John the Ostrich
Fictional Character
Set in OTL
Type of Appearance: Direct
Nationality: Byzantine Empire
Date of Birth: 7th century CE
Occupation: Soldier

John, also known as John the Ostrich because of his long neck, was an odd person who caught Justinian II's eye during the outfitting of an expedition to destroy the Black Sea port of Kherson in the 710s CE. Waving his sword at the air and day-dreaming of the death, destruction and mayhem he was going to inflict, he was startled by the emperor's appearance, but gladly affirmed his desire to wreak havoc and Justinian's request that he followed his command to kill everyone.

However, the expedition turned rebel against Justinian, and John was suborned to the rebellion. When the rebels, led by Mauros and Helias seized control of the imperial capital, they ordered John to execute Justinian's little son, Tiberius, who was holed up in the church of the Holy Mother; this murder was partly in revenge for Justinian's murder of Helias' children and rape of his wife, and partly in order to eradicate any male descendants of Justinian. John walked into the church, stretched little Tiberius over a table, and slit the child's throat.