An Austrian country bumpkin with a knack for machinery and shootin'
Karl was born in 1975 in the rural town of Wittigau, northern Austria. His father, Josef, was a successful farmer. When Karl was eight, his father gave him his first rifle and taught him to shoot rabbits in the nearby woods.
Just a year later, in 1984, the first BETA strikes approached Austria and the concerted evacuation procedures began. Thousands of people were packed onto railroad cars and shipped off to the West, where they would presumably be safer. Karl’s mother, Elisabeth, sent him off to the train station ahead of them to save a spot on the train. His parents never arrived, and the train took off without them.
When the train finally arrived in Paris, Karl was picked up by a woman named Danielle Valier, who claimed that if he helped her with some work for a while, she could find his family for him. Karl gladly agreed, and was put to work in an assembly line building cars for the next six years. Whenever he asked Danielle about his family, she told Karl that she would find them soon. As he grew older, and became more and more suspicious of Danielle, he finally decided to confront her. She told him that his family was on their way to Paris, and the next morning he woke up on a ship headed for Greenland.
This proved fortuitous, as the BETA overran France a month later, and thousands died trying to leave the country. Karl found that the mechanical skills he had picked up in the factory were in high demand at the developing refugee settlements in Greenland, and spent the next nine years distracted by his work and learning to forget his troubled past.
While putting his skills to good use building MMUs in Greenland, Karl grew close to a Spanish software engineer named Eva Cruz. They spent several years working together on MMUs, and grew to appreciate each other’s respective trades. Eva even tried to teach Karl some computer skills, and he was eager to learn as long as it was Eva teaching him. It was, ultimately, to no avail—poor Karl was not gifted with intelligence. His idiocy gave him an almost reverent attitude towards “computer wizards” and the complexity of their work, and through Eva he grew to admire many of the leading software pioneers of the day, including the famous Dr. Inez Fressange.
Although his time in Greenland was some of the most fulfilling in his young life, Karl found it difficult to forget his parents. Although it broke his heart to leave Eva behind, he knew that he would never find peace in Greenland. In 1999, he made the voyage across the ocean and joined the military at the Western Front, in hopes of returning to occupied Austria and finding out what happened to his family. By divine providence or just sheer luck, Karl was assigned to the same squad as Angelina Fressange, a prodigious young software engineer who was the foster daughter of Dr. Fressange. They became fast friends and kindred spirits, as technically-minded engineers now forced to pilot the monstrous weapons they are more used to building.