VAAN’HADAAL NAR HAEGROA P P E A R A N C E
33 ⟁ MALE ⟁ QUARIAN ⟁ ENGINEER
Like all quarians, Vaan’Hadaal’s true appearance is cloaked in an enviro-suit, and he removes it so infrequently that even he is not completely sure what he looks like, but like most, he decorates himself with intricately-woven cloths; he prefers red and brown hues, but he has been known to sport a fashionable yellow every now and then. He stands at 5’5”, an inch or so above average height for members of his race, and weighs in at 112 pounds, slight for a human of his size, but standard for a quarian civilian.H I S T O R Y
Vaan keeps his visor set to semi-opaque, as is the standard manner of the Migrant Fleet; only his eyes, reflecting the light from the omni-tool functions in his helmet, are visible most of the time, and he prefers to keep it that way.
On the increasingly rare occasions he would elect to remove his suit, Vaan’Hadaal would generally be considered attractive, though not especially so, with angular features and clear, periwinkle coloured skin. His hair —black, like any quarian— is cropped short, at least it was when he last removed his enviro-suit, as longer locks cause him discomfort in the suit’s snug confines. Across his face and body are streaks of azure blue, most notably running from below his eyes to just above his ear (or the closest thing quarians have to an ear).
Vaan has not seen his own face for some time, having been away from the flotilla for nigh on three years, so there are likely a few more lines and creases on his face than his last recollection, but he does not deem it necessary to check.
Born in 2124CE aboard the Haegro, the fourth, and smallest of the four Liveships in the Migrant Fleet, (since partially dismantled to enable repairs on the Chayym, and repurposed as a freighter) the early part of Vaan’Hadaal’s life was the standard fare for most quarian youth. Although he was named for the Haegro, his father was stationed on the Yobra, a Special Projects Vessel on the outskirts of the flotilla, and his work kept him away from his family most of the time. As such, Vaan developed a much closer relationship with his mother, with whom for the first ten years of his life, he was kept in a clean room —a sterilised environment— to minimise the possibility of any infection or disease overwhelming the young boy. In these years, his mother told him wondrous stories of the flotilla, and recounted his father’s deeds to him. Vaan’s father was part of a research team dedicated to the research and development of hyper-enriched element zero, for which there were multitude purposes, though the primary one seemed to be extended and augmented FTL travel; a means to move the Migrant Fleet further and faster than ever before. These stories stuck with Vaan’Hadaal, and they are probably what drove him to become a Propulsion Engineer later in his life.P E R S O N A L I T Y
When he was ten years old, he was fitted with his first enviro-suit, and finally, along with his mother, was able to explore the sprawling beauty that was the Migrant Fleet, and finally met his father, who though loving, was distant, constantly aboard the Yibro, working his days away. The young Vaan’Hadaal followed in his father’s footsteps, and routinely had to be punished for stealing himself into the Haegro’s engine bay to tinker and observe. The engine technicians paid him no mind; it was the Marines that objected to his clandestine activities.
In one fateful incident, Vaan’s tinkering left the drive core operating at less than half its optimum efficiency, and the Haegro was stranded a hundred miles back from the remaining Migrant Fleet. It was only its status as a Liveship, and his father’s insistence, that forced the flotilla to send rescue crew back for it. His father did not lay a hand on him in punishment; lest he risk damaging Vaan’s enviro-suit and condemning the boy to a slow death. Instead, he was sent from the Migrant Fleet early —one of the youngest ever— to depart for his Pilgrimage. He was shuttled down to nearby Ontarom, at the time a relatively newly founded human colony. The young quarian found it difficult at first; the planet’s atmosphere was almost unbearable warm compared to the sleek, sterile confines of the Migrant Fleet; and the Alliance colonists were wary of the boy at first. Eventually, after enough goading and annoyance, the Alliance team allowed the fifteen year old to join them, begrudgingly. He was given menial work, loading and unloading, and ferrying cargo by shuttle from the landing zones to the construction sites. The toil was almost too much; the boy’s slight frame and weak immune system made the manual labour increasingly taxing; when he passed out at the control of a shuttle, and crashed it into a sand bank, the Commander of the station, Alliance Lieutenant Herschel Gibbs made the decision to re-assign him. The Lieutenant couldn’t very well send him away from Ontarom, as the heartless Migrant Fleet had done, so he set him to work in an area that quarians are better suited to: the heart of the research team. Ontarom was to be the sight of a communications hub, but the tidal disruptions from the planet’s dying moon, as well as the frequent electrical storms made the task difficult. Vaan’Hadaal was part of the team that pioneered the use of the cutting-edge “dish field”, which allowed crucial communications from the planet without the interference of magnetic fields. Vaan left Ontarom before the installation, however. He asked GIbbs for the dataclip containing the research data, but the Lieutenant refused; Alliance tech wasn’t for just anyones eyes, though he did manage to smuggle dataclips of incomplete data off-world. However, for his service, Gibbs allowed him to take a shuttle up to the SSV Alamo, a frigate returning to the Citadel.
Vaan’Hadaal found the Citadel too noisy. The Migrant Fleet was home to seventeen million quarians, more than the population on the Citadel, but there were so many people, bunched so closely together; it made him thankful for the relative privacy of his enviro-suit. Still, the cradle of modern galactic civilisation was the perfect place to find what he needed to complete his pilgrimage. His first idea was to study the Keepers; the sentient caretakers of the superstructure, but he found them too sophisticated to truly understand, and he ran afoul of C-Sec during his investigations. He made a series of investigations into the complex VI that served the Presidium, but this time he found no such level of sophistication; quarians had a complex network of VIs running throughout their enviro-suits, some of them significant upgrades to the Citadel’s VIs. It was a struggle to find anything he could really get his teeth into: Citadel technology was either so widespread across Alliance Space, or so closely guarded that N7 and the Council would never give a simple, teenage quarian access to them. He loathed the rigid hierarchy of the Citadel. Of course, the Migrant Fleet had a hierarchy, but it was a meritocracy; captaincy was given to the most senior and the most able quarian on board their respective ship. Everywhere he looked on the Citadel he found inept officials, passing off their duties to their subordinates and hiding themselves behind dizzying walls of bureaucracy. If the Citadel could not fulfil his Pilgrimage then there had to be another station somewhere in the Galaxy that would. Somewhere where there was not so much red tape.
After consulting with every departing vessel, and attempting to convince every captain in the spaceport to ferry him to another port (for no credits, even) he stowed away on a volus merchant frigate bound for the Terminus Systems. If he was caught, he was sure the volus would have no qualms either deserting him on the nearest uninhabitable rock, or ejecting him out into the void of space. He had to keep his wits about him. For a week, he hid in the cargo holds, subsisting on the last of his dextrose paste canisters, and sleeping with one eye open. Eventually, he disembarked on Omega.
Omega was everything the Citadel wasn’t. It was free of the stringent regulation of the Presidium and the clean, whitewashed walls of the Wards. Vaan’Hadaal knew that he would never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy anywhere in the Galaxy, but it was ideal for him.
He was a curiosity on Omega; though Vorcha and Batarians were commonplace, a well-dressed quarian was severely out of place, and though he caught some unwanted attention, he was able to find his way into some unsavoury circles. He ran with the Talons for a time, working for them as something of an engineer; repairing mechs, upgrading omni-tools and the like. It was small-time work for him: even as a youngster he had been conscripted into work details aboard the Migrant Fleet, and the level of technology on the flotilla far surpassed what these cutthroats were using. Still, it gave him an opportunity to get his hands on some of the most cutting-edge tech that could be smuggled out of Alliance Space.
Eventually, he managed to get his hands on something interesting: the Talons had got their hands on Tactical Cloaks, straight from the N7 armoury. They were an interesting piece of equipment, but seeing them in use, Vaan’Hadaal noticed the fatal flaw: the wearers were still visible, at least to anything except the naked eye. Heat signatures and individual magnetic fields could still be identified by non-organic targeting systems. With a few minor alterations, including the addition of a secreted lithium heatsink to minimise the recognisable thermal signature, and a miniaturised version of the dish-field technology that he had worked on while on Ontarom, he was able to rework the simple Tactical Cloak into a fully-realised Invisibility Field. The Migrant Fleet could not possibly turn their nose up at such a breakthrough. While battery life was a concern, as well as the fact that it still could not mask sounds or smells, Vaan was certain it would make for an excellent “gift”. The Talons got wind of his work though, and were not so keen to part with the technology for nothing. Though Vaan was able to buy passage on an Elcor cargo freighter, the Talons caught up to him sooner or later.
It was a brutal punishment. He was stripped of his enviro-suit, and left in a cold, makeshift cell aboard their ship; his withered immune system could not handle conditions on the vessel, and he was soon on the verge of death. It was only when a mutiny happened aboard the ship that he was given a chance of reprieve. The leader of the mutineers, a Turian named Canis demanded his dataclip containing all his work in exchange for his life. Vaan’Hadaal had no choice but to accept, and he was stuffed back into his enviro-suit and sold to an Asari diplomat on Illium.
His time on Illium was unremarkable, outside of the fact that he was in indentured service. The diplomat was good to him, giving him plush quarters and feeding him well, but for the first time in his life, he longed for the Migrant Fleet. He knew he would have to get himself out of the system, as the flotilla did not pass through the Tasale system, or even that close to the Crescent Nebula.
His duties contained little more than the average: cooking, cleaning, delivering letters etc. so in his free time he was free to move around the station, within limits. He used most of his time trying to rewrite the huge bank of data that had been taken from him by Canis. Other than that, he scoured what corners of Nos Astra were available to him, trying to secure passage off the planet. He would either have to buy his freedom (but with what credits?) or flee his master and risked being chased to another star system as he had before.
Eventually, he chose the second option, taking up a position as an engine tech with a Human trader ship, the Acheron, bound for the Attican. They left in the dead of night. The fear of being captured again kept Vaan’Hadaal bound to the engine bay, where he spent his time doing whatever he could to try and keep his mind busy, tinkering with the engine and writing whatever he could remember from his dataclip.
Finally, with the meagre pay he received from his work on the Acheron, he chartered a shuttle back to the Migrant Fleet when the crew docked at Jarrahe Station to refuel. The fleet happened to be passing the system, so he took his chance when he could. The old shuttle was banged up, and could barely fly. It was in pieces by the time he reached the flotilla.
It wasn’t the hero’s welcome he was expecting. In fact, no one seemed too concerned that he had returned at all, save his mother, who welcomed him back with open arms. He had been away on Pilgrimage for nearly eight years, a long time compared to some, and most had forgotten that he existed. His father, as he had always been, was working away on a Special Projects vessel, though he had become weak and infirm, likely due to prolonged exposure to Element Zero.
The Admiralty Board accepted his gift, the unfinished datachip, though it was not as lauded as he had hoped. For the two more years he spent on the Migrant Fleet, it was never mentioned or researched, and he was unable to continue work on it, so it lay dormant with some Special Projects team somewhere on the flotilla.
The Migrant Fleet was not how he remembered. Gone was the wonder and awe that he once had when he shuttled between frigates. It reminded him too much of the Citadel; there was too much order, too much hierarchy. He couldn’t wait to leave again. When the Fleet was passing through the Exodus Cluster, he was ferried down to Eden Prime, to take up work again.
Through the next few years, he hopped from ship to ship, working as an engine tech, munitions officer, or general mechanic. Most of the ships had similar technology to the Migrant Fleet, so he was well suited to it.
This was his life for the next ten years. The ships would dock at the Citadel, Eden Prime, Terra Nova, and every other human colony in Council Space. He would avoid voyages too deep into the Attican Traverse, or anywhere near the Terminus Systems —he could not risk being found by the Talons, or forces from Illium— until 2183CE, while on Eden Prime. Two ships ship docked at the station within a day of each other. The first, a sleek, asari built construct, the Calanth. It was from Illium. The second, a hardy, Human vessel, the Amtar stocking up before making its way out to Omega. By chance they were looking for a new Engineer.
He had a choice. Stay on Eden Prime, and risk the crew of the Calanth learning his history and dragging him back there, or take the job on the Amtar and hope he didn't run into any Talons.
The choice was easy.
Some might call Vaan’Hadaal agelastic. Others might just call him stiff. There is little that will make Vaan laugh. Perhaps it’s from the trauma of his life, or perhaps that’s just the way quarians are.A B I L I T I E S
He is not quick to reveal details about himself or his life, but he is not hiding them either. If people wish to know something about him, they need only but ask. Perhaps his outward demeanour is what turns people off pressing him about his past.
Vaan is likely to consider you a friend long before you do the same. He enjoys the company and conversation of his crewmates, but the lack of laughter might be what makes others think that Vaan doesn’t think so highly of them, when often the opposite is true.
Vaan has been treated poorly by so many people throughout his life that he is not one to give trust easily, as it so often leads to betrayal. The one exception to this, generally, is humans. Humans have been good to him, whether it was Lieutenant Gibbs on Ontarom, the men and women of the Citadel, or the crewmen who ferried him from Illium. When he is surrounded by humanity, he is most at ease.
He is unlikely to spend his free time relaxing. Like most quarians, he has an innate curiosity that tempers his every move. He is most likely to be found in the engine bay, either taking readings or observing the drive core at work. Other than that, he still has a desire to re-complete his works on cloaking technology, though compiling research for a third time would be a galling task, one that he is not so keen to undertake, though he will occasionally take time to try and recount some of the more complex ideas that his research discovered.
E Q U I P M E N T
- Engineering Knowledge and Improvisation
S T R E N G T H S & W E A K N E S S E S
- Modified Omni-tool
- H-K Kessler Pistol
G O A L S & R E G R E T S
- Vaan is something of a technological factotum. In his past, Vaan worked on so many varying technologies, that nowadays, he can put his hands to work on almost anything. If you have a problem with something, bring it to Vaan, and he can probably fix it, to a degree, at least.
- He has a high motor, something that makes him a valuable crew member. He can focus on a task for a long time without having to rest, and he rarely sleeps. While this can raise its own difficulties, he is usually appreciated by the higher ranking crew on ships for his work ethic.
- Charisma is not something Vaan could be accused of having. He has a hard time getting people to grow close to him, or even trust him. His quiet, stoic nature makes him a difficult crewmate sometimes, often leading people to frustration.
- Vaan has little awareness of risk or jeopardy. He has put himself in harm’s way so many times in his life, simply by not comprehending the potential danger, or discounting it too quickly. It makes him an effective researcher, but not much else.
- In the short term, Vaan is searching for a project to really sink his teeth into. None of the work he has ever undertaken has been a real passion project. Ultimately though, he is looking for his real place in the Universe. He felt out of place amongst his own people on the Migrant Fleet, he disliked the coldness of the Citadel, and he was not suited to the criminal lifestyle on Omega. Hopping from ship to ship in the Exodus Cluster was the closest he ever came to true happiness, but even then there was no long term security. For the most part, the Caelestis is a means to an end for him.
- Vaan regrets not having stood up for himself. He has let himself be taken advantage of so many times, placing technological discovery at a higher priority than personal safety. It made life so more difficult than it should have been, and robbed him of so much of his life’s work.