The Medicae's Men
The Medicae is figure shrouded in mystery, his appearance in the underhive was unexpected and not entirely understood. Little is known about him prior to him setting up shop in the underhive. The story goes that he was an offworlder, why he came to Necromunda is unknown, it's widely believed though that he had some sort of trade deal with one of the noble houses. Whatever the deal was it went wrong for the Medicae, upset with his goods or attitude the noble house he was dealing with had him shot in the face and dumped down an air shaft. That would've been the end of the story but the Medicae didn't die. He came to laying on top of a slag heap, rats chewing at his fingers, his left eye gone. He stumbled around the underhive for days, finally coming across a band of mutant outcasts. Dying of thirst and near death he begged the misshapen party for help, but life is cheap in the underhive and clean water cost a fair number of credits. The Medicae wasn't the sort of man to give up easily, after all he had recently survived a bullet in the eye and a fall that would've killed an ogryn. Trying to convince the mutants he was worth saving the Medicae revealed his medical past and his abilities as a surgeon. The mutants knew that a skilled surgeon was a commodity worth saving in the underhive, and one of their number had recently had his leg broken by a Redemptionist. They made a deal with the Medicae, if he could patch up the wounded mutant they would share their supplies with him and take him safely back to their camp. The Medicae agreed and a bargain was struck between the man and the mutants.
Even in his weakened state the Medicae's skills were up to the task, he set the mutant's wounded leg and cobbled together a brace from some scrap. True to their part of the bargain the mutants gave him water and made ready to take him to their camp. The exertion of treating the mutant, or perhaps the questionable water, proved to be too much for the wounded Medicae and he lost consciousness. The mutants undeterred by the Medicae's fainting act carried him to their underhive camp. When he finally regained consciousness he had been in the mutant camp for several days, the daughter of the camp's chief had been tending to the convalescent Medicae. He had survived his ordeal, but his troubles weren't over yet. The mutants had been happy to honor their promise, but now the Medicae needed to earn his water and there were plenty of sick and wounded for him to treat in return for food and shelter. The Medicae was grateful, and couldn't see a better way to proceed, and for a time he busied himself with helping his rescuers. He set up a lab to make medicines and a small operating theater to treat the badly wounded.
Weeks passed and the Medicae healed and settled into his new life as doctor to the mutants, but an anger still burned in him. He wished desperately to take revenge against those who'd tried to have him killed. He wasn't sure how to proceed until a merchant arrived at the mutant camp one day. The merchant made a circuit of the outcast settlements in this part of the underhive. The mutants traded scrap and valuable fungi in exchange for uphive goods and some foodstuffs. The merchant was intrigued to see another normal human this deep in the underhive. He sat and talked with the Medicae for a long time, they spoke of how the Medicae had found himself among the mutants and what the merchant did with the goods he procured in his travels. The merchant divulged that the fungi the mutants gathered was used to make a drug used by gangers and young nobles, and could sell for quite a bit uphive. During his talk with the merchant the Medicae began to formulate a plan. He couldn't simply walk out of the underhive, the noble house that tried to kill him would certainly try and finish the job. He also needed a substantial amount of credits if hoped to book passage on even the lowliest freighter off world. If he could synthesize the drug from the fungi, and sell large enough amounts he could buy his way off this hellhole of a planet.
The Medicae quickly set his plan into motion. The mutants continued to gather the fungi, but instead of trading the raw fungi to the merchant, the Medicae set about producing the most potent drug he could manage. He sold the first batch to the merchant and waited to hear the results. The merchant was back within two days demanding more, the new drug was immense success uphive. The uphivers had taken to calling the drug Splode, partially because of the effect it had on the users senses of sight and sound and partially because more than one users heart burst due to overdose. The deaths were more than acceptable in the eyes of the Medicae. He used the proceeds from his first batch to buy the parts needed to replace his left eye. He assembled and installed the optic himself.
New drugs don't go unnoticed in the underhive for long, and soon several minor gangs and lesser houses were looking for the man responsible for producing Splode. After a band of Goliath gangers attacked the mutant camp, the Medicae realized he needed to build up his power base or be killed before he could see his plan all the way through. He used what credits he had left to secure better arms for his mutant hosts and to hire some more muscle to keep him safe. Within a couple of months the Medicae's Men were the largest gang not affiliated with any of the houses. They controlled a large stretch of the underhive and a monopoly on the second most popular drug in the hive. If the Medicae could keep it up for a few years he could afford to leave it all behind and maybe retire somewhere decent.