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- Arthur C. Clarke, “Hate”, Tales from Planet Earth
Esfir Shostakovna Yazycova, Lieutenant of Aviation, was one of the USSR’s top fighter pilots when she was recruited for training for space flight. Dedicated, brilliant and possessed of a kind smile, she became one of the stars of the Soviet space program. It was partly for this reason that, in 1965, Esfir was chosen to be the first person to attempt to orbit the Moon. The other reason she was chosen was because she, like Yuri Gagarin, was a perfect subject for socialist propaganda; Esfir had been born poor to parents who fought the Germans in Stalingrad, and she had had to work hard to get to where she was.
Esfir is tiny, tough-as-nails, drink-the-boys-under-the-table and crazy as only a pilot can be.
She is also dead; this fact has nothing to do with her equipment and everything to do with her being Russian and a certain Tiber Szabo holding a grudge. However, any pity will be laughed at. She has no regrets. She aimed for the moon and did things, saw things, that no one else had before. She gazed at the Earth from space…
And it was beautiful.
Esfir Shostakovna Yazycova is tiny and beautiful with dark hair and green eyes. She stands at roughly four feet and ten inches tall (1.47 meters) and has a slender frame with more than her share of scars. Due to living in the Soviet Union all her life, she finds it extremely hard to trust strangers and will be wary of questioning. This is not to say that your character shouldn’t attempt to question, just a warning that they may not get much for their troubles. Her upbringing and manner of death also means that, although she can be kind and warm, she can just as easily be cold, cynical and uncaring.
Unless mentioned otherwise, she is speaking English with a Russian accent and wearing her dog-tags under her shirt.
As of 28/08/2008, Esfir is now functionally alive. See here for details.
Disclaimer: The Russian Astronaut is from the Arthur C. Clarke short story either titled Hate or At the End of the Orbit, depending on where you read it. As such, she belongs to the Arthur C. Clarke estate and no copyright is intended. The icons are of Olga Kurylenko, who belongs to herself and this journal is just for fun.
being a cosmonaut, being a pilot, being crazy, building, communism, engines, flying, pranks, space, space race, the moon, vodka