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Douglas Black (born in 1965) was the founder of the Black Corporation. In the 1990's, when he was in his mid twenties, he set up a computer company using money inherited from his grandfather's oil-mining company, which was very successful.

He founded the first serendipital laboratory, where he made many discoveries, including "gel".[1]

He donated some of his money to various causes around the world, including a scholarship program named "Search for the future" in South Africa that Nelson Azikiwe benefited from.[2]

He became a public hero, and gained a huge amount of wealth and power to the point where he is now the most powerful and richest industrialist in all the worlds of mankind. He is a 'close friend' and a 'trusted advisor' of President Cowley.[3][4]

He had a Bostonian accent.[4]

Appearance

In 2040, being in his seventies, he was short, wrinkled, gaunt and bald, and wore heavy sunglasses.[5] Maggie Kauffman described him as looking like Gollum with sunglasses.

The Long War

After Joshua Valienté came back from his expedition aboard the Mark Twain, what will be later known as The Journey, Black decided to give the twain technology to the world and the petabytes (or Godzillabytes as Nelson Azikiwe would put it) of datas from the voyage for open public access and study.[1]

In April 2040, he appeared on stage on Richmond, Virginia for President Cowley's send-off speech for the Operation Prodigal Son.[5]

The Long Mars

In May 2041, Douglas could be seen on stage with Jim Starling during President Cowley's inaugural speech of the new Capitol in Madison West 5.[6]

In January 2045, Douglas is back on stage on Capitol Hill, Madison West 5, but this time for the launch of the expedition of the USS Neil A. Armstrong II and the USS Eugene A. Cernan.[3]

Ten days after the beginning of the journey, a bit after Earth West 1,000,000, Douglas, followed by Phillip his bodyguard, revealed himself to Maggie Kauffman, the Captain of the Armstrong II, to her astonishment.

Douglas having bankrolled the development of the twains, he managed to have his own cabin built inside the gondola with the help of Amiral Davidson and President Cowley. With him, he brought his personal physician, science advisors, a climatologist, a planetologist and some specialized equipment.[4]

When traveling across a band of Earths of the Anaerobic Belt, worlds with low oxygen levels, Joe Mackenzie, the ship's chief surgeon, grew concerned about Douglas' high use of oxygen.

While expressing his concerns in person, accompanied by Captain Kauffman, Douglas, now eighty years old, explained that he was trying to regain his youth by going through a therapy called "oxyology", which consists of a use of a high oxygen partial pressure to promote healing and the rejuvenation of the body.

After reassuring Maggie that he was using his own supply of oxygen, the journey resumed without further tensions.[7]

On May 24th 2045, when the Armstrong and the Cernan reached Earth West 250,000,000, their destination, Douglas went ashore and accepted to be photographied with the crew.

On their way back to Datum Earth, Douglas asked to be dropped at Earth West 239,741,211, a planet where the gravity is 80% the one on the Datum and with high levels of oxygen, acting like a bigger version of the oxygen tent he had in his cabin aboard the Armstrong II.

Douglas decided to stay there with Phillip, his staff and his equipment, in hope of reversing his ageing and named this Earth Karakal. He also revealed that he was representing a group of rich investors, not adventurous to take the trip with him, that might join him in a year or two.[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Long War - Chapter 7
  2. The Long Earth - Chapter 32
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Long Mars - Chapter 5
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Long Mars - Chapter 7
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Long War - Chapter 14
  6. The Long Mars - Chapter 1
  7. The Long Mars - Chapter 23
  8. The Long Mars - Chapter 35

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