Zoe’s early life was traumatic – at 6 her family was killed in the wars that raged across her home world. At 12 she was a child soldier fighting for one of the despot that grew out of the remains. When the corporations came in and cleaned up – she became a refugee – without home or purpose.
Then she was picked up by one of the AI run academies the corporations had left behind.
Zoe spent her early years there rebelling against the same institution that had in reality saved her. But in an academy run by an AI and populated by machines – rebelling gets you nowhere.
When Zoe left she was transformed – buttoned down, in control – she suppressed her past and moved on.
Now she runs navigation plots and 3D encounter scenarios – now she flies capital ships.
But for her control is everything – she dare not slide back into her past, she dare not lose control.
As a result, she has put herself in this war – in an attempt to control it in some way – she will not man weapons however, they remind her of her darker younger self.
But Navigation gives her enough control – getting people into and out of trouble. Affecting the war without pulling a trigger.