From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
The Second World War
Nicht einschlafen oder lebendig
Deus Ex’s story within the twentieth century begins on October 15th, 1938 in Berlin. Special advisor to the Third Reich and occultist within the National Socialist party Karl Weber is ordered to St. Katherine’s Church to study artifacts acquired three days prior from the Hofsburg Museum in newly-annexed Austria. Key among these is an item of significance known as the Holy Lance of Longinus (which come to think of it is probably not so holy considering it killed Christ).
Weber reports within the month to Heinrich Himmler detailing the spear and its potential uses. One use, to summon forth power in an occult ritual, is expanded upon and after debate, is approved of by Hitler. Weber, presiding as the central figure of the ritual, makes contact with a malevolent entity from elsewhere. In return for minor concessions from the Third Reich and to show approval of their world regime, the entity offers its support in the form of a champion. It promises that this champion cannot be bested by any ‘human’, one that was unfailingly loyal and utterly without fear or conscience.
It was thus that Dyeus was given into the hands of the Nazi Party. Very quickly he became the subject of tests to the verbal (or otherwise) promises made by his master in regards to his ability. While the Nazi’s learned he was not by any means invincible, after successfully combating a Panzerkampfwagen squadron without benefit of arms or armor other than a sword, they knew he was formidable. Later he was pitted against some of the brightest Ubermenschen of the 5th Column in a series of filmed war games designed to impress upon the Nazi Party the power of the Third Reich. After his success (“narrow success” –Requiem), he was consigned to a mix of duties: enduring a battery of scientific examinations to ascertain if he could assist the super soldier serum developed for the 5th Column, engaging in hunting (assassination for sport) within the ghetto’s and guard duty for certain high ranking officials within the National Socialist Party.
Dyrugs are bad for you
Dyeus’s time with Nosferatu of the 5th Column was far from pleasant. Not appreciating the unintended insult to his genius by having his serum bested by a magical freak-slave of some demon lord, Nosferatu was determined to learn what fueled his subject's strength to impart it to the 5th Column and make the process as painful as possible for Dyeus.
Needles in traditionally sensitive areas, lacerations and burns to examine regeneration rate, injections involving near-fatal doses of drugs and more were subjected to Dyeus, with him showing no expected increase in distress. Nosferatu’s frustration only continued to grow as he could not even identify a blood type or even a familiar species indicator within the fluids and bits of flesh he removed for examination. Still, he believed his mental prowess would win out of the biological riddle he was presented, and managed to synthesize a formula but with no safe way to test it.
Ultimately reduced to more hap hazardous scientific procedures, he ended up injecting Jewish subjects with disastrous results for the patients. All suffered fatalities from a mix of myocardial rupture, cerebral aneurysm or in a few very rare cases spontaneous human combustion. However, it was in this that Nosferatu found his only success regarding Dyeus, as the sight of the test subjects being eliminated provoked small but machine-measurable indicators of distress. Eventually, he relinquished Dyeus to other departments for study before passing his report along to the Fuhrer, particularly his findings about Dyeus’s disturbed state.
Murder in the first five hundred and on…
Perhaps incensed over the discovery of their living weapon’s feelings towards the Jews (or killing innocent people in general), Dyeus was turned over to Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi in charge of what was dubbed “The Jewish Question”, or more obscenely the ghetto’s and the quiet thinning of the herd that was to occur.
In the Kovno ghetto, 1941, Heydrich had told the Judenrat that five hundred young scholars were needed outside the ghetto for a special task, and they would be spared any hard labor. A list was drawn up, many even volunteered, and they were lead to an empty warehouse by escorting S.S. and locked inside with Dyeus, who summarily received orders to butcher them all.
After it was done, a special envoy from the 5th Column named Lothar Koenig was assigned to administer Dyeus’s orders for entering the ghetto and carrying out a certain number of Jewish kills with the caveat that if he is witnessed, he must eliminate those individuals as well. After each evening was finished, he was questioned if he believed it was just.
Dyeus was reassigned after a year and a supposed re-indoctrination after he managed to successfully lie to both Koenig and his machines during their interviews.
Perhaps the darkest and most frustrating collection of memories in his life, Dyeus remembers each face with a near-obsessive degree of acuity, and some have theorized that this event more than any other shaped Dyeus’s lethal predilections towards anyone associated with the last remaining element of the Nazi regime, the 5th Column, until they were presumably destroyed. It is also theorized that the bladeless hilt of an S.S. officer’s sword keep by Deus Ex as a souvenir was once Koenig’s.
In 1941 as the 5th Column was descending on Paragon City and the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic fleet, an angry and reluctant Dyeus was assigned to deal with particular problems, mostly spies and behind-the-scenes guerrilla fighters which were invariably crushed beneath his jackboot. Perhaps the most formidable and well documented incident was his mission to destroy Egrette Sanders, a British national hero and wartime operative codenamed The White Heron, known for her abilities of Flight and manipulation of snow and ice.
The White Heron was operating within German-occupied territories, raiding supply lines, ambushing special units and supposedly bringing local weather down so many degrees centigrade that the soldiers could not venture out of shelter without suffering from exposure. As such, she needed to be dealt with immediately, and as the 5th Column was overseas engaging in operations in Paragon City, the duty fell to Dyeus.
His orders were simple: Locate, capture and execute. In theory, simple. In practice, much more complicated. The White Heron proved to be a cagy and intelligent opponent, using her beauty to wile locals into protecting her, using her powers of flight to escape a situation quickly, and her ability to control cold to insure success.
Over the months of cat and mouse that followed, Dyeus developed a strange relationship with The White Heron, and both began to look at the situation less like a lethal game of hide and seek and more akin to a game between friends (or as some have speculated, foreplay between more-than-friends), each seeming to set traps less to kill the other and more to play with them.
Unfortunately, Dyeus was not allowed the luxury of regarding this other than what it was, despite his personal wants. Find, capture and kill were the orders, and the magical brand on his shoulder insured compliance to those directives. In what ways he was allowed he tried to warn Heron, but it was not nearly enough to dissuade her, in fact it seemed to draw her deeper into the mentality of a lovers-game.
In the end, Dyeus caught her, or some suggest she allowed herself to be caught by him. Dyeus knows she was counting on their relationship to save her, and wanted to spare her, but the sigil would have its due. As his blade entered her chest, the look of pain on her face was answered by tears from Dyeus.
The disappearing man
On November 11th 1942, as Fuhrer Adolf Hitler ordered the occupation of France and Dyeus was called into specific service there, he killed his handlers and vanished into the Berlin night, refusing all communications and ignoring all orders via the Sigil.
At this time no documentation exists to verify where he went, why he was able to finally resist the pull of commands, but it is known that days prior he met with a cadre of individuals, two women of exotic appearance and two men, one of which looked remarkably similar to him.
A standing order to find and eliminate him was ushered down through the ranks, though none got the chance. Dyeus had dissappeared from among them and would not be heard from again until some time later...
It was at this time after the invasion of Normandy that Dyeus reappeared among the gathered Heroes of the Allies, posing as an unknown. It is believed that those present thought he was one of the many heroes to rally to war from Paragon City. There were rumors of course, and eventually Dyeus’s identity was discovered and he was arrested on scene by over a hundred heroes, lead away to answer for his crimes.
To everyone’s shock and anger, Dyeus was within a day released and placed back on the line by authorization of General Omar Bradley. The allied soldiers avoided him like he was diseased while the heroes made their presence very well known to him by taunting the once warrior of the Reich. It was during this time he was bequeathed the nickname of the Black Kraut for his lack of humor and where everyone believed his loyalty was.
When the time came to launch the offensive to punch through the German defenses, Dyeus claimed a frightening reputation in taking down scores of German soldiers, hardened structures and tanks. All of the allied soldiers and most of the heroes found themselves terrified by what was deemed as a rampage on Dyeus part. His actions virtually dispelled the myth that he was a Nazi loyalist and his nickname changed again to the Black Ally once the Nazi defenses were broken and forced onto the defensive for the first time in the war.
Operation Dragoon and the Iron Cross
After Cobra was completed, The Black Ally was reassigned to the U.S. 6th Army Group commanded by Lt. General Jacob Devers to assist in Operation Dragoon - the invasion of Nazi occupied southern France. It was here that the allies met with staunch resistance from the German Military and many of their own supers, including one Karl Zeigler, a.k.a. The Iron Cross, so named after the medal he was awarded twice by Hitler himself which adorned the pauldrons of his armor and by the fact that the giant of a man weighed over two tons.
Zeigler was known for his prowess with his warhammer and virtual invulnerability as well as his tireless pursuit of honor and glory in the name of sacred Germany. As one of a handful of super-powered individuals on the Axis side that recognized him, Zeigler challenged Dyeus to a duel with honor. Dyeus accepted.
The combat took upwards of an hour, both Allies and Axis fighting stopped to witness the mortal combat between the two. The Black Ally seemed to be unable to harm Zeigler; the Iron Cross seemed to be unable to catch the quick Dyeus until he managed to strike a bone crushing blow on his foe, crippling Dyeus, so Zeigler believed. In the end, it appeared as if The Iron Cross would prevail until Dyeus managed to lure him into shallow water. Though the Iron Cross was amused by The Black Ally’s obvious attempt to drown him, and promising out loud it would not come to that, his amusement quickly died as he found himself sinking quickly up to the waist in the soft river mud.
The Black Ally found him easy prey after his mobility was effectively stopped. Dyeus waded back ashore clear of the Iron Cross and called for the supporting Bradley tanks to concentrate fire upon the ground in which The Iron Cross had sunk partially, in order to finish the job. Zeigler’s final words before drowning in a newly opened hole was spent questioning if Dyeus had any honor, to which Dyeus replied “not for you”.
War’s end, citizenship, second vanishing
After almost a year and the end of the war with Germany and Japan offering unconditional surrender, Dyeus goes to the Ellis island and there receives American Citizenship as well as a shortening of his name to Deus by either a very tired and ignorant or very educated and jokester of an immigration worker.
Deus disappears on foot into the contiguous United States and remains hidden from sight of the world until June of 2002 when he is spotted in Paragon City.