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Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus

"Life is like a deck of cards. Everybody is given a hand, and whether you keep it or fold, I know how to stack the decks to my advantage."

0 · 409 views · located in Iridosis Station

a character in “Nebula's Dawn: Lance of Liberty”, as played by R.T.M.X.

Description

Image
THEY CALL HIM...
Leos Cydus, known by all as the Ace of Diamonds. Pronounced as LE-OS PSY-DUS, almost as it is spelled.

WHILE HIS AGE IS...
Unknown, though they presume of him being in his mid thirties. (His actual age is 35)

HE'S ALWAYS REMEMBERED FOR HIS ACTIONS.
Cydus is a pirate, first and foremost. He serves as a mercenary, often taking contracts that other so-called "mercs" refuse to touch. His price is simple: What he kills, he keeps.

AS HE WATCHES HIS MARKS FROM ABOVE...
His eyes take on the color of gunmetal-blue, so cold that it seems to burn one's very soul if stared into for too long.

UNTIL THE THREADS FALL APART ONE BY ONE...
His head is devoid of all traces of hair, including eyebrows, not to mention his entire body as well.

IF THE SUN COMES UP, WILL IT TEAR THE SKIN RIGHT OFF YOUR BONES?
His tanned, 6'2 "wedged" frame is gracefully slim and toned, its overall shape comparable to something in between a runner and a soldier. He normally weighs in at 177 pounds, but even this is approximate, since the equipment he is often outfitted with bumps this number to a decent 240 pounds.

HERE'S TO THE HEARTS HE'LL BREAK...
Upon seeing Cydus--hearing the crackled, synthesized voice over his external speakers and witnessing his methodical and heartless actions--one truly does wonder whether or not this figure before them is wholly man or machine. He personally never says anything to either confirm or deny this. His last biological records even in the SVP databases have been long lost, or were never existent to begin with. Many, even among the pirates and mercenaries, reckon he is a cyborg at least, if not a full android. But one fact is indisputable, he is cold. He is ruthless, uncompassionate, and terrifyingly poignant when he wishes to be. He will kill and move on without second thought. His words are few and highly pitched from his suit, but nevertheless as sharp and as cold as a scalpel lying in the tray of a chill operating room. He looks at people in terms of the threat they pose; those deemed as one are treated immediately and permanently, those not are ignored only for the moment—but never wholly disregarded.

Like most members of the SVP, Cydus’ armor is self-contained and capable of withstanding most elements and hazardous conditions, however he has geared his suit to be on the lighter side for greater movement. The armor is for the most part quite expansive in its coverage, adding extra protective plating to areas normally left exposed and extra armor to critical spots of the body, however it still allows for a wide range of movement; crucial for an operative who has to move from shooting spot to spot. It is resistant to most small-arms fire, however prolonged duration is not advised. His customized Tactical helmet sports limited air supply and air filters, and completely encases his head and face. Sensors built into the helmet allow him to also see in infra-red and night-vision, crucial should the lights go out. A comm system is build into the face-mask, including a broadcast speaker.

He is most comfortable in using a customizable WCL-09B Advanced Tactical Rifle, though he also packs a WR160L "Hammer" pistol as a side-arm. Despite its weight, he is keen to its stopping power. In Close-Quarters-Combat (CQC) he sports a ZKU2 "Heat-Shorter" Knuckler, as do all SVP operatives, which also means he is proficient in its use.

AND THE STRANDS OF TIME TORN AND FRAYED...
Years of serving and working for various armed organizations, both official and unofficial, have taught Cydus the cruel lesson of balance. Whether to don layers of armor and be impregnable, carrying individual weapons of mass destruction, or to go the path of the light, swift, and surgically deadly. Both hold credible advantages and disadvantages, yet also carry weaknesses that are only too glaring and lethal. Rather than follow in the footsteps of so many other soldiers who have chosen one path or the other, and paid for it with their lives, Cydus has come to his own personal destination.

By combining the strengths of both “one man juggernauts” and “nimble assassins” he created what he believed to be an extremely versatile method of battle: to deliver as much crushing force in as little time as necessary. His armor, weapons, and fighting style all reflect this philosophy. Far from the most armored, or most armed, or fastest, soldier-of-(personal) fortune, he is not the slowest, most exposed, or under-gunned either.

HE'LL MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN'T TRADE HIM FOR AN APPARITION...
He will not toy around with his opponents. He is blunt and direct when not actively holding stealth. Efficiency is his only style; he does not care for splatter and fanciful methods of killing when a simple single shot is all that will suffice. He will deal with opponents the simplest and quickest way possible only because he does not intend to waste time, resources, and effort any more than he has to.

However do not mistake him as a sociopath. He derives no pleasure from killing, nor does he relish the action of inflicting pain. He will just as coolly walk past you as he would shoot you in the face. He does not care whether people live or die, he merely deals with "obstacles" as he sees fit. If dealing with said obtrusions requires slaying, then that is what must be done. These obstacles may be anything as serious as a guard shooting at him to something as trivial as merely asserting his standing in a bar; in both instances there will be shots fired and bodies strewn across the floor.

He is as cold and uncaring as the vacuum of space. Neither his own life or death matter to him. When on assignment, only the objectives hold priority. Currently only the SVP holds his loyalty, and to what extent even that holds those not in the clandestine pirate organization can only guess. That is not to say he cannot be crossed, even if he never displays any anger or emotion. Those who have drawn his ire will only see how harsh the cold heart of the void can be.

FOR ALL OF THE THINGS HE WILL NEVER TELL YOU...
Cydus is part of a mercenary sub-faction located deep within the Pirate Nation's very structure known as the Shuffle Vanguard Pirates, simply called the SVP to make it easier to recognize from the rest of the faction's main "deck". They are a rogue bunch, secretive in their nature, yet they allow themselves be "hired" by outside forces. They are mainly an intricate network of spies and information thieves, but are often used for wetwork operations. They don't discuss to others about their affiliations, as this valuable information can be used against them and can backfire, often resulting in an operative's death.

Despite this inherent danger, Cydus has stayed loyal to both the Federation and the Pirate Nation, serving as an informant within both groups. The reason of this is clear: the Federation gives him contracts for his service, and he sends the related information to the Pirates, sometimes playing both sides to his advantage.

As for his position within his little club? One may say that he's one of the four top operatives, an Ace if you will, the Ace of Diamonds to be exact. He is the group's leading infiltration/espionage expert, as all diamond operatives are hired as. The Clubs are mainly demolitions and weapon dealing, the Hearts being medical-based, and the Spades deal with mechanical aspects.

However, the group has been dwindling in the numbers, due to various mistakes that have been costing the operatives their lives. They are only human.

HE IS BECKONING, AND YOU SHALL HEED HIS CALL.
Airborne ~ Daniel Nielsen

So begins...

Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus's Story

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Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus
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The House of Clubs, Iridosis Station, Redlight District
Day One

People come, and people go. That is how it is with living one's life on a space station. Especially one that also doubles as a colony in space. Trading... commercial enterprise... Federation supplies and personnel... even controlled substances make it onboard, despite the tight security. If something has to reach someone that's anywhere in the system, it has to go through this particular station.

And then, there's the Red Light District.

The nightclub, known by all as The House of Clubs, was always burning with energy from the never-ending supply of visitors to the station. Located deep in the heart of the entertainment level of Iridonis Station, informally known as the Redlight District, the club has a dual purpose. Not only is it the largest club and source of entertainment on the station, but as the name implies, it serves as a hub for the members of the Shuffle Vanguard Pirates. Even though it was owned by pirates, it was regarded as a neutral zone for all, and the SVP has fought many a times to keep it that way.

Inside, everything was alive, the movement of the crowds matched that of the music. The lights pulsed along with the beat, the walls barely holding back the flow of power from the speakers. Deep shades of blue and purple blasted against the walls, holding the same tempo as the lighting, followed by the never-stopping beams of neon green and pink. The atmosphere was heavy with sweat and alcohol, and periodically, a slight fog would roll through the crowds, amplifying the light show, as well as removing most traces of alcohol and chemicals from the atmosphere.

Cydus had been watching the crowds from the VIP observation chamber high above the dance floor, behind a mirrored window that had appeared to blend with the mirrored ceiling, as well as leaning on a set of rails. The room itself served another purpose as well. Despite being the VIP room, it also served as one of the command centers for the clandestine organization. The central table, a circular piece of red eye-candy compared to the dominating purple walls, was large enough to host a small card game between five or six people, though it was also a holographic port for the group's AI and communication links.

While he was observing the crowd below, a small group of people of seven were behind him in the same room. Three of these people, two females and one male, were playing a game of strip poker, and the game had progressed somewhat between them. The other four were sitting in one of the two "pimp" couches, both in the similar hue of red as the table. Three of these four were strippers, doing their thing with their client, a fair-skinned gentleman that appeared to be in his mid-thirties.

"I want to know why we never see you without that suit, Cydus."

Cydus had ignored the group, each a member of the SVP, specifically each a member of the Clubs, and expert in weapons and demolitions respectively, until when the elder gentleman spoke to him. Pushing himself from the rails, Cydus turned to look at the gentleman, who was being "serviced" by the strippers and their... particular attention. They weren't hookers, that's for damn sure.

"Well, Lester, you know that my suit serves as my public identity for our occupation-"

He was interrupted by a sudden monotone female voice, the voice that belonged to the pirate group's AI known as Seras, a green holographic female body forming above the table, interrupting the poker game as well.

As you instructed to be informed, a Federation cruiser known as the Salient has docked with the station on schedule. What is your command?

Ignoring the AI's interruption, Cydus continued. "And you know that I keep my personal and professional lives separate. Now, Seras, I want you to transmit a hailing message to the captain, only voice recording. Message is the following: This is the Ace of Diamonds. If you wish to continue negotiate the terms of our contract on the Federation's behalf, I ask for you to send a messenger to speak with us at the House of Clubs on the entertainment level of Iridosis Station. While it is recommended to speak face-to-face to us yourself, I do understand that you are dealing with pirates, and you should have safety precautions in mind. Please note, however, that we will provide an expanded safety escort for the messenger."

Message has successfully transmitted. Anything Else?

Cydus turned back around to resume observing the crowd below. "No, that is all, Seras."

The setting changes from iridosis-station to Trangelis

Setting

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Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus Character Portrait: Nomad
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#, as written by Nyte
Nomad
One week before the F.S.S Salient enters the Arcturus System
Somewhere in the forests of Trangelis

Nomad was on a hunt, a search for a fugitive on the run. His name was Gino Marcelli, a conman/thief who fled to the deep, rich forests of the planet after stealing his millions. He might have been able to have remained undetected, if he was a little more careful during a brief stop at a small town called Odyssey. Someone saw him and reported him to the authorities, but he made his getaway yet again. It would only be a matter of time until Gino is caught. Nomad's built in state-of-the-art tracking computer was examining every possible and plausible location he could be within the forest.

After what must have been about an hour, his tracking computer spotted a man lying dead on the dirt. His computer identified that the corpse was indeed Gino Marcelli. A quick examination revealed that the cause of death was poisoning. The bastard had no experience whatsoever in the wilderness, now he became another victim. It was a shame really, his bounty is only half the amount dead.

With his built-in cell phone, Nomad contacted his employer, White Crow.

"I found Gino, but let's just say that nature found him first."

"I see. Well then, I have a new bounty for you. You may have heard of the pirate Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus. A mutual friend of mine would be willing to pay top dollar for him to be captured and turned in alive. It's funny, you and him might have been able to get along if you two weren't on opposite sides. For certain reasons."

White Crow had an air of professionalism but he wasn't above making deadpan jokes like that.

Nomad ignored the last part, "Understood. I'll make sure check into that."

Nomad ended the call. He had a long day ahead of him, returning to Syntere and turning in the bounty for only half the pay. He wasn't particularly fond of interacting with people. After all, it's rather difficult to be sociable when everyone gives you weird looks to your non-removable armor. He wanted to just get to some hideout as soon as possible and be done with it.

He'll get to the Ace of Diamonds eventually. On that day, he'll find out who has the better suit.

The setting changes from trangelis to Arcturus System

Setting

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus
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F.S.S. Salient

Aronimus continued strolling down the corridor, by now Max had wandered off somewhere to explore. The old Admiral was headed to his quarters, and walked in an regular pace, until he received a direct call to his comm.

"This is Admiral Weston, what is it?"

"Petty Officer Hansen, sir. We um...received an encrypted message from...an 'Ace of Diamonds'"

"Ace of Diamonds?"

"We ran a background check, he's listed as a pirate and a mercenary. We attempted to trace the source location of the transmission, but we came to a dead end."

"How did they manage to get through to military channels?"

"We're not sure sir. Would you like me to play the transmission?"

"Send it to my neural interface."

"Understood sir." the comm channel beep terminated the exchange. The Admiral then opened the transmission himself as he resumed his walking speed.

"This is the Ace of Diamonds. If you wish to continue negotiating the terms of our contract on the Federation's behalf, I ask for you to send a messenger to speak with us at the House of Clubs on the entertainment level of Iridosis Station. While it is recommended to speak face-to-face to us yourself, I do understand that you are dealing with pirates, and you should have safety precautions in mind. Please note, however, that we will provide an expanded safety escort for the messenger."

Ace of Diamonds? Pirates? The Admiral arrived in the Captain's Quarters, just as the blast door behind slid shut with a hiss, and the lights flickered on at his presence. He was intent on unraveling what this was about, and he was sure that there was one man who might know the answers. He sat at his desk, and immediately activated the terminal. Multiple giant cyan-glowing holographic and transparent screens flashed into being around his seat.

On one of the screens, Vice Admiral Fontaine came into presence with his characteristic white fluff hair covering his head like needles. His face had the trenches and the lines marked by time, just like the rings of a tree if one were to cut it open. Behind him was the planet that his office was orbiting. The white atmospheric streams formed various arcs across the bluish-green planet's face.

"Yes, Admiral Weston? You called?"

"Sir, I received a message, encrypted, just approximately five minutes ago, from an 'Ace of Diamonds,' I think it would be best if I played it back for you," Aronimus tapped a key on his chair and the transmission replayed itself, in the same voice, same tone, and same intent that it had five minutes ago when Aronimus first heard it.

"I noticed that he mentioned some 'terms' of a 'contract.' Apologies if I am stepping out of place sir, but what does he mean by this?" Aronimus asked as the transmission ended.

Fontaine glanced aside, before asking, "Is this a secure channel?"

The setting changes from arcturus-system to Iridosis Station

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Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus
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The House of Clubs, The Redlight District

The room was dark, with the exception of the shifting lights flashing outside on the dancefloor, and the single lamp which hung from the ceiling. A mirrored window sealed off their meeting space from the outside, the material did not block out the flashing lights or the smoke effects, but they kept out the latest aura of techno music better than the Federation agents expected.

The two of them sat calm and collected, in the midst of a group of pirates. They were civilized at least, the pirates, seeing as this was an elite outfit that was worth the attention of the Federation. The two agents were told to be on their best behavior, and to sign a deal with the pirates that wouldn't give them too much leeway. Although they personally objected to this, it wasn't their job to ask any questions. Their job was to sign the deal and get on with business.

It was their duty.

At some point though, they realized that the situation must have been desperate for them to rely on mercenaries to handle some backwater insurgents. But...how could it be? The Federation Armed Forces was at full standing capacity. If they sent a fifth of the Sol Defense Fleet, or perhaps even a third of the Eris V garrison fleet, it would have been enough to destroy these insurgents. Unfortunately, the two agents did not have accurate numbers of insurgent troop strengths, and the reports gathered by FIS was only slightly better. This was among the reasons why they chose to strike a deal with the Shuffle Vanguard Pirates, they weren't just mercenaries, but also information brokers, and information brokers were only in business if they had information.

Two of the pirates were wrapped around some prostitutes, while the other one covered entirely inside his personal battlesuit. They assumed the man in the suit, who was not with any women, was the man calling the shots, seeing as how he was there for business and not a lap dance.

"Alright, so how do you guys want to do this?" the man on the left spoke up first, addressing the pirates. He was known as Glass, and the man on the left, who seemed a bit more cordial at least, was known as Sand.

Sand took a swig from his glass that was set on the round, red table, the transparent pink liquid went down.

"What my friend means is..." Sand gave a small glance to Glass, "Let's begin."

"We know you guys operate on a take what you find basis, and we're comfortable with that." Sand added.

The setting changes from iridosis-station to The Milky Way Galaxy

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Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus
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The House of Clubs, The Redlight District

Cydus had been enjoying the music to the best that he could. It wasn't his cup of tea, but at least it wasn't something that would drive him to the point of shooting the DJ below. Even though he was the ranking member in the club, he was of a different suit, another branch of the SVP, and thus, he was supposed to follow any orders given to him by a Face Card of the Clubs. But as usual, there were loopholes, and Cydus wasn't above the idea to use them.

Two Federation Agents detected outside. Identification have been linked to your HUD. Seras had alerted Cydus through a private communication link within his headset, before Lester, the King of Clubs, gave the order to let them enter and had offered them seats at the table after the poker game ended a while ago.

"Alright, so how do you guys want to do this?" one of them had asked, which had immediately gained the pirate's attention.

"What my friend means is...Let's begin."

Turning around to face the two agents, Cydus began to state the terms...

"You know what sets us apart from the other pirates and outlaws? We have our own personal regulations. That's what makes us successful. Why? Because without regulations, it is impossible for one to go far. Regulations set the difference between life, and death. So let's begin.

First term is this: No names. I had already known who you two were before you had set foot within our club. To me, you are Federation. Therefore, the employer is Federation. Nothing more, nothing less.

Two: For me to successfully complete the task at hand, I must be given full pardon for any and all Federation deaths by my hand. Which leads me to Regulation Number Three.

Three: Do not come between me, the Ace of Diamonds, and the given objective. This is a regulation set for your safety, as I refuse to let obstacles get in my way or otherwise slow me down.

Four: I only need the target's name and the objective. The objective relating to this contract is to locate and remove a Lord of Liberty from power, dead or alive.

Remember, your employers had came to us. That's because we're the best in the sector, and we're the best at what we do. If these terms are agreed upon, in return, the other suits have agreed to bolster your departments for the time being. Spades would be required to access your mechanical aspects, Hearts would require access to medical data, Clubs, these guys, would require access to your weapons. The Diamonds, my suit, would require access to any communications and intelligence systems to integrate with Seras.

Payment for our services don't come cheap. The payment for each SVP operative is two hundred fifty thousand credits up front, while my services require seven hundred thousand up front. The rest of the payment will come from whatever we can salvage from the field.

If you agree to these terms, take the data disk that the King of Clubs will provide to you to your captain. It contains the necessary information regarding each participating operative, as well as the information regarding payment, and a recording of this meeting. Instructions will also be included on the data disk regarding the temporary encryption keys that I myself will deliver.

Any Questions?"

The setting changes from the-milky-way-galaxy to Iridosis Station

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Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus
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(Co-written with R.T.M.X.)

The House of Clubs, Redlight District

The two FIS agents looked at each other, they didn't exchange any words, but they each held the same thoughts, though.

Glass snorted through his nostrils nonchalantly, "Rules two and three will be easy if we just follow rule number three," he paused.

"The problem we've got is, our superiors didn't mention anything about you guys using our weaponry and equipment, don't even talk about our communication systems. On top of that, we were told that you were putting up your services for six hundred thousand, not seven. So my first question is, what's going on?"

Sand sat there eyeing everyone prudently and studiously, trying to absorb all the little details that he could. The "Ace of Diamonds" though, was one that he couldn't read, because he was sealed inside a suit. The suit made him look imposing, but Sand simply glanced around.

"If we may, we'd like to step out and talk to our superiors a bit on this, and maybe they'll shed some light on our situation. If that's alright with you gentlemen?" Sand spoke up.

Glass turned to his colleague, nodding in affirmation at the request.

The pirate understood the request, and quickly offered to connect them to their superiors from the club. "This is a place of neutral hospitality. My operatives can leave the room as you can use our AI to connect to your captain. Secured channel, with encryption codes that you two can set yourselves. As for the raise, the extra hundred is awarded if, or rather I should say when, we bring the target alive. The six hundred is if he's dead." He had said, keeping a poker face of sorts over his voice, while indirectly ordering the others to leave the room.

The other pirates had quickly picked up on what he was meaning, and were seen calmly evacuating the lounge.

"As for the record, we aren't going to be using your equipment. The Insurgency..." The pirate paused slightly before continuing, "... and the other pirates will be expecting you to be using standard Federation equipment, and should already be readying themselves against such. We'll simply... enhance your equipment to throw them from their game."

"Actually, we're not referring to the ship captain, we meant our superiors at the F.I.S." Sand replied, "But thank you for the accomodations."

"Very well. If you wish to continue with negotiations, then you know where to find us." The Ace of Diamonds had responded to the two agents, holding up the enigmatic aura that surrounded him.

Sand nodded, while Glass approached the circular table and immediately plugged in his comm device. From there the table's holographic panels slid into presence and immediately hummed to life. The white lights began to flicker as they struggled to retain a constant unfading projection. Finally the lights managed to stabilize, and Admiral Fontaine appeared on screen.

"Status report," the Admiral asked.

"The Ace of Diamonds has said that he will be offering his services for six hundred grand if the Lord of Liberty is dead, or seven hundred if he is to be brought alive. Also, the pirates will require the use of Federation equipment? We wanted to clarify if those were the original details of the contract, Admiral."

"Yes, those were the conditions. What did he say?"

"He had several of his own conditions. One of which is full pardon for any Federation deaths by his hand." Glass stated dryly.

Fontaine rubbed his chin, his eyes narrowed.

"Very well, go on."

"But sir, what about the stealth teams?"

"I will send a message to them to stand down in face of the SVP."

"But sir..."

"Enough. There is a deal to be made. Do you understand, operative?"

"Yes sir." The communique closed, as the lights vaporized. Glass turned to the Ace of Diamonds, and nodded.