After killing the false "Empera" we had a few moments to collect our collective breaths. The Captains bout of manic hysteria had passed, but he was still flushed and pale.
The Arch Inquisitor was likewise badly shaken and only myself, Gears and Walker had our full wits about us. Although I have to admit a sense of horrible dread about what we saw here.
We persuaded the Arch Inquisitor to cover up what had happened here until we could return to the ship and send through a team to assist. Revealing that we had killed their "God" would not go down well with the locals no matter what we said.
Searching the body of the "Emperar" we found a six sided crystal that matched the slot we found aboard the Eldar Void Station. It was unclear if this was taken from North as the Witch was a local and should not have had access to the webway gate as he lacked any Eldar blades.
Fox was instrumental in vetting the guards, his witch eye able to discern the subtle traces of corruption.
We closed the Cathedral and made our way to the planned banquette. The Captian took the time to initiate negotiations with their High Factorum and managed a criminally good deal apparently. Where Fox checked over the "High Lords of Terra" for signs of corruption. Mercifully he could see nothing notable.
We then made haste to get to the gate, Fox was selected to stay behind to oversee work on the New Terra side of the gate as we went back through and fairly uneventfully returned to the ship.
We still had a thousand miners eating up our supplies and breathing our air. From what I gather the Captain sent a message to his Father and the Sub-Commander, telling them both everything and assuring the generous trade concessions we had been promised.
I spoke with our Inquisitorial acolyte, outlining what we had found on Haven, but I managed to persuade him of the virtues of sending in an inquisitorial team to investigate and methodically purge the individual heretics rather than burning the whole world.
However whilst I lazed on the bridge, Augurs picked up a Warp transit, Raider class that superficially resembled an Imperial Vessel, but the poor drive containment and enormous teeth welded to the re-enforced prow spoke of only one thing, Orks.
We ran to the bridge and that's when everything started to go wrong. The Lord Captain immediately took the helm and began barking out orders to advance on a ram-equipped Ork vessel that was filled with probably 150% of our population of enraged greenskins. I tried to protest this but was shut down quickly. He had gone from behaving like the careful thoughtful man I respected to acting like a first time comissioned officer. It's called Captains Fever among the ratings.
A command officer sees the thrill of combat for the first time and they think they are Captain Danger from the Holo-serials. Eager to close for the thrill of close boarding action regardless of the tactical sense. On a delicate raider with long-range guns against a species that favours brute force and melee combat to resolve their issues the effect is even more pronounced.
Marconi, with his complete lack of void combat experience and naive impression that Space battles are all clean, easy and glorious was a nightmare.
The Ork Freeboota Captain contacted us to boast of his victory and let it slip that he was put on this course by a vox broadcast that told him of where to find a well armed prize. A broadcast from Bastion.
To add to our troubles (but possibly saving us from others) the ship took on a life of its own. Surging forward to the Enemy just as the Captain had wanted and in the voice of a seasoned void farer the ship cried to close and fire all weapons. The Ork Raider followed suit and charged forward with a surge of uncontrolled plasma from its engines.
We passed close to the Ork raider as the AI pulled us down and to the Starboard side of the raider, and I landed a few solid shots on her engines. She's a good solid ship, but her main lance is lacklustre, some of my shots did little but dent the armour plating, but most got through. All the same they kept coming. I voiced my concerns several times (the Captain had cut my vox so I did so aloud) in the hopes I could get the captain to reconsider his brashness, but he was outraged at the AI and was trying to get gears to bypass the engines manually.
Unfortunately the Captain took my remarks the wrong way and ordered me off the bridge. Unfortunately I knew the watch gunner and frankly the rest of the gunnery crew are fairly green. They couldn't hit a fast moving target with enough focus to do serious damage.
I took a last shot of making contact with the AI, but its systems were too remote and I did not really understand how advanced cogitators communicate, so instead I returned to my stateroom.
After an apparently successful battle (apparently Walker boarded the ship, planted a demolitions charge on the plasma core and ran, crippling the ship until they could park behind the Ork raider and blow it sky high at a short range from which not even the least competent of gunnery officers could possibly miss.) The Captain and Walker came in, and had it out. Thankfully there was a measure of the man I respected again, and I was given a token punishment for my insubordination, which was fair enough given the circumstances and he promised to listen to me in future when I talked about ship tactics.