Portrayed by Cassie Steele
|Birthdate:||Dec. 1, 1995|
Blurb covering where your character is now. Very short, no more than three or four lines.
Character Journal: and if i die today
Real Name: Renee Nguyen
First Appearance: August 14, 2012
Date of Birth: December 1, 1995
Place of Birth: San Jose, CA
Citizenship: United States
Relatives: Parents Quan and Adriana Nguyen (deceased); paternal grandfather Chien
Education: completed but repeating junior year of high school
Relationship Status: single
Occupation: runaway, petty thief, nuisance
Team Affiliation: n/a
Renee grew up as the only child of wealthy parents, and her independent spirit brought her into conflict with her doting (read: demanding) mother from an early age. Her father was often out of their home for his work and as a result the relationship between the two women could best be described as strained as Renee grew up. She loved both her parents very much but often felt out of place in her own home.
The word "home" took on an entirely different meaning in the summer of 2008, however. The confluence of her father's work schedule and her parents' mutual desire for her to see as much of the world as possible brought the Nguyen family to the beautiful and historic but threatened city of Srinagar. Quan was indulging the women in a morning of sight seeing when a mutant detonated himself like a nuclear bomb in the middle of a festival in the city. Both of Renee's parents were instantly killed in the blast, but she was only knocked unconscious because--as thousands died around her--her previously unknown mutation manifested. Misty forms swarmed out of the city and gathered her up, forming themselves into a bubble around her and thrusting her into the water of Dal Lake as the fireball consumed everything in its path. When the immediate danger had passed, the "ghosts" formed a ball around the unconscious Renee and, through a sort of relay system, carried her to the outskirts of the next closest city, Anangnat, about thirty-five miles to the south-east. She had no knowledge of any of these events--the last thing she remembered, and remembers even now, was the explosion.
Returning to the United States took no small effort--Renee had to enlist the help of the American embassy in New Delhi--but returning to normal was simply never an option. The only member of her extended family who was able to take the newly orphaned pre-teen in was her fraternal grandfather, Chien. Chien was a proud man but set in his ways. When Quan had left home, he'd decided he was done with raising children, and have never been a particularly devoted grandfather to begin with. Now, however, the gulf of grief that could have brought the two together only served to push them further apart. Chien made no secret of his resentment of Renee's presence in his home and even occasionally went as far as to imply she should feel responsible for their deaths.
While Renee did return to school that fall and try to live some semblance of a normal life, she began spending more and more time out of the house, literally running the streets, walls, fences and anything else she could get under her feet. It was on one of these runs that the "ghosts" returned. In the winter of 2009, one missed jump at three AM from a platform at Diridon Station meant she would've hit the third rail but something reached up and placed her back on the platform, then stayed there. Her heart was already racing from her run but Renee thought it might explode at the sight in front of her... but she didn't flee. The feeling she'd had on the train in India was present for her again now, and something told her that this weird green humanoid form in front of her was not only safe but was in fact on her side. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the feeling, on trying to make it grow, and when she opened her eyes, a second form had joined the first. She was unable to call up any more, but two was plenty. The station wasn't a safe place for experimenting, though, so that night she ran home but vowed to herself she would do whatever she had to in order to figure out what was going on. She knew one thing, though. She was a mutant, like the man who had attacked San Diego and New York and India. She couldn't tell anyone.
As she spent more and more time with her 'friends,' she also began to spend less and less at school. People there kept wanting her to talk and open up about her feelings and what had happened... she just wasn't interested. It happened, it was over, her parents were gone and that had to be the end of it, but the school kept insisting on counseling appointments and therapy sessions, all of which she happily ditched. Unfortunately, rather than taking her off the radar, this put an even bigger target on her back. Renee's grandfather knew his daughter was on thin ice but when the school contacted him and the subject of potential fines or other consequences for him came up, he laid down the law. Renee was permitted to enroll in an alternative high school within the San Jose school system, and she began attending there full time in the fall of 2010. Or nearly full time. Her attendance was still lackluster, but not poor enough to involve Chien or the authorities. Renee was a daredevil, but part of that meant knowing her limits, too.
Things came to a head as her junior year of high school came to an end. She'd gotten a wild case of spring fever and the school had called Chien to alert him to her multiple absences, raising his ire to the point of boiling over. He called her down into the living room and demanded an apology. She refused, saying if this was supposed to be her home then she should be able to treat the damn doors however she wanted. Enraged, Chien moved right back into his standard rant--would she slam the door in her parents' home? Did she not understand that they were there and how much she was hurting them? In a moment of desperation and rage, Renee broke down and showed her him her "friends," a trio of green figures appearing in their modest living room. Rather than understanding, however, or even going pale with fear, her grandfather raged right back at her, accusing Renee of summoning demons with this display, even going so far as to say her "wickedness" was what had cost him his son. He told her he had tried to make his house a home for her but no longer, and he threw her out.
Living At The X-Mansion
Other Features: multiple piercings (ears, nose, lower left lip, belly button), mole on her right cheek
Renee is capable of creating and controlling solid human-shaped projections--these are projections of the energy of the dead. She has an empathic and telepathic connection with them, though as they have no thoughts to speak of, the telepathic connection consists more of being able to see what they see and hear what they hear. This connection also exists as a network between multiple apparitions; if she and someone else are both in physical contact with one of her "friends," she can use that apparition as a conduit to show them what is being seen or heard, though because all of Renee's experimentation has been done alone, she has a very limited knowledge of this ability. The apparitions seem to be generated from thin air and have varying appearances.
In a sort of exchange for their physical manifestation, Renee is made physically more tolerant by the presence of her friends. This is more or less a defense mechanism, though--as she suffers any pain inflicted on the spirits, she needs to be stronger when they are around in order to maintain her concentration and keep them present. She cannot lift a car, for example, but if a projection takes a direct hit, she will be only momentarily incapacitated. In effect, her pain tolerance and recovery speed from the sensation are what is increased; she doesn't have a healing factor so if she herself suffers any damage during this time, she will suffer it as any human would.
Renee cannot call on the energy of those who have been dead longer than a century (otherwise, well, the planet has way more dead than living, so she'd be ridiculously powerful; a time limit seems necessary), nor can she summon energy from beyond a radius of about half a mile (same reason as above, but also limits her powers when in the air, for example). She herself is unaware of these limitations, though she is eager to see just what she can do and has often wondered why she cannot summon unlimited "friends" from unlimited distance. At this time, she can summon at the most six "friends," and is quite shaky in her ability to consciously control them when there are that many present.
The availability of this energy in a certain area is based on where people die, not where they are interred. She would be far more powerful in the intensive care unit of a hospital than in a graveyard.
The projections themselves can pass through walls, floors and other solid surfaces as well as carry and manipulate solid objects, but they cannot phase solid objects. They can remain summoned indefinitely as long as Renee is able to focus on maintaining their presence--things like being mildly startled won't be enough to break the summon, but physical attacks definitely are. The "friends" are not physically tough since they are made basically of solidified energy, but they are individually equal to an average human in their strength in terms of lifting/carrying/attacking/etc. The more of them Renee can summon, the greater the impact they would be able to have in this area.
She cannot and will never be able to summon the energy of specific people. It is simply beyond her, likely because all humans (and mutants, and sentient beings perhaps) possess this same energy.
nb: Upon entering Xavier's and until further notice, Renee does NOT know her energy is drawn from the dead. She just knows it's there.
Favorite poet is Shel Silverstein.
Player Icon Base: Cassie Steele
Any curious little things about why the character, if the character had a prior player before you (and who they were), etc.