Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Character Profile: Spectre Operative Valeria Terakkis

Valeria Terakkis
Story/Novel/Series: Freelancers
Species: turian
Homeworld: Palaven
Affiliation: Special Tactics and Reconnaissance 

Physical appearance: Slightly above average height for a turian – a little under seven feet tall, in human terms. Has a dark carapace with bright red facial tattoos. (No image currently available, but this or this would be a close approximation.)

Notable quote: "I've already put the word out – any assassin or merc who so much as glances in Natalie Kurakova's general direction will end up strapped to a table in a vivisectionist's lab, and I will attend to each and every one of them personally."

Bio: Like any other turian, Valeria began a public-service career at age fifteen. Having chosen a military career path, she began as a soldier before eventually moving on to a series of black-ops jobs including wetwork assignments. After proving herself exceptionally talented at combat and lone-wolf operations, she was inducted into the Spectres.

She's among the best there are at fighting and killing people. How unfortunate that she hates it, and hates the kind of person it turns her into–cold, calculating, and often brutal. One of her greatest fears is the thought of becoming a remorseless killer – or worse, one who actually enjoys taking life. She did find herself slipping toward that path a few times, and it terrified her. She's afraid there's a monster inside her, and if she lets it take over, she may not be able to contain it again.

She began having misgivings about the Spectres after hearing of some of the actions taken by operatives such as Saren Arterius and Tela Vasir – and after some of the things she herself did to complete a mission. The breaking point came when Saren went rogue and led an assault on the Citadel in 2183.

Valeria resigned and spent a few months drifting from one port to another, doing whatever odd jobs were available, attempting to find herself and figure out what to do with her life. One day on Illium, she crossed paths with a Fornax talent scout and something about her caught his eye. He offered her a part in a series of porn vids, and she accepted it because she needed the money and it was a chance to do something that didn't involve hurting or killing people and being shot at.

She was paired with a human named Irving Kostmeyer, and the two of them just clicked. They continued making vids together, began seeing each other outside of work, and married soon after. Valeria found something incredibly life-affirming about the vids and photo shoots they did together, and the audience picked up on their passion and tenderness, making them one of Fornax's most popular acts, much to the dismay of her parents and any turian still holding a grudge over the First Contact War. She'd never seen eye to eye with her family over the way the war started, having always sided with the humans who were fired upon, which put enough of a strain on their relationship. When she began making porn vids with a human, then dating and finally marrying him, it was too much for many of her extended family, who simply refused to acknowledge her existence any longer.

Even so, Valeria wouldn't have changed anything. She felt her true self reemerging over the next two years–gentle, kind-hearted, easygoing, fun-loving…the exact opposite of her mentality while she was a black-ops specialist and then a Spectre. She was happy for the first time in far too many years.

Then, in late 2185, she was pulled back into the organization she'd left behind. Irving's grandmother witnessed a murder and had a bounty placed on her head. To protect her grandmother-in-law and legally take down the man responsible, she asked to be temporarily reinstated – but the Citadel Council refused to let her resume her job and then walk away whenever she wanted. They offered her a choice: rejoin the Spectres permanently, or not at all – and be subject to prosecution for any injuries or fatalities resulting from her actions. Valeria made the only choice she could, and set about the business of protecting her family.

Now a full-time Spectre again, Valeria is every bit as badass as she was previously, though she goes out of her way to avoid using lethal force unless pushed to extremes. She's determined not to let the job change her, but can she actually avoid it?

Time will tell.

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