As a young boy, Bruce helped his folks with their shop by mostly fetching things, but soon graduated to tinkering himself. By the age of nine he was hacking the repair bots in his father's shop to cause his dad fits. Bruce did very well in school, and was not only found to be a brilliant mind, but quite an athlete as well. Life seemed so easy in the desolate city, with the hot days turning into often icy cold nights, Bruce could often be found huddled by the fire falling asleep with a good book in his hands. By the time Bruce turned eleven, things took a turn, as the Commonwealth declare war on the CTN, followed by the Hale and the AIE. The CTN ended up capturing Old America City and turning it into a sort of concentration camp for AIE citizens, enforcing curfews and rationing water and food. For five years the occupation of Old America City by the CTN went on.
During this time, Bruce's father Jonathan joined a resistance force that was created by remnants of the local AIE government. He uses his shop, which was allowed to stay open due to necessity, to send secret coded messages to various AIE refugee resistance groups located throughout Old American City, creating a vast network of information gathering. Bruce, as a fledgling teenager was caught in the middle of all this, often delivering secret messages in the computers he was dropping off, without any knowledge of what exactly he was doing. He was just a kid with a job, after work he would go and hang out with other teens, until the ten o'clock curfew set in. This all changed during the fourth year of the occupation.
It was a warm summer evening about seven o'clock as Bruce was hurrying back to the shop to bring back the money from his last delivery. If he hurried, he could get to see his friends for a couple hours before curfew. He quickly jogged through the door, setting down his messenger back and running to the safe as he usually does, but something is amiss. The usual cheerful face of his father is not at the front of the shop to greet him. There is no usual smell of whatever odd rations mom was cooking for dinner.
Bruce walked through the doors to the back room to find both of his parents, lying prone, with no signs of struggle. Terrified, he screamed and grabbed at his father's work coveralls, somehow trying to will him back to life to no avail. The coroner's toxicology report was inconclusive, however - it was his testimony at the official inquest that the two were poisoned, as their internal organs showed signs of severe damage that could only be done with certain rare poisons.
In the final turbulent year of the occupation, Bruce was left an orphan and at sixteen but was old enough to set out on his own rather than become a ward. He was able to bring himself to return to the fix-it shop, his home all of his life, and pick up the pieces. He began working as the local tinker, and soon began to discover through clients some of the bits and pieces leading up to his parents demise. He began having nightmares and often would break down and cry in a corner, sometimes three or four times a week. He spent every waking moment that he wasn't working hacking into CTN government computer mainframes, trying to find information regarding his parents case. The local occupational government had closed the case, ruling it a planned double suicide. Bruce wasn't convinced as he knew his parents wouldn't do that, there was no note, no preparation, they were murdered and he knew it.
When the AIE finally arrived in occupied Old America City in 2328, the CTN had ransacked the place for everything of value. Vandals had broken into Bruce's shop in the night and stolen basically everything he had left. He was close to connecting his parents death to the CTN, but couldn't track down the final bits of evidence he needed before they left and took it all with them. He was granted a special refugee status by a sympathetic clerk due to his parents deaths and allowed to travel freely, a luxury not given to all of those held during the CTN occupation. Many were themselves labeled as CTN citizens, or were citizens of the CTN who were brought to Old America City because they were criminals. Bruce always thought they were AIE from other provinces. Bruce uses his freedom to continue the investigation into his parent's death.
Time passed and no new leads come Bruce's way. He needed money to survive, the benefits he had gotten from the AIE government were running out. He began taking on cases from families of missing persons during the CTN occupation and either found them alive or found their bodies for their loved ones. He would take cases that no other private investigator would take, leading his advertisements of "Bruce Locke, Private Investigator" to include the slogan, "I'll take the case!". While looking for new leads, Bruce found himself constantly having to hack his way into different computer systems to find answers. During these technological espionage missions, he often encountered massive amounts of other data, completely irrelevant to his cases, but important and valuable nonetheless. He kept this data, along with everything concerning all his cases in a custom made lore-style computer he kept with him at all times to ensure its safety.
Eventually his corpse sniffing days came to a close, as it has been about ten years since the occupation ended and most of the families had moved on. Bruce still hadn't moved on from the death of his parents, he had tracked down evidence leading all the way to CTN Central Intelligence, but from there, he couldn't pinpoint the man or men responsible for his parents deaths. It wasn't just about blaming the CTN anymore, the CTN were gone, the occupation was gone and nearly forgotten about.
He was alone in this search, a search for revenge. He managed to use his experience as an investigator to land a job with the special crimes division of the AIE Civil Defense Force. His job was to track down CTN who had illegally left their worlds of residence, particularly those who had gone through the newly established wormholes to the colonies. Now, Detective Locke, who had never been off world before, was taking crash courses in piloting newly developed ships that had barely been tested and flying through wormholes to the other end of the galaxy.
The CTN he was after were not your run of the mill schmucks. They were mainly either from rich, prominent families and had enough influence to get themselves off world, or they were former military, intelligence or CTN government. This made Bruce not feel so bad about tracking down these basically criminals, who held him in that camp, who killed his parents. These people weren't innocent and hopefully one of them had the answers he was looking for, or maybe even one of these men he was after could coincidentally be his parents killer. Either way, he was really good at his job, hunting down hundreds of former important CTN targets in the six years he was with the defense force. Around 2343-2344 when things begin to get tense with the Praelor, funding was completely cut and the civil defense force was dissolved and changed into something new. Bruce found himself again aimless, and only further away from finding his parents killers.
Due to his six years of flying experience during his time hunting down the CTN, he was offered an opportunity to fly missions against the Praelor as a civilian pilot. Since the Praelor were basically constantly invading at this point, Bruce felt he had no choice but to set aside the search for his parent's killer and help with this alien threat. He helped in a few invasions and flew civilian missions for about six more years until the war slowed down to a much smaller threat. Now, with a full bank account, Detective Locke set out again to try and find the elusive killer. It was the 2050s, and once again people were looking for loved ones who were lost during the war. Although Bruce had a large sum of money from his missioning days, he invested it wisely and also took on missing persons cases again. This felt fulfilling to him, as if he was finding his own loved ones vicariously somehow.
In 2057, thirty years after his parents death, there was a break in the case. One of his hacker friends was able to finally break into an old encrypted CTN Central Intelligence data dump which included the termination orders for several members of the Old America City Underground. On the orders are the names of the man who ordered the executions, a Reginald Humperdink, and the man who carried them out, Jonah Davies. Mister Humperdink was easy to track down, his tombstone read, "Here Lies Reginald Huumperdink, Gone But Not Forgotten: Father, Family Man, Soldier". It seems revenge had already come his way in the form of a toxic gas attack during the occupation that burnt his lungs out. He died in a hospital for CTN veterans with a made up back story that never had him working in intelligence. This made Bruce wonder if he even had anything, but still, he trudged onward with the name in his head, Jonah Davies...Jonah Davies.
After a year of searching, and exhausting a great deal of his savings, Bruce found Jonah Davies. Jonah had made his way into the AIE with no record of his CTN background. He was working under the name Gavin Banks. The detective had figured out that Gavin's backstory was falsified, and managed to tie him to certain events he had begun to unravel in Jonah's life. Finally he was able to find a fingerprint match from when Jonah was taken prisoner - it matched Gavin Banks. This was the man who killed his parents, and most of all, he wanted to know why. Gavin was working as a civilian pilot, running cargo and salvage operations out of the Miriani area. It seemed as though he wanted to stay as far away from Earth, and his past, as possible.
It wasn't long before Bruce began "bumping into" Mr. Banks so to speak, once even having a drink with the man in between departures. Locke sold himself as a salvager and business man himself, and an explorer. A few meetings later, Bruce was convincing Gavin to come with him on an out of locals trip. Innocent enough, two AIE pilots going on an out of locals trip makes perfect sense, and Bruce convinced Gavin that he has information leading to areas with lots of valuable artifacts. As the two men depart from Miriani on their trip, Gavin quickly became tired and passed out, the result of a drug that Bruce placed in his drink about an hour beforehand. Gavin, AKA Jonah, would be asleep until the two made it out of communications range, that's when things could get started. Jonah didn't wake up until the next morning, by then the ship was at least 100 light-years away from local space. Jonah was groggy, confused and weak. Bruce had given him a combination of drugs ensuring that he would not be a threat, and also he would tell the truth. Locke had gotten the recipe from a CTN intelligence archive.
As Jonah awoke, Bruce began to speak in a calm, monotone voice, "It was a warm summer evening, 2327, Old America City, you walked into a fix-it shop, perhaps with some kind of bogus item to be repaired and dropped it off to two unsuspecting AIE citizens who were suspected to be involved in resisting the CTN occupation. Your name is Jonah Davies, you were an agent in the CTN Central Intelligence. You killed people, you killed my parents." Jonah, quite sedated though cognizant, lifted his head and slowly replied, "Well it seems my past has finally caught up with me, yes I worked for Central Intelligence, and yes, I delivered many packages that killed I'm sure, many people's parents. Did you want to have some kind of cry together? It was a war, and like it or not, your parents were members of the AIE resistance forces, making them legitimate military targets." The black bag drops, fade to black, a garbled voice simply says, "Wrong answer Jonah."
Jonah later turned up unconscious on Acrylon and was promptly arrested and taken into custody by the AIE. Covering a large majority of his body were vast expanses of micro-script that had been laser etched somehow onto his skin. It was a catalogue of his CTN career and the crimes he had committed against the AIE, including murdering truly innocent civilians not involved in the rebellion. Several cold cases are miraculously solved with the information after the long thirty one year gap and Jonah is sentenced to a lifetime of solitary confinement and ends up cooperating with detectives. As for Bruce Locke? Well he's still out there, trying to find some kind of meaning to it all. Helping people investigate the skeletons in their closet and bodies in their backyards. Just look for Bruce Locke, Private Eye - he'll take the case!