- “That fool is leading the whole damn fleet into a trap! Arents, signal all battlecruisers these instructions, I have a feeling we'll need to rescue our dear admiral Baldwin soon.”— David Hodston preparing to rescue the main fleet at the Battle of Pemberton Cape
|David Fenton Hodston|
Imperial Kevin Navy
IKN Lord Pemberton
Imperial Naval Academy
David Fenton Hodston is the commanding officer of the Imperial Kevin Navy, and one of the three Fleet Admirals of the AIF.
Hodston was born to an upper middle class family in the coastal city of Neviston, home of a prominent naval base. His family had some naval and military background, with his uncle Tyberius being a general in the army, and his great great great grandfather being a frigate captain in the Pemberton Era. As a child he had a fascination with naval vessels, seeing many in the harbor of Neviston and hearing stories of captain Richard Hodston and the IKN Tempest. In school he was seen as intelligent, and he took drafting classes that would be useful later in ship designing.
Once he was old enough, Hodston enrolled in the Imperial Naval Academy to pursue a career as a naval officer. He proved to be a promising cadet, but lacked focus and discipline. Despite this, he graduated and became a lieutenant aboard the battleship Renown. Once there, he proved his intelligence on multiple occasions, but also his lack of discipline. This reached a head when he was nearly locked in the brig for insubordination when he disobeyed standing orders to save the ship from a Niveck battle force. This changed when the Renown got a new captain, the brilliant Alexander Duquesne.
Protege of Alexander Duquesne
The new captain of the Renown saw a lot of promise in the reckless young Hodston, and took it upon himself to tap into Hodston's potential. Captain Duquesne was able to give the young officer focus and discipline, and became a mentor to him. Duquesne realized that Hodston had an aptitude for tactics, and chose him as his first officer when Duquesne was reassigned to the new battleship Intrepid. As first officer of the Intrepid, Hodston refined his knowledge of tactics, and when Duquesne was made an admiral he promoted Hodston to command the new battlecruiser Tiger.
As a captain Hodston was away from the influence of Duquesne, however he had learnt enough from him to be an effective commander. While he was captaining the Tiger he met a woman named Lilly Thomas, the daughter of wealthy industrialist Fredric Thomas. He won many battles with the Tiger, impressing admiralty enough to assign him to the new battleship Iron Fist. The new ship was the flagship of none other than Alexander Duquesne, who was now Fleet Admiral Duquesne, commander of the imperial fleet. Where Hodston once learnt single ship tactics he now learnt fleet tactics from the admiral, and soon was chosen for promotion to commodore with his own small fleet.
The newly promoted Commodore Hodston raised his flag on the Tiger once more, this time to command the second scouting group. In this position he fought a successful battlecruiser skirmish with a superior Niveck fleet, earning him a promotion to rear admiral. As a rear admiral, Hodston commanded the battlecruiser force in the main fleet from the Tiger. In this role he whittled down a Niveck battle fleet while leading them in to a brilliant trap set by Duquesne, resulting in a victory that ended the First Niveck War.
With peace won, Hodston now had an unprecedented amount of shore leave, which he used to visit his family in Neviston and strengthen his relationship with Lilly Thomas. This relationship resulted in a marriage mere months before a new war with the Niveck. When war broke out, Hodston was given command of the first battleship division of the Grand Fleet, commanding from the new battleship Valiant. With a fleet leftover from the previous war comprising of older battleships, fleet command ordered a naval buildup. Hodston begun designing battleships at this time, realizing they were still viable even with aircraft carriers seeming to dominate naval warfare. As the war continued, Hodston was promoted to third in command of the entire fleet, behind only Admirals Duquesne and Baldwin. At this time, Hodston was returned to battlecruiser command, now commanding all scouting vessels for the fleet from the new battlecruiser Repulse.
The New Fleet Admiral
See also: Battle of Pemberton Cape
Soon after Hodston's promotion, Fleet Admiral Duquesne retired from naval service. As second in command, Admiral Baldwin took his place, but Baldwin was more a politician than a military leader. He had risen through the ranks through appeasing officers and government officials, and was a poor choice of admiral. At the disastrous Battle of Pemberton Cape, Baldwin led his ships into a Niveck trap. Hodston saw the trap, but Baldwin ignored him and led the fleet right into the heart of the enemy fleet. The Niveck began to slaughter the poorly arrayed fleet, and Hodston watched in horror from the battlecruiser Repulse as ship after ship sank. When Baldwin's flagship, the Fearless, was disabled, Hodston took command of the fleet. With his fast battlecruisers flanking the Niveck, the beleaguered battleships made a ragged retreat. The Fearless managed to survive, as did Baldwin to face a court martial. Baldwin was found guilty of negligence and incompetence, and was imprisoned for life. Hodston however, was commended for his brilliant recovery of the situation, and was promoted to Fleet Admiral to replace Baldwin.
Hodston realized that the key to victory lay in rebuilding the fleet as quickly as possible. A large new rebuilding program was initiated, which resulted in the commissioning of such ship classes as the Hyperion, Majestic, Iron Fist and Mercury. These new warships gave Hodston the edge he needed, and demonstrated their value at the pivotal Battle of Diego Straights. For the next three years, the Niveck would be driven out of imperial territory, and a push made into Niveck territory.
The Niveck responded with new ships of their own, resulting in the Armadillo Refits for all capital ships in the fleet. These newly upgraded ships far outclassed the Niveck ships, as the Niveck vessels had been built to counter the pre armadillo fleet. This resulted in the decisive Battle of Trill Point, in which the remaining Niveck fleet was destroyed by Hodston. Soon after Trill Point, a land invasion eradicated the Niveck Empire, ending a centuries long conflict.
Torpedoeing of the Iron Fist, and the AIF
Main article: The founding of the AIF
During the final stages of the land invasion during the Third Niveck War, Hodston's flagship was on a lone patrol near some islands in the Pacific Ocean hunting Niveck stragglers. At the time Hodston was at a conference to discuss plans for the future, chief among them being the navy's role after the Niveck were eliminated. And the ship was commanded by rear admiral Bradford Arents, a renowned battlecruiser commander. While patrolling, the Iron Fist was spotted by the submarine I1 of the Khoifish Imperial Navy. The sub's commander, admiral Khoi Tran, did not recognize the design of the IKN battleship and mistook it for a vessel with a pirate group the KIN had been hunting. He ordered a salvo of ten torpedoes fired, of which three hit the Iron Fist causing moderate damage. After that admiral Bradford Arents ordered battle stations as the crew rushed to repair the damage, while admiral Khoi Tran realized that this was not a pirate vessel, and made a hasty retreat before anti submarine forces moved in to hunt the sub.
Once the I1 returned to base, Khoi contacted Hodston to try and prevent a new war. Once the meeting was arranged an unlikely friendship arose between the two admirals, and over the coming months they collaborated on multiple design studies. The first was a discussion of the Iron Fist's reaction to the torpedoes, resulting in the characteristic torpedo bulges seen today. They then collaborated more closely on the design of the new IKN Challenger, eventually opting to create an alliance as a design and tech sharing organization. This organization would be known as the Alliance of Imperial Fleets, later shortened to AIF, which became its own joint navy with other member fleets and a major world power.
The Lost American
See also: Preston Jeremiah Cole
Not long after the AIF was founded, Hodston was leading a naval exercise from the IKN Challenger in AIF territory when a set of radar contacts were reported. About the same time, the fleet of Preston J. Cole was searching in the area for supplies when their radar picked up an unknown fleet, the IKN Grand Fleet at exercises. Cole, fearing that the unknown fleet was his old nemesis the Aries, ordered weapons armed and his fleet ready for battle. Hodston was unsure of the intentions of the unidentified fleet, and dispatched his battlecruisers to investigate with battle ensigns flying, and radioing a hail to the unknown fleet. As the unknown fleet closed with his, Cole ordered his fleet into a battle formation, dismissing the radio hails as an Aries trick, while Hodston's battlecruisers reported the movements to Hodston. Hodston, knowing that if a hostile force engaged his battlecruisers they might sink them, ordered his battleships to support the battlecruisers. The stage was now set for a classic naval battle.
As the battlecruisers closed to a decent visual range, they reported that they appeared to be American warships. Hodston, suspecting that this fleet might not be hostile, ordered his battlecruisers to hold fire, and tried to hail the fleet again. Around this time, Cole noticed the unfamiliar design of the closing battlecruisers, and decided to take a closer look. What he sees is not the familiar flag of his nemesis the Aries, but the red blue and white squares of the IKN battle ensign. Cole then responds to Hodston's hails, averting a major battle, but still is wary of this fleet. Eventually, Cole and Hodston meet aboard the ECD Everest, and after several hours of discussion, Cole informs Hodston that his fleet would like to join the AIF. The battered ECD ships are escorted to the AIF Home Isles by the IKN fleet, marking the beginning of a new chapter in both admirals' lives.
Career in AIF
AFOH and DPL
Hodston's first crisis in his AIF career was when the DPL attacked AIF's new ally AFOH. Hodston knew that the IKN division could not stand against the might of the DPL alone, and even with the KISDF it would involve heavy casualties, however the AIF could not wait idly by as their allies died. To help without provoking the DPL, Hodston sent a fleet oiler as a makeshift hospital ship, rescuing crews from sunken ships on both sides. Eventually the AIF committed itself to help the AFOH more directly, and Hodston led an IKN battle fleet to Hybridland, however negotiations brought the war to a close before the AIF could be of assistance. While this was a disappointment for Hodston, he also knew that it saved the lives of his ships' crews. As events would unfold though, Hodston got plenty of action to make up for this.
The Atarashimono attack on the AIF Home Islands was Hodston's first experience with flying ships, and his first real battle since Trill Point. Hodston led the IKN against the Atarashimono surface warships, while ordering a heavy defensive platform to bombard the flying carrier. With the combined help of the ECD and KISDF, along with help from AFOH, Atarashimono was driven back. The IKN suffered heavy losses, but most were from surface warships and not the carrier, thus Hodston was not fully aware yet of the devastating effect a flying ship can have on a fleet.
As the AIF gained strength, it acquired new allies and territory. Among the territory gained was the holdings of the ISBA, the leadership of which agreed to merge with the AIF. They also formed alliances with other navies, including the Armada of Freedom and Israeli Navy.
Reconstruction and Reconquest
Hodston does not have much time for hobbies given his duties as fleet admiral, however he does find some time for hobbies.
Alexander Dusqense was Hodston's mentor for much of his early career. He taught Hodston nearly everything he knows about command, and fulfilled an almost father like role. Dusqense himself considered Hodston his protege, and took much pride in his accomplishments during the final Niveck War.
Preston J. Cole
Hodston has developed a strong friendship with Preston J. Cole, a former admiral of the USN, and current fleet admiral of the UAC. The two have fought side by side in multiple battles, working together in close coordination in each. Hodston has also served as emotional support for Cole during some of the darker times of the Prometheus war.
James E. Bloodridge
Hodston has a certain respect for the James E. Bloodridge, and has fought him on multiple occasions. This respect comes from the skill in which he orchestrates his plans, though Hodston has seen his deception where others haven't.
Lilly Thomas Hodston is Hodston's beloved wife, and a highly intelligent individual.
- “It seems that navies with lots of flying ships are quite fond of parking their fleet off the AIF coast, and then sending some ultimatum to us while insulting our surface fleet.”— An excerpt from Hodston's log after his first encounter with AEON
- “With your ECD in the battle, I can always count on knowing that it isn't really a battle till you fire your famous ECD Missile Barrage at a fleet.”— David Hodston discussing tactics with Cole
- “It would seem good to mention right now that a pack of Silent Retribution class SSBNs are en route to the battle area right now. One or two of them is of the nuclear deterrence version, and I'm rather certain that they have more than enough nuclear weapons to eradicate your fleet too. Not to mention the repercussions involved with a DPL ship firing nuclear weapons on a civilian population, something not taken lightly by the major powers like AIF or UAC. I'd hate to see what a UAC assault on your home base would look like. Think about it.”— David Hodston to Trinity Winter, during the Showdown off California
- The characters of David Hodston and Alexander Duquesne are derived from an earlier concept for the IKN admiral David Duquesne. It was later decided that the name Duquesne was too hard to remember the spelling without horribly anglicizing it, so Hodston was eventually settled on via online name generator.
- Hodston is possibly one of the oldest characters on BSCN in terms of age, though any AOS character of course beats everyone out in age.
- Hodston was thought up before CRG joined BSCN, mainly as a name source for battleships.
- Many historical figures influence the character of Hodston, indeed his first name of David references British admiral David Beatty from WWI.
- The image of Hodston is actually Gilad Pellaeon from the Star Wars EU.
- Like Cole, Hodston usually carries a sidearm, typically a .44 magnum and naval cutlass from the Pemberton Era.
- In an attempt to portay Hodston as evil, the Niveck have several names for him. Some notable examples include The Butcher of Trill Point and Devil of Diego Cape.