- "After all, what is a nice place to settle down in if it is not defended?"
- — Thoughts of Captain Alvis Cato
Mercenary pilot and ship captain Alvis Cato was born in 20 BBY on the planet Reecee. From there he went to a series of fine educational institutions, including the Imperial Naval Academy, graduating as a pilot. Eventually, he became a mercenary pilot, which led him to the employ of crime lord Breggar Lark. When Kuras IV was attacked and Alvis found himself in command of Lark's navy, he surrendered and happily joined the Kuras Tetrarchy.
Growing up on Reecee had been a relatively uneventful experience for the flight-obsessed Alvis. He had always wanted to join the Naval Academy, and he studied hard to get there. He had always been focused on the future, on where he would go and what he would do. He rarely interacted on a deep level with his peers and never had a long-lasting, serious relationship with any of the few girls interested in him. He always told himself that he was too busy, or that they just weren't perfect for him - and he always promised himself that, someday, he would settle down.
Alvis' life in the Navy was not as short-lived as many of his cohorts'. He was an exceptional pilot and a fine commanding officer, and led many successful missions against the Rebellion during the War. But sometime between the destruction of Alderaan and the destruction of the second Death Star, being surrounded by death took its toll on him. He lost too many colleagues, too many subordinates, too many friends to the frailty of Imperial fighter craft over the years, and he finally decided that he could not take it any more. So when the second Death Star was destroyed, Alvis took advantage of the subsequent chaos to go rogue; the reason he always cited for leaving was "too much occupational hazard" - but some of his crew suspect that something happened to him on one of his missions, something after which he could not go on living the same way.
As a Mercenary
After leaving the Empire, Alvis purchased a CEC HWK-290 and named it the Curved Beak. He found himself a crew and began working as a smuggler and protector for vessels. His basic contract was quite clear: when smuggling, all reasonable attempts would be made to keep the cargo safe, but when the safety of the cargo threatened the safety of the crew, the cargo went out the airlock; when protecting a shipping vessel (smuggler or otherwise), all reasonable battles would be fought, but in the face of insurmountable odds, no amount of money warranted the uncivilized deaths of him and his crew. If, for example, an Imperial Customs Corvette dropped on top of them, he might help other protectors fight it off - but if an Imperial Star Destroyer dropped out of Hyperspace over them, he would high-tail it out and let the smugglers fend for themselves.
Over time, people stopped accepting his contracts - too often, he would arrive at the destination without the cargo or the ship being protected, and employers thought he put too much emotion into keeping his crew alive, so he was generally blacklisted, especially by the Hutts. So when Breggar Lark offered him a job flying circles around the middle of nowhere, he couldn't pass it up.
Under Lark and the Kuras Tetrarchy
Under Lark's employ, Alvis found himself under the command of "Commodore" Lugus Cassius, along with fellow Captain Miles Bernard. While Alvis and Bernard held no respect for Cassius, they obeyed him as well as they were able. After all, his ship had more guns, and he had yet to ask them to be suicidal. So when the Purveyor and the Purgatory's Escape dropped out of Hyperspace in the Kuras System, Alvis was ready to surrender on behalf of the fleet - as soon as Cassius was killed with the rest of his bridge crew by a well-placed turbolaser shot.
Alvis went on to join the Kuras Tetrarchy, even suggesting the name to its founders. Under the command of now-Commodore Nova Suen and Admiral Arelim Seron, he and Bernard helped to fend off attacks by the pirate Mashaka Vargo. Alvis also began to spend time with Suen, and they developed a romantic interest. As time passed, they grew closer, and Alvis began to think, more and more, that this might just be the place to settle down at last. The two were married in 17 ABY, just before the climax of the war between the Kuras Tetrarchy and the Vargo Liberators - and the arrival of the Scautus Order.