Nicolae Ion Zarate

From Brass Goggles

Name: Nicolae Ion (pronounced ee-yahn) Zarate
Age: 20
Nationality: Spanish
Physical appearance: Scrawny, tan, and toned are three words that could easily define Nico’s physical exterior. However, were you to ask his closest acquaintances for the most memorable of his physical traits, you’d likely receive an answer along the lines of, “Average, for the most part I guess— oh, and he always has a grease smudge somewhere.” Evidence of Nicolae’s passion and profession are never hard to seek out on his person. The only one of the seven children of the Zarate family to really develop their father’s mechanical talent, Nico went even farther— surpassing his father’s skill by the time he was twelve. The young man is a mechanical genius, even though his twin sister Nadya can barely rig a decent pulley system. Could. Could barely rig a decent pulley system.

As for colouring, his pigment is a very deep shade of caramel from long hard days working in the Texas sun, and his dark brown, nearly black, hair is cropped short and close to his skull. His features are sharp and pronounced, not unlike his sister’s once were, with high cheekbones and deep set green laughing eyes. His nose has a characteristic family bump as well, and his lips are nearly always curled into an impish smile. As for clothing, it’s pants or overalls for this grease monkey. In fact, he wears very little when working beyond some sort of bottoms, heavy work boots, gloves with wrist guards but no fingers, and his favorite pair of goggles. Ah, and a buttoned shirt to throw on when in the presence of ladies. It’s something about liking to be physically close to his work, or so he says.

Profession: Mechanic, pilot

Biography: It was a lazy summer day when Nicolae Ion and his twin sister Nadya Catrina were birthed into the world. Lazy for some, but not for gypsies. The group had been preparing for a festival when Joshua Zarate— who had adopted his wife’s maiden name upon their union— came rushing to the main tent to call for a midwife, as his Maria had gone into labor. Several hours later the pair was born while their five-year-old brother Emilian Luca toddled about, being tended by the two older siblings, Justice Ralia and Marcos Samuel.

They would be joined by two more siblings, David Francis and Mae Primavera, during the ten years before that fateful day. Nico remembers very little of what occurred the night the religious cult raided their caravan. Mostly fire, flames licking at his feet while his father threw him and Emilian out in to the night, tossing his toolbag after them and whispering to run— run and not look back. Yes, the crisp hot fire at their backs, a blur of incohesive images, and the screaming. Nadya had been in a friend’s caravan, near the front of the train. There was no way she could have survived the ambush. He never saw her again.

His brother traveled with him first back to Spain, and then to the United States of America, where the worked odd jobs for three years before Emilian was eighteen and found them a ride west. They found work in Texas as mechanics, and it was there that Nicolae’s true talents were revealed. His boss, an older fellow by the name of Hernandez, suggested he go work for the nearby air force base, repairing the more advanced machinery of their zeppelins and flying machines— not wasting his talent on mere cars. Emilian would not let him work there alone though, and after a year of service in ol’ Hernandez’s auto shop, fourteen-year-old Nico stole off to the base and made a deal— if he could prove that his work would be invaluable to the service, both he and his brother would be hired on as mechanics. He did not fail.

They were put under the care of one Commodore Dreyfuss, and staunch, firm man, but an incredible mentor. Nico became increasingly fond of the man over the years, and though Em did not grow quite as attached, he learned a great deal from “El Comodoro.” The pair of brothers lived on the base for six years, before the ailing Commodore requested for them to accompany him to London on a ‘trip for the air force.’ It was there that Nico suddenly paused in the middle of the road, nearly being run over were it not for Em’s quite thinking. Yes, it was there though, that he paused, because of a sudden and overwhelming sense of connection that he hadn’t felt in ten years. Nadya.


  • Traveling with Emilian Luca Zarate and their universe's Jaisen Dreyfuss to London, where he will reunite with his presumed-dead twin sister
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