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|“||Alex: You'll kill thousands of people. Hundreds of thousands of people, and most of them will be innocent. They won't have ANYTHING to do with drugs...
Cray: There have to be sacrifices. But if a thousand people die to save a million, what's so wrong about that?
Alex: EVERYTHING is wrong with it! What about the fallout? Have you thought what it'll do to the rest of the planet? I thought you cared about the environment but you're going to destroy it.
Cray: It's a price worth paying, and one day the whole world will agree. You've got to be cruel to be kind.
Alex: You only think that because you're insane.
|~ Cray and Alex.|
Sir Damian Cray (real name: Harold Eric Lunt) is the main antagonist of the Alex Rider novel Eagle Strike.
Sir Damian Cray was born as Harold Eric Lunt in London on October 5, 1950, the only son of businessman Sir Arthur Lunt, a multi-storey carpark magnate. As a youth, Harold professed a wish to become a jazz or pop musician in a rock band.
His parents were disgusted and horrified, because Sir Arthur had a wish for his son to perform at the Royal Albert Hall singing opera. Cray didn't want to be a professional classical performer, he wanted to be rebellious, modern and eccentric, like all his peers, regardless of wealth.
Sir Arthur was going to make Harold into being a classical singer, so Harold decided he would have to kill his parents. Their deaths were seen as an accident, but it is strongly implied that thirteen-year-old Harold killed his own parents by pushing their official car off one of Sir Arthur's multi-storey car parks onto them. He had to pretend to be upset, of course, to inherit their wealth and appear decent, but in reality he was a demonic schoolboy, welcoming his own parent's deaths.
In the 1970s, he changed his name to Damian Cray, and formed a band named Slam! (which was successful but eventually split in 1979, with Damian going solo), and bought an apartment in London. The rest of his life brought him great fame - he ended up playing at Princess Diana's birthday, in Buckingham Palace, and then he was back to the Palace several days later, to be knighted. It was at this time that Sir Damian Cray had begun to think about the world, and raised many millions of pounds for charities, and he was seen as a living saint. Later on, he went to Africa, and decided to make the people richer by hosting a concert and donating all the money to charity.
Although he was seen as a living saint, Sir Damian believed that the world was not improving fast enough, or in some cases, at all; therefore, he resolved to take extreme action. In one instance, he campaigned against the Millburn Institute, which was known to have been testing products on animals. He led a petition that had over a thousand signatures calling for the work to stop, but that proved to be ineffective. Sir Damian then knew, in his mind, that where peaceful action failed, violence would succeed; this 'theory' was proved correct when he had Professor Millburn, the director of the institute, killed. Although the graphic novel adaptation of the book implies that Millburn died in a hit and run, worldbuilding material suggests that the professor was found in a grisly parody of the animals he had tested: naked, covered in lipstick and mascara, and drenched in perfume. In any event, the institute was closed soon thereafter. Realising he could get away with such evil, Sir Damian proceeded to take extreme actions against others who he believed were wrong; MI6 reports indicate his responsibility for the deaths of fifteen Japanese whalers who were found mummified in their own deep freeze, and the deaths of the entire board of a Yorkshire-based landmine firm, who he himself says died in a outboard motorboat explosion in the Lake District national park.
By far his most diabolical scheme was an insane plan he called "Eagle Strike". He believed that all the problems in the world were caused by drugs. Although he wrote anti-drug songs and appeared in government ads, he felt that the governments of the world were not taking enough action, and resolved to carry out his most extreme action yet. He pinpointed the location of twenty-five major drug suppliers, and planned to destroy them using American nuclear missiles. Cray would use a hacking flash drive to gain control of the missile master computer (only the President of the United States could control it, due to the computer being located in the rear of Air Force One) and launch the missiles. He states that he does not care if thousands die in the process; he only wants to see the end of drug use forever, and with it, a 'golden era' for all the world.
To create Eagle Strike, Sir Damian needed government-style technology, so he made an announcement he would become a video game developer, creating a console system called Gameslayer; this was not exactly a surprise, as his music career had slowed down due to his campaigning/terrorism and business ventures. The first game, Feathered Serpent, was being released to a great demonstration in London's Hyde Park.
Unfortunately, Sir Damian had found out that an investigative journalist, Edward Pleasure, was making some inquiries into his "real" agenda. Edward had found out Sir Damian had met with Charlie Roper, a traitor to the NSA, and he wondered why Sir Damian was being bribed with thousands of pounds.
Edward began to suspect illegal and criminal affairs, but before he could pursue Sir Damian further, Sir Damian ordered Yassen Gregorovich to put a bomb in Edward's holiday house in France. The house blew up, but the bomb was badly placed and only burned Edward Pleasure rather than kill him.
Most unfortunately, Alex Rider was a friend of Sabina, Edward's teenage daughter, and was staying with the family in France but had gone to the beach with Sabina. So, only Edward was in the house and only he was hurt in the explosion. But Edward was hospitalised, and Alex knew Yassen had blown up the house because he had seen Yassen on the beach and followed him to a meeting with associates Raoul and Franco. Alex found Yassen's phone, and memorized a number, the last number he had phoned. Alex went to a phone, rang the number, and to his amazement, Sir Damian Cray answered, and identified himself as such.
Alex met Sabina at Liverpool Street and told her the truth that Sir Damian Cray was a monster and wanted her father dead. But even though Alex told her he was with MI6 and showed her their headquarters, they had turned against him, pretending to be a bank, and threw Alex out. Sabina cut off her friendship with Alex, calling him a worthless loser and dumping him on the street. Then, Mrs. Jones came out, having heard everything that was said, and took Alex to her office.
She told him about Sir Damian, about him being a supposed saint, but Alex said he knew Sir Damian was mad and he would prove it. Only Jack Starbright, Alex's female guardian, believed him about Sir Damian. Alex went to the Gameslayer launch, and actually met Sir Damian Cray, face to face, being invited to play the game with him. A couple of eager journalists asked about the games, and one, an irritating woman, asked about why it was violent if Sir Damian was a campaigner against. Sir Damian pretended he didn't mind the questions, answering her honestly, that games stopped children from being violent, but the woman just wouldn't shut up, so he said "I think I've answered your point, so maybe you should stop questioning my answer!"
Sir Damian walked Alex through the game, but got annoyed when Alex beat it easily. Sir Damian knocked Alex on the last level and killed his character. Because Sir Damian had used an avatar of Alex as the character, Alex felt like he had really died, because of the sick pain synthesis Sir Damian had used on the game.
Alex and Jack then went to Amsterdam, but not before Alex saw the rude female journalist had been run over, seemingly deliberate, as she left the presentation.
In Amsterdam, Alex found Cray Software Technology, an organization he had suspected since Edward was attacked by the Carmageus Sans Touristes, a French terrorist organization. Alex went into the place, breaking in with MI6 gadgets, and then he was captured by Sir Damian, whom he had just seen murder Charlie Roper, the treacherous NSA agent whom Edward had met in Paris. Then Sir Damian mockingly said "Let's get a drink - and let me tell you how you're going to die." Sir Damian confessed that he had always wanted Alex dead even when they played the game.
Sir Damian revealed how he had made the game - it wasn't technical at all, it was in fact a theme park, where human hostages had been made to do the levels for real, filmed, their emotions and reactions processed to the discs and processed. It was evil beyond imagining. But Alex got through the theme park but barely made it, thanks to cheating and violating the rules of the game (sacrificing his shirt to destroy a robotic dragon creature, climbing over an acidic river and disabling a security camera, using a stolen crossbow to kill an abused, torture boa constrictor, and then using a broken spear, the camera wire and snake blood to fake death, letting the guards leave him unattended in order to escape). He found a flash drive which Sir Damian had killed Charlie over, and stole it.
To get the flash drive back, Sir Damian had found out about Sabina and kidnapped her from the hospital where her father was. Sir Damian used Sabina to summon Alex to him for the final showdown, threatening to kill her if she refused, and then kill everybody that Alex knew before finally killing Alex himself. With no alternative, Alex went to Sir Damian's home - a converted convent - and appeared to hand over the flash drive, only to tape a tube of superglue to it, and give Sir Damian some new rules. Sir Damian was to let Sabina go free, and then telephone the house from a safe location. After that, Alex said he would give himself and the flash drive to Sir Damian and threatened to destroy the flash drive by filling it with superglue, but he was lying; once Sabina had phoned, he would destroy the flash drive anyway. However, Sir Damian managed to outmanoeuvre Alex, by having Yassen threaten to cut off Sabina's fingers in order to get Alex to totally surrender himself. Once that had happened, the demonic man invited them all, threateningly, to afternoon tea in the garden.
Sir Damian related to Alex and Sabina his life story, and explained how many people - seemingly dozens, if not hundreds - he had killed over the years and how he was pure evil. Sir Damian said about his parents' death "I thought God was on my side. He wanted me to be a success and so He had decided to help me!" He explained his idea to blow up twenty-five refineries of drugs in South America, North America, Africa, China... "almost every continent will feel the pain."
Then Sir Damian took Alex and Sabina to a wine cellar, threw them in (where they apologised to one another for earlier), then came for them with biochemical suits which he used to invade Air Force One, the presidential plane, hence the operation's name: Eagle Strike. Sir Damian distracted most of airport security with an exploding plane that was carrying a fake nerve agent, killed all the guards on Air Force One, then had his henchman, Henryk, pilot it out of Heathrow, whilst taking Alex to the missile room and watch him try to change the world. Alex insulted him, so Sir Damian ordered Yassen to kill Alex and Sabina, but Yassen had respect for Alex because of how John Rider had saved his life (as well as a scruple against killing children), and refused.
Sir Damian shot Yassen dead, and then pounced on Alex, shooting him - but Alex was wearing a bulletproof cycling jersey. Alex fought Sir Damian, battling him in the cabin, and Sabina flung a drinks trolley under Sir Damian, launching him out of the door into the jet's engine, which shredded him in seconds. The glove with the President's fingers had survived, allowing Sabina to go to the missile control room and trigger the self-destruct of all the launched missiles, ending Sir Damian's diabolical plan.
Cray is similar to Nikolei Drevin; due to his limitless wealth he was over-indulged, spoilt, childlike, petulant, adverse to not having his way, rash, stubborn, emotionally immature, highly temperamental, extremely egocentric and cruel however Cray is definitely more childish as well insane then Drevin. He also possesses sadistic giddiness to other people's suffering as well extreme cowardice and narcissism and will blame others for failure rather than accept said blame on himself as well decorates his home with portraits of himself. Behind the mask of a good man, Cray was a genuine psychopath. He has little to no remorse for the people he kills, normally thinking of ironic methods of murdering his victims such as crushing Charlie Roper, an assassin in two million dollars worth of coins which he calls "blood money". His hatred towards not getting his way was further reinforced when he killed Yassen Gregorovich because he refused to kill Sabina Pleasure and Alex Rider.
Despite his childishness, Cray is quite intelligent, as he was able to mastermind Eagle Strike, but this might by a testament to his unimaginable wealth rather than actual intellect. However he was reckless and didn't normally consider long-term plans. Though he was definitely an evil man, Cray did possess some goodness in his goals. He performed many charitable deeds and launched a "War Against Drugs" campaign by himself; however, he was frustrated by the government's lack of incline and was prepared to launch missiles and destroy the major drug distributors of the world. This shows that although his methods were ruthless, he believed what he was doing was for the good of humanity. However, he was also a hypocrite, as he was willing to sacrifice the environment he claimed to care so much about and kill more people than drugs ever could just to achieve his cause.