Hiram Van Duessen is a belter - a professional space miner - in the Gliese 408 system, more commonly known as Parvati. He doesn’t have a regular crew, and mostly works alone. But he will hire crewmembers from time to time for specific jobs.
Hiram Van Duessen talks and acts like Robert Shaw’s character in “Jaws”.
Name: Hiram Van Duessen Belter 777777 Age 50 7 terms Cr25000 Prospecting-3, Zero-G-2 Metalworking tools, vacc suit
From Wreck in the Ring:
Van Duessen is an old spacer, a gruff middle-aged man wearing worn coveralls twenty years out of style. He’s spent most of his life in zero-g and lacks people skills; he enjoys rambling on about mining, as it’s the only subject he really knows well. He is practical and hard-headed, drives a hard bargain and won’t be easily fooled about money. He will avoid talking about himself if possible.
Van Duessen’s ship is “Misty’s Way”. It started life 50 years ago in 2210 as a military vessel during the Chiwak Wars. It carried thousands of Terran draftees to the front lines to fight for the Reticulans. It was decommissioned after 20 years of duty, and cheaply converted to a mining vessel by the Earth Federal Administration (EFA), the Terran government of the time. The jump drives were removed, along with weapons and cryopods. It has several large internal cargo bays, as well as the capacity to haul a single large rock in a net.
There are 3 furnished staterooms, and another 14 that are missing furniture but can house passengers willing to sleep and sit on the floor.
From outside, Misty’s Way is a hodge-podge of different components that don’t match. It looks like a piece of junk. The maneuver drive is hugely oversized, especially for the mass of the unloaded ship. But that’s good, because it’s unstable if used at greater than 50% power. The ship, being former military, is armored, which is good for travel in and through the belt. Also, it still has its military redundant power plants - three fusion cores, only two of which need to be online at any time.
It also has its original military sensors, a system called the Deep Space Triangulator. The system is outdated but given enough time it can be used to detect and track ships and asteroids much farther away than most civilian ships can. Van Duessen considers this a competitive advantage.