found drama

get oblique

that was then…

by Rob Friesel

As we wound down our vacation, we made a brief jaunt over to visit my ‘rents (but a 30 minute drive from our vacation spot). We had stopped in on our way in to visit with them and see my dad’s Madagascar pics but they wanted us to swing by for an exeunt lunch as well. Sure thing! What I did not realize was that my mom has been cleaning house and found some incriminating items that harken back to this post1

The long and short of it is… I freakin’ love that game. And considering I was in the 14-17 year old range when I did the bulk of this stuff, I had a fairly mature imagination. 2

Now gazing upon the items that my mom dragged up from lordonlyknows what corner of adolescent hell…

Anyway, let’s skip the numerological nitemare that is the set of attributes and skills and equipment for this character and sum him up (for those hip to the S|run lingo (any players out there!?)) — dude is a human decker (pursuant to second edition rules with advanced twists/turns as supplied/supplemented by Shadowtech and Virtual Realities 2.0 (primarily)…) And so what follows? The character descriptions/write-ups. Then/now style. Please be gentle and bear in mind that said “then” was circa 1995. Emphasis on the “circa”…

Having drawn up this character THEN:

Male; average height/build; shaved head (blonde), blue eyes, pale skin; looks slightly like a skinhead but is really pretty nice; used to live in up-town Seattle but moved to the Sprawl later on; 24; he and twin sister were adopted by corp family but was later moved to the sprawl to live w/ real parents; married to a secretary but they hardly see each other; educated early on (private schools) but eventually attended a downtown HS; used to be a corporate decker but dropped the idea after his deck was fried by a "malfunctioning" gray IC; neo-anarchist and non-practicing Episcopalian; [...] wants to become pro musician [...] optimistic/idealistic, has a hard time thinking realistically

Were I to play this character NOW:

A male of average height/build, his shaven head and tattoos are a hold-over from a rock-and-roll fantasy he refuses to let go. Adopted at an early age, he and his twin sister knew nothing of their real parents as they grew up in the Boston area until a nasty custody battle tore them from the comfortable life that their affluent adoptive parents had been able to provide for them. Finishing his middle/high school years in downtown public schools however did nothing to slow him down; the headstart/leg-up that he'd gotten as a youth in private school combined with the "present tense" appearance of a student from poorer-means was enough to land him an all-expense paid needs-based-with-merit scholarship to MIT&T where he studied computer science -- focusing on Matrix-programming techniques. Before finishing his undergrad credits though, he was courted away by a college-buddy and a (seemingly) lucrative position with his Seattle-based software start-up (where he met the woman who would become his wife). At this start-up, his brilliance really shone; he was working 60-80 hour weeks (which is where he picked up that unfortunate amphetamine habit) and cranking out truly top-notch code. Within two years, their flagship product had garnered numerous mega-corporate suitors (all of which were spurned); and by the end of their third year, several unfortunate accidents(?) had started that start-up on its steady decline. Ultimately, he was fingered by his partners for selling them out when (during a late-night decking session) some of their own security IC locked onto his Matrix-sig and fried the hell out of his deck's firmware. Try as he might, he found it impossible to find legit programming work after that and within two years he had turned to Shadowrunning just to make ends meet. By the time he fell in with [XXX], [YYY], and [ZZZ], his wife had moved out (though she admitted in (what she referred to as) "her weak moments" that didn't have the heart to file the divorce paperwork) and he had sold off everything but his deck, his music rig, and his Harley.

  1. As inspired by this post (approx. 1/3 way down). []
  2. To toot my own-self’s horn, of course… []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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