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Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: point taken

I can see how the trust is not there for a complete crew mission at this point. There are a number of options available from taking the shuttle to getting Destiny close enough to do an EVA suit jump.I promise that whomever is left on the ship will have some excitment to deal with at some point. There is also the important job of monitoring the black, digging up data on the cortex, etc etc.



Posted on 2019-08-12 at 08:38:35.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: Mission

Anyone can pilot a shuttle. Now can anyone pilot a shuttle and make a airtight seal between it and a rotating derelict ship? That is another story. 


For a game perapective, one of the reasons I give you an NPC is so all players can go on missions. 

Posted on 2019-08-10 at 04:34:58.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: something like this

Sparrow Class Short - Range Shuttle 

Sparrow Class

Dimensions (LxBxH): 35 x 20 x 12 feet
Tonnage: 30 tons.
Speed Class: 2 cruise/6 hard-burn (reaction thrusters only).
Crew: Pilot, Copilot.
EVA Doors: Port, Starboard and underneath with self seal.
Life support: 30 man-days.
Fuel Capacity: 1 ton (1,000 hours).
Cargo and Passenger Capacity: 15 tons, or up to 12 passengers on fold-down benches.
Price: 550CR

Agi d8 Str d2 Vit d6 Ale d2 Int d2 Wil d4;
Init d8+d2 Life 6.

Healthy as a Horse; Short Range; Fast Throttle (Major)

Aerial Transport Operations/Shuttle d2 Space Transport Operations/Shuttle d2. Complexity: very low.

Maintenance costs 18CR per year.

Posted on 2019-08-09 at 10:05:39.
Edited on 2019-08-09 at 10:08:38 by Alacrity

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: One

Destiny has only the one shuttle on top. It is a slight bigger shuttle that can seat 7 (one as pilot). If you had to, you can pick 12 people into the shuttle before you will have life support issues. It was on the ship when you found it  as were all the lifepods




If you look up Sandfly class Firefly, you will see a similar setup if you need a visual. 

Posted on 2019-08-08 at 19:25:32.
Edited on 2019-08-08 at 19:34:45 by Alacrity

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: posted

Next post on the 22nd,

Check your PM's for additional info.

Posted on 2019-08-08 at 09:07:39.

Topic: Destiny's Flight - A Serenity RPG
Subject: da da

"Shinanigans...shinanigan, we ain't got time for no shinanigan,"Jonah grumbled out.

"I don't like it none," Wyatt mutters. "Xiâoxin. We've been running on too much good luck t' not have it blow back in our faces. Take us int' visual range but be ready on the throttle."

"Capt'n..we need to be real careful....we don't need any delays or distractions. If you don't find any signs of life , we ain't got time for another salvage."

About then he saw Ivy looking worried. She seemed to be repeating something. “Something is out there.” Ivy's faint voice filters in. “Something that needs help.”

That stopped Jonah cold. "We still need to be very careful."

Ivy put both hands to her head, covering her ears as if something loud was playing.

"Good to see you, Bullet" Alaxis said to Wolf coyly.

“You too Space Girl” Wolf replied while blushing.

“The shielding in the engineering quarters and the infirmary are the strongest of anywhere in the ship.” Ivy said to no one in particular. ”We have to save her. So much love. I’m sorry but I never lied to you.”

(Assuming a lot of stares)

Ivy put her hands down, “What? I … just had something stuck in my head like a song or a vid-clip.”

"Might not be the best time t' be distractin' Uncle Alex, Ivy-girl," Wyatt said quietly. The young lady nodded and left the cockpit without a word.




Destiny Day 3, 7:30 pm Ship Time (ST)

It was definitely a ship. A strange long vessel with an armour plating that seemed to absorb most sensor forms of detection. The ship was dead in the black, rotating awkwardly and drifting without direction. Alex brought the speed down as you approached. There was some damage to the ship, the communication array was destroyed and there are some burn marks on the armour, but not enough to disable it. The ship had a front facing gun port for some big gun, but no other weapons.

According to the computer, it was an Apollo class science/exploration vessel.  On the bow of the ghost ship was an emblem of an “earth that was” ship that used to sail the oceans with sheets of cloth to capture the wind. Superimposed over that was a woman holding a stalk of wheat, a matronly woman dressed in white robes. Under the image was the word “DEMETER”

Demeter? The Demeter????

The Legend of the Demeter:

During the Unification war, a group of Browncoats stole a large amount of platinum bars from the alliance to order to help fund their efforts in the war.  The story of amount stolen varies but it is usually 1000 of bars worth 100 platinum each and the funds were smuggled upon a ship called the Demeter to be delivered to Independence High command. But the ship never showed up, it just vanished from the verse, never to be found again. The High command was hit hard by this loss and declared the crew as traitors and put a bounty on their heads. It did not help, as the ship and crew were never seen again. 

The short wave radio message was still coming from the ship. “life support failure is imminent. Error 417719” There was a very faint energy signature from within the front area of the ship but the shielding made pinpointing it impossible.  Otherwise the ship before you was completely dead. Engines off and cold. No pulse beacon, no power and no life.

The Apollo class was not made for ship to ship connecting and has a very small cargo bay. You can not get Destiny close enough to connect, so you’d have to use the shuttle and try a manual override if you wanted to go over.

From the rec room beyond the cockpit, Ivy's voice can be heard in a dead tone, "Please save her. I love her so and she is just innocent. Please save her..."

Posted on 2019-08-08 at 07:47:29.
Edited on 2019-08-08 at 07:50:08 by Alacrity

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: back

Back from my vacation. Will read over everyone's posts and have a new one up by Thursday.

Posted on 2019-08-06 at 10:28:54.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: Welll

Uncle Fenris


Mr Wolf when she wants to know what time it is 

Posted on 2019-07-27 at 19:09:42.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: In addition

She calls Wyatt Captain or Uncle Wyatt or if she wants to be mischievous, Captain Uncle 

Posted on 2019-07-27 at 19:01:24.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: So this is the picture

When Ivy was brought on board and started with the crew, she was withdrawn and barely spoke. It took time for her to come around and one of the way to do so was the make the crew family to her. So she started calling everyone as aunt or uncle. It is her way of dealing with the enormity of her family being killed. You can tell her to stop calling you Uncle Pops but it won’t work. 

She does love learning and spends time with everyone learning about space stuff. She excels at physical activities as well, like martial arts, running and contortions. 

Posted on 2019-07-27 at 18:52:53.

Topic: Tann's NFL U-pick E'm game 2019-2020
Subject: see

What are the timelines again? When do we have to have picks in by?

Posted on 2019-07-26 at 07:45:00.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: pics

All characters have pictures and are updated in the Character thread.

I will be away for a week to a cottage with family and I hope to ignore my phone as much as possible. I will answer any questions when I get back on Saturday.


Posted on 2019-07-26 at 07:42:41.

Topic: Destiny's Flight - A Serenity RPG
Subject: Ping

The shipment was brought to the ship on a long bed mule, in the dead of night outside the city of Jagger. Yesterday, Molly made good on her word and you were fully “gassed” up on her account.  Four men, all Asian, got out of the vehicle and very efficiently pulled out a hover lift and took four skids off the mule and brought them aboard Destiny and strapped the skids down to the cargo bay without saying a single world. All of them wore black Gi with a “MM” logo over the left breast pocket and on the back, another logo in simple print “AliveOh Inc.” They silently returned to the vehicle as another person pulled up on a Harley Quinn Hover Bike. The rider took off her helmet to reveal a young Asian woman with white hair and very pale blue eyes. “Which one of you is Wyatt?” She asked cheerfully.

Even in the criminal world there is paperwork. Wyatt signed for the shipment, as the lady explained the “rules” once again. Do not open the goods, do not use the goods, do not let anyone examine the goods, avoid people who want to examine the goods and get the goods to Haven in five days. Payment will be made when goods are confirmed by a Wave. No, she wasn’t Molly. Molly doesn’t do the grunt work. Hey, that is a nice ship.

Each skid was the same – ten boxes labeled “Cockles and Mussels”, four tall, hard case of Protein Bars and two steel canisters labelled “HFCS” all wrapped within an inch of polymer shrink wrap. Destiny could do loops around a star and those skids weren’t going anywhere.

So you took off, left atmo and hurled off into the black. Three days went by in the usual way and everyone found ways to keep occupied. The route was put into the astrogation computer for an “out of the way” route to Haven that would still get you there with time to spare.

Destiny Day 3, 7:00 pm Ship Time (ST)

Alex sat back and watched the monitors. The autopilot was working the route and he did not need to be here but as it was the first mission, he wanted all to go right. The Pilot’s stomach was a bit upset after consuming Pops’ idea of “Chili” for dinner. Actually it was mostly beans and protein paste mixed with canned tomato sauce and some peppers that did not agree with digestion. Alex wished he had thought to get a Mint tea before coming to his post.

There was a polite tap at the hatchway and Alex turned his head to see Ivy stand there with a cylinder in her hand.

“Hey Uncle Alex. I brought you some mint tea.”

(assuming a response of thanks and how did you know)

“Oh I had the same dinner and I needed some too.” She said, “I was wondering if we could do some more astrogation lessons tonight? I am bored and could use the distraction.”

Whatever response Alex was going to make got lost as at that moment, the short wave radio monitor crackled and sputtered loudly. Alex quickly adjusted the scanner and homed in on the frequency that the signal was using.

Short wave out here? Who would be using Short wave in the Black?” 

Alex found the signal and boasted the reception. Whatever it was far way enough for the signal to be weak “”…life support failure is imminent. Error 417719, life support failure is imminent.  Error 417719, life support failure is imminent.“

The feminine voice repeats evenly over and over. A auto message to be sure. Alex did a quick query on the cortex for the error 417719 and came back with “medical life support system error – lost of power or backup battery power below 10%”

Doing a quick scan with the ship’s system and he got a location, about 3000 km away and directly in the path they were taking. Nothing on the charts to suggest a planet or moon which could mean a ship.

Alex hit the ship board intercom, “Captain to the bridge. Got something you need to see and hear.”

“Something is out there.” Ivy said while staring out into the Black. “Something that needs help.”


Next post by me  - Thursday August 8th.

Posted on 2019-07-25 at 10:04:05.
Edited on 2019-07-25 at 10:05:18 by Alacrity

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: Ballistic Vest and Armour

Armour can save your life but taking hits with bullets will eventually wear things down.  So in the Verse, armour comes with an armour rating. The rating in games terms is how often you can get hit before the armour can fail you. So an AR of 4 means you can take 4 shots to the armour before the plates give up. After 4 shots, the armour has a 25% chance of failure, then a 50%, than a 75% and then it is done for sure. I am assuming all armour owned by crew is Tier 1.

Tier 5 (AR 8 to 10) - Alliance armor, Generation X Carbon Nanosteel plating (Extremely valuable, accessible only to Alliance military)

Tier 4 (AR 7) - High grade armor, Generation VIII Draconis Steel plating (Highly valuable, accessible to Alliance military, rarely seen on black market)

Tier 3 (AR 6) - Medium grade armor, Generation V Amphorite Steel Plating (Valuable, accessible on black market, discontinued by Alliance military)

Tier 2 (AR 5) - Low grade armor, Generation II Reslin-Modernis Steel Plating (Uncommon, available for purchase legally with private security license, openly available on black market)

Tier 1 (AR 4) - Personal security armor, Generation I Torin-Black Ceramic Plating (Common, openly available for purchase)

Cheap gear and knock offs(AR 1-3) - When you can't afford the very best, there is Al's disposable body armour. Comes with a free body bag.

Posted on 2019-07-25 at 08:41:42.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: posting today

I plan to post today. Nomad, you may backpost or your character and then post for current situation.

Posted on 2019-07-25 at 08:12:10.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: communication

Communication in the ‘Verse

Part of The Cortex (the verse’s internet really) is a vast signal network that ties all the worlds in the ‘Verse together. It uses any and all available channels—laser, maser, broadcast radio— to ensure that a message is routed to the right destination. Due to the speed of light lag caused by the distances involved (up to eight hours to send out to the Rim and get a reply), messages, called “waves” because of the way they spread throughout the system, tend to be pre-recorded. Real-time conversations are limited to less than about 100,000 miles.

Short Wave radio – Used for your hand communicators, has a limited range of several thousands of kilometres. Not good for secrets cause frequencies can be listened to easily.

Waves –the Cortex signal network. Fast and can communicate across the verse. Very easily hacked or intercepted, especially to those who work for alliance.

Tight Beam Comm – Aimed at a single receiver, usually encrypted and the receiver has to be in a particular sector of space. Same lag issues as waves for very long distances but very secure.

You have the capacity to do all three from your ship as long as the communication array is operational.

Posted on 2019-07-25 at 08:10:05.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: Down by the bay

It was the housing for an auto cannon but you cleared it out and put in a winch to raise and lower the hover mule. 

Posted on 2019-07-23 at 16:15:42.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA


Medical bay is on the Lower deck and crew quarters are on Middle. Room #9 would put you closest to the lift.Or Room 12 could be made into a small crew quarters.

Posted on 2019-07-23 at 09:06:26.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: claim a room

Everyone should claim a crew quarter. Wolf, I will assume is taking the one under the engine room. I need to know where you sleep in case of, well you know.

Posted on 2019-07-23 at 08:15:38.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: posting

Pleas note that I plan to post this Thursday and so far I have only 3 posts from the crew.

Posted on 2019-07-22 at 09:23:17.

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: Oops

Sorry  it is now fixed


So ive been trying to post to the game i have most of my post written just need to transfer it to a computer but because im not listed as a player in it.. It wont allow me to post. 

Posted on 2019-07-18 at 09:42:22.

Topic: New Destiny Characters
Subject: The Ship


Name: Destiny

AGI: D10
INIT: D10+D8
LP: 6

Allure (minor) – Damn Sexy machine.
Fast Throttle (minor) – Fastest ship around, for sure.
You Want What? (Minor) – Hard to find parts, high maintenance due to retooling
Memorable (Minor) – Everyone remembers this ship

Skills (It is a transport but steers like a gunship)
Aerial Transport Operations/Gun-Ship d6
Perception d4
Space Navigation d2

Space Transport Operations/Gun-Ship d6

Dimensions (LxBxH): 106×125×48
Tonnage: 1920
Speed Class: 7 cruise / 11 hard burn
Fuel Capacity: 60 tons (600 hours)
Cargo Capacity/Maximum Deck Load: 480 tons
Crew Quarters: 6 single cabins
Passenger Capacity: 2 double cabins
Gear: One 30 ton Shuttle, Infirmary
Complexity: Low
Maintenance: 300/month, 3600/year
Quirk: It occasionally vents cool mist in certain areas (2,3,6,7,15 and 21). This mist swirls and disappears quickly and is no harm to anyone. However some of you have noted that the mist often looks like a lady dressed in white. A ghost? Well, no one believes in ghosts do they?


Sparrow Class Short - Range Shuttle 

Sparrow Class

Dimensions (LxBxH): 35 x 20 x 12 feet
Tonnage: 30 tons.
Speed Class: 2 cruise/6 hard-burn (reaction thrusters only).
Crew: Pilot, Copilot.
EVA Doors: Port, Starboard and underneath with self seal.
Life support: 30 man-days.
Fuel Capacity: 1 ton (1,000 hours).
Cargo and Passenger Capacity: 15 tons, or up to 12 passengers on fold-down benches.
Price: 550CR

Agi d8 Str d2 Vit d6 Ale d2 Int d2 Wil d4;
Init d8+d2 Life 6.

Healthy as a Horse; Short Range; Fast Throttle (Major)

Aerial Transport Operations/Shuttle d2 Space Transport Operations/Shuttle d2. Complexity: very low.

Maintenance costs 18CR per year.

Posted on 2019-07-17 at 09:38:41.
Edited on 2019-08-12 at 08:56:23 by Alacrity

Topic: Destiny Flight - QnA
Subject: all up

All Characters are posted, some are missing information but you have enough to work with.

Posted on 2019-07-17 at 09:29:07.

Topic: New Destiny Characters
Subject: Sean Callahan (Fox)



Name: Sean Callahan (Fox)


AGI: d10
STR: d6
VIT: d6
INT: d10
WILL: d8


Cortex Spectre (Minor) -2
Lightnin' Reflexes (Major) -4
Steady Calm (Minor) -2
Two-Fisted (Major) -2

Overconfident: +2
Deadly Enemy (Minor) +2
Ego Signature (Minor) +2
Traumatic Flashes (Minor) +2
Twitchy: +2


**Dodge: d8
Covert d6
**Disable Devices: d8
Discipline: d2
Guns d6
**Pistols: d8
Heavy Weapon: d2
Knowledge: d4
Melee Combat Weapons: d6
Perception d6
**Intuition d8
Planetary Vehicles: d4
Survival d6
**Space: d8
Unarmed Combat: d2
Linguist: d2
Mechanical Engineering: d2
Pilot: d4
Scientific Expertise: d2
Technical Engineering d6
**Hacking: d8



Newtech Pistol (Silenced) x2 (36 credits each) (Dual Wielded)
Damage: d8 Range: 150 Mag: 12 Weight: 2 (100 shots)
Dedicated Sourcebox
Data-library, Standard
Encyclopedia (Technical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering)
Patch Tape
Gun Cleaning Kit
Chameleon Suit
Fedband Scanner
Motion Sensor Array
"Jabberwocky" Signal Blocker
Lock Picks
Lock Picks, Electronic
Mag Charge
Cutting Torch
Tool Kit, Basic
Tool Set, Electronic


Showing more intelligence and skill than the average citizen, he was accepted into training that would have, eventually, led towards being an operatives. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), two things stood in his way. While he was more gifted than the majority of his peers, he wasn't spectacularly so, getting off to a quick start on most subjects, but not mastering them as quickly as his trainers would like. The other problem was the rebellious streak the training had uncovered. Surprising even himself, it turned out that intense scrutiny and the expected total subservience just rubbed him the absolute wrong way. Happening upon the information that he was going to be 'removed' from the program, he took the first available major unrest to escape. He does his best to forget what he's been through, afraid the Alliance will decide he's worth the trouble to find and finish removing. Knowing that records of him are almost nonexistent, he goes out of his way not to give anyone the tools to find what little there is, and introduces himself as Fox.

He now looks to use the tech skill and fighting training he received to make a way through the 'verse. He now rankles somewhat at orders, even reasonable ones, but can usually be made to listen to sense. One other item of note is his growing sense of pride (arrogance). Whenever he's not worried about the consequences, the fact he managed to escape goes to his head somewhat. This mainly manifests itself in his inability not to leave a calling card when using his tech skill to bypass any kind of security, physical or digital.

Posted on 2019-07-17 at 09:23:47.
Edited on 2019-07-17 at 09:27:35 by Alacrity

Topic: New Destiny Characters
Subject: Alexander Castlebrandt



Name: Alexander Castlebrandt/Dakota Jones

Aliases:  Hugh Thorstein, Alexander Castlebrandt, Dakota Jones, Karl Olson, Thomas Payne

Publications:*The Eternal Cradle, When Childhood Never Ends
*Reciprocal Obligations:  Society and Citizen
*Individual Rights in a Nurturing World; a Treatise on the Role of Government
*What about me?  Should Individual Choice Matter in the Modern World?
*The Declaration of Independence, An Idea whose Time Has Come Again?
*Which Came First, Society or the Individual?
*What is the Third Estate?  Old Questions for Modern Times
*Why Even Rebels Deserve a Life

Physical Attributes

Agility – d6
Strength – d6
Vitality – d6

Alertness – d8
Intelligence -  d12
Willpower – d10

Life Points:  16

Cortex Spectre – He went off the grid when he disappeared from his academic life and became a smuggler.   (Minor, -2)
Highly Educated – He has the background of a college professor of philosophy.  He was an associate professor at the University of New Atlantis.  His groundbreaking work gives him name recognition (as Hugh Thorstein) and academic respect, but also generates fear by those afraid of being associated with him or animosity by those who believe in the system.  (Minor, -2)
Natural Linguist – He has read materials from old earth in many languages.  He tries to publish in local languages.  The career of an academic is usually one laced with languages.   (Minor, -2)
Trustworthy Gut -  He has learned to trust his gut on everything from just how far he could push a boss or a publication to where he could leave a copy of a document without getting caught.  Guts and smugglers go together.  (Minor, -2)
Friends in High Places – These would come in two places:  1.  Academics impressed with his work.  Not super high places, but academics can be found anywhere there is a university.  2.  A career as a smuggler and specifically as a smuggler who is an expert in old-earth objects would lead to some connections. His connections are in many places, but aren’t exactly highly placed with the possible exception of people who have purchased old-earth materials.  (Minor, -2) 

*Credo – A strong moral code regarding how people should be treated.  This is based on his philosophical background.  Both existentialism and utilitarianism allow for some flexibility in how one determines what is right, but Alex will always try to do the right thing.   (Minor, +2)
Wanted – His original persona, Hugh Thorstein, is definitely wanted, although just for questionable (treasonous?) beliefs and writings.  Thomas Payne is likewise, plus he might be tagged as a smuggler.  Maybe.  Karl Olson is a known smuggler, but has no known connections to the previous two names.  Dakota Jones and Alexander Castlebrandt are not believed to be known to the authorities. He has never been convicted under any name.   (Major, +4)
Ego Mark – It really isn’t exactly an ego mark, but this seems to be the closest thing.  Alexander believes that the ideas he is writing about and the documents he is discovering are very important.  More important than one lone academic.  He tries to leave behind copies of revolutionary works so that others can find them and read them.  If he has the ability and opportunity this might be inserting computer files where others will accidently find them.  Or it might be leaving behind paper copies.  He teaches philosophy wherever the opportunity arises.  So it isn’t exactly an ego mark, but it seems to amount to the same thing.  (Major, +4)


Athletics d6   
**Dodge d8
Guns d6
Knowledge d6
**Philosophy d12
**Earth that was Antiquity d12
Influence d4
Linguist d6
**Old Earth languages d10

Pilot d6
**Navigation d10
**Transports d10
Planetary vehicles d2
Medical d4
Perception d6

Science Expertise d6    
Historical Sciences d8

Unarmed Combat d6



Hugh Thorstein was born and grew up in a moderately well-to-do family in one of the inner worlds ruled by the Alliance.  The world he knew took care of him and had provided well for his family.  It seemed a good system and a good life.  Young Hugh received a good education from his home town of Newcastle on Byrne and eventually went to university to study philosophy and archeology.  The history of Old Earth had always fascinated him, as did the gifts that society had given him and those around him.  Eventually he graduated with a PhD. In philosophy and received a position as an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of New Atlantis.  (It was a large island-based city, but few there understood the legend of Atlantis, which Hugh found to humorous.  The cities founders had only understood that Atlantis was a great island civilization.)

At first Hugh’s work was fairly ordinary and his first publication, Why Even Rebels Deserve a Life, was pretty-much straight Alliance policy.  The young philosopher was a product of his environment and believed what he had been taught.  But then as things were heating up with the outer planets, Hugh discovered a rare document deep in the archives of the university library.  It was titled, “What is the Third Estate” and was written by a man named the Abbe Seyes.  Hugh suspected nobody had seen the document in many years.  It raised questions about the role of the poor and the non-ruling classes in France back on Earth and it made him think.  It also lead him to find another document in the archives – “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.”  It spoke of human rights and freedom in ways that Hugh had never considered before.  Based on these documents his next publication, Which Came First, Society or the Individual? Did very well (for a philosophy book) and got people discussing some of the issues raised in these documents.  The book wasn’t exactly against Alliance teaching, but it questioned the boundaries of that system just as the war was heating up.  Hugh Thorstein did not get in trouble, but he did get on people’s radar.

               This work pushed the young philosopher to pursue other old-earth works as he realized that the questions he was confronting were not new at all but had been covered by some of the greatest minds of earth’s past.  But while he found hints of names he greatly desired to read:  Locke, Hobbes, Jefferson, Voltaire, Plato, Kant and others, he also discovered that the works of these men were rarely in the legal libraries.  For some reason the Alliance, his Alliance, the one he had grown up with and believed in since he was a small child, did not want him to read these authors.  In the grand tradition of banned books everywhere, this simply made the young man more eager to find the works and read what he was not supposed to read.

               The first one he found was by John Locke – a series of hints and connections led him to a private collection right in New Atlantis.  But quickly he discovered that he would have to go off-world to find the others.  Some of these books might have been lost forever as the Alliance erased them from official databases, but things from old-earth had value and were sometimes till to be found in private collections.  Travel quickly crippled the intellectual’s budget.  He had some experience flying from his younger days (moderately well-to-do parents have their advantages) and so he decided to push for his pilot’s license.  This allowed him to travel more on his own and at a lower cost, sometimes even hauling goods to make some extra cash.  It was not easy work.  People frequently hid their collections, at least those things that might be considered questionable by the authorities.  But Hugh got very good at ferreting them out and convincing people to let him read them.

               The next couple of years became a whirl-wind for the young academic.  He roamed the solar system finding new/old books and sometimes worked to see them republished for the first time in centuries.  He wrote his own books, gradually coming to believe that the Alliance he had admired as a child actually denied people the freedom they needed to make meaningful choices in their lives.  How could Sarte say people were “condemned to be free” if nobody was every allowed to make a meaningful choice?  He wanted those choices.  But the Alliance was less sure of him and despite a growing reputation in the philosophical community he was fired from his post at the University.  Hugh didn’t even know it at first – he had traveled into the outer rim in search of a copy of something called the “Declaration of Independence.”  He found it, but returning from rebel space with a revolutionary document to find himself forcibly unemployed was a clear danger sign to the academic who had always thought clear ideas would win out in the end.  He knew he was in danger and when a group of Alliance agents ransacked his apartment while he was out he decided it was time to run.  His last act of defiance under his old name was to publish the book, The Eternal Cradle, When Childhood Never Ends.  It raised serious questions about the value of a government that treated its citizens as children – taking care of their needs but never letting them become free-thinking adults.  Even Hugh knew the book was highly flamitory and would not be tolerated.  He published it in a last act of defiance and ran.

               The next few years were the peak of the war with the rebels in the outer rim.  The young academic thought many times of joining them, but decided he did more good trying to pry loose these bit of academic history and thought then by getting shot in a battle.  He changed his name and went on the run, dropping off the grid entirely.   The first name he chose was Thomas Payne.  He didn’t think government agents would be clever enough to see a link to the original Paine, but someone was.  Although Payne did manage to locate a few old works, he was quickly discovered and it was only through luck and the help of a group of university academics who (secretly) admired his work that he escaped.

               The next name he chose was Karl Olson.  Olson was a bland name and useful for the smuggler that he became.  He earned a reputation dealing in old-earth objects.  While the smuggler himself was most interested in books, he dealt in any object he could get his hands on in order to make his real targets less noticeable.  He got quite good at it.  He was part of a crew that worked together – he was the pilot.  His reputation with his crew and the entire smuggler world was greatly enhanced when he was able to confront a dealer who was underselling items.  His crew was due to be paid a small amount for delivering a series of items, but Olson, with his extensive background in old-earth items recognized that they were worth 100x what they were getting paid.  Since their contract guaranteed a percentage of the take and not just a set amount, he pushed the dealers into a much higher payout for his crew.  The dealers were upset, but also recognized that Olson’s skills would be valuable and the Olson-crew became well known.  Eventually, however, notoriety brings the authorities and the crew was forced to split up.  Hugh Thorstein abandoned the name of Karl Olson for the time being.  It was just too dangerous.  He didn’t think anyone had connected Hugh Thorstein/Thomas Payne with Karl Olson, but he couldn’t be sure.

               At that point the smuggling academic moved on to more individual work.  He kept looking for lost books from old earth.  And he occasionally published works under the name of Dakota Jones.  (Hey, I live in North Dakota, not Indiana!) They didn’t get huge print runs, but they did get printed – mostly in the outer worlds, but he knew that they sometimes worked their way towards the inner parts of the system.  Wherever he traveled he would leave behind copies of his books or copies of old documents.  Sometimes pamphlets, a format he learned had great success in earlier generations.  He smuggled to make money and to find the books that ignited his curiosity.  And smuggling also gave him a way to move around the system and spread what he found.

               After the war finally ended (He felt some guilt for not fighting with a gun, but felt that fighting with his pen was a better use of his skills.)  felt close to giving up on things.  The system he believed in as a child had one, but he no longer believed in it.  He didn’t think it was completely wrong.  A society had an obligation to see that its members had a chance at a decent life and this the Alliance did very well.  But freedom was a part of a decent life and that seemed to have lost.  But somewhere between needing another meal and knowing that ideas could not be allowed to die, he felt the need to get back to work.  The last couple of years he had worked mostly on his own, but his previous efforts had shown the value of a crew.  His recent work was under the name of Alexander Castlebrandt.  He published under Dakota Jones, but that name was known as a writer of revolutionary works.  He could not use it for day-to-day jobs.

               And so, Alexander Castlebrandt found himself looking for a crew.  He would smuggle whatever needed smuggling (almost anything, he would not do things he considered unethical) while using it as cover to try and uncover more lost works of old-earth.  If the opportunity allowed, he would try to keep writing himself and see that his works and the old books he uncovered got published.  Even a single volume might be the one that kept a book from disappearing forever.

Posted on 2019-07-17 at 08:56:04.
Edited on 2019-07-26 at 07:39:59 by Alacrity

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