Commander Robert Drake
Commander Drake is a prosecutor with Starfleet JAG, currently stationed in the Raeyan Sector. Recently, he served as Special Prosecutor for the Algorab Commission against the crew that collapsed Romulan-Federation relations, and formerly he worked cases including the Ba'ku and the Triangle. A zealot of Federation idealism, he's known for his willingness to attack any officer he perceives as having violated the law, and he takes great pride in the fact that his work has stripped dozens of their ranks and honors.
The eldest son of a Starfleet Commander and a Federation Ambassador, Robert Alastair Drake knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his father, and his grandfather before them. He spent his early years on the Galaxy-class USS Regal, watching his father safeguard the ideals of Starfleet and his mother represent the Federation to non-aligned worlds as an Ambassador stationed on the ship. However, fearing that their children, both Robert and a younger daughter Emily, would not get a well-rounded education among the stars, his parents chose to return to Earth when their son turned nine. Commander Drake took a posting at Starfleet Command in San Francisco, while Elisabeth retired from the Diplomatic Corps, the four returning to the Drake family estate in Marin County.
His preteen and teenage years were spent in a life of luxury. He attended elite prep schools, sailed and read on his spare time, and became quite an ivory tower scholar of history and law. It was during this time that he began to develop a grand vision of the Federation’s ideals, one that his parents encouraged, although even they came to worry that he might expect too much from the Federation, between the pair having served within it for over forty years.
At age 17, Drake applied to Starfleet Academy. With stellar grades, a well-known family and a clean record, his acceptance came with no surprise. Drake excelled academically at the Academy, and it was during this time that his passion for law truly solidified, borne from the interest he had developed at prep school. However, while Drake had high marks, the Academy did not actually go all that smooth for him. Known as the cadet that always sat in the front row, perpetually engaged the instructor, and always sought to demonstrate just how much he knew, Drake did not mesh with the other cadets. Quite to the contrary, he looked down upon them as boring and unintelligent while they looked at him as arrogant and condescending.
Drake graduated the Academy with high honors and a growing displeasure for the Starfleet common-folk. He believed absolutely in the lofty ideals of the Federation and had concluded that many of his peers did not. Given this idyllic, ivory tower sentiment, a strong passion for law, and his brash, argumentative attitude, the Starfleet Law Academy made a clear next jump.
Starfleet Law Academy
Starfleet Law Academy did not go quite as Drake expected. He arrived with a chip on his shoulders, so sure of himself, bristling with legal knowledge and confidence. However, while he found little challenge in the classroom, he fumbled the ball so badly in his first courtroom scenario that he alienated the jury in well under five minutes. After it happened three more times, Drake began to get the message: his elitist, condescending attitude didn’t sit well with the common-folk who sat on the jury panel. Rather than excise this arrogance, though, Drake just learned how to hide it. His courtroom scenes improved and, throughout the entirety of his second year, he never lost a single mock trial. Drake, who had at first seemed to pretentious to ever set foot in a court room, thus became regarded as quite a courtroom master: he had a fast wit, a firm grasp of logic, a developed sense of courtroom dynamics and an immense knowledge of legal precedent. While he still had his arrogant, elitist personality out of the courtroom, he had learned not only to control it but also to assume whatever face he needed to persuade the jury of the case, delivering zingers that stuck with the panel in some cases while appealing to their better emotions in others.
Prosecutor, Bajor Sector
Drake graduated the Law Academy in 2375 with high honors. During this time, the Dominion War waged full steam ahead, and many felt that JAG and other such roles were auxiliary and secondary to this greater cause. Drake, however, disagreed heavily and sought to make a difference ensuring that Starfleet didn’t loose sight of its very ethics and morals and become the enemy to defeat them. Given these sentiments and the fact that his Academy performance had given him a choice of assignments, he took a commission as an Ensign JAG Prosecutor in the Bajoran sector. He leapt into his job with avarice, immediately setting to work on a number of case files. His superiors recognized his zeal, and he quickly found himself assisting with more complex and challenging cases.
During this first year in the Bajoran sector JAG prosecutor, one case in particular got Drake on the radar for bigger things: the Ba’ku incident. Initially, the case seemed like an open-book, close-book case. Vice Admiral Dougherty, the perpetrator, had died during the incident. However, Drake felt that Dougherty’s decision could not have been a one-man show, and thus asked if the JAG could look a bit deeper. The office had a vast caseload, given the high level of Starfleet activity in the region, and thus Drake was told that the office didn’t have resources unless he’d take it on himself. Up to this point, Ensign Drake had worked in an assistory capacity, but he leapt headlong into the case. He made several field visits to Starfleet vessels, where he got his first taste of the hatred held for JAG, especially when investigating a dead Admiral as a criminal, but all this did was make him more adamant in his position. He marched around the ships, waiving his credentials and demanding answers, leaving no rock untouched or Starfleet officer undisturbed.
After a busy couple of months, Drake pinned down six command-level personnel, including two of flag rank, whom he could prove all had direct knowledge of the endeavor. Before they could be tried, two of them vanished behind the veil of Starfleet Intelligence. The spooks declared that the two could not be tried because of Federation security. Drake filed an injunction, but Starfleet Command overruled him. This move left Drake with a strong resentment for Starfleet Intelligence and vigor to convict the other four even more thoroughly. In the courtroom, he trampled over the defense and got a swift conviction: all four were found guilty and stripped of rank. Drake didn’t stop there, though. He demanded that Admiral Dougherty also be tried post-humously and succeeded in stripping him of rank retroactively as well. This earned him his first black mark amongst the general Fleet, a man willing to disrespect a Naval admiral even in death, but Drake wore it as a badge of honor, proud that he didn’t let rank, mortality or anything else stand in the way of the law.
Following the Ba’ku case, Drake quickly rose from backroom legal analyst to courtroom prosecutor. Two years later, he received a promotion to Lieutenant JG and the role of Special Prosecutor for Major Crimes in the Bajoran sector. This role saw Drake spending most of his time around the Antares Ship Yards, investigating corruption, leaks and double-dealing of R&D technologies. Going into 2379, he had a perfect conviction record, but that changed when he tried to put a Starfleet Intelligence operator away for crimes against humanity. In the first loss of his career, he watched his case torn to shreds by veils of secrecy and lies on the stand that he could never prove as such. This, plus the way in which Starfleet Intelligence had exempted two officers from his reach during the Ba’ku proceedings, solidified his hatred for the group.
Special Prosecutor and Deputy JAG, Triangle Region
In 2380, Lieutenant JG Drake received a promotion to Lieutenant and a transfer to the Triangle region as Special Prosecutor. The Triangle, while not technically a Federation territory, had a high volume of Starfleet activity and a very corrupting influence. From day one of the new posting, Drake found himself extremely busy destroying the careers of Starfleet officers gone bad by his lofty ideals. His conviction rate remained extremely high, and he’d yet to face a case he didn’t think he could handle. However, that would all change in 2381 when Starfleet Intelligence contacted the Judge Advocate’s Office and informed them that they had located a conspiracy ring within a group of over ten command-level officers involved in the sale of Federation equipment to arms smugglers in the Triangle.
Drake’s personal dealing with Starfleet Intelligence had all turned out negative thus far. They’d exempted two people from being tried in his first major case, and they’d also been the reason for his first loss in the courtroom. However, he recognized that this case could be huge, so he leapt on it, insisting on immediate access to operational details. This request got stonewalled, and he got a stern lashing from a high-ranking flag officer when he pushed the issue. He was told that, when the operation concluded, he’d then receive the details to prosecute. This incensed him, having to sit on his hands and hope that Starfleet Intelligence didn’t mangle the operation, which was a very real possibility given that they had very different views on what constituted reasonable investigative practices. He’d heard of many a case lost because of malpractice on their case that tainted the evidence.
When finally the operation concluded, Drake got his shot at the case. As he reviewed the reports and debriefed the operators, he quickly realized his first inclination was right. The case was almost unwinnable. The covert operation, overseen by a Lieutenant Jake Lewis, had stepped far outside of operational bounds: they’d sold weapons, assisted fugitives in escaping, and far more, all in an effort to get inside the ring. Drake found this repulsive, the fact that men like Lewis were so willing to bend the rules to suit their own needs, tainting the evidence Drake needed for a conviction. Matters were made worse when he put Lewis on the stand for testimony. The operator had a brash attitude, a sharp tongue, an inability to stick by the witness preparation, and a willingness to violate the rules of order for the courtroom, time and time again, almost getting himself thrown out of the trial on two occasions. As the media honed in on the high-profile case, things got very sticky. Drake’s superiors even suggested he might want to simply withdraw the case to avoid a loss, but he pressed on. Drake recognized that the only person that wanted this case won more than himself was Lewis, and thus he formed an unlikely alliance, appealing to the operator’s covert training to get him to take on a different persona in the courtroom, very similar to how Drake hid his own elitist, arrogant attitude when appealing to a jury. In the end, they salvaged the case and he convicted fifteen officers from Commander to Rear Admiral involved in the arms smuggling ring. Following the case, he wished he could throw Lewis and his fellow operators on trial for their own blatant disregard of Federation law, but he knew such an attempt would go nowhere, so he didn’t bother trying.
The case ate up the better part of three months, and Drake became a public figure of sorts in the media. Some demonized him as an officer killer, but the JAG saw him as a testament to the unbending ideals of the Federation. It put him on the fast track for promotion. Within the year, he received a promotion to Lieutenant Commander and became the Deputy Judge Advocate General for the Triangle region. In this new role, he distinguished himself not just as a skilled prosecutor but also as a solid manager, managing day-to-day operations of the Triangle’s JAG like a shark.
JAG, Raeyan Sector
Three years later, still indicating he was very much on the fast track, he received a promotion to Commander and a new assignment as JAG in the Raeya sector. His high conviction rate continued, one that extended well beyond just his investigations to those of his entire office. Two years later, when Task Force 93 had its operational purview expanded to include the Raeyan Sector and the Raeyan Transit Corridor, his role as regional Judge Advocate General expanded, driven forth by his investigation of the USS Enigma’s mission that led to the tragedy of Algorab and the subsequent Treaty of Nelvana.