The Inelegant Truth

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Spacecraft Registry
The Inelegant Truth
Spacecraft Characteristics
Base Hull135ft Alaskan Commercial Crab Fisher
Drive TypeReactionless thrusters
Drive RatingMaximum Cruising Speed: 0.07c; Flank Speed: 0.09c
OwnerJonathon Helscher
Flag of RecordUnited States of America (nominally, only if you squint)
FactionTechnically none, though Jon is a member of the Blue Blazer Irregulars.
Registry NumberSPS-253
Launched27 April, 2009
PurposeMedium cargo hauler and news cataloger
Primary CrewJonathon Helscher (Captain/Owner/Action! Historian)
Cynthia Gunderson (First Officer/Pilot/Ship Surgeon)
Deidrict "Dieter" Gunderson (Engineer)
Percival "Perry" Doper (Communications Officer/System Administrator/AI Psychologist)
Jeremiah Breckenridge (Security/Bodyguard/Cook)
Toni (Ship Gopher/Official Ship Kid Sister)
Other CrewCallisto (Ship AI)
Gay Deceiver (L.R.D.'s AI)
Brother-Captain Galvius (Mainframe AI)
Auxillary VehiclesL.R.D. (shuttle)
Little Nicky (space ATV)
Operational StatusActive
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The Inelegant Truth used to be the rusting hulk of the commercial crab fisher Autumnal Equinox, owned by Dieter. Dieter lost it in a drunken card game to Jon in the spring of 2008. Nobody knows this, but Jon was cheating in the last hand when he managed to mark the aces. To this day, Jon's ashamed of this act but will never admit it.

The Truth serves as the base and transport for Jon's quasi-journalistic enterprise that's part blog, part gonzo reporting, part living library. She runs cargo on the side to keep the ship running and the crew fed and paid. Accusations of actual journalism annoy the crew to no end.

Known Vehicle Quirks

  • She dives like a crippled whale: Despite being equipped with a speed drive, given a "straight" line to go in, the Truth can make faster headway than her outward appearance and even engine capabilities would indicate, but can't turn worth a damn and can be out maneuvered by ships of similar speed. No amount of tinkering with the engines has yet to improve this state.
  • Rough Seas Ahead: Whenever ship speeds exceed 0.06c, the Truth will begin to exhibit gravitational anomalies that resemble a ship rolling in rough seas. Increasing to flank exacerbates this.
  • Gravity's a fickle bitch: Whenever the ship enters its "night," artificial gravity ceases to work until "dawn." Nobody knows why this happens, so everyone sleeps in sleeping bags that are anchored to the floor.
  • Bitch, get your hands off my men! The ship AI Callisto is jealously protective of the male members of the crew, treating any women that speak to them with deep suspicion, let alone those who board her. This barely hidden hostility becomes an order of a magnitude worse for "girl" AIs that the Truth comes in contact with. This makes the crew something of social pariahs in some fendoms, and like B.A. on A-Team, the crew have to come up with lurid and increasingly ridiculous ways to work around this. This jealously does extend somewhat to First Officer Cynthia, but not to ragamuffin Toni, who's "too much of a cutie pie."
  • While the enemies of the Emperor still draw breath, there can be no peace: Something went wonky with the application of handwavium to Jon's personal computer during its uplifting to its current status as super!computer. The AI was supposed to be a nondescript male of the faceless office worker type. But somebody didn't do a good job of purging the hard drive so instead, what was created was one with the heroic, if scary and kinda evil religious zealots of the Imperial Space Marines of the Games Workshop variety. Brother-Captain Galvius thinks of himself as a fallen soldier serving as a machine spirit entombed in a virtual coffin. He considers Jon to be his "Chapter Master" and the other members of his crew to fill various roles in line with those in the "Empire of Man." Given the state of relations with most of the governments on "Holy Terra," and the Truth, Galvius believes they have come under the influence of "foul Chaos sorcery" and encourages anybody who will listen their next job should be to "burn the heretics." Still, he does his job of data retrieval and broadcast of Jon's writing with competence. His security functions are actually kind of scary after you really look at them, and Perry gets queasy just thinking about it.
  • The enemy of my enemy is my enemies' enemy: The three principal AIs that "live" on the Truth all hate each other. If allowed, they will bicker to an extent that ship efficiency will drop 30% until they are hard lock separated from each other's networks

Known Crew Quirks

  • Are we there yet? The social dynamics on board eerily resemble those of a family on an extend road trip, constantly getting on each others nerves and only getting along when they can jump ship for a day or two. And though Cynthia has reluctantly taken up the role of Ship Mom, nobody wants to be the Dad. Jon owns, and theoretically is in charge, of the boat, but he acts more like a passenger and only gives orders akin to "go here" "how fast can we get to Luna?" and "Hey, I just got off the comm with some of those weirdos in charge of terraforming Venus. Yeah... we can't go back there for a while. And guess where we gotta be by Friday." Dieter gives ever indication of settling into the surly uncle model. Perry is too busy trying to avoid having a nervous breakdown keeping the peace between the AIs. And Jeremiah says that he doesn't get paid enough for that. Toni just rolls her eyes at not being asked her opinion.
  • Fighting the media is like wrestling with pigs. You might win but you will get dirty: Don't call them journalists. Just don't. It won't end well.


  • The Truth mounts an aft-mounted deck cannon taken from a WWII era submarine, waved to fire in space and modified do so without a crew. Towards the bow is the turret system that was scavenged from a Sherman tank, welded and sealed to the hull and jury-rigged with a firing system that can rotate the turret far faster than the original could. These, along with the ship's speed, serve as the primary deterrence from Black Hats.
  • L.R.D. (Little Red Deathtrap), a handwaved 1990 GEO Metro, serves as all purpose ship shuttle. Gay Deceiver is the vehicle's AI.[1]
  • Little Nicky, a handwaved jet ski, serves as a sort of space ATV for when the crew goes EVA.


The Inelegant Truth is featured in the following stories:


  1. Even though the car AI Gay Deceiver was named after the car from several Robert Heinlein books, Jon doesn't actually like any of them overly much. The only other car AI name he could think of was K.I.T.T and Gay's "gender" ended up being female so nix went that plan. He does finish all conversations with her by saying "you're a smart girl, Gay," mostly because she likes it and doesn't start as many fights with Callisto.