The title of this article is conjectural.

Although this article is based on canonical information, the actual name of this subject was unspecified and is identified here with a conjectural title.

Dortmunder captain.JPG
Biographical information



Union of Allied Planets naval officer[1]



Ship(s) captained or crewed

I.A.V. Dortmunder[1]


Union of Allied Planets[1]

"Put a bulletin out on the Cortex, and flag Interpol: a Firefly with possibly stolen goods aboard. Maybe someone'll step on those roaches."
―The captain of the Dortmunder.[src]

This Union of Allied Planets captain was the commanding officer of the Tohoku-class cruiser I.A.V. Dortmunder. In 2517, the Dortmunder was on patrol when it came across a derelict Vanderdecken-class heavy cargo carrier. While paying due respect to the crew of the cargo carrier that had lost their lives, he was informed by one of his bridge crew that a residual heat signature was present in the debris field. Further investigation showed that it was a Firefly-class transport ship engaged in an illegal salvage operation. Despite initially ordering a pursuit of the vessel as it fled the area, the Captain's attention was distracted by a distress call from a stricken personnel carrier. He allowed the transport to run so that he could rescue the passenger ship, unaware that the message was a ruse perpetrated by the crew of the salvage vessel to allow them to escape.

Biography[edit | edit source]

"What am I looking at?"
"It's a carrier, blew out a few months back. No survivors, but it was only run by a skeleton crew anyway."
"Damn shame. No point in checking for survivors?"
―The Dortmunder's captain and an ensign discussing the Vanderdecken-class heavy cargo carrier they encountered.[src]

This man served in the Union of Allied Planets Navy, and by 2517, had attained the rank of captain and command of the Tohoku-class cruiser I.A.V Dortmunder. In 2517, the Dortmunder was patrolling the Rim when it came upon the site of a derelict Vanderdecken-class heavy cargo carrier. The Captain inquired as to the nature of the wreck; an ensign relayed the fact that it had blown out several months earlier. Asking whether it was worth sweeping for survivors, the Captain was told that locals had swept the wreck soon after the incident.[1] The Captain removed his cap, and called for a moment of respect from the Dortmunder's crew as they passed the derelict.[2]

As the Dortmunder passed the wreckage, a crewman reported that there was a residual heat signature in the debris. Immediately, the Captain ordered a full sensor sweep to be conducted. The cause of the heat signature was the Serenity, a Firefly-class transport ship, the crew of which had been hired to illegally salvage crates of energy bars. The crew detected the active scan and started to make a run for it, at which point the Dortmunder's sensors were able to identify it as a Firefly-class vessel.[1]

The Captain confers with members of the Dortmunder's crew

The Captain ordered the immediate launch of the Dortmunder's ASREV gunships to intercept and detain the vessel. As the gunships readied for launch, the Dortmunder began receiving a distress call from a stricken personnel carrier. Knowing that they could not answer the distress call and detain the Firefly without risking the loss of their ASREVs, the Captain ordered the gunships to stand down while directing the crew to set course for the source of the distress call. He also instructed the crew to inform Interpol and post the information on the Cortex in the hopes that some one else would be able to deal with the salvagers.[1]

However, the Captain had fallen victim to a trick perpetrated by the Serenity crew. While carrying out their salvage operation, they had set up a cry baby, an automated beacon that was programmed to broadcast a fake distress signal. While escaping, they had triggered the device, which sent a distress call from a personnel carrier that was adrift without power. By the time the ruse was discovered, the Serenity was long gone.[1]

Personality and traits[edit | edit source]

"Crew, a moment of respect, if you please. Passing a graveyard."
―The Captain of the Dortmunder upon passing a derelict Vanderdecken-class heavy cargo carrier.[src]

The Captain upheld the Alliance's edicts in his role as commander of the Dortmunder and felt that those independent starship crews who operated on the fringe of society, such as illegal salvagers who stripped derelict ships, were vultures who preyed on the dead. He considered them "roaches" to be stepped on and did not hesitate to give orders to pursue suspected criminals he found operating illegally.[1]

However, despite his attitude toward the criminal element, he would put aside the pursuit of them if it meant helping civilians in need as he did when he rescinded his order to pursue the Serenity in favor of responding to a distress call from a stricken passenger liner. The Captain was not to know that the distress call was actually a distraction rigged by the crew of the Serenity to give them a chance to escape if caught.[1]

He also showed respect for the dead by calling the crew of the I.A.V. Dortmunder to attention as they passed a derelict cargo carrier, which had been the victim of an accident several month prior.[2]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Captain of the Dortmunder only appeared in the original pilot episode of Firefly, "Serenity," and was portrayed by Andy Umberger.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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