Actually the series isn't completely horrible. Compared to how the Sisters are written in alot of novels (REdemption Corps and Flesh and Iron) they're downright heroic. Although they're nowhere near on par with, say, Sister Aescarion. But the series is (generally) much better IMHO than the blood angels novels. The only problem I really have (and I wonder if this is where Aaron feels the same) is how sanctimonious they act, especially relative to the rest of the Imperium. It can get grating.
All that said, I like Miriya and Verity both. I enjoyed 'Faith and Fire' quite a bit. Whilst Hammer and Anvil wasn't as enjoyable on the Sisters side, it still had Necrons. Swallow likes to write his 40K very very science fictioney, which includes alot of sci fi terms you wouldn't think to include. (much the same way Zou writes 'military' 40K, meaning its the only series where you'd hear the term 'picatinny rail' show up in 40K.)
Faith and Fire's premise is that the Sisters are transporting a psyker terrorist to a planet, who escapes. They have to hunt him down (for vengeance amongst other things) and end up uncovering a much larger plot.
Since its a short series currently and thus easy to burn through, two posts for a single update. Part 1:
No one knew how many craft there were in the fleets of the Black Ships. Some spoke of a secret base on Terra, sending out droves of ebon vessels to scour the galaxy for psykers. Others said that the ships worked in isolation from one another, venturing back and forth under psychic directives sent by the Emperor himself. Miriya did not know the truth, and she did not want to.
Whenever a potent psyker was discovered, the Black Ships would come for them. Some, those with pure hearts and wills strong enough to survive the tests the adepts forced upon them, might live to become servants to the Inquisition or the astropafhic colleges. Most would be put to death in one manner or another, or granted in sacrifice to the Emperor so that he might keep alight the great psychic beacon of the Astronomicon.
Comments on the Black ships. the interesting thing is that the numbers are unknown (save the Soul drinkers novels making a vague stab at conjecture) as well as that some believe the Emperor directs them. Since he controls/regulates the Astronomican, and to an extent astropaths themselves, the Tarot, and so on... this is quite likely.
The Adeptus Telepafhica had their own operatives but by Imperial edict they were not allowed to serve as warders upon their own vessels; it was too easy for a malignant psyker to coerce another telepath. Instead, Sisters of Battle or Inquisitorial Storm Troopers served in the role of custodian aboard the Black Ships, their adamantine faith protecting them from the predations of the mind-witches they guarded.
With Inquisitors serving on board Black ships, you'd thinkthey'd be under the auspices of the Inquisition.. but eh. Must be a joint venture.
- Sister Retributors armed with multi-meltas.
She crossed to a pod of arcane dials and switches connected to the flank of the glass container. Rods and levers were set at indents indicating the amounts of sense-deadening liquids
and contrapsychic drugs filling Vaun's cell. The Battle Sister was no tech-priest, but she had seen confinement frames of this design before. She knew how they worked, pumping neuropathic philtres into the lungs and pores of particularly virulent psykers to stifle their mutant powers. She adjusted the rods and fresh splashes of murky fluid entered the tank.
methods of confinement and control used on psykers onboard ship. This is rather interesting in contrast to methods used in other sources, like the Alpha-class psykers captured in Malleus.
Miriya rested the barrel of her plasma weapon on the glass. "Heed me. If one breath more of speech comes from that cesspool you call a mind before I deliver you to Neva, I will boil you in there like a piece of rotten meat."
Not sure if that is literally or figuratively, but boiling a man alive (nevermind the liquid he is in) would require double digit MJ at least. probably triple with boiling the liquid itself (to get at the guy, or to boil him indirectly, or whatever.) if we take it literally.
After the incident with the midshipman, Sister Miriya had demanded and been given a third gun servitor from the ship's complement to guard the prisoner.
Naval ship with its own complement of gun servitors in stores.
The Corolus was a starship in only the very loosest sense of the word. It didn't possess warp drives, it was incapable of navigating across the vast interstellar distances as its larger brethren could. And where the majority of vessels in service to humankind had some degree of artistry however brutal, to their design, Corolus was little more than an agglomeration of spent fuel tanks from sub-orbital landers, lashed together with pipework and luck. Fitted with a simple reaction drive and a bitter old enginarium from a larger vessel now centuries dead, the cargo scow plied the sub-light routes across the Neva system from the core worlds to the outer manufactory satellites with loads of chemicals and vital breathing gases. The ship was slow and fragile and utterly unprepared for the fury that had suddenly been turned upon it.
sublight warship of some kind.
They were never this fast, never this good. Finton was entertaining a new emotion inside his oily, calculating mind. He was afraid, and when the bridge door went orange and melted off its hinges, he very nearly lost control of his bodily functions.
Figures in black armour came into the chamber, iron boots clanging off the patched and rusty deck plates. They wore dark helmets bannered with white faceplates, eyes of deep night-blue crystal that searched every shadowed corner of the bridge. Movement for them was graceful and deadly, not a single gesture or motion wasted. One of them noticed him for the first time and Finton saw a difference: this one had a brass shape on the front of its helmet, a dagger-shaped leaf.
As one, the invaders threw back their heads and the helmets snapped open. Their short, bobbed hair, framed eyes that were hard and flinty.
Sisters of Battle. Note the helmets worn.
The Order of our Martyred Lady was not the only Chapter of the Adepta Sororitas to have a convent on Neva, but theirs was the largest and by far the most elaborate.
Small typo methinks. They don't use Chapters.
Page 50 - mention of the Sister Repentia, the Sororitas eqvuialent of the Penal Legion, only more fanatical and with giant chainswords.
Like the Order of our Martyred Lady, the Sister Hospitallers who served in the name of Serenity came from the Convent Sanctorum on Ophelia VII. Hospitaller orders were, by Imperial law, non-militant, but that by no means meant their ranks were filled with weaklings. These women were chirurgeons and nurses of expert skill and great compassion, serving the warriors of the Imperial military machine on countless thousands of worlds.
They were also full trained in the arts martial, and were fully able to take action if circumstances demanded it. No planet that dared to consider itself civilised was without a hospice or valetudinarium staffed by such Sisters.
The Hospitallers described. Of interest is both their martial training, as well as the fact any and all civilised worlds can be expected to have at least some sign of their presence.
The prison was a monument to deterrence. There were no windows of any kind along its outer facia, nothing but the thin slits where cogitator-controlled autoguns peeked out at the open plaza around it. The brassy weapons hummed and clicked as people passed beneath their sights, ever prepared to unleash hails of bullets into escapees or troublemakers.
Cogitator controlled autoguns. Wonder how often you see those on Imperial prisons.
Page 66 - the local "enforcerd" seem to be arbites wannabes (Power mauls and such)much like on other Imperial worlds like Necromunda. Or this may just signify how their weapons and armament are subsidized/provided by the Arbites.
"Have you ever seen an arco-flagellant, Vorgo?" Miriya signalled to Cassandra and the other Battle Sister dropped her bolter into a ready stance. "Let me tell you about them." Her voice took on a cold, steely quality. "As the Emperor wills, those who are found guilty of heresy and crimes of similar gravity are taken into the service of we who hunt the witchkin. Chirurgeons and Hospitallers adapt them to this new life with surgery and conditioning, implanting pacifier helms and lobotomaic taps in their brains."
For emphasis, she tapped Vorgo's forehead with a finger. "Imagine that. Your limbs removed, replaced with spark-whips and nests of claws. Eyes bored from your skull and stained glass in their places. Your heart and organs fixed with stimm injectors and neuropathic glands. And then, proud in your new body, what remains of your drooling waste of a mind will be turned to the good of the Imperium. With a word of my command, you'll willingly fling yourself into the jaws of hell, a berserk flesh-machine bound for a long, long death."
A rather menacing depiction of Arco-flagellants provided.
"You can read the machine dialect?" asked Cassandra.
The Hospitaller nodded. "A little. I have worked closely with Sisters of the Orders Dialogous in the past. Some of their skills are known to me."
Once more a normal human can understand machine code. I really have doubts this is the "binary" we're familiar with IRL.
All across the metropolis, individuals donned their ritual wear or chose their costumes if they were lucky enough to have received a blood red summons paper. The icon sellers filled their stalls and emptied them, filled and emptied them again, taking in fists of Imperial scrip and church-certified tithe beads.
This year, it was the new cotton shirts adorned with a gold-thread aquila that were the must-have item, and the enforcers had already broken up a minor fracas in the linen quarter after stock had sold out. Elsewhere, devotional parades where local girls painted themselves sun-yellow and wore wings, celebrated the passing of Celestine. In other districts there were gleeful, impromptu stonings for those whose petty crimes had gone unpunished by the judges. The mood was a strange, potent mix of the buoyant and the fierce, with the lust for hard violence hovering just beneath the surface. You could see it in the eyes of the running children, on the faces of their parents, reflected in the fervour of the city's thousands of clerics.
Like any other human society, the Imperium has its own fashion and merchandise trends and fads, although most of them clearly have a more relgious bent to them. Also alongside the usual vigilante BS you expect from GRimdark (Or America.)
Also a city with thousands of clerics.
Page 87 - Mention of a ceremonial lasgun. Made of glass. That's all I am going to say.
Ivar's story was famous to every Nevan, taught in creches and re-told to them again and again throughout their lives. There were books of his life, heavy with garish illustrations and few words for the simple-minded and the young, or dense with layers of interpretation for the thinker. Each year the church had the public vox networks produce a lavish viddy-drama biography. He was celebrated in song and his patrician profile adorned murals across the planet.
This planet uses creches. Also mention of "public vox networks" producing what I guess passes for TV in the Imperium. Like in some countries, the programming is mostly in terms of propoganda.
'Eldar,' Miriya observed, recognising the rudimentary capes and plumes adorning the fake armour of the actors. They are playing at the battle for Kodiak Prime, or something like it.' She failed to keep a grimace from her face. The whole performance was a caricature, a ridiculous spectacle that might have been comic if she had not found it so offensive. Miriya had faced the xenos in battle, and the eldar she had fought were terrifying deadly killers full of powerful grace and unstoppable speed - these moronic mimics in the ampitheatre were blundering jesters in comparison, exaggerated and simplistic parodies of the real thing.
I don't blame her for being annoyed at Imperial propoganda - she's an actual soldier and it likely annoys her that people trivialize the risks and dangers she has faced - it makes it seem like anyone could face them when Eldar (and many other threats) are quite dangerous in-universe. Of course, its the sort of cariacture-type propoganda that the Ecclesiarchy itself is fond of (CF Damocles gulf crusade, and the Uplifting primer edition for that portryaing the tau as backwards, baby eating monsters whose weapons were weak and ineffectual andwouldn't even pierce flak.)
Like most actual, experienced soldiers in 40K, Miriya tends to take the propoganda with a grain of salt, especially when it is as ham-fisted as this (or the attitude of the Guard towards the Uplifting Primer, for example.)
Miriya's gun barked, the ear-splitting shriek of supeheated plasma bolts drowning out the dull rattle of lead shot. It became a rout, every trigger-pull marking a critical hit, no single charge from the energy pistol wasted as the costumed men screamed and died. Paper and cloth in garish oranges and greens were stained with dark arterial crimson. Helmets made out of softwood splintered and broke.
The Battle Sister heard the pellets clattering off her power armour, as ineffectual as hailstones against the black ceramite sheath. A chance ricochet nicked a line of stinging pain across her cheek and she ignored it, turning and firing again in a single fluid
When all the assailants lay dead or bleeding their last into the dust, Miriya closed her eyes and prayed for silence but she was denied it, the air about her filled to overflowing with the deafening adulation of the congregation.
There are a dozen people firing on her with stubbers and shotguns, and she lays them all out with single shots. Likely these are low powered plasma shots - designed to blow apart and burn rather than outright cremate. The fact she got over a dozen shots out of the gun tends to confirm that idea, as does an absence of cauterization or anything reduced to ash.
Also her power armor stands up against the small arms fire pretty well/
A handful of bright dots crossed the night above the ampitheatre, moving with purpose and great speed towards the towering Lunar Cathedral. Just as it had moments before when she locked gazes with the gunmen, Miriya's honed combat sense rang a warning in her mind. "Aircraft," she said aloud, "in attack formation."
As if they had been waiting for her to voice her thoughts, the flyers suddenly split apart and swept away in pairs towards different points of the compass. The closest duo dipped low and came into the nimbus of the floating lamp-blimps. They were coleopters, vessels with a ring-shaped fuselage enclosing a large spinning fan that kept them airborne. The unmistakable shapes of boxy weapons pods hung on stubby winglets.
No alarm cry would have warned the people in the crowds, and they watched the flyers with disbelief, perhaps believing them to be yet another surprise addition to the Games of Penance. In the next second panic and terror rose up in a wave as fountains of firebombs spat from the coleopters and fell in orange trails towards the stadium. Everywhere they landed, great balls of black smoke and yellow flame bloomed, immolating hundreds. The aircraft wove through the mayhem they seeded, strafing the panicked people, while above them another lone ship dropped out of sight on the Tier of Greatest Piety. Whoever these killers were, they were landing men on the upper levels of the church tower.
Armed helicopter-gunship analogues. Probably a local variant, but its interesting to note that such aircraft do exist on planets.
The rockets dropped from the coleopters were stolen from Imperial Guard regiments, elderly area denial munitions pilfered from bunkers where they aited for rebellions and uprisings that never came... until now. The warheads broke open in right plumes that made miniature daybreaks wher-ver they struck, and where people did not die from smoke and flame, they smothered each other in panic.
Guard issue area denial weapons. They may be explosives, although I gather they are more likely incendiary/thermobaric weapons, possibly designed for smoke and light as much as actual harm.
The flyer that approached the Tier of the Greatest Piety executed a running touch-and-go, its wheels barely kissing the careworn granite for ten seconds before it took off again, thrusting away to enter a wide, lazy orbit of the conical tower. It left behind a squad of rag-tag men with no single uniform or look to them. All that united these killers was a callous, predatory anticipation, that and the absolute loyalty they showed to their leader.
Vaun dropped a pair of battered night vision goggles from his eyes and pointed with both hands.
Rebel/REnegades armed with NVG. also the copter-thingies apparently can carry troops as well.
There were bodies. Mostly they were servitors, and by the pattern of the kill shots they had been targeted by weapons aimed from a moving platform beyond the balconies. Miriya recognised the distinctive wound patterns of shells from Navy-issue heavy bolters. The bodyguards had died under the guns of the coleopter as it strafed the tower with random cascades of fire.
I guess the bolters of different organizations produce distinctive wound patterns (at least to a trained military sort like Miriya). Also interesting that the bolters on the Coleopters are naval issue - does this mean that these craft also come under Navy auspices the same way Valkyries, vultures and aerospace fighters do? Quite possibly.
"Take comfort then that those you attended are at the Emperor's side now."
The Hospitaller gestured to the dead servitors. "But not all."
"No." agreed Miriya. "Not all."
This is amusing, given the Cain novel mentions that some combat servitors are made from mentally unbalanced/insane Ex-Guard troopers (and probably penal troopers or whatever). Or the other sources indicating that Servitors, servo-skulls, etc. can be made from the bodies/skulls of loyal corpses or such. Are all servitors damned by the SoB mind?
The Sister Superior spoke into the vox pickup on her armour's neck ring.
Sororitas Vox is built into the neck rings. Presumably this allows them to go into battle like helmetless lunatics if they wish and still have comms.
The Canoness wished that she had ordered her women to bring their helmets: the optical matrix of Sabbat-pattern Sororitas headgear had a full-spectrum capacity that would render the darkest clouds transparent.
I guess there are times when the Sisters choose not to enter battle like helmetless lunatics!
On a more serious note, we observe that the helmets have night visionc apabilities, although "full spectrum" could imply the ability to see in multiple spectrums, like infrared as well. either way, it's the useful sort of ability you'd expect power armored troops to have and want, especiall when they don't come kited out in their own geneseed.
There was a horrible moment when the air about Torris Vaun's body bowed and lensed like a heat haze, and fizzing spurts of molten lead spat away from him. Vaun raised a hand in a blase wave and the two guardsmen began to twitch and scream. Emmel had personally chosen these two from the ranks of his private sentry force for their devotion and fortitude, but that counted for nothing as he watched them die on their feet. Heat radiated from them, along with the burnt-skin smell of overcooked meat. Thin plumes of fatty smoke streamed from their nostrils and mouths, while the decorative festival ribbons in their hair and beards caught fire in puffs of ignition. Swelling with internal combustion, the guards dropped to the stone floor, burning from the inside out.
The psyker killed Sherring's pale-faced friend with a needle of yellow flame, the psi-discharge punching the body away down the corridor. He seemed to relish it.
Our anti-hero shows significant pyrokinetic abilities, although calculating it is hard due to uncertain timeframe and effect - inflicting severe internal burning at least.. high kj to low MJ range certainly, although there is a distinct absence of actual steam and its possible that all Vaun did was ignite them somehow.
The second ability is alot more impressive even if it isnt brute force - a highly focused, highly penetrating and highly forceful attack, more like a psychic beam weapon.
He raised a small vox transmitter to his lips.
Not sure if its civilian issue or stolen from the Guard, but its presumably handheld.
A woolly, indistinct noise like the bark of a dog reached her ears, and then Rink rolled off her. It took a long moment for Miriya to realise that there was sticky, wet matter coating her face and torso. She sat up and unceremoniously used her robes to mop the thick offal away. The Battle Sister shook off her daze and realised that Rink, lying there on the tier next to her, was without his head.
Verity emerged from the haze with Isabel's bolter in her hands, vapour coiling from the barrel. The gun looked wrong in her grip, the shape of it there almost obscene against the virginal white of the Hospitaller's garb.
"Fortunate for me then that you still remember your training. A little to the left and that shot would have found me, not him."
Human sized bolter blows apart a human skull.
On more familiar ground, Verity became efficient and quick of hand, using an auspex-like device to divine the man's well-being, touching him to feel a pulse. She frowned. "We cannot take him from this place, Sister. He has internal injuries that will worsen if we move him."
Miriya accepted that with a nod, and then recovered the dead thug's lasgun. "Take this until we can find you a better weapon." she said, handing it to Verity. "Use it if you must."
"There are only two charges left in the weapon. If Vaun comes, I would suggest you use them to grant the Emperor's Peace to the good governor here and yourself."
Lasgun with two charges left.
He was close enough now, reasoned the priest. Close enough to be certain. "I think not, child." said LaHayn, and from his voluminous sleeves he produced an ornamental box that ended in a finely tooled argentium muzzle. He squeezed the device and it shrieked, projecting a mid-calibre bolt shell at the witch's chest.
The recoil from the weapon was so strong it almost broke the priest's wrist, but the gun was just the means to deliver the shell to the target. The bolt itself was not the typical carbide-fusion matrix bullet that issued forth from countless Astartes and Sororitas weapons - the very matter of the round was impregnated with psionic energy, culled from the minds of dying heretics. Each molecule of it reeked. with mental anguish, pain and psychic terror imprinted on the shell down to the atomic level. These munitions were very rare, but Lord Viktor LaHayn had taken a long time to build up the position he now held, and along the way many such items had come into his possession.
The psycannon bolt struck Torris Vaun in the chest, tearing through the heat wards that had turned the lesser shots of other men, and spent its massive kinetic energy punching through the flexsteel armour of his battle vest. The impact threw him back into the puddles of burning liquor, ripples of contained psy-force licking around him, fading. He coughed hard and brought up a mist of blood.
Psycannon bolt of rather interesting origin. Possibly a "low quality' or knockoff type of the sort Inquisitors and Grey Knights use, although still appaently rare. Otherwise we aren't told alot in how those things are made. Also the bolter-projection box has such recoil it still nearly breaks the priest's wrist (EG considerable.. possibly comparable to a amgnum weapon IRL.)
We also learn that "carbide fusion matrix" bolters are more standard to Astartes and SoB weapons. Not sure hat "carbide fusion" is - miniature nuclear weapons? That may be since they do use "depleted dueterium" which could suggest some sort of ultra-dense material.
Vaun has a intereting "flexsteel armor" that manages to stop much if not nearly all of the penetration of the bolt - he's injured (Blunt force trauma I suspect) but not killed. Also the "heat wards" which I suspect turn aside, destroy regular incoming fire.
The psyker stumbled and snarled at them, blood from broken capillaries in his eyes trickling down his face in red tracks. The glowing brand where the psycannon shot had struck him still flickered with desultory glimmers of blue-white energy, and Vaun picked at it with sweat-slick fingers, using his other hand in a warding gesture to banish the incoming bolts. The rounds struck the heat-wall conjured by his mind and deflected, some breaking and melting, others skipping away, but Miriya could see the agony caused by the injury LaHayn had inflicted was taking its toll.
We see the heat ward shielding in effect.. seems like it implarts some sort of momentum (explosve vaporization impulse perhaps) to deflect them, but it will destory/melt other rounds.
Vaun barked out a harsh laugh and shook the sleeve of his coat, revealing a bulbous, ornate device of jewels and metals wrapped about his wrist.
The psyker squeezed a triangular emerald switch and delicate, century-old microcircuits sent an activation signal.
The Battle Sisters heard a chug of static across their vox channels. Instants later, the shaped charges of detonite that Vaun's men had secreted all about the cathedral exploded. Under cover of the fires and the panic they had gone unnoticed. Still, there were enough in place to do what Vaun wished of them.
The coughing crashes of noise blew out stained glassteel windows and threw doors off their hinges. They cut through support pillars as saws might fell trees, or dashed ancient pews and unlucky people about the place in clouds of vapour.
Stonework from the upper tiers dropped to punch ragged holes through the mosaic floors, and Lord LaHayn threw himself off the pulpit just as a granite angel smashed the thing to matchwood. Blinking through brick dust and pain, the priest cursed the psyker's name as Vaun's mocking laughter echoed back at him.
Detonator with microcicruits, and mention of shaped charges of "detonite" Must be powerful to penetrate support pillars
Before the lasing crystal in the slender pistol could even energise, the psyker caused the molecules of the emitter matrix to superheat and fracture. Verity knew nothing of this until the gun became red-hot and sizzled against the flesh of her hand. By reflex, the Hospitaller threw the weapon away and cried out. Her shriek was drowned by the thrum of coleopter blades as the flyer banked around and dropped towards the terrace. The Hospitaller fell to her knees, clutching her scarred hand to her chest.
It's alternately called a lasgun and laspistol, so there is some inconsistency. It depends on the mode we use for calcing it.
One way is to try calcing the effect on Verity's hands - in other wise flash burning. we gould guesstimate burn depth and use temp/area calcs to vaguely calc it, but its probably not going to be that deep or serious - she doesn't lose use of her hands or any significant function as near as I can tell later in the novel, so the result probably wouldn't be dramatically different than flash burning (less than an OoM difference) so why bother complicating it? In any case calcing the burns is a lower limit since it only measures the energy delivered to the parts of her hands contacting the gun (and the entire gun heats up.)
This quote and the next one indicate that some scabbing and scarring occurs from the injury, this suggests severe second or mild third degree burns of some kind (her skin isn't blackened or charred noticably) By Luke's site on flash burns we can figure between 20-50 J cm^2 as a rough range for the wounds. And it fits within an Oom (10-100 J cm^2 would serve for these purposes fine) Assuming her hand is about 6 cm across and maybe 8 cm "long" (this is a bit smaller than my own hand, and I figure I have pretty big hands. the actual values probably won't vary significantly either. call it 50 cm^2 for each palm.. 100 cm^2 for both. thats 2-5 kj for both hands. This may be for one shot, or both shots (the gun malfunctions, but it said it had only two charges left) so it may be between 1-5 kj depending on context.
That is, of course a lower limit for the reasons I stated, but its not impossible as a calc either. The other way to calc it is to estimate the temperature the lasgun/pistol itself was raised to.
For lasgun masses we could just use the uplifing primer for a rifle - 2.3 kg. Or we could turn to the FFG material: laspistols in all the FFG material are 1.5 kg, and lasguns are 4 kg. Alternately we can use real life weapons as a benchmark - Beretta 92 or Colt M1911 wegh around a kilo each, but a glock pistol can weigh half that. Rifle wise, M-16s ad AK-47 seems roughly consistent (3-5 kg depending on source)
Then there is the color, which is actually simple per my trusty link here. I'll assume iron composition for specific heat (400-600 J per kg*K IIRC)
I'll assume a 1 kg pistol (a smaller one can half this or a bigger one can increase by 50%), faint read (770K - 300K starting temp - 470K temp) is 188 kilojoules - call it 90-190 kj per shot (depending if it was one or two shots in the backfire.) It could be higher (although for literal-ness sake I'll assume "red" doesn't mean cherry, although it possibly could) the value could be several times higher depending on specific heat and mass. Of course, its debatable whether lasguns are wholly metal (probably not) so only a portion of it could be metal (the reference to RL weapons is part of a means to account for that) Since I'm doing what amounts to an OoM calc anyhow it probably doesn't matter too much.
a 3-4 kg rifle of course would probably be 3-4x larger than my initial assumption - and it can even get into the dreaded/reviled "megajoule" range per shot
There's lots of ways to finagle it back and forth, but I'd say its quite reasonable to say that double digit kj for a laspistol at least is reasonable as an infernece from this incident.
"Of course you understand the deacon's concerns," said Dean Venik, looming over the serf boy ministering to the bandage on Verity's forearm.
"It happened very quickly. He... He used his power..." She held up the livid, inflamed hand, flesh scabbed with new scarring peeking through the white gauze.
Useful to confirm my earlier calcs, at least as far as inflicting the burns go.
The morose logistoras who had accompanied her down to this level rattled off a few cursory facts about the place, like a tourist's data-plate. He spoke of how many hundreds of metres
they were below the streets of Noroc, of how many more levels were below this one. In the middle distance, the Hospitaller could hear the oiled clanking of huge brass cogs as one of the room's mobile decks dropped away into the storage tiers. She stopped to watch the empty space, as big as a scrum-ball pitch. After a moment, another deck clattered up to replace it, a piece of a huge library rolling into position complete with endless racks of papers and bookish little men working the aisles.
logistoras (logister?) who is basically a human data-slate/plate/computer thingy. They're also "hundreds of metres below ground" in this huge ass library. Showing how deep Imperial consturction can go in a planet.
Many of the papers held here were so old that they would wilt beneath hard light, and in some sectors the servitors that ministered to the books operated totally on infrared wavelengths. In such a place, the act of concealment was almost welcoming.
Verity's shadow watched her from the hex-frame supporting part of the ferrocrete roof above the Hospitaller's head. The shadow was molten darkness, merged there into the black with such skill that even the vigilant skulls with their tiny red eyes looked straight at it and passed on, unaware.
Infrared servitors, and a spy/assassin who is proofed against visible and infrared light.
At the sound of her voice, the cogitator's pewter mask-speaker turned on oiled spindles to face the woman. It was a morose thing, worked out of metal to resemble the aspect of an exalted tech-priest some centuries dead. Bellows and tiny chimes in the throat of the device huffed and rattled, creating a sound that resembled human speech.
Gothified, Grimdark, Library computer. voice operated no less.
It was remarkable how such a small piece of cardboard could so encapsulate the life of a person. She lingered over a blank spot on the index. Just one accidental nick of her fingernail, a dot of spilled ink on the wrong page, and Priser could find himself penniless or declared dead. Such was the monumental inertia of the Imperium's monolithic bureaucracy that the word of these documents was law, and these flawed, impossibly old machines were the custodians of it all. It was a sobering thought to imagine all the things - people, ships, perhaps even entire worlds -that could go missing just for the sake of a wrongly placed decimal point.
More grimdarkified reflection on the bureaucratic nature of the Imperium's governmental institutions and their recordkeeping, and how vaguely estimated everything is, blah blah...
I also like the implied punch-card operated computers, because it's the Imperium after all.
The ghost pistol moved a few degrees. The age and origin of the killer's weapon was unknown. Some had said it was of xenos manufacture, others that it dated back to the black period known as the Dark Age of Technology. The shadow liked it for its silence. Inside the non-reflective matter of the breech, single dart-shaped projectiles nestled and waited. These were made by hand, crafted by sightless tech-priests specially blinded for just that purpose. When fired, they left the ghost pistol with no ejecta, no sound or report of fire. Not even the whispering air about the flying darts could give away their passage, and the material they and the gun were made from was utterly energy-inert. Any senses, from an auspex to a psyker's witchsight, could not see it.
There were many darts in the gun, but one would be enough.
"ghost pistol" made by blind techpriests. Basically its an undetectable assassin weapon, even from psychic detection (which also indicates that psykers can detect inert materials by the materials they may be made of, or the energy they give off.)
You also have to love how there are (blind) techpriests who will work with potentially xenos tech.
I wonder maybe if its some sort of CO/air gun for propulsion. Possibly its some sort of funky needler.
Unshir used the keys to unlock a tome sheathed in light-absorbing obsidian, touching a ring of code-spots on the cover to open it. He whispered something that sounded like birdsong into a grille on the book's spine and it obediently opened by itself, pages moving on armatures in a blur. With a snap, the book laid itself flat in Unshir's hands and he turned, presenting it to her. "The pages are made of a psychoactive papyrus," he said reverently. "Don't touch them with naked skin."
Verity nodded and began to read. These were the books of the tithe kept to record the comings and goings of the Adeptus Telepathica in the Neva system. Whenever a person was found bearing the stigma of a psyker, their name was entered here along with a preliminary record of the abilities they exhibited. In time, when the Black Ships came to claim them, the witchkin would be transferred from the deep cells in Neva's Inquisitorial dungeons to the mysterious vessels, never to be seen again.
"psychoactive papyrus" books, and which seems computerized and to some degree automated. Only in the imperium would something like this seem like a good idea, although it wouldnt surprise me if vanity or "tradition" played a role in the shape (the same way you make drones out of skulls, for example.)
Also an indication that some accurate (for once) recordkeeping of psyker culls/captures is kept in this sector/system, held until the Black Ships show up. (The planet also has its own special Inquisitorial dungeons)
"It is forbidden for us to look upon the pages that we write and protect. Our cognitive functions are compartmentalised so that we cannot understand the words which we transcribe."
An intresting look into Imperial medical technologies and what they can do to the brain (or the ways they can maim it, more likely).
The quillan's pen-nib fingertips scratched at the security buzzer panel, but then his head ripped open with a noise like tearing cloth and the clattering clerk fell dead to the deck.
The gloom of the librarium was rendered bright by the preysight mechanism within the sealed helm the shadow wore. Ahead, the assassin saw the heat blob that was Sister Verity lurching from one canyon of books to another, directionless and terrified.
Preysight senses in a "helm" - again infrared sensing.
Careful, deft fingers dialled the barrel of the ghost pistol to maximum dilation and the shadow racked
a dart into the breech. A sensor pit on the tip of the gun relayed information to the preysight, highlighting the shape of organs inside Verity's shuddering frame. There was the throbbing orb of her heart, nestled beneath the crosshairs.
The interesting thing about this is that the gun darts are "guided" shells, and linked to the preysight - yet are utterly undetectable (supposedly?) sensor/laser guided bullets in other words, and yet its not so absurdly high tech that only powerful Inquisitors (or those who can afford starships) can buy them (CF Bleeding Chalice.) - rather they are more like Arbites Executioner rounds.
I'm not sure what "dilation" means on the pistol - maybe the needles are variable in size/diameter or bore for some reason (bigger hole?)
"Preysight," she reasoned, shaking off her cloak to gain greater freedom of movement. The woman knew of the arcane technology that rendered night into day - the Sabbat helmets of the Adeptus Soror-itas had similar capacity - but she also understood its limitations.
SoB helms have their own preysight function or similar - eg infrared capability.
The machine-spirits of the librarium would not stand to let a fire rage for more than a second or two, lest it spread across the entire complex. There were networks of pipes that delivered inert, suffocating gases to such outbreaks - if the flames died, then so would she and Verity.
Library firefighting mechanisms, all machine spirit controlled.
The Battle Sister's weapon howled.
A fist of gaseous matter as hot as the core of a star ripped into the shadow's left arm, just above the elbow. Everything below the joint exploded from the touch of the incredible heat, and the hydrostatic shock of boiling blood sent a hammer blow racing through the killer's body. The assassin tumbled from the bookcases, falling to the decks through wreaths of fire-retardant mist.
Plasma weapons were designed not to target unarmoured forms like the shadow, but to melt their way through ceramite or hull metal. Used on flesh, they were a blowtorch turned upon wax. The pain of the hit was of such intensity that the killer's heart was stopped by it, and in turn, this factor triggered the compact denial charge of hexogen that was implanted beneath the shadow's ribcage. The assassin's patron was not in the business of letting discarded tools fall into the wrong hands.
With a wet crack, the shadow blew apart in midair.
Flecks of burnt matter, some of it flesh, some unidentifiable, scattered down around them in a macabre rain.
Effect of plasma weapons on the shadow, and in effect. The quote implies that they are primarily thermal weapons (against armour) although they have explosive effects on flesh (hydrostatic shock) as well as thermal (blowtorch on wax, boiling blood, etc.)
Again this is not the insane "cremate an entire person" type of pistol weapon either, which is not necesarily a bad thing, as lower powered shots can still be lethal, yet have better ammo capacity, rate of fire, and less danger of overloading if they aren't built to such insane power charge levels. Whether or not Miriya's plasma pistol can achieve a higher setting (or if this is such a setting) we dont know.
Anyhow, blowing apart/burning the lower arm is likely achieved via steam explosion (boiling point perhaps) since the primary mechanism is implied thermal, mechanical effects would be more secondary by boiling the water in the body (or at least part of it I figure the arm probably masses around 1-1.5 kg or so, but it may have only boiled a "fist sized' part of it - call it one third to half a kilo of water boiled or so. Figure on 270 kj injected to raise to boiling point (ignoring phaes change to water). Call it between 90-135 kilojoules as an "order of magnitude" calc via steam explosion.
If it is more mechanical, the calc could probably be an OoM or so lower (neglecting burn damage) but this is unlikely because of the size of the projectile (also its not a laser.)
With clipped orders, she sent her commands down the line to the Rhinos, Repressors, Exorcists and Immolators. In slow precision, the armoured vehicles proceeded to force their way through the trees. From the brass grilles of a dozen winged speaker horns came the opening cantos of the Fede Imperialis, the battle hymn of the Adepta Sororitas.
There's at least a dozen vehicles here. This implies there should be well over a hundred, if not several hundred, SoB on planet.
Page 185 - Baron Sherring has "automated gun servitors"
The Metis Household Cavalry had laid an ambush for the Order of our Martyred Lady. Just beyond the places where chokepoints had been planted with stands of tough trees to slow any armoured advance, a squad of Salamander scout mobiles was concealed beneath camouflage netting, ranged optics peeking out of the fake leaf-pattern material to spy on the Battle Sisters.
As one, the Salamanders discharged their primary armaments, a spread of punishing autocannon fire ripping through their temporary cover to strike at the Battle Sisters' forward line. Women died in streaks of orange fire, and back behind the copse, the scout commander ordered his units to fire up their engines and start the retreat. The cavalry tanks fired again as they moved, lining the perimeter with falling steel.
salamander scout vehicles in private use, with "ranged optics" of some kind. Also Salamander autocannon fire penetrates/kills Sisters in armour. This suggests at least some Sisters are dismounted.
The Salamanders here are also defined or configured as "calvary tanks" which may actually mean they are operating in a different role or variant than what we're used to - they can certainly fire on the move, which may suggest the gun is turreted (or at least has some limited traverse/tracking ability.
The Canoness was pressed to a complex device that mingled a periscope scanner with an auspex and targeting cogitator.
SoB have more complicated optics than the Salamanders it would seem.
[/quote][/quote]Built, like so many of the Imperium's armoured vehicles, upon the standard template construct that formed the basis of the Rhino, Exorcists were among the longest serving tactical units in existence. Almost all of them dated back to the turbulent years of the Age of Apostasy, when they travelled the battle zones of the Wars of Faith as mobile shrines-cum-attack units. Where most of the order's war vehicles were liveried in reds, blacks and whites, many Exorcist units had gold and silver about them in infinite detail. Their planes of ablative armour were worked with inlaid castings, and sprouting from the rear of some were towering organ pipes stained copper in the light of the Nevan sun. From these instruments came not music, but judgement and destruction.
With shrieks of fire at their tails, fountains of missiles emerged from the launch tubes, describing an arc up from the launchers, then down upon the Salamanders and the intractable trees. The hardy trees were split apart or felled, clearing the way for Sisters and Retributors to advance. With them came the spike-mawed prows of a dozen Repressors and Immolators.
A second barrage was unnecessary. The surviving Salamanders fled in full retreat, random snaps of laser fire lancing back from men in the cockpits who dared to test the patience of the Sisterhood. Galatea's tank circled about one of the enemy units. The scout car had been flipped on to its side by a near miss, and Miriya caught the vague noise of movement inside as they passed. She paid little mind to it. Her Sisters on foot would deal with any survivors. The Immolator's gun turret turned easily, letting her track the fat-barrelled meltaguns back and forth across the horizon. The Salamanders were quick off the mark, and there was a chance they would get out of range before the Sororitas could find a clear shot.
SoB Exorcists. Note the ablative armour and that their missiles drive the Salamanders back.