“The path of the Omnissiah has left humanity dithering in the darkness, incapable of advancing on the paths of knowledge. Embracing the warp reveals technology that the primitives on Mars could never dream of wielding.“— Magos Caine of the Five-Fold Path, heretek of the Dark Mechanicum
* * *
Thought of the Day: Burn the heretic.
INTELLIGENCE REPORT BY: Initiate Sophia Zaralle
FILE: Strategic Threat, Dark Mechanicum
CROSS FILE: Varrenshall SubSector (aka “Burning Frontier”)
INPUT DATE: 6 354 742.M41
INPUT CLEARANCE: Inquisitor Level
SUBMITTED TO: Lord Inquisitor Aldus Threnton
New evidence supports reports that an Adeptus Mechanicus vessel, Spirit of the Omnissiah, was attacked by a large-class warship of the Dark Mechanicum on 6 251 742.M41.
As you are aware, Ordo Hereticus operatives in the Iridonia System originally reported this rumor as spreading among menials working in a Mechanicus Nuntius Horreum (communications center) on Irodonia II. The Mechanicus distributed no official report of the incident, but it was telling that all menials working in the facility were later transferred in mass to a biologis manufactorum where criminals are chemically lobotomized and surgically modified into a Kataprhon Battle Servitors.
None of these menials have been seen since, and their sleeping quarters have been re-assigned to others.
That would be the end of the matter except for a stroke of good fortune. It appears that the horror of the attack made an impact on the astropathic choir aboard the Spirit of the Omnissiah. Horrified and under great stress, the astropaths failed to maintain the mental discipline to focus their message so it was received solely by Mechanicus-controlled astropaths in the Nuntius Horreum.
As a result, a talented astropath working for the Administratum also received the distress call. As soon as he reported his findings, he was sequestered by our operatives, and those he informed of the message were eliminated. Once aware that he was in the custody of the Inquisition, the astropath proved quite cooperative.
Here is a short passage of the distress signal:
Horror. Loathing. Disgust. A taste of heresy. It comes closer. It seeks to ensnare us.
A presence. Massive. Cruiser Class. It is all wrong. No sense of the Omnissiah. Just taint. Heretical devices on the hull. Strange—and painful—icons stare back at us. Taunting us. Hungry.
Heretiks! A ship swarming with heretiks, like rats in a charnel house. Witchcraft. Machine and daemon united. Corruption of the Omnissiah’s teachings. The Dark Mechanicum.
This captures the essence of the message, but it will be more efficient if I summarize the rest of what proved to be a long and dithering discourse, as astropathic messages often are as about emotions and perceptions as specific details. Still, I have deduced the following:
• The Spirit of the Omnissiah was a a Tyrant-class cruiser. No information is available about its specific origin, ownership, or mission—beyond that it was clearly under the authority of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
• The attacking ship was actually a grand cruiser of unidentified design.
• The attacking ship fired upon the smaller Mechanicus ship and disabled its propulsion reactors, whereupon the heretics launched scores of boarding craft.
• The heretics that boarded the Spirit of the Omnissiah were viewed by the Mechanicus crew as abominations, warp-tainted, and mutated. The boarders’ weapons were a mix of traditional Imperial weaponry was corrupted by the Warp. These weapons proved superior to those of the defending Skitarii security forces.
• In the enemy boarding party were several heretical tech priests, who introduced warp-tainted machine code to the Spirit of the Omnissiah’s cogitators. This electronic attack—referred to by the Tech Priests as “scrap code”—overwhelmed the defenses of the ship’s control system, disabling many of the ship’s defenses and preventing the ship captain from activating self-destruction protocols. There is a single reference that suggests this scrap code actually corrupted the operating protocols of the Skitarii defenders, rendering them incapable of fighting back.
• As Mechanicus personnel attempted to counter this scrap code, other Tech Priests examined the code in an attempt to identify their attackers. They were partially successful, although the information obtained did not provide the Spirit of the Omnissiah crew with any information useful during the battle.
• Before they died, the Tech Priests determined that their attackers were heretiks that called themselves the Covenant of the Bloodied Cog. You are, of course, well aware of this heretic group’s activities in the Varrenshall Subsector (also known as the Burning Frontier) and their control of the former forge world of Tsagathoa.
This information is most disturbing. Until now, there have been no reports of activity by the Dark Mechanicum in the Corvus Cluster since the Destinos Distortion of M39 (sub-file D29b4-02-xl-4).
It is unclear what purpose the Dark Mechanicum pursues by entering Imperial-controlled space, although their opportunity to do so was impossible until The Mograin Crusade entered the subsector and, by their presence, made it clear that a stable warp path to the Corvus Cluster existed.
Whether the heretics simply are determining the security threat to their heretical ways—or there is a more sinister purpose behind their presence in Imperial-controlled space—we will need to gather more data to determine what threat level to assign their activities.
Alas, given the duplicitous cooperation of the Mechanicus, it is unlikely we will gain any useful information from the Empire of Mars unless your Lordship wishes to exercise the full authority of your position. Even then, I fear, it is unlikely they will share all they know.
— End Report —
RESPONSE: Inquisitor Threnton
INPUT DATE: 6 657 742.M41
INPUT CLEARANCE: Inquisitor Level
SUBMITTED TO: Initiate Sophia Zaralle
That we have learned anything of this incident is a credit to your tireless devotion to the Ordo.
Your assessment of Mechanicus cooperation is presumptuous but painfully accurate. I will not squander what little intimidation I can bring upon the Tech Priests seeking answers I won’t receive.
But we have other resources available. Contact the Nguyen Naval Base and determine what efforts are underway to contact the Mograin Crusade. Assuming that nothing has changed since I last checked, we may need to expropriate some Imperial Navy assets to further our own mission to the Varenshall Subsector.
Let us raise the threat level of this incident to Malum Secondarium and continue efforts to learn more of this incident. Also continue to track all naval reports of attacks by unidentified forces. Let’s see if a pattern emerges.
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The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
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