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Markus Ralian was an intelligent crime boss in the Gutter, the poor southern section of Tarsonis City, and right-hand man to Fagin, the Gutter's main crime boss. Ralian was tall (taller than Fagin) and slender and had dark skin. He often sang at the Firefly Club (which apparently he cannot stop himself from doing and could not keep secret; it was a source of embarrassment for him).
Ralian grew up in the Pyke Lane neighborhood in the Gutter with a drug-addicted musician of a father. His father killed his mother when he was very young, and Ralian always wanted to kill his father as a result. His father remarried; Ralian's new siblings were a brother named Gary and a sister named Geena. Gary and Geena both became drug addicts; Geena paid for her drug habit with prostitution.
Ralian started his criminal career after several colleges refused his applications, despite his high marks. He became a drug runner for Orphy Jones, the dealer on Pyke Lane. Unfortunately, Jones would not follow Ralian's advice, and was murdered by "Grin", a rival drug dealer. Grin's chief lieutenant was Fagin. Ralian found himself working for Grin and later Fagin himself.
Ralian learned to be loyal to criminals in positions of power above him; that was how he survived. He became Fagin's right-hand man and gained a considerable amount of power. He liked ordering people like Tyrus Fallit around. With his new-found power and wealth, he was able to break Geena's drug habit. She became his chief lieutenant.
Unfortunately, Ralian could not enjoy being Fagin's lieutenant; Fagin had a habit of threatening him, not explaining the reasoning behind seemingly crazy orders and generally made his life miserable.
Ralian became aware of Nova, a powerful psychic, after she used her powers to defend herself from two rapists in the Gutter. Ralian wanted to present her to Fagin, but was ordered to secure her for a day, a difficult proposition as this meant "babysitting" a person capable of reading his innermost secrets. Making matters worse, Nova was suicidal since the deaths of her family and hundreds of other innocents (most of the latter deaths being her fault) and tried to provoke Ralian into killing her.
Ralian kept her alive, however, and brought her to Fagin. The thoughts of him wanting to kill Fagin were clear in his mind (even though he once thought Fagin was a "good" boss). Fagin wanted to control Nova, and his method (starving her) seemed cruel to Ralian.
Nova was released by Fagin (but would receive no food or shelter in the Gutter on his orders), but after several days (and a murder attempt by Fagin's hitman, "the Pitcher" after Fagin received new information about her) Nova approached his headquarters, intent on killing him. Ralian organized the defenders, most of whom were killed by Nova. Fagin defeated Nova, partly through the use of a psi-screen, a device which protected him from telepaths and could also be used to torture them.
Months of MadnessEdit
After Fagin started going crazy, Ralian tracked down information on the psi-screen that Fagin constantly wore. He discovered that wearing it for more than seven hours could cause memory loss, and Fagin had been wearing it for six months straight. He resolved to separate Fagin from his device, a difficult proposition at best. He discovered that Fagin really was suffering from memory loss and other forms of brain damage, but could not convince Fagin of this.
When Malcolm Kelerchian and the Annihilators special forces soldiers visited Fagin's headquarters, seeking Nova for the Ghost Program, Nova used her powers to force Ralian to shoot Fagin several times in the back, killing him. Nova knew that he could never kill Fagin on his own. The Annihilators stormed the compound upon receiving new orders, causing it to collapse on Ralian and kill him.
- A hallucination of Ralian to Nova(src)
The circumstances of Ralian's death would haunt Nova years later. After exposure to terrazine, she experienced a hallucination of him, chastising her for his death, and all the others she'd caused.