The Cargo

Dark dreams lie upon the heart!
— Evocation to the Immortal Emperor

The Sabre informs the away team that they need to move away from the asteroid to meet the Fell Hand in a fight. The party can either return right now or wait until after the battle. They decide to stay and look for access to the vault.

They search the body of the Inquisitor and the bridge. Baronet Riksdag locates a conical device that seems like its lock would be opened by an Inquisitorial rosette. Aenid tries it and the fit is perfect – it seems to meld with the cone and become impossible to detach. They decide to head for the vault, but before this Calpurnia manages to use the ship's internal sensors to look for enemy boarders. She locates half-a-dozen humans, heavily armed, and two murder-servitors with assault cannons and power claws. The psyker, Lady Ash, does not seem to be among them.

The acolytes decide to let the Fell Hand boarders meet with the vault's defenses first, while they set up an ambush between the vault and the bridge. They leave the bridge and return to the zero-gee portions of the ship and select what appears to be a decent ambush spot. But they wait and no one appears.

Aenid decides to go scouting, after giving the cone to Calpurnia to safeguard. She gets to a spot where she can see the vault; the murder-servitors have used their power claws to force their way through the outer doors. A set of complex-looking inner doors is now stopping the boarders, who have taken some minor damage from the automated defenses. Aenid reports quietly via voice-box.

At that point, the whole group of boarders moves out and heads for the bridge. Seeing their numbers undiminished, the acolytes decide to go to Plan B and sneak behind the enemy back to the vault. The boarders' damage has exposed a metallic half-sphere. They locate a cone-shaped aperture; with a prayer to the Emperor, Calpurnia puts the cone in.

Immediately, a stasis field pops around Calpurnia and the structure, cutting her entirely from her group. The rosette lights up and a voice asks: “Identify.” Calpurnia presents her signet ring. “Who is your Inquisitor?” asks the voice. Calpurnia answers: “Inquisitor Astrid Skane of the Ordo Hereticus.”

In the distance, the acolytes hear the stomping of murder-servitors. Baronet Riksdag quickly offers an inspirational prayer, and Rollando and Aenid set up their defenses. They get a few nice shots in, but they ricochet off the murder-servitors. The human opponents take cover, and the murder-servitors move in, spraying the corridor with their assault cannons until they are close enough to use their power claws.

Inside the stasis field, the voice continues to address Calpurnia, asking about the status of the ship. It is the voice of the dead Inquisitor himself! He tells her that the artifact must be taken to the Ordo Malleus. Calpurnia agrees. The voice asks who will be entrusted with the weapons; since Rollando is currently holding the writ of authority, Calpurnia names him. The half-sphere splits open, revealing a gigantic and ornate sword as the stasis field goes down.

There is a big battle where the murder-servitors live up to their name. Calpurnia yells at Rollando to take the sword, but as soon as he does he is locked in a battle of wills with a spirit that seems to be trapped inside the sword and tries to trade places with him.

A long and desperate battle ensues, in which the baronet manages to trick one servitor into damaging the other, and Calpurnia is almost killed but manages to put down the last servitor with her final struggle. At last Rollando appears to win control over the alien spirit inside the sword, and with it puts down the rest of the enemy boarding party. Baronet Riksdag keeps Calpurnia alive long enough to wait for the Sabre's return. The Sabre leaves claim markers on the wreck and speeds toward Port Wander.

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