"Bigger men have threatened me than you, Pavel..."
Vyacheslav Drago is a Mecharussian assassin serving under General and then Grand Curatrix Elena Trotskaya from 2130 onward. Often described as a counterpart to Victor Golovkin, alongside whom he infrequently serves, he is best known for his fighting ability and his expertise in missions requiring stealth. Drago and his two ex-Vor v Zakone henchmen Boris Ivankov and Ahmet Kartal are most frequently found operating alongside or in the service of Drakolich.
Growing up as the son of an accomplished hunter close to Nizhneyansk in the early years of the Mechanocracy, Drago was known for his remarkable ability to remain hidden for days on end while he tracked down his prey (which would sometimes include wasteland scavengers). It was his ability that would attract the attention of the legendary raider overlord Pandemonium, who dispatched his lieutenant - the assassin Odradek - to fetch and train the teenage Drago.
Under Odradek's wing, Drago would make a name for himself as an underworld assassin following in his mentor's footsteps along with his first daughter, Erika. When Erika was kidnapped by raider boss Hammerhead in 2127, he slipped into a deep depression, especially after he learned that his mentor was in her employ and had actually performed the kidnapping himself. The same year, he would be approached by Spetsnaz commander Anton Goremykin, serving as his personal hired gun and becoming intimately involved with his Project Chthonia until the general turned coat in 2134 following the temporary shelving of the project.
Drago would train the prime subject, Elena Trotskaya, in combat using the same techniques taught to him by Odradek. To repay him, Trotskaya actively sought out his missing daughter, finding her as a slave girl to the vicious raider boss. Both Trotskaya and Drago fought Hammerhead, killing her and freeing Drago's daughter. As gratitude, the Dragos placed themselves in Trotskaya's service - the elder in the same capacity he served Goremykin after his death, and the younger as one of the Chthonia Programme's supersoldiers.
Though originally a brutish wasteland hunter during his days in Pandemonium's armies, his careers (in both the mafia and the KGB, which often involved him interacting with upper-classes) had reformed him into a proper gentleman. Being described as charming and deadly in equal measures, Drago is a smooth operator with plenty of charisma to complement his master assassin status, carrying over even into ghoulification. A taste for finer things also followed this, and he is rarely seen without his fine, custom-tailored black wendigo-leather jacket and matching gloves (which also double as a method of hiding his fingerprints).
After years of perfecting his craft, Drago is convinced that no one (with perhaps the exception of Trotskaya and his daughter) is superior to him in the art. Because of this, he carries a deep arrogance when dealing with friend and foe alike, much to the chagrin of those he serves alongside. Nobody, however, has been able to prove him wrong: he can even hold his own against a Judicator of the Imperium of Sidhae, as his brief duel with Alain shortly before the Sixteen July crisis has attested.
Before his ghoulification, he was considered a master of disguise, capable of adopting the look and mannerisms of others to get close to a target with ease. His ghoulification has hindered his talents in this particular field significantly, though he still manages to make it work in particular situations, such as successfully disguising himself as Ekaterina Golovkina in order to draw Sixteen July Pact leader Sophie Bu into a trap.
- He first appears in Red Planet as the tertiary antagonist, serving as a direct counterpart to Rollins.
- Drago makes a very brief appearance in Access Violation, accompanying Trotskaya as she details Operation Darkhammer to the MAF Military Cabinet. He is later mentioned by Visarion Tokarev to Nathan Epstein.
- He returns in its sequel, A Blood Debt, to play a much more prominent role alongside Drakolich.
- Drago also appears in Flight of the Polunochnaya as a deuteragonist in the story's subplot.
- He was originally created by the author of the New Frenco Empire, before being adopted by the creator of the Mechanocracy as a secondary character for use in Altcanon roleplays.
- His name is an amalgam of Vyacheslav Grinko, an antagonist from Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series; and Ivan Drago, the primary antagonist in the film Rocky IV.
- Before the Trotskaya Regime came to power, he was one of only two people known to possess a precognitive attack predictor, Trotskaya being the other.
- Drago's forename was misspelled as 'Yvacheslav' for the first part of Red Planet and Access Violation, and the error remains in place on both RPs (but has since been corrected).
- When Drago was adopted by the Mecharussian author, he was one of four characters considered for the role of Trotskaya's love interest and father of the two characters that would go on to become Evgeniy and Yulia, the others being Bogdan Andropov, Drakolich and Victor Golovkin. Drago very nearly made the cut until the author lost a bet with a friend - the forfeit being to write a short erotica featuring Trotskaya and Golovkin, from which point on Golovkin was selected for the role.