Academic [+2]: A former Oxfordian, TA, and graduate Architecture/Planning student
Globe Hopper [+6]: Extensive world traveler for business and pleasure, excellent with languages
Communicator [+2]: Knows how to talk, sweet and otherwise.
Power: Telekinesis [+2]: The power to move things with ones mind. Takes concentration, causes fatigue. Imprecise.
Power: Telepathy [+2]: The ability to communicate with ones mind. Takes concentration to go distances and can be interfered with by static from other minds. For example, it’s particularly difficult to find a person in a crowd.
Foible: No Arms [-2]: Hacked up and experimented on. Grappling with her freakishness.
Ohio. Once the great Western frontier, now quintessential middle America. It’s a bit of a curse to be from Ohio, and more so from Cleveland, the quintessential of rust belt cities. There’s not a lot of cache in being from a place famous for flaming rivers, industrial collapse and Drew Carey, even if it does have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Wilsons came to Cleveland in the late 1800s, lured by the economic opportunities in the city’s booming economy. Clarissa’s grandfather and great-grandfather worked on the railroad, her grandmother in the factories during the war. As Cleveland declined, the family hung on, through bankruptcy, through joblessness and riots.
Clarissa heard stories from her family. The Cleveland she knew wasn’t what they’d described – in the nineties and two thousands it went through renaissance and rebirth. The whole process fascinated Clarissa. Why this way and not that? What about those old buildings downtown? And how did the place they live change people’s lives? For a high school paper she dug into the library archives and found pictures of her family’s house in Newburgh Heights going back to the depression. She parlayed that paper into an application for a summer study program in Boston, New York and Philadelphia on comparative architectural history.
That experience set the course for Clarissa’s academic future. She got into The Ohio State University, entering their art history and urban studies program, and taking every opportunity to travel (especially for credit!). Hitting four of seven continents as an undergrad, Clarissa’s advisor urged her to continue her studies and apply for several international graduate programs. Thanks to his strong recommendation and Clarissa’s own strong academic and globe-trotting record, she received funding from an EU exchange program. A chance to go to Cambridge, travel for academic accomplishment, and avoid the jobs crisis at home to boot.
The Wilson parents weren’t that surprised. Cleveland might have been home but it couldn’t meet Clarissa’s desire for adventure and variety. She settled in happily to the Cambridge, quite enjoying teaching, researching and traveling. Clarissa went to Brussels to sit in on urban planning meetings, to Paris to gather information on street café culture, to Wales to interview residents on attitudes towards the recent redevelopments. It was in Prague she met Simone, a French student who was, surprisingly enough, also studying at Cambridge. The two palled around Prague, meeting up in the evenings to hit a range of clubs and bars and restaurants, meet other travelers and local Czechs and, on some occasions, help each other land a particular romantic target.
The friendship continued once they returned to Cambridge, although there was some tension when Simone wound up falling up short in the class Clarissa was TAing. No matter – it didn’t keep them from heading to Lyons this past Christmas and stop in Paris on the way back for a big New Year’s party. The two hung over co-eds dragged themselves to Gare du Nord on the second. They never made the Eurostar, though, picked out by agents of the Facility and spirited away.