Robert's father, Nathiel Adam MacMANUS, was heir of the MacMANUS Family's majority hold on RIJL Aerospace (nee RIGEL Aerospace). Nathiel was a Commodore in the United Nations Space Agency; a hero of the BATTLE OF LONG BOW; past owner of the RIGEL TWO and then RIGEL THREE spacecraft; commander of the LIGHT CARRIER TRIPOLI before his death at the "FIRST FRONT of the MEGANITE WAR".
Robert's mother, Pamela Newhaven, is grand daughter of W Thomas Magellan; former project manager for Magellan Shipyards. Newhaven was on the spacecraft QUILLIN TWO during the ORBIT CERN project where she was partly responsible for the recovery of Nathiel Adam and the RIGEL THREE during the latter's unsuccessful rescue attempt of this father in 2195.
Following their marriage Pamela began working for RIGEL Aerospace under the direct tutelage of CEO Sarah Temple. Newhaven was groomed for the CEO position which she assumed in 2207. Under her leadership RIGEL developed the RAEB Artificial Sentient system and broke the light barrier before becoming the number one supplier to the Terran effort in the MEG WAR.
Robert grew up nearly isolated from his peers and the planet which is home to his ancestors, instead finding company with the scientists assigned to the STATION ONE (later STATION THREE). These included Doctor Michael Newville, creator of the RIGEL Aerospace Electro-Brain (RAEB) and for a time Doctor Elo SHINDAR, head of the SLIPSTREAM Faster than Light BOOMERANG Project.
These contacts greatly aided Robert with an intrinsic understanding of physics and electronics enabling him to develop strong non-linear thought patterns. However as developed his social skills were in the all adult environment they were equally undeveloped in relation to peers.
When Robert was eight Terran years old he was introduced to his first populated classroom where he met the children of other space based families including Alison Grand and (Isaac) Bill Magellan. Having similar interests and similar free reign of the station Robert and Bill developed an incredible ability to get into great amounts of mischief, the skills from these experiences have aided the two time and time again in later life. Because of their antics many of the station citizenry began referring to them as "M and M", Robert never liked the reference.
When the First RAEB achieved self-realization Robert found himself interacting with the artificial sentience, developing a bond with it and challenging the proto-sentience with logistical problems Robert himself was facing. With RAEB's help and before he had completed high school Robert had already put together the framework of his Tactical Thesis "BLINK: 30 Faster than Light Space Battle strategies" and had worked out with RAEB the beginnings of his Command Thesis "TWO THOUSAND" which was an interview style checklist of contingencies that anyone in Command should have to do. The "TWO THOUSAND" was more keenly required if the command had a RAEB in a support function a fact that was often times overlooked.
On graduation from High School (2219), MacMANUS and some of his fellow students had a unique problem before them. Although highly skilled in the specialties of Zero Gravity Flight and Orbital maneuvers he was missing the lower end atmospheric flight skills required for admission to most Flight Academy programs. This shortcoming was rectified through supplementary training at the WESTCAN Flight Academy near Cold Lake Alberta where Robert graduated with honors.
These credentials ensured Robert's acceptance into the United Nations Space Agency Flight Academy program in 2221, specializing in offensive flight operations but showing an incredible aptitude for tactical command situations. For his post-graduate studies Robert was assigned to the Flight Pool on STATION THREE, within 6 weeks of this posting Robert was made Operations Coordinator of the Station 3 Flight Pool.
In 2224 UNSA initiated the "First Start" program grouping junior officers in post-graduate studies of separate but compatible field into "starter" Team Operation Squadrons. Robert was made Commander of the first of these, the 655 Squadron.
Robert met and began dating Dawn Whitley, a journalism student who interned at the Station One Media Office. By 2224 they were engaged to be married but Robert called the marriage off when a "current affairs" project that Robert was helping her with ended up on the NewsNETS including information that Robert expected Dawn to know was not to be included. The posting, which led to a job with GlobalNET 57, was an opportunity that Dawn could not allow herself to pass up, a fact she expected Robert to understand.
Around this time Robert was reintroduced to Alison Grand, daughter of GRAND Designs founder Jimmy Grand and Bethany McMurty, the administrative assistant to Academy Commandant Allan Grimsby.
The relationship became more serious and began receiving increasing amounts of Telebloid gossip regarding its direction. Robert and Alison announced their engagement October 25, 2224. The wedding is for May 22, 2225 on Earth at the MacMANUS Compound near Vulcan Alberta WESTCAN. MacMANUS continued to work on his Tactical and Command Thesis, almost ending up in a Tactical Squadron when circumstances cause Commandant Grimsby to believe that is where MacMANUS' interest lay. Instead Robert is working for the LEAD PILOT slot on the BARNARD's STAR MISSION.
However on April 26, 2225 all that came to an end when Robert's older brother Jack Adam MacMANUS is among the casualties in a marauder attack on the commercial space transport Jack was on. Pamela Newhaven immediately works to get Robert struck from the list of pilots on the Barnard's Star Mission to ensure he remains behind to assume Jack's duties at RIGEL Aerospace.
A mere 21 days before their wedding Alison Grand withdraws from the Pilot's program she was in to assume increasing duties at RIGEL Aerospace following Pamela Newhaven's nearly successful bid to get Robert on the RIGEL Board of Directors. This act allows Robert to continue his pilotry studies. Robert however takes Alison's sudden career shift, the loss of his brother and his failure to get the Barnard Star Mission slot hard.
Robert feels cut off in the pursuit of his goals and has great difficulty adjusting to the sudden loss of Alison as she spends more and more of her free time with her rapidly increasing duties at RIGEL Aerospace. MacMANUS drifts into the arms of 655 Squadron TEAM Medic Greta Johanson when their long simmering attraction blooms into an intense but brief interlude that leaves MacMANUS even more confused on Greta's sudden disappearance.
The fact that he completely lost control and succumbed to her charms startled Robert who, with Bill Magellan, headed to Earth for a short break, a break which greatly helped MacMANUS decide who he wanted to be. Pushing the events of the last few weeks into the past MacMANUS returned to Station Three delivering to Alison an ultimatum which resulted in a brief ceremony on Station Three against a backdrop of stars and a 5 year Term Contract Marriage instead of the traditional "open-ended" one.
Shortly after this the 655 Squadron lost New SOVIET sponsored teammate Gregory ANDREIVICH to the "GUBACHEN" Project and gained the long hoped for Team Engineer in the guise of hard to tame MELBOURNE GIRNEY fresh off the Boomerang Project.
By late 2225 the 655 Squadron had earned the attention of UNSA Command when their "wargames" on the farside of the Moon uncovered the New SOVIET "GUBACHEN" Project before the New SOVIET renegade officers could act. The "FARSIDE Incident" would haunt the 655 Squadron and its commander for many years.
Commander Nathiel Adam MacMANUS gave his RIGEL THREE Long Range craft to Robert when he passed the Command Exam in 2225. Following family tradition the craft was to go the eldest child, with Jack's passing that became Robert. The RIGEL THREE would have gone to Robert anyway but at Jack's insistence. This reunited Robert with RAEB now permanently housed in the RIGEL THREE's central core.
UNSA Admiralty re-assigned the 655 Squadron to the TEST PILOT CORPS before year end 2225 due to concerns about the Squads reckless nature for acting without orders.
For the next three years the squad spent a lot of time trying to stay alive in hastily assembled prototypes. Robert proved very adept at on-the-spot makeshift corrections of operational "bugs" earning him the nickname "Bugs Crusher" which he equally abhored.
During this time the lone brightspot of exploration that the team experienced was during a near-NEPTUNE Test Exercise when the RIGEL THREE was disabled for six days when the craft was caught in what was later learned to be a high stream Ionic communication link between the MEG Base on Mars and a MEG Relay Communication System. Their rescue came at the hands of external forces of a still unidentifiable origin.
Alison continued working at RIGEL Aerospace as Pamela Newhaven continued to groom her for the CEO position. During the recession of 2227 GRAND Designs plunged toward bankruptcy. Alison realized her parents where heading toward financial ruin but with a little work she was able to talk RIGEL into a takeover of GRAND Designs. Pamela placed Alison in charge of the transition/integration team.
Robert's marriage to Alison however slowly began a downward spiral as the two drifted apart with differing interests and only appearing together at family/public functions. The telebloids had a field day with the "Corporate Couple".
At the insistence of the UNSA Task force investigating the anomalous occurrences that would later prove to be the Meganites pressured RIGEL Aerospace into moving it's SLIPSTREAM Boomerang Project into field testing by mid-2228. The initial result was a disaster when the first proto-type launched unmanned broke up at near light speed in orbit around Mars and destroyed two of it's three Escourt craft.
Robert, viewing the test without official authorization from the RIGEL THREE, clued in on the cause of the accident and immediately interjected his theories to Doctor SHINDAR and supervising UNSA Admiral Koss. Alpha pilot Lieutenant Poul CHEROK did not agree with MacMANUS' observations but UNSA Command was desperate for the returns from the high speed runs around Mars and agreed to run the second Proto-type with MacMANUS on board in place of CHEROK.
On July 14, 2228 UNSA Lieutenant Robert Nathiel MacMANUS became the first Terran to travel at the speed of light (2.02 times faster than light actually). During his run MacMANUS views anomalous visual information which UNSA Command rejects due to an overwhelming lack of supporting information.
Following a near repeat of the Farside Incident that saw Robert MacMANUS lead a combined UNSA / New SOVIET armada to the Meganite Base on Mars which MacMANUS and his 655 Squadron handily secured. With RAEB's help the combined UNITED EARTH Command were able to access the entire MEGANITE Information Database including language and culture information for over 20 worlds, this combined with Earth's desire to remain in a position of power following the formation of any galactic union led to the STELLAR 20 and the RIMBEY PLAN.
Robert was an obvious choice for the STELLAR 20, being in possession of the RIGEL THREE, a spacecraft which had been designed with the idea of faster than light conversion in mind, and the holder of a level one First Contact certificate. However MacMANUS initially refused to participate in the STELLAR 20 when he learned his Squadron would be broken up because of the shortage of First Contact trained specialists. MacMANUS had made the error of getting his entire Squadron certified, a resource that Command felt could not be wasted on just one vessel.
On the realization that Alison definitely would not be joining him on the STELLAR 20 Mission but sincerely wanted him to pursue his destiny MacMANUS joined the program but only on the condition that he be allowed to travel alone, with only RAEB to assist him. It was only out of desperation that Command agreed.
Robert's launch was delayed by a last minute decision to rush to the aid of the Light Carrier TRIPOLI and his father in their attempt to keep the MEGANITE INVASION SHIP VOSqUIL from turning away from the UNITED EARTH Fleet and giving the MEG Homeworld the advantage. In large part because of his father's sacrifice in driving his Light Boomer into the MEG SHIP at near light speed the attempt was successful.
Robert's STELLAR 20 Number 20 had the three farthest inhabited worlds on it's flight plan, the first being Topanga, the second the K'DENE homeworld (where the RIGEL THREE arrived in the middle of a pitched battle between the K'DENE and the MEGS) and the third being the as yet uncontacted JAUNDOVAN system (587 New MONCTON). During his transit MacMANUS realized that one world not included in the contact list for any of the missions was the AWHREANOS of ROSS 619, discovering that these people were suffering a full occupation at the Megs hands, a fate Robert was sure had only been spared on Earth because they luckily got the Megs first, MacMANUS decided to head to the unauthorized stop and see what he could do to help these people.
By this point the Megs were using ROSS 619 as a repair facility for their NUYEATA Theatre fleet operations against the Solar Group Alliance. MacMANUS first began to teach their leaders how to mount a successful resistance but also to guide them into using some of the native ores of AWHREANOS to destabilize the hulls of all Megs ships putting into Ross 619 for repair. The particular ore used, reacted so poorly to high energy bursts from ALLIANCE craft in battle that half the time the Megs own ships destroyed themselves.
Realizing that no matter how success he was with the guerrilla tactics that the Megs would not leave MacMANUS decided it was time to return to Earth and convince the leadership there to liberate the Awhreanos. A final attack set on the Meg Bastille facility (where the Occupation was being controlled from) was to cover his departure from the Meg surface but a pre-attack scout mission resulted in the capture of an indigenous person that MacMANUS had grown very close to. Believing she had been captured and killed by the Meganites MacMANUS led a smaller charge on the facility and was captured himself.
During interrogation Meg Governor BOONEY, who mistook MacMANUS for an Awhreanos, learned of his concern for the captive they had killed early that day and inscribed the name, location and date of her death into the flesh on his back with an Interrogation Rod with the idea of releasing MacMANUS and demonstrating to the Awhreanos the futility of their opposition.
MacMANUS was released by an earlier than planned attack on the Bastille and sent on his way, to his Shuttle, with the idea he would return to Earth and bring back help to liberate the Awhreanos. At this point the ordeal of capture, interrogation and mutilation had left a deep psychological scar on Robert's psyche which the six month return voyage to Alliance space didn't quite heal.
Having tried a drop off back at Topanga and having been mistaken for a Meg Marauder and nearly destroyed Robert continued toward Earth in the RIGEL THREE, travelling through ALLIANCE space nearly undetected due to the RIGEL's travelling through the high end frequencies of Ion Space. Nearly 5 years behind schedule MacMANUS and the RIGEL THREE arrived at Procyon (576 New SEPT ILES) SAHAKLESH during the final stages of the REAL TIME TACH PIP link between Earth (001 New LONDON) and New VANCOUVER.
The Sahaklesh mistook him for a Meg Marauder as well and fired on his craft as the RIGEL THREE came out of Ion Space. With half the known galaxy watching MacMANUS returned fire disabling the Sahaklesh station and disconnecting New SEPT ILES from the REAL TIME Link at a crucial moment.
The STAR COMMAND Scout VINDICATOR, en route to New SEPT ILES to pick up the NewsNET Reporter covering the historic REAL TIME link, was forced to engage MacMANUS on the surface of New SEPT ILES aggravating his concussion. On successful recovery of the last STELLAR 20 pilot VINDICATOR started back for its base at New SCHEFFERVILLE.
MacMANUS, on realizing that the MEG WAR was over but that the ALLIANCE failed to see ROSS 619 as important enough to recover, engaged overrides on the RIJL Built VINDICATOR taking it toward MEG Space with idea of restarting the MEG WAR in order to win the freedom of the Awhreanos.
Admiral Gregory ANDREIVICH, tasked with stopping MacMANUS before he caused a galactic incident, attempted to reason with Robert but on failing gave the Meganites everything they needed to track him and intercept him including his flight details. VINDICATOR Commander Mike CAHILL managed to disable his craft before MacMANUS was able to call ANDREIVICH's bluff.
MacMANUS was treated and then returned to Earth by RIJL Aerospace High Speed Courier craft along with the RIGEL THREE. There he began a campaign to get Awhreanos freed of Meg control, to get RIJL to begin work on a new proto-type (see: RIJL FOUR), and to gain a command grade commission with STAR COMMAND despite every other STELLAR 20's failure to meet the re-commissioning requirements of STAR COMMAND. He was eventually successful in all three endeavors.
Robert was instrumental in the recovery of the KLANGORF Pro-Tach Driver specifications along with former 655 Teammate Bill MAGELLAN before arriving at the Transport Craft STARBENDER for his new position as TEAM E Commander. On delivery of the RIJL FOUR Robert achieved the rank of CAPTAIN in STAR COMMAND and welcomed former 655 member MELBOURNE GIRNEY to his new team.
Since his return MacMANUS has faced off against Kidnappers, Marauders and Weapons dealers, been first on scene at the New SACRAMENTO Medical disaster, been instrumental in the removal of Charter from two Colonies, chased down the Crime Lord HELLMAN shutting down all operations in the Alliance, caused diplomatic incidents with the WEREDEN Union, QUIN'Dax Assembly, made first contact with the VIRCONTNIRVIR (Vircon) resulting in the VIRCON War, re-discovered the Neo-Baptist Colony in the TULEV System, shut down the immoral XDK Med-Labs at GUNROY before initiating reunion with a rouge group of Mussani Trade Craft, gaining release of the Awhreanos from the Megs, putting and end to the RASALHAUGE Probe's rampage and then launching a successful pre-emptive strike on the Shadow Fleet's Invasion of the Meganite Empire.
In the process his team has discovered how to manipulate directional TESSLA WEAPONS, create an electronic stealth system, acquired covert technology while passing the thousand Quad speed mark (400 times light). This team has also been witness to time travel, organic matter teleportation and Warp Field travel.
There is little doubt by any concerned that things are just getting started.