Dhakkans Cell #1: "Freeing
Guardsman Kaarl's Tale
Keep in mind, Kaarls point of
view is highly colored by his personal prejudices and attitudes!
Disrespect, thats why I was
there. The locals had no respect for a uniform. A soldier gets a
liberty and he wants to have a good time! He doesn’t want any trouble,
but then there was that disrespect, and somebody had to teach them
didn’t they! So I taught them some respect, and next time they see the
uniform of 93rd ‘Cutas they’ll be right and proper respectful.
Course I got hands like
spatchcocks* and I must have taught some of them a little too hard. I
don’t recall exactly. It had been a long night lifting the glass and my
memory is a bit soft around the edges. All I know is at some point
everything went dark, and when I woke, I found myself in a cold cell
underneath the Governors palace with nothin’ but a bucket and the too
tight explosive collar of the penal legion locked around my neck. You
might think that was the worst; but no, the worst was, having little
Ish’* standing outside my cell in his dress blues, looking in at me
with his unnatural eyes* and moaning about having to spend the rest of
his liberty guardin’ me when he could have been off makin’ the rounds
with the local poxie brontie. Not a good recipe for a hangover cure I
can tell you.
That and the screamin’, the
screamin’ was no help either. A woman-girl she’d been screamin’ when I
first woke up and she hadn’t stopped since. Emperor knows how long
she’d been screamin’ before I woke but she coulda screamed on forever
in that dungeon and nobody would have ever heard her. Except on that
night me and Ish’ heard of course. That pitiful caterwaulin’ echoin’
down those dungeon corridors would have been enough to make any man
edgy, and little Ish’ was no exception, so he just had to go
investigate didn’t he? And when Ish’ got back from his investigations
he was pale white and shakin’ with sick all down the front of his
blues. He was so shook up he actually let me outta my cell! Said he
needed the back up, and we should go up and get my gear and weapons.
All strictly against regulations of course, I could have quoted Ish’
chapter and verse but who was I to argue? Besides, that was his never
mind and I wanted to get away from that soul chillin’ caterwaulin’,
that and the already cold cell had dropped from cold to freezin’ in the
time it took Ish’ to find the keys and set me free.
Up top in the palace courtyard
a bunch of unlikely sorts had assembled, strange lookin’ bunch. Only
one that looked like he was worth anything was an Arbite, he had the
badge and the uniform anyway, that’s worth somethin’. By the time me
and Ish’ had my gear sorted out that buncha misfits had decided that
they needed to go down into the dungeon to investigate the “waves of
psychic emanations”. All I wanted to do was to hot foot it back to the
93rd, but something about what Ish’ had seen or felt had got him fired
and he was all for going back down with the rest of them. Well, the
93rd sticks with its own so I got myself ready and we all headed back
down into the Governors dungeon. It didn’t take long for us to figure
out where to go. The screamin' and the bone chilling cold led us to the
right door, a big old iron door covered with frost, the kind of door
that says “Don’t open me if you know what’s good for you!” We’ll we
didn’t, so after some fussing with the keys the Arbite got the door
unlocked and he pushed it open a crack.
That’s when everybody hit the
floor pukin’ their guts out onto the pavers. An invisible wave of sick
rolled out through that little crack like a Lehman Russ and knocked
everybody flat, everybody but the 93rd that is. We hit that door like
the Emperors Elite ready for the anything!
Except for what we found. The
Planetary Governor, book in hand, screaming in some evil soundin’
language I never hope to hear again, lashin’ some chained woman-girl
with an electro-whip, and blood, lots of it, old, dried, clotted, fresh
runnin’, blood, blood, blood.
There I was, Kaarl, mixed up in
the business of my betters. A Planetary Governor in the sights of my
Las Gun and me itchin’ to pull the trigger. Wantin’ to stop that
electro-whip from comin’ down one more time and raisin’ still one more
scream! But that’s not for a plain soldier like me to do, that’s for
the and great and mighty, officers work. Not for Guardsman Kaarl. So
instead I gave him a warnin’ shout over the din of his evil chantin’ in
my best parade ground roar, but that whip hand kept comin’ down
machine-like regular and the chantin’ growl never even slowed. So it’s
“For the Emperor” and charge! And with little Ish’ one step behind, I
made a grab for the electro-whip. But you know, between the slippin’
and slidin’ on the blood and the whip crackin’ dangerous close to the
explosive collar clamped around my neck I never actually laid a hand on
the Governor! The other lot had finished with their sick spell though
so they piled in on him too and quick as you please he was trussed up
snug like a pig at a banquet. Me, Ish’ and the Arbite marched the
Governor down to the very cell where I started the night and locked him
up tight to wait for those that might have an interest in him.
Then things got bad. When we
got back to the bloody room, the rest had already released the
woman-girl from her chains, and time got strange and slow, and the
woman-girl was a demon queen, and there was that kiss.
And a flash of light.
But I won’t talk about that.
Won’t even think about that! And by the time I did start thinkin’
proper again I found we weren’t in the dungeon any longer, oh no. We
were in the open, under the stars, and the Dungeon, and the Governor,
and the Palace, and all the Governors men were burned up and gone. Only
thing that was left was me, Ish’ and the misfits, standin’ in a crater
on a spire of rock with no way down.
That’s where the Inquisition
found us. They took us, questioned us, trained us, and now I’ll be
taking my orders from Inquisitor Dhakken. I’m an Inquisitors man now.
You got to respect that.
*Kaarl rolled the quirk “Hands
like Spatchcocks” I thought it might mean that he has large hands,
hence its use here; however, the only definition I can find for
Spatchcock is “Young Chicken” so I’m not sure what having hands like
spatchcocks would be like. I’ve left it in because I think its
*Ish’ or Little Ish’ is Kaarls
nickname for K.C.’s character Ishmael Havelock.
*Ismael Havelock rolled the
quirk “Eyes like a Cats”.
Victus was found as a baby,
abandandoned, in a cargo container on the rogue trader "Lucrum".
Whoever it was who showed the infant-him mercy, he certainly doesn't
remember. But someone must have for a time because he survived.
He lived his early life, mostly
feral, begging scraps and seeking shelter like an animal.
As he grew older, things didn't
get much better. Victus was plagued by voices, odd temptations, and
strange dreams of women with red glistening skin and lobster claws. By
the time he reached puberty, he was nothing more than a full blown
psychotic, talking to a pair of dice he found as well as an old pistol
he constantly cuddled like a well-loved child's toy. Several arbiters
on the ship agreed that he was potentially dangerous, captured him, and
threw him in the brig when Victus was 13.
There he continued to babble
and hallucinate until one alarming day nearly 5 years later when a
prison guard, making his rounds, discovered Victus in his cell holding
his beloved gun. The guard quickly took the gun away from Victus and
locked it away in a cabinet...only to discover it back in Victus's
possession the next day. A third time, with several witnesses watching
the gun literally appear in Victus' hands, was enough to convince the
powers that be aboard the ship that Victus was a psyker.
The Black Ship came soon
thereafter, and Victus spent the next 21 years controlling his talent,
learning to deal with the warp, and finally having his strange impulses
taken away. At 38, Victus emerged from his sanctioning as an Imperial
Psyker, owing his very sanity and life to the Imperium. All semblance
of control and direction in his life he owes to the Imperium and to the
Emperor and Victus will never forget that.
Today, Victus is still a
disturbing individual in his own way. He can still be found talking and
listening to his dice, obsessing over his latest "chosen" gun, saying
oddly inappropriate things at inappropriate times, and barely being
able to relate to his fellow human beings. Fortunately, as a psyker,
this isn't so unusual. Victus will occassionally go long periods
without talking...he isn't used to people listening. He doesn't have
much ego and is fairly pliable to people with legitimate authority over
him. He takes his divination to heart (Violence solves everything),
however, and can be rather bloodthirsty and punitive.
Passages taken from the pages of
Silon Quintos’ diaries.
Book II, pg.15
…..this freezing chill, so cold
my bones are again starting to ache. I just wish we would get there
Book II, pg.124
…can sense their fears, their
joy, their cries, their resignation—I weave in and out of their
thoughts and peer into their souls— the images: some dim, some bright
like the sea of stars that fill the vastness of space—the same billions
I see rushing from the confines of this Emperor forsaken chamber. I
would have gone crazy if it were not for that small window that stares
at me from the other side of the corridor. I cannot help but gaze at it
for what feels like days, it is the only thing I can do to try and tune
them out. I keep trying but cannot, they persist-- they will not let me
sleep!! Intertwining ghostly images with accompanying audible whispers
that at times ring in my ear like wailing animals.-- all 34,847 of
them. All of us crammed in chamber after chamber within this fleet of
Black Ships--destined to serve as sustenance for the God Emperor
himself. I could nev……
Book II, pg. 187
My earliest memories are so
dim, ironic that I can see into every mind but my own—every time I try
and remember anything about them, I get such a sharp pain near the
front and sides of my brain…..even as I write this I feel a pulsing
in...the nausea is getting worse…where is my…
Book II, pg. 188
… just woke up from another
episode-- I do not know if I will ever reach any memory of my parents.
I want to ask them so many questions, such…
Book II, pg. 190
… I can tolerate the pain at
times but the uncontrollable nosebleeds leave me so weak I pass out not
knowing how long I’ve been unconscious. It is the only way I have found
that allows me to get some rest from the constant pain…
Book VI, pg.45
…I’m on my 14th year of psyker
training and can feel the constant stress aging my body; I've already
lost every single strand of hair on my body and my flesh all but
drained of any color. I do not know how much more my body can
handle…….I have to remember they taught me to control the visions and
subdue the pain. It was they who rescued me from a sure and painful
death- one I was not ready nor willing to give so freely. I now have a
purpose, what path I will choose I do not know...
Book VI, pg. 245
…they have not told me but I
have attained Alpha-level and can also tell that my training on this
station is coming to an end…I know my real training lies ahead, I have
never set foot on a planet but look forward to whatever this planet
Bront has in store for me. I cannot see anything past that other than
already feel its warm air, it will be a welcome change to this
Book VI, pg. 278
…the Guncutter just touched
down, location Bront, capital city of Karney. I can see the fortress
where I will begin my servitude, just past a field of crops-- its long
leafy stalks swaying, almost as if to welcome me…