My history is spotted. I've served in numerous roles in numerous guilds, belonging to even more numerous beliefs. The story that follows if the one which I wish to be remembered for, the unabridged and true story of Gunnery Sergeant Johnathan Benjamin Winters.
I was born on Raven's Cove, no more than a month before the battle that raged there, forcing my mother to flee, while my father donned the brilliant red coat of a Royal Marine Lieutenant which was proudly folded in his sea chest. He fought bravely and died there, leading the last of a failed defense against the invaders, and being hit by a poisoned musket shot to the heart. My mother always said that his blood stayed pure and true regardless, as he had such a great love for his homeland. We fled to Cuba on a Light Sloop and found refuge deep in the marshlands there with my uncle. He himself was a Royal Navy Captain, and raised me to follow my father's footsteps.
My uncle was a hard but fair man. His name was Howard Hume, and was a well respected Captain in the Royal Navy, commanding a War Galleon with a near spotless performance record. He raised me in a military fashion, teaching me to fight with sword and rifle, especially sabre and musket. I gained exceptional skill in my time, and was often regarded as one of the most fearsome fighters on Cuba. I was an expert shot with my musket, and was proud of my ability. At the age of 15, I was sent to Kingshead to do 5 years of schooling until I was 20, at which point I would enlist.
I was taught on Kingshead, and essentially did 5 years of basic training. I put down Royal Marines as my first choice. I was however, somewhat special. My mother and father were both Irish, which mean I had to be placed into a special Brigade, full of Irishmen and Women. After my beginning crucible of tests, I skipped over the ranks of Cadet, and Cadet Third Class, and was made a team leader. My team consisted of Cadets John Hansen, Edgar Haywood, Joel Wilkerson, and Michael "Burnie" Bowers. My Squad Leader was Cadet First Class John Schwyhart. We were all a great team, and John was fond of us. We often got off without forced cleaning, surprise inspections, or most of the normal hazing. My school year went without event, and I was mostly able to slip beneath the radar, graduating about 15th in a class of 45. I was though, the Principle Horn Player and Section Leader in the band. I then enlisted in the Royal Marines.
I've always been exceptional proud of my Marine service. I enlisted at the age of 20, while most of the rest of my class went into the Navy. I was given the loving nickname of "Pops" by the Drill Instructors due to my advanced age om the recruits of 17 and 18. I was hazed a little more, pushed a little harder, and was a little more regarded than any other cadet in my platoon. I was told that because of my experience on Kingshead more would be expected, and I held our reputation true. I graduated top of my platoon, and was the guide, which meant accelerated promotion to Private First Class, PFC. I then went off to the Infantry School on Port Royal to be trained as an Assualtman, using Cannons, Blunderbusses, and Grenades. I was offered an opportunity to join the Marine Band on Kingshead, but instead signed a contract saying I would transfer over when I had 2 years on my service contract, or was critically wounded.
I graduated from Port Royal and was assigned to the 3rd Irish Highlands Foot Battalion, stationed in one of the most dangerous areas, Isla Tormenta. It didn't take long to be respected as a true Marine and not a mere "Boot" to the senior members and Lance Corporals in my Platoon. I was soon recommended for, and promoted to, Lance Corporal. I was made team leader again, and served in Highlanders 2-1 Actual. This means our Battalion name was Highlanders, Platoon 2, Squad 1, serving with the Platoon Commander, a Lieutenant named John Schwyhart. That's right, we were reunited. I served the rest of my initial 4 year contract, ending it with an agreement to reenlist and be promoted to Corporal, since I had gone almost 3 years as a "Terminal Lance" though I had the points to promote twice over. I reenlisted and was promoted to Corporal. I also received my Good Conduct ribbon. When I reenlisted, I also signed a six year contract, meaning I would do at least four more years as an Assaultman. We were constantly in battle on Isla Tormenta or "Hell on Earth" as we called it.
Whether it was pirates trying to raid us, the local inhabitants, or the undead, we were never short on action. Patrols were sent out about 4 times daily, and attacks on my station, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hope were extremely common. I spent most of my waking hours on a cannon, or running between stations to check on the Squad I had been given charge over. I was thrice wounded, and received two Achievement Medals, a Commendation Medal, and two Bronze Citations, with "V" for Valor. I was also awarded 4 Combat Action Awards for my service in four major battle on Tormenta. I saw a lot of good men die on that island, including John Hansen, who was my Section's Staff Sergeant, meaning he led 2 squads. When he died, I was promoted to Sergeant, and given the position.
At the end of two bloody years on the island I was approached by a Gunnery Sergeant I didn't recognize. He was a Recon Sergeant, and had a sniper position opened. I accepted, appointed a new Section Staff Sergeant and was sent even deeper into the dense jungle to be given two weeks of impromptu Recon Training, being awarded the Silver Skull all Recon members wore on their dress uniform. I was then sent on mission after mission, eliminating people we thought might be important to the enemy, and engaging in unconventional warfare, such as weakening ship hull integrity, cutting sails, poisoning food, and sabotaging equipment. I was awarded another Commendation and Good Conduct award, and was promoted to Staff Sergeant. I was also wounded for the fourth time, and found myself sent away from the front to our Training Unit because they were deemed "not critical enough to require transfer out of regiment".
I then spent 6 more months training Explosives Technicians before I was transferred to the Marine Band. To see me off, I was approved for a Meritorious Service Medal, and given a short party. I was then sent off to Kingshead to play the horn once again. My years in the band were mostly uneventful. It didn't take long to be promoted to Gunnery Sergeant, and serve as Principle Horn Player and later Drum Major.
I had finally ended my career in the Royal Marines. I was a Recon Qualified Gunnery Sergeant in the Billet of Drum Major. I had been a honor graduate/guide, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Section Staff Sergeant, Training Instructor, and Section Leader. I had 10 years in the Marines, and had been awarded 4 Wound Citations, 2 Bronze Citations for Valor, a Meritorious Service Award, 2 Commendations, 2 Achievement Medals, 6 Combat Citations, and 2 Good Conduct Awards. I now had a problem. What next?
After the Corps
I found numerous jobs, mostly running odd mission to retrieve artifacts. I also served as a contractor, serving with military units to do jobs they couldn't. I eventually found myself serving as Cannon/Quartermaster for the French, fighting against the Spanish. I was awarded a French Cord for Valor, and ended that stint as a Senior Lieutenant. I did a lot of sailing and fishing, catching every fish in the sea, including the legendary ones. I found myself in a bar on Padres del Fuego when I was approached by two dark suited individuals. They asked to speak to me outside, and I agreed, unlatching my old combat dagger and tucking it more concealed into my jacket.
As soon as I walked outside my jacket was stripped off and my knife taken. I started to sling my fist at one of their heads, but he moved with extreme speed to find my last wound from the Corps, sending me down in a quick second, reeling and writhing in pain. What they said, I do not remember, but it was something explaining they hadn't wanted to hurt me, and I wouldn't need my weapons. I then passed out from the pain, and re awoke in a very lush room on a Galleon. Their were two guards at the door in the red of the Royal Marines, and the two gentlemen were in front of me. One was simply introduced as "Lord Christopher" and the other as "Lord William Seasteel". They then presented me an opportunity I never thought would cross my way...
They wanted me to join the EITC.
To this point I has never even seen a Company Agent, though I'd heard rumors of their existence. Sometimes a Master Gunnery Sergeant, or Captain would spontaneously retire, and find themselves off the face of the map. As it would happen, my father was one of these me. He hadn't died on Raven's Cove, but found himself whisked away and given the title of Lord. He had later died on a very secret doomed operation on the Cove, so I suppose the story was half true. These men had their eyes on me all along, and watched over my Corps career carefully, actually arranging some of the attacks I was in, and a wound I'd received. They would doctor papers to refuse a promotion, which is why I was never made a Lieutenant. I was supposed to receive a battlefield commission before I was even approached by the Recon Gunnery Sergeant, but it found itself refused by the board, who then found a good time in the pubs and with the finest wenches. Now they waned me to join them. I'd be given a title of Count, later to be made a Lord after some time. I served the rest of my time with the EITC Third Division, save for two months when I left to form a hospital to perform humanitarian service for service men and women who found themselves wounded in the invasions that occurred oh so commonly in the final days of conflict.
I was also accredited with located the Templar Major Standish after an attempt at stealing a deed from Johnny Goldtimers. My service ended as an abundantly proud Lord and Lieutenant, with some notability due to locating Major Standish on my own.
Thus ends my true story. None of this famous doctor, farmer, Calvary, or grand cadet nonsense. I was a regular Cadet by choice, a Marine with a good career, though far from being a hero. I was a fisherman, French Privateer and War Hero, and finally a Company Agent. I'm proud of this history, though it's been stained by lies spread by my enemies to cause confusion. Thank you for your time if you've made it this far.