The Paradox Hammer

The Thieving Merchant

///Access File: 10-25-802M.41///

Ship’s Log of the Rogue Trader Ship Hammer
Lord Captain Viktor Khal, Commanding

The Thieving Merchant

I would love to be able to eat my dinner. Simmered chicken in a glazed amsec sauce with buttered pecans. Thoroughly scanned for warp activity and personally inspected by myself and Bob for tentacles or the undead. A divine meal. It’s a shame no one would let me enjoy it.

First I received word from our Enginseer, er…rather our Engineer that the Engines were acting rather temperamental. He was investigating but needed some more ratings to do a through job of it. I agreed, he got to it. I put my napkin in my lap and the vox beeps before I can reach for the salad fork. Damnit…

The doctor is reporting on Gaan’s condition. Apparently he’s becoming more social. Well that’s to be expected as I have not cut off any of his toes yet. I order the current precautions be maintained but that any further developments be reported immediately. I again reach for my fork. The vox beeps….Damnit again…

Pertwee has found tracking devices all over the ship. Odd little things but no indication of their origin. I ordered him to take as many men as he needed to scour the ships and secure the devices. As we weren’t moving there was no point in worrying about it till after dinner. This time I managed to snatch my fork with an alacrity that would make Vindex arch an eyebrow…Sneaky bastard probably hiding in my closet waiting to steal my hat at this very moment.

I got the first succulent piece to my lips when there was a knock at the door. Bleeding Gods of the Void! Really!?!

Ah well…this is what I get for wearing the fancy hat…

Bob let Kalm in who informed me that not only was he/she/it adopting the pick thief that tried to lift Ignatio’s bolter but also that half the Kroot were pregnant and fixing to give birth. And here I was thinking they laid eggs…I shall have to inquire with the doctor about this, if only to ensure there are no other physiological surprises in my future. The more I’m around Kalm the more I start to wonder if it might be female. It does seem rather maternal at times. Perhaps I’ll ask the doctor about that one as well.

Kalm had already arraigned housing for the expectant mothers, but I made sure they had access to one the House’s accounts to cover expenses. It seems we are to stay at Port Wander for a while longer. The Arbites are going to love this.

After my interview with Kalm was concluded the glaze over my chicken had cooled into an impenetrable shell forever sealing me out of the culinary delights I was so looking forward to. I silently cursed my fate and made myself a sandwich.

The initial idea was the Pertwee and some of the engineers would take work on some tramp freighters and hide the trackers to lead our erstwhile pursuer astray. Unfortunately the men were arrested on charges of piracy immediately after completing the work. It seemed another lovely conversation with the local Arbite commander was in store for me.

I immediately began formulating a vague plan along the lines if shooting a hole in the hull of Port Wander and extracting my people by shuttle. However, once I discussed the matter with my Command Crew, I was shown the flaws in my plan. Their wiser heads suggested a diplomatic solution. As I was going to have dealings here this seemed to me a stroke of genius. Also I can wear my fancy hat. We sent out the invitation for a fine dinner, which she accepted, surprisingly. Rojer handed me a bag, in case more…intimate negotiations are needed. Cheeky lad. Reminds me of his mother.

The dinner went better than I expected. The Arbitor General was apparently under the impression that I was some sort of Pirate. Someone should really educate the masses on the difference between a Privateer and a pirate. Still an arrangement was made. In exchange for informing her of my comings and goings she would pass on what relevant info she had and not harass me as much. Over all a satisfying result.

Now that my crew was back on board all there was to do was to await my commando’s conclusion of the births… or hatchings… or whatever. I secured the freshest War Penguin flanks I could find. Often laughed at, the Blood Penguin is an artic creature that I encountered at the Xeno Circuses of Grave. They resemble a cross between a turkey and a panda save with 3 inch retractible teeth and barbed wings. They look unsightly and docile, even cute until they smell blood, (which they can detect from miles away, hince the name) at which point an awful feeding frenzy ensues that’s capible of clearing several acres of carbon based lifeforms, the blood penguins included. I think the Kroot will appreciate such a delicacy after their labors.

It didn’t take long for the majority of the hatching… or whatever to be done and we were free to leave. We resumed the chase for my ancestor’s legacy traveling to a system with a name so monumentally dull I can’t bring it to mind, and wouldn’t care if I could. The two objects of interest were the massive debris of a space battle of monumental proportions and an automated homing beacon. The beacon itself was rather odd, the simple gothic message was off in it’s pronunciation, which put us all on edge. I stationed the Anvil outside the debris field and took the Hammer in to investigate.

What we found was startling to say the least. A disabled Tau Vessel, which was poised in a rather bait-like fashion. Ignatio, being the opposite of stupid as is his tendency, spotted the Eldar Corsairs waiting to pounce on us.

I hesitate to call what occurred a battle. While my ship and crews preformed flawlessly and are a credit to our dynasty, most of the damage to the Eldar was inflicted by the Eldar. Perhaps these represented what the Pirate Queen does with the mental deficients of the Eldar race? Suffice to say, I found myself with a whole Eldar Corsair and the parts of another to deliver to the Ordo Xenos, per my letter of Marque.

What we found on the Tau Transport the single most astonishing thing I have come across in my rather storied career as a Voids man. Imperial… Tau… Missionaries. I’m going to repeat that for those of you who upon reading these words, suffered a seizure. The craft was filled with Tau, who not only believed, with a faith that rivaled any priest I’ve met, in the God Emperor of Mankind, but were on their way to convert their brethren who had a station in this part of space. How the warp the Tau got here at all is a question subsumed by the brain numbing implications of these Xeno’s existence. They requested that we escort them to their kind’s station. To be entirely frank I agreed just to see what would happen.

The non-Imperial Tau were please to recover their lost companions, but I doubt that will last. The self-righteous are insufferable no matter what language they speak or the color of their blood. I predict a religious war will break out in the station within the next few solar cycles. In the mean time, the station was eager to work out a trade agreement, to supply their needs. As my warrant provides me with the legal authority to do just that, I entered into negotiations with the head scientist, or skull tinker, as he referred to himself. I must admit it felt good to match wits in a mercantile endeavor. We agreed upon a mutually beneficial arrangement, more beneficial to me but with him leaving with the impression that the reverse was true, the sign of a good deal. The Cranial Experimenter or whatever his title decided to throw a wrench in what was a perfectly good arrangement by asking if I could procure a warp drive. I hate to leave a customer with a bad trade experience, but providing a Xeno with Imperial Technology of that magnitude goes even beyond my sense of propriety. I did the only thing a good merchant can do when faced with that kind of situation. I stalled. It might be possible for the right price, but it would be difficult as the Mechanicus controls such things, I told him. I suppose I could procure a transport drive and simply not supply the Geller field, but I hesitate to cut off a steady flow of profit for a quick throne, well giant pile of thrones anyway.

Ah well, this is what I get for wearing the fancy hat…I think I’ll go make myself a sandwich.



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