Name: Tolerance Zero
Casting: Rinko Kikuchi (Yes, she looks a very much like Mukyu Ichijyo.)
Home World: Ka El
Last surviving member of the once powerful science clan Tolérance, Zéro is a ten-year veteran of the Dwimmerlaik Destruction of gossamer world Ka El.
Since age ten, Zéro has survived in a world being overwhelmed by incursion from the Grand Stair. Most of this time has been learning to defend herself and her comrades in arms. Today she is the most experienced remaining Strider, of the once formidable 77th Lightning Recon Regiment. In the present circumstances of her gossamer world, most clans are shattered or extinct; most military and world organizations have merged into the Resistance. Yet there are only three thousand people left in the world. The Resistance controls one torn up city and the autofarms surrounding that home.
Even with the withdrawal of the Dwimmerlaik, her world is dangerous. Children carry handguns and wear toughskin. Technology that helped the world survive, now also manifests a 'wild component' where self-replicating nano technology mutates, and breaks bonds with civilization and looks out for itself.
The arrival of the Dragon Empire may be just the thing Ka El needs to have a future.
Zéro is flexible and acrobatic and tireless in the field. Zéro is an exceptional Strider and capable of insertion and rescue ops against Dwimmerlaik soldiers. She is 1.69 meter tall and 50kg. Her hair has been going blonde for 10 years and is now frosted with white strands. Her eyes have lightened from brown to brown with gold specks as she has aged.
Zéro speaks five living clan languages and three extinct clan languages. She is a top-grade nano crafter/technician.
Out of the field, off-duty time is 'perky time', and Zéro is upbeat and a natural explorer. She loves to discover old data troves, repair gear, drink synthehol, go on romantic dates, and think about designs for a cat companion she'd like to fabricate. The last feline of any kind died seven years ago.
No one knows why the Dwimmerlaik cannot stand cats. Zéro would like to find out, because anything Dwimmerlaik hate is interesting food for thought.
There is a dark side to Zéro's success and notoriety... command and medical staff realize that Zéro performs outside the norms for surviving humans by a factor 50% better on all charts for reaction time, healing, planning, and science aptitudes. This troubles many Ka El decision makers. Zero abilities in the field are offset by a distinct lack of comfort in community. Zero is not good at 'standing down' once the danger is over. All soldiers are treated for Hazard Stress (HS). For political reasons, Zero has access to the highest levels of med therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She is not exactly well or adjusted to the War, but she is tenacious.
Pregame Questions (ramp up to thread start)
Araqiel asked, "You've known the life of a child soldier. How will that life affect you as a parent for your children?"
The doctors ask us to talk and make datalogs about our experiences in the Dwim war. The violence lives on inside you even if you take it out of the dark. But better to look at it. So I have diaries. I write the story down, as if my mother or sisters will someday need to read it. I know they will never see it, but it makes it more personal and less like a chore. The doctors read it all, of course. We talk about it more than enough. I compare the whole narrative to maintenance. If I do my maintenance, and watch for jams or glitches, I should have plenty of good times and normal spec operation and someday children if I get to retire.
And I can imagine when those someday kids will ask about the Dwim war, and I may let them read the diaries. Maybe not.
My family and clan is gone. Mother and sisters gone. It is hard to think of being a parent now. A single person is not a clan, let alone a family. But I hope I someday retire and have a family. I hope I learn to be good at it.
It is a worthy question. I try to remember everything my parents did for me, good and bad. It goes into a special diary for later. I hope the special diary leads to wisdom.
Sol asked, "what does Tolérance Zéro's name mean to her, and what does it mean to you?"
The stories of clan Tolérance, begin with invention and great distribution of knowledge. Science was a Path of the clan from oldest times. Yet, always the spark of genius must be tempered with Tolérance for other ways and other wisdoms, and that became the clan's signature, Science with Tolerance.
Zéro's birth name was Chiyo, which means 'eternal'. However, her early pronunciation was hilarious to her older sisters, and everyone called her Zero by age three.
There is also a Tolérance science legend that an ancestor had invented the mathematical pragmatism of the concept of zero, early in the legend times of Ka El history. So the very unofficial 'casual name' became as popular as it was charming for the little girl. It was a name that recalled only happy things.
When the Dwim War began, Zero was still young. But once her immediate family were killed, she trained to be part of the Tolérance Science Reaction Force. The SRF did field installs and repair of equipment for Combat Force Units. Later still, when the clan's resources were all but gone, she applied and was accepted by Clan Lektor, who were allies of Tolérance, and one of the first clans to restore martial concepts from their own guardian legends, and actually train soldiers to resist the Dwimmerlaik. At ten, she could not participate in Combat Force Units, but she was among those assigned to Scout and Rescue Units.
During her first few years in the Clan Lektor, she learned of ancient Lektor teachings, one in particular fascinated: a total commitment to the downfall of any enemy that did not understand your dignity and culture. If an enemy refused to understand you, there was no ground for negotiation, surrender, or tolerance. She found a comfort and focus in the idea that her 'casual name' seemed a flag of defiance from an age when combat and soldiers understood their roles in a large context.
While it was a harsh thing, that the youth of Ka El were becoming soldiers where war had not been known in their world for thousands of years, Zero was a willing symbol of the need to give everything you had to the defense of Ka El. The original meaning of her own clan had become reversed in her eyes. For the Dwimmerlaik, she was their nemesis: Tolerance Zero. The world could not afford tolerance for Dwims.
By age fifteen, Zero was in a Combat Force Unit, the 77th Lightning Recon Regiment. She was also in Lektor media as a symbol of success and winning the war. While the truth of that was very selective, Zero understood that it was a matter of hope. She accepted the public face.
By age twenty, Zero was pretty sure no one was going to survive the war, but she was also irrevocably associated with the best resistance fighters in the world. And while she could no longer say her heart was in the idea of 'Zero Tolerance for Dwimmerlaik' incursions.... she never turned her back on what she had done so far to keep people safe.
Currently, she prefers to tell the original story: the little girl who could not pronounce Chiyo.
Kris asked, "What's romantic to Zéro?"
staying up all night drinking fizzy cider
walks in the skinny moonlight
chocolate wafer cookies around a campfire
carving secrets in the beach sand while the tide is low
Links to key threads and/or fiction