Mao Tanner Character in Scrapjack Universe | World Anvil

Mao Tanner

Mao Elias Tanner

“I don’t like it,” Mao Tanner decided.
“What’s not to like? At least no one will be trying to put a hole in you this time?”
Mao Tanner bit the end of the rehydrated beef stick as if he had not eaten in a week. Still dressed in his ship’s coveralls and his captain’s jacket, the dark skinned man paced the room like a frustrated animal. After a few seconds of this and his beef stick, he fixed a stern scowl at the older man behind the desk.
“You said that last time,” Captain Tanner growled. He shook the remains of his beef stick at the older man behind the desk. “Just those exact words. I didn’t get one hole, I got three holes. And I lost an eye.”
Behind the desk, the large man leaned back with a placid look on his face. Mao knew Napoleon Foxx well. Sometimes too well. Mao had worked countless jobs brokered by Foxx over the years, both during the war and after. Foxx was a brilliant man, rumor had it a genius level intellect. Why he bothered being a scrapjack broker instead of working in some corporate think tank was beyond Mao. He once asked him and all he got back was ‘that gold had lost its luster’.
Napoleon Foxx gazed at Mao through heavy lidded eyes. He tilted his pale head to the left and considered Mao like a scientist would a xeno specimen.
“You got a replacement eye better than your natural one. You’re just irate because there’s no challenge.” Napoleon said it as if it was a foregone conclusion. “Mao, stop pacing like a confounded tiger and listen.”
Mao finished his beef stick and stopped in the middle of the expensive office. “Ok, fine. I’m listening.”
Napoleon interlaced his fingers over his broad chest. “The ship you’d be after is an older class. An Odyssey. Records are sketchy but she might have been owned by one of the corps that folded during the war. Streel-Cinar Corp. Got a big contract to make exploration ships to track down new resource systems. Trouble was, they couldn’t manage it fast enough. The packet I have has the beacon a prospector left on it and the system it in. All you have to do is get a crew and tow it back here to Calim Station for the client to take possession.”
Mao stared holes into Napoleon, not that it did much good. In the eight years he had known and worked with Napoleon Foxx, the man was impervious to being intimidated.
“Fine,” Mao said at last. “Deal. I’ll get a crew and get flying.”

Physical Description

Physical quirks

He tends to pace when he's frustrated or needing to think.

Special abilities

Both a special ability and at times a hinderance, Mao lost an eye on a tough Scrapjack job sometime back. It was replaced with a cybernetic replacement not long after the job.
The eye grants him better vision over his organic one, letting him see into other light spectrums humans normally cannot see.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

Mao Tanner is from Carpus-3, an Earth-like world in Core XI sector. He stands a good six foot even with a well-trimmed mustache. His hair is kept cut Belter short and while his vacc suit is military-grade, it lacks patches to show what unit. Only a shadow where the insignia had been can be seen.

Mental Trauma

Mao remembers the war. He found himself waist deep in some of the bloodiest, muddiest parts of it. The memories linger but work keeps those ghosts at bay.

Morality & Philosophy

Mao is not rude, but direct. He’s protective of his crew and his ship. Mao expects the same loyalty from anyone he hires. Though if any of the crew cross him, they might find themselves on a spacewalk without a vacc suit.


Braam de Klerk

employee (Vital)

Towards Mao Tanner



Mao Tanner

employer (Important)

Towards Braam de Klerk




To Braam, Captain Tanner recently moved up from just a boss (a good one) to absolutely vitally important.   Captain Mao Tanner hired Braam de Klerk as a scanner technician and general repairman for the Calypso. They had an average captain/crewman relationship for half of one tour when Braam got into a pickle.   Then the Captain fought his way through killer cyborgs to personally carry Braam's nearly naked and barely conscious body off of the operating table of a mad scientist who wielded an industrial cutting tool that could brunoise a school house and hauled him back to the Calypso and safety.

Relationship Reasoning

In short, Braam owes this guy BIG TIME. However, Captain Tanner would have done this for any of his crew.   Braam hopes he can somehow repay the Captain, maybe even just by convincing him that he shouldn't accept a pittance for this next job. He has the power to just keep the goods for himself or at least demand no less than a planet as reward. He deserves no less.

A former soldier from the Core Wars, now career Scrapjack captain. Direct, but not rude, Mao works the Scrapjack trade with those who will fly with him.

View Character Profile
Current Residence
The Calypso
black, usually in a crew "Belter" cut
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
medium brown
96 kg ( 211 lbs )
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