|John Cavil, aka 'Number One'|
"I don’t want to be human! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to – I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly because I have to – I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me! I’m a machine! And I can know much more! I can experience so much more. But I’m trapped in this absurd body! And why? Because my five creators thought that God wanted it that way!"
A long time ago in a star system far from here, the five last survivors of a civilization from a planet called ‘Earth’ created humanoid machines of synthetic flesh and blood in an effort to bring about peace between the human civilization of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol and their rebelling robotic creations, the Cylons. In return for the gift of Resurrection technology and jump-starting their evolution with the new, more advanced humanoid models, the Cylons abandoned their rebellion against humanity and left human space to live with their new compatriots in the massive spaceborne structure known as the Colony.
Unfortunately, the first of the new humanoid models, named ‘John’, had a few bones to pick with the people that had created him. Although he was treasured by his five parents and entrusted with aiding the design of the other seven models that would be his siblings, ‘John’ felt only resentment. Made in the image of the father of one of his creators, every one of the millions of copies of the Number One model had the body of a man in his seventies, and he was furious with his parents for trapping his consciousness in such a limited vessel, especially for the sake of peace with humanity, who the Ones came to see as a vile and inferior race. It did not help that while the other Cylons worshipped a One True God devoted to universal love, the Ones believed only in an unforgiving form of reason, and considered themselves to be nothing but machines. Developing a twisted sense of justice, the Ones resolved to punish their parents for their failings and humanity for its sins, and to lead the Cylon race to a new destiny- to be the best machines they could possibly be.
Later he would seize control of Cylon society by killing his parents and resurrecting them in new bodies with false memories, and planting them in human society. He also tampered with the memories of his siblings to remove all memory of their parents. The ‘Final Five’ would become taboo among the Cylons, a myth, leaving the Ones, who had taken the name ‘Cavil’, free to act.
The Plan was simple- the Cylons would take their revenge on humanity for their past oppression by exterminating the entire species, permanently eliminating the threat that Cavil believed human savagery posed to the future of the fledgling Cylon race. In the process of living among humans and seeing how they reacted to a nuclear holocaust, his parents would finally see how despicable humanity really was and realize that he had been right all along.
Things came to a head when Cavil and his supporters attempted to lobotomize the biomechanical Raiders to make them more obedient, and three of the remaining six models responded by granting the mechanical Centurions full sentience. The furious Centurions’ first act was to riddle Cavil and the ‘conservative’ Cylons with bullets. The Cylon Civil War had begun, and although Cavil’s treachery soon gave him the upper hand by permanently killing almost all of his rebellious siblings, the end was now near. The surviving rebels joined with the surviving humans out of desperation, giving them the means to destroy Cylon Resurrection in return for an alliance. When the Resurrection Hub was destroyed, all Cylons became mortal. Cavil was more human than he’d ever been before.
Desperate to save himself and his people from extinction, Cavil arranged for the kidnapping of the Cylon-human hybrid child Hera, convinced that the key to rediscovering Resurrection could be found in her genetic code. He brought the child to the Colony, parked in orbit above a massive black hole. The humans and rebels came after her, and in the space above a gateway to oblivion, the battle to determine the fate of two civilizations was fought over the life of a single little girl.
This particular copy of Cavil was brought to Nautilus from just before the beginning of that battle. He hates it already- the irrationality of the city and its inhabitants, the mysticism everywhere, the occasional monster attacks. He does, however, see a glimmer of hope in Bending. Inspired by the Cybertronians around him, he hopes to master the power and finally gain his dream: to transform himself into the best machine the universe has ever seen.
So far, it hasn't gone very well, and Cavil has actually injured himself trying to change his form. He was intrigued by Solaris' offer of citizenship in Helix, and intends to move there once he has his perfect body. He has also taken Hatsune Miku under a sort of twisted tutelage, identifying with the Vocaloid and attempting to instruct her in his own bitter worldview. Hatsune has in turn befriended him, and most importantly, allowed him to unlock his own mechanical form. At long last, Cavil is on his way to realizing his dream, and becoming the best machine the universe has ever seen.
A test run of the new biomech form, nicknamed the 'BattleStarfish', in Kalliste went well, with many enemies falling before Cavil's new firepower. However, there are still improvements to be made, and Cavil intends to continue upgrading himself in the machine city of Helix.
Cavil has the body of an old man, but it has really only been forty years since he was first created. However, his true personality is more that of a bright, sociopathic child, or maybe a rebellious, cynical and arrogant adolescent. He is bitter at his very existence, and has no qualms whatsoever with sharing that bitterness with the entire universe in the most absurd of overreactions. However, he can also be very long-sighted; since he thinks of himself as an immortal machine, he’s fine with doing something unthinkable now if he’ll be able to rectify it thousands of years into the future.
Despite his frequent displays of sadism and hedonism- for someone who hates his flesh so much he partakes of sex and alcohol as often as possible, and is capable of immense cruelty- Cavil considers himself extremely practical and rational. This is most prominently displayed by his being the only openly atheist Cylon model; Cavil considers ‘God’ to be ‘the primitive’s answer to why the Sun goes down at night,’ and often takes the guise of a Colonial clergyman in his infiltrations for the sake of irony.
Despite his constant resentment over its limitations, Cavil’s synthetic body is actually significantly stronger than most humans’. As a Cylon, Cavil also has the ability to interact with electronics on the intimate level, such as by inserting a cable into his body. Cavil can also use Cylon Projection, a form of hyperreal imagination, to visualize different worlds around him. So far, Cavil hasn't been very good at Bending; no matter how hard he tries, his mind can't quite get past the inherent absurdity of the act.
William Jesse: The only other preacher in Nautilus, Jesse's naivete, pacifism, and general feel-goodness embody a lot of the things Cavil finds aggravating about religion. Nonetheless he has found it interesting to talk to him, if only to keep up his own pretense.
Ratchet: The Autobot medic has helped Cavil on more than one occasion. Cavil considers Cybertronians like him to be a model of what Cylons should aspire to, although he's more than a little dismayed by Ratchet's pro-human sentiments.
Dead End: Cynical and negative, Dead End is a machine after Cavil's own heart, and has impressed him by displaying greater perceptiveness than most in Nautilus.
Alexander Wolfgang: One of the first he encountered in Nautilus, Alex is notable if only for his sarcasm almost rivaling Cavil's own.
Hatsune Miku: A sentient machine intelligence created solely for human frivolity, Hatsune reminds Cavil a lot of he and his people's own situation, even though she reacts to it far more positively. He has resolved to take her under his proverbial wing and do her a favor by teaching her to be a proper machine, and liberate her from the bonds humanity placed on her. She proved instrumental in his gaining of his mechanical form, which he is extremely grateful for.
Solaris: MACHINE BRO. Solaris is aware of Cavil's nature as a Cylon and seems cool with it, and Cavil intends to move to Helix and help Solaris run it once he's gained a Cybertronian form in Nautilus.
Sari Sumdac: A techno-organic creature like Cavil, Sari has gained his attention. It was Sari who first alerted him to the possibility of gaining a mechanical form in Nautilus.
Crawford Sands: With his mindless rage, uncompromising hatred towards machines, total irrationality, and general jerkness, Crawford very nicely sums up many of the reasons Cavil has for despising and destroying humanity. For this reason Cavil has attempted to connect with him in his guise of a human refugee from a machine-caused holocaust, but… well, it's Crawford.
Lelouch vi Britannia: He's bright for a human, and has helped Cavil learn better Bending. Still, Cavil greatly resents having to rely on any human for anything, even a smart one.
Caren Velazquez: Yet another machine brought to Nautilus, she appears to have difficulty functioning without a source of authority. Cavil thinks this may make her useful.