played by hannah hart
name Marissa Stevenson date of birth & age 7/02/1988 & 30 Ability Mediumship Occupation Sous chef Orientation homosexual marital status single
Marissa grew up in the restaurant industry, hanging around her parent's retro diner far more often than was probably normal. She found charm in the black and white checkered floor and the gleaming jukeboxes, but her real love was found in the kitchen. She worked the flattop the moment her parents decided she was old enough, frying countless burgers after school until she thought the smell of grease would never leave her hair. She loved hearing that the customers enjoyed the food she made, and when she graduated high school it seemed only natural to make culinary school her next move. It took a lot of time, and she had to climb a lot of ladders, but she eventually scored the coveted position of sous chef at an upscale steakhouse in the heart of Seattle.

home & family
Marissa's parents owned a retro diner that shaped a lot of who she grew up to be as a woman. When they sold it to a chain, she was heartbroken for awhile, even going so far as to quietly admit to her older brother that she felt betrayed by their decision. Of course, once she smartened up and cleaned up all the streamers for her pity party, she realized that it was what was best for her parents, and that they were happy with their comfortable retirement. Still, there's still a very big part of her that misses the quiet family feel of the diner, before it became just a franchised store part of a bigger chain. Her older brother, Mack did what she should have done, and he bought a few of the pieces from the place so he could keep a little bit of their childhood. Those pieces were placed in storage, but occasionally she and Mack would go to the unit together to visit them.

When she was seventeen she came out to her family as a lesbian. It wasn't hard, there is no dramatic story here about how her family disapproved of her decision. In fact, when she made the Big Announcement™ to her gathered family, sitting in the living room and twisting the fabric of her sweater in her fingers, her mother simply blinked at her a moment before reaching over to squeeze her knee and say matter of factly, "Well of course you are, darling." So that had been... weird, but good. Her family was always incredibly supportive, wanting to meet her girlfriends, inviting their parents to dinner, embarrassing her appropriately before dates. Which really does explain why Mack, who had always been protective of her to an almost absurd degree, immediately began making a good-natured nuisance of himself. When she would bring a date home, he would offer them cookies. Actual homemade cookies, like Marge Simpson with her Rice Krispies treats and Tang. She may like to complain about him, and how he followed her to Seattle after she discovered The Institute, but Mack is one of her very best friends, and their relationship is the kind of thing you would see on some Disney Channel show, where siblings never fight and tell each other all their secrets.

ability & The Institute
When Marrissa was in her early twenties, things began to happen. She can't remember the fist instance, because it came so suddenly. One day she was a normal young woman, struggling through culinary school and mooning over cute girls that were obviously straight, and the next there were shadowy forms in the corner of her eyes. She heard whispers in empty rooms, and she was cold when everyone around her was warm. And at first, she had excuses as to why this was happening. She was tired, so she was seeing things. Someone had the television on downstairs, so she was hearing their voices. She was coming down with something, which explained why she was cold. But then the occurances kept happening. And pretty soon, the only thing she could think of was ghosts. Her brother had always been suspicious to an almost laughable degree, and some of that must have rubbed off on her. Soon, she found herself unable to sleep at night, and she was paranoid during the day. Any sound she heard, she assumed it was some kind of malevolent spirit that was out to get her. Of course, none of them actually did anything more than occasionally tapping a knick-knack off her dresser like an annoyed cat. But that didn't mean she wasn't still wigged out.

Eventually, after posting about her experiences to Reddit, she was emailed by Hudson Reid, who worked as an instructor at The Bennet Institute for Psychic Research and Development. Which was a mouthful, and she understood almost immediately why Hudson simply referred to it as 'The Institute'. It was, as it turned out, a place for people with psychic abilities to live amongst each other, and learn how to control these gifts. Gifts such as mediumship, which was the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. It was an ability that Hudson himself had, and he was willing to mentor her if she moved to Washington and lived at the Institute. And after Marissa discussed it with her family, she decided that the best thing for her would be to get this thing under control. She didn't want spirits to rule her life anymore, keep her from sleeping and bothering her day and night. So she left, then and there. She got on a plane with a man she knew nothing about, and on the plane he answered her questions patiently. And she had a lot of them. She kept Hudson talking the entire flight from Illinois to Seattle. It wasn't a terribly long flight, but it was a lot of questions. By the time she landed, Marissa felt a little better about everything, and she felt a fondness for Hudson that she could only describe as a non-sexual, non-romantic, 100% platonic crush. She spoke to the head of the Institute, got her room assignment, and then immediately called her brother. She told him about Hudson, about Alexander Bennet, about the girl he'd seen floating a rose outside the big building with all the windows (the lab, she'd later discover) like it was a goddamn episode of Buffy.

These calls happened a lot. Marissa calling Mack to tell him about all the stuff that was happening around her. Soon, the calls weren't made in hushed tones, and she didn't sound so excited about it all. It was just 'Oh, the telepaths and the pre-cogs got caught gambling again' and 'my roommate had a fever last night, and floated off her bed until she hit the ceiling'. To this day, she's not sure if it was those stories, or Mack's overly protective side that made him fly out to Seattle, and somehow get a job at The Institute. But he did both of those things, and before Rissa knew it she had her brother back. Boasting about being an ordained minister so he could exorcise any troublesome spirits (it rarely worked) and following her around when he wasn't working his security job, making sure she wasn't getting into any touble and asking if there were any ghosts around right now. And Marissa always pretends to be annoyed about it, but having Mack around is her absolutely favourite thing.