Shaking Down Shadows
Former Combat Inc. Merc
Street Cred: 0 Notoriety: 0 Public Awareness: 0
dark complexion with very short, dark hair and brown eyes
This somewhat larger-than-average human seems confident enough, though he’s clearly more comfortable in dive bars, pools halls and other low-life joints than he is in formal settings. He’s muscular and seems to have an attitude, though he’s capable of keeping his mouth shut as well. At first glance you can tell he’s not going to be terribly personable.
Cal had a relatively uneventful upbringing in south central Ohio, in the small city of Xenia, just outside of Dayton. His mother worked two jobs and raised him and his two sisters: one older, one younger. After the divorce when Cal was 7, his father moved to Dayton and drifted from job to job, taking the kids back to his place on alternating weekends.
His mother was half white and half Mexican, and she hated it when people referred to her as an Aztlanian. Her family had been in the country before the wars, back before there was an Aztlan. While her mother’s side of the family could look back on a tradition of rich Mexican heritage, Aztlan was a pale imitation. And all run by a giant corporation that was nothing more than a power-hungry cartel and stood for nothing but greed. Thank God some part of the US remained to give hope to this part of the world.
His father was black and was from Dayton. From what he gathered, his parents had met through a mutual friend that neither of them spoke much about as he got older. They had lived together in Xenia before the divorce. Then, when his dad moved back to Dayton he went from job to job, so much that Cal had a hard time keeping track of where he was working at any given time. Despite all this, Cal loved his time with his dad, especially their annual camping trips they took down south into the hills.
As Cal grew up, his frame filled out and he joined the football team at high school. And although there was talk of a football scholarship to Wright State, it never materialized. After all the hard work of graduating and putting his time in with weights and practice, it was all for nothing, leaving him with few opportunities after high school.
After a couple of short jobs at some local shops his mother did cleaning and maintenance work for, he finally gave in and took a job at Eagle Securities. One of his old football buddies had worked there since graduating, and while Cal never saw himself as an aggressive person, he just couldn’t ignore the pay any longer. He had to stop being a burden on his family one way or another.
Eagle was a good fit for Cal. Over his time there he began rising through the ranks to lead his own Special Assignments squad. It was hard work, but simple, hard work was something he could do.
After a couple years in Special Assignments, he discovered one of his lieutenants was on the take for the Nation and set up a sting operation, which brought a conviction against a high-level boss in the gang as well as his former lieutenant. At the trial, just before his lieutenant was led out of the courtroom after sentencing, he turned to Cal and yelled that he was a traitor to his race and that he would pay.
Three days later, his younger sister was gunned down as she waited for the bus outside her job in West Dayton. This was followed by an untraceable matrix message to Cal telling him to get out of the area and not to show his face in Ohio. While his work offered protection, he knew they couldn’t protect his family around the clock, so together he, his mother and sister and her boyfriend all moved to Indianapolis.
Cal eventually sank into a depression and was unable to hold down a simple parking deck security job. After awhile, and after some encouragement, he went camping on his own and realized his relief at not having to see his mother and sister and think about what he caused their family to lose.
The Aztlan-Amazonia War had broken out shortly after they moved to Indianapolis, and as Cal sat at his campfire, he decided to enlist. He was in the condition to do it, and he knew Combat Inc. paid well. He could send the money back to his family, and not have to serve as a constant reminder of his sister’s death.
When he showed up at home from his camping trip, he told his mother and sister the news. As he listened to their pleas not to go and helped wipe away their tears, he knew it was for the best. This was all part of the grieving that had to be done. They could make a new life for themselves, and he could make that possible.
The next day he was on the plane to training. If he wasn’t interested in waiting around, Combat Inc. was apparently more than happy to oblige.