Martel Vivant is captain of the 5th Company of the Knights of Altair, a Space Marine chapter that defends a significant region of the Segmentum Ultima.
Vivant rose quickly through the ranks and is the youngest captain to serve in the chapter. The pace of his promotions, along with criticism that Vivant reacts hastily under pressure, has raised worrisome parallels with the ill-fated Brother Sergeant Valerus.
Time will tell. Vivant is a capable close-combat fighter but, unlike Valerus, the young captain places great value on maximizing firepower on the battlefield. Warriors in his company undergo a rigorous training program in ranged weaponry, and it is widely acknowledged that the 5th Company includes many of the finest marksman in the chapter.
Unlike most aspirants to the chapter, Vivant was not recruited from among the menials of Forge World Helios. His parents were senior members of the Administratum who served as a liaison between the Mechanicus and other Imperial government institutions in the region, and Vivant enjoyed a sheltered childhood of affluence and high education.
Yet, Vivant rebelled at the restraints of his over-protective parents and, by age 10, he began to sneak away from home and socialize with youth of lower socioeconomic status. By 15, he was secretly exploring some of the more dangerous levels of the vast manufactorums of Helios, despite the desperate attempts of his parents to restrain his ability to do so.
It was during his youthful adventures that he learned to fight. Remarkably successful in earning the trust of even the most violent hive gang members, Vivant soon earned a reputation as a loyal ally to his lower-class comrades. They taught him the ruthless hand-to-hand fighting techniques of the Underhive, and he engaged in a number of violent encounters— yet always insisted he would fight only to defend his friends¯and not engage in violence for personal gain or any interest in violence for its own sake.
The details are not known, but apparently there was a brutal battle in the Underhives where Vivant defeated a number of well-respected gang fighters. At the end of the fight, he stopped his angry comrades from killing wounded members of the rival gang, and a chaplain of the Knights of Altair appeared.
Impressed at the teenager’s fighting ability, but even more intrigued by the lad’s ability to calm the bloodlust of himself and others around him, Chaplain Allyr Numa seized the boy and took him to the chapter recruitment grounds as a possible aspirant.
His parents never learned of his fate.
Aspirant Trials (657.M41)—Few aspirants have survived their early training with the ease of Vivant. Despite the natural rivalry and hostility that arises as aspirants engage in deadly trials to join the chapter, Vivant’s friendly demeanor and leadership skills made him popular among the aspirants.
Vivant proved particular adept at fighting. Although not the largest or stronger aspirant, his natural agility and thoughtful approach to fighting allowed him to rank in the top five aspirants in trials involving combat. He also revealed a talent for problem solving that also helped him to prevail when forced to participate in seemingly impossible tests.
Incident at Orbital X131 (663.M41)—In one of his first missions as a scout, Vivant was part of a scouting mission of a vast rebel-held orbital station above the hive world of Ichar IV.
In the hours before the Knights of Altair launched an all-out attack, Vivant’s squad approached the station aboard a stealth shuttle provided by the Ordos Hereticus. The squad’s mission: infiltrate the station, make their way to the main power reactor, and shut down the station’s void shields.
The squad’s presence was discovered halfway to the power reactor, and rebels overwhelmed the scouts by sheer numbers. Only Vivant survived, locking himself in a cargo bay and using a krak grenade to open an escape route to the deck below.
Although hunted by hundreds of rebels, Vivant managed to work his way to a power conduit that fed the void shields, destroy it with his last krak grenade, and then fight his way to his fellow Astartes—who had breached the station’s hull and begun to slaughter the rebel defenders.
Retaliation on Vinyamar (683.M41)—When Imperial xenologists began to plunder xeno artifacts on the unpopulated world of Vinyamar, they did not realize the planet was a Maiden World of the Eldar. They discovered their mistake when Craftworld Iyanden took umbrage at the human intrusion.
The Eldar slaughtered the Imperial encampment.
In retaliation, the 5th Company of the Knights of Altair was sent to avenge the fallen, and a fierce battle erupted between the Astartes and Eldar forces.
During the fighting, Vivant’s sergeant was killed after his squad was attacked by more than two dozen Aspect Warriors. Taking command, Vivant deployed his men to create a crossfire that repulsed several xeno attacks. His astute use of firepower was so successful that Vivant developed a fascination with the tactical application of ranged fire.
Decade of Glory ( 695-705.M41)—Recognized for his command potential, Vivant was assigned to the prestigious 1st Company and earned accolades for his accomplishments during the Second Battle of Adrius IX, the storming of the Maximus Citadel on Orion VII, and the scouring of Baldaron.
The Drynamid Incident (708.M41)—Promoted to veteran sergeant, Vivant returned to the 5th Company and was given command of a three-squad force ordered to chase down a Chaos warband known as the Black Dragons.
The traitors were found as they raided the colony world of Wardhaven. The fighting was fierce, but Vivant formed a firing line that laid down withering fire, putting the traitors on the defensive and forcing them into cover. Pinned down, the traitors then found themselves helpless against a bombardment of Whirlwind mechanized artillery battery.
Promotion to Captain (731.M41)—As senior sergeant of the 5th Company, Vivant took command of the entire company when Captain Pontus Moulin was felled by a sniper shot during a campaign against the Night Lords on Herperus IV.
Through a combination of flank attacks, targeted artillery bombardments, and aerial attacks on logistical and command centers, Vivant shattered the Night Lords defenses and slaughtered the traitor Astartes to the last man.
Damocles Campaign (742.M41)—Currently Vivant leads the 5th Company as the Knights of Altair’s contribution to the Damocles Gulf Crusade.
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