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> Pimp my timeline, Or: where's my money, late 2060's period!?
post Dec 15 2008, 05:26 AM
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Shooting Target

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So, I saw Unforgiven the other day, and I thought "hey, a Shadowrun character based on Bill Munny would be cool." And then I heard Billy Idol's White Wedding (hey little sister shotgun!) on the radio and stuff clicked! And I got inspired to rework the background for an existing character, Deadhand Dallas.

And then I thought: why not have a thread for people to post character backgrounds for critique? I know there are some kickass story writers around here, maybe people could post ideas and seek constructive criticism. Also, fluff gurus can let us know obscure details (like "hey, that city got wiped out," or "that city became a metroplex absorbed by a city that used to be 100 miles away").

But I ask that people follow a few simple rules: do NOT flame. If you can't say anything constructive, keep it to yourself. And do NOT use the term Mary Sue. That's pretty much the biggest insult you can use on someone who's trying hard to make a cool character concept. Be nice, be cool, and post your ideas!


Deadhand Dallas

Dallas grew up in Austin, Texas, not Dallas. But Austin is a pretty crappy nickname for a chick, and in prison they don't really care as long as the nickname sticks.

But back to the story, she grew up in Austin. She lived in a corporate enclave, her family being middle class wage-drones. Dallas' mom and dad were miserable, hated their jobs and could barely tolerate each other, and that rubbed off on their daughter. She was a problem child in elementary school, but her parents didn't have the energy or the force of personality to straighten her out. The corporate school system shunted her into the "custodial/other" track as early as first grade (your track isn't technically set in stone until high school, but the accountants figured out that a so-called "early preliminary" placement could save the corp substantial money by virtually dumping the worst students, instead of undertaking the expensive psychological, educational, curricular and extracurricular measures it takes to help problem kids).

In junior high school, Dallas went from problem to rebel. She resented being put into all the dumb kid classes (even though that's where she belonged with her level of intellectual development) and was old enough to start resenting the system that put her there. She associated with the other rebels, and was quickly staying out late, drinking, and using drugs as she felt like it. Her parents cared enough to get into shouting matches with her about staying out late, and smelling like weed and cigarettes, but they didn't care enough (or didn't know how) to do anything about it. Dallas quickly started going to more and more grown-up parties with older teens, especially the ne'er-do-well kind. She admired the gangers she met because of their freedom, the way they could do whatever they wanted, have as much fun as they wanted, take what they wanted...

Dallas soon found a gang that liked her enough to let her join, at age 13. She bopped around with them for a few years, sticking it to the man, her parents, and anyone unlucky enough to get in the way of her and her friends. It was a powerful gang with multiple chapters in CAS cities, that ran a profitable street drug operation, acting as local distributors for a national crime syndicate. When Dallas was 16 going on 17, and starting to get a reputation as a straight shooter (that is, someone who was good with a gun, not someone who obeyed the rules), a call came out for gangers to come to the Denver chapter. They were starting to feel pressure from a rival gang, and the distributor didn't care which gang took care of the biz, as long as it was resolved quickly. It was war!

War turned out to be a big mistake. It started out all fun and games and shooting each other, but the local police franchise had just launched a huge ad campaign about making the streets safe again, and it would have really hurt their chances for renewal if they let a gang war go on under their noses. Most crime organizations know how to keep it quiet, so there's no incentive for the police to care, but these gangers were out of control. Dallas' gang didn't realize how harsh the crackdown would be until it was too late. Shortly after her 17th birthday, Dallas was arrested during a shootout. She had fatally shot three enemy gangers, and wounded a few more, while most of her buddies went down. But the cops showed up with paramedics and saved everyone-- turns out that, under the tax laws, they could write off the cost of fixing up criminals, and then collect a bonus for winning convictions in court, and come out with a tidy profit.

Dallas was tried as an adult and got 15 years for attempted murder (since none of her victims actually died). Of course, she was guaranteed to get out in 5 as long as she didn't kill anyone, because the prison franchise would get a bonus if they could rehabilitate criminals and release them, which really just involved shuffling the books and using crooked auditors to make it look like they had evidence proving that the criminals they released had all been paragons of virtue and would become contributing members of society in no time. Near the start of Dallas' hard time, she found herself in a bit of a pickle: most of her gang had been sent to another prison, as the authorities wisely tried to keep them separated. But the other prison didn't have enough ladies' space free, so Dallas went to the prison with the rival gang, including one very nasty ork chick that she'd shot in the lung. And thus, Dallas found herself shanked just as soon as her enemy (who had been in prison before) could find the materials for a shank.

The assailant was aiming to kill Dallas by piercing her left lung (poetic justice) but she half-dodged and the blade sliced up under her left arm. This severed most of the nerves in the arm, rendering it generally inoperable. She also got her face cut up in the wild struggle that ensued, which would leave a pretty nasty scar on her cheek. The guards intervened before any more damage was done, but the prison doctors didn't have the budget to do a neural regeneration and fix the arm. So Dallas got the other part of her nickname: Deadhand (on account of the dead hand).

One Dallas got out of prison, she headed for Seattle, wanting to make a clean break with a past that had brought her (in the end) nothing but hard time in the slam, as well as desiring to escape any lawmen or rivals that knew her on sight. She pulled in favors from her contacts in Denver and got herself a fake UCAS SIN and enough cred to get her arm fixed. But with the arm having been dead for five years, her brain had pretty much forgotten how to use it. She eventually regained full dexterity, but her arm still acted like it was dead. She'd naturally do everything with her right arm, and her left arm only pitched in when she consciously remembered to use it. There was probably some kind of medtech that could have helped her, but Dallas chose the simpler, and more fun solution -- make up for a crappy left arm by getting a really good right arm installed.

She managed to find a high quality customized cyberarm in the bargain bin of a half-gone ripperdoc, and she even convinced him to let her have it on installments. Using the arm, and her already considerable skill with a pistol, she brought her installments to the doc in the form of lovely fresh corpses. She ghouled her way into paying off her debt, finding and making corpses, and then she was free and clear to go into shadowrunning. Deadhand Dallas now had two dead hands: one that's dead because she usually just keeps it in her pocket and doesn't use it, and one that's dead because it's made of metal. Over time, the shadows would become over which one originally gave her the name...


So, good? I wanted to build a background for a drinking, murdering, mean and nasty street samurai. The whole jailbird theme is one I haven't seen much in Shadowrun. And while I've seen nasty vindictive sammies with facial scars, I've never heard of one that's a chick :3 But I'm interested to hear if anyone spots any cliches and has ideas how to jazz it up. It's all very rough and off the cuff, but I wanted to share (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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