A former Rogue Trader fleet crew member turned mercenary
“A job’s a job, but I thought my contract involved shooting people for money, not becoming part of some crazy cult.”
A career soldier with the sharp posture to match, even though Dumont is a little over the ripe age of 50, active service, along with some synthmuscle and plain old experience, still allow him to keep up fairly well with his peers. His hair and beard are starting to turn gray, but otherwise he seems to be surprisingly well preserved for his age.
Though not from the wealthiest background originally, service in the fleet of the Rogue Trader Mallus von Behring, and lately the contracts offered by the faceless mercenaries loosely affiliated with him, have filled Dumont’s pockets with perhaps a bit more money than he knows what to do with. Consequently, he’s developed a bit of a taste for expensive and exotic things over the years. And although involved in the pretty cutthroat business of hired killers, he strives to keep an air of professionalism about himself.
Excerpts from the field journal of Lt. Dumont, during the Aventine campaign
Been a couple of weeks, and I have to say, Aventine is actually a pretty decent place. Still no word on Hades, seems that this Kerberus… or was it Cerberus? Bleh, whatever. That big guy. Anyway, he’s the one in charge right now. Have to say I’m not a big fan, and a lot of the other guys agree. It’s those new guys he’s brought along, really jittery bunch. Not very soldier-y at all. But I guess I can deal with that for now. At least this planet isn’t absolute garbage, thank the Emperor for that.
Lost my last pack of lho-stikks to Steve while playing poker the other night. And now I’ve got patrol duty while it’s raining. Shit.
Things started raining down from orbit today. First came what looked like escape pods, then loads of what we thought was debris at first, except it turned out not to be something that normal. After one of them fell on and flattened one of our outposts on the coast, waves of green xenos poured out that weren’t too hard to recognize. Freaking orks. I knew this damn planet was too good to be true.
As though dealing with a bunch of orks wasn’t annoying enough, it seems that the new guys have finally lost it, and their boss is following suit. They’re doing public executions daily now, but not the nice, bullet between the eyes type of stuff. Fucked up stuff, like twisting limbs off people. That Kerberi guy even seems to have some kind of psyker staff he’s using to do it, and looks like he’s having a time of his life, too. There was also some other poor bastard they dragged in today, missing a leg. Seemed to make that big fucker’s day even more than usual, he even stopped torturing a guy just so he could give the newcomer the biggest shit eating grin I’ve ever seen.
Timestamp: [DATA CORRUPTED]
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…This is Lieutenant Oscarl Dumont speaking… Well, I’m probably not a Lieutenant anymore. My boss is dead, and I killed him, so I guess that means I’m jobless now… [Pause, muffled movement in the background, followed by coughing] He was a damn cultist though, deserved what was coming to him. Just for the record.
So, um, the reason I’m making this record… Well, things aren’t going too well around here. Aventine’s fucked, and though I’m doing my best to unfuck everything along with a bunch of other people, it doesn’t look good. I mean, we have a daemon prince of Slaanesh romping around here for Emperor’s sake, and you can’t even leave because the sky’s some purple warp crap or something. Not to mention that some crazy techpriest’s trying to throw the planet into the warp, as though that’s gonna help fix our problems. The bastard’s even sending servitors armed to the teeth after us now, one of those damn things almost killed me.
In any case… to whoever’s listening to this, well… I’m probably dead if you’re hearing this right now. And if that’s true, then I’m sorry. I tried to fix the things that got fucked, but there’s only so much one man can do, right? But that’s Askellon for you I suppose, we’ve got like a dozen apocalypses going on at any given time. Just one more broken planet to add to the list.
[Silence, followed by sound of a lighter clicking several times]
So anyway… I’m making a record here. One, so I can get my thoughts in order._ [Pause, followed by coughing] _Two, I feel like rambling a bit. Helps me not think about this crappy planet for a moment. And, well… Maybe I’m a bit sentimental, but… I want to preserve my story. No one lives forever, and no one wants to be forgotten, y’know? And I figure if I don’t start now, I’ll never get a chance ‘cause I’ll be dead. [Pause] …That sounded better in my head, really. But whatever, here goes.
So, where to start… The beginning, I suppose? Where I come from, where it started for me. [Short pause] That’ll do. Anyway… I don’t really remember the name of the planet, probably because it was one of those places with a designation. LV-426 or KG-348 or whatever. That kind of name. Not that anyone cared to remember it, since we had lots of names for that place. Like Hell or the Rock. Descriptive, but a bit unimaginative.
The planet itself was a tiny rocky thing with a sun that was way too big, and way too close. That made it so that the same side was always facing the sun, while the other was always in the dark. Not a death world or anything. Still, the local fauna wasn’t exactly friendly. We had massive lava worms that, even though they just ate rocks and ore, didn’t much care to swerve to the side if they ever ran into a group of puny humans. And trust me, a thirty-meter lava worm erupting from the ground under your Chimera because it wanted to eat the armor plates is enough to fuck up your day.
The tidal lock was probably one of the main reasons anyone ever bothered to set up shop here in the first place, since the heat on the sunward side made the surface mostly molten, which was perfect for mining. A pretty darn dangerous job, so they mostly had servitors and excavators the size of houses doing the heavy lifting. The flesh and blood crew was mostly tasked with maintenance and prospecting work, though they still lost scores of workers to solar flares, earthquakes and lava bursts often enough that there were always new openings for people crazy enough to take them.
On the dark side of the planet we had mostly research outposts doing geological survey work. I saw some weird glowing crystals once or twice, so probably that wasn’t the only thing they were doing, but I knew better than to ask. Anyway, apparently when the sun is melting one half of the planet while the other remains in the shade, the result is geological instability like you wouldn’t believe. Earthquakes that feel like they’re going to shake the whole planet apart, and even when you get small ones, the jagged rifts they tear into the ground are wide enough to fit a Baneblade… Not that we had any, but I’d heard they were big.
I was no tech priest, and I sure as hell didn’t want to be a miner, so it was either guard duty or piloting for me… Good thing I had a knack for handling the wheel, because otherwise I would’ve died of boredom most likely. Not that driving supplies and people around on that rock was safe by any definition of the word… But it sure was fun to push a jeep to the limit and get some sick airtime, safety and regulations be damned. And those things were pretty indestructible, I have to say. Good times.
So, to move forward here a little bit, our little corner of the galaxy also happened to be owned by a Rogue Trader called Mallus von Behring, which meant that from time to time, a ship flying under his banner would appear in orbit to collect people to serve in his fleet. Mostly they wanted our tech priests, which we had plenty of, but there was also demand for soldiers and pilots from time to time. I could shoot and fly, so it was hardly a surprise they picked me about as soon as they could. Not that I minded, since I probably would have crashed into a crevice and died sooner rather than later, especially with the kind of driving and flying I was doing…
[Sounds of movement in the background, followed by muffled conversation]
…Well, seems that I’m gonna have to wrap this one up for now. Got stuff to do and such. So, uh, end of part one, I guess?
[Sounds of movement]
May the Emperor protect us… Well, I hope, anyw—