Name: Riva Elizabeth Lafitte
Nicknames: Rives ("Reeves")
Blood type: O+
Place of birth: Gretna, Louisiana
Occupation: From a Sunday school music tutor to a Starbucks barista, Riva's done many of the menial low-paying teenage part-time jobs. Without a hs diploma, however, there seems to be little chance of her going anywhere with a vocation. Not to mention she keeps getting fired from places. Low patience and bad temper do not job security make.
Currently X-Factor's receptionist. Coffee shop got firebombed. Figures.
Marital Status: In a relationship with Edmund Graham Lennart III (holy fuck that sounds so pretentious)
Known Relatives: Mother, Geraldine Mathos; Father, John Lafitte; paternal grandparents Annabelle and Gerin Lafitte; Maternal grandparents Casey and Philip Mathos.
Base of Operations: Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual. No, really. No kidding.
Physical Appearance: Standing at 5’10”, her height places her on the taller end of the spectrum, at eye with even some of her male contemporaries. Her body is lean, curves slight but just enough to give her a feminine-enough figure. Weighing around 120 pounds (give or take a few… alright, give ten. Even Riva has a bit of vanity), she certainly doesn’t have a stick figure build—nor covets it, frowning upon the nutritionally starved image cultivated by the fashion industry. Her physique is trim and healthy, marred only by her already established smoking habit and a developing drinking one.
Her hair is naturally black, but for the past two years Riva has dyed it a consistent red, a fitting color for her spitfire personality. It falls in gentle waves, cut in varying layers, the longest just barely brushing over her shoulders. She pays it little attention and only finger combs it with a dab of gel in the mornings. Anything more just isn’t worth the trouble.
However, her philosophy differs slightly in regards to make-up. Her skin is rather pale, and rather than burn or tan, it freckles easily. To prevent that annoying phenomenon, she applies a bit of powdered foundation to even out her skin and protect it from the sun.
Other than that, Riva has no other girlish tendencies. Much of the time, her lips are pulled not into a smile, but a sneering look of disdain or the even more becoming scowl. It’s not really known why she’s so angry, other than writing it off to female moodiness. Her eyes certainly reflect this, their mix of green and hazel producing a yellowish, almost luminescent coloring; if she’s not fond of someone, she’ll let them know with a dark glare. Shame, it’s hard to remain on her good side, really.
Distinguishing Marks: None, really, aside from a few freckles here or there.
Clothing style: Tattered jeans, tank tops, and sneakers. Riva likes to keep it simple, and her wardrobe is far from girly. If she does own a skirt, it’s hidden far back inside her closet where no one will ever find it. Something very special must be happening for her to don such a thing. And frankly, that garners attention even she’s not fond of.
Her work attire at X-Factor is business professional, or so it would be, but her rebellious streak and contrariness lead her to roll skirts a bit higher and wear heels just a tad too high, not really to attract the male eye but to be a pain in the ass, especially when SHIELD comes around for inspection.
Xsuit: None. And if you think you’re going to get her into some skanky Lycra/Spandex/Leather suit, you’re out of your damn mind.
Powers: Tactile telekinesis: It’s a spin from your traditional ‘throwing crap with my mind’ gig. While indeed a psi-based power, hers is a unique manifestation in that her body is subconsciously surrounded by a layer of telekinetic power. Unlike most telepaths whom can affect objects at a distance with their mind abilities, Riva is unable to project hers. Instead, she must be touching said object. Often, this translates into a show of super-human strength, Riva capable of lifting and throwing massive objects with a surprising amount of force and distance without exerting any significant physical strain. Hence why her body type is not as muscular as that of a mutant with true super strength. Her manifestation of telekinesis also serves as a constant shield, a coating of telekinetic armor that can repel a wide array of physical attacks—but not mental ones.
With her tactile TK, she can lift heavy objects with ease, with no need of appropriate grip. Even contact with one finger would be enough to pick up a sedan by the fender without it understandably falling off by the bumper. Though her strength limits have yet to be measured in a controlled setting, at the moment she could bench, let's say, a tractor-trailer, sans cargo. However, Riva has displayed other applications of her telekinesis, including scaling walls, walking invertedly on ceilings, twisting metal with her bare hands, and (with powers amplified by nanites during her period as a Convert of War) leaping long distances and great heights with telekinetic propulsion. She also displayed conventional telekinesis during this time, but as of now such an ability remains untapped and dormant - conventional telekinesis, or more likely flight, might occur with significant training and honing of her abilities, but results are not guaranteed.
Weakness: Every hero (or anti-hero. Riva’s not too keen on the saving the world in tights bit) has a fallible trait, that Achilles heel that will bring them down. Their kryptonite, if you will. Riva’s is… peanuts. Indeed, the teenage Herculean girl has a peanut allergy. But pelting her with goobers probably won’t bring her down, but earn you a good ass-kicking instead.
All joking aside, Riva does have another, non-allergy-related, weakness.
The human ear can only detect a certain rage of sound. There are other frequencies that fall way below this range, rumbling notes whose existence is noted only by the faint vibrations they produce as they travel through solid mediums—the distant, but muted, hum of a truck engine, for example, or the low bass notes elephants call to communicate across miles between members of their herd. It is in this ultrasonic range where a particular frequency lies which in fact disrupts Riva’s psychic powers, her own brain waves, if you will. She cannot hear it, but the sound essentially shuts off the constant field of telekinetic power that surrounds her body and renders her defenseless. Worst of all is that this frequency does not register any sort of pain or signal on her part, so Riva may be unaware of her vulnerability. Her eyes seem to lose a small bit of their luminescence, but unless she’s looking into a mirror, that’s a useless indicator.
Also, her telekinesis in no way blocks out telepathic attack or intrusion, so she’s just as vulnerable to it as the next mutant. And while it will deflect conventional physical attacks—punches, knives, low caliber bullets—its resistance has its limitations. While it may be nigh impossible to break her skin, a strong enough impact will certainly bruise, jar her organs or break a bone inside her body, injuries incurred in a high fall, for example. But don’t expect her to be scaling rooftops anytime soon.
Personality: In some aspect, Riva could be described as tactless. It’s not that she’s oblivious or airheaded, but the young woman possesses this certain mean streak that’s very difficult for her to suppress. She says the first thing that comes to her mind, no matter who she is speaking to or who may overhear. This trait alone gets her into plenty of trouble. Her teachers call it insubordination; she calls it sincerity. Foul-mouthed sincerity at that. It doesn’t take much to raise her ire, and her less-than-lady-like vocabulary quickly comes to light. It’s a hit in public, really.
The slightest look can set Riva off, or an ambiguous tone set her ready to fight with disastrous results. Despite the Xavier doctrine, she’s more than willing to use her powers to settle differences… really, she’s just a bully. Not that she runs around provoking fights all the time. Just when she’s bored. There’s a great amount of pent-up energy, stored tension that Riva has to find an outlet for, which usually translates into those shows of aggression. Sure, she could socialize with her classmates, but she’d rather spend a DR session with the Sasquatch than talk about classes. Or better yet, practice her guitar tableture and get started on some song writing.
However, it isn’t beyond Riva’s social capabilities to make friends. In Gretna, she had many, spending many a weekend out in town in their company. Her dour demeanor is probably due to culture shock, that resistance to transition. But it’s purely a matter of luck. When Riva meets a person, she either likes them, or she doesn’t. Two sides to the coin. Riva’s just happens to fall on the bad side a lot.
Hobbies/Interests: As stated above, Riva has a deep-rooted penchant for music. She is an accomplished guitar player and knows enough about theory to compose her own pieces, though due to a self-critical nature thinks very very little of the music she's put together. Those music sheets end up in the trash, more often than not. She also sings, her voice range spanning from messo-soprano to alto, but her Cajun lilt is consistent and often gives her singing an... odd sound. However, she is by no means a lyricist--while some people can think of words to stick to melodies, Riva simply can't, and it only adds to her musical frustrations.
Her music isn't her only means of expression. Riva does well enough through regular speech. She cusses profusely, coloring her vocabulary in the sort of way that makes old ladies on the subway cringe in abject horror. But, when she feels like it, she can speak like a normal socially-acceptable lady, her infallible sarcasm lending a bit of cynical humor to her voice and surprising people at times with her insight. She's smarter than what she seems, her backwater manners and rude tendencies perhaps only a ruse to hide her intelligence.
Or, she's just a bitch.
History: Riva was the first and only child had by her parents Geraldine and John Lafitte. Few years later, however, it became Geraldine Mathos and John Lafitte, her parents barely lasting three years of marriage. Her infancy was spent not in split households or in custody battle courts, but at the home of her father’s parents. Her parents were settling things in court on their own—division of property, who got what money, etc., and were too busy trying to cheat the other through prenuptial loopholes to look after their infant daughter. Corporate lackeys to the end. Her mother’s grandparents were too old to be taking care of children, and her family lived all the way in Reno, Nevada. There was no way in hell her father was going to allow the baby to be flown over there. So, her father’s parents stepped up to the occasion, Riva spending many a month in their old home in Bayou Lafourche. A backwater town, she doesn’t exactly go about advertising that she was raised there, though there does exist the barest suggestion of a French lilt in her voice. However, she loves her grandmere and grandpere dearly, and even after her parents reached a final settlement and her mother gained custody, she spent many a summer vacation at their home.
Riva clearly inherited her mother’s personality. A woman who spoke her mind, Geraldine was, and is, a strong character who took shit from no one. However, she had the nasty little habit of bringing others into her problems. She’d come home moody from a bad day at work—and when Mom was moody, Riva knew well enough to keep away unless she wanted a shoe flying at her. Not to say her mother was abusive—not at all. Neither of her parents resorted to hitting. But it was best not to take chances. What her mother did do wrong, though, was incur a feeling of dislike in her daughter towards her own father. The reason for their divorce was infidelity—John cheated, Geraldine found out, and leeched him out of every cent for his transgression. But that wasn’t enough. She wanted to make sure Riva knew what sort of man her father was and the hillbilly stock he came from. Now, while Riva might not have had much of an emotional bond with her father, her paternal grandparents were second to none. Even her mother couldn’t stand up to their level of veneration.
So Riva grew up holding a small grudge towards both her parents. Her father, for being a disloyal, typical male (Mommy had a few feminist views, apparently, that rubbed off on her), and her mother for talking shit about everyone behind their back. Riva made it a point to never be like that—if she didn’t like someone, she’d tell it to them in their face.
Other than that, however, Riva’s upbringing was normal. She was an average student and had little interest in academics. It’s her father’s fault, really. On her eighth Christmas, John gave her an acoustic guitar—a nice one at that. Though she won’t admit it, Riva was slightly spoiled as a child. But of all the lavish birthday gifts, Communion presents and other special things she’d ever gotten, nothing had ever created such a profound impact on her as that guitar. Of all the dance lessons and kiddie league sports teams her mother showered money on monthly for her child’s participation, nothing caught her interest so much as that instrument. Which was fine with her parents—she’d found an outlet for her creative energies. So while Riva might have had a hard time remembering if the battle of Shenandoah occurred before or after Wounded Knee, or what the parts of an animal cell were, she learned to mimic songs off the radio at a much better speed. She was no kid virtuoso, but with enough practice she could play like one and perform. And as long as she continued with whatever basic education was required of her, her parents wouldn’t interfere in her musical pursuits.
They didn’t have to.
It was accidental, really. It happened sometime during the sixth grade, what day, Riva doesn’t remember. How can you forget such an important date? It happens, damn it, though Riva is positive it happened sometime during the beginning of the year. In the grand scheme of things, the sixth grader is like a guppy in a lake of fish. Of really big fish, especially since her school ran up to the ninth grade—junior high. During class change the halls swarm with the entire composite of the student body, members fighting against one another like salmon against the current to get to their lockers and to their classes. For an unfortunate sixth grader, it can be a harrowing experience, constantly getting pushed around by taller students, or at times literally run over.
But Riva was never one to get swept against the current. She pushed back, but when she did, she sent some students flying into an opposite wall.
You know those moments when something happens in the hallway and everyone quiets and rushes to the scene? That was one of them.
A few weeks later, Riva found herself attending a new school. It wasn’t clear what had happened, but the change was necessary to avoid any fallout. The ninth grader didn’t suffer any injuries, just social embarrassment. But the school change was necessary, to prevent any possible acts of retribution made against Riva. New school, new friends. She adjusted more or less.
And then it happened again. Except this time, during a particularly heated debate during English, Riva slammed her hand down on her desk to emphasize a point… and broke the tabletop clean in half.
Coincidence? Her parents seemed to think so, until Riva broke a metal locker, punching the nearest wall in frustration over a pretty bad test grade, leaving a fist-sized dent on the front door.
Despite the ever-going mutant-human fallout, it’s still illegal to discriminate a person based on ‘disability’. Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990. At least that’s what her parents told the principle of her junior high school, avoiding any notation of her mutant power on her record under the threat of legal confrontation and avoiding litigation. Most people would probably commend her parents for that, standing up for their child. Riva didn’t see it that way. Yes, what she had wasn’t exactly normal—there had been no record of mutation in any preceding member of her family. But how in the hell was it a disability?
Riva never got to make any case, though, as her parents solved the problem yet again by switching schools. But this time, she was warned to be careful, and she tried. More or less, she understood how her powers worked and realized it didn’t come from simple muscular exertion, but something else. A strange pull across her skin, like a string drawn taught from within her center of gravity, and then released, producing those burst of seemingly super human strength. Riva experimented, practicing on her own in private. She continued her schooling, practiced with her music, and for a few years things just seemed to boil back to normalcy.
However, it was only a matter of time before catastrophe struck again in the form of Riva’s wayward temper. This time, it happened at home. Just another argument between Riva and her mother. Whatever petty squabble they had quickly turned ugly between the two hard headed women. When push came to shove, Riva shoved harder, and her mother suffered bruises because of it. Lenient mother as she was, Geraldine would not tolerate such a thing in her house.
By the end of the week, Riva was on a plane heading for North Salem, tossed head-first into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youth. She’d apologized, begged, and protested, but the fear her mother felt of her daughter couldn’t be reversed. She regrets what she did, yet, her personality has changed little, perhaps worsened. Then again, when you’ve driven away your own family, do acquaintances matter?
Due to recent events at the Xavier's School, the short-lived militaristic restructuring of the institute's administration and brainwashing at the hands of ShadowX, Riva has withdrawn herself from the school. She has no college plans, not having completed her highschool diploma program, and has no desire to pursue higher education at the moment. She's a tenant at the X-Factor boarding house, working a varied spectrum of jobs from music tutoring to cafe barista. However, these jobs are unsteady at best, low pay and measly hours coupled with a bad temper and a foul mouth.
Since her move out of her home state, she has not once spoken to her family in Louisiana. Connections with her relatives have been severed, and she has no interest in moving back to Gretna.
UPDATE, PART DEUX:
The world was brought to its knees in the wake of the Apocalypse. The Horseman of War struck the city of New York with no mercy, gathering converts into his growing legions under a blast of white-hot purging fire. Riva was one of many that bowed down to the ash-skinned demigod and pledged an undying allegiance to the Great Evolved One. She joined her chosen brothers and sisters in arms and laid waste to everything in her path, and though Apocalypse was ultimately defeated, many lives were lost in the process. Some by her hands. Despite the clear manipulations, Riva remembers the feeling of euphoria and complete resignation to the higher being and feels responsible for the acts she committed in Apocalypse's name. She keeps these sentiments silent, and for good reason.
As the world rebuilt itself and reached a state of relative normalcy, Riva tried to do the same. She harbored many conflicting emotions, fear and guilt and responsibility, but also a vitriolic resentment and hidden terror of her landlord and friend Alex Summers, known to the good public as Havok, leader of X-Factor, but to a small few as War. Months of terse silence passed, culminating with the Brotherhood assassinations. Her outcry reached further than just shock at those acts of evil, where in her rant she finally let slip her secret accusation against Alex. Weeks later they had a talk, taking a moment in City Park to let festering wounds bleed out, at least a step closer to coming to terms with what happened months ago, what they did and what they became from it. Offered a job at X-Factor as a receptionist, not just to take calls but to help Alex and herself keep grounded, she accepted, and has been working there since.
Signs of emotional mending are also apparent in the relationship being pursued with Edmund Lennart, a young man she met at a Kimmy Parker benefit concert one winter after spilling a thermos of hot chocolate on him (accidentally!). A regular of hers at the coffee shop, banter between the two had always been light, if not sarcastic. It took a firebombing at the cafe to bring the two together - Riva's pretty much convinced she'll die one of these days, and on that decided life was too damn short and gave the electrokinetic the time of day. He's proved to be a nice young man, probably nicer than she's used to, judging from her sometimes harsh behavior, but her more smiling demeanor hints at content with her new relationship.
She has yet to go back to Louisiana, but in the time after Apocalypse decided to resume contacts with her family there, at least her grandparents. Her relatives are all fine, and through them she gets updates on how her mother is doing. She is still too ashamed to call her herself, preferring to run from old conflicts.
SAMPLE RP POST:
She hated cold weather. The way the wind would blow against the natural fall of her hair and rearrange it in messy masterpieces of its liking, change course and then assault her face in a stinging show of force. Dry skin. Chapped lips. Runny nose. It was like a make-up commercial’s worst-case scenario, except the lustrous transformation gained by beauty products took her longer than the standard span of a 30-second ad. And even after the moisturizers and lip balms were put to use, along with a few layers of winter Eskimo-worthy clothing, it did nothing to still that general feeling of discontent and ill-being, the winter chill seeping into her skin, biting at bones and aching joints.
Her hands rested in fists in the pockets of her leather jacket, not so much because she was angry about the cold weather, but because she just couldn’t get her fingers to unfurl. They felt stiff, and Riva had the distinct, improbable, yet still troubling notion that they’d snap right off from the knuckle if she tried to move them. For a guitarist, that is an especially troubling phobia. Especially if said guitarist depended on those string-plucking talents for a living.
Her guitar thumped quietly against her back, in time with her footsteps. The loud roar of the small bar was still ringing in her ears, though the establishment was already a few blocks behind her. Super-sensitive hearing? Pfft, heck no. She had the great privilege to stand next to the amps on stage all night, and Riva had the not-so-wise credo of never wearing earplugs. She preferred hearing the other musicians play their parts completely, at the expense of her long-term hearing. And the low-frequency electro-audio interference those cheap speakers produced knocked out her telekinetic abilities, so there went her little reprieve from the cold.
As her sneakers slapped against the slushy pavement, the red-haired girl shivered. The bottoms of her jeans were soaking up the water in her wake and beginning to brush against her calves. Muttering to herself, she paced onwards towards her school. Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Youngsters. Or was it Youth? Not that it mattered—no matter what you called them, they were still mutants. She wasn’t exactly thrilled with her attendance there, but she’d already exhausted her academic opportunities back home. And she couldn’t really blame the school for any mutant ostracism—she’d packed plenty of that, carrying her own mutant brand all the way from Gretna.
Like she had deduced on so many other evenings before, this town didn’t seem to have much of a nightlife. The streets seemed desolate, except for that one white-haired fellow up ahead, wandering around. She watched as the young man took an ungraceful fall, biting her lip to keep from laughing out loud.
Oh, come on. That was funny.
But Riva wasn’t heartless. And so, she walked towards the young man from behind, doing her best to ignore the cold. “Y’alright there?” And apparently, the weather wasn’t doing wonders for her voice, either, her alto coming out a tad hoarse. She quickly cleared her throat, adding, “Need a hand?”