You know what I realised after all of that? That Ashley's character is also a mechanic. D'OH! Shoulda read the concept bios more closely. Well, I reworked her concept a little bit so that although they overlap, they're not the same character. So instead of mechanics - like Ashley's character - mine is more of an engineer/computing tinkerer. Keeps the spirit alive, and hopefully doesn't clash too much. Sorry Ashley!
Vergil Tanner, but please call me Vergil. Or "Master." Either/or.Character Name:
Kayda Vendar [Note: May not actually be her "real" name. She's used so many, she's forgotten which one was her original one...but she likes Kayda, so she's sticking with it!]Faceclaim:
Kayda is...strange. She was never formally trained as an engineer or mechanic, and as far as she knows, neither of the people she thinks were her parents were mechanics or computing engineers or even DIY specialists, and yet...she loves to tinker. She likes to open things up and try and figure out how they work, and even if she can't, she'll then try to put it back together just to see if she can, or what would happen if she did it slightly differently. She's not about to say that she can "see" how everything fits together or how it all works, because she can't; she has to take something apart to try and see how it all works, and even then, sometimes she can't. But it's all about the experience, and the more she does it, the more she learns. What she would say she specialises in is tinkering and "customisation." Every piece of equipment she has with her has likely been opened up and fiddled with several hundred times to try and put something new into it, or to tweak its systems, or even just to see what makes it tick. This makes her well-versed in engineering, but....well, don't let her near anything you want back. Sometimes the things she tinkers with work. Sometimes they catch fire. Either/or.
When out in the field, Kayda specialises in Heavy Support; her ship is more durable than most others, and even though she isn't that good a shot, she's rigged an AI program up to do that sorta thing for her so she can focus on what she IS good at; making sure her friends don't get themselves killed. Her modded starfighter has on hand a couple of unique little systems (the ones that didn't explode upon being switched on) that help her friends and comrades in the field, and she isn't shy about handing out help liberally. She does expect some thanks later on, though! Whether that takes the form of a pudding pot or a "thank you work out" really depends on the person. Ship:
Kayda flies "Scrappy," A modified B-Wing/E, a two-seater version of the standard B-Wing. Whilst faster and more durable than its counterpart, it's notably less manoeuvrable which makes it a little harder to handle in a dogfight. Luckily for her, the Gunner Seat is occupied by her long-time friend and co-pilot, R5-J03 (or "Joe" for short), a modified R5 series Astromech that she found early in her...seedier...life. He has been her constant companion for years, and thanks to extensive tinkering and modding (a few fires notwithstanding), she has managed to install a surprisingly advanced AI system into the originally budget little guy. She flies, he shoots...and the extra space that would have been taken up with a human is instead linked up to a whole mess of extra computers and wires that interface with Joe's subsystems to provide extra functionality to the starship and the computing power required to activate her uniquely added extra systems. These can vary depending on how she's tinkered with it recently, but the more common systems are a small host of repair bots - installed to both provide personal basic repairs and to help patch up damaged fighters in the field - extra energy for certain types of weapons stored in the cargo hold, or advanced sensors that can help nearby ships gain a target lock a little faster. Whereas everybody elses ships may be sleek and pristine, the inside of Kayda's ship is a forest of wires and screens...but there is some method to her madness, and she always seems to know exactly where everything is. Personality:
Kadya is supremely bubbly, cheerful, energetic and outgoing always ready with a joke or a flirtatious comment to attempt to lighten the mood. Though she suffers bouts of disappointment or petulance if things don't go her way, expect her to soon bounce back with a brand new round of sunniness and cheer that could make a rainbow vomit from nausea. She is friendly, cheerful and fiercely loyal to her friends, and surprisingly free with her sexuality; as she says, "it gets cold out there, so what's the harm in keeping warm with somebody every now and then?" Her cheerfulness can start grating sometimes, but she never lets those pouty-pants dampen her bubbly nature...when things get bad, just grin and find a way to fix it all! Getting sad and angry never helped anybody, after all.
Always look on the bright side! Brief history:
Perhaps surprisingly for such a youthful and cheerful individual, Kayda wasn't always a member of the New Republic. She spent her early life as a street urchin on one of the many Pirate Dens that sprung up in the aftermath of the fall of the Galactic Empire after her parents were killed by a local mobsters Enforcer for not paying their "Protection Money." She managed to evade their capture and spent her life in the gutters of the small Den until she was eventually caught stealing some food from a passing "Merchant" when in her early teens. It turned out, the merchant was actually a smuggler who trafficked in "Human Cargo," and who was on his way to a business dealing elsewhere. He caught her, bundled her into his ship and took off with the intent to add her to his sale as a "Special Extra..." and that's if she was lucky. After a journey spent cramped up with the rest of the unfortunate souls, they landed at their destination and were hauled off the ship and into line to travel to the Slave Markets. Just as they were entering the market proper....all hell broke loose. Gunfire erupted, people started to scream, sounds of fighting emerged from the centre of the grounds and smoke began to rise from ahead of her. Panicked, Kayda took the distraction of the guards for the opportunity it was and bolted as soon as she could, having been working on the locks on her manacles for months. She later learned that the New Republic had learned of the slave auction and had decided to "crash the party," but she was too far away by the time it ended for them to find or free her from captivity. So, panicking, she darted into a side street and just kept running, hoping against hope that she wasn't being followed. After what felt like hours of running, she stopped, looked around...and realised that she was alone, in an unfamiliar place, penniless and defenceless. This time, however, she wouldn't just be a thief and a beggar. She would at least find some way to defend herself.
After spending several weeks scoping out the city and making sure she knew her way around, listening in to conversations and watching the movements of the city carefully, she identified a low-to-mid level Streetboss known as "Jacknife" who was in the middle of a turf war and was looking for new recruits. Figuring that her only other option was to die on the streets from starvation...she joined up. There, her talent for stealing and her propensity for tinkering with anything she could find earned her a reputation for surprising people, and her surprisingly sunny disposition accompanied by her developing looks earned her a future in the gang. She grew from her early teens to her early twenties running with the Streetgang, stealing and breaking into homes and selling spare parts and pretty much doing whatever she had to to survive, getting good at fooling people with her hands, learning how to hotwire vehicles and how to tamper with engines and machinery and how to take things apart and put them back together, how to jerry rig parts out of seeming scrap and how to make do when you didn't have the tools you needed. Life was rough, it was dangerous and she didn't know from one day to the next whether she was going to survive another week...but that was liberating, in a way. She was free, she was with friends and you didn't worry about tomorrow. You smiled, you laughed, you fought, you got hurt...and you picked yourself up and carried on going as best you could. Yeah, it wasn't the best life, but it was the best one she had known. It was during this time that she found Joe scrapped in the back of some backalley skip...she and the gang were hiding from the local authorities after a job had gone south, when she moved her arm and ended up elbowing him. The clang almost got them caught, but Kayda saw the little Astromech and instantly fell in love. After the group had escaped, she circled back, fished the little droid from the trash, and ended up working on him every night she could. She got him working on the eve of her 17th birthday, and he has never left her side since. Life was...ok. She was content.
Until, one day...she slipped up. The group had gotten desperate; the growing power of the New Republic had led to a crackdown on crime, making it harder for the group to steal what they needed to survive. Every week, more and more of them were getting caught and incarcerated, and the numbers were dwindling. Jacknife himself had taken a laserblast to the side just the previous month and died of his injuries. Things were getting bad. So....they decided to hit something far more daring and dangerous than ever before. They hit a weapons shipment coming in from the manufacturers from a nearby colony with the intent of selling them on to the local mob boss in exchange both for credits, and for protection and work. If they could get in good with the crimelord, then maybe they would be given new direction and protection from dwindling further. Kayda was a young woman now, pretty and fairly charismatic. So her job was to distract the guards while her friends stole whatever they could carry, then slip away before they noticed. Everything was going well...until Troya, a younger member of the group, accidentally tripped an alarm. The rest of the group got away....but Kayda wasn't so lucky. When fleeing, she accidentally took a wrong turn and ended up facing a dead-end. She was dragged before the authorities...and was confronted with a New Republic Captain, whose weapons shipment she had tried to steal. She had thought herself destined for prison...until the Captain offered her a deal. Apparently, the New Republic was starting an experimental rehabilitation program that would take in first-time offenders (since she hadn't been caught yet, she was technically a first-timer in the authorities eyes since they couldn't connect her to anything else) and streetkids and attempt to give them marketable skills. It was either that, or prison. And since the only prison on the planet was unisex...well, she enjoyed sex, but she didn't enjoy it enough to relish the thought of being one of the only women in a low-security building with hardened criminals. So she accepted. She was shipped off world...and found a new life. She threw herself into the new opportunity, doing her best to hone her skills - though she never lost her penchant for tinkering, and always had Joe with her, by her side - and not get kicked out...and she loved it.
Several years later, she finally graduated the rehabilitation school as one of the first successful graduates from her Sector, with a lot of fond memories and good friends from the Rehabilitation Academy. Now in her mid-twenties, she could go anywhere with a glowing recommendation from the Academy and a host of new, basic-level skills and a proper education. And what did she decide to do? Well, after everything the New Republic had done for her - and the fact that she was already used to a life on the move with a tight-knit group of fighters - she joined the Republic Navy. She joined as an Ensign, then rose up the ranks to Lieutenant and after proving herself a rather adept pilot - and proving that her modified Joe wasn't just a hunk of junk - she was given authorisation to pilot a B-Wing/E that had recently become available after its last pilot had been promoted away from the frontlines. She took Scrappy happily, and swiftly turned it into the mess of wires and extra parts it is today...and, after being transferred to the Rogue Squadron almost a year ago, she's the happiest she's ever been in her life. She's young - she hasn't even hit thirty yet! - she's pretty, she has the ability to tinker whenever she wants, she has her own quarters, she has her best friend of over a decade by her side, and she's surrounded by hunky military men and women. So what's there not to like?! And THAT'S why she's always cheerful...she knows that it can be worse, and no matter how bad it is, she'll always have Joe and she'll always have the knowledge that she could easily have been somewhere far, far worse.
There we go! Hope that's to your liking! It's pretty late, so I had to cut it short in places. I'm gonna go to bed, then expand on it at a later date.
Let me know if it's acceptable please, or whether it needs changing!