Mattie Dahl
Mattie Dahl
Susan Coffey
Susan Coffey as Mattie Dahl
Name Mattie Dahl
Status Alive
Age 25
Occupation Senior Field Operative for the Watch; Part-time coffee shop waitress
Place of Origin Pasadena, CA, USA
Date of Birth June 17, 1987
Player Ephemera
Timezone PST
Notes Notes for Mattie Dahl

Though young, this agent has a decade of experience behind her on the Watch. Using her ghost-like powers to protect others has become her highest priority since the Gloom took so much from her at an early age.

Background

For 14 years, Mattie Dahl lived what could be deemed a perfectly average life. At the time, she would have liked for it to be less average, but looking back, that was exactly why it was perfect. In the suburbs of Los Angeles, she was born to middle-income, hardworking parents. She had one older brother, Kurt, the house with a picket fence, a golden retriever. She and her brother were bright children who did well in school and even got along. Once in a while, horrible things happened out in the world, but it never seemed like such things could happen to the Dahls.

When her brother started high school a year before her, things began to change. Kurt started withdrawing from the family. Her parents suspected drugs, and the laughter in their home was replaced by shouts and tears. When Mattie was a freshman, she saw that her brother was a loner at the school — once he’d been popular and friendly. She tried to talk to him but he brushed her off. As for Mattie, she continued to be involved, taking part in drama and student council. Play rehearsals kept her away from her unhappy home and gave her something else to focus on.

It was after a long rehearsal that she returned home for a family get together only to find the police and fire engines at her home and the entire block watching from the sidewalk. She tried to pass the police tape, but was caught by one of the detectives who refused to let her see what was inside. Her entire family was gone. She was taken in by social services, with no living close relations to take her in. Whatever had happened in the house was a mystery but eventually police called it a “grisly murder.” The details were not given “in fear of copycat murders,” but Mattie had seen the looks on the faces of the rescue workers and police. Whatever had happened was not “normal.” Only later would she realize the truth.

In many ways, it was as if Mattie had been killed, too. She withdrew from everything that used to matter to her and drifted from foster home to foster home. She didn’t cause her caretakers much trouble, but simply got by on the minimal amount of interaction she could. She sought out drugs for the first time in her life, trying to numb herself from the deep grief she couldn’t voice and no one could fathom. Eventually she found herself on the streets of Los Angeles, stealing food and squatting in empty buildings to get by.

It was in one of these buildings that the Gloom awaited her.

What happened to her there she doesn’t know — there is nothing but a nightmarish montage of images in a jumbled order that don’t make sense, as if someone had spliced together a horror movie with bits and pieces from the cutting room floor. She woke up in the hospital from what the doctors called an “inexplicable coma.” She’d been in the hospital as a Jane Doe for three months. Once Mattie was awake, she had many visitors to try to sort out who she was and what should be done with her. Luckily, one Child Services agent was actually also a member of the Watch; under her supervision, Mattie was placed with two other members of the Watch as a foster parent — Tony and Noemi Gonzalez. The two were able to mentor Mattie as she struggled with the changes the Gloom had left upon her.

Very slowly, within the Gonzalez household and then within the greater Watch community, Mattie came out of her shell and learned to use the ghost-like powers she suddenly had been given. Eventually, Tony began to train her as an agent; already an experienced burglar from her months on the streets, Mattie was a natural for any missions regarding extreme stealth. Once she turned 18, she became an agent in her own right and began to travel wherever needed on Watch business. Mattie has made London her home base for the past couple of years.


Personality

The Gloom, when it killed her family, took away Mattie’s purpose and focus in life. The Watch has given that back to her. Trying to protect others from the Gloom’s horrors is her top priority, and she can be stubborn when it comes to what she thinks is best for the Watch and those it protects. Diplomacy is not her strong suit when it comes to debate, but her loyalty and sense of duty are beyond reproach.

She’s come out of her proverbial shell since becoming a Watch agent, but no one is ever going to accuse her of being bubbly. Sarcasm and gallows humor are just another type of armor to protect her from getting hurt, and Mattie tends to keep people at a distance until she is sure she can trust them. It takes some work to get into her small inner circle, but she will do all she can to keep those there protected and safe. On the flip side, once she's been crossed or betrayed, it is very hard for her to forgive.


Paranormal Abilities

Mattie’s journey into the Gloom has given her the ability to become incorporeal, allowing her to move through walls or through cracks. Her clothing and small items on her person grow as intangible and/or invisible as she does, though she would not be able to extend her ability to another person or an object more than a few pounds. She can choose to be translucent or invisible in this form, but cannot appear as solid without actually being solid.

While she is incorporeal, she is unable to be harmed physically, though emotional or mental attacks will affect her doubly because she is, in essence, nothing BUT psyche in this form. Mattie cannot move or touch anything while incorporeal; however, she can become corporeal briefly to interact with her surroundings before growing intangible again. She can, however, speak while invisible or transparent; her voice in this form sounds whispery.

Another aspect of her ability is that, while incorporeal, Mattie can possess the bodies of other people or even Others as long as they are in a human or humanoid form; she cannot possess the bodies of creatures, mundane or paranormal. She can only do this for up to about 10 minutes at a time and at a cost: any possession leaves her feeling fatigued and headachy for the next day, but possession of an Other will make her ill with severe headaches, nausea, and even high fever for the same period of time. If the person or Other she is possessing is killed, Mattie is unharmed physically; her disembodied mind is able to slip back out and she can recorporealize. However, it's obviously something she tries to avoid experiencing.

Finally, Mattie can “corporealize” in the form of anyone (or even human-appearing Others) as long as they are dead. She cannot impersonate a living person in this way. When she is corporeal in these guises, she is vulnerable to physical attack and can be killed. To return to her own form, she must become incorporeal first before “corporealizing” again as herself. She can only impersonate the dead for about an hour; longer than that and she will grow incorporeal again whether she wills it or not. If she were to die while impersonating the dead, her body will transform to her natural form upon death.

When Mattie sees herself in the mirror, she sees what appears to be a wraith — no benevolent and kind friendly ghost, but something evil and ravening. Her already thin form seems emaciated, every line and angle of her face sharp enough to cut; her eyes are soulless and black and cruel. She avoids full-length mirrors and opts to use a small compact mirror when applying makeup — the less of herself she can see, the better.


Skills

Breaking and Entering: Thanks to her days on the street, Mattie is a fairly decent burglar. She knows how to case the joint, pick locks, break through glass windows without making much noise, the typical CV of a minor burglar. These skills are of course augmented by her ability to be invisible and incorporeal.

Knives: Given the stealthy nature of her ability, Mattie prefers using knives to guns and often carries blades hidden on her person. She’s capable of using them both in close-quarter fighting and throwing them.

Guns: Less confident with guns, Mattie has been taught to shoot; sometimes firepower is preferable to getting close enough to cut something, after all. She deals only with pistols; given her ability, she is usually able to use these at close range with the element of surprise on her side.

French: She has four years of high school French behind her; traveling has allowed her to continue to use it now and then. She is by no means a native speaker but can understand most conversations unless they are using very difficult vocabulary. She speaks it with an American accent but reads it better than she speaks it.

Research: Mattie’s not the most academic of researchers nor the most technologically proficient, but she can find her way around public records to look at blue prints, maps, and city plans when planning a Watch mission or looking for likely sites of trouble.

Acting: She had been a good drama student back in high school and her skills get used now and then when she impersonates the dead to help cover up the existence of the Gloom and the Others from the innocent un-Touched. She sometimes also uses it to talk her way out of trouble with authorities.


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