Lucius Drake

From Acw

Admiral Lucius Drake (2342- ) was born to two engineers on the mining colony of Hades. Never one to stay planet-side, he left at an early age, becoming a pirate. From simple beginnings, he is now known as the Terror of the Black Reaches and leader of the Raptorian Empire.



Beginning his life in the last quarter of 2342, Lucius Drake (then Henry Taggart) grew up on the penal colony of Hades in the Hydra system. The colony itself was a miserable place to live, and seeing no future for himself there, in 2358 he signed onto a freighter travelling the Diemos-Hades route. Though only sixteen years old, because of Hades' low gravity, and frequent hormonal supplements, Drake (calling himself John Rankin) appeared much older. The ship took three circuits before beings attacked by pirates. The pirates seized food, water, mechanical and medical supplies, and left the crew relatively untouched.

Yo Ho Ho

With his prospects as a freighter crew-member looking more and more boring the longer the pirates remained aboard, Drake made the choice to abandon his crew and smuggle himself aboard the pirate vessel. He had no attributes the pirates felt they could use, until Drake began to speak. So charismatic was he, that speaking from the airlock chamber he still managed to swing the situation his way. He convinced the pirates that he only wanted to join them, and that his mechanical skills were exceptional. Debating amongst themselves in the ship venting atmosphere, the pirates decided a mechanic would be a useful addition to the crew. He claimed his name was Lucius Drake, and has not gone by any other since.

The ship he joined was called the Raptor, a converted civilian ship pressed into service as a raiding vessel. It was as misnamed as it was slow. Its captain, Rufus MacIlwain, picked on the weakest of trading ships, avoiding military targets and thus existing on the margins of galactic society. Drake soon took his place as MacIlwain's right hand man, and when the captain was killed in a raid gone wrong, Drake was unanimously voted captain. He was twenty three, and the year was 2365.

Building a Fleet

His first step as Captain was to raid a prison transport to Styx for a supply of guns, and then his home moon itself, for a new crew. He kept the transport vessel, and left his old crew to the knives of the prisoners. Now armed with two ships and a cut-throat pirate crew, Drake left the Hydra system. Using deception, forgery, and his honeyed tongue, he and his crew arrived in the Chimera System. Accidentally finding himself orbiting the uninhabitable planet of Glaucus, Drake's unnatural luck had him find a scuttled American vessel. Leaving a crew to repair the ship, Drake began raiding the area. Over the next three years, with luck and money, Drake acquired a further two British ships, and replaced his older, slower ships with black-market Soviet vessels acquired from New Ukraine. He now had a fleet of eight, including a Soviet factory ship. Affectionately, his men called him The Admiral. The title stuck.

He named this fleet the Raptors.

Now Drake had a new plan: to capture a Krasnikov Generator from a Coreship and install it to the factory ship he had captured. His target was the UIS ship running the low-traffic Gettysburg/Victoria-Earth hop. In a daring raid, Drake and his Raptors attacked the ship and evaded his pursuers with an unharmed generator and a brand new Coreship.

With their new mobility, the Raptors became more daring than ever, staying just ahead of their pursuers. With the enormous energy requirements to generate a Krasnikov tunnel, and few sources of Uranium available, larger payloads were needed. And this was becoming harder and harder. A mistake was inevitable.

In 2138, while fleeing an American fighter squadron in Griffin, Drake's astrogator made that mistake. Confused by the abnormal gravity readings on the jump between Griffin and Hydra, he set the co-ordinates incorrectly. When they emerged, they were in the unrecognisable black of space. Locating what they thought was Chimera from gravity readings, they made a second hop. But it was not Chimera that they had jumped to, but Avalon, the British Empire's longest kept secret. Sitting in space before Drake was the HMSS Lord Sydney hailing them with weapons hot.

Pirate? I'm a Privateer

Expecting to be shot for his piratical activities, Drake's charismatic speech landed him with the first letter of marque to be granted by a British monarch in over four-hundred years. He was now a privateer of the British empire. He stayed on Port Brimstone, a small station orbiting Avalon's primary planet, Elysium, until his ships had been repaired. Once cleared, he was to repair, head to Sol, and take on a group of Royal Marines and Space Naval officers intended no doubt to keep him in line.

However, things did not go exactly as planned, as always. While on Port Brimstone, the station became inundated with guests, and then an assassination attempt occurred on Margaret, Princess of Wales and heir to the throne. Drake was immediately sent off-world with a number of British personnel, and sent to Sol along with his crew.

Tiananmen Peace Conference

Forced to attend the peace conference on the Tiananmen station, Drake set out immediately to clear his name of any wrongs, and if all else failed, to escape to his crew and fleet. He immediately came to the attention of the Leutnant-Doktor Franz Detweiler, who claimed to pilot a medical vessel, the WSK Eidelweiss. Planning to make his escape on this vessel, Drake set about arranging a meeting with the SS-Oberststerngruppen-Fuhrer, Eckart von Kogel, should his name prove impossible to clear.

Meanwhile, Drake had renewed acquaintances with Jane Blackthorne, a Captain-Pilot of New Trinity House, and Rear-Admiral Victor Hawthorne, who had been tasked with investigating the attempted assassination.

Von Kogel returned with the stipulations that he would remove Drake from Tiananmen Station on the condition that Drake work for him as a very well funded privateer. Von Kogel wished to keep conflict between the nations going, to keep business going and to establish his position as separate from the Fourth Reich. Seeing nothing the British could do for him, Drake arranged with von Kogel to make his escape.

While the other nations were still embroiled in the peace conference, an SS Infiltrator craft drilled its way through the side of the station. Two soldiers emerged, killing Drake's Chinese guards and removing him from the station. He returned to his fleet immediately, forcing the Space Navy marines off. The infiltrator craft returned to Tiananmen station to retrieve von Kogel. Now with an additional Infiltrator craft in his fleet, and with all sides squaring off weapons hot, Admiral Lucius Drake opened a Krasnikov tunnel to Spookrock and escaped.

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