Nicholas Drake was born August 30th of 2505 in a small hospital in New Fleska, on Hera. His single mother, Aly Drake, was a young Surgeon who had left an attending physician position on Osiris when the demands of being pregnant forced her to stop practicing. She had settled on New Fleska, where she raised her son Nicholas in a small apartment. When Nicholas was two, Aly married a livestock rancher named Galen Bellow, and she and her son moved in to the Bellow Ranch.
Raising a son meant not practicing traditional medicine, and on a world famous for it's agriculture, Aly returned to school, and became a veterinarian. While Galen worked the ranch, Aly would work with the livestock, and also travel to the other ranches nearby when animals needed tending to. When Nicholas was four, he began going with her, and she started teaching him medicine right along with reading and arithmetic. Nicholas was intelligent, and a fast learner, and he seemed to really take to the animals.
In 2511, the Unification War made it's way to Hera. Serenity Valley was not far from New Fleska. While delivering cattle to a slaughterhouse in Serenity View, Galen was one of the civilian casualties of the battle. Nicholas was almost six when his stepfather was killed, and not old enough to help pick up the slack of the chores involved in running a ranch. Aly left most of the day to day operations of the ranch with the ranch hands, and continued to focus on her veterinary work.
Throughout his adolescence, Nicholas learned ranching and livestock from the hands, and animal care from his mother. By the time he was thirteen, he had taken control of the livestock side of the ranch, managing the hired hands, and having to haggle and deal with the agricultural businessmen to sell the cattle for slaughter. He developed quite a knack for fast talking his way to get what he wanted from them, banking on his youth and his suave tongue. He also spent most of his afternoons making the rounds to the other farms with his mother, who was teaching him as much as he could learn about medicine. While she focussed primarily on animals, whenever any of the hands would get injured in the fields, Aly would make Nicholas help her patch them up, as well.
When Nicholas was sixteen, Aly was diagnosed with bone cancer. It was pretty serious, and spread quickly. They tried to keep things as normal as they could, for as long as they could, but eventually, Aly was no longer able to make her rounds. Over the next year and a half, he would take care of her, as her condition worsened, until she spent her final six months in bed. While he did everything he could to keep her comfortable, the lack of her veterinary income, combined with the cost of her medicines took it's toll on the ranch. By the time she died in July of 2523, the Bellow Ranch was being foreclosed upon, the hands had all moved on to jobs that could pay them, and the equipment and livestock had long been sold off, though Aly died knowing none of that. Straight to the end, he let her believe things were fine, and that he was going to be okay without her. The truth was, he was treating himself with her leftover painkillers to make living more bearable, and had hocked everything he owned, including his rifle and his guitar.
With his mother dead, and his home being reposessed by the bank, Nicholas had to go through her things, trying to sell off as much as he could to afford to get off Hera. In the process, he found the music sheets to a love song written for Aly while she was in college, and a photograph of her kissing another man, who's doctor's lab coat ID tag identified him as Dr. Sian Jones.
Also in the picture was a second couple, Dr. Michael Decker and a current girlfriend, though their ID tags were not visible in the image. The date on the love song, and the note attatched, was December of 2504, and Nicholas knew, Dr. Jones had to be his real father. Packing a change of clothes, Nicholas spent his last bit of money on a boat ride off Hera, heading to the core to find his dad.
Upon arriving on Osiris, Nic tracked Dr. Jones down, and eventually would befriend the man, before learning it was not possible for him to really be his father. Amidst that great disappointment, he also fell in love for the first time with Dr. Jones' boss, Damian Carmichael. Nic refused to work for Damian, trying to keep their relationship pure and only a relationship, and it worked for a while. At some point late in 2523, Nicholas returned to Hera to visit his mother and step-father's family grave on the old ranch. He found the land and buildings razed, and the small family cemetery dug up and gone. Returning to Osiris, Nicholas found out that somehow, his mother had genetically engineered him in a test tube, and Dr. Jones' was, in fact, really MOSTLY his father. The two now struggle to figure out their relationship, and those around them work to accept and understand it, including Damian, who used the matter as one of the reasons to end dating Nicholas.