The Imperium never frowned upon ordering its subjects to their certain death. Sometimes though, such death isn't merely the somewhat unfortunate side effect of a dangerous mission, but an intended outcome, whether to serve as punishment or redemption, or to maintain secrecy.
The most famous examples of such practices are surely found in the penal legions of the Imperial Guard, some of which have been known to employ whole squads of troopers kitted out as human bombs and literally all of which use suicide devices such as explosive collars to keep their members in line, though other forces have their own use of such practices, such as the Repentia of the Adeptus Sororitas or even the death oaths of various Space Marine chapters.
For the holy Ordos of the Inquisition the benefits of employing suicide operatives are many and varied. Men whose lives are forfeit in any event have nothing to lose, and dead men tell no tales. Amongst those who earned their sentences by being unable to fit into the tightly structured confines of organizations like Imperial Guard regiments are often found the very traits that make for good – though ultimately unreliable and thus still doomed – Inquisition henchmen, while some proven acolytes who have seen too much may still be granted the chance to serve the throne one final time.
Required Career: Any
Alternate Rank: 1 or higher
Other Requirements: You must have been sentenced to death.
You are permanently fitted with a suicide device (see below).
At the end of each mission you have to burn 1 Fate Point to prevent your shadowy superiors from triggering your device.
|100||Scholastic Lore (Judgment)|
|100||Basic Weapon Training (Las)|
|100||Basic Weapon Training (SP)|
|100||Hatred (Imperial Guard)|
|100||Melee Weapon Training (Primitive)|
|100||Nerves of Steel|
*You may take this talent up to three times at this rank
Tampering with suicide devices
Depending on the device there might be ways – however dangerous and unreliable – of deactivating or removing it. This requires a hard (-20) Security test to bypass the anti-tamper protections of the device and further skills dependent on the device. The specific skills and difficulties are given with the individual device entries.
If either the Security test or the subsequent skill test fails, the device activates.
If a suicide operative succeeds in tampering with his device, his former masters will hunt him in an attempt to eliminate him with other means after the failure of the device.
A set of valves is installed in the big arteries in the operatives arms, legs, and neck. Upon activation of the device, the valves open leading to ultra-rapid exsanguination. Each round after opening the operative gains one level of fatigue and suffers 1d10 damage that is not reduced by armor or Toughness until the operative is dead.
The plugs also offer direct access to the operatives bloodstream, granting a +10 bonus on Chem-Use and Medicae tests when treating the operative.
It takes a very hard (-30) Medicae test to tamper with arterial plugs, to stop the blood loss.
Auto-garottes are usually fitted around an operative's neck, but can also be installed along other locations such as the wrists. The device consists of a tight metal band, housing a monorwire noose, motor, and trigger assembly for vocal or remote activation. Once activated, the motor pulls the monowire tight, effortlessly cutting off whatever body part the auto-garotte was attached to.
Tampering with an auto-garotte requires a hard (-20) Tech-Use test.
Successfully tampering with an auto-garotte not only removes the device but the disassembled garotte can also be used as an improvised weapon dealing Rending damage and counting as possessing the Flexible quality and Mono upgrade.
This heavy locked vest is packed with the same explosives used in Imperial demolition charges. When the vest is detonated, either via remote command or by the wearer himself, it kills the wearer and deals damage like a 5 kilogram demolition charge.
Openly wearing a bomb harness gives a +20 modifier on Intimidate tests.
Tampering with a bomb harness requires a hard (-20) Demolition test.
This tight fitting helmet is welded shut after donning and so cannot be removed. A single bolt round is mounted on the inside, ready to fire and burst the wearer's skull (killing him instantly) upon remote activation or coded phrase.
The helmet's heavy construction provides AP 5 to the wearer's head. It contains a microbead and can be fitted with a removable respirator and photo-visor.
Tampering with the helmet requires a very hard (-30) Tech-Use test to break the welded locks without triggering the bolt round.
An exhalator consists of a pressurised tank containing a highly toxic and corrosive gas installed in the operative's chest and further modifications to his airways. Upon activation the gas is vented into the operative's lungs, killing him, then streaming forth from his mouth and nostrils to poison anyone standing nearby. Those within 5 metres must succeed on a difficult (-10) Toughness test or suffer 2d10 of Impact damage which is not reduced by armour or Toughness.
Due to the integral airway modifications the exhalator doubles as a respirator.
Tampering requires a hard (-20) Medicae test to seal the tank, rendering the device momentarily harmless. Permanently removing it without killing the operative requires major surgery.
These are standard issue to penal infantry and are described on page 147 of Dark Heresy.
Due to the vast quantity of manufacture and their simple design explosive collars do not follow the rules for tampering given for other devices (apart from being hunted by his master), but can be disarmed as described in their rulebook entry.
These implants are described in detail on page 138 of the Inquisitor's Handbook. For use by suicide operatives, at least one of the doses in the injector is loaded with a virulent poison, potent enough to kill immediately due to direct systemic exposure.
Tampering with an injector rig requires a hard (-20) Chem-Use test to remove the deadly vials or block their feedlines.
In this modification, the operative is locked into an external power frame. Upon remote activation or manual code entry the power frame folds up, crushing the operative to death. The frame provides a +10 bonus to the operative's Strength.
Tampering with the frame requires a hard (-20) Tech-Use test, to disconnect the folding mechanism.
This 'device' is anchored in the recipients mind instead of being attached to his body. Using arcane technology, a trigger phrase is implanted in the suicide operatives mind. Hearing it will cause the operative to kill himself by swallowing his own tongue, stopping to breathe, or shutting down his circulation.
As a side effect of the extensive psycho-surgery that makes such involuntary feats possible, the operative is also able to consciously exert an almost unnatural control over his bodily functions, which gives him an additional +10 bonus on Concealment when remaining still and +10 on tests for feigning death. He may also opt to voluntarily trigger the suicide protocols at any time.
Suicide conditioning cannot be tampered with.