Rupert James Murdoch
"A mind without purpose wanders into dark places."
|Height:||180 cm||Hair Colour:||Grey|
|DOB:||4.668.833 M41||Homeworld:||Sozomen’s Last Stand|
Weapons and Equipment
|Sword||1d10+4R||Pen 2||Balanced, Mono|
|S/-/-||2 Rnds||2F Rld||Scatter, Reliable|
|S/3/-||60 Rnds||F Rld||Reliable|
|S/3/10||30 Rnds||F Rld|
Guardsman Flak Armour (AP4)
Drive (Ground Vehicle)
Speak Language (Low Gothic)
Talents & Traits
Basic Weapon Training (Las, SP)
Melee Weapon Training (Prim)
Pistol Weapon Training (Las, Sp, Prim)
Resistance (Psychic Powers)
Sound Constitution (II)
TL;DR – Lived an average life, unremarkable except for fate always seeming to pull him out just when he needed it. Was aboard the Vervilix during the Mara Landing Massacre and remembers pieces of it vividly. Profoundly interested in what constitutes “life” and how it differs from “humanity”.
Note: There are indeed inconsistencies within the story. I figured as a player that this could serve to reflect the nature of the mind-cleansing; my character tells a crooked tale but doesn’t think to question himself of the details, and if pressed would find the most convenient excuse.
“Life finds a way”, or so it is said. But what is life anyhow? What is this miracle of the human soul? The fanatics of the Imperial Creed would have you believe it something holy and blessed, that the human soul distinguishes us from the common beast. But I know differently. That luxury we call “human decency” born of man’s “soul” is nothing but an illusion. Enter any under-hive or Imperial slum and that much will be evident. Live as a mercenary like me and it will be a self-propagating universal truth. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My name is Rupert James Murdoch. I’ve led what I think is a fairly normal childhood, having been raised in a middle-class family in a rather rural but industrious community. But every family has an oddball, and in ours it was my uncle Kurt. Instead of taking up the family business of farming, he ran away at sixteen and joined the Imperial Guard where he somehow mysteriously made Staff Sergeant and ironically symbolized to his regiment that cool heads will prevail. Growing up I learned a lot from Uncle Kurt. Using the equipment he had slowly accumulated over the years, he trained me in the use of both ballistic and melee weapons, tactics and techniques to both overwhelm and command superior numbers. Of course, it wasn’t of much use to a farmer, but with three elder brothers and two elder sisters (not to mention however many followed after I ran off – children are a blessing in an agricultural family), my parents had all the help they needed on our farm. By the time I was sixteen, under his tutelage I had become a certified mercenary. I immediately borrowed my uncle’s las carbine and signed up with the Blackwood Company.
For the first time I was surrounded by neither stupid and mindless rural peons nor elders like Kurt whose experience alone afforded them an overwhelming sense of presence. Some of the other recruits may have been lacking in skill or experience, but everyone had a story to tell. Whether it was their ambitions of one day leading a guard regiment or even of how they had to lie, cheat, and steal for each morsel of food. The Company alone would be enough proof for me to stand by what I say about life; people from every walk of life be it the lowliest underhive or the highest nobility gathered to make a name for themselves, away from the advantages or disadvantages their backgrounds afforded them. Like in the Guard, we led dangerous lives that could be extinguished any moment. But we were different in that we had the freedom to choose our own destiny through the contracts we accepted. In the ten years I’ve been with the Company, I’ve travelled to dozens of worlds for all sorts of work, and seen all sorts of human life. On Scintilla there was a group of runaways selling their blood and organs to buy food. On Cyprian’s Gate there was a cult dedicated to toilet worship. And on Piety a priest who vivisected his flock alive to bring them closer to God.
Everywhere I went, life persisted, but it was not necessarily in the form that we call ‘humanity’. Is it human to sell your own life for a copper coin? To lose this so-called miracle and holy blessing? How about for a world? And what of those who idly stand by, watching others throw away all that makes life worth living?
Why do I care so much for life and humanity, you ask? Perhaps it is because I feel touched by fate and long to see where it all will lead. I’ve led what one might call a ‘charmed life’. Time and time again I come within a hair’s width of losing my life, but something or someone always manages to pull me out at the last second, just barely letting me get away. At other times what seems at first a long gamble pays off against all odds, or I’ll miraculously succeed while on the verge of failing. Let me tell you one such example, which both challenged and strengthened my hope in humanity.
As per a long standing contract, the Blackwood Company was supplying some support for the Imperial Guard. My troop was housed in the transport ship Vervilix, vaulting through the warp to some destination I didn’t have the security clearance to know. What I do know is that we did not arrive there.
The mess hall was, as it always was, in a state just short of open riot. Here and there were games of poker with shells and cartridges acting as chips as men gambled away duties, desserts, and deniers. A more common sight were the circles formed around battle-hardened veterans, either in drunken song or tales of glory and horror. The room smelled as it always did, with the putrid stench of sweat, coffee, stale booze and lho. The officers long since stopped noticing (or, more likely, caring about) the occasional narcotic or weed floating around in us troopers’ little den of sin. One guy in particular, Gerry the Razor, always seemed to be in rapture, singing hymns at the top of his lungs while whittling pieces of art with his knives into whatever he could get his hands on. He had been carving a real Madonna out of an apple when we were struck.
We’d all experienced turbulence before. Hell, on the way to suppress an uprising on Elros a while back it was so bad we had to shut off air circulation for a while just to help stabilize the ship. The ship may have been all but a single tooth of a giant chainsword for all the seizures and abrupt accelerations we endured. But this time was different. From out of nowhere came a sudden impact against the side of the hull, knocking us all to the floor in a spill of human bodies, broken glass, and cheap playing cards. I had just barely checked my fall when I saw a chair hurtling towards me and… And I woke up to the sounds of gunfire and battle.
We’d crash landed, but no one seemed to know where in the midst of all the confusion. We were either at the bottom of a natural basin, or one that had been created by the ship’s impact; it had crashed with its prow deep in the earth, with perhaps two thirds of it jutting in the air on a dangerously oblique angle and all of it ablaze with a fury that would rival any star. Word had passed around that there was fortunately enough time to eject almost all the volatile materials aboard, so the ship was free to burn, if burn it must – we had no time to address the fire anyhow. Men were rushing to and fro, scavenging what supplies they could and setting up temporary shelters for the injured and infirm. With our backs to the Vervilix and night settling in on a foreign, unknown planet, drawing up a defensive perimeter was priority, as xenos had already been spotted.
Through the flames came a torrent of evil power. Shadows leapt through the fires that must have been more than a few thousand degrees hot, unharmed and unilluminated! The very flames took on life, surging forwards with a ferocity not seen even in the cruelest of Nature’s creations. With little chance to even react, we were torn apart. Our weapons seemed to have no effect, and passed straight through our enemies and instead impacting on our own on the other side. Leadership was non-existent, and we became a rout with no destination, no purpose but survival, and as much chance as any of us meeting the Emperor in the flesh.
Where does one flee on such a battlefield? Monstrosities of fire and shadow to our backs, a xenos army on our front, and all around the constant threat of stray weapons fire amidst the chaos.
(skipping ahead while I think this part out)
The fire that had lasted what seemed like an eternity became our saviour. Passing Guard ships had been notified of our distress, and were quickly able to locate us from the smoke of the wreckage. We were rescued, but scarcely a tenth of our original numbers, as near as I could make it, were left. With no surviving commanders with clearance high enough to take charge of us as a whole, we were handed to the Inquisition for questioning. The Inquisitor must have been thorough, and his methods complete and concise, for that is there way. But I must have been shown mercy, for I remain sane and coherent, and was offered a place at his side.
So here I am, a servant of my Lord’s will, faceless in his Legion as I do His work and bidding. His enemies shall be my enemies, and His allies mine. I serve now the Inquisitor Arthur Erlend, devout in my service and forever with the hope that my fated life may be a useful tool in His hand, by His will. Vivas Imperialis!