Shaking Down Shadows
Former KE Firewatch
Street Cred: 0 Notoriety: 0 Public Awareness: 0
You can call me Requiem. Although I’d never admit it to a potential client, with you I can freely say I’m damaged goods, fragged over by my superiors and the experiences they put me and my unit through. That’s not to say I’m not lethal, I’ve honed my edge since those days and I can be a vicious, cold bastard when I need to be, it’s just that I need to disassociate myself from it all, blank it out, become less human, something that doesn’t sit well with me or my ex-wife.
I started out as a good corporate citizen for the Man, in this case Ares, and it was clear from the outset that I was bright and athletic enough for certain aspects of corporate life but that I didn’t have the right mental framework to make it as a functional wage slave. I was recruited to the security programme and after excelling at that was given the chance to join the Firewatch training school at the tender age of twenty three. Naturally I leapt at the chance to become one of Ares’ best and I strove to prove myself again and again during the rigorous training regime. They modded me to the point where I didn’t really recognise myself anymore but there was no doubt that I was a new and dangerous fighter. The move-by-wire system is a marvel of engineering but given that my wires are an early model I’ve never really worked the kinks out of them and they still require regular overhauls to keep me in check, one of the reasons I got my little friends installed later on to mitigate the stress on my system. Beyond that I have faster muscles and an onboard computer that keeps me sharp and knowing where I am at all times.
I wasn’t directly involved in the infamous creation of the Chicago containment zone in ’55 but as Ares responded to increasing pressure to clean up the mess our unit was deployed against at least six nests in the next three years, culminating in “Operation Extermination” in ’58. I will never forget the things I saw over those years and my dreams are still haunted by those images today. The doc says my fear of insects is understandable given the circumstances, although I think he’d prefer it without the overwhelming rage that fills me at the same time!
I won’t say that Ares weren’t good to those of us who were less able to cope with events. I saw a stream of shrinks and quacks in an effort to purge all my fear and self-loathing, all at the company’s expense. But it never seemed enough. I withdrew from the world and for a while became next to useless to myself and everyone around me. My wife was a psychiatric nurse that I met during my extended convalescence and plenty of people have told me it was a mistake to marry someone in those circumstances. But she did manage to pull me out of my despondent pit and help me sort my life out. We lasted six years together which is no mean feat and I’m impressed she put up with me that long.
Once I was back on my feet Ares put me on the fledgling Firefight programme as an instructor. Here was something where my martial skills, anger and problems with disassociation could be safely channeled. Ares did an excellent job of creating a functioning martial art more or less from scratch and I am proud to have been a part of those initial stages. Apathy still struck me every now and again and I would relapse in to a semi fugue state but more and more I was able to hold it together.
When the crash happened at the end of ’64 everything was going to shit, Claire had left me and Ares didn’t seem like a safe haven any more. I took the opportunity of a glitch in records to slip away from the corp and head out for new horizons. I know now that the corp had an eye on me all along and I’ve worked for them several times since, but I guess that they no longer wanted a liability on their official books and I was more useful to them as a freelance operative.
I made my way to Seattle eventually, pitching up in Redmond a couple of years ago. Although I plied my skills as a shadowrunner from time to time I preferred to have a steadier income and found work at a dojo in Touristville, keeping street kids out of trouble and helping the odd fellow runner to up their game. It was from here that I hooked up with the Stillwater group and was on hand to see it all go to shit when a merc force blew them to hell. I even took a couple of bullets in the fallout despite the fact that I had told myself not to get too involved. I stuck around long enough to get a real attachment for the place, even when things were falling apart and it was there that I met first Aria and then Silk.
Now I may still look twenty, (my gods do I not feel young any longer), but I really should have known better than to get involved with someone as young as Silk even if she did make me feel youthful again. Although it didn’t go far as Aria ‘stepped’ in and sorted me out. Now Aria is like the daughter I never had, as ridiculous as that may be given what she is, and I had no choice but to heed her advice. I headed out of town for a while just to allow things to cool off but I found that I missed rainy old Seattle too much and I’ve gravitated back here…
Lyle Green [Fixer]
A pretty boy simsense starlet might not sound like the likeliest of my acquaintances but talent talks louder than taste and Green has the connections that have sent me all over the world. It was Myriam that first put us in touch and I confess I like the guy, although I’ll never admit to that in public.
Myriam Palmer [Ares Handler]
I was stupid to believe that the corp had let me go and Myriam didn’t take long to impress on me their ownership of my sorry hide and the wires inside. She also made it clear that I was a liability on their books and better served as an ‘outside consultant’. I’ve done more than a little work for Ares since I left and Myriam is always ready to hand out more. In exchange I’ve managed to get a few concessions from her and even a little intel from time to time, when it suited them of course! She’s probably the main reason I haven’t committed to Balefire exclusively, much as I would like to.
Silk [Infobroker, Fixer]
Ah Silk, my guilty pleasure. We first met when we were both feeling rather vulnerable and although I’m more than old enough to be her father, or even grandfather, something sparked. It started with her visiting the Silk Dragon dojo to gain some combat experience. Jitan paired me with her as he recognised her talent and realised a normal instructor would not be able to push her limits like I could with my ‘ware. We sparred in more ways than one until Aria put a stop to it. I was sorry it ended but knew it didn’t really have a future, particularly in the line of work we are both in. We’ve settled into a sort of mutual respect which has only deepened when she persuaded me to join her in a runner team lead by Bale.
Jitan [Dojo Master & Blackmarket Dealer]
I joined the Silk Dragon as an escape from the realities of life as a runner and teaching there has given me a focus and purpose that can’t be matched by running, no matter how noble the job may appear to be. Jitan is a good master and his dabbling in the black market to help pay the bills has also been useful on occasion.
Hank [Bear Shaman / Healer]
When you need to get patched and can’t rely on the corp to do it? Always pays to know a good medic!
Cannon [Tech & Weapons Dealer]
Silk introduced me to this revelation of a man. A former runner who used to team with Silk’s mother, he turned his hand to a more lucrative career when Frank Bishop retired. He works out of the back of an articulated lorry to preserve his anonymity. There must be some hefty bribes in place because the contents of that trailer could land him an extended stretch in a penitentiary.