It all started with a mission, the Forbidden Cities, two forces of good and evil, and a roll of duck tape.
When Maryan Vale hit her fifth year of working with the Black Swan since joining at the age of eighteen, they gave her a mission to travel to the Forbidden Cities to prevent a Neverseen agent from carrying out the Neverseen's orders. Now, the Black Swan had no clue as to what the Neverseen were up to and they also knew how dangerous it was to travel to the Forbidden Cities, but the Collective had been suspecting their enemies to break out with another one of their schemes so they had to do something. And thus them sending out their best agents to hopefully stop a scheme that could take many lives away.
Maryan was absolutely ecstatic when she found out she'd been chosen, Now, of course, there was her obvious absence in the Lost Cities, but she trusted that the Black Swan could handle it. She'd been dreaming of doing something big, making her name known to the world. Or, at the very least, have her name spoken with respect.
Fast-forwarding to the group's arrival in London, England, Maryan was the one who managed to figure out what the Neverseen was planning to do - destroy the Big Ben. Something about finding a relatively dangerous artifact that could help them conquer the world, but she really wasn't paying attention to that. She just wanted the glory of stopping them.
Maryan and her fellow colleagues began to simulate a plan to stop the scheme, and Harris, the group's Technopath, suggested the idea to find and capture the Neverseen's agents. Through a secret source, they found out that there were five Neverseen agents involved in the task. They each took the responsibility of capturing one, while Harris offered to take the remaining two.
Maryan was positive she was going to catch the last Neverseen agent she was ordered to. But what she didn't know was that they were prepared. Upon entering the beaten-down building where the agents were supposedly "hiding", her pride forced her to not look around for any traps because she was too overconfident about the mission. Because of that, Maryan was then entangled in a strong net then her mouth, hands, and feet were all duck-taped by the Neverseen agent she was ordered to catch.
Ethan Lord found this as the perfect opportunity to prove his worth to the Neverseen. Shamed for being a simple Vanisher, he was determined to show through this mission that he did have some worth. And this girl had just given him the golden opportunity to do just that.
Ethan blackmailed Maryan with threatening to reveal the fact that she was working with the Black Swan to everyone else in the Lost Cities, which would not only lead to her getting hurt from other Neverseen agents but also put everyone she loved in danger. Reluctantly, she agrees to stand back and let them destroy the Big Ben.
It really hurt Maryan that she was forced to betray the Black Swan, but it was either them or everyone she loved. What else could she have done?
But it seemed like Ethan wasn't done with her yet.
After months of doing his bidding, Maryan couldn't help but notice his change of attitude. Around her, his eyes seemed to soften. Her heart seemed to melt around his, too. The feelings the two struggled with finally broke out and let's just say that it wasn't pretty.
When Maryan found out she was pregnant, she panicked and fled the Forbidden Cities and went into hiding in the Lost Cities. No one knew where she was, not even the Black Swan or her family. Maryan couldn't risk being known to be pregnant with a child, with the father being none other than a Neverseen agent, of all people. She would be disgraced and shamed. Because of a single mistake, her dream of being someone of significance was thrown down the drain.
Yet Maryan also couldn't bear giving up her child. After all, the kid didn't have a single fault in all this mess. They deserved to live a happy life and Maryan was determined to give her one, even if it meant giving up everything she'd dreamed about.
Growing up, Juliette - named after Maryan's great-grandmother - was often isolated, being that she needed to be kept "hidden", for the sake of not being shamed in society because of her parents' history. She'd often wonder why her mother wouldn't even want to bring up the name of her father but knew not to force anything out. Even though she resented her mother a bit for keeping things away from her, she still loved her with everything she had and would do anything for her.
Once she was admitted into Foxfire, Maryan gave Juliette a huge lecture as to keeping her head down and not drawing much attention to herself. She even forced her to keep her grades average, which was a bummer to Juliette, since she was highly intelligent.
But after years of being lonely, who wouldn't want to have a little fun?
Let's just say that Juliette was, ah, a bit disobedient when it came to keeping a low profile. Heck, on the first day she received detention for questioning her History mentor too much. And hey, it wasn't her fault that on the second day that guy sitting a few tables back in the Cafeteria was annoying her too much! He totally deserved that broken face and ego. And just around the time she hit the age of thirteen, she manifested as a Charger.
Maryan often sighed when it came to her daughter's recklessness, but in the end, she let it go. Juliette was still a kid. She deserved to live a life like one. All Maryan could do was keep her protected as long as possible from hers and Ethan's history. After all, after eighteen years, who knows what kinds of people could be out to get Juliette?
Once Juliette graduated from Foxfire with the highest marks ever, she decided to be a free bird and dance around any place she wants. Since it's her life, thought Maryan, let her treat it as hers. She just hoped this wouldn't turn out to be the biggest mistake she's made yet.