Syrenia Renkl was created to be the clone of Empress Tatiana‘s elder daughter but the exact story leading to the clone’s existence evolved a lot before I got to the point of writing Syrenia. I waited more than two years between creating the character and writing her but it was a very good thing as I was able to come up with a better story line in the end. Syrenia went through a few different claims until I eventually settled for Milla Jovovich, which suits her very well, especially as I pictured Syrenia as tall and athletic. I also added Sabine Wren from Star Wars: Rebels as a secondary claim since then.
Syrenia’s original self, Kara, was Tatiana’s eight year old daughter. She got killed by accident, because of an poisoning attempt on her mother. Nothing could be done to save her and she was buried. Yet, the genius doctor who had tried to keep her alive (and who had created my other clone character Haranea as well) had secretly succeeded in cloning her. Yet, something happened in the process and she matured too quickly, her body needing genetic and technological adjustments to slow things down when she reached adolescence within months. Syrenia considered the doctor as a protector as he was the only one looking after her back then. The doctor had also given her the name of Syrenia, after his late wife, Syrene.
She eventually got reunited with her family, much to everyone’s shock, including the Intelligence Operative whom she considered her guardian angel. The transition was difficult for everyone, but thanks to meeting more of her mother’s family, especially a certain someone who became her touchstone, getting to know her new stepfather and dealing with befriending her unexpected older brother, she was able to find her place little by little. She had further maturing happening but was adjusted not to age anymore, or at a possible much slower rate. Up to this day, it is unknown how long Syrenia will live, but odds are that her life span will be much longer than a normal human’s being.
She didn’t want to just be some kind of heiress and needed to prove her worth and dedication to the Empire. With her grandmother’s support, she was able to join the Imperial Army. With other women in her family in politics, intelligence and navy, she wanted to carve her own path, thus choosing the Army, for the military called to her. Both per her mother’s decision and her own, she wasn’t given any special treatment as it would diminish her and what the family members are capable of.
Shortly after her enlisting, Syrenia almost died in an explosion, which saw many deaths in the destruction of an imperial star destroyer. While one of the few survivors, she had lost a leg, an arm, an eye and an ear, sending her once again to the hospital for a long time. She isolated herself afterwards, until her closest friend, with whom she was falling in love, decided to barge in. She gave support to Syrenia and helped her recover and stop being a recluse, so she could carry on with her life.
Handling Syrenia’s transition into adolescence and adulthood because of her accelerated growth has been a very interesting angle, because it challenged me in terms of reactions and behaviors. Finding the fine line between remains of childhood and her high sense of duty for example wasn’t always an easy task. With her needing to mature faster, but not always able to have the mental and emotional follow as promptly as the physical, it also led me to how she wasn’t sure of how to deal with her romantic and sexual orientation. Indeed, she grew up in a family who was comfortable with people choosing the partner of their choice, regardless of gender, but she still felt awkward for a while about how she felt attractions to women only though she didn’t have any experience with males. Most of my characters already knew themselves enough by the time I started writing them, for them not go through such phases of self questioning, so having Syrenia experience it was something different.
- Do you write multiple generations from one or more families?
- How does figuring their sexual orientation out influence your characters?
- How can close relatives or friends help a character transition into adolescence and adulthood?