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Mira Hidalgo ([personal profile] exnihilo) wrote2013-11-04 09:09 pm
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User Name/Nick: Isabelle
User DW: vibishan
AIM/IM: vibishantheshiny
E-mail: PM me
Other Characters: Anya Lehnsherr, the Risen Emperor, Marsh

Character Name: Mira Hidalgo
Series: Evolution’s Darling by Scott Westerfeld
Age: Her exact age is unknown, but she is probably in her late twenties or early thirties. Mira herself doesn’t exactly know.
From When?: After her pseudo-suicide in the hotel bath.

Inmate/Warden: Inmaaaate. Mira is an assassin. Besides murder, she has raped, tortured, mutilated, mentally manipulated, and done all manner of terrible things in the course of her work, and sometimes simply for fun. She is vicious, self-centered, and petulant, and she worries very little about the morality of her actions.

Item:

Abilities/Powers: She has a medical endoframe that 1) maintains her body at peak health/efficiency and contributes to quick healing, mending rough surface abrasions in a day or two, and 2) uses her own endocrine system for conditioning and keeping her in the mindset the Gods find most useful at any given time. On the ship the frame’s assistance will be slowed to half its normal rate. The hormone control system will be inoperative. She also has a Direct Interface woven throughout her nervous system that lets her send and receive electronic messages. This will also be completely inoperative, and she will probably want it – if not removed – then hobbled substantially before she graduates, as it is another medium for the Gods’ control.

Personality: Mira exists in a state of necessary self-deception. She tells herself that she is happy, that she enjoys her life of carefree, isolated indulgence and unquestioning obedience to masters she cannot comprehend. This is a self-defense mechanism for an ego that has been erased and remade to suit their purposes over and over. She tells herself that she finds meaning in her ‘religion of one’, alone serving the faceless worldminds that give her direction, because if her submission to them is not fulfilling, then she has no purpose. She has virtually no control over her own life – she doesn’t even have control over her own mind or memories – so she clings to the belief that she doesn’t want to change anything about it, even though her existence is isolated and empty.

She is utterly bored with her life traveling on the Queen Favor, and actively repulsed by contact with a huge variety of fascinating people that she can converse with expertly but never form real connections with. She hates the elaborate, intricate, pointless flourishes of life on the space yacht; she wants something rough, something real. She desperately craves variety, identity, intimacy, and really anything about herself that she can truly call her own. When she dreams of scraps of her childhood after sleeping with Darling, she pursues them relentlessly, desperate for more.

The only thing that really does make her happy, besides her (as far as she knows) unprecedented and mutually brutal fling with Darling, is performing hits. While she is on a job, the gods give her mind clarity and focus. Her own power over others – over life and death, over pain, over the turning wheel of history – is the only time she feels as though she has agency, even though of course she is still doing the Gods’ bidding (anything else would be unthinkable). She relishes these moments of strength and control, and even the intimacy she achieves with her victims. For a very brief time, someone else knows who she really is and what she really does, just as she knows who they are in their final moments of helplessness.

Her lack of a past and the degree to which she is controlled by her masters gives her a childlike air; she is often petulant, she throws fits, she lashes out at things which perturb her. She enjoys discomforting and intimidating others, clutching the high ground even in petty social situations for the brief pleasure of watching someone else squirm. She is short-sighted and selfish. She knows, intellectually, that the terrible things she does are supposedly in service of preserving civilization, but she doesn’t actually care about those sorts of rationalizations. She doesn’t agonize over it. She does it because it’s what she was made for, because accepting the role she has been given is safest, the most pleasant, and the easiest option available to her. She obeys out of inertia almost as much as fear; she obeys because she has nothing better to do and because she has no reason not to.

She’s fierce and sadistic and creative and provocative and sharp. She is very much an adult despite her lack of remembered experiences. She is capable of careful planning, keeping secrets, presenting scintillating facades, and choosing her tactics delicately just as much as reckless outbursts. She does, however, have a soft side. She lies to her masters to protect Oscar Vale because she feels sorry for him, and because she feels a kinship with his amnesia and his hobbled half-life. She falls in love with Darling fast and hard and is willing to betray her masters to save him and his artist friend/idol Robert Vaddum after only a few weeks together. Partially this is because of how dissatisfied she truly is with her life, but it would be disingenuous to read the decision as a purely self-motivated one. She is afraid of the Gods, and her willingness to attempt to deceive them for his sake speaks to a deep hunger for affection and connection. When Darling betrays her, she is utterly devastated; she goes through the motions of suicide trying to numb herself, even though she knows the Gods will not allow her to truly die. In canon, her memories of him are erased and replaced with placid false-contentment and hedonism yet again; on the barge she will have the opportunity to process her own hurt, and it will probably leave her bitter and wary of trust for some time.

Mira struggles with extracting something worthwhile from her life as a pampered, lonely slave/tool, but she resents it more deeply than she herself knows. She tortures the NaPrin warden because he has abdicated his own personhood, has given up his ability to control his own will in order to become a programmed weapon. She hates him and does not want to be anything like him, wants to insist on profound differences between them: that although the Gods made her, she did not forfeit her selfhood as he did. And to some extent that’s true enough: they never needed her consent.

Mira is dramatic; she loves intensity and flair, regardless of their emotional valence. She and Darling make a lover’s game out of making each other cry. Once she does this by showing him the ship’s core, a dazzling captured universe of a quintillion suns suspended in metaspace; another time she gives him a psychotropic virus that leaves him reliving the death of his first beloved. Because her life is otherwise so controlled, so managed and curtailed, she clutches hard to anything that makes her really feel, even if what she feels is pain.

Barge Reactions: The barge is something new. It’s different. It is intense and constantly being shaken up. Mira will probably resent some of the inconveniences, not adjust well to the loss of economic power and superficial freedom she had in canon, but ultimately she will be much freer to pursue her own impulses on the barge. She’ll be fascinated and mostly enjoy it. The breaches and floods will just be more interesting experiences, possibly even with the tantalizing bonus of teaching her more about herself or her past. In some ways she’ll resent having to keep the pain of Darling’s betrayal, but ultimately her preference for keeping her own mind will win out.

Path to Redemption: Oh my god, this wreck of a girl. Just being in an environment where she can form personal connections and find agency in doing things other than killing people, without terrifying distant Gods remaking her whenever she becomes too troublesome or personlike will make a huge difference. She needs to learn that other individuals matter, that killing because omnipotent voices tell you to do it is bad, that sadism is not the only way to be in control of her own life. She needs a chance to form and claim her own identity before she can even begin to take responsibility for what she’s done. She is a very damaged person but she also very much wants to be able to connect and trust. Someone who gives her affection and support will be able to reach her and teach her that she has better options.

History: When she was fifteen, an orphan named Mira Hidalgo was caught in a storm while out swimming, and drowned at sea. When her corpse was found washed up on shore, she was identified and it was verified that she had no friends, family, or associates who cared to claim the body. Instead it was purchased whole by a an offworld corporation that was working as a middleman for the entities Mira would come to call her ‘Gods’ – a conglomerate of vast, emergent AIs with minds that spanned worlds, that worked together behind the scenes to keep civilization running more-or-less smoothly.

Out of the quasi-blank canvas of the dead girl, these entities sculpted an obedient, amnesic assassin with no identity and no connections to do their dirty work. They gave her a life of absolute luxury, provided she did everything they required of her, and never revealed their secret machinations to maintain society. The Gods watch her near-constantly, give her orders and take her reports. Whenever she begins to express doubts or develop independence, they simply scrub away the parts of her mind that have begun to individualize. She remembers her last several hits, but even those are hazy; she drifts through an endless present with no past and no future, consisting of lazy stretches of meaningless indolence occasionally punctuated with the power and adrenaline of performing a job. Beyond that, Mira has nothing.

The AI pleasure cruiser the Queen Favor conspires to set her up with someone whose company she will actually enjoy. The result is a liason with Darling, a fuckmonster art dealer robot who is traveling to the same planet she is, to discover whether his friend Robbert Vaddum is actually still alive. Mira, meanwhile, has been sent to find whoever discovered the secret of perfectly copying AI cores and destroying them and all evidence of their discovery – including Vaddum.

The two of them – both isolated, both hungry for emotional and physical intensity – form an intense and turbulent connection. She tells him that she is an assassin the first night; he responds only with ardor. After being roughly fucked by Darling, Mira sleeps well, unusually for her, and dreams of swimming on a strange planet as a child. She is as hungry for these scraps of recollection as she is everything else about him, and day by day her neural activity becomes more complex, fluctuating and idiosyncratic in the manner or normal brains, instead of the smoothed-out controlled patterns of a carefully pruned tool. Neither of them make any promises, or tells the other when they are disembarking – each of them bound by strict confidentiality – but when they encounter each other again on the planet Malvir, Mira rescues him from a terrifying half-human, half-weapon set on Darling by a rival dealer. She incapacitates and tortures the creature before returning him to Zimivic and telling the other dealer to scram or die. They go to investigate the strangeness surrounding Vaddum together, and Mira agrees not to kill or torture the woman acting as middleman in the negotiations, seducing her instead.

Mira destroys the synthplant AI, who discovered the copying mechanism, but plans to save the copied Vaddum’s blackbox as a gift to Darling without telling him. Unfortunately, Darling outmaneuvers her, saving Vaddum’s blackbox himself and destroying the other robot’s body and an empty blackbox to show her, then escaping the planet while she waited for him with her Interface turned off, inaccessible to the Gods.

When she realizes that he has abandoned her, she is heartbroken; she has lost the first thing that (in her brief memory) ever really mattered to her. She gets hideously drunk, then climbs into a bathtub filled with the broken glass remnants of various bottles. The Gods explain to her what really happened when she drowned as a child; they claim they love her for who she is, and that they are the only ones who ever will. Then they erase her memory of the entire affair and send her, pristine and careless, to her next assignment.

Sample Journal Entry: On the test drive meme.

Sample RP: She wants to kill someone.

Or, more precisely: she wants to be on mission, wants that icy jolt of focus, wants a target to hone in on and take apart. Murder without planning, without the bright clarifying pressure of purpose - well, it might be fun, but it wouldn't give her the satisfaction she wants.

She picks her way through the greenhouse, frustrated but entirely composed. It's so dull, a little scrap of messy cultivation. The bucolic luddites tilling the Queen Favor's life support decks would probably go into paroxyms of nostalgia at the handful of Terran species, pre-Gaia, perfectly preserved, twining in a semblance of a natural ecosystem. Mira skates her fingers along the rough leaves of a - she thinks it's a weed. She doesn't pluck it.

Pulling the wings off insects, she decides, is too typical. She catches a passing bumblebee between her hands, thrills just a little. A real bee, the long-lost first herald of Earth's ultimate collapse. She crushes it slowly, makes sure to give it sufficient time, with its final thrashing, buzzing panic, to disgorge its own guts in a kamakaze smear after the stinger of venom sunk into the muscle at the base of her thumb.

She flicks the cracked, oozing carapace away and tucks herself in an alcove to flex her hand as it swells and burns, savoring the messy immediacy of it. She watches in brief, solipsistic fascination as her flesh blunders inevitably through mottled color shifts, ruddier, whiter, the tiny convulsions of poison. But soon, too soon, the pain dulls to an awkward throb, and she feels cheated and exposed and relentlessly restless once again.

Special Notes: The rape is not a huge part of her character, except in that she would do literally anything to torment the NaPrin warden; there’s no one on the barge who pushes that particular button with her, so it will be easy to avoid that in-game.

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