| Zebulon Vitruvius Pike|
|Also known as||Vitruvius Pike|
|also known as||Professor Vitruvius|
|Birth Date:||July 1846|
|Place of Birth:||Allegheny, PA, USA|
|Rank:||Captain, U.S. Aeroship Cavalry (Ret.)|
Zebulon Vitruvius Pike is a mercenary adventurer, world explorer, dime novel hero and veteran of the late unpleasantness.
Physical Appearance Edit
Pike is of a generally unremarkable build only slightly taller than average with graying hair somewhat in advance of his actual years. Pike's circle beard has become more "aggressive" as he has matured. Though his eyes have been reported to be hazel, he typically wears darkened lenses as his eyes are overly sensitive to light as a result of an assassination attempt involving a lightning caster.
Pike began his military career as a teenaged combatant at the Battle of Hanover, engaging in street fighting and as a roving sniper defending his parent's hometown on a stolen horse and captured rifle from Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry. Pike continued to harry the Confederates until they joined with Lee's main force at Gettysburg.
After receiving a field commission (26th Corps, 23rd Pennsylvania Cavalry) and continuing to harass the Army of Northern Virginia until they crossed the Potomac, Pike traveled to Washington. There, by chance, he was ordered to return a letter from President Lincoln to noted New Jersey inventor Solomon Andrews concerning a demonstration of Andrew's airship. Pike spent the month of September 1963 with Andrews learning aeronautics, was one of the Doctor's crew when the Airship Aeron was demonstrated to representatives of the War Department and was a charter officer of the newly formed Aerostat or Aeroship Cavalry early in 1864.
With the contracted aerostats still under construction, Pike returned to the conventional cavalry and served with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant during the Overland Campaign, countering partisan rangers. During the Siege of Petersburg, Pike infiltrated the Tredegar Ironworks in Richmond to sabotage a Confederate ballistic missile prototype that might have threatened the Union capital 100 miles distant.
At war's end, Pike returned to the Aeroship Cavalry and was immediately attached to Gen. Phil Sheridan in South Texas, secretly ordered by Grant (now General of the Army) to pressure Emperor Maximilian to abdicate and the French Army to leave Mexico. Pike and his airship company patrolled the Mexican border and delivered 30,000 long arms to Benito Juárez's republican forces. Afterwards, Pike served in various theaters worldwide in an attempt to convince the military of the aerostat's utility and expand the expensive project. Pike patrolled the American West during the Indian Wars, was attached to the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron patrolling the Yangtze River and hunting pirates in the East China Sea, was an observer of the Japanese Boshin War, visited India, flew over the Suez Canal at it’s opening, toured Europe, escaped the Prussian siege of Paris.
On returning to America in 1871 after four years circumnavigating the world, Pike discovered that funding for the aeroship program had evapiorated even though the project had proven the concept many times over. Pike retired from military service.
Pike was a participant in the Custer Expedition to the Black Hills in 1874 by special request from President Grant. Two years later, a writer named Eli Bollinger published a wildly inaccurate fictionalized account of Pike's mission in "New Dime Novels" under the title "Vitruvius Pike and the City of the Sun." Bolinger went on to produce a number of sensationalized dime novels through the end of the century loosely based on Pike's subsequent adventures.
These "adventures" included the discovery of a valley of prehistoric monsters, the capture of a rogue Confederate ironclad automaton and the overthrow of a cult of subterranean lizard-men.
During those years, Pike maintained a residence in his hometown of Allegheny, Pennsylvania but after destroying a massive, intercontinentally capable, light gas gun secretly built by a micronation despot in the Carpathian Mountains he inherited a home in London and lived there for a number of years, aquiring a maid of Japanese descent, Aimi Somerton. Pike traveled the world, sometimes acting on behalf of various governments but often on his own recognizance and during his association with Miss Somerton he foiled an assassination attempt against Queen Victoria, discovered a lost city above the Arctic circle, rescued a European princess from an internationally notorious science pirate, averted a plague of ambulatory corpses, sunk an anarchist submersible that had been menacing commercial shipping and foiled an invasion by creatures allegedly from the Moon.
Notable Quotes Edit
"Half of the lies they tell about me aren't true."
"The reports of my death have not been exaggerated. Much."
"If it weren't for people like you there wouldn't be people like me."
"It should feel strange to stand at a grave with your name on it and think that the man inside it received everything he deserved."
"No, I'm not related to that Pike. And not that other Pike, either."
"Gunslingers are a dime a dozen but decapitate someone with a sword and suddenly you've earned yourself a reputation."
- Vitruvius was a Roman architect and siege engineer to Julius Caesar.
- Pike is a member of the famed Baltimore Gun Club, the secretive NYMZA and an associate member of Andrews’ Inventors Institute.