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Drake Merwin Jr., also known as Whip Hand. is a major antagonist in the Gone series. Originally a psychotic enforcer for Caine Soren, Drake becomes unquestionably loyal to the Gaiaphage after the creature gives him a whip-like arm after his original arm is burned off by Sam Temple.

Appearance

Drake is a handsome looking boy of average height for a teenager and quite slim. He is described as having dark blonde hair, Sam described him as a 'smiling, Playful, mean eyed kid'. Astrid describes his expressions as lizard like and has 'shark smile' which shows off his teeth when he laughs. His eyes are described as being 'steely icy blue'. Penny described him as 'attractive'.

His characteristic "Whip Hand" is a tentacle replacing his amputated right arm at the shoulder.  The whip is dark red in color, like a scab, and is about ten feet long.  Drake often wraps it around his waist like a belt to keep it from dragging.

Personality

Drake is sadistic, sociopathic, misogynistic and arrogant. He is described as a bully and as a child in Coates 'would give any one who crossed him a swirlie' and was enjoys having a position of power and goes out of his way to prove his superiority, fighting anyone who challenges his authority. In the early books he frequently challenges Caine for power and authority.

History

Drake was born somewhere around or near Perdido Beach, California. Drake was named after his Paternal grandfather who was a Vietnam War veteran, Drake grew up admiring his grandfather and was always ask him what it was like killing people in the war. His psychopathic behavior was apparent at a young age and only bonded with his father, a police officer after he should him guns, after he shot a boy in his neighborhood with a pellet gun he was sent to Coates Academy, a school for children with behavioral problems. In Coates Academy Drake quickly became a bully and soon became acquainted with power hungry teenager, Caine Soren, and the two sparked an alliance but Drake would constantly push Caine for leadership.

In the first book, after everybody over the age of 15 disappears and everybody under the age of 15 is left trapped inside the FAYZ, Drake arrives along with Caine, Diana, Computer Jack and other children from Coates Academy to Perdido Beach so Caine can gain control over the Town. During his stay there he is names the town Sheriff and allows a girl called Bette to be accidentally killed by Charles 'Orc' Merriman. His brutal and psychopathic personality is shown and he quickly becomes feared by the town’s children, and he later captures Sam Temple, Astrid Ellision and her brother, Little Pete. He attacks Astrid and forces her to call her brother a 'Retard'. Little Pete then teleported him and Astrid to their home after he senses the danger. In retaliation for this Drake burns their house down and chases them to Clifftop Hotel, vowing to kill them on Caine’s orders.

Caine took him, along with Diana and Computer Jack, back up to Coates to film Andrew "poof". Later on, Drake spotted a fire in the distance and knew Sam and his friends were coming up. He managed to catch them, bring them up to Coates at gunpoint and had Sam and Astrid's hands encased in concrete, but Little Pete freed their hands after Sam distracted Drake. Drake tried to shoot little Pete, but Sam burned his gun arm so badly that it had to be cut off for him to survive.

He later took a SUV and went to Perdido Beach and kidnapped Lana Lazar, 'the Healer' and tried to force her to heal his arm, he then took her to the Gaiaphage in exchange for helping him, The Gaiaphage forces Lana to give him a long, tentacle-like whip for an arm in place of his missing one. The Gaiaphage then gave Drake command over the mutated Coyote Pack and took them to Perdido Beach to engage in Battle against the Perdido Beach children and the Coates Academy students. During the battle Drake fought a new also mutated Orc and after Caine went unconscious after going to the Gaiaphage, Drake took control over Coates Academy.

In the second book, Hunger, Drake unhappily resumes his position of enforcer after Caine awakens and helps the group attack the Nuclear Power Plant in order to steal uranium rods for the Gaiaphage to gain energy from. Drake stayed back at the power plant when Caine left to bring a fuel rod to the mine. When Caine took over the power plant, Drake came up with the idea to put up wires in case Brianna ran through at super speed, which caused a conflict with Jack. He waited for Sam to walk into the reactor room and threatened to cause a nuclear meltdown if Sam didn't stay and let him torture him. Drake whipped him to near death, but Brianna "Breeze" intervened, running through and cutting off his whip arm. Drake then caught up with Caine and went along to the mine shaft with him. After Diana began to verbally insult him, Drake attacked her, enraging Caine who then used his Telekinesis to impale Drake and send him flying into the mine.

At the start of the third book Lies, everyone believed Caine killed Drake, though through the part of Drake that was fused in Brittney Donegal's body, he was resurrected, but forcing him to share the same body. They were able to each have their own time in control, and would change between each other. Drake spent a long time trying to dig out of the grave that Brittney had been pushed into, while Brittney herself attempted to halt his progress.Throughout the book various people reported to have seen him around town and the body of a boy who seemed to have been whipped to death was found, making many people think he was still alive. Their suspicions were confirmed near the end of the book, when Drake is seen outside the daycare by Mary and later was seen going after all of the kids who were headed for the cliff. Sam attempted to burn him, but he changed into Brittney. Even though she begged him to kill her, he wasn't able to get himself to do it and both she and Drake lived. In the end, everyone figured out that Drake and Brittney shared a body and they were kept in a basement, guarded by Orc and Howard.

In the fourth book Plague, Drake was still trapped in Orc's basement, but he soon tricked Orc and escaped with Jamal. Brianna found him and tried to stop him, even cutting him into pieces at one point, but Brittney’s immortality kept him alive and he was able to put himself back together. They then headed to the mine shaft to see the Gaiaphage, where Drake became commander of the mutant bugs and let them eat Jamal. He decided to go after Sam, sending half of his bug army into town and taking half with him to Lake Tramonto. Drake failed to get Sam though, as he and his friends were on a boat in the lake and came up with an escape plan that got them to the other side of the FAYZ. Drake then went to Coates, where he unleashed his bugs on Orc and tried to threaten Astrid into giving up Little Pete. Astrid threw her brother to the bugs and Drake's whole bug-army disappeared, along with Little Pete.

At the start of the fifth book Fear, Drake is said to be living with the Gaiaphage (in the mine shaft). He still shares a body with Brittney, and mentions that he would like to be able to talk about the Gaiaphage with her, showing some human emotion. The Gaiaphage tells him to take Diana (in reality, the Gaiaphage wants her baby, but it's unborn at the moment) and on the way, he also takes Justin, a young boy. Once he takes them to the Gaiaphage, it makes Diana's baby grow much faster and she gives birth to her in the mine shaft. Once Gaia Soren-Ladris (the baby) is born, Drake, Penny, Diana and Gaia go up to the surface to battle Sam and Caine. Gaia is said to be a very powerful Mutant. The last we see of Drake is him running back to the mine with Diana.

In the final Book, Light, Drake-Brittney remains with Gaia and Diana and leaves to find food for the rapidly growing mutant child but is attacked by Brianna 'The Breeze' who cuts him into multiple pieces and spreads across the FAYZ so he cannot put himself back together, Astrid takes Drake's head and locks it in a cooler and drops it in the lake. In the aftermath of Gaia's attack on the Lake, Alex, a young man who Gaia let into the FAYZ finds the cooler and Drake's head and shows it to Gaia. Gaia decaptiates Alex and transplants Drake's head onto his head and gives Drake back his whip hand. Drake then kidnaps and holds Astrid hostage and attacks her only for Astrid to fight back, gouge Drake's eyes out and bites his nose off. After Gaia's death and the FAYZ wall comes down a shocked Drake is attacked by Sam and the two fight once again but Drake turns to ashes, and Sam presumes he is dead.

In Monster, the story set four years after, Drake is shown to be still alive.  Since he had been physically modified by his powers, unlike most of the FAYZ mutants, he retained his abilities and was able to regenerate.  He resides in the Mojave desert, raping, murdering, and torturing people from nearby towns.  By the time of Monster, he has murdered eighteen people in this way, and the murders have been blamed on local criminals and illegal immigrants.  He allies with Thomas Peaks in a battle between him and some of the new people with powers.


In Villain, Drake retreats to the desert with Tom Peaks.  Peaks eventually grows disgusted with Drake's cruelty and arranges for him to be blown up in a drone strike.  While blasted to pieces by the missile, Drake survives and regenerates, resolving to hunt down Astrid.

In Hero, Drake finishes regenerating and hijacks a car to find Astrid.  He locates an FBI office and follows the agent home, threatening her and her six-year-old son in order to force her to find Astrid's address for him.  He kills the mother and child before heading to Astrid's home.  However, Astrid has prepared for his arrival and used an ASO fragment to give herself powers.  She easily defeats him, dismembers him, and places the still-living remains in a barrel of acid.  It is unclear whether this finally managed to kill Drake, but it appears to have permanently incapacitated him by reducing him to sludge.

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