Kaluga.jpgKaluga was a member of the Apex Unit and an antagonist in the Ruby Saga, as well as the narrator of the "Days of Hurt and Comfort" interlude. He was accidentally killed by Ruby Harrison at the beginning of Chapter VII.


Background


Originally named Tyrese, Kaluga was born with a massive benign tumor covering the right side of his face. He grew up ostracized due to his deformity, and there was no medical procedure that could remove the growth without risking his life. When he was abducted by Beagle Labs due to his ideal genetic makeup, he did not resist the enhancement procedures, because he believed in the cause of uniting the world's minds with nanomachines. The enhancements still couldn't remove Kaluga's tumor, but they did enhance his strength and weaponized his left arm. Working alongside Moray, Ratel, and Bateleur (Elise Sasaki-Garcia), Kaluga intervened in political hot spots around the world, assassinating whoever they were contracted to assassinate. Unlike his teammates, Kaluga did not enjoy killing his targets, but did so anyway because he believed in the Doctor's Plan. He formed a romantic attachment to Elise during a mission in South Ossetia, consoling her after she'd viciously killed a dozen men. For the first time, Kaluga met someone who cared for him despite his grotesque appearance, and he didn't even need nanomachines to form that bond. They even slept together before Elise's mission to kill Ruby, even knowing Elise's motives were more out of desperation than desire.

Ruby Nation


The brainwashing of Elise at the hands of Ruby Harrison and her team greatly upset Kaluga, and he refused to use lethal force against her despite Moray's orders. When the Doctor ordered the Apex Unit to offer Ruby one last chance at surrender, Kaluga went to their island home ahead of his teammates, against his orders. He fought against Jiro Sasaki, and managed to win the battle due to Jiro's emotional instability and poor decisions. However, he expressed regret at having to fight a person who showed the same devotion to the woman they loved most.

Kaluga eventually confronted Elise, after knocking Alexis Deveraux unconscious before she could detect him. Elise did not recognize Kaluga, and would have attacked him had he not held Alexis hostage. At the same time, the rest of the Apex Unit attacked San Torre Island, and Elise was worried about the pregnant Ruby's ability to defend herself. Elise eventually convinced Kaluga to let her and Alexis go, so she could help her own friend. Kaluga followed close behind, hoping to protect Ruby. However, the moment Ruby spotted Kaluga was right in the heat of battle, so she was not aware that Kaluga's motives were peaceful. She reflexively blasted him, literally ripping the Apex soldier in half.

Unable to survive the massive trauma, Kaluga died shortly thereafter, but first gave a heartfelt speech to Elise. He told her that even though he wouldn't live to see the new world order, he had no regrets and was happy that Elise would inherit the new utopia of the Apex State. The reality that Kaluga gave his life for, however, is far less to Elise's tastes.

Data

  • Height: 6'2"
  • Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Age: 19
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Red
  • Known Post-Human Abilities: Left arm is a neuromorphic cannon with multiple modes of fire, including laser, magnetic force, and homing missiles. Cybernetic left eye allows enhanced vision modes.


RNWikiKalugaFace.jpg

Trivia

  • Kaluga's name comes from the fish, a rare (and endangered due to overfishing) predatory sturgeon from the Amur river basin that grows up to 18 feet in length. The name is a reference to his deformity, as sturgeons are hardly the most attractive creatures in the animal kingdom.
  • Kaluga's uniform is a ghilie suit similar to those worn for camouflage by many real-world snipers.
  • Kaluga is a deliberate attempt by The Author to create a sympathetic anti-villain, in contrast with the completely irredeemable Pierre Buzarde and Moray.