The Carrier is the base of operations of The Authority. It is a shiftship, a ship capable of moving through the Bleed, the red space which separates alternate universes in the Wildstorm/DC multiverse. It is 50 miles long, 35 miles high and two miles wide. It is powered by a caged baby universe.
It is known that the Carrier was originally a trading ship, used to travel and trade between alternate dimensions, but its black box was found all but wiped and so its true origins remain unknown. The Carrier was parked in Earth orbit sometime in the past and remained dormant until it was discovered by Jenny Sparks of The Authority and used as their base of operations from 1999 onwards.
The Carrier exists in orbit around the Earth but at the same time continuously sails through the higher dimensions of the multiverse. It is capable of opening "doors" between any two points in space, allowing quick access from the Carrier to anywhere on Earth, as well as to the past, future and to alternate universes. While it is also itself capable of traveling almost literally anywhere, the Carrier stays tied to Earth orbit so that whoever left it there can come back to collect it. It is reluctant to leave although will do so if convinced that it is necessary. Its talents have been used on many missions, such as to infiltrate (physically entering) a vast biological lifeform threatening Earth and to actually evacuate Earth itself when another situation endangers it.
It once crashed to Earth after being infiltrated by the government sponsored super-hillbilly, Seth Cowie. For some time after this, the Carrier was controlled by a government-run replacement Authority team (G7 Authority); it did not co-operate as well with these newcomers. Eventually this team was slain by the original Authority.
It is later revealed that the original Carrier was placed in Earth orbit primarily for the benefit of Henry Bendix by an alternate Bendix from another universe. Unable to make use of the Authority's Carrier, Bendix instead obtains an identical Carrier of his own from the same (still as-yet unrevealed) place the first Carrier originated. It is visually similar to the authority's Carrier, though doubled and connected at the center between them. Following the defeat of Bendix only at the cost of the destruction of the Authority's Carrier; the Authority take over Bendix's Carrier instead.
Following after the reboot of the Wildstorm Universe, the Carrier remains active and replaced Bendix's Carrier. Though it have changed its dimensions slightly: it is now only 20 miles tall, but 8 miles wide.
After the catastrophic battle during the events of the Number of the Beast, the Carrier is damaged by a cadre of cloned posthumans, formed by the remains of The High, and the miniature 'baby' universe powering it is ripped out of its damaged containment field and shunted into Jenny Quarx's body for safekeeping. As a result the Carrier "dies", crashing into the ruins of London, called UnLondon. Due to its universe-hopping nature, the Carrier shuts down while out-of-sync with reality. As a result its ruins became "transcendentally fused" with the surroundings, becoming part of the UnLondon landscape and still housing a huge amount of space. While Angela Spica, who was temporarily powerless, searches daily for a way to revive at least partly the Carrier, or for still usable technology to scavenge, the remaining members of the Authority used the marooned Carrier as a fortress and a shelter for UnLondon's surviving refugees.
The Authority were later visited by Stormwatch Prime who helped in powering up the Carrier as a functioning city by having one of the Carrier's spire as a power conduit in receiving Skywatch III's energy reservoirs.
The Carrier was later struck by an unknown continuous beam of light that originated out of the Milky Way Galaxy, and causing the shiftship to fly once again. But, the Carrier intended to automatically leave Earth to where the beam came from. The Authority later summoned and offered many of Earth's heroes the choice to either stay or go with the Carrier. The same happens to the many refugees in UnLondon. This caused a large panic among the thousands of refugees, forcing a mixed violent decision to board the Carrier. As a result, a large handful of refugees and a few heroes consisting Grifter, Deathblow, Christine Trelane, Flint, Gen 13's Freefall and Rainmaker, The High, and three members of the Authority (Swift, Hawksmoor, and the Engineer) left Earth as the Carrier, at the last few minutes, escaped from the intervention of the Knights of Khera. After voyaging for more than two weeks over many obstacles, the Carrier arrived at its destination at a artificial space station located near a Chthonian planet. Immediately afterward, it was soon learned that the shiftship was actually lured into a trap along many other sentient vessels by a malevolent race known as the Karibna. The Karibna, who once harvested their resources which dwindled their home planet, had dedicated their survival in stripping resources from other unsuspecting alien beings in which they had previously betrayed a peaceful race and used one of the being's brain to lure other ships which are used as harvesters to bring new life-forms to the Karibna. The Carrier was then impaled on a gigantic pylon, which the sentient ship was killed. However, Century Baby River Baldwin foiled the Karibna by killing the brain by stopping the brain's feed, causing the Carrier to be back online.
The Carrier has always been shown to have some degree of intelligence. It was explicitly revealed that it is, in fact, sentient. It is also able to control time in a small area, for a short period. At one point, Kevin Hawkins almost destroys the Carrier with an alien-controlled atomic bomb. The Carrier puts up its defenses and saves approximately seventy percent of itself, but not the living quarters, causing the members to 'lose all their stuff'.
The Carrier exists outside space and time, but is technically also in the same place as Earth, because of the reality anchor that was dropped there. The "Door" works, when it is requested a destination and walk through, the Authority can get where they want because the Carrier is everywhere on Earth at the same time.
Carrier Traveled Dimensions
- The Bleed: Superposed Channel between alternate realities.
- Devachanic Realm: where it moved as a speed of twenty-five dreams per second.
- Outer Oceans of Ideaspace: during the spawning season, keeping pace with a school of obsession fish.
- Mind Barrier Reef: where the brains of the latent telepaths grow together in their sleep.
- The Center of a Superstring
- Sliding Albion: world where open contact between aliens (the blues) and humans during the 16th century led to interbreeding and an imperialist culture similar to the Victorian British Empire.
- Edge of the Millennium
- Keeping Pace with the Dead: "swimming up reality to witness the conception of an infant parallel universe".
- In Captain Atom: Armageddon, the Carrier appears to consist of two identical Carriers joined together, which is in line with the one acquired from Bendix at the end of Authority: Revolution. During Wildstorm Comics' WorldStorm event the Wildstorm universe was given a "soft reboot". As a result several Wildstorm titles have been re-launched, including a new Authority comic in December 2006. The new Authority comic is set on an Earth entirely without superheroes, and the Carrier is found buried and inert at the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. It also appears to have changed dimensions slightly: it is now only 20 miles tall, but 8 miles wide.
- The origins (at least partially) of the Carrier is revealed in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond that it and other vehicles/shiftships that can travel The Bleed as being pieces of Monitor technology.
- The somewhat parodic version of The Authority, The Elite, possessed a large vessel, similar to the Carrier, called "Bunny" in which it is used as a base of operations.
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