Bjorn 'Bernie' Nicol

Nice lad gone bad



Short brown hair. Firm square jaw. Cupids bow. Dorky ears, though.
Dark eyes. Sad eyes. Troubled eyes.
Don’t get mixed up with this guy.
Not unless you want to rescue him, or drown trying.

He’s weak. Physically weak. Morally weak.
If there’s a wrong decision to be made, he’ll make it.
Smart, educated, rich – everything going for him.
Threw it away.
Threw away his name.
Threw away his life.

His real name was Maddox, Bernard Maddox.
He was the son of Shana Maddox, CEO of GeDeCo on Hradus.
His mother, his father Ralph and his sister Nancy all loved him.
But that wasn’t enough.

Don’t get mixed up with this guy. Not unless you’re strong.
Strong enough to walk away.


  • Strength: 3 (-1)
  • Dexterity: 6 (+0)
  • Endurance: 5 (-1), advanced to 6 (0), advanced to 7 (0).
  • Intelligence: 12 ( +2), advanced to 13 ( +2).
  • Education: 10 (+1)
  • Social: 9 (+1)

See character sheet for skills.

Experience points


400px-General_Development_Company.jpgHello Bernard

Thank you for your message. It was so good to talk to you. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get into engineering. You did so well at Dunkleton.

Then again, perhaps a gap year is a good idea after the shock of your friends Lisya and Jodrum Ydrissal going missing like that. Do you have any news yet? I hope that they turn up safe and sound.

You know your always welcome to pick up a intern gig here at GeDeCo. We’ve got ships travelling all over. Get out and see the world. Nancy enjoyed her internship and learnt a lot about the company. Take the internship, come back in a year and then you can get stuck into that degree.

Sorry this is so short. Have to run – merger discussions. Your father says hello. Nancy is doing fine.

PS: Let me know if you’d like me to talk to the university. I’m sure there’s something that we can do.

Love, Mum
25th of Zhongle, 1085 (local time).


My factor on Attee (Tobia 3116) informs me that you are to face trial there. That you were caught breaking a ‘colleague’ out of prison. Please tell me this isn’t true.

When you extended your gap beyond the year to go ‘odd jobbing’, I was concerned. When I heard my factor on Fist (Tobia 2918) that ‘odd job’ was code for ‘thief’, I was horrified. But this! It just won’t do. You’re better than this, Bernard.

They tell me that Attee is a terrible place – all desert and not worth a damn, as they say. The Duke (who isn’t even a real Duke, it seems) is dealing with a rebellion. He won’t hesitate to throw you in prison and throw away the key. I can’t bear it. Think what this is doing to your father. Ralph was horrified at your shenanigans on Fist. The arrest on Attee has broken his heart!

I’ve had a chat with the local judge, Judge Bean. As luck would have it, he’s an Old Dunkletonian, just like you and me. He thinks that you should come back to Hradus (Tobia 2714) before your trial, so that you can attend your ten year reunion. Wouldn’t that be lovely? You will need to be accompanied at all times and wear a lovely bracelet, but that is a small price to pay, I think. I’ve organised for Grandant Tarr to be with you. He is sound, and will give you as much privacy as possible within the boundaries of the agreement with the Judge.

Come home! Please come home at once. We will sort this out. I just want you back here, by my side, my darling boy, for as long as is possible. Please come home.

Your loving mother, Shana.
12th of Zhongle, 1095 (local time).

400px-General_Development_Company.jpgDear Mr Nicol

I write on behalf of Shana Maddox, CEO of General Development Company (GeDeCo) on Hradus. GeDeCo is considering expanding to Torpol (Tlaiowaha 2221). As such, she has asked me to enquire after your health and your work as a belter in the Torpol system.

We are concerned about reports of criminal gangs related to belter activity. Your services were recommended to us by a mutual acquaintance, Jason Ayse (an old Dunkletonian). Mr Ayse informed us that a relative of his was killed by criminal gangs and that you had been kind enough to attend the funeral. He tells us that you reported being close to death twice since you took up this contract, and that you have gained an enemy within one of the gangs. This is of great concern to us.

We are led to understand that sections of the pirate community are much more organised than they used to be. Any clarity that you can provide on this point would be appreciated. As you are probably aware, pirate activity is of concern to GeDeCo.

These reports are of concern to us. Ms Maddox asked me to pass on her concern for your welfare. Perhaps it would be wise to look to your own protection. Do you carry a gun?

You mentioned to Mr Ayse that Kasumi Tanaka, a reporter from Albe (Sindal 2211), was helpful in gaining this position. Ms Maddox bears no grudge against Ms Tanaka (an old Dunkletonian who went to school with her son), but she has a keen interest in talking to the person or persons who were ultimately responsible for your being in this situation. Any clarification would be most helpful.

If you could reply at your earliest convenience, we would greatly appreciate it. Ms Maddox wishes you the best of health and luck in your ventures.

Annette Bongiorno for Shana Maddox
Year 1093

400px-General_Development_Company.jpgBjorn Nicol

For some years you have been very helpful to General Development Company (GeDeCo) in providing information on the situation in the Torpol system. Your information on pirate and other criminal activities in that area has, in a small way, made GeDeCo ships safer in this region. Your claims of possible Zhodani infiltration of the belter community in the independent worlds of the Reach were passed on to the appropriate authorities.

It has become known to us that you are considering moving on from Torpol. Furthermore we have information to believe that, due to your current circumstances, you may be considering a career as a corsair. GeDeCo has created a new anti-piracy program, GeDeCo Cares, designed to reduce the threat of piracy and related activity against GeDeCo shipping. This program has, as its aims, reducing piracy by ensuring that individuals and communities who contribute to this activity will make better choices in the future.

Upon consideration of your case, the CEO of GeDeCo on Hradus, Ms Shana Maddox, has arranged for you to be drafted into a role with our Merchant Marine.

It is a point of common knowledge that GeDeCo maintains a large fleet of merchant ships. While these ships are generally very well run, on occasion we do have cause to investigate issues related to our fleet. Given your your skills, talents and background, GeDeCo will hire you, on a probationary basis, to assist with our internal ship investigations. Satisfactory performance over your four-year contract will make you eligible to apply for an on-going position, at the rank of Senior Crewman.

I trust that you will find these arrangements acceptable.

Annette Bongiorno, general council for Shana Maddox
Year 1097

400px-General_Development_Company.jpgTo: Bjorn Nicol, internal investigations (merchant marine), GeDeCo.
From: Shana Maddox, CEO – Hradus, GeDeCo.
Year: 1101
Re: Promotion to Officer, 4th class

As the CEO (Hradus) of GeDeCo, please allow me to offer my congratulations on your promotion to Officer, 4th class.

Your work for our internal ship investigations team has been exemplary since you began eight years ago. In particular, I would like to commend you for your work on:

  • The insurance investigation after [ship name] was forced down on [world]. Sal Salonge, an old Dunkletonian and friend of my son’s, were impressed with your work, as was I.
  • The investigation into crooked gambling on [cruise ship name]. Archibald Twistelton Champion-de-Crespigny, an old Dunkletonian who went to school with my son, was one of the targets of this particularly clever con artist. In unmasking them, you saved the company from further embarrassment.

On a personal note, may I say how proud I am that you have successfully turned your life around. Eight years ago, there was a strong chance that you would turn to a life of piracy that might threaten the interests of GeDeCo. Now you have a secure job with this company and a future you can believe in.

I look forward to your continued good work with GeDeCo.

Bjorn 'Bernie' Nicol

The Memory of Sindal jod999