Commander Red Ravens
Harvey Patrick Ravens was born on 15 December, 3378 in Lomasport (Coopersword, Aymiay [1,4]) to a loving callgirl mother and unknown father. His upbringing in the unusual environment of a brothel appears to have preconditioned his choice of career.
Despite showing significant academic potential, Red (his first name having changed for unknown reasons in early childhood) gravitated to Lomasport's teeming underworld, along the way forming a relationship with the similarly criminally minded Claire. Their joint criminal activities were successful in avoiding the attention of the authorities, but attracted attention of a different and far more dangerous sort.
The two came under the influence/tutelage of local godfather Johann Capsis and assumed key positions within his organisation, even though both were only in their late teens. Their grooming as Johann's lieutenants furnished both with substantial intelligence and security skills. In Red's case, this included training in tax avoidance, numbers rackets and unarmed combat. An unspecified tragedy involving Red's friend Cuong caused Red to abandon his life of crime, borrowing heavily from Johann to purchase an Eagle Mk II and escape offworld to take up a career as a bounty hunter.
Not being a naturally gifted pilot, it was lucky that Red survived the crucial first few months of combat. This having been achieved, Red's risk assessment skills and strategic instincts came into play, ensuring a profitable few years, during which his Elite Rating rose gradually rather than meteorically. During this period, Red formed an off-again on-again relationship with an unknown freighter pilot. However, this relationship was only ever casual and did not survive the extended periods of separation inherent in spacer's lifestyles. It is also during this period that Red became (unwittingly) involved in a sucessful Imperial plot which has led to a black mark against his security record with the Federation. This experience deepened Red's cynicism with the universe and led to him becoming somewhat of a misanthrope.
Several years later, Red had the good fortune to run into Bec Chong in a bar on Conversion (Achenar [1,-4]). The pair immediately hit it off (platonically) and sold their own ships to jointly purchase a Constrictor (DE-013). Bec's superb flying skills meshed very well with Red's tactical nous to form a potent combat duo, and their Elite Rating climbed accordingly. This was not, however, matched by financial security. Red's deference to Bec's risk-loving nature ensured that repair bills were high and the monetary rewards were low. The moral vacuum in which the two also operated also suited Red's disengagement with wider events, even if he still provided an irregular Journal Column for the Coopersworld Tribune on interstellar politics. However, it was a comfortable groove of existence and this state of affairs might have continued for some time if not for the HPA Saga.
Bec and Red's involvement in the vast conspiracy of the Huge Particle Accelerator led to a terminal deterioration in their relationship, along with a reorientation of Red's moral compass. Only when her leaving became inevitable did Red realise that he was somewhat in love with Bec. Unable to hold himself aloof from the tumultous events, Red was an active participant in the attempts to stop the plot, along with a very reluctant Bec and Alliance intelligence operative Catherine Beaumont. Their main opponent was the self-aggrandising Viscount Daniel Preston of Aymifa. Upon its failure, Red and Bec were taken prisoner by the Imperial Security Services. Whether through brainwashing or patriotism, Bec left Red's company and joined the Imperial Navy. Needing to get Red off planet to avoid the revenge of Viscount Preston, the Imperial Security Services recruited a young man, Pradesh, from the ranks of co-pilots seeking employment.
After giving his copilot some early basic training, Red went home for the first time in several years. He paid off the balance of his loan to Johann, introduced Pradesh to some of the realities of spacer life and came to somewhat of an accomodation with his old flame Claire. Despite the pull of familiarity, Red still decided that his future lay in space. (See Nothing Like the Prodigal for further details)
After this, Red and Pradesh were blackmailed into retrieving an In Vitro Embryo for a passenger whilst doing a taxi job on the northern edge. This eventually involved infiltrating a pirate vessel, being taken in as a slave and blasted into interstellar space. However, due to the ingenuity and new-found experience of Pradesh, Red and the passenger managed to be saved, "child" intact.
Subsequently, a simple taxi contract led to Red and Pradesh having an ethical clash, involving a digital actor, a dead theatrical agent and a promise of redemption. There was also a significant duel with a fellow bounty hunter, in which Pradesh showcased his growing skills and abilities in space combat. The argument only ended by Red pulling rank (as owner of the ship), leading to resentment on Pradesh's part.
Physically, Red is about one hundred and fifty centimetres tall and approximately ninety three kilos. As can be imagined, this leads to a somewhat stocky frame This is normal for humans born on his planet of origin, which has a high-G environment. Despite his name, Red is dark haired and skinned. He is deceptively quick to move, but would still finish dead last in most footraces. He is mathematically gifted and also skilled at hand-to-hand combat. The latter somewhat compensates for his extreme dislike of handguns, and he makes little use of the former except in calculating gambling odds.
Red has a strong moral sense, which is constantly at war with both his cynicism and his desire to remain emotionally aloof. Whilst he can be annoyingly patronising, this is usually compensated for by self-deprecating humour and genuine attempts at empathy. Whilst Red lacks ambition of almost any sort, short-term goals focus his attention like a laser, and curiosity can often lead him further down the path of commitment than he would otherwise dream of going.
- HPA Saga - A collection of links to this popular sprawling epic. HPA-wiki
- Nothing Like the Prodigal - Red goes home, and isn't sure he really belongs.
- Mother Love - Simple contracts are often the most complex.
- ...but a walking shadow, poor player - A brush with Dreamware fame proves morally ambiguous