Captain Fwiffo of the Spathi Eluder StarRunner is a 25-year veteran of the Spathi navy and the last member of the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za's Earthguard forces. Along with the rest of the Earthguard, he was assigned to Sol to keep an eye on the slave-shielded Humans.
The Ilwrath withdrew to find better sport and the other Spathi, uneasy at being so close to their enemies and far away from home, fled to join the other Spathi defending Spathiwa from the Ultimate Evil — or this, at least, is Fwiffo's claim; no other Spathi talk about the Ultimate Evil. Unwilling to directly defy Ur-Quan orders, the Spathi retreated in small groups, until a single individual was left to captain a vessel by himself in literal obedience to the Ur-Quan, although the actual mission was abandoned in spirit.
Biography and military career
Fwiffo was the youngest in a family of 18,487. He had a rough childhood where his father had to work hard to make ends meet. His parents, unwilling to spend too much effort in raising him, kicked him out of the house to fend for himself. While daydreaming about the great wealth he could accumulate in a civilian career, he was hit by a vegetable cart and knocked unconscious. He was robbed of all of his money by strangers and shanghaied into the navy by unscrupulous recruiters while still unconscious, thus forcing him into an unpleasant military career.
Fwiffo served on board the StarRunner as a crewman. As the Spathi to successively lose the most Puun-Taffy decision rituals, he became the Captain of his vessel and sole Earthguard member. It is unknown whether this was sheer bad luck or the result of manipulation by his comrades; Fwiffo appears to have developed a notorious reputation within the Spathi Navy as being particularly cowardly, weak-willed and impressionable by even Spathi norms, making him doubly so from the point of view of a Human. As a member of the Spathi High Council says, "If you held a weapon to Fwiffo's head, he would say anything you wanted him to say. In fact, if you held a vegetable to his head he would probably say anything you wanted him to say."
This unimpressive military record eventually leads Fwiffo down the path of heroism. At this point, the Spathi Earthguard had already retreated to Pluto to remain as far from danger as possible. While investigating a faint alien signal in the vicinity of Uranus, The Flagship's landing crew can discover Fwiffo's ship on the surface of Pluto. In a panic, Fwiffo will open fire on the landing party, killing Kowalski, Fritz, Chin, O'Donnell, Luigi, and all three of the Liebermann Triplets. Seeing The Flagship orbiting above Pluto in what he believed to be a threatening posture, he will become even more fearful and immediately contact The Captain, apologizing profusely and telling him the location of Spathiwa and the Secret Spathi Cypher before any prompting, or even a chance to speak, on The Captain's part.
The Captain is understandably upset, but if he suppresses his anger and speaks to Fwiffo calmly, he can eventually convince Fwiffo to join his fleet. As such, Fwiffo becomes one of The Captain's first allies and friends during the events of Star Control II. Like most Spathi, Fwiffo's innate reflexes and tactical ability only manifest themselves when he is forced into combat from which he could not escape, but such situations occur often in his days with The Captain's fleet. The StarRunner can be one of the New Alliance's most valuable tactical assets early in its life. Prevented from returning to his home planet after it is slave-shielded by the Safe Ones, Fwiffo is forced to throw his lot in with the Humans and their Alliance for the foreseeable future, hoping at the same time to somehow achieve his goal of retiring to a comfortable villa on a beautiful, secluded, and safe planet.
While it is possible to beat the game without allying or even coming into contact with Fwiffo, there are some indications that this and Fwiffo's subsequent survival throughout the game may become part of the accepted canon.1
Notes and references
- 1From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
- 23:09 <@fOSSiL> So we should refrain from asking too much about the potentially upcoming SC game? (not to devulge too much about the plot, etc.) ;)
- 23:12 <+PR3> I'd rather not say too much about the plot, except that Fwiffo's general paranoia, greed and lust for fame triggers the initial 'bad event' getting the player moving.