"The Fall of Solace"- Mean Streets

Inquisitor Sand stared at the report that had accompanied the surveillance video from one of Solace’s main manufactorums. The report and video provided more questions than answers and the Inquisitor was not yet sure where to make inquires.

The planet of Solace was a warzone. The catastrophic impact of the Imperial cruiser on the capital hive and the unleashed Genestealers and underhive criminals, heretics and cultists running amuck were mostly contained and being dealt with but the threat of this new Xenos, called the Necrons, was rampaging across the planet. Since their initial appearance, their attacks increased in frequency and were largely unchecked as the Imperial and planetary authorities mainly turned their attention to dealing with the civil strife and Genestealer threat. Many ships had long since fled the system after the sighting of Eldar starships and the accompanying Imperial cruiser’s impact with the hive city, and since Inquisitor Sand had ordered a Quarantine Zone placed around the planet, the only ships present in-system were the ships of the Imperial Navy and the rogue trader vessel, the Arcadia. The official reason for the quarantine was to prevent the spread of Genestealer infestation, and while that reason was surely of import, the main unofficial reason was to put a stop to the spread of information about this new Xenos species which appeared to reside in extensive subterranean complexes in the planet’s crust.

It took some time, but the Imperial and planetary forces, under Inquisitor Sand’s command, finally had the Genestealer and underhive threat at what were deemed manageable levels and were able to direct resources toward the Necrons. Luckily, the planet had a stockpile of weapons and equipment destined for the warzone of the Spinward Front and Inquisitor Sand directed these resources to be used locally. This decision has provided the beleaguered forces the edge they needed to start addressing the Necron threat; with stockpiles of ammunition, weapons and military vehicles, the Imperial and planetary forces were able to take on the technologically advanced Necrons by excessively expending their over-abundant stockpile. Considered wasteful by some, this excessiveness appeared to be effective as the Necrons were pushed back time and time again by overwhelming firepower. Unfortunately the Necron threat continued, the stockpiles were diminishing and the defenders started taking more and more losses every day. Inquisitor Sand had hoped for Imperial reinforcements by now, but with the warzones in the Spinward Front taking priority, these had yet to arrive.

Fortunately, the Tech-Priests of Solace were able to get their manufactorums up and running to higher outputs than their already exorbitant quotas to replenish the depleting stockpiles and it looked like the odds were again swaying in the Imperium’s favor. That was until the first atomic weapon went off.

Initially, it was believed to be a catastrophic explosion from a faulty operation or mechanical failure at one of the manufactorums, but the sensor readings were unmistakable- it was an atomic weapon. Banned by the Imperium thousands of years ago, atomics were deemed illegal for manufacture and use because of the radiation obstacle they caused after their deployment- reclamation efforts were made that much more difficult and mainly relied on more expensive and resource-intensive efforts by the Adeptus Mechanicus. Just because atomics were banned did not mean they did not exist- the criminal underworld and low-tech dictators built and acquired such devices. Inquisitor Sand had thoroughly inquired to Deacon/Acting Planetary Governor Coleridge about the existence of atomics on Solace and Coleridge insisted he had no knowledge of such weapons in the planet’s stockpiles or rumored to be amongst the criminal element. The Inquisitor was certain the priest was being truthful (he had pissed himself under questioning), but Coleridge was just a puppet and Sand was doubtful that he truly knew anything of actual importance.

After the first atomic detonation that crippled the manufactourm (which had yet to come back online) there had been five more atomic detonations- all at manufactorums with crippling effects. The mighty manufacturing apparatus of the Adeptus Mechanicus ground to a halt and, with still no reinforcements, the Necrons gained ground in several strategic locations, including the destruction of what little manufacturing infrastructure remained. The depleted Imperial and planetary forces were back on the defensive and holed up in fortified positions while the Necrons laid waste to the countryside and made frequent forays into the hive cities and other populated areas. The situation on Solace looked bleak and Inquisitor Sand was in serious doubt about the ability of stopping the Necrons without reinforcements.

He turned to the frame he had frozen from the surveillance video that originated from the last manufactorum destroyed by atomics. There was no doubt about the figure- it was clearly an Adeptus Astarates but clad in the bone-white robe and green-colored power armor of Space Marine Chapter called the Dark Angels; the Chapter’s symbol clearly displayed on the right shoulder pauldon. The armor appeared to be different than that worn by the Dark Angel Deathwatch Space Marine Dante, it was an older-type but appeared in pristine condition and was no doubt a relic from the time the Emperor walked the galaxy. This video and other Intelligence had confirmed it, this was the person responsible for setting up the atomics in the manufactorums. Why would a loyalist space marine do such a thing? What was going on? The video and Intelligence regarding this unusual suspect had been seized and lockdown immediately after Sand was made aware of it, but much had already been leaked out to the public and planetary officials and they were now accusing the Dark Angels of allying with the Necrons and committing acts of sabotage to speed the destruction of the loyalist forces.

Sand had heard of the various Inquisition rumors surrounding the Dark Angels questioning their allegiance to the Imperium, but nothing had ever been confirmed. This information was damning in the eyes of the populace of Solace and Inquisitor Sand needed answers. He was hoping to get some from Dante but the Dark Angel Space Marine has not been heard from since he left a week and half ago to scout out the threat of the underhive mutants, which was another strange coincidence…

* GM’s Note: This mission was inspired from the Car Wars Adventure “Mean Streets” by W.G. Armintrout. It can be found on the Steve Jackson Games website “here

"The Fall of Solace"- Mean Streets

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