It’s always nice to flesh out a character that you’ve painted with a bit of a backstory, and that’s just what I’ve done for the miniature above. I’ve named him Viskar, and you can enjoy a quick read about him below. Enjoy!
Nargo pounded down the ruined hallway, his boots thudding against the ancient, rust-covered metal as he descended further into the darkness of Theta-7 quadrant. His right hand gripped the cooling barrel of his heavy stubber, long since run dry of ammunition and now only useful as a club, while his left applied pressure to the wound in his side. His running had become more of a stagger as red life spilled through his fingers. Worse still, it had ruined his favourite tattoo. The enemies of House Goliath would pay for this night’s treachery.
“Damn Rats” he spluttered quietly, a whispered shout in the darkness, as he rounded the shattered vertical pipe of an old pumping station that had been abandoned after its malfunction hundreds of years ago. Theta-7 was common territory, caught between the boundries of Goliath, Delaque and Van Saar, like dead vermin in a trap that even the psi-vultures wouldn’t eat. It was even darker than The Sump, and a thousand corridors spread out from its toxic core.
“Damn those Rats” The words forced themselves from between his gritted silver teeth as he paused for breath by an abandoned security shed. The Ratskins had made their oaths to Goliath before the assault on the Delaque stronghold, but when the slugs started flying, the filthy bastard mutants had disappeared into the shadows, and the brutes of Goliath had been cut to pieces by the ranged guns of the waiting ‘Baldos’. Nargo had seen a juve sliced in half by a lascannon beem, before watching his leader, the mighty Frakkosh, burn to nothing in an instance as a heavy plasma blast had taken him square in the chest.
And that had been it. Even the largest brute lost his nerve then, and Nargo had been the last to turn tail and disappear into the darkness of Theta-7. He wasn’t built for speed, and the weight of his ammo pack, even when empty, and the hulking heavy stubber in his arms had made running all the harder, even before that slug had cracked his ribs. Where the hell had that shot come from, he thought to himself. All the chem-stims and pain-supressors wouldn’t stop him from bleeding out in the grim darkness of one of the underhive’s most Emperor-forsaken sink holes.
His fellow brutes long gone ahead of him, he came to a halt and slumped down onto a heap of debris. He didn’t care about the barbed wire tearing into his back as he slid a little further down still into the detritus. Where had that slug come from, he thought again. He could have sworn that he’d given them the slip somewhere around the Verti-lifter platforms. And as he scrambled through those claustrophobic tunnels and hallways, he’d made as little sound as possible. But despite all of that, searing pain had leapt out of the perpetual night and bitten into his flank with ferocity and cruel enthusiasm.
He felt the stubber’s barrel slip from his fingers as he ran short enough of blood that his extremities tingled as if he had injected some of the Doc’s best ‘Pulse-Up’ chems, and his head felt heavy. He could almost see his soul slip gently from his flesh, climbing up towards a light high above him in the smog-choked night sky of the underhive. And it was as his gaze moved upwards, that he noticed the green eyes staring at him out of the black, and the bolt gun barrel trained at his head.
Viskar ran down the hallway without making a sound. Even his long trench coat didn’t stir audibly as it flapped through the stale air of the long, dimly lit corridor. His eyes operated perfectly in these low levels of light. Typical, he mused, of a dead head Goliath to run into the darkness of Theta-7 when he was being chased by a Delaque. They really were all idiots.
As he sprinted silently through the narrow space, following the trail of chemical-thick blood that his pistol had gifted him from the brute’s torso, he grinned. Paying off those treacherous Ratskins had been the right thing to do after all. When he got back to his House’s territory, he’d have to apologise to Colbera. Viskar had no misconceptions about trusting the rats of the underhive, and would rather have executed them as soon as they had shown their faces, but for the price of a rundown track-loader and a barrel of nutrient slime that was a decade too old to consume, he had to admit that their information had been useful. Colbera had been right about that, and that irked Viskar a little, but with the chase on, all was forgiven.
House Goliath had almost been insultingly foolish, thinking they could take territory from House Delaque with so few men, and for that, they would all pay.
The blood trail lurched around the side of a tall, vertical pipe, large enough to fit two Arbites Repressor vehicles though long since shattered and abandoned, and he followed it into the gloom. To a Delaque’s eyes, the dank and murky hole at the centre of the unwanted Theta-7 district was a well lit room, and even if he hadn’t been wearing his goggles, his vision would have been near perfect in this trash heap.
He stopped suddenly and silently. Behind an ancient, broken barricade of discarded ferrocrete slabs, he saw the oversized and studded boot of a Goliath. His eyes could see through the gloom the slightest movement – a slight shudder around the heel indicated that it was still being worn and not simply a discarded item. He could just make out the laboured breathing of his injured prey, and he could smell the sticky vitae pooling below an over-muscled, perspiring body.
Still without a sound, Viskar swung himself up an ancient and disused stairway. He wanted a better vantage point to shoot from, but more than that, he was smart enough not to let a Goliath, wounded or not, get anywhere near him. If he made himself visible on ground level, the downed monster might still have enough spirit left to charge for him, and that would likely be a short fight indeed.
He moved across a creaking ramp that once crossed the expanse of Theta-7 but now ended abruptly in a rust covered gateway – half an arch that sat atop a mound of debris. A lone skull sat just beneath the parapet, gazing out into the darkness of the underhive beyond, while a thick, green ooze lazily sloshed from a broken pipe beneath the platform. From this point he looked down at the slumped figure below.
The brute was huge, his body covered in unnatural muscles and ornate skin ink. His heavy weapon lay on the ground and for all the colour in the Goliath ganger’s mohican, his skin was palid, and looked as if it would be cold to the touch. Slowly and quietly, the Delaque romoved the bolt gun from his jacket, pulling out the shoulder stock and drawing a bead on the bastard’s face. In that moment, the Goliath looked him square in the eyes.
In the second that transpired before Viskar pulled the trigger, he saw the soul of the man, on route to stand before the Emperor, or whatever Hell-monster the Goliaths prayed to, and he saw nothing more than a man. A lost, ruined and hideous man, but one who had come to be like that because of the underhive. Because of the endless gang wars, punctuated all too sparsely with brief and uneasy periods of truce. Because of being born at the bottom, beneath Necromunda’s gargantuan ash clouds, and not in the rarified atmosphere and gentility of the upper spires. He might have been a friend in another galaxy, or on another world. Neither of them would ever sail between the stars, see the great, mythical Astartes in war, or drink the finer chemohol that the governor classes chugged down with every meal. Viskar saw Nargo as a brother he would never know. But he still pulled the trigger. There could be no mercy in the underhive.
I hope you enjoyed that. Let me know what you think in the comments below, and thanks for reading!