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Zus Llewelyn

XO of the ACV Decistor, Zus has been through just about everything a soldier can endure.

0 · 247 views · located in The Galaxy

a character in “ACV Decistor”, as played by El_Gringo

Description

If it were not for the XO rank insignia on his uniform, Zus could be mistaken for any other soldier. Average of height and weight, the only attribute that sticks out are his eyes, a brown so dark they appear to be as black as his hair. They have glory and horror alike, the latter of which has left its mark, leaving Zus's eyes with a hardened, grim appearance. He keeps his facial hair shaven or trimmed and his hair is regulation cut. If anyone has the privilege to see him out of his clothes, they would see a lean, lightly muscled body adorned with scars, the bulk of which are on his back. Burns, cuts, lashes, and all sorts of other methods have marked him forever.

Personality

Zus is a friendly executive officer and gives people a lot of leeway in their behavior unless they violate his core principles, two of which would be honesty and loyalty. Interaction with the crew and keeping them in good spirits is integral to the success of any mission, so he works to have good relations. In down time he runs among the lower ranks as if he were one of them. On the occasion someone acts up or the Decistor is engaged in an official capacity, an invisible switch flips in his mind. Zus's demeanor and attitude change completely when on a mission. Instead of an easy-going politeness, he turns into a stern man with little time for anything not integral to mission goals. When it flipped back, he was friendly again, but the hint of that hardness always remained.

In a universe where religion has nowhere near the foothold it held since the 21st Century, Llewelyn numbers among those who are still believers. He offers spiritual counsel to any who seek it out. The XO does not claim to know with absolute fact that God does indeed exist, but he insists that people must have hope and faith. The dilemma between what the truth is always bounces around in his head, but his faith has made it through so much it was not going to leave lightly. He tried to plant the seed of hope into his crew's heart, because that little seed could be the difference of life and death in the face of adversity.

During war, a man needs something to occupy his mind in his downtime. Zus's quarters are filled with bookshelves. Sure, he could access thousands of books on a datapad, but nothing beats turning a crisp page with your own fingers. When on leave, he always hits up antique shops or whatever market he can to find more hardbacks. The subject matter varies from military strategy, biographies, or pulp fiction. He also has a variety of board games, ranging from checkers to strategy war games, in his quarters for whenever he has guests. A bottle of some sort of alcohol is usually on hand as well, taken from his small but elaborate bar custom-built on request inside his quarters. Ancient music of what those in 2100s still referred to as 'classical' typically plays in his room, a form of music he found appreciation for from his first ship posting.

Equipment

Zus Llewelyn has no specific equipment or outfitting, he uses the equipment that is regulation and provided by the Allied Forces and held within the ship. He does keep a few personal sidearms in his quarters. Recognizing the significance of keeping up appearance with the uniform he does usually sport his XO insignia, but he has a collection of old-world clothing that he finds much more relaxing.

History

Zus Llewelyn was born on the scavenger ship The Precipice. The crew of the ship were mercenaries and engineers, most of them ex-military. They took on odd jobs and high risk missions that official forces could not risk undertaking themselves. Growing up on this ship with his parents, he was accustomed to ship life at a young age, the feel of land on his feet being much more foreign. Under the tutelage of Captain Kerwyn J. Argyle he learned what it took to run a ship, albeit at a smaller scale than his current duties. His father did not want this life for him, not only because it was high-risk with sometimes little reward, but he wanted his son to go make his own mark in space. This sentiment was shared by Zus himself, as he was attracted to the 'propaganda' the Allied Forces put out, wanting to be a part of the battle.

It was hard for his parents to let him go, but they used a large part of their savings to enroll him in officer's school in the Atlantian Colony. Zus received hazing for being an outsider, but he won most of his peers over with his personality and his capacity to learn. He graduated 4th in his class and was stationed on a planet post, much to his chagrin. Out in space, that was his home, being landlocked made him a bit uneasy at first. As always, he adapted to the situation and as a junior officer ran his post smoothly. He put in a request for transfer and it was answered when he boarded the Battleship Amadeus under Commander Brincotti. Many years of service were spent aboard that ship.

He found himself rising in the ranks, though still a handful of men between him and the rank of Commander, which he was not sure he wanted. During the war the Amadeus was sent as part of an escort with a small number of ships so as to not attract attention, diving deep into enemy territory. The target was a rebel base where valuable intel could be taken. Zus lead one of the squads himself into the facility, but their presence had been detected rather quickly by a patrol of enemy ships. The Allied and Rebel ships were engaged in space battle even as the shuttles delivered the forces to attack the base. Zus personally succeeded in uploading the data to an Allied ship. Quickly afterward, he found that all the men before him in the line of succession up to the Commander were dead. He was Commander of the Amadeus, and thus highest ranking officer left alive in their excursion.

There was time to rescue himself and the ground troops still, but at risk of further battle and losing more ships, and potentially the intel. Zus made the hard decision to order the rest of the ships back to Allied territory as he and the ground forces were captured. A long period of imprisonment and torture followed, which he rarely speaks of. Most of the other troops were executed, but the rebels held on to Zus, trying to broker a trade for other prisoners. They succeeded and he found himself back aboard an Alliance vessel within a few years, only to find that the Amadeus had been destroyed as they fled, but the data had made it back intact. A mission had been accomplished, but at a high cost.

Alliance Command was impressed with his small reign as Commander, weighing the completion of the mission over Allied lives, and offered him a Commander position on another ship. Zus opted to be an Executive Officer (XO) aboard another ship, which eventually found itself destroyed as well. Hopping from ship to ship, whether for personal reasons or destruction, he found himself content with the role of XO. Zus enjoyed supplementing a commander, taking care of maintenance and logistic duties to give the commander more time to focus on tactical planning and execution. It also afforded him to be closer to dealing with the crew. His days on the Amadeus had largely been spent in solitude and worrying about his own duties, as all the men and women fell around him, he regretted not knowing them better. This was a mistake he made up for as XO.

God forbid anything ever happened to any of his Commanders, but if it did, he was more than ready to take over as Commanding Officer and make the hard decisions necessary.

A new battleship was put into commission before the Allied Forces last desperate push into enemy territory. Zus was recruited as XO of this vessel, invigorated at the thought of being the start of a ship's story, instead of one man in a long line of those who had already served.

So begins...

Zus Llewelyn's Story

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Character Portrait: Zus Llewelyn
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Zus Llewelyn was usually on the main deck sitting next to the Captain, that was the customary position for the XO aboard a military vessel. This was a special moment and made for exceptions, the fleet's last ditch effort had proved effective. The victory came at a great cost though, no man knew this more than Zus. He found himself in the Decistor's chapel, one of the last these days with a devotion to his faith. The compartment had originally been another storage section of the ship, Zus retrofitted it into its current use. A few crewmen had come and gone, saying prayers for the dead or those in death's grip, the XO found himself alone in the room.

He sat at the front pew on the far side by the wall, staring at the podium where he gave sermons. Usually a good number of people would show for them, religious convictions or none, perhaps they found him entertaining. Spreading faith into the heart of his crew was a secondary mission objective, one that helped to give strength in times of trepidation. Fighter Pilot Davin Cole had been one of the few who attended all the time, a true devotee. They had shared life stories, many conversations about their faith and life. Cole had been the crewman Zus had found himself with almost as often as being with the Captain. That made his death during the battle harder to bear. It wasn't the first time he had lost a friend, and it wouldn't be the last.

The large steel cross he had erected on the far wall behind the podium was shining from the overhead lighting, giving it a divine feel as he had intended. He bowed his head in prayer. The Captain came over on the PA system, a good speaker as always. Zus waited until he was finished to begin. "Lord, I thank You for defending us in our day of battle. I ask that You continue to be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of all that is evil. Cast into hell all those who prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart find favor before You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." He pulled the flask of liquor out of his pocket, a mixture of liquids known as an alcohol iced tea, and poured the drink into his mouth. The orange and lemon soared through his mouth, followed with a short bitter aftertaste of the strong liquor. Zus flipped the cap back on, moderation was key.

He sat in silence.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Vladimir Zharkov Character Portrait: Zus Llewelyn Character Portrait: 1st Lt. Cabrice Venner
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After saying his prayers in the chapel, Zus decided it would be best to make the rounds at the infirmary. Typically in this scenario the XO would take charge of the maintenance and let the Captain do the visitation, but Cassin enjoyed his work too much and left Zus with little to do at times. It allowed him to keep close relations with the crew. As he walked the rooms some of the crew began to salute him but he waived them off, standing by military formalities in time like this was unnecessary. He greeted people here and there, consoled a female ensign as someone she obviously cared for had passed away from his battle wounds. It would be nice to say he knew every member of the Decistor, but that would be a lie, the man's name tag had been burned off and he couldn't recall the face. Zus's hand found hers and he whispered a prayer only she could hear. Perhaps she wasn't religious, but she seemed to appreciate it.

Many had died in the battle, and quite a few were wounded. There were a few serious injuries; head wounds and broken limbs. There were also minor wounds as well, still important to treat. Zus passed one of medrooms, members of the kitchen staff were talking to a medical officer, Ensign Zharkov lay unconscious on the table. Further down the medbay First Lieutenant Venner was being stubborn about having a head wound treated as a nurse dabbed away at it. Venner was waving her off as if his medical needs were nothing important. The nurse stormed off, frustrated.

"Maybe you shouldn't have that treated at all Venner, it'd make for a nice scar," he chuckled. "I wanted to commend you on how you handled yourself and our fighters out there, truly a great job. I saw you and wanted to get an informal battle report of sorts." Zus gave a stern look to the Captain of the fighter pilots, a man known for never letting his emotion show, even after his former ship, the ACV Glorify, had been destroyed in battle. Different officers took their losses in different ways, the last thing the Decistor needed was someone blaming themselves for all the death that had taken place, Zus could read people well but Venner was one that continued to elude him. It naturally made him a little more interesting. The Lieutenant was an impressive man and could easily be the commanding officer of a ship someday, capable of handling any orders, though he lacked some of the charisma necessary to inspire a whole ship. As long as he kept bringing back results, his statistics would overpower any social shortcomings.