Elena Bothari's mother Elena Visconti was a prisoner of war during the Barrayaran invasion of Escobar, and was sexually abused by Ges Vorrutyer, Serg Vorbarra as well as Konstantine Bothari, who fathered her child. Visconti had her fetal daughter transferred to a uterine replicator and sent to Barrayar after the war. She was born at the Imperial Military Hospital in Vorbarr Sultana, and named Elena by her father, who had become a Vorkosigan armsman.
Bothari gave his daughter to Karla Hysopi to raise, and Hysopi was her primary caretaker for some time thereafter. While Elena was still an infant during the war of Vordarian's Pretendership, she was among the hostages held by Vidal Vordarian's forces. When young, she was a playmate to Miles Vorkosigan  and was sometimes in on his childhood schenanighans, along with Ivan Vorpatril, such as the time they found a cache of Occupation-era weapons. She spent enough time in the Vorkosigan household to have a bedroom in Vorkosigan House and enough personal knowledge of the Countess to (later) predict how she would relate to Lord Mark.
When Miles failed the entrance exams for the Imperial Service Academy, he took Elena with him on a journey to Beta Colony; from there she traveled with him to Tau Verde and helped in the creation of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet. At the end of the Tau Verde Ring War, she married Bazil Jesek, one of the other founders of the fleet.
When Miles left them, he gave Elena the rank of Commander, and charged Bazil and Ky Tung with her training as a military officer. She played an important role in the War of the Hegen Hub. In her later years as an Dendarii officer, she was promoted to Captain and given command of the warship, the Peregrine.
Eventually, she and Bazil decided to retire from military service and live on Escobar; Baz as an engineer for a shipyard, and Elena as a commercial shipmaster. When last seen, the two of them had a daughter named Cordelia.
- Shards of Honor
- The Warrior's Apprentice
- The Vor Game
- "The Borders of Infinity" (Mentioned only)
- Brothers in Arms
- Mirror Dance
- Komarr (Mentioned only)
- "Winterfair Gifts"
- Diplomatic Immunity (Mentioned only)