1-In Dire Straits
His country is in dire straits against a vast and evil Empire that wants to gobble it up, and only three things keep the foul foe at bay-a few miles of cold seawater, the Navy of his country, and the Air Force. Rightly or wrongly, it is widely beleaved that if air supremacy is lost, then the Navy will be bombed into bits, the country will be invaded, and all will be lost. Every night he thanks his God that he lived another day, and every time the warning bell of his air base summons him to his plain he wonders if he will ever get safely back to his base again.
His country has been at peace for decades, and the main reason why he joined the Air Force and learned how to properly fly a fighter was so that he could use his job and his immaculate blue uniform to pick up willing women and get them to go to bed with him. Now that a war has broken out, he has cause not only to fear death, severe injury or ending up as a prisoner of war, but that a fire in his plane if he is shot down might burn his handsome features before he can successfully bail out.
For him, his passion is to fly into space at FTL speeds, but for now, at least, only the air force of his country is licenced to fly into space and use an FTL drive. He is looking for planets, to find out which are lifeless and can be mined, which can be traded with, which can later be conquered-his government likes creating and exploiting colonies-and which planets should be avoided at all costs to avoid an interstellar war.
Although he cannot fly any of the planes that he works on, he has a quiet pride in the fact that without him to refuel them, rearm them and clean them after every air battle, they would just be extremely expensive pieces of well shaped metal. He is popular with the pilots as they know this as well and is a hard worker and a skilled mechanic.
Conscripted as his country was at war and needed every able-bodied person it could get, he chose to join the Air Force. That would mean he would not be shouted at as much, or shot at, unlike the Army, and he had no danger of drowning unlike the Navy. He works under the MechTech, arming, cleaning and refuelling planes, and is doing so well at it that despite being a lowly conscript, a lance-corporal's chevron beckons. Depending on how long the war lasts, he might rise even higher in rank later on.
He was once a loyal airman, partly due to indoctrination from birth and partly because as an airman he got more pay and better food then most people in the dictatorship that he was born into. But the dictator has recently been unable to provide him with these things, so he has decided to steal his plane and fly it to another country in exchange for political asylum and an equal rank in the other country's air force.
Another conscript, he also works under the MechTech, but he really does not want to be there. It's not that he minds cleaning, arming and refuelling planes, and he wants to be in an air force of his own free will-the enemy air force. Secretly, he wants his own country to lose the war. He does not know how to fly a plane, so he can't steal one and try and defect to the other country. So he risks his life by acts of sly sabotage, underarming the machine guns, underfueling the planes and leaving small flecks of dirt on the glass that in air combat could conceal an enemy plane. Unknown to him the Military Police are looking into his case and are close to making an arrest, and if he is convicted, he will be hanged.
The air force of his country has never been to war since it was founded and is unlikely to have to, so it's main job apart from ceremonial flyplasts is putting out the many forest fires that happen in the summer both because of arson and naturel causes such as lightning strikes. He truly feels that he is protecting his country and it's forests and national parks.
With his country on the verge of being invaded, he has reluctantly decided to become a kamikaze flyer and pilot a plane full of explosives in the hope of sinking one of the battleships of his foe or at least doing great damage to it at the cost of his own life. He has no parachute and his canopy has been nailed shut, and he hopes he will have a good afterlife.
When off duty, he takes advantage of his uniform and rank to smuggle guns, wildlife and over forbidden items, knowing that police and customs people are less likely to stop and search him, not wanting to think that an air force officer would be a smuggler. He refuses to smuggle hard drugs, but will smuggle most other things for enough money, even in countries with heavy punishments for such activity.
From when he was young he thought that joining his country's air force was his destiny and that had not changed by the time that he was old enough to try to join it for real. He passed all the medical tests and also excelled at the training and is happy at his dream job.
12-His Cutie Mark
In his country, humans are born with marks that show what they are best at, and it's ruler has decided to allow his subjects to only do the jobs that their cutie marks show that they are best at. So he is another air force conscript, but as a pilot and a commissioned officer, rather then as one of those who only guard the air bases and look after the planes.
After losing part of a leg to a landmine, it seemed lightly that his war was over, but he refused to accept this, and trained as a pilot in a modified fighter plane, becoming a propaganda icon in the process, once more able to fight the foe with great vigor. It seems likely that he will be shot down and killed or taken as a prisoner of war sooner or later, as he is so impetuous.
For him what he likes most about the air force is the speed of flying, and in peacetime he is a member of an elite air display team, his country's equivalent of the Red Arrows. Like all his fellow fighter pilots he is fully capable and willing of fighting and killing in war.
He has been told that his plane is a new mine laying plane and he is to fly it as close as he dares to an enemy battleship and drop the mine next to it, but unknown to him, his controls have been hacked by a superior who is very jealous of his success and fame and who wants him dead, but dead in a way that will do as much damage to the foe as possible, so that he can be steered into smashing into the battleship at the waterline, sinking it.
16-Coaxed into it
His family had been in the military as long as they could remember, and he didn't want to disappoint his parents, so he joined the air force to keep them happy although he would rather be a writer or something of that sort.
17-For the Money
A mercenary pilot, he fights only for the money that he is being paid, rather then being emotionally involved for either side in the war, being paid for six months at a time and having the right to leave if he is not being paid, as long as he is not then caught fighting for the other side. If he ever does that and is captured, he would be summarily executed as a traitor.
Bomb a dam to flood all the nearby towns on the river? He does it. Machine gun unarmed civilians? He does it. Bomb hospitals or undefended cultural centres? He does it. If his country loses the war, war crimes investigators will be searching for him for sure, but his own government and military officers encourage his misdeeds. He sees the foe as subhuman at best. If he were not in the air force, he would most likely be a guard at one of his country's many concentration camps.
He learned the magic of the sky, starting with the smallest cantrips and ending up learning how to bring pouring rain, lightning, hail, snow and even large tornados, and becoming the closest thing that his country has to a member of an air force. A well paid and glorious military career is likely for him.
He likes the free drinks and discounted travel, and the way that the police are willing to turn a blind eye to his speeding on the roads up to a point. He earns it, risking his life every day fighting the foe.
21-Good for his Career
He wants to become a politician and knows that a good military service record will help a lot with earning the trust of the voters of his country, and he chose the air force as likely to be more fun and less dangerous then the army, his country being firmly landlocked. He is a genuinely brave man, willing to take risks if need be.
A leiutenant in the army, he was captured on the battlefield and sent to a rather pleasant, if boring, POW camp where the security was a bit lax. Rather then stay there in safety, he and his fellow POWs have spent a lot of time and effort making a large glider, and he has been chosen to fly the thing and launch the escape of himself and five of his fellow POWs.
23-For the University Place
In his case, he joined the air force of his country because of the free education at one of his country's best universities that a successful military career offered. As going to university is too expensive for most people in his country, it would be a huge help in civilian life to get a prestigious degree, and will surely help him to get a good and well paid job later on.
24-To See the World
He joined the Air Force in the hope of seeing many different countries and has not been disappointed, travelling to several countries and having ample leave as his country is at peace. He avoids drinking too much in the bars, not wanting to risk getting arrested and ending up in some filthy foreign jail.
His family was killed by an enemy bomb that dropped on their house, so he has joined the men of the bombers of his country's air force, delighting in dropping bombs on enemy cities, unlike most of his fellow bomber crew who would mostly not be doing this deadly, dangerous and unglamorous work, hoping he is causing as much pain and suffering to the foe as he went through two years ago.
He is a changeling, a love feeder, and his wings are insectoid and part of his own body. In a flash of magic flame they can become the feathered wings of a pegasus or the bat wings of a dragon, although he can only take the shape of those who are of his own size. He can fly like a bird or hover like a helicopter, and blast the foe with lightning magically cast from his horn.
27-Loop the Loop
A former stunt pilot, this has saved his life more then once in combat, but he was told off for doing an unauthorized victory roll over his base, as if his controls had jammed up it would have led to his death and the destruction of his plane. He's a happy-go-lucky type and popular with the rest of the squadron, who would be sad to lose him.
28-Drunk on Duty
An expert pilot and a wing commander with an excellent military record, the stress of those frantic months of combat drove him to the bottle, which he keeps as a dark secret. If he was to be found drunk or even mildly under the effects of alcohol whilst flying, he would be court-martilled, disgraced, dismissed and most likely would have to serve time in a military prison. He wants help, but is afraid that his superiors would find out about his drinking on duty if he tries to ask anyone for it.
When he joined his country's air force his country had been at peace for twenty years and it was little more then a flying club for bored rich people with too much time on their hands. But suddenly his country was attacked by a more powerful neighbour and he is scared. Scared of being shot down and killed, or paralysed, or having his face and hands burned by ignited fuel. Scared of being caught by the foe and summarily executed, or drowning in the sea, or facing the boredom of years as a POW whilst his girlfriend leaves him for someone else, or bailing out and his parachute not opening properly. He has managed to conceal his fear for now at least.
A civilian, when his country was invaded he attached several loaded shotguns to the crop duster that he owns and taken off into the sky to fight the foe even if it gets him killed. Without propellor interrupter gear, he risks shooting his propellor off each time he fires one of his shotguns. His plane is far slower then a warplane, and although he does have a parachute, he is likely to be shot as an unlawful combatant rather then taken as a POW as he wears no uniform. At least he means well.
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