The vox crackles in your helmets, as the Tau pilot responds to the unusual and unexpected hail from Racel.
+In'sha tu-am nichesse Aun'ui? Kado?+
His voice is sharp, suspicious and yet willing. The words you recognise Aun'ui, a so-called 'Ethereal Prelate' - is a dangerous gambit.
This will be an Opposed Test, with Racel's Deceive Skill (Fel 38) vs the Tau Pilot's Scrutiny (Per 30). It will also be an Extended Test, which will take more time. There will be three tests, as the Pilot's Perception bonus is 3.
Racel pauses for a steadying breath, the water lapping round her waist before replying. The exchange goes back and forth for some moments, you are only able to snatch a few words of it, as before. The speed of the conversation is surprising, the Tau, with such short lifespans, seem to be in a hurry to do anything.
The sharp sounds of an engine picking up speed thunders above the wrecked Blackstar, and through the holes in the fuselage, you can all see the Barracuda pick up altitude and roar away. It is a moment of relief perhaps, but the Crotalids are beginning to spread out through the swamp, knowing there is prey in the water, but unable to find it. The largest, obviously the Alpha male who displayed his authority with the thrashing earlier, drifts closer and closer to the rear ramp, nostrils now above the surface, a dark hulk floating below the water.
There is nothing more to be gained here, and it is imperative the mission continue. Whatever mysteries linger, your path is set and you are alone.
It is not the first time, nor is the loss of your comrades, but the duty is clear. Iron Spider must die.
A few metres from your position you can see where the forest cleaves open to admit a road.
Indexes: IA: Scions of Gehenna IA: White Paladins
Fuel-oils and the scent of burned exhaust metal greeted the back of his nose and throat. The horrible stink of scorched plasteel, where the naked sun had touched it in space, lingered in the air - a delicate cross between extinguished candles, burnt plastic and molten solder. It was a truly awful concoction. "Smells like home," he winked at Tyrell.
The giant stood across from him, visor opened and mask withdrawn. He pointedly sniffed. "You lived in a fart-bottling plant?"
Arron Owen, The Ares Gambit.