Major Chen Kien is known as Bossman to the spacecrews, but that wasn't always the case, "When I was young - er, younger - they called me Ripper; my old friends still do. I was a lot like Hunter, pushing everything to the limit. But I might have been a little too good, or at least lucky, at it. Replacement crews coming in, bright young second looies, took my lead... and got themselves shot to hell. When I started burying young pilots who had been killed for behaving like me, I decided to give them an example that would not get them blown out of space. It is sort of a visious cycle: You try to act as an example, and young pilots start coming to you for advice. That is when they started calling me Bossman. I do not regret all these changes... but there are times I miss the old days."
The 39-year-old native of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, has a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Confederation Net university system. He is married to ergonomics engineer Chen Mingxing and, last March, became the father of a baby girl.
Major Michael Casey, or Iceman to the crews, has racked up more confirmed kills while serving on the Tiger's Claw than any other pilot in the carrier's history. In the cockpit, he is known for calm under fire, letter-perfect flying technique, and deadly aim with ship's weapons, a combination which guarantees disaster for Kilrathi opponents.
Angel, frequent wingman for Iceman, describes flying with him: "You must learn to listen for Iceman. On the comm unit, in a large engagement, everyone is either shouting or at least very excitable; Iceman is whispering. You have to strain your ears to hear him. It's always terse little statements: 'Moving in.' 'Rolling right.' 'Target in sight.' 'Objective accomplished.' 'Head for home.' And I will tell you: He talks ten times as much in the cockpit as he ever talks on the carrier."
Iceman is 31, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia.