|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Anessa Mitchell is a member of a local band, hardly noticed, but it's more for her enjoyment and an outlet for her musical talents. She's been dating Clint Barton, and has been seen about with him, and at the Avengers mansion on occasion.
New Life became a S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit, brought in by Goliath. She was a quick learner, not because of any special gifts in that area, but because of her determination and perfectionist tendencies. Even when others would give up or want to take a break, Anessa would push herself.. 'just one more time'.. to try and do it better. Because of this, she ended up being one of the top five recruits of her 'class'. At this time, she is, essentially, a rookie - a level six NYC Field Agent level, but eager to prove herself.
After a mission that went wrong, Anessa's starting over anew, with no memories and under the care of a kindly middle age woman trying to keep her on the right path.
Anessa was a sweet and loving child, truly Daddy's little girl. She adored him, looking up to him, and they spent a lot of time bonding together. He took her fishing, to the playground, to fairs, the circus and carnivals. He bought her first piano (toy piano), and encouraged her when she began to show an interest in music.
He was her biggest fan, watching and clapping at each of the performances she put on for him and her mother. Each performance included a few 'pieces' played on her piano, and a dance, accompanied by her voice.
Over the years, she dabbled in gymnastics, learning stretches and tumbling. She had more interest in the floor routines, than anything else, and when 'forced' to practice the uneven bars or vault, she chose to drop out instead of being made to do what she didn't want to do. It didn't stop her from practicing at home the things she learned that she loved, and often incorporated some of the moves into her dancing.
In her down times, Anessa could often be found doodling. Whenever she could, she would have music on, and it was fun for her to let the music guide her pencil. It didn't take long for her to try sketching objects around the house. She would get frustrated, on occasion, and her perfectionism wouldn't let her rest until she worked and worked to improve her drawing until it was a more accurate rendering of what she was attempting to sketch.
As she grew older, she soon discovered that she had an ear for music. It didn't really surprise her father, as he knew early on she had an affinity for music. She would sit, and listen to a piece over and over again, until she was able to pick out the notes on the piano. After hours of practice and focused dedication to the task, she was able to recreate the music, without aid of sheet music.
It wasn't until her twelfth birthday that her wonderful world as she knew it, fell apart. With know explanation, her father left their family, packed his bags and walked out the front door. Her mother had an emotional breakdown, leaving Anessa to fend for herself, mostly. She ended up taking care of her mother, while trying to go to school, handle homework, and clean the house. When she could, she lost herself in her music. She struggled with the unanswered questions, and the responsibilities leveled on her shoulders that no twelve year old should have to bear.
Compounding the issues, was the onset of puberty. It wasn't enough to lose her father, but to have her hormones raging too, made things very difficult for her. She was lucky her English teacher in middle school took pity on her, giving her poetry as an outlet to express her feelings. Between her music, dancing and poetry, it helped young Anessa survive with most of her sanity intact.
Throughout her life, she rarely got hurt, and even when she did, it was nothing serious, so her abilities never had the chance to surface, leaving Anessa to believe she was less than unique, despite her musical abilities.
She was a lovely young woman, and if she had the thought to show an interest in any of the boys in her class, she would have had many a rival for her affections. As it was, she was too bitter from her father's abandonment to even consider giving any of the boys a chance to win her heart.
Boys weren't the only thing Anessa let slide. The instant she hit high school, she became even more resentful of having to spend her days in boring classrooms.. except for the music electives. She refused to do homework, only doing enough to make sure she passed each class.. although she seriously considered dropping out.. that is until she turned sixteen and went for a job at the local music store. They stressed how important a high school diploma was, and that she could only remain working there, if she kept her grades up. So, even though she cut classes, and paid little attention when she /was/ in them, she did her best to at least graduate and earn her diploma.
As she neared graduation, she noticed an ad for a local band seeking other members, and she jumped at the chance. She even missed her own graduation ceremony to make it to the auditions. Not that she missed getting her diploma, but it wasn't nearly as important as realizing her dreams.
The minute she was accepted as a member of the band, Anessa took what money she had saved up from her two years of working, and found an apartment. It wasn't much, a little studio apartment that she sparsely furnished, but it suited her. She didn't need much.
Being out on her own, Anessa soon found out just how interesting life can be. She decided to take advantage of her new freedom, letting her mother be checked into a hospital for her depression, and began to live life to its fullest. Giving boys a chance, for the first time in her life, she still wanted to keep things on a 'no strings attached' level. It managed to work, until she met Clint Barton. She soon found herself thinking about the roguish superhero, even when she wasn't with him.
It was on their first /real/ date, that fate decided she'd gone too long without her abilities being tested, and they were attacked on a pier at the beach. Clint tried to protect her, but the 'sea monster' managed to get its tentacles on her, and took a large gouge from her shoulder. Clint rushed to her side, and she died in his arms. She woke the next day in the morgue. Wrapping the sheet that covered her around her body, she did her best and managed to find her way home, where Hawkeye had slipped in, hoping to find out more about her so he could contact friends and/or family. It was quite a shock to both of them, not only was she alive, but she was completely healed. Little did either of them realize, but she had lost a chunk of memory from her eighth grade year. Memories she would never recover.
Her second death, she was caught in the crossfire when she and Clint had been out for a ride and he responded to a robbery in progress. This time, the memories she lost were more noticeable. She lost all knowledge of Clint and the fact that she had broken her cardinal rule, and fallen in love with him. At that point, it became clear, that either Clint would have to extricate himself from her life (which if she ended up in a life threatening predicament, he couldn't protect her), or find a way for the young woman to increase her chances of survival.
It was this that prompted Clint to enlist Captain America's aid in teaching Anessa a little self defense and ways to avoid serious injury. Not to mention the life saving techniques, such as CPR and first aid, that she picked up. This was a great start. It also gave Anessa the chance to reacquaint herself with Clint, and get them well on their way back to the relationship they had once enjoyed.
Through time spent in connection with SHIELD, Clint introduced Anessa into their fold, her power being a potentially valuable asset, if they could figure a way around the significant drawback of her memory loss each time she would die.
She spent almost a year in training with Captain America before entering SHIELD boot camp. It was the most rigorous and grueling training she'd ever experienced, but her determination and perfectionism drove her.. 1. Never to quit, and 2. To be the very best she possibly could be... although, even that wasn't good enough for her.
Her previous dancing and gymnastics experience had her in good shape, physically and stamina-wise, but the SHIELD training pushed her to the very limits, where at times she thought she might break. She discovered, she's made of stronger stuff than she'd ever imagined. She gathered many new skills, and began changing in ways she never would have dreamed of before, growing in confidence as she had to prove herself, time and time again.
She seemed to take a fancy to knives and began working in ideas and little dance routines that she could use to incorporate her knife throwing techniques that she was picking up. She even decided to expand her repertoire, to include belly dancing.
Something she hadn't expected to learn, or earn, were piloting skills and license, on top of the expanded hand to hand combat and weapons training. She favored handguns, and even decided to try her hand at the whip... something that just appealed to her. Part of her boot camp training included survival skills. Along with the piloting, she learned parachuting/sky diving and repelling, being dropped into remote locations where she had to use a map, compass, the stars, and whatever the surrounding land offered, to survive until the rendezvous time with the extraction team. To accompany these new skills, she sought out lessons in acting and seduction to help with potential undercover work.
It became more difficult for her to concentrate when she found out Clint had been sent to prison, but she never fully lost contact with him. When she found out an operation was going to take place to break him out, she was one of the first to volunteer for the mission.
During a later mission, things went wrong, very wrong, and when a team was sent to investigate, her ashes and dog tags were all that were left to find of her.
It was much later, when a contractor and his assistant were there to evaluate the property, that she was found in her 'birthday suit', alone and frightened, unable to talk, walk or take care of herself. Fortunately for Anessa, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents had missed the burnt remnants of her driver's license, so the fraction of a picture and enough of her name could be made out.
- Rebellious: Anessa has a rebellious nature, that if she's feeling to confined or restricted, she rails against that which she feels is restricting her beyond what she feels is reasonable.
- Loyalty: If someone earns her trust, she is loyal, even unto death (if necessary).
- Giving Heart: She enjoys doing things for others, especially those who are struggling in their own situation or place in life. She respects other's dignity when helping, trying to preserve their pride. With her friends, she likes to do little things that make them smile, or feel good, cheering them up if they are down.
- Stubborn: When she sets her mind on something, it's difficult to sway her from that point of view, or path she's decided on.
- Passionate: Whatever she does, she throws her whole self into it, including her emotions.
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