From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Sarah Nightingale is a young inventor and roboticist formerly in the service of the mercenary Rook the Vaulted. To put it simply, she handled all of the work he didn't want to do, including paperwork and housework. Sarah also created new devices, but her boss never seemed to use any of them. Originally frustrated by Rook, she has found an outlet for her talent as Chief Engineer of the Asgard, the ship belonging to the Shadow Spiders. Resentful of caped heroes (who she sees as self-serving fakes), has a bit of a dark side, which shows up in a slightly vengeful streak. She won't miss an opportunity to taunt or inflict misfortune on people who've offended or hurt her in the past.
Sarah's not a bad person, really! Ordinarily, Sarah is actually a compassionate and optimistic person, and someone who would like to see the world change for the better. But due to events in her past, and her prolonged exposure to Rook's "wisdom", she has begun to develop a subdued pessimism, and she looks at the world with a hint of bemused cynicism. Sarah truly wishes for a better world, but she's slowly beginning to realize that it's never going to happen. What choice does she have but to go along with it?
Despite all of this, Sarah maintains a friendly exterior. She's willing to help others in need, and she's become a good listener. If you ever need someone to talk to after a bad day, Sarah will be there. She does have signs of an overactive imagination and has a tendency to jump to bizarre conclusions with little evidence (case in point: she believes the spirit-reaper Mephistroth is a dinosaur hunter based solely on vague allusions to working for a museum), which hints that she might not be completely in tune with the world around her. This is probably because she spends most of her free time shut-in, working on her machines. But let's be clear- Sarah may have a slight scatterbrained side when it comes to real-life issues, but she's incredibly knowledgeable about mechanical engineering and computer programming. Under the guidance of Dr. Von Havencrabs, she's also received a crash-course in physics.
In spite of her slight dark side, Sarah is still more passive than aggressive. She laments that she's not a born fighter, and that shes not as tough as her friend Kira, despite being a few years older. Even though she has some internal anger issues, Sarah still can't find it in herself to kill another human being. Handling paperwork for a hired killer has desensitized her somewhat, but she's not ready to be a killer. She does what she can to minimize Rook's damage, and because she has the chance to clear his assignments, Sarah will sometimes erase the ones that would endanger innocent people, or prevent Rook from killing someone who might not actually deserve it. He doesn't seem to notice whenever she does this, or if he does, he hasn't mentioned it.
Sarah sees most "heroes" as frauds. She thinks that they care mostly about their own image, and that protecting the innocent is a distant second priority. Her judgment may be unfair, but it's been so deeply impressed into her mind that she has trouble seeing heroes any other way.
As for Rook... Sarah was (and sometimes still is) frustrated by him (and anyone who knows Rook can understand why), but she's also long had feelings for him, and only recently mustered the courage to tell him. Though he initially rejected her, he did so only because he felt she deserved someone better. Recently, he has finally admitted his own feelings for her. The two have been close for years, but now they share a much closer relationship.
Sarah Marceau's early life is mostly uneventful. She was raised in a normal, happy home by her parents Harold and Evelyn Marceau, and they were like any other family in the post-Rikti Paragon City. But Sarah was always just a little different- instead of playing with dolls, she liked to take her father's electronics apart to see how they worked. By the time she was 9, Sarah could take apart her father's computer and reassemble it by the time he came home from work, and nothing would look out of place. Her parents encouraged her to hone her talents (and did their best to keep her away from their stuff). By age 11, Sarah had built her first robot. By age 12, she had developed an AI system on her own, and at the age of 13, she caught the eye of Portacio Industries. Impressed with her skills, Portacio offered to enroll her in an apprenticeship program. Usually, they required at least a bachelor's degree before they would accept anyone into the program, but the Portacio executives saw potential in Sarah and decided to make an exception. Sarah accepted, and her parents proudly watched as their young daughter took her first steps towards a brighter future.
What happened next is still a mystery. Somehow, Sarah's apprenticeship was terminated, her parents were killed, and she ended up working as an assistant to the mercenary Rook the Vaulted. While it's all mostly still unexplained, there are a few details: the ex-Freakshow monster called Mower Sarco is allegedly responsible for the brutal murder of the Marceau family; Rook the Vaulted is responsible for the death of Mower Sarco; several Portacio Industries employees are dead, including the manager of a research division in Steel Canyon; and Sarah blames the inaction of the PPD and the superhero Quetzal K... who is already notorious for favoring self-promotion over actual superhero work. During the course of these events, Sarah also learned the identity of her biological father, after learning that it wasn't Harold Marceau. In addition, Rook made a promise to someone to watch and protect Sarah. In order to make herself useful and avoid just being dead weight, Sarah volunteered to at least assist him with his work. From the beginning, though, Sarah harbored a schoolgirl crush on her paranoid, eccentric protector... one which she herself initially had a hard time justifying.
As an assistant to Rook, Sarah has followed his advice and taken a codename: Nightingale. Rook used to refer to her solely as Nightingale, but Sarah still gives her first name freely, something that worried the already-paranoid Rook (though he now openly calls her Sarah in public). Essentially, her job was to take care of the minor details of the mercenary's operation. In finer terms, she was a glorified secretary and housemaid, something she found quite annoying, especially since Rook never seemed to take advantage of having an inventor as an assistant. Recently, Rook and Sarah both joined the Shadow Spiders, and she'd become quite comfortable with the team's ship, the Asgard. She was also quite excited when Dr. Von Havencrabs offered her the position of Head Engineer, which she gladly accepted. She's technically still Rook's assistant, but her duties as Head Engineer take up most of her time, and she now introduces herself using her current occupation.
With her mind now occupied with something both productive and fulfilling, Sarah has let go of some of her internal anger. With Rook now returning her feelings, Sarah feels as if her whole life is coming together. She's even content to ignore Quetzal K, the last remaining person with any connection to the death of her parents... though it might be because he's incredibly stupid and really is not worth the trouble.
A good inventor always has a trick up her sleeve. Sarah regularly carries an array of gadgets with her, some of which she carries only because she wants an excuse to test them.
Sarah's standard weapon, a large rifle with varying settings. At default, it can be used as a mid-range weapon. With the flip of a switch, it becomes a long-range weapon, perfect for sniping. It can fire small laser blasts, or it can fire projectile weapons, such as bullets and grenades. It's so versatile, and it can be yours for three easy payments of $19.99!
Sarah makes use of several portable gadgets. Personal force-field generators, armor-eating acid sprayers, various detonators... all very standard, of course. She also makes use of various status-effect grenades (web, freezing, gas, etc.), as well as seeker drones which she uses to scout and map the area. Her favorite, however, is a portable console tablet that keeps her connected to the Asgard's systems... so she could potentially use the ship's weapons for herself. Of course, she never does this without clearing it with the commanders. Or does she?
Sarah's pride and joy, her robots are both her pets and her minions. Their bodies are made from various sources, but their AI is entirely designed from scratch. Sarah could use any of the more advanced AI available, but she prefers to use her own design, which may be crude by modern standards, but it's hers. It's all a matter of pride. That way, they remain her babies.
Rook the Vaulted has issues with robots and seems to be under the impression that Sarah's robots want him dead. Actually, they love and respect him. After they walked in on Rook and Sarah sharing some private time, Sarah sat down with them explained what it was they were doing, and what it meant. Ever since, they've started to see him as a kind of stepdad, but Appo is the most attached to "dad."
Iggy and Spike
Iggy and Spike are essentially twins, and mostly have the same personality. But, Iggy's older, so let's talk about him. Iggy was Sarah's first robot, built from scratch and using an AI system she designed. Originally, he was just a simple project and Sarah didn't build him for any particular purpose. Once finished, he sort of became Sarah's butler and attendant, and he developed an attachment to her that made him somewhat overprotective. His original body, a crude skeleton frame, was destroyed the night Sarah's parents were murdered. His brain remained intact, and Sarah put it in the body of a burnt-out PPD Enforcer unit. After some tweaking to both his programming and body, Iggy became a bodyguard unit. Recently, he's become Sarah's second in command in the engineering department. While she went on vacation for a week, Iggy briefly took over her duties... and is now mostly terrified of the rest of the Spiders. He still retains a passive crush on Markel Smythe and usually offers backrubs, footrubs, etc.
As for Spike, he never had an original body, starting out as a rough head with a copy of Iggy's "brain." Once Iggy received his new body, Sarah used parts from another PPD Enforcer for Spike, ultimately making a robot similar to Iggy, but with some subtle differences. As far as his personality goes, Spike is just as loyal as Iggy, but he seems to be aware that Rook hates them. Spike will play small pranks on him, which only infuriate Rook and force Sarah to step in and defend him, genuinely convinced that Rook is just blaming the poor robot for his own clumsiness. It's more than likely Spike's fault that Rook thinks the robots are plotting his death. Spike has been known to secretly break things so he can later fix them and take credit.
Poor, poor Appo. He has the same basic body type and equipment as Iggy and Spike, but he has only half their processing power. So, Appo is sort of their dumb little brother. He was built mostly to do the odd jobs nobody else wanted to do. Appo takes out the garbage. Appo cleans the sink. Appo scrubs the toilet. Appo fixes the heater. While the other bots tease him, they're also protective of their child-like kid brother. Ever since accepting Rook as "stepfather", Appo has come to see him as a role model and tries to impress him, going as far as to paint himself blue to be more like "daddy".
Appo actually dreams of being a chef, like Dominico, one of Dr. Von Havencrabs's robots. Dominico has spent years studying the culinary arts and has accepted Appo as an apprentice. Sarah worries that Dominico's disciplinary methods may be too strict, but Appo insists that this is his dream. Presently, he is nowhere near Dominico's skill level, but he makes decent meals. If Dominico is a world class master chef, Appo is so far a short-order diner cook.
Harvey and Cal
Twin repair units, Harvey and Cal are the maintenance crew. They're designed to find any structural flaws and correct them. That means one minute, they may be tightening a door hinge, and the next they might be repairing a turret. They have yet to develop distinct personalities, and seem to speak in unison... even when they're in different rooms. Recently, she's upgraded them to perform minor first aid, though most people are hesitant to accept medical help from robots armed with screwdrivers and welders.
The big gun. Ozzy is Sarah's newest robot, an assault unit with enough firepower to level a city block. Like most of her robots, Sarah didn't program any specific personality, instead letting Ozzy develop his own through his experiences. This may have backfired: while the other robots see Sarah as a mother, Ozzy is in love with her (something that really should be impossible). Worse, he's realized that Rook is his chief rival, and must be eliminated. Until Sarah can fix this rather embarrassing problem, she keeps him powered down in her workshop. Rook, naturally, would prefer she just dismantle it.
Recently, Markel's tech aura has changed Ozzy's fixation. Now he is determined to have "cuddle time" with Markel and is not above using violently aggressive tactics to reach that goal. He used to want Rook the Vaulted dead, but now wants Blood Red Rook dead instead... but he has no idea what she looks like and after destroying a random dummy in the firing range he somehow decided Rook is dead.
There is absolutely nothing subtle about an assault bot. There is nothing subtle about Ozzy's bizarre love for Markel... cuddle time cannot be stopped. Cuddle time will commence shortly...
Recently, Sarah has become slightly more popular. She now has more than two friends!
- Rook the Vaulted- Sarah's employer, the secretive mercenary has kept her under his protection for nearly five years. Though they have been seen bickering quite often, Sarah cares deeply about him and worries for both his physical and mental well-being. She claims to know a side of him that he never reveals in public. While she is often introduced as his assistant (which she really is), the real reason that Sarah and Rook are together is a little more complicated. Recently, they've also admitted their love for one another.
- Kira- Kira shares some of Sarah's frustration with Rook, so it's natural that they've formed a bond over it. In secret, Sarah wishes she was as tough as Kira. After Rook, Kira is probably the person Sarah trusts the most, and sometimes seeks her both for comfort and safety.
- R-45 Generator- As a robot lover, Sarah especially likes Null. She's very curious about his specs, which are unfortunately classified. Eventually, she'd like to make robots as advanced as Null.
- Blood Red Rook- Red Rook is one of the few level-headed members of the Spiders, and Sarah respects her tremendously. She's ecstatic that Rook turns to her for most of her engineering needs, and does her best to impress her.
- Yinjian- Crazy, impulsive Amy Yin seems to be nothing but trouble... but she's also a good friend. And Sarah still owes her for some particular pieces of relationship advices, like that ninja outfit.
- Mephistroth- Sarah likes the somewhat nervous-seeming Meph, but she's oblivious to his real nature and his real job. For some reason, she's decided that he's a dinosaur hunter.
- High Jinks- Sarah generally dislikes heroes, but she thinks Jinks is funny. Plus, he pushes Rook's buttons. What's not to like?
- Dr. Von Havencrabs- Sarah admires and respects the Doctor, seeing him as both a commander and, secretly, something of a mentor. Now given access to his own advanced schematics, Sarah is quickly learning from him, though she intends to one day improve on his designs and even surpass him, which the Doctor himself believes she just might be able to do. Even as she aspires to that goal, Sarah seems just a little afraid of reaching it.
- Carceri- When you spend most of your time with Rook, you sometimes find yourself at a loss for decent conversation. Enter the much more charming Nolan, who has given Sarah some much-needed "normal" conversation.
- Swivel- Sarah is aware that there's more to Swivel than a stuttering, rambling nerd, and a brief misunderstanding alerted her to the fact that he and his AI system PRESS could be dangerous... nevertheless, he's still interesting company.
- P-13 Phatalsynthesis- Ever since Phatal became Rook's unofficial student and sometimes-sidekick, Sarah has come to regard him with almost maternal feelings. And she thinks his idolization of Rook is simply adorable.
- Bad Dream- Her connection to Rook has already landed her into some trouble with Bad Dream. Exposed to his fear toxin and later imprisoned by the Black Tie group, Sarah is beginning to see why this guy is so hated, and she's more than a little frightened of him. Recently, Dream gave Rook a communicator so that Sarah could ask for Black Tie's help if she ever needed it (protection in exchange for Rook's inaction against Black Tie). Rook placed it on her robot Appo and then Sarah told him to wander aimlessly around Cap au Diable, just in case they wanted to use the communicator to track her.
- Psi-Tox- Psi-Tox was a willing accomplice to Dream during Sarah's encounter with him, but what truly upset Sarah was Tox's seemingly insincere attempt to befriend her afterwards (which she took as adding insult to injury), as if she had done nothing wrong. Tox seems to be one of the few people who can bring out Sarah's darker side.
- Gerad- Sarah is at first intrigued by the charismatic Gerad (much to Rook's chagrin), and then found herself quite attracted to him... and when Rook initially rejected her love, she turned to Gerad for comfort. However, upon realizing that Rook did love her, Sarah returned to him. Though she tried to be gentle when informing Gerad that she really wanted to be with Rook, Gerad was somewhat upset. He blamed Rook for turning her against him, and became a powerful enemy to both of them, but eventually grew bored with them and let Sarah off with a literal slap on the wrist.
((Feel free to add comments on Sarah in this section))
- "Sarah is a good friend. She's smart, enthusiastic and she's a definite asset to the Shadow Spiders. Also, she makes some really neat robots."
- "This is entirely confidential and does not leave this room. Now then, about Sarah... she's a damned genius. It's been predicted before that in the future, she may become a technological superpower. But that's not important. She's my only reason for living. She's the sole joy in a world I can barely stand to live in. At times, she can be naive, maybe a little too forgiving, certainly far too trusting. She's endured so much because of me, but somehow, she... still loves me. I don't deserve her... I truly don't deserve her..."
- "... Sarah... She's the only one who actually gets it. She's brilliant, an outright genius, perhaps in more than just technology-related things... but she's so awful at being able to tell who will hurt her and who won't, and I hate that part of her - it makes me always worry that maybe, one day, she's ... she's going to get herself hurt, and neither Rook, nor myself will be there."
- "Sarah, quite the intellegant cookie. Niave.. Dense at times.. However... She has much potential. Her empty and idle insults towards myself are more humerous than anything else.. Hopefully, she'll.. See past the bullshit.."
- "Sarah and I keep odd hours. When everyone else has gone to bed, we are still watching over the ship, and so naturally we converse. Sarah is one of the sweetest, kindest people around. She has gone from being our chief engineer to being a dear friend. I don't have to put on a front for her; I can be honest. And she with me, I hope... I like that."
- "Sarah isn't given enough credit."
- "In secrecy, I bet Sarah is worse than I am. In bed, I mean."
- "It's amazing someone so nice has lasted so damn long around here. I don't have much else to say, Sarah and I...aren't exactly on the best of terms"
- "Sarah? Heh. I know her, yeah. I owe her alot. She helped me see the light about what I really am. I should thank her sometime really..."
- "Sarah is a genius. She is also one of the kindest people you've ever meet...I am very glad I know her."
Other Notes and Trivia
- Sarah's codename was not chosen at random: Nightingale has a beautiful singing voice, and Sarah has mentioned that if she wasn't in her current situation, she would either try to be a professional inventor or a singer.
- Like Rook, Sarah has a connection to rebel leader Ennio "Alfiere" Di Gallo: he is Sarah's biological father.
- Sarah's mother is Irish-born and her stepfather is French-descended. She still considers herself French and Irish, even though Harold Marceau is not her biological father.
- Sarah's love of Irish coffee is completely unrelated to her Irish ancestry.
- At one point, Sarah carried a necklace which contained a small vial of Rook the Vaulted's blood, to remind herself that no matter how much he frustrated her, Rook was still willing to (and often had) shed blood to protect her. It was taken by Bad Dream for his own purposes, but some say she's made another one.
- This character used to be on the same account as Rook the Vaulted, where she was a level 26 technology mastermind (and has since been deleted). Since getting my own account, I've accidentally made her natural instead of technology. Just pretend she's still technology!
- Part of Sarah's yet-unrevealed backstory is inspired by Mathilda from the movie Leon (also called The Professional).