Bondarevsky, though Russian by ethnicity, grew up in a Centauri colony and did not set foot on Earth until well into his military career. His father was a pilot, and his older brother attempted to follow that path before being shifted into the Marines; both were dead by the time Jason enlisted at the age of 16. He managed to get into flight school, where he fell in love with fellow student Svetlana Ivanova. Things looked well until she flunked a critical course and washed out; she joined the Marines, spurning Bondarevsky's offer of marriage and a happy (if obscure) life in the enlisted ranks.
Bear's first assignment, straight out of the Academy, was the TCS Gettysburg, a now-famous Waterloo-class cruiser. In 2667, Gettysburg captain, Commander Cain, ordered his pilots to open fire on an unarmed Kilrathi transport full of refugees. His pilots refused and engineered a successful mutiny. Afterwards, however, the crew split over its future course: one faction, led by Flight Group Commander Colonel Ransom, wanted to go on as interstellar pirates, while Bondarevsky and Lt. Col. Poelma wished to return to Confederate service. Ransom led the Gettysburg crew in capturing the Rigel supply depot, but Poelma's faction recaptured the Gettsyburg and left.
News of the Gettysburg's absence had reached Confed C-in-C by now, and the Navy's finest ship, the TCS Concordia, was sent to investigate. It was Bondarevsky who met with Col. Christopher "Maverick" Blair, and then Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn, to arrange for the loyal Gettysburg faction to stand trial for their actions. He then assisted Blair in destroying the Rigel outpost, and Ransom's forces with it.
The Gettysburg crew was acquitted, and Bondarevsky decorated for his actions. Tolwyn took him aboard the Concordia for a tour of duty; he remained there for another year, until being promoted to Flight Group Commander aboard the TCS Tarawa. Tolwyn picked Bear for the assignment because Bondarevsky was the most appropriate for the job; he had shown a natural tendency to responsibility and leadership, Blair was being kept on the Concordia, and Col. Jeannette "Angel" Devereaux had already been assigned to Special Ops. What Tolwyn didn't know was what the Tarawa was in for.
Six months previous, reconnaissance flights had finally confirmed what was on the backwater Kilrathi planet of Vukar Tag: an ancient and beautiful castle, ancestral home of the Kilrathi Emperor's Dowager Mother. Confed C-in-C, represented by Admiral Banbridge, had engineered a plan to take the planet and destroy the castle, a massive slight to collective Kilrathi honor. The Kilrathi fleet would swarm out to recapture the planet, and march right into a trap... A trap that it outnumbered two-and-a-half to one, as the Terrans only had four carriers available against the Kilrathi's ten. Instead, Banbridge hoped to draw off part of the Kilrathi fleet, and the Tarawa, now part of Task Force Valkyrie, had been chosen to do so... By attacking, directly, for the first time, the homeworld of Kilrah.
What happened next is the stuff of legends. The Tarawa, little more than a flight deck stapled to a heavy transport and designed to be expendable, returned, heavily damaged but victorious, from its mission, officially named the First to Kilrah. Its escorts, the Gilgamesh-class destroyer Intrepid and Venture-class corvette Kagimasha, were lost with all hands; thirty pilots, four hundred crewpersons and over four thousand Marines were lost as well, including Svetlana Ivanova (whose doomed romance with Bondarevsky was made fodder for uncounted holodramas). In return, the Tarawa smashed several major dock facilities on Kilrah's moon, including six almost-completed carriers, thousands of trained construction workers and a specialized design staff that, by coincidence, was visiting that day; diverted four of the ten carriers headed to Vukar Tag, which allowed the Confederate fleet to destroy or heavily damage all but one of the remainder, to only one human carrier lost; and returned to tell the tale, boosting morale and bringing hope to the embattled human race, which, up until then, had been quite clearly losing the war.
It meant a great deal to Bondarevsky as well, and not just because of his rekindled-but-short-lived love affair with Svetlana. Tarawa's captain, Thaddeus O'Brian, was a transport captain and only received the post because he'd helped with the Wake-class design. He was, in short, a coward, not to mention something of an alcoholic, and was singularly ill-suited to leading a raid whose primary purpose was to draw attention, with their lives if necessary. Fortunately, a hit early in the campaign knocked out the bridge, and O'Brian was killed. Bondarevsky, the ranking officer on the ship, took command, leading the tiny fleet to its victorious conclusion; he never left the chair again.
It took over a year to repair the ship; Bondarevsky spent his time at Confed HQ and at the Academy, training new pilots. Ship and captain re-entered the war just in time for the false armistice of 2668; both were deactivated into the reserves shortly after. Admiral Tolwyn, however, was not sanguine on Kilrathi offers of peace, and arranged for a number of Wake-class light carriers to be sold to the Free Republic of the Landreich; Bondarevsky went with them, and then led his ship in deeper to find signals regarding the Hakaga-class supercarriers. The Tarawa, already First to Kilrah, became First Beyond Kilrah as well. Unfortunately, Landreich president H. Maximillian Kruger still owned the Tarawa, and refused to join the Confederate defense at Sirius; only after Bondarevsky's constant heckling did the Landreich fleet go. They arrived at the Battle of Earth too late to participate in the main conflict, but in time to prevent a wing of Kilrathi cruisers from wreaking total destruction on the planet itself.
The Tarawa re-entered service with the Confederation but was quickly crippled in battle; it was sold to the Landreich, who renamed it the FLRS Independence. Bondarevsky remained with the Confederate Navy, assigned to the TCS Coventry, a destroyer assigned to the TCS Victory during Tolwyn's Behemoth project. During this campaign, the Coventry was heavily damaged by a minefield and Bondarevsky lost an arm. He spent the rest of the war recuperating and eventually returned to the Landreich, commanding the Independence and later the Flight Group of the Mjolnir, a captured Kilrathi carrier, in an action against a rogue Kilrathi warlord. He was eventually promoted to Rear Admiral, but his fate is otherwise unspecified.
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