Okay, finally got my character's details written up! Here goes...Name:
6' 1"Physical Description:
Dane Riley has thick black hair, green eyes with gold flecks (which become more noticeable when he is angry), regular features and a lean wiry build. He has a charming but rarely-seen grin when he is amused or trying to flirt with a woman who's attracted his interest, but a more common expression on his face is either a frown of concentration or, when he truly angry, a furious scowl that has been known to make Marines take a step back.Background:
The Riley family has been working with machines since the Industrial Revolution, and Dane's father was no exception. Lucas Riley had started out as a car mechanic but joined the Osean Air Force in order to parlay his skills into training as an aircraft mechanic. By the time Dane was in his early teens his father was a maintenance crew chief for an Osean fighter squadron. With his father able to provide ready access to the flight line and the hangared jets, the normal interest most boys felt towards jet fighters became something stronger in Dane, to the point where he was considering leaving the family tradition behind in favour of becoming a fighter pilot. However the idea of a steady job as an engineer or mechanic held its own appeal, especially knowing his father and two older brothers would probably be happy to act as study-buddies.
That situation suddenly changed in 2004 in the wake of a terrorist attack. Dane's mother was among a number of civilians killed and his younger sister was left paraplegic and comatose in the wake of a bomb blast which the Falcons of Dawn quickly claimed responsibility for. The young man had never been fond of Belka with what he'd read of the country in history books of the various wars it had waged against Osea, and the war stories he had heard from fighter pilots in his father's squadron about missions against Belka hadn't eased his opinion. But the deaths of his loved ones at the hands of the fanatically pro-Belkan terrorist group fanned Dane's mistrust into full-blown incandescent hatred, and any thought of an engineering career was ruthlessly shoved aside in favour of Dane's burning drive to join his country's armed forces, despite the protests of his father and brothers. As he told them bluntly, they could help him on his path or they could get out of his way.
At the age of eighteen, in the year of the Circum-Pacific War, Dane Riley entered the Osean Air Force Academy. Hanging around the flight line where his father had worked during his military career had given him some idea of military discipline, but experiencing it first hand was still a shock. Still the young man settled into military life quite well although he did keep a couple of habits from civilian life. One was his enjoyment of tinkering with mechanical devices, and he took a great deal of interest in learning technical details about the aircraft and weapons used by the Osean Air Defence Force. Another was his habit of listening to hard rock music, which ultimately led to Dane gaining his callsign - one of the training NCOs complained (loudly) that the music playing in Cadet Riley's room during study periods sounded "like the yowling of a tomcat in heat". Needless to say the nickname Tomcat stuck with Dane throughout his academy years and, when he graduated, that became his callsign.
At the time of his transfer to the 1st Foreign Fighter Squadron, Dane Riley has been serving as a pilot in the Osean Air Defence Force for two years, and while he has developed his skills in the cockpit he hasn't improved his attitude towards Belka or its people, even earning black marks on his record for having a poor attitude towards several fellow OADF officers of Belkan descent. His previous commanding officer succinctly described the young aviator as having "the reflexes of a mongoose, the aggression of a mountain lion and the tact of a sledgehammer to the face." On the surface a transfer to the 1st Foreign Fighter Squadron was a testament to Dane's skill as a pilot. However it was also a test for the young man - he would have to either bring his anger towards anything Belkan under enough control to serve in a squadron commanded by an OADF officer who was also a Belkan defector, or he would have to leave the Defence Force in disgrace for refusal to obey a superior officer.