Policy of Belligerence

Place Settings for Three

Our story began with the Inquisitorial frigate The Might of Saint Mikal, a brooding black vessel bound for Watch Fortress Antioch. The ship transported four marines of various temperament, experience, and chapter affiliation, each of whom believed he was the only adeptus astartes on board. As the ship approached the fortress, the diminutive captain Locke Gollering invited the marines to the bridge, so they could view the exterior of Antioch. Here the four marines met for the first time: the brilliant Tiberion, the venerable Vindulfr, the powerful Cadoc, and the embittered Xiang Jiao.

They found the battle station to be brand new – so new, in fact, that the shuttle bay had not yet been painted, and the hallways were are as deserted as a ghost town. Before long, however, they were met by their superior officer, Watch Captain O’Sheb, a gregarious man of the Salamanders Chapter who had recently suffered crippling injury. He told the marines that the base was still in the process of being stocked and completed, and that it would be several weeks before their strength was sufficient to send out missions. In the mean time, they were encouraged to settle in and rest.

After a mere three days the alarm was sounded int he fortress, and all the marines (the initial four, plus the crippled O’Sheb) were called to the war room. An imperial cruiser, the Triton, has sent a distress signal from a nearby watch station. The message indicated an ambush by ork Freebooters, but there was no way to be sure. The loss of a cruiser would be bad enough, but the ship was also carrying a liaison from the Ordo Xenos, one Inquisitor Malenkov. Without the Inquisitor (or at least the organizational data held within her rosette) Watch Fortress Antioch would be hobbled, as construction, stocking, and recruiting would grind to a halt. Having no other options, Captain O’Sheb ordered the four battle brothers to take the Might of Saint Mikal to the last known position of the Triton. Their mission objectives were:
Determine the fate of Inquisitor Malenkov and retrieve her rosette (Primary)
Save the Inquisitor (Secondary)
Salvage or destroy the Triton (Secondary)
Extract revenge on behalf of the Triton’s crew (Tertiary)
Discover how the Triton was ambushed (Tertiary)

Without delay the battle brothers embarked upon their mission, and through the craft and cunning of the crew of the Might of Saint Mikal they arrived ahead of schedule, a mere 16 hours. Upon reaching the watch station, they found the Triton, still operational but adrift, surrounded by three ork attack ships of similar size. The ork ships were dark, having suffered crippling fire from the cruiser, but ork boarding craft covered the hull of the proud vessel like boils upon a plague victim. Augurs indicated that the Inquisitor’s rosette was somewhere in the depths of the Triton, and after brief consideration Tiberion, the mission commander, indicated a hole near the cruiser’s rear thrusters as their entry point. Boarding their thunderhawk gunship, the kill team made their way to the ork-infested Triton.

Initial contacts with the ork menace were one-sided, as the kill team were able to use surprise and overwhelming force to their advantage. Upon discovery of the Geller field generators, the kill team found them to be strangely untouched, as if the orks were avoiding the area altogether. Moving forward, they came across a great mass of orks in the cruiser’s central temple shrine, where a massive three storey statue of an imperial saint stood. While most of the orks were busy with the destructive task of looting, a few had taken it upon themselves to “orkify” the statue by painting the skin green and adding tusks to it’s stern, frowning mouth. As the rosette was beyond the chamber, the kill team put into effect a plan of brutal efficiency. A running gun-battle was enacted, with brother Vindulfr employed his fragmentation missiles to great effect, while brothers Tiberion and Xiang Jiao targeted the nob leaders. Brother Cadoc exhibited his strength of arms and thirst for glory, by challenging and defeating a vicious mega-armored nob in close combat.

Following the trail of the rosette brought the marines to the auxiliary battle bridge, where the Kaptain of the Freebooters, a foul beast called Bloodcuttah, taunted them from behind multiple blast doors. Through cunning exploitation of the ork’s martial pride, the kill team were able to trick Bloodcuttah into opening the blast doors. The kill team fearlessly advanced into danger, and through disciplined bolter fire were able to reduce the “Kaptain” and his minions down to their component parts. Investigation of the bridge revealed the rosette, hidden away in a niche created by a plasma burn, but of the Inquisitor herself there was no sign. By employing the mysterious but powerful omophagea, the brothers were able to learn that Bloodcuttah was commander of the three ork vessels, but that he had been put onto the Triton’s trail by a mysterious ally. Bloodcuttah’s memories indicated a recent betrayal by this ally, but further details were unavailable.

After a brief discussion, the battle brother decided to take a chance. Using the internal vox system, they broadcasted instructions to the Inquisitor, ordering her to make her way to the Geller field chamber, where they would be waiting to extract her. The brothers then retreated there to wait, and before too long were visited by a figure making his way through the ventilation system. Alas, their visitor was not Malenkov, but one of her entourage. He filled the brothers in on what he could: the Triton was ambushed upon translating from warp space, but how the orks new where to find them he did not know. The henchman indicated that after the primary bridge was hit, the inquisitor retreated tot he auxiliary bridge.

Believing the inquisitor to be dead, the kill team returned to the auxiliary bridge, and started the process of venting the ship’s life support. Within an hour, the remaining xenos scum had been sucked into space. As the Might of Saint Mikal moved in to retrieve the kill team, the inquisitorial henchman was able to activate the bridge’s flight recorder. The scene added more puzzles to the event: it showed that after the initial ork attack, an Anzi attack ship emerged from the nearby nebula, crippled the ork ships, and then teleported warriors aboard the Triton. Their goal became clear as they kidnapped Inquisitor Malenkov and returned to their ship, escaping into the nebula, leaving the rosette int he hands of Boros, Malenkov’s junior interrogator. Not long after, the orks besieged the bridge, leaving Boros no choice but to create a hiding place with his plasma pistol, and hiding the rosette inside.

With their primary objective complete and no trail to follow, the battle brothers returned to Watch Fortress Antioch.



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