A\N: Kiva's always been my favorite character. She seems very complex, and I really was disappointed that they never showed much of it. So I gave her a bit of backstory. Enjoy.
Kiva's life was full of firsts.
First human with verifiable psychic powers according to the Chriss Angel Test.
That was, she'd been told at age eight when she'd aced it, kind of like proving that people could jump by jumping twenty-foot walls for eight hours straight...without making one mistake. And her secondary power of empathy was on the rise. Ten years later, she credited all her mechanical accomplishments with MEGAS purely to her primary power of technopathy.
First human to leave the Containment Zone.
The Glorft's version of concentration camps hadn't been broken by her accomplishments. Her aunt had recognized her technopathy. Rather than see her experimented on like every other psychic, her aunt had stolen her from her mother's side and pushed her across the border to the waiting arms of the military. Kiva could still remember the dying woman's last words. "Kiva...run. For God's sake. Run."
First Commander under twenty years of age.
Kiva had been nineteen. She had never been so proud of anything she'd done in her life.
First human to score a major victory against the Glorft since 3035.
Laying in the hospital, fading in and out of consciousness from wounds received before the battle itself, she had laughed deliriously when she'd heard. Then she'd vomited. By the time she'd recovered, it was just another accomplishment in a life full of them.
First human to capture Glorft technology.
MEGAS, the captured ship, had saved her psyche. She had never forged bonds with humans, but as a technopath, forging a bond with MEGAS was not only easy, but vital. The pre-battle nightmares had broken her. MEGAS seemed to save her soul, to bring her back from an edge she hadn't been aware of being on.
First human to receive treatment from overwork in a year.
That one had been a joke passed around the crew when she'd collapsed from dehydration, hunger, and exhaustion. The captain, a man like a father to her, had stopped by her sick bay to demand to know why the hell she worked so hard when she really was just a kid.
First human to survive capture and interrogation by the Glorft.
That was why.
Because no matter how far she ran, how deeply she and MEGAS bonded, nothing could take away the nightmares. So she had to win.
It was the only thing that could stop the screams.
Kiva's life was full of firsts.
First time to be angry.
She had honestly not been angry before, even at the Glorft who had laughed as he had tortured her. But she was furious at Coop and his monkey. They had stolen MEGAS from her. Stolen. MEGAS. Stolen the one thing in her life that had been good! She had bonded with MEGAS, damnit, and Coop had ruined it! The fact that it was an accident had been overlooked-for the first few moments, Kiva had wanted only one thing: Death. Brutal, bloody death; death that would make the Glorft look kind.
First time to work with a team.
Then the Glorft had shown up, and before Kiva could let her training kick in and save the civilians, Coop had taken over. And won. It had astounded her-and, to her even greater astonishment, long-forgotten training had kicked in again, and she had started telling Coop what he'd done wrong. And then he'd mentioned that he had no clue how it worked, and Kiva had begun teaching him. It hadn't even been intentional. And by the time night rolled around, she was sitting between Jamie and Coop and laughing at the sheer bad acting of a science-fiction movie.
First time to sleep in a bed.
In the Space Force, she had slept in a bunk. But when Jamie left, Coop had told her to stay put, gone upstairs, and said something to his mother that made the woman instantly show her to the guest bedroom and tell her to stay as long as she needed to. And although Kiva had wanted to protest, sheer curiosity had led her to lay down on the bed, and it had been so good that as soon as she woke up it was morning and there was an amazing smell wafting through the house.
First time to eat food.
She'd eaten in the Space Force, but only ever rations. The sensation of taste was astonishing. Coop had cooked; eggs, bacon, and waffles. She'd been floored by the flavors. Coop had reveled in her newfound sensation just as much as her, then mentioned that MEGAS's mind tasted like a strawberry slime thing.
First time to meet another technopath.
Jamie had burst in before Kiva could ask for clarification, so instead Kiva put Jamie and Coop through the most complex series of tests she could. Coop could have passed the Chriss Angel Test. And he was totally unaware of it. He was a gold mine just waiting to be uncovered. And his first bond was with MEGAS.
The only person who could understand Kiva was the one taking her best friend away.
Kiva's life was full of firsts.
The first time to laugh. She hadn't laughed since she was a child. But Jamie had told a joke one day, and she had laughed, totally naturally.
The first time Coop acted concerned. They were fighting something that looked like a spider, and Coop had turned to her and asked, "Are you okay?". And while she'd been too busy to realize it, that was the first time anyone had asked her that. Later, she had hugged Coop in gratitude. It was as if he had put a part of her soul back into her.
The first time she had done something for fun. Shopping at the mall; winning an award; playing video games...they were fun. They didn't advance her goal of destroying the Glorft. They were just...fun. And Coop and Jamie had been right beside her, cheering her on or helping her beat the next level of Diablo, and she had cheered them on at their games, and they had all bonded in a way that Kiva suspected was more than just psychically.
The first time anyone had heard her cry. It was inevitable; she still had nightmares every so often, of being helpless and in agony. And she wept every time she woke, trembling in fear. And Coop, giant stupid lovable Coop, had nearly broken the door down thinking someone was attacking her. When he'd realized she'd had a nightmare, he swept her into his arms and held her while she shook and wept in paranoid silence. And he told her, quietly, that he would make the Glorft pay for making her cry.
The first time she had noticed a boy. It was childish and pigtail-pulling and, as Coop noted, totally her-she'd fallen in love with Jamie. Well, no. Love was the wrong word. She would be his frienemy; she liked his body; he liked hers. It was a strange relationship, and it went absolutely nowhere because Kiva was paranoid when it came to men. But somewhere between the awkward gifts of flowers and sweet kisses and stormy arguments, they worked out.
The first time she had been called family. She was an orphan; she accepted that people were loyal to their kin, but hadn't a hope in hell of understanding it. So when Thanksgiving rolled around, a holiday for family, she had quietly decided to be very busy with something that day, and leave Coop and his mother alone. But that morning, as she'd begun to check on MEGAS, Coop had leaped into the cockpit and told her to get in because they were going to watch a parade. Kiva had been stunned. "Well, yeah." Coop had told her. "You're family." And then Kiva had realized that she understood. She would suffer her nightmares a thousand times over for Coop, stupid ape-man Coop, because for all his stupidity, he was her family.
The first time she had let something go. Coop had needed to take MEGAS somewhere and hadn't told her, and had returned to find Kiva playing a video game, and Kiva had realized suddenly that she had let go. MEGAS wasn't important now. Going home wasn't important now.
She belonged here.
In the end, Kiva's life was full of firsts. But only one mattered.
That was the day when she had been laughing with Coop about Jamie's 'space amazons' and looked at the sun and realized, out of nowhere, that she had the most important first of all.
For the first time, the only person in Kiva's head was Kiva.
For the first time, there were no more screams.