|The biography on the ACD Charter and Cargo website for
its owner is a little on the dry side.
Daniels (b. July 8, 1980), known as Leash, is the owner of ACD Charter
and Cargo and a former Naval Aviatrix.
Daniels was born in Hotchkiss, Colorado to William, a math teacher, and
Eleanor (née Campbell), an agent with the Bureau of Land Management.
She attended Hotchkiss High School, earning her pilot’s license a month
before graduation. She won an appointment to the Naval Academy, where
she majored in Aerospace Engineering, specializing in aeronautical
(i.e. atmospheric) engineering. She graduated With Distinction (in the
top ten percent of her class).
She served aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), the same ship her
inspiration, Kara Hultgreen had at her death, as well as the USS
Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), flying several combat missions in support
of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Her call sign was “Bowie” after the knife she carried in a thigh sheath
most times she was off-duty.
When the Roosevelt returned to its home port in Norfolk, Virginia,
Alicia resigned her commission rather than transfer to a new command.
After leaving the Navy, Daniels worked for small flight operations,
everything from crop dusting to charter flights and transport of smoke
jumpers. She answered a call for experienced pilots in New Orleans
during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, deciding to join the
rebuilding effort of New Orleans by opening her own charter business
and small flight school near Lakeview Airport in the Ninth Ward.
What it doesn’t include is that like so many others, Leash’s obsession
with flight was there from birth, but focused on planes after seeing
Top Gun for her sixth birthday. She followed the careers of many of the
aviator consultants on the film, including Lieutenant Commander Lloyd
'Bozo' Abel and Lieutenant Scott 'D-Bear' Altman, until her focus
shifted when women were integrated into combat and Kara Hultgreen was
selected for F-14 training.
Leash followed Hultgreen’s every move as closely as possible,
determined to follow in her footsteps. At the beginning of Leash’s
sophomore year of high school, though, Hultgreen’s crash into the water
off the Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing rumors of pilot error triggered
Leash’s change into her own flight form. She was found keening in grief
out in the “Dobies” (desert hills outside of town) by an older corax
upon receiving the news. The older bird comforted Leash for a bit,
then, after smirkingly noting that Leash was rather less likely than
most pilots to ever need a parachute, proceeded to initiate her into
the world of Gaia’s spies. There was another advantage the older bird
brought to the table as well… actual instruction in mechanical flight,
in the form of a kinfolk instructor in nearby (as the raven flies,
anyway) Montrose. Oft as not, while Leash was learning the ropes on the
aircraft, her mentor and a few others from the area would also be
her in on flying with her own wings and other intricacies of her new
This is probably what led most directly to Leash working with smoke
jumpers all over the country. As interested in environmental impact as
any shifter, this was the best way she could think of to contribute.
Seeing the devastation wrought by Katrina in the Ninth Ward, she
decided that helping to rebuild the economy and hopefully mitigate
another disaster, she scraped up some money of her own, begged from
friends, and started her own business there. She specializes in
ferrying around groups doing environmental studies, both in fixed-wing
and rotary aircraft, but does what she has to in order to keep ends
meeting for her employees and herself. She’s built up a loyal
clientèle, so the ends actually tie up more often than not.