Theory:Niki Sanders

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Main Article Theories about Niki, Gina, and Jessica Sanders Main Discussion

The following fan theories are about Niki, Gina, and Jessica Sanders.

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Theories

Theory Citations Notes
Niki, Tracy, Barbara, and possibly others are experiments created by Linderman through the Pinehearst Company. Each of the children created were given powers through use of the formula that Kaito entrusted to Hiro to protect. Linderman claims to Niki that he has been guiding her entire life (The Hard Part)

Dr. Zimmerman claims to Tracy that he created her (One of Us, One of Them)
+ Jessica and Tracy have different abilities.

+ Tracy told Nathan that she did some work at Pinehearst, and she is featured in a video on that company's website.
- Angela claims that Primatech created Tracy, Niki, and Barbara. (One of Us, One of Them)
- Linderman operated Primatech, which seems to be Pinehearst's rival.

Jessica's ability wasn't that of enhanced strength but body insertion. When Peter was stuck inside Jesse, the effects with mirrors were used to indicate that Peter was inside Jesse's body but that everyone saw and heard Jesse were exactly the same as the effects used to indicate Niki and Jessica "switching out". (One of Us, One of Them) + Peter was able to use Jesse's power while he was inside his body. This would provide an explanation for how Niki/Jessica works - Jessica uses Niki's super-strength.
Being stuck inside Jesse's body may have simply prevented Peter's power from extending beyond Jesse. It's possible he still used empathic mimicry on Jesse.

+ This might be where future Peter's body insertion comes from.
- It was still Niki; Peter wasn't exposed to powers while he was inside Jesse, so he wouldn't be exposed to someone stuck inside someone else either.
+ Maybe Jessica inserted herself into Niki's body so she could survive, and then Jessica revealed herself later.

It's unknown if it's possible to insert oneself into somebody.
- Both Jessica and Gina look exactly like Niki. As we know, there are only three 'Zimmerman' sisters - Niki, Tracy and Barbara. We know that Tracy was never inserted into Niki, so even if Barbara is in fact Jessica or Gina, one personality remains, and it would be a sister number four, which doesn't exist.
Maybe to insert yourself makes you weak, while inserting somebody else doesn't take so much energy of the other person. That's why Jessica is not always in charge and also why she showed up only so much later.
- When Peter was inserted into Jesse, the latter was never 'in charge'.

- So Gina was inserted into Niki's body as well? It's very unlikely two people can be inserted into one body.

Jessica is a separate entity inside Niki, and was placed inside Niki by someone else using a body insertion ability so she could protect her sister. None + Every time Jessica comes out the Helix appears. This doesn't happen to other personalities such as Gina. This means something is special with the alter ego, personality or even entity, Jessica.

+ Jessica has appeared at times to want out of her sister's body. Not being able to control the means by which she was trapped inside it could explain why Jessica acted in the way she did.
+ The Company may have an agent or prisoner in their possession with this ability, and used it in order to extract Jessica from Niki's body when they agreed to help Niki. This could mean that Tracy Strauss or Barbara is really Jessica.

- As far as we know, Tracy never knew Niki, so it could probably be Barbara. But there was also Gina within Niki's body, so there would be four sisters, not three.
Gina was the one who attacked Bob in Fight or Flight, not Niki or Jessica. None + At the end of Season 1 Niki and Jessica integrated into one personality, so Jessica couldn't be the one who attacked Bob.

+ In Four Months Ago Gina is the current personality existing in Niki before she turns herself into the Company.
+ Gina, just like Jessica would be able to access Niki's enhanced strength.
+ Bob stated when Niki was in her room that dealing with a split personality disorder will be difficult to cure.

Sometimes, Bob is explaining his viewpoint in events like Niki's attacks on Bob. Either his motives on Niki were not enough explored throughout volume 2, or he wanted others like Mohinder to help Bob save himself from Maury.

- Gina seems more focused on fun and hedonism rather than violence.

+ Gina might have been unpleased she was imprisoned.
- Gina would have responded to that by smashing through a wall and leaving, then heading out to the nearest party. She lacks the violent tendencies of Jessica.

- "Gina" didn't appear until Niki stopped taking her medication. After doing that led to D.L.'s death, it seems unlikely in the extreme that she would ever do it again.

Niki was the descendant of Adam Monroe. None + Adam took the alias Richard Sanders.
- Seeing as how Niki may have been adopted by Hal, then she is not of an actual Sanders bloodline descendant.
+ The fact he took Richard Sanders as a name is very likely not to be a coincidence.
- If Niki was indeed adopted (which is very likely), than Adam may be an ancestor of Hal and Jessica, not Niki or any other triplet.

She may be descended from the Maria from Italy who had two sons.

Niki was an ex-wife of Adam, or was his eleventh wife but has simply tried to block him out of her memories. None - Niki was married to D.L. Hawkins.

- Adam was imprisoned for thirty years. There's no way he could marry Niki.

The Company lied to Niki when they diagnosed her as having multiple personality disorder. They really wanted to keep her under their control until she was needed. Rather than treating her condition directly with therapy, as is usual practice in most cases where MPD is brought on by trauma (as it was in Niki's case), The Company just used medication to keep her heavily sedated. (Four Months Ago) + The Company is not above lying to people in the guise of trying to help when they are really more interested in controlling them. Most of their activities involving Peter are proof of that. (Four Months Ago)

+ For that matter, "The Haitian Pills" that Peter was given to neutralize his powers didn't seem to have the same sedative effects as the medication Niki was on. It seems unlikely, if the Company truly had the means to chemically neutralize a person's superpowers, that they would use such things on a time-bomb like Peter and not on someone who really had no desire to use her powers and just live a normal life like Niki... unless they had a use for Niki in mind.

There is a secret hibernated army of Niki clones. None + There have been a secret army of Julien clones and an army of Evan clones in the past.
- Julien and Evan's powers were to clone themselves; this is not Niki's power.

+ Someone could have cloned Niki multiple times.

- Other than evolved humans with cloning abilities, there's no indication of cloning or cloning technology.
+ She could have came from someone with said cloning abilities.
- Clones have identical DNA, therefore they should all have the same ability, if they get one.
+ Genetic modification may have occurred.
+ Perhaps phenotype also comes into play when it comes to the abilities one receives.
The Jessica personality was simply created behind the scenes by Maury Parkman to further Linderman's agenda in Season One. None + In Season Two, it was revealed that Maury was working for Adam and that Linderman had been Adam's disciple. Maury tends to lend himself out to be the muscle for whoever the big bad is each season (Adam in season two, Arthur in season three). Due to Linderman's working with both Adam and Arthur it isn't hard to believe that Maury would work for Linderman too.

+ Linderman had been manipulating Niki's and DL's life from the very beginning and this was another example of that.
+ Maury has the capability to create the elaborate hallucinations that Niki has when arguing with Jessica and the ability to keep people trapped in their own minds much like he did to Molly Walker (The Kindness of Strangers'').
- But Maury's power is incapable of making Niki do all those things that Jessica did.

+ Actually, it is capable of that.
Niki's ability grants her super durability. In Fallout, D.L. hits Jessica with a sledge hammer but she gets up straight after. + This would explain why Jessica was not hurt after being hit by D.L. (Fallout)

+ This would coincide along with the "The Rule Of Ted", or ability immunity, to protect her from braking her hand when she super punched something.

Niki's adoptive mother Kelly Sullivan will eventually appear on Heroes. None + The writers may have revealed the name of Niki's adoptive mom for a reason.
Kelly Sullivan might be related to David Sullivan.
Niki's mother and father adopted Jessica and were told Tracy and Barbara had died. Tracy and Niki's birth certificates say they were born in 1974, but Jessica's birthstone says she was born in 1976. + Tracy was unaware Niki existed.

- Tracy is an important and known woman, if she were actually Niki's adoptive mother's biological daughter, the entire Sanders family would know.

Tracy, Barbara and Niki aren't actually triplets, but clones of the original. None - If that was so, it wouldn't explain how two of them have vastly different powers, considering powers have roots in blood chemistry, and that triplets have the same DNA.
Being triplets does not explain this either, then.
+ Genetic modification may have occurred.
Niki is not actually dead, but her death was faked by the Company, Pinehearst or some other organization and she is currently recovering incognito. None + Even though we saw her in the coffin, she looked way to natural to be someone who was killed by fire. Surely her body would be too heavily damaged to be done up by make up to look reasonable.
- That was most likely a plot hole, of which Volume Three was full enough.
There is a massive industry in corpse beautification. Through use of skin grafts, silica gel, and various other substances, a person who had their face burned off could be restored to the point where an open-casket funeral was possible.
+ It could have been an illusion too.
- No reason for it to be.

+ She is a valuable asset.

- There are various other evolved humans with the ability of enhanced strength, besides mentally stable.

+ It would be very easy for a model made to look like Niki to be placed in the coffin under wraps.
- The events that took place in Powerless don't seem remotely manipulated as Niki took it upon herself to enter the burning warehouse causing her unfortunate departure.

+ However, someone monitoring her could have saved her, like with Candice and Sylar and then made arrangements for a duplicate to be placed in the coffin.

- There have been multiple mentions of Niki being dead both in-universe and out.
Faking her death would cheapen the show, which can't afford to lose more viewers.

Gina and Jessica were multiple personalities and the Company were telling the truth, but because of Niki's nature as an evolved human, they have transformed into psychological locks which Niki has to pick in order to access new abilities and to help her learn how to use them well. Jessica was the first and Gina would have been the second if it weren't for Niki's untimely death. None. + Niki did not learn how to use her super strength until the end of the first season and a lengthy conversation with Jessica about it.
Niki may have accessed it in the female correctional institution when she broke the guard's baton.
+ It would also make sense that Jessica took so long in teaching Niki that Niki was the strong one all along if she wanted her to see what the power could do in the wrong hands and get used to it, waiting until she was really ready to initiate the session in "How To Stop An Exploding Man".
- All Niki had to do was to believe in her own strength, and she was encouraged by D.L. and Micah, not Jessica.

+ If the whole point of Jessica was to help Niki cope with her super strength, then it would make sense that she subsides after Niki learns.

- If Jessica was merely a teacher, she wouldn't have threatened the man Niki loved.
+ Not necessarily if it was to protect Niki, which is pretty much the only reason that Jessica surfaces.
- Teaching how to cope with one's ability and self-defense are different things. Jessica's goal was to survive and take care of Micah - ordinary female instincts.
+ It would also make sense that if she starting taking her MPD suppressing med then her abilities would stop advancing. Likewise if she stopped taking her meds her advancement would continue and voilá a new personality to help her through a distinctly different ability.
- The med was supposed to help her with her split personality, not to suppress her powers.

- Evolved humans only have one natural ability.

Sometimes abilities develop.
Jessica's tattoo was similar to those of Michael Fitzgerald. None + Michael Fitzgerald's tattoos glowed when he used enhanced strength. Quite a long time Niki couldn't use her ability on her own, so Jessica emerged. Each time that happened, the Symbol tattoo appeared on her shoulder and disappeared when Jessica was gone.
Jessica is Niki's alter ego, but Gina is a multiple personality formed from all of the stress. None + Jessica was a real person, and told her father that she "took every punch so Niki wouldn't have to" implying that she always existed in Niki's body, and took over when their father became abusive. Jessica also tries extremely hard to help her sister no matter what the cost. Gina just copies something that Niki did once, rather than acting like her sister.
- Bob, as a member of the Company, and much more knowledgeable about abilities, stated that multiple personalities was the way Niki's body found to cope with her ability. Jessica's statement could be merely memories suppressed by Niki which another personality had access to.
+ Bob may have been lying to Niki to gain her trust.
- Bob could have gained her trust saying true things in a manipulative way. He could instilled a fear that if her ability got out of control she hurt her family. Lying would be an unnecessary effort if he could use the truth.
Niki is related to Samuel Sullivan. None + The name of the mother of Niki is Kelly Sullivan, so she may be related to Samuel.
- Niki was adopted.
+ Kelly Sullivan was Niki's birth mother.
- Kelly Sullivan was the name registered in her birth certificate, along Hal Sanders, who isn't her biological father. She's not Niki's biological mother.

+ Samuel stated to Tracy that "we are all connected".

- Micah said the same thing to Sylar.
"Jessica" was more than a delusion; she was a 'ghost' created by Jessica's consciousness becoming lodged in Niki's mind. None + Jessica was obsessed with protecting Niki. If she possessed some form of astral projection (or even telepathy), she may have projected herself into Niki.
- It could be just MPD: Niki saw Jessica protect her from Hal and subconsciously created an identity similar to her sister.

+ Two other characters (Hana Gitelman and Richard Drucker) have proven able to survive the destruction of their material bodies. While there are major differences, it does show that this theory is possible.
+ Whenever Jessica took control, the Symbol would appear on Niki's right shoulder blade. Multiple Personality Disorder does not cause physical changes in its sufferers as they change personalities.

- It could be an artistic license to show which one was in control.
- Given Heroes' dedication to maintaining a certain degree of scientific plausibility, deciding to represent personality changes in such a fashion would be out of character.

- After Niki stopped taking her pills, another personality which never existed took control.

+ If Jessica inserted her psyche into Niki while she was dying, the effort would have been rather rushed. This may have lead to psychological trauma, which devolved into MPD once Jessica left.


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See Also: 9RedTime travelNiki Sanders