Steve Coops

The Drone Lords


Left-Right: Dawson, O’Connell, Barber and Edwards (Behind – Archangel, Ripper, Reaper and Warbug)

The Drone Lords refer to a group of four massive biped robots and their pilots who work for the villain known as the Mechaniac.
Neutralising the group has proved nigh on impossible since the robots can be replaced and that means CLEA’s efforts has been to find and stop their pilots. As one of the most dangerous criminal groups the world has seen few know that the Drone Lords were all once highly decorated CLEA officers and they serve as an example of just how dangerous the Mechaniac can be if backed into a corner.


Asset of:

Group Identities:

  • Reaper (pilot Zoey Barber)
  • Archangel (pilot Cleavant Dawson)
  • Ripper (pilot Siobahn O’Connell)
  • Warbug (pilot Liam Edwards)

CLEA Classification:

  • Robots (all members of the team)

Special Skills and/or Abilities:

  • Unlike with other combatants criminal or vigilante because the the four pilots of the robots are well away from the “battlefield” they cannot be harmed.
  • All the robots are equipped with a self destruct to prevent them being reverse engineered if disabled.
    Though no exact specs are known each robot is capable of exerting massive force and few humans (Alphas or otherwise) can survive taking them on directly.
  • Each robot is equipped with an energy weapon that is believed to generate an intense focussed heat blast that can obliterate anything in their way.
  • By using human brains for controlling their systems the robots are no easily outsmarted as the four pilots were originally trained as a unit and know how to act as a team.
  • Ripper is the smallest robot (albeit still taller than the average human by two feet). Its the fastest of the group and designed to get in and out fast and take care of agile enemies the larger robots cannot deal with.
  • Archangel is one of the larger biped robots. It has large wings so is more mobile than the other robots and has the greatest lifting capacity so it can not only move itself but also Warbug.
  • Reaper is the other large biped robot. Like Archangel it has wings but less lifting capacity, capable of moving itself and Ripper. Despite the reduced capacity to move “cargo” it is more agile than Archangel and effective aerial combatant.
  • Warbug is a large quadruped weapons platform.. Using its legs it can climb over rough terrain and scale vertical walls. Of the four robots Warbug has the largest most devastating energy weapons.


  • The robots can be stopped is by finding the frequency(s) of the data link that connects them to their pilot  The robots will automatically return to base when a link is severed.
  • Theoretically CLEA intel believes if the human pilots are found and removed from their chambers the robots will shut down without returning to base. However so far nobody has found the pilots when the Drone Lords are active in order to test the theory.
  • Strong EM weapons can damage the robot systems.

Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:

  • Destruction of property
  • Terrorism
  • Homicide/Attempted homicide
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Kidnapping


After the Mechaniac pulled off a number of “demonstrations” of his power he became a top priority for every civilised law enforcement agency around the world. The carnage he created was little more than publicity stunts to sell his automaton weapons to shady powerful characters around the world that needed their own private army as well as proof the technology worked. With so many agencies chasing the same person CLEA stood back rather than have operatives get caught up in what looked certain to be a political nightmare.
Then came the incident at the Wyvern Tower, where CLEA personnel had been killed. No longer able to stand back the chiefs voted unanimously for the agency to join in on the manhunt.

Whether it was arrogance on the part of senior staff or an error in intelligence, when CLEA located the Mechaniac the analysts suggested a small strike team might have a better chance of infiltrating his compound and taking the man by surprise rather than assembling a big task force.
Several operations by other agencies had previously located the Mechaniac before and failed with surgical strikes, resulting in many casualties and deaths (see CLARA), but CLEA chief Mia Rojas though this was the best plan.

She therefore arranged for the Special Team “Tornado” to go in and neutralise the compound and capture the villain. The Mechaniac was not one to be caught with his pants down and as soon as the team sneaked in, his robotic guards powered up and Tornado was cut to shreds. Mia ordered the team to pull back as soon as she noticed the helmet cameras displays going dark but her orders may never have been received.

The South American chief sent in a drone to survey the area and look for survivors but the pictures she got only showed dead bodies everywhere and she then had the unpleasant task of informing the other CLEA chiefs that Tornado had been lost.

What she did not know was that four members of the team, Zoey, Siobahn, Cleavant and Liam did survive to attack and had made it into the main building. Drones here captured them and the Mechaniac decided to imprison the four until he reached a decision about their fate.

Knowing his location had been compromised he immediately closed his operation down and within a day he was already on his way to a new location, this time in a remote area of Central America. Though he had the option to kill the four and be rid of them he thought they might be a useful bargaining piece and consequently he took the prisoners with him.

After setting up his new base, he set about learning how much CLEA knew about him. Naturally the four officers refused to co-operate and so began months of torture. They resisted so the Mechaniac employed psychological torture. He began putting holes in security so they escape only to be recaptured. That move sapped their morale but they still would not talk.

As the time passed the four began to get more desperate and when the Mechanic sensed they were at breaking point he played his ace in the hole, he allowed the four to make contact with CLEA and offered their release in exchange for a large cash sum.
CLEA would not of course pay for hostages for much the same reasons why no government would be held for ransom under the same circumstances. The Mechaniac anticipated this response and the four felt they had been abandoned. If they had been of sound minds they would have expected it themselves and know CLEA would work to release them, but the four had been tortured for so long they were no longer able to think rationally so hearing CLEA stating it would not pay finally broke them.

They told him everything but what intel they had was of no use because it was very much old news to the Mechaniac. Instead he had new plans for Zoey and the others. He switched tactics and began treating them nicely whilst fuelling their negative thoughts towards CLEA.
Then once he’d thoroughly brain washed them, he suggested a way in which they could get their revenge on the people that “had cast them aside.” He then showed them four huge drones he had been building.

He proposed to hook each of them up to an interface housed inside a pod and once “installed” they could control the drones as if they were their own bodies. For the human mind to fully engage with the artificial mechanism they would have to be in a comatose state similar to sleeping hence the need of the pods which would also take care of their bodily functions over extended periods of time. Though their human bodies would be vulnerable the Mechaniac reassured them that since only their brain patterns would be sent to the drones, they would never be in any actual physical danger. The Mechaniac even added that he had used a prototype interface when he had wanted to observe one of his own public displays so he knew the technology worked.

Despite having won the four of them over they were curious why he needed them when his sophisticated machines would be better. The Mechaniac them explained that whilst they were correct in their generalisation of his robots, they lacked one major problem in that they could only be programmed to do specific tasks, such as holding an area, hunting for people or objects or creating defensive perimeter. He however wanted them to steal for him and bring terror to his enemies, all of which needed the creative thinking of a human mind because the situations they encountered might suddenly change and a robot would not be able to adapt. He did admit that whilst their bodies would be safe inside the pods there was a small risk that someone might tracks the data links back to their source but did not really see that a problem providing the pods were housed in a secure location within range of their drone’s targets.

Zoey wondered why they could not use a satellite relay for a bigger range but the Mechaniac said that satellite links were not always stable and they could be jammed easily, whereas his transmitting units were practically invulnerable because to jam them would cause every single radio network between the pods and the drones to shut down which he believed nobody in “power” would agree to. Therefore the only way to stop the drones would be by somebody finding them as per his earlier warning. Despite the possibility of getting caught the four agreed to work for him since he had done his brainwashing so brilliantly the ex-agents had an immense amount of hatred for their previous employer.

The first time the drones appeared they performed a raid on a refinery where they stole a vast quantity of rare metals for the Mechaniac. When they appeared next they attacked a CLEA facility as the Mechaniac wanted to test their combat capabilities. Their result did not disappoint him and that led him to use the “Drone Lords” used as mechanical mercenaries as another means to add to his illicit income which he used to create more robots and more weapons. On the odd occasion when he felt a need to put in a personal appearance the Mechaniac would also occasionally use the Drone Lords for extra firepower.

Following the Drone Lords random appearances, CLEA agents and special assets have managed to learn the identities of whom is controlling the robots and when that information came to light it became one of the darkest days for the agency.