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Memo Files: Onyx Sun Concepts

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The following is a knowledge base of all the characters, places, and concepts that appear in the Onyx Sun books.

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Aitken Basin
The Aitken Basin is a crater located on the South Pole of the Moon where the Citadel Spire resides. The crater is 2,500 kilometers wide and 13 kilometers deep at points. It is the larest known impact crater in the Solar System. The orgins of the crater are unknown, but it is suspected a passing astral body crashed into the Moon and caused the crater. Due to the force of the impact and resulting depth of the crater, it is believed that the Aitken Basin may hold excellent resources not normally accessible on the surface of the Moon. Since the Aitken Basin is on the far side of the Moon, it is not visible from Earth, although passing satellites can see it. Satellite activity over the Aitken Basin is significantly though though and consistutes little threat to the Citadel Spire being discovered.
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Angelina Maximillian
Known to her friends as "Max", Angelina Maximillian is one of Zack's best friends. An orphan, Max has no idea who her mother or father are. The only knowledge she has of her parents is that her father left her when she was young and her mother left or died shortly after that. Angelina currently lives with her foster parents, the Jones, who live to the right of Professor Goodspeed's house. Early memo file testing indicates that Angelina is very gifted in understanding military strategy, has a strong constitution, and has very quick reflexes, making her a perfect recruit for the Security Team.
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Bodi Biodome
The Body Biodome covers the first three floors of the Citadel Spire and contains a massive array of plantlife, especially under the Executive Order Tower where the largest trees are kept in a twenty-story-tall, windowed arboretum. The plants in the biodome are used to supply fresh oxygen to the crew and to consume the carbon dioxide humans produce. The oxygen generation by the plants in the biodome are stimulated or suppressed using a chemical agent that is sprayed on the plants. After electronic monitors across the Citadel Spire complex sample the air, a pricise dose of stimulant or inhibitor is introduced to the biodome to maintain the optimum oxygen production.
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Citadel Spire
The Citadel Spire is base of lunar operations for the crew of the Onyx Pioneer. Constructed as five bladed towers surrounding a larger, center spire, each wing houses one of the teams of Onyx Pioneer. The center tower houses the Executive Order offices and residents above the Bodi Biodome arboretum on the lower floors. The center tower barely peaks above the rim of the Aitken Basin, allowing the command crew to have a view of the surrounding lunar surface while remaining hard to see by passing satellites, approaching ships, or observers from Earth.
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Clarion Spacedock
The Clarion Spacedock is a subterranean spaceport and spaceship construction dock. The chamber is over a mile long and almost as wide, the necessary size to house the massive shape of the Onyx-class spacecruisers built there. The spacedock is flanked by command centers, material production facilities, and social clubs, all of which have windows looking onto the main spacedock. The far end of the spacedock holds a massive gate that leads to the Clarion Spacedock launching tube. The exact location of the Clarion Spacedock is unknown, although it is suspected to be far underground possibly even residing under the seabed of the ocean beyond national borders or control.
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Commander Chase
Commander Chase is the Head of the Security Team and the Commander of Onyx Pioneer. In his role, Commander Chase is Professor Goodspeed's second-in-command and the operational leader of all military and construction activities. Since Professor Goodspeed's is often absent from day-to-day activities on the Onyx Pioneer and even when present prefers not to get directly involved, Commander Chase effectively runs the lunar colony. This requires a person of significant confidence, strength, loyalty, and discipline. Although gifted in these aspects, Commander Chase looks up to the Professor's intellectual and engineering capabilities, which he lacks. He frequently relies on Dr. Soon to assist him with understanding these disciplines. Commander Chase is very protective of Max, perhaps being doting on her since his son stayed behind on Earth.
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Engineering Core
The Engineering Core is the center of all critical engineering functions on the Onyx Pioneer. Besides the bridge, the Engineering Core is the most important room on the entire ship. The room is mainly comprised of display panels and computers delivering information on the critical functions of the ship and the Onyx Sun. The entire back wall of the Engineering Core is a solid plate of glass, which looks out on the Power Tower. Located on Deck 7, the Engineering Core covers most of the level and is surrounded by the residences of most of the high-ranking Engineering Corps members. The Head of Engineering, Doctor Rajah Soon, and his wife live right next door to the Engineering Core so he can be on location quickly in the event of an emergency.
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Engineering Corps
The Engineering Corps is one of the six teams on Onyx Pioneer with 1,500 members (before Machvel's defection). The Engineering Corps focuses on the operations of the Onyx Pioneer, Citadel Spire, and related systems. This ranges from ensuring the Bodi Biodome is correctly cycling oxygen, to measuring the power output of the Onyx Sun, to numerous other tasks that keep systems functioning properly. The Head of the Engineering Corps is Dr. Rajah Soon, who replaced Dr. Machvel shortly after he defected. The Engineering Corps is headquartered on Deck 7 in the Onyx Pioneer and in Tower 2 in the Citadel Spire. The universal emblem for the Engineering Core is a gold medallion stamped with a hand grabbing a lightning bolt.
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Entertainment Troupe
The Entertainment Troupe is one of the six teams on Onyx Pioneer with 1,500 members (before Machvel's defection). The Entertainment Troupe focuses on almost nothing, but does try to amuse the crew on the rare occassion when members from the other teams have time to relax. Although many entertainments the troupe concocts end in disaster, they do occasionally amuse without blowing up systems the Engineering Corps later has to fix. There is no widely recognized Head of the Entertainment Troupe, because the group is seldom focused enough to vote on a single leader. Although rumors have emerged of a desire to unionize that so far has resulted in more chaos and the coronation of a goat. The Entertainment Troupe is headquartered on Deck 12 of the Onyx Pioneer and Tower 5 in the Citadel Spire, both of which are near the Security Team residences to maintain some semblance of order. The rest of the crew can identify a member of the Entertainment Troupe - and hence stay clear - by the gold clasps on their belts adorned with an exclamation point.
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Executive Order
The Executive Order is the largest of the six teams on the Onyx Pioneer with 2,500 members (before Machvel's defection). The Executive Order represents the leadership of the fledgling lunar colony. They are the only team that contains more generalists than specialists. Executive Order members are known to possess a wide base of knowledge that helps them to work with all the members of the crew, although members of the other teams have deeper knowledge of their respective functions. Professor Goodspeed is the Head of the Executive Order, although his loose management style often allows many of the Order's lower members to make the decisions they see fit. The Executive Order is headquartered on Deck 2, near the bridge of the Onyx Pioneer, and in the largest residence, Tower 1, at the center of the Citadel Spire. Members of the Executve Order are identified by their gold armbadns and gold belts with a red stripe through the center.
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Dr. Ian Machvel
Dr. Ian Machvel, the former Head of the Engineering Corps, has only recently been uncovered as a saboteur and conspirator. Using manipulation and a still unknown mind-control device, Machvel was able to corrupt over 3,000 people on the Onyx Pioneer over the period of several years. He used this influence to steal the Onyx Sun, a device he sees as being able to help him wipe out life on Earth to refound "a more perfect race of humans". Machvel was badly injured in the battle for the Onyx Sun and now walks with a permanent limp. Dr. Machvel is olive-skinned with a pointy black beard, oil-black hair, and dark, deeply recessed eye sockets. Dr. Machvel once maintained a base on the Moon, known as Machvel's Pyramid, although his current whereabouts are unknown. Surprisingly little is known about the former engineering head before he joined Professor Goodspeed's mission to the Moon. Rumors abound that Machvel travelled widely and is linked to a number of governments across the world, some with deceitful reputations.
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Dr. Rajah Soon
Dr. Rajah Soon is Sanjay Soon's father and the current Head of the Engineering Corps. Dr. Soon served under Dr. Machvel as the Assistant Head of the Engineering Corps for several years, but his widely known uncorruptable disposition stopped Machvel from ever trying to recruit him to his cause. Dr. Soon is an exceptionally intelligent and organized man, having signficantly contributed to the development of the Onyx Pioneer. Cool under pressure but lacking total confidence in his leadership abilities, Dr. Soon has slowly, but steadily taken over key engineering responsibilities, most notably directing the foundation of the Citadel Spire during an intense three-month emergency building project after Machvel stole the Onyx Sun.
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Jack Goodspeed
Jack Goodspeed is Zack Goodspeed's father. A perfectly normal man, he is of average height (5' 11"), possesses an orderly mat of brown hair, and works at a perfectly standard job at McKinley Bank & Trust. Jack once looked up to his father, Professor Fyodor Goodspeed, but as he grew older, he became increasingly aware of his father's strangeness and of the ridicule of others. Jack loves watering his roses, which he is nursing back to health after an unfortunate event during which an airplane engine fell from the sky and crushed them.
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Jennifer Goodspeed
Jennifer Goodspeed is Zack Goodspeed's mother and Jack Goodspeed's wife. She stands a respectable five-foot, five-inches tall. She teaches second grade at Harris Elementary and otherwise spends a lot of time at home with Zack. She has long harbored the silent belief that the world may not be as normal as her husband thinks.
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Machvel's Pyramid
Machvel's Pyramid was Machvel's lunar base of operations, a black-glass and steel beam building located about 2,000 miles away from the Citadel Tower. The angular shape of the building and its position on the line dividing the Earth-facing and far-side of the Moon made it very hard to see against the black of space. This was intentional as it afforded Machvel the opporunity to observe the Earth while not being detected until after his Onyx Sun-powered weapon of mass destruction launched.
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Mech Leviathans
Mech Leviathans are colossal robots over 100 meters tall used as the primary construction vehicles on the Citadel Spire. The Leviathans are each powered by a small Onyx Sun, similar to Professor Goodspeed's initial 5x5x5 prototype. The robots are orange with a reflective gold dome at the top housing the Mech operator. The operator typically wears a series of transponders that allow his/her movements to correspond with the Mech's movements and coincide with specific operator instructions through a keypad and joystick. Each Mech Leviathan has a host of ancillary functions including a jet pack, ion shield, and blow torch for welding. The original contingent of Leviathans on the Onyx Pioneer included thirty robots, only three of which were used for the base construction.
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Onyx Airstriders
The Onyx Airstriders are two to four person jets powered by a small five cubic inch Onyx Sun. Like much smaller versions of the Onyx Pioneer, Airstriders are wedge-shaped planes white on top but covered by a layer of gold on the bottom that helps assist the ionic repulsion that levitates the ship. Airstriders have two large jets that run along the sides of the fuselage and propel the vehicle to speeds well over 500 miles per hour.
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Onyx Pioneer
The Onyx Pioneer is the largest and most complex spaceship ever developed. Powered by a large five cubic foot Onyx Sun the Onyx Pioneer has a top speed of just under 90,000 miles per hour, enabling it to travel around the Earth in just over 15 minutes or to reach the Moon in about 2.5 hours. For reference, the NASA Space Shuttle can "only" travel around 19,000 miles per hour, meaning it takes almost five times as long to get places.

The Onyx Pioneer is comprised of fifteen decks:

  • Deck 1: The Bridge - The Bridge is the smallest deck primarily comprised of a oblong room 100 meters long and capped by a glass dome shaped like a teardrop. The Bridge houses the major command centers of the ship and is staffed by members of the Executive Order.
  • Deck 2: Executive Order Residences - In order to be close to the Bridge, the Executive Order residences are on Deck 2.
  • Deck 3: The Great Hall, Conference & Support Rooms - Half of Deck 3 houses the Great Hall for all-hands meetings for the entire crew of the ship. The other half includes a numnber of conference and support rooms for any smaller meetings that need to be held between team members before or after reporting to the Bridge.
  • Deck 4: Education Deck - The Memo-file Library and the Academy are both located on Deck 4, as are a number of academic break out rooms.
  • Deck 5: Spiritual Conclave - Deck 5 is provided for crew members who need time for spiritual or religious reflection. Services are provided in every major denomination by ordained crew members of each respective faith.
  • Deck 6: SciTech Labs - All new research and development is conducted on Deck 6 in the SciTech Labs.
  • Deck 7: Engineering Corp Quarters, Engineering Core, and Power Tower - Decks 7 is the heart of the ship, housing the Engineering Core and the Power Tower, where all energy is siphoned to the ship's systems. The senior members of the Engineering Corps also live here so they can quickly access the Core should a problem arise.
  • Deck 8-11: Crew Quarters - Decks 8 through 11 are reserved for junior officers and basic crew. Quarters are arranged into rooms each housing six individuals: one from each of the teams to encourage the crew to learn skills from other disciplines.
  • Deck 12: Extertainment Troupe Quarters & Broadway - To keep the chaotic influence of the Entertainment Troupe from disrupting the rest of the crew, the senior members of this team are quartered in the bottom of the ship. The troupe's quarters are bisected by a wide boardwalk, running the lenth of the deck. Off both sides of the deck are the numerous entertainment establishments run by the Entertainment Troupe. These include arcades, bowling alleys, movie theaters, dance clubs, theaters, a circus, a pool, and miscellaneous social clubs.
  • Deck 13: Security Team Quarters and Clandestine Room - The senior members of the Security Team live on Deck 13, within easy walk of the Clandestine Room, the main security hub of the Onyx Pioneer. This deck is also strategically positioned to contain the disruptive influence of the Entertainment Troupe on the deck above.
  • Deck 14: Cargo - Deck 14 is the primary cargohold for the ship's supplies, including foodstuffs, building supplies, SciTech experimentation equipment, and llamas for the Entertainment Troupe.
  • Deck 15: Equipment - Deck 15 houses the ship's construction and transportation equipment like the Mech Leviathans, cargo frieghter, Onyx Airstriders, and dozers.

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Onyx Sun
The Onyx Sun is a black cube invented by Professor Goodspeed when he was ten years old as a safe, non-polluting solution to the World's energy problems. Although initial tests on the original five cubic inch cube theoretically proved that the Onyx Sun could provide unlimited power, later field tests showed the small device to be unstable at high energy output. Professor Goodspeed spent the next forty-plus years developing a larger, more stable cube and succeeded in the months prior to the first launch of the Onyx Pioneer. Although widely acknowledged among the crew as an ingenious energy solution, the dire plans of Dr. Machvel have made clear to the crew that the Onyx Sun can also be a source of great destructive power.
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Professor Fyodor Confucius Goodspeed (a.k.a "Grandfather")
Professor Fyodor Confucius Goodspeed is Zack's grandfather, Jack Goodspeed's father, and the inventor of the Onyx Sun. Largely self-schooled past the age of ten, Professor Goodspeed is a genius with incredibly poor motor skills and coordination. Known for his eccentric ways, the Professor shows all the signs of true, absent-minded genius. He often talks to himself, rarely acknowledges others, and holds to strange personal beliefs, like wearing only white clothes so he doesn't have to spend time matching his outfits. Professor Goodspeed stands at six feet, six inches tall and is incredibly thin. His stature is accentuated by an unkempt tuft of white hair that shoots from the top of his scalp like a bush, the only hair on his head.
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Power Tower
The Power Tower is the towering pillar located outside the Engineering Core on Deck 7 of the Onyx Pioneer. The Power Tower is designed to elevate the Onyx Sun on a pillar where it can provide optimum energy to the ship. A series of catwalks cover the cavern the Power Tower is located in so the excess energy generated by the Onyx Sun can be defused in a storm of blue-purple lightning bolts.
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Sanjay Soon
Sanjay Soon is the son of Dr. Rajah Soon, the Head of the Engineering Corps. Like his father, Sanjay is highly gifted in math and science and the other technological disciplines required of an Engineering Corps member. Sanjay has been involved in the Onyx Pioneer and lunar colonization process since it's inception and beyond his natural talents, is a great resource of knowledge to Zack and Max as they struggle to defeat Dr. Machvel.
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The SciTechs are one of the six teams on the Onyx Pioneer with 1,500 members (before Machvel's defection). The SciTechs' mission is to research and develop new technologies for use on the Onyx Pioneer as well in the fledgeling lunar colony. Since the Moon provides previously unexplored potential for new research projects, the SciTechs are also charged with experimenting with cutting-edge research projects, including using native Moon materials for construction, studying plant and animal growth in low-gravity environments, and generally just being a bunch of abstract know-it-alls with projects that defy easy explanation to non-technical personnel. The acting Head of the SciTech's is currently Professor Goodspeed.The Scitechs are headquartered on Deck 6 in the Onyx Pioneer and in Tower 3 in the Citadel Spire. The universal emblem for the Scitechs is a jagged belt of gold with a simple cube at the center surrounded by fire.
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Security Team
The Security Team is one of the six teams on the Onyx Pioneer with 1,500 members (before Machvel's defection). The primary responsbility of the Security Team is ensure peace and tranquility among the crew of the Onyx Pioneer. The Head of the Security Team is Commander Chase. The Security Team is headquartered on Deck 13 in the Onyx Pioneer and in Tower 4 in the Citadel Spire. The universal symbol for the Security Team is a plain gold belt with no ornamentation.
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Spiritual Conclave
The Spiritual Conclave is one of the six teams on the Onyx Pioneer with 1,500 members (before Machvel's defection). The Spiritual Conclave hold religious and spiritual services in all major religions and spiritual beliefs and is led by an egalitarian council with one member from each faith. The Spritual Conclave does not require crew members to attend services, preferring instead to offer a voluntary schedule and large non-demoninational rooms for private meditation and/or worship. The Spiritual Conclave is headquartered on Deck 5 in the Onyx Pioneer and in Tower 6 in the Citadel Spire. The universal emblem for the Spiritual Conclave is a gold belt with a large, open eye stamped in the center.
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Zachary Atticus Goodspeed
Zack Goodspeed is the Jack Goodspeed's and Jennifer Goodspeed's son and Professor Goodspeed's grandson. Although Zack, like his grandfather, has a sharp wit he is only just starting to understand, he has inherited from his other ancestors far more coorindation, a nice tan, and hair that thankfully covers the entirety of his head. Zack loves baseball but has deep dislike of fast elevators. Although less bookish than Sanjay and less aggressive than Max, Zack is highly capable in both intellectual and physical pursuits. He is also fiercely loyal, and by virtue of caring about his friends, he is a strong advocate for stopping Dr. Machvel who threatens their lives. Zack's faithfulness and competance in a variety of pursuits has made him many close friends and a natural leader among his peers and even those older than him.
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