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characters:nepleslia:phoebe_rackham-cayne

Phoebe Rackham-Cayne

Phoebe Rackham-Cayne is a player character played by Seehund.

Phoebe Rackham-Cayne
Species & Gender: Nepleslian female
Date of Birth: YE -4
Organization: IPG
Occupation: Tactical Officer
Rank: Lieutenant
Current Placement: NSS Interregnum

Preferred Plots

Physical Description

Roughly five feet and five inches in height, Cayne isn't particularly imposing, especially for a Nepleslian. She has a toned body, no doubt weathered by ceaseless fighting, covered in all manners of scarring.

Tawny hair, pulled back into a neat ponytail, covers her oval head. Even here, beneath her coiffure, so to speak, old wounds criss-cross the tanned skin. Some of the more prominent ones include old cuts near her left ear, grossly healed into a couple of intertwining red lines.

It only gets worse near her face; her left eye has lost the colour it perhaps once shared with its healthy, blue twin, and has been left a white, milky circle. The iris is barely distinguishable from the sclera.

The right side of her face would appear to have had an unhealthily close encounter with a disproportionate amount of fire, in the past. The skin, much unlike a regular burn, is still textured - and hued - like charcoal. This single, huge burn extends all the way from her cheek to her nose. A nose the bridge of which is uncharacteristically flat, perhaps a sign of it having been broken one too many times.

Cayne's lips have been spared from most of the damage that mars the rest of her face. They are a pale red in shade. Subtle laugh lines hang by the corners of her mouth, betraying her age.

A long, horizontal and pink line sails across the taut skin of her slender neck, ending abruptly at both sides with jagged corners - the parting gifts of something sharp and jagged. The same neck is supported by two strong shoulders, the right of which, much like her face, has been burned to a crisp. However, the skin here is more akin to hard leather and a sickly shade of red, pointing to more conventional fire as the culprit.

Two muscled arms extend from said shoulders. Needless to say, they are covered in scars, too. As a matter of fact, some of the more interesting ones are to be found in contrast to the sinewy, smooth muscles. In particular, what look like MULTIPLE set of teeth have left their imprint on the woman's right forearm, along with countless stabs and cuts.

The same could easily be said about her torso and abdomen. Here, the disfigurations were almost entirely caused by projectiles, it would seem, as most - if not all of them - have matching exit wounds along her robust back. This is the place where her cybernetic enhancements are best witnessed, too: the thinner fat, particularly along her stomach, reveals a network of weakly pulsing subdermal cables and reinforcements which travel in every possible direction. It is perhaps noteworthy that her midsection has clearly been stapled and stitched together, possibly more than once.

She has two powerful-looking legs, similar in build to those that could be found on a runner, and miraculously not too blemished - save for the occasional bullet wound or, more rarely, a discoloured burn or two. Curiously enough, a burning deck of cards is tattooed on the inside of her right thigh.

Personality

Phoebe is almost the exact opposite of any given stereotypical Nepleslian. That is to say, she is generally calm and collected. Notably enough, she tends to be absolutely impassible while on duty, a result of years and years spent looking death in the eyes. To some, she might seem cold, unfeeling, though this is not quite the truth. She DOES have the tendency of throwing her men's lives like dice, true enough. This is, however, often a consequence of it being the only sensible option.

In fact, the safety of those under her command is often, if not always, the first of her priorities. In combat, she will not hesitate to pull back and regroup or retreat if it means saving lives, even over accomplishing her objectives. She tends to favour non lethal tactics, whenever possible– and whenever not confronted by Elysians, Nekos or NMX. These three have earned themselves Cayne's scorn.

Speaking of her tactics, she tends to draw from history books, her main hobby, a whole lot. Phoebe's manoeuvres are seldom conventional, often seemingly nonsensical until their scope is revealed. Conversely, due to a lack of a formal training, she isn't as capable when there are no possibilities to act outside the box. Definitely not a slouch, by any means, but she doesn't particularly shine in conventional warfare.

Off duty, she becomes slightly more caring, in a detached, motherly way. It's rare for Phoebe to take part in the customs, celebrations or gatherings of her men, by far preferring to watch from afar. She does care, however, to no end. Reasonable and almost unsettlingly tranquil at all times, Cayne is used to her men confiding whatever is on their mind to her; they seem to trust her, as she does to them.

She has a noted dislike for 'hero' types, the kind of people who think they can mindlessly throw themselves in harm's way and produce actual tangible results from it, other than more work for the medics and, in the worst cases, for the janitors. With that in mind, Cayne tends to highly discourage that sort of behaviour. As the old song goes, «Hero is a four letter word. Just another term for fool, and you'll learn well in our school, that hero is a four letter word.»

History

Phoebe Rackham-Cayne was born in YE -4.

Some people's lives are marked by circumstance. Others owe themselves to it.

For example, Phoebe Rackham-Cayne wouldn't have been born, had it not been for an unfortunate injury and an unwilling nurse. She would have had a much worse life, if not for a set of wrong directions, and only survived past the age of thirty thanks to a hole in the ground, formed aeons earlier.

Planet Nepleslia, late YE -6. An unfortunate accident lands hopelessly single Ariet Rackham, the aspiring owner of an orbital salvage store in New Detroit, at the ICU. A scant few kilometres away, Walter Cayne begrudgingly agrees to cover a colleague's shift at the hospital. Roughly one hour later, an overheard joke sparks a conversation and, later still, a romance.

Two years later, the incident is only a relatively happy memory, a joke to be shared at parties. Word of the moment, however, is Ariet's soon-to-be-born baby. A boy? A girl? Perhaps something else entirely? Turns out it's a girl. Walter is sort of disappointed by this turn of events. Nevertheless, they decide to name her Phoebe, give her both surnames, and get married not a month after.

Things are rather well for little Phoebe during her first years. Her parents are doting, her lifestyle is fairly luxurious and her friends are decent. Her father joins the Spacy in YE -1. She's too young to understand. He won't come back. Dead or disappeared, she'll never find out. A single picture of dad in uniform will eventually persuade her, too. She always thought he looked invincible, standing in front of his fighter. Turns out that wasn't the case.

Regardless, all in due time. As she learns to string together words, Phoebe watches the fall of an empire, and the rise of another. Her mother seems particularly upset, but she doesn't quite understand why. There's a lot of talk of it, and even though she doesn't know what it means, that word keeps getting repeated. Yamatai. Yamatai. Ya-ma-tai.

Another handful of years pass. The name of the school has changed, but the gist is always the same. Memorize, spit it out and forget it the second you walk away from the teacher's desk. She's young, barely ten, but she's already getting the hang of it. Her grades are good, and several topics interest her a lot. History, for example. «The secrets of the future, keyed into the past,» one of her teachers used to repeat. She forgot whom.

Between all of this, she made a friend, too. Little Jane and little Phoebe against the world. When apart, model students. Together, an endless source of shenanigans. Always in trouble. Always good-natured.

And yet, mom looks more and more worried by the day. Something wrong, mommy? Do you want to play, too? No? Would you rather hit your child? Okay then. Back to school. «You fell on your face, okay? Remember, you fell on your face. Now go.» Not necessarily false. She's gonna «fall on her face» a lot, in the following months. Kid learns to shut up when it's due. Maybe when it's not, too.

Jane sees. She understands, but doesn't say anything. Phoebe may have been the most intelligent of the two, but hardly the most clever. Nothing escapes the hard gaze of a street urchin. Her best friend becomes more and more laconic. She still retains some of her happy-go-lucky personality, but the average observer wouldn't know. No time for that, she rationalizes. Got to get good grades. Got to make mom happy.

They talk about what they want to do when they grow up. Jane just wants to survive. Phoebe wants to fall in daddy's footsteps. Tame the skies. There's nothing good on the ground, either way. No one good. Kid makes the mistake of bringing it up to mom, one eventful day. The result is not good, nor pretty. That's gonna leave a mark.

Doesn't deter her. She's growing older awfully fast. Mom won't have much say any more, soon enough. She's got her eyes on a flight academy, but it's expensive. Too expensive. She never cared much for the combat part of the job, but looks like she'll have to actually follow Walter. Jane does, too. No ambitions at all, no drive. Phoebe almost pities her. But she's a good friend.

The Spacy is a good teacher. Phoebe looks like she was born with a cloche in hand. Must've been in the blood, everybody joked. Jane is a klutz at flying, but there's hardly a better gunner than herself.

Second day of school. That part of the city is still unfamiliar to Phoebe. Lost like a one-eyed cat in a world of left turns. She asks for directions- they end up being wrong. Kid gets home at an indecent time. Ariet gets unbelievably angry, her breath smells of cheap hooch. Phoebe is tired of that shtick. It gets bad, real bad. So bad, Ariet ends up on the verge of disowning her daughter. But Phoebe is faster on the uptake. She leaves her mother with a broken nose and a very specific threat. Leaves home for the last time in her life, carrying only the clothes on her back and a picture of her father.

Phoebe begins living in the flight school. It's not a problem, they offer rooms to students. Strangely enough, it feels good. She isn't racing to please anybody. She's not going to school with bandages of any sort, no more. Both graduate without too many problems, but not before Jane makes things awkward for both. Phoebe isn't too sure about the logistics of romancing a direct superior you'll be sharing the cockpit with. Just hopes Jane won't distract her too much, in flight.

Both are deployed in YE 18. A mercifully uneventful year. They're assigned to orbital patrol in the Nepleslia system, as part of the multi-role wing Sundown. Phoebe and Jane fly in the same craft. Formation leaders, too. It's her dream come true. Not a single worry, up in space. Just you, your craft and, if it's a really good day, your lover. They guard the skies as, below them, the need for independence grows.

Three years pass between recon flights, drills and the occasional false positive. Her retainers change - the Spacy becomes one with the Grand Star Army. Mercifully, both are allowed to keep rank and station. In fact, they get kicked a few notches up for excellent conduct. Plain bureaucracy, but it's nice that somebody knows they exist.

They get to sit out the Chaos Hive War and, one year later, Bloody Shield. Good enough, Sundown has its hands full with pirates and scum of the sort, anyhow. Easy when your enemy is flying their nation's flag. Not so much when you're never sure whether you just vaporized a captured civilian liner, or a bunch of kids. Regardless, it's a necessary evil.

One more year, one more tally on the nose of the craft. This time around, the angels try some funny business. Sundown is deployed in the Fourth Elysian War. They fight in space, in the atmosphere. When things go really wrong, on the ground. The wing gets the short end of the stick. Casualty after casualty, they have the uncanny ability to be where the projectiles will start flying, not long before they actually do.

Phoebe and Jane make it, however. They get to see Damasica get glassed first-hand. The only thing that remains of ten billion people is a few smatterings of glowing ash. Phoebe is growing awfully tired of the war. Jane just wants to see the angels dead. When Yamatai and Elysia settle on a peace treaty, it feels like a kick to the gut. Now they say pull back, pull out. They say the war is over, mission abort. Figures. War is a costly thing to wage. Ten billion will remain a number in a museum somewhere, and nothing but.

She wishes the medals they pin to her chest could bring the rest of her wing back. The corpses are still floating in space, with all probability. Oh, well.

Out with the angels, in with the squids. The name of the war changes, but the substance is the same. Once more, Sundown takes part in the fighting. At least, partially. This is a much worse affair, they'll find. Elysians didn't do what those disgusting abominations do to POWs. If only they could simply incinerate their worlds and be done with it. The irony of this sentiment is not lost on Phoebe.

More dead, more medals. More nightmares. In YE 27, they're shot down over some unnamed rock. As luck would have it, SMX presence is light enough. Beaten, shot and crippled, but they make it. Phoebe carries Jane on her back for two days. A friendly unit happens to spot their makeshift shelter and rescues them after a week of hiding in a grotto.

For their troubles, they get a pat on the back, a few more rations of chocolate and a couple months of leave. Jane decides to resign. Phoebe can't bring herself to do it. In a rare bout of independence, Jane also decides to put a ring around her ex-pilot's finger. Feels like the first good thing that's happened since the start of the tour. Probably is. Regardless, the war must go on. Before Sundown has the chance to return to the front, Nepleslia secedes. The wing is given the choice to return. Almost all of them take it without any hesitation. The wing is seamlessly integrated in the Nepleslian Star Navy. Several receive promotions, including Phoebe.

Not that that's good any good. Ensign Cayne finds herself commanding the Sundown wing, something she's never asked nor wished for. She gets lucky: her commanding officer agrees to let her take part in any offensives aboard her own fighter. Otherwise, she's stuck as a bridge jokey. The worst possible outcome. Worse yet, she's stuck in orbit around Planet Nepleslia once more, tending to the petty squabble between Greens and Nepleslian Reds. Phoebe learns she absolutely hates politics. Regardless, she is dragged along with the Greens. Luckily enough, the squadron is employed in a pirate suppression campaign- they manage to skip out on the Kennewes Offensive.

The dust settles, and the Greens take the government. She doesn't even have time to draw a relieved breath, however, when the NMXcome knocking. It always rains on the wet. This time around, though, the stakes are much higher. Jane is still on Planet Nepleslia. Under specific request, Sundown is transferred to Nepleslia's southern border, along with a squadron of destroyers. Here, they will harass NMX forces for the best part of two years, earning themselves a good few approving nods by the sector's chain of command, and an entirely new home: the NSS Attitude Adjuster, a Na-AC-02a Shaika Assault Carrier.

Well, most of the squadron will, at least. Phoebe herself, now a Lieutenant, is deemed too important to take to the field. Instead, she is stuck in the Attitude Adjuster's CIC, her role twofold: first and most important, a significant experience with communications procedures means she is in charge of most- if not all - inbound, outbound and internal communications. During skirmishes, should the enemy come too close, she is also assigned as the vessel's gunner.

Word of the siege on Planet Nepleslia reaches the Attitude Adjuster before it can even fire a shot. The fact that the comms officer is forced to repeat it to everybody else is just icing on the cake. Soon after, they receive a much more relieving order. The NSS Attitude Adjuster is to join Strike Force Ripcord, return home and break the NMX siege, along with sector units and ground support.

The operation is a partial success. They arrive a few days after. The planet, Phoebe would go on to report, seems to be smoking from the orbital bombardment. That night, the skies are lit up by the two fleets trading blows in high orbit. Capitals to capitals, fighters to fighters. In some cases, boarders to boarders. Phoebe and her vessel hang back. They launch everything they have, welcome survivors from damaged ships. The Attitude Adjuster becomes more than a simple carrier. Wounded line its corridors. So many of them, some have to be moved into the CIC. The stench of burnt flesh clogs the already overextended atmospherics system. The stench of death.

Cayne's faith starts to crack. Little contact with the surface means each day is agonizing. The ring around her finger seems to burn into her skin, at times. It takes long, too long, but the siege eventually relents. She is forced to attend a tedious parade, an all-too-long award ceremony and a speech she cannot bring herself to listen to. Finally, they let her run home. Phoebe lets out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding when she sees it's still standing, and nearly bursts into tears when a familiar voice calls out from the kitchen.

The day after, much of the Attitude Adjuster's crew is offered promotions for their outstanding courage. Graciously, she accepts. One hour later, Lieutenant Commander Cayne resigns. She's dreadfully tired of the constant combat, the risk of losing loved ones at every other turn. Most of all, she's had enough of taking loved ones away from other, unseen people. One honourable discharge later, she is home. Just her and Jane. It is YE 32 and, for once, things are looking up for the two of them.

They are, and they stay that way for roughly six years. No fighting, none at all. It's just Phoebe, her wife and her books. Work isn't particularly hard to find. Her experience with aircraft and ship-sized weaponry ensures her a position at a nearby spaceport, as an entry-level mechanic. Nightmares still plague her, yes, and she's occasionally haunted by those who died at her side. For once, though, it's not a problem.

She's convinced her uniform is in the closet to stay, when someone, up above, takes interest in the former Lieutenant Commander. Specifically, in her composed demeanour, excellent service records and tactical prowess. It's the IPG. Like the ghosts of old, they invite themselves in her life. The wording is all manners of kind, but the message shines through, and her choice… isn't.

«Put on your uniform, Lieutenant Cayne. Welcome to the Intelligence and Pacification Group

Some people's lives are marred by circumstance. Others come undone because of it.

Social Connections

Phoebe Rackham-Cayne is connected to:

  • Jane Rackham-Cayne (formerly Rownes): wife, former gunner
  • Walter Cayne: father, MIA. Role model

Skills Learned

Communications

To say Phoebe knows her radio operation would be the same as saying a fish is 'decent' at swimming. The woman communicates like she was born working radio equipment. Communications are received, analyzed and processed quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, her time spent intercepting and deciphering enemy communications means she picked up a fair handful of languages very well. A native speaker of both Trade and Yamataigo, she also learned Seraphim rather well, during the war.

Fighting

Cayne has received training from the Spacy, from the Star Army and Nepleslia's Star Navy. Although not particularly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, she compensates by knowing a LOT of fighting styles. The Spacy's more brutal grapple-based melee, the Star Army's refined martial arts, and what can only be described as the Star Navy's backroom brawling. She has basic knowledge of power armor systems, although nothing too advanced. Finally, as evidenced by a not indifferent share of awards, Cayne is a very much decent shot with smaller firearms, especially pistols.

Survival

Once more, her veterancy shines here - coupled with hands-on experience, too. Phoebe managed to survive for no less than a week in NMX-controlled territory, eating off of the land and tending to a gravely wounded compatriot, no less. This should be enough to demonstrate the fact that she definitely hasn't slept through her survival classes.

Leadership

By virtue of being an officer, of course, and a commended one, at that. Cayne is able to efficiently relay orders down the chain of command, and shows her potential in situations which allow for unconventional tactics and peaceful, almost diplomatic resolutions. The nuances of 'true', formal warfare escape her, though she's comfortable with the most common terms and strategies.

Starship Operation

Well, she would have been a fairly poor pilot, otherwise. Experience and sharp reflexes make Cayne a fearsome opponent in an air– or space, as the case may be, battle. Although definitely more handy with the handling of smaller craft, especially fighters, she has had a few occasions to try her hand at the helm of a carrier. The results weren't half bad, though she hasn't tested that in combat. Often capable of plotting courses by memory and follow them with minimal aid, Phoebe is fairly useful when located at most of the Bridge's terminals. Her specialty is ship-sized weaponry. A relentless gunner, back in the day, she is VERY capable of maximizing damage.

Humanities

On top of being composed almost all the time, Cayne could very well be considered a scholar, at least when it comes to history- especially military. She is an avid collector of military paraphernalia, and many of her strategies draw upon the wars of old, found only in the most obscure of tomes. With many briefings under her belt, she is a good speaker, too.

Knowledge

Well, she's definitely knowledgeable, mostly due to being an avid reader of all sort of material she can get within grabbing reach of. Law books, interstellar customs, and… some more risquè topics. If it exists, Cayne has likely read at least a paragraph or two about it.

Inventory & Finance

Phoebe Rackham-Cayne has the following items:

Clothing

Standard Wear

  • One IPG armband
  • Four white undershirts
  • Four pairs of black panties
  • Two pairs of black steel-toed SynAraS Combat Boots
  • Four pairs of black Socks, two pairs cotton, two pairs wool
  • two sets of standard workout gear (Black synthetic fiber T-Shirt, black shorts)

Public Wear

  • Two black double-breasted, knee-length trenchcoats, poplin with internal zip-up weapon pockets fit for pistols or XAR rifles
  • Two black Pinstripe Italian-style dress jackets, silk
  • Two white dress shirts, poplin
  • Two pairs of Pinstripe black slacks
  • Two black leather belts
  • One pair of black leather wingtipped oxfords
  • One IPG Badge with belt clip
  • One shoulder holster
  • One black fitted SynAraS ballistics vest with durandium trauma plates

Equipment

Weaponry

Armor

  • One Tactical SynAraS ballistics vest with Durandium trauma plates

Accessories

  • Black leather wallet, gold plated IPG badge and ID card
  • Wedding band, white gold with custom “Phoebe” engraving

OOC Information

In the case Seehund becomes inactive:

  • Can this character be used as an NPC by a GM or FM? YES
  • Can this character be adopted after I am gone for a year? YES
Character Data
Character NamePhoebe Rackham-Cayne
Character OwnerSeehund
Character StatusInactive Player Character
Nepleslian Personnel Database System
Career StatusActive Duty
BranchIPG
RankLieutenant (NSN)

Quality:
characters/nepleslia/phoebe_rackham-cayne.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/17 15:26 by wes