The Bloody Underdecks – Part I
“The Cellestial Hive”
“What is a space station but a hive you can’t ever leave? The void barons and their servants live in the upper-decks, with the freshest air, the purest food, and the strongest rad-shields. The task-masters and the administratum flunkies live mid-deck, working single-shifts for their synth-meat.
But us? Oh we’re the dirtiest of the dirt. The shipbreakers and the plasma feeders. Cutting hulls in a leaky voidsuit, or getting blasted with radiation by the fusion stacks.
I was born in Hive Secondera on Ulyssia, and let me tell you one thing – you could always leave the hive. You could walk to the edge, gaze out over the chem-wastes, and see the distant mountains. You could take the lev train to the furthest station, jump the electro-fence, start walking, and eventually find a bit of green grass growing under that red-orange sky.
But the station? You’re here forever. Even if you could afford a ticket on a ship, they’d spot you in a second, and see you for the algae licking scum you really are. You’ll never leave this place. Look at that door – you could pull it open, crank the manual air-cycle, and step outside. But what would you find?
Only the cold, cold void.
Face it kid, you’ll die on this station.”
The Bloody Underdecks: Part II
“Domilcus Station: Redux”
The Imperium is on a war footing. After steadily losing ground to the savage xenos and the insidious traitor, the armies of the Pegasus Gulf muster to re-claim the sector. Ships mass in orbit around the fortress world of Heavensreach, and reinforcements arrive from nearby sectors to bolster the beleaguered forces. At the center of it all is Domilcus Station. Though bombarded by strike craft and heavily damaged by fighting, the station still stands – a testament to the tenacious durability of human engineering. Hundreds of ships dock, massive shipments of arms and supplies are transported, and commerce returns to what was once a shining economic beacon.
Massive repairs are underway. A thousand deep space welders light the sky as the broken hulls of defeated vessels are grafted onto the station’s exterior. Habitation domes are re-inflated like the tires of a Tauros assault vehicle, while plasma generators and life support systems are re-kindled like the hearths of an ancient castle.
But alongside the fervour of the Imperial war machine comes the inevitable human opportunism and depravity. Smuggling begins in earnest, and underworld elements vie for control of the most lucrative deals. As the population returns to the station or emerges from hiding, many quickly move in to control the population for their own ends. Soon the underdecks of the station are filled with the desperate and degenerate, climbing over one another in their ambition for profit – or just survival.
Rogue traders and pirates attempt to control the station for their own gain, while radical preachers whip the masses into a zealous frenzy. Mercenaries shake down the grovelling population, looking for a quick gelt as they wait for deployment. There are even rumours of xenos worshipers and mutants, climbing out from the darkest holes of the underdecks to escape their lives of irradiated misery.
It is not long before the meagre and incompetent law enforcement is pushed beyond its limits and can no longer control the situation. In response, the Imperial Navy declares martial law, and orders the Imperial Guard down into the underdecks to put an end to the corruption and smuggling. More used to battlefields than public relations, the Imperial Guard is no scalpel, and tensions rise to become a powder keg.
With dozens of factions vying to control the underdecks, it is only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose . . .
The Bloody Underdecks, Part III
Naval Edict: 1404
Signed and Authorized by:
Fleet Admiral Octavian Thabus, acting Station Master of Domilcus Station
Attention to all dockworkers, stationside voidsmen and shipbuilders.
Your Emperor needs you. We muster to strike back at the traitor, the alien, and the heretic. We will drive them from our rightful claim on the Pegasus Gulf and defeat them utterly.
Effective immediately, all work rotations are extended to 18 hours. Voidsuit radiation limits are no longer in effect, and all repairs and refits will be performed at double-pace.
Any Imperial citizen who disobeys the edict will have their loyalty questioned. Those found wanting will be deemed traitors to humanity, and will face the Emperor’s justice.