|“||They don't understand. Once I control the world, life will be better for everyone!||„|
|~ Countess Crey|
Clarissa Van Dorn (real name: Julianne Thompson), better known as Countess Crey, is the head of Crey Industries in the videogame City of Heroes. Regardless of offical titles such as President or CEO, which are often filled by stand-ins and cut-outs for legal purposes, everyone in Crey knows perfectly well it is the Countess who runs the company. Many heroes of Paragon City have found-out first hand the levels of depravity Crey commits and have seen enough "circumstantial" evidence of Countess Crey's oversight of such schemes. The Countess has psychic powers that she has genetically induced through perfected bio-engineering.
Rise of a Countess
In 1989 Alphonse Crey, nicknamed "Count Crey" in the business world for his building of a modest pharmaceutical business empire, was the world's most eligible and wealthiest bachelor. Count Crey met Clarissa Van Dorn and in just one short year the two were married, together they were hailed as "Count and Countess Crey". One year after the marriage, Count Crey tragically fell into a coma one that has persisted to the present day. What most people do not know is Countess Crey is the one who keeps the count in his current state, at first through drugs and currently through psychic manipulation. To the public the Countess is an engimatic figure having to do with the leadership of the company and nothing more, in the media (which Crey have heavy ties in) the Countess is a charismatic, devonaire entrepreneur. Most super-heroes have a strong suspicion the various crimes commited by Crey scientists and researchers are not so-called rogue employees but agents under the Countess's direct orders, not that anything ever sticks.
Crey Standards and Practices
Crey has commited many underhanded crimes from dumping waste in public parks, to druging the water supply with sedatives to make the populace more complacent, to kidnapping meta-humans, to brainwshing it's own employees, to literally destroying competitors, to killing witnesses. Many of Crey's shady deeds have not made their way into public knowledge because of Crey's influence on the media in fact few crimes ever get tried because of "disappearing witnesses", "police misconduct" or "circumstantial evidence" that gets thrown out by a few choice judges Crey has in their pocket. The few cases that have been charged as crimes are held against the immediate project overseers who the Countess washes her hands of and has actually called many heroes that have disrupted her plans to "express her sencerist thanks for weeding out the corruption of lone agents in her company". Those caught by the heroes redhanded and bought to trial never implicate the Countess and take full credit themselves for the crimes knowing better than to turn on the Countess even with the laughable offer of police protection and legal immunity. In some cases the Crey patsies do not even get the chance to be questioned and will either wipe their own memories, take suicide pills or suffer sudden comas induced by the Countess herself.
Where in the World is Julianne Thompson?
But there is a darker side still to the story of Countess Crey one even most heroes do not know. While working for the contact, Janet Kellum, heroes will be asked to answer the distressed pleas of a woman named Pamela Thompson whose daughter, Julianne, seems to have vanished many years ago. Looking into Julianne Thompson's disappearance, heroes will find Crey covering up any evidence and destroying any leads at every turn. As the missions go on many Crey workers can be heard casually asking why they need to cover-up evidence and why the Countess hasn't just ordered the termination of of Pamela Thompson to put the matter to a quick rest. Over the course of the mission the hero will discover that Countess Crey is in-fact Julianne Thompson, she had killed the real Clarissa Van Dorn and stolen her identity then used her new persona to marry Alphonse Crey and was using drugs and later psychic powers to keep him in his coma. At the end of the mission-arch the Countess destroys all evidence of her past but allows the hero to send word to Pamela Thompsons off the record that her daughter is alive and well.
The hero, Manticore, organizes a Task Force for a team of heroes to expose Countess Crey once and for all. During their attempts to get hard-evidence of Crey's wrong doings and the Countess's direct knowledge and oversight of them the heroes will be implicated as thieves of Crey files, though most law-enforcers know Manticore's Task Force is innocent Crey uses the incident to hire the Protectors to track them down. Though the Protectors claim to be a mercenary group of heroes under contract with Crey; in truth they are clones spliced together from the unlawfully seized DNA of various meta-humans of Paragon City and given programed memories making loyalty to Countess Crey top priority. After fighting off the Protectors the heroes of Manticore's Task Force will continue to press the attack to bring Countess Crey to justice and eventually seem to trap her in a Crey black-market operation but her bodyguard, Hopkins, makes a late appearance at the end of the mission when the Countess is supposedly surrounded to take the blame for her and while heroes are dealing with the highly trained super-strong Hopkins in the Crey warehouse, Countess Crey is fleeing the country to the Rogue Isles for both non-extradition and to establish an over-seas alibi. After the Task Force the charges against the heroes are dropped by Countess Crey as "thanks for once again catching a corrupt agent using her company for his own gain". In the end regardless of legally-binding evidence the Countess has fled the country and thus can not be tried for anything.
Facing The MusicIn the Rogue Isles villains will have a chance to teach Countess Crey a lesson, twice, in-fact. In the mission for Regent Korol, a mutated psychic for Arachnos, super-villains will be sent to punish Countess Crey for operating in the Rogue Isles without Lord Recluse's direct consent and during the mission for Viridian, a wet-works specialist for Arachnos, super-villains will be asked to invite Countess Crey to workout a more favorable deal with Arachnos. Arachnos has a much much smaller burden of evidence than Paragon City or the US in general, and if common-sense tells them someone is up to something rather than resolve issues with trials and hearings Arachnos prefers to use bullets and carpet bombings.
Countess Crey is eventually bought into US federal custody when she returns to the States to defend her company for, of all things, a massive lawsuit over environmental pollution, she is still facing legal proceedings. Though she has not been locked up yet, the trial has not been going in her favor and all she can do, even with her crack legal team and psychic powers, is draw out the proceedings.