- "My gate stands like a star in the darkness, a burning light that keeps enemies at bay. Can you take the heat?"
— Apha Tawanroong
Apha Tawanroong was born in Ta Phyraya, growing up along the Thai-Khmer border. During her childhood, her little sister had accidently detonated an unexploded land mine while playing with it, which resulted in her death. Devastated by her loss, Tawanroong dedicated her life to helping others affected by unexploded ordnances.
As a private detective, her discovery of a bomb plot in Bangkok brought Tawanroong to the attention of the Royal Thai Police (RTP). Her knack for connecting the dots between seemingly-unrelated incidents earned her grudging respect from Thailand's male-dominated law enforcement agencies, as well as hostility from numerous criminal syndicates. The RTP offered Tawanroong a Detective position with the Crime Suppression Division, where she dismantled a human trafficking ring and foiled no fewer than four bomb plots. Her ability to track and connect diverse shipments of explosive materials was lauded by her superiors, though she did have a tendency to bend the rules in favor of expedience which resulted in a number of minor infractions.
Unfortunately, her police career ended when she was nearly killed during an operation in Bangkok with Jordan "Thermite" Trace. The pair had been tracking down a weapons racket when a bomb had been discovered. Transporting the bomb in a pick-up truck through the streets of Bangkok, Trace attempted to defuse it. He ultimately failed when the truck suffered a head-on collision. As a result of the accident and explosion, Tawanroong lost her left arm and leg while Trace only suffered third-degree burns to his hands and arms. Despite this, she would fully recover from her injuries, and later returned to work as a private detective.
In late 2020, Tawanroong was approached by Jaimini "Kali" Shah who offered her a position to join NIGHTHAVEN. She accepted Kali's offer due to the prospect of gaining access to cutting-edge prosthetics as well as donating her pay to charities. Through NIGHTHAVEN's current agreement with Rainbow, she subsequently became a Rainbow operative. While training at the Stadium, she met up with Trace. She told him that the incident in Bangkok was not his fault and that she never blamed him for her injuries.
Aruni is quick on her feet, both mentally and physically. She rarely hesitates, and her judgement is flawless under the most trying circumstances. Her reaction speed, combined with her expertise in firearms and martial arts, means that she is a versatile and deadly combatant. Her fitness regimen - taken up following years of physical and psychological recovery - is intense, but it enables her to maintain peak performance. [...]
Aruni's affiliation with Nighthaven appears to be one of convenience. Nighthaven pays well and provides her with access to cutting edge prosthetic technology. While she uses some of the money she earns to support herself, she's also a quiet philanthropist with a very frugal lifestyle. She donates time and money to charities that focus on the disposal of unexploded ordnance along the Thailand-Cambodia border and medical treatment for victims.
One of Aruni's closest companions is Hero, a giant pouched rat trained in demolitions disposal. Though not stated outright, Hero appears to be her emotional support animal. [...]
When time is in short supply, Aruni has a penchant to bend the rules in favor of expedience - an understandable impulse, especially in cases where lives are on the line, but it isn't always acceptable to her superiors. Though she was a brilliant police detective, her tendency to prefer convenience over procedure led to a number of minor infractions. [...]
While she's done the majority of her professional work in Thailand, Aruni is an accomplished world traveler. Her wanderlust has taken her to other parts of Southeast Asia, as well as Central and South America. [...] She and other Specialists - namely Emmanuelle "Twitch" Pichon and Sanaa "Nomad" El Maktoub - have traveled together, providing both companionship and security when visiting destabilized regions. [...]
She uses photography - a skill she developed as a private detective in Bangkok - as a way to raise global awareness of the vast minefields left over from prior wars. These personal photographs tend to focus on the victims of conflict, especially those maimed by unexploded ordnance. Ultimately, these images allow her to give herself what so few of us think we truely deserve - compassion.
- - Dr. Harishva "Harry" Pandey, Director of Rainbow
I’ve known Apha “Aruni” Tawanroong for years. She was a detective with the Royal Thai Police when we met. I didn’t think she liked me at first, but she was just sizing me up. She’s real cerebral, always processing something upstairs and making connections that aren’t obvious to others. It’s why she was such a good detective. We did some work together in Bangkok, but most of that op’s details are still classified. She was hurt pretty bad... I thought we’d lost her.
Aruni left the Royal Thai Police to focus on her rehabilitation. She met every challenge head on, with her usual positivity and focus. After that, she returned to work as a private detective. She’d made some big busts while on the force, got a lot of good publicity. I suppose that’s how Jaimini “Kali” Shah heard about her. It wasn’t long after that Aruni signed on with NIGHTHAVEN. Between her keen senses and deductive capabilities, she makes one hell of a defender.
We hadn’t seen one another since that operation in Bangkok went pear-shaped, but I tried to keep in touch. I felt like I’d let her down, and her brief replies to my messages always seemed terse. I figured she was pissed off. Truth is, Aruni keeps herself busy. She’s driven, highly-motivated, and incredibly focused, so what I assumed was animosity on her part was just distraction. When we finally met up a few weeks ago it was like nothing had ever changed.
I’d love to work with Aruni again. Her role with Nighthaven probably won’t allow for much official crossover, but she’s a valuable addition to The Program. She’s also got a clever piece of tech that slows enemies down and restricts where they can go. We’re on different teams for the Invitational, but once the games are behind us we might have some time to reminisce. Thing is, Aruni doesn’t dwell on the past – she’s focused on the future, on moving forward and making the world a safer place. I wish more of us shared her commitment to that philosophy.
A Medium Armored Defender, Aruni's Unique Gadget is the Surya Laser Gate. When this device is launched onto a doorway, window hatch, or any kind of wall, it creates a laser grid which covers the entrance way, denying entry by the Attackers or destroying projectiles that try to pass through it.
- The Surya Gates automatically deactivate for a brief moment whenever Defenders step near them to let them through safely.
- This does not work for Defender's gadgets. The Surya Gate will instead treat these projectiles like any other thrown projectile, destroying it and temporarily shutting off.
- The Surya Gate is indestructible from all damage sources. Even when placed on a destructible wall, the Surya Gate will stick to the indestructible wooden beams of the wall.
- The Surya Gate can destroy any object or drone thrown through it, and does 30 damage to any Attacker that tries to move through it, regardless of Armor rating. Once it performs either of these effects, the Surya Gate will be deactivated for up to 30 seconds. Aruni can pick up any Surya Gate generators and reposition them elsewhere at any time.
- To reactivate the Surya Gate generators, Defenders must wait for the generator to finish charging (indicated by the generator opening back up to reveal a pressure plate/switch), then shoot the generator to reactivate it. Attackers and laser-based Gadgets (Maestro's Evil Eyes and Zero's Argus Cameras) are also able to shoot the generator to reactivate the Surya Gate.
- Any type of projectile can disable a Surya Surya Gate:
- Frag Grenades
- Smoke Grenades
- Stun Grenades
- Drones (including drones hacked by Mozzie)
- Nitro Cells
- Impact Grenades
- Proximity Alarms
- Projectiles fired from the GONNE-6
- Thatcher's EMP Grenades (can disable the Surya Gate if the Grenade does not touch the laser)
- Smoke's Gas Canisters
- Ash's Breaching Rounds
- Twitch's Shock Drones (cannot directly disable the Surya Gate by shooting the generator either)
- Doc's Stims from his Stim Pistol
- Fuze's Cluster Charges (one Surya Gate will only take out one of the five sub grenades)
- Tachanka's Shumikha grenades
- Valkyrie's Black Eye Cameras
- Capitão's Asphyxiating Bolts and Micro Smoke Grenades
- Hibana's X-KAIROS Pellets
- Echo's Yokai Drones (they won't touch the Surya Gate while on the ground, but will touch it when it jumps up)
- Ying's Candelas
- Lesion's Gu Mines
- Zofia's Concussion Grenades and Impact Grenades
- Ela's Grzmot Mines
- Alibi's Prismas
- Nomad's Airjabs
- Kaid's Electroclaws
- Gridlock's Trax Stingers
- Mozzie's Pests
- Kali's LV Lances (cannot deactivate the Surya Gate with its explosion, only by shooting directly into the Surya Gates)
- Wamai's Mag-NETs
- Iana's Gemini Replicator
- Ace's SELMAs
- Zero's Argus Cameras
- Whenever a Surya Gate is activated on a doorway, it covers the majority of the doorway, but leaves a small gap open at the bottom just like a Barricade. Attackers can use this gap to get drones through, or launch projectiles underneath th Surya Gate in order to clear defender utility.
- If there is a placeable Gadget (such as a Bulletproof Camera or Maestro's Evil Eyes) in the way of the Surya Gate's lasers, the Surya Gate will remain inactive until the wall or doorway is cleared. This includes when a Deployable Shield is placed in a way where it juts under the Surya Gate.
- Aruni also possesses an augmented melee attack through the use of punching with her prosthetic arm, this however has infinite uses.
- She is able to punch holes into walls, breaking any beams in the process and destroying each layer. Each punch makes a hole as large as being made by one of Hibana's X-KAIROS pellets.
- Aruni can create large sightlines and rotations in several seconds with no downside.
- The Sury Gate can gain a mutual benefit from Castle's Armor Panels as the Surya Gates will be protected by the Armor Panels.
- Surya Gates can improve anti-breaching methods alongside Bandit, Kaid, and Mute by denying entry.
- Maestro can assist Aruni's Surya Gates by manually reactivating them when hitting the Surya Gate's generator.
- Finka's Adrenal Surge can give her and other attackers some extra health, allowing them to risk charging through a Surya Gate without taking much damage.
- Operators who possess Gadgets that are multiple projectiles in one "canister" can use each individual projectile to disable a single Surya Gate, and still use the other projectiles to perform their task.
- Iana can use her Gemini Replicator to take the Surya Gate's heat, disabling it for 30 seconds.
- Thatcher can disable the Surya Gate with his EMP Grenades for up to 15 seconds, but the Surya Gate will return to whichever state it was in afterwards.
- "The damage output of the gate, as compared to the amount of energy it consumes, continues to amaze me."
Once in place, the Surya Laser Surya Gate projects a laser array capable of detecting anyone moving through it. When an intruder is detected, energy output to the laser increases, causing second- and third-degree burns. Rainbow R&D spent nearly an hour tossing everything from wads of paper to pieces of fruit through until they found a setting that maximizes damage while limiting energy consumption.
Device: Surya Laser Surya Gate
Operator: Specialist Apha "Aruni" Tawanroong
Evaluation Lead: Specialist Emmanuelle "Twitch" Pichon, Project Lead Defense R&D
As requested, the Surya Laser Surya Gate has been optimized. The original was less a weapon and more of an alarm system utilizing a laser grid to detect intrusions via specific apertures. When I told Aruni I could adapt some of the tech from Adriano "Maestro" Martello's CLE-V to enhance her Surya Gate's defensive capabilities, she was enthusiastic.
Given the additional power requirements and heat generation, I replaced the Surya Gate's wiring and insulation. Refitting the prosthetic launcher was the easiest part, though it adds weight to the forearm assembly. I also added a simple IFF system. Allies must carry a security fob, but that's preferable to being burned to a crisp.
Once in place, the Surya Gate projects a laser array capable of detecting anyone moving through it. When an intruder is detected, energy output to the laser increases, causing second- and third-degree burns. We spent nearly an hour tossing everything from wads of paper to pieces of fruit through until we found a setting that maximizes the damage while limiting energy consumption.
- - Specialist Emmanuelle "Twitch" Pichon, Project Lead Defense R&D
"Long years of detective work have instilled Aruni with an instinctive awareness of her surroundings that borders on the preternatural..."
Apha "Aruni" Tawanroong is an Operator who is completely at home in her own skin. She moves with effortless grace, as comfortable walking through a Bangkok slum as she would be in a formal setting. To see her working is akin to watching an apex predator in her natural environment, afraid of nothing and master of all she sees.
- - Dr. Harishva "Harry" Pandey, Director of Rainbow
"The damage output of the Surya Gate, as compared to the amount of energy it consumes, continues to amaze me."
- - Dr. Elena "Mira" Alvarez, Director of R&D
- Her gadget's name, "Surya" (สุริยา; S̄uriyā), means "sun" in Thai.
- Aruni attended Chulalongkorn University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts, Economics, and a Master of Law.
- Aruni has International Ship & Port Facility (ISPS) and Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO) certifications.
- Aruni's support animal is a rat named Hero, trained by her in demolitions disposal.
- Aruni was leaked months before her reveal alongside an Operator named "Scout" who would turn out to be Zero.
- Her model now includes a scar on her left cheek; during the prior leaks it lacked a scar.
- Aruni was the fifth Rainbow operator to have a physical disability, after Capitão, Finka, Nomad, and Iana.