Zhaim is Lai’s oldest R’il’noid son, and as long as he has the highest fraction of active R’il’nian-derived genes of any of the R’il’noids alive, he is his father’s heir – if anything happens to Lai, Zhaim will take over. He took this position from Derik (who was just as glad to be rid of the responsibility) when he came of age several hundred years ago, and has come to define himself in terms of how he will improve the Confederation when he takes over from his dowdy and senile (in his opinion) father.
Zhaim is quite handsome in his way, vain about his appearance, and very fashion-conscious. His complexion is dark bronze, like his father’s, and his hair is black. His eyes are almost clear with silver veining – “ice and silver” is how they are often described. His hobby is making “artistic” sculptures out of living things (including slaves) and he considers himself a great but misunderstood artist. He likes and admires cats, but is violently allergic to them.
He is an important character in both Homecoming and Tourist Trap and will continue in the trilogy. Here he is speaking from the Bounceabout, early in Homecoming.
The Bounceabout. Ha! The Nausea would be more appropriate. And twice in one day?
Damn the old man! He knows how those rough jumps affect me. And he damn near ordered me to come. Blast Derik. I should have been the one left on charge, not that soft-headed fool. He’s even older than my father!
And now my father even admits he doesn’t have the slightest idea of where he’s going. Just that some possible jump points feel more “right” than others. Well, I knew it was a useless quest.
Still, he has a habit of being right. And if there’s even a chance of other R’il’nai out there …. If one of them were female ….
Damn it, the R’il’noids are better than either race! We’re smarter than the Humans; more practical and creative than the pure R’il’nai. We don’t need the R’il’nai any more. But if the old man finds others ….
I’m his heir, the son who has inherited the most of his R’il’nian genes. He mustn’t have a child by a pure R’il’nian!
I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. The format of background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. Bold type indicates that more information has been or will be available in another A to Z post. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.