Freedom or Death!
Tangos, Convicts, Dead Men Walking, assholes, cut throats
Torvus Penal Colony
Imperium, Imperial Guard
Fifth Penal Legion
Tango Squadron is the infamous flagship unit of the infamous 5th Penal Legion. They perform a function something akin to a Special Operations branch, including, but not limited to long-range recon and direct action covert operations, such as assassinations, sabotage and rescuing hostages.
- "Welcome to Tango, newbies. You didn't come here to fight. You were sent here to die. You were seconded to Tango to spit in your persecutors' faces and keep coming back alive from suicide missions."
- —Deacon Coletrane's now-infamous welcome to new Tangos
Tango Squadron's brutal, and borderline psychotic Commanding Officer, Coletrane is the unit Designated Marksman and an expert in Close-Quarter Combat. Also Tango Squadron's longest-serving member in the history of the Unit. Cadian Gland Warrior, to be kept under strict supervision in the presence of non-convicts.
- "Hello. One thing. I am God. Don't fuck with God. If you mess with God, either me or the man who hired me, aka Philips-Head, is gonna kick your sorry ass into the next millennium."
- —Virgil to newb cakes.
Coletrane's headstrong and cock-sure XO, Vasquez comes across as a man who sees war as one big, violent party. However, the truth is, he's just as psychopathic as Coletrane himself, and embraces it as sadism rather than outright brutality. Virgil sees almost no one as a friend and everyone as a potential enemy; however, he respects some enemies higher than others.
- "Understand me cause I will say this once and only once. If I set up an explosive you will have one warning to get out of range before I blow the place to holy hell. You dont get out then too bad."
- —Cale prior to leading a training drill
Tango's demolitions and anti-armour expert who enjoys nothing better than watching something explode. Buster has accepted his role within Tango, all the while maintaining a level of contempt towards regular guardsmen, and can find humour in most any situation. Barakus could be described as one fuse short of a demo charge.
- "I'm an adept of the machine god, that puts me on a pillar far above your head"
- —Fredric to arrogant newbies
Tango's Computer Wizkid, Aslk is a former Tech Priest who seems to have embraced the violent life of the 5th. Perhaps the most liked member of tango squadron with his only 'enemy' being Virgil Vasquez. Fredric remains the only Tech priest in all of the penal legions, and more impressive still is the only member in tango's history able to drink a full keg of motor oil without being bed ridden the next month.
- Private First Class Tompson
- "Who am I? Not important, that's who"
- —John Tompson's first words in Tengo Squadron
Formerly a Storm Trooper Sergeant in the Telanian Warlords, Tompson disklikes any anthourity figures, apart from himself, of course, and has attempted escape several times before realising that being in a penal legion allows him to unleash his arsenal of weapons on the enemy, or anyone who really, really annoys him.
Saboteur and vehicle operator. Generally disliked and heckled, but also the unit's communal little sister.
Professional thief and scout, P'tar is a practitioner of l'art du déplacement, giving him a better chance of getting in and out of possibly enemy-occupied buildings. Has a good eye for aiming, and currently works as the spotter for Deacon Coletrane.
The new kid. Jared is a framed civilian worker who doesn't fit into Tango's brutality at all, and is generally on the receiving end of practical jokes, and in mortal fear of brutal punishment if he were to fight back. Soft-spoken Radio Operator, minimal threat level.
- "See this shoe? It's a lot harder than your head. Care to test my theory?"
- —Rugar's statement to new recruits wishing to get into a fight
A new guy trained as a medic in the Cadian Shock Troops. Carries with him a variety of "medicines" no-one else in Tango has heard of, but are undoubtably effective. in a variety of ways. Also known for his progress in hand-to-shoe combat.
Fresh from the fighting on Armageddon, Cole was sent to Tango Squadron after killing 7 officers with his sniper rifle “Sarah”. One of the better, if not the best, marksmen in Tango Squadron. Noted to be a little unhinged, and often grows violent around officers and anybody who touches his rifle.
An Old Codger still at war, Logan was a Veteran in the Catachan 43rd for years and was sent to Tango for knocking out an Inquisitor and unproven murders of three officers. He annoys several younger members by calling them "lad" (Lassie in Liana's case). He has a habit of punching officers that annoy him and sleeps with his knife under his pillow.
- "*Evil manic laugh*"
- —Larks most famous recording, as well as what the commissar last heard before he activated the tripwires and had his head blown to pieces by autoguns
The unnerving freak of the squad. Lark's speciality's are assassination, psychological warfare, close combat. Known as Tango squads personal joker after an incident involving a commissar, a tripwire and some autoguns.
A German shepherd puppy 'found' and adopted by Tango. Despite the fact German sheps can be trained for combat and finding scents, Oscar is utterly useless, on par with Jared, the dog simply lays in the corner of Tango's dugout or quarters and sleeps and eats the finest food a dog could have, courtesy of any local officers, who kindly 'donate' their rations. Accidentally stolen from a Mordian regiment after a successful assassination mission, Oscar remains the much loved mascot of tango squadron.
- Lenny Rugermeister
- Lenny was unfortunate enough to have Rugermeister for a surname. Made all the worse by being a member of Tango under Coletrane's reign of terror and brutality. Lenny did, however, have an amazing tolerance for alcohol and other intoxicating substances, thus endearing himself to his animalistic Sergeant Major. He died in a dugout when Coletrane hooked a keg of Mordian Ale up to his beer bong, accidentally drowning him.
- Sergeant Paul Hansen
- Coletrane's own CO, Hansen was almost as brutal and almost as violent as Tango's most (in)famous leader. It was those bare margins that cost him his life. Coletrane got sick of Hansen's ways and habits, and while the old Tallarn soldier's back was turned, Coletrane snapped his neck. Originally, they got along quite well, something akin to how Coletrane and Vasquez get along in the current roster. However, Coletrane began to grate under Hansen's yoke.
- Private First Class Don Blonski
- Tango Squadron's former explosives and demolitions expert who was later replaced by Cale Barakus, Blonski shared the same obsession with blowing stuff up as his successor does. However, Blonski was much less skillful with his munitions, and it made it even worse that he was dis-liked by Sergeant Vasquez, who didn't find Blonski's attempts at jokes or his immature nature very amusing. Constantly annoying Vasquez and gritting his own sense of humor into nothing-ness, Blonski met his end at the hands of his own specialty. While fighting Orks in the Taranga Sector, Blonski hadn't realized that Virgil had created a crude string device to connect each of the pins on his grenade bandolier while he had been sleeping. Isolated from the squads on Sergeant Vasquez's orders to seize an elevated hill position for observation purposes, Blonski's sudden spurt of bravery to go out with a bang against several rushing Orks with the same idea was met with more force then originally intended.
- Lance Corporal Alfren Goyle
- Originally a vox operator in a regiment of the Praetorian Guard, Goyle's regiment, the 411th Linesmen was terribly unfortunate enough to be pitted against a Chaos Cultist faction who took control of a Paradise World used as a holiday destination for the rich and a retirement home for the wealthy old covertly, then began to secretly use the Imperial Credits from the residents' bank accounts to stockpile large amounts of weapons, while subtly corrupting and converting all they could. By the time the Imperial Guard had found out and responded, the cult had already gained enough power to the point where a ritual of theirs released a massive Daemonic Incursion, necessitating the intervention of the Grey Knights shortly after the Guard arrived. The incursion was stayed and the cult obliterated easily by the Knights, but the entire regiment, having seen little to no action on the world, was deemed exposed and had to be removed. Goyle, a pious man, would not protest even if he could as he transfered to a Penal Legion for his "crime".
- Still a capable soldier with a strong sense of professionalism, Goyle racked up a large portfolio of impressive achievements in the field of battle which led him to being assigned to Tango. Though his pride, discipline and uptight attitude didn't mesh well with the squad's general attitude, he took his hazing well and slipped into the role of vox operator again pretty quickly, serving with the squad for a few years without too many incidents. Considered boring by many of his comrades, his heavily conservative and puritan views started to grate after a while, effective as a soldier he may have been. Even Coletrane's intimidation tactics couldn't deter his misplaced ideals of courage, faith and honour. Growing up in a religious military family had ingrained these in his skull even before his joining the Guard, which only worsened it.
- When Jared Richter was assigned to the squad, Goyle was perhaps the most vocally opposed to it. While Richter was used to dealing with ill-spoken idiots putting him down, Goyle struck a nerve by being eloquently worded and, it seemed, perfectly justified in his harsh resentment of the cowardly, often useless civilian. Goyle never seemed to let up around Jared, which divided the squad in favour of either imbecile - the annoying, outspoken, idealistic jackass or the quiet, timid and utterly pathetic wimp? Jared was easier to beat, though, which put a strong majority against him. Goyle's dislike grew worse and worse as he worked alongside Jared, eventually becoming physical as he joined in on the beatings while berating him on his poor soldiering ability. Against the bull-headed, thickly built Praetorian, Jared couldn't compete or defend himself.
- However, his faith and the lack of spiritual reinforcement from Priests and Commissars that most Guardsmen recieved and needed to function did not bode well with a prolonged campaign against a renegade Death Korps regiment who, embracing fatalism and the disgusting conditions in their trenches, had renounced the Emperor and defected to Nurgle. However, in one of the rare few firefights out in open battlefield as opposed to over trenches, after witnessing a lone Death Guard who'd been supervising a platoon of these soldiers be cut down by Tango's weapons fire and seeing his putrid remains explode, liquefy and literally leak out sizzling from the gaps in his twisted, glyph-engraved armour, something in Goyle's head snapped as a Nurgling scuttled out of the Chaos Marine's exposed entrails. Usually composed and militaristic in tone, he started babbling and sobbing into the speak-horn when he should have been giving co-ordinates to an artillery team to eliminate a heavily entrenched house through which the rogue Korpsmen were co-ordinating their assault.
- Jared, who'd been keeping a close, obsessive and fearful eye on Goyle throughout the firefight ever since a particularly brutal beating the night before, was perplexed and scared at how the man who terrified him had just broken down, but his fixation on the man himself allowed him to keep his eyes off what had driven the Praetorian to a lapse in sanity. As he retched and grovelled in his own vomit behind the same cover, with the rest of the squad pinned down, Jared tentatively crawled over, took the speak-horn from his clawing hands and gave the co-ordinates in a soft and calm voice, before dropping the horn and hurrying away. Goyle, gaining some measure of composure again, now began to direct his incomprehensible fury towards Jared weakly as he lay there, but was silenced as Earthshaker shells sailed down and cleared the enemy's positions in one fell swoop.
- As they settled into camp that night, Goyle was eager to retire to what he felt was a well-deserved rest after his episode. He never woke up the next day. Exactly who had slit his throat in his sleep was never discovered, but Jared, satisfied at the man getting his just desserts and his hostile presence finally removed from the squad, and also bearing the strange, far-fetched and yet morale-raising feeling that somebody might actually be looking out for him in Tango, smiled genuinely for the first time since his assignment to the squad as Coletrane dumped Goyle's vox gear at his feet. He, and the rest of Tango, were only too pleased to see the pompous Praetorian face-down in a ditch.
- Private Jack "Breaker" Gorenski
- A huge, lumbering brute of a Catachan, Jack fitted the moniker "Baby Ogryn" well - not only was he built like the youth of that abhuman sub-species, but it was often the subject of debate whether his actual intelligence was more similar to that of a human child or a dumbass mutant. Regardless, despite his low intelligence, he fitted the mentality of Tango well with a fierce, sadistic drive to lay down the pain on whoever he could and a fittingly childlike enthusiasm for combat. His size and build also made him ideal for the role of heavy weapons trooper, and he was able to heft a cut-down autocannon entirely on his own. Not only that, he proved himself mighty handy with his sledgehammer in close quarters combat, utilising his overpowering brute strength well. Jared Richter, before assuming the role of vox-operator, often made himself useful by feeding Gorenski ammunition to keep a steady flow of suppressive hurt on Tango's opponents. Of course, he didn't recieve much gratitude for it.
- Gorenski, like many other men deficient in something, routinely ridiculed and belittled others in order to make himself feel better about his own shortcomings. Though they were often saddled together, Richter and Gorenski simply could not get on well. They were polar opposites on many levels - big, loud and dumb against small, quiet and smart being the most glaring of their differences, but Jared's relative uselessness in the squad made him ideal for a simple role of minimal risk. Gorenski revelled in abusing Jared, and it is from him that the majority of his derogatory nicknames originate from. The one good thing Gorenski did by Richter was done as a derisive joke - in an attempt to better keep his loader alive, he slapped a Carapace Armour helmet on his head, made a spiteful quip, gave him a new alias and laughed loudly. To further subordinate the man, Gorenski made his abuse thorough and his whittling down of Jared's nerves and will to be astoundingly methodical for somebody so apparently unintelligent. Jared was of weedy build and stayed that way on account of most of his rations being stolen, mainly by Gorenski, with threats and hammerings being administered liberally if he protested.
- This changed when Goyle died and Jared took over as communications officer, separating him from his abusive pairing with the Catachan. With a slight ego boost due to Goyle being gone and Gorenski being further away from him, Jared was feeling relatively well, and one evening in camp, a group of drunk squadmates took notice to his good mood and sought to rectify it. Left aching, shivering and bleary-eyed from a rather harsh hazing shortly before they packed up and started moving again, Jared was sitting on his bedroll in mortified silence while struggling to affix his bayonet to the barrel of his lascarbine with shaky hands. Gorenski came over and immediately began criticising him over it, but Jared was incapable of responding - even moreso, now. The tirade of insults and jeers went on and on until they left remarks regarding his propensity as a soldier and grew more and more personal. Jared could only tolerate so much while in intense pain after being beaten down from his little high, frustrated at his inability to fight back and his ever-annoying, repeated failure to fix a bayonet - but also with strange feelings of independence, as though he didn't have to just take what Gorenski was saying now. Growing angrier and angrier, Jared finally lost it completely when Gorenski made the terrible mistake of disreputing dear old Mrs. Richter back on Velixum II.
- Jared tore his bayonet from halfway onto his barrel and sprang at Gorenski, raking it across his abdomen before following up with a helmeted headbutt to the chest, staggering him and wiping the self-assured grin off his face. While a competent fighter himself, Jack was far too overconfident and had left himself wide open for the completely unsuspected assault. With a gangly, long-legged kick, he took out Gorenski's unsteady feet from under him and brought the bayonet and his fist down on him far too many times to count even if he tried, screaming incomprehensibly in his high-pitched rage all the while. Eventually, it took the intervention of the Sergeant himself to pull Jared off the Catachan, covered in blood and all but frothing at the mouth. Rather than earn him much of a reprimanding, though, all this incident did was earn Jared a drink of Tango's famous moonshine for the first time. A bit of frenzied bloodsport here and there among squadmates never goes amiss, and it was deeply satisfying to see the Breaker get broken.
- Tangos former specialist wepons officer, Razs nickname was "Burnin", a reference to his pyromainia. Raz was a show off, and was often regarded as pigheaded. Raz belived his collecttion of flamer weapons were better than simerlar weapons created by the Tech priest Fredric Aslk, which was evident as the pair hated each other. He was killed by a Chaos landmine.
- Private Darren ParkerDied before he could get a nickname
- A man prone to massed alcohol consumption, even on his way to the penal legions. He had been sent on accords to abuse to several civilians on armageddon, compared to the rest of the squad that was little more then everyday life. When Darren tried to establish he was top dog Deek decked him and kicked his head telling him "You worthless runt, you can't do shit". After learning that two of the people he had regularly beaten were children Fredric was horrified, as most men in the squad would never harm a child, unless they were screaming and disruptive. Being subtle is not something Fredric is good at. However and near the start of his first mission when he was too drunk to notice Fredric was behind him Fredric cut the man in two with his giant power axe and spat on his mutilated corpse. He received another dent in his bionics from Frost who claimed that it was 'His kill' and from Deek who said they should have used his body to soak up a few rounds.
Tango Squadron forms something of an elite in the 5th Penal Legion. They are often the more dangerous criminals, usually military criminals. Most rosters contained soldiers who witnessed or committed hundreds of atrocities or massacres, or who had a habit of murdering superior officers at any opportunity. While this makes them incredibly dangerous to other personnel, it makes Tango an incredibly capable group of killers, likely to survive until completion of their mission, though not likely to survive the return trip, depending on the objective.
They perform many actions on behalf of the 5th, ranging ahead of the main force and marking hard targets for bombardments or massed assault, and destroying enemy advance forces whenever possible. Tango will often be first to make contact with enemy forces such as snipers or saboteurs, and are often tasked with hunting such targets when the battles begin. Tango Squadron used to compete as a Special Operations team with two other shock units in the 5th Penal Legion, Delta and Omega Squadron. During Coletrane's reign, Tango's members were pushed to their physical, mental and emotional limits, gradually phasing Delta and Omega out of Special Operations Service as Tango rapidly became the more favoured unit.
Snelling's Tango Squadron
Rourke's Tango Squadron
Hansen's Tango Squadron
Coletrane's Tango Squadron
Known Marching Songs
- "We are the convicts, mighty mighty convicts,
Dead men, one and all,
But come fire or rain or hail or snow,
Into Officer's pockets our hands will go!"
- —Unofficial Marching Song of Tango Squadron