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- "You cannot change the past...but you can change your future if you act here and now in the present."
- — Nikita
Nikita hails from a line of violence as most would imagine, but not one many would assume. Her father was killed by his father in a fit of rage. As she heard it, a staff was used to kill her father. She dwells on this rarely, but she cannot undo the past, especially for one whom she had never met.
Her birth mother had given her to another to tend to the child. For fear of her late husband's father to kill the child, this is what was done. Nikita spoke rarely to her mother over the years. After her death, Nikita simply left. She set foot to ship and headed out.
She learned of what her father was like but also, she learned of who he was. More importantly, she was also told why it was best for her to remain anonymous. As Praskovia Solova told Nikita: "He was a fair and just man. He defended me when his father banished me to the convent. However, if he were to find you alive...I don't know how much longer you would live. Not by his hand, but those whom are against him. As for your sudden arrival, it would only make matters worse."
After stepping into her small room on board, she met a young woman by the name of Ryia; who was going to be sharing the space with her. She was a wonder that one: golden brown eyes and long blonde hair marked her as she was. She was also shorter than most women of the time, standing at 5" 3' and practically dwarfed by Nikita. The two quickly became friends due to Ryia's fear of people. The ship docked in The Canaries, Spain.
From here, they sought out work.
Over the course of months, Nikita kept Ryia close as her friend and ally. Teaching her swordplay whenever Ryia was up to learning yet, that was rare. Instead, she taught Ryia about trade. This she picked up on well and even liked learning about the different routes and items sold. Nikita taught her of signs of the weather, basic tracking, and various dangers of the wild ranging from animal territory to human camps. She seemed overly interested in the human camps more than anything which Nikita did not initially take notice in.
As they returned in the Canaries, they sought to learn what else they could do. Nikita had been running out of ideas. Out of no work and no gold, she sought expeditions and ambushes. Ryia disagreed with the line of thought, but with constant letdowns, she soon followed without question. With following, the duo headed for England. Nikita sought out the tavern, an ideal place for information as well as drunks to pickpocket, but of all things, she sought work.
To her luck, she heard of a man with the idea of circumnavigation. Upon this information, she sought out the man named Cavendish. They spoke of his training and ideas as well as her experience, with this done, and after a long debate of why women are incapable of this and that, he acceded and accepted her help. She planned for a vessel to be built while he thought the same, this said, they both headed the designs of their ships. He with the Desire, a 120 ton sailing ship while Nikita's was only half that weight. Her vessel was named Content. A mate of Cavendish brought along a third ship deemed Hugh Gallant.
"This is it love, you ready to explore?"
Nikita cracked a smile.
"Don't fret, you'll be on board with me!"
"That's what I'm worried about."
Now she eyed Ryia with irritation in her gaze.
"You can't be mad at me for being honest!"
From Plymouth, they set sail. It was July 21st and things couldn't be going better. Despite the time it took to reach the Magellan Straight, (January of the following year), their stores of food began to run low. It was with a short time that they docked in Punta Arenas, in order to search for food. Here, they killed penguins and salted them afterwards. Two barrel fulls of penguin was a fine eat. Yet, the trek about the area was not done. The three ships explored Tierra del Fuego in hopes of finding anything more. To their disappointment, there was nothing found aside from few hostiles and additional navigation.
Weeks later, they came across Spanish ships. Nikita spoke on boarding the ships stealing things by night, however, Cavendish ignored the idea. He went on an assaulted the ships and listened to Nikita only when Hugh Gallant lost a majority of her men. The final and ninth ship, they waited and boarded the ship by night. This raid was by far the most successful and least costly to their numbers opposed to assaulting them in broad daylight.
This success did not stop Cavendish from intentionally sinking the Gallant. This was done to add the dwindling numbers to the Desire and Content.
With the final ship taken, Cavendish beat a pilot into submission in order to gain information on what they were truly after: A Manila Galleon. A Manila Galleon was a Spanish trading ship or ships that made voyages twice a year across the Pacific Ocean from the port of Acapulco in New Spain. From here, it traveled to Manila in the Spanish East Indies.
Ryia noted that the ship seemed to change names depending on where it had been sailing from. Nikita also noticed this while Cavendish thought it strange as well. Truth told, this was what the case had been. Ryia also noted that most of the goods came from China and were shipped from Manila and that it had also been called La Nao de la China which she translated to mean "The China Ship".
"Do you question why I brought her now?"
Cavendish said nothing to Nikita's gloating but still pointed out that Ryia could not kill a penguin. Ryia frowned as this was brought up again, however; he did not discredit her on her contribution.
The ships set sail once again. Despite it now being October, they were hopeful they had beat the Galleon here. Yet, as such, they stopped near Mazatlan in order to make needed repairs. After this brief stop, they picked back up.
Ryia told of another hunch she had. After talking to Nikita about it, Nikita spoke to Cavendish about this ambush that Ryia spoke of. Believing it a good idea, they were ordered to wait for time and more, until, November 4rth. It was this day which Ryia had spotted the Galleon, their mark. Patrols were quickly set and soon enough, they gave chase.
The Galleon had not tried to swivel and fire upon them, which Nikita noted that they likely had no cannons. She had predicted this aead of time due to the fact that several nations had a small hand in this setup, that said, they probably didn't feel the need to arm themselves...or thought such a big ship wouldn't be taken so easily.
As such, Nikita thought it best to use the Grape Shot instead of trying to blow a hole in the ship as Cavendish originally thought of doing, or the Chain Shot to destroy the mast.
After a several hour chase the English ships overhauled the Galleon, called the Santa Ana. With a name such as that, it had to come from New Spain. They had no cannons on board as Nikita had predicted. From here, the battle had erupted. Hours of battle had come and gone which Cavendish now chose to use the Grape Shot into the Galleon, despite their best attempts at fighting back with small arms, it was in the end, futile. The Galleon, Santa Ana, was now starting to sink, and after moments of silence, she finally struck her colors and surrendered.
There had been an issue though: the size of the Galleon put the Content and Desire to shame and this limited what could be looted. They had to pick and choose what to transfer to the Content and Desire. In the end, all the gold had been loaded upon the two ships, spices, wines, musks, damasks, silks and ship's supplies were what had been taken. However, a small uprising had occurred where a man had tried to kill Cavendish, his subordinate had been killed and the killer had been gunned down by Nikita. Unfortunately, this man had been steering the Content, and with him dead, this left Nikita to command the Content; with her, had been Ryia.
As they spoke on of what to do, Ryia noticed Cavendish taking prisoners. This wasn't what anyone had agreed to, but he had gone on and did what he wanted.
Cavendish kept with him two Japanese sailors, three boys from Manila, a Portuguese traveler familiar with China, and a Spanish Navigator. To add insult to injury, Cavendish set the Galleon afire--much to everyone's disapproval. On the Seventeenth of November, they made their trek across the Pacific.
As legend goes, the Content was never heard from again while the Desire avoided conflict as it made its return.
This was what truly set her on her path as a Raider, but most importantly, this is what set her off for years to come.
Her raids had gone well over the years, Ryia, disliking her lifestyle, yet not one to complain when food was readily available to eat. This raiding lifestyle continued for years until they came upon a deserted ship. It appeared as if it had been abandoned for weeks. The ship is itself, was an Asian ship.
Ryia had spotted the ship a few hours earlier and as such, they closed in. Nikita had told Ryia to stay put, however, she refused.
"How often do we find ships like this? I'd like to explore it."
"Maybe...I'd like my own?"
Nikita stopped in her tracks as that was said.
"No, I wouldn't be raiding like you. I'd want an honest transport!"
"Aw...hell..." Nikita kicked her leg out as if she had been kicking a pebble. "...and here I thought you'd grown up."
Nikita smiled as she set foot upon the Chinese ship, however that smiled quickly faded when they realized that they had walked into a trap.
Men from all around had blades and pistols aimed at them. Despite having a hand on one of her four pistols, she knew well enough that she couldn't risk the lives of those around her—especially Ryia.
That said, Nikita and her crew had been disarmed and forced into a group while waiting for their stores were depleted. Ryia was next to Nikita and as such, Nikita kept her eyes on her.
"Would ya look at that?" Nikita said nothing as a man sized her up. With a step taken towards her, the man continued to speak: "All the things I'll do to you..." His voice trailed before he laid hand to her, however: "...and then you!" He now looked to Ryia, who had visibly flinched.
A hand had been extended towards the youth, however, that was as far as he would go. Before contact could be made, their faces were matted with his blood.
The man fell to the deck—dead. His head now had a new hole in it at that, the captain lowered his arm.
"We don't...harm the women."
Ryia nearly fainted from the shock while Nikita said nothing. She knew well enough there was a catch to this.
"Raid their stores...but leave enough supplies to make it back to land."
They sat and watched as men boarded the Content and looted the stores. Returning with gold and spices which had been looted from others poor sods.
All the while, she struggled against her bindings. After a bit of it work, Nikita broke her bonds and react. Despite the kindness shown to her, her pride was what had drove her. To come from nothing and to have enough to fund a life, she would be hung and damned to allow that to simply be taken from her while she drew breath. Even though this infuriated her, she waited. She wanted them to lower their guard just enough so that she could react.
As that moment had come, Nikita reacted.
Stealing a blade, she eviscerated one man who had let his guard down. From here, she took his pistol and aimed for the captain. Her intent was clear, but her aim was slightly off. She missed her mark, yet, managed to still scar the man. He had been graze, and as such, he had lost sight in his right eye. Nikita had prepared to follow up with the blade in hand however, she halted as four-too-many pistols were mere inches from her head.
The captain eyed Nikita, with what was unmistakable in his eye. He was angered. With the pistol and blade taken from her, the captain approached her but had stopped short. She could see clear enough that his right eye was now forfeit. At his side had been a blade. A Dao by the look of it. It was but with a single swipe of that sword which would introduce her to loss. From her breeches, to her Gambeson, and through that to her brassier, all equally split cleanly down the middle.
She was exposed and even when she tried to cover herself, she was forced to the ground and then bound once more. This time, her hands and feet were bound together. There Nikita laid. Her ripped clothing had been completely stripped of her and the only thing left, was her boots.
An hour had passed and with the constant laughter, her resentment deepened as did her embarrassment. But of all things, her worry had began to rise.
"There are things far worse than death. Therefore your life is not forfeit, but what I'll take from you will take ages to get back."
These were the words he had spoken to her as the "abandoned" ship took sail.
Nikita had begun to regret the choice of boarding this ship to explore. Afore long, Nikita's crew had been released. Off the ship and onto an island. Marooned. That's exactly what it was. Ryia was the first to be released and as such the rest of her crew had also been released. She on the other hand, was the last to be set "free". Still bound, she watched as a small rowboat was lowered into the water with no oars and after that, she was kicked overboard and down into the rowboat.
She was left to her indecency as the Asian ship set sail. The last words she had heard from the man had been: "Start swimmin'." The ship went in the opposing direction of hers and that said, she would first, break her bounds. Second. she would get back to her ship. Third, she would recover her crew, and lastly, she would hunt the bastard down for embarrassing her in front of her crew.
Due to her lifestyle, Nikita is fluent in over ten languages.
Knows well enough of what Ryia truly is and refuses to breath a word of it.
First Link Set
|Significant Characters of The Mantis War|
|Alexandria | Aliyah Ruel Halteese | Annebella Williams | Arrai | Dawn Larrieux | E'laura Riga | Gallagher | Garrett | Kami | Kusanagi Ky | Myth | Noémi | Pfieffer Reaux | Priya Delgado | Raiko | Raine Zhirova | Raisa Zhirova | Surina Delgado | Temperance Rivera | Trevor|
Second Link Set
|Minor Characters of The Mantis War|
|Achilla | Agony | Aneko | Arsenic | Asa | Bess | Crucifix | Goldback Jane | Heresy | Isai | Johann Krieg | Kisaragi Ren | Kissa | Lotus | Malice | Maria | Nikita | Noelle | Ouroboros | Ryia | Samara | Sasaki Kuro | Sheamus McNoil | Shira | Shuu-Rai | Sieg Volkov | Sin | Tala | Tyranny | Venom|