By John Sirls
Featured: Aden O.Brian Casey
Aden O.Brian Casey was born on July 11, 2332 to Seamus and Marry Casey. He was born and spent his childhood in Belfast.s east side. As a child, he collected CTN navy action figures, and his dream was either to be an officer in the CTN navy or a scientist working for the Hale Alliance, depending on his day and his mood. In Primary school, he excelled in civic studies and history and languages. He always received top marks in English and in his Irish Gaelic classes from first through fifth year. Math was, sadly, his worst subject, and by age 8, he was having doubts that his dreams of being a scientist would ever come true.
War and Relocation
The war between CTN and the three alliances broke out in 2341, and at first, it had little impact on Aden.s life. He went to school and came home, and his parents had the sad duty of explaining what was meant by words such as campaign, bombing, rout and engagement. One cold January morning in 2343, Aden was playing kickball outside at recess, when he looked up to see faint silvery contrails overhead. At that moment, the neighborhood air raid warning began sounding, and children scrambled for the nearby underground bomb shelter. As Aden scrambled down the cement steps to the shelter, a flash and rolling explosion caught his attention. Looking over his shoulder, he saw his school and the office building next to it reduced to burning slag. As it happened, a Commonwealth bombing run had missed its intended target, a nearby factory, and had obliterated a school and office building in Casey.s neighborhood.
This event traumatized Aden. He has little memory of the next ten months. His behavior was marked by intense and sudden weeping, alternating with vitriolic, uncontrolled rages. Psychiatrists at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Dublin told his parents that he was suffering the pre-adolescent equivalent of post traumatic stress disorder, and that he was not unique. Thousands of Earth children were feeling the effects of total war.
In August of that year, The CTN government passed the Civilian Protection Order, authorizing the military to assist the merchant fleet and civilian passenger transport firms in relocating military dependents to safe havens, including other alliance planets when possible. Seamus Casey.s service in the reserves some years before entitled him to make arrangements for his family, and so doing, he arranged safe conduct to Outreach for his wife and child, his intent being to follow when the conflict was over.
On November 22, 2343, Aden and his mother took ship for Outreach. By this point, Aden was almost totally irrational, and required sedation for the trip. To this day, Aden has little memory of most of 2343, and doesn.t care to recall what he does remember. He has no memory at all of the transport to Outreach.
His connected memory resumes on Outreach, some months later. Records indicate that he and his mother took an apartment in the slum quarters of Outreach, and Aden was entered into intense psychotherapy at the hospital in Outreach city. Hale.s knowledge of science generally and of psychotherapeutic regiments in particular was several years in advance of what had been developed on earth up to that same point. According to his therapist.s case notes, the preteen Aden made excellent progress through a combination of short-term anti-depressant medications, electro neural induction therapy, and standard psychoanalysis; his therapy was terminated in December of 2344, thirteen months after his arrival on planet.
The next event that impacts his life is the death of his father, Seamus Casey. In the Spring of 2346, Mrs. Casey received a notice from the CTN War Department, notifying her that her husband had been killed in ground skirmishes outside London. Aside from the loss of Seamus Casey, there was the loss of his reservist income. By this point, the CTN economy could not adequately support widows and orphaned dependents. Mrs. Casey was unable to find work, and according to those who were there at the time, felt that prostitution was her only means of supporting her son. This is well-known to Aden, and he.s shared this fact with a select few. Hating what she did to feed the both of them, Aden was determined to find work sufficient to allow his mother to quit the sex industry. Accordingly, he took up work at the pawnshop that still stands today in the Outreach slums.
His mother died of a sexually communicable infection in the late summer of 2348, one that, later scans revealed, could have been treated, had she reported to the hospital in a timely fashion. Aden never knew why she didn.t, though he suspected that a lack of money for the treatment, combined with her desire to keep him unaware of her condition, led his mother to forego seeking medical treatment. She was buried in an unmarked plot south of the city, paid for by the pawn broker Aden worked for, who made it clear he expected repayment.
Aden worked for the next three years, paying off his debts to the pawn broker and to those creditors who insisted on repayment from his mother.s meager estate. In any other sense, he didn.t have a life. The outside universe didn.t interest him. He read the news of the CTN defeat and the ravaging of his home world with a certain apathy. When his debts were paid, Aden quit the employ of the pawn broker and went looking for work. Opportunity avenue, as it.s called, lacked opportunity for him. No one was hiring. As his savings were depleted, Aden sold most of his possessions. Finally, he was unable to make the rent on the apartment he.d shared with his mother and was evicted, a formality, since he was rarely there in any case. By December of 2352, Aden was homeless. For the next several months, he drifted, bartering work for food and shelter, working as a day laborer in Outreach.s most desolate and roughest corners. One afternoon in June of the new year, he spotted academy cadets practicing drill, and he decided to apply. He showed up on the last day of June, 2353, at the recruiting office of the Hale alliance. Hale was in need of pilots, and he was accepted, contingent upon his ability to maintain high marks in classes.
Casey matriculated into the academy, beginning in the Fall term of 2353. He completed the two-year course of study, including field training in both the summer of 2354 and the winter of 2354-55. His instructors marked him as a very intense student. One commentator, writing in his fall term student evaluation notes, .Casey is an above average, if not necessarily a brilliant, student who possesses a burning zeal for space, regardless of whether it involves military service or not.. Casey excelled in his studies of ship design, galactic geography and command and leadership courses. His marks in combat simulation courses are average, though his instructor in advanced combat training notes Casey.s determination and willingness to learn from his own mistakes. Unusually by today.s pilot cadet tendencies, Casey.s electives focused in what, on Earth, would have been called the liberal arts. He took Hale history as well as Terran history and xenobiology, which focused mostly on Praelor biomechanics and defenses. He did well in these courses, earning top marks. His history instructor noted, .Casey.s unique background leaves him with a marked nostalgia for Earth and humanity.s past. While his loyalty to the alliance is unquestioned, he demonstrates the ability to think critically about recent Hale and interalliance history..
Early Pilot Life
Casey graduated in the class of 2355, somewhere in the top third of his class, if not exactly in the top ten. He climbed the ranks of pilot ship owners, progressing steadily through a variety of jobs and ship classes. His early jobs, at which he consistently turned a profit, included debris salvage, mail delivery, passenger transportation, planetary mining, and Praelor combat.
Withdraw from Locals
In the Fall of 2355, after several intense personal conflicts with more senior pilots and one failed marriage, Casey left locals. He reports that he spent the time of his absence at a monastery several hundred light years out of local space, reassessing his priorities and, in his own words, .thinking serine thoughts.. Interviewed about this absence, several of Casey.s close friends, including Calandria Hartzler and the late Bliss Hadford expressed doubts as to the likelihood of Casey.s return.
.He felt he had to go,. offers Calandria Hartzler, .I don.t agree, and we didn.t think we.d ever see his face again. Quite a few people missed him.. His absence and the precise circumstances of his return are topics that Casey is still quite unwilling to discuss.
Return and present day Activities
Casey resurfaced near the end of April 2356. Most notably, he chose to join the Alliance of Interstellar Expansionists, expressing a desire to explore out of local space, a desire that didn.t surprise at least one person. Ex-wife Alayna Modeira comments, .he always wanted to leave the galaxy. I always said he.d be good for AIE.. His reduced license credentials have been little impediment to his desire to retake his place in the pilot world. Keeping mostly to himself, Casey has spent the last several months earning money through asteroid hauling and artifact hunting out of locals with his friend and fiancé, Elizabeth Grayson, formerly Elizabeth Steinhoffer. He is, in his own words, .rebuilding my life, and making it better in the bargain.. His express desire is to have a house on Earth and a transverser of his own. At the time of this writing, he is reported to be two thousand light years out of locals, artifact hunting and planning his wedding. We wish him well.