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Elena Visconti

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"The cell had another occupant, a young Escobaran woman of extraordinary beauty who lay on her bunk staring at the wall. She did not look up at Cordelia's entrance, nor respond to her greeting. After a time, a Barrayaran medical team arrived and took her away. She went wordlessly, but at the door she started to struggle with them."
―Cordelia meets Elena Visconti[src]

Elena Visconti was an Escobaran ensign who was captured by the Barrayaran military during their invasion of Escobar. Only eighteen at the time, she was raped by Konstantine Bothari at the direction of Vice-Admiral Vorrutyer until she became pregnant, and tortured by both Vorrutyer and Prince Serg Vorbarra. She then was given to Bothari, who locked her up, treated her injuries, and fantasized she was his wife. Her recollection of events was wiped by the chief surgeon of the Barrayaran flagship, although she later recovered her memory through therapy.[1] Exactly why she was subjected to that therapy is not explained. Two decades later, she was still seriously traumatized by the memory of those events, which does not speak well of Escobaran theraputic techniques..

After briefly sharing a cell with Cordelia Naismith, Visconti was repatriated. Her fetus was transferred to a uterine replicator and shipped to Barrayar, and her daughter Elena Bothari was born and raised there, chiefly by Karla Hysopi.[2][3]

Visconti herself was medically discharged from the Escobaran military and eventually got work as a banking com-link security specialist. She was trapped in the country of Felice during the Tau Verde Ring war, and enlisted with the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet as a trainee for a chance to get out of the Tau Verde system.[4]

She recognized her rapist, who was serving as Admiral Miles Naismith's bodyguard. Confronting Bothari with a needler, she shot him after Bothari told her, "My lady, you are still beautiful." She was allowed to go free after Naismith claimed Bothari had shot himself by accident. Initially, Visconti reacted harshly towards her unwanted daughter Elena Bothari, but was later touched by Miles' deep caring for his lifetime friend. Despite the nightmares her daughter inspired, Visconti met with her to talk.[5] Afterwards, Visconti returned to Escobar.

Over a decade after their first meeting, she was again visited by her daughter, and continued their reconciliation.[6]

Notes and referencesEdit

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