Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Andromedai
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Andromedai Celestian of the Adepta Sororitas.

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There were multiple paths presented to the retinue, all they now had to do was choose one and hope that something horrific did not happen with the tome while they transported it back to the inquisitorial safe house. The odds of the tome tearing open a portal to some hellish warp damned dimension of one of the Chaos gods was rather high, and Celestian Andromedai knew this. "I do not want to take any chances with this cursed tome of Tzeentch so here is what we are going to do. First off, I want our Tech-Priest Medaria to gather up sheets of metal then craft us a make shift containment box. For the one and only Adrianne, I would like you to form a energy field around the make shift containment box and then transport it back to the ship for us. As for our local Guardsmen Stukov, please keep an eye and ear on the local area, I do not want any surprises or ambushes while moving this Emperor damned tome anywhere. Everyone has their orders, so let us get to work, alright?"

Celestian Andromedai then opened a private communications channel to Solares, who swiftly responded, "Andromedai? Maya is on the ship sitting next to me, was this your idea? Did you know she was going to show up? I tried to warn you earlier but you were uh, preoccupied?" Andromedai responded in turn, "I was not aware of our friends arrival untill she dispatched the Chaos Spawn we were fighting. Regardless, we will be returning to the ship with a chaos tome, I was a secure area for it to be stored, also allow Maya to do as she see's fit just, no messing around with the weapons systems." While she talked, Celestian Andromedai kept a eye on her team as they worked around her. After a while though, she made her way back into the dome shaped room and glanced around it, merely observing all the damage they had done to it and the Tzeentch murals that covered the walls around her. "One last thing Solares, I want you to send a team here to do a in-depth search around the area for anything that stands out while we take care of this tome, alright?" There would be no reply directly from Solares, but the Celestian did receive a message from another Inquisitorial team that said they were on their way to their location.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Eisenhorn
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"I'm not going to even pursue that Celeste, your making it too obvious now, and that's coming from me. Perimeter watch, got it. Try not to get us sucked into the warp you two, I don't need to fight there again." Stukov was not keen on having to deal with the raw stuff of the warp again, that was a memory he'd rather leave very thoroughly buried and stuffed away in the recesses of his memories. He couldn't forget it, of course, but he could ignore it, which was easier when he had tasks to carry out. That meant doing a more thorough sweep of the surroundings, checking for traps or ticking time bombs, literally and figuratively, waiting to go off in their collective faces. He had unslung his shotgun again, reloading the weapon as he considered what had been, well, undone to his arm. From torn to pieces to back to normal, or at least the appearance of it, all in the span of a few moments. It had felt strange, however, something that he would need to get some answers on, though that had been already addressed for now, at least until they got back to the safehouse as a whole.

"Cogs, if I could get through standard doctrine for boarding before you finished that box, I'd be very concerned about your capabilities. That instruction prattles on way too long for what boils down to 'move fast, don't get shot, take out the engines and/or bridge, get out if you plan to survive'. In far too many words, in any case." Stukov was keeping on watch while he remarked back towards the commentary from Cogs on reciting standard boarding procedures. He had the shotgun at a low ready, eyes and ears intently focused on making sure nothing sneaked up on them, the last thing they needed was another ambush. He'd have to see about requisitioning a new Naval Pistol, shouldn't be hard frankly, they were cheaper than bolt weapons, just not as common outside the Imperial Navy. Speaking of, he just might need to go and requisition a heftier piece of kit from old Armsman doctrines, since the shotgun had shown its shortcomings in the face of a full on Spawn. He had just the piece of kit in mind, but that would have to come later once back in relative safety. It would slow him down a bit too, but that was fine for what he had in mind.
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by rivaan
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Meidara was happily doing some digital chipring birdlike whistling noises as she was tearing pieces of metal sheets and rebars as she worked her mechandendrites and just the tools she carried on her person, sparks flying all around her in a display of colorful fireworks as she happily did her job. She didn't turn towards Stukov for his comment, but her servo head flew over to him, doing a sideways spin as it stopped by him, looking at him from the upside down, making it's hair to just hang down, revealing that yes the servo head was made to be utmost human looking down to what was likely fake skin that looked very real. It had everything, lips, nose, eyes, ears. The eyes moved around and looked at him in the way she usually looked at things, but had a slight shine behind them. All in all it looked like somebody had indeed chopped off the head of Medaira's twin and somehow made it still look perfectly alive.

The sound of a reply came from the servo head while Medaira's main body was still singing a tune in the background, wokring on her extremely suspicious looking piece of abstract art." Ahhh, weird! I always thought that the safety manual for boarding a ship consisted of half a page of text~ then again... I may have been reading the summerized IG field edition~" A sing along voice came from teh disembodied flying head that was upside down and staring into Stukov's eyes.

It was at this point that from Medaira's real body's direction a loud bang echoed along with a flash as the tech priestess's mechadendrites all reached for the heavens and she made a weird celebratory tune as the apandages held a metal box that was just big enough to exactly house the eldrich tome, without it being abel to be opened even a milimeter while on the inside. IT had additional fastening simple mechanical mechanism that would lock it even tighter once the book was in place. On the surface of the metal box was branded with an Imperium logo on one side and on the other there was a flower." I've prepared THE BOX!" Medaira exclaimed as her voice echoed from both her body and the servo head, which finally stopped staring at Stukov and flew over to her.

"One transport box for eldrich tomes as requested! mechanical lock, ensuring no hacking can be done. Once the book's in place and the mechanical lock's triggered, we shall tighten it even more, ensuring the book is to tightly close nothing can escape it in case something tries! It can be hermetically sealed afterwards as I will weld it sute completely just in case!"
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Rithy
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"Handling dangerous warp artifacts directly is a job better suited for a Ministorum Priests." Adrianne whined, and she knew that her complaint was at least halfway justified.

While a trained psyker like her knew far more about how relics touched by the warp functioned, she also knew for a fact that daemons found the souls of grumpy old ecclesiarchs far less palatable than that of a psyker. If anything, while a psyker might be compared to daemon lure, a priest was the opposite.

Yet despite any misgivings she might have had about the idea, it seemed that their part time techno heretek was actually doing a good job with making the box!

"I've prepared THE BOX!"

Adrianne looked it over. She wanted to point out a flaw with it, but it was actually a reasonable build!

"This might work, in case things go awry!" She muttered with a faint tone of disbelief in the back of her voice. She turned towards the tome. Holding up her gloved hand, she formed her fingers into an intricate, arcane gesture. Then, she muttered a low chant, and for a moment it was as if the breath of everyone in the room was stolen from their lungs for a moment as a faint, barely visible barrier of air or some warp addled sorcery surrounded the tome; flickering in and out of existence at random.

Then one of her servo skulls snaked down from the air above; its spine-like metallic tail curling around the tome before carrying it through the room and depositing it into the waiting box prepared by Medaira. Adrianne then cautiously applied the faintest bit of her telekinetic power to close the lid from a distance and depress the buttons to activate the sealing process with a hiss of escaping air from the makeshift container.

"It should be sealed, but I recommend people keeping as great of a distance as practical from the box during transport." Adrianne started to explain, as her second servo skull floated towards the box; the two servo skulls locking their spine like tails onto the box and using their gravitational repulsors to carefully lift it off the table.
"In fact, with the way items touched by the warp may work, it would be best if you refrain from even looking or thinking about the box or what's within as much as possible. Emotions and thoughts can be as much vectors for chaos corruption as physical touch."

For a moment, the ashen haired psyker paused; before smiling encouragingly at the group as she held up a finger.

"But don't worry, that's just to be safe. Emperor willing, I suspect this tome is only a threat if anyone tries to use it." She added, before nodding towards Andromedai.
"It has been secured. Just make sure no one shoots down my skulls."

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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Andromedai
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Andromedai Celestian of the Adepta Sororitas.

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"All of those countless years within the Mechanicus truly show with this superbly crafted containment box." responded Andromedai with a smirk spread across the features of her face. She still held onto the helmet of her armor with her left hand, but it had been heavily damaged from the prior battle, and would not function correctly even if she did have it equipped. "All joking aside, you did quite an impressive job with what resources and time you had, thank you." Andromedai gave a nod of her head in thanks before motioning for the retinue to move out and follow behind her. Once they had stepped back into the dome shaped room, the Sister of Battle would carefully step over the debris while responding to Adrianne. "You see the problem with saying that Adrianne, is that if you tell someone not to think about something, there is a good chance that they will do just that. Anyway, I trust you much more than the Ministorum Priests, just don't repeat that to anyone. Thank you for your assistance in securing the tome as well. Stukov, you are as vigilant as ever, but I think it's time to move out." said Andromedai with a bit more emotion in her voice than normal. By the time she had finished speaking, the retinue had walked back out of the cultist's hidden base, and into the open air. The night had fallen across the land and the cool, calming serenity had taken its place. While everything in the local area seemed to be under control, something still felt off. They could hear music, see lights, hear the sound of happy chatter.

"Does anyone know what ... oh you have to be kidding me." said Andromedai, actually placing the palm of her right hand over her face and sighing, "It is Sanguinalla, which would explain all of the energy I feel in the air, and the music, and the lights, and so on." The Celestian would place her helmet onto her head and then clap her hands together, "Alright then! Here is what we are going to do. There is a very fancy and expensive restaurant I like to go to on rare occasions such as this. We are going to go there and have dinner, feel free to order whatever you would like. Then we are going to walk around the city for the rest of the evening and enjoy the celebrations before heading to a specialty store that sells very rare goods from all across the Imperium of man. I will be covering everything you all wish to buy this evening, so please enjoy yourselves. Oh and Stukov, please don't shoot Maya, you will see why shortly." The ship was waiting exactly where they had left it thankfully, and Solares with onboard with Maya, who had removed her helmet and had it sitting upon her lap. From where she was sitting, no one would be able to view the woman without her helmet untill they walked past her.

"I forgot it was Sanguinalla, Solares and Maya, all of this Chaos bullshit is catching up with me it seems." said Andromedai as she moved to the pilots seat once more and motioned for Adrianne to take the co-pilots position. Arianne would be the first to see that Maya was something special, and most defiantly not a human. She was, in fact, an Aeldari Farseer. Maya merely kept herself occupied with a data-pad that was in her hands, going through pages of information. Solares had remained silent at Andromedai's comment, but Maya laughed softly before going back to what she was doing. Once everyone was strapped into their seats, Andromedai would engage the Typhons engines and the craft would swiftly take off into the air. Once Andromedai had decided they had reached a safe enough altitude, they could easily see that the city of Dalenarth had practically changed over the course of four hours, and was much more active and cheerful than before. The restaurant they would be eating at could easily been seen due to how lit up it was and the heavy amount of decorations that surrounded and covered it. Dark colors with hints of gold and red covered the exterior of the large, oddly shaped building. Upon the outside of it were the words [Saints Respite] in a glowing golden light that illuminated the night.

"That is where we will be having dinner." said Andromedai as she pointed at the impressive display below. There was an empty platform nearby that the ship was landed on, and once it had touched down, Andromedai quickly got up out of her seat and motioned for everyone to follow her out of the Typhon and into the building where already the intoxicating smell of exquisite food could be found. The two guards who were actually armed but wearing clean and fancy outfits opened the doors for them as they approached, welcoming the retinue to Saint's Respite, and hoping they had a very enjoyable evening.



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"Understood, let's get the box back somewhere it can be safely disposed of." Stukov took point, checking corners and listening for the slightest problem, pending ambush, or even hazard that might risk the cargo being freed. He kept any thoughts pertaining to the current mission purely professional, mind shifting to combat mode naturally as they moved out of the building finally. The energy and sound in the air was strangely celebratory, and when Celeste suggested they spend the night out on the town he frowned. They had a...significant problem stored in a, albeit well made, scrap built box and she thought it was a good idea to go party instead of secure that first? Of course the last remark on not shooting the other Sister was confusing, and he raised an eyebrow at Celeste as he replied. "Celeste, all due respect, don't we have more important things to do than going and rubbing shoulders with the 'nobility' on this planet? And why would I..."

The senior armsman's thought chain was broken when boarding the smaller ship they had arrived in, and he practically froze in place when he saw the xenos parading around in Sororitas power armor, shotgun slung as they boarded the ship. The quick movement of his arm reaching for the pistol holster given the close quarters was evident, though probably fortunately for all parties involved said Naval Pistol was destroyed earlier by the Spawn. Gritting his teeth he moved to get about as far away from the xeno as possible, glaring harshly at the Celestian as he secured himself into a seat. "We'll talk about this later Morgenstern. Throne preserve me..." He might just have to go and have a chat with Cogs later and have her replace his arm anyways, given it had been tainted by xenos trickery without his knowing. He knew something was off when a fully armored 'Sister of Battle' had gone using warp powers to mend his injuries. They just didn't go about doing that sort of thing, he had assumed that Celeste had gone and found some undetected psyker in a minor order, somehow given that they had to check for that sort of thing, but no, she had gone and given a set of power armor to a xeno, one of the knife eared ones no less that had cost the Imperium more than they ever even pretended to help. The fact Celeste was trusting her to any degree was extremely concerning, hence the discussion needed later.

He redoubled his mental focus on principle, doubling down on the guarding against psychic probing. Did Stukov think that would stop a serious attempt from a xenos psyker or, hell, Smiles for that matter? No, but it helped, and keeping nonsense floating on the surface to throw off casual glance seemed to work. Still, it seemed Celeste was determined that they would try to enjoy these festivities instead of carrying out their Throne given duties, and he kept his silence as they were welcomed into the place. It was all far too upscale for him, he probably stood out like a sore thumb frankly, and even the name of the place didn't sit right with him. He kept his head on a swivel, expecting something to interrupt again while they were otherwise preoccupied and distracted. Given recent events, well, one could hardly blame him for his heightened nerves and tension. And that was without taking the xeno scum traipsing around as a member of the Sisters of Battle into account! To say his mood was dark would be an understatement, that much is certain, though right now he focused on not speaking, instead visually confirming likely escapes, entryways, and other points of concern if things got out of hand.

Too many entryways, both for guests and staff, too many ways for approach, it was all begging for trouble to kick off. Given how it hounded them the way it did, well, if he was lucky a round would drop him for good before he knew what was happening. Not likely, given his apparent paranoia in comparison to the rest of the retinue's general demeanor and such, but one could hope. The fact the knife eared xeno was trusted to any degree bothered him, the only use xenos had was as enemies, not friends to be handing over Sororitas power armor to. Still, though he gritted his teeth again to keep from speaking, he had his orders for now. Do not shoot the xeno. Could go for his combat knife or chain cutlass, in a pinch, but he doubted he would have any sort of element of surprise against this xeno psyker, and those methods would rely on that far too much. So despite his protests against this being made, and then of course the xeno revealing itself, Stukov kept silent and would only really speak if necessary.
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To say that Adrianne had a visceral reaction similar to Stukov was perhaps an understatement the moment the xenos psyker revealed herself to them; indeed, Adrianne would sense the farseer's aura the moment the eldar interrupted whatever concealing trick it had used up until now before she even saw the eldar with her own eyes!

"Eldar!" Adrianne bit her lips as she stopped dead in the middle of the Typhon, with enough suddenness that any who came behind her might stumble into the tall psyker.

Adrianne felt a mix of emotions at the revelation. In addition to the feeling of surprise, she also felt a distinct tinge of annoyance at the fact that she had not noticed the eldar's aura at all until now. She considered her own powers to be on par with that of some eldar, but the xenos' ridiculously long life spans allowed them to reach a power and mastery over the warp that human psykers would struggle to match; and of these farseers were some of the worst!

But there was also something else she felt; the presence looming over her, as if it felt just as surprised as she had been at the sudden revaluation; a surprise that soon took a turn for great curiosity, lust and desire!

"Oh what an exquisite gem! To think she has been so close all this time all along! I could almost just reach through the veil and snatch her for myself... !"

The sickly-sweet voice reverberated throughout Adrianne's mind with an intensity she had not felt before, triggered by the close proximity to such a potent eldar soul. A faint trickle of violet energy sparked around her fingers before she could extinguish it, and for a brief moment; every living creature aboard the Typhon would feel their breath stolen from their lungs, as if a giant, invisible hand had clamped down around them. But the bizarre sensation left as sudden as it had arrived.

"I... have my concerns about this." Adrianne said, as if to wave away the awkward silence.
"Whatever their seeming intentions, allying with the eldar for any prolonged period of time always results in treachery."

Adrianne warned, though seemed to be more in a hurry to get away from Maya as she quickly moved to the co-pilot seat.

It was not until they had arrived Saints Respite that Adrianne hurried out of the Typhons with the rest of the crew as they dismounted; quickly seizing on Stukov and Medaira as they were entering the place.

"Listen." Adrianne spoke, using a single flick of her finger and a subtle gesture of her powers to pull Medaira and Stukov in front of her, as if by an invisible string of rope. She placed her staff gently on them, motioning for them to continue to walk as they were a small ways away from Maya and Andromedai.
"I do not know what's going on here, but that thing is a genuine eldar psyker. I do not know if she's an actual farseer, but her powers are very real. Perhaps we will learn some more during this dinner, but until then we should be wary. I fear Sanguinella may excite some of our enemies. And your box may become a target, Medaira."

Adrianne whispered to the two in a hushed voice as they walked inside, pretending to act as normal as she could; even if subtlety was not her greatest strength.

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"But of course, making boxes is a must have skill!" Medaira chirped in agreement, nodding her head vigorously as she was also grinning underneath her mask and underneath her hood. The only thing that vaguely transmitted her emotions of fun was the upright curve of her eyebrows that formed whenever somebody smiles and the slight intonation of her synthetized sounding voice." I've worked with less in the past." The magos added with a shrug. It was true, once she build a box with nothing but wires and wooden sticks. Here she even had proper metal sheets to work with!

She let out a snicker at the words being spoken about the suggestion of not thinking about the book." Good chance with that indeed, better keep it quiet from anybody not of importance to the mission though. We already know of it to begin with so it's impossible to compeltely cut off our thinking on the topic one way or another. Bringing in people who hadn't had idea of it and mentioning it to them however will be a surefire way to get people's interest."

Once outside and exposed to the merry celebrations of Sanguinalla, Medaira broke out in a merry two tone jingle with her servo head. Ahh it was one of her favorite celebration days! So much joy to be had and even she wouldn't pull off a mean prank on this fine day. She eyed curiosly the celestian and then the Maya when the other took of her helmet. Medaira 's grin got positively huge, eyeing the pointy eared woman as the party had varying other reactions to the revelation. Stukov was positively negative! Psyker friend Adrianne was quite a bit negative also! Medaira side stepped around her patting her on the shoulder, eyes locked on the eldar. Elder in imperial power armor! Elder in Imperial Sororitas Power Armor! SO MUCH PRANKING POTENTIAL! She was saving that one for the celestian and the psyker friend whenever she puts one on, but this will do fine too! New prank victim aside, she was posively positive of the eldar's presence! Such a great source of Eldar tech information so close! She just wanted to grab Maya and drag her over to her room so she can ask a few hundred questions! She started singing her merry jingle even more as she walked over to Maya." Happy to properly meet you, Prank Friend Maya! Let's be best of friends!" She greeted the woman, her head filled with positive friendliness and happy thoughts. She suddenly felt a great pressure, taking her breath away, but she barely reacted. She just looked around and looked at Adrianne who spoke out. She let out an amused jingle melody and returned to her duties while they were flying, which consisted of poking things and checking her gear for damage and repairs and also doing a few spot weldings on the box.

When they arrived at their destination that turned out to be a fancy restaurant, Medair was a very happy camper! Ohh it was going to be a very nice family sanguinalla dinner, but without the family and with friends instead! It was great, the Omnissiah was generous this year. As they were leaving to follow the Celestian to the restaurant the magos felt herself being pulled away by sudden psykic force." WEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" She made a sound of glee as she snapped in place in front of Adrianne." Worry not Psyker friend! Box is very sealed as for Prank Friend Maya, I'm sure Prank Friend Maya will be of great pranking help in the future!" She chirped as they were walking into the restaurant now. It was quite darn obvious they stood out like an orc in a beauty contest." Now, less worrying that causes wrinkes, Friend Adrianne, and more Sanguanalla Celebratory dinner!" She added, giving the psyker a surprise HUG, with capital letters as she made it a very tight hug." You too, Prak Friend Stukov!" She added as she let go of ADrianne and repeated the hug on the man, before letting go and with a jingle on her lips, skipped away forward to Andromedai.

"What a lovely place, Friend Boss Lady Andromedai!" She told their leader with a happy voice as she took off her breather like mask and pulled down her red and black hood, letting her shoulder length white hair free.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Andromedai
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It was painfully obvious that both Stukov and Adrianne were not pleased by the revelation that Maya was indeed an Aeldari. Thankfully though their local and definitely mentally sound Tech-Priest Medaira was ecstatic about the discovery. Sensing the distrust and want to end her life, Maya motioned for Andromedai and Solares to fall back behind the other three so they could talk in privacy. "I do hope I have not managed to ram a wedge in-between you and your friends, Celestian Andromedai. Perhaps I should just leave and go my own way for now? It would be simple to return to my homeworld." said Maya in a tone of voice that showed her concern. Andromedai shook her head, "That will not be necessary, I will speak to them about how we came to know each other and a few other things once we are seated. Hopefully it will help clear up any concerns and misunderstandings before anything happens." As soon as Andromedai had finished speaking, a woman wearing crimson and red armor approached the retinue and gave them a crisp salute. "Good evening Inquisitorial Retinue, I am Valkia, and will be helping assist you all with anything you may need this evening. I have your usual secluded table in a private corner of the restaurant ready and waiting." said their evenings host, motioning to the vacant table that awaited them.

"It is appreciated as always, Valkia." said Andromedai as she moved front and center as she moved to their designated table. The Celestian Sister of Battle was the first to take a seat in the booth, and as soon as she had positioned herself comfortably, she removed her helmet and set it on the seat next to her. Solares would take a seat at one far end of the table, and Maya would take the other. Once everyone had been seated where they wished, Valkia would practically appear out of nowhere and hand out thick menus to everyone present before swiftly heading off back out of sight. "Alright my friends, I know you all have your concerns about our new guest here and completely understand where you are coming from. We have all been through a lot together, from small skirmishes, to full scale wars, we have always been by each others side, and hope that you will trust me as I have always trusted each of you. Though that is easier said then done, even more so when our guest is well, you saw. So Maya and myself felt that an explanation is in order." Andromedai repositioned herself in her chair just as a round of waters were delivered. She would wait till they were alone again before starting.

"What I am about to say can not be repeated to anyone untill the official information is released to the masses of the Imperium. Merely even mentioning this could land all of us in serious trouble, as in execution or much worse. I will do my best to keep this short and to the point but that may not happen, since there is a lot to explain here. A long while ago, the stellar realm of Ultramar came under sustained attack from myriad foes, being part of what we believe was a portion of the Black Fleet. Thus began another desperate and bloody invasion of the Ultramarines' home realm remembered as the Ultramar Campaign of the thirteenth Black Crusade. The Celestinian Crusade, made up of many very well known and feared factions within the Imperium of man, allied with the Ynnari's commanders and a number of additional Eldar forces fought back against the Black Fleets Chaos forces."

"The combined forces faced off against over a hundred Black Legionaries, though even as the combined forces fought to help Belisarius Cawl, he was unable to complete his objective alone. I am unsure as to what happened, but something happened with the Eldar. It resulted with the return of Primarch Roboute Guilliman! An awakened and enraged Primarch Roboute Guilliman proved much more than the Chaos attackers were prepared to deal with. Guilliman slaughtered the attacking forces of Chaos and provided an extraordinary surge in morale for his Ultramarines and the other Loyalist forces. After the battle had come to an end, Primarch Roboute Guilliman gave the forces his blessing and thanks to all those present, Eldar included. Where does Maya and myself fit into all of this? We fought alongside each other during Ultramar Campaign of the thirteenth Black Crusade, she has proven herself to not only myself, but also to the Imperium of man as well. In fact, we are currently Allied with these Eldar in few ways, which even I am still trying to accept."
Andromedai crossed her arms over her chest when she finished, then glanced over at Maya.

"What she says is the truth, ever since then we have been friends, and in all honestly I am surprised it took me this long to show up and be part of the retinue. I hope you all will give me the chance to prove my loyalty and fight along side you, as Celestian Andromedai, Sister of Battle Solares, and other forces of the Imperium have." Once Maya finished, both Andromedai, Solares, and Maya looked at the rest of the retinue with silence, awaiting their reply.
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"Worry not Psyker friend! Box is very sealed as for Prank Friend Maya, I'm sure Prank Friend Maya will be of great pranking help in the future!"

"That does not answer my concerns... "

Adrianne thought to herself mentally, but simply shook her head. While she hjad displayed skill, she still had little hope of ever getting any sense out of the malfunctioning vox speaker that was Medaira.

As they sat down by one of the tables, Adrianne slumped down besides them. And when Andromedai ordered water, Adrianne motioned for wine to be delivered to her. She accepted the bottle and goblet as it arrived, listening to the tale told by Andromedai. In a way, it was an odd tale to come to grips with. The tales of primarchs felt all too far away for Adrianne to truly come to grips with, and although she had dealt with the after effects of black crusades before; she could only feel sorry for whoever ended up standing in the middle of their paths.

And it was as she was sitting by the table that Adrianne realized that her emotions towards the eldar was not simply her own prejudice, but rather the unnatural presence with her that hungered towards the eldar; like a ravenous beast presented with a delectable piece of meat just inches from its jaws.

But there was also another thing that bothered Adrianne about Maya.

"You are unusually humble... " Adrianne started, peering at Maya as she took a sip from her goblet; conveniently leaving out the 'for an eldar' at the end of her sentence.
"What is your stake in this? Why risk yourself for this world, especially when you risk so much more than the rest of us?"

Adrianne asked, placing down her goblet as she peered over the table at Maya with her violet eyes. It was during that gaze that a strange aura would fall over the table, making the food taste all the more delicious to any mortal at the table possessed with taste buds. Even the normal water served to them would gain a strange kind of sweetness to it, like an exquisite drink one could gulp down on for an entire day.
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"Doesn't answer mine either. And believe me Smiles, the last person here to trust any Eldar is me. I know damn well what they and their kin are capable of. I'm already watching for trouble, without and within."

Stukov wasn't exactly a fan of getting tugged around by warp powers, but it was something he had gotten used to dealing with when it came to Smiles and her manners. Being pulled through teleportation was also far worse, so he knew where to pick his metaphorical battles. He was firmly on Smiles side in this case, no good was going to come from an Eldar, not without greater gains to them at the likely cost of Throne fearing innocent men and women. How many planets, sectors, fleets, and soldiers had died in the tangled machinations of the Eldar, he suspected not even they could tell him, their regard for humanity was that little. One parading around in Sororitas power armor was a mockery, regardless of the reason, practical or otherwise. Of course Celeste was known here, and they had a private booth to discuss matters in 'privacy', though his constant monitoring of their surroundings did not lessen. He also did not partake in the drinks, doubling down on his steadfast opposition to the decision to not get things sorted back at the safehouse or, even better, back in orbit. Still, he listened carefully to the explanation as to why the Eldar was even present, and it was quite the story.

Another attempt on Ultramar, during the 13th Black Crusade, opposed by the Celestinian Crusade. Made up of the faithful and another damned faction within the Eldar, as well as additional forces that deemed stopping Chaos was more important than playing their games at machinations in the shadows. The timely return of one of the most well known and storied Primarchs was, well, shocking, and it was probably good he wasn't partaking in the drinks or he would have ended up coughing on it in shock. So many names of figures of such importance that it wasn't even remotely possible, and yet he knew it to be true. Apparently the Eldar had personally fought alongside Celeste, and this was where the trust came from. Stukov couldn't bring himself to that same trust, even in the face of this incredible story. He would say as much after Smiles asked her questions, having seated himself about as far from the Eldar as he could manage.

"I will follow orders and nothing more in regards to the xeno. No matter how grand the good of the deed, does it really account for the countless worlds, systems, fleets, armies and more that have been unwittingly and unwillingly sacrificed to save handfuls of their own, and just of those we know about? I don't believe so, both her kind and others of her race, even if they don't answer to her group, have been bleeding the Imperium dry, both directly and indirectly, for as long as the Imperium has stood in the face of her endless enemies. My stance remains the same, Morgenstern, but I will follow your orders regardless of personal beliefs. Just know I will not let my guard down even if the rest of you make the mistake in doing so." The strange aura only put Stukov further on edge, he couldn't put his finger on why, but something was wrong and he could feel it. The fact an Eldar sat at the table wasn't helping, and the mixture of unnatural air and xeno presence was practically putting him into combat mode. Something was wrong, many things were wrong, and he couldn't put his finger on it, and it was driving his nerves hard.
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"Ohh, friends of battle! How poetic!" Medaira exclaimed, having heard hte story of how the Celestian and the Farseer apparently came to be together in a team in the heat of war and survival! And what a story it was, worthy of an imperial scribe writing it down and turning it into a reading for the ages! Truly the marvels of the world knew no bounds! She even started humming a song while browsing the menus!" Ohh look, a very well ages wine! It would go perfectly with a nice steak!" She said to herself, seemingly ignoring Adrianne's suspicions and questions for the Farseer, until she wasn't anymore and actually spoke out.

"To be perfectly fair, Prank Friend Maya's presence isn't without precedent to begin with." She stated, pulling over another page of the menu." A numerious imperial forces have worked, work and will continue to work with varying xenos, no offence intended by the term. It happens often enough if you look for it. Some factions more often than not, in fact I've heard that a lot of rogue traders employ non humans in their crew and nobody really bats an eye... ohh roasted chicken. And we are kind of above most regulations anyways." She spoke, randomly exclaiming on the food in the middle of her sentence." Prank Friend Maya, do your people have similar dishes?" She asked with curiosity, before turning her attention to Stukov and raising a well trimmed and maintained white eyebrow. She returned her attention to the menu once more as she listened to his little tyrade about the eldar. Then began humming a tune that to a person many millenia ago during hte world of old Terra would recognize as the memorable melody of 'London Bridge is Falling Down'. In fact to those who were REALLY trying to listen, they might even hear a very quiet jolly lyrics being sung presumably by her servo skull while she was making hte melody.

'Months of Shame are going down. —
Shame is won, and no bright renown.
Shields resounding,
War-horns sounding,
Wolves are shouting in the din!
bolters singing,
power-coats ringing —
The Omnisiah makes our Wolves win!'


Now where had Medaira gotten that data from only Medaira knows, but tech priests and priestesses tended to know things when others didn't.

"Let's be honest here, Prank Victim Friend Stukov, the Imperium has a staggering death toll from internal causes in all major conflicts too. Common defense practice is collapsing defense for hte guard, which consist of shelling our own battlelines as the guardsmen are trying to retreat to the next set of trenches and it gets even worse from there. So we can't rightly blame the xenos for everything. We can probably blame the C - words though. They are not possible prank friends!" Medeira quipped." Nobody's stopping you from being paranoid though! It's in your job description! In all our job descriptions~! You are doing greaaaAAAAAAAT~!!!" Then she turned to the Celestian." I'm thinking a fine aged red wine, a well made beef(ish) steak. What about you, Celestian Boss Lady friend Andromedai~?"
Hidden 28 days ago Post by Rithy
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Adrianne listened to Medaira spout some minor heresies, and nodded in agreement.

"It is a wonder the guard is so effective." Adrianne mused, reflecting on her own memories of the guard. She had been attached to guard regiments in the past, and even though she stuck close to officers; there had been more than one episode where friendly fire had been narrowly avoided. Often thanks to her own divination powers!

She felt herself getting hungry. It was probably a reason why the Eldar's presence upset her so much. The ashen haired psyker resumed to look through the menu, taking a note of the meals she'd order.

"One extra large beef with onions; one serving of local fish; one set of spiced ribs; gene potatoes; sour cream... " Adrianne paused mid notation, turning towards Medaira.
"Prank friends? If you can actually pull off a prank against an agent of the great enemy; I'd be willing to give you a reward~"

She added with a smirk; suddenly curious how in the world Medaira would pull something like that off, and quietly hoping she hadn't just set off a chain reaction that would lead to a lot of trouble for them in the later future.

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Maya systematically responded to all questions that were posed in her direction, and answered them with clear and concise responses. "That is a fair question Adrianne, my stake in this whole situation is honestly quite simple though. There is a system of Eldar Maiden Worlds, not Craft Worlds, within jump distance of this system. They are still inhabited by my people, unknown to most of the Imperium of man, Should this system fall, ours would be next. Now, before you say I am only doing this for my people or something else along those lines, we have a contract of sorts with this system which enables us to deliver rare materials that only come Maiden Worlds. These materials help keep this system alive and functioning, and in return I get to wander the system freely."

Maya felt the disturbance like an eruption, but merely tilted her head slightly to the left while holding eye contact with the Psykers violet eyes before turning to the Armsman to answer his questions. "If you trusted me right after my abrupt introduction, I would be greatly concerned about your mental health, Stukov. No offense but I rather not get into politics about the Eldar and Imperium of man here, or at all for the time being. Trust me when I say, our opinions differ and I rather not stoke the fire that is already in your heart. Perhaps in time, you will see me more than a heretic xeno that must be purged from all existences." The Eldar Farseer shrugged lightly before turning to nod her head at the Tech-Priestess, not entirely sure how to respond to the strange woman. "I am glad at least one of you are happy to have me here." If anyone was paying attention, Maya's ears did not look like an Eldars at the moment, and Andromedai considered it to be some sort of illusion to help her from drawing attention or much worse.

Opening her mouth to speak, Celestian Andromedai was interrupted by the arrival of Valkia who returned to take everyone's orders. "I hope I am not interrupting, but are you all ready to place your orders for food?" Celestine spoke up first and said "Just the normal for me please, you will see what that is soon, Medaira." Maya was next, informing the waitress that she wanted Beef Stroganov. Solares shrugged lightly and said "I will take... the meatloaf, you know the one with fresh ground beef, salt and pepper ground sausage, red onion, garlic, panko bread crumbs, roasted tomato's, smoked bacon and some spicy barbeque sauce?" Valkia nodded her head then turned to the rest of the retinue awaiting their orders.
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"Being frank, Cogs? Scale of casualties does not justify their contributions by any stretch of the imagination. As for the Guard, I won't pretend to know their tactics to the letter, but if the only thing the majority did was collapsing rings of artillery, we'd have been doomed long before ever living to see current affairs. Ignoring all that, ranking enemies above each other in terms of damage caused is a damn fool notion. Holding one evil above others only invites someone to tolerate the lesser evils and threats. So I'll stick to my 'paranoia' in not trusting a xeno to be true to its words. Especially from a kind known for never revealing their true goals even after they are completed."

The talk of maiden worlds and having struck bargains with the local Imperial forces for her services in exchange for the continued safety and shielding of such worlds. Typical, using countless human lives to protect and screen their precious own, while playing at helping and having the Imperium's best interests at heart. He didn't buy it for a second, and considered the maiden worlds a convenient point to pin attention and inquiries on. He wasn't going to comment on intersystem commerce and trade agreements, even between xenos and the Imperium. He knew well that Rogue Traders cared little for anything other than profit and status, and if they could get that trading with xenos? Well as long as the Inquisition wasn't around and also in the xeno pockets, well, all the better then. The xeno turned its remarks to him, hiding its true form with some base illusory tricks most likely, though it did nothing to dissuade him or put him at ease, even if it prevented others from seeing it for what it was.

"I would save your concerns, xeno, there is little to discuss between us. I know enough of your kinds treachery and deceit, regardless of what is said, to ever trust even with the story you presented. Perhaps, Throne willing, I won't have to deal with you any more than absolutely mandated, but I'm not holding my breath on that." Cogs open acceptance of the xeno, the fact that Morgenstern was keen on traveling with, fighting alongside, and trusting this alien, and the strange air all mixed into a thoroughly grumpy and irritable armsman. He'd rather be completing their objective and mission here, not dining and sight seeing. He was concerned with how many likely escaped their recent operation and were preparing to resist further attempts on their activities and gatherings. A ticking clock, as it were, and it was being spent sitting in some high end restaurant, where he would never exactly be comfortable with being at to begin with, wasting time speaking with a xeno. Let alone sharing a meal with one, Throne forbid.

"Nothing for me, thank you." Stukov wasn't hungry, and wasn't going to simply pick at some needlessly fancy, and expensive, meal that he would never have the palette to appreciate, let alone make good use out of. He would stick to his rations and normal meals, with the odd indulgence in Tanna being the rare treat, and continued watching their surroundings carefully. He would remain on edge for as long as they had not secured their objective, and while the xeno was present as well, and given private places like this were bound to be rife with the less than throne fearing types, all the better to avoid giving them the opportunity to get the drop on him. So he kept his head on a careful swivel, keeping an eye on any potential entrances, escapes, and other points of note that might be necessary to deal with should things get out of hand suddenly. He wouldn't put it past heretics to make a move in such a place, especially if they had allies in the local security that could suppress alarms and delay Arbites responses.
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"They do say that quantity is it's own quality~" Medaire chirped in reply to Adrianne's statement. The guard was useful in the way it was, granted it could be times better, but the progressives and conservatives in the Mechanicus could never really decide what should be improved and what should be left alone as it is. So much accusations of heresy were thrown about at any gathering to try to figure that out!

" It's not as rare as people like to think." She replied courtly." Pranks... traps... pranks... traps... same thing." She giggled." And banana peels. They never expect the banana peels." Medaira's grin was something to behold. Questionable, but something to behold. Hey in the absence of complete freedom in her pranks, she had to make do with plotting very satisfying and reidiculous ways to put those pranking skills into use at the wider game. Apparently, setting an obvious wire trap and tossing an inconspiculous banana peel in there, usually meant one or the other was ignored in favore of the other one. She was still waiting for a good chance to drop a gargoyle on the head of a Chaos agent that opens a door. There were plenty gothic buildings with stone dark decorations, but it never seemed to be the proper time. Maybe it would be this time. She then turned to the farseer." You are positively welcome! Prank friends are always a welcome addition to the jolly crew."

" I will go for a beef steak - well-done, a serving of cheeses, red wine and green salad." The tech priestess said to the waitress with a smile.

The tech priestess was looking at Stukov now and had a funny grin on her face." You are POSITIVELY ADORABLE!" She stated with very confident voice, staring at him right in the eyes. Her servohead, making a bit of fanfare music at the moment." I like you, Prank Friend victim Stukov. You are the very model of what the rank and file of our GLORIOUS Imperium should be. Now I think you will love this! I suggest you to try the nice selection of beer they've got avaible! A nice dark, would surely fix your mood, Friend Stukov~" Meanwhile she too was having her own security perimeter and observations being constantly performed. She didn't have that flying servo head for nothing.
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"The mental image of you managing to trip a multi-legged chaos spawn would be something to behold~ "Adrianne mused with a slight smirk in Medaira's direction, before it came down to giving their orders.

Adrianne paused for a moment as Valkia appeared. Truly, the notion of giving food orders to someone like that was definitely a unique experience. But Adrianne choose not to overthink it; instead following her gut instincts, she levied the menu and opened a page for Valkia.

"I'll take one of this, and this, and this... oh, and do remember the gene-potatoe fries and imported spiced sauce." Adrianne instructed as she leaned forward, listing off half the page worth of foodstuffs. Something about this whole place was making her quite hungry, and Adrianne was not about to waste such an opportunity!

Yet, no sooner had she finished rambling off than her violet eyes were drawn back to Medaira.

"If I didn't know any better, then I would say you were attempting to get our armsman soaked." Adrianne mused with a slight accusatory tone and a chuckle. Which was also the same moment that another idea suddenly struck the psyker, and the ashen haired woman turned around to peer at the eldar sitting at their table.
"Do el,- ... can you handle alcohol?"

Adrianne suddenly asked, leaning forward slightly while holding her goblet in one hand; as if a great question had suddenly appeared in her mind that needed immediate answering, her eyes practically zeroing in on Maya!
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