A Somnancy defector who has been through thick and thin to find his happiness.
Anthem plays her ballads in mysterious ways, never would I have thought my life would become so intertwined with a human. Yet, here we are. I do not regret a single moment.
A Shaky Beginning
Forced to BelieveNiko Maxim was born on a Somnolent core world, to parents who cared little for him. They would berate him to sleep instead of telling him stories, they would force him into military school rather than listen to his creative interests. To Niko's Parents, their son was destined to be an Angel and no other career was acceptable. The only parental guidance and care he received was from the Family's Aen caretaker. Many a night the Aen would tell young Niko stories of Jhoutai, the possibility of life outside the Somnancy and the military. Powerless to escape his fate, he was conscripted into the Somnancy the week he came of age.
Run Through the JungleNiko, despite his rebellion against his service, found himself accelerating in the combat engineer path. With his gifted knowledge, he took on the squad role of maintaining equipment and hacking enemy technology. Niko was at least content with his position until he was sent on his first deployment to a contested planet in a nearby system. The opponent was Hedonite Guerrillas, who set up horrid Orga-based traps meant to instill fear in their opponents. For the already demotivated Niko, it was an effective measure. Under the cover of a skirmish, Niko deserted his unit and his Banner by hijacking a Hedon single-man ship. He headed for the nearest Syndicate planet, looking to start his new life.
He told me of his childhood. To have your desires for purpose forced, I can't imagine. I believe that Niko had his own spiritual version of Akjhe, and he did not let it go untended.
Friendship in the VacuumWhen Niko arrived in The Jupiter Syndicate space. He was hard pressed to find a job, with no previous experience he could list and no corporate sponsorship, he was forced to become a Wayship Janitor. He was set to serve upon a mining vessel called the Mole(vehicle). It was on the Mole that he met Kona Helmshigh, a social Parisan from a powerful family. He too was a Janitor, seeking the experience for his Pilgramage. They quickly became friends, chatting of Kona's home and family into the wee hours of their shifts.
Horror BindsA twist of fate would put their new found friendship to the test. The House of Sorrows sabotaged the ships operations. They infested the Mole with Selschaeus. Soon the infection has spread to the crew, creating mutated monsters and horrible apparitions of insanity. Kona and Niko were forced to endure the horrors together, thrust into the oily black conditions of corrupted meta. Kona prepared to sacrifice himself to defend Niko, fighting the Selschaeus horrors until one infected the Parisan's leg. It was only Niko's swift thinking and gifted mind that saved Kona's life. Over-pressurizing an airlock door and using his projects as decoys, he amputated Kona's leg and dragged him to the last escape pod.
The Mole. Both the worst and best time of my life. It's where I met him. It's where I fought for and with him. It's where he saved my life and I saved his. So much gore and insanity... There was no parting us after that.
Friendship Turns to RomanceAfter surviving the Mole, Niko and Kona ventured together for the rest of Kona's Pilgrimage. Their friendship grew ever stronger over the two years they ventured alone until blossomed into romance. Kona, unable to take his human lover home to his family, decided to extend his adventures abroad. In order to stay afloat together, they needed a steady income. That was when fate introduced Niko to Riss during an engineers job conference. Riss was in the bathroom, hacking the conference's security in a revenge plot. Niko, intrigued by the Verin, helped out. Riss, being impressed and thankful, hired them on as his security detail afforded to him by The Jupiter Syndicate.
A Cultural Struggle
No matter what happens, I will place Niko before all else. He was stifled by his family, forced to struggle and toil. I will not let either of us be stifled by my family, he doesn't deserve that.
Hey, I'm going to see what I can do with that leg okay? It's probably been a while since it's been tuned. It's probably on it's last legs.
Riss, do or don't, no thinking.
We either fix a cracked Meissner Engine, could take a few minutes and risks us being hit by another crashing ship, or trust your skills as a pilot...
And you're a damn good pilot.
Niko's good, not as good as me of course, but keeps me grounded.
Sure as shit couldn't talk shop with Kona, unless I want to see a Parisan drool.
He's my other half, everything we do, we do it together.