|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Vanessa Larson is still a tomboy, though she lives in the US now and at times can actually be found dressing in more feminine clothing. She was a teacher at Xavier's Institute, but has since resigned and is in the private field of bodyguard work.
It was Henry Larson's dream to have a son with his wife Claire. They were British born, but early on in the sixties came to the United States because of the draw of the civil rights actions that were taking place. They wanted to do something to make the world better, and Henry and Claire agreed it would be irresponsible to have a child during such volatile times. After the free love of the sixties ended, and the Vietnam war was no longer an issue to fight against, there were troubles in the middle east, and they traveled again to help out where they could volunteer aid in countries abroad. Claire and Henry loved one another, and they loved life, but Henry continued to want a child and Claire continued to disapprove because of whatever situation they found themselves in. Not until June of 1990 did they finally agree to have a child. They were now just entering their fifties, and it wasn't likely Claire could even have a child any more, but they tried and they managed to succeed.
Vanessa doesn't remember the time in her early life when she had two parents around. As an infant she was cute, like everyone, but unlike most newborns she wasn't something that held Claire and Henry together, Vanessa was instead something that started to keep them apart. Claire wanted to continue to travel the world, to see sights and fight for causes, but Henry looked at Vanessa and saw in her the world and knew she needed something more stable, more solid. Over the first few years of Vanessa's life Henry and Claire grew apart, separating eventually and going their own ways amiably. Henry gained custody of Vanessa and Claire traveled the world, they still have yet to get divorced or even date other people.
Having wanted a son for so long colored the way Henry dealt with Vanessa as she grew up. By the time Vanessa was 8 years old she could fish better than most of the old men who cluttered the piers and beaches. She was a baseball star in little league, a center for soccer, and even played her bit in powderpuff football games at school but she just didn't fit in with the rest of the girls even when emulating male dominated sports. Her father taught her about all of these things and much more, and by the time she was 12 she no longer even thought to ask for dresses or skirts, and rarely would be seen doing anything with her appearance except throwing on clothes? the one exception was perhaps her hair, which she fussed over regularly in secret to keep it clean and tangle free. She had inherited the curls of her mother, and though she never met the woman in real life, there were plenty of pictures of her around making her want to be a lot like this woman her father respected so much and talked about non-stop.
Henry noticed something going on with Vanessa long before she recognized anything was different about herself. For Henry he noticed in how she could jump a bit further than most of the boys on the track team, and how when she kicked a ball in soccer at 9 she could nearly clear the soccer field, or how she got so insistently mad at times where the only thing to cool her off was time and space. Fishing was the respite from it all, "Patience rewards. Temper the soul, and you'll get what you came here for?" Something her dad always told her, be patient and calm and you'll succeed. Become hasty and angry and you'll certainly fail. Every time Vanessa felt the anger build up inside of her, she'd just put her mind at ease like when fishing, take in the surrounding wonderment of the world, realize just how silly her concerns were compared to the universe's problems. Henry could tell she was struggling against something, but it wasn't until she entered high school that he finally realized exactly what it was? she's a mutant.
The first few attacks of her mutation happened at school, and Henry was called in both times because Vanessa attacked another student. She said she didn't mean to, that it wasn't her fault, something just took hold of her, and the school threatened that if it were to happen a third time she'd be expelled and possibly charged as a criminal due to the violent nature of the attacks. Henry decided to pull her out first, and homeschool her, so he retired and used his funds along with selling their house, to travel with Vanessa all over the United States to show her what life was like? and to keep her safe. Each time she had an outburst, she seemed to change, small things at first like tighter muscles, and later more apparent things like glowing eyes and sharpened fingers. Henry didn't want his daughter taken away from her, so he endured the fear and kept teaching her what he could about patience, tolerance, honesty, purity and all the goods of the world. He felt these would keep her happy. But, happy or sad, Vanessa's powers were triggered. They had been there since she was 8 years old, but they were manifesting stronger and stronger with every passing year. To her father's credit, the crafts he taught her and the sports she learned all kept her tolerance to pain and ability to struggle even when exhausted very high, allowing her to develop techniques to keep her mutation from occurring too often.
By the time Vanessa was taking the national test all homeschooled children must, to prove they have learned the basics and are a standard of intelligence, she was in control of her abilities. Well, that is to say, she could resist changing in every day situations. The greater the stress, the harder it was for her, but at least she was able to keep herself normal even when sleeping (which she started to need very little as time passed) or when pressured like during a national exam. Henry was proud, not only because she passed this test so she could move onto college if she wanted, but because of her overcoming such internal struggles. For Vanessa, however, it was a different world. Sometimes she would purposefully let herself slip to see what was going on, and though her father kept calling her a mutant, all she could see were these demonic traits growing on her as she let herself shift. She's never gone all the way, but a few times she's gone so far as to wake up the next morning not fully aware of what had happened the night before, and her father rushing to move them on to a new city.
Vanessa is obsessed with the idea that she has been possessed by some demonic presence that causes her transformation, even if mutant in nature, she believes the cure is in purifying her body and soul. She believes that if she is around friends or family it is only a matter of time before she hurts them. So, when she had the opportunity to go back to move to the UK with a study abroad scholarship she was offered, she ran with it. She is currently studying mythology with a focus on demonology. Her goal is to discover a means to rid herself of the demonic presence within her body and to purify her being so that she might become a normal human being. It is the hope of all mutants to somehow, some day, be accept at the very least as human, but for Vanessa when she shifts she is very much anything but human. Over the past few years, while studying abroad, she has ventured out into the night life of the UK and attempted to find good ways of using her abilities. She isn't heroic in nature, but when she notices someone in trouble she does attempt to help, even if it means she must unleash some of the evil she fears inside, she will do so but never so far that she is unable to control herself. With more direct practice, it is her hope she will be able to gain greater control over her internal evils and manage to purge herself once and for all of the fear that she will hurt someone she cares about. Until that day she lives a life of struggle, every second of every day against the desire to simply let go...
Vanessa has graduated with her BA in Mythology and her Master's of Teaching soon followed in the past 3 years. She also only was a pseudo ward of Excalibur before they got into more serious things and Vanessa decided to go back to the US to finish up her studies. Once completed with her Masters of Teaching she's done very little other than writings for small time magazines, a few articles and other grunt work for various universities to make small amounts of money now and again. She also spends some time posting flyers for people who need a tutor for mythology or religion courses at local colleges and universities. A poor college life that has been followed by a poor post-graduate life. She is currently looking for some more important things to do with her life and her curse.
- Brutally Honest: It isn't so much that Vanessa is just a good person, it's more that the worry and stress over trying to remember what lies she's told someone can help to push her into mutating. If someone asks her how they are looking and she thinks they are ugly or could lose some weight, she tells them. It's a lot easier for her to push aside the yelling and screaming than leave the person with a lie that she'll have to worry about coming back to her in the long run.
- Charitable: If someone asks her for something Vanessa is inclined to give it, unless she is in desperate need of it. On her way home from research she will easily go through all of her spare cash giving it out to beggars while not leaving herself enough money to take a cab home and instead will have to walk. Because of this she's never really with too many items on her person to burden herself with, at one point she even gave up her socks simply because someone thought they were nice.
- Serious: Too much laughter makes her change, and too much sadness makes her change, the only approach she has to her life is one of taking everything seriously. Understand, listen, respond and move on. She isn't emo serious, but instead more scientific kind of serious, if someone has a problem she will ask what it is, so that she might help fix it, but not so she can get involved emotionally.
- Switch Personality: All of the previously mentioned personality traits are Vanessa as she is normally, but as she shifts with her mutation she slips from those things and starts moving to something else. As she enters her first stage of mutation she starts to exaggerate events, becomes more selfish with her time and aloof with her presence. As she shifts to her third stage it would be hard to have her be anything but impulsive, her willingness to do things for others becomes entirely tied to what she gets out of it, and not even facing death would make her take things seriously. Most of this comes from an superhuman amount of adrenaline pumping through her system making her excited, a little delusional, and a bit high with the effects making her level of consciousness deplete and allow her mostly access to her more basic instincts.