Infection

What is your duty? To know that you are doomed, but to try anyway!
— Evocation to the Immortal Emperor

The acolytes race out of the Alms House and into the night. Sounds of fighting echo in the streets, and as they reach the Third Workers' Union, they see many horribly mauled and still-frothing corpses. A heavily modified servitor's remnants are scattered outside the building. Inside, several of the the employees have been killed, and several more are starting to bleed from their eyes and cough blood, including Boss Chord Luntz. Lily seems to still be OK. They grab her and run towards the station.

But when they reach the station, they discover that throngs of panicked, blood-coughing wretches are gathered there — and the sign that previously read "Closed" is now lit green. The acolytes realize that this is a ploy to send panicked masses to infect the entire station. They call Sykes, but he's already coughing and unwilling to listen to reason. They retreat, call Baronet Rieksdag and Junior Purser Darl to warn them that the Coscarla Division must be quarantined at all costs, while they try to blow the track off the mass transit line.

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They race to a pylon to rig ammo pack to blow. While Calpurnia tries to rig the demolition charge, a group of six red-eyed servitors surround the acolytes and attack. Lily is torn to shreds by the first volley. Although Aenid and Rollando fight back with brio, one after the other the acolytes are hit and can feel something injected under their skin. An epic battle rages around the pylon, but inspired by the Emperor's will, Rollando and Aenid manage to put down all six of their attackers moments before Calpurnia finishes setting the charges. They escape with barely a hair's breath as the pylon blows up and the incoming train collapses from the track above.

The acolytes decide to retreat to the most defensible building — the Magistratum tower. They find the front door open; Warden Locan has been tied to a chair and shot. They locate the vox unit and Calpurnia manages to raise Baronet Rieksdag and Junior Purser Darl on board the shuttle again, warning of the potential for contagion. At this point the entire section starts to shake; from the shuttle, one can see that the station authorities have taken action — the entire section is being jettisoned to space.

The acolytes start running with all their strength toward the pickup point, which is a good distance away. The battle and infection have taken their toll and they are stumbling along. Junior Purser Darl manages to dock the shuttle on her first try and they jump into the airlock, where they stay for the duration of the trip. They can see the station section tears off and drift into an arm of the warp storms.

The acolytes are kept into a separate pod attached to the outside of the Misericord. Soon Medicae Examiner Sand claims them as useful specimens. He questions them in great detail, and their mundane wounds are seen to. No symptoms from the infection develop during the month-long quarantine, and Medicae Sand suspects that the extensive immunization panel they have received as part of their preparation for the Inquisition probably bolstered their immune system.

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