Let’s hear it for Tripp Lopez, the coolest teleporter in the south! (Sorry, Chris.)
Age in Aquarius: 19
Height: 5’7 | Weight: 140 lbs.
Hair: shaved sides, faux-hawk, pitch black, slight wave | Eyes: caramel & spice brown
Human Race: Mexican | Species: demon
Hailing Planet: Semes
Ability: teleportation, limited pyrokinesis
Specialties: flash ports, intimidation, stealth, flame control
Best friends: Gavin Moore, Spencer Carr
Mentor: Jason Carr & Dane Ward
Soul mate: Mona Alagona
Three facts about Tripp:
- Tripp fell for Mona the moment he laid eyes on her. It was the tribe’s first time seeing their porter so flustered.
- After traveling through southern inner cities as a refugee, Tripp gained an interest in graffiti art. He shares this interest with Spencer, who joins him in creating, and Mona, who encourages his craft.
- He is the only teleporter to display any control over the effects of his teleportation. He can control whether or not his flames burn their environment, making him the tribe’s first pyrokinetic.
My thoughts on Tripp:
Tripp was born Juan Esteban de la Cruz Lopez (called Esteban by his family) and is the second-eldest of five children, of which only two were born in their home colony of Monclova. Several Mexican colonies had been targeted by bandits between the years 2135 and 2139, leaving many to seek refuge in the stronghold of Monterrey. The Monterrey colonists could not accommodate everyone after a few months, though, and had to start turning refugees away on December 2135. The Lopez family were among those seeking refuge in mid-2136, and after being rejected by Monterrey scouts, they joined a couple of other families in traveling north to Nuevo Laredo. They found a similar scene there; Nuevo Laredo was dealing with an influx of both Mexican and Texan colonists, as the bandits were on a rampage.
Tripp’s mother, Pilar, steered their growing group through the Death Triangle–what Texans called the land between the Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston bases. She and her husband, Juan Martín (called Juan by Pilar and their friends, as their eldest son was named after him and went by Martín), encouraged the other families traveling with them to forge ahead until they all found a home. People were lost along the way, but eventually, they made it to Baton Rouge. The colony was in shambles, but the remaining colonists all imparted the same wisdom: the Haasi confederacy further east might accept refugees.
It took their troupe almost a week to reach the outskirts of Haasi territory, but much to their surprise, they were met by two young men not much older than Esteban and Martín. They introduced themselves as Jason and Spencer Carr, the leaders of the Semes Tribe and the protectors of the Haasi. Having recognized the potential within Esteban, who was only fourteen at the time, they worked with the council to accommodate the refugees before recruiting the teenager to their cause. Upon his awakening, Esteban learned of his rank and ability and chose the name Tripp to commemorate both his journey and his new life. He spent the next three years learning all he could about his ability and limitations so as to better contribute to the confederacy. He, Jason, and Spencer were an unstoppable force, deterring bandits and helping their home thrive. After settling in Tillmans Corner, Pilar and Juan welcomed three more children into their lives: Juan Fabián, Miriam, and Juan Sebastián.
In typical porter fashion, Tripp had a mischievous streak following his recruitment. He and Spencer were fast friends, pulling pranks on Jason. Their chief, always a good sport, pulled his own tricks in turn, adding to the trio’s sense of camaraderie. This makes these three closer to each other than to any other members of the tribe, a dynamic you will see play out in Solar Winds. They also have a tendency to react to uncomfortable situations with humor–particularly Tripp and Spencer–so there will definitely be some awkwardness ahead. He acquired an interest in street art after his travels, leading to him, Spencer, and several Haasi youths to decorate many buildings around the confederacy with graffiti (with permission from the council and tenants).
Now nineteen years old and having survived a war with bandits, the Phebean porter has become humble, focusing on his responsibilities. He’s big on family and sees the tribe as an extension of his own siblings. He gets along well with others and tries his best to get to know people before making any judgments–however, in his eagerness, he tends to come on strong. He’s an extroverted individual, a confident teenager who’d rather make friends over enemies. There isn’t a soul in the tribe who dislikes him.
He’s reliable as well, ready to help his loved ones at the drop of a hat. He ported to his parents’ home to be with his family every time his mother gave birth, and joined them in welcoming his new siblings to the world. Before Dane became chief, Tripp dedicated at least a couple of hours out of his day to helping the Haasi citizens with tasks and odd jobs. Now that they’ve relocated to Jacksonville, he’s only allowed to return home in the event that either his family is in danger or another child is born.
Now that he and Mona have bonded as soul mates, he’s found ways to pass the time. If he isn’t needed by Dane or Fletcher, then Tripp sleeps in until midday, sometimes later. He shares a large home with Mona, Karia, and the Dimaculangans; he and his soul mate each have their own art studio where they spend the majority of their time, and when they aren’t doing their own thing, the couple is lounging by the pool or strolling down the beach. Their home is an unofficial hub for the tribe–Spencer, who lives next door with his brother, comes over daily to discuss art and try to flirt with Karia, who is usually never home. The rest of the tribe live in the two homes to their right–the Moores, Halls, and Kaine to one home, while Dane, Marilyn, and Fletcher reside at the far end. Each home has its own in-ground pool and access to St. Johns River, which allows them to travel northeast to the Atlantic Ocean or south to the drowned remains of Florida, which has become part of the Gulf of Mexico. This means that, should the tribe be ambushed by enemies, its surviving members would have an escape route.
We’re about to see Tripp in action in Lizzie’s Diary–a fact I’m grateful for, as the Phebeans won’t be featured in the books again until the Solar Winds trilogy. There are some things that are difficult for the teen… Like keeping Mona’s first life identity a secret from their friends. And the implications of Dane being chief.
I’m excited to see how Tripp Lopez, a loyal demon and fearsome warrior, handles the mysteries that unravel before him!
For those of you who don’t know, Tripp is a supporting character in my trilogy Saturn Rising, which is the first installment of The Chronicles of Life & Death. The first book, Aquarius, is available now on Amazon as an e-book and paperback. You can even read it all for free with Kindle Unlimited! Learn more here.
Want more Tripp before his group becomes a major player in the main book series? Check out my blog series Lizzie’s Diary, where he and other members of the Semes Tribe made their debut!