100 Science Fiction Women #70: Felice Landry

Now, here is the post I was intending to write before I got side-tracked into that whole discussion of gender thing.

Felice Landry Saga of the Exiles Julian May

Felice is powerful, but childlike in her capriciousness. Mistreated badly as a child, her incredible psychic powers were forced into latency, a latency which is overcome by the new Pliocene world she finds herself in. Her small body also masked her enormous physical strength leading people to underestimate and misunderstand her, which is not a good idea when dealing with Felice . Felice does not fit into the world into which she is born and abused, and finds consolation in her psychic connection with animals and her sporting prowess. When transferred into a new and unexpected world, she finds that she still does not fit, but this time fights until she masters her power…but the cost is a further descent into insanity. A powerful athlete before she goes into Exile, Felice becomes an asset to the revolutionary Low Lives fighting against the domination of the Tanu, although they don’t entirely trust her. Felice may be amoral and disturbed, but it is not until she is tortured horrifically by the sadistic Culluket that she becomes truly psychotic. Part of her understands her own dysfunction and tries to seek help, but self-doubt in the helper, or fear of Felice’s darkness, mean this leads nowhere. And for an 18 year old bent on revenge, Felice knows how to do it effectively, engineering mass murder on an enormous scale by breaking open the Gibraltar Isthmus to let the Atlantic Ocean into the proto-Mediterranean basin destroying the Tanu capital. Felice is a young woman of power, warped by the treatment of others into a tragic character who is compelled to destruction and death – a victim and a mass murderer.

So fragile, so deceivingly meager, the kernel of her identity within the brain-vault opened. Psychoenergies gushed forth in giddy torrents. The strictures, the wounds, the debris from the torturer’s work that seemed to presage madness…were swept away. A fantastic new edifice that was the unwitting legacy of the Beloved reared in glory. It expanded, it filled, it recovered and restored and reorganized as it grew. In seconds only, the mental seedling burgeoned into a mature and executive psycho-organism. She was whole. She was operant. And he had done it!

…After a time she found the well-concealed thing that would motivate Stein to help her engineer the murder of the Tanu race.