Giddeus “Gid” Modesto (died 430 IE) was a Navy Falcon pilot. He served aboard the Cygnus in 430 IE. He was a native of Etrusca. He had numerous disciplinary issues, including asking a former CO during a disiplinary hearing, “Do you know who I am?” The comment resulted in reduction to warrant officer and a transfer off the Ranger.
At some point prior to his service, he was present when a suicide bomber killed his aunt, an Etruscan senator. The killer wore a tacky Byzant belt and turned out to be a Rus separatist.
He piloted the Falcon on Mitsuko Yamato‘s mission to liberate a mining station from Goshenite squatters. When they blew the hatch and caused the asteroid to become unstable from firing a Gelt weapon, Modesto brought the Falcon in to form a loose seal over a damaged airlock. This allowed Yamato and her team to escape with prisoners.
One of the squatters made a derogatory comment toward Yamato. Modesto intervened and informed him that he could “keep sweet” or ride back to the Cygnus in the forward airlock, which did not have any safeties. He then kicked the prisoner in the ribs, asking if the Goshenites ever gave his father the same courtesy during the Polygamy Wars.
The incident resulted in yet another disciplinary action, this time by Captain Durant, who informed Modesto that he had been sent to the Cygnus for corrective action. Durant informed Modesto that “official” rank had its privileges. Social rank meant nothing. He had his security chief, a woman from Jefivah‘s Hill Country, escort him to a shuttle to transfer off.
Modesto flew Yamato with him to the Challenger, or rather attempted to. Showing off for Yamato, he tried cutting through Demeter‘s atmosphere to shave an hour off flight time. In the process, he overtaxed the shuttle’s structure and lost control of the craft. He saved the cockpit, landing himself and Yamato unharmed, but the rest of the shuttle slammed into a mountain doing severe damage to a mining operation. They were rescued by an automated mining truck.
Peter Lancaster retrieved them to transport them back to the Challenger. Along the way, he expressed admiration for Yamato’s skill with a sword but deduced Modesto had not read The Art of War beyond the short notes version. Modesto also learned about warp drive and why the Navy wanted to use it in combat.
Captain Okada ordered Modesto to escort Admirals Burke and Austin aboard the Challenger for their mission to Hanar. Austin insisted on flying the shuttle, and Burke summoned him to sit with her. Embarrassed by his recent crash, he listened as Burke recounted how other officers, many of them now flag officers, had done silly things. She susptected he had developed a crush on Mitsuko, which he denied. She also revealed it used to be a rite of passage for pilots to fly naked at least once, though one pilot had a malfunction and accidentally jettisoned his clothes. She reassured him his career could recover from the crash.
Aboard the Challenger, he roomed with Mitsuko for the duration of the mission. When the ship jumped to Metis, he unwillingly revealed his wormhole sickness. Admiral Burke assigned him to pilot for the Metisian representative Athena Jovann on the mission to Hanar. Modesto was injured while disarming a suicide bomber attempting to kill Athena Jovann. Mitsuko subdued the would-be killer.
Modesto escaped with a mild concussion. Dr. Tenant injected him with a dormant nanite load to be triggered when he showed signs of long-term damage from one or more concussions. They then cleared him for light duty the following day. Mitsuko escorted him back to their quarters, detouring to an observation lounge to show him the “Light at the End of the Tunnel” from the ship’s , Modesto felt so moved by the moment that he kissed her. They agreed the mood had caused it and that they were just friends.
Modesto trained with First Officer Havak and Patty Friese, the ship’s navigator. Friese showed him how plotting warp trajectories was essentially plotting a wormhole in space, only the ship would move through normal space on the way to its destination. Havak told him a rating to fly the Zephyr class could lead to certification on the Wilson and Olympus Mons classes.
Prior to the jump to Hanar, Admiral Burke assigned Modesto as Athena Jovann’s personal pilot for the duration of the mission there. He soon accompanied Yamato’s team escorting Admirals Burke and Austin to negotiate with human separatists on Hanar at the request of Lattus Tishla. The team came under fire, however. Separatists kidnapped the admirals and scattered the Compact team. Modesto hid with Yamato that night in an abandoned hut. They became intimate. However, JT Austin, leading a group of Hanarian militia, found them in a rather embarrassing state. Modesto tried to laugh it off as “combat sex,” but only managed to infuriate Yamato as he had just taken her virginity. Later that morning, he witnessed Suicide call in a strafing run on the separatists. The insurgents released the admirals and came to the negotiating table.
After the mission, Admiral Austin had him assume pilot training for JT. However, he witnessed Mitsuko giving JT a hug and mistook it for her engaging with him in a relationship. He reacted with rage and went off to a bar where Lancaster paid his bar tab. The engineer told him he was being stupid, that JT had no interest in Mitsuko, and being an ass was a poor way to win a woman’s heart. Afterward, he met Captain Okada outside the bar. Okada laid out the flight training assignments, revealing that Jovann, on behalf of Metis, would recognize Hanar as an independent world in exchange for its help liberating Amargosa. When Modesto was not training JT Austin, he himself would train on the warp drive.
Afterward, he saw Mitsuko with JT again. He became jealous once more and slept with a Gelt barmaid that night. The next morning, hungover and tired, he decided he did not like sleeping with Gelt women. One morning, Modesto failed to fuel up and prep a Falcon the morning of JT’s first flight as a pilot into orbit. JT covered for Modesto by saying Modesto requested he handle the prep but the message never reached him. He then told Modesto to treat Mitsuko better. Modesto repeated the incident a second time, earning the wrath of the Challenger‘s deputy flight commander, Lt. Cmdr. Osner..
In one memorable exercise, JT almost lost control of the Falcon they flew but landed in an athletic field next to the First Citizen’s residence. The two got into a playful argument about it at a bar later, and Mitsuko told Giddeus he was cute when he got jealous.
Modesto and Mitsuko reconciled, agreeing to give each other bullet lockets in case one of them died in battle. She would fly with JT, partly to watch over him for both Suicide and Admiral Austin, but also to decrease the chance of both of them dying in the liberation. Mitsuko made love to him on the eve of the liberation, but stopped before either of them climaxed. She promised they would finish when they both came back alive after the battle.
Modesto landed Edward Windsor‘s unit near the town of Wakita. When the Gelt colony transport menaced Windsor’s troops, he took off again to blind the transport and drop concussive charges on its surface. The gambit succeeded in damaging the transport but both the larger ship and Modesto’s Falcon were destroyed in an orbital strike from the CNV U Thant.
In the current edition of Flight Blade, Modesto’s given name is spelled “Giddius.” The correct spelling is “Giddeus.” This will be corrected in future editions.
Appearances: Flight Blade