Enforcer-Sergeant Gideon Craine
Corrupt Arbite Enforcer
OWNED BY NICK
WS 45 BS 45 S 35 T 40 A 25 I 30 P 40 W 35 F 27 In 24
Armour: 6 from carapace, 10 on body and left arm from suppression shield, +3 all over against fire/heat
Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis), Common Lore (War), Operate (Surface), Intimidate, Parry +10, Stealth +10, Survival, Medicae, Tech Use, Sleight of Hand, Deceive
Talents & Traits:
Jaded, Quick Draw, Rapid Reload, Weapon Training (Chain, Las, Primary, SP, Shock, Bolt), Heavy Weapon Training (Launcher), Combat Sense, Deadeye Shot, Double Team, Hip Shooting
Ratpacks, Respirator, Assault Shotgun + Pistol Grip, 2 reloads, Lho Sticks, Microbead, Alpha Legion Tracking Implant, Arbite Uniform, Coded Arbite ID Badge, Heavy Carapace Armour + Ceramite, Suppression Shield, Best Autopistol + Red Dot Laser Sight, Clip/Drop Harness, Comm Leach, Multikey, Demolitions Kit, Truncheon + Mono
- Ceramite Upgrade (Heavy Carapace)
- Clip / Drop Harness
- Pistol Grip Upgrade (Assault Shotgun)
- Comm Leach
- Demolitions Kit
Enforcer Sergeant Gideon Craine, Adeptus Arbites
“Craine, all squads, prepare to breach!”Gideon Craine took his orders as he did just about everything else in his life: With a healthy degree of smirking skepticism. His orders were simple: Clear a tenement of the gangers that had taken up residence there. What his superiors hadn’t caught on to was that Craine had turned every squad to the task of drug trafficking, and set himself up as the local crime boss. He yanked the small coiled charge from a thigh pocket and hung it from the bulky door handle as his assault squad wheeled off to either side around the door. There were precious few tense seconds spent poised in anticipation of the violence to come. When engaging in potentially life-threatening situations, it’s hardly advisable to give your troops spare time to think about what they’re about to stick their heads into. The squad leader looked down at his minislate, the lights from the other squads winked green, and he clicked the button to start the countdown. At three seconds, the grenadiers fired, and at six seconds, merry hell started going off inside the leaning tenement. Simultaneously, the breaching charges fired, and at eight seconds, all three squads flowed in with the base ferocity of a tornado. The stuttering bark of assault shotguns and the screams and shouts of the inhabitants almost overpowered the sparking rapport of shock mauls staving in skulls and ribs. Twelve seconds later, the first floor was cleared. Thirty-two seconds later, the second was cleared, and inside the minute, the third floor and basement had been swept. Behind his blood-spattered visor, Craine wore his blackest grin. His favourite part was coming up.
The gangers were brought to the basement, the dead arrayed before the living. Craine sighed a happy sigh, seeing the abject fear and defiance in their eyes. He took his time, leaning his shield against the stairway, beside it his shotgun and helmet. With casual, relaxed motions, he hefted his trusty autopistol with a lopsided grin. First squad, his squad, watched silently, the other two policing the upstairs floors and managing foot traffic on the streets above. He went to the first man kneeling in the line, and took a knee in front of him, casually toying his with pistol.
“Now then. At the end of this discussion you’re going to tell me what I want to know. Whether or not you still have the use of your-”
Craine found that the man spitting in his face wasn’t unexpected, but it was unwelcome. He gestured, and two of his men prostrated the ganger, stretching one of his arms out to the side. Craine picked up his suppression shield, and turned back to the ganger on the ground. He stared down at his arm for what seemed like a long time, an absence of expression on his face. Without warning he raised his massive shield and methodically, quickly, slammed it over and over on the ganger’s outstretched arm. He started at the tip of the fingers, and worked his way up to the shoulder. By the time he was done the bottom of his uniform and the surrounding rockcrete floor was dressed in blossoms of blood, and the ganger was making unintelligible keening wails, his mouth covered in frothing spit and snot. Craine spent another endless moment staring at the man, then raised his shield a final time, bringing it down with all his force on the crown of the man’s head. He sighed again, a smile returning to his face, and leaned his shield back against the stairwell. He withdrew his pistol again, and knelt before the next trembling ganger.
“Now then. At the end of our little discussion, you’re going to tell me what I want to know-”
The woman was sobbing, jerking her head up and down.
“-And at the end of our talk, if all of your limbs still work, well.. that’s entirely up to you. But I want you all, to understand something. You sold drugs on my beat. Do you understand that? My beat. Now you’re going to tell me where your stash is, and who sold the drugs to you without first asking me. If you do this, and you don’t give me any fething trouble, then you can go your merry way, happy as Larry. Lesson learned. Under my employ, of course..”
Through sobs she gasped out a few words
“I-in, the, the vent under the-th-the couch, over th-there..”
Craine nodded, and a bulky trooper dashed to the couch and checked it for wires. There was one leading to a screamer, and he disconnected it with a growl. Flipping the couch over, there was indeed a vent under there, to which the grill cover came off easily enough. Crudely hidden in the pipe underneath was an unmarked bag of vials containing, in various quantities, liquids, pills and powders. He tossed the bag to Craine, who snatched it out of the air and rummaged inside, pulling out a vial of brilliant red powder. He flicked the stopper off with his thumb, and tapped a line of the powder into a small, well-worn pipe, to the evident surprise of the gangers still kneeling in a row. He winked at them before lighting the pipe with a simple metal lighter, and breathing a deep, course lungful of the foul, acrid smoke. As he exhaled he could feel his mind coming unhinged from his body, in the same way one might feel when driving a vehicle compared to walking somewhere. He chuckled, handing the bag away to the bulky trooper.
“A professional always stands behind his product, and I have to know what I’m selling! One can never have enough knowledge of their product. Now, you were about to volunteer me the information as to who sold you these very fine consumables..”
“..See? That wasn’t so hard! Now, to conclude our business-”
Without warning, Craine squeezed the trigger on his autopistol, putting six rounds into the woman’s face. The other gangers started screaming, trying to stand, to argue, to fight back, to plead. Craine absently waved his hand and the squad opened fire, shredding them into bits and pieces. A few seconds later, as the smoke was clearing, Craine breathed another lungful of poison, and motioned to the supporting beams, evenly spaced across the cramped basement.
“Blow this fethhole and we’re back to barracks.”
As his squad strung explosives, he tapped his microbead:
“Third squad, withdraw from the building and into the APC, go. Second squad, we’re pulling out, act accordingly.”
He retrieved his gear and stomped up the stairs, through the building and into the fading light of sunset. The orange glow gave the two Rhino APCs an uncharacteristic elegance, a beauty not lost on Craine, who turned and hawked a chunk of red spit into the gutter before swinging into the first Rhino’s open rear door. As the squads filed into both, the ramps lifted and the APCs roared down the narrow backstreet. Craine gave the nod to a thin, rat-face woman holding a detonator, and with a laugh she clicked the lever three times. There was a deep boom followed by a rumbling felt through the suspension, and the squads cheered, laughing and cursing at each other. The APCs, enforcer-sirens wailing, pulled onto the thoroughfare of the raised highways. From the sally-ports in the sides of the APCs, they could see the dust cloud spreading down the street from the destroyed building, and the flames flickering within the cloud.
Craine’s archaic truncheon slowly spun in his hand, his voice a quiet promise of pain.
“I’m going to ask you this once. Would you like to rephrase that answer?”
“I’m not yanking your chain, sir! I wouldn’t! No-one’s heard of ‘Aeveus Ranzog’, I asked ever-OHH GOD PLEAS-”
Craine struck the man again, his manacles rattling against the bare metal chair.
“Until you give me something, and I can verify it, this is going to keep happening. This will continue. Whatever you are hiding is not as bad as what is to come.”
“I swear I swear, please sir, on the Throne, sir-”
“I! HAVE! BETTER! PLACES! TO BE!”
Craine picked up the dead man’s discarded apron, and wiped his truncheon clean. His anger simmered inside him, a white heat at the back of the throat. One name kept coming up, and no one knew anything about it. This didn’t happen. Craine’s network was, admittedly, small, but he knew what happened in his underworld, and one man was taking it apart. He was still a moment. Most men would be raging, smashing things, tearing the dank room apart, throwing bits of furniture through the air, thick with the stench of piss, bile, blood and fear. Gideon Craine was a man possessed of uncanny calm at moments like this. It was this calm that gave him the remove to play the men of the bureaucracy against each other. Most men, lesser men, would have given in to paranoia. Who sits in the shadows when he reach and crush his enemy?
It came to him suddenly. A moment from which he did not know if he could recover. This man was him. A stronger him, a better him. Someone who took apart his network because he could. Not because he needed to, or even wanted to. It was a means. All his buyers getting cheaper prices, better goods. His sellers disappearing. His dealers, his bagmen, all getting drugs as if from the air itself. His troops looking at him with thinly veiled doubt, even contempt. How? HOW?
“Quite simply, Gideon. By reading you.”
He spun, flinching backwards, tripping over the legs of his dead, would-be informant.
“You were a very easy man to destroy, because you truly thought that you were clever enough to remain underking. Do the seasons not change? Does rain not follow sunlight, that has chased away the rain? You wanted to be the king of a little slice of a little world, and you thought that your desire was enough.”
The man was massive. His arcane powered armour was wrought with details of serpents, greens and emeralds, playing out battles against invisible foes. He towered over the retreating Gideon, wearing a grin Gideon recognised from the mirror.
“You were a pleasant hunt. And now that I have you, trapped and cornered, what to do with you? What, dear Gideon, dear Enforcer-Sergeant Gideon? Feared and venerated by your petty empire. Well, my friend-”
The giant leaned down. His eyes bore the promise of pain Gideon had made to every small mind he put under his boot.
“I would let you live. I would give you your life. And I would teach you, at every point, how I broke your frail networks. Because I-”
He rose to his full height, reaching into a fraying leather pouch on his webbing. From this pouch he withdrew a dull trinket, bearing a device Gideon did not recognise.
“-Have some work for you, Gideon. Some work that very much needs doing.”
“..W…How.. How did you-”
“Come, Gideon. Before I teach you anything. I need you to make me a promise. I need to hear you say the words.”
His eyes went black. His voice became as end of the world. His arms spread wide. Their span seemed impossible. Cracks spread from the rockcrete where his boots met the floor.
“Whom do you serve?”
“Aeveus.. Aeveus Ranzog.”
The giant smiled.
“THAT’S MORE LIKE IT.”
Craine walked beside and a step behind Ranzog, quickening his pace to match that of his Master.
“It is time. Today is the day. You have chosen the bind.”
It was not a question.
“Then in a few minutes you will be dead. Or you will be bound. I look forward to finding out which.”
The impermeable bulkhead slid open. Inside were the others, surrounding a well. The contents of the well seemed to be the impossible colours of the immaterium, and Craine averted his eyes. What he saw was nightmares given form.
A priest stepped forward, his armour bedecked in inscrutable sigils. His face was lost in the depths of his hood, a darkness that spoke to the initiates before him:
“We begin. Steel yourselves.”
They all took their turns, passing an item into the pool of non-space before them. The first in line was smirked, sinking her knife into the pool with a killer’s confidence. She shook, a scream escaped her lips, and she was pulled into the pool. The second in line tried to run, and Ranzog closed his hands on the man’s skull, closing them until brains and blood burst from between his fingers. He threw the man into the well with a curse of disgust. He bounced once off the rim and was gone, forever. The third sunk a tome into the well. She shook, and Craine saw a spark of life leave her eyes, but she lived, and withdrew the book. Her hand was unmolested, but the book seemed changed, as if it drew the light inside it. She opened the book, where none could see, and the temperature of the room seemed to dip, Craine’s breath misting before his eyes. But just like, it was gone, the book closed, and a secret smile danced in the woman’s eyes. Finally, it was Craine’s turn.
He approached the well, knowing what was required of him. This was just the final stroke of the hammer, that would either leave him a perfect instrument or break him entirely. He lowered his truncheon into the well, and time ceased. Craine did not know how long he stood poised on the brink of eternity, or what words the secret Hells whispered into his soul, but he withdrew the truncheon, and it too, was different. He felt inside himself a new coldness, offset by a new warmth. Something in him was changed. His weapon, too, was different.. exuding a blackness, just for an instant, and then it was as normal. The outward appearance was that of a fine-quality weapon, such as an Arbites official would carry, but it had a different heft to it, a gift of violence promised him by the Gods of Chaos.
He gaze lifted of its own accord, looking into the hood of the priest. He could see an outline, shifting, for a moment, of countless tentacles, and compound eyes on stalks, and then it was done, and he saw only darkness again.
“We are finished. Two were tested, and two were chosen. You will leave now.”
“Yes. I would very much like you to do what you have you been trained to do. Play the underworld against the enforcers. Have them both expend their resources. The details of the assignment and the specifics of your cover await you, dirtside.”
“I look forward to this.”
Ranzog smiled his shark’s smile
“As do I, dear boy.”