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"Do you want a punch to the face or the gut? Wait, I got two fists, it can be both!" - Vi Vi

Once a criminal from the mean streets of Zaun, Vi is a hotheaded, impulsive, and fearsome woman with only a very loose respect for authority figures. Growing up all but alone, Vi developed finely honed survival instincts as well as a wickedly abrasive sense of humor. Now working with the Wardens of Piltover to keep the peace, she wields mighty hextech Excessive Force.png gauntlets that can punch through walls and suspects with equal ease.

Lore

Vi remembers little of her childhood, and what she does remember, she wishes she didn't. Running with the sumpsnipe gangs, she quickly learned to use her wits, as well as her fists, to survive. Developing a thick skin was just as important, and everyone who encountered Vi knew her as someone who could punch or talk her way out of trouble. More often than not, she chose the former.

None of the old timers from Vi's youth could tell her anything of her parents, with most assuming they had simply died in one of the industrial accidents that were, sadly, all too common in Zaun. A few vaguely claimed to remember her as one of the brats from Hope House, a crumbling orphanage cut into Zaun's cave-riddled cliffs. On his deathbed, a notoriously mad sump-scrapper claimed to have found Vi adrift in a bassinet large enough for two in the ruins of a collapsed chem-laboratory. In the end, Vi gave up on any notions of learning anything about her parents, figuring some things were better left unknown.

Wilder tales than that soon came to surround Vi as she garnered a reputation among the undercity's gangs. With her wild pink hair, Vi was a distinctive sight on the streets of Zaun; hightailing from angry shopkeepers in the glittering arcades of the Boundary Markets, swaggering through the colorful bazaars of the Lanes or hitching rides up into Piltover aboard the hexdraulic conveyors. Wherever there was a scrape to be gotten into or a scam to be run, odds were, Vi was in the thick of it. Despite her reputation as a troublemaker, she followed a code that meant she never stole from those that couldn't afford to lose what she took and never hurt those that didn't deserve it.

As she got older, the capers of childhood became more audacious and daring, with Vi forming a gang of her own. Brash and quick to anger, she still liked to use her fists a little too much, and though she was usually the last one standing in any dispute, her eyes were frequently black and her lip split from fighting. Over the years, Vi formed a friendship with the owner of a bar on the edges of the Lanes, and he was able to temper some of her more self-destructive tendencies. He reinforced her code and showed her how to fight with discipline, as well as teaching her ways to better direct her simmering anger.

Despite his steadying influence, Vi's gang ran riot across Zaun, with the Chem-Barons tolerating their antics only because they knew she and her crew were sometimes useful. Vi became known as someone who got things done, no questions asked. Despite her life as a lawbreaker, Vi's sense of morality began to trouble her ever more frequently as she saw the damage she and other gangs were leaving in their wake.

The final straw came when she worked alongside another gang on a smash and grab heist at a chemtech facility that had just struck a rich seam. Listening in on miners' chatter in the bars, Vi learned when payment for the ore was being delivered, and hatched a scheme to relieve the mine's owner of his gold. The plan required extra bodies to pull off, so Vi reluctantly brought the Factorywood Fiends in on her score. The job went to plan until the leader of the Fiends used a chem-powered mining golem to kill the owner with its oversized Pulverizer Gauntlets. His men drove the workers into the mine as he started demolishing the opening, driving the golem into an overload. This wanton slaughter and destruction infuriated Vi. It had been a perfect score and now these psychotic idiots were ruining it!

Grabbing their share of the gold, the Fiends made their escape, but the miners were now trapped below ground and would soon run out of air. Vi could not leave them to die, and swiftly donned the overloading golem's powered gauntlets before it tore itself apart. The wrist mechanisms clamped down on her arms, but Vi endured the agony long enough to Vault Breaker.png smash a path through to the miners and save them from certain death.

With the miners free, Vi and her gang fled with the rest of the gold. And the following day, Vi paid a visit to the Factorywood Fiends. Still wearing the powered gauntlets, she administered a beating to the entire gang that is still spoken of with awe by the gangs of Zaun to this day. The debacle of the mine robbery was the last straw for Vi, and she swore never to work with anyone she didn't fully trust. She kept the Pulverizer Gauntlets, and had them modified so as not to burn her whenever she used them to break into supposedly impregnable vaults or ambush heavily armed convoys of gold, tech, or whatever else she decided to steal.

Vi disappeared from Zaun during a time of great upheaval, a time when tensions between the two cities were at an all-time high. Rumors circulated between the gangs that she had been killed in a huge explosion in the heart of Zaun, but so too did stories that she'd struck out for distant lands. The truth finally came to light when Old Hungry's Scars, a vicious gang whose murder sprees had spread to Piltover, were finally brought down by Caitlyn the Sheriff of Piltover and her new ally... Vi. The former gang leader of Zaun was now in the employ of the wardens, and she'd had an upgrade. She'd replaced the chem-powered gauntlets with a pair of prototype hextech gauntlets. She also seemed somehow older, as if she'd seen and done things that had changed her forever. The Vi from the streets of Zaun, who'd use her fists before her wits, was still there, but she'd grown up some and seen that the path she had been on had only one ending.

No one yet knows how Vi came to be working alongside Caitlyn, but whatever secret binds them together can only be guessed at. Given the personal nature of a recent crime wave sweeping Piltover, speculation runs rife that it involves a certain blue-haired Jinx hellion from Zaun...

Interrogation 101

Vi Vi stifled a yawn as she moved through the gilded chamber at the heart of Piltover's Hall of Law. Dawn was less than an hour old, and the place was quiet. A few drunks were sleeping it off in the shaming cells, and she'd heard there were a couple of chem-augmented thugs in the deeper, more secure lock-ups. She'd ask around later, see if she could provide any insight as to what they were doing up in Piltover.

She rolled her shoulders, the muscles there stiff after a hard night's work. It had been a long shift, and her forearms were aching from the pressure of her powered Excessive Force.png gauntlets. All she wanted to do was go back home, get them off, and bathe her fists in ice water. Maybe throw back a few glasses of something strong and sleep some, but the pneuma-tube from Caitlyn Caitlyn had been full of imperatives about getting herself down to the district house on the double. Vi had cocked an eyebrow, tossed the message and given it an hour before leaving her cramped home in the dressmakers-quarter to answer Caitlyn's summons.

"Hey, Harknor", she said to the desk-warden when she reached the cells. "What's so important Caitlyn has to drag me from an erotic dream about--- "

"Ah, ah, stop right there", said Harknor without looking up from his elevated desk as he ran a finger down the list of prisoners brought in during the night. "I'm not in the mood to hear another of your lurid fantasies."

"You sure?" grinned Vi, leaning on his desk and blowing a loose strand of pink hair from her eyes. "This was a good one. Had a plot and everything."

"Quite sure", said Harknor, looking away and holding out the charge sheet. "Caitlyn and Mohan brought in a hextech thief last night. He hasn't said a word to anyone, but she thinks you might be able to get him to talk."

Vi arched an eyebrow as she scanned the page.

"Devaki? You've been a very naughty boy", she said, rolling her eyes and curling her metaled fingers into a fist. "Yeah, Devaki and I knew each other back in the day. I'll get him to talk."

Harknor shook his head, saying, "Listen, Vi, I don't want to have to call the surgeon back here again. Caitlyn wants this fella to able to speak when he goes before the procurator."

"Where is she anyway?" asked Vi. "She isn't even here to say hello?"

"Chasing down a lead at the docks", said Harknor. "Said she figured you could handle this one on your own. She wrong about that?"

"Nope", said Vi, turning and sashaying toward the cells. "Which cell's Devaki in?"

"Number six. But remember, he's got to be able to talk!"

Vi nodded and said, "Yeah, yeah... "

She reached cell six and slid back the locking bar. Normally, another warden would secure the door, but Vi didn't need anyone at her back. She knew Devaki from the old days, even worked with him a few times before the job with the Factorywood Fiends went bad. Devaki was a thief, not a fighter, and if she needed backup to restrain his scrawny frame, then it was time to find a new line of work.

Devaki was sitting on the edge of the chipped hunk of stone they called a bed with his back to the wall and his knees drawn up to his chest. He cradled one arm close to his body, the limb ending at a bandaged stump where his hand ought to be. He looked up as she entered, and his eyes widened in surprise.

"Vi?"

"Piltover's finest", she said with a petite curtsey that, despite where he sat, made Devaki smile. "What happened to your hand?"

"Your damn sheriff shot if off", he said. "What happened to yours?"

"I got an upgrade", said Vi, holding up her hextech gauntlets. They hummed with a low buzz and she turned them around to let Devaki see just how powerful they were. "Fully customizable with variant levels of hurt. I can punch through walls with these babies."

"Yeah, I heard what happened to the Ecliptic Vaults", said Devaki with an easy smile, as if he was talking to the old Vi, the Vi from the Lanes. He wasn't bright enough to know that Vi wasn't the one standing in front of him.

Devaki held up the arm ending in a stump. "I'm gonna need an upgrade too. This was a high-end augment from Bronzio's. That sheriff didn't need to shoot it off."

"You can bill her", said Vi, closing the distance between them in two strides and lifting Devaki off his feet. She threw him against the opposite wall, rattling his bones and sending plaster dust billowing into the air.

Vi Interrogation Lore 01

Interrogation
(by Riot Employed Artist Megan A. O'Rourke)

Devaki slid to the floor, shocked and gasping for breath. "They've been playing nice so far, but now they send you in? What gives?"

"I'm the one they send in when asking all polite doesn't get you anywhere, cupcake", said Vi, letting the power build in her gauntlets. "I'm the one who'll go to town on you with these beauties. Unless, of course, you tell me what I want to know."

"Whoa, wait! Vi, what are you doing?" spluttered Devaki, holding his remaining hand out before him as he scrambled to his feet.

"I'm interrogating you, what's it look like?"

"But you haven't asked me anything!"

Vi cocked her head to the side. "Yeah, I should probably get on that."

She reached down and hauled Devaki to his feet, applying a growing pressure to his shoulder.

"So, who was gonna buy that stolen hextech?"

Devaki winced in pain, but didn't answer.

"Come on, you're tougher than that", said Vi, releasing his bruised shoulder. "You want to see what happens to a face when I don't pull my punches?"

"No!" cried Devaki.

"Then tell me what I want to know."

"I can't."

Vi tapped a finger on her chin, as if weighing whether to punch him again. She smiled, the expression worrying Devaki more than the thought of her fists.

"Be a shame if word got round the Lanes that you'd been informing on all your criminal friends for the last couple of years."

"What?" said Devaki, spluttering in pain and indignation. "That's a lie!"

"Of course it is", said Vi, "but I know all the right people to talk to down there. A lot of folk'll listen if I let it slip that you're in the wardens' pocket."

"I'll be dead in a day if you do that", protested Devaki.

"Now you're catching on", said Vi. "Tell me what I want to know. I'll make sure it gets about you resisted arrest. Even give you a black eye so it looks like I beat it out of ya."

Devaki's shoulders slumped, knowing he had no defiance left in him.

"Fine, I'll tell you what you want to know."

"Excellent", said Vi, "Now we're getting somewhere."

References

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