Linda Havak was a pilot, Warp Project, and starship captain. In 428 IE, she took part in the first test flight of an Alcubierre-based warp drive. She later served as acting captain, first officer, and finally, commanding officer of the Challenger, the Compact Navy‘s first warp-capable starship.
Born on Bromdar, she became an engineer, then a pilot. Tall, broad-shouldered, she never considered herself very attractive, though the close quarters of the Alcubierre resulted in a brief relationship with fellow pilot Danuq, then a long-term relationship with mission specialist Patty Friese. Havak eventually married Friese.
Test flight from Jupiter to Trantor
Havak worked closely with Hideki Okada and Peter Lancaster, to of the leading specialists in the Warp Project. They took a small, somewhat primitive craft named the Alcubierre from Jupiter to Trantor in the Nemesis system, a distance of two light-years. The trip took two weeks, mainly because of frequent stops to map beyond the so-called “Voyager line,” the farthest distance estimated for the two Voyager probes from the World War Era.
Okada and Lancaster left the Navy after the flight. As a result, Havak became interim commander of the Challenger, a Zephyr-class starship undergoing warp modification.
Rescue of John Farno
Months later, a distress call from Farigha, an isolated terraforming project commissioned by Mars. Destroyed by an alien species later confirmed to be the Gelt, only John Farno survived. Admiral Eileen Burke secretly sent the Alcubierre, which now functioned under normal circumstances, allowing it to make the sixty light-year trip from Earth, though without any sublight propulsion beyond thrusters.
During the trip, Havak and mission specialist Patty Friese became a couple. By the time they reached Farigha, the Navy could openly move on Farigha. The Alcubierre rescued Farno and, unknown to the crew at the time, the AI entity known as Persephone. Havak returned to the Challenger as acting captain, Friese posting as the ship’s warp navigator.
First Mission of the Challenger
Okada and Lancaster were brought back to the Navy to take the Challenger out on its first mission. Havak served as Okada’s first officer. When the Compact Security Council assigned an ethically questionable mission to irradiate a Gelt colony, she supported Okada’s attempts to thwart the worst parts of it. The ship ended up using kinetic weapons on the planet and limiting use of fission weapons to orbital targets.
Liberation of Amargosa
The Challenger traveled to Hanar as Admirals Burke and Austin, as well as Special Envoy Athena Jovann, accepted an invite from Hanar‘s first citizen, Lattus Tishla. Soon, planning began for the liberation of Amargosa with Tishla agreeing to Hanar becoming a staging ground.
During a reconnaissance flight to Amargosa, Lancaster trained Connor Duffy on basic warp operations while Havak and Friese trained Giddeus Modesto and JT Austin on warp flight. The Challenger later launched the three trainees in the first assault wave of the Amargosan invasion. They then returned to ferry First Citizen Lattus and Fleet Admiral Tran to the front.
Command of the Challenger
Okada became a force admiral working as an assistant to Vice Admiral Quentin Austin running the Warp Project. Havak accepted a permanent promotion to captain and assumed command of the Challenger. Friese, whom she had married, become first officer on one of the Navy’s newest ships, the Queen Maria Sophia. In 433, however, Friese died in the attack on the ship. While making a port call at the now-Metisian Republic world of Amargosa, she learned the details from JT Austin. Friese’s sacrifice helped JT escape with the new king of Bonaparte, Edward I.
Place of birth: Bromdar
Spouse: Patty Friese (died 433)
Alcubierre – Pilot, acting captain
Challenger – Acting captain, helm, first officer, captain