circumitus: Captain Morgan didnt let me down when i stand up it feels like the world is trying to hand me rainbows. (i hate your face)
Reybama ([personal profile] circumitus) wrote2011-12-07 09:57 pm

✘ extended history



WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MONDO SPOILERS.
(Yeah, I know. It's weird for me to say that, too.)
{If you want more basic info on Rey, go here.}


HISTORY

ReveilleThe Salamander
Dreams of Glass and VelvetSeraphim ASCENT
Soldier’s ThingsSeraphim STORM
What the Thunder SaidSeraphim PINION


Reveille
“They were born underground.”

The Twins were born in the Niflheim Research Facility of the Ashwater Underground City, in Washington. Project Seraphim, a group of specialists in artificial biology and synthetics, produced two subjects exhibiting anomalies specific to their independent codes. The Twins became FREY and FREYJA.

During a test run, however, FREYJA proves to be more precarious both in aptitude and personality, when she burned her brother alive during their observational trial. This nearly destroyed the whole project in one fell swoop, but the Twins’ genetic mother-father donors (as well as husband and wife), doctors Lucas Coffey and Undine Stransky, plead for the surviving twin and ask for more time to figure out what is wrong with her. They learn that FREYJA’s ability allows her to produce extreme amounts of heat, and call this particularly new energy the “Brísingamen” (from Old Norse, flaming ornament).

FREYJA was then locked up in a fireproof cell, also known as the Glass House.

Dr. Undine Stransky worked as FREYJA’s personal councilor, trying to study the psychology of the synthetic life forms that they have created. Meanwhile, Lucas worked on how to properly dissemble and reassemble FREYJA and tweak with her coding. While unable to reprogram her behavioral patterns hard coded into her programming, they could lock her memories away in an encrypted file in her brain to protect her, and work from scratch. In doing this, it became almost guaranteed that she would fall back into the same destructive behavioral patterns again. Undine had no desire to basically erase FREYJA’s self, and was given the go ahead to develop psychological profiles through a series of interpersonal sessions with the synthetic woman.

Undine and Lucas frequently argued over this. While Lucas believed in starting from scratch, Undine wished to continue on FREYJA’s developmental stage.

The year was 2056.

Dreams of Glass and Velvet
“Such an angel, but with no wings to fly.”

One year later, Undine Stransky proved to be making steady progress with FREYJA, or so she thinks. She developed a motherly fondness for the subject, despite FREYJA’s unstable nature.

Several months into the psychological evaluations, the financial backers of the project decided to cut off funding. Undine and Lucas both battled this, and won only at the agreement of allowing one of their own researchers to come in and observe their project’s developments. Dr. Jonathan Quayle was then sent in to study Undine’s progress as well as the subject’s mental state. It would turn out that the researcher had also frequently been sneaking into the Glass House’s observational deck after hours, interacting with FREYJA. During his time spent with the subject, Jonathan learned how to manipulate her using a sort of “switch” that would make her more acquiescent. Essentially, he brainwashed the subject into falling under his own control.

In spite of this, Jonathan orchestrated the financial backers to cut the project. This was to allow the termination of FREYJA, and cause Undine Stransky grief. She did despair, and went to Jonathan for help, having noticed he had taken a liking in FREYJA. He then agreed, manipulating the following events by suggesting that Undine play Dido and Aeneas to “calm” her so they could help spirit her away from the Niflheim Research Facility. However, what the song truly did was trigger a psychotic episode in the subject.

FREYJA lashed out, killing Undine by snapping her neck and burning her corpse, as well as several other researchers and military personnel stationed in the AUC. Lucas attempted to have FREYJA reset, but she escaped, along with Jonathan who had gone suddenly AWOL, successful in smuggling FREYJA out of the research facility. For a while, he was presumed to be among the casualties of the project, until some time later they found evidence of his DNA on the scene as well as hacked surveillance indicating that he had escaped.

During his time spent with FREYJA, Jonathan believed himself to be thoroughly in love with the subject. At the same time, he was able to control her using Dido’s Lament, and placate her psychosis with La mamma morta from the opera Andrea Chénier.

For nearly a year, FREYJA had been traveling with Jonathan, and the man practically worshiped her but totally in that creepy way. Eventually Jonathan was found in a New Mexico hotel room, dead after FREYJA ignited him after he had attempted a more intimate relationship with her.

FREYJA was recovered on a Mojave highway in 2058, on fire after causing numerous causalities in the sleazy New Mexico town. Her father, Lucas Coffey, recovered her and returned to the Niflheim Research Facility, where he attempted to “reset” her to erase her memory of Undine and Jonathan. However, all he could do was lock those away.

Another subject and one of the first synthetic life forms created by Project Seraphim, HEIMDALL, was not nearly as forgiving of FREYJA as Lucas had been, and decided on an intervention. Faking her destruction in a lab accident, HEIMDALL forced Lucas to abandon FREYJA and focus his efforts on other projects.

Surrendering to his “Id”, HEIMDALL turned FREYJA into Rey.

Soldier’s Things
“For she is a war-torn disaster.”

Thanks to Gregory’s ability to forge the system, he could easily fabricate Rey’s identities and records. Despite her true age, he would always make her 29-years-old and an 11-year veteran in whichever armed force she was to be a part of, typically assigned under a Sergeant rank. Most of the memories he inserted into her consciousness belonged to previously dead soldiers from broken homes.

In 2059, she joined her first mobile infantry unit as an American soldier by the name of Rey Stone. Unaware of her previous life and existence as a synthetic being (as most of her lives were), she believed herself to be born and raised on the streets of Ashwater, Washington.

Years later, after Gregory sent Stone out on a suicide mission to have her killed with the American infantry, she became reconstructed as a member of the Defense Forces of Ireland. Her name was Rey Sheridan, now allied with the Scottish and British Royal Army after the country had been infiltrated by the Chinese. As Rey Sheridan, she believed herself to come from a family of drunkards (although she herself was loathing to any nature of substance abuse. This has more to do with her inability to taste than her fabricated memories). Like Stone, Sheridan would also be sent on a suicide mission when defending Germany during the Long Winter Wars, and was killed in combat with her Scottish-Irish troops that were serving under her command.

She was reassembled in 2075 under a different nationality and assigned to Argentina, where she became Rey Silva. Gregory Tremond continued to have her work on several aptitude tests to see how well she worked with her comrades. He learned that she had not been much a team player in any of her previous three incarnations. As Silva, Rey was awkward, a loner, but she had an aptitude for linguistics and worked in intelligence, though she wasn’t adept in much of anything else.

Silva was killed during her tour in the South American jungles, where their naval ship (the Salomon) was attacked by an unfriendly fleet. She had been assisting the escape of several navy officers and people, when she had taken the time to utilize her minimal first aid training on a young soldier who would have died without her assistance. She was able to get him to his comrades, helping them to the escape boats, but ultimately chose to stay behind to cover them so that they could retreat the sinking ship. Silva went down with the Salomon after having killed over six scores of enemy fighters. Gregory was able to recover her body to find her riddled with several hundred bullet wounds, but her actual cause of death was drowning when the ship sunk, proving Silva to be a strangely heroic type in the heat of combat.

With this in mind, she was once again reassembled, this time sent to South Africa to assist in an outbreak of civil wars and disease as Rey Steyn. She had once again proven to be useful in the warzone, strangely heroic and yet belligerent at the same time with a lust for blood. Eight years Steyn was killed as a result of friendly fire, not much unlike the way the woman whose memories Steyn had belonged to.

In 2091, Rey was deployed to the Middle East as a woman from a Jewish background named Sarfati, from the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. Sarfati was actually a kindlier type, befriending a fellow mechanic named Eli, who turned out to be the closest thing to a friend Rey ever had. They worked as mechanics together in Afghanistan, until Eli was eventually transferred to Iraq. A few days after learning that he was killed in combat, Sarfati was also killed assisting fellow soldiers under fire by enemy attackers. As it turned out, the attack was orchestrated by Gregory Tremond himself, who had intended to take out Sarfati as she was an “undesired” personality, due to her more amiable nature.

Gregory was intrigued, however. He decided to reconstruct her as Rey Schuyler, a woman from the Netherlands who could barely speak English. After watching a drunken dispute between her parents resulting in them killing one another, Schuyler joined the Korps Mariniers, the Marine Corps section of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Schuyler was an interesting personality. In 2101 (a year after the HEIMDALL satellites were launched into space and dubbing the century as the Era of Watchers), the Netherlands military was allied with the British and American forces. Schuyler was trained in winter warfare, as her platoon would be spending a lot of times in alpine regions, surveying the area. She worked with a mixture of Dutch, British, and American troops, and became close with a couple of soldiers named Helena Lyonene and Adam Moskalenko in Washington DC.

The missions they were to carry out throughout their tour involved locating the sanctuaries GRIGORI’s backup terminals that were stored in three different locations somewhere around the globe. Gregory set Rey Schuyler out to find them, though she remained unaware of her past lives and had little knowledge of her “commanding officer” (who was Gregory himself).

In 2108, however, the United States was under attack by unknown forces (who were actually synthetic combatants). The country was quickly becoming a warzone, losing all of its leadership. This became known as the Schism, also known as “the fall of the old government”. What more, Helena Lyonene’s father had been stationed in Washington DC during the initial wave of attacks, and was killed during an air strike over the nation’s capital. When Helena had heard of this, she asked to be stationed in the States, but was denied.

Come winter, Schuyler and her company were ambushed in the middle of the night, during their trek through the Julian Alps. One of their own soldiers, Robin de Trie, had tipped off their enemy on their location for a hefty price and amnesty. Adam Moskalenko was killed by an explosive frag grenade. Helena barely survived the same explosion, but lost her leg and almost her arm. Rey Schuyler began to pursue Robin in her attempt to flee with the enemy. However, Helena was dying. Rather than chasing the turncoat, Schuyler stayed behind to tend to Helena’s injuries, realizing her ability to generate enough heat to cauterize the wound with her touch. This would be the first time any of Rey’s selves would learn of her Brísingamen on their own accord.

After the attack, Schuyler spent the next several days burying her whole company while Helena was unconscious. She was able to keep her comrade alive long enough for some 68W medics to arrive, and by then Schuyler was gone.

Schuyler traveled the Julian Alps, becoming more and more self-aware of her existence as a synthetic. She began to recover some of her previous memories, including FREYJA. She started to go mad, and even tried to escape Gregory Tremond when she learned that he was tracking her. Eventually, he caught up with her, forcing her to be reset completely and created a more secure protocol so that Rey would be unable to access her memories locked away in her head.

Losing her entire experience of the last seven years with Adam and Helena, Schuyler became no more. She was stationed at Fort Jeremy, Texas where she became Rey Stone once again, as Stone had exhibited some interesting traits that made Gregory want to go back and explore. At Fort Jeremy, a man named Wallace Dieko was assigned under her command as a communications liaison. Of all their fellow comrades, Dieko was the only one who seemed friendly towards Stone. They would spend the next year preparing for their tour in Russia.

In 2110, Stone was deployed in a small fireteam to the Grigoryevich Underground Command Center in Kristiv, Russia. There, they discovered the first major underground sanctuary housing the GRIGORI Program. Due to the death traps, Stone was the only one adept enough to return from the mission alive. She was then ordered by Gregory Tremond to destroy the command center. However, some backups remained unaffected, as the GRIGORI’s hardware was much larger and extensive throughout the command center than Gregory had initially realized.

Stone was forced to abort her mission. The GRIGORI, sensing who she was and what she had come there to do, made escape even more difficult for Stone. It even attempted to infiltrate her consciousness and, like Schuyler, she became self-aware and was able to protect herself from the program infecting her brain. This hinted that Stone was one of the few personas which exhibited the ability to understand that she is not human.

After fleeing the death traps of the Grigoryevich Underground Command Center, Stone was greeted at the gates by her communications liaison, Wallace Dieko. But their reunion was cut short when one of the GRIGORI’s defense turrets activated, shooting her several times and barely allowing Dieko the time to elude the onslaught of attacks. Stone was rendered barely recognizable when Gregory Tremond was able to recover her. Interested in her ability to prevent the GRIGORI from directly infecting her vessel (as it was capable of doing so with many synthetics), Gregory took the time to study Stone’s memories before transferring her into a new vessel.

Three years later, she was returned as Rey Sheridan, whose mission was focused on locating and destroying the GRIGORI Program’s backup terminal located in Ireland. Throughout her mission, however, Sheridan started displaying some memory lapses between her and Stone. As they were drawing near the Ireland safehouse, Sheridan was simultaneously able to remember Stone’s venture into the Grigoryevich Underground Command Center, including the death of her previous self.

For the most part, Sheridan kept this to herself for several years, afraid that if she confided in anyone (Gregory included), she would be discharged and sent home (a fate that was unbearable with all of Rey’s incarnations, as the military was her life). They were ordered to investigate a deserted village called Hartlone Hollow in Ireland. The village turned out to have been compromised by enemy soldiers who were afflicted with a strange disease that had twisted their human forms. Sheridan and her squadron would be the first ones to sight what would later be known as the allobion virus. Not wanting to risk his men to the same illness as the area was showing high levels of contamination, their commanding officer Jacob Reinhardt swiftly ordered for their retreat. Reluctant, Sheridan was forced to comply.

Sheridan was rather unique from the other personalities, in that she was the first one to develop a romantic attachment towards another person. In this case, it was entirely one-sided and superficial, as her fellow Irishman soldier, Marcus Sullivan (also known as “Sully”) had taken an interest in Sheridan. After a while, they were even on a first name basis with each other, and had begun a brief fling. As time passed, however, Sheridan found herself disinterested in any intimate feelings towards Sully, and ended their relationship early. Though upset, he was also understanding of the issue.

Years later, Sheridan and Sully would be critically wounded during an attack from which Sully would have barely survived, had Sheridan not been a universal donor and offered a blood transfusion. With her father’s immortal cell line in her vessel, some traits were passed on from her to him, and Sully began to display symptoms of cardiac arrest and organ failure. She did not see what became of him after he was taken away, whether Sully lived or died. A few days after, Jacob Reinhardt looked into Sheridan’s case files, and was able to obtain information proving that the Irish Army had a “Rey Sheridan” matching her documentation die in combat several years ago. He also learned that her appearance remained the same as it did back then. But before he could confront her or even report it, Gregory Tremond caught wind and immediately had Sheridan extracted from the military hospital, and her name wiped off the military record.

From then on there was no proof that a Rey Sheridan ever existed, and the same went for all of her previous missions as Stone, Silva, Steyn, Sarfati, and Schuyler. She would be a different person entirely then. As a German agent working in Special Forces named Rey Schmidt, she began taking on solo missions rather than working in teams to avoid the same blunders Sheridan had run into. Schmidt was a personality entirely fabricated by Gregory Tremond, and as such was provided with an extensive military record and family tree.

Because Gregory put more of himself into Schmidt than any of the other personalities that he had “borrowed”, Schmidt had taken on some of Gregory’s traits. She was a sociopath, antisocial and intimidating even to the most seasoned soldiers. What more, Schmidt was self-aware, conscious of her existence as a synthetic and with the knowledge of her Brísingamen; she had full control over her abilities. Gregory had taken the time to gift her a modified body armor called the Exurosuit, made to amplify and control her Brísingamen at its fullest capacity. Only two of Rey’s past incarnations would ever be in possession of this armor, Schmidt being the first.

Since she was hardly ever seen in one place for very long, Schmidt became something of a ghost story among soldiers who encountered her. Because of the symbol on her Exurosuit and her penchant for starting fires without ever burning herself, Schmidt became known as “the Salamander”. Her reputation for brutality preceded her, becoming increasingly more violent as the years went on. Despite her precarious behavior, Gregory allowed Schmidt to continue her work to see how her symptoms would play out. For years to come, Schmidt would continue to express sociopathic tendencies, even towards Gregory Tremond.

Now independent from the military, Schmidt was sent to inspect the Wolfgang Estate in Louisiana. There, she unearthed the GRIGORI’s second terminal center, located in an unassuming shack with a secret passage, leading to an underground bureau from the Civil War era. The entrance to the bureau had been thoroughly camouflaged so none of the curious Wolfgang descendants had bothered with the run-down shack. In 2124, the Wolfgang’s backup terminal was the first to be successfully destroyed.

Four years after proving herself to be the most “effective” vessel, yet, Schmidt was sent on solo mission to Hartlone Hollow, Ireland. Because of her father’s immortal cell line making up her biological composition and the rest of her synthetic, Schmidt proved to be immune to the disease that plagued the forsaken village with warped animals that could barely be recognized as humans anymore. Schmidt was free to scout the area, making her way to the safehouse, where she was able to destroy the second backup terminal of the GRIGORI Program. This, however, caused the GRIGORI to execute a security protocol, causing the safehouse to be destroyed with Schmidt inside it.

Gregory Tremond spent the rest of the year extracting Rey into a new vessel.

What the Thunder Said
“I think we are in rats’ alley.”

2129.

What would later be known as “the First Cataclysm” started in the capitol of the western government in Ashwater, Washington. The events were orchestrated by Gregory Tremond after ordering Agent Rey Stone to meet the Battle-Brave incubator in the Ashwater Underground City. It would later turn out that the whole incident had been a big ploy — Gregory Tremond intended to allow Stone to take out the capitol, plus their benefactors, by using her Brísingamen and trigger the incubator.

But that’s going too far ahead. When Agent Stone arrived in the city, she met with an informant at a casino, who allowed her to stay in the business’ hotel suite after her long trip. That night, she received a message from an unknown source, hinting that her operator, Gregory Tremond, was not who he seemed. Bothered by this message, Stone sought out the owner of the message and met IV in a warehouse. IV introduced herself as a believer in the GRIGORI Program, and that she had faith in what it was doing for the world. It turned out that IV was a synthetic human, created by Project Seraphim but was liberated by the GRIGORI Program. She has a will just like Rey, except she has continued to bound herself to its servitude. To get at Tremond, IV struggled to persuade Stone into sending the Battle-Brave over to her. Stone, angered, attacked IV but was then ambushed by synthetics automatons, forcing her to retreat.

As she made her way through the city, she bumped into a young boy who she would later know as David Wednesday. While synthetic creations were attacking civilians throughout Ashwater, Stone made her way to the Ash Tree Tower, a government building that led the way into the underground city. As Stone infiltrated the building, she started having flashes of her memories as Subject FREYJA. By the time she made it to what appeared to be Glass House to find the Battle-Brave, she discovered that the incubator was a person. Furthermore, it was another version of herself.

Except the incubator had been driven mad, babbling mathematics to herself. IV then appeared, projecting herself on the screens surrounding Glass House, and explained to Stone that they were alike, and that the Battle-Brave was a vessel not much different from them.

In an attempt of making her own choice rather than following the orders of someone else, Agent Stone, now self-aware, killed the incubator rather than retrieving it. This caused the energy to transfer over to her and cause a massive sonic blast throughout the city. Essentially, Rey was already intended to be used as a puppet to draw the GRIGORI from their passive status, enticing them to take a more aggressive course of action against their enemy. (But don’t worry, it isn’t like Gregory Tremond ever explains his nefarious plan to anyone 35 minutes after the fact. Because that would be silly.)

But Rey still managed to survive the ordeal of blowing up, and dragged herself through the destruction of the city. She found a boy in a fallen aircraft, pinned by the corpse of his father. When Rey managed to get inside, she found that the boy was blind — glass had been stabbed into his eyes. Despite this, she picked him up and carried him out, allowing him to be saved.

Having done her one last good deed, Rey Stone found the way out of the city, only to collapse at the feet of Gregory Tremond. It ended just about as well as you would expect.

The Salamander
“Burn for me and I’ll burn for you.”

Nearly decade after the First Cataclysm, Gregory Tremond was able to reawaken Rey after she had been reassembled as Safronov. She is assigned to a Russian team to investigate the Grigoryevich Underground Command Center, but there are some complications.

Safronov is much unlike her previous incarnations. In fact, she was capable of self-awareness, overriding Gregory Tremond’s attempts at writing her code and decided on her own personality. Safronov became a ruthless murderer, far worse than Schmidt, who had been trained by her family to kill. She was not a very good person, often described to be manic and a bit of a psycho.

Word of the Salamander’s reappearance had begun to spread, and Safronov made sure that her reputation stuck after she developed an affinity for burning her enemies alive. She was typically ostracized from people. While her brutality has gained her respect, it has also earned her a great deal of fear as well. The Salamander was now less of a ghost story that soldiers tell each other to keep them on their guard, and more of a warning when they start to see massive plumes of smoke and flames. And a woman, wearing black hooded armor, who walked through fire.

Kristiv, Russia. 2142. As Safronov, Rey was believed to have been locating the final GRIGORI backup terminal in a former Soviet bunker that was now the Grigoryevich Underground Command Center, located in the war-torn Russian town. Safronov found herself being the target of two snipers among the abandoned town, keeping her from entering the command center.

Seeing that they assume that Rey is working with the Russians (a fair assumption, as she is assuming the identity of a Russian soldier with a last name like Safronov), the two snipers attempt to take Rey out. This continues for ten days until one of the snipers notice Safronov moving out in the open. Thinking that she could handle this situation on her own, she decides to go after Safronov while her partner is asleep. Instead, she only winds up giving her location away. Safronov finds her, tracks her down while she is unaware, and shoots the spotter in the head and continues her mission.

Safronov was able to successfully break into the Grigoryevich Underground Command Center and take out the final backup terminal that was down there, using her identification as Russian military at the time to make her access even easier. Afterwards, she was killed by one of Algernon’s old failsafes, which released an infection into her cybernetic brain that caused her to self-terminate, similar to the one Heimdall experienced. As a message to Heimdall, Safronov was influenced to kill herself in front of him by shooting herself in the head.

Of course, Gregory Tremond was able to retrieve her, but he does not yet fully revive her due to the infection that had scrambled up her memories. It would take four years for Tremond to reassemble her scrambled programming, and he would never be able to install new memories. So he stored her in the morgue of an abandoned sanitarium.

Seraphim ASCENT
“Your fault is your own.”

When Rey woke up in 2147 in the morgue of the abandoned Renaissance Sanitarium, she had only a toetag to her name and no recollection as to how she got there.

After escaping the confines of her casket, she discovered that not only did she not recognize where she was, but that she didn’t even remember her own name until she found the tag on her foot. With only “REY” to go by, she gathered some clothes and fled the corpse-ridden stench of the morgue.

Upon ascending to the lobby level of the sanitarium, she found herself assaulted by a crazed person known as a deranger. Derangers are failed experiments of the permutation, a regimen organized by the current chancellor of the West government as a form of “personality reconditioning”. For most, the process was a success. For those like this poor sod, he ended up taking a good swipe at Rey. She unknowingly blacked out one moment, and then was standing over the burning corpse of the deranger that had attacked her. And in that moment, a team of operatives arrived and shot her.

Barely absconding with her life, Rey ran into the depths of the sanitarium to find first aid or some way to tend to her injuries. She was then met with a man who turned out to recognize her as a woman he had met in Ashwater, before the First Cataclysm. His name was David Wednesday.

Without question, he helped her, and when the operatives showed up he allowed them to take him in Rey’s place while she hid. Shortly after that, she met a man and a woman who were introduced as Tejinder Wakeman and Enid Lyall.

Finding out that her friend was taken, Enid went to seek out David. Tejinder, now the Archiver of the Western Order, advised that going alone would be suicide, and went along with her. Rey, feeling drawn to the place they were going — the permutation clinic — joined them. She then discovered that she was in a Nevadan city that had become the second capitol of the West government, Engelus.

They made it to the clinic, but shortly after Rey split off from the two to seek out the chancellor. Wearing the armor of a guard she had killed, Rey snuck through the building to an office where she found Chancellor Tremond speaking with another man. She open fired on them both, splitting Tremond’s head open and ended up pursued by the other man. She jumped out the window, but the man followed, and chased her through the city. Rey collapsed from her injuries at an abandoned shelter for the homeless, but not without escaping the man who had tailed her. However, he did not put her down. Strangely, he seemed to also know who she was, and he let her live, leaving her behind.

The following days were a blur, as Rey woke up to find that a man with an Irish accent had been taking care of her. He never gave his name, but she felt as though she knew him. After a conversation, she fell back unconscious and woke up with the Irishman gone.

Rey traversed the city, eventually bumping into Tejinder Wakeman once again and his little brother, Tamas. She learned from them that the city had another Battle-Brave, and that it would be the Cataclysm all over again. Neither of them knew what the Battle-Brave actually looked like, and Rey had no idea that she had actually met the weapon in the form of a homeless woman on the streets shortly before her run-in with the Wakemans.

Determined to stop another Cataclysm, Tejinder decided to head to the Reactor of Nuclear Theory, where he believed the Battle-Brave to be. After telling Tamas to leave the city, Tejinder and Rey headed to the reactor together.

But their efforts were, of course, a failure, when they were attacked by what appeared to be winged creatures that were entirely synthetic. The creatures had killed all of the workers within the reactor, forcing Rey and Tejinder to run. By the time they made it back to the city, more synthetics were flooding the streets, slaughtering people. It was then that the two encountered a man who had run her over with his car the day before. He showed her a photograph that had brought him there, depicting an image of Rey’s older vessel, FREYJA, and her mother and father-creators, Undine and Lucas. And the chancellor himself, Gregory Tremond.

The man who was a private investigator known as Aiden Winters managed to help Rey and Tejinder escape, but she had fallen catatonic. Having failed to identify and stop the Battle-Brave, Engelus also fell under in an event that would be known as the Second Cataclysm.

For the next three months, she was left in the care of Faye Elms, a friend and old comrade of Enid Lyall. They stayed at what had once been a refugee camp, in Graeble, Nevada while everyone else had been wanted fugitives who had been pinned as terrorists responsible for the Second Cataclysm. Tejinder Wakeman, a former government worker, was now a wanted man as well, and had fallen underground.

Rey remained trapped in her own mind, and did not escape until the man she had met at the permutation clinic, who had spared her, arrived to pull her out of her daze. Rather, it was the song, La mamma morta, that had snapped her back to reality. The man turned out to be Orion Gideon, and he had come to help.

Feeling drawn by her instincts, Rey went to the town of Las Behas where Tejinder Wakeman was under the protection of Aiden Winters, in order to recruit the Archiver’s help. She managed to do so, but a snag fell through when it turned out that Aiden and Orion had a sordid history together.

Distrustful of Orion’s intentions, Aiden decided to join them in whatever they were doing. Rey had told them that they would meet in a former military stronghold of Old Wayfair. Aiden took Tejinder off to the Washington town, while Rey and Orion detoured to the ruins of Engelus.

Once obtaining the information she needed, Rey and Orion started traveling to the Pacific Northwest, towards Old Wayfair. Along the way, they were attacked by a synthetic creature that had caused their car to crash, and they fell into a pit. Having almost lost Orion, Rey managed to destroy the synthetic creature and revive the man whose heart had stopped.

Afterwards, they laid low in a town while Orion recovered from his injuries and Rey gathered her bearings. A few days later, Orion had bought tickets to one of the few remaining opera houses in the continent that was playing Dido and Aeneas. They got decked up and went to the opera house, with Orion trying to figure out how to explain to Rey that he had known that they were actually related all this time. Not only that, but he was her blood-born brother.

Just when Orion had started to reveal his secret, Rey’s memories had been triggered by Dido’s Lament. By the end of the opera, she gradually started to lose herself to her insane psyche, which she had dubbed the Salamander. Orion, who had been paying notice to Rey’s sudden change, kept an eye on her the entire way to Old Wayfair. Once they had reached a hotel run by automatons, Rey revealed her hidden side when she stabbed Orion in the side with a buck knife. The cut was shallow, not enough to severely harm him, and she left the hotel to meet with Gregory Tremond at the former stronghold known as the Watchers’ Tower.

Seeing that Gregory Tremond was more machine than human, he had been able to create a copy of himself in a new vessel. Actually, he had planned his demise the day Rey had assassinated him, having composed the events leading up to this moment, from Rey waking up in the morgue to her becoming the Salamander.

Through a series of trials, Rey began to fight her duel side, and the Salamander began to weaken. But not without its consequences. Tremond, who had summoned Enid, David, and Faye to the old town, had Rey attempt to slit David’s wrists. Tejinder had his arm ripped off by a synthetic that took the shape of his own little brother. Enid had come close to rousing Rey from her delirium, but not before Tremond had thrown her out the window of the tower, sending her down hundreds of feet to what should have been her death.

Orion arrived just in time for Faye, who had been sniping from the neighboring building, to finally kill Gregory Tremond. This time, for real.

With Rey having finally contained the Salamander, she took advantage of her final moments of sanity to rush to the garden rooftop of the building. Despite Orion’s attempts to stop her, she tricked him into taking his gun and knocking him unconscious. Her brother did not fully regain consciousness until Rey was at the ledge, and explained the truth to Faye.

The truth was, she was the Salamander. And it was Faye and her spotter, Isobel Rhodes, who had been the spotter and sniper back in Kristiv. Isobel, who had also been Faye’s wife.

Giving the other woman the chance for revenge, Faye refused, realizing that Rey’s death would not bring her wife back. Rey, understanding Faye’s decision, put Orion’s gun to her head and pulled the trigger.

The impact of the shot sent her body over the ledge of the rooftop, where she fell and fell. It felt as though she would fall forever...

Seraphim STORM
“This is your wakeup call...”

Not long after the events of Ascent, Rey’s vessel was recovered from one of the chasms of Old Wayfair by her father, Lucas Coffey. She underwent a grievous amount of mutilation, including a bullet to the head, her skull cracked open, several shattered bones, as well as a severed arm during the fall. Lucas had taken it upon himself to return what remained of her body to the Ashwater Underground City. Having access to the lost technology and genetics lab of the Niflheim Research Facility that created Rey in the first place, Lucas was able to reassemble and heal her, including her scars. This process took almost two years, in which by the time of its completion Lucas had been urged by the colonel in charge of protecting the facility, Helena Lyonene, to relocate before reactivating Rey’s vessel, so not to endanger her men. The colonel also believed that being underground would not do for Rey’s mental state. Lucas took her to Illinois, where he owned a townhouse in Old Chicago. Her brother had been called to help restrain and rehabilitate her.

Upon wakening in 2149, Rey proved to have been in a volatile state. Spending two years in total darkness, she found herself in a bed where she was met by her father and brother. Lucas explained to her that in order to treat her condition, he would have to insert a decryption in order to unlock the part of her brain that contained the secured memories of her previous selves. This was only possible to do when she was awake because her vessel needed to be fully activated for him to access those files (like how you can’t do shit on a computer while it’s turned off). As this would invite a wave of mostly unpleasant reminders, Rey struggled until Lucas had Orion hold her down as he injected the decryption.

For several days Rey was trapped in her own mind, reliving memories of her old selves. When she became lucid again, Orion was gone and Lucas was there. He tried to explain her reasons for bringing her back was because she was the only one of the two remaining subjects from Project Seraphim who were not infected by the GRIGORI Program, thus making her and Orion invaluable. And because they’re all genetically related, that helps too. Nevertheless, Rey suffered an epic meltdown, sabotaging his room before stabbing herself repeatedly with a piece of broken glass. Lucas stopped her, only to have Rey turn on him and crush his head open. This would not be the last of recurring abuse, as she would spend years in a state of temporary insanity.

Cut to four years later, year 2153. With the help of her father and brother, Rey was able to find some mental stability that wouldn’t result in her hurting herself or others around her. She even ventured outside of the townhouse on a few occasions, usually accompanied by family (though from time to time she snuck out on her lonesome to interact with the public).

Similarly to her experience six years ago, Rey found that some things in the world had changed. Namely the Unity Alliance Treaty, creating a pact between the differing East and West, which was a surprise due to their divergent political perspectives. Orion Gideon had even taken it upon himself to keep his enemies closer by joining the auxiliary task force assembled as a result of the treaty.

It was strange, but for a while Rey was allowed to live in fleeting peace. Her recovery had been going well, up until she took it upon herself to cut her own face up, recreating the scars that Lucas had taken from her. When asked why she did this, she claimed it was because it wasn’t her face, and she couldn’t recognize herself otherwise. She felt that this was the final step to acceptance.

Her peace was short-lived when Chicago, as well as nine other major cities between the East and West, were attacked via biological warfare. Numerous synthetic-made drones in the form of moths had been released in mostly contained areas, as though to send a message. Before long, people began to exhibit symptoms of a highly fatal disease called mycetoderma, also known as Webcap. As people were dying, the cities became quickly quarantined. Unlike the Allobion Epidemic from several years ago, Webcap wasn’t infectious, affecting only those who had been “bitten” by a moth. But the Alliance wasn’t willing to take any chances, sending in Cleaners to burn through the streets and a protective dome to isolate the remaining civilians. Due Lucas’ enhanced genetics and Rey’s cybernetic compositions, they including Orion remained unaffected by the Webcap infection.

To make matters worse, the synthetics managed to shut down the power, causing a citywide blackout. The dome was lifted, but synthetics came tearing in, killing and maiming Cleaners and innocents trying to flee Chicago. In truth, they were looking for someone.

Rey discovered that the city was being occupied by some people she knew well. Enid Lyall remained in a coma at the Northwest Memorial Hospital. She and Lucas hurried there while Orion dealt with the synthetics on the streets, only to find Enid’s room guarded by Faye Elms and David Wednesday.

After the events of Old Wayfair and the revelation that Rey is the Salamander, it was not a happy reunion. If not for the physical connection shared between her and Enid, then it would’ve gone even worse. For the last six years it seemed that Enid had not woken from her coma due to the bodily trauma of being thrown out of the Argus Tower, but it seemed that, the entire time, Rey had the ability to “connect” with Enid’s consciousness and pull her out of it.

Except that the person who woke up wasn’t Enid, but the genetic memory of Dr. Undine Stransky, which became possible as the two share a familial connection. The only problem was that, as long as Rey was in the presence of Enid, she couldn’t maintain the genetic memory and would slip into fugue states. Lucas offered to help them escape, carrying Enid/Undine with David. Faye started to follow until the hospital was attacked; explosive rounds were fired into the building, causing the roof to collapse on top of her. Rey stayed behind to dig Faye out, and tend to her bleeding wounds using a little of the heat from her Brísingamen. Although Faye still showed herself to be quite snippy with Rey, she agreed to escape together, at least until she could get her wounds properly treated without the risk of being torn apart or burned to death.

Their escape was blocked off by several synthetics in the lobby. Too many for the two of them to take on. After explaining the nature of the synthetics, Rey was egged on by Faye to take them on. Monster against monsters. Fire with fire. Rey reluctantly agreed, mostly wrought with the guilt and feeling that even if she died here, this would perhaps make up for the pain she’d caused. Rey logic is messed up. Still, she was able to get the job done, but only after being almost strangled to death by an armless Bishop-type synthetic. Faye attempted to intervene and almost get herself killed, but Rey caught fire and finished it off. Utilizing too much of the Brísingamen’s capacity caused Rey to become a walking torch — one that she was unable to put out. Faye helped her with this, thanks to a trusty fire extinguisher. Rey’s skin was left unscathed, but her clothes burnt off and she was sporting a new haircut (spoilers: she’s bald).

With Orion watching their back, Faye and Rey were able to escape Chicago with their lives (after Rey stole some clothes and shoes off a corpse, obviously. Should probably mention that). They bond and shit during the drive to Wisconsin, where they stopped at a bed and breakfast (also occupied by Chicago refugees) in Kreyer Station. Faye went right the fuck to sleep, but Rey was woken up by sexy dreams, so she left to do what everybody should do after being flustered by a ridiculously vivid sexy dream.

Go outside for fresh hair and wish for a cigarette to appear.

It was then that Orion Gideon caught up with her. Not wanting to go back and disturb Faye, the two siblings head out on a walk with a supply of beer, booze, and sweet rolls like the classy motherfuckers they are. They chat. They bond. They get piss drunk together before deciding to head back to the bed and breakfast to find Faye already awake.

As they regrouped, Rey revealed to Orion that Lucas was planning to take Enid to the Niflheim Facility in the Ashwater Underground City, where he believed he could help her. Unfortunately, the city ruins were not only occupied by a cult where hundreds of refugees fled to when the Marchmen were trying to weed them out, but the streets and tunnels were infested with some bizarre freaks of nature that they had never seen before.

Orion decided to go on ahead without them, with Faye’s vehicle only seating for two and Orion having jacked a getaway motorcycle-like thing. So they were set.

When they eventually reached Washington together, Faye and Rey learned that the city ruins was being protected by a magnetic field, causing most sophisticated technology to malfunction. This resulted in several ground and aerial transports to glitch out, sending them to a fiery death down a ravine. Some of their guns would work, but for the most part they would have to hoof it through the east mountain pass to get to the city, hoping that Orion wasn’t stupid enough to be among the pile of crashed vehicles in the cliff.

Her concern was short-lived when they bumped into Orion (and nearly shooting him, again) during their hike through the mountain pass. Strangely, upon entering the city they found that the cult had managed to build a settlement in what had once been the slums part of Ashwater. Orion, wanting to see what the place where he grew up was like now, found that the gates to the settlement were suspiciously left open. The three ventured inside, finding that what had once been the city slums was now a thriving community. At least, that’s how it appeared to be on the outside. When they reached Orion’s old neighborhood, they found a church where at least two hundred people were gathered in the courtyard. A curious Rey went ahead and did a stupid thing by wanting a closer look at what was going on, only to learn that they had stumbled in the middle of a cult ritual known as the Seasons.

The cult, led by a man named Jonah, proceeded to give an “inspiring” sermon about abandoning their human bodies, and becoming something more. In reality, the monstrosities plaguing the ruins and underground tunnels are mutated forms of cult members, who willingly gave themselves over to become a grotesque creature that seemingly cannot die. Well, that was Jonah’s pitch, anyway. It was easier for people to buy into his bullshit when he was brainwashing them, using a chemical agent in the water that he would baptize them in. In the midst of the Seasons, Jonah pointed Rey out among the crowd as the Burning Woman that he, the so-called “prophet”, claimed her to be. To this cult, the Burning Woman was like a boogeyman, who cannot be killed but banished, and the “prophet” was the only one to do so. Regardless, Rey was met with fear and anger by the cult members, and they began lynching her. Though Jonah was able to stop them before she was beaten to death, ordering her to be sent inside the church to be “banished”. At the risk of Orion or Faye being killed, she complied.

The Seasons was carried out, causing the cult members to begin to deform. The church courtyard then opened, revealing a deep hole leading downward into the underground city. They would survive the fall, and continue their transformation in the tunnels before emerging again. Rey watched as Orion and Faye had been among the many to fall, losing sight of them completely.

Unsurprisingly, she learned that the cult was a sham, and that Jonah was using faith to control these people into willingly becoming grotesqueries, as he believed they needed to be. To add insult to injury, Jonah seemed to know Rey, but she had never met him before. After speaking a few familiar phrases and seemingly a failed attempt to trigger the Salamander, he revealed to have possessed a similar ability to Enid in being able to connect to his genetic memory. Rey recognized some of his mannerisms as Jonathan, the man who had abducted her from the Niflheim Research Facility ninety-five years ago.

Starting to lose her shit, Rey went to attack Jonah when the side of his head burst open. The entire time an old “friend” she hadn’t seen in six years, Aiden Winters, had been hiding within the church with a mission of his own: Kill the leader of the Bark of Ash cult. Of course, he had no way of knowing that Rey would be there, or alive for that matter. Aiden managed to calm down a distraught Rey, until Aiden was nearly retaliated at with a throwing knife held by the wounded (but somehow still living) Jonah. In his smugness, he threw a second knife, swearing this time not to miss. Rey, determined to be the one to save Aiden, stood in front of him to catch the blade in her throat. The knife completely impaling her neck. Wounded seriously, she falls back, taking Aiden with her down the hole where the cult members had fallen.

Six days later, Rey woke up in a bed in the Niflheim Research Facility. Somehow, Aiden managed to carry her all the way there with little effort (very suspicious), where she was able to receive the highly advanced treatment offered by the technology in the facility. (Which they would easily take out if not for the barrier surrounding the city ruins causing all the tech from the facility to break as soon as it’s within range.) She was being treated by a man named Dr. Henry Pender, and woke up to find that Faye and Orion were alive and well. She would find out that Orion, being the tough guy that he is, was able to save Faye from the drop down the hole. Seemingly, both Aiden and Orion both had knowledge of the research facility’s whereabouts in the tunnels, and were allowed in by the military group that had been stationed there.

Cut to three months later. Rey and everyone else fully recovered (physically, at least) from the events that transpired with the Bark of Ash. Moreover, Tejinder Wakeman and his supposed bodyguard, Ascher, were being kept there recently for safety from both the Unity Alliance and the synthetics looking for him. She even managed to catch him and one of the soldiers playing around with some power armor that was supposed to be distributed to the military before the First Cataclysm happened. What more, he managed to unearth a prototype armor that seemed to be made specifically for Rey back when she was intended to be strictly a war machine, called the Exurosuit. At first glance it wasn’t much, and served no practical purposes as armor for a soldier. Instead, it was made out of a special kind of material that could be sustained entirely by the Brísingamen energy. That said, Tejinder seemed pretty confident that she could get it past the magnetic barrier without damaging it.

Once things calmed down, Rey took a moment with Tejinder to learn that the reason the Unity Alliance is after him was because he’s a perfect bargaining chip to save their own skins. The computer in his brain, the Mnemotechnic Serial Bridge, is actually another quantum board that can be used to house the GRIGORI Program, making him a human vessel for the synthetics. He said he had been told by the old dead chancellor, Gregory Tremond himself, that the best solution was to kill himself because that would be better than whatever was planned for him, and his life was pretty much over anyway. This caused Rey some undue and hypocritical stress.

Eventually, David and a little girl named Jayka Seung showed up at the facility, with an emaciated Lucas carrying an Enid in really poor health. Enid was put in intensive care while the group in the facility recuperated from the chain of recent events. Topping the cherry on the shit sundae, Rey found out that David and Lucas had been followed, and Tejinder had been dragged out into the tunnels by some of the cult monsters. (However, he would later be apprehended by the synthetics.)

They agree to go after him. By “they” meaning Rey (who is determined to protect Tejinder), Orion (who is determined to keep an eye on his sister), and Faye (the only one who has a firewall program that can be installed in Tejinder’s brain, preventing any access for the GRIGORI Program). Rey decides to don on the Exurosuit prototype Tejinder had shown her before taking one of the old trains, at least far enough before the magnetic field would shut it down. Along the way, Rey and Faye shared a moment in which Rey asked if she’ll ever be forgiven. Faye made a point that she wouldn’t even bother trying until Rey can forgive herself. This broke her brain a little a lot. It broke her a lot.

When the train shut down, they continued into Jonah’s settlement. Except that now, strangely, the whole community had been suddenly abandoned. It’ll turn out that it’s because Jonah had his entire remaining cult members turn as he absconded the city, leaving his followers behind after Tejinder had been detained by the synthetics in their blunder. They found a Red Eider, a type of aerial prison/cargo transport hovering on the outskirts of the ruins. What more, it didn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Thinking that perhaps there had been a snafu and Tejinder was in the process of being transferred to the Eider, the three travel back into the mountain pass, where the transport was still idle. Faye, ever the diligent sniper, went to scout ahead to see what was up, but did not return. When Orion was being approached by an unknown, Rey slipped away before she could also be seen. Her brother was taken by a humanoid synthetic, sending him to a fake-woman named IV, who Rey was quite familiar with. Well, one of her past selves were.

With Faye and Orion detained, Rey figured out the real reason for the Red Eider being there. Not only were they seeking the Archiver, but the synthetics who were not infected by the GRIGORI Program’s infection of the other synthetics. As the Eider was leaving, Rey managed to infiltrate it, her mind promptly going into Mission Mode. It was then that she was able to utilize the memories and skills of her previous lives she had lived to interlope the aircraft unseen, almost fluidly switching from one memory to the next. The memories of her old selves utilizing the Exurosuit also helped along the way, but all of them proved to be valuable assets to Rey’s new “mission”, as she was able to reach the prison section of the ship, finding various prisoners detained there — including Faye Elms.

Rey discovered a more secure section of the prisoner quarters, where Tejinder Wakeman was being held. And also killing himself with a suicide pill (not cyanide). Frantic, she managed to breach the room’s securities in time to get in and resuscitate him, forcing him to cough up the pill and even digging into his throat a little to do it. After bringing him back, she gave him the program for Faye’s firewall, to which Tejinder thanks her for because he was actually rather afraid of dying.

Promising to keep alive and help her out, Tejinder managed to help get Rey into hiding in the floorboards before IV and her synthetics would show up. This time, she did not stay to fight. After all, Rey had been fighting during her whole lives. It was all she knew.

But now, she would crawl.

Seraphim PINION
“You always hurt the ones you love.”

Two weeks of scavenging and surviving from the innermost walls of the Concord Sky Prison had taken its toll on Rey in more ways than one. Not only on her physical health, but her sanity as well. As she had been living within the underground waterways of the floating prison, she found herself also contended with mutated experiments of what had once been humans. Turned out, the synthes have a very particular sense of curiosity towards people.

During Rey’s wall excursion, she managed to sneak into various places of the facility undetected. Among them was Administration, which allowed her access to blueprints and other valuable sources of information throughout the prison. She also learned of the prison’s location to be in Russia, where they had traveled all the way from Washington. Committing all of this to memory (because Rey’s brain makes her incapable of forgetting), she managed to track down the cells of Orion Gideon, Tejinder Wakeman, and Faye Elms.

Of all the people she could have dropped in on, however, it was Faye, who had no idea that Rey was even within the prison. Rey clued Faye in on the details, including her plan to get them all out. The only problem is that the sky prison is just that — it floats. This just put them into a bit of a pickle. Before Rey can go into the specific details, she passed out, nearly got herself caught, before scurrying back into the waterway tunnels where she had come in from.

After spending some alone time in the tunnels, Rey had plenty of time to think. And also talk to herself, as well as thinking while talking. Her feelings towards Faye remain confused, as she still felt as though she had wronged the woman, while at the same time wishing for some form of redemption while ultimately finding herself unworthy of it. This placed her into quite a dill. Having spent so much time by her lonesome, she had become more aware of her emotions as well as her memories, her desperation to stay alive for the sake of saving the others.

Somehow, she managed to survive after some encounters with the failed experiments that the synthes had unleashed into the prison, including the waterways. Whether or not IV had done this because she needed someplace to put the experiments or she was aware of Rey’s presence within the prison walls, she couldn’t tell. Either way, it wasn’t a huge priority. Living was. After a few more encounters within the walls, Rey found herself washed through the tunnels by the self-cleaning system. Having taken an unexpected nap earlier tripped up her internal clock, and she had misjudged the timeframe of the prison’s mechanisms.

Being washed through the tunnels, Rey was thrown out of the prison and down a 40,000-foot drop. Fortunately for her synthetic-organic anatomy, she survived landing atop a prison-bound shuttle, only to plummet even farther. This ultimately saved her life, though, when Rey was thrown across the city of Concordia, the synthetic civilization below the prison.

Waking up in an alleyway, Rey made her way through Concordia to find that the entire city was populated by synthes. She also learned of some civil unrest among them, as some synthes were infected with a supposed “virus”, making them into andas. This defect would ultimately awaken a synthe’s individuality, separating them from the hivemind of the other denizens of Concordia. Once seeing the effects of the unrest, a hand landed on Rey’s shoulder and threw her out of the disorder.

It was a woman who looked just like Isobel Rhodes, Faye Elms’ late wife.

This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to Rey. After all, the synthes were known to take on the appearance of the dead as a form of psychological torture, and no doubt this synth had been created to torment Faye. Strangely, though, the synth introduced herself as Elizabeth, and insisted that she was on Rey’s side. That she was like-human, an anda, and had developed a sort of attachment, or a need to protect Faye Elms.

It was then that Rey realized that synthes were given the memories of the dead, as well as meant to simulate human emotions. But that was all they were — simulations. They still couldn’t feel in the same way a human (or even Rey) could. As such, there was a sense of incompletion about them, Elizabeth included.

Elizabeth took Rey into her living quarters to try and convince Rey that she was there to help. Skeptical at first, Rey started to believe that the synth was genuine. But she wanted to see for herself just how this virus had affected their own. Elizabeth helped Rey to better blend in with the crowd, and sent Rey along her merry way.

On the streets, Rey observed the synthes some more, learning about their culture and their behaviors. In some ways, they weren’t that much different from humans, having their own sense of desire. The only difference was that they wanted to be something more than just simulations — they didn’t necessarily want to take humankind’s place, but they certainly wanted to understand humanity better. In a way, they envied humans. The synthes were, in a way, created to be a part of the human race, to better serve the world. This was their reason for existing.

Before long, during her long trek through the streets, Rey was encountered by Aiden Winters, who she hadn’t seen since Ashwater. Having no idea that he was even within the city, she realized that she had sensed something off about him. That she had been sensing it ever since she first encountered him in the Storm Pale Church.

Aiden Winters was not human. He was a synthe.

Rather, he was Aiden Winters’ memories transferred inside a synthetic vessel. In every sense he was Aiden, but he was also just a copy. He explained to Rey, once removing her from the streets, that his human body had been heavily damaged during the brain scan, resulting in a stroke. While Aiden existed as a synthe, his human body suffered in the Concord Sky Prison.

For the next three days, the two recuperated. They planned their rescue attempt in the prison. Aiden had his own ulterior motive, and that was to reach his human body and put it out of its misery. Rey learned the gristly details as to why, and questioned his motivations no further. She just took it upon herself to follow Aiden’s lead.

The duo were able to infiltrate the prison, and separated. But not before Aiden was able to get Rey’s feelings towards Faye out, due to her insistence of saving the sniper whose wife she had offed. This was a conundrum to Aiden, though he accepted her answer. They parted, despite Rey’s insistence that he come with her. It was the last time she saw Aiden Winters.

Now on her own mission to break her friends out of prison, Rey ran into a Coder from a corporation known as Novitas Technology. She had met this girl, Victoria Nguyen, prior to being flushed out of the prison days earlier. The NoviTech employee had promised to offer help to Rey so long as she helped her and her friend/colleague escape as well. Why they would be beneficial? It was because they had ports in the back of their heads, using similar technology to Tejinder Wakeman’s Bridge. Syberminds were similar technology, though not as reliable.

Against her better judgment, Rey released Victoria from her captivity, and escorted the NoviTech worker through the facility. The two were eventually joined by Elizabeth, who had tracked them down in one of the control rooms. The synthetic woman who looked like Isobel Rhodes offered her aid, which Rey begrudgingly accepted, while having no intention of allowing Elizabeth to live.

After saving her brother from being scrapped for parts, Orion explained to Rey that IV actually intended to capture Rey. Because the synthetics wanted to be more like-human, and Orion was technically, for what it was worth, a human, Rey fit the bill more than anyone. She was unique in that her vessel was both organic, made up of her father’s immortal cells, and synthetic, created by the special fervidium alloy. What really interested IV was that Rey was like-human, more so than any of the synthes.

While urging her to escape with him, Orion fought a losing argument with Rey over saving Faye Elms. Aiden had helped release Tejinder Wakeman and Victoria’s friend and coworker, Cyra Huxley, but Faye was across the facility and about to be prepped for a procedure called “extraction”.

Unwilling to leave Faye behind, the siblings were forced once again to part ways, making their reunion a brief one. After a heartfelt farewell, Orion took off with Victoria to the hangar where they would make their escape with Cyra and Tejinder. Elizabeth would escort Rey to Faye.

Once they were near their destination, Rey played a ruse against the synthetic, pretending to be in pain suddenly to put Elizabeth’s guard down. Rey then revealed her true intention, and decapitated Elizabeth’s vessel. The passive synthetic went down with barely a struggle.

Using Elizabeth’s head to scan through the doors, it was possible for Rey to make it to Faye. There, she discovered that several other people were being prepped just like her. Unable to save more than one, however, Rey pulled Faye out of her chamber and carried her through the prison. She eventually discarded Elizabeth’s head and continued to take Faye to the hangars, where Orion and the others had escaped. She took a second shuttle that Aiden had prepped just for Rey, and she was forced to escape without knowing whether or not her friend was okay.

They left the prison without event, a stroke of luck that Rey found odd. They managed to make it halfway across Russia when something collided with the shuttle and knocked them out of the sky.

Landed in Arkhangelsk with minimal supplies and Faye’s unconscious body severely wounded, the only thing Rey could do was patch the woman up and hunt for supplies. She carried Faye to a hotel that was just as abandoned as the whole Russian town. When she came back, Faye was conscious. She had filled the woman in on everything that had happened since they escaped the prison, neglecting the fact that she had killed Elizabeth.

That wasn’t much of a concern, anyway. Faye was more worried that the injuries she had sustained from the crash had miraculously healed. She then revealed to Rey that she had been injected with Lucas’ immortal cell line, which had affected Faye differently than most prisoners. Unsure of what the cells would do to Faye, the former sniper began to panic, going so far as to questioning her own humanity now.

Rey tried to get Faye to eat, but Faye freaked out and started going to town on Rey’s face. Without putting up even so much as a fight, Rey allowed Faye to do so, feeling that she deserved the punishment. When the going got even tougher, Rey even offered the sniper a chance to finish what she had started back in Old Wayfair, back in the very first book, and gave Faye a gun. Feeling that she had accomplished what she had set out to do, this seemed like a good time as any for Faye to exact her revenge for Isobel. Rey even divulged that she had killed Elizabeth to further push Faye into killing her.

Finally coming to the conclusion that Rey was no longer the Salamander, Faye decided not to kill Rey, because, to her, it would be killing a completely uninvolved party. Rey may have the same body as Safronov, but she was not the Salamander. She was just a poor bitch that had the unfortunate fate of sharing all those shitty memories.

Dumbfounded by Faye’s conclusion, the two women ended up bonding more. Eventually, Faye kissed Rey. Confused if not drawn to the other woman, Rey reciprocated, further realizing her true feelings towards Faye Elms.

Their revelation was cut short, however, when “Elizabeth” stormed the abandoned hotel where they were squatting. “Elizabeth”, who still somehow bore the appearance of Isobel. Rey attacked “Elizabeth”, pummeling the synth’s face in until she was then attacked by Faye, who had slipped into a panicked frenzy wrought with trauma. Terrified of both how Faye saw her (the Salamander killing a woman who looked like Isobel Rhodes), Rey fled the hotel, leaving Faye behind with “Elizabeth”.

Eventually, “Elizabeth” caught up with Rey on the outskirts of Arkhangelsk, the synth now dragging a rebar alongside her. “Elizabeth” revealed herself to be actually IV wearing one of Elizabeth’s vessels, and explained to Rey what she intended to do with the woman. Uncertain what had happened with Faye, Rey was blindsided by IV...

“You know, I have always wondered what defines you. The great divide between human and synthetic ends with you, doesn’t it? And it just occurred to me... It isn’t your memories, or the things that are in your head. No...”

In that moment, IV plunged the rebar straight through Rey’s chest.

“It is your beating heart!”