How old is Abuela Ortega? Is she the Ortega siblings' mother? Aunt? Grandmother? Would that mean Papa Loco is her son? Speculation over cards and drink in the Latigo workers' quarters at night holds such fascination because it involves trying to imagine a young Abuela, an Abuela with babies, with... a husband? Trying to reconcile those imaginings with the reality of the ferocious old woman prowling the compound, battering the laziness, clumsiness or backtalk out of her workforce with stinging whacks from a wooden spoon or red-hot salvoes of scolding and insults... well, there's not enough booze in Latigo for any of them to manage that.
At the Ortega family table each evening Abuela distributes gloriously-prepared meals as she grills the youngsters about their missions, snappishly correcting them on points of Neverborn hunting technique and battle tactics. And anyone who finds that odd has never seen the alacrity with which Abuela grabs the shotgun from the side of her chair and puts herself on the firing line when the Neverborn come calling.