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- "There's good, then there's me. You're neither."
- —Jill Vader
Jill Vader is possibly the greatest ace pilot in the history of (planet name); certainly she is the best pilot alive. Most of her life has been spent in the cockpit, fighting against the enemies of the Atralan Federation.
Jill was born in a small town in the now defunct Swindon Alliance, an only child in about 3152 (Her actual birthdate is hard to verify). In about 3160, the Alliance was invaded by the Brasniyan Federal Republic; Jill's home town was destroyed in the conflict, her parents killed. Receded by Astralan soldiers, she was taken to a refugee camp, then transferred back to Astralan territory following the collapse of the Alliance and its division between Astralan and Brasniayn territories.
Around 3168, Jill joined the Astralan air force by lying about her age, claiming to be older. Her deception was not uncommon at the time, the Federation, in its need for new pilots, overlooked such deceptions. Completing training, Jill was assigned to a VEF-04A Hawk squadron, the VEW-431 Redtails, assigned to the Tethys Sea front, facing off against the Okhan military. On her first ever combat sortie, Jill proved her abilities by splashing a pair of HS-157 Wakazashi fighters and damaging a third. Her fourth sortie, however, would prove to be more memorable.
Jill's flight encountered a flight of SH-225 Tengus, immediately engaging them. Jill was drawn into a dogfight with a particularly colourful plane with a particularly skilled pilot. Initially overwhelmed, she rallied, managing to outmaneuver the enemy pilot and shot him down. The Variable Frame crashed into the ocean, its pilot not ejecting and dying either on impact or from the damage his machine received. What she didn't realise at the time was that the craft she shot down was flown by Jun Yamashita, the Ohkan air force's top ace pilot.
Immediately afterwards, Jill was reassigned to VEW-042 Scarlet Knights, one of the elite squadrons of the Astralan air force that had recently re-equipped with the new VEF-08A Raven. The performance of the new fighter perfectly complimented Jill's own talent, allowing her to rack up an impressive number of kills in a short time. During the course of the Ohkan war, Jill managed to down more enemy aircraft then any other Astralan pilot.
Following the war, she was promoted and given command of her own squadron, VEW-017 Black Dragons, while her craft was upgraded to VEF-08S standard. A few months later, the final Brasniyan war began; Jill's squadron being on the front lines of the conflict. During the course of the war, she would continue to show the same skills she had displayed in the Okhan conflict, shooting down large numbers of enemy craft.
She also clashed with the Brasniyan ace (and apparent leader), Charles Zanderton on numerous occasions, the two proving to be evenly matched. Their rivalry came to a conclusion near the end of the war when Jill managed to cripple Zanderton's fighter; badly wounded, he goaded Vader into killing him. This was intentional; Jill was subsequently grounded removed form command of her squadron pending an inquiry into her conduct. However, the review board cleared her of any wrongdoing and returned her to active duty. The only consequence of this was a rift between Jill and several members of the Astralan high command, most notably Scarlet Knight commander (and rumored former lover), Alexander McKinnon.
Following the end of the Brasniyan war and the Fairwind annexation, Jill chose to remain with the armed forces rather then join the voluntary mustering out that accompanied the wind-down of the military forces. She has retained command of the Black Dragons, and continues to be an active part of the military's command structure, much to the annoyance of her numerous political foes.
At first glance, Vader does not look the part of a fighter pilot. Noticeably tall, she is an attractive woman who looks to be in her early 30s, with fair skin, blue eyes and long red hair that she wears loose. She has an attractive figure, but she also is clearly fit and keeps in peak condition. A more closer inspection would show several signs of her true nature, however. She has an almost predatory look, narrow eyed, moving cautiously, observing all around her. She sports several small scars, while the skin around her eyes is finely lined, a consequence of many hours flight time and intensive combat.
She is, however, aware of her appearance, and is not above using her looks to her advantage. Jill has maintained a trend of wearing a uniform that is just a little tighter then regulations would allow, simply because it enhances her figure. Outside of uniform, she prefers to dress n red, purple or black, because they are "more dramatic".
On the surface, Jill plays the part of a dedicated pilot, one who is keenly aware of their skill and reputation. She gives the impression of being vain and egotistical, rather full of herself and living off her reputation as the world's greatest living ace. She challenges herself to be the best she can, and is not above comparing herself to others.
In truth, Jill is actually rather cunning; her bluster hides a sharp tactical mind, as well as an extensive knowledge of aerial warfare. She is adept at analyzing and seizing control of a situation, using it to her advantage. She chooses her targets based on their value and importance, rather then singling out what would be the better trophy. Finally, she keeps a careful eye on her subordinates, treating them well and doing her best to make sure they all make it back alive.
Her decision to stay with the military is based on two factors; the first is a degree of obeisance, an unwillingness to change or move on, combined with a desire not to let those who she dislikes have any sort of victory. After all their concerted efforts to "encourage" her to leave, she sees her continued service as a personal triumph. The second is the simple acknowledgement that she lacks any useful skills or experience outside of the military; were she to resign, she wouldn't know what to do with herself.
Jill is inordinately fond of her personalised fighter, Black Dragon 01.
Black Dragon 01
Jill's personalised fighter, Black Dragon 01, is a VEF-08S Raven. Originally a normal A-model, the ship was upgraded as a testbed for the S-model's systems and their implementation in the field. The craft was the first fighter she was issued with upon joining the Scarlet Knights in 3173, and she has steadfastly refused to replace it since. In turn, the plane has become something of a symbol of the Astralan defences forces, and has been used heavily in PR and propaganda peices.
For the most part, the fighter is a stock VEF-08S; its only unusual feature is its distinctive colour scheme. Most of the craft's body is painted black, with jagged purple patches splashed all over it. Addtionally, both the canopy and the optics have a reddish tint. The result is that the craft has a very distinctive and dramatic appearance.