Ava is seeking to find herself, and cope with her emotional problems, through asking (persistently) each of her marks what “bad” thing they did to deserve punishment. She wants to know the answer, so she can weigh whether or not they deserve death, since the implication is they must have done something to deserve it, if someone has hired her to kill them. Even though this endangers her within her assassination society (she needs to stop asking questions), Ava continues to ask this question until it puts her in the line of fire. Though she ran out and left her ex without a word, she has feelings for him when they meet each other again, and almost sleeps with him—until she realizes her sister is pregnant with his child; that is a moral line she will not cross. She deals with even the most dangerous situations competently, whether that includes shooting her way out of a hotel room surrounded by military men or handing over a wad of cash or hearing the click of a weapon behind her in a secluded park at night and using the fountain for cover, so she can take her attacker by surprise. Ava grabs whatever she can find to defend herself, adopts new disguises when necessary, takes risks in her escape attempts, and uses her body to its full advantage in every fight. She attacks people and punches them in the face, wrestles guns away from them, or kicks them through a wall, before she tells her family to get out of the country for their own safety. Ava defends herself against an attack (and chases down and kills the man who killed someone she cared about), and deals with her ex-boyfriend’s loan sharks. She also struggles heavily with addiction. When the clues about her cover being blown on a mission do not add up, Ava knows someone set her up for a hit. She believes it even without the evidence her mentor requires to accept it, and she’s right.

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Ava does not trust anyone, which is why she brings a loaded weapon with her to discuss her failed job abroad with her oldest friend and mentor. Though distinctly logical, analytical, and suspicious, she also has a strong desire to build a family—both with her own family (though she did not speak to them for eight years, she considers her father’s actions a betrayal of her trust, and tries to rebuild her connection to her sister, her ex, and her mother once she learns of her recent heart attack) and with her mentor. She sees him as someone to protect through her actions, but doesn’t know if she can trust him or not. Prone to avoiding her problems by detaching on an emotional level and fleeing the ‘scene of the crime,’ Ava knows she can rely on no one but herself to get her out of a mess. She is aware of the dangers and threats around her, and moves defensively to protect herself and others.