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Mordecai Haipern is an Irathient man who is descended from one of the original pilots of the Kaziri, connecting him to Irisa who is also descended from one of the Kaziri's pilots.


Cai was born in Tallahassee Florida. He was raised by adoptive human parents who rescued him from Florida before it was destroyed in a nuclear attack. He grew up on a kibbutz. Growing up with Jewish parents, he spoke Hebrew as his first language and continues to identify himself as Jewish.

He is descended from Reimlu, one of the two Irathients who saved the Earth from being terraformed by the Kaziri 3000 years ago. They each took one of the keys to the Kaziri into their bodies, permanently changing their DNA and passing this change on to their ancestors, including Cai.

Season 2[]

Cai arrives in Defiance with Rynn. When the Earth Republic seized the McCawley mines, they had to negotiate for rights ceded to the Spirit Riders. Cai is helping Rynn with this, and they are only stopping in Defiance briefly before heading on to Cedars, where he appears to live (mentioning he has a romantic entanglement with a woman named Gwyneth who also lives in Cedars).

Irisa recognizes him instantly as having Reimlu's face. She begins asking him questions like "Do you have memories about coming here on the Arks?" This unnerves Cai, who wants to get away from Irisa.

Before he boards the landcoach to Cedars, Irisa kisses him, causing a vision of their ancestors, Ashi and Reimlu, seizing control of the Kaziri and stopping it from terraforming the Earth and killing its inhabitants.

Cai soon learns that the Kaziri has possessed Irisa, so when her father, Joshua Nolan, learns that Irisa and Cai's ancestors controlled the Kaziri by each taking one key into their body and separating from each other, he enlists Cai to help him replicate that plan. Irisa currently has both keys in her body, allowing the Kaziri to control her. Nolan and Cai find Irisa, and Cai takes the second key back. This frees Irisa from the Kaziri's control.

Cai and Irisa then join forces to shut down the Kaziri for good. It attempts to stop them from completing their mission by showing them visions of people they loved convincing them to stop. Cai sees his dead parents telling him that he abandoned them to die in Tallahassee. Both Irisa and Cai make it through the visions and complete their mission.

Cai manages to escape before the Kaziri collapses all of Old St. Louis, but Nolan and Irisa aren't so lucky. They remain trapped in a sleeper pod, presumed dead by the outside world.

Season 3[]

Although Cai does not appear in season 3, when Irisa escapes from the sleeper pod, she discovers that he has written an embellished version of their adventures together. His novel is titled "The Amazing Goddess of the Badlands" and features Irisa as the central character.

To quote the novel,

The ship began crumbling around them in a violent monsoon of terra-rock. The Kaziri was in self-destruct mode. Wounded, bleeding, there was no way Nolan could make it out on his own, so Irisa hoisted him over her shoulders. As his hot, human blood mingled with hers, she pulled the man she called Father to safety. To freedom. To Defiance.

Based on this passage, it appears that Cai gave Irisa and Nolan a happier ending in fiction than what he believed happened to them in real life. Although Nolan and Irisa were presumed to have died, their fictional selves made it back to Defiance.

The novel seems to be quite popular and has earned Irisa a fierce reputation. In the novel, Irisa preforms acts like carving up the E-Rep battalion to use them as a stepladder. People quickly begin recognizing her as the woman from the book, and Frei Poole asks her to autograph the book as a gift for his boyfriend.


it would really reduce my anxiety level down to a four if you weren't staring at me as though you were trying to eat me. If You Could See Her Through My Eyes

Whenever I was near her, I could feel something pulling at me. It felt as though one of the pieces of tech wants me. I mean, to be inside me. That's not coming out right. I... I Almost Prayed