|Full name||Athene Francesca Paulette Darrenton de Belle Isle|
|Date of Birth||2nd of March, 2494|
|Parents||Alexandre de Belle Isle and Elizabeth Darrenton|
|Siblings||Guillaume, believed dead|
|Assignment||Gambler and underworld go-between. Also security for the Chaos Theory|
|Eyes and Hair||Black / Black|
|Height and Weight||5'10" / 145 lb|
Private tutors, rudimentary officer training
"Our motto was "Resistance! To tyrants we'll not yield". It wasn't the only thing we got wrong."
Tall, elegant, and near-monochrome in appearance, Athene almost always wears nothing but black, complementing her sable hair and dark eyes. She favours silver jewellery, usually sporting a ring and bracelets over one of the sets of gloves she perpetually wears when in public.
Classically beautiful, though often as sombre in demeanour and expression as she is in garb, she talks and frequently dresses as if she grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth as part of society's elite. She does, however, also tend to sport a gun-belt and a pair of pistols.
Athene Darrenton, as she tends to give her name, has been a minor feature of the spaceways of the Black for some years now. Chiefly known as an itinerant gambler of upper-crust habits with a dress-sense apparently inspired by funeral garb, she has a good name among a fair section of the underworld as a trustworthy go-between. Lacking rank in any organisation herself, she is able to cross many boundaries within the criminal world, serving as a neutral party carrying news and messages without prejudice to any group.
She also, however, has something of a reputation for being able to handle herself - quick on the draw and a reputed veteran of the Serenity Valley campaign, she has personally dealt with a number of individuals seeking to deprive her of her winnings or interfere with her travels.
Her official records, should they be checked, speak of her as a Browncoat Lieutenant captured a few days after the surrender order had been issued in Serenity, who was released as part of the mass freeing of prisoners in the Alliance's grand good-will gesture. Though born on Beaumonde, she apparently held rank in the 61st Shadow Dragoons. Since the end of the Unification War, she has been bound over by law enforcement in a wide range of jurisdictions, but has not been convicted of any offence.
Born: Beaumonde, 2nd of March 2494.
Father: Alexandre de Belle Isle, scion of an old noble house then struggling with precarious finances after investing heavily in Lilac regeneration schemes. The de Belle Isles retained their prestige and commercial concerns on Beaumonde, with subsidiary branches of the family on Shadow and Bernadette, but faced mounting debts.
Mother: Elizabeth Darrenton, a beautiful young member of a prestigious white-collar underworld family (specialising in the smuggling of luxury goods, money laundering, and discrete financial services – never anything sordid!) attempting to climb the social ladder. Her kin helped the de Belle Isles to get retribution on the con-men responsible for some of their financial problems, and helped finance a recovery in de Belle Isle affairs. In return the Darrentons got social and political patronage, and a marriage into the de Belle Isle house.
Brother: Guillaume. Groomed to follow in Alexandre’s footsteps, he was six years older than Athene.
Raised: As a noblewoman, albeit with close ties to Darrenton family members.
Framed (2506): Near the start of the war both families are targetted as Independent sympathisers by rivals worried by the political and social success of the familial alliance (e.g. Darrenton-financed campaigns for election of de Belle Isle candidates to Parliament); de Belle Isle politicians had openly argued against full martial control of the economy and travel (though their opposition arose from the threat martial law would pose to Darrenton interests, rather than out of support for the Independent cause). The Bernadette branch of the de Belle Isles sell out their kin in return for Alliance protection; those few members supervising family interests on Shadow mostly back the Independents, while the majority of those on the Border planets are arrested.
Escape: Elizabeth flees with Athene via the remnants of the Darrenton operation on-planet as the Alliance move to close it down. Alexandre is arrested while attempting to lodge a legal protest on Osiris; he reportedly dies in prison in 2510.
Sign up: Darrenton and de Belle Isle remnants in the Rim overtly back the Independents as their only hope of regaining losses and getting revenge. Elizabeth uses Darrenton resources to raise a regiment (the 61st Shadow Dragoons) from de Belle Isle lands, and appoints herself its (figurehead) colonel.
Trained (2509): Athene receives rudimentary training as a staff officer, serving directly under her mother in the latter years of the war. Her only noteworthy martial talent appears to be a certain ease with pistols.
Fought: Athene participates in a few minor rear-area actions in command posts and logistics bases subject to Alliance raids. The regiment serves intermittently in its original role of mounted infantry, but the expense and difficulty of shipping horses around the ‘Verse usually relegates them to fighting on foot as line troopers.
Serenity Valley (March 2511): Though Athene is left firmly in the rear with the communications and logistics troops – mostly providing translation services for units not accustomed to English as their primary language – her mother’s unit is among the first engaged. Cycled out of the front line to regroup after two weeks, it is thrown back in less than a fortnight later, in a failed attempt to halt the Alliance flanking move.
Field Command (May 2511): A couple of days before the official end of the battle, Athene is given (as one of the few available officers) command of a platoon in a scratch company of reinforcements formed from walking wounded, logistics staff, and line of communications troops, and is sent towards the valley along the route taken by her mother’s regiment a week before.
Defeated: The rag-tag unit runs into superior Alliance forces moving to cut that line of communication. Beaten back, they attempt to evade capture when the surrender order is given.
Captured: Though they ambush two patrols and manage to cover a couple of dozen miles, the understrength and demoralised company stands little chance. After a few days on the run, Athene and the other survivors are captured and arrested as war criminals, guilty of fighting on after the surrender. Though none are executed on the spot, they are not treated gently.
Medical experience: Prior rudimentary training is put into heavy use while in the PoW camp, helping to tend to wounded men.
Released: Along with other Serenity Valley “war criminals”, Athene is set free as a good-will gesture. She ensures that her mother – killed two days before the surrender order - is buried and named in the great cemetery.
Drift: With both family networks destroyed – save for the “traitor” de Belle Isles in the Core – the army broken up and even the homeworld of her regiment wiped out, Athene finds herself without many options and with only her old uniform to her name. Opting to focus on her one noteworthy civilian talent, she winds up on Santo, where she signs on as a dancer and chorus-line singer in a stage show - but soon enough ends up in ever-seedier jobs as the planet’s economy continues to slide into vice.
Gambling: Gradually coming to realise that she has significant talent with cards, Athene adds gambling to her repertoire of money-making activities. In time, she buys herself a gun and leaves Santo, taking to the stars to try to live by her wits. Officially giving her profession as a dancer and singer, she increasingly comes to rely upon her gift with cards to win money and her speed with a gun to keep it. In the process, she makes contact with a number of individuals and groups who remember (or worked for) the Darrentons or her old regiment, establishing a minor name for herself as a now-unaffiliated go-between and courier willing to carry messages between underworld figures.
Maimed: On Verbena at the time of the bombing, she defended Independents being targetted by rioters. Captured, her right hand was removed by a mob “court” to prevent her fighting on their behalf again – fortunately they failed to realise that she always favoured her left.
Recovery: Again impoverished, and now markedly less appealing physically, Athene manages to rebuild her life through success at the card table. Much of her winnings are sunk into upgrading her Alliance-bestowed plastic prosthetic to a more functional (though still basic) cyber replacement. Most of the remainder is spent on the laudanum habit she acquires while recuperating from her injury. She does, however, get back on her feet, acquires a new wardrobe of intimidating and expensive black attire, and returns to the space-lanes as an itinerant gambler, gun-hand and message-carrier, falling back on dance and other options when the fall of the cards necessitates alternative sources of income. Recruited: Low on funds and unable to find wealthy and incompetent partners against whom to play, Athene found herself stumbling into a job aboard the Chaos Theory a couple of days before Christmas 2521.
I'm in the UK, and I'm a long-term invalid. Log-in times and frequencies will, unfortunately, vary widely from one week to the next. I'll be around and active when I can manage to be so.