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Tales from Vigilus webpages

A set of five Tales from Vigilus stories were posted on the Warhammer Community website, the second of which is an account of the Death Guard invasion of the planet.

Tainted Cargo

+++Adeptus Arbites pict recorder footage log spool 966.54+++
+++Vigilus calendar [chronological corruption detected]+++
+++Location: Dontoria Hivesprawl, Quadrant Alpha-Tertius, Litmus Dock+++
+++Local time: [chronological corruption detected]+++
+++Classification: pending... pending... pending...+++

My lady and most noble Inquisitor, please find below the transcript that you requested in its entirety. I apologise for its quality. My adepts cannot account for the corruption that the data-stacks appear to have suffered. A priest is attending to them but I fear the entire stack-unit will have to be burned post-haste. It is my most fervent hope that you will still be able to make use of the information here imparted. I have transcribed it as best I could.

If I can be of any further service to you, I would ask only that you let me know in what way I might aid the Holy Ordos and your magnificent person once again.

Your most unworthy and devoted servant,

Scriptum-Collatus First-class Lamentabus Mogue

Transcript Commences>>>

PICT RECORDER 1: View of Litmus Dock, Cargo Jetty Alpha. The mooring is a hive of activity, flanked by industrial tower stacks and squat hab-blocks. It is lit by arc-lumen on tall iron poles and numerous burning braziers. Lumbering hauler-barges and shuttles of varied patterns come and go from the grav-moorings along the jetty. Auto-gangways are manoeuvred into position. They allow passengers to disembark into the massed labourers, cargo servitors, preachers, Guardsmen, hawkers and other assorted citizenry who throng the docks and the walkways beyond. Many refugees can be seen huddled in groups on every available flat surface, sporadically being moved on by patrolling Arbites.

PICT RECORDER 2: Switch to Cargo Jetty Beta. Heavier military presence here, Valhallan garrison force, snarlwire fences, stablights, minimal civilian presence. Imperial navy shuttles and lighters come and go here in orderly fashion. Two Valhallans can be seen laughing at some shared jest.

PICT RECORDER 3: View of a stretch of transitway 544/6 that lies to the rear of the dock. Civilian vehicles and military transports form a constant two-way stream along the ferrocrete, the ten lanes of carriageway orchestrated at speed by remote transit cogitators.

PICT RECORDER 2: The Valhallans' mirth is interrupted. One of them holds up a hand to the other, frowning as he attends to his vox unit. His eyes widen and he looks skywards at something out of shot.

***21% static degradation develops on image at this stage***

Transcript Interjection>>> One presumes, my lady, that this is where matters begin to go awry. - LM

PICT RECORDER 1: A commotion can be seen amongst the folk thronging Jetty Alpha. Some are pointing skywards. Others are staring. The refugees do neither of these things; instead, they have already begun to flee, bearing their meager belongings with them.

***audio corruption [fragmentary data-exhumation suggests the sounds of heavy calibre gunfire, possibly from Litmus Dock's short-range defence turrets]***

***pict feed spools at half speed and then cuts out. Audio baffled here to remove disturbing and potentially corrupting elements***

PICT RECORDER 3: Disruption amidst the traffic flow. Refugees fleeing from Jetty Alpha are attempting to cross the carriageways. There are several collisions. Some vehicles accelerate. Others slow, skid or halt altogether. There are further collisions. Auto-cogitators begin to deploy calming measures and recovery servitors.

***audio corruption, visual flare-out from left hand side of screen [evidence of a considerable impact commensurate with the deployment of large scale ordnance or a substantial vehicular impact]***

PICT RECORDER 2: Sentries on Jetty Beta are raising their lasguns, intoning arming prayers and moving swiftly out of shot in the direction of Jetty Alpha. A Valhallan officer can be seen shouting and gesticulating as a troop shuttle slides in to dock at Jetty Beta. Signs of physical degradation can be noted across the vehicle's hull [sub-ref corrosive contagion, possible heretical contaminants, evidence of biomechanical growth, tri-lobe symbol]. The shuttle's troop-bay doors open.

***partial audio and visual wash out. Muzzle flares visible in the shuttle's troop bay entrance. Static disruption of image increases to 35%***

The Valhallan officer is hit by multiple projectiles. His body jerks and then explodes as though munitions have triggered inside him. Valhallan soldiers meet similar fates. Those making for Jetty Alpha can be seen turning and re-entering shot, attempting to martial themselves into a formation while continuing to take substantial fire. Though they are largely obscured by static on the image, massive figures can be made out stamping down the shuttle's auto-gangway and firing into the gathering Valhallans. Lasbolts and grenades batter them, but the ponderous invaders seem untroubled. They continue to fire, their movements made jerky by image-spooling failure, and more Valhallans die.

***visual feed cuts out***

Transcript Interjection>>> It is shocking, is it not, to see such violence against servants of the Emperor within our own cities? How can such a thing have been permitted? One hopes, but would never presume to suggest, my lady, that those responsible for this disaster will be found out and punished suitably! - LM

PICT RECORDER 1: ***visual restored, though spooling is erratic and static disruption varies from 42-70%***

The scene is apocalyptic. A heavy cargo hauler can be seen driven like a spear into the jetty, its prow broken away at an extreme angle from its aft quarters. It has evidently come in at considerable speed. Damage from heavy armaments can be seen upon its ruptured hull, which is aflame and also evidencing substantial unnatural corruption. The hauler's cargo grapples have disengaged and multiple Munitorum-standard cargo containers have spilled across the jetty. Wreckage, bodies and fire are everywhere. Several braziers have been toppled and their contents added to the blaze. The cargo containers cycle their hatches to open. Movement now visible inside.

***partial visual and audio corruption. Dirge-like moans can be heard over the crackle of flames and the screams of the wounded***

Figures begin to emerge from the containers in prodigious numbers. They affect a shambling gait and severe physical corruption. Some are aflame but do not appear troubled by this. Valhallan soldiers can be seen entering shot. Despite partial static on the image, it can be seen that they are firing lasguns and throwing grenades into the advancing figures.

Transcript Interjection>>> How monstrous these terrible creatures are! Can they possibly ever have been human? - LM

PICT RECORDER 3: ***image showing 49% static degradation, audio entirely baffled due to extreme corruption, spooling intermittent***

Seven lanes of traffic have come to a complete stop at this stage. The remaining three are gridlocked as enormous quantities of transport vehicles attempt to funnel through the bottleneck with little success. Refugees are still fleeing between them, causing substantial disruption. The Arbites' attempts to control the chaos are insufficient. Fresh panic can be seen spreading through figures on the road and inside vehicles as a dark shadow falls across this section of carriageway. Vehicles lurch violently as their passengers attempt to wrest control and are locked out by traffic auto-cogitators. Refugees and Arbites alike can be seen fleeing in all directions, some plunging into the flames of burning wrecks in their panicked haste to escape.

***image suddenly obscured. Flash flare and complete degradation of image. Cracks craze the pict recorder lens and its machine spirit expires***

PICT RECORDER 4: ***Awakening runes flash across a reserve pict recorder's lens. Visual comes online, only audio is choral exclamation of machine spirit awakening. Visual is already 35% static-washed, but shows another, more distant angle of transitway 544/6***

A second heavy hauler has come down upon the transitway and caused utter devastation. It is broken in two across the carriageways, and cargo containers have spilled from within its flaming innards. They are open, and fresh waves of the moaning, stumbling figures are emerging. Low estimate of their numbers would be one to two thousand. Their bodies evidence extreme signs of both disease and mutation. A few Arbites attempt to fight, and are swiftly dragged down.

Transcript Interjection>>> A truly monstrous scene. My most heartfelt apologies for conveying it to you, my lady Inquisitor; I can only imagine you have felt the same deep-seated horror as I at witnessing this atrocity unfold. - LM

PICT RECORDER 1: ***image now barely visible due to static and spooling issues***

Valhallan soldiery can be seen retreating in good order, firing as they go. Their shots bring down shambling figures, but hundreds more follow on their heels and the Astra Militarum soldiery are being overrun. Voxmen speak intently into vox horns, presumably requesting reinforcements. Panic has not yet claimed these men, but it is close. The plague mutants advance inexorably.

***image washes out with static, corruption now at 91%***

PICT RECORDER 2: ***image returns for a moment. Static corruption is low, estimated at only 7%, but something obscures much of the visual feed. Dark shapes move and squirm across the pict recorder's lens. Audio is a persistent drone***

Through the corrupted image we see that there are no remaining Valhallan soldiery alive on Jetty Beta. The vessel has been scuttled and ploughed into the walkways between jetties Alpha and Beta, severing their links and leaving a mountain of flaming wreckage to block access to the military jetty. Massive figures can be seen moving out of shot in the opposite direction from Jetty Alpha and the transitway. It can be extrapolated that they are accessing the service hatches leading to vent-stack 77, and from there potentially any of a number of low-hive districts. The pict recorder will not capture these figures properly, it warps and blisters around them, but a suggestion can be made out of enormous bulk, of pale-green armour consistent with that of an old and severely corrupted Mk III power armour pattern, and diseased, mutated flesh.

Transcript Interjection>>> Could it be that this entire tragedy was but a diversion so that these monstrous beings might escape notice? Who, or what, could they be? - LM

PICT RECORDER 4: ***image degradation already at 84%. Audio wholly baffled***

Astra Militarum armoured transports can be seen shunting aside wreckage as they converge upon the crashed hauler. Turret and hull weapons fire. Soldiery deploy from their vehicles and establish firing lines. Sentinels stalk through the wreckage, multi-lasers spitting shots. They are attempting to cordon off the area and contain the outbreak of plague mutants, but the conditions are hellish. Fire leaps and spreads by the moment, vehicle fuel tanks explode. Smoke billows, obscuring sight lines and choking soldiers. It is evident that, as wave upon wave of plague mutants continue to emerge from the crashed hauler and to stumble into shot from the direction of Jetty Alpha, the outbreak is escalating in severity with terrifying swiftness. Amongst the fallen a number of figures begin to stir and then to rise, their flesh now showing advanced states of corruption, their visages fixed in leering grins.

***image washes out, corruption at 98%, image spooling fails***

Transcript Interjection>>> I pray to the Emperor himself that these monstrous creatures have all been destroyed. I fear in my heart that it is not so. - LM

PICT RECORDER 2: Jetty Beta is empty. The bulky figures are gone, undetected and unchallenged amidst the mayhem.

***image spooling fails***

PICT RECORDER 1: ***image spooling fails***

Transcript Ends>>>