Anja is a young second generation lion-Mixed who leads a small group of teenage and young adult protestors. She is a vocal and dedicated proponent of Mixed rights, but unlike many of the other rights groups she has sworn never to resort to violence. Her reasons for this began as purely practical rather than personal morality; she watched the group she first joined at the age of eleven fall apart when they incited violence at a protest. Many of their leaders were arrested by Patrols and people were disgusted by the wanton fury. Anj learned that if she wanted people to support her and wanted the Patrol to have no real reason to be particularly concerned with catching her, she needed to hold the moral high ground of nonviolence. As time passed, she became more and more used to this idea until by the time of the story her rationale is that she will not compromise her standard morally.
Anja was the child of a house servant in the Gold sector, but her mother was kept so busy as the personal maid of the house owner that Anj was often left to herself. She was raised by some of the other servants, but none of them were very attached to her, and none of them particularly cared to keep her safe. Anja was raped repeatedly by a male servant in her former household from the time she was seven until she ran away at the age of ten. She never told her mother because she was afraid of being punished for what she was told by her attacker was her fault for being too attractive. She has told very few since then of what her real background is.
Anja is bisexual, although her early experiences have left her very much uninterested in men. She continued, however, to date and sleep with only males for a long time because homosexuality is illegal in Dalton and she also uses her attractiveness to gain powerful allies. Her rationale was that if she didn’t care about what she was doing and it didn’t bother her, then she might as well use whatever means she had available to further the only thing she did care about, her cause. Because of her childhood assault, sex means nothing to her, it’s simply getting what you want from the other person, a weapon and a tool. Which is exactly how she chose to use it.
Anj was thirteen when she first began protesting on her own. She has a powerful voice and learned intense emotional rhetoric from the group she had joined as a young runaway. Combining those two made her a popular public figure in the Blue, and she soon attracted a following. Among those were two humans who dared to brave the Blue, Tess and Cam Callaghan. Anj found a ready ally in Tess, who was eager to learn how she could help the Mixed be seen as human.
Her rallies continued to grow and a group of returning supporters, including the Callaghan’s, began frequenting the Raven tavern, which was known for its inclusivity and an owner who was sympathetic to their cause and wouldn’t report sedition to Patrols. Anj’s rapidly growing group attracted the attention of the leader of a smaller but more vicious rebelling faction, a cougar Mixed called Stuart. After Stu attended one of the rallies, Anj took notice of his more powerful and more well-known group. Stu and his team had already made several successful raids on Patrol stations and also attacked some of the street criminals. Anj, despite her commitment to nonviolence, saw that Stu was gaining the Citadel’s attention and making a mark. She convinced him to ally with her and her team by agreeing to sleep with him, and repeating this deal several times. Although Stu was becoming increasingly violent, Anj saw it as a necessary evil. Her vocal protests had stalled, and she had been gaining no new support. The Citadel was beginning to ignore her again because she was too predictable. She was willing to pay almost any price to be seen and heard. Stu’s girlfriend, Deana, who joined the group with him, seemed unfazed by the arrangement, and when Anj questioned her about it Dea revealed she was lesbian and sleeping with Stu to hide. But she was tired of hiding. Encouraged by the other girl’s bravery and trust, Anj revealed to her that she was bi and that she had been assaulted as a child. She and Dea began meeting secretly, grateful to have found someone else who understood them.
When Stu attempted to assault Tess, Anj confronted him about it and he attempted to argue with her, and then blamed it on her saying if he didn’t get what he wanted from her he’d find it elsewhere and that Anj had been unwilling and grudging the last few times they had been together. Afraid he would guess her secret, Anj swore she’d do better, and left things at that. She was strong in her convictions and her cause but still deeply afraid of what a man could do to her, and she knew that if Stu found out she was bi he would kill her. She was still furious with him for what had nearly happened, but Tess was gone for good and she knew the girl would never come back.
Shortly afterward Stu discovered the relationship and attacked Anj. Dea defended her and Stuart left rather than take on all of Anja’s team, who were willing to stand behind their leader. Anj admitted the truth to them directly, assuming they would turn on her as unnatural, but most of them were supportive and the few who couldn’t accept it left to join other groups over the course of the next few weeks. With Dea’s encouragement, Anj returned to her old tactics of inspiring crowds with her words rather than bloody displays of power, and her rallies regained momentum. In increasingly turbulent politics, she also became one of the scrutinized figures in the Blue, that were seen as a threat to the Citadel.
Her rallies have regained a good deal of momentum when Tess returns with Alex. She’s far more choosy about who she lets in her inner circle. She’s gained confidence in herself and her decisions and she is more certain and passionate than before. She continues to reinforce her core friendships and her team becomes more like a family as trouble continues to escalate. When Tess returns for good Anj is grateful for a Citadel insider and also for Tess’s humanness, which means people are more willing to listen. She also sees Tess as a trusted friend and almost a sister.
Anj has a hard time giving and receiving affection, so even her close relationships often seem cold and distant. This is something that causes tension between her and Dea, as does her overwhelming commitment to her cause above all else. She will push aside anything else to serve her end goal. Anj is very logical and straightforward in her passion and often doesn’t really comprehend others’ need for verbalized and demonstrated affection. Her past experiences have made her wary of anyone who is highly demonstrative and pushes for physicality.