You know those teen movies where the main character is the cute and innocent girl attending a new school where she finds a rude awakening in dealing with a group of rude and mean-spirited popular girls? You know how that group of rude and mean-spirited popular girls always has a ring leader? Well…Eliza Christie used to be that ring-leader. She doesn’t ask for equality or respect, she doesn’t even demand it. She walks with this powerful emanating confidence that makes you think that she simply knows everyone else is inferior. There’s a reason for this.
Eliza Christie is the sole daughter of a Det. Emile Christie. Since her mother died when she was too young to remember, Det. Christie raised her like she was one of the guys in his unit on the police force. Since the time she could walk, she’s interacted with hard-nosed detectives, speaking their language, talking back to them and cursing up a storm when her father wasn’t looking. When other kids were playing games and watching cartoons, Eliza was absorbing the hard gritty reality of the world by listening to their grim and bloody narratives. She was an anomaly, not bothered by photos of dead bodies or rape victims. The detectives in return, treated her like she was on their level. They didn’t worry about hurting her feelings or even pushing her out of the way, she welcomed it and gave as good as she got.
When she was in middle school, she got in a brutal fight with a few high school girls and messed them up pretty badly. This began a stint of bouncing from alternative schools in which she dominated each one, even leading a riot at the age of 13. By the time she got to high school, she was considered more popular than the actual celebrities attending her school. Everyone bowed down to her. The slightest disrespect was dealt with through bullying, embarrassment or ostracism. It wasn’t until she was fifteen that her life was flipped over.
One night, while she was in bed, she heard a scuffle taking place in the living room. Reluctant at first, she entered the living room to see an assassin standing with a bloody samurai sword in hand. Her father, Det. Christie was slouching on the floor with his back against the trophy case. His chest was sliced wide open as if he had just taken a diagonal cut from a battle ax. A splatter of blood came upward and stretched across the ceiling suggesting that his killer was trained, that the attack was a rising backhand cut.
Turns out, the killer was also a fifteen year old, a teenager named Braden Pierce known in the criminal underworld as a rising star. Det. Emile Christie was conducting his own private investigation on billionaire CEO of the Pierce Conglomerate, Isaac Pierce. According to Det. Christie’s notes, he suspected that all of the Tampa crime families were ruled and answered to Isaac Pierce, making Isaac Pierce the head of a supposed crime syndicate. Allegedly, Braden Pierce is Isaac Pierce’s nephew, which was why he’s later given the moniker, “The Godfather’s Sword.”
Witnessing the murder of her father by a teenager no older than herself changed Eliza Christie. From that day forward, her list of enemies elevated from rival teen pop princesses and backstabbing boyfriends to experienced assassin Braden Pierce and everyone associated with him. She conceals her identity and adopts the name fans on social media give her, the Jaguar.
Within the stretch of eight years, Eliza Christie has grown from that spiteful little brat to a brutal headstrong warrior. She’s received proper instructions; she adopted her own philosophy on what’s right and wrong. And she’s acquired her own unit of masked ex-military and off-duty law enforcement officers to disrupt and take on the Tampa families. They call themselves “August the 18th.” Everyone in her command has either lost a friend or loved one to the Pierce Syndicate.
Eliza Christie has gone through numerous hells in the form of betrayal, heartbreak, the loss of more loved ones, and being beaten to the brink of death. And throughout all of that, she still keeps going. Her soldiers would lay down their lives for her cause, fully aware that her ideals are selfish and hypocritical. They do this because Eliza Christie doesn’t just talk about taking action, she makes it happen. She puts herself on the front line and stands toe to toe with the strongest, the most biogenetically enhanced, the most dangerous figures in the criminal underworld and she never backs down. The thought of making a mistake in the field doesn’t enter her mind, because in the heat of combat, her way is the right way.
And when it’s all said and done, and the Jaguar takes off her mask from a night of hunting, Eliza Christie is still a mess of emotions, self-doubt, and impulsiveness. Only her childhood friend Aida Jannazzo can keep her centered…and Aida risks her life to do it. Seriously. In my upcoming novel, towards the end of the book, Aida confronts Eliza about all of the stupid selfish decisions she’s making and Eliza gets so mad that she rushes for Aida. The problem is, Eliza is bedridden in the hospital, in a body cast from a previous battle. But she’s so mad at Aida that she literally falls out of her bed to get to her. Aida doesn’t even try to run, she just continues to yell at her for being stupid while Eliza is struggling to get her as if Aida is the surface and Eliza is struggling for air. I know that sounds silly, but when you read it, and how intense they both are, you’ll literally be spitting with laughter. Because even though Eliza is powerful and important and oh-so strong…she’s still human. And she’s still a college student. College students are immature, yo.
Eliza Christie is a character I created six years ago in 2009. I speak of her as if she’s a real person because…I’m sorry. I don’t know why I do. I know it sounds crazy to say, “she’s real to me” but that is how I feel. Even on December 17th, I remember it as her birthday. I whisper to myself, “Happy birthday, Eliza.”
Every time I think about her, I smile. I see her green eyes shimmering like emeralds on display, her long wavy blonde hair blowing in the wind. I see her draping bangs doing a terrible job of hiding that natural spite and resentment embedded in her default bitch-face expression.
She’s a hypocrite, a walking contradiction. She’s aware of this and just doesn’t care. In an attempt to find some sense of happiness in a world where she constantly feels like a high school senior forced to walk amongst 5th graders, she’s come to terms with the fact that she’s selfish and simply stopped coming up with reasons to try and justify herself.
The happiness she seeks, the happiness that continues to elude her is the brand of romanticists. It’s a calm uplifting sensation that no one else can give or buy for her. It’s shedding of the chains that bind her to world that prevents her from flying. It’s an inner peace that simmers the internal furnace of outrage and allows her to smile, to laugh, to hope, to believe.
You see, Eliza Christie isn’t the type of person who just accepts things they way they are. She isn’t a woman who likes to depend on anyone, but she’s wise enough to know that she can’t do it all alone. She doesn’t pretend to have all the right answers and even when she makes a decision, she changes her mind based on what’s observed. Her frustrations are comical. Her disrespect towards authority figures gets worst with each confrontation. Her formidable spirit can’t be defeated. No matter how old she gets, she will always in so many ways remain a fierce tyrant in which men will bow down before her.
Her father figure, Angel Gazi, always tells her, “Eliza. Stop trying to take on the world! You can only do what you can!”
And She shouts back with, “Yeah, but that’s the thing. There’s nothing I can’t do!”
That cliché saying of how easy things are for beautiful people doesn’t apply to the resentful Eliza Christie. She’s only twenty-three but she expects herself to behave with the commanding presence of a fifty-year-old general. From her stunning physique and eye-catching fashion sense, no one could ever tell that she harbors this deep grudge towards the general public and capitalism. And perhaps what’s even more deceptive is the fact that the person she struggles with more than anyone is herself.
Is she aware of her feelings? Absolutely not. Impulsive and headstrong, she doesn’t take the time to reflect on her actions until things have gone too far, like the death of a loved one, or an incident she could have avoided if she simply exercised patience and consideration. Even then, guilt has to fight to enter her subconscious. When it does, it’s like a powder keg just erupted in her heart. She spirals out of control and lashes out violently, destructively.
Despite the serious intensity of the challenges she’s faced with…there’s always this childish playful immaturity that surfaces when she should project an air of professionalism. Even in the face of death she’s always finding something stupid to say in which the only person who finds it hilarious is her.
There’s this deep gravitational effect she has on people due to her exuding confidence and courage, the way she seems to absolutely have no fear. It’s like her brain with deprived of comprehending the commons fears of heights, guns, getting fired, getting a failing grade, rejections, her well-being or her safety. That’s why its difficult for her to empathize with the victim mentality. It’s not that she’s being insensitive, but more like she simply doesn’t understand. And when she doesn’t understand, she becomes angry. The urge to stand up and do something about it can’t be contained.