"My brothers and sisters by the dozen, I ask of thee: is your faith as strong and your blade as true as mine? For as long as I remain steadfast before the forces of evil, I shall never know fear! If you, my brothers and sisters, stand as tall as I before evil, I shall never know death! If you are as fearless before the forces of evil as I, we together shall never know defeat! If you should die, my every breath and every word will resonate with your undying legacy! If I should die, then I shall bring every last motherfucker who fights for evil to hell with me!!"
The so-called Final, later Original Thirteen, are the last surviving Chthonian hypersoldiers (of which 100 were produced, 87 of them being lost in the Salvagings, the Second Russo-European War and the Ten Years' War). Aligned with Mechanocratic Russia and its successor nation, the Mechanocracy of Mankind, they elevate the Mechanocratic ideology to a quasi-religious level. Operating as a secretive political organisation within the Mecharussian state, they are often considered to be a modern-day equivalent to the Knights Templar.
Commanded by General Elena Trotskaya, initially as a component of Vympel Group until its role is greatly expanded under Trotskaya's tenure as Grand Curatrix, the Thirteen are highly active in both the Main Canon and the Altcanon.
Members and associates
As the name suggests, there are thirteen fully-fledged members of the Final Thirteen, but there are many individuals with links to the Thirteen's interests, such as Vadim Churyumov. As all Chthonia-class hypersoldiers (with the sole exceptions of Trotskaya and Drakolich) are given titles based upon important figures in ancient Greek mythology, most of the Thirteen are named such.
The Final Thirteen can be divided into older and younger Chthonians. The older ones bear greater combat experience and are less prone to emotional breakdowns, oftentimes serving in a mentoring or command capacity.
- Elena Trotskaya, the Red Tigress, is the First and most powerful Chthonian, undefeated when in her best state and with thousands if not millions of kills under her belt. She adopts overall leadership of the brotherhood and has meticulously trained and mentored every Chthonian (not just the Final Thirteen), but only regards herself as first-among-equals. Like the other Chthonians, she possesses a title relating her to ancient Greco-Roman mythology – Gera (Hera) – but does not believe herself worthy of its use.
- Drakolich, the Hound of Trotskaya, is the second most powerful Chthonian and Trotskaya's overall second-in-command. While only slightly more competent than the Spetsnaz in combat (until he, along with the other Chthonians, receive their second generation of augmentations in late 2152), his greatest asset and weapon is his towering intellect, the man being comparable to a living hypercomputer and capable of remaining many steps ahead of his opponents in a scheming game. His Chthonic title is Sizif (Sisyphus), but he abstains from using it for the same reasons as Trotskaya.
- Persey the Unbreakable Wall is often regarded as number-three in power rankings of the Chthonians. The archetypal gentle giant, he mostly dedicates himself to serving as a father-figure for the younger Chthonians in addition to leading philanthropic missions with the Popular Front. He is not to be mistaken for a weakling, however: he battles with a huge, nearly-indestructible aspis shield (a gift to him from his late good friend Ajax), a plasma spear, a heavy durasteel mace and a cryogenic blastgun built into his shoulder. His namesake is Perseus, the slayer of Medusa.
- Kalliopa the Storm-Caller (or the Storm's Voice) is the fourth most powerful Chthonian. She is an extraordinarily-powerful psyker with a penchant for electrical-based attacks: her ability to wield 'living lightning' is unmatched by any other psyker elsewhere short of Timofei Prime and Yulia Trotskaya. She communicates almost entirely using telepathy, and on the rare occasion where she speaks, she talks solely in verse. Her namesake is Calliope, one of the Muses.
- Peley the Mechanomancer is a brilliant engineer whose responsibility is to maintain the Chthonians' gear, and design and forge upgrades for it. Rarely seen on account of his occupation mandating diligence, he was taught by Chthonic father-and-son Dedal and Ikar in his trade. He has passed down their techniques to Trotskaya (herself an accomplished weaponsmith) and other students in their memory, and she often provides him assistance with his work. His namesake is Peleus, the king of Aegina.
- Dzheyson the Word-Shark is the Chthonians' intelligence chief, frequently working with the Committee of State Security. He is best known, however, for his phenomenal suaveness, always seeming to know exactly what to say at the right time, and this grants superhuman charisma and an uncanny ability to talk through almost any situation to the Chthonian. Dzheyson is also an expert in gun-kata and hand-to-hand combat, making particular use of the Systema martial art. His namesake is Jason, captain of the Argo, but his name is a mistranslation and he should be called 'Yasson' instead (though he insists otherwise).
- Atalanta the Infallible Shot is the Final Thirteen's master sniper, coming from Project Chthonia's assassin caste and serving in that capacity to this day. She is armed with a customised DGP anti-materiel Gauss repeater and her augmentations possess extremely-advanced targeting systems that allow her to always land the perfect shot – she has never missed a single target in her entire career. However, she is mentally ten years younger, and is plagued by a paraphilia revolving around gold – both results of mental trauma suffered as a child sex slave of raider boss Hammerhead, from whom Trotskaya rescued her during the Salvagings. Her namesake is Atalanta, the virgin huntress.
- Tesey the Unlimited Memory is the Chthonians' scout, his augmentations bearing an exceptionally wide array of detection methods ranging from RADAR (both active and passive) and LIDAR, infrared and ultraviolet, and far beyond. His other great asset is his eidetic memory, aiding him in relaying information back to his comrades, but this trait in particular has – particularly after his traumatic encounter with the Chthonia Hunter, Fred Harrigan, in 2141 and again in 2151 – proven to be something of a mixed blessing. His namesake is Theseus, the slayer of the Minotaur.
- Kheraklz the Giantslayer is the resident expert in dealing with wasteland mutants, having an extensive knowledge of their weaknesses and how to defeat them. He is a fierce close-combatant, charging into battle with a huge monomolecular greataxe at his side and heavy armour on his person. As well as his axe, he also carries a PZ machine gun slung over his back, ready to use whenever he needs to engage an enemy at range. His namesake is Heracles, the son of Zeus.
- Antey the Fist of Steel is another close-combat expert and the lover of Kheraklz. His primary asset is his heavily-overcharged Tesla charge-fists, sending millions of volts of electricity ripping through his target with each punch. He is sustained by his unique suit of Heavy Assault armour, visually similar to that worn by Kheraklz but bearing self-repair capability to quickly fix up damage sustained by enemy bullets as he sprints into the fray to pound his foes into charred paste. His namesake is Anteus, one of the sons of Gaia.
- Ippolyta the Manreaper is a military commander and protégé of Drakolich. Conscripted into the Chthonic brotherhood along with her sister Antiopa, she was rescued from her fate as a slave to the Russian Mafia during the Salvagings. The disfigurement that she suffered in captivity, along with the murder of her sister by the gangsters, granted her a vicious, all-consuming desire to avenge her sister and bury her weakness beneath the bodies of thousands. Consequently, she developed a predilection for extreme violence and brutal sadism. Her namesake is Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons.
- Akhilles the Living Fortress is the guardian of the Tomb of the Chthonians on Franz Josef Land. Mated to a five-metre tall suit of hyperalloy armour, Akhilles wields several extremely-powerful weapon systems on his person in conjunction with his near-indestructible suit of armour. Chief among them is an enormous stormhammer, but his right wrist-mounting is fitted with a 30-millimetre rotary cannon and his shoulder-hardpoints contain enough missiles to lay waste to an entire platoon of tanks – to name just a small part of his arsenal. His namesake is Achilles, a nigh-invincible warrior.
- Bellerofont the Windcarver is the Final Thirteen's demolition expert and master pilot. In addition to several neural augments designed to improve his reflexes and harden him against G-forces while at the joystick of an aircraft, Bellerofont's power-armour suit comes equipped with several graviton repulsors, allowing near-permanent personal flight and almost-unlimited freedom of movement. This plays importantly into his other role, that of the demolitionist: he can slip through conventional defences with his grav-suit to bomb a target from practically any direction. His namesake is Bellerophon, rider of Pegasus and slayer of the Chimaera.