Admiral ZEX was the foremost hero of the VUX military from the First War of the Alliance and, possibly, the greatest military tactician in known space before his death. After being conquered by the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls pressed into service against the Alliance of Free Stars by the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, the VUX found themselves greatly outclassed in combat strength, particularly by their bellicose neighbors, the Yehat. Their inferior technology, numbers and logistic organization would have caused them to be quickly overrun were it not for the military genius of ZEX, a young officer who quickly rose through the ranks with his brilliant analytical mind.
ZEX used the VUX's unlikely strengths in abstract mathematics and astrogation principles to find ways to win seemingly impossible situations. VUX ships under his command became known for their ability to surprise enemies, approaching from unforeseen flight paths and using amazingly accurate HyperSpace navigation to corner enemies and quickly destroy them, more than making up for the relatively weak range and power of their weapons or their smaller numbers. ZEX set up countless tactical situations to make this possible, including the well-known Fortress Square and Dynamic Triangle formation techniques. By the end of the war, he had become the unquestioned leader of the VUX military and one of the VUX race's most honored individuals.
However, his brilliance seemed tempered by an odd form of mental imbalance. In his personal life ZEX seemed drawn to the grotesque and bizarre, and soon his obsessive fascination with strange, unique animal life became well known. He rebelled against rigid VUX social norms: The more offensive an organism appeared by the standards of puritanical VUX aesthetics the more he wholeheartedly embraced it, with what came to be an uninhibited, almost sexual enthusiasm. ZEX soon became known publicly as a pervert and his public stature became seen as having a corrupting influence on the morals of VUX society.
After the war's end when his active service was no longer needed, ZEX became more and more of a problem. Unwilling to strip him of his honors but unable to tolerate the political consequences of keeping him in public view, the VUX High Council compromised by removing ZEX from public life and awarding him a whole deserted, inhabitable planet to keep as his personal property, along with all the resources he needed to pursue his peccadilloes outside of media scrutiny, protected by a fleet of the VUX military's best (led, of course, by ZEX himself in his modified Intruder). There, he and his crew of subordinates established an enormous menagerie of rare beasts from across known space, as well as collecting other valuables, including Precursor artifacts. ZEX even captured sentients, notably a set of cryogenically imprisoned Shofixti Maidens, but his true lust was for the deepest object of desire and not coincidentally the race whose appearance VUX culture most wholeheartedly loathed, the Humans.
ZEX got his chance when the Human Captain Zelnick of the Vindicator came to negotiate for the Maidens' release in his quest to restore the Shofixti species. ZEX agreed to comply if Zelnick would retrieve for him a particular legendary monster, which most of the sketchy records surrounding it agreed was the most fearsome and grotesque creature in known space. "ZEX's Beauty", as it was nicknamed, was eventually located in the Delta Lyncis system. When Zelnick tried to close the deal, ZEX double-crossed him, revealing his intention to take the beast and kidnap what he truly regarded as the most deformed, vicious and therefore appealing creature he had ever encountered, Zelnick himself. Fortunately for Zelnick, ZEX's forces proved unable to control the beast during the transfer process, and it escaped and ravaged his compound, destroying most of his facilities and killing him and his personnel before vanishing into the wilderness.