“Let’s hear some more…”
Name: Hyzynthlay Hyllus (nee Vanes)
Alias/Titles: Cipher 9 (Many others)
Class: Imperial Agent-Operative
Home Planet: Dromund Kaas
Marital Status: Married
Relatives: Vector Hyllus (Husband)
Distinctive Features: Scar from a burn on left side of face, gained on Nar Shaddaa when she got into a fight with a bounty hunter who had been sent to kill a member of the family she was serving/spying on at the time. Hyzynthlay intervened to prevent him interfering with her mission and killed him. The story Hyzynthlay tells people is quite different to the reality – she says that she was clumsy and got into an accident with a kitchen appliance.
Hyzynthlay Vanes was born to a large, wealthy family on Dromund Kaas, with her father high ranking in the military and her mother a noble. One of nine siblings, Hyzynthlay’s parents never had much time for her (or her brothers and sisters) and they were mostly brought up by nannies and other carers. Hyzynthlay received the highest levels of education and had everything she could ever want, but she was never truly happy. Wanting to feel like an individual, Hyzynthlay decided to pursue a career with Imperial Intelligence, where she could be anyone she pleased. Incredibly intelligent and a fast learner, Hyzynthlay was quick to complete her training and receive her first real assignment. She served the Empire by infiltrating high profile houses, both Imperial and Republic, by posing as a servant. Her work took her to Alderaan, Nar Shaddaa and finally Dantooine, where she met Threlf’all Rand and later, Aquerple Borealis. Hyzynthlay was employed to care for Threlf’all whilst she was recovering from her childhood accident. As time passed, Hyzynthlay got to know Threlf’all, and she became fond of the woman she was caring for – and also spying on. Hyzynthlay found herself in an extremely difficult position which was only made more complex by the arrival of Aquerple. Threlf’all, Aquerple and Hyzynthlay became close friends, but Aquerple had her suspicions about the young “servant”. Hyzynthlay planned to come clean to her new found friends about her true identity, and hoped that, if they accepted her, she could stay with them and find a new life in the Republic, but before she could, Threlf’all was declared well enough to complete her Jedi training. Not wanting to disrupt the celebrations, Hyzynthlay kept her secret and the parting with her friends was bittersweet. She returned to the Empire with the intel she had gathered, and hopes that someday she could re-join them, and tell them the truth.
Hyzynthlay is a professional – she prides herself on getting the job done, and done to perfection. She will use any means necessary to achieve her objective; even if this means placing herself in uncomfortable or even compromising positions, particularly if using seduction as a means to an end. However, despite being in love with and married to Vector, Hyzynthlay has had her fair share of brief relationships throughout her career, some of the most notable being Aristocra Saganu and Sanju Prynne, and she continues to do so. It is sometimes unclear whether Hyzynthlay pursues such relationships for professional or purely personal reasons, and she likes it that way. There is little that she wouldn’t do to try and get back to her friends in the Republic. Given her line of work, it is difficult to understand who Hyzynthlay really is under all of the codenames, subterfuge and charm.
Tomorrow’s notes: Hyzynthlay’s name is taken from one of my favourite novels, Watership Down. In the book, Hyzynthlay is a rabbit who is incredibly clever and constantly making plans to escape her oppressive warren home. Cue Cipher 9 inspiration! I wanted my agent to be like that – determined, crafty but also able to play innocent and play along when necessary to achieve her goals. She was perfect inspiration for my agent. I tend to play very straightforward, good characters and so playing a double (triple, quadruple?!) agent was a real eye-opener for me. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it or be any good at it, but Cipher 9 and I got along just fine. More than fine – by the end I was loving the backstabs and stealthing around! It was a surprise, and a very welcome one.
Arriving at a good back story for Hyzynthlay was tricky – it was a challenge to write for someone who lives and breathes subterfuge and subtlety (I’m about as subtle as a tank and so are my characters, usually. See case in point, my main, Auryn, who I will post later). Hyzynthlay’s character development was aided by the brilliance of the Agent story and the excellent VO performance of Jo Wyatt.