[DH2nd] Sights & scenes for a hive

February 2011, I had posted some ideas for sights and scenes inside a 40k hive in the FFG forum (for DH1st). Today, I provide you with a more polished version (for DH2nd).

#[This hive section] is overseen by enforcers who walk on gantries running along and across the streets, high above your heads. These grim looking men and women are armed with sniper rifles and some of them watch the crowd with magnoculars.

#The already crowded street starts to fill with more and more people. It seems like a work shift has ended in one of the major manufactoria and after a couple of minutes you are just a drop in an ocean of sweaty bodies, pushed along by the stream. Staying on your course is not easy, as nobody seems to stop but everyone just flows with the crowd.

#In the middle of the [street or place] stands a preacher on top of some hardplast boxes, giving a sermon about fire and damnation and all kind of sins. He denounces all passersby as unworthy sinners that should redeem while most of the people just try to ignore him, which in turn only infuriates him more.

#Down from above comes a fine drizzle accompanied by a hissing sound. As you look up, you see workers hanging from the ceiling in front of a gigantic aquila relief carved into the hive wall. While they clean they clean the imperial ornament withpressure washers , water and filth sprays down on you and the other pedestrians.

#From the far opposite wall of the hive section comes a deep humming as the huge ventilation systems awake and start to set the air into motion. A stale breeze washes over your faces, but moments later it becomes fresh as recycled air is piped into the section and the used up is sucked out above. The artificial gale chases paper waste over the rockcrete floor.

#The big corridor you follow is astoundingly clean and a chemical smell dominates the air, reminiscent of a hospital. After a while you notice huge yellow warning signs which are stamped across the floor. [“Warning! Entering sector with infection level V!”]. Ahead, you find a basin, at least two yards in length, that coveres the whole width of the passage and is filled with a clear liquid. Servitor drones are positioned at both ends of it. Once you reach the one on your side, it turns to address you, monotonously delivering its message: “Footwear disinfection basin – Treat slowly – No splashing – Disinfection is mandatory”.

# A horrible stink fills your nostrils while you move along. As the crowd suddenly divides in front of you, you see the source of the stink: a small sea of raw sewage covers the middle of the [street or plaza]. If it spilled down from far above or if it welled up from below, you cannot say.

#You take the metal stairways down to the next level and the free standing construct squeaks and shudders under your every step. Half way, an old-fashioned iron gate with an electrical ward blocks the passage [PC need to hold a cognomen with an access code against it, by-pass it or will have to climb around the gate. The later is an ordinary(+10) Athletics/Agility test with the chance of dropping to your death]. At the end of the stairway, a servitor welcomes you to the section with an static-ridden voice and begins to list the important communal offices and facilities to you, and where to find them.

# In the dim lit area ahead, you note a red light that darts about like a mad firefly. It turns out to be a servo-skull that zick-zacks across the heads of the citizens. Every now and then, it abruptly dives down into the crowd. After a while it ascends back up, only to soar to another position to repeat the procedure. While you continue on your way, you come close to the erratic pass of the skull drone. As it goes down nearby, you catch some harsh sounding orders issued to a pedestrian by the skulls vox module. [Perception / Awareness test: “Stop! Identity control. Hold your cognomen in front of you and wait for further orders!”]

#Suddenly something bumps into you and makes you stumble half a step back. It is a young boy, about 10 years standard, who wears the badge of one of the local courier guilds. He holds an electro-sealed tube container in one hand and is about to utter a “sorrysire”. [This might be a thief in disguise or just an honest courier boy. The PC might harass him or not. It will not have any consequences one way or the other].

# The flow of the crowd comes to a stop. Irritated and annoyed muttering forms into a background noise as the questions “what is going on?” spreads. After a while the answer ripples back: the street has been blocked at both ends, a genetic screening takes place. The people around you complain but stay where they are. From time to time, everybody moves a few steps forward, only to stop again. (…) After what seems like an eternity [or after an endless series of pushes and shoves by the PC as they force their way forward through the crowd] you reach an impromptu barricade made of segments of iron bars welded into free standing grates. At a small opening, you are held back by brutes that hide their faces beneath crude loin cloth masks: they demand to take a blood sample from you with a small device similar to an auspex.

#Shouts of pain, anger and frustration come from the crowd around you. The second you are still wondering, somebody shouts “RATS!” While the warning is repeated by others, you suddenly see one of the vermin hushing by next to you. The beast is the size of your underarm!

#Traders have placed market stalls left and right and hawkers strut through the streets that loudly advertise their goods. Interested buyers form islands in the stream of people, and those islands quickly grow in mass as other pedestrians are blocked by them and have to press and wiggle themselves back into the stream once more.

# Ahead, the sound of cheering and raunchy laughter mixes with electric music and erratic applause. After a few moments you are close enough to see the source: on the elevated base of a five meter high statue of a war hero a trio of scantly clad women dances sultry to chimes coming from a box-shaped technological music device. The monument they are dancing on is surrounded by a half-circle of noisy men, some of whom throw coins up to the dancers. Further away, a group of angry looking women rants about this open display of shamelessness.

[UPDATE: 20.04.2016 // corrected some errors]

[DH2nd] Sights & scenes for a hive

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