- "You're right. We can fight back."
- ―Tess to Phil Coulson
Tess is a resourceful inhabitant of the Lighthouse, striving to be self-sufficient in very desperate circumstances, but she has hung on to her hopes for a better future for herself and those closest to her. She was killed by the Kree Watch when they suspected her to have kept Flint, an Inhuman hiding from them before being brought back by Kasius.
Life in the Lighthouse
Tess is one of the inhabitants of the Lighthouse, the space station sheltering the remnants of the Human population following the Destruction of Earth. During this time, she befriended Virgil and Deke Shaw and also frequently traded with Flint, allowing him to sleep nearby the Trawler's docks when the ship was not being used.
Protection from the Kree
Supposing that Deke Shaw had used the Trawler, she went to find him and asked him where Virgil was, only to find that his friend had been killed by Vrellnexians. Enraged, Tess demanded to know what had happened and Deke introduced to her the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that had been sent to the Lighthouse. Although doubtful at first, she agreed to believe that they were not from the Lighthouse after noticing that they did not wear Metrics. Tess agreed to double Virgil's price to have Deke looking for the agents that had been taken by the Kree while the others remained with Tess.
Tess brought Phil Coulson, Melinda May and Jemma Simmons to the Exchange, explaining how the life in the Lighthouse worked following the destruction of the Earth. Coulson asked her to take him to Virgil's room, and Tess agreed, leaving Simmons and May and telling them to blend in the crowd. On the way, Tess explained that they knew very few about the life of the past Humans. They also met Grill, the manager of the Salvage, before finally arriving into Virgil's room. There, Coulson found a hidden log but Tess could not tell him what it was.
Tess and Coulson returned to the Exchange, only to find that Simmons had been taken by the Kree. Deke, who joined them with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, was distressed by the news, but Tess told Deke that she started to believe that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents could really help them. After Deke left, May asked Tess to help her change her bandage. When they returned, Tess discovered that a Renewal was being held. Tess and May fled to get to safety and reached the Exchange, where Holt was threatening the lives of Coulson, Alphonso Mackenzie and Yo-Yo Rodriguez. May fought Holt and Tess eventually shot him, claiming that someone had to die.
- "That's math. A life spent is a life earned. That's how it works."
As Tess was still in debt with Grill, she required to enlist some of his workers to bring him his supplies. Therefore, Phil Coulson, Melinda May and Alphonso Mackenzie accompanied her to the Trawler. However, they secretly planned to use the spaceship to fly to some coordinates indicated in Virgil's log. Tess was doubtful about the relevance of this mission as the coordinates referred to some dead rock and they would be risking a lot should they get caught. Furthermore, Zev, Grill's right-hand man, joined the mission, making the mission even more difficult.
While Zev was busy with Mackenzie, Tess joined Coulson and May in the cockpit. They discovered that Virgil was using a secret radio to communicate with other people. However, before they could further investigate, Zev found them and tried to stop them as he suspected them to be stealing from Grill. However, Zev was knocked unconscious by Mackenzie. Tess was worried as attacking Zev doomed them all. She suggested to abandon him into space and pretend that it was an accident. However, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents refused to do so. Later, they discovered that Virgil was talking with people living on the surface of the Earth.
Zev finally regained consciousness and sabotaged the fueling system, forcing the party to go back to the Lighthouse. Back at the Exchange, Zev reported the attack and Tess offered to take the blame for the team. Fortunately for her, Yo-Yo Rodriguez set Zev up to make Grill believe that he was the thief he was looking for. Thus Grill decided to spare Tess and her associates and sentenced Zev to death instead.
Some time later, Tess informed Phil Coulson, Yo-Yo Rodriguez and Alphonso Mackenzie that the Kree had come to harvest children to make them undergo Terrigenesis. They went to where the ceremony was taking place and recognized Flint, a young man with whom Tess used to trade. Tess went to find Flint and reassured him before he was submitted to the Terrigen Mist. Flint did get enveloped in a Terrigenesis husk, but when it opened, there was no one inside. Not understanding what had happened, Tess asked Coulson, who took her to the Exchange. It turned out that Rodriguez had taken Flint to keep him from being sold as a living weapon.
Figuring out that he could not escape the Kree by remaining at the Exchange, Tess decided to prepare the Trawler so that Flint could hide in it for a few days. On her way, she was found and interrogated by the Vicar, who asked her whether she knew of Flint's whereabouts as he had seen her talking with Flint before his Terrigenesis. Tess insisted that Flint was merely a trade relationship and that she did not know where he was. However, the Kree were not convinced and they eventually killed her. They later hanged her body with an inscription commanding to deliver Flint to the Kree Watch.
- "Kasius said he smothered the fires of death with the blood of the eternal."
- ―Tess narrates her resurrection
Tess' corpse was reclaimed by Kasius, who ordered his doctors to bring her back to life. When Alphonso Mackenzie, Yo-Yo Rodriguez and Flint led an uprising against the Kree Watch in order to take control of the Lighthouse, Kasius sent Tess to deliver a message: Mackenzie, Rodriguez, Flint, and all children older than ten were to be delivered to him, otherwise he would obliterate the Lighthouse. Indeed, Tess and the others discovered that the Lighthouse was rigged with complex bombs scattered on different floors.
Despite the threat, Mackenzie and Rodriguez decided to reject Kasius' offer. Instead, they went to level 35 and gave Tess some blood and a fragment of a Terrigen Crystal that she was to hand over to Kasius. Tess went back to Kasius' Suites and delivered the message: Mackenzie and Rodriguez wanted to meet with Kasius, threatening to destroy all the stuff he needed to breed more Inhumans. After choking Tess in anger, Kasius agreed to meet his enemies, taking Tess with him. After the confrontation went wrong, Kasius triggered his bombs, which shook the entire level and enabled Tess to join her friends, out of Kasius' reach. Mackenzie destroyed all the Kree material in their possession and Tess and the others escaped, much to Kasius' anger.
Future to Build
- "Future's up to us now."
"There's a lot that needs fixing."
"You're right. Here's your blueprint."
- ―Tess and Flint
Tess informed Alphonso Mackenzie and Yo-Yo Rodriguez that she had heard an Inhuman being tortured when she was resurrected. While Rodriguez and Mackenzie argued about whether the former should go to find the captive, Tess discussed with Flint, expressing her admiration at the idea that he could have a role in saving the world.
Tess made her way to the Trawler docks, where she reunited with several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Deke Shaw, who were helping inhabitants of the Lighthouse to escape. Phil Coulson then came to see Tess and shared his own experience about being brought back to life. After that, Tess boarded the Trawler with the task of taking the refugees to safety.
As Tess and Flint watched the explosion of the Lighthouse caused by Shaw and Enoch, Tess solemnly asked Flint whether he was sure that Shaw was dead. Flint answered that Shaw was dead, but that his sacrifice and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents' actions had helped them to give the other inhabitants a second chance. Tess took Virgil's toy Earth and declared that they had a whole planet to rebuild.
Tess is a resourceful and brave woman who does her best to survive in the Lighthouse. She does care for people that she trusts, as shown when she is deeply saddened by Virgil's death and helps Flint to survive in the Lighthouse, allowing him to sleep in restricted areas. She is interested in knowing what the life on the Earth looked like before its destruction despite the fact that she cannot easily distinguish fact from fiction. However, being a lively and curious person does not mean that she has no dark side. She expressed a ruthless pragmatism when she suggested to kill Zev so that he would not report her and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to Grill, arguing that ending his life was the only way of saving their own. Similarly, she did not hesitate to kill Holt as she considered it the only way of saving Melinda May. Thus, like Deke Shaw, she can express annoyance or incredulity regarding the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents' behavior, although she genuinely believes that they can help the Humans in the Lighthouse.
|Appearances for Tess|
In chronological order:
In an alternate timeline: