EngineerTalents & Specializations:
Armor and shield technology, turian martial arts, omni-weapons, biotic domination (bonus power!), painting, slam poetry, varren-raising, positive attitude maintenanceProfessions:
Ex-military engineer, ex-Reaper sleeper agentPersonality:
Zi is friendly enough and tends toward a cheerful, cavalier attitude in even the worst situations, preferring gallows humor and hyperbolic optimism to the grim determination more commonly associated with mercenaries-for-hire. Although he accepts the eternal foothold of evil in the universe, he does his best not to contribute to it, making him picky about job offerings and vocal about ethics complications. That's not to say he's contentious, though; outside of moral scruples he's exemplary - sometimes uncomfortably so - at following orders and obeying commands with a distinctly machine-like focus and efficiency.
He's shy about his demons, and the damage he's inflicted on himself over the years; the lingering scars of indoctrination have left him uneasy without direction, and simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by synthetics and VI intelligence. That he uses his own VI as a sounding board not because it has unusual tactical or advisory expertise - in fact its programming is largely concerned with little more than emulating autonomy in a convincing manner - but because it's comforting to hear his thoughts repeated in synthetic tones is a part of his psychology he doesn't freely advertise.History:
Ziarrus Incalitrix lived a relatively uneventful life on a colony-world under the Hierarchy; like many turians, he felt a communal call to military service and took the opportunity to get in some travel and exploration. Loyalty and discretion became his bywords - for the most part - and between this and marked competence it seemed likely he was destined for advancement through the ranks. After distinguishing himself with a series of combat repairs and modifications during a pitched siege with a small but well-armed and well-trained group of turian separatists, Zi was assigned to the experimental project known as the Vandal EVR. Zi saw the assignment, and the ship, as a shining opportunity to show the galaxy turians at their best. When the Reaper War began in earnest, and monsters from dark space set fire to Tuchanka's skies, he prepared for the worst - but against all odds, he held onto hope. It was the darkest hour of the Turian Hierarchy, and Zi would be there, one more light between those terrible shadows and the worlds he loved.
It wasn't to be.
New orders, they were told. A special mission. A mission outside of turian space entirely - a mission, it became clear two jumps later, did not exist. They were running. Their captain had betrayed them - or, as it quickly turned out when push came to shove, some
of them. In fact most of the crew was in on the treason, and Zi and his compatriots found themselves outnumbers. And then, shortly after, marooned.
The Reapers found them. They fought, some died, the rest - Ziarrus included - weren't quite so lucky.
Indoctrination rendered the rest of the war into a blur, punctuated by moments of hideous clarity. He was tasked on missions of sabotage, construction, pushed to impossible limits. Whenever he failed, he was...upgraded. Set to task again. Pieces removed, added - sometimes from machines, sometimes from compatriots who weren't so competent as he to begin with. He wanted to survive. That was almost the worst part, later; the memory of how survival was almost the only honest desire allowed to him faded and lost its edge, but the knowledge that he fought for life even at such awful cost did not. As the conflict burned on he saw less use as a saboteur. They wanted him to build things, design things that they had no time for. He was forcibly awakened along a single biotic channel to help him organize, though to this day he can't manage even the flimsiest barrier or lightest of kinetic lifts; the amplifying spines buried in his brain were not placed for versatility. He learned things about machines, scraps of technology and code - mostly useless now, and what's not useless tends to be lost within the forbidden category of AI research, but for a time he felt like some ancient turian spirit of craftsmanship incarnate. That was the very worst part. For the first and only time, he was living up to his potential.
The war ended. Things went haywire, and then collapsed. He and other survivors of indoctrination dispersed throughout the universe, some going home to return to old lives and professions. Zi couldn't do it. He was a traitor, compromised, broken - implanted with alien technology now impossible except in theory to remove. He would, he realized, never be a soldier again. That door had closed to him.
And the turian who closed it still lived.
Ziarrus went to the Terminus System to find his old commander and bring him to account for what he'd done. Instead, he found the Vandal under a new captain, a man named Wayne - a man with a very interesting proposition. ZI hadn't until that moment seriously considered what he was going to do with his life after he got revenge - but with revenge out of reach, suddenly the thought of being a mercenary (and getting to stay close to the greatest feat of turian engineering arguably ever performed) didn't sound so bad. That's how he found himself at the Derelict bar, listening to a former Red Nova outline a scenario...Appearance & Equipment:
Zi is a healthy adult turian with a pleasant hue to his pale coloration and softer features than is the average, somewhat reducing the impact the apex predator species can have on less unequivocally carnivorous members of the galaxy. Some metal and circuitry is visible on the inside of his mandibles, along his talons, and nestled into the back of his crest, and the alterations extend in markedly less aesthetic fashion throughout his body; they have the combined effect of a slight increase in hardiness and physical ability, and he seems to be aging more slowly than is normative for his species. He prefers casual, comfortable clothing over the crispness of a uniform, but his other personal belongings are military-typical; his only real indulgences being a selection of acrylic paints from Thessia and an expensive personal VI modified with an unusually assertive attitude.
His combat equipment includes his armor, a heavily-modified and tech-assisted combat chassis whose startling bulk and weight conceal a range of redundant systems and defensive countermeasures, and his weaponry - a krogan-inspired variant of the M-358 Talon, the M-358x Scythe, and a number of practical and creative omni-tool combat applications. He also maintains the Gevaudan
, a Frankenstein's monster of an intra-atmosphere vehicle built from a scrapped prototype for a vehicle-scale FENRIS pursuit mech, a badly-damaged Rachni fighter, and armor taken from an ancient solar probe. He doesn't particularly care who flies it - worst comes to worst, he can always rebuild - but he's a little obsessive about collecting field data on his "darling," specifically to what degree, after any given revision or "improvement," it continues to function.