[Prologue: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4585754/]> “Believe it or not, I’m the one who picked you damndable worms for the Arbites. If you aspired for anything else, you have me to thank for dashing those hopes.”You are Janus Caskett of the Adeptus Arbites, currently standing in the bridge of the Lord’s Carbine. Through the viewport, you can see a massive planet, its light filling the bridge with a dull green glow.Your superior, Inspector Callus Redmore, is in front of you, addressing you and your fellow Schola Progenium graduates while staring at the distant green orb through the window.> “As I said before, you lot will be accompanying us on our current assignment: keeping the peace on Hive World Icarus.He points at the planet ahead of you.>“As far as your first taste of the Imperium outside of that academy, you can’t do much worse. It’ll be valuable experience as a new Arbitrator, though, and you’ll all be hard as rocks by the week’s end.”It’s been a few hours since the ship you’re standing in was speeding through the hateful Warp, and through the turbulence and dimming lights, you thought you’d never be puked out of the immaterium. Still shaken from the horrible experience, you barely had any time to recoup before Redmore began dumping all the information about your destination. You try your best to remember.Icarus is a Hive World located in the northern edge of the Segmentum Pacificus. Typical for a Hive World, it is a cornerstone of materials production in this sector, specializing in medical products for the Astra Militarum, but also producing an assortment of materiel for the Imperium’s interests.A nearby system hosts the Agri-World Valleyfall, which is responsible for most of the food for Icarus’s population. It has been experiencing some unrest among the laboring class, though nothing serious enough to warrant Imperial intervention. That being said, Icarus has sent a detachment of its Planetary Defense Force to assist the lesser-equipped Vallerian’s soldiers.Due to the food shortage, Icarus’s population has been a little rowdier than usual, particularly on the lower levels of the Hive. The local constables have been up to their ears in ambushes from gangs growing braver by the day. Shipments at wharf installations have disappeared, and not just the ever-scarcer food crates- weapons shipments have been reported to be stolen too. To top it off, the governor is apparently involved in a scandal demanding the attention of the Inquisition, though that’s about all Redmore knows about that situation.
> “We’re in for it, lads, but don’t fret. You’ll be overseen by me and my very capable entourage. We WILL be splitting you all up, though, and rotating you between duties to ensure a well-rounded trial-by-fire.”Redmore turns to face you all, nodding in the direction of the three other Arbites. You’ve been with them for about twelve hours now, but all you know about them are their names: Charles, Cobbler, and Grist. One female and two males, in that order.> “To that end, I count four nubiles and four hardened coppers. One of us will chaperone one of you. I’m still not entirely sure where I should put you all first, I reckon the area I suspect you’re weakest.Riot Control: Join Charles to oversee the food lines, and keep the public in check when supplies run out for the day.Gangbusting: Join Cobbler in a Habitation Center, where gang violence threatens the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of souls densely packed together.Wharf-Duty: Join Grist to protect the cargo coming into Icarus from those who would steal it. Perhaps figure out who’s stealing it in the process.[Forget that training shit, this one’s for keeps! Vote on which assignment you want Janus to embark on first. If yours doesn’t get picked, don’t fret, there’s always room for more!]
>>4599181>Gangbusting: Join Cobbler in a Habitation Center, where gang violence threatens the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of souls densely packed together.It's time to uphold THE LAW and beat the shit out of creeps with power mauls.
>>4599181Gangbusting: Join Cobbler in a Habitation Center, where gang violence threatens the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of souls densely packed together.>cops theme song intensifies
>>4599181>Riot Control: Join Charles to oversee the food lines, and keep the public in check when supplies run out for the day.
>>4599181>Gangbusting: Join Cobbler in a Habitation Center, where gang violence threatens the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of souls densely packed together.We shall peacefully cave in skulls.
>>4599180>Gangbusting: Join Cobbler in a Habitation Center, where gang violence threatens the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of souls densely packed together.
>>4599181>>Gangbusting: Join Cobbler in a Habitation Center, where gang violence threatens the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of souls densely packed together.
Redmore thinks for a long moment and then points at you but speaks to an Arbitrator behind you.> “Cobbler, take Janus. Try not to talk his ear off.”The Arbitrator nods and turns, starting for the bridge exit. You stay put like a disoriented pup until the staring of your colleagues clues you in that you should follow him.You catch up to Cobbler in the Central Primary Corridor, falling in step beside him. He barely acknowledges you, punching a hailing button for an elevator door.“I guess we’re going to do riot control, right? That sounds like it involves melee, and that’s what Redmore thought I was weak in.”The access doors fold away, and Cobbler steps into the elevator. You scramble in after him, and the doors close, shooting you down into the bowels of the ship.“I suppose I agree with him. I was always partial to ranged weapons. Not ranged like Flayer’s artillery, but- well, I suppose you saw me at the shooting range.”The doors open, and you recognize the same hallway that wrapped around all of the hangars. Cobbler exits the shaft, and you scamper after him, following him to the hangar.“Hey, maybe I could use gas-rounds. I think I saw some in that crate that Redmore took the shoutgun out of.”> “INSPECTOR Redmore.”You can feel your face go ghost white, the raspy, authoritative tone cutting through your questions like a chainsword. The rest of the walk to the hangar is a silent, uncomfortable one.
A tech-priest is fondling with the innards of a transport Valkyrie on the hangar floor, its elongated digits making tiny, buzzing flashes inside the panel of one of the wings. It has the panel back in place by the time you and Cobbler approach it, turning to face you with a smooth motion that’s uncanny for its awkward silhouette.> “Arbitrator Quentin Cobbler. Your transport’s Vertical Takeoff and Landing operations is restored to optimal capability.”The hooded amalgamation of flesh and metal turns its head to you, you can feel the red light of its visual implants scanning you.> “Ah. You have a ward. Name?”You wait for Cobbler to tell the tech-priest your name, but he doesn’t say anything. It occurs to you he might not even know it.> “Uh- Janus Caskett.”> “Confirmed. Caskett, Janus. Updating Arbites Databases. The pilot is waiting in the cockpit. You may board the craft at your leisure.”The Mechanicus priest limbers away, leaving you and Cobbler to climb aboard the Valkyrie. Cobbler raps his knuckles against the cockpit hatch, and in a few moments, the side-doors close, and you feel the engines roar to life.The ride to Icarus is at first, a silent one. You imagine any questions you have for your new mentor would be met with the same cold silence he showed you in the voidship, though you’re a bit frustrated at how vague the current situation is. As if reading your mind, Cobbler speaks, addressing you unprompted for the first time.> “We’re going to be attached to the Almond Tree Habitation Center as patrollers.”> “Oh- have they been having problems with rioting?”> “No. There’s been disruption due to turf-wars between criminal organizations. Our presence will mitigate that, Emperor willing.”You can feel the artificial gravity give way to something more founded, and you presume you have arrived, at last, on Icarus. You can’t see outside of the ship, but the readings you’ve done on the average Hive Planet do not give you high expectations. The ship touches down somewhere, Cobbler straightens his posture, and the doors open…
… And you find your expectations dashed ever still. Before you can even see outside the Valkyrie, you are hit in the face with an awful stench, it seems to have all the hints of industrial promethium, rotting meat, and of course, fecal matter. Stepping off of the Valkyrie, you cough, the smog making itself at home in your respiratory system. Cobbler laughs are your sputtering, not giving you the time to recover as he starts off the landing platform.When you collect yourself, you take a look around. You are on a landing platform for a large building, the emblem of the Arbites just barely visible to you through the smog, engraved in the concrete and several stories tall.The horizon is swallowed up by structures that dwarf the building you’re standing on, but what little of the sky you can see is a sickly green.Below your feet, and somehow, above your head, you hear the cacophonous roar of everything in the hive. Vehicles, vox-broadcasts, people, their collective ambience deafening you, and yet through it all a raspy order barks it’s way through it,> “Double time, Caskett!”You run off the platform, entering the building through a concrete maw. Inside, you walk through a small hallway until you come into what looks like a reception center, a rotund desk in the middle, elevators lining the walls and hallways all flowing outward, a large variety of the same four people that have been occupying your destiny this past day stuffed in: Arbites.There are some carrying large weapons, some lounging around, some with their iconic helmets on and some with their helmets at their sides, arms wrapped around them. A woman shoves a handcuffed man twice her size into an elevator. The man sitting at the reception desk frustratedly rebukes another man leaning over it. There’s a hole in the wall bigger than all the others that looks to lead to some kind of Cantina. You’re so enthralled by the scene that you don’t realize until a few moments have passed that you’ve utterly lost Cobbler.You feel a burgeoning anxiety rising in your stomach, but you resolve to be as decisive and cool-headed as any Arbites is expected to be.You need to find Cobbler. What do you do?
>>4601421Scan the room where he went, if not found ask then ask the other arbites where he may have went.
>>4601438You quickly scan the inhabitants of the room, to see if any of them are grumpily waiting for somebody, but all of the Arbitrators have the same armor, helmet, and greatcoat and look to be engaged with whatever they were doing.You timidly approach a group of Arbitrators who seem to just be lounging around, and their conversation lapses when they notice you.“Uh- hello. I’m looking for my mentor, Quentin Cobbler. He looks- he’s in an Arbitrator uniform and is about as tall as-“> “Never heard of the guy.”You are rebuked quite effectively, wandering away from the group and looking around the room again.You suppose you could get help at the reception desk, but the man seated there is still having a heated argument with another man, who seems to be the only one in the room besides you without an Arbites uniform.There’s also the Cantina, but that looks more crowded than the reception hall.Alternatively, you could just stay put and wait for your instructor to find you.
>>4601490Be a bit more pushy in asking and check the sign where he may have gone.
>>4601555Ass in assertive
>>4601555You’re not going to be long for this world if a dismissive attitude is enough to turn you away from your goals!Steeling yourself, you approach another pair of Arbites, one of them has his helmet held against his side like a biker, the other has their helmet on regularly. You don’t wait for them to notice you, interjecting with your best take on an authoritative voice.> “Hey, excuse me. I got separated from my mentor, and we’re currently on an assignment, so I need some assistance locating him.”The Arbitrators are cut off, looking at you with open mouths, then looking at each other, smirking, then back to you.> “Sure, kid. What’s his name?”The Arbitrator with her helmet on speaks in an alarmingly female voice.“Quentin Cobbler. He’s an Arbitrator rank.”> “Hmm, and you just came from the landing platform, I’d bet. You sure he isn’t in the Cantina?”“I didn’t see where he went.”> “Aaah, well- if he’s not a bastard, then he didn’t leave his pupil wide-eyed and all alone here to go drinking. He’s probably in the Armory, kid, getting your helmet and badge.”“Where can I find the Armory?”> “Go into the elevator and tell the Machine Spirit you want to go to the Armory. There’s a dispatch station right in front of the elevator, so you should see him right away.”“Thank you.”You leave the pair, starting towards an elevator. It seems likely to you that they knew what they were talking about, so you enter an open elevator door and look up, trying to find any indication of a vox-input device. Not really seeing anything, you nonetheless say,“Armory..?”And a disembodied female voice responds:> “Identity confirmed. Janus Caskett. Departing to Armory Level.”You jet downwards, and then stop. The doors open.> “Arriving at Armory.”Stepping out of the elevator, you are in a long hallway that seems to curve in a circle, only because to your left, it curves away to the left and to the right, it curves away to the right. You notice that every fifty yards or so, there’s a hole in the wall covered with reinforced glass, and a servitor seated behind it, red ocular implants and metallic arms that were skinny and segmented like dull grey bones. Incidentally, one of them is in front you right now.
You can’t see Cobbler anywhere, or anybody, really. The only thing in the room besides you and the servitors is a dull humming that seems to be coming from the vents.What do you do?
>>4602330keep calm. order the servitor to tell you where everything is, or where Cobbler's office is.
>>4602796pretty much this
>>4602796You keep your head cool, despite the absence of your mentor on the armory floor. Approaching the servitor at the depot, you put your hands on the counter, leaning in.“Servitor, I’m looking for Arbitrator Quentin Cobbler. I am Janus Caskett.”The gray husk stares at you for a moment before it points its pale face upward, making a vox-output node on the middle of its neck more apparent. Through it, you hear an eerie rasp,> “According to Precinct Records, Arbitrator Cobbler has retrieved (one) Standard Pattern Arbitrator Uniform Set, (one) Agni Pattern Power Maul, (one) Ius Pattern Automatic Pistol with additional (two) Ius Autopistol Magazines and (one) Icarus Precinct Badge for Trooper Janus Caskett at Armory Depot 8.”You look up above the counter and see a IXX imprinted into the concrete.“Where is Depot 8?”The servitor raises a metal limb to your left. You thank the creature and begin walking down the curved hallway. Eventually you round the wall enough to see an Arbites standing at a counter- sure enough, it’s Depot 8, and you recognize the cold expression under that helmet. You bound down the rest of the hall, skidding to a halt in front of him. He looks up from the counter, where he’s scribbling something with a quill.> “Oh, there you are. I’ve got your equipment right here, get suited up. We’re out of here in ten.”“Should I put it on right here?”> “No, I was imagining you put it on when we’re on the street.”“…”With some discomfort, you peel out of your Schola Progenium garb. Cobbler is focused on whatever he’s writing down, but the servitor idly rotates its head when you are nude.Shivering, you start to put on your equipment, starting with your bodyglove fatigues, then carapace armor that’s surprisingly light for how thick the breastplates are. Next come the greatcoat, which includes a heavy brown cape that drapes down to your ankles, secured in place with thick cauldrons, the right one bearing a fist clutching a pair of wings.Next come your arms. Your belt looks much less ornate than Cobbler’s, you don’t even have a skull on your buckle, but you find the appropriate straps for both your Power Maul and autopistol, holstering both on either hip.Finally, you put on your helmet. Despite it’s brutally simple shape, it’s actually quite comfy, and when the visor falls into place over your eyes, you have a near-perfect field of view.
> “Listen, I’m not the sentimental type, so- welcome to the Adeptus Arbites. Just tell Inspector Redmore my voice cracked or something.”He stuffs the tiny Winged Gauntlet emblem into the inside of your greatcoat pocket. You’ve been welcomed into the Arbites at least two times before, but now you had the equipment and badge to prove it. You were perhaps a little unsure if this was really what you wanted, but right now, you’re teeming with pride and excitement.“Let’s get going, sir. We have five minutes, you said.”> “That we do, Caskett. Back to the platform.”You exit the Precinct aboard the same Valkyrie that brought you there, the unfiltered smog welcoming you back outside by making you cough and sputter. This trip is much shorter, only a five minute flight down through the crowded levels of Icarus.
When the bay doors open, you’re on another landing platform, still suspended at a breakneck height above the ground, still impossibly loud, but instead of the blackened reinforced walls of the precinct, you just see a brutalist rectangle that the platform is attached to, a large two-lane veranda that could accommodate two Rhinos passing each other encircling the smog-stained concrete. The place is teeming with people, and unlike the jolly chaos of the Arbites Precinct, these people look unwashed and destitute. A neon sign above the exit of the Veranda illuminates the location in low-Gothic: Almond Tree, a Home for the FaithfulCobbler starts off the platform, and you’re quick to follow him, not wanting to get separated from him in a place like this. The ocean of dirty peasantry seems to part ways in his path, everyone quickly getting out of his way and maintaining a ten-foot perimeter around him. It’s a bizarre phenomenon, but inwardly you’re grateful you don’t have to brush shoulders with these folk.> “Welcome to Level Two, trooper. If Celeste smiles upon us, we won’t need to go any lower than One today.”You exit the Veranda, going into the Habitation Center Proper, and the deafening ambience of outside gives way to a cacophonous ambience inside. The concrete box of Almond Tree is just that- a box containing what looked to be roads and alleys beneath a distant ceiling some hundred feet above your head.Rows of shops are packed together, some of them simply occupying tables in front of the actual stores, shrieking merchants trying to get passerby denizens to peruse their cutlery, clothing, or curio collections. Most people seem to be single-mindedly walking to their destinations, though you spy a few hanging from support latices or loitering on the roofs of the shops indulging in what could only be illicit substances.The perimeter around you two maintains its ten-foot radius, though a sickly-looking elderly woman breaks through, grabbing at Cobblers arm.> “Alms fer the poor woman, noble Arbitra-“She is cut off by Cobbler grabbing her face with his gauntlet and shoving her back, continuing to march down the indoor boulevard. You stare wide-eyed at the woman, who fortunately seems to have tumbled back into other people, but some notice your gawking and taunt you.You ignore their jeering and stay beside Cobbler, who stops at an intersection and looks down all three ways, each equally packed with ragged citizens, before turning left and proceeding.“Sir- are we going on patrol soon?”> “We’re ON patrol, Trooper. Look alive, or be eaten alive.”A servo skull flutters down in front of you, the emblem of the Arbites fitted onto its skull, the speaker clutched by its teeth crackling to life.> “CIVIL DISTURBANCES DETECTED: SOUTH. SOUTHWEST. NORTH. EXTINGENCY: HIGH, VERY HIGH, HIGH.”Cobbler turns to you.> “Alright Caskett, where are we headed next?”>Where are we headed next?
>>4603168SouthWest. The shit that happens there can spill over to the south.
>>4603168southwest. lets rock and roll. Make sure we're properly loaded in ammo and are maul is ready.
“Southwest.”Cobbler nods.> “Good answer. Follow the skull.”The skull begins drifting behind you, and you and Cobbler break into a sprint after it. You notice as you run that your boots make a distinctive noise as they hit the ground, which telegraphs your position to the civilians in front of you, who make a lot more way in front of you than when you were just walking.Rounding a corner, you run for a few more minutes, the density of civilians lessening as you approach a column of smoke. It rises from the distance and collects together, collecting on the ceiling and probably not contributing to the air quality very much.The closer you get to the smoke column, the more you can hear a commotion through the usual clamor of the Habitation Center. You make sure your autopistol’s safety is off and your power maul is adequately set to a discombobulating frequency.The source of the smoke is a fire that’s burning through two or three shops. In front of the inferno, there’s a crowd of civilians. Most of them seem to be onlookers, but a handful are very close to the burning storefronts. You see them throw something into the blaze, and a fireball gushes out of the broken window.One of the people close to the store catches sight of you and nudges his companion, who reaches for his hip.> “Disperse the crowd, Janus!”This is it. Your first taste of action as an Arbitrator. It’s time to make a judgement call.
>>4603168Try and pop the guy reaching for his hip. If he was reaching for a gun, this would neutralize him, and hopefully, the sound of a gunshot will disperse the crowd.
>>4603468>>4603423meant to reply to this one, sorry
You’re not sure if Cobbler sees the guy reaching, but you’re not going to wait around and find out the hard way. The man already has a firearm drawn, but he wasn’t drilled for ten years on unholstering and firing from the hip like you were. Pulling the trigger, you let loose a volley of mundane bullets. It doesn’t kick like a bolter pistol or plasma pistol does, it’s actually laughably easy to keep the crude iron sights trained on your mark. There’s nothing special about your rounds, but they do line the man’s torso with bloody holes, and he staggers back with a pained grunt, dropping his gun.Some of the crowd had seen you coming, and were long gone, but the report of your autopistol had alerted the rest of them to your presence. They clamor through alleys and down either direction of the street, scattering like roaches.The group of criminals who were lighting the store up, consequently, had also started running. Excluding the man you just shot, there were four of them. Each of them had wild hairstyles and garbs, definitely tasteless, perhaps even heretical.There’s an especially fat one with bug-eyed goggles and a large satchel, presumably full of the incendiaries they were using on the stores. He’s running up the street away from you, trying to get lost in the crowd.There’s an unusually stocky one whose head pokes out high above his companions. He has hair as long and flowing as Sanguinius, its majesty ruined with a neon green dye job. He runs across the street, into the alley.There’s a girl with a studded jacket, half of her skull shaved clean, the other half with greasy-looking pink hair. She follows the stocky man into the alley.Finally, there’s wiry kid who couldn’t be any older than you. His eyebrows are shaved and so is his head, except for a few lines of stark-white hair etched around his skull like latitude markers. He jumps into the flames of the store, disappearing into the light.> “Don’t let them get away! Leave at least one of them alive!”You can hear Cobbler’s order barked at you, but you don’t see who he follows, all you know is that you can only pick one of them to focus on catching.
>>4603494Follow the stocky one and pink haired girl
>>4603494The girl and fat guy.
You decide to give chase after the pair, figuring it’d be easier to follow two people through an alley than just a single person in a crowd, no matter how fat he was.Your boots splash against a puddle as you dart into the alley after them. You do your best not to think of all the passages writ of the winding labyrinth of Hive alleys, some stretching for miles of claustrophobic passageways between unending walls of brick and mortar. You can at least see the roof of these buildings, and you are in a Habitation center, after all.You can hear some commotion just ahead of you, a masculine and slightly less masculine voice urgently yelling at each other. You turn through corners, passing nooks and crevices carved into the walls, decisively blowing through forks, trusting your instincts as well as your senses. In moments, you come around a corner to find a dead end, with the pink-haired girl at the very end. She’s reaching up towards a ladder that climbs up the ten-story building, but she can’t quite get her fingertips on the rusted metal. She swears and peeks back at you wide eyes.The green-haired man is nowhere to be seen.>What do you do?
>>4603494Unless we aimed for something vital, the downed guy shouldnt be moving or dying any time soon. Pop a cap in his knee really quick. If we spot the kid in the fire, shoot him too. If not we leave him.The fat one is slow and has a larger area to bullet area. Kill them.Move on to the tall dude and chick.
>>4603537Shoot the lady in the leg (avoid bone) and be wary of the man.I dont known kick her and tell her to tell us where the man is.
>>4603537Looks like she's the one we'll be taking back alive. Threaten her at gunpoint to come with us into custody.
>>4603554>>4603564[Roll 1d10 to decide which action Janus takes highest roll wins you have five minutes gogogogo]
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4603586
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4603586
>>4603591[Too late! You forfeited your original suggestion when you supported his. Be more decisive next time!]You put the bead of your crosshairs on her stupid pink haircut, doing your best impression of Cobbler’s grizzled, direct tone.“I was instructed to bring you back alive. Don’t give me a reason to fail my task.”The woman raises her hands and hurls insults at you concerning your anatomy. You noticed earlier, during the ride from the Precinct, that your greatcoat had an accoutrement of accessories in each of the inner pockets that you forgot to make a note of for some reason.Included in your greatcoat are:Zip-cuffs [x4]Flares [x2]Arbites Emblem Key of Unknown Purpose [x1]Shock-Maul Batteries [x2]Autopistol Magazines [x1]You reach into your coat to try and grab a zip tie and the woman smirks for some unknown reason. The reason becomes known when you feel a plank of wood smash against the back of your head. Your brand new helmet absorbs most of the blow, but you’re knocked off balance and hit the ground, dropping your gun, which bounces in front of you. Turning your head, you see the cretinous muscledummy clutching the splintered remains of a plank, grinning with crooked teeth.
You hear the woman’s footsteps start for your gun. The man in front of you looms over you, raising his foot to kick at you. You have seconds to get yourself out of this, and you’re pretty sure your only two options are to risk it and go for your gun, or to grab the power-maul at your hip.>Hurry!
>>4603600Do or die time, use the powermaul and take a swing at the motherfucker!
>>4603600Roll away, set the beat stick to ouch, wack the dude.Charge lady and wack her too. Dont be too worried about getting shot since you're wearing carapace grade armor.
>>4603622>>4603627Rolling out of the way of a mean-looking stop, the cunt’s boot hits the pavement where your stomach was just a half-second ago. In his daze of hitting hard brick instead of soft flesh, you have enough time to unlatch your maul from your hip and turn it on to about 80% power.You swing as hard as you possibly can, being on your back, and collide it with his thigh. The jolt sends him flying, and he hits the wall with an incredible thud, perhaps even too hard. He slides down the wall like an egg yolk, curling into a ball on the ground.You leap to your feet and turn just in time to see the woman pointing your own gun at you, her smirk replaced with a panicked glint in her eyes. You’re reminded of the look the Grox on your Schola’s pasture gave you when you heated up the branding iron. There’s nothing worse than a cornered, excited animal. Perhaps you should attempt to defuse the situation before starting at her with your maul. Or perhaps you should act before she does something you both regret.
>>4603632Attempt to talk her down. Make it clear we don't want to hurt her, but will if necessary. Point out that you can help each other, but shooting an arbites will result in dire consequences.
>>4603646You hold your hand out, still clutching the maul with the other hand. She’s about ten feet away from you, definitely enough space to get some rounds off before you can reach her.“Listen- I don’t want to hurt you. You haven’t done anything to me yet, and if you help me out, I can put in a word on your behalf with my mentor. Look-”You hold out your power-maul and turn the dial down to about 20%, feigning a power-down. She shakes her head, tears billowing out of her eyes.> “I’ve seen what you bastards do to us! You’re gonna turn me into one of them flying skulls!”“Those aren’t even from criminals- Please! If you don’t give up, I’ll have to do something.”She takes a deep breath, closing her eyes for a moment before she nods, lowering her shaky aim at you.“There… Now, drop the-“Her teary eyes suddenly flare into hateful daggers, and she raises the gun again, firing. You move without thinking, closing the distance and colliding the maul with her head. The zapping blow disorients her, and she drops the gun, tumbling onto her ass. Quickly picking the firearm up, you holster it and check yourself for injuries.One of the most important habits you picked up during your schooling was to not be fooled by adrenaline. Your heart may be pounding an icy chill into your body, but you still have the presence of mind to examine yourself for injuries. Looking down, you see… nothing. You could have sworn you felt the sensation of rapid tapping on your chest and shoulder, but your armor doesn’t show the slightest dent, not even a mark. Not surprising in the least, you suppose. You have on your chest what Stormtroopers wear into battle, and your gun, while effective on unarmored civilians, isn’t powerful at all when compared to the average firearm produced by the Imperium’s war machine. You find you’re starting to appreciate that Trooper Arbites aren’t outfitted with bolters.The woman groans in pain. You deliver a kick to her stomach, winding her enough to keep her compliant while you affix zip-cuffs to her arms. You take out another pair for the man, but upon approaching him, you feel no pulse in his neck. May the Emperor have mercy.
It takes a moment for the woman to come to her senses, and it takes more than a moment to find your way out of the snaking alleyways, but you emerge on the same street as the flaming storefronts, if a little further down than where you left them. Clutching the woman’s arm, you march back to the scene of the crime, where the fires have been quelled for the most part. There are still cinders in the blackened wood of the strewn-about debris, but a handful of servitors with large tanks attached to their spines are spewing a foul-smelling foaming agent onto the embers.Aside from the servitors, you see a group of men in shabby leather armor with wooden clubs and stub-guns that make your autopistol look like a melta-gun. You presume they’re the local constabulary.There’s also a few Arbites hanging around, one of which perks up when you approach, stomping up to you.> “THERE you are, Trooper! I see you’ve had better luck rat-wrangling than I have.”“She was with the big guy with green hair. He’s back in the alleys somewhere, but he ambushed me and I ended up killing him.”You feel the woman quake in your grasp, and she sputters, trying to hold back sobs.Cobbler scoffs, giving your shoulder a playful nudge.> “First hour on the job and you’ve already killed a bastard. That’s commendable.”The Arbites behind Cobbler give you approving nods. Cobbler yanks the woman out of your grasp, shoving her towards a constable who sits her down beside the man you shot- a red-haired, skinny man who’s a little taller than her. He has beady, rodent-like eyes. He’s handcuffed and looks to have rudimentary bandages on his chest and shoulder, though from how pale and out of it he is it’s likely he lost a lot of blood before he was mended. You take another moment to appreciate your carapace armor.Cobbler turns back to you, his voice getting a little quiet.> “Did the woman go quietly, then?”You look at her again. She’s leaning her head against the red-haired holed-up bastard, her eyes wretched shut and her head wincing as she cries.>Did she?
>>4603697"She did." Janus is young and naive. I don't think he has it in him to condemn a crying girl to a worse fate, no matter what she did.
>>4603700But I doubt he has the guts and creativity to think outside the box and make something up to let her slide.At best he'd probably say, "more quite than the fat one" or "compared to the other one".I wonder if we can our prisoners into a servitor.
>>4603697Fine let her slide this time. Lets see if we can turn her into an informant or something."She did."
>>4603700You look back to Cobbler and nod.“She did. After I killed the big bastard, she lost heart and surrendered.”Cobbler stares for a moment before nodding.> “Well, we’ll give her time to grieve the lummox while her friend comes to, and then we’ll interrogate both of them. Inspector Rhinebeck over there was kind enough to offer to take them back to the Precinct for us, so we can carry on with our patrol. Get your gun reloaded.”Cobbler walks back to say something to one of the Arbitrators. You do as you’re told, finding the magazine in your autopistol only has a few rounds left, and you swap it out with your other mag, and your gun’s nice and heavy again.> “Caskett, over here.”You walk over to Cobbler, who’s standing beside another Arbitrator who has a red cape and an ebony cane.> “This is Inspector Rhinebeck. He just suggested we let you flex your investigative faculties.”The other Arbitrator nods with a warm smile, and in a very posh accent says,> “Charmed, Janus. I’m a friend of Callus, your senior officer. Like you, we both went to a Schola on the same shrine world, and we’ve been thick as thieves ever since. Therefore, I’m quite familiar with him and his team, so I know you won’t be getting a lot of cerebral action when you’re patrolling with this Lex-thumping brute.”Cobbler shrugs.
> “As it happens, though, we ARE standing in a crime-scene and besides booking the scum we catch after we catch them, (congratulations on your first kill by the way), it IS our burden to do our best to make sense of the crimes after, that the Emperor’s Justice might soon follow in his Judgement. To that end, I want you to give me a report of what you saw transpire here, and then simply investigate this poor row of shops and then tell us anything that catches your attention. Simple enough?”You nod.“I didn’t really see the shop for very long. Me and Arbitrator Cobbler were approaching the situation from north up the street. There was a crowd of civilians gawking at four people who were throwing something into the shops to keep the fire going. Once they saw us, one of them drew a gun, so I shot him.”You take a moment to point at the injured criminal. Rhinebeck nods.“That spooked the rest of them. One of the guys, a fat man, was carrying a bag, I think it had the explosives in it.”Cobbler interjects,> “That’d be the filth that I failed to catch. I’ll get him eventually.”“R-right, and I went after the two that ran into the alley. That’s about all I saw. The pair ambushed- well, the woman distracted me, and the man ambushed me from behind, but I dealt with him and brought the woman back here.”> “An excellent report, Trooper. I look forward to reading about your future exploits in law enforcement. Now go give the shops a gander.” “Is it okay if I stand inside the burned shop?”> “I can’t imagine you’d gleam very much from peering in as though you were window-shopping!”You nod again, stepping in.You aren’t sure how long the shops were on fire, but it was certainly long enough to ensure that nothing could be salvaged. You can’t even tell what these holes in the wall were before the arson. Even the pieces of the missing roof had long fallen into the hungry flames and reduced to small, charred bits before the fire-fighting servitors could begin to respond.Thinking of those servitors, you notice there isn’t much foam on the ground anymore. You spy a little in a corner that’s slowly fizzing into miniscule bubbles. You imagine the foul smell is it evaporating after completing its function of quelling the flames.Most of the walls are still standing, if missing a few chunks from the top. Like most of the buildings in Almond Tree, they seem to be made of cheap concrete, which held well enough, despite being blackened with soot.Aside from one shop still having a chandelier in it, albeit a blackened, felled chandelier curled up like a dead spider on the ground, all the shops are the same: burned, reduced to ash. There’s nothing on the floors except for a few bits of ash, debris from the ceiling, and little metal shards that likely came from the ignition agents. You squint at the floor, not wanting to disappoint Rhinebeck but not knowing what to report.>What’s Janus missing?
>>4603734Metal safes, false floors or cellars, etchings in the walls (chaos). Do we have an auspexs or cogitstor to help with investigations?Any gang looking insignias? Perhaps there is something hidden in the ash and soot.
>>4603734That boy that jumped into the burning shop at the start?The burnt remains of the goods in the store? Perhaps this was an insurance scam, burn the store down, claim the goods lost to insurance, while the goods are actually hidden away and sold or kept? I think there should be more "ash and burnt remains" of store products there, unless they sold mainly clothing.... We should also take a look at the store fronts and their signs to get an idea of what they sold.Also, Fire suppression systems or sprinklers? I don't know if there are building codes or standards for them in 40k but these days most fires are put out by the home fire suppression systems, and firefighters mainly deal with chemical spills, gas leaks, and old houses that are not up to date with modern sprinklers.
>>4603800You stare idly at the floor, brow furrowed as you do your best to parse any discrepancies with your story and the state of the- that’s it!You march between the burned stores in a huff, looking at all of the floors and shaking your head incredulously.> “Find something, Janus?”You step out of the shop and return to Rhinebeck.“No, sir. I didn’t find anything- and that’s the problem. When we first arrived and the brigands fled, one of them escaped by jumping into the fire. I didn’t have time to think about why he might do something like that with three other escapees, but… there isn’t any way out of these shops except through the front doors. There wasn’t a corpse in there either.”> “Maybe he got burned to ash.”Cobbler suggests, his interest suddenly piqued with your observation.“Not likely… I was gone for maybe fifteen minutes tops, and the others got here before then. They would have seen a burning body, smelled a burning body, even.”You are briefly reminded of a horrible memory that you stave off by continuing your speculation.“… Depending on the time between us leaving and the other Arbites and constables showing up, it’s possible he leapt out of the window after we left and made his escape then. I sincerely doubt it, though, even a few moments engulfed in flames is a lot of pain and trouble just to avoid being caught by the Arbites.”> “Not if I’M the one to catch him.”“I think… Inspector, would I be able to borrow your cane for a moment?”Rhinebeck snorts, and then holds his cane out for you to take. You grab it and walk into the shop the boy disappeared into, using the cane to thump on the ground like a minesweeper. There are a number of dull thuds on hard ground before you find a spot that makes a much more acoustic thud. Brushing the ash out of the way with your boot, you can just make out the feint outline of a hatch.“I found it.”You’re joined in the shop by not only Cobbler and Rhinebeck, but the other Arbites. Two of the brawnier specimens team up to lift the hatch door off, which turns out to be a large concrete block. It isn’t any wonder how you might have missed it stepping over it with just your foot, but now you’re wondering how that kid managed to lift it and re-set it in the middle of the blaze.The open hatch leads downward, rebar ladder rungs descending into an unknown black. One of the Arbitrators lights a flare and drops it down. The red light falls until it looks to be the size of a pinhead, and you hear a feint thud echo up the pipeline when it hits the ground.
Rhinebeck takes his cane back from you and gives a few resounding taps before he turns, his red cape fluttering behind him as he makes his way to the two prisoners. You notice on his hip that there’s a strange gun holstered in an ivory leather pouch. It looks to be of stub-caliber, but it has a large cylinder in front of the firing mechanism that stores the bullets. You’re entranced by the design, why something so rudimentary and limiting?Cobbler taps your shoulder, breaking you from the spell.> “Again, Trooper, not the sentimental type, but this IS your first patrol. If you want, we can leave this thing to these other Arbitrators and continue patrolling up here. There’s no reason we couldn’t follow that pipe down to wherever that little shit scurried off to, but in all likelihood it goes all the way through the maint-tunnels down to Level One. That’s a lot for a shiny-booted kid, especially-Cobbler pokes you in the chest, his finger sliding through a hole in your greatcoat that you hadn’t noticed up until now.> “-a kid like you.”You swallow your tongue. Cobbler takes his hand off of you.> “I’m going to instruct the constables, then we can carry on with our patrol.”He leaves you standing in the burnt store, climbing over the debris to talk with the shoddily-armed authorities. Beside you, the other Arbites are fussing over whether they should wait for a servo-skull with luminous attachments to be summoned or just go in by the light of their flares. Outside of the shop, the general population has started to brave this street again, some of them rubbernecking into the shop, others quickly hustling past the crime scene, clutching their robes.> Do you take Cobbler’s advice?
>>4604280We do. He has to watch out for us and is our mentor. Also shit is now way above our paygrade (we are "the intern") and their were other problems on this level.
>>4604280YesIs it possible to carry more than a single spare of munition per patrol?
>>4604280Unless we are gonna escort and oversee the prisoners, we should head in. No major reason not to.
>>4604575tbf Cobbler is the senior officer, but we did fairly well on our first day on the force.
>>4604593Yeah, but we can get a gold medal if we go further, or catch a bolt to the face.
>>4604593I guess we could wait for the servo skulls and send it in our stead?
>>4604280Yeah. This would give us some time to continue our investigation topside, maybe try and get some info out of the two prisoners.
You sigh, staring down the hole in the floor one last time, and then at the other hole in your greatcoat, about 20 millimeters in diameter and with singes on the edges.You figure Cobbler knows what he’s talking about and exit the shop, rejoining him on the street.> “All right, ready?”“Yes, sir.”> “Good. Hopefully the excitement of the day is behind us, but keep an eye out for those punks, or punks who look like them. We’re going to the Residence Quadrant next, so should be pretty standard work.”“Will I be able to get more than one spare magazine next time I patrol?”> “You gotta ask the servitor at the Munitions Depot in the Armory. They’re hooked up to our assignment database, so they estimate the level of firepower needed for each Arbitrator and ultimately make the decision. In this case… Maybe you would have gotten a couple of extra mags. I didn’t think of it, signing the requisition forms for your badge. Sorry.”“That’s fine. I’m sure I won’t need it either way.” Still seated on the curb are the two gangers you’ve apprehended. The man is pretty much delirious, his head rocking back and forth with closed eyes. The woman is leaned against him like she’s freezing to death and he’s the only source of warmth. You know in your heart that if they had only lived honest lives in service of Humanity and its Master that they wouldn’t be in this situation, but a weaker part of you can’t help but feel sympathy at the pathetic pair. Perhaps even a twinge of guilt scrapes at your heart, knowing that woman’s tears are your doing.> “Don’t worry about them, Caskett. They’ll be waiting for us at the Precinct at the end of the day. Let’s get moving.”You and Cobbler depart the scene, heading in the same direction you were originally going before the Arbites servo interrupted you. The further you get from the street, the more crowded it becomes, until another bubble of space around Cobbler materializes as you trek through the river of people.You eventually approach a massive wall that cuts the buildings and streets off, rising to the very ceiling. At first, you think that you’ve made it to the other side of Almond Tree, but instead of an opening to the Veranda like the one that you entered through, there’s just doors every fifty yards. Cobbler approaches one and opens it, and instead of the thick smog and loud noises of the Hive, the door leads into a hallway.
Inside, it’s much warmer, and the ceiling is only a few feet above your head instead of twelve stories. The hallway has doors on either side with Imperial numerals etched onto the wood, and the passage goes for two hundred yards before it opens into an atrium. Cobbler and you walk down the shoddily-lit vein until you reach the end and enter the atrium.The size of the atrium is nauseating. Floodlights in the distant ceiling cast an oppressive light down on all of the floors of the Habitation Center, one of which you are standing on the balcony of. The balconies of every floor wrap around an empty space of 400 square feet. Equally distant from you is the ground level, which you can just barely make out from the railing, though you see a few twinkling lights which you figure might be fires.> “Let’s go, Caskett. More ammo for you in here.”You turn away from the edge of the balcony to see Cobbler going inside a kiosk with the Arbites emblem on it. You follow him in and see him booting up a Cogitator, tiny holographic text emerging from the central projector. He scrolls through it before huffing and turning to face you.> “Looks like we’ve got our pick of the litter today. Come take a look, see if any of this is exciting enough for you.You peer over Cobbler’s shoulder and look at the holo-screen.INCIDENT REPORTSPUBLIC LARCENY: XXX-XXV MALE ILLICIT USE OF ADMINISTRATUM INFORMATION FLYERSDOMESTIC DISTURBANCE: FLOOR XXIV ROOM XVI REPORTED LOUD NOISES AFTER CURFEWCOUNTERFITTING: XXV-XXVII MALE REPORTED SOLICITING RESIDENTS WITH COUNTERFIT RATION CONTAINERS.You feel a little let down after today’s initial excitement. Isn’t this work for the constables? Either way, you decide you should just appreciate the busywork.>Which one do you tell Cobbler to go after?
>>4605738>COUNTERFITTING: XXV-XXVII MALE REPORTED SOLICITING RESIDENTS WITH COUNTERFIT RATION CONTAINERS.Seems to be the most important
>>4605738>COUNTERFITTING: XXV-XXVII MALE REPORTED SOLICITING RESIDENTS WITH COUNTERFIT RATION CONTAINERS.>giving people fake food.Now 40k is already grimdark as it is, but this guy is really gonna deserve the boot today.Any chance we could upgrade to a Las Pistol some day?
>>4605738>DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE: FLOOR XXIV ROOM XVI REPORTED LOUD NOISES AFTER CURFEW
>>4605738COUNTERFITTING: XXV-XXVII MALE REPORTED SOLICITING RESIDENTS WITH COUNTERFIT RATION CONTAINERS.Gonna cause a minor riot or lynching.
>>4605738>COUNTERFITTING: XXV-XXVII MALE REPORTED SOLICITING RESIDENTS WITH COUNTERFIT RATION CONTAINERS.I'd rather stay out of the grimdark dreddness for a while longer, if possible. Let's purchase an serious crime here.
“Somebody would counterfeit rations during a food shortage???”> “It makes sense when you get used to the kind of degenerates that live here.”Cobbler presses the text with his finger, and it blinks once before opening the larger report. He scans through it before powering the cogitator down.> “Alright, looks like he’s been hitting this floor and the floor beneath us as of late. Didn’t say anything about being armed and it’s just one man, so I’m gonna have us split up. You take this floor, I’ll go down one. If you find him, or get into any other sort of trouble, get back to this station.”Cobbler taps on a metal cupboard affixed to the wall.> “There’s a servo skull in here slaved to this cogitator. You can make it come get me. Oh-“Cobbler opens a drawer, where there’s a few stub-casings, shotgun ammunition, and a single autopistol magazine.> “These stations are all over the Hive, and usually the less-used ones are dry on ammo, but it looks like you’re extra-lucky today.”You take the magazine and put it into your greatcoat. Cobbler exits the kiosk, and when you’re out, he pushes a button on the access-pad and the door locks.> “Make your rounds, be back here in three hours if you can’t find anything.”Cobbler starts off back down the hallway you walked through. You are now alone in the atrium with a whole wrap-around balcony of impossibly long hallways to patrol through in search of a single man.>You have three hours to patrol this floor for the rations counterfeiter. What do you do first?
>>4606887Single out some folks and get them to tell us if they've seen the guy giving out fake ration passes. We dont know who they look like, but someone probably does.
>>4606911You decide the best way to get started would be to get some descriptions of the guy from the locals. Considering how easily Cobbler cut through the crowds outside, you imagine this will be somewhat difficult.Come to think of it, you didn’t see anybody during the whole walk from the door to the atrium. You can see little people above and below you on the balcony, but there doesn’t seem to be any sign of life on this one.You decide to walk around the balcony, peering down hallways until you see anybody you can talk to. At the third corridor you pass, you see somebody in the distance and start towards them, but when they see you, they scramble for their keys and slam their door behind them. As you walk back to the atrium, an elevator you’re passing dings and the doors open, a couple of ragged citizens exiting.“Pardon me, but do you-“> “’Aven’t seen nothin’! Good day!”One of the citizens briskly starts walking towards the atrium, while the other simply turns around and gets back into the elevator, poking a button fiendishly until the doors close.You’re starting to lose your patience. You thought that counterfeit rations might inspire enough outrage to prompt citizens to approach you, but you can hardly get a word in before people flee you. You think about knocking on some doors, but every door has a peephole, and you doubt your uniform would be a welcome sight through the fish-eyed ports.As you exit that hallway to the Atrium, you practically run into another civilian when you turn to go to the next one. The civilian definitely runs into you, bouncing off of your carapace armor and falling onto his ass. It’s a young boy, maybe a late-blooming adolescent or maybe not more than ten standard years old. His eyes boggle in horror when he realizes who he bumped into.> “I- I’m sorry, sir! I didn’t-“You lean down and grab both his arms, hoisting him up to his feet.> “I- I was just going to my mom’s block, I- I weren’t wandering or nothing-“>Scold him. It’s dangerous to be as small as he is and wandering around a vile place like this alone.>Tease him. No harm, no foul. Tell the boy to run along and get back to your work.>Question him. He seems to be the only person in this quadrant who’s willing to talk to you. Would a kid like him really be helpful, though?
>>4607107Briefly check yourself again to see if the gremlin was able to fleece anything from your pockets when he "accidentally" bumped into you.>Question him. He seems to be the only person in this quadrant who’s willing to talk to you. Would a kid like him really be helpful, though?
>>4607122+1tell him that someone counterfits food rations. That should get people riled up if they hear this from the boy.
>>4607122I would say this is fair.While i really do want Janus to at least keep trying to do what's right instead of going full corrupt or being nothing more than an useless nobility crony, we need to be thick-skinned if we want to survive in a hive. For all we know, the 'kid' could be an forty-year old mutant who wants to eat your lungs.
>>4607122Support, but make sure no one is watching or listening in to us talk to the boy, or go somewhere more quite.I wonder if we can ditch the uniform, or if there is any "undercover clothes" we can wear.
>>4607167tbf some people do things out of desperation. If this kid was the pit pocketing type the most likely reason for the palming attempt would be either to try and shoot someone for food, or sell the stuff he managed to steal for food.>>4607196>that is highly illegal
>>4607265So bribe with a rations bar?I don't mean throw the uniform away, but like swap out our uniform for undercover work, and if there are carapace grade "plainclothes" we could wear for protection, or even dress up as one of the lower level sheriff.
>>4607350Why bother going under cover. That's someone else's job. We can just use our status to scare people into telling us what we need.
>>4607366This. We just need to jump someone and tell ATTENTION, CITIZEN.
>>4607122+1 I don't see the harm in questioning him. I assume we aren't gonna grill the poor kid>>4607350We're dealing with a fraudster, not a big-time racket. From the sound of the report, the weasel is selling the fakes himself. Let's use our position to get some info out of the people.
“Listen, kid. I’m looking for a man who’s selling ration boxes to people. You ever see anybody like that?”As you talk to him, you subtly paw over your greatcoat pockets, checking for your contents.You can feelZip-cuffs [x4]Flares [x2]Shock-Maul Batteries [x2]Autopistol Magazines [x1]> “Uh, no sir. I haven’t seen a full ration box in a while.”>Threaten him.>Beat him.>Question him.>Dismiss him.
>>4607489>Threaten him.Grab him by the wrist, not enough to break it but firm enough so that he feels it. Ask him if there's anything he'd like to put back.
>>4607498This. The little shit took our key and possible that other martial empty magazine.
>>4607489>Arbites Emblem Key of Unknown Purpose [x1]Seems this is the only thing missing?If this kid seriously took that then well shiet, we gonna get a little stern.
>>4607489Wanna throw some hand you little shit?
>>4607498Yes. Firm enough to scare him. Even if he's a hiver, he's still a kid being grabbed by an fucking arbites.
Your nostrils flare and you grab the kid’s wrists, your gauntlet holding his arm above his head as you get in his face.“You must not have seen an Arbitrator in a while either. Anything you’d like to put back?”The kid’s face goes ghost-white, and he starts stuttering, trying to pull away from you.> “I- I didn’t- MOM?! MOM!!! HELP!”You can hear a door open in a nearby hallway. You turn to look back at it, expecting the child’s mother to poke her head out, but it’s actually a bald man. Instead of closing the door upon seeing you, he steps outside.You turn back to the kid, who’s screaming at the top of his lungs, thrashing uselessly against your iron grip. You can’t make out where all of his pockets are on his jacket, but it’s a pretty heavy piece of fabric, your key could be anywhere.> “STOP IT! I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! SOMEBODY GET MY MOM!”More people poke their heads around the corners of hallway entrances before they timidly step out onto the atrium. It appears that you’re drawing a crowd.> “Oi! Wot’d the ked do? Fail t’ kiss your shoiny boots, eh?”> “Terrible… they’ll pick on anyone, won’t they?”>How are you getting yourself out of this situation?
>>4607952Flash your gun so people don't get any idea.Actually, shake the kid down and empty his pockets until we find our key, and they partially empty magazine. Everything else isn't much of our concern.If things go well, we'll leave him with a warning not to steal from the Arbites. If he tries this again, we'll visit his mom. This is a rare mercy not many people are given.In fact, if he helps us find the ratio perp, we won't fine his parents for child negligence.
>>4607952I don't think anyone's asked this yet, but how do we get payed, if at all? Do we not get played?
>>4608308With the hand that you aren’t holding the screaming hivespawn with, you unholster your autopistol and point it up, glancing around to make sure the crowd can see it. The kid sees the gun and goes mental, pulling as hard as he possibly can from your grasp and screaming at the top of his lungs.“Just- give me the magazine and key- stop- calm down, I’m not gonna- for Terra’s sake!”You can’t get through to him at all. What’s worse, while the crowd is definitely cognizant of your pistol, they aren’t amused by it in the slightest, and their jeers get louder and more bold.> “Arbites scum! You should be hunting the rations-forger!”> “Try that on me, and see how you fare!”> “Emperor’s justice my malignant boil!”>Fire a few warning shots.>Put gun away and cuff the kid.>Let the bastard go.
>>4608331>Put gun away and cuff the kid.
You holster your gun, reaching into your greatcoat to take out a zip-cuff. It takes some doing, but the thrashing child is duly restrained, and you take out your powermaul for good measure, just so the absence of your gun doesn’t inspire these folk to ruin their lives.The kid seems to calm down, his tear and snot covered face just hyperventilating as you lead him back towards the kiosk, dragging him in much the same manner your Drill Abbot used to drag you toward the infirmary whenever you broke a limb. The crowd curses at you as you leave, but they dare not follow you to the Arbites station, likely due to a superstitious overestimation of the type of arsenal that tiny kiosk holds.Stopping at the kiosk doors, you realize that you don’t know the combination for the door, and stare at the keypad blankly. Noticing a small slit beneath the numbers, you start to pat the boy down, and recover your stolen articles.+1 1/5 Autopistol Magazine+1 Arbites Emblem Key of Unknown PurposeThe child sneers at you indignantly and displays none of the life-threatening discomfort he seemingly had mere moments ago. You smugly put the key into the slit and find that it does not open the kiosk. Cobbler obviously did not think to give you the combination, just as he failed to give you any relevant information about the perpetrator you’re after.> “Stupid copper! You’re not from around here, I can tell!”>Next move, Caskett.
>>4608346Knock the little shit out, should of done that from the start so he wouldn't have drawn all that noise.Is public branding allowed? I'd like to tattoo on his face or hand "thief".
>>4608346He may have failed to but someone in that hallway didn't. Go kicked down that dudes door if we must demanding answers in good arby fashion.
>>4608346Try and slam on the door desperately, if that doesn't work, take advantage of the attention the child's arrest gave us to get help tracking this man down
>>4608346Poke him with the maul, at 5%. Tell us about the ration guy kiddo.
>>4608351Seems a little out of character, even if Janus is scared and desperate
>>4608359I'd say angry or pissed.
>>4608351Jesus Christ man why the fuck do you wanna turn jannus into a bloodthirsty thugLet's NOT do this
>>4608351Do you have a license for that branding?
>>4608384Oi I got it right here>Arbites Emblem Key>>4608370>40K authority figures are not violent thugs.*racks bolter* Really now, please tell me more while you face the wall.
>>4608393This secondary-tier "every imperium officer is an corrupt bloodthirsty psychopath" is getting real fucking tiring.Leave your dumb, unmecessary Edge back at comorragh. Already we pulled out a gun without necessity, now you want to fucking brand a 10 year old? For god's sake, if I wanted edge I'd play an chaos quest.
>>4608403Untwist your panties and read that lore.Being kind and gentle is not the norm, nor is everyone a heartless killer, but varying shades with a wide spectrum. Thinking every single action that we do that could be mean or cruel in character doesn't mean we are all trying to be the 40k archetype that you hate, because it upsets you enough to project your whiny tantrum whenever you get triggered.
>>4608403This. Janus seems to have depth and is at times awkward and inept, but he always tries. He’s very much a child himself still. That’s the characterization I read into from posts and tried to stay consistent to. This is a quest, it’s collarorative, but it really makes no sense for him to just switch his persona on a dime.
>>4608403>>4608448>>4608451fake and gay
>>4608457Artificial and homosexual.Ftfy.
>>4608480exactlythe best kind
>>4608505Artifically horny for that of the same gender
A part of you wants to punch the little fuck’s teeth down his throat. How dare he try to steal from you and then turn around and cry when he’s found out? Those few moments when you were surrounded by hivers without Cobbler in sight were perhaps the most scared you’ve been since flying through the warp, if not since one of your exercises back at the Schola.And yet… the child’s weakness speaks for itself. Not once was he able to writhe from your grasp. If his tears and blathering were faked, then his desperation to get as far from you as possible must have been wholly sincere. You channel your anger into punching the unmoving kiosk door, making a loud bang and causing the child to flinch. Even still, your weak heart feels remorse at such an outburst striking fear into the boy.Shaking your head, you lament not being able to use the servo skull inside to summon Cobbler. Resolving to use this boy’s interference with you to its fullest extent, you march him back to the entrance of the hallway, where some of the Imperial citizens from before are still loitering. They all hush their talking and face you, some of them looking at the cuffed boy with incredulous indignation. You can’t match any of the voices to a face, but you don’t let that distract you from your objective.“Citizens! I was patrolling this floor to find the rations-counterfeiter that has been taking advantage of your unfortunate situation, before this boy interfered in my investigation!”You look down at the boy, who’s sneering up at you. You shove him forward, holding onto the back of his shirt like the scruff of a pup’s neck.“I would rather prosecute those who sell you fake goods under the Emperor’s name than this hungry child, but right now I have no other choice.”Their eyes bore into you. Without a word, you can feel them cursing you and all that you stand for. You’ve never trifled with chaos before, but you imagine that the sentiment these people have towards you is a fitting first step towards that realm.> “Philosophy Major bought a phony rations-box.”The outburst from one of the crowd is surprising, most of all to the woman who blurted it out. For a moment, you have a reprieve from their judgement as their eyes all zero in on one of their own, a middle-aged woman with loose-fitting robes and a rag covering her hair.> “He was out here a moment ago. He went back into his block. He’s in Seventy-Eight. Now let the poor thing go, he’s just hungry, like the rest of us.”>Let the child go. His freedom was bought with a new lead.>Take the child with you. He might have more useful information, and you’re not even sure if the woman is trustworthy.>Press the crowd for more information. Surely the gossip in this hab-center has more to offer than just a single victim of the rations-forger.
>>4608531>Let the child go. His freedom was bought with a new lead.
>>4608531>Let the child go. His freedom was bought with a new lead.Offer the kid something. If. IF he's good and maybe helps us out in the future, AND doesnt try to fleece anymore Arbites, we'll see about doing a little trade: his help for rations.
>>4608531>Let the child go. His freedom was bought with a new lead.Thank them for their cooperation and say that the stealing of arbites material would normaly be death or imprisonment in other situation, but that you rather want to focus on the FUCKING FAKE FOOD SELLER WHO SCAMS HIS OWN FUCKING NEIGHBOURHOOD OUT OF A FUCKING MEAL.
>>4608531>Let the child go. His freedom was bought with a new lead.>Ask the crowds if they would like to anonymously report any other criminals activity while your here.
>>4608665Or leave a note for us at the kiosk.>>4608609Would probably be a good idea to keep any working relationship with the kid a secret. Don't want his neighbors to cause him trouble.
“Thank you, citizen. I’ll go take this one back to his mother.”You nod solemnly at the woman and pull the kid away from the crowd again. You think you remember passing a door with a 78 on it earlier, so you head in that direction.“Alright, where does your mom live?”> “I was lying, limp-dick. I don’t have a mom, or a pop, or anybody who you can rat me out to.”“Am I supposed to believe what you say now?”You reach down and pinch a metal lock on the zip-cuffs, and they open up enough for the kid’s hands to slide free.> “I don’t care what you believe! Just watch where you’re going next time, I never nick anything off of people who see me coming.”“You better not nick anything off of people period.”> “Yeah, yeah. Can I go now?”You think for a moment.“Yes. Please be careful, but- if you have any information that you think I’d find useful, come to the Arbites station up here and find me. I’ll reward you with a real ration. How does that sound?”The kid just starts away from you, waving his hand.> “Get fucked, copper. Stay outta the lower floors, you’ll get yourself killed.”You huff, watching him turn into a hallway. That’s an hour and a half of your time to find the forger gone, wasted on an annoying brat.You continue on to the nearest hallway, finding the 50-100 row and continuing until you arrive at the door with LXXVIII etched into it. You pound your gauntlet against the wood a few times and wait. A minute passes, and nothing happens.>Knock again.>Identify yourself.>Threaten to bash the door in.
>>4610339>Threaten to bash the door in.
Has the last thread been properly archived?
You might have assumed that nobody was home, if that woman hadn’t explicitly said he was. You pound on the door much harder, using your growing impatience with this whole investigation as a motivator for an authoritative shout.“Philosophy Major, I know you’re in there! Open this door at once or I’ll open it myself!”You hear stirring in the block, and before long an old man opens the door halfway, scowling at you from behind it.> “Done beating up kids and now you’re coming for the elderly?”“When I was handling that child I heard somebody shout about a rations-forger. Know anything about anybody selling fake rations around here?”The old man closes his eyes and exhales, leaning on the door for support. He has a wild crown of grey curly hair around a bald, a big red nose drooping down his skull like a beige teardrop.> “Can’t you just brutalize me? I haven’t had a decent meal in weeks, now some Arbitrator comes to take his pound of flesh for the crime of wanting to eat.”“I just want information on the person who sold it to you.”> “Oh, sure. Damn the poor souls eating and damn the man who’s feeding them, but no recompense from the upper-hivers starving folk.”> Assure the old man he isn’t in trouble, you’re only interested in the rations-forger.> Threaten the old man with aiding and abetting the rations-forger if he doesn’t tell you anything.
>>4610643yeah i think so. i'm not sure how thisisnotatrueending works so maybe you have to give it reddit karma for it to stay but the links in op
>>4612026> Assure the old man he isn’t in trouble, you’re only interested in the rations-forger.Tell we might even consider rewarding him with a ration bar or two if we catch the culprit responsible.
>>4612026> Assure the old man he isn’t in trouble, you’re only interested in the rations-forger.While some people eat, others starve. This doesnt make the forger any better than a criminal.
>>4612026> Assure the old man he isn’t in trouble, you’re only interested in the rations-forger.What's in the fake rations? You know to check that the stuff isn't too unhealthy for the citizens.
>>4612028people who like it can vote + to increase its score or something.>reddit karmaeww
>>4612026>Assure the old man he isn’t in trouble, you’re only interested in the rations-forger.>mercy is for the weak. If you and your ration forger aren’t filling your stomachs with the taint of ill gotten goods, you’ll be as healthy and spry as that little puke you seem to care about so much come the end of this. and with the same offer of rations for information. Real rations, for real information.
>>4612026>> Assure the old man he isn’t in trouble, you’re only interested in the rations-forger.
You feel like your blustering threats aren’t getting anywhere and decide to change tactics.“Listen, those rations are meant to be free, not scalped to desperate people who don’t have any other choice. I don’t know how that guy gets them, but don’t you think it’s a little strange how he has enough to sell to a whole level when there’s a food shortage?”The old man narrows his eyes, but his gaze seems more cognitive than spiteful. You feel like you’re winning him over.“I don’t have the heart to arrest anybody who’s just doing what they can to survive, but I have no patience or sympathy for people who take advantage of a crisis- especially when it’s possible they’re responsible for it.”> “Fine, fine! I get the point you haranguing himbo! But surely you understand, you Arbites scum aren’t the only thugs I’m risking my good health in talking to, right?”“What do you mean? Are you being threatened by somebody?”The old man groans and pinches the bridge of his nose.> “Must be a week out of the Schola- if that! Get inside before the whole level figures out that you’re green!”The old man reaches a rickety limb out and grabs you by your carapace armor. With unbelievable leverage, he yanks you out of the hallway and into his block.Block Seventy-eight was a standard Habitation Block in the Elysium-Pattern Habitation and Recreation Complex. Like nearly every other room going ten floors up and down, it was a 15x15 square foot hole carved out of a concrete wall with two tiny peripheral rooms in the back: one closet and one bathroom. You couldn’t dream of having this much space to call your own, but the garbage strewn about the furniture and floor suggests a spiteful existence within these dull-grey walls. The old man hangs a chain-lock from the door onto the wall next to it and then turns to you.> “Listen, you lummox! If you just go banging on doors asking folks about contraband, you’re putting them in danger. These walls have ears, and even if they don’t tell you nothing, if a ganger gets nabbed a day later, the bastards don’t care to be nuanced in how they retaliate.”You think back to the size of the crowd that you interrogated with the child in hand, and those looks they gave the woman who actually answered. Your stomach starts to turn.> “I’ll help you, regardless. If you die interfering, it’ll be satisfying enough for the gangers to leave the rest of us alone. If you succeed, well, I don’t actually think you’ll succeed. With any luck, you haven’t alerted the whole hab-center that I seem to be your only lead.”The old man’s lack of confidence in you stirs you from your guilt, and you frown down at him.
“I just need whatever information you can give me, and then I’ll be on my way.”> “Sure, sure, kid. Listen, I don’t know where that slimeball gets his rations from, but I know where he lives. He’s on level four, eleven levels beneath us. He’s called Blunt, by the way.”“Did you seriously go down eleven levels to pay him?”> “By the warp, you must be retarded. No, I just- saw his keys hanging out of his back pocket after he dropped my rations off. Don’t YOU be going-“The old man cuts himself off and looks at the door, wide-eyed. He scrambles into his closet, shutting the sliding wooden door. You’re about to ask what he thinks he’s doing before you hear a loud pounding against the wooden door.> “OI, PHIL! We was just at your neighbors, the one who loikes talkin to Arbites cunts! You ain’t made the same mistake as her, we trust?”You back away from the door, trying to think of your next best move. Suddenly, a stub goes through the handle, punching a hole in the lock. A boot kicks the door open, but the chain-lock stops the door from opening all the way. You see at least two scummy-looking hivers armed with stubbers on the other side of the door, and what’s worse, they see you.> “OI FEKKIN KNEW IT! LOIGHT EM UP!”>Take Cover>Loight em up.
>>4615508>Loight em up.Move forwards and take the initiative. One doorway means the fucks can't flank us. When close use our mace. When shooting first call for back-up.
>smash em.We’re in a 15ft long room, just fucking bang em up with 80%+ power maulage.
>>4615562Despite every instinct telling you to jump out of the way, you stagger in the direction of the door, doing your best to ignore how quickly it seems to be accumulating holes.As you draw your gun, you notice it for sure this time. The distinct tapping sounds accompanied by a small flicking sensation wherever you’re hit by stubs. It almost convinces you that your own autopistol will be just as ineffectual. You open fire, making a clean horizontal cut through the middle of the door with much more stubs-per-second. You hear two heavy smacks, and the shooting’s stopped, leaving just feint ringing in your ears.>Rush into Hallway>Reload IUS:(33/45)>Check on Old Man
>>4615595>Check on Old ManDefend him before rushing those fucks.
>>4615595>Check on Old Manyou're not dying on my watch. Arbites foe life!
>>4615595>Rush into Hallway
>>4615595Rush into the hallway.
>>4615595>Rush into HallwayGotta make sure they're dead before we do anything else.I wonder if this old man was from the super school like us, or was an Imperal Guardsman.
>>4615595>>Check on Old Man
Just because your armor was effective doesn’t mean it blocked every stub. You turn your head, worried that you’d see a pool of blood coming from the closet, but instead see the old man opening the closet, one of his bony hands covering his mouth, the other pointing to your left. Turning your head, you look at what remains of the wooden door. The lower hinge is blown out, and the upper hinge hangs by a single screw, the tattered wood threatening to crumble at any second. Through the many holes, you can see a red spray pattern of blood on the wall opposite you, and two bodies slumped up against each other on the floor.You clutch your Ius autopistol and inhale silently before you rush through the door, pointing your gun to the left of the doorway. There are two other thugs who you seem to have caught by surprise. Their stubbers are clutched in their hands, but they’re pointed down.>Shoot>Maul
>>4616715>MaulAttention citizen! You violated the law! Your Live rights have been terminated!
>>4616736+1knock sum noggins.
>>4616715>MaulLet's take a swing at the motherfuckers
You holster your autopistol and unsling your power maul, the audible crackling letting you know the smooth metal implement was now coated in an invisible layer of electricity.The first thug hastens his draw, but you swing it into his face and he drops his gun, spinning as he falls. The other thug starts shooting, two taps on your chest and then a resounding *ping* as you feel your head lurch back a half-inch. The realization that a bullet had hit you on the helmet stirs you into self-preservation, and you start beating the other thug several times with the maul, his body jolting every time you make contact, even when he’s on the ground.Panting, you look over the two sops who are still breathing(if only barely), and then finally re-sling your maul onto your belt. You see some gawkers at the mouth of the hallway quickly shuffle out of your view, and then a bony finger taps your shoulder, causing you to jump.Oh, it’s the old guy. Phil Major, you think his name was.> “You’ve done it now. Whole level’s gonna go up by tomorrow night.”“I had to, they were shooting at us!”> “No, numbskull, you’ve done it by asking questions all loud-like, getting everybody excited! Now these dumb bastards are gonna burn.”“Well- what about that guy- Blunt? I could go apprehend him, and maybe they’d forget about the level!”> “No use now, if they haven’t cleaned his block out, they will soon. I bet he’s in even more danger than we are right now. Plus-“The old sod takes a pause to kick the lesser-shocked thug in the stomach.> “- what are you gonna do with these two? You might want to call the local Justice Hall and tell them you’ve gone and buggered it all. Don’t worry about being reprimanded for fucking up- you lot hardly ever face the music.”You look down at the thugs, and then back at the entrance to the Atrium where you saw rubbernecking civvies just a moment ago.“I- I think I’ll…”>Go down to level four, try and capture Blunt.>Chaperone your two new bodies, interrogate them.>[Your own well-thought out suggestion to achieve any particular goal]
>>4616841>[Your own well-thought out suggestion to achieve any particular goal]Who is this old timer and why does he know so much?Loot the bodies for any useful guns, ammo, and etc. in case we need to get into a firefight, which might be soon.Will the old guy be okay?Do what the old guy suggested and call our CO? Our mentor? Boss? We know where Blunt is and got two guys. There block might be endanger.
>>4616846>>4616841SupportAsk him how does he know about all this?Call for backup and our mentor.Definitely don't leave any weapons laying around for anyone to pickup, but maybe offer the old coot a weapon from the thugs for his protection?So if I'm reading this right, either the block is gonna go out for some mob justice on blunt dude, or the higher up gangers or whatever are gonna purge this blunt guy?
>>4616846Form a fucking citizen militia with these weapons and drill the local constabulry to a decent standard. Let people baricade their buildings. Nobody fucks with the emperors citizens.
>>4617353I like this. I want to find our BIG FUCK LAW BOOK and see if we can legally do that, but in a way where they won't devolve into a gang and we'd have to go and kill them all which would restart the cycle all over.