Wars World Survey: William J. "Grit" Sandusky - By Abalux

Grit
Age: 30
Height: 6'4"/1.93 m
Weight: 160 lb/72 kg
Birthplace: Lazy Circle Ranch, Orange Star
Relatives of Note: Father Lucas, 51 (ranch owner); mother Marie, 49 (ranch wife); brothers Hank, 25; Pete, 21; Russ, 19 (all hands on the ranch); and sister Sophia, 17 (high school student).
Languages Known: Orange Star English, Blue Moon Russian, and enough Direnholmian German, Yellow Comet Japanese and Mandarin, and Rostanian French to get by. Grit has traveled a lot in his mercenary career.

Background

In southeastern Orange Star, a stretch of arid plains sits at the foot of the Alara Range. This region is prime cattle territory. Numerous ranches dot the area, and the most prosperous of these, the Lazy Circle, is the birthplace of Wars World's most famous mercenary commander, William J. "Grit" Sandusky.
Grit was born at the ranch house itself. When his father first saw him, he said, "that boy's tinier n' a grit." It was true; Grit had been born a week or two early, and the nickname stuck. He was a small child. Despite this, as he grew older, Grit helped his father out on the ranch. He started out feeding cattle. One day, though, his father saw him skipping rocks off the ranch swimming hole. Grit could skip them nearly all the way across. Noting this talent, Lucas Sandusky began training his son in rifle marksmanship. Soon Grit was out in the cattle fields. He shot anything that threatened the cattle'and was very good at it. It was also during this period that Grit developed his hatred of rats (because they ate the cattle feed) and his equal admiration of cats (who controlled the rats). Eventually he could shoot a rat from a range of five hundred yards. He was using his CO Powers without knowing what they were.
When Grit got into high school, two things happened. First, he shot up a foot in his freshman year, reaching his adult height and surprising his parents. Second, the school shooting squad instructor took notice of Grit's marksmanship. He persuaded the young man to study for the International Military Academy. Grit did this because ranch life was starting to bore him. He barely made it in (even then, Grit was showing signs of his notorious laziness).
At the Academy, Grit didn't much like the early wake-up time and the rigorous classwork. These characteristics made him a favorite of Max, through whom he met Nell. The three of them were fast friends. Although he and Max had many, many rivalries, Grit really liked Max. Even then, he knew their powers covered each other. (Grit never told his teachers he had CO Powers. In fact, they had to explain it to him. He did like the respect having them gave.)
Much as in high school, Grit graduated in the lower half of his class. He wasn't stupid. It was just that he was really lazy... and really bored with staying in one place. Grit wanted to see the world and demonstrate his marksmanship. Mercenary work seemed ideal. Gathering with some other slackers and indirect weapon savants from the Academy, he founded "Sandusky's Sentinels," mercenaries for hire. His parents were ashamed.
That changed somewhat when the company began making money. Considering that he lived on a planet named Wars World, Grit was never short of jobs. They were short-term, lucrative, and always full of action. Soon he was making enough money to send some home. Grit was still the black sheep, but he was one who supported the family. Among others, he soon became a legendary marksman. He had friends nearly everywhere he and the Sentinels traveled.
About three years ago, Grit had an encounter that changed his life. In Yellow Comet, he received a frantic phone call from his mother. His father had seen Blue Moon soldiers and recons gathering near the ranch. As loyal Orange Star citizens, both were terrified. Grit knew what he needed to do. Near the ranch, there was a small but dense forest. He came home and set up some of the Sentinels' artillery. Then he waited. On the day the Blue Moon force came by, Grit was lucky: Fog of War set in and he had a recon hidden nearby. His small force of artillery managed to pick off an entire Blue Moon tank battalion. The various infantry and APC accompanying them routed. Grit kept on waiting.
He was surprised when he saw a single, heavily guarded APC heading his way. Then Grit realized it was the now-infamous Olaf, shadow leader of Blue Moon. He met Olaf just a few miles from the ranch gates. The Blue Moon commander was fuming. Realizing that Olaf was not in a good mood, Grit promised not to tell. That wasn't enough. Thanks to Blue Moon lawyers, Grit found himself and the entire Sandusky's Sentinels force under Olaf's employment.
Grit actually went with it. Because of his personal fame, he was able to keep his company's autonomy. He and his mercenaries were able to maintain their relaxed dress, tactics, and conduct (i.e. donning cowboy hats when seeing enemy troops). Soon Grit was as loved in Blue Moon as Olaf.
Then, a major problem appeared. Olaf was working with a 'mystery friend' who was helping him retaliate against an Orange Star attack in the Alara Range. Grit wasn't stupid. He knew something was very, very wrong with the situation. After poking around a bit, he made contact with Sonja and Drake and was one of the first Wars World commanders to discover the existence of Sturm. He fought hard against the Black Hole leader and his subordinate Lash during the Macro Land conflict and just as heroically against the Bolt Guard. The legend of Grit will likely be as strong as Olaf's.

Personality

Grit's most well-known personality characteristic is his habit of napping: three times a day, one hour per nap. Laziness is a big part of his reputation. (Grit prefers to call it "deep relaxation.") When he isn't napping, though, Grit is a surprisingly alert and bright commander. He has a laconic, almost sardonic wit that his soldiers enjoy. His style on the battlefield is spontaneous. Although his units may appear unorganized, Grit is a fast enough thinker that he sometimes surprises Sonja.
With this penchant for spontaneity and relaxation, Grit feels awkward in Blue Moon. It's not that the citizens crowd around him. Grit knows and believes he's good enough to deserve the attention. Instead, it's the political system. Grit is a classical libertarian. He believes the government should stay out of people's business. Considering Blue Moon's secret military dictatorship, Grit is not happy with his employer. He would prefer a nation where people policed themselves. However, Grit is smart enough to know he does not live in that world, much less that nation. He keeps quiet about his misgivings. (Olaf can pick up on them... but values Grit too much to ask.)

Combat Abilities

Among Wars World's COs, no one beats Grit at marksmanship. It doesn't matter what kind of gun he's using. If it fires bullets and is man-portable, Grit can make it fire far more accurately and strongly than it should. This is true even before he uses his CO Powers. With them, Grit has fired a revolver at Black Hole snipers, hit'and killed. The revolver is, in fact, Grit's preferred firearm.
With his firearms proficiency comes a desire to avoid close combat. Grit doesn't like mixing it up: it restricts movement, increases injuries, and, worst of all, fosters impulsive, Olaf-like behavior. Grit does have tank and anti-air troops in Sandusky's Sentinels, but they work more as guards for his beloved artillery and rockets. Many of them have less combat experience than the indirect-trained mercenaries.

Relationships

Olaf makes Grit uncomfortable with his arrogance and hardnosed attitude. That said, though, Grit respects his boss. He pays well, gives Grit his autonomy (albeit with Blue Moon 'minders' observing; Grit usually bribes them), and is a respectable commander. Grit doesn't plan to stay in Blue Moon forever, though.
Grit actually likes Colin and Sasha. Colin is a little too subservient for Grit's tastes, but he believes the kid will become more confident as he ages. He even thinks Colin regards him as the father he never had. Sasha is a little more distant because of her great discipline. Grit does, however, agree with her that Blue Moon's government is a little too restrictive. They're working on a way to persuade Olaf to lighten things up.
Finally, Grit knows a little secret: Nell is attracted to him. He also knows why it's a secret. For now, Grit is biding his time. He figures that the tension between Orange Star and Blue Moon will eventually alleviate. The current conflicts seem to be doing just that. When the time is right, Grit will cross the border and ask Nell out... because he's attracted to her too.

Next Survey: Colin

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