|“||We live in a room, and there's a poster on the wall. We stare at it and we think that's the whole world. The room... and the poster. But it's all a lie. Something to distract us from the truth. The room's not the world, the world... is much bigger, and much stranger.||”|
Jesse Faden was born in 1991 and grew up in the town of Ordinary, Maine. Her brother, Dylan, was born in 1992, and the two were very close, often playing together at a local landfill site. The two were friends with Dylan's classmate Neil Hosenberg, who was often teased at school due to his asthma, particularly by student Tom Barlow and his gang, including Frederick "Freddy" Bartwell and a boy named Hugo.
In a later therapy session, Jesse admitted to having felt "lost" during her childhood, "thrown away." She also harbored some resentment for her parents.
See also Ordinary AWE
On August 30, 2002, when Jesse was eleven years old, she and Dylan discovered that the dump site they played at had seemingly shifted, enabling them to travel deeper inside. There, they discovered an old slide projector which they discovered had the ability to open doorways to other dimensions, or "slidescapes," by projecting the images seen on individual slides. Jesse later reported that there were nine slides, though Dylan claimed there were only eight. After their discovery Jesse, Dylan, and Neil began to explore and play in the slidescapes, though Jesse was averse to some of them, namely "Meadow," which caused them to have strange dreams, and "Temple," home to an entity they dubbed "the Not-Mother."
In one particular slidescape, which the children named "Hand," Jesse and Dylan encountered a mysterious, unseen intelligence which communicated to them telepathically. The entity told the children that they were special, and "made them special." Jesse grew fond of the entity, and named it "Polaris" after the star. The children continued to visit the slide dimensions frequently over the subsequent two weeks, and Neil in particular visited Meadow quite often. However, Tom Barlow beat up Neil and forced him to reveal the location of the Slide Projector. Neil was then trapped in Meadow as Tom and his gang stole the Projector, taking it to their hideout at Sled Hill Cave.
Tom and his gang began their own explorations into the slidescapes, eventually falling under the influence of the Not-Mother, who fed them her "milk" and began to alter their behaviour. This culminated in Tom and the gang attacking and murdering their math teacher, Mrs. Chester. Following this, Tom and the gang were taken away by the police, and Jesse and Dylan were interrogated about the Slide Projector by their parents. Jesse recalled wishing for her parents to disappear, and the next morning, she and Dylan found that the entire adult population of Ordinary had vanished without explanation. They then followed Tom and his gang to their hideout, discovering that the Not-Mother was transforming them into monstrous entities they dubbed "Dung Monkeys."
Jesse grabbed the Slide Projector and they began to run away, pursued closely by the Not-Mother and the Dung Monkeys. When they were almost about to be attacked, Neil suddenly reappeared and saved them, though according to Dylan, Neil now had the appearance of a "melted dog." The Slide Projector would not turn off, so Jesse turned the slide to Hand, where she asked Polaris for help. Polaris instructed Jesse in how to turn off the Slide Projector, which resulted in the instantaneous disappearance of the Not-Mother, the Dung Monkeys, and Neil. Jesse subsequently burned all of the slides except for Hand.
Responding to the disappearance of Ordinary's adult population, the Federal Bureau of Control sent a team led by Director Zachariah Trench and Head of Research Casper Darling to investigate. Jesse and Dylan led them to the Slide Projector, at which point the Bureau attempted to apprehend them both. Jesse was able to escape, but Dylan was captured by the Bureau, and taken away. Jesse would be consumed with guilt over this event.
Life after Ordinary
For the next seventeen years, Jesse drifted between jobs and residences, at one point working as a janitor. No one believed her stories about the events in Ordinary, as the FBC had covered up these events and declared them to be an industrial accident. Jesse was placed under psychiatric care for a number of years, though her psychiatrists consistently disbelieved her stories about Ordinary as well, claiming that she had invented them from her imagination. Jesse remained resolute that the events in Ordinary had indeed happened, but felt lost due to the world around her not believing the same.
Jesse spent much of her life searching for the Bureau which had taken away her brother, but was unable to find them. Unbeknownst to her, that very same Bureau monitored her consistently due to her unique paranatural abilities and connection to the Ordinary Altered World Event. Polaris also remained in distant contact with Jesse, and Jesse would occasionally receive messages from her. However, these messages did not become significant until September 24, 2019, when Jesse became convinced that Polaris was summoning her to New York City. She subsequently left her current residence in Cheyenne, Wyoming and crossed the country to reach Manhattan.
Discovery of the Oldest House
See also Hiss invasion
On October 29, 2019, Jesse arrived in New York City and was guided by Polaris to the Oldest House, an enormous Place of Power and the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control. Inside, Jesse encountered the Oldest House's janitor, Ahti, who directed her to the office of the Director, Zachariah Trench. In Trench's office, Jesse discovered that Trench had seemingly shot himself, and, after touching Trench's Service Weapon, was made the new Director of the FBC by the Board. Jesse then learned that the Oldest House had been invaded by a hostile force of resonance which Jesse referred to as "the Hiss," which had turned Bureau agents into its mindless slaves. A number of Bureau agents had survived thanks to devices called Hedron Resonance Amplifiers, which had been developed by the Bureau's missing Head of Research, Casper Darling.
Jesse began working with the Bureau to stop the Hiss, but only as a means to the end of finding the whereabouts of Dylan. She used a Directorial Override to open the closed sectors of the building, then found and aided Head of Operations Helen Marshall to learn the whereabouts of Dylan. Marshall revealed that Dylan and Jesse had both been candidates for the position of Director, but Dylan had proven too unstable and was imprisoned in the Containment Sector. Dylan then appeared in the Executive Sector and voluntarily turned himself in, revealing that he had embraced the Hiss and considered it his liberator. Dylan told Jesse that the Hiss had entered the Oldest House through the very same Slide Projector Object of Power that they had discovered in Ordinary, and Jesse subsequently left to search the Oldest House for it.
During her search, Jesse learned that Darling and Trench had orchestrated several expeditions into the slidescape Hand, which they referred to as Slidescape-36, where they discovered an entity that they named Hedron - the source of the resonance protecting the HRAs. Encountering Hedron, Jesse believed it to be Polaris, only to witness its death at the hands of the Hiss. Jesse's mind was then invaded by the Hiss, but she was able to push it out by finding the resonance of Polaris within herself, thus preventing the Bureau's destruction. In the process of this, Jesse learned that Trench had been responsible for the Hiss invasion, having been corrupted by the Hiss during the expeditions to Slidescape-36, and released it through one of the slides that Jesse burned in Ordinary.
Dylan broke out of containment and found the Slide Projector, entering the Astral Plane and attempting to corrupt the Board. However, Jesse was able to stop him, and purged the Hiss from him, causing Dylan to fall into a coma. Jesse subsequently shut off the Slide Projector, preventing the Hiss from entering the dimension, but corrupted Hiss agents still remained in the building.
See also Expansion 1: The Foundation
See also Expansion 2: AWE
Objects of Powers Bound
- Jesse is portrayed by actress Courtney Hope, known for her role as the character Beth Wilder in Remedy Entertainment's previous title, Quantum Break.
- Jesse's former hometown, Ordinary, appears to be a direct allusion to Remedy Entertainment's previous game Alan Wake's American Nightmare, in which a secret message can be found that reads "It will happen again, in another town, a town called Ordinary." Ordinary was also the subject of the Alan Wake ARG blog "This House of Dreams."
- If the Federal Bureau of Control's official status as an organ of the U.S. government is taken at face value, this gives Jesse Faden the unique distinction of being the youngest head of a federal agency in U.S. history (At 28 years old in 2019).