Part VII: Conspiracies in the dark
C) Sabotage communication lines from the bridge
E) take control of murder servitors and send them against a target of your choosing (can not be taken with sabotage murder servitors). Much more risky than just sabotage; choose target:
-E2 Quarters of the Inquisition agents
H) help the mutants to infiltrate out of the dark holds for a diversionary attack at the start of the takeover
It all starts with words whispered in a dark corner.
Words, heard in the dark and repeated in half-lit corridors, spread in the crowded arteries of the ship.
A few pamphlets, describing a Truth far from the established Imperial dogma, let loose in the press-ganged pens.
Subliminal messages inserted in work songs, which are then repeated on crackling vox repeaters in secluded quarters.
Instead of preparing a coup, you send Lupa to cut the communication lines from the bridge, a task where her access and available allies will be put to good use. When you announce your decision, a flicker of an emotion you can't quite recognize twists her face, perhaps disappointment, maybe tinged with anger, but it is gone before you can focus on it. And at least she has the good sense of accepting your decision and not discussing it, instead spending the rest of the meeting preparing and coordinating with you.
Despite any misgiving she might have had, she fulfils her assignment with aplomb and four days later, she leaves you the expected sign on a blast door leading out of the red concourse, indicating that the lines from the bridge are ready to be cut at your signal. Not that you really needed that, as Zephus had shadowed intermittently and reported to you what she was doing. But still it's good to see your new ally can follow a plan, at least so far.
A few devotees gather in a chapel, awaiting a deacon for an early celebration, sharing a vision. The deacon, late from a blocked elevator, never seen again after reaching the chapel.
Blasphemous writings appearing on bulkheads, in places the armsmen avoid, but where many of the lower menials can see them.
A preacher, in a cloak of shifting colours that shrouds his face but can not hide his transhuman bulk, explaining mysteries to labourers, dazed after twelve-hour work shifts, but who still hang on every single word.
The armsmen are on edge, but look in the wrong directions, can not, could not expect such a subversion, so unlike the petty unrest they are used too.
The new converts themselves have started spreading the word, repeating what they have learned and bringing more and more converts into the fold.
The same cloaked figure meets with the converts most eager. Schemes and plots are prepared, blessings are invoked and received.
The pace quickens, the converts now present across most of the ship, from the bilge tanks to the bridge, a thousand disparate voices uniting in worship.
"So, how did your endeavour go? Though you are alive and the feckless Imperial haven't started a shipwide hunt, so I may surmise your actions were not detected, by the grace of the Dark Gods." You are meeting Frax in another disused storeroom, back from one of your preachings, with Zephus at your side.
"Oh yes, our Masters watched over me! Casting a veil over the eyes of our enemies, letting me move unseen! Praise be to them!" Answers Frax conscientiously. At Zephus' snorts, he continues "Though Zephus' help and the patrol routes given by our new ally sure did help too."
"And the mission?"
"I had to remove a few lackeys of Mechanicus, but I don't think they'll be missed before we start." His bloodlust has been sated and he's still shivering from the rush of the kill after being denied for so long, mixed with the elation of completing his mission. You smile at the display, as even if in your case such excitation has long been replaced by the grim satisfaction of a mission accomplished, deadened by the grind of the Long War against the Imperium and of the Great Game in the Eye, you don't hold it against him: after all, let the boy have its fun, it won't last forever.
"And the mission is done: in two cycles the murder servitors will move to the quarters of the Inquisition, all IFF systems and limiters off. Their departure will create an overload in the control cogitators, which should wreck them and prevent any attempts of the Imperials dogs taking back control of their pawns."
"And also us from making use of it afterwards, but let's take it one step at a time." you shrug "And any chance of your sabotage being spotted before it's sprung?"
"It seems the post is lightly manned, outside of periods after the servitors have been used against the mutants and outcasts. And the few gear heads who might have realised what I've done are all dead, their bodies stuffed in a gutter oil tank."
"Good!" you congratulate him, clapping his shoulder.
As allegiance and worship shift from an enthroned corpse to the Dark Gods, minor warp phenomena occur at increasing frequency, but the fell omens are ignored, instead chalked upon the proximity of the Eye or the turmoil of the recent crusade.
Some of the reluctants or who foolishly still cling to the Corpse-God in the slave pens suffer fatal accidents, their broken bodies left visible just long enough so that the others understand. Meanwhile, apathetic supervisors let the accidents go unpunished or, for those who have already switched allegiance, blaming those who'd oppose the takeover.
The agents of the Inquisition could have, should have countered the subversion, but their fabled paranoïa had been found wanting, the agents either recuperating from the ordeals of the Crusade or already back in the midst of the internecine conflicts wracking the supposedly hallowed institution.
Improvised and smuggled weapons are being prepared, gathered where they could be used at the start of the takeover. Shivs made of a variety of materials, industrial tools of all stripes, pipe guns, hand bombs made from industrial refuse…
Some armsmen have joined the cult, turned to a new master, one that would allow them to let their baser instincts loose or just to ensure their survival in the coming upheaval.
Signs of reconnaissance are shared. Some of the more zealous converts being placed as leaders, starting a primitive chain of command.
A signal is shared. A strip of fabric, crudely coloured to a red akin to the fading paint of the armour of the preacher, serves as a sign of allegiance to those aiming to topple the current masters of the ship.
You give a last look at your internal chrono, displayed on the inside of your helmet. In only a few moments, your plan will be put into action, leaving the abstracts to be incarnated in action, blood and deeds. But you wait in a power converter maintenance room, as you have one last matter to deal with, which manifests itself with the swirl of a cloak: Zephus, falling through a vent in the ceiling.
He is the last to finish his assignment, but he hadn't been idle in the meantime, as he helped you in your missionary forays, as well as Frax while he was sabotaging the servitors.
"So the first group of mutants…?" you ask without preambule.
"Awaiting in a sewer run-off just below the Iron Gate."
"The main access to the Enginarium and the Mechanicus. Good, there they'll be a good distraction, any force from the cogheads will be bogged down there. And the second?"
"Bottom of elevator shaft Novem-Ci'ian. Ready to start the climb when we start, they'll try to get as high as possible before fighting."
Thinking back at the plans of the ship you've seen "Hm. That goes straight up to the bridge, or at least the closest you can get from the lower holds. Well done, that'd distract the poncy idiots who believe they command the ship, delivered right on their doorstep."
With this, you move out, a war hymn on you lips and weapons in hand, followed by Frax and Zephus.
The board is set, the pawns are in place and the players are about to make their opening moves, even if those on one side of the board aren't even aware of the contest that's about to start.
So, where will you be when the fighting starts?
A) At the forefront, leading the throng you had gathered
B) At the back, ready to step in at the first moment serious resistance is opposing your forces
AN: next time the fight actually begin and should last for a few parts with choices in-between.
This took some time because I had a bunch of personal stuff come up in succession and I didn't really took the time to finish this until this weekend. Also there was a possibilities of getting spotted on each of the option you choose, but none of the rolls failed, so all your skulduggery went well; I'm not sure how I feel about adding randomness (just like when I did in the Mysteries of Brocante thread), so it's not sure I'll do that again.