A SHORT HISTORY OF FAMILY FURIEUX
By CMDR Deuil Furieux
I was born Deuil Armande Furieux in the year AD 3272 on the planet Darwyn, in the Zeta Tucanae system to a wealthy family. My father, Ettiene Furieux, is the owner and CEO of a moderately successful mining and refining operation, known locally as the Furieux Extraction Corporation. It was founded in 3195 by my great grandfather Emile Furieux, and has over 100 years experience in the precious metal processing field. Annual revenue is an estimated 20.8 billion credits with more than 40,000 employees system wide.
Sadly, my father and I don’t and never have seen eye to eye.
I never knew my mother. I am told that Evelynne Furieux died shortly after childbirth, a mere six hours after my introduction to life. She was descended from the Blackfeather line, a family of merchants with a trading history dating back as far as the salt seas of old Earth, she was the daughter of Ciaran Blackfeather and Cassandra Zalaga, one of his many mistresses. My father insists that all Blackfeathers throughout history were prone to such ‘rakish’ behaviour and that I have more of their blood in me than I do of his own. However, that he loved my mother, I am of no doubt. My grandmother, Elenore, would tell me stories of my parents when I was very young, and passed on an image of my father hand in hand with an extremely beautiful woman with long red hair and a heart shaped face. I have never seen him wearing such a genuine and supremely happy smile the way he did in those images.
I am certain that my father blames me for my mother’s premature death, even to this day.
I also have a sister, Anais. She was born in 3270, two years my senior and as far as my father is concerned, the perfect daughter. While my relationship with my sibling is more than amicable, she sees my lack of discipline and romanticism as selfish and foolish. I often jest that she will end her days as a lonely old spinster with more money than experience to which she claims that I am likely to be dead by the time I am 35. Anais has had an appetite for business from a very young age. Always the studious one, she graduated with honours from the Darwyn University of Business and is now seated among the upper echelons in the company. Pretty yet fiery tempered, independent and headstrong with a penchant for numbers, my darling sister compares to son my father really wanted. To suggest that I am embittered by this is a fallacy. I love my sister dearly and wish her every luck in eventually running the family business.
That I am a disappointment to my old man is not surprising. I spent most of my rebellious youth disobeying and antagonizing him at every opportunity. As a child I was consistently infuriating the hired help. Refusing to pay attention to my educators, I would disappear for hours into the arctic lands that surrounded Furieux House, whipping the household staff into a frenzy. Ettiene Furieux was not a man to keep “negligent personnel” in his employ. As an adolescent, my behaviour became even more erratic and insubordinate. My father, in a vain attempt to bring me into the family line of business forced me to be present at meetings with prospective clients to which I would turn up inappropriately dressed, spouting sarcastic and twisted remarks, yawning my way through the two hour sessions. I had absolutely no desire to spend the rest of my life as Grand Master of an opulent table in a meeting room conversing about market prices and labour costs.
In truth, I did not know what I wanted from life. My time in Darwyn’s University of Business revolved around skipping classes with similarly disenchanted youths, engaging in ‘not-quite-legal’ activities that would have warranted academic exclusion had our activities been discovered. Narcotics and synthetic alcohol were commonplace within my social circle. While my family was exceedingly rich, my father insisted that I should begin earning independently whilst “studying”. I began working at Elswick, Darwyn’s orbital station, shunting passengers from the surface stations into space. After a few weeks of on-the-job training, I began to steadily enjoy the sense of freedom that leaving the confines of the atmosphere behind instilled upon me. Granted, I was flying very a small, sedate interplanetary shuttle with limited range, but it brought home to me just how big the universe actually was. My imagination was fuelled by those sweet glittering lights in the cosmos.
I wanted more. I wanted to see those stars. Every single one of them, first-hand.
Convincing my family that I wished to become a fully fledged pilot was not easy. Initially, I was refused the funds to sit my pilot’s exam and asked to earn the credits myself but my insistence that I wanted nothing else from him seemingly changed his mind. Clearly, his patience was wearing thin, resigned to the fact that I did not wish to be part of his empire of pretty metals. It was about this time, my sister Anais was showing a keen interest and exemplary business acumen with regards to the gold industry. This, perhaps gave him peace of mind in that the company would continue operations in the future with Furieux blood at the helm. Enlisting my sister into the ranks of the FEC, he funded my signing up to the Zeta Tucanae Flight Academy thus allowing to me to achieve quite possibly the only thing I everachieved, my Pilot’s Federation License.
My grandfather, Armande Furieux, died in AD 3295 at the ripe old age of 97. Among the assets that were left to my family (ie, my father) was an old Faulcon DeLacy Sidewinder Mk. II that he kept as a reminder of his own humble origins. The ship was in good repair, overhauled and kept pristine in his personal docking bay at his stately home. My father allowed me to make use of it as I saw fit. Armande Furieux sealed my fate as a ‘Spacer’. I was now a pilot with my own ship. I was now officially ‘Commander Furieux.’
My father inherited the Furieux Extraction Corporation and remained the CEO.
I remained at House Furieux for a number of years whilst honing my skills as a true pilot. Transporting passengers to the local systems, lending my services as a small cargo freighter and running messenger errands earned me my first credits as an independent citizen in my own right. I took nothing from the family coffers as I had promised, intent on making my enough money to feed my bad habits. I was still considered a wastrel in my father’s eyes regardless of my personal income and ironically it was a money making exercise like this that eventually led me to leave Zeta Tucanae for good.
During a particularly raucous night in the Star & Garter, a galaxy wide franchise of gentlemens clubs, I was approached by a seemingly dapper chap going by the name ofVaru. Seeking a pilot with a fast ship to make a special delivery to the LHS 531 system, a federal jurisdiction merely 6 light years away. He was willing to pay me 10,000 credits upon completion and insisted that the cargo manifest were to be kept secret. Of course I was suspicious but – call it greed – I jumped at the chance to make some easy credits with very little effort.
Eighteen standard hours later I was arrested at Nelson Terminal after a system authority scan for the possession of illegal narcotics with intent to distribute. It made Galnet headlines.
My father was livid. He made my bail and commanded me to return to Zeta Tucanae immediately. Upon arriving at Elswick Station, I was escorted back to Darwyn by a couple of my father’s black suited lackeys. My father’s office was dark and sparsely furnished as I sat face to face with him in silence. He slid a dataslate across the desk to me, expressionless.
‘Consider your bail and the ship a leaving present.’ he said.
I picked it up and began to read.
‘Upon genuine signatory protocol and receipt of the Hazy Jane, a DeLacy Sidewinder Mk.II, I, Deuil Armande Furieux, hereby waive any rights and assets that may be available to me as a member of the Furieux estate…….’
The rest of the document was all legal fizz and pomp but the message remained. I was no longer considered part of the Furieux family. I packed what few things I owned into the tiny hold of my ship, kissed my sister goodbye and left.
It is the year AD 3300. As far as my family are concerned I am no longer part of the Furieux clan. All my worldly possessions fit into the small cargo hold of a Faulcon DeLacy Sidewinder. 28 years of age and I have just discovered what it is to be truly alone, with only the stars for company. My sole ambition is to make my way through the galaxy and visit the places that I dreamed of while lying in my ludicrously expensive bed as a youth.
Perhaps one day, my father will truly understand what drives me and what I am really capable of. Perhaps he will realise that gold, however much it glitters, is not the light I am looking for.
Perhaps one day, Ettiene Furieux will finally be proud of me.