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88 Tanstar is a frontier world in the Drusus Marches of the Calixis Sector. Currently, an Imperial Navy depot has been placed on the outlying colony world (seventy eight million population).

The Incident at Fall Narrow[]

The Calixis Sector has had only a single formally identified instance of a Cryptos infiltration being discovered and destroyed since its foundation, although several more are suspected. This single verified infestation occurred at the mining community of Fall Narrow on 88 Tanstar nearly two centuries ago.

Numbering under a thousand inhabitants, the settlement of Fall Narrow was relatively efficient and quite unremarkable; it met its quotas, people were born, worked, and died without unusual incident, and various officials passing through did not find any cause for concern. So things might have continued were it not for a mining accident that was witnessed by a travelling Administratum scribe detailed to carry out a local census. Dozens died during this mishap, and the scribe, to his horror, saw the settlement overseer impaled by a fallen joist. As he died, the overseer’s body thrashed about and a green cloud billowed out of his eyes and mouth. The scribe recorded the unwholesome sight on his ocular augmetic before fleeing. In response, the panicking regional governor deployed enforcer units that attempted to storm the settlement and conduct an investigation.

The assault turned into a massacre as the ordinary men and women of the settlement resisted fiercely. The violence quickly and dramatically escalated with the miners attacking the enforcers with makeshift demolition charges and industrial machines and the enforcers responding with heavy assault units (the locals seemed to be under the delusion that they were being attacked by corsairs and outlaws). Captured prisoners showed signs of psychic suggestion and mental tampering, and it was clear something alien and malign was at work. This became particularly evident when the enforcers’ own encoded vox-net was compromised and an entire strike-force was led into a trap and destroyed.

At some point during the assault, the central explosives store detonated, (although whether deliberately or by a stray round remains unknown). In the explosions and fires that followed, the settlement and almost all of its inhabitants and many of its besiegers were killed. When the Inquisition arrived shortly afterwards, it found that in a demonstration of either compounded incompetence or xenos conspiracy no records were kept of surviving inhabitants (if any) or the names of surviving enforcers involved in the incident. Given the ability of the Cryptos to possess victims, their evident intelligence, and their skill at evasion, the xenos threat was likely merely displaced to another quiet and unassuming backwater. Despite a full Inquisitorial investigation, no further trace of the Cryptos colony was ever found.