Dark City 2

Lowest of the Low

My Lord

Here is the report you requested dealing with the latest arrivals to the underhive, the mysterious 'Phantoms' responsible for last weeks raid on the Counting house of Guild Finst.

The 'Phantoms' would appear to be a small band of mercenaries, men who would usually fight for anybody willing to pay their expensive price. These men are quite common to Hive Primus, particularly in the Under-hive, but the 'Phantoms would appear to be different. From what I can gain from numerous reports, the Phantoms enjoy a very strict moral code, and are utterly unwilling to participate in any operation they deem immoral. Indeed, three days before the counting house raid, the Phantoms were approached by a representative from Guild Finst, who sought to employ them as debt-collectors.

By all accounts, the Phantoms refused. The resultant confrontation ended with the Phantoms swearing revenge on the Guild, after Guild enforcers attempted to blackmail them into the post via hostage taking. It seems likely that the recent raid was the aforementioned revenge.

The Phantoms number only four men, and have utterly refused to allow any other bounty hunters or mercenaries to join them. They arrived in Hive Primus just over a month ago, and immediately set up shop in some of the roughest areas of the Underhive. This display of local knowledge leads me to believe that at least one of them is a native to Necromunda.

My suspicion was verified a few days ago. Based on security recordings from the counting house, I have positively identified one of the band as Jason Pollo, a bodyguard to the Heir of House Dalith, one of the minor noble houses, who vanished along with his charge over a year ago on a hunting expedition out-hive.

By all reports, the remaining three are almost certainly Hyrakans. Based on their efficient behaviour, I would guess that they are Imperial Guard deserters. Quite how or why these scum came to be travelling with the ex-bodyguard I cannot say. However, pict-recordings have revealed that all four of them bear elaborate, body-wide tattoos that xeno-savants have identified as usually employed by the Alien Eldar.

My Lord, based on these findings, I would recommend that a significant Arbites force be despatched to apprehend these men, chiefly on the charge of xeno-heresy. As ever, I leave the final decision in your Hands.

Your humble servant

Heronimus Styre

Scribe, Adeptus Arbites Precinct 42

888

Cannis quietly surveyed the bar from behind his glare shades. Laid back in one of the corner seats, the casual observer might think he was asleep. In fact the first time he'd pulled this trick, a pickpocket had attempted to relieve him of his gun. Cannis had broken the mans arm as a warning. After that, nobody tried anything like that again. Seated at his table, equally relaxed, where the three men who'd gone through hell with him.

Pollo, the quiet, watchful Necromundan. Some had taken his calmness as a sign of weakness, and sought to mug him on their second night. All five of those men were now dead.

Wheln, the career soldier: Professional, efficient and, when the situation called for it, incredibly brutal. He'd buried the bodies of Pollo's assailants without batting an eyelid.

Ship, his Brother-in-law. Most given to emotion out of the four, and yet possessed of a way with words. It had been his refusal that had earned them the enmity of Guild Finst, and his blade that had ended the lives of two of the guilds hired thugs.

Together they'd survived in what could accurately be described as a living hell. For three months they'd been prisoners of the so-called Dark Eldar, and existed within Commaragh, the Dark City in the web-way. 'Lived' was too strong a word. They'd survived by simple chance; their captor, a powerful Eldar lord, had been impressed by their skills in the bloody arena fights and decided to purchase them. From there on in, they'd simply killed anyone in their way.

Six weeks ago they'd 'escaped'. After coming close to death at the hands of Imperial Space Marines, they'd been taken prisoner by the Imperium of Man. En route to the prison moon of Orax, they'd effected an escape from the heavily guarded prison ship.

They'd ended up here, in the famous underhive of Necromunda. Thus far, it's fearsome reputation appeared to be entirely deserved.

Right now, Cannis was using the pitch-black glare shades as a way to spy on a particular figure across the room. The subject of his observation didn't stand out in any way; in fact, there was nothing about him to suggest he was anything out of the ordinary. For Cannis, that was what made him suspicious. To him, it looked as though the figure was almost trying to be inconspicuous. It was an effect totally unnoticeable to most, but you didn't spend three months in the Dark City without getting a feeling of when someone was trying to hide.

The figure was dressed in the traditional garb of a hired gun, as close to anything that class might call a uniform. A set of deep blue trousers were worn with a dingy white top, overlaid by tough leather webbing and a bandolier. His face was shielded by a pulled down cap, and a pair of combat boots adorned his feet. Just another specimen of under-hive trash, and yet… There was something horrifyingly familiar about the strangers gait.

Cannis glanced sideways and made eye contact with Pollo. The necromundan nodded at him and stood up. Cannis followed suit, and they both headed for the exit. Out of the corner of his eye, Cannis saw the stranger rise.

888

The one who called himself Tonin watched the two mercenaries rise and head for the door. He waited a few moments, then stood. He stretched languorously before pacing towards the door. As soon as he exited, the full stench of the Underhive hit him in the face like a smack. Granted, the bar hadn't exactly been fragrant, but at least the candles had covered up the worst of the stink.

Tonin glanced left and right, trying to decide which way the mercenaries had gone. He caught a glimpse of a pair of backs rounding a corner up ahead, and paused to check his two bolt-pistols before pursuing. They were crude weapons, to be sure, but he knew from past experience how lethal they could be.

Moving with a stealth most humans couldn't even hope to emulate, Tonin slid around the corner, his eyes scanning the alleyway ahead for potential ambushes. He'd scarcely gone ten metres when a powerful arm wrapped itself around his throat.

A soft but infinitely scary voice whispered in his ear.

"Ma' ten' rashwe, Yaaraer?"

"Looking for trouble, Eldar?"