From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Real Name:||Damien Merlot|
|Hair Color:||Raven Black|
|Occupation:||Hit-man, Covert Agent|
|Place of Birth:||Classified|
|Base of Operations:||The Rogue Isles|
|Martial Arts, Military Training, Stealth Techniques|
|Shuriken, Caltrops, Stealth Device, Piston Boots|
|No additional information available.|
The Makings of a Man
Born with various psychic gifts, Damien spent his youth eagerly seeking opportunities to push himself and hone his power. He quickly developed a competitive streak and a no-holds-barred attitude, devoting himself just as much to achieving peak physique as perfecting his mutation. Naturally, this caught the attention of the army at his school. Believing they would provide him with exactly the setting he needed to further evolve, Damien enlisted -- only to quickly find that the military’s rigid structure and dependence on hierarchy only stifled his growth.
All this changed when the Rikti appeared. The chaos of their invasion, and the bloody war that followed, afforded Damien with an excellent cover to slip away from his army life. The military, his relatives, and all past relations believed he died in action and left no body to bury. But very much alive, and now liberated from societal restraint, Damien slipped into the criminal underworld, seeking a life without limits and full of spoils waiting for gifted men like him to reap them.
Taking advantage of his powers, Damien found success in reading the minds of gangsters and planting ideas into the subconscious of mob thugs. But combining his telepathy and telekinesis with his military training revealed his true calling: he was a deadly and efficient killer. For the nearly two decades that followed, Damien accepted jobs as a mercenary hit-man, covert operative, and information broker. Entities like Malta and Crey relied on him to deliver results with brutal efficiency. All contacts interacted with him using falsified personas and titles to keep their employers’ identities hidden, yet Damien unearthed them with enough diligent digging.
During this period, Damien’s life underwent its most significant changes. His hits on high profile targets, such as business executives and even politicians, yielded lucrative rewards. Occasionally, he assassinated other powered individuals like himself -- he assumed these jobs came from an association linked to the Malta Group, who in the short term subdued their disgust with his latent gifts enough to instead put them to their own use in removing other high profile targets.
Despite how keeping to the shadows aided his cause, some of Damien’s work inevitably drew attention. The more his reputation rose within the criminal community, so to did the profile of his targets -- and thus the publicity of his work. In order to adapt to this rising “stardom”, Damien officially donned a villain’s costume -- adding a special mask and cape to his military armor and vestments -- and full-time assumed the moniker he undertook with his employers: Dead Drop.
The theatrics and new publicity of this persona influenced how Damien carried himself. While still a zealous pursuer of strength and challenge, he started to ease his perspective on everything else. While his performance remained consistently reliable, he carried out his hits with a more carefree and laissez-faire attitude. When not working, he treated much of his problems in the same vein, refusing to “sweat the small stuff”, and focused on his enjoyment of the moment. He began more heavily enjoying vices. Off the clock, drinking, gambling, and sex filled his life, and the small fortune he accumulated from his jobs gave him a considerable safety cushion to fall back on, should he stumble.
By his late thirties, Dead Drop had melded the voracious appetite of his younger self with the pleasure seeking, laidback style of his older self to become possibly one of the most dangerous hedonists in the United States. But this period of paradise would soon end. One night, Damien met with an indirect associate of the Crey Corporation, codename “Larry Strikes”. A superhero known as Eagleheart planned to hold a press conference in Founder’s Falls the next day. Larry’s employers wanted him taken out in retaliation for disrupting Crey operations. Relishing the chance to assassinate a cape in broad daylight and make off with another hefty payday, Damien accepted the hit -- by his hand, Eagleheart’s next day would be his last.
May 13th: the next morning. Reporters gathered near the university in Founder’s Fall for Eagleheart’s appearance. Ascending a distant building and armed with a powerful sniper rifle, Damien got into position. He had a lovely view of the campus, and a clear shot at the podium where Eagleheart would speak. But the hero never arrived. Damien kept his eye fixed down the scope for what felt like an eternity, yet the caped crusader never appeared. Five minutes … ten minutes … fifteen minutes passed before a thought wracked his brain -- what if Eagleheart never intended to come? What if the superpowered target was someone else -- him.
Damien recognized the trap too slowly. He barely managed to pack his equipment and start his descent down the staircase before SWAT teams converged on his building. Ill prepared to fight through the men, he scrambled toward the roof. He prepared to grapple to an adjacent ledge -- but, finally, Eagleheart appeared, hovering just in front of Damien’s planned trajectory. He landed atop the ledge before Damien could leap, and their fight began. For all of Eagleheart’s brute strength, he lacked safeguards from Damien’s mental assault. But he had numbers, and it only took a few minutes before SWAT reached the two combatants. The fight would end with Eagleheart limping away and Damien in custody.
The authorities never figured out Dead Drop’s true identity. The man before them had aged considerably since his enlistment and supposed demise in the First Rikti War. By then, they viewed Dead Drop less as a typical criminal and more as a superpowered terrorist threat. Thus, he deserved no better place for a new home than the Ziggurat.
To the Isles
Damien had plenty of time to brood over his capture and betrayal within the confines of the Zig. He quickly established himself as a man best left alone after breaking the jaw and limbs of several inmates who thought to haze him shortly after his imprisonment. Behind bars, he worked over the set-up in his head, playing through the scenario on repeat. Did Crey set him up? What role did the hero play in the plot? Who actually tipped off the police? Could this have been the Malta Group erasing a potential loose end, or did a relative of a past score dig up enough dirt to trap him?
While Damien still had a long time to go before obtaining the answers he sought, opportunity nonetheless presented itself through a generous Arachnos jailbreak. Upon arriving in the Rogue Isles, he planned to continue his hedonistic lifestyle, but with one important caveat -- he had to get revenge. None of life’s pleasures would taste the same as long as the bitterness of treachery lingered. Thus, as Damien gauged Arachnos’ iron grip on the Isles and began moving up its hierarchy, he simultaneously started his investigation into possible suspects.
The spiders were not the only organization that took an interest in Damien’s development. Not long after his life in the Isles began, Dead Drop met an interesting character (to say the least) -- a Czechian Doctor, a brain and lidless eyes in a jar who styled himself Dr. Pain. He proclaimed he sought to rid the world of all pain, and feverishly studied all possible methods to achieve this goal. Though understandably taken aback in his first impressions of the man, Damien eventually took a liking to the doctor after partnering with him and his trained mercenaries in the field. Not long after, he received an offer to join a secretive collection of like-minded rogues: The Conclave.
Initially, Damien held the rank of agent within the organization -- just one of many spread across the Isles. He fought alongside a wide variety of eccentric individuals and, although he respected much of their strength, he clashed with their mindsets and different personalities. He flirted with many of its female members and pushed others’ buttons for his amusement, often pitting himself against his more rigid colleagues. Despite this, he would eventually forge a comradery among many of his fellow agents, and soon enough their club-front on Mercy Island, Firavel’s, became his second home.
(More coming soon)
Damien's actions and decisions fall within the Neutral Evil alignment.
Damien always maintained a healthy skepticism, but being set up has only amplified his distrust of others. However, he doesn't lack respect towards those he believes have earned it -- usually through displays of strength. He also appreciates when others give into their selfish impulses, or act hedonistically, as Damien can strongly relate.
His experiences have left him without a strong moral compass, so he enjoys dark humor and is overly sarcastic. Despite the dangers, failings, and trials he's endured, Damien still seeks thrills. Each fight is a chance to test his limits. He's convinced that, overall, life is a never-ending pursuit of strength, and he harbors a rather Machiavellian worldview:
- Might makes right, and strength dictates agency.
- The individual matters more than the group. Those sacrificing themselves for the greater good get tread upon.
- Do what makes you happy, and damn everything else.
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