- Malcolm Kelerchian introduces himself(src)
Not Just a Thug
Kelerchian was a member of the Tarsonis Police Force of Tarsonis City, a corrupt institution populated mainly by thugs who protected the interests of the rich and powerful (often defined as anyone who made more money than the police chief). Any police officer who had at least a modicum of brains generally got promoted to the detective squad, and any good detective was usually snapped up by the government or military to become a spy. Kelerchian easily made it into the squad, and actually used the resources available to the police department to try to solve crimes. For instance, he used Tarsonis City's Traffic Control system to follow the movements of suspects. He had triple the clearance rate of the other detectives, but this wasn't that hard to do. Because of the department's improved clearance rate, it got budget increases from the Council.
He fell out of favor with the government when working on the Rample murder case, about a year before the Great War. Two corpses were discovered in "the Gutter," the poor southern part of Tarsonis City, but when identified, they turned out to be the children of a semi-prominent shop owner, which meant there was actual pressure and cooperation in solving the case. The killer, whoever they were, was portrayed as a butcher by the press. Kelerchian later discovered the perpetrator was Emmett Tygore, a member of the Old Families. Suddenly the press was saying that Tygore had crumbled under pressure; he was sent to a rehabilitation facility on Halcyon and quickly forgotten about. Despite the accolades Kelerchian should have received, the powerful Tygore family made it impossible for him to keep his job.
It was during this period that Ilsa Killiany of the Ghost Program found within their files on Kelerchian that he had a "Psi Index" rating of 3.5. This was higher than the 2 or less that most terrans had but less than the 5 that the typical ghost has. This meant he could sense other telepaths and their powers, but couldn't use the powers himself; he made an ideal wrangler. Snapped up by the military, he was no longer under the thumb of the Old Families. However, Kelerchian hated his new job; it meant he was under the thumb of Killiany — she knew he would rather be a detective, but she found him too useful to her Ghost Program to let him go.
He received six months of training; one in the use of sensor equipment, and five months in a failed attempt to hone his telepathic powers. He still gets a headache in the presence of a telepath.
Months of Headaches
Kelerchian investigated the terrorist attack on the Terra Family, an Old Family, as well as the psionic attacks that killed hundreds of people nearby. Happy to be doing detective work again, even if this meant dealing with headache-inducing psychics, his joy was abruptly stifled by Killiany, who ordered him to track down November Terra, whose psychic outburst had killed so many people. The Tarsonic Police Force would deal with the terrorist attacks on the Terras and other Old Families. Kelerchian figured Nova would flee to The Gutter, the extremely poor area of Tarsonis City, in order to get as far away from her former life as possible.
Kelerchian started by getting assistance from Larry Fonseca and Sergeant Volmer, police officers who work in the Gutter. Through the latter, he got access to the traffic control computers in order to search for Nova.
Kelerchian spent months on the case, causing his physical and mental health to slowly break down. The people of the Gutter wouldn't talk to him, Nova hadn't appeared on the traffic control computers, and no telepathically-slain bodies were found. He was called in by an angry Killiany, who (after ranting at him) told him she was summoning the army, in the person of Major Esmerelda Ndoci, a psychopath with a vicious reputation, and her "Annihilators". During the session, he was called by Larry Fonseca with a clue. He was told about "the Blonde", crime lord Fagin's new enforcer. During his investigation, Kelerchian had failed many basic principles of detective work and didn't even know who Fagin was. An angry Fonseca told him that Fagin was the Gutter's crime lord and knew the location of his headquarters. "The Blonde" was said to never leave this complex. Kelerchian realized his strategy of asking questions as a Confederacy agent didn't work, not when the people of the Gutter respected Fagin more than the government.
Together Kelerchian and the Annihilators were to rescue Nova; the latter wished to simply kill all of Fagin's people, but Kelerchian was able to threaten Ndoci with the power of the Ghost Program. Fagin had gone mad during the search, and didn't respond to diplomacy or threats. Nova and his chief lieutenant killed Fagin, and Kelerchian convinced Nova to join the Ghost Program, but that was when the Sons of Korhal landed on Tarsonis, prompting the Annihilators to take over the operation and launch their own attack. Ndoci pointedly did not exclude Kelerchian from the expected list of casualties. The reckless attack brought the building down onto the heads of Kelerchian and Nova. Kelerchian was severely injured, but Nova threatened Ndoci with harm to her career (and imprisonment) if she allowed Kelerchian to die.
The Emperor's Expectations
Kelerchian woke up on a hospital ship, called the Pasteur. He spoke to the medical officer and was told it would be months before he could walk again. He also spoke to Ghost Program Director Kevin Bick, Ilsa Killiany's replacement — Kelerchian didn't recognize him from the program. What he learned horrified him. Tarsonis had fallen, as he had expected, but to the zerg rather than the Sons of Korhal. Bick told him that Nova was now training on the world of Ursa and that Killiany was removed from her position since she wouldn't work with the new regime, the Terran Dominion. Arcturus Mengsk was now the emperor of the new regime, even though Mengsk never once said he wanted power, merely to stop the Confederacy's abuses.
Several weeks later, Kelerchian was recuperating on Ursa (he was there as part of the Ghost Program). He watched over Nova's training when he was met by Arcturus Mengsk. Emperor Mengsk asked to be called "Mr. Emperor" in public; Kelerchian said this was part of Mengsk's public image campaign (democratic leaders are usually referred to by common honorifics such as "mister"). Mengsk agreed with him.
Kelerchian told Mengsk that he took so long to find Nova because the people of the Gutter refused to cooperate with a Confederate official (meaning Kelerchian himself). They would rather cooperate with Fagin, whom they respected. The people in charge of the Terran Confederacy, the Council and the Old Families, didn't help the people, so the people didn't help them. When the aliens and Sons of Korhal attacked, the people in charge didn't know what to do and couldn't protect the people they (allegedly) served. Kelerchian also scolded Mengsk for twisting the truth published by Universe News Network, which continued to operate under the new regime.
Mengsk said he kept the Ghost Program because he knew how effective ghosts were first-hand (his second-in-command, Sarah Kerrigan, had been a ghost). Kelerchian told Mengsk that because he "acquired" Kerrigan for his cause, trainees had to have their memories wiped when they graduate. Mengsk said that Kerrigan came to him of her own free will; he only took advantage of the Confederacy's inability to guard her properly. (Naturally the memory wipe regime was not removed from the program.)
Some things did change, however; the Ghost Program was now run by Director Kevin Bick. When Kelerchian asked Mengsk about the fate of Ilsa Killiany, Mengsk simply told him the same thing that Bick had said, and told Kelerchian that Bick "believed in the program" as much as Killiany did. Kelerchian didn't buy it. However, he said Bick was the sort of person who believed in his superiors and keeping them pleased, not to mention that he believed Bick had little to no experience with ghosts. Mengsk wasn't sure if Kelerchian would keep working in the Ghost Program.
After six months of recuperation, Kelerchian was well enough to walk (although regular gravity was still hard on him). He met Nova for breakfast; this was the closest thing to a successful date he ever had. He told her he was going to the low-gravity Sakrysta Mining Base in order to find a telepath, having been accepted by Mengsk as a wrangler. Nova learned (through reading Kelerchian's mind) that Mengsk wanted him dead; the mission was extremely dangerous and that Mengsk didn't expect him to come back. In a way, she was saying goodbye to Kelerchian.
Sakrysta and Aftermath
Kelerchian survived the mission to Sakrysta and remained as a wrangler to the Terran Dominion. While not a fan of Mengsk, he was willing to work for the man knowing that there wasn't exactly anyone better around in a position to replace him. He was given his own ship which he named after Nova. His physical therapy gave him his legs back, and thanks to rehab and muscle stimulants, he became leaner physically.
In 2503, Kelerchian was sent on a mission to discover a missing ghost (Kath Toom) who had disappeared on Altara, said mission being ordered by Mengsk himself. He made inquiries at Oasis, but none of the locals were willing to talk to him. Moving on, Kelerchian arrived at the refinery that the ghost had been assigned to investigate. Men were taking it apart and opened fire on him. Kelerchian sensed the presence of a psychic, but had to deal with firing back first. In the process, the refinery's core was damaged, the refinery being consumed in an explosion as a result...supposedly.
To make matters worse, Kelerchian had to deal with newly arrived zerg. His ship came under attack from them and he was knocked out though Nova was able to save him as part of a Nova Squadron force sent to investigate. However, due to the mind wipes she had undergone, she didn't recognize him. Regardless, they both ended up in the medical bay of the Palatine, where he greeted her—Nova didn't fully recognize him, but remembered the generalities, due to flashbacks she was experiencing as the result of exposure to terrazine on the planet's surface. The two discussed the mission until they were summoned to the bridge, where the effects of terrazine were reported on, how it had lured in the zerg via the explosion that Kelerchian had witnessed.
During this, another explosion was in the making—Colonel Jackson Hauler, aggravated that Mengsk had contacted his ship and ordered that he be given private communication with Nova and Kelerchian. The pair were given the comm. room for a secure transmission. Kelerchian was hardly enthralled to deal with Mengsk again, but nevertheless provided a report on his mission, along with his suspicions that they weren't dealing with UED terrorists and that the refinery had actually been destroyed by explosives, given the disparities in its debris pattern with modelling and the lack of firepower required to breach the core. Mengsk in turn revealed that he wasn't the one who had ordered Toom sent to Altara, nor was there any report of a UED cell on the world. The pair were ordered to find the missing ghosts and shut down those responsible for the abductions.
The pair's first order of business was to make inquiries in the Altaran town of Oasis. While few of the townsfolk had any useful information, they heard from a smuggler that an Umojan spy had appeared in the town several weeks ago. Numerous other ghosts were also involved in the investigation, and the psionic presence didn't do the wrangler's head any favors.
It was at this point that Nova was ambushed by a spectre, one that supposedly also got the drop on Agent X72341R. Lila, a young telepath, was also found by the pair and tagged along. Back on the Palatine they met the assembled ghosts assigned to them and, as per their real names being classified, assigned nicknames— "Bones" (from the surface), "Lethal", "Rook", "the Veteran", "Rip" and "Guns." Along with Hauler and Captain Rourke, they discussed the information that had been gathered on the surface. Rourke suggested that the abductors could still be a UED cell, but Kelerchian shot the idea down, pointing out that the supply lines required for such operations would have been detected. Instead, his own analysis showed that the locations of the abductions were occurring along a single route through space, indicating that the insurgents had a mobile base of operations—one large enough to support them, yet small enough to not be detected. It was a conundrum that Hauler quickly pointed out. Either way, the meeting was called to a close as the Annihilators arrived alongside the Palatine, demanding permission to board.
Spaulding and Kelerchian hadn't forgotten the events on Tarsonis three years back, but the confrontation was rendered moot as Hauler re-asserted that Kelerchian and Nova remained in charge. However, Nova began experiencing hallucinations due to her terrazine exposure and Kelerchian took her to see Dr. Shaw again. It was mainly a wasted meeting however, and to make matters worse, an encrypted transmission informed Kelerchian of another problem—Augustgrad had come under attack.
Nova helped protect Emperor Mengsk from the spectres' attack. Afterward Mengsk met privately with Kelerchian and Nova. He informed them of the existence of Project Shadowblade, and the effects of terrazine. The two were assigned to bring in Gabriel Tosh, who had led the spectre attack.
After the battle, the Annihilators boarded the Palatine. Major Spaulding accused Nova and Kelerchian of hiding evidence and manipulating the situation, such as blowing up the Altara refinery. Hauler defended the two, however.
In private, Nova and Kelerchian discussed their next moves. Nova had also come to realize that Kelerchian was in love with her, the reason he had named his ship the November. Nova also realized that she had developed similar feelings for Kelerchian. During their conversation, knockout gas entered the room, knocking them out. Kelerchian was imprisoned on Gehenna Station, the base of the spectres' rebellion, actually led by Hauler himself. A hologram of him was shown to Nova when Hauler attempted to get her to assassinate Mengsk—the wrangler was tortured after she initially refused. She gave into his demands, and Kelerchian's wound was treated.
It was a ruse though, and not only was Nova able to infiltrate the station, but was able to rescue Kelerchian as well. The two fought their way through the corridors, dealing with enemy marines. Some respite came in the form of the Palatine, which opened fire on the space station. They were waylaid by Hauler, the fight taking them into the depths of the station. Hauler took Kelerchian hostage with a knife to his throat, giving Nova an ultimatum—enter a psi indoctrinator, or let Kelerchian be killed. Complicating matters was that Hauler was a telepath, meaning that her usual technique of her contacting the wrangler telepathically would be heard by Hauler. However, Hauler was attacked by Tosh in an act of vengeance for the death of his lover (a death at Hauler's hands), and the general was killed. Tosh let them go, caught up in a mix of grief, and the psychological effects of terrazine use. The two escaped on the November and headed for the Palatine, watching as the station was destroyed. The two agreed to head back to Altara to Lila, to find her a foster family rather than handing her over to the Ghost Program. After that, they would have to part ways.
Personality and Traits
- Arcturus Mengsk(src)
As a detective, Kelerchian was an intelligent, hard-working investigator. However, he had terrible luck and even worse social skills. He showed a nearly complete lack of tact, and his smile was so unnerving he only used it during interrogations. His every attempt to form a relationship with a woman ended in disaster, though a few consider(ed) him to be attractive in a rough-hewn, rugged sort of way. In terms of style, he wears a tattered, old fashioned leather duster over his wrangler uniform. He has craggy facial features. Kelerchian was on close terms with Nova and was once romantically interested in her for a time, naming the ship he later took command of after her.
With a PI of 3.5, Kelerchian has a weak psychic ability to detect psychics and the use of psionics, which manifests as a headache. He can tell when people are trying to teep his thoughts, as it gives him an even bigger headache.
Kelerchian has a habit of rubbing his hands against his coat when he's nervous.