s engines powered up and soon they were away from the surface, it was just in time as the tribesmen were almost in firing distance when the ship started to lift in the air.
As a tribesman himself Septimus was heavily uncomfortable in a ship as most people from feral worlds had a certain distrust of technology they couldn’t understand and a space ship was obviously among that type of technology. He often remained close to Cornelivs as it seemed the captain’s presence calmed the primal instincts of the feral psyker.
After leaving Aibara, the ship set course to Rolauqs, its original destination. During the trip Cornelivs and Septimus often spoke about their past and what brought them to the current situation.
Septimus Germanicus was the seventh son of Daniel Germanicus, the leader of the hunting party constantly roaming the limits of their tribe’s territory in search of large prey with which they paid the tithe to the planetary governor.
Their planet was large but scarcely populated with each tribe controlling thousands of square kilometres of wild terrain. The climate was mostly dry and rocky deserts covered most of the territory, making it difficult to make large plantations and thus forcing its inhabitants to hunt the wild animals that roamed their land and herd any animals that could be safely kept near their villages and towns, in order to get enough food to feed themselves.
Septimus was still young but his father liked to take him with him in all the hunts because he was extremely agile and could ambush most large animals with just a few minutes of preparation. He was also surprisingly good at lighting a fire and would often create a fire pit with almost no fuel, something very important when the nights in the wild could easily freeze a man in his sleep. Septimus never really knew why he was so good at making fire, it was just something that came naturally to him and he would often admire the dancing fire before falling asleep.
That particular hunting trip had proved very successful and the entire party would return to the tribe’s town earlier than expected. That night the good hunt was celebrated before the expected return to their families. With strong drink affecting their minds, some of the hunters simply played around or began to sleep but among the younger members of the group a heated discussion began.
Marcus Augustus, one of the younger hunters with more muscles than brain, always disliked Septimus for being seen as a good hunter despite his smaller size and reduced muscularity. After some drinks, Marcus and his friends started to make fun of Septimus which gave them no attention whatsoever. This seemed to anger Marcus which decided to teach Septimus a lesson. Marcus and his friends surrounded Septimus and eventually were able to bring him to the ground, despite his best efforts to escape from them. Although Septimus tried to break free, Marcus and his friends started to beat him up until a strong rage began rising in Septimus and his aggressors were pulled away by a strange ball of fire that emanated from him. This brought the attention of the other hunters which tried their best to put out the flames that were burning the group of young hunters.
Although the fire came from him, Septimus had not suffered any burns and his only injuries were from the previous beating. As soon as the flames were extinguished, the other young hunters, some severely injured by the flames, started to tell the older hunters that Septimus was a sorcerer and had cast out flames out of nowhere. At first the hunters thought the youngsters were just too drunk and had somehow caught on fire with a torch or something but as soon as they looked into the burn marks on the ground they saw a shade where Septimus had stood and that it had emanated from his position. When the hunters tried to catch him to interrogate him and understood what had happened, Septimus began to flee and as he did flames surrounded him, making sure the other hunters could not reach him. He kept running until he disappeared into the desert with his pursuers far behind.
The hunters gathered and a portion of the party was tasked with capturing Septimus while the rest returned to their town with captured animals as well as the injured from Septimus flames. Those in pursuit followed his tracks for days with no luck, it seemed he was always a few steps ahead of them.
Unknown to Septimus and the hunters in his tracks, a man watched the pursuit from the distance seemingly speaking to himself. The psyker had been watching Septimus for months now, following the commands of his master.
- Besides being a natural pyromancer I haven’t seen anything special about the boy, are you sure I should spend my time teaching this one?
- He has great potential and his life in a feral world trained him well for the tasks I have planned for him in the future. And this one is not so likely to fall to the seduction of the warp as some of your first apprentices were. Most descendants are stronger than those two psykers that went chaotic, it is unlikely it will happen again. Is your faith in me wavering already Traveller?
- As always I will trust in your judgement Ancestor but I still need to find a way to speak with Septimus while keeping him away from the tribesmen.
- I am sure you will think of a way to accomplish it. We cannot afford to lose any recruits, the Imperium is in disarray and the fact we are seen as renegades means we might have to fight both sides. With all that happened with the fall of Cadia I might have to exit this device and face my enemies directly on the battlefield. I fear I might have to find a way to return to Terra in case the warbands reach too close to their target. It has been so long since I last saw my birth planet, ten millennia ago.
- You were on Terra during the Heresy time? You had never told me about that.
- A tale for another time but the short version is that I arrived too late to save the Emperor and my idea for a replacement of the Golden Throne was refused, so I just hunted down traitors around the Eye for decades as a penitence. Back on the topic, Septimus has entered a cave system, you should be able to discuss with him with no interference from the hunters if you follow him tonight.
- I will then intercept Septimus and convince him to join us. Sorry to hear about the situation you faced on Terra.
The Traveller entered the caves and positioned himself near the centre of the complex. Using mental illusions he made sure Septimus moved to join him, while the hunters where tricked into walking around in circles away from both psykers. After some minutes Septimus appeared in front of the Traveller, surprised by seeing anyone else besides the hunters on his tracks. The Traveller presented himself, trying to calm down Septimus:
- My name is Gladivs Clodivs and I am a psyker like you Septimus. I have been watching you and the time has come to teach you how to better control your powers so you can become a powerful psyker and use your powers to help a greater cause. The hunters pursuing you will not find you here, you are safe.
- How did you know my name and how do I know if I can trust you?
- Right now your mind is like an open book, it is but child’s play to read your mind and find whatever I need to know about you, I can teach you how to avoid that by protecting your mind. In what relates to trust in all honesty you can’t trust no one, specially right now. I won’t force you to come with me, you are free to leave anytime you wish.
- If you can really teach me how to control my powers I will go with you but I will not trust you and will leave if something truly displeases me.
- As you wish Septimus! - the Traveller had a smile on his face, the young psyker reminded him of his youth and the day the Ancestor first spoke with him, a strange man that seemed more out of place in the current times than a tribesman in a space ship.
For the next few months Septimus trained everyday and became more powerful. The man he knew as Gladivs focused a lot of his training in both protecting his own mind as well as read the minds of others and would often take him to the outskirts of the capital city of the planet in order to test his capabilities by reading the minds of the governor’s staff, PDF soldiers and other inhabitants of the city.
Around the time Cornelivs was making his escape from Airom, Gladivs disappeared for a few days, after instructing Septimus to keep training his powers in the outskirts of the capital. When Gladivs returned he seemed rather tired and he told Septimus they should move to the wilderness and continue to train the natural pyromancy skills that Septimus possessed. For months they continued to train and during that time Gladivs told Septimus that one day they would part ways but regardless of what would happen that he could always trust in those that bear the mark of the Green Scorpion and proceeded to show him the symbol which covered his ring. He said that those that bear the mark might conceal it and belong to different parts of society but they all serve the same purpose and that one day Septimus would discover his own purpose as a Green Scorpion.
One day Gladivs simply vanished leaving behind a small necklace with the Green Scorpion as a gift for Septimus. From that day onwards Septimus wore the necklace hidden below his clothes, feeling somehow that the small jewellery protected him wherever he went. After some days Cornelivs appeared on Aibara and the rest you already know.
War on Rolauqs
After some more weeks the ship arrived to Rolauqs. Cornelivs had analyzed the information he had on the planet and upon arrival to orbit the ship did a quick scan of the genestealer forces on the planet. The northern hemisphere seemed to contain most of the cultists, their number far greater than that of the men under Cornelivs. He decided to start with the hives near the south pole and recruit the hivers along the way as well as loot any imperial weapons he could before facing the majority of the enemy forces.
The pirates were able to intercept some short range communications between PDF groups which indicated the chain of command had crumbled on the northern hemisphere, meaning they could not expect much assistance from the imperial forces stationed on the planet. The ship landed near one of the biggest hives in the south pole. Cornelivs tapped into the emergency speakers installed in the hive and informed the hivers about the situation, requesting them to join his warriors in order to survive the genestealers attack. He recorded the speech and made sure it played back in the nearby hives as well.
The warriors separated in groups and entered the hive, while the pirates piloted the ship into orbit, awaiting further orders. They swept the hive from bottom to top as most of the cultists appeared to be in the lower levels disguised as workers and other members of the highly populated lower levels of the hive. As they eliminated the cultists some of the hivers joined the warriors, determined to exterminate the threat. Most of those that joined Cornelivs’ forces were gang members, miners and industrial workers, few had weapons and so it was imperative that they could find some military supplies.
The middle levels of the hive had most of the barracks and storage facilities for the PDF in the hive and although those were lightly guarded, Septimus put the guards to sleep to allow for the looting of the necessary weapons and ammo. The warriors continued to the higher levels of the hive, eliminating the cultists among the nobles’ militiamen as well as looting any weapons the militias might have stored for their own combats. Some militias tried to resist the growing army of Cornelivs but they were either shot or knocked out, making sure the others didn’t resist, preferring to show good will and deliver the weapons and ammo they considered less important. Those under Cornelivs still searched the facilities for cultists but would not loot anything from those that provided them supplies freely.
Although some of the under hivers wanted some sort of revenge on upper hivers, Cornelivs and his officers kept everyone in line as he wanted to avoid class wars and focus on the genestealer threat. They kept cleaning each hive level at a time, moving on to nearby hives once each hive was successfully cleaned. With each hive, Cornelivs forces grew in number and with the equipment looted his ragtag force became an army. He would leave some warriors with detecting devices on each hive they went through just in case the cultists decided to return to those hives for some reason. In some hives the Arbites tried to stop Cornelivs’ warriors, confusing them with a rebellious force but they were quickly incapacitated, “arrested” and placed inside their precincts where they would awake with headaches after a few hours.
Near one of the hives was a large storage facility with several guards still stationed there. The amount of security told Cornelivs something of importance should be guarded inside. Septimus analysed the minds of the guards before they got close to the facilities and discovered they were guarding heavy weapons and vehicles. Although those things would not be useful while fighting in the hives, Cornelivs still thought it would be useful to possess those vehicles in case the cultists made it into the open areas near the equator line of the planet. Even if they didn’t, keeping the vehicles could prove useful for the future of Cornelivs’ growing army. Cornelivs, Septimus and a few of his warriors attacked the guards of the facilities and quickly subjugated them. Even without Septimus’ abilities, the guards’ lack of skill and experience meant they were easy targets but with Septimus siding with the Captain the guards were merely sitting ducks. Cornelivs tasked one of his lieutenants with retrieving the vehicles and heavy weapons but one doubt remained, where to transport them when they eventually left the planet? The pirate ship was not large enough to transport all the vehicles and even the hivers that joined Cornelivs were too much to fit in the ship in case they wanted to keep following him.
Instinctively, Cornelivs tapped into the computer inside the storage facility trying to find out a bit more about the planet. He was able to access the position of every military storage facilities in the planet as well as the status of the PDF forces and the northern hemisphere hives. The situation was even more dire then when they landed and, besides some pockets of resistance, it seemed that the cultists had control of nearly half the planet, with all the weapons and supplies that were stored in that area. While analysing the planet's infrastructure, Cornelivs noticed there was a large underground hangar for repairing military and civilian space vessels. He accessed the records of the hangar and found out that there was a transport ship currently in repairs in the hangar. Although the ship was not well armed or armoured, it possessed more space for vehicles and warriors than the pirate ship. Apparently its repairs were still not completed but according to the logs it should be functional. Some smaller escort craft were also undergoing repairs in the hangar and so Cornelivs tasked a platoon of his warriors under Lieutenant Licinius to secure the hangar and enlist the workers by force if needed. He also informed Lieutenant Gabriel, the officer in command inside the pirate ship to fly into the hangar as soon as it was secured.
While his forces continued to clean up the last hives in the southern hemisphere, Cornelivs and Septimus took a large force through the open plains that separated the hives on both hemispheres and started to engage the cultists occupying the northern hives. Progress was slow and costly, with casualties increasing at every turn. Despite the difficulties, Cornelivs’ warriors kept pushing forward, using their huge hatred as a weapon against the zealot cultists. The numbers of survivors they were able to find were small but still a welcome addition to Cornelivs’ ranks.
As they pushed forward, the enemies were more monstrous with aberrants, metamorphs, strange hybrids and in some cases even purestrain genestealers. The warriors used flamers and grenades to clear the monsters but it was clear the cultists were well equipped and although they were not experienced with their weapons, they were still extremely dangerous. Cornelivs thanked the voice that led him to Septimus since the psyker kept incinerating dozens of enemies at a time, clearly taking some pleasure in seeing the deformed genestealer cultists burn into ashes while feeling the pain of being burned alive.
The hives further North were clearly more devastated by the war between the cultists and the PDF and so Cornelivs was forced to deploy some mining trucks he had brought from his planet during the miners’ escape. The trucks were equipped with drills to pulverize the debris as well as flamers that were often used in the mines to clear possibly explosive gas but in this situation were used to burn down the cultists. With the trucks clearing the path, the warriors kept advancing with a constant rhythm.
The cultists were more zealous and dedicated to the cause the further the warriors progressed to the North. It seemed that the head of the uprising would be in one of the bigger hives near the North pole of Rolauqs, while the leader remained alive, the cultists would keep on fighting despite their casualties. Survivors were very difficult to find on these hives but from time to time it was still possible to find small groups of PDF soldiers or noble house militias fighting from bunkers or other reinforced defensive areas. Most of the soldiers they found were already dead and it seemed they still gave some fight to the cultists before perishing.
After several days of continuous and hard fighting, Cornelivs and his warriors surrounded the last hive. The pirate ship had been placed in close orbit to scan the already cleaned hives, further making sure that no enemies remained behind. The cult’s Patriarch was certainly among those that garrisoned the hive and it would certainly be difficult to eliminate it. Several Genestealer Magus tried to eliminate Septimus or slow down the advancing warriors using psychic powers but their efforts were nothing that a well placed grenade couldn’t handle and so Cornelivs kept pushing forward.
A Primus appeared from a ventilation shaft, almost catching Cornelivs by surprise. The cult officer tried to hit Cornelivs with his sword but he was able to block the attacks although the Primus’ speed made it difficult to foresee the target area in time for a block. After several minutes of fighting, the Primus made a mistake and Cornelivs took the opportunity and hit him in the abdomen. Weakened, the Primus still tried to fight back but the Captain kept cutting the cultist until he was able to bring him to the floor and finish him off with a lethal strike on the chest.
But the Primus attack was a merely a diversion and the Patriarch appeared from the shadows catching Cornelivs unware. The four armed tyranid was way larger than a man and picked up Cornelivs raising him in the air and preparing to tear him limb from limb. The Captain tried his best to set free but the monster was very strong. Suddenly Cornelivs heard someone approaching screaming like a lunatic:
- Why don’t you mess with someone with four arms? - shouted Clodius “Four Arms” while jumping on the back of the Patriarch.
Clodius used the metallic claws that replaced two of his hands to cut into two of the Patriarch’s arms, while using the two other hands to lock the monster in place. The sudden attack was enough to disturb the Patriarch enough for Cornelivs to set free. The Captain raised his sword and made a large cut in the Patriarch’s chest while he was trying to get rid of Clodius. The cut just seemed to anger the Patriarch which threw Clodius in the air to fall painfully into the ground nearby. Once more the monster turned to Cornelivs which was shooting against it like a madman while hiding a grenade being his back. The Patriarch charged against him and in a quick movement the Captain tossed the grenade into the open chest of the monster while escaping between his legs. When the monster turned to charge Cornelivs again, the grenade went off, sending pieces of the Patriarch throughout the area.
- Well that was fun Captain! We should repeat it again soon! - being hurled by a Patriarch certainly did not change Clodius’ wicked sense of humour.
Cornelivs rested for some minutes before continuing with Clodius by his side. With the death of the Patriarch the cultists lost most of their unity and began to fall rather quickly. The warriors cleaned every level of the large hive while the pirates scanned the entire area to make sure no enemies remained. When the scans confirmed that no more cultists were alive, Cornelivs ordered that any available supplies should be loaded into the ships in the hangar to prepare for their departure.
The hivers from the southern hemisphere were flocking in their thousands to the hangar offering their services to the warriors in exchange for a lift off-world. Despite the casualties, the original miners were still strong and now the hivers would provide Cornelivs the manpower to create a full army to continue hunting the genestealers and their cults.
Some hours after the hives were finally cleared, Lieutenant Gabriel called Cornelivs in the intercom saying there was an Imperial fleet approaching the planet, likely a relief force answering a call for assistance from the PDF due to the cultist insurrection. The fleet would certainly fire first and ask questions later, specially when seeing a pirate ship and the warriors following Cornelivs, so he decided to send a message through the hives’ broadcast system:
- We leave within the hour! If anyone wishes to join us, please hurry and move into the repair hangar.
Most of those that wanted to join had already entered the ships when the fleet was detected but some civilians were still hurrying into the hangar. Cornelivs and the warriors in the northern hemisphere entered the pirate ship and awaited in low orbit for the ships in the hangar to join them.
After some minutes all the ships lifted off into low orbit and prepared to evade the advancing fleet. Due to the amount of hivers that decided to join, Cornelivs’ fleet was now composed of the pirate ship, the transport ship, which was now fully repaired, several small escort ships and fighters, as well as a multitude of small civilian ships that were capable of deep space travel.
When the Imperial fleet arrived to the orbit of Rolauqs, the Captain’s fleet had vanished, speeding into Sram IV. The fleet deployed the troops it carried into Rolauqs but the threat they were meant to eliminate had already vanished. Investigators were sent to analyse the events and this was the moment the rumours of a pirate captain travelling through space to hunt down genestealer cultists began to be whispered within the Imperium. Despite their success in eliminating the cult, the warriors were declared renegades and a bounty was offered on the heads of Cornelivs and a few of his officers. While the rumours of the heroic actions circulated, someone spread a rumour stating that Cornelivs was likely the spreader of the genestealer infection, creating a situation where he could be seen as a hero, after all he was a three-armed mutant, a normal occurrence within the ranks of the genestealer cults.
The rumours were not important for Cornelivs and he kept analysing the scans of the close systems to identify the infections of genestealer cults or the presence of other tyranids.
A new target
Cornelivs and his warriors rested for some days when they arrived to Sram IV after returning from Rolauqs, with the majority of the people trying to expand the colony to accommodate the newly arrived hivers. For the hivers living so close to the nature was something rather strange and most were not used to the fresh air in Sram IV but they slowly started to get used to it. The new followers of Cornelivs started new settlements around the original settlement and created additional fortifications, although the fortress in the rocks remained the central defensive structure for the entire colony. Septimus took the oportunity to create a home for himself within one of the settlements, even though a calm settler life was not something he desired to have. Cornelivs spent his time creating more handheld genestealer detectors as well as equipping the new ships with the long range scanners and communication devices similar to those he had made for the pirate ship.
When Cornelivs finished equipping the ships, he checked the long range scanners to search for the next target. The closest coordinates given by the scanner didn’t seem to coincide with any planet in Cornelivs’ charts and the information provided by the scanner seemed to indicate something smaller than a planet as the source of the genestealers. The Captain thought it was likely a space station or a space hulk, even though there were no records of any such things in the area. After discussing with his officers, Cornelivs decided to take the pirate ship along with a bunch of his warriors. They had better weapons and gear now, with body armour being used by most of the warriors under Cornelivs (some still preferred to fight without armour but they were a minority).
The trip took a few weeks and during that time Cornelivs kept working on small upgrades for his weapons, trying to avoid that situations like the fight with the Patriarch ever happened, he was lucky that the distraction caused by Clodius was enough for him to find a way to kill the Patriarch but he would not rely on luck again. He added toxin injectors to the claw that protected the three fingers that remained in one of his hands, built an improved propulsion system for his gun and sharpened his sword to make sure it was able to cut deep into genestealers. Septimus observed with interest as the Captain performed these tasks which were almost like magic for the psyker. Cornelivs explained what he could to the curious psyker but most of the Captain’s knowledge was either from practice fixing machines in the mines or due to an inherent knowledge of technology that even Cornelivs was unable to explain. Since some of his knowledge was planted by the owner of the mysterious voice that had been leading him, Cornelivs wondered how much of his knowledge was actually his.
Little did Cornelivs know that the trait that first caught the attention of the Ancestor was precisely the natural affinity that he had with machines and technology as a whole. It was a very rare occurrence among the Descendants and those that possessed that ability always reminded the Ancestor of his own younger days when he created amazing devices back in Terra. Thinking back of all that he created the Ancestor really wondered if he was now but a diminished version of what he once was. He was the creator of the deep space Arks that took his numerous family to explore the stars originating the colonies filled with Descendants, as well as the very strange stasis chamber that now was both his home and prison, keeping his body from rotting while strangely allowing his mind to wander through the depths of both the warp and the real space. Within his prison, his reach was far, doing the Emperor’s work in a way his representatives usually did not agree with. It was bloody work and it only got worse with the fall of Cadia. When the planet, the Ancestor felt the repercussions on both the warp and the real space and quickly deployed his Pures throughout the Great Rift, his powerful vat grown warriors keeping the populations slightly safer from the daemonic incursions and attacks of warbands from the warp. Most of them were natural killers and few warbands could face them without losing at least some manpower. Still it was not a permanent solution and despite success in some areas, the Pures were repelled in many places along the Great Rift, it was just too much even for the powerful warriors.
While Cornelivs was finalizing some of his weapon upgrades, the pilot warned through the intercom that he had sighted a massive space station at the coordinates of their target. When he reached the ship’s bridge his crew was already scanning the structure to find possible entry points. Looking through the windows Cornelivs noticed the space station was severely damaged and although some damage seemed to be common damage for any structure drifting in space, other damage seemed to have been caused by combat either on the inside of the station or around it. Despite the external damage, the scans indicated that the internal structure was mostly structurally safe, although the entire station seemed to be crawling with genestealers, much to the likeness of drifting space hulks. In fact, all internal compartments seemed to be infested except for a medium room deep within the structure.
The crew was able to identify a position where a shuttle could land and deploy a squad into the space station. Cornelivs quickly gave his warriors the orders:
- Sergeant Ariel, you and your squad will come with me and Septimus on shuttle one and enter the station. Sergeant Cassius will come with his squad on shuttle two and be on standby in case we need support. Suit up and be prepared for anything!
- Yes Captain!
The squads put their equipment on and boarded the shuttles. Shuttle one landed on the place were the scans indicated a hatch that the warriors could use to enter the station. After the squad deployed, the shuttle lifted off and kept a safe distance from the structure beside shuttle two. Ariel’s squad was equipped mostly with short range weapons, something very useful for fighting in the corridors and small rooms of a space station, with Superbus and Quintus taking the front and back of the squad, respectively, pointing their flamers away from their comrades. In the first rooms there were no genestealers, they were likely trying to lure the warriors into a false sense of security, allowing Cornelivs and Septimus to investigate the contents of each room while the squad kept everything under watchful eyes. The initial rooms seemed to be mostly storage rooms and small labs but if they contained something useful, it was now long gone.
As the squad pushed further into the space station the rooms started to be bigger and the genestealers began attacking the group, trying to catch the explorers unaware. The warriors eliminated the creatures in each room and then Cornelivs and Septimus investigated what remained to check if there was something valuable. From time to time they found documents and records of what had been done in that room and stored it for later analysis. Smaller weapons could also be found usually in storage crates or spread throughout the floor, likely dropped when its user was killed. Cornelivs noted down the location of such crates so the crew could rescue them if after the clean up and exploration the space station was considered safe enough for salvage operations.
The squad kept pushing into the area where the room that the scans indicated to be void of genestealers was located and as they approached the room the creatures became more numerous, forcing the warriors to advance slower as clearing each room took significant time with lots of flames and ammunition filling the space between the explorers and the tyranids. Although they didn’t enter the room, something seemed to attract the genestealers to that location and Cornelivs was determined to find what it was. When the group reached one of the entrances of the room, the Captain was surprised as he expected it to be some sort of vault or heavily fortified door that had kept out the genestealers but it was a simple bulk door, similar to many they had passed through inside the station. Cornelivs found a way to unlock and open the door, carefully opening it while the rest of the squad tried to detect any foe.
The room appeared to be sealed for decades or even centuries, likely for the same amount of time as the station was abandoned. The squad entered cautiously but it seemed that area was truly free of tyranids. It seemed they were on some sort of laboratory with lots of devices and computers spread throughout the space. When Cornelivs was reaching the far end of the room he noticed there was someone standing near one of the walls. It had certainly been human in origin but through cybernetic implants, including a servo arm, it seemed almost like a robot. Whatever it was, it seemed much different from anything Cornelivs had seen in Imperial worlds.
As Cornelivs approached the cyborg, it suddenly activated scaring everyone, with the entire squad pointing their weapons at it. The cyborg opened its eyes and looked around the room, analysing the explorers. For some time both sides stared at each other until Cornelivs decided to speak:
- Do you understand me?
The cyborg nodded affirmatively.
- What is your name?
The cyborg pointed at a symbol in his chest before a bunch of numbers. Cornelivs approach and noticed it was the letter alpha.
- Your name is Alpha?
Again the cyborg nodded affirmatively.
- Where do you come from Alpha?
Alpha gestured vaguely around the room trying to say his origin was the station. Suddenly Alpha looked angrily at Septimus before returning to his neutral expression.
- Well he doesn’t seem to like intrusions to his mind – said Septimus with an awkward smile.
Alpha shook his head reinforcing Septimus statement.
- I can say he was saying the truth so far and that he seems to be closely as old as the station itself. Not sure of what happened here Cornelivs but he was here at the time, I saw some thoughts of him fighting genestealers before entering the room with the door closing behind him.
Alpha kept nodding affirmatively as Septimus spoke.
- Will you join us in cleaning this station? - Cornelivs asked.
Alpha nodded and reached for a crate beside him, taking what seemed to be some sort of servo weapon which could be attached to the support in his back that had the servo arm. It attached the weapon on the right side, as well as a box of ammo, and tested the movement of both the weapon and the servo arm. Apparently happy with the result Alpha turned to face Cornelivs again.
- Before we leave the room, Alpha is there some log of what happened in this station?
Alpha pointed into one of the computers and while some of the warriors kept a watchful eye on the door, the cyborg initiated the old computer and search for the logs and recordings of the event, placing them into an old but still intact screen. What followed was a record of genestealers, that were initially inside containers, rampaging through the station as the civilian workers fled terrified from the creatures. Some sort of security guards from the station tried to engage the aliens but the genestealers took more guards down than the killed or wounded genestealers, doing little to stop the tide of killers running through the station. Some guards used grenades and other explosives, which explained the damage seen on the outside of the station. Some other footage showed cyborgs similar to Alpha fighting with the genestealers while guarding a room with some scientists and what seemed to be the leading scientist of the station, as he was surrounded by guards as well. The genestealers eventually took down the cyborgs and proceeded to murder the scientists. The remaining guards and the lead scientist retreated and closed a large bulk door but the aliens found a path around the bulk door and ambushed the guards and the lead scientist. In a few minutes every footage showed dead humans and genestealers walking around the station with many going into the area of the room where they currently were. Alpha appeared fighting the tyranids with his arms and the weapon on his back while he retreated into the room and closed the door behind him. He grabbed a device in the room and attached it to the base of his servo arm and as he did the genestealers that were trying to enter the room stepped away a meter or two. Whatever it was the device seemed to be the only reason that room stayed untouched by the tyranids. When Alpha ended the replay of the footage Cornelivs turned to him and asked:
- Is it possible to reduce the range of the device just enough to protect us as we go through the station but not enough to keep the genestealers away from our weapons?
Alpha noded and made some adjustments, once he felt everything was fine he made a thumbs up sign to Cornelivs. The Captain turned to the squad and said:
- Keep an eye on the door, I just want to check something on the computer before we move.
Cornelivs turned to the computer and started to search for something, the screen showing images and documents passing at a high speed. For the most part it seemed the research on that station was meant to create weapons to destroy xenos races like the tyranids and the cyborgs were apparently part of the solution they found, although it was obvious the level of security on the station was too low for the amount of genestealer specimens they had in cages. Some of the genestealers were being used to test chemical and biological weapons, although it seemed most were far from effective. When he was about to leave the computer, Cornelivs noticed a document and focused his attention in it, placing it on the big screen for a better analysis. It spoke about a search for something the scientists called the Ancient Arks. The document detailed the search for one such vessel within the systems in the nearby area as trade ships had reportedly seen such a strange ship during some of their travels, although they could never find it a second time as it was apparently on the move. Near the end of the document it was referred that the vessel had been found and an exploration group had tried to enter it. As soon as Cornelivs was starting to read the description of what the exploration group had done, some genestealers began to appear and the squad began to fire against the creatures and so Cornelivs merely copied the documents for later analysis.
With the documents copied, Cornelivs ordered the squad to proceed and once more they cleaned each room at a time. With the assistance of Alpha they progressed faster and soon the scanners indicated no more genestealers. Still Cornelivs asked the pirate ship to scan the entire facility thoroughly to guarantee no more xenos remained. Once the scans were complete, Cornelivs called shuttle one to pick the squad and both shuttles returned to the ship. The pirates then deployed several salvage teams with the other shuttles on board, clearing the station of any useful materials as well as downloading all the information stored in the computers that were still functional.
Back in the ship Cornelivs kept analysing the documents related with the Ark expedition. The ancient ship was moving slowly but steadily when the expedition found it and a team was deployed to try and enter the vessel, which seemed to activate several defence mechanisms which killed several of the team members. Despite the casualties, the team sent by the scientists was able to enter the Vessel. Once inside, additional defence systems took a few more of the explorers down but they were able to reach a supervision chamber where a single man was overseeing the status of the Ark. The man refused to assist the explorers in opening the door that linked to the other parts of the ship, where the travellers in stasis were stored as well as the other Ark facilities and even though the explorers tried to bypass the security or blow the door, they were unsuccessful. In the end they imprisoned the overseer and took him with them to the station where the scientists tortured him for weeks. The man did not give in and no information was obtained with the torture sessions. Yet the damage done to his body was so great that the scientists decided to experiment with several cybernetic devices, modifying most of the body of the subject that was later referred to as Alpha.
The scientists were so pleased with the result that they decided to perform the same procedure in other humans, creating the cyborgs that would later die fighting the genestealers. These cyborgs had only one major difference from Alpha, their independence. Despite several attempts they could not tame his will without risking his brain and the valuable information they knew lied within. This meant the other cyborgs were nearly mental slaves of the scientists, since although their brain still possessed the ability to make decisions, this decisions could be overruled by devices connected to their brains, thus controlling any urge to defy their masters and other thoughts considered inadequate. The documents seemed to indicate the scientists were close to locating the Ark again to send a second team but then there was no further information.
While Cornelivs was searching for any follow up document, Septimus appeared in his room and said:
- You won’t find any other document on the Ark Cornelivs, that was the last thing the head scientist wrote.
Septimus then proceeded to show some footage he found while analysing some of the backups from the station’s computers where it could be seen that Alpha was accessing a computer reading the same documents Cornelivs was checking. When Alpha reached the last document he looked distressed and a few minutes the footage showed him using the computer to override the locks of the genestealers’ cages, eventually releasing them and causing what Cornelivs had already seen on the station. Alpha could then be seen trying to reach the room where it was found.
Cornelivs turned to Septimus and said:
- Although I doubt Alpha bears any ill feelings towards us as long as we don’t try to find the Ark, I think we should keep it under watch as it certainly knows more than it revealed. The man that later became Alpha should be way older than the station we saw, the Ark it was travelling in is technology that certainly predates the Imperium. I wonder what secrets it keeps in its mind that not even the torture was able to release.
- I will watch it discreetly Cornelivs and report if it does anything suspicious.
The ship continued on its path to Sram IV where it would land for resupply before continuing to the next target. Unknown to Cornelivs and his warriors, another ship was making its descent into Sram V, a very cold planet which was larger than the planet where the miners settled. The large ship landed smoothly and the cargo within started to awake from their long sleep. Humans within specialized snow suits started to come out of the ship transporting materials and tools with which to create some sort of structures. With the continuous work of the travellers a new colony was founded. For some time both colonies would remain unaware of each other and prospered in their own way.
Captain Cornelivs Maximvs is a mutant originally from a mining world in the Imperium. For many decades he worked underground extracting ore for industrial production, never seeing the light of the stars. All this changed when a Genestealer Cult uprising in his planet forced him and his colleagues to take up arms and defend themselves as they tried to escape from the already overrun planet. A voice led him to a trade ship which rescued the few surviving miners and took them off-world. Cornelivs vowed revenge from genestealers and tyranids as a whole. While travelling through space the trade ship was attacked by some pirates but after a fierce Cornelivs and his warriors were able to subjugate the pirates and turn them into his followers. He then left the trade ship, thanking the trader for rescuing them and begane his life of piracy, leading the ship's crew to wherever the tyranids or genestealer cults appeared. As he fought on his forces grew in number with recruits from the worlds he assisted filling up his ranks. Gangers, former civilians, militias... joined him as his fierce tactics often lead them to victory.
Septimus, the Seventh Son of the Seventh Son. Originally from a desertic feral world, Septimus is a powerful psyker with a focuse on pyromancy. When his tribe expelled him and hunted him down after some tribesmen were consumed by his flames, another psyker took him in and trained him in the arts of a psyker. For a long time he taught him how to protect his mind from invasion and how to better control his natural pyromancy skills. One day his master simply vanished and a few days afterwards Cornelivs appeared searching for Septimus, once more guided by a voice in his mind. Septimus joined the forces of Cornelivs but the mystery remained as to who was guiding the captain.
Since I built up my first squad of Escher as per the examples, I named them as per their character name on the instructions.
Jelena - The squad leader
Sergeant Ariel - leader of the guardsmen based squad - survivors from the mining world who acquired some guardsmen equipment.
Marcus - the grenade fanatic
Julius - the vox caster with a love for chainswords.
Edited by GreenScorpion, 25 January 2019 - 08:58 PM.