Monday, 7 May 2012

Rogue Trader One-on-One: Part Eleven: Let Me Please Introduce Myself...

The lumbering metal skeleton (remember, according to the FFG metaplot, the Necrons haven't been recognised yet, though many have met them - it's just that few live to tell the tale) stared impassively at them. Claudia was ready to draw should the figure level its horrendously destructive weapon at them. It stiffened, and, with an odd look, turned around and began walking.

Against their best wishes, the crew followed the metal abomination, until the reached a large doorway, patterned with hieroglyphs and runes, which opened before them to reveal a figure. Another metal skeleton, though a lot more fluid in its movements, draped in bizarre fineries. It kept the harsh, green glow the others exuded, lending it a palpable sense of menace.

It introduced itself in deep, heavily accented Gothic. It claimed its name was Trizen, The Collector. It made enquiries about the Captain and her crew, then offered them seats that resolved themselves from great clouds of insect-like creatures that flowed from the walls - Scarabs, he called them. They were incredibly uncomfortable, but he was trying. He talked of his Collection, and asked the Lord-Captain (as the leader of the group) if she wished to view it. Alone, of course.

While reluctant, she figured her days were numbered anyway, and this Xeno (maybe?) seemed to be at least polite. So, she accompanied him to the back of the hall, his skeletal form carried by an upsurge of scarabs, like some great horrid tidal wave. The walls themselves morphed and reshaped to form a doorway.

The first thing she faced off against was a huge, slavering beast - a Tyranid Carnifex, if she remembered her days on the Jericho Reach right. Her instinctual reaction was to reach for her laspistol - though, on closer inspection, it did not move. As she drew closer, she could see motes of dust, hanging perfectly still around about it - tiny drops of saliva and less savoury fluids coating the great beast, all still, some clinging to its great chitinous hide, some unsupported in the air. It seemed to be much like the Stasis Fields her ship could project, though not as "static" - if this had been Stasis tech, she could not have entered so close to the beast, hell, she could crawl under it, if she dared, and not disrupt the arcane energies that held it in place.

She asked Trizen if it was alive, or dead and preserved - he replied neither. It had simply been "stopped". With little further elaboration, he continued to walk, slowly, through the great hall.

She saw many weird and wonderful sights - a warrior of a race she did not recognise (squat, blue-skinned, wearing regal yellow-tan armour, wielding a weapon she had seen in the hands of various Kroot mercenaries), many more from a variety of sources, one of which stopped her in her tracks - a frozen tableau, two Orks, weapons raised, descending upon an Imperial Guardsman, ready to hack him to pieces. The look of sheer brute rage on their faces was bad enough, but the sheer look of desperation and fear on the Guardsman's face made her heart sink. She moved on after a few silent moments.

Another sight sent a tingle down her spine, and a shot of static through her mind - the final piece!

The third section of the starmap, gripped tightly in the hand of an Eldar Warrior, clad in armour similar to the Eldar who attacked her when she claimed the last piece - the teleportation device on its back, the monowire spool-gun at its side. Its helmet seemed much more regal than the others, with a large crest of hair and feathers along the top. She knew she had to get it - but how?

Lost in her frantic thoughts, she almost bumped into another exhibit, set beside the Eldar - a set of golden powered armour, clearly made for a Xeno of considerable size. As she looked, however, she recognised some of the engravings - Imperial symbols, skulls, a small representation of the Terran system... this armour would have drowned a normal human. Even a Space Marine would have struggled to fill the huge suit.

Another moment of realisation struck her.

... a Primarch's Armour?

She practically fell to her knees. She was in the presence of an artifact of such religious significance... but she had to keep her cool. Otherwise, the Xeno might catch on to her desires.

More sights, more curios - weapons she had never seen the likes of, a child's toy, a packet of lho-sticks. The creature in front of her had obviously had contact with most of the galaxy's races at some point, and had taken... souvenirs from all of them. Finally, the creature spoke again, enquiring whether she liked games. The Lord-Captain replied that she did, when she was a child, but had little time for them now.

"Oh, we have time here."

The creature may have smiled at that, though it was hard to tell. He told her that, while he had encountered humans, he had never had any come straight to him as he rested - and wished to use the opportunity to try out "a game". He walked her to a small, checkered board - clearly a Regicide board (40k's Chess equivalent). But it was the pieces which left her speechless, again.

On one side, stood the Emperor, the King - with his Children, the Primarchs filling the roles of the other pieces, and the Astartes the pawns.

On the other, Horus, with his Traitor brethren, and Chaos Legionnaires.

This was either old, or incredibly heretical.

She never got the chance to ask which, before the creature commanded the scarabs to carry the board out to the main hall, so her crew could watch as they played.

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