Aniketos Karahalios
Aniketos

Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe as Aniketos Karahalios

Name: Aniketos Karahalios
Callsign: N/A
AKA: Anik
Age: 28
Branch: Military
Faction: Navy
Organization: N/A
Department: Air Wing
Position: Nugget
Rank: Recruit
Ship: Carina
Homeworld: Aerelon
Actor: Willem Dafoe

The Basics

Description

This gangly man bears an ill-favored look, disfigured yet fascinating in a morbid sort of way. His mouth is permanently twisted in a gruesome approximation of a smile, locked in a rictus of eternal mirth and accentuated by his cleft lower lip. His eyes are large and watery, their pale sclera rimmed with yellow and flecked with blood; his scalp is pockmarked and threadbare, covered only by a few tufts of scraggly brown hair.

He carries himself with a halting gait that seems too much a parody of a normal man’s to be his by choice. Shoulders slouched, fists clenched, and eyes downcast, he staggers and shuffles around like some unsteady top — yet closer observation reveals a method to his madness, for he looks far too light-footed to be some mere cripple. Indeed, there is a strange fluidity to his awkward movements that’s not too far removed from catlike grace.

Skills

  • Freighter Piloting
  • Jury-Rigging
  • Bad Singing
  • Farming and Brewing
  • Navel-Gazing

Music

Logs

  • Hearts and Minds, 104 ACH: In which a Genesis recruiting poster and a passing priest bring a small measure of peace to a survivor.
  • A Modern Military Man, 106 ACH: In which the CAG refrains from biting off a nugget's head.

History, BCH

I

It is usually wise to ignore the ramblings of Aerelonian midwifes, who’ve invented a hundred ways of cursing the vagaries of Nature, but in the case of unfortunate, blessed Aniketos, those old windbags were right. For in this man's disfigured flesh have been bound two gifts beyond compare: a resonant voice that calls to mind the stentorian heralds of old, and with it an affinity for music that lends his songs a purity of soul even some masters have not found.

It was not by choice that he was conceived, product as he was of the unwilling union between a farmer and his brother’s wife; it was not by choice that he was born, mutilated as he was by folk contraceptives that left him fragile and unsightly. And it was not by choice that he survived, either, but chance: for had his mewling and crying not stirred the heart of his reluctant mother, no doctor would have seen the sickly young thing at all. But to the hospital she went to have her son nursed back to health, and his release within a fortnight gave him the name he bears: “unconquerable,” or so is said by those who know the Old Language well.

The moment he could walk, Aniketos was put to work. His father owned a minor brewery on the outskirts of town, and it was no coincidence that the first words the boy learned were those for “barley” and “wheat.” At first, he would spend time in the fields, gathering hops from the twisted vines in and around his home; later, he was granted permission to enter the brewery itself, where his affinity for machines quickly became evident. Indeed, at the ripe young age of fifteen, Aniketos showed himself the equal of an apprentice electrician, and he soon was tasked with fixing the daily malfunctions that plagued the refrigerators in the plant.

Of course, this is not to say that his childhood was unhappy. Whether motivated by guilt or love, the elder Karahalios was a responsible parent, and he devoted all of his spare time to raising his accidental son. From his father, Aniketos learned the folk-songs of his people, the rules of backgammon, the legends of the gods — and even today, the aroma of good dark beer summons up memories of those carefree, idyllic days.

II

But Aniketos’ aspirations had always extended beyond the confines of his father’s modest holdings. Left alone by his better-formed classmates, the boy had more than enough time on his hands to dream, and it didn’t take long before his idle fantasies took root in the fertile imagination he possessed. His voice had already won him a small following among the customers at the family bar, where from the age of ten he’d performed every moonrise to the clinking of goblets and the crackling of the hearth. Soon, he discovered a market beyond his home, as people who bought the first of his recordings out of pity found themselves coming back for more. In eight years, he’d saved enough to attend a small conservatory on Virgon, which upon his application offered to fund the remainder of his education with grants. And so it happened that this farmer’s boy from Aerelon found himself on a dingy shuttle out of town, among the stars at last.

Whatever illusions he held were very quickly dispelled. Few of his peers had the inclination to meet the quiet, disfigured fellow whose only suit smelled of mothballs and dirt, consumed as they were by revulsion and contempt. And what passed for good music in the cozy confines of his home was little more than a curiosity to his professors, who professed fascination with his talent but really cared only about the provincial songs he knew. No record companies arrived to sign him to deals; no agents, either, to promote his interests. Upon graduation from Terpsichore Academy, Aniketos found himself in possession of a diploma and little else — except, perhaps, a bit more bitterness in his watery, yellowed eyes.

With grim determination, the young singer consigned himself to a shiftless life, hitchhiking on any ship that would take him while traveling from gig to minor gig. He paid for his passage by offering his services as a handyman of sorts, and most merchants were too softhearted to refuse once they heard him give his pitch. While his first few repair jobs ended rather badly, it didn’t take long before he learned his way around the innards of the typical civilian freighter. Word of the itinerant minstrel spread slowly but surely along the arteries of galactic trade: though few of his more worldly patrons actually enjoyed his music, they certainly didn’t mind having an extra hand on board to deal with any unexpected emergencies, and Aniketos’ work was of surprisingly high quality for a self-taught spacer. Within three years, he obtained an offer to become a crewman aboard the container transport Polaris — and when he signed the contract that would mark him a member of the merchant marine, he bid final farewell to his dreams of making music.

III

Aboard Polaris, the erstwhile singer obtained his first true taste of companionship, men and women who by necessity were forced to make small talk with the newest addition to their ship. They found in Aniketos an unstintingly loyal crewmate, possessed of surprising wit and a musical tongue. For his part, the man from Aerelon sought neither pity nor platitudes but merely a friendly voice to converse with at the mess. Gradually, a relationship born of need became one based on trust — and with one woman in particular, something more. Lirra of Caprica joined the Karahalios clan in autumn of Aniketos’ twenty-sixth year — and when in a year their first child was born, her father rejoiced in the knowledge that little Hypatia would not share the same deformities as he. The captain of Polaris retired soon after, and it was without reservation that her crew elected Aniketos to serve as the ship’s first mate. The market for luxury goods was booming; profits were rolling in; prosperity seemed at last within reach —

Then, without warning, the Cylon War began.

A Raptor from Genesis found Polaris' escape pod a day after the slaughter, broadcasting a feeble Colonial signal from an improvised wireless system jury-rigged on the fly. And in that pod the soldiers found none other than the last surviving Karahalios, starved, dehydrated, covered in blood, calling out “Krypter” with the last remnants of his voice. The disfigured man didn’t say much when they brought him aboard for treatment and processing, and he said even less when they discharged him into the civilian fleet at large.

One can only imagine the songs in this failed musician’s head as he faces the prospect of life in Genesis’ collection of ships and ragtag hangers-on: unconquered, for better or for worse, to the last.

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