A/N: Timeframe on this is just before Shepard gets picked up for Spectre selection
Additionally, if you are not going to bother to read the side documentation for why things are messed up or different in the PV, leaving reviews about things clearly explained elsewhere just wastes everyone's time.
-STG – STG – STG-
STG Report on General Rachel Florez, Commanding Officer, N-Series Special Operations Command
Senior Agent Jethoth to the STG Master
As requested, I've put together an initial briefing document covering everything we currently know regarding Rachel Florez. A not unexpected request, given the information discovered in our last deep dive and the exfiltration of asset C-K48934.
To realize this is probably the driving force behind Cerberus turning from an irritant to a deadly threat is to admit a troubling lack of our ability to see threats clearly.
As with the rest of the human 'Legacy' team, Florez is multi-talented, deadly, and borne down under her own psychological and personal issues. Her connections to Cerberus were something we only picked up by sheer chance, but in hindsight a large part of the organization's reach could be traced back to her.
Her placement within the human's command structure overseeing special forces would seem to be a sign of trust, but in execution the special forces are mostly independent from central tasking by design, so this is little more – on the surface - than what amounts to a desk job for one of humanity's best small unit tacticians. Given her Cerberus affiliations, however, this job effectively allows her to cherry pick from humanity's most talented soldiers for recruitment.
Florez is... complex. There are twenty six subfiles attached – mostly tactical reports, but nine psychological reports, four political ones, with seven now tagged as Cerberus-related and two more beyond my clearance to read. (A tiring trend, and one which fails to make logical sense as I cannot research what I cannot access.)
As with all reports, by necessity, this document is not all inclusive with details, but instead provides high-order information that can be queried in depth at a later time.
This file is classified Setrus-Silver – and as with all politically sensitive reports, is also technically Virshan-Orange – and is the three hundred thirty-eighth file of this classification. This is the second iteration of this file since Florez became widely known.
Caution : Read FIRST:
As usual, most if not all information on is based on four sources: existing historical accounts or records, eye-witness accounts, extranet information, and accumulated scans and examinations. Under no circumstances can this file be assumed complete, and as always assume that this file is a baseline of abilities, not a comprehensive coverage.
While every member of Legacy is dangerous, Florez has demonstrated a wide range of abilities and a certain cruel and sadistic glee in designing ambush tactics. She is a top flight martial artist, was trained how to snipe by her deceased lover, Michael Saracino, and has achieved credentials in a range of fields from FTL mechanics theory to xenopsychology. Atop all of this she is one of the finest soldiers and tacticians the human race has ever produced. More than any other member of her team, however, Florez's danger is in her political awareness and charisma in swaying others.
Taking her unawares is almost impossible, and she has survived both insane odds and multiple 'sure death' situations without losing either her cool nor her life. Underestimating her based on her emotional trauma is a painful and rapid form of suicide.
Given that she appears to be, if not a leadership figure, both highly placed and in charge of active recruitment for Cerberus, her threat level is much higher due to possible aid from that organization if we should choose to act against her.
-STG – STG – STG-
LADY RACHEL FLOREZ, DAME OF HASTORIS, KUOE, DMKSA, Ph. D.
Formal Titles: Major General, Special Forces Command, CICNOPS. Knight of the United Knights of Earth, Knight Protector of the Distinguished Merit Knighthood of the Systems Alliance. Commanding Officer, Second N Combat Brigade [Former], Commanding Officer, Systems Alliance Penal Corrective Legions [Former]
Nicknames: Valorshatter, Legacy's Blade, the Iron Bitch
Race: Human (moderate cybernetic modification)
Age and sex: 51, female. Two children, one deceased.
Wealth: Surprisingly difficult to quantify. She is technically a noble and holds a tiny estate on the Class I mining world of Hastoris, but her declared assets are barely a million credits in both land and liquid assets. She does not collect objects d'art, is renowned for being 'down to earth' and disdains shows of wealth. Her personal finances are mostly static and she does not even own an air-car of her own, instead using an ancient-pattern ICE ground vehicle known as a 'motorcycle' to travel on Hastoris.
However, we've identified a large number of carefully baffled accounts with holding companies she holds 100% ownership in. What the purpose of these funds are remains unknown, but given the magnitude of just two of them comes in at just under twenty million, she's saving up for something big.
Florez herself has not shown any interest in business, making these accounts almost certainly Cerberus related.
Psychological Summary: Contrasting with the rest of Legacy, which was mostly made up of heroic personalities, Florez is a classic example of the Promotive quadrant of Secretive personalities. Her psychological stability would seem to be high, but there are clear signs (due to the death of her daughter and niece and subsequent lack of Systems Alliance retribution) that she is slipping more towards Plotting/Corruptive aspects of Villainous personalities. (See subfile C-3: Jalnex investigation)
Florez is incredibly skilled at finding methods to subvert and twist others to her will. She was personally responsible for recruiting Kai Leng, Theodore Pellham, Allen Markus, Akamu Kahoku, David Anderson, and several others to Cerberus and has also charmed a handful of Senators. This is to illustrate that despite her psychological issues, she is skilled enough to work past them in a fashion that fooled even us for decades.
Military Summary: Entered military service in her youth, believed to be due to sexual abuse in her home. Demonstrated incredible marksmanship and talent for small unit tactics, attached to Captain Tradius Ahern's group later. Sh was one of the initial N7 selectees that survived the infamous EAGLE Incident. Fifth official N7 after David Anderson. In Relay 314 incident Was placed in command of multiple infantry divisions after promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, then battalions after Battle of Hollow Hills. Primary commander of forward units 'second line' defense, promoted to Major after battles at Jakata and Eden Prime. Promoted to Major of Marines after victory at Dalthos Fortress. Commanded Penal Legions for many years prior to promotion to current rank.
Education: Was unable to attend primary school, but upon entrance into SA military, completed a general education qualification and began independent study. Two years of collegiate-level training and military academy work, two years post-graduate equivalent studies. Pursued masters in FTL engineering, then refocused on psychology. Obtained doctorate of psychology from NeoAlbany University. Acquired degree in xenopsychology, Arcturus University. Unknown amounts of correspondence work.
Employment: Commanding Officer, Systems Alliance Special Forces Command. Unofficially, some amount of leadership in Cerberus (formally was Commanding Officer of Alliance Project OP BLACK)
Significant Family: One son, Charles Saracino (not claimed). Husband deceased, daughter deceased, niece deceased. Brother in mental institution, sister deceased.
Overall Threat Rating: Black-Collapse Six.
Historical Notes: Rachel Florez was born and raised in the nation-state of Japan on Earth, a child of impoverished sex workers with an unknown father. It is suspected she herself was also a sex worker in her youth, until she and her siblings murdered their mother and grandmother and joined the Systems Alliance in the Ka-Shen Riots. (See subfile A: sealed Commissariat records)
She enlisted and was something of a disciplinary problem for years before being attached as part of then Captain Ahern's Solguard unit on the strength of her marksmanship, fitness and CQB scores in an attempt to motivate her. Her rapid growth in this unit combined with her relationship to Michael Saracino ensured she was one of the people Ahern picked to try out for the SA's initial plans for N-series soldiers.
In the aftermath of the disaster and the Relay 314 incident, Florez's abilities blossomed. She passed officer training and was placed in charge of increasing numbers of infantry in defensive battles, where she grew to have a fearsome reputation among turians for her clever ambush tactics, use of traps and terrain, and focus on mass sniping to tear apart officer ranks and sow confusion.
After Dalthos and the end of the war, Florez was tapped to command the Penal Legions. This was at the time a promotion, but her career stalled out for decades due to a number of factors, both psychological and professional. Her work on her ideals and doctrines clashed hard with High Command, who preferred Ahern's methods, while her re-shaping of the Penal Legions brought some level of condemnation from human rights organizations. Personally, her husband Michael Saracino died of complications from his wounds taken at Dalthos, then her brother's only child was killed in an altercation with turian extremists in a battle in the Traverse.
Florez wanted the Turian Hierarchy punished for this, but the political situation was so tense at the time the SA declined to do so, instead locking her in her post at Luna commanding the Penal Legions. At this point she was also instrumental in OP BLACK, being placed in charge of this as well.
Florez was reportedly sexually harassed by her superior officer, General Adams (something that she had filed a complaint about earlier) and was sidelined in pursuing her goals of restructuring elements of the Systems Alliance special forces, although the Navy did adopt the 'Florez Doctrine'. Her world was shattered when her daughter was raped and killed on the Citadel by Tytharxis Talid, a wealthy scion of the turian Family Talid. According to the turians, Tytharxis was mentally unstable, and C-SEC declined to press charges and remand him to the care of the turian police.
Florez was told that, once again, the Systems Alliance would not protest this or take any action, due to the politics of the time (David Anderson and Tradius Ahern were in their Spectre trials) as well as the fact that Citadel Law was the final arbiter of crimes committed on the Citadel. It is this event that resulted in, we believe, her turn to Cerberus, possibly with assistance or direction from the High Lords who were in the process of having the AIS suborn the group. Her statements at the time resulted in her temporary reduction in rank from Major of Marines to colonel, which was later reversed but driven by figures such as Adams who had an antipathy for her.
Florez has kept a very low profile since this event, and it was only much later that she was finally promoted, moving her status to full general and placing her in nominal command of various special forces battalions. She has not done much in this position, barely providing much oversight to the two N-series battalions or their commanding officers, working mostly on 'various initiatives' that mostly appear to be recruiting disaffected personnel for Cerberus.
Her last 'active' military action was the RRU deployment to Horizon, culminating in the battle where her cruiser, the SCV Fort Worth, was shot down. Florez was rescued by her protege, Sara Shepard, but suffered injuries that resulted in significant cybernetic correction and augmetics.
It is hard to be sure what Florez's original motivations may have been. She grew up in cruel circumstances, and evidence suggests her own mother used her and her siblings as little more than sex objects – the fact that she murdered her parent is not necessarily a signifier of anything aside from an early-onset psychotic break, but one that shaped her entire life.
More pointedly, the fact that she has demonstrated a great deal of pragmatic, if cruel tendencies in decision making implies she was never driven by the same kind of altruistic and unrealistic fantasies the rest of Legacy was. For the most part, Florez hates the turians and believes they are a real threat to both human survival and prosperity as well as savages, and her motivations revolve around this.
Florez has always championed personal development, tactics, and the use of offsetting forces in combat and her approach to politics is similar. While she does not act in the public eye her influence on the officer corps of the SA is enormous, and the goals she pushes through them seem to be in the continued buildup of military power coupled with increasing cooperation between the military and industrial sectors.
Her personal life is an empty void that offers no real insights, and whatever her goals are would almost certainly be large-scale, not personal.
Organizations and Affiliations:
Formally, Florez has only her affiliations to Alliance High Command, as well as the requirements of her knighthood. As with other members in Legacy, her dual knighthoods and her Star of Terra make her a low-ranked noble. She is technically a baronessa, but as she is past childbearing age and has no living children or relatives, she is ineligible to start her own noble house.
Unofficially, she's almost certainly either a command figure or possible second in command of Cerberus, as well as having a hand in other various elements of the SA's command structure.
While all of the Legacy team members with the exception of Saracino were skilled tacticians, Florez was admitted the groups' tactical specialist, with even Ahern following her plans and lead in many occasions.
Unlike Ahern, who focused on pure training and battlefield prep, Florez strongly believed in reactivity and flexibility. The stiff requirements of the Ahern Doctrine on being able to prepare a battlefield for an enemy were often not possible in ambush, covert insertion or scouting situations. Her own combat doctrine, as a result, would not be much out of place in an STG tactical handbook – the use of rapidly deployed flanking elements, high-explosive usage to disorganize closing range opponents, and heavy armor elements as a 'wall' to cover staccato infantry rushes and 'frame' enemy units for sniping.
In personal combat, she tends towards the same specifics, with a focus on using psychological talk to demoralize or enrage, as needed. She is a savage close quarters combatant, seen as perhaps the most skilled in CQB among Legacy, and her skills in sniping should never be ignored. While she has not defeated famous enemies in the way Ahern or Kyle have, she has triumphed in multiple fights where she was not expected to win, including defeating a Fist of Khar'shan melee specialist with a mace while she was unarmed, and killing several krogan in hand to hand combat.
Florez primary weapons of choice are a customized Saber rifle (double-barreled, see subfile 4582392-M, identical to rifles used by Preston Kyle, Tradius Ahern, and Yonis Chu, purchased as a set) and a customized and lengthened Paladin pistol equipped with heavy impact/phasic rounds and a kinetic dampener. She uses a wide selection of customized sniper rifles, usually salarian.
She will not use any turian weapons for any reason.
Her personal armor is a very heavily customized set of ONYX-N special forces armor, with laser-steel plating and an augmented support mount option for heavy weapons. Care should be taken when closing range as Florez has installed a tanglewire launcher and caustic sprays into the armor as well.
Specific Tactical Methods, Ground Combat:
Like every living member of the Legacy Team, keep in mind there is no 'safe' range to engage Florez from. In particular, Florez is known for her use of ambush tactics, traps, feints and psychological mind games in combat, and can throw even experienced agents off with these things on a regular basis.
Long range: At long range, Florez will always employ sniping, preferring the old-style 'one shot one kill' patterns to modern chip sniping. As such, expect her rifle to include phasic rounds with armor piercing capability or for her to target unarmored areas. She was trained heavily by her husband in how to snipe in his methods and demonstrates lethal accuracy to nearly two kilometers, so this is a significant threat.
Florez will rely heavily on mobility and attempt to maintain range, but will also drop omni-mines and other traps as she falls back if enemies continue to close range.
Medium range: Once in medium range, Florez will switch to short bursts and aimed shots from her Saber rifle, often waiting on openings created by closing opponents running into her traps and mines. She disdains the use of drones and infowar tactics, instead focusing on weakening enemy armor, destroying weapons, and increasingly trying to get enemies angry and sloppy.
As enemies continue to close she will pick a defensive position and trap it further.
Short range: Closing to short range will usually result in the rapid demise of anyone stupid enough to do so. Her pistol is fully capable of literally shattering armor plate, and the phasic aspect means barriers are of no use. In CQB she is nearly as fast as a good STG agent, and will focus on disabling foes to finish them off with head shots.
Florez is a master-class omni-blade fighter and sword user, having trained extensively with knives as well in close quarters. She will also employ plasma sprays and gas attacks, having several gasses that are lethal to turians but not humans.
Well over ninety percent of the people Florez has killed underestimated her. Her delicate looking appearance is a sham and her use of psychology in fights has resulted in most not focusing on her danger due to emotional reactions and thus to rush to try and silence her. She is extremely skilled at such and has even taken xenopsychology classes to make sure she can rile anyone up into a frothing rage – do not let yourself be agitated or you will be dead in short order facing her.
A particular note should be made of her sniping abilities, as the old-fashioned method she uses is usually ineffective on modern armor and kinetic systems. She is extremely good at finding weak spots on armor and can hit these spots at more than six hundred meters out, so anything but full armor against her is begging to be shot in the throat.
Like the rest of her team, Rachel Florez is in remarkable shape for a female human in her fifties, with most mistaking her as twenty years younger. She was a participant in amateur bodybuilding and powerscuplting competitions when younger and still retains both grace and sheer power in her movements.
She is the most heavily augmented of her team as well, having a cybernetic leg and arm (from the crash on Horizon), sub-dermal plating and possibly a gun-link in the arm, and at least minor bionetic muscle and nerve upgrades.
She regularly competes in ten-k marathons, has demonstrated vast levels of both pain tolerance and resistance to shock, and generally has no issues with stamina. Her speed is good (although no match for Kyle) and her eyesight and hearing are excellent for humans. She has a nightmarish level of battle awareness and is almost impossible to take by surprise, with the only noted exception being when she was gloating over the execution of a turian and was nearly killed by backup forces.
Mental and Psychological Notes:
A mess. There's more to it than that, but Florez is by far the most mentally damaged and unstable member of the Systems Alliance military command structure, much less her former teammates.
Florez is very smart – her intellect has been measured at 133 on the asari/human scale (and for obvious reasons, never tested on the turian scale), and she has pursued extensive post-graduate educational opportunities. Intellectually she is a chaotic thinker, her natural flow of thoughts disrupted by paranoid episodes, personal beliefs and a tendency towards sadism.
Even with all of this, Florez evinces a level of charm and what many call an aura of confidence that is attractive to humans. She is a clearly master-class manipulator who can (and has) turned a person's weaknesses into weapons to reshape their views, and won the trust of even those who are by natural distrustful and suspicious.
Psychologically, she has demonstrated pathological levels of paranoia and persecution complexes, extreme traumas from both her youth and the death of her loved ones, and a fixation on her hatred of turians.
Florez has already lost everything that mattered in her life, and all that remains for her is her interpretation of her 'duty to humanity'. In pursuit of this she has slipped from a person who promotes and grows others to be of use to a lying seductress who blackmails, corrupts and convinces those with bitter backgrounds to join Cerberus to 'get revenge'.
Her other pathologies include a possible fetish or indulgence in torture, as she is suspected of murdering almost twenty turians in a variety of gruesome ends. Ironically, the Hierarchy has been rebuffed by the Alliance when called out on this, who point to the case of Tytharxis Talid (who spent six days in a mental facility and is now free) as a counterpoint.
An extremely long list. She's well liked by both Admiral Branson as well as the Fleet Master, half of High Command, and her immediate subordinates Richard Branson and Valerie Kyle. She's made inroads with the Alliance Bureau of Personnel as well as training a host of officers – Melanie Dachman, Kasen de la Camara, Sara Shepard, Brian Snipes, the list goes on and on. The majority of N and X series not taught by Ahern are instead taught by Florez.
She's also good friends with Tradius Ahern, Yonis Chu and Preston Kyle, of course. As a member of Legacy, she's very favored by both the House Kyle and House Chu. Additionally she is a favorite of House de la Camera (she salvaged Kasen's career).
Her enemies are also noteworthy – several generals (Adams, Rozkinski, Petrovsky) have clashed with her either personally or professionally, and her extreme anti-turian sentiment has soured many newer officers on her beliefs due to exposure to turians first hand. The Turian Hierarchy despises her, and Autarch Joram Talid has called her out as 'trash not worthy of an honorable debt'.
Ironically, the single turian she tolerates is the one who is responsible for her husband's ultimate death, Geldan Mantha, who took the trouble to travel to the Systems Alliance for Michael Saracino's funeral and honored him, as well as apologizing to Florez for the 'disgusting actions of the Hierarchy' to protect outright criminals.
Political and Social Notes:
Aside from Yonis Chu, Florez is the most politically active of the Legacy Team, having backed and promoted no less than four different representatives to the House of Congress as well as lending her name and weight to Senators Adkins, Ware, and Johanesse.
Florez is very much an active part of Terra Firma – her unacknowledged son, Charles Saracino, owes half his influence and rise to her manipulations.
Politically, she's something of a 'kingmaker' rather than a direct engagement type, although she's not averse to getting her hands dirty in the flow of politics. She's curious ambivalent towards wildcat colonies, but is virulently racist towards almost every known alien species and is furious at the Alliance's continued cooperation with turians.
That being said, there is fragmentary evidence that she's worked with the turian separatists known as the Claws of Justice, as well as Facinus, as she primarily blames the Hierarchy itself for her losses.
-STG – STG – STG-
The following advisories are considered mandatory reading.
Combat of any kind is not recommended : Even more so than the other members of Legacy, any direct action on our part against a standing member of the Alliance High Command and a literal popular hero is likely to backfire, even leaving out the fact that a stock STG team has roughly even odds between 'dying' and 'dying, but slowly' if fighting her.
Psychologically vulnerable units should never engage: We should, if we must act against her, ensure the forces we send are not vulnerable to emotional manipulation. Given that she's managed to make trash-talk an effective gambit in drawing those fighting her into traps, this is a critical consideration.
If possible, open the engagement in short range: While she is still lethal in close range combat, attacking her from long range is just begging to be sniped to pieces, ambushed, and blown to the shores of the Deep with mines and other traps. While you almost certainly won't have surprise against her, engagement without letting her soften the unit up at long and medium range provides the best chances of survival.