The screaming was sourced to the outskirts of the village that had sprung up around the drop-chapel - placed up on one of the large staffs bearing the Imperial Aquila and flags marking the end of their territory, was a figure. It had been flayed - the entirety of its skin removed, nowhere to be seen. There were no other markings, threats or calling cards - and tellingly, very little blood around the area. It seemed that the corpse had been abducted, skinned elsewhere, then placed upon the flagpole, all without calling the attention of the night watchmen or any of the locals.
It was eventually deduced to belong to one of the patrol guards - who had been on duty that night, on the perimeter. They began hearing more about the "steel ghosts" that had been spotted, and the Lord-Captain decided she would try and put a stop to this - once she had located the item she sought. Taking her entourage and a squad of guards with her, she loaded up two of her Land Raiders (purchased form the Mechanicus many years ago) and set off into the desert, resigned to the knowledge that, knowing her luck, these "ghosts" would have something to do with her last puzzle piece.
Scanners had shown that the area where the readings seemed to be emanating from was fraught with strangeness - odd auspex signatures, and some kind of "warp static", where Allesaunder could not accurately pinpoint the location of the starmap piece. So, Claudia did what every good explorer does - she got in their on foot and began searching. After a few hours, they located something - a large, black obelisk, flat-topped, buried into the sand. It seemed to be an area where the odd readings were most concentrated, and also where the "static" was strongest. She couldn't feel anything from it - curious, considering her oddly-burgeoning abilities. She ordered her men to begin digging out the obelisk, to get a better idea what they were facing.
As it approached nightfall, the item's true nature became somewhat apparent - it was big. Big. They had dug down about 20 feet, all in, and it showed no signs of stopping. It even seemed that part of it was a large, flat shell - like a roof. The obelisk was, a a guess, a corner-point, a miniature spire on some Cyclopean building, buried beneath the dunes of a dingy backwater planet. Perhaps due to some unknown trigger, the structure began to rise - slowly and implacably. The men on the flat "roof" dived off, sliding down the steep sides into the soft sand. Finally, it stopped, but not before unveiling a sphere, embedded in the side "wall" of the structure - composed of roughly the same material as the rest, though with a distinct greenish hue. After a few seconds, it began to stretch, ponderously forming itself into a long cylinder, topped with what was clearly a weapon. Despite the Lord-Captain's cries of warning, three of her men were lost when it opened fire - huge swathes of green, sickly energy, like thickened lightning, poured from the tip of the weapon, atomising chunks of the men as if in slow motion - stripped layer by layer until nothing was left.
As the weapon was around three feet in length, Claudia saw one course of action - charge the bloody thing. Their weapons (even the ones Jayne was carrying) couldn't scratch the "gun", so they had to get themselves out of its line-of-sight. Getting herself (and most of her men) inside it's ability to turn, they set up the strongest demo-charges they had to hand - meltabombs. A few of those seemed to make a decent hole in the side of the structure, disabling the weapon, and providing them with an entrance. An entrance which was slowly closing - the metal-like material the structure was composed of seemed to be
As they made their way in, the structure seemed almost catacomb-like - all tight corridors, with biomechanical wiring and strange glyphs patterned wherever they looked. Harry the Tech-Priest (a new staple of Claudia's retinue since his actions on The Champagen Room) began making a mental note of the layout, to allow them to (hopefully) find their way out.
As he mapped, he noted that, according to his measurements, the corridor must intersect with itself, though as far as they could tell, there was no run-through - the two corridors seemed to be occupying the same point in space. Harry didn't like any of this, one little bit, but he dutifully kept mapping.
After around half an hour of wandering, they spotted a figure in the distance - and it was armed, and staring right at them. However, it made no movements, nor seemed to acknowledge their presence.
It was a gaunt figure, perhaps dressed in armour. It wielded a gun the resembled a smaller version of the one they had seen on the outside of the structure - and Claudia had only just seen the destructive power it could reap, so she kept her eye on it at all times. As they got closer, they could make out more details of the figure - it was clearly taller than a man, though hunched. It was not wearing armour - its body seemed to be composed of a dull metal, perhaps the same as the structure itself. But its most distinguishing feature was its body - that of a skeleton, with a face like an elongated skull, showing no emotion, eyes glowing the same sickly green as the weapon it carried.
Achievement Unlocked: We'll Be Back
Discover the Necrontyr Race.
In the player's own words:
"Fuck you. It's Necrons. We're all going to die."