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James Timothy Zahn
San Cucaratcha

Fleet

United Aerospace Command

Rank

Upper Vice Admiral

Born

Tba

Flagship

UAC Arrowhead

Education

Imperial Naval Acadamy

Status

Alive

“I never felt strongly one way or the other on AI ship control, or AI in general. Then Delusion came, destroying half a fleet while it's commander struggled to regain control. All because of a malfunction in a computer program. Since then I've never trusted an AI equipped ship, and I doubt I'll ever really accept the idea.”
— Zahn on his mistrust of AI

James T. Zahn is an admiral in the UAC, and former IKN captain.

Early Life

TBA

Imperial Navy Career

Early Service

James Zahn wanted to enroll in the Imperial Air Corps, but was rejected on account of a failed color blindness test. Knowing that he wanted to enroll in the military, and having never failed a color blindness test before, he next enrolled in the Imperial Naval Academy. Oddly he passed the color test perfectly at the naval academy, and it would later be realized that the tester at the Air Corps center had botched the tests that day.

Zahn was a promising cadet, and graduated third in his class to be assigned to the Mercury as an officer. He proved himself well aboard Mercury, and eventually rose to first officer of the Illustrious. He was eventually promoted to captain for his actions during the first Italian standoff, and was given command of the Iron Fist class battleship IKN Empire.

Captain of the Empire

Zahn's captaincy of the Empire started almost immediately with a baptism of fire for the new ship's crew. Due to a crisis in Israel, the Empire was sent as part of a larger force to defend AIF's allies from a massive assault from the Russians. This battle would become known as Russia's Last Stand, a battle that resulted in severe losses for the IKN. The battleship suffered heavy damage in the battle, but survived to limp home with the other IKN vessels to the base in Panama for repairs. The ship would spend many months in dry dock undergoing repairs before returning to active service.

For a few months things were relatively routine, however the Empire would fight again when the AEON navy became more aggressive. AEON had sent a fleet to attack the Armada of Freedom, AIF then sent a force to defend the Armada composed mostly of flying ships and bombers. The AEON fleet split up to attack the AIF Home Islands in the hopes of drawing away the AIF fleet, and the Empire joined the rest of the IKN in driving them off. Not hours after the AEON fleet was driven off, the malfunctioning AI controlled HYDRAXIS warship Delusion D-40 attacked AIF, inflicting further damage to the Empire during the resultant battle. After the ship was repaired, she patrolled AIF waters and performed various workhorse duties associated with the Iron Fist class. The ship would see her final battle in the Prometheus attack.

Loss of the Empire

Empire sinking

The Empire lists soon after being hit, at this time the abandon ship order was just being issued.

During the Third Battle of the Home Isles, Zahn and the IKN Empire were part of the IKN battle fleet that battled Prometheus when they attacked earth. During the battle, a 204cm shell from a PCAV ship hit near the Empire, rupturing her hull and causing her to start sinking. Seeing that his ship was doomed, Zahn ordered all hands to abandon ship. While most of her remaining crew escaped, most had been killed by the impact, while others were trapped in the dark hull and couldn't get out as the ship rolled over and exploded. Due to the extreme circumstances of the battle, Zahn, and the other captains who survived their ships sinking were spared the customary court martial for the loss of a ship. Zahn learnt a valuable lesson on the value of flying ships from that battle, and he began designing a new flying ship in his spare time. Sadly, because of the heavy losses incurred by the IKN during the battle, Zahn was unable to receive a new command.

Flying Ships

After the battle, and with much time on his hands, Zahn started to design an aerospace warship. He incorporated design elements from the frigates designed by fleet admiral Cole, most notably the MAC. As Zahn worked on this ship, Cole formed the United Aerospace Command, which Zahn realized would be able to more effectively use his design. As he finished designing the ship, he resigned his IKN commission, and joined the UAC to realize this vessel.

UAC Career

The Frigate Admiral

Upon joining the UAC, Zahn had merely small frigates at his disposal. Nonetheless, Fleet Admiral Cole saw potential in the officer, and granted him the rank of Vice Admiral. Now a part of the UAC, Zahn set to work getting more frigates in service, along with designing new vessels and defensive systems. Among the first projects started was a collaboration with engineers from the SAA to design a large battleship, a project still awaits completion.

Cruisers and AI

Soon after production of his frigate was rolling along nicely, Zahn designed the Constellation class cruiser. The Constellation gave Zahn a warship that was less likely to suffer from its small size, along with far better firepower to use against enemy fleets. During this time, Zahn also developed an extremely powerful weapons installation, the Spire of David type hyper velocity gun, used as an anti capital ship weapon. A specialized targeting algorithm was developed to control these weapons, but it was little more than an advanced tracking system.

Admiral Cole, however, was pushing for more automation of the ships themselves, and had developed a full AI system that could control an entire ship. Zahn saw that this system could be useful, however feared that an incident like what happened to Delusion might happen again, possibly on a fleet scale. He therefor restricted AI on his ships to MAC targeting only, with a human override in place to prevent an unauthorized weapons firing by the AI.

Bigger Ships and Defense Command

Zahn soon found himself designing a new battlecruiser for the UAC, the Spear of Saturn class. This became one of the fastest ships in the UAC, and featured an advanced slipspace engine capable of faster transit. Soon after Zahn designed a large anti ship mine for use in the defense of Ceres, which were given stealth features to become largely undetectable by an attacking fleet. Fleet Admiral Cole soon took notice, and assigned Zahn as Head of Orbital Defense, giving him command of both his fleet and all defense systems at Ceres. In this capacity Zahn would help repel multiple attacks by the ORDER Empire and Prometheus, adapting the defenses as gaps are exposed by the attacks.

Newer Ships

Zahn has continued to produce ships for the UAC as well as coordinating defense, with the first ship produced after his posting being the Arrowhead class. Other notable ships he has designed are the Excalibur class, Trident class, and the mighty Viscount among others.

Personal Life

Family

Zahn has never married, and has little contact with his family since he joined the UAC.

Mental Health

Zahn has a somewhat unstable personality in some aspects, though they usually don't hinder his command ability. UAC psychiatrists have diagnosed Zahn with an interwoven case of acute paranoia and technophobia, and have had some success with testing him.

Hobbies

Zahn is known to be a skilled woodcarver, and has several wooden models of famous IKN and UAC ships in both his cabin aboard Excalibur, and his office on Ceres. Zahn is also a skilled musician, and often will play trumpet at events on Ceres.

Zahn also keeps a red 1974 G-440 sportscar on New Carthage, which he'll often drive at drag races or around New Carthage.

Trivia

  • Zahn is named after real life science fiction author Timothy Zahn.
  • Zahn is mistrustful of all AI systems, and is often uneasy letting them perform more than the most basic shipboard tasks. This is the result of witnessing Delusion attack the AIF, an event that deeply scarred him.
  • Zahn is not unlike Cole in that he moved from the more surface oriented AIF, to the pure aerospace navy UAC.

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