- "Back home, I once fancied me a pair of Catachan Devil boots. Killed me half a dozen of the great ugly critters but never found a single one that wore any!"
- —"Stonetooth" Harker, to a doubtful Departmento Munitorum staffer
Gunnery Sergeant Harker, nicknamed "Stonetooth" Harker by his comrades in the Catachan Jungle Fighters, is one of the most renowned warriors hailing from Catachan to ever serve in the Astra Militarum. He is so exceptionally resilient that all who have served with him believe that the creature who can kill him simply has not yet come into being.
Harker serves in Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken's II Regiment of the Catachan Jungle Fighters, the equally-renowned "Green Vipers" who have a reputation for getting the job done, whatever the odds against them. Harker is the most senior Sergeant of the regiment, and leads his hand-picked team of Veterans with the patience and cunning of the most dangerous of predators. In addition to being his squad's leader, Harker doubles up as the squad's Heavy Weapon Specialist, wielding his trusted Heavy Bolter named Payback as easily as other Guardsmen wield their Lasgun.
All Catachans have a reputation for being tough bastards. Indeed, the Death World of Catachan is renowned for being one of the most hellish places in the galaxy, where humans have to learn to shoot before they can walk to survive, and every native living form can be deadly to the unwary. Imperial Guard soldiers hailing from Catachan have a well-deserved reputation for being tough, cunning, hard to kill and extreme survivalists.
"Stonetooth" Harker is renowned for being recognised as the "toughest Grox-lovin' fragger that has ever lived" by his fellow Catachan soldiers. This means that to a baseline human, Harker appears to be more of a force of nature than a mere man. Rumours and stories of his exploits abound, one of the most outlandish claims being that he chews shards of glass instead of tobacco and laughs it off. While this particular rumour might be an exaggeration, he has been known to place his hands into fire and ignore it, and easily shrug off blade cuts or gunshot wounds. To Harker, pain and bleeding are concerns for weaker soldiers, for which he personally has no time.
Harker is uncomplaining in the completion of his duties. A tough and grizzled sergeant with guts for brains, he shows an enthusiasm for war that is somewhere between arrogance and bravado. It would be inaccurate to say he possesses no tactical acumen, for when it comes to war, "Stonetooth" is an expert. But when given the choice between fighting and thinking his way out of tight spot, Harker reaches for Payback every time.
Sergeant Harker is a giant of a man for a non-Astartes, even by Catachan standards. His gigantic frame is covered with slabs of muscle and sinew. His strength is such that he carries his Heavy Bolter Payback as easily as a normal man might carry a Lasgun, without even breaking a sweat. Harker is a long-serving Veteran of the Imperial Guard, and there is not a single aspect of warfare that he has not mastered. Harker has survived the most gruelling campaigns and has yet to find an enemy that won't die to the bark of his Heavy Bolter or the sharpened edge of his Combat Blade.
There isn't an aspect of war he has not mastered. From rescue missions to assassinations, reconnaissance to demolitions -- Harker will get the job done. He leads a squad of "Catachan Devils," exceptional warriors even by the exacting standards of their birth world. The nickname is a reference to the voracious predators of their world. Comprised of the regiment's bravest Veterans, Harker's team take the fight directly to the enemy. They are formed to make long-range penetration raids deep behind enemy lines and when the enemy is engaged they bear the brunt of the bloody combat.
Exaggerated stories of inhuman heroics circulate constantly amongst the soldiers of the Astra Militarum. While dug into fox-holes waiting to face inevitable horrors, these braggadocios tales help to keep fear at bay. Though few such stories can be substantiated, those told about Gunnery Sergeant Harker are generally believed. One of the most famous is of how the gargantuan trooper came to possess the Heavy Bolter he carries into battle, and of how it earned its name.
When he was a new recruit -- so the story goes -- Harker's platoon was sent to eradicate a roving Greenskin warband in the tangle-barrens of Orriah Ossetti. Only a handful of Orks had been spotted on the Death World, so reconnaissance and aerial support were deemed an unnecessary expenditure. What Harker's platoon encountered was not a rag-tag band of savages, but a hardened cadre of Blood Axes warriors. The ambush launched by the Orks was as brutal as it was unexpected, and soon Harker was the only Guardsman remaining. His Lasgun's energy cells were fried from overuse, so he reached into the flames where a Heavy Weapons Team had been immolated and retrieved his fallen comrades' Heavy Bolter. The towering Catachan then trained the massive gun on the remaining Greenskins and unleashed vengeful retribution. Since that day, Payback has been massacring Harker's enemies throughout the galaxy.
The most famous example of Harker's bravery occurred during a battle against Tyranids on the twilight world of Jorn V, where his squad was assaulted by a pack of Raveners bursting from beneath that planet's black soil. Within seconds, his ammunition loader was torn apart by monstrous claws while the rest of his squad were trying their best to stay alive. Harker leapt upon the closest beast without pause and wrapped his massive biceps around the alien's throat. The Ravener writhed and tried to buck him off but Harker's grip would not slacken. Harker squeezed until, with an audible crack, the creature's neck was shattered and its serpentine body finally lay still. Harker then hefted his Heavy Bolter from its tripod stand and opened fire on the remaining Tyranids. Each organism burst apart as the explosive bolts did their work. His dead comrades avenged, Harker dusted himself off, slung a belt of ammunition over each shoulder and stalked off to find the rest of his company, Payback tracking back and forth like a hound searching for prey.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 59, 98
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 62
- White Dwarf 357 (AU/NZ), pp. 68-69