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This page is about the Book-icon-simple.png books character. For the TV incarnation, see Ashford (TV).
Book-icon-simple.png Books character Tv icon.png TV character

Captain Ashford is an OPA member who Fred Johnson placed in command of the Behemoth.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

His XO was Carlos "Bull" de Baca, until he was demoted to Chief Sec. Officer by Fred Johnson before the Behemoth set off toward the Ring. His new XO became Michio Pa.

Ashford is a Belter. He received a degree in Mathematics from Boston University. He's a braggart and a loud mouth. Latches on to whatever makes him seem better than those surrounding him.

Ashford is given the ship Behemoth, formerly known as the Nauvoo. He is charged with co-operating with Earth and Mars while they discover mysterious activity involving the Ring.

Captain Ashford and Bull butt heads on multiple occasions.

History[edit | edit source]

The Ring[edit | edit source]

After the assault on the Seung Un and the faked video broadcast from James Holden's ship, where Melba Koh frames Holden as a terrorist in the name of the OPA, under Bull's recommendation and Pa's endorsement, Captain Ashford fires a torpedo on the Rocinante. Ashford would have otherwise awaited authorization from Fred Johnson. The Rocinante evades this as well as the Martian naval vessels then retreats. The Behemoth pursued the Rocinante into the Ring along with many of the ships of the flotilla, including the UNN Thomas Prince. Notably, the Prince carries Annushka Volovodov, Melba Koh, Tilly Fagan, and Hector Cortez.

The Slow Zone Incident[edit | edit source]

Main article: Slow Zone Incident (Books)

When the Behemoth and the entire Earth/Mars fleet is caught in the "Slow Zone" of the Ring network, he is eventually put under arrest when Bull and Michio Pa stage a coup. All of the ships in the united fleet were heavily damaged and for the most part disabled and derelict. Mass causalities on both sides. They wish to unite Earth and OPA fleet members onboard the Behemoth to co-operate in their time of crisis in the Ring. Ashford disagreed with this plan, but was jailed during its implementation with Michio Pa assuming command.

Ashford believes the best action during the slow zone incident is to destroy the Ring, which would strand any one else on that side of the ring. Unbeknownst to him and according to The Investigator and James Holden, this would trigger an alien defense mechanism that would turn the Sun supernova. Thus, if The Investigator is correct, Ashford's plan would result in killing all humans within the Sol system rather than saving them.

Ashford was put back into power by his supporters including Hector Cortez in a counter-coup. Ashford also releases Melba from detention and recruits her to join his loyalists in the command center.

More and more unstable, Captain Ashford cold-bloodedly murders Naomi's best friend Sam for delaying the communications array weapon.

While Bull's loyalists have control over engineering, they disable environmental control in the command center but Melba is able to circumvent their tactics restoring oxygen to Captain Ashford's company and herself.

Ashford realizes that he has access to the power armor confiscated from the Martian marines by Bull and has his people don the equipment before pursuing Bull.

The Rocinante's crew, Bull, Anna, Martian marines, and Melba eventually retake the ship before he can fire the light cannon aka modified tight beam communications array. While Holden approaches the command center via an external backup elevator shaft, being locked out of the airlock, Melba feels repentant for her crimes and increasingly questions Captain Ashford's actions. Cortez recognizes this but doesn't report it as he begins to question Ashford too and covers or excuses some of Melba's actions. Melba ultimately allows access for Holden's raiding party then disables Ashford.

See also[edit | edit source]


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