A Hardcore Game (Gamer/40K SI)

Chapter 7

tri2

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The wind roared in my ears as I watched the ground steadily grew closer to me till I pulled the straps of the parachute listening to the 'fwoop!' of the chute as it unfurled from its pack and lurched as the chute caught the air and jerked my body to a slow fall.

Thankfully the skies were clear of any ork fighters and the landing zone was cleared of any orks as well. However, looking back behind me I could see the smoke stacks of the advancing ork horde and following that horde back their route of travel I saw could barely make out, even with my enhanced vision, the outline of a small mountain, a rok. I was near a ork landing site and in between them and their target. I did not have a lot of time to prepare, maybe a hour or two at their current rate.

My mind raced as I debated on what to do. Fight? Run? Hide? I sure as hell can't fight an army by myself, yet. Run? Run where? The hive? The hives fall with only Yarrick's side of the world holding out for space marines and he was pretty much on the other side of the continent. Hide? Seems like the only option. Underground as everything above ground was choked with poison and had absolutely no cover. The whole damn terrain was nothing but small hills and plains, nowhere to hide above ground. Also with my luck the orks would still somehow find my hiding spot and siege me. At least I can't starve to death if that happens. A idea came to me, why not do both, hide underground while running by digging towards Yarrick. Better than just hiding or just running.

That meant I was going to have to make the tunnels defensible just in case. They would have to be cramped. The tunnel's size would keep any big orkoid species from coming down or surviving the fall with the tunnels filled with traps meant to take out any that would make it down, if they discovered the shaft entrance. Things such as snotlings, gretchins, and squigs. That should allow me to work with enough of a headstart to constantly keep one step ahead of them as long as I could keep up my predicted digging speed.

The world began speeding back up as I got out of planning mode and as soon as I was just high enough to survive the fall unharmed I inventoried the chute and began falling. In my hands a shovel formed from a blur of rapid hand movements and blue sparks, one in the style of Krieg and made entirely of adamantium with a monomolecular edge. As the last of the light faded I landed shovel first into the ground and the dirt evaporated under my feet as my hands blurred with inhuman speed. A adamantium shovel hard enough to handle inhuman amounts of force with a edge that made even bedrock feel like soft butter, combined with both my Digging and Melee Weapon Mastery which combined increased my base attack speed by 305% on top of increasing the damage rating of the shovel itself by 255%. I practically swam through the earth at jogging pace even as I inventoried the loose soil and packed the top of the shaft with 10 feet worth of compacted dirt, hopefully enough to survive the passing of the horde without breaking if my math was right.

In less than a minute I was already over a 100 feet down below the earth and quickly began digging towards the east, following the mental blueprint I already had in mind. The walls of dirt faded and behind me reinforced frames of wood with tiny temporary lanterns were hung even as spiked traps and automated buzzsaws were installed behind me with the occasional flamethrowers and shaped charges were placed to clear out the tunnels later, of either the corpses or the tunnel itself. On and on this went, hours passed like this in the silence of the dark with only the sound of the crafting and digging I did to keep me company.

Eventually I stopped, my ears perked for noise as I felt a ripple of vibrations through my boots. Again the ripples came with more and more coming one after another, it was the orks there were above me now, marching in such numbers that even this far down the very was shaking with their presence. In addition to the constant shaking from their march various louder shakes could be felt, were they firing at the ground? Now was the moment of truth to see if the shaft entrance held up or if I was going to have to fight some orks after all.

I held my breath, even though I did not actually need to breath anymore except as a reflex, and there with a falling sensation in my gut was a screech. A screech of something falling down a hole getting louder. Rubble. The entrance of the shaft was discovered and broken! I quickly began getting to work again, only to stop as a Quest appeared.

QUEST CREATED!

STAND AND FIGHT! THIS FAR AND NO FURTHER!!!

YOU ARE UNABLE TO ESCAPE FROM THE ORK WAGGGGGHHHHH!!!

YOU ARE UNABLE TO HIDE FROM THE ORK WAGGGGGHHHHH!!!

YOU ARE ABLE TO STAND AND FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE!!!

GOAL: SURVIVE

OPTIONAL GOAL 1: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 2: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 3: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 4: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 5: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 6: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 7: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 8: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 9: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 10: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 11: ???

OPTIONAL GOAL 12: ???

REWARD: LIFE! AND DEPENDENT ON QUEST GOAL COMPLETION PROGRESS

PENALTY: DEATH!

ACCEPT OR DENY?

What? What do you mean I can't escape! The orks are hundreds of meters behind me! There are enough traps there to stop an entire army of gretchins and another army after that! Do you not see how fast I am digging you crazy system! Why the hell would I have to turn around and fight them! UNGREY THAT DENY BUTTON!

A roar of 'WAGGGGHHH!!!' from a multitude of high scratchy voices followed by growling echoed down the tunnels alerting me that the enemy had arrived. Snarling I accepted the Quest and proceeded to get myself ready for battle. My clothes instantly disappearing only to be replaced by a set of black power armor with a white helmet. A design used by the Sisters of Battle that luckily the Gamer System considered to be gender neutral when crafting, allowing me to wear it without any stupid gender restriction stopping me. This would grant me much needed defense and some measure of strength enhancement even though it would obviously not be to the extent of astartes power armor given their most likely higher base stats allowing for greater stress from stronger enhancement systems.

The adamantium shovel in my hands disappeared in a shower of blue sparks as it was recycled and then proceeded to be recrafted by me for tunnel fighting while taking advantage of my skills. Where once I held a very hard shovel, now I was wielding in two hands a very hard shovel spear. I was going to take advantage of being able to combine skills to maximize my chance of surviving. It was something I realized when digging. Digging with a melee weapon like I was attacking the dirt let me combine the bonuses from the two skills. So how about I dig into the enemy with a melee weapon instead? It was certainly worth a try and if not then I still had the boost from my Melee Weapon Mastery skill.

As I was crafting for those few short seconds my notifications kept pinging me nonstop even as the noise from the tunnel entrance continued. Many many enemies were dying to my traps consisting of everything from spike lobbers to lasguns on full auto whose triggers were pulled and stuck closed by trip wires and glue.

DING! YOU GOT 250 EXP POINTS X5!

DING! YOU GOT 450 EXP POINTS X7!

DING! YOU GOT 250 EXP POINTS X4!

.....
....
....
....

.....
DING! YOU GOT 600 EXP POINTS X12

Nice to see that traps made by me gave exp for deaths.

"WAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!"

Now I could clearly hear the sounds of the enemy as they gotten closer to me and past most of the traps. What was worrying was that it sounded a lot deeper and there were at a lot more explosions that I remembered setting up.

I was not idle of course, during the time they spent making it to my current location I used my shovel spear to quickly enlarge the end of the tunnel into a small cave 30m in diameter as I just needed a lot of space and did not have to worry about moving the dirt. I just smashed the dirt around me as fast as I could to quickly loosen them up and cause them to fall around me, only to end up falling into my open inventory screen. All around the cave I had set up clusters of hotshot lasguns all controlled by a primitive firing system that I could remotely trigger. In addition I prepared another surprise for the orks in case they actually do cause me to use those guns something they would definely not enjoy. All of this being insurance in case I was pushed all the way back by the orks and needed something to delay them long enough for me to start digging my way up and out of current tunnels.

I hope to the God Emperor that orks were like the stories and were actually killable with just head shots to the heads with las guns. I crafted 6 hellguns and proceeded to glue 3 of them all together and combined the triggers, giving me 2 tri-linked hellguns. Man, if a tech priest saw me now they might just murder me before the orks do.

Ok, I prepared what I could for now. Time to start pushing back against the orks and hopefully survive.

'Good thing I made the tunnel straight.' I thought to myself as I attached my shovel spear to my back via mag locks and hefted my two monstrosities. Standing at the cave entrance I could see the glint from the red furious eyes of the orkoid race and instintively used Observe on the largest one and the one next to it.

ORK BOY STATS AVERAGE (YOOF)
STRENGTH: 900 (200)
CONSTITUTION: 300 (100)
DEXTERITY: 50
INTELLIGENCE: 5
WISDOM: 5
LUCK: 5

'Well shit. That's just a boy! That's a lot of CON! How the hell did he fit in the tunnel! Fuck it!' I thought to myself in slow mo as I realized that my chance of surviving was a lot lower than I thought and this was going to be my first actual fight.

"DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!" I roared aiming down the tunnel and pulling the trigger; grinning as a storm of blinding red laser death filled the tunnels along with the screams of the orks, the smell of burning flesh, and my crazed mechanically filtered laughter as the tunnel fight began.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
AN: Here you go enjoy. Now forget whatever you saw before! (゚д゚;)
 
Chapter 8

tri2

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As the last word of my curse left my lips my entire world slowed down to a crawl. The benefits of having a high intelligence score was showing themselves once more as my mind began running at a furious pace; processing all the sensory data from my body at such a rate that it gave me a form of bullet time.

I watched as the lasers from my cobbled together tri linked hell guns instantly impacted the near immobile ork at the front of the column in a shower of blood and gore. Above his head was just just his name, level, and HP bar with no numerical values on it. Ork Boy Level 8, just a level EIGHT ork with physical stats at least 3 times higher than me. They truly are living bio weapons. I had let loose with both guns aimed at it's head as judging from the incredibly high Constitution stats it would take multiple hits to take out all of its Health Points. This was actually going to be the first time I was going to be fighting another living being since I got into this universe. I was fortunate enough to somehow avoid any confrontation back on Golgotha so while it did keep me safe it also left me woefully in the dark regarding the combat system of my System. I already figured out that this Gamer System was not a one for one match for the one from the manwha, but I still did not know the full extent of the changes and all the ways to exploit it.

One way it was the same though was the fact that Observing equipment like weapons and armor did not provide me with a damage or armor rating so I actually had no real way to test out the damage or damage resistance of an item. I knew from reading the Ciaphas Cain novels that las pistols could kill orks with head shots and lasguns could blow off limbs with a single shot so I stayed cautious and did not try shooting myself in the foot or something in case the sci fi weapon was somehow strong enough to instantly kill me since my whole body was essentially a giant hitbox. A downside of the Gamer System is that while you could be vaporized with a giant whole in your chest you still would not die or be at less than 100% as long as you had a single Health Point left. It also meant that an attack anywhere on my body was essentially the same as long as it brought my HP down to Zero. Though that might not be true for my head as that might count as a critical strike or something. In short if a weapon strong enough to kill me in one hit touched me anywhere I would die.

Now that was because I had the Gamer's Body skill, but how would HP work with others? They did not have the Gamer System or the skill to live life like a video game. So just how would damage and HP actually reflect in a real fight? They had stats like me, so was their toughness and health like how the system represents me? Oh I hope not, but I was soon about to find out.

The ork boy at the very front of the mob charging down the tunnel, overly large muscles scraping the edges of the walls, breaking off pieces in showers of dirt. He was wearing a breastplate of scrap iron, with most likely a squig leather pants, and lugging a large scrap axe, dragging it against the walls. His mouth was wide open mid roar showing his multitude of sharp crooked yellow teeth, while his eyes burned red with rage and bloodlust. Every bit of him was large, intimidating, and radiating power. It looked like nothing could bring it down with its thick leathery skin clad as it was in thick metal scraps.

I was immediately surprised as he was instantly gunned down as two trio of highly energetic red beams impacted his head and caused it to pop like a balloon. His HP bar above his head going from full to empty faster than even I could see. His death was confirmed as I heard the Ding! of a notification. I did not see a indicator of how much damage I did as my mind raced to adjust my strategy as it seemed I had grossly overestimated the actual difference between my weapons' and the enemies' stats.

One hand tossed a gun into the air while simultaneously the other began aiming at the position the ork's head would be behind the one I just killed. My free hand began to enlarge the inventory screen that I opened in front of me and push it flat against the ground. Once done it reached back up and caught the trio of duct taped hell guns even as the first ork's corpse was halfway down to the ground. Time to see if my inventory could accept items I did not drop in myself and if corpses counted as items.

I activated Sprint closing the distance between me and the corpse just enough so that the corpse would land square in the inventory screen. As I did so I pushed my right hand up and over the falling body and let loose another trio of high energy blasts at the head of the ork behind it, a grin slowly forming on my face as another Ding! was heard. If all the orks were this easy to kill with a hellgun, then this was survivable, and this meant I could level up really, really quickly with the sheer amount of orks I could bait into coming at me one at a time and the amount of exp they gave. I still had to be careful though, if they decided to bombard me with explosives or their warmachines then I would have no chance of survival. I was no space marine.

The fact that I was underground should make that a moot threat, but I did not think that ork boys could fit down here either, orks would find a way. Also they are mad enough to use explosives in a confined space such as this and while the power armor should protect me from the concussive forces I was not going to take that chance. Hell, the flash gits would be the greatest threat funny enough as they just had to aim straight down the tunnel to bombard me with DAKKA. I really should have curved the tunnels when digging them, curse my rush job.

Speaking of ranged threats I mentally open up the crafting menu and quickly craft myself a Rosarius that I immediately equipped, that would keep me safe from ranged attacks and explosives and any ork psykers.

I watched as the first ork I killed finally landed on top of my inventory screen my smile getting wider as I saw it slowly sink into the screen and disappear. YES! That meant I could clear the tunnel easily without having to move the bodies and I could recycle them and their gear for more resources! They were walking loot and experience bags! Wait, loot. Did I have a loot system? Did they drop loot!?

Looking down at the inventory boxes on the screen on the floor I noticed nothing new on the screen other than the ork corpse and its weapon. Are you kidding me? My Gamer System did not have a loot function! I mean sure there was no option in the options menu to control auto loot, but I thought that meant it was stuck on either auto loot or manual looting not that it meant there was no loot at all!

No money! No rare equipment! No skill books! No Outside Context Problem items I could use as trump cards! No healing potions! No mana potions! So many things now out of reach!

My vision tinted red as the realization that I only had the gacha system and the infrequent quests it gave where I had to give up the quest rewards for a gacha ticket in order to potentially get such items! Even then I had no guarantee it would even give me those kinds of items as I refused to give up my quest rewards so far for the tickets due to my low luck making it unlikely for me to get anything good. I thought back to the stat points I had hoarded up to now, should I use it all on luck?

No, I might need it to survive this fight, I might need more strength, health, speed, or even wisdom. I might need the luck too if things get worse.

I channeled my anger into killing the orks in front of me one after another.

Pop!

Pop!

Pop!

Pop!

Ork heads popped one after another as I rushed towards the charging xenos. The right hand aiming with near supernatural precision taking down the orks with single volleys each while my left grabbed and pushed them straight down to disappear into my inventory screen. Greenskins died by the dozens as every one of them was decapitated via hellgun strikes. Boyz, gretchins, snotlings, and squigs charged at me in a endless wave. I had to stop several times to reload my guns one handed while the other one kept on killing the incoming greenskins. The drain on my stored resources to keep making more charge packs was going to be untenable at this rate, better to save the guns and try melee instead. If the hellguns could kill them with headshots then the adamantium shovel could kill them as well.

I quickly inventoried the emptied hellguns, pulled out my shovel, and proceeded to decapitate the ork in front of me, his eyes unblinking in confusion as it watched its own body disappear even as I charged towards the next ork in line. My shovel became nothing more than a streak of darkness accompanied by whispers of wind as it rapidly sliced through the defenseless necks of the orks that stood in front of me as they were just simply too slow to react to my strikes and those that did have some form of armor fared no better. The shovel's sharpened adamantium edge cut through their scrap armor like water quickly sending them to join the others in my inventory. I advanced step by step with rage in my heart at the lack of loot even though the System kept helpfully giving me Dings! confirming my experience gains.

While killing the orks I entered a bit of a trance state as my body knew what to do from all the levels in Melee Weapon Mastery, I could instinctively wield my shovel like it was a weapon and not just a regular hard shovel. I could anticipate the attack, defense, and movement of the orks from just their body language and muscle movements. I knew how to defend, parry, and attack for maximum effectiveness while maintaining economy of movement. I never really had this kind of feeling from using guns with Ranged Weapon Mastery, but this required me to use all my muscles and using techniques I was forced fed by the data slates. Before I had learned all the skill I needed to fight in CQC, but now I actually KNEW how to fight in CQC.

The fighting also gave me some perspective. I was just above peak human. I was nowhere near the levels of space marine in stats using the orks for comparison. They could match and in some cases outmatch the orks in stats, but they also had the skills and experience of combat veterans supporting them as well along with equipment of the highest quality. They could massacre orcs by the dozens before being brought down in a straight fight. They were beings on such levels that only 100 of them were needed to take over entire planets. They were also overwhelmingly outmatched by the enemies of the Imperium. Daemons, Necrons, Tyranids, Dark Eldar, Eldar, Orks, Krorks, C'tans, GODS, normal psykers,and numerous xenos races that could turn space marines into lunch easily.

I was nowhere near strong enough to survive a single run in with any of these foes that were to the space marines, as the space marines were to the Orks, like how I was currently to them, and they could be literally anywhere I go. At any time Chaos could unleash a warp storm and flood the world with Daemons unending, or a Dark Eldar raiding party could assault the planet and take me to Commoragh as a slave or worse. At any moment the planet could be an awakening tomb world, or some stupid Eldar Farseer would drop a army on top of me to prevent some stupid vision where I would fight them only to make me hostile in the first place. Tyranids could shut down Warp travel and consume the planet I was on, though that last one was a relatively low risk considering they have yet to properly enter the galaxy. Genestealers were still a dangerous threat however, considering they ate Terminator Space Marine Veterans for lunch.

In the end, I was too damn weak, and I hated it. I hated being so damn afraid. I died once already and now I was even more scared of dying since I knew what awaited me here after Death. I had a System now, I should be able to overcome anything, but here I was fighting in the tunnels against a endless army because I was too damn afraid to stand out and be more active in growing stronger.

Well no more, I was going to kill every single one of these greenskins, loot their bodies, devour their experience, and become a damn physical god that even the C'tans would give a nod at. I was going to become strong enough that I would not have to be afraid of anything else in this galaxy, not Inquisitors, not Xenos, not Chaos, nothing! With rage filling my veins I decided here and now I was not going to keep running from all of my problems. If my problem was a lack of strength, then I was sure as heck gonna fix that right here! Right now! And thank you Orks for your donation to my cause! I will kill every last one of you!

With that final mental declaration the world paused and a Quest appeared.

QUEST CREATED!

FOR TOO LONG HAVE YOU RAN AND HID FROM THE DANGERS OF THIS GALAXY!

NO MORE!

NO MORE SHALL YOU RUN!

NO MORE SHALL YOU HIDE!

NO MORE SHALL YOU FEAR!

NOW YOU SHALL WALK DOWN THE PATH OF POWER!

NOW YOU SHALL FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE ENEMIES THAT PLAGUE YOU!

NOW YOU SHALL TAKE YOUR DESTINY INTO YOUR OWN HANDS AND MAKE YOUR OWN FATE!

GOAL: ACHIEVE ABSOLUTE STRENGTH AND SECURE YOUR PLACE IN THE GALAXY AND PEACE OF MIND!

OPTIONAL GOAL 1: DEFEAT THE CHAOS GODS

OPTIONAL GOAL 2: DEFEAT THE NECRONS

OPTIONAL GOAL 3: DEFEAT THE C'TAN

OPTIONAL GOAL 4: DEFEAT THE TAU

OPTIONAL GOAL 5: DEFEAT THE ELDAR

OPTIONAL GOAL 6: DEFEAT THE DARK ELDAR

OPTIONAL GOAL 7: DEFEAT THE ORKS

OPTIONAL GOAL 8: DEFEAT THE TYRANIDS

OPTIONAL GOAL 9: REVIVE THE EMPEROR

OPTIONAL GOAL 10: RESTORE/REVIVE/RECOVER THE PRIMARCHS (I-XX)

OPTIONAL GOAL 11: REPAIR THE IMPERIUM

OPTIONAL GOAL 12: BECOME A GOD

REWARDS: ???

PENALTY: A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH

ACCEPT OR DENY?

I immediately accept and get back to work murdering greenskins with a single thought on my mind.

'I will become Strong' I then proceeded to use the skill I never thought I would use, but there was no better time to grind it.

"Berserker" My vision became Red and my ears filled with nothing but Screams.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
AN: Sorry for the wait, hope you guys enjoy this, next chapter will be a interlude from other POV's and things story wise hopefully should be moving faster.
 
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Yinko

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OPTIONAL GOAL 9: DEFEAT THE EMPEROR

OPTIONAL GOAL 10: DEFEAT THE PRIMARCHS (I-XX)

OPTIONAL GOAL 11: DEFEAT THE IMPERIUM
Fixed that for you. You know, I never got why people wanted to save the Emperor, his plan for the Empire was doomed from the start. Even the Cabal knew that.
 

tri2

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Fixed that for you. You know, I never got why people wanted to save the Emperor, his plan for the Empire was doomed from the start. Even the Cabal knew that.
still best hope for getting rid of the other races like orks, dark eldars, and chaos. and cabal so far has shown to be a failure as well. like the Eldar
 
Inquisitor 1: Horst POV

tri2

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Inquisitor 1: Horst POV



Inquisitor Horst hid a sneer as he watched the obese and deranged planetary governor Alkazere the XXIII lambaste the head of his personal guard for once again failing to finding any useful information on the person who defaced his so called 'monument' and on the person behind the theft from the tech priest's temple in his city. The governor could do many things as long as his tithes and duties were upheld, but even he had to bend when the Martians were out for blood. Which they certainly were given the reports of numerous arrests and interrogations being performed around the hive city. Tens of thousands of tech priests along with tens of millions of skitarii across the planet were combing both the city and its data networks in search for any clues on the identity of the perpetrator that the magos had labeled Heretek Hexus Maximus Alpha. Normally the fact that a thief managed to steal from the Adeptus Mechanicus would have been hushed up and dealt with silently. However, the tech priests revealed to him that the thief didn't just steal from the temple, he or she had copied the entirety of their data archives. Every single scrap of data from dictionaries to all of their STC templates.

When he was informed about the true scope of the theft, as most just assumed the thief had stolen some expensive holy equipment or a few important files or at most a single STC, he was shocked to say the least. All of the STC's were copied from their archives. That meant there was a literal treasure trove of data in someone's hand that could be used to basically create their own empire with the right industry. Everything from lasguns to escort sized starships data were in the hands of the enemy with the possibility of all that data being copied and sold to uncountable numbers of people with ill intent towards Humanity. This was a very dire situation and explains just why the Ad Mech were so blatant with their attempts at tracking down the thief. This was by the far the greatest black mark against the Adeptus Mechanicus since the Horus Heresy. The only consolation was the fact that Golgotha was not a forge world so it did not contain even more powerful and advanced STC templates merely the more common patterns that most industrialized worlds had access to. Then again, if the thief could steal everything despite a forge world's formidable defenses without an army the Imperium would have an bigger problem to deal with.

While he was of the Ordo Malleus he immediately offered his services as this was a grave situation that warranted his assistance. Initially he came to this planet to speak to his Squat contacts for leads on a target he was pursuing in this region of space, but then he was attracted by the events surrounding...ugh 'The Glory of Alkazere' even thinking the name caused him discomfort. How in Terra's name the fat bastard managed to complete that monstrosity of resource wastage, yet still manage to pay this tithes boggled the mind. He was going to have to send some of his agents to investigate the local Adeptus Administratum to make sure they properly assigned the correct tithe levels to this world.

Where was he? Right, he was attracted by the ridiculously large bounty for something that normally a governor would just find out with their own intelligence networks. The fact that the governor himself could not find the one responsible indicated that the situation might have been more interesting than it first seemed and he decided to take a look. He landed on the planet with his current retinue: a sanctioned psyker by the name of Rosalia Themondo her appearance hidden under her robes and mask, an enginseer with a predilection for minor tech heresy called Zyphus Cin his twin mechadendrites waving lazily in the air in preprogrammed search patterns designed to look innocuous, a twin pair of Catachan jungle fighters Bellow and Lung Stutsman their heavily muscled bodies towering over the others and bare to the world to see much to the displeasure on several nobles and to their interest on others. His group was quickly granted and audience with the planetary governor once he had shown his identification codes.

He will cherish the moment the governor saw him as his face paled even under the heavy amount of makeup he had used. Alkazere had quickly explained the situation without hiding anything as he knew better than to try to lie to an inquisitor. He then proceeded to examine the area himself to try to acquire a trace with which to follow. When he saw the trail of destruction left among the waste of resources he immediately became suspicious. He could immediately tell that none of the damage was caused by any weapon he could identify except one. Fists. Except the imprints left behind showed that they were regular sized unarmored fists, imprints left behind by such fists in solid high quality rockcrete!

He had immediately thought of a mutant but the blood work showed no trace of any mutations, in fact it was purer than anything the enginseer had ever seen with absolutely no trace of corruption or mutations, and immediately demanded that the person be captured for study as soon as possible. So the target was a purely normal unaugmented human that could somehow damage rockcrete with his bare fists and judging from the total amount of blood found being enough to die from shock, be able to rapidly recover from blood loss.

Inquisitor Horst had then decided to resort to more esoteric means and proceeded to use his psyker powers. He opened his senses to the Immaterium and read the traces of the past along the currents of the Warp that drifted through the area. He had spent several hours traversing the length of the trail with psyker Rosalia using her own powers to help ward his mind against the occasional daemon that probed his defenses.

His mind had caressed every nook and cranny of that alleyway all the way to the end, stopping several times whenever he had detected a stronger than usual trace of...something. It was very strange, when he was investigating with his powers he could not find the usual traces left behind by people who lingered in places. Even servitors left more traces in the Warp then this person. Was it because of their genetic purity? Something to figure out when he finally caught the person.

Luckily he had gathered enough samples of the person's traces to begin tracking them, or at the very least, be able to recognize where they have been and if he was close enough he would be able to recognize them. It should have been simple thing yes? Just follow the trail, but the trail stopped at the edge of the sudden drop from the damn vanity project and subsequent searches revealed no other traces nearby, meaning the person somehow manage to get transport off the place. That transport happened to be the house guard transport where a trace was found, but that ended up as a dead end as no other trace leaving it was found.

So he was forced to manually comb the several levels of a hive city to try to locate additional traces much to his annoyance. Of course he did not forget to send a message to the his Squat contacts in their underground quarters within the nearby mountains asking them for the leads toward his original target and to keep an ear out for the target of Alkazere's bounty. In the end Inquisitor Horst spent over a month fruitlessly searching to no avail for any traces, it did at least cut down on the places the person could be.

Then, this theft occured. The first indication it happened was when he saw an entire group of skitarii breaking into a house across from him and dragging out the occupants kicking and screaming. That was how he got into contact with the local ruling techpriests and got informed about the current situation.

The tech priests tracked the flow of information the instant it had started leaving the temple and had found the remains of dozens to hundreds of destroyed husks of advanced cogitators of an unknown design. The trace eventually led onto the edge of the Underhive inside an abandoned room where a large destroyed cogitator sat. According to enginseer Zyphus the data did arrive there and stopped there, meaning the data was stored and taken away. However, forensics showed no one leaving the area within the last month that would have access to the resources or tech to create such a machine. However, Inquisitor Horst discovered something even more important and shocking. A trace from the unknown person who was in The Glory of Alkazere. The person behind the theft was same person he was looking for this past month.

Other than the entire system of relays and destroyed cogitators, the tech priests hunted down and captured hundreds of criminals and minor hereteks and interrogated all of them with extreme prejudice. All of them easily divulging what they know to avoid suffering at the hands of the maddened mechanical worshipers and the fact that they were told to simply give it up should they be asked for reasons apparent soon after.

All of them revealed the same story, willing or unwilling.

All of them were approached by a masked man with a voice changer, with only a single commonality between them, a black outfit, a smiling mask, and an alias, Tri2.

Inquisitor Horst looked down once more at the dataslate containing an artist's depiction of the man described from multiple confessions before they were executed or turned into a servitor.


At every relay, every cogitator, every location that he attended the arrest of the heretek or criminal, his traces were there. His paths were clear. He did all of that recently.

A little over 2 months, to set up an operation of this scale and complexity. To hire so many unsavory individuals, strangely enough not a single was found with the taint of Chaos, and to coordinate them all together for an assault on the main Adeptus Mechanicus temple, for almost nothing.

Yes, the man had copied all of the temple's data, but that was the thing. Copied. Not destroyed or deleted. All the industrial sabotage, attacks on the tech priests, and alarms? Superficial in nature with everything easily fixed within the hour with no major critical damage and none of the tech priests were even slightly wounded. They were merely lured out from the temple and delayed.

This was the action of an enemy, but the way they went about it to avoid destruction and death made it very strange. Just what was this man's goal? Why did he cause such damage before this?

He had immediately began tracking the trails left behind, but quickly ran into another problem. He was not sure how tri2 had done it, but in the time that he had searched the other adjacent levels of the hive city, before he discovered the skitarii search teams, the man has somehow traveled across its entirety several times with various paths crossing each other causing the trails to tangle and mix like a ball of string.

He spent months getting rid of all the trails that led to either just dead ends, transport cars, and hidden rooms where the criminals and hereteks were found. He eventually tracked down the main trail to the off world merchant district on the initial level where he first started! The hacker was hiding under his nose all along! The trail led to a bustling restaurant into the back of the kitchen with none of the staff being the one he was searching for. A quick interrogation of the owner had him revealing that one of his staff went missing a few days before he arrived. A few of the regulars had informed him that the arbites had recently passed with a transport wagon, rounding up people for recruitment for a war and a few think they had seen the janitor getting caught.

Needless to say he was quite...incensed. All his effort only for the idiotic obese wasteful corrupt planetary governor to literally steal his objective right from his grasp.

Now here he was in the governor's palace waiting for the planetary governor to get rid of his guards in his idiocy in pursuing for the criminal that he already recruited into his own damn armies.

And as if on cue the governor yells at the head guard to take most of his men and to go back out to search for the culprits. As soon as the door slammed shut, leaving only the governor and what's left of his personal house guard, he stepped forward, his retinue behind him and behind them were a group of tech priests along with two dozen skitarii guards.

Alkazere the XXIII put on a obviously fake smile as he waddled over to the Inquisitor Horst in what he probably assumed was a noble and graceful manner.

"Inquisitor. How could I help the Inquisition today? Did you make any progress in your own search?" Planetary governor Alkazere the XXIII asked completely ignorant of the hell that awaited him.

With a barked binary command the two dozen skitarii immediately disabled and neutralized the nearby guards shocking the soon-to-be-ex planetary governor.

"W-what is the meaning of this Inquisitor?" Alkazere backed away in fear looking around at his defeated guards before remembering the rest were just sent away from his palace.

"You are hereby under arrest for the numerous crimes of embezzlement, tax evasion, fraud, kidnapping, murder, theft, assault, battery, corruption, and most recently the abetting of the criminal that stole from the Adeptus Mechanicus."

"There must be some mistake Inquisitor, I am innocent of all those crimes, especially that last one! I do not even know who is the one responsible!"

"You still actually did help him escape my pursuit, and that is a grave crime indeed EX-governor Alkazere. Take him away, and get whatever useful information you can out of him."

Inquisitor Horst ignored the screams and cries of the condemned with a trace of satisfaction and catharsis in his heart as he faced the tech priests who had began interfacing with the ex-governor's data systems to retrieve the information they required.

"Well? Where was the recent regiments that were raised being trained?" Inquisitor Horst asked a tech priest holding a data slate.

"Inquisitor, it appears that all recent regiments raised recently, which includes all new conscripts within the past few days, have been penal legions and have been already sent as part of the Armageddon Reinforcement Fleet yesterday. They were allowed past the planetary lock-down on account of a priority order from Segmentum Command for reinforcements. Target designated Heretek Hexus Maximus Alpha will be at Armageddon."

Inquisitor Horst felt the stress and annoyance from the past six months come to a boil as his vision went red, his eyebrow twitched, and his self control broke a just a bit.

"FFFRRRAAAAAACCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!!"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________
AN: 4 More Interludes To Go. Enjoy the early update! A REALLY EARLY update.
 

SilentMech

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That poor Inquisitor. Six months chasing one person only to have him literally flown away by the planetary governor in a penal legion destined for Armageddon. Literally two days before he found him.
 

UberIguana

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"You are hereby under arrest for the numerous crimes of embezzlement, tax evasion, fraud, kidnapping, murder, theft, assault, battery, corruption, and most recently the abetting of the criminal that stole from the Adeptus Mechanicus."
Cue 15 decade legal dispute between the Arbites and Inquisition about whether breaches of the Lex Imperialis count as heresy and are therefore under the purview of Inquisitors. In the end they decide it does count as it is the Emperor's law, so breaching it is heretical. No judgement on the individuals involved is passed as all evidence has since disappeared after being found to be heretical and the witnesses are either dead, missing, or servitorised.

Several years later a similar case from a couple of millennia ago is discovered, wherein it was found breaching the Lex Imperialis is not inherently heretical and the case is reopened. It is still being reviewed nearly four centuries later. All those involved in the latter judgement were executed for improper filing of legal documents.
 

Rodon

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No judgement on the individuals involved is passed as all evidence has since disappeared after being found to be heretical and the witnesses are either dead, missing, or servitorised.
Including the governor, due to the lack of rejuv treatments and the improper filing of meal requests for two months for the governor. Due to a combination of suddenly filled meals requests once the issue was found and a slight error in the cleaning servitor's programming, the governor's skeleton was removed with the rotting food during the normal monthly cleaning cycle. It was accidentally reduced to components and mixed in to the local servitors' food supply.

5,000 servitors had to be purged due to potential corruption and destroying evidence by consumption.
 
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