The year is 2525 and a United Earth has reached to the very edges of the solar system.
While other crews in the fleet are pushing forward the frontiers of science, establishing colonies, and defending against myriad threats, the crew of the SS Rustican is meant to be doing the less glamorous work of a solar civilization.
Still they always seem to end up in the middle of the action, much to the chagrin of their well heeled comrades.
Eigen Traxby is the conscientious, hard-working captain of the SS Rustican. They were born and raised on Triton at the very remote, frozen frontiers of human civilization, just qualified for the Discovery Corps command school, and graduated with the rank of Captain (probationary class). Now they finally have a command of their own. They are determined to prove their worth, and serve the Rustican and the Corps to the best of their ability.
Red Novak is a genius and intuitive pilot, with a penchant for risk-taking. She's long lived with anxiety and depression, and has grown into a thoughtful and introspective philosopher. Though she struggled at the Academy flight school, she did eventually graduate as a pilot. The Rustican is her first assignment and she is under no illusions - the missions are bad, the ship is a wreck, the crew are all misfits. For the first time in years, she feels at home.
Dhartt Modi was cloned from his older brother with the expectation that he would follow in his footsteps and become an exceptional engineer. But he took a very different path. He played hoverball and was drafted into a pro league, but his parents forbade it. They forced him into the Academy's engineering school which he barely passed. With such poor scores, no ship would have him until the Rustican. Now he's farther from his hoverball dreams than ever.
Hikaru Kato was kicked out of a prestigious medical school for using school facilities to cook up experimental drugs. It cost him his relationship and his chance to be a doctor. The only place left to go was the Discovery Corp auxiliaries. He completed the medic program, but couldn't find a placement because of his history. Then along came the Rustican and a chance to explore the bizarre chemistry and medical challenges of space.
Zob was onboard the Rustican when it was finally retired to the Discovery Corps junkyard. None of the crew at the time knew who he really was, but all agreed he had been living on the ship for a very long time. He lingered at the junkyard for years, never far from his beloved Rustican. Then word came that a new crew was on the way to re-commission the ship for a temporary mission. Zob recognizes destiny when it calls, and he never fails to answer.