”Fun is sitting at home, with your feet up, enjoying a mug of something warm. All of this is over my head.—
Nedd Strong (callsign Nedder) is a member of the DDF and pilot number two in Skyward Flight. He is flight assistant to Jorgen during flight school, however, it is unknown if he retains this position after gaining full pilot status. Although originally removed from the DDF flight program, Nedd is reinstated after the Battle of Alta Second, likely due to his heroics during the Krell assault.
Nedd has two older brothers, both DDF pilots; Nightstorm Six--Callsign: Vent--and Nightstorm Seven, and grew up living in Alta Base, where his parents keep the orchards. His family is well off, likely due to the risk associated with his parent's work, however, not as rich as some of the families in the lower caverns. Prior to flight school, Nedd went to school in the deep caverns, where he became good friends with Jorgen and Arturo.
Appearance and Personality
”As our resident expert, I’d like to point out that the true coward’s weapon is a comfortable couch and a stack of mildly amusing novels.—
Nedd is the tallest member of Skyward Flight, standing at one hundred and ninety three centimeters tall. He is heavily built, and when he joined flight school, had not fully grown into his features as his face appeared too large for his head. Between his height and overall build, Nedd takes up most of the space in his cockpit. He is conscious of healthy eating habits and routinely skips dessert during meals to maintain a better physique. He has a faint accent that is normally associated with those from the lower caverns, which he picked up during his pre-DDF schooling. He is not religious.
“I thought you said you were stupid.”
“Dumb as cold rocks.”
“And your insightful read on our companions?”
“Just making small talk. Saying whatever pops in my head, you know? You’re lucky it made any sense whatsoever. Usually it comes out as grunts.”
He is good natured, easy going, and friendly, easily befriending many of his fellow flightmates during the early days of flight school. He is quick to joke with others in a friendly manner, and has no issue with making himself the butt of the joke. This is overdone, likely on purpose, by Nedd, who is actually a very thoughtful and perceptive person. He is good at characterizing people and anticipating how to meet their needs, even if these needs aren't something his companions are aware of themselves. He will often use himself as a target if he notices that someone is stressed and needing to blow off steam.
Nedd is good at understanding how the traits and personalities of those around him can be utilized and will engineer situations to effectively use these traits. He does not shy away during conflict and will play the mediator, being very good at diffusing situations. Nedd is, in general, very levelheaded, however can act irrationally if he believes someone he cares about is in danger. Nedd is forcibly discharged from the DDF when he fails to report for duty after the death of his brothers, as instability of emotions, even those caused by grief, are considered a sign that a pilot is unfit to serve. Although he appears to have returned to his jolly self by the time the remaining members of Skyward Flight graduate, he is still haunted by memories of their deaths.
Nedd becomes more aware and more critical of the culture seeded by the DDF after his dismissal from flight school. Despite his love of flying, he is aware of how the DDF treats their pilots and is initially not interested in rejoining, as he does not think he could do that to his mother after the death of her first two sons. Following the Battle of Alta Second, Nedd's attitude towards the DDF shifts enough for him to rejoin and serve as a pilot.
Nedd grew up on Alta Base, where his parents kept the orchards. It is unknown where Nedd originally hails from, or where he and his family lived before Alta Base was solidified as a stronghold following the Battle of Alta. At some point during his upbringing, his parents began to send Nedd to the deep caverns where he attended school, however, it is unclear whether he lived in these caverns for the duration of the school year or commuted each day via the private elevators. During his schooling he met and befriended Arturo and Jorgen and by the time they join flight school, the three are close friends. After taking the entrance exam, Nedd was placed in Skyward Flight under the tutorledge of Cobb. During his time at flight school, he roomed with the other male members of his flight.
His first day of flight school saw him arriving at the class room with his two friends, Jorgen and Arturo. When Jorgen chided the other members of Skyward Flight for not being organized and ordered them to attention, Nedd naturally obeyed the command. After Cobb named Jorgen flightleader, Jorgen chose Nedd as one of his two assistant flightleaders.
When the first lesson was interrupted by a Krell attack, Nedd, along with the rest of Skyward Flight, were ordered to take to the sky and line up close to the battle to deceive the Krell into thinking there were more pilots ready to join the conflict. When a Krell ship broke away heading towards the cadets and Alta Base, Nedd joined Jorgen as his wingmate to try and ward it off. The pair engaged the Krell ship using dogfighting techniques, however, Nedd pulled too far away from Jorgen allowing the Krell to tail the other pilot, leading to him falling behind the other two ships.
”Nice explosion, Quirk. Seven out of ten. Try to spin your wreckage a little more next time you fall.
The next day, when Cobb asked the cadets to report back to him on his teaching method and style, Nedd was surprised, not expecting Cobb to care about their feelings on the matter. In answer to Cobb's question, he reported he was confused then made a joke about lunch. Later, the cadets began testing out the weapons functions on their mockpits. Like his fellow classmates, barring Kimmalyn, Nedd performed poorly when first attempting to hit the targets, not managing to land a single shot. When the class attempted dogfighting following the target practice exercise, Nedd was shot down not long after the simulation began.
During the light-lancing ring game, Nedd intentionally crashed on the third ring of the second run. As a joke, he pulled Arturo into the debris in front of the ring by using his light-lance, causing them both to crash. After Spensa deliberately collided with Jorgen, Nedd, along with Arturo, attempted to calm his flightleader down, joking that Jorgen had still beaten Arturo - a comment Arturo did not appreciate. As a form of vicious retribution, Jorgen told Nedd and Arturo about Spensa's father while the rest of the room listened.
A few days later, Skyward Flight was once again sent into battle against the Krell, this time fighting alongside full pilots. Shortly after Morningtide was shot down, Nedd paired off with Arturo, who had initially been Jorgen's wingmate, to prevent the Krell from being able to focus on either of them. Nedd survived the battle, however, both Bim and Morningtide were killed.
Following the death of their flightmates, Nedd asked Spensa to give one of her speeches on honor and glory to help the flight process their friend's deaths. Although Spensa was initially reluctant, no longer seeing the point of her bravado, what she eventually said about their passing has the desire effect that Nedd had hoped for. As the lesson continued, he joked with Arturo and Hurl, likely in an attempt to also raise their spirits.
”Being unable to control your emotions, grief included, is a sign that one is unfit for duty. At least that’s how Ironsides and the other DDF brass see it. I say it’s a good thing Nedd is out. That boy was too smart for all this anyway…—Cobb about Nedd being removed from the DDF after the death of his brothers
Two weeks later, Nedd was paired with Spensa during a IMP training. While they waited for their run, Nedd told Spensa about his upbringing, what he had observed of the other cadets, and how he thought they were coping. Spensa found his observations of the other cadets interesting, showing that Nedd's projected image of a dumb jokester covered his perceptiveness and intelligence. Later, after the training exercise had finished, Nedd tried to diffuse the situation between Spensa and Jorgen by complimenting her fighting skills and shifting the situation into an educational display, also reminding Jorgen that he had provoked the female cadet.
When the shipyard began falling, the first time Skyward Flight had flown since Morningtide and Bim's deaths, Nedd, Kimmalyn, and Spensa accidentally split from the rest of the flight, with Spensa picking up a tail. Nedd and Kimmalyn helped destroy and scatter Spensa's tail before the three went to try and rejoin the others.
Before they could meet up with the rest of their flight, Nedd peeled away, telling the other two that he would catch up, then followed his brothers, who were being tailed by Krell, into the broken shipyard. Spensa followed him into the bowel's of the ship, the two of them trying to destroy the Nightstorm pilot's tails. Despite the danger they were in from the falling shipyard, Nedd did not want to leave his brothers, even when Spensa said they should pull back before the giant ship crashed. When he refused to stop, Spensa speared his Poco with her light-lance, pulling him to a stop. Nedd angrily called Spensa a coward for her actions, though followed her when she began to navigate out of the ship. They managed to escape the ship and get out from underneath it before it hit the planet's surface, with seven seconds to spare. Back at base, Nedd went to check the Nightstorm Flight line up to discover that neither of his brothers had made it back to Alta and had died in the crash.
After the death of his brothers, Nedd stopped attending classes, leading to his dismissal from the DDF. Nedd likely returns home to live with his parents outside of Alta Base. Following his departure, Nedd's Poco was assigned to another flight.
”Hi, Nedd! I can confirm you are an idiot, but all humans are. Your mental abilities appear to be within a standard deviation from their average.—Nedd and M-Bot's first interaction
Weeks later, following Hurl's death, Nedd met up with his former flightmates while they were on leave from duty. They spoke of Hurl, remembering their friend and reminiscing about their time in flight school. When Arturo's girlfriend, Bryn, went to the bathroom, the current and former members of Skyward Flight talked briefly about the strangeness of Krell tactics and the DDF's hesitancy to talk about these things.
Nedd attended Skyward Flights graduation, however missed the actual ceremony instead running into Spensa during refreshments. He had planned to convince the graduating members of the flight to join the original group for a post graduation celebration, however, he was unable to find FM and Jorgen between the ceremony and their departure to defend the falling shipyard. Nedd and Spensa went to join the rest of the ex-Skyward crew to listen in to the battle on the Mendez family's personal radio. Although the group started listening in on the Assembly frequency, they eventually changed to the pilot band to hear directly what was going on.
Wanting to help their fellow pilots after hearing the desperation during the battle, Nedd, Kimmalyn, and Arturo went to the deep caverns to steal the Mendez private fighters. The three took the Mendez ships and went to join Spensa in fighting off the second Krell attack. Ironsides ordered Nedd and his two companions to focus on destroying the bomber even if it would destroy Alta.
Once the group arrived, Nedd and Arturo went after the bomber on Spensa's orders, in an attempt to drive it away from Alta Base. Ironsides tried to overrule Spensa, however, was ignored by Nedd and Arturo. They attempts to attack the bomber, however, were constantly impeded by the black Krell guard ships which would attack if they got close but fall back if they pulled away. When Riptide Flight arrived, they joined Nedd and Arturo in engaging with these ships to keep them busy and distracted. It is unknown how the fight Nedd was involved in ended, but it can be assumed the black Krell fighters pulled back when the lifebuster was dropped.
Following the battle, Nedd was reinstated as a DDF pilot. He accompanied Jorgen during his exploration of Detritus' cave system, however, after five days of travelling, began to echo Arturo's suggestion that the trio head back to base. He was unaware of the true reason the friends were exploring the caves, believing the objective of their task had been relayed from Cobb to Jorgen.
Attributes and Abilities
"What about those of us who are still drooling, meathead idiots?" Nedd asked. "But did train with you?"
"Don't sell yourself short, Nedder," Cobb said. "I’ve never seen you drool."
During flight school Nedd trains to pilot a Poco, perform aerial maneuvers, and use its weaponry. He has some prior practical experience in flying and dogfighting from before joining the DDF, however, it was not extensive - he is unused to flying with a wingmate and not practiced with using his destructors. When he first began in Skyward Flight, he flew well enough when facing a single Krell, but was shot down fairly quickly when pitted against multiple enemies during a battle simulation. He may have a preference for destructors over the other starfighter weaponry, however, his frequent suggestions to use these weapons may instead be his way of remembering Bim.
After being reinstated, Nedd is placed in a specialized team made up of Skyward Flight members and flies either a largo, sniper, or interceptor.
Nedd is not a cytonic.
Jorgen and Arturo
"And what do you do when there's an emergency? In a fighter? You…"
"Call you," Nedd said. "And say, ‘Hey Arturo. Where’s the scudding eject lever?’"
Nedd met Arturo and Jorgen at some point while the three of them were schooled in the deep caverns, prior to flight school. By the time they all are accepted into Cobb's class, the three are good friends.
Nedd has a fun natured and bickering type of relationship with Arturo, with the two often throwing friendly insults at each other and arguing over mundane topics. Arturo is used to Nedd's wisecracks and is thrown after Nedd drops out of flight school, still expecting his responses during certain beats of conversation. Nedd's relationship with Jorgen is more one sided in it's playfulness and Nedd often pokes fun at Jorgen, likely to allow the other boy to let off steam.
Nedd and Arturo deliberately do not invite Jorgen to informal gatherings of Skyward Flight as they believe he would not want to join the group, thus making the invitation a waste of time. It is unclear if they are correct in this thought.
“Hey, Spin. You’re always talking about ‘honor’ and the ‘glory of dying like warriors’ and crap like that.”
“So…, maybe we could use a little of that crap right now.”
Although Spensa initially sees Nedd only in relation to Jorgen, following Morningtide and Bim's death's, she begins to discover more of the person underneath his projected jokester personality. She comes to realize that he is much more intelligent that he seems, and is a very perceptive and thoughtful person. Following the revelation that Spensa's father was Zeen Nightshade, Nedd began acting more cautious around Spensa, although it is unclear if this was because of her parentage or her temper.
When Spensa stopped Nedd from chasing his brothers while the shipyard was falling, he accused her of cowardice, a comment that stuck with Spensa after the event and played into her underlying fears. Spensa was thrown by Nedd's dismissal from the DDF, not realizing, at first, that he had been removed from flight school, and was largely affected by it, likely due to both losing another flight member and their final interaction.
Weeks passed between Nedd and Spensa's parting following his brother's death, however, by the time of their reunion, the ill feelings that Nedd had held towards the female cadet had passed. After Nedd rejoins the DDF, the pair strengthen their friendship, with Spensa growing use to being in the other pilot's presence.
”Seems like everything’s a competition to her, but then we lost Bim and Morningtide, so now she’s gone all quiet. She doesn’t know how to react now that she can’t see flying as a game.
Nedd and Hurl have a competitive relationship, with each of them trying to outdo the other in various activities. He is aware of her athletic background and will challenge her to wall-ball, even though he almost always loses. At dinner one night, the two made a bet on who could eat the most algae patties. Unlike during wall-ball, Nedd won this bet.
Nedd can see through Hurl's front of confidence and although he acknowledges that she is a good pilot, he does not think she is as good as she believes herself to be.
- FM: Nedd may have a crush on FM. They have a playful relationship, often exchanging friendly insults and joking comments.
- Cobb: Cobb is well aware of Nedd's intelligence despite his propensity to play dumb. Cobb believed Nedd's dismissal from the DDF would ultimately be good for him.
- Skyward chapter 19 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_19#
- Skyward chapter 27 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_27#
- Skyward chapter 23 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_23#
- Skyward chapter 8 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_8#
- Skyward chapter 9 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_9#
- Starsight chapter 3 Summary: Starsight/Chapter_3#
- Skyward chapter 38 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_38#
- Skyward chapter 20 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_20#
- Skyward chapter 15 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_15#
- Skyward chapter 10 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_10#
- Skyward chapter 21 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_21#
- Skyward chapter 12 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_12#
- Skyward chapter 14 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_14#
- Skyward Summary: Skyward/CHAPTERLESS#
- Skyward chapter 26 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_26#
- Skyward chapter 48 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_48#
- Skyward chapter 11 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_11#
- Skyward chapter 13 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_13#
- Skyward chapter 25 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_25#
- Skyward chapter 32 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_32#
- Skyward chapter 52 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_52#
- Skyward chapter 51 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_51#
- Starsight epilogue Summary: Starsight/Epilogue#
- Skyward chapter 41 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_41#
- Starsight chapter 14 Summary: Starsight/Chapter_14#
- Skyward chapter 16 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_16#
- Starsight chapter 27 Summary: Starsight/Chapter_27#
- Skyward chapter 28 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_28#
- Skyward chapter 40 Summary: Skyward/Chapter_40#