Estelle de Winter is a pilot within the Confederation Stellar Navy and a long term member and squadron leader of the White Knights flight group.
The squadron leader of the White Knights, Estelle takes her career in the navy very seriously and prefers to do everything by the book. This can lead to her becoming unpopular with other pilots and service personnel, and has even led to her falling out with her own team. She briefly dated Simon Dodds whilst they were both in training at the CSN academy, but split from him when she wanted to focus on her career.
Her focus and due diligence has seen her rewarded with quicker promotion than her peers and the respect of higher ranking personnel, such as Elliott Parks and David Turner. She is, however, quite neurotic at times, managing to alienate even her closest friends (though they are usually quick to forgive her).
The Honour of the Knights
Though Estelle set her heart on leading the White Knights to becoming the Confederation's squadron of choice for the ATAF project, she found her hopes dashed as they were out-performed in evaluations by the Red Devils. Her career hopes were further crushed when the Knights were transferred to the Temper system to perform routine patrols.
She subsequently became jealous of Andrea Kennedy, the wing leader of the Red Devils, feeling she was performing a duty she herself should rightfully be doing. She later came to regret those feelings when she witnessed Andrea's death during Operation Menelaus.
Estelle became to gain a dislike for Chaz Koonan, whom she felt was too dismissive of her rank and authority. More so when the Knights found themselves needing to rely on him whilst escaping Arlos starport, whilst being pursued by a unit of black-suited Imperial soldiers.
Estelle was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander following Griffin and Ifrit's successful return to Spirit.
The Third Side
Along with her fellow wingmates, Estelle was en-route to the Solaris system when CSN Ifrit was ambushed in jump by a Pandoran force. After the invaders forced the carrier from jump, the White Knights were evacuated to the surface of Mythos, to the city of New Malaga. The escort team lost some members on the way to the sled bay, forcing Estelle to make the journey to the surface with Chaz. The two put down in Eastfields Park when their sled suffered a mechanical failure, after colliding with something during the initial evacuation.
For her stress, Estelle had started secretly taking pills to control her anxiety. These she gradually consumes and loses as her time on Mythos goes on.
Estelle began to grow suspicious of Chaz during their time on the ground, as they search for the rest of their team and for a way to get off the planet. She eventually confronts him over his lack of caring for their team mates, as well as his own secretive nature. Convinced he is a spy, she is surprised when he acknowledges that is he actually working for the CSS.
Along with Chaz, Estelle then join the Mythos Territorial Guard as they attempt to drive back the Pandoran invaders to the planet. Her feelings towards Chaz shift during this period, as he not only saves her life, but becomes more compassionate towards her feelings, offering her some Pareazepam pills to replace the ones that she lost during the time on the planet.
Estelle becomes immediately jealous of Natalia Grace when the two meet, seeing her as a threat towards her continuing relationship with Dodds.
The Pandoran War
The Attribute of the Strong
Estelle remained behind to guard the inner Helios systems, as Parks took Dodds, Chaz and Enrique to act as the frontline defence against the Pandoran fleet. Her time since the Pandorans' push beyond Mitikas had been a mixed one, her hair gradually turning grey from the stress of the war and her heart problems continuing. She was also court-martialled for her actions during Black Widow, in which she assisted Parks in destroying CSN Phoenix, to prevent the carrier from falling into enemy hands. In Dodds' absence, she had also started dating another CSN pilot, Marcus Willis.
In late 2624, she was helping to evacuate Alpha Centauri when a group of evacuees chose to attack those also fleeing the system. Taking between fifty and sixty hostages, the group attempted to take down Sky's jumpgate, claiming that only those of particular social standings should be allowed to travel to Sol. With the aid of Kelly, Estelle attempted to take down the hostage takers' ship, the Code Breaker, but complication led to the vessel destroying the gate, anyway.
Estelle joined the defence group around Sky when the Pandoran fleet arrived, doing her best to keep the Enemy away from the planet. Despite her repeated attacks on the O'Neil's Rest and a lander, she was unable to prevent Talos from being invaded by Pandoran soldiers. Captain Jennifer Bailey destroyed the carrier herself, to prevent its capture. Estelle retreated from the system as Dragon destroyed Sky, helping to escort Prospector and Harlequin from the system. She noticed during the battle, however, that the Pandoran forces were not fighting back as hard as before. She also witnessed four Imperial starfighters blunder into the path of friendly fire, something they would not have done in previous years.
Back aboard Leviathan, heading to Sol, Kelly told Estelle of a message she had received from Enrique, describing how some of the Pandoran soldiers discovered in the Kethlan system had started to malfunction and die, the nanomachines within them breaking down. Kelly gave Estelle some hair dye to mask her grey hairs and took her to the carrier's bar to show her Earth. There, Estelle noticed that some of Leviathan's other crew were staring at her, though she believed it to be due to her hair.
Landing on Earth Orbital One, Estelle was assaulted by Yan Carmack, who blamed the state of the war on the ATAFs and their pilots. She was punched in the face by the man, but was saved from any further physical assaults by Amanda Jenkins, who ordered Carmack and two others be held in the brig. Aiden Meyers confirmed to Jenkins that some of the Leviathan's serving crew were also harbouring similar negative sentiments and that it wasn't safe for Kelly or Estelle to remain on board.
Upon Griffin's return to Sol, Estelle was dismayed to discover that Natalia Grace was aboard and risked losing Dodds to her. She took Dodds to her allocated stateroom for some private time, but the two were attacked by Jerome Fincham, a coastguard, who attempted to kill them with a knife. After several failed attempts to fight him, Estelle was able to pull a pillowcase over the man's head and allow Dodds to knock him out.
Estelle travelled with the other White Knights, Parks, Natalia, Weathers and Liu to the HD 21563010 system, in search of the Elpis' Gift. Along the way she confronted Dodds over his affections for Natalia. Dodds rebuffed her, telling her that she had broken his heart once already and wouldn't let her do it again; his desires had nothing to do with the woman's health or her attractiveness, but more because of a draw that he couldn't describe. Dodds also let Estelle know that he was aware of her relationship with Marcus Willis and wished them well. They opted to remain friends.
On the Elpis, Estelle teamed up with Dodds and Natalia to repel the invading Pandoran soldiers, making use of some anti-anxiety pills to see her through the battle. During a firefight in a corridor, Estelle shot down a number of Pandoran soldiers, avoiding a flashbang that had been thrown the group's way. The flashbang blinded and deafened both Dodds and Natalia, leaving Estelle to take down their opponents and lead them to safety. She sealed the two in a room and headed alone to the rear cargo container to assist Kelly and Enrique with securing the Elpis.
In the final battle for the Solar System, Estelle accidentally boarded Dodds' fighter, leaving him with the grappling hook that had been fitted to assist in towing and evacuation work in Confederation systems. Estelle later assisted Dodds when he boarded CSN Dragon to manually deliver the Dumb Waiter, providing him with deployment instructions.
After the main Pandoran fleet had been defeated, Estelle volunteered to take part in the mop-up operation, spanning two years. She was shot down over the planet Antier, in the former Imperial system of Hewate, but succeeded in ditching her TAF. She was recovered unconscious at the bottom of a river and retried from active service one week later. She moved to Earth, living in the Irish city of Limerick, where she began a new career in law enforcement. She had a daughter with her long-term partner Marcus Willis, although the two never married.