First Appearance: Introduction of Trudy (December 29, 1998)
Full Name: Trudy Trueheart
Height: 5' 7" (170.18 cm)
Weight: 130 lb (58.97 kg)
Distinguishing Characteristics: Obnoxiously happy smile, mentally unstable(?)
Marital Status: Single
Trudy was the last of the original main cast to evolve, and is certainly the hardest to define. The problem is, I'm not exactly sure how to define her. Despite what may seem straight forward on the surface, she is arguably the most complex character in the GPF universe, with many confusing and conflicting layers. It's best to follow her long and twisted history to get some clues about how she ticks.
When Trudy first appeared, she seemed to be nothing but a gorgeous, innocent, perpetually smiling and happy young woman who was nothing short of a marketing guru. She was hired to be GPF's marketing director, and attacked this task with a passion. She is a stunning woman, as Fooker quickly noticed, and loves to flaunt it.
Then strange things started to happen....
Trudy began to metamorphosize. A darker, more sinister side began to surface, and we started to see her true colors. At first, the signs were subtle: graphically violent metaphors to "slaying" the competition, kicking puppies, that sort of thing. But her malicious, sadistic actions began to freak out everyone, especially those aimed at Fooker and Ki.
We eventually discovered that Trudy was a truly diabolical mastermind, with wholly sinister designs for each member of the GPF crew. Some seemed to be mere tauntings and tormentings, like her repeated jabs at Fooker and Ki. Others were more complex; for some hidden reason, she seemed obsessed with making Nick fall in love with her. She has even been rumored to be the mastermind behind the entire Nerdvana scam, and was eventually revealed to be a member of the ever elusive and secretive criminal organization, C.R.U.D.E. Everything she did seemed to have ulterior motives, all of which pointed to some greater, grander, more hideous plan than we could ever imagine....
That plan eventually surfaced in Surreptitious Machinations. Guided by a future version of herself, now ruler of the entire world, our Trudy began to methodically disassemble GPF Software from within and without, scattering her coworkers across the country. All of this was necessary to isolate Nick and have him build the ultimate weapon she needed to complete the cycle and conquer the world. However, her plans were ultimately shattered by the time-traveling Todd who, aided by Ki, Fooker, and the others, wrestled Nick away from her influence. With her plans destroyed, Trudy was then at the mercy of her C.R.U.D.E. cohorts.
To date, we do not know how she escaped from C.R.U.D.E., but we do know she kept busy in the interim. After a quick visit to her parents, Trudy tried to seek entry to the mysterious Concordat through Funny Farm's Clifford Mayers. In the rash of back-stabbing that ensued, she was again on the run, this time in worse shape than before. Emotionally broken and on the lam, she traveled erratically across the United States, looking for sanctuary. During this time, she was tormented by strange dreams as her conscience began to attack her and she sought help from a certain young and impressionable hacker. Online, she apparently went by the alias of "s1r3n", and changed her appearance to avoid capture. But the most devastating blow to her psyche was witnessing Nick's proposal to Ki; she seemed genuinely disturbed by the scene and fled into the night into an uncertain future.
Eventually, Trudy reached her lowest of lows. After a brief scuffle with the U.G.A.'s Agent #18, Trudy was left battered and injured, ready to die of hypothermia. In the nick of time, she was taken in by Dr. Akhilesh Sehgal and slowly nursed back to health. During this time, Trudy doubted her own sanity and even attempted to commit suicide. However, Dr. Sehgal's persistent determination kept her alive long enough to let her regain her mobility and listen to the good doctor's religious pontifications. Trudy eventually continued her run from the law, but on one condition: that she take Sehgal's Bible with her.
Near the beginning of To Thine Own Self..., we learned that Trudy eventually succumbed to her guilt and surrendered herself to the U.G.A. to stand trial for her crimes. It was then that she was swept into a bizarre series of events, including meeting her alternate self from another universe. Her alternate self, a dedicated freedom fighter in the resistance against the sinister Emperor Nicholas the Puissant, insisted that Trudy travel with the expedition to rescue Nick. During the climactic final battle, Trudy was knocked unconscious by an explosion. Her alternate convinced the others that she was "their" Trudy and that she intended to stay behind in the alternate universe as a way to atone for her past sins. She also convinced the group that Trudy was really the alternate Trudy, and that she should return with them to have the prospect of a better life without despotic emperors and interstellar wars. When the gang returned to their home universe, their own Trudy came with them, although everyone believed she was the alternate Trudy. For several years, she walked a terribly fine line, pretending to be someone she wasn't and frightened that revealing the truth would only make matters worse. After another run-in with Dr. Sehgal, who begged her to share her burdens with someone, Trudy eventually confided in Fooker about her real identity, stating he was "someone I know I can't hurt".
Things came to a head when Nick and Trudy were sent by Dwayne on a business trip that would last about a week to meet with Lakatos Pharmaceuticals. No one liked the idea of Nick and Trudy being alone together for that long, but there were few other viable alternatives. During the trip, the pair stumbled upon a convoluted plot to "induct" small business leaders into a mysterious collective supposedly controlled by "the Colonel and the Key Master". During their attempt to evade capture, Trudy's true identity was revealed, which Nick did not take well. Before they could come to a resolution on the matter, their getaway car crashed, sending them to the hospital. When Trudy came to, she discovered she had been shot and was now suffering amnesia, unable to recall what happened at the Lakatos resort. Although she did not remember what happened, she suspected that she had hurt Nick deeply, possibly by revealing her true identity. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Trudy or Nick, Fooker revealed to Ki the truth about Trudy's identity which he had known about for some time. He then challenged Ki to keep that secret from Sharon lest that information destroy her hopes of reconciling with her family.
It was during To Thine Own Self... that we discovered that Sharon is actually Trudy's younger sister, given up for adoption shortly after birth. Sharon seems quick to help Trudy adjust to her "new life", but Trudy fears that her intention to learn more about their family tree will only lead to complications.
Ironically, the new surname given to Trudy by the U.G.A. is "Niemand", German for "nobody". As Trudy put it, "The U.G.A. always had a sense of humor."
Trudy had an important, if seemingly unconnected, subplot leading up to and during Scylla and Charybdis. After Nick had been surreptitiously replaced by "Nega-Nick", who in turn had become a Physaric "puppet", the former emperor plotted a nebulous revenge against Trudy, believing her to be her "alternate" from his own universe. However, his fusion with his alien controller mysteriously endowed him with the alien's touch-based telepathy, a fact accidentally revealed when he and Trudy brushed hands. Unsure of what to make if this experience, the two dubbed this phenomenon "the link". "Nega-Nick" repeatedly pressured Trudy to experiment with this "link", although Trudy refused, fearing she might lose control of herself. During Scylla and Charybdis, the pair were sent on another overnight business trip, during which "Nega-Nick" took advantage of Trudy dropping her room key to create an imaginary sexual encounter via the "link". Trudy recovered and broke the link, but struggled through the remainder of the trip, uncertain if the images she saw were his thoughts forced upon her or her own desires being revealed. She eventually confronted him in his hotel room. During the argument, "Nega-Nick" lied about his crumbling relationship with Ki and how he still had feelings for her. After several heated exchanges, Trudy slapped him, then initiated sex. As they made love, the scene faded to white, a visual indicator that the "link" was active.
Some time later, "Nega-Nick's" Physaric symbiote double-crossed him and used his nap in their afterglow to telepathically contact its allies. A Physaric-controlled S.W.A.T. team raided the hotel room, rendering the pair unconscious. Trudy came to aboard the Physaric ship, where she was about to be converted into a "puppet". The process failed for unknown reasons, after which she was promptly sent "to the comestibles" deep within the bowels the Physaric "ship". Mysteriously, her amnesia broke, flooding her with memories, including the realization that the "Nick" she slept with wasn't Nick. She was quickly discovered by her mother, who herself had been sent into the "ship" creature's gullet by Colonel Lionel Barker. Esther revealed what she knew about the Colonel's plan, as well as the fact that Trudy's father was dead, apparently at the Colonel's command. Trudy and Esther remained in the "ship's" digestive system until after the story's climax, when they were rescued by a Grey and Physaric search party.
After Scylla and Charybdis, Trudy joined the other volunteers to help search for the missing Earth. Nick and Ki were cautious about her volunteering, but Nick said that if she "did her part", her "penance" might be "paid in full". However, during a routine medical exam, she quickly discovered the "link" was still active and she could initiate it herself, although it appeared to be one-sided. She eventually revealed the existence of the "link" to Nick and Ki, as well as its origin. Nick proposed running controlled experiments to test the extent of Trudy's new-found "power", hoping that it would uncover clues to how to locate and combat "Nega-Nick".
In Sharon's dream world of Harry Barker, Trudy has undoubtedly overcome her past with Trent and the two are now married, living out their lives as free from dreaded technology as possible. They have a son, Travis, and are the reluctant guardians of Sharon and Fooker's orphaned son, Harry. Little do they know of their young ward's potential, however....
- Trudy interviews at GPF
- Miscellaneous Trudy mischief
- Trudy torments Ki
- Trudy torments Fooker
- Trudy moves in next door to Fooker
- Trudy learns Ki is really "Pookel"
- Trudy's Tips for the Truly Evil
- Trudy's new boyfriend, Butch, clobbers Fooker
- A ghost from Trudy's past is revealed
- Trudy tries to steal Nick from Ki
- Trudy's mysterious phone call
- Trudy discovers Fred and Persephone
- Trudy makes some new, sinister allies
- Surreptitious Machinations:
- The evil is all in the family...
- Double, triple, and quadruple crossing the competition
- Trudy encounters strange bedfellows
- Corrupting America's youth... and finding redemption in the process...
- A visit to "b0r0m1r" turns into a terrible shock
- Trudy finds providence
- Whole for the holidays
- Sisters confer while Fooker suspects
- An overnight business trip with Nick
- Post-traumatic retrograde amnesia
- Ki confronts "alternate" Trudy, and an uneasy truce is formed
- Trudy and "Nick" have a surprise discovery
- "If I'm going to do something I'll later regret, I'm going to do it right."
- Trudy discovers the "link" is still active
- Sharon Murphy, Trudy's younger sister
- Esther Matusevitch, Trudy's mother
- Victor Glowerhausen, Trudy's father, presumed deceased
- Gwynn (last name unknown), Trudy's distant cousin
- Jason "Fooker" Barker, Trudy's brother-in-law
Trudy is, by far, the most complex and complicated character in the GPF universe. Early on in the strip's run, some readers accused her of being very one dimensional, which to some extent was true based on what we knew about her at the time. As the series has progressed, however, she has been revealed to be an extremely dense and flawed character. Should she ever seek therapy, I'm sure she'd be able to send several generations of psychologists' children through college.
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