|"Your orders, Captain?"|
|Occupation||First Officer of the Sunrider|
|Family||Father (MIA - missing in action)|
|This article is about the main series character. For the Sunrider Academy character, see Ava Crescentia (Academy).|
Ava Crescentia is a companion character in Sunrider.
She is the first officer of the Sunrider. A childhood friend of the captain and one year his senior, Commander Ava Crescentia served as an older sister figure to Kayto for much of his early life. Reunited after eight years of separation as her superior officer, Kayto’s new relationship with Ava can only be called awkward. Ava’s uncompromising professionalism is matched only by her cold willingness to do whatever is necessary to win the war, and her general inflexibility to the rules often makes her unpopular with most of the crew. However, she is undoubtedly the Commander that the Sunrider needs as its second-in-command - she has no issue in effortlessly cutting through both paperwork and PACT vessels alike. While she may confide to Kayto in private that she feels she has poor leadership skills, she is ultimately the one in charge of the ship's day-to-day operations. Her English Voice Actress is Amber Lee Connors and her Japanese Voice Actress is Kisumi Aoi.
Spirit : She likes things to be done according to the rules.
Ava is an attractive fair-skinned woman with a shapely, slim and likely toned body almost as tall as Kayto, with near waist-length straight dark-brunette hair and chestnut-brown eyes that look almost cherry-red under light. While she arguably lacks 'outstanding' features compared to the rest of the crew, Ava's appearance can be considered far more balanced, with the Novelization having Kayto denote that she would likely be a very sought-after person if not for her propensity to always be so serious with everyone. Ava usually has a straight and steady military stance and her expression tends to default to one of three modes; stern, stoic or annoyed, the latter being the one most frequently seen by the more rambunctious or unconventional members of the crew. She rarely ever shows other emotions outside of private interactions with the Captain.
Ava is near-always garbed in a crisp Cera Space Force officer's standard uniform - a black naval force jacket with gold trim, gold buttons and silver bars on the collar and shoulders, with a matching black & gold-lined belt, a knee-length black business skirt, black leggings and flat-soled black shoes. In fact, it is arguable whether Ava has anything else in her wardrobe besides military uniforms due to not having any casual clothes - or needing them aboard the ship - and has no duties that require other apparel such as the Ryder pilots with their flight-suits.
Note: (WARNING - Spoilers ahead for the plot of Sunrider: First Arrival, Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius, Sunrider: Liberation Day, Sunrider Academy & Sunrider: The Novelization. . Read at your own risk!!)
Early Life & The Student Council
Little is known about Ava's family life at home, though it can be speculated that, since her father was a member of the Cera Space Force, her house-life was like that of a military family, which is supported by how Ava claims she can't remember her family ever engaging in "frivolities" such as going to the beach. However, extra scenes from the Novelization and glimpses into the life of her counterpart from a more peaceful reality seem to hint her early days were characterized by rather darker moments, her father having seemingly been so strict on her that he made a habit of punishing her physically with instruments such as a nightstick, potentially mentally scaring Ava as even years afterwords the Novelization depicted her fingering spots on her shoulders reflexively or, later on, outright trembling as she half-hallucinated him demeaning and decrying her tie to Kayto jeopardizing her professionalism toward the mission. However, if the mentality of her alternate-universe self is to be taken as an example, Ava did not hate her father, recognizing him as not being an ideal nurturing parent but also believing him to be the one she needed in order to ensure she was a proactive, efficient person in life and that, for better or worse, he - a diligent, stern individual who did whatever was needed to ensure the best results were achieved - was the kind of person she wanted to become like.
Being one year older, Ava attended the same high school that Kayto Shields did at Cera. Her father was often away from home on military business, and Ava was often left alone for the most part at home, prompting her to often stay over with Shields and his sister, Maray. Being elected the Student Council President, she quickly started to work, trying to both make reforms and actively help the Students Body with any problem they had. However, the Student Council gradually fell apart as, out of more then a dozen members, each resigned one by one as the weeks passed, until finally only herself and Kayto were left. As a result of this, she at some point came to the conclusion that she was not a natural leader, as over the course of her presidency she had utterly failed to keep the inspiration of any of the old members alive, and that her determination was not enough to replace what she now felt she utterly lacked in - charisma. Kayto ultimately contributed the most in trying to keep the group's team spirit alive, even organizing a beach outing, but Ava's insistence on trying to do paperwork during the event tended to defeat the purpose.
Kayto ultimately became not only the last other permanent member of the Council, but her closest confident on it, and he contributed the most in trying to keep the group's team spirit alive, including organizing a beach outing - but Ava's insistence on trying to do paperwork during the event tended to defeat the purpose. He even went to the extra length of staying as long as Ava would in order to help her through the masses of daily and weekly paperwork. Kayto was also not afraid to be frank with her, but in a more respectful way, denoting that in spite of her good intentions, she made herself look "stuck-up" by trying to do everything herself. She would also stay over often due to her father frequently being on deployment, and have dinner with the Shield's family at least once during their time together, as Ava and Kayto had apartments in the same building.
Near the end of her school year, Ava had decided to enlist in the Cera Space Force, following in her father's footsteps as she felt there was nothing keeping her tied to Cera. However, she denoted that she did so because of her father's influence, once again lamenting her lack of faith in the concept of destiny. Despite both the assistance of Shields and the fact that in general she was successful with her efforts, and even though both had good memories of the time, Ava ultimately graduated feeling deceived and disillusioned with her work. She felt that her presidency could have marked even more at the school, and that despite her efforts she would only be remembered as one more president.
Ava's relationship with Kayto had many ups and downs - she and he would sometimes clash on when to buckle down and when to relax, as well as more "frivolous" things and whether they were necessary or not, with both taking opposing sides on the matters. She also didn't have much of a liking for Kayto's sense of humor, as she was not amused when he purportedly installed an anti-gravity generator in the classroom, causing much of their paperwork to become scattered all across the room in heaping messes. In addition, she was also easily frustrated and annoyed by Kayto's string of crushes for multiple other classmates, often making blunt but typically astute observations on character flaws in each one of them that Kayto eventually came to agree with in most cases. They would also trade passive-aggressive jabs at each-other, with Ava often calling Kayto an "idiot." However, it seems that Ava genuinely appreciated Kayto's presence and input, as he served as her constant counterbalance.
At some point, Ava became aware that Kayto seemed to have feelings for her as well, and asked him on the matter. She further denoted on how love could be broken down to little more then chemical reactions in the brain, and that their existences could be seen as simulated due to being reliant on what their senses interpreted around them like robots. She also explained that single people were insignificant compared to the trillions out there, questioning why they all believe they have a unique destiny. Kayto rebukes that it's because they all have free will, and admits that he does like Ava because she is a stable constant and a person determined enough to do whatever she sets her mind to. Ava however responds to this icily, citing she simply wanted to talk about the things that went over Kayto's head, leaving a disgruntled Kayto to ultimately drop the conversation. Kayto's sister Maray would also often try to push the two together whenever she could.
Farewells and Promises
Near the end of her school year, Ava decided to enlist in the Cera Space Force after graduation, following in her father's footsteps as she felt there was nothing keeping her tied to Cera. However, she denoted that she did so because of her father's influence, once again lamenting her lack of faith in the concept of destiny. Despite both the assistance of Shields and the fact that in general she was successful with her efforts, and even though both had good memories of the time, Ava ultimately graduated feeling deceived and disillusioned with her work. She felt that her presidency could have marked even more at the school, and that despite her efforts she would only be remembered as one more president. When she informed Kayto of this, he congratulated her, but it was obvious he felt conflicted on the matter. However, Kayto was able to claim that he always knew Ava would do something amazing, as, in spite of her protestations for it not being anything special, he felt that Ava serving on a space ship would be an incredible thing to do.
However, on the final day of her last school year, as they were filling out an immense amount of paperwork while snowed in by a blizzard, they realized they would never finish by the end of the day, prompting Kayto to question why she dismissed the rest of the class early when they could have helped. Ava replies she didn't need them around if they were simply going to fool around, to which Kayto retorts it was understandable they would be unfocused with graduation right around the corner, questioning if Ava simply doesn't want to have any friends and prompting Ava to walk out to take a break. Later on, unable to finish the immense amount of remaining work, the exhausted Kayto opts to half-heartedly lighten the mood by declaring himself an enemy of all paperwork and swearing to never touch any more paperwork for the rest of his life. In a rare moment of lightheartedness, Ava begins laughing at Kayto's half-delirious antics, kicked over the stack of paperwork and spoke frankly with Kayto, admitting that she feels her term as Student Council President was a failure since no-one liked anything she'd done. She also admitted that she was joining the Cera Space Force because of her father, and that she felt nothing she'd done during the school year had been good enough, lamenting that she would likely be forgotten, or at best be remembered as just another Student Council President. She then rather bluntly asked Kayto to kiss her, which, after a moment of flustered and confused exclamations, he did so, the pair finally admitting through the action that they cared for each-other.
Later that night, as the blizzard broke and they were on the way back, Ava then asked Kayto to stay the night at her apartment, culminating in the two having sex on their final day together. In the immediate aftermath of this, Kayto tells Ava that he refuses to lose her and that he will also enlist in the Cera Space Force as well, promising her that he will meet her in space again one day. He cites that they will be "Captain Crescentia and First Officer Shields," just as they practically have been since the day they met. Shortly after this, Ava graduates and leaves for Space to attend the academy - but she does not maintain contact with Kayto for long, believing that it wasn't fair to have him chase her for what could potentially be the rest of his life, or for her to both lead him on and encourage the slim chances of a reunion or jeopardize her own duties, ultimately deciding it best for both of them that she ends it herself and cuts contact with Kayto, feeling he wouldn't understand nor agree to do so if she'd tried to ask him or talk him into abandoning her. However, the Novelization reveals she kept the messages he sent her over the years as a reminder of their bond; a single trace of sentimentality for her past that she couldn't quite bear to part with.
NOTE: (While Ava's brief sexual relationship with Kayto and his reason for enlisting is not initially seen in the original version of the game, it is revealed with the installation of the "decensored patch" for Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius)
Military Career & the Invasion of Cera
Sometime after her graduation and departure from Cera's surface, Ava succeeded in her goal was recruited into the Cera Space Force, though Ava herself would denote that, while capable in her role and acknowledged as such by her promotions, she lacked the capacity to inspire others as a leader, which held her back from captaining her own vessel. However, as time drew on, threats began to build at the edges of Cera's space in the form of PACT - a formally revolutionist faction that had since become every bit the expansionistic dictatorship it had overthrown in the past - which was quickly encroaching on their world as more and more planets were overtaken in their conquests. As such, the Cera Space Force began striving to improve their fleet's adaptability with innovative new designs to try and counterbalance how cripplingly small their forces were compared to PACT, with Ava's high aptitude and family history of fleet service likely something that made her a top contender.
Ultimately, Ava was trained to successfully serve as 1st Officer of a ship that would revolutionize war - the Sunrider, first generation of the Sunrider-Class Assault Carrier; a vessel that could last in deep space on long-term engagements and scouting missions, researching and upgrading it's Ryder forces on the fly while carrying enough firepower to punch a hole clean through most ships. Being commissioned as a Commander, Ava was already serving at the Sunrider and overseeing it's systems tests over a two-week period when it's surprising new Captain took command - her old classmate and Student Council Vice President, Kayto Shields, shockingly fulfilling his promise to find and meet her in space aboard a Cera starship, against all odds. However, it ultimately turned out that their positions have been reversed from what they had initially believed them to be as Kayto is the one captaining the Sunrider with Ava as his second. It is possible that Ava may have internally dreaded the reunion with Kayto as she potentially worried he would still harbor feelings for her that could compromise future operations, or that he would pursue her in a way that would complicate their respective duties - but like much everything else, Ava kept these feelings internalized, resolving to meet with Kayto professionally as his subordinate.
After giving Kayto a tour of the ship and - if not cordially - reconnecting with her old classmate, Ava shows Kayto the core features of the Sunrider, from the hangar bay and engineering sections to the Captain's loft and finally to the C.I.C. of the vessel - as well as, in the Novel, remarking on how strange the positions fate placed them in for their reunion are as their status is now reversed. Additionally, there is a Novel-exclusive scene that depicts Ava showing Kayto the Sunrider's observation deck prior to bringing him to the C.I.C., explaining it's function as a visual-navigation platform if the ship either entered silent running or sustained severe damage to or outright failure of it's navigation systems. Letting herself be unguarded a moment, Ava agrees with Kayto's sentiment that the space-bound view of Cera is breathtaking as he likens it to what sailors of the old-age felt when about to first set sail into a larger world. Kayto then attempts to speak with Ava, but a notification from engineering that they are ready to proceed prompts Ava to lead Kayto down to the C.I.C. to begin their first launch.
Upon taking their command posts, Ava begins ordering the Sunrider to active status - however, they have yet to start performing the initial tests of the Sunrider's capabilities when alarm klaxons begin going off, signifying the PACT invasion of Cera began. While initially protesting the idea of taking the untested Sunrider out into combat with the weapons and munitions untested, Ava reluctantly allows Kayto to take the ship into the fray after successfully escaping from the collapsing dock scaffolds, destroying a pair of PACT Missile Frigates as they bombarded the drydocks, soon after moving to reconnect with the rest of the Cera Space Force's fleet. However, their victory was short lived as Ava worriedly detects a new arrival; the flagship of the PACT fleet - the Super Dreadnought Legion, personal vessel of Veniczar S. Arcadius - which, upon warping in, proceeds to single-handedly devastate most of the Cera Space Force, including the vessel Ava's father is serving on, with the Sunrider itself only saved by luck - and additionally, in the Novelization of Sunrider, by Kayto as he ensures the ship's survival by quickly ordering the ship's supplementary shield to divert all power to the starboard side, drawing power from all systems to fuel it, which burns out the shield and most of the electronic systems but ultimately saves the ship itself.
Reporting the disastrous effects of the attack to Kayto - including the loss of the Sunrider's port-side Trinity-banks and much of their weapons capability - Ava is left openly horrified as the Legion orients itself toward Cera itself and nukes the capital city from orbit, destroying Ava's home and likely the majority of everyone she ever knew, leaving Ava utterly shocked as her composure fractured along with most of the ship's crew. However, Ava recovers faster then their despondent Captain and crew in the wake of Cera's attack, and is able to snap Kayto back to reality in time for him to order the Sunrider to retreat from the conquered Cera - and action that, in the Novel, earns a reflexively-stunned expression from Ava as it sinks in for her that her homeworld is lost, before complying and ordering the vessel to warp away towards the fleet's standardized fallback coordinates, leaving her burning homeworld and obliterated prior life behind.
In the wake of the Invasion of Cera and the destruction of her home, Ava works continual shifts to help get the damaged Sunrider back to operational status, practically binging on coffee - both hot or cold - to keep herself going while the ship was repaired, though, as illustrated in the Novel, most of the repairs are second-rate due to a lack of components, some of the crew having resorted to cannibalizing drones and munitions to replace components that were either damaged or outright destroyed in the attack, with primary combat functions like the Vanguard cannon offline and the auxiliary-shield generator utterly ruined. The Novel further shows Ava grimly musing that, with what few supplies they managed to acquire, the Sunrider is ill-equipped to face a PACT force and depressively notes that, after having had no communication from home or any sign of other Ceran ships, the Sunrider may very well be the only ship in the Cera Space Force that wasn't either captured or destroyed, and that, realistically, they should not expect to find anyone anymore and that any further efforts will endanger them. She also privately evaluates Kayto's choices from the battle, denoting that he'd effectively picked potential death over certain death by overloading the shield emitters to diffuse the Legion's assault but that it had been the best possible call to make and that he'd been brave enough to make that decision, unorthodox as it was.
Ava then meets Kayto in his office to report on their repair progress and lack of contact with any other natives of Cera - not even civilian evacuations - and that they likely will never find anyone else that managed to escape. After advising Kayto to give up the search for any other surviving Cera Space Force vessels in the wake of Cera's surrender and the dissolution of it's government, she and Kayto discuss the next course of action for the Sunrider, which, in the Novel, proceeds with Ava stating they need to be realistic as depression over their world's fall will soon set in if they simply sit around and do nothing. Kayto soon begins illustrating his rather ambitious plan to gather allies from the neutral rim and recruit anyone who has a grudge with PACT so as to start liberating their conquered worlds one by one. While skeptical on how successful they may be as they are only a single ship, Ava is willing to note that Kayto seems to have things thought out. Ava then notes, in the Novel, that they are in severe need of resupply in terms of ammunition and repairs for their many damaged systems.
Ava completes her report by stating that after the ship is repaired that they, order to support themselves, will need to hire themselves out as privateers for the many worlds that have a grudge against PACT - which, thankfully for them, is most of the rim. She also states They will need to solve the problem of their absent Ryder compliment, Ava noting that they need to obtain both Ryders and pilots if they wish to stand a chance against PACT's forces, as well as finding ways to fill in the many absent senior staff positions; Chief Medical Officer and Chief Engineer being the most pressing of these. When asked about her personal state however, Ava hesitates before stating she's fine - despite the Novel describing her bearing dark circles under her eyes from working hours on end - and reminding Kayto they should focus on getting through things in one peace, though she likely appreciates the offer to speak with Kayto any time she feels she needs to.
The Engineer Baker & the Hero of Justice
After deciding on their immediate destination - the mining world Tydaria - Ava is immediately weary of the locals, and is vindicated by an attack by the local pirate leader, Cosette Cosmos, who attacks the already damaged Sunrider when Kayto tries and fails to convince them to back off, with Ava overviewing the battlefield readouts as the pirate forces attempt to box them in and effectively manning the tactical station, combinations of lasers with the last of the Sunrider's missiles helping to punch a hole in the oncoming forces. However, the Sunrider's damaged state renders it incapable of defending completely from oncoming attacks, especially the anti-ship bombardment missiles of Cosette's Ryder, the Havoc, which causes severe damage to the already-maimed vessel. Cosette gloats what seems to be an impending victory on her part, but then, to Ava's exasperation - and in the Novel, enraged disbelief - Kayto insults Cosette by remarking on her hight, though in the Novelization this is Kayto's purposeful intent to distract Cosette and make her too angry to strategize.
But before anything can or cannot come of this, the crew are aided by the intervention of the freelance Ryder Black Jack and its pilot, Asaga Oakrun - who's flashy introduction as a "hero of justice" has Ava, in the Novelization, start pinching herself through her uniform assuming she is hallucinating Asaga from a caffeine overdose, unwilling to believe any sane human being could say such a thing with a straight face, let alone look proud to do so. Soon enough though, she is forced to accept reality as she finds the Ryder is independently-owned and licensed through the Mining Union as a freelance guard force, prompting Kayto to have Ava coordinate the Sunrider with Asaga - though the Novelization depicts that the pilot's eccentric, almost childlike excitement in flying a Ryder as though it is a video-game, complete with self-made sound-effects as well as catch-phrases, leaves Ava utterly dumbstruck.
After Cosette is driven off, Ava displays skepticism about bringing the unknown and rather unrestrained Asaga aboard, and is instantly at odds with the Ryder pilot's jovial, borderline immature attitude and "hero" antics - quickly earning her ire when Asaga bluntly calls Ava a "lady" when the age-gap between them is likely as minimal as five to six years. Given Asaga's freelancer nature, Ava is also suspicious of and protests against accepting the rouge's offer to join the Sunrider as a pilot after only just meeting them and is exasperated at the other pilot's rather simplistic-seeming approach to the job, though takes note of Asaga's references to a partner that built her Ryder and background information on Cosette, the former of which serves as a potential solution to their need for repairs, and ultimately relents that the decision on what to do. She also puts Kayto in contact with Asaga's recommended contact from the Mining Union - their Vice Secretary of Operations, Sophita Brooks - to arrange a steady stream of supplies, quick redemption of bounties for destroying targets and access to the latest potential missions.
When first meeting the mechanic - and self-proclaimed baker - Chigara Lynn Ashada, Ava was rather dubious about the owner of a bakery & starship repair port, as the two didn't tend to go together, but she was sufficiently impressed by Chigara's immense expertise in technology and repair to let it slide until the ship was repaired - as well as chastising Kayto for having inadvertently depressed Chigara in the Novel when the Captain questioned why Chigara runs a bakery out of a starship drydock. Afterword, she recommended to Kyato that they should attack one of PACT's holdings - an FTL communications spire that served as the coordination center for at least 35% of PACT's military operations in the rim, as an ion storm had delayed the fleet meant to guard it. She was also not afraid to advocate this as a more important task then Asaga's recommendation that they instead launch a rescue operation on a slaving group, as, while disgusted by the very concept of human trafficking, Ava believed that crippling PACT's operations would ultimately save more lives and give many worlds a fighting chance to either shore up defenses or evacuate, and thus prevent many more people from becoming slaves in the first place if displaced from their homes. Ultimately, the final choice was left to Kayto, and regardless of the choice or her feelings to each option, Ava dutifully followed her orders - and privately denoted her respect for Kayto, be it either because of his decisiveness in striking the enemy or his strong will in keeping his humanity intact, depending on his choice.
The First Steps Toward Home
Following their diversion, the Sunrider then assaulted the pirate base of Cosette Cosmos with the intent being to drive the pirate leader out of Tydaria and the system entirely. In the Novelization, Ava wearily oversees the coordination of the Sunrider with the Black Jack and Liberty against Cosette's pirate forces, noting that the spread-out arrangement of the pirate forces in a frontal charge is likely an attempt to trap the ship by baiting them to attack any single vessel and then enclose on them with reinforcements. Kayto relies heavily on the Liberty's support capabilities in the ensuing battle, the machine having to both act as an impromptu replacement for the Sunrider's absent shield generator as well as disabling the pirate base's long-range bombardment systems.
While initially exasperated by the lack of a change in Asaga's rambunctious outward behavior - and the slightest bit anxious about entrusting the welfare of their entire vessel to the care of the two freelancers - Ava coordinates the ship's offensive capabilities with their new Ryder force against both the initial Pirate force and Cosette's reinforcements. This in turn allows Asaga to harass and damage the pirate base in advance of the Sunrider itself until the ship closes the distance, tearing the pirate base apart with it's Trinity cannons. As the battle ends, Ava finally expresses genuine and open optimism for Kayto's tactical abilities, tentatively denoting that they might have a chance of taking on PACT after all and remarking she looks forward to seeing how the future plays out now. She even displays a rare moment of leniency in her stern outlook, breaking protocol by encouraging Kayto to leave the bridge for the hangar bay and celebrate the victory with Asaga and Chigara - a small reward as they begin the journey towards their goal of reclaiming Cera.
Working for the Alliance
However, the following two weeks see little hinderance in PACT's actions across the rim, and things begin looking grim until the Sunrider is contacted by Admiral Harold Grey, the leading military official of the Solar Alliance Space Force, offering them a mission to defend a diplomatic envoy from an invading PACT fleet at the neutral world of Versta. Ava supports working with the Admiral as the Sunrider, being only one ship, cannot hope to take on the entirety of PACT, and the support of the largest military power in the galaxy may be their only chance to have any hope of retaking Cera. Ultimately, the Sunrider takes up the job and arrives at Versta, only to be attacked by a PACT scouting force that has arrived ahead of the main force - as well as a mysterious gold Ryder with a warp-capable booster frame.
After destroying the scouting fleet and disabling the gold Ryder, the Sunrider brings the unknown machine aboard, discovering it to be a mercenary unit called the Phoenix, piloted by a hired gun - Icari Isidolde - who had mistaken their vessel for a PACT conscript since most of Cera's surviving ships had been captured by the expansionistic faction. Ava conducts an interrogation of Icari, discovering multiple concealed weapons on her person - enough for Ava to remark that Icari could likely topple small governments, deducing that the Ryder pilot is a professional assassin. Further questioning alongside Kayto reveals that Icari was hired to ensure the Alliance diplomats were captured or killed by PACT, in order to provide the needed spark to convince the Alliance government to finally declare open war on PACT. While she advises that Icari stay in the brig, Ava herself states that the mercenary's line of thinking is not unsound, as more and more worlds will be taken by PACT so long as the Alliance does nothing to stop them, citing that war between the two is inevitable anyway and sometimes sacrifices and unclean methods are the only way to ensure action is taken. Kicking off the war early, in Ava's opinion, is the best way to ensure that PACT's momentum is halted and save the most worlds.
However, regardless of the precautions taken, Icari succeeds in breaking into Kayto's quarters, after which Kayto makes his final decision on what to do at Versta (and depending on his choice, Ava ends up engaging Icari in order to protect Kayto). Ultimately, the Sunrider manages to break the PACT blockade after it arrives early and begins its invasion, and Icari ends up joining the Sunrider's crew - though Ava resolves to keep a close eye on the mercenary after her break-out from her quarters. But, over time, Icari gradually gains Ava's trust by helping improve security measures aboard the ship. She also deals with trying to accommodate Asaga's rambunctious nature.
The Hunt for the Ryuvian Princess
Following the debacle at Versta, Ava takes a moment to spend time with Kayto and reminisce during a rare moment of reprieve, and also comments on how Kayto has progressed thus far and the irony behind their serving on the same ship, their roles reversed from what they had been in school when Ava was the one leading the pair. She also advises Kayto that he cannot hold on to the past forever, as even if Cera is liberated, it will never be the same since the capital was bombed out of existence. However, even Ava finds herself questioning her own humanity in private, as she notes that she is unable to express open remorse at the knowledge that her father - her only living family - likely died at Cera, even going as far as to silently wish she could admonish herself for it. Shortly after, the Sunrider is contacted by King Jaylor of Ryuvia to find the Crown Jewel of Ryuvia - which, after some research, Ava explains is a crystalline device created by the ancient Holy Ryuvian Empire to accurately detect anyone with Ryuvian royal blood, speculating that the Ryuvians intend to use it to find their missing princess. After beginning their search at the nearest world in the target sector - the "dark planet" of Tautenia, who's space force is denoted by Ava to be "kind of a joke" - the Sunrider discovers a civilian freighter, 'Mochi,' under attack by Cosette, who survived the destruction of her base. Cosette, vengeful against the Sunrider, reveals she's joined up with PACT, promising a hefty reward to the Veniczar B. Cullen in exchange for destroying the ship. However, the Sunrider gets unexpected assistance from the pilot of the freighter, who pilots a pink support Ryder and aids them in fighting off Cosette and Cullen.
After the battle, the pilot of the pink Ryder "Bianca" is brought aboard, who reveals herself to be a self-proclaimed doctor named Claude Triello - who's instant infatuation with Kayto instantly earns both Ava's ire and frustration, labeling her as "another strange being" added to the roster of people aboard the ship. After the fiasco with Icari, Ava is unwilling to simply allow Claude to remain on the ship without some form of information on her, and performs background checks on her, soon learning that Claude is not licensed with the Alliance Medical Association. She then quickly discovers that Claude's medical license was actually revoked for malpractice and improper conduct, apprehending Claude for her lies just as she is in the midst of attempting a rather invasive - and humiliating - impromptu "check-up" on Kayto. Talking with her, Ava and Kayto learn about an abundance of abandoned Ryuvian technology at the Mnemosyne Abyss from Claude after Kayto lets their objective in the area slip. After Kayto decides on what to do about Claude, the group arrives at the Abyss to discover an immense ancient Ryuvian dreadnought surrounded by many smaller cruiser-class ships..
Asaga, against the recommendation of nearly everyone else, boards the Ryuvian dreadnought, her suit-camera relaying what she sees - a stasis tube on the ship's empty bridge. Seconds later, the massive ship and all of the intact warships begin powering up, their automated systems labeling the Sunrider as a threat. Asaga's Ryder reappears with several Ryuvian sniper-scout Ryders chasing her, claiming two of them to be projections. After the Sunrider breaks through the Ryuvian fleet, the mysterious Ryder - the Seraphim - surrenders and is brought aboard after witnessing Asaga somehow deflect one of its rounds, and the ship barely manages to escape the detonation of the dreadnought after its core overloads and self-destructs, taking out the entire graveyard.
Afterword, Ava is present when the crew greets the pilot of the Ryder - a girl who introduces herself as Princess Sola vi Ryuvia, shocking Chigara as she states that Sola vi Ryuvia has been dead for two-thousand years. After learning about Sola having sacrificed herself to arm the dreadnought millennia ago during the Ryuvian Empire's civil war, she reveals to the crew that she has the artifact they are seeking, which she refers to as the "talbur" - which starts glowing the moment she recovers it from the Seraphim, confusing everyone by stating that while it glows for Ryuvian royalty, it would never glow for Sola herself in spite of her lineage. But they have little time to process the information as the Sunrider is then ambushed by Cullen's fleet - totaling at over sixty warships. Cullen demands the Crown Jewel from the Sunrider, revealing that the missing princess of Ryuvia is actually engaged to the PACT leader, Veniczar S. Arcadius, and that the jewel is needed to locate her.
Cullen ultimately fires on the Sunrider, crippling it and bringing the reactor to the brink of meltdown - during which, Ava desperately asks Kayto for orders, but Kayto simply takes her hand and calmly comforts her, telling her its been an honor. Ava tears up for a moment at this, during which it seems the Sunrider is about to be destroyed until Asaga intervenes, revealing herself to be the missing Ryuvian princess and that her real name is Asaga di Ryuvia. Asaga then willingly leaves with Cullen in order to spare the Sunrider, leaving the crippled ship behind.
Crashing the Veniczar's Wedding
In the wake of Cullen's attack and Asaga's abduction, Ava worked tirelessly to coordinate repairs to the Sunrider over the next thirty-six hours, reporting to Kayto their status afterword and updating him on the situation on Ryuvia - Arcadius's flagship, the Legion, has just arrived in the system, and between it and over six-hundred PACT vessels, rescuing Asaga is nothing short of suicidal. Ava recommends that Kayto abandon the effort, as Asaga is just one person and that they should not risk the lives of the entire ship just to save a single life. She is only further skeptical after hearing Kayto's plan - after having Chigara examine the targeting computer of Sola's Ryder, the Sunrider's targeting computer has been substantially upgraded, allowing the ship to make pinpoint warp jumps, meaning that they can jump the Sunrider directly over the Star Palace in orbit over Ryuvia and crash the wedding before the PACT fleet can respond. Ava points out that jumping the Sunrider that close to Ryuvia would prevent them from escaping until they cleared the planet's gravity well, denoting that Kayto is as reckless as ever.
However, Ava ultimately concedes to Kayto's plan and reluctantly begins drawing up plans for the raid. Later on, when Kayto arrives on the CIC for a status update, he reveals Asaga left a farewell message Asaga prior to her kidnapping, Ava comments that even she seems to have more sense then Kayto since she asked him not to rescue her. Ava denotes that Kayto "presumes too much" when he asks if she would rescue him from the Veniczar's palace if he were captured, and then exposits, with it's original majesty long gone - evidenced by how the Crown Princess was aboard for two months without a single person recognizing her - that Asaga being married off to Arcadius was merely a form of surrender by Ryuvia, so as to spare themselves from PACT's invasion forces. Ava then states that the reason Asaga asked Kayto not to follow her is because she knows Arcaidus would rather destroy what he cannot have - if he fails to acquire Ryuvia's dynasty peacefully, he will simply obliterate it. Ava thus questions if Kayto is really willing to potentially doom Ryuvia to share Cera's fate by rescuing Asaga - a question that Kayto is ultimately unable to answer, with Ava preparing the battle plans all the same. However, in the Novelization, Kayto does in fact offer a retort, stating he could understand Ava's viewpoint if he believed that PACT would actually honor the arrangement King Jaylor made with Arcadius, but that he knows better then to believe it will be any different a result; PACT will strip Ryuvia of it's resources and devastate it all the same, decrying the marriage as simply being a convenient farce to that end. Ava ultimately relents at this point and admits she knows this already, but still at least wished to make sure Kayto had thought about the consequences and reasons behind his actions and that he wasn't just charging in without thinking of the results.
In an unsuccessful attempt to lighten the mood, Kayto jokingly remarks that their mission will mean Claude will be staying with them longer then expected. This only works on Kayto's part as the frustrated Ava airs out some of her personal grievances to Kayto over Claude's messy, disorganized lifestyle, tendency to procrastinate in bed and her general lazy attitude to work, expressing further frustration when Kayto lightheartedly notes Ava seems to have met her match in finding someone she can't reign in, prompting the exasperated Ava to rehotorically ask why every Ryder pilot they have met so far is almost irrationally eccentric and why they feel safe entrusting weapons to them. In the Novel, she denotes Claude to be a parasite and asks if it is only the Sunrider that is cursed to have pilots that carry such crippling personality defects, though Kayto tries to sooth things over by reminding Ava that Claude has helped them more then enough by this point to be given the benefit of a doubt. The Novelization further illustrates Kayto volunteering to speak with Claude on Ava's behalf, though the commander expresses doubt Kayto can make any progress but never the less disgustedly remarks she is likely, at 12:00 Hours Standard-Time, just now having breakfast in the mess hall after having slept in late as usual, the Captain thus leaving Ava to continue drawing up the Sunrider's stratgy.
After the battle plans are drawn up, Ava gives a final brief to Kayto - they will jump in a few meters above the Star Palace, launch out an infiltration team supported by combat drones, extract Asaga from the wedding hall and then return to the Sunrider. From there they will make a break to the first of Ryuvia's moons, slingshotting around it in order to escape the planet's gravity well and warp out. However, she also briefs Kayto on a more daring infiltration plan - the assassination of Arcadius himself, which she briefs Kayto on as a backup. Four hours later, the Sunrider initiates Operation Wedding Crash and jumps into the system, shortly after Arcadius murders Asaga's father, King Jaylor, right before her eyes. Ava leaves to lead the security team in the mission, but Kayto joins along in spite of Ava's protests. During the chaos, Kayto manages to rescue Asaga after she escapes from Cullen, and Sola, armed with a sniper rifle, shoots Arcadius - only to reveal it was a hologram, and that the real Arcadius was never in the building. Aborting the assassination mission, the crew returns to the Sunrider and makes for the moon with the PACT fleet in hot pursuit. After blowing through two PACT battleships, the Sunrider barely manages to slip to warp as the Legion rounds the moon and fires, narrowly dodging the dreadnought's cannon as it escapes the system.
Following Asaga's rescue, Ava admits that she truly did not believe they would pull the mission off, and is congratulated by Kayto for her efforts before she informs him that the Alliance vessel Aristotle has contacted them for a status update. After relaying to them that they wish to dock for repair and resupply, Ava directs the ship to the nearest Alliance space-dock - the planet of Far Port. Ava later updates Kayto on the situation for the galaxy at large - news of Ryuvia's fall to PACT finally forces the Alliance into taking concrete action against PACT's forces, declaring war on them. In lieu of this, Admiral Grey has once again contacted the Sunrider, which is the only ship they know of who have had much experience defeating PACT, let alone fighting them. He requests their assistance in defending Far Port from PACT - with Ryuvia in PACT's hands, they'll have a clear shot at Alliance space if they can get past Far Port's defenses - and that nearly six-hundred vessels, including Arcaidus' flagship, the Legion, will be there. Grey appoints the Sunrider to command the defense fleet at Far Port and assigns him one of his own personal advisors - Lieutenant Kryska Stares and her heavy defense & bombardment-type Ryder, the Paladin.
Ava, in spite of her respect for the Admiral, expresses open concern at having foreign military personnel aboard the Sunrider, given their experiences with Icari and Claude. However, she agrees to Kayto's suggestion of rendering judgement only after they meet her in person. After meeting with Kryska, Ava is surprised to learn that Kryska is an Alliance CAG, as she is rather far away from her standard postings, which prompts Ava to conduct a personal investigation of Kryska's background. Her suspicions are validated as she finds discrepancies in the Lieutenant's service record - while she did indeed serve on the Alliance ship Montesquieu as she'd claimed, her records reveal she was apparently serving on the ship two days before it was even officially commissioned. Asking Chigara to investigate further, Ava discovers that Kryska's record has been completely wiped clean and re-written with new data - an implication that not only is her service record false, but that the Montesquieu likely isn't even a real ship. Put together, it paints a picture that implies Kryska is not a standard soldier, but rather that she's likely a black-ops operative and professional spy for the Admiral. However, in spite of the discussion with Kayto about this being private, Asaga learns it from Chigara and causes something of a scene on the bridge when they try to spy on Kryska, earning Ava's ire.
Past and Present
Later, Ava holds a short joint briefing between Kayto and Kryska, overviewing their mission objectives - with the Alliance First Fleet two days out from Far Port, and the Third, Fourth and Sixth Fleets another three days away, the Sunrider must find a way to hold off all five PACT invasion fleets and prevent them from going around or through Far Port's defensive fleet. Ava suggests hit-and-run tactics since Far Port is a largely uninhabited world, but Kryska denotes that there would be a chance that the PACT fleet could bypass them altogether and flood into at least five populated Alliance sectors before they could be halted, inflicting devastating losses on the Alliance.
After asking them to dissect every scenario for the battle to try and find a solution, Kayto asks Ava to come to his quarters to puzzle on the matter in private - in the Sunrider Novel, the discussion on this is just a pretense to have dinner with her before the final battle. In his quarters, Ava compares their relatively hopeless situation to one of their old summer vacations in school, surprising Kayto as he'd believed she'd forgotten everything about those days. After being questioned about why she never tried to contact Kayto, she simply replies that she'd moved on, and that with her in space and Kayto staying on Cera, it was unlikely they could maintain contact anyway. Kayto tells Ava that it doesn't have to remain that way unless she chooses to, but ultimately lets the issue go as Ava returns to mulling over the battle strategies - although in the Novel, it's revealed that Ava briefly returns to her quarters and looks over her archived messages, showing that even though she didn't respond to them or even listen to half of them, she did in fact keep every message Kayto had sent her over the years. Shortly afterword, Ava is called down to the hanger along with Kayto, as Icari and Chigara discover via the latter's discrete video cameras that Kryska has tampered with the databases from the Sunrider's engineering section and apparently tried to hack their secure data on the warp drive. However, the matter must be shelved for later, as the PACT invasion fleets arrive minutes afterword.
The First Battle
As the PACT fleet closes to 10,000 kilometers, the Sunrider is contacted by Cullen, who promptly taunts them with the bleakness of their situation. Reviewing the enemy's fleet formations - two fleets of destroyers and light ships, two fleets of heavy cruisers, and a final fleet comprised of battleships and carriers that serve as the command ships - Kayto comes up with the daring and borderline suicidal strategy of warping straight past the first two fleets and engaging the command fleet directly, forcing the front-fleets to overshoot them and loop back around to try and save their commanders. Ava expresses skepticism, shock and outright horror at the seemingly insane plan, but Kayto denotes that Cullen is overconfident and used to fighting disorganized forces, and has likely never dealt with a coordinated enemy that took the offensive, and as a result, Cullen's command fleets are left wide open. If they can sink Cullen's command ships, the rest of the PACT fleet will have no leaders to coordinate them and be either effectively stranded at Far Port until they can reorganize or be forced to retreat and regroup, at which point the Alliance will hopefully arrive with reinforcements. Ava brings up the matter of the Legion, but Kayto speculates that the ship won't interfere if Arcadius himself is aboard, as he's too valuable to risk. After Kayto gives an address to the fleet, they charge forward, engaging Cullen's command vessels face to face.
After a hard-fought battle, the Sunrider's fleet ultimately succeeds in destroying most of Cullen's ships, but his command vessel still remains, and as the PACT cruiser fleets enter firing range, the Legion then suddenly opens fire with it's main cannon, wiping out one of the defending fleet's groups as well as two of their own ships and several Ryder squads, leaving even Ava shocked at Arcadius' callous and unnecessary sacrifice of his own forces. However, Asaga abruptly undoes the safety limiters on her Ryder and manages to somehow control the immense power output, firing a concentrated laser blast at Cullen's flagship that vaporizes it entirely, killing Cullen and leaving the PACT fleet leaderless and in disarray. With barely a third of the fleet remaining, Kayto finally gives the order to scatter as the invasion fleets are stymied by the loss of their command structure. Shortly afterword Admiral Grey's fleet arrives with two-hundred fresh ships, barraging the disorganized PACT forces and forcing them to retreat. The Battle of Far Port ultimately concludes in an Alliance victory.
After the battle, Ava meets with the rest of the Sunrider's crew in the hangar bay, remarking that its still too soon to celebrate as this was only the first battle in the war - though Ava herself is ultimately unable to keep from breaking into a full smile for perhaps the first time since before Cera's fall, for which she is quickly embarrassed at when Kayto points it out. She later lets it go and allows herself to briefly smile again as she takes note of Kayto's good mood as he looks at the celebrating Ryder pilots, with Kayto noting how hard it is to believe that the hanger had been empty when they first left Cera. Remarking that Kayto had predicted they would gather allies from across the galaxy, Ava wholeheartedly congratulates Kayto for all he's accomplished thus far - though she half-sarcastically remarks that she's still waiting for him to complete his daily paperwork.
Mask of Arcadius
Ava returns as a companion character in Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius, where her past with Kayto is more deeply explained upon and her fate has a potentially major branching choice near the end.
Shore Leave - The Last Sane Woman
Shortly after the Battle of Far Port, the Sunrider crew was allowed some R&R at the Lydia resort station, where every member was able to relax after the grueling first battle of the war in addition to the hardships they had faced beforehand - with the sole exception of Ava.
After a short time on shore leave, the workaholic Ava began to suffer a mental break from the lack of progress being made in their duties. Unable to cope with the lack of scheduled duties or command chain, she took to writing a personal log, denoting that it had been "months" since she was "marooned on this godforsaken place." She commented that the chain of command was "dissolving" with each day, and that some of the crew were supposedly talking about "building a settlement." She then takes it on herself to "preserve order" among the crew before they "mutiny" - at which point Asaga and Chigara happen upon Ava, who is sitting at the beach still clad in her full uniform while everyone else is in swimsuits. Ava expresses horror at Asaga's reminder that Kayto told them that there were no ranks while on vacation, while the other members of the crew mull around her in varying degrees of recreation, ranging from frivolous to insurmountable. Between Icari and Kryska comparing Ryder's and fighting proficiencies in a grapple-fight, Chigara and Claude comparing breast-sizes, and Asaga asking to confirm whether Ava dated Kayto in junior high-school, Ava finally snaps and begins screaming, running off the beach in a panic at the utter anarchy that is the Sunrider crew's shore leave.
Returning to the Sunrider, Ava protests Kayto's decision to grant the crew extended shore leave, arguing that the only reason the crew did as well as they have was through constant vigilance, and that they should not be spending so much time playing around after only winning the war's first battle. However, Kayto rebukes that Ava is perhaps the one person on the Sunrider who needs a break the most, as even she cannot remember the last time she ever did something she could consider fun. Kayto then orders the begrudging Ava to "Buy a swimsuit. Get some drinks. Make some mistakes" - an order that Ava reluctantly complies with, procuring a black monokini-type swimsuit with a gold fastener that connects the two halves at the stomach. She returns to the beach with Kayto, who brings the food for the grill - during which most of the crew almost fail to recognize Ava outside of her uniform, with Asaga amazedly noting that Ava is a "babe" when in a swimsuit - and Ava finally admits that, while she wants to run the ship as efficiently as possible, it also means accommodating the needs of the crew, shore leave being one of these things.
Following the Leader
Ava ultimately takes to pouring out drinks - "vanguard shots," as it were - and downing a few quietly. When approached by Kayto, Ava expresses that they ought to be fighting the war and stopping PACT, to which Kayto replies that a rejuvenated and optimistic crew would do more for the war effort then endless patrols would. Ava, impressed by the judgement and seeing its merits now, notes that Kayto has grown since his school days and become a leader, brushing off Kayto's retort that he'd learned from her. While her organizational skills had always ensured she got positions of authority, Ava remarks that she was never an actual leader and was unable to inspire people the way Kayto can, and the effective dissolution of the Student Council under her lead proved it in her mind as Kayto was the only one that stayed out of everyone else. However, she does acknowledge that Kayto stayed the entire time, but goes silent at this point. Changing the topic, she makes remarks about the string of failed romances that Kayto had in school, and about how he was always fawning over a blonde girl named Hana in their second year. When Kayto declines to comment about it after Ava asks what happened between the two after Ava had left, Ava jokes that Kayto is more flustered about his school crushes then he was fighting Cullen at Far Point, commenting that Kayto had always been found of "cute little things." She then excuses herself to use the bathroom while Kayto moves on to speak with the rest of the crew.
After she returns and begins cooking the food, Kayto rejoins her and comments on how he remembers similar outings with his family when he was younger, regretting having not taken them to the beach one last time before he left home. Ava warns him not to become too emotional, to which Kayto asks why Ava changed her mind about coming out to the beach, and, after initially blaming it on being because he ordered her, Ava ultimately admits that it isn't entirely bad to take an occasional break. She also admits that she doesn't have much, if any, experience with it aside from the school's summer vacations, as her family never did such things - something supported by how Kayto recalls Ava's attempts to do paperwork at the beach outing he organized, which she claims she has no recollection of. They then reminisce about some of their classmates - including one of Kayto's crushes, Kazumi - until the pair inadvertently get their eyes stung by the strong scent of the onions they are cooking, prompting Ava to leave in order to get something to counteract it. Later on, Ava stumbles onto Kayto sharing what seems to be an intimate moment with Sola, disbelieving at how even now it seems that Kayto cannot keep from being attached to multiple women.
At night, Ava's attempts to maintain order among the crew are once again stymied by the more rambunctious Ryder pilots - foremost among them being Claude, Asaga and Icari with their suggestion to play strip-poker. Ava beseeches Kayto to say something, but he leaves her to the chaos and retires to his room, nearly causing the commander to faint as Claude and Icari take her by the arms and sit her down with a glass of wine, determined to get her to enjoy herself openly for once - and perhaps amuse themselves by seeing how she is when intoxicated. Ava eventually decides she "must" stay and try to ensure the crew behaves themselves after getting herself hooked on the wine, resulting in her becoming rather drunk and going on an angry tangent about Kayto's many school crushes, having declared it her life's mission to turn Kayto into a respectable, mature man. Eventually, Kryska denotes that Ava has likely been drinking too much, to which the latter rather unconvincingly protests she isn't.
Afterwords, a drunken and mostly-unaware Ava is dragged outside by Icari, Claude and Asaga to try and see if Chigara can confess her feelings of affection to Kayto and offer silent moral support, and when Ava finally realizes what's happening, Claude distracts the already-impaired Ava with more wine. However, after Kayto reaffirms that Chigara is his emotional support along with everyone else and the latter denotes there really is nothing she can say that would make a difference, Ava succeeds in coercing everyone to bed.
The next morning, a hung-over Ava awakes with disorganized but clear-enough memories of her drunken actions the night before - and in the Novelization, promptly falls ill and vomits out most of the alcohol that her stomach refused to process, discovering some hangover medication left by Claude as an apology for getting her so drunk in the first place. Thoroughly embarrassed with herself in the aftermath of remembering how she'd behaved, Ava decides to make up for it by promptly ordering the rest of the crew up and active for departure back to the ship, proclaiming their shore leave officially over and that it's finally time to return to the war front. Taking the time to reaffirm her own dedication to being Kayto's second-in-command on the beach, she and the Captain return and resume their battle against PACT.
Return to the War Front
With the Alliance-PACT War in full swing, the Sunrider is now lined up for more missions then ever, with the primary one of importance being an attack at the PACT supply depots constructed at Versta in the wake of the planet's subjugation. Ava informs Kayto that the Alliance has learned a battleship squadron is there in the next few days for maintenance and resupply, and that using stolen copies of PACT's operation schedules, the Sunrider's mission is to quickly warp in, destroy the inactive ships and supply stations, and then warp out before PACT can call for reinforcements from Ryuvia Prime. The Sunrider is able to successfully drop in while the PACT battleships are disabled for maintenance, crippling their efforts in the system with a short but fierce blitz attack, sinking the battleships and destroying the resupply depots.
There are also reports of a lost Ryuvian artifact on the moon of Far Port, but that the Alliance lost the scout force that was sent to retrieve it, asking for help in discovering what happened as just about every ship that has ever gone there has been lost. Ava recommends caution when approaching the site, as anything that could destroy so many ships would undoubtedly be a threat. Upon heading there, the Sunrider crew discovers an automated Ryuvian fleet like what was encountered at the Mnemosyne Abyss - including a group of lethal automated Ryuvian assault Ryders that leagues above anything they have at present, leading to a grueling battle to defeat them. In the aftermath, Ava puts together a search party and scouts out the moon of Far port to discover what the units were guarding. Afterwards, she informs Kayto they have discovered a relic that Chigara and Sola identify as a "Wishwall" - a device that can warp the boundaries of time and space to splinter the Sunrider into "parallel realities," or in laymen's terms, can allow for one split-second change in the immediate fate of the person using it. As such, a powerful and reality-altering device such as this is undoubtedly valuable.
Finally, Sophia Brooks has requested their help in clearing out three new groups of pirates that have replaced Cosette's forces in the space above Tydaria ad the dominant force - many of them refugees and displaced populaces who have turned to crime to support themselves. The Sunrider is able to successfully break through the pirates and destroy their bases, but Ava discovers that many of the pirates are actually former Cera Space Force members who turned to piracy after the fall of Cera. She and Kayto ultimately decide their fates themselves rather then let the Alliance do so, as the people of Cera are their own people first and foremost (NOTE: While this mission is optional, yet likely played through by most players, the Novelization denotes that Kayto and Ava opted to ignore it so as to not have to spill more Ceren blood in conflict with the pirates, though Ava remarks she would have seen them spaced for becoming pirates in the first place).
At some point after briefing Kayto on these missions, Ava latter comes to deliver the Alliance requisition forms, during which Kayto notes with some surprise that Ava didn't remove the GameStar7 console that a "certain pilot" requested, to which Ava denotes that she is starting to become too lax in her duties and promptly strikes it from the manifest. Ava then brings up to Kayto that its election year in the Alliance, noting that she'd nearly forgotten about it herself and reveals that Admiral Grey is running for office in order to try and solidify the Alliance and continue pressing against PACT. Ava and Kayto then take a moment to debate on the merits of the Alliance being run by military instead of the civilian governments and what it would mean for worlds like Cera post-conflict, with Ava being a strong supporter of the stability and security that military doctrine could bring to a galaxy ravaged by the war, citing that sometimes stern and diligent officials are needed to keep peace in times of chaos and reform.
Rendezvous with the Admiral
Later on, the Sunrider is requested by Admiral Grey to meet him at the recently-liberated world of Ongess. Ava takes the time to update Kayto on the situation on the planet's valuable one-of-a-kind mineral called Ongessite - the reason the world was so heavily contested for during the five-day Battle of Ongess - and of success of the war front itself, with Kayto noting that they aren't very far from Cera now. After arriving in system, Ava is given the bridge while Kayto meets the Admiral himself. During Kayto's meeting, the docking station the Sunrider is moored to is suddenly bombarded by pirates under the command of Cossete Cosmos, forcing the Sunrider to pull out just as the station's ongessite containers rupture, effectively destroying the station. Grey then informs the bridge crew, Ava included, of the reason he has brought them to Ongess - he wishes them to deal with Cosette for good.
Ava later comes to Kayto's quarters to update him on their search for Cosette and to inform him of the updates to the security forces around the remaining five Alliance stations. Ava also notices that Kayto is concerned about more then just Cosette, to which Kayto remarks that the Alliance's space stations are precursors to orbital elevators - the Alliance is not liberating Ongess but are instead claiming it for themselves as a permanent foothold in the neutral rim, and he fears that Cera may be trading a PACT flag for an Alliance flag instead of regaining its independence. Ava however counters that nobody would simply leave a resource as valuable as Ongessite alone after putting out and losing so much just to win it away from PACT, and that it's supplies and guns that win wars, not political debates on what who's rights are. Ava also remarks that Cera has long-standing rights of independence, whereas Ongess is entirely lawless and has no justifiable rights to make such claims - though Kayto remains worried.
Shortly after this, Kayto is taken off the ship by Kryska to observe Ongess personally, leaving Ava in command of the Sunrider - however, Kayto and Kryska end up captured by Cosette, and Ava is left trying to control the several frantic members of the crew as they wish to mount a rescue mission, foremost among these being Icari after she breaks into the armory and begins loading up on weapons. The Alliance ultimately mounts its own rescue and recovers Kayto, albeit at the cost of many civilians that get caught in the crossfire between the soldiers and Cosette's pirates. Kayto is left discussing things with Admiral Grey in the aftermath, while Ava works on getting the ship back in order.
The Second Battle at Ongess
In the week following Kayto's rescue from Cosette, Ava tracks fifteen PACT scouting ships that warp in, hover out of range of combat, and then leave again - the likely precursor to a PACT invasion. Ava briefs Kayto on the commander of the fleet - Veniczar B. Fontana Arcadius' second-in-command and the effective top of the command chain for PACT's military, a young but strategically brilliant commander devoted to PACT's cause. Brushing off Kayto's accusation that she is "crushing" on Fontata, Ava also informs him of how Asaga had met him during her capture by PACT, and warns Kayto that they shouldn't underestimate him.
Later, their fears come to fruition as Cosette's pirates amass an immense fleet, which Ava speculates must have been pulled together from at least fifteen different crime rings, and notes that the PACT fleets must be working with them as the ships are coordinating with each-other. Fontana takes the time to contact Kayto and rather courteously announce himself and his intent to end the Alliance occupation of Ongess and capture Asaga, but Kayto promptly refuses. After the conversation ends, Ava breaks down the situation - the PACT and pirate fleets appear to be launching a pincer attack, intending to break through a single point in the stretched-out Alliance parimiter to detonate the Ongessite fuel stations and destroy the Alliance fleets docked there. Kayto resolves to hold the line with the Sunrider as vanguard and hold the enemy fleets back until the Alliance can reinforce them.
In the end, the Sunrider is able to decimate the incoming fleets as Alliance support comes in to mop up the remainders, but Fontana reveals that he has been holding back, unveiling the true core of his fleet - a new breed of ship similar in design to the Sunrider, and perhaps even based off it itself; the PACT assault carrier. Ava then realizes that the initial fleets were a trap - they meant to draw the fleets together so that the more versatile PACT assault carriers could ambush and cripple the defensive fleets. Facing the PACT fleet and it's newest Ryder types - the Support and Elite - the Sunrider crew fights a significantly tougher battle, but they ultimately triumph against the ships in their area. However, Fontana reveals a horrifying truth - the entire battle was a massive ruse, meant to distract the Alliance so that Cosette could get her own Ryder squadrons together from inside the Ongess colonies without anyone noticing.
Locked in battle with Fontana's fleets, the Sunrider is unable to intercept as Cosette's forces begin attacking the Alliance docks and inflicting massive casualties, and Fontana begins demanding surrender from the Sunrider - however, both Fontana and Cosette are stopped cold in their tracks by Admiral Grey, who throws Fontana's own plans back in his face by threatening to bomb Ongess with nukes and detonate the entire planet's supply of Ongessite, which would effectively destroy everyone and everything in range of it. Shocked by the demand, Fontana realizes he doesn't trust Grey's character enough to call the bluff, and reluctantly forces Cosette to pull back as well, leaving the Sunrider crew exhausted in the wake of a non-victory as Ava declares that the plan has worked. Kayto then directs her to help with repair and salvage, with Ava reporting that a hundred and twenty ships - nearly 30% of the Alliance fleet - were lost and that the docking stations were severely damaged, although Grey notes that it could have been far worse.
The War Goes Ever On
In the aftermath, Ava informs Kayto of the media response across the galaxy regarding the events at the Second Battle of Ongess and for Admiral Grey's standings among the Alliance in the wake of the attack. Ava defends Grey's actions at Ongess, citing that threats and the ability to carry them out have always been part of diplomacy and even more-so in war, and that in war the lines between right and wrong are overruled by necessity. She also advocates that the Alliance wasn't the one that started the war - PACT were the aggressors, and at the very least actions like Grey actually prevent more bloodshed by forcing the enemy into compliance without having to actually go through with it. She will also defend the idea that civilian deaths are expected in war as there will always be those unlucky enough to escape the crossfire between warring factions, and that sad as it is, it often cannot be helped.
The following day, Ava updates Kayto on their search for Cosette in the wake of her flight from Ongess, as well as informing him that Sophita has contacted them with a new job request - an escort mission to get a freighter past a PACT blockade. Kayto also starts drawing up plans to hunt down Arcaidus' flagship, the Legion. However, their plans hit a snag during the escort mission for the Mining Union, as a blockade fleet, a battlecruiser squadron and even a vanguard of assault carriers sets upon the Sunrider, all for a single transport. After managing to, with much difficulty, scrape through the blockade and escape to warp, Ava all but demands that they simply stop taking escort missions, thoroughly frustrated and incensed with how they had just risked their lives for cargo they aren't even being told the contents of.
Afterwords, Ava comes to inform Kayto of the Alliance's progress in the war, and that they have begun pushing heavily against PACT's forces, leading to Arcadius working to consolidate forces at Cera for a final stand at the gates of PACT's core worlds - in other words, Cera will be the definitive battle of the war. After that, PACT will be open to invasion and will either have to surrender or be obliterated. However, Ava voices doubt that the Alliance would go as far as to conquer every world PACT owns, conquered or otherwise. Ava remarks that they are finally close to reclaiming their homeworld, to which Kayto notes that he'd wanted to celebrate his sister's birthday on Cera, but that it doesn't look like they will make it. Ava, in a rare gesture of open concern and sympathy, comforts Kayto and suggests that it might be time to try and let go of the past, as it cannot be changed. Kayto however refuses the suggestion, citing that he can't do so yet - not so long as PACT remains in control of Cera. Ava, letting her mask of professionalism return to normal, respectfully leaves Kayto to his thoughts as she returns to the bridge.
Hunting the Crimson Fleet
Some time later, the Sunrider gets a priority message from the Alliance that Ava delivers to Kayto - they have finally located the Legion, holding position in the remote Helion system, far removed from the theater of war. The Alliance has begun massing fleets together to deal with it, and the Sunrider is one of the ships that they want at that battle - if the Legion is at such a remote location, there must surely be a reason for it. After arriving at Helion, the Sunrider powers down all systems and engages in stealth operations, nearing the Legion's coordinates. After conducting long-range scans, Ava discovers a massive unknown space-station superstructure in orbit over Helion's star that is surrounded by a massive combined PACT-pirate fleet, including the Legion. Kayto orders them to use the star's radiation to mask their approach as they close in on the structure for a closer look.
After getting close enough to properly identify it, Ava discovers it is actually a design in their own databases - from Diode, the world Chigara was a refugee from in the wake of its destruction when an experiment to create a controlled black hole backfired and destroyed the entire planet. Chigara confirms Ava's fears - the structure is indeed a replica of the Paradox Core project built at Diode, only immensely upscaled so as to be able to extinguish an entire star rather then just a planet. Ava realizes that PACT has turned Diode populace's project into a weapon of mass destruction, capable of wiping out not just fleets but entire star systems - not only will every victory they ever won be worthless, but Kayto also realizes that PACT would change the face of war itself as they wouldn't even need fleets to obliterate their enemies. Ava muses on how PACT could have possibly gained the knowledge to build it, but Chigara is unable to answer the question since everyone that knew how to build it had died in the Diode Catastrophe. On Kayto's orders, Ava works with Chigara to draw up battle plans for dealing with the Core before it can be completed, since the Legion's presence in the system means it's still unfinished.
Shortly after they start drawing up their battle plans, Ava detects PACT and pirate ships on an intercept course with their position, and despite Kayto's attempts to maintain stealth, it becomes patently obvious that the PACT forces know exactly where they are. After being hailed by Cosette as the enemy fleet approaches, the Sunrider makes for the exit to the system with the PACT and pirate forces in hot pursuit as they spend the next fifteen minutes fighting off the enemy as they calculate for the warp-out. In the Novel, this entails taking the ship dangerously close to Helion's corona, exposing the vessel to high amounts of radiation and ion energy. Kayto orders they perform a dangerously fast emergency slew to turn the ship around, resulting in a small hull-breach before the Sunrider is reversed, but the most insane strategic suggestion surprisingly does not come from Kayto - rather, it comes from Asaga, who suggests mooring the Ryders to the Sunrider's dorsal armor to add to the ship's flak guns, as a large amount of missiles may get through even with the help of Helion's corona, a single missile potentially being disastrous if it hits at the wrong time.
Ava is left dumbstruck at the recklessness of the decision, but is left even more-so when Kayto approves the order and allows the Ryders to sortie out to the ship's surface. However, against all odds, all six pilots manage to complete their deployment, exiting the ship from the rear hanger what Kayto regards as an "emergency reverse-landing". However, while Asaga's plan works well at first in shooting down the enemy missiles, a squad of PACT Elites manages to quickly replicate Asaga's idea of using the Sunrider as a shield against Helion's radiation, following in the vessel's wake as it traverses the corona and entering a small pocket of safe space behind the Sunrider, attempting to snipe out the ship's engines and force the crew to abandon ship where they will be swiftly captured by PACT en-masse. It is only due to Sola brazenly risking her life to stop the elites by detaching from the Sunrider that the ship is kept safe, the Ryuvian Princess enduring immense physical strain on both her body and Ryder in doing so as she uses her "Awakening" to keep pace with the chaotic turbulence of her battle situations, eventually falling unconscious from the effort.
However, even as they succeed in bypassing the PACT and pirate fleets, the Legion comes bearing down hard on the Sunrider, firing its main cannon and severely damaging the vessel, temporarily knocking out the warp capabilities. A second shot badly damages many of the internal systems and hull, with an explosion badly injuring Kayto - revealed in the Novel as having been a metal beam lancing through his right leg and puncturing his femoral artery, shortly before an exploding console knocks his head against his seat hard enough to render him unconscious with a concussion. Ava also sustains a light injury as her arm is dislocated amid the severe damage. But before the final shot can be delivered, engineering - under Chigara's direction in the Novel - is able to get the Sunrider's warp core back online, jumping out right before the ship can be destroyed by the Legion.
Kayto is among many crew members severely injured, but he is ultimately saved by Claude in the Sunrider's medical bay, awaking to find Ava there along with Icari and Chigara. As the first thing Kayto does is ask about Ava's condition, she walks up and informs him that they managed to get warp capabilities back online at the last moment, reporting that twenty-three other crew-members were injured and six killed. She delivers a full damage report to Kayto after he has been released from the medical bay and allowed back into his office, where Kayto orders the crew to work overtime on getting the ship repaired, informing a disbelieving Ava that he intends to take the Sunrider back into battle and sink the Legion once and for all. Ava attempts to protest, but Kayto cuts her off and directly orders her to ready the ship, refusing to budge on his intent to destroy the Legion and descending into a rage as he lists off all the Legion has taken from both of them - their homeworld, the majority of their people and everything they'd ever known.
Ava, finally cracking, shouts Kayto's name in order to snap him back to reality, only for Kayto to then fall to the opposite extreme and become remorseful and brooding, denoting that the Legion hasn't actually taken everything as he still has Ava, questioning her on this to confirm it. Kayto recalls the reason he'd never left the Student Council was because he'd always cared for Ava, which Ava confesses she knew about the whole time, though her face doesn't betray any emotion, and she attempts to stop him from going further, telling him that they have a duty to the ship and that now isn't the time for this. But Kayto presses on anyway and confesses that he still loves Ava and always did, causing her to finally lose her composure and choke back on tears. However, she forces herself to calm down and, after a moment of hesitation, tells Kayto she can't reciprocate his feelings. Kayto, almost desperate, asks about the promise he'd made her, but Ava, unwilling to allow Kayto to compromise her emotional state further then he already has, tells him she doesn't remember him ever making it. Despondent for a brief second, Kayto finally gives a grim acknowledgement of Ava's choice to keep things professional so as not to cloud their judgement in the coming battles, restating his orders to sink the Legion to her. Ava briefly tries to protest, but after seeing the state Kayto has been left in by this, she withdraws the complaint and complies with his request, leaving him alone.
In the Novelization, there is an extra scene in which Ava is shown sick in the washroom of her quarters, dry-heaving as she tries to get her emotions back under control now that she can no longer hold them down, bitterly asking herself why Kayto had chosen now of all times to try and rekindle a romantic attachment. Remembering her father's harsh teachings about how one life never outweighs a trillion, Ava forcibly tries to convince herself that she did the right thing in turning down Kayto's advances, reminding herself that the Captain of all people cannot afford to become emotionally compromised when so much rides on their shoulders. Resolving that her single life is inconsequential in the overall goal of liberating Cera, Ava steels herself so as to not put personal desires over the mission and to ensure Kayto does the same, regardless of what she is losing because of it.
The Battle of Helion
After repairs to the Sunrider are complete, Ava greets Kayto on the bridge, reporting that the Alliance fleet has arrived as well. Ava then informs Kayto that Chigara, after examining all of the combat data they have gathered thus far, may have found a fatal weakness in the Legion - the entrance to its main cannon. As the cannon's interior lacks the same armor as the rest of the vessel, a well-placed shot from the Sunrider's Vanguard Cannon down the main firing shaft could puncture the interior decks all the way through to the Legion's core, and the ship's heavy armor will actually work against it as the explosion will be trapped within the vessel's hull, the chain reaction from it's ruptured reactor coring the entirety of its insides and imploding it from the inside-out. Kayto, dryly commenting on how befittingly-insane the move of going directly in front of it's primary weapon to fire straight at it is, approves the mission plan in short order.
After addressing the crew of the Sunrider and having their faith in him reaffirmed, determined and ready for the final battle, Kayto directs the fleet to warp in and advance on the Legion, taking the Sunrider into a battle unlike even what was seen at Far Port as dozens of Alliance and PACT vessels clash against each-other in a torrent of hellfire and death. In the Novel, the Sunrider begins engaging one of the Legion's Assault Carrier vanguard units, their missiles shot down by the PACT vessels flak guns - only to be saved as one of the dying Alliance Battleships, the Fairlight, takes the hit for them and drags the PACT ship down with it as the Sunrider gets it's shot, coring the Assault Carrier in retaliation for the sacrifice made by the Alliance units.
After one of the most intensive battles of the Sunrider's career, the ship finally manages to break through the Legion's escorts and weaken the external defenses of the vessel enough to start closing in, but the dreadnought itself continues to hammer the Alliance fleet and cripple their advance. The Sunrider itself continues to move in on the Legion, shrugging off increasingly-severe barrages from the monstrous vessel and taking more and more intense damage, the ship's CIC consoles rupturing and overloading one by one and injuring many of the bridge crew, but the ship is finally able to close in enough to fire a Vanguard at the Legion's main firing shaft.
However, the intense damage from the Legion renders the Vanguard Cannon inoperable, and Kayto is forced to try and order a break-off and tells Ava to have Machivelli Actual to take the shot instead, but Ava tells him the Machivellis aren't agile enough to even approach the ship - only the Sunrider can take the shot. Meanwhile, the Legion powers its main cannon, tearing into the Alliance fleet once more. Ava, realizing that the Legion will slaughter the fleet and everyone in it and that nobody aboard the ship can repair the Sunrider in time, opts to volunteer herself to go down to the damaged C Section of the ship through the CIC access corridor, intending to use the manual override to fire the Vanguard Cannon herself.
NOTE: (based on what choice Kayto makes, there are two different major outcomes to this)
To Protect and Serve I - Preservation
NOTE: (These events detail the result of Kayto intervening in Ava's choice)
Kayto, stricken at the idea of losing his last living family from his past, disbelievingly questions Ava's sanity in her decision to go to the crippled lower deck to try and override the Vanguards, to which Ava throws Kayto's own words back in his face - they won't get another chance to take down the Legion. Kayto however states that its not worth it anymore, infuriating Ava as she replies they have come too far to back down now, reminding Kayto that the Legion destroyed their homes and likely killed Kayto's sister when it destroyed Cera City.
Kayto however cites that Ava is all he has left of Cera, and Ava, panicking as she realizes that Kayto is still incapable of letting her go even after her prior rejection of him, desperately argues that the entire Alliance fleet and all aboard will die if they do not destroy the ship. Kayto, defiant till the end, retorts that it doesn't matter to him - the Alliance, the galaxy and all of humanity can burn to ashes for all he cares as he simply cannot allow Ava to throw her life away, and he fully acknowledges that he is indeed emotionally compromised in his choices and doesn't care about it either.
Tearing up and giving a sad, almost mournful smile at how he has remained unchanged from his school days, Ava calls Kayto an idiot but ultimately follows his orders, taking her seat and bypassing the Legion for the Paradox Core as the dreadnought continues to besiege the Alliance ships. She then proceeds to direct the Sunrider under Kayto's command as they engage Veniczar Arcadius - or rather, the many individuals who seem to make up a joint collective consciousness that calls itself Arcadius - and their personal vanguard.
To Protect and Serve II - Sacrifice
NOTE: (These events detail the result of Kayto allowing Ava to override the Vanguards)
Realizing that he truly cannot allow the Legion to escape again, and that Ava would never be able to live with herself if she felt he put her over so many other lives, Kayto finally, if not bitterly, lets go of Ava - the last tie to his past - and allows her to head to C Section, ordering her to get the Vanguard cannons back online.
Ava manages to reach the C deck through the CIC emergency access corridor, but the ship takes more and more damage as the Legion blows gaping holes in the vessel, causing internal overloads to the vessel's systems that ruptures the floor panels under Ava, flinging her into a wall and gashing a wound into her forehead, if not causing a small rupture in her eye. Ava reports that she's alright in spite of it, and forces herself up to reach the the override lever, ignoring the blood running down her face as she tries to engage the Vanguards. Further shots from the Legion cause even more damage to the Sunrider, and the mounting explosions cause numerous wounds to Ava as shards of broken glass and shattered steel pelt her and leave multiple small injuries across her body, but she finally reaches the override station. She grips the lever in spite of it being super-heated by the blasts, the boiling-hot steel fusing the flesh of her palms to it as she tries to pull it to the active position.
However, the nearby console then explodes violently, tearing off Ava's right arm and literally splattering parts of her flesh across the room, leaving her a bloody mess heaving on the floor. Eyes watering from the pain and coughing up blood from internal injuries, Ava, not even aware of if she is even still alive anymore, spurns her wounded body to grab the lever with her remaining hand, using the last of her strength to finally force it down and fire the Vanguard cannon down the Legion's central firing shaft. The shot succeeds in coring the Legion's interior and sending the dreadnought's husk plummeting into Helion's surface, destroying the PACT flagship at long last and finally avenging the fall of Cera. However, she no longer responds to Kayto's increasingly frantic calls on the Comm, having fallen unconscious from the trauma of her gruesome injuries coupled with severe blood-loss.
Ava is confirmed to return as a companion character in Sunrider: Liberation Day as Kayto's ever-present second-in command.
If Kayto decided to destroy the Legion, Ava is seen recuperating in sick bay from her burns and injuries with a regenerated arm and bandages over the area of her now-missing right eye, with Kayto commenting that the ship's medics were barely able to get her back to the medical bay in time to save her. After regaining consciousness, Ava asks how the battle turned out, with Kayto informing her that they succeeded in destroying the Legion thanks to her and that she effectively saved the Combined Fleet, as well as informing her that she has Claude to thank for having repaired much of her physical damage - and tripping over himself when he inadvertently addresses her as having "good looks", though Ava allows him the moment. Kayto also informs her that, while they managed to regenerate her arm, her new limb's coloration will need time to blend into her natural one, and that her eye - a more complicated organ to regenerate - was beyond saving or replacing but he fortunately managed to obtain permission to have a bionic eye delivered to them, courtesy of the Alliance and Admiral Grey. Kayto then remarks that, if ships have spirits, he fervently hopes the Legion's ghost will forever burn in Helion's core and that no other ships like it will ever be seen again, stating that nearly losing Ava to it like he lost everything else is something he never wishes to see happen again.
Finally relaxing into her bed as the tension bleeds away, Ava's mask slips and she shares a tender moment with Kayto, stating that perhaps the two of them can finally move on now - revealing that Ava had been repressing the sorrows of Cera's fall much like Kayto initially had - and that, when they retake Cera, she would like to bury their friends and family, or at least hold a funeral for them, on the mountain she and Kayto used to play at when they were kids. Kayto, smiling, promises that they will do so together, prompting Ava to let herself fall asleep after telling Kayto he will have to manage his paperwork without her for a while, which Kayto, stroking Ava's head as she closes her eyes, tells her he will manage. For the first scenes following this, Ava is seen with a black glove covering her right hand until the skin on her new arm has blended to match her old one, as well as an eyepatch to cover up her missing right eye until her replacement bionic eye is delivered and implanted.
If Kayto refused to engage the Legion, Ava remains uninjured but is overall much more irritable with Kayto as she believes he has compromised the safety of everyone by allowing the PACT dreadnought to escape, and she berates him after the battle for squandering the opportunity as the Legion will now be retrofitted to fix it's design flaw as Fontana and PACT have caught on to how the Sunrider planned to destroy it. She then chastises him for inappropriately proclaiming his feelings for her on the bridge in front of the C.I.C. crew — complete with an official sexual harassment complaint, although Kayto points out that the Cera Space Force command is no longer around to process it.
(WARNING: The events listed here are taken from the Liberation Day BETA, and are thus subject to change during production until the final product is released. Canonicity is not guaranteed as this may be only one of several paths the game may take - as of now, this is the only one known.)
In the Sunrider: Liberation Day Beta, Ava continues to fulfill her duties as the ship's commander and also carries out an interrogation of the captured Prototype from the Second Battle of Helion, nicknamed "Lynn" after Chigara's middle due to technically being Chigara's "family." Ava, in the process of interrogating Lynn and bringing up that the Prototypes are finished now that they are exposed, finds disturbing truths to the idea that Chigara has been the Prototypes' informant on the Sunrider's actions during the war and quickly pieces together that Lynn's words are far too on the nose for comfort as it all adds up.
Confronting Kayto on this matter, Ava brings up Cullen having known exactly where to find them after finding the Talbur, Arcadius having had the foresight to disguise his presence at Ryuvia with a holographic double - clone body or not, being shot and confirmed dead only to suddenly reappear the next day would have drawn attention to the idea of multiple Arcadius' that the Prototypes obviously did not want noticed, lest it expose them to the galaxy - and finally, the Sunrider being detected at Helion in spite of silent running. Kayto however refuses to believe that Chigara would compromise the Sunrider, which in turn causes Ava to accuse Kayto of having developed feelings - platonic or otherwise - for Chigara and becoming emotionally compromised, which in turn angers Kayto as he coldly denotes that he expected better of Ava and remarks she was correct before about how she is nothing more then his subordinate, nor will she be more then that.
Ava storms out of the office as a result, incensed at Kayto's unwillingness to even try and see her side, concerned that he is endangering the ship because of his inability to face facts and furious that he would dredge up what was or had been between them as ammunition against her in their disagreement - an action that might breed doubt as to whether Kayto's denial is partly fueled by spite for her rejection of his confession to her from before the Second Battle of Helion. Unsure how much of Kayto's response is denial that Chigara is a danger and how much of it is anger directed at her personally, Ava is left stewing on the ship's bridge until learning of an oncoming ion storm - which ends up holding a PACT ambush fleet as they use the storm itself to close the distance and attack the Sunrider while it is still under repairs.
Kayto ends up placing full faith in Chigara to recalibrate the Sunrider's systems to function in the ion storm, much to Ava's chagrin, although she is surprised when Chigara manages to save the ship by doing so, making her wonder if perhaps she was indeed too quick to doubt Chigara. Though for the sake of being through, she has Claude perform an examination of Chigara's neural patterns to determine if her intelligence was natural or engineered by the Prototypes, with Claude affirming it to be the former. However, while relieved for the immediate time being, Ava is still left feeling a nagging sense of uncertainty as she believes the coincidences still are too perfect between the Sunrider being tracked in spite of circumstances that should have made this impossible, and Arcadius being aware of plans Chigara had an instrumental part in working on, as well as the fact that that the Prototype Lynn had been far too straightforward and blunt in her words to have been lying.
Personality & Traits
After witnessing the Invasion of Cera and the destruction of Cera's capital and her home at the hands of PACT, Ava would work since that moment with the captain against PACT at any opportunity. She recommends attacks that strike directly at PACT's holdings and thinks in the long-term, believing in the ideal that ending a war quickly and concisely will save more lives in the long run then it will expending efforts to help small-scale operations.
Being a mature and rational woman with cold and logical mind, Ava is very competent at administrating the day to day operations of the ship, allowing the Captain to focus on battlefield tactics and major decisions. Ava's mentality as a commander is very strict and by-the-book, which often leaves her frustrated by Kayto's unconventional way of doing things. However, despite her rigorous discipline and diligence, she struggles to inspire loyalty in her subordinates the way the captain does. With her strict no-nonsense attitude, she is often at odds with many of the more eccentric members of the Sunrider's crew.
Ava's views on war and politics are generally based on logic and practicality. While not heartless, Ava believes that one must put the goal and the mission first and foremost in order to save the maximum number of lives possible. While she can mourn those who were lost, she will let their fates be motivation as to why the war must be ended as fast as it can by neutralizing the enemy as quickly as possible. However, even though she is willing to accept these sorts of things as necessary evils of war, Ava is not capable of entirely shutting off her emotions, and she will at least once let her mask slip and ask Kayto if they are really doing the right things, depending on what choices Kayto has made during the war.
Ava was already an obvious "workoholic" even in school, studiously devoting herself to her studies and always trying to come as close to perfection in both her grades and her responsibilities as humanly possible. This has not only carried over into her adult life but actually multiplied in potency - Ava is nearly always working at some task or another, and often can be seen drinking a cup of coffee to keep herself running on the longer days. Ava's sole purpose seems to be the liberation of Cera and the defeat of PACT, which motivates her to almost obsessively devote herself to her work, and as such she never takes time off of work if she can help it. This may come from both a belief that accomplishing her work helps better others and keep things running smoothly, and also from a likely sense of obligation or duty not just to her fellows, but to the many lives that PACT have ended and the many more she believes will be lost before the war is over. It also means that she doesn't really know how to handle herself when not actively doing something work-related, and thus that she effectively cannot function outside of her job - as shown during the Sunrider crew's R&R at Lydia station, when she suffered a breakdown and began screaming as the ship's Ryder pilots goofed off around her in varying displays of playful jeering and general frivolity. This seriousness also makes her rather slow to trust relative newcomers, shown in how she has displayed varying degrees of distrust and suspicion for each of the Sunrider's Ryder pilots during their respective recruitments, and she always prepares herself for the worst, accrediting it as simply being "Woman's intuition."
However, in spite of her general inability to cope with non-work situations, Ava is indeed capable of letting her hair down, though usually in private with Shields. She shows a fondness for her memories of her time at school, even if she felt the end result was unsatisfying, and she has subdued but genuine moments of sympathy and happiness as she remembers life on Cera prior to her graduation. After Kayto Shields ordered her to take time off at Lydia, she was able generally get along with the crew easily during their time on the beach. It also is possible that she bottles a lot of her more petty grievances up as, after being enticed into drinking by Icari, she proceeded to become heavily intoxicated and ranted on at length about her frustrations with Kayto's lovelife in school, as he was always falling for some other girl at one point or another. She is capable of taking and even making jokes with Kayto, although she is still rather subdued compared to typical people.
Ava in the past was often too busy to concern herself with things like love, and had a very materialistic view of the concept, depersonalizing it down to being a matter of chemical reactions stimulating a specific response, seems to have a concern with forming overt attachment to people. In school, she grew close to Kayto and eventually admitted it by kissing him, but since graduating and enlisting with the Cera Space Force, she seems to have detached herself from those memories. As an adult, Ava is very impersonal, and while many on the Sunrider are close enough to her to be called friends, she seems to work hard at keeping them from becoming any closer then that. In fact, one could theorize that Ava is actually afraid of emotional attachment, either by herself or by others for her well-being, with there being a number of potential reasons - inconveniencing her work, clouding judgement and preventing one from acting impartial, and perhaps even the fear that, after having lost so much with the fall of Cera, she could not bear the thought of losing anything else she would place value on, especially not someone who could die any day in a war, as it would be unfair to both herself and Kayto.
Underneath her stern demeanor, conversations with Ava and her times with Kayto in school hint at the fact that Ava may have a slightly nihilistic side to her personality, as one of her biggest concerns in school was that she was simply another Student President and that her actions would fade from memory after she left. She also denoted in her school days that single humans among the many trillions of humans in the galaxy are inconsequential alone when compared to the whole of the species. This implies that she does not attach much value to her own life as she may see her own actions as insignificant, just as she feels that any one person is insignificant to all the humans out there and all the humans that there have ever been in history. Then again, it could also breed the fear that she will die for nothing - that her life will begin and end without making any sort of impact on the good of the whole, motivating her to gladly risk and even sacrifice her life if it is for a greater good. Following the fall of Cera, she brushes off any attempts to inquiring as to her state of well-being in the wake of the attack, citing they had more immediate problems and placing her own well-being as secondary. During the Second Battle of Helion, Ava had no qualms about potentially sacrificing her own life to destroy the Legion - she vehemently, if not desperately protested any action to break off the attack simply to preserve her one life if the argument was made, and when ordered to carry out her actions she proceeded to do so without any protestations for her own well-being.
Out of everyone on the Sunrider, the Captain is undoubtedly the one she has the deepest and most complicated relationship to. Kayto is one of Ava's oldest remaining friends and, in the wake of Cera City's destruction, quite possibly the only person from her past life that still lives. She and Kayto were the respective President and Vice President of the Student Council in school, during which they grew very close. On the last day of Ava's final year at school, she and Kayto shared a very brief romance as they had their first kiss with each-other, with Kayto later staying over at Ava's apartment and sleeping with her directly before she left. In fact, Kayto only enlisted in the Space Force in order to eventually be with Ava, promising her he'd find her one day and that they would serve on the same ship together as Captain and First Officer - a prediction that ended up coming true, but ironically reversed as Kayto ended up becoming the Captain instead of Ava. However, their relationship never progressed after the day Ava left, as Ava never returned Kayto's messages after she left for the Cera Space Force, burying herself in her work and moving on with her life as she assumedly did not want Kayto to waste his life on a promise that may never be fulfilled.
Ava respects Kayto immensely as both a person and a commander, denoting that Kayto's unorthodox methods are often more effective then traditional tactical methods and that Kayto's flexibility and resourcefulness makes him a better Captain then Ava herself could have been. However, she is also at times frustrated by his antics and occasionally lax regard for security protocols - most commonly seen by the many unconventional recruits Kayto has accepted to fill out the Sunrider's Ryder roster. Kayto is perhaps the only person Ava will be even remotely unguarded with, arguably trusting him more then anyone else on the ship and showing her softer side to him in how she can be at least mildly sardonic around him. She also, in spite of her apparent desire to leave her old romantic feelings in the past, still cares about Kayto deeply, as she was easily irritated by the memory of Kayto's many escapades in dating. In the Novel, it is further revealed that, even though she never replied to them and only listened to around half of them, Ava had kept every message that Kayto sent her during their years apart from each-other and, when looking at them, even starts questioning herself as to why she kept them if she really had let go of Kayto like she claimed she had.
However, in spite of clearly still harboring some feelings of attachment for him, Ava has no desire to rekindle any romantic spark between her and Kayto, citing duty and obligation to their people as taking precedence above such things - but perhaps more then that, it speaks of a possibility that Ava simply doesn't want Kayto to get close to her out of fear of loss and sorrow, as one or both of them could die during the war, and thus it would be unfair to emotionally impair either one of their respective sense of judgement or become more attached then necessary to someone who could be killed any time they go to battle. When Kayto confessed that he still loved Ava in the wake of their escape from Helion, Ava briefly teared up before replying after a moment that she couldn't return his feelings, even going so far as to say she didn't remember the promise Kayto made to be with her in space at the end of school. All in all, it is obvious that Ava still cares for Kayto, but she is unwilling to let romantic attachments endanger their abilities to perform, or obstruct their goal of liberating Cera from PACT, feeling that he should not waste time on her when it would be better spent defeating PACT. She is unwilling to compromise her duties or Kayto's, be it for his feelings or her own, resolved to keep the two of them focused on the only goal she feels matters - stopping PACT and saving Cera - even if it means turning aside the one person she may have ever truly loved or perhaps even her own present feelings to him, whatever they may be at this point.
Ava is often easily frustrated by Asaga's antics aboard the Sunrider, blaming her as a source of general inefficiency and cracking down on her when the latter tries to do things such as play video games on the internal network or gambling on card games. She had been openly disbelieving of Asaga's behavior, not quite able to believe that anyone sane could talk like Asaga - in fact, in the Sunrider novelization, Asaga's holovid-style hero-type personality actually left Ava convinced she was hallucinating from drinking too much coffee, pinching herself to be sure she wasn't going crazy. She initially remarks that Asaga is a thrill-seeker and not someone she wishes to bet their lives on, and disagrees with Asaga's optimism of trying to save all innocents, feeling the girl has a nieve view of war. However, over time, Ava comes to respect Asaga's skills as a pilot, and as Asaga grows as both a pilot and a person, Ava seems to become more tolerant of the self-proclaimed "hero of justice." She did not comment on discovering Asaga's true identity as the princess of Ryuvia, Asaga di Ryuvia, but given her mindset, it is likely that Ava's opinions are the same as Sola's - that Asaga is a long way from being a queen.
Ava was naturally skeptical of the generosity of anyone owning a bakery & starship port hybrid shop, and was generally as unsure initially as she was of Asaga. However, Chigara's brilliance with technology has earned Ava's firm respect as a member of the crew, although she still personally feels that the engineer needs to buckle down a bit more. It is also possible that she may have issue with some of Chigara's non-regulation or unauthorized continual modifications to the ship, as Kayto had warned Chigara that Ava may not approve of the concealed cameras the engineer had placed around the engineering section.
There was every reason to distrust the mercenary Icari when she was first brought aboard, as Ava had found more then enough professional assassination tools on her to deem her a threat to minor governments. Ava has not shown much of a fondness for Icari's laid-back attitude toward rules and regulations, but at the same time she seems to respect Icari's more pragmatic side, agreeing with the logic of how the greater good outweighs tends to outweigh immediate moral concerns. Like most of the unconventional recruits brought aboard the Sunrider, Icari has over time earned Ava's respect with her expertise at slicing, computer programming and security countermeasures.
Ava had a very underwhelming impression of Claude during their first meeting, and it has not improved by much since then. Claude is messy, irresponsible, lazy with her paperwork or duties in general and prone to leaving things in both her quarters and the bath areas in states of general disorganization. Ava was disgruntled at how easily Kayto let Claude aboard the ship - as the chief medical officer no less - right out of the gate, and her frustrations from Claude's rather promiscuous antics toward Kayto have done nothing to assuage her grievances. She holds little tolerance for Claude's antics and even less for the acting doctor's desire to play matchmaker among members of the crew seemingly for her own amusement. Out of all the crew-members, Claude is perhaps the only one to have not earned much respect from Ava since joining the Sunrider - although this may have possibly changed in the wake of Claude saving Kayto's life in surgery, after Kayto was injured during the Sunrider's escape from the Legion at Helion.
There has been relatively little interaction between Ava and the Alliance's liaison officer, but by all indications, their mindsets suggest that they would get along well. Both have very similar personalities and attitudes to their work, placing military logic and situational necessity for the long-term goal over immediate moral concerns. Both are willing to ascribe to war-time logic, and both, while saddened by loss, accept that sometimes grim things must be done in times of conflict. Both are dedicated to victory over PACT and reclaiming the worlds taken by them, and both place an emphasis on military doctrine in their lives. However, Kryska is still more capable of being open then Ava is, and can relax more easily then the Commander, as shown by her half-friendly rivalry with Icari. At the very least, Kryska was able to relax and enjoy the crew's R&R on Lydia station, whereas Ava all but broke down from an inability to cope with the lack of work. Kryska is also more tomboyish then Ava, as she is not afraid to get into things like friendly sparring matches. While they do not interact enough to be sure, it is likely that, like most of the other Ryder pilots, Kryska's skills and her dedication to her job and fellows has earned Ava's respect and mitigated the distrust and suspicion the Commander felt at bringing an Alliance Black-Ops aboard the ship.
Sola's quiet nature and Ava's general lack of fraternization among the crew has left little time for the pair to interact, but this also means that Sola perhaps comes into the least amount of conflict with Ava. Both are generally stoic, serious and do not waste time mincing words. However, it is likely that, like Kryska, these things and their general lack of conflict make Sola one of the more easily respectable people to Ava, and it is probable that Ava can respect Sola's act of sacrifice in her own time two-thousand years prior for the sake of the whole. Sola does nothing to really interfere with Ava's workload, nor has she done anything to warrant overt observation. In short, they don't bother each-other, and are perfectly content keeping things that way.
Ava holds some degree of respect for the aged Admiral of the Solar Alliance's military fleets. She seems to agree with his focused, directed and no-nonsense approach to dealing with PACT, and believes that the Alliance may need someone such as him leading them if they want to not only defeat PACT but have a stable grip on buckling down the Alliance afterwords. She even agrees with the notion of covering up the accidental deaths caused at Ongress by the Alliance during Kayto's resuce, for the sake of preserving the Alliance's morale and stability so as not to splinter trust and group focus when it is most needed against PACT.
Ava has shown little open acknowledgment of personal feelings regarding Cosette aside from a single brief sentence - that, in her opinion, Cosette is nothing short of a madwoman. It is likely she considers Cosette a dangerous enemy and PACT sympathizer who should be handled with the utmost caution - Ava quickly recognizes that provoking Cosette's temper is not necessarily the smartest of moves when dealing with her.
It goes without saying that Ava has every possible reason to hate Arcadius. After conquering Cera, nuking her home city from orbit, destroying their navy and causing unchecked slaughter across the neutral rim, Ava has practically made it her mission in life to end Arcadius' reign and defeat PACT once and for all. In the Novel, she further regards Arcadius as having gone well past any attempt to justify his actions as being pragmatic, finding him callous to the point of wastefulness in how he could casually sacrifice his forces at Far Port just to strike the Alliance forces when he could have avoided the act altogether by being more strategic about it.
Ava has voiced little regarding the young man near the head of the PACT military, but it is likely that she respects Fontana for his reputation as a brilliant tactician, both in battle and in improving his military's overall structure. She considered him enough of a threat to warn Kayto not to underestimate him in battle, which she had rarely done for any other adversary aside from Cosette Cosmos and Arcadius himself. In the Novelization, it is hinted that Ava, like Asaga, finds Fontana to be attractive - to the point that even she herself slightly loses her composure when seeing him the first time in person, requiring Kayto to snap her attention back to the task at hand.
Ava has not voiced much opinion of Cullen aside from acknowledging him as one of the more prominent members of PACT's leadership.
Ava's relationship toward Maray was not as extensive as the one with Kayto. They knew each-other and met often as Kayto was usually spending time with Ava as her second in the Student Council, and since Ava often stayed over at Kayto's apartment since her own father was usually gone on deployment with the Space Force. While Ava seemed mildly annoyed by Maray's antics toward calling Ava and Kayto a couple, she seemed to be relatively found of the younger member of the Shields family. Ava remarks once that she would rather not think about how many people were lost at Cera that they will never see again - Maray is likely one of these.
Ava seemed to always be on distant terms at best with her father, due to his job in the Cera Space Force keeping him away from home most of the time. The most eventful thing she spoke about that they did together was when he would tell her ghost stories about starship graveyards when she was little. Ava also seemed to develop some possible sense of embitterment with her father, as she told Kayto during school that she was only joining the space force because of her father, though it's unknown whether it was that she felt pressured into doing so or whether her father directly influenced her enlistment. In the Sunrider Novelization, Ava's relationship with her father is expanded upon more - it is revealed that Ava's father was the commanding officer aboard the Cera vessel Gallant, which was one of the casualties of the Legion's assault on the Cera Space Force, and she privately remarks that it was unlikely he would have abandoned ship. It is also revealed that much of Ava's stern and disciplined mentality stems from her father's teachings in trying to elevate her above the "mediocrity" of average civilians, and that his holding her to a higher standard of performance all her life may be a large contributor in her "bottom-line first, victory at all costs" mentality, as he apparently disliked frivolity and fraternization.
Characters in Sunrider
|Sunrider Crew||Kayto Shields (Academy) - Ava Crescentia (Academy) - Asaga Oakrun (Academy) - Chigara Lynn Ashada (Academy) - Icari Isidolde - Claude Triello - Sola vi Ryuvia (Academy) - Kryska Stares|
|PACT||Veniczar S. Arcadius - Veniczar B. Cullen (Academy) - Veniczar B. Fontana (Academy) - Veniczar A. Kuushana|
|Solar Alliance||Admiral Harold Grey - Admiral Madeline Grey|
|Prototypes||Alpha - Alice - Lynn (Academy)|
|Other||Maray Shields (Academy) - Cosette Cosmos - Sophita Brooks|