⌈ THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT: ⌋
Amira bint Balqis
Name: Amira bint Balqis
Moniker: The Queen
Band Color: Purple
Abilities: Mnemokinesis. Amira can manipulate existent memories, or create entirely new ones. She tends to do more of the former than the latter, since created memories don’t always ring true. The conflict can be harmful, and Amira is as careful and respectful with her powers as she can be. Even if the person whose memories she’s altering isn’t a friendly, she genuinely does not want to put them through that particular hell. Given her powerset, she has Eidetic memory. Amira can’t forget things—-including the things that she erases from the minds of others. It’s always difficult for her when people ask her to erase memories, because easing their pain means taking on those memories herself. Outside of mission needs, erasing memories is never something that she does lightly. She’ll only do it if the experiences they went through are so mentally overwhelming, they can’t function while carrying them.
Relatives: Rashid (father, deceased), Desta (mother, deceased), Corbin (husband, deceased), Marshal (stepson, estranged), Ellie (adopted daughter, estranged), Matt (son, deceased), Malek (son)
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon
Bio: For many posterchildren, the first signs of their gifts are explosive and impossible to ignore. Amira was unique in that her abilities would have been unexplored for years if not for her father, Rashid. A Lebanese businessman, Rashid had been blessed with two great loves: his wife, Desta, and their daughter, Amira. Desta was a strikingly beautiful Ethiopian woman, and Amira had taken after her in looks and poise—-something that was bittersweet for Rashid after Desta’s death. He considered his daughter a blessing, and treated her as such. Signs of her gifts were fleeting at first, easily dismissed—-her memory was sharp, and she picked up new things quickly. Every parent believes that their child is special, but the way she quietly but intensely regarded the world around her made Rashid believe that she processed and understood more than the usual five year old girl did. One day, he caught Amira inspecting each individual piece of the chess set in his study. Laughing at her peculiar curiosity, Rashid asked her if she wanted to learn how to play. Amira nodded, so they spent most of the morning going over the rules and goals of the game.
And Amira beat him. The first time, he told himself that it was because he was going easy on her, even suggesting moves. The second time, he told himself it was a fluke. The third time, Rashid could no longer ignore his daughter’s aptitude. He never beat Amira in a game of chess—-not even once. Once she had absorbed the rules of the game, she exercised the functions of each piece to their fullest. Rashid started Amira on a steady diet of increasingly difficult logic games and literature; she picked up languages and abstract concepts with uncanny easy. The challenges delighted her. When she realized that her father couldn’t beat her, Amira sought out new opponents. Interestingly, she did not relish in defeating others. What she craved was the stimulation of the match itself. Before and after every game she played, she thanked her opponent for taking the time to teach her. Before the games, most people were delighted. Afterward, they were perplexed by the fact that a polite, quiet little girl had taken their king in brutally few moves.
Rashid didn’t push her to engage, but when nine-year-old Amira announced that she wanted to participate in a chess tournament, he supported her. It was an adult tournament, mostly comprised of older men, but Amira was undaunted. They let her participate out of the novelty of a little girl wanting to play. Needless to say, Amira dominanted, emerging as the overall champion. This feat turned her into an overnight sensation, but Rashid cautioned her against getting swept into it. She was gifted, but that gift had come from Allah. He encouraged her to use those gifts, but in such a way as to honor their faith. The attention that Amira’s abilities garnered was global. When a British intelligence agency contacted Rashid and offered to give Amira the training and education she richly deserved, he accepted it. They moved to London, and the agency began grooming her for a future position with them. They had never encountered a sharper strategic mind—-truly, the teenage Muslim girl made some of their more seasoned operatives look green at best and clueless at worst. Because of that intelligence, Amira recognized what they were grooming her for. Their methods condoned—-if not full-out encouraged—-the swift elimination of perceived enemies. That went against everything that she believed in. She knew that the only thing keeping her from being pushed to order tactical executions was her age.
Her salvation came in an unlikely package. Amira’s real power lies in her ability to interpret and control information, so she used the agency’s spread to gather information on people like her—-the growing number of posthumans using their gifts for the greater good. Two American posters kept popping up on her radar: Corbin Underwood and John Wright, the Rook and the Knight. Initially, it was their monikers that caught her attention—-she couldn’t help but remember her father’s chess set—-but it was the pattern of their actions that held her attention. They were utterly erratic. They didn’t know what they were doing. It was obvious that they were trying to make a difference, but they didn’t go about it anywhere near the right way. She kept tabs on them, but she never expected to meet them face-to-face.
And when she did, she realized that her assessment had been incorrect. Amira had seen the oftentimes bloody trail that they left in their wake and had assumed that they were no better than the agency that wanted to use her. The first time that she looked into Corbin’s eyes, she saw raw, frustrated helplessness. It wasn’t that he wanted to kill—-he simply saw no alternatives. He was the only one of the two with blood on his hands, and it was clear that he heaped that on himself out of some misguided notion that he deserved to be a monster. The Knight and the Rook were more than just pieces to move across the board. They were men looking for direction, heroes looking for alternatives. She could give them both, she knew. So Amira left the agency and became their Queen. With her leadership, the Set became one of the most celebrated public teams in America.
For the most part, Amira has retired. She no longer serves on an active team, choosing instead to spend her time teaching the next generation of heroes. In spite of all her skills, her adult life has been colored by loss. Her first son, Matt, was barely four years old when he was murdered. Marshal, her stepson, chose to turn his back on everything she had taught him, going down the bloody path of vengeance—-and taking Ellie down it with him. Falling back into vigilantism claimed Corbin’s life, too. Malek, her youngest, is the only family she has left. Amira could not save Corbin, but she is determined to see their son become a hero.
Amira art by chyldea!
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