Game Information - Character Introductions (2007-2008)
Actual Age: 23
Actual Height: 5'5"
Actual Weight: 110 lbs.
Eye Color: Hazel
Hair Color: Light brown
Power: Age Manipulation
It was only after the incidents in New York City that Chelsea Stearns began to realize that she had power. Through moments during which she lost control of her emotions and thoughts, she realized that she could manipulate her age, and sometimes, in small doses, that of the things around her. Experimenting in secret, she soon honed the ability to change herself from a child to a middle-aged woman at will. Becoming younger was easier, as it was more about losing focus rather than keeping it, so she hadn't managed to get herself immensely old. She was making progress, however.
Even when she realized that she could do this, she did not tell her friends, though many of them came out with powers of their own. She kept it secret, deciding it was silly, and not immensely helpful in the long run. She also refused testing from Mohinder Suresh, vehemently denying experiencing anything out of the ordinary.
It was a combination of her power and her denial that kept her alive when the news broke about those with super natural powers.
Her friends fled in their various directions, each trying to get away as fast as they could. Chelsea lost track of them, and stayed in the area, hoping someone would come back someday. She currently lives in a small apartment in a slightly rundown area on the outskirts of the city, working at a bakery to support herself. She hopes that her refusal to make a connection with the "List" will keep her under the radar, and knows that if need be, she can always change herself and run. Because, after all, who really pays much heed to a child?
The List->In Character->The Old List
Chapter 3, The Big City
Posted: Dec 8 2007, 12:59 AM
Chelsea stood, keeping steady with one hand on the brick wall behind her. She was still aching, and disoriented. She felt all disproportionate. She shook out her hands, and could have sworn she felt herself grow as she stretched out her arms and back. Brandon was meeting her at the pizza place. Could she tell him about what had happened? Would he listen? Would he believe her?
She started off slowly at first, but her walking speed increased as her heart rate did. The events of the day started melding themselves with her fear of the dark, and they became one big puddle of stress. God damn it, why was this happening today? Her fear subsided soon as she turned a corner and saw Brandon up ahead along the street. She ran up to him, probably a little too quickly, due to nervousness.
"Brandon, you have no idea how happy I am to see you. Things have been..." She sought the words she wanted and couldn't find anything eloquent. "...really fucking odd. Let's go with that. Err. I hate to ask this, but would you mind terribly if I came back with you to the hotel for a little bit, until I can find a way back to Hillsboro? I was staying with Mike, but..." She trailed off, once again unsure of quite what she wanted to say. "Like I said. Things have become really fucking odd. I can explain it to you on the way, if you want..." She frowned, realizing that this was a lot to ask of him. "I'm sorry for all of this. Thank you so much for coming down here."
Chapter 1, On The Run
Posted: Sep 25 2008, 03:02 AM
The sun was setting on New York City. A little girl sat on a curb, staring intently at a small slice of bread in her hands. Her clothes were quite a bit too large for her, and her face was dirty. She did not move much at all, just kept her eyes focused on the bread, pausing every few moments to shake her head, or her hands, and then refocus, staring even more intently every time. Finally, she shut her eyes, and a scowl creased her face. She cursed under her breath. "Fuck."
A woman passing near her heard, and gave her a reproachful look, but the girl payed her no mind. She tore a chunk off the slice, and pushed it into her mouth as she stood and began walking away. She was so sick of practice. Work had been frustrating today, and she didn't want to think anymore. It was so hard to focus in general, at this age, let alone on trying to develop a power she barely had.
Passing an alley, she considered making use of it to return to her usual age, but remembered at the last second that she needed bigger clothes first. She continued around the corner and entered an apartment building with a shabby green door. Standing on tiptoe, she swiped her keycard at the scanner on the second door, to let herself in to the stairs, and began climbing up to the fourth floor, apartment 4.
She let herself in, taking another bite of bread as she surveyed her small apartment. It wasn't remotely pretty, but she kind of liked it, in the way you kind of like that weird kid at school. The place didn't really bother her, though it may have bothered other people, and it had sort of a strange appeal to it. She had always kind of planned on living a solitary kind of lifestyle, in an apartment in the city, and in that sense, she had got her wish. But thinking back on the events that led her here, she couldn't help but be incredibly dissatisfied with the way things had turned out. She missed her friends, and feared for them, and feared for herself, and feared that something unexpected and terrible would happen one day, and upset everything even more.
She stalked her way into the small bedroom, grabbing a larger sized change of clothes. She put them on and stumbled her way to the mirror, holding up the pantlegs so she wouldn't trip. She never liked watching this happen, because it scared her every time, but lately she'd been forcing herself. There was a growing part of her that really didn't want to be afraid of this... thing she could do.
The mirror reflected the image of a little girl for no more than a few seconds, before she felt the weight in her stomach, like always, and the stretching at the edges of her skin. She watched, swallowing the sick feeling, as the picture of the little girl in the mirror slowly warped and expanded to that of a woman in her early twenties. It didn't hurt her, but it certainly felt strange, and she stretched, and cracked her neck. Even after the years, she was still not entirely used to the feeling. After straightening her 23 year old clothes, she walked back out to the kitchen, and grabbed another piece of bread from the box on the counter before moving to the window.
The sun had all but set on New York City. 23-year-old Chelsea Stearns sat in her apartment window, staring intently down at the strangers in the street below, holding on to the hope that one day, preferably soon, a friendly face would grace the sea of unfamiliarity, and all of this would go away. Maybe one day, everything would go back to normal. Maybe one day, if she hoped hard enough, they could all get their lives back.
Chelsea wondered whether she would ever find a solution to needing an extra change of clothes whenever she changed ages. People would probably look strangely at a small girl with pants as big as her body, or a full grown woman with a shirt only as big as her head. She would have to figure out how to change that in the future.
In the meantime, however, she had changed back into her child-sized clothes, and headed back out onto the street, becoming bored with sitting around indoors. She sat on the front steps of her apartment building, watching the stragglers heading home, or out, or wherever they went at night. She enjoyed this, watching people. It relaxed her.
There was also the benefit of getting to see if she knew any of the people. Benefit, she scoffed inwardly, It's hardly a benefit. You get so worked up at every brief resemblance. All this causes you is excess stress. Plus, how would you even know them if you saw them? Last you knew, they were teenagers. Everyone's grown now. She looked down at her 9-year-old self and smiled wryly. Well... maybe not everyone.
Chelsea sat comfortably for some time, thoughts wandering to happier times, when, for a brief moment, the cool night air brought the sound of shouting, and the smell of smoke, from not too far away. She thought about going back inside, just in case this was something bad. Something compelled her to stay outside, however, and she sat still, waiting to see if something would come of this.
Justin watched as the camera view moved around in a circle to each member of the circle on the show.
As he walked his way to the end of the alley, he looked both ways, wondering where he should take his walk.
A little girl across the street caught his eye. He felt as if he had seen her somewhere before. It couldn't have been anyone he actually knew, but the familiarity was too intense to let go. He put his arms to his side, dropped his rock to the ground, and just stood there... staring.
Opening his eyes, Brandon looked to his right. A small girl sat rather still, looking in the direction he had just walked from. And across the street he noticed a young man watching the child. Rather suspicious, but again, not at all odd in a place like New York. But they were different somehow.
"That girl...look at all of that energy."
"Something is different with her," he said aloud, as if someone was beside him.
Chelsea stayed alert, watching, waiting, for something to come from around that corner, but nothing came but wanderers. She frowned, and turned back, and found herself staring at a young man across the street, who was staring at her. He put down a rock he had been holding, not taking his eyes from her, and just stood there. She shivered, and looked away. Welcome to New York, city of creepers.
But there was something about him. Different.
She looked back at him, and this time did not look away. Even with her young eyes, before her vision completely went in her teens, she still could not see so well that far across the street.
Shouting from where she had been looking before caught her ear, and she turned to look. A man was standing by a car, throwing his hat to the ground.
"Give it a rest!" he yelled, and began stalking down the road...
Chelsea lurched to her feet, not caring who she drew the attention of, at the moment. It couldn't be. It couldn't be. It absolutely couldn't be. ...Could it?
She started down the stoop, momentarily forgetting about the man who had been watching her, and started jogging toward this other man who might be...
"Brandon?" she asked loudly, almost yelling. She was overwhelmed. This would mean everything. This would mean that these years hadn't been wasted, that she had finally found a friend.
She saw the truck too late. She was about to cross the street when it came barreling towards him. She stopped, and shut her eyes, not willing to see her hopes crushed in such a violent manner, but when she heard the screech of crunching metal, rather than that of someone being hit, she opened them again, to see this man absorbing some kind of bubble back into him, before collapsing on the sidewalk. A crowd of people rushed to him, and she backed off, slowly walking back in the direction of her stoop, resisting the urges to see if he was alright, and if he was Brandon. Last I checked, Brandon couldn't do THAT, though... She shook that thought away. She would view from back here, from a safe distance, so she could get back home easily if she needed to. Casting a furtive glance around her, she backed up into the wall of the nearest building, and sat, and waited.
To Justin, the girls face was so familiar, it frightened him.
I don't know any children... not any around here, anyway...
Justin looked away after the little girl noticed his staring. After a few seconds, he turned to see the little girl was now staring at him. Justin felt like he was about to get an answer , when the little girl abruptly stood up, and ran down the sidewalk. Justin searched to see what she was doing when he saw a quick image of another familiar face.
"Bran-"! Justin was cut off by the sight of a truck bashing into what he thought to be one of his dear long lost friends. It took him a few seconds to realize that the man who he thought to be someone he knew had formed some sort of shield bubble, which absorbed all the damage the truck would've done to him. After a few seconds, the man fell to the ground, seeming unconscious.
Justin had to act fast. He looked around to see who had seen what had happened, which turned out to be everyone. He ran over to the unconscious body before any sort of 'bounty hunter' could. It was Brandon alright. He seemed slightly more aged by the many years he must've spent running and hiding from the world. Justin felt his arm as he thought of the toll he was forced to pay.
Justin knew he wouldn't be able to bring him far with his what he began to know as a handicap. He turned around, seeing that many of the people in the crowd were starting to figure out what had happened. As they came closer, Justin threw his metal arm under his jacket, and formed part of it into a sword, leaving his fingers in tact just in case he would need them.
If this is another fucking dream, I'm turning myself in for good.
Brandon forced himself into a sitting position, his eyes still closed. So much energy in one area only meant one thing, people were starting to gather. He opened his eyes, looking around. Everything felt like it was spinning, and his head was pounding with pain. He wiped the blood from his nose, looking towards the girl who was sitting across the street. But before he could do anything, he heard shouting of people running his way.
"Over there!" "It's one of them!"
Forcing himself to his feet, he turned only to be facing someone he'd presumed to be dead; Justin. Confused, he staggered back but caught himself. "I'm totally losing my mind now..."
"Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet."
Chelsea watched the scene unfolding across the street. The man who had been staring at her was joining who she had suspected was Brandon, as the crowd grew larger, and angrier around them. Looking at this man, now, without interruption, she could see that she hadn't been wrong about her assessment that he looked familiar. It was Jay.
Two of her long lost friends, now suddenly, miraculously appearing, on the street she had lived, constantly hungering for their return? At the exact same time? This day was a gift from heaven.
Tears began to well in her eyes. She was overwhelmed with relief that she wasn't alone anymore, but she still couldn't work up the will to walk over there, so she just stood on the other side of the street, staring. Her whole life would be different, now. Everything would change, if she had really found them...
She didn't really have time to think about this. As she wiped the new tears from her face, trying to stop more from coming, the crowd was growing rowdier. She looked up, and saw what looked like a man completely engulfed in flames, descending on the scene.
Another someone with powers? This can't be a coincidence... Could that be...?
And still more surprises came, in the form of a familiar looking woman, breaking from the crowd to go speak to the man who had been ablaze moments before. Kyra.
Chelsea couldn't imagine a better five minutes of her life.
The people began to move on them now, and Chelsea became afraid. What if they escaped, ran far away, and didn't come back to this place? What if she never found them again? Even worse, what if they didn't escape? What if they were caught, and turned in, and...
Chelsea had a feeling that whatever he was doing, it was going to bring them away. For who knew how long. She shut her eyes, fighting off tears of stress this time. For all she knew, this would be her last chance.
Opening her eyes, she watched Kyra attempt to pull Brandon in Jay's direction, and decided to take the opportunity being offered to her. Looking wistfully in the direction of her apartment, she thought for a moment of going back and attempting to change her age back to how it should be. But who knew how much time she'd have. They would have to see her like this. They would have to find out about her power too. She cringed, but ran anyway. She darted into the crowd, moving rapidly around legs and feet, trying to reach where her newly rediscovered friends were. Being this small made it easy to shove her way through, and she soon broke free of the angry mob. Since Jay was the one who had called everyone, she decided it would be in her best interest to run to him, and did so, pulling at his sleeve like the small child she appeared to be.
It occurred to her then that she had no idea what she was supposed to say to him.
Oh, hi! Remember me? We met a few years ago? I was 15 then, but now I'm 9. How are your super powers working out for you? It sure is great to see you again!
So instead of saying anything, she just stood there, petrified, staring up at him.
A little girl grabbed her arm, holding it tight. Justin was about to whip her away when he saw that it was the same girl he was focused on before this mess.
His eyes befell the little girl again. Her energy felt more powerful than any little girl's should.
"You're not that young," he said, grinning. "You're one of us, aren't you?"
He was glad no one could see his face. Patrick was uneasy, confused. For years he roamed the streets, wondering who was alive, and who was dead. Not knowing what was happening, hearing stories of kidnappers taking those "Freaks." Then all of a sudden, just like that four of his friends just happen to be at the same place? Seemed rather odd to him.
Justin was trying to concentrate, so Chelsea let go of his arm, a little ashamed that she was distracting him. Now was no time to attempt to reintroduce herself. She would follow them to safety first. She watched, amazed, as he pulled a wall up from the sidewalk, and ushered the four of them behind it.
Chelsea looked around at the faces of her friends. Brandon, angry and possessing frightening power. Kyra had not demonstrated hers, but she did look older. Harder. Pat still had that brash edge to him, no doubt worsened by the years on the run. And Justin... well, suffice it to say, Justin did not look anything like the young memory she had retained of him over the years. Everyone was so different...
"You're not that young." Chelsea turned to find Brandon grinning at her. "You're one of us, aren't you?" So he did not recognize her. But he did recognize her power. She opened her mouth to say... something, but he turned away, and led them down into a sewer. "This way."
It was dark, and cold, and the air was wet and thick. She shivered, and kept close to the wall. Her fear of the dark hadn't really subsided over the years.
With the newfound light, they walked along. Hesitantly, she fell in step with Brandon, and quietly spoke.
"Yes, I am one of you." She looked up at him, and then back into the long corridor ahead of them. "In more ways than one..." She glanced down at her hands. "Perhaps you'd understand what I meant if I showed you how I usually am, when I'm not affected by my power. You said you recognized that I was not as young as I appear..." She looked back at him, relief washing over her again at having found him, and the others. "Or, perhaps... you might already have an idea who I am?"
"Something in her face..." "She looks like..." "...Chelsea?"
He could hear the cars moving up and down the streets above them. It was loud and quiet at the same time. But they kept walking in the dank canal.
"What does this mean," Brandon looked back at Kyra and Jay who walked behind them, then ahead to Pat, before back to Chelsea. "I mean...us meeting up like this. It's destiny for sure, but why here? Why now?"
"Guys, stop it," he said aloud as if his clones were visible.
"Just lucky to be alive."
She tore her eyes from the narrow walkway. Gazing up she focused on Brandon and the young girl.
"Who is she?" Kyra muttered to herself. "She looks so familiar."
Joints protesting, she quickened her pace. She reached earshot in time to hear Brandon say "...Chelsea?".
Her jaw dropped.
Everyone. We're all here. How... How in the hell did this happen?
Justin was barely understanding what everyone was saying. He only heard small things in there speech.
"Who is she... not as young as I appear... It's destiny for sure..." Even hearing that the little girl was Chelsea didn't phase him. He just kept on walking in his own little world, thinking about the same thing everyone else was thinking: Why now?
The group walked along in silence for a few more minutes. Kyra's head was spinning at this point.
All of us. Here. Together. This feels so... Weird. Five years. Five long years we've been separated. Destiny? Is that what this is? Fate?
She smiled, and nodded. "Or some form of Chelsea, anyway. I know I was older when we last saw each other." They walked along, feet crunching on god knows what beneath them, but Chelsea tried to ignore it, in favour of the more pleasant thoughts that were floating through her mind.
"What does this mean? I mean...us meeting up like this. It's destiny for sure, but why here? Why now?"
Why now? It was a very good question. Chelsea wasn't sure she had an answer, so she stayed silent. Kyra passed by her, to catch up with Pat, who had just set a rat on fire. They talked quietly, and Chelsea shivered, partly from anxiety at what was to come, and partly from cold and disgust at their environment. It was a minute before she heard Jay's voice behind her, almost too quiet to hear.
"I think I know where we can go..."
She stopped walking, and turned to face him. He was leaning against the wall, looking preoccupied. She left Brandon's side to stand by him instead, looking up, trying to meet his eyes, a feat which wasn't terribly easy in the bad lighting, and with the height difference.
"Do you? Where is it?"
Justin opened his mouth to answer Chelsea's question, when Brandon's scouts were served back into his chest. Justin watched as Brandon jumped across the sewer canal.
It was pitch black, and it was only him, Kyra, and Chelsea, none of which could conjure any sort of light. "Stay close to the wall." He walked aimlessly in the dark, walking until he came to the first manhole.
"We need to be quiet when we get in the house, or else we'll start this entire thing all over again. Count to five, and then follow me."
Chelsea watched Justin clamber out of the sewer, then stared up at Kyra, as she counted to five, and made her way up also.
"Onetwothreefourfive", she hurried, scared, and struggled up, tiny limbs scrambling against the wet surface. She followed closely behind Kyra and Justin as he led them up the stairs to a blue and white house, and retrieved a key from under the front mat.
"Hopefully, Thomas will be asleep."
Chelsea didn't know who Thomas was, and nor did she care. She just wanted to sit down. She was tired, and uncomfortable. She moved closer still to her friends.
"Listen, I know this may be a bad time, but is there any chance of me securing an outfit more suited to my proper age anytime soon? I'm feeling a lot less useful, and a lot more awkward at this age, but changing without suitable clothing would probably be a hell of a lot worse."
"Jay, what..." She trailed off since he seemed focused on something. She turned as Chelsea spoke.
"Um. I assume whoever Thomas is, he's male. So their clothes probably won't fit. If we can make it back to my place I'll find something for you." She shrugged, then gave a small smile. "But hey, who knows. Maybe Thomas is a really scrawny guy."
Chelsea smiled, and nodded thanks.
"I guess I kind of lost my bearings in the sewer, so I'm not sure quite where we are, but if we're closer to my apartment, I could quickly stop there." She thought of all the people that lived in that building also, however, and reconsidered, thinking that bringing these fugitive friends into a possibly busy place would not be the most intelligent thing she could do. Who was she kidding? She guessed she was a fugitive too, now. She kind of liked the way admitting that to herself felt. Even as a little girl, she felt dangerous and important. And accompanying that exhilaration came the returning warmth of feeling like she belonged to something. She smiled to herself.
"Well. I suppose mooching a shower is out of the question, huh?"
Chelsea grinned as she followed Kyra over to look down int
"Let the demonstration begin..."
...Chelsea was not aware how long or far she had run. She was not aware of where she had ended up, or where she was going to go from there. She found herself stopping in an alley, not out of choice, but out of the need to stop moving. She couldn't see because of crying, couldn't feel because she was out of shape and pushing herself physically, and couldn't think because of fear. What the hell had just happened?
She sat shakily and tucked her knees into her chest so she could not feel the creeping odd sensation against the backs of them, and pressed her wrists and palms into the pavement, so she could not feel the same sensation there. Her stomach turned for reasons she could not put words too. She hated the way her face felt when she cried: wet and slimy and... ugh.
She shivered and felt a wave of anxiety rising in her chest. Her clothes began to feel baggy, like they didn't fit right, like they always did when she had a panic attack. She pushed her hand into her sleeve and rubbed it over her face, which didn't really accomplish much other than to drag the tears across it and make more of a mess. Again: What the hell had happened? She took deep, gasping breaths, trying to grab a tiny piece of logic, so she had something to work with. She was having a hard time understanding much of anything, but she still knew some things. One thing was that she could not stay in this alley forever.
So that meant she needed to find a place to stay. Where the hell else could she go in New York City? She took out her cell phone, and her tiny fingers fumbled over the keys. It felt funny in her hands, not like it usually did, and it was stressing her out. Every little movement was stressing her out. Her eyes flicked to the street, hoping to god she would not see him there. She did not. She turned back to her phone and browsed her contacts, looking for the name of someone who could come get her and bring her home. She only needed to get to B.
Well, she needed to do something. Her fingers felt too small, and her eyes and head were killing her, but she did her best to shake it off as she rapidly pushed buttons and sent a text to Brandon.
You guys are in NYC too, right? If so, where?
Chelsea closed her phone and closed her eyes, wincing. Her head replayed that stranger's screams of pain and fright back to her over and over, and the look that had burned in Mike's eyes was burned into her thoughts. She shivered, waiting for her phone to vibrate a response, and for her chest to loosen up, and for her thoughts to go away.
Before she can answer him, his phone vibrates in his back pocket. Pushing off the wall, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the phone, opening it. It reads "New Text Message: Chelsea." Opening it, he reads the message. "You guys are in NYC too, right? If so, where?"
Surprised that it was a text from her, he types back. "Yeah. We're at the Kirby Plaza Hotel. Need me to come get you?"
"Who texted you? Isn't everyone in bed?"
"Oh. It was Chelsea Stearns. Just wanted to know where the hotel is."
Chelsea had tucked herself into the shadows in the alley, hoping no one would walk by, or see her. She closed her eyes and let her mind operate on the immature principle that if she could not see anything, nothing could see her. Bundled up in her too-big sweatshirt, she tried to make herself as small as possible, while she waited for a reply from Brandon. She did not have to wait long. Her phone vibrated.
"Yeah. We're at the Kirby Plaza Hotel. Need me to come get you?"
Chelsea didn't know where she was. Sure, she'd like Brandon to come help her, but how the hell would she find a way to meet him? She thought for a second, and realized that if she really thought about it, she could probably find her way back to that pizza place that she and Mike had eaten at... She texted Brandon back, and asked if he knew the name, and where to find it, and said if he did, she would meet him there.
The end. These fragments are all there is, as far as we know.