All; For the briefest moment, dock master Terivan’s face betrays irritation at Amber’s dismissive tone; but a look at Kreshk and Grex is enough to keep the man silent beyond some mutterings. As everyone is directed towards a lift terminal, Sara inquires about the hangar itself, why the lack of other ships or personnel. Terivan answers this with a smile that it was a request from Nathaniel Leeds so that whatever business he had to do would not be disturbed. The lift itself is very well designed, a marble floor holding up walls of fine wood and inlaid pearl, and you barely even notice the upwards motion.
Walking from the lift you come out to an expansive galleria, high arches quite literally reaching to the distant stars; there being no roof, simply a void shield offering an awe inspiring view of two of the systems nearby suns. For all the galleria’s splendor, multi-leveled terraces and exotic fauna, a great fountain statue designed in the likeness of the primarch Roboute Guilliman kneeling to someone or something unseen, despite these things you quickly notice a distinct lack of other people. There are what appear to be servants and attendants, but beyond your group no one else.
Everette brings this up with Terivan, whose response again is that it was a request from Leeds in order for his business to remain private. A grunt of irritation escapes the lips of Barnabass as he calls a halt to the group. “Master Leeds, enough with this show of influence. If you and I are to do business then show yourself or we shall be on our way.” The trade Barons calls out into the air, drawing the attention of many of the attendants and draining the colour from Terivans features. There is a chuckle and then the clapping of gloved hands, hands attached to the arms of a man who had been waiting in the shadows of an arch.
Nathaniel Leeds is most easily described as handsome; a well-built olive skinned frame clothed in material that would leave many in the Imperial court speechless. And then there is his voice, smooth as silk but with an undercurrent of authority. “My apologies Baron Barnabass, I simply wished to see your reaction in order to best understand the man I would be brokering a deal with. Thank you Terivan, your services are no longer required.” He said with a look that made things perfectly clear who was in control here.
“Please my lord, let us sit and discuss.” Leeds says, gesturing towards one of the terraces. “No good sir, standing suits me just fine.” Barnabass returns with a wry smile.
“Very well then, might I inquire how you learned of my troubles then?”
“Indeed you may, though I suspect you are the kind of man smart enough to have figured it out from seeing my party. The details of your troubles were given to me by master Slavek here, in exchange for me sparing his life. He attempted to cheat me, you see, and that is something I could not have.” Barnabass waves a hand in the sprint traders direction, who attempts to cut in but is sent to the ground when Grex delivers his fist into the man’s gut. The look on Leeds face indicates that this is indeed the conclusion he had come to, but Barnabass’s next words rob him of that confidence.
“That, however, is nothing more than a work of fiction I am afraid; I simply wished to see how Slavek would react. The truth about how I know of your troubles is because I am the cause of them.”
The rogue traders reaction is nearly instantaneous, with a snarl the man tears a gold inlaid bolt pistol from a holster at his side, snapping the fingers of his free hand. Nearly fifty of the gathered staff reveal autoguns or shotguns. “You? You have been the power behind all this! Give me one reason to not blow your head off!”
“Because if you do, then my people will not stop until everything having to do with you is dead or destroyed. Do you truly believe I would simply back you into a corner and present myself to you without holding all of the cards? Your threat has little power, and I can just as easily turn my attention elsewhere to ensure my empire is secure for my daughters when I do eventually pass on from this life.”
With an angry sigh, Leeds lowers his pistol and motioning for the gathered mercenaries to stand down. “If that is the case, then I have no doubt you are at least somewhat aware of the items I have access to and wish access to them? What is it you are proposing?”
“My influence stretches across more than a dozen sectors, you will be granted majority selling rights to all worlds; that means oversights and questions not being asked. For this, all I require from you is a modest cut from your profits, consider it an ongoing finder’s fee; though before we agree to anything I would be remiss if I was not shown a sample of what you have to offer.”
Leeds pretends to stroke his chin, as if thinking, but you can tell he is actually speaking into a micro-vox. “I can most definitely comply with such a request if it grants me the trading rights you assure.” The rogue trader says while a container is brought out and set before you all.
Kreshk steps to the container, examining the contents and taking out what appears to be a rifle. However the handle looks wrong, as if it is designed for a hand with too few fingers. The kroot confirms that the weapon and the other items are of Tau origin, except for one knife which is clearly kroot.
“Good than it ple-“ Barnabass begins to say only for the rogue trader to cut him off.
“Who are you? And no more lies this time!” He says, bringing the pistol up once again. “There is an Imperial warship nearing this station, a ship which is closing in unchallenged.”
That can’t possibly be right, the only ship like that would have to be the Endless Absolution and her crew would not jeopardize an operation like this.
“Well this is most troubling indeed. Time for this charade to be dropped then; I did not lie to you when I claimed to be the source of your troubles. However Nathaniel Leeds, I am no trade baron and my name is not Goliath Barnabass. It is actually Iresmis Gabrien of the Emperor’s mostly holy inquisition and you are found guilty of violating His edicts in trading in forbidden xenos technology. For this crime, the warrant of trade granted to your bloodline is forfeit and you are to come with me for judgment.”
“Also, I thank you for arranging this meeting Reoul but your use to the Inquisition is at an end.” Gabrien says, producing a shurican pistol from the folds of his sleeve and putting a shuriken into the head of Slavek.
“You are welcome to try inquisitor, but like you said I am backed into a corner and you appear to be outgunned nearly six to one.” Leeds points out with a sneer. “You will not leave this station alive, or this galleria for that matter. I on the other hand have other business to attend to.” He says before activating something on his arm, vanishing with a bang of displaced air.
You barely notice this however, as Leeds made his escape, his mercanaries open fire and force you to run for cover.
Grex, Demetrius, and Methanor diver for the nearest cover before firing back at the rogue traders mercenaries; the bounty hunter quickly putting a round in one mercenaries head and throwing another to the ground with a shot to his shoulder. A round imbeds itself in Grex’s arm, but his armour stopped the bulk of its kinetic force and he shrugs it off.
Kreshk takes his fight to the enemy, dodging shots with inhuman speed and delivering an axe-like blow to the head of a mercenary with his rifle.
Everette, Amber, and Sara all find themselves stuck out in the open when the bullets start flying; rounds stopping a mere meter before the group. Gabrien orders the three to move, straining to maintain the kine shield he had erected around everyone. An autogun round manages to get through the shield, taking the inquisitor in the knee and sending him to the ground with a cry of pain.
[Kreshk, though your body has been enhanced by years of fighting (making it capable of absorbing some of the las and solid rounds coming at you) it is not impervious to close range shotgun rounds so take care. You find yourself in the midst of four mercenaries and will be more than able to take out two or three of them.
Grex, Methanor, and Demetrius, you are being shot at by what feels like half the assembled mercenaries. Normally you would be able to boast better training than your enemy, but these mercenaries are definitely ex-guard by the way they move and overlap fire. Grex is able to silence four mercenaries before a gut shot knocks him off his feet. Demetrius and Methanor will be able to account for another seven between them.
With Gabrien down, there is no more shield though you are close enough to use the fountain-statue for cover. Sara is faced with the choice of either treating Gabrien or putting bolt rounds in the mercenaries; should treating the inquisitor be chosen, giving Amber the pistol is an option. Should Sara choose to fight, then helping Gabrien will fall to the ex-ganger. Depending on the choice made, Sara will be able to kill four mercenaries while Amber only two; and if she uses the bolt pistol, the first shot will buck hard enough to snap it back into her cheek for a nasty bruise.
Everette, with no weapons training you find yourself in anything but your comfort zone when bullets start flying and people start dying. Instead, you just try to stay out of the way, though Gabrien’s hand grabbing your foot before thrusting his pistol in your chest is enough to get a quick point across. The alien weapon is..alien, on top of being a gun which is not your forte. Unlike everyone else, you only manage to wing a few people, though it does look like one took a shuriken to the neck if that spray of blood is an indicator of anything.]
Damnation is paved on good intentions; subtle and sugar coated or blunt and honest
A hero is someone who steps up when everyone else backs down.
Popularity is what people strive for when they lack the strength to be themselves.
Seriously, is it really that hard to write reviews without spoilers?
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