The Parade of Infamy!
Nathan Zachary, the so-called Gentleman Pirate, has recently seized headlines across North America, after spending years as just another run-of-the-mill air pirate. Who is Nathan Zachary, where is he from, and why haven't we heard much about him before? Warriors of the Air did a little digging and found the details.
"Natan Zingari" was born and raised as a nomadic American Gypsy in the Southwestern United States. His early years are obscure and likely to stay that way. At age 16, the young man enlisted in the Escadrille Lafayette as "Nathan Zachary" and was sent to Europe as part of the volunteer flying force. A quick learner, Zachary took to flying like a duck to water. He briefly served in the 94th Pursuit Squadron, serving with John Johnsonlately of Hughes Aircraftuntil German Ace Heinrich Kisler shot him down behind enemy lines.
Zachary was held as a German POW at Castle Eisen, a German fortress-turned-prison camp, while his wounds healed. This is where he met Jack Mulligan, who was to become his longtime friend and wingman. He was also imprisoned with Dr. Wilhelm Fassenbiender and Johnny Johnson, shot down in the same action against the Germans. Zachary spent several months recovering and making escape plans.
Once his wounds healed, Zachary engineered an escape and liberated Jack, John, and Fassenbiender, and the group evaded capture by fleeing to Russia, rather than the expected route toward the Western Front. While in Russia, Zachary fought against the Germans under the post-Revolution Russian government, until Communism took hold. He briefly allied with the Communists, but switched sides when he saw the cruelty the new Communist government inflicted on the Tsarists and their supporters. He then fought against the Communists, acting as a 20th Century Scarlet Pimpernel, helping several White Russian families escape the firing squads and work camps.
After the chaos of Russia, Zachary headed West, using influenceand possibly some shadier meansto finagle an enrollment at Oxford, where he studied law and business.
After graduating, he returned to the United States. Once back in America, Zachary used his reputation as a war hero and his considerable "smarts" to amass a small fortune on Wall Street. While hunting the wilds of Wall Street Zachary became reacquainted with his old squadron mate John Johnson, then a stocks tycoon, and fenced with Jonathan "Genghis" Kahn, businessman and shady stock broker. When the Crash hit, Zachary lost everything and faded into the American background.
A few years later Zachary had collected his old friend Jack Mulligan, Jack's brother Bill, and a crew of rapscallions and stolen a passenger zeppelin to use as their pirate ship. Since then Zachary and his "Fortune Hunters" have wandered the world in search of money, adventure, and more money. Zachary has been sighted all over North America, rumored to have traveled well into the southern reaches of Mexico, operated in the Caribbean, and circled the globe from Scotland to India.
In his adventures Zachary has worked with several more famous characters, seems to have contacts in every pirate port and to have met half the aces on either side of the law across North America.
Zachary gained his nickname, the "Gentleman Pirate" by going out of his way to avoid causing any more damage than he has to, and to avoid injuring or killing those he considers innocent. His definition of "innocent" doesn't seem to include members of the military or employees of whoever he's robbing at the moment, although he never goes out of his way to kill wantonly; Zachary's "innocent" seems mostly to include bystanders.
Zachary's defense of the innocent can go to extremes; reports claim that he once shot down one of his own men for violating the Fortune Hunters' code, and has apparently walked away from easy prey when a bystander has been accidentally wounded.
The "Gentleman" moniker also seems to have something to do with the way he treats ladies; hardly a single member of the fair sex fails to describe Zachary as "dashing," "romantic," "dreamy", "striking," or "gripping." Rumors have Zachary romancing half the lady pilots in North America, from the Black Swan to Charlie Steele, although the tabloids are notoriously off base when it comes to romantic pairings.
Several months ago Zachary apparently teamed up with another lesser-known pirate, Lucas Miles, in an effort to get some brawn behind Zachary's impressive brain. The partnership allowed for a few impressive successes, and Zachary and Miles made a few tidy hauls. The partners apparently fell out over Zachary's scrupulous code of conduct, and Zachary and Miles' gangs went for each other's throats during a British payroll heist over the Caribbean. Lucas Miles was reported killed in the fight when Zachary dropped a payload of aerial torpedoes into his ex-partner's zeppelin's bridge.
Only a short time later, Zachary showed up in Hawaii, starting his current streak of headline-grabbing adventures, exposing the British plot against the Hawaiian royal family, then stealing the Blue Streak and pasting some of Paladin Blake's best aces, and most recently tearing a strip off of Hughes Aviation executive Johnny Johnson. No one can say whether Zachary's current fame is the light of a rising star or the final burn of a falling one, but Warriors of the Air will keep its readers in the know!