An Assortment of Odd Characters

CHEKOV CREW

Captain R.J. Church – Captain Church commands the Chekov, even though he is technically retired from Space Command, for reasons that change depending on who’s asking. He’s been married at least twice; his second wife left him while he was on a mission, taking their young son with her. He’s a bit of a practical joker, but serious about his job. Church is middle-aged, in fairly good condition, and probably was once considered ruggedly handsome. He’s the kind of guy you’d want watching your back in a tight situation, and can be counted on for excruciatingly honest answers . . . if you ask a direct question. He has been around long enough that he feels he has nothing to gain or lose by being honest, even if it hurts someone, though he isn’t likely to go out of his way to do so. He has a devil-may-care, oh-grow-a-set outlook on just about everything, combined with a streak of larceny when needed. Although Church trusts his crew, and tends to let Canfield and Van Doern run the ship, he nonetheless wants to know everything that’s going on. This is his last chance at command, and he is resigned to being surrounded by eccentrics and lunatics.

Lt. Commander Jasper Canfield – Canfield is a 30-something paraplegic (training accident) who uses a wheelchair in gravity, but doesn’t need it otherwise. As First Officer and Space Command’s official representative, he is usually the command pilot, and he likes things done by-the-book. He is a highly capable, intelligent, officer who tends to be introspective and a bit strict and stuffy. Canfield sometimes has a little trouble thinking outside his own box, and is somewhat less than suave in social settings. He’s aboard the Chekov because he wants to be, because space removes many of his earth-bound limitations, and because he has dreamed of going into space since he was a kid. He has little respect or confidence in Church, and none at all in Van Doern, with whom he has the misfortune of sharing quarters. He has a genius IQ, and has some difficulty dealing with anyone not on his level.

Jonathon Van Doern – Born and raised in the US, his father is a first generation Afrikaaner from the Transvaal. He can (and does) curse fluently in six languages. He’s also just a bit dyslexic (not a top trait in a navigator), and has the reputation of being a real womanizer (hence his nickname: VD). He is reputed to have a gambling problem, and his eye for the ladies may have been his undoing. He can often be found at Flotsam’s, reads murder mysteries and watches vintage porn whenever he can get a few minutes, usually when on duty. His favorite hobby is annoying Canfield, especially since he is Canfield’s equal in intellect and his roommate. He sees, hears, and remembers everything. Being a civilian, he has no use for a uniform, and barely tolerates authority or regulations. He can repair anything electrical, and is the best programmer off Earth. Van Doern is responsible for the self-aware Brigit, but even he can’t explain how he did it.

Brigit, Ship’s Computer –  As the Chekov’s computer, Brigit controls everything as needed. Naively self-aware, she finds people fascinating, and tends to take them at face value. She will question anything that she doesn’t understand, and can get her feelings hurt. Brigit is devoted to Van Doern, and respects the authority of most of the crew. She strongly dislikes Canfield, and finds Whatley to be intensely interesting. A glitch in her programming causes her to respond to situations a few seconds after they occur. She is also learning to lie.

Elodia “Loader” Rodriguez – Loader has a no-nonsense approach to her ship and people in general, and has likely come from a very hard background, though she seldom talks about it. She got in a barroom brawl on the space station, where she punched out a very senior officer with wandering hands. In need of a new Chief Engineer, Church and Van Doern “liberated” Loader from the military police prior to her being sent Earthside to prison. She maintains a complete hands-off policy (theirs, not hers) with the rest of the crew. She knows every inch of SCOW, and hates them all – although it’s more of a love-hate relationship. She has a very colorful Spanish vocabulary, which she uses frequently when dealing with mechanical and personal problems. She supervises Tubbs and his Sorter crew, and Axe and Whizzer Brody, the Grabber jocks. When she’s not on duty, she is usually working out, unless she’s at Flotsam’s. She’s average height, with dark hair and eyes. She has her softer side, which she prefers to keep hidden, but loves cats and soap operas. Her closest friends aboard are the Brody twins, she has a strong interest in Church, and dealing with Tubbs just exasperates her.

Willis “Toad” Todd, Sean Sanchez O’Leary, & Niedermier – Sorters are hard working (when they feel like it), hard drinking, hard everything. They are responsible for moving and storing anything the Grabbers dump in the bay, and they rather resent the fact that the twins get all the attention. There is a rivalry that results in often dangerous practical jokes. These three could not look any more different, and the only thing they have in common is their love of booze and Grabber envy. Todd and Niedermier are women. Willis Todd is slender and probably attractive under the usual layer of dirt. She got her nickname shortly after joining the crew, when her nametag was damaged, with the top of the first “d” being obliterated.  Niedermier (no first name) is large, loud, and crude, and totally ambiguous when it comes to gender. But they share a total lack of interest in hygiene and a love for booze and anything gross. Of the Sorters, Sean O’Leary is actually the cleanest, but not the smartest. He loves booze, women, and strip poker. Though Todd will date just about any guy, she has a major crush on Hop Sing. All share the same quarters.

Walter Herzog – The ship’s doctor, Walter is middle-aged and balding, though what hair he does have is worn in a long ponytail. He suffers from middle-age spread, but much of that covers a lot of muscle. He hides the fact that he was formerly a gynecologist in private practice, but he is fully trained and capable of handling just about any medical problem, including minor surgery. Walter is also the ship’s chaplain, and he’s well-versed in most other faiths. His main weakness is alcohol.

Hop Sing – Sing is a raging germaphobe who wears a filter mask and gloves – constantly – and maintains a spotless galley, the only really clean place on the ship. He carries cleaning supplies on a belt, and avoids physical contact with everyone. He avoids the “head” no matter what, but what he does instead is conjecture. Hop Sing is a self-imposed nickname that he borrowed from an old television show, and we don’t know much about his past. He’s average height and build, and he’s a terrific cook. His reason for being aboard is not known, but ship’s scuttlebutt is that he was a 5-star chef who may have had a “problem” with a cleaver. He is also the Chekov’s Quartermaster, and is trained as a backup Grabber.

Tubbs – Tubbs works in the cargo holds and is seldom seen anywhere else on the ship. When confronted by anyone who makes him uncomfortable (which is anyone in authority, or female), he develops a pronounced stutter and copious sweat, making it almost impossible to carry on a conversation with him. Loader scares the crap out of him, but he is fairly comfortable talking to Dr. Herzog, and has no problem at all with his Sorter crew. He wants more than anything to be a Grabber jockey, but can’t qualify since having only one good eye limits his depth perception. He has the tendency to wear glasses with only one lens, and that one is exceptionally thick, which serves to magnify that eye. He is thoroughly trained in exosuit repair and maintenance. Loader is his direct supervisor and therefore the one who issues instructions. Contrary to his name, Tubbs is rather tall and slender. He’s well-muscled and agile, but is showing signs of a gut, and is a bit of a geek. “Neat” is not in his vocabulary. Tubbs and his Sorters are in charge of interior ship repairs. He has a split personality, and his confidant and alter ego is Jack, the skull of a long-dead cosmonaut.

Axe & Whizzer Brody – The twins are rude, crude, hard partying, and very female. These hotshot Grabber jocks handle all of the extra vehicular activities and are always competing with each other to go faster and take more chances. There is plenty of sibling rivalry, but they’re always watching each others’ back. They almost invariably know what the other is thinking. Not much is known about their past, but they definitely fly to a different drummer. Authority is not their favorite flavor, but they like Church and Loader. When working in the Grabber exosuits, they are prone to blasting anything from Beethoven to Black Sabbath over their headsets. They are perfectly able to perform intricate ballets when suited up, but tend to be more than a bit clumsy under gravity. The Twins are considered the best in the business (small as it is), and they really enjoy the work – when they don’t get distracted by shiny things. As Grabber jocks, the twins are also in charge of exterior ship repairs.

Jackson Flannery – The original Chief Engineer of the Chekov, Flannery meets an untimely end early in the series (or does he?). Flannery is over-the-hill, hard drinking, and ornery as they come. He loves every inch of the ship, but his baby is Natasha, an old, salvaged Soviet-era space craft that he has spent years tinkering back together.

DELTA STATION

Boris Orloff – Orloff is short and slender, with long, oily dark hair and a soul patch. He fancies himself a bit of a pirate and prefers to dress in black leather with knee-high black buckled boots (with 4” heels). He does not have a soft side, and his only business is making a profit. He would sell his own mother (if she hadn’t sold him first), and has absolutely no respect or loyalty for anyone. This includes his boss, Eva Swain, who he considers his intellectual inferior. He seldom raises his voice, no matter how angry he gets, speaking in a silky, sinister tone. His main benefactor is always the one who pays him the most.

Ling – Ling is Orloff’s second-in-command and girlfriend, at the moment. She can be as nasty as Orloff, has the same silky, sinister voice, and is reputed to be a master of various martial arts. She has a decided taste for the finer things that someone like Orloff can provide.

“Reaper” Whatley – As Orloff’s main enforcer, Reaper is your stereotypical ex-con tough guy, with shaved head and plenty of tattoos. His preferred weapon in a fight is a scythe, but bare knuckles and any martial arts techniques will do. He’s got a young daughter somewhere who he loves and misses, and is a sucker for any kid or small animal. He towers over Orloff, and is about the only one who can actually intimidate him. When he’s concentrating on something and thinks he’s alone, he tends to sing show tunes. Reaper is also a trained navigator.

Burke – Burke is as nasty a piece of work as you’re likely to meet. He is Reaper’s henchman, and likes nothing more than to beat the crap out of someone. He is as tough as Reaper, but not nearly as smart. His main weakness is women, and has no problem holding his liquor. He is a spectre from Hop Sing’s past.

The Reverend Chaplain Timothy Rydell – Rev. Rydell is a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian prone to pontificating loudly at any given time and opportunity. He believes that anyone who is not a follower is a sinner, but his best friend is Walter Herzog, with whom he argues theology over a few snorts of rye whiskey. Rydell reports directly to someone higher up the religious foodchain.

Lieutenant Robert Kierck — Lieutenant Kierck is the new, fresh-out-of-the-Academy, Station Security Chief. He is in his twenties, and takes his assignment seriously.  He is about six feet tall, slender, blonde, with a rather engaging grin, and a small, pencil mustache.

Maggie Torrance — Maggie is a bounty hunter and Van Doern’s longtime friend and sometime lover. She dresses in black, is a master of several martial arts, and seems to pop up just about anywhere she wants, when she wants.

DOWNSIDE “EARTH”

Major General Myles Larkin, Commander, Space Command HQ – Larkin’s a by-the-book type, but harbors a secret desire to be in space, even on the Chekov. Church once served under him (he technically still does), and they are still close friends. He is Canfield’s direct commander. Larkin is tall and distinguished, graying at the temples, and born and raised in a Marine family.

Eva P. Swain, Obscenely Wealthy Industrialist – Swain’s company is the primary legitimate salvage purchaser, and clandestine fence. Swain is in her mid-thirties, and got where she is by stepping on a lot of people on the way up. Her personal motto could be “What’s mine is mine, and so is yours.” She is a large contributor to about a dozen politicians, has absolutely no sense of empathy or humor, and would pull the wings off flies if she thought it would gain her more power. She is the sole owner and stockholder in Swain Industrie Nationale (SIN). Swain also controls both Delta Station and a good part of CONSTAT, as well as Lunar Mines, and is the major supplier of materiel for Space Command.

Jeremy Wainthrope, Swain’s Personal Assistant – Jeremy is a bit of a self-important prig, tall, thin, and balding, and totally devoted to Swain. He has an encyclopedic mind, a photographic memory, and knows all of the inner workings of Swain’s world. His main job is to make sure no dirt gets on the boss.

Russett Burbank, Network News Anchor – Burbank is in his thirties, vain, and working for the Global News Network, where his nickname is “Spud.” He is prone to half-truths and innuendo, utilizes unknown sources, has obvious political aspirations, and doesn’t really believe that space flight is real. He sees conspiracies everywhere, but doesn’t realize the only real ones involve him. He has a massive ego, is narcissistic, and never admits when he’s wrong. One of his goals in life is to bed Crafty Beavers.

Jessica “Crafty” Beavers, Network Meteorologist – She may have a questionable nickname, but Crafty is a topnotch, serious weathercaster. She often plays the dumb blonde to get what she wants, is constantly fending off Burbank’s advances, and is Swain’s current girlfriend.

Andrea Watson, GNN Reporter — Andrea is the main reporter for Global News Network, and is every bit the professional that Burbank isn’t. Her dream is to replace him at the anchor desk. She’s fairly young, but presents a polished attitude on camera. She has no faith in Burbank’s abilities as a newscaster, and is suspected of having an affair with Captain Church. Watson is the type of reporter who can smell a good story, and seems to turn up everywhere.

Senator Anita Park — Middle-aged and graying, Park is an idiot, and everyone knows it but her. Imbicile is her middle name, and she comes across as woefully uneducated, her degrees (if any) not withstanding. It’s not known how she managed to get elected in the first place, but Eva Swain probably had a part in it. A staunch, hardcore conservative, she is so deeply in Swain’s pocket she can pull up her socks from the inside. Park hates the SCOW program, considering it a complete waste of money, and is a primary mover in defunding the program.  She is blatantly sexist, borderline racist, anti anything she considers different or rooted in science. Her loyalties are definitely suspect.

Lt. Commander Ward — Ward was Canfield’s roommate at the Academy, and Jasper has absolutely no use for him. He is paranoid, with visions of self-importance and grandeur. He sees only what he wants to see, including conspiracies around every corner, most of them directed at him. He’s probably right. He is the reason Canfield is in a wheelchair, and Canfield knows it. Ward won’t admit it, and thinks his old roommate is dead. He never goes anywhere, including the shower, without a sidearm, which is illegal in space. How he keeps acquiring them is a mystery.

THE ALIENS

Newt, the Alien Captain, and His Ship — These are symbiotic, interdimensional creatures that act more like an old married couple. The Captain is vaguely reptilian, and permanently connected to his ship. They suffer from a degree of ineptness and naivete, occasionally argue, and are their dimension’s answer to the Chekov. His primary means of communication with Church and the Chekov is through a physical holographic projection. He can, and often does interfere with Brigit and various ship functions. The Captain is fascinated by the alien concept of human sexuality.