Name: Dr. Ena Shaw
Concept: Fringe Scientist
Skills: Extraordinary IQ and scientific knowledge base, vast library of obscure occult knowledge, and equipment for research and experimentation.
Dr. Ena Shaw has coppery-red hair, wavy but cropped at her shoulders and, usually, drawn up in a pair of ivory or silver combs. She's slight of figure with long, slender legs, and is remarkably good-looking for a scientist who, so far as anyone is aware, has no dating life. She has large, Irish green eyes, full lips, small breasts. Supposedly, she runs daily to and from campus from a few miles away, though she rarely follows a pattern that can be easily predicted. She sometimes wears narrow, light glasses that she either perches atop her head or lets hang from a carved-bone-bead string around her neck. Her lab coats of heavy, protective synthetics are rarely sufficient for her kind of work, and she might as well be found in a full rubber apron and HAZMAT mask as the traditional professorial garb. For lectures-- when she actually shows up in person-- she tends to favor simple, modern takes on classical fashions-- tight black sweaters and Victorian boots, Summer-print dresses from Anthropologie, or-- if she's wrapped up in her work-- coveralls, corduroy pants and flannel shirts, or even cargo pants.
Ena Shaw was a child prodigy in math and science who attained 4 PhD's by the time she was 25. She spent years at Oxford conducting research and teaching in chemistry, evolutionary biology, and quantum mechanics and theoretical physics. Her work led her on several long sabbaticals, and gave her access to apocryphal science from ancient cultures and classified government operations. She contracted work for the US Defense Department as part of her tenure.
During the course of a prolonged investigation in Massachusetts into a pattern of magnetic disturbances and odd social behavior, she made a number of breakthroughs in connecting quantum physics with apocryphal rituals she'd unearthed in the estate remnants of an eccentric heiress. Somewhere during the course of her research, however, something either a) went horribly wrong, or b) went too right, too quickly. Early one morning, three of her lab assistants were found catatonic following what appeared to be an act of sadomasochistic copulation gone horribly awry. Ena Shaw herself was found two hours later wandering the countryside in her underwear-- evidently, she'd suffered a nervous breakdown.
She was unable to work again for the better part of two years. As rumors and speculation abounded regarding the questionable nature of the brilliant, dangerous, and morally ambiguous work she was conducting, she was dismissed from Oxford on surreptitious grounds. Her security clearance was rescinded, and she was institutionalized somewhere on the East Coast for evaluation and a rehabilitative mix of counseling and pharmaceutical therapy. Her lab equipment went into storage pending investigation upon her release-- an investigation that was inexplicably dismissed two years ago. She accepted a post to teach Theoretical Physics and Microbiology at The University.
Effectively filling two exceptionally specialized tenure positions, she has a small staff of Graduate Teaching Assistants, a wide variety of technology, and even a marginal budget at her disposal.
Oh, and she has time for extracurricular activities. As in, for instance, acting as faculty sponsor for a little-known student organization...
Still young by comparison to her colleagues, Ena's now 30 and has, surprisingly, seemed to have recovered completely from the mental break. She's broken ground a hundred times over into the realms of paranormal research; her lab, in fact, is a frightening collage of totemic items and personally-modified scientific instruments. Nightmares have plagued her, and what was at first a circumspect awareness of disturbingly insightful occult lore has now become a fixation for her-- her life's work will be to bridge the connection between mystical, horrifying legend and undiscovered science. In doing so, however, she's realized that she'll need to be far more than a scientist... she'll be an outlaw, a heretic, and a kook.