|Date of birth:||2249|
- "We’re on the clock here. I expect results, and I expect them now."
- ―Stan Wendell
The current commander of the Black Skull Company, Stan Wendell inherited command of the mercenary unit following its near-destruction. After years of careful rebuilding, he was able to lead the unit to victory in the Revolutionary War, and re-establish it as the premier mercenary outfit in the Detroit Wasteland.
Born in the Park Lane in 2249, Stan Wendell was the son of two other mercenaries, Bob Wendell and Lucy Planck. The biggest threat emerging in the city in those years was the burgeoning Army of Revolution. Having done its best to dominate the mercenary trade, the group was already looking to establish itself as the preeminent power in the Detroit Wastelands. ‘Incidents’ between revolutionary soldiers and other mercenaries became commonplace as they ‘encouraged’ others to sign on. Wendell and Planck were two of those who chose not to submit, and instead came together with a group of other mercenaries to form the Black Skull Company the same year that Stan was born. This would come to shape his life, with the young mercenary effectively growing up in the unit.
His early life alternated between what passed for an education in the ruined city and learning how to fight and the facts of a soldier’s life at the hands of his parents. His early life was far from comfortable, facing the violence that was common in the Detroit Wastelands from raiders, Super Mutants and wild animals. Stan learned to grow up fast; he was allready skilled with a gun by the time he was 12, and showed signs of being a keen marksman. Other experiences also shaped his life; Bob Wendell was killed in an attack in 2261, while Lucy Planck was injured several times by Army of Revolution soldiers.
Wendell graduated to being a provisional member of the unit at 16, but by this point his place in its ranks was guaranteed. He had grown up in the company, and his parents were two of its founders. And while he was allready taking paid work with the unit, much of his attention was focused on dealing with the ever-increasingly belligerent Army of Revolution. Much of his early service with the company was spent fighting the Revolutionaries across the Detroit Wasteland, cumulating in their being effectively driven from the city.
Now a junior officer, Stan continued to show considerable skills. It was not just his abilities as a soldier or marksman that were impressive, but also his growing tactical and leadership skills that bought him to notice. His first command saw him wipe out the Mad Hammers raider group, while his own team suffered no casualties. He also experienced considerable successes in other battles against not only raiders, but also jobs dealing with wild animals, other mercnearies, Super Mutants and other hazards. By 2278, he was a ranking officer and seen by many as a potential future leader.
That day would come sooner then expected. In 2279 the Black Skull Company were hired to take out the Super mutants that infested Zug Island. What was expected to be a short, swift operation instead turned into a bloodbath as the Super Mutants proved to be better dug in and better-coordinated then expected. Several squads were wiped out in the initial assault, and the main body of the force found themselves surrounded by the enemy force. On top of all that, the company’s commander, Stanley Bradford, was badly wounded.
Wendell took control of the situation, rallying the remaining men and consolidating his forces. Realising that victory was now no longer possible, he instead focused on keeping the rest of the unit alive. Under his direction, the survivors were able to breach the mutant lines, creating an opening to allow their escape. The survivors of the force pulled off the island, but not without one further loss. Captain Bradford succumbed to his injuries, although he was able to name Stan Wendell as his successor before he did.
Having inherited a broken, depleted unit, Wendell did all he could to rebuild it. To his mind, disbanding the Black Skull Company was not an option, and to do such would be dishonouring the memories of the dead. Instead, he restructured the unit to consolidate its remaining manpower and make the best use of what was left to him. He opened up recruiting to younger, less experienced or less ‘honorable’ types that would previously have been below the company’s standards in order to make up numbers. At the same time, he also began taking jobs that would have been previously seen as being below the unit in order to bring in more income.
One of these new recruits was Kara Stinson, a young mercenary who, while relatively new to the city, was quickly building up her reputation. While he was impressed with her skills and how fast she was learning the role, Wendell also found himself developing feelings towards her that were decidedly unprofessional. The realisation of this growing attraction came as a surprise to him. While he had engaged in a series of short-term affairs with other women before, he had been careful to keep them out of the unit. Having an affair with a subordinate was, to his eyes, a breach of professional conduct, one that could potentially compromise his leadership. And yet, he couldn’t deny his feelings, while also beginning to get the idea that she felt the same way towards him.
There were other concerns as well that he had to deal with. Going into 2284, he was becoming aware of a build-up of the Army of Revolution’s forces, with fresh recruits swelling their ranks while they began to become more active. He suspected that they were cleaning house in preparation for some larger operation, such as an effort to seize Scrap Iron City or Baggie High. Instead he was caught by surprise as the revolutionaries launched a full-scale invasion of the city, boasting numbers well beyond his own expectations.
Wendell was immediately bombarded by offers from Park Lane and Grand Central, as well as traders and other groups, all requesting that the Black Skull Company help them fight off the attackers. He rebuffed them all, outwardly because they were not offering enough caps. Internally, he was trying to figure out the Revolutionaries’ strength and overall objectives, while at the same time figuring the best strategy to use against them. It was not until he was presented with a considerable offer from the two settlements that he agreed to aid them, but even then not without presenting his own conditions first.
In order to stop the Army of Revolution, Wendell demanded that the GCPD and Park Lane Safety Patrol be placed under his command, and that he had complete freedom to plan and run ‘his’ operation as he saw fit. Surprisingly, all involved agreed without hesitation, suggesting the measure of their desperation to stop the attack. Having gotten what he needed, Wendell then proceeded to launch a counter-offensive on his terms, using the Revolutionaries’ numbers against them.
His plan called for an asymmetrical war, forcing the revolutionaries to fight a protracted campaign against a well-dug in guerrilla force. At the same time, he targeted their supply lines, communications and leadership, doing his best to disrupt their ability to coordinate and wage war, while also sapping the morale of their forces. While successful, the operation was not without its losses. The most striking of which was apparently Kara Stinson who was reported dead after her squad were wiped out. Upon hearing the news, Wendell did his best to internalise his feelings, and remain focused on what he needed to do.
This dedication paid off. The Army of Revolution retreated in disarray, and Wendell was hailed as a hero by the same communities he had effectively blackmailed into hiring him. Adding to the victory was Stinson’s return to the unit, alive and more or less unharmed after conducting her own solidary war against the revolutionaries. Relived and feeling like there were things that needed to be discussed, he took her aside for a private conversation in which the pair of them opened up about their feelings for each other. Less then an hour later he threw her out of the unit and told her never to return.
Despite this setback, Wendell remained solidly in command of the unit. For the last few years he has been rebuilding again, while doing his utmost to improve the company’s capabilities. He has also been looking for a potential successor from within their ranks; while he has no intention to step down any time soon, he also is enough of a realist to know that disaster could strike at any moment and leaving the unit without a commander would be disastrous.
Stan Wendell is a no-nonsense, results-driven man. When given an objective, he will do his utmost to ensure that it is completed to the best of his ability. He cannot abide sloppy work or half-measures, and feels that everything, no matter what, should be done to the utmost of ability. He is similarly demanding of his men, and expects the best from them. He has a reputation as being a ruthless taskmaster and driving his followers, but at the same time, this same drive produces spectacular results.
He is determined to do the best by the Black Skull Company. His parents were among its founders, and he grew up in the unit. As a result, he doesn’t leap into action, but rather does his best to study and understand a situation before committing to it. This allows him to develop the best plan for dealing with whatever it is that is between him and the objective. He will not throwaway or waste lives for the sake of it, but also understands that in warfare, losses are inevitable.
Stan does not have much of a life outside the unit, a fact that he would readily admit to if questioned. He has had a series of short affairs, but none of them were particularly deep or meaningful to him. The sole exception is his relationship with Kara Stinson. He refuses to discuss what happened between the pair of them, and instead treats her as persona non grata; to him, she simply didn’t exist.
Stan Wendell is a fit, powerfully built man. While he is in his late 30s he has the physique and tone of a man ten years his younger, the result of years of training and a drive to keep himself in peak condition. He has fair skin, and brown eyes, and his blond hair is kept short cropped. Not traditionally handsome, his looks could be best described as rugged. He also sports several prominent scars, the results of a life that has been mostly spent fighting.
As the leader of Black Skull Company, Stan has access to a considerable arsenal of equipment and weapons. However, he prefers to keep his personal choices simple based on his skills. He usually will have a M29 revolver on him as well as a hunting knife. When he takes to the field, his preferred weapon is a DKS-501 sniper rifle. He also is an expert with explosives and demolitions, and has commented that he could ‘lay waste to half the city... if it wasn’t allready in ruins’.
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