Born: Inkha, Vland 1920 in Imperial Year 1070.
Jan joined the Merchant Navy straight after leaving school and was assigned to the prestigious Tukera Lines megacorporation where he earned a reputation as a hard and honest steward and medic on some of their premium routes around the central Imperium, working in the competitive sectors such as Massilia and Diaspora.
Not one to settle down, Jan never had a family, just a girl in every Starport, only married to the company, his career was everything and he learned to wheel and deal, getting a reputation as a "fixer" who could sort out most difficult problems. After 15 years he was a 2nd Officer, normally in charge of the stewards or traders, and looking for promotion, when an incident changed his career forever.
On a regular and profitable route in Massilia for the Tukera’s Keratu subsidiary line, he was caught up sharp by an angry high profile dealer who claimed a shortage in a delivery of iridium blocks. Being a valued customer and an expensive commodity, he launched an investigation that took him into the shadowy world of arms smuggling, where he discovered the blocks were hurriedly lifted from the consignment to repair a bad weapons shipment that was being done undercover, this was unauthorised and Jan alerted the authorities.
Unfortunately for Jan, blowing the whistle on this gaff was a fateful error as it was linked to some senior directors at Keratu. Tukera’s notorious internal security service (Vemene), began to take an interest in Jan, the directors were not sure exactly how much he knew, and he found himself suddenly posted out of the way to the remote Solamni Rim circuits.
On the Rim, life was vastly different to the comfy, smart and largely honest central sectors, gone were the big classy liners and sleek cavernous freighters, just grumpy disinterested captains in shabby Fat Traders with lazy and incompetent crew, working dangerous routes for little profit. With a more down market clientele, Jan had to learn street manners and the shotgun from the ship's locker was never far from his side.
The next few years were unsatisfying, frustrated and dismayed by lack of promotion and his treatment by the company he began to invest in a little earnings on the side. Nothing major, no drugs or guns, but tight little deals where no one missed the odd container, be it full of soap powder or reprocessed fertiliser. Otherwise he kept his nose clean, but his activities once again fell under the spiteful eye of the Vemene, who were looking for an excuse to shut him up for good, on instruction from their masters.
A shipjacking gang had been rumbled recently and the Vemene spiked the investigator's intelligence to link Jan's personal accounts of unauthorised sales with the gang, before he knew it he was embroiled in a major crime as a financier, and soon on his way to life of hard labour at Newcomb.