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NPCs
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Combative
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Comments: 6
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Rating: 4.125
Condition: Normal
ID: 7723

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April 21, 2014, 12:58 pm

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Felicia 'Fever' Cortez

By:

"Is it hot in here, or..."

An NPC for the Delta Factor using my Organic NPCs presentation model.

First Impression:
Chick With Attitude. “Whaddya you lookin’ at?!”

Double Take:
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 call sign, 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 through 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 member of her unit. She and Thunder never got along when they served together, but then they met on opposite sides of a security gig, the two ended up exchanging words. Then blows. Then gunshots. Both lived, but each knows the other is a problem which will need to be dealt with as some point.

What’s in the Closet?
Fever has two major secrets. One is less telling in today's world, now twenty years into the Delta Age. However, the other is highly damning.

First, Fever is Delta. Originally, her status was classified. Since mustering out, she's kept it quiet because of the extreme tactical edge is affords. In today's world of sophisticated surveillance, cameras in the hand of every random passerby, and now Residual Energy Detectors able to sniff out a Delta, it's a secret which harder and harder to keep.

Felicia expressed during that ambush in 2004. It's how she and most of her unit survived. 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. 2004 was still early days; Deltas were rare and less understood. Today, the 51st boasts 18 members.

As a Class Three (pre-surge) Delta, Felicia is notably stronger and faster than Baselines. She can lift and throw a Harley, dodge a bullet, and generally outperform any baseline on a physical level. 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, post-Surge Felicia is Class Four. 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. At least, she's never told him.

Possible Plots

  • As a professional operator, Fever might be encountered in any number of situations. 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. Or perhaps one of the PCs is the real thief?
  • One of the PCs might have served with her in the military. The PC might even be her rival instead of "Thunder."
  • If your game features a fire using PC, Fever will delight in squaring off against him or working alongside him.
  • As Fever has said, she's a hammer. She might contact PCs for assistance when more subtlety is called for.


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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Gossamer
February 14, 2014, 11:58
7xp
Okay, it's very interesting to see what you made out of that random roll. But, I feel it came across as a little messy, the story jumps from here to there, I'm not sure if that's because you had too many contacts and tried to incorporate them all or?
A clearer gap between the funeral and the cut-back to combat would have been nice.

Her brother, Criminal friendly with Family Member
Her Captain, Former lover
And as an afterthought you squeezed in the mercenary rival
Couldn't find the last one, nor did I find anything about how she acquired her new wealth. She just became strong because of a malfunctioning chip in her brain?

But another thing, I don't really see much of those rolls here either, for one thing, your roll said Dense, yet I couldn't find anything about low intelligence in here, if anything she came off as a little Mary-Sueish. A butt-kicker out of an action movie.

As a stand-alone character, great. As for going with the challenge, I dunno. Maybe you can clarify it a bit for me.
Longspeak
February 14, 2014, 12:34
1xp
I think I can tighten it up. However, part of the mess is the format, and that won't change. The Organic NPC model presents information in the order another character is likely to discover it, not necessarily the order it all happened. But within that, there's definitely some smoothing out to be done. Some of it is translating what's clear in my head to the page.

This was sort of banged out on the spot. I asked a friend to throw me a name from a "neighboring country." That also supplied the gender, though in fairness the friend I asked had a 99% chance of responding with a female name. :) I thought of a nickname, then worked the nickname into the idea with the heat absorption. I also used my Delta Factor world for this, the only world I know well enough to bang a character out this quick. :P

I think all the traits except fertility - which frankly I ignored for this project - are there. I'll see if I can more clearly call them out.

You're right about the rival mercenary. Just tacked on. It was the one that gave me grief, and even then I went with "former military rival" instead of "childhood," and used the first code name to pop into my head. :)

The one you didn't see was the rich client who blames her for a theft. I decided she didn't actually do it, and in fact when I thought about it specifically in terms of my game I realized exactly how I will present this NPC in play, because I know which of the PCs actually DID the theft. :) (hint, it was the shapeshifting professional thief.)

Her brother's friend is the contact within the gang. He helped her get revenge and he's the only one who knows it was her who killed the shooter. I imagine his gang thinks it was him who did it, and he's got some fair respect out of it.

The wealth comes from the high paying private contractor job. She was in the army, doing high level stuff, but getting a corporal's pay, so she mustered out, went private, which in real life is very high paying, and I imagine a super powerer private contractor earns a real premium. I can detail that a bit better.

Re: "Dense" it was hard in my head to reconcile "Dense" with "Sensible." I decided - and will try to express better - that she's not dumb, but is also not known as a tactical thinker. Not stupid. Just not known for her planning and forethought. side effect of this is spending her money as fast as she gets it. No planning for the future. She's just a hammer. Needs fleshing out, I agree. I think "supporting" came out in her feelings for her brother and her sending money to her dad. Maybe need to flesh that out more.

Also, side note, the title messed up, post submission, and I can't fix it. There's a bug report, but if it can't be fixed, I'm already planning a delete and re-post maneuver, because the name needs to display right, dammit.
Longspeak
February 14, 2014, 14:21
0xp
Update: Updated. Fixed a few sections, clarified some. Still need to do more.
Longspeak
April 21, 2014, 12:36
0xp
Update: I've done some slight re-writing, editing, and a bit more proofing.
Voted Silveressa
April 22, 2014, 1:40
5xp
I really love what you did with a random roll, it's well fleshed out and interesting, the kind of NPC I could easily include in a couple of my games,

I've already got a random roll I need to flesh out in the next few days, this is a wonderful example of how to do it.!
Voted valadaar
April 23, 2014, 12:41
5xp
Excellent! This is a great super - you must run a kick-ass campaign :)
Longspeak
April 23, 2014, 13:09
1xp
Thank you. To be honest, I've already made a few changes to this NPC, to better fit into a specific plot I have planned. The idea of such a super elite member of the army just seems a little ridiculous... so I made her a Marine. :D
Voted Kassy
April 25, 2014, 10:40
0xp
4.0/5

An excellent sub, I like what you've written using the generator.

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