Taming Dark Stars

Searching for the Emperor's Bounty

We had been in Port Wander for a few weeks and the crew had been getting antsy, which meant they were our of money. Our last haul had been mediocre, I can tell by where the crew lost their money in Port Wander. My usual cut of the proceeds from the clubs was light, due to our last haul and I have been considering that a reminder of our agreement needs to be sent to them again. Sadly you have to remind these establishments way too often for my tastes. It doesn’t take long for me to suggest places or restrict the crew from attending. There will be those that don’t listen, but those that do make money. A note in my datapad reminds me and off to other issues I go.

Word of the Emperor’s Bounty comes from many sources, but many would consider it fate that the whole administrative staff heard the rumors. I started to investigate the Bounty and where it was last seen. It seems that it was investigating the Battleground when it lost contact with the rest of the universe.

Our first concern was salvage rights. We had to determine if anyone had already staked their claim on the Emperor’s Bounty. The Administratum was extremely difficult this week and I could not determine if the Emperor’s Bounty had been claimed.

Corniellious reminds us that he can talk with Lady Youngdale, but we need a gift. After some deliberation we decide that I can talk with some of my “other” contacts and get a respectable gift. I owe a favor to these “other” contacts for a great bottle of champagne. Gotta love those “other” avenues. It was worth it since her contacts inform us that the Bounty is open for the taking.

We pack up and disembark within 48 hours, and we enter the Maw.

The Navigator got us to the Battleground without event in the Void. Thank the Emperor.

Seeing the Battleground from the command center was one of the most impressive and imposing sights of my short life. The shear amount of broken and destroyed ships and debris boggled my mind. Our pilot moved us carefully through the debris to the Emperor’s Bounty. It seemed to take forever to get to our target and as it loomed in front of us you can see the damage it had taken. It was obvious to me that this great ship would never fly again.

Docking and moving our troops that we start to move into the Bounty. Once we have established a secure fall back position (whatever that is, the soldiers called it that), we start carving our way to the bridge. It takes us several hours to get to the bridge.

Opening the doors to the bridge it immediately becomes obvious there is something wrong. Everyone in here is dead, except the Navigator. The Lord Captain of the Bounty is definitely dead, as he would have never let the Navigator sit in his chair, that and his remains are at the Navigator’s feet.

So, the Navigator has something attached to his third eye. This thing looks like some worm. He is pooring our void energy and is also a powerful psyker. His energy also corrupts and raises the dead from the command floor.

A battle ensues with this corrupt Navigator. He has a shield that we cannot shoot thru and he has more zombies than we can handle so we start to retreat.

As we are retreating the Bounty is hit or runs into another ship or piece of debris. A huge rent in the side of the ship opens in the hall we are retreating from. Being closest to the rent and in motion, I loss my footing and start spinning towards open space. My stomach and mind were reeling as I moved towards my ultimate death. Luckily for me the Astropath saved my life by grabbing a handful of my suit and deflecting me from the opening. I hit hard and cracked a few ribs, but it is genuinely better than spinning off into the darkness and wreckage.

Having to redirect another way out we find what remains of the crew hiding. They help us avoid the reanimated crewmen and hole up for a rest. It is in conversations with Bosen’s Mate Ernheart and 11 other of the crew who have survived that the corrupted Navigator is wary of the Geller field. We assume it has to do with the reduced contact with the void. This was all relayed from the Bounty’s Captain before he fell. Of the 65,000 normal crew aboard this ship, only 13 survive, and one is corrupted horribly by the void.

I was told by the Medicia that I came back to the Emperor’s Lament on my own power. I walked into the sick bay and collapsed. I have no recollection beyond finding out about the worm’s close ties to the void. The combination of hours of hard travel thru the ship, combat and adrenelin, and a few broken ribs took their toll on me.

When I woke up at Port Wander, I had cargo to unload and get sold. Seems we did well. My ribs are better and Captain Hammerfist didn’t even dock my pay for the sick time. We made money, and survived. The burial fees were a little high, luckily we only lost a few men. The soldiers took the heaviest hit. One man had a widow and a small child. I sent on his share to his widow, also where he was buried in case she wanted to visit. They rarely do.

Blessed be the Emperor for allowing us to live and profit. His blessings be on us and those that gave their lives for us.

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