D'Arezzo was considered by most people to be extremely handsome, to the extent that Helen Zilwicki initially assumed he had had extensive biosculpt. In fact, as a former sex slave, he was designed to be attractive. Like most former Manpower slaves, he had an ID code genetically "tattooed" on his tongue. (SI1)
Paulo was born as the son of two of Manpower Incorporated's "pleasure slaves". He and his parents were on a slaver that was intercepted by a Manticoran ship commanded by a Captain d'Arezzo; Paulo's mother was killed in the following struggle, but he and his father survived and filed for Manticoran citizenship, taking the name of the officer who freed them. Years later, Paulo became a cadet at the Royal Manticoran Naval Academy on Saganami Island.
He left the Academy with the class of 1920 PD and reported for his midshipman cruise aboard HMS Hexapuma, where he met Helen Zilwicki. Once the ship arrived in the Talbott Cluster, d'Arezzo served as a member of the bridge crew in his shift and took part in the Battle of Nuncio. Although he and Zilwicki initially had a strained relationship, they ultimately grew closer; the two of them were nevertheless afraid of acting on their feelings. (SI1)
In early 1922 PD, after returning to Manticoran space, Paulo was assigned to the Manufacturing and Prototyping Command, based aboard the space station HMSS Weyland, along with Aubrey Wanderman. He and Wanderman were evacuated along with the station's research staff during an emergency drill, causing them both to survive the destruction of Weyland in Operation Oyster Bay. (HH12)
He was later assigned to the fast combat support ship HMS Charles Ward as an Assistant Electronic Warfare Officer. Before the ship left for Talbott Station, he recorded a message to Helen Zilwicki, in which he professed his love for her and his intention to begin a relationship with her once he arrived in Talbott. (SI4)
- HMS Hexapuma, Midshipman Tactical Branch (1919 PD)
- ad hoc assistant to the Electronic Warfare Officer (de facto Assistant EW Officer)
- Manufacturing and Prototyping Command, HMSS Weyland (1922 PD)
- HMS Charles Ward, Assistant Electronic Warfare Officer
- His name is likely a reference to Paolo Burali d'Arezzo, Archbishop of Naples in the 16th Century, who saved numerous innocents from the Spanish Inquisition
- He is repeatedly referred to as a "junior officer" assigned to the "fabrication department". It is unclear whether this means d'Arezzo was a member of the fabrication department of Manufacturing and Prototyping Command, or whether "fabrication department" referred to the Command in its entirety.
- Due to staffing shortages, HMS Hexapuma did not at that time have an official Assistant EW Officer. It was felt that the EW Officer they did have--being among the Navy's best--would be able to cope without an assistant. Captain Terekhov and the EW Officer in question both strongly disagreed. As d'Arezzo had particularly high EW scores at the Academy, it was decided that he would act as the EW Officer's assistant as required.