Warhammer 40,000 Universe: In thirty-eight thousand years, humanity has colonized much of the Milky Way, forming a massive empire known as the Imperium of Man. Unfortunately, due to various catastrophes, the Imperium is currently a stagnant, fascist, theocratic dystopia. The leader of the Imperium, a god-like being known only as the Emperor (who is worshipped by nearly all of mankind), is currently near death but is being kept clinging to life on the Golden Throne, which is basically an extremely advanced life-support machine. Those who currently run the Imperium are corrupt, fanatical or some mix of both. Racism against mutants, psykers (psychics) and xenos (aliens) are rampant, and it's not unheard of for entire planets to be destroyed because one Imperial citizen showed some sense of compassion to an undesirable. Technology hasn't progressed for thousands of years, and it's maintained by a cult known as the Adeptus Mechanicus. Humanity is under constant attack by various factions: The elf-like Eldar. The omnicidal, robotic Necrons. The voracious, predatory beasts known as the Tyranids. The bloodthirsty Orks... The list goes on, as literally something close to 2,000 alien species want to destroy, conquer or eat humankind. Even worse than the aliens, though, are the forces of Chaos, demonic beings from another dimension who want to make the universe their playground. Although humanity is defended from such outside threats by the super-soldiers of the Space Marine Legions, there are a finite number of them. As such, much of the fighting is done by the Imperial Guard, the Imperium's major fighting force. Despite being dressed in state-of-the-art body armor and armed with powerful weapons, the Guard is often woefully underprepared for many of the horrors that they face (For a real-world comparison, imagine a toddler going up against an angry elephant while wearing a t-shirt for armor and using a nerf gun as a weapon). This doesn't deter them, however, and the Imperial Guard has a surprising number of victories under their belt.
Jeff: Jephrey "Jeff" Winger is a lawyer from the civilized world of Grindal. After being caught with a fake license, he was given a choice: Prison or enlistment in the Imperial Guard. Both options came with a high risk of death, but, Imperial prisons being what they are, Jeff decided to enlist in the Grindalian Imperial Guard. After several months in the service, during which he received a reputation for being able to get through deadly experiences without a scratch, he has managed to befriend a handful of fellow soldiers in his regiment. In particular, he has come to regard Annie as his closest friend (He's stating to feel something more, but he'd deny that if anyone asked him), and they often charge into battle side-by-side. He's counting the days until he can finally leave the force, but Jeff is also doing his best to make sure that his newest battle-buddies also survive to the end of their terms.
Annie: Annabeth "Annie" Edyson is a young socialite from the civilized world of Grindal. She grew up sheltered from the horrors of the galaxy, but she always had a strong sense of moral duty. When she reached adulthood, she finally learned about what was happening on other worlds. Horrified at the news of a nearby planet succumbing to a Tyranid invasion, Annie, against her parents' wishes, signed up to the Imperial Guard. Despite her harmless appearance, Annie has proven herself on the battlefield numerous times, packing a punch that belies her small frame and being an excellent shot with a lasgun. Unlike her close friend Jeff, who's just trying to survive, Annie genuinely believes in the Imperium's mission, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to help rid the galaxy of ferocious xenos, sadistic Chaos agents and any other threats to humanity, and she's not going to let her growing feelings for Jeff deter her.
Britta: Britta Peri is a street gangster from the hive world of Talyn. Her entire regiment was wiped out during a battle against the Khraves, and she was transfered to Jeff and Annie's regiment a month or so before they arrived. She attributes her survival to her upbringing in the Underhive of Talyn's capital city. Despite her lawless background, Britta has bonded with Annie over their shared sense of justice. Unlike Annie, however, Britta's moral outrage extends to the Imperium itself. This, coupled with her sympathy for mutants and other undesirables, has put her in hot water several times. Fortunately, her friends are able to keep her from exposing her leanings in front of important people, who would surely execute her as a traitor.
Troy: Troy Barnes was a novice skimmer repairman from the civilized world of Grindal. He joined the Imperial Guard on an impulse after a fight with his father. Hoping to prove himself a man, Troy has never truly regretted his decision, no matter how many fellow Guardsmen he's seen dismembered, eviscerated, broiled, crushed, skewered, decapitated...Alright, he regrets it occasionally, but then he remembers how proud his parents seemed when he left, and he thinks about his new friends, and the pity-party ends. Troy's been commended twice for exceptional bravery (The first time because he managed to bring down a Tyranid Carnifex with nothing but a malfunctioning lascannon. The second time, he rescued Jeff, Annie and Abed when they were being held hostage by Eldar pirates). He has been approached by the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, who are impressed with his skills on machines, but he wouldn't turn down his buddies for anything.
Abed: Abed Nadir worked in his father's restaurant on the pleasure world of Scrantilla. From a young age, he was bored with having to serve haughty tourists all the time. Abed found an escape from his humdrum life through Viso-Plays at the theater next door. The films were exciting, thrilling and novel, and he loved them. For most of his teenage years, he had two dreams. The first one - becoming a director - he was sad to learn was unlikely, due to both his family's low income. The second - fighting aliens, just like his childhood big-screen heroes - was much more plausible. Due to Scrantilla's low number of recruits, Abed was placed in the Grindal regiment, where he became an expert sniper. He and Troy quickly grew attached at the hip, and Abed was delighted to have finally found not only one best friend, but six!
Shirley: Cherlee Benit is a member of the Ecclesiarchy from Holy Terra. She joined the holy order after her husband and three children were killed in an Ork invasion on a far-off planet while visiting her husband's parents. She hoped that this would help numb her grief. Currently, she's been assigned to the Grindal regiment in order to inspire them to battle. Like other Imperial Priests, she does this through preaching the holy word of the God-Emperor, providing spiritual comfort and often fighting alongside them. Unlike other Priests, Cherlee freely mingles with the Guard members when "off-duty". She'd even call a few of them her friends, despite the fact that a couple of them (namely Jeff and Britta) are dangerously close to becoming heretics. This doesn't bother Cherlee, though, since she has faith that she can bring them to the God-Emperor's light.
Pierce: Pierce Hawthorne is the Grindal regiment's poor excuse for a colonel. Having grown up in the Spires of the Hive World of Poth, he received the position due to nepotism. Despite his incompetence, though, Pierce has been able to at least get his troops through massive battles with a relatively low body count (Credit to any actual success in these battles goes to the Guard members themselves). He considers himself a friend to the above-mentioned six, and he is, to a point. The tight-knit group tolerates him, and occasionally feel affection for him, but his sexist, racist and homophobic remarks, as well as the fact that he's their commander, keeps them from truly letting him in.
- COMMUNITY AU