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Mackenzie "Blades" Hawkins

Brash and fiery pilot aboard the EDF Atlas

0 · 239 views · located in Flight Deck

a character in “Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor”, as played by Jag

Description

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Name: Mackenzie "Blades" Hawkins
Age: 24
Height: 5'7
Rank: Lieutenant
ACAT: Combat Aviation
Current Duty Assignment: Combat Air Patrol, Air Wing, EDF Atlas

Personality:
Two words have always been used to describe Mackenzie: passion and intensity. Whether it's loving or hating, flying or fighting, playing or working, Lt. Hawkins pours everything into what she does. A young woman with a lot of pride and an intense hatred for the concept of losing at anything, she is a firebrand that often speaks her mind regardless of the consequences and asks the questions few others have the guts to ask -- not to say that she doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut; she just doesn't. Friendships are not formed so easily for a person like this, but finding a way to earn the young woman's trust means having someone that values loyalty among friends above almost all else.

Naturally, she has trouble with command authority at times, but isn't suited as much of a leader herself. Her unmatched raw skill as a pilot makes her an indispensable part of the CAP, but her inability to accept training and hone her technical abilities often leads to problems. Still, she is damn good in and out of the cockpit and doesn't mind letting you know about it, often holding her own with the boys in pick-up games on the flight deck. Mackenzie's armor of sarcasm and brash pride hide her deeper insecurities about needing to belong and prove her worth to those around her -- the ones she often looks up to but would never admit it.

History:
Still a year away from graduation on Triton Station when the attack came, Hawkins was actually on shore leave rotation and vacationing back with her family on Earth when the attack came. A member of the infamous Alpha Company and the lead pilot of the "Alpha Dog" squadron at the time of her impromptu graduation, her raw skill as a pilot is unmatched, although hampered at times by her inability to take instruction and hone her technical ability. Her first assignment was as a personnel shuttle pilot aboard the EDF Endeavor. Some would have consider the job a life of perfection -- good pay for shuttling VIPs back and forth from one of the newest and most prestigious ships in all of the Fleet. It was the girl's mouth and the inability to censor it, though, that got her racketed back as a reserve pilot on the Endeavor's flight deck. She had been told often that her mouth was better suited to a sailor than an aviator.

When the battle broke out in the Melchoir System and the word came that anyone volunteering would be transferring to the aging Atlas for a chance at some action, Mackenzie immediately volunteered. What she didn't know is that Capt. Ramirez had specifically asked Mackenzie's Wing Commander for the same transfer, seeing far too much of her own rebellious and cocky youth in the young lieutenant.

So begins...

Mackenzie "Blades" Hawkins's Story

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#, as written by Jag
“There’s no way that your deck chief can be half as bad as the one back on Endeavor,” she said, absent-mindedly broadcasting on an open channel as she fell into a trail and follow position. “And yeah, proximity sensors are shot. Switched off the warnings. Looks like we’re doing this one by hand.”

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#, as written by Jag
“Right behind you,” Hawkins said as she eased up much faster than her fellow pilot and made a few more course corrections. Few would deny that he raw talent exceeded almost any pilot to ever drive an Angel, but she was still edgy and let her emotions control too much. Of course, Blades would never admit to a stick jockey or grease monkey either one that she had always been terrified of landings, screaming silent prayers until her feet touched the deck.

Another touchdown, another safe flight, another trip home. The girl clutches the beads in her hand before shoving it down into the leg pocket of her flight suit.

As soon as the clear order came down, the deck would fill with the usual crew and the sealed-up hull of the Atlas would be a full family once again, all of her babies safe in their nest.

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#, as written by Jag
The flight deck of the Atlas couldn’t have been more different than her home deck on the Endeavor. No automatic rigging system, no motorized platforms – none of the creature comforts with which the young pilot had cut her combat teeth. It was like stepping back into the past.

Though she’d never admit it, she loved it.

“If you boys want to whip ‘em out right now , I think I’ve got a distance finder in my crash kit. We can settle this one once and for all,” the twenty-four-year-old transfer pilot said, loosening the tight ponytail on her short hair and shaking loose as she approached the two men, one of whom she’d yet to meet thanks to the hellish rotations caused by the strange conditions and transfer orders shuffling personnel like rats.

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#, as written by Jag
Tucking her helmet beneath her arm and immediately sizing up the deck chief, she started to realize that the men calling the shots of the flight decks were every bit as different as the capital ships to which she’d been assigned.

“You’re no Master Chief Billick. Then again, you’re half his age and half his gut, too,” she remarked. No extension of the hand. “If were we on my ship, Chief, I’d probably already have tacked you down for not rendering proper address to an officer.”

“Also, someone would have already started the recovery of Marissa’s gun camera so we can start telling everyone all the fun ghost stories we’ve got to tell now,” she said with a daring stare and smirk that seemed to dance on the line between a challenge and a tease.

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#, as written by Jag
“You wouldn’t be the first one to wonder what’s going on with my cloth since I –“ the pilot’s words were cut off as Aiden summoned Digger over to the bird. Seeing the effect first hand, she was terrified to think of what the blind spots on her own fighter looked like. She’d been much closer. Hell, she’d almost collided with one of the things.

“Since when does thermal scarring muck up guidance systems?”

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“I think I liked it better at the Academy when I was flying against him,” Mackenzie said as she leaned in to Digger. “At least then it was easy to tell what he was getting mad about.” There was a semblance of solemn concern hidden somewhere in her words as well.

“We didn’t have any warning out there, Chief. There’s another ship out there. Don’t know how long it’s been floating dead in the water out there, but it’s supposed to be one of ours, looks like nothing I’ve ever seen, and does this if we get close to it.”

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#, as written by Jag
Sharp eyes trained to spot irregularities in the darkness of space jumped between the two men for a moment. One hell of a dynamic aboard this ship, she was quickly learning.

“Oh,” she breathed, reaching down and wiping off her own hand before meeting his. Considering that they were both tucked beneath the frame of the ship, it wasn’t like there was much of a reason to stand on protocol. That and, despite her earlier bluff, the young woman’s service record was already pepper with official marks for failing to render proper honors and follow procedure at times.

“Blades…err…Lt. Hawkins…Mackenzie…Mack…Blades…Whatever,” she said with a breaking laugh as their hands met for a moment before she turned to run her hand on the underside of the ship. “Stephanie, huh? Well,” she brushed off her legs and came to stand again.

“You can call ‘em anything you want so long as I’ve got a hot ride under my ass when the glory hounds come barkin’. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Chief, I have a lot of very unpleasant reports to make and then, if I’m lucky, steal some rack time when no one’s looking,’ She flashed a smile before heading over to Morrow.

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#, as written by Jag
Blades had certainly been banged up worse than this, but she really couldn't remember when. It hurt to move. Hell, it hurt to breathe. Slowly, the pilot raised her eyes through a mess of brown hair that partially shielded her gaze, looking up at the deck chief. That hurt, too.

"Like tenderized meat," Mackenzie Hawkins said as she pulled herself to a sitting position, a deep exhale as she powered through a strange combination of her skin feeling a thousand degrees and a very cold sensation left over from the water that had engulfed her and yet existed only in her mind.

"How bad is it?"

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#, as written by Jag
Mackenzie raised her hand to touch fingers to the side of her temple. She could decide what hurt more -- the fingers, the temple, or the arm that had to move all of it into position. The pain was less of a searing stab and more of an intense soreness, the likes of which she'd not experienced save for their first year as Combat Aviation ACATS when every pilot had to go through an atmospheric ejection. She'd been sore for weeks.

"I was...going back to get my flight log...I think," Blades winced. "There was a tech. Didn't recognize him, but I just figured that was because I don't know half the greasemonkeys on this tub." There was the attitude that was sorely missing, no pun intended. At least that much of the girl wasn't broken.

"Did we get him? Got more than a few things I'd like to give him."

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Blades managed to smile at the gesture of kindness between stick jockeys and grease monkeys, thinking maybe she'd finally managed to find someone on this boat that didn't make her wish like hell she was still in the middle of the retreating force on the Endeavor.

Then she immediately leaned over to the other direction and threw up.

Any good doctor worth her salt and not in the middle of a hostage crisis would have seen that coming as the pilot's body reacted to the trauma of the situation and sheer force to which her body had been subjected. Needless to say, this was turning into a banner day for Mackenzie Hawkins.

"Help me up," she said in a voice that perfectly walked the line between some completely pitiful and someone you did not want to cross, "and get me back to the officer's racks."

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#, as written by Jag
Using the man's offered hand and braced leg, Mackenzie Hawkins pulled herself to a standing position, taking a moment to grab her bearings again. Eventually, the world would have to stop spinning, she was sure of it. Considering how much of her hurt with every move, every step, every breath, every blink, the pilot knew that she shouldn't feel as, well, high-spirited as she did. Still, she was alive. That had to count for something.

"You're right. How inconsiderate of me, Chief. Why don't I see if I can't help you along. Maybe I'll even arrange to clear the deck and we'll get a wheelchair ballgame going for you?" Half leaning on Digger and half on the wall, Blades waited until things finally righted themselves before she took a step.

"The XO is gonna have my ass. Yours too just for talking to me, you know that?"

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"You know Chief," Hawkins said with a slight grimace as she started to walk out the soreness with every step, "one of these days we're going to find you a nice girl, preferrably one that doesn't weight a couple thousand pounds and must leave you with one hell of a chafe."

Kaito Narito, the executive officer of the Atlas, was as old school as the ship herself. Back on the Endeavor, Mackenzie had been used to the XO who was much more of a facilitator, a calm-demeanored man who conducted every exercise as though it was a business transaction. Rimmed glasses and a data pad with him all the time. Much easier to get along with.

Still, as much as she'd grown to dread every encounter with Narita, she couldn't deny that she'd much rather have the new XO in a fight. If they could find someone to fight other than each other.

"To tell ya the truth, Chief, I'm starting to get the feeling that this whole thing was one big wild goose chase. They could really use us back in the real fight back home right now."

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#, as written by Jag
The lifting sensation of the elevator was enough to bring back all the dizziness and nausea she thought she'd left in a puddle near the match hatch combing leading onto the Flight Deck. Her mind immediately flashed back to another time she'd felt the same wrenching of her gut -- coming back from a long five-point training flight only to find that instead of Triton Station, she was greeted by a handful of escape crafts, debris, and a lot of questions.

"Better lock that up saying anything about the Station, Chief. You can't run too fast and I'm not afraid to hit ladies and gimps," she said, trying to keep her wits about her although it was clear that the color from her face was fading fast again.

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#, as written by Jag
The Titan-class boats like the Atlas didn't much care for luxurious accomodations or providing much more than the bare necessities needed by the "modern fighting man" in the ever-progressive Earth Defense Force. Only the most senior of officers warranted private quarters, that being the Captain, Executive Officer, and a few others that were dictated special quarters in special areas of the ship, such as the Chief Medical Officer.

Blades was used to the drill. Back on Triton Station, the gender lines had largely been erased. Of course, that had been thanks to drugs that had been used to suppress the natural sexual urges and development of the cadets during their teenage years, something that probably would have caused much more of a ruckus when discovered had it not been for the destruction of the Station and the outbreak of war. As such, Mackenzie Hawkins had been bunking next to and showering with the opposite sex for the better part of ten years now and hardly blinked an eye at the like anymore. Some of the enlisted had this idea that officers lived in a different world. They were wrong.

"I'm fine, really," she said as they stepped out, taking a moment to balance herself on the edge of the elevator door. "So this is what a girl has to do to get some rack time around here?"

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#, as written by Jag
Ducking down and gingerly swinging her body through the hatch combing that led into the pilot's racks, she pulled back the curtain and did her best not to completely collapse into the bed even though it was clear that the trip had exhausted her, just walking and riding in an elevating. Being knocked back thirty feet by a suicide bomber tended to have that effect on most people, she guessed.

"Home sweet home," she said, slowly lifting her booted leg up. A few pictures were stuck into the corners around the mirror, one of a much younger Mackenzie and a few others near the same age, all somewhere around eleven or twelve. Not long before SAPS would have sent her to the Station for officer training. Other than that, her area was fairly spartan. One had to be reminded that she'd barely had time to settle in to the Atlas. Unlike so many others, this place hadn't been her home from months or years.

"While you're here," she said, pointing to an upper rack on the opposite wall, "reach into that rack and get another one of those bars. He thinks I don't know about his stash." The rack of course, had the same sticker label as the fighter. Lt. Com. A. Morrow.

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#, as written by Jag
The force of the four-ounce bar in a foil wrapper in her lap was actually enough to cause the young woman to moan slightly with a burst of pain. Damn, she really need to get some sleep and find a doctor willing to shoot her up with the good stuff long enough to get her back on her feet and back to the grind. From the looks of things, they didn't need anyone down for long.

"You just...you just keep thinking that..." She would have finished the sentence were it not for falling asleep mid-syllable.