DARACH MACLEOD was born in 2908 in Area 17, ArcCorp, Stanton, to Gregor and Sylvia MacLeod who were wealthy industrialists. He grew up with every advantage. Not merely materialistic advantage, he was something of a savant… an artist of extreme natural talent. But lacking the interest to pursue his own talents, he followed his father’s footsteps into business, not out of passion, but out of duty.
MacLeod had no need of school. His private tutors could barely keep up with him. By age 15 he had equivalencies in three Bachelor’s degrees. However, he could not be bothered to actually get the “certificate” from any university, nor to narrowly focus on an advanced academic degree.
As time passed, he excelled in the family businesses. He displayed a knack for managing people, keeping them motivated and performing their jobs well. Privately though, he was bored. He longed for adventure, to see new places and to do the sort of things he read about in novels.
Not that MacLeod was reckless… far from it. He was a planner, a strategist, though certain actions of his may have seemed impulsive to others. He could weigh pros and cons and plan seven moves down the gameboard so rapidly that others thought it spontaneity. And when an ill-advised course of action yielded positive results, most thought he was just lucky.
Finally, the day came when MacLeod could not be stifled any longer. He gave no notice and said nothing. He jumped in an Aurora waiting on the rooftop pad of Dyminium Corporation’s Lorville branch and flew off to Teasa Spaceport where his 350R was always ready. He crawled into the cockpit, pulled on his helmet, and with a roar and a whoosh, he was a free man. Three minutes later he was out of the atmosphere and rushing through quantum space towards Crusader, certain he could get transport to any system he wanted.
Three years later MacLeod was drunk in a bar, watching an older pilot share a drink with a younger pilot. He was a bounty hunter, but it had not really been paying the bills. He had not had access to the family fortune since a week after heading out on his own. But he would not go back. Even broke, Freedom meant everything to him.
He approached the gentlemen, introduced himself and, being invited to join them for a drink, sat down. The older pilot was Merlin Magus, an experienced freight runner giving solace and a job offer to a younger pilot down on his luck, and MacLeod was intrigued by the conviction of the man in his beliefs and the eloquence in which he communicated them. Magus told MacLeod about the Aurora Republic, its philosophies and principles, and MacLeod spent the remainder of the day in his rented Ez-Hab pondering a change in his life.
The next morning MacLeod sought out Magus to ask more about this new Republic, and while Magus answered his questions, MacLeod was also saddened to find out the younger pilot had not survived the previous day. When he found out Magus had wrought frontier justice upon the youth’s killer, he had but one question left… “How do I join?”