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Oliver Birch

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Oliver Birch was a fetcher for Warner & Ives following the Human-Covenant war. He had a dog called Mabel. Birch had two ships he used for fetching, the tug Galileo's Worst Enemy for short-range runs in debris fields and the former colony ship CAA Butterworth for interstellar travel.[1]


Birch had acquired a doctoral degree in quantum electrodynamics, but decided to become a fetcher instead of a physicist. This was for many reasons, including his unwillingness to work in labs and the fact that he found most of the theories surrounding slipstream space to be too conjectural. Besides, fetching paid well.

At one point, Birch had arranged a date with Gretchen Navarro on Tribute while simultaneously on an assignment to deliver a slipspace drive to the ONI at Cygnus. Birch retrieved the drive from the UNSC cruiser Dresden during a fetching run over Biko. Inspecting it more closely, he discovered it to be a "saddle box", a type of drive used for military experimentation. As he was already late on schedule and realized he could not make it to both Tribute and Cygnus in time, he decided to attempt a risky experiment, mounting the saddle box on the Butterworth and using its former drive to transition out of slipspace near Tribute on the Galileo's Worst Enemy while the Butterworth would continue an automated course to Cygnus and deliver the drive for his contract handler, Steve.

However, as Birch took the Galileo's Worst Enemy out of the Butterworth's cargo bay, something went wrong with the plan and the Galileo's Worst Enemy began to disintegrate under the stresses of slipspace whilst under continuous bombardment by radiation. Birch and Mabel barely made it into a cryo-chamber and jettisoned out of the ship before its destruction. He then dropped an emergency locator beacon as they were placed in cryogenic suspension, awaiting rescue.[1]

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