Javier Vanderspool was a Confederate Marine Corps colonel turned cripple.
That year, the Break-Out occurred, a massive push from the Combine directed against his own base. Despite the damage, Vanderspool was able to lead the Thundering Third against the Kel-Morians, pushing them back into the disputed territory.
Fort Howe was left nearly empty due to the assault, partly due to Confederate soldiers moving into the field, and partly due to combat losses. During this period, former Staff Sergeant Tychus Findlay, demoted to private for assaulting a superior officer, arrived at Fort Howe. He had just undergone an unfortunate encounter with Lance Corporal Jim Raynor when he was called to Vanderspool's office. Vanderspool promoted him to sergeant due to lack of non-commissioned officers, but warned him that worse things could happen to him if he caused trouble.
Meanwhile, Vanderspool had struck an alliance with the Kel-Morian commander, Overseer Aaron Pax. While Fort Howe had been nearly emptied of men, Vanderspool's men would move a quantity of material from the armory into two trucks, which would be driven by civilians out of the base during a small assault by Pax's men. The value of the loot — 8 million credits in the more valuable one — would be split between Vanderspool and Pax.
Unfortunately for Vanderspool, two things went wrong with the plan. First, Overseer Scaggs had hidden ripper troops under Foreman Oleg Benson in a mine near Fort Howe. During Pax's small attack, Benson's men attacked the armory, intending to secure a landing zone for ships carrying more troops to descend.
The second problem aggravated Vanderspool and the varying Kel-Morian factions. Findlay had sought out Raynor to even the score when Vanderspool belatedly announced the assault. Raynor led the troops toward the armory, a logical target, when they witnessed both Benson's assault and Confederate troops loading the trucks. Findlay killed Benson in hand-to-hand combat, and his squad finished off the rest of the rippers. Then Findlay and Raynor confiscated the trucks. Findlay led them to the wrecked town of Whitford, surprising Raynor. Eventually Findlay returned with a single truck (the one with less valuable loot). Meanwhile, Confederate Avenger fighter craft destroyed Scaggs' transports, ending the assault in a victory for the Confederacy.
Vanderspool was left irate at the events. From information gained from interrogating the truck drivers (captured back at the armory), he believed another Kel-Morian overseer had piggy-backed on Pax's scheme, leading to the larger-than-expected assault. He identified the other overseer as Hanz Brucker (an incorrect assumption). However, for winning the Battle of Fort Howe, and with the 3rd Marines having pushed Kel-Morian forces back through the Snakeback Mountains, Vanderspool was promoted to full colonel, a position he had long coveted.
Pax, meanwhile, didn't believe the story of Vanderspool's stolen trucks and would plot his own revenge on Vanderspool.
Battle Genius: A Needle in the DarkEdit
Vanderspool created a Special Tactics and Missions Platoon in order to assault Kel-Morian Internment Camp-36, headed by Overseer Hanz Brucker. The platoon would use Thunderstrike armor, well-suited to being dropped onto the three heavily-guarded hills which oversaw the camp proper. Sergeant Tychus Findlay was made a squad leader within the platoon.
Mistrusting Findlay for his role in the disappearance of the truck, he decided to assign a spy. He met with Petty Officer 3rd Class Lisa Cassidy, a drug-addicted Colonial Fleet medic, in the brig, where she was imprisoned for getting high on crab. Instead of transferring her to a work camp, he made her a deal — a supply of crab in return for spying on Findlay's squad.
Cassidy clashed with the STM platoon's leader, Lieutenant Marcus Quigby, which made her popular with Findlay and the other squad members. When Quibgy's father, General Quigby, accompanied Col. Vanderspool in order to watch a demonstration of the jumping armor, Cassidy drugged the lieutenant, causing him to embarrass himself (and, by extension, Vanderspool). Vanderspool set up a meeting with Cassidy at a restaurant, keeping a small number of plain-clothed marines on standby. When Cassidy admitted to poisoning Lt. Quigby, Vanderspool was irate over the embarrassment, and ordered his marines to punch her. Meanwhile, Lt. Quigby's embarrassment harmed his career; he was transferred elsewhere, putting Findlay in charge of the whole unit.
Findlay's squad had sold off the proceeds of their truck, and one of them, Private Max Zander, used his money to buy food to give away to war refugees. He took fellow soldier Private Connor Ward and Technician Hiram Feek with him to provide security. This drew the attention of the bandit leader, Silas Trask, who captured Ward and Zander. Feek escaped and warned the rest of the squad. Findlay and Lance Corporal Jim Raynor came up with a plan. They sought out Hurley, a bar owner, who sold them a map to Trask's hideout. However, he also warned the bandits of the impending attack. Findlay's squad, plus Cassidy and Feek, stormed the hideout and freed their comrades. On the way back, Findlay nearly beat Hurley to death for selling them out. Cassidy provided Hurley with medical aid.
Four days later, Vanderspool became aware of the incident, and of Cassidy's presence. However, he was busy, since General Thane wanted to discuss the impending attack on the Kel-Morian internment camp with him at Boro Airbase, so he told her to meet him at the command center rather than a less conspicuous place. Cassidy, suffering from her drug abuse, was initially rude to him, until Vanderspool threw her onto his table and beat her. Once she had calmed down, she told him that the squad had received money from an unknown source. Vanderspool lost his temper after she left. He plotted revenge against Findlay's squad, but the platoon was too valuable for the upcoming battle to be thrown away so readily.
Afterward, Vanderspool summoned the platoon to discuss the upcoming battle. He brought with him Captain Clair Hobarth, a dropship pilot who had been held at the camp before escaping. She brought with her intelligence on the layout. The platoon was sent to "Camp Crash" to sharpen their landing skills. UNN reporter Max Speer came to visit, and Findlay, mistaking him for a spy, captured him and dropped him in front of Vanderspool, who lost his temper at him.
Lance Corporal Jim Raynor felt guilty about stealing the trucks, and had noticed how slowly the recovering Captain Hobarth had moved, so he came up with a plan to "make amends". He would infiltrate the internment camp early and warn the POWs of the upcoming attack so they could organize themselves. He gave the plan to Findlay, who brought it to Vanderspool. The colonel approved it.
Meanwhile, he met with Cassidy again. He taunted her with his package of crab and told her to deliver a taunt to Overseer Brucker during the assault, that he shouldn't have tried to steal Vanderspool's trucks. Then she was to kill him.
The Battle of KIC-36 initially started out quite well. The platoon took control of the hills, but the additional dropships which were to pick them the POWs were driven away by Kel-Morian Hellhounds. The platoon reunited with Raynor (who had been captured and tortured), who said they should steal the Kel-Morian ground vehicles and use them to transport POWs into the disputed zone until they could be rescued. While gathering the vehicles they wounded and captured Overseer Brucker. When Cassidy had a moment alone with him, she delivered the message, then injected him with a drug which would simulate a heart attack. Eventually the platoon rescued the prisoners, although they lost half their number. This action gave them their nickname and made them famous.
Colonel Vanderspool planned an assault on the north of Polk's Pride, a city divided between the Kel-Morian Combine and the Terran Confederacy, split by the Paddick River. The northern section, held by the Combine, was home to a strategic resources repository, and the Confederacy intended to capture this. However, two previous attempts to do so had failed.
Vanderspool had a three-part plan to change things. First, he would use large numbers of neurally resocialized troops under the command of Master Sergeant Rockwell. He was protected by a platoon-sized "color guard" of these troops. Second, he would use the STM platoon to accompany the assault (and hopefully thin their numbers). Given the various failures of the Thunderstrike armor, they were given regular armor. They were now led by Lieutenant Samantha Sanchez. Third, he would take advantage of the Paddick River's current shallowness by having goliaths carry pieces of pontoon bridge across the river, then assemble it to enable his troops to assault the north.
He showed off the north to the STM platoon and Rockwell's marines. While taking shelter in an underground train station (which he used as a command post), he met with Lisa Cassidy, who was annoyed at having to meet him in such a public place. She told him about how Brucker had died, pleasing Vanderspool. He gave her some crab, but also insulted her for being a disposable junkie. Cassidy also told him about Private Ryk Kydd, a sniper in Findlay's squad. He was really Ark Bennet, son of Old Family member Errol Bennet. Vanderspool recognized the name, and was in the process of arranging a scheme with him.
The assault was a success. The goliaths established a beachhead and, as the resocialized marines sacrificed themselves to delay and damage the Kel-Morians, the STM platoon won the day. Vanderspool forced them to delay the final assault so he could personally take part (and thereby grab credit), even though this gave the Kel-Morians more time to prepare. Even so, the Confederacy captured the repository, claiming a major victory.
Vanderspool planned revenge on Tychus Findlay and his platoon, as well as increasing his own wealth. For the former, he ordered a new technician to sabotage the unit's armor, so he could shut them down by pushing a button on a remote control. However, Hiram Feek became suspicious and checked the armor. Upon discovering the sabotage, he stealthily undid it. Then he went to warn Jim Raynor, now in the brig and demoted to private for insubordination.
As part of his plan to enhance his wealth, Vanderspool hatched a deal with Errol Bennet and Overseer Aaron Pax. They met in a fancy restaurant, where they were spotted by members of Findlay's squad, Max Zander and Ryk Kydd. The two followed Vanderspool and his allies, who entered a FishCo building.
Pax described moving Kel-Morian ardeon crystals worth a billion credits to Port Horthra, where they would be shipped off-planet. However, Vanderspool would intercept them with his men at the town of Korsy. He revealed that a Confederate task force would be in the area, keeping the Kel-Morian transports away. Afterward the loot would be disguised as a government shipment to be carried by Bennet Industries transports. The value of the crystals would be split three ways. Vanderspool planned on keeping Findlay's men from talking by resocializing them.
He offered a different kind of compensation to Bennet. For half his take he would give him his son back. However, Bennet wasn't interested, since Kydd hadn't attempted contact with him. He decided to maintain his share of the loot.
Kydd and Zander took the news to Sergeant Tychus Findlay, who was enjoying sex with Lisa Cassidy. They reported the bad news. Findlay plotted on stealing the loot for himself. Cassidy rushed to find Vanderspool and inform him of the plot against him.
Vanderspool's plans for the assault included using dropships painted to resemble Kel-Morian transports, then using transponders and codes provided by Pax to land in Korsy unopposed. His men would disguise themselves as Kel-Morian soldiers. In addition to the STM platoon, Vanderspool brought a platoon of neurally resocialized marines led by Lieutenant Fitz.
However, unknown to Vanderspool, two factors would spoil his plans. First, he didn't know that the suit sabotage had been uncovered and reversed, and second, he didn't know that Pax and Bennet planned on double-crossing him in return for his share of the loot. Pax was particularly furious about their previous failed scheme, and hadn't believed Vanderspool's explanations.
At Korsy, Vanderspool met with Overseer Dankin. Calling himself "Stokes", he promptly killed Dankin and took his security officer hostage, forcing him to act as a guide to the train station. Meanwhile, the STM platoon swept the western edge of town before making it to the station. Vanderspool and Fitz ordered the platoon to stand at the front of the platform, ominously right in front of the resocialized marines' rifle barrels.
The train pulled into the station and stopped, but when the doors opened Overseer Pax was there, leading a band of rippers. Vanderspool, furious at the double-cross, ordered an all-out assault. The rippers were armed mainly with close-range weapons, but Private Hank Harnack of the STM platoon used his flamethrower to great effect. The train engineer rushed the train out, infuriating Vanderspool even more. Pax and the rippers were forced onto the track by the SMT platoon.
Vanderspool, having lost his wealth, decided to turn on the STM platoon. However, his attempt to lockdown the suits failed, so he tried a secondary technique; he had Lt. Fitz take Cassidy hostage, knowing this would slow down Findlay. He taunted Findlay, saying Cassidy loved crab more than she loved him. However, Privates Jim Raynor and Harnack took charge, enabling the STM platoon to flee. Once outside, they stole vehicles and used their heavy weapons to cover their retreat, keeping the STM platoon bottled up inside. They headed for the starport.
Vanderspool eventually made it out, meeting and killing Private Max Zander of the STM platoon. However, his revenge was cut short when Pax and his rippers captured both him and Cassidy, taking him to the starport in a civilian truck. Once there, Pax, misreading the situation, put a gun to Vanderspool's head and threatened to kill him if the remnants of the STM platoon didn't surrender. Unsurprisingly, they didn't care. However, Private Ryk Kydd, a sniper, shot Pax in the head, a shot which required injuring Vanderspool's shoulder.
During the last firefight, the remaining rippers were killed, but Cassidy was killed in the crossfire. Vanderspool begged for his life, asking for a medic to help him, but with Cassidy dead there were none available, as a bitter Findlay pointed out. Vanderspool tried to reach for Pax's sidearm, only for Raynor to crush his hand. Raynor shot him down.
- Raynor's final words to Vanderspool(src)
Vanderspool survived his experience, but was restricted to an iron lung, attended by neurally resocialized servants. In 2494, five years later, he acquired the services of sadistic bounty hunter Ezekiel Daun to finish off the Devils.
Daun quickly killed Ryk Kydd, Clair Hobarth and Hiram Feek, recording their deaths for Vanderspool's pleasure, but failed his first attempt to murder Tychus Findlay and Jim Raynor. Vanderspool was furious, but not enough to provoke Daun's own wrath. Daun tried twice more to kill the duo. The last time, Daun was shot down by Raynor and captured by a marshal. Findlay was arrested by the same marshal, but Raynor escaped.
Seven months later, Raynor posed as a neurally resocialized guard and infiltrated Vanderspool's compound. Vanderspool begged for his life, promising not to seek revenge, but Raynor believed his malignant mind would only seek a new target. Raynor looked him in the eyes and shot him dead.
Personality and TraitsEdit
Vanderspool had hard eyes, broken veins on the bridge of his nose, and a thin-lipped mouth. He wore immaculate clothing and spent a great deal of money on himself (he could be easily located simply by seeking the most expensive hotel.) He also spent a great deal on effort on improving his image as a tactician. Several things could set off his bad temper, including insubordination, being embarrassed and being denied an opportunity to illegally increase his wealth.
By 2488 age and too much good food had blurred his looks. However, he was still fit enough to climb nine flights of stairs without complaint and strong enough to physically discipline subordinates.
He had an attractive female corporal as his personal aide. He rarely bothered to explain things to her.
In a life of being regulated to an iron lung, Vanderspool's bitterness arguably increased.