Viraya: A Background
Viraya is a woman with no past and an uncertain future. Her speech is almost entirely free of accent, save for a minor Slavic bend, and she goes to great lengths to avoid discussing personal life. If pressed, she will defend herself with deception, obfuscation and derailment. All in all, she is a tough nut to crack for any man. Not that she allows herself to be cracked open – the last man who tried that has lost dignity, teeth and a finger.
Her demeanour, as one might suspect, is merely a barricade, a defensive wall put up to shield her from her past. Born to parents descended all the way from a Soviet diplomat, sheltered at Vault 13, her given name was Raisa Dubrowski, birth date May 25th, 2245. New Arroyo was a fledgling community at the time, on the frontier of the Republic's expansion north.
By the age of five, Raisa has shown above average ability and willingness to learn, combined unmatched curiosity. The inquisitive child was popular with the community, as were her parents. Her life was soon marred by tragedy. The independent New Arroyo was attacked by a raider tribe, who ravaged the settlement. Raisa was forced to witness the rape and death of her mother, as she hid under the floorboards of their house.
New Arroyo realized that independence would only make things worse. Envoys were sent to the Republic, requesting assistance. Incidentally, a troop of Rangers was present in the area on manoeuvres. Their response took the form of a brutal retaliation campaign, as the raiders were hunted down and pushed back away from New Arroyo. The town was soon taken into the Republic, becoming a vital transportation hub with its strategic location and access to rare resources.
Nobody questioned the coincidence, least of all Raisa. As soon as she was able, she enlisted with the Republic's finest: the Army. Bringing the combined knowledge of tribe and Vault, she was noted by superiors for her survival and technical skills, even if she was a bit lacklustre in marksmanship. She also had trouble socializing, particularly with men. The few who managed to befriend her, always praised her as an ally and feared as an opponent.
For her, it was a fulfilment of a dream, to be a defender of the weak and torch bearer of civilization. She admired the Rangers, even if she was never offered an invitation to join them, due to her problems with marksmanship. She never interested herself with politics. She supported President Kimball wholeheartedly for his approach to the Mojave campaign and handling of the war with the Legion. She was unable to participate in it – she was fighting on the opposite front, with the Brotherhood.
The fiercest enemy the Republic ever faced, short of the Legion, was the Brotherhood. The brutal war in the west put Raisa's resolve and ideals to the test. The brutal conditions of forward operation camps, devastating raids by crack paladin assault squads and equally bloody counter-offensives took a heavy toll on the minds of the soldiers, Raisa in particular. The blood, sweat and tears brought back long forgotten images of the New Arroyo raid.
The worst came when her unit, isolated from command, torn and bloodied by two weeks of fighting, managed to capture a Brotherhood Paladin. When the armour was pried open, it turned out the operator was a woman and an aggressive one at that. Defiant to the point of arrogance, she resisted any attempts at interrogation. Then, the commanding officer sent Raisa out of the camp to relieve sentries. Raisa did not know why she was sent out of turn, but she learned not to question superiors.
It wasn't long until she heard a terrible scream. It did not last. When she returned from duty, the paladin was dead. The unit was preparing to move out. Nobody looked Raisa straight in the eyes. Nobody told her what was going on. But she knew.
At the end of her tour, she turned in her papers. She drifted from town to town, observing people, not through the rose tinted lenses she used to, but with the weary gaze of a veteran who saw too much. She looked under the coating, headed for the worst gutters in every town from the Boneyard to New Reno, piecing together the jigsaw, peeking at the corruption that attacked the Republic. The more she knew, the more disgusted she became.
Although thousands of honest people inhabited the Republic, she became obsessed with the corruption. Poring over Followers' books, analysing news reports from the fronts and the capital, studying political campaigns, she gathered knowledge. What for? She could not tell, until she met her old commanding officer.
For old times' sake, they drank. And drank. And drank. Raisa's ancestry was an asset. She finally learned what happened that night, three years ago, at a remote camp in the middle of nowhere.
She killed her commander.
She took her time.
That night, she abandoned her identity. Burning discharge papers, burning all that bore a trace of Raisa Dubrowski. She took on a new name, Viraya, combining her two favourite words. She travelled east, leaving the NCR behind, carrying the last remnant of her old self: a package, destined for the New Vegas strip.
It was a chance. A chance to begin again and make a difference.