The team hurried attempted to hail the military ships surrounding Ritammeron. Eventually they were able to make contact with the commander of the fleet of ships Commodore Viri Fortissimi.
Callidon asked for leave to make port at Ritammeron but the commodore was initially unwilling to let The Stalwart Venturer through and into the planet. She said that the Stalwart Venturer was presumed lost in the warp or void after disappearing in The Charnel Stars.
However Octavius was able to persuade the commodore to believe them, vouching for the team as the true masters of the Stalwart Venturer.
The commodore left them in order to communicate with the governor of Ritammeron, Lord Burne, with regards to the landing of the ship. She returned to tell the crew that instead of passage to Ritammeron the Stalwart Venturer had been given leave to dock at Astraeus. Mordechai was able to discern that the commodore was not happy about sending the Stalwart Venturer into Astraeus.
Callidon, once the navy ships stood down, asked the commodore for the current year. The team discovered that it had been 15 years since they left the Kirtin Research Facility.
Mordechai was asked by Callidon to try to send a message to Godwinne in order to put the team back in contact with Benetek resources. Mordechai sent the following message out towards Footfall in the hopes it would be received by Godwinne.
_To Godwinne / Benetek Family
Stalwart Venturer back from Charnel Stars.
Time has passed in our absence.
Please get in contact._
The message was sent using encryption with Callidon’s code word “Ozymandias”.
After receiving the leave to move to Astraeus Callidon talked to the crew over the vox. He told them that if any of them were intending to desert or otherwise were not intending on staying faithful to the ship, that they should board the halo barge for separate transportation down to the planet. Callidon was able to convince a great number of the crew to leave this way under the guise of a peaceful parting of ways. However, unbeknownst to the crew, Callidon worked together with the Commodore to pick up the halo barge in transit, arresting the leaving crew as traitors. The crew that left and the halo barge was taken away by the navy for processing.
The Stalwart Venturer is now running very low on crew members both from their excursion into the Charnel Stars and the loss of a halo barge’s worth of crew. It its primarily staffed with military personnel. Few of these left the ship thanks to the rapport Vulgrim had managed to seed in the military personnel, particularly with the rescue of Major Steve Harker.
Meanwhile, Felix has been trying to make direct contact with Lord Burne, but has so far been unsuccessful.
As the team docked at Astraeus they set out with an away team in order to scout the area for reputable shipwrights and crew. Lanni was denied the chance to come along with the team. Kuurahn, whilst leaving with the away team, left his gun behind intentionally.
As the away team began to explore Astraeus they quickly found that outside of the aging starport the colony was a crime-riddled slum. As they travelled down the roads the team noticed the looks and stares that they were causing throughout the colony.
As the roads gave way to dirt tracks through the ramshackle buildings the team came across a number of people barring their passage on the street. Octavius and Vulgrim, perhaps too intent on their surroundings, failed to notice the gang signs and symbols on their clothing. These signals did not pass by Kuurahn and Callidon however.
As the gang members of “The Blood Bullets” started to close in on the group Mordechai made the first move, terrifying the nearest gang member who passed out onto the muddy ground. After kicking away the gang member’s shotgun the fight truly got underway.
One of the gang members through smoke grenades in an attempt to confuse the team and give their members time to run and set up their weaponry. Vulgrim, however, was having none of it and unloaded heavy ordinance into the slum, toppling walls and turning buildings into swiss cheese. Meanwhile the servitor began to dispatch, painfully, the gang members within it’s reach.
At that point, shots began to zip through the area. The team discovered that they were surrounded with snipers on the rooftops of the slums. Octavius was badly wounded by one of the snipers but Kuurahn and Callidon were able to drag him into a nearby house in order to get him out of the line of fire and patch up the missionary.
Meanwhile, Vulgrim was going toe-to-toe with the grenade throwing gang member, deftly jumping out of the way of grenades. Mordechai and the serivtor were also unharmed by the grenades and made to track down the snipers for the team to destroy.
In holy vengeance for being shot, Octavius burned a sniper alive on their rooftop. Meanwhile Vulgrim, whilst managing to remain unharmed as the grenades rained down around him, jammed weapon after weapon in his ceaseless attempt to kill the grenade-wielding gang member.
Callidon took down another sniper whilst Octavius helped out Vulgrim by burning another gang member that was attempting to flank the team.
Whilst the gang members are decreasing they have sent for help. Kuurahn, using his auspex device has noticed a group of people heading swiftly towards their position. Can the team finish up with these snipers before the new group arrives?