Weight: 221lbsRole in the ship:
Senior VoidmasterNotable Equipment and Augmentations:
Bionics - Stukov has seen limited bionic implantation, mostly to repair and make good damage he has received during his time fighting bloody and pitched boarding actions, providing security during shore parties investigating planetary situations, and otherwise requiring rebuilding. While having no limbs fully replaced, he has had a number of internal organs replaced, machinery taking the place of flesh and blood, his experience valued more highly than the resources spent on keeping him alive. The most overt is the left half of his head has a sturdy plate in place, a bionic eye replacing what was lost as well as providing some degree of additional protection.
Mixed Carapace/Flak Armor - While he doesn't wear a full suit of it, Stukov has salvaged, requisitioned, and 'acquired' enough material to have a carapace breastplate sturdy enough to keep his already ravaged insides from getting any worse. When deploying or on duty, he also has flak armor that he wears over his legs and upper arms, preferring to keep more on his feet rather than simply try to soak up incoming fire, though given his previous injuries, this was very much a hard learned lesson. Otherwise, he favors fairly standard fatigues, sleeves rolled up or cut off completely as appropriate.
Artificer Shotgun - The weapon that marks Voidmasters out from their subordinates, the expertly crafted weapon is as much an heirloom at this point as it is simply a master crafted weapon. Pump action, to not risk mechanical failure during prolonged combat, the weapon has seen more combat and conflict than its current owner. Reinforced for close quarters engagements, including a permanent bayonet fixed to the front, it is capable of loading a wide variety of shotgun loads and tackling a variety of situations. Stukov prefers buckshot, though keeps a handful of slugs and inferno shells on hand just in case a special situation arises.
Naval Pistol - Standard issue sidearm for Imperial Naval personnel, even now, Stukov favors it over heftier options like bolt pistols, or more ubiquitous ones like las pistols. Using a specialized autopistol ammo designed to fragment and reduce damage to ship systems while maximizing damage to minimally armored or unarmored flesh. Like other models, the weapon is reinforced and sturdy enough to use as in a melee as a bludgeon without immediate risk to damage or misfire.
Combat Knife - Kept in a boot sheath, there is not much to say about the ubiquitous combat knife. Single edged, mono edged, and weighted for both fighting and throwing, when all else fails, there's always a knife for a last ditch stand, or prying open a ration can.
Concussion Grenades - Another voidsman favorite, these weapons rely on sheer force of the detonation to damage and kill threats, and only grow more dangerous the more compact and confined the space they are thrown into becomes. Stukov always has several on hand at any given time, and values them highly, even if a frag might do more immediate damage, the concussive force can do wonders on modestly armored infantry, especially if caught at ground zero or hemmed in and unable to get clear.Skills:
Close Quarters Combat - Broadly speaking, Stukov's specialty is in getting stuck into a fight and carrying out a battle as close as he can get. A reliable shot, though no marksman or even on the same footing as most Guard troops drilled in lasgun fire, he often acts as a first line between hostiles getting close to his subordinates, directing fire when necessary but otherwise screening enemy combatants. Between shotgun, bayonet, and naval pistol, the voidmaster tends to blend close range shooting and melee in a way informed and trained by long years of experience and training. The style is necessarily brutal, aimed at finishing a fight quickly, lacking the elegance of a duelist or the precision of a sniper, though more than one hostile has seen their last mistake being to underestimate the brutality as simplicity.
Security Operations - A great deal of Stukov's life revolved around patrolling the ship he was on, always alert for trouble that might be brewing, be it stowaways, mutinous crew, or worse. Securing an area is a necessary skill, as well, when retaking overrun decks or setting up a forward post on an enemy ship to coordinate further boarding actions, just being able to set up barricades and seal bulkheads isn't enough. Being able to spot problems or things that are out of place are just as vital as the knowledge of how to, at a glance, pick out how to not only best fortify a location, but with what they might have on hand.
Field Maintenance/Jury Rigging - Stukov has a practical understanding of a broad spectrum of mechanical and weapons systems, capable of field stripping lasguns and other infantry weapons down, rigging up a fix for a problem, and slapping it back together. He doesn't do this in front of the Mechanicus, when he can help it, of course, but he is quite the natural at jury rigging and improvising when push comes to shove. More electronic systems, however, are not nearly as certain a thing, though if its nothing more complex than a hatch control panel, he can rig it up reliably enough, though the more complex the electronics, the less reliable this talent is. Biography:
Gerard Stukov was born on a refueling and rearming space station, one that saw a great deal of traffic by forces both going to, and from, besieged planets and systems, seeing the near constant bustle and traffic of supplies, soldiers, and others who had a reason to dock and walk the station decks. His family had been voidsmen for as long as they could track, and Gerard was going to be no different, regardless of any personal beliefs in the matter. Raised by the station security as much as his own flesh and blood, he would sign onto the first vessel in service of Ultramar that was in need of fresh voidsmen. A rather short wait, by all accounts, and he was inducted on board the Blind Judgment
as one of the freshest voidsmen tasked with protecting the ship, and engaging in boarding actions.
It would not take long for conflict to find them, or the other way around, and would spend the next 30 years serving across various fronts and facing various foes of Ultramar. Whether it was luck or skill, the Blind Judgment
had a long and successful career, the cruiser would carry out a variety of anti pirate operations, engagements against hostile fleets, and patrolling the cold void of the space between planets and systems. Of course nothing lasts forever, and that included the ship that the recently minted Voidmaster, having spent his entire career working up the ranks from rank and file to increasingly senior leadership positions as those above him perished or themselves filled the boots of the dead above them, and it would be Chaos renegades that spelled the ship and most of the crew's doom.
On an independent patrol they would be jumped by a four cruisers to match the Blind Judgement
, a light cruiser, alone with her few escorts. The boarding craft were quick to launch, after a valiant effort by gun crews to stave off the impending assaults, blunting the first wave of assaults that led to pitched battles across the decks that only become more desperate, eventually leading to the armed crew holding the engine room to make the fateful decision to overload her reactors, consigning her to death over capture. Stukov led as many voidsman and crew as he could to the lifepods, aiming for the nearest planet. Better to risk getting shot to pieces by chaos fighters than a certain death from the overloading reactor. Most of the escape pods would not make it, indeed torn apart by withering passes by fighters or, worse, captured and hauled back towards the chaos pirate fleet. Of course, the final explosion of the Blind Judgement
would take countless pirates and traitors out, and more importantly, provide cover for the surviving life pods.
Crash landing on the nearby planet, weeks away from the nearest settlement of any sort, Stukov would gather as many as he could, administer mercies to those who could not move or keep up, and led the grim march through the jungles towards the clearings they saw on the, albeit incredibly rocky, descent into atmosphere. Nearly half the already depleted survivors of the crew wouldn't make it, the jungle proving almost as deadly as the conflict they'd already survived in the void above, but the depleted members of the crew, Stukov at the head, stumbled into the seemingly abandoned observation outposts, though forgotten supplies and prefabricated buildings would prove far more welcome shelter than huddled clearings, trying to keep the hostile jungle at bay.
A Rogue Trader would respond to the distress beacon the survivors jury rigged, the away team finding a skeleton crew of survivors who would be glad to never see a jungle again. Stukov, for his part, stayed aboard the Rogue Trader, the rest of the survivors departing at the next station to report what happened to the Blind Judgment
to their supreriors and work from there. Stukov felt he owed a debt to the Rogue Trader, and with his old ship dead and gone, he didn't want to simply wait idly by on another vessel for the same to happen again. Plenty of stories, maybe even some of them true, were told of Rogue Traders and the kinds of lives they led. Stukov signed on as seasoned Voidmaster, and would remain aboard when the new orders came down from on high.
A suicide mission, to reclaim some artifact found by Mechanicus forces, and bring it back. No excess could be spared, which was typical. Stukov would wonder about the details they didn't have, but ultimately, he had sworn an oath. The Rogue Trader's vessel was his charge as much as those he served, and it would only end when he died, or if another ship was shot out from underneath him. He would almost prefer the former at this point, given the far flung distances they will be at, it was unlikely rescue would ever arrive in time. But, Stukov knew his orders, and the orders of those around him, and he would see them through. Even if it felt like a fool's errand, nicely as that could be put.Additional Notes:
Stukov has an intense dislike of climates both bitterly hot and miserably humid, as they remind him of the jungles and predators that had dogged their every step. While having no preferences for most luxuries, the man does enjoy a good cigar when he can afford to get his hands on one, or three.