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Warfare, illness, many others
Annie was born and raised as a world traveler. Her parents were well-known anthropologists, and she and her two brothers went with them on their journeys. Also blessed with remarkable intelligence, Annie picked things up quickly; by age ten, she spoke a dozen languages fluently and was familiar with several cultures from around the world. However, their constant travels, especially to areas ravaged by war, famine, and disease, also made things very hazardous. Annie was ill several times, sometimes from sicknesses, and other times from poisonous plants and animals. The worst tragedy came in Iraq; her family was in the area when there was a chemical weapons attack. Annie and her parents survived, but her two brothers died.
By age 16, Annie decided to settle down. She attended college at Stanford, ended up with a Masters in anthropology. Her intelligence, quick thinking, and multiple brushes with death attracted the attention of the recently formed Orpheus Group, who immediately offered her a job with the agency. Her primary field was research, and her job was to investigate the implications of near-death experiences and projection in other cultures. Annie worked quickly and allowed Orpheus to accumulate one of the largest databases of its type in the world. However, it was not to last. In Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) Annie came across a gang of heroin dealers and was murdered.
Stranded as a spirit in a foreign land, Annie had only her knowledge and experience to help her survive. She managed to hang on long enough for her parents to claim her body, which gave her a way to return home. She spent a year on "sabbatical", trying to become oriented to her new existence before contacting Orpheus and re-joining the company as a field researcher and occasional agent. Orpheus was puzzled by her Horrors, the primary of which was akin to using Stains without penalty
Her existence was thrown into chaos as were many at the company when NextWorld raided Orpheus. Although safer than many other agents, she nonetheless went with them when they went into hiding. She was one of the unfortunate witnesses to the massacre at the rave, and was the first to realize that the symptoms of the victims matched up with strychnine poisoning. She also stayed behind with Tom Hayes, who had discovered his daughter Sarah dead among the ravers. Although she and Kate Dennison tried to talk with him and keep him grounded, he ended up as a Spectre, although he eventually returned to the group, now a new company formed by Kate called Lazarus Redux.
Annie also discovered a few new things about herself during this period. She found out she was a lesbian, even having a brief affair with another spirit. More importantly, another ghost gave her a name for her abilities: Marrow. She was a shapeshifter of sorts, and it was her ability to adapt that made it so hard for Orpheus to find out what she really was.