Into the Hulk

by

Necrontyr525

Chapter 40: Dance With the Dead

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A note from Necrontyr525

OK, players choose to avoid the fight. Easy enough right? Eldar exit stage left, shelve complication for later in the mission, move on. Got to write the squad’s reactions to Marcellus’ decision. Gorlin would be sad he’s not going to get into a fight, but being Sanguine would be ok with it. Losis is a Pragmatic sort with a recon background, and would see the wisdom of not getting into a shootout when it is not needed. And then there’s Hagrdict.

Black Templar Apothecary. Distrust of Xenos (Deathwatch inherent) + Zealous Black Templar (really doesn’t like xenos and psykers) + Eldar Psyker (who is a xenos AND a payker) issuing an ultimatum?

GM to Hagrdict: ‘Your squad leader has chosen to not attack a xenos psyker.’

Hagrdict to GM: ‘Umm, yeah, no. I’m Zealous, that’s a xenos psyker who just slapped me in the face and then threw down the gauntlet, so there’s no way I’m meekly swallowing that. How do you want to play this out? Willpower save or disregard orders?’

 GM: to Hagrdict: ‘Give me a Willpower save please.’

Hagrdict to GM: ‘Got a 66, and I needed a 43 or less, so…’

Fun fact number 1: Wraithcannon, the ‘rifles’ that Wrathguard are equipped with, have a 3% chance of tossing their target directly into the warp on a successful hit.

Fun fact number 2: eldar Farseers have 5 fate points, a Psy rating of 8, and more psychic powers then you can shake a stick at.

 

Time for FUN!

 

Warning: Plot Armor is a lie perpetuated by the foul daemons of the Warp. You have been warned.

 

Would you kindly correct my spelling errors?

No concealment, less cover, and a ‘foe’ that wants you to get out of the way so that it can go after something else that is certainly a threat to you and your kill-team? Standing aside costs you nothing but a bruise on your pride, and…

Something grabs your attention, and your head snaps around to look at Hagrdict. Everything slows for a fraction of a heartbeat.

You can see Hagrdict’s bolter, already in his hands, coming up into a firing position.

You can feel Gorlin tensing for the charge.

You can smell the eldar Psyker’s sudden burst of fear as its perfectly orchestrated confrontation comes apart at the seams because of a simple oversight: mistaking the leader for the squad.

You run through the calculations again, plugging in new variables. Gorlin is itching for a fight. The eldar Psyker has ‘stumbled’ and is vulnerable. Hagrdict is going to shoot reguardless of what you order.

You recall a line from the Codex Astartes: ‘Giving an order that you know will not be obeyed is the surest way to destroy your own command.’

You are almost certain the Primarch Guilliman was quoting an older work, perhaps multiple older works, but it makes the line no less valid.

“Open Fire.”

Before the words have fully left you mouth, the eldar had begun to act. Its left hand comes up, fingers splayed and spitting lightning made of unlight. A sound that is not a sound shakes the chamber and Gorlin howls in agony. His health indicator blinks the strident orange of heavy damage.

Hagrdict’s boter finishes coming up, spitting fire and explosive death. His shots seems to hit everywhere but the eldar and the wraithguard.

The ‘statues’ level their cannons, antic unlight glowing in the muzzles, and unleash insanity.

Losis’ indicator goes yellow and you hear the thunderclap discharge of a teleporter activation. Losis appears on the far side of the chamber, bounces off the wall, then gets to his feet, shaking his head.

Dodge incoming fire: +0%. Failed: needed <44, got 60.

Combat Damage: Shot by Wraithguard Wraithcannon! 2d10 Damage (Special).

Randomised hit location: Right Arm. Incoming damage: 11.

Wraithcannon: bypass all damage reduction for Armor and Toughness.

Total damage taken: 11. Armor Breached! It is no longer atmospherically sealed!

11 Health remaining.

Willpower test (indirect contact with the warp): +0%. Failed: needed <44, got 71.

Taking 1d5 Corruption damage.

Failed by >20: +2d5 corruption.

+4 Corruption. Total Corruption: 4

Agony grips your right arm and shakes you like a hound with a raw steak. You grit your teeth and fight to bring your bolter into line to take a shot.

Losis levels his heavy bolter and cuts loose. It’s a risky shot, you judge, as nearly a third of the rounds Losis fires miss the ‘statues’ and slam into the floor and wall near your position. But the results of the salvo justify the risk as one of the ‘statues’ crumbles to gravel under the force of the detonating bolter shells.

Gorlin’s agonised howl turns into a roaring battle cry as he charges the eldar. He takes a ferocious hack with his chainsword and misses the eldar.

You want to curse at Gorlin for rushing into melee with your chosen target, but you cut yourself off. There wasn’t any time to coordinate your team’s attacks, and it would be perfectly natural for Gorlin to charge the foe who had wounded him. Equally true, you need this fight to be over fast. You aren’t quite sure, but you think you hear the clatter of hooves coming back. You pick the leftmost ‘statue’, flick the fire selector switch to your third magazine, and open up.

Full auto burst from Bolter (magazine #3 - Hellfire Bolts): +30% to hit. Range is short: +10 to hit. Target is Size: Hulking: +10% to hit. Magazine is now at 24/28 rounds.

Fire at ‘statue’: Success! needed <108, got 23.

Damage inflicted: 8d10+20 explosive. Result: 52.

Critical Hit! One damage die rolled a 9 or 10: inflict a further 2d10+5 damage. Result: 74 total damage.

Critical Hit! One damage die rolled a 9 or 10: inflict a further 2d10+5 damage. Result: 81 total damage.

The ‘statue’ shudders and shakes, the hellfire acid sizzling on its torso and dripping from the impact craters. It tries to bring its cannon to bear on you, but its legs go out from under it and it crashes crestfirst to the floor.

The Eldar’s sword seems to dance as it lashes out at Gorlin. One telling blow gets through, slicing Gorlin’s left arm away just below the pauldron. His status light glows a sullen crimson and the stench of blood fills the air.

Hagrdict slaps the side of his head, as if he was trying to unmuddle his senses. He slings his bolter, draws his combat knife and bolt pistol, and charges in to help Gorlin. He makes a cut with his combat blade, but the eldar bows aside, licking out with its sword and leaving a deep slash just above Hagrdict’s eyes.

The two remaining ‘statues’ ready their cannons and open fire again. Ice flickers like fire around the muzzles. Losis tries to twist out of the way, but takes a glancing hit on the hip. Again there is the thunderclap of displaced air and Losis is suddenly standing right next you you, heavy bolter at the ready, staring at the wall of the hallway behind you. His statues light is still yellow, so he is probably ok.

Dodge incoming fire: +0%. Failed: needed <44, got 86.

Combat Damage: Shot by Wraithguard Wraithcannon! 2d10 Damage (Special).

Randomised hit location: Head. Incoming damage: 15.

Wraithcannon: bypass all damage reduction for Armor and Toughness.

Total damage taken: 15. Armor Breached! It is no longer atmospherically sealed!

0 Health remaining.

Helmet Destroyed.

Critical Damage: Head 4.

Willpower test (indirect contact with the warp): +0%. Failed: needed <44, got 84.

Taking 1d5 Corruption damage.

Failed by >=40: +4d5 corruption.

+14 Corruption. Total Corruption: 18

You turn your head to face the ‘statues’ again and find yourself staring at a light that is cave darkness, hearing a sound that is silence, tasting the smell of sweet wine, and smelling the taste of iron-rich blood. The hair on your head vanishes into wisps of smoke and your eyes refuse to see.

Losis’ heavy bolter thunders in your ear. You still can’t see, but the stattaco rumble of shell detonations is accompanied by the snap of breaking bone and clatter of falling stone.

Gorlin’s chainsword whines as it hisses through empty air.

Your eyes are beginning to clear, but you dare not risk a shot into melee until you can actually see again. Fortunately, the looming shadow of the last ‘living statue’ is easy enough to make out, so you point your bolter in its general direction and pull the trigger.

Full auto burst from Bolter (magazine #3 - Hellfire Bolts): +30% to hit. Range is short: +10 to hit. Target is Size: Hulking: +10% to hit. Marcellus is blinded: -30% to hit. Magazine is now at 20/28 rounds.

Fire at ‘statue’: Success! needed <78, got 03.

Damage inflicted: 8d10+20 explosive. Result: 62.

Critical Hit! One damage die rolled a 9 or 10: inflict a further 2d10+5 damage. Result: 78 total damage.

You shake your head and lift your finger from the trigger. By the time the dancing dust clears from your vision, you spot the wreckage of the last ‘statue’ slowly dissolving form the inside out in a pile on the deck.

The clatter of hooves grows loud in the corridor at your back.

The Eldar’s sword sweeps out and takes Gorlin’s right leg away at the hip. A follow-up swing sends Hagrdict’s helm to the deck in a shower of blood and ceramite chips. Both Gorlin and Hagrdict slump to the deck. Their status lights are red, and Gorlin is still leaking blood at an alarming rate.

Losis levels his heavy bolter, finally having a clear shot at the eldar. He pulls the trigger and and accomplishes nothing besides destroying Gorlin’s severed leg.

The screech of hooves sliding to a stop on bone sounds from behind you. You turn to face the incoming threat in time to see the blue-white flash of tau plasmafire ripping down the corridor towards you.

Dodge incoming fire: +0%. Failed: needed <44, got 65.

Combat Damage: Shot by tau Pathfinder Pulse Carbine! 6d10+6 (energy) Damage.

Randomised hit location: Left Arm. Incoming damage: 47.

Damage reduction for Armor (8 armor - 4 penetration): 4

Damage reduction for Toughness: 10

Total damage taken: 33. Armor Breached! It is no longer atmospherically sealed!

0 Health remaining.

Left Arm Armor Destroyed.

Critical Damage would result in Death - 1 Fate Point burned to avoid death.

2 Fate Points remaining.

Critical Damage: Left Arm 9.

You fall against the wall, holding the blackened stump of your humerus bone. The rest of your left arm is so much smoke in the air, utterly vaporised by the impact. You feel your eyes glazing in shock, your blood trembling as your armor floods your body you with pain suppressants.

The Eldar farseer flicks blood from its blade. You can feel the air shift as it draws warp-power to itself. It snapts its gauntleted fingers, and Losis goes unnaturally still.

The tau Pathfinder stalks down the corridor, stopping two meters from where you and Losis are trapped. You recognise it, the one that fled from you and Gorlin those long weeks ago in the ork teleportarium. The one that had been under the influence of a daemonette.

The tau Pathfinder levels its pulse carbine at the eldar, unleashes a stream of blue-white plasma, and fails to connect with anything.

Your bolter is still clenched in your right hand, so you raise it point-blank into the tau’s chest and pull the trigger.

Full auto burst from Bolter (magazine #3 - Hellfire Bolts): +30% to hit. Range is point-blank: +30% to hit. Magazine is now at 16/28 rounds.

Fire at tau pathfinder: Success! needed <118, got 95.

Damage inflicted: 6d10+15 explosive. Result: 51.

Critical Hits! One damage die for two separate shots rolled a 9 or 10: inflict a further 4d10+10 damage. Result: 88 total damage.

Critical Hit! One damage die rolled a 9 or 10: inflict a further 2d10+5 damage. Result: 104 total damage.

Your aim is still disrupted by the slightly unfamiliar sensation of firing one-handed, and you actually manage to miss with your last bolt as the recoil carries your aim past the tau’s head and up into the ceiling. It hardly matters when the tau’s torso and head are little more than cobalt-weeping stretches of torn and melting flesh.

But the tau Pathfinder doesn’t fall over and die. You didn’t think the ruins of its throat and lungs could produce any sound, but it emits a sound somewhere between a keening wail of agony and a sulty moan of pleasure. Its armor falls away, clattering on the deck. Its hooves split into clawed feet. Its flesh slurps, warps, and shifts until a daemonette stands on the deck with a hungry gleam in its eyes.

The Eldar gathers more power to itself, the still air in the chamber spiraling into a whirlwind visible by the sprays of spilt blood it pulls through the air. The eldar points it hand and sword at the daemonette and unleashes more unlight-lightning.

Combat Damage: Eldritch Storm ! 3d10+8 (energy) Damage.

Randomised hit location: Right Arm. Incoming damage: 25.

Damage reduction for Armor (8 armor - 0 penetration): 8

Damage reduction for Toughness: 10

Total damage taken: 7. Armor Breached! It is no longer atmospherically sealed!

0 Health remaining.

Right Arm Armor Destroyed.

Critical Damage: Right Arm 7.

Stunned for 1 round.

The force of the storm may be centered on the daemonette, but you are caught in the storm’s wake. You feel the bones in your right arm splinter into several smaller pieces and your involuntarily drop your bolter as your hand ceases to function.

The Daemonette staggers, but doesn’t go down.

The Eldar gathers itself, crystal shards falling from its fingers and dripping from its blade, and unleashes a second blast of storm and fury.

Combat Damage: Eldritch Storm ! 3d10+8 (energy) Damage.

Randomised hit location: Torso. Incoming damage: 26.

Damage reduction for Armor (10 armor - 0 penetration): 10

Damage reduction for Toughness: 10

Total damage taken: 6. Armor Breached! It is no longer atmospherically sealed!

0 Health remaining.

Torso Armor Destroyed.

Critical Damage: Torso 6.

Stunned for 1d10 rounds: +2 rounds.

Agility test or catch fire: Failure: needed <44, got 82.

Torso is now on fire!

You scream as your torso armor explodes outwards under the caress of an unlight-strike, the skin of your chest crisping and burning.

The Daemonette gives out a moue of annoyance as it is torn apart and banished in a cloud of pale blue smoke.

Losis crashes to the deck, freed from whatever psyker magic was holding him immobile, unhurt by the fury of the storm.

ON FIRE!

Stunned: cannot attempt to put the fire out

Suffer 1d10 fire damage.

Torso is on fire: damage allocated to the torso. Incoming damage: 4.

Damage reduction for Toughness: 10

Total damage taken 0.

You swat ineffectually at the flames, doing nothing to put out the fire.

The eldar waits a beat, hand and blade still outstretched, waiting to see what Losis will do. The blood-drenched winds swirl about its feet.

“You know that you can not win. Tend to your squad. ”

Losis Levels his heavy bolter, “I can not allow you to win.”

“I have already slain my prey. I have already won this skirmish. Stand down.

Losis starts to pull the trigger.

The blood-wind lashes out, following the pointing fingers of the eldar. Losis freezes in place again. Blood-frost falls from his form and the fire in your chest sputters out in the unnatural chill.

You glance at the status icons on your display. Gorlin’s is blinking red-black. Hagrdict is a steady red. Losis is blinking yellow-black. And your own is a pulsing red.

The eldar looks at you, then shakes its head. The blood-wind vanishes and the blood splatters on the floor. The eldar snaps its fingers, and the gemstones detach from the remains of the ‘statues’ and hover at the eldar’s back. It turns and vanishes down one of the other hallways, the gems still floating in its wake.

You come to your senses as Losis slams to the deck again, shaking his head.

“Emperor-damned time-stopping witchcraft! I am going to murder that…”

Yout cut him off, “Not the time Losis. Check on Hagrdict. Every one of us needs an apothecary. And then we have to get back to the void-hab.”

Losis slams his fist into the wall hard enough to send bone splinters flying.

“Losis…”

He heads over to Hagrdict.

You let your head rest on the deck and allow the blackness to overtake you.

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Necrontyr525

  • Graveyard Shift Writer

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