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Heist of the Cup of Athelstan

Borislava having stolen the Wreath.

Borislava Vasilova Ilseva is a character from Defenders of Earth. She is a Bulgarian criminal who is a member of the Bulgarian Vixens which is ultimately revealed as the Bulgarian branch of a much larger criminal organization known as the Eastern Vixens.

Appearance

At first, Borislava appears simply as a black figure when she first carries out a robbery at the National Historical Museum in Sofia in Bulgaria and in this form she is dressed all in black and wears black leggings, a black felt jacket, and black boots with flat heels and a zipper on the sides complete with a balaclava and black leather gloves.

When she carries out the robbery, Borislava also has a harness around her waist like a belt. After she carries out the heist, she now wears a black leather jacket over her felt jacket but keeps her gloves; she now has a rucksack on her back. Once she takes her balaclava off, Borislava is revealed as a 25 year old Bulgarian woman with fair skin, black hair and brown eyes which are her only visible features when she wears the balaclava.

After Borislava enters the Falcon Sanctum, she takes off her rucksack and carries it by its top strap and takes her gloves off. This is Borislava's regular form however; In King of the East, Borislava is virtually unrecognizable undercover: Her hair is now tied back into a ponytail and in place of her regular attire, Borislava wears a black dress, standard coloured tights and black character shoes with a brown overcoat, black leather gloves and a thin patterned scarf.

Personality

As she carries out her heist, Borislava is shown to be a highly experienced woman and is described as having probably the best acrobatic training in the world then once she has carried out her heist, there is almost a high sense of arrogance about her because she considers herself to be like a hero as shown when removing her balaclava.

Borislava's arrogant attitude is shown when she is described as no ordinary criminal highlighting her cunning nature like a vixen which makes her alliance to the Vixens all the more suitable; these include both her own vixens and the other members of the Eastern Vixens.

But this also highlights her adventurous nature and like Veronica Ravenshaw and Poppy Wright from The Rise and Fall of Veronica Ravenshaw and the Cold War II series respectively she is shown to be single minded and has no regard to those close to her; except the other Vixens.

Another thing that is shown about Borislava is that she is always calm and collected, almost showing no signs of fear whatsoever when she makes her robbery and only expressing fear when the fake wreath rattles and only expressing frustration when the burglar alarm goes off.

Defenders of Earth

Stranger of the Past:

Sofia - Odrysian Wreath from Golyamata Mogila

The wreath that was stolen by Borislava.

Borislava's first appearance alongside the whole cast of Defenders of Earth regardless of human, dragon, hydra, dinosaur or mutant reptile except for a select few such as Tyrath who would appear in this story's successor King of the East is the story Stranger of the Past which begins the series. In the story, she is first shown robbing the National Historical Museum of Sofia in the same fashion that Christina De Souza steals the Cup of Athelstan but in this case, Borislava is stealing an artifact that is just as valuable as the Cup of Athelstan.

High Wire Heist - Doctor Who - Planet of the Dead - BBC03:38

High Wire Heist - Doctor Who - Planet of the Dead - BBC

A visual representation of the heist carried out by Borislava.

This artifact is the wreath of an Odrysian Aristocrat at the Golyamata Mogila tumulus and is believed to be from the 4th Century BC. Despite the fact that security measures in the museum are believed to be the best in the Slavic world, Borislava manages to steal the artifact with ease; this is because security lasers are positioned around the wreath and protect it from the sides not from the top and it is from the top that Borislava makes her move:

Like any normal burglar, Borislava dives into the museum and steals the wreath while replacing the real thing with a fake. Once she winches out, she reveals her face and shows her true adventurous nature but when the burglar alarm goes off is forced to flee the museum where she runs into trouble:

Borislava correctly assumes that the police have reached the museum and have arrested an accomplice of hers and instead of helping the accomplice, she simply smiles and says:

"Sorry partner."
Finally, she makes a run of it...but the streets of Sofia are filled with more police who were actually patrolling the streets of Sofia the whole time. At first, Borislava struggles to make a getaway but eventually hitchhikes on a truck which takes her far away from the city.

Zetros 5 ton truck 4x4 Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz Germany German army-defence industry military technology 640

The truck that Borislava hitches a ride on.

The truck takes her far away from the city and straight to an army base but she escapes before it gets there; as she watches the truck leave, Borislava looks on towards a house and at first is very wary about wanting to go there because she thinks that either the police will be using it for unknown reasons, the army will use it as a base or it will be used as a hideout for rival criminal gangs.

However, Borislava goes to investigate the house because she thinks that if she doesn't go to investigate, she will never know if the house is friendly or hostile and so makes "the longest journey of her entire life" and the journey is also described as being a benefit to her and the best hope of accommodation especially since she has abandoned her lift out of Sofia and is now a thousand miles at least from the city.

Bowood from Morris's County Seats 1880

The house that Borislava sees in the distance: The Falcon Sanctum.

Having taken a rest in the grass, Borislava begins to make her journey which overwhelms her. Not so much emotionally but more physically, particularly due to the rough terrain and despite being relatively light she is described as being like a recruit from the French Foreign Legion thanks to the organization's technique of making recruits march laps in boots with no laces carrying a rucksack filled with rocks and the straps replaced with wires.

On the journey, Borislava is described as aching all over and wanting a rest but her heart pushes her to continue and she eventually reaches the Sanctum which is actually a hospitable place as shown when she enters and sees paintings of vixens all over the house when she enters. Inside the house, Borislava makes her way to the dining room and takes a seat where she and the other women in the room await something or someone.

The person that certainly makes an entrance into the room is the leader of the Vixens Stanislava Blagoeva and when she enters, Borislava and the other Vixens follow the traditional Vixen greeting in placing their hands on their hearts but Blagoeva is in no mood for respect. Instead, she is more focused on seeing how the Vixens have done; as Stanislava watches the Vixens unload their loot, Borislava watches on.

She is ultimately one of those Vixens to put herself forward and shows Stanislava the wreath she stole and while Borislava watches the other Vixens reveal their own loot Borislava finds herself called out by the woman who saved her a seat: Alexandra Zhivkova. She is further called out as an accomplice to one of Alexandra's robberies alongside Bogomila Gavrilova, Grozdana Ruseva and Miroslava Blagoeva.

As the Vixens descend into chaos thanks to Grozdana telling them of a hoard of gold in the Bulgarian mountains guarded by a dragon, Borislava is one of a few Vixens to hold back while still putting herself forward to steal from the dragon. The role eventually goes to one of Alexandra's conspirators Miroslava; with a thief decided the Vixens go to the mountains to steal from the dragon.

King of the East:

Alongside the rest of the Vixens, Borislava is shown entering the Falcon Sanctum and after Stanislava phones another Vixen leader she is sent into the dining room where she grows impatient about the voice giving the briefing and like in Stranger of the Past, Borislava is sat in the same seat next to Alexandra Zhivkova. Like the other Vixens, Borislava listens to the instructions given on radio and is one of nine Vixens selected by Stanislava Blagoeva to go out of Bulgaria.

Once the briefing has ended, Borislava is sent away with the other Vixens to change their clothing ready to leave Bulgaria, one way or another. In the following hour, Borislava is one of many Vixens who is seen boarding the truck to go to Sofia International Airport. Within hours, Borislava's destination is revealed as Russia where she is reunited with the other Vixens who were sent to Burgas to collect all the guns left behind by the Bulgarian Land Forces and at the end of the story, Borislava pays attention to the Vixen leaders and is shown cheering with them when they declare war on PHANTOM.

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