The acolytes return to the nave of the cathedral. The corpses in the pews have gone.
The three parts of the key are inserted into the wall behind the clock. The door opens to reveal a black shaft going down, wide enough for one person at a time to go down. There are handholds in the wall. It stinks of oil and machinery. There is a grinding sound from below, the sound of an enormous machine spirit.
Eli descends first using his grappling line. The shaft ends in a shallow puddle of thick brownish liquid, smells like oil. The sound of gears is much louder here. There is a door at the bottom of the shaft, set into the wall. There is a numeric keypad, however Eli just pulls the door off its hinges.
In the room beyond the door are three hovering servo skulls, each emitting a weak light. There is another door on the other side of the room, and beyond that the floor has collapsed and churning gears and cogs can be seen. There is a walkway leading from the door into the room. The acolytes take the servo skulls with them.
This room is enormous – much bigger than the cathedral above. Two walkways across the room – one going N/S and the other going E/W. There is a plate on the wall next to Claude and the writing is High Gothic. It says “Pax Mecharia”. There is a diagram of the room next to it, pitted with rust. Ahead is the Genatorium. Left is the armoury. Right is the Moderati Quarters. There is a level below the cogs which can only be reached by going through the cogs – this appears to be the cogitator core.
Claude knows that the role of Moderati is the second highest rank on an Imperial Titan, and is responsible for the weapons systems.
The acolytes head for the armoury. The room is in excellent condition. There are loads of ammo hoppers, and dozens of shells casings and debris. There is a shell casing the size of Barack in there. All the ammo is designed for weapons much bigger than those which the acolytes are carrying. They also find two las guns, two las pistols, and two fully charged packs for both.
There is a note written in high Gothic waxing lyrical about what a magnificent sight it is to see the march of the Titan Legions. It makes reference to the Pax Mecharia, a Titan of the Imperator class (the biggest one).
The acolytes cannot quite believe that they might be on board a Titan.
They head for the Genatorium next – the generator room. It is a large chamber. Inside it there is a thick cylindrical shimmering void shield. The room has a psychic stench to it – it smells of heresy more than anything else in the whole cathedral. The air feels thick and reality feels slightly distorted. It looks like there is oil running down the wall. The floor seems to have purple green veins running underneath it like an enormous brain.
There is an ancient looking servitor on the left wall. There is a door on the right hand side.
The acolytes quickly head into the room on the right. There are three massive map tables and a brass encased cogitator (computer). It feels a lot less heretical in here. The maps date back to the time of the Angevin Crusade. The cogitator turns on, and displays an aquila. Text starts scrolling across the screen, describing the “Rite of Replenishing” (changing the fuel rods).
The acolytes leave these rooms, and head for the Moderati quarters. This is a small room lined with bunk beds (6). There are emblems of Mars everywhere. There is a headless skeleton sat on the floor, dressed in naval uniform. Decorated. Skeletal hand clutches a bolt pistol. Written on the floor in blood is a word – Dei-Phage. Barack takes the bolt pistol – it is best quality with 7 sanctified bolts.
A door at the far side of the room opens and someone shoots at the party. They shoot back and there is the deranged howl of a madman. The acolytes look in to the room – it is a medical room, with similar smell as in the experiment room and bodies showing unnecessary augmentation. The madman is shot and goes down. He had a bolt pistol, and was an old frail man of indeterminate age. He had a strong resemblance to the man in the experiment dungeon – Gustavus. He gasps out a few words about the Dei-Phage and the alignment. The power source is powering the void shield. The generator is the prison for the Dei-Phage.
The acolytes head back to the generator room. Ravi awakens the servitor and upon interrogation learns the following things:
- level 32 is above level 33.
- access to level 33 is blocked, and the ritual of replenishing is required to open it.
- power is at 3% and weapons systems are currently offline. The weapons systems consist of quake cannons, las cannons, rail guns, plasma cannon and a bolt cannon.
- Princeps of the Pax Mecharia is Tarum Hecate.
The servitor activates the ritual of void shield deactivation. The void shield shimmers and drops. There are 4 massive fuel rods lying on the side, and the power source has been jury rigged in.
There is a horrible screech and four horrible things blob out of the wall. The acolytes fight these Horrors, which keep regenerating wounds, and eventually are able to dispatch all four of them.
The acolytes get the servitor to activate the ritual of replenishment. As the fourth fuel rod is inserted, a loud thrumming sound starts. Lights start blinking and the power levels start rising. An announcement is made on speakers – “Engine seers excellor to the bridge” and then “Foreign body expelled urgent urgent”.
Eli grabs the power source, and the acolytes leg it. The alert messages increase in their frequency. As they cross the floor of gears, they notice there is a ladder heading down past the gears, but they are keen to leave the place.
Barack scales the shaft first. As he gets to the top he notices Scaphandra is not there, and there is a horrible presence in the Cathedral. Everything feels darker. There is a faint rain of black feathers, and the doors to the Cathedral lock. He sees a huge angel with rotting wings, the face of which is changing and twisting before his eyes. There is hideous laughter all around.