Valentina Dimetriva Kyznetsova

Name:  Valentina Dimetriva Kyznetsova
Codename: Critter
Nicknames: Val, Valentine, Tina
Date of Birth: 16 May 1984
Age: 15 (until may)
Place of Birth: Moscow, Russia
Father: Dimitri Kyznetsov (Deceased)
Mother: Katya Kyznetsova (Deceased)
Occupation: Student
Physical Description
Height: 5'4'
Weight: 136 LBS
Hair: Black
Eyes: violet
Distinguishing Features: Valentine's most distinguishing features are her eyes.  Violet in color, they are impossible to hide except with sunglasses or contact lenses - the former is difficult to explain at night and the latter is beyond the expenses available to her family.
Actor/Actress Model: Winona Ryder (desired pics supplied)

Hobbies/habits:  Tina is almost constantly keeping company with any number of random rodents, primarily rats and mice.  When asleep she is never without the company of at least 2 rats, who watch over her.  While many might shun these creatures for their historical participation in numerous plagues and sicknesses, Tina doesn't care - she knows her creatures are clean.
Mutant Power:  Val has the capability of communicating with and ultimately influencing the actions of animals.  Her current conscious capabilities are limited to small creatures of rodent sized or smaller, however she has been known to occasionally influence larger beasts.  When she was discovered and brought to XI Val had been living in the sewers of Moscow for nearly 2 years, surrounded by a swarm of rats.
The primary limitation to her capabilities involves the intelligence of the creature she is attempting to influence.  Communication is easier with larger, more intelligent animals, while influencing - and ultimately control - is easier with the smaller, less intelligent creatures.  With time and practice the disparity between the two extremes will diminish and eventually fade all together.
Years of living underground and the near perpetual link established with the denizens below has resulted in a single side effect to date - a perfect sense of direction.  Even without being linked to an animal, Valentina always knows what direction is what.

Personality: Val is quiet, mostly an introvert.  Growing up in Russia has contributed to her difficulties assimilating into Western culture, but the rejection from her people, and even her own family, has been the primary cause of her withdrawn demeanor.  She gives her trust to few and never quickly - it MUST be earned, no questions.  While she does prefer to keep to herself, it is not uncommon for her to interact with others.  Preferring enclosed spaces, Val becomes uncomfortable when out of doors - mild agoraphobia.

Psychological Background: Tina's psychological makeup experiences mild fluctuations dependant upon what sorts and numbers of creatures she's controlling, influencing, or communicating with.  She behaves much like the animal, while some semblance of humanism is transferred to the psionic animal partner.  This lasts for the duration of the connection, though Valentina can consciously overcome the overlaid animal's instincts.
Mostly ....
Sometimes ....

Personality Quirks:  While most disregard animals as stupid beasts, Valentina approaches all with the same respect and courtesies she would give to other humans.  Even when speaking to them, her verbal addresses are in line with so-called 'sentient' communications.
Val has often been described as laconic.  She speaks with her whole body, not just her mouth as most 'homo sapien' do nowadays.  Her body language speaks volumes while her words are few and far between.  Actions speak louder, you know.
General Background:
Born in the Capital of Mother Russia, Valentina grew up under-privileged and more than likely destined for some crime lord's harem.  When she turned 13 her eyes changed from brown to violet for no apparent reason.  while this gave her a most exotic beauty it also doomed her and her family.  A year later on a trip through the Urals, a pack of wolves attacked the trio.  It was this point where her powers first manifested - her anguish laden cries stopped the pack hunters in their tracks and staring firmly at Val.  Yelling at them to go away and never come back, the Alpha Male nodded once and the pack padded off.  Though questioned as to what happened Val vehemently denied knowing anything, believing it to have been a miracle.  The combination of that event and a few others in the following weeks would prove to all without a shadow of a doubt that Valentina was a mutant.  The Russian government, attempting to keep such revelations suppressed, immediately ordered the execution of the Kyznetsov family.
When the soldiers arrived to perform the executions, they purposefully came in the middle of the night when everyone would be asleep - minimal resistance and it would look like a simple multiple murder that would go unsolved - one of many.  This night would display one of the more disturbing facets of Val's capabilities.  Up until now she had not exhibited actual control of an animal since the first day with the wolves.  Awakened by a rat, Valentina summoned up a swarm of rodents, engulfing and devouring the soldiers before they could get to her room.  At that point Val ran, knowing she couldn't stay at home.  Following the rats into the under city, she eked out a living in the sewers until found by the X-Men.  She has been with Xavier's Institute for Gifted Children ever since.
Special Notes:  At the current moment in time, Valentina has conscious control of rats and other rodents.  More or less.  Everything else is up to trial and error, and it sometimes backfires on her miserably.  She also speaks with a relatively heavy Russian accent.