There's exactly one advantage to having been born and raised on Shadow. It can make a man difficult to track. Likely the fact that there's precious little record of the man's existence is the only reason Marcus Vance hasn't got a tremendous bounty on his head.
Mark was 19 when war broke out, and quick to enlist. The unit he joined with was made up was an early unit of volunteers, farmers and ranchers mostly from his homeworld, Shadow. Rough men, men who were largely independent, with some military training. They called themselves Irregulars, would have been considered special forces or guerillas in a more civilized force, and functioned as raiders. Sometimes privateers, other times soldiers, they'd set down on a contested world and live off the land, blend in with the locals, make life hell for the Alliance as they tried to establish any sort of supply line. The burning of Shadow, for these men, was a breaking point. From that point on in the war, there was no civility in the combat, no restrictions on their targets. The fact that a treaty was signed by the powers that be did nothing to prevent these men from continuing to fight, well after the end of the war. Their acts became more desperate, blatant terrorism and piracy, often against civilian targets. Over the years the unit scattered, was arrested, or killed off, leaving Mark on his own.
After Frost's Pirates fought a massive battle with Alliance troops on Ezra, Mark made contact, eager to join what he saw as the main ideological heir to the Independence movement. He rose quickly in the ranks, assigned to the little known and short lived "Rogue" division. It wasn't long after that the old soldier was in command of the Arctic Raider. He and fellow captain Kennedy Sinclair soon took temporary command of the pirates for a short time, during which they made little impact in the core, but extended their influence massively on the Rim, setting the stage for Frost's return and establishment of the Pirates Commonwealth. It was after this that Marcus had his nearest brush with widespread notoriety though his name was never mentioned. A grainy video circulating the cortex showed him and other pirates on Lilac, defending locals against both Reavers and Alliance soldiers, the accompanying dialogue earning him the pseudonym Tom Joad.
Following the evident defeat of the pirates, Mark reappeared in the employ of Kennedy Sinclair, now Baroness of Thurso, first as a bodyguard, and then as the commanding officer of her private ship, The Siren. Rumors abound as to the precise nature of the relationship between the two former pirate captains, though rumors of the Baroness' romances are hardly uncommon. Meanwhile, the former rebel was seen in the company of Companions, Nobles, and Alliance military, doubtless raising questions as to his allegiances. While this seems to have been a quiet period in Mark's career, those with connections to Freehold Station would be aware that the crew of the Siren thwarted an attempt to destroy the station.. Interestingly, an attempt made by the very terrorist organization to which Mark had allegedly been linked in years past. Regardless, when the crew of the Siren returned to more populated space, it was to find the universe had drastically changed once again.
Just what it was that led to Mark's disappearance isn't clear. In the wake of the return of Frost and a blatant campaign of violence by the crew of the new Arctic Raider, public outcry against pirates turned agsinst Marcus, who lacked any political clout of his own to protect himself. After slaying his former comrades in arms at Freehold, radicals in the Browncoat movement not only refused to aid Mark, but put a price on his head to match the Alliance bounty. Marcus had little choice but to set out for the rim to confront his past, and the outcome never really seemed in doubt.
Defying all odds, Marcus survived, as Marcus tends to do. It seems that friends in high places may have been his salvation, as while he was gone, Kennedy Sinclair reclaimed her noble heritage. Within months, Marcus was working for the company she founded with nobleman and alliance officer, Salin Fawzy.. An odd situation, to say the least, as it seems certain that Marcus and Salin were in all likelihood commanding the opposing spacefleets at the brutal Three Hills. Stranger still, it became apparent that the rough old pirate soon married the Baroness, though there has never been an official statement to that effect. Still, more than one acquaintance has referred to Marcus as Baron Sinclair. Since, Marcus seems to have settled in to quieter days, managing the famed Sinclair stables, working to the esteemed bloodline of the stallions raised there, and occasionally consulting with Black Wolf Enterprises in an advisory role.
This lull came to as the Baroness was seen less in the company of Marcus and more often with her contracted companion. More troubles came in the form of a duel with a young nobleman, one Blake Westfield. While Marcus won the duel, the video was posted to the cortex and the result was seen by many as the brutal murder of the young man by a vicious pirate who should be rotting in prison. It wasn't long before he disappeared altogether. No record of his existence, much less his marriage, existed. In time, Kennedy vanished from the core as well, many believing to reconcile with her husband. These rumors appeal to have had something to them, as the two returned after a long absence, with stories of a Reaver attack. They seem to be resuming their affiliation with Black Wolf Enterprises.
|Full name||Marcus Vance|
|Date of Birth||Sometime in May or June, 2487|
|Parents||Robert and Janet Vance. Presumed Deceased.|
|Siblings||Second of six children, Presumed Deceased.|
|Specialization||Guerilla Warfare, Terrorism, Small Fleet Maneuvers, Animal Husbandry|
|Eyes and Hair||Blue eyes, Light brown/blonde hair.|
|Height and Weight||6'4", 260 lbs.|
Some people have a hard time blending into a crowd, and Marcus is without a doubt one of them. It's not just because he's a big man, though he certainly is that, well over six feet and powerfully built. His brash personality and often booming voice combine with physical prescense to ensure that he rarely goes unnoticed.
He's broad in shoulders and chest, giving the impression of being quite solid. Not that he's all rippling muscle and sinewy definition, as he's clearly not the sort of man who labors over his appearance, but he is certainly fit. He tends to have a weathered appearance, wearing a tan like a laborer, lines at the corners of his blue eyes as if he spends a great deal of time squinting into the sun. His hair is cut fairly short, light brown and sun-bleached almost to blonde. He has the sort of perpetual stubble that seems to reappear as soon as it's shaved darkening and defining a strong chin and jawline. An old, thick scar crosses his cheek, the most noticeable of many that criss cross everywhere his skin is exposed, save for the mark on right forearm, a bold 'X' shaped wound that's still healing. More noticeable is the tattoo that seems to span from Marcus' left forearm to just below his chin, a pattern of wavering, sinuous black lines that give the unmistakable impression of heavily stylized flames, partially hidden by his shirt and emerging from his collar in a few trailing tendrils that creep up his neck.
A blue and white hawaiian shirt drapes loosely over his broad torso, open at the collar far enough to reveal the thin white tank-top beneath. Screen printed on the back is a bold purple and grey rendition of the Jolly Roger, a grinning skull with a purple bandana, crossed Katanas dripping blood beneath. The shirt hangs loosely over the sidearm holstered on his belt, and the large survival knife sheathed there, almost concealing both. His loose shorts look to be a pair of khaki cargo pants torn off below the knees rather raggedly. Simple, low ankled running shoes look like they've seen way too many miles, and though once white almost match the brown, floppy, boonie hat he's wearing.
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