|“||My name is Vespa Ilkay. I think I’m almost done with this line of work, where some days I’m a doctor and some days I’m a homicidal maniac.||”|
Vespa was an infamous thief in The Outer Rim who was intercepted by the authorities and presumed dead. Buddy Aurinko was her partner in crime and is now her wife. She was later discovered to be alive in the Cerberus Province, and has recently joined the Aurinko Crime family.
She suffers visual and auditory hallucinations from radiation poisoning.
Vespa was raised by an emotionally and verbally abusive father. She is transgender, and sometimes her hallucinations of her father feature him using her birth name or otherwise misgendering her. She is from a Rangian swamp.
Approximately 20 years ago, Vespa was released from prison in a random act of kindness by the prison warden's daughter, Buddy Aurinko. They met again in a bar, where Buddy stole Vespa's score and, on being confronted, suggested they might be "better together." They were together romantically for 5 years doing heists and such until they were caught. Vespa fell off a building and was presumed dead, while Buddy was arrested and served 8 years in prison. In reality, Vespa survived her fall and was forced into slavery by the Board of Fresh Starts. She served as Rasbach's doctor in the Cerberus Province for the 5 years before she met back up with Buddy, and suffered radiation poisoning due to the climate of the Cerberus Province after their separation.
After five years of wearing a debtor's bracelet to treat the radiation poisoning she suffered during Buddy's prison sentence, Vespa hatches a plan to steal some Curemother (a powerful medical treatment in the custody of the Cerberus Board of Fresh Starts) and free herself from slavery. While intercepting the sale of the Curemother from Buddy to a Board of Fresh Starts representative named Rasbach, Vespa is astonished to see Buddy for the first time in fifteen years. However, she is convinced that Buddy is a hallucination, brought on by her radiation sickness, and implies that she has hallucinated Buddy before. She stabs Juno Steel across the stomach before running away from Buddy's bar, where the deal has been taking place. Later, she successfully robs Rasbach in his office. During this attempt, she is successfully convinced by Juno that Buddy is real. She later meets up with Buddy at a spot they used to visit, the Cerberus Province Lighthouse, and the two agree to renew their relationship. She subsequently becomes a member of the Aurinko Crime Family and has been pursuing the Curemother Prime with the rest of the crew ever since. In Juno Steel and the Mega-Ultrabots of Cyberjustice (Part 2), she announces that she and Buddy intend to retire and marry after obtaining the Curemother Prime, and threatens that anyone who had an issue with it can take it up with her personally. The couple are married by Jet Sikuliaq in Juno Steel and What Lies Beyond.Immediately after the wedding she and her family are confronted by Dark Matters and though they do their best to outsmart Director W, Vespa and most of the Aurinko Crime Family are taken captive by Dark Matters.
Moody and a bit paranoid, Vespa is usually on edge. It doesn’t help that her life usually gives her a lot of reason to be on edge. A gruff, abrasive exterior conceals a pretty deeply emotional human being, prone to long, quiet spells as she tries to sort out her feelings. Her relationship with the other crew members can be complicated, with Ransom and Juno especially, as she has often hallucinated the two making disparaging comments about her and is not always certain whether what she's heard from them was truly said.
Vespa has two specialties: field medicine and assassinations. Vespa has shown that she is highly proficient at both of these, although her fragile mental health sometimes gets in the way. In Juno Steel and the Shadows on the Ship (Part 2), she not only uses her medical expertise to treat Ransom's broken leg and quickly counteract Jet's sedation by the invader on their ship, but also puts her skills as an assassin into play as she outsmarts the invader at the last second by getting into their mindset.
She is very skilled with (and very fond of) knives.
Vespa and Buddy are life partners and extremely in love. Their relationship is peak romance, but can sometimes create friction, as it complicates the hierarchy of the Carte Blanche. When Vespa has raised concerns about her own ability to be a part of the Aurinko crime family following an incident where she was distracted while acting as lookout, she attempted to retire immediately, but Buddy refused to accept it. Buddy's solution was for the two of them to instead see their current job out with the rest of the crew and then to retire together. When announcing their engagement with each other to the rest of the crew, Buddy explained that although she loves crime, she loves Vespa far more, and she has already spent much longer as a criminal than she has a wife.
Vespa is very distrustful of Nureyev, knowing him by the alias Ransom, in part because of his debts and also because he is so willing to abandon whatever reputation he has under his real name. In Juno Steel and the Shadows on the Ship (Part 2), she was very quick to believe that he was behind the takeover of their ship, although she was later proven wrong. By Juno Steel and what lies beyond (Part 3) she suspects him to have taken the Ruby Seven but does trust that he has not sold them out to Dark Matters, showing that she started trusting him at least a bit.
Initially Vespa and Juno do not seem to get along. In Juno Steel and the Tools of Rust (Part 1) Rita mentions that she needs to "make sure Mista Steel and Miss Vespa ain’t killed each other yet." During Juno Steel and the Shadows on the Ship (Part 1) they are fighting again, though this is also intensified by the visual and auditory hallucinations Vespa is experiencing during this episode. By Part 2 Vespa realizes that Juno wouldn't verbally attack her or call her "crazy," and gains some trust in him. In Juno Steel and the Mega-Ultrabots of Cyberjustice (Part 2) Juno is apparently moved when Vespa and Buddy announce their engagement, but Vespa mistakes his sniffle for amusement and they get into a fight again, though it is far less tense then their conflicts in the past. As of Juno Steel and What Lies Beyond Part 1 they even talk about their emotions. Vespa states that "Hurt can always sniff out hurt" acknowledging hers and Juno's similarities.
- The word vespa means "wasp" in Italian.
- The character was inspired by a piece of graffiti art spotted by Kevin Vibert and Sophie Kaner in Paris.
- İlkay (sometimes styled as Ilkay) is a Turkish name meaning "new moon."