Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
Captain Eric Balmer "Tinman"
Former Senior Pilot of the 405th Marik AeroFighter Wing
A veteran pilot of many years, “Tinman” has overcome much, seen more, and survived because of his strength of character. Captain Balmer was an Elite NPC Aero Pilot, and the best in the unit. He piloted an EGL-R6 Eagle, the very ship he formerly piloted under the 405th Marik AeroFighter Wing.
He was known for flying solo missions in the past, and preferring the solitude of low orbital flights to staying aboard ship for long periods of time. He tended to keep very much to himself, though he spent much of his time working with Lieutenant JG Trixie Charmosa “Pixie”, to improve her combat skills and make her into the leader he knew she could be. In many ways, he had become something of an “uncle” for her, and the two were quite close, with Pixie being the only one that could talk to him about anything.
He tended to take direct control over Line AeroSpace deployment, and often acted as support during assaults and other tasks, being able to bounce from one firefight to another as long as his side controlled the air war.
Captain Balmer has overcome many disadvantages. Born to a poor technician serving in the Marik Periphery Fleet, he studied hard and worked extra credit to qualify for a position in his planet’s technical school. His skill behind the stick granted him a slot in the Periphery Fleet’s auxiliary forces, and he eventually worked his way into a second-line AeroFighter, and command of a squad.
Several years prior to joining the Iron Dingoes, he was involved in a tragic fuel explosion that destroyed his units’ AeroFighters, killed several and he was forced to receive myomer implants and months of treatments to recover from his burns and injuries. Mind still intact, he fought back against fate, and earned a place in the 405th Wing as an interceptor pilot, eventually gaining the respect of both pilots and officers, sufficient to get the position of lead pilot in the Wing.
His continual command of the 405th AeroFighter Wing was maintained through the respect of his peers and fellow pilots, and in no way has he earned the position through pity. He flew the same AeroFighter during that tenure, that he presently flies. Having taken several severe injuries during its capture on “Blood Rock”, and soon accepted his position, by contracting with the Dingoes under a Leash contract as the lead of their Reserve Aero Lance., Tinman woke nearly two months after the incident, aboard the
During operations on System – Dunkelheim during its contract there, he was relegated to piloting the unit’s single STG-A1 Stinger LAM, and had nearly decided to leave the unit. He was offered, however, command of the reserve Aero lance, and command of his own former Eagle, and decided to remain in the unit, provided he could fly more often.
In the years since, he steadily improved his skills as an AeroSpace pilot, and rose to become their most skilled and talented pilot. He led the Line combat lances with his wingman Lieutenant JG Trixie Charmosa “Pixie”, and the two had developed a very close relationship.
During operation in the War of 3039 on elidere IV, he and several of his unit were destroyed fighting a vastly numerically superior enemy in the 9th and 10th Ghost Regiment’s AeroSpace force. He initially survived the assault, but took the attention of several enemy pilots seeking ace status with his defeat, challenging one after another to duels, until his battered Eagle finally gave up and was destroyed in his fifth straight dogfight with a 100-ton Combine Slayer. His efforts are attributed to the light damage the rest of the DropShip fleet suffered during its subsequent operations, and was instrumental in the unit’s evacuation from the system to Glenmora. He was posthumously granted the The Stargun, which is carried today by his heir, Pixie.