Title: Airen Cracken
Description: downright evil or deep inside good?
Durell - December 14, 2005 11:43 PM (GMT)
again, some character discussion, folks!
Airen Cracken this time!
What is your opinion on him? He is often portrayed as a downright, heartless man?
Share this view or do you think him to be a better man than the most give him credit him for?
I can't quite decided on him. I neither see him as a bad guy, nor as someone i would spent my freetime with.
Jesina Dreis - December 14, 2005 11:46 PM (GMT)
I honestly don't view Cracken as a bad guy; I view him as someone who's seen so much and has so much responsibility that he's essentially turned off the part of him that cares because it's the only way he can do his job.
Mirax_Corran - December 14, 2005 11:48 PM (GMT)
I think that Jes is right, but that he can turn that part on if he wants to. But he doesn't much ...
I see him as a lot like Wedge, in that he's a workaholic, but maybe taking it to a new level. I can see him having a slightly rock relationship with his wife and kids because of it.
Jesina Dreis - December 14, 2005 11:55 PM (GMT)
Workaholic, definitely. And I see the contention in the family because of that, and also because he can't tell them anything. I mean, Pash gets to know some stuff, but the others would get bare basics, if that.
And, why doesn't Pash have more people gunning for him? You'd think, w/ a father that important...
I have a few things in Shades about Cracken that haven't been posted yet, but the jist is that he gets things done b/c people are afraid of him and what he can do.
Mirax_Corran - December 14, 2005 11:58 PM (GMT)
Well, we don't know that much about Pash. Maybe he does have people gunning for him.
Durell - December 14, 2005 11:59 PM (GMT)
|And, why doesn't Pash have more people gunning for him? You'd think, w/ a father that important...|
what exactly means gunning?
Jesina Dreis - December 15, 2005 12:06 AM (GMT)
Trying to kidnap him, hurt him, kill him
Durell - December 15, 2005 12:12 AM (GMT)
:evillaugh: ...the evil bunnies that come into my mind...
maybe they tried that when Pash was younger and that was a part that made Cracken into what he is now? I think Airen is a loving father as every other dad, so i think that threating Pash to make Airen cooperating would bring out the worst in him.
Jesina Dreis - December 15, 2005 12:38 AM (GMT)
Hmm, that's an interesting thought. How much is there in the books that really covers the Crackens' background? I know the CUSWE entry, but I'm guessing it's from guide to characters or something.
Durell - December 15, 2005 12:42 AM (GMT)
hmm, Wedge gamble has some good information on that, even shows some of Crackens softer side and his side as a dad.
Jesina Dreis - December 15, 2005 12:49 AM (GMT)
Yeah, I remember that... it's when Pash is introduced, correct?
But not much about how Airen joined the Alliance; I think it may just be from the Essential Guides.
Durell - December 15, 2005 12:54 AM (GMT)
Yes, that's the book where Pash joins the squadron, and I was more refering to the convo between Wedge and Cracken. Cracken thianks Wedge for taking his son into the squadron....
about his past, i don't think it comes in any book. I'm writing - among 1000 of other fics - a fic where Pash and Airen past are described. (well not as the main-plot, but anyways)
Jesina Dreis - December 15, 2005 12:56 AM (GMT)
What rank is Pash in the books?
Durell - December 15, 2005 12:58 AM (GMT)
Captain first, but because he transfers to Rogue Squadron he gets reduced to a Lieutenant again.
Jesina Dreis - December 15, 2005 01:00 AM (GMT)
Y'know, that doesn't make sense to me. I mean, Wedge was a Commander - whatever that entails. Tycho was a Captain, and he served under Wedge. There was nothing saying that the XO had to be of a higher rank than other squad members, b/c Nawara was XO after he lost his leg.
Durell - December 15, 2005 01:06 AM (GMT)
yeah, i don't know why it was made. It never got explained. *shrugs*
As far as i can recall was Cracken a big man even before he was in the Rebellion. But i dunno if he was it as a official member of the government of Contruum or as a private man with big influence.
Valin_Halcyon - December 15, 2005 04:52 AM (GMT)
Cracken led a rebellion on his home planet, and joined the Alliance from there, if I remember correctly.
I don't feel that Cracken is evil. He just forced to make to many decisions about the greater good than any man should have to.
Jesina Dreis - December 15, 2005 01:50 PM (GMT)
Yeah, we know that, Valin, from the CUSWE entry. Do you know where that information comes from though?
And I think what Rell was referring to was before the uprising on Contruum, what was Cracken's stature/status?
Inyri - December 15, 2005 05:30 PM (GMT)
I think the information on Airen's past comes from "Cracken's Rebel Field Guide" but I'm not a hundred percent sure.
I can no longer kidnap Pash, but I do have Cracken's daughter being held currently in my fic. (Did I tell you all that yet? I no longer remember what parts I posted).
What is your opinion on him? He is often portrayed as a downright, heartless man? Share this view or do you think him to be a better man than the most give him credit him for?
I don't think he's downright heartless. I think he often comes across that way because he's bound by his position. For example, he had to arrest Tycho at the end of WG. There was evidence against him, there was motive, opportunity...if we'd heard the details without knowing Tycho was involved, we'd probably have agreed with the decision. That's not to say I always agree with what he does. He obviously knew more about Adumar than he let Wedge know (and sending Wedge in the first place was downright crappy). I think ultimately he's someone who puts his job before everything else (maybe because he no longer remembers how not to). At the same time, I think it was Jes who pointed out in another thread that somehow the RS resignations never got processed and he was probably behind that. *shrugs*
I think his relationship with his kids was probably distant and a bit rocky. I can't really get why you'd send your teenage son straight into the heart of the enemy's war machine for the life of me. But that's just MHO.
Durell - December 15, 2005 07:20 PM (GMT)
yes, the thing with Pash sending to the Empire...
in WG he said that he acts differently to the most parents. I', not quite sure what that says exactly, but through that convo in WG i got the impression that he loves his son and even if they had one rocky relationship are around that on speaking-terms, as Pash comments now and then that he spoke with his Dad about certain things.
Inyri - December 15, 2005 07:34 PM (GMT)
Oh, I definately think they're loving/family and all. I just think that there were bound to be a number of issues between Airen and all the members of his family. In some ways, he seems the stereotypical Stackpole parent in WG. A number of the SW parents choose to let their kids make their own choices and trust those choices will eventually work out (Pash wanting to be a Rogue, Gavin wanting to go to the Rebellion, etc).
Durell - December 15, 2005 07:40 PM (GMT)
sounds like they all came out of one big hippie-community. :pfft:
now, serious. Yes, i do think too that Pash and Airen do fight. I can even imagine Pash giving his Dad quite a head-ache, as he seems as headstrong as Airen, even not in a that obvious manner.
Inyri - December 15, 2005 08:58 PM (GMT)
Durell - December 15, 2005 10:05 PM (GMT)
Oh, the ideas running out of that. We should have someone you writes everything that comes out of our discussions. :pfft:
RedBirdie - December 16, 2005 02:28 AM (GMT)
this question is unanswerable. Intelligence types are all screwed up from their work. :)
Really, he's probably good, deep down inside, but years and years of the daily reality of life in intelligence.....in wears on the soul. Things aren't black and white, they're a million shades of gray and what's right and what's wrong isn't always so clear (particularly when it comes to the means of achiving goals)
Jesina Dreis - December 16, 2005 04:14 AM (GMT)
What Birdie said :p
And I definitely see Pash as being very headstrong as a teen, and a stubborn, principled, adult. I've only used him for a few minutes in Pain, but I like the scene I wrote there, with him telling Wedge what he feels Wedge needs to hear, despite feeling misgivings about hurting him. I think Pash is a lot more like his father than he'd be willing to admit - in some ways.
Sephrenia - December 16, 2005 10:00 AM (GMT)
Agree with RedBirdie :)
Intel types tend to look at the ends justifying the means. I guess if Winter or Iella remained in Intelligence long enough, they would probably be acting the same way (so it's good that they have Rogues by their side to stabilise them :p).
Inyri - December 16, 2005 12:35 PM (GMT)
Intelligence types are all screwed up from their work.
Rotflmao! That totally gave me a plot bunny.
I think Pash is a lot more like his father than he'd be willing to admit
I agree, Jes. I think there are probably a number of personality traits the two share. Damn, another bunny.
You guys, I so want to write! *headdesk*
Durell - December 17, 2005 12:42 PM (GMT)
:evillaugh: ha, that's good, isn't it?
RedBirdie - December 17, 2005 05:09 PM (GMT)
keep in mind that intel types spend much of their professional lives LYING. whether undercover or not, there are so many lies going on in the intelligence community (and I speak as someone who seriously considered a career in national intelligence). It blurs reality. Often no one really knows who you are. Just take America's most famous intelligence agent, Valerie Plame-outside of the CIA the only people who knew what she really did was her husband (and how much he actually knew is up for debate-agents end up lying to their spouses, too). imagine spending your life lying to your neighbors, your own children, every single person you meet. tell me that wouldn't screw you up just a little bit.
So, to bring this back to Cracken-imagine spending your entire adult life lying in one form or another on a daily basis. Now imagine being in charge of this vast machinery or spying and lying and doing dirty things to do what you think, in the end, will make the galaxy a safer place. Doesn't matter how good you are inside, it eats at your soul.
Durell - December 18, 2005 12:35 AM (GMT)
that's a good point you bring up there.
Jesina Dreis - December 18, 2005 06:58 AM (GMT)
Has anyone seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith? If you haven't, and all I'll give away was stuff in the trailer, it's about a couple who are each professional hitters (and I don't mean baseball players :p) who have been married for five or six years and neither knows what the other really does for a living, until a point where, basically, all hell breaks loose.
Cracken's not an assassin, but he'd have a lot of similar secrets. And while his identity is not nearly so secret as, say, field agents like Winter (the only agent, to my knowledge, who we know actually had a codename to protect her) - he is in an administrative role at this point, much like the head of the US's CIA - he'd still have lived a large part of his life under that shroud.
To liken it back to Hollywood again, has anyone seen The Recruit with Colin Farrell? They refer to NOCs (can't remember what the letters stand for now), agents that no one knows even actually exist. You see a book with the names of the CIA's dead, and these agents show up as stars, without names. Whether that's true to life or made up for the movie I couldn't tell you, but... it's interesting, to say the least.
And once more... Mission: Impossible. Every episode of that show included the words "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..." with the whole spiel ending with the words "disavow any knowledge of your actions"
Not only do these agents live constantly telling lies to survive, they have that sort of thing hanging over their heads. NRI agents - including Cracken, who must have been in the field some time in his life - must be put into positions where it would be incredibly damaging to the NR if they're activities were to come (sort of why the NR would not openly acknowledge or support the Rogues' actions at Thyferra).
Wow, that was longer than I thought it would be... hope it was actually marginally useful.
RedBirdie - December 18, 2005 05:40 PM (GMT)
NOC means No official cover. That means if you get caught spying, the US isn't gonna come save your butt. Plame was a NOC, which is really what all the uproar is about. NOCs have tons of contacts and agents and blowing an NOC's cover can mean dozens of people's lives are now at risk. (Offical cover is a spy that has dipolmatic immunity. Usually their cover is working for the State Department at the embassay or something similar. So if you get caught, the host government has to let you go. 99% of the time they mark you as persona non grata and you better leave the country NOW. But that's beeter than being an NOC.) Brad Pitt's character in Spy Game was a NOC much (all?) of the time. To give you a SW example, Iella in SoA would have been a NOC. It's a very dangerous line of work.
The stars are very much true. At Langley, there's a wall with all the names of agents that have been killed-and there are a lot of stars on the wall.
Tom Clancey, for all his faults as a writer, not to mention his overtly pro-intelligence community stance, does a very good job explaining the basics of the US intelliegence community if you want to not only understand what field officers do (both NOCs and officals), as well as what happens to those people that decide to send someone into the enemy with a NOC.
If you're looking for a real-life explination of being an intel agent, I highly suggest Blowing my Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy by Lindsay Moran.
Wow, I've got a lot of depressing posts about what happens to you if you pick an career in intelligence!
Jesina Dreis - December 18, 2005 05:46 PM (GMT)
I'm getting to want to write a fic that centers on Cracken... but no bunnies yet so I think I'm safe :p
Inyri - December 18, 2005 05:59 PM (GMT)
Oh, dear. I can just imagine some of the evil stuff you could come up with for him, Jes.
Jesina Dreis - December 18, 2005 06:07 PM (GMT)
Can anyone see Pash getting roped into Intel work, beyond the whole going to the Imperial academy?
And do you think Cracken would allow Pash to get pulled into something big? Or would he want to keep his son out of the kinds of situations that Birdie's mentioned?
Mirax_Corran - December 18, 2005 06:11 PM (GMT)
Well, he has sent Pash undercover with the Rogues, and there wasn't much of a way that they could have been pulled out of Coruscant.
I think that if Pash was to be doing Intel work, he would almost always (always?) have official cover. I mean, Airen might let him do the intel stuff, but I don't think he'd leave his son to die. Just because he does lies for a living doesn't mean that he doesn't have a heart.
RedBirdie - December 18, 2005 06:13 PM (GMT)
I don't think any parent with an intel background wants their kid getting pulled into it. That said, Cracken did use his own son in a rather tangled intel plot-that whole getting him into the Academy and such. If Pash had been found out, it wouldn't have been pretty. How do you put anyone, let alone your own child, in that situation?
See, intel people get all screwed up....
But I digress. Pash may be stubborn like his father, he may have even let his father talk him into going undercover for a number of years, but Pash doesn't seem to like that shadowy world of intelligence. he seems quite happy to be a pilot and all the perks that come with it (namely, getting to blow your enemy to smitherens without all the sulking around!)
RedBirdie - December 18, 2005 06:21 PM (GMT)
Mirax, I was thinking about offical vs. no official in SW, and I've concluded that just about everyone was an NOC because of the war. To have an OC, your government has to have offical relations with another government (they have to be willing to grant each other diplomatic immunity). But the RA, and later NR, obviously don't have diplomatic relations with the Empire. Those wouldn't come about until after the peace treaty. When two governments are at war (or when an underground group is waging a gurellia war as the Alliance did), all the pretty little rules get thrown out the window.
Ok, so, even though Alliance intel and NRI supplied the covers and everything, they'd still be NOC because of the lack of offical protection. Pretty much any time your cover is something other than a diplomat, its NOC. So Iella is NOC her entire time on Couruscant before the NR takes it, plus her time in Thyferra, and her time on Adumar because she has a civilian, non-governmental cover. Pash was NOC at the Academy and on Couruscant (everyone on Couruscan was NOC)
does that make sense? (it does to me, but I spent most of my life in DC and this is almost everyday conversation stuff around here :))
Jesina Dreis - December 18, 2005 06:36 PM (GMT)
Yeah, actually it does, Birdie.
I suppose the only time they could have official cover is if it wasn't the Empire they were dealing with - if they were spying on a planet that was part of the NR, perhaps, and the Empire wasn't a factor.