|Avery Sykes, Jr.|
|Occupation|| Bush Pilot|
|Affiliation|| Freelancer, part-time Bounty Hunter|
|Rank|| Lieutenant, Liberty Navy (discharged)|
|Born|| 787 A.S., Ouray Base, Colorado|
Avery Sykes, Jr. (callsign "Sledge") is a freelancer operating out of the Colorado System. He was born and raised in the two-bit criminal society of Ouray Base, a remote bandit outpost near Ames Research Station, where his parents worked until they downsized the operation. Like a great deal of the ex-employees, they were not wealthy people, and decided to meek out a living on the fringe of society. Avery was conceived shortly before their arrival and was delivered on the asteroid, taking his mothers life in the process. His father never fully reconciled with him, but begrudgingly raised him until he was old enough to work alongside him on smuggler crews. Their emotional distance lessened as they bonded over Avery's apprenticeship. Not only did he excel at maintaining a ship, he could fly one as well, and for that his father was proud. The prospect of life as a freighter captain excited young Avery.
Honor exists even among some rogues, and Avery's father had run in to a considerable gambling debt among them. Avery was targeted for extortion once his father was caught, but he managed to escape his pursuers by enlisting in the Liberty Navy, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant - something he held with distinction until it became clear he was taking exorbitant bribes. As swiftly as he had risen, so too did he fall. Today, Avery lives on Planet Denver, from which he runs a profitable bush piloting operation. Savvy travelers choose him for safe passage through treacherous territory.
Avery is the seasoned captain of a second-hand Z-1650 "Bactrian", the Hollywood, that he has personally refurbished (and rearmed). A childhood dream to own one, he is extremely proud of his ship and refuses to upgrade on the basis of, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Though bigger ships come naturally to Avery, it was the versatility of the Marauder platform that drew him to purchase one. When behind the controls of his fighter, Avery is Bounty Hunter Green Zero Two, callsign Sledge. Bounty hunting doesn't pay the bills as steadily as cargo, but Avery is in it for the thrill.
In his spare time, he haunts dives in Denver, obliging not-so-well-hidden addictions. When he has the chance, he attends poker games on board the Battleship Rio Grande; close connections with his Navy buddies provide him a finger on the steady pulse of fleet movement - and potential bounties.