Alternity - Tides of War
Rift runner greeting party
File Name: Erin Joan Shields
Primary Military Specialty: Spaceborne Defenses
Secondary Military Specialty: Public Relations
Affiliation: Galactic Affiliation of Freedom
Unit: Rift Runner “Rifter”
Rank: 0-3 Lieutenant
No matter where Erin is she carries herself with the professional poise expected from a GAF officer. Her attire is pristine, her etiquette is refined, and her authority and tact is unwavering. Erin is the Marilyn Monroe of the GAF fleet, a figure head representing the appeal and benefit of become a fleet officer. Her charismatic demeanor and physical vitality leave a lasting impression of vigor, grace and confidence. Garbed in her officers uniform and a stern look she acts as an icon of what it means to be an officer in the fleet. She exudes sureness and self-possession which creates an appealing contrast to her otherwise soft, inviting features.
Outside of the public’s eye she exhibits similar traits, though often her rehearsed and pomp conversation turns to a more jovial, realistic nature. She still keeps herself well kempt, but her wardrobe is decided more by the practicality of the circumstance than the theatrics and presence that it reflects to others.
An air of grandiose patriotism is presented forth in nearly all of Erin’s public comments. She is not just a fleet officer, but the embodiment of what a fleet officer should be. Publically she is never caught off guard and always prepared to respond elegantly, but confidently to those around her. Her power presence demands attention and respect and rarely leaves anyone questioning the value of her opinions or ideals. Unlike her brother Aaron, Erin feeds on the public energy that she gets. She doesn’t exactly seek it out of thrill, but when faced with civic pleasantries she flourishes.
Though she sometimes forgets that she isn’t always being scrutinized, when she does finally feel that she is outside of the public eye Erin is much more reserved. She is more interested in her work, and the well-being of her brother and ship mates than anyone who might be visiting the ship. Though she is always cordial, it is hard not to feel somewhat inferior when she speaks. Even in the most polite and docile way, she attains a commanding presence. She is also almost always multitasking. Rarely is there a conversation had that isn’t supplemented with further work or the reading of new scientific articles, though where most would be distracted this flurry of activity seems to help her actually focus.
Erin Shields was born with a twin brother on the GAF research ship Discovery. Daughter to Doctor Maria Claire Shields and General Marx Shields. Both her mother and her father were prestigious in their fields; her mother as a genetic researcher and her father as a fleet general in the GAF. During their early childhood Erin, and her brother Aaron (Marx), lived and attended their PrelimEd on the flag ship Titus with their father while their mother was still stationed on Discovery.
Erin excelled far quicker in her schooling than Aaron did, and she soon proved to be intellectually superior to the rest of her peers as well. She completed her PrelimEd three years prior to her scheduled graduation date and was transported the star ship Discovery to participate in a lab partnership researching Xenopathology. Her times in the labs were extremely prolific for her career as a scientist, and she quickly became a leader in the rare field is Shesheyan immunology. Still, her “honorary” partnership on Discovery was burdensome to Erin emotionally. Her absence from her brother affected both of them greatly. Her brother became discouraged and highly reclusive on the Titus, while Erin was accused multiple times of intentionally sabotaging her own experiments in a hope to be returned to the Titus with her brother. Fortunately, under the close guidance and encouragement of her mother she curbed her self-destructive impulses and moved on to become quite successful in her studies.
Due to her excellence in such an otherwise unexplored field, Erin became published by the age of fifteen in many highly awarded scientific magazines. This esteem, as well as her genealogy under the “Great General Shields” made her a topic for common discussion and publicity among the GAF in encouraging the youth of the void to join their cause.
The year before her partnership was to conclude, and only days after Aaron had graduated and decided to attend a planet side university, the star ship Discovery was attacked and over run by the UC. During the battle Erin and many of the other scientists were evacuated and successfully transported to other ships (including the Titus), but by the end of the skirmish the Discovery had fallen into enemy hands. The whereabouts, or survival, of her mother and many of her other friends and acquaintances on the ship are still unknown, though rumors of hostage scientists forced to work for the UC still circulate through GAF intelligence.
Almost immediately after this harsh turn of events Erin became eager to take a much more hands on approach to the war that she had previously had little interest in. Though her beliefs had always been in close alignment to the GAF and their vision of an unrestricted and autonomous universe, her father’s stern guidance and her own emotional scars made steadfast in these ideals. With the publicity she had accrued as both a renowned scientist in the exotic field of Shesheyan science, her militaristic lineage, the tragic story of her mother’s loss and her supposed “daring” escape from the Discovery, Erin’s enlistment in Officer School quickly became the limelight of the media. Erin had always been good looking, and had never had a problem speaking her mind so when it came to the press she was pure gold. The fleet took full advantage of this and even began encouraging her idealized nature. She quickly became a poster child for the fleet; a figurehead for what it meant to be in the GAF.
The distraction of the press didn’t detract from her achievements within officer schooling. Her analytical mind and extroversive personality gained her great acclaim when she began mixing military strategy with that of naturally occurring offensive and defensive strategies present in xenopathogens. Though mostly novel in regards to troop and ship warfare, after completing officer school Erin began encouraging the implantation of this parallel research to explore prototypical ship defenses that combines traditional fleet shielding technology with biological defense concepts found in the immune systems of many alien life forms. Even in it’s early stages – this technology has shown great promise for the fleet.
Through Erin’s integration within the fleet research teams, she heard news of a prototype transport ship that was going to be captained by a Fraal and piloted by a Shesheyan. Having extensive experience in xenology, and being fluent in the Shesheyan language from her previous research, Erin saw a terrific opportunity to reunite with her brother. Erin began to subtly encourage her father of the positive publicity that would be generated by assigning both her and her brother to the Rift Runner. It would not only show trust in the advancing technology of the fleet, but also try and help solidify the unified image that the GAF has tried to encourage between humans and alien races. Though General Sheild’s was initially unenthused about the idea, a leak to the press caused such a great commotion that the Shield family, whether they wanted to or not, were obliged to uphold their roles on the Rift Runner.
Currently Erin is working as the shield and defensive specialist aboard the Rift Runner aside her brother who is the weapons specialist. She spends much of her time with her brother or with Seigh (the Shesheyan pilot).
Erin’s obligation to her family drives her success. Her hopes are to impress her father, to honor her mother in her absence, and to provide her brother with encouragement and compassion which is often lacking in their militaristic family. Personally, she finds her own inspiration in discovery. The idea of experiencing something new and unique.
Erin’s interest in science and discovery never ceases. Her assignment to the Rift Runner, though depriving her of an actual lab, provides her with never ending data. Living with an actual Shesheyan who is highly knowledgeable in his species society and culture, exploring unique and interesting planets and universes, all the while accompanied by her brother. When she isn’t studying, planning, or otherwise “playing science” Erin enjoys reading, strategy games, and the occasional endeavor into the arts, or at least sketching. Erin also finds pleasure in journaling her experiences, like any good scientist, engineer or leader she finds recording her thoughts to be not only self-edifying; allowing her to reflect on her daily thoughts, and catalog her experiences for the eventual betterment of the fleet should anything ever happen to her or the ship. Another hobby of Erin’s, quite to her brothers disdain, is simply socializing. She enjoys stories and experiences. She always tells Aaron, “It is like reading another persons experiment reports”, it’s a way to experience something without having to do all of the research on your own. Though sometimes she struggles not to interject and question the individual when they did something “wrong”, or differently than she would have, she still quite enjoys company as long as they’re interesting.
Erin’s largest vice is her self-confidence and curiosity. She is confident enough to assume that she can regularly get out of any situation she places herself in, and curious enough to find herself in these situations quite often. Her thirst for knowledge, and her belief that she can always multi-task without error sometimes leaves her missing key details, or taking part in “superficial” conversation; pacifying her company without actually processing the entirety of what they are discussing.
Aaron Shields– Her twin brother. Aaron is what provides Erin both hope and balance. He is one of the few people who can actually encourage her to stop working and rest. He is a voice of reason when she becomes too self-assured and helps to keep her in check when she becomes too haughty during conversation. Furthermore, he is her justification. When people question her ways, he provides the charismatic answer that explains without offending.
Seigh- Seigh is one of Erin’s closest friends. They understand each others motivations and life styles. Not to mention she is one of the only individuals in the GAF capable of communicating with him when he forgets how to speak English.