Following The Chariot

Victory needs no explanation. Defeat allows none!
— Evocation to the Immortal Emperor

Jack takes off and Atellus is still sick. Xanthia, Aenid and Calpurnia discuss the options to investigate the Nobles in Port or to investigate the gangs out in the shantytowns. Xanthia consults the Imperial Tarot, first asking: “Should we start by investigating the Nobles?” The answer is the Tower (Shattered World?); Xanthia says it would be a terrible idea, leading to disaster and shame. Next, she asks: “Should we investigate the gangs?” She gets the Chariot (Hulk?), and tells her companions that this will bring them victory and great success.

They send an envoy to Thorne and the Blood Fleas, asking for a parlay; word of their recent fight with the Red Hands helps them get a meeting with Rockbiter of the Blood Fleas. The Blood Flea minions want the heroes to give up their weapons, but Calpurnia intimidates them into letting them keep the weapons, peace-bonded and unloaded instead. They are led to a shanty where Rockbiter is waiting for them.

Rockbiter chuckles when he sees the new arrivals with their weapons. They talk about what can do for Thorne and the Blood Fleas, and offer the two captured Red Hand thugs as a present. To impress Rockbiter, Xanthia blasts his meanest, ugliest bodyguard Sweetums, making his head explode. Rockbiter is impressed, but says they owe him for this. They offer their double-agent plan, and he says he will discuss it with Thorne; it will be a few days.

The team returns to Food Dispenser 628, then go investigate the space port. They notices no Nobles whatsoever getting off incoming ships. There is little travel coming down, and almost none going up. Cargo is leaving, but people aren’t. The actual Pleasure Palaces are in orbit. The official word is that the former entourage members dumped here are disgraced, have offended their masters, and are left to redeem themselves.

Xanthia sneaks on board a shuttle taking the cargo off-planet, and manages to open a crate. Inside, she finds xenos debris of very low quality; according to the manifest, the cargo is being taken to a Chartist vessel, a very slow ship that takes generations to reach the next stop.

Xanthia also lounges around the port and observes six atmospheric fliers being serviced, large enough to move the food dispensers for example. She sneaks onto one of them; inside they look like big passenger liners. The machine spirits appear to be slumbering. Personnel are loading suitcases, etc., but nothing ornate or fancy.

After a few days, Rockbiter contacts the team again. They meet and are taken to a cavern. Rockbiter shows them a clearly alien flying craft, subtly disturbing. The Blood Fleas found it a while ago but were unable to use it properly; they suspect it requires a psyker. Xanthia also feels that the craft is evil and wants to cause destruction, and that it’s damaged. Thorne wants them to take this to Torgo as if they had stolen it, at the time the food dispensers are moved. The heroes tell Rockbiter about the fliers they saw at the Port, and Xanthia verifies that she can control the Eldar skimmer.

They spend a couple of weeks with the Blood Fleas to establish their cover story of upcoming betrayal and theft. One day, the fliers start coming in and removing the food dispensers. There is panic in the shantytown and the Blood Fleas try to maintain control of their area. Rockbiter tells the heroes it’s time to “steal” the alien craft.

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