The Mech Jock
A mech isn’t much without a pilot sitting in the command seat. Dominated as it is by anime tropes, most mecha pilots that are seen fall into a small number of baskets, the most common being the high school student who just happens to be the most gifted pilot in the world. This list of 30 will follow the more western style of mecha, with the machines in question being walking tanks. No acrobatics, no energy swords, and none of the machines have heads with expressive humanoid faces.
On to the pilots.
1. Lt. Qian Shaopuon
Lt. Shaopuon is an example of a true mech ace, he has served in six theatres of combat, from urban warfare on Earth to extreme combat enviroments on the Moon, Mars, and in space. Qian has a rustic nature to him, an easy smile and a generous streak as well. One might expect him to be more at home in a rice paddy rather than being one of the most decorated mech pilots in history. Qian’s self-depreciating manner has made him popular to the the point where he has appeared in popular media from talk shows to cameos in pop-war and pop-action movies.
2. Lt. Col. Mauricio Luer
Newly assigned to the unit, Luer is a highly recommended mech jock with numerous recommendations, but almost all of his mission files are sealed. Luer is actually an agent of the Intelligence Department and as such is frequently called upon to perform covert operations that are beyond what is expected, and sometimes legal, for a mech pilot. In public he is likable and jovial with a slight air of incompetence. In private he is a withdrawn man, the gregarious nature all part of his intel training.
3. Pvt. Alexander Godwin
Not all mech jocks are associated with a standing military. Godwin is a freelance mercenary, a lone gun. His heavy mech is in patchwork shape, but despite it’s shabby appearance it shouldn’t be underestimated. Everything from the sensor systems to the engine have been modded and out and tweaked. Years as a freebooter and smuggler taught Godwin the lesson of having aces up your sleeves. He is a genuinely likeable scoundrel with a taste for gin, cards, and blondes.
4. Maj. Oscar Albritton
Having served in the mech corps since his teenage years, Albrittion is a heavy decorated serviceman who no longer sees frontline action. After a short stint as a mech trainer, he is now employed by one of the major mech manufacturers where he is a design consultant and test pilot. Albritton has high security clearance and is familiar with everything from the light scouts to the black ops stealth machines. Outside of his machine, he is a gentleman most often found on a golf course chewing on a Havanna black.
5. Col Marisol Luppino
The argument that women do not make good leaders or warriors never helf any sway with Col. Luppino. Hailing from the Phillipines, Luppino is the commander of a mech squadron. While not considered a crack or elite unit, her squadron is one of many that make up the backbone of the Mobile Mech Corps. She and her mechs can be counted on to hold the line, or press any attack. When not going in guns blazing, Marisol and her squadron are known for playing ethnic music, dancing, and having an underground distilling operation.
6. Lt. Valentin Seiberlich
Most any mech jock can pilot his machine with some level of skill. Lt. Seiberlich can move his machine like it was his own body. Rather than ponderous and clumsey, his mech can almost dance with the skill he has at the control. Seiberlich makes shows of this, picking up delicate things like expensive cars and people with his mech and putting them back down unharmed. His supervisors really wish he would stop, but then it has done wonders with establishing good will with the locals. Outside of his tin can, Seiberlich is proficient in tumbling and basic acrobatics and has a weakness for large women.
7. Deputy Minister Pasquale Molinary
No longer recognized by his former rank of Major, Molinary hasn’t sat his increasingly large rear into a mech cockpit in years. In his salad days, Molinary was a dashing mech jock the holo-casts depict. His career was mediocre and he saw minimal action. What was important was that after his service, he entered into party politics. The road to leadership is out of his reach, but Molinary is using his influence and position to become a cabinet member of the government and overseer of mech operations. He still knows his way around a stompy big robot, but he is more accustomed to padded limos and chartered jets now.
8. Lt. Paul Crutchfield
The Crutchfields have been career military for twelve generations and counting. It is a badge of honor for the men of the family to serve in wartime, and even the most elite of Crutchfields will at least serve in regional guards. Paul is no different, and has spent the last three years in the Heavy Guards. Piloting the largest of mechs, Crutchfield has seen plenty of action, and despite his youth, his planning shows an almost uncanny level of experience. What he keeps to himself is that he sees the ghost of his great grandfather who guides him in battle. He isnt sure of the ghost is real or if he has just taken one too many hits to the head. Either way, his service record is littered with the broken frames of enemy mechs and burnt out tanks.
9. Lt. Everette Degregorio
Some of his fellow jocks are starting to worry about Degregorio, and his ground crew is getting tired of his superstitions. Since surviving a drastic explosion in a previous machine, Lt. Degregorio has become paralytically superstitious. His mech’s cockpit is festooned with good luck charms, and he wears a piece of his old mech as an amulet to protect him from another explosion. He is a decent pilot, but his paranoia is slowly eroding his performance in the field, and it wont be long before he is either discharged or sent for psychiatric evaluation.
10. Lt. Aurelia Spataro
Voted most likely to Succede in her gradating class, Lt. Spataro started as a rising star mech pilot. Her skill and performance are exception, but she has been court martialed twice, and both have left black marks on her record. The lieutenant has been reprimanded multiple times for collateral damage and civil casualties in her sorties, all of which seems to do no good. Spataro is deeply disturbed, and her violence on the battlefield is based in deep racial and cultural hatreds. Her accidental misfires, and missed shots against enemy targets are little more than obfuscation for what is cold blooded murder.
11. Col. Akira Okiketa
After serving four tours of duty in the line of combat, Col. Okiketa was retired from active combat by the brass and placed as a combat instructor. Now, some thirty years later he is a tired old man. His heart isnt in the fight anymore as he has seen so many of his students go out and die. Not from lack of training or ability, but from bad luck, failure on the part of the military to support them in the field, and a dozen other pathetic ways to fall. The Colonel is a likeable man, one dead set against his son taking up the mech jock path.
12. Lt. Erwin Dobrich
There are a certain group of young men who when given nothing but common expections and excess liesure take up the life of the scoundrel. These troublemakers often excel when given challenges to their intellect and capability. If he had not been drafted into the military and promoted to the Mech Corps, Dobrich would have lived a life of fast stole vehicles and cheap easy women. Instead he is one of the best mech jocks in the battalion. A crack shot with a rail gun or laser carbine, he is well decorated and one of the pre-eminent pilots. He is also rash in combat, often leaving his squadron running to keep up as he advances guns blazing. Everything is done at full throttle, be it fighting, drinking, or running amok in the bars.
13. Lt. Misha Cammarota
Women are uncommon in the ranks of mechwarriors, but they are not unheard of. This generally leaves these female pilots to prove their worth and skill in what is largely a male dominated field. Cammarota has been forced to prove her skill more times than most women, a fact unfortunately due to her blonde hair and attractive body. After fighting too many training duels that went too far, she has gained a chimp on her shoulder. Rather than allowing herself to be accepted as another mech jock, Lt. Cammarota constantly strives to prove not her worth, but her superiority over her squadron mates. While this has given her an impressive combat record, her machine is in less than optimal condition due to her rough handling, and she has since alienated herself from the rest of the squadron.
14. Jr. Col. Trent Dalenburg
The Dalenburgs have been aristocrats for generations, well accustomed to pomp and privelage due to their wealth, influence, and support of the government and the military. Unfortunately tradition doesn't equal skill. With the right connections and donations, the youngest Dalenburg has had his commision purchased, and his war machine given to him out of obligation and not out of personal skill or merit. The has resulted in Junior Colonel Dalenburg being one of the worst pilots in the Regional Defence Force, an inept mech squad commander, and a joke in the eyes of the other pilots. Duty demands that they follow his orders, or face court martial. Rather than understanding his imcompetence, Dalenburg thinks along the lines of the mecha holodramas and thinks he can lead his men into combat like the Gunman.
15. Pvt. Theodore 'Teddy' Altermann
Private Teddy Altermann is one of the last people anyone would expect to be a mech pilot. He is a quiet man with a disposition for reading poetry, taking photographs, and tending his own garden of tobacco. He is seldom seen without a weathered pipe in his hand of puffing in his mouth. Now in his early 40s, Altermann is a sort of father figure in the squadron, and the backman for the squadron commander. This has given Altermann's squadron a sense of commraderie not seen in many units, and the rest of his fellow pilots look up to him as the old man who has seen plenty of combat, the chap who will hold the line, and keep his nerve even when the chips are down. Altermann has declined promotion several times, each time citing that he's just a farm hand who is a bit lucky with a clanker.
16. Lt. Kendra Litton
When Kendra appeared on the scene, most media moguls considered her just another celebu-tard looking to make a fast buck with her pretty face. For a while, her career languished in pop limbo. It was later that she enlisted in the military, expecting to be sent to the entertainment Corps to entertain troops singing cover songs in base cantinas. Her scores ended up putting her in the cockpit of a medium sized battlemech. Litton only served one tour of duty, scoring three kills and finding herself in the heat of battle. After ending her stint in the mech corps, Litton became an honest celebrity. Instead of pop and media glitz, she involved herself in theatre, leading her actors and stage crews with a confidence found under enemy gunfire. Litton still tours, but it is a more refined musician and actress than the airhead entertainer from years before. Litton is also popular as a media correspondent and frequent commentor in media news outlets.
17. Lt. Edward 'Eddie" Foy
Combat is stressful, and after a career in the iron saddle, the stress is starting to show on Foy. Now up to two and a half packs of smokes a day, and a hard drinking habit to boot, most of the squadron considers him the toughest, meanest old codger in a mech. Foy is pragmatically brutal, finishing off foes ruthlessly, a cig clamped in his lips as he pushes his machine like a farmer driving rented mules. The brass is considering retiring Foy, or moving him to backline operations, but for the time being, he is the iron dog of the squadron.
18. President Thomas Reynolds McCurry
It is a common tradition for Presidents of the United States and the leaders of other world powers to come from military backgrounds. McCurry served his country as an advanced scout, piloting not one of the iron behemoths or walking fortresses but in a small tin can with light weapons and long legs. McCurry's tenure in the military lasted through a major war, with him serving in two major campaigns, six battles and uncounted skirmishes and recon missions. After the war, he was promoted to a command, and eventually retired from service to persue a career in politics; six years as a provincial/state representative, then another four in the national assembly. Now, he is the man in the suit waving from behind the podium. He hasnt' driven a mech in years, but his support for the military and the Mobile Mech Corps is unshakable.
19. Maj. James 'Grubb' Gruber
Grubb is the father-like commander of an expeditionary/garrison mech force deployed in a semi-remote location. Grubb is a sardonic and quick witted commander, fighting with skill and elan that belies the secondary quality of his mechs and the mismatched cadre of mech jocks under his command. Grubb frequently goes against the spirit of orders while maintaining the letter of command, in the end caring more for his men and their wellbeing than for the saber rattling and posturing of distant generals with their polished gold epaulets.
20. Cmdr. Varga
Varga is an enigma to his commander and to the rest of his units. A young man of Eastern Indian heritage, Varga has neither friends nor family, he only has regular visits from military doctors and some unknown specialists. His file is sealed. On the battlefield he is efficient, accurate with his gunnery, and moves his machine with an uncanny grace. Varga is part of a military experiement to turn humans into living CPUs for battlemechs. He has had a portion of his brain removed, the rest modified with electronic and computer implants. He drives the machine not with yokes, throttles and other manual controls, but through a direct hardline connection to the mechs control systems and computers. He has no past, exhibits strange fugue states, and has almost no personality to speak of. He does have a small cat he keeps hidden in his bunk, but for the time being the infraction is being overlooked.
21. Capt. Pei Lizon
Lizon comes from a country/faction whose military industry isn't quite up to par with the common tech level. This has left Lizon and other mechwarriors of his nationality in second line machines. This has also forced Lizon to be a more innovative leader. While true, he cannot claim that his machines are inferior, they are in fact the best his faction can produce. A quiet man with a penchant for drinking ceremonial tea, Lizon is a fast thinking warrior who uses terrain, decoys and ruses and any other ideas he can to overcome the lesser quality of his mech in combat. In combat, Lizon is tenacious, having earned the nickname 'Badger' since digging him and his squadron out of an area is as hard as digging a badger out of his den.
22. Maj. Krystal Pieczynski
The Major, as most of her troops call her, comes from a long lineage of old European nobility. While the blood no longer carries the same legal status as it used to, and the family lands are no longer in family hands, there is still a warrior spirit. Pieczynski claims heritage to the Hussars of Poland, and leads her battalion of fast mechs on lightning raids and punishing strikes that make her a foe to be reckoned with. She holds her officers to a very high standard, and herself to an even higher set of expectations.
23. Lt. Cole Straiton
Lt. Straiton has a decent service record in the Mobile Mech Corps, several kills in combat, valor in the line of duty, and generally a solid soldier. He is considered a charmed warrior as he has survived the destruction of three mechs, one of which was destroyed in a catastophic explosion. His psych reports come back clean and a few months later he has a new machine and is back in front line service. A tall lean man with a quick smile, Cole also carries scars from his experiences, mostly burns on one of his arms, and a scar across the bridge of his nose and across his cheek. Charismatic to a fault, Straiton is expected to become top brass, provided he doesnt get killed along the way.
24. Pvt. Randall Basemore
Basemore isnt the sort of chap you expect to find in the mech corps. His introduction to mechanized warfare came entirely be accident. During a raid near his home, an enemy mech was disabled, it's pilot seriously wounded. Basemore and his family took the pilot prisoner and Basemore attempted to commandeer the enemy mech. Basemore would destroy two damaged enemy mechs, several light vehicles, and caused considerable damage to an enemy logistics base before the machine he stole shut down due to damage and power failures. After the campaign, the military hunted down Basemore and gave him a position in the military considering his accomplishments. Basemore, currently in his 50s, finds the notion of stomping around in a mech highly amusing.
25. Sgt. Demetria 'Gunner' Guenette
Sgt. Guenette served her country for nearly a decade from the command console of first a medium battlemech, and then for the better part of that time, a heavy mech. She has exceptional skill at both gunnery control and piloting her multi-ton machine. After her active service, Gunner was transfered to the Mech Training Corps and now is one of the hardest instructors a cadet can be unlucky enough to draw. While she is considered one of the toughest instructors, she also generally gets the pick of the cadets to draw into her training classes. If you are unlucky enough to get the Gunner, it means she thinks you have potential.
26. Pvt. Cameron Lichtenburg
Lichtenburg has been a mechjock for some years and has gained notoriety both for his combat record, and for the fact that he is legally handicapped. Years before, Lichtenburg lost both of his legs and one hand in an explosion. A few joke that with his prosthetic limbs and cybernetic hand, he is closer to his machine than any other pilot in the corps. He is a genially likeable person who has a good eye and a steady hand, and takes no pride in killing, but does in doing what he does the best that he can. Most of his confirmed kills are not from secondary explosions or headshots, but from disabling machines by taking out legs or as he calls it 'pop-a-topping' engines.
27. Lt. Rudolph Matheney
Matheney is a dyed in the wool nationalist/patriot. He is young, zealous, and ready to face and challenge against his nation, be it a military mission or someone bad mouthing his country. His enthusiasm makes him a natural leader that younger inexperienced pilots tend to gravitate to, but enthusiasm doesn't win battles. His mech has Patriotic markings beyond unit markings and insignia, and he has tattoos to match. For the time being he is an acceptible squadron sub-commander, but he looses men and machines under him frequently. What is more disturbing is that rather than show remorse or regret for the men who have died following his orders, he considers it an honor for them to die for their country.
28. Pvt. Preston Zavaleta
In ancient times, warriors were expected to be artists, muscians, or poets in addition to being highly trained soldiers. Zavaleta is such a relict. He pilots his machine with competence and while not an ace, he is a solid team player and can be relied on to be in his place doing his part in combat. Outside of the mech, he is a painter and a poet. He admits his poetry is bad, but his watercolor paintings have garnered him some attention. Critics point out the violent dichotomy in his work between the serene landscapes and the fearsome wounds left behind after a battle.
29. Capt. Kittie Neubecker
Neubecker is a legend among mech captains. Her exploits decades ago are the stuff of Historical re-enactments and history channel specials. Now in her sixties, Kittie Neubecker is the Grand Dame of the Base, and more often found behind a desk or doing field evaluations from the back of a jeep with a pair of binoculars. When the time calls though, she can slip into a jumpsuit and with sheer personal willpower, charisma, and decades of experience, turn the tide of a battle. Most believe that Capt. Neubecker is going to make General soon enough, and that will be a great day for the Mech Corps.
30. MROTC Cadet Kyle Layfield
Currently a teenager in high school, Layfield has ambitions of being a mech pilot. He thinks he has the skills and the guts to pilot 100 tons of anthropomorph iron into battle. Much of this confidence is teenage bravado bolstered by having logged a whole 10 hours in simulator time. Like the vids, he thinks he will be a run-away ace when they drop him in his first warmachine! When he is actually put into his first non-simulation trainer mech, he is likely to either cause the machine to crash gracelessly (which is fairly common) or simply freeze up faced with the array of gauges, screens, and controls in front of him (which is most common)