|“|| The world didn't reject me. I rejected the world. Shion, I like it here... I'm the only living thing that exists in this place. There's nothing else... no anger, no sadness, no happiness... not even a future. The only thing that's here... is me. And that'll eventually fade away. It feels good... this is exactly what I've been searching for all this time.
Andrew Cherenkov became known during the Zoar Incident in T.C. 4731 as a genetically-modified "Super Soldier" Überhuman mutant via artificial insemination for the Galaxy Federation Naval Commander Marine Corps. He is a Life Recycling Variant.
Andrew Cherenkov is a serious man, generally observed to be stuffy and quick-tempered, but he is a loyal man, prone to self-sacrifice. As a leader, he is fair to his subordinates, and is not too proud to apologize to Shion for losing his temper at her on the Woglinde.
During the course of the game, little of his true personality is actually shown to the player because he is under stress for most of it. Judging by the reactions of the U-TIC soldiers when Albedo insults him in front of Margulis, and Margulis' reaction to his death, it can be surmised that he was well-liked among his peers.
It is inferred that Cherenkov suffers from PTSD and post-traumatic growth. Cherenkov is not meant to be read as "evil", but very misguided and a result of poor environmental upbringing. His failure to understand civilians is illustrated with his interactions with Shion, Allen, and MOMO, and of course, his wife and her "daughter".
Despite his past actions, Shion finds the empathy to sympathize with Cherenkov and weeps for him when he dies, after discovering his tragic nature through a heartfelt talk.
Zoar Incident Edit
Created as a tool of war of the Life Recycling Act by the people behind the Zoar Incident, he came into the original conflict at the tail end of it, unable to add significant assistance to the fight. He was unable to find meaning in his life, even on the battlefield.
Genetically engineered with a brain hardwired to kill, Cherenkov has a naturally aggressive attitude. Killing was his sole reason for his living and existence. Cherenkov later claims the lucky soldiers were the ones who died on the battlefield, rather than those who survived.
Life on AriadneEdit
When the Zoar Incident ended, provisions by the Federation were made for the Super Soldiers to rejoin into civilian society. However, there was little effort to reintegrate these soldiers in terms of mental transitioning to help them adjust to their new life as civilians.
Cherenkov tried to adapt himself to society on planet Ariadne, but he was unable to find value, or meaning in it. Cherenkov was not "haunted" by the past; he was haunted by the present and future. Having been a Super Soldier his whole life, that role was the only one he ever knew. War wasn't the traumatic part; in fact, not being in war was actually the traumatic part. Normal, everyday life was traumatizing to him. He was too "different" from everyone else.
Cherenkov eventually killed someone out of anger and soldier instinct.
While on trial, Cherenkov's lawyer, who would go on to become his wife, defended him to avoid capital punishment. After he is imprisoned on Ariadne, his lawyer classified him as being a victim of the Life Recycling Act. Cherenkov was sentenced to undergo Level 7 Personality Reconditioning, which involved nanomachines implanted into the brain to control his behavior, and then drugs and medication to maintain the effect of the personality corrective procedure.
Soon after, Cherenkov discovered that his wife was having an online affair, that she married him not out of love, but simply so she could obtain a license to have a child by cloning herself. After obtaining the cloning permit, she threw her virtual reality headset at him. Realizing he was used as nothing more than a tool, in a fit of anger and desperation, Cherenkov killed her, and was made to undergo Level 8 Personality Reconditioning in an attempt to prevent him from killing again. Moreover, his human rights were revoked and he was classified as a living being belonging to the Galaxy Federation, thus having the same legal recognition of a Realian.
Cherenkov, for a period, returned to normal. However, while walking one day, he encountered a girl that looked familiar. It was the clone of his wife. As he looked at the girl, she turned to him and uttered one word: "Garbage". In a frenzy, he strangled her neck and killed her.
Cherenkov was made a test subject for the new Level 9 Personality Reconditioning procedure. Nevertheless, it failed to control his instincts, and he murdered everyone in the testing facility.
U-TIC Organization Edit
Margulis taught Cherenkov about the importance of viewing "humans" by their level of consciousness—focus less on their physical appearance, face, body, and their voice, and instead, focus solely their message and look for the consciousness and being deep within. He instructed Cherenkov to not be confused or succumb to empty mindless shells who don't seem or feel real inside, and how such people were automatons with no self-will of their own.
One of Cherenkov's first missions was to steal KOS-MOS, an android being developed by Vector Industries on planet Carioca. In T.C. 4765, he was given a remote control device by a shrouded Kevin Winnicot. Being only partially complete, KOS-MOS malfunctioned when Cherenkov activated her and murdered nearly all of the people in the room at the time, including Shion Uzuki's boyfriend Kevin. It is unclear how and why Cherenkov survived.
Two years later, in T.C. 4767, Cherenkov was involved in an experiment on Ariadne called the Zohar Link Experiment. The project ended in a catastrophic failure and the planet vanished, killing one-and-a-half billion people in the process. Just before Ariadne disappeared as a result of the Zohar Link Experiment, Cherenkov saw Mrs. Cherenkov and her clone looking at him.
The Federation Government, keen to retrieve the Zohar Emulator, sent the battleship Woglinde to retrieve it, as well as investigate the disappearance of Ariadne. In order to secure the Zohar Emulator for themselves, the U-TIC Organization installed Cherenkov and a few others as spies on the Woglinde, masquerading as Federation Marines from Tessedora to secure it and send it back to them.
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht Edit
Andrew Cherenkov is first seen on the Woglinde's bridge. He asks Shion about KOS-MOS' field data, and when Shion tells him it's not ready yet, Cherenkov berates her for it, saying there's no point in a weapon that can't even get out of bed. Captain Kazuichi Moriyama defends Shion, and Cherenkov briefly excuses himself to go cam-chat with Margulis.
Unfortunately for U-TIC, the Gnosis attacked the battleship and took the Zohar Emulator with them, but not before KOS-MOS identified it as merely being a Zohar Emulator. By clinging on to the side of Shion Uzuki and Allen Ridgeley's escape pod, he was able to survive the destruction of the Woglinde and was rescued along with Shion and Allen by the Elsa.
Secretly intending to make contact with the nearest U-TIC facility, Cherenkov asks Captain Matthews if he can be dropped off on planet Senir. Shortly after their arrival onboard, a remaining Gnosis attacked the Elsa and almost killed Cherenkov by turning him into salt, before it was neutralized by chaos.
After being grabbed, Cherenkov makes himself scarce. Out of the Elsa crew and the player characters, only Shion manages to connect with him briefly over bringing him curry dinner. In the process, Shion almost stumbles onto another failed attempt to kidnap KOS-MOS, which is thwarted by Cherenkov's previous trauma regarding the incident with the KOS-MOS Archetype. Bio-engineered as a weapon himself, he tells an obviously still unnerved Shion that what happened to Luis Virgil was an honest accident.
Shortly after this, the cyborg Ziggurat 8 and the 100-Series Realian designated MOMO end up on the Elsa after having escaped Margulis himself. Cherenkov reports this to Margulis, but since he doesn't have the strength or stealth to take on the Elsa's crew by himself, let alone find a vehicle to abscond with MOMO, Margulis sternly orders him to concentrate on getting back to Pleroma.
The closest Dock Colony was under Ormus influence, so catching a ride to Senir from there should have been easy, but since his Federation Marine getup was so airtight, he was spotted by some street thugs before he could explain. Cherenkov retaliates with brutal force, and later claims that the gang fought among itself instead.
MOMO tried to treat Cherenkov's injuries with nanomachines capable of cellular restoration. However, he adamantly avoided this treatment, for fear that it would trigger a violent reaction to the chemical which controls his emotions. Soon afterwards, he began to suffer strange bouts of intense pain and hallucinations of himself disappearing, caused by being touched by that Gnosis earlier.
At the giant Gnosis mothership "Cathedral Ship", Cherenkov was separated from the group. He began having traumatic flashbacks of his time on Ariadne, and began to see the ghosts of Ariadne. When Shion and the rest of the party reach the Emulator facility, Cherenkov is already there, his physical form phasing in and out of the party's sight.
Shion is alarmed and concerned, but Cherenkov snaps at her. He admits his involvement in Ariadne's disappearance and expresses his doubts at the party, before being set upon by lights. Before the party's eyes, he raises into the air and is transformed in a bright light into a giant Gnosis called Gargoyle, assisted by two Oudogogues. Reluctantly, Shion and the others had to fight and eventually kill him.
Shortly before he died, Shion "visited" Cherenkov one final time in his consciousness, where he was sitting on a strange surreal monochrome beach - the Beach of Nothingness. He told Shion how decades ago, killing was his and other human's sole reason for existence, and how after the wars ended, he was unable to live a normal life.
Cherenkov told Shion that he liked it there, and that she would be there soon as well, vaguely referencing the fact that Shion was almost killed by a Gnosis when she was onboard the Woglinde, and that she too, would suffer the same fate as Cherenkov. Shion, overwhelmed by his death, falls to the floor and cries, weeping in sorrow for him.
- "Aren't you just making excuses? Listen, Chief Uzuki. Why do you think you're on this ship? Think about that for a moment. This fleet may be newly outfitted, but it was assembled under major time constraints. And we have A.G.W.S. units, but the 100-Series Observational Units that go with them aren't available until later. What would happen, if by some chance, we were attacked by those things? I don't think I need to describe the outcome to you. The purpose of KOS-MOS' deployment was to address this issue. Or am I mistaken?"
- "Listen, you're not in a laboratory anymore. You're on a warship. This is a battlefield! KOS-MOS was supposed to be our frontline defense here, and now you're telling us it hasn't even woken up yet?! There's no point in having a weapon that can't even get out of bed! That thing's only meaningful to us when it's fully operational! Why can't you...!"
- "I'm not trying to blame you. Logic, reason... they can bring about death. Happens all the time."
- "That's right... I... I was the one behind the disappearance of the planet Ariadne… All that mattered was the recovery of the Emulator. That was the reason behind the deployment of Vector and the military. They were really only pawns... But in spite of all that..."
- "G-go away!! Don't come near me! You were the ones who rejected me! So why are you bothering me now?!"
- "I never really existed at all... I... 36 years ago... The year after the Zoar Incident, which led up to the Miltian Conflict. I was brought into this world as a weapon of warfare... It happened all the time back then. Killing was my... no, our whole reason for existence. The fortunate ones were those who could adapt to that way of life. Even luckier were those who died on the battlefield. But I was never granted that opportunity. Before I could find some significance to my own life, the war ended, and I was left behind while the world went on."
- "I tried to adapt... But the language I spoke was so different from the rest of the world. I thought the entire world had rejected me. But the Commander… It felt like he really needed me. I saw a future for myself in the Commander... Or, I wanted to, at least. But I had to rely on the drugs to communicate with the rest of the world. It was because I hadn't changed... After everything that happened, I hadn't changed at all. Now I finally understand. The world didn't reject me. I rejected the world."
- The surname "Cherenkov" was added onto the North American release of Xenosaga. In the original, he is simply referred to as Lieutenant Colonel Andrew. "Commander" is also a North American designation.
- Considering all the Christian symbolism in the series, he may be named after Andrew the Apostle who is namedropped in the same game, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.
- Although Xenosaga: The Animation is a retelling of Xenosaga Episode I, it completely omits Cherenkov's story, most likely due to the limited running-time of the animated series. In The Animation, he dies on the Woglinde by a Gnosis and is never mentioned again. His role as a survivor of the Woglinde who lives for a while later is replaced by Virgil.
- The symbols on his forehead are Hebrew characters, which show up when his personality reconditioning is under stress and the nanomachines are working vigorously to suppress his bad behavior. א is aleph. ח is heth. Aleph and Heth also have the numerical values 1 and 8. Since heth appears on his forehead after he's slated to undergo Personality Reconditioning Level 8, it corresponds, but Levels 7 or 9 aren't shown.
- It can be theorized the two Oudogogues in the Gargoyle fight are the Gnosis of Mrs. Cherenkov and her clone.
- Some come to the conclusion that Cherenkov was born on Ariadne, but his origins are tied much closer to the planet Zoar, as he was created as a soldier to fight in the Zoar Incident, which led up to the Miltian Conflict. However, the official record, as stated in in-game dialogue during the flashback sequence that shows his trial, is that his origins are unknown.
- Upon meeting Betty, Ziggy mentions hearing stories about people turning into Gnosis, but he had never seen it before, despite seeing Cherenkov turn into one a day ago.