I have always had a respect for Captain Zarkov, for it was through him I joined the Navy. Under his command we prospered and I rose through the ranks. Then he decided to “promote” me to Captain.. of a specialist squad. I have enough respect for him to assume that he doesn’t think I’m stupid enough to not realise what he’s doing. Have to get rid of the competition to his cousin, my fellow lieutenant. So that leaves the option that he simply doesn’t care. That would be the case if he didn’t assign me to a blatant suicide squad. Not only is he trying “promote” me into irrelevance but he’s trying kill me as well. It’s only a matter of time until that treacherous scoundrel gets what’s coming to him.
However the joke is on him! Despite the specialists under my command being the most unorthodox (a fact I’m certain has not escaped Command’s notice) I have ever seen my life they are deceptively competent. They have been rather vague about what their specialisation actually is but as long as they continue to perform as well as they have I am beyond caring. My observations on the specialists thus far are as follows:
Chaplain Ratcliffe: Greedy, insistent, entitled. Knows he’s outside the standard chain of command and abuses it. That said he has a way with words when he isn’t trying to pry credits from your wallet. Not to mention he is fantastic for morale. Held fast during the Tyranid incursion. Was highly suspicious and sceptical of him but after such demonstrations of competence? I am more than happy to overlook his negative qualities, so long as he doesn’t come after my wallet. Might have a talk with him to try and convince him to be less… confrontational. Besides from my time prior to joining the Navy I know how obsessed people can get over tithes, although Ratcliffe is the most determined I’ve ever seen.
Specialist Mordecai: Made a good first impression arguing for me to not brig Ratcliffe for insubordination (and more generally irritating me). Noticed during training sessions the other specialists often take time to carefully explain the reasoning behind actions and concepts like a tutor to a student. Doesn’t strike me as a slow sort, so I’m not entirely sure what that is all about. Held fast during the incursion, 1 confirmed kill.
Specialist Canto: From what I have been informed by other specialists ex-Arbites. How he ended up here is beyond me. Appears to be the teams heavy weapons expert. The suppressing fire from his heavy stubber was most instrumental in constructing a kill zone during incursion. Impressive work.
Specialist Verium: Has been my greatest source of information on the pasts of the specialists. Her past is a bit of a curiosity, claiming to be a reconnaissance specialist and having fought heretical cultists before. Has been instrumental to my efforts to gather intelligence on the Zarkovs. Her professionalism is a breath of fresh air compared to the other specialists. However she is a psyker and one that has had “mishaps” in the past. She has demonstrated herself consistent and competent so far but all psykers are consistent until they aren’t. Also claimed an unknown figure was responsible for the evidence we found in Lieutenant Zarkov’s office. Not enough evidence to prove that at all but if I have time I might follow this up, after all it may be a collaborator. Held fast during the incursion, 1 confirmed kill.
The Karpath Specialists: A cogboy and his assistant. I’m rather pleased to have techpriests on the team. Their insights and their capacity to keep everything working will be invaluable. Given their shared name I assume they are related? Noctine Karpath operated the camera system shouting out useful intelligence during the incursion (until he fainted). His assistant has greatly impressed me, showing great valour for a non-combatant that essentially had a lasgun thrust into his hands. Keep on eye on him.
Specialist Tapt: Combat medic, ex-Imperial Guard, from Cadia. Specialist Verium had told me he was exceptionally competent and he has not disappointed. Outstanding performance during the Tyranid incursion. His use of explosives during the incursion was on point with 10 confirmed kills. Not to mention his quick thinking and demolition pack allowed us to fend off the boarding party with 0 casualties. Admittedly we have put a hole in the side of the ship (which I have no doubt Command will use to denigrate our efforts here, that hole is probably worth more than our lives as far as they are concerned) but we are alive and well, whilst those foul xenos are consigned to the cold, dark void. Words cannot state how pleased I am with his conduct throughout the incursion.
Truth be told, the only one who did not distinguish themselves during the incursion was myself. I have always been in a position of command outside of the front lines and it showed. Whilst my squad displayed great competence and valour in the face of overwhelming danger in some form or another, I displayed only unashamed cowardice. This I fear will be used against me and by extension my squad. This would mark an even greater failing, for I am responsible for the safety of those under my command and if they were to punished for my failings, it would be a shame I would struggle to make amends for. There is nothing to be gained from dwelling on it however, it cannot be undone. All I can do is learn from my mistakes and attempt to overcome my failings.
A last thought. While my squad has performed above expectations currently, this is only the beginning.