Organization Rank: Field Operative
She isn’t tall, she isn’t short. She is a wonderfully average height of 1.7 meters, though that will vary depending on the attitude she takes at the time. Her bearing is always mutable, sometimes looking small, other times appearing as though she were taller than any else in the room. Weighing in at 67kg, she shows only a few curves, nothing voluptuous about her; her arms are rounded with sleek strength, her hips flow into a core that is a flat plane of smooth skin gliding over steel-like muscle, and her legs are long but not lean, sculpted to be perfect generators of speed and endurance.
She has designed her body to be one of function, one that serves her needs as a practitioner of the less savory acts of intelligence gathering and covert killings, the latter she does with a professional ease, which is reflected in her large, jade eyes, the colour so rich it boarders in crystalline; these eyes, however, are just as mutable as her body. Her features – elegantly designed to carry any emotion as though it were at home on her tanned face – are oddly plain, and yet lovely. Her hair is short, above shoulder length, and a deep blonde, a colour that has changed many times over the years. She can look the part of a down-trodden, suit-wearing executive one moment, and turn right around to become a flower of beauty, graceful and chic.
The spy’s – how she detests the word – hands are a strange study in opposites: she must keep them neat and smooth for those times charm is needed, but also calloused, hard in order to perform the other half of her duties. Her fingers are long, and oddly elegant in nature, deft, always quick in a patient sort of way, never flounced about she is talking to those she knows.
When in a natural state, she is poised, and calm, her bearing one of a confidant, consummate professional. Her movements are never inefficient, and every act she makes is one that reaches an end for her; no superfluous motions, no unneeded gesticulations. Her face is just as calm, eyes quick to spot a problem, but not darting to and fro, simply observant. And not much fails to register in her sight; it isn’t a stretch to say she sees everything that is happening around her, and though she may react to some of it, she chooses to let most slide by. Let others deal with their messes.
When not out running, jumping, climbing trees and all that, she prefers to dress down into something less conspicuous to the everyday eye. A black tank top layered over a white, pink, blue, etc. shirt of the same type, and a black bra are sported for upper body clothing, while fitted, dark washed jeans cover her lower half. They are made to fit her shape, and though she may not have “curves” in the standard sense, these pants bring out a bit of roundness to her form that is rather nice, according to most.
Black boots round out her ensemble, never unlaced and jeans always tucked in. They are high enough to give her a bit of protection, and the sole gives just enough when she walks to be useful in a pinch, should she need to find herself on a roof in a short amount of time.
Everything is tailored to fit her, all designed for maximum efficiency and movement, but keeping an air of detached sensualness that only those who go looking for it will find.
Though she may be an operative of stealth, there is one thing she will never give up: her motorcycle. It is a modern, sleek, growling thing that never ceases to make her day brighter. Black and accented in dark pink, it is a surprising choice for a woman of her ilk. But nonetheless, she keeps it close to her heart, as she does her leathers.
Black leather pants, padded in the knees and shin to prevent injury during those too-tight turns, hug every inch of her legs, ending in rich pink boots, designed for comfort and protection. She rides with a similar black tank top, though this time it is covered with a leather jacket of the same elegant pink as her boots. Her helmet as well is a solid black – including the visor – with only a slim detailing of pink around the bottom edge.
Perhaps her currently most well known article of clothing is the form-fitted matte grey and black tactical suit designed with only her in mind. It is sculpted to her body without leaving much to the imagination, though it isn’t a thing to be simply stared at. Before any of the protective gear is strapped to her, the suit grants her a protection all its own. While it won’t stop bullets or crushing blows, it can turn away knives, and most importantly, it makes her nearly invisible to prying eyes.
Or rather, noses.
When in fully employed – suit, boots, hood and mask – her scent is entirely masked, neutralized to a faint whiff of ozone and clean air. Of course, should any of the suit be removed, this property halts altogether, rendering its use only to that of turning away blades (Slashing damage is mitigated to near nothing, so long as it is Category D or lower. Piercing is halted from Category F and lower.)
But when paired with her limited armor, the suit becomes a perfect match for the woman’s talents. A carbon fiber weave is mated with Kevlar to form a lighter weight, bullet resistant vest, as well as formed into articulating pieces for the shoulders and upper arms. Obviously, the articulations make the material less capable of stopping higher caliber rounds, but it does still provide cover from anything .45 ACP caliber or lower. The vest itself can withstand rounds of .40 SW/.357SIG or 5.56mm or lower; however, as with all “bullet proof” vests, the bullet may be stopped, but not the kinetic energy created by it. This means that though it may halt a heavy bullet, the energy behind the bullet will leave quite the mark, potentially cracking ribs should it catch her just right. (the .357 also has a chance at complete penetration should it be fired from close distance).
Her forearms and shins are covered in thin shells of titanium, coated in a powered, matte finish to match the suit. These are fitted to ride just above the suit itself, moving with her every motion as though a part of her. They are capable of withstanding enormous amounts of pressure, and most any bladed weapon will be turned away from its strong, curved surface.
But it is the hood and mask that really make the statement. When the stretched material of the hood is pulled up, a faceplate is then able to be worn. It is a simple thing, nothing particularly outstanding – small HUD that gives her temperature, night vision, and distance gauge – but it completes the suit which, of course, is what she needs the most. However, instead of some sort of green illuminations for eyes, or red points of light to denote any sort of facial features, the mask is entirely featureless, a flat surface that is as dark as the rest of the suit. The dark mask is made of a polycrystalline transparent ceramic, coated with a scratch-resistant material, that leaves it almost as hard as steel.
Of course, there are the standard weapons’ harnesses, each strap made to withstand up to twice her body weight.
Though she may be a skilled operative, trained to hunt and kill more than just mankind, she is by no means stoic and unforgiving. She is truly a kind person, willing to aid others in not just combat situations, and has no small amount of compassion. Her years in the service – and a jail cell – have not deadened her heart , made it unyielding and hard; instead, she has come to the realization that her job to protect others, and even kill for their safety, does not need to come from a place of anger, or cynicism. Those emotions are well within her range of feeling, though they are not usually found in her on an everyday basis; anger will get you killed, and cynicism is just too taxing to keep up.
As for that aforementioned job, she finds herself able to disconnect those kind emotions when they are not needed, such as a mission to assassinate an enemy of the state, or murder – which is usually the most apt description – a person who intends great harm to others. However, she will feel a slight tinged of sadness after the fact, as taking a life shouldn’t come easy; humanity is to be safeguarded, not discarded, no matter what the crime.
This does not hold true for the less savory creatures of the night.
Since first encountering them, she’s had nothing but detached contempt for them. They aren’t right for this world, and they carry with them an imbalance that upsets the safety of even those who should be able to defend themselves. She’s learned that men who normally could take on the world are reduced to nothing in the face of these creatures, men who would never cower from a fight are sent screaming in the opposite direction. She will be the first to admit that her maiden encounter with the things called “vampire” didn’t go over so well; in fact, it was surprising she even survived it at all.
She was for a time rather patriotic, ready to die for the American way, but after a stint in the dust and the death and the blood of the men next to her, something began to change. She no longer wanted to fight for the so-called “freedom” pandered out to the masses; she wanted to fight for the men who did cling to the good ‘ol Red, White, and Blue, to have their backs when the time came, no matter how dangerous that time may become.
Then came her shift into more intelligence and recon, where she excelled, partially due to her ability to blend into a crowd, to shift her personality to fit the situation. This is the most confusing thing about the woman, as she can be a wild-cat one moment, and a subdued housewife the next. That fact makes her excellent at her job, but it leads to a person who at times struggles to be themselves. It is difficult to get a read on her true “personality”, but once someone is willing to get close enough, to risk calling themselves her “friend”, then that kindness, that person who wants to protect others, comes shining through.
As a rather standard procedure, the “spy” carries on her person a sidearm for most missions. The Heckler and Koch USP Match variant 4, chambered for the .45 ACP round is her go-to handgun should a situation spiral out of her control; doesn’t happen often, but it is always nice to have a back-up plan. The protection for the external metal surfaces on the weapon is a “hostile environment” nitrade finish, while the internal parts are coated with an anti-corrosion chemical. At any one time, she will have two, twelve round magazines on her.
Having been put through more than its share of abuse, the USP stands up to its reputation of being one of the most reliable handguns on the market. [Abuse and function-testing of USPs have seen more than 20,000 rounds of .40 S&W fired without a component failure. Milspec environmental tests were conducted in high and low temperatures, in mud, immersed in water and in salt spray.] Needless to say, this gun has been a trusted partner since the moment she first shoved it in a particularly vile vampire’s face.
Because she is decent – but not and expert – at handling firearms, she relies on the USP’s barrel weight, which provides a counterbalance the recoil, making it easier to aim on secondary shots.
Secondly, she relies on a longer knife than usual, of a type that she has used for years, though not quite so elegant in make. It is forged from martensite steel, a hard metal that must be tempered just right in order to find a balance between too brittle and too soft. That is where the pearlite comes in. It is introduced into the martensite during forging, giving the finished blade a sort of springy attribute, making it less likely to break under extreme stress; however, it requires a constant attention to the edge, as it will dull faster than a simple steel blade.
It is different in one other way: there is a silver alloy strip just above the edge of the blade, not coating the cutting edge itself, but intead riding above it in such a way as to not interfere with the usefulness of the knife, and it keeps done wear and tear on the silver itself. However, just like the edge, the silver must be reintroduced onto the blade every so often to make certain it is ready for the next use.
Her last, and certainly most well-known weapon, is her three and a half foot long mono-filament garrote. Wrapped around the cores of what looks remarkably like a child’s two yo-yo, this ultra thin, impossibly strong material is designed to cut through nearly anything it touches. However, the housings it is kept in is a mixture of osmium and iridium. The mixture is incredibly strong and resilient to nearly all forms for abuse, but it is only a small amount that coats the inside of the round containers for the thread. This allows the filament to be used again and again without worry that it will tear the housings apart.
She is extremely careful with this device, as the mono-filament can quite literally cute through nearly anything. Only three feet in length, it is designed to take off heads – or limbs, should she be able to reach them – and not take down large bodies without worry of the wire not being long enough.
Or her target being faster, or stronger than her.
And flesh target is most certainly capable of being cut through, as well as most organic matter, thin metals and softer stone (not including granite, marble, etc.); anything steel-like in nature over 4 by 2 inches thick and the filament finds too much resistance to continue. As mentioned before, she is careful in its use, and no one she has met before has been able to wield even a mock-up as deftly as she can.
Although not normally considered a “combat” efficient activity, Eleanor is quite active in the practice of hatha yoga, which centers her mind and body and creates a state of instinctual calmness in both the physical as well as the mental. In other words, she is flexible and in fairly ridiculous ways. She has been studying the art since she was twelve, having been brought to a local studio by her mother, and immediately falling in love with the practice. Even when in the service, she used the methods the hatha yoga taught her to remain focused on her work, particularly on jobs that were taxing on not just her body, but on her sanity as well.
To say that this training has protected her mental stability is an understatement.
More towards the violent aspect of her nature, she is well studied in the United States military’s combatives (hand to hand combat). It is a mixture of various forms of martial arts, incorporated to provide a broader, though perhaps less in depth, understanding of close combat. She was moved on to more advanced courses that built upon the basic framework from early training by adding throws and takedowns from wrestling, Judo, striking skills from boxing and Muay Thai, ground fighting from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Sambo and melee weapons fighting from Eskrima and the western martial arts. This is not so say she is a master of all these types; rather, she has been given tools from each and taught how to utilize them in the most efficient nature possible. While less than perfect in some areas - and even struggling in some - she was a great proficient in melee weapons fighting, capable of wielding a small knife and taking down much larger, and faster opponents.
But add her extreme flexibility into this mix and you get a strangely beautiful, dangerous amalgam of strikes from odd angles and take-downs from seemingly nowhere.
While in training for more covert missions, she and a small group of operatives were given training in parkour, their instructors imparting the basics of the art, but not the over-the-top maneuvers seen in today’s playful practitioners. She is capable of getting from one building to the next with a few deft moves, but she isn’t going to be able to win some race against a more advanced practitioner; she is best in tighter spaces, able to crawl and leap her way through a room without ever actually touching the ground.
This nimbleness comes in almost near silence, no matter her terrain. She is light footed and sure, her steps barely making a sound, and her body perfectly aware of where it is in relation to everything else around her. This silence is critical when sneaking up on creatures not of the human variety.
When added together, the sum of these practices makes her a quick, nimble and oddly strong opponent. Her core muscles are incredibly dense, and her limbs are able to take a great amount of stress from the parkour training alone. Able to hang for long periods of time just from her fingertips, or take the punishment from solid body blows, she is designed to get in and get out of a situation without being seen and if she is, she is more than capable of handling the “situation”.
Though, she does know when discretion is the better part of valor.
As for her firearms training, Eleanor is decent. Not perfect, not a genius, just proficient in multiple modern weapons. She prefers handguns – she is the best with those – and hardly ever a sniper rifle; she is passable with them, but only with a spotter, or with a stationary target that isn’t miles away. She rarely uses assault rifles or shotguns; the latter are just too inaccurate for her to care about using. And don’t even think to get her behind an LMG; the last experience she had with one, it jammed more times than she could count, and it had zero accuracy. Also, it was very loud.
Handguns are her bread and butter, as she is able to wield them in tighter situations – where she can usually be found – and they are far easier to keep up with; less trouble than something longer than her arm and heavier than the sum of her gear. She has used many different types in her life time, some with greater reliance, others with better precision. All in all, they take more of a steady hand, a capable touch to keep them accurate in a longer engagement; everything else can be simply point-and-shoot, and perhaps with luck, a target will be hit.
Mentally, she is a bit above the normal person, though that comes from years of education. When she first entered the specialty training for her particular path of military service, her instructors had begun beating into her memory retention and elasticity. She would be forced to memorize sheets of information and then recite it back hours later, or take a single look at the blueprints to a building and recall as much as she could from just that mental image. Her memory isn’t something given to her through genetics, or some sort of fluke of God, and this isn’t to say she has a “perfect” memory; she is smart, and that intelligence was honed during years of training and practice.
While in her instructive years, she was also taught facial and bodily cues for emotional responses. They trained her – through outside contractors – to read an individual and gauge how they felt about a situation; if they were uncomfortable but hiding it, angry but suppressing the emotion, or outright lying. It isn’t a perfect science, but this ability to read a person has saved her skin on multiple occasions, giving her a head’s up to the way a situation was about to go down moments before something drastic did occur.
Her greatest asset, however, is her ability to simply blend into a crowd. Given the right preparation, she can easily disappear into a room full of people, invisible to even those who may know what to look for. Even without preparation time, she can improvise to a great extent, helping her to move from one scenario to another to keep a cover that most would have lost at the first hint of trouble. Wigs, makeup, clothing: these are all things anyone can use to make a disguise, but her words, her bearing create a far better camouflage than any physical cover. She will go from a doe-eyed innocent to frosty indifference in the blink of an eye.
Eleanor can speak Arabic, Kurdish, and a bit of Persian, and has been trained in basic IED disarmament (as well as their usual placement and range). She learned lock-picking from a contact while on an extended mission, and is an expert motorcyclist. She is also fantastic at making coffee, but horrible at Parcheesi. And while she is great at poker, she can never seem to win at Black Jack.
(Considered to have Level 0 strength and agility, while having Level 1 reflexes and stamina)
Eleanor had a rather normal, if not remarkably patriotically American upbringing. Born to a middle class suburb of Philadelphia, she was raised with a brother, two loving parents and a golden retriever, the latter of which was always willing to play fetch. Her father was a military man, Army, while her brother followed right along, joining the Marines as soon as he was able. She wanted to do just as her father and brother had done – and her father’s father – but her mother begged as only a housewife could beg that her daughter remain in school and find a good husband and raise plenty of grandchildren.
Let the boys play hero.
Even though her mother wished for her to grow up to be a woman of the household, Eleanor didn’t resent the sentiment, often going with her mother to get-togethers with other apt-minded women to discuss this and that and rarely anything important. She didn’t “rebel” and refuse to fit into a mold, as it never felt like her mother was pressuring her into anything; she was just trying to do what she thought was best for her daughter. Which included exposing her to all sorts of new and generally disliked things.
Her mother had become part of a group of women who were fascinated by the “living healthy” agenda, and part of their regimen had begun taking classes of all sorts of exercise classes. At age 12, Eleanor entered a beginner class with her mother, but soon became enamored with its beauty and the simplistic art of self-awareness that came with each class. Her mother was pleased that she had found something so unlike the military for her to focus on, so it was no trouble to her to drive Eleanor to her five day a week class.
Not on Sunday though. That was church day.
So from the age of 12 onward, she dedicated herself to her schoolwork and yoga, making time to go to dinner parties and family functions as any normal, loving teenager would do. She wasn’t the top in her class, merely in the middle, and though she studied, it seemed as though school and her didn’t fit for some reason. There seemed to be more to life than just the confines of a classroom, but until she could make a break for it, she was determined to make a go at being a good student.
Until she turned 18.
Then it was away to the Army for her, following in her father’s footsteps, becoming part of a nation that she had always heard spoken of with so much regard and respect. Her entry into the military was normal, average, and not much of a fuss was made about her until it came to her “mental” capabilities. She had shown an above normal ability to recall much needed information when in a crisis scenario, and was excellent at making snap judgments based on little intel. This got her a desk job soon out of basic training, landing her into an intelligence role that for a while, she was quite happy with. Whatever information she could uncover, or piece together gave the men on the ground a chance; the men on the ground, or the other operatives she knew nothing about, but understood their missions relied on her specialty.
Then came the day that her disconnect between the field and her desk was no more.
There was an operation on the ground that needed someone skilled enough at handling themselves and quick enough at sifting through live data to accompany a group of men into the field. It was February of 2003, and the team was an advanced force on the ground, in preparation for the upcoming war. She agreed on the spot, though she had a great deal of apprehension running through her; what if she ended up getting these men killed because she couldn’t actually take care of herself? Those thoughts were dispelled when they were finally out and about, as these men were talented and tough, relying on her for only information.
It was then she realized how much enjoyment this gave her. And fulfillment. She was protecting these men with her words, and it felt wonderful. She was told to stay on for another year; the men had actually become fond of her, as they knew from the few incursions they’d had that she could fend for herself, and her attitude towards the entire thing was one that kept them bolstered as well. She was also secretly teaching one of the men yoga, which she’d been sworn to secrecy to never tell.
Not long after, she was asked to aid in the preliminaries of the War in Afghanistan (War on Terror) - a job that would lead to something much greater - seemed easy enough from a logistical standpoint, but once she was on the ground, things became tricky. Behind the scenes things were messy, and the higher-ups didn’t like messy. So, her team was tasked with making the situation less messy, and that involved a whole lot of mess being made in the first place. It didn’t take long for the things happening behind the curtain to take on a dark edge, and Eleanor suddenly found herself in a situation where it was kill in the night or have your throat slit in the morning. The men with her knew their jobs; now, it was time for her to step up as well.
What happened that night isn’t on the books – nothing since then has ever been put “on the books” – but it changed a bit of her, and she wasn’t so sure it was a bad thing. She returned home with the small team she’d been with only to be greeted by the CIA and a man who wouldn’t introduce himself. They told her she was being offered a chance at a joint task force position, should she make it through the training. It was a confusing request, but she said yes regardless, and within two nights, she was on a base with no name, with a handful of men that seemed far more disconcerting than those she’d been traveling with.
A year passed in the training of this group, and she was pulled aside with a few others to be told that they would be responsible for reconnaissance, and at times, acquisition of a target. Dead or alive. The thought haunted her, but she wasn’t given time to think on it. Two days later they were shipped out – a four man team, herself included – on their way to the some city in northern Afghanistan. Marines and the Joint Task Force were already on the ground, but they couldn’t – wouldn’t – do the things this four man group could do. They were eyes and ears, and when the occasion called for it, they were Death’s hand. The JTF could only do so much by the international rules of war, but not this group. They didn’t answer to the military, but they weren’t exactly CIA either. They had fallen through the cracks, and thus were given rein to do much more than just “enforce the peace”.
They were there to prevent, not treat a wound.
By the time she was 26, she was leading a small team of her own, one that rotated depending on the mission, but always comprised of men she could count on. They weren’t guns for hire, they weren’t killers: they were tools used to incise decay and infection from the world. Or, at least, that is how she saw it. No longer was she the young woman who wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, to fight valiantly next to another soldier as they fight for country and glory. Now, she wanted to safeguard the nation by no longer existing in its mind, by becoming a ghost that protects by scaring away all the bad things from the dark.
Three years later, and she was deep into the War on Terrorism, gathering intel and opening up doors for regular soldiers by taking out any obstructions might be in their way, such as say, a terrorist cell leader, or an arms dealer. Occasionally even a business man of some minor – but key – importance. She was working more alone by this point, returning to a group to report, then to disappear into the fray as though she’d never left. Eleanor worked the rumor mill, cultivated contacts, and on more than one occasion, ended the life of a person deemed “ a threat”.
That threat was now at her discretion.
But all good things must come to an end.
In 2011, she was given a team – small and new – to work with on the rescue of a group of American citizens held by a fanatical man bent on just making headlines and really nothing else. It wasn’t often she did rescues, but they did happen, and it gave her a chance to actively save life, instead of take it. So, new little team in place, they infiltrated the area, got within striking distance, and then things went horribly wrong.
The Americans were numerous, twelve by her count, and many were chained, tied, some with bags over their heads. But that wasn’t the disturbing part: some were bleeding and moans, snapping their jaws in the direction of a few uncuffed individuals. The smell was terrible, and before she could issue an order, a thing jumped out at them from the shadows, all claws and teeth. Her men shouted in surprise, and immediately opened fire. The thing didn’t go down, not immediately, but the damage was done nonetheless. The room filled with the sickening scene now held dead Americans, bodies littered everywhere from the frantic firing of her men.
But there were some that still moaned, still gnashed and snapped at them.
She makes a decision, and shoots whomever is left.
There was no covering this up, there was too much evidence lying around and no way to dispose of it. But then the bodies, the one’s that had been so bloodied and foul, they began to shift, and fall to the floor like ash. The others, the bodies that had been so afraid, they remained. It was a scene she will never forget, and one she made certain no one else would tell.
The mission was an utter failure.
It was discovered the bodies had been shot by the team. So, to keep the story quiet, and to keep good men from falling with her, she takes the hit and is convicted of a war crime. 30 years was her sentence. 30 years and no hope for early release.
Until someone came to her, and told her about an organization that would take her back, if she still wanted to fight.
She said yes.
Last edited by Eleanor Harkness on Sat Jan 10, 2015 10:38 pm; edited 5 times in total
"The value of a person can always be measured by the purpose they serve in the grand scheme of things. Those without purpose have no value or right to exist. I give them purpose, I give them hate, I give them value." -Seung, Soo Young