|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Andrea Tellierra is a famous and successful young American actress and model since the age of four months, starting as a Gerber baby. She has been in multiple feature films starting at age four, her most recent being released in November 2009, for which she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She has also been an actress on the small screen, with multiple television series' to her credit, both starring and guest starring roles, with her most recent being two years on a Disney Channel kid's series as a teen detective. She has been nominated for and won several Golden Globe awards for her television work. Andrea is also famous for, at the age of nine, divorcing her divorced single mother, being emancipated to the care of a legal guardian appointed by the courts. Following the wrap-up of her Disney Channel show this fall, she moved to the New York area and is presumably residing in an estate on Long Island. Currently, only her legal guardian Jeremiah Matthers knows the secret that she is Whisper, a mutant with amazing and confusing powers of electromagnetic perception and manipulation.
Some stories, to be truly understood, actually have to begin before the beginning. This is a story like that. Though this is the story of a young woman - still more of a girl, really, despite what so many people believe - named Andrea Ann Telliera, this story won't really make much sense unless it starts before she was even a glimmer.
The story begins instead in the early 1990s. Facing a continually destabilizing world where massive armies were becoming less and less of a factor, as superpowers faded and terrorists gained ascendance, factions within the Department of Defense started looking for answers. That is their job, after all: to protect the nation. Looking at past successes, the decision was made to push forward a series of scientific research projects with the hope of cultivating reproducible results in the development of superhuman abilities. Countless different projects were initiated all over the country with this goal. This is the story of the strange confluence of events which led two of these projects to cross paths unintentionally, and with unexpected results.
One such project would involve select groups of male college students involved in ROTC programs around the country, including a small group at Towson University. This project involved injections, vitamin supplements, and environmental conditions, all intended to potentially duplicate some of the successes of the much-vaunted super-soldier serum immortalized in Steve Rogers, Captain America of WWII.
Another would involve select volunteer college students at universities around the country. And one of those would be a sophomore at the University of Maryland at College Park, a young woman by the name of Sarah Elizabeth Telliera. This particular project involved periods of isolation and observation while subjects would be exposed - through injection - to a variety of formulations which might alter brain chemistry and produce limited superhuman talents.
In truth, neither of these projects, carried out throughout 1993 and 1994, would result in any notable successes. However, a one-night stand following a rather big weekend party immediately following sessions within each project would result in a different result which would never end up on the tabulated charts of either project team.
By the summer of 1994, Sarah was well aware that she was pregnant. Originally intending to get an abortion rather than face the prospect of attempting to be a single mother with little support and limited job prospects, Sarah's plans changed when her recent boyfriend, Martin Biggs, realized her state and instead proposed marriage. Though not from a rich family, Martin had family in the area and was well off, an available source of support Sarah had not expected to find. And Biggs never questioned the pregnancy's timing, though Sarah was well aware he was not the only potential father.
Rather than return to College Park, Sarah married Martin and settled down to have the baby, despite her misgivings. Supported by Martin's family and by Martin while he continued to complete his senior year at College Park himself, Sarah instead prepared herself as best she could to become a mother at a far younger age and in a far less advantageous position than the bright, fiercely independent woman had ever intended or expected. Her daughter, Andrea Ann, would be born January 25th, 1995.
An apparently beautiful, healthy baby, everything appeared completely normal. Neither Sarah nor Martin had any reason to suspect there was anything especially unusual about their daughter. They did find her to have apparently exceptional hearing, but took this to be nominal, and thought nothing of the baby's protests whenever kept in a truly dark room: a problem easily solved with the simple application of a nightlight.
A very beautiful raven-haired baby, Andrea would soon become something of a media darling. Eager perhaps to find something more than merely being a stay at home mother for herself and her life, Sarah took Andrea to an open casting call for babies, and Andrea soon became - at the tender age of merely four months - the latest Gerber Baby. This included modeling and short commercial spots, and became the beginning of an entire life for this little girl. She seemed to 'come alive' beneath the lights of photo shoots and commercials.
Sarah herself was drawn like a moth to the flame by the potential riches and attention of such a life. She continued to push forward Andrea for consideration for a wide variety of baby parts in movies, television, commercials and other advertising. This became a point of contention within her marriage to Martin, who felt this was exceedingly mercenary, reckless, and potentially damaging to their daughter. By the time Andrea should have been beginning public school at age five, their marriage had dissolved completely. Worst was the crushing blow delivered to Martin during the divorce proceedings, as Sarah provided medical evidence which conclusively terminated his parental rights for Andrea. She has little memory of Martin at all in her life.
Despite the strife in the marriage, Andrea grew up an apparently happy, healthy and bright child. She proved extraordinarily attentive, though distractible, learning to read some words by age three and able to read her own children's books by age four. She was also highly literate and well-spoken, even proving to be capable of multiple languages despite growing up in a household which lacked additional languages beyond English. Andrea's continuing media exposure grew with the advent of her ability to read, as she also learned to act and memorize parts, expanding the repertoire of gigs she could hold down.
Such a success, especially with the end of her marriage, proved to be a welcome financial boon for Sarah, as the monies Andrea could make with speaking parts was much greater than that of her earlier baby parts. And Andrea's ability to take good direction made her a pleasure to work with and a popular choice for her age bracket. Determined to increase Andrea's exposure and marketability, Sarah relocated their little family to Los Angeles in the aftermath of the divorce, further assuring that Martin Biggs would never interfere with her plans for her daughter ever again.
Andrea became a popular child star on both the big and small screens in the years that followed, the lovely raven-haired girl who captured hearts and audiences alike with her portrayals of a wide array of subject matter with capability, sensitivity and genuine pathos. Her schooling would not be in public or even private schools, but instead private tutors and on-set schools, resulting in a further limiting of her continued socialization with her own peer group. Andrea matured quickly, much like many single or older children with more adults in their lives than other children. And yet Andrea was never lonely.
It would be during these years that Andrea would begin to realize that she was truly different from the others around herself, if in ways she could not understand or explain. Required to get her eyesight checked, she performed flawlessly. But she could not quite grasp why it is the nice doctor man insisted she turn her head forward to read the little letters. What did that have to do with it? And her perfect hearing tests never answered for her the question of why they would put the silly things over her ears. What did they have to do with it? Little things like managing to tug her mother's hand at the right moment to avoid a speeding car or cart zooming up along the road never seemed to garner any attention, and she never really understood why it was Mommy couldn't see these things coming. But it did not matter. Did it?
Meanwhile, Sarah fell into many of the traps of being a stage mother, becoming increasingly more demanding in contract negotiations and on sets, whilst squandering much of her daughter's earnings with bad business decisions and pure infatuation with the potentials of their lifestyle. She also began associating with a wide assortment of men, sometimes of questionable character. And that would lead to indulging in quite a few recreational substances.
It would be this that would eventually lead to a radical change for both Sarah and Andrea. While Andrea was co-starring on a recent science fiction television show, her exceptional abilities had begun to grow a bit. Intermittently, she had found herself able to see and hear beyond solid barriers which - by this time - she knew others could not do. It would be just such an occasion which would lead to her observing her mother shooting up on drugs with her latest beau, while discussing in disparaging terms how she intended to continue pushing Andrea into as many parts as she could, as she guessed the next few years would be the end of her highly profitable period until the results of her teen years could solidify into something a bit more marketable. After all, since it had been Andrea's 'fault' that Sarah herself had been forced to quit college and face the world without the means to make money on her own, the least the little unwanted monster - product of an unnamed one-night stand - could do would be provide for her properly.
While overhearing such a thing would be had enough for any child, being able to hear it perfectly while also seeing her mother and the man in question was utterly horrible for Andrea. Rather than merely running away to hide and cry, Andrea left the set. A nine-year-old would not normally get very far on her own, but Andrea had money, brains, and some determination. And that would lead her to a sojourn of quite a few hours at the public library. Of course, Andrea's recognizability also would bring eventual press attention, and before nightfall and the close of the library Andrea's mother arrived to take her daughter home.
Refusing to tell her mother the real reason she had run away, Andrea instead 'acted', telling Sarah she had gone merely to get something to read. And as the days and weeks dragged on, she continued to make these solo sojourns away from the set during proscribed breaks in work and school. Eventually, trips to the public library became something else. Determined to help and save her mother from what she had seen and heard, Andrea had read up as best she could on laws and public documents - thanks in no small part to very helpful clerks and aides at the library. Armed now with a list of names and addresses found only in her young mind, Andrea began visiting lawyers.Far from the first she had gone to see, finding Jeremiah 'Jerry' Matthers took visits to nearly a dozen different attorneys in the Los Angeles area. Andrea chose Jerry almost on 'sight', though that really meant the moment she stood outside his building, able to see the man in his office, dealing with a distraught client and her little boy. Her positive opinion solidified an hour later when she was finally able to watch Jerry see her for the first time, as he emerged from his office at his assistant's insistence to meet the 'very polite girl here to see you, sir'. Jerry did not recognize her. He did not know who she was. And she knew she could trust him.
Andrea did not give Jerry her real name right away. Instead, she only gave him 'Andrea', as she tried to explain her situation. "I need to divorce my mother." Suffice it to say, Jerry had a lot of questions. And the neat as a pin articulate girl sitting perched atop the chair across the desk from him did her best to explain. And yet Jerry knew, instinctively, he wasn't getting the whole story. After an hour, Jerry asked his little guest if she would like to go for a walk and perhaps have an ice cream cone. What child doesn't like ice cream, after all?
It was while they sat on a park bench together, licking ice cream cones and chatting softly, that Jerry finally asked the hard questions, seeking the real answers. And he got them. He heard about what Andrea had seen. What she had heard. And what else she had discovered about her mother squandering her monies and other misdeeds. Hearing all of this, Jerry was determined to help the little girl to the best of his ability. But there was one thing he could not understand: how is it she had overheard and seen all of this in such detail without her mother being aware of her presence? And Andrea told him.
Shocked, of course, Jerry at first did not want to believe it. This perfect little girl must surely be making this up. A part of his mind railed at the possibilities of what a child could be exposed to, her mind desperate to find ways to hide from it. But Andrea proved her words simply, reading the numbers on the sail of a sloop out on the water ... behind her, without turning her head. Reciting the conversation of another pair in the park on the other side of the wide open green spaces. And describing to a T the man in the dark sedan currently taking her picture.
Left with no choice but to believe Andrea, Jerry immediately determined that he could not ask her to give this evidence in court, as it would almost surely come out how it is she had witnessed what she had, and expose her secret to the world. So he asked Andrea to give him a dollar - only a single dollar - and promised her that he was now her lawyer, and everything she had told him would be absolutely secret, bound by attorney client privilege. And he would do everything he could to help her.
What followed as a rather contentious series of confrontations, both in and out of court. Presenting Sarah with conclusive evidence of what he now knew to be true, Jerry eventually forced her to back down and accept no contest, as injunctions were filed halting her from accessing any of the accounts with Andrea's money. Contracts and contractual payments were redirected, as all business relationship with Andrea was severed irrevocably. Spared criminal charges for child endangerment, possession of narcotics, fraud and mismanagement of funds, Sarah even eventually relinquished her parental rights. Andrea was 'emancipated', but the courts required that she be placed with a legal guardian, unwilling to even consider leaving a child not even fully ten years old on her own in the world. And Andrea made her choice clear: Jeremiah Matthers was appointed her legal guardian and interim business manager, after having served as Guardian Ad Litem.
Owing largely to Andrea's already substantial and growing media profile, Jerry decided that she should likely not attempt to attend public or private school. But he made it a point to help Andrea achieve as much 'normalcy' as they could manage. She continued acting and modeling because she enjoyed it, and because she had decided it was not the work she had needed to escape. She would eventually secure a lucrative contract with a part on one of the soap operas which extended until Andrea reached 13. This led to her latest success, achieving a starring, headlining role in a Disney Channel production as the lead character in a tween-focused show about a girl who finds herself a detective, helping to solve mysteries around her school and her friends.
As the latest show wrapped, Andrea and Jerry decided together that it was time for them to leave Los Angeles for a while. The continuing pressures there were starting to become a problem. Andrea's growing physical maturity has led to quite a few offers and interests in parts that in his wisdom, Jerry knows Andrea would be better avoiding for now. Added to that, his lovely charge - now officially his adopted daughter - has been experiencing increasing bouts of pain and discomfort, and a move out of the LA area is hoped will reduce her everyday visibility somewhat. They have decided to head for upstate New York and are securing property on Long Island.
- Sweet: Despite growing up a rather rich child in a high-pressure, more or less dysfunctional family environment, Andrea did not turn out a spoiled, arrogant brat. Whether this is more a reflection of an inner awareness of the circumstances of others promoted by her sensory gifts, or is merely an internalization of the behaviors extolled as virtues in the many acting parts she has held in her young life, Andrea is a very sweet, kind and generous young woman. She considers the thoughts, feelings and circumstances of others, often before she seriously considers her own situation. She is used to being fine, or having the means to make herself alright later. She knows many don't have those kind of options.
- Unaffected: Despite her money, her fame and her environment, Andrea is relatively unaffected. She doesn't see herself as special or above others. She has the same inner concerns as most teenagers, including a sense of alienation, confusion about who she is and who she wants to be, let alone how to get there, and a concern about what others - those she does not know, and those she respects greatly - will think about her weaker moments and her failures. She tries to work hard, but she also tries to play and have fun. She wants to be liked, and she hurts when it appears others do not like her or want to tear her down.
- Bright: Andrea is a pretty intelligent, bright young woman. She has a good education despite its unorthodox methodology so far. She is not /brilliant/, but she has a real talent for learning and adapting to new ideas and information. The stereotype may consider actresses and models to be dim bulbs, but Andrea is anything but.
- Inquisitive: Andrea wants to learn. She wants to understand the world around her and what is in that world. This drives her desire to educate herself and learn more. It compels her to try to find ways to understand even the mysteries and vagaries of her powers and perceptions. It makes her want to learn how other people do things: how other actors approach acting; how directors approach directing; how writers approach writing; photographers; advertisers; and more. She has an eager, inquisitive mind.
- Cautious: Andrea has been hurt. The core trust she had in her life betrayed her, in ways few can truly imagine. While Andrea has found someone else to depend on, and Jerry has never let her down, there is a part of Andrea that is by nature cautious of others. She doesn't want to be betrayed again. So she tends to keep much of her 'inner self' hidden for a good while as she tries to get to know new people.
- Vulnerable: Andrea is a teenaged girl, and one who has been hurt before. She is vulnerable. If one gets close enough, is perceptive enough, it's not at all hard to see this in her. She tries to help others in no small part because some of her inner self wishes others would and could help her. She is protective of the younger, the smaller, the weaker because she identifies with them as vulnerable herself. Stinging words and put-downs and the like actually hurt Andrea, because she is not nearly so confident as she often appears, nor nearly so self-possessed.
- Belonging: Andrea has been, for most of her life, an outsider looking in, wishing she could be a part of what she sees others sharing. That has only been exacerbated by the natural teen angst of identity-crisis she now faces. Andrea is inwardly, secretly, desperate to belong. She has never had the chance to attend a 'real school,' with classmates and friends and boys and such. Never a Girl Scout. Never picked for a sports team or a cheerleading squad. And with barely more than passing acquaintances her own age. Andrea is pretty desperate to belong.
- Mood & Light: Most teenagers have wildly fluctuating moods. Andrea's moods don't just fluctuate because of hormones, however. They also fluctuate based on the amount of ambient energy she absorbs from her environment. For much of her life, this has been largely light, which is why she seems to 'come alive' beneath the bright lights of a photo shoot, sound stage, etc. That extra energy gives her a 'boost', making her happier, more energetic, etc. As such, when Jade is in the dark and quiet, she becomes quiet, down, and lethargic. Note that if she is very energetic environments for an extended period, that higher energy state can begin to make her anxious, a tad hyper, and over-excitable, with a shorter temper. She tries to resist that tendency, but that is the natural result. As such, Andrea would test positive for 'Seasonal Affective Disorder.'
- Tank for the Scene! - Crooks with a high-tech armored car try to steal diamonds on 5th Avenue and get foiled by Nightcrawler, She-Hulk, and secretly by Andrea. Simone is seen in the crowd.
- An Auspicious Invitation! - Charles Xavier, escorted by Jonothan Starsmore, comes into New York City to meet Andrea Tellierra and her guardian, Jerry Matthers. He invites her to visit Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
- Hydra on Wall Street - The forces of terrorist organization Hydra take hostage the New York City Stock Exchange on Wall Street. She-Hulk and Captain America appear on the scene to deal with this, with a little help from an unknown bystander.
- Mazes, Mysteries and Models - A week or so after An Auspicious Invitaiton Andrea and Jerry visit Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. While Jerry talks with Charles Xavier, Andrea goes exploring and talks with Jonothan Starsmore.
- The Grand Tour - Following her chat with Jonothan, Andrea and Jerry continue their visit to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, as Charles Xavier gives them the grand tour and answers many of their questions.
- Silence is Golden - Andrea's first day attending classes at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and she is welcomed by Scott Summers, and Headmaster Charles Xavier, who then shows her the way to the Zorxx Chamber.
- Charity is its Own Reward - Andrea Tellierra and J. Jonah Jameson attend - along with hundreds of others - a charity ball held by Tony Stark on behalf of the Maria Stark Foundation.
- Style and Substance - Andrea Tellierra shows up for her next modeling gig, and finds a surprise guest for the show: the Sensational She-Hulk! The two model some clothes and get to know one another a bit.
- Zen and the Art of Teaching Mutants - Andrea Tellierra, Jonothan Starsmore and Scott Summers of the student body of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters welcome Yuzhen Biderman to the school and give the new potential teacher a tour of the facilities while trying to get to know her.
- Mr. Summers in the Library With a Book - Andrea Tellierra encounters Scott Summers in the library at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, and gets a chance to have a real conversation with one of the 'upperclassmen.'
- Frocks, Jocks and Lawyers - Andrea Tellierra meets Jennifer Waters at the two end up shopping in the same upscale women's clothier boutique. On their way out, they encounter Bobby Drake, who decides to try to wow the ladies with his attempts at humor.
- Icecapades in May - Andrea and Bobby talk about their last encounter, and Bobby decides to invite Andrea to come out iceskating with him. Clothing theft ensues, and the lake at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is frozen.
- Pickpockets and Possibilities - Lily is in Central Park, trying to pick Steve Rogers' pocket to feed herself, when Curtis and Andrea involve themselves to avoid this. Andrea and Steve then take steps to aid the starving mutant girl.
- Modeling Self-Image - She-Hulk calls Andrea and they meet to eat and chat about charities, foundations, and the body image issues of young women.
- Come With Me if You Want to Eat - The Professor, having been told about Lily by Andrea, sends Scott, Andrea and Jonothon to find her and invite her to check out the school. Later, Andrea gives Lily a tour and they encounter Alex, Simone and Bobby.
- Oops! Jono go BOOOOOOM! - Jonothon's power development reaches a crisis stage at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, when an outdoor gathering including Charles Xavier, Alex Summers and Simone Dawn erupts quite explosively. Andrea Tellierra arrives after the fireworks to assist.
- Food and Finding Out About Each Other - Several hours after Jonothon's transformation, Andrea heads to the kitchen for a meal and meets up with Lily and Oa. The three students get to know one another a little bit over snacks and artwork.
- Assembling the Art Room - Several of the students (Andrea, Jonothon, Alex) help the new art teacher at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters -- Simone Dawn -- assemble her new classroom and move in the supplies and materials.
- The Art is the Thing - Simone works on preparing for classes in her new classroom, and quite a few of the student body (Lily, Andrea, Bobby, Scott, Jonothon) stop by to check on things, as does Kurt. There is discussion of a school play, a musical.
- Fish Delivery - Lily cooks some fish and delivers it to the gymnasium as a thank-you to Kurt and Simone, while Kurt works out and Andrea follows along with Lily. The ongoing IC mystery of Andrea's powers is finally answered.
- Antiquing Gone Wrong - Andrea and Jennifer and Jerry go antiquing. They find a roadside spot for an early dinner, and encounter Logan, who has a problem with some folks in the pool hall.
- Poolside Party Flop - Alex comes up with the great idea of a Memorial Day Weekend poolside party and cookout. Andrea, Simone, Oa and Bobby attend. But the party has some unexpected social snafus. Whoops.
- Pushing the Limits - Alex finishes the basic engine repairs on the Impala Scott got for them to work on together, thanks to help from Jonothon, and decides to take it for a spin and a test drive. Andrea runs along to try to stop them, and ends up going along for the ride. Discussions of tense topics lead to a bit of a power overload. Whoops.
- Rhine, Rhine, go away - Loki's making mischief again, this time angering a water elemental and putting it in the Hudson River!
- Mob Mentality and Fire - A mob, protesting against Kyle Owen's fair treatment of mutants in his store has converged and set the place ablaze. Several people arrive and render aid to the man.
- The Terrible Toad - A few students encounter a supervillainous troublemaker and get in over their heads. (DB: 2010-06-22 - Terrorist Attack in The HUB)
- Uncommon Sense - Scott has asked Simone to talk to Andrea bout common sense. But Simone suspects there is more going on with Andrea than meets the eye.
- Doing No Harm vs. Doing Nothing - Mister Owens decides to try his hand at discussing the matter of self-defense with Andrea, and runs headlong into the same unflappable resistance that Ms. Dawn encountered. Piotr appears at the office just as the talk is ending, and puts in his two Russian pennies.
- Welcome Home, Iceman - Bobby Drake returns to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters after an absence, and resumes his association with Andrea Tellierra. They discuss her recent travails.
- Professors and Pacifists - Following her talk with Ms. Dawn and then her talk with Mr. Owens, Andrea gets called to the Headmaster's office to speak with Charles Xavier about her unwillingness to fight. This talk goes no better, despite the inclusion of Dr. McCoy, who tries his best to help as well.