Bones, Cortez, Dorn, Gallus, Titus
You awaken from your deep slumber in a luxurious bedroom of Gaithe Manor. Out the window of your room you can see the edge of the Stokeland Plateau and out into the desolate slag wasteland beyond. A light dust storm is just reaching the limits of the city, commonplace from your limited experience. Is this only the fifth day on-world? It seems much longer for some reason.
Your room is opulent by many standards. The bedding is plush and comfortable, the wood work of the furniture masterful, and the art priceless. The Gaithe family has obviously imported many fine things from the rest of the sector. A “personal attendant” or two who has shared as much of the night with you as you desired is finishing up the tasks you’ve given to them when there is a knock at the door to your room.
Servant: “Surrah, Master Ronal wishes to see you before you depart the estate this morning. He will see you at your earliest convenience in his private lounge at the end of the hallway.”
Ronal’s Private Lounge seems to be anything but that. It is a place of extravagance and excess where every want and need you have is attended to and satisfied by multiple servants. A dozen or so people, including Ronal, are indulging themselves in various pleasures. Lounge chairs, day beds and sofas line the sides of the room, while servants are constantly busy making sure that none of the guests wants for anything. One is getting fresh imported fruit served to him, another drinks some of the best amasec of the Golgenna Reach subsector, some in the corner look drugged out of their mind, and a pair of men are knife fighting in a small arena-like pit in the middle of the lounge. Blood from the fighter’s wounds drips onto the floor of the pit, mixing with that of those who have been there before them.
The aromas of the lounge assault your senses; smoke from the drug users, the stink of sex old and new, blood from the pit, defecation and decay from who knows where, sweet salty freshly cooked meat, and a number of other unidentifiable smells.
You spot Ronal enjoying sexual intercourse with a naked servant on some sofas by the back wall, near a pair of doors.
Bones and Dorn almost immediately begin partaking in the pleasures of the flesh being offered, but Titus, Gallus and Cortez are disgusted by the hedonism on display. As Dorn and Bones finish up what they are doing while awaiting the arrival of their fellow Acolytes, the group moves toward Ronal.
Titus: “This disgusts me. These people are the reason the Imperium of Man suffers from decay.”
Gallus: “I shall remember this, it will be going into my report. They will get what they deserve.”
Dorn: (grabbing a leg of freshly cooked meat and eating it) “I don’t know what your guys problem is. This is the life! If this is what being rich gets you, then I need to be rich. I would be more deserving of it than they are!”
The acolytes approach Ronal…
Ronal Gaithe: “Ah, ”,he says with a grunt of pleasure as he notices you, “just a moment while I, unh, unh, UNH, finish with this UNNNH, bitch, UNNNNNH!” Finished with her, he shoves her aside and pulls his pants back up around his waist. “Go bring me some more amasec!” He leads you to the door to your right and opens it. “Here is the room with the supplies that I promised you. I hope that each of you finds our selection satisfactory.”
The room contains shipping crates filled with new military grade equipment, labelled “House Sophano”, “Electoran Guard” or “12th Sophano Prime Rgmt”. Hardened Bodygloves, Krak Grenades, Laser Sights, Mono Swords, the amouont of materiel is very impressive. A small army could be fitted with what’s available.
Titus: “Do you fight amongst each other much here?”
Ronal Gaithe: “You know about Holgar’s Revolt 70 years ago, yes? Fighting is not uncommon, and it pays to be prepared … or to disrupt the preparations of your foes. This was all … acquired … from our mutual friend. It seems he liberated some of it himself…There is one other thing that I would like to offer you. Come with me.”
Ronal leads you to a small personal side room, gestures you in and closes the door behind you. For the first time since you met him, you are alone without bodyguards in his presence. The room is quite obviously used as a place of business. A large desk dominates the room, with just enough chairs facing it for you and the rest of the Acolytes to sit down. Obscene art decorates the walls, with the grandest piece hanging above and behind Ronal’s desk. The scene depicts sexual acts you didn’t even know existed, yet alone could be represented in such fine detail as to almost seem real. With his back turned to you behind his desk, Ronal seems to reach into one of the orifices, and for a moment is part of the art, before his hand comes out again. As he turns around to face you, you notice that he is now holding an ornate ivory box, which he places on his desk.
Ronal: “This could help you escape some of the… stickier situations you might encounter.”
Bones reaches out and opens up the box. Inside is perhaps the most graceful looking pistol you have ever seen. 3 solid state ammunition cartridges reside within the box beside the pistol. He reaches out and takes the pistol.
Cortez: “This pistol does not match any standard template pattern I am aware of. It could be Archaeotech or … something worse.”
Titus: “Bones … this pistol does not feel right to me. I don’t think you should take it.”
Bones: “I’m taking it. You never know when you might need a little extra firepower.”
The Acolytes filter out of Ronal’s office and head towards the exit. Dorn stops to watch the knife fighting going on in the pit in the center of the lounge. The combatants are obviously not trying their hardest, and suffer only from minor wounds given in might mostly mock combat.
Dorn: “I’m ready to see some ready combat.”
The pit fighters stop. Nervous looks of panic cross their face and sweat quickly beads up and trickles down thier faces. They look over in the direction of Ronal, who had just exited his office. Ronal coldly nods in their direction and the almost immediately charge each other. The fight is quick and brutal, with a knife ending up in a neck within 5 seconds. Blood splatters all over gushing from the wound like a fountain. Servants quickly take the body and roll it into a hold in the middle of the pit by lifting up a grate. Immediately new fighters are called to begin the next show.
A slight smile momentarily crosses Dorn’s lips.