H.I.V.E. Student. Part of SLOW (Shelby,Laura Otto, Wing)
Red hair, green eyes, pale
Higher Institute of Villainous Education
The Overlord Protocol
Laura Brand is an expert hacker who was sent to H.I.V.E. after hacking into an American military airbase to listen in on a schoolmate's conversation. She becomes best friends with Shelby Trinity, who is her roommate. She also becomes good friends with Wing Fanchu, Otto Malpense, Nigel Darkdoom and Franz Argentblum.
Before coming to H.I.V.E., Laura lived in Scotland with her mother and father. She was an only child. She became a talented hacker, excelling in all things electronic and drew the attention of H.I.V.E. after hacking into a military airbase computer system. The only person she has spoken about from this time is a girl called Mandy McTavish.
Laura first appears during the opening speech Dr. Nero gives to the Alpha Stream Students when they first come to H.I.V.E. When the new students are taken on a tour of the school and then to be fitted with uniforms she meets H.I.V.E.mind and develops a fascination with him, talking to him as if he is human.
Laura is put in the same room as Shelby and after initial friction they both soon become good friends, especially when Shelby drops the "spoiled rich-girl" attitude after she is revealed to be the renowned jewel-thief, the Wraith. She joins Otto and Wing with their escape plan and helps persuade HIVEmind to help them.
In the Overlord Protocol, Laura is dismayed to find H.I.V.E.mind has had an emotional response inhibitor added, making him incapable of displaying emotion. Her computer is destroyed by an unknown person after she intercepts a mysterious transmission.
However, Laura has memorized the entire transmission, and realizes it is protected by fractal encryption. She proceeds to decipher the code, which contains information about Otto and Wing being sent to Tokyo. Laura and Shelby go together to tell Nero about the transmission, but are attacked by Block and Tackle. Laura and Shelby manage to make them fall into pitfall traps. The pair are then attacked by Colonel Francisco, but he is subdued by the Contessa.
Laura tells Nero about the message she decrypted. Laura and Shelby are captured by Francisco, who is under the Contessa's control. They are taken to Cypher's ship. They are put in a cell, but escape thanks to Shelby picking the lock.
They discover that Wing, presumed dead after the explosion in Tokyo, is alive and free him. Wing leaves the ship on a life raft, and goes back to HIVE. Laura and Shelby go to the missile room, where Laura hacks the missile's guidance systems. The Contessa comes to stop them, immobilizing Shelby but failing to control Laura due to the ear plugs she has used. Shelby knocks the Contessa out, and Laura completes the hack. She warns the boat's captain to leave the boat. Laura, Shelby and the tied and gagged Contessa leave Cypher's ship on the speedboat the Contessa used to get to the ship in the first place, and get back to H.I.V.E.
In the third book Laura, along with the other students, is shocked to discover Nero has been kidnapped by HOPE. She agrees that they need to escape and find out what has happened to their headteacher. However, the whole school is knocked unconscious by a spray which is released through the air vents. She, along with Shelby, Wing and Otto are taken out of their rooms to the landing pad in HIVE to be shipped away.
Raven suddenly turns up, knocks out the guards and frees Otto who then persuades her to free the others as well which she reluctantly agrees to do. They then hijack one of the shrouds and Raven flies it out to a place in the ocean where they are met by a giant submarine manned by Diabolous Darkdoom who they realize is Nigel's father.
Laura is fascinated by the technology aboard the ship which is incredibly advanced.
Laura isn't very good at physical activities but excels at a
nything technical. Laura enjoys having detailed discussions with Otto about
computers, physics and electronics to the despair
of Shelby. Laura often enjoys matching her wits with H.I.V.E.mind's when she hacks into H.I.V.E.'s network.
She has red hair and piercing green eyes, pale skin with freckles and is skinny. She is also described as very pretty.
- Hacking - Laura is one of the most talented hackers at H.I.V.E., a fact even acknowledged by Professor Pike and Otto.
- Physics - Laura's knowledge also extends to this area and she is known to have a detailed knowledge of quantum physics, enjoying lengthy and complicated discussions with Otto on the subject.
Laura is also the only other person Otto knows apart from himself who can truly think in binary.
*Shelby Trinity - Shelby and Laura are best friends. Though they have a rocky relationship when they arrive, very soon they become good friends, due to late night conversations and Laura convincing Shelby to join their escape plan. From then on, the two are very close. Shelby knows about Laura's crush on Otto and though she likes to tease her about it, Shelby seems genuinely happy when Laura and Otto finally become a couple. She is very upset when she finds out about Laura working with the Disciples in Aftershock, and is worried for her safety when she is captured and taken to the Glasshouse.
- Wing Fanchu - Wing and Laura are very close friends. Though Wing was initially reluctant to trust her, he has come to greatly appreciate and rely on her skills in technology. They share many adventures together throughout their time at H.I.V.E.
- Lucy Dexter - Laura and Lucy are close friends. Laura is the first to suggest going and speaking to her when she arrives at H.I.V.E. However, throughout Dreadnought, it is hinted that Lucy may have feelings for Otto, making Laura uncomfortable. Laura is very jealous of Lucy's relationship with Otto in Zero Hour, but is devastated by her death.
- H.I.V.E.mind - Laura has a soft spot for H.I.V.E.mind. She refers to him as Big Blue, and from her first day at H.I.V.E. she is comfortable holding a conversation with him. She is upset when his emotions are taken away and relieved when they are returned in Overlord Protocol. When he reappears in Rogue under the guise of Overlord, Laura is the only one who realizes that H.I.V.E. mind was merely trying to restore himself and stops Nero from unintentionally deleting him. She missed him when he was gone and is happy when he returns.
- Franz and Nigel - Laura is very good friends with both boys, sharing classes and adventures with them.
- Otto Malpense - It is hinted throughout the series that Laura harbors romantic feelings for Otto. When Otto first sees Laura, he describes her as 'pretty'. When they are paired together in Professor Pike's class, Otto is worried Laura might slow him down, then discovers that she knows as much about technology as he does. Laura kisses him in Escape Velocity, 'a lot longer than he was expecting'. Despite this, Otto is surprised when she kisses him in Aftershock. They talk about computers and electronics together, which they are both interested in and good at. In Zero Hour, Laura is extremely jealous of his relationship with Lucy. In Aftershock, it is revealed that he told her he loved her in Brazil. She kisses him in Aftershock, and he is heartbroken when she admits she was working with the Disciples. Before she goes with Minerva, she tells Otto it was Dekker who was working for the Disciples, and tells him she loves him before leaving. After Otto rescues Laura from the Glasshouse in Deadlock Nero offers her the chance to go home to Scotland. Otto thinks that she will chose to go home, and is devastated that she is leaving, but she chooses to stay and she kisses him before telling him. During this Shelby arrives with an embarrassed Wing, followed shortly by Nigel and Franz.
- Tom Ransom and Penny Richards- Tom and Penny are polite and friendly towards Laura when they first meet. Having known Otto from their lives at St. Sebastian's, they are willing to help any friends of his. This is most prominent when Tom and Penny agree to help steal the answers to their exams. During the Hunt they are captured by the Disciples with Nigel and Laura. Though the four of them stay close to each other in Deadlock, Tom is killed as a result of Laura's plan to send a message to the outside world. Since then, Penny has distanced herself from the group.
- It is revealed in "Aftershock" that she has a younger brother, called Douglas, though she has never met him because he was born whilst she was at H.I.V.E .
- Her mum and dad are both still alive and only agreed to send her to H.I.V.E so she would not be arrested.