Born into oppression in the Soviet Union, Anya Kimura had a short childhood that ended rather abruptly thanks to illness and starvation. This brief lifespan was extended, however, as part of an experimental military program that sought to weaponize the souls of the dead, transforming Anya into a combat-ready homunculus who would become the leader of the "Rusalka Unit", Rusalka Adin.
Initially apathetic and easy to control, Anya would gradually begin to work against her own nation in pursuit of her anarchist ideals, something that led her to clash with superiors. In addition, during the subversive military operations she was often involved in, Anya would meet Alice Kang, with whom she would strike up a bit of a rivalry. Eventually, her convictions would result in her death, abandoned and persecuted by her superiors, and then left to fight one last battle with Alice.
Anya Kimura was born in the Soviet Union, on the Kuril Islands, not long after the dawn of the Cold War, the daughter of indigenous Nivkh and Ainu. She didn’t have much opportunity to appreciate this childhood of hers, thanks to the oppressive rule of the Soviets, which ultimately resulted in her death by illness and starvation when she was only six years old. For most that would be it - but Anya had the misfortune of having her dwindling spirit harvested by the military as part of an experiment regarding ghosts. An experiment to see if the souls of the dead could be properly weaponized, run by the necromancer Verusha Matveyeva.
6-year old Anya, over the course of years, was subject to extensive modification of her soul to ensure that it’d be able to develop a bit more properly, and was given a special, military-grade homunculus as a body. The processes she underwent caused her to mature rapidly, psychologically developing into adulthood when she was around 10. She was the first of the experimental “Rusalka” to be completed in such a manner, and was thus given the title Rusalka Adin. After a few more years of continued experimentation, her and the rest of the initially 5-man “Rusalka Unit” were regarded as more or less complete, and they quickly became involved in the proxy wars of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
At this point, Anya was a despondent, apathetic individual who lifelessly carried out her duties, resenting the government for getting her killed, only to unnaturally perpetuate her life. She believed in little, and simply did as she was told. But, over the course of several years, Anya witnessed the conditions suffered by those living under various oppressive governments, left and right-wing, across the globe. It sickened her to see it, everywhere she went, regardless of who was in power, and knowing what her fellow Rusalka suffered through began to get her thinking. About how things could be better.
What Anya eventually settled on was anarchy. Witnessing miserable government after miserable government, she had grown sick of it all and was convinced that such structures were inherently oppressive and doomed to degrade into such a state. The more she saw, the more sure she was of it, and the feeling of finally believing in something gave her hope. She discussed her ideas with her fellow Rusalka, who helped her come to this conclusion, and the lot of them eventually decided that they would one day have to do something about it.
Without really meaning to, Anya became the leader of the Rusalka Unit in this department, an idol for her fellow Rusalka, who had gone through many of the same experiences as she had. This frustrated her to no end, as she wanted to escape such a hierarchy, but she wasn’t really ever able to dissolve it. Not that it really mattered, in the end. Still working for the Soviets, Anya’s operations abroad led her to meet a certain American operative on the other side. Alice Kang. Their first encounter was, unsurprisingly, a violent one, but it was a fight in which Anya was able to get a good feel of Alice’s soul. She realized that Alice was just like her - a ghost, seemingly used by her government just as Anya was by her own.
For Anya, this was a momentous occasion, finding someone with a similar experience as an opponent, and she eagerly sought to gain her as an ally. But while Anya was driven by the sheer strength of her own convictions and ideals, Alice seemed to lack them entirely. She was driven merely by self-interest, a path that Anya didn’t exactly see going well for her, but her various attempts to reach out, empathize, and find an ally were consistently rejected. All it had taken for Alice to develop a strong, violent hate for her was that one unwanted revelation, which Anya would grow to regret.
After this first encounter, Anya and Alice would run into each other every now and then, seemingly drawn to run into each other, much to Anya’s delight and Alice’s anger. Anya never stopped trying to win her over, but she soon found that she had bigger issues to deal with. Namely, that her superiors, Verusha among them, had heard of Anya and her fellow Rusalka’s rather radical beliefs. This was, of course, a huge problem. The project was terminated, and the Rusalka were determined to be a danger to the Soviet government. The ensuing crackdown resulted in the death of many of Anya’s fellow Rusalka, but they managed to work together to kill Verusha before escaping with the other survivors. This led her to one final confrontation with Alice, who had happily abused her own connections to rat her out just for this opportunity.
Their last fight was a violent one. Gone was the pretense and sympathy. The two of them fought solely to kill one another, independently of everything Anya believed. For Anya, it was a glorious, exhilarating experience. They brought each other near-death, inflicting injuries that would’ve easily killed any ordinary human, but that undead such as themselves could still fight through. It was then that Anya, who could keep on going, who could’ve potentially ended the fight with her own victory, simply grew too tired to continue.
Her life had been one of endless disillusionment and struggle, forced onto her in place of a merciful rest. So, when death touched the edges of her consciousness and threatened to overtake her, Anya decided to let go. She simply passed on, dropping dead on the spot, with a simple, tired smile on her face. Some of her fellow Rusalka were able to escape into hiding, an opportunity she had perhaps won for them with her own sacrifice, and that was, in the end, enough for her.
The first thing many people would notice about Anya Kimura is that she is incredibly short, standing not even at 5 feet tall and rendering herself an even smaller figure with an omnipresent, lazy slouch, her hands shoved into her pockets. While one may think that someone so short and seemingly slight would be a skinny girl, Anya is actually surprisingly toned and solid for her height, with plenty of muscle and a healthy layer of fat around it. It's not like she's ripped, no, but her build is athletic enough to make her strength obvious, and most of her muscle goes into her core. Her skin is rough and pale brown in color, thanks to a generally nocturnal lifestyle and a lack of sun, and is covered in a tapestry of scars amassed across a lifetime of combat. Anya's hair is a silky, silvery white, put into a short ponytail. She doesn't put much effort or thought into maintaining her hair at all, so it's generally a mess of curls, with a distinct tuft that always seems to stick up. If she let it down, it'd reach down to her shoulders. Meanwhile, her eyes are a deep red, dulled even further by her constantly lazy expression and the heavy bags underneath them.
Fashion is the last thing on Anya's mind, and she's the sort to wear whatever's available, leading to a tomboyish style. A staple of her outfits is a heavy, fur-lined winter coat, actually part of her military uniform, and when on duty, she wears a pretty unremarkable uniform underneath. Casually, her outfits are even less notable, made up of cozy, warm clothing thrown together with little thought as to abstract, silly things like 'matching'. Finally, Anya usually wears a pair of steel-toed combat boots.
Simple, honest, and humble. The sort of straightforward person who never had trouble making friends thanks to some innate charisma that made such things easy for her. Everywhere she went, Anya found that she was able to strike up friendships and find new allies, even in enemies, a trait that made her a seemingly natural leader for the Rusalka Unit and a perfect fit for guerilla operations. This was complimented by her intensely idealistic and passionate nature, driven by her intense anarchist convictions to disassemble the oppressive governments she ran into across the world. Her approach to this was tireless, just one element in the constant struggle that defined her life and left her tense and exhausted. The only escape for her was the combat that she was ultimately reanimated for, a guilty pleasure that allowed her to vent her emotions and rediscover what it felt like to live.
Casual and easygoing in demeanor, Anya was an easy person to approach and talk to, a natural people person who happily sought out new friendships and took people under her wing whenever possible. This gregariousness wasn't always readily apparent, thanks to a drowsy, almost lazy exterior that made it seem like Anya was devoid of passions and had little interest in the duties that defined her life. In fact, many people wrote her off as mentally absent, a good leader, but not the smartest person around. This suited the ambitious and driven Anya, just fine. Possessing an almost maternal energy about her, Anya was driven to help others whenever possible, and she was constantly reaching out and offering aid - even to enemies.
This bad habit of hers got into trouble time and time again, but Anya was not the sort to compromise when it came to her own morals. As stubborn an idealist as she may have been, Anya struggled with constant disillusionment, as every idol, every hero, and every person she admired failed her on a moral level sooner or later. Resentful and distrustful of others, especially any who represented authority, Anya eventually decided to reject all others and focus only on what she could do, on the judgment and morals that she could hopefully trust to stand strong no matter what. She encouraged such a viewpoint in her fellow Rusalka, and was constantly frustrated by the fact that many of them idolized her in the exact way she feared and discouraged.
Of course, a life spent living for everyone but herself left Anya completely lacking in those things people call "vital life skills". She could hardly take care of herself, leaving her fellow Rusalka to ultimately dote on her just as much as she did on them, something she found shameful and embarrassing, but accepted with her usual grace nonetheless. As much as she desired to create an environment of mutual trust and codependency, Anya gradually found that such a thing was seemingly impossible for herself, and she endlessly bottled up her own emotions, avoiding communicating them to her closest friends. This was something she was deeply ashamed of, and she even hated herself for it.
As kind and altruistic as she was, Anya's selfless habits led to no end of stress for her, and she suffered for them. She neglected herself constantly for the sake of others, one contribution of many to the exhaustion that she felt every moment of her life. Living a life of constant struggle, and fighting on command while somehow trying to make the world a better place took its toll on Anya. Most of her free time was spent sleeping to escape from her feelings for just a little bit, and it was only when the opportunity to fight came that Anya got the chance to vent her emotions. She took to it very, very well, after all, no surprise for someone who had essentially been designed for it, and it was the one thing that made her feel truly alive again. The risk, especially, made it so enjoyable for her, as the potential for her own death tantalized her. It was just another thing she found shameful, and she acknowledged it only to those she planned to kill.
For Anya, the ghostly life she was given was a curse. She resented her nation for unnaturally prolonging her life only to put her to use in oppression and slaughter. What Anya always wanted for herself was an escape from this unwanted, artificial life. She wanted to die. She wanted to gloriously save as many people as possible, even if the other Rusalka were all she could manage, and then die. She wanted an end to the struggle, the disillusionment, and the loss that made up her life. More than anything, she wanted to die before she could fail her own morals and become another broken pedestal, something she feared was inevitable. The death she ultimately received wasn't exactly what she had in mind - but it was more than enough.
Powers and Statistics
Tier: High 8-C
Powers and Abilities:
Genius Intelligence, Social Influencing, Master Martial Artist and Swordswoman, Enhanced Senses (Even without magic, Anya has superhuman senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and balance), Mind Manipulation (She can pierce mental barriers and influence the thoughts of others), Pain Manipulation (Her attacks cause "true", spiritual pain, affecting even those who cannot feel pain normally), Plasma Manipulation (She can forcefully, telekinetically ionize gas to produce and control plasma), Soul Manipulation (All her attacks, physical or magical, affect the soul just as they do the body), Attack Reflection (Using Aiki, Anya can redirect the force of physical attacks, turning her opponents' strength against them), Incorporeality/Intangibility (Immaterial) and Invisibility as a ghost, Possession, Self-Sustenance (Type 1; Anya does not need to breathe), Telekinesis, Telepathy, Immortality (Types 1, 6, and 7), Regeneration (Low-Mid; can regenerate broken bones, serious organ damage, and large wounds that would normally scar within a few days. She can even reattach severed limbs)
Magic (The magic used by agents is a process of making their Fantasy into Reality), Extrasensory Perception (Agents maintain a constant, perfect, and precise image of their surroundings by analyzing them through magic), Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Flight, Forcefield Creation, Accelerated Development (In notably long-term and high-stress situations, agents tend to become stronger more quickly than they would otherwise. Separately from this process, Anya has mastered martial arts techniques that would normally take lifetimes to learn abnormally quickly), Limited Causality Manipulation (Repression allows an agent to "suspend" their injuries, essentially temporarily erasing them and ignoring their effects), Damage Transferal (Agents can perform "grounding", which allows them to mirror harm to an opponent's body on their soul, as well as exploit similar connections to damage similar sources, such as a phylactery), Non-Physical Interaction (An agent can interact with immaterial or incorporeal entities, such as ghosts, as well as things that don't exist), Reactive Evolution (A spiritual filter automatically adapts to attacks to become more resistant. In addition, Mutation programs run in the background of Anya's soul, causing beneficial mutations in her attacks, allowing them to slip through adaptive defenses and specialized counters), Resistance Negation (Agents can pierce magical defenses, even spiritual filters, to enact the adverse effects of their attacks and spells, fully stripping said resistances away if given the chance), Statistics Amplification (During particularly intense moments, when acting in a manner true to her inner world, Anya may achieve ego synchronization, boosting all of her abilities for as long as the state lasts, though this is pretty rare), Acausality (Type 2; An agent's history, present, and fate all exist independently of the past and future), Resistance to conceptual, mental, physical, and spiritual attack (Spiritual filters protect the user from attacks on all levels of existence, potentially providing protection against a host of abilities)
Attack Potency: Large Building level (Comparable in physical strength to Alice, who shattered a frozen lake's surface, albeit somewhat weaker. She does, however, have more magical power at her disposal).
Speed: Hypersonic+ (Traded blows with Alice at speeds faster than sound, causing sonic booms. Alice can intercept shots from Enkh's railgun, which has a muzzle velocity of over Mach 10 and can shoot down orbiting satellites).
Lifting Strength: At least Class 100 (Physically comparable to Alice and capable of matching her in contests of raw strength, even overpowering her with proper leverage and Aiki. Can telekinetically lift huge chunks of earth).
Striking Strength: Large Building Class (Could rip into Alice's body with her phantasmal limbs).
Durability: Large Building level (Took many attacks from Alice, including her strongest blows).
Stamina: Very high. Though her body has its limits, Anya can fight for hours at a time without stopping, pushing her luck again and again only to come out on top thanks to her sheer willpower and skill. Thanks to her artificial body and ghostly nature, Anya can continue fighting even through wounds that would be lethal for ordinary humans, ignoring severe blood loss and blinding pain without much issue. Even in her final battle with Alice, in which she took multiple injuries that would've spelled the end for regular humans, including a not insignificant amount of brain damage, the loss of an eardrum, perforated lungs, and a ruptured kidney, on top of quite a lot of blood loss, Anya could've kept on fighting, enduring thanks to her sheer willpower and phantasmal resilience. The only reason she didn't was because she decided she had had enough.
Range: Standard melee range, Hundreds of meters with magic (Can shatter a lake with her magic, like Alice, and affect objects with telekinesis across a great distance), Kilometers with telepathy (Can communicate with her fellow Rusalka from kilometers away).
Standard Equipment: A combat knife.
Intelligence: Genius. While she may not have been some incredibly advanced AI equipped with the ability to carefully analyze the present to predict the future, Anya was an extremely competent and intelligent fighter, a skilled and charismatic leader to the Rusalka Unit who led them to victory on many occasions. Relying on practical applications of magic and martial arts, Anya excelled in personal combat despite her lack of deeper knowledge in magic, repeatedly outsmarting and defeating more knowledgeable and versatile agents by exploiting the utility of her simple skillset. She was notably incredibly skilled in martial arts, one of the greatest hand-to-hand combatants of her time, a peer and potentially even a superior to Alice Kang who was able to make up for her lack of precognition by simply improvising and adapting on the spot. Anya mastered techniques that would take most people a lifetime to learn quickly, building upon them and incorporating them into her repertoire of abilities to become an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable opponent. Even if she wasn't Alice's superior, it was impressive enough that Anya could fight her in close quarters as an equal with only the skills and knowledge she could develop as a normal human, when Alice's sheer processing speed and analytical power allowed her to develop her own skills far beyond what any ordinary person could do in such a short period of time.
Weaknesses: Aiki can only be used properly against physical attacks, and may weaken if it's not used with perfect precision. Anya's general exhaustion means that, if she's pushed to her limits and critically injured, she may simply give up and allow herself to die, but this is unlikely to occur in just any fight.
Agency: A mage is more properly known as an agent, as in “one that acts or exerts power”. Separated from the rest of the cosmos, an agent is essentially a miniature universe all their own, with complete control over their destiny, free to pursue whatever future they wish. They do this through magic, the art of using one’s understanding to control Fantasy, the stuff of sheer willpower and imagination.
- Radar: An agent’s magical abilities passively sustain a constant 360° image of their surroundings, which is projected straight to their mind for processing. This radar is far more reliable than conventional senses, and cannot be easily fooled by tricks that would trip up any normal human. In the hands of a powerful enough agent, it can even track superluminal movements. It constantly operates at the agent’s maximum processing speed, even when such things would normally be restricted to allow for normal, everyday life.
- Spiritual Filter: A magical barrier that protects the user from external manipulation and attack, on every level of existence. A spiritual filter protects the user’s body, mind, and soul - their cells and atoms, the magical and physical forces keeping them together, and everything else. It is akin to a magical immune system, protecting the agent from threats and adapting to future attack.It passively protects the user from most types of attack, manipulation, and control, as long as the barrier is strong enough - an agent of substantially greater power can punch straight through one. A spiritual filter is passively maintained at all times, even in sleep, requiring no energy to maintain, and can only be removed by a stronger agent actively stripping it away, or by the user consciously lowering them.A spiritual filter is the evolved form of the soul’s original protective layer, refined through the usage of and exposure to magic.
Artificial Human: Anya’s body is an artificial one built in emulation of humanity, something often referred to as an android or homunculus. Unlike most models, Anya’s homunculus is made with combat and survivability in mind, and so she is superhumanly capable, both physically and mentally, and has no natural limit to her lifespan. This is aided by an advanced artificial immune system, including nanotechnology, and various life support systems that provide protection in hostile environments and allow Anya to survive wounds that may prove fatal for humans thanks to redundancies.
All this makes for an incredibly resilient foe, though decisive strikes to Anya’s heart or brain can still prove debilitating and lethal in the short-term. Anya can still survive blood loss that would kill normal humans, however, and act when severe pain or damage to her body would disable others, in part because of her artificial body and in part because of her sheer will. Topping this off is accelerated healing that allows Anya to completely heal wounds that would leave large scars in only a couple of days, and mend broken bones or serious organ damage within a week at most. Lost limbs can be reattached, though it takes a little bit of time to fully incorporate them into her body.
- Phantasm: Anya’s true form is that of a disembodied soul, a ghost, occupying her advanced artificial body and diffused throughout its system to allow for highly precise control and awareness. When separated from her body, Anya is detached from the physical realm, rendered completely intangible and invisible to all but those with advanced magical awareness. As a competent agent, Anya can interact with others even in a ghostly state, and could potentially possess and hijack another person’s body to give herself a proper container. She is rather unlikely to do this, however, and she would prefer a suitably empty body.
Martial Arts: As a soldier, Anya was, of course, extensively trained in hand-to-hand combat, specifically learning Sambo, the Soviet military martial art. While this was where she started, Anya went on to greatly expand her own knowledge and skill over the course of her travels of her own volition. She didn’t pick up anything near every martial art on Earth, but what she did learn was good enough for her, more than enough to become one of the most skilled combatants of her time.
Having built her fighting style around her starting point of Sambo, it should be little surprise that Anya is primarily a grappler who relies on the soft side of martial arts. This suits her small size, too, allowing her to properly exploit it to get close and bring opponents down to the ground, turning their size and weight against them. Anya has expanded on the Sambo repertoire by studying its Japanese predecessors, Judo and Jujutsu, and similar grappling styles, such as Aikido and wrestling. All of her knowledge has been refined by her lifetime of combat experience, giving her plenty of time to refine her style and find what works best in practice.
Though she’s most skilled in grappling, Anya’s skill in other martial arts is not to be underestimated, and is often more than enough. She has a particular knack for swordsmanship, for example, but doesn’t have much opportunity to exercise it. While, for some, martial arts is just a means to an end, for Anya, it was a very welcome addition to her life and approach to it, and she has a real passion for it.
- Aiki: A major principle in Japanese martial arts, referring to the practice of redirecting an opponent’s strength to control their movements, either to simply unbalance them, or to transfer the force of their own attack back where it came from. Though it seems simple in theory, executing Aiki requires perfectly precise, yet subtle motions, combined with the use of neidan, or internal alchemy. As a result, not many can use it in its true form, but Anya, who grew very familiar with her ghostly soul, was able to master its use.To use Aiki, Anya must blend with a physical attack as it strikes, moving alongside it and leading her attacker with it. The force produced by the attack, rather than actually hit Anya, is transmitted into her soul as magical energy, and then released outwards at an opportune moment, right back to its sender. Used properly and at the right moment, Aiki can devastate an enemy, striking them with their own strength in addition to Anya’s, and potentially even more when combined with a throw.Under ideal conditions, Anya can use Aiki with 100% efficiency, without wasting any of her opponent’s power. However, the precision and subtlety Aiki requires means that the smallest mistake, miscalculation, or loss of focus can greatly weaken it. In addition, Aiki was developed for martial combat, not for battles of magic, and it is thus only of use against physical power.
- Rusalka Dance: A method of combat devised by the members of the Rusalka Unit, ghosts who were developed for use as weapons. It exploits Anya’s undead nature, specifically her ability to leave her body behind if need be, allowing her soul to partially exit and act independently of her body. So, while her body acts based on her soul’s commands, Anya’s soul exits to strike out with its own attacks, as if Anya had multiple invisible limbs - and not just a single extra pair of them.Even against opponents who can visualize the soul, Rusalka Dance is very useful, as it makes defending against Anya’s attacks difficult, often even disorienting. As they are ghostly in nature, Anya’s phantasmal limbs can pass through physical obstacles and even an opponent’s flesh, making them incredibly dangerous. She can also use it for defense, either by leaving her body behind to take an attack, or by using her soul, backed up by Aiki, as a shield. This will quickly become risky if her soul’s taken significant damage, however.
Psychokinesis: A branch of somewhat simple magic revolving around mental abilities such as telekinesis and telepathy. Not one for complex magic and interested only in what would prove useful in combat, Anya developed this skill first in her early training, and then over the course of the rest of her life, putting it to good use. As simple as it is, used intelligently and carefully, such an ability can prove itself to be remarkably potent.
Anya’s telekinesis allows her to influence and move objects from a great distance, and can be used on living things without issue, making it easy to just slam an opponent to the ground and throw them around from afar. If they’re able to break out of the effect, however, Anya can still manipulate any objects in their surroundings, and will often set up traps and prepare weapons for this purpose. A more grisly application would be to target the internal organs of a victim directly, which is perfectly possible for Anya. Her telekinesis can also be used defensively, to create invisible forcefields and deflect projectiles and melee attacks. If all else fails, Anya can simply rely on raw telekinetic power and slam opponents with invisible walls of force. She can apply such an effect in close quarters, too, amplifying her own strength significantly, and functioning excellently when used in concert with Aiki.
Telepathy is also a simple matter for her, and is mostly used to communicate with her fellow Rusalka, coordinating their movements and keeping them updated even in the midst of a fight. If need be, Anya can turn her telepathy onto her opponents, but she isn’t the strongest telepath around. Still, she can pierce mental barriers to read minds and even influence them a bit. While she has reservations when it comes to using this power on others, in life-or-death fights, she isn’t the sort to hesitate.
- Plasma Control: By focusing her telekinesis to a much greater extent than normal, Anya can forcefully ionize the air around her to produce plasma. Once a difficult and focus-intensive process for her, Anya has refined it to such a degree that she can use it on the fly and control the plasma with surprising precision for someone so disinterested in magic. For the most part, Anya uses it to attack opponents directly, firing superhot beams of it and producing it around opponents to restrict their movements from a distance. She can even create it in explosive bursts, generating these right near opponents and detonating them in their face, or using them to close off escape routes and force others to move in a way that benefits her.