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Zakiya DeSilver

 

Name: Zakiya deSilver

Sex: Female

Age: n + 4

Birthday: Tynefeath 3rd, 2324

Appearance: It takes Zakiya a long time to grow into her looks. As a child, her half-Raptrin heritage is displayed in her sharp features; as a teenager, she shoots up in height but her curves take some time to follow. So she grows up accustomed to being an ugly duckling, but when her looks all fall into place around age sixteen, she turns into a stunning beauty. Her hair is jet-black and dead straight, and reaches down to the small of her back. She is long-legged and has a fine figure and a narrow waist. Her feathers are a pale silvery-brown. The Raptrin features that stood out so when she was a child seem to take a more comfortable place in her looks as she gets older, and only the slight downwards curve to the bridge of her beak, and perhaps a faint heaviness to her brow sets her apart. But to anyone who knew Falcone, the resemblance is unmistakable. Her beauty is marred or enhanced, depending on who you ask, by her strange eyes. Her left eye is bright green, her right, bright blue - another inheritance from the Stormcrow line. Given her tendency to dress in monochrome colors, her bright eyes are usually the first thing people notice, and can lend a very creepy effect.

Attire: As a child, she's dressed neatly and sensibly by her mother; jeans, t-shirts, blouses, dresses, sneakers or sometimes black patent-leather shoes for special occasions. As a teen, she goes through a "Goth" period, and from the age of thirteen through to seventeen, she refuses to wear anything that isn't black, and works her way through a great deal of mascara and eyeliner. After growing out of the Goth stage, she tends to be a neat, sexy dresser. She's well aware of the effect her figure has on some men, and uses that to her full advantage. She still wears a lot of black, but now her attire is sleek and modern. Unlike her mother and half-sister, Zakiya has an excellent eye for fashion. When she becomes the Lair's resident schoolteacher, she still dresses smart and sexy, but tones it down slightly – flat shoes instead of pumps, blouses instead of low-cut tops, and knee-length skirts instead of minis. She starts pulling her hair back in braids or a bun. In an odd sort of way, this all makes her more attractive than when she went through her sexy stage – the clothes soften her appearance. She doesn't have a thieving outfit because she refuses to work as a thief.

Weaponry: Her silver tongue is arguably a far more dangerous weapon than any blade she might wield. Again, she doesn't work as an operational thief, so she doesn't own any weaponry of her own.

Accent: Steady, confidant Remaican with a touch of the formal, and just the faintest whisper of an Ingallish accent. The Ingallish was picked up perhaps from the short time she spends with her father, or more likely from the time she spends with her Aunt Estelle. Zakiya has an excellent vocabulary and isn't afraid to use it. In fact, the less intelligent the person she's talking to is, the more verbose she tends to become.

Personality and History: As a child, Zakiya is withdrawn, introspective and bookish. She's highly intelligent but has trouble relating to other children her age, and prefers to keep the company of adults - particularly Ender, her adopted uncle and regular babysitter, and her "Aunt" Estelle, one of a few unofficial aunts Zakiya has in the Brotherhood, including Nylessa and Milantha. Until she is much older, Zakiya has no idea that Estelle really IS her blood-related Aunt, as Estelle's relation to Falcone isn't widely known.

In fact, as Zakiya grows up she comes to see that there is a LOT she doesn't know about her father and her heritage. The silence she finds herself surrounded by embitters her, and she becomes an angry teen. She gradually drives away Rain, who was her only childhood friend. She makes no secret of her anger at the world and, more specifically, her growing anger at her mother. This comes to a head when Zakiya is thirteen years old. She begins to receive parcels that contain classical music recordings, hand-delivered specifically to her by a Brotherhood member who has been paid off by someone on the outside. Zakiya quickly realizes that it's her father sending the packages, and keeps them hidden from her mother. The music becomes her way of connecting with her father. On her thirteenth birthday, a violin and some learn-to-play tapes arrive. Zakiya finds an abandoned room down on E Level, amongst the REAL lowlifes of the Brotherhood, and there she painstakingly begins to teach herself to play. She goes about this with more determination than she has ever put towards anything in her life.

When Father's Day rolls around, six months later, Zakiya has become surprisingly good at the violin. That year, as every other year, Zakiya doesn't give Duke a gift or any kind of indication that she's noticed the holiday roll around. She sits back and watches the six-year-old twins give Duke their clumsily handmade cards. That night, she climbs up on a table in front of the entire Mess Hall, pulls out the violin, and eloquently, beautifully, plays her father's favorite song in front of everyone. She doesn't miss a note.

Leila recognizes it.

Back in their rooms, Leila and Zakiya have a screaming argument that ends with Leila loosing her temper and smashing the violin. After that, things are never the same between them. Leila finds out who Falcone's contact was and demotes him down to Saber Student, a rather extreme punishment.

It is at this point that Zakiya turns Goth. She rejects the Brotherhood altogether as a way of rejecting her mother. She refuses to attend any lessons of Brotherhood Lore, swordplay, or thievery. Instead, she attends only school lessons, and thus remains at the rank of Presaber from that point on. It is possible for a member of the Brotherhood to eschew thieving work entirely, providing they offer some sort of other service for the good of the BotB. Zakiya isn't interested in hacking, or mechanics, or medicine, or jewelry valuation, or fencing. She remains staunchly uninterested in it all. For a member to be entirely unproductive is possible, but frowned upon. Furthermore, while a person like that will still be housed and fed by the Brotherhood, they will have no income of their own. Zakiya is still living with her family, so at this point that doesn't bother her.

When she is eighteen, Zakiya receives a message for her father – it is a phone number, nothing more. It's all she needs. She runs away from the Lair, calls the number, and is with her father within the day. For the next six month she stays with him in an apartment in Keltor West, and he lavishes attention on her, but every day he also manipulates her further under his control. Zakiya isn't stupid, however, and eventually she demands answers from Falcone about the things she's heard he's done. He spins her a few stories, lies and half-truths, then tells her he wants to talk with her mother, perhaps reconcile so that they can work out a way of Zakiya being able to see them both. By this time, Zakiya has begun to realize she may have made a mistake coming here, and she's afraid… but too proud to admit it. She goes along with her father's plan and uses herself as bait to draw Leila out. Partially it's because she just desperately wants to see her mother again. Partly, she wants to be saved.

Leila takes the bait and turns up, planning to kill Falcone. Estelle is with her, and the two of them are alone, but wired to the BotB. Falcone makes them get rid of all the wires and bugs, then knocks them out and takes them somewhere else, out of the reach of the Brotherhood. He has come to believe that he cannot ever live happily unless the women who ruined his life are destroyed, and that means killing Leila and Estelle. Zakiya realizes what he plans to do and tries to stop him. He strikes her. In the fuss that follows, Estelle cuts Falcone down, and he dies of his injuries.

Zakiya is taken back to the Lair. She seems to be in shock for a few weeks, uncommunicative and lost. Shortly after, she moves into her old music room on E Level. Under Leila's leadership, the idea of punishing a deserter by death has fallen out of favor, particularly in cases where the deserter returns of their own free will. Zakiya is simply demoted to Junior – she cares not one whit about it – and left to pick up her life where she left it off. Her mother tries to reconnect with her, but Zakiya is utterly closed off.

For a long time afterwards she is withdrawn, and when she starts to recover, her previous anger has sunk away into her depths, leaving her a very cold, controlled person. The anger is still there, though, bubbling just beneath the surface. Unlike many in the Brotherhood, Zakiya doesn't want to forget the painful parts of her past. Her anger keeps her going. She is not a happy person. Gradually, she begins to see herself as intellectually superior to those around her. She lives by the metaphor of sheep and wolves: most people are sheep; the wolves are the ones who rise above the system and take what they need. What Zakiya needs is love, because she was starved of it as a child; her mother was always busy, and her father, when she finally tracked him down, proved to be cold, demanding and distant. But she doesn't quite see that need in herself. What she WANTS is to simply be wanted...

Likes: Mind games; classical music; her own company; her violin; the company of certain men; Ender; Tam (it's near impossible not to like him); reading; and, oddly enough, Darrell Evenfeather.

Dislikes: Duke; Leila; Tasmin; pretty much anyone who she sees as interfering in her life; the Brotherhood in general; loud music; dance music; boisterous people; slobs (you can see why she and Tasmin don't get along); people she sees as being weak; the population at large. She's quite the misanthrope.

Overheard:
"You're a sheep in wolf's clothing. One of these days, the other sheep are going to realize that, and they won't be afraid of you any more. And on that day, I'll be there."

"It seems that everyone around here has a mushy center."

Darrell: "You're sitting here talking to me when you could be out playing people's minds, or doing whatever the hell you do for fun."
Zakiya: "What makes you think I'm not doing that now?"

"Threesomes are a girl's best friend. 'Round here, diamonds are a dime a dozen."

Voice Artist: Andrea Parker.

 

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