Magos Bertha heads over to the Black Hand to supervise Magos Orban in the repair of the burnt lance.
Navigator Oleg Optimo Vollus descends into the bowls of the ship to investigate the strange warp disturbances felt in the battle. Running across some mutants he eventually reaches an area near the hull. Communing with the damaged armour, he is able to discern the nature of the xeno weapons. He also makes a recommendation that the mutants of this section of the ship be purged, lest the warp taint make them fouler.
The command crew, hearing of the casualties suffered in the recent engagement, hold a ceremony on each ship to reward the bravest of the crew with medals, prize bounty and the promise of treasure. However, when the Lady-Captain awards herself the greatest prize, broadcast across the Harbinger of Glory on the pict-screens, the crew begin to grumble. The expensive ceremony does nothing for the morale of either crew.
After a short rest, they organise a salvage expedition to investigate the ruined xeno ship. The command crew feel such menial labour is beneath them and so send some experienced damage control crew to do this. Unable to find any entry to the largest crystal of the xeno ship, the salvage ships investigate smaller shards with the intent of towing them into the holds of the ships. A flash of dark energy annihilates one of the men in his entirety – once calm is restored, it appears that apart from that the crystals are spent and they are towed to the hold of one of the ships.
Leaving orders with Roslyn Rager and the Black Hand to take actions to secure the system ships, the Harbinger of Glory heads into orbit over Cog. Scanning the atmosphere, they find that it will be corrosive to much of their equipment. The Magos spends several hours devising a way to coat the Guncutter, and some of the smaller ships, with an alkaline paint that will protect for some time against the worst of the acid storm. She is also able to get her assistants to rustle up some weapons cases that will allow for the crews armaments to be transported.
By pouring over the auxpec readouts, Elorn is able to find a sequence of rail-tracks circling the moon, and by following them the crew are able to locate the only major structure on the moon of Cog, the factory of Cog itself.
The crew decide to embark on a reconnaissance-in-force mission, taking the Post Haste stuffed with 40 armsmen, 15 elite troops of the Black household, several other assistants, and the command crew. They choose an oblique approach, bringing them in under any auspex arrays at Cog. As they approach, the Magos picks up a message in the language of the Mechanicus, the Techna Lingua. Quickly pushing it through a electro-vox filter, the translated message tells the crew that the Mechanicus are still alive in the Cog, holding the Control Core. The message informs them that “Whispered Ones” hold much of the factory, but that an approach through the “Great Carriage” may allow a safer ingress.
As they approach Cog, they realise that the factory is itself on the tracks and rails they had seen – the factory is able to move around the moon. The Magos can tell, however, that it appears to have not moved for quite some time.
Rexx identifies a gap in the machinery of the Great Carriage, and inelegantly swoops in. Some of the crew note that there appear to be figures patrolling around on gantries. Rexx locates a platform that is large enough for them to land on, and the crew begin to disembark. Elorn heads over to a nearby airlock-style door, hacks it with her multikey, and allows entry into one of the great machines of the carriage.
The crew slowly move through the carriage, reaching another door. This one is trickier, but Elorn is able to unlock it. Talon takes point and opens the door – it reveals a maintenance room where two figures, dressed in bulky voidsuit style workclothes, stand, aiming there stub-automatics at the doorway he stands in.
Talon barks out, across his vox and the embedded speakers in the voidsuit he wears, “Stand down!”
He answer: a pair of gunshots, striking his arm and his leg, piercing his suit and allowing the corrosive gas to flood in. He grunts in shocked pain. A moment of fast chaos ensues.
Oleg, in panic, fires his pistol at the ceiling showing sparks and molten metal across the group. Rexx shoves Talon out of the doorway and rolls a grenade in between the two figures – it detonates, showering them in shrapnel – a huge rent in one of the figures suits allows the corrosive gas to flood in, bubbling his skin as he lets out a rasped gurgle. The Magos, train-like in her approach, barrels between both Rexx and Talon, sending them both sprawling. Swinging her great Mechanicus power axe, she strikes the standing man solidly – the axe crackles and he is engulfed in flame, dropping to the ground.
They search the area before Rexx decides to creep up some stairs that they have found. As he pauses at the top of the stairs he has a flash of momentary panic. Whether he saw the metal doorway heat to red, or whether he heard the telltale whine of the weapon powering up, Rexx ducked backwards as the remaining energy of a lascannon blast washed just over him and showering the stairway with fragments of super-heated door. Oleg, moving with the quickness of a snake, twisted his way past Rexx, into the room, and cast out his warp sense interfering with the lascannon wielding man’s natural ebb and flow. The crew made their way into the room, as again the Magos embedded her axe in the chest of those foolish enough to oppose them. From this room, evidently an observation and control room for the local machinery, they could see across the gantries that they had declined to walk previously. They also saw several figures, seemingly waiting in ambush, who began to turn in order to fire on the crew.
Over the next thirty seconds, crack shots from Talon, Oleg, the Lady-Captain, Elorn and several assisting crew put down 4 of the 5 figures. The last man standing had a fearsome looking rocket launcher which he turned towards the Black Malfian Commandos who were climbing a ladder up towards him. He pulled the trigger and BOOM. The rocket exploded in the barrel, sending him flying off of the platform and down onto the planet surface below.
Their entrance to the Great Carriage secured, the crew planned their next step.