The Deathwatch in the Orpheus Salient
Watch Station Phaedas: Not a true Watch Station in the conventional sense, Phaedas is a relic of ages past, an archaeotech craft that bears no resemblance to any form of starship or void-station within Imperial records. If the Adeptus Mechanicus know of Phaedas’ provenance, they are not forthcoming about it.
Phaedas is largely automated, its myriad machine spirits demonstrating sophistication that rivals those of the most ancient and revered of Titans. The vessel—if it can be defined as such—seems to operate based on incredibly complex logic paths, turning augury data into plotted courses, even able to travel short distances through the warp without a Navigator. Phaedas is comparatively small for an object capable of self-sustained travel through the warp—massing far less then the smallest warp-going craft in service to the Imperial Navy or Adeptus Astartes.
The station has space to support ten Astartes, but contains a modest armory and a supply vault sufficient for years of travel without requiring replenishment. It is also equipped with a launch bay loaded with a single Stormraven Gunship and a Drop Pod Bay equipped with a single Drop Pod, either of which is enough to deploy the Kill-team occupying it from orbit swiftly and with precision. It’s small size and cunning design allow it to avoid all but the most careful of observers, making it extremely effective at conveying its Kill-team while remaining unnoticed.
Structure: Despite moving around the Sector as readily as a starship, Watch Station Phaedas more closely resembles an ancient void-station, built into a small asteroid. Clearly of human origin, this archaeotech structure has no evidence of engines, or any normal void-ship structures. How it manages to move through the void has remained a mystery to all who have used it over the millennia.
The majority of Phaedas’ internal structure is devoted to its essential systems, all of which run with an efficiency that disturbs the servants of the Machine God greatly, requiring little in the way of maintenance rites or mortal intervention. The only parts of the Watch Station that are readily accessible to its crew are at the fore— the Kill-team’s cells, the armory, the battle-cages, the launch and drop pod bays, and the strategium.
This strategium, a small chamber compared to its like aboard the starships of the Astartes, serves much the same purpose as a starships bridge or a void-station’s command centre, allowing the crew to interact with Phaedas’ systems and direct it.