They say love isn't an exact science, which is true even for a rocket scientist. David Wolff had been something of a prodigy, from a very young age his teachers had no way of containing or keeping up with his mind and abilities facilitating the need to pass him off to scholars that took him far from his family and home. His mother and father were more than happy to be rid of him, instilling in the young boy a deep and burning need for a dime sort of loving connection that would carry into his teen and adult years. Even as his mind could process data at fantastic speeds and he managed to solve problems that his country and people didn't know they had the young man yearned for the one thing that his immense smarts couldn't seem to give to him, the one thing that his own parents hadn't been able to give to him. Love. The connection of the heart, that warmth that flows between both the body and the mind that inexplicably winds between two individuals and seals them together. His advanced intelligence had intimidated his own parents, alienating him from his family and even managing to set him apart from his colleagues until he felt as if he were drifting. An island apart.
Which was probably the impetus behind his decision to join his government's space program around at the tender age of 21 and by the time he turned 25 David found himself on a solo mission into space. Israel needed a stake in the global venture for the stars and David was the perfect candidate, unattached and committed to the cause his intelligence was second to none. By then he was used to being alone, had grown accustomed to the ache in the middle of his chest and had resigned himself to his fate. His mind set him apart, made him an anomaly that people often found uncomfortable to be around; so what better place for him to be than on a space station, away from all of humanity. After over a year of training and preparation the male was launched into the atmosphere, hurled into space and flung to the far side of the moon to the international space station where he would spend 5 years studying the sun and other stars. Little did he know that he wouldn't be alone, the American's had a mathematician aboard. A woman by the name of Jennifer Teagan, and during their 5 year stint aboard the space station love would indeed blossom for the pair of astronauts.
Once back on Earth the pair were married though the story was far from the happily ever after variety. David had to wrap his head around the fact that his blushing bride wasn't quite human, or that she wasn't the only non-human species that inhabited the planet. Under the threat of death and dismemberment on their wedding night Jennifer revealed to her new husband that she was what her people called an Initia. She revealed to him the three colored markings that decorated her body and explained the discipline and training she had been undergoing in addition to her scholarly pursuits in order to attain an understanding of as many elements as she could master. At first the young woman was afraid her newly wedded husband would shrink away from her yet he seemed to take the information in stride, even asking to see her abilities over water and metal and showing some bitterness over her gravitational tendencies as well.
The couple remained in Florida for a time, living with Jennifer's tribe and still carrying out their work with NASA and even managing to grow their little family by two. First came little Shannon, a blue eyed angel that looked every bit like her mother and yet had the demeanor of her father. Quiet and reserved she was watchful, with a patience that seemed to baffle even her own parents. Her intellect came as no surprise, as being born from two astronauts it was almost expected that she would be hyper studious. By the time Shannon was 3 she was reading and writing and doing mathematical equations, impressing her instructors and bringing her father no end of fatherly pride. Unlike most children when she began speaking her phonetics were near perfect and if she wasn't speaking in sentences Shannon wasn't speaking at all. Her accomplishments were so high and so many that by the time she was 7 her parents hardly noticed that she hadn't gained her mark's, the Wolff's barely blinked at having borne a human child for she was exceptional and gifted all on her own.
So when Calista came along the shadow that had been cast was so long and wide that is was nearly impossible to see her squirming little body. Despite how much Jennifer had warned David, the new father couldn’t help but compare his youngest daughter to his oldest. Where Shannon had been a bright angel with blonde hair and blue eyes, Calista was her dark twin with locks the color of charcoal and eyes just like shadows in a face that was almond shaped, exotic even. Calista was the spitting image of her father and yet from the moment she was brought home from the hospital it was obvious that she was a spit fire like her mother. For the first time in the young couple’s life they experienced what it was like to have a real baby in the house.
Right from the start, David and Shannon both didn’t like it, Calista cried too much for their liking so it was up to Jennifer to keep little Calista busy and out of their hair. As Calista grew older that didn’t seem to change, Shannon didn’t want to have anything to do with her younger sister despite how much Calista looked up to Shannon and idolized her. Her own father seemed to go out of his way to avoid his youngest daughter who wasn't near as smart or gifted as his oldest. It seemed to baffle everyone who looked upon the small family, how two incredibly exceptional people could produce one child just as brilliant and then one who was average in all respects.
Calista herself was vibrant and full of life, curious about the world and talented in a way that the rest of her family couldn't see or understand. She was dancing before she could walk or run and humming and singing before she could talk. One trait she did inherit was the Wolff observation skills though instead of pressing that skill to science or mathematics she loved to watch people. The way they interacted, they way they spoke or moved, or the way they didn't move at all. Entering school she was branded as average due to her lower scores, scores that were compared to her older sisters but her mother could see her talents lay elsewhere. Her fidgety little girl loved to move and dance, talents that were quickly pressed into dance classes that helped develop hand eye coordination. Her constant babbling was honed by language classes that flourished into a repertoire or over 10 languages by the time Calista reached her teen years.
At the age of 7 Calista gained something that her sister couldn't boast, a trait that would forever set the two apart and tragically seal the rift that would last a lifetime. On the eve of her birthday little Calista was out in the yard dancing and humming when she felt a slight twinge of discomfort that had the little girl dropping to her knees. Crying out in fear both David and Jennifer came running, worried that something had happened to their youngest and drawing attention from Shannon as well. Her parents investigated the source of her discomfort only to find an intricate symbol had appeared upon her lower back, marking Calista as an Initia like her mother. For the first time in a very long time Calista saw some small spark of pride upon her father's face as he looked down at her, listening intently as her parents explained what her future would now entail.
From that moment on Calista's world shifted, not only did she attend her regular studied but she was introduced into her mother's tribe and began lessons. Her life at home became slightly more complicated as her father seemed to take more of an interest in her but her sister's resentment only grew. Shannon was taking off in the intellectual world and Calista was doing her own thing, working on her dancing and yoga instruction while learning just being an Initia meant. David and Jennifer both had full time jobs working on a new project for NASA and trying to parent a pair of daughters who were as different as night and day. David often found it difficult to relate to Calista, her free spirit was a little too free for his liking so he often found himself more in the company of Shannon which made the tension worse not better. Jennifer did her best to run interference but explaining to a 10 year old that your father just doesn't understand you wasn't the ways easy or adequate.
It was at Calista's 12th birthday and initiation ceremony that the family's first true fissure was created. After preparing for weeks both mentally and physically the young Initia was ready for what was to come, having thought long and hard over her choices and the training she had been under for the past several years she was confident in what choice she was about to make. Having chosen her outfit with the utmost care, groomed to perfection and smiling broadly Calista stepped into the little village square with her head held high. She knew what to expect, walking through the line of Tribal Masters she paid each of them a nod of respect before standing before the tribes Grand Master fidgeting only a bit with nervousness. Taking a deep breath her mahogany hues skirted the crowd, looking for the three faces that would surely calm her racing heart and give her that burst of confidence she surely needed in this moment of adolescent uncertainty. After a few frantic seconds she found the smiling and reassuring face of her mother but next to her the two seats that had been saved for David and Shannon were empty.
Blinking back tears of confusion and sadness Calista managed to pull herself together as the Grand Master initiated her into the tribe, allowing the young Initia to claim Gravity for her first element. Despite the ache in her chest the brunette made it through the ceremony with grace, marveling at the brilliant golden mark that would forever decorate the entirety of her upper back. Showing restraint beyond her years Calista held in her questions and confusion through the celebration that followed and appeared happy as could be, that is until she and her mother arrived home to find her father and sister bent over a pair ofs computer at the kitchen table. Both were surrounded by a myriad of papers, barely bothering to look up with Jennifer and Calista walked in just as the sun was beginning to rise on the next day.
With her mother watching carefully, worry and not a little bit of her own anger simmering below the surface, as her youngest daughter approached the table to pull up a couple of pages that littered the dinner table. Easing forward Jennifer looked over Calista's shoulder, her heart dropping as she realized at the same moment her daughter did that her own father and sister had missed her initiation ceremony in lieu of working on Shannon's college applications.
Calista's hands shook as she surveyed the work that was displayed before her, looking down at the neat boxy scroll of her father's writing on the pages upon pages that were dedicated to her older sisters future. A tear worked its way down to the tip of her nose, dropping through the air to land on the paper eliciting a sound of annoyed disgust from her sister. At that moment her father looked up, blinking as if just realizing that his wife and youngest had come into the room. It took him a moment to measure the tension, looking at the faces of the women in his life and register the time and finally to see the tears in little Calista's eyes for him to understand the full scope of what he had done.
Shannon broke the silence, sliding back her chair in a huff she snatched the papers from her sister complaining about tear stains and childish antics. The older girl was on her way back around the table when a loud crash stopped her dead in her tracks, as her laptop was hurled from the table against the wall right in front of her. As the shattered pieces fell like rain onto the floor and all around the living room, the sound of heavy breathing and gasping through tears as the three of them turned to stare at Calista. Her older sister went ballistic, screeching at the top of her voice about all of her lost data and the hours of work she and her father had put into her college applications. She made a flippant comment about having a backup of all the applications saved on her father’s laptop only to start screeching again when her father’s laptop went flatter than a pancake right before her eyes.
Watching the power his daughter could already exhibit scared David to death and then there was how upset his precious Shannon was in the face of having all of their work ruined right before their eyes. Furious beyond words and yet somehow terrified at the same time the male did something he had never done, he yelled at Calista and sent her to her room though his wife cut him off at the pass. At the smug look on her oldest daughter’s face she sent the other girl off to her room as well and that night no one in the Wolff house slept soundly. David and Jennifer fought long into the night, Jennifer expressing her displeasure at her husband’s lack of respect for their youngest daughter and then David in turn yelled right back at the show of power that didn’t seem to concern Jennifer at all.
The next morning set the tone for the next several years, the tension between the members of the Wolff family only became thicker with each passing month. Shannon barely spoke to her little sister or her mother, sticking to the company of her father while they prepared her college entrance exams and applications. David likewise further shunned Calista which made the preteen shut down when she was at home, avoiding all contact with her sister and father. Jennifer often reflected it was like she had three children, her oldest and then two youngest. One that came alive whenever she was out and about and then a quiet and reserved shadow that drifted around the house as if she were some sort of ghost.
Things got a little better when Shannon left for college, giving Calista some room to breathe. The young woman was able to come out of her shell a bit more, engaging with her mother freely at home and wherever she was. The school Jennifer enrolled her in was specifically tailored to those of more artsy tendencies, giving Calista plenty of time and ability to stretch her wings creatively and to train with the tribe. Making friends was easy and her social calendar kept her busy which made it easy to avoid her father and his disapproving stares. Her parents marriage became strained, and though they wouldn't admit it Calista knew it was because of her. Shannon came home often, the bitterness and animosity growing between the sisters like a malignant cancer.
Her older sister took every opportunity to curse Calista for the state of her parents marriage, blaming everything on the freak of the family. By this time Shannon was working on achieving her first doctorate, had been published in notable scientific journals many times over, and had the undivided adoration of their father. Despite outward appearances Calista's heart broke each time she held a performance or was awarded some small accolade that her father wouldn't even acknowledge, further widening the divide between sisters. It was during her high school graduation, decorated with high honors and delivering the valedictorian speech that she once more looked upon those two empty seats next to her mother that Calista made the decision she had had enough.
That night instead of going out to celebrate with her friends the young Initia went home to pack her bags. Much to her surprise, she found her mother waiting for her, her own bags packed and a pair of plane tickets ready to go. Jennifer left a note for her once beloved husband, letting him know that she needed time and space away from him. As a mother she could no longer stand by while he openly denied their youngest daughter, while he allowed his favoritism to harm one of their children and in the same actions build up the other. She let him know that she and Calista were going to travel for a while, to experience the world and perhaps find some peace. She sincerely hoped that her husband did the same, that he might find the man he had once been and see the damage he had done to his daughters.
For the next 6 years Calista and Jennifer traveled the world, living out of backpacks and experiencing life one precious day at a time. Sometimes they would stay in one place for a while, renting out a small apartment or living with a family or some other women. The pair of them met many other tribes of Initia, learning from Masters the world over. In that time Calista didn't much care to make a decision as to her elemental path, instead she focused on learning the bloody history of her people and further honed the one element she had laid claim to. They experienced cultures and learned to dance and sing, Calista perfected languages the world thought long dead and the two women flourished and grew in ways they didn't even know was possible.
Calista became a force unto herself, wild and untamed on the stage of the world, she blossomed like a wildflower let out in the sunshine for the first time. She was free to be completely and unapologetically herself, completely without judgement or care for what someone else might think. Without the shadow of her sister she was unhindered in her question to learn whatever she wanted and the young woman soaked up anything and everything cultural and artistic based that she could.
Together the Wolff women accomplished great things, helping communities across the globe though getting very little recognition for it. From helping build houses, lending a hand in disaster situations, or just offering a friendly leg up to the locals they sought to enrich the lives of everyone they touched. Jennifer embarked on a fact finding scientific study that kept her busy in the rare moments they had some down time which helped to keep her mind sharp. They were fairly frugal with their spending but Jennifer still sent postcards home, one every month to remind David of her love and of the commitment they had once made to one another. It was through that simple form of communication that David Wolff managed to track down his wayward wife and daughter.
Calista wasn't sure what to make of her Father's reappearance, he had seemed to age in ways she hadn't expected during the nearly 7 years the family had been split. Her mother however seemed ecstatic to see her long lost love, the pair embracing as if they were young lovers just discovering each other. Her father seemed wary of her, unsure of either how he would be received or of her as a person both of which turned out to be true. So her brilliant Mother suggested that David stick around, allow them to travel together so that father and daughter could reconnect in a meaningful way. In that time they Calista learned that her father deeply regretted his actions and was willing to do anything to bridge the rift that was dividing them. Likewise David discovered who his youngest daughter truly was, in their brief travels he saw the depths of her intelligence and heart, the breadth of her courage and understanding, as well as the light that seemed to burst out of her.
After a year of traveling as a trio the family returned home, by then Calista was 26 years old with a variety of talents but no real job experience. Luckily she had gained a very reputable name among the Initia tribes as both a great fountain of historical knowledge and an excellent mentor. Her father decided upon returning to Florida to retire, his year sabbatical had taught him that all he wanted to do now was to spend time with his family and relax. Relaxing of course meant opening a research facility of his own, and the o boy facilities that would take him and Jennifer was a company in New York being run by none other than Shannon Wolff. The oldest Wolff sibling of course wasn't having anything to do with her sister or her mother, still staunchly against even speaking a word to either of them Calista was faced with the decision to move with her newly reformed family or living on her own simply to avoid her sister.
Calista managed to do both. New York was a big place with plenty of room for two Wolff sister's, especially considering Shannon never went far from her uptown ritzy neighborhood. Calista, with help from her father secured a brownstone in Brooklyn for a steal that put her close to her new job with the Initia tribe as a mentor and as an instructor of both dance and yoga at a local studio. Her parents weren't far, two trains and a short walk would put her at their front door and yet she could begin to exercise some independence as well. All in all, life was still fabulous, with the exception of the occasional black cloud that her sister cast upon family dinners when she could be bothered to show up.
Shannon became to another scientist close to Calista's 30th birthday. Roger seemed to despise her just as much as his fiancee did and the only reason the younger Wolff sister received an invite to the wedding was surprisingly due to their father David. Much to everyone's astonishment David confronted Shannon when it became apparent she had no intention of including or even inviting her little sister to her wedding, stating under no uncertain terms would he pay a single dime or walk Shannon down the aisle if Calista wasn't involved. A huge argument ensued in which Shannon and Roger raged and screamed, making quite a spectacle of themselves while the brunette Initia sipped some wine and enjoyed the show. With an amused look from her mother she finally took pity on them all and pulled her father aside, compromising to simply attending and being content to sit with all of the other guests.
The wedding was gorgeous, all attention was on Shannon which was just how she wanted it. Her father paid her just enough attention to get by but was constantly going back to the table to be with Calista and Jennifer. That very night Calista was approached by one of the tribal elders, seeking her out for a special assignment that the Grand Master thought she was perfectly suited for. Most Initia her age had chosen a path by now, either to try and master them all or to become a master of a single element. To date Calista had only been marked by a single element and her grasp of how to use it was pretty good. The Elders wanted her to become a Master in Training for Masters of Gravity were few and far between.
Honored beyond words and with the full support and backing of her parents Calista accepted, beginning her intensive training to becoming a master. Things with her family once again got worse as the years went by, the more her father spent time with her and attended her functions the angrier Shannon and her husband would get with her. One fateful night the entirety of the Wolff family changed and Calista made a single decision that would change her future. By some strange happenstance the entire family was out for dinner and Shannon was acting strange, constantly holding her hand over her stomach as she shot daggers at Calista over the entire meal. David and Jennifer had gone to see one of Calista’s shows, one choreographed specifically by her and organized to raise money for the community. The whole event had been a major success, one that her parents had participated in and together they met Shannon for dinner afterward.
Calista could tell her older sister was pissed, the daggers her eyes were throwing across the table could have pierced her heart had they been allowed to manifest though she couldn't quite figure out why. Their parents did a good job of avoiding the subject, steering the conversation through neutral waters and asking questions of both daughters equally. Finally the check came and it was time to leave, the four of them exiting together though as they began walking towards the subway station where they would part ways Shannon exploded. She was angry that David had chosen to attend the fundraiser instead of going over to Shannon's house to help Roger with a new project at work that he desperately needed guidance with. Once again her older sister spit words of venom and animosity at Calista, calling her horrible names and expressing her displeasure at their father for neglecting his true daughter for a nonsense party that meant nothing.
This time however the brunette was not inclined to take such abuse, for too long she had stood silent in the face of her sister's insults and disparagement. It was high time she took a stand not only for herself but for her place within the family, so the Initia confronted her older sister and berated her for her harsh words. Letting her feelings pour out in an endless stream she let loose nearly 30 years of pent up anger and frustration and hurt over the lack of a relationship she had with her sister and the enmity that existed between them that seemed to have no end. Shannon of course would not hear any of it, rising to the challenge the argument turned into a full on family dispute that Jennifer somehow managed to usher off the street and into a side alley in the hope that a little privacy might escalate the situation. Unfortunately the alley was the lair of some rather unsavory characters who spotted the quarrelling family as an easy target and pounced.
Calista wasn't quite sure what had happened, it all happened so quickly that instinct took over and her mind only had room for reactions. Two shadows peeled themselves out of the darkness of the alley, brandishing wicked looking pistols that were pointed right at those she loved the most. There was no warning, no request for valuables or entreaty to remain quiet so that no one would get hurt. The moment the four Wolff's registered the weapons time seemed to slow down and speed up at the same time, Calista could see the intent in the eyes of the men holding the guns and knew she had a split second to make a choice. Her mind seemed to make that choice for her, hands raising as her power swelled outward in a protective bubble just as the sounds of four shots echoed into the narrow alleyway.
The sound of her sister's scream would haunt her nightmares for the rest of her life, along with the sight of her parents bodies' dropping to the pavement. In that one moment of fate and choice her instincts had risen up, her powers snapping forth to create a protective bubble of gravity around herself and her sister. The bullets that had been meant for them had bounced off harmlessly while David and Jennifer Wolff had died. That night was the last time Shannon ever spoke to her sister, even at the funeral Shannon and Roger both did their best to avoid Calista not even bothering to thank her for saving not one but two lives. Some instinct inside of the Initia had known, had seen the signs, and risen up to protect not just her sister but the unborn child that Calista would never get to meet.
The last works her sister would ever speak to her would be words of blame, laying the deaths of both parents squarely on Calista's shoulders. For a time to female would carry the weight of that guilt but with time comes wisdom and with wisdom comes peace. Calista continued to train with the Initia tribe though with the death of her parents and the estrangement from her sister she moved from New York and went back to traveling. Eventually attaining the level of Gravity master around the age of 75 she has lived a well traveled and cultured life abroad. News of the death of her sister finally brought her back to the states, watched the burial from afar she wondered which of the young men and women attending were related to her but was too hestitate to try and find out.
Since returning to the states she went back to revisiting some of her old haunts, checking in on old friends from tribes she had once been apart of. It was during one of those visits she was approached by Sofi Zahara, a newly appointed Grand Master who was in need of a Gravity Master in a city in Colorado. The particulars intrigued Calista, at nearly 82 years old she was considered young but had seen and done much yet hadn't heard of such a culturally diverse place as Evermore. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Calista graciously accepted and moved to the city with high hopes and no expectations.