Aidan Patrick Drake

White Knights, plain old good guys, folks who take charge and want to take the city's problems in hand altruistically are a natural fit for this section.

Aidan Patrick Drake

Postby IamLEAM1983 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:30 pm

Name: Aidan Patrick Drake
Age: 27 years old
Gender: male
Species: human, developing superhuman

Strengths: like any US Marine, Aidan was trained in order to be proficient in a variety of situations, from infiltration to defense and outright attack. A versatile user of several common Army weapons, he knows their ideal uses and general purpose and maintenance from A to Z. Expect him to field-strip the Hall's weaponry while talking to you or to do several firearms-related tasks simultaneously, quickly and efficiently.

While he never went past the rank of Private First Class, preliminary tests had shown a serious aptitude for the command track. The events that would follow prevented him from advancing in the military's ranks, but his recollection of the events at Najeeban do show that for all of fifteen minutes, he was thrust into the role of point-man for a diminished team of four soldiers. If these instants are evaluated individually, then tactical observers have noted that Drake's command of the situation was exemplary. Unfortunately, this wouldn't provide enough weight to have him declared not guilty of the Najeeban Massacre. Being acquitted saved him from jail, but it'd be difficult to argue that the public opinion had been made by then.

Without weapons, Three stands as an adequate user of the Keysi Fighting Method and of CQC. This tends to shape his approaches to brawls as not too slow or particularly fast, but rather surgical and methodical. There's always enough speed to gain the upper hand and enough power to potentially keep it, but it'd be foolish not to admit that plenty of very mundane people out there can be stronger or faster than him. At best, this means he has some ease at quickly disarming targets or subduing individual assailants.

His developing psionic and telekinetic powers, however, bear all the signs of a rather unusual late bloomer. At 27 years old, he displays the Psi skills of a hesitant Karthian toddler and the TK abilities of a young child. Quarters can be lifted and spun around in mid-air, snowballs, golf balls and tennis balls can be caught and stopped by his mind with some effort. Small objects can be translated along individual axes, but he still has trouble performing complex movements. His psionics follow the same general pattern, in that he currently is more an empath than a telepath. The vague gist of a person's thoughts and emotional currents is what he can currently pick up, with the proverbial “inside voices” currently remaining stubbornly silent.

However, unlike Karthian toddlers, Three seems to be able to supercharge his abilities with the judicious application of strong emotions. For very brief moments, these amped-up applications allow others to take a gander at what he might become, given a decade or so of training. Waist-high walls of protective kinetic force, complete kinetic cover that mimics invulnerability for a few seconds, lifting and briefly manipulating swarms of small objects like fired bullets, slowing down lethal falls or hovering in mid-air for an instant or two are all things he's done already.

Generally speaking, the stronger the emotion, the stronger and longer the superhuman displays. He can't go past the ten-second limit without triggering a massive headache or a nosebleed, but what he can accomplish in those ten seconds is sometimes terrifying.

Naturally, most advocates for smart uses of telekinetic and psionic power would reccomend his being trained. He's better off being able to consciously operate for much longer and at a reduced amplitude than risk unleashing a small tsunami of raw mental power that could completely miss its mark. This is another motivating factor behind his joining Shield.

On the off side, his teenage years include a few LARP campaigns, which does give him the absolute minimum in terms of fencing abilities. Percival of Evergloam is attempting to change up these slow and dramatic swings for actually useful blows and parries with a blade, but this is something that will take some time.
Weaknesses: predictably enough, negative emotions pack the most punch. Anger Three or push him over the edge, and you run the risk of seeing just how and why some Karthians have such an easy time at thinking themselves superior to the other sentient species currently found on Earth. Anastasius Romanov has gone on record for comparing Aidan to an infected Karthian harbouring enough emotional baggage to turn to the proverbial dark side. There's enough power slumbering in Drake to give even the last of the Russian Czars pause, and Anastasius has already stated how glad and lucky he is for Archie to have tailored his infection with the Crimson Spirit into a unanimously positive experience.

Being a human, Aidan doesn't have that luxury. His need for answers and vengeance could potentially poison his well, so to speak. Care will be needed to ensure that using Psi and TK techniques remains as positive (i.e. fun and rewarding) an experience as possible for the former soldier. Anybody could tell Three honestly means well, but absolute power does corrupt absolutely... Plenty of people have progressed along the path to power with the noblest of intentions, only to turn into complete monsters along the way. Aidan seems well aware of this fact – which is why he prefers to entirely avoid using and developing his abilities to begin with.

He has experience with stopping himself from making a bad call with a gun in hand, and he has enough self-control to handle everything from angry coworkers to suicide bombers threatening to pull the trigger. Asking him to stay frosty when a spike of righerous anger and a few sudden G-forces and Newtons applied to the jawbone could stand in for a sneaky uppercut is something else altogether.

It goes without mentioning that once his mental stamina is expended and his physical resources spent, Drake is as mortal as the next man. Finding and staying in the right emotional ballpark in order to try and sustain an effect or another takes some focus, and that in turn saps him of some stamina.

Appearance: people have this idea in mind when it comes to mentalists, telepaths or general users of telekinetics. Most of everyone in the last two hundred years has grown up with the image of the Russian expatriate with a bulbous head and a frail body, complete with a disproportionately large forehead, firmly stuck in their heads. Pop culture has crystallized mental abilities as being the stuff of nerds and general “brainiacs”, so Three, much like Aislinn and the admittedly dashing Anastasius all have had to put up with the image of the bespectacled youth flipping his lid and turning murderous at the prom dominating their upbringing as superhumans – at least in the last forty to fifty years. The Carrie trope is one that's hard to evacuate, with the end result being that people tend to be a little shocked when the latest coin-flipper and handless cardsharp turns out to be looking like a fairly normal young adult.

Three stands at five feet seven for a respectable hundred and twenty pounds, offering a physique that's plainly and simply healthy, without showing the marks and benefits of excessively focused training. Physically average in every way, he has the kind of face that tends not to stand out terribly in the crowd. Rounded features and an angular jaw and cheekbones tend to give an impression of vaguely Eurasian ancestry, when this is simply the case of the family's long-lost Norwegian ancestry (by way of rumored selkie blood) resurfacing. From Norway to the Orkneys to Britain and from there to America, his ancestors have left rather discreet markings that tend to fade out with the remainder of the locals. As such, Aidan looks a bit like a selkie – not a whole lot. He's lacking the V-shaped body lifelong expert swimmers have, and his hands, teeth and fingernails are assuredly human.

Despite his jarhead history, you won't find extensive clues to his enlistment in his wardrobe. He usually tends to go for jeans and tee-shirts, while he's still kept the uniform's combat boots and khakis as hiking gear. They're both reliable items he knows he can trust when he feels like going for a hillside bike ride on the forested side of Pickman's Sound, and these khakis having plenty of pockets is always something that comes in handy.

Before joining with Shield in a permanent position, he held an in-between job as a member of the city's gardening and landscaping team. Green overalls can sometimes be shucked on for construction work or anything that could require spending a lot of time working with soil.
Behaviour: prior to enlisting, Aidan was like most other young men who find themselves going through Basic training. A general lack of direction prevented him from exerting more than apathy towards most serious pursuits, and the prospect of finding a stern and solid frame of authority and purpose seemed like it would act like a decent surrogate for his lack of personal motivation. He wasn't a bad seed; simply fairly directionless.

Then came Twentynine Palms and a few years later, the Najeeban Massacre.

Now, the one the members of his squad in the Seventh Cavalry had taken to calling “Three” puts up a placid and friendly face; but digging a little reveals a wealth of questions, a deep well of anger and a considerable burden of grief. Instead of crushing him and making him despondent or depressive, this fairly noxious cocktail seems to act as a potent stimulant, hidden behind just about anything and everything he undertakes. Each and every day, he believes, he gets closer to finding out why his squad was ordered to patrol a ghost town in southern Afghanistan, and why he can't remember his first two weeks in Kabul.

Thankfully, those potentially worrying impulses are well kept in check. Three knows better than to expect immediate results, especially considering how he has no idea how to contact the CO for his squad at the time, and how the one he's taken to calling “Doctor X” has apparently vanished into thin air. In the meantime, he simply shunts what he'd like to use to dish out some angry questioning and a fairly solid dose of retribution into projects that are more immediately worthwhile, such as Shield.

Unfortunately, being a fair bit of a realist and having been brought up as a convinced and proud mundane, his newfound psionics and telekinetics aren't part of what he considers to be his tools of the trade. He exercises them only reluctantly, which perhaps explains why strong emotions like joy, anger, fear or elation are required for him to put together baseline-effective displays. Seeing as he performs sub-par without any serious stimulus, he believes, then why bother? He's already won marksmanship competitions and has already been made quartermaster for Holden Hall's stock of weaponry; why would he need to levitate a few heavy things in the air to begin with?

As for telepathy, isn't it a bit of a hassle to begin with? Radios exist, after all, and they're likely to be forced to rely on short-wave equipment so Archie can hear them if they're separated while out in the field. Considering, for all of Romanov's wonderment in the face of psionics or Sir Percival's insistence that something good will come out of his developing these abilities, he keeps doubting in them. A personable, generally cheerful if pragmatic sort, Aidan is very much from the stock of mundane folk who would rather “git 'er done”, to use a phrase, rather than bend the rules with powers, magic or supernatural abilities. While he's no bigot, his stint in the Army has forced him to rub elbows with fairly pretentious supes such as the government-appointed Alpha Squad. Being perceived as cannon fodder by a handful of self-infatuated superhuman morons definitely was one of the low points of his time spent in Bin Laden's former neighbourhood.

Above all, the grief he carries is directed towards one woman, Lance Corporal Carrie Silva. The fact that he specifically carries her dog tags with a black rubber frame for each is eloquent enough, in that mourning her seems to stand in for his carrying the blame for his entire squad's disappearance. Going back one year and finding hastily written opinion posts on message boards assuming that Drake is another one of those soldiers who snap once out in the frontlines and who go on a rampage is fairly common. He's made the headlines before already, and for all the wrong reasons.

In his mind's eye, Najeeban and Twentynine Palms are closely connected. Unfortunately, nobody's ever believed what he said about the ghost town being actually populated – and by locals so far gone some sort of odd collective delusion that they spent a day ambushing his squad and taking them out, one by one. No bodies were ever found, and Najeeban, once easily retraceable both on maps and online thanks to a massacre committed there by another American soldier a decade earlier, seems to have vanished altogether. No bodies have ever been recovered, and the only evidence against Drake rests on the fact that he walked back to the main outpost in Kandahar with nary a bloodstain. Discharged from the Army, he now has to live with the fact that plenty of people on both sides of the argument are going to assume he's a serial killer that's been allowed to roam free thanks to military technicalities. He himself would agree that only nuts and conspiracy theorists would believe what he's seen.

Rock-face cave networks that go nowhere and vanish behind you, the torsos of dead villagers stirring to life after a suicide bombing that bisected them, a hooded village elder with the ability to lift stones weighing several hundred pounds with his sheer mind, to throw them at his squad? How some of his squad members went insane after hearing the villagers bark at them in a language he'd never heard before?

How could anyone believe that?

It's hard, but he tries to keep going despite the fact that he bumps into hateful and judgmental sorts every single day. He keeps going despite the fact that his old boss from before his enlistment no longer wants to speak to him and has even gone so far as to declare him persona non grata in Centennial Park, as well as how most of his former high school buddies now consider him to be a weirdo at best, and a creep at worst. If soldiering on means finally getting around to being interested in his newfound abilities, then so be it. He has to work fairly hard to muster up positive enthusiasm regarding something which, he believes, is responsible for his fairly short stint.

He knows his parents won't ever reject or judge him, but it's getting hard for his sister not to rub it in playfully with casual callings of weirdo or freak. Not to mention that Sarah is off to potentially snag her Master's degree in Anthropology, while he has a few community college courses under his belt and a general skillset he'd almost kill to trade in for something less violent.

All told, he has moments where frustration piles up and mixes with a smidgen of anger – in which case those damned abilities he hasn't asked for are keyed on. Then he has to pick up all the papers and folders from the floor and generally clean up whatever mess his uncontrolled blast of kinetic force will have created. As long as he's kept motivated and involved, he's a nice enough sort to be around. Demean him or remind him of Najeeban in a tone that's anything else than sympathetic, and you're liable to turn a sporting mood into a round of stormy silence and serious efforts to drown out anger in a sudden peal of intense work.
Goals: to find out what the Hell happened after his briefing in that California office, who Doctor X is, and why Najeeban feels like the start of something bigger, as far as he's concerned. He'd also very much like to have his missing two weeks back. Realizing that something else hijacked his body for fourteen straight days and made him act with the congeniality and personality of a bookworm ice cube with an interest in the occult understandably troubles him. Having no inclinations towards the arcane arts, his rental history at Camp Performance comes across as being seriously troubling.

As far as he can tell, Shield seems like a good springboard for his own sleuthing. Initially, he isn't what you'd call the most altruistic sort and isn't entirely motivated to protect the city for selfless ends. While he does care on the base level (loss of life in any shape or form is something he feels should be avoided), he's especially interested in tapping into Lord Holden's new and old ressources to try and run his own parallel investigation.

History: born in 1998 to Gavin and Dawn Drake, Aidan seemed destined to a fairly uneventful life on all accounts. With a stable family unit of which the only crime was to be without outstanding abilities in a world where opportunities abounded for whoever could do a little more than the average man, he spent most of his childhood and adolescence relying on his basic physical capabilities as well as his smarts – generally culminating into a capable and well-adjusted young fellow.

The troubles truly begin in 2016, soon after his eighteenth birthday. In some ways, he'd later confess to having begun to feel tapped out by the school system, and needed a serious time off from classrooms. As he didn't know how to verbalize this back then, or even if he could, he vented his frustrations through escapism. Skipping classes, flunking tests, confronting his parents for every little thing while his baby sister looked up to him – he'd never entirely go past these fairly mild forms of belligerence, but the idea of their previously studious son no longer giving a damn was fairly troubling for the Drakes. Adolescent rebellion eventually set in with a considerable impact, one underage drinking binge being enough for Gavin to sternly, if gently request of Aidan that he straighten himself out.

Three years passed, during which their eldest child collected menial jobs and dithered around with career prospects. It was with almost palpable relief that Aidan welcomed Gavin's blessing, at his idea of enlisting. Maybe, Three hoped, he'd come out of it all with something more than his current sense of apathy. In some ways, it helped that the Drakes had an established service record, the family's earliest roots in America having always been involved in the community and country's defense in one form or another. Cops, soldiers, firefighters, federal agents – the Drakes have had a bit of everything in their family tree, which is both rather discreet in Hope and still somewhat influential : Gavin and Aidan's own grandfather, Michael, had been unlucky enough to be part of the local troops helping in the fight against Elysium.

By March 2019, Aidan had enlisted. Basic took three months, after which the training camp's officials gave out each rookie's posting. He'd applied in the Marines, but Aidan hadn't been expecting something quite like the Seventh Cavalry or a deployment to Twentynine Palms, California. As he was told, his test results had caught the eye of people of a certain level of influence in the country's defense, and he'd be further tested for further suitability. Aidan had applied for basic soldier's duty and for potential skipper charges aboard the USS Endurance – but whatever he'd done between DNA screening and Petri tests to determine his responsiveness to Karthian tech and general augmentation (routine stuff), the results had been enough to alter his set course.

The first few Californian days weren't exactly troubling. Twentynine was a US Navy base like so many others, in that it was impossible to not get the impression that it existed as a small village just short of the town proper. His future squadmates all seemed pleasant enough, if already pumped up and ready to deal with and dish out the borderline homophobic and xenophobic jokes that inevitably surfaced in a job like this. There wasn't any love but tough love, but it seemed as though a certain someone could be out to prove him otherwise...

Carrie Silva started out as a superior to Aidan whilst on American soil. Kabul saw their relationship soften and slacken, proper form and authority reserved for the right time slots, while something fairly strong and energetic began to take root between the two. After one year, Three would realize he'd fallen in love. The sentiment being mutual, they'd run afoul of Carrie's own supervisor a few times and spend some of their nights finding a suitably dark spot to spend time together, in complete violation of the stated fraternization rules.

Before Carrie, however, Drake would have to suffer amnesia. Once it came to his being assigned to a proper squad and sent off to be deployed, Aidan returned to his CO's office, only to find it deserted. Or so it seemed.

What follows is fairly hazy in Three's mind. He remembers a tall man with a slightly bulbous head and a curiously shaped beard. He remembers the labcoat the man wore, as well as the irrestible need to sleep that had followed.

According to the outside world, Aidan spent two weeks off the clock, only to awaken in one of Camp Performance's washrooms, in Kabul. Any other details he should be able to recall seem to be utterly gone. In their place, three new scars now adorn the base of his neck, around the back. Three parallel lines giving off the very palpable impression of having been cut open surgically... His fellow privates would go on to assume that his affected cold behaviour was his actual self, only for his emergence from a library washroom to mark a clean break with the previously weirdly bookish type they'd grown accustomed to.

What hadn't changed, however, was what he could do. It didn't take much for Aidan to understand that his mind had been expanded. Where most kids would have cheered, he was terrified. Fear, in turn, only served to heighten his panic-induced first few displays of telekinesis.

His years with the Lance Corporal were marked with forced registration and exploration of his abilities. Carrie would spend several hours with him each day, either helping him in his research or encouragingly coaxing him to push his TK further, harder.

Dust motes and toy cars turned into books and penholders. Wild and unpredictable telekinetic applications gained the barest levels of stability – in that he quickly stopped risking to harm others by improperly gauging his test throws and swats with these comparatively light objects. Tennis balls turned into rocks and grenades, and last-ditch planes of repulsive force turned into ethereal chest-high walls he sometimes managed to erect to protect himself – sometimes out in the open. As long as he was locked in an emotionally neutral status, his abilities remained largely harmless. Carrie soon found any and all excuses possible to push her lover's buttons in various ways, which confirmed her suspicions : Drake's TK was based on emotions in a somewhat partial manner. Entirely trusting his waking mind to move objects wasn't the best way to obtain results.

Then came Najeeban. The town had already been deserted in 2012, following the unmotivated rampage of a lone American soldier. It had remained a ghost town for the years that had followed, but information had leaked concerning a new cell taking root in some of the abandoned buildings. Before more bombings could be carried out on the road between Kabul and Kandahar, Aidan and the rest of his squad – Carrie included – were ordered to perform a sweep-and-clear.

Najeeban turned out to be a waking nightmare. The squad was ambushed with men clearly stricken with some form of debilitating and violent mental illness, with some of them led by curiously hooded men. While gunfire was exchanged, the most of what transpired had nothing to do with what Aidan had been trained for. Fear pushed him to call upon his abilities like never before, but it wasn't enough. Some of the attackers died, most of Drake's comrades simply disappeared in the surrounding hills, most of them carved up into an intricate array of shallow tunnels and caves.

Returning home to Kandahar and with nothing but a shell-shocked man's tale to tell, he was put out of commission and flown back to America. The year was 2024. An investigation committee was put together and the recordings of his suit's integrated blackbox features reviewed before USMC brass. Try as they might, they couldn't pin the Massacre of Najeeban on anything conclusive. There wasn't any proof against Drake, there wasn't any proof against Kabul or Kandahar residents either. Najeeban had always been deserted, as far as official intel was concerned. On paper, Aidan Drake was now largely considered a would-be serial killer who'd skipped proper retribution thanks to horribly convenient omissions of evidence. Not exactly shamed but neither welcomed home, Aidan was plainly and simply discharged, with no allegations of misconduct stuck to his record. The dishonorable end Carrie's relatives had been wishing for him didn't materialize, all the parties involved left to leave the table empty-handed.

Returning to Hope felt like a bit of a shock. The Herald carried a fairly objective view of the situation, while the Clarion was quick to label Aidan as a dangerous man. Everyone was free to make up their mind, of course, and Aidan couldn't do much more than sit back and watch it happen. Job prospects appeared, others vanished, and Three seemingly returned to what he'd left behind before joining up, which is a string of menial jobs that barely last a few weeks. While his old partner Gus from his landscaping days appears to be more than willing to give the young man a second chance, their common boss wants nothing of it.

Shield comes into Aidan's life just as he's beginning to grow fairly desperate for some sort of situation, for a decent place in town and a steady stream of cash. Cherry-picked by Wallace Doherty, he finds himself a little too impressed by the local power players and their apparent agenda for some of the city's superhuman and supernatural residents...
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