Though the Mechaniac is typically a one man operation, the fact he has an army of robots and the Drone Lords to protect him has seen CLEA classify him in in the organised crime groups. An international arms dealer he has no trouble putting on public displays of his weapons using innocent bystanders as his targets.
CLEA DATA FILE
- Mark Ryce
- Tech Augmentation/Illegal Arms Supplier/Robotics Inventor
Special Skills and/or Abilities:
- Ryce has a huge intellect that he uses to build some of the best robot automatons the world has ever seen which he sells to the highest bidder, normally third world dictators and criminal organisations.
- As well engineering, his skills in human manipulation are also well known after he created the “Drone Lords” team, robots piloted by CLEA agents who had been brainwashed.
- Normally he stays well away from the destruction he causes. However when provoked he will come into the open, usually piloting his “Red Beast” robot.
- On very rare occasions he has opted to field test mecha that need a human at the controls – these situations are when he is most vulnerable.
Rap Sheet/Criminal Traits:
- Illegal arms creation/sales
- Likes to field test his robots on unsuspecting population centres where civilians become random targets.
- Usually stays at a safe monitoring distance whilst the test takes place.
- When provoked will go on a rampage, targetting a city at random.
- Wilful destruction of property
- Red Beast – Robotic Dragon
- The Drone Lords
Mark Ryce better known as the Mechaniac is one of the world’s most ruthless and notorious criminals. Like most people Mark never set out to become the “person” to people fear today. Things began to change during his early adulthood. A brilliant design engineer in robots, Mark had formed his own company but with very little money had to find a business partner in the form of Ray Sterling. Together the pair formed “RoboLogic”. Using Mark’s innovations the company was able to produce the next generation of factory robots.
All the time the company built these robots, Mark was looking ahead for the next big thing and he became fascinated by the idea of creating a fully working biped design that could go into hazardous locations and perform work without putting human lives at risk.
Ray suggested they put the new robots into production but Mark was a perfectionist. He would not risk putting a machine designed to save lives into the mass market until every single kink had been ironed out. Ray though was not patient and feared that the competition may catch up to them and he was not going to lose out on a potential goldmine. This caused the pair to have many heated arguments and that eventually resulted in a rift between them. Rumours in the business world stated that Mark was set to split the partnership and take his designs elsewhere to a more conscientious backer before he could do that disaster struck.
A fire at the factory effectively put an end to “RoboLogic.” Mark had been present when the fire erupted and saw one of his workers get trapped. In a heroic effort to save her he got caught by flying debris which severed his right arm at the shoulder and by the time rescue workers pulled him out the woman he had tried to save was found dead.
Whilst he was recovering in hospital the fire was investigated and the conclusion was is was deliberate. Paperwork indicated that Ray had taken control of the company and it looked like Mark had set the fire in spite. Mark’s lawyers argued the case stating that the paperwork was faked and highlighted the fact that he had attempted to save the life of a woman and even lost his own arm. Despite that fact the evidence began to stack up and he was found guilty of manslaughter in the European Courts.
By the time he got out he learned that he had no company and to add insult to injury Ray was manufacturing a whole host range of designs that did not belong to him. Unperturbed Mark set about trying to rebuild his reputation and produced some newer designs but as soon as he tried to put them into production, Ray’s lawyers blocked him stating Mark’s work was copyright infringement and he had to comply with an order of cease and desist.
Going from Europe to America, Mark got the same response until he was blocked by every civilised country. Having been failed by the legal system once and then a second time the final insult to Mark was when CLEA took a contract to buy some of Ray’s designs – work that had been stolen.
Though he was prevented from forming a new company and selling his own designs “they” could not stop him working for anyone else. Most businesses would not take him due to his “toxic” legal issues but most people did not want to be anywhere near him in case he dragged their comany down. One person saw beyond all that and offered Mark a job and a chance to start over again. His name was Kyo Nomura and like Mark he was well recognised in the field of robotics. At the time he hired Mark he was working on a project that had become bogged down in minor problems. Having been able to resolve the issues he thought that Mark was the ideal person to take a fresh look and finally get the prototype operational.
Kyo’s goal was to build a robot that could exactly mimic a human’s movements perfectly by way of a specail suit, not unlike motion capture. Whatever the human did the robot copied and the suit in return should provide real time feedback. Kyo knew that robots were ideal for working in hazardous environments but since they lacked the human abiltiy to “judge” situations they were not perfect. His idea was therefore to have the best of both worlds by giving an operator the means to work in a hazardous environment and see, hear, and feel everything but be in no danger. No matter how hard he tried he could not get the software and interface to function correctly resulting in “rogue” movements of the movement and feedback issues, sometimes painful to the suit’s wearer.
Working together, Mark discovered some bugs that Kyo overlooked and they got the prototype operational. At the while he was working for Kyo, Mark remained obsessed in getting even with his old nemesis Ray. This eventually began to affect his relationship with Kyo until it reached such a point that, Kyo had no choice but to dismiss Mark from the company.
With no employment prospects available and no chance to set up a new company Mark decided to go to countries that did not recognise the courts that had banned him, namely those controlled by dictators and such like. They welcomed him with open arms and soon Mark was back to building his robots. Filled with hatred at Ray’s unjustified success, once he’d fulfilled his obligations to the overlords and dictators he created a group of military automatons and set about destroying Ray’s business empire. He had some successes in wrecking factories and when he felt he had got noticed he issued the world an ultimatum. Stop using Ray’s machines or else.
Of course nobody treated the threat seriously despite proof he would attack any factory on a whim or user of his stolen designs. Mark therefore began a one man war against anyone that supported Ray. This soon got him noticed by organised crime groups who offered to pay good money for his work.
Since CLEA was still using Ray’s machines they were a target by now but in truth, Mark’s drive for revenge and hatred had seen him go completely insane and he no longer cared. As the people supported the justice system which had failed him they were as guilty for stealing his designs as Ray had been. They could all die for all her cared and when he crossed the line and began performing live weapons tests in civilian population areas Mark Ryce was no longer and the Mechaniac was born.
In time CLEA would uncover the injustice but by then Mark’s mental state was beyond repair and he could not be reasoned with. He believed is he surrendered then he would never face a fair trial, since no justice had ever been with him and released a statement informing any law enforcement agency that he would kill them if they tried capturing him.
With everyone everywhere hunting for him the Mechaniac soon became adept at setting up temporary bases and moving them as a means to avoid getting caught. To stay one step ahead of them he allied himself with any powerful criminal organisation that needed him, thus he gained a ready supply of resources.
On one occasion he was nearly caught by British Special Forces but his machines managed to evade the surprise attack and killed all but one team member, Victoria Mitchell. He contemplated on finishing her off, but some shred of humanity left in his mind made him take pity of her, and since he was feeling lonely he decided to keep her around for company. However in the attack most of her body had been torn to pieces so they only way he could save her was by trying his hand at turning her into a cyborg by replacing most of her damaged body with new artificial components.
He succeeded in his work and named her Cybord Life Alteration Research Automaton or Clara.
For a while CLARA worked alongside the Mechaniac since she had no memory of who or even what she was due to the “repairs” Mark had done on her brain. Rather than make her suspicious he even told her she was a cyborg but suggested her organic parts had been grown specifically for the experiment.However in time she became curious why he would not let her take of her helmet until one night she snuck into his lab and removed it. The instant she saw her entire face she remembered the night of the raid and her real name but not much else of her early life. Desperate to discover what had happened to her she managed to remove the chest plate and found what was left of her physical body was an upper torso, head and neck.
Mark had heard the commotion and arrived just in time to see CLARA trying to kill herself but due to the “programming” he had put in her head she was unable to do that so she tried to attack him, at which point her body automatically shut down. That was another part of the program and with her body “sleeping” Mark was able to put the chest plate on. He then installed a tracking device to shut hoer down if she tried to leave him, but when she awake she seemed to have accepted a fate. Only months later did he learn that it was all a ruse and she managed to escape. Later on he would learn CLARA had managed to get the programming removed so her vowed he would never bother creating a cyborg again.
However he did gain some more captives several years later when CLEA discovered his base in South America. Just like the British attempt, the CLEA strike team failed and there were lives lost. Again he considered killing the survivors but rethought the idea and kept them prisoner.
Whilst his automatons were good at what they did they always needed programming. He felt that for his own safety he needed better soldiers and looked at revisiting something from his past, the interface he had helped Kyo complete. By now he wanted something less limting than having a wearer require a suit and such was his experience he was able to redesign the unit transforming it into a neural link able to send signals from the human mind, thus enabling a person to control a machine by thought alone, with no physical interaction needed.
His plan now was to use his captives as remote “pilots” for a group of robotic bodyguards he was buidling. Aware that the CLEA operatives would not willingly work for him he spent months torturing and brainwashing the prisoners until he was able to convince them to work for him. Having been turned the four ex-CLEA agents agreed and the Drone Lords (as CLEA named them) would become important assets for the Mechaniac, by stealing for him and acting as his bodyguards and becoming hired mercenaries.
On only their “second” apperance the Drone Lords came up against a small but swift robot that was capable of dealing damage due to its ability to out maneuvre the larger machines. Mark recognised the design as the prototype Kyo robot and guessed Kyo was controlling it via the suit. The combat skills of the robot were not all that great, probably because Kyo was not a fighter. It was now that Mark realised that Kyo could be the one person with the knowledge and skills to derail his plans. Mark considered Kyo to be a threat that needed dealing with sooner rather since Kyo had made it clear he would oppose him. Fearing one day Kyo might build a device that could disable his creations, Mark decided to take drastic action.
The next time the prototype robot interfeared the Drone Lords were under orders to capture it. Mark then stripped it down and used it to find Kyo’s location, whereupon the Drone Lords “took care” of its creator. The ‘problem’ though did not go away for a few months later another machine appeared that bore certain design similarities to the prototype unit appeared. This one however seemed to possess far greater combat skills. That meant somewhere there was another suit in use and whoever was controlling it was far better tactically minded and would prove to be constant thorn in the Mechaniac’s side.
With Kyo dead, the one person who could stop him from a technical aspect, the Mechaniac grew in confidence to the point where CLEA noticed that as well as deploying the Drone Lords Mark would occassionally put in his own “public” appearances, especially if he felt personally agrieved at something or someone. During those times he would always “pilot” one of his own designs, to strike fear into his enemies. Typically uses “Red Beast” a giant robotic dragon but on other occasions he has operated various biped units. This tactical error on his part has seen him captured numerous times only to escape later on with the help of the Drone Lords.