Stephen McManus

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Stephen (Steve) McManus
Stephen McManus.jpg
Full name Stephen McManus
Date of Birth 2 September 2499
Birthplace Hera
Parents William "Bill" and Grace McManus (both deceased)
Siblings None
Spouse Unwed
Assignment Morale, Guan-Yin II
Specialization Shepherd
Gender Male
Eyes and Hair Green, Black
Height and Weight 6' 0", 170 lbs
Status Inactive (Deceased)
Employment History

Suthainn Dochas
Guan-Yin II
Parish of Glenshee on Aberdeen

Mcmanuscrucifix.jpg Background

Growing Up


Steve had never expected to be found by God. He grew up on a remote farm on Hera, the only child of plain hardworking farmer Bill McManus and his young wife Grace. He thought he'd take the farm over some day, marry one of the silly giggling girls from a neighbouring farm and that was that. But then the war came to Hera and his father decided to fight for his planet and his family in Serenity Valley. He never returned. Steve and his mother tried to go on alone for some time but it wasn't easy. And then came that terrible day when two men - losers of the battle at Serenity Valley who had been adrift on the planet for several months since - came to their farm. Well, he'd rather not talk about it. Suffice to say that his mother died that day. Refusing help from neighbours, the teenage boy struggled on alone. Until the day God decided to interfere.

Finding God


The neighbours had probably told him that the odd McManus boy was living all alone on his family's farm, only rarely venturing into the village to sell fresh produce and buy things he needed. And when Shepherd Joshua turned up at Steve's door, he could hardly slam the door into the preacher's face, could he? At first he only wanted to give him the glass of water the shepherd asked for and shoo him out again quickly, but then they got talking. And Steve enjoyed the learned man's conversation. He asked him to return some day. And return the shepherd did. Several times in fact, while he slowly gained the reclusive boy's trust and finally convinced him that living all alone on the farm wasn't good for a boy of 18. He helped Steve to sell the farm to a neighbor and the boy started to travel all over the 'verse with him. Frankly, Shepherd Joshua wasn't a spring chicken anymore and he was glad for a young assistant to carry their luggage and elbow their way through crowded spaceports.

One evening, after a rather heated argument in a smokey dockside tavern the old shepherd's heart gave out. Steve made sure he was brought home and laid to rest at Whitstone Abbey on Ariel. He took Shepherd Joshua's cassock and made a promise on the old man's grave to follow in his footsteps and try to help others like he had helped him. He took his catholic vows at Whitstone Abbey to live humbly as a shepherd for the rest of his life.

The Shepherd


Steve thrived at Whitstone Abbey where he mainly worked in the extensive abbey gardens that benefitted from his experience of working on a farm. He also enjoyed singing in the church's choir and relished in the solitude behind abbey walls. He would have loved to stay there forever, but the abbot, who was wiser than his young shepherd, decided that it wasn't good for a young man to hide from the world like that. Shortly after his 26th birthday, Steve was asked to leave the abbey and travel the 'verse, much like Shepherd Joshua did. He was to bring the word of God to the people, offer spiritual guidance to those in doubt and comfort and counsel to those in need and to not return until he has reached his 30th year. He's been trying this with varying degrees of success so far.

The year 2525 has seen him join Life Line Inc., a rescue operation run by Captain Reilly of the Suthainn Dochas., to provide counsel to people rescued from danger, comfort people who are injured or sick or say a prayer for the unfortunate souls who didn't make it. He also spends a lot of time on the Guan-Yin II, a medical ship captained by Donna McKellen. Steve took quite a liking to the young serious woman and finally changed ships, starting to work full-time on the Guan Yin before the year turned to 2526.

Life, Love and Death

While Steve felt happy on the Guan Yin, he often struggled with what he witnessed both aboard and on planets, especially on the Rim. He sometimes struggled with his faith when he realized how little God seemed to care for his creations and how few answers he had for the questions of doubters. More than once he was also led into temptation by pretty young women and wondered about leaving religion behind altogether. But in the end faith won. In the year 2530, when he had reached his 30th year and fulfilled the abbot's request, he returned to Whitstone Abbey. Not much later he received his own flock to tend on Highgate.

From there he moved to Aberdeen to base himself in the small settlement of Glenshee and serve the Ellis Valley. He was happy there for some years until a mysterious virus began to claim the lives of more and more people in the valley. He called his friend Donna and the Guan Yin for help and they brought experienced specialists like Dr. Sushmita Khan and Dr. Cassiopeia Johnstone along. While the doctors eventually managed to figure out the virus and stop new infections, it was too late for some. This included the shepherd himself, who had caught the virus at some point and he died in December 2541 at the age of 42. But not without one last confession...