Ambassador Drakkir Hands
Drakkir Hands claims that he was born in the heart of Crater
City, New Mars, within a kilometre of the Senate House, although journalists
have proved that his mother was actually in the family estates on Sturluson
at the time. Likewise his protestations about the poverty of his upbringing
seem not to be borne out by reality. The two facts are part of his own extensive
personal myth-making, and go part-way to explaining why he is one of the most
popularly disliked of Martian politicians, with a reputation among the no-nonsense
populace as something of a bullshitter. He is viewed as arrogant, pretentious,
two-faced, far too pro-Earther (he freely admits to being a Terraphile, but
says that this should not be confused with any sympathy with the Earth Empire),
and has a reputation for carrying on with women who are far too young for him.
He is also a lawyer, which doesn't help his image. Yet many commentators cite
him as one of the most influential politicians of his generation. He is a conservative,
a social chameleon, an intellectual, and an instinctive peacemaker and compromiser
who has nevertheless presided over the invasion of several worlds.
In order to resolve these contradictions tmany have tried to go back to his early life. Unfortunately, the truth about Hands' formative years is often difficult to untangle from the web of stories which surround him, most of them invented by himself. However, it is generally accepted that he is of Q0 patrician stock, born to a landed family on Sturlusson in about 3133, who gave him his unusual name (apparently derived from the Norse for a 'dragon' longship, drakkar). He was however educated privately on Earth, where he developed his love of history and philosophy, as well as receiving a legal training second to none. Moving to New Mars, he made a career as a high-profile state prosecutor, climbing rapidly up the ladder of promotion by picking his cases carefully for maximum effect, and ending with the trial that made his name, that of Supreme Councillor Verres (Q4) for corruption in 3169.
He was offered a judgeship in the Supreme Court, but instead turned to politics, winning office in the Council of the Martian Union, and, when he failed to win re-election in 3180, becoming Ambassador to Earth, where he remained for twelve years (gaining him many friends and contacts in the diplomatic community but resulting in the abiding distrust some have of him). During his time on Earth he also married Earther actress Omani Padehom, and fathered his only child, a son Marcus.
In 3192 he returned to New Mars with his family but failed to win election to the Council of the Martian Union again, and instead began a career in the media, presenting a highbrow but well-received series of programmes on the history of the MAFC and becoming a regular on late-night talk shows, news programmes and a general political pundit, wit and raconteur. He also published several books on history, philosophy, the media, and a variety of other topics, many of which proved surprisingly popular without being populist. It was also during this time that his wife divorced him and went to live back on Earth, taking their son with her. It wasn't long however before he was involved with Sonia Yakobian, one of the bluestocking 'groupies' who hung around his lectures and book signings, and who was the first of many such girlfriends and 'secretaries' who have accompanied Hands through his later years.
On the back of his media career, he stood for a fourth time for the Council in 3196, and this time won a seat, although many attribute this to a high-profile series of death threats which accompanied his campaign, which generated a lot of public sympathy. Opponents even accused him of orchestrating the threats, although opportunism rather than conspiracy seems to have been at the root of it.
That year was however the beginning of the Exterminator War, which turned Martian politics on its head. From within the Council, Hands was a trenchant critic of Supreme Councillor Pickles and the government's handling of both the crisis and the economy. A groundswell of protest was growing in the nation and the Council, and by a thin majority Hands, who had become the leading spokesman in the Council for the malcontents, was elected by them as their representative to the Senate in 3198, after a hard-fought campaign against the Pickles candidate.
In 3200, following the defeat and resignation of President and Supreme Councillor Pickles and the election of Charles L Harness, Hands found himself picked by the incoming administration as the Foreign Affairs representative of the government and went on to become one of the architects of the Treaty of Old London and the Mars-Venus Entente. He served until 3205, when he resigned his Senate seat to take up a position as Vice Chancellor of the University of Old Mars at Cydonia, pursuing his historical interests, but following the breakdown between Martian and Earther relations in 3208 he became a back-channel 'go-between' between the Earther and Martian governments, and finally was appointed as the official Martian Ambassador to the Solar Republic on the restoration of diplomatic relations in 3211. He has run his own interview show and has written a self-serving and partially fabricated but nevertheless amusing autobiography, 'An Unreliable Narrator'.