Captain Jaylen Cresida, formerly a Commander before the Battle of Sancere, was commanding officer of the battle cruiser Furious in the Alliance Fleet and one of Captain Geary's closest allies during the campaign back to Alliance space and considered an expert in hypernet technology. During the Battle of Varandal, she was killed when a Syndicate fleet overwhelmed her ship and destroyed it.
She quickly proved herself capable under Geary's command, though it was noted that Cresida was not as experienced as most of the fleet. After helping the fleet escape the Syndic Home System, Geary remembered Cresida's competence and she quickly became one of the most important officers in the fleet, leading several task forces and formations.
At the Battle of Sancere, she was tasked with leading what seemed to be a reckless charge against the enemy to draw them from the hypernet gate. Despite being outnumbered, she managed to defeat several enemy formations and caused considerable damage to Sancere. Her research on hypernet gates would later save Dauntless, Daring and Diamond as they tried to stabilize an exploding hypernet gate.
Cresida became a friend to Geary and she earned a place amongst his most trusted advisors. She wrote a program to safely disable hypernet gates, though to do so she was also forced to write a program that could turn hypernet gates into deadly weapons. Her work on the gates earned her a promotion to captain and the Silver Nebula.
However, during the Battle of Varandal, her ship came under heavy fire from an entire Syndic formation. Unable to cope, the ship's core exploded, killing Cresida and her crew. Her legacy continued, however, and the Alliance approved her promotion to captain post humously. When John Geary and Tanya Desjani married and when Tanya gave birth they decided to name their first daughter Jaylen Geary.
Cresida was born on Madira during the Alliance-Syndicate War. Like most Alliance citizens, she suffered the costs of war when her mother was killed when Cresida was only twelve. Her older brother was also a casualty of war. The year after his death, Cresida joined the Alliance military.
After finishing her training, Cresida was assigned to the destroyer Shakujo as a gunnery officer. She quickly rose through the ranks, proving herself good enough for command of a battle cruiser, the Furious.
Five years before the First Battle of Prime, Cresida met and married another sailor, who served on the Invincible. Two years later, her husband died when the Invincible was destroyed at the Battle of Kana.
First Battle of PrimeEdit
I have orders to follow. Orders from the fleet commander. I don't have time for nonsense when there's work to do on Furious.
Commander Cresida acknowledges Geary as her superior.
Cresida later served under Admiral Bloch as the commanding officer of the Furious.. During the First Battle of Prime, Bloch's fleet was cut off from the hypernet gate by a Syndicate fleet under the command of CEO Shalin.
When Bloch went to negotiate with Shalin, he was murdered, leaving John "Black Jack" Geary, a long lost war hero who had been presumed dead, in command of the fleet. At a tense officer's meeting, Geary asserted his command over the fleet, and planned to hold off the Syndic warships whilst the rest of the fleet escaped through a nearby jump point. However, Cresida instead suggested that Geary re-organize the fleet to make it look as though they were planning to fight, whereas really Geary would be positioning slower units nearer to the jump point.
Whilst Co-President Victoria Rione stalled Shalin by pretending to negotiate, Cresida made and implemented the plan, which allowed the Alliance fleet to start escaping. Shalin gave chase, but Cresida's strategy allowed the fleet to outrun Shalin.
However, there was one flaw in Cresida's plan. Titan, the fleet's largest auxiliary unit, had taken too much damage, and was falling back. Because Titan was used for engineering works, it had little weaponry, and would have been unable to defend itself if the Syndics caught it. Therefore, Michael Geary of the Repulse fell back to cover the escaping ship, during which it was destroyed.
Though everyone escaped the battle except Repulse, Cresida continued to feel guilty about Micheal Geary's death. At one point on the way to Corvus, Cresida offered her resignation, though Geary turned her down.
As the fleet continued home, they encountered a new danger; collapsing hypernet gates, which gave out a large amount of energy, enough to destroy entire star systems. As Cresida was viewed as the fleet expert on hypernet gates, she was asked to investigate how much energy would be given out by a hypernet gate that collapsed.
Cresida looked at work done by scientists on hypernet gates, finding that the main theory was that the energy output would be either nova scale or nothing. Cresida theorized that some tethers holding the gates together were more critical than others, and built a programme which allowed warships to destroy tethers safely.
In doing so, however, she was forced to create a program that could scale up the damage. Geary deleted all records of this program and entrusted the only remaining copy to Rione.
Cresida also worked with Commander Neeson of the Implacable, her comrade in the Fifth Battle Cruiser Division, on hypernet gates. She also looked at the implications of disabling hypernet gates whilst people are using them, and came to believe that these ships simply dropped back into the normal universe.
Battle of SancereEdit
Upon arrival in Sutrah, Captain Falco, another war hero who was suffering from Geary Complex, led a mutiny and abandoned the rest of the fleet, who would later attack Sancere, one of the economic and military centres of the Syndicate Worlds. More importantly, Sancere had a hypernet gate, which Geary planned to use to escape the Syndicate Worlds and return to Alliance territory.
In an attempt to draw the Syndic rear guard from the hypernet, Cresida was given command of Task Force Furious, a task force of thirty ships that would feign an unorganized attack on Sancere's important facilities. During the attack, a Syndic flotilla of thirty-nine ships, outnumbering Cresida's thirty, decided to attack the force. The flotilla also outgunned Cresida because they had 10 battleships.
At first, Cresida simply charged straight at the enemy, but maneuvered around at the last possible second. Because Task Force Furious was made up of the best parts of the Alliance fleet, they managed to evade the Syndics, who were now unable to shoot at the Alliance. As the Syndics tried to move to hit the Alliance, they collided with each other, and at the same time Cresida's formation fired into the flotilla's poorly defended flank, seriously damaging them.
The Syndic commander was able to figure out how to counter this, by placing his battleships on the flanks. Cresida now came in on a second attack, moving her ships into a long line. Cresida was able to upset the Syndics aim by speeding up, then moving down quickly and focusing her fire on localized areas, destroying a warship. Cresida then led an attack on a shipyard around Sancere 4, where she damaged unfinished Syndic warships.
When the fleet attempted to take down the Syndicate rear guard, the guard began to destroy the gate's tethers in a random order, and Dauntless, Daring and Diamond were forced to use Cresida's program to stop them. The program worked, saving the fleet.
After the Battle of Sancere, Geary decided to reward Cresida with the Silver Nebula, an Alliance military citation, for her work on the hypernet gates. She was also awarded a promotion to captain.
Later, the fleet arrived in Ilion, where a formal promotion and presentation of the award was given, even whilst the fleet prepared for "Operation Barricade", a plan by Captain Duellos to rescue the missing mutineers who went with Captain Falco to the [[Battle of Vidha].
In this battle, Task Force Furious once again helped in the battle, dealing great damage to the enemy. When Geary ordered a general pursuit of all enemy ships, Task Force Furious focused on slowing down capital ships approaching the rest of the fleet.
One of Cresida's comrades in the Fifth Battle Cruiser Division, the commanding officer of the Invincible, was killed during the Battle of Vidha, covering the retreat of their friends, which Cresida found out only after the Battle of Ilion. The Invincible was later scuttled, to stop the Syndics using it for any construction purposes.
After the battle was over, Cresida attended the fleet conference where the fate of the mutineering captains would be decided. Cresida argued that Captain Falco should be executed for mutiny, and also for deserting the other mutineers in Vidha. However, as it turned out, Falco's defeat in Vidha had sent him insane, and so he was simply placed in custody.
Journey to LakotaEdit
After Ilion, Geary decided on a new tactic. Believing that the Syndics were catching onto his tactics of heading away from Alliance space, he decided to make a desperate charge for Alliance space by heading through obvious Syndic systems that would previously had been heavily defended by the Syndics.
Cresida had serious doubts about Geary's plan at first, and she believed that he was trying to prove his command to the rest of the fleet. However, Geary's plan worked several times, and the fleet managed to pass through Tavika, Baldur, Sendai and Ixion with relatively few problems. However, upon arrival at Lakota, three groups of Syndic warships arrived, and Geary was trapped, with the knowledge that a flotilla pursuing them from Ixion was about to arrive to their rear.
Battles of LakotaEdit
Whilst the fleet was at Lakota, a small Syndic flotilla defended the hypernet gate. Though the fleet could have easily overwhelmed the defending flotilla, the fleet believed that the enemy flotilla would destroy the hypernet gate, and the system, if the fleet headed towards it.
After an attack on Lakota and offering the auxilliaries as a diversion failed to draw the flotilla from the hypernet gate, another Syndic flotilla arrived from T'negu. As T'negu was probably heavily defended, the hypernet gate could have been easily destroyed and the jump back to Ixion was about to be fortified, the only means of escape for Cresida and the rest of the fleet was through the Branwyn jump point. The Syndics also realised this, and there was a violent race to get to the jump point before the Syndics. The Syndics won, laying mines to prevent the fleet from escaping, trapping them in Lakota. They then turned to attack the Alliance fleet.
Cresida and the Furious fought in the resulting skirmish, in which the Alliance fleet managed to deal a lot of damage to the Syndics. Cresida later watched as the Renown broke down, and Paladin, leaving the Alliance formation to rescue the ship, was also destroyed by a superior Syndicate force.
The main Syndic fleet then arrived at the hypernet gate, though it later transpired that their oringinal location had been changed to Lakota, possibly by the Enigma Race. The Syndic forces no outnumbered the fleet two to one, and the fleet was trapped in Lakota. With the arrival of the other fleet, the T'negu Syndic force pulled back away from the Alliance fleet.
During the next fleet conference to decide how to escape from Lakota, Cresida defended Duellos when he implied that Yin was taking orders from Captain Numos. Her insulting comments about Numos caused an arguement between the commanders. Geary also explained his plan: attacking the Syndic force from Ixion, and destroying it, then overwhelming the T'negu force as they came to the defence of their comrades.
However, this plan changed when the Syndic forces joined together, to form one massive fleet. This fleet was faster than the Alliance fleet. As the Syndics came up on the Alliance, the fleet was rearranged, with Cresida's Furious in a belt of battle cruisers, protected to the front and the rear by battle cruisers. Furious was largely unimportant in the next skirmish, as the Alliance fleet forced its way through the centre of the enemy formation, taking down the flagship.
Though Geary had broken through the Syndics, they began their pursuit again. The Alliance fleet was now effectively fleeing to the jump point to Ixion, but the Syndics once again caught up with them. This time, three Alliance battleships (Defiant, Audacious and Indefatigable) held off the Syndics, delaying them so that the rest of the Fleet could escape.
It seemed as though the fleet would finally make it to the jump point, but when the fleet was a few seconds from escaping, the Ixion Syndic force finally arrived. With the main Syndic force still pursuing, the Alliance fleet were forced into a viscous charge. Once again, Furious was involved, but suffered little damage. The Alliance managed to escape the tense fights a few moments before the main Syndic fleet would have arrived and destroyed them.
During the jump, Cresida and her crew repaired the Furious, and prepared for a fight in Ixion, though she didn't know that her Geary was actually suffering depression following the huge losses suffered by the Alliance and the fact that the Alliance fleet seemed doomed when it arrived in Ixion. However, upon arrival, Geary ordered the fleet to turn around, and attack Lakota again. Though there was a lot of confusion and unhappiness with Geary's orders, Cresida and the crew of Furious followed him loyally.
During the Second Battle of Lakota, Cresida once again fought with Geary against the ships that had been damaged during the original battle, which were no being repaired. The ships were easily defeated and routed, but Geary still feared the rest of the Syndic fleet, which would have worked out by this point that Geary had turned back to Lakota. It arrived later, but Cresida witnessed its destruction when the repair ships were destroyed by Alliance engineers, destroying the Syndic fleet which was passing by at the time.
The Furious was threatened when the Lakota hypernet gate was destroyed, though the resulting shockwave was not powerful enough to harm the Alliance fleet. The fleet continued to Branwyn.
Attempts on her LifeEdit
Shortly after this, the conspiracy within the Alliance fleet began to grow more and more desperate to replace Captain Geary. Captain Kila targeted Cresida's ship because she supported Geary. A worm was uploaded to Cresida's ship which would trap the Furious in jump space when they next jumped. Cresida disabled this worm, and continued to sweep the Furious's systems in case they was another attempt on the ship.
The Furious was not targeted in the follow up attack on the Dauntless and the Lorica, which was targeted because Gaes had been feeding information on the conspirators to Geary. A message sent by the Lorica revealed Captain Kila behind the attacks on the Fuirous and some of her comrades. Kila also revelaled Caligo was a member of the conspiracy, and that she had planned for him to lead the fleet after Geary's death. Kila committed suicide rather than face the humiliation of execution and Caligo was arrested.
Cresida was understandably angry with Caligo and Kila, and she called on Kila's body to be dumped in jump space, the regulation for dealing with the bodies of traitors.
Battle of VarandalEdit
The Alliance fleet made it to Atalia, on the border with Alliance space. Here, they discovered that the Enigma Race had detonated the hypernet gate at Kalixa, believing that the Alliance fleet would be there when it did so. The Syndics believed that the Alliance were responsible for the attack, and so went to Varandal to detonate the hypernet gate there.
The Alliance fleet pursued the Syndics, though they were forced to split into two so that casualties from the Battle of Atalia could be picked up. The remnants of the fleet, including the Furious, went to Varandal to stop the Syndics, where they discovered that the Syndics were already on their way to the hypernet gate. Realising that only the battle cruisers could stop the Syndics in time, Geary ordered the twelve remaining, heavily damaged and low on fuel battle cruisers- including the Furious- to attack the Syndics.
Though outnumbered, the Syndics were unable to significantly damage Geary as they swept passed each other. However, the Furious was heavily damaged during the pass. All onboard, including Cresida, were killed as the Furious was destroyed.
Her death was not in vain- the firing pass slowed the Syndics down long enough for the other parts of the fleet, commanded by Badaya, to return, and the fleet now outnumbered the Syndic fleet. The Syndics retreated, saving Varandal and hundreds of lives.
After Geary and Desjani married, the pair decided that if they had a baby girl, they would call her Jaylen, in memory of their late friend. Desjani later added Jaylen's name to a list of dead friends in her stateroom, and Neeson later commented that without her, the Alliance fleet would never have been able to investigate the hypernet gates so well.
With Cresida's death, the Fifth Battle Cruiser Division lost its leader and was subsequently disestablished. (Implacable, the only surviving ship in the Fifth Battle Cruiser Division, was moved to the re-established First Battle Cruiser Division). The Fifth Battle Cruiser Division would later be re-established with the Adroit Class Battlecruisers.
In Dauntless, Cresida is described as a "short woman". This is the only description of Cresida we receive, although her eyes are also described as "intense". Like most characters, Campbell puts a far bigger emphasis on her personality than her outward appearance.
Cresida was very loyal to her commanding officers, though proved in many cases to be more capable than many of them. She was quite a good friend, often standing up for her friends at conferences (most specifically Duellos) and comforting Tulev after he confides in Geary that his family were killed in a bombardment during the Alliance-Syndicate war.
Cresida, however, could be very fierce, similar to the name of her ship. She often made her hatred of Numos and cowards like him clear in conferences, constantly insulting him and causing chaos. She was highly undiplomatic, resenting the Syndics and also developed a hatred of Co-President Victoria Rione during the campaign back to Alliance space, due to her being a politician. Cresida later saw that Rione was brave when Rione risked her reputation and career to leak classified information to the Syndics, in order to save several million civilian lives.
Cresida was also understandably angry with Kila and Caligo for conspiring to trap the Furious in jump space. She was one of the most vocal supporters of Geary, and was seen as the second biggest threat to the conspiracy after Captain Badaya, who had by this point become leader of the biggest faction within the fleet.
Cresida was an excellent commanding officer and a good friend of Geary's.
Cresida was an expert on hypernet gates, and also taught other members of the fleet about them. Furthermore, Cresida knew a lot about physics, which is why she understood hypernet gates so well. She was able to run predictions on how a hypernet gate could be collapsed safely, and developed a system to collapse the gates safely if they are attacked.
Cresida was an good commanding officer, a good organiser and clever when it came to tactics. She was able to recognise what the enemy might do and counter their movements before their made it. Geary recognised her as probably his most able commander, though he wanted Captain Duellos to take over in the case that Dauntless was destroyed.
Cresida was so competent that Geary gave her her own command, the Task Force Furious, which had all the best parts of the Alliance fleet. The Force was made up of 30 ships, and saw action twice, in the Battle of Sancere and the Battle of Ilion.
The majority of Cresida's family died in the war. Her mother died in Cresida's childhood and her brother died the year before Cresida joined the fleet. Her husband died in the Alliance fleet before the First Battle of Prime.
Duellos and Cresida were good friends, and both were advisors to Geary. Duellos served with Cresida in the Alliance fleet, and the pair saw many friends die together. Duellos always viewed Cresida with great respect.
Tulev and Cresida were also both members of Geary's closest advisors. Cresida and Tulev were quite close, as Tulev told Cresida of the fate of his family, who were wiped out when his homeplanet was bombarded by the Syndics.
Tulev was the quieter member of Geary's three advisors, and often calm and collected, whereas Cresida was very hasty and could anger easily. Despite these differences, the pair got along, and battles would usually revolve around Cresida leading the attack while Tulev defended the lighter support units.
Desjani and Cresida were very good friends, and following Cresida's death, Desjani remembered her by writing her name on the wall of her stateroom in memory. Desjani also wanted to name a daughter after Cresida (if she ever had one).
Outwardly, Desjani showed little sign of pain following Cresida's death, though she is affected emotionally. This might explain why she wrote Cresida's name inside her stateroom, as it is very private to Desjani and the reader (who only see inside the stateroom once, in Dreadnaught).
Geary's first impression of Cresida was someone whom he could rely on. She quickly got in his good books by re-organising the fleet in preparation for an escape from the Syndic Home System following the First Battle of Prime. Geary quickly came to respect Cresida, as she came to respect him. For her contributions to hypernet research and her actions in the Battle of Sancere, Cresida was promoted to captain and given the Silver Nebula by Geary.
Cresida usually stood up for Geary in fleet conferences, though on one occassion she kept from interrupting an arguement between Captain Kila and Co-President Rione to prolong Kila's discomfort, something Geary resented.
Commander Neeson was Cresida's comrade in the Fifth Batlle Cruiser Division, and later a member of Task Force Furious. He could also be viewed as Cresida's student in hypernet gates, and he later commented that without her, the fleet's hypernet research was inferior to that done by actual experts on hypernet gates. Nonetheless, he discovered many important things about hypernet gates with Cresida, learning about their destructive capabilities.
Following Cresida's death, Neeson was seen as the expert on hypernet gates.
Cresida got on well with her crew and kept the Furious in a good condition. The Furious saw a lot of action under Cresida, and was the leader of the Fifth Battle Cruiser Division, Task Force Furious, and, for a brief time, a small sub-formation during the Battle of Heradao.
Furious was a battle cruiser, as these cruisers were often given to the commanders that can use them to their full advantage. Battleships were given to the worse commanders who needed the extra support a battleship provided.
Cresida was a popular commanding officer, who was deeply protective of her ship and her crew. When Captain Kila targeted her during the conspiracy to remove Geary from his position as fleet commander, Cresida was extremely angry at the attempts on her life, her ship and her crew.
- ↑ This is not the same Invincible that Geary would later command, but a different one.