The Acolytes have managed to trace the contraband weapons to their source, and successfully shut down the secret factory producing them. In the battle at the factory a number of potential informers were killed, but the Acolytes did succeed in capturing one of the organizers. With their mission concluded, the Acolytes, their prisoner, and the evidence all returns to Hive Sibellus for examination. In addition, the Acolytes the chance to rest, recover, and prepare for whatever the Inquisitor has in store for them next.
The Magistratum officials in Gunmetal swept through the secret factory, although they were limited in what they could learn and recover due to the damage done in the fight. Most of the equipment used seems to have been salvaged from closed or abandoned factories in and around the Inferno, patched together in a haphazard fashion. The captives who were working in the factory have been detained and interrogated. Most of them seem to be dregs, lower-class hivers who were hoping to find enough work to earn a living and instead found themselves chained to a factory machine. A handful of more experienced and skilled workers were kidnapped or coerced into working – a few had substantial debts that Octus promised to take care off in exchange for their work, and others had emergencies that he likewise promised to help with. The Magistratum is punishing these individuals as appropriate, but no one seems to know more of the operation that what they saw at the factory.
One of the dead men was identified as Gord Freel, the weapons engineer. The other captives were able to testify that he had been providing the primary technical knowledge and skill for assembling the factory and operating it. It appears that Octus leveraged his debts to get control over him.
During the fight at the factory, the Acolytes were confronted by (and killed) a heavily armed and armored man. Although his dataslate had wiped itself during examination, the Magistratum has been working on discovering his identity. Based on his appearance and a few other clues about his possessions, they currently believe that he was the Captain of the merchant ship [i]Voidwalker[/i]. The ship is a small, lean trader that regularly makes deliveries within the Sector, and its registered flight plans include stops at Hive Sibellus, Gunmetal, and Hive Tarsus. It could be the ship that was dropping weapons at Hive Sibellus.
Suspiciously, the [i]Voidwalker[/i] abruptly changed its flight plan and left Scintilla one day after the raid on the factory – before any connection had been caught. It’s registered flight path was to take it offworld.
Among the documents recovered from the Captain were packets of apparently encrypted documents. The Magistratum has had very little luck breaking the cypher. They have managed to extract a few pieces of information, mainly what seem to be dates and quantities. These can be matched against some of the known deliveries of weapons made to Hive Sibellus, but the level of encryption makes drawing too many conclusions precarious. They will continue working on the encryption but are not confident they will be able to make any significant progress in a useful timeframe.
The Acolytes were able to capture Octus alive, a great benefit as he appears to be one of the primary organizers of the weapons smuggling. Octus proved to be extremely resilient to questioning, and it has taken weeks for the Magistratum to convince him to share what he knows. Ultimately he has been prepared to answer questions and assist with the encryption of the documents he was carrying.
Octus claims to have been a relatively small-time fence for some time, regularly assisting the criminal element of Gunmetal with finding or offloading questionable items, as well as trafficking in information on individuals and organizations. A few years ago he contacted by someone with a few minor tasks; locating some quality weapons, finding a skilled technician who could be discrete, moving some contraband around the city. These proved to be tests, and when Octus passed them he was approached for a much larger project – to assemble and operate the weapons factory. He was hesitant, but the amount offered was staggering, and so he agreed. The project has been underway for the last year, and only recently came to full operation.
Octus has revealed that his instructions were to prepare large batches of weapons for transport; he would receive instructions on what was needed and in what quantities. While Octus arranged to produce the weapons and smuggle them to the docks, the client arranged for the transport out of the city. His most recent orders were to continue to scale up the production of the weapons, and he had been instructed to begin stockpiling the extra weapons that were not immediately shipped out. Although the Magistratum has been monitoring his message drop, no further instructions have come – it appears that the client is aware the factory was compromised.
Most of the communication has been handled remotely, but Octus did meet his client once at the outset – he can provide those details as needed.
Both Octus and the Captain were marked by the same symbol, a central circle with five surrounding ovals. Octus has indicated that he received the mark when he met with the client, who indicated that it was a requirement for the job and that it would identify him as part of the ‘Syndicate’. The first time that Octus encountered the Captain they both revealed the symbol to confirm their involvement. The Magistratum doesn’t have a record of the symbol as related to any gang or cult, but has requested assistance from other branches to try and locate similar marks.