Augustus "Freefall" Pickett
robot loving lt. commander
A child prodigy who quickly became known for his encyclopedic mind and his calm decisiveness under extreme stress, Augustus rocketed through the starcommander’s academy. He is equally known for his abrupt descent into alcoholism and harsh treatment for his crewmates. While he remains tight lipped on what triggered his issues, rumor has it that the patch he wears over his right eye was the more visible injury he sustained that left his life in shambles. Most recently, he negotiated the return of a captured exploration squad by sacrificing one of his beloved droids. While the rest of the crew celebrated the return of their crewmates, Augustus stormed off to down glass after glass of bourbon from his personal supply.
Augustus “Freefall” Pickett got his nickname the same day he impressed James Royce with his abilities. Royce was watching a combat exercise from a nearby observation ship. During the exercise, he saw Pickett’s team suddenly abandon him and his ship was shot (disabling his main engine). Clearly his crew mates set him up to get taken out quickly by the opposing force, probably due to some interpersonal conflict, Royce thought. Royce watched disappointedly as the opposing team left Pikcett’s ship disabled. “This was the pilot that had so much potential?” Beads of sweat dripping from his forehead, Pickett used his robotics knowledge to hotwire his fighter and bring auxiliary steering back online by compromising a few other of the ship’s systems, including the orbiting module that kept him from falling into the planet while the ship was disabled, but he would deal with that later… Back on the observation ship, Royce was shocked to see the previously disabled fighter shoot down the opposing units, then he smiled as he saw it shoot down its own team mates all in a few minutes while freefalling towards the planet. After the training exercise was over, Royce ran into Pickett and said “Nice flying, Freefall.” The name stuck. Testing after the fact would reveal that Pickett was intoxicated during the training exercise. Royce was impressed by Pickett’s resourcefulness and quick thinking, and saw that he was not in an environment that would allow him to flourish. He pulled some strings later to get Pickett off easy from the military tribunal that resulted from his drunken state during the exercise- on the condition that Pickett would join Royce’s crew, under his watch and as his responsibility. It was not long before they were friends. Royce recognizes Augustus’ value as a crack pilot, soldier, and robotics specialist, so long as he keeps his demons contained. Royce and Pickett watch each others’ backs, and they have a solid bond of trust that can only be gained through serving together for many years.