Pirates of Arcadia
A Warhammer 40,000 Novel
By Scott McMillan
The thick black smog of Arcadia Hive, swirled around the dirty, cramped conditions of the alleyway, rust, oil, and grease was everywhere, and the street was filled with shabby stalls selling all kinds of black market wares, the equally shabby customers where dark, and menacing figures who stayed in the shadows. Rubbish crammed the space around the old manufactorium buildings which where rusted and decrepit of all life except for thousands of pipes which carried oil and other murky substances into the newer manufactoriums built above the old buildings.
All this was unseen by the tall, strange figure who walked through the alleyway, and down into an excessively shabby, filthy old building which served as a tavern to the residents of the hives lower levels. The figure who was tall, and slim in the dark epauletted overcoat, and tall peaked cap of an Imperial Commissar, the Commissar's face was concealed by a Death Korp gasmask. A gold hilted power sword hung from his left hip, and his hands where concealed in dark black gloves. In all he was a foreboding, frighting figure. The scantly clad servitor barmaid which served the patrons of the dubious bar, cowered away when he walked into the bar, which went as quiet as a grave at the sight of him, the commissar stood there for a moment looking into the crowd, growled at the barmaid and then spoke: “I am looking for Christophus Ironshot” he announced to the barmaid, in a rather deathly voice. “I... I.. don't know any person called... Ironshot sir” she squeaked in her automaton voice, the commissar looked at her and growled again, “I think you do scum, now... WHERE IS HE” he barked, the servitor cowered and pointed towards a shabby door, which lead to a back room. “Was that so hard?” the Commissar sneered through his gasmask, and grasping his sword, he strode through the crowded bar, and into the back room. The back room in fact was a space in an old manufactorium on which the shabby bar had been built onto, the room was made of rockcrete on two sides, whilst the back wall was made up of a huge tangle of pipes, the room was sweltering from the heat that emanated from the pipes, but the commissar ignored this, his thoughts where on the middle aged man who sat slumped behind a shabby desk, the man was tall, plump, and looked twenty year older then his fifty-six years. His right eye had been replaced with cyber augmented eye, which glowed a diffused red. His left arm was non existant instead, a long cyber replacement had been fitted some time ago, and it was pitted, and rusted from years of a lack of maintenance. A battered looking cigar was planted firmly between his lips, whilst his thin gray hair was greasy and plastered back upon his skull with oil. With that said the man emanated joviality and pleasure and stood at once when the commissar strode in, a look of alarm on his unshaven face. “Who the feth are you!?” he demanded at once. The commissar made a strange noise which roughly resembled a chuckle, and walked up to the desk, “You fat bastard” he growled, then he unfastened the gasmask from his face and let it hung from the oxy-purifier unit around his neck. The face revealed was a scared, youthful face with a terrible burn to the left side of his face, his blue eyes where almost gray and his thick hair was of a blondish brown colour, he gave a crooked half smile and nodded: “You never could remember who was a friend and who wasn't” the commissar said, his face smirking, Ironshots face relaxed and he took a long puff on his cigar before breaking into a grin. “Ricard, fething Venables, what in Throne's name are you doing here?” Ironshot asked, as he made his way round the desk, he tripped over a thick cable and went flying into a pile of storage cabinets, then corrected himself and walked over and offered his hand to Venables, who took the proffered hand in his and shook it vigorously, the two old friends looked at each other and grinned, “So whats my star pupil doing in this fething hole?” Ironshot asked, as he poured two mugs of coffee. The thick, pungent liquid, stank of servo oil but Venables accepted it gratefully and explained: “Came to find you” he said as he took a gulp from his cup. “Find me? why the feth did you wanna do that?” he exclaimed loudly, Venables closed the door, “I need money Chris” He said with an air of guilt, and gave a half smirk toward Ironshot. “Throne! why didn't you say so!?” Ironshot exclaimed, he roared in laughter and nearly fell backwards in his chair. “You know I'm always willing to help you! we're practically blood relations!” Ironshot announced, and got up. He walked towards an old, painting on the wall of the defense of Hades Hive, and pulled the painting from the wall to reveal an old safe box, once his biologic eye was scanned, the door to the safe opened and Ironshot pulled out a wad of thick Arcadian money. “How much?” He asked, Venables grimaced and told him: “Two hundred and fifty credits” Ironshot nodded and began to count out the money, the amount ready he handed it to Venables. “So Ricard my boy, how'd you accumulate that kind of debt” he asked, Venables looked thoughtful then shook his head: “best you don't know” Ironshot shrugged and smiled, “Well well so be it” Ironshot remarked and drained the last of his coffee, Venables did likewise and smiled. They talked for five hours before Venables finally took his leave of Ironshot who was deeply saddened that Venables had to go. As Venables walked out of the bar and into the cold alleyway, night had well and truly set in and the alley was dark and damp. Venables set off down the alleyway, towards a dark set of stairs which lead to the upper levels of the hive and cleaner air. He had the money he desperately needed and had seen and old friend and now he must return to the duty he so cherished, and to the debt he could finally repay.