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Leila DeSilver

Name: Leila deSilver

Sex: Female

Age: 29

Rank: Red Circle and current Leader.

Appearance: You know the saying "Her bark is worse than her bite"? It's the other way around with Leila. If you ignore the snapping blue eyes and the drawn-down eyebrows, she looks relatively harmless... until she bites your head off. Leila is fairly short, and as a direct result of that she holds herself defiantly straight. She's a half-caste Nijhro, and as such her feathers are a light silvery grey. Her hair is thick, black and wavy, and looks as though it's always on the verge of curling; she tries to control it by pulling it tightly back - with little success. Her eyes are very deep blue and can look quite pleasent but for the fact that her dark, straight eyebrows are often drawn down over them. As mentioned before, Leila is short; but not particularly petite. She's actually very curvy, with quite a nice figure; but after bearing a child lacks the very narrow waist of some of her counterparts. She's not particularly beautiful, but she is striking.

Attire: Leila generally wears a deep purple sleeveless bodysuit; a short red open vest; a short red split-sides skirt; a silver version of Duke's belt; same shoes as Duke; hair worn pulled back; and a red hairband. She seems to be comfortable in her routine - the only change she ever makes to her outfit is to swap the short-sleeved bodysuit for a long sleeved version in colder weather. It has been noted that this clothing is a lot more covering than what some of the girls in the Brotherhood wear. During the day and while on heists, she generally considers herself "on duty", and will wear the same outfit on these times. She will wear casual clothes, but only when she's "off duty", which is rare. And when she does dress casually, she sticks to jeans with singlets, T-shirts or sweaters, again depending on the weather. She's a very casual dresser, and doesn't actually own any dresses as such.

Weaponry: Due to a deep inherent dislike of guns, Leila avoids using them as much as possible. She carries a silver saber strapped to her belt. While not particularly good with guns, Leila is brilliant with the saber, and was trained by Falcone, once the second-best fighter in the Brotherhood. Her skills were evenly matched with his when they were fighting over leadership; they haven't had the chance to fight since then, so that may have changed in either person's favor. Everything else Leila carries falls under the heading of 'equipment' - hidden in various pockets on the inside of her vest, on her belt, and in her bodysuit, the items she carries include two sets of lockpicks in soft leather pouches; a fake ID and driver's license; key blanks; an (obviously stolen) Level Five government access card; a few electronic lock override cards; a set of pencils in a leather wallet - they come in handy once in a while - and a photograph of her daughter (okay, that's not equipment, it's moral support).

Accent: Leila has a strong Keltorian accent (Brooklynite).

Personality: Leila has had to fight tooth and nail for everything she's ever gained. She had a bad start in life, but isn't just a victim - she made some very bad choices along the way. She hides any trace of sadness or regret in anger, which, although she can control it reasonably well, is truly frightening when unleashed. She's the sort of person who might threaten to rip your head of if you anger her... and the sort of person who you believe! Although Leila's anger is explosive and hot in most situations, she fosters an unhealthy, long-lasting anger towards Falcone. Even she doesn't know what she'll do when that particular fuse reaches it's end... Another quite obvious trait is her use of profanity - having lived on the streets since she was four, she knows every swear word in the book and then some; and is prone to spit out shocking curses in times of great stress. She's aware of this and manages to control it around her daughter to a degree. It should be added that, probably as a result of what Falcone did to her (see history), she is almost impossible when it comes to relationships. Her memories - and her defense mechanisms - override any stirrings of emotion she might have. Leila hates showing weaknesses, partially because this puts her already precarious leadership position in danger. Although she seems very hard on other people, it should be noted that the person she's hardest on is herself. She does have another side though - that which she reserves only for her daughter and close friends. In this phase, she has a dry, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor and a world-weary attitude. It's at these times she lets rare moments of warmth show through her defenses; but it's also at those times she's at her most vulnerable. She truly does cares deeply about those she loves. She just has trouble showing it sometimes.

History: Born in West Keltor, Leila was orphaned at the tender age of four after a drug-related firefight in her own home finished off her entire family. Thankfully, she remembers nothing of this. Her earliest memory is of being found out on the streets of Keltor City by a gang, who subsequently adopted her and raised her.

She started begging, then pickpocketing, and finally thieving at a very early age. The gang even gave her her last name - "deSilver" - as in "de silver kid", as the strongly accented Keltor City kids liked to call her. Leila became close friends with an older girl called Alexia, who eventually left after marrying Ash, an elder member of the group. The two girls kept in contact, on and off, for a while... and this came in handy later on.

When Leila was 17 she met 9-year-old Nylessa Drakely - the younger girl landed on top of her... literally! They were in the same street gang for a while, and in that time the two became close friends despite their age difference. By then Leila had worked for some time as an exotic dancer and was moving inoxerably toward a career in prostitution... but before this had a chance to happen, however, the gang was busted and split up after the leader murdered one of it's members - a young man who'd been Leila's close friend and lover. She fled and avoided arrest, but lost contact with her old friends, including Nylessa, in the process.

After working as a dancer for a while longer, Leila decided to make her way to duCaine Metropolis, in the hope that she might find more honest and less demeaning work in the Capital. She was sidetracked upon arriveal in the Metro when she witnessed a group of street kids try to rob a raptrin in an alleyway - and she got involved when she stopped him from striking a little girl. They fought briefly, then Leila managed to make her getaway - fortunately, because she would later find out that the man who'd fought her was Ernie Falcone, a trained thief of the Brotherhood of the Blade. She'd been lucky to escape at all.

Working as a waitress in a club in the Metro, Leila passed a month or so with little major change in routine - until one night, Falcone showed up, looking for her. He offered her a chance to escape the drudgery of her life and become something more than what she was... and she took it. She knew what she would become - a thief - but at that stage it was a preferrable alternative to what she did. So Leila gladly took up with his offer of accommodation and a more secure way of life, and was taken to the Brotherhood as Falcone's apprentice.

Eventually the inevitable happened - they became lovers. Falcone was a gentleman and full of surface charm, and Leila, unaccustomed to being treated well by any man, and having missed out on all the love she should have gotten as a child, was all too easily taken in. Even at times when hints of Falcone's true nature broke the surface of his charm, Leila didn't see them. Or chose not to.

Incidentally, she ran into Nylessa who had also joined the BOTB in the meantime, and was surprised when the younger girl - who was rather free and easy in terms of relationships already - strongly disliked Falcone. As yet, Leila had seen no evidence of anything besides the occassional outburst of bad temper from him - but she could forgive him that. After all, he'd saved her...

He did, however, work her like a dog. Falcone was a perfectionist, and he couldn't tolerate his apprentice making even the smallest mistake in her lessons. Again and again and again he'd make her practice a certain manoeuvre, until she could carry it off as if she'd been doing it all her life. However good she was, it was never quite enough for him, and when yelling at her didn't drive this in, Falcone would hit her to make his point. He believed that Leila's level of skill reflected on his skills as a teacher, and he wanted nothing less than perfection from her. Constantly exhausted, Leila continued to drag herself through practice after practice, embarking on a meteoric rise through the ranks, driven by his emotional blackmail and her own sense of duty to the person who'd saved her from her old life. And the hope of avoiding the good bruising she would get if she should fail...

But things really turned sour between Leila and Falcone when Ascelin Wingblade, the old leader of the Brotherhood, handed leadership to Duke rather than to Falcone when on his death bed. Falcone was livid. His friendship with Duke had long since deteriorated into angry competition, and with Ascelin's announcement Falcone had, in his mind, "lost". His lust for power had become such that he no longer even had a shred of affection left for Leila - assuming he ever had to begin with. She became a burden to him, and with her fairly quick induction to the rank of Red Circle, he started feeling threatened by her, too. He began to hit her for no particular reason, and she could barely open her mouth without fearing retrubution. The beatings gradually got worse... but for all her fighting skills, Leila rarely stood up for herself. Without Falcone, she believed, she had nobody to turn to. If it wasn't for him, she'd still be on the streets. So she forgave him his "mistakes" and temper, and continued to silently put up with her treatment.

Soon after Duke stepped up to his new position, Falcone challenged him to a duel for the leadership. Falcone lost - though managed to deprive the drake of his right eye in a fit of treachery when Duke handed him his saber - and was made to suffer the further humiliation of punishment from the Council for his treachery. He was stripped of his Red Circle rank and moved back down to Blade Brother - two ranks below Leila. Leila was ready to leave him at this stage, since he had become more violent towards her of late. Unfortunately, she had fallen pregnant in the meantime. She was 24.

In the hopes that the news would mellow Falcone and possibly bring back some of the earlier safety of their relationship, Leila approached him and told him. In response, he finally showed his true nature by dumping her and refusing to have anything to do with her or the child. Leila was crushed, and spent the better part of her pregnancy in a deep depression. Zakiya was born within the Brotherhood on the day before the Saurians attacked Puckworld. The still-fresh leader, Duke l'Orange, abandoned the Brotherhood to join the Resistance, leaving the thieves in turmoil. As Falcone said in disgust afterwards, "He always had been too idealistic."

The Council took temporary control of the Brotherhood in the hopes that Duke would return and they wouldn't have to go through the violence and bloodshed of duels for leadership. There was enough of that happening all over Puckworld. For the time being, they concentrated on simply keeping the Brotherhood hidden and safe, only allowing a few thieves out to steal provisions from the Saurians when they were absolutely out of supplies.

Despite the Council's precautions, three months into their occupation the Saurians finally discovered and infiltrated the Brotherhood base. Leila wasn't prepared to risk her baby daughter's life fighting for a lost cause - it was obvious that they couldn't win against the Saurian forces - so she collected Zakiya and headed for the ventilation shafts, planning to leave alone and not risk wasting any more time in the Lair, which was on fire in parts. But on her way to the vents, she stumbled across a Junior she knew, Shockwave Featherstone. Knowing she couldn't leave him, she instructed him to follow her, as she knew a way out. Further along, she ran into Nylessa, and did the same. And she ran into another person. And another. And another. And so on...

When Leila emerged from the ventilation shafts onto the rooftop of the building atop of the Lair, she was accompanied by no less than thirty people.

And even as the ragged survivors gathered in an alleyway near the burning Lair, they were joined by more survivors who had managed to find their own way out, or had managed to get past the Saurians and away. But not a single Council member was among them. They had refused to leave, according to one witness, and thus they had died fighting for the Brotherhood. Every last one.

The issue of leadership remained up in the air for the time being - even the youngest member present could see that there were more important things to deal with at the time, like the survival of those who remained. Leila, finding herself the oldest and highest-ranked member present, temporarily disbanded the Brotherhood. She organised a reforming which would take place at the Lair - what remained of it - if and only if the Saurians were defeated. On this note, the members of the Brotherhood all went their own ways, to fend for themselves.

Leila and Nylessa stuck together again, and managed to find shelter in an old blocked off section of duCaine Metro subway, with other surviving civilians. And eventually news reached them that Dragaunus was gone, chased off the planet by a Strike Force which had included the Brotherhood's leader, Duke l'Orange. The Strike Force had disappeared along with Dragaunus, and all members were presumed dead.

When the Brotherhood reformed, the leadership issue was left in the air again until the Brotherhood found a new place to base themselves in. They moved to Leila's hometown, Keltor, and moved back into a Brotherhood shelter there which had been abandoned and decrepit for some years. Only once that was done did the leadership issue arise again. And the only members Leila found around her who were of equal ranking were Drakelah Whip, a female red circle who seemed to be content to remain in the background, and Marshall. And he refused to take leadership, to Leila's dismay. She hadn't wanted to lead.

Falcone returned too, a few days later. Unknown to the Brotherhood, he had been in league with the Saurians - and it was he who had led them to the old Base. But with Canard's return and the beginning of the end for the remaining Saurians, he knew it was time for him to cop out. And he had nowhere to go but back to the Brotherhood, in the hope that he might be able to simply walk into the leader's position. As for Leila, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for her to foist the job onto someone else, but she refused to let the Brotherhood fall into Falcone's unscrupulous hands. She knew him, and she knew he wasn't capable of leading the Brotherhood in a fair and reasonable way. He challenged her, and the Brotherhood law stated that if he challenged, she must fight him. He wasn't the only challenger of course - as time passed, more older high-ranked members showed up. Leila fought an exhausting series of duels, managing to finally beat all her challengers but one - the one who had taught her. It seemed that she and Falcone had reached a checkmate.

But then things changed. In one duel, supposed to be a simple disarmament duel, Falcone injured Leila with a saber-swipe across the stomach - much in the same way he'd cost Duke his eye. Leila ended up in the infirmary, certain that Falcone had won. But Falcone had been told that her injury disqualified that particular duel - it was supposed to be disarmament only. Witnesses hadn't clearly seen what had happened, and no-one could ever be sure if the slash to Leila's stomach had been an accident, or done on purpose, so Falcone went unpunished. But he also went unsuccessful, told that he must wait until Leila was back to full health before he could challenge her. Foiled again, Falcone decided to take matters into his own hands... and deal with the problem at it's source.

As Leila lay weakened in the infirmary with a hundred and twelve stiches across her stomach, Falcone waited until Tarrin was called out on an emergency. He crept in and threatened her, and when she refused to back down to him, he did the worst thing he possibly could have done to her - he raped her. It was his way of showing her that he held the power between them, and it almost destroyed her. The shreds of self-respect and assurance she'd gained in her position of responsibility were torn away from her and replaced by a greater shame and self-loathing than she'd ever known.

She never told anyone, not even Tarrin, though he had his own suspicions on the matter. But he was prudent enough not to voice them. As she recuperated, and began to get up and around, Leila found herself in a depression worse than the one she'd gone through when she'd been pregnant. She was so listless that she started to neglect Zakiya, and Tarrin took it into his hands to care for the baby for a while until the Leader got back on her feet.

Leila started building up defense mechanisms, then. They - and the amount of attention her job required - kept her sane. And when she was done, and had "dealt with it" - by shoving it all away and NOT dealing with it - she was a very different person than she'd been before.

She was still frightened of having to face Falcone again, though. She knew she was his equal when it came to fighting, but he only had to look at her to make her go weak at the knees. He had a certain unspoken power over her, now... and she was afraid to have to face that. Leila was infinitely relived when he simply disappeared one day. [Teleported to Earth by Dragaunus].

Leila took control of the Brotherhood with no further problems. And less than three years later, the Mighty Ducks returned to Puckworld, Duke l'Orange among them. When he was thrown in jail, there was immediate pressure on Leila from the senior members of the Brotherhood to launch a rescue mission - they hoped that Duke's return would see Leila out of her job. Leila, though, had had a change of heart in the meantime. Her job was the only thing that had kept her sane for a while, and without it she was no longer sure how she'd live her life. Her job had become her life...

However, with so much pressure, there was nothing she could do but comply. Duke was rescued successfully and brought back to the Brotherhood Lair. He and Leila disliked each other on first sight. After some tension and confusion, he made it clear he was no longer interested in leading what was left of the BotB, to Leila's relief. But tension still remained between her and the former leader, and she began to worry about what that might mean...

Likes: Her daughter, her saber and little else (unless you're lucky)

Dislikes: Ernie Falcone (with a vengeance); sleeping - because of the dreams that often accompany it; and flashbacks.

Overheard:
"He'll be laughin' on the other side o' his face when I'm through wit' him!"

"Knock it off, l'Orange, or I will!"

"If you lay a finger on me I'll rip out yer spine an' floss with it. Ya think I'm joking? Try me."

Said of her:
(Nylessa) "I'm a femme fatale... she's just fatal."

(Nosedive) [rap] "Leila is the leader of the BHOTB - uh! - a saber-slappin', whip-crackin' personality!"

Voice Artist: Whoopi Goldberg.

 

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