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Location: Puerto Rico
Born: 27 March 1983
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Alias: Nicky
Age: 32
Codename: Feral
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MARIA CALLASANTOS

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Jan 14 2018, 11:02 AM

the basics

FULL NAME: Maria Callasantos
AKA: Feral
DOB: March 27, 1985
POB: Spanish Harlem, NYC, USA
POR: Brooklyn, New York City, USA
OCCUPATION: Mercenary for Hire, Assassin, Thief
NATIONALITY: Latin American
MEMBER GROUP: Mutant
FACE CLAIM: Eva Mendes

case file

Maria is a mutant with animal-like abilities. She has an appearance that obviously distinguishes her as a nonhuman. Maria’s eyes are her most captivating feature. They’re large and expressive, and are a bright amber-orange in color. The pupils are sharp and catlike, and they tend to glow when she is upset, and reflect light when it’s dark. When Maria grins one can see her sharp, fang-like teeth. Her ears are pointed, much like an elf’s. Another distinguishing feature is how Maria reacts to emotion. When angry her hair will most often puff up, like a cat’s. Her voice deepens to a guttural growl, and when she speaks she sounds more inhuman and more animalistic. When she is angry or upset, Maria also has the tendency to growl, hiss, and roar like a wild animal, most often sounding like one of the big cats, such as a mountain lion. She also tends to purr when feeling pleasure or satisfaction. Her mind is also affected by animal instincts and feral impulses that can affect her reactions given the situation and her level of control.

Maria’s ‘feral’ mutation provides her superhumanly acute senses, allowing her to see things at a maximum distance greater than a normal human’s, her range depending on the range and how well lit the area is, Maria’s limit being over fifty feet for prefect clarity, this range increasing when Maria is detecting motion. Maria also harbors the cat-like ability to see in the dark. Like a cat, Maria’s amber eyes have a tapetum lucidum, which is a reflective layer behind the retina, that reflects light that passes through the retina back into the eye. While this enhances Maria’s ability to see in low light, it also appears to reduce net visual acuity, thus detracting when light is abundant. In very bright light, Maria’s slit-like irises close very narrowly over the eye, reducing the amount of light on the sensitive retina, and improving depth of field. This gives Maria a minimum light detection threshold up to seven times lower than that of normal humans, making it possible for Maria to see very clearly in low light, so that she is able to see at night almost as clearly as if it where day, IF there is some form of light present (such as the glow from the moon, etc). Colors do transcend, but tend to look duller when Maria is using her night vision. Again, her visual acuity increases at night when Maria perceives movement of some kind. Unlike humans, Maria also does not need to blink her eyes on a regular basis to keep her eyes lubricated with tears, this giving her that eerie ‘unblinking stare’ that most felines have. Maria’s hearing and sense of smell is enhanced in a similar manner. She is able to recognize people and objects by the sounds they make. Indeed, Maria’s hearing is so sensitive she can hear a pin drop from across a room. Maria is also able to identify and track subjects by individual scent, even if that person or object is hidden. So perceptive is her senses of smell, that Maria is even able to track scent traces on the wind or ground that are over three to five hours old. Maria can use these enhanced senses to track any creature with an impressive degree of success.

These enhanced abilities also include greatly improved reflexes, balance, and body coordination, even beyond those of the finest human athlete. Maria can run on a tightrope as easily as most people can walk on a sidewalk. She can perform a complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs, having often been called ‘the human ping-pong ball’ able to literally leap and run off walls. Maria’s reflexes and bodily reaction time is accelerated to levels beyond the human body’s natural limits, allowing Maria to conduct physical feats that no human could do, her response time more animal like in nature. This grants her two major advantages. First, Maria is able to move through very narrow, confined spaces such as small ventilation ducts that would be too small for someone of her size without her gracefulness. Secondly, it grants a significant boost to her stealth abilities, as her movements are very smooth and very silent when she so wishes. Her reflexes are also astonishingly quick. Maria is capable of dodging attacks when she expects them, and manage to clear a corridor kept secured by a laser grid, from one end to the other. Similarly, she also reacts very quickly to surprises, and can regain her bearings in a surprise situation faster than people without enhanced speed of some kind.

Maria also has a certain animal-like resilience to mortal wounds. It basically makes her harder to kill then a normal human, and she takes a very long time to die from serious injuries. Fitter then most Olympic athletes, Maria prides herself in keeping healthy, which aides her ability to combat diseases. She rarely gets sick. Maria also has a healing factor. Although Maria does not heal as fast as some other feral mutants, she does heal faster than the normal human would when wounded. Minor wounds such as cuts and bruises heal within minutes. Major wounds such as gunshots or broken bones usually take Maria about an hour or two. When seriously injured, Maria usually enters a coma-like state, which she stays in until she heals. Highly resistant to the fatigue toxins generated by her muscles during physical activity, Maria can push herself at peak capacity for several hours, even days at a time, without having to stop to eat or sleep.

Maria has sharp, fang-like teeth, two-inch long, retractable claws in her fingers and toes. All are retractable and slide out through special cat-like slits in the flesh, leaving her unharmed. The claws are naturally sharp and tougher than that of normal human bone structure, allowing Maria to cut through most types of flesh and natural materials including wood, bone, and even some metals. Maria’s ability to slice completely through a substance depends on the thickness of the substance and the amount of force she can exert. Maria finally possesses some degree of superhuman strength, which allows her to lift/press up to 2 tons (4,000 pounds). This allows Maria to do various feats of strength such punch holes into concrete walls, and lift the weight of a small car.

LIMITATIONS: Although Maria’s mutation gives her an enhanced physiology, she is not immortal. Hypothetically her aging should start to slow down when she enters her thirties. She is not immortal however. She does slowly age. Also, just because she has a healing factor, this does not mean that Maria is impervious to harm. She can get hurt just as easily as the next person. Nor does her healing factor make her impervious to pain. Even though she heals quickly, she still feels it. Also, Maria’s healing factor isn’t as powerful as other mutant healing factors. She is unable to heal wounds that involve losing limbs or organs, and would be susceptible to such wounds as any human would be. Should she get decapitated or have her chest blown away, she’d definitely end up pushing up daisies. Same goes for attacks that are energy-based in nature. Fire, for example, can still damage Maria, even kill her, should enough of her body’s internal organs be exposed. She can also be electrocuted just as easily as the next person, although her healing factor could potentially stop her heart from going into cardiac arrest. Nor is Maria completely immune to drugs or sedatives. Although her healing factor does make it harder her to succumb to tranquilizers, Maria can in fact be drugged. It just takes a lot more than the usual dose. If it can put down an elephant, then it’ll put Maria down, if for a short period of time, depending on the dosage.

Another weakness is that Maria’s enhanced senses can be overloaded. Her eyes are accustomed to darkness, and sudden blinding flashes such as magnesium flares can affect her more severely, blinding her for a longer time than a normal human. An individual can disguise his or her scent by applying some chemical with a very strong scent on themselves. Ordinary perfumes or colognes are insufficient for this. Simply very bad smells such as garbage dumps don’t affect Maria much, as she has lived in the sewers and became accustomed to such smells. Furthermore, odd tastes in food or drink can be disguised by an overriding other component, which has very strong taste. In fact strong tastes such as hot sauce can make Maria sick to her stomach. Loud sounds also affect her more than a normal human, and she is therefore especially vulnerable to sonic attacks from individuals like Banshee or Ruckus.

Unlike some feral mutants, Maria does not have complete control over her animal impulses. Like a wild animal, Maria mind is constantly plagued by animal-like drives. The need to hunt, feed, mate, breed, find shelter, defend territory, etc. All of these are constant needs that Maria’s mind must fulfill. Only until recently has Maria matured enough to be able to rein a certain degree of control over these impulses. Unfortunately, her control is mainly connected to her level of concentration. In tense or stressful situations, Maria’s control tends to go flying out the window. When deeply afraid, angry, or upset Maria can fall into a ballistic berserker-like rage, and usually needs to get knocked out in order to regain her human mind.

Finally, Maria’s mutation does not give her any immunity towards telepaths and empaths. Both can easily gain control of Maria’s mind for a temporary amount of time, although some telepaths may find it difficult to control her for long periods due to Maria’s animal impulses. In regards to magic, Maria has no defenses, and thus can be as easily manipulated or harmed as the next person. Should a magic-user try to take over Maria’s mind, or manipulate her thoughts, they will, in theory, be able to do so. However, as with telepaths and emapths, may find it difficult to control her for long periods of time, due to her animal impulses.

SKILLS: Eidetic Memory – Along with to her mutation, Maria as acquired a certain number of skills over the years. One of those talents would be a form of eidetic memory, which she developed in order to handle the nearly overwhelming amount of stimuli one gains by having enhanced senses. Eidetic memory is the ability to recall images, sounds, and objects in memory with great accuracy and in seemingly unlimited volume. In Maria’s case, she seems to be able to memorize physical stances with ease, possibly explaining why she was able to learn so many martial arts styles is such a limited amount of time. She is also very good at remembering where she has gone, making her able to mentally retrace her steps. Maria is also good at memorizing maps and schematics. This skill is one of the reasons why Maria became such a good assassin and thief.

Bilingual – Maria grew up in a Latino area of New York, and being half Puerto Rican, half Cuban, has acquired skill in both the Spanish and English languages from her family and friends as she grew up. She is capable of speaking both languages at a proficiency level of a native and thinking in both languages, but her English has a noticeable lower-class ‘street’ accent. She also tends to use random Spanish words in her sentences every now and then to better emphasize her points, not caring in the least if the others around her understand Spanish or not.

Mercenary – The years had been hard on Maria. Over the years she has also been able to learn various marital forms, such as Karate, Judo, Wrestling, Aikido, Boxing, Muay Thai, Savate, Kenjutsu, among many others. Although she prefers her claws, Maria also has training when it comes to using various weapons, such as guns and knives. Thanks to her enhanced senses and agility, Maria is an excellent sword-fighter, and a crack marksman. Maria is also adept at security infiltration, as well as has some skill in pick pocketing.

Ambidextrous – Another skill Maria has acquired would be the fact that she happens to be ambidextrous, which means she is equally adept with both hands (and, to a limited degree, feet), and is able to use both limbs to do separate functions. She is even able to use her feet for simple functions such as writing, and opening locks or doors with a key.

First Aid – Maria has some knowledge of first aid. Not enough to qualify as a surgeon… but enough to give first year ER interns a run for their money. Although she has a healing factor, Maria knows she’s not immortal. And she knows she can bleed out, or go into shock while in the middle of battle. Due to this fact, Maria has become quite adept at stitching cuts, setting bones, and other triage skills that keep a body alive and moving, which in the end, she knows is all she needs to get the job done.

freeform

PERSONALITY: When you take Maria’s personality into consideration, you also have to keep one thing in mind. There are two sides to Maria, just like there are two sides to every coin; the human side and the animal side. As a feral mutant who is constantly plagued by the animal drives that are a part of her mutation, Maria’s personality is a unique mix of wild animal abandon and rage, and human conviction and compassion.

Maria is infamous for her short temper. Having never been considered meek or unconfrontational, Maria harbors that infamous ‘Latin Temper.’ She has never been considered the type of person that will back down from a fight, nor is she the type of person that will take things lightly. Although she has enough self-control to avoid getting violent, Maria can yell and insult with the best of them, her harsh tongue often getting her into trouble. This has something to do with Maria’s passionate nature. Maria is a woman driven by strong emotions. She’s not the type of person that hides her emotions well, and tends to wear her emotions on her sleeve. Maria can be a very intense person. Some even describe her as forceful, even fierce, especially when it comes to her own needs and the needs of others. This strong sense of self has its drawbacks however. With it also comes a strong need to dictate and protect. Although not the leader type, Maria will always be the type that fights for what she believes in, and will not back down until she gets her way. Although it makes her a very good person to have on your side in a battle, when it comes to meeting the standard of how a modern woman is supposed to act, Maria falls a little short. Maria has a strong sense of individuality, and even a hint of spunk that often surfaces when her ire is raised. She is the kind of person who lives her life to the fullest, something that the students in the school have come to know and respect. They know that she’s not intentionally mean or rude. They just know that she doesn’t take shit from anyone. Although hard to put up with, Maria is honest in her ways. If she’s mad, she’s mad. If she’s happy, she’s happy. Maria is not the type of person that will attempt to hide behind false pretenses and bogus innuendo. If she feels a certain way about something, she’ll show it to the world… whether they are capable of dealing with it or not.

Another aspect of Maria’s personality that most people will notice is her practical nature. This is her human side talking here, not her animal side. While her animal side is all instability and volatility, Maria’s human side is actually very practical. She has to be, in order to be able to control her violent tendencies. When not under the sway of her fiery temper (which is what leads towards her violent tendencies), Maria is a very realistic, matter-of-fact type of individual. She doesn’t see sense in doing something that is not worth doing. Nor does she think it makes sense to not do something well. Hard-working and dedicated to what task she sets for herself, Maria is often the voice of realism among others. It is this methodical nature that is what causes Maria to always try to do what is needed to get the job done, no matter what may be required of her. This was the attitude she took when she worked as a mercenary and assassin for hire. Although some would call this meticulous practicality callous, or even cruel, what most individuals don’t see is the dedication that Maria feels for all that she does. Maria takes everything she does seriously, and will not give up in achieving her goals, no matter the cost.

If there is one character flaw that gets Maria into trouble (after her short fuse that is), it is her stubborn nature. Maria never gives up. Ever. Persistent to the point of fanaticism, Maria will strive to get what she wants no matter what people tell her, this hard-headiness often getting her into situations she most often can’t get out of without help. Maria isn’t the kind of woman that easily backs down from a fight. Quite the reverse. Instead she’ll rush into any brawl, no matter the consequences or the danger, especially when she is protecting a fellow mutant. She sees herself as a protector and a warrior, and no amount of common sense will deter her from fighting for the cause.

Not to say that Maria acts like a hard-ass twenty-four seven. Maria can actually be pretty fun to hang out with. Believe it or not, Maria has a pretty good sense of humor. When in a good mood, she’s always cracking jokes and making fun of herself. Ranging from the sarcastic to the ironic, Maria’s quick wit is something that most would call offbeat. Having never been the type to hold her tongue, Maria says what she likes, when she likes it to who she wants, having never been the type to hold back for something as ridiculous as etiquette.

Unfortunately not everything about Maria’s personality is warm or loving. Quite the opposite. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and that is also true for Maria. Whenever Maria gets angry or upset, she runs the risk of going into what is widely known as ‘berserker-mode.’ Berserker-mode is an animal-like rage that causes Maria’s human sanity and control to simply vanish, revealing the animal beneath, as well as placing it in the driver’s seat. When this happens, Maria truly becomes a raving, killing machine that is unable to differentiate friend from foe, or use human reason or judgment. This often leads to situations where Maria will use unnecessary force. Unlike normal humans, who have to concentrate to go for their most deadly attacks, when in berserker-mode, Maria does not have to concentrate to go for her most deadly attacks. For her it’s instinctual. To Maria, when the Feral animal-mentality is in control, it’s more of a natural tendency is to rip peoples’ stomachs open, to tear their throats out. Not because she enjoys it, but because instinct tells her that doing this will ascertain her chances of surviving the fight. So yea. Try not to piss Maria off. It might get you killed.

APPEARANCE: When a human first sees Maria, they can usually tell that she is not human. A feral mutant, her amber eyes have sharp catlike pupils, her ears are pointed, and when she smiles, one can see her pretty fangs. Due to this fun little fact, when out in public, Maria tries her best to blend in. She covers her eyes with black sunglasses, her tries her best no to smile (okay, as a bitch, it’s pretty easy for her not to), and will often use her hair to cover her pointy ears. But once you get around all those fun features… Maria is actually quite beautiful.

With a face of dark beauty, Maria has a curvy, muscled form of one who often works out. Standing at 5’6 feet, Maria has a glowing cinnamon tan complexion that always seems to glow from within. Sleek and powerful, her most prominent features are her large expressive eyes, which are bright amber in color, giving her already exotically beautiful face an otherworldly appeal. It is due to this otherworldly eye color that Maria got her nickname ‘Sparky,’ which probably also ties in with her short temper as well.

Although not intimidating in size, Maria has an air of power about her that tends to set her apart from the everyday crowd. Her voice, is a pleasant contralto when she’s in a good mood, but often has the tendency to shift and deepen with her mood. When Maria speaks it is usually hard to miss her New York accent. Her highlighted brown hair is short, just reaching past her shoulders, and has a curly, vibrant feel to it. Not one to dress up much, she often wears her hair either loose, or in a ponytail. She also tends to rarely use makeup, and if she does ever use it, prefers natural tones. Her fashion scene is utilitarian. Maria will only wear it if it comes in handy, and does not hamper her movement. For Maria, being the human version of a ping-pong ball, freedom to move is pinnacle. Her mercenary uniform had been designed to specifically highlight this feature, as well as afford her some protection.

Currently Maria likes to dress in dark colors that normally range from black to blue, although she is also starting to lean towards more natural colors, such as tan and brown. Maria tends to stick with what works, and is normally seen wearing a black tank top, leather pants, or wide-leg jeans, and her black, lace-up combat boots. When at home she can often be seen wearing tank tops, t-shirts, jeans, overalls or shorts, and is also almost always seen barefoot.

HISTORY: The mutant known as Feral was born on March 27, 1985, and grew up in a New York City to a poor Hispanic American family. Her mother was Marcella was and her father was Alejandro. She has an older sister, Lucia, who would also prove to be a mutant, as well as a younger brother, Matteo, and a younger sister, Carolina.

Growing up in the poor projects of Spanish Harlem, Maria’s life was a nightmare from day one. First of all, it was obvious that Maria was a mutant at birth. Born with amber cat-like eyes, pointy ears, and four cat-like fangs, Maria was made an outcast the moment she left the womb. The fact that she was the second of four children just made it all the more difficult. Maria’s family was not the richest family on the block. Quite the opposite. With a mother that worked as a bank teller and a father that was a roofer, Maria primarily grew up in a small one-bedroom apartment, this experience permanently scarring Maria with an innate fear of tight spaces that persists to this day. Maria hated living there. Even as a toddler, Maria would prove to be a difficult child, prone to tantrums. Then, when Maria was four and Lucia eight, Maria lost her father.

Just a young girl unable to understand the loss of her father, Maria blamed her two younger siblings for the fact that their father had died, saying often that it was their fault that the family was so poor. This in part was due to the fact that Maria had started to develop her mutant abilities early on, specifically her animal impulses. Without a father to help pay the bills, the family soon found themselves in dire need for income, causing Marcella to take on two jobs while depending on her mother, Maria’s grandmother, Maria Aida (whom Maria was named after) to watch the children. Due to the fact that they were able to afford to buy food on a regular basis, it was not out of the ordinary for Maria to go to bed without supper, Marcella usually giving what food reserves the family had to her younger, more ‘human-looking’ children.

Underfed and neglected, Maria’s animal impulses started to take over. Although the family moved to a larger apartment, things were still hard, the constant stress taking its toll on Maria’s already unstable mind. A year after moving into the new apartment later Carolina was found dead, having supposedly fallen down a staircase in Maria’s New York City apartment while Maria was babysitting her. Maria had been eight at the time. Although authorities could not prove it at the time and deemed the death an accident, it was Maria who pushed the girl, her animal instincts dictating that the younger child was a rival for food. Two years later, while Matteo was chasing Maria’s pet pigeons on the apartment building roof, he allegedly tripped over the ledge and fell to his death. Although police investigators were unable to prove anything, it was Maria’s emerging and unstable animal impulses that were once again to blame.

Maria’s mother eventually got a new husband named Harry Bellinger, who was an alcoholic and pedophile. It was around this time that Lucia’s and Maria’s mutant abilities began to fully surface, both girls finding themselves with emerging animal-like powers. Night after night, while Marcella was at work, Harry would come in to molest the two girls, stating that he would put each in a home should they ever say anything to their mother. And as the years wore on, the more did Maria's rage grow.

When Lucia was fifteen years old, Bellinger tried to rape her. But Maria, now twelve, and with mutations that had emerged far more quickly then those of her older sister, stopped Bellinger and killed him, bashing his head into the floor with her bare hands, saving her older sister. Together the two sisters hid the body. Knowing that Maria had murdered Bellinger, Mrs. Callasantos killed Maria’s pet pigeons, the only friends she had beside Lucia, in revenge. Seized by hatred, and no longer able to handle a lifetime of pain, Maria killed her mother in a fit of rage. Realizing that humans would never accept them, Maria and Lucia went to live among the underground community of mutants, known as the Morlocks. There the two sisters came to resemble humanoid animals; Maria taking the name “Feral,” and Lucia becoming known as “Thorn.”

For the next few years the two sisters lived with the Morlocks under the city streets. In the sewers Feral lived the hard life of an outcast runaway. There she killed to live, killed to survive. She gave into her deepest darkest self, her animal self, a creature without pity, a wild animal that believed in only one edict; kill or be killed. While her sister preferred to play the part of the loner, Maria took it upon herself to learn hand-to-hand combat, how to pickpocket, as well as basic security infiltration. Years passed. And as they did, the more Maria began to hate living in the world below. She grew tired of the constant need to fight for decent food, or clean water. She wanted to know more about the world above. And so, making a decision that would forever make herself and her older sister rivals, Feral decided that it was time that she set out on her own. She had just turned 22 years old.

Once she returned to the surface, Maria immediately settled in with a bad crowd. Calling themselves the Family, the terrorist group was led by a powerful mutant only known as Pain. Believing that mutants needed to stand up for themselves, Maria joining the group. It was the Family’s goal to work together to fight for mutant rights, staging attacks on government buildings, or hunting down government officials that had anti-mutant opinions or agendas. For two years Maria fought with the Family, and as they did Maria underwent a unique transformation. Pain saw the potential in Maria. He wanted to mold her into becoming the perfect killer. Not only did he train her in the use in weapons, Pain also taught Feral on how to turn her body into a living weapon, teaching her different martial arts styles, as well as assassination and security infiltration techniques. Just as he was about to deploy her on her first mission however, FBI attacked the group, arresting most of the group’s members, including Pain. Maria, however, escaped and went underground, where she did what she did best. She hid. Maria was 24 years old.

On the run and desperate for money, Maria became a mercenary, offering up her abilities and skills to the highest bidder, taking on jobs that ranged from theft to contract hits for the mob, Maria constantly staying under the radar and out of the law’s eye. It went well. Years passed. Word of super beings, such as the Hulk and Iron Man reached her ears, Maria feeling unimpressed by all of it. She was wanted for murder, after all. Why worry about other super-powered beings? She had enough problems on her own. In February 2012, Maria got a call from an old mutant friend, named Pulse. He had a job for Maria; to break into SHIELD’s computers and find information on his missing twin brother, Mouse, who was a powerful cyberpath. Pulse, after offering to pay a hefty fee, as well as reminding Maria of the debt she owed him, was able to convince Maria agreed to helping him. After a month of preparation, Maria did what she promised; she broke into SHEILD’s data facility in upstate New York. Using Pulse’s ability of emitting an electromagnetic pulse to de-power the building for several minutes, Feral was able gain access to the building, and made her way to the computer core, using her abilities to move through the building via the small ventilation ducts. Just as she was about to reach the computer core however, SHIELD operatives moved in to stop her, and Maria had to retreat in order to avoid capture, fighting her way out of the building, being none too gentle. This action gained her a top ranking spot on the most wanted list… and caught the notice of SHIELD. How things play out. Well, we’ll just have to see. One thing is certain. Maria is very much an animal… and animals adapt.

[dohtml]<div style="width:380px;padding:10px;background:#547980;"><font color="#FFF"><center>Nicky | 35 | Eastern</center></font></div>[/dohtml]

Tuesdays. Why did the bad ones always happen on Tuesdays? It was like some practical joke from god. The prick. Reminded her of a kid sometimes.

Seated in the dark apartment was a figure. A powerful figure, her muscular body draped in black leather. The figure was seated in a shabby, run down apartment that was practically empty, void of furniture, its only occupant having been a man. A once live man, but now a very dead man.

Seated on a chair that was faced backwards and leaning against the backrest, the figure looked down at the body with an expression that seemed bored, aloof, jaded. The figure belonged to a woman, but not just any woman. This was a creature both human and animal. She was a beautiful creature, to be sure. To look at her is looking at a wild animal in a zoo. You look, but don’t touch. To touch is forbidden, and will only ascertain one response. Pain. Lithe curves blessed her powerful frame. Hair that resembled a curly mane reached her shoulder. She was beautiful as she was deadly. And therefore she was very, on both counts. Her name was Feral, and pain was her life song.

With a grunt Feral pulled on the cigarette that lay laced between her fingers, taking a long drag on the death stick before releasing it, amber eyes gazing down at the body as her mouth released a cloud of smoke. And while her attitude seemed calm and composed the apartment did not match her mood. Blood splashes streaked the walls like bad graffiti, creating small thin paths of crimson on the white, faded paint. Empty bullet shells covered the floor like confetti. And the woman’s body resembled a cutting board.

Bullet holes decorated nearly every inch of her, running across her chest, arms and legs, marring her flesh like pockmarks. Blood dripped down in a slow and steady stream, pooling beneath her feet, the sound of the drip-drip-drip echoing through the air. And despite it all, she still sat there, alive, breathing. She was hurting, but she’d survive. She always survived. The guy got lucky, that was all. Fucker got the drop on her. Used a fucking UZI. Who had those anymore? They were practically antiques!

Minutes passed. Maria ticked them off in her head, her amber eyes burning into the wall with a steady gaze. As and as they did, slowly the blood began to stop. The woman flinched. It hurt. It always hurt. But then again pain is not without its rewards. Looking down she watched it happen. Her mutation was kicking in, her body hard at work at healing the damage. It was slow. Oh so slow. It started in deep. Her flesh began to tighten and contract, pushing, Maria watching with clenched teeth as the bullets slowly began to push their way out, taking their time to vacate her flesh, Maria feeling them and they passed her skin, closing her amber eyes as they were finally released, the metallic ping! ping! of the bullets hitting the floor like a lullaby to her ears.

“Finally.” Maria grunted, flicking her wrist, sending cigarette ash and drying blood flying, marking the already stained floor. Letting out a final sigh of smoke, Maria tossed the cigarette butt and reached into her pocket for her iPhone, the feral glaring at the thing, using her thumb to key in the number, then bringing the machine to her ear. It only rang twice.

“Is it done?” a deep voice asked.

Maria grunted and stood up. “Yea. It’s done. Sending you the picture evidence now.” she replied, Maria angling the phone downwards at the body and pressing a button, watching as the flash of the camera blaze through the room. Pressing send, Maria then brought the phone back to her lips. “Got it?”

“Yes. Another job well done.”

Maria rolled her eyes. Fucking asshole. He knew she hated compliments. The fake kind anyway. “Whatever. When can I expect payment?”

“Already deposited it into your account. Be sure to light it up.”

Maria grunted again. “Yea, yea. Call again when you need another hit.” And with that she hung up. It was over. Job was done. Time to go home. Or to the shithole, empty and lifeless apartment she called a home. Whichever came first.

Maria sighed and looked down at the body, her amber eyes burning into the dead man’s empty gaze like hot coals, remembering his gasp of fear, his high-pitched pleading. It was so hard to believe he once was a mass-murdering terrorist. Coward. He had deserved his fate. It was bound to happen. One way or another, this man was fated to die. Sighing once more, Maria reached into her pocket and pulled out her cigarette pack, and a box of matches. “Sorry buddy.” Maria murmured without remorse, bringing a death stick to her lips and lighting it. “Nothing personal.” And with that Maria tossed the match at the corpse and turned away, heading out… not looking back to watch the body go up in flames.
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