Tales of the Peacock Knight
Ensign Corina Townsend
Sassy Charioteer-for-hire and pilot of the Binturong
Cory (Corina) Townsend was born into a farming family in the backwaters of Criticorum. She would accompany her parents to the local market each week, but as she got older her eyes were drawn from the family booth to other, more interesting things for sale. Although their settlement was small, traders from offworld would occasionally show up to purchase strange objects dug up in farmers’ fields and display strange, alien artifacts from other worlds. Cory was fascinated. Her favorite was an aging Charioteer named Harold who recognized her interest and indulged her curiosity. Without children of his own, Harold doted on Cory, proudly showing her his latest treasures and bringing her rare books he collected in his travels throughout the Known Worlds. Cory’s knowledge and interest grew, as did a longing to travel among the worlds and see the places she’d only read about…
As Cory grew older, so did Harold. Wanting to pass on his legacy and knowing that Cory would never be happy farming on her home planet, he offered to take her on as an apprentice. She devoured everything he could teach her, from piloting his starship, to history and trade. Once she was commissioned into the Charioteer guild, Cory joined Harold as part of his crew on the Polemonium. Even in his old age, Harold aided his home planet during the Emperor Wars. The Polemonium served as a cargo vessel for the al-Malik Starfleet, transporting supplies throughout al-Malik space. It was on one such cargo run that the dread pirate Beliah Black attacked in his flagship, the Devil’s Revenge. The corsair’s attack was swift and brutal. The first bombardment penetrated the Polemonium’s hull and decompressed the bridge, sucking Harold and most of the crew into the blackness of space to their deaths. Cory, the lone survivor from the initial attack, managed to reach the evacuation pod before the ship’s meltdown and escaped into space. Just as Cory was counting down her last few moments of life, a defender class al-Malik ship appeared on radar.
Guns blazing, the al-Malik starship ‘Breaking Dawn’ rained on the pirate ship, forcing the Devil’s Revenge to disengage. In the dogfight, the Breaking Dawn was severely damaged and in need of significant repairs. The skeleton crew of survivors amongst the Breaking Dawn recovered the life boat containing the cargo vessel’s one remaining crew member – a Charioteer. The Breaking Dawn’s chief navigator had taken ‘Chauki stride’ (the slang term to be thrown out of the starship’s airlock without a spacesuit) by the pirates, but fortunately the Charioteer ensign by the name of Cory had survived in the escape pod and was able to pilot the Breaking Dawn back to Criticorum to undergo repairs.
Since the Emperor Wars ended six years ago, Cory has been employed by Baron Sudhra al-Malik and has developed a strong friendship with his son, Remi.