At least some of the events that gave rise to the stories of the Dragonslayers involved Equalizer, a secret group in the American Marines that killed rampaging mutants. Erik Mahren was part of that group before he came to Whateley Academy, and he later wrote a simulation based on them called the Dragonslayers that is one of the most brutal exercises a student can get.
Several of the surviving Dragonslayers are living in New York, hanging out and doing parkour together. They are involved with the Bad Seeds' troubles around Christmas 2006.
- This article was written by Joe Gunnarson and published in the Crystal Hall Forums, Canon Material: Dragonslayers. Simulation information from stories written by J.G.
In the modern day battlefield there are truly few things more terrifying for an infantry trooper of any nation than to be faced with tanks. They come fast, hard and by and large cannot be stopped by the light and even heavy weapons commonly used by the infantry, forcing the few who can resist the instinctive terror to adapt and improvise to the situation. Military history is rife with stories of small groups of men rallying to take the fight to a tank, separating it from infantry escort and killing it, commonly referred to as a game of "Kick the Can." Few soldiers can muster the nerve to square off with a sixty-plus ton machine that wades through the thickest gunfire like a duck in the rain.
There is one thing that beats tanks out for sheer terror factor on the battlefield, and that would be the presence of mutants in military, terrorist and guerrilla forces. Mutants, while often seemingly human can do things unsupported that no normal infantryman, or even tank crew are capable of, such as shrugging off withering fire from heavy weapons, controlling the minds of entire platoons at a time, burning a tank or attack plane to slag without weapons, or even build and operate a dizzying array of weapons and armor generations, if not centuries beyond the capabilities of modern science. One mutant, if powerful enough, is capable of turning the tide of battle by being a demoralizing factor, even more so than a destructive one. Fewer men are willing to stand against such individuals than would against an obviously superior modern army force. Fewer still have the quick-thinking savvy and skill to actually defeat such lethal opponents.
Standard responses to mutants in battlefield situations by governments tend to run in four directions: Heavy troop mobilization, specially designed equipment, Super-soldier projects and the maintenance of a mutant combat force to support baseline troops in the field. Of all four methods, the maintenance of Mutant Combat Troops, usually designated as Elite units, is the most cost-effective in terms of both resources and personnel. Heavy troop movements against mutants almost invariably result in a withering casualty count among the baseline troops, with no guarantee that the target will be taken down. Specialized equipment is usually experimental, buggy and inordinately expensive, and the cost of anti-mutant combat gear will often cost more to equip a squad than it would cost to feed an entire battalion of infantry for a year. Super-soldier projects are unreliable, have frequent side-effects, the most common of which is insanity, and a high fatality rate among the test subjects and even the volunteers once the techniques are "perfected." Once again the cost for such projects is exorbitant and very often not worth the billions it takes to fund them.
The Second Marine Regiment, and later Fleet Marine Force commanders had none of the prior advantages mentioned. Instead they had the Dragonslayers.
Still an unconfirmed rumor to the public, the Dragonslayers are reviled as neo-fascist murderers by the civilian mutant community, and lauded as heroes by Humans First! (the Dragonslayers do NOT like that they are considered heroes by the H1 crowd). The government still denies they exist, and though the group has been officially (and secretly) disbanded and discharged from military service, the name is attributed to any spectacular killing of a dangerous mutant without evidence of actual powers, and with evidence of military-style tactical violence.
The rumors are rampant, whether they are still active, whether they all died to a hero group who'd had enough, or whatnot. The conspiracy theorists have a field day with it, and the deliberate disinformation sown by marines who'd had their asses pulled out of the fire only muddied the waters. The rumors of who, or what the Dragonslayers are runs the gamut of rumors from mutants who hate their own kind, to a super-soldier project that worked, to an elite group of personnel tapped directly from the best of the best in spec ops around the U.S. The truth is nothing so glamorous and would disappoint damned near anyone who heard what their origin was.
In truth, the dragonslayers are a seven-man group pulled from two separate teams in their Battalion. The original first team is a Battalion Recon team (no, not Marine Force Recon) that has always operated using irregular tactics, just to throw off anyone trying to track them. The original second team is a line-grunt Machinegun team from a rifle company. These seven men were to form the core of what would later become known as the Dragonslayers. Working on odd recon/destroy jobs that the US government wanted kept quiet, the Dragonslayers were underequipped, undermanned and operating on short rations and prayer for their first year, in which they had the foul luck to encounter, engage and kill five known mutants and one random rager, operating on insane tactics, unconventional warfare, and even by hijacking foreign armored vehicles to complete their missions.
By the end of their first year they had been reassigned to regimental command, then Fleet Marine Force and sent back to the states for R&R, replacements and training. Of the original seven men, only four were left alive, and those four would continue to be the only four survivors throughout the casualty count of the Dragonslayers' career until the very end. The R&R was cut short as the team was re-equipped and fast-dropped into every major shithole known to man for the next two years as the Marine Corps' experimental anti-mutant tactical group, with an eye to open the group up to train more groups. In the end, the project was scrubbed because of two factors.
- The Marine Corps did not wish to gain the image of carrying out genocide against mutants, whom the Government would love to see more of in the Armed Services.
- Prolonged exposure to the stresses of combating severely overpowered enemies began to take its toll on the sanity of the marines. Prolonged "Tank Shock" effects stacked up to cause odd mental aberrations such as Worm's Death Wish, or Hijacker's Triggered Sociopathic responses.
From 1996 to 2000 the Dragonslayers racked up an impressive body count of 32 confirmed mutant threat kills, and three incidental mutant kills (for which each one fervently prays for forgiveness from God someday) as well as a host of baseline troops and millions of dollars in weapons and vehicles during the execution of their missions. Unfortunately the team went through over fifty replacement Marines who were killed or too wounded to continue service after the missions, leaving them to "break in" new personnel, who had a life-expectancy of mere minutes once the fights began in earnest. As a result new personnel who had not survived at least two successful engagements against mutant enemies were referred to as "Dragon Food" or "Kibble" by the four veteran members.
Identifying marks of the Dragonslayers are the tattoos universally found on the right arm of any team member who has survived the aforementioned two engagements, and displays a scene depicting St. George's victory in slaying a dragon. Below the tattoo is the Dragonslayer's codename. The other is the gold Medallion of St. George each member, even the fresh meat, wear at all times. When a member dies the team will go to nigh insane lengths to retrieve the medallions if nothing else.
The Dragonslayer Team has no formal organization in fact, (despite what military records may say) as the surviving team members have learned to feel out what the others are going to do even before the others realize it. They worked together, fought together and played together. The end result was one of the most tightly-knit groups in the military, where within the team rank meant less than whether or not you had what it takes. In 2006 the team is scattered along the Eastern US seaboard, trying to make ends meet with their jobs and avoid the public eye (or the discovery of who they are by more militant groups such as Humanity First! or Evolution Rocks!) The members of the team want nothing so much as to get on with their lives, collect their generous (not) medical disability pay, and try to forge real lives after being in hell one too many times.
They remain in loose contact, and each has sworn that if another Dragonslayer needs assistance they will all come running with money and aid, or guns blazing, whichever seems more apropos.
The Dragonslayers have absconded with quite a bit of hardware from both the US Military and foreign troops and stashed it in varying points around their places of living and/or business. They have a full infantry field kit, rifle, and a large stash of ammunition and ordinance to play with, and Hijacker, Heckel and Jeckel all have heavy weapons stashed "just in case." They do not have access to Ultra-high-tech gear or even new gear, but they make do.
Excerpted from team dossier held by the Syndicate. Status: Watch, but do not interfere.
Sergeant Byron WhiteEdit
Sergeant Byron White: AKA "Worm" (Original surviving member) Currently in New York, working as a VA Hospital administrator for the psychiatric ward
Sergeant White is the (according to Marine records) leader of the Dragonslayers Team. At 5'8" he is hardly the most impressive African-American man in the world, but he is intense and has the Devil's own luck. Byron is the Dragonslayer's "Bait" man, being the poor bastard to lure the team's targets into ambushes, boobytraps and kill zones. He is extremely edgy, but thoroughly fearless, often taking unnecessary risks, and doing things that are completely insane by any standard. He once jumped out of a helicopter armed only with a machete when a cocky flyer got too close to the vehicle before burning the crew from the inside. He killed the enemy in freefall from 10,000 feet, only barely managing to get the chute open before impacting with the ground. He has been diagnosed with a disorder commonly known as a "Death Wish" throwing himself heedlessly into a bad situation regardless of how stupid or suicidal it may be.
Lance Corporals Michael and Edward SamsonEdit
Heckel and Jeckel were the only two mutants in the Dragonslayer Team. Each was only an Exemplar 1 according to their MCO cards, hardly enough to warrant turning them over to one of the Mutant Teams the Marines maintain. The two are incorrigible pranksters, always looking for an angle to get under someone's skin. They were two of the original "Second Team" of Heavy Machinegunners who wound up operating just about every piece of heavy ordinance the Marines had at one point or another during their time in the Corps. Both men are identical twins, and to this day only Worm and Hijacker can tell them apart. A side effect of their mutation is a power they hid from the MCO and recruiters. Each is aware of what the other is seeing at all times, forming a more complete picture of what is going on. Do not ask how we learned this. The two are inseparable. Both are married, and Jeckel has two kids.
Corporal Erik MahrenEdit
Corporal Erik Mahren: AKA Hijacker (Original surviving member) Currently missing, last seen at Whateley Academy as a Range Instructor, interrogation of Tiger Guards indicates he participated in an active fashion during that Halloween debacle. High probability he left Whateley to hunt down Terror in retaliation for the death of another range instructor.
Hijacker lived up to his code name in the dragonslayer by having a knack for co-opting any weapons, equipment and vehicles he could lay hands on. (WARNING! This includes Devisor gear that usually only works for the devisor) Beyond the previously known issues Erik was diagnosed with severe Emotional Suppressive problems, manifesting in a tendency to shut down on any conscious, emotional level and effectively "go berserk" due to a chemical imbalance in his brain brought about by combat stress. The rest of the Dragonslayers are debating whether to investigate his sudden silence and attempt to retrieve his Medallion of Saint George.
Sergeant Martin RockhamEdit
Sergeant Martin Rockham: AKA God's Messenger, Currently working for a mobile wireless company in North Carolina
Rockham is the longest surviving "Dragon Food" of the team, having survived four full engagements. He is a communications expert and specializes in Hand-to-hand combat and fencing, skills which he has passed on to all of the Dragonslayers as much as he can. His threat index is somewhat higher than the other two newcomers, but significantly lower than the original four. Personality is friendly, open and outgoing. As he does not have the prolonged exposure to antimutant combat, he is more or less normal, save for a tendency to avoid contact with mutants at all times. While he would be considered a candidate by Humans First! he is notorious for engineering all manner of "system failures" for any member of the organization he can get away with.
Lieutenant Cameron DominguezEdit
Lieutenant Cameron Dominguez: AKA Lieutenant Dom! Currently working as a security consultant for Maddox International Parcel Service in Manhattan
The freshest meat in the Dragonslayers, by all accounts Lieutenant Dominguez adapted quickly to the unorthodox team, which earned him points, but as he was an officer they could not call him Kibble without being disrespectful openly, so they referred to him as Lieutenant Dom! in their best Forrest Gump voices. He took on the moniker when he survived his second Engagement. Known to be a calm and composed operator, he is the least familiar with his team and thusly the most easily separated and isolated, not having picked up on the body language cues of Worm, Heckel, Jeckel and Hijacker. Specialist with demolitions, the rumor is this guy could find a way to make Play-doh explode. Do not allow him prep time.
Private Jerry MendezEdit
Private Jerry Mendez: AKA Prison Bitch (Prison for short) Currently under House Arrest on suspicion of breaking and entering, fraud and other petty crimes in the state of Massachusetts.
Jerry Mendez is a small-time crook with an eye for the next scam. He also has a good eye for where "things and stuff" as he puts it, can be bought. Well-connected but mildly incompetent, Mendez has served several sentences in a penal platoon before being sent to the Dragonslayers because of his skill with a sniper rifle. He has only one more survived engagement than Dominguez, putting him at three. He is a hardened criminal, which may make him somewhat pliable when approached correctly.
Notable Allies: None. (Author's note: Carson knows about them, and Gunnery Sergeant Bardue is aware that something was up with these guys. It was the leverage that got Erik Mahren the job at Whateley in the first place) The existence of the Dragonslayers is officially denied by the Marine Corps, and if these men expose themselves, the hostile backlash could get them killed in rapid order by angry mutants. Anyone who would want to recruit them would be considered with hostility as psychological analysis indicates a healthy respect for mutant powers, but no fear or hatred. Humanity First! isn't going to like any of them.
Final notes: Do not provoke this group. While it would be easy to expose this group to the mutant community there is no reason to unless they become interested in Syndicate affairs. As said, do not provoke them to becoming interested or let Deathlist or that twisted kid of his get this file: They wouldn't be able to resist provoking them just for the joy of hunting them.
(Last note) Someone sent this file to Terror while the tracers were down. We don't know who did it. Deathlist is still MIA and presumed dead. Be ready for damage control in case this backfires on us.
Former Members Edit
The above team exist as a simulation scenario at Whateley Academy, typically run as a group a given person has to face solo and is considered one of the toughest one possible. The bots are programmed with better-than average AI than normal (with input from Erik Mahren), complete with strengths and weaknesses, and are set at low to mid level Exempler Three. The bot codenames are:
- Hook (real person: Worm)
- Devil’s Envoy (God's Messenger)
- Major Screwup (Lieutenant Dom)
- House Arrest (Prison Bitch)
- Hacker (Heckle)
- Slacker (Jeckle)
- Slamjack (Hijacker)