The Man, the Myth, the Legend
James Theodore Sikes is a descriptive wise, average. Ability wise, he is a step above average. He is a stereotypical alpha type man from a military background, well grounded in physical training, by the books protocol, and a drill instructor level adherence to the basics and absolute mastery of said basics. As such, Sikes was an exemplar soldier, a seasoned and tested leader, the sort of man that the higher ups wanted in charge of special ops and delicate missions. He would get the job done, within parameters, and there would be no mistakes, no mess ups, and no loose ends.
James expected the same from every aspect of his life, and as life is, it failed to meet these expectations. Outside of the military, outside of missions, his life was a mess. He would delegate as a good leader would, and held others to the same rigorous standards he held himself to. This works fine in a platoon, or in a special forces squad. It is doomed to fail inside a domestic household. He waded through a pair of messy divorces, is estranged from his children from both marriages, and has what can only be construed as a pathological obsession with the same archetypal woman, an aggressive and social assertive redhead.
Discharge and Divorce
Things change, and Sikes career with the military ended, much to his dismay. It had been his plan to be serve, and then retire from the military at an old age to either enter the military administrative arm of the government, retire to become a military historian, or more likely, to die a heroic death fighting for his country. None of those included being released due to military cuts and downsizing of non-augmented and non-parapsychic special forces.
Given the choice between undergoing cybernetic augmentation or genetic juicing, things he was not a primary candidate for (age related), James was forced into the private sector, Paramilitary Security, and similar ops. This was a far cry from the patriotic service that he had envisioned, and his rigid adherence to protocol from the military made him a difficult fit for the more elastic and less hierarchical private sector. Rather than shining as he had in the military, Sikes repeatedly found himself the odd man out, the problem member of the group.
It was their fault, they were sloppy, they lacked discipline, they were the ones who were a hot mess all over the place.
Rather than trying to loosen the proverbial tie and going casual, Sikes went with what he knew, and started his own private venture. Military discipline, by the book zeal, stiff posture, crisp lapels, polished shoes. He would create his own PMC and do it his way, the AtFed Army way, the Right Way.
Patriot Security Systems started as a minor venture and largely remained that way, with few applicants meeting Sikes rigorous demands. Those that remained were typically older, hard ass, hard liners who missed the rigid system and schedules of the military and the comfort that provided. As a small time operator, Patriot did... okay. They were a tough sell, compared to rivals who carried sleek PR, or avenues of appeal like power armor, sexy female augments, and other such.
Bonaventure Enterprises, San Diego, and the Taste of Success.
Bonaventure Enterprises, a research accelerator and think tank finance lobby, hired Patriot Security Systems as their on site security detail for their headquarters and the related Bonaventure TechCon that they held on a semi annual basis. The con was held at the San Diego Arcoplex, and Sikes and his small crew of elite hard asses proved to be perfect for the task, and far from uneventful, there was an attempt by an external faction to turn Boneventure TechCon into a repeat of the '10 CyberCon complete with rogue hardware and a hacking spree. Sikes protocols for badges, bag searches, and roving patrols was considered over the top, but they were minimally intrusive and no fewer than six hackers, nine thieves, and two drug dealers were apprehended. Patriot Security Systems earned glowing gold stars and saw their Mercenary Review Board rating spike.
Following San Diego, Patriot Security, with it's unagumented, mundane, highly disciplined men, became something of a hot commodity. Sikes found expanding his operation was challenging, but he rose to it, and found the sort of men he wanted, men with military experience, soldiers who had aspirations of career placement who were passed over because they were *just human*.
Ten Years and the Bishop Contract
Patriot Security Systems grew to modest size, emphasizing skill and decorum over firepower or gimmick. For close to a decade, Sikes managed his operation, became modestly wealthy, and made his enterprise a name in the security business. This would come to a crescendo with the Bishop Contract.
Bishop Optics and Cable was a high end telecomm system that did extensive work in managing and building large submarine data cables, and intracity secured networks, frequently employed by high security clearance businesses and corporations. Security for one of their cable farms was a major endeaor, and the sort of thing that Patriot was made for.
The Bishop Contract would also spell the end of Patriot Security Concepts, the contract was a success, the attempts made to disrupt the assembly of the Caribbean League's data hubs was thwarted, but it saw Sikes betrayal.
What Went Wrong?
There were three forces at work in the fall at Bishop Optics and Cable: one of his own men, his fiancee, and his own past all came calling at the same time.
Sikes' fiancee, a fierce redhead with a penchant for encounter suits of the most clingy sort was an elixir using parapsychic, and the psi-scout for Sikes' team. As with all of his previous relationships, the relationship with this dominant redhead was falling apart on the exact same lines. Emma-Jean Froslas started an affair with one of Sikes lieutenants, a hairy and base man with a foul temperament.
The lieutenant, a James Howell Benoit, was an ambitious man, and had served under Sikes years ago, in his military days. Benoit had no love for Sikes, because a job was just a paycheck to him, and taking Sikes' money was as good as any. When things rolled around for him to start giving it to the CO's SO, then all the more for it.
The past came calling, most inauspiciously.
James Sikes had been raised in an incredibly strict home, with parents who were deeply conservative, and held a strong background in religious belief, duty to country, and service to God, and James was steeped in these values. The problem came when James found himself a young man, serving in the military, and realized that after years of suppression and bottling of emotions, he had to face the fact that contrary to everything he had been raised to be, raised to believe, that he was a deviant. Rather than accept the fact that he was romantically interested in other men, he forced himself into a series of disastrous relationships, where each woman was disturbingly similar to his mother, a strong and stern redhead who believed in a firm hand and corporal punishment.
In addition to his failed relationships, Sikes had a number of illicit romances with some of the men who were under his command, with some being promoted, most being relocated to distant postings, and a few ending up KIA. The paperwork hid any connection between them, Sikes was an exemplary soldier, and anyone who suggested misconduct, that was unthinkable. In the years that had passed, he had forgotten about Benoit, and his other companions when they served together. Benoit did not forget, and he didn't forgive Sikes for sending some of their own to their deaths, knowing that there were ...things... between them. Benoit swore revenge, and in time found it. He found a willing conspirator in Sikes' most recent scorned finacee, and when the time was right, the trap was sprung.
The only casualty in the Bishop Contract was Sikes himself, being maimed in a power line explosion in the central terminus. The explosion was rigged, and deliberately set off by Benoit, with intel from Froslas and her providing manipulation to ensure that it was Sikes who cowboy'ed up when the shit hit the fan. The only thing that went wrong was Sikes didn't die from the explosion, he was just blinded and suffered serious bodily harm.
Augmentation and Sikes
Recuperation after the Bishop Contract covered almost two years of Sikes' life, and he spent most of it in a catatonic fugue. There was no mystery, he knew exactly what happened and why, and everything that Benoit told him as he lay bleeding had months to ferment inside his head. His men had hated him in the Army, his strict demeanor, his by the book assholedom, and the fact that behind all the discipline, he was a self-denying hypocrit. He had men court martialed for less than his own actions, he had destroyed careers for some. Others, he sent to their deaths because he couldnt face himself in the mirror. Patriot Security was consolidated by larger contractors, and Benoit and the rest faded into the system, leaving Sikes a broken man in an augmentation hospital.
After recovery, Sikes had a partial face fascia implant that included a monocular visor that gave him not just restored sight, but enhanced sight. He could see thermal, IR, ultraviolent, and low light without issue, and even in complete darkness he had access to a primitive sort of light pulse RADAR. He was finally augmented, his body repaired with synthetic components.
Cyclops and Para-Ops
After his augmentation, and return to normal life, Sikes was approached by a black market security and commodities firm, shadowrunners, and offered a job. He accepted, he had little money left after his lengthy recovery, and starting a new business seemed more than he was willing to do.
Now working under the sobriquet Cyclops, Sikes works as a highly organized and efficient team leader. He seldom has the respect of his subordinates, but he is able to keep them in line with an iron fist. There are rumors, that he used to be someone, then he messed up, and it cost him everything.
Sikes has an expressionless stare, and a demeanor as cold as ice.
Sikes is a former military man, who engaged in serious misconduct, and while the system didn't punish him for this, karma did. He is in many ways unchanged, an unflinching, by the book, hard ass commander. In other ways, he is a permanently broken man. This makes him a good boots on the ground leader, but his emotional and mental state leaves him rather vulnerable to psychic manipulation, or a poor candidate for facing things like dimensional fatigue events and the horrors they contain, despite the fact he would seem like the best candidate to lead such ops.
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? Responses (2)
What a complex person and flawed leader says it, but only on the surface. Was sympathetic with him at the beginning and then the self-depreciation, the slow walk into why he is tormented, then the purposeful self-delusion about the abuse of power...WOW!! This dude is fantastically conflicted....and then turning into exactly what he was avoiding at the end. Bravo!
Well, that was a fun ride. Rolled a -little- hard on the references, but it still works, quite well. I like it!