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|Born:||2350, Dublin, Earth|
Liam O'Rilley grew up in Dublin. Since childhood he never knew his parents. He lived for a time in a foster home until he ran away. Lived on the streets for five years, he joined up with Willy "Jackpot" Stevens, a known conman. At 17, he started to win money playing poker, using any means necessary. Cheating, of course, was a primary requisite to win.
Growing up with Willy as his mentor made Liam become somewhat a cynical, always looking for a way to trick people to do or give whatever he wanted. In his mind, that was the only way to live and stay alive. Among others things, he became a master con man, knowing how to pick locks, pick pockets and manipulating people. He learned all kinds of dirty tricks to win a fight, but, most of the time he avoided violence, using his wits. He never used of violence or harmed anyone. He was accused of cheating more than one time, but no one could prove. Using his charm and his quick thinking he escaped various tight spots. But, even Liam had his time of bad luck.
When Liam was 25, Willy was murdered by an angry Nausican who saw through Willy's cheats. Liam took revenge own his hands and after a lengthy firefight, killed the Nausicaan. Without anyone to help or give him direction, Liam went too deep into the criminal world. Applying all kinds of tricks and cons to survive, Liam became a hardened and manipulative man. He didn't want just survive; he wanted to have everything he wanted, not caring who was in his way.
He started to take more and more risks until Starfleet caught him. He was sent to New Zealand Penal Facility for five years. After two years there, Liam tried to escape. He pick the pocket of one of the guards, took his security card and went straight to the shuttles. He didn't know exactly how to pilot a shuttle, but, he decided to take a chance anyway. As soon he got the shuttle off the ground, he tried to set a course to a nearest city, but the best he did was to crash five kilometers of the penal colony.
Amazingly enough, he came out of the crash unharmed. Trying his best not to be detected, he wounded himself after jumping a 40 meters high bridge. Luckily for him, he was rescued by an old man called Caleb Smith, an ex-starfleet officer turned into merchant. During days Liam stayed between life and death until he finally escaped death. In thanks, Liam joined Caleb.
The old man had his own ship, The Odessa. Caleb had just lost his son in engineering accident, so he took Liam under his wing and tried to give the younger man a new chance. To do that, Liam forged a new identity, one Matt Hardman, he started a new life, and determined be honest and hard working. Caleb was a good man and taught Matt (Liam) the tools of the trade and in response, Matt became a good first mate of the Odessa. For the first time in years, he allowed himself to let his defenses down and learned with Caleb that honesty had its advantages.
Liam decided never to go back to the conman life. He spent fours years as the Odessa first mate, happy and feeling part of a family. Caleb was like the father he had never met. The crew of the Odessa was a good bunch and treated him fairly.
Then the Dominion War started. The Odessa was making a run along the Federation and Cardassian DMZ when it was attacked by a Cardassian attack cruiser. They never had a chance to react, since the Cardassians were interested in eliminating any ships that could inform the Federation about their fleet in the area.
Caleb and several crew on the bridge died instantly. Liam was down in engineering when the attack happened and was wounded, losing his left hand. Wounded and battered, he dragged himself to a escape pod and ejected. Trying to stop the bleeding, he watched, dismayed, the Odessa blowing up.
Cutting all power from the escape pod to avoid detection, Liam drifted until another merchant ship rescued him. Replacing his hand by a crude cybernetic hand (he couldn't afford a synthetic hand at the time), he decided to go to the cargo business, trying to keep the honest life Caleb had taught him.
Liam (or Matt) lives in ambiguity. There's the conman side that makes him analyze a situation, trying to find the most lucrative way for him and there's the honest man side, that tells him to defend his crew to the death; That duality makes him a difficult man to read. In times he's cold and manipulative and in others he acts very honorably, following a strict sense of duty. The only thing that's easy to perceive is his hatred for the Cardassians.
Liam aka Matt, has a cybernetic left hand and, despite the fact he could replace it for a synthetic hand, he has kept it to remind him of what the Cardassians did. The obvious advantage is that cybernetic hand gives him an edge during a close combat fight.
- Salvaged from the now-defunct Walkabout wikisite and reprinted here for the purposes of historical preservation.