Rensa is an Imperial Princess of the Third Persisan Dynasty and the last surviving member of that Dynasty. When the revolutionary coup that breached the palace struck, she was locked in her work area’s stationery storeroom by her work colleagues and kinsmen and was not found until the resulting massacre of her family was over. She survived because everyone who would have had to pull the trigger had had enough killing for the day.
Raised, like the rest of the women of her family, to believe that her idiosyncratic skin markings and hair colouration were a sign of brokenness that needed to be concealed, Rensa had gone veiled outside her immediate family her entire adult life. She had also lived her entire life inside the Imperial Palace with the belief that she and all the rest of her family were responsible for repaying the rest of their colony world for the damage wrought by the Second Persisan Dynasty. Having wiped out her family and destroyed the world she knew, the revolutionaries striped Rensa of her veils and forced her on a months’ long gruelling trek on foot across the countryside to the Shrine of the First Emperor and back, ostensibly so she could offer prayers for the new regime.
It was not the intention of the charismatic revolutionary leader who originally ordered this that Rensa would survive the experience. During this trek she was kept on short rations and beaten but spared intimate indignities through the intervention of the man who replaced the initial charismatic revolutionary leader after he was killed by the security protocols of the Central Unit of the Colonial Development System. Rensa would probably still have died but for her extremely efficient metabolism, something which is definitely related to the genetic engineering her ancestors underwent.
Her return alive form her ‘pilgrimage’ meant that the new regime still had to decide what to do with her. Of the options of putting her to use, permanent incarceration, execution and releasing her to become a focus for old regime loyalists, they chose to put her to use. Consequently she was married to the new regime’s Emperor.
Her life could be worse. Her husband, a widower at the time of their marriage, is kind and affectionate but she doesn’t expect him to love her the way he did his first wife. He is also, in many ways, exactly the sort of man she would have hoped to marry in the days when her family was still alive. Her husband asks her advice on matters where she has some expertise or knows some of the history. She is pregnant with a much wanted child and the peoples she lives among, her husband’s associates, all wish her well. Those associates and her husband, though, are the people who killed her family and destroyed the life she used to have. She has had nightmares with increasing frequency as her pregnancy has progressed. The problem has become so bad that her husband has arranged for her to see a skilled therapist.