Mara Solon | Icarus | F | 19 | Saxony, Germany
Mara spent her whole life as a soldier and that fact is burned into her very identity. Rigorous, daily training has resulted in her developing a fair bit of muscle and an athletic frame- though no amount of hard work can make her grow any taller than 5'7, unfortunately. She's been dragged into more than a few brawls in that time, leaving her with plenty of scars, both big and small. The most visible of these are the cut along her left cheek and the numerous, smaller abrasions that pepper her jawline, neck and upper body.
Her 'style,' if one could call it that, reflects on how military life has shaped her: she continues to wear the same grey Battle Dress Uniform, work boots and the fur-lined aviator's jacket that were all given to her by Black Steel back when she first became one of their pilots. She's since removed all their iconography, of course, and replaced them with an embroidering of Icarus's wings
; after all, who would be dumb enough to continue to wear the colors of a group they turned their back on?
ConfidentPsychological Effects of Polaris Shift
The Polaris Shift drastically warped Mara's natural aggression and impulsiveness, causing her to develop symptoms of Intermittent Explosive Disorder. This disorder is characterized by frequent outbursts of anger and aggression, almost always disproportionate to the 'slight' that caused it. These outbursts become even worse when Solon is in the cockpit, morphing acts of violence into an almost relieving or intoxicating experience. Her symptoms appear to be worsening with time, and her previous methods of maintaining or seizing control over her emotional state are becoming less and less effective. Worse still, the release and pleasure she feels during these incidents seem to be growing more intense and addicting- and that fact terrifies her.Personal History
Mara was always the more combative of the two Solon twins, even from the beginning preferring to solve her problems with her fists than her head. That aggression and bravado made her a shoe-in for soldiering, according to her superiors at Black Steel, and she started her training regime from an extraordinarily young age at the discretion of her father. They instilled within her a discipline and strong sense of duty, and gave the skills she'd need to eventually develop into the excellent pilot that she would one day become.Tactical Preferences and Skills
She was ecstatic when she learned she was NC compatible, and all but leapt into the first mecha they'd let her climb into. Piloting was easily the most thrilling experience she'd ever had, and Mara dedicated herself to being the best in the entire battalion. It was a goal she got closer and closer to as she grew, both as a person and as a pilot, her skill and maturity developing well in tandem with one another. Her fondness for the outfit grew as well- she fell in love with the sense of purpose and comradery that came with her service. She was meant for this; she was meant to be a soldier.
Her first few sorties gave solon a healthy dosage of reality, however, as she was forced to turn her guns on flesh and blood people for the first time. She was able to rationalize it, at first:
The other pilots she fought were out to kill her, too, so why shouldn't she kill them first?
Her outfit wouldn't be targeting them if they didn't have it coming- her commander was a good man.
Mom and dad were encouraging her to fight. That meant it had to be okay, right?
Slowly but surely she came to the realization that these were little more than excuses. The guilt she felt every time she watched another mecha fall continued to build and build until it was so heavy that Mara could no longer bear the weight. It forced her to start asking questions. It compelled her to confront the worst parts about herself, about the work she did for Black Steel, and whether or not she would be able to continue to serve under such conditions. These weren't questions that came to her easily or in a short amount of time, but rather had to be teased out, long term, all while she busied herself acting as little more than a glorified leg breaker for a monolithic, uncaring megacorporation for nothing more than a simple paycheck.
She attempted to bring these worries before her family, she tried to get them to understand why she was hesitant to fight for them, but all it resulted in were dozens of fights and arguments with her parents about what was really important in the world. They argued- vehemently- that all that really mattered was that they do what they needed to help each other, that they needed to be loyal to the battalion; the company had given them so much, and it was only right that they give back as much as they could. Mara wrestled with that idea for quite a long time before she was able to reject it completely.
From there she decided that she could no longer continue to work for Black Steel in good conscience, or any corporation for that matter. She wasn't sure where she could go to avoid the massive shadow they cast over the world, but she'd become convinced of the fact that working for such organizations was wrong, and that it was a great disservice to waste her skill on a cause she didn't believe in; that left her with the 'simple' task of finding a cause she could believe in.
Enter a recruitment ad she found for New Anchorage.
Trained Professional: For all of it's faults, the Black Steel Battalion knew how to turn boys and girls into hardened soldiers. She developed a wide breadth of skills both during the initial training process as well as during her active service, including but not limited to: operating a firearm, basic CQC and hand to hand, survival in extreme environments, field medicine and equipment maintenance. All of this was packaged along with a healthy sense of discipline and the resolve to see the day through, regardless of the personal cost or difficulty involved.Notes
Excellent Marksman: The primary area of expertise, the skill Mara has spent her entire life honing, is her marksmanship. She has an intuitive sense of range, projectile drop, standard deviation and how weather affects specific types of projectiles. Even without the assistance of her targeting computer, Mara's aim is impeccable, bordering on prodigious. This skill doesn't translate as well outside of the cockpit, since shooting a hand-held weapon and aiming the Icarus's gun are such diametrically different things, but she's practiced enough in gunplay to operate normal firearms at a competitive level.
Precision, Speed, Reconnaissance: Mara Solon's role in an engagement is to act as a forward operative with the goal of gathering strategic intel on enemy numbers, armament and movement while also engaging them from a safe distance. Icarus's highly mobile yet lightly armored frame requires that she be constantly vigilante in how she's positioned; if she stops moving for more than a few minutes she's liable to catch a bullet. Knowing the composition and capability of enemy combatants is vital for her success as a scout and as a marksman- the vulnerability of her particular machine means that she doesn't have the luxury of missteps.
Mara, like her brother, speaks with an accent, but unlike Demetrius it gets significantly thicker when she begins to lose her cool- at her angriest she has a habit of switching back to her native German without fully realizing it. She also never learned French.
Keeps a strict schedule to keep herself sane and in control, including daily meditation and long exercise regimes.Theme
Icarus is a Paragon manufactured, lightly armored NC designed specialized for the task of battlefield reconnaissance and eliminating high value/vulnerable targets from extended range. Standing at only seven meters tall and twenty five tons in weight, Icarus is one of the smallest and lightest NCs in its class. It's frame is streamlined to minimize drag and stripped of all but the lightest armored plating for maximum potential mobility. Originally Icarus featured a black and gunmetal grey paint-job to match the aesthetic of the rest of the Black Steel Battalion, but since leaving Mara has swapped it for a softer white and blue palette.Equipment & Armaments
Light Beam Rifle (LBR): The Light Battery Rifle is Icarus's weapon of choice for engaging in long range engagements while still remaining consistently mobile. It uses a specialized system of mirrors to fire a powerful beam capable of piercing through thick armored plating to burn internal systems. A great degree of precision is required for it to actually be effective- each shot won't do much unless it's able to pass through something important, otherwise it's essentially just poking holes in a metal can. The LBR is a recoil-less, rapid fire style rifle that can fire off continuous bursts of energy beams for several minutes before the battery has to be replaced.
Plasma Knife: Close quarters is the last place Icarus wants to be, but there are times where Mara doesn't have any choice in the matter- in those moments she's always glad to have a secondary weapon on hand to defend herself with.
Directional Rockets and Jump Pack: The main source of Icarus's mobility are the jump pack and directional rockets installed on the NC's back and limbs, respectively. Its jump pack allows the NC to reach otherwise inaccessible strategic positions, while the directional rockets focus more on improving strafing and letting Icarus run circles around enemy mechs.
Advanced Sensor Suite: Icarus possesses a wide array of electronic detection equipment including Radar, LiDAR, and thermal imaging. On top of these reconnaissance tools it has an entire electronic warfare suite for the purpose of disrupting enemy communication and obscuring their ability to track Icarus's squadron mates. These systems are constantly being tweaked and upgraded personally by Mara's twin, Demetrius, keeping their tech one step ahead of rival organizations.