Commander "Blaze O'Glory" is the current pseudonym of an individual with a, to say the least, murky past. More than twenty years ago, it appears he was a starship pilot who suffered some form of mishap and was forced to eject. A series of failures in the escape pod systems – possibly damaged in the attack or accident – put the pod into a highly eccentric elliptical orbit around the star. By sheer chance the pod, now pitted by micrometeorites and scoured by solar radiation, was picked up a couple of years ago. The pod was turned over to the Moray Medicals, who, to their surprise and growing horror, discovered that the occupant was still alive.
The internal life-support mechanisms had been radically altered. Resyk units had been patched, recircuited and reprioritised, mated in desperate ways with the onboard autodoc, and stretched far beyond their design limits. The pilot was, indeed, alive: but no closed system is 100% efficient. Over the years the machinery had been forced to cannibalise all available resources to maintain core brain activity. "All available resources" ... you don't need legs to live, or arms; or skin; or flesh; or bones. Then one major organ system after another had been consumed, their functions taken over by mechanical processes. By the time rescue came, the pilot had been stripped down, piece by piece, reduced – simplified – to a nervous system and nothing else, held suspended in a soupy fluid within a pressure suit.
The motto of the Moray Medicals is "Never Say Die". This case tested it to its fullest. Eventually, however, with infinite patience, they excised this bundle of nerves from its warped cocoon and placed it in a specially-designed suspensor tank, meshed into sensor webs and a set of basic manipulators. Then they handed it over to the Psychs – and hit the local bars, hard.
The pilot's original personality and memories were almost wholly gone. But radical egosurgery and experimental wetware did manage to coax a functioning, and to all intents and purposes sane, individual from the remains.
A long-running legal battle ensued between the Medicals, the disembodied brain (now referring to itself as "Blaze O'Glory", which caused the Psychs some concern) and EV-Away!, the manufacturers of his escape pod. The pod's black-box recorder had been cooked, and there was no record of who the pilot actually was, how much his insurance policy should pay out, or if it was even still valid. Eventually, suffering from increasing bad publicity, the manufacturers caved in and agreed to settle out of court. The medical bills were paid, and Blaze O'Glory was given a basic ship and 100 creds. EV-Away! had at first suggested a Worm, but O'Glory stuck to his guns and held out for a minimum-spec Cobra Mk III, which he named the Potage Électrique. His pilot's skills, although perhaps – who can say? – not what they used to be, seem at least adequate: he's made it to Elite, and has fought and traded his way up to a cherry-red Wolf Mark II SE, the Radio Maru, too. Clamped into the fabric of the ship, and wired directly to the controls, he's carving out a new life for himself across the quadrant.
Potage Électrique, Cobra Mark III
Likely Story, Iguana
Prodigal Daughter, Python Class Cruiser
Radio Maru, Wolf Mark II (current; recently upgraded to Wolf Mark II Special Edition)
Blaze O'Glory is currently rated Clean. His record contains one misdemeanor, now expired, for launching from a GalCo-op station with a ton of Narcotics on board. He was briefly listed as Fugitive – Most Wanted – Shoot on Sight following an incident on Gelegeus in Galaxy 1. O'Glory was arrested and charged with Creating Alarm and Despond, Disrupting the Orderly Operation of the Station, Impersonating a Hostile Intelligence, and Trading in Sub-Standard Goods (Liquors, Wines and Beverages subsection). He was found Not Guilty on all counts. An attempt by Commander O'Glory to sue the station for wrongful arrest was dismissed by the Gelegeus Merchants' Court.
|Gelegeus is mildly notable for Gelegeusian Di water.|
|Old Galactic Catalogue Entry for 1:189 (Gelegeus)|
The Gelegeus Incident
O'Glory has published his own account of the events on Gelegeus:
- Oh dear. I'd hoped that people had forgotten about that embarrassing little episode. Really, it was a long time ago, and was nothing more than a stupid misunderstanding that's been blown out of all proportion. I suppose I should set the record straight.
- I was pretty raw back then, both as a pilot and as an individual. I was still flying my first ship, the Potage Électrique, a Cobra III, and I was still finding out about myself. Was I a hard-working trader? A sundogging space bum? A stone-cold killer? Of course, now I realise that these crude categories don't really describe anyone, but in the early days I was just the basic core of a personality, built up from wetware wafers and pseudo-experiences, grafted onto whatever rudimentary neural structures remained from whoever was in here before me. I was seeking some kind of definition.
- Anyway, I'd fitted out the Potage Électrique with a military laser and upped her shields. I'd had a few firefights before, of course, but on a small scale and in self-defence only. Now I was off looking for trouble.
- Gelegeus and its neighbouring systems (Zaleriza, anarchy; Xeenle, anarchy; Eszaraxe, anarchy; Isveve, anarchy; Xeesenri, anarchy) is a good place to find that. Honestly, the whole sector is in chaos; there must be something in the background radiation. So in I went, and although I gave as good as I got, and then some – pushed my ratings all the way up from "Average" to "Competent" in five jumps – I scared myself silly in the process. I'll fight, if it comes down to it, and kill if I have to, but I take no joy in it. I was not, it would seem, a pirate, assassin or bounty-hunter. I decided to get out while I was still in one piece, and headed for Biisza, the only island of sanity in the whole volume.
- To get there, though, I had to head through Gelegeus. It's a multi-government system, a backwards little poor agricultural. I wish I'd just sunskimmed and headed on for Biisza, but there was a "Free Trade Zone" lurking between me and the star so I ran in to the main station instead.
- Well that was a ropey run and no mistake. I fought through a five-way furball, dealt with a lone-wolf Asp, and got jumped by a Fer-de-Lance and his two Cobra 1 friends all in the space of three hundred klicks. As the dust cleared, and I was setting up to collect some cargo, I spotted two Iguanas, a Cat and a big Black Dog sliding in. Being somewhat beat up, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and survival was the cherry on the top. I hightailed it out on my injectors. Fortunately they were too busy reaping the rewards of my hard labours to bother with more than a token pursuit.
- So by the time I got into Gelegeus station, I was in a pretty foul mood. It got worse after I discovered that the local scutters weren't remotely qualified to carry out any of the necessary repairs. Then I received a demand to explain a discrepancy in my bill of lading; a cannister of luxury goods which I'd had in there had been destroyed in the fighting, but the Gelegeusians were claiming it was still there and was actually liquor and wines. Basically, a whole good ton of Solageonian Tree-Wolf musk had been blown all over the inside of the cargo bay, but the dock crew were prepared to drink the residue so as far as they were concerned it was booze. I told them that if they wanted to drink it, they were welcome and with my blessing, as long as they finished servicing the Potage Électrique first. Okay and thank you, came the reply, but could I just indent the bill – manually, of all things. I told you they were backwards.
- Fine. Right. I popped the canopy and trundled out onto the wing of the Potage: and that's when all hell broke loose. Suddenly there was screaming and shouting, and klaxons going off all over; scutters were bumping into each other, blast-doors were clanging down and a bunch of local Blues came charging out waving a goddam EMpulser, screaming about an outbreak and ordering everyone to crash their systems. Well, I turned around to get back into the cockpit and purge the computer when the bastards opened up – on me.
- I locked up dead. My core systems were shielded, of course, but I was still in my original basic transport body. My manipulators, my treads, my communications, my sensorium, all got pulled down by the EMP. I was caught in frozen darkness: no sound, no sight, no sensation at all, just me and my neurons, all on our ownsome, for what seemed like an eternity but probably wasn't much longer than a couple of hours.
- They don't get many cyborgs through there; certainly none as radical as yours truly. Turned out that somebody, some half-witted hick farmer in the control booth who read too much science fiction, had clocked me for an autonomous AI, a rogue robot about to inject an uplift virus into the station systems and fling Gelegeus into a singularity event. Like I said, backwards. Anyway, to cover their embarrassment, and probably to forestall any lawsuit on my part, they charged me with "Impersonating a Hostile Intelligence", "Creating Alarm and Despond", and "Disrupting the Orderly Operation of the Station". Oh, and "Trading in Sub-Standard Goods (Liquors, Wines and Beverages subsection)", too. They actually put me on trial, would you believe, after first fitting me out with a replacement sensorium (black-and-white, it was, and pretty damn grainy) and a voicebox that made me sound like I was gargling gravel. At least they managed to repair my transport body: at one point it looked like they were going to have to wheel me into the courtroom on a cart. This is where all that "Fugitive" nonsense comes from; before the trial, the Potage was impounded and my transponder was clicked up to a stupidly high criminal rating to prevent me "fleeing justice". Standard practice on Gelegeus, apparently: given that their Blues are so damn incompetent it's probably even a good idea.
- The whole charade collapsed when it came to court, of course. The charges were dropped, my legal status returned to normal, and my good name restored (although not, I see, before the rumour-mills started to spin all manner of nonsense about me...). I did raise the issue of compensation, but that proved a non-starter: it was, apparently, an "honest mistake" and everyone concerned had "followed operational protocol". I thought briefly about pushing it – but I'd already spend far too many days of my brief life in numbing courtroom battles. I just wanted to get up, get out, and never come back.
- I did, to my later shame, make some intemperate remarks to a local fax reporter about "scarlet-arsed forkheads", which didn't go down too well, and did cause some later resentment among other red horned humanoids who heard it. Well. I was young, I was stupid, and I was deeply, deeply pissed off. Still no excuse, though. People are people, whether they're blue, green, red, black, yellow, furry, bald, slimy, chitinous, or floating in a jar.
- So. There's the whole sorry story. I shook the dust of Gelegeus from my tracks and lit out for brighter stars. I did upgrade my personal systems soon after, which I feel was a good thing: it helped ground me in a sense of who and what I am. And I did put out a general statement of apology for my use of the f-word, which I hope was accepted by horned communities everywhere as an unfortunate outburst under stressful circumstances. Certainly the people of Onenla didn't seem to care; then again, they're a pretty enlightened bunch. I, for one, will not be back again in Gelegeus in this lifetime, so what they think of me there I know little and care even less.
Blaze O'Glory's rescue and rehabilitation, and his legal tussle with EV-Away!, gained some coverage in a number of pilot newsfeeds. The resulting publicity persuaded NeuroCorp to use him as the spokesbeing for their psychostabilising medication Dr Sigmund Schmigmund's Mental Fixative.
Several scandal-sheets ran spurious stories concerning his actions on Gelegeus: most notoriously the Gelegeusger Novaar, which claimed that Commander O'Glory had attempted to murder the inhabitants of Gelegeus Coriolis 1 with a cargo-pod full of of nerve gas, and had intended to crash the station onto Miffi, the capital city of the nation of Mifvivanana ("The Brain of Death!", Gelegeusger Novaar 1337-47, pp1-23). A retraction was eventually published ("3 Down: He's not really a genocidal psychopath (5,6)", Gelegeusger Novaar 1337-58, Junior Jumble pullout supplement, p16).
After he provided assistance to the Ousian Academy of Science's climate control project on Onenla, in Galaxy 2, a small statue of Commander O'Glory was erected in the reception lobby of Onenla Station 1. It was recently moved to the Food Court on Level 4, following a petition by the Onenla Institute of Fine Art.
O'Glory edited the first six entries to The Rough Guide to the Ooniverse and wrote the short story Local Midnight in the Vacuum Bar. He is also listed as the "author" of the lightly-fictionalised "Captain Hesperus adventures", Calliope and Stranglehold.