Rickard Rand-Vilaal

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Karin is a world divided and under Imperial Law. It was formerly a Balkanized world with a weak central Union, the result of different colonising groups landing on each of the five continents. Politics and ideology mean a lot on Karin, and when the two largest nations began a war that threatened to turn into a world wide conflict, the faltering Union asked the Imperium to intervene. After a short but intense strike from space on both nations, the Imperium moved in and established Martial Law, at the Unions request. All five member nations withdrew their support for the Union, but it was the recognised government at the time of the worlds interdiction. The Imperium decided to act as a peacekeeping force for the Union until things stabilised. That was 42 years ago… Nowadays, politics swings between Union pro-Imperialists and National anti-Impis, with the proportion of each nation varying, but the two ex-most powerful quite anti - and prone to being home for terrorist cells.

Rickard grew up in and around the Starport, his father a Marine Officer who retired to the world, his mother a local politician for the Vilani settled continent of Likuurgin. His early life in strife torn Karin made him a pro Union political activist, a capable speaker and organiser for Union political movements. His vision of the Imperium as a grand unifying force made him determined to serve and make a difference. Disappointing his father somewhat, he applied for and was recruited into the local Navy base at 18.

He let the Navy pretty much become his life. For his 1st stretch, he was locally based and kept up ties with family and friends. His next twelve years took him away from the Subsector, as he was transferred to long range patrols for his second stretch. He was a pretty popular petty officer who had a knack of sorting out problems so everybody got some of what they wanted. This was noted. Promotions followed.

It came as a shock when he received news of his parents deaths during a bombing incident - enough of one that he signed up for a double stretch. He allowed the distance of the event to be his block against grief...but has never returned to his homeworld.

Over the next eight years, he was a solid Navy Man, his natural ease with most people and situations translating into a lot of liaison work - with Marines (he trained up as Navy specialist for Marine Deep space boarding actions), locals and alien races.

The Navy tagged him for officer school after a strike mission on Vargr raiders, and he emerged into the teeth of the Sword worlds affair.

By the end of that, Rick was worn out. He’d seen enough, done enough to pay back the Imperium. The toll showed on him, he'd burned muscle over the years, and only a solid regimen of IN exercises had kept his health from deteriorating. He bummed around for his last year, avoiding doing anything as much as possible. He resigned his active commision on his 34th birthday, stayed on for a final hitch extension because they couldn’t replace him. He did it for time to think, and anyone he's served with before will have noticed how withdrawn and contemplative he is. Truth is, leaving the Navy scares the hell out of him, even though a part of him knows it is time...he's always belonged to something, going out alone freaks him a little. (Perfect PC fodder).

Now, he’s feeling guilty, like if he’d check the astrogation calculations one more time, they wouldn’t be in this mess…this will be his wake up call and PC activation (cue neon sign).

The Spinward Blues