Constantine Sergeyevich Bronstein (2 April 3229 – 19 August 3280) was a Terran colonial terrorist leader, bandit, and warlord who was the head of the Bandit Union, a network of bandits, pirates, street gangs, and terrorists on the planet Keystone. Referred to as the Bandit King in the media, he was responsible for the most deadly terror attacks of the Keystone Incident, in which around two million civilians died in a series of nuclear bombings and orbital satellite drops. He remains one of the most infamous terrorists of the postwar era.
Prior to his campaign of terror, he served as a soldier in the Terran Imperial Army. It is conjectured, in part from Bronstein's published manifesto, that his experiences in the late Colonial Wars greatly affected his mindset towards the Earth-based central government and compelled him towards a life of crime.
Bronstein was assassinated at his oil derrick compound in the Oka Ocean, in the aftermath of his terror bombings in mid-August 3280 after an intensive investigation deduced his whereabouts, by a covert State Security strike team composed of agents from various departments, including the Silver Team.
Constantine Sergeyevich Bronstein was born in the military hospital at Fort Dusken, planet Keystone, to Sergei Geryonovich Bronstein and Lena Wittenberg on April 2nd, 3229. Both of his parents were military officers in the Army reserve, garrisoned at Fort Dusken. He was the fourth of eight children, and all of them attended the Dusken Junior Academy, a military-style primary and secondary combined school. Constantine attended this school from 3234 to 3247, and then studied at the Fort Dusken Municipal College from 3247 to 3249 for civil engineering. Like his siblings, he enlisted in the Imperial Army. His elder siblings were already serving tours of duty in different active-duty units.
Bronstein enlisted on 1 June 3249, at age 20. He attended Basic Training, Infantry School, and Harsh Environment Training through the summer and then Combat Engineer School in the fall. He was assigned as a combat engineer in the 355th Grenadier Division, and served four tours of duty from 3249 to 3264, attending NCO School during a period of leave between postings. His unit was primarily deployed in the Banat region during the 3250s, and the Perseid Frontier in the early 3260s.
In early October 3262 he was captured by the CLO during a combat mission and was held as a prisoner of war for four months. He was freed from captivity in a daring raid by Air Force Pararescuemen of the 23rd Air Rescue Squadron in late January 3263. After six months of therapy and rehabilitation he returned to active duty. He was honourably discharged in August 3264 at the rank of Master Sergeant. During his service, Bronstein had been awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars, the War Merit Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross as well as the Wound Badge twice and numerous decorations for combat action.
After discharge, he returned to Keystone. He was offered civilian contract work with the Army Corps of Engineers, but refused. He disappeared from the public record around three months after his return home. His exact activities for the next twelve years are a matter of speculation. He had removed his identification chip and tracking hardware, itself a felony action, making it impossible to directly track his movements. Crime historians estimate that he disappeared into the wilderness of Nordendusk, the northern continent of the planet Keystone, and became part of a roving bandit gang. He seems to have come to lead this group, and networked with other bandit clans and gangs throughout the continent during the 3260s. In the early 3270s his "Bandit Union" appears to have struck deals with seagoing pirates in the Oka Ocean. The bandits expanded from simple outlaw violence and raiding to complex monetary fraud schemes and black market trading in firearms and controlled substances to greatly increase their revenue.
By the mid 3270s, this "Bandit Union" was quite extensive and making large amounts of money. It is believed by historians that during this time, Bronstein planted his agents into various places in Keystone's civilian infrastructure; construction agencies, traffic control, and even local law enforcement possessed some persons allied to Bronstein. In 3276, he published online his political manifesto, declaring himself the "King of All Bandits and Pirates of Keystone" and professing a radical anarchist and neo-feudalist programme in which Keystone would seclude itself from the rest of the Galaxy and become an independent and anarchic world, and wherein each citizen could "forge their own destiny" without interference from a state. He professed also the need for violent revolution to achieve this goal, and admonished the Terran Empire and the new Republic for its "hypocritical war of man against man, and oppression of the Colonial working class".
It is now known that Bronstein used these specially-placed agents to hack into the planet's satellite network and occasionally bring down nuclear-armed defence satellites and retrieve their warheads. These, along with conventional explosives mixed into concrete, would be hidden inside new construction in various cities across the planet. Vast sums of money were poured into these operations, especially in bribing local and provincial politicians and law enforcement officials into allowing all sorts of unchecked activity. The climate of extensive political corruption endemic to Keystone exacerbated this situation. It would only be through the actions of State Security in conducting a security audit and acting directly to counter organised crime that Keystone would begin to see reductions in blatant corruption, starting in 3279. By this point, however, much of his activity in placing these instruments of terror had been completed.
Bronstein played a leading role in the Keystone Incident in the summer of 3280. It has been suggested by the State Security investigation into the incident that Bronstein likely hired one of the assassins that killed provincial prefect Richard Hawking in June 3280. Whether or not he played a role in the assassination of planetary governor Rufus Blackwall later that month is not known; the evidence indicated the involvement of the Fenian Daggers criminal gang, but Bronstein's suspected involvement has not been ruled out.
What is known is that Bronstein's agents had placed numerous nuclear weapons inside of new construction during the late 3270s and when the incident sparked a cascade of instability, he set his terroristic plan into motion. The Fenian Daggers on Keystone were largely brought down in a gang war in June and July 3280, in which their leadership was slain. It is been conjectured that many now-splintered gangsters came to the Bandit Union for aid and protection, leading to a spike in bandit violence in the late summer. This distracted law enforcement significantly, and all were caught by surprise when two nuclear weapons detonated in Lakeside City, the planet's capital.