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Scipio "Zero" Armax

Scipio was born on Palaven to the wealthy and powerful Armax family, makers of the finest turian weapons and armor. Unlike most turians, and in fact unique among his siblings, Scipio was spoiled, self-indulgent and a general underachiever. He possessed a keen and creative mind, however, and excelled both artistically and financially. His mother, the legendary armorer Cerneria Armax, despaired of her first-born Scipio ever amounting to anything, but managed to force him to earn his keep by working with Armax Arsenal's largely volus accountants. Scipio worked just hard enough to avoid being disowned, enjoying his status among aliens as "turian nobility." One saving grace of this feckless childhood was a xenophilia unusual among his people, and it was hoped that Scipio would eventually become something of an ambassador for the Hierarchy.

Fate had other plans. Scipio developed biotics shortly before he reached the age of majority. He was ecstatic, for he had always been fascinated by biotic abilities (and his first love had been an asari, with whom he'd always felt inadequate due to his lack). It was a bridge too far for most of his people. Not only are biotics considered untrustworthy by the average turian, that Scipio the slacker should attain them seemed a cosmic joke. His family name was no longer enough to offset the disgust most of his people had for him, and the heir to Armax found himself an outcast. Though his first reaction was to reject his people in kind there was a whole galaxy to be claimed, after all he came home to say goodbye, only to find his mother crying. He had never seen Cerneria Armax cry; to the best of his knowledge, no one had. Crushed by the sight, he swore to change his ways.

When Scipio applied to join a Cabal, the general response was derisive laughter. His drill instructor nicknamed him "Zero," because "that's what'll be left when I'm done with you." The nickname stuck, which would prove helpful later in life, as many non-turians have trouble pronouncing his name. Instead of breaking or quitting, however, Scipio excelled. He likes to say he "found his inner turian" during Cabal training. Armax was disappointed that he could never master the rarest of Adept powers like Singularity, but he excelled as a Vanguard (or Hastatus, in the turian language Scipio speaks). His wit and creativity found new expression on the battlefield and in special operations.

He came to the attention of the Council after a particularly sensitive operation against batarian terrorist-slavers. They were targeting humans almost exclusively, and made the mistake of thinking the Hierarchy wouldn't pay much attention to them passing through turian space. Scipio led the team that brought the batarians to justice, taking almost half the batarians alive and losing only one of the human captives in the process. It was a great coup in human-turian relations, and "Zero" was believed to be anything but by the rising stars of Council Space.

Tela Vasir, an asari Vanguard, recommended recruiting the former socialite. It was her hope that they might end up with a Spectre who would actually be underestimated at first due to his prior indiscretions. She found herself surprised to become good friends with the eager turian, who was still driven to prove himself. After they broke up a "machine god" cult run by an insane salarian genius who'd stolen and reverse-engineered husk technology, Scipio Armax was made a Spectre himself. It was the proudest day of his life, not the least reason being that his mother said it was the proudest day of hers.

As of 2183, with the loss of his best friend Nihlus and the treachery of bitter rival Saren, Scipio Armax is easily the most famous turian Spectre alive. He realizes, however, that this is partly due to his name recognition and redemption story, and that there are turian Spectres with greater knowledge or experience in various fields. While Vasir's hopes bore fruit at first, "Spectre Zero" is now a household name throughout Council Space. No one with the brains to run a remotely-successful criminal operation in the known galaxy underestimates him any longer. Having proven himself at last, now Zero's primary ambition is to expand the Spectres. He wishes to pass along what he's learned, and hopes to recruit members from a variety of species, particularly humans. Now that they have a seat on the Council, Scipio hopes that the political barriers to human membership will disintegrate.

While popular throughout Council Space, Scipio remains controversial among his own people. He is an extremely strong proponent of reaching out to humanity, arguing for reparations on the talk show circuit and urging greater cooperation between the two species. Zero put considerable weight behind the SR-1 project, and believes his efforts may have helped in some small way to save the galaxy. More problematic is his conviction that Shepard's warnings of the Reapers are accurate. Scipio sees disturbing and undeniable parallels between the geth use of husks in the run-up to the Battle of the Citadel and his seminal machine god cult incident. In spite of these controversies, his disarming and respectful manner have won him respect even among those who disagree with him.

Easily his greatest enemies are among the batarians. The feared Special Intervention Unit in particular sees him as a "human sympathizer," an enemy of the Hegemony, and a traitor to his own kind. Armax, for his part, considers the Hegemony a monstrous atavism that uses propaganda, secret police and slavery to control its people, and hopes that one day the batarians overthrow their oppressive government. While he will not intervene of his own initiative, Zero has made it clear to the Council that he is ready and willing to take on any mission they want accomplished toward that goal. Thus far, the Council has commended his loyalty and zeal and politely informed him that such actions are not yet necessary.

Zero is tall and muscular for a turian, towering over most non-turians and seeming almost as well-built as an average athletic human. Other turians sometimes wonder how anyone so large can be so fast, but members of other species are not fooled, as the differences in morphology don't throw them off. He's also considered quite handsome by turian standards, with a particularly pronounced fringe, a smooth dark-gray exoskeleton, and expressive cheek-flanges. This attractiveness doesn't translate well outside turian culture, with a few asari and quarian exceptions. As a native of Palaven, his face paint is identical to Garrus Vakarian's, though he uses a slightly brighter blue to ensure the markings don't vanish into his "skin tone." Though he wears a custom suit of Armax Arsenal armor, he uses Spectre Gear weaponry, a Savant bio-amp and an Ariake omni-tool. Zero is also unusual among modern warriors in his use of a bladed weapon, the classic turian "claw-spike," which looks to humans like a European hand-and-a-half straight sword on a katana-like hilt, complete with tsubo guard, except the guard has twice the diameter of its average Terran counterpart. He has learned to imbue both his ammunition and this blade with warp fields, making his biotic charge incredibly deadly while wielding this unique custom weapon. Close examination reveals the Armax symbol in the "tsubo;" the weapon was designed by Cerneria Armax herself for her eldest child.

One of his greatest disagreements with his old friend Nihlus was his firm belief in the value of teamwork. This may be a reflection of his nature as a "born-again" turian, but Scipio always argued that even Spectres would inevitably do better with allies and backup, while Nihlus favored the advantages of speed and stealth that operating alone afford. It gives Zero no pleasure that Nihlus' tragic death is a powerful argument in his favor. As a Vanguard, Zero prefers to take point, using his biotic barriers to absorb punishment and his biotic charge to hammer an offensive home while his teammates flank the enemy. When undercover, he uses a somewhat similar tactic, preferring to take on flamboyant roles that work with his old playboy personality while distracting targets from his partners. Zero is somewhat embarrassed by these remaining appetites, which aren't so much eliminated as suppressed, though his family insists that there's nothing wrong with enjoying life off-duty.

His main ship is the Blade-Wing of Zama; Scipio's crew can be found there.

Fan art of a turian with the necessary "bulk" (and a very Scipio-esque smile in the head shot):