Audio Log for Acolyte Ziapatra Havelock
--- Continued from Part 1.1 ---
+++ A pause, silence for 10 seconds. A sigh can be heard.
Well, once we were underway, there was a whole lot of nothing to do. Unlike my technomat friends, the team and I didn't have a job. I spent a lot of time with Valentina at the shooting range, and kept up my strength and wind in the gym. I also visited the temple with Cyniska several times. When all that stands between you and roiling madness strong enough to tear your soul apart is a flimsy bit of techno-craft, you tend to want to be on the Emperor's good side. But I guess we didn't pray hard enough, because only a few days into the trip, there was a fluctuation in the geller field.
I was alone when it happened, wandering the hallways of the ship, lost in thought and admiring the machinery around me. That same horrible, nauseating feeling gripped me, and I watched the ice climb the walls - it was like a delicate and deadly spiderweb. The feeling... I can't really describe it proper. I felt like the fire inside me, that glow that flares up strong when I pray to the god-Emperor, was being smothered. I felt like I couldn't breathe, like some great invisible hand had grabbed hold of me and was squeezing. And with it was a dread so strong...
+++ Her voice cuts out. A few deep, shuddering breaths, slowly calming.
It passed, though. Thank the Emperor on his Throne, it passed. I lay there on the ground, disoriented, until I heard Valentina's sharp command to report. That got me moving - when Valentina gives you a command, you don't ignore it. I met up with her and Gaius in the hallways on the way to the chapel - apparently Cyniska was in some kind of trouble there. Seeing Valentina with the steady, unflapable attitude I had become accustomed to did a lot to improve my mood - seeing my autopistol which she had brought me did even more. Gaius looked about as sick as I felt, but he held up well despite it.
We weren't really sure what we were going to find - but we definitely didn't expect what we saw when we got to the chapel. Cyniska was just kneeling there, praying, staring with her eyes wide as potholes at His great aquila. It feels like heresy to even say it... it was cracked. Right down the middle. And the two holy servitors who had frightened me so the first time I visited this place were on the ground in a bloody mess, their heads... gone. Splattered, really, all over the room. I've seen my share of violence, mind - but this was like nothing I've ever seen.
Wasn't long after that before the big wigs showed up with a whole mess of soldiers to clean up the place. They grilled Cyniska a bit, but we all stood up for her. She was still pretty messed up by the whole ordeal, and had seen something that frightened her badly in that chapel. I don't rightly understand it all, something to do with the servitors, but it definitely had her shook up. But, after investigating the seen, the man in charge commended Cyniska for her faith and her bravery, so I guess it was all alright.
Thank the Emperor, that was the only warp related event on our voyage. Later Valentina told me stories about other warp jumps, and talked about the procedures she and her security crew would go through if the geller field malfunctioned. I'm lucky, I guess - the most I had to worry about in my earlier life was hive rats, and maybe getting my throat cut in my sleep if I was careless.
One other noteworthy thing happened during the trip - we were introduced to our lighter. Not too much to say about that - it's a gorgeous piece of machinery, and Valentina and I spent some time looking the bird over. I wouldn't know the first thing about actually piloting her, sadly, but I guess Valentina is skilled in piloting light aircraft. She probably won't be driving this one, though - we had a pilot assigned too.
Well, after what seemed like forever, we finally got to our destination. It was an administratum planet, and to me, it seemed pretty much the most boring planet imaginable, as well as being bright and wide open and unnerving. Not really frightening, mind you - nothing so mundane as a strange planet could be frightening compared to what I'd already seen on the ship. But the white rocks and the bright sun and the lack of proper hab grated on me, I won't lie. Emperor bless Valentina, who thoughtfully bought me a pair of shade goggles to keep out the worst of the glare.
I guess I'd better explain why we were down there in the first place. Our ship was carrying a load of goods for the planet - we were traveling under the cover of making a Coblast Assay delivery. Upon arrival, one of our contacts on the planet sent us a request for assistance. Now, this contact was only aware of us as the Coblast Assay, and had no knowledge of our Inquisitorial association. So my team was sent down to do our best to help this contact out, but we were not to reveal ourselves as acolytes in the holy Inquisition. It's funny really - up until a month ago, I was working for the Coblast Assay as a reclaimator - someone who finds things. Now I had to pretend to be one again, because that's exactly what this administratum official wanted. Only this time, instead of machinery, I was helping to find a book.
--- To be continued in Part 1.3 ---