|This page contains spoilers for:||Ciaphas Cain (Novel Series)|
Originally a sergeant of the all-male Valhallan 301st, Lustig proved to be one of the more adaptable squad leaders, who accepted the merger between the 301st and the all-female Valhallan 296th. The new regiment's commissar, Ciaphas Cain, instituted generous prizes for the most disciplined units formed from the male and female troopers[1a], and Lustig's squad won the weekly competition shortly before the 597th's arrival on Gravalax[1b].
In any unit he was assigned to, Cain had a habit of picking out the most professional soldiers and gathering them around himself (reasoning that they would be most likely to keep him safe if anything dangerous happened). He therefore selected Lustig's squad as an Honour Guard for himself and Colonel Kasteen, while attending a diplomatic reception at the Governor's palace[1b]. Cain was not expecting trouble, but this proved to be a wise decision: a riot broke out in the capital city, and the Valhallan soldiers were pressed into duty as an escort for the Tau delegation attending the reception[1c]. While escorting the Tau back to their embassy, the Guard forces were threatened by a misinformed PDF squad, forcing Cain to order them shot down. Lustig and his squad did so, and Cain made a point of thanking them, painfully aware that this was not the glorious first taste of combat that the regiment was hoping for[1d].
During the 597th's deployment to Simia Orichalcae, Lustig's squad was naturally Cain's first choice to accompany him on an exploration of the underground ice tunnels beneath a promethium refinery, where some mysterious creature was thought to be stalking the miners.
By the time of the 597th's deployment to Adumbria, Lustig was Lieutenant Jenit Sulla's strong right hand in her platoon command. When Sulla was given a brevet promotion to Captain, to replace a temporarily incapacitated company commander, Lustig became the platoon's ad hoc leader. Cain and Colonel Kasteen reflected wryly that, as much as Lustig would be happy to remain a Veteran Sergeant forever, his competence and the respect held for him by the lower ranks would force a promotion on him.
Sure enough, approximately five years later, Sulla's captaincy had been confirmed, and Lustig was a Lieutenant and a platoon commander. Cain noted that he handled his new responsibilities with as much competence as everyone had expected.
- 1: For the Emperor (Novel) - Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (Omnibus)
- 2: Caves of Ice (Novel)
- 3: The Traitor's Hand (Novel)
- 4: Duty Calls (Novel)
- 5: The Last Ditch (Novel)