Caerula Sanguis
Caerula Sanguis
3sap2.jpg
Continuity Battle Angel Alita: Last Order
Age 740
Species Type-V mutant
Hair Color White
Eye Color Blue
District Northern District
Journal Qing-Long Wei-Ji
Player Syd
FST White Snow and Blue Blood
Theme Song it's not this

"My wish was to be invincible, but I've attained it only after losing everything."

History

In the year of our lord 1808, a girl named Vilma Fachiri was born in Erdély (Transylvania in Hungarian), during the rule of the Hapsburgs. Her childhood is something she hasn't seen fit to share with others, but it's ended up mattering little in terms of shaping her. After all, the end of it saw a far more traumatic event than the worst that puberty could ever visit: Altered Shock. This process, brought on by infection by the rare V-Virus, wracked her body with agonizing pain for three days and nights, and the reward for survival was a biological curse. The V-Virus remade her body, turning her into what would later be called a Cognate or a Type-V mutant, but was known by a different name to her contemporaries: vampire.

Fleeing her country, she eventually found her way to China, and the Triads therein. She became their secret weapon, a merciless dark princess who saw all others as toys or prey. For over 150 years, none loved her, and she loved no one. None could defeat her, either, until La Société, the umbrella organization of all Cognates in Europe, sent their trump card to either recruit or kill her. This trump card was a strong Cognate named Victor Byron, a former crusader. In her pride, Vilma proposed a challenge; if he could withstand ten of her bare-hand attacks, she would admit defeat. Nine attacks were unleashed, and he took each of them squarely, praising her skill and awaiting the tenth. This tenth attack, however, would have used a hidden weapon, which she had agreed not to use. She hung her head and surrendered to Victor, finally understanding defeat.

The two of them lived and traveled together, surviving even the Catastrophe that arose in 2010, when a giant meteorite struck the Earth and wiped out most of civilization, causing a long impact winter. With three other Cognates - a gunman named Jacco, a blind hammer-wielder named Morse, and the cancer-blighted trench knife-wielding Zapolska - they wandered and hunted, preying on humans and devouring them wherever they could. For them, it was a happy time. The hunting was good, and Vilma and Victor enjoyed almost all the benefits of a loving relationship. So it was for 14 more years, until a rockslide caught her unawares and nearly killed her. Her comrades unable to find her, she was presumed lost to them.

She awoke, however, not to the light of death, but to the sound of a clumsy hand on a guitar. She was found - and saved - by humans living in an underground shelter. The guitarist was John Farrell, son of the shelter's founder and leader, Keiran. They and the rest of the shelter nursed her back to health, filling her in on their mission to preserve the human culture and restore it to the world when the impact winter faded. Vilma sympathized with his aspirations, but confessed that the human culture's oppression of Cognates left a bitter taste. Regardless of that, she ached for peace, and eagerly took a role as the emissary between the Farrell Shelter and Victor Byron's group.

The days between her return to Victor and the set date for the two groups to meet were, in her recollections, the happiest days of her life. Nothing to do but wait, and bask in the joy of no longer having to hate anyone. Victor had agreed to their terms, and told Vilma that he, too, longed to slip the chains of hate. The meeting began cordially, but soon turned into a nightmare that Vilma thought she had left behind. Keiran's betrayal came in the form of carbon disulfide and poisoned food, along with his statement that he feared neither phantoms nor monsters - only other people. His plan from the beginning was to erase Victor's group apart from Vilma, who he offered a place as John's mother. On the other side, Victor's betrayal was made clear when he admitted that he agreed to meet only because he wished to show Vilma how vile humans truly were. If Keiran had not made his move first, Victor would have done so. For the ill faith shown to her comrades, however, Vilma's decision was heavy but firm. As a favor to John and Keiran for saving her life, they would be spared. Victor, Jacco, and Morse were set free to kill the rest of the shelter. Neither gender nor age stayed their hands. Only Vilma did not partake, torn up as she was by sadness. Victor kept his word, however, and both John and Keiran survived that day…minus John's right arm, which Victor took so that he might never bewitch others with his innocence as he did Vilma.

The pain of the event dulled slightly over the years, as the Cognates continued their journeys. Eventually, it took them from the Farrell Shelter in New York to St. Louis. While there, Morse met his end at the hands of a human archer, who claimed membership in the nearby Bradley Shelter…and the last name of Farrell. The archer, named Arthur Farrell, had killed Morse as a challenge and declaration of the Bradley Shelter's lack of fear. In addition, he came to ask Vilma to see his grandfather, who was dying and wished to speak to her. Reluctantly agreeing, she followed Arthur to the shelter.

Once inside, she was taken to an old man on his deathbed, the sight of whom made Vilma's heart skip a beat. Wrinkled, worn, and changed as he was, she recognized him immediately - John Farrell, who shakily apologized for his role in the tragedy of the Farrell Shelter, 50 years ago. She in turn refused his apology, as in her mind he deserved no guilt, and apologized to him herself. With a final plea to Arthur to restart "Merlin," he breathed his last.

On her way out, she was ambushed by Jacco, who was convinced that she was falling into another trap. Forced to defend herself and Arthur, she slew Jacco, but was stopped from returning to Victor by Arthur, who feared that she would be going to her death. Reluctantly, she agreed to stay for the night.

The funeral was sorrowful, but fruitful. Vilma was introduced to Arthur's best friend and colleague, Radha, and his fiancée, Haruka, and learned what John's last wish meant. As it turned out, Keiran was a physicist who had worked with several colleagues to create a wave function collapse monitor, which analyzed the probable states of being as they collapsed into a single entity. Shortly put, it was a scientific oracle that could predict the future. When it predicted the Catastrophe, however, it was largely ignored, except for the teams that had worked on it directly. They retreated to prepare, creating the shelters that weathered the meteor strike and the winter. The restart of Merlin was built from scratch by analyzing Keiran's notes and the original model's remains. While the more technical aspects evaded Caerula's understanding, she was moved by Arthur's determination to use it to bring a new age to humankind, and hoped that this time, reconciliation was possible.

It was not.

Victor, of the same mind as he was 50 years ago, stumbled across Haruka and jumped to the conclusion that innocence and music had once again bewitched his wife. Biting her to infect her with the V-Virus, he strolled away and informed her that if she could survive and still speak to him of reconciliation, he might consider it. While desperately scrabbling for life, Haruka was unable to weather the Altered Shock, and died in the snow. The Bradley Shelter's residents found her later, and Vilma knew that from that point onward, she had to make a sacrifice: Victor's life in exchange for Arthur's future.

Going to meet Victor, she attacked him and began a battle that raged across the city, destroying even the Gateway Arch. Victor proved too strong, however, and despite all her efforts, she found herself impaled and maimed. She would have died then and there, had the cloud cover not allowed the sun a peek through. Her resolve boosted by winter's apparent end, she recovered enough to strike a deathblow to her husband, who fell, defeated at last. His final words to her were a plea to live on.

"Vilma…I feel such pity for thee. Dost thou not see that the people thou trust will never repay thy kindness…? Vilma, thou wilt live in solitude, sharing your existence with no one, yet thou must watch over the fate of makind…! If thou shedst those tears for me…if thou still lovest me…thou must never weep again! Never show a moment of weakness! Live for all time…Vilma…"
- Victor Byron, last words

A moment after, she felt two bullets from Arthur's rifle knock her into the river, and apparently to her death.

She revived in a mausoleum 47 years later, the near-death experience acting as a second Altered Shock and granting her further enhanced abilities. She learned that Radha had saved her from drowning on Arthur's private orders, treated her wounds, and interred her in the mausoleum. In the intervening years, the climate had warmed, and humanity was resurgent. Their greatest new achievement was Star City, a settlement founded for the purpose of rediscovering space travel. It was a beautiful sight for Vilma to see, but was soon tempered by witnessing a failed assassination attempt against Arthur. Seeing that her guardianship was not yet finished, she assumed an alias and acted as an unofficial protector of Arthur and the future he represented.

For 18 years, she fought, living in an orphanage run by one of Radha's daughters and teaching martial arts to students in between her stints protecting Arthur. She would soon find a lot of work to do in the latter field, as secret human experiments researching space travel were revealed to the public, causing a wave of civil unrest and open rebellion. She later met Arthur face-to-face for the first time since St. Louis, pleading with him to stop driving so hard. The rebellions, she said, were because of his high-handed, merciless approach to dissent. His methods were that of any dictator in the 20th century. He replied that the danger humanity faced from another meteor would render any progress irrelevant, and so his efforts were actually too slow. The loss of Haruka and the years ruling had hardened his heart, and he saw human survival as the only important matter. Freedom, love, democracy, and the lives of some were forfeit. This was the lesson he took from Vilma's and Victor's fight, and his words struck Vilma to the core with sorrow. However, he continued by confessing that he had some misgivings about his design for the future. If it wasn't perfect, if humans were foolish enough, the only future that the new oracle, Melchizedek, would give them was a future befitting fools. Therefore, Vilma's role in the future was to safeguard humanity as she had promised. If she saw society falling apart, she was to issue the Last Order and destroy Melchizedek beyond repair.

For 400 years, she fulfilled her duty as watcher of humanity under many names, most recently as Caerula Sanguis. Threats were expunged, her skills improved, and she once again never knew defeat. She worked tirelessly to combat injustice - the advent of technology that brought immortality to humans made children redundant, and so she began an orphanage to save children from the abuses of the world. However, none of it convinced her to issue the Last Order, and so it was even when she met her death at the hands of another fighter, a cyborg woman named Alita, who had survived over 200 years and possessed a destiny that in Vilma's eyes was beyond knowing. Granting the key to Melchizedek to her, she entrusted mankind's future to her and let herself "die," entering a regenerative state.

Her Awakening would happen next.

Personality

As a being over 700 years old, Caerula's had much time to think and much time to grow as an individual. Thus, her outlook is very mature and takes the long view into account always. She takes her responsibility as guardian of humankind quite seriously, and neither wavers nor rushes headlong when action is needed. Likewise, her diction and expressed thoughts are well-reasoned and calm, and her powers (see below) ensure that she almost never makes mistakes. Her emotions are controlled, not eradicated, however, no matter how collected her exterior might seem. She cares deeply for humanity as a whole and humans as individuals, especially children due to her sterility (see Powers below). She also has something of a temper, though she's learned to control it to a high degree.

As a martial artist, she is a rigid perfectionist, and demands nothing less than the best from her students. Pride and training mean a lot to her, and she is quite earnest in her pursuit of perfection as a warrior and teacher. There is, however, a slight teasing side to her, as she sometimes enjoys playing practical jokes, especially on children.

Earning Caerula's trust is actually quite simple, considering her abilities. However, she makes her decisions quickly, and any who don't make the cut initially are unlikely to gain it soon after she shuns them. Betrayal of her trust is something she doesn't take lightly, and likewise she is very much committed to her friends and allies. If she gives her word, it is ironclad. Only fate itself would sway her.

Her Cognate thirst for blood, while controlled well, is not something she abhors, and she is quite willing to prey on others (though children are most likely strictly off-limits by her standard). However, she feeds in such a manner only when necessary to her aims, and rarely lethally. The exception is if she needs to regenerate from a fatal injury, as her healing is higly dependent on large quantities of blood.

Abilities

Caerula is a Cognate, a mutated human who beat the abysmallly-low (less than one percent even among healthy adults) survival rate among those infected. The baseline characteristics for these mutants are fourfold: eternal youth, enhanced physical capabilities, sterility, and a highly-increased carnivorous urge. The first two come from limitless cell division, which preserves their bodies even in the face of serious injury and enables them to exert enough force to, in exceptional cases like Caerula, cut through a car with the help of a sharp sword. However, it renders them vulnerable to another killer: cancer. The cancer rate in Cognates is abnormally high when compared to the rest of humanity, dropping off after 100 years as the body stabilizes. The other great killer of young Cognates is suicide. The carnivorous urge (dubbed the "thirst for blood") is often too much for the newly-turned to bear, and only those who can acclimate quickly to taking lives so directly are likely to survive. Once disease and emotional turmoil are dealt with, only the third leading cause of Cognate death matters: murder. If a Cognate goes wild and kills with abandon, humans or La Société will cut them down.

Sterility is something of a sore spot, as it means that the only new Cognates are infected humans, and that no Cognate can ever sire or give birth to a child.

Being very long-lived, Caerula has obviously beaten these odds and dangers quite handily, and is considered functionally immortal. Murder is also a small danger to her, considering her skills. She's a top-flight practitioner of kung-fu, a proclaimed student of 48 division and 125 schools and proficient in techniques that would kill all but the most resilient of foes. Her particular specialty is jian (Chinese straightswords), whether single or double. On top of this, her second Altered Shock granted her further increased regenerative abilities, to the point that she can regrow lost limbs.

A third ability gradually manifested, a sharpening of the senses combined with the emergence of a new sense, the ability to detect minute electrical impulses like those of the brain. Combining this ability to so perfectly read her opponents and the surroundings with her centuries of combat experience and skill in the martial arts, she has developed a flawless tactic she terms Ba-dùan Sî-mén Zhèn, or the Eight-Block Death Gate Array. By controlling the eight gates of heaven (chance), earth (terrain), and man (personality), she lures her enemy into a situation from which defending against a killing strike is impossible, termed the Death Gate. The only ways to defeat it are to force such a dramatic split between even unconscious thought and action that it confuses her, or to attain enlightenment and the ability to make true choices. Even when not using the Array, she is a master of her art, and more than capable of defeating far stronger and faster opponents through sheer technique.

Relationships

Aya Brea - The first person to welcome her to Nautilus. Haunted, but devoted to keeping the peace and caring for her daughter. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'duty.'

Lelouch Lamperouge - One of the first she's met, and a tutor in Bending. Helpful, intelligent, and compelling. The word that exemplifies him to her is 'king.'

Roxas - A Nobody, something she's never seen before. Seems to be a good person, despite his insistence that he can't feel emotion. His lack of neural signature is puzzling, however, but gives her confidence that he can reach greatness as a fighter. The word the exemplifies him to her is 'blank.'

Eve Brea - Aya Brea's daughter, and a joy to be around. Sprightly, a little troubled, but endearing. She's also managed to bring out Caerula's teasing side. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'innocent.'

Tony Stark - A businessman and scientist that she is teaching. Adaptable, charismatic, and determined. The word that exemplifies him to her is 'iron.'

Rip van Winkle - An irksome and abrasive woman. Not that Caerula would fight her given a good enough reason, but she'd totally fight her given a good enough reason. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'gunpowder.'

Rion Steiner - A student of hers, who is learning tai chi chuan. Full of anger and dissatisfaction and troubled thoughts, she has come to see him as a son in a surprisingly short time. The word that exemplifies him to her is 'phoenix.'

Cassie Hack - Abrasive, but roughly pleasant, and she senses that her tough exterior conceals an insecure and brittle personality. She is learning various weapon styles from Caerula, and the two have bonded over mutual mortification. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'turtle.'

Ladd Russo - Someone with the same scent as her, of the ground bloodied. Insufferable, exultant in violence, and willfully abrasive. The word that exemplifies him to her is 'cleaver.'

Sora - Another child, also capable of caring for himself…somewhat. He needs some work, but his heart's in the right place, at least. All that is needed is for him to unlock his potential. The word that exemplifies him to her is 'key.'

Batman - A legendary fictional hero. His intelligence and skill are all of high caliber, and she is learning how to counter-Bend from him. Strictly a business relationship, but she's happy he's here. The word that exemplifies him to her is 'knight.'

Chie Satonaka - One of her newer students/adoptees. She's energetic and tenacious, but needs a bit of polish on her technique. 'Course, having someone else with whom she can geek out about kung-fu films is a welcome bonus. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'tiger.'

Caren Velázquez - An android child, who looks up to Caerula as a surrogate mother. She's sprightly and well-meaning, but she certainly has odd ways of showing her appreciation. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'life.'

Anomie - One of Rion's friends, who seems very possessive of him. She seems pure…and dangerous because of that. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'razor.'

Marrow - One of Cassie's friends, and Caerula's hunting partner after Cassie's death. While brief, the in-person meeting has convinced Caerula that she's trustworthy, if a little temperamental. The word that exemplifies her to her is 'wolf.'

Pepper Potts - Tony Stark's secretary. Caerula doesn't know her well enough to assign her a word just yet, but she's certainly a sweet person and Tony is better off for knowing her.

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