The three planets, Hadd, Hesh and Het (known collectively as “The Lathes”) are each highly productive Forge Worlds in the Calixis Sector. Their orbits around their system’s sun intersect in such a way that they sometimes travel remarkably close to one another. When two of the planets are in close proximity their gravities are amplified providing an opportunity to smelt rare metals and alloys in incredibly effective ways, even more so on the rare occasion that all three planets are passing entwined. During these times the factories of the Mechanicus work feverishly to fully utilise the opportunity, creating some of the densest and strongest weapons and munitions in Imperial space.
With this bounty of technology at the Adeptus Mechanicus’ fingertips, the surface of each planet grew to be as crowded as possible (certainly not uncommon of Forge Worlds), but this was simply not enough to slake their needs. As such the planets pooled together the necessary resources to create a large space station, one of far greater design than most other Mechanicus orbitals. This station was created with the ability to pass out of any of the planets’ orbits and join in that of another, in a far faster way than the typical plasma driven thrusters of other stations. This would allow the station, after calculating the orbits of each of the three planets, to position itself between any of the planets that were about to intersect, taking advantage of an only slightly lessened hyper-gravity well.
After the concept proved successful and the output of the station began to surpass expectation, more layers of manufactories were built, a trend that continued to occur until fears that the station might swell to a size that couldn’t maintain a stable position between particularly close planetary intersections without beginning atmospheric entry of either planet and being torn apart. The station’s plasma engines, at first used exclusively for repositioning, now needed to be used at full capacity to prevent this result.
Nevertheless, the spectacle and efficiency of the moon-sized station, affectionately named “Lathe Haddeshet” remained popular even when it appeared it couldn’t be expanded any more. With low gravity at rest, standard Terra gravity at ready and Lathe-intensity gravity at work, life on the station required significant adjustment but produced equally significant results. It was on this station that Aestaban Sawyer was born.
True to the ways of the Adeptus Mechanicus he was conveyor-ed down a destined path at an early age, his place in the great machine meted out with cold but calculated precision. Fortunately for Aestaban he showed great potential for knowledge retention, focussed analysis and meticulous application over mindless force. This fast-tracked him far beyond the more menial tasks of the thronging manufactory workers, towards the more dangerous and infinitely more rewarding positions of the Adeptus Mechanicus itself.
Early in his induction into the Adeptus Mechanicus, when the teachings of religious zealotry towards the God of the Machine were just beginning to be applied, Aestaban fell in with an “underground” group of promising adepts who believed a certain degree of inaccuracy and fallibility with the teachings of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Belief that all technology, be they of the earliest dark ages or of the xenos, when used carefully could be mastered and could bring new light and power to the Imperium. Through these youths Aestaban learnt of small hidden troves of such technology, and even greater libraries of written knowledge that whispered of more.
As he was expected to do by the Cult Magi that gave him the task, Aestaban reported the identities and affiliations of each of the adepts in the underground movement, and whatever information he had gathered on the other fledgling headquarters on the Lathes planets three. He relayed their disorganisation and mad, purely heretical beliefs, claiming their misguidance had no academic backing of any kind. His efforts earnt him rare respect from a typically analytical administration, and he was soon being trained as an Explorator.
Aestaban never reported the large stockpiles of unsanctioned knowledge he had deemed valuable enough to be smuggled away. The adepts he betrayed were recycled into mindless survitors as per Mechanicus routine when dealing with rogue elements.
During his final years of training and preparation he was tutored by another Explorator, Somius Valusius. This man was effectively the entire Adeptus Mechanicus’ purpose and doctrine in a singular form. There was no deviation, no shades of grey with Somius and through him Aestaban learnt how to maintain the guise of devoted member of the mechanicus cloth with perfect accuracy. As such Aestaban’s interests remained hidden and he was sent away from his Forge World home to explore, followed with great interest and even a hint of pride.
His journeys about the Koronus expanse were as many as they were fruitful, though more often for his own interests than those of the Cult. However, one occasion almost cost him dearly. Instead of stumbling upon some planetary ruins or a long-forgotten archeotech facility, Aestaban tracked his way to a notoriously well-informed Xenographer called Monte Rodriguez. A kindred spirit of sorts in the expanse, Monte also walked the line of permitted study and forbidden pursuits and Aestaban made a point of convincing the academic that he respected a Xenographer’s studies greatly and understood the necessity to learn from the alien. Convinced, Monte shared information on a Kroot Shaper who was fairly new to the expanse and had brought along with him a sizable retinue and an even more sizable stockpile of Tau and Kroot knowledge and technology.
This information was not free, of course, Monte insisted that the pair work together to make contact with these fresh arrivals and perhaps even trade some technology. Monte’s linguistic skills and Aestaban’s sanctioned qualifications seemed perfectly matched so they travelled to the feudal world on which the Kroot were stowing and began the operation.
Though the first few days largely consisted of requesting the Kroot not consume them and then offering up strange beasts that they could, the pair eventually established an even footing with the Kroot “Shaper”, who referred to himself as Ngo Beh. They began to exchange knowledge first, and Aestaban noted Monte and the Kroot spending significant amounts of time talking together in Kroot-speak.
On the day Ngo Beh was finally willing to part with some of his items, Aestaban made a request for documents pertaining to the schematics and uses of their technology. Ngo Beh seemed willing to comply and first, and as he turned them over, Aestaban found a shuriken pistol being pointed right between his eyes. Monte seemed practically jovial as he explained how he earnt the Kroot’s trust, that they both suspected Aestaban of dishonesty and treachery. By killing him, Monte would have a place amongst the Shaper’s retinue and access to a great wealth of technology.
Aestaban’s Boltgun was hanging at his side and he was certain he’d have no chance to reach for it. He implored Monte listen and understand that there was no deception involved, that his interests were academic, pure and for the good of all peoples, mankind or alien. The signs that his efforts were failing only briefly drifted across Monte’s face as a large burst of energy crashed through the roof of the room behind them, obliterating half the house they were using to negotiate.
As the smoke cleared Ngo Beh and Monte peered out the back of the hovel’s charred opening, seeing a small number of Imperial craft descending from the sky above. When they turned back they found Aestaban grinning at them, Kroot documents tucked under his arm (unfortunately untranslated) and his boltgun pointed their way.
He entirely intended to kill these two would-be outlaws, before hiding the acquired documents away. Unfortunately the Imperial craft were not finished with their initial strike and the room in which they stood was practically cut in half with a second blast, flinging Aestaban out the door. He only had time to tuck the information into his robes before the first craft landed.
Opting not to scold the first officer he could find for arriving far earlier than they had originally planned (and therefore not leaving Aestaban enough time to escape the imminent assault), Aestaban instead requested a few armed men check the half-destroyed hut for the Kroot leader and the treacherous Monte Rodriguez.
A troop of Guardsmen was immediately dispatched, but nobody was found within.
Far less dangerous tales would occur after this one, but only after coming up with no leads for a significant amount of time did Aestaban submit to being assigned to a Rogue Trader who had a debt to the Adeptus Mechanicus itself. A few of these passed, the arrangement not quite focussed enough on Aestaban’s needs for him to remain. The most recent charge is on board Impiety’s Penalty, serving one Argustus Clawface. Hopefully this situation will suit better.