Full name-- Verlaine Gilneas
Product Number-- 06-13-02 (Generation Six, Unit #13, Product Line #02)
Race-- Echidna-Series Breeder (Generation 6)
Age-- Unknown; at least 25
Height-- 5' 10"
Weight-- 182 Lbs.
Innate Element-- None
Preferred weapon(s)-- Spiked Chain, Various Firearms
A mercenary working for Merchants of Menace, Verlaine is easily-recognized, both due to her physique and her track-record. Verlaine has a widely-known tendency to get missions done reliably, no matter how bad the odds or how bleak the situation. Her ability to survive things no other soldier could has given her a reputation; many consider Verlaine unkillable, and many of her fellow mercenaries - both in M.O.M. and beyond - claim that Verlaine's accomplishments are not possible for any normal human being. Indeed, there are many situations that she has emerged from that no normal being could ever hope to survive, but which she has nonetheless.
In truth, Verlaine is most assuredly not human. Whilst she looks like one, Verlaine is, in fact, one of the only surviving Echidna Series units that is not currently either defective or underAppra's control. She is unique among all of her sisters in that Verlaine - and only Verlaine - was born sentient - a side-effect of a perfect storm of recessive traits coming to the surface. Whilst previous generations of E-Series specimens may have had this trait, none that did survived their early formative days in development. Verlaine only recently became aware of what she is, having discovered the truth on a lengthy campaign to uncover any shred of her past she could. The truth she uncovered was more than a bit difficult to take and left Verlaine with more questions than answers.
Motherly and gentle-natured, Verlaine's supportive and nurturing tendencies have won her many allies and friends. The fact that she is a competent soldier atop this only more so. She is the mother of Valerie, Glenn, and Crystalliana, and the adoptive mother of Marcel. She gets along well with Ripper and Dragonius, respects Cima and Bunnie, and has a particularly deep (and complicated) relationship with Chameleon. It's an ill-kept secret that Verlaine, in fact, loves Chameleon, but the feeling is tacitly considered to be not quite as mutual as Verlaine would like it to be, and Verlaine has grudgingly accepted that Chameleon will never truly feel the way for her that she does for him. Whilst Verlaine was married once- to Rubis - the two spent extremely little time together due to Rubis' profession, a fact which resulted in their relationship being quite rocky - and in Verlaine and her children lamenting the fact that they had not had more time together...
Precious little is known about the specifics of Verlaine's (short) childhood and development beyond scattered bits and pieces salvaged from datalogs.
What is known is this much: Verlaine was unit #13 of the second batch of 6th-generation Echidna Series breeders. She stunned her handlers by proving to be completely unlike her sisters - Verlaine could speak, write, and understand. She was sentient, whilst all other E-series units were of animal-level intelligence. Verlaine was studied for a time by the researchers of the facility at which she was born, and was slated for disposal before said disposal order was reneged by the head researcher of the project, who felt that Verlaine's unique genetic traits represented the next logical step in the E-Series' evolution. Over several months, Verlaine remained in the head researcher's custody, and he attempted to help her escape before she was caught and brought back to the complex. She was once again slated for disposal, but the complex was then raided by Appran troops, where she was decapitated by a large shard of metal hurled by a breaching charge and left for dead. Due to Verlaine's natural regenerative capability, she recovered from this over the course of 24 hours, growing back the roughly 60% of her head that was removed by the piece of door. Verlaine suffered severe long-term and short-term memory trouble due to the severity of this injury, and she allegedly wound up wandering out of the lab complex and into the Ashalaren Wastes before passing out due to nutritional deprivation.
Almost nothing is known regarding Verlaine's progress from these early days to her current position at M.O.M.
The Lone SurvivorEdit
Verlaine first joined M.O.M. some 18 years ago, when the organization was considerably smaller than it is now. The hiring made relatively little fanfare and she was assigned to a very large group of newcomers, led by several Veterans of the Merc Company. The assignment was to defeat a large rebel group operating out of Hevaraz. The mission was a disaster from the beginning; their transport was downed en-route, and all soldiers on-board the transport aircraft were KIA - including Verlaine, or so all who saw the helicopter go down assumed.
Determined to control the situation with the Hevarazian Rebels quickly, M.O.M. quickly gathered a second team together to succeed where the first unit failed, deploying into the hotzone roughly one week after the previous group had been lost. When they arrived, they found the rebels horribly disorganized, low on ammunition, and scared out of their minds. Garbled communications overheard from terrified rebel soldiers spoke of a terrible, unkillable monster who had been shot thousands of times but would not die, and which had single-handedly thinned the ranks of their unit by nearly 20%. With the Rebels already in disarray, the mercenary team sent by M.O.M. had little trouble mopping up the others, and soon encountered the source of the Rebels' fear: a young woman - and the only survivor of the helicopter crash. Battered but alive, she had carried out her mission behind enemy lines, picking the Rebels off one-by-one. No matter how many times she had been gunned down, she would pull herself back to her feet and drag herself forward.
Verlaine made it back to base afterwards, and was commended for her role in bringing the rebel situation to a close. Verlaine's unique attributes came to the attention of command, and quickly made her a desired operative in M.O.M.'s forces; it is hard to deny the impact of a soldier who regenerates from virtually any injury. Verlaine's newfound fame, however, came with a bit of a dark price; Verlaine would often throw herself on the most dangerous and brutal of assignments, knowing full well that she could survive where others would be less-stalwart. This did, however, leave Verlaine with both a nickname and a reputation from a rival merc group (Black Fang), who called her "The Lone Survivor," due to her noted tendency to be among the only ones left standing after one of her missions. For a very long time, being assigned to a mission with Verlaine on it was seen as tempting fate.
White Forest MissionEdit
Verlaine had an encounter that would change her some 7 years later, wherein M.O.M. was trying to resolve a burgeoning situation with a low-level warlord that had stolen an artifact from what is now De Midian and fled to the White Forest, in northeastern Miranda. In a rare showing of solidarity, M.O.M. deigned to work with Black Fang on a co-operative assignment. Both merc companies quickly stocked a roster of some of their best professionals, and Verlaine was assigned to this team. On the Black Fang side was Chameleon, and the two had a bit of a rocky start. Chameleon's troops were immediately distrustful of the M.O.M. soldiers due to years of bad blood between M.O.M. and Black Fang, and the feeling was mutual by the troops under Verlaine's command. Despite this, the mission largely got started without a hitch. The team was to eliminate the warlord's forces, and if possible, bring the artifact back to Miranda.
The initial attack on encampments run by the warlord went well, and Verlaine and Chameleon's units had minimal casualties as they pushed deeper into the woods. Problems arose when it became clear that the artifact the warlord had stolen was capable of animating the dead, and increasingly, the mercenaries found themselves short of ammunition and supplies. What started as a seek-and-destroy mission turned into a lengthy, forced march to get back to the Evac point. Whilst the group had eliminated the bulk of the Warlord's forces, the constant encounters with undead forced the group on a long trek west. By this point the group had slowly been getting ground down; they were low on supplies, low on ammunition, and running on minimal sleep. Worse, inter-unit myopia began running rampant; the M.O.M. mercs blamed the Black Fang mercs for the current situation (as one of their men had been carrying the extra munitions, and they had lost him on day four in an ambush by the Warlord's undead forces). Likewise, the Black Fang mercs were deeply suspicious of the M.O.M. troops, in no small part due to Verlaine's abilities - and the fact that she required nearly triple the amount of rations.
Chameleon took charge of the situation, pointing out rightly that were the group not to work in unison, then none of their unit would make it out of this hell-hole they had found themselves in alive. Momentarily pacified, the unit pushed further west across a dry lakebed, fleeing the constant, tireless pursuit of the undead forces in the region. By this point, what had started as a 14-man unit was now down to 8 people, counting Verlaine and Chameleon. Completely exhausted by nearly 40 hours without rest, the unit found a suitable defensible position and made camp. The group set tripwire-equipped mines across the main access route, and posted a guard that would rotate in shifts. Close to the Evac point now, the group had only slightly let their guard down. Chameleon took the first watch, and disaster struck - he drifted off.
That night, invaders entered the camp - ones that bypassed the tripwires and alarms set up by the group. Anxious to find and eliminate the mercs that had cut down his forces, the warlord had used the artifact to animate an enormous swarm of undead Rabites, which entered the encampment like a wave of hungry teeth, leaping down from the high edges of the ridge, scurrying through the minefield, and burrowing up into the encampment. Chameleon snapped awake when Verlaine, largely impervious to the Rabites' bites, ran through the encampment waking up everyone she could. With little time to gather supplies, the group was left with no choice but to leave their dead and wounded behind - as well as no small amount of equipment. The group now numbered 4; 2 had died when the Zombites entered the camp, 1 died risking the minefield, and the last one was killed in a friendly fire accident when one of the others was attacked. With nowhere else to go, the group reached a high cliff overlooking a river branching off from the Maykess River. Whilst the water below was likely freezing cold (the mission took place in November, after all), the group risked it and plunged into the river below, since a death by hypothermia was generally preferable to one brought about by the tiny undead creatures they were currently fleeing. One of the soldiers was swept into the rocks by the current, battered against the rocks before he sank below the surface.
There were only 3 left now. One wound up brought all the way west, to near Rygard. Verlaine and Chameleon were swept downstream and wound up taking shelter in a tiny cavern overlooking the river - one with very limited access and which was relatively safe. There, the two huddled close to one another (and a fire) to stay warm, reflecting everything the two had been through together up until this point. Snuggled up next to one another, the two realized they were quite a bit alike - and though neither was quite aware of it, this was the start of what would become a very long - and strong - friendship. The other survivor, a Black Fang merc, alerted M.O.M. commanders to what happened in the White Forest, and a strike team was launched immediately, both to recover Verlaine and Chameleon, and mop up the remaining resistance.
Advantages: Putting it simply: Verlaine is tough as hell. Without using poison, corrosive chemicals, or fire damage, Verlaine will quickly regenerate from even the heaviest of injuries within twenty minutes. Smarter enemies have used antipersonnel weapons and explosives to hinder Verlaine's regenerative abilities, but without delivering the coup de grace, Verlaine will get back up - even if shot in the head. Verlaine is also a skilled fighter in her own right, being a good shot, and boasting limited magical abilities - mostly focused on controlling her chains and boosting her own combat statistics. Verlaine's supportive, protective nature is often seen on the battlefield - she will readily throw herself in the path of an attack that would risk her life if it meant protecting an ally. Verlaine is a veteran of wet-work and skilled at infiltration ops, as well.
Disadvantages: Verlaine's defense is relatively poor; she doesn't even wear armor, instead relying simply on chains wrapped around her and padlocked into place. That said, Verlaine over-relies on her phenomenal durability in combat situations, and tends to react slower than other characters. Her magic is not terribly powerful - though it can be effective, and she functionally relies on weapons carried with her to carry her through combat situations. Verlaine is especially vulnerable to fire and poison due to her biology, and this can make her presence on the battlefield a risky proposition for advance teams.
- Verlaine's last name was adopted from her husband. Prior to her marriage, Verlaine had no last name.
- Verlaine's name comes from a botched attempt to say her own name when she was still learning to speak. Attempts to say her serial number - Thirteen - led to a mis-pronounciation, which led lab technicians to eventually call her by that name.
- Until she was dethroned by Rashida Vai Borkhoi, Verlaine was the female character with the largest proportional bust, owing primarily to what she was engineered for. She is now in second place.
- She is also one of the heaviest female characters, after Isabelle, Sophia, Kalarisis, Atalaya, and Brooke, making her the sixth-heaviest.