foolishwren: SHADOWS  F L I C K E R  BEFORE ME (I HOLD TRUTH LIKE A  T O R C H)
Heather Mason ([personal profile] foolishwren) wrote2013-08-27 02:19 am
Entry tags:

Alternamorphs Application

PLAYER INFO

Name: Kit
AIM: Phantastus
Other contact:
Plurk: Phantastus
EMail: psychologyseaurchin@gmail.com
Current characters: N/A


CHARACTER INFO

Name: Cheryl Alessa Gillespie. Renamed Cheryl Mason upon adoption-- now under witness protection and uses the name Heather Morris.
Journal: [personal profile] foolishwren
Canon: Silent Hill
Reference: Heather's complete canon history is told pretty thoroughly between this Wiki article on Alessa, her past life self, focusing on her role in the events of Silent Hill(s) 0 and 1, and this article focusing on Heather's reincarnated life and the events of Silent Hill 3.

The Book of Lost Memories is another good resource for the history if the Wikis aren't sufficient.

Race: Human
Age/DOB: 17 (born July 3rd)

Current morphs: Heather's first morph will be a crow or raven, probably acquired very shortly after receiving the power. Because no kid can resist trying out an awesome new toy, right?

Appearance:
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3

History:
Seventeen years ago, Heather (then named Cheryl) was born to a woman named Dahlia Gillespie, who unfortunately was an astoundingly bad caretaker. Dahlia, a lower-class single mother living in a tiny, far-rural Maine community called Silent Hill, was heavily involved in a bizarre religious cult known for drug use and child abuse/neglect, among other unpleasant things. During a police investigation from the nearby town of Brahms, several young children (including Cheryl), ages ranging from 4 to 7 and showing signs of neglect and physical abuse, were removed from the care of several prominent cultists who were deemed unfit parents. Heather was fortunately placed in a home almost immediately, first fostered and then adopted by a young Portland couple by the name of Harry and Jodie Mason (a reasonably-well-known nonfiction writer and an art teacher, respectively). Although there was a somewhat difficult adustment period, Cheryl soon settled into her new MUCH BETTER family, who had longed for a child of their own but sadly had been unable to conceive. Things went smoothly for about four years.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck when a member of the aforementioned cult discovered the family's location and arrived at their house, intending to kidnap Cheryl (by then aged 11). After forcing an entry, the intruder attacked the Masons and was eventually shot dead by Harry in the ensuing struggle-- but not before killing Jodie. In the legal kerfuffle that followed, Harry was briefly suspected of murder but cleared of all suspicion when it was determined to be self-defense (duh). Heartbroken from the loss of his wife and terrified for the safety of his child, Harry uprooted and went on the run with Cheryl in tow, rarely staying anywhere for more than a couple years. This went on for about six years, with Cheryl growing used to a transient lifestyle and rarely developing lasting friendships, and Harry growing ever more worried and smothering of his beloved daughter. Eventually they ended up in a small apartment in Bangor where they expected Cheryl to be able to finish up her last years of high-school... until the cult promptly popped back into their lives.
Now having utilized the help of a private detective, a small group of other cult members had tracked Cheryl down once more. This time, Harry was attacked in the apartment and nearly killed, and Cheryl forced to evade her pursuers mostly on her own for a terrifying few days, not trusting the police (ever since she'd seen her father manhandled into a cop car for trying to protect her from a home intruder, any and all respect for law enforcement vanished in a puff of smoke) to help and fully believing (at the time) that her father was dead. The harrowing events of the following days are something Cheryl almost never talks about, but it's probably saying enough to state that it ended she emerged from the ordeal with blood on her hands, and most of her pursuers... didn't emerge at all.
When the smoke cleared and Cheryl was reunited with her father, they were finally forced to flee from the state entirely for their own safety, using new police-issued identities and advised to try and forget what happened and start a new life, far from where any more crazy religious people could show up on their doorsteps and try to murder them.
Now under the names Hector and Heather Morris, they moved to Florida in hopes that they'd finally be able to live peacefully and not have to be looking over their shoulders constantly for Cheryl's creepy-ass birth family.


Personality:
On the surface, Heather is a sublimely perfect example of your average attitude-laden modern teenager. Bright, but disdainful of school. Hard-working when it comes to things she cares about, but also prone to youthful irresponsibility and lack of foresight. Frequently moody and sarcastic, but a funloving goofball at heart. She's the sort of kid you'd expect to see loitering around a mall with a gang of friends, giggling over ugly clearance-rack stuff in Macy's or scarfing down pizza in the food court. She's rowdy, sharp-tongued, fiercely independent, and has a short-tempered chip on her shoulder the size of a brick. As hotheaded as they come, she can be prone to rushing headlong into situations that might land her in hot water, but fortunately also possesses the creativity, resourcefulness, and quick-thinking that allows her to get back out of it most of the time. At age seventeen, she straddles the fence between childhood and adulthood, forced by life (and... you know, the hideous horror canon she belongs to) to have grown up far too fast in some ways, but still distinctly a kid in many others.
To someone meeting her for the first time, it would be easy to write her off as a wild, slightly-airheaded tomboy.

As one might expect, this is not the whole story.

A childhood spent moving from place to place with a loving but paranoid single father who preached constant caution (for a very good cause, it turned out, considering they were on the run from an insidious cult that was primarily after her) crafted Heather into a very wary creature, her daredevil nature in direct conflict with (or perhaps partially because of) the secrecy and perpetual stranger-danger lectures she grew up with. Heather perpetually see-saws between a thrill-seeking YOLO mindset and the wariness that's been hardwired into her. Despite being a brash and impulsive individual at heart, she is usually much more aware (and avoidant) of potential dangers than she lets on. Unless she's the one in control of it, danger ain't a thing she's fond of--and she got pretty good at controlling it, at least enough to keep herself out of any hands she didn't want to be falling into. She's been up and down the "stupid rebel kid" route, picking up a lot of unfortunate habits-- she makes references in canon to being something of a troublemaker, with a history of underage drinking, smoking cigarettes, and even shoplifting. Due to the incident in her childhood in which her father was treated as a murder suspect (for having saved her life by shooting a home invader looking to kidnap her, no less), she deeply mistrusts authority and is likely to sneer at anything with a badge.
Relatedly, long-lasting childhood friendships were a thing that just didn't happen due to the constant moving (which began after the shooting incident, an unfortunate reality check to her father, who now realized that the cult he was sheltering his daughter from was more than capable of hunting them down and hurting them), and although Heather didn't tend to have much trouble fitting in, her relationships with her peers were frequently shallow, not extending past chatting at school or after-hours hangouts spent mostly being Disgruntled Youths (tm) rather than connecting on any truly personal level. Having fun with a gang of increasingly-wrong-side-of-the-tracks pals was all fine and dandy, but although she tended to act out in rebellion of her father's worrywartness as she got older, deep down she took his teachings to heart and as a result rarely lets anyone get too close. Although she covers it up with a brash, playful nature, her trust was, is, and frankly probably always will be a difficult thing to earn.
That said, the few who show her genuine kindness (after, you know, proving they're not just doing it to get something from her first) are people she cherishes, mostly because genuinely well-meaning individuals besides her loving father turned out to be an absolute rarity in her life. Her affection is freely-given without a second thought to people she cares about, and characterized by playful aggression and tough love-- if you manage to worm your way into her heart, expect bearhugs, spontaneous wrestling matches, and merciless teasing, because under the deep-rooted trust/intimacy issues, Heather is still a goofy kid who likes to have fun. Anyone who gets past her built-up defenses will find her to be high-energy, playful and potentially even a little obnoxious.

But unsurprisingly, there's even more to it and not all of it is pretty. Underneath the peppy exterior, Heather has an inner hardness that accompanies a hotbed of suppressed trauma and emotional scarring-- her wariness, streetsmarts, and trust issues run far deeper than just the upbringing she had with her protective father. Her aversion to showing vulnerability is, at its core, a desperate and terrified bid for survival that began long before she was ever adopted, back when she lived in the care of her biological mother. Although she gained a loving family, the treatment she received in her early years left her with a tangled web of lingering self-worth issues that she hides behind a clowny, often-cocky facade. Heather copes with trauma and upset first and foremost with humor, trying her best to hide her troubles behind a steady barrage of jokes and sarcasm.
And where humor fails, she channels her fear into anger and physical toughness, because puffing up and barking at the bad things is more likely to scare them off than showing how scared and tiny she feels inside.

Which brings us to... that little issue.

The fact that Heather is a good kid has already been established. After all, she inherited her father's heart of gold, even if it occasionally gets a little hidden under the dirt and grunge. But despite her strength of character, she doesn't always act like a good kid. Even before having the horrors of her past shoved in her face the second time around, she carried a switchblade on her at all times (stating that she just "liked to for some reason") and was generally quick to snap. Anger as a coping mechanism can lead down dark roads, and Heather possesses an innate, bloodthirsty hunger for vengeance when wronged. She is not crazy (at least not as much as one might expect for someone who has been through the things that she has), but she has experienced some dark shit and that changes a person. She is easily provoked to violence, and although she considers the harm of innocent human beings to be reprehensible and horrifying, the point remains that she has killed. And she would be okay with killing again, if she had to. Flat-out murder is off the table (... well, she hopes it's off the table, anyway-- secretly, she's a little scared of herself and her willingness to kill), but she is quick to pass judgment on people who she sees as monstrous.

TL;DR: Heather is a decent, if rough-natured young woman trying to make the best of her second chance at life and ALSO BASICALLY AN UNHOLY COMBINATION OF RACHEL AND MARCO. ... You know, if we're making comparisons here.



Abilities & Limitations:

ABILITIES:

Bravery/Determination: At her core, it's Heather's courage that gets her through things. Although far from fearless, she is very good at pushing it back to tolerable levels until she can safely break down somewhere she doesn't have to worry about something EATING HER-- there's always time to have a nice cry later when it won't be interfering with your ability to stay alive. Heather is a survivor in every sense of the word-- she's been through some seriously bad shit. The fact that she made it through it all not only in one piece but also without winding up in a straightjacket is testament to her mental fortitude, and her ability to persevere through hardship. She can keep her head in a crisis and do what it takes to keep herself-- and even others-- alive. That, and she's not afraid to spill blood.

Athletic: Heather grew up running around like a wild child and this did not change as she got older. She can run like the wind (she used to be on the track team back in Bangor! ... She won't be HERE because who has time for track when you have to fight Yeerks after school haha) and she packs a hefty punch for a scrawny teen. Although she has no professional training in fighting, she can more or less hold her own in a scrap-- and if she CAN'T, she's fast enough to maybe get away.

Parkour: What can I say, she's actually pretty awesome at the art of The Floor is Lava. Part of her interest is fueled by typical teen 'OH MAN AWESOME' and part of it from how constant the concept of 'getting away' has been present in her life, but either way she's good at getting into and out of places in unconventional ways. Although morphing will doubtlessly be more practical for that, being able to do it as a human can't hurt either.

Good with weapons: Whether it's sort of a power trip or whether they just make her feel safer, Heather likes weapons. Her father taught her how to use firearms for self-protection (he's BIG on the right to bear arms and as soon as he knew there were people trying to kidnap her, you bet he took his daughter to the shooting range on a regular basis for practice) and she frequently carries knives and pepper spray on her. She's got a taser in her underwear drawer, too. Paranoid dads, whatcha gonna do?

Intelligence/street smarts: Heather's pretty bright. She's no prodigy, but she's got a lot of common sense-- not to mention a decent amount of book smarts and chemistry know-how. So, you know, if anyone needs to know how to make some gnarly compounds out of household cleaning agents, she's your gal.



LIMITATIONS:

Small: She's... well, she's a teenage girl. Tough as she is, she's not very big. As good as she is at fighting, in human form she'll be able to get knocked over or picked up very easily.

Phobias: For someone so outwardly brave, Heather is chock full of hidden fears-- the biggest one being FIRE. Although she's good at battering through her panic, in a worst-case scenario there are things that trigger her badly and she might occasionally need help getting through them.

Hotheaded: She has her cool-in-a-crisis side, but let's be real. She's an angry teenager. She's stubborn, eager to pick fights, and may occasionally jump the gun and rush into things despite herself.

Authority issues: She doesn't trust authority at all, and that can and WILL include the leader of the Animorphs-- even at times when it shouldn't. Heather will frequently be the voice of dissent, and at times also a bit of a loose cannon. She hates being told what to do.

Can be a little mean: She's got a bit of a fucked-up sense of humor and can frequently come off as cruel or insensitive even without meaning to.

A DARK AND MYSTERIOUS PAST WOOOOOOOOOO: She'll be keeping secrets-- and keeping secrets from your allies in a deadly war can be a very bad thing. Her past is something she has to hide both out of practicality (that's WHY they moved and took on new names, after all) but also out of plain old fear of how the others might react. Having to keep her true identity a secret from both the Yeerks AND her friends will take a toll on her that could very well interfere with her ability to do the things she needs to do.

Her Dad: No matter how loyal she may be to the cause, her father is the one thing she will do anything for. He's her biggest weakness, and if it came right down to it, she WOULD put him before the cause if it meant keeping him safe. Not to mention, keeping secrets from HIM will be a constant source of guilt and shame, even if it's for his own good.
And on a different note, he'll also be a bit of a problem from a purely practical standpoint as well. Although he lets her have her space, he is a little overbearing. Bad grades? She's grounded. Unhappy-looking? Oh, he saw a flyer for the Sharing! Maybe you should go, it'll keep you out of trouble! You need to go see your friends? Why don't you have them over HERE? He'll make dinner! He misses spending time with you. :(




AU Explanation: The explicit differences between Heather's canon history and her AU history are basically thus:

-No supernatural elements, no literal monsters. In canon, there's not only crazy cultists, but also alternate dimensions, elder gods, and hideous creatures! In this AU, although Heather did come into violent conflict with figures from her past, she has not gone on any magical monster-killing adventures. Also important to note, in canon Heather has died multiple times and been reincarnated: her first childhood lasted only fourteen years before she was reborn into her current incarnation. For the AU, her multiple lives were condensed into one. Which brings me to the next point:

-Rather than doing all the crazy magical psychic actually-might-be-a-god-holy-crap soul-splitting stuff she did in the original canon, Heather's just a human kid. She lived with her birth mom until age seven, was then adopted by the Masons by completely conventional means, lost her adopted mother and started living on the move at age eleven, and then faced her old birth family/cult on her own at age seventeen. Unlike in canon, her memories of her first childhood were not repressed and then regained. She's lived a hard life and spent most of it dealing with her rough childhood, but there was no amnesia or anything. Basically she's still a troubled kid, but a troubled kid without freaky supernatural stuff going on. The stuff that was initially spread out over a couple of lives is condensed into one.

-Instead of dying in the second attack, her father survives and continues to be his sweet, loving, overbearing self.

-Because her adoptive mother died when she was eleven and NOT technically before she was born into this life, Heather has many more memories of her and actively misses/mourns her. It's a much fresher blow. :(


The Invasion: Joining the resistance is something Heather will have mixed feelings about.

First and foremost, the fight is something she'll support purely because... well, having once BEEN a helpless victim, the thought of an alien race using innocent people as their slaves will make her positively ill. Freedom is important to her, and "Not on MY planet, you won't!" will very much be her immediate, visceral response to the Yeerk threat.
And on a darker note, she's an angry, frustrated kid with a violent past and a desperate need for an outlet, being fresh from a traumatizing incident and more or less told to just "forget about it": she will fight, and she will be good at it. Especially since the things she's fighting won't be human, meaning that at least for a time, she'll be able to free herself of the guilt associated with killing people. They're monsters, right? Killing MONSTERS is a piece of cake! The fact that she HAS killed people before, even in very-justified self defense, is something she'll go to great lengths to hide (out of shame, and out of fear of being judged by people who will come to be her new friends, better friends than she's ever had), but it will likely be obvious in her ruthlessness that she's got some bad stuff going on in her head. Normal kids probably wouldn't adapt to slicing and dicing Hork-Bajir as quickly as she will.
Another stake she has in the fight is, quite simply, her father. Her father, who has already done so much to keep her safe, and suffered on her behalf (not that HE'D blame her for one second, but she's growing up fast and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that he not only put his entire life on the line for her-- and suffered brutal physical assault for it-- but also lost the woman he loved, all because he had opened his home to a foster child: her), is still recovering from being attacked. He is her biggest weakness and her first concern in the fight. She will be in it to protect him, to keep him from harm. She never, EVER wants him to be hurt because of something she did or didn't do ever again, and she'd never forgive herself if he wound up a Controller because she refused to join the fight and was unable to protect him from the Yeerks.


ON THE OTHER HAND, THOUGH:
Because of her severe mistrust for authority and fear of being used without her consent for ANYTHING, she will NOT be a fan of essentially being drafted into the war, whether it's for a good cause or not. She just had to uproot her entire life (AGAIN) and move across the country directly after a deeply traumatic event-- and now, as if settling in after THAT and keeping her grades up wasn't hard enough, she's getting pulled into a WAR? Against fucking ALIENS? How the HELL IS THIS FAIR? So there's a side of her that will be rather resentful, and even initially reluctant to fight.
Her father, who admittedly will be one of the biggest reasons she'll stay in the fight, is also a big reason why she'll be initially reluctant to join in. She's all he has, and if something happens to her... or even worse, if her being involved somehow directs Yeerk attention onto him...
Yeah. First cultists, now Yeerks... even if she winds up willing to fight, her father's safety will always be a huge potential "damned if I do, damned if I don't" issue for her.
Despite her support, there will likely be plenty of times where she's contentious and stubborn about it, mostly for the sake of her family. Not dissimilar to Marco, really.


RP Sample:
Do all her threads on the Test Drive meme count?