Mass Effect Transcendence/The Principals/Russell Misc
Russell Ortiz was formerly a Systems Alliance marine in the 3rd Company, 10th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Frontier Division. The entire regiment took part in the operation on Torfan in 2178 to destroy a major slaving ring's base of operations in the Attican Traverse. It was a bloody, brutal campaign that took a heavy toll on the Alliance forces taking part, largely due to the terrain and nature of the conflict. This was not an operation that could be won by airpower alone, but required infantry to insert and individually secure each fortification and installation to ensure the enemy was eradicated.
 3rd Company as at 2178
At the time of the Torfan operation, the 3rd Company of the 10th Regiment was led by 1st Lieutenant Jonathan Kessler. Already noted as a rising star, Kessler was a progressive leader with the respect of his subordinates, but known to harbour great ambitions for his onward career. His somewhat swashbuckling style had earned his Company the nickname "Kessler's Corsairs", though before Torfan this eagerness to put himself and his people in harm's way to achieve objectives had netted only success. That was all to change.
The roster for the 3rd Company immediately prior to Torfan was as follows:
Company Commander: 1st Lieutenant Jonathan Kessler
Platoon Leader and Executive Officer: Ops Chief Ilyana Shevchenko
|1st Squad||2nd Squad||3rd Squad||4th Squad|
|Gunnery Chief Paul Roby||Corporal Misha Khabarovsk||Service Chief Russell Ortiz||Corporal Hideo Masayuri|
|Corporal Anna Hammery||Private Zuberi Bamgboshe||Corporal Melissa Stanfield||Private Sebastián Vázquez|
|Private Angelo Fontanella||Private Soraya Tehrani||Private Johann Vegard||Private Annette Reed|
|Private Shen Huang-Chi||Private Carson Lillow||Private Miko Tatsuya||Private Chris Dawson|
|Tech Specialist Renard Delacroix||Tech Specialist Jill Warren-Mayfield||Tech Specialist Peter Nguye||Tech Specialist Sati Chatula|
Platoon Leader: Ops Chief Harald Mads
|5th Squad||6th Squad||7th Squad||8th Squad|
|Service Chief Levi Grandison||Corporal Enzo Gognitti||Service Chief Pavel Ivanov||Corporal Hui Hong|
|Corporal Lillith McCullough||Private Eli Camden||Tech Corporal Rupert Irving||Private Aaron Prentice|
|Private Jorge Bergeron||Private Kari Deshini||Private Benjamin Cross||Private Rosemary Makutsi|
|Private Vishti Pashara||Private Arn Kjellen||Private Sally Robbin||Private Rafael Ozuna|
|Tech Specialist Erik Karolf||Tech Specialist Gabriel Formanek||Private Albin Gaum||Tech Specialist Arja Vanjita|
 Marine Profiles
1st Lieutenant Jonathan Kessler
Company Commanding Officer (CO). A scion of a prominent and powerful family, Kessler started life with every advantage. He had the best genetic augmentation (coded for tall, athletic, blonde and attractive) and education (private schooling and attendance to a military boarding school, followed by a prestigious university) money could buy. A family tradition held that serving in the Alliance was a means of enhancing the family name with "public service" in youth, though most resigned their commission after a tour in order to pursue a career in the upper echelons of business or politics. Kessler enjoyed the military life, and had aspirations of being an Admiral one day, as several of his forebears had done. He was a good officer, capable of inspiring loyalty in his people and leading by example.
He had passed the N1 course shortly before being assigned to the 3rd Company as CO and brought many of those skills to bear in his command style. His swaggering, bold and sometimes rash style had earned his outfit the nickname "Kessler's Corsairs", a name in which he privately revelled. Ambition drove him, while he was concerned for the welfare of his subordinates (as any officer thinking of his reputation would), ultimately they were his route to Staff Commander and command of the regiment in the shortest possible time. He had incredible luck, repeatedly succeeding in spite of taking great risks.
Having brought all his family's considerable influence to bear to ensure his regiment was part of the operation on Torfan, he saw his opportunity to make his mark. Initial engagements went well, the combined arms approach of the Alliance forces minimising casualties. Kessler's luck held, and while there were casualties across other companies, the 3rd escaped unscathed. That was all to change with the final action to prosecute the slaver designated Pariah in his personal fortress.
 Alpha Platoon
Operations Chief Ilyana Shevchenko
Company Executive Officer (XO) and leader of Alpha Platoon. A woman in her late-thirties, renowned for her astounding insight and keen strategical mind, Ilyana was a very balanced, very down to earth soldier. She would rarely lose her patience or fall apart during a crisis, indicating a very strong inner personality. She would merely think in silence for a few moments, and she'd come up with a solution for whatever problem needed to be addressed. A woman of very few words but calm, purposeful actions, Ilyana was considered an exemplary soldier and promoted swiftly in her career.
Shevchenko survived Torfan and awarded a commendation for her actions. She is still in active service.
 1st Squad
Gunnery Chief Paul Roby
Leader of 1st Section (1st and 2nd Squads). Paul was a true leader despite his relatively young age, and that was the main reason he was chosen to lead the first squad. A Terminus child through and through, Paul was born and raised in one of the most dangerous fringe colonies humans still clung to. Besieged by slavers, pirates and human-haters, Paul swiftly grew tired of the Alliance's meagre support and rallied a civilian militia when he was only a teenager. Armed with makeshift weapons and, later, weaponry salvaged from defeated foes, Paul's militia kept his colony safe for several years. When the Alliance finally reinforced his region of space and the militia was disbanded, he was contacted and persuaded by a recruiter to join the military.
Roby was killed in action on Torfan, dying instantly with the rest of the 1st squad when the mine went off.
Corporal Anna Hammery
The elder sister of five rowdy boys, she was raised to pull her weight at her family's farm and simultaneously look after her troublemaking brothers. After her father was killed in a raider assault and her mother's health steadily deteriorated from taking too many jobs, she realised that the only way to spare her family a backbreaking life of hard labour was either to marry someone rich or to join the military and send her pay-checks home. And like she said herself whenever she told her story, "she ain't never been a lady," so marriage was out of the question.
Hammery was killed in action on Torfan, dying instantly with the rest of the 1st squad when the mine went off.
Private Angelo Fontanella
Angelo was a man of emotion, always throwing himself heedless into danger and coming out unscathed by the skin of his teeth. He was passed for promotion many times over due to unfavourable reports over his hotheadedness. Prone to drastic mood swings at the drop of a hat, Angelo was a handful to deal between missions, but he could be relied to follow orders at any cost.
Fontanella was killed in action on Torfan, dying instantly with the rest of the 1st squad when the mine went off.
Private Shen Huang-Chi
Always eager to please, Shen was a relentless optimist. He would always look on the bright side of everything and remain polite to the point of excess. Driven to be the best from birth, his academic scores were almost as impressive as his marksmanship and exemplary behaviour. His inexperience played against him, however, and he was passed for promotion a few times. Shen, of course, took it all in stride.
Shen was killed in action on Torfan, dying instantly with the rest of the 1st squad when the mine went off.
Tech Specialist Renard Delacroix
A quiet, easygoing, middle-aged man, he was never one to let a problem go unsolved. His determination to fix everything often led him to neglect his physical well-being. A knowledgeable man who felt uncomfortable around others, Renard would often hum old French songs to himself while he worked.
Delacroix was killed in action on Torfan, dying instantly with the rest of the 1st squad when the mine went off.
 2nd Squad
Corporal Misha Khabarovsk
Teased for having a girly name, Misha was a giant of a man, fondly dubbed "Viking" by his peers despite having never set foot on Earth in his life. Fiercely protective of his squadmates, he was a sight to behold on the battlefield, having specialised in heavy weaponry and demolitions. He was good-natured and responsible, his youthful looks concealing the decade he had over most of his peers.
Khabarovsk survived Torfan and is still in active service.
Private Zuberi Bamgboshe
His parents named him "Zuberi", for their desire for their child to be strong. He made them proud, even after they were captured by Batarian slavers and killed when they tried to escape. Despite joining the Alliance military out of grief and hatred, he found a home and some direly-needed stability there. Before the events at Torfan, he had been slowly learning to move past his grief and laugh again. But that, of course, changed after that fateful mission.
Bamgboshe survived Torfan and was given an Honourable Discharge in 2180.
Private Soraya Tehrani
Not one to make jokes or take things lightly, Soraya conducted herself with stern professionalism, something that surprised people given her young age. Not a prodigy by any means, she was nevertheless raised to see the world as a battlefield, honing her keen intellect and souring her nature. The only time her ice-cold demeanour was broken was when it came to civilian protection, which she was uncharacteristically passionate about. There was a story there, but nobody ever got to hear it.
Tehrani survived Torfan and was promoted to Corporal for her actions. She was reassigned to another unit and received an Honourable Discharge in 2183.
Private Carson Lillow
Carson was "that guy." The guy whose father, mother, all four grandparents and practically his entire family had been military, going back generations ago to some distant ancestor who fought in one of the World Wars. Afforded distinction, old money and privilege, his parents had heavily invested in in-utero genetic modifications to ensure that their child would be born with all the right genes for military life. Far superior to practically everyone else (even Jill Warren-Mayfield couldn't quite match him), he was often ostracised for being arrogant and frankly insufferable. Some pitied his constant lonesomeness and tried to reach out to him, but his out of combat personality was extremely difficult to deal with.
Lillow survived Torfan and was promoted to Corporal for his actions. He received an Honourable Discharge in 2179.
Tech Specialist Jill Warren-Mayfield
Jill caused quite the commotion in her wealthy family when she decided to join the military. A slip of a thing, afforded the best genetic modifications money could buy, she was both intimidatingly smart and fairly good-looking. Her naiveté and general ignorance, product of a sheltered childhood, often made her strike the point between annoying and endearing. An expert technician, Jill's ability to work under fire left everyone quite impressed. She would become an expert in surprising those who underestimated her.
Warren-Mayfield was killed in action on Torfan.
 3rd Squad
"The Lucky 3rd"
Service Chief Russell Ortiz
Leader of 2nd Section (3rd and 4th Squads). At the time of Torfan, Ortiz was 20 years old and newly-promoted to Service Chief, junior of the three Service Chiefs in the Company (Grandison was most senior, then Ivanov). He'd proven himself capable and resourceful on a number of operations since enlisting in 2176, shortly after the Skyllian Blitz and his 18th birthday, leading to a rapid rise from Private, through Corporal to Chief.
Ortiz survived Torfan and was turned into the celebrated success story of the operation. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and awarded a commendation. He received an Honourable Discharge in 2181.
Corporal Melissa Stanfield
A ruthless, cutthroat woman who took no prisoners, Melissa earned both the respect and the fear of most people who met her. She was driven to see the Alliance succeed against the "alien scum," as she put it, and her driven will to push herself to the limit made her a fearsome combatant. Single-mindedly dedicated to her career, she seemed to have no hobbies or personal interests outside military life.
Stanfield survived Torfan and received an Honourable Discharge in 2182.
Private Johann Vegard
Johann "Lucky Three" Vegard knew it was a sign when he was assigned to third squad. The third son of a family that had long served in the armed service, Johann was the third generation to join the Systems Alliance offworld taskforces and was assigned to the anti-piracy operations on Torfan. He was a dreamer and an idealist, well known for his sense of humour and catch phrase, "Good things come in three's, just like me's!", Johann was the least experienced of the squad, but the one some of his squad mates said would make a name for himself. It was an open secret amongst the platoon that he harboured a deep crush on the forward scout from 7th Squad, one Sally Robbin, and there was an ongoing pool as to what the battle-blonde would do once she found out about it.
Vegard was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Miko Tatsuya
Miko was a very formal, very stiff woman raised to value propriety and decorum above all else. She was an average soldier in most aspects, but conducted herself with the seriousness and stature of an Admiral. She could be relied upon for absolutely anything: if she gave her word, she would keep it, come hell or high water. Her sense of honour was unbreakable, and others admired the way she always volunteered for the most difficult tasks, pushing through adversity with sheer willpower. It was believed that her home colony, constantly in the eye of the media due to their shady businesses (mainly revolving around law-skirting genetic research), forced a highly ethical behaviour on its inhabitants and left them with a keen knowledge of how others perceived their actions.
Tatsuya survived Torfan and was promoted to Corporal for her actions. She received an Honourable Discharge in 2178.
Tech Specialist Peter Nguye
Born in a slum on the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria on Earth, Peter overcame the poverty of his beginnings with his prodigious technical talent. By the age of 7 he was able to support his family by repairing and refurbishing salvaged junk. By 10 he'd upgraded the rickety infrastructure in his local neighbourhood and at 13 he came to international fame when one of his inventions, an inexpensive means to [something], caught the eye of an Alliance News Network reporter visiting his neighbourhood. He earned a scholarship to the Grissom Academy, where his technological genius flourished in that hothouse environment.
When he graduated in late 2177, it was something of a surprise to everyone when he turned down the numerous offers from high-tech firms who'd been tracking his progress and instead enlisted in the Alliance Marine Corps. While only an average soldier (he did passably well in the paramilitary training at the Academy), Nguye rapidly gained a reputation as the possibly best technician in the 3rd company, in spite of his youth. He had an instinctive knack with tech at any level, from mechanical and electronic right through to VIs and the mass effect. His ferocious talent was tempered by his irrepressible sense of humour - Pete could find mirth in almost any situation and was happy to share that joy with anyone. He didn't take himself or anything else too seriously, making him one of the easier tech specialists to get along with.
Nguye earned a commendation for his actions at Torfan and a job offer from an intelligence agency he didn't have the option of refusing. He all but disappeared for two years on assignment before reappearing as an apparent freelance mercenary. According to his service record, he was Honourably Discharged in 2180.
 4th Squad
Corporal Hideo Masayuri
Hideo came from the same colony as Miko, which was a rather surprising coincidence. They didn't know each other before Miko was transferred to the 3rd Company, but the two of them often exchanged news and reminisced about colony life. Hideo was far more relaxed and flexible than Miko, but he retained the same sense of honour and propriety that characterised their colony. He was far more willing to laugh or crack jokes, but he and Miko often needed to exchange but one look to wordlessly agree on how to proceed. When asked about this, they would often shrug and reply that it was how they had been raised.
Masayuri was commended for his actions on Torfan and remained in service. He was killed in a tragic vehicle accident in 2179.
Private Sebastián Vázquez
Sebastián was the popular private in his squad, all good looks and easy smiles, always the life of the party. He'd brag about his conquests and get reprimands over fraternisation, but he took it all in style. Unremarkable in most areas, his only true talent was keeping his head cool and crack a smile in moments of crisis. Confident but not too cocky, Sebastián was never one to lie or engage in shady behaviour.
Vázquez was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Annette Reed
Annette was the child of two scientists from a colony whose companies had committed patent violations against the dignity of their test subjects in their quest for knowledge and profit. Her parents, being very high in the company hierarchy, ended up in a cold prison in some forgotten planetoid. Annette was placed in foster care and eventually joined the military to atone for her parents' misdeeds. She'd often tell herself that she was going to "make it right," but when asked what "it" was, she'd only say "everything."
Reed was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Chris Dawson
Chris was a very good-looking actor-wannabe. He had joined the military out of his parents' insistence to have something to fall back on if the acting thing didn't work out, but he was still desperately looking forward to being honourably discharged. Most of his shore leave and free time was spent networking for contacts for when his time in the military was up. A reasonably smart guy, he followed orders quietly and efficiently, though he was frankly a lousy shot. He and Sebastián became close and had a good-natured, friendly rivalry going on before the events at Torfan.
Dawson was killed in action on Torfan.
Tech Specialist Sati Chatula
Born in a very small, tightly-knit colony, Sati was the heart of the company. Always in a good mood, she'd spend time to get to know everyone and do little thoughtful things for each of them, like setting Sebastián up with someone whenever they were on shore leave, spending time with the more lonely members of the company (like Carson, Renard, Soraya or Melissa) or giving people small gifts for their birthdays (she gave Russell a silver pin with his home colony's banner, "so that he'd have something to remember home by, wherever he was"). Sati never talked about it, but Jill once did a background check on her and discovered her home colony had been wiped out in a nuclear accident while Sati had been off-planet. The news spread through the company like wildfire, but nobody ever brought it up in front of her. For all intents and purposes, the 3rd Company was Sati's new family.
Chatula survived Torfan and remained in active service for a time. However, she struggled with the psychological scars of what she had seen and received a Medical Discharge in 2180.
 Bravo Platoon
Operations Chief Harald Mads
Leader of Bravo Platoon. Harald "Hardass" Mads wasn't always a hardass. He said he grew up in the most boring colony in Alliance space and ran away to Illium when he was a teenager, dropping out of school and emptying his parents' accounts in the process. Took his folks a whole galactic year to find him, and by the time they did, Harald was knee-deep in designer drugs, high-class prostitution, booze and company espionage. His parents immediately shipped him off to military school and forced him to sign up to the Alliance military. Said that was the best decision they ever made, and was deeply grateful to them and the Alliance for shaping him up.
Mads survived Torfan and remained in active service for a time afterwards. He was injured in a later operation and received a Medical Discharge in 2182.
 5th Squad
Service Chief Levi Grandison
Leader of 3rd Section (5th and 6th Squads). Levi "Stonewall" Grandison was always a humourless, utterly serious person without even the slightest grasp of sarcasm, irony or wit. The fact that he took his time to do things properly and never rushed ahead helped him balance (and rein in) the rest of his squad. He was a strong man, which, combined with his naturally even temperament, led his squad to nickname him "Stonewall" practically as soon as they met him. A man who prioritised defence and "getting everyone out safe and sound first, mission objectives second," other squad leaders joked that he was much like a school teacher looking after a bunch of unruly kids. He had a wife and two sons back in his home colony, with which he spoke as often as he was allowed.
Grandison was promoted to Gunnery Chief for his actions on Torfan and remained with the unit. He received an Honourable Discharge in 2182 having completed his third tour of duty.
Corporal Lillith McCullough
Lillith was the redheaded girl with the thousand stories. Her home colony had been practically as dangerous as Paul Roby's, and she always had a tale to tell about how she had narrowly averted death by being quick and decisive. Some called her "daredevil," which she found quite rich, given her name and its mythological implications. She was never one to be idle for long, always tinkering with her weapons and armour or gathering intel for the upcoming mission. Her shore leave was spent picking fights and pulling dangerous stunts, sometimes interrupted just in time by a more sensible-minded company member. She was a pretty girl, but wore her scars proudly. How she made it to corporal was the subject of speculation in the company.
McCullough was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Jorge Bergeron
Jorge was the talker of the group. Always engaging in chitchat to the point of causing headaches, he nevertheless meant well. Some said that was the way he dealt with the nervousness and anxiety of being so new, and that he'd calm down once he gained some experience, while others said he was just an unstoppable chatterbox. He tried very hard to fit in and "be a good soldier," which led some of the older members of the company to said he had "puppy eagerness." He was a short, lanky fellow, and could outrun almost everyone in the company, though he lacked stamina. He, Rafael and Sebastián were fond of speaking to each other in Spanish, though over half the company could understand them anyway.
Bergeron was disciplined for his actions on Torfan, receiving a Dishonourable Discharge shortly afterwards in 2178.
Private Vishti Pashara
Vishti was a clever soldier with lots of ideas. A creative, out-the-box thinker with a dangerous lack of self-restraint, Vishti was a tech specialist in all but name. She was fond of jury-rigging things in battle (and outside of it, too) to explode, electrocute, burst on fire, release steam or liquid nitrogen, fire shrapnel and sport other delightful effects. She was fond of booby-trapping areas to save bullets while the environment killed her enemies for her. Her best friend was an obscure bit of military protocol dating back to the First Contact War that allowed soldiers with sufficient knowledge to engage in such jury-rigging. The piece had been all but forgotten, but not officially revoked, so Vishti's only consequence for her slightly questionable behaviour was being constantly passed for promotion. And Levi's stern glares, of course.
Pashara was killed in action on Torfan.
Tech Specialist Erik Karolf
Erik, much like many other soldiers, joined the military to pay himself through college. He was a jittery, twitchy guy whose mind raced miles faster than everyone else's and who spoke faster than a salarian on speed. He lacked Jill's intelligence, Sati's intuitive grasp of technology and Renard's experience, but nobody worked faster than him. When something needed to get done on the double, Erik was their man. He was fond of Earth sports and could often be found simultaneously watching three or four matches of completely different sports on his free time.
Karolf survived Torfan, but was changed by his experiences. Falling into bad habits and receiving repeated disciplinaries, he was finally given a Dishonourable Discharge in 2180.
 6th Squad
"The Sweet 6th"
Corporal Enzo Gognitti
Enzo was a good man. That was his main characteristic, what everyone remembered about him. He was good. He always pulled through, never spoke ill of anyone, always took orders without question, and he was never seen in a bad mood or behaved in untoward ways. His only fault was being perhaps too docile for his own good, lacking the decisiveness and strength of personality needed to ascend higher up the military ranks. It was debated whether he possessed the necessary qualities to lead his squad properly. It was a prevalent rumour that his squad followed him out of respect, not because the man irradiated a sense of authority or could command obedience through brute force. Still, most said that his squad followed, and at the end of the day that was all that mattered.
Gognitti was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Eli Camden
Eli was a strange man. A lot of company members wondered how he had passed the psych eval, given his highly unusual quirks. Some were sure he had some form of OCD, given the way he performed certain actions always in the same way, taking great care not to do anything differently. A few theorised that he had joined the military precisely because of the highly regimented, highly predictable lifestyle, as a way to control or abate his inner demons. Still, Eli was a reasonably decent soldier, very reserved but trustworthy, and his quirks were easy to grow used to. Just because everything had to be a very specific way didn't mean that his perfectionism and obsessive attention to detail weren't a good thing every once in a while.
Camden was promoted to Corporal for his actions on Torfan, and is still in active service.
Private Kari Deshini
Kari was born in a colony on a treacherous planet. Initial scans had shown no remarkable problems and so settlements had sprung around the planet's most advantageous points. Some years later, the local flora's airborne spores had caused a bioaccumulation of toxins in the settlers, causing premature tissue ageing, cancer and other illnesses. Their children were born with signs of organ damage and cellular degradation. It was estimated that their lifespan would not exceed forty or fifty years, even with extensive medical aid and several cloned organs transplants. After her parents died, Kari became a deathseeker, throwing herself into dangerous situations. When a recruiter approached her, Kari figured she had nothing to lose, and that the military was a chance to do some good before she kicked the bucket. Probably the most fearless soldier in the company, Kari had dozens of scars and a daring deed for each of them.
Deshini was promoted to Corporal for her actions on Torfan, and is still in active service.
Private Arn Kjellen
Arn was a man of few words who constantly struggled to catch up with the fast-paced world around him. Some said he was slow, but others said he was just too used to the peaceful farming life of his home colony and that he needed time to pick up the pace. He was considered dumb and naive by some, but kind and honest by others. He was reliable, even if some things were too high-minded for his understanding, and he was loyal to a fault. Somewhat prone to getting shot, he was nevertheless extremely laid-back about everything and was quick to pick up the slack in his squad.
Kjellen is still in active service.
Tech Specialist Gabriel Formanek
Gabriel earned the moniker of "Archangel" very much against his will, as he found it unbearably corny and trite. However, his squad (and most of the company) had taken to jokingly refer to his blinding strokes of luck as "miracles", much to Gabriel's chagrin. No matter how much he insisted that whatever beneficial action he had performed for a squad had been merely good fortune, a lot of soldiers soon took to asking for "a miracle" whenever they were on a mission. Whether it was hacking into the security cameras to spot an ambush, closing a blast door right on time or spotting an explosive before it was triggered, Gabriel thought of himself as the luckiest man alive, while others thought of him as the company's guardian angel.
Formanek was killed in action on Torfan.
 7th Squad
"The Devil's 7th"
Service Chief Pavel "Lucifer" Ivanov
Leader of 4th Section (7th and 8th Squads). Chief Ivanov is the main reason that the 7th squad have their nickname. A tall, wiry man, he wears a goatee whenever he can get away with it and seems almost sinister to those that don't know him well. For those that do, such as his squad, they know he is a hard taskmaster that pushes them to train harder, practice longer and score higher than any of the rest of the company. Private Cross once said that he was "Lucifer, if he wore NCO stripes" and the name stuck. 7th squad knows that Ivanov simply wants them to be as skilled as possible, but it doesn't stop them from hating him, just a little. They all live in fear of the day that he might possibly be put in charge of a platoon. Outside of overseeing his squad, Chief Ivanov maintains strict personal discipline with himself as well, never asking his people to do something that he won't. He doesn't smoke, he doesn't over-eat and strangely of all for a man from his colony, doesn't drink. Rumor has it he even practices some sort of Tai Chi on his personal time, and he his personal reading is often spiritual or meditative. Some consider him a shoo-in for Bravo Platoon Ops Chief when the position became open.
Ivanov was killed in action on Torfan.
Tech Corporal Rupert Irving
A good-natured, solid man from a farming colony, Irving grew up tinkering with everything. His family's tractors, their house electrical systems, the irrigation timers. Most of the time, it went really well, but Rupert joined the military to take advantage of the ancestor of the GI bill, hoping to train as an engineer after his service was up. The marines are a little bit stricter about what you can mess with, but 7th squad lets Irving at their equipment, and because of this it often performs at peak capacity due to his tweaks and modifications. Irving likes nothing more then to just sit back and shoot the breeze with his service buddies, and he is always swapping stories with other members of the company, about their families back home, about their plans for the future and whatever else they want to tell. He's on the verge of getting a reputation as a bit of a gossip if he wasn't so gosh-darned nice about it all the time. His personable nature meshes well with Ivanov's taskmaster spirit, and between them they keep the squad balanced out.
Irving was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Benjamin Cross
A swarthy man with dark good looks, Private Cross is a joker and a charmer, more than once toeing the line while flirting with his fellow soldiers. He considers Vasquez, over in 4th squad, his arch-nemesis, since while Cross is mainly just a flirt, Vasquez sometimes puts things into action. Cross would be a middling soldier if he wasn't under Ivanov, but because he is his skills are pushed to higher than they would be otherwise. Not that Cross likes this. He's the one that nicknamed the fearsome Ivanov "Lucifer" and because of this there are few soldiers in the company who are better at dropping down and giving twenty, or one hundred. Cross takes this in stride, bragging that he'll be "a chiseled Adonis" because of all the push-ups. He can often be found with Corporal Irving, since Irving's easy-going attitude meshes well with Cross's larger-than-life persona.
Cross was killed in action on Torfan.
Private Sally Robbin
Private Robin is a compact death machine. It's the only way to describe her. Some incident or quirk early in life left her with a burning passion to be as skilled and dangerous as possible. She is Ivanov's greatest supporter and is almost always first over the wall and last out of the sparring ring or shooting range. Which is for the best, considering her small size (for the military) which leaves her at a disadvantage. Her intensity doesn't just stop after training however, and she brings an overwhelming passion to any challenge she faces. It was truly terrifying to watch her and Corporal Hong get into a drinking contest last shore leave, considering he out-weighed her by sixty or seventy pounds. And neither soldier is sure who won. If Robin brought as much drive to the more intellectual side of soldiering as she did to the physical and combative one, she'd probably already be a corporal. As it is, she is considered hands-down one of the best shots in Bravo Platoon.
Robbin survived Torfan, but her actions attracted censure for which she was court-martialled. Singled out for blame for the failure of the assault, she was imprisoned and remains incarcerated at Fort Marshall maximum security military prison.
Private Albin Gaum
Everyone is waiting for Gaum to do something. Anything. He's the newest man in the squad, quiet, keeps to himself and seems to be wound like a Swiss watch. Cross wants him to lighten up, Irving wants to hear his story and Ivanov just wants him to train. Gaum is a chiseled fellow who seems to be good, but not great, at most of his duties. But he gives off the air of hiding something. Some story or incident or personal quirk. Or at least that's what Cross thinks. He has started a small betting pool to see when the silent fellow will finally come out of his shell and "stop being a wind-up man". Hasn't happened yet.
Guam was killed in action on Torfan.
 8th Squad
"The Bloody 8th"
It is curious how squads can develop traditions. When a newcomer enters this tightly-knit brotherhood (to use the term in a gender-neutral way) they are immediately, or slowly, introduced to the quirks, eccentricities and unique styles of the squad they have ended up in. 8th Squad, Bravo Platoon, 3rd Company has developed a particularly interesting reputation for their traditions. The men and women of 8th squad are known as the "Sections", "Headcases" and "Gallowmen (or Gallow-women), for their black humor and claim that the 8th gets the dirtiest jobs in the company when it comes to storming buildings, disarming bombs and flushing out enemy combatants. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, but Corporal Hong, longest standing member of the squad, claims it has been this way even before he was a member of 8, and each new member is "inducted" in a short ceremony involving fisticuffs, drink (when they can get it) and a great deal of testosterone. While not every member of the squad plays along all the time, it is still enough to gain the 8th squad a rather interesting reputation.
Corporal Hui Hong
A giant of a soldier from a mining colony somewhere out on the bleeding edge of human colonization at the time, Corporal Hong spent much of his youth breaking rocks, or so he said, deep in the mines. The colony he's from mines using machines, but the rock-breaking part isn't wrong, as he spent a fair time as a younger man in and out of jail, the colony applying "public service" charges to any conviction. Never anything serious, but he had fallen in with a bad crowd when his brother came and bet him his inheritance that he couldn't beat Hong in a fight. If Hong lost, he had to enter the service. Hui has come to love his job though, and fully expects to die someday to a grenade or a bullet, but sees it as far preferable to the alternative of living on some backwater his whole life. This attitude lends itself well to his gallows sense of humor and his leadership style, which can be a combination of fierce and understanding. He won't hold your hand, but he'll kick your ass up that hill if he has to.
Hong survived Torfan and remained in active service. He received a Medical Discharge in 2182 after suffering from PTSD.
Private Aaron Prentice
A wiry man with an edge, Aaron likes to radiate an aura of danger and his copious service tattoos and fondness for short sleeves make sure that no one will ever not know that he's a marine. This was all originally an act. From a civilized early colony specializing in serving as a way point and transportation hub, Prentice joined the Alliance Marines because a girl told him too. She said she'd marry him if he was "much bolder" and "in the uniform of a soldier". So he joined the Alliance Marines, the most hardcore unit he could think of. Once there he realized what a terrible idea this was, and that he was afraid he wasn't going to cut it. He was quiet and didn't distinguish himself much throughout training, but once he ended up in the 8th their custom of initiation drew him out of his shell. He's adopted the attitude he has now as protective coloring, for fear that his new unit won't take him seriously as a soldier, and he is afraid that someone will see him as a "fraud" despite his cover and skill. So he stays quiet and puts on his swagger. He still sends letters to Mary Anne Maguire. Sometimes he gets one back.
Prentice is still in active service.
Private Rosemary Makutsi
The squad's marksman, Makutsi carries a sniper rifle as often as her standard assault weapon. A fit, average-sized woman, she is known for her precision in all things. Why throw a dozen punches when you can throw just one? Tell a dozen dirty jokes when you can set the whole room to laughing with a single sarcastic remark? Rosemary fits in with the 8th more than many because of the major crack in her cool shell, her cutting sense of humor. While she means well with it, she is, perhaps overly fond of jokes at the expense of others, though she becomes quite popular when the unit is on base competing with another, as she can be a steady source of sharp remarks about the rivals' flaws and weaknesses. Her coolness under fire and her precise fighting are what keep her from getting into more trouble than sometimes she should, and she's learned well enough to leave officers and senior NCOs out of her jokes.
Matsuki is still in active service.
Private Rafael Ozuna
If Corporal Hong is the keeper of the 8th's traditions, Private Ozuna is their proselytizer. Rafael will be the first to complain that the 8th gets the worst jobs, and the last person out of a hot zone. Because he is always telling the stories of the 8th and pointing out the "traditions" being fulfilled, he fights with incredible drive and skill so as to not be labeled a "complainer" or a weak link. Ozuna is from a family of musicians and professional entertainment communicators, and so the role he has taken upon himself is an apt one. He has a wonderful singing voice and is a cobra in the sparring ring, and more than a few people think that if Hui gets promoted, shifted out or bites the bullet Ozuna will take over 8th squad.
Ozuna was killed in action on Torfan.
Tech Specialist Arja Vanjita
There are other tech specialists with the platoon. Highly skilled professionals with a wide range of skills. Specialist "Teardown" Vanjita is among this exalted number, and she really, really likes tearing things up. The unit joke is that she joined up because she thought she'd have a better chance at destroying things. The truth is she was in a dead end architectural design job that looked like it would be the same drudgery for 30 years, and decided the Marines would pay better and she'd get to see that galaxy. Still, she does like tearing things down. She's got a particular gift for sussing out just what needs to be blasted, blown or smashed to bring an enemy fortification or strongpoint to heel. She can handle the other aspects of the job just fine, but the whole company knows that when they need something taken down, they go to her. It proves an unusual contrast then, when outside of her demolition duties Arja is one of the kinder and more understanding soldiers in her squad. Few would think that the helpful woman who told you what Gunnery Chief Ortiz hates before you did it would also be the one with a grim smile on her face as she did the math to bring down an abandoned office block.
Vanjita is still in active service.
 An Account of the Operation
 A Roll Call of the Fallen
The following were casualties of the operation on Torfan, and are commemorated here:
1st Lieutenant Jonathan Kessler, 3rd Company Commanding Officer
Gunnery Chief Paul Roby, Alpha Platoon, 1st Squad
Service Chief Pavel Ivanov, Bravo Platoon, 7th Squad
Corporal Enzo Gognitti, Bravo Platoon, 6th Squad
Corporal Anna Hammery, Alpha Platoon, 1st Squad
Tech Corporal Rupert Irving, Bravo Platoon, 7th Squad
Corporal Lillith McCullough, Bravo Platoon, 5th Squad
Private Benjamin Cross, Bravo Platoon, 7th Squad
Private Chris Dawson, Alpha Platoon, 4th Squad
Private Angelo Fontanella, Alpha Platoon, 1st Squad
Private Albin Gaum, Bravo Platoon, 7th Squad
Private Shen Huang-Chi, Alpha Platoon, 1st Squad
Private Rafael Ozuna, Bravo Platoon, 8th Squad
Private Vishti Pashara, Bravo Platoon, 5th Squad
Private Annette Reed, Alpha Platoon, 4th Squad
Private Sebastián Vázquez, Alpha Platoon, 4th Squad
Private Johann Vegard, Alpha Platoon, 3rd Squad
Tech Specialist Renard Delacroix, Alpha Platoon, 1st Squad
Tech Specialist Gabriel Formanek, Bravo Platoon, 6th Squad
Tech Specialist Jill Warren-Mayfield, Alpha Platoon, 2nd Squad