Thursday, April 17, 2008

Personnel Dossier #6: Mesa

Codename: MESA
Carlos Ezterra
Medical doctor, "shaman," A.E.G.I.S. field medic

Appearance: A tall, long-haired, smooth-faced Hispanic with clear Native ancestry, Ezterra favors comfortable clothes - flannel and denim - and has a friendly, approachable manner. In the field, wears a white trenchcoat over a tie-dyed shirt, blue jeans, and cowboy boots.

Biography: A scion of an upper-class Mexican family, Ezterra attended the best private schools in Mexico City, followed by medical school at UCLA. After completing a successful research residency (largely dealing with herbal remedies to various poisons) and being published in a pair of leading medical journals, he seemed poised for a lucrative practice; however, a near-death experience in Mexico City, where he apparently experienced a religious vision, realigned his priorities drastically. Ezterra sold all his material possessions, broke off contact with his family, and became, to all intents and purposes, a hermit, subsisting in a largely uninhabited strip of Baja California, and occasionally assisting poor local villagers with their minor maladies (which, given the lawlessness of the area, often included gunshot wounds). All that changed, however, when terrorists in the Dominican Republic poisoned the staff of the American embassy there with a painful, slow-acting, and very rare toxin - a toxin that Ezterra had researched during his internship. He was sought out as a consultant by government and law enforcement agents and ultimately managed to save the lives of most of the afflicted. Afterwards, Colonel Union prevailed on Ezterra not to disappear again, but to serve his fellow man as a medic and biologist for A.E.G.I.S.

Skills and interests: Ezterra is a gifted doctor and surgeon with considerable skill at treating battlefield-type wounds and injuries with a minimum of preparation and equipment; he is also an expert on the use of, and countermeasures against, several types of chemical and biological weapons. In his personal life, however, he is deeply spiritual and intuitive, believing himself to be on a shamanic mission to preserve life and enlighten his fellow man. This leads him to adopt an unconventional, and occasionally controversial, holistic method of healing - many A.E.G.I.S. operatives, grateful for his quick and effective treatments, are nonetheless uncomfortable with his penetrating psychological insight and concern for their spiritual well-being. However, they can rarely argue with the results. Away from A.E.G.I.S., he favors difficult tomes on religion and spirituality - Herman Hesse is a particular favorite - and the music of Los Lobos.

Psych Profile: Although dismissed by more than one frontline trooper as a "Trustafarian" - a rich kid suffering an attack of conscience - Mesa's personal convictions are both real and deep-rooted. He has a sense of morality and justice that compels him to speak out against things he perceives as wrong, even when he knows his input is unwelcome or unpopular. As a result, he tends to stand on the outside of the group; a position he nonetheless claims to welcome, saying it feels appropriately shamanic. That said, Ezterra seems to recognize the danger of taking oneself too seriously, and leavens his everyday conversation with an understated, droll humor. He is conflicted about working closely with the United States government, which he views as imperialistic, but has been persuaded by Colonel Union that he can do more good from the inside, and that terrorism is an enemy of all civilization, not just any particular hegemonic power structure.

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