Author's Note: erttheking, if you read this, you got me into 40K, and this is the best way I think to honor that. I APOLOGIZE IF THIS PISSES YOU OFF!
To the author of Avoiding Stupid Deaths in the 41st Millennium,
Hello, my name is Private Ald Russman, formerly of the planet of Freeport, now a member of the Rouge Trader Lady Cicero's entourage, and I'm an invested fan in your work. As entertaining as the Uplifting Primer is, your notes have kept me alive more than anything as I've been a member of the Guard. I don't know if this letter will find you at all, but I thought I might send in a short little list of things I've seen in the few years I've been around. Whether or not it gets put in the book, up to you…if this reaches you at all. Anyways, keep up the good work!
Thank you for your time,
Private Ald Russman
P.S: Within this package is a bottle of wine from the planet of Holdfast; a new planet with a very "refined" people. Dunno if you like wine, but I thought the family might enjoy it. If you wanna know, I'll send the related journal entry. You think you're the only one writing shit down?
1. Trigger discipline, AND YES, the author has already covered it; I know this seems like a "gimme", but you would be surprised at the shit that happens when you don't. For example, my job is to help my boss deliver supplies to dangerous fronts, get in fast, grab surviving members of essentially destroyed regiments, and book it out of the system. I won't say who my boss is, but if you know, you know. Anyways, on a couple of runs we've be shot at by friendly AA fire. Most of the time the CO will chew your ass out and rip you a new one, which means you REALLY shouldn't hit your friendlies. One time, that happened; a Valkyrie can carry about sixteen people, crew and passengers included…I'll give you a guess as to how many bolt rounds my Commissar and their Commissar put into the crew who hit one of us. So, check your targets and keep your itchy little trigger finger out of the trigger well unless it's an enemy. If it's a bad guy, light them the fuck up.
2. Respect the ship. Most of my time in the Guard has been spent in service to someone who owns a decent sized starship, so I treasure my time on the ground. I have learned to respect the great beast of a ship I live on with one principle: Treat it like your lasgun. I mean think about it, a starship is basically one MASSIVE piece of equipment, so you think one would treat it like that, right? Well apparently not; one dude in the barracks thought it was a good idea to shove all of his junk and contraband into one particular power junction. Firstly, so long as the Commissar doesn't see it and it's not heretical or Chaos related, no one will rat you out. Secondly, buddy up with a guy in maintenance to see where the best to hide your shit. Because the power junction was connected to our local air filters and when people start passing out from bad air, guess where they look, and guess what they do when they find your stuff? In this case, we airlocked him, with our boss's and Commissar's approval.
3. Protect the LT and the Vox caster. Some people really don't understand how vital these people are to the course of a fight. Most new platoon leaders are a either dumb, stuck-up, have their head up their ass, or, in rarer cases, willing and ready to learn. They also have access to the single most deadly weapon in the entire platoon; the vox to call in hellstorms of indirect fire on the enemy. Be it artillery, orbital fire, air support, you name it, the platoon leader can and should be calling in that fire. Now, my platoon leader is a guy from the planet of Ultramar…yeah, the home of the Ultramarines and a Primarch. By our estimate, something bad must have happened, because the man would fit better in the Ultramarines than with us mere Guardsmen, but I digress.
In one situation, my platoon was called to help evac a group of trapped Guardsmen, twenty-three members of the Armageddon Steel Legion whose regiment was gone, and they were the last ones. We ended up getting up front, somehow, and my PL and Vox Caster were busy behind cover calling in all manners of explosive death on the Orks in front of us. The team designated to stay with them just…fucked off. We didn't know where they went until after the skirmish, when they popped up from a hole in the ground that led to a bunker. Turns out, they had been looting while PL and Vox Caster had been battling off a squad of Orks, and they only made it because one of the twenty-three found a rocket launcher and blew them to kingdom come. When we found the missing team, we so thoroughly enjoyed splitting their loot and what they had missed in the bunker amongst ourselves. Oh, the team? Buried alive in the same bunker they looted…yeah, our PL is one for devious and twisted punishments if the crime is worthy of it.
4. Don't TRY to be a hero. Here's the thing about heroic moments; they happen naturally. It's how I got to work for my boss in the first place and the second time I had a big one it got me a serious promotion…yeah if you see another of these it'll be as a second lieutenant, but I digress. Don't try to force a heroic moment, let it come to you. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen Guardsmen on war-torn worlds try to be heroes by conducting daring raids outside the chain of command, dramatic flanking maneuvers, and bold charges in the face of death…. just, no. Heroics come about naturally; I helped save someone's cargo and I ended up helping to save a city, those were my two. I didn't force either to happen, they just fell into my lap and I made the most out of them. If you force a heroic event, chances are more like than not that you die some horrible death at the hands of an Ork Nob who thinks you have a cool hat or a Dark Eldar who wants to make you scream nonstop for a whole week. So just let crap happen to you, don't force it.
5. Don't help the wannabe heroes. Going off the last one, if you see someone trying desperately to be a hero, just leave them be. Don't get caught in their blast zone A. Because you're more likely to suffer the same fate as Wannabe Hero and B. Even if you do survive and Wannabe becomes a hero, guess who gets all the credit? Not you, that's who. And if you're pissed off that they got all the credit, don't kill them. You just look like a bitch.
6. Don't do solo bayonet charges. Pretty self-explanatory, but I wouldn't be sending these in if everyone understood the concepts. Here's the thing about bayonet charges; a massive charge against a tired foe who's been beaten to hell and back is highly effective for two reasons; it's demoralizing and typically the tired foe runs away from the thousands of people with sharp pointy things. Now, take the same thing but with one person, what's gonna happen. You'll give the enemy a laugh, minus one Guardsmen, and a mini-morale boost that could lead to other things. The reason I was a hero my second go around is because I enlisted help and we skewered an Ork Warboss with twenty bayonets before our Commissar took his head off. I put said head on a pike, took it to where the Orks could see it, and they all ran, but I only got that done because I had help! The morons that solo charge are, what are you thinking? That your amazing act of stupidity will convince others to follow? NO, WE WON'T AND YOU WILL DIE AND WE WILL LAUGH AND DIVIDE UP YOUR SHIT!
7. Eat your fucking rations (#98). Again, common sense, but this is for those who have none. The average human body needs food and water to function and sustain itself properly and if it is lacking those components, the body tends to break down in order to conserve itself. How this is not common knowledge boggles my mind, but I've been to planets where Guardsmen are starving because they won't eat their Emperor-forsaken rations! Look, I get it, the Administratum doesn't really go for the good stuff for its Guardsmen, but food is bloody food! Your body needs it, eat it, and live! I swear if I have to land on another planet and pour ration paste down another squad's throat because they refuse to eat, I may just shove a Melta Charge down one of their throats instead of paste. See how ungrateful they are then.
8. Number 28 in the original book is correct! My boss is not a dashing rouge, they're a hardass diplomat with balls of adamantium. Now, not all traders are like my boss; they're really one of a kind. As I previously stated, if you've heard of my boss you know to whom I refer, but we've come into contact with Rouge Traders who are utter bitches, rouges, scammers, and soldiers, but very few dashing rouges. Moral of the story, don't come on here for fame and fortune, you'll end up being bored most of the time. Speaking of boredom…
9. Don't do crazy shit for entertainment. I'm used to long stretches of time where not a damn thing happens in my life outside of the routine, however, that doesn't mean I resort to utterly insane shit. I used to know this one guy who got aboard the ship around the same time that I did, and he could not keep himself in check. This guy took the term "prankster" wayyyyyyyy too far, pulling grand schemes all across the ship that were dangerously close to heretical, dangerous, and life threatening. He did all of this in the name of staving off boredom…NO! THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO KEEP YOURSELF ENTERTAINED THAN FAKING A GELLAR FIELD DISRUPTION! That last prank get himself airlocked…we like tossing people into the void a lot. Keep yourself entertained with the little things, or if you can't entertain yourself keep yourself busy. I like to do challenge people to random crap; water chugging competition, who can do the most pushups, limited games of hide and seek, things of that nature. So basically, stay tame, stay sane.
10. Lust kills. See there's a difference between when a guy says he loves you and when he says he loves you. Love is mutual; when you feel a magnetic pull to someone else who matches your personality and you match theirs. Lust, plainly put, is a pure and simple desire to bone each other brainless. Nothing wrong with that; in the fucked-up galaxy we live in, we need that kind of stress relief. However, lust can often be a one-way street, mainly from the guys, women take sex way more seriously than most men. Again, nothing wrong with that, just move on from the matter and forget about it. DO NOT, and I say this again, DO NOT GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO GET YOUR WAY WITH SOMEONE ELSE!
I have this one squad-mate, fairly attractive woman, but she has a stick up her ass so far that the Inquisition would be impressed, and sometimes she draws attention from the opposite sex, and hell, even the same sex on a few planets. There was one sergeant who recognized her sheer respect for the chain of command and began to abuse that; not my squad leader, but a guy from another platoon. It took two months before he cornered her, and the only reason it didn't go further than that was because the rest of our squad and I were head-hunting for that son of a bitch. The Commissar took one look at the piece of shit that we had brought before him, put a bolt round through the crotch, and let him bleed out on the barracks floor before everyone present. Yeah, keep it in your pants if it's not wanted.