Dania Ramirez as Maya Herrera
|First appearance||"Four Months Later..."|
|Last appearance||"The Eclipse, Part 2"|
|Portrayed by||Dania Ramirez|
(removed by Arthur Petrelli in Volume Three)
Maya Herrera is a fictional character in the NBC drama Heroes, portrayed by Dania Ramirez. Her first on-screen appearance was in the episode "Four Months Later...", though the character was featured earlier in the graphic novel "Maya y Alejandro".
Maya and her twin brother Alejandro are fugitives wanted for murder. In "Four Months Ago...", it is revealed she killed all of the people who attended her brother's wedding, except Alejandro, with her power. This happened when Maya discovered the bride was having an affair with a former lover, and the man threatened her, causing enough stress to activate her powers in her native Dominican Republic. She then became a nun and went to a convent in Venezuela to pray for God to help her. However, her brother found her and brought the police. Again stressed at the possibility of imprisonment, her power activated, but Alejandro, using his own power, stopped the damage and fled with her.
After discovering Chandra Suresh's book, they decided to go to New York to find him, not knowing of his death. When Alejandro was kicked out of one transport they found, it results in the death of the occupants.
In "Lizards", Maya and Alejandro make it to the Guatemala-Mexico border where they meet with Nidia, a woman who they knew in their childhood and who arranged for them to sneak across the border. While resting at Nidia's, an unnamed curandera tells Maya that she is cursed with a horrible, incurable darkness, which she says could even kill the Devil; the healer then runs away in fear. While crossing the border, Alejandro gets separated from Nidia and Maya, who both make it across. Maya accidentally uses her power on Nidia, but Alejandro comes back in time to halt the effect allowing Nidia to recover. Nidia then runs away, saying that the twins are cursed, leaving the pair alone in Mexico.
In "Kindred", the twins are still on the run. Alejandro is arrested during an attempted car theft and imprisoned. Maya comes to his rescue by initiating her power and poisoning everyone in the building. Once freed Alejandro stops the effect and an American prisoner named Derek offers them a ride in exchange for helping him escape.
In "The Kindness of Strangers", Maya and Alejandro continue to travel with Derek to the United States. While traveling along a barren road they meet up with Sylar, who has collapsed from exhaustion. Sylar tells them his real name, Gabriel, and offers to help them find Chandra Suresh. After reaching a town Derek discovers Maya and Alejandro are wanted criminals and tells it to Sylar. Sylar kills him and drives off with Maya and Alejandro in the car, telling them that Derek is calling the police.
In "The Line", Sylar tries to convince Maya that her power is a gift. They discover an apparently unguarded crossing on the border and drive though. However, they are immediately surrounded by armed men demanding they exit the vehicle. Against Alejandro's protests, Sylar convinces Maya to use her ability to kill the men and escape. Maya is later excoriated by Alejandro, who says Sylar can't be trusted and that because of what she did back at the border, she really is a murderer now.
In "Truth and Consequences", Sylar provokes Maya into using her power in order to learn to control it. For the first time, Maya is able to control her ability and prevent Sylar from dying. Alejandro again warns Maya, showing her an article off the internet that says Sylar killed his mother. When confronted, Sylar confesses to killing his mother, saying it was an accident. In saying so Maya feels they have an even greater understanding. Sylar succeeds in driving a wedge between the siblings, as Maya identifies with Sylar as a fellow accidental killer. When Alejandro privately confronts Sylar in his hotel room over Sylar's intention to take Maya, Sylar kills him. When Maya knocks on the door, Sylar pretends to have gotten out of the shower and answers the door, blocking Maya's view of the room. As they talk, the two draw closer, and slowly kiss. While Maya is distracted, Sylar closes the door behind him.
In "Powerless", Maya and Sylar successfully reach Mohinder Suresh in New York. Sylar shoots Maya after she finds out the truth about him and that he killed Alejandro. She is brought back to life by Mohinder by one of the two blood samples meant for Niki Sanders. The other vial is then taken by Sylar, who uses it to regain his own powers and cure the virus.
In "The Second Coming", Mohinder discovers the source of the powers due to the way Maya's power works. By taking a sample of fluid from her adrenal glands, he is able to inject himself and gain a power of his own. This power is different from Maya's because it is influenced by blood chemistry. In "The Butterfly Effect" she begins to have a sexual relationship with Mohinder.
Soon after, however, she discovers the people that Mohinder has kidnapped, and, upon being discovered, is wrapped in a cocoon and stuck to the wall herself. In the episode "Dying of the Light", Mohinder confesses to Tracy (whom he kidnaps along with Nathan) that Maya was right, that he is a monster. In "Eris Quod Sum", Maya is taken to Pinehearst Industries by Mohinder. There, she has her ability absorbed by Arthur Petrelli. Upon learning this, she is relieved to be free of her power, which she considered a curse. When she is released, she is still wary of Mohinder, who has admitted to having genuine feelings for her. She tells him that he had no right to conduct his experiments and crimes in her name and that she no longer trusts him. She adds that she needs to make amends for her sins and hopes he will get well. She is then seen with her belongings—an American passport, credit card, and money—leaving Pinehearst.
In "The Eclipse", the temporarily depowered Mohinder escapes from Pinehearst and goes to visit her, but he immediately leaves just as she opens the door when his powers (and mutation) return.
In "Libertad", she is sent by "Rebel" to "Angry Skunk", a bar that also helps fugitive posthumans, to obtain a new ID and resources to escape DHS's agents. Misha and his associate are reluctant at first, especially when they notice Maya has no power. They finally agree to meet Maya at the bar at 11:00 pm to give her a new ID. Later that night, Misha is caught by the agents and ends up revealing the meeting point. "Rebel" manages to warn Angie, Harmon and Maya. After considering themselves doomed, the trio decides to escape in different ways. Although the negative current situation, "Rebel" makes her believe in hope, as he ensures his help to Maya while hidden in the dark avoiding the oncoming agents.
Powers and abilities
Maya's ability creates a fast-acting and potentially fatal poison in anyone nearby. The ability is triggered when she is stressed, but she can willingly activate her power if she wishes. Impediments such as walls or sealed vehicles don't affect the range or speed of infection.
When Maya's ability activates, her eyes turn completely black and "black tears" are emitted from her eyes. Anyone within a certain distance of her (the range varies considerably, from an entire street full of people to the area of a small building) quickly exhibits similar symptoms and loses consciousness almost immediately, followed shortly by death.
Initially, Maya needs the help of her brother Alejandro to deactivate her power. His power also acts as a cure to the poison she creates, as well as making him immune to its effects. With Sylar's help, Maya eventually learns to deactivate her own power, eliminating the need for Alejandro's intervention to control it.