User:Captain Hesperus

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Origins of a Trumble Trader

Captain Hesperus started young in his ambition to be inordinately rich and never have to work again. Graduating in the top ten of his class from the Lave Flight Academy at the tender age of 11 (cat years), his parents having spent a fortune on genetic enhancements to increase his intellect and piloting ability, he promptly turned down a position within the Galactic Navy to purchase his first Cobra Mark III. There followed a whirlwind series of illicit deals as the pubescent pilot trading in highly profitable (and highly illegal) Narcotics, Firearms and Slaves. Just when he thought he'd made his fortune, he was caught by a GalCop sting. After a ridiculously one-sided trial in which the GalCop prosecutor produced no less that 800 pieces of irrefutable evidence against Hesperus, his only defence was 'It was my evil twin brother'. The Magistrate was not convinced by this argument and Hesperus had his first stint at the GalPen. Ten years older and not having learned from his previous errors, he embarked on a flurry of money-making schemes. Many turned out to earn money for others, leaving the feckless Hesperus bemused, bankrupt and, at one point, married to no less than eight females of different species and one hermaphrodite Lobstoid. It was perhaps a turning point in his life and career when he was arrested and imprisoned for another 5 years for nine counts of bigamy and seven counts of fraud. The Magistrate at this time was lenient considering that Hesperus would be having to pay off nine divorcees.

A less than flattering image from the Captain's scrapbook
The Dubious Profit (right half is in the shade)

After his prison time, Hesperus sold his Cobra (which wasn't actually the first ship he'd bought, but was his fifteenth, the other fourteen having suffered a variety of bad endings) and bought a decrepit Python Cruiser which he promptly christened the 'Dubious Profit'. As he boarded, he found the engine room was inhabited by a six-foot-four-inch horned blue Lizard from Inera. It was after a minute's conversation that Hesperus found out the Lizard's name was Rus, he was the ship's chief engineer and the ship's previous owner owed him eight months back-pay. It took less than three seconds for Hesperus to hire him and all of four seconds for the Lizard to let go of his throat and allow air to enter his lungs again.

Hesperus hired five more crew members (if only to satisfy the GalCop Inspector of Shipping's order that all ships must leave with a full crew compliment).

The first was an Erbitian Large Feline called Stepan, who applied for the job as Navigator, but had to take two days to find the right docking bay to board the 'Dubious Profit'. Hesperus also discovered that the other reasons Stepan couldn't get work elsewhere was his unfeasible and insatiable love of Chewi-bars and incredibly bad personal hygiene.

Next came a Reredian Furry Insect who gave his name as D'vlin and said that he'd worked for the Galactic Navy performing essential maintenance. Later investigation revealed his essential maintenance tasks were to dust the control consoles of Navy Asps with his furry abdomen.

Next came a chef, an actual chef from Ordima. He was a Green Bony Bird called Gasazck. Except on weekends when he donned a gold lame dress, pink feather boa and eight-inch stiletto heels and refused to respond to any name other than 'Juanita'. Anyhow most meals consisted, at least in part, of goat soup...

Finally, he hired a pair of Large Yellow Bug-eyed Lobsters from Xeesenri, reasoning that should he ever become stranded in Witchspace, he could survive just fine with two 'Emergency Meals'. He didn't really know their names and when he asked, the torrent of spittle they sprayed from their mandibles distracted him long enough for him to miss them anyway. Taking advantage of their absolute lack of knowledge regarding Haute Cuisine he named the taller one Thermadore and the shorter Bisque. Since their shyness made them useless at loading and unloading cargo, he assigned them to help in the Engine Room with Rus.

With his surly, Chewi-bar-obsessed, dishonest, transvestite, spittle-spraying crew, he set out to fulfil his destiny.....

Just as soon as he clears the Space Station docking port...Crunch, scrape, grind, snap BOOOOOM!!

Game Over

Press Space, Commander.

In the time he isn't peeling layers of paint off his worthless wreck of a Python or pleading with GalCop policemen not to give him *another* illegal docking ticket, Captain Hesperus can be found on the Oolite Bulletin Boards where he is likely to be in a secluded clock tower with a high-powered sniping rifle ridding the Boards of spam-bots.

A Traveller's Tale

It's one thing to encounter a ghost on a station, or even an entire ghost ship. But what about if you're actually flying a ghost ship?

As you may or may not know, the 'Dubious Profit' is a very old ship. What you probably didn't know is that she's actually several very old ships all welded together. Yeah, the underpinnings and superstructure are original in the most part, but the rest has been replaced due to structural failure, battle damage and more than my lifetime's worth of space travel.

Now, I'm not a superstitious person by nature, but us felinoids have an innate kind of 'sixth sense'. It's, I don't know, some sort of danger sense and supernatural sensitivity rolled into one. It's helped me out often enough, though is all I can say. But even not being sceptical to ghost stories and all that jazz, there's a place on the ol' 'DP' that really make me shudder. It's Corridor 12 up on Deck Two. The corridor runs alongside the outer hull and has a boarding airlock halfway along. The original was condemned by the GalCop Inspectors a few years before I bought her and the last commander replaced it like I do with salvage from scrapped ships. Every time I have to go up there, it's all I can do to stop my fur standing on end and my tail from fluffing out like a squirreloid's.

Last time I was up there, I got this horrible feeling someone was following me, right on my heels they were and when I heard and, yes, felt a breath on the back of my neck I sprinted the length of that corridor, locked the blast door at the other end and checked the internal sensors. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Quirs*. I put it down to an overactive imagination and an upset stomach, since Gazzack had surprised us all with a truely hideous Goat Soup Vindaloo, so I thought nothing of it. Not until I was flying us in-system at Rabedira with a sweet load of 'machine parts'. I had, unfortunately, drawn the dog-watch shift and had to lose sleep while everyone else got some rest. There was only me and D'vlin on the bridge, because that good-for-nothing bug had just eaten and couldn't rest until he'd digested the nameless slop he'd sucked down. So there he was going on about his exploits as part of the Galactic Navy Starship Maintenance Cadre. Just as he was getting to the interesting part of his story involving a pair of Green Fat Bird prostitutes on Erlage, the internal sensors chimed up an alert. Apparently sensors in an area of the ship that was rarely used were detecting movement and sound. D'vlin checked the location and my heart fluttered as he told me it was Corridor 12, Deck Two.

Suppressing the sudden urge to yowl, I told him to put a visual up on the auxiliary screens. He tried, but the screens showed nothing but static. The audio feed, however, was picking up just fine. We sat in horror listening to the sounds of screams and raging combat. It was possibly a couple of minutes before I managed to order the entire corridor locked down and for D'vlin to run a life sign scan. D'vlin, for his part, actually performed his task quickly, sealing the corridor off from the rest of the ship and initiating the scans. Even as the results came up on screen, the sounds on the speakers abruptly stopped. The screen said, "Life signs: 0".

That night was the longest D'vlin and I ever experienced and neither of us decided to leave the bridge 'til we docked. Hell, we nearly leapt out of our seats in fear when Stepan came to relieve me at the helm.

After we docked, I checked up the ship's service record and found the entry for the replacement of Corridor 12, Deck Two. The record showed it had come from a Python called the 'Derceto', which had belonged to a slaver who posed as a passenger liner captain. This man was the lowest of the low, changing his ship's name and registry and taking on paying passengers, then way-laying them mid-journey, bundling them into cryo-pods and selling them as slaves. To make things worse he was a confirmed Brabenite, believing that the Universe was some complex computer program of his god and that the lives of his victims didn't matter, because they didn't really exist. As the man continued his evil trade, he found that combat-adapted slaves garnered more Credit from those individuals who ran exotic show-fighting companies or private armies. So on top of drugging and cryo-suspending his slaves, the commander started modifying them with combat bionics and implanted stim-dispensers. As you can imagine, the Credit started to roll in and all was well for the 'Derceto's' master.

It all came to an end when he was at the end of a lucrative run. He'd just jumped into the system where he intended to sell his slaves and was in the process of switching over his ship registry from the assumed identity he'd been using to the actual ship registry. Just at that point, a GalCop Viper Interceptor came on-scanner and found that his ship registry didn't match his ship's IFF transponder. The Blues demanded that he stop engines and prepare to be boarded, and the commander had no alternative but to agree. However, he had a plan. He directed the Interceptor to the airlock in Corridor 12, Deck Two and at the same time had his crew and a choice number of the stimmed and adapted slaves waiting either end of the corridor. As the Coppers boarded, the crew and slaves attacked, slaughtering them within seconds. But it didn't end there. The slaves realised that if they allowed themselves to be taken alive, they would remain slaves forever so they attacked the 'Derceto's' crew.

Now the Python's crew were veteran spacers, well armed and wearing good quality armour, but they were nothing against a rampaging horde of angry, desperate combat-slaves. Almost all the crew in Corridor 12 were killed, the rest fleeing to all ends of the ship. The slaves didn't stop there. They went straight to the cargo holds where the entire bay was full to bursting point with cargo pods full of their own kind. Within moments, hundreds of crazed cyborg killers were racing through the corridors of the Python, killing every living thing they encountered. The commander of the 'Derceto' attempted to get out using the docked Interceptor as a means of escape, but even as he tried to close the airlock, a slave dragged him through and held him in the doorway so that the door crushed him to death. The surviving slaves piloted the blood-soaked Python into dock and managed to be returned to their home worlds. The 'Derceto' was decommissioned and broken down for parts and the 'Dubious Profit' got that corridor.

Now that's pretty scary, but it's nothing to what happened recently. I was pretty low on Creds and the crew were looking daggers at me, so I decided on a bit of 'Black Trading' to bolster the wage funds. The best way was to buy some best Ararusian narcotics, 'Nose Candy' as the locals call it and ship it to Ensoreus, where the rich Corporate bosses lap the stuff up by the tonne. We'd just dropped out of Witchspace when the threat alerts went off and we saw a handful of pirates powering towards us. A Krait, a Mamba and a Moray. Bad news was that I had skimped (again) on missiles and I only had one Hardhead and the other was a standard Copperhead, so I decided to pop the standard at the Mamba, while capping the Krait with the Hardhead. Just my luck these guys really like working together, 'cos the Moray hit the ECM even as my missiles left the bays. Scratch one Krait, but that Mamba was damn elusive, while the Moray stayed on my tail, grinding down the aft shields. By the time I finally vaped the Mamba, the aft shields were toast and the engine section was taking a real hammering, so I flashed out a "we ain't got anything worthwhile" message. The Moray cut the laserfire and messaged us back, "Power down and prepare to be boarded".

That looked like the end, so I ordered everyone to standby to repel boarders. The Moray docked, setting her soft-seal airlock over one of the 'Profit's' upper airlocks. I barely noticed which until the computer flashed up an internal motion detector alert on Corridor 12, Deck Two. I quickly checked the external sensors and with a mounting sense of fear noticed that was where the airlock the Moray had docked with. I was about to order the crew up there, when the sound of fighting and screaming filled the internal com-system. It was coming from just outside the airlock and as the computer registered the external and internal airlock doors opening, the sounds took on a higher more feverish tone. I noticed my hands were shaking as I set about sealing the corridor and ordered Rus and his Lobstoids to the aft end of the corridor as I lead Stepan and D'vlin to the fore end. When we got there, the doors were still shut. No-one had attempted to override the locks, nor was there any external signs of the being cut or forced. I checked the sensors and was greatly disturbed by the fact that there was no sound, no movement and no readable life signs. I gave the order to unseal the doors and my crew flooded into the corridor, lasers ready for anything we encountered.

What we actually encountered, nothing could have prepared us for. Everywhere we looked there was blood. It was pooled on the floor, it was splashed across the walls in crimson, blue and green arcs. It even dripped from the ceiling. And then there were the bodies. Slumped on the floor were maybe half a dozen humanoids of different descriptions, a Large Red Frog and a Large Fat Black Bird. They were all dead, torn apart by who knows what. I investigated further, trying to avoid slipping on the blood-slicked floor plating, going up to the airlock itself. Just as I reached the inner door I found a Human, still alive but fading fast. He was clutching at a gaping wound in his abdomen which pumped bright red blood in ever smaller amounts. His eyes were wide and had a haunted look about them and his hair was pure while, although he looked quite young. He looked at me and whispered, "We shot them, but hit nothing. Our lasers had no effect, it's like they weren't there.". Even as I called for Rus to help, the man's blood stopped flowing out of him and his eyes went blank. By the time Rus reached me, the Human was dead. It was then that Rus drew my attention to the airlock, which I had not noticed while the man was alive. I looked and gasped as I saw, trapped between the outer airlock door and the door frame, the crushed and barely recognisable figure of a Large Yellow Bug-Eyed Lobster.

We limped in-system still with the Moray attached to the outer hull and the pirate corpses stored in the ship's med-bay. A GalCop Viper docked with our underside airlock and a pilot came aboard to take possssion of the Moray and the bodies. Rus took him up to the ship, as I didn't want to go anywhere near that corridor again. When Rus returned to the bridge, and the Viper and Moray had gone, he told me that even though the internal heating had been at standard ambient temperature, Corridor 12 of Deck Two had been noticably colder than everywhere else. Once we were docked, I went up to the corridor one last time. I disconnected the internal sensors and com-systems to the entire corridor, used a plasma welder to seal both the inner and outer airlock doors and then finally sealed the blast doors at both ends of the corridor. After that, I though no more about Corridor 12, Deck Two.

Captain Hesperus

  • Universal Translator: Quirs is the Orriraian purr-word for 'absolutely nothing'.

Captain Hesperus (2008)

Hesperus' life of crime started at a young age...


Captain Hesperus on Captain Hesperus

Short novellae recounted by Blaze O'Glory, recounting episodes in the life and travels of Captain Hesperus:

More deeds of derring-do recounted by Littlebear - check his entry at List of Oolite stories

Other matter

Captain Hesperus's fan club (2007)

He was active in helping create The Assassins Guild OXP

Current activities: Youtube (2007-21)

Wiki pages

Some of the better examples of Captain Hesperus' imagination.


    "personalities-hesperus" = {
        bounty = 150; 
        name = "Captain Jack Hesperus"; 
        "random_seed" = "0 0 0 0 0 0"; 
        "short_description" = "a notorious, feline trumble dealer from Orrira";