Ernest Hart, who is well known for insisting on "Ernie" while muttering about his parent's poor taste, is famous primarily in engineering and science circles. Ernie grew up in a machine shop, and flew through an advanced technical course in starship engineering back in the bad-old days of Earth's first serious move into the stars. Given this traditional engineering background, no one is quite certain how he first encountered the young prodigy that was Jack Amaril. However it happened, the encounter ultimately resulted in Ernie spending the better part of fifty years as the chief engineer for Amaril Corporation.

On the surface, the two shouldn't have gotten along. Ernie was a traditionalist, a designer who stuck to known concepts and sought improvement by many small steps, as opposed to Jack's wild, erratic leaps forward. In reality, though they often argued over execution, they made a terrifyingly effective team. Ernie was the practical, down-to-earth, stabilizing influence that Jack's almost instinctive genius needed to truly succeed, and he spent his career following Amaril from project to project, executing the practical aspects of Jack's brilliant designs.

His single most well known set of projects are the three iterations of the ESV Exploration, the third of which he did without Mr. Amaril's direct involvement. He was also the primary designer of the Nova class ships, with only minimal input from his boss. Other major projects that he worked on, purely as Jack's idea-implementer, included the design stage for the Chimera, and the Guardian heavy-frigate class. The technology of the latter was upscaled by the Sol System's Alliance for use as their primary cruiser design.

In his retirement, Ernest Hart became the primary engineer for the Equal Melntoni charity of Melntoni III.

*Author's Note* Curiously, the "Ernest Hart" bit was a complete accident that only hit me when I wrote the wiki content. Throughout the entire CoHH novel, he is never referred to as anything but "Ernie," and when I needed to make background information for him I considered a wide number of last names before settling on "Hart." Even then, I hadn't realized what I had accidentally done, as I never thought to figure out what "Ernie" was short for.

It was only when I first began typing this very entry that I realized his full name was most likely "Ernest Hart," and very nearly redid his last name on the spot. Instead, after realizing that the accidental name actually fit the character, I just bashed my head on the keyboard a couple of times at the groan-worthiness of it and left it be.

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