Vanessa was a scientist working in the Landing Operations Control Center of the British National Space Centre. In the year 2003, she was involved with the launch of the Beagle 2. She was also a descendant of Charles Darwin.
Beagle 2 interception
- "Done and done. Computer's in its bag, systems normal, and best of all... nobody suspects a thing."
- ―Vanessa stealing the communications of the Beagle 2.[src]
Around 1998, Vanessa was contacted by Robert Getas, who showed great interest in the LOCC's missions. After being offered a large amount of money, Vanessa agreed to work with him; though over the five years they kept in contact with each other, they never met face to face.
During the holiday season of 2003, Vanessa stayed at the control center with several of her colleagues, as they nervously awaited news of their landing spacecraft, the Beagle 2, which had been launched six days previously. Vanessa intercepted the Beagle 2's signal, and secretly routed the results and control codes to her own laptop. To everyone else, the Mars Express mission was slated to have been a failure.
Immediately after, Vanessa left the building to deliver the laptop to Robert Getas, though she was halted by a security guard. Initially nervous, as she had stolen valuable information, Vanessa calmed down once the guard asked for her signature so that he could clock her out.
Following this, Vanessa traveled to meet her contact at a preordained location, a café. Though she had researched his appearance, she had some trouble spotting Robert in the crowd, which amused him. Afterwards, the two of them sat together and amiably began discussing Vanessa's payment, as well as the Beagle 2's actual progress.
As she and Robert left the café, Vanessa laughed at the irony of her trading off the Beagle 2, as she was a descendant of Charles Darwin, who had formulated the theory of evolution after his expeditions on the HMS Beagle, from which the spacecraft had taken its name.
In response, Robert stared at her for a moment, before proposing a new deal for Vanessa. After Robert offered her the chance to work for him at his office, Vanessa was hesitant, as the money he had just paid her was more than enough for her retirement, though the man was eerily insistent.
Robert advanced on her, saying that "money [was] too easily spent," and that the two of them could "make history" together. Even as Robert insisted that he would fly her with him back to his facility, Vanessa was unnerved by his sudden interest. However, she was equally hesitant to refuse, as Robert still had connections with the money she had been paid.
Upon stepping backwards, Vanessa bumped into a large man, who then covered her face with a cloth, presumably soaked with a drug or sedative, that caused her to lose consciousness. From there on, Vanessa's fate remained a mystery.
Personality and characteristics
- "I must stop missing important moments in their lives, but for today, I need to be here."
- ―Vanessa thinking of her children.[src]
Vanessa was a friendly and industrious young woman, who was quite dedicated to her career. She was skilled enough to steal the Beagle 2 communications without anyone in her workplace noticing, and was successfully able to act innocent, despite her nerves at being caught.
Though Vanessa doted on her two young children – Matthew and June – to the point that she was even teased for the "shrine of kid photos" she built on her desk, her relationship with them was distant; something she always regretted. As such, she did not hesitate to agree to trade off the Beagle 2 to Robert Getas, as he promised her enough money to never have to work again, which would presumably allow her to spend more time with her children.