Wars World Survey: Baron Dieter von Bilstein - AKA "Eagle" - By Abalux
|Weight:||155 lb/70 kg|
|Birthplace:||Krieghald, Blatt-Spitze (Blade Peak) Province, Direnholm|
|Languages Known:||Direnholmian German, English (Orange Star and Avalonian dialects), Rostanian French, Viccariano, and some Terran Standard (the language of Black Hole). Direnholm has some of the best language instructors on Wars World.|
|Relatives of Note:||Mother Gertrude (59, dowager baroness of Krieghald), younger brother Hans (29, PhD candidate in archaeology), and younger sister Beatrice (24, fashion designer).|
BackgroundThe baronial house of von Bilstein is to Direnholm's air force what the Russells are to Orange Star's marines: a vital source of recruits and support. Many of the nation's best military pilots have come from this house. Today's most prominent von Bilstein commander, however, must ironically hide much of his heroism.
The commander known as "Eagle" is the current Baron von Bilstein, Dieter. Dieter was born in the final years of the Cosmos War. At the time, Direnholm was reeling under the oppressive rule of the Minister-General Viktor Steinhalt. Most of the nation's nobility hid in their palaces and estates. Dieter's father, Baron Richter von Bilstein, was not so cowardly. He was an outward supporter of Steinhalt's regime. Secretly, however, Baron von Bilstein sheltered the resistance at his remote estate, which sat deep in the Dire Range. He would even fly supplies to them in the family plane, modified with weapons. The Baron knew how to use them. After all, he was a retired air force CO. Every Direnhomian soldier revered his "Lightning Drive" power.
As such a prominent figure, Baron von Bilstein knew Steinhalt would eventually discover his rebellion. It occurred in the last months of the Cosmos War. The Baron had just delivered supplies to the Allied Nations coalition. Unfortunately, one of Steinhalt's crack fighter squadrons saw the drop-off. They pursued the Baron to his estate. The Baron was as good a pilot as them. He knew that he probably could not hold off so many opponents. His intent was to distract the fighters while his wife evacuated the estate.
Young Dieter, then six, was watching the skirmish from the manor house's highest window. His father's plane was taking a beating. Terrified, the boy saw his father use "Lightning Drive." The sight unlocked something in Dieter's psyche. He augmented it in a bright flash of light. Amazingly, Baron von Bilstein wiped out the squadron. He was alert enough to realize someone else had used a CO Power. Upon landing, the Baron questioned his sons. Dieter told his father what had happened. He couldn't have been happier.
After the war, life at the Krieghald estate became more peaceful. Baron von Bilstein received numerous awards and a seat in Direnholm's new House of Lords. He also became a consultant for the Direnholmian air force. Meanwhile, young Dieter took advantage of the peace. A quiet, thoughtful boy, he was often reading in the manor library or playing chess in the nearby Krieghald village. When he wasn't, Dieter was studying air warfare and piloting with his father. Both of them knew he was going to succeed the Baron. Dieter was eager to live up to his father's bravery. Even when he developed mild nearsightedness, he continued his piloting training.
Dieter attended college when it became time; he earned a bachelor's degree in meteorology (something that always interested him). Afterwards, he signed up for the air force officers' corps. The Direnholmian government was willing to overlook his vision problems. Dieter was the son of one of the nation's greatest war heroes, and a CO to boot. He didn't fail to satisfy his family. His rise through the ranks was remarkably fast; Dieter was, despite his nearsightedness, a talented pilot and commander. Soon he found himself general of the air force.
One of the projects he was in charge of as general was Direnholm's secret stealth fighter program. The team had finished the prototype. All it needed was a test pilot. The Baron, now elderly, volunteered. Dieter had his misgivings about letting his father fly. Still, he allowed it. Tragedy struck during the test flight. When the Baron came in for his landing, one of the pieces of equipment malfunctioned. The stealth fighter exploded. Of course, the Baron died instantly. Dieter felt guilty, but took solace in the fact that his father had died doing what he loved.
Soon after inheriting his father's title, Dieter got an invitation from the Ring. The Confederation Council wanted him to be the Defense Force's air commander. He was delighted. Traditionally, the air commander was also the CDF's leader. Dieter immediately prepared and traveled to the Confederation's capital. There was only one problem. Avalon's notorious paparazzi learned of the invitation. By the time Dieter arrived at the Ring's Councilhold, nearly everyone in Wars World knew. This was potentially disastrous. The CDF always tried to keep its noble members' identities hidden.
Everyone was surprised, then, when the CDF rejected Baron Dieter von Bilstein for his nearsightedness. Its new leader would be the incoming admiral Drake Brannaugh of Avalon. After returning to Direnholm, Dieter retired from the air force. His military career was one of the most admirable in Direnholm. Now it had ended on a sour note.
Or so everyone in Wars World thought. The truth couldn't have been more different. A few months later, the CDF announced that it had found its air force leader, calling him "Eagle." "Eagle" was, of course, Dieter - and he was still supreme commander. He had made a deal with the CDF to preserve his position. Drake would be the force's "face." Meanwhile, Eagle would be the war leader. Thanks to bribes, no one outside the Ring was the wiser.
A crisis occurred soon after Eagle assumed command. To all appearances, Orange Star attacked Green Earth's Cosmo Land holdings. The CDF immediately mobilized. Assembling an independent Direnholmian air battalion, Eagle went to investigate. He was particularly angry at Andy Wilson, the CO supposedly in charge of the attacks. What he wasn't expecting to find was Andy's innocence... and Sami Nishimura. He ran into the special forces commander during reconnaissance. After a few misunderstandings, Eagle came to appreciate her outspokenness and spontaneity. He proceeded to help Orange Star clear its name and defeat Sturm. From this experience he gained a rival: Andy. He still appreciates the motivation it gives him.
Eagle thought Sturm had been defeated for good. Then, without warning, a strange force attacked Green Earth. Avalon, Rostania, much of Direnholm, and nearly half of Green Earth's other nations soon fell under Hawke's control. His resemblance to Steinhalt was uncanny. It took all of Eagle's leadership skills to keep his soldiers from routing. He was only able to win with the help of Sami and other foreign COs. In gratitude, he helped them drive the Bolt Guard from Omega Land. Eagle now observes Direnholm's budding space program. If Wars World forces ever capture a Zeffenian stardrive, he plans to take the war to Black Hole's homeworld.
PersonalityEagle lives two lives. Back in Direnholm, he is Baron Dieter von Bilstein. The Baron is quiet, thoughtful, and unassuming for a nobleman. Best known as a retired air officer and amateur motorcyclist, he is the target of several noblewomen's advances. He eyes them over his glasses. Still, the Baron has no known partners, which has caused rumors.
In the Ring, Eagle can be the commander he is. He is flambuoyant and daring despite his covert status. Legends of his daring piloting and passionate romances are rife in the Confederation and common elsewhere. His relationship with Sami Nishimura is the only one not in public discussion. Among the Ring's council members and military commanders, all these characteristics make Eagle a good man to know. Only Jess, the CDF ground commander, keeps her distance. This frustrates Eagle deeply. (He is unaware that he deeply offended her when they first met.)
Combat AbilitiesEagle is most famed as an airman. That said, though, he hasn't neglected personal combat. He's a fairly good shot with pistols. In addition, he underwent training in judo and boxing as a youth. Being a nobleman has given Eagle great opportunities for training. The best martial arts instructor in Direnholm is his teacher.
Eagle's CO Powers are, of course, symbolic of the CDF's tactics: fast and deadly. This is particularly true for Lightning Strike. He discovered it after the first conflict with Sturm. When he uses it, Eagle is often flying with one of his Direnholmian squadrons. (He switches squadrons regularly for his personal safety.) The confidence generated by the power makes his air force's pilots attempt and succeed at maneuvers no sane flyer would consider. Some try these maneuvers after the power wore off. Eagle usually intercepts them beforehand; if he doesn't, the cocky pilot usually spectacularly crashes and burns.
RelationshipsAs a baron, Eagle's public relationships are generally with his fellow nobles (and he has many of them). His relationships with his fellow COs are very secret. This is particularly true with his CDF colleagues and Sami.
Eagle could never have a public relationship with Drake. Wars World nobles generally don't associate with the radically egalitarian Avalonians, much less former pirates. Both of them consider this a bit sad. CO Power child prodigies and sons of Cosmos War heroes, Eagle and Drake have transcended their radically different social classes to form a strong friendship. They were the first Wars World COs to exhibit a Tag Power.
For reasons Eagle doesn't fully understand, Jess has a love-hate relationship with him. He inadvertently made a bad impression during their first meeting. When he made a joke about Jess having to obey him, she became infuriated. (Eagle doesn't know what Jess's attitudes toward nobles are.) Nowadays, they are respectful of each other's command abilities. Her occasional challenges to his authority do annoy Eagle. Often he has to have Drake mediate these disputes.
Javier is a bit easier to handle. They are both nobles. Because his fellow CO is a reigning monarch, however, Eagle has to be careful in their dealings. Direnholm has many diplomatic ties to the distant Viccario. The most important is a communications export treaty. (Viccario is the confederation-wide communications center.) Despite this issue, the two nobles are friendly. Their only real dispute is over behavior. Eagle has a far more modern outlook on noble obligations than Javier. Sometimes this causes friction.
Finally, there is Sami. Direnholmian women, especially noblewomen, are not that spontaneous or outspoken. Eagle happens to like these characteristics. When he read Sami's letter to Adder, therefore, and saw the... interesting... choice of words, he knew she was the woman for him. He also liked her Asian features, which he found exotic. The only problem Eagle saw was adapting Sami to noble life. He's been doing it slowly. Recently, Sami has been leaving New Washington for weekend trips. She usually winds up in other major Orange Star cities. There, Eagle has been introducing her to the trappings of high society. He plans to tell her his real identity soon. Although he isn't sure how Sami will take it, he hopes for the best.