The State of Nature
Herman Melville has been plying the Inner Sphere and Periphery space lanes longer than he cares to remember, so long in fact that he considers the vastness of space to be his home rather than any single planet or house. The Vanishing Point has been in his family for six generations and it is clear that he considers her to be his favourite member, often talking about her as though the ‘old girl’ was listening in. The fact that a number of the crew are related to Herman makes for the occasional breakdown in discipline but also ensures a remarkable level of co-operation during operations.
Piracy, privateering and smuggling are all things that Herman has extensive experience in, sometimes as the hunter and sometimes as the hunted. What he credits with keeping him alive this long, in a potentially dangerous profession, is the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing situation. This is not to say that Herman cannot be trusted but that he will take whatever action is necessary to preserve his ship and his crew. This instinct for self-preservation is the main reason he fled to the periphery with Branka, rather than dumping her on some airless rock, the sight of a Clan warship was enough to make up his mind that the inner sphere was a lost cause.
As Herman rarely goes planet-side he is insulated from the goings on and tensions within the Blackshields, he seems happy enough to work with Branka as long as he is free to pursue his own interests as and when he wants.
Jumpship: Vanishing Point Invader Class