|Employer||Floating Island Pte Ltd, Island Real Estate Investment Trust|
|Title||Cranky Boss, President-for-Life, CEO, Captain|
|Relatives||Tom Zhu (cousin)|
Primary Writer: Acyl
Well, you see, he's Fen, but he's the sort who'd rather just stay at home and surf the 'net. And play games and stuff. Actually flying around the solar system takes a certain ... you know, mindset. Which he doesn't have. It's one thing to talk about adventures in space, quite another to actually do it yourself.
But he enjoys talking to the folks who do. He wants to be part of the community, as it were.
So ... he owns and runs a Space Station. That's what he calls it, anyway. Fen need somewhere to resupply, after all. Handwavium alone doesn't make good food, no matter how much you nuke it. Then there's essential things that every spacefarer needs.
Like, y'know, anime merchandise, big tables for wargaming matches, venues for CCG tournaments ...
You gotta understand, he doesn't see himself as running a business. More of providing a public service. The charges are simply to cover operating costs. He's like that store owner who's, y'know, a gamer himself.
Now, it's still technically a ship, since it still moves. He had to get it off the planet to begin with, after all. But it really doesn't look like anything that should be flying.
Largely 'cause, in preparation for his move, he sunk most of his money into buying a couple or three old warehouses and a bit of surrounding real estate. Then he renovated them. Then he got a lot of handwavium, calculated just how far down his property rights extended, and ...
The local authorities are still somewhat pissed off about the, er, crater's not the right word. Let's try 'divot', or possibly 'really big hole'.
- Build: Medium
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Brown
- Honest Businessman: Eric Zhu is the proprietor of the Floating Island, one of the first true space stations. It's also the pioneer Fen-centric shopping mall, hotel, and convention centre...as well as catering to more prosaic space travel concerns like repair, refueling, and resupply.
- Fringe Fen: Eric is on the fringes of Fen-dom. He watches a lot of anime, reads SF, but isn't committed to it. It's a hobby, not a way of life. This explains why he entered space the way he did, rather than whizzing around in a little starship. That's also why his Island is open to all Fen, but holds no allegiance to any faction.
- Frowny-Face: Serious and grumpy. Or so it seems. Eric's actually got a pretty weird sense of humor. Likewise, he projects the image of a hardass boss...but is really a slacker who delegates most work. His junior employees are scared of him, but the senior crew (and many Island regulars) see through the act.
- Brown coat: Always wears dark and earthen-tone clothing, particularly brown jackets. He is not, however, a Firefly fan, and gets annoyed whenever Fen assume this. Happens fairly often.
- Born on an Island in the Heavens / Big Brother Is Watching You: It ain't widely known, but isn't exactly secret. Eric is part of the Island. Or maybe the Island's part of him. It's hard to tell. He ingested second-gen ’wavium grown from the Island’s core... and now is permanently linked to the place by a sort of strange 'wavium bond. He's got a permanent background awareness of the station's status...number of people aboard, which areas are busy, etc. If something significant happens, he usually knows when and where, if not what. He can mentally control some systems - the "original" ones, like engines and power. He has a much fuzzier connection to later additions. Eric can see through the security cameras, but usually doesn't. Not because he respects people's privacy...it just gives him a headache. This may explain his increasingly bad temper…
- Inner Space: There's actually a reason that (and other tricks) give him headaches. His biomod is a physical alteration to his brain and nervous system, sort of an integral 'wavium wireless connection...except purely biological. Well. Maybe. Gwen, the Island's resident scientist, keeps wanting to 'examine' him. Eric keeps refusing; he likes his head where it is. Will, station medic, just gives him aspirin.
- Holy Ground: The downside of his biomod is...Eric can't turn it off. He's always aware of the station, making it tricky to sleep if there's a wild party going on somewhere. Serious malfunctions may well affect his health. Going-ons in the Island affect his mood. The connection diminishes with distance, but that has its own problem... it's quite possible he'll die if he goes too far from the Island. Thankfully, the Island's axillary spacecraft (i.e. modified from the same 'wavium) count as "part of it" for Eric's purposes, making travel merely risky rather than outright fatal. Even in one of the small craft, though, traveling away from the main station makes him distinctly uncomfortable.
- Go Forth and Multiply: The Island's AI, Simon-Peter, is actually an offshoot of Eric's personality. Simon appeared in the station's computers shortly after Eric's 'wavium change. Simon is now an independent being, but he and Eric still hit the same wavelength from time to time, and that's just creepy for anyone else in the conversation.
- Part-Time Beng: Swears in Hokkien Chinese. And Mandarin Chinese. And occasionally bits of Malay.
- Walk Softly: Always carries a wooden stick, about 4 feet long. Since Eric doesn't have a limp, and lacks any formal martial arts training, this is a bit of a puzzle. It's relatively harmless compared to the alternative, though - in emergencies, he insists on carrying an M16 rifle. And he does know how to use that one.
- Get Off My Lawn: Eric does not react well to threats against his station. He reacts even worse to threats against his people.