Background[edit | edit source]
Branislava Anna Chaika had a less than auspicious start in life. Born in post-Communist Slovakia to a woman who's boyfriend refused to marry her, despite the pregnancy, and had nothing to do with the child, she was orphaned at the age of eight and from then on raised by her mother's mother, Anna.
She grew up in the new part of Bratislava, in an apartment amongst thousands of others, a child nobody cared about or noticed except some of her teachers...who realized Slava Chaika was really quite bright and might well go...somewhere.
Money was tight, though, and it was clear that Slava was looking forward to a job at sixteen, probably not a very good one, and working to support the grandmother she loved. The country was not the disaster Russia became...there was some wealth, new buildings peppering the beautiful old city. But not, it seemed, for her.
Until she discovered her talent. Her ability to read and understand *anything*. At first, she kept it quiet. Most of the uses she could think of it were criminal, and the remainder involved her becoming a spy...an idea which both appealed to and repulsed her.
It was inevitable, though, that a desperate girl would eventually reveal her abilities...and face reactions she had not quite predicted. Some thought she was useful, but others saw her only as a freak. A mutant. Those who found her useful won out, however. At the age of seventeen, she was 'recruited' by the government.
They put her through an accelerated college program...for which she was certainly smart enough...intending to use her as an intelligence analyst. The money she was offered was good, and it came with promises to protect and ensure the livelihood of her grandmother.
Things changed, however, when SHIELD got wind of the girl. But what was she 'worth'? To her, the offer they gave was even better than the Slovakian government, and negotiations proceeded to allow her to take it. Now twenty, she's trained, she thinks she's ready...but she's still very much a wide-eyed rookie, unused to the wider world.
And, of course, they trained her...things like basic breaking and entering, intelligence analysis, firearms. Taught her the skills a spy needed.
Things changed, however, when SHIELD got wind of the girl. But what was she 'worth'? To her, the offer they gave was even better than the Slovakian government, and negotiations proceeded to allow her to take it. Of course, what followed was even more training...even tougher tests of the young woman. Now twenty, she's trained, she thinks she's ready...but she's still very much a wide-eyed rookie, unused to the wider world.
Personality[edit | edit source]
The first impression Slava Chaika gives is that of a cool, even ruthless professional. And yes, she can be ruthless...capable of doing what is necessary for the greater good. She is also loyal to those who have earned her respect almost to a fault.
Only her friends see the Slava underneath...very much a woman with a strong feminine side, a weakness for children and small furry animals and a love of physical contact in a highly non-sexual manner.
This is, in other words, a woman who can kill a man, then go home and cuddle a kitten. She has a decent strength of will, although she is still young and can be unsure of her own competence and skills at times. When with a superior, she tends to stand on ceremony until she has come to fully trust them...then she will relax, although she can be very by the book in most circumstances. If she is not sure what to do, she resorts to regulations.
Slava is a bit of a romantic idealist, convinced that the world can be made a better place...but sadly aware that a few eggs might need to be broken on the way there. She has a strong sense of duty and hates to see anyone hurt except for the bad guys.
Powers[edit | edit source]
Slava's mutant ability, while essentially useless in combat, is of extreme utility in other circumstances. She is capable of absorbing the meaning from any written or typed text, including text on a computer screen. This works regardless of whether she speaks the language...it even works on things written in code or cypher. She also is able to accurately discern the actual intended meaning of ambiguous statements or comments. However, she has to be able to touch the item on which the writing is formed or displayed...she can't read a sign, for example, unless she can get to it to touch it. She cannot read data on a computer's hard drive without first displaying it on the screen. She also cannot read text that is entirely computer generated, without any input from a sentient being. Reading alien languages is only possible if she has had contact with an individual of that species...more than just casual contact. (For example, if she hung out with Superman for a while, she could read Kryptonian, but an unknown language is just that...unknown). She does not, however, have to know what an Earth language is in order to read it.
Skills[edit | edit source]
- Infiltration: Slava has basic training in the skills required for infiltration. She can pick locks and disable security systems, but she can also pass and move in any level of society. The latter, she has a true talent for, often appearing equally at home in jeans in a dive bar or in black tie at a corporate event.
- Close Quarters: Slava is trained in military style close quarters fighting, generally unarmed, but she also knows how to use a knife. She is not close to the skill of a high level martial artist, but she can hold her own against most thugs and low to medium level security.
- Languages: Slava's native language is Slovakian. However, she also speaks fluent, if accented, English and German.
- Intel Analysis: Slava is trained in analysing and interpreting intelligence data, whether it was gathered by herself or somebody else. Although not vastly experienced, she is very solid on the basics.
- Firearms: Slava has put in her time on the range. When she has to use a gun, she can, and she's competent...not a great marksman, but good enough to take down a human target if she has to.
- Disguise: Slava is good at the basics of disguise, knowing how to use makeup and simple tools to make herself look different when need be, or how to make sure people look at whatever uniform she's wearing, not her face.
- Painting: Slava has some skill at art, which she expresses in producing competent realistic watercolor landscapes.
Boons[edit | edit source]
- SHIELD: Slava works for SHIELD...and although she is very junior and very new, she has the specific authority of a SHIELD Agent...she has a badge (although she seldom uses it, given she tries to keep her presence low key).
- Eidetic Memory: Slava has an eidetic memory, be it training or a side effect of her powers. She remembers facts and information almost perfectly (but she can still forget her keys).
- Equipment: Slava has access to SHIELD equipment...but on a highly limited basis. Yes, she can get light body armor, guns, ammunition and *maybe* a skycycle, but she certainly can't fly off with the Helicarrier. In general, she will only have fairly mundane equipment unless a specific plot requires.
- Apartment: Slava rents a studio apartment in New York...you might be able to swing a kitten in it.
Flaws[edit | edit source]
- Sense of Duty: Slava has a strong sense of duty and responsibility. She can be very by the book, and although she does not follow orders without question *all* the time, she is more likely to obey than not.
- Shell: Slava tends to hide in a shell around people she does not know. She gives off an air of utter professionalism and, well, distance. It takes quite a lot to get her to open up.
- Data overload: There's only so much room for information in a human mind...and having a perfect memory doesn't help. Slava has a tendency to experience mild 'overload' at times, resulting in weird dreams, insomnia and headaches. Mental discipline helps...but not always enough.
- Grandmother: Slava was raised by her grandmother...and the old woman holds a special place in her heart. A threat to her could cause Slava to do what the person says...whilst always looking for a way to take them out.
- Rookie: Slava is very new to all of this. She's more than a kid, and she has training, but she doesn't always know what she's doing. Also, she's under a fair number of restrictions because of her junior status.
- Secrets: Being basically a walking translator and codebreaker, Slava tends to know secrets. Some of them she would rather not know. The odd one somebody might be willing to kill for...one way or another.
Logs Including Logos[edit | edit source]
- Surveillance Interrupted - The Friends of Humanity higher-ups are having a semi-clandestine meeting, and all sorts of various intelligence and law enforcement groups are surveilling the meeting. Slava is here for SHIELD. Andrea is here on her own. And then things go pear-shaped.
- Recruitment Drive - After their encounter, Whisper and Logos talk while both are being kept cooling their heels, not leaving the Helicarrier and not quite being told what's going on yet. Eventually, Colonel Fury shows up to have his say. Apparently, they did well.