Duke of Drones
The Duke of Drones is a gentleman-vigilante who uses dieseltech drones, gear-grinding, subtle entry techniques, and high explosives to extort criminals. He delivers the proceeds of these heists to the needy of the Commonwealth of C. The Duke's most famous exploit is his remote execution of Gordon Druce, a man later revealed to be the infamous serial murderer known as the Midnight Griller.
Apparel & Accessories
On most missions away from his command center, the Duke maintains a mundane style of dress, disguising his identity beneath a veil of normalcy.
The Duke of Drones is best known for his 'Squires,' a wide variety of remote-controlled, semi-autonomous, or fully-autonomous drones. The Duke's 'command center' is small, dimly-lit room beneath Bouchard's warehouse home where large bank of dieseltech computer equipment used for encrypted RadNet access lies. A map table in the center of this small room is strung overhead with a series of mechanical linkages holding location markers which, when combined with information from his drones' equipment (altimeters, microphones, air speed meters, etc), allows the Duke to see where his Squires are without having to actually appear in person. A bank of standard radios allow the Duke to listen in to local Guild Gazette bulletins, as well as police and military radio frequencies, to further his operational awareness. Even with his command center, the Duke sometimes does have to manage drones from a closer vantage point. Usually, this means that the Duke must arrange to be in the place for some mundane reason or, barring that, must use his skills at non-destructive entry to gain access to somewhere high up and (sometimes) with access to external power sources. To facilitate these deeds, the Duke carries numerous lockpicks, Ring0s, door jammers, and small pyrotechnic devices secreted about his body beneath his trenchcoat. He carries a leather carrying bag which, among other things, contains whatever remote controls, spare batteries, and optical devices requried to carry out the mission from as great a distance as possible. As soon as he finishes or the automation of his drones can finish the task at hand, the Duke then slips off into the night, often dropping by a bar or otherwise making a big show of being out in public when his vigilante crimes are supposed to have occured.
The Duke of Drones is a manifestation of Sigmund Bouchard's distaste for the sorts of bullies he encountered in his educational and professional spheres. Even so, it took a particularly heinous act of violence to push his covert activites from merely making bureaucratic trouble for criminals through his work with the Parliament to actual vigilante justice. The widely-publicized death of a Sorority of Solace nurse at the hands of the Midnight Griller shocked the Coalition, Bouchard included. Even so, Bouchard knew better than most that even the Commonwealth, with it's much-flaunted 'machine-augmented governance, had no real leads on the Midnight Griller's identity. He decided then and there that something had to be done, and he knew that someone like the Midnight Griller might have a bully's fragile ego. It was in this milieu that the 'Duke of Drones' moved from a vaguely humorous gear-grinder's pseudonym into a full-blown machine-based vigilante.
Notably, though the Duke of Drones is no stranger to giving threats of impending violence to force criminals' compliance, Gordon Druce remains his only kill made not in the immediate defense of someone else. This act shook the vigilante to his core, leading to a drop in his covert activities soon thereafter.
In contrast to his mundane alter-ego, the Duke of Drones is a mysterious, charming gentleman with a flair for dramatic speeches in semi-poetic verse - usually delivered via public media outlets (such as Commonwealth Caller personal adds), radio signal intrusions, or via remote speaker on one of his nearby Squires. The Duke generally makes his physical presence known only after-the-fact, leaving calling cards emblazoned with his personal logo at the sites of his various crimes against other criminals. Bouchard's deep access to restricted government information lends the Duke an air of 'omnipresence' among white-collar criminals, as he has often chosen to humiliate these individuals through shows of reach (i.e. calling cards left tucked into their mailboxes or sudden dieseltech computer anomalies at their banking institutions) rather than direct shows of force. If a chosen target has a violent or victimizing nature, however, the Duke will usually chose to apply a degree of coercion through the implication of distant sniper's scope or nearby explosive device (i.e. attached to the envelope of the target's airship) - again, always acting from long distances through Squire drones. In any case, the target will be told that they must abandon their ill-gotten gains somewhere where either the public can retrieve it or, alternatively, where the Duke can distribute it remotely; this is often accompanied with exhortations to abandon the criminal life, though this often goes unheeded.
Sigmund BouchardMundane Alter Ego
Towards Duke of Drones
Duke of DronesVigilante Alter Ego
Towards Sigmund Bouchard
On many levels, the Duke of Drones represents everything that Sigmund cannot have for himself - both out of personal traits and out of a desire to keep himself away from suspicion. The Duke is suave, wealthy, mysterious, and has a wicked charisma to him; Sigmund is weasly, scrawny, and laughed at by most women. Even so, Sigmund keeps his head held high, as being The Duke of Drones allows him to fight injustice while displaying the one trait both the fictitious and real man share: an incredible talent with dieseltech computers and devices, especially those with radio control.
Circumstances of Birth
Created by Sigmund Bouchard as an alter ego
Bright brown (assumed)
Shiny black, short (assumed)
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
I love the name. Such an interesting vigilante, though it sounds like he has a lot of inner conflict.