|“|| 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. It is likely that Cherenkov was extremely desensitized to killing and violence because he was born and raised in a world where killing was completely normal, praised, acceptable and even viewed as "good", which made it very difficult to be integrated into civilian society. His failure to understand civilians is illustrated with his interactions with Shion, Allen, and MOMO, and of course, his wife and her "daughter".
One of Cherenkov's purposes in the game is to force to player to consider who was to blame for his situation. It can be concluded that Cherenkov was not at fault for his situation since he was bred to be a killing machine by the people behind the Zoar Incident and ending up a prisoner of war, it can be concluded that the fault lies with those who used him as a test subject to conduct Personality Reconditioning research on.
Cherenkov's role is constructed to generate sympathy for someone who committed horrible atrocities, but didn't have a consciousness developed enough to reject it and fully understand what he did, due to severe brainwashing and the normalization of war and violence. Despite him being a killer and a murderer, 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. Cherenkov was brought into the universe as a weapon of warfare, which happened all the time.
Genetically engineered with a brain hardwired to kill, Cherenkov has a naturally aggressive attitude, similar to a dog being bred to dog fight. 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, however, provisions were made for the Super Soldiers and they were simply dumped back into society by the Federation without much support for mental transitioning and adjusting, and they were somehow expected to lead "normal" lives.
Cherenkov tried to adapt himself to society on planet Ariadne, but it was impossible and he was unable to find value, meaning, happiness and purpose in it, and could not build himself a "normal" life. Cherenkov suffered not from post-traumatic stress disorder, but "post-traumatic growth". This was because Cherenkov was not "haunted" by the past; he was haunted by the present and future. After seeing so much suffering, death, war and bloodshed his whole life, he was used to it and all 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 too him. He was too "different" from everyone else.
Cherenkov eventually killed someone out of anger and soldier instinct.
While on trial, his lawyer (who later became his wife) defended him to avoid inhumane 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 (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 had married him simply so she could obtain a license to have a child by cloning herself, rather than out of actual love, and also had an online affair. 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.
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 once more, he strangled her neck and killed her, and 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 found out about Cherenkov and took him under his wing into the U-TIC Organization. Margulis became Cherenkov's mentor, and Cherenkov found a sense of value, happiness, meaning and purpose in Margulis.
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. Don't be confused or succumb to empty mindless shells who don't seem or feel real inside; in other words, automatons with no self-will of their own.
One of his 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 time, including Shion Uzuki's boyfriend Kevin. It is unclear how and why Cherenkov survived; it could have been pure luck, or perhaps Kevin wrote KOS-MOS' program to not attack Cherenkov.
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 as a spy and a few others 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. 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.
Cherenkov asks Captain Matthews if he can be dropped off on planet Senir (because it has a U-TIC facility but Cherenkov keeps this information private), but Cherenkov keeps this secret. 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, almost accidentally stumbling onto another failed attempt to kidnap KOS-MOS that is thwarted by Cherenkov's PTSD 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 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, but since he doesn't have the strength or stealth to take on KOS-MOS, Ziggy, Shion and chaos 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 beats them up, 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 he hallucinated himself disappearing, caused by being touched by that Gnosis earlier.
At the giant Gnosis mothership "Cathedral Ship", Cherenkov was separated from the group and he began having traumatic flashbacks of his time on Ariadne, and he began to see the ghosts of Ariadne. When Shion and the rest of the party reach the Emulator facility, Cherenkov is already there and phasing worse. Shion is alarmed and concerned, but Cherenkov snaps at her. He admits his involvement in Ariadne's disappearance before he is set upon by lights that transform him into a giant gargoyle-like Gnosis. The Gnosis was 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. This may be a reference to the fact that Shion was almost killed by a Gnosis when she was onboard the Woglinde, and therefore should suffer the same fate as Cherenkov. However, Shion did not. Shion, overwhelmed by his death, falls to the floor and cries, weeping in sorrow for him.
Shion is concerned that they may transform into Gnosis in the future. As of the end of Episode II, however, Shion has not exhibited any signs of the trauma Cherenkov suffered before he met his end.
- "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.
- 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.