|Blue Bucket (Arthur Daye)|
|Date of Birth:||April 15, 2131|
Earth (born, served in Afghan DMZ), Katamayla, Trendalay, various other Primacy colonies, Bekenstein, Illium
|Relations:||Lena Calhoun (ex-wife, divorced), Andrew Calhoun (son), Sarah Calhoun (daughter), Deven Calhoun (son)|
|Affiliations:||Nassa D'Veyra, Lucas Dunn, Lessina Moore, Kim Avery, Friegsid "Katamayla" Khor'shok, various other officers and enlisted men of 9 Commando.|
Arthur "Art" Daye is a human Lieutenant Colonel in the Blue Suns private military company, commanding 9 Commando, a battalion-sized shock infantry unit which has taken contracts primarily in Citadel space, with the occasional one in the Terminus Systems. A battered, brutal, fairly unpleasant man, Daye posts on Cerberus Daily News under the username Blue Bucket.
Arthur Daye was born on the west coast of the United North American States to a well-to-do family in San Rafael, California. His father, Johnathan Daye, had served four years as an officer in the UNAS Army Military Police before working for the local police department, and the elder Daye began gently pushing his son into following in his footsteps.
Young Arthur was regaled with tales of far-off lands, barracks-room hilarity, and bringing liberty to the oppressed, such as when his father served in the coalition that liberated the Falklands during the islands' third war. He soon found himself dreaming of a career as an officer and a gentleman. Unfortunately, his academic prowess was not sufficient to get him enrolled in the UNAS Military Academy at West Point, so Arthur found himself taking an alternative path to a commission: the ROTC program at the University of Santa Clara.
Daye was by all accounts a conscientious and motivated cadet. It was during his first year of college that he saw an auburn-haired vision of feminine perfection almost falling asleep in his PoliSci course: Lena Calhoun. Thus began a long courtship (or at least as close as the admittedly lowbrow Daye could get to one) that eventually culminated in Daye taking her to his Military Ball that year. By the end of his sophomore year, the two had begun dating.
Art continued to earn top marks in his ROTC courses and instructor's eyes, but his academic performance elsewise was less than spectacular, merely enough to get by. But when the time came for branch selection, his instructors had spoken highly enough for him to get his top pick of the infantry. On the day he commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he proposed to his beloved Lena. Overjoyed, she accepted.
For a while, the two were a perfectly happy couple, as Daye completed his infantry officer's training and received a cushy posting stateside with the UNAS Army's 1st Infantry Division. For him and Lena, this was the life---he finally got to be a soldier rather than a kid playing at one, and she got to be with the man she cared about with all the benefits of being an officer's wife and none of the risks.
The couple had three children during Daye's home front posting: a daughter, Sarah, and two sons, Andrew and Deven.
But as time went by, Daye began to grow bored of the constant dog-and-pony shows and drilling with no practical application. On top of that, promotions in the officially "peacetime" military were hard to come by without seeing service in a hot zone. So when the call went out for volunteers from the 1st ID to serve with the peacekeeping forces in the Afghan DMZ, Arthur Daye's name was at the top of the list.
Daye was given command of an infantry platoon out of the 1st Infantry's 4th Brigade Combat Team upon his arrival in the DMZ, and was assigned to Firebase Zulu in Helmand Province. Daye's attitude began to noticeably harden during his first tour of duty in the DMZ, and not just to the degree experienced by a soldier new to combat. When his unit gave an Afghani child candy, that same child thanked them by producing a pistol and shooting Daye's platoon sergeant; the village of Musa Qala, ostensibly friendly, was in reality one of the most hostile places Daye's platoon visited.
By the time he received his Captain's bars and command of Hotel Company, Daye was not the same man that arrived in the DMZ. His swagger and dash had been replaced by a jaded, grim outlook on the peacekeeping mission, the officer and gentleman gone in favor of a harder, bitter, more uncouth persona. His previous dedication to upholding the established rules of engagement was replaced by a penchant for shooting first and getting positive ID on-target later. This newfound aggressiveness was cultivated and nurtured amongst the NCOs and junior enlisted of Hotel Company, and the unit soon acquired a reputation for excellence in combat and little else. In barracks they were rowdy and light on discipline; on peacekeeping outreach missions they were inclined to find hostile intent where little existed.
This came to a head when Daye was given orders to "pacify" the village of Musa Qala, host to one of the largest insurgent strongholds in Helmand Province. Believing that no one in the village was friendly to the peacekeeping forces, Daye and Hotel Company carried out a systematic extermination of the entire village, utilizing artillery, close-air support, and house-to-house raids to eliminate all 2,000 souls living there.
Within a day, news of the butchery had reached high command, and Daye was relieved of his command and placed under close arrest. He was soon court-martialled, and received a dishonorable discharge, the loss of his pension and benefits, and a veritable media circus leading to his infamy in the UNAS as the "Mad Dog Murderer of Musa Qala."
Daye and Lena had always been scrupulous with their finances, so the family was able to live comfortably while Art tried to look for a job. But while Daye had left the DMZ, the DMZ had yet to leave him. Nightmares, flashbacks, and an inability to relax even in the confines of his own house plagued the man. Whenever he started work at a new job, Daye would inevitably be fired within the week, due to his listlessness demeanour, supremely disagreeable nature, or a variety of other reasons. Through it all, Daye and Lena soldiered on, trying their utmost to provide a normal life for their kids.
But it wasn't to be. One night, while caught in the midst of a flashback to an attack upon his outpost, Daye mistook his son Deven for an insurgent sapper and shot him in the chest. For Lena, weary of putting up with the traumatized brute her husband had turned into, it was the last straw. She initiated divorce proceedings, and wound up with full custody of the three children. Daye was denied visitation rights, and kicked out of the house the day the verdict was handed down.
The Blue Suns
Daye's violent propensities and undeniable competence at soldiering did not, however, go ignored. The Blue Suns had long been using the horde of former UNAS officers as a potential recruiting ground, and Daye exhibited the ruthlessness, tactical savvy, and inclination towards destruction that they looked for in their officers. After nomination and confirmation by a recruiting board, the ex-Captain soon found a message in his inbox offering employment with the Blue Suns.
Initially, Daye balked, disgusted by the idea of prostituting his skills for so little pay. The Suns countered by raising his initial pay rate, promising immediate deployment to a combat zone, a promotion to the rank of Major and his own command to boot. The newly-minted Major sent in his letter of acceptance the same day.
The Suns had decided that someone with Daye's unique approach to counterinsurgency was needed on the colony worlds of the hanar Illuminated Primacy, where a wave of insurrections under the aegis of the DLF were taking place. The Primacy colonial governments, in an unusual move for the hanar, were willing to hire on Blue Suns units to augment their local forces; said units were to deal with the insurgencies with whatever methods they saw fit. It was into this rather volatile mix that Art Daye was thrown.
Daye's first deployment with the Suns was on a hanar colony with a mouthful of a name: Katamayla. The colonial governor, President Moisetsho, had requested three battalions worth of Blue Suns shock infantry to assist the Katamaylan Army in crushing the local DLF rebellion; that request was answered in the form of three shock trooper units, 9 Commando, 11 Commando, and 13 Commando. Daye was given command of 9 Commando, reporting directly to drell General Desirio at Katamaylan Army HQ in the city of Stanpold.
9 Commando's mission was primarily sweep-and-clear, or as the less euphemistically-inclined Daye put it, search-and-destroy. Free to operate on his own in an environment in which his brutal operational and command style was not only tolerated but encouraged, Daye thrived.
Unfortunately, accustations of humanocentrism dogged Daye's command, and not without some justification. Though his Centurion was a batarian, all four sub-Commando leaders were human, along with a significant amount of the junior officers and enlised ranks. The corporation's Sentient Relations department, seeking to avoid possible lawsuits, arranged the transfer of several non-human officers and a number of enlisted to 9 Commando, notably three sub-Commando leaders, Captains Praetor Clodius, Friegsid Khor'shok and Drendovar Del'Serah. Despite initial friction between the Major and Captain Khor'shok, a solid working relationship was established.
Despite the Suns outgunning them by a considerable margin, the rebels near the capital simply had too much of a home-field advantage for 9 Commando to handle even with the mediocre aid of the Katamaylan Army. Without the knowledge of any of the Suns forces on-planet, President Moisetsho called for further mercenary support to crush the rebellion, hiring on the Eclipse's 16 Company under the command of Captain Nassa D'Veyra to aid 9 Commando.
Though Daye was unimpressed with the arrival of the despised "yellowbellies", he and D'Veyra worked together well to eliminate a major DLF presence at a captured mission station, and unveiled the DLF's highly-placed mole in the Katamaylan Army.The two overcame their belonging to mutually opposed organizations and mutual sociopathic tendencies to form a long-lasting friendship---quite the rarity in the merc community. Following the joint operation, 9 Commando was rotated off of Katamayla.
Stand-down on Bekenstein
In an unusual show of generosity from the corporate element of the Suns to their fighting men, 9 Commando was stood-down on Bekensetein to rebuild and re-arm from the casualties they'd taken on Katamayla. Not all of the losses were from action---since the unit's inception, 9 Commando's Centurion had been the acerbic batarian Roaklar Hathnak. An even more speceistic example of his race than most, Hathnak had chafed at being advisor and subordinate to a two-eyed human, especially one like Daye. His resignation left a power vacuum within the unit, with the various senior NCOs grappling for the top slot.
Daye, not knowing the unit's noncoms as well as he'd like for hndis senior enlisted advisor, opted out and took another option, picking a top NCO from outside of 9 Commando. A logistics Legionnaire, Lucas Dunn was promoted to the rank and given the billet of Centurion. An equally battered veteran of the DMZ, Dunn got on much better with his commander than Hathnak ever had, the two establishing a smooth working relationship from their first meeting.
The corporation did force some business upon Daye during his tenure on Bekenstein. Deputized along with several of his officers to attend and represent the Suns at a PMC industry convention, he and Khor'shok ran across a grim ex-Alliance officer now working as a security guard. Though initially only slightly interested in signing on, Serge Rossi soon gained considerably more interest when he saw the pay scale for a former officer of his rank and experience. He signed on as a platoon leader with 93 Commando.
The Major also ran into some old friends---fellow Katamayla veteran Nassa D'Veyra. Courtesy of the spare money left over from the Katamayla contract, the two of them were able to negotiate a deal with one of the vendors at the convention for Colossus X battle armor for them and their senior officers (plus Daye's Centurion). Despite tense run-ins with one of D'Veyra's subordinates and "Katamayla" Khor'shok, the little mercs' day out actually managed to stay fairly amicable.
All too soon the rest cure for the battered mercenaries was over, and a new contract had been secured by the corporation for 9 Commando in fairly short order. For over a year, the planet Yndola had suffered from a bloody civil war, a significant portion of the population being tired of the central government's rule. The small force of federal regulars, adequately trained and equipped, were being wasted by the government in a campaign of attrition against the rebels, and they desperately needed help.
Daye, given broad authority by the government to proceed as he saw fit, decided that 9 Commando, only battalion-sized, could do more good split up than on its own. Instead, he divded the unit into its component sub-Commandos, embedding each one with a federal formation to provide the Yndolans with cadres of well-trained and well-equipped soldiers. The operation was a rousing success, with the rebel forces being annihilated within the course of three months.
Following Yndola, Daye and 9 Commando were stood-down on Omega three weeks prior to the Cerberus attack on the station. During this time, Daye received orders to assault the notorious AEGIS mercenary organization's headquarters, which he delegated to his subordinate Captain Friegsid Khorshok and 92 Commando, which they accomplished with the batarian officer's customary lack of subtelty.
The attack on Omega by Cerberus and their Adjutants took 9 Commando completely by surprise. Despite their attempts to defend their barracks far from the relative safety of Blue Suns HQ at Katange Arcology, 9 Commando took heavy casualties. Far too many of his men were infected or killed for Daye's liking, including the Captain of 93 Commando, Jonathan Nielson. Eventually reaching Katange Arcology after resupplying at a Crimson Chains rallying point, 9 Commando was thrown into the defense of the facility. Daye, battered and half-exhausted, promoted Serge Rossi to Captain and made him commander of 93.
9 Commando was eventually ordered to evacuate the station two days after Aria's departure, and they did so with no further casualties other than the ones already suffered during the fighting itself.
Following the fall of Omega, Daye was dispatched to his old stomping ground of Katamayla, where the DLF had once more gained traction. However, there was a worrying wrinkle: previously, insurgent forces had been disorganized and incompetent, but this time around they were disciplined and well-organized. Believing that the rebels had acquired mercenary support of their own, Daye made ferreting out the DLF's advisors a priority.
As it turned out, the DLF's mysterious benefactor was not in fact a rival PMC, but rather Reaper indoctrinees creating a shock force to help seize the planet for the ancient technological species. The Reaper invasion was a disaster for Katamayla---the capitol of Stanpold was overrun within a matter of hours, with 9 Commando retreating to the outpost at Kuvabu. En route, the unit suffered fifty percent casualties, 02 and 93 Commandos, all of whom were KIA by Reaper Destroyers while driving west.
At Kuvabu, 9 Commando regrouped with surviving elements of the Katamaylan Army, and built up their strength once more. After preparation, the combined force launched an assault on the spaceport at Stanpold, and evacuated the planet---though not without heavy casualties.
9 Commando, very fortunately for the unit, was not assigned to Task Force Hammer's main effort. Instead they were assigned to the amalgamation of mercenaries designated the Fifth Mechanised Brigade, taking its name from 9 Commando's higher unit---courtesy of that unit's commander, Dynarch Tuillax, being placed in overall command. Possibly due to his CO's influence, Daye and his men were ordered to lead the charge to liberate a Reaper processing camp in the London suburb of Cryodon. Intercepted by Reaper heavy infantry, they made it halfway to the objective before a blue flash interupted their efforts...
Personality and Traits
Daye is considered a thoroughly unpleasant individual, with a blunt and coarse manner, and a fondness for peppering his speech with profanity. He frequently indulges in chewing tobacco and beer, which he acquired a love for in the Afghan DMZ. He does not make friends easily, due to his aforementioned unpleasantness, but when he does he is quite loyal.
Daye suffers from severe PTSD from his time in the DMZ---he prefers to sit in the back corner table or booth of a bar, he walks the perimeter of wherever he is sleeping, amongst other traits, and suffers from incredibly vivid flashbacks. He also has severe issues related to his failed marriage and family, regretting his failure as both a husband and a father. When drunk, he has been known to mistake nearby people for members of his family, and act accordingly.
While other mercenaries have distinct personas between on-duty and downtime, Daye tends to blur the line a bit more than most. He drinks and dips on-duty and off, and does not enjoy going to clubs or dances. He mixes a bit more freely with his subordinate officers and senior NCOs when off-duty, though he is no more or less reserved than he is on. He does have a fondness for old war holos, though his constant deployments with 9 Commando rarely give him an opportunity to indulge.
On CDN, Daye is as acerbic and foul-mouthed as he is in person. He does not post nearly as frequently as he used to, having grown bored with the repetitiveness of discussion, though he does lurk and will occasionally chime in with a curse-laced comment or two.