Wheel is another human from Earth serving on the USS Mumbai, in his case as a steward—which entails anything from cleaning toilets to waiting on the captain to working in the galley. Like Root, this is his first assignment and he is at the very bottom of the hierarchy. His main career interest is the galley—he has said he wants to be chief cook one day. He is simultaneously frustrated by the limited facilities in the Mumbai’s kitchen and proud of what they have achieved with it. He generally faces problems with calm good humour.
Root and Wheel spend a fair amount of their spare time ‘sparring’, by which they mean using random sports equipment in fanciful martial arts contests of their own devising. But Wheel also leads a tai chi session just before his morning shifts in the kitchens.
As well as shaving his head he follows other Buddhist conventions like owning as few possessions as practicable (all the knick-knacks in their cabin belong to Root) and meditating.
For some reason I have wanted to have a character named Wheel for years.