Deana is the daughter of a leopard Mixed Patrol officer and his wife, a human woman. Her mother’s family were Mexican migrant workers who had been trapped in Dalton when the War destroyed communication and transport, and her father was a low-level Patrol who had been placed in the area of the city migrants were housed in. The Blue was housing for migrants as well as Mixeds, so the family was not at that time in violation of the laws separating Mixed and human residents. Deana’s year-younger brother died in the same winter epidemic that killed Chris Callaghan, and the family moved out of the Blue to escape both the memories and the rampant disease. Because of his job, Officer Javier Raez was allowed to live in the Black Sector housing, and Dea was raised from the outside the Blue after her brother’s death. Her father trained her like the son he never got to have, and by the time she was seventeen she knew most of the Patrol techniques and was a strong fighter in her own right. She was completing an education at the Black’s school for Mixeds and planning on attending the Academy and becoming a Patrol like her father.
When Dea was seventeen, her father was killed in the Blue in a random ambush, by someone with a hatred for Mixed officers. In Dalton, Mixed Patrols are actually at more risk than a human because Mixeds are seen as traitors when they join the government ranks. Few do because of the massive prejudice against them in the education system and in the jobs themselves, and also the ostracism of their own kind. Officer Raez’s death was not an uncommon story in Dalton.
After her father’s death, Dea became frustrated with the dismissive attitude the Law Enforcement department took toward finding her father’s killer. She decided to track down the killer herself and ran away at night to the Blue about two weeks after her father’s death. She found a group of street vigilantes for hire, who agreed to help her if she would join them, since she couldn’t pay for services but had extensive training and was knowledgeable of Patrols. She agreed, and when the group caught the renegade Mixed who had by then killed two more Mixed officers, Deana made her first kill.
She rose rapidly through the ranks of the group, proving herself in one fight after another and also modifying her training to suit the street fighting she was doing. Before long she was one of the most recognized vigilantes in the Blue. She operated on her own for a short time before meeting Stuart when she was nineteen. The two formed a dysfunctional partnership that broke up and rejoined every few months, based only on their shared vicious brand of justice. Deana stayed with Stu even when he had other girlfriends, because her reasons for being his partner were never relationship based, only for his fighting skills. Like Anj, she was hiding that she was a lesbian, and a relationship with Stuart was the easiest way to keep her cover.
Dea is bilingual, Spanish and English, although English is her first language. Her father was part of a bilingual unit who was assigned to deal with cases in which a suspect or a victim spoke a foreign language. While most bilingual units are made up of parrot or mockingbird Mixes, Officer Raez, a leopard, had learned Spanish from the childhood friend he later married. Deana learned from her mother as well, but the language reminds Dea of her father, and she doesn’t use it often after his death. She mainly only uses the terms of endearment he used to call her, when she is with Anj. No one she does not care about deeply will ever hear her use those.
Since meeting Anja, Dea has changed some of her views on violence as a solution to issues. She still favors taking action over sitting by and letting events take course naturally, something that causes her and Anj to clash over some policy. Deana believes forced change for the greater good is acceptable and may even become necessary, while Anj argues that change should come with the least amount of damage to both sides. She is willing to wait for legal changes, but Dea always raises the counter that on some side, someone is going to be hurt. If they wait, the Mixeds will be, but if they act, the humans will feel some of what has been done to them. Dea is still angry and resentful of the way her father’s death was dismissed by human authorities, and she is ready for something to give and for humans to understand the pain they’ve inflicted.