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"I wanted to see the stars so badly. I should have waited."
- Volume 1, Prologue, P.5

Phillis Lennox (also known as Philena) was a military intelligence translator for the United States Air Force at the Nellis Air Force Base until 1947, wherein she was shot while trying to escape. The series depicts her growing relationship with the recently arrived EBE-1. Phillis is one of the co-protagonists of Trying Human, and as of July 2020, currently appears in all six volumes.

The events of 1947 leading up to Phillis' death is shown co-currently alongside the plot set during the modern-day and is signified through the use of sepia-toned flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter.

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Early Life[]

Phillis as a young girl.

Phillis was born in the United States, and soon after was handed into a Catholic orphanage where she was raised. Nothing is known of her parentage. When Phillis was a child, she often cycled and would play and explore the nearby woods where she would tie trees with string. One night, she wandered into the woods during the middle of Winter and quickly became lost. Before Phillis succumbed to exhaustion, she was rescued by who she believed to be a Priest and was returned. Since then Phillis became a devout follower of her faith.

Phillis joined the United States Air Force as part of the American war effort as the country entered the Second World War in 1941. Here, she was trained to translate predominantly Russian intel. 

Volume 1 (Chapters 1 - 4) []

Phillis is shot.

At night, Phillis is seen trying to flee Nellis Air Force Base carrying what appears to and sounds like a baby. Whereas a Grey and Walter Edwards watch on, Dr Glasner argues that she is stealing documents and shouts that she needs to be stopped at once. As Walter Edwards hesitates, Phillis is shot through the chest by Walter's gun. As Phillis falls and starts to bleed out, the Grey takes her in his arms and talks to him before she loses consciousness. The scene fades to RED.

We are then taken to sometime before Phillis' escape, where she is working on a translation at the Base. She is interrupted by Walter, who asks her to help with a recently crashed pilot. The pilot is alive but unconscious, and they hope he may respond to another language, such as Russian. As Phillis enters the sickbay, she realises the pilot is not human and is, in fact, a Grey. While she goes to talk to him, Dr Glasner locks her inside the sickbay chamber to Walter's horror. Understandably nervous, Phillis takes out her prayer beads for comfort and tries to initiate conversation. While successful, she is grabbed by the Grey who replies: "I hear you".

Phillis and EBE-1's first meeting.

Later on, Phillis goes into the cell where they are keeping the now conscious Grey to check up on his recovery. After introducing herself, to which the Grey names Philena, she tells the Grey that the Base's team has named him Extraterrestrial Biological Entity - 1 or EBE-1 for short. After a quick discussion, Phillis leaves but tells EBE-1 she will back soon, and to ask for her if he needs anything.

Volume 2 (Chapters 5 - 8) []

Phillis is entranced by EBE-1.

The next day, Phillis, Walter and Dr Glasner visit the Base's hanger to discuss the mechanics of the ship that EBE-1 crashed in. With a special interest in how a deceased comrade of EBE-1 was used to purportedly power the ship, Phillis offhandedly expresses sympathy for the Grey and is lambasted by Dr Glasner as Walter comes to her aid. When Dr Glasner leaves in a huff, Phillis reveals to Walter that she has been able to talk to EBE-1; Believing EBE-1 to be humble and insecure. Walter doubts her claim and becomes concerned that she is getting too involved in the project, telling her that a "Woman's place isn't around Martians and Flying Saucers". Phillis responds by bluffing that she misspoke when trying to talk about EBE-1's demeanour. After an awkward silence, she accepts Walter's invitation for an on-base date.

That night, Walter returns Phillis to her living quarters after an evening of dancing. Before he leaves, Walter once more warns Phillis to remain wary of EBE-1, much to her bemusement. As she prepares to go to sleep, EBE-1 telepathically summons her to his cell and she starts to walk to him against her will. As EBE-1's cell starts to glow when Phillis grows close, she pleas: "I'm scared". Suddenly, EBE-1 grabs Phillis by the throat and shouts: "Then fear no more!" The cell door slams. Walter overhears the commotion and arrives to help but it is too late. The cell door reopens, and a newly RED infected Phillis is revealed and only utters: "RED". Phillis faints as EBE-1 drops her into Walter's arms, and is whisked away to Dr Glasner's office.

Phillis is infected by RED.

After examination, Phillis gains consciousness and recounts the vision she had that forwarns the coming of 'something' RED that will stop everything, and the team's work would all be for nought. She is taken back to her quarters. A few days later, Phillis is allowed to work with EBE-1 again but only if he is under heavy restraint, much to Phillis' dismay. In order to try and understand her RED visions, she tries to question EBE-1 on RED itself but he becomes confused and instead notes how unhappy Phillis appears to be. Despite initially resisting, she relents and holds EBE-1's hand while stating "I'm drowning in you". Before being disturbed by the appearance of Walter and having the session quickly ended.

Volume 3 (Chapters 9 - 12) []

Phillis goes to her pigeonhole with Walter to check the incoming mail and reveals to him that she is in the process of filing her resignation from the Air force so that she can settle down and start a family; something that she's always wanted to do. Excited at the prospect, Walter offers to help her as he himself has no one waiting for him but Phillis accepts the offer a friend's basis. During the conversation, Phillis recognises that the next day would be Sunday and her best chance to observe and participate in communal worship as part of the 'Lord's Day'. Although initially resistant, Phillis manages to convince Walter to care for EBE-1 on that day.

Volume 4 (Chapters 13 - 16) []

Volume 6 (Chapters 21 - 24)[]

This is the most recent Volume of Trying Human. This section shall be updated once Volume 6 is completed.

RED[]

Phillis' first vision of RED.

Since being infected with RED by EBE-1, Phillis has developed numerous mental abilities such as telepathy, cosmic awareness, precognition, memory manipulation, hallucikinesis and the ability to resist Grey telekinesis. Phillis' powers tend to be triggered by physical and emotional stress, and RED's influence is notable when it causes her eyes to glow. RED's relationship to Phillis is somewhat parasitic in nature, as it's growing presence continues to sap her energy, strength and free will.

At it's most influential, RED causes Phillis to speak in vague riddles and see visions. Both in the main Trying Human storyline and in official art, Phillis and RED's relationship is displayed quasi - religiously, suggesting that Phillis' role in RED is that akin to a doomsday prophet or an active catalyst. In Phillis' flashbacks, the influence and/or presence of RED is denoted by how even on the sepia-toned pages, any red item retains its colour.

Life after 1947[]

Occasionally Phillis' eyes glow red.

Shortly after Phillis was shot down, Dr Glasner was able to save Phillis' life by submerging her into a reworked Grey Preservation Chamber that was intended for EBE-1 and attached Phillis to a sophisticated life support machine. She is kept in Dr Glasner's office behind a modesty curtain, but she is put on display when Dr Glasner receives trusted guests. Phillis appears to not have aged since 1947 - most likely due to exposure to Grey technology - and because of the support, she no longer needs to eat or drink but is shown to be visibly frail. While not explicitly stated, it is assumed that Phillis was saved and preserved against her will as she has tried to telepathically reach out for help from Rose to no avail, and is seen visibly upset at her condition in Chapter 13, P.472. Phillis uses these telepathic abilities to speak to Dr Glasner thorough a teleprinter in short sentences.

Phillis during one of her moments of lucidity.

In Chapter 18, P.670, Dr Glasner insinuates that once upon a time Phillis was able to leave the confines of her chamber. However, the long-lasting effects of RED have caused mental deterioration and gradually left Phillis in a completely catatonic state that Magnus describes as "Practically a piece of furniture... one step up from a coffee table". Phillis' condition appears to be an open secret across the Base and the MAJESTIC - 12 team are largely indifferent to her plight. Officially, Phillis is recorded as deceased.

Visitations[]

Phillis visiting Rose.

During her confinement, Phillis has been able to create short-lived projections of herself using the abilities given to her while being infected by RED. She has only been shown to use this ability towards Rose and it is unclear if this is a deliberate choice by Phillis herself or the result of a deeper, unknown connection between the pair. Phillis appears when Rose is alone, upset or in distress to help calm Rose down and give her the reassurance she needs to continue by taking various forms such as herself, a street dealer, and a fairy. So far, Rose is the only individual who has been able to see Phillis' projections while conscious. When EBE-1 conducted a mind scan in Chapter 16, P.550 of Rose, Phillis' presence was replaced with various RED iconography. Once more, it is unclear if this was a deliberate obscuration by Phillis or the effect of RED.

Phillis last visited Rose in Chapter 16, P.526, where the visit took a more sinister turn. Here, she projected herself as her eyeless RED - prophet persona.

Phillis takes on many forms during the series.

In a brief scene in Chapter 21, P.800, Phillis cameos as a mystical gorgon in Don's retro videogame.

Dream Sequences[]

Phillis has also appeared in the dreams of various characters in Trying Human.

Rose[]

Phillis' first sequence with Rose was in Chapter 14 and is notable for being the single dream appearance where she sustained regular conversation (without riddles) and was light-hearted in nature - similarly to her other visitations - until Phillis was overtaken by RED and the dream abruptly ended.

Phillis during one of Rose's dreams.

In Chapter 18, P.634, Phillis is presented as large vaudeville puppet in a classic Music Hall stage show named 'Philena, Queen of the Moon Presents: 51 Ways to Die' holding a potted rose. While asking for help to escape, she recounts to Rose her childhood of playing in the woods and eludes to being controlled by EBE-1.

Hue[]

The short sequence starts when after Hue is shot in the arm, and upon becoming unconscious he dreams of laying next to Phillis after the events of the Prologue in Chapter 17, P.617. She asks him: "Do you see the stars?" before he suddenly wakes up.

Roger[]

When Roger is placed unconscious by Shade after her visit in Chapter 22, P.874, he is momentarily stunned during his dream to see a silent, RED infected Phillis surrounded by red - strung trees in the woods near Rose's family farm.

8[]

After 8 dreams up her own variation of the Prologue during Chapter 23, P.940, she falls to the right of an unconscious Phillis who disappears once 8 is approached by 6.

Hidden Appearances[]

Throughout Trying Human, Phillis ominously appears dressed in her 1947 uniform during the modern-day plotline. Her presence generally forwarns/indicates major plot developments in the series.

Volume Chapter Page Caption Image
III 10 229 Phillis appears behind Roger and 6 as they leave the Base's holding cells.
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IV 16 566 Phillis appears as Rose's reflection as she talks to EBE-1.
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V 18 Front Cover Phillis appears as a shadow behind Magnus.
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VI 21 823 Phillis appears in the ship behind Brevis' right-wing.
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VI 21 839 Phillis' blood-splattered feet are seen above Brevis' head.
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VI 22 910 Phillis appears behind Magnus and the falling war scythes.
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VI 23 970 Phillis is seen cowering/hiding from Roger during his breakdown.
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