|Birthdate||May 8th, 2155|
|Current Residence||Freedom Falls, Aite|
|Occupation||Field agent for Redrock Agency|
|Relationships||François Mercier (Father)|
Tara (Adopted Sister)
|"She'll tear you a new one in her annoyingly cheery manner."|
Leah is a human biotic who has lived in Freedom Falls along with her father for a few years.
Leah looks a bit out of place amongst her fellow mercenaries. Her small frame and short stature make her less-than-intimidating. She has long blonde hair which is usually pulled into a ponytail or braided to keep it out of her way. Her eyes are a piercing green. Her armor consists of a blue undersuit with light blue armor plating.
Born to an ordinary dockworker (François Mercier) and his wife, a gardener (Inès Mercier), Leah was doomed to be anything but ordinary before she had even left the womb. On a fateful day in mid February, 2155, when a 6-month pregnant Inès came to visit her husband at work, she had no idea that it would irreversibly change not just her life, but also the life of her unborn daughter. When the drive of a small cargo freighter failed just off the coast of the port of Marseille where her husband worked, Inès was exposed to dust-form element zero. Aside from the crew of the ship there were, thankfully, no fatalities that day. Unfortunately for Inès, the ordeal didn't end there.
In May of 2155, Leah was born. She was in perfect health. The same, unfortunately, couldn't be said for Inès. The eezo exposure combined with her pregnancy left Inès weak. The cancer diagnosis that arrived shortly after wasn't much of a surprise to anyone. But Inès was a fighter. Determined to see her newborn daughter grow up, she fought tooth and nail. And she won. The eezo exposure, combined with more than a year of treatment, left her immune system ravaged and set her up for a difficult road ahead plagued with one illness after another.
'Freak' was the word of the time, not that much has changed since then. Biotics were poorly understood and, by the time Leah's abilities began to manifest, the tone that most often accompanied the word 'biotic' was one usually saved for derogatory terms. Inès and François did their research. Read the horror stories. Biotic children separated from their parents. Told it was for their own good. That their children were 'dangerous'. So they did what any loving parent would do given the alternative of potentially losing their daughter. They kept it to themselves.
Given the isolated nature of the event leading to Leah & Inès' eezo exposure, Leah was nearly 15 by the time the Alliance knock found their door. The financial setbacks brought on by Inès' condition meant their lives were far from luxurious. And the Alliance painted a much different picture of the experience than the extranet stories had. A promise that wherever Leah would go, her parents would most certainly be allowed to follow. Insight into what their daughter would be going through rather than the blackout of information that was so often mentioned in the horror stories they had read. So, with an offer of a full ride through school, training to control her biotic abilities, a future with the Alliance, and housing for her family, it didn't require much consideration from Leah. After every hospital visit with Inès- every double shift her father took just so they could make ends meet, Leah could finally give back to the people who had sacrificed so much for her.
It didn't come without its drawbacks, of course. The implant they soon put into the back of Leah's head was practically a permanent brand that announced her biotic abilities to the rest of the galaxy. It made life in the Alliance academy she attended a living hell. Despite doing her best to keep her implant hidden, it wasn't difficult for the other kids to put two-and-two together. Her parents didn't fit the military mould. They were blue collar. Not the sort you typically associate with an Alliance brat.
The name calling never really bothered Leah. She learned to ignore the insults muttered under breath as she passed others in the hall. Even the lonliness and isolation became a normal part of her life. But as distrust towards biotics grew amongst humans, it was only a matter of time before things escalated to violence and the Alliance was forced to move Leah and her family. It wasn't an uncommon situation for biotics. Once outed by their communities it was usually only a matter of time before they found themselves no longer welcome. While the Alliance may have accepted her with open arms, kids can often be cruel. A new community. A new academy. But little else changed. Her family was moved four times in less than four years. But Leah kept her head down and stayed to herself, focusing on her schoolwork and the sessions with her instructor as she slowly learned to control her abilities. It wasn't until she graduated from the academy that Leah first found acceptance among her peers.
A Place To Belong
No longer in a general academy, she was moved to an Alliance facility orbiting Titan specifically outfitted for biotic combat training. Still reeling over the failure of BAaT, the Alliance managed and maintained the program directly despite their need to hire outside help that was far more experienced in the field of biotics.
Outside of the scrutinizing eye of the general public and surrounded by other biotics her age, Leah flourished. With a regimented daily routine headed by a team of some of the brightest minds the Alliance had to offer in their respected fields assisted by experienced biotics recruited from other species as well as easy access to the hostile environmental training facility located on Titan, Leah spent the following two years honing her biotic abilities.
The six years that followed her training were spent as part of a small counter-terrorism unit comprised entirely of biotics who specialized in asset extraction and target elimination.