700 + GE
From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae
Upon the conclusion of Inquisitor Gaius Vallenti’s trial and execution, Inquisitor Promethea and her throne agents conferred about what to do next. The acolyte cell led by Callidon Rees had been given enough help to put them well on their way to tracking the Cold Trade Emporium. Lyza Blue’s location on Ichabarr was public and known. That left, among the Managers of the Amaranthine Syndicate, the pirate lord Garvus Slynt. They had no idea how to go about tracking him down however.
They decided that they needed to check in on their other acolyte cell on Port Echo, and perhaps while there, to arrange a “pirate ship” upon which to install that cell in order to get them close to Slynt. They arrived under their previous well-worn guises as the entourage to Lady Dido. Gallus Rees, owner and operator of the casino they had set up under their cover previously, was happy to see them and put them up in a vip suite of rooms. They then made contact with Kayleigh Vandilus, leader of their local acolyte cell.
They learned that their cell had been doing excellent work. Operating in tandem with Lady Captain Surma of the station, they had instituted a “clean streets” program where the poor and disenfranchised of the Gray Holds would be granted weaponry and basic training to form a general militia with the aim and purpose of cleaning the station of “undesirables” (namely mutants) in order to earn a place as useful and functioning members of the station’s society. Those who excelled in this task would be prime recruits for those naval ships now passing through with greater frequency. The hope that life aboard a warship as a common rating would be better than life in the slums of Port Echo was sufficient motivation for many, and the Pale Throng had been quite successfully beaten back. The mutant leader had been assassinated by Acolyte Birbo, and only the powerful renegade psyker Annabelle was left to kill or take into custody before the acolytes could consider their ask complete.
Inquisitor Promethea took control of the operation and they cornered Annabelle in the Black Holds. There, they sought a somewhat unusual resolution. Promethea revealed herself as an agent of the Inquisition and offered Annabelle a place at the scholastia psykana on Rubrica if she would surrender. Seeing no other option, the potent unsanctioned psyker placed her life and her future in the Inquisitor’s hands.
Aside from this last matter of business, Acolyte Toby had new information for the Inquisitor from Elizabeth Starling. Knowing the Inquisitor’s interest in the Syndicate managers, Starling had been tracking pirate movements and had data that Magos Attilan was able to use to discern the general part of the Sector that Garvus Slynt would likely be haunting, as well as his likely movements from there. It seems that Slynt would be spending some time at the Spinward edge of the Sector near the vast and lawless regions of space separating it from the Calyxis sector. This region has a poor reputation, of course, as the vicinity of the Merides cluster evokes memories of the Meritech War, but it continues to be a haven for pirate clans. This location had the good fortune to be relatively near to Rubrica, the Inquisitor’s homeworld, where she was honor bound to return the remains of Gaius Vallenti.
The only remaining question was how to ingratiate either herself or her cell as pirates. Fortunately, Lady Captain Surma herself had some aid to render. It would appear that the Meritech Shrike-class raider the Azure Rose that Lord Captain Finn had retreated to when transforming into the creature that the Inquisitor and her agents ultimately destroyed was still docked to the underside of the station. When Lady Dido had shut down the plasma drives, killing the crew of 15,000, the ship had remained, a sealed tomb, difficult to sell or otherwise dispose of. The Lady Captain indicated that the ship could be theirs. All they had to do was clean it out, install new crew, find a way to restart the plasma drives, and procure the necessary specialists, navigators, and astropaths for it to be spaceworthy.
The Inquisitor and her agents were able to procure astropaths, navigators, specialists, and even ratings (to be dredged from the aforementioned Clean Streets Program), but finding a Tech Priest with the particular knowledge of ancient plasma drives proved more difficult than expected. Fortunately, Surma’s Master of Commerce, Roan, was able to point them to the Rogue Trader, Lady Captain Evelyn Lin. The Lin dynasty was immensely powerful, with holdings across the Segmentum Obscurus. Her presence in the Licenian subsector was a cause for much speculation, but generally explained by the presence of the massive, salvaged Grand Cruiser belonging to her distant ancestor, the Arch-Missionary Vargas Lin. It would appear, to all viewers, that her sole interest in this sector of space was the recovery of this ancient vessel belonging to her family, and that her ongoing interest was in its repair and refurbishment at Port Echo. With Roan’s aid, the Inquisitor was granted an audience with Lady Captain Lin aboard her light cruiser the Star Heron.
Lady Captain Lin was the essence of etiquette, diplomacy, and regal grace, as befits a woman of her vast wealth, power, and status. She accorded the Inquisitor all due deference, and granted to her, as a gift, a referral for one of the Tech Priests engaged to aid her in her own refurbishment operations.
Having secured all they needed to theoretically get the Azure Rose functioning, all that remained was cleaning out the tomb of a ship, dealing with any strange or unusual alien technology that Finn may have stashed, and making the ship safe for all these new employees. They gathered their weapons and their resolve, and prepared to enter the ship they themselves had made a tomb.