Catalina Flores Age:
Female Sexual Preference:
Curious about both sexes, experienced with neither Occupation (Pre-Apocalypse):
None, street rat, petty thief Personal Hobbies of Note:
5’2, 125 lbs. Catalina is muscular and well-toned throughout the torso and limbs, with the subtle curves. Her hair is dark and wavy, falling to her waist, and usually wears it in a loose ponytail or a side braid. Her eyes are a very dark brown, almost black, with thick, naturally arched brows framing them. The shape of her face is heart shaped, with full lips and high set cheekbones. She dresses in what is available, and what she is free to move in, preferring close fit tank tops and baggy cargo pants. There is nothing particularly girly about Catalina, she is a tomboy through and through. She wears no make-up, and her nails are short. Catalina rarely smiles, but when she does her face lights up and dimples appear in her cheeks. History:
Catalina grew up on the streets with her brother Marcellus. When she was an infant, her brother the age of six, her young teenaged mother brought them from Mexico to America after their father died in a farming accident. Their mother was unable to cope with two small children and the realization that America was not the instant land of wealth she thought it was going to be. She fell into prostitution and drugs to try and numb her own pain and disappointment and resentment of being stuck with two small children and what she perceived to be no future. She was very abusive and neglectful in general, but Marcellus usually managed to steal enough from her to keep Catalina and he fed at least once a day.
Then one storming and thundery night their mother sent Marcellus out after dark, actually giving him a few dollars to run to the gas station a mile away so he could by some canned soup. He knew there had to be a reason she proactively gave him the money she did…but ultimately the rumbling in their stomachs made him leave the roach filled apartment their mother traded her body for each week. He hated leaving his sister behind, but she was too young to take out after dark in the slums. The apartment was frequented by druggies and Johns, but the small room off to the side that Catalina and Marcellus called their bedroom was usually ignored.
Half way to the gas station he felt a tingle on his neck and knew he had to turn around and go back home. He ran as fast as he could, and when he burst into the apartment he saw Mama holding more money than he had ever seen, and more money than his mother’s haggard face could ever bring in.
Bursting into the bedroom he saw a man crouched near where his young sister was screaming and kicking. Their mother had tried to sell Catalina instead of herself, and Marcellus had returned just in time.
Marcellus, then age twelve, took his six year old sister and fled, but only after beating the man with a chair, and then with a chair leg once the chair shattered. He might only have been twelve, but he was strong and wiry and guided by love for his sister and years of pent up anger.
The experience for Catalina was beyond traumatic. The large looming man, the anger in Marcellus, the blood, the thunder and lightning...it scarred her. To this day she feels panic and fear when a thunderstorm strikes. She does her best to hide it, to fight it, but the knot in the pit of her stomach makes her hands shake and her skin pale.
They lived on the streets as isolated from others as they could manage. Marcellus was suspicious and wary of authorities. Neither of them had been born in America, and he feared the possibility they would be sent back to a country Catalina didn’t remember at all, and that he barely recalled. He was also fearful they would be separated by ‘the system’, and did everything in his power to keep them independent and on their own. That meant no school, no government assistance, and no help from anyone.
The only means of survival became theft. As Catalina got older, she tried to only pickpocket from those that looked like they could afford to miss a few dollars, and tried to rotate what stores she shoplifted from so they didn’t take too much from one place. She hated stealing, but knew no other way to survive.
They had no real home, and crashed in abandoned buildings, moving every few weeks so no one would take notice. But they had each other, so no matter where they were, for no matter how short of a time, it was home to Catalina.
Since they could not attend school, Marcellus did the best he could to teach Catalina what he knew, learning as much as he could along the way. He was able to teach her basic math skills, which she took too quickly. He kept her fluent in both Spanish and English. She was smart, and picked up ideas quickly. But she never was able to read. No matter how hard they tried, or what books they went through at the library, she just could not get it. What neither of them knew is that Catalina is dyslexic. She has always been ashamed of her inability to read, and considers it a fault. Marcellus always tried to tell her she wasn’t stupid, but she has always felt that way since she can’t read.
They had no TV, their trips to the library often included watching movies and listening to stories. Despite the fact that she couldn’t read, the library was her favorite place. The librarian never seemed to notice their dirty clothes and bare feet, and gave them juice and cookies.
And it was at the library that she discovered origami.
Living in a concrete jungle, Catalina saw very little beauty. Everything was grey and hard and dirty. But with Origami she was able to bring to life the scenes in the movies and in the stories at the library. She made her own flowers and animals out of bits of paper here and there. There was always trash around; it was easy to find things to fold. After a while her skill had grown beyond what she could find in the instructional pictures in the books at the library. She made her own patterns, and spent hours perfecting her creations.
Marcellus told her she couldn’t be stupid if she could build a rose out of trash. She almost believed him. But what good was her skill? They couldn’t eat anything she made. They couldn’t sleep in it. They couldn’t hide in it. It was a useless skill, if not one that calmed her racing mind and eased her temper.
Parkour, though she didn’t know the skill had a name, was also a way to calm her mind and ease her temper. Honing her skill was also a means of survival. Beyond having to sometimes run from the law, or some shop keep, they had to be very wary of gangs and often had to run from them as well. As Catalina matured and grew into a young woman, the threat grew even larger. Constantly they had to avoid attracting attention of any kind. Marcellus could be killed for not joining a gang, and Catalina raped for just being a female.
Running, parkour, hiding…it wasn’t a hobby or sport for Marcellus and Catalina. It was life. It was survival. For as long as she can remember, Catalina has been running, hiding, scaling buildings, avoiding people, and stealing what she needs to survive. Anyone could run through streets, but it was by using their vertical environment that Marcellus and Catalina had the edge they needed.
It was ironic when the thing that was normal for them…lack of food, lack of shelter, concern for safety, became hardships for the rest of the world. Marcellus almost took a sick sort of satisfaction knowing that all of the middleclass and rich people of America were now having to live almost like he and his sister had been living for a very long time. Catalina never had that satisfaction. She just considered it sad.
Marcellus did the best he could to raise Catalina, but in his desire to protect her he sheltered her from everyone else. She never had other friends, never had a boyfriend, and Marcellus was her world. He was a brother, a parent, and her best friend.
Then he became zombie food; sacrificing himself so she could live. That knowledge haunts her and weighs her down with more grief and guilt than she ever thought imaginable.
Now Catalina is alone for the first time in her life. She knows how to survive better than most people around her, but had no idea how to befriend any of them. Runner?:
(I took note of what you said about parkour being mentioned by more than one character, but she was created before your game and it is pretty ingrained into her history and a big part of who she is. If you would prefer me to submit a different character, let me know :) )