Nimue Alban was born on Earth in the late 24th Century as the daughter of Welsh entrepreneur Daffyd Alban, an extremely wealthy man, and his Swedish wife, whom he divorced shortly after Nimue's birth. Against her father's will, she joined the Navy to fight the alien Gbaba and earned an officer's commission, becoming one of the finest tactical officers of her generation.
She joined a mission called Operation Ark, which had the target of setting up a purposely primitive colony on a faraway world that would not send out any emissions the Gbaba might detect.
After Eric Langhorne's intention to erase all memory of humanity's past from the minds of the Ark colonists became clear, Alban and her closest associates – Admiral Pei Kau-zhi, Commodore Pei Kau-yung and his wife Shan-wei as well as Dr. Elias Proctor – began to plan for a secret "backup" memory: Nimue's latest-generation Personality-Integrated Cybernetic Avatar, or PICA, a gift from her father, would be used to store the memory of the Terran Federation and the Gbaba threat, and serve as a "guide" for the new humanity that was to evolve somewhere far away from Gbaba space.
In 2421, Alban and her confederates hatched a scheme to make her PICA available to them on humanity's new world. Alban bravely volunteered to join Admiral Pei Kau-zhi's Task Force One crew for the execution of Operation Breakaway. The official records indicated that her PICA went along with her, which would have meant its destruction when her battleship was defeated by the Gbaba. However, her compatriots secretly stored it in another cargo hold instead of transferring it out. Eventually, it was taken down to the planet Safehold and stored in a cave under the Mountains of Light by the terraforming crew.
Centuries later, still "running" the stored memories and personality of Nimue captured before she knew of Operation Breakaway, the PICA was reactivated and briefed on the development of Operation Ark by a recording made by Pei Kau-yung. The PICA then assumed the identity of the mysterious seijin Merlin Athrawes and prepared its arsenal of Federation technology in order to influence Safehold's future. She chose a male persona in order to have sufficient standing in the patriarchal Safeholdian society. (OAR)
A few years later, another PICA was constructed, this time as a female, and equipped with another copy of Nimue's personality. (LAMA)
- The further adventures of Nimue Alban's PICAs are described in the articles on
- Merlin Athrawes and Nimue Chwaeriau.
- Lieutenant Commander
- Nimue suspected that it was because her mother got pregnant with her against her father's will.
- The memory backup stored in the PICA dated back to before Operation Ark.