It was two years before I forgave them for saving my life. It was three years before I was anything remotely like a functional human being. It was four years before I wore a Military uniform again.
General Riak Torrek is a renowned Military officer who commanded several Planet First missions, the five Earth solar arrays and most notably is the current commander of the Alien Contact programme as well as a member of the General Staff.
Under his command, humanity successfully initiated first contact with an alien sphere that eventually pointed them to the alien home planet Fortuna.
Riak Torrek grew up on Tethys, a backwater Gamman planet only known for goring carrots.
He went to Academy as a sector recruit and in his early days often thought about quitting the military because he came up short in comparison to fellow pupils from Military families.
His cadet classmates Jarra Tell Morrath and an unnamed Betan with exceptional grades were crucial in supporting him then when he was full of doubt.
After graduating Academy together the three proposed to one another in a sample collection mission gone wrong and later triad married.
At some point Riak was experienced enough to be given his own Planet First mission to command. He led several of those, accompanied by trusted support staff members Leveque, Stone etc.
When he was ready to retire, a calamity at his son's Planet First mission made it impossible for Malack to take command of the Earth Solar Arrays, so Riak stepped in. Soon after Malack and Gemena tragically died in that mission.
When the Carrington event of 2789 suddenly occurred, Military personnel were stranded on the Earth solar arrays. They had only had five minutes to evacuate and instead had all decided to stay and shut down the arrays so that the planetary power beams would be safely switched off.
Under Riak's command, materiel such as heat shields was portalled in and ships that were never meant to fly in atmosphere or withstand re-entry forces were hastily upgraded to give them and the people in them a chance to survive reentry.
Piloted by Riak himself, Solar 5 crash-landed on New York Dig Site. In a unprecedented rescue effort led by Site Leader Pereth, twenty-four dig teams successfully unearthed the ship and extracted all crew members without fatalities.
Later that year, when the Alien Contact programme was activated, Riak was made its commanding officer by the General Marshal.
In his later years, Riak is a respected Military officer well known for his outstanding leadership and people management skills, his patience and his ability to pick the right people for any position.
Throughout the trilogy, he acts with good judgement and kindness and proves himself to be level-headed and reliable in tricky command decisions even under intense pressure.
Jarra Tell Morrath and the smart guy
On 12 November 2769 Jarra Tell Morrath and the smart guy (their husband) died, leaving Riak heartbroken, with PTSD and heavy survivor's guilt. It took him years to piece his life together and only four years later was he able to wear a uniform again.
Even two decades after losing Jarra and the smart guy to a Planet First calamity, Riak is still heartbroken and full of bereavement. For almost twenty years, he cut off contact with almost everyone in the Tell clan because they reminded him to much of Jarra and being around them was too painful.
At a Planet First handover party, he could finally wear clan clothes again after all those years. Even then, he could only imagine slow little steps towards being a fully active member of the clan once more.
When nobody else is around, he still speaks to Jarra and his late husband and hears them reply as a coping mechanism.
Riak is a good pilot, as he manages to crash land Solar # on the ruins of New York Main dig site with no casualties.
Notes and Trivia
- Riak cannot stand the sound of base sirens because they trigger memories of the traumatic day he lost his two loves.