Alexander Fitzgerald

Alexander Fitzgerald (2080 – 2099) is the creator of the first warp drive, dubbed the Fitzgerald Drive.  His first experiment with the Fitzgerald Drive led to his untimely death, and the creation of what is commonly known as “Alexander’s Curtain”.

Alexander’s Curtain

Everything about Fitzgerald’s experiment with the incomplete first Fitzgerald drive was disastrous, at best.

Fitzgerald knew the drive was too dangerous to pass any form of approval for live testing, so he decided to cheat his way into launching it.  In a carefully prepared scheme, he enrolled in a post-graduate program in meteorology.  His research project required a custom observation satellite.  Regardless of his young age, his genius and his outstanding comprehension of physics were already famous and, as such, colleges and the private sector quickly went in a bidding war to see who would grant him the highest scholarship, and his loyalty.

He started his program at Yale, and quite easily manipulated his way into launching his drive into orbit, pretending it was a simple weather monitoring satellite.  He himself was hiding inside the drive.

Fitzgerald’s flight path had been carefully drawn and automated.  Ironically, however, Fitzgerald hadn’t planned for bad weather.  The launch schedule changed and was made 30 minutes in advance.  This changed everything to the programmed flight.  Fitzgerald activated a distress signal, but it was too late.  The capsule’s path was modified, and instead of aiming towards deep space, it headed towards the Sun.  The drive was activated, but his general direction was too close to the star.  Fitzgerald got sucked in the Sun’s gravity well, and the drive overheated and exploded.

The explosion left a trail of bright energetic particles throughout the whole Sol system.  The trail gave the night sky the appearance of a second milky way, this one much brighter.  This harmless curtain, although not as bright today as it once was, is still visible, and is predicted to stay visible for another 200 years.