From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
Vanya was an Android developed by the Romulan Star Empire in the mid-24th century. She was to have been the first in an army of thousands of Androids, capable of infiltrating enemies of the Empire and performing acts of espionage and sabotage.
Created in 2356, the Androids of Project Vanya were commissioned by the Tal Shiar in order to provide a deep cover espionage force for the Romulans. Vanya 01, the first of her kind, was supposed to alter her appearance to appear as any Romulan female. To make them more than just 'combat robots' they were equipped with shockingly advanced programming including the highest level of heuristic processing along a neural net that had been seen in the entire Romulan Star Empire. That heuristic processing and programming meant, that after she was activated, that Vanya and her fellows could learn. To exceed her base programming. To become 'more' than she had been at creation.
She spent a year in testing and monitoring under the observation of her creator, T'Vrella, before going out on her first successful mission. She gathered detailed files and performed acts of sabotage on an influential Romulan progressive movement. Other Androids soon followed, but out of 800 attempts, only 17 others proved viable. The advanced programming and heuristic processors were complicated on a scale hither-before unknown in Romulan computing. Catastrophic failure was far more likely than success. Some of those failures were spectacular taking out not only the Android in question but others around the unit and in more than one case flesh and blood trainers. The complexity of the programming and build showed here and resulted in the extreme low number of viable units.
The Androids proved to be highly limited to what had been pitched to the Tal Shiar. They were incapable of impersonating non-Romulans. Even Vulcans weren't suitable subjects due to their touch-telepathy, which technology could not emulate. It seemed that the Romulan creators were unable to 'hide' the more 'Romulan' traits of their own race. This egocentric trait of her creators was made clear in their persona and attitudes. The cultural reference points and characteristics bled through. This meant the Androids did fine among other Romulans but stood out among other races. This made the full usage of the Androids less than what had been promised or pitched to the high command.
The Tal Shiar were 'not' pleased.
Nevertheless, plans were afoot to start upgrading the project, Vanya-01 was assigned to start researching the Federation. Unlike her brothers and sisters, she showed a propensity for natural curiosity, and specifically for the Federation, often reading about them outside of assigned work. Indeed, in private conversations with T'Vrella, she began to express admiration and preference for the Federation model of government, as opposed to the Romulan one. The propensity of Romulans to keep slaves was a sticking point, as well as the treatment of the Reman people. T'Vrella discouraged her from expressing these thoughts due to the threat to them both.
Bigger problems soon revealed themselves. A power shift in the Tal Shiar decided that the resources used to create 18 Androids could have been used to train 36 normal undercover agents, each with two handlers, and still have funds left over. Not to mention the astronomical cost of the 782 failures. With the ability to impersonate Federation species still seemingly out of their grasp, and rumors of a Federation Android that was more advanced, the project was shelved.
When the Tal Shiar 'shelves' something. It usually falls into one of two categories. Dramatic to make a point, or simply vanishing with out a trace of ever existing. One day, during training drills, Vanya's fellow Androids all shut down. The superiors having flipped the kill switch on the project both figuratively and as far as the Androids were concerned, literally. T'Vrella moved into action quickly fearing the response from her overseers. She took Vanya from the compound to a landing pad. Distantly they heard the explosions as the Androids were being destroyed by agents of the Empire.
T'Vrella explained to Vanya that her mother was a cyberneticist. She intercepted intelligence from the Federation about Richard Daystrom's M5 unit. Although the Federation gave up on the idea after it proved disastrous, T'Vrella's mother dedicated herself to the project. However, the Tal Shiar had withdrawn support when testing proved as problematic as Daystrom's work. Nevertheless, her mother had continued the project, believing that she could create an artificial life form. This was a life long goal and project, sadly left undone by the time of T'Vrella's mother's death.
T'Vrella had inherited her mother's work, and continued it. She had taken it back to the military, pitching it as the Vanya Project. She had, however, falsified reports, and she hadn't installed the kill switch in Vanya, and the Romulan directives that were in her programming weren't at the core like the others. Instead, they were secondary protocols that could be deactivated and deleted. It was revealed to Vanya that instead of a blank slate for her programming, that T'Vrella had patterned Vanya's base personality off of a deep brain scan of her own, but many years previous. A 'younger' and perhaps more idealistic representation of the scientist's own mind. Any of these things would surely be a death sentence if and when found out. Before Vanya could come to terms with this further, her primary "Romulan Directive protocols' were disabled and she was deactivated.
Vanya was reactivated in 2371, in Federation space. She found herself struggling to come to terms with her situation, and the true nature of her existence. She was taken to the Daystrom Institute. Starfleet initially wanted her dismantled and analyzed, but Commander Bruce Maddox refused to carry out the procedure, feeling that she was an independent being. His previous interactions with Data had given him an epiphany, and new found respect for artificial life forms. A hearing of the Judge Advocate General was held. The prosecution argued that Vanya was a lethal weapon, designed by her own admission to infiltrate enemies of Romulus. The defense argued that she was secretly designed to be a being to explore and develop her full potential, learn and become her own 'person' same as any living being.
Despite Maddox's defense, things seemed bleak in the courtroom, until an old friend turned up to help. Lieutenant Commander Data, of the recently destroyed Enterprise-D, offered his expert analysis of Vanya's neural net. He analyzed a copy of every current file in her core matrix. 47% of her programming was concerned with managing her systems. 30% of her files dealt with memories, and the remaining 23% was her personality. None of those files compelled her to do anything in favor of the Romulan Star Empire. She could make her own choices, based on previous experience. Just like a living sapient being.
She was granted rights as an individual, and asylum in the Federation. With a letter of support from both Maddox and Data, she enrolled in Starfleet Academy, hoping to get a posting to the Daystrom Instituteand understand more about Androids.
Unfortunately, this would not be the end of Vanya's troubles. Her time at the academy was difficult. The other cadets were either treated her with suspicion, or made her the butt of cruel pranks and jokes. Many of which she did not have the point of reference at that point in time, to even understand. Some admirals still weren't convinced that she wasn't a spy or a threat, so she was judged and scored more harshly than her classmates.
When she did graduate, she was assigned to the Morska Array, a series of interconnected modules in the Morska system on the border of Klingon space. Originally a series of listening posts during the 23rd century Klingon/Federation War and the cold war that followed, they were now re-purposed as scientific telescopes. However, they were almost a century out of date, and made very little discoveries. She was assigned to a single pod, and rarely socialized with the occupants of the other parts of the array. This was a low-end assignment, and she had been placed there on purpose. Out of sight. Out of mind.
The work was largely boring, but Vanya did it competently. She would have remained in that post, or similar ones had fate not stepped in. A renegade Klingon faction, opposed to the Federation, attempted an attack on Vanya's pod in order to destroy the entire array as an act to rally hatred against the Federation. Vanya was able to dispatch her two attackers, and maintain control of her pod She was then able to secure the systems on all of the other pods, and even flood them with neurosene gas that overwhelmed all of the attackers.
She had successfully prevented an attack against the Federation, prevented an anti-Federation force from getting influence in the Empire, and hadn't spilled a drop of blood. She was awarded the Starfleet Medal of Commendation, and was transferred to the USS Cayuga.
Life on the Cayuga was slightly better. Following the end of the Dominion War, the ship was on a standard exploration mission. Despite the skepticism from the entire crew that she had become used to, she earned the respect of the Chief Science Officer, Laskey, to the point where he appointed her his deputy in 2379 when his former deputy left for their own CSO posting. They developed a good friendship, Laskey became like a father to her, and despite the mistrust of their crew, his acceptance of her at least earner her their respect.
Sadly, once again this became tinged with sadness as Laskey was killed by a spore on an away mission. The relatively new Captain Ziegler appointed her Chief Science Officer, despite some misgivings, and promoted her to full Lieutenant. During her year as science officer, Vanya was starting to find that the fear and mistrust was replaced with respect and in some cases admiration. She was just starting to come to terms with this when the ship had its fateful encounter with a Borg cube.
With that finally internalized it opened up a new world for Vanya. One that she could explore, if a bit cautiously, on her own.
Another aspect that Vanya has struggled with was one of her own person-hood. How much of her personality was her own, made up of her own decisions and choices and experiences, and how much was residual left overs from the core imprint copy of T'Vrella's youthful mind? In her first years of freedom those thoughts plagued her, and as she lived and experienced new things the thoughts faded a bit, reoccurring with less frequency and intensity. Slowly she was learning not to question if she 'was' an individual of her own making, and instead into 'what sort of individual should she be?'.
Vanya was then learning to appreciate her emotions, and deactivated the emotional routines less and less frequently, even when experiencing negative emotions. The deactivation tended to only be employed when lives were at risk or there was no other choice.
In the beginning and through her Starfleet Academy days, her questioning of her own person-hood manifested externally in differing ways. One being the rejection of the physical and accumulation of 'things'. For she would question if the things she liked were her own passions or that of her creator.
The same applied to her clothing. She only wore her uniform, even in the rare off duty occasions she attended social gatherings. Even in her quarters, she was usually completely nude and was not shy of receiving guests in their fashion, particularly when they were new superior officers coming to give her the "I've got my eye on you" speech. However, this did lead to her one small vice, as she liked the feeling of her replicated leather sofa and silk bed sheets against her skin. She had become, perhaps unintentionally an extremely tactile individual. Relishing the different sensations of touch.
As the years mounted Vanya slowly moved past this and by the time she had been transferred to the USS Cayuga, she had entered into a new phase. Not exactly the flip of the spartan item-less life she'd lead before, now her intense curiosity instead manifested in wishing to find out interesting details about other races and cultures. Accumulating knickknacks and intriguing items from such races and cultures that she kept in her quarters. Things such as a Bajoran d'ja pagh, a Vulcan IDIC pin, A solid matching set of Romulas and Remus carved from native rock of both planets, a Klingon Mevak, and so forth. The items need not have value to others but stood out to Vanya herself as she learned more about other people and found things about them that she enjoyed or liked for differing reason.
Once ship-side, a hobby that manifested was swimming in the holodeck, as it gave her a freedom that she could not easily enjoy in the real world without a wet-suit, as water could interfere with some of her components. Another aspect she found on the holodeck was an appreciation for furred animals. Namely dogs and cats, up to wolves and tigers which could be appreciated on the holodeck safely. She loved to stroke them and feel their fur run over her fingers. A cat's purr was soothing to her and she liked their independence. She was considering requesting dispensation to keep one in her quarters, should someone else on the ship have one that has kittens. The Caitains on the crew truly fascinate her, and it took a great deal of restraint not to pet them. She had not yet encountered a Vulpinian, but the urge to stroke their fur may be just as intense.
Vanya yearned for companionship, male or female, yet was worried that no one would find her a suitable partner, due to the mistrust her origins instilled in people. She had come to accept this mild mistrust and displayed small acts of rebellion when she encountered it from authority figures, until she discovered that she was starting to become such a figure herself.
Physically, Vanya was indistinguishable from a Romulan in their mid to late 20s. Standing 6'2" She was statuesque, long of limb and physically toned possessing a body of an athlete in their prime. Her flesh tended towards the pale, as did many that lived and worked in space. Hair was dark and straight, worn long in a sable fall that went to the small of her back. As per her Romulan design she possessed stereotypical Romulan traits. Pointed ears, and eyebrows, and slight cranial ridges on the forehead. Vanya's eyes appeared dark brown or black at first glance but were in reality a very dark green. A color found in some with copper based blood.
She was designed purposefully to be attractive to aid in infiltration. Ugly people tended not to get very far in the spy business. As a result her face was pretty with proud bone structure, and plush lips. Hair was silken, dark and shimmered with a healthy sheen. Her body was designed purposefully desirable. Not only appearing physically fit, Vanya possessed womanly curves in all the appropriate places, with out having 'too much'. She was shapely of leg, rear and plush in the bust.
Her dutoronium shell was covered with a bioflesh compound, intended to make her more organic looking, and convincing as a being with feelings. As such, this layer reacted to temperature, it bled green Romulan blood, and her tongue was even able to distinguish taste. Vanya was equipped and trained in sexual seduction subroutines to further aid in her infiltration and covert activities. The skin could be completely burned off, and the internal skeleton could continue to function. She found this distinctly unpleasant as it hampered and hindered tactile response, a pleasure she relished, and caused intensely negative reactions from biologicals around her. Seeing her with her flesh burned or carved away but still functioning, frankly, freaked them out. If damaged or removed, the flesh and skin was regenerated via integrated replication and grew back in 24 hours. Less if she had access to medical equipment. She could be stunned with a phaser set at maximum stun, and disintegrated with a its highest kill-setting.
Although it was incredibly difficult to damage her with melee or bladed weapons, her joints can could be dislodged with sufficient brute force. Vanya could survive immersion in water. However, if water got into her secondary systems, her body would have low level malfunctions until she was fully dry or drained. This made Vanya 'twitchy' and was extremely annoying, unpleasant and embarrassing. Even more so as Vanya discovered on the holodeck that she rather enjoyed swimming.