Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Attention Part 2 - Short Story

Vespera is somewhat annoyed that she is now forced to stay at all times in her kabal stronghold, the aptly named Tower of Venom ever since the attempted assassination on her life. Despite the fact that she managed to blunt their attempts and taking one of the kroots as her plaything, her she is rather curious as to who is this Lord Ranisold that is after her life. Thus she asked her Kabal to investigate the mysterious Archon. Today, she is being briefed by one of her handmaiden as to the identity of Lord Ranisold, surrounded by her favoured lieutenants.

"Milady as you can see, Lord Ranisold is none other than Lord Huelar Ranisold, the Archon of the Kabal of the Turbulent Star. It is a relatively new Kabal, dating only a few decades, but nonetheless it managed to rise up and become one of the rising stars, no pun intended of the new generation of Kabals." Vespera slowly combs her velvet dark turquoise hair, and proceeds to see the image that is being presented to her. The Kabal of the Turbulent Star's heraldry is that of a stylized star, surrounded by a blue storm, forming an eye.
"What makes this Kabal unique?" Vespera asked her handmaiden. Despite her vainity and all, but she prize intelligence more and is willing to ask. Her Hand Maiden proceeds to move the holographic images with her fingers and bringing forth pictures of a sizeable armada, each one emblazoned with the same heraldry as that of the Kabal of the Turbulent Star. A short clip follows shortly after, with the Kabal striking fast and hard upon a Mon-keigh fleet.
"So what? Nothing of note here. We have an armada as well."
"Ah but the difference between us and them is that they particularly love hunting down what the mon-keigh calls the "Black Ships"."
"Black Ships?"
"Yes Milady, the Black Ships are known to transport those known to harbor those with psychic gifts and trading them away to other factions that oppose the mon-keigh. Among them are the followers of She Who Thirsts."
Interesting, so they specialize in psyker hunting and trading, Vespera now fully understands why this particular Kabal can grow in such an exponential rate. Psykers, as the mon-keigh would call those who wields the powers of the warp are indeed a precious commodity and many are willing to use them for their nefarious schemes, and are willing to trade anything for them.
"Nonetheless, other than the Black Ship huntings, they also tend to hunt down other piratical fleets to get more slaves, even resorting to other Kabal fleets if necessary. But of course, they would hunt down the smaller Kabals, and in the process add them to their considerable space fleet."
" other words they are the total opposites of us." Vespera's Kabal works by staging numerous planetary realspace raid, and prefer not to attract too much attention to its own fleet which will be used to bring captives back to Commorragh to be bartered with. Not a piratical fleet by a long shot. However, she can somehow see that the Kabal of Turbulent Star's resources could be used to her advantage as she could also thin down the supply lines of planetary systems by raiding on their supplies, therefore weakening the planet for a realspace raid. She assumes that Lord Ranisold would think of her resources in the same light.
"Yes , they are different than us Milady. But as of this moment, we do not understand why Lord Ranisold even attempted such a haphazard assassination attempt. Even the more dimwitted Ork would do something else other than a straight up assassination." Of course, an Ork is much more cunning than that, but nonetheless Vespera agrees with her handmaiden's assessment. Why the sloppy job?
But before she could even think of all the possibilities, a sound knocking on the door echoes through her briefing chamber. Her lieutenants immediately began to unshealth their weaponry, but once they heard the systematic rhythm of the knock, they relaxed their caution. The door knock is a code that tells friend from foe, and they recognized it as that of a friend.
"Open the door." Vespera commands one of her lieutenants to do the deed. Vespera's caution is as sharp as ever, as a person who lived as long as she did knows that even a friend can turn into a foe in a second. One of her lieutenants immediately went and opened the door. Behind the door, a Kabalite warrior speaks with the lieutenant, and at once, the lieutenant beckons the Kabalite warrior to enter in. As the warrior walked into the briefing chamber, Vespera can see that the Kabalite warrior is actually dragging something via a leash. Slowly but surely, Vespera can see what is the thing that is dragged into the room with the Kabalite.
A grotesque thing borne of flesh and machinery enters into the room, moaning and groaning with every step. It appears that this thing used to be a Dark Eldar of sorts, but have now turned to something much worse. The back of the wretched thing appears to be a platform of some sort. A cold, monotone voice recording then resonates through some cavity within the thing.
"Lady Vespera Phliantryx of the Kabal of Rapturous Venom, I carry a message from my master, but in order for me to convey the message I must be hooked into your communication system. Lady Vespera Phliantryx of the Kabal of Rapturous Venom, I carry a message from my master, but in order for me to convey the message I must be hooked into your communication system. Lady Vespera Phliantryx of the Kabal of Rapturous Venom, I carry a message from my master, but in order for me to convey the message I must be hooked into your communication system...." As the thing continues to repeats itself, Lady Vespera is now even more interested in the strange turn of events.
"Kabalite, where did you find this?" Vespera points towards the thing, which even now is repeating itself tirelessly.
"Milady, this is found in the Lanes of Eternal Sorrow, where it is chained to a sign beckoning us that it is harmless. Our Kabalites initially shot the thing to see of it is a bomb, but nonetheless it manages to patch back its wounds and continue on speaking with the exact words that you just heard. Our Kabalites and even the Haemonculi have searched and scanned the thing for any kind of trap, but we have not seen anything resembling that." The Kabalite warrior's response is crisp and to the point, which earned Vespera's respect. At least it is not an ass-kisser.
"There is a high likelihood that this thing carries a techno-virus that could cripple our entire stronghold's system. I highly suggest that we do not patch this to our communications system at all." One of her lieutenants made a remark, which all the Dracons agree in silence.
"So how do you suggest we get this information that is within the thing without risking ourselves?" Another Dracon inquires, and soon enough there is a heated discussion between the dracons, and this always tend to lead to some argument and some lobbying of favor with Vespera. But Vespera is not interested in the petty squabble of the Dracons, instead she is intrigue by this thing. A smart move to send something that does think at all, as it will tell nothing but the message it is programmed to say.
"Well, assemble the Kabal. We are going on a raid on a mon-keigh world. We will use their communications instead of ours. If anything happens to the communication system, the planet will suffer, not our Kabal. If there is nothing, we will still carry on with the raid." Vespera demands. This was of course met by some objections from the dracons, but with one icy stare, Vespera manages to silence them.
"So....who can suggest to me a world that is ripe with slaves, and also have a sophisticated technology enough to support whatever this thing is carrying within itself?" Soon enough the dracons started suggesting Vespera with some choices, and the plans of a raid is now being formed in earnest....

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