Character's Full Name: Paige Brewster (Originally Margaret Rose Brewster)
Aliases: Has gone by Maggie Donovan, Rose Brewster and finally now Paige Brewster
Created By: DC
Character Type: Immortal
Apparent Age: 26
Actual Age: 101
Personality: Some see her as abrupt, rude, sarcastic and cold. She is all of those things, but she also is very self-sufficient, independent, and secretly does give a shit and can’t turn her back on someone who needs help, especially women in abusive relationships and kids in bad situations. She has few friends, but those who know her beneath the surface know that she is someone they can count on, and who has their back.
Any special skills: Dangerous with a sword but also a decent shot with a Colt .44.
Paige was born Margaret Rose Brewster in Brooklyn, New York in 1901 to a poor Irish immigrant family. She used to joke that “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” was based on her life; her mother Annie struggled to provide for them by working ceaselessly as a washer woman and laundress while her father Shane bounced from day job to day job, throwing most of their money away on booze and cigarettes.
Paige had one younger brother, Michael, and her main job for most of her childhood was raising and looking after him, since their mother was hard at work all day. She learned early how to cook, clean, sew and take care of their tiny, two-room apartment. She was the apple of her father’s eye, and she was in turn a daddy’s girl. After all, Annie Brewster was embittered, practical and cold due to having to work so hard to support them and barely tolerated her husband. Shane was good-natured and a happy drunkard who was simply happy to have a roof over his head. But Paige never nagged him; to her, he was perfect. He’d bring her presents sometimes – usually nothing more than a fresh pastry stolen off the baker’s cart or a flower picked from a nearby park – but to her, they were filled with her father’s love.
Annie did her best to raise her children pragmatically; she warned her daughter against marrying for love or letting a man sweet-talk her. “Unless you like cleanin’ the floors and washin’ other folks’ bloomers all day, you’d do well to remember that life isn’t about love. All that bloom falls off the rose quick enough.” Annie thought she was preparing her daughter for life, but the reality of it was, it just made young Maggie (Paige) dream of something better.
As soon as she was old enough, she fell in love with a young policeman, the son of a friend of her father’s. George Donovan seemed a bright young man with a great future and a steady job, and he was handsome and had no trouble charming young Maggie. But when five years passed without any children, things became strained in their relationship. George thought she was having affairs with any man who smiled at her, and she learned quickly what a mean drunk looked like. By the time she was 25, she was walking on eggshells constantly and not daring to make eye contact with anyone, let alone men.
After her mother died of a heart attack when Maggie was 25 (in 1926), her father went on a steep decline and drank himself to death. She’d wanted to take him into her and George’s home, but George would not allow it. He could not stand to let anyone else have her attention, not even her father.
On the night after burying her father in a pauper’s grave, Maggie had enough of George’s controlling. She unleashed all the anger she’d held in for so long at him, blaming him for not letting her intervene in her father’s death. She’d packed a suitcase and planned to go to her brother’s apartment in Manhattan. But George, shocked at his wife’s new backbone, flew at her in a rage. He beat her badly, breaking her arm and kicking her in the kidneys. She likely would have died of internal bleeding, had he not strangled her to death. He dumped her in an alley, assuming she would be found by a deliveryman the next day, and reported his wife as missing that night to his precinct. She’d just gone to the market, he said, but never returned home. Everyone knew he was lying; the markets closed before dark on Sundays and Maggie had just buried her father. Her close friends knew she wanted to run out on George, and that she had good reason.
When Maggie revived in the alley, she felt different. Her arm was no longer broken, and she felt as though even the air around her was somehow different. She looked at her reflection in a nearby window, and saw no bruises at all. The sun was rising, and she staggered off, covered in alleyway muck and mud, and into a church. She prayed, but felt a strange sense of emptiness where she used to feel comfort and love. She felt utterly alone. She telephoned her brother, explaining what had happened. It was the final blow when her brother told her just to go on home because her husband was worried about her.
That was the last straw for sweet Maggie Brewster. Pretending to be on an errand for her husband, she completely cleaned out their savings account that very Monday morning. She bought herself a new wardrobe, a new identity from old neighborhood friends who worked the other side of the law, and a ticket to Chicago. She never tried to find her brother or husband again; her one regret was that she didn’t listen to her mother more.
In Chicago, she started using her new name: Paige (her mother’s maiden name) Brewster. She had enough money to get an apartment and got a job as a secretary (she was NOT going to become a maid or a waitress ever, she thought to herself) to a private investigator named Marcus Morton of Morton Investigations. She grew to love the business, becoming Morton’s “girl Friday” and handling some aspects of investigations with him. She grew to trust and admire Morton, but after George, she found herself becoming more like her mother had told her to be. She would never risk losing her life and letting love make an idiot out of her again.
By the early 1940s, even her boss began to comment on how Paige never seemed to age. It perplexed her. Her boss was aging – 15 years had passed – but she didn’t look a day over 26! More than that, she never seemed to bruise and she healed very quickly. In the mid-1940’s, she met a stranger at a café on a trip to Manhattan for work. The man approached her table and said, “Let me guess. You died but woke up later, and everything felt different.” Stunned, she could only nod as he went on to tell her that she never retained an injury for long. She invited him to have a seat at her table, and that was how she met Jeremiah Weiss. He told her what she really was: immortal. He knew because he was one, too. He wanted to warn her to beware of those of their kind who may seek to kill her. He advised her to learn swordplay and be on alert when she felt others like him nearby. They exchanged information, but Paige – understandably cautious and suspicious – gave him a fake number. She was too spooked to reach out to him again.
She never did see this man again, but armed with his explanation, she went to work at detecting and uncovered that there were many more like her. She didn’t tell Morton, though; she knew he’d never buy it. But she also knew that she couldn’t stay working with him without aging.
Paige spent the following years working for other agencies in other cities, never letting her roots grow too deeply in any one place. She had flings, but no serious relationships. And eventually, in the 1970s, she started her own detective agency in Los Angeles.
It continued on like that; her most recent office was in Portland, Oregon, which was where she was when Captain Tripps broke out. She met up with another immortal there amidst the chaos, a 200-year old Texan named Jesse Starling who had gotten stranded there on a business trip. They were possibly the only two left alive, and both decided to travel together for safety when it became clear that there was no one left to save in Portland.
They had the dreams of Mother Abigail – first in Nebraska, but now in Boulder – and the dreams of Randall Flagg in Vegas. They chose Boulder, and headed in that direction. Paige found herself slipping, falling for Jesse. It was the first time she felt she could let her guard down, and the pair became lovers on the road. Then, they met a woman on the road in Nebraska. She was an immortal, but in some sort of distress, crying on the side of the road. She told them that her name was Vanessa, and that her mortal husband had just died. She invited the pair into her home.
Jesse and Paige accepted the invitation, feeling sorry for the woman. They even invited her to come with them to Boulder. She declined, and Paige got the feeling that this woman was more interested in Jesse than sad for the loss of a husband. Jesse told her she was being suspicious, not realizing that they were in the presence of something evil.
The following morning, Paige awoke alone in her bed, and found Jesse’s head on a plate in front of his seated body at the kitchen table. There was a note beside the plate: “Sorry, honey. Lost my head. Love, Jesse the Most Boring Idiot that Ever Messed with Vanessa”
It turned out that Vanessa didn’t actually live there. But Paige shoved aside thoughts of Boulder and put all her energy into hunting the woman she came to think of as simply “the Bitch Vanessa”.
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