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Echo (Eliza Dushku in Dollhouse)

Echo

(Caroline Farrell) (Profile #1 - Early)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Dollhouse was a 2009-2010 Joss Whedon TV series, set in the modern world but with sci-fi elements.

The core such elements is “dolls”. These are people who get programmed with downloaded personalities and skills for high-value and of-illegal engagements. The series’ protagonist is “Echo” one such doll with a subtle flaw when it comes to imprinting.

This profile covers Echo up until she gains the ability to access any of her imprinted personalities at will. Although she’s evolving all the way through this time.

This entry has S P O I L E R S for Dollhouse.


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Background

  • Real Name: Caroline Farrell.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed cousin.
  • Group Affiliation: Dollhouse.
  • Base Of Operations: Dollhouse, Los Angeles.
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 125 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers & Abilities

As a Doll (or “Active”), Echo has no real skills of her own. However, they undergo regular gentle exercise to keep them in shape. When imprinted with a personality, however, she has access to that personality’s skills and abilities.

She has an innate resistance to imprinting, which eventually allows her to retain some memories or skills from imprints.

Doll

Echo’s mind has been wiped with the technology Rossum uses for their Dollhouses. The active architecture set up in her head lets them imprint her with whatever personality they require. As a base, Dolls (those given active architectures) have a docile personality. They do as they’re told.

Dolls can then be imprinted with the personality required for a particular mission. This may be the personality of an individual who has been scanned. Or it can be one cobbled together from useful skills and personality traits of others.


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Their memories can also be the exact ones of the imprinted individual, modified slightly, or created from scratch. Imprinted personalities, including the active’s original personality, are stored on wedges. Backups of the original personalities are kept in a (relatively) safe place.

The process requires the doll to sit in the chair while the imprint is loaded up to them. The process is painful, but the memory of the pain doesn’t remain.

Technical considerations

In DC Heroes RPG terms, Mimic and Omni-Scholar duplicate the Mental Stats, Mystic Stats, and appropriate Advantages of the imprinted personality. It can also copy any Drawbacks the imprint possesses. These are kept to maintain the stability of the imprinted personality shaped by these attributes. They also have an SIA towards the mission parameters.

Control over imprinted actives is maintained by imprinting them to trust their assigned handler implicitly. This is true no matter which imprint is currently dominant. In DC Heroes terms this effectively gives them a Catastrophic Irrational Attraction to following their handler’s suggestions. Especially when asked if they want a treatment.

They also have the Active Architecture Drawback. That means being vulnerable to certain application of the technologies that empowers them. The change to their mind to let it accept imprints is permanent. So even if they later have their original personality restored, they retain the active architecture.


History

Developing an interest in animal rights, Caroline Farrell focussed her attentions on the Rosssum Corporation. Rossum had sponsored a facility in the LA university she’d attended, which she hadn’t paid much attention to at the time.

Convincing her boyfriend, Leo, to join her, she broke into the facility at night to film the abuses. What they found hinted at more than just animal testing. But they were noticed by security guards, and shot at. Leo was hit, and died as they escaped the building. Caroline managed to escape Rossum’s grasp.

Becoming obsessed with Rossum, she managed to sneak into the offices of the head of the LA division, Adelle DeWitt. Caroline stole confidential files, including those on one of their promising recruits, Bennett Halverson.

Caroline

She enrolled at the Arizona Technical Institute where Bennett was studying. She got close to her target, becoming her roommate. When Bennett learned Caroline had been using her to gain access to Rossum’s facility she offered to help. The pair snuck into the facility.

Echo (Caroline Farrell) pointing a pistol

They rigged the place with explosives. But when Caroline discovered there were human guinea pigs held in a secret room, she tried to abort the mission. She didn’t stop the explosives in time, and Bennett was pinned under fallen rubble.

Unable to free her, and with security on the way, Caroline told her to lie about her involvement, and ran. She was captured, by Adelle DeWitt and Mr. Dominic. Farell was sent alone to meet the heads of Rossum.

They’d taken an interest in her because screening for various diseases had led them to her via her cousin, who had leukaemia. Caroline had an resistance to elements of imprinting. They wanted to investigate that in order to harvest her spinal fluid for a vaccine against imprinting.

She was held by Rossum for a while before she finally agreed to serve five years as an Active.

Echo

Her mind was wiped, and she was given the designation Echo. She went on numerous assignments of various kinds, and became popular, although Whiskey remained the number one Doll in the house. This didn’t satisfy fellow Active, Alpha, who had developed an infatuation with Echo.

He cut Whiskey’s face up, and was quickly restrained. The attempt to wipe him suffered a composite event that downloaded all the imprints he’d had into his mind. He cracked, killed a number of members of staff, and fled. Echo’s handler was among the dead, so she was assigned new recruit, Boyd Langton.

While continuing to carry out her engagements, Echo began retaining snippets of personalities which should have been wiped clean away. It went generally unnoticed. Except for Dollhouse head of security, Laurence Dominic, who distrusted her.

When his warnings weren’t heeded, he tried to kill her on an assignment, but failed. Revealed to be an NSA spy, Echo was the one who captured him. Dominic was sent to the Attic, the floor where the broken Dolls and unwanted individuals had their minds imprisoned. Trips to the Attic were generally one way.

Dollhouse

Among the other Actives, Echo befriended Sierra and Victor, a pair who developed an attraction despite successive wipes. Alpha also kept tabs on her, arranging some assignments to push her towards becoming more like him. One such job was having a psychopath hunt her through the wilderness. Alpha also fed information to FBI agent Paul Ballard, assigned to investigate the Dollhouse.

Manipulating Ballard to sneak into the Dollhouse with him in a false identity, Alpha kidnapped Echo. He imprinted her with all the minds she’d previously hosted, while imprinting Caroline into a hostage they’d taken. He then tried to get Echo to kill Caroline.

She rebelled, and managed to stop him destroying the wedge holding Caroline. Alpha escaped.

His FBI career trashed by the Dollhouse’s manipulations, Ballard, who had become obsessed with rescuing Caroline, joined the Dollhouse. He became Echo’s new handler, since Boyd had replaced Mr. Dominic as head of security.

Evolution

Her mental state continued to evolve. Echo herself began to have more of a personality, which she kept hidden from most of the Dollhouse but Paul. Her state was exacerbated when they came into conflict with another Dollhouse, at which Bennett Halverson was the head programmer.

When Echo ended up in their custody, Bennett imprinted her memories of Caroline’s betrayal into Echo to torture her. She then arranged an escape in hopes Echo would be killed in the pursuit. She wasn’t.

The Dollhouses lost track of her. But her fractured mind had trouble coping with life on the streets, especially as the Echo personality hadn’t fully formed. Fortunately Paul, staying out of touch with the Dollhouse, found her. He helped her develop an individual personality, although she began suffering headaches.

The pair’s relationship developed during this time. However, Paul was unwilling to let it develop too far while she was still Echo.

This profile is .


Personality

Echo, like other Dolls, starts out as pretty much a blank slate. These display little personality or curiosity, and unlikely to defend themselves. Submissive and oblivious to most things, she follows the suggestions of her handler and the Dollhouse staff.

Unlike other Dolls, Echo develops immunity to the process. Thus, she begins to recall minor traits or things from her imprints, and develops a curiosity about her surroundings.

She also develops protective urges towards Sierra, whom she saw undergoing a painful induction. Yet she’s smart enough to know to keep most of her thoughts secret.

As she evolves, and after Alpha dumped all her previous imprints into her, Echo started to develop her own personality. However, it’s still delicate in this period.

As Caroline, she had developed an almost fanatical drive to bring Rossum down. She would do whatever it took to achieve her goals.


Quotes

Topher Brink: “Hello, Echo. How are you feeling ?”
Echo: “Did I fall asleep ?”
Topher: “For a little while.”
Echo: “Shall I go now ?”
Topher: “If you like.”

“I try to be my best.”

“Is it time for my treatment ?”

Boyd: [Handing Echo a gun] “Do you know how to use this ?”
Echo (as Jenny): “I’ve got four brothers, none of them Democrats.”

Echo (as Jordan): “You can fire me, but bitch, don’t think that you can take me.”

Echo (as Jordan): “You are having a breakdown. Not a shave-your-head-and-flash-your-junk wacky phase.”

Echo (as Taffy): “They’re called breasts, and yes, they are exceptional. You mention that, when you blog about this later.”

Walton: “If she’s the best, how come I’ve never heard of her ?”
Echo (as Taffy): “You’ve heard of Bonnie and Clyde, right ?”
Walton: “Are you Bonnie ?”
Echo: “No. I’m not that stupid. Bonnie and her gun-crazy beau, you know what they wanted ? It wasn’t to be the best. The best lead the quiet, head down kind of life. No, Bonnie and Clyde, they wanted fame, notoriety, and boy did they get it. They also got dead. I’ll pass on that. When this is over, feel free to forget I exist.”

Echo (as Esther): “Start taking these people out of here. He swore to protect them. If he won’t, we have to ! Seth, the blind girl is looking you in the eye. Do you know what that means ? It means God brought me here. He has a message for you, and that message is move your ass !”

Echo: “I can help you.”
Topher: “Why would you want to ?”
Echo: “Why wouldn’t I ?”
Topher: “Did I just lose an argument to a doll ? Okay, thanks, but you can’t help.”
Echo: “You make people different.” [Sits in imprint chair] “You can make me help.”

Vic: “It’s too big. They’ve got guns. What do you think you’re going to do ?”
Caroline: “Try and make a difference.”

Echo: “What’s in store for you, you don’t have much to smile about.”
Dominic: “After you beat me to a pulp they’re going to erase me. But first they’re going to erase you.”
Echo: “I can take care of myself.”
Dominic: “I know. That’s why I’m smiling. Because one day you’ll be erasing them, and even after all this they still won’t see it coming. Sooner or later, everybody gets theirs.”

Echo (as Margaret): “This is… soooo… stunning ! Really ! Last thing I remember is coming here a month ago for that dreadful process of yours.”

Echo (as Kiki): “Okay, so I probably never should have taken this course to begin with, but I figured it was mid-evil lit, not advanced-evil – how hard could it be ? So, I skipped ’Intro to Evil‘ or whatever. But how is it I get an ‘F’ when this guy that we’re reading, Chauncy, can’t even spell ?”

Echo (as Terry Karrens): “Goodness gracious.”

Echo: “I remember everything. Sometimes I’m someone else and then I come back, but I still feel them. All of them. I’ve been many people. I can hear them, sometimes suddenly. I’m all of them, but none of them is me. Do you know who’s real ?”
Ballard: “Caroline.”
Echo: “I want to find her. I want to find all of them. Real them. They can be found. We are lost, but we are not gone.”


DC Universe History

Rossum was secretly owned by Lexcorp. Lex Luthor used the technology to ensure a steady supply of loyal agents. Attempts to use the technology against Superman failed due to biological differences, so he abandoned it as a weapon.

The future apocalypse caused by the technology was the result of Brainiac finding the technology. He targeted the main hero groups with his first salvo, turning them into violent savages. The Global Peace Agency, realising this was the disaster they were hoping to avoid, coordinated the remaining heroes to oppose Brainiac and stop the rampaging powers.


Marvel Universe History

The Rossum Corporation was controlled by one of the Trasks. The Dollhouse technology was developed to create agents who could fool mutant telepaths.

The future apocalypse caused by the technology was the result of Ultron getting hold of it. The Avengers stopped him taking advantage of it to wipe out humanity, but at the cost of their lives. Anyone who could have reversed it was caught by the technology.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Echo

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Be her best
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Doll
Inf: 01 Aur: 01 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 006 HP: 020

Powers:
Mimic: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:
Mimic only duplicates Skills, and Mental and Mystic Stats (-2, see below), only by imprinting (-1, see below), and will mimic some Drawbacks (-1, see below).

Skills:
None demonstrated.

Advantages:
Omni-Scholar (see below), Rich Friends.

Connections:
Dollhouse (Low).

Drawbacks:
Active Architecture (See below), CIA (Trust Handler), Innocent, Miscellaneous (GPS strip implanted in the back of her neck allows the Dollhouse to locate her unless removed).


Personality – Alice

Little is known about her other than that she’s a naturally gifted motorcyclist. She’s probably a fabricated personality.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02
Init: 007

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 04


Personality – Bree

A high-class prostitute.

Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 009

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 03


Personality – Crystal

A car thief on a crime spree with her psychotic boyfriend.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02
Init: 007

Skills:
Thief (Locks): 03, Vehicles (Land): 03


Personality – Eleanor Penn

A skilled hostage negotiator, she was kidnapped for three months as a child, and Echo suffered a breakdown when encountering the kidnapper, the Ghost. The real Eleanor Penn committed suicide some time after her mind was imprinted.

Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 013

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Detective (Clue Analysis): 05

Advantages:
Languages (Spanish), Scholar (Psychology, Forensic Profiler).

Drawbacks:
MPR (Asthmatic, Near-sighted), SIF (The Ghost).


Personality – Emily Jordan

Imprinted to be the mother of a baby whose mother had died, Topher even managed to create a physical response in her body so it believed it had given birth. It also gave her an obsession with protecting the baby which continued even after she’d been wiped.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 007

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 03

Drawbacks:
CIA (Protect baby).


Personality – Esther Louise Carpenter

A blind girl with a knack for getting herself accepted quickly by others. Echo was made blind so cameras could be implanted in her eyes to observe her infiltration.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 04
Init: 009

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 05

Drawbacks:
CPR (Blind).


Personality – Jenny

A skilled rock climber, with four brothers.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04
Init: 008

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 03


Personality – Jordan

An aspiring singer taking back-up jobs. Programmed as a hidden bodyguard, she’s also a skilled fighter.

Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 009

Skills:
Artist (Singer): 03, Martial Artist: 04

Advantages:
Sharp Eye.


Personality – Kiki Turner

A not-too-bright student.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02
Init: 007

Advantages:
Attractive.


Personality – Margaret Bashford

A rich friend of Adelle DeWitt’s, who had herself backed up so she could visit her own funeral, using the name Julia, to find out who’d murdered her.

Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 04
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 010

Skills:
Animal Handling (Horse Riding): 04

Connections:
Adelle DeWitt.


Personality – Roma Klar

An undercover FBI agent who married arms dealer Martin Klar to help Paul Ballard bring him down. Probably a fabricated personality.

Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 03
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 010

Skills:
Artist (Actor): 04, Charisma (Persuasion): 04, Martial Artist: 03


Personality – “S&M Barbie”

A fabricated dominatrix personality who’s skilled with whips.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 009

Skills:
Weaponry (Whip): 04

Advantages:
Attractive.


Personality – Susan

A therapist. She’s a fabricated personality, created by evolving the imprint of a troubled child that Susan needs to help, so offering an older version of herself who turned out okay.

Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 009

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 04


Personality – Taffy

A skilled safecracker.

Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04
Init: 010

Skills:
Martial Artist: 04, Thief (Locks and Safes): 06


Personality – Terry Karrens

A serial killer with a hatred of women, his personality was accidentally imprinted onto Echo.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 007

Drawbacks:
SPI.


Personality – Unnamed assassin imprint

This imprint was sent to keep Ballard busy, although a mole in the Dollhouse also imprinted it to give him a warning.

Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04
Init: 008

Skills:
Acrobatics: 04, Martial Artist: 05, Weaponry (Melee): 05

Advantages:
Iron Nerves.


Personality – Unnamed midwife

Probably a fabricated personality.

Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03
Inf: 02 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 007

Skills:
Medicine (First Aid, Midwifery): 05


Personality – Unnamed spy

Reads body language and skilled with advanced interrogation techniques.

Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 04
Init: 012

Skills:
Charisma: 05


Design Notes

Attractive is given to a couple of her imprints because they seem to act in a way that takes advantage of her looks, while other imprints don’t.


By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Dollhouse TV series, as played by Eliza Dushku.

Helper(s): Darci, Frank G. Murdock, Sébastien Andrivet.

Writeup completed on the 26th of August, 2012.

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