Corporal Sara Crane

Corporal Sara Crane is an extremely talented medic who is well-loved by everyone on Meleager. Bets are 25-to-1 against that there is anyone in the entire Squadron who can seriously be angry at her for more than six hours. People have actually tried; the current record is a measly 3 hours and 12 minutes, which is the longest time in the squadron by 43 minutes...and that is Captain Fenq's time. Even he does not look give any crap to Corporal Crane. She follows the rules, does her job incredibly well, and is very private during off-duty hours. Oddly--for a Marine--she cannot bring herself to lethally harm another human in any but the most dire circumstances; she can (and will) provide cover fire, however. Given her background, the Corps issued her an exemption on normal qualification standards; as long as she proves she knows how to maintain, aim, and employ her assigned sidearm--and any small arm her unit is employing--without endangering her fellow Marines, Marice Corps HQ comes out ahead in the bargain, given her phenomonal medical skills.

No one is sure why everyone treats her like a sister, from the Colonel on down. Entire drunken debates have raged--amongst Marine, crew, and even pilot alike--about whether it is her welcoming smile, hopeful outlook, complete trust, peaceful nature, or a combination of some/all of those traits that make everyone want to treat her like a sister...but whatever it is, everyone does. On the last shore leave to Tauron, some dirtside yokel groped her while she was being the "Poor Sober Frakker" with a team of Old Mel's Marines; the CAG, seven nuggets, and a dozen or so crew from the Mel also happened to be in the same bar...that was chock-full of inbred dirtside yokel pig-frakkers. Her Marine companions--not that drunk yet--objected. Violently. The yokel's buddies--the entire barfull--protested. It was strictly Marine-on-yokel asskicking until one hit Sara (who had been trying to stay out of the fight)). The crew, the nuggets, the CAG, SSgt. Burke (who was wandering by outside, checking on his Marines) and Major Deering (who was wandering by in the opposite direction, checking on her crew)...they all piled in to the general melee. End of the night, Fleet and the Marines have five out cold, a couple broken hands, and a moderate concussion.

The yokels? They were all either unconscious or in need of serious medical attention...which Corporal Crane then provided, holding no grudge. That is Corporal Crane in a nutshell...loved by everyone, taking care of everyone as best she can, and not really a violent person.

What most outside of her fellow Marines, the Squadron's Masters at Arms, Major Deering, the CAG, and a couple others (Senior Chief, Mundy, Meleger's Medical Department) don't know is that Sara Crane was born and raised, for 18 years, as Sara Helios Crane, Solis Ortis, in a remote corner of Sagittaron, in a fundamentalist cult. A rich, extremely well-funded fundamentalist cult...due to their land containing large quantities of extremely rare trace materials used in vital strategic production. Due to how vital that deposit was, the Colonial Government turned (and still does turn) a blind eye to several of the cult's more 'objectionable'--to modern Colonial sensibilities--practices. While marriage at 16 (considered to be 'the will of the Gods') was the usual, they were odd in that their ruling theocracy had the usual layer of priests...but they had three top positions: the 3 Sun Seers (mirroring the 3 Fates), the 4 Attendants (serving the Holy Sun Seers), and the Speaker For The Gods (the top of their cult)...and both the Attendants and the Speaker had a monogamous mate selected for them, while the 3 Seers lived (and died) virgins so as 'not to corrupt their visions'.

Sara was raised, and having found to meet the requirements at age 6 (as well as having been 'divined by the Seers'), she was trained for the next twelve years for her high position. She was left with her family until she was twelve...which is perhaps where the friction started, for her family was the central town's primary clan of hunters and trappers. She learned woodcraft, hunting, and everything that went with from her older sisters...and she loved it. However, the Speaker is to be a total pacifist, and when she was taken into the central temple for the last six years of her training, the priests and handmaidens had a hard time getting that point across. They finally managed to beat into her--literally--to never harm another human, but she still had no problem hunting and harming anything not a human. Finally, a month before her 18th birthday, the Colonial Fleet and Colonial Marines recruiters made their once-a-year, month-long pass through the region (most of which they spent in the largest--and central--town). She had never before seen them--she had always been out hunting with family or isolated in the training cloister--often being punished--every time they had come through. Given her status as Speaker-To-Be, people outside the central temple were already deferring to her, and her curiosity of this 'brave mortal champions of the Lords of Kobol' drove her to seek answers. She picked a day the priests were busy, all the older, disapproving handmaidens were either tied down in rituals or out-of-town, gathered her hand-picked friends (all of whom were similarly curious), and met with the recruiters.

Their honest answers, backed up by documentation, radically altered her worldview. Meeting with them well past her curfew that, and then every day for the next week straight, left her facing a massive--and radical--decision. She realized she didn't have to be stuck as a religious figurehead in the backwoods of Sagittaron; she could see the Colonies--see the universe! So, unable to sign up for her eighteenth birthday, she arranged a quiet extraction on her eighteenth birthday. For while there were ceremonies and such, her cult's law held that the midnight nearest the previous Speaker's last breath was the midnight from which the Speaker-To-Be became the Speaker. The previous one--knowing her health was failing--took a painless, sleep-inducing lethal overdose of a homeopathic medicine a few minutes before the midnight of Sara's birthday. Sara officially became the Speaker the moment she also turned 18. Of course, when the servants opened her suite to wake her in preparation for the rites to come...they found only an empty room, with only a few personal items taken, and a note saying simply 'I now walk another path'.

As the alarm went up, Sara was boarding a Fleet Raptor with the two recruiters, the Commander of Tenth Fleet, the Chief of Marine Corps Operations, her four closest friends, and eight of her cousins who wanted a different life, all having signed the contracts and taken the Oath of Enlistment upon turning 18 at the stroke of midnight, witnessed by the Admiral and the Marine General, and everyone was then hustled out of town before things could get ugly. Marine Basic was a shock to Sara, but she first adapted, then thrived; her talent for homeopathic remedies turned out to be a major talent at trauma medicine, and her long hours of dancing in the temple combined with all the time she spent running in the woods (even when she had to sneak out at night when she got older) made her very fit and incredibly fast. The cult, however, still waits for her to return; until she is killed, she is their Speaker...even if her message from the Gods is--by her absence--an indication of over-control on part of the cult. They have been releasing restrictions and allowing their young more freedom recently. It will still be a long time--if ever--before Sara voluntarily ever walks on the surface of Sagittaron again.