"I cannot stand 'rebels,' or hot-doggers, or any of these so-called intuitive know it alls," explains Captain Jeannette Devereaux, who goes by the cockpit moniker of Angel. "We have used flying craft in warefare since 1914. As a race, we have nearly eight centuries of combat flying experience, and we've had nearly eaight centuries to define, refine, and perfect the rules by which we fly. These are rules designed to keep us alive, keep our wingmen alive, and win our wars, n'est-ce pas?
"But every class that comes out of the Academy is stuffed full of these talented fliers who think that, because they can do new and interesting things with their machines, they must be smarter than eight centuries of military thinkers... and so the rules don't apply to them. They shut up fast when they start seeing their classmates eat missiles... and it is at that point they join the human race and begin to contribute to winning this war."
The 28-year-old Devereaux is a native of Brussels, Belgium. She is widely known for her marksmanship: Her accomplishments with ship's weapons dot the Tiger's Claw performance records.
Fresh from the Academy is 2nd Lt. Todd Marshall, known as Maniac by his graduating class.
Marshall, 23, tries hard to live up to his moniker. "Plodding along with your joystick in one hand and a copy of the naval regs in the other is not going to impress the Kilrathi," he says. "They know our regs. They know the Book, they know how we do things. If we're going to put them on the ropes, we have to adapt our rules, tactics, and flying styles. We have to outfly them, outfight them... we've got to want it more. And I want it.
"I'm a Proxie - homeworld Leto, Proxima Centauri IV. When the colonization started, anyone with any brains or skills high tailed it off Earth, and most of them ended up on Leto. That's why Proxies kick homeborn Terrans around in the ratings."
Despite his creative interpretation of colonial history and comparative Naval Academy standings, Marshall was one of the highest-rated Acadamy graduates in the '54 class and promises to be a worthy addition to the Tiger's Clas pilot roster.