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Anna Kelso is a protagonist of the novel Deus Ex: Icarus Effect and the deuteragonist of Deus Ex: The Fall


Early Life[]

Born in the United States, Kelso attended college, where she studied Greek mythology.

In 2021, Kelso participated on a counterfeiting investigation against the Wo Shing Wo triad in Detroit.

In 2024, Kelso was suspended from the U.S. Secret Service for use of stimulants. With the help of her co-worker and mentor Matt Ryan, she was eventually able able to recover and return to service. Matt Ryan gifted her with a sobriety coin for her recovery.

Icarus Effect[]

In 2026, Kelso is working for the Secret Service.

Kelso is part of a team (formed by agents Matt Ryan, Byrne, Connor and Laker) meant to escort senator Jane Skyler to and during her meeting with the CEO of Caidin Global, Garrett Dansky.

Anna travels in the same vehicle as Skyler and her Belltower bodyguard, Hansen. The trip passes without incidents with the senator questioning Kelso about her job and augmentations, as they are Caidin made.

However, as they arrive to the meeting point in Georgetown, the detail is attacked by three heavily armed and augmented assassins. Anna and the senator are the only survivors of the attack. Kelso manages to kill one of the attackers. Gravely injured, Kelso is left to witness another one of the assailants kill Matt Ryan and execute Garret Dansky, ignoring senator Skyler.

Four days later, Kelso wakes up, blind, at the Washington Hospital Center. Kelso’s supervisor, agent-in-charge Ron Temple, and senior agent Hank Bradley, notify her that her retinal prosthesis were confiscated, for they are the only record of the face of any of the assailants, who destroyed the body of the one killed leaving it unidentifiable. Kelso is eventually released from the hospital and given new Sarif retinal prosthesis.

Despite Kelso’s insistence on the contrary, the official investigation determines the attack was ordered by the Red Arrow Triad, in retaliation for senator Skyler’s policies against the Triad’s augmentation harvesting activities. This prompts Kelso to begin searching off-duty.

During the following six months, Kelso falls back onto her stim addiction. Unable to find any form of information on the attacker who killed Matt Ryan, Kelso contacts the hacker Denny, to grant her pass into the USS Intrepid, at Pier 86, New York City, a place used as an underworld information trade centre. Once there, he puts her in contact with the hacker Widow.

Kelso pays Widow to do a search on Matt Ryan's killer. Widow reveals that no information was found on him as an individual. Still, the modus operandi of the attack matches with that of a black-ops cartel referred to as the Tyrants, which is being investigated by the Konspiracy Krew and Glass Curtain boards.

Before Kelso can pay Widow to run an extra investigation, the NYPD breaks in and performs a mass arrest, capturing Kelso as she tries to escape.

Kelso is taken to the NYPD 10th Precinct, where she is handed to Ron Temple. He dismisses Kelso’s investigation, confronts her about her stim addiction and informs her that, to avoid a scandal, the Secret Service will claim she was performing a deep cover surveillance operation. She is to be put on medical leave for a month. After that, she is to have a closed-session conduct review, and be discharged, forfeiting pension and all privileges.

Kelso is sent back to her apartment at Silver Springs, Maryland. Shortly after arriving, she receives a call to her vu-phone from D-Bar, a member of the Juggernaut Collective. D-Bar requests Kelso for a face to face meeting at downtown Washington D.C. Anna agrees, and doses up with stims before heading out.

Kelso meets up with D-Bar at the Ohama Center, where Humanity Front is gathered to listen to William Taggart’s anti-augmentation seminar “No Better: The Myth of Human Augmentation”. D-Bar introduces Anna to the concept of the Icarus Effect. He successfully convinces her they are both on the same side and that there is someone leaking information to the Tyrants from within the Secret Service itself.

Kelso agrees to infiltrate the Secret Service Headquarters in Washington D.C. With D-Bar’s assistance, she is able to access the building despite her credential being suspended and breaks into the server rooms. She connects D-Bar into the network, as he complains about her having him handcuffed to the steering wheel.

When D-Bar gains access to the servers, she disconnects him, refusing to let a backdoor open on the Secret Service for the Collective to exploit indefinitely. Instead, she copies the information into an agency flash drive. As the information is being downloaded, Kelso spots a file about the assault against senator Skyler. Opening it, she discovers the leak to be none other than her supervisor Ron Temple.

Before she can do anything, though, an alarm detonates and Kelso is arrested by agents Drake and Craig Tyler. She is put on hold at the agency’s basement, until Tyler takes her to be interrogated by Temple.

Anna confronts Temple about his involvement with the Tyrants, and he argues he and his family were threatened. He then informs her he will vanish her to avoid taking the consequences for her actions.

Kelso is transported on an unmarked van via Interstate 495 by agents Tyler and Drake. When she confronts Tyler, telling him they are handing her to be interrogated and executed by mercenaries. He claims she, in fact, is being transported to a secure psychiatric unit.

Before they can arrive, though, a self driving truck passes them by, flashing Kelso a warning message, and then crashing the van, throwing it sideways. Kelso is rescued by D-Bar, who informs her both agents are merely knocked out. Kelso accepts a change of clothes from him, before stealing his car and heading to Temple’s house.

Kelso arrives to Temple’s house and finds it under siege by the Tyrants. Breaking in, she finds Temple was in the middle of a party when the place came under attack. Kelso successfully avoids detection by the two operatives within and locates Temple at his safe room. Temple blames her for the kill order on him and returns her the flash drive with the information retrieved from the Secret Service servers. Kelso attempts to escape with Temple, but they are spotted by Hardesty, who throws a grenade at them. Kelso manages to avoid the explosion, but it still kills Temple.

While Kelso is running across the house grounds, she is spotted by Ben Saxon, who takes aim, but lets her go when she turns to him and he notices she is unarmed. Kelso escapes climbing up a wall.

Kelso breaks into her apartment, which is under police surveillance by drones. While recovering personal effects, she finds a box on her desk. It contains a commercial data card for a one-way ticket from Washington D.C. to Quebec, a Canadian passport, a riffle magazine and a Pulsar EMP grenade. She watches as the Picus Nightly World News report her as a wanted criminal, showing falsified footage of her breaking into Temple’s house and murdering the people in it. This leads her to believe she was only spared to be framed.

Kelso is suddenly attacked by Yelena Fedorova, who sneaks on her using her Glass-Shield Cloaking System. Kelso manages to escape detonating the EMP grenade, which leaves Yelena paralyzed and Anna temporarily blinded.

Kelso escapes her apartment, and uses the train ticket and passport. As the train is passing though a tunnel, it suddenly comes to a stop. Kelso discards the data cards, in case the chips are being used to track her. She breaks the train door and jumps out, injuring an ankle. Hearing people coming her way, she breaks into a run, until she recognizes the voice calling for her as D-Bar’s, who is accompanied by two members of the New Sons of Freedom

D-Bar leads Kelso to the NFS and Juggernaut’s hideout in Baltimore’s old docklands. There, she is greeted by Juan Ivanovich Lebedev, who explains to Anna the real objectives and motivations for the activities of the Juggernaut and NSF. And reveals to her the existence and intentions of the Illuminati. Lebedev then introduces Kelso to Janus, who is on video call to the hideout.

Kelso questions Janus’ motivations, and he reveals he joined Juggernaut after the Illuminati killed someone important to them. Janus goes on to explain the various actions taken by the Illuminati and Majestic 12 recently, in order to manipulate the UN vote on human augmentation and how that represents only a small part of a wider conspiracy. Overwhelmed, Kelso storms off from the conversation.

At dawn, Kelso returns to Janus. They discuss the Icarus Effect and the role of the Illuminati in history. Janus then agrees to show Kelso a vision of what they believe are the Illuminati’s long term goals. The footage resembles largely the events of what would later be the Aug Incident and the Great Collapse.

They are interrupted by Lebedev, who reveals they cannot access a subpartition in Kelso’s flash drive that contains the key to the Killing Floor, and attempting to breach it would cause it to self destroy. Janus informs Lebedev and Kelso not to worry, as somebody with the info they need is to arrive soon.

Kelso, D-Bar and Lebedev wait at the dock with the NSF, and witness Saxon’s arrival, carried by an autonomous trawler sub, reprogrammed by Janus. Kelso recognizes Saxon as the Tyrant who spared her, which causes Powell, the leader of the NSF to distrust him. Saxon eventually manages to convince them of his desertion from the Tyrants, handing over his vu-phone and the password to the Killing Floor.

Saxon is taken inside the hideout, where he is given medical attention and left to rest in a tent. Kelso visits him, and offers him a new pair of Caidin made Cybernetic Leg Prosthesis to replace his damaged ones, in exchange for his story with the Tyrants. 

They both, then, witness as D-Bar hacks into the Killing Floor. 

The hacking reveals the Tyrants’ next target to be William Taggart, during his anti-augmentation presentation to the UN at Geneva. The Juggernaut and NSF determine they have less than 24 hours to prevent the assault. 

Powell prepares a unit of the NSF to head to Switzerland. Lebedev contacts L’Ombre (a continental European militant activist group) and makes arrangements for transport. Powell requests Saxon to go with them to provide visual identification, and D-Bar for tech support. Kelso says she is going too, but Powell refuses, arguing she will be no use. Saxon convinces him otherwise, arguing Kelso has seen the faces of the Tyrants as well.

The group takes off on a retired air-ambulance VTOL. From it, they jump mid-air onto a Lebedev Aircargo aircraft. Powell tries to convince Kelso to go back, but she ignores him and jumps. Saxon follows, and he nearly slips and falls down when Kelso catches him and pulls him up.

Within the cargo bay, Kelso and Saxon talk. Saxon notices Kelso’s sobriety coin, and she tells him about her addiction. Kelso questions Saxon’s claim that she knows the faces of the Tyrants. Saxon points out she did survive Fedorova’s attack. She then asks Saxon if he was involved in the attack against senator Skyler and he reveals the Tyrants recruited him afterwards. They both agree to lack interest in the Illuminati’s larger schemes, only desiring justice for the wrongs against their close ones. But also that they cannot unsee the larger issues. D-Bar then arrives, and discusses his own insecurities and fears with them. Saxon reassures both Kelso and D-Bar that they have the advantage for this operation. 

The group arrives to Geneva, and is received by five members of L’Ombre, among them their leader Croix. After discussing with Powell and sharing intelligence on the operation, Kelso and Saxon divide. With Kelso, D-Bar and Croix tailing a van the Tyrants plant to use to bomb Taggart’s hotel. And Saxon and the rest heading to assault the Tyrants jet.

Kelso, Croix and D-Bar chase the van driven by Gunther Hermann, who she recognizes as Matt Ryan’s killer. She jumps onto his van, getting the upper hand and shooting Gunther in the head with her handgun. He swerves the car, knocking Anna off, shortly before sliding into the Rhône river and detonating the car bomb.

Kelso gets up to look at the surface of the river and check if Gunther is dead. When no body appears, she empties her gun's clip into the water. Croix stops her, informing her he has lost contact with Powell and tries to calm her down. 

As they make the way back to their car, D-Bar gets out and points a gun at them. He shoots Croix twice in the chest, and admits that the Illuminati convinced him to give up while on the Cargo blimp. He explains that the Illuminati are too powerful to fight, and that he is better off surrendering and aiding their cause. Jaron Namir comes up behind him and takes Kelso’s radio. Yelena breaks Croix’s neck. Ben Saxon answers the radio, warning that the plane was trapped, and Jaron responds that Kelso is in his custody and that he will kill her if Ben does not kill Taggart himself in plain public view.

Kelso wakes from a drug-induced sleep, in a cell aboard the MV Icarus (a vessel registered to the DeBeers Foundation used as headquarters by the Tyrants). She hears Namir discussing sending her off as extra material for the Hyron Project. Namir then enters the room. Kelso questions if he is going to kill her, and he explains the Tyrants intend to use her as leverage against Ben. Kelso dismisses the idea, saying she and Ben hardly know each other and Ben would not risk his life for a stranger. Namir insist Ben will, and taunts Kelso over her addiction to little success. Namir goes on to defend the labor of the Tyrants and the ideals of the Illuminati, but Anna rejects them, causing Namir to express disappointment and say he hopes she would understand. He then goes on to violently interrogate Anna on Janus's identity.

Some time later, Barrett enters the room and explains to Kelso that Ben has failed, and he plans to torture her until she tells him who Janus is. Kelso punches him in the eye, using her sobriety coin as a brass knuckle, and kicks his crotch, escaping to the deck of the ship.

Kelso arms herself with a flare launcher. Looking around for further implements that could be used as a weapon, she finds D-Bar’s tortured corpse stuffed into a duffel bag.

Kelso is then assaulted by Yelena. Kelso manages to force her to break her camouflage and lands several hits on her. Using the flare launcher, Kelso sets Yelena on fire and starts a fire aboard the boat. She then tries to escape, but Yelena catches up and starts to carry her to the Tyrant VTOL as they prepare to make their escape.  

With Janus assistance, Saxon is able to locate the ship and arrives as the Tyrants are trying to take Kelso away with them. Janus taps into the civil police network, flagging the Icarus with an Interpol stop-and-search warrant. Saxon kills the Tyrant pilot and emerges from the cockpit. Jaron challenges him to a one-on-one fight and easily defeats him. Saxon shoots Namir in the chest three times, subduing him. He trains the gun on Namir’s head, but Barrett, holding Kelso by the head, threatens to throw her into the fire if he shoots. Saxon throws the gun, and Barret throws Kelso into the burning wreckage of the Icarus. With the police coming, the Tyrants leave by VTOL.

Saxon jumps behind Kelso, and she leads him through the fire as they take cover from Tyrant gunfire. She shows him the ship’s dive hatch and they exit through it. Kelso uses her re-breather implant to maintain the both of them alive underwater until the surface clears. 

Kelso and Saxon escape to Costa Rica. There, they take refuge with Samuel Duarte’s parents at their safe house. Ben tells Kelso he plans to leave to hunt Namir, but Anna urges him to stay, and shares with him Janus's vision.

The Fall[]

After hiding out at the Duarte home in Costa Rica for some time, Ben recounts some of his history with the Tyrants to Anna, including their assassination of Mikhail Kontarsky, and his escape from the Tyrant Jetliner. When their Neuropozyne supply runs low, Anna agrees to stay in Costa Rica and dig up more information on the Tyrants while Ben goes to Panama City to find a new supply. During his time in Panama, he informs Anna via infolink about a dangerous drug conspiracy going on there, and continues to investigate despite Anna's warnings that it's not their battle. After witnessing an assassination by Sam Duarte and the Tyrants, Ben warns Anna not to return to the safe house, as their position has been likely compromised.

Black Light[]

As of 2029, Kelso and Saxon are still active agents of the Juggernaut Collective.


Deus Ex: The Fall[]

DXMD objective icon (grayscale)
This character is involved in missions. Involved in main missions throughout the game.

Kelso appears at the Costa Rica Safe House, which is the setting for the first part of the game. After Saxon leaves for Panama City, Kelso remains in contact via infolink during the remaining main missions of the game. Eventually, Saxon tells Kelso not to return to the safe house after the Tyrants assassinate inspector Stuart St. John at Hotel Etana.


  • Kelso is in her late 20s or early 30s.
  • Her augmentations include retinal prosthesis, telecom package, a neurovestibular implant, a biomonitor and a rebreather aug in her chest.