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Grast Horstrogg was a military officer-turned-pirate, who was the captain of The Magpie and an antagonist of the Eighth Doctor and his companion Izzy. When in the military, Horstrogg was a well-decorated officer - having achieved numerous medals.
When his superiors tried to 'decommission' him, Horstrogg stole all the hardware he could (including the last transmat in the Bodokian quadrangle) as well as his ship - The Magpie. The ship itself was fitted with a security 'gene-print', meaning that only Horstrogg could operate it. Having abandoned his former life, Horstrogg turned to piracy and gathered his own crew - training them the military techniques he had learned.
The crew quietly despised him, however, as Horstrogg would often treat them badly - regardless of whether they had made a mistake or not. This was due to him believing he had superiority because of his military record and experience. Horstrogg did show some respect towards Mr Shakka - his first mate - and even claimed that Mr Shakka was a born leader in many ways (with the exception of not knowing how to delegate). Needless to say, Horstrogg still spoke down to Mr Shakka and treated him badly - to the point of threatening him with a gun when Mr Shakka questioned his orders. He would often sit back on the Magpie and let his crew do the killing for him - only appearing on-board after the pirates had won.
In regards to his personality, Horstrogg was an egotistical bully who lived to the mindset he had that only the 'soldiers-of-fortune' claimed the real goodies for their work, with examples of this including him claiming various 'spoils of war' during his time as a soldier and also claiming the booze his pirate crew had stolen for 'medicinal purposes' - when in fact it was just so he could have it all for himself. He was shown as been quick to anger and to insult others, as well as been extremely boastful about what he had achieved. However, when the odds turned against him he was shown to be a coward and would flee rather then fight.
In what little else is known of Horstrogg's life, he was shown to have a dislike of the elderly and had a bad father/son relationship with his Dad. The Doctor referred to Horstrogg as a "textbook sociopath" with "paranoid tendencies fueled by delusions of adequacy".
InformationEditDuring one of their battles, Horstrogg and his crew aboard The Magpie attacked the Qutrusian Cargo Freighter X-703 - with Mr Shakka leading the crew inside (Horstrogg watching and communicating through Mr Shakka's shoulder cam) before wiping out the crew and crippling the freighter's engines. As several of the crew began to search through the cargo bays - coming across and been defeated by the Cyberman known as Kroton in the process - Captain Horstrogg teleported aboard and made himself comfortable.
His comfort was soon interrupted, however, by a transmission from the engineer aboard the Magpie (known as Lodos) reports to the captain about a strange power flux coming from inside a nearby asteroid belt. Although Horstrogg initially and angrily brushes it off, the power flux suddenly jumps off the scale. Just seconds later, a powerful energy beam fired from within the asteroid belt completely obliterates the Magpie - much to Horstrogg's horror.
After the energy shockwave caused by the Magpie's destruction, Horstrogg and his crew searched the ship and came across the Eighth Doctor and Izzy (who had arrived aboard the ship unintentionally and already had a run in with one of the pirates). Demanding answers regarding the destruction of his ship, the Doctor shows the pirates the body of Kroton (who the Doctor had seemingly killed by shoving a high-voltage cable into the Cyberman's chest upon seeing him). Declaring his belief that the Cybermen were responsible for the destruction of Horstrogg's ship, the Doctor recommends that the pirates check the rest of the ship to see if there are any more - as well as stating the only hope for them is for the Doctor to repair the crippled engines.
Another issue soon occurs, however, as the freighter is grabbed by an 'energy leash' and is dragged towards the asteroid belt. With no option, Horstrogg orders his men to search the ship for any more Cybermen and for two of the men to keep their eye on the Doctor and Izzy while he and Mr Shakka head to the bridge - watching as the ship is pulled through the asteroid belt towards a much larger asteroid - which appears to be the 'enemy camp'. As Horstrogg orders his men to head out onto the asteroid (revealed to have a breathable atmosphere) and find the source of the attack on the Magpie, he declares he'll wait on the freighter and monitor them through Mr Shakka's shoulder cam. Mr Shakka questions Horstrogg on whether he will actually join them this time, but is met only by an angry response and a loaded gun pointed at him by Horstrogg.
Meanwhile, the Doctor knocks out the two pirates while Kroton is revealed to be alive and proves his humanity to the Doctor by showing an appreciation of the architecture on the asteroid. The trio soon find that the TARDIS has been stolen, however, and also head out to try and find it - coming across a crazy old man with a sentient weapon known as the Eraser. The Eraser explains that the man (called Tobal Reist) was once a renowned scientist on the planet Trionikus - who created the Eraser as a weapon for future wars. During a test, however, Trionikus was destroyed and its people wiped out. Tobal was the only survivor, with the Eraser creating a gravity web and atmospheric shell for his comfort - although the isolation and guilt have had a bad effect on his psyche, with Tobal remembering little of his past.
The Doctor kindly offers Tobal a ride, but they are interrupted by the arrival of Mr Shakka and the pirates - who have eavesdropped on the conversation and state that they will spare Tobal if he hands over the Eraser. They are instead, however, met with a counter-offer from Kroton as he resumes his battle with the pirates (with Mr Shakka slipping away from the fight). Tobal - while trying to stop the fighting - is shot from behind by Horstrogg (who declares that since Tobal reminded him of his Dad, he thought he'd give Tobal the same treatment).
The Doctor briefly battles Horstrogg for the Eraser - managing to steal the power cell for Horstrogg's transmat even though he fails to grab the weapon, thus preventing Horstrogg from simply teleporting away. Hiding from him as Horstrogg angrily charges after him, the Doctor is forced at gunpoint by Mr Shakka to give him the power cell (as due to the destruction of the Magpie, an opportunity has arisen for Mr Shakka to become the new captain).
Horstrogg soon gives up the chase and talks to the Eraser - declaring that he is its 'new captain'. Izzy, meanwhile, overhears the conversation and learns the Eraser is programmed to obey whoever wields it. Making a decision (which she admits to herself that it's not a wise one), she manages to grab hold of the weapon and orders it to destroy itself in order to prevent Horstrogg from having it. Before Horstrogg can prevent it, the Eraser self destructs. Angered at having lost the chance to own one of the greatest weapons ever made, Horstrogg draws a large blade and prepares to kill Izzy - stating how he will "have her innards for his elevenses". However, Izzy is saved by Kroton - whose mere presence and voice is enough to scare Horstrogg into running, rather then facing off against a Cyberman who has already beaten so many of his men.
Following the destruction of the Eraser, however, the atmospheric shell and gravity web both begin to fall apart. As the Doctor, Izzy and Kroton manage to make it back to the TARDIS, both Horstrogg and Mr Shakka manage to survive the initial breakup while the rest of their crew is presumably killed. Both men find themselves on separate pieces of the asteroid that are close to each other but slowly drifting apart. Realizing that his first mate has the transmat's power cell, Horstrogg orders Mr Shakka to throw the power cell to him - after which Horstrogg claims he will collect Mr Shakka and teleport them both back to the freighter. Not wanting to give up his chance to take control, though, Mr Shakka instead tells Horstrogg to throw him the transmat unit, after which Mr Shakka claims he will jump over and teleport both of them back to the freighter.
This leads to a large argument between the two men, as neither is willing to trust the other with their part of the transmat unit and thus save themselves. The pair continue to argue - despite the fact the asteroid rocks they are standing on continue to drift apart.
It's likely both men died when the atmospheric shell completely dissipated.
The Company of Thieves - Comic