Introduced in Rising Tide
|Titles|| Resourceful Inventor
|Civilization||North Sea Alliance|
|Voice actor/actress||Bill Dick|
Duncan Hughes is the leader of North Sea Alliance.
Civilopedia Entry Edit
Born to a local shipping magnate in the Scottish port city of Aberdeen, Duncan Hughes was something of an enigma when he first appeared on the political circuit roughly a decade before the Seeding began. His gruff, sometimes surly demeanor seemed ill-suited to the rigors of a public figure, yet he was determined to further his career despite an obvious distaste for the pandering and proselytizing of his peers.
Early Life Edit
Schooled at the Sturgeon Naval College and given an otherwise comfortable upbringing, biographers have long since attributed the quirks of Hughes’ personality to his time spent as a teenager working at his father’s docks. His father had insisted he work as an apprentice longshoreman to instill a strong work ethic, and yet, the experience seems to have jaded Hughes, as the other dockhands had little regard for “a soft-handed boy underfoot” and paid him only as much attention as required. Still, some might say his father was right — in the present day, Hughes is known as a remarkably tireless man with little fear of difficult confrontations.
Political Ascent Edit
Hughes is recognized as one of the first to publicly acknowledge the growing gap between the North Sea Alliance’s potential for off-world colonization versus other world powers now solely focused on reestablishing themselves elsewhere. Named as head of the Priority Development Committee, Hughes can be credited with securing many of the trade deals and alliances that allowed for the relatively swift ramp-up to production.
Many of the earliest NSA colony prototypes were actually thought to have been land-based, before Hughes himself is said to have offered up technology and expertise acquired through his years in the shipping industry. By insisting on somehow leveraging the knowledge and experience of the North Sea Alliance’s original member states, all known for their mastery of the seas, Hughes directly steered the development of the uniquely NSA waterborne colonial habitations.
Space Explorer Edit
When the time came to actually leave Earth and set out for a new beginning, Duncan Hughes was among the first to step forward, a move that instilled great confidence in the shaken masses now facing a great migration from the only planet they had ever known. Despite his advanced age, his physical condition was excellent – although it was unlikely anyone would have the gall to question his capabilities in any case.
Loading Screen Quotes Edit
|On Diplomacy||“No one expects a right-cross when you’re smiling at them.”
|Benthic Auger||"You fail to reap the bounty of the seas not because your people lack the means, but because you lack the imagination."|
-Duncan Hughes, The Prime ARK Letters
|Tesselation Foundry||"The independent spirit will always prevail over the dependent. We will control our own destiny and our own survival, even if we have to bend the rules of reality itself."|
-Duncan Hughes, The Prime ARK Letters
From Release Info.
A Win For Hughes, But The Alliance Loses
The decision from the Nomination Committee this week to recommend Duncan Hughes to command the Alliance’s Seeding expedition should come as little surprise to anyone who has attended to the recent history of the Alliance’s offworld adventures. For those of us, like myself, who remain skeptical on the merits of this expedition, it was a given from the outset. Hughes’ presence in the Seeding process and his constant, tedious encomia and hagiography on the Seeding, coupled with his undeniable expertise at offshore construction made him the ideal candidate. Combine this with his non-military background, his working-class background narrative, and the general fecklessness of the Nomination Committee and the alternate candidates, and the outcome was clearly preordained as soon as Hughes’ name appeared on the short list.
It should be said that in fairness, Hughes’ talents as an administrator are unmatched. Before his flight into politics and the quixotic vision of an offworld colony under the NSA flag, Hughes had a career in naval construction and offshore development that would have been enough for three men with healthy senses of self-satisfaction.
As a coalition builder Hughes was underestimated. When the North Sea Alliance referendum on Seeding was announced, the public was polled strongly against. Hughes put together a motley collection of academics, tradesmen, and defence technocrats, and marched under a media campaign banner that neatly cleaved the Green/Resilience coalition of thirty years’ standing in twain. That alone would have been enough for a politician with an appetite to make his legacy.
But Hughes is not a man of ordinary appetites, it seems. Hughes has already done much, and done it with a stoicism that pays tribute to Scotland. Not content with establishing himself as a model citizen of the NSA, he must now be the de facto king of a new planet.
NSA is now committed to our most expensive internal project to date, and to an old Green Resilient like myself, it is anathema. To my mind, NSA chose the better course eighty years ago when we renounced our Seeding program the first time around, a deed of political courage I would rank up there with voluntary de-nuclearisation and the popular relocation of Amsterdam. It was, I thought, a profound rejection of the false promise of saving humanity by abandoning the planet that has sustained us. Any Seeding program pulls too much from the people of this world, in favor of a slim dice-roll of survivability on a world never intended for human habitation. Crop salvage, disease prevention, education – all these are more worthy programs than the colossal gamble of Seeding, sold by confidence men with their technoprogressive flim-flammery.
The public will likely never know the final energy and resource costs of Hughes’ grand exit from the Earth that sustained him. I would warrant that an old construction foreman like Hughes probably knows the metal-equivalence of his project to the gram, and the energy cost to the joule. Mind that we, the public who will carry this burden, will not be able to partake in this bounty. It is reserved for the Sea King of Two Worlds and his courtiers.
So I will not congratulate Duncan Hughes on his good fortune to having engineered his desired political ends. But neither will I denigrate his capabilities. His departure robs the NSA of vital resources, most especially a shrewd and cunning mind which might have solved greater problems for more people on his home world.