|Played by Twist|
Saffron's education within a Companion House, as well as her stints into the world of crime, have given her a large knowledge base. Music, dancing, the customs of various worlds, deportment, cooking, electrical wiring, mechanics, piloting, some hand to hand combat, all of that is in her repertoire- not to mention knowing her way around guns pretty well. While she is studied in various fields though there comes a price of not specializing in a particular field; her information is only moderate and when it comes to complicated problems or those who have more training she is forced to rely on her wits rather than force. Fortunately she has those in great abundance. She has also been known to use paralyzing agents, poisons and to kill in order to cover her trail.
Those are not her most practiced skill though, nor her greatest talent. When it comes to lying, dissembling or filling a role she encompasses it completely. The thing she picked up to her greatest advantage in her Companion training was learning to read others, judge what they want from subtle cues and change herself to fit the role that gives her the best advantage. When in such a role she can appear younger, older, harder, softer or even more or less intelligent based on the situational requirements. This is generally able to fool anyone who isn't trained to pick up on the subtle cues of her insincerity or find a fault in her story. Her thoughts also clearly show the trickery and malice behind her actions, as she makes no excuses within herself for her behavior.
However, for all of this she is still a normal human woman of average strength and dexterity for her build. Her temper is also quick to rise when she believes she has been faulted or underestimated, which can lead to her boasting and generally acting in a sociopathic manner to reassert her control over the situation. She also tends not to defend her cons too strongly when they're discovered, instead switching tactics in the hopes of tripping up those involved, or tries to seduce them to her side against their better judgement. There is also the tendency to underestimate her opponents, as she constantly assumes they're less intelligent than her and unable to double-cross her.
Given her career and habits it would be easy to say that a person could never tell if they knew the real 'Saffron'- and it would be true. Alternately soft, sweet, cunning, hard-edged, snide, sensual, cheerful, traumatized, guilty, thoughtless and weepy she puts on and takes off personality traits as easily as a sweater, leaving her something of a mutable enigma of shallowness.
The truest traits of hers are most likely the ones that stick around when the plan goes sour or the facade is set aside- or that exist through multiple acts. Greedy for attention, money and possessions, this is a part of what fuels her life of crime- but it is second to the rush of exhilaration she gets from the crime. Vanity and pride are there too, always leading her to look her best and use her body and pretty face to get out of trouble when nothing else will work, as well as being deeply surprised when it doesn't. Losing control of a situation or being condescended to can immediately put her into a rage, especially whens she believes that she's already won a situation and the tables have been turned on her, and she will lash out with violence. Sympathy is hard won from her, as is affection, and the most a person can generally hope for is being interesting enough that she doesn't want to get rid of them immediately.
Beautiful and curvacious, Saffron is definitely what could be called either willowy or buxom. With her wide hips, large bosom and narrow waist her figure is hourglass, her skin pale and limbs supple, there is almost an essence of a classical painting around her- at least until she puts on her makeup and hardens her edges, making her look fierce and seductive. Her skill at makeup and mutable features can make herself appear to be nearly any sort of demeanor, though a few things always stay constant; red hair, cut to just below her shoulders, fox-like hazel eyes and high cheekbones. The way she moves can also be changed to fit the situation; when an act isn't needed though her steps are moderate and a bit sensual, and she can handle herself in a fight.
Born into a Companion House on one of the central planets of the interplanetary Alliance there is very little about Saffron's life on record- even her original name. From her training it can be speculated that she grew up much as other Companion-born children who met their House's standard did. Given a brilliant education, spoiled and coddled, taught to entertain others and take on whatever role would most please those surrounding her, there was only one thing she became conscious of one thing missing.
There was no challenge in any of it, no thrill without risk. And as much as she craved success and being the best she had to admit that it wasn't worth the boredom. Her enjoyment of attention kept her in the Companion House until she was of age to run off on her own but once she did she never looked back, and even left her old name behind.
With all of the border worlds it wasn't hard to find exactly what she was looking for and after seducing a few mob bosses, then robbing them blind, her pattern was pretty much set. Using her cleverness and skill at manipulation she would observe her target with the persona that her research would indicate as being 'their perfect type', then marry the men or women. Shortly afterward they would be robbed blind and end up dead, the red-haired bride mysteriously disappearing into the black of space.
A couple of years into this act a man named Durran Haymer entered her sights. Wealthy and powerful with a luxurious, private flying island on the core planet of Bellerophon, as well as a priceless collection of artifacts from the ancient planet of Earth-that-was for once 'Yolanda' actually considered settling down. What more could she want than this opulence and a man who would give her anything she might possibly desire? But her baser needs came to the fore again and she ran away with the security engineer- and the plans for the estate, intending to come back for one particular thing; the Lassiter, the first laser gun ever created. Her ruse left it appearing that she'd been kidnapped, so that if she ever did return it would be far easier to reinstate herself as the head of the household.
After leaving Durran she fell in with a group of criminals with a salvaging ship and she expanded her goals. While on a rustic border planet plagued by bandits she met Malcolm Reynolds, who with his crew dispatched the other criminals, and Saffron's plan went into action. Playing the part of a simple village girl she enacted the marriage ceremony, which consisted of a dance, while Mal was drunk then sneaked aboard his ship before it took off and waited to be discovered. When she was she told a tale of being given to Mal as a gift for disposing of the bandits on the Paradise settlement, playing the part of an innocent, sweet and subservient girl with only a religious and domestic education. Reactions from the crew were varied but in general she was received with some amusement but generally acceptance. More concerned with doing what was 'right' for poor 'Saffron' than consummating their marriage, teaching her to survive and offering to set her on another world where she could be free to live as she chose.
Of course this went against Saffron's plans for the ship and its crew, and finally her wiles worked. When Mal kissed her the drug on her lips knocked him unconscious- and then she started with the rest of the crew. When her seduction of Wash was ineffective she kicked him to knock him out, locked up the controls with a bit of creative wiring, then sealed the bridge. A run-in with Inara nearly stopped her, but Saffron managed to make it to a shuttle and flew off to a nearby planet, leaving the crew to deal with the state she'd left them in. Believing them dead she was a bit surprised to have Mal storming into her home and after an unsuccessful attempt to first fight him off, then seduce him, she was left unconscious and the shuttle was taken back to Serenity.
Several months later she met Monty, an illegal smuggler, and after convincing him to marry herself as 'Bridget' she was ready to show him the plans for Durran Haymer's home plans and steal the Lassiter only to discover that Mal and Monty were old war buddies. After being exposed as a fake by Mal she was left on the asteroid where Mal and Monty had met to trade goods and, in order to get a ride, Saffron revealed hints about her plans for Bellerophon. Mal locked her into a crate, only releasing her for the sake of the plan. The rest of the crew was none too happy about the turn of events but eventually they all came around.
With the plan in action Mal and Saffron set off to infiltrate the house just before a party, acting as flower arrangers to get inside and then using the codes that Saffron had gathered during her marriage to Durran, which she hadn't mentioned to the crew. Once in the room with the Lassiter Malcolm started to break it out of its case, only for the pair to be interrupted by Durran. Hoping to buy some time Saffron acted the part of the reunited wife, explaining that after her 'kidnapping' she had been sold into slavery and Malcolm had rescued her, then delivered her home, and suggested that Durran pay him. once he was out of the room, supposedly to get the money, Saffron urged Mal to hurry up, at which Malcolm started to question the entire plan. After walking back in Durran confessed to alerting the police, only to have Saffron knock him out as she and Mal affected their escape.Once in the shuttle Saffron seemed to break down under Malcolm's questioning, even crying on his shoulder- then grabbed the gun from his holster and ordered him to strip before dropping him in the desert naked and racing off to get the Lassiter from its drop-off point. Enthusiasm growing as she got closer and closer and completely focused on the controls she didn't noticed that the black cords had grabbed her until she was landing on her rear in the middle of a street in Pandora.