Dark Heresy - Ecto's Diary (3)

Adventure three of the hapless recruits, as diarised by Wace (as Ecto).

Slumber makes mockery of me.  At best, this is some horrendous, fevered dream, and I am still asleep in the room back in the inn, or better in my bunk on the  _____of Mordia, or better again still on Antrocles.  Antrocles!  My beloved homeworld, how I miss the sun-drenched plains and whispering data towers!  Here is what has happened: we have been singled out by a murderous mob of locals and are now on the run for our very lives.  I scraped a few hours of troubled sleep before I was awoken by Silvanus.  A gang of malcontents had formed among the statues in the town square and were advancing upon the inn. It seems they had identified Nicodermus as a wych, no doubt due to his obvious allegiance to the Machine God.  What an appalling night of the soul these locals must live in, so remote from the bright lights of the great strongholds of the Emperor that they’ve not seen a disciple of Mars before!  My mind was ablaze: I suggested we might make a stand in the tavern, but leveller heads than mine made it clear that Cilon was in no condition to fight the armed mob.  We chose instead flight, by the good grace of the innkeeper, a man with a truly Terran soul, who showed us a secret ladder to the inn’s cellars.  A mad scramble through the darkness was averted by my foresight in bringing a glowglobe, but even as we fled down the corridor there were noises of pursuit from behind.   In a valiant gesture, Cilon took up position at a corner, Nicodermus lingering too as Silvanus and I pressed on.  Even as gunfire and fierce buzzing echoed from behind us, we found ourselves in a chamber the likes of which... children, mutilated children, butchered to no apparent end.  Words fail me now even as my mind failed me then.  Quivering and mute, all I could do was stagger away from the horror before me.  I was still in a daze as Silvanus shook me, bringing me back to some semblance of my senses.  He’s found a grate which led to the sewers beneath the inn, a means of escape.  Cilon and Nicodermus had deterred our pursuers, at least for the time being, even slaying the huntress who brought us here, apparently the leader of the mob, though Cilon had sustained yet further grievous injuries and was unconscious.  Unable to turn back, we manhandled Cilon down into the sewers and made our escape, wading through slushy muck and kicking rats out of our path.  My nerves were calmed somewhat when Nicodermus informed me that the nightmare room was merely a workshop of some kind for the manufacture of servitors.  Still, though I am well aware that the lowest and unworthiest are repurposed to serve His glory as servitors, to do so with children outstrips even the most excessive peccadilloes of the Drunnite monks!  After hours of trudging through the sewer (And I must concede that I take some crumb of reassurance from the very fact that this backwards planet even has sewers), we have arrived at a vantage point overlooking a harbour.  There is a great Imperial seaship moored there, forged of metal and quite unlike the wooden barge I once saw at Khlem, and some activity with cargo surrounding it.  We are exhausted after our ordeal, and I would rather pen these words and get some sleep, but not knowing the persistence of our pursuers, we must press on.  It seems likely that the ship may offer further means of escape, and Cilon needs medical attention quite urgently.  Indeed, Nicodermus has just requested my help- I believe he is about to operate on our ‘Justicar’ friend to staunch the bleeding.  I shall aid him at once – no rest for the lost.

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