James McCullen Destro XXIV
9 - High Command
Born in Callander, Scotland, Destro’s full name is James McCullen Destro XXIV, and he is Laird of Castle Destro in the Scottish Highlands. The Destro clan designed and sold weapons for centuries, and Destro is the head of their current incarnation: M.A.R.S. He wears a mask forged from Beryllium Steel, a tradition dating back to the English Civil War, when an ancestor of his tried to intervene in a war between the English and the Scots. Forced to wear a steel mask for his meddling (neither side wanted to execute the ancestor because they still wanted the weapons he sold), the Destro clan has since turned it into a symbol of pride, passing it down from father to son for over 20 generations.
Destro’s key characteristics are his sense of honor, his calm demeanor, and love for COBRA’s primary intelligence officer, the Duchess (although sadly for him, she does not return his love). As a businessman, Destro has rejected the warlike interests of his ancestors, becoming a millionaire philanthropist for a host of good causes. He uses his army of volunteers, the Iron Grenadiers, as a peacekeeping force to end conflict in dangerous regions, and works personally with both sides of any conflict in an attempt to find non-violent solutions. Ending a tradition started by the first masked Destro, he refuses to sell weaponised technology to anyone, and instead assists peace organizations like Cobra in other ways, including finances and manpower.
Destro is an honorable man, answering to a universal moral code. He has stood with Cobra Commander, but will join forces with the G.I. Joe team if it is good for business or the world. With such wavering loyalties, he has come to respect and befriend many, from Joe members Flint and Lady Jaye, to Zartan, and even the Commander’s estranged son Billy. His strongest connection is, however, to the Baroness, who, it is revealed early on, has shared a romantic relationship with him since he was a young man.
When Destro was a young man, he fell in love with a beautiful black Scottish woman. His family forbid him to see her since she was a poor commoner, but James Destro disobeyed them, seeking out her company whenever he could get away.
This woman became pregnant while young James was out of the country, and in a panic she sought help at Castle Destro. James's family paid her off against her will to keep her silence about the pregnancy, making dire threats as to what would happen to her and her child if she spoke.
Alexander's mother never spoke to James out of fear, but raised her son telling stories of his father, never mentioning exactly who he was other than his first name. Alexander grew up poor on the streets of Scotland, his natural power and charisma allowing him to quickly rise to command the largest of the local gangs.
Following rumours of an unknown bastard child of Lord Destro years later, Mistress Armada used her superior intelligence-gathering skills to track down Alexander and inform him of his true birthright. At Armada's urging, Alexander confronted Destro, who remembered the lost love of his youth.
Joyufully accepting Alexander's claims (after prudent DNA tests, of course), Destro made Alexander and Armada field commanders of his Iron Grenadier volunteers. Destro keeps an eye on his young progeny, proud of his son's flair for community service.
In the Shattered Glass universe, Destro is a pacifist and a philanthropist.
SG Destro is currently played by CalihexInmate.
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