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Rik Hawthorne

Name

Richard "Rik" Jay Hawthorne

TAC Name

Tumbleweed

Player Name

Reigninpain

Gender

Male

Age

23

Nationality

Northern Irish

Species

Red Fox

Fur Colour

Red/Orange and White

Eye Colour

Green

Rank

Corporal

HistoryEdit

Rik spent his childhood relatively untouched by the war; what with the Northern Irish countryside not being of much importance to any of the powers. He lived with his parents and older brother who were all English by birthright, but lived in Northern Ireland. They moved to a village just south of Belfast before Rik was born. His family wanted him to be as English as possible; hence why he doesn't speak with the expected Irish accent. He gradually developed a love of flight after watching occasional Eurofighter squadrons flying over where he lived. He publically announced he wanted to be a pilot at the tender age of ten. When he reached thirteen, his father, who had quite strong ties with the British Forces, set him up in Air Cadets.

While in the Air Cadets, his knowledge of the RAF and it's history expanded. So interested he was in aircraft that he found that he often overlapped into The Army Air Corps, the Fleet Air Arm and occasionally international Air Forces.

Mere weeks following his eighteenth birthday, he applied for the RAF. While in pilot training, he met Aleksi Banasik who was busy training as a Weapons Systems Operator. The two eventually became the best of friends and were later assigned to the same plane after finishing training. They then served a more or less successful four years of service.

Life wasn't entirely how Rik expected it however. His squadron remained relatively undecorated, and as a consequence rarely got a decent sortie. The rest of the squadron tried to find ways to entertain each other in times of depression, but ultimately they submitted to the gloomy atmosphere that had taken the world.

One fatal day, Rik's squadron was ambushed by a swarm of unmarked MiGs while flying over the North Sea. Being designed primarily for bombing and having no escorts, the Tornadoes were overwhelmed by both the numbers and capability of the MiGs. Rik and a couple of other pilots managed to escape and make a retreat back to a partisan airfield in Scotland.

While repairs were made to the plane, Rik and the other pilots were court-martialed and almost dishonourably discharged, but were saved by witnesses; consisting of Aleksi, the other co-pilots and a radar operator on a Royal Navy destroyer. He kept hold of his job, but was demoted from Sergeant back to Corporal.

His squadron was kept from combat sorties for a long while. They only ever went up to either practice or patrol coastlines; which never saw anything exciting.

Of course by this period in time the RAF, along with the rest of the British forces, had been essentially decimated, and it was clear that there wasn't much sense in staying. Almost a year after the MiG incident, Rik explained his intentions to quit the RAF to Aleksi and asked him to come with him. After agreeing the two drew up a plan together. While on a seemingly normal patrol over Cornwall, Rik broke formation when they reached Land's End and made a dash towards international waters. After a month of floundering around parts of Europe and North Africa, Rik and Aleksi were scooped up by Thunderbolt Black and were eventually roped into operations with The Black Knights.

PersonalityEdit

To sum up quickly; Rik likes attention. He originally wanted to be a stage performer, like a magician or comedian, before he came about obsessing over aircraft. He still tries, and often fails, to retain some form of comedy in his life. During one tour of duty over Christmas he once became extraordinarilly drunk and tried his luck at stand-up comedy. After failing to make even a single head laugh, he mocked himself by pretending to roll tumbleweed across the stage, shortly before falling down the stairs to the stage as he made an exit. His insightful line combined with his clumsiness that night led him to be known as 'Tumbleweed' afterwards. When Aleksi kept making fun of him for weeks after, Rik decided to dye Aleksi's hair the colours of the rainbow when he was asleep, leading him to earn the moniker 'Spectrum' the next morning.

Rik doesn't like depression, after experiencing a bit too much of it through his life so far. Hence, whenever he or someone else is depressed even in the slightest, he'll try to do something about it. More often than not he'll try to do something reckless and irresponsible to alter the mood entirely. Aleksi's hair scandal was partially a result of this kind of behaviour.

While Rik doesn't exhibit many good traits off-duty, he tries his best when he's working. Before the MiG incident, he would often quote lines from the 60's films 'The Battle of Britain' and 'The Italian Job' while in flight. After the event Rik and Aleksi have managed to retain a serious attitude while in combat; rarely making even the slightest remark.

Rik never really had a hobby when he was a child, hence why he doesn't really count any now. When asked however, he will probably reply with 'flying' and 'hitting Aleksi'.

While most of the time he is quite sociable, he will sometimes separate himself from the world and spend some time alone. During these times he either plays video games, thinks life over, sleeps or listens to music; which often alternates between various rock and techno/dubstep genres.

SkillsEdit

Rik believes he has developed a thought process he calls Perpendicular Thinking; a trait which he often tries to apply in combat. Basically he anticipates what the enemy anticipates of him, and then proceeds to do precisely the opposite of that. It seems to work most of the time; it even helped him escape the MiGs in the North Sea. He believes this is enough criteria to make him a competent pilot.

He is much better with smaller weapons than larger ones. He keeps a Sig Sauer P229 with him most of the time and is fairly competent with it, especially in holster drills and advanced weapons training.

AircraftEdit

Rik originally wanted a Eurofighter, but the GR4 he got was the third best thing he could hope for; second was a Tornado F3, but beggers can't be choosers. The Panavia Tornado GR4 is a multi-role aircraft, designed primarily for ground attack, but is capable of holding a decent dogfight. Rik's Tornado is only credited with one aerial kill thus far; one of the MiG's that ambushed Rik and his squadron.

Prior to joining Thunderbolt Black, the Tornado was painted in standard RAF camouflage. After their escape, Aleksi borrowed some paints from an African man who was a large supporter of European forces. The initial pattern is the same, but the green and grey has been changed to a black and darker grey scheme. The RAF roundels were painted over, the 'Bad Hare Day' nose art was applied and on the fuselage under the wings Rik painted the words "Lilium inter Spinas", which mean "A lily among the thorns." He admits it's cheesy, but it means a lot to him.

Combat GearEdit

As mentioned earlier, Rik is content with his Sig-Sauer P229. He also keeps a standard issue combat knife strapped to his leg, as does Aleksi.

In the eventuality he'll need something bigger, he prefers the HK-33 Assault Rifle along with a M203 grenade launcher; thus allowing him to "Go SAS upon everyone" as he puts it.

RelationshipsEdit

FamilyEdit

Rik's father died shortly before he left the RAF. He did have a close relationship with his older brother Nathan, an officer on a Royal Navy minesweeper, but they lost direct contact with each other after Rik abandoned the forces. They relay messages to each other via their younger sister, Wren, who studies politics at the University of Leicester and one day hopes to enter UK Parliament. His mother speaks to him occasionally, but rarely talks now following the death of her husband and a recent case of Addison's disease.

Close FriendsEdit

Rik and Aleksi are the closest of friends, though they rarely show it through their dismissions of one another, their practical jokes and occasional fights. Rik would like to count the Black Knights squadron as good friends too after coming to like them almost immediately.

Significant OtherEdit

Rik is good friends with a French smuggler who, providing he would actually want to go back, offered to help him back in into the UK from time to time.

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