|Michael Ashton Cross|
|Date of birth:||January 23, 2254|
|Date of death:||May 19th, 2343|
|Age:||27 (89 at time of death)|
|Occupation:||Lieutenant in the Los Gigantes Mercenary Company, cartographer|
|Status:||Operating in Kentucky in 2281|
Michael Ashton Cross is a mercenary who was born to a small family of scavengers in 2254. Often considered to be one of the greatest cartographers of his time. His father died Lung Cancer when he was 16, and his mother became a ghoul shortly afterward due to an overexposure at a scrapyard.
Michael Cross was born to a small family of scavengers living in the Kentucky Wasteland in 2254. His father, Marcus Cross, was a skilled mechanic, something he was proud to pass on to Michael. Michael's mother, Ashley Cross, was a lifelong scavenger and how she met Marcus is unknown. Shortly after his birth, Michael's father developed Lung Cancer. Michael never knew his father was living on borrowed time, so when his death struck in 2270, Michael was absolutely devastated.
Death of the Father
After his father's death on September 9, 2270, Michael was incredibly distraught. He had not known of his father's condition, however, and after finding out, he became enraged with the doctors of the Wasteland for not being able to find a cure. Michael blamed his father's death on the doctors' incompetence. Michael is distrustful of doctors to this very day, preferring to heal himself. However, this attitude soon passed, after his mother, Ashley, became a ghoul, and she needed all of Michael's help in overcoming the stress of her new life.
First encounters with Los Gigantes
When Michael was 17, the Los Gigantes Mercenary Company began recruiting from Eastern Kentucky. Michael, not having much to live for after the death of his father, joined shortly after they arrived. However, Michael was to young for an active tour of duty, so Los Gigantes took him in as a cartographer. Michael enjoyed the work at first, but it quickly lost interest after he was through marking all the known locations near his outpost in the ruins of Ashland, Kentucky. After that, the only unknown locations were raider camps. Michael would have have to wait until he was 19, the age at which Los Gigantes grants active tours, to map location considered hot zones, such as the aforementioned raider encampments. He figured he'd have to tough it out before he'd ever see any real action. Luckily for him, things really picked up in the summer of 2271.
Summer of 2271
During the summer of 2271, the Ashland outpost was experiencing increased raider activity. Los Gigantes wanted to put a stop to this, so they decided to give Michael his first tour of duty. Shortly after, Ash-Fyre was the prime target in a full-on raider assault. Michael developed his ruthless combat style that day, giving mercy to none. Los Gigantes casualties were minimal. There were no surviving raiders. Los Gigantes recognized Michael as a hero, not only for his ruthlessness and bravery, but also for his leadership abilities. He was now officially a mercenary.
Exploration of the Outlands
When Michael was 20, he decided to take up cartography again, something which Los Gigantes desperately needed. He set out on his journey on August 21, 2274. Since then he has made fifteen return trips to Ashland Outpost, the last trip being on October 23, 2279. He manages to keep in contact with Los Gigantes through a set of standard issue personal radio equipment. Michael still needs a tower to transmit, however, so his reports are often separated by a period of days.
- "Well, I wonder what's next?"
- ―Michael after killing three raiders and a Yao Guai.
During his travels in the Wastes, Michael has learned many ways to survive. His aptitude for combat makes him more than dangerous to the overconfident raider, and even the occasional creature. Michael has earned his place in the world through the application of his personal brand of brutality, earning himself the title of "Iron Cross", a name not only describing his coldness, but also his endurance, which borders on the superhuman. He has also learned a great many things during his training sessions at LGMC, all of which he learned directly from Gorges Del Lobos. Michael has crafted these arts together into his own personal style, which is extremely deadly. Michael is also self-trained in the art of swordsmanship, able to wield a blade with deadly efficiency. Michael's blade style is often described as impossibly fluid and unending, usually do to Michael taking on a drunken-like stance. As usual for LGMC mercenaries, Michael is also a skilled marksman, repairman, and an unusually good mapper. Michael has also acquired some useful equipment during his travels. His usual combat gear consists of:
- A leather jacket from, armored to his liking.
- Knick, a trench knife, given to him by his father.
- Tim & Tom, a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun.
- A pair of Los Gigantes standard issue combat boots.
- Frag Grenades
- Modified AER9 Laser Rifle (Focus Optics and Beam Splitter)
- A lucky pair of sunglasses that belonged to his mother.
- a set of standard issue radio equipment.
Knick, Michael's Trench Knife
- "A knife's a knife, but Knick is your worst nightmare."
- ―Michael Cross' last words to a dying raider.
Michael is an energetic waster. Despite his above average intelligence, Michael will often leap head-first into a dangerous situation and not worry about the consequences. Because of this, Michael is often described as borderline reckless by his friends. However, Michael can be very serious, and is definitely capable of handling himself in the wastes.
He is a generally nice person, often willing to share food with those less fortunate when he has any excess. Michael is, however, a bit of an opportunist, often taking any paying jobs without much consideration. He does have morals, and will not involve himself with anything that aids the slave trade.
To others, Michael appears as an opportunistic drifter, with little concern for where his money comes from, as long as he gets it. Many believe Michael is on the verge of breaking and joining the raider clans. Those who get to know him, however, are amazed to find a nice, understanding, yet troubled individual.