Inquisitor lord Dominic Cisnerro Arch Interrogator of the ordo Malleus of the holy Inquisition of Terra met his mentor old lord Aurelius in the inquisitorial headquarters of Mondus Centurium on Alfa Secundus. They met in the main hall of the church.
“Greetings my master, what brings you here out of retirement?” Said Cisnerro
“My old bones are constantly protesting, but I guess a little exercise now and then is better than to just sit and wait for the end” The ancient man said as he adjusted his glasses. At more than 2 centuries he was way beyond what juvenat treatments could stall. Though thin as a bird inside his voluminous robes and with paper like brittle skin, he was still possessed of a certain vitality, one mostly springing from the keenness of his mind. There was no way the old man would just be waiting around for any end whatsoever. Cisnerro knew that, as he would often use Aurelius as an advisor and Aurelius himself found it hard to stay out of Inquisition business anyway and would often meddle in the affairs the inquisition. His advice and uncanny ability to foresee events had on many occasions saved the day.
“Have you heard of the industrial complex and research facility called Lesotho 2-12?” The ancient one said. Not waiting for a reply he continued “I’ve had a worrying report about doctor Ignace Valantion, head of the research facility. Some rumour out of the Lesotho complex have reached my ears, telling that he is conducting biological experiments on the inmates of the nearby correctional facility and maybe even on some of the population of the Lesotho complex as well. So looked a little closer at it, I had a hunch so to speak. Trawling through data files from the research facility, I divined that he is mostly working on developing viral strains. possibly as weapon development, on that account alone we need to impose imperial control of what he is doing.
Delving deeper into the data files I get the impression that doctor Valantion has had dealings with representatives from the dark Mechanicum. It seems that whatever research he and his team is conducting is of a malefic nature and purely for their own gains and not for the benefit of the Imperium nor its people.” He sighed “Just as I discovered the connection with the dark Mechanicum, Lesotho 2-12 went silent, I have not had any reports from there or any data recently. I have a feeling that doctor Valantion and his experiments are spinning out of control. He must be investigated further, I have a very bad feeling about what is going on, but I do not have the power of the Inquisition itself at my fingertips, nor the health to go there myself.”
Dominic looked him in the eye and saw the heartbreaking worry the old man must be feeling. There must be more to it than what it seems, he must have good reasons to feel so anxious about this, he thought. “My agent Marcel de la Torres is in a nearby system, I can send him an astropathic message to investigate Lesotho 2-12 further and bring word of what is actually going on or maybe even apprehend doctor Valantion himself.”
“No no no! Do not confront him directly, he is much too powerful for that, we need to take greater measures as soon as we have a better idea of what we are up against. I sence the ruinous powers at play here.”
“De la Torres can be there within a couple of days, Terran standard. I will see to it myself immediately” Cisnerro said “Meanwhile I shall investigate what dealings Valantion or his contacts have had outside Lesotho 2-12. We’ll get to the root of this and if necessary stamp it out before it becomes a threat!”
The jump had only taken De la Torres 48 hours. Cisnerro had called upon him to investigate the Lesotho complex and doctor Ignace Valantion, who was the head of the resident research facility. Top priority! The cultists he was investigating would have to wait. He brought his old friend Ivan Korsch, formerly of the Adeptus Arbites, a top fighter and an astute investigator as well, the best company one could have if things went wrong…
At first upon arrival in the Lesotho Complex, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They asked a few questions and people seemed not to think anything was out of the ordinary. It was a huge labyrinthine manufactorum, self-contained in every way. It was home to thousands of workers and their families. It continued many miles below ground, level after level.
As Marcel and Ivan continued downwards the mood of the residents changed gradually, becoming more and more tense and maybe even fearful, yet no one would voluntarily tell what was going on. “Maybe they don’t want to, maybe they are too scared or maybe they just do not know, but sense that something is wrong” he mused.
As they progressed further and further downwards, the tunnels became increasingly dirty and rusty to look upon. At some point they realised that there was no more people skulking about. “It looks like this part of the complex is abandoned” Marcel said.
“We have no data about any part, that should be abandoned” Korsch said “I think we are getting closer to the research facility and the correctional facility, the place ought to be rather busy”
They split up in order to cover more ground and try to find out more.
Marcel went quietly on tiptoe down endless corridors. They had agreed on a rendezvous two hours later, hopefully with some information to bring back. He entered a larger room with holding tanks and many different vats, many of which seemed to be made of glass and looked like they contained organic matter. He shuddered as he looked closer at what could only be human body parts floating inside a holding tank. There were many lab tables, with all manner of research equipment. It looked like everything had been left in a hurry. As Marcel got nearer to a large holding tank, he noticed that it contained rotten corpses in water. “I hope they don’t get their water supply from there” He thought with a shudder. “This is so wrong” he thought as he moved on towards a light seeping round a corner in the other end of the room.
One of the corpses opened its eyes!
It stared at him and the mouth started to work frantically, like it was shouting inside the water.
It started banging its fists on the inside of the glass!
The water looked like it was boiling.
The other corpses came forth as well, shouting silently and banging on the glass.
Marcel felt something wet hit his face, a drop of water! The glass was cracking! He backed up, tripped over a lab table, got up, backed further away, then with an ear-splitting crack, the tank burst, water and corpses flooded the laboratory!
There was an overpowering awful smell of rotten meat and death. He was drenched in the water, which felt slimy and smelled like the dead itself.
There was a growling panting sound as the corpses from the holding tank slowly and awkwardly got to their feet. There were many! They were all around.
Marcel de la Torres ran to the exit. They were closing in. Marcel shot those that got in his way, he hit them with his shock maul, he could move them with the maul, but they seemed immune to the electrical shock of the weapon! When he hit them with his gun, they would fall over, shots might even rip holes in them and damage, but they got up and kept coming at him.
Just then Ivan Korsch crashed in through the door, firing his bolter left and right, the mass reactives had a much more destructive effect on the corpses. They got literally ripped apart, that slowed them down, but apparently you can not kill what is already dead. Anyway, when a bolt shell hit a corpse, it got damaged enough to not pose a threat immediately. They even seemed to die for real, if they got hit in the heads. “Get out!” He yelled “I’ll cover you, get behind me” Guns blazing, they made it out the door and ran down the corridor.
The corpses were much too slow to catch up to the agents. They seemed to loose interest, when their prey was out of reach.
“What was that? The dead are walking again here! We must report this immediately” Marcel said panting and out of breath. The stink of the dead was all over his body after getting drenched when the holding tank split.
Meanwhile somewhere else in the bowels of the Lesotho complex.
Raynah, a girl of 16 years Terran standard snuck down a corridor. Things had gone awfully wrong and she was caught alone in an abandoned part of the labyrinth. Suddenly she heard sobbing. She saw a child standing cowering in a corner, crying, a boy of maybe 6 or 7 years, he hid his face as he cried. “Oh no, he’ll alert the dead, if he doesn’t stop” she thought. “Hey little one, it’s gonna be all right. Are you lost, shall we find your mommy?” She said as she reached out a comforting hand. He calmed down as she touched his shoulder. He snuggled into her embrace, only sobbing quietly now.
Suddenly he screamed! A high-pitched unnatural keening sound. She let him go immediately, then she saw that what she thought had been a dark grey cap was in reality his bald scorched head, black grey like ashes, like charcoal. His face was almost featureless, no nose, no eyes, just a crack of a mouth, inside burning embers, glowing out of the mouth as he screamed and screamed and screamed.
She fired her gun and the boy or whatever it was ran away. She didn’t think she had hit it.
Just then shambling footsteps from the corridor. She turned, there were the dead, alerted by that awful screaming.
She fired her gun and retreated down the corridor. The dead had become even more ugly lately. Mutated with tentacles and countless deformities, the infection or whatever it was, was evolving constantly. And now that child, she shuddered. “Hey” a voice shouted from a side coridor, that was enforcer Zacharias, also caught alone down here. Together, they fired their way out the clump of the dead and ran down the corridors. “We have got to get away from here” he said. “We must see if there are more survivors first” she said “You’re right, we need to stick together and I think we need all the help we can get, just to get out and reach safety. There must be more people hiding down here”.
The next big game is starting to take shape. The Lesotho Complex is a wonderful post apocalyptic labyrinth of 40K terrain, created by Jonathan Hartman, known as shibboleth02 on Instagram, Check it out. We are going to play a game in the labyrinth along with a bunch of other players in january. You can also take a look at the hashtag #lesothotwotwelve on insta, for more zombieapoc 40 K.
Thanks for reading and making it this far!!