Hannah May Fairfax is one of the protagonists of ‘Operator’. She is the captain of Fairfax Company, and operator of the Rank 4 Armour ‘Hangman’.
Hannah is a woman of similar age to Griff and Ash, with long blonde hair past her shoulders which she typically keeps tied back into two pigtails when on official military business or on the battlefield. When in a more casual situation, it is usually seen untied.
Hannah is a somewhat complex character, appearing friendly [if snarky] towards Griff and Ash, while at the same time harbouring an almost depressive outlook on life. She is scornful of Rosalind Grey and Roberta Paige’s friendship/relationship, mentioning a belief that one should get used to the idea that, during a war, every time one looks at someone, it could be the last time they see them alive. While she has not, to date, operated an Armour while drunk, when off the battlefield Hannah’s priorities seem to revolve chiefly around alcohol. She prioritises the bars above any other building in town, gets incredibly drunk when the opportunity presents itself, and has often remarked about how she should be drinking, or how she feels ‘uncomfortably sober’. Her borderline alcoholism is likely connected to her pessimistic outlook on life in the middle of a war, and is her chief method of dealing with problems.
It is implied that Hannah has known Griff at least since they were both eight years old, Griff being shocked to learn that she has known all this time that his belly button sticks inwards rather than out. Importantly, Hannah had a brother who was killed a year into the current war. Nothing is known about him, and he has only been alluded to once so far. However, his death was likely a contributing factor to Hannah’s current personality.
Hannah first appears discussing Griff’s eye implant with Ash immediately prior to their capture of an unnamed town in Southern France. Hannah’s company circle around the town and cut of the enemy’s ability to bombard the town with artillery while Holbrook Company launch an assault. While this action is not shown on-panel, it is clearly successful, as the town has not been shelled. After finishing the military meeting following up the town’s capture, Hannah and her lieutenant go to a bar, where Hannah swiftly drinks herself into a semi-unconscious state, expressing annoyance at Griff being ‘late’. While apparently unconscious at the bar, she is still capable of strangling Griff to prevent him revealing her bust size, apparently as some kind of reflex action. She walks back to headquarters with Griff’s support, but is completely unaffected by the previous night’s drinking the night before- appearing cheerier than usual, in fact- to the bafflement of Lt. Grey and Pvt. Paige, who are still feeling the effects despite having had less than half what Hannah had. During Griff’s duel with Jaeger, Hannah attempts to order all the troops in the field to move to support Griff, only to become engaged fighting Jaeger’s bodyguard of ‘Bronze’ armours. During the battle, she communicates with Captain Harcourt, questioning why Griff is losing despite his Eye. She then demands to know why Harcourt’s artillery-equipped Armour is still idle at base. After witnessing the Raging Griffon combining with Jaeger’s machine, she suggests celebratory drinks as Griff ‘totally violated the laws of nature’. She later goes to spend her time with Holbrook company while not on the front, apparently discomforted by Lt. Grey and Pvt. Paige being ‘chummy’. Hannah then sees the mass of scar tissue on Griff’s chest, and the atmosphere quickly becomes uncomfortable for her there as well. When out on patrol to make certain the German artillery hasn’t moved back into position, she is noticeably ‘out of sorts’, to the extent that her company comment on it to this effect. Fairfax Company come under attack from an unexpected artillery barrage- Hannah wonders if it is some form of mobile artillery, before ordering the company to retreat and using her Armour’s claw to retrieve Lt. Grey, frozen up by the sudden death of Pvt. Paige. Hannah attempts to talk to Rosalind after the incident, but is unable to comfort her grieving lieutenant, who isn’t in a mood to allow people to sympathise with her. When the British forces start to deploy to meet the incoming army Griff’s Eye detected, Hannah stops Rosalind from getting into her Armour, questioning her ability to operate effectively on the battlefield. She makes a comment about letting people die, at which point Rosalind loses her temper for an instant and slaps Hannah on the face.
As an Armour pilot, Hannah has earned the right to the rank of Captain and a powerful Rank 4 Armour, and can effectively dispatch large numbers of lesser enemies. Of particular note is her accuracy with her Armour’s unique armament, an extending claw on a retractable cable. Hannah’s constitution is also very impressive, as she is able to be cheery and unaffected immediately following a night of heavy drinking.
- Griff: Having known Griff for a long time, likely most of their lives, Hannah seems to care for Griff a great deal. When she comments that Griff ‘has no concept of risk or chance at all’, Ash implies that she likes that about him, to which she responds by teasing Ash rather than denying it. She is concerned for Griff’s safety in battle, and leans on him without complaint on the way back from the bar. She is also noticeably embarrassed on seeing his chest scar. It is possible that Hannah cares for Griff beyond being childhood friends, but this is unconfirmed.
- Ash: Hannah is on good terms with Griff’s lieutenant, to the point where they freely and light-heartedly make fun of each other like old friends. If nothing else, the two share a mutual desire to see Griff safe, meaning they can be friends.
- Rosalind: Hannah disregards any attempts by her lieutenant to mitigate her drinking habits, and the two do not seem to be nearly as close as the other Captain/Lieutenant pair seen in the series. She is initially contemptuous of Rosalind’s making friends with Pvt. Roberta Paige, later describing this friendship as ‘sickening to be around’. She later implies that she suspects them of being closer than just being friends, and by all evidence, is somewhat disturbed by what such a relationship would imply. After Pvt. Paige dies, Hannah attempts to talk to Rosalind, but ends up berating her lieutenant for alleging that no-one else could understand her loss. Having lost her own brother, Hannah finds the idea of this insulting, and has little patience for Rosalind’s grief after this.
- The combination of colours on Hannah’s medal strip is an exact reversal of those on Griff’s.
- ’Well, that’s Griff for you. It’s like the man has no concept of risk or chance at all.’
- ’They don’t seem to care that we’re in the middle of a war. You have to get used to the fact that every time you look at someone… it could be the last time you see them alive.’
- ’I need to get a hip-flask. I feel awkwardly sober.’
- ’Being prepared to lose people doesn’t make it hurt any less when it happens.’