From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
((Currently a major WIP))
"Aw, y' boys're dead already? Expected more from y', really. Damn shame."
"Th' only things from th' past worth rememberin' are your mistakes an' your victories. Everythin' else s' bullshit."
Born to an English father and an American mother to a reasonably comfortable family in a suburban area in New York, Anna Maris was, as she grew up, quite a source of frustration to her parents. Her tomboyish nature, combined with her steadfast resistance of any attempts to "feminize" her by her parents and relatives sparked some tension. Growing up, most of her friends were male, her interests were rather inappropriate for her gender (in her parents' opinion at least) As she neared her teenage years, this turned into anger, not only at her parents' refusal to accept who she was, but their "softness". She began to lash out. Her aggression and her attitude nearly got her expelled from both middle and high school multiple times, and her grades were consistently poor due to her focus on rather shady "extracurricular activities" It's thought that some of her skills with knives and explosives, as well as her penchant for dirty fighting came from this. This is not to say she was an unintelligent person, though. In spite of her lack of attention to formal education, she was still very perceptive, and a quick learner.
At the age of eighteen, due to a mixture of discussions with some of her older male friends, and a desire to show her parents (who had practically disinherited her at this point) that she wasn't completely worthless, she joined the military in the year 2001.
While she did complete boot camp (her leadership, marksmanship, and physical fitness had impressed a few higher ups, meriting her a promotion to Sergeant rather early in her career), and was certainly quite eligible for special forces training, she was never given a chance to participate, due to the panic and chaos caused by the Rikti Invasion in 2002. Maris and her squad, as well as a rather substantial amount of the country's armed forces, were assigned to Paragon to help battle the bulk of the invasion. There, she caught her first glimpse of metahumans. They both impressed her, and sparked a certain frustration. At first, it was mere suspicion from the idea of working alongside something so utterly alien, but as the war raged on, and lives were lost, it turned from simple fear to rage. All she could wonder was "Why the hell are we here in the first place?!" While her own squad's performance was, due to her leadership, quite close to meta levels, she couldn't help but wince with disgust at how high the casualty rates amongst the non-heroes were. It seemed like they didn't need help in the first place, so why was her squad and the others there? Simply for show?
A vent for this frustration presented itself when, shortly before the end of the war, several men in dark blue tactical gear mysteriously appeared in the camp Maris and her men were stationed in. The leader explained that they were fellow normals who had shown their "supremacy" over superhumans, and through a mix of careful persuasion, bribery, and manipulation of her emotions, turned her and her squad against their Hero allies, as well as granting them some specialized equipment to help them make short work of them. The next morning, Maris and her men carried out the task given to them by the mysterious men...until Maris herself was subdued by a right-thinking member of her squad who realized the insanity of what they were doing. Maris was court-martialed, and through some strange quirk in the legal system, ended up in the Ziggursky Penitentiary, when she spent four long years.
Maris understood the Isles from the day that she arrived there. She had two choices - be a weak, cowering citizen, or use her abilities to grab whatever she wanted. What she chose is quite obvious. Starting with a handful of riot control "sticky" grenades, a stolen shotgun, and a set of stolen fatigues, she worked her way up, initially sticking with Arachnos as, well, it's generally good to take the hand of the biggest, toughest guy in the place when he offers it to you (though she never believed in the Destined One idea, it seemed completely stupid to her from the get-go), but gradually slipping away and choosing to commit to more "independent" work, with her "patron" Black Scorpion being used as not much more than a source of weapons and money.
Depending on who you ask, Maris is a trustworthy and efficient sister-in-arms, a horrific monster and sociopath with no morals or regard for others, or just some uppity human who hasn't learned her place. The truth lies somewhere between the first two. The Isles and her choice of company have made her into someone who ultimately isn't stupid enough to screw over the people who trust her as long as they're helpful, but will gladly step over them or slice their throats if they get in her way. She's extremely proud (some would say arrogant) and boisterous - (to be finished soon)
While she is primarily focused on actions, not words, and generally views intellectual/philosophical debate among her kind of people as a waste of time, Maris does hold some core beliefs, and is, surprisingly, not completely amoral. This is not to say she is a hero in disguise or anything of the sort. She loves fighting and simply avoids "weak" actions such as petty theft/abuse, and the killing of innocents because there's no challenge and it's something only a weak person, in her eyes, would ever do. She believes anything can be fought, and anything that threatens you or your free will SHOULD be fought. She views those who spare those who attempt to try to kill them as weak-willed and unable to embrace what is "necessary" in their profession (whether hero or villain), and in the case of the Rikti or the IDF, extremely naive. After all, they're at war with humanity as we know it, and not just the brainwashed servants of some supervillain. While she doesn't HATE mages or metas, she doesn't believe them to be better than a well-cultivated and armed "normal", and will gladly go out of her way to prove this. To those who say she should know her place, she'll gladly show them her place. Above their mutilated corpses, laughing.
Mental and Physical Attributes
Maris has developed in her time in the isles from a dirty little trickster who happened to be a pretty damn good shot, to one of the most formidable human beings around there. Though gifted with no supernatural abilities by magic, science, technology, or birth, she does have keen reflexes and eyesight, combined with an incredible tolerance for pain and resistance to shock. She's also rather cunning, and quite good at bringing along the right tools for the job, and even making clever use out of the wrong ones if she's caught off guard. She favors small arms and grenades at a distance, and blades up close, combined with a crude but effective mix of grappling, elbowing, and kneeing.
Mentally, Anna's stubborn as hell. Though she might not have any fancy psychic shields, she's still just jaded and clear-headed enough to resist most tricks. Visions of the Netherworld? Pft. She's fought things like that, and WON. Attempt at mind control? Get the hell out of her head before she puts a bullet in yours. Even her 'spirit' is difficult to harm.
Also of note is her approach to fighting. Namely, she loves it. The worse the odds, the riskier the battles, the better. While she certainly is a cunning opponent, she often prefers to use "crazy" strategies, such as using her augs to rush onto a tank or walker and attempt to tear it open or pierce the interior. She's provoked demons with rolled up newspapers, flipped off infinitely powerful beings from beyond the stars, locked eyes with archmages wielding unimaginable eldrich energies and simply laughed. It's changed somewhat over the years, with her learning that toying around with the gadgets many in her organization prefer isn't exactly that helpful. She's come to love fighting, not just appreciate it. Though she plays the dutiful soldier, she's not sure whether she kills her targets because it's part of the job, because those things need to die for the survival of herself or others, or simply because she loves fighting and killing. Slowly but surely, a red haze is falling over her worldview.
Maris is often ignorant, or at least apathetic to anything that's not "down her sights", but this should not be confused with stupidity. She's quite cunning, and many have learned the costs of assuming otherwise.
In appearance, Anna's body is certainly quite fit and toned, marked with scars, bandages, and bruises gained from her line of work. But, thanks to the augmentation brought on from the DAS, it's much more than it appears. While she often seems far too relaxed, smug, and "loose", when provoked, she shifts to perfect control, exhibiting Olympic-levels of speed and agility. No motion is wasted, every one dedicated to evading, closing, and killing. While obviously incapable of "dodging bullets", she's mastered the ability to simply "not be there" when opponents pull the trigger, and applies similar techniques in melee combat.
If Anna has one major weakness, it's her pride and her temper. Her belief that there isn't a single obstacle that can't be overcome on her own with an unbreakable will and a good, reliable rifle has lead to some of her most painful lessons, and her staunch refusal to run away doesn't help. Nor does her weird sense of "honor". In spite of claiming to be devoid of it, she shows a preference for fighting her foes on even grounds, no fancy tricks besides what they each have up their sleeves, and their own skills being what determines the winner. She's gotten more comfortable with rigging the battlefield, though she still dislikes it.
A modified version of the accurate bullpup Israeli assault rifle, the version Maris uses has a reinforced stock to both make the weapon more durable and turn it into an effective bludgeon, as well as a small scale digital scope, extended mags, and an attached grenade launcher.
Impervium Axe: Laser-sharpened, both sleek and brutal, this was gifted to her by Adam Fairfield. She's been using it frequently, and has found she rather likes how it feels.
Plasma Lighter: A lighter built from a Rikti plasma gun. An intensity adjuster is built in, allowing her to set it from anywhere between weak enough to serve as some illumination and a cigarette lighter, to strong enough to weld steel and permanently char flesh into blackened cinders. This function has quite often been utilized to "send a message" to her enemies, generally by burning a copy of the scar on her face onto their face...or...lower, if she's feeling sadistic.
Knives & Grenades & Other Stuff, Oh My!: Maris carries lots of both on her. She usually wields a Talosorian combat knife, as well as two standard military ones, and a small set of throwing knives. In addition, she tends to carry frag, web, and flashbang grenades (generally specialized "smart" models designed to lock on and fly towards the nearest threat), as well as whatever she needs. In addition, she usually keeps a magnum revolver in her belt, though this is rarely used. A small grappling gun has also found its way into her armory.
-Gear- Maris is certainly not the most heavily armored figure in the Isles, preferring mobility over protection. Nevertheless, she usually does wear some protective gear. Usually, this is a vest made of interlocking lightweight composite plates, a thin layer of shock-absorbing gel underneath, and coated with a temperature resistant material. It's enough to keep her functioning after taking indirect hits. __________________________________________
Allies & Enemies
-OOC descrips plus, occasionally, a little IC commentary from Anna-
ORGANIZATIONS ((SGs and in-game groups))
Shadow Spiders: While no longer officially with them, she's still trusted and loved by their organization, and quite often aids them. She has some dislike of how they run things though, and thinks they'd be more effective if they removed some of their "chaff"
Phoenix Company: Her friends, allies, and squad. Fiercely loyal and protective towards them.
The Vanguard: Probably the only official group Maris trusts. She considers them to have a very realistic worldview, and wishes they would get more support. Plus, they have good gear.
The Rikti: Not only does Maris hate the Rikti for invading Earth, she also hates them for what they did to themselves. They're one of the few exceptions to Maris' general "Hate the group, but be neutral on the individual" rule of thumb.
Longbow: No comments needed, really
Friends & Allies
Adam Fairfield: Anna picked up a purpose, drive, and an understanding of how to properly kill from the mysterious man. She doesn't necessarily agree with everything he does or says but she doesn't question his orders in battle.
Roll Of The Dice: Somewhere between lover, trophy, and friend, Marianne and Anna started as rivals...or rather, Anna decided to shut the thief's bragging up by challenging to her a fight, beating her soundly. The two kept sparring, Marianne determined to beat Anna, and the two eventually ending up in a draw. They decided on a tiebreaker one night...
Anna's aggressive and forceful with Marianne, treating her like a footrest most of the time, but she does care about the woman.
-Sky Scar: While her and Robin were formerly on fairly friendly terms, their relationship went downhill after he threatened to kill Maris and a friend of hers for their "poor treatment" of him. After one brutal fight, with Maris suffering from a completely disabled left arm and Robin from several broken limbs and a bullet to the back of the neck, complications arose. For some strange, inexplicable reason, they aren't trying to kill each other anymore.
-Kim, aka Blank Harpy or Lithesome: Though to many they'd seem like lovers, Maris feels little more than a sort of "sweet contempt" towards the woman, thinking of her as "wasted potential."
-Arbiter Death: While she did enter in an alliance with him a while ago (simply to get some inside information from The Shadow Spiders), after him pursuing her friends, sending mercenaries after her to kill her, and aiding her recent enemies...she's got a bit of a grudge against him.
-Bad Dream: Every other rivalry Anna's had is petty, schoolyard stuff compared to the one she's had with Dream. After attempting to kill him due to his attacks on her friends and allies (and losing an eye for it), the two have clashed, the first few times wiping the floor with poor Anna...the last proving that the two may just be on the same level now. Anna harbors a sick sort of respect for Dream, if only for turning her from a wealth-and-thrill-seeking merc into the woman she is today. Still, he's wronged her, and she is not going to let him (or Black Tie, for that matter) forget what they did...or the consequences. For now, she's standing by, waiting for him to do something extreme, something to bring the world near the apocalypse (yet another reason she's after him), so she can strike and kill the bastard. Because it's right. Because he has it coming. And because damn, it's about time she really tested herself.
-Mr. Soot: She's only recently learned of Soot, the method behind Dream's madness. Naturally, she wants him dead too by association.
-Timmy Turbulon: Ever since he abandoned the Villains of Paragon City and allied himself with the Shadow Spiders simply for a better paycheck, Maris has been suspicious of him. While she did stick up for him a few times, overall, she felt he was arrogant, and his brutal maulings of some of the Spiders, combined with the apparent willingness of the group to take him back in again and again made her think of him as little more than an ungrateful child, and a sign of the group's naive idealism and unwillingness to get their hands dirty. She's sworn to track him down and kill him, simply because she feels it is right.
-Commander Engel: Formerly an ally within the Shadow Spiders, Maris witnessed the defeat and humiliation of Engel at the hands of Dr. Von Havencrabs after his betrayal. As an attempt at revenge, after being restored and "improved" by cybernetic surgery, Engel located Maris and injected her with a paralytic, after which he beat her savagely with his mace. Finally being dissuaded from his assault by a hidden sniper, Engel vanished for some time, reappearing only recently. They fought each other in a vicious battle in Sharkhead, ending with Maris crippling Engel with a highly concentrated acid grenade to the chest, and finishing him off with a 5.56 NATO round to the back of the head. Of course, nobody stays dead around here...
((Your character got something to say about her? Put it here)) ((Character's evolved, gotten over a lot of my old fixations/RP crutches, been thinking more about them. I've cleared the comments page, feel free to add new ones)
She's off the wall, but damnit if she doesn't get the job done without asking any bullshit questions or wasting time. -Webmaster Grave
Maris never really "formed" until about I7/I8. Originally she was just a generic mercenary character. I have no clue how she became the tomboyish, secretly English, manipulative, and completely sane person she is today
Truth be told, Maris, as with most of my characters, just "forms" from RP.
Maris has an odd fixation on military technology, and collects guns and gas masks (which may or may not be a slight fetish for her) in her spare time
Her real voice is much smoother, with a slight English accent.
In spite of the wealth she has amassed, she feels uncomfortable with luxury, and tends to prefer to keep her places of residence slightly groddy, and stick with cheap beer as a beverage of choice
Gifted with an incredibly high tolerance for pain. According to her, it's not so much that she doesn't feel it, as she simply controls how she reacts to it.
Has a love of metal, especially old-school stuff. It's not foreign for her to enter battle while blazing Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" as a way of boosting morale.
Is STUPIDLY stubborn, and often will refuse to recognize that she cannot win, taunt others into fighting her, and other such...things. She's the kind of person who will spit "Fuck you" when she has a gun to her face.
Is, by the conventional sense...not very educated. Her handwriting is awful, her knowledge of most school subjects is...lacking to say the least, and her appreciation for culture is almost non-existent. Lately she's made some effort to continue her education, and it shows.
Has some medical training, at least enough to treat her own cuts and bullet wounds.
(half this shit i shudder at typing)
Maris's similarities to Black Lagoon's Revy are coincidental, swear to god.
By TVTropes standards, she's a type V Antihero and an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight. Yep.
______________________________________________________________ Fitting Songs:
"Beast" by KMFDM: What she is at heart, beyond her professional tendencies. Self-contradictory, chaotic, violent, outright exploitative...and completely in love with this.
"My Violent Heart" by NiN: This song really sums up exactly what the Isles have turned Anna into. She may look and act like other mercs and military types, but is something "very far apart...[with] bullet holes where [her] compassion used to be". Violent, unrelenting, and unwilling to ever, ever simply "go away", her true motives difficult to understand by most except herself, and a consequence of "how much [they (her supposed "betters"] have to learn.
"Keep Quiet" by The Protomen: While this might seem like a bit of a strange choice, the song fits Anna's view of the various mysterious and devilish figures in the Isles, all of the things that most are simply terrified by. Rather than trusting the rumors about these things, "the only words [she] believes in are [her] own." Perhaps the most fitting part is
You're gonna have to do better than fear. You're gonna have to step out of the shadows and fight. And when they see your face again, They will know what it means to have fear dragged out into the light
She believes that anything can be "dragged out", fought, and killed, no matter how thick the mystique surrounding it. Hell, that's part of what makes it satisfying.