Vampire Hunter, Lieutenant Estellia Highlander
Triggered by exposure to the blood of a Paragon, the genetic anomaly that Wolf harbors allows her to manifest vampiric abilities. Though she is respected for her skills and is well liked, the condition is thought of harshly by most Alley troops. Standing above her traumatic past, she refuses to allow anyone to ever get the best of her. Personal weakness is abhorrent, and she’ll never again be put in the position where someone needs to suffer to protect her. In her strength she finds promise for the future and no one will strip her of that. With what time she has, she will do as much good as she can, and will use her abilities protect those she loves.
A Past Best Left Forgotten
As a daughter of Brigadier General Felix Highlander, Estellia never had the option to be an Innocent. Raised at Alley Headquarters, she and her younger sister, Leda, were surrounded by what was hidden from everyone else. By the time she turned ten, the young girl’s savant-like ability to pick up new skills and knowledge had already drawn the attention of the Alley’s Board of Generals. With the pride-filled blessings of her father, the Alley prepared her for basic training.
That same year, the Alley captured a powerful Anari. At least they believed they had. The moment it was brought back to the base, the vampire broke free and began to slaughter every soldier if could find. It had been happenstance that Estellia had been in the courtyard, and with skill and bravery above her years, she killed the Anari just before it was about to murder the Head of the Board of Generals, Donovan Burke.
Though Estellia struggled with the Alley’s training, when she hit puberty everything suddenly clicked. No longer was she fighting with an awkward body, but a machine that withstood immense punishment. It was that day, however, that her father’s pride abruptly fell away. Returning from training, she had expected Felix to greet her as he always did, by mussing her hair and telling her to hit the shower before dinner. As he approached though, he came to a stop. His hazel eyes went wide, and he stared at her in horror. Not knowing what was happening, she watched as his expression turn to pure hatred.
Two years later, broken not by his beating but the pleas of her young sister, Estellia ran away from the base. She hoped that in doing so the girl would be spared having to witness the violence in the perpetually worsening abuse.
In an ironic turn, it was a Paragon vampire who took her in.
Haven With The Enemy
From the moment Estellia mentioned that she knew he was a Paragon, William MacGregor dedicated his life to protecting her. Secretive about his reasons, he made sure she was never alone. When he couldn’t be around, he enlisted the help of a Descendant from the Sato Clan, Jun, to keep watch over her. The only clues she had to his reasoning was the awe he looked at her with, and the sadness behind those brown eyes.
On her nineteenth birthday, Estellia convinced William to let her celebrate without the guard she usually was accompanied by. To this day, she has no idea what happened. Her memory is blank, and no one will speak to her about it.
Yet, until then, William had never taken her blood telling her that Paragon feeding came with ‘side effects’. After, however, the two became lovers.
Once William had fed, Estellia would be given small amounts of his blood to help her recoup her own supplies. This was the norm for donors, she knew from her younger years with the Alley. There were no records of any complications from this, as the process to change a human to a vampire was significantly more complex.
Yet, William‘s blood awoke something more in her and she developed the first signs of powers that should have been impossible for humans. Concerned William would pull away, Estellia struggled to keep the changes a secret from both him and his Guardian, Jun Sato.
If they knew, however, they kept it from her. Everything continued normally until, two years later, the Alley came to take back what was theirs.
An End To Peace
‘Do what you need to, but live’, those were the last words William ever spoke. They became the driving force behind everything Estellia has done. The Alley came for her when she was twenty-one and was determined to kill the Paragon who had her. Throwing herself in front of Felix’s rifle as it was pointed at the man she loved, she was hit by the Alley’s specialized bullets. When they exploded, they severed her right shoulder.
If William had run as she had pleaded for him to do, he would have lived. Instead, he used his blood to put her body back together. Too weak to stop him, she watched him take her place and burn to death in fiery blue flame. The damage she took proved to be too much, however. As she slipped into death, giving up, she heard his voice. It was those final words that made her fight and kept her alive.
Weeks later, she woke the coma the damage had put her into. Locked inside a special cell made into makeshift medical bay, she had been confronted with all the Alley had been able to discover. She was no longer purely human, but an impossibility.
A genetic mutation had allowed her to adapt the Paragon‘s blood and she had become something between the two species. With her knowledge, her skills, and now being what she was, they could not give her the freedom she yearned for. With no choice but to join them, Estellia closed her eyes to her past, cut off every one of William‘s friends and allies, and became Wolf – the Alley’s most powerful weapon.
Vowing to do what William had asked of her, Wolf refuses to deal with the pain of what has happened. Instead, she uses it to drive her one encompassing need to never be a victim again.
Estellia suffers from hallucinations and nightmares as a result of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Learn more about this disorder by going here
One of the most difficult parts of writing the character was finding a balance between creating a strong female lead with many stereotypical male qualities, while writing in the vulnerabilities associated with having a past that haunts her
Originally, Estellia had an obsession with her car and this was the launching point of many jokes. This characteristic was lost to editing to fit the dreaded maximum word count