Steel Orchid was fortunate enough during her childhood to see one of the few rare public artist performances of a Celestial Exalt, hinting at the beauty and majesty of the Spire. Her childlike wonder had little difficulty in conjuring all sorts of images and glorious places. She wanted to see it all.
Everyone has to grow up someday. Not everyone completely loses their dreams.
Her Exaltation came relatively young, during her teenage years, when a Terrestrial was putting sexual pressure on some of her friends. This was back when she had time for friends. She figured that after she clubbed him on the back of the head with a pipe, she was going to have to run, but he nearly died. She still can't stand bullying, although she understands the irony of raiding other planets for their resources.
She tends to think of herself as a weapon, a shield between the encroaching death and the many people who depend on her. Her talents have pointed her naturally towards the Deliberative Army, where her tactical ability and close quarters prowess have ensured that she ascended rapidly through the ranks.
Her primary skills, however, are dedicated towards her warstrider Golden Fury. The right hand of the Royal Warstrider is constantly wrapped around an orichalcum grand daiklaive, with pistons adjusting the handle so that she can adjust her grip at a moment's notice.
Even outside the warstrider, however, she has herself trained and focused for duty. Her default assortment is a greatsword of alchemically-treated glass and a reinforced breastplate complete with gauntlets and boots, though she's been known to take other items as well as the situation requires.
Her eagerness to help has gained her a number of allies. Both the Upright Soldier Military Academy and the Void Hunt have requested and gained her expertise in a large number of minor disputes, but such tales pale in comparison to the third Connection.
A few years ago, she ended up lost in the Reaches, heavily wounded and alone. One of the rats came up to her and started nibbling at her, and she grabbed it with the reflexive intent to squash it. Something in its eyes, though, reminded her of just that look from her old friend from so long ago, being bullied by that Terrestrial. She let it go, removing her gauntlet to squeeze out some blood into a puddle for the animal. With a squeak of joy, it lapped at the blood, thanked her for saving his life and showed her the way back to civilization.
After that, she'd head out to the edge and bring out some food for the rats, meeting a few who knew their way around Autocthtonia very well. Another alliance formed easily enough, and whenever she needs help within the Reaches, she knows how to call for help.
Her private life is dramatically less impressive, at least when compared to other Exalts. She has few additions to her personal staff besides the usual cooking and cleaning: a masseuse, an elder who's exceptionally proficient at Gateway (though she's passing the point where he can even challenge her anymore) and a former trainer who keeps her appraised of the state of each soldier under her command.
When everything is done, when the Spiral is theirs and every threat is destroyed, perhaps she can attempt to have a true life for herself.