FOX has just put up the Facebook page for Edge of Never, the reality show being broadcast back to Earth, starring the crew of the Phaeton. The page includes new photos, and crew bios, like this one for Commander Frank Pike…
Frank Pike was born and raised in the small ranching town of Hamilton, Montana. His father was a local doctor who also maintained a portion of the former family cattle ranch, more out of nostalgia than for sound business reasons, while Pike’s Danish mother was a former actress turned high school history teacher. Pike was their only child: an adventurous, risk-taking boy always looking for ways to test himself, to find the next boundary, the next obstacle and overcome it. From early on, he also seemed destined to be a leader. Though a mediocre student, largely through lack of application than intellectual ability, he excelled at sports, football especially, quarterbacking his small town team to a state title. Recruited into USC’s PAC 10 program where he also excelled, Pike seemed headed for a career in the pros—until war broke out in Southeast Asia over competition for increasingly scarce petroleum resources and Pike unexpectedly joined up. The sports media played up the patriotism angle, as did the military, looking to boost recruitment. But Pike refused to let anyone make him a poster child for service. The truth is, he wanted to test himself in combat, overcome a new obstacle and challenge, as he always had. It was a fateful decision.
After enlisting, he was quickly tagged as officer material and ended up with a commission as a first lieutenant and an assignment to an advanced, behind-the-lines technical unit, coordinating the distant battlefield action—to his chagrin. And yet here he found another challenge—mastering advanced battlefield technology and tactics—along with a surprising affinity for numbers, geometry and higher math, talents he allowed to lay dormant in school but now willingly tapped in the service of a practical need: saving lives. Seeing his new potential, the Army steered him back to the states for advanced degrees in physics and engineering, but all along, as the war continued through hot and cold cycles, Pike pushed for a battlefield commission, and finally got one. Assigned to a remote, mountainous region of Malaysia, he found himself using his scientific and technical skills to help his unit track down insurgent forces. Pushing himself, pushing his men. Then something happened. A bloody battle which got little attention in the overall theater of the war but exacted a terrible cost on his unit, and on Pike.
A man always seeking a greater challenge, Pike applied for and was accepted into the International Space Agency’s astronaut training program. He soon found himself participating in a series of lunar missions that were intended to pave the way for the first manned Mars mission. When the computers on his lunar module failed, Pike took over the manual controls and managed to save the module from a disastrous crash. Still, a ruptured oxygen tank cost the life of one his crewmates, and while the incident made Pike a public hero, Pike was left with a lingering sense of guilt and a determination to protect his crew at all costs on his next command – the interstellar mission of the Phaeton, now jointly funded by the ISA and a private consortium. Having inherited his father’s love of the land and nature, he’s also keenly aware of the great responsibility that he and his Phaeton crewmates share as they set out to find a planet that may offer some cures for the environmental problems bedeviling Earth, or perhaps a final refuge from them.
… Anticipation. Building. Keep checking back for more updates!