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Boy, mileage sure does vary

the one with the big starship

Captain Zelnick

"Real" Name: Caleb Stern
Room Number: M64
Roommate: HK-47
Age: 22
Hair Color: Medium brown
Eye Color: Dark brown
Height: 5'8" (172 cm)
Primary Language: English
Secondary Language: German

His homeworld
His ship, the Vindicator
Player's extremely lazy rendering
Destruction of the Sa-Matra... and the Vindicator.
With his grandkids
Waking in Landel's (image edit)
OM NOM NOM (fantastic fanart <3 )

Superficial scratches on one shoulder (from rat), treated.

alanadeckert {at} yahoo {dot} com
AIM: aranamitouma

E-mail is your best bet~ I check it obsessively.

Zelnick was born to two members of a top-secret research team. The team was sent out on an exploratory mission while humanity and its allies were fighting the Ur-Quan Hierarchy, and were engaged in a hostile encounter while near the star Zeeman; to escape, they faked destruction in the sun, then pushed their limping ship to the nearest inhabitable planet.

That planet was Unzervalt, orbiting the star Vela, and the place where the Captain was born.

Unzervalt also happened to be the site of an ancient Precursor shipyard.

Over the next twenty years, the researchers were able to complete the one of the massive ships, to the point where it could leave Unzervalt and the Vela system and return to the (hopefully victorious) Earth. Zelnick had shown an unusual aptitude in controlling the Precursor technology, and was thus chosen to be part of the crew of the expedition back-- and when the captain of the ship (and original expedition) was killed, chosen as the new captain: this was probably a mistake, since the captain is also the most tactless, thick-headed person in the known universe, but there was no way for the original expedition to know that they'd lost the war.

Captain Zelnick did get to Earth, only to find it slaveshielded and its Ur-Quan established starbase in dire need of supplies. After saving the starbase (courtesy of the radioactive minerals of Mars), he explains why he's there, and the commander of the starbase (Hayes) explains that Earth and her allies had lost to the Hierarchy, but that the Ur-Quan were a few years overdue to resupply and replace the crew-- something must be up!

Hayes and Captain Zelnick decide the best course of action would be to harvest resources from nearby systems, build up forces and allies, and attempt to defeat the Ur-Quan using the precursor ship. They eventually do so, with the help of several different species of alien, a huge precursor bomb, and the last sentient member of the race that drove the Ur-Quan to hate and fear all other life.

Along the way, the Captain encountered and discovered several races, and formed alliances with many of them.

The Syreen commander, one Talana, was one of two individuals who showed a more, ahem, personal interest in the captain; the other was Admiral ZEX of the VUX forces, who had been exiled to a planet far removed from his homeworld, due to what his fellow VUX perceived as a disgusting attraction to bizarre and violent xenoforms-- including those "beautiful, luscious" ultra-gross humans. Commander Talana became the Captain's lover; Admiral ZEX became a snack for a critter he asked Zelnick to find.

Admiral ZEX's death allowed the Captain to acquire several cryogenically frozen Shofixti females and return them to the last living male, Tanaka (all other Shofixti having died when they caused their sun to explode, wiping out most of their species and a large chunk of the Ur-Quan armada). Several months after this, the Shofixti are reborn-- thanks to the species' rapid maturation cycle-- and Zelnick took a crew of them to the Yehat.

The Yehat had surrendered during the war at command of their Queen, and many of the starship clans (who had been doing the actual fighting, and were closely bound to the Shofixti, which they considered their "children") had been less than happy with this turn of events. Bringing news and evidence of the Shofixti rebirth triggered a revolution and rebellion against the queen, neatly splitting the species into two warring factions. The Rebels thank the Captain for his role, while the Royalists curse him for breaking their two-century peace under the wing of the Queen.

On the other side of the sector, the Utwig had broken their Ultron, and considered committing mass suicide by Precursor bomb; their close friends, the ever-floral Supox, suggest that if the Ultron is fixed, the Utwig would have no use for the bomb. The components are given, bought, and tricked away from the bird-like hippy Pkunk, the Druuge slavers, and the violent Thraddash, respectively; in the last case, the species goes to war with the equally violent Ilwrath, leaving their homeworld unprotected. (This eventually leads to the death of both species. Good going, Captain.) The Utwig give the Captain their bomb in thanks when he returns their Ultron.

Following a hint from the cowardly Spathi (who later hide behind a slave shield), Zelnick finds the Arilou Lalee'lay homeworld-- the Arilou being the classic abducting aliens; and indeed, they abducted humans, for humanity's safety. They warn about the Orz, point out a crashed Ur-Quan ship from which parts can be salvaged, and mention leaving a Talking Pet (from the same crash) with the Umgah to be healed.

The Orz are dangerous, but also valuable allies; they occupy the area of space recently inhabited by the Androsynth, and inhabited thousands of years ago by the Taalo. On the old Taalo homeworld, Zelnick finds an odd device that suppresses the abilities of anyone with psychic tendencies.

The Umgah had been caring for a Talking Pet (if "caring" is the right word), and decide it would be a great joke if they genetically modified the creature so that it could reach the upper limits of its potential intelligence-- not the wisest of choices, perhaps, since its species had previously been genetically modified AWAY from being intelligent by the Ur-Quan. While that may seem cruel, it was for the most sincerely reasonable reason; when the creatures (called the Dnyarri) were first encountered by the Ur-Quan, several thousand years ago, they enslaved the entire species using their psychic abilities, and caused the Ur-Quan to kill most of their close allies and friends. The single neo-Dnyarri alone had taken control of the minds of every Umgah in the system.

Since the Captain had the Taalo device onboard, it suppressed the Dnyarri's attempt to posses him and his crew. The Dnyarri then attempted to kill the Captain more directly with the Umgah armada; when the Captain triumphed, it began to beg for its life, claiming that the Umgah's experiments had driven it to its cruelty, and that now that it had been brought back to its senses it would like to help the Captain any way it could.

Between the neo-Dnyarri, the information-trading Melnorme, and the Pkunk, the Captain unveiled the Ur-Quan's tragic past. They had once been friendly with several other species in the sector, twenty thousand years ago-- especially the Taalo, whose unique physiology didn't trigger the Ur-Quan's predatory instincts. The Taalo were resistant to the Dnyarri's mind control for the same reason; they attempted to create a device that would spread their immunity to all the races in the sector, but they were destroyed before it was completed. (The Taalo device the Captain finds is a prototype, not nearly powerful enough to help against the entire Dnyarri species.) The Dnyarri bred two lines of Ur-Quan, Green thinkers and Black workers. Nearly twenty-five hundred years of slavery passed for the Ur-Quan and their former allies before one green Ur-quan, named Kzer-za, discovered the secret to avoiding the Dnyarri mind control-- near-lethal pain. In a moment of lax control, it poisoned itself and broadcast the message. Before long, the Ur-Quan had overthrown the Dnyarri through their own pain.

The Green Ur-Quan took on the martyred Kzer-za's name as their own. As a measure to protect themselves from such horrible slavery ever again, they embarked on the "Path of Now and Forever," enslaving every sentient race they could find-- either as battle thralls or "fallow" slaves, in the later case having all their post-atomic technology destroyed and their homeworld and colonies slaveshielded. However, the Black Ur-Quan (lead by one Kohr-ah, which they later collectively took the name of) had a different philosophy, known as the "Eternal Doctrine"-- they would simply kill all other life. This led to the first Doctrinal War, which the Kohr-ah lost, and the two lines of Ur-Quan took their separate ways around the galaxy, knowing that somewhere along the line they would meet again, and fight out another conflict.

That "another conflict" is why the Ur-Quan had been too distracted to resupply Earth's starbase.

After the Spathi hide behind their homemade slaveshield, they leave a gift for the Captain on their moon-- a powerful 'Caster that can be used in several ways. (One of the ways to eliminate the Ilwrath and Thraddash is to use it to impersonate the Ilwrath gods and send the nasty space spiders off to war.) The Captain uses it to contact slaveshielded old allies of the humans, the Chenjesu and the Mmrnmhrm, who somehow penetrated their slaveshield to bring the starbase personnel back to their planet's surface. They explain that they're going to merge their species, using the ambient energy of the sun, but it's going to take a while, so the captain should buzz off for about twenty years. That won't do at all-- even with every delay he can find thrown in the Ur-Quan's path, the Kohr-ah are winning the Doctrinal conflict, and will proceed with the destruction of every species in the area within a few years. So the Captain finds the obvious solution: speed up the merging process. (Like, duh, right?)

He discovers that the Mycon battle thralls have a massive energy source in their possession-- one equivalent to, say, a small sun. However, it's being rabidly defended. Captain Zelnick also discovers that the Mycon were, prior to being enslaved, responsible for the destruction of the Syreen's old home world. He brings this news to Commander Talana, with the evidence of a Mycon egg case he found on the shattered world's surface. Talana asks the Captain to find the confiscated Syreen armada so she can lead a vengeful attack on the Mycon, and when he does, she says goodbye with a... let's call it a "romantic interlude".

The Mycon's numbers having dwindled, the Captain is able to steal the Sun Device, and uses it to speed the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm's merging. The newly-created Chmmr are rightly miffed (since that COULD have killed them all), but since it's already been done, they agree to help the Captain, affixing the Precursor bomb to his ship and amplifying it, and sending him off to destroy the Kzer-za's final weapon, the Sa-Matra-- a Precursor ship far greater than the Captain's own.

Following the hints from several sets of aliens, the Captain found the Sa-Matra, and the neo-Dnyarri that had been lurking in the cargo bay mustered up its strength to force the Ur-Quan ships fighting around it to wander off. The tiny fleet accompanying the Captain fights the few ships left, and is replenished by the Yehat and the Pkunk (who have overthrown the Royalists and won the revolution) just before the final attack on the Sa-Matra. After bringing down the shields surrounding the Sa-Matra, they set off the bomb.

The Precursor bomb, unfortunately, takes the ship with it when it goes; the Captain and his crew barely escape the massive explosion in an escape pod. It was well worth the sacrifice, however, as the New Alliance of Free Stars was victorious, and the shields surrounding the several homeworlds of races that chose to be slaves were removed, and All Was Well.

In canon, the Captain wakes two weeks after the final battle in the starbase's medical bay, being tended to by the beautiful Talana-- and just in time to watch the slave shield around be Earth lowered; it's a very happy, hopeful ending.

In Landel's, the Captain wakes up two weeks after the final battle just in time for Nightshift.

The Captain's Damned Wiki Page
The Application
The Captain's non-Damned Wiki Page

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