Fate 40k: Pandora Expanse

Expected encounters are never on the red carpet
Second session intro

Erszebet duVal stepped down from the carrier right into the bustling crowd on space port Pandora Station on a gloomy, cloudy day. The sky on the center dome was constantly purple and covered by clouds of a darker shade which gave the whole port an ominous look if not for the busybodies that lingered around the port in search of a job or another.

She was wearing long crimson robes more fit to her rightful status of heiress duVal than to her desired militant rank. Erszebet belonged to the Order of the Silver Cross as Constantia Advance, being in her final stage of the Noviciate without fully confirming her complete devotion to the Imperial Creed yet. Underneath her robes she had a custom-made flak armor designed for her feminine shape which protected the upper body and similar greaves on her legs.

The welcoming committee gave Erszebet an unforgettable first impression by being absent. It was unusual, for Daran had always been on time in the old days. Not many years have passed since her exile to the Sororitas, but enough for both of them to have changed. She was to be the captain and owner of a trade ship and she trusted the old man enough to not worry about paperwork, supplies or the crew. A new life was there waiting for her and all she had to do was to boldly reach out and grasp it, confident in her ability to rule House DuVal. The Sister-to-be understood very well that her brother could not be trusted and assumed that her arrival was kept secret – but so much as Daran to completely miss it? Loud voices drew her attention to the other terminal where a group of people was making more noise than any other on the port.

“ …… told you to ….. terminal X5…. YES, SHE WILL HAVE LUGGAGE YOU IDIOT…..” she heard dispersed words carried by the wind and recognized Daran’s voice.

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Always remember a lady's name
First session

“If Daran duVal’s life would ever be written down, I am sure the book would sell millions of copies.” Those were the words Papa duVal chose to use whenever someone asked him why he kept Daran so close to the family when he was not of their own upbringing. He couldn’t be closer to the truth. Even when given such a simple mission as escorting the duVal heiress throughout a relatively well-guarded station Daran’s unique charm proved disastrous.

He gathered an interesting and unexpected group of crew members, far too few to count as an ideal crew, but that didn’t stop him from carrying out his mission. Nix and Tera, while not proving to be the sanest of the bunch, were very useful in keeping him out of trouble. And that trouble had a name, a name he sorely remembered despite the attractive body it came with. Reuniting with Crina was a scene filled with fireworks and lascannon shots, not-so-canny disguises and tram accidents. Yet not all of it proved in vain, for they finally made it to the duVal Summer House where uncle “Banjo”, the senile of the family was more than happy to provide gelts upon gelts for their usual expenses. His steward Carlton however did not share his enthusiasm.

“What happened to Crina? Why was she chased by those horribly dressed thugs? How did she know the way to the Summer Estate?” These would all be valid questions in Daran’s mind if his brain wouldn’t be otherwise clogged with nonsense and Crina’s three sizes, but luckily for him he had a wise medicae and an insane penal soldier to lead him to the right direction. Which had to be in fact their first and only destination: where the Sisters’ ship was docked.

Crina disappeared into the luxurious vaults of the Summer House taken by the steward, her identity discovered and fate unknown. Yet she left Daran a little present in the folds of his commissar coat.
As the little group of scandal made its way to the docks, none was certain that things will go smoothly from then on. Some maybe even didn’t wish it. Yet one thing was for sure: it was Nix and Tera’s time to prove themselves.

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Extracts from Daran DuVal's log
The taking of Celestine

It was a routine inspection of the ship’s crew and functioning state, but I knew what was about to happen and so did my retinue guard, it was nothing short of mutiny, some would brand us as traitors…but only if we failed, and I was not about to fail right at the beginning.

My guard units were ready to follow me and house DuVal’s true heir to their deaths, a sacrifice I would not make lightly. The corridors were narrow, given the size of the ship, it was not the biggest ship I ever saw, quite old and in disrepair for my taste, but it held huge value nonetheless, we advanced in a 2 man line formation towards the bridge, where hopefully we would find all the senior officers. We were going to murder them in cold blood. The bridges guard seemed well trained and quite trigger happy given the fact that there were other guard units on their ship. The captain approached to greet us, I put a bold in his head and shot him dead, it felt good. My retinue opened fire but we were, as expected, quickly overwhelmed. We picked up priority targets, officers and leftenants and proceeded to fall back, with somewhat heavy losses. It was looking grim. We took a side passage to regroup, and at the corner of my eye I saw him, a brutish looking man, clearly Imperial Guard, but strangely over geared for his rank, he wore a carapace armor, a melta gun in one hand and a helllas carbine with a power pack in his other. He looked more like a soldier of fortune than an honorable member of the imperial guard.

“You there, who are you "
He looked at me.
“Nix” he grunted
“You don’t look like a guard”
“Penal” he said
What luck did the Emperor bestowed upon me this fine day.
“And what are you doing here ?”
“Collecting gear”
Dear lord, he’s either very good or a dimwit, either way I need him.
“Help me take over the ship”
“Why?”
“I’ll make you a leftenant”
“Dont need it”
“What do you want?”
“Gear”
“How about XYZ ?”
“Done”

He was indeed good, almost like a madman, needless to say, we took the bridge within the hour, and soon after the whole ship gave up. We were victorious, and the victors can’t be traitors.

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Extracts from Erszebet's Log
Youth and glory

Ten years prior to current events

I have decided to flee the nest earlier than my father expected, though if I am to be honest, “never” would be too early for him. They all see me like some pampered daughter, lucky to be firstborn and heiress to this vast wealth father is so diligently trying to control, when in fact I have been under military rule since I first started to walk. I suspect that Papa wished for his firstborn to be a man and now I am to suffer for his great disappointment, undergoing harsh training and even harsher words, every day. Why does it surprise him, then, that I refuse to obey when everything he ever did was not for me, but for ‘the family’? His only family is his Thrones and mines and silk coats which I found great delight in shredding to pieces the other week. Of course Daran got to watch over me as punishment, good ol’ Daran in whom Papa trusts the most and who has now to play babysitter. Serves him right, I’ll never forgive him for telling father of my books. Yes, Papa forbade them in the country and many died trying to save the knowledge he so stubbornly refuses to gain himself, so why wouldn’t I keep a few for safekeeping?

Well today I get rid of everything. I escape the boring speeches, the rigid trainings, father’s old ideas and Daran’s stubbornness to watch my every move. He’s just like a shadow, only annoying and loud.

Erszebet closed the journal and wrapped it in silk, hiding it behind the tiles depicting the DuVal symbol. It was in the middle of the night that she decided to get out of the manor through the windows of her room helped by a hooking cable and a lot of courage. The building was huge, more than 60% of it acting as a plant for producing alloys. Her father liked to be part of his business, the eccentric old fool.

She wore the worker’s uniform and planned to sneak out acting as part of the night shift. It seemed that Daran however was slyer than she thought. He waited for her to actually go down the manor walls, as dangerous as it was and as long as it took, before placing a hand on her shoulder just as she was looking around the corner. It freaked her out.
“And where might you be heading at this hour, Ms. DuVal?”

She was decided not to let this minor inconvenience stop her.

“None of your business.” Erszebet replied without turning to face him. “I’ll be back by sunrise, don’t worry. Papa won’t know…unless you tell him.” She then turned, eyeing him with a threatening gaze that didn’t seem to do much then. “Lapdog.” she spat.

“There isn’t anything to tell if you go back up right now.” He pointed out casually, looking up the wall. “And it’s a very long climb, might just take you the whole night.”

“Or.” She grabbed his knife and pulled it out of its hold in one swift move, pointing it to her leg, ready to plunge it in her flesh. “I’ll tell father how you failed to stop my escape AND protect me from the mine rebels downtown.” she threatened, lifting the blade high up.

“Alright.” Daran finally said. “You have one night and I’ll come with you. We return by sunrise and none of us will ever speak about it.”

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