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"Raising flags isn't my style – blasting every sorry Kraut bastard that enters my field of view into steaming piles of gore and shit is!"

~ to Arcadius Drax. (*)

Introduction

Bogdan Andropov is a Brigadier (later General) in the Mecharussian Armed Forces and the second-in-command of the Eighth VDV Regiment, the elite military unit under the command of General and then Grand Curatrix Elena Trotskaya. He has known and fought alongside Trotskaya since the Salvagings, becoming one of her oldest and closest friends and confidants as well as something of a long-time drinking partner. The woman herself admits that, had she not fallen for Victor Golovkin, she would "without a doubt" have done so for Andropov.

Later on in both canons, he becomes a Novaya Chthonian like the other Chernydrakony, adopting for himself the title Alkioney (Alcyoneus). He also uses the nickname "Ace of Bastards" as a quasi-homage to Alfa Group, whose members are codenamed after playing cards (for instance, Two of Spades).

Background

Andropov was born into a military family, with both of his parents fighting in the East against the invading US Marines in Great World War Three. After the bombs fell, they settled in the village of Kastornoye close to bombed-out Kursk, married and had a child - Bogdan.

The young Bogdan would grow up in heavily-militarised conditions following the general evacuation of the West after the European Federation's invasion of the nascent Mechanocratic Russia, an event that culminated in the First Russo-European War. He regularly listened to war stories from his parents, his favourite story being of the two heroic Chernenko brothers from Novosibirsk, the first great legends of the Mechanocratic Ideology alongside whom his teenaged mother Nadia fought. Bogdan's childhood and teen years would be spent trying to emulate these legends, and he signed straight up for the Mecharussian Armed Forces at his first opportunity to do so - he joined Mechanised Regiment of Kursk aged eighteen. Still, much to the impetuous youth's chagrin, it would be another six years before he would see any action: his first combat deployment was in the Salvagings.

This combat deployment, however, would change Bogdan's life. By this stage a Sergeant in his regiment, he would encounter the Red Tigress, Elena Trotskaya, while she was in the middle of the Stony Tunguska Campaign to rescue Erika Drago. It was during the same campaign that he also met then-Lieutenant Imran Rudnitsky and his girlfriend, Corporal Trofima Medveditsa. He befriended all three soldiers and fought alongside them throughout the Campaign, battling at the side of Trotskaya and Vyacheslav Drago as they rescued the latter's daughter from the vicious raider chief known as Hammerhead. After the intense and brutal fight against the raider clans, Bogdan would meet all of the friends that he made throughout later on to besiege Pandemonium's fortress in the Bezymianny Volcano alongside Rick Fogarty and the Mariposa Orks.

In the post-Salvagings era, the now-Captain Andropov would temporarily part ways with Trotskaya (but remain in close contact), remaining with Rudnitsky and Medveditsa for the six years in between the war and the formation of the Eighth VDV Regiment. After learning that the Red Tigress was going to be put in charge of the new regiment come the Second Russo-European War, the three friends immediately transferred from their previous regiments to take up command positions amongst the Chernydrakony - Medveditsa would stay by Rudnitsky's side as his second-in-command and Andropov would return to Trotskaya's.

Andropov's real opportunity to prove himself as an equal to the legendary Chernenko brothers came in the Trail of Bones campaign, and the Charge over the Grosser Priel in particular. Though he suffered heavy injuries in the savage battle for the mountain fortress, lost his best friend Rudnitsky and even had to stop Trotskaya committing suicide out of a belief that she was responsible for leading her men to their deaths, he fought with spectacular valiance and even personally killed European General Gerhard Bergstrom. To this day, Andropov wears the deceased general's skull as a war trophy on his left shoulder pauldron.

After the war, the now-Brigadier Andropov remained as Trotskaya's second-in-command. He would battle alongside her during the Sixteen July Conspiracy, the Flight of the Polunochnaya and, as the newly-augmented Novaya Chthonian Alkioney, in World War IV, the Third Russo-European War, the Helleon Campaigns in both canons, the Utannic invasion of Sol and the war against the Qh'naazi Dynasty. He would stay as her loyal lieutenant well beyond 2200 MC, taking charge of a Starfleet Marines regiment to fight under the Mechanocracy of Mankind's banner, and even past his 100th birthday, at no point would he ever lose his superhuman fighting spirit.

Personality

In spite of holding a senior officer rank, the fundament of Andropov's personality has always been, and will continue to be, the lion-like heart of a warrior. Never will he be found in a distant bunker away from the fighting while his troops get their hands dirty: he is always ready to dive into the thick of the fray with guns blazing, donning his Heavy Assault suit. Easily as deadly in a fight as a Chthonic soldier with decades of experience under his belt and plenty of heavy weaponry at his disposal, the combat-hardened Andropov virtually lives for warfare, and will happily reminisce about his past battles ad-nauseam.

As one can expect from a warrior who has fought for so long and so ferociously, Andropov bears a number of heavy war wounds, most notably his jaw – which was burned off by a laser blast during the Charge over the Grosser Priel. As a result, he wears a metal faceplate and speaks through a vocoder, giving his voice an intimidating metallic resonation. In spite of being unable to eat properly with his ruined jaw, necessitating a tube, Andropov makes a point of laughing off this disability by out-drinking every one of his soldiers (normally) at celebrations and post-battle parties.

Additionally, like the other Chernydrakony, Andropov possesses several trophies taken from foes slain in battle: one is the charred skull of European General Gerhard Bergstrom, killed by the Brigadier at Grosser Priel, mounted onto the left pauldron of his armour.

Notable appearances

  • Andropov first appears in the Tale from the Frencoverse storyline The Trail of Bones.
  • He later appears in A Blood Debt and will play an instrumental role in its sequels.

Trivia

  • Andropov borrows very heavily from the character Buccaneer from the Fullmetal Alchemist anime/manga series.
  • Andropov is one of four characters who were considered for the role of Trotskaya's love interest (hence her admission shown in the above introduction), and ergo the father of the characters that would eventually become Evgeniy and Yulia. The others are Drakolich, Vyacheslav Drago and Golovkin; the latter eventually won the job (despite initially being ruled out) because the author had to write a short erotica featuring him and Trotskaya as forfeit for a bet that he lost with a friend, and later incorporated it into the canon.
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