Ursula Richards was born in an impoverished family of South Bronx, New York
. Her mother died when Ursula was 12-years-old. Her father followed a few years later. Ursula firmly believed that poverty had first undermined their health and then their will to live. She vowed to not share the same fate. She supported herself through various jobs while aiming at academic excellency. She entered college with a scholarship and graduated with honors. In many ways a prodigy, Ursula was independently wealthy by the time she turned 21. The downside was having made no friends in all her years of studies and efforts. She had effectively isolated herself.
Ursula had secretly developed telepathic powers. Her secret life ended when the Secret Empire located her. Morgan MacNeil Hardy
(Forever Man). He offered her a substantial sum of money to participate in an experiment. Actually the telepaths who participated were tied to a Telepathic Augmenter device. The same powers which usually affected thoughts would be amplified enough to reshape reality. Hardy and his allies in the Secret Empire
wanted to reshape the United States according to their own conservative ideals. Hardy mostly wanted to to return America back to its early 20th century incarnation. Anything from the 1960s onwards represented corruption in his eyes.
Hardy had not counted on Ursula's democratic ideals. His own vision seemed racist in her eyes. She managed to summon Captain America
and had him face the Secret Empire once again. Hardy tried to take control of the reality-changing process to remove his new opponent from reality. His own stream of thoughts almost erased the entire United States from existence. He was horrified enough to try to reverse the process. He and two telepaths were killed. Ursula and Philip le Guin
, another telepath, survived.
Ursula was held in SHIELD
custody for a while but she was not considered a genuine threat and was released. The Secret Empire recaptured her almost immediately. They were planning to use her and other psychics as living weaponry. She was able to summon Captain America to the Empire's mount Charteris, Colorado base. She also found new allies in members of the Defenders
held in custody there. But determined to end their suffering, Ursula and five other telepaths merged their minds. They possessed Nighthawk
and had him initiate the self-destruct mechanism of the base. Their bodies died in an explosion.
To their surprise the psychics found themselves merged to Chorus, a single astral being with six personalities. In a series of adventures, they took over Overmind
and joined the Defenders. In Defenders
#117, the six members decided to seek closure with their old lives before fully merging. She returned to South Bronx to confront her own origin and her rage over the poverty of the area. She then was at peace before fully merging.