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By Presteza   |   Watch
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Mature  |  Published: February 26, 2011
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© 2011 - 2019 Presteza
I've been asked on a number of occasions about Alacrity's story; here's her bio for modern day settings.

There's a few changes to the versions I've sent some of you, but the essence is still the same ~

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The modernday assassin Alacrity was actually born "Tanya", of unknown parentage; her original surname has been wiped from all records.

    "Alacrity" is her nom de guerre; the "real name" she uses depends partly on which of many identities she adopts.
    She also goes by Caitlin, Catrin, Nicolette, Natalia, Natasha .. even Tanya, but those who think they know her assume it's yet another alias.
    She does not use her maiden name.

    Professionally, she's always known as Alacrity.

    Think of her like "The Jackal" (Forsyth's assassin NOT the Bruce Willis version):
    no-one knows his real name .. and when Interpol think they have found out .. it turns out to be false.

    That is Ala ~ a mystery.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So here you have it - prolly more eff'd up than you imagined, poor thing - don't worry, Ala doesn't let it get to her :}

[1] Alacrity's ethnicity is deliberately obscure; her records have been eradicated.
Alacrity could very possibly be of Romani (gypsy) parentage, many of whom have swarthy or exotic countenance, and fair hair is not uncommon amongst them. "Tanya" is not a Romani name, but (with a variety in spelling) is very popular throughout eastern europe, regardless of ethnicity.

[2] Jan and Katrin are racists, but because of the nature of this adoption and the need to wipe official records, it's necessary for them to target an ethnic minority. They accept that they can't have a pureblood child. Tanya's blonde hair is actually one deciding factor in her selection.
Carrying on the family genes is impossible, so they are open to gender, and can focus more on other characteristics they want in their adoptee.

[3] Jan has a wealthy background and Katrin's is comfortable, both from family businesses. Their jobs paid well, and (Jan's especially) allowed "perks". They owned several properties, including the country retreat where they raised Tanya.
Katrin's position meant she had to be away most of the time, but Jan's was more consultancy, so afforded him much freedom.

[4] One of her rewards for proficiency, it was a rugged trailbike suited to the mountainous wooded terrain they lived in, rather than the usual type designed for sealed roads. Katrin confiscated this several times, and eventually destroyed it, but Tanya acquired and hid a replacement from the nearest village - half a day's jog away~! (their country property was quite remote).

[5] Probably after a popular trance track at the time; Tanya and the kids she hung around knew very little english, and the polysyllabic "Alacrity" sounded kinda cool in the local dialect.

[6] What actually happened, is that little Tanya awoke to find herself safe amongst her gang, but sore and bleeding in places she oughtn't ..
At that age, she had no understanding what had transpired, and even later on, she never realised that Tomas could not have possibly done it - he was too young (but looked older), and it was Tanya's own "friends" who took custody of her immediately upon the fight's conclusion.

[7] Once Jan learns that Tanya has been killing other young thugs, he sets her actual assassination tasks on increasingly higher profile targets. Katrin only knew of some of them - fugitives from justice for example - and certainly didn't suspect her adopted niece would have anything to do with the Lady-Mayoress's tragic demise.

[8] Tanya and Jan had frequent violent squabbles, but that only encouraged Tanya to push her skills harder.
Jan went much further than usual on this occasion, because of personal implications, and a feeling of betrayal.
Naturally he was angry about her pregnancy; what pushed him over the edge is when his adopted niece taunts him: "and how do you know it's not yours~?". Of course it couldn't be his - he is sterile, remember ~ but Alacrity doesn't know that.
I don't need to spell out what other ramifications this has, and why Jan's reaction is so extreme.
Although Alacrity never finds out, she often comforts herself with the thought that the child was Jan's.

[9] Danny remains unmarried at his age, despite enormous family pressure as heir, not because "I want a wife who isn't after my money", but because he prefers athletic young boys.
Tanya is the first girl he's seen who could pass as one, from behind, perhaps.

[10] Danny was more friend than employer to Joe, close enough for inclusion in his will - but it is purely platonic and GG is straight as they come (he is divorced, and is very proud of his grown son - a professional linebacker).
Joe was left a small fleet of luxury cars, a yacht, and a light plane in Danny's will - all of which he can operate.
GG does not suspect that the dainty little thing he rescued could possibly have anything to do with his friend's death.
Due to a pre-nup, all that Sara - Alacrity - gets, is a condo in Kowloon; the bulk of Danny's wealth passing to his siblings.

[11] Alacrity eliminated a general, earning her the enmity of an army. She was traced to the Moeller residence, which although possessing formidable security, was not prepared for a military assault.
The attack took place on Christmas Eve when most families are at home, but Tanya did not grow up with Christmas. Only in her retirement, when she tries to recapture her lost childhood, does she celebrate such things.

[12] Nico is below average height, with little-man syndrome to match - Alacrity makes him look tall, so he likes having her around.
Of course, Nico also uses Alacrity to feed his sadistic sexual impulses, a role which Ala strangely enough fitted in with.
She was never quite his mistress - Ala was still primarily an employee and tool, who Nico treated like property.

[13] Those were her last known whereabouts. Her actual location is somewhere far more quiet and remote ..


*** I'll stop the footnotes here for now, cos for each of those accounts, there are pages and pages between the lines~!!

There's lots of little details that aren't written, I need to organise all this into some sort of coherency.

I'm sure there's other stuff that mightn't make sense to you; if something makes you go "wtf~?" please ask, I very likely have some rationalisation for it.

Prettymuch every anecdote, I can elaborate on in great detail - for some I could go on for pages~! - I don't think you want that~!

commissioned image used with permission and thanks, painted by :iconwotwot:
anonymous's avatar
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verseless's avatar
interesting background. it's nice to see a tortured character that isn't your run of the mill 'hero' or your run of the mill villian either. Good to finally know a bit about this character that's for sure. Seems like a colorful history though, kind of interesting how age isn't given though at the end it says she has grey hair, i have to wonder if that's due to stress or age. maybe both?
Presteza's avatar
.. I'm speechless that you actually slogged through this (let alone found it)~!

I know it's not an easy read, it's primarily for a few artists who like to know about Alacrity's background
[in particular *SiegeRedwolf and *Rikona who are at present working together on a pictorial bio],
plus a handful of curious bystanders.

Alacrity's age at "retirement" is in her mid-forties; her greying hair is indeed a combination of stress and age, and gives her an even more ambiguous appearance.
It is more than just a cosmetic change reflecting her life (after all, greying hair could be dyed should she choose);
it also signifies her mental state at that time - in the process of reinventing herself, Ala accepts such changes.
verseless's avatar
Heh, reading it was easy enough. Finding it was difficult-ish. read the character bio for the original GW character too and wasn't sure what to think. I've never played that game so i dunno if that was good. But both are decently written actually. and it was actually quite intriguing, nice to see that flaws don't always get overcome.
Presteza's avatar
oh that GW bio has almost nothing to do with the game and only tangentially refers to its universe. I'd have been better off placing that same bio in any fantasy oriental world.
GW as a game is fun, but only if you already know friends who play it in your timezone. It is not at all conducive to roleplay other than having a well-established background.
The main value of GW in developing Alacrity, is that it has been the easiest means for me to create references for her facial features [link]

This year, I'm commissioning a few artists to create a proper, concise-yet-comprehensive-enough, visual ref for Ala, something that is long overdue.
Here's a wip of one of them [link]
verseless's avatar
So...which came first then? the GW character? or teh concept for the character? Sounds like a chicken or the egg scenario. almost in a ways....
Presteza's avatar
Alacrity as a character originated long before GW, about ten years prior.
But GW marks the first time that I could recreate her likeness quite nicely, with such photogenic dolls, and that in turn facilitated many of those art commissions.

I could maybe have tried it before with poser (or now Daz), but I really don't like poser very much, convenient as it is.
As you can see from the numerous artworks, there's many ways to interpret Alacrity.
verseless's avatar
oh yes. i think i may have seen all of them. Quite an entrancing character. So how'd you come up with the character concept anyway? What was the original point for her? I saw somewhere that she was designed as a supporting character, but for what?
Presteza's avatar
I do have a lot of other characters, like those mentioned above - unlike Alacrity, they usually only appear in a single setting.
Also, unlike Alacrity, they are strongly based on real people - usually the personality of someone I know, mixed with the appearance of some celebrity.

They are actually more interesting than Ala herself, and some of them get killed off.

this sequential for example [link] [link] is about GG, Alacrity only has a supporting role.
I don't know if it will ever get completed; those are pp 7 & 8; the artist has almost finished p1
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