A pretty, petite young woman with fair colouring and soft features, Cass looks mostly harmless. However, looks are deceiving, and many men have suffered the consequences of underestimating her. Cass is a skilled gunner and markswoman, and a decent pilot. Her low tolerance for nonsense and her "the mission comes first" attitude make her a valuable soldier, although it doesn't always leave room in her life for friendship.
Cassia Waycoit was born on Chandrila to farmers Lexx and Hestir Waycoit. Cass was mostly raised by her brother Kierson Waycoit as her parents were too busy farming to pay much attention to their rough and tumble daughter. Through their adventures together, Kier taught Cass how to fly and how to shoot.
The siblings were often shadowed by Toby Cetus, a soft-spoken older boy from the farm next door. Toby proved to be skilled with the art of medicine, which proved to be useful as Cass was often reckless and frequently ended up requiring medical aid. At the age of 12, Cass had been in a particularly nasty accident when the speeder bike she was riding flipped and crashed into an old barn. Cass was knocked unconscious and severely burned the left side of her body. Kier had carried her two miles to Toby’s house in a panic, terrified that his father would find out. Toby had bandaged her up as best as he could, but her left side remained badly scarred.
When she was 15, Toby declared his intent to court Cass, and the two announced their engagement on Cass’s 16th birthday. Together with Kier, they secretly made plans to leave home together when Cass turned 18 so that the three friends could join the Rebellion together as pilot, gunner, and medic.
However, the plan was upset when Kier unexpectedly left home ahead of schedule, and over the next few months things changed for the worse. Toby, emboldened by Lexx Waycoit’s promise of his farm as a dowry, informed Cass that their Rebellion plans were nothing more but childish fantasies, and that upon their marriage she was expected to behave as was appropriate for a farmer’s wife. Heartbroken and humiliated, Cass fled her home in the middle of the night the day before her 17th birthday, the day that was also intended to be her wedding day.
As soon as she was off planet, Cass began searching for her brother. Before long she fell in with a group of Rebels, and began rising through the ranks as she battled against the Empire. She was eventually paired up with Y-Wing Commander Mira Dajus and the two fought together for several years.
In Episode 9, Cass says she doesn't drink alcohol. This contradicts Episode 2, where Cass has a few beers with her new team.
In Episode 11, Cass begins a romantic relationship with Valin Dendup.
In Episode 13 it is noted that Cass attended the Flight Academy on Mon Cala, although not in the same class as Jad Lakbret. She also states that growing up she had no formal education.
Also in Episode 13, Cass finally learns the truth about her brother Kier.
In Episode 14, Cass is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
In Episode 17, Cass is given 2 minions for support: 2 unnamed Rebels dressed as Stormtroopers. One of the minions is killed in Episode 19.
In Episode 18, Cass's fake name is Imperial Officer Sarah Domstar.
In Episode 22, after a bit of restructuring within the Rebellion, Cass is put in charge of a new group called Havok Squad. Havok Squad consists of The Platinum Mynock , the Spectre (renamed the Retribution), the TIE Interceptor stolen by Vek, and a squadron of X-Wings (Bandit Squadron). The members of Havok Squad include Gar Dolo, Vek Tilma, 0B1 Kn0B, Davic Oulat, Jad Lakbret, Katari Danin, Pohl Tehm, Rombu , Zombu, Valin Dendup, Jaren Vos, and Sib Hakko.
The first time, Cass was 15 years old. Toby had just turned 18, a man by definition but still very much a boy in almost every way that mattered. They had spent the day working on an old tractor engine with her brother Kier, up to their elbows in oil and grease and metal parts. A wisp of her long blonde hair had escaped from her ponytail and when he brushed it out of her face with the back of his hand he left a black smudge on her cheek. Her brother smiled and pretended not to notice.
In their small farming community, the kids were mostly left to their own devices. The parents were too busy looking after the farms to worry about the details of the daily lives of their children. As long as the children were home for supper and in bed by sun down, the world was theirs for the taking. Cass, Kier, and Toby had been comrades since Cass was in diapers. Cass had always been treated as one of the boys by her peers, and didn’t know anything different until Kier pulled her aside one night and informed her of Toby’s intentions.
It was common in some of the smaller communities on Chandrila for parents to arrange marriages for their children, but sometimes the children were permitted to make their own choices. Cass was too young by society’s standards to be officially engaged, but Kier agreed to approach Cass on Toby’s behalf, and she agreed to allow him to attempt courtship.
Cass had no intentions of becoming a traditional housewife. From an early age, Kier and Cass had practiced flying, driving, and shooting, and their intention was to join the Rebel Alliance together as a pilot/gunner team when Cass was old enough. Toby usually tagged along on their adventures acting as a mechanic, a navigator, and more frequently, a medic. When Cass was 12 she had flipped the speeder bike she was riding and crashed it into an old barn, knocking herself unconscious and severely burning the left side of her body. Kier had carried her two miles to Toby’s house in a panic, terrified that his father would find out. Toby had bandaged her up as best as he could, but her left side remained badly scarred.
Cass knew what she wanted out of her life. She knew where she was going, and what she wanted to accomplish, and how she was going to get there.
She never expected to fall in love with Toby.
It was a crisp cool night on the cusp of winter when they snuck into his father's barn. It would be safer there, she figured. If they got caught here, he'd probably get a stern talking to from his father. If they were caught on her father's property Toby would probably get shot.
Toby led the way past the row of horses in their stalls settled down for the night and brought her to an empty stall at the very back of the barn. He had laid out a coarse wool blanket on top of the clean straw in preparation. They stood in the doorway looking down at the blanket, and the reality of what they were about to do struck home.
All of a sudden they were both shy. They had seen each other naked before. They had bathed together as children, peeling off muddy clothing on the front lawn before their mothers carried them through their houses to the waiting bath tubs. When they were older, they would swim together on hot summer nights when the cool waters of the pond on her parents’ property was too much to resist and bathing suits made everything less interesting.
But this was different, and they both knew it. They could feel that it was the start of something they weren’t grown up enough to understand, but were young enough that they didn’t care.
They might have stood there all night in stunned silence if Cass had waited for Toby to make the first move. However, she was bolder than he was and quickly removed her clothing and flung herself down on the blanket. The moonlight came in through cracks in the barn in silver ribbons, and the way it moved across her tanned skin brought Toby to his knees. It was rushed, and fumbled, with soft kisses and whispers in the dark. Afterwards they lay side by side in the pile of hay, flat on their backs, hands intertwined. Cass listened to Toby’s breathing change as he drifted off to sleep, and she smiled into the darkness.
On the day of Cass’s 16th birthday, her parents officially announced her betrothal to Toby. Her parents were both thrilled at the match because they had feared their rough and tumble daughter was destined to be a spinster for the rest of her life. And besides, Toby was the oldest son of a moderately successful farmer, and handsome enough that they would surely produce handsome grandchildren.
Cass and Toby sat in the parlor with all eyes on them, holding hands and smiling a secret smile. Anyone who was watching them interpreted it as love and devotion, and they were mostly right. But they were also smiling at a secret that no one else but Kier knew about.
Kier’s 18th birthday had passed several months ago, and he had been planning his escape ever since. The plan was for Cass to wait until she was 18, so that she could marry Toby and be removed from the watchful eyes of her father, and then she and Toby would contact Kier wherever he happened to be and they would meet up with him. Cass could barely contain her excitement. In less than two years, everything she had been so carefully planning for would come to fruition and she would finally be out in the real world living her dream.
As soon as it was polite to do so, Cass and Toby excused themselves from the party. Kier escorted them because now that the betrothal was official, it was inappropriate for the couple to be left alone. The three of them made their way to the barn, where Kier had smuggled a bottle of wine to celebrate the next step in their brilliant plan.
Due to her size and her inexperience, Cass became drunk much quicker than the two boys, and soon Kier feigned drowsiness and left the couple alone.
As soon as the barn door closed behind him, Cass threw her arms around Toby and kissed him fully on the mouth. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off the ground, and she ran her fingers through his hair and wrapped her legs tightly around his waist. Her cotton dress bunched around her hips and he slid his hands underneath it and stopped kissing her long enough to pull it over her head.
Their lovemaking was playful and punctuated with giggles. Cass’s head was swimming from the wine and Toby’s kisses and she had to keep reminding herself to breathe.
They stayed in the barn until the sun started to rise, and Cass hastily pulled on her dress as she hurried back to her parents’ house. Toby caught her by the hand before she left, pausing to pluck strands of hay from her long blond hair, and kissed her until she was breathless.
The evening before her 17th birthday, Toby found Cass in her barn with the horses. She had been grooming one of the horses, but she set the brush down and went to Toby as he approached her.
It had been 8 months since Kier had left Cass and Toby, and they had not heard from him since. During Kier’s absence, Toby’s body had finally grown to match the man his age of 20 years said he was. His face had changed from the round chin and cheeks of a boy to the square jaw of a man. His mouth was a hard line and his eyes were steely grey. Cass had noticed a roughness about him that had never been there before.
"Cass, your father and I have just had a long discussion and we both feel it is in the best interest of all involved if you and I are married as soon as possible.”
Cass opened her mouth to speak but Toby kept talking.
“Kier has been gone for 8 months, and your father needs to prepare for the possibility of him not returning. He has agreed that once you and I are married, I will inherit his farm and will merge the two properties together.”
Cass stared at him in disbelief.
“Toby, what are you talking about? I’m not of age for another year, and we always said we were going to leave here once we got married.”
Toby laughed, a harsh barking sound. "Cass, we were just kids playing around. It's time for us to grow up. It is my responsibility to look after the farms in Kier’s absence. And as my wife, it is going to be your responsibility to run the household." He paused and took her by both hands. “Think about it. With this transaction I will be able to take care of you for all of our days together. You will never go without.”
Cass snatched her hands back from him. “You know that’s not what I want. I don’t need anyone to take care of me! And I am not staying here cooped up in some farm house making pies and birthing children.”
Toby grabbed her fiercely by the arms and loomed over her. “You are my betrothed, soon to be my wife, and you will do what I tell you.”
Cass twisted her body, trying to escape from Toby’s grasp. “Toby, you’re hurting me. Let go.”
Toby calmly inhaled and exhaled. “Cass, you are not to give me orders ever again, do you understand?”
He lowered his head to hers with the intention of kissing her, but she wrenched her head away. “I said. Let. Me. Go.”
Toby’s palm made contact with her cheek and her head snapped back. Cass tried to get away as Toby forced her back into an empty horse’s stall. He tore at her dress and forced himself on top of her.
Cass closed her eyes until it was over.
Toby dressed himself as soon as he was finished. Cass sat up in the stall. Her dress was torn, her lip was bleeding where he had struck her, and her entire body ached. Toby grabbed her by the arm and hauled to her feet. "Get yourself together. I'm taking you home before midnight. It's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding."
Cass was gone before the sun came up. Her mother came upstairs expecting to find a blushing bride and instead found a bed that was never slept in, a torn and blood-stained dress, and a scrap of paper marked with six carefully scrawled words.
|Cass lay on her back in her bunk, staring at the ceiling. She was supposed to be asleep, but sleep wasn’t her favorite thing these days. Whenever she slept she always dreamed, and when she dreamed, it was always about him. Sometimes the dreams were violent and terrifying and sometimes they were sweet and gentle. She wasn’t sure which was worse.
She kept it together during the day for her crew. They were struggling with it too. Gar handled it surprisingly well considering that it was his family that had sold them out. Maybe he didn’t understand. Or maybe he understood it better than anyone. Cass could never tell with Gar. The Duros brothers were business as usual, although Jad laughed less and Davic spent more time tinkering with the ship then he did with the rest of the crew. 0B continued to take care of everyone in the special way he always did and Cass found that even in these darkest of times he always managed to make her smile for at least a moment. She worried about Vek, who was taking it the hardest. Between worrying about his family and blaming himself for giving up their location to the Empire, Vek was an emotional mess, and Cass spent as much time with him as she could.
Cass didn’t think that she had a maternal bone in her body, but something about this crew brought out an almost motherly side in her. She had been to battle with many, but the bond she had with these boys was something she hadn’t experienced before. She suspected their spectacular failure of their recent mission had something to do with it. Cass wasn’t used to failing, and she suspected her crew was in the same boat. Their shared grief, and their shared guilt, had brought them together in a way that was the closest thing Cass had felt to belonging to a family in a very long time.
One thing she was sure about. She had failed Valin. She would not fail her crew.
Cass heard the sound of 0B making his way down the hallway to start breakfast and she exhaled loudly. Time to pull herself together. She scowled at herself in the semi-darkness. It’s not like she had earned the right to feel this way. It’s not like they were in love. A few kisses and a sunrise conversation did not justify falling to pieces. She was still a soldier first and a woman second, no matter what.
Of course, she still clung to the hope that Valin was still alive. Gar always said that if he was dead they would have heard about it. He was to be made an example of, and they certainly don’t want him to die quietly and out of the public eye. It would be a public execution on Onderon, probably televised. If it had happened, they would know. And even though Cass knew the odds weren’t on their side, she still held on to that hope with everything she had.
Cass was good at hoping for lost causes. Even though it had been almost six years, she still had a small part of her heart believing that Kier was still alive. Her head knew that with each passing day it was more unlikely that she would ever hear from him again, that he was probably dead or in jail or worse. But she kept him alive in her heart, wrapped in the colours of a bright Chandrillian summer day. And every morning, before she went out to face another day without him, she closed her eyes and remembered Valin in the colours of a lazy Corellian sunrise, and tucked him safely away in her heart.
|When Cass regained consciousness on the morning after, one thought entered her mind. Valin is alive.
Then the weight of her hangover came crashing down on her and she was violently sick in the trash can next to her bed. After regaining her composure she staggered to her feet and stumbled over to the mirror to inspect the damage. Her hands flew to her face and she gasped when she saw her reflection. Her face was the colour of snow, dark circles drooped beneath her eyes, and her hair was a tangled mess. She looked like she had just been pulled out of a back alley dumpster. Cass slumped back down on her bunk and buried her face in her hands. Humiliating. She hated the fact that her crew had seen her like that. She had learned early on in her military days that drinking lead to foolish ideas and bad decisions, and as a leader and a soldier she wanted to always keep her wits about her. It was her job to take care of her team, not to have them take care of her. Cass groaned loudly and flopped back on her bed, remembering Gar roughly lifting her off the floor and throwing her over his shoulders, carrying her out of the bar like a sack of flour. She pulled the covers over her head and wished that she was dead. But Valin wasn’t dead. And if there was ever a good reason to pull herself together, that was it. As long as Valin was alive, there was a reason to hope. And Cass was good at holding on to desperate hopes. Cass sat up in bed. She could hear Vek bustling around in the galley. Other than that the ship was silent. She knew Gar was likely passed out in his bunk and 0B was likely watching over him. She didn’t know where Jad and Davic were. She hadn’t seen them since the bar the night before. She dreaded what she was going to have to say to them. Because the news about Valin was not nearly enough to counter the news about Kier. She pulled her knees up under her chin and wrapped her arms around her legs, resting her cheek on her knees. Kier. She closed her eyes and pictured him as he was when they were younger, smiling and tanned and always up to mischief. It grossly contrasted with the grim faced Imperial soldier she had seen yesterday. The pain in her head dulled in comparison to the pain she felt in her heart. All the tequila in the galaxy could not make it stop. “You were all named.” Diet’lam’s words echoed in her head. He knew. He knew it was me. He knew they were coming to capture me and he came anyway. Kier’s betrayal was so heavy Cass was having a hard time breathing. Tears welled in her eyes and she angrily brushed them away. Cass got to her feet and tried to make herself as presentable as possible. For the rest of the Rebellion today was business as usual, and Cass knew that she would be expected to report for duty just like the rest of them. She would follow orders, because she was a good soldier. She would do everything she could to keep her team safe, because she was a good leader. And she would never give up on Valin because as long as he was alive, there was hope. But she knew that every time she took a shot at an Imperial Fighter, there was a possibility that she was shooting at her brother. And every time one took a shot at her… Cass closed the door to her bunk as she exited, leaving her thoughts alone in the room behind her.
Sometimes Cass would lie awake in the darkness listening to Valin breathing, wondering how, despite the fact that the entire universe seemed to be conspiring against her, for a moment she could feel so perfectly happy.
Sometimes Valin woke up screaming.
Since they had returned to Mon Cal, Cass’s life had simplified immensely. Mon Cal was the closest thing Cass had to a home base, and she found immense comfort falling back into her old lifestyle. She reconnected with old classmates, went on piloting expeditions on and off planet, and logged countless hours at the shooting range, and at times it felt like she had never left.
But things were better than they were the first time. Because for the first time since she had left Chandrila at the age of 17, Cass had a family again. Although the crew of the Platinum Mynock was no longer confined to their tiny space ship, and although their responsibilities with the Rebellion kept them busy, there were never two consecutive days where Cass did not meet with at least one of them for a meal or a drink or an excursion. After everything that had happened, nothing ever felt quite right unless they were all together. Vek had said it best: Now it’s all of us together. Any problem is OUR problem.
And of course, there was Valin. Cass couldn’t even hear someone say his name without smiling. If she thought her feelings for him were strong on Corellia, they were off the charts on Mon Cal. Whether it was in spite of the treacherous events that had brought them together or because of them, both Cass and Valin were painfully aware of how fortunate they were to have these moments together and were determined to make every minute they spent together worth two. Cass had always been drawn to the ocean, growing up in a landlocked town, and so they spent many afternoons sitting on the shore watching the waves crashing on the sand. Sometimes they sat in silence enjoying the calm, but more often than not they talked. Valin would tell Cass about his upbringing on Onderon, his education on Alderaan, and the riding and hunting excursions he enjoyed in his youth, and Cass would tell him stories about her adventures with the Rebellion. On particularly sunny days Valin would talk in great detail about his father, and when the mood was right he spoke of his mother. Cass spoke of Kier less often, and usually these conversations would lead to long periods of silence as Cass stared out over the ocean.
They never talked about the future.
And of course, as young couples in love tend to do, they found magic in the moonlight. They loved each other deeply and fiercely and with reckless abandon. At first they were nervous about breaking protocol and so they tried to keep their romance a secret. However, when they discovered 0B outside of Cass’s bunk holding a beautiful tray of breakfast foods early one morning they realized that the secret was out. After that, Cass was painfully aware of Valin’s high status and worried about what people might say, to which Valin always replied that he didn’t care, and kissed her in front of whoever was watching.
Of course, there were hard moments too. Valin’s time spent in Imperial custody had a lasting effect on his mind and his spirit. He tried his hardest not to shut Cass out, but there were times where he would disappear for days at a time. Cass never followed him, trusting that he would find his way back to her as he always had in the past. And he always did. Sometimes he returned unwashed and unshaven with rumpled clothing and unkempt hair. Sometimes he returned with dark circles under his eyes and a sad demeanor. Sometimes he returned with cuts on his knuckles and bruises on his ribs. But he always returned. The nightmares were the hardest part, on Cass and on Valin. The first time it happened Cass had woken up to Valin screaming her name in terror and it had taken all of her strength to shake him out of his nightmare and back into consciousness. She had held him as he wept in her arms. After the first night, the nightmares continued sporadically and without warning. One night Cass had woken to Valin’s hands around her throat, staring down at her with such anger and hatred that for an instant she feared for her life. The sound of her voice saying his name snapped Valin out of his slumber, and he let go of Cass so quickly it was as if she had physically hurt him. Without a word, he dressed and left the bunk. He returned more than a week later, after the dark bruises on Cass’s neck had begun to fade.
Despite the difficulties, Cass felt at peace for the first time in years. She knew it was only a matter of time before something came along and tossed the world on its head. It was war, and she was a soldier, and that was the way it went. But every day she spent on Mon Cal was a day that reminded her exactly what they were fighting for, and she was determined to live every day as if it was the last one, because she knew eventually it would be.