Name: Jennifer Willow Airhart
Nicknames/Aliases: Tech-Witch, Lighthouse Keeper
Physical Description: 21 years old, 5ft 4inches, blue irises, blonde hair.
Personality: Intelligent and creative, intensely curious, but isolated – she’s never comfortable around people she doesn’t know.
Skills/Abilities: Engineering and science. Loves puzzles and mysteries.
Jennifer: “Well life is change; she changed, I’ve changed, even you change. Every second you’re acquiring new data to incorporate into your algorithms, so you’re never the same computer you were yesterday or even a moment ago.”
Jennifer: “Oh – I’m a scientist. I always assume I know nothing. However, I have made observations of you and have a hypothesis that I am about to test.”
Kaya: “Oh. So it’s like that old video game, Spore?”
Jennifer: “It is a very complex, highly technical piece of machinery that must have taken the greatest minds years to put to… it’s like Spore.”
Jennifer’s mother, Ada, was a historian and archaeologist. Her father, Jonathan, a scientist and geneticist who worked for Stag Corp and its parent company – Meridiem.
They always encouraged Jennifer’s curiosity and creativity, although as she got older this would cause them much worry as she would spend more and more time outside of the house in search of fairies, Bigfoot, or whatever other cryptid she had read about that day. At home wasn’t much safer – when she was eight she made herself mechanical wings and had to be stopped before she could test them by jumping off the roof.
At school Jennifer had few friends – most of the other children thought she was weird and a bit scary and sometimes bullied her because of it. But one girl did stand up for her – Kaya Cade. The two became almost as close as sisters, with Kaya always assisting Jennifer in her explorations and experiments.
But at the age of thirteen Jennifer’s life changed dramatically. It began with her parents being hired by Meridiem for some sort of expedition – an expedition from which they would never return. The company never divulged full details of what happened – only that they had disappeared. Jennifer – now in the care of her aunt and uncle – waited for days and then months then years for them to return, but they never have. Her aunt and uncle had a very different world view from, consulting psychics and mediums for clues, but all they ever offered was false leads and promises (and sometimes the claims they seriously made were completely outrageous – like they had been kidnapped by Icelandic slave traders…)
At school Jennifer became increasingly withdrawn, even from Kaya who would ultimately seek out other company. Unfortunately Kaya chose her new friends poorly – Angela Greif seemed to have a very clear idea of who she was and that drew less certain people to her. But who she was, was a very nasty bully, and a frequent target of hers was Jennifer. Angela and Jennifer came to blows many times, but in a physical fight Jenn was simply no match for Angela’s cruelty. Indeed, Jenn’s repeated failures likely only encouraged Angela to pick on her more.
When school ended, Jennifer didn’t pursue a higher education as many would have expected from her. She continued to live with her aunt and uncle for a short time. Her uncle then purchased a lighthouse – a monument built by Irongate University decades ago but had been all but forgotten. A student had also built in it a large computer – the HeUristic anaLysis and Learning machine – HULL. Restoring it to working condition became a project of Jennifer’s, and she soon moved into the lighthouse on her own, becoming its keeper.
She would embark on many other projects, supporting herself with both her inheritance and by licensing some of her inventions and code to various companies. She might have lived out the rest of her days alone in the lighthouse, her dreams of exploring and unravelling all the world’s mysteries forgotten. But then she had an unexpected visit from an old friend…