Re: Writing Good SWAT Kats Fanfiction: Staying In Character
Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:47 am
Lieutenant Felina Feral- There are some Enforcers who outright despise the SWAT Kats. There are those who tolerate them, to a degree. And finally there is Lieutenant Feral...who openly works alongside of them, and praises their efforts.
Until Felina, the only stated ranks within the Enforcers were Commander Feral, the only twice seen and thankfully ignored thereafter Lieutenant Commander Steele, and Feral's ubiquitous aide-de-camp sergeant. Her rank, examined by typical police organizational charts, would imply that she is in charge of at least a squad of Enforcers and officers, who would hold the ranks of sergeant, deputy, or trooper beneath her. This alone would imply that while she was going through the Academy, Felina performed admirably enough to be seen as a candidate for further advancement. In spite of this, Felina is not seen in the field commanding other Enforcers and issuing orders, save for when she is in the air at the head of a flight. Perhaps due to the limitations of a 23 minute episode, Felina is usually seen doing her own thing, separate from the rest of the Enforcers.
Felina is a highly capable, though young, pilot, and was able to not only dogfight effectively against Mutilor's alien forces, but later flew the ship she downed with a shoulder-fired bazooka up into high atmosphere to attack the mothership. She is also an excellent helicopter pilot, and rescued Deputy Mayor Briggs in the initial minutes of "Mutation City", even proving able to hold the craft steady as she leveled her laser pistol at a threat that tried to worm its way through the side door of the airframe. Her brash and impetuous approach carries over when she's participating in ground operations as well. The same level of daring which makes her such an effective officer also unfortunately carries an equivalent cost; She ends up in hot water more often than those who might be more cautious in their approach.
In "Mutation City", she forces herself into the ill-fated helicopter mission, and in spite of her best efforts, ends up being taken down by the swamp's defenses, forcing the SWAT Kats to rescue both herself and her uncle before they resume the job themselves. In "A Bright and Shiny Future", she tries to sneak up on the Pastmaster to net and capture him against direct orders, and again has to be rescued by the SWAT Kats. Felina has talent and a fair amount of skill, but lacks the seasoning and experience that would help her to develop a sense of restraint.
Her most notable quality overall is a desire to put results over methods; Thus, she and her uncle routinely butt heads in matters involving the SWAT Kats. Just as Feral reflects the static and staid methods of the Enforcers, Felina represents a new generation of soldier, one willing to employ flexibility in their tactics. When not in the heat of combat, Felina Feral does have a remarkable analytical mind that aids in her work as a sometimes-detective; During "Razor's Edge", she investigated the collapsed warehouse reportedly destroyed by the SWAT Kats' Octopus Missile, found traces of foul play, and shared the information with T-Bone. Whereas the rest of the Enforcers' command structure was willing to do only a cursory examination, Felina was willing to spend the extra overtime to lay her doubts to rest. Few in the Enforcers know the SWAT Kats better than she does; nobody else ever worked beside them. For their part, the SWAT Kats' willingness to let her come along on so many of their missions is less a surrender to Enforcers authority, and more an acknowledgement of her abilities. Even when she gets into scrapes, they never tell her that she should 'stay back' and out of harm's way. They merely rescue her and move on, seeing it as a risk that comes with the job...not a mark that reflects poorly on her demeanor. And it's also likely that they prefer to keep her around as long as possible, as her presence during events stands as something of a validation. Keeping her around enables them to deal with matters in their own fashion and act with temporary approval.
Felina likely has ambitions of higher leadership, given how focused she is on the job, and dedicated to getting results. Every success she has in the field is a chance to prove her uncle wrong and win the confidence and support of not only her fellow Enforcers, but those in city government as well. Together, she and Deputy Mayor Briggs form a dynamic of young power and authority on the rise; the more public face of what the SWAT Kats do in the shadows. They are all to a one dedicated to the protection, defense, and stewardship of their city.
Lieutenant Feral is another character seen only through the lens of whatever problem has reared its head in a particular week. There are many open and unanswered questions regarding what she, and other members of the cast do when not dealing with more vital problems. She seemingly carries no romantic attachments, preferring to see the SWAT Kats, in the course of the show, as ready assistants in the cause of justice and peace in the city. It is possible, though unlikely, that she's married to her job in a similar fashion to her uncle. Especially if promotions are in her perceived future.
In the overall, Lieutenant Feral's psych profile indicates that she has a similar level of stubbornness as her uncle, but not the prejudices he carries. It is likely Felina wishes to rise even higher in the ranks, perhaps one day even taking over the post of Commander when, or if, her uncle ever decides to step down. Seen through that lens, her ambitious style of dealing with problems can be more readily understood. She understands the SWAT Kats are a useful tool to keep around, and so long as they avoid harming innocent civilians, and minimizing property damage, she will make sure that they can continue their work in relative peace.
What to Avoid with Lieutenant Feral: While Felina shows a willingness to work with the SWAT Kats, she herself always wears her uniform proudly. Thus, it is highly unlikely she would quit the force to join them as a vigilante. It is more possible that some day her uncle might actually bring her up on charges and have her sent away if her bond of camaraderie with the SWAT Kats ever resulted in more significant problems than it solved. Nor does her gender ever factor in to a lack of advancement or career talents. Like Callie, Felina is representative of the post-feminist cultural shift; She, and her fellow Enforcers, care little about her gender. Those who serve alongside them are far more concerned with their others. In Megakat City, at least, gender plays no role in determining the limits of ones' ability. Only a kat's talent, achievements, and stubborn attitude matter.
Next Time: Diving into the Villains