Gabriel Lorca was known for his impersonation of the Starfleet Officer Captain Gabriel Lorca of the Prime universe. His infiltration and deceit left lasting damage on the crew of the USS Discovery.
Not much is known of his early life. He claimed that his family in the 22nd century owned a fortune-telling cookie factory, as he was deceitful in his actions in pursuit of returning to the Mirror Universe, there’s no certainty in anything he might of said of his background.
Lorca was a man of power in the Terran Empire. The Emperor, Philippa Georgiou trusted him with missions of great sensitivity. He used the Emperor’s adopted daughter, Michael Burnham to further his plots to overthrow the Emperor and take over. His attempt to start a coup failed when it was foiled by Paul Stamets. Burnham was dispatched to deal with him and his coup plot, but her shuttle was destroyed and it was assumed she was killed. He escaped in the ISS Buran to the Priors World where we went to find allies. The Emperor caught up to him aboard her ship, the ISS Charon. Lorca beamed back to engage the Emperor, as he was doing so an ion storm hit causing a malfunction that transposed the two Lorcas into different universes.
Lorca covered his tracks in the Prime universe and destroyed the USS Buran, claiming he did so to protect the crew from being captured by Klingons. He covered his mirror universe sensitivity to light as a war injury that he got in the fight.
As a Starfleet Captain, Lorca was cold and calculating. The crew was wary of him given that he had not gone down with his ship. The Discovery saved Michael Burnham aboard a prison shuttle that was severely damaged by Species GS54, one that feeds off electricity. He orchestrated the rescue, as was revealed later, to recruit Burnham to his cause.
But it wasn’t to win the war with the Klingons. Burnham was a key piece in Locra’s plot to get home and finish the coup he started. Combined with the spore drive, Lorca was finally ready to go back to the Mirror Universe
He found his opportunity after fighting a battle with the Klingons at Pahvo and winning with 133 micro jumps to provide a three-dimensional false reading to the Klingon sensors. On the last jump, Lorca interfered by changing the coordinates. The USS Discovery was thrown into the mirror verse.
Back through the Mirror
Lorca kept up his deception once returned, waiting for the best opportunity to present itself. Burnham would take Lorca back to the Emperor in a ruse to gain access to the information about the USS Defiant that was the first starship to bridge over from the Prime Universe to the Mirror Universe. Getting this information would hopefully get them the information needed to get back to their universe. Onboard however, Ash Tyler who came with them is revealed to be a Klingon spy who had been physically and mentally transformed into a Human, his Klingon personality reasserted and he attempted to kill Burnham. For this crime in the Terran Empire, he was spaced. However, Burnham put the information about the USS Defiant in Tyler’s clothes right before he was beamed aboard the Discovery.
Lorca advised Burnham to keep up the ruse in case Saru was unable to decrypt the data. Another ship appeared in orbit and fired on the rebel base that Burnham had been trying to protect. It was the ISS Charon with the Emperor, the mirror verse’s Philippa Georgiou, there to confront her errant adopted daughter.
Lorca was paraded to the Emperor and she exclaimed her surprise that Burnham was still alive. Burnham then presented Lorca as a “gift”. He refused to bow to her and was beaten with a scepter till he collapsed on the floor. She set her order that he be placed in an agonizer for the rest of his life and he was carried away.
Later in the brig, Lorca was confronted by Captain Maddox, the commanding officer of the ISS Charon. His sister, Ava, had been close to Lorca and had died in the Rebellion. He blamed Lorca for her death. He pulled in one of Lorca’s supporters, saying he had all of them gathered up. He told Lorca he would kill them all if Lorca didn’t admit to his responsibility for his sisters death. Lorca refused. Maddox used a syringe with an exotic species in it to kill Lorca’s supporter, but Lorca continued to refuse to submit and faked his death. Maddox pulled him from the agonizer, fearful that the Emperor would seek vengeance against him for killing her prized prisoner, and got a defibrillator to revive Lorca. Once he let his guard down as he prepped to revive, Lorca attacked, electrocuting Maddox. Lorca then revealed he was indeed the mirror verse Lorca, admitting he forgot who Maddox's sister was till then, and how little she meant.
Lorca located his partner, Commander Ellen Landry, then sought to find the mirror Paul Stamets and his bioweapon. They set upon the crew of the Charon, killing them with abandon.
Burnham, having figured out Lorca’s true identity, contacted the Discovery to warn them. The crew alerted her that they had a plan that hinged on disabling the containment field around the energy orb powering the Charon.
Lorca tracked Burnham and attempted to convince her to join him in his rebellion. He reminisced about his shared past with Burnham. Landry tried to flank Burnham to capture her while she was distracted by Lorca. But Burnham was ready and had rerouted her communications feed to mask her position. The Emperor realized that being allied with Burnham was the best way to survive and discussed the parallels of the betrayals by the Burnhams of two universes. They then plot how to defeat Lorca.
In the throne room, the final confrontation of the Emperor, Burnham, Lorca, and his followers commenced. Landry informed Lorca that they had killed or converted most of her forces. Burnam and the Emperor agreed to turn themselves over if Lorca let the Discovery return to their universe. He agreed.
Lorca sent a message to the Discovery and they dropped out of warp. As he does this Burnham sends a code to attack. The Discovery does and this spurred the two to take on Lorca and his supporters. The Emperor defeated Lorca, stabbing him in the heart with her sword before kicking him into the open area to be vaporized below.
The USS Discovery used the explosions from the now critically damaged Charon as a catalyst to make the jump back to the Prime Universe...Leaving the mirror verse and both a destroyed empire and rebellion in their wake.