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Avril Bitra is one of the technicians brought along on the original colonization of Pern as a contractor
Avril was the Pern expedition's only qualified and fully experienced astrogator and in that function a member of the crew of the Yokohama. She did not come to Pern to stay, however. She had in her posession a ruby that her great grandmother, Shavva bint Faroud, a member of the original Exploration and Evaluation Corps (EEC) team, had found. She also was some how in possession of the original EEC survey report as well.
After the end of her brief shipboard relationship with Admiral Benden, Avril automatically turned to other persons who, contrary to Benden, had characters to match hers although she took great care to always have the upper hand which wasn't too difficult for this highly intelligent woman with the unfortunately warped mind. She eventually talked Nabhi Nabol, Bart Lemos, Stev Kimmer, and a few unnamed persons into joining her plans for finding as many precious stones as she could. It is unknown what enticement she offered them other than wealth since she planned to steal the admiral's gig, the only ship with interstellar travel capability, and pilot it to the nearest system.
Avril, Stev, Bart, and Nabhi set up their stake on the "Big Island", what is modern day Ista. She, along with Stev, eventually discover a huge horde of black diamonds, which she steals from him in the middle of the night. She then flies to Landing, where she hides in the surrounding hills. As Kenjo Fusaiyuki and Zi Ongola prepare to take the admiral's gig into space to discover the nature and origin of thread, she sees her chance and knocks them out with some sort of pipe, killing Kenjo and severely injuring Ongola. As she is taking off, Sallah Telgar sees her and decides to follow. Sallah is knocked unconscious in the takeoff, and is captured by Avril. Avril then forces Sallah to help her fix the guidance system, which Ongola had disabled to prevent interstellar travel in the gig. Sallah does so, and Avril leaves her to die on the Yokohama. Unbeknownst to Avril, Ongola had also replaced a chip on the gig, so that the guidance system appeared to work, but in reality would just send the ship in whatever direction it happened to be pointing. Unluckily for Avril, the ship was on a heading directly towards the Red Star, killing her as she entered the atmosphere. Her last words, "its not the..." caused some confusion among the leaders of Pern.
After the end of the First Pass, dissidents from Benden Hold founded Bitra Hold, located to the northwest of Benden. The hold was named after Avril as the founders held a different view of her actions and place in the history of Pern.
Personality and traits
Avril is a dark haired, dark eyed beauty with sallow skin. She has a very sharp temper, and is quick to ridicule and mock. She has a strong sexuality, and will use it to get what she wants. She is very selfish, but also very clever.