Her sister’s name had been Catalina.
Catalina - Catherine - the purest of the pure, exemplified in every possible manner.
And they had taken that from her; they had taken Catalina - and ultimately, they had taken Catalina’s life. The life of an innocent - the life of her baby sister. The one who should’ve lived - the one who had been better, who’d deserved life.
They had been Radiants, exposed to pure radianite at a young age. They had held power beyond human imagination, power that the public feared and detested. They were called inhuman, freaks of nature; shunned and hated, captured and tortured in the name of science - a mere name, a mask for their unfathomable, soulless hatred. (And if they wanted to hate - well, two could play at that game.)
And yet, she, Camila Cortez, had lived, and not Catalina, in a cruel twist of fate. They let her, the dangerous one, go. And they killed the one who had never meant to hurt anyone.
(Later, she supposed that was ironic. She took life, and yet, death did not take her.)
You see? They took everything from me. And I made them pay.
She called herself Reyna, after that. Reyna, the queen; the pure, the wise - but she was not pure. She could not bring her sister back from the dead. She did not hold power over death, no matter how much she wished she did; no matter how many times death brushed her by, no matter how much it haunted her. And she yearned, with a desperate longing, for a power which she could not wield.
So she did the one thing she could.
She lived, and she fought. She fought, with tooth and nail and fury and rage, driven by the thought of her sister, of all the innocents killed in the guise of science. She fought for the injustice against those blessed - or cursed - with powers.
She fought for her own survival, in a world cruel and unaccepting. If she was to avenge her sister, the first step was simply to stay alive. And all she could rely on was herself.
After all, she thrived off others. She was the one they called Vampire, spoken with a mixture of fear and awe, and she spared no one.
Once upon a time, she might’ve spared a thought for those she killed. She might’ve felt something, a spark of conscience - anything. But she was Reyna - she was the queen, the empress - and nothing, nobody, could stop her.
They called us inhuman. I was happy to prove them right.
They spoke of her as an agent of chaos. A savage, stopping at nothing.
She fought alone, and she fought with a passion, bringing destruction and chaos wherever she went, skulking in the shadows, striking at the best times. Oh, she muchly preferred to fight in the open, but she’d do anything to bring down the corporation that brought death to so many.
An eye for an eye; a life for a life. No matter how many lives it took, no matter how many souls she devoured, it would be worth it.
And for the first time, she truly lived. Oh, the hunger never left her, but at least it was satiated; greed grasping, tempted with her next conquests, a promise, dangling there, if she won.
She always did.
I have defied death many times. And I will do it again.
She’d been fortunate to even have lived as long as she did. She never played it safe, because what was the use in that? A reckless, mad sort of belief in herself drove a primal desire to hunt and kill, and she did.
And when it went oh-so-horribly-wrong, Valorant was there.
Oh, she didn’t know their name, not until later. Not until she became Agent 10 of the Valorant Protocol.
It had been the one called Sage who found her, in the throes of death, barely sustained by the echoes of the last souls she’d captured - a last act of defiance against the shadow of death that had forever stalked her.
She did not die.
And when Valorant recruited her, she accepted.
For a purpose in life - ah, this is what I live for!
She fought with Valorant.
And though she hated to admit it, it was admittedly sort of ... nice, to work with them, people like her. Radiants, and allies. They respected her, valued her for who she was; weren’t afraid of her. Sure, she disdained their technology - after all, what is a robot without its maker? In a battle of pure skill, the Radiants always won.
But slowly, she developed a sort of grudging respect for them. They were allies, at least for now, sharing a common goal, and she would help them to the best of her abilities.
So they fought, and so they won; one desperate battle after another, Reyna always at the forefront, playing by her own rules. And when some sort of understanding was reached, when fearing Radiants became a thing of the past, Reyna still stayed. After all, there were always more battles to be fought, more souls to devour.
For you, hermanita.