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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Meet the Crew of the Failure of the Saeire Insu!



Seven hundred twenty-nine Saeire Insu serve aboard the Failure. Only twenty-three sailors are highlighted here. But please know: all of them deserve to be mentioned.

   The Saeire Insu is a kingdom that takes care of its citizens—unlike virtually any nation on Earth today. It’s a family, but in the sense that most people who banter that word around cannot or will not fathom.

   The Failure is a family within that family. As the author of this book, and the larger story arc, Melody and the Pier to Forever, I am bothered that I had to limit the characters in this novel to the paltry very few, some of whom only getting mentioned once, and then barely in passing.

   Most authors wouldn’t blink at this. The characters aren’t real, they complain, staring at me like I’m a delusional lunatic. Besides, the only goal in writing is to become rich and famous. Else it’s a waste of time.

   (I’ve heard many authors say this, and read even more.)

   Regardless of how talented they may or may not be, I have no interest in reading their work. Their attitude is all, and at that point I’ve, pardon the pun, written them off.

   With that in mind, following are the sailors mentioned in this novel, their age, service record, country of origin, and an interesting tidbit or two about them that their comrades know (or maybe not know) and which makes them peculiar to who they are.

Let’s start, however, with the character that makes the entire story possible in the first place: the Failure.


S.I. Failure
Commissioned: April 24, 1994
Total length: 576 feet
Total displacement: 2,401 tons
Tactical classification: Rogue
Battle classification: Heavy destroyer
Country classification: Zephyr
Type: Equerrí
Weaponry: Four 4.06m cardum Peacemakers
Ordnance: Tangentially stressed, partially aecxal cannonballs
Crew complement: 729
Featherinns: 1
Featherinn capacity: 67%
Captain: Josias Bodley Tiderider
Mission: Advanced incursion, reconnaissance, refugee support, battle group support


Crew are listed alphabetically


Creertang Ashnal
Age: (approx.) 47 Earth-years
Country of Origin: Arrowsquall
Transform: None
Rank: Volus First Watch
Duty: Chief Navigator
Service Record: A young Arrow lieutenant when the fleet first crossed the Eastern Tangent, Creertang joined the Saeire Insu Navigators, where he quickly rose through the ranks as a quiet but headstrong sailor, having earned the reputation for being somewhat of a genius at trigonometry, being able to calculate complex course corrections mentally.
Tidbit: Standing just over six feet and weighing two hundred fifty-four pounds, all of it muscle, Creertang is considered one of the strongest citizens in the entire kingdom.

Delelm Atiarr
Age: 18
Country of Origin: Saeire Insu (Earth)
Transform: Pelican
Rank: Midsilo Second Class
Duty: Navigation team (bridge)
Service Record: Delelm, born on Earth, has just less than a full year’s training as midsilo, having petitioned her way to join the Armada. Initially, she was selected to remain behind to stand guard at the Kathlin Rory Carrick Castle.
Tidbit: She graduated with honors at the local high school, and was offered scholarships to study computer science around the United States.

Tom Barris
Age: 19
Country of Origin: Saeire Insu (Earth)
Transform: Albatross
Rank: Sailor Second Class
Duty: Scout
Service Record: Also born on Earth, Tom spent his youth wanting to become an Academic, but upon learning he was an albatross at puberty, quickly became enamored with the Scouts, becoming one of the top fliers in his class, earning promotions quickly.
Tidbit: He was a year ahead of Miss Atiarr at the local high school. He also earned top marks as a middle-school lad in Mr. Conor’s advanced algebra class.

Seragh Cheh
Age: (approx.) 25
Country of Origin: Arrowsquall
Transform: None
Rank: Junior Second Watch
Duty: Student Healer
Service Record: Ms. Cheh was on track for First Watch Healer status when the mobilization back to Aquanus began. Her talents, enhanced by Gaian science and medicine, make her a great asset aboard the Failure.
Tidbit: Seragh was one of the four hundred children abandoned aboard Hope’s Far Shore, a Vanerrincourtian passenger vessel, when the Invasion was underway. The equivalent of just three Gaian years old, she was taken care of by the eldest of the children. She has what she calls a “special relationship” to Commander Luis Arroyo, who took a particular interest in her well-being as she grew up.

Osi (“Ozzie”) Cuschkny
Age: 20
Country of Origin: Saeire Insu (Earth)
Transform: Albatross
Rank: Junior Third Watch
Duty: Scout
Service Record: Osi’s talents as a Scout quickly earned her promotions. Currently Third Watch (Junior grade), her abilities are highly valued by the crew of the Failure, as she twice has been the first to locate Imperial mines. She is also fearless in storms, being able to navigate through them to a highly effective degree.
Tidbit: Both her parents survived the Day of Fire and Ice only to lose their lives while scouting across the Tangent not long after. She was raised communally, and counts as one of her “fathers” Supreme Commander Guptaamaq Jelignite.

Okuzo Darbbeli
Age: (approx.) 27
Country of Origin: Juñon
Transform: Dreamcatcher
Rank: Senior Second Watch
Duty: Sentinel Phantasme
Service Record: Called “scary good” by her Sentinel comrades, Okuzo’s intuitive gifts were honed early on by Commander Arroyo, where she quickly established herself not only as a leader, but a teacher as well, serving as apprentice instructor in the program by the age of 20.
Tidbit: Also a child survivor aboard Hope’s Far Shore, Okuzo made a name for herself by being able, with no training, to detect the malicious intent of Tracluse commanders in lead Invasion boats as far away as a hundred misons.

Peerd Engshon
Age: (approx.) 43
Country of Origin: Neptonius
Transform: Orca
Rank: First Watch
Duty: Chief of the Fins
Service Record: A young man during the Day of Fire and Ice, Peerd’s rise through the Saeire Insu Fin ranks was halted only at his request. He had been tapped as a potential Commander for the Armada, but wanted to be assigned to a Rogue, and wanted to lead that boat’s Fins. His ability to see the big picture and make quick command decisions won him high praise by his COs.
Tidbit: Peerd is fluent in all ten Saeire Insu languages, Spanish and English (Gaian languages) as well. He is a repository of filthy jokes from every Saeire Insu nation, and is a master roihcarorist who plays with the Saeire Insu Orchestra.

Cays Veremo Garasi
Age: 13 (approx. 41 Gaian-years)
Country of Origin: Hieron-Tamus
Transform: None
Rank: Volus First Watch
Duty: (per Capt. JB Tiderider): Tactical, historical, and navigational support
Service Record: Cays is one of many slaves the Failure has rescued during her tour. He served as Palace Guard to Hieron-Tamus’ last king before being captured by the Imperium. He asked for, and was granted, duty aboard the Failure, where he has served with distinction.
Tidbit: Cays’ talents with a cutlass are first-class, as is his intelligence and perseverance. Those enslaved with him looked to him for hope and resolve, though many times he had little or none to give. They intuited his steadfastness and faith and so, without saying so, made him their de facto leader. Imperial sailors feared him; it was a miracle he wasn’t fed to Mephastophians from the off.

Samise Ghaeng
Age: (approx.) 30
Country of Origin: Vanerrincourt
Transform: Seagull
Rank: Bosun
Duty: Supervisor of the top deck, active crew, and equipment
Service Record: Yet another standout from Hope’s Far Shore, Samise applied for and entered the Bosun Training Program at the age of 19, making her the youngest ever to be accepted. The program is extremely rigorous and demanding, not just physically, but mentally as well. Bosuns are required to think on the fly, know what repairs and equipment are needed, often with no time to consider, and be right the first time. As such, she has been invaluable to the Failure.
Tidbit: Samise’s mother, father, and two older brothers were killed by Tracluse just days before the Invasion. No more than four Earth-years old, she roamed Quadris Empiricus’ streets alone for days before being led the Hope’s Far Shore by whom she describes as “a dark angel” who many have speculated was Eleysius himself.

Nals Kiml
Age: (approx.) 42
Country of Origin: August
Transform: Pelican
Rank: Senior Second Watch
Duty: Navigator’s Watcharm
Service Record: After training on August as a historian, Nals left the Saeire Insu once on Earth, “shattered,” as he put it, by the bloodbath that was the Day of Fire and Ice, and by the endless cruelty he witnessed as Necrolius’ armada conquered Aquanus. He returned eleven years later, having lived and worked among Gaians in at least six of their major cities. Welcomed back, he entered the Navigator’s School, where, just before the fleet returned to Aquanus, he was promoted to Watcharm to Creertang Ashnal.
Tidbit: Kiml has never spoken of his time working with—and even living with for five years—Malesherbes Quartermane.

Toren Yshyo Kohan
Age: 26
Country of Origin: Hieron-Tamus
Transform: Dreamcatcher
Rank: Senior Second Watch
Duty: Sentinel Phantasme
Service Record: Toren’s intuitive insights began by the age of ten, where, at that point, Commander Arroyo took him under his arm and began training him. His struggles in the Sentinel Phantasme were a mystery, which Arroyo solved when he discovered that Mr. Kohan was manifesting conflicting Storyteller skills that occasionally interfered. Once made aware of his extra skills, Toren finished the program not only in the top three of his class, but with four invitations to other training schools, as his talents had burgeoned widely. The fleet’s return to Aquanus put his plans to attend the Navigator School on hold.
Tidbit: Toren’s parents, both liquor traders, were two of a small group of parents frantically working to free Hope’s Far Shore’s mooring lines when Tracluse cut them down. Toren witnessed their deaths.

Llidandan Merit
Age: (approx.) 44
Country of Origin: Galarrage
Transform: None
Rank: Second Watch (per Capt. JB Tiderider)
Duty: Cavalryman
Service Record: Mr. Merit was a true Saeire Insu rogue—even to his own kingdom, having a reputation for being a troublemaker and a roustabout. Ready to abandon the kingdom, he was promised by Supreme Commander Jelignite that if he began to “fly right,” he would get an “extra shove” into the Tactical School by Jelignite himself, which eventually occurred. Merit’s Galarragian penchant for picking fights first, mending fences second, was infectious; he soon became the leader of his class. When three of his mates didn’t return from Tangent duty, most expected Llidandan to abandon his studies and leave the kingdom, this time for real. Instead Mr. Merit seemed to find his way. An expert with sea horses since he was a boy, Mr. Merit’s promotion to the Cavalry was a “no-brainer,” in Captain Tiderider’s words.
Tidbit: “Wherever you go, never lose sight of that Galarragian troublemaker inside you,” Commander Jelignite had once told him privately. Jelignite, seven years younger than Merit, admitted that Merit “inspired” him, and that he would always “have his back.” While serving aboard the Failure, the Supreme Commander has sent many Arrowsparrows to him, establishing a dialogue that has permanently cemented their friendship.

Pytasskel Saydra
Age: 21
Country of Origin: Saeire Insu (Earth)
Transform: Tern
Rank: Midsilo First Class
Duty: Healer’s Assistant
Service Record: Mr. Saydra was just getting ready to begin the Lead Practitioner Program (LPP) when the fleet began mobilizing for its return to Aquanus. Having volunteered for several years in local Gaian hospitals, he was becoming well-versed in the ways of “normal” medicine, which gave him an edge going into the program. He graduated with honors two years early from a local university, where he took a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. He managed that degree as well as the rigors of training with the Failure, as well as the studying required to becoming a Healer’s Assistant.
Tidbit: A bit of a loner, Mister Saydra has created a series of comic books about the Saeire Insu and its mysterious and often humorous interactions living with and occasionally aiding Gaians.

Orilo Seng
Age: (approx.) 39
Country of Origin: Galen
Transform: Shyshy spearhawk (rare; Aquanus)
Rank: First Watch
Duty: Chief Helmsman
Service Record: Working in concert with Creertang Ashnal, First Watch Seng has helped to create a fluid bridge crew extraordinarily in tune with one another. His talents as the chief handler of the Failure’s sea paper scrolls, his mathematical smarts, rivaling even Creertang’s, his intuitive grasp of currents and weather, have made him invaluable aboard that Rogue. Once intent on becoming a scout, Supreme Commander Jelignite recognized his gifts and sold him on becoming a Helmsman instead.
Tidbit: Orilo was a member of twelve aboard a Galeni feint who mutinied. The captain of that ship, a Tracluse, attempted to hang all of them. But at the last moment, the crew, as though by some miracle, decided to mutiny as well. They were one of the last ships to catch up to the infant Saeire Insu fleet fleeing east.

Shybanit Shal
Age: (approx.) 41
Country of Origin: August
Transform: None
Rank: Senior Healer
Duty: Chief Medical Officer
Service Record: One of the youngest initial recruits into the Lead Practitioner Program, Shybanit outpaced his fellow students, finishing first in his class. Instead of stopping there and devoting his time to sailor training aboard the Failure, he split time as a teacher, where there, too, he rose to become one of its principal leaders. Popular with his students despite the rigors of his teaching methodology, Shybanit went on to receive three of the four highest decorations a Healer can earn in the Saeire Insu.
Tidbit: Shybanit’s family line has direct lineage to the Juñite Prefecture. His mother, an avowed egalitarian, renounced her family name before she married. Shybanit has never shared this secret with anyone.

Jomuvo Syttan
Age: 18
Country of Origin: Saeire Insu (Earth)
Transform: Cormorant
Rank: Sailor Third Class (per Capt. JB Tiderider)
Duty: Cavalryman
Service Record: Ongoing, and incomplete. Jomuvo’s promotion has been during duty aboard Failure. Prior to being promoted by Captain Tiderider, Mr. Syttan was a Midsilo Second Class, working as a sailor and weapons technician, as the Failure had no sea horses when it crossed the Tangent.
Tidbit: Jomuvo was an experienced equestrian on Earth, both with regular horses and sea horses. His parents, both retired sailors (Galen), successfully mated sea horses on Earth, and taught Cavalrymen and –women how to properly handle them.

Inelt Tasard
Age: (approx.) 41
Country of Origin: Zephyr
Transform: Seagull
Rank: First Watch
Duty: Senior Tactician and Firing Officer
Service Record: Widely considered the finest tactician and firing officer in the entire Armada, First Watch Tasard wanted, most of all, duty aboard a Rogue warship. His skills are only slightly humorously considered “occult.” So strong are they that he split time training aboard the Failure and out among the fleet, training other tacticians and firing officers. His technical knowledge of Peacemakers is unsurpassed in the Saeire Insu.
Tidbit: Inelt, when off duty, was an active member of Greenpeace (Gaian environmental and animal rights group), often taking time to help them organize and carry out protests and other acts of civil disobedience. Aboard the Failure, he and Creertang Ashnal regularly challenge each other to a round of arm wrestling. To date, Creertang is one victory up on him. The contests are usually very heavily bet on by Failure’s crew.

Ske T’Chel
Age: (approx.) 34
Country of Origin: Vanerrincourt
Transform: Seagull
Rank: (per Capt. JB Tiderider): First Mate
Duty: Second in command of the Failure
Service Record: Ske, or “Sketch” as he is known to his friends, was the Apprentice’s personal guard along with Carcaryn Gellantara. He is a member of the XVI Angeli Magna Coronados (the “Kumiyaay”), top of his class in the RCS (Rogue Command School), top of his class in the Scout Training Program, and at one time did duty ferrying Antarctic Cottonwood. His talents are so well known and respected that he has since become known as Ard’tan Emil T’asama—the Blade of the King’s Sword, an honor he shares with a select few including the Supreme Commander, Commander Arroyo, and High Captain Kaza Lucanson.
Tidbit: An avid reader, Sketch is a big fan of the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises (both Gaian).

Josias Bodley Tiderider
Age: 49
Country of Origin: Ireland (Earth)
Transform: Seagull
Rank: Captain
Duty: Commanding officer of the Rogue warship Failure
Service Record: A washout from the British Royal Navy Command School, Captain Tiderider has proven, time and again, just how wrong their judgment of him was. Coming to the Saeire Insu by means of a near-fatal surfing incident, Captain Tiderider quickly learned the ropes, utilizing his already formidable military knowledge to the benefit of the entire Saeire Insu. His heroism in leading the survivors of a collision between two Saeire Insu vessels in stormy south Pacific seas earned him command of the Failure, as well as the honor in naming it.
Tidbit: It was the king himself who taught him how to Transform, something that, if not typically learned very early, usually in adolescence when it first becomes possible, is never learned at all. With the help of Commander Arroyo and several Sentinels assisting, the king’s (“utterly flippin’ terrifying”) lessons eventually paid off.

Yavoki (“Kals”) Urselem
Age: (approx.) 45
Country of Origin: Neptonius
Transform: Albatross
Rank: Second Watch
Duty: Scout Watcharm
Service Record: A bona fide hero during the Day of Fire and Ice, when she and her Neptonian scouts repelled six Mephastophians from gaining entry to the cannondeck of a critical Saeire Insu frigate, and the only of them to survive the day, “Kals,” as she is known to her friends, rose through the Saeire Insu Scout ranks to become the Failure’s Scout Watcharm, which is second in command of that group. Due to Ske T’Chel’s many other duties, and by his personal recommendation, she is the de facto commander of that brave group.
Tidbit: Kals’ wife, a Gaian, and she were the first to honeymoon in the great caves that house Antarctic Cottonwood.

Aineo Venysa
Age: 45
Country of Origin: Pyrrho
Transform: Fierson’s Gondarm (very rare; Aquanus)
Rank: Second Watch
Duty: Bosun’s Mate
Service Record: Second Watch Venysa, critically injured during the Day of Fire and Ice, spent the following decade Healing. With extraordinary patience and resolve, he recovered from his injuries to the point that he actually applied for the Kumiyaay, but was unable to make the cut due to a lingering shoulder injury. The Bosun Training Program gladly took him in where, with extraordinary dedication and hard work, he rose to Bosun’s Mate and a coveted assignment aboard a Rogue warship.
Tidbit: An avid cat lover, Aineo, during his off hours, often volunteered at the local Humane Society. (Fierson’s Gondarms, parenthetically, are often adopted by a wild feline species on Pyrrho, serving as food-getters and defenders of the pride.)

Raull Yers
Age: (approx.) 70
Country of Origin: Vanerrincourt
Transform: None
Rank: Sailor First Class
Duty: Drady (Sheet-crew Chief)
Service Record: Sailor Yers wanted nothing more in his life than to sail Aquanus’ oceans. Rank meant nothing to him; status and power were held in equal disdain. As Sheet-crew Chief aboard the V-Nicomacus, the king’s flagship, he and his crew were responsible for keeping the Nico fast and fleet, so much so that though chased and harassed continually by attacking Gyssians and demons, the enemy could not board the ship. Yers and his leadership, it was determined, were instrumental in keeping the Nico afloat and elusive. Offered many promotions in the decades that followed, Raull declined them all. He wanted only to “work the sheets” aboard a “lunatic Rogue.”
Tidbit: Yers’ grandfather, an immigrant from Arrow, was the brother of the teacher of Malesherbes Quartermane.