- "When I close my eyes, the sky in my dreams... is a deep, dark blue."
- ― Avril
Avril is one of the secondary protagonists in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown and narrates some of the game's cutscenes between missions.
Avril is the latest in a family of pilots stemming back four generations. Her father and grandfather were both enlisted in the Osean Air Defense Force. Her father died in battle during the Circum-Pacific War,[note 1] leading her grandfather to lose faith in the OADF and prevent Avril from joining the military as well. Avril blames President Vincent Harling for her father's death, claiming that Harling sent her father on a suicide mission.
Restoring an F-104
Avril's grandfather was close friends with the superintendent of an Osean scrapyard. The super granted him, Avril, and his war buddies full access to the entire yard. They decided to get to work on building their own aircraft, using the body of an F-104C Starfighter and spare parts from other aircraft in the yard. Avril was the only one of the group who had good vision and coordination, so she performed the manual labor while the older men helped guide her.
While performing flight training, Avril spotted a prototype drone flying over the area. She ridiculed it for looking "like a trash can with wings", but her grandfather reminded her that technology advances rapidly and "it'll leave [her] ass behind" if she didn't keep up with it.
Six years and eight months after starting the build, Avril managed to start the F-104's engine. A year and a half later, the airframe was balanced enough for flight, but her grandfather and his friends had passed away by this time.
Transfer to the 444th
In May 2019, Avril's F-104 was ready for a maiden flight. She took off from the scrapyard and, owing to the aircraft's great acceleration and rate of climb, broke the sound barrier soon after getting airborne.
At the same time, Erusea's MQ-99 drones began attacking Osean territory. Avril flew near one such drone, identified it as Erusean, and also spotted at least one OADF F-15C Eagle chasing the drone. The Osean pilot spotted Avril's aircraft and believed her to be Erusean. Avril's lack of a radio and an IFF transponder prevented her from identifying as friendly. The Osean F-15C subsequently shot her down. She was able to crash-land her stricken plane into a nearby Osean airbase.
Avril was arrested under the pretense of "wartime aviation laws". She was tried and convicted by an Osean military court martial. As punishment, instead of being sent to a civilian prison, she was transferred to the 444th Air Base where she was forced to continue restoring previously-mothballed aircraft due to her talents in mechanics. During this time, she was nicknamed "Scrap Queen" by her peers.
Trigger was transferred to the base a month after Avril was. She discovered that he was accused of murdering former President Harling and briefly considered thanking him before abandoning that thought. Following Operation Two Pairs, she learned that someone stayed behind to cover their allies' retreat and hold off an Erusean ace. Her father died in similar circumstances, so she investigated which Spare Squadron pilot it was. She initially believed it was Tabloid since he was the last one to return, but Tabloid revealed it was Trigger who covered them and he had only been watching from a distance. Avril and Tabloid both agreed that Trigger was foolish and a "dumbass", but Avril nonetheless chose to secretly tune-up Trigger's aircraft for increased combat performance.
Stranded on Tyler Island
When Spare received orders to transfer to Tyler Island, Avril managed to discreetly reach out to old family friends in the OADF, learning that Spare's C.O, D. McKinsey planned to leave for a front line command on Usea while leaving Spare Squadron to fend for themselves. She attempted to blackmail McKinsey with this information; he agreed to take her along but then left without her. Avril and Tabloid were left to join Spare's support elements on Tyler Island. This move did not include Count and Trigger, as they were tasked with escorting McKinsey and later transferred to the Long Range Strategic Strike Group.
When Spare arrived, the fighting had been in a deadlock, but the Oseans were routed when the Usean satellite network collapsed. Spare in particular was in danger, due to rumors of a penal unit mutiny put them at risk from other Osean forces, as well as the Eruseans. It would be during this rout that Spare rescued Rosa Cossette D'Elise from the wreckage of an Erusean cargo plane. Despite Cossette's attempts to remain anonymous, Avril identified her as the Erusean Princess, and allowed her to join Spare.
When radical Erusean forces surrounded the group, Avril used a salvaged Erusean Air-Ground radio to contact the LRSSG for help, but they did not have the equipment or training to mark their position for the pilots. To protect Avril and Spare, Rosa risked her life to mark their location with a smoke grenade, allowing the LRSSG to locate them and destroy the attacking Erusean forces. This act of bravery led to a friendship between Rosa and Avril and allowed the group to leave the island and travel to the International Space Elevator.
Battle at the Space Elevator
When they arrived, the group discovered Dr. Schroeder attempting to transmit the latest flight data from Mihaly A. Shilage to the newest ADF-11F UCAVs. They took him into custody and Ionela A. Shilage destroyed the data, but two ADF-11Fs were already scheduled for construction with the new data.
Avril, Tabloid, and Cossette took it upon themselves to sabotage the Elevator's defenses. Avril took control of the Elevator's communications capabilities, organized the refugees on the Elevator, and connected the Osean and Erusean forces working together to retake the Elevator from the Erusean radicals. Thanks to their efforts, the Arsenal Bird Justice was destroyed and the radicals defeated.
However, the two ADF-11Fs arrived and attacked the Osean-Erusean coalition, destroying most allied aircraft and forcing a hasty escape to an aircraft carrier that had run aground nearby, the OFS Admiral Andersen. While exploring the aircraft carrier, Avril discovered that it had been carrying a full deck of carrier-borne aircraft, and got to work making them flight-ready for use by Osean and Erusean pilots.
Avril's life after the war is unknown.
- Avril Mead (エイブリル・ミード Eiburiru Mīdo)
- Cutscene 01: "Drag Racer", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- @AbbyTrott (20 January 2019). "I'm Avril in Ace Combat 7- hope you're enjoying the game! Adios, you damn fool.". Twitter.
- [TGS 2018］「エースコンバット7 スカイズ・アンノウン」スペシャルステージをレポート。「コレクターズエディション」のブックレットには，片渕須直氏による4本の短編小説を収録. Published September 23, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- AC7 Famitsu review translation & new interview summary
- Cutscene 05: "Fetid Air", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 03: "444th Air Base", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Mission 05: "444", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 07: "Dumbass", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 08: "The Phone Call", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Mission 10: "Transfer Orders", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 12: "Tyler Island", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Mission 17: "Homeward", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 13: "Harling's mirror", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 14: "The UAV Factory", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Mission 19: "Lighthouse", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 15: "Admiral Andersen", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.
- Cutscene 16: "The New System", Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.