Following the tumultuous events after his surgery, Zacharya Caine was left on Port Wander still awaiting the return of Lord Captain Hos and his crew. Aurora Neena had been spirited away by the two Inquisition agents, and he was left with an interesting story that he resolutely refused to explain to Lieutenant Roe when she and the rest of her platoon arrived for backup.
The battle had taken its toll on the Arch-Militant, and though he found that the body was self-repairing to an extent, he was unable to do so for a prolonged period of time and returned to Magos Toronos for a more complete check-up. The “female” Tech-Priest determined that the repairs were fixable, and after a brief debate Caine agreed to deliver regular downloads as to his body’s performance to Port Wander for analysis, in the hope that the Mechanicus could better understand his new augmetics. He also contacted Erasmus Boldt, who was suitably horrified to learn of the events that had transpired and agreed to pay a tidy sum to the Hos Dynasty so that the scandal did not reflect poorly on him or his family.
With time to kill before his ship returned, Caine went to the Voidfarer’s Rest confident that his upgraded senses could make him a tidy sum at gambling. Unfortunately it was no match for the Battlefleet officer’s practice, and he quickly found himself cleaned out. Before he could leave however, he was approached by Inquisitorial agent Nixios regarding the earlier offer to join the Inquisition. Despite his interest, Caine felt that he could not make a full commitment and turned the offer down. Unfortunately he learned that he did not have as much free will involved as possible, as there had already been a large amount of resources invested into tailing Jordan Roth and the Xenos she was transporting. With Caine having inadvertently ruined the operation, someone had to make it right and unfortunately that someone was Caine himself.
Reluctantly persuaded through reason and intimidation, Caine agreed to infiltrate the smuggling operation. He was briefed by Agent Varn that he would be meeting another agent in Footfall to complete a delivery at the Spire of Intoxicants. Once finished, they would capture the ringleader and discover through whatever means necessary the planet at which these Xenos originated. Disgruntled but realising he had no choice, Caine and Lieutenant Roe infiltrated the smugglers and their vessel, the Venture of Uncertain Returns. Met by Captain Daggion Deepstar, Caine realised that Varn’s “coercion” was of a similar vein to his own, and agreed to board the vessel. Deepstar assigned Callidus Astor, the man Caine previously intimidated into showing him around as a guide for the vessel, and they set off for Footfall.
Their journey was not as uneventful as Caine was used to, as the Navigator was not nearly as competent as his own. Partway through the journey, the Gellar field fluctuated and an unknown Daemonic force ravaged the ship. One of the beings attacked Caine and Roe, and the Lieutenant was heavily injured in the fight, though Caine managed to ultimately destroy the creature. Furious over the wounding of his subordinate, he barged into the under-staffed medical bay to secure treatment, and refused to leave until she was dealt with.
Fortunately the rest of the journey passed uneventfully, and the pair arrived safely at Footfall. Disembarking with the depleted drug shipment and the empty cages of the Xenos creatures, Caine was led through the smoky and unsavoury depths of the Spire of Intoxicants. En route he convinced Astor that the young deckhand’s best hope for long-term survival would be to stay with him, and convinced by the Arch-Militant’s prowess and the terrible treatment by Captain Deepstar, the young smuggler agreed.
At the meeting place, the shipment was delievered and the crew of the Uncertain Returns departed. Caine met with “Miss Styrine”, his contact at Footfall and was informed that the meeting would take place between an agent of The Beast House and their guards. Caine was to serve as a distraction during the financial exchange, during which time a bomb would hopefully destroy most of the Beast Houses forces, leaving them to capture and interrogate the leader. As Caine soon learned to his dismay, the distraction he would provide was fighting two massive Xenos hounds that were brought in for amusement of the onlookers. His plamsa rifle quickly dispatched one of the creatures, but the other was brutal and unrelenting, but after a prolonged fight he managed to put the beast down.
No sooner had he and the Beast House had relaxed, that the trap was sprung and most of the creatures were cut down. The bulk of the forces were killed in the explosion, and with Lieutenant Roe providing covering fire, Caine was able to down the surviving Beast House operatives. Unfortunately Stryine’s attempt at capture proved less effective and she was locked in combat with the Beast House operative who was not going down easy. Caine managed to also reach the combat and temporarily take her down, allowing the Inquisitorial Acolyte to sedate and capture the smuggler.
On the way back a few opportunistic muggers were quickly dispatched by a show of Caine’s power, and Hestia was interrogated by the Inquisition into revealing the planet of the Xenos’ origin. She claimed that it was Melbethe in the The Accursed Demesne, and that the planet was once the home to an empire that had fallen into ruin. Miss Styrine reported no more could be learned at this time, but if Caine could convince his captain to launch a mission to the planet to recover several breeding pairs of the creature, he would be handsomely rewarded for his time. She also informed Caine that the In Purgatio Lumen was in fact in orbit around Footfall, and the Arch-Militant could meet back up with his crew and rejoin their journey. After all the Inquisition was done with him.
For the time being…