William Randolph "Bill" Keeler served as the Prime Commander of thePathfinder Ship Pegasus in Books 1 through 9. He is a Sapphirean male, middle-aged, who was chancellor of the University of Sapphire at New Cleveland before being tapped to command Pegasus. He is a trained historian with a vast knowledge of the ancient Commonwealth. At the beginning of the journey, he does not believe the legends that the Commonwealth was destroyed by war with the Tarmigans. He suspects he was only put in command as a figurehead, with the expectation that Goneril Lear would wield the real authority on the ship. In times of crisis, he consults with the ghost of his ancestor, Lexington Keeler, and his highly intelligent and very stylish talking cat, Queequeg. He also drinks a lot.
William Randolph Keeler was born in New Cleveland, Oz Province, Sapphire on December 13 7240 AS. He admits that misspent his youth, but regrets not mispending it enough. Through studies at the University of Sapphire at New Cleveland (USNC), he became the planet's pre-eminent authority on Commonwealth Era Galactic Civilization. His Doctoral Thesis in History challenged the conventional wisdom about the collapse of the Commonwealth, that it was brought about by war with the vastly superior Tarmigans. Keeler asserted that the collapse of the Commonwealth was the result of a natural process of development; that as colonies matured, they needed to trade and contact less with other colonies and became more internally focused, thus leading to the collapse of Interstellar Trade and Communication. He questioned whether the Tarmigans even existed, suggesting that they may have been a sort of Galactic Urban Legend.
Keeler took a position as a professor of History at the USNC. He had little trouble filling his classes, as students would pay for both his insights and for the networking opportunities. He met Delia Katherine Anne (Somerset) Chanski in 7270 AS and married her two years later; a marriage that benefited both families. Delia was killed in 7278 in a tragic accident at a rounders game in Corvallis when a wild fastball struck her in the head. (Book 09: Gethsemane )
When the Odyssey Project was announced, Keeler and a select group of other highly qualified individuals bypassed the lottery that had been set up to deal with the situation by which there were more people interested in joining Odyssey than there were open slots. These individuals were for designated command other key positions and were nominated by the Oddyssey Project directorate. Their applications were submitted for approval to the Sapphirean populace; to preserve the sense of fairness and participation demanded by Sapphire's Democratic traditions. Keeler was among those approved for Odyssey Project Training. He was not offered a command afterward, and returned to his duties as Chancellor of the USNC. He was called to serve as Prime Commander of Pathifinder 3 - Pegasus after the death of the ship's chosen Commander, Scott St. Lawrence, in a tragic shuttle accident. (Book 1: Meridian )
Keeler served as Prime Commander of Pegasus for the next ten years of his life, leading expeditions to the former colonies of Meridian, EdenWorld, Fiddler's Green, Medea, Bodicea, Hearth, Coriolus, Independence, Winter, Ecco 1, and Aurora. He rediscovered the Starlock System when he reached Starlock Chapultepec, and shortly thereafter, defied orders to take his ship through the Starlock to the Orion Quadrant. In the Orion Quadrant, he charted the colonies of Yronwode, Hellfire, Fallon, and Gethsemane before stepping down as commanding officer in order to take Sabbatical.
During his years of Sabbitical, he authored a detailed Memoir of his experiences as Pegasus commander in a book titled Hello, Sailor. He also spent more than a year on the surface of Eventide colony, much of it as captain of a sea-ship, Red Jacket.
When Pegasus reached Starlock Charlemagne in the Sapphirean Year 7621 AS. Keeler found he had been promoted to Fleet Admiral in his absence. (Book 11: Charlemagne).
Family and Other Relationships
Married to Delia Katherine Anne Chanski Keeler (deceased)
Son to Arthur Keeler
Great-Great-Great-Great Grand Uncle to Keeler Honoria Keeler
Descendant of Lexington Keeler (ghost)
Father of Kyte Keeler in an an Alternative Reality or something.
Father of Big Dave, Spike, Synch, Scarlett Eistla, Kyte, Osric and Charlotte Sophia Keeler.
Big Dave (18), Spike Lexington (17), Synch (15), Kyte (twelve), Charlotte Sophia (16), Osric (11) and Eistla 10
- Professor of History: University of Sapphire at New Cleveland
- Chancellor: University of Sapphire at New Cleveland
- Prime Commander Pathfinder Ship Pegasus
- Captain Merchant Ship Red Jacket
- Fleet Admiral: Orion Fleet
- Farmer, Brewer, Historian, Founder and Governor General of New Earth colony