Rogue Trader: Totally NOT Space Piracy

Albane Log IV
If at first you don't succeed...

I often wonder if I’m really cut out for this subterfuge sort of thing. I never found myself with cause to dissemble in my life until after the Lionheart, and even then I rarely made outright lies, more omissions; I simply remained quiet. Trying to pull a convincing lie is difficult for me, I suppose its one of those things that might come with practice- or maybe I should stick to the lies I’m good at, omission and riding assumption.

We struck out today in an attempt to make contact with and convert the muscle Nixios uses to run this town. To be honest, I didn’t really know what our plan was when we went to that bar, but I’ve learned to trust Stubber’s instincts, the man has proved himself time and again so I didn’t ask too many questions. After he started flashing that cash, he got a few undesirables tailing him, which of course was the plan, so I tailed after them on my way to the bar, trying to take a seat where I’d have a good view of what was going on. This proved to be a sort of useless gesture though as when the fighting did break out it seemed a worse and worse idea to utilize my firearm. I thought it might draw too much attention if I utilized my powersword, (I wasn’t out for blood today after all) so I went with the bottle in front of me and soon broke it on one of the outlaw’s faces; it was swill anyway so I won’t mourn the alcohol. Malakai didn’t feel the same reservations I did about using his power weapon, and I think he might have killed one of them. We didn’t have time to find out however, because immediately Malakai and Stubber made a break for the exit. I’m glad I’d learned not to question Stubber, since evidently in the brawl I hadn’t noticed a nerve gas canister be deployed in the room, so when I cut and made a break for the exit after them I only just avoided a lung-full of bad day.

We were back on the run after that and honestly I had thought it was for the purpose of escaping. It wasn’t until we came to a dark shack where Stubber stepped inside that I realized we were chasing rather than being chased. We were treated with a disembodied female voice which I figured belonged to our elusive (can’t remember her name). It turned out quite to our advantage that I kept my mouth shut during the encounter, in truth I’d spent most of the encounter trying to plan a way to escape with my life intact, especially as Malakai informed us that we had been surrounded. It couldn’t possibly be, but something about the woman’s manner and the stealth employed by her agents reminded me of the stories of Temple Assassins, a truly terrifying comparison.

I feel somewhat blind without a psyker with us to warn of psychic activity, because I got the impression that there was much of it going on in that room unbeknownst to us. I can only hope that if the woman can read minds, she wasn’t reading mine the moment she stepped into the light. In all my life I’ve only ever loved one woman, despite the many I’ve had in my vices since losing her; the sight of such a woman as this though… well, I’ll simply say that I didn’t realize I even still could look at a woman that way. Even if she can’t read minds, I’m sure my expression wasn’t too difficult to discern.

It would be prudent, I think, not to think too much on the encounter though; chasing a woman like that is more likely to result in my being killed than nearly anything I might engage in while in service to a Rogue Trader. What is important is that we weren’t all killed, and it seems that for now we have worked out a mutually beneficial arrangement; I don’t think we’ll have too much to worry about with them unless we truly start to step on more toes than we ought.

After turning the razor away from us, it was time to deal with the hammer. When compared with (still don’t remember her name), Helios was far easier to find and contact. His thugs outside were surprisingly assertive in their roles, which I suppose is why Helios could confidently leave it to their judgement whether we got inside. They weren’t shy at all about threatening us, and I had been contemplating cutting the arm off of one of them as he pointed his weapon at Malakai; probably would have if I didn’t have to worry about his companion blasting me at such range with his own weapon from behind when I did so. Once again, however, Stubber proved he could talk his way through these things and we were inside.

The place was a urinal, Not so different from the dives I spent my time prize fighting in during the years after the Lionheart. Making our way up to the boss man was a piece of cake after we had his attention, I’m not really certain what Malakai did to accomplish that, but hey whatever works. The guy was pretty much what I expected, tried for class but only pulled off ass. Still, he was simple enough to work with, and it was funny seeing something Stubber couldn’t talk his way through, the synthesized voice box of Malakai proving to be the more swaying tongue in this encounter. Honestly it was kind of funny. Helios proved easy enough to sway to our side, a little math and a little coin and he was more than agreeable.

With Nixios’ known muscle a little deflated, it now became more of a question of how do we control him. His Letter of Mark seemed the clear answer, hit him in the legitimacy. I liked the idea of a heist, but the more prudent action would be to simply go through the administratum. This was one point where I felt comfortable, finally taking the imperial route, I felt like I would be back in my element and know how to handle and work with these people. I was wrong. I think I really just proved how feeble a liar I am, if I’d had a little more presence of mind then when I’d finished with my attempt at intimidation of the official we met with, I’d have played it off like I was testing him before we made our real offer. Instead I left, leaving it to Stubber to find a way. I had been wondering if I ought to kill the man and attempt to erase my attempt at a ruse, but I don’t think it would really have compromised my identity if a nameless man had attempted to impersonate a dead imperial captain, even if that captain had a connection to me. Still though, it made me nervous. Stubber told me afterward that I had nothing to worry about though; I wasn’t there to see it, but once again he managed to talk his way out from things. I still feel chagrined about my frustrating ineptitude with the subterfuge the rogue trader service requires; I’ll have to see if I can find a way to learn these more effectively.

My failures aside, the missions of the day have been a resounding success- it seems that we now have all the proof we require, and our position is now set for our take over of the station. It should be an interesting time ahead of us.

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Log 3 - Augustine H. Castus

Yes, dinner went as well as planned. We found out valuable information about Nixios and his retinue. He did try to make it seem as though the Kroot were contracted with him on a permanent basis, but that turned out to be a lie. We have now made a better contract with the Kroot and have begun adapting part of the ship to fit their needs. The trick will be to keep them out of the way of the death cult.

I believe that by buying out Uriah’s associates here on Footfall, we will have a better chance of winning over the locals and claiming Footfall as our own. Once he has no one that is truly loyal to him, I will succeed.

Excellent.

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Malakai - Koronus Expanse Log 100

The next chapter of our adventures took us to all corners of footfall in our effort to undermine Nixios’s power. We went to a bar, ordered drinks and stubber promptly started a bar fight. The most foolish of mortal scuffles, without any proper weapons. I was struck in the face with a table leg, to no effect. Unfortunately our pathetic fight was interrupted by a gas grenade before i could show these alcohol-fueled denizens what a good power-axe can do to their pathetic squishy bodies.

We were lured into some sort of dark warehouse to negotiate with these assasins, we were not able to stop them from working for nixios, but were able to get them to start working for us as well. One leg of the tripod down.

The second leg of our adventure was dealing with a thug whose name escapes me. He was in charge of most of the enforcement on footfall. Once he agreed to see us, stubber and van attempted to negotiate with him in vauge, fancy terms to no success. I used a few solid numbers and soon had his operation on our side with the promise of increased profits and alcoholic drinks that actually contained alcohol. Second leg down.

The third part of our plan was to obtain records of the nixios family, and use that as blackmail against nixios’ regime. This was handled by stubber and van, and went well once they stopped trying to force the hand of the administratum and used some tact instead. I was the backup plan and thankfully not needed.

All in all, not bad for a few days’ work. This rock will be ours soon enough.

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Log III
Birds of a Feather

The dinner with Nixios went pretty much the way I had expected. I was surprised at the dinner menu, Lady Augustus certainly went the extra mile to flaunt her wealth to him. I remember my time spent in noble houses, but even there it was quite rare to dine in such style.
I was surprised to find that he had recruited a blank to add to his guard, which fact was brought starkly (and hilariously) to light as our astropath was forced from the room with sudden sickness.
I cannot say that I’m surprised to learn of there being a chaos cult here on the station, with a station this size I suppose it was bound to happen, but still it grates upon me that they are so nearby and I can do nothing, damned heretics. I suppose it would complicate our mission if there were to make themselves involved, but I think I would be pretty happy about it if I were to get the opportunity to drop a few rounds in them.

As we dined with the man, I tried to do my best to keep my head clear and largely avoided the whine. Stubber on the other hand made himself useful and went to go and recruit our new kroot friends. They seem far less repugnant in the light of being allies than I’ve previously viewed them- after all, the last time I encountered the kroot was during my service to the Navy, and we were on far less amiable terms at that time to say the least. I still have mixed feelings about taking the Xenos on board on such a scale, but their usefulness is undeniable, and they’re not all together repulsive either; perhaps we could build a working relationship with them.

I’m not certain what I make of my actions when we came under fire. It happened quickly enough that my thought process was not immediately discernible even to me. Augustine is really all that’s left in this reality of what was Alexis, her and the locket I carry. I cannot tolerate the thought that she too might be made to disappear while I can do nothing.

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Malakai - Koronus Expanse Log 11
Fancy Feast

Continuing the last log, we had a feast with nixios. Food. interesting. I did learn how much of a grip nixios has on his station. It seems his grip is far more fragile than we previously thought. After a fine meal of foods that I did not taste, we dismissed him. We learned afterwards that our senschal was able to persuade the kroot bodyguards that nixios flaunts to be more sympathetic to our cause.

After a little post-dinner plotting, we came to the conclusion that we could offer nixios’ kroot warriors better accommodations and more interesting work than what nixios was currently giving them. We were pointed towards an asteroid near the station where xenos were housed, and went there.

It turned out, after a long and music-less elevator ride, that the kroot were indeed living (and nesting) there. One of our genius crew decided to get their attention by firing his pistol into the air. This resulted in us being shot at and my grapplehawk being blown to bits in the chaos. Side note here, we really need to get some of these kroot weapons. They appear to be plasma based and I would love to be able to produce them on a large scale. Anyway we calmed everyone down and convinced the kroot to move to the ship, as we are going to build some sort of terrarium for them in a cargo bay there. we also purchase large quantities of cushions for reasons that escape me.

House castus will soon be the power over footfall, but we plan to leave nixios as a puppet ruler while we conduct business in the expanse. we still have a ways to go in digging the metaphorical pit-trap that we will cause him to fall into, but this is a good start. A station such as this is a worthy prize for our endeavors, and will allow me to find valuable or unknown technology.

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Log 2 - Stubber
Ripe for the Picking

I can honestly say that I expected Footfall to at least be run by a legitimate Rogue Trader. Turns out he is using no more than a letter of mark as a claim to his rather lofty seat. My, we’ve hardly travelled a week and we’re already running into characters like these. Footfall is officially ours, as far as I’m concerned. Now, all it will take is the convincing of the rest of the population of this fact.

Of course, its one thing to claim leadership and another thing entirely to actually claim it. I’m already hard at work making plans and laying the foundations for a quick, relatively clean transition of power. After all, I do have some experience in this line of work: this isn’t the first time I’ve challenged the powers that be… Compared to that, this should be a cakewalk.

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Log 2 - Augustine H. Castus

Ah yes,

Today was filled with much adventure. I look forward to meeting Usiah. From what I hear he flaunts the wealth that he does have, although I know that his family is not as influential as mine is. I intended that the dinner we have shall be spectacular.

Uriah and his crew shall not leave without being well taken care of. I will make sure of that. I also want to find out his intentions for Footfall. Perhaps he can be beneficial to our cause…buyout?

-AHC

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Malakai - Koronus Expanse Log 10
In which we dock our ship

So, we have arrived at footfall. Besides the location, it is utterly uninteresting. No rumors of any strange technology, nothing new to analyze or experiment with. Not a whisper.

Anyway, it seems the political situation on the station is quite… fluid. Our rouge trader’s warrant gives us power over the entire station, but there seems to be another trader already here. He goes by the name of Uriah Nixios.

We hired some mercenaries and established a base camp. Swept the area for bugs. We also learned that nixios had kroot with him. i wonder if they have any new technology or nonstandard weapons. Must find their ship.

Additionally, I (with a little assistance from our psyker) got into the central data core and did some reaserch. Additional details forthcoming.

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Log 2 - Albane
Friends in low places

Footfall was every bit the scum haven I expected, which to be honest makes me smile.
Upon our landing, we were greeted by a group of mercenaries which Lady Castus lost no time at all in recruiting. Each of them former guardsmen or navy, fine soldiers every one of them; they’ll make a worthy addition to the crew.
I spent a fair amount of time with Stubber- strange name for a strange man, but I like the b**tard… he’s my kind of scum. He and I drew a bit of a crowd as we tried to sway public opinion to our favor. All my high breeding and educated tongue weren’t nearly so up for the task as what he did on charm alone. We walked away with several referrals for parties interested in maintaining our interests- I think we might be able to make a mutually beneficial deal.

Now, I’m not one to buy heavily into rumors, but if half of what I’m hearing is true, this ‘rogue trader’ that’s running this place illegitimately is quite the piece of work. Claiming the title of rogue trader, an errand personally endorsed by the Emperor himself, using fraudulent documents to legitimize himself? Committing fraud with the name of the Emperor? If it’s true, the man has a lot to answer for, greater men have met their ends for less.

If life is truly the Emperor’s currency, then this man may soon have to spend his to pay back the shame of his blasphemy…

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Log 1 - Augustine H. Castus

Today was the first day that we have all been together in while. We had a mishap on board. Some warp…thing found its way on the ship. I will need to talk to him about this. His knowledge might shed some light on the incident and possibly on the incident involving the death cult.

Footfall is within reach. I am ready to set up new contacts in the expanse here and extend the reach of our influence within the Imperium.

I am pleased that Vahn is here with me, though I think he is a bit jarred by all this. I am glad that Alexis loved that man, because I know I can trust him. The senschal is an excellent asset as well, as long as he keeps his head down. They all seem to have a sense of unpredictability which is good in this field, though you never quite know what that will bring you. The psyker is a fine astropath and is very connected. She will need to be careful. And the techpriest is very talented, but too quiet. We’ve been together a few months now, but I feel like I don’t know them yet.

And now off to supper. A toast then, to long friendships and even longer trade deals.

~AHC

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