The police arrived on the scene. Severus rode with the officers to the station and the others took the truck to meet them there. Officer Sven tried to explain his call to them by telling them there had been “some punk impersonating an Adeptus Arbite”, but Severus continued to insist he was an Arbite. They arrived at the station and were taken to a conference room where Sven spoke to them alone. He wanted to know why the Inquisition was involved on this planet.
The team had questions of their own for him, mainly, where Becca was. The police didn’t know, but Sven told them that they thought she was toward the west, the Companions have a base in the ruins. They asked him where they can find the Companions, and he told them they have been hanging around homeless shelters and places where the needy gather. There are two styles in their group: actual fanatics who worship Becca, and run-of-the-mill criminals trying to profit from the situation.
Sven had a few theories about who their attackers might have been: either they were from Zhetomir, or they were Companions. He mentioned that the police have a lead on one of the Companions’ contacts in the police force. The companions have been hitting places that only the undercover officers know about , so they must have a mole. Sven gave Quintos a radio so that they can keep in contact on a frequency that only he uses, 9776.7.
He advised the team to be careful if they do head west to find the Companions, and to wear radiation suits. There is leftover radiation from the war there. He mentioned that the only ones with maps of the radiation hotspots would be Rangers, but he did not know how to contact them. Luck asked him if he could give the team radiation suits, and he told her he could get them for everyone but Haxtes, who is too big for a normal suit. He had an officer load radiation suits to their truck claiming it was a donation to a Ranger group.
They took their captive from the shootout and went home, arriving as Miranda was walking in. Haxtes carried the crate in, and Luck and Zuriel pushed the prisoner into the flat. As they walked past the doorman, he looked up, commented that they must have had a fun night, and went back to his crossword. They took their prisoner to the flat and dumped him in the closet while they discussed what they had learned in their investigations. They formulated a plan to meet up with the rangers to get them to take the team into the military base they’re going to in the mountains.
Severus examined the prisoner and found a print out with Officer Sven’s address and a picture of him that looked like it came from police records. He also found a medallion with a white hand on it, which Miranda identified as the symbol of the Companions. Everyone went to bed, leaving their prisoner tied up in the closet until morning.
It was decided, for some reason, to interrogate the prisoner in Zuriel’s room. Luck led the interrogation. She tried to play the good cop, but he viewed the team as heathens, claiming that only fire cleanses, and either people were born here or they must be purged. He said that the team was tainted, and Becca purifies. Zuriel noticed that he had a concussion from the way he spoke, which was unsurprising as he had had teeth knocked out the night before.
Quintos asked the others to leave the room, and everyone but Miranda left. She stayed because he didn’t explain why he wanted them to leave and she was suspicious of what he planned to do. He used his psychic ability to make it appear that he was engulfed in golden flames. Miranda screamed and ran out the door, telling everyone he was on fire. Meanwhile, the prisoner began screaming bloody murder. Quintos asked him, “Isn’t this what you wanted? You wanted purity.”
“No! Demon! Suffer not the heretic to live!” shouted the captive, and when Quintos laid his fiery hand onto his forehead, he fainted. The others came back in, and Severus woke him up by poking the prisoner with his own knife. The prisoner spat on Severus, and Severus put his hand over the man’s mouth and punched him in the face. The prisoner muttered “All the heretics and demons will be burned away in the fires in redemption,” and bit down on the cyanide tablet he had in his mouth, saying he was going to join his prophet. Unfortunately for him, the tablet needed a second ingredient which had been knocked out when he lost his teeth earlier, so he did not die, and was instead severely brain damaged.
He woke up thinking the team was a group of demons, and began talking again of how Drelia would be purged of all filth (outsiders) and would be pure again. Severus suggested they just Exterminatus the planet, if the man would not give us useful information. Since the man did not take it seriously, Miranda asked Cigargent to contact the Inquisitor and tell him to prepare to destroy this planet if the man would not talk, and explained to him that was the choice he would be making if he did not help: if he was uncooperative, the planet would not be pure, it would just be gone.
This got him talking, and he told them that the man they have inside the police was Inspector Riley Shaw. He was the leader of the Companions in this city. There are more in Zhetomir, and to the west. Only the chosen get to see Becca’s home, though, so he does not know where she lives. He tried to stab himself on Severus’s outstretched knife so he wouldn’t have to say more, but Severus stopped him by kicking him in the face. He then told them that the money the Companions are gathering is to buy weapons for a revolution to unite Drelia. The went after Sven because he found evidence and they needed to find out what he knew and kill him. He had evidence from one of the raids, the police had found an encrypted data slate. The prisoner then begged to be killed, because he had betrayed his cause. Cigargent broke his neck and told Severus to use hydrochloric acid in the bathtub to destroy the body, and Severus enthusiastically complied.
Zuriel called Officer Sven to let him know that others would be coming after him, and to tell him what we had learned about Inspector Shaw. Sven told him that Shaw is second in command of the 17th district, and has been indicted on numerous corruption charges, but the charges are always dropped. He gave Zuriel Shaw’s home address, the police can’t touch him but the Inquisition could pay him a visit.
With that done, Luck tried to open the crate of radiation suits. She was unable to do so, so Zuriel tried as well and also failed. Finally Miranda gave it a shot, and easily opened the crate. Inside were 10 bright yellow radiation suits with gas masks. Miranda and Zuriel were heading out to find the rangers and ask to accompany them to the ruins, but before they left Miranda suggested that luck dye the radiation suits in camouflage colors to keep her out of trouble. Luck declined, preferring to be destructive instead. Luck decided to go to the bad part of town to speak to the arms dealer Dr. Rebecca had recommended. Cigargent went with her.
Miranda and Zuriel went to the homeless shelter to speak to the rangers, and on the way made sure they were clear on their story for why they wanted to join them on their expedition to the ruins. Zuriel would claim to be an archaeologist named Professor Henry Jones who is interested in documenting the rangers’ discoveries. His accounts would focus on their experiences and history, as the rangers are not as appreciated and respected as they would like.
When they arrived at the shelter, the nun led them to Artyom’s group where they were eating in the garden. They were pleased to see “Allison” again. She introduced Professor Jones and explained that he would like to accompany them on their expedition into the mountains. They were happy to have the company and liked the idea of his book, but asked if the professor had ever been inside a hot zone. He admitted he had not, and when asked if he had ever needed to shoot a man or harm someone, he again admitted he had never been in that situation. They explained that their destination is dangerous, especially given what it is: an old military base deep inside the mountains. It is Section D7, an infamous repository for weapons that should not be around. Atomic, chemical, biological… all sorts of things that should not fall into the hands of a greedy city-state, fanatics, or anyone else stupid enough to use them.
Zuriel told them he would not be opposed to using his weapons if necessary, and asked if they would be willing to allow his colleagues to join them. They agreed, they were always happy to have extra companions and firearms. They asked if Allison would also be joining them, and she said yes. They told the two that they would not need any sort of compensation as this is what they do and they were glad to have company.
The rangers were planning to head out in two days, they needed to visit a friend on the east side of the city to restock on munitions, demolition charges, and ammo for their RPG first. The RPG was for local wildlife that was too large for small arms. They agreed to meet up at a weigh station just outside the city to the west. They would be walking most of the way, through thick forests, because the radiation interfered with the electronics in vehicles. With plans made for their expedition, Miranda and Zuriel headed back to the flat.