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I'm the finger down your spine when all the lights are out. I'm the name on all the men's room walls. When I pout, the whole world tries to make me smile... and everyone always wants to know "Who - Is - That - Girl?"
~ Jeanette, introducing herself
Isn't it obvious? I'm about to rid the night of this deviant, backstabbing whore! Do you realize that despite her condition, she still... fornicates with Kine, no less! So despicable! So UNCLEAN!'
~ Therese, threatening to murder Jeanette

Therese & Jeanette Voerman are a duo of minor antagonists featured in the 2004 video game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Influential Santa Monica personalities, the Voerman twins have controlling influences in local real estate, nightlife, fine art, and even Kindred politics; Therese herself currently serves as the Anarch Baron of all Santa Monica, though her drive towards order suggests she may be considering Camarilla membership in order to advance her ambitions.

Unfortunately, the relationship between the two sisters is anything but harmonious, thanks in part to their wildly differing personalities: where Therese possesses an almost puritanical obsession with order and morality, Jeanette delights in chaos, promiscuity and mischief - especially when it comes to sabotaging her sister's plans. As such, when the player beseeches Therese for assistance in finding Bertram Tung, it's not long before the unfortunate Fledgling ends up caught in the crossfire between the two siblings.

Towards the end of the Santa Monic arc, it's revealed that Therese is a Malkavian vampire suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder, and "Jeanette" is just her secondary personality - thus explaining why the two have never been seen in public together.

Both Therese and Jeanette are voiced by Grey Delisle, who also voiced Azula in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Appearance

Like most vampires, the Voerman "sisters" have not aged since their Embrace, and apart from their pallid complexions, both appear to be perfectly ordinary women in their early-to-late twenties. However, in keeping with their opposing personalities, Therese and Jeanette dress in directly contrasting styles befitting their personalities: as the responsible, business-minded sibling, Therese dresses in conservative businesswear, keeping her hair tied back in a tight bun and disparaging all but the subtlest makeup; though she wears glasses, these are likely an affectation given that she doesn't appear to experience any vision difficulties without them.

As the the more anarchic of the two personalities, Jeanette wears a midriff-exposing shirt and miniskirt reminiscent of a cheerleader, along with a red satin choker around her neck and a large quantity of eyeliner, greasepaint and lipstick decorating her face; as if to emphasize her childish nature, she keeps her hair in pigtails. On close examination, she appears to have heterochromia: one eye is pale grey, while the other is dark green. However, this is likely a colored contact lens given that Therese does not exhibit heterochromia, and the two demonstrate no other such physical differences.

Towards the end of their story arc, the two personalities battle for dominance, their internal struggle symbolized by a sudden merging of appearances: the resulting fusion is dressed in Therese's business suit, and the left side of her face is arranged according to her personality, minus her glasses; however, the right side of her face is still smeared with Jeanette's makeup, and her hair has been tied into a single pigtail. This merger of identities is referred to as "Tourette" in the game files, and should the player succeed in getting Therese and Jeanette to make peace, they will greet the player in this form for the rest of the game (though only in their private haven, of course).

Personality

Therese and Jeanette Voerman are polar opposites, every personality trait in direct opposition to the other: where Therese is conservative and chaste, Jeanette is free-spirited and promiscuous; while the older sibling possesses an almost fanatical belief in order, the younger of the two respects nothing but chaos; where the Baron of Santa Monica is straightforward and businesslike, her Childe is dramatic, theatrical and deliberately mysterious; where one is responsible, dignified, reasonable and stoic (to a point), the other behaves as childishly as possible - giddily cooing over new arrivals, giggling over every bit of mischief committed, pouting whenever she doesn't get her way, and bursting into tears whenever someone insults her.

However, neither of them can be called the "good" personality, as both of them have villainous traits and both of them can become the player's enemy: Therese may seem to be the more reasonable of the two selves, but as her sister rightly points out, she's a dyed-in-the-wool control freak, and her obsession with order often drives her to judge others for their failure to fit into her narrow worldview: for this reason, she treats Jeanette with a mixture of parental condescension and holier-than-thou moralizing, and regards members of the Nosferatu Clan as "unclean" and "loathsome" for their anarchic intrusions into her affairs. She appears to suffer from an extreme aversion to physical contact, refusing to feed directly on humans except through blood bags stolen from the clinic, and angrily lashing out at her sister when she discovers that she's been having sex with humans. Likewise, though Jeanette is unpredictable and sometimes extremely selfish, she never judges others by their appearance: not only will she flirt with Nosferatu players, but she's been carrying on a relationship with Bertram Tung. Despite the ongoing feud, she still cares more about Therese's opinion than she cares to admit, and is easily driven to genuine tears by her dismissal.

Both "sisters" are capable of immense selfishness and villainy, especially at the height of their feud, when they are fully prepared to manipulate, imprison, endanger and murder bystanders in order to undermine one another: if given the opportunity, Jeanette will not only destroy the paintings Therese was attempting to exhibit, but also throw the Hotel ghosts' pendant into the ocean, trapping the two spirits in the ruined building for all eternity; Therese can retaliate by sending a gang of thugs after the player, believing that Jeanette is guilty of "corrupting" the Fledgling - and then attempt to murder Jeanette in cold blood. For good measure, Therese secretly controls Santa Monica's blood bank via her ghoul assistant Vandal: quite apart from the fact that Vandal is being kept enslaved through his dependency on vampire blood, Therese not only steals vital medical supplies in order to avoid having to directly feed on humans, but readily accepts her ghoul's method of restocking the bank - namely by kidnapping vagrants and draining them to death.

As members of the Malkavian Clan, Therese and Jeanette are both insane: Therese is completely unaware that she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, and never once acknowledges that Jeanette doesn't actually possess a physical presence; even when the player attempts to draw attention to this, the Baron cannot process the information, nor does she seem to comprehend the fact that shooting her "sister" will mean shooting herself. However, both personalities appear to suffer from other personality disorders apart from DID: Therese's obsession with order and stability would seem to imply Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, while Jeanette's promiscuity, theatrical behavior, easily-hurt feelings and unstable relationship with Therese could represent Histrionic or Borderline Personality Disorder.

Ultimately, the Voerman Sisters still care for each other despite their animosity and wildly-differing personalities: both will mourn if one of the two personalities dies, and their relationship with the player can easily be left in ruins. However, if the player encourages the two of them to reconcile, the Voerman Sisters recall the happier times they shared in the past and decide that they don't really want to be parted after all; with Therese agreeing to grant Jeanette more responsibility and Jeanette deciding to use her gift for seduction to help Therese, the sisters unite to rule Santa Monica as a team.

History

The Daughters Of Janus

It's not known exactly when Therese Voerman was born, though Jeanette claims that their last sunrise was "two lifetimes ago" and her comments regarding her sister's "turn of the century barbs" suggest that she may have been born in the last years of the 19th century. By all accounts, Therese's childhood was anything but happy: from a very early age, her father refused to let her out of the house, claiming that the outside world was too dangerous to risk his only daughter on; while it can be assumed that Therese learned much of her later obsession with rules and regulations from her father, this approach to parenting left her to spend much of her days alone with her thoughts, prevented from interacting with the other children.

Eventually, Therese's father took more extreme steps to keep his daughter by his side, and his desire to protect her gradually degenerated into incestuous lust. Therese was molested several times while in her father's care, though as an adult she denies it - even claiming that her father was "a good man" who sincerely loved her because she was "a good girl." However, it was here that Jeanette first came into being: unable to acknowledge that she was being raped, Therese began to imagine that the sexual abuse was happening to someone else, eventually dissociating her own involvement so well that this imaginary character took on a life of her own. Freed from the awful reality of what was happening to her, Therese was able to enjoy a happy childhood of sorts with Jeanette's help, for though she was still kept from leaving the house, the two of them spent hours inventing worlds of their own for them to rule over as they saw fit. For a while, despite their father's abuse, they were happy together.

However, their friendship came to an end when their father died, though the exact cause of his death is a matter of some dispute between the two sisters: Therese claims that Jeanette's bad behavior escalated as the two of them matured, and she took to making her father miserable out of sheer spite, eventually driving him first to drink, then to suicide; Jeanette claims that Therese "walked in" while her father was molesting her, and in a fit of jealousy, she armed herself with a shotgun and "blew his mind out all over the silly clown wallpaper." After the police investigated the murder/suicide, Therese claims that "they" tried to separate the two personalities, indicating that she was committed to a mental hospital, and though Jeanette claims that the doctors were successful in breaking them apart for a time, Therese "found" her again as soon as she escaped the asylum.

It's not known how long Therese remained incarcerated, when she broke out, when she was finally Embraced or even why (a somewhat redundant point considering her sire's clan). However, it's clear that her recruitment into the Malkavian Clan brought her disorders to life in new and unexpected ways: all Malkavians are insane to some degree or another, and the instability of the two personalities only intensified as they were ushered into the Madness Network. Few outside the ranks of the Malkavians knew of their true nature, readily believing Therese's claim that she'd Embraced Jeanette in the first place; behind the scenes however, Therese's obsession with order spiraled into megalomania and Jeanette's desire to experience the world turned petulant and envious.

After many decades weaving through the Anarch domains of Los Angeles, the two "sisters" made their way to Santa Monica: though the area did have a vampire population of sorts, nobody had attempted to claim the area as their official territory, and Therese was able to exploit the power vacuum by establishing herself as an Anarch Baron. Establishing a small but profitable nightclub known as the Asylum, she used it both as her haven and as a springboard for future business; for good measure, she also acquired control over the local medical clinic, assigning her ghoul Vandal to steal blood for her. Eventually, with the profits from the club, she was able to expand her business into local art exhibitions, and even into real estate: just prior to the start of the game, Therese set her sights on the long-abandoned Ocean House Hotel as the site of a new venue, intending to have the derelict building demolished. Unfortunately, the presence of two ghosts on the property soon began undermining the demolition team, leaving the development stalled.

In 2004, a three-way feud began between Therese, Jeanette, and a visiting Nosferatu by the name of Bertram Tung: Therese did not look kindly upon the Nosferatu's attempts to spy on the region, fearing that it would expose her many unpleasant secrets, and was absolutely enraged to discover that Jeanette was carrying on a relationship with Tung. In turn, Jeanette was sick and tired of being treated like an infant, and had hoped to gain Therese's approval by seducing the Nosferatu operative - only to escalate to deliberate sabotage of her sister's projects as the relationship grew worse. For his part, Bertram Tung couldn't care less for either of them, but once it became clear that Therese was nursing a grudge for his "corruption" of her sister, he disappeared into one of his private havens and has not been seen since.

Sibling Rivalry

The player first encounters the Voerman Sisters in the earliest story missions of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: having been sent to Santa Monica in order to blow up a Sabbat warehouse in exchange for the Prince's clemency, the player has been given very little assistance on this mission, and thus requires help from Bertram Tung in order to find a safe way into the warehouse. Unfortunately, Tung is still in hiding, and in order to locate him, the Therese will need to be talked into calling off her feud. Making a beeline for the Asylum, the player is introduced to Jeanette and Therese in short order, the former appearing on the dance floor and flirting at length, the latter interviewing the Fledgling in her office above the club. Unfortunately, Therese is not open to ending her vendetta against Tung unless she's offered something in return for her leniency, and in exchange for calling off the feud, she requests that the player resolve the haunting at the Ocean House Hotel by obtaining a personal item owned by one of the offending ghosts.

Naturally, the resulting quest requires the player to scour every last inch of the ruined hotel, all while being menaced by the ghost of a murderer and aided by the ghost of his wife: eventually, after being pelted with frying pans, almost crushed under the elevator, blasted with steam and almost set on fire, the Fledgling eventually retrieves the pendant that prompted the murderer's killing spree in the first place, and escapes the hotel. However, upon returning to the Asylum, Jeanette is waiting in Therese's office: she immediately requests the pendant, supposedly just to admire it - but if the player actually complies with this request, she promptly throws the ghostly fetter into the Pacific ocean, completely scuppering her sister's plans for the hotel and condemning the spirit of the killer's wife to an eternity trapped on Earth with no hope of finding rest. If the Fledgling remains true to the mission, Jeanette pouts for a while before suggesting another mission: Therese is staging an art exhibition at Gallery Noir in a few nights, and in yet another attempt to sabotage her big sister, Jeanette wants to player to destroy the paintings before then - and steal all the money from the charity box just to make it look like a burglary. Once again, the player is free to accept or refuse the mission at their leisure.

If the player accepts, a seemingly simple mission follows, in which the Fledgling must pacify the resident security guard, enter the Gallery and destroy the paintings in the correct order - immediately summoning the Blood Guardian charged with protecting the artworks (likely the reason why Jeanette offered this particular quest to begin with). However, if the quest is refused, a later visit to the Gallery will reveal that Jeanette has vandalized the paintings herself. In either case, Therese will blame the Fledgling for the crime - and will be even angrier if the Pendant was given to Jeanette, for obvious reasons. However, she also claims to have gone over the line in confronting her sister over her role in the sabotage, and in exchange for overlooking the player's offences, Therese then orders the Fledgling to meet with Jeanette at the Surfside Diner in order to help the two sisters reconcile.

Actually going there results in the player being ambushed by a gang of street thugs; the exact reasons for this attack vary depending on player choice: if on good terms with Jeanette, the player will receive a phone call from her immediately after the ambush, explaining that Therese wants the player dead for the hotel/gallery fiasco, and is about to kill her as well; however, if the player is on good terms with Therese, she calls to claim that Jeanette never forgave the player for refusing to comply with her desires and sent the gang for the sake of revenge. With the two sisters apparently squaring off for a final showdown, the player hurries back to the Asylum to intervene.

However, it's here that the player finally discovers the Dissociative Identity Disorder at the heart of the Voerman Sisters: now revealed to be sharing a body, the two sisters threaten to kill one another - Therese on the grounds that she can no longer tolerate Jeanette's corruption, Jeanette on the grounds of self-defense. Once again, the player has an opportunity to side with either of the two sisters: if one sister is supported all the way through the ensuing argument, the dialog will end with one of the personalities shooting herself in the heart with a revolver, apparently destroying the opposing persona for good. If Therese was chosen, she will coldly provide the player with information on Tung's whereabouts and then remain behind to mourn, eventually joining the Camarilla; if Jeanette was chosen, she will openly grieve for her sister, but eventually provide the player with Tung's current location - later resolving to remain with the Anarchs and (if the player remained on her good side) becoming a possible love interest for the player character.

Alternatively, the player can take neither side in the argument, instead attempting to mediate and encourage peace between the two personalities. Though skeptical of this possibility, Therese and Jeanette finally start to come around when the Fledgling reminds them of the time they spent ruling imaginary worlds in their childhood, and eventually admit that they don't really want to kill each other: as the situation begins to simmer down, Therese offers Jeanette more responsibilities, agreeing to treat her as an adult from then on, while Jeanette agrees to stop fooling around with Tung, instead deciding to use her capacity for seduction in order to help her sister. For once speaking in perfect unison, the sisters warn the player not to tell anyone about what happened, before providing Tung's current address. For good measure, subsequent visits reveal that the two personalities are getting along well and have even achieved a lofty station within the ranks of the Camarilla - likely emerging as one of the few unambiguously positive endings in the entire game.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Though Jeanette Voerman's role in the game is essentially negligible following the end of the Santa Monica plot arc, she still makes a notable appearance in the game when Nosferatu Primogen Gary Golden offers the player a naked poster of Jeanette in exchange for some items from around Los Angeles.
  • Malkavian players refer to the Voerman Sisters as "the daughters of Janus" - a reference to Janus, a Roman deity associated with time and duality - well known for his two faces.