Arthur Meriono ("Artie" to his friends) began his life as Specimen RT-5478, a genetically engineered gerbil created in a test tube by Helen Beta Narbon. He was designed to be an ideal test subject, with viral self-repairing DNA and a human-like central nervous system. The latter was enhanced through an intelligence serum, giving him a mental capacity comporable to or greater than that of a human.
In the six years since then, Artie has performed, and been the subject of, countless experiments to advance the state of scientific knowledge (or to relieve the boredom of the lab staff). He has suffered countless indignities and found his morals and ethics tested at every turn. On the other hand, he is now able to interact with human and almost-human beings on their own level, and has enjoyed a much longer and richer life than any small rodent can reasonably expect to have.
In his natural form, Artie is an ordinarly brown gerbil, which just happens to be able to speak. In human form, he's a well-built six-foot-tall black man with shoulder-length dreadlocks and a soulpatch. Artie can switch back and forth between forms at will, but tends to shift at random when he's asleep, unconscious, or otherwise not in control of his faculties. His clothing does not change with him.
In both forms, Artie smells chiefly of gerbil. He makes an effort to mask his scent, but anything with a better-than-human sense of smell will recognize the scent underneath.
Artie enters Milliways post-canon and will be keeping up with "real" time as much as possible.
Artie is from the webcomic Narbonic, and is the property of Shaenon Garrity. He appears here solely for the purpose of role-playing in milliways_bar, from which no profit whatsoever is being made.
Unless otherwise noted, all of Artie's icons are taken directly from Shaenon Garrity's artwork. No copyright infringement is intended.