Ultramarine is driven and serious-minded. She’s always working through one problem or another in her head to find the best solution, which makes her seem somewhat distracted even at the best of times. She was very close to her father and still mourns his loss. His old Navy buddies mean a lot to her and she can often be found sharing a drink with them and listening to their stories. The rest of the time she’s in her workshop, tinkering with the Ultramarine armor or some other gadget.
The history of Ultramarine began decades ago with Veronica Steeley’s father, Capt. Gil Steeley. Gil was a Navy diver for years before he retired and began work as a salvage operator and inventor. Both endeavors proved quite successful and he and his family were able to travel the world (on salvage jobs) while still maintaining a permanent home in Gothopolus.
Due to his interest in diving, he began innovating designs for diving suits. It started simply enough, slight adjustments and additions to a standard wetsuit, but then he began developing specialized pieces of equipment that allowed divers to stay under longer, dive deeper, lift more, and on and on. This process took years, during which he and his wife Marcia had a daughter, Veronica. When Veronica was only ten years old, Marcia died in an accident during a salvage operation. Gil and Veronica were devastated, but Gil surprised everyone by marrying Elene Kostas within a year of Gail’s death. Elene’s son Bradford, two years younger than Veronica, happily accepted Gil as his step-father.
Veronica never really forgave her father for her mother’s death or for remarrying so quickly. Gil, in turn, had a difficult time showing his feelings for Veronica. He always pushed her with his stories about responsibility; that those with greater capabilities also had a greater duty. He wanted the best for her. Her step-mother Elene was a weak and dependent woman compared to her mother, even more so after she feel ill and it became Veronica’s responsibility to hold the whole family together and to look after her younger step-brother, Brad.
Brad idolized his step-father, but was always being reminded how Veronica was his superior in every way: “Listen to your sister” … “Why can’t you be more like Veronica” and so on. She was the better swimmer, the better student, the ideal. When Brad’s mother passed away, he tried even harder to win his stepfather’s approval, but Veronica was always there first. The discipline she chaffed under, he craved. As a teenager, Brad acted out and got into trouble to get attention, and Veronica was always the one to bail him out of it.
So, when Veronica earned college scholarships in engineering, she couldn’t wait to leave home and finally have a life of her own, out from under her father’s expectations and her step-brother’s screw-ups. Brad enlisted in the Navy to impress Gil and managed to earn nothing more than a dishonorable discharge within two years. Veronica, on the other hand, blossomed in her studies, graduated magna cum laude, and went on to grad school. Her visits home became less and less frequent.
On one such visit, Veronica found her father hard at work on his diving suit design, as always. He’d taken on Brad as an assistant, although he commented that his stepson was nowhere near as capable as Veronica. Her father’s work had taken on an unusual sense of urgency. Veronica learned Gil Steeley’s company was heavily in debt. He needed to show progress on his designs, or he could potentially lose everything. The stress was taking its toll on the older Steeley, who could no longer handle the kind of dives required to test his work.
Veronica offered her help and, together, she and her father were able to make the breakthroughs necessary to get the prototype deep-sea suits functioning. Veronica and Brad tested the suits together, although Veronica understood them better and proved more adept. Veronica was performing a solo test of the newest prototype when Gil Steeley learned that Brande Management-the financial backers Brad brought in-were interested in turning the suit into a weapon for covert operations. Now that he knew it worked, Brad intended to hand the designs over. Gil forbid it and they argued. The enraged Brad used his armor’s electrical blaster, intending to intimidate his stepfather into giving him the passcodes to the plans. Instead, he gave Gil a fatal heart attack.
Veronica returned to find her father dying and no sign of her step-brother. Gil Steeley lived just long enough to tell his daughter what happened, how proud he was of all her accomplishments, and to make her promise she would keep the Ultramarine suit from falling into the wrong hands. Veronica swore to use the armor to help others, and to bring Brad and his stolen suit to justice.