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Second Lieutenant  :  Lance Casey 

 
Any discussion of Lance Casey's life (at least at this early point in his career) must begin with his father.  Major Michael Casey began his career when he was assigned to the TCS Tiger's Claw after it lost more than half its fighters in the legendary battle ironically dubbed Custer's Carnival.  An ROTC-trained pilot, Mike Casey served adequately but with little inspiration for two years.  He would probably have been rotated out to shore duty, except that in late 2647 he  revived news that his wife and 15-month old daughter had been killed in a kilrathi terror raid on their undefended home planet.  After the funeral, Casey's kill ratio showed an almost immediate jump to about twice its former levels, and from there it kept climbing.  Casey never disobeyed orders or took overtly suicidal chances, he just became extremely good at killing cats. Both in and out of battle, he cultivated a dispassionate, emotionless demeanor that soon earned him a new callsign --"Iceman."  By the time the iceman's next scheduled rotation came around, nobody on board the Tiger's Claw was inclined to argue when he requested to remain at his current assignment, and there he stayed for seven years, becoming one of the top aces on the Tiger's Claw's already legendary flight roster.   
 
In 2655, shortly after the Firekka engagement, Casey took some long-delayed shore leave.  While on vacation, he met Kylie Richards, a waitress.  A few months later, Casey hastily arranged a one-week emergency leave during which the two were married.  Six weeks later, Michael Casey was captured and killed by the Kilrathi.  Six months after his parents' marriage, Lance Casey was born.   
 
Lance Casey's academic career was undistinguished.  His main extracurricular activities were sports, earning team honors on several different squads.  In general, however, he did little to distinguish himself either positively or negatively.  After high school he took a couple years off, living at home assisting his mother with the spaceport diner she had recently purchased.  During his final year of eligibility, he applied to the Space Force Academy and was accepted, in part due to special favors granted to the orphan children of aces. 
 
During his Academy years, Casey found himself.  He proved to be a natural pilot and this new calling gave him the motivation to firm up his grades.  He did not, however, become a model officer cadet.  Along with his new confidence and motivation came a new brashness, and he accumulated a truly exceptional collection of demerits. 
 
Upon graduation, in a misjudgment on a scale only a military bureaucracy is capable of, Casey was assigned to a milk run -- shuttling ambassadors and other high-powered diplomats around the Confed in ultra fast, luxurious transports.  His performance in the cockpit was exemplary, but the assignment left him entirely too much leisure for mischief between missions.  He narrowly avoided career-ending charges several times.  
 
Unbeknownst to Casey, however, his career was being quietly monitored by his father's former commander and best friend, Senator James Taggart, a man with almost godlike influence in the Space Forces.  It was dude to Taggart that Casey was rotated off diplomatic duty and onto the new magacarrier TCS Midway.  Taggart hopes that in the discipline of active duty and (in due time) elite fighter squadron, Casey would find the last key piece to ongoing puzzle of his purpose in life.

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