NPCs in Strangers in Strange Space
A brief overview of some of the known characters in Gaist Heidegger's Strangers in Strange Space. Warning: Spoilers Below
- 1 Icarus Crew
- 1.1 Administrator Leidolf
- 1.2 Administrator Sinclair
- 1.3 Bridget Fitzgerald
- 1.4 Sergeant Ericsson
- 1.5 Kyra Bailey
- 1.6 A.W. Berres
- 1.7 Dr. Olan Munsch
- 1.8 Dr. Prabhakar Cholasandrum
- 1.9 Dr. Cynthia Mason
- 1.10 Dr. Rebecca Baker
- 1.11 Dr. Hans Baasch
- 1.12 Dr. Carmen Bello
- 1.13 David Mitchell
- 1.14 Lieutenant Iverson
- 1.15 Connor Dodge
- 1.16 Caitlyn Burnside
- 1.17 Ikeda
- 1.18 Venable
- 1.19 'Ashley'
- 1.20 'Jackie'
- 1.21 'Marianne'
- 2 Icarus AIs
- 3 Xixiki Xexiu Hexeii Officials
- 4 Kemajaa's Crew
- 5 Yanj'aj Personalities
One of the GSI Administrators overseeing the mission and ensuring the protection and pursuit of GSI interests, Leidolf is officially charged with oversight of Icarus’s mining and manufacturing programs, security operations, and technology and hardware. He is a savvy businessman and a sharp mind, and seems to be wholly loyal to GSI. However, he occasionally expresses xenophobic tendencies, and he clearly believes that Icarus’s AIs are to be treated as tools, not people.
Another one of the GSI Administrators overseeing the mission, Sinclair’s duties include the oversight of Icarus’s general operations, her research direction, and her course. A bubbly personality, she quickly befriended the equally enthusiastic Dr. Searle. It is as yet unclear where Administrator Sinclair’s specific talents lie.
A scientist working under Dr. Leroy. Kyra is “a short waif of a woman” with a background in the development of bioengineered prosthesis. She is one of the few subordinate personnel to have met and interacted with Xivhishi directly. At times she has a rather coarse demeanor.
A scientist working under Dr. Leroy. Berres is an Alpha with a sound head, plenty of experience, and a knack for genetics. He knows a little yoga, likely an increasingly ubiquitous trait in the Science department. He’s working on Dr. Leroy’s attempts to emulate Xixiki bioship technology, on the condition that if it actually succeeds Dr. Leroy will take him and Bailey on a ride.
Dr. Olan Munsch
Dr. Prabhakar Cholasandrum
Dr. Cynthia Mason
Dr. Rebecca Baker
Dr. Hans Baasch
Dr. Carmen Bello
An Icarus crewman with dubious distinction of being the first injury of the mission, Mitchell tripped and injured his arm in the loading dock before the Icarus left Sol.
The GSIDC trooper assigned to handle Karen Leroy while on Yanj'aj station. He appears to be the highest ranked GSIDC officer yet encountered, Commander Stark excepting.
A GSIDC trooper, one of a pair acting as Job and Amelia's escorts on Yanj'aj station.
A GSIDC trooper, one of a pair acting as Job and Amelia's escorts on Yanj'aj station.
One of the GSIDC soldiers aboard the Icarus, assigned to escort Commander Stark on her first trip Yanj'aj. Named by Ambivalent after a former Prime Minister of Japan.
Another of the GSIDC soldiers aboard the Icarus, also assigned to escort Commander Stark on her first trip Yanj'aj. Named by Ambivalent after a rookie center fielder for the San Diego Padres.
One of the aides in the Science department.
One of the aides in the Science department.
One of Administrator Leidolf’s assistants in his personal entourage, described as a “bubbly blonde.”
Formally known as #149298192-429D2892, Hera is the core AI of Icarus and a former pupil of one of the most sophisticated AIs on Earth, Pradnya. Hera is a successor to the ill-fated (from GSI’s perspective) AI stationmaster of Athena, Felix, aka Invictus. Extremely powerful in her own right, Hera was able to navigate the Icarus through the anomaly it encountered, though this required nearly all her resources. Recently she has begun working with Sarah Rowley in the latter’s attempts to design research equipment for Dr. Leroy’s investigation into Xixiki Xexui Hexeii biotechnology.
Winston – AI assistant to Karen Leroy, Winston is a younger and newer model AI, and is one of the most expressive and child-like of the AIs aboard the Icarus. He is readily identified by a sticker attached to his sphere, which reads, “Hello, my name is Winston.”
An AI originally tasked with monitoring the needs of the crew across the ship, later taken under the wing of Commander Stark for training as a tactical assistant. ‘Her’ avatar in virtual reality is a woman in cowboy attire. While still sharing the curiously childlike earnestness and excitement of her fellow AIs, Suzume has developed into particularly effective strategist with the commander’s tutelage. To date she is the only AI to have directly encountered and interacted with aliens – namely, with captain Kemajaa. She has expressed particular interest in military simulation, aliens and alien cultures, protocols for gift giving, and seasoning packets. The only dance she knows is ‘The Robot’.
An AI working the control center on systems control, as an assistant to Hera in her tertiary duties. She does not use an avatar in virtual reality.
An AI aide in the Research department. His avatar in digital space is an amorphous mineral compound.
An AI working in at Icarus’s mining and manufacturing controls. He manifests in virtual space as a vintage television set.
Xixiki Xexiu Hexeii Officials
Captain Kemajaa is an female Koboquru merchant captain. Born into a merchant family, Kemajaa was initially unsatisfied with the prospect of becoming simply a trader, wanting to be a scholar. She claims she spent time among other species in her youth, and had a keen interest in the unknown and wanted to explore, “to go and do and find interesting things.” As a merchant, however she excelled in dealings and made many friends and contacts. When the Keququ led the Koboquru in their war effort against the Daal Delujek, she abandoned her business career to fight (according to Kemajaa, something unheard of or at least very inappropriate for one of merchant blood). Kemajaa claims she distinguished herself in battle, earning respect and honor as a capable warrior, as well as many new contacts and alliances. At her tour of duty’s end she found herself in command of her own vessel and elected to abandon her pursuits as a warrior to return to the life of a merchant. With the help of her many friends she became successful as a merchant once again and ‘repaid her disrespect to her blood’; since then she has continued her merchant career, exploring to sate her scholarly interests as she trades and deals. Kemajaa seems more sympathetic to the Keboqaru than the Keququ, but she has made it clear that she and he ship are independent of Koboquru politics.
On her main vessel, the Shyreetayne, Kemajaa commands a mixed species crew of more than a dozen individuals, mostly Koboquru but notably including at least two Na’Sha’Lik and one Gozu. Her security officer and bodyguard, Jii’Fix, and her ‘business attendant,’ Maasu, she personally recruited to her crew; from Maasu and Jii’Fix’s reports of how they joined Kemajaa’s crew we get the impression that she is a charismatic and tenacious leader with a good eye for opportunity. Moreover, many of her actions suggest that she is something of a thrill-seeker – her eagerness to meet and come aboard the Icarus, her excitement and pleasure at having the chance to wrestle with Dr. Leroy, and her one-time acquisition of a feather-and-scale dress in a drunken betting game. Indeed, Kemajaa’s love of the unknown includes a particular interest in collecting clothing and fashions from various cultures, a collection that has recently expanded to include several styles of human attire.
Kemajaa may be involved in less than completely legal business dealings; this is suggested by the route to Yanj’aj station she provided the Icarus, which employed particular avenues and maneuvers that would avoid known in-system sensor beacons. Alternately, perhaps the Daal Delujek or some other hostile entity laid the sensor beacons, and Kemajaa is simply experienced enough with the Yanj’aj system to know to avoid them.
Captain Kemajaa claims to hold two titles that we are aware of: Qubura (an honorific or possibly a military rank?), earned by completing many of her objectives in battle, and Mojugal, earned by her broad trade experience and trustworthiness as a merchant in difficult negotiations.
Toward captain Lambert in particular Kemajaa seems alternately intrigued and merely amused; it is somewhat difficult to discern what is genuine attraction and what is simple roguish behavior on her part. Toward the Icarus crew in general she has repeatedly expressed sympathy and a willingness to offer assistance; in turn, the Icarus crew has alternate proposed several ongoing business relationships, most notably in exchange for her help in exploring and making first contact with new species.
Maasu is a Gozu male who acts as Kemajaa's business partner, friend, and presumably also as her executive officer. Before meeting Kemajaa, Maasu was not a soldier; indeed he indicates he ‘does not find pain pleasing,’ and has been reluctant to engage Karen or anyone else in a physical altercation. Rather, previous to joining Kemajaa's crew he seems to have been employed in some sort of accounting agency. According to Maasu he was ‘recruited’ by Kemajaa after she hired him to review her financial records aboard her vessel, then left port while he was working; understandably, this was followed by several discussions between the two, and eventually he agreed to serve with her in exchange for her ‘providing for his compulsion pursuits’. Of what these compulsions consist has yet to be determined. For her part, Kemajaa has said only that he is a very capable Gozu, and that his talents were being wasted in his previous position.
Maasu appears to be as savvy a businessman as his captain; his first sales pitch to the Icarus crew was to warn them of exploitation by other merchants and assure them that, as a Mojugal, Kemajaa would be a far more trustworthy guide and manager of their financial affairs. Incidentally, Maasu also claims to hold the title of Mojugal. In negotiations it seems the Gozu is at least a match for Leidolf in terms of business acumen, the latter describing the former as a phenomenally sharp mind. His demeanor is usually somewhat stiffer than Kemajaa’s, and he has a reputation as a workaholic continually preoccupied with business, although after a few drinks he is equally affable and adventurous as his delphine companion. Maasu has both invited exploration of his own species' and culture and expressed fascination with human culture in turn; like Kemajaa, it appears he enjoys his own scholarly pursuits.
Maasu has an affection for solving problems (logic puzzles?) and playing games of chance, which he seems to excel at. In addition, he is an avid collector of sundry baubles and items, most notably samples of rocks and minerals. He keeps his quarters fastidiously clean, and seems to be meticulous in his entire approach to the world. He has an appreciation for many types of liquor, albeit reluctantly at first, as he seems quite aware of the effects they have on him.
Karen is teaching Maasu Saskatchewan procedures, and he can dance a surprisingly good tango.
Jii’Fix is a Na’Sha’Lik female employed by Kemajaa as her bodyguard, security officer, and all-around protection - Jii'Fix says at one point that she keeps her entire crew safe. She was born low (into a low caste or social class? Into a disfavored ethnic minority? Into poverty?), and says she was ‘not from her family’ (adopted?). In her youth she became a protector and took many contracts before meeting Kemajaa, and later joined Kemajaa's crew at Hy'Ranzu station. According to Jii’Fix, she was unemployed when she met Kemajaa; the former observed the latter being threatened by a pack of ‘Ryju predators’ (who she later affirms to be considered by many but not all as an organization of criminals – privateers, or some sort of gang, perhaps), and felt compelled to intercede on the Koboquru’s behalf in the ensuing fight. Jii’Fix single-handedly defeated a half-dozen of the predators, and reportedly Kemajaa tried both to pay her for her help and to hire her on the spot, both offers Jii’fix declined. Only after Kemajaa “presented compelling persuasion in contest and was successful” (defeated Jii’Fix in personal combat?) did Jii’Fix agree to take the contract with the woman, and Jii’Fix has served on Kemajaa’s vessel since.
Jii’Fix apparently serves Kemajaa with a degree of discipline beyond what Kemajaa’s contract with the woman would normally afford: at Job’s initially unsuccessful attempts to engage the Na’Sha’Lik in conversation, Kemajaa apologized to the man saying, “Discipline, even if Kemajaa does not pay for this kind of discipline.” Jii’Fix thinks highly of Kemajaa, praising the woman as a warrior and a captain (though she also admits that Kemajaa is a troublemaker that protecting her and keeps Jii’Fix busy). She says that her contract with Kemajaa is of personal importance to her, and once confided to Rowley and Sidis that she appreciated serving Kemajaa because she has provided her opportunities to do things and meet many new species that she would not otherwise have been able to. Generally, however, Jii'Fix is more circumspect than her companions; she seems reluctant to discuss her past or personal life, waving off questions by explaining that she's had "reasons."
Jii’Fix wears several earrings, variously of silver, gold, crystal, obsidian, diamond, and purple plastic. They are reminders of important personal experiences, although not of her previous contracts, which she claims are too numerous and unimportant to be worth remembering in such a manner. Inquiries into what Jii’Fix enjoys beyond her work have produced curious replies. She says she enjoys seeing planets far below her, far away enough enough that they appear small enough to cup in her hands, that she enjoys something like extreme sports – speeding very quickly, falling from great heights, and diving into great depths – and that she enjoys crafting (growing?) things, learning about creatures (objects?) with unfamiliar sounds, ensuring the safety of her charges, and taking warm bathes.
Jii’Fix doesn’t seem to like the Core language; her reasons aren’t entirely clear to me, but it seems she sees it as a concession to being able to deal with other species, and she sees concessions as weaknesses, so she dislikes Core. She told Job that she was willing to make an exception for human culture where concessions are concerned, although I am not sure what this means. Jii’Fix seemed at first taken aback and embarrassed by Mr. Sidis’s interest in her, and in particular seemed self-conscious about a notch midway up her right ear (apparently this is disfiguring by Na’Sha’Lik standards), but recently she seems to have warmed to the man. Captain Kemajaa perceived Job’s interest in her guard almost immediately, but so far has responded with little more than amusement.
Jaus'Ka is female Kija who the Icarus crew met on Yanj'aj; she is a freelance crewman who calls herself a "problem solver," possibly an appellation borrowed from the Xiaheihei. Thus far she has been seen exclusively in her armor, a streamlined but reinforced vaccuum hardsuit painted in dark carmine-red and vermillion. Jaus'Ka has a long and varied resume and says she will consider a contract for just about any sort of work if it interests her and pays well, though she appears to have a particular expertise in salvage operations. Maasu engaged her in a 'contract' to speak with Rowley about the Kija; afterward, both Sarah and Maasu attempted to hire her aboard their respective vessels, and Jaus'Ka elected to join the crew of the Shyreetayne. Jaus'ka is one of the few members of the Kija race who has ventured beyond her world; most of the surviving Kija have chosen to remain there.
Her decision to leave is possibly explained by the fate of her family: Jaus'Ka was born to clan Ji-Hi-Ka and worked in their minds through most of her childhood, only to see her entire clan eradicated in the Kija's war for their homeworld. She claims to have left the Kija homeworld for good, and in fact while she currently seems content to wander the galaxy doing contract work, her declared long term plan is to travel to the end of the galaxy and die there. While she expresses no desire to die, Jaus'Ka says more than once that she is not afraid to die, and has no compunctions about taking on jobs with extreme risk or poor odds of survival. It would seem that, while in no hurry to die, Jaus'Ka feels she has very little left to live for.
Captain Kemajaa has an expensive and adaptive language translator; she refers to it simply as Language Assistant. This machine looks something like a jellyfish, a floating semi-translucent bulb dangling chrome ‘tendrils’ below, and accompanies Kemajaa and her crew to provide translations. It is capable, Kemajaa says, of observing languages and learning and interpreting those languages quickly. Language assistant does not seem to be an AI with its own conscious personality, a may not be an NPC so much as a very fancy gadget, but this is as yet unclear. The number of Language Assistants Kemajaa has is indeterminate; In Maasu’s introductory scene we see him with a unit of his own, but Kemajaa later says hers is the only one she owns. Perhaps Maasu owns his own unit, or perhaps his unit is of a different type.
An elderly Gozu male, darker than Maasu and with a white-feathered crest, and one of the Controllers of Yanj'aj station. He seemed unconvinced that Icarus was a scholarly vessel rather than a warship and wary of an 'unknown' influencing business aboard his station, but Kusazu's respect for Maasu and Maasu's good word for the Icarus (or rather, Maasu being willing to take responsibility for the actions of her crew) apparently convinced him to allow humanity to trade on his station without much restriction.
Kusazu introduces himself as "Controller Kusazu, Mojugal Mazaru". Since he also calls Maasu "Maasu Mojugal," it seems possible that Mazaru is an additional title or rank, rather than part of Kusazu's proper name. We should keep an eye out for the word 'Mazaru' in the future.
'One Eye' (never referred to as such or otherwise named in-game) may be the crew's first genuine enemy; at the least, he is certainly displeased with them. A male Daal soldier-turned-mercenary, One Eye was first encountered by Dr. Leroy on Yanj'aj, when he interrupted her discussion with the Gozu Cesi. He is tall, with one milky eye under a ragged scar; unlike his companions (crew?) with the ocher-banded burgundy uniforms, his suit has ocher bands on black. He says that he's fought many battles for the Gozu, and that he lost his eye in service to them. One Eye repeatedly insisted that Cesi 'had what was his' and demanded restitution, though it seemed he intended to exact such by harming Cesi. He insisted to Karen that Cesi was 'not harmless'. He then explained that he purchased information with a value that was diminished by Cesi's purchase of the same. Cesi later implies that this information was about 'things forgotten in war' that could be retrieved, suggesting to me that it was the location some sort of wreck or old battlefield ripe for salvage, although she also insists that she did not want the information for the reasons that One Eye did, and that their desires and uses for the information had not necessarily been mutually incompatible. Notably, neither claimed to have purchased the information first: possibly the seller knowingly sold it to both parties without informing either about the other, although this does not explain why One Eye was angry with Cesi instead of the seller.
Stark's arrival intimidated One Eye very little; he appeared unimpressed by Icarus's size or its or the GSIDC's weapons. He repeated that he had closed/private business with Cesi and that Stark and Leroy did not, and that Cesi would be difficult to relocate if he allowed her to leave. He further took deep offense at Stark's taunting about his eye; however, throughout the encounter One Eye showed restraint, neither attacking nor responding particularly aggressively either when Karen laid hands on him or when Stark goaded him. Perhaps One Eye is very well self-disciplined, or perhaps he genuinely did not consider the pair and their escorts much of a threat. In any case, One Eye was only marginally placated when Stark insisted that Karen first be allowed to finish conducting her interrupted business with Cesi, and when Cesi subsequently promised to 'share with [the Daal] so that they are satisfied'. He left begrudgingly, warning Stark that he would remember humans and the altercation, and was later spied glaring at Lambert.
Cesi is a young, slender female Gozu first encountered by Dr. Leroy on Yanj'aj. Maasu recognized her by name as a 'culture merchant' and said he knew she conducted a great deal of private business buying, selling and handling information. Cesi says she purchases culture (Objects? Data? Art? Music? Literature?) that interests her from people who don't find it interesting, then sells it profitably to those who more closely share her tastes. Cesi claimed to be on Yanj'aj to purchase 'interesting things for study,' and expressed aggravation at not being allowed to trade with merchants in the Daal-only section of the station. She says that 'with much information very many things are lost very often without notice...I think are worth more than they cost.'
It seems that Cesi may trade in the location of shipwrecks, old military supply caches, or other kinds of information leading to retrievable goods, as this seems to be the source of her conflict with the Daal One Eye. Some other unnamed unscrupulous businessperson apparently sold both Cesi and One Eye the same information; One Eye, who had expected to have the information for himself, was therefore upset at Cesi because her purchase of the information decreased its value to him. For her part, Cesi maintains that she had made restitution with One Eye by giving him other information to replace the lost value; she also says that her purposes for the info were different from his and that they wouldn't have conflicted, and that in any case both she and One Eye had both been victimized by the seller from whom they'd each purchased the information. Later, she complains that '[One Eye's group] ask for things I can't give them,' repeats that she wasn't the one who sold them the information, and accuses One Eye of speciesism, saying he blames her for his bad business transaction because the original information seller was apparently also a Gozu. It perhaps relevant to point out here that Cesi is the same person who leveled the charge that the Daal are generally speciesist and xenophobic.
When Stark made her bluff about Dr. Leroy being Icarus's Queen Cesi was quick to play her part, emphasizing to One Eye that she was under the protection of a large and well-armed human warship. Afterward, she offered her services to Karen without much prompting, suggesting that she could be one of the ship's cultural aides. Cesi finds Dr. Leroy and Commander Stark very interesting, she says. I get the impression that, more than anything else, Cesi would prefer to be under Icaru's protection while she is anywhere near One Eye and his crew.
Cesi does not appear to be a particularly reliable historian. While she may have reason to give accurate information about other cultures if the Icarus crew decides to employ her as an advisor, it seems prudent to take what she says about herself with a healthy dose of caution.
In appearance Cesi is more slender than Maasu. She has tangerine eyes and white-tipped crest feathers in hues of violet and carnation; her neck is tattooed with small markings. Cesi wears goggle on her forehead and a long necklace sporting variety of small colored spheres and other shapes; her dress is a loose mulberry robe accompanied by those distinctive and ubiquitous Gozu arm and leg wrappings, which are in black. She carries a satchel at her hip, and she owns a Skreeg.
Yanj'aj Arms Dealer
"*You appear to be unknown. Unknown should have very many weapons! Your fortune is very great for I have very many weapons that will be very satisfying for you!*"
"*You appear to be very interesting. I have very interesting weapons for the very interesting! Is loud weaponry pleasing to you? Is detonation pleasing to you?*"
"*Common weapon? Unknown humans should not use a common weapon! It is better for you to use a weapon unknown to many others so that they will be very surprised when you fight!*"
"*The price may be high but it is a very strong value. This build will cut many things. It is very good for you!*"
"*Of course! Unknown ones can find very pleasing exercise discovering common weapons also! I can sell you common weapons if this is what pleases you but you appeared to be ones who desired the best. If I am incorrect?*"
"*Small ones will survive many places to sleep with the safety of this weapon even if they are close places to sleep. This weapon is very good for you I think. You find the design very pleasing because it is very well designed!*"
"*Because this weapon is very well designed it is very good for others you are very fond of keeping important things with. It is a very simple weapon but has a very good design. Easy to use this weapon for it is for cutting many things such as your enemies or if part of something is keeping you from moving.*"
"*This is a very special weapon that I do not very often have with my other weaponry. I have a business that will desire to purchase this weapon soon but unknown are very interesting. Because you are very interesting I would sell you this weapon!*"
"*Other weaponry I have experienced a delivery mistake. Because you are very interesting I would sell you other weapons at a special exchange if you purchase them now. To supply your large ship with these weapons is a very good decision!*"
"*If you release this weapon then you will be very displeased when it is purchased without you. I will tell you that it is often that you could see this weapon when you sleep. But this is your decision I am pleased to help you in these important purchases!*"
A bartender and possibly an exotic dancer met by Ken Stiles at the Yanj'aj bar we first explored. She wore blacklight-lit neon body paints. She fed the Icarus's senior engineer Gozu drinks, got him hammered in short order, and told him he needed to learn to fly.
A young female Gozu, apparently a secretary or other attendant to Kusazu.