After being dropped into Warp Space we needed to keep the crew occupied. The Captain hosted another meeting, I tried to stress the importance of drills but there was mention of a need for shipboard recreation. Not a terrible idea, but I was still worried about preparedness. So Walker suggested a boxing tournament I suggested an obstacle course and we worked in a few shipboard drills.
Then came the Lummox in the room, what were our plans to deal with a potential attack against the ship from our more subtle enemies. We strongly suspected that the Subsector Governor wants us dead and if Gears would ever get around to examining the communications beacon I gave him we might be able to prove it. However until then I suggested the idea of giving one of the officers the role of disgruntled employee, somebody who our enemies might approach if they wanted to destroy us from within. I rather failed to realise that the person best suited for this role was myself. So now I am to play the part of the villain in the hopes of uncovering true enemies.
To this end I started up a small bit of illegal gambling and bought out a supply of distilled liquor from one of the hidden stills. I managed to attract a small crowd of likely suspects at the gambling table. Hopefully whilst not spreading actual dissent too far. Thankfully my falling out with the Captain over the recent events in the battle against the Orks was fresh in the rumour mill and people bought my dissatisfaction quite readily. I noticed Johnathan, one of Walkers people there as well, likely doing the same job as I was.
I arranged an obstacle course race in an area of the ship known as the Twistings. The abandoned corridors and empty spaces where bulky equipment was once removed for a refit and never replaced. The whole area is a warren of improvised storage so I set up an obstacle course through the whole area. Unfortunately I advertised it poorly and several clerical errors meant that it clashed with the ships duty roster schedule.
Needless to say it wasn't a complete disaster and Senechal Hill was of immense help.
I heard the Captain also uncovered corruption of the worst kind in the mess hall. The selling of vital food supplies on a deep space assignment. The few people responsible were lashed, stripped of their titles, and would be put off at the next port, their names struck from the record. I initially suggested a more brutal and informal punishment of letting the crew take their own revenge, but the captain wanted to discourage disobedience that would lead to potential mutiny.
I scheduled in a combat simulation drill. To support my cover, I found a simulation that was far more difficult than it would at first appear. A single Eldar raider, much smaller than the Final Offer, seemingly easy prey to the inexperienced Captain. with its solar sails, holofields and devastating weapons it was more than a match for us. The Captain misjudged the approach and let the enemy get on the Starboard side of the vessel and then the gunnery left much to be desired. In the end the ships simulation ended with the Final Offer destroyed.
On the one hand this will be an invaluable lesson for the Captain about underestimating Eldar vessels, which I have little doubt we may encounter soon enough and on the other hand it gives me a support for my act of distrusting the Captain. I am sure the crew noticed the fiction and I gave a passable attempt at fabricating an argument. I need to work on that.
Once all was said and done, I went down to take part in the officers boxing tournament, unfortunately they separated it into an augmented and unaugmented league. My prosthetics are geared towards delicacy and precision more than raw strength and I was knocked out almost immediately. Walker on the other hand managed to get through to the finals of the Augmented league only to be knocked out by a mountain of a missionary.
The awards were given, surprisingly generously a bottle of the rare vintage we picked up from New Terra as well as a large cash purse.
However almost the instant the awards were over, we took a glancing hit to the port side. Rushing to the bridge we floundered about as of course we have no external visibility. The senior navigator eventually deigned to tell us that we had struck a warp shoal and were temporarily adrift.
We also detected a nearby vessel a missing star clipper. After much debate we sent a probe to investigate. The other ship had struck the reef head on and its front had buckled. The probe buried inside but quickly hit a bulkhead without finding anything terribly significant.
So we resolved to go over in person to investigate. The Captain opted to remain behind for good reason, as any journey outside a ship in warp space is insane. However with Fawkes help I guided the ship slowly alongside the smaller vessel out of arc of any of its guns close enough for the gellar fields to overlap.
The vessel was partially powered having been lost for about 6 months it only had gravity, life support and gellar field active.
We boarded finding no signs of the crew but plenty of signs of a struggle and gnawed human bones. The Temple showed some signs of previous habitation, but nothing recent, so we struck out for the bridge, where we grabbed the log and the primary bridge cogitator before looking for the Captains quarters. inside I grabbed a valuable looking goblet and Walker took the warrant of trade.
Then a Fyre cat broke down the door and nearly skewered Gears, fortunately he rolled to the side just in time and I unloaded a semi-auto burst into the beast.
We immediately left and ran for the shuttle. However another cat jumped down on me from the ceiling and got me in the back. A thin but deep scratch tore into me leaving me with a cold bitter wound, but between the three of us we killed it handily. Fleeing further we were cut off and needed to go through a bulkhead door into the medical section of the ship. We found that their doctor had been experimenting on the animals to devise a counter-agent to the deadly neurotoxin. This was a problem, as by now both myself and Walker were feeling the effects. The only cure needed a sample of the predator its self. So we grabbed a cryo tube with a pregnant female inside and high tailed it to the exit, I dropped a few grenades behind us. Thankfully it blew out a major conduit and caused a larger explosion than I expected. I emerged dazed and we got to the main airlock just in time as the beasts threw themselves at the closing airlock door.
When back aboard the ship we were rushed to the medicae bay and working with the doctors I managed to help them synthesise an antidote.
Better still our navigators estimates were wrong and we reached our destination faster than expected. I was bed-bound for a few days and we managed to off-load the miners without incident. Everything was accounted for thanks to the Captain, who made sure nobody was left behind.
Now I await a bit of time in port to do some shopping and maybe get the macro batteries upgraded.