Captain Greg “Pilot” Walker
Role in the Story: Orion Team Member
Occupation: Captain, Weapons Specialist, Pilot, Navigations Specialist, Technical Expert.
In the beginning of the story, Greg “Pilot” Walker, is the all-star, above average and squared away Plebe attending Annapolis Military Academy. Yet only after a few years in Orion, he takes on a strikingly different tone. The tattooed, chiseled, “Coppola” type soldier emerges; appearing more intimidating than he cared to take his position seriously. He dons non-regulation cammo, and Vietnam style grease paint, and ties a dirty bandana around his fore head, insisting it is because he sweats profusely. The team suggests that he borrowed the look from a Rambo movie poster. He could give two shits.
Theatrical is how he rolls, and blows off steam. Often Pilot, being the social member of the team, concocts creative ways to pass the time, such as setting up makeshift tropical “bars” and mixing “cocktails” in the middle of the desert. He sometimes will go to extremes to host elaborate fake concerts and shows for the team around the campfires. Pilot is generally jovial, youthful, and spirited with no real outward signs of anger and violence. The team has dubbed him “Opie” sometimes for his agreeable nature.
He is still a proficient and lethal killer elite; he just prefers to kill everyone fast, without much thought, and then get back to the comfort and play he finds with his team after a mission.
Pilot admires the shit out of Screech for his ability to makeshift any weapon, and his cerebral thought; however the feeling is not mutual when Screech announces often that they are best friends. Pilot reserves the position of best friend solely for Butch, simply for the amount of brawls they have been in together, and the countless missions they have saved each others asses.
Pilot holds a very neutral position in Orion, not only due to his rank, but his demeanor generally keeps him on an even keel. He is simply looking to get a game of basketball going, ride BMX bikes, skateboards, play cards. He is never the one to start a bar fight; however if he is backing a team member, you can be certain he will not leave until no one is left standing.
Pilot is often overlooked, just as a younger brother might be, which is a shame for most of the members of Orion who could learn a thing or two regarding how to manage their trauma, by simply asking Pilot how he copes. Yet no one ever seems to realize that he is the only one who seems to be able to balance and deal with PTSD; however he never offers advice on the subject, nor do they ask. Even though he holds the greatest tool they could all use. He believes it is more important to put a sound and insane weapon in their hands, then to psychoanalyze them.
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Personal words from Pilot:
Personal story, huh? I don’t really know what to say. When the author approached my character with this idea, I thought it sounded kind of stupid, until I hashed it over for a day or two. I thought there might be something I could get off my chest. Like these letters I have been carting around with me. I write them, but I can’t ever send them. I write them to my parents. Shit I think I might be the only guy on the team who still has parents…nah maybe Screech has some dirt bag parents. But I have a pretty good family. I just signed up to be part of an organization bigger than family. I had to leave that life behind. I can’t ever see them, contact them. That was rough. So I write these letters, and once a year on my mom’s birthday, I burn them. Here’s one of them.
It’s a bloody scalding day here. I think we topped out at 140 degrees. Then if you can imagine packing on full protective gear, cramming four sweaty guys in the cramped compartment of a Cessna and flying without vents, for an hour and a half above the African Desert, you might see how the conditions go from bad to worse. Once we landed, we had to begin the hike, yeah I said hike…the operation was covert, and jeeps would scatter a dirt devil that anyone could see for hundreds of kilometers in that dry region.
We eventually got what we came for, and I was both glad and pissed at the same time. I couldn’t believe it was true. We knew the Chinese were stripping the region of minerals, and harshly mining. That was no secret, as the large trucks could be seen all over the area. But we needed to confirm the villagers stories that thousands of Africans were going to work in the mines, promising high wages, and yet they were never returning. Why? What was happening to them? Only a few hours in, and we discovered that the mines were death traps. The conditions were intensely unsafe, and hundreds of Africans were perishing daily. But what was most disturbing was when night fell, and the mining generators kicked in; it became obvious that the entire mining operations generated power was being run off a crematorium that the Chinese had built. They were burning the dead African miners to power the mine, and then replacing the miners with a daily flow of new impoverished Africans, promising them wages.
My gut churned, thinking this is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in a way. We have to stop this. Mom, this is why I do what I do. I love you, and I know you will understand. We have to help these people.
I will dig a few of these letters out, maybe some on poaching, maybe some on those poor congolese children like Ula and her brother, hell I think I have a few boxes I haven’t burned yet.
“Training huh? I am pretty hooked on this P-90X stuff. I don’t do Cross-Fit, nothing wrong with it, but where I am located most of the time I don’t have access to all the stuff. I like the P-90X mostly for the pull-up part, because I can do that stuff anywhere, even hanging off a tree. I also just mostly grab whatever is around and work out with that. Rocks, trees, logs, other people. Lots of push-ups and pull-ups. I don’t know, we do a lot of running too. We are all really fast and big time endurance runners. I don’t know what you want me to say, just train like your life depends on it, because it does.”
Favorite food: “Salad, tofu, hummus…..WTF? Right. Barbecue ribs, and pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw on top. Maybe a side of mac-n-cheese too, and fries. I love apple pie, and cobbler. Not that cobbler with the granola crap on top, the kind of cobbler thats all delicious and bad for you.”
Favorite Weapon: “I bet you think I am going to say something all jizzy like the Trident II D5 SLBM because a sub with 8 nukes would probably be stinking cool, but actually I think still one of my all time favorites (with a few minor McGuyver’s) is the M-16.”
Favorite Movies: “Deliverance, Predator, Mad Max, Apocalypse Now, Hamburger Hill, The Deer Hunter, Missing in Action.”
Favorite music: “Godsmack…well I take that back, I like one of their songs about a snake bite, and Voo doo, oh wait I think that’s what it’s called Voo Doo. I really like this one band…’you all want a single say f&*k that’…crap I am terrible with band names, but I like those guys too, oh yeah Korn that’s their name. Of course I like Metallica, but it has to be the old stuff.
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