Chick With Attitude. “Whaddya you lookin’ at?!”
Felicia is a tall woman of Latin descent. Her flesh holds a creamy caramel color. Her hair is a lustrous black, cut short. Her dark eyes dare you to approach her, to enter her personal space at your own risk, but her disciplined, rigid posture tells you you’re probably safe if you remain outside her zone of contention. Probably. She speaks clear English, with a noticeable but easily understood Spanish accent. She stands eye-to-eye with the average man.
If encountered on the job, Felicia wears either fatigues and body armor, favoring olive green, or dark suits for certain high-end work. On her own time, her usual tank top reveals toned arms and a tattoo on her left shoulder, a red heart wrapped with barbed wire, dripping blood. The caption in light script reads It ain’t the heat, it’s the FEVER. Loose-fitting camouflage pants leave a lot to the imagination below her waist. In either mode, the way she carries herself tells you her boots were made for stomping, not walking.
Someone with military experience may recognize the tattoo on her shoulder as a variation on a special forces tattoo. Someone with special forces experience should recognize it as the official unofficial design of the U.S. Army’s 51st expeditionary force, a unit formed in 2003 to support missions by Deltas. The tat designates a Delta, and the tag designates her callsign, Fever. Anyone with the ability to detect such things will sense Felicia is Delta, of approximately Class Three (pre-2020 Surge) or Class Four (post Surge).
Getting to Know You:
Felicia Cortez, aka Fever, is a naturalized U.S. Citizen, and a veteran of the United States Army. She usually tells people she works “freelance private security,” and rarely elaborates. Despite her typical mode of dress she appears to be well paid based on her spending habits. She always has a large amount of cash on her, and rarely if ever uses credit or debit.
If encountered while working, Fever is all business. She discourages approaches, politely at first but escalating though insistence and harsh words, on to violence should it become necessary. If you're looking to hire her, she can provide references, none of whom will recommend her for her "out of the box" thinking. Felicia herself will tell you, "A good workman has a lot of tools. I'm the hammer."
If encountered during her down time, Felicia plays as hard as she works. Full contact sports, high energy dancing and music, fast cars, barroom brawls. Sometimes she goes wandering in the bad part of town to see if anyone will start anything. When they do, she finishes it.
In casual conversation, Fever will readily tell anyone she’s ex-military, private security, and that she loves things that go fast or make a loud noise. And fire. Lots of fire. A casual observer will notice if there's a fire, she always wants to be close to it. If there's not, she wants to make one, even on the hottest days or nights.
Getting to Know All About You:
As Felicia begins to let you into her world, she will begin to share other details of her life.
Felicia grew up poor. Poorer than poor. Her father snuck her and her older brother into the US when she was seven. He struggled for years to build a life for her, never managed to do more than scrape by. Felicia and her brother always wore worn, second-hand cloth, and ate "government cheese." Though illegal, she attended public school, where she was a below average student in most areas. Some of this grew from being dismissed by teachers. Felicia wasn't exactly stupid, but learning was a struggle, and not one she made the effort for unless she found a reason to be interested. For example, she worked hard to learn English, wanting to be able to communicate with the world she'd been brought to.
Growing up, Felicia had a good relationship with her brother. But as she entered high school, he began to slip away from the family, lured into the world of the gangs by the easy money and promise of belonging. Felicia stayed away, but still loved and worried for her brother. However, her father disowned him after he refused to leave the gangs. Felicia's brother was locked out of the house one night, and Felicia was forbidden to see him.
By her senior year, Felicia knew she wanted out. When she turned 18, in 2002, she applied for citizenship under a new amnesty program, supplying school records to show she’d been living in the U.S. for more than ten years as a child. Having few prospects, she joined the Army, signing on for a six year hitch. Felicia was only seeking money for the college she thought was her only way out. But she discovered an aptitude for... certain aspects of the life of a soldier. Other aspects were more difficult. Training officers noted her attitude as a possible problem, but only kept an eye on her.
In 2003, Felicia's brother was killed in a drive-by shooting. She was given compassionate leave, and flew home for the funeral. Her father refused to attend, even when she begged and cried. A few days later, she returned, having not spoken to her father since the day of the funeral.
Returning to her post, Felicia was a changed woman. She embraced her life as a soldier like never before, throwing herself into the work. Her brother's death had affected her deeply, and she rededicated herself in response, impressing her superiors with new-found diligence. Within a year she'd earned the rank of Corporal, and commanded her own patrol of three men.
In 2004, Felicia’s patrol was ambushed. An IED blew her ride, killing the driver. Felicia rallied and fought off the insurgents, though she and both her remaining men were wounded in the process. Her actions got her noticed, and she found herself in a new unit shortly thereafter. She received new training, and found herself undertaking new and increasingly high-risk missions. But still being paid the same.
Four years later, Felicia's hitch ended. She mustered out, refusing every offer. The military just couldn't give her the life she dreamed of. But the private sector could. Fever accepted an offer from a private security firm run by her old Captain, signing on for a five year contract at a rate that made her eyes bug out when she first saw the offer. Five years of this, and a smart investor would never need to work again. Felicia was a good operator, but wasn't a wise investor. When she left the firm in 2013 to go freelance, she had a few nice toys, but no real savings. However, she also has a solid rep and the promise of more jobs, more money, more fun.
Fever still works for her old captain occasionally, now as a private contractor. She still sleeps with him occasionally as well, though both know it's nothing but a fling.
Between jobs, Felicia lives high on the hog. She lives in the now, spending her money on pleasures of the moment: Fast cars, fine foods, nice clothes, but no thought to the future. Felicia sends her father some money after every job, but she hasn't visited him since the day he refused to go to her brother's funeral. He uses some to make ends meet, and stores the rest away.
Felicia has made a few enemies along the way. A former client blames her for the theft of a valuable item, and has made her life difficult, telling potential clients she’s a thief. Felicia is no thief, but can’t prove it. The woman on the security video looks exactly like her. Even Fever wonders if it wasn’t her. Fortunately, the client can’t involve the police, but one day this will come back on her.
Felicia also crossed paths with another former special forces, and the two exchanged words. Then blows. Then gunshots. Both lived, but there’s no love lost between Fever and the aptly named “Thunder.”
What’s in the Closet?
Fever has two major secrets, one of them highly damning. First, Fever is Delta. This is a closely held secret because of the extreme tactical edge it gives her. However, it's also a secret that gets harder and harder to keep, though increasingly hard for her to keep as new advances make detection easier.
When her patrol was ambushed in 2004, the explosion which killed her driver also hurled her into rock, breaking her back. She went down hard, in shock, but still conscious. She watched as her unit took fire from all sides, and the inevitable outcome she saw filled her with desperate fear. That’s when she felt it. Scientists call it Expression Surge. The node in a Delta’s brain goes active under the right combination of stressing factors, and the initial rush of power creates an nearly uncontrollable surge of energy through the Delta.
In moments, Felicia was up, taking fire from multiple directions. Screaming, she rushed toward the burning remains of her patrol’s vehicle. As she reached it, her hands reached for the fire of their own accord. As stunned insurgents and her own men watched, she somehow drew the flames from the wreckage, and... into her. She screamed again as the fire filled her with strength. Then she grabbed the Humvee and threw it at a unit of insurgents.
It was over in seconds. The attacking insurgents broke and ran. Felicia chased them, but slowed as her surge ended, leaving her suddenly winded. She staggered back to her men, already radioing for evac. This was early days of the Delta age, and the men looked at her like she was some sort of... God. Felicia liked it.
The new unit Fever joined was the 51st Expeditionary, a unit built to support high-risk missions by the Army's few Deltas. Felicia was one of only four Deltas in the unit at the time, though there are many more today.
Felicia is notably stronger and faster than Baselines. She can lift and throw a Harley, dodge a bullet, and generally perform some reasonably impressive physical feats. However, her real power shines when she’s exposed to a significant heat source. Heat doesn’t harm her, whether from a very hot day or a very hot fire. In fact, her body converts heat energy into strength and power. The hotter the flame, the stronger she gets. In the early days, after her initial surge, she maxed out with enough strength to lift a humvee. Today, fifteen years since her expression, her power has grown. With enough heat absorbed, she could flip over a tank.
As a side effect, Felicia also never worries about sunburn.
Felicia's other secret is the big one, the one she never shares, the one only one other person in the world knows. Felicia is a murderer.
When Felicia flew home for her brother’s funeral in 2003, she made contact with her brother’s best friend, Juanito. Part of the same gang as her brother, Juanito agreed to help Felicia. Two days after the funeral, the rival gang’s shooter was in the trunk of a car, bound and gagged. Felicia poured kerosene over him and dropped her brother’s lighter on him before turning to walk away.
This is a secret shared by the two still. Today, Juanito is a high-ranking member of his gang, partly achieved by claiming the kill. He and Felicia still meet once a year to drink to her brother's memory. Juanito is someone Felicia will drop everything to come to the aid of, though even he doesn't know she's Delta. Probably.
- Fever is a professional operator for hire. As such, she can be found pretty much anywhere. With some tweaking by the GM, she can be as altruistic or as malevolent as needed. She might be working for an enemy, or she might be someone the PCs can hire for assistance.
- Fever might seek out PCs for help in restoring her reputation by finding the real thief.
- One of the PCs might be an old rival instead of "Thunder."
- And if your game features a fire using PC, Fever will delight in squaring off against him as a rival.