Bravo Squadron


Bravo Squadron
Name:  Richard Byrne Karpusiewicz
Callsign:  "Maestro", "Petrax" (Tarazedi name)
Rank:  Major (MAJ)
Specialization:  Intelligence Officer
Affiliation:  Directorate of Imperial Intelligence,
   Men In Black, Tarazedi Alliance
Squadron Assignment:  Bravo 3
Birthdate:  Oct. 24, 2786
Birthplace:  New York Metrozone
Race:  Caucasian
Hair:  Black
Eyes:  Brown
Height:  5' 9"
Weight:  245 lbs.
Preferred Vehicle:  Apocalypse MK-V

Personality:  Focused, driven and analytical. Known for his passion and enthusiasm on personal projects and emerging intelligence questions. Talkative about such issues within authorized workgroups and known for his jaded and highly realistic evaluations. An avowed pessimist, those who know him are acquainted with a oddly idealistic streak that is often connected with his greatest personal successes.

Primary Directive:  To answer "big picture" strategic questions as to Cybrid military capabilities and plot short and long-term solutions to existing intelligence gaps. To the extent possible, harness his comrades' great talents and advanced technology and adapt it to create new exploitation systems for collecting and securely transmitting sensitive information.

Richard "Maestro" Karpusiewicz was an intelligence officer of the Great Human Empire in the period immediately before, during and after the Starsiege (c. 2809-2860). He was a significant figure in the history of the Starsiege in that he was attached to a number of units and task forces which had major strategic implications for the future of humanity and the Cybrid race. He professionally experienced the Age of Paranoia, was attached to the strikeforce led to Mars by Knight Grandmaster Caanon Weathers, and was cleared for operational duty with the "Men in Black" of Project Blue Darkness during the war years. He was stationed on every major planet in the solar system except Venus, and spent several months in the embattled Jovian system among other obscure areas. He also worked extensively on hardened and secure spysat systems which transmitted crucial time-sensitive data to teams on Pluto and Titan, debatably providing them with the critical intelligence needed to make the two most important Human Alliance missions, Dies Irae and Cardinal Spear, the resounding successes that they were.

Born in the 2780s in New York, Richard was influenced at an early age by the history of the Fire and the Earthsieges, and became a dedicated and conservative Imperial servant. After witnessing a spate of anti-Imperial terrorist attacks and demonstrations as a teenager, he became even more committed to the defense of the Empire and interested in the counter-terrorism related intelligence services. He graduated from the Chesspot NAP University with degrees in History and Imperial Service, and shortly thereafter was recruited into the Directorate of Imperial Intelligence. Although initially interested in Cybrid affairs, he rapidly became obsessed with anti-Imperial movements and insurgencies on Earth and the Colonies. He was eventually transferred from the Turkhazakistan and Afpakistan Branch to the Mars Division in 2819 due to his vocal criticism of the ineffective TDF and Knights intelligence handling which resulted in the Turkhazakistan debacle.

While covering Mars was meant as a punishment, Rich grew to love the Martian account and eventually the Martian people after closely covering their issues and finding that Imperial policies were making life unbearable for the colonists. He pushed repeatedly in his intelligence assessments for a reduction of the harsh Imperial quotas which were almost certainly fueling the increasingly popular Martian rebellion. In the mid-2820s he made several trips to Mars trying to ascertain why Imperial intelligence officers were being killed and other previously solid sources drying up. On the eve of the Yoke Offensive, Karpusiewicz issued a report that sent shockwaves through Empire intelligence, suggesting that a new and highly competent Martian general was shaping the tradecraft of the rebels and undermining the security structure set up by Security Director Ernesto Navarre and the Imperial Police. He assessed with low confidence the possibility that the new Martian leader, identified by some sources as 'Bek,' was none other than disgraced Imperial Knight Harabec Weathers.


When the Phoenix Declaration was issued and the truth of this estimate was confirmed in 2829, Caanon Weathers requested that the experienced analyst be attached to Strikeforce Red Whirlwind, the elite force of Knights dispatched to crush the Rebellion. Thus Rich was working with the Knights during the operations on Mars when the Cybrid Armada returned and laid siege to Earth itself. Naturally he joined the Human Alliance and continued to operate closely with Caanon, traveling with him to Venus during the "Guardian" operations to rescue survivors. Due to Venus' intense cloud cover and volatile weather which precluded the exploitation of reliable signals and imagery intelligence, Rich elected to orchestrate pickups in the region of Mercury of TDF survivors from the Mercury Watch Force. Taking the callsign "Maestro" he directed the evacuation of the remnants of the Imperial Fleet and military civilians from the area. He also came into contact at that time with a little known band of guerillas harrying Cybrid operations on Mercury, who called themselves the Ghosts of the Antipode. To Maestro's dismay, the Ghosts could not be evacuated before he departed.

He returned with Caanon to Titan and there became acquainted with Trent "Sentinal" Eptusen. His capabilities were greatly appreciated by the group termed Men in Black, and Sentinal issued him the necessary clearances to work in tandem with the team. As an intelligence expert he was obviously quite startled by the actual existence of the MIB and their incredibly advanced capabilities. Several of the team members also tried to teach him the basics of the advanced technology which they worked with, as well as basic piloting skills, but he could never attain their level of proficiency. Eventually frustrated, Maestro decided to take a leave of absence from work on Titan in order to be stationed more closely with units of the so-called 'Jovian Alliance' on Jupiter's moons, who were suffering major strain and losses due to a degraded communication network and lack of access to reliable intelligence. Joining the group known as the Tarazedi Alliance based on Europa, Maestro jury-rigged an intelligence network that proved to be elegantly simple and effective, based on old reliable Imperial tech augmented with Tarazedi equipment and expertise. Managing this intelligence system allowed the Jovian humans to completely turn around their situation and put the Cybrids to flight in battles at Venga Linea on Europa and at Loki Patera on Io. Maestro also became integrated into the Tarazedi culture and served directly with the units on the battlefield for the first time in his career, where he was affectionately dubbed "Petrax" or "the Rock" by his Tarazedi allies.

Coming away from the Io missions feeling more at peace than he had since before the war, Maestro returned to Titan and shared his newfound expertise with the MIB. Cooperating hand-in-glove with Sentinal's team, he formulated short-term security for the Dies Irae as well as longer term operations within the Solar System. It was Maestro's advanced intelligence system which allowed for the intercept of the communication drone from the destroyed ship ISS Phaedrus, wherein Captain Daniela Kelsington revealed the exact location of Prometheus' temple on Pluto, confirming that the Dark Intellect was actually present at the base which MIB had monitored for so long. Maestro assisted in the planning of the Cardinal Spear operation, but remained behind to supervise the satellite reconnaissance and defense of the TDF base at Eskandani Chasm. Before the battle he was finally formally inducted into MIB without ceremony by his friends and comrades in the unit.

After the success of Cardinal Spear and the defense of Eskandani base, Maestro continued to conduct missions which remain classified by Imperial authority. It is known that he searched after the war for past connections among the Ghosts and the Tarazedi, but was unable to locate them. Circa 2845, he participated in the long and increasingly ugly campaigns outside of Sol to permanently eradicate the Cybrid menace via reverse genocide, including his assignment to the Artemis Pursuit Armada. Eventually growing disillusioned with "the Chase", he decided to make a serious change in his life, apparently after stumbling across a lone Tarazedi somewhere out in the vastness of a remote system. After 2855 there is no record of him publicly or secretly, and to the few remaining MIB colleagues who remembered him from the time, it seemed that he had opted to drop completely out of history.


"Holy shit... you mean to tell me that there actually are 'Men in Black'? I'm shaking hands with a conspiracy theory." — July 2830, upon first being informed of MIB's existence

"I don't get paid enough for this." — March 2831, first time piloting a HERC in battle

"I can't tell you what the Tarazedi are—I can only tell you how they are. They're wonderful, they're beautiful, they're deadly. Beyond that, you have to experience them for yourself. Otherwise it's like trying to explain sex to a Cybrid. You're just not gonna get it." — October 2831, being debriefed by MIB on Titan after joint assignment with the Tarazedi Alliance

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