Dr. Rupert Python

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Dr. Rupert Python (102 B.G.A. A.Y. 1431) was a military scientist employed by the Gudersnipe Foundation during the late Second Chaotic Period of the Mage Wars and well into the Golden Age.

Dr. Python is best known for his discovery of the Python Particle and his invention of the Python Reactor used in FTL propulsion.

Early Life

As a well-known historical figure, Dr. Python is one of the most widely-sighted examples of the Laytami Loop Theory, which postulates that he came from the future, and was a student at Gudersnipe School.

It is known for certain that he was a soldier in the old Gudersnipe Army before beginning his work as a scientist. His birth date is listed as being in 102 B.G.A., but contemporary accounts indicate he was a young man at that period. His true birth and age are unknown.

Scientific Career

Dr Python first came to prominence in 77 B.G.A when the old Gudersnipe Army was establishing a non-aggression pact with the now-lost Twier Afeni dynasty. In exchange for granting the Army a 1,000-year lease on several dozen solar systems, Gudersnipe agreed to share with them Python Reactor technology, which the army claimed had just recently been developed. At the heart of the reactor was the Photonic Core, which provided greatly enhanced speed, reliability, and reduced power requirements over the then-common Python Inverter technology (NOTE: Python Inverters were not called that at the time, and were retroactively named after Rupert's Python Reactor).

The Gudersnipe Army allowed the Afeni to manufacture and sell the technology. While many reactors were developed independently, the Afeni were responsible for the widespread dissemination, and the name.

Dr. Python had no involvement in the business, but continued to refine and develop Python Reactor technology for the Gudersnipe Army, and became a powerful voice during the transition to the Gudersnipe Foundation at the beginning of the Golden Age. He was responsible for granting the newly-formed Alliance free access to the technology, and even designed a simplified reactor that could be retro-fit to existing Alliance ships.

The Alliance, in turn, requested that the scientific information on Python technology be released to the general public and the research community at large. Python agreed, and published a 67-volume treatise on particle physics the following year.

Political Involvement

Dr. Python is suspected of being a charter member of the Blind Consul and is known to have had direct ties to Laytami Gudersnipe. As the Foundation came to power, he commanded significant resources. Working out of a laboratory on Naupactus, the good doctor had tens of thousands of scientists under his command and an entire city dedicated to his research.

A close friend and confident who acted as Rupert's assistant for forty years during the Golden Age reported that "The Good Doctor, as he preferred to be called, once confessed to me that he was in the [Foundation's] 'how high' club, insofar as when he said 'jump', they replied 'how high?'. He had infinite money. Whatever he wanted, and what he wanted was to improve reactor design."

Golden Age

During the Golden Age, Python was responsible for all reactor technology produced and used by the Foundation. He shuttled between Naupactus and Gallihop overseeing the construction of FTL Fabrication Facilities at both sites, as well as establishing "the floor" at Fairview. The large-scale fabrication plant, the only one of its kind, is considered to be his crowning achievement.

Travel times being what they were, he had an entire fleet constructed as a mobile laboratory. This served a practical function, both allowing Python to continue his work without losing facilities, and giving him and his researchers a wide and varied test platform for their work.

The largest ship in the fleet was a retrofit carrier, whereof the hanger decks were large enough to accomodate good-sized vessels and was equipped for fitting-out. Many technigues in under-way fabrication were pioneered by the fleet. The ship also included palatial 135,000-square-foot living quarters.

Later Life and Death

Dr. Rupert Python eventually settled on Acutaia where he owned a large estate. He began construction on it in A.Y. 1110, and continued for over a century, adding rooms and workspaces, facades, and other elements quite gleefully. He was one of the first individuals to be granted a private GATE-Point Interface so he could travel freely between his research center and his home.

Python retired, officially, in A.Y. 1391, having spent a recorded 493 years in service to the Gudersnipe Foundation. He died peacefully in A.Y. 1431, due to complications best not mentioned in polite company.

Personal Life

Although he was a highly accomplished physicist and engineer, Dr. Python's personal life is regarded as a bit of a shambles. When he first came to prominence the late Second Chaotic Period, local media published an extensive report on his wife, which found its way into the hands of his other wife, neither of whom was very happy to learn about the other's marriage. Also upset were his two girlfriends, with whom he was in a committed three-way affaire, and to each of whom he had sworn he was not married.

Divorce proceedings were very complicated. In that era, Python was not formally a "citizen" of anywhere; and while he commanded great resources, the old Gudersnipe Army was not actually paying him (he never in his life received a formal income). The Army settled the matter by giving both wives and both girlfriends a permanent pension. A typo in the agreement would see the descendants of the four women continue to receive that pension well into the Age of the Dragon.

Python made the whole problem even more challenging by marrying a third wife before the divorces to the first two were finalized. She came from a world that did not have laws against polygamy, though her surviving letters from the time indicate she was not happy about him courting a fourth wife.

Against all odds, Rupert and his third wife remained together for thirty years. Tragically, she was killed while traveling home to visit her parents. There had been numerous, well-founded allegations of infidelity. Letters that survived from her indicate that Rupert had several girlfriends on the side and was, in her exact words, "into some seriously weird s––t".

Rupert then took a fourth wife who tried to divorce him almost immediately. Instead of a pension, she was given a large payoff, and Rupert was ordered by his superiors to stop getting married. This quite disheartened the doctor, who firmly believed in the institution of marriage, but for some reason was incapable of functioning inside it.

Throughout the rest of his life, Python was notorious for carrying on with an increasingly large number of younger women. As he entered his third century, it was discovered that he had a harem of around thirty women at his estate, and would bring in new ones all the time. Since he had no actual money, he showered each woman with lavish gifts of jewelry and clothing.

His assistant, friend, and confidant reported: "The man was an enigma. He didn't drink, didn't partake in any such 'recreational substances', and maintained a very healthy diet. His vice was women. He was not even particularly over-sexed, he just liked large groups of them, liked them to dress provocatively, and liked to enjoy their 'company', if they so desired his".

The harem is said to have angered Laytami and led to a rift between the two. Though Python's research funds were not cut, he was given a restricted budget for personal expenses, and even had an accountant assigned to monitor his use of private resources. He continued to date after the harem was shut down, and even kept relationships with sometimes a dozen women at once.

This kept going until his death, the exact cause of which has been widely speculated, but is officially listed as "VERY natural causes".