Iosef Lilianovich Dros

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No superiors can relieve me of my duty, you bulldozed them all to a mass grave for trying to free humanity.

Iosef Lilianovich Dros is a Political Commissar of the 114th Anti-Aircraft Division of the 4th Army of the Commune of Revachol, and one of the critical characters in Disco Elysium.

Background[edit | edit source]

Recruited from Jamrock in '07, at the tender age of fifteen, Dros trained in the Ecole de Controle Aérien, then consigned to emergency defence duties in '08, just before the fall of the Revolution. His posting at the Sea Fortress was simple: As political commissar, His job was to assure the army answers to civilian control. And follows the ideology of the commune: Scientific communism. He was a comissionaire politique, a political commissar, a knight-philosopher of the Revolution. A future human, in other words.

However, the sixteen years old Iosif was not prepared for what came on May 13, '08. The Coalition amassed an armada that filled the horizon in a bid to extinguish the last surviving branch of the Antecentennial Revolution. Although he could not see the artillery anchored at Ozonne, over eighty kilometers away, that sight was enough to cause a lapse of faith. He realized the Commune would fall. When the shelling began and Martinaise shuddered, he told the rest of the soldiers at the fortress that he was going to the map room. However, he climbed the chain link across the water instead and hid inland, in the bunkers underground, until the shelling stopped. He emerged to see the sky filled with aerostatics: The Landing had started. Martinaise was hell, with ships all above, hissing, whirling, and men pouring out. He swam back to the fortress over the submerged supply chain, only to find it shattered. His troops drowned in the lower levels or got torn to shreds above. The anti-aircraft gun had malfunctioned like he did.

As an ideological officer subordinated to the Party, rather than the Army (the ICM), he was not included in the instrument of surrender signed by the Commune and resolved to continue fighting. For a time he and other communard holdouts clung to the hope that the Revolution would somehow defeat the Coalition. Some cordons of Revachol kept fighting, even after the East surrendered and Martinaise and Coal City were turned to dust. The rest of Jamrock, Faughbourg, even Couron and Boogie Street continued the fight, using caches of weapons spread throughout the city. However, the Coalition's iron fist, mass executions, and pervasive invigilation eventually snuffed them out.

Without partisan training, Dros found it difficult to survive at first, especially in the '10s, when the Coalition's search for stragglers was particularly intense, supported by the RCM and civilians just wanting to move on. He used the sea fortress as his base, gathering supplies and weapons on the mainland, dashing from bunker to bunker. But slowly, the Coalition's grip loosened: There were no more communists to root out, just impoverished, broken people forcibly fed into the capitalist grinder. Dros could move freely, just another vagrant among thousands. It only radicalized him further. For the next 43 years and 10 months he would remain on the island, the last holdout of the Commune of Revachol. His hopes would be briefly reignited by the Claires, who promised a return of socialism in return for a single favor: The death of the Dockworkers' Union head.

Though a cynic, Dros obliged and murdered her, only to watch the Claires renege on their promises. He could have asked anything he wanted in return for his favor. Instead, he withdrew onto his island, continuing to subsist on rainwater and whatever he could salvage. Though this style of life should have killed him, Dros stayed alive. It wasn't uncanny endurance or stroke of luck: He was accompanied by the Insulindian Phasmid, which used its psychic abilities to erase itself from Dros' perception. The same process also prolonged Dros' life and helped him cope with the passage of time, though it also caused various mental complications: Missing days, blackouts, and eventually a perverse psychosexual fixation with Klaasje. With a clear line of sight from the island to the Whirling-in-Rags rooftop, he watched her party and have sex. Eventually, he snuck in through the abandoned pinball workshop in the back, watching her through a peep hole.

He snapped when Ellis Kortenaer entered her life, a colonel in charge of a death squad sent to "deal" with the striking workers. He had it. So he took his Triangong 4-46, lay down in the ruined embrasure on the island and waited for the right moment, when Ellis and Klaasje would have sex again. When it came, he put a 4.46 mm bullet through his head. While he planned to explode his skull, the bullet entered through the mouth, killing Kortenaer on the spot. It was the last bullet he ever fired.

Since then, he remained apathetically at the island, no longer possessing the will to fight. An old deserter, used up and spent, awaiting the inevitable.

Interactions[edit | edit source]

  • The deserter is encountered in the final area of the game, at the Sea Fortress. Confronting him gives the player the opportunity to identify him as a murderer, closing the case (and extracting a motive too), obtaining the murder weapon, and also meeting the Insulindian Phasmid.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]