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Character’s Real Name: Theresa Rivers

Character’s Official Name: Theresa Hawk

Nickname: Tess – Tish

Species: meta-human

Gender: Female

Birth date and place: 10/8/1978 - Petersburg, Virginia. USA

Occupation: Vet

Affiliation: none

Description: dark hair and brown eyes. height 1.57 m. weight 50 k.

Tess is played by Alyssa Milano


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A lone road going up the Appalachian mountains, 1980

The odometer needle steadily moved left as the man stepped on the gas… 100, 110, 120 … simultaneously, the voices raised in volume… and anger. It was night and the dark winding road systematically climbed the Appalachian Mountains, but the couple was oblivious of the danger, too engrossed in a much repeated discussion.

“I’m not leaving her, John! She’s my child, strange or not and I wont be surrendering her to those… those…” furious, the woman couldn’t finish the sentence, her blue eyes full of anger.

“Good. Don’t! but she’s my child too, or I need to remind you?”

“Ha! If it were for you…”

“What? Say it, say it!” he dared, taking his eyes off the road to look at his wife.

“You’ve gotten rid of her! There! I said it! you’ve… John! Watch out!” she cried…

In the rear seat, a two year old girl slept in her baby chair, unaware of the drama that was playing. In her lap a little kitten was curled, a couple of squirrels hid in the back of her seat too. From the moment she had been born it had been clear that Theresa Rivers was not an ordinary baby. In the hospital, the nurses had been horrified to find her crib full of all kind of vermin… ants, spiders and even a little mouse had crept near the infant, and yet the delicate skin of the newborn baby hadn't shown a bite or a scratch.

Once at home, those kind of things happened with regularity. It was not uncommon to find the baby’s diaper full of ants or discover her laughing at butterflies flying around her. Lesley’s nerves were always on edge until she realized that the little animals never harmed the baby, nor would Tess do them harm. Her husband wasn’t so comprehensive though, and started buying insecticides or mice poison to get rid of the vermin, all the time trying to conceal his daughter’s strange traits.

As the baby grew, it was becoming more and more difficult to hide her though. Bigger animals, like cats, dogs, squirrels or rabbits started to gather around the Rivers’ house, making it impossible to conceal any longer. It was then when he started to talk about taking the girl to a geneticist to see what was wrong with her. Lesley Rivers wouldn’t hear of it and finally they decided to move to Richmond, hoping that a big city anonymity helped them go unnoticed.

However, soon they got notice of men visiting their old house in search of Tess. Lesley became hysterical, demanding that they left the city again in search of a safer place. They left that same night. Tiredness and fear was taking its toll when the accident happened. John didn’t take a turn and the car hit a tree on his side. He was instantly killed, the driving wheel getting into his rib cage. Lesley was knocked unconscious and wasn’t expelled from the car thanks to her seatbelt. Tess’ baby chair, however, didn’t resist the impact and flew from the open door to land on the damp earth a dozen meters ahead.

At such rough awakening, Tess’ frantic cries echoed in the lone woods. In no time, from different directions, three wild animals approached her. A big white wolf, a cougar and an eagle gathered around the terrified toddler. Natural enemies, they stood side by side watching her. The cougar lowered its head and licked the tears, its raspy tongue ticking her into giggles.

“Mommy?” she asked as she stopped crying, not even afraid of the animals around her. The big cougar looked around, as if understanding. In two strong leaps it got to the car and pulled the unconscious woman out of it. Meanwhile the wolf attacked the baby chair straps until it freed the girl, who walked towards her mother.

“Mommy?” she asked, not getting any response; giggling she curled near her mother and fell asleep again. The wolf and cougar set around them as well, giving them warmth with their bodies, the eagle perched on a tree branch above the group. A wolf, cougar and eagle, sleeping together next to a woman and child.

It was like this that Sam “Lone” Hawk found them the next morning. He was a young Cherokee in his initiation trip. Lone Hawk was young for such trip, only 10 years old, but the spirits were strong in him and had told him to go. He wasn’t surprised to find the little girl sleeping peacefully among wild animals. His own totem animal, the Hawk, had told him he would.

Without fear, he approached the strange group. The animals instantly raising their heads to meet his gaze, fearless as well. He was so enthralled looking at the powerful totem animals that he didn’t notice the girl awakening. When he finally looked at her he inhaled sharply, mesmerized by her brown gaze and ready smile.

Lone Hawk had earned his name because of his isolation. His eyes often seeing what wasn’t there but what the spirits showed him. This gift set him apart from the rest of the reservation children. However, when this little girl looked at him he felt connected, as if he already knew her. Kneeling next to her, he took her in his arms and raised her. The girl laughed and touched his face. “Niz boy” she said in her half tongue, and Lone Hawk laughed as well, not realizing that she had just baptized him. For her, he would be Niz from then on.

The kid then assessed the site, noticing the crashed car and the unconscious woman. The man in the car was dead but the woman was breathing steadily. He took the man out of the car and covered his body with rocks, then he carried the woman to the cougar, that had leaned for him to do so. He didn’t find it strange that an animal did so, it was afterwards one of the totem animals of the girl.

“What’s your name?” he asked the girl, taking her from her hand and leading them back towards the reservation. The wolf following them a few steps behind and the eagle flying ahead.

“Tish” she said, mispronouncing her own name, baptizing herself as well.
By the time Lone Hawk got to the reservation he knew the girl was special. Not only had she been saved by her totem animals (Three of them! Ordinary people only had one totem animal) but a myriad of forest animals were following them, although when they got to the forest’s limits they stayed behind. Not so the cougar carrying Tess’ mother, nor the wolf of the eagle. They only returned to the wilderness when the old Reservation Shaman, Lone Hawk’s grandfather, received them, thanking the powerful animals with a deep bow of his head.

The Cherokees of the “Old Hill Reservation” accepted the girl, believing her a gift from the spirits. the Shaman took them to his home and nursed Lesley back to health. The Indians approached the local police and reported the accident and the man’s burial. They didn’t report the woman and child’s rescue though, and, given the animals trail marks and the state of the safety belts the official assumption was that scavengers had taken them.

In the following years Tess grew up in the Reservation’s safety, and was raised by Gray Cloud Hawk, the Shaman. With his guide the little girl learnt to control her power over animals. Gradually she could learn control her attraction and to consciously communicate with them. She had other powers as well, that appeared when she reached puberty; she could “enter” an animal’s body and see or hear from its eyes and ears, she could also enhance different traits in them, to improve their sight, ear, speed, etc. even their intelligence - always depending what they already had, she could make superior animals reach the level of intelligence of a small child.

Her animal totems, the wolf, cougar and eagle, never stayed very far, and were ready to appear when she needed them. Tess had special affinity on animals of any of her totem’s families: felines, canines and birds. Also their special traits were present on her. From the cougar she got independence and strength, from the wolf she got freedom and intelligence and from the eagle she had clarity of vision and judgment.

Lone Hawk and Tess continued to be connected, although when she was of age she decided to go to college to study. She wanted to be a vet. The young man let her go without telling her about his feelings. He was confident that she would return to him, but he wanted her to see the outside world before.

Tess hadn't set foot out of the reservation and the forests within since the day they had arrived to it. Lesley had married Lone Hawk’s father, and had been happy to stay in the Old Hill Reservation, sure about the safety of her special child. The couple had considered it better to have Tess adopt her step-father’s surname: Hawk. Her dark looks disguised her as a half native American perfectly.

Thus, at the age of 18 Tess Hawk attended college, getting her Veterinary degree three years later. At her mother’s insistence she hid her special powers from her fellow students, and was surprised to notice the hostility and fear people felt about meta-humans, as she soon discovered she and Lone Hawk must be.

However when she got home after getting her degree she was horrified to find her step-brother gone and her step-father dead. Teary eyed Lesley told her how some government “agents” had come to the Reservation and taken with them all the “spiritual” people in it, including Lone Hawk and his grandfather, the Shaman. When they hadn't wanted to go the “agents” had just fired against the natives that tried to stop them, killing many of them in the process, her father among them.

Since then, Tess has been searching for her brother. She moved to Washington DC and has researched and investigated Government Agencies dedicated to the control of meta-humans, but she’s no closer than at the beginning. When she had started to despair the date for the World Conference on Meta-humans was set on Washington DC. She has now new hope of finding her brother, since in it, all the anti-meta organizations would be represented, or at least present.


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Tess can control and communicate with animals. She can “enter” an animal’s body and see or hear from its eyes and ears, and she can also enhance different traits in them, to improve their sight, ear, speed, etc. even their intelligence - always depending what they already had, she can make superior animals reach the level of intelligence of a small child. Tess has special affinity on animals of any of her totem’s families: felines, canines and birds. She would always try not to harm the animals she controls.

animal totems

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Old Hill Reservation
Summer of 1984

“In earlier days we understood that we were simply a part of the earth. We knew we were only one small part. Now many think humans are the greatest and most important part. But still, we are only a part of the earth, only a part of nature, only a child of Mother, only a part of Spirit. We used to know respect of Nature and killed only what we ate and used only the skins of what we killed and ate. We did not waste life nor disrespect spirits but honored and thanked them for providing us with life, nourishment, and comfort. In earlier days we gave recognition to the power of the animal spirits by wearing skins, masks, mimicking, singing praise, and prayers to specific animals. We painted the animals on our homes, caves, death chambers, and asked the Spirit to guide us to the animal that we consumed and bless the spirit of the animal we kill, for we are a predator in the part of Nature and we honored the spirit of our prey. These acts allowed us to remain linked to the animal guides and to accept the power they offer us in lessons, in life, and in death. It reminded us that all animals, were our sisters, brothers, and cousins and most importantly our teachers and our friends. It reminded us that we too are animals with spirit.” said Gray Cloud to Tess, with solemnity. He watched the girl closely, she wasn’t missing a word. Not too far from them was Lone Hawk, listening attentively too.

"Each animal has it's own special power and message, for each animal has a powerful spirit and an inherent skill. Animal Spirits choose a person to be a companion to, a friend to, not the other way around. The animal will choose you and make itself known to you.”

“Like my Wolf?” asked Tess, while petting the big creature’s mane. She was resting on his warm fur, her little hands playing with its ears, as the powerfull animal dozed on, not bothered by her touch.

“Yes.” smiled the old indian, “Like your wolf, and your cougar and eagle. Only that they are not yours. You are as much theirs as them yours. They’ve chosen you, to teach you, to guide and help you. It’s a great blessing, but a great responsibility too. Having an animal totem means that you have lessons to learn and a powerful spiritual friend.”

At this Tess nodded, open eyed. She understood this, young as she was, her animals communicate with her, and although sometimes she didn’t understand them, she knew that she had much to learn. They had helped her too, like when she had fallen in the brook and couldn’t get out.

“Animals come to us because they have a lesson we need to learn, a power they are willing to share with a friend.” continued the Shaman. “The animals remind us that we are part of the earth; that each creature has a place; that each creature has a skill of it's own; that we have instincts given to us from Mother, wisdom born to us that we must awaken.”

“Skills… like my talking to animals?” asked the girl again, she was old enough now to know that not everybody could talk to animals like she did.

“That’s your skill, that’s your blessing. You have to use it wisely, that’s your responsibility.” at the confused look in the girl’s eyes, Gray Cloud added. “The Animal Totem that comes to you offers you power and wisdom if you will learn to communicate with it, with respect, trust, and understanding. Developing a relationship with a live animal totem takes time, practice, patience and could be very dangerous.”

“Wolf would never hurt me.” pouted Tess, embracing the big beast, who raised his head to look at the Shaman, sensing Tess’ distress.

“I never said he would, but you could hurt him. That’s what I meant when I talked about responsibility. Mistakenly people often think of animals as non-spiritual, uncultured, and less intelligent than humans. Some people do not even think animals have Spirit. And as beings with spirit, you can hurt them, not only physically but spiritually. When an animal chooses to follow you to the human world, you have the responsibility of protecting him as well.”

Hearing the Shaman, Tess embraced even more her loved Wolf, promising him that she would always take care of him. After the incident in the brook, the beast had left the forest to dwell with the natives, always around the little girl. She couldn’t know, but his continuos permanency around Tess had enhanced his abilities permanently, so he could understand her and make himself understood almost like a human. The beast licked the girls face to make her tickle, promising her that he would always be with her too.

The Cougar

The cougar also known as the mountain lion and the puma is very illusive and hard to find in the wild. Because of its illusive quality it is often noted as an animal that is independent, shy and withdrawn. The same characteristics are often found in people with this medicine.

The adult males weigh around one hundred seventy five pounds and are one of the fastest known animals, although it does tire quickly. This is partly due to the cougars sporadic energy. When it pounces on its prey it moves with short strong bursts of energy.

Cougars are very territorial. The mother will stay with her cubs for a year and teach them to hunt, first by bringing them a kill and then bringing her prey back alive so that they can kill it. Cougars brings the power of balanced leadership. In the way cougar teachers her young, in the balance that she has with her environment and in her quiet power, she shows this gift. Cougar medicine people make excellent teachers, leaders and facilitators.

The other side of cougar is its illusive quality. It can appear without being noticed and quietly take control of a situation. Sometimes this can lead to conflict with others over territory.

The Eagle

Eagles are majestic birds with a powerful presence. Although they can be social birds they do require isolation from human encroachment to breed in the wild. If a human strays to close or touches their nest, they are likely to abandon it. Both male and female incubate the eggs and share in the duties of raising its young.

The eagle is incredibly patient. Often seen perched in a tree maintaining the same position for hours at a time, eagle teaches those with this totem how to master the art of patience in every area of their life. Within the energy of patience "all things are possible."

Eagles are good at feeding themselves from the land and still soar to great heights in the sky. They teach us how to move through life without becoming attached to anything. They show us how to accept what comes our way and see everything as a gift from great spirit. They have excellent hearing and can hunt as much by ear as by sight. To those to whom eagle comes, the ability to hear spiritually and psychically will awaken

Eagle asks us to maintain a prayerful connection with Spirit, to keep our minds focused on what is important in life. Maintaining this attitude removes judgement from our consciousness. Without judgement we speak with encouragement and kindness towards others. Lessons associated with judgement are part of this medicine.

Eagles have excellent vision. Perched high in a tree they appear to analyze and observe everything. If Eagle has blessed you with its presence in some way, you are being given potent gifts of clarity and vision to use for the good of all people helping to bring forth the light out of the darkness. Eagle also serves as a reminder to those with this totem to communicate with Great Spirit daily so the gifts Eagle offers you can be utilized fully.

The Wolf

When a lone wolf is spotted in the wilderness it embodies the energy of freedom. When seen in a pack it embodies a sense of community. If wolf appears to you alone or in a pack it is asking you to acquire the same within your own life. In spite of their negative press wolves are actually friendly, social and highly intelligent.

The wolf's senses are highly developed. Their intelligence is marked with excellent hearing, sense of smell and strong feeling. They are determined as well as cunning and use these skills for the benefit of the pack. The howl of the wolf is primal and penetrating. They howl to find other pack members or to let wolves from outside of the pack know their territory boundaries. If you hear a wolf howl it might be telling you to stand your ground and defend your boundaries.

Wolf teaches you to have a balance between the needs your family has of you and the needs you have for yourself. They are totally loyal to the pack but do not give up their identity to the pack. If wolf appears in your life you are being asked to look at where you are being too dependent and where you may be too independent. In both family and community there needs to be a balance.

Wolf teaches those with this medicine to know who you are and to develop strength and confidence in what you do.

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