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Author Topic: Character Study of the Week: Drew Hasek-Davion  (Read 1449 times)


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Character Study of the Week: Drew Hasek-Davion
« on: 25 March 2016, 23:31:45 »
Character Study of the Week: Drew Hasek-Davion
Who: Drew Hasek-Davion
What: Stable Master, Overlord Stables, Solaris VII
When: Unknown, presumably circa 3010s - 3062
Weapon of Choice: Intellect
         Personal manipulation

This week’s subject is something of a whim. After the previous entries being all Clan Jade Falcon and building upon each other, I thought a break from such heady material may be in order.

And so we have Drew Hasek-Davion.

A prominent stable master on Solaris VII Drew Hasek-Davion came about the double barrelled surname through marriage. Who he married and what sort of scion of one or other Houses wasn’t elaborated on, but the name and manner of achieving it automatically links him to the treacherous Michael Hasek-Davion.

Drew’s attitudes and actions do so further.

Less Pro-FedSuns or even Pro-Capellan March than would be expected given the highly charged, heavily nationalistic and yet still petty political setup of Solaris Drew is more Pro-Drew, though to that end he plays up the Pro-FedSuns aspect for all it’s worth in part out of circumstance and a slight personal preference.

Odds are if he thought there was a good enough angle in it he would have set himself up as Pro-Kali Liao, Drew’s factional devotion is a distant eighth to his personal ambitions. It’s there, he says as much to himself, but only to the point of being a little more than circumstantial. His nationality is present as a general derision for other stable masters and their factional affiliations, but it’s a casual, almost lazy sort of hatred directed more at personal foes than to potential enemies of his home nation.

Drew’s attitude towards Victor Steiner-Davion, to his face no less, is also an indicator that his own ambitions, again following in the vein of Michael Hasek-Davion, is less about nationality or patriotism and more about narcissism.

And unlike a lot of characters Drew is actually somewhat hard to define. He is far from a warrior, if he had skill with any weapons we never saw it, at most he brandished a cane sword. As in brandished, didn’t actually use it and the revelation of the hidden weapon was less of a surprise and more of an about time at the end of a novel. A desperation move to defend himself as he declares in a panic that he is always prepared.

At which point he gets killed by a car bomb in parallel to how he wanted a top foe killed.

It’s a poetic death, at least as far as those involved with it are concerned, and fully in fitting with the scheming, conniving, borderline and over the border on occasion gangster antics of the Game World.

However this lack of definition, he is not a warrior and the politics he plays are insignificant on the grand stage, it makes his weapons of choice are somewhat irrelevant.

Yes, he’s very good at manipulating his gladiators, controlling situations on Solaris, even manoeuvring his peers, but to what end? Others have had similarly unstated goals, but there has at least been some sort of definition, such as First Lord, First Prince, Khan, even just Colonel, and these have often been presented as plans with a few steps unstated to the reader, but the goal is there. More on this in a moment.

The irrelevance is largely because Drew is a poor antagonist.

To be clear I don’t mean that in the context of the plot he’s a poor antagonist. If anything he’s very good for the stories he’s in, adding tension, driving events, providing motivation and reacting to situations as any good character should. What I mean in the context of the setting that Drew is not very good at what he wants to do.

As stated in previous articles the Battletech setting is one where high risk strategies are the ones that are rewarded. Characters who attempt to execute plots that intentionally minimise their exposure to losses inevitably lose worse than those who’s greater gambles fail.

Drew does not gamble big, ironic for a Solaris Stable master.

He also initiates very little. It appears he does trigger the riots, but the riots were not the goal. Some sort of chaos was, his goal was just to get the Championship match moved to the Davion arena. Instead all hell broke loose then he took advantage of that, and played a hand in calming it down, but his initial plan was actually quite petty. Actively causing the whole city to become a grudge match filled arena never occurred to him, even though the reader could see it was only a spark or two away at any given moment.

So when the Coliseum’s detonator grid goes down and BattleMechs spill into the stands, into the streets and keep fighting, encouraging others to do the same and ultimately foiling anyone’s attempt to stage a Championship match at all Drew initially fumes and then starts seeing ways to profit from the circumstance.

The latter isn’t odd, if anything it’s a useful trait. But it is a part of a pattern, one that shows a lack of initiative, and in a character like Drew Hasek-Davion it’s quite telling.

So yes, he manipulates others, politics understands how to use situations, but fundamentally lacks the sort of drive and cunning that will take him to the lofty heights he aspires to.

Come to think of it, what are those?

We know he’s ambitious, beyond Solaris ambitious, but it’s never spelt out specifically. Does he aim for the FedSuns throne, the Capellan March throne, lordship of a world, found a ‘proper’ Hasek-Davion dynasty, what?

This is the lack of goal I mentioned previously. In his mind Drew undoubtedly has one, but we don’t know what it is. It’s irrelevant to the reader, and quite possibly distracting to the plot.

That may not make sense, but in terms of writing there are particular sorts of characters, and I dare say Drew is one, where what they do is more significant than what they aspire to. In Drew’s case that can be chalked up to his short lifespan and the functional ridiculousness of trying to go from Solaris VII Stable master to . . . much of anything more, really.

It’s not that there isn’t some prominence, power and wealth in the position, it’s just that it’s Professional Wrestling that forgot it’s supposed to be entertainment and started taking itself too seriously. There’s no self-awareness, and Drew, Michael Searcy and Garret exemplify that in spades, which means from a character perspective there’s no chance for growth or change, something that is reflected in both character and careers/life development.

So in terms of plot the lack of goal doesn’t really matter, Solaris being the ultimate expression of the petty elements of Inner Sphere politics means that it really isn’t important. Drew doesn’t really have a chance of realising any particularly lofty goals, the nature of the game and the Games means that for all the economic and media power to be garnered on planet it doesn’t really translate well into the wider environment.

From a character perspective it’s quite annoying, the ultimate goal speaks greatly of motivation and of course the ethics of the subject. How far are they willing to go, what are they willing to do and how does it reflect in relation to the level of their ambitions?

Drew shows himself perfectly willing to level a city to achieve . . . dominance over other stable masters. That’s a fairly large play to gain relatively little, if he’s playing for greater power then he’d probably quite happily nuke a hospital at some point.

Just as importantly if the other stables don’t exist then neither does Blackstar Stables. That follows through if the other stables are weakened enough to be rendered irrelevant. Drew doesn’t think of that, it’s not supposed to occur to the reader,

In context though that’s perfect for the character and the setting. Motive and goals are left unsaid, and that can be frustrating, but the big, dramatic plays for petty gains is everything that is happening in the book, indeed on the Game World as a whole.

Drew is ultimately dependent upon others. Michael Searcy, Garrett, Megan, charitably they could be called tools, except he’s very poor at using them as such, so weak are his manipulations.

Similarly he’s also depended upon events occurring before he takes action. It’s a flexible approach, but one that lacks initiative. No one realises ambition without taking initiative, an act that inherently requires taking risks.

Oddly this makes Drew the perfect antagonist for the story.

The whole thing, while a dramatic and interesting tale in and of itself, is somewhat aimless and misguided, the characters going along with events far greater than themselves to fulfil petty, even pointless, ambitions.

Drew’s ambitions are significant but unknown, Michael Searcy is searching for vindication that will never come, Garret. . . might actually achieve his goal because he spends a fair amount of time killing Combine warriors.

The point is that these are petty people in petty circumstances with petty goals that aren’t achieved because things are too important and still too small.

Commentary on the brewing FedCom Civil War? Certainly. It was a largely pointless, fruitless exercise in many respects that could have been resolved much better if enough people took constructive steps to relieve the tensions.

But then we wouldn’t have a reason to have our big stompy ‘Mechs smash each other.

Drew feed that scenario, performing well in a story that pulls us in and make us want to be a part of the battle because characters such as this make it interesting, more than a dry report of events, it puts people, good or ill, into the middle of things and makes us want to have a hand in the outcome, even if it is fictional.


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Re: Character Study of the Week: Drew Hasek-Davion
« Reply #1 on: 27 March 2016, 16:45:19 »
Drew always struck me as one of the most cartoonishly evil antagonists in the BTU.  He was just this petty guy doing all sorts of dirty deals but he never had any sort of plan or endgame in mind for anything.
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Drew Hasek-Davion
« Reply #2 on: 27 March 2016, 17:25:36 »
Think Drew existed just to remind people that the Fed Suns wasn't full of white hat characters and plenty of people took advantage of the division in the Federated Commonwealth.   
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Re: Character Study of the Week: Drew Hasek-Davion
« Reply #3 on: 28 March 2016, 22:14:13 »
He was a slime ball, but he made Illusions of Victory interesting book to read.

He got got what he deserved in the end.
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