The Pulse

Meet Felicia Bolden, AKA "The Pulse" -- a knife-wielding mental illusionist from the Bronx with serious attitude.

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Felicia was born and raised in a poor area of the Bronx, New York City. Her Promethean mother, unable to find steady work and having nowhere else to go after suddenly losing her powers, settled there, and fell in love. Soon after Felicia was born, her father learned the truth about his wife’s past, and, unable to handle the reality of what his daughter might become, suddenly left and was never heard from again. From then on, Felicia’s mother did her best to raise her daughter the best she could, with all the love she had to give. She taught Felicia to hold true to who she was, to have a sense of honour and dignity in everything she did, and above all, to never let another person touch her inner-most self. They had very little money, though Felicia’s mother did all she could to make sure her daughter’s basic needs were provided for.

Felicia was a somewhat awkward child. Her larger frame, thick glasses and aloof nature alienated her from her peers, making her the target of constant taunting and bullying. Gifted with a near-genius IQ, Felicia found she couldn’t relate to anybody her age, and began losing interest in classes that just weren’t challenging her anymore. As she got a bit older, she spent most of her class time with her nose buried in books, much to her teachers’ annoyance. She read anything she could get her hands on, but had a particular interest in knife-fighting techniques, the history and practices of the Ninja, Japan’s ancient class of assassins, and anything else regarding small, bladed weapons. Noticing her daughter’s interest, her mother began scraping together every spare penny she could, for three years; and on Felicia’s twelfth birthday, gifted her with a delicate pair of Japanese throwing knives, engraved with a leaping tiger on each handle. She also gave her a pair of fine leather boots with heavy-grip soles and sheathes in which to conceal the weapons. Felicia’s mother made her promise that she would not use the knives except for self-defense; and having a great deal of love and respect for her mother, Felicia never broke that promise. From then on, every day after school, Felicia would sneak into the yard of an old abandoned school and secretly practice her craft with the knives. With her new-found skill, Felicia grew more confident, and began to stand up to those who bullied her, gained a reputation for having a vicious temper when provoked, and thereafter, her classmates began to, if not exactly like her, at least respect her enough to back off to some extent. There was one, though. A small, quiet girl named Britney, another favourite with the school bullies, who came to understand Felicia for who she was, with whom she could talk for hours, about philosophical things, or sometimes just giggle over girlish things, favourite celebrities, or inside jokes. Felicia treasured her friendship with Britney, possibly the only real friend she had ever made, and protected her fiercely. Anybody who insulted or bothered her friend would get such a tongue-lashing that they would immediately fall silent, dumbfounded, and sometimes even burst into tears. One day when Felicia was fifteen, she and Britney were walking home from school, when one of the school bullies, a tall, burly older boy, approached them, and with a loud guffaw, shoved Britney to the ground, amid raucous laughter from his friends who looked on from further away. Felicia hollered and yelled, pounding at him with her fists ineffectually, earning nothing but more hysterical laughter from the bullies. Her rage boiling over, something made her stop, stand back, and just stare intently at the large boy. His look of amused contempt began giving way to one of nervous uncertainty. A moment later, a huge, growling tiger, muscles rippling, appeared out of thin air in the space between Felicia and the bully. With a roar, it coiled, readying to pounce. The boy’s face fell and turned deathly pale, and he turned tail and bolted, the massive tiger bounding after him. Felicia fell to her knees, in utter shock, as the image of the tiger faded back into the air from whence it came, leaving Britney blinking at her in confusion. “What just happened?” her friend asked. “That boy looked like he saw a ghost.” Felicia looked up at Britney.

“You didn’t see that?”
“See what?”
Felicia said nothing, and just stared at the ground.

Over the coming weeks, rumours spread, about a girl who had the power to drive people insane. If her school mates had a healthy respect for Felicia before, they were downright scared of her now. She tried to act as though nothing had happened, but still found people talking in hushed voices and shooting her nervous glances everywhere she went. She also noticed that her thick glasses, which she had always needed, were now giving her violent headaches. She took them off one day, and found she had perfect vision; in fact, she could make out small details from miles away. It was then that Felicia’s mother, suspecting something strange was going on because of Felicia’s odd, reclusive behaviour, finally coaxed the truth from her daughter about what had happened those weeks ago. She gave Felicia a big hug, told her that she wasn’t a freak, that what happened to her was a blessing in disguise, and hopefully, the beginning of a brighter future. Felicia didn’t really understand what her mother meant, but noticed that she spent the next few days making a lot of phone calls to various people, always asking if they would ‘accept’ her, but not mentioning what she was supposed to be accepted for. One day, Felicia’s mother sat her down and explained everything – everything about the Prometheans, about why she had these strange abilities, about the second wave of superheroes and supervillains who were starting to come into their powers. Felicia had been accepted into the League of Titans, and was to leave…tomorrow. Her mother hoped that the League would offer her a better life than she would ever have in the slums. Felicia spent a good part of that evening with Britney, where they talked about everything Felicia’s mother had told her, and what it meant. As they shared a tearful goodbye, Britney told her friend that she believed Felicia’s mother was right, that this was what she was meant to do, and that she would have a much better future with the League of Titans. Felicia gave her friend a fierce hug, and promised to return. The next morning, after a similar heartbreaking farewell with her mother, Felicia found herself on a subway train to the airport, headed towards a future she never expected, but one filled with the promise of adventure, and of purpose.

The Pulse

Promethian Titans nejthefroggie