The Kentucky Irregulars are an American militia that slay dragons. They appear to be remnants of the United States military though whether or not they are taking orders from above such as the President is unknown. They were led by Denton Van Zan until the organization's destruction by the Male Dragon. They are notable besides the fact they kill dragons, a fact most people consider impossible, by having a Chieftain tank and an Agusta A109 helicopter. The "jumpers" are the most vital part of slaying a dragon, but they typically have a lifespan of only 17 seconds.
The Irregulars use an elaborate 3D mapping system to take down dragons. Their helicopter, piloted by Alexandra Jensen, would take off when a dragon was sighted with a crew of three "jumpers" armed with wing suits and nets. On the ground, three of the Irregulars would drive off on motorcycles and put vertical sensors in the ground in a triangle shape. This creates a 3D map of the area, and allows Alex to track the dragon and her jumpers.
When the dragon is close enough, her jumpers leave the helicopter and dive. One of them is bait, flying straight down and trying to lure the dragon into diving after them. When the dragon takes the bait the other two jumpers get underneath the dragon and then pop a metal net from their backpacks. The air will whip the nets up into the dragon. If all goes well then the nets will tangle the wings and make the dragon fall out of the sky.
By now, the jumpers will have lured the dragon close to the ground where Van Zan and the tank are waiting. They will deploy their chutes and move away to land safely while the dragon falls to the ground or close to the ground. Van Zan or other members would then kill the entangled dragon, usually with a harpoon gun. They prefer to hunt dragons at sunset or sunrise when the changing light hampers a dragon's vision, but they do not always have this luxury.
Killing a Dragon
The Kentucky Irregulars were first introduced in the Reign of Fire (film) shortly after the female dragon torched the crops of Quinn Abercromby's colony. Van Zan requested the Irregulars be allowed inside Quinn's castle to rest for the night before moving on. Quinn did not believe that it was possible to kill a dragon, even after Van Zan showed him a dragon tooth necklace he had. He thought they were marauders that were bad at lying. After a heated discussion, Quinn decided to let the Irregulars in. The sight of Alex Jensen's helicopter, Quinn claiming that the sky belonged only to the dragons, was a shock to the people of the castle.
Later that day, the female dragon that had burned the crops attacked the castle, and the Kentucky Irregulars went into action. Alex leaves with her jumpers and has a few harrowing encounters with the dragon while the three riders on the ground try to set up the 3D map. One of them is killed by the dragon, and Quinn rides out on a horse to put the vertical in himself, allowing the map to be completed.
The female dragon appears on Alex's radar at last... about two feet from them. She rams the chopper as she flies by and the jumpers quickly leave the chopper to get into position. One jumper lures the dragon towards him and the other two successfully net the wings, making it lose control of its flight. It appears the mission is successfully until the nets fly past two of the jumpers, the dragon having freed herself.
She dives after the jumper playing bait again for several long seconds, and then suddenly pulls up. The jumper, unable to see past the clouds, does not realize that the ground is right there and crashes into the ground, instantly dying. Then she chases after the netters, eating one of them. The third one manages to deploy the chute and land safely, the only one of the jumpers to do so.
Van Zan contacts Quinn through the radio of the dead Irregular and tells him he has to be the bait and bring the dragon to him. It is a dangerous ride with the dragon on his heels, but he manages to make it into Van Zan's range before the dragon eats him. The harpoon narrowly misses him and flies past him to kill the dragon instantly.
The people of Quinn's castle celebrate the death of a dragon, but Van Zan is offended by their shallowness. He says that three of his people died to kill just one dragon out of hundreds. It is not a worthy trade and they should not be celebrating. Judging from the reactions of the other Irregulars, they appear to share his point of view.
The Destruction of the Kentucky Irregulars
Van Zan then goes on to speak to Quinn's people, telling them that there are hundreds of female dragons but only one male dragon. He is going to kill the male dragon, and needs more troops. Quinn had already told Van Zan no, and when he found out, Quinn got into a fight with Van Zan. Quinn lost easily, and a group of his people left with Van Zan. Before they left, Quinn told them that the male dragon would just kill them and then backtrack to the castle and attack it to.
During the drive to London, in a town 66 miles from it, they are ambushed by the Male Dragon. Alex, some distance away from the main convoy, is spared, but the dragon single-handedly defeats the Kentucky Irregulars. Van Zan, having hid under the tank, survives, as well as another unnamed Irregular, but only they and Alex live.
- Denton Van Zan (last leader)
- Alexandra Jensen