“Ancient data cubes suggest an Adeptus Mechanicus research facility once existed at position 87.7348° ß, 98.733° ∇. This facility existed approximately eight millennia ago—at the height of technological advancement on this planet.“—Personal log, Octavian c36
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A low-ranking technoarcheologist, Octavian c36 has spent decades investigating Morkai’s Imperial ruins in the quest to uncover ancient technologies lost over the millennia.
This is not a hopeless quest. At the height of its civilization (circa M31-M34), the desert world enjoyed a level of technological prowess that has long since faded.
After exploring data repositories still intact, Octavian c36 has discovered references to hundreds of technologies that the Mechanicus can no longer replicate–and some technologies that even senior magos are not aware had existed in the past.
It was in search of evidence of these technologies—and, hopefully, recovering a remnant of such archeotech—that the Tech Priest conducted an expedition to an isolated ruin outside the abandoned city of Metropia.
On 3 822 740.M41, Octavian c36 was supervising a team of menials digging at the base of a tall ruin, one of many that rose out of the sands approximately 15 kilometers southwest of Metropia.
The camp was guarded by a contingent of Skitarii, supported by civilian guards hired from a friendly local tribe. That morning, at 08:12, patrolling Skitarii reported the approach of nomadic tribesmen. This band of 14 individuals was well armed and advancing with stealth.
Combat algorithms indicated the probability of hostile intent at 89.2 percent.
The tribesmen did, indeed, prove hostile. As they came into range, the raiders opened fire upon the dig site with autoguns and lasguns. Octavian c36 ordered all personnel to take cover.
One Skitarii was struck twice during the initial volley, but his war plate prevented serious injury. A plasma round struck an unarmored menial worker, who was vaporized instantly.
Tactically, this opening fire proved disappointing for the raiders.
The Skitarii and their tribal guards responded with a volley of their own, but most of the raiders had taken cover in the mesas surrounding the camp, and Imperial fire was largely ineffective.
But not entirely: A particularly large, clearly deformed mutant attempted to charge across open space and reach the cover of a parked Taurox along the southeast perimeter of the dig site. The Skitarii were quick to respond and shot down the mutant.
On the southern perimeter, the raiders managed to strike down a Skitarii Ranger closest to their position amidst the nearby mesas.
To the east, a second group of raiders attempted to skirt a large mesa and turn the Skitarii flank. This effort was foiled by several Skitarii and tribal guards, supported by Octavian c36. A firefight ensued, and one raider was brought down by a Skitarii firing an arc rifle.
Along the southern perimeter, the raiders—safely hidden among the rocks—rained fire upon the dig site and managed to put down another Skitarii Ranger.
To put pressure on this fire, the Enginseer overseeing the menials ordered two Servitors, armed with servo-arms, to advance on the southern mesas and threaten the raiders’ position. The odds of the Servitors reaching melee range was estimated at only 52.1 percent, but the odds that the advancing organic robots would draw enemy fire away from the firing Skitarii was determined to be 99.7 percent.
Tactical algorithms suggested this was a sound diversion, and the Servitors began their dangerous advance.
Although the Skitarii Alpha viewed the tribal guards of minimal tactical value, these armed civilians proved his assessment wrong. Two guards defending the southeastern perimeter of the dig managed to maintain a steady rate of fire that pinned down several raiders seeking to approach the Imperial camp.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.