|Full name||Katherine Marie Murphy|
|Date of Birth||6 Aug 2486|
|Eyes and Hair||Brown & Brown|
|Height and Weight||5'4" & 130 lbs|
2504-2514: Alliance Military, Pilot (Exiting rank: Major)
This woman stands at perhaps five foot four, her build lithe and athletic without sacrificing feminine curves. She moves with seemingly unconscious grace, looking out at the world through dark brown eyes tending toward black unless viewed up close. Her features are not quite Chinese, but definitely Asian. Long dark brown locks with lighter brown highlights hang down a bit past her shoulders, usually left loose to frame her face. Like most women of Asian ancestry, her age is very difficult to place but there is definitely a maturity to her face that suggests late thirties at least.
Kate found herself suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed in September of 2527 when the captain she had been working for died in a gun fight. The crew was shocked to discover that despite their seeming prosperity he was actually rather deeply in debt thanks to bad investments (made, of course, without consulting Kate) and a gambling problem he'd done an extremely good job of concealing. The ship had to be sold to cover his debts, and the crew were all forced to find other employment.
Fortunately, a cargomaster with Kate's experience and reputation isn't out of work for long. She was soon contacted by Dr. Roberto Chin regarding his desire to put his ship, the Zang Fu, to work hauling cargo. To do that, he needed a crew... and where else to start but with a capable XO/Cargomaster? Of course, until they hired some more people she was also the chief of security, pilot, engineer, cook and morale officer...
About eight months later, Roberto promoted Kate to Captain of the Zang Fu, a role she had long been filling in all but name while he focused more on his business than the day to day running of the ship.
Kate's name has become a familiar one in cargo-running circles within the last decade or so. She's met and interacted with a lot of people. The crews she's worked with know her to be reliable, capable, easy-going and reasonable to work with. Captains she's served under give good references, and often express regret that she's no longer with them. One thing is for certain... she's made a career out of knowing who needs what and both the folks she sells to and the folks she buys from have nothing but good things to say about her.
Kate has been known to haul some less-than-legitimate cargo from time to time, but usually only with good reason. (For example, medicine or supplies in desperate need on the Rim.) She has a few black market contacts on the down-low.
Kate was born on Londinium in 2486, the fourth child and only daughter of the brood. Her family has a strong history of military service--it's practically the family business. Growing up, she and her brothers referred to their father more as 'The Colonel' (the rank he retired at) than 'Dad'. All of The Colonel's issue were expected to serve in some way, even their precious daughter. Until then, she was free to pursue pretty much whatever she wished but the one thing she truly loved was dance. As the child grew into a young woman, dance was her only escape from the weight of her family's expecations... only when lost in the music and the movement did she feel truly alive and free. She actually considered running away once or twice, perhaps to Paquin where the arts were more celebrated and cherished. In the end, a strong sense of duty always held her back.
By the time Kate was old enough to head off to boot camp in 2504, tensions between the Alliance and the so-called Independents were already on the rise. She spent about a year and a half in training and flight school, after which she had a shiny pair of wings and an Ensign's badge for her purple uniform. Less than six months later, war was declared and her squadron shipped out to help quell the uprising. She flew countless missions and saw many things during the war that didn't sit well with her--strategies employed not only by the Alliance but by the Browncoats as well. To cap it all off, she was shot down over Serenity Valley in the final days of the war and got a taste of what it was like on the ground too. It wasn't until three years after the war that she officially resigned her commission, though much of that time was spent recovering from wounds received at Serenity Valley and undergoing extensive treatment for PTSD. It would be almost ten years before she would fly again.
After leaving the military (exiting at the rank of Major with several commendations and decorations for her ten years of service), Kate tried to go back to dancing but injuries sustained in the war made it nearly impossible to compete with the much younger and spryer up and comers. In the end, she spent a year or so teaching ballet at a school she'd once attended, but it wasn't the same. Eventually, driven by a desire to attone somehow for the voilence she committed in wartime, she shipped off to the rim with a relief org and spent a few years helping to rebuild shattered communities.
The relief orgs did a lot, of course, but not enough. Underfunded and understaffed, they eventually disbanded and Kate shifted her focus toward doing what she could to facilitate trade and keep a steady stream of supplies going. It helped that there was actually pretty good money to be made for them that had the capital to put down. She didn't, but once she convinced someone to let her use theirs she quickly proved her worth. She's run with a number of crews since then, earning a reputation for fair dealings, lucrative investments and calm under pressure. What's more, the Good Name that she's established for herself often opens doors that might otherwise remain closed.
Regarding Military Service...
Kate doesn't often talk about the war or her part in it. The fact that she served in the Alliance Military is NOT widely known.