Lieutenant Rafe Cassidy
Born and raised in the space-bound lifestyle of asteroid miners, Cassidy's joining of Starfleet keeps him where he performs best - behind the controls of a ship. A former test pilot, he has pressed for an assignment on the Beta Quadrant front with the stirring troubles from Gorn and Klingons alike.
Rafe Cassidy was born in the Jubal System, a long way from the heart of Federation space near the Gorn and Klingon borders. His family had long been miners in the resource-rich part of the quadrant, living on a compact space station near the system’s asteroid belt, and so Rafe’s formative years were spent in space.
He learnt how to fly from an early age, helping on his parents’ small prospecting and extraction vessel used for their freelance work. His brother, Gus, took faster to the matters of actual mining, of identifying good locations and the subtle work of extraction, while Rafe remained more interested in piloting, and seemed increasingly pent-in by a life limited by the same stretch of space. This was a cause of some tension with him and his family, his brother seemingly favoured as the heir apparent to a family trade Rafe didn’t much want anyway.
At age fourteen, this came to a head in the worst of ways. A bitter day led to an argument between Rafe and Gus, that turned into a brawl. The punishment from their parents was to leave them behind on the next mining expedition, stuck with schooling and the station they’d grown up on. It also inadvertently saved their lives when an accident struck their parents’ ship, killing them both.
Grief and diverging life paths ripped the brothers apart. Gus, now sixteen, wanted to take their parents’ inheritance, use it to repair the damaged ship, and take on the family trade himself. Rafe could think of nothing worse than remaining in this lifestyle.
One of the few times he had set foot on a planet was a visit to family on Earth, and it was to them that Rafe went now. His mother’s brother, Mark, was a solitary man who studied archaeology, had no family of his own, and little idea of what to do with a boisterous, grieving fourteen year-old. The two muddled their way through this, with Mark confused but supportive, and Rafe tried to adjust to life now away from a space-bound existence on an asteroid belt’s mining station, and instead living in urban Vancouver. It was difficult; small in some ways, bigger than others, and on many a night Mark would emerge from his study to find Rafe sat on the apartment balcony, wrapped in a blanket, staring at the stars.
At eighteen, Rafe applied and was accepted to Starfleet Academy, his less-than-stellar schooling something Mark had worked with him on the previous four years. It was a lifestyle he took to at once, graduating with respectable grades and assigned as a CONN officer on a starship. Adoring the opportunity to travel and explore, he still missed testing his skills in flying small-craft, and took an assignment after as a test pilot. Although finding himself as penned-in as he had been in his upbringing, it was still what he was used to, and he might have stayed there had it not been for a near-miss on a test flight gone wrong. Barely landing the craft, young Lieutenant Cassidy was left shaken by the experience, with no desire to die for nothing to a technical malfunction – like his parents.
His next posting on the USS Sydney would change him in other ways. He found himself near where he’d grown up, along the Gorn and Klingon borders, for now set to focus on his career on a starship instead of behind a cockpit. The Sydney was not at ground zero in the Canterra Sector Invasion, but it witnessed the aftermath of the strikes deeper into Federation space. Some had come perilously close to where his brother Gus, now with a family and business of his own, lived and worked. For the first time, he was in a position to do something about a danger to that which was his.
So when Starfleet’s rapid reshuffling of resources to deal with the crisis threatened to have the Sydney reassigned elsewhere, Cassidy balked, and put in for a transfer to any ship to operate in the region.