Character Name: Libra
Alternate Identities: Tasha Petrov
Player Name: NPC
|Hair Color:||White Blonde|
|Eye Color:||Ice Blue|
|Tasha does not have the incedible looks of her teammates but is a vey attracive woman though with a hard edge to her looks. She keeps her hair short and spiked. Dresses in leather and spiked heels and loves to ride her Harley.|
It was a rare day when no shells fell into the beleaguered city and that usually presaged another probing attack by the Germans. Into the rubble-filled street crept the living to scrounge once more in the detritus of war. The first thing one did when emerging from whatever shelter remained was to take a count of standing buildings. If a new one was down, scavengers would be drawn to it. On this rare day a figure emerged through a gap in the collapse structure of a building that had fallen in the first days of the siege.
Once it had been a five story edifice that had been home to twenty-seven people, the majority from the same family, with a watchmaker's shop on the ground floor. A single Ju-87, the notorious Nazi Stuka dive bomber, had unloaded its full complement of bombs into just one building. The 250 kg. bomb and its four 100 kg sisters devastated the building causing it to collapse almost straight down. Somewhere in that rubble were the bodies of twenty-five and two survivors. It took the pair five days to dig their way out of the cellar they had happened to be working in when the bombs fell. Now the ruin of what had once been their home protected them in their snug basement.
The figure that emerged was like everyone in that besieged city in January of 1943, emaciated and bundled in rags. Under the hood of a blanket eyes the color of ice swept the surrounding terrain before moving to a crate. It was just short of two meters long by 50 cm, wide and 50 cm deep, battered, with three hinges along one side and a hasp and lock on the opposite. Teeth tugged a glove free and the bare hand extracted a key from somewhere deep within the layers of cloth. Deftly the lock was opened then the lid of the crate was lifted and the contents inspected. The cold blue eyes lighted on the leather sack stuffed in one corner among the dozen or so rifles and pistols and was the first thing taken. After the sack disappeared into the voluminous rags the figure gripped the rope handle bolted to one end and began the laborious effort of dragging the crate into the building.
The figure threw back the makeshift hood and held up the leather sack. The little blonde girl looked no more than eight or so years old but her gaunt face belied her true age, fourteen. An old man sat at a workbench piled with tools and miscellaneous pieces of small arms scattered about. He set the Makarov pistol he has been reassembling to the side and faced his granddaughter.
"What do we have, Tasha?" He could not hide the eagerness though he would gladly give up all that was in the sack for her.
She pulled the ties open and peered in, angling the sack so that the oil lamp. At first, she did not recognize the contents. Six tan colored cardstock boxes with black print had been packed into the sack.
"What is this? Where is the food?" Her voice was filled with dispair.
They had cheated them, after so many months repairing and rebuilding weapons for the Red Army, they had cheated her. Grandfather lifted one of the packages out and inspected the print. It was not Cyrillic but Latin.
"If you do not open it, you will not know what it is," he said in a weak voice.
The girl all but snatched it from his hands and ripped the card open. Three waxed cardstock boxes were packed inside like nesting dolls, each with different colored stripes. She dropped two on the floor and tore into the one with the blue.
Inside was a greenish tin can, two waxed paper packages, a smaller pack with a long word printed on it and small flat package. She took the can and set the rest on the work table. A small metal key was welded to the top and broke away easily. In the edge she found a tab the fited into the hole in the key and when she began to twist it, the can gave a small pop. The smell that touched her nose made her mouth water and when she lifted off the top, tears began to roll down her cheeks, her first tears in over two years.
They haul was eight such tins, thirty-six packs of very hard crackers, eighteen packs of cigarettes, sugar packs, salt packs and some slightly sweet, very chewy rubber-type sticks. From that point on they received six boxes with every crate of arms that needed repair.
Tasha and her grandfather were the only members of her family to survive the 900 day siege at Leningrad in World War II. She survived thanks to her particular mutation, an incredible intelligence, and because of this she was able to help her grandfather make it though as well. Her grandfather had always been a source of fascination for Tasha. A watchmaker by trade, the old man's patience and dexterity when working on such tiny machines intrigued her. As soon as she was old enough to sit at the workbench, she had to be tinkering and grasp of the intricacies of his work made her a favorite of her elder. When she was 10, he took her on as an apprentice.
She was good, very good, better than he had been at his best and he recognized the fact and fostered her. In her first year, she was hesitant and always took too much time disassembling and cleaning the watch, finding out exactly how it worked. By the end of the second year she could clean and repair any watch in half the time of her grandfather and by the end of the third year, the year the siege began, she was a genius. With the Germans on their doorstep and starvation gnawing at their bellies, the people of Leningrad had no need for watches and Tasha had little to do except struggle to survive.
Out of a need to tinker with something, the girl began to gather miscellaneous bits and pieces scrounged from the streets and bombed out homes of her fellow sufferers. Several times she was nearly shot as a looter by her own soldiers but soon any threat of that type disappeared as the entire city joined in just in an effort to survive. Rifles, machineguns, and pistols where collected, repaired and returned to the city's defenders. She never asked for anything and shortly she no longer had to scrounge for work, it was brought to her.
The common soldiers noticed the improvements first as their weapons operated with a smooth precision Soviet manufacturing could not hope to attain. Rifles no longer jammed, machinegun rate of fire increased by as much as fifty percent and accuracy on all weapons improved. When this was brought to the attention of the military began to notice these returned weapons were no longer 'standard' and often much improved, she and her grandfather were offered special compensation. By the time the Siege ended, Tasha had become famous among the remaining senior officers of the victorious Soviet army. Four years later, at 18 she was offered and accepted entry to the Moscow University Engineering program. At 20 she graduated with full honors and within a year was heading a special GRU (Soviet Army Intelligence) project exploring improvements in weaponry.
Tasha, though, wasn't just interested in weapons; she also began to experiment with other aids to solders, armor, communications and a sundry of other devices. The death of her grandfather on March 5, 1953, the same day as Joseph Stalin, stopped everything. It had been for her grandfather she'd worked, to make him proud. She didn't care a whit about Russia or Stalin's Communist party and so without her grandfather, Tasha so no reason to continue working for the GRU. The problem is, like the Mafia or Hell's Angels, you don't ever quit the GRU.
She slipped across the Finish-Soviet border in the middle of a snow storm then made her way to Sweden.
|Tasha is the team's weapons expert and sniper. If there is time, she will get set up at the site of their next scenario several hours before hand finding the best vantage point she can and 'disappear'. She's developed a cloak that uses 'reactive' camoflage and has the self-discipline to remain in place for hours without moving. Her weapon of choice is a modified Barrett M82 .50 cal sniper rifle that she designed some years back. On a side note, her rifle found its way into the hands of the former Soviet assassin Sable some years back and Tasha was nearly killed by it when the GRU sent Sable after her. It was only luck that Aquarius happened to be 'tagging along' and spot Sable. This rifle is capable of killing even super-powered types at a great range. In a normal combat situation she carries a silencer/flash suppressor for the rifle as well as a telescopic scope that can see through most walls.|
|When you survive a 900 day siege, then survive a few hundred attempts on your life be your former countrymen, two things happen. You get a little paranoid and you learn to take life one day at a time. Since joining up with Zodiac, the paranoia has abated but the one day at a time thing ... its a good way to live. Whether she's racing across country on her bike, or getting totalled wasted in some bar, Tasha rarely worries about anything. Though she is not up to Leo's level of hedonism, she believes in doing whatever feels good so it is not uncommon to find her disappearing for a couple of days only to come dragging in looking 'rode hard and put up wet'. This drives Aquarius to drink in turn and a few days later he shows up in much the same condition but without the 'afterglow'. Tasha is aware of Aquarius' interest and she would probably jump him except ... she knows he'd be in 'love' with her forever so she tries to discourage him without being too mean.|
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