Rashel Jordan is the protagonist of The Chosen, the sixth book in L. J. Smith's Night World series. She is a highly skilled and infamous vampire hunter known simply as "The Cat," and is also the soulmate of the vampire John Quinn. She later joins Circle Daybreak and has various appearances throughout the series. It is revealed in the short story Thicker Than Water that Rashel is the twin sister of Raksha Keller.
Prior to her encounter with the Night World, Rashel Jordan led a presumably normal and happy life. Her mother, Melisande, loved her dearly and nicknamed her "kitten" (which is partly why Rashel chose the alias "the Cat" as a vampire hunter). Rashel's father was a Marine, though he apparently died when Rashel was very young (the revelation that Rashel's father was also the father of Keller, who was responsible for abandoning Keller, casts doubt on this, however). Rashel had her first encounter with vampires at a fairground, where she was celebrating her fifth birthday. She was playing with her childhood friend, Timmy, but wanted to climb up the ropes of a 'spider-web' playground and, knowing he wouldn't want to come up as well, told him to stay where he was. Timmy obeyed, but when Rashel came back, she discovered that he was gone.
She found him in a tent with a "big man", who was "eating" Timmy. The man was actually Hunter Redfern, a very old vampire, although it is twelve years before Rashel discovers this. Rashel managed to run away, screaming, which attracted the attention of her mother. Unfortunately, Hunter used mind control on her mother to subdue her and broke her neck, killing her. He tried to take over Rashel's mind as well, but she managed to resist and fled to the top of the playground. Rashel managed to attract the attention of the nearby adults by screaming that Hunter had "tried to touch her". Hunter quickly left the scene, taking Timmy with him. The police didn't believe Rashel when she tried to tell them that a monster had killed her mother and taken her friend. Rashel was then sent to live with her Aunt Corinne. However, Hunter returned to finish Rashel off, setting fire to Corinne's house. Rashel had already guessed he would do this and managed to escape, but Corinne was trapped in the burning house and died. Rashel was then sent to various foster homes.
From that moment on, Rashel vows to become strong enough to protect herself and avenge her mother and Timmy's deaths, by exterminating all vampires. Rashel tells her story to everyone she meets at her numerous foster homes, until finally she meets a group of vampire hunters who, obviously, believe her story and train her as a fighter. At one point, Rashel was trained by a Japanese man, who's ancestors were samurai. He taught her to fight with honor; unfortunately, he was murdered by vampires after they followed Rashel to one of her training sessions with him. Rashel kills her first vampire at the age of twelve and obtains a snapped-off bamboo back-scratcher, which she uses to make "claw-marks" on the skin of all vampires she kills from that moment on. She takes on the alias, 'the Cat', to protect her identity, and also in memory of her mother and her lost innocence. She is also views as something of an 'in-joke' and reference to Catwoman and Batman, regarding vampires as 'bats' and herself as a 'cat'.
Vampire Hunter Edit
During the main events of the story, seventeen year old Rashel is hunting vampires in Boston and still searching for the vampire who killed her mother. It is mentioned that she is notorious throughout the Night World and even has a bounty on her head. She teams up with a group of vampire hunters named the Lancers to investigate a group of vampires who may kidnapping human girls to illegally farm their blood. It here that Rashel first meets her soulmate, John Quinn, whom she and the Lancers knock out and bring back to their basement hide-out. One of the Lancers, a sadistic girl named Vicky, intends to torture Quinn to find out what he knows and kill him slowly, which disturbs Rashel, who believes in honorable fighting and also feels a strange connection to Quinn. When Rashel is left alone to guard Quinn, the pair share a profound moment, in which Rashel attempts to release him and almost removes her face scarf, revealing her identity.
When they are interrupted, Quinn escapes and Rashel - who is horrified by the way she behaved - claims that Quinn used mind control on her. Rashel decides to continue the investigation alone and helps rescue a girl named Daphne, who had escaped from the vampires. Rashel learns from Daphne that the vampries are obtaining the girls from a gothic nightclub named the Crypt. Rashel and Daphne disguise themselves as goths and get into the club, intending to be kidnapped so that Rashel can find out where they're sending the girls. She encounters Quinn again, but he doesn't recognize her. Rashel and Daphne are taken to an abandoned warehouse, where they discover twenty three other kidnapped girls, some as young as twelve. Rashel and the others are transported to an island, where Rashel discovers that a mentally disturbed Lancer named Nyala has stowed away with them. Rashel frees herself, helps the others to escape and orders them to flee the island in a yacht, whilst she goes to face the vampires. Rashel encounters Quinn again and knocks him unconcious, unable to bring herself to kill him, but confused and disgusted by her growing attraction to him.
In the island's mansion, Rashel is preparing to launch an attack on the vampires even though it could mean her death, when Quinn having regained consciousness, grabs her. He reveals that he loves her and that the only way that can be together is for him to make her into a vampire. Rashel, repulsed by this notion, struggles with him, but when he bites her, they share another profound connection and realize that they're soulmates. Quinn desists from his attempt to make her a vampire and agrees to face the vampires with her and try to persuade them to let the humans go. Rashel is shocked upon learning that the leader of the operation is in fact Hunter Redfern, and even more so when she recognizes him as the vampire who killed her mother. She is even more shocked when it is revealed that Timmy is alive, but, having been turned into a vampire, is permanently four years old and is very mentally disturbed, his mind having been warped by Hunter. Quinn and Rashel are preparing to fight the vampires, when Nyala appears, revealing that she soaked the mansion in gasoline. She sets fire to the mansion, forcing the vampires to flee. Rashel, Quinn and Timmy escape, and Quinn - for Rashel's sake - heads back into the mansion to rescue Nyala. The four of them then flee the island of Hunter's yacht. There Rashel decides that they should join Circle Daybreak and finally admits that she loves Quinn.
Other Appearances Edit
Rashel and Quinn make a guest appearance in the novel Soulmate. When Hannah Snow arrives at Thierry's home, the witch Thea Harman introduces her to the soulmate couples of the other books, all of whom have joined Circle Daybreak. Rashel admits she is still a vampire hunter, though now only hunting "bad" vampires. When Maya's operatives attack Thierry's mansion, Rashel tells Hannah to remain where she is whilst they deal with the threat. She is also present when Thierry goes to rescue Hannah from Maya in the Nevada desert.
Rashel and Quinn are mentioned by Jez Redfern, as the two Circle Daybreak members helping hold off operatives of Hunter Redfern and the Night World Council on the East Coast. The couple manage to rescue Jez's uncle, Bracken Redfern, and remove the rest of Jez's gang from San Francisco to safety.
In the short story Thicker than Water, when Keller is brought back to the Circle Daybreak sanctuary, there is an deduction made by Quinn and Galen Drache that Rashel and Keller may be fraternal twins due to their obvious look alike and that it was not a coincidence that her mother called her kitten - the daughters of a human mother and shapeshifter father (who abandoned his wife, and then Keller when she was a baby). Keller inherited her father's shapeshifter genetics, while Rashel, despite having some characteristics in keeping with shapeshifter blood, was born human. Rashel is delighted to discover she has a sister and she and Keller spend time getting to know one another and exchanging banter.
Physical Appearance Edit
Rashel is described as being tall and slim, but athletic, with long black hair, fair skin and emerald green eyes. She usually dresses in a black ninja outfit, with a long scarf wrapped around her face - save for the eyes - to protect her identity, and moves with predatory, almost cat-like grace; Daphne mentions that Rashel "moves like one of them" - "them" being the Night People. Rashel bears a great physical resemble to Raksha Keller, to the point where Quinn and Galen deduce that they are likely fraternal twins.
Rashel is tough, brave and intelligent. She was forced to grow up quickly and become independent from a young age and has a strong will to survive. Unfortunately, her traumatic past has also left her full of anger and bitterness over her lost innocence and the murder of her mother, with a desire for vengeance. Over the events of The Chosen, however, Rashel gradually loses her bitterness and, with the help of her soulmate Quinn, is finally able to let go of her rage and hate.
Rashel can be quite judgmental and prejudiced, assuming that all vampires are monsters and killers, and, upon first meeting them, writing off Daphne as a "fluffy bunny" and another girl kidnapped by vampires for the Blood Feast as a weakling, based only on their appearances. It is likely that she stops being so prejudiced after joining Circle Daybreak, as she seems to get on quite well with the Night People there.
Rashel is described as being an honorable person, especially when it comes to fighting. She feels ashamed at the thought of fighting dirty, but would do so if it meant saving her own life or the life of others. Even back in her vampire-hunting days, Rashel was shown to be disturbed by the idea of torturing Quinn - or any vampire - for both information and sadistic 'fun', and was even prepared to kill Quinn to spare him a slow, agonizing death. Rashel is also protective of others, even those she views as "weak", willingly putting herself at risk to help and protect them, although at the beginning of The Chosen, she does so somewhat reluctantly and is frustrated by the idea of being killed trying protect someone weaker than her. However, she later comes to realize that if people like her don't protect the weak and helpless, then no one will, which partly influences her decision to join Circle Daybreak.
Due to spending all her time focusing on survival and toughening herself up, Rashel finds it difficult to sct like a 'normal' teenager at times and seems to constantly be in fight-or-flight mode. She posesses a somewhat dark and twisted sense of humour, occasionally taunting the vampires she fights. Rashel tends to empathise with people who have lost loved ones, as shown with Quinn and Nyala. She also feels a great deal of disdain towards people who harm children - she is infuriated when she sees trophies such as a Spiderman sneaker taken by a child-targeting vampire and takes great satisfaction in killing him; she also spends time daydreaming about horrible things to do to the vampire slave traders when she sees that one of their victims is only around twelve. Part of this possibly stems from her own experience of seeing her friend Timmy attacked and being hunted down by a vampire as a child.
Rashel has quite a bit in common with her twin, Keller - both are seen as brave, strong-willed, fierce-tempered and protective.
- The name Rashel is a variant of the name Rachel which means ‘ewe’ in Hebrew. An ewe is a female sheep. The surname Jordan means ‘to descend’.
- Rashel is one of the few humans shown to be able to resist vampire mind control.
- Due to her father being revealed to be a shapeshifter, Rashel is technically a hybrid. However, she doesn't appear to have any shapeshifter abilities (except perhaps her great agility and keen senses).
- This revelation makes Rashel's nickname of 'kitten' and her alter ego as 'the Cat' even more meaningful, as Keller's form is a black panther. It is actually pointed out in Thicker Than Water that it's possible Rashel's mother calling her kitten was not a coincidence.