Locke is another product of "The Academy", but unlike River Tam or Ruan, he is an "operator", not an assassin. He is a product of The Academy's "phase 2.5" tethered operation program in which a programmed assassin ("agent") is paired with a handler ("operator") that controls them in the field.

The Academy looks for a variety of innate abilities, high psionic potential being among them. Some candidates are good for psi, but do not have the innate abilities needed to be trained to be assassins. Some of these candidates are instead trained to be handlers or control agents for the assassins. The handlers are trained in control techniques, martial arts, planning and crisis control. Locke's psi abilities are particularly good; he excels at "pushing", or using his psi ability to control his assigned charge. While the assassins are mentally programmed with a variety of triggers, the ability of a handler to read the feelings of his charge and mentally influence their reactions makes the assassins even more efficient.

Locke was a part of the very first class of human Academy subjects.

He is originally from Osiris where both his parents were very successful and celebrated prosecuting attorneys. As a child Locke was exceptionally intelligent, scoring very high on all of the Alliance aptitude tests. He also showed an early interest in sports and martial arts. By the time he was 12, he was enrolled in Osiris’ top finishing academy and already several grades ahead of his peers. When his parents were offered the opportunity to send him away to Londinium to a new school that accepted only the best and the brightest of the core world’s students, they jumped at the opportunity.

Much later, they attempted legal action against scholastic systems of both Osiris and Londinium for altering their son’s personality thus leading him to drop out of school, cease all communication with them, and run away to a rim world farming commune where he subsequently died after an accident with a harvester. Their dispute was found baseless; an attempt to blame someone else for their son’s problems and it ultimately exposed the severity of the dysfunction they had been hiding from the public for years.

Though they never worked as lawyers again, after years of government sponsored rehabilitation and therapy they eventually found gainful employment on the janitorial staff within the Blue Sun corporate headquarters.

Locke knows none of this because like Ruan, he has very few memories of his life before the Academy.

Once the Academy determined that 13 years of age was too old to start their subjects, Locke’s training was dramatically altered. While he was always a willing student in anything he did, he fell into his new role of operator quite naturally and came to truly enjoy the work he was doing.

He remembers quite fondly the day Ruan was assigned to him and they started training together. As Locke was 20 years old by this time, their 7 year age difference meant that when they weren't working, Ruan was more like a little brother or a son. Over the next 5 years that they worked together he saw Ruan grow up and their working relationship was a very solid partnership.

Now that Ruan is gone, his feelings are mixed. Initially Locke assumed like many others did after search efforts came up empty, that Ruan was dead. Later, when he realized Ruan was on Gonghe, he was relieved to discover that his agent was still alive, but also angry at him for running in the first place. Since losing Ruan, Locke’s position has been less than ideal. The Academy still “owns” him, but he no longer works as an operator. Most of the time Locke is used more like a lie detector; brought along to negotiations to confirm that the other side is being honest. Occasionally Locke goes into the field with an escort to do similar work. He misses the old days and wonders if he could recover his agent, if things wouldn’t go back to the way they were.

Here's an old conversation about Locke if you want it.

(Written by Emily)

Locke's stats
Locke FAQ
Locke hunting Ruan