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Meri Lin Ling begins her story in Negative One as a twenty-year-old unmarried pregnant woman. She has been with her significant other, Fred Fisher, for a long time (since she was in high school), but her parents don't accept him as a good suitor for their daughter because he is not Chinese and supposedly therefore could not possibly understand their family. Her parents are very traditional and they would consider her marriage to him as losing her to the American culture. Somehow they don't have as much of a problem with her having his baby as they do with her marrying him.

Luckily, Fred is quite dedicated despite his own parental issues and hers, and he is very happy to be starting a family with her.

Meri Lin is the older daughter in a family of four, with a mom, a dad, and a sister named Lissa Lee who is two years younger. She begins the story part-way through a liberal arts degree at NYU, which she will finishes up slowly after her baby is born.

Her storyline in the comic follows the story of her family issues, her pregnancy, and her preparation for the baby's arrival, but then after the baby is born she has to face some very difficult situations. Please don't continue to read the next section if you would rather be surprised about the very strange situation the baby presents.

Shortly after baby Amanda is born, Meri Lin starts noticing some unexplained phenomena in the apartment, leading to the ultimate discovery that her baby can make things move just by thinking about it. Rattled by the realization that her baby is special, she does research and panics when she finds out there is no record of any other person in existence who can do what her daughter does. Fear about her daughter's fate leads her to hide the child from the world, afraid that her baby will be taken away if she's ever found out.

Meri Lin journeys through motherhood as the parent of a very unique baby. She has to figure out how to discipline her child and how to teach her to limit her talent as well as figure out what it's good for and keep her safe in the meantime. Poor Meri Lin is a bit excitable and paranoid, but she's doing the best she can. . . .

Another rather major spoiler follows:

When Meri Lin has to endure one of the hardest things a parent can ever deal with--the loss her her child when Amanda disappears from her room--she predictably has a very tough time of it, but she finds that she has an unexpected core of strength that allows her to keep her head and sail the stormy waters. She works hard to find her daughter, teaming with law enforcement, but the efforts yield no results. She eventually grieves her way to acceptance and goes back to school. She later becomes pregnant a second time, and she wonders what she's in for. Her son Benjamin is new on the scene, and seems almost too good to be true when it comes to normal milestones. She remains cautiously optimistic. . . .

My favorite Meri Lin pictures (click on the small pictures to see large, good quality scans):

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