Alter’s source work, author and character: Different Alice in Wonderland sources as inspiration, including American McGee's Alice, and Lewis Carroll. Character Journal name: ~milliner Character Name: Chloe Anne Murphy Character Age: 31 Character Played By:Amy Acker Alter Played By:Dan Stevens
Character History and Personality:
Thursday’s child has far to go...
Chloe Murphy came into the world on a Thursday morning, just before 7am. She was born into the sort of family where her mother, had it not been for the insistence of her doctors that she stay for at least a day, would have returned to work only hours after her daughter's birth. The hard work was done, after all, and her mother believed that everything else could be taken care of by the very competent team of nannies and nurses that were employed by the Murphy family. The siblings that followed, one after another, were afforded the same sort of love from their parents, that love being expressed with every need, want, desire being fulfilled, not necessarily by them. Kenneth and Mariah Murphy were Very Important People, working in some facet of the English government, the sort of hush hush things that no one talked about but everyone knew was Very Important. It was the only life that Chloe knew, and as such, she never thought that there was anything better out there. Her parents were busy, after all, and why bother them when there were people at her every beck and call? Her siblings acted as her playmates, the household help the ones who kept order, and all in all, the Murphy children were a rather well-behaved lot.
At the age of seven, Chloe was sent off to an all-girl's boarding school for what her parents deemed was a 'proper education'. She got all the normal education there, reading, writing, arithmetic. And at night, in the dormitories, she learned quickly how easy it was to get what she wanted from other people. The world was populated by two types of people, Chloe had learned. Those that were weak, and those that were strong, and while Chloe never looked down on the ‘weak’ ones, she soon learned that they were the ones that could help her out the most. They had a role they could play in the world, and she was the director of that role.
This wasn’t to say that Chloe was one of the ‘mean girls’ as she grew up. In fact, it was the exact opposite that was true. Yes, she might have been one of the queen bees in the all-girl’s school, but people followed Chloe because she was a Very Nice Person. Smiles, compliments, all the help you would ever want from a person. She’d share the contents of the care packages her parents would send (likely from the nannies, but as Chloe knew, her parents were Very Busy People, so she didn’t fault them that). And what did Chloe get from their undivided, seemingly endless adoration? Well, everything that she wanted. A girl like her, raised as she was, had a certain craving for attention, something she never really got from her parents, and the people hired to work for the family weren’t quite what she needed. No, she needed friends, people who hung on her every word. She had plenty to offer, things, stuff, words (because you weren’t limited on how many compliments you could pass out, even if you didn’t mean them), she could give them everything they wanted. And in return, Chloe got what she wanted.
This pattern of give and take followed Chloe all the way into university, and as far as Chloe could see, she had done well enough by it in the past that she saw no reason to change now. University saw her majoring in business and marketing, a world that was dominated primarily by men, and one that Chloe intended on making a name for herself in. Throughout school, she had never really been one to date, but an all-girl’s school will do that to a person, and while the temptation of the boys was definitely there, no one really caught her eye. She had other things to focus on, classes, extracurriculars, all the things that would make her a Well Rounded Student. At least that was how things were until Neil.
Neil was handsome, charming, and it just so happened that he fell into the category that Chloe always labeled as ‘weaker’. It wasn’t a bad thing, but this meant that he wouldn’t be someone who attempted to dominate her, and that was definitely something that Chloe considered a positive. It was a whirlwind romance filled with ‘study sessions’ in her private room and a thorough education in the sorts of things two adults do in private. The relationship lasted well into their senior year in university, and that was when Chloe met Dr. Anderson. Twenty years her senior with greying hair and his share of wrinkles, there was simply something about him that she was drawn to. He was the definition of an intellectual, knowledge seeping from every pore, and Chloe could not escape the draw he provided for her. Eventually, she started spending less and less time with Neil and more time in the professor’s private office, and while rumours started to spread throughout campus the type of relationship that Chloe and the professor were engaging in, the truth was something much different.
Dr. Anderson was, in fact, a high-ranking member of a selective society that actively sought out new members, people who were ambitious, intelligent, people who had the makings of being Very Important People in the world around them. Or at least those were the words they used to describe it to Chloe. In reality, the group had more in common with a cult than not. The more that Chloe was pulled into it, the further she slipped from the friends and family she had been so close to before. By the time graduation rolled around, Chloe’s social circle consisted solely of members from Dr. Anderson’s organization. She simply didn’t have room in her life any longer for those people, for family that might have questioned her decisions, from friends who simply didn’t understand, and from Neil who couldn’t hold a candle to Dr. Anderson’s flame. So close was she to what was going on that she became blind to the truth of her situation. As a person who thrived on attention, on being told how special and important she was, the attention that was heaped onto her, the Very Important Role she played within the group, it was exactly the sort of delicious poison to feed someone like Chloe Murphy.
Several years after graduation, the group relocated across the pond to Chicago, Illinois. A larger population base than England had to offer, a more diverse population, before long, the dozens of members turned into several hundred. One location turned into dozens, and before long, there was a group in every major metropolitan city in the United States. As for Chloe, she stayed close to Dr. Anderson, his right hand woman in charge of public relations for the group, in keeping their public image clean, safe, and appealing to the masses. For all of the inclusive nature of the group, Chloe didn’t really balk against it. Dr. Anderson was one of the strong ones, and though she didn’t recognize herself as anything weak, she did recognize that he was stronger than her, so whatever he said, she was happy to listen to.
Things changed, however, around 2010, when Melyssa appeared. Melyssa was cute, blond, a senior at the University of Chicago, everything Chloe had been when she was that age. And it was clear after only a moment that Dr. Anderson had his eye on her. Where Chloe had always been his right hand woman, his confidant, occupying a place of importance within the society, that same attention and privilege was soon being heaped upon Melyssa. And Chloe was not one to take this sort of treatment sitting down. There was no woman who could match the sort of fury Chloe could muster when scorned.
One day, after Chloe had been instructed to take a different room in the sprawling townhome with a view of Lake Michigan, she simply packed her bags and left. Later on, experts would muse over how she left so easily, but simply put, Chloe didn’t tell anyone she was leaving, and had they attempted to stop her, she simply would have talked her way out. Or attempted to. As it was, few noticed that she had left, and by the time that they had, several hours had passed, giving her enough time to buy a plane ticket out of Chicago. She didn’t have a particular destination in mind, but the first plane out of the city was heading to Seattle, so that was where Chloe went.
It wasn’t long before news about Chloe’s escape from the group hit the news, and an even shorter time until Chloe realised the severity of what it was she had done. No one had escaped from the group before, and as soon as the media had her name, they were upon her with a ravenous hunger. Judging by their reactions, she was supposed to be traumatized, a scared thing that had escaped the ferocious monster, and if that was what the media wanted, then that was what Chloe would provide. The attention was on her, flashing lights and reporter’s notebooks in her face, and she soaked in every ounce of the attention, all the while playing the victim. The media frenzy prompted a tell-all exposé into life in one of the world’s most secret societies, a book that hit the bestseller’s list and stayed there for months. Book tours, talk shows, radio interviews, Chloe Murphy became a household name for survival and strength in the face of such harrowing circumstances. Who cared if some of the details were tweaked to give it appeal, to make the situation worse than it truly was. Reality was only so interesting, after all.
In early 2012, still riding the high off of her book, an attempt was made on Chloe’s life, and it was only through sheer luck that she managed to dodge the shot that was aimed at her. The gunman was arrested less than an hour later, and when the news hit the stands the following day, the connection to the society had been established. So a retinue of bodyguards was added to the lawyers she already had on payroll. Months later, Chloe took up residence in Las Vegas, drawn to the city like a moth to the flame, and it wasn’t until she crossed the city limits that anything in her thoughts changed. The journal arrived a week later, though Chloe had no intentions on giving in to the crazy demands of some book that wanted her to visit a rundown hotel in town. She was quite through with living her life by the demands of others. This was her life, and no one would tell her different.
Alter: There were days, Hatter felt, that he missed Wonderland. He missed his tea party, even missed the constant threat of death from this or that, missed the uncertain nature of a world with no certainties. But London had its own charm, and it didn't take the Hatter long to settle in after he crossed close on Alice's heels when the girl left their world.
But London had done something to the Hatter, had twisted about someone who was already considered a little mad, someone who was already a little topsy turvy to begin with. That wasn't to say that the Hatter was insane or unstable, he simply wasn't right. But that didn't mean he couldn't accomplish something, couldn't find a life in London among the fancy ladies and gents who wandered the streets in their fancy clothing. Rutledge Asylum didn't care if he wasn't like the others, didn't care that he was a little strange, and in fact, they didn't seem to care that his credentials weren't entirely true. They needed help, and he wanted to help, and so the good (mad) Hatter was instilled as a good (yet mad) doctor at the Asylum.
The Asylum was its own sort of mad tea party for Hatter, a place of riddles and questions with no apparent answers, of treatments disguised as games, torture disguised as therapy. No one really questioned his motives, what he did, and who would considering how absolutely charming he could be. A dapper thing with blond hair and a smile that lit up a room, Hatter came off as someone who was trustworthy, kind, and absolutely caring. It was behind closed doors that his increasing lack of sanity was more visible. And if the patients complained, who was going to believe them? They were mad, after all.
Chloe and Hatter are a combination that's bound for disaster in more ways than can be easily counted. From Chloe's orderly manner, orderly dress, her orderly way of thinking, to Hatter being the very definition of disorder, the pair are like oil and water. It's likely that one will imprint upon the other, push the other in this direction or the other with whatever influence they might find, but for the most part, the two will be two very separate persons sharing the same body. Chloe would have preferred the angel back in her head, even if he was a strange thing in and of itself, but she's learned to cope, and she'll learn to cope with Hatter in time.
As for Hatter, he finds Chloe positively boring, perhaps in need of a good, long stay at his hospital. But so long as she gives him the time that he deserves, he supposes he'll put up with her. For the moment, at least.
Journal/Key: Hatter's journal comes in the form of an ink-stained, tattered notebook, well-loved and tied shut with a brown ribbon. The key is an old brass skeleton key.
The Wonderland Crew: Alice, The Dormouse, The March Hare, The Cat, et. al. Melyssa: Not necessarily the Melyssa that took her place, but a rival for attention, or at least someone that Chloe views as a rival. Dr. Anderson: The infallible. There was a point in time where this person could do no wrong in Chloe’s eyes, and it’s likely that she would fall under his spell in a heartbeat should he come back into her life. The Ex: Chloe isn’t necessarily the easiest to be in a relationship with, and since leaving the society in 2010, there have undoubtedly been a couple whom she attempted a happily ever after with before failing miserably. The Family: Chloe’s parents weren’t necessarily good at parenting, but they were very good at making more children. Chloe’s the oldest, but there’s a brood of children that came along after her.