For the weapons also called 'Manreaper', see the Manreaper Flail and the Manreaper nanoblade.
"It's officially been a week since I last got drunk enough to seriously consider fucking Kyle Rainey. That is six days, twenty-three hours, fifty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds too long!" ~ to Korzina (*).
Ippolyta the Manreaper is a Chthonian hypersoldier, one of the Final/Original Thirteen in the service of the Mecharussian Armed Forces. A military commander at heart, holding the equivalent rank of Colonel and later General in the MAF (like all other Chthonians bar Elena Trotskaya and Drakolich), she is the commanding officer of one of the Eighth VDV Regiment's aerial infantry battalions. In the Alternative Canon, she also, with Trotskaya's approval, raises a vast warband consisting of ex-wasteland raiders, Gulag inmates and former Desolators. This massive personal army, numbering some 270,000 strong as of 2172 and officially a penal unit, would be informally called the 'Prokazniki' (Hellions). This goes on to form the basis of what would eventually become the Infinity Collective, a powerful cabal within the Mechanocracy of Mankind's political architecture that seeks to realise a truly infinite vision of the Mechanocratic Ideology.
Bitterly-misanthropic and oftentimes wrathful, Ippolyta reserves a particular disdain for criminals, and an extreme hatred for Thieves-in-Law after she and her biological sister Antiopa were taken prisoner during the Salvagings and brutally gang-raped, with Antiopa being gruesomely murdered in captivity by mafia boss Semyon Rakovsky. The experience of horrific rape and torture left permanent scars on her mind, accompanied by a proclivity for excessive carnage and destruction, and she was only rescued from the ordeal by fellow Chthonian Drakolich. When she is deployed, frequently alongside the Hound that mentored her, hundreds of deaths are almost guaranteed, and at least thirty of them will be hideous and agonisingly painful. Her personal head-count is only second behind that of Trotskaya, standing at least 18,000 strong, and the two often compete with each other for kills when they fight together.
Augmentations-wise, she possesses powerful leg augments that give her an edge in mobility and allow her to jump far higher and run orders of magnitude faster than a baseline human's legs would ever allow. Underneath the facemask that covers the bottom half of her face, she has replaced her jaw, destroyed while in captivity, with a vicious, shark-like mouth augment – a cruder version of a similar augment possessed by Trotskaya – that can bite down with razor-sharp durasteel teeth and enough force to humiliate an industrial hydraulic press in a contest.
Ippolyta's namesake is Hippolyte, the queen of the Amazons in ancient Greco-Roman myth.
"I get the distinct impression that some names have been changed to protect identity."
"Why, whatever makes you think that...?"
~ conversation with Patricia Adonis. (*)
Sofia Volkova was born in Moscow's dilapidated Yakimanka district as the youngest of two daughters to a poor family. When she and her sister were very young, her parents decided that they could not take care of the two children, and they allowed her father's brother Dmitry to look after them.
In her teen years, Sofia Volkova was a self-described hellion and 'gopnitsa', she and her friends regularly frequenting the Bolotniy Island organic ghetto for cheap recreational drugs and alcohol. One of her friends, with whom she regularly slept over, was a supplier of cannabis to the wider city, frequently disguising her produce as brownies. Volkova - rather reluctantly - would sometimes do her favours by delivering the cannabis in return for being allowed to share some of the produce with her other friends, regularly risking capture and interrogation by the local GU patrols - nicknamed "volki" (wolves) by the gopniks that she associated with.
Volkova's arguably libertine lifestyle contrasted sharply with that of her sister Anzhela, who was widely regarded as a model student from the very beginning. Although the two had many differences, Anzhela regularly saw good in her rabid younger sister, and they maintained a positive relationship with one another.
Ippolyta fondly remembers one particular incident where she was very nearly caught by the GU. After they instead stormed the home of her intended customer and captured them, she took the bounty of cannabis to the rest of her friends and partied for the whole night afterward - much to the chagrin of her supplier friend. She considers this her best story to tell about her youth, frequently taking artistic liberty with the story (her favourite version of it is a 'retelling' of classic fairytale Little Red Riding Hood).
Eventually, however, Sofia's risky lifestyle vanquished her: during another brownie-run, she was discovered and captured by the GU in late 2129. It was during this time that a Red Army scientist going by the name of Anton Goremykin was looking for test subjects for his top-secret pet project - much to her complete misfortune, after he personally toured the holding yard where she was awaiting transfer to a Gulag. About a week later, he discovered Anzhela and, by offering her the irresistible opportunity to "spearhead the Emancipation of Humanity", managed to procure her as well. Despite Sofia's vehement and horrified protests, Anzhela succeeded in reassuring her, and she allowed herself to be transformed into a Chthonian – Artemida.
The flamboyance of Sofia's personality soon returned, however, when she was endowed with abilities that many would consider superhuman. Kept in check by her more disciplined sister, now titled Antiopa, the sisters would join the Mecharussian armies on their crusade to retake Siberia, the Salvagings. They battled Pandemonium's Raiders, one of the great wasteland raider clans, with distinction until 2132, when the two sisters were finally overpowered and captured by the mafia thugs of Semyon Rakovsky, the right-hand man of Pandemonium's vicious second-in-command Hammerhead.
What followed would be cemented into Ippolyta's life as her darkest chapter, for she and her sister were taken to be used as sex slaves aboard Rakovsky's personal 'yacht' – a re-purposed ancient container ship from the pre-war era in the Caspian Sea. Sofia and Anzhela would often be the life of the vor's wild parties, passed around his lieutenants to be used for whatever their captor pleased, on threat of savage torture for non-compliance. Even so, Sofia endured with reassurances from Anzhela – at least until Rakovsky had the latter killed (on instruction from Hammerhead, who wanted to spite Elena Trotskaya for the deadly Stony Tunguska Campaign that she waged against the raider boss). Sofia kept screaming in despair for so long that Rakovsky, concerned that her shrieks would displease his guests, hamhandedly ripped off her jaw and cut out her artificial larynx.
Two weeks later, after Hammerhead's downfall, Sofia would finally be found by fellow Chthonians Sizif and Aristey, after Trotskaya dispatched them to Rakovsky's ship to rescue her captive battle-sisters. Immediately noticing her burning blood-rage and sensing a fiery determination to wreak a dreadful revenge against all things criminal, Sizif discussed with his superior Medusa the possibility of taking Artemida on as an apprentice to realise her 'potential'. Medusa, after observing the girl herself, approved his idea and inducted her into her crack-squad of Chthonians under Sizif's tutelage.
Tutelage under Sizif/Drakolich
After being reconstructed and given a voice again, Artemida begged Sizif to help her destroy her perceived weakness – to teach her how to sing again through any means necessary. Sizif would dedicate much of his time post-Salvagings to imparting the very same teachings that Medusa had to him during his own phase of self-hatred to his new protégé. This would include tortures of varying intensity, all intended to encourage her to harness her pain, hatred, sorrow and burning rage to turn against her enemies – Sofia proved to be a diligent student, genuinely eager to heed his instruction, and claims to not regret even a second of it.
It was also here that she acquired the title of Ippolyta, Sizif referring to his hypothetical game of chess with Fate by naming her after the Queen of the Amazons in classical mythology. It also sealed her key role in his gambit to realise the Mechanocratic Promise, putting her into play "if Trotskaya is taken" (i.e. dies, becomes irreversibly insane or is otherwise rendered incapable of spearheading the Ultimate Revolution herself).
Throughout their years battling together, through Siberia as well as during the Hokkaido Campaign, Ippolyta would come to regard Sizif as a father-figure, this being especially important to her as she never met her true father. The sentiment is mutual, her tutor considering his relationship to her as akin to a daughter, and has even developed a genuine fondness of her. To this day, he refuses to confirm if he included rape as part of his educational strategy, almost as if he cares so much about her that he cannot even fathom such an act. (By sharp contrast, he happily boasts to Alain about how he raped Sophie Bu, his most recent dalliance, to upset and goad him during the Sixteen July conspiracy.)
"There is no greater expression of one's creativity than the diverse artform of wholesome, bloody murder. Not to mention it's fucking FUN!"
~ to Toghrul.
Like her mentor, Ippolyta possesses a callous disregard for humanity and lives by a sparse moral code that is defined only by her attachment to the Chthonians. However, unlike Drakolich, she has not yet realised the fundamental pointlessness of grand ambitions, personal desires and negative emotions. She holds every one of them, all while holding the same level of sociopathy as him. The end result is a hideously-immoral, extremely sadistic and savagely-cruel monster (an accusation that she wears almost as a badge of honour), with the appropriate sense of humour to go with it. She also shows admiration for similarly-minded people, attempting to imitate her mentor who does similarly – to the extent that she, when hearing about the brutalities of the Sidh Judicator Halko for the first time, she (rather flippantly) announces that "He sounds like the kinda guy I'd take out for a hot-date".
Beneath the shell of flamboyance and murderous cruelty, however, Ippolyta carried the heavy burden of regret upon her shoulders for many years, until 2154. She is self-loathing to an extraordinary degree, blaming her own weakness for not being able to prevent Antiopa's demise when she needed her the most. She wants to erase it from living memory by burying it under not just human bodies, but also questionable substances, Ippolyta being a chronic alcohol abuser who drinks to distract herself from her guilt. A final-stage alcoholic, she is effectively a complete wreck of a woman, an idealist broken by the terrible reality of a harsh world that serves as a crucible to destroy the weak and torment the complacent.
Elena Trotskaya once remarked that the Manreaper, possessing a higher-grade of combat augmentation than her and having received the wisdom of one of the most intelligent men alive, could quite easily outperform the Red Tigress at every level and become one of the most dangerous individuals to have ever walked mortal soil - if only she were to stop drinking. This side of her shows when she spends a few days sober, a state that she never voluntarily puts herself in - the sole exception being when she tracked down Semyon Rakovsky during the purge of the Russian Mafia in between the Sixteen July crisis and the Flight of the Polunochnaya. Many, many vory met a horrifyingly-painful end before the rage of a Manreaper going cold turkey, including Rakovsky when she finally got her claws on him.
She has found a confidant in both Drakolich and Persey, both serving as sources of comfort for her during her frequent bouts of depression and the former being the closest living entity that she has to a father, educating her to overcome her perceived weakness and use the Song of Experience to draw strength from her despair. Though the Hound of Trotskaya was at times brutal by any standard, subjecting her to tortures of varying intensity to purge her fears of pain and suffering, Ippolyta does not regret going through his methodology one bit. Of course, this has hardly done her mind justice – she is equally as insensitive to her own suffering as she is to that of others.
Ippolyta's 'laws of war'
In her many years of soldiering and extensive combat experience, Ippolyta has devised a set of informal rules for soldiers to follow in a battle scenario. She refers to these as "the laws of war", and they are as follows:
1. "You are not an action hero."
2. "YOU. ARE NOT. A FUCKING ACTION HERO."
3. "You will die at some point."
4. "Don't ever assume the enemy will play by your rules."
5. "Deceit and trickery is the cornerstone to all warfare."
6. "Never underestimate an enemy's willingness to achieve their objective."
7. "Never underestimate an enemy, period."
8. "Innocence is the first casualty of war."
9. "The contemplator is the second."
10. "Mercy is the third."
11. "Expect anything, prepare for everything."
In combat, Ippolyta favours getting in close for the kill, both Grom-7 semiautomatic shotguns in her hands barking torrents of flesh-ripping carbon flechettes for soft targets and miniature, fusion-powered casaba howitzers for harder targets as she unleashes herself upon her foes. For melee combat, she brings a vicious, spiked flail; in addition to possessing deadly, retractable hooks on its carbon-nanotube rope capable of ripping off someone's head, the rope itself has strong electromagnets that, upon activation, allow her to tear an enemy's own weapon right out of their clutches. As a backup weapon, she keeps a 6Kh52 fusion sword in a belt-mounted scabbard. Her girdle is also capable of generating a powerful electromagnetic pulse in addition to an anti-psyker burst.
- "There's no use in trying to protect something that doesn't exist any longer." (referring to bodily/sexual dignity)
- "Alcohol doesn't change you who are. It just makes you honest."
- "If I were to spend just a couple weeks sober, she'd be buying all of the drinks!" (referring to her habit of friendly contest with Trotskaya, the fighter with the lowest kill-count buying a round of drinks that night)
- Ippolyta first appears in the Tale from the Frencoverse The Manreaper, appearing again in its sequel Hellions.
- She receives a brief appearance in the epilogue of A Blood Debt and plays a more prominent role in Flight of the Polunochnaya.
- She will get her first lead role in a short RP currently being planned by the authors of Mechanocratic Russia and the Imperium Omnitatum Sacrum.
- Ippolyta regularly appears as a comic-relief on NationStates' Forum 7, her most common pastime being to tour the nations of the Multiverse (typically getting exceedingly drunk and/or high in the process).
- She is one of the Mecharussian commanders in the non-canonical Festival of Carnage.
- Although she is (unintentionally) similar to Imperium Sidhicum's character D'Anna van Halen, the primary inspiration for Ippolyta, personality-wise, is actually Halko.
- Ippolyta's title of 'Manreaper' is a none-too-subtle reference to the basis of her appearance and ranged combat style, a gender-swapped Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) from the videogame Overwatch.