It's the year 2658. The discovery of faster-than-light hyper-drive technology four centuries earlier enabled Earth to reach out into the universe, forging alliances with other sentient races and sending her children forth to colonize formerly uninhabited planets. It's a time of growth, prosperity, and boundless adventure. It is not, however, a time of peace.
The universe can be a harsh place. There's competition between species for habitable planets, and occasionally that competition turns violent. Misunderstandings sometimes break out between colonies. And--most importantly--pirates have free reign in much of the vastness of space, trolling the paths between worlds in order to targeting the wealthy trade ships that carry goods from world to world, and sometimes attacking the colonies themselves, claiming the goods that the settlers have produced and selling the surviving colonists as slaves.
In response to these problems, the human confederation has united with several allied races to create a fleet of military ships designed to keep the peace and combat piracy. The Fleet mixes diplomacy with military capability, aiding in negotiations between competing races, smoothing relations between colonies, and taking on the pirates who plague the their worlds.
The Victory is a heavy battle cruiser. Some Fleet ships may scout or spy or host diplomats from a dozen worlds; the Victory's main concern is hunting pirates. It's a first response ship, jumping to ships and colonies while they're still under attack, fighting off the pirates directly, and aiding survivors when they can. In-between attacks Victory patrols the vulnerable worlds and escorts high risk targets. When possible, it identifies and attacks the hidden stations and rogue colonies that hide the pirates and host the slave markets.
The crew of the Victory numbers nearly 1000, making it the third-largest ship in the Fleet. It’s a deep-space ship designed to spend a year or more in space without making landfall. Previous experience has suggested this isn’t good for the crew, however, so this rarely happens in practice. Instead, the ship is usually out for about two months at a time in-between stops at various planets and stations, mostly ones on the fringes of colonized space where the pirates operate most freely.
The Victory carries two branches of the military: Fleet officers who run the ship, and Marines, who handle more direct confrontations with enemies. The two groups stay separate when on-duty, but off-duty friendships sometimes form across lines. Captain Ayres encourages this, believing that even on a large ship like Victory, the length of time they spend alone in space requires that people have as many options for socializing and forming friendships as possible.
Humans make up the majority of the crew on Victory, but there are members of other species as well. The Communications Officer is the best-known example among the crew, but there are also several Dyvani among the Marines, and a Wethon nurse (common to all large ships because of their amazing diagnostic capabilities).
Outside of the military, humans and non-humans tend to mix only among the upper classes on a few well-settled worlds, or on the odd shared colony world, so most humans enter Fleet having never before encountered a sentient non-human. Basic training is designed to take care of this, both by instructing recruits in basic interaction differences and forcing interaction with different species during group exercises. Thus in general, a mixed crew isn’t a problem, but occasionally tensions arise, particularly between the Dyvani and the younger Fleet members as the Dyvani serve exclusively in the Marines and thus spacers don’t encounter them during Basic.
One other issues that faces Victory is the ongoing jockeying for space and resources, even among allies. While the human confederation is officially allied with eleven other races, the strength of those alliances waxes and wanes over time, leading to some friendly espionage, accusations of favoritism in the Fleet, and the occasional all-out battle. In addition to that, Victory faces the problem that a handful of pirates are wealthy and well-connected, and receiving support from high-level figures within the confederation. It is for these reasons that the Victory carries an Intelligence Officer. While her role in tracking pirate networks is well-known, her role in monitoring crew loyalty and tracing money trails between pirates and confederation politicians, scientists, and industrialists is less well-known but equally important.
DEIRDRE AYRES - CAPTAIN
Deirdre Ayres is the captain of the Victory. A child of one of the younger colonies, she grew up under the constant threat of pirate attacks and consequently has both great sympathy for new colonies and a strong hatred of pirates. Her desire to wipe out the pirates sometimes leads her to skirt regulations that she regards as poorly thought-out or more applicable to the central worlds than the edges of colonized space. However, she's invariably smart about it, taking care to risk neither ship or crew unnecessarily, and she's never yet been caught in a situation she couldn't talk her way out of.
Ayres is also intensely loyal to her crew. While she has little tolerance for cowards or fools, she'll go the distance to protect her people.
LIAM CABRERA - FIRST OFFICER
Liam Cabrera grew up dreaming of space. He was born on Trisus, one of original three colonies of Earth--a place long settled and very civilized. He's the eldest son of a prominent politician; his father initially supported his career path, thinking it the perfect way for his son to launch his own political career, but he's grown increasingly unhappy with his Liam's decision to stay in the Fleet, and particularly with his decision to serve on a heavy cruiser rather than one of the more diplomacy-oriented ships that might earn him useful contacts.
Like his captain, Liam is committed to the eradication of pirates. Unlike his captain, he believes this can be done by the book. While he's not a complete stickler for regulations, he does believe that it's important to adhere to one's principles or one risks becoming what one fights. He's a man of integrity who will never make the easy wrong decision instead of the hard, right one.
TESS KINLAN - WEAPONS OFFICER
Major Tess Kinlan is the Weapons Officer aboard Victory. She's a brilliant tactician and competent strategist, and her love of blowing things up is second to none. She's served with both Ayres and Carbera on previous ships, and she's loyal to both, although she tends to quietly favour Carbera when the issue of following regulations comes up.
The Fleet is Tess's whole life--both her parents were Fleet officers, and her brother and sister currently serve as well. Tess's mother was killed in a skirmish with the K'tak when she was at the Fleet Academy; the incident--in which the K'tak violated a truce--has left her with a lingering suspicion of the species, although she tries not to let it show on the rare occasions that Victory deals with them.
SOPHIE HOLLINGWORTH – INTELLIGENCE OFFICER
They say that Sophie always gets her man. Or woman for that matter, and it doesn’t matter on the circumstances. I bit of a heartbreaker, she seems to be able to flirt with anyone and this is just one of the many tools in her arsenal to retrieve information. Its rumoured that Sophie made her way on ship after sleeping with Ayers, but no one is willing to ask. She’s also one of the few people that can get Liam out of a foul mood (and out drinking).
No one knows much about Sophie, either, where she came from, or even if that’s her real name.
But the information that she gathers is always 100% accurate and dispute the whispers, she’s loyal to Victory. Occasionally she’ll be off ship, and has her own short-range shuttle to go about her business.
JEANNE ALLARD - MARINE LIEUTENANT-COLONEL
Lieutenant Colonel Jeanne Allard is in charge of the Marine contingent on Victory. While many of their battles are ship-to-ship, sometimes pirates must be fought face-to-face, and that's when the captain calls on the Marines.
Allard is an experienced soldier and superb leader. Like the captain, she believes in doing what it takes to get the job done. Unlike the captain, she's not always able to talk herself out of the resulting trouble. Until recently, however, her natural talent was enough to overcome what doubts Command may have had about her. Her last posting changed that: Allard broke the regs and paid for it with a dozen dead Marines. The incident destroyed her career--she knows she's lucky to have her posting on Victory and that all dreams of further promotion are now dead. She's too shaken by the consequences of her decision to fight; instead she's thrown herself into her job in the time she has left to try to make up for what she did. She dreads the day when she'll no longer have work to distract her from her memories.
XAVIER RAGNOK - MARINE SERGEANT
Xavier Ragnok joined the Marines to escape a difficult life on a mining colony. He went in planning to put in his four years and get out; instead, he found that he loved the life and he turned it into a career.
Xavier is a loyal Marine who excels at hand-to-hand combat. He runs regular tournaments among the Marines as a way of keeping them busy and keeping his own skills sharp. He's a loyal second to Allard, keeping order among the Marines during slow times and maintaining combat readiness. He's generally well-liked among the crew, and tends to hang out with Tess Kinlan when he's off-duty. The rumours say they spend their time going over weapons specs.
Xavier hasn't forgotten his roots; he rarely talks about it, but he sends money home to his mother every month to help keep his younger siblings in school and out of the mines.
MATTHEW SAINT – NAVIGATION
Matthew was brought up on a ship, and has lived on ships all his life. While he seems young he can navigate anywhere on any system. He is also psychic – although this is limited, and will occasionally navigate by feel. He comes from a family of 5 brothers, and is usually rather sarcastic at the wrong moments.
Generally a positive and happy member of the crew, he is also knowledgeable about different cultures and spends a lot of time with Pip talking about various places about the universe. He also has a love-hate relationship with Xavier who likes to beat him at chess, but since they arrived on the ship on the same day have formed a long friendship. Even though Xavier likes to torment him with drills.
PHILIPPA GOM (Pip) - COMMUNICATIONS
Although she mostly has a human-like appearance, Pip is not Human and occasionally this is an issue for certain settlements. However, any trouble she may have is made up with how brilliant she is at her job. Pip always follows directions, of her superiors, and genuinely believes the Victory is helping save people. Her only living family is her mother, a successful trader on her home planet. Her father and brother died when she was young in an accident.
Pip is very social and friends with the whole crew. While she appears to be one of the younger members of the crew, she is technically older than she looks, and her race tends to live longer than humans. She is often behind many (failed) attempts to get the crew to socialise.
DR BILLY WAMSLEY - CMO
Dr Wamsley grew up on Earth, and never thought he would spend his career on a ship. Once a very prideful man, he left Earth when passed over for a promotion and wasn’t prepared for what he saw. Often judgemental of some of the areas the ship visits, he is always professional in dealing with patients and crew. He’s been a member of the ship for 3 years, and has come to respect Ayres, and her decisions but will often consider himself a voice of reason on the ship as someone a bit more civilised.
A bit of a prat, and a brilliant doctor he gets along well with the crew who know he means well. He spends a fair bit of time making sure the ships still is working, producing moonshine that is used for trade and more often that not – anaesthesia.
CAROLINA FOSTER - FORENSICS EXPERT
Carolina Foster is the youngest of a family of four, and always wanted to be a ballerina. Instead, after a promising aptitude for science she graduated and went straight into the fleet program, wanting to see the world.
Quiet and shy, although always friendly she doesn’t seem to have much of a personality at first but is soon the go-to person for trashy tv and movies on the ship. She always follow the book on cases and this sometimes puts her at odds with the other crew members, but it means that she rarely makes mistakes and can be relied on to give the right answers. One of the newest members of the Victory, she has a great sense of humour and is good friends with the medical staff.
Created by everythingshiny and skieswideopen.
This entry was originally posted at http://skieswideopen.dreamwidth.org/918