1. Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)
Hello, I’m Captain Carl Roche. For the last ten years I have been in command of the T.S.S. Phoenix, the Alliance’s oldest, and frankly, most successful war ship. It is also been my home for the past 15 years. I started my career around the same time the war began, just over 20 years ago, as a fighter pilot. I’ve put on a little weight and have a lot more grey in my hair than I would care for, but try to stay fit enough. My goal is to see this war to its conclusion and bring my crew home.
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2. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Well,… spare time is an odd thing on a starship. There is always something that needs to be done, especially by its Captain; but I suppose when I have a rare moment to myself I mostly enjoy listening to music, typically classical, and reading a good book. To be honest I can’t remember the last time I read. It’s been a long war.
What is your favorite color and why?
What is my favorite color? I never really gave that much thought. I honestly don’t know. I can tell you the colors I don’t like. Red is one. I’ve seen enough of that for a life time. Black is another. Not just the color, but the lack of any color, any light. There are times when…, you know what, let’s just move on.
What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
Well, I suppose a good steak. It’s been a few years since I’ve had one. I eat the same food the crew does. I never felt comfortable with taking privileges that other ship captains might indulge in.
What would you say is your biggest quirk?
I would be a fool to think I don’t have any flaws, but as Captain it is part of my duty to keep those things to myself.
What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why? Share a line in the book where this irk is manifested.
The enemy are the Serkin and the Sa’larie, but the true antagonists of the story are Time and Death.
From The Last Flight of the Phoenix:
The heavy metal superstructure moaned loud and long once again. Both men stopped and listened
as if the great beast might be taking its last breath. The sound subsided, but the knot in the
Captain’s gut didn’t pass. His great ship was drifting helplessly in space, trapped so far behind
e enemy lines that even if they could call for help no one could ever come. Holding the ship together with only a skeleton crew, a third of which were recovering from injuries in sick bay and practically
no defenses gave them little prospects for any hope. Yet giving up was not an option, so long as
t they were alive there was a tomorrow. It was that idea and that idea alone that kept him going.
7. What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?
The obvious answer would be my crew, and it would be true. I would give my life to protect anyone in mu command. But if I have to pick just one thing, the one thing I care about the most, well, it would be this ship. This old, past her prime, war bird that has refused to die in fights she had no business surviving. It is more than a collection of bulk heads and laser cannon. She had led the First Fleet to victory after victory against an enemy who has been determined to destroy us all. I honestly believe that without this ship we would have lost this war years ago.
What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?
I consider myself fortunate. I’ve served with some of the finest people in the fleet and I have had the honor of commanding the Phoenix. (pause) We lost a lot of good people over the years, but in the end we made a significant difference in the war and billions remain safe and free because of our efforts. For that reason I have no regrets.
If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?
I don’t like being kept in the dark. There is something very odd on New Terra and considering our circumstances I would think you would trust me with the knowledge. Not knowing makes it very hard to make the difficult decisions I have to face.
A Question for Me:
How do you pick a book to read next? Do you judge a book by its cover?
Good question. The last book I read was "One Lane Bridge" by Don Reid. I chose it because of the synopsis. Then I really looked at the cover. The cover was different, sort of ethereal, and so I bought it. Although people say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, I often do. The cover has to speak to me in some way, I have to feel connected to it, but it's what the story is about that intrigues me first.