Mars City Shadowrun
Maybe a Free Spirit Now? Connection ?
The Loose Cannons
Chang-Xiao and Jian-Min
Sam D’Angelo-, Rating 6 Vending machine repairman, for Vendiagram. Lost during LoneStar arrest.
Corky McCready-, Rating 6 Fashion journal editor. LS arrest.
Parson Hunt-, Rating 6 Temp worker. LS arrest.
Cooper Deville-, Rating 2 BTL junkie. Planted on dead junkie to throw LS off Rooster’s trail.
Stanley Pinkerton-, a demolitions expert. Rating 6. Wanted by KE. SIN abandoned, comm destroyed.
Simon Bellefonte-, private security. Rating 6. Wanted by KE. SIN abandoned, comm destroyed.
Callum Ampersand, a security consultant. Rating 6.
H.R. Ravencroft, an investment banker. Rating 6. Wanted by Interpol, due to Faustus Society theft. SIN abandoned.
Balthasar Jackson, a lawyer. Rating 6.
Philip Lindstrom, a delivery driver. Rating 6. Used in Patrick Henry Hughes job.
Zane Vinegar, a security consultant. Rating 6.
Barclay Fandango, media bigwig. Rating 1.
Rooster is hard to describe, because one of his most useful talents is the ability to literally look like anybody. He changes his face, his height, his skin color, his weight, his hair length… everything. So here is his original form:
Rooster is a short-ish, skinny, gawky Irish dude. He’s got a shock of red hair, a bit curly, but not too long. Maybe it kinda sticks up weirdly. He has a pronounced nose, and no facial hair to speak of. Probably he still has some freckles, though they have definitely receded in later years. He’s about 26 years old.
Rooster values things that are cool. Style is substance to him. He wants ultimately to have the greatest stories to tell. As such, he’s always been a rather dapper dresser. Recently, as he’s been in Africa, he most frequently is seen wearing an extremely expensive white suit. Perhaps he has a Panama hat, as well. He typically changes chooses to appear African, as well, but that’s more to blend. He only really wants to gain attention from certain people, and to be invisible to others.
He’s not often armed, but when necessary he will use a high-velocity submachine gun (probably something that looks like a P90, definitely a bullpup style) that is loaded almost exclusively with stick-n-shock ammo. Having an enemy for life is a far better story than just killing someone outright, after all. He’s also recently acquired a weapon focus in the form of a Victorianox Memory Blade. After all, what good is a dragon-slaying knight without a magical sword? Also, there’ve been a few spirits to tangle with of late, and guns really don’t work as well as they should. A weapon focus is better. Next step is being able to actually see them…
The only really notable other thing about him is that he tends to have a wide assortment of cheap burner commlinks that he uses when he goes through his various identities. Oh, and he kinda misses his beautiful, beautiful SUV, tragically left on Mars. But he’s pretty happy with his new sword, which cost more than the SUV.
Rooster lived in Belfast when he was a small boy in a human ghetto. The Elven ruling families had basically set up humans as second-class citizens, but with a veneer of civility. Footage of Tir Na Nog tended to show the middle-class human sections of Galway, not the dumping grounds in Belfast. Rooster’s parents were part of a resistance movement/terrorist organization (depending on who you ask) with ties to the IRA. The organization eventually moved more to the realm of criminal enterprises, and there was a great falling out with the IRA. The European economic agreements led to an increased presence of Vory and the modern (and quite international) Cosa Nostra. Without the protection of the IRA, most of the members of this small Irish Mafia were killed, including Rooster’s father. His mother took him and fled to Boston, which was home to a significantly larger Irish Mafia presence that had some family ties. This fateful event happened shortly after a significantly larger event, however, which was The Year of the Comet. Ireland was home to some of the most significant magical upheavals, with wild mana storms appearing and vanishing without warning. At 10 years old, Rooster had been a quiet, reserved child. After the night his father was killed (and Rooster was briefly separated from his mother in the firefight), he was completely different. He was animated and charming, and his slight frame which once seemed sickly now seemed sprightly. He could easily draw in a crowd with bawdy jokes, sparkling wit, and above all, fascinating stories. Everyone liked him, even when he moved to Boston, and was the new kid with the weird accent. When people ask him about the events of that night, he will launch into an elaborate story about how he got lost, and he was afraid, and even worse, he’d stumbled into the land of the faeries. They told him that he was trespassing, and were going to kill him, but then he decided to tell them a story that he’d read in a book. They were so entranced and delighted that they insisted on another. At first Rooster was shy and stammering, but ultimately the Prionsa of the Faeries herself (whose name he must never reveal, he always adds, lest he be whisked back never to return home) was so moved by his stories that she granted him some of their own powers, and sent him back on his way (usually he’ll throw in something about the power being inside him all along, which is normally really hacky, but it just works when he says it somehow) and he used his newfound bravery and abilities to rescue his mother from the evil Elves, Vory, and Cosa Nostra. When he’s asked if any of this is true, he just says “It’s a good story, isn’t it?” And he’s right.
Rooster used his powers of persuasion greatly in Boston, and quickly he moved up to be a respected member of the Irish Mafia. They even outfitted him with some expensive bioware that they’d totally found somewhere on the street and only after they tried real hard to find the proper owners. Rooster got a bit too confident, and got into some bad scrapes. During this time, his mother became an increasingly devout Catholic, and Rooster swore to seriously try to avoid killing people whenever it was convenient. After spending a few years relying more on words than bullets, he found it was surprisingly effective, and he has made a habit of relative pacifism ever since.
Rooster also developed a bit of a gambling problem. Well, two gambling problems: he was waaaay too good at some types, and waaaay too bad at other types. He ended up screwing over the wrong people and placing some supremely unfortunate bets. For the safety of his dear, sweet old mum, Rooster decided to head to Mars to cool his heels. He, of course, tells people that he came to develop a local Mars City chapter of the Irish Mafia, which he may just end up doing if he ever finds any other Irish people. (The irony of being the only redhead on the red planet. I swear.)
He’s been in Mars City for about a year now, and has taken a few odd jobs now and then. He’s got a working relationship with a local mafia, but he’s not technically a part of them. He’s made some friends in many places. He’s also established a fair number of false identities, each with their own specific look and residence.
At any rate, he knows a lot of people, and is a lot of people. And he needs to make money to set up the Irish Mafia (read: to pay off his gambling debt and maybe buy his ma some nice stuff once in a while). It’s kinda hard in this town now, with Lone Star swarming all over the place, and some nutcase named Hamshallow who keeps blowing up charity galas. Still though, he’s gotten his network good and set, and really needs to find a good organization.
More recently, Rooster has been traveling with a group of friends new and old. He’s become increasingly convinced (through repeated tellings) that the story of him meeting the Faerie Prionsa not only was absolutely true, but over time added another wrinkle: She has given him a great task, which is to go about the earth collecting great stories. When he has a good enough repertoire, and when he is a skilled enough storyteller, the faeries will test him. If he succeeds, he will be taken bodily to the court of the Prionsa, where he will tell stories to entertain the court until the end of time, one of the few non-faeries allowed to enter the court at all. Life will be wonderful, he will have pretty much everything he has ever desired, and best of all, he will always have a receptive audience.
Rooster has become fast friends with Sem-par, who hangs on his every word, soaking up his exaggerated tales of the shadows. He recently made an enemy of his former comrade in arms Tobias Cheney, after selling Tobias’ old school chum (Patrick Henry Hughes) to Saeder-Krupp Heavy Industries.
How Rooster Got His Name
A bar in the Undercity. Rooster is holding court, telling stories.
“Because I’m a cock? Hilarious. I swear, I’ve never heard that before in my life. You should probably drop out of running the shadows and be a comedy writer. So quick and elegant. All of our hats are of to you, friend, and we shall all toast the success of that observation. Tony, get him out of here.”
“Alright, you sure you want to know? It’s a bit of a tale, and my throat is awful parched. Oh, thank ya, a beer would suit me just fine. Better make it two, darlin’, it’s a long story.”
“So where was I? Oh yeah, Boston. I came to Boston when I was a lad of about 10. I’ve already told you that story. It’s a good one, but it’ll have to wait. Anyway, right? When I was a young troublemaker, I was livin’ in the Irish Mafia section of Beantown. I was obviously too young to go on any runs with the Mafia itself, but it didn’t stop us kids, and there were always plenty of us kids, from forming our own wee little street gang. We were the 39th street devils, we were, our sworn duty to kick the ass of anyone who got in our way. Trouble was, no one ever got in our way, because they knew who our parents were. We had to content ourselves with breaking windows, stealing lunch money, and tagging the Stuffer Shack, but we were way too young to be any sort of a legitimate organization. Still, though, we thought we were so damn tough. I think we’ve all been there before, right? Hehehe.”
Rooster drinks down one of his drinks, then grabs the other.
“So anyway, I was always a little sensitive about my size back in the day. I’m not a large man, and as youth I was a bag of bones wrapped in skin. I was gangly and awkward, and I definitely had not yet grown into my nose. It’s a fine thing, isn’t it? Patrician, I’d say. Statuesque. Well, back in the day I’d hear calls of SHARK! if I did the backstroke. It was brutal. Still, though I wanted to be bad ass. Back in the day, we didn’t have much by way of money. Me ma had some work with the Mafia, but she was never much of a fighter. We were always poor. As a consequence, when all of my friends were getting those stylish — and oh so embarrassing now, am I right? — “Dancing Lights” hair treatments, all I could afford was some extra-strength gel. I wanted to be badass, though, so I gave myself what I was convinced was the most wicked mohawk. Bright red hair stickin’ up at all angles… Lord, was it a sight. Still, though, I thought it was amazing."
“One night we head out onto the town, because Trashriot is havin’ a all-ages show. We were completely psyched about it, and we made sure to load up on booze and smokes and whatnot. We’d all been huge Trashriot fans, and it was the first time they’d ever posted an all-ages show. It was gonna be great. We pile into the bus, and head to the show. It was a bit out of our neighborhood, a bit near MIT&T, but we were so damned psyched and tough and drunk that we didn’t give a drek about it. Anyway, we get to the show, and it’s been cancelled. It’s been cancelled because Mariah Fucking Mercurial herself has dropped into town and decided to throw a gig for a few hundred of her closest friends. Needless to say, we were raging. We got a bunch more booze and sat and got angry in the alley.”
“A bit later, a group of dandies walk by.”
A brief interruption.
“No, not them, dandelion eaters! Pointy-ears! Drekkin’ ELVES, ya berk! Here’s a nuyen, go buy yerself some knowledge.”
“Anyway, a group of dandies walks by, talking about how great the show was. Now, we 39th street devils hated two things: Maria Mercurial, and dandies. One because her damn music made me ears bleed (although I kinda like her stuff now) and t’other because they kicked us outta Ireland, the bastards! So anyway, there’s this group of dandies singin’ her music, and we’re all stewin’ and ragin’ and drunk. So we start slingin’ insults, then there’s a wee bit of an altercation, and then fists and knives come out for real. We probably would have done alright, were it not for the fact that this particular group of dandies all happened to be students at MIT&T. And it weren’t for engineering. Before we knew what was happening, we were thrown about the alley, pinned to walls and whatnot. For some reason, the only thing the guy I was fighting could do to me was bind me hands behind me back. I think it musta been because of the great boon that the Prionsa of the Faeries herself bestowed on me when I wandered into her domain as a child. Have I told you that story? Oh all right, another time then.”
“Where was I? Oh yeah. So the damn elves have got us all pinned, except me with me hands behind me back. And I am mad. I’m super-boilin’ mad. All I can think to do is to jump up, and give the guy who bound me a headbutt. He staggered back a bit, stunned, and fell over a trash can. So I jump up, and headbutt him again. And again. And get in a few kicks, but it doesn’t work too well, on account of me hands bein’ restrained so I headbutt again and again, until I notice sometin’. Laughter. I look up, and I realize that all me crew, AND all the rest of the dandies are just lookin’ at me like I was the funniest thing in the whole world. I don’t quite figure it out for a second, but then I realize that with my hands bound back, my giant nose, and my big red mohawk, I looked exactly like a rooster. Someone caught it on their commlink, and we all got together and looked at the vid and everyone laughed and laughed and laughed. All the anger disappeared that night, and the dandies commiserated with our loss of the show, and promised to sneak us into the Trashriot show the next night. They did, and it was fuckin’ amazing, but then one of the dandies got his face broke by an older cousin. Oh well. They shouldn’t’a been there in the first place.
“There ya go. That’s the story of how Rooster got his name. Now someone get me another drink!”
The crowd erupts in laughter and cheers, slap Rooster heartily on the back, and buy him several drinks. It’s a typical evening. No one even notices Rooster’s friend slotting a cable into the bar’s primary terminal, and making off with some sensitive data. This happens to be a Lone Star bar, and they’d made a habit of keeping some info on the terminal.
A week later, a prisoner transfer goes awry, and a transport vehicle fails to show up at the spaceport. Twelve high-priority prisoners are gone. No one is quite sure what happened. The one thing they do know, however, is how Rooster got his name.
The Story of Jack and the Faeries
(One of Rooster’s favorite ways to tell stories is in the form of a “Jack Tale”, the legendarily clever British Isles hero, and of late he’s been turning his personal history into a new Jack Tale. This is his story of the events of the Night of the Comet.)
Jack was born to a poor and humble family. His father would tend the fields all day, and his mother would spin the wool from the sheep. As a boy, Jack loved nothing more than to listen to his mother tell stories about Kings and Queens and Dragons and Witches and Faeries and Knights. She would knit in her rocking chair by the fire at night, telling him these stories. Jack loved them, and he was happy.
One day, a crier came through their village. “This is an important day,” the crier cried, “the ancient kings and queens have returned to rule the land.”
“I don’t remember kings and queens,” said mother.
“I am not sure they will be good for us,” said father.
Jack did not know what to make of this, as he was still just a boy. The thought of kings and queens was exciting to him.
The kings and queens turned out to be cruel and unkind. They may have been kings and queens in the past, but they did not know how to rule the people now, and the people did not love them, and they did not love the people. They began to do awful things to the people, like take away their land.
“I do not like these kings and queens,” said father. “I will tell them to stop, and that this is our land.”
“Be careful, father,” said mother.
The kings and queens were so wroth with father that they banished him and he was never seen again. Also, they did not stop taking the people’s lands, and they went on to take the land that Jack and his mother lived on.
“I do not like these kings and queens,” said mother. “I will join with my brothers to fight them and stop them from taking our land.”
“Be careful, mother,” said Jack.
“I will,” said mother.
Mother left to go fight the kings and queens, and it grew later and later. The sun went down and the moon came up, and still mother had not returned. Jack was worried, because he was only a boy.
Eventually, when it was very late and the little village had gone to sleep, the sound of horses echoed through the valley. Jack got dressed and looked through the window, because he was eager to see mother again, but it was not mother. It was a bunch of knights, like in the stories that mother would tell him! They were knocking on people’s doors, and waking them up and making them talk to them, even though it was very late and the people were asleep.
“You must leave the village,” the knights said, “or we will kill you. We know that you sent some people to fight the kings and queens, and we will not allow that.”
The people were sad and afraid and started to collect what belongings they had.
The knights, however, were not happy. These were not the good knights of the stories, these were bad knights. They began to take the belongings of the people, and then they burnt the village down to the ground and they chased the people away.
Jack was small, and he was clever, and so he was able to hide in a hay wayn when the knights were about. He was not strong, but he swore that day that he would try to fight the knights somehow, when he could. Until then, he had to find his way across the country, to his uncle’s inn, a place he’d only been to as a very young child.
It was late when he started out, and in the dark the woods near the village turned into a big maze. It was very dark and there were very scary shapes and sounds in the woods. Jack knew that there were wolves and witches in the woods, and that they both liked to eat little children. Jack was clever, though, and so when he walked, he whistled a tune that was only whistled by big and strong hunters, and he said words that hunters said, and he spoke with a grown-up voice, and the wolves and the witches thought he was a big and strong hunter and so they hid from him.
As he was whistling this tune, he walked into a glen that he’d never seen before. It was a magical place, he realized, and Jack knew that he was very lost indeed. He whistled his hunter tune and a small man with faerie wings and a spear came up to him.
“You are a man,” he said, “and you are trespassing in the faerie glen, and men who enter the faerie glen must die.”
“I am not a man,” Jack said, “I am a little boy and I am lost, and I do not wish to die.”
The faerie thought for a moment and then he said “Our faerie queen is very wise, and she will know if you are a man or a boy. You must come with me.”
The faerie brought Jack to the court of the faerie queen. She was the most beautiful creature that Jack had ever seen, but she was terribly sad, and had tears rolling down her cheeks. This made Jack very sad as well, but because Jack was so clever, he realized that maybe if he made the faerie queen smile, she would allow him to live. Jack tried to think of all the ways to make her smile, and he decided to tell the faerie queen the stories that mother had always told him, because they always made him smile. He told stories about Kings and Queens and Knights and Dragons and Wizards and Faeries. He told happy stories and sad stories and funny stories and scary stories.
When he had finished telling his stories, the faerie queen was smiling as bright as a summer’s day. “I like your stories,” she said, “and I wish for you to tell me more. If you tell me more stories, we will allow you to stay in the faerie glen for as long as you like, even though you are a man, and we will not kill you.”
“I am only a little boy,” said Jack, “and I have no more stories to tell.”
The faerie queen thought for a moment, and Jack began to be afraid that the faerie queen would kill him because he had no more stories and he was trespassing in the faerie glen.
“I see now that you are a little boy, and it would not be right to kill you. However, I want you to tell more stories. You must leave our glen, and you must travel to far away lands and learn of more stories and have adventures and meet kings and queens and slay evil wizards and dragons. Then you will be able to return and tell me stories forever, and you will make me smile.”
Jack was a very clever boy, however, and he said, “I am only a little peasant boy, and I will not be able to do these things by myself. The faeries have magic, however, and your magic can help me learn more stories to tell. If you help me with your magic, I will return to tell you stories forever and make you smile.”
The faerie queen smiled again and said “You are a very clever little boy, and so we will give you magic to help you on your adventures.” She then picked up her magic wand and turned Jack’s tongue to silver. “This magic will help people to believe whatever you say.”
“Thank you, O faerie queen,” Jack said, “I will now leave to go on adventures and meet kings and queens and slay evil wizards and dragons, and I will return to tell you all the stories that I have learned and you will smile.”
Then the queen used her magic wand again and Jack found himself standing in front of the inn that his uncle owned. He went inside and mother was there and she was very relieved to see him.
“Jack!” she cried. “We were so worried because you have been gone for such a long time.”
Jack realized that time passed differently in the faerie glen, and he told her that he was safe and that he was in the woods and he was clever and hid from the knights. Mother believed him, because of his magical silver tongue.
Jack and his mother then sailed far across the sea to other lands, but that is a story for another time.