95.817.M41 – Jericho Reach – Virgultus
* Vroserius Tree Research Facility – Jodelle’s Reach *
After five days of rest and rehabilitation, the Kill Team was summoned to meet with Watch Captain Ephrim concerning a possible Xenos threat. He introduced the team to a Dark Angel who would be aiding them in their coming mission, named Elyas. He seemed knowledgeable and looking forward to aiding his new brothers in their mission. It was explained that the Imperial Navy had taken control of a planet near the Iron Collar, named Virgultus, with hopes of using the large, fertile planet as an Agri-World. It was further explained that the Imperial Guard fought back an incursion of Orcs long enough to establish a head upon a plateau clearing they aptly named Jodelle’s Reach, after the head of the regiment, Captain Affendi Sariff Jodelle. Watch Captain Ephrim then gave the Kill Team a document that was recovered from communications between the on-world facility and the Mechanicus wing of the Imperial Navy.
SEE ATTACHED DOCUMENT
Further investigation prior to engagement revealed that a generic distress beacon was emanating from the facility, but that all communications ceased after the release of the above document. Also revealed was the fact that the planet has no native fauna, and that the flora is quite aggressive. The most impressive of the listed flora was a species called the Vroserius Tree, which was the subject of research and the cause of so much Inquisitorial obfuscation on the part of the Imperial Navy.
Known: The Vroserius Tree is an indigenous species of vining evergreen flat-leaf tree native to the planet of Virgultus. It has shown unique properties of reaction to its surroundings, including the ability to instantly react to incursions into its territory*. It is an aggressive species that has the equally unique ability to react to changes in its territory that result in changes to its internal chemistry, making it more robust or otherwise able to survive extreme environments. It is one of the most robust species of plants ever discovered.
Note: The territory of the Vroserius Tree seems to be defined by the extent of the reach of its vines. This is usually no more than 5 to 6 meters from the base of the tree, but has been shown to be as much as 9 meters.
The Kill Team then received their objectives, requisitioned their equipment, and headed to the surface in a small shuttle craft.
Recover any records from the research facility regarding cultivation of the Vroserius Tree.
Engage the Xenos with caution to gain first-hand knowledge of its potential threat.
Recover any survivors of the infestations.
Upon touching down to the planet, the Kill Team began to cautiously emerge their craft. As they were scanning their surroundings using the Auspex Servitor formerly known as the Heron Mask, they heard a rustling from within the craft. It was at this point that Brother Eisen reported to the rest of his brothers that the surrounding foliage in all directions was affected by the taint of the Warp. Immediately after his statement of Warp infestation, the shuttle craft’s pilot began to fire at the group using his sidearm. He was tackled by Brother Eric with assistance from Brother Eisen, who stated that the pilot was tainted by the Warp. At that point, Brother Eric snapped the pilot’s neck, to ensure his taint died there.
The Kill Team reported back their initial findings regarding the need for environmentally sealed armor (But left out their findings regarding the ubiquitous Warp taint) and then began to make their way across the space port towards the only structure in sight. They ran some initial scans of the building, getting a rudimentary layout of the internal structure, and after smearing the scum from the windows in the control room, gained a visual. They then heard something from inside the building. When they attempted to gain access to the structure, the Kill Team was stopped by people within, who are apparently aware of the potential for infection from outside their sealed environment. The man speaking from within the building claims to be Captain Jodelle and he states that he has 11 survivors with him, all members of the Imperial Guard.
While this conversation is taking place, several members of the Kill Team hear the sounds of movement down in the surrounding jungle. Brothers Othorn and Eric moved to cover the South of the pad against what became evident as several hundred small green Orcs, who some members recalled are known as Gretchen. Brother Josiah takes position on top of the main building, gaining a better vantage on the 30 meter drop into the jungle. From his vantage, he could see that there was a second wave in waiting, as well as three dozen hulking Orcs armed with jump packs and power axes. Brothers Eisen, Elyas, and Thomas took positions on the North of the pad, alerted by their servitor of an oncoming threat. There, they saw hundreds more of these small maniacal creatures along with dozens more of the snarling Storm Boyz. A firefight ensued, lasting only a matter of seconds.
From his vantage, Brother Josiah mowed down hundreds of the small relentless Gretchen. Brothers Eisen, Thomas, and Elyas defended the North using a combination of heavy firepower and hand- to-hand tactics, suffering only minimal injuries (nothing lasting). Meanwhile, Brothers Othorn and Eric defended the South from those that Brother Josiah and a well-placed suppressive fire didn’t devastate, using mostly hand-to-hand tactics. In the end, only a handful of Gretchen were left alive to flee into the jungle. As their feral, insane screams faded into the distance, the Kill Team regrouped near the structure.