|Place of birth||Enyo|
|Place of death||Alcor, Vega Sector|
|Service/branch||Terran Confederation Space Force|
|Years of service||-2669|
|Battles/wars||Battle of Ariel, Battle of Loki|
Laurel Buckley was a Terran pilot from the Terran Confederation. She served during the Terran-Kilrathi War.
Laurel Buckley was born in Enyo in the 2600s. She was a child during the early years of the Terran-Kilrathi War. When she was ten years old, she was enslaved by the Kilrathi and sent to a slave labor camp. During her incarceration, Laurel suffered from the miserable conditions within the camp and bore witness to the many horrors committed against her fellow inmates, and during those years suffered severe psychological trauma. After ten years in captivity, Laurel was eventually rescued by Confederation Marines at the age of twenty, but by then most of her family was dead. Over the next two years, Laurel attended psychological counseling and regression therapy, during which her caretakers tried to minimize the damage inflicted on her by the horrors she witnessed, but many of her memories remained vivid and she refused an identity overlay that would have suppressed them permanently. These memories came to haunt Laurel into her adulthood.
Having lost almost her entire family and suffered severe emotional distress during her imprisonment, Laurel became marked by her severe and unyielding hatred towards the Kilrathi. She eventually enlisted for service and graduated with high marks from the Academy, and dedicated her service towards the complete extermination of the Kilrathi. During her service, she became distinguished by her lethal flying skills and earned herself the callsign "Cobra".
Buckley served on the TCS Hermes early in her career, and by 2669 was assigned to the TCS Victory with the rank of Lieutenant. During her tenure on the vessel she became close friends with fellow pilots Winston Chang, Mitchell Lopez, Robin Peters, and Helmut Jaeger. Buckley served with great distinction on the vessel, becoming Pilot of the Month on 2669.090 after defending three supply runs for Hampton Station in the Orsini System.
During her stay on the Victory, Kilrathi Colonel Ralgha nar Hhallas served alongside Buckley. Buckley developed an intense hate for the Kilrathi and refused to fly with him. Her adamant refusal to approach him put her at odds with her new commanding officer Colonel Christopher Blair, who was Ralgha's best friend.
Buckley could often be found sharpening a knife at her berth in the barracks, ensuring that she could defend herself from a Kilrathi if it ever became necessary, including Ralgha.
Despite her relationship with Ralgha and Blair, Buckley served her Wing Commander well. She partook in numerous missions on his wing, and was an active participant during the campaigns in Locanda, Blackmane, and Ariel. She also aided in the defense of the newly-commissioned TCS Behemoth, which she was eager to see annihilate Kilrah. When the mission ended in the Behemoth's destruction at the hands of an overwhelming Kilrathi bomber force, Buckley immediately suspected Ralgha of espionage, and worked with Victory Communications Officer Ted Rollins to affirm her suspicions.
Ultimately, Buckley's suspicions were proven when Ralgha fled the Victory to inform the Kilrathi of the deployment of the Y22A-1 Temblor Bomb, the Confederation's last-ditch attempt to destroy Kilrah. Buckley attempted to stop Ralgha but was fatally slashed across her abdomen by the Kilrathi, who fled in a fighter before he could be captured. Colonel Blair arrived on the flight deck to find Buckley lying in a pool of blood, and a recording of General James Taggart's briefing on the Temblor Bomb. Buckley urged Blair to kill Ralgha before it was too late, and then died in the arms of her comrades.
Buckley was given a traditional burial in space, with Colonel Blair presiding over her casket. She had no known surviving family, thus no death comm was written. Colonel Blair eventually avenged her death by slaying Ralgha in space combat.
Behind the Scenes
- Laurel Buckley was portrayed in Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger by American actress B.J. Jefferson.