Relationship with Mother
Her mother, Dana Hoffmeister, was the polar opposite of her husband who we'll get to soon enough and suffered as a result. Victoria's mother was an eminent author in the genre of urban, epic fantasy. She was most notable for creating the 'Dying Garden' saga, a collection of twelve books. A series tackling an urbanized world where dragons vie for control as they attempt to push around and manipulate humanity to fulfill their wants and desires, being capable of putting down any rebellious thoughts with their magnificent power. Victoria's mother was originally a very loving mother to her children and was capable of dealing with her husband's antics which involved a history of mental and physical abuse which she shrugged off initially but as time passed and the more children she had to worry about while trying to complete her magnum opus, the stress broke her to a point of no return and by the time Victoria was born, there was little love or energy left to offer to her youngest child. While Victoria's siblings had at least been given some guidance in life, Victoria was oftentimes the target of her mother's frustration with life although on occasion, there were moments of clarity which allowed the two to spend quality time together.
Their relationship was a complicated one and one could argue that Dana loved Victoria the most, although it might've been been because of the guilt brought about by unleashing her anger on the little girl. No matter what went on Dana's mind and what her opinion of Victoria truly was, the girl nonetheless eventually developed 'Paranoid personality disorder' by her teens and was deathly afraid of her mother's mood swings. One day, Dana Hoffmeister might be taking her youngest daughter for a walk in the park but in the next, she could be chastising a young Victoria for the inconvenience and pain she brings to her life. She quickly learnt that talking back to her mother would only result in it escalating into physical abuse although at times, it could simply result in her breaking her mother down. She could never tell and for the majority of Victoria's adolescent through teen years, she had to carefully navigate around her mother's trigger zones in order to preserve their already broken relationship for the sake of a few positive memories. Mostly, Dana and Victoria were at peace when the latter would ask about the former's progress in writing. That was truly one of the only few opportunities where the two felt like a mother-daughter duo. Quality time spent gushing about her passion to her own flesh and blood.
You could be fooled for a second to think that the two were a functional pair but at the end of the day, Victoria believed she was just an outlet, whether for positive or negative emotions, rather than her mother's daughter. Dana, on the other hand, genuinely loved Victoria for these precious moments although nowadays, the two have completely cut contact from one another at Victoria's behest for about 37 years or so and that's mostly to preserve her mother's safety. No amount of time will grant Victoria the childhood she wished for and she despises her mother to the core for placing her in her current predicament. Dana, still probably stuck in her own world of high fantasy and literature, has little to no idea on what she did to wrong her baby but she most certainly knows she might never be able to salvage whatever's left of their relationship and seemingly, no amount of writing will fill the void that her daughter left. Victoria, on the other hand, is more than happy to have her own source of income and home nowadays but while she often attempts to forget about her mother's existence, memories of the past gnaw at her late at night, manifesting into one of her greatest unconscious nightmares. Whispers from the grapevine say that after the supposed death of Victoria's father, Dana's become a completely different person, one who locked her pain and guilt away for what she's done in the past but that's not enough to her. Perhaps they might or might not confront their past one day and start anew.
Relationship with Father
Her father, Alaric Hoffmeister (Known by his stage name 'Music-Meister'), was an unhinged personality and virtually an absentee father. He's the critical reason for why Victoria chose her path in life despite the fact that he hardly ever interacted with her. Alaric was more concerned with the 'controversial yet sophisticated banging tunes' that he was capable of creating. Mr. Hoffmeister belongs to a pop rock band known as the 'Sanguine Monks' and is their lead vocalist. In Victoria's eye, even as a child, her father wasted his days in his studio or in the many gatherings and events he was invited to. The celebrity was rather politically charged, subtly espousing his own views that were considered to be rather sensitive to say the least. It was no secret that Alaric despised the idea of a cosmopolitan universe and was prone to paint any races that did not originate on Stormfels as an enemy of their sovereignty and freedom but most importantly, he despised the affluent snobs he was surrounded by, often drunkenly ranting and raving about how their selfish tendencies will contribute to the subjugation, crippling and destruction of their home-world. Capitalism, to Alaric, is a system that is not compatible with the artist. He despised the interviews, the commodification of his music and the attempt at standardising his style so that it could be fed to the public in a cost-efficient manner. You could imagine the number of conflicts occurring between Alaric and his managers, with him loudly proclaiming that he'd never allow himself to be enslaved. Despite his hostility towards them, most folk simply brushed off his ravings as that of a drunken, hypocritical madman.
However, in the late stages of his career, the musician eventually dipped his hands into the theatre of politics after he slowly became disillusioned by his career, realising that singing about the injustices of a blind society would bring about no change whatsoever. Soon enough, he rid himself of the shackles of the music industry and dived into the embraces of extremism. He began by joining the 'Void Halla' and produced blunt, anti-system pieces of art, denouncing the shadow government controlling Bloodshade (according to Alaric) and the people who foolishly blind themselves to the injustices they allow to persist that will bite back in the future, as well as occasionally taking up arms against the Bloodshadian authorities on multiple occasions as he was known to blow up government buildings, steal military equipment or even murder a politician or two that were vocally against the Void Halla group, eventually being arrested and summarily executed by G.E.B agents. Alaric died four years after he joined the ultra-nationalist 'Void Halla' group and after he abandoned his family. Four years of him running rampant, being one of Bloodshade's most wanted. Victoria was neither shocked nor moved by his death. In fact, she was content and proud of the G.E.B agents that took him down. All the suffering and pain her father caused did nothing but worsen her opinion of him as well as make her own life more miserable, with the government watching her every foot-step while friends and acquaintances estranged her to avoid being placed in the G.E.B's reticle. Strangely enough, Victoria thought it was her duty to cleanse the family name so it isn't associated with a nationalist terrorist and rather, have it be associated to a figure of authority such as herself.
Victoria attended the 'United School of Sarenaya'. The vampiress was no slouch when it came to interacting with others. In fact, school was an escape for her. The longer she stayed away from home, the better. There is a saying that school is one's second home but to Victoria, it was her only solace and most people were rather approachable to Victoria, especially when they knew of her family's background. While that didn't necessarily result in her obtaining friends any quicker, it did make life easier for her.
She only befriended three people that still stick around with her until today. One is a Lumittu boy named Olif Stonewall. The second is a Valerian girl named Layaleh Radolia. The third is Victoria's history teacher by the name of Mr. Sernor. While there were others who Victoria held dear, these three tended to be the ones that stayed with Victoria through thick and thin. Purposefully, she attempted to extend her school days as much as possible whether it be through after-school clubs, sports, academic competitions, choir or the model galactic republic. She wasn't necessarily proficient but all she wanted was time away from her toxic household doing something that'd grant her some peace of mind at the very least. However, many events from her household would spill over to the school environment. The presence of her siblings in and around school tended to sour the vampire's mood as she always felt like she needed to viciously compete with them. Other times, any lingering negative thoughts from home soured her mood, making her dejected, paranoid, lonesome or all of the above. However, the one thing that Victoria kept consistent was her grades, mostly because she wished to avoid the lifestyle her parents had and stick with a career that involved something tangible.
Upon graduating from high school, Victoria sought to enroll in one of the many universities the federation had to offer but was shut down the moment she indicated to her mother that she'd be pursuing a major in the field of STEM which simply broke her heart, prompting her to put her foot down and claim that no child of hers would sully the family name by pursuing mediocrity, hoping to re-ignite her love of the arts. The only art Victoria decided to pursue was the art of war, realising it was her only escape from her mindbogglingly vexing household while genuinely taking an interest in the power within the military's grasp. The thought of having such power within her grasps piqued her curiosity, to say the least.
A few months was all it took for Victoria to run away from home, crash at Layaleh's house, chat up a recruiter, pass a written, physical and mental exam and finally decide to join the Weltraudahsila, a service branch mainly designed as an expeditionary and space-based force, primarily called to deal with 'unconventional' forces, defence systems or independent hostile organisations, particularly slaver and bandit guilds. Victoria was particularly sought after in a service branch such as the Weltraudahsila due to her natural physical strength, abilities and attunement to the nether regions of her mind, granting her natural capabilities that the Weltraudahsila are exactly looking for. A toned vampiress, cultivating her own mind to allow herself the intrinsic capability to manipulate her environment as well as build her body into one that can survive the intense, cruel conditions of the battlefield.
Martial training for Victoria was a life-changing experience for her, mainly turning her into the cynical, no-nonsense, distant woman that she is today. Military training for a member of the Weltraudahsila is a 26 week program, split into two training sections. The first being a basic training program decided to turn people into soldiers and teaching them the basic aspects of warfare. The second part of her training was more specialised, depending on one's service branch and role in the military. For Victoria's Advanced Individual Training, she was trained in weapon operation and maintenance, vehicle operation and maintenance, defence against CBRN threats, navigation in three-dimensional space, scouting and reconnaissance Victoria's soft demeanour and mild personality were quickly diminished after a few weeks of training and while she was co-operative whenever there was a need, she strictly kept to herself, never bothering to defend anyone of her fellow recruits mainly due to their relatively boorish nature although she was mostly avoidant of others since other recruits found it amusing to bring up her father's crimes and playfully prod her about it, only resulting in her becoming a more distant individual as time passed.
Deployment in the Res'vian Silver Wars
Victoria's first deployment was related to the 'Res'vian Silver Wars', a Chyluliwan faction of corsairs and marauders dedicating their lives to As a part of the 6th Weltraudahsila Division, Victoria and her unit were tasked with searching for Res'vian pirate havens and smuggler ports peppered throughout neighbouring or bordering system of Bloodshade and destroying them, patrolling hyperlanes and ensuring the peace in outer rim settlements and trading posts. Their first mission was to establish a foothold on the distant, niche colony on the planet Noctilinni, 1,832 light years away from Yvresse. The squad Victoria was assigned to was tasked with investigating settlements and gathering intelligence on Res'vian movement that might be lingering about or around such settlements, as Noctilinni was known to be a Res'vian pirate haven. As Noctilinni bastions were known to posses a large number of Chyluliwan citizens, a race of serpentine-like humanoid citizens most notable for their scaly skin and powerful prehensile tentacles situated at the top of their head, which they can use to their advantage during combat such as when it comes to close quarters combat or equipping ranged weaponry. In any case, Her squad was met with much doubt and passive hostility as they traveled around and in between bastions, with the natives mostly ignoring their presence or simply asking them to leave their homeland. The few who did give them solid information were rather subtle and secretive with its passing.
Eventually, they had been pointed towards the Veinhorn jungles, a vivid, pink-shaded swath of fungi and forestry, by a middle-class Chyluliwan couple who had grown tired and afraid of the repercussions of having a Res'vian pirate haven linger on Noctilinni. They claimed that while they had no way to know where the haven was situated, they were sure of pirate movement, as they noticed multiple teams transporting rotomolded shipping containers in and out of the great pinkery, possibly carrying rare psychoactive drugs and medical compounds used by the Res'vians to subsidise their operations. With such knowledge at hand, the 6th Weltraudahsila Division set up a forward operating base on-planet as well surrounding forward operating sites as they began their campaign against the Res'vian insurgents. Still a simple private, Victoria's task was to scout and patrol the base's surroundings, ensuring that no Res'vian could sneak up on the base. Due to her vampiric physiology, Victoria was valued for her naturally-imbued superior sense of eyesight, hearing and smell. She was treated as an attack dog of sorts, having to memorize Res'vian scents in order to be capable of acquiring them easily. However, that came at the cost of her own well-being due to her paranoid nature. Being situated in the middle of a bright pink forest with a multitude of sounds, visions and smells barraging her senses. It was a tiresome, dangerous mission due to how difficult traversing the jungle was as well as how dangerous it was, due to the fauna and Res'vians encountered along the way.
While the native fauna of the planet were simple and easy to dispatch, as she was accompanied by her squadron who easily dispatched any targets she called out. However, Victoria's first rodeo is something she still remembers until today. The moment she killed her first enemy soldier. It was around half past two and her squadron were ambushed by Res'vian stalkers who were capable of imitating the colours and texture of their environment, effectively cloaking themselves from sight while simply waiting amidst the foliage for Victoria's patrol to enter their field of view. Most of the details were lost to Victoria. She remembered plasma, laser and bullet fire being exchanged between her side and theirs. Branches and tree chunks flying off as grenades were lobbed from one side to the other. Her staff sergeant, Volanser Rendar, was the most prominent voice on the battlefield and only after many seconds had passed with her dashing to cover: Hyperventilating. Heart pounding. Brain dizzy. Only until he spoke her name in the midst of the battle-fire did the vampiress's mind return to their dimension. After an intense firefight, the Weltraudahsila squadron suffering only two critical injuries and four minor injuries while the Res'vians suffered four deaths and one injury who was subsequently captured due to her inability to retreat from the site along with her comrades. More skirmishes like these would occur during her time on deployment and while Victoria was mentally and physically stressed with each encounter, often receiving shrapnel wounds, third degree burns or poison being injected into her system by the more unconventional weaponry a Chyluliwan can sport and use against enemies of biological nature often to inflict fatigue, paranoia, hysteria or brain damage depending on the amount forcibly injected. Multiple shaves with such poison aggravated Victoria's own mind as she attempted to battle with herself and the Res'vians. It came to a point where combat stress was a serious issue for her, as she was struck with nightmares, hallucinations and anxiety throughout the day.
Six months into the operation and Victoria was identified to have combat stress reaction and given leave for three days, to recoup and recover from her wounds, both internal and external, as well as confide about her experiences to a professional before being sent back to her role on the field, with renewed vigour accompanying her, despite the lingering voice in the back of her mind. Victoria was soon back in the field and as time passed, further information about the position of pirate havens were revealed from local and captured enemy sources around the planet of Noctilinni. Victoria's platoon were tasked with infiltrating the haven dubbed 'Broken Claw', a stronghold embedded in the ancient ruins of the planet, and neutralising or capturing the ringleaders of the terrestrial operation. The following action was bloody and ruthless, with Weltraudahsila forces engaging the Res'vians who had been caught off guard and cornered in their base. They fought with tooth and nail, inflicting relatively sizeable number of casualties upon the attackers. In such a situation, Victoria was capable of using battle-sanctioned arcanism One such mandated spell were simple localized weather manipulation spells that allowed her to disorient, dispatch and demoralise enemy combatants, which proved to be an invaluable modifier of the battle's balance of power.
In a recent interview of the now Director the Galactic Espionage Bureau, Victoria was asked about her first ever experience of battle and the first time she ever killed someone. Such a question posed to her made her feel like she was being thrown back into the past. A restrained demeanour. Blunt tone. Visibly fighting her own mind to stop herself from thinking too deeply. Extremely frustrated but apparently, to the soldier she killed. Justifying her actions to the interviewee, occasionally veering into poetic rambling. When asked about how she felt, she had this to say:
Officer training and subsequent deployment in the Central Perseus Conflict
After completing her Bachelor's Degree in Business and Strategic Intelligence at Annaera University, Victoria would contemplate joining the Valyrian Military Academy and would follow up such a thought, eventually joining the academy after a year from her previous graduation.
Her training at the academy would last for 26 weeks. Such a training regimen would be a mix of both theoretical and physical activities. A typical day for Victoria would involve her having to wake up at 5:00 AM. She would be given 5 minutes to dress up and get into formation. From then on, she'd be subjected to early morning physical conditioning that would last from 5:05 AM to 6:05 AM. From 6:05 to 8:05 AM, this tends to be the time which Victoria spends for her own personal development and is considered to be downtime for all cadets, allowing them to take a breather and get to know each other. However, once such formalities are done and dusted with in the first week of training, Victoria will be expected to use this downtime to study for exams or improve her fitness at her own leisurely rate. Afterwards, from 8:05 AM to 1:00 PM after finishing up breakfast, cadets are expected to organise their time and partake in virtual reality sessions that would place them in a realistic set of scenarios that would test one's leadership capabilities. In such activities, cadets are left alone to self-organise themselves and cooperate in order to succeed in a number of virtual reality sessions that will put their skills, both theoretical and practical, to the test. Instructors are tasked with observing their progress and informing them of their mistakes as well as how to improve much later in the day. Every cadet would, to an extent, have to put their abilities to the test and prove that they are capable of leading and organising troops in multiple scenarios and environments. Cadets would usually have to prepare themselves for whatever unexpected obstacles that they might come across, whether it be a morale drop, logistical failures, enemy pressure and so on. Such programs are designed so that cadets understand that the future is rife with uncertainty and it's their job to react in a manner which limits the damage caused by factors out of their control. Now after they complete their virtual training exercises and finish up lunch, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, officers attend classes whose subjects range from military history, strategy and tactics, psychology, administration and systems management. It's very clear why officers would need to be proficient in such fields of study. Now from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, trainees go over what they've learnt today, reflecting on themselves as well as what mistakes they might've made and having to understand what they need to do in order to improve themselves. Finally, the day will end and cadets will be allowed free time from 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM. Some may choose to sleep early while others may use this time to catch up with family and friends back home. Victoria tended to opt for the latter most of the time. Her only real friend and family was Duana and despite the fact they broke up, Victoria still needed her guidance and attention to push her through these rough 26 weeks. Finally, after much sweat and toil, Victoria became an entirely new woman after graduating from the academy as second lieutenant.
However, there wasn't much time for Victoria to celebrate her achievement. Two weeks after graduation, the Central Perseus Conflict, mainly a dispute turned sour between the Celestial Lapine Empire and Elyra Galactic Polity that attracted much of the galaxy's attention, mainly due to the two great powers of the galaxy clashing with one another. A mess of a war with multiple lesser polities picking a side. Bloodshade followed the Elyrians into the war mainly due to their relative proximity and position to Bloodshadian space.
Victoria's political views are an odd mess and jumble. Despite the fact that one might attribute authoritarianism to a director of what amounts to a intelligence and espionage agency, the Director does believe in principles such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and so on and so forth. To sum it up, she's is absolutely for the individual to do as they please so long as they don't infringe on another's rights and most importantly, that they are of sound mind and maturity. However, one could call her an 'interventionist libertarian'. What that means is that in times of emergency, the individual does not and should not matter. If a volcano's about to erupt, she couldn't care less about your property. She would utilise whatever resources that are in front of her to salvage a desperate situation and ensure that the highest possible number of individuals survive the ordeal. If war of any kind erupts that threatens the fabric of Bloodshade's society, you can bet your bottom dollar that Victoria's going to set you straight about the situation and suit you up for the coming battles.
To put it simply, when the status quo is under violent threat, Victoria has no issues dumping her ideals in the trash to ensure the survival of her people. Most people of Bloodshade are of the belief that when a threat to their way of life is on the horizon, the collective is more important than the individual during that time. That adaptive style of thought is one that Victoria has ingrained in her head but to an even more extreme level. It's almost like as if she has two personas when the violence escalates. One could say that during a time of crisis, Victoria advocates for strongman authoritarianism. During difficult times, media control and a limit on public protesting are paramount to societal stability according to her.
Victoria doesn't aim to promote or favour any culture that may enter the country. In fact, she doesn't want a nation of homogeneous cultures. Diversity is the spice of life and Bloodshade is one of many salad bowls of the universe. All she cares about is that every citizen knows that the nation's constitution is high above whatever commandments their gods, spirits or spiritual leaders may profess. Although she wears a veneer of tolerance when it comes to organised religion, she absolutely despises anyone or anything that would tell her what and how to worship. Revelation is a joke to her as there's no such thing as a person being born special in the eyes of the creator of the creation. Not to mention, she takes pleasure in hounding outspoken yet peaceful religious extremists as she eventually anticipates that such figures attract the worst in folk. It fills her with a sense of gratification when she knocks down a door and rounds up anticipated terrorists. She despises such an action. To bring about political change by harming civilians is one of the worst and most cowardly of evils that one may commit from her perspective.
Generally, Victoria tends to veer away from anyone that may call for a communist or socialist state. While not wanting to form a conclusive opinion on such ideologies due to the fact that she refuses to entertain their theory, you'll find that Victoria won't be to amicable towards you if you're going to try and convert her into accepting the coming of the worker's revolution.
Now when it comes to fascism, in almost all scenarios, Victoria will consider you a menace. One that needs to be stamped out. She might not bat an eye so long as your brand of fascism is more of an emergency measure rather than one in which you force on your citizen's way of life. Xenophobia and ethnocentrism are repulsive concepts to her and she will more likely than not murder a proponent of such concepts especially if they intend to bring it to Bloodshade. By murder, Victoria's probably either going to round up whatever contacts she may have in the Bloodshade Difesameijala to go ahead and support any domestic armed insurgency in the offender's territory or space. That or she could organise an intelligence operation dedicated to undermining such a regime.
As belligerent as Victoria might sound, she is not going to swap away a regime with another if it involves the collapse of the living standards of the people within those borders. Still, it depends on the situation. Is the current hostile regime bombing civilian centres and glassing their neighbour's planets all the while enjoying public support or no criticism of their actions whatsoever? Guess what, you'll hear of a rather lengthy critique from Victoria. The entire nation-state and anyone that is complicit in the crimes of the regime is about to get bombed into oblivion. At that point, if you're some sort of totalitarian who's beliefs are centred around the forceful removal and destruction of entire ethnicities, chances are your war crimes are going to be answered with punitive, unrelenting action.
Victoria's the type to keep to herself most of the time. She's a naturally introverted being but can most certainly rise to the occasion whenever her voice and presence is needed. However, when it comes to her pleasure, her company is most often than not the best kind of company as she would rather be disappointed in herself than in another. While Victoria is the type who can laugh at or take in stride any sort of misfortune or misdeed wrought upon her, she's unfair in the sense that she will either ignore your insults completely or bring down her entire power upon you just to teach you a lesson if it is within her power to do so. Victoria is often deferential and obedient to those that rank higher or posses more influence than her. Unless someone is a grave embarrassment to their position and can potentially cause harm, no amount of disagreement will make Victoria seek power unjustly unless she knows for certain that a higher up is being a danger, a criminal and a fraud. However, be warned, taking Victoria under your stead will mean that you have a watchdog to worry about. One who will do her duty to the letter while ensuring you do so as well or else the consequences will be harsh.
While not exactly deemed a buzzkill, if Victoria were ever to be found at a social gathering or party, you'll probably find her brooding in a corner booth, face glued to her phone or a book. Any attempts to initiating a conversation will usually be met with glare before returning back to her devices. However, if she deems you to be good company, chances are you're someone she might be interested in befriending if you can get over her verbal jabs.
Victoria is not as emotionless as you might think. She's genuinely pleasant to have around as a friend as she often express excitement and enthusiasm, contrary to her typical day to day personality which she contradicts for a friend's sake. However, Victoria's very picky when it comes to friendships. She usually has formed most of her friendships since childhood but there is always the off-chance where she will find someone pleasant to be around. However, her main issue is that from experience, most 'friends' end up being romantic interests eventually which does nothing but stress her heart out.
When it comes to her romantic adventures, Victoria's experienced nothing but heartache as she's either been too late to express her feelings or ends up being exploited and lured into a relationship she has no desire to be a part of. As of now, any interest that comes her way ends up being given rather difficult treatment. In the past, she was much too shy to admit her desire for love but now, she simply gives off obvious indications that she's high maintenance in order to ward off any that would waste her time or are in it to use her body as they'll be sorely disappointed due to her demisexuality. Victoria can only truly find the beauty in someone when she bonds with their soul. Otherwise, she's as horny as flatbread.
In an attempt to try and readjust back to to her life at home, she decided to enroll into Annaera University and pursue a Bachelor in Business and Strategic Intelligence, hoping she'd get the edge against her colleagues and make herself eligible to enter officer training in the future.
University life was an even more jarring experience for her. Discounting her fear of embedding herself in social groups, let alone socialising, Victoria was mentally older than the people in her year and always felt rather intimidated by the majority of the personalities around her, often being too brash, blunt and rude for her liking but then again, that was mostly due to her being a hypercritical lady, although she was always sure to keep herself. She was always the type to back down from confrontations, even though those were rare due to her generally avoiding the opportunity of conversation, simply going to and fro her dorms and classes. To her, life looked rather bleak and despite just how frightening and dangerous it was on the battlefield, Victoria missed it. It was all she had that gave her meaning and purpose. Every student around her felt lively, engaged and excited. She, on the other hand, felt lost, the only thing motivating her is the chance that of becoming a more prominent figure in the military, offering the Weltraudahsila her perspective and experience.
She initially thought she just was never meant to be in a university setting but then she thought even deeper about the her persona and thought, maybe she wasn't as normal as she thought she was, only destined to take lives rather than breathe life into others. The idea terrified her and the more she dwelled on it, the more despondent she felt.
Her emotional state was eventually rather visible to those surrounding her and a few would attempt to console her whenever her outward expressions were worrying but that hardly solved her issues. It only reminded her to consciously keep her emotions in check. Fortunately for her, before she successfully hid the mental wound she opened herself, one person managed to help her out of the rabbit hole she had dug herself in.
Duana Yalin, her philosophy professor and a Lahmian only 3 years older than her, was the first person to truly give Victoria the care she needed. She had eventually noticed her dejected mood, often refusing to sit anywhere near the front of the class, even though she was attentive for the sake of her studies. One day, he simply took her to her office one day when she expressed her concerns. For once, Victoria saw an opportunity to safely unleash her troubles in a suitable. She'd always been told that professors were supportive individuals. Didn't hurt to try, right?
Upon witnessing her one moment of vulnerability, Duana felt deep pity and worry for her. From that point onwards, she tried her best to help Victoria, giving her one glimmer of hope by delving into her own experiences as a veteren. That was the hope she longed for! Someone just like her. She understood how it felt to be a soldier. She understood how Victoria felt to be a social outcast, although clearly, Duana wasn't as handicapped as she was when it came to social situations.
Duana slowly but steadily helped integrate Victoria back into society and for once in her life, she enjoyed someone's company to the fullest, often feeling at ease when she realised just how understanding and attentive he was. To be fair, Duana was no spectacular friend on her own but to Victoria, she felt like she met a kindred soul. She felt the most comfortable around her and Duana helped comfortably push her into enjoying the company of others, not having to be with just her to feel comfortable. The friends Victoria made were surprisingly freshmen in her year and that turned her mind around for the better. She can talk to them! She wasn't disconnected. She just needed a push.
The next few years of her time with Duana were rather pleasant. It wasn't like she suddenly changed her personality to be more accommodating. She was incapable or unwilling to do that in all actuality. However, the people who surrounded Duana were the ones who did the accommodating. Always used to either shutting herself up and being avoidant, the people she was surrounded by were so considerate and sweet it felt alien.
Eventually, Victoria's feelings for Duana eventually bloomed in her senior year, when she finally felt confident enough to take her to her most favorite place in Yvresse, a secluded spot in Grand Svaroyan National Park.
Uncovering this location to Duana was a huge step in Victoria's eyes, even though he didn't understand the significance. Whether or not he was prepared to listen to her struggles of her life, especially her childhood, Victoria needed to tell someone. She talked about everything, her mother's abuse all the way to her father's negligence and extremist tendencies. She did leave Duana speechless and lost for words. He even admitted that nothing he could say or think of could help her but he did say that she was here for her. That moment was more or less the reason she fell head over heels for her and professed her love. While Duana did have many doubts and reasons on why not to enter into a relationship, she did, however, find Victoria to be a soul worth melding with. At Victoria's best, Duana found her to be a wise and considerate sweetheart.
The duo spent three years enjoying each other's company, including Victoria's senior year and two years post-graduation. Victoria even moved in with Duana for that time. Whatever love and care that Victoria missed out on as a child, she received from Duana and ensured that her lover knew just how much she appreciated her. For a moment, it almost felt like Victoria could finally settle down with someone. However, issues arose with her career path. While Duana might've been a veteran, she never had any fond memories in regards to her service and gave Victoria multiple opportunities for her future, hoping she'd pursue anything other than a career in the military, mostly due to her fear of losing her. On the other hand, the military was something Victoria felt was her calling. It was the only thing she felt good at but no matter how many times she tried to reassure Duana, the latter did not feel at peace.
Victoria's pride and Duana's stubbornness spelled the end of the relationship, even though both still share feelings for one another and stay in contact to this day, it was decided between the two that for their own sake, they'd have to split and move on, although they admired one another too much to become strangers. The end of their romantic relationship wasn't as horrible as Victoria imagined it. However, losing her first love created a hole in her heart. One that she had trouble filling even until now, no matter how much she might engage herself in her career. Duana's embrace in the cold of night is an experience she'd always cherish. One could say that Victoria never truly moved on but it's highly doubtful that she can ever come back to her.
Regardless of what happened, Duana helped teach Victoria a number of indispensable lessons. Lessons that Victoria can never truly properly repay. Even though her former lover has simply told Victoria that she just wants to be friends with her, it's rather difficult for Victoria to do that. Duana's one of the few people who can bring out Victoria's true personality and make her feel at ease and that's even after they broke up. On the other hand, Victoria doesn't want to fall in the trap known as unrequited love.
Regardless, Victoria still enjoys visits to her dear Duana. They occasionally meet up at Duana's apartment for lunch or dinner. It isn't difficult at all for them to brush aside their past romantic feelings for the sake of making each other feel good. They might've promised to never deeply love one another again but that doesn't mean they're not the best of friends. In Victoria's case, Duana's her only friend that she truly trusts.
However, after her second tour of duty where she was captured by the Dranstar Slaver Polity and subsequently freed herself, Victoria found herself back home again, with insurrection on Dranstar finally deal with. She was back home again, back in the reserves. Feeling truly and utterly worthless, she couldn't go back on her promise to stick with the military, especially after ending her relationship with Duana for that reason alone. Still, going out with Duana was not enough for her. She needed someone to hold. She wanted someone to fill the void in her heart and empty space next to her in bed. Enter Raneera Serzalia.
Victoria met Raneera in a bar, since the former had no way but to drown her sorrows. In fact, Raneera was the one to take interest in Victoria. Everything about the Lahmian, from her chiselled body to her long platinum blonde hair, was something she desired. The two never even got to know one another. Raneera sidled up to a buzzed Victoria. The Valerian wanted a taste and Victoria wanted someone to touch again and soon enough, the two were casual lovers but Victoria accidentally lied to herself. With declaration of love while they tumbled in bed, the lonely Lahmian thought Raneera would be the one to fill the void in her heart. In an attempt to put memories of Duana behind her, Victoria stressed all the positive aspects of Raneera. She loved how easy-going she was, always up to comfort Victoria whenever she needed her love. Her chirpy nature flooded Victoria's mind and she never wanted to feel sad around Raneera. All this and more would be attributed to Victoria's need to justify this woman's position in her life. Her obsession with Raneera would be another dark period of her life. Raneera was neither malicious nor evil. Her only sin in their relationship would be the lack of clarification. To her, Victoria was an Adonis to please and share with others. She'd instil a number of bad habits in Victoria without knowing what the result would be. There was no true love. There was no base to their relationship. It was a long on and off period of intense infatuation and lust. Victoria had no idea what to make of this relationship and it took her years to finally split off with Raneera when she reality came crashing down and she wasted her love to a woman that never saw her the way Victoria did. It was a moment that crushed Victoria to the point where she went back to Duana, begging her to love her again. Instead, Duana proved to be another valuable teacher, teaching Victoria that she didn't need to have a significant other to succeed in life and most importantly, she re-introduced Victoria to a cold, harsh truth. She wouldn't love a soldier. Her heart was not strong enough to be worrying about Victoria while her life was always on the line and she had no intention to strengthen those heartstrings of hers.
While Victoria did appreciate the lesson Duana taught her, she also thought that she might as well just turn her heart into stone. Even if Duana was right, she was hurt. There truly might be no way for her to go back to Duana and she wouldn't be low to betray Duana's trust just to get in her pants again. It just wouldn't feel genuinely and most importantly, she would never want to hurt Duana like that. It becomes more and more apparent that the only person Victoria appreciates and idolises is Duana and Duana alone.