2075: Stormy Waters
All - Robyn Lysander
Blind freelance decker
Age 65 Sex Female Height 5’6" Build 130lb
Description Robyn is caught up in the Steampunk craze, embodying the spirit of the Mechanica and usually wearing the latest Steampunk fashions. Her decorative dark glasses conceal her eyes from casual observers and fit the Steampunk motif perfectly. A colorful but oddly shaped tattoo covers the right side of her face, curling up over the top of her eye. To the truly discerning, the tattoo seems to shift its form in minor ways from one time to the next. Robyn keeps a Hell Hound that has been trained as a “Service Animal”, which allows her to take it almost everywhere and a Mule drone as a personal transport.
|Body||5 60 Karma||Agility||7 125 Karma||Essence||1.95||Mag/Res||0|
|Reaction||6||Strength||3 15 Karma||Initiative||12+1d6||Matrix Init.||12+5d6|
|Willpower||6 30 karma||Logic||7 35 karma||Astral Init||12+2d6||Composure||10|
|Intuition||6 30 karma||Charisma||6 30 Karma||Judge Intent||10||Memory||11|
|Edge||7 35 karma||Edge Points||7||Lift/Carry||6kg||Movement||4/8|
|Phys. Limit||5||Mental Limit||8||Social Limit||6|
|Street Cred||0||Notoriety||0||Public Awareness||0|
|Friends in High Places||8||Day Job I||5|
|Overclocker||5||Corporate Limited SIN||15|
|Trust Fund III||15||-||-|
|Animal Empathy||3 (6)||-||-|
|Quick Healer||3 (6)||-||-|
|Golden Screwdriver||8 (16)||-||-|
|Prime Data Membership – Nexus||7 (14)||-||-|
|Acrobatic Defender||+ 4 (8)||-|
|Codeslinger (Data Spike)||10 (20)||-|
|Deck Builder||4 (8)||-|
|Impenetrable Logic||3 (6)||-|
|Natural Hardening||10 (20)||-|
|Ninja Vanish||5 (10)||-|
|Quick Config||5 (10)||-|
|Silence is Golden||9 (18)||-|
|Instinctive Hack||2 (4)||-|
|Special Modifications 2 (AP-4)||= 10 (20)||-|
|Clubs||10||17 (19)||Stun Baton 117 Karma for Levels 1 – 10 + Spec|
|Ex. Melee||10||17||Monofilament Whip 110 Karma for Levels 1 – 10|
|Gymnastics||8||15 (17)||Dance 79 karma for Levels 1 – 8 + Specialization|
|Longarms||10||17 (19)||Shotgun 117 karma for levels 1-10 + specialization|
|Pilot: Aircraft||7||13 (15)||Rotary|
|Pilot: Walker||5||11 (13)||Drones|
|Swimming||6||9||42 karma for levels 1 – 6|
|Animal Handling||10||16 (18)||Paracritters 80 karma for levels 6-10|
|Con||7||13 (15)||Seduction 54 karma for levels 2-7|
|Performance||8||14 (16)||Cello 60 karma Levels 4 – 8|
|Perception||6||12 (14)||Hearing (Blind)|
|Computer||8||15 (17)||Matrix Perception|
|First Aid||8||15 (17)||Gunshot Wounds|
|L Martian||3||= 8|
|Organized Crime||5||10 (12)||Vory|
|Musical Instruments||2||7 (9)||Cello|
|Attention Co-Processor||/||.2||+1 Perception, +1 Perception Limit|
|Data Jack||/||.1||DNI, +1 Noise Reduction|
|Olfactory Booster||2||.2||+2 to Olfactory Perception|
|Orientation System||/||.2||Internal GPS, Gyroscope, Compass, Altimeter, Barometer, Mapsoft Chip Port|
|Radar Sensor||2||.5||See Radar Images|
|Skilljack||1||.1||2 Skills (3 Skills Wireless)|
|Synthlink||/||.1||+2 Performance Skill When Linked to Cello Smartlink|
|Taste Booster||2||.2||+2 to Taste Perception|
|Ultrasound Sensor||1||.25||Topographic Map|
|Visualizer||/||.1||Export 2D or 3D images to AR or printer|
|Cyber Ear||4||.5||Antenna (+1 Noise Reduction), Damper, Select Sound Filter I, Sound Link, Translat-Ear I|
|Control Rig||3||.3||Control Drones|
|Antenna||/||.1||+1 Noise Reduction|
|Antenna||/||.1||+1 Noise Reduction|
|Touch Link||/||.1||Tactile Recorder|
|Tactile Sensitivity||/||.1||+2 Touch Perception|
|Hyperthymesia||/||.1||Perfect Memory, +2 Memory Tests|
|Increased Myelination||/||.1||+1 Electricity Resistance, +1 Biofeedback Filter|
|Fingertip Compartment||/||.1||Monofilament Whip|
|Monofilament Whip||5 (7)||12P||2||-12||-||-|
|Enfield AS7 Shotgun||= 4 (8)||= 13P||= –||= -1||= 2|
|Big Game Hunter||14||Electrochromatic, Fresnel 3 (4 if wireless), Fire Resistant 6, Insulation 2, Chemical Resistant 4, Non-Conductivity 2, Auto-Injector (Crash x 2, Ondanstron x 1, Psyche x 2 (Pharmaceutical Grade), Holster, Gear Access, Custom Fit R3 Medkit|
|Ballistic Mask||+2||Audio Enhancer 3, Gas Mask, Micro Transmitter, Spatial Recognizer|
|Armored Jacket (Hound)||12||Electrochromatic, Biomonitor, Chemical Protection R4, Insulation R4, Non-Conductivity R3|
Fake SIN (Alyce Krait) R4
+ Fake Licenses x3 R4
+ Book Repair tool kit
+ Book Repair Shop
+ Sensor Array
+ Cyberware Scanner
+ MAD Scanner
+ Motion Sensor
+ Olfactory Sensor
+ Radio Signal Scanner
+ Medkit resupply x 10
Psyche x 5 (Pharmaceutical Grade)
Trauma Patch x 8
Stim Patch (6) x 6
Antidote Patch (6) x 10
HemostatiX Dressing x 3
MD-9 Autoinjection Gun
+ Slab (15)
Electronic Paper X 40
Sensor Tag x 10
Stealth Tag x 40 (30 in special first edition books in store)
Commlink – Fuchi Cyber-X7 (Real SIN)
+ Modify Firewall (Firewall +1/Data Processing -1)
+ Receiver (Noise Reduction2)
Commlink – Sony Angel (Fake SIN)
Commlink – Sony Angel (Real SIN)
Commlink – Sony Angel (Burner) x2
Arch (The Mechanica) (9, 4)
Taylor Dacopral (EVO Corporate Leader) (10, 3)
Mister Brown (EVO Corporate Handler) (3, 2)
Vitaly Malenkov (Vory handler) (3, 3)
Torrent (Fixer) (6, 2)
The Old One (London Below) (10, 3)
The Earl (London Below) (9, 4)
Regency Arms (High – Trust Fund III) Real SIN
+ Grid Subscription – Global (EVO) (With Lifestyle)
+ Grid Subscription – Global (Horizon)
+ Grid Subscription – Global (Ares)
+ Grid Subscription – Global (NeoNet)
+ Grid Subscription – Global (Renraku)
+ Grid Subscription – Global (Saeder-Krupp)
+ Grid Subscription – National (Great Britain)
+ Grid Subscription – National (France)
+ Grid Subscription – National (UCAS)
+ Grid Subscription – National (Germany)
+ Grid Subscription – Local (London)
+ Grid Subscription – Local (Berlin)
+ Grid Subscription – Local (Paris)
+ Grid Subscription – Local (Seattle)
+ Bar Patron – Regency Tavern Pub
+ Patron of the Arts – London Symphony
+ Merchandise – Goods (Books)
Newhaven Circle (Low) Fake SIN
+ Grid Subscription – Local
+ Grid Subscription – Global (EVO)
|Ares Mule||4||3G||2||4 (0)||12||4||2||1||Mods: +2 Speed, +6 Armor, +1 Accel, +2 Pilot, Drone Arm|
Standard Array: 8 (9) Data Processing, 7 (8) Firewall, 8 (9) Sleaze, 6 (7) Attack
+ Hot SIM Module
+ Multidimensional Coprocessor (2 Noise Reduction)
+ Virtual Machine (1 Firewall)
+ Decryption (1 Sleaze)
2 Sleaze for Hack on the Fly)
1 Data Processing)
+ Hammer (2 Resist Matrix Damage)
+ Signal Scrub (-2 Noise Reduction)
|Agent 5||Software||Run Programs|
|Armor||Hacking||+2 Resist Matrix Dmg|
|Baby Monitor||Hacking||Know Current Overwatch Score|
|Biofeedback||Hacking||Do Additional Matrix Damage|
|Biofeedback Filter||Hacking||+2 Resist Biofeedback Dmg|
|Browse||Common||Cuts search time in half|
|Cloudless||Hacking||Move data to Physical Storage|
|Decryption||Hacking||+1 to Attack Attribute|
|Defuse||Hacking||+4 to Resist Data Bomb Dmg|
|Demolition||Hacking||+1 to Data Bomb|
|Edit||Common||+2 to Data Processing Limit|
|Encryption||Common||+1 to Firewall Attribute|
|Exploit||Hacking||+2 Sleaze to Hack on Fly|
|Fly on the Wall||Hacking||Reduces OS Buildup|
|Guard||Hacking||Reduce Dmg from Marks by 1 DV per Mark|
|Hammer||Hacking||+2 DV to Attack Actions|
|Hitchhiker||Hacking||Bring Friends to Foundation or UV Hosts|
|Mugger||Hacking||+1 Dmg from Marks on Others|
|Nuke From Orbit||Hacking||Files Deleted With This Cannot be Brought Back|
|Paint Job||Hacking||+2 to Erase Marks|
|Search||Common||+2 Data Search on Host With That Data|
|Shell||Hacking||+1 Resist Matrix and Biofeedback Dmg|
|Signal Scrub||Common||Rating 2 Noise Reduction|
|Smoke and Mirrors||Hacking||+1-5 Sleaze and Same Noise|
|Sneak||Hacking||+2 vs Trace User, GOD Cannot Find Your Physical Location|
|Stealth||Hacking||+1 Sleaze Attribute|
|Toolbox||Common||+1 Data Processing Attribute|
|Track||Hacking||+2 Data Processing Attribute When Tracing User, or Negate Sneak|
|Virtual Machine||Common||+2 Program Capacity, Dmg increased by 1 DV|
|Wrapper||Hacking||Override Matrix Icon Protocols|
|Pilot 4||’-||Drone Pilot Upgrade|
|Fly Spy Maneuvering 3||’-||Drone Maneuver|
|Clearsight 3||’-||Drone Sensors (Fly Spy)|
|Mule Maneuvering 4||’-||Drone Maneuver|
Alexandra Nikolovna Selenenkov was born in Vladivostok, Russian Far East District, on January 20, 2011. Her father, Nikolai, was a struggling computer engineer working for a small tech firm. Her mother, Irina, was a costumer and backup violinist with the Vladivostok Symphony. Neither was earning much and Irina had needed to take a break from her work in the last three months of a difficult pregnancy, making money very tight. Life had been bleak before Irina had gotten pregnant and it had been a very hard decision to keep the baby, but Irina’s Russian Orthodox upbringing had convinced her not to get an abortion. January that year was particularly cold, even for Russia, with temperatures plunging well below normal levels. The tiny three-room fourth-floor apartment that the Nikolai and Irina shared with an extended family of thirteen relatives was always cold and it seemed that the biting wind could find its way into the place despite the best efforts of everyone to keep it out.
The block housing was old, dating from a time when the communists had ruled Russia with an iron fist, and services were practically nonexistent. The building had been wired for telephones during an expansionist move to modernize the aging structure, but none had ever been put in. The elevators had suffered a similar fate; open shafts without doors and cars proved to be deathtraps for the unwary and the drunk. The reason for the lack of progress on the promised improvements given by the planning commission was that the funding from Moscow had dried up as the country’s leaders vied with the West for dominance over the oil-rich states of the Middle East. The people living with the broken promises heard the reasons and nodded, then went about their lives, certain that the money had gone to support the mayor and his cronies. Graft was an essential part of Russian life and those on the bottom rungs of society knew better than to complain about it.
Irina was not allowed to leave the apartment except to walk the narrow, poorly lit hallway to the neighboring apartments on her floor. On a good day, she could even manage to climb one flight of stairs and visit with some friends on the fifth floor. A midwife was used for the birthing because Nikolai could not afford the hospital charges. The birth was especially difficult and the baby could not have been more of a surprise. She had the correct number of toes and fingers but her ears and facial features were a bit………different. Her face looked softer that it should be and her ears were elongated and pointed. Nikolai looked concerned but Irina did not care; all she wanted was a healthy baby. The midwife crossed herself and muttered something about strange babies and fey magic. In the days that followed, most of the residents of the apartment block heard about the “changeling” in 4G. Many came to see the odd child and wonder at it. Finally, Nikolai shut the door and refused to let visitors in, even the well-meaning ones as the gawkers and superstitious far outnumbered the well-wishers. He could not shut out the comments from his own family, however, and those were many.
Two weeks after the birth of his daughter, Nikolai had to return to his job as his paid holiday days were used up. Even there it seemed that word had spread of his strange daughter, as his supervisors and co-workers would come up to him and ask about the “Elf” in his family. He endured lots of ribbing and jokes; after all, he needed the job to be able to put food on the table for his wife and daughter, not to mention the rest of the family living with them. Three days after returning to work, Nikolai was summoned to the office of his supervisor. At the door to the small room, he found three men in nice suits waiting along with his boss. Two of the men reminded Nikolai of thugs commonly seen on late night television in cheap movies, but the third was dressed nicer and obviously in charge of the situation. Nikolai was told to go with the strangers to the small company cafeteria, where the supervisor cleared the room and the two thug-types stood at the door to ensure privacy.
The man offered Nikolai some coffee and a cigarette, then asked him to sit. He introduced himself as Georgi Astinov and said that he was a managing supervisor for a small company that had just started up in Vladivostok called Evolution Technologies. The company specialized in cutting edge research in cybertechnology and biotechnology and he was looking for smart, computer savvy technicians who wanted in on the ground floor. He told Nikolai that he was impressed with his work ethic and he was interested in hearing some of the ideas that the technician had been working on. Sliding a folded piece of paper across the table, the man told Nikolai to not open the paper until he was home and then talk things over with his wife and contact him if he was interested.
The conversation over, the man had left the company building and Nikolai had wandered back to his office, holding the folded piece of paper in his hand like it was a life preserver. He opened a file on his computer and did some research on Evolution Technologies, finding out that they were indeed just as Georgi had said. The online publication indicated some serious funding behind the new company, but Nikolai was realistic enough to realize that a company could say anything on paper. Still, he was intrigued enough to be interested. The folded paper sat untouched on his desk all afternoon, a teasing reminder of the strange conversation in the break room. He carefully avoided saying anything to his curious colleagues about the visit, only adding more interest.
Nikolai put the paper in his pocket when he left work and went home. Once in the small apartment, he took Irina aside into the smaller of the two bedrooms and shooed everyone else out. Curious, Irina was almost worried when Nikolai told her of the strange meeting and brought out the folded paper from a pocket. Together they opened the paper and saw that it was an offer to employ Nikolai at the new company. The starting salary was four times what he currently made and included perks and benefits not even imagined at his present job. There was mention of added bonuses for meeting performance goals and medical benefits to be provided to Nikolai and his immediate family. The pair had to read the offer several times to make sure that they were seeing it correctly. A phone number was at the bottom, along with a note to call as soon as possible if Nikolai was interested. With reservations, Nikolai left the apartment building to go to the maintenance supervisor’s apartment in the next building to stand in line to use his phone. The supervisor, ever a resourceful fellow, had managed to scrounge a cell phone from somewhere and was willing to let tenants use it, for a modest fee to cover his costs, of course.
Nikolai waited in line for almost an hour before it was his turn to use the phone. Paying for the usage with slightly trembling hands, he dialed the number on the paper. Georgi picked up the call on the second ring and seemed pleased that Nikolai had called. He said that if the technician was serious about wanting the job, he needed to come to a meeting with Goergi the following day at 1000. When Nikolai hesitated, Georgi told him that this was a chance of a lifetime and that he needed to look to the future if he wanted to change his life for the better. Nikolai made the decision on the spot to make the meeting, even if it meant risking his current position.
Sometimes the smallest things, like a piece of folded paper, can make all the difference in the world. Such was the case with the folded paper in Nikolai’s pocket. He went to the interview, liked what he saw, and took the job. Everything was as promised or better. His starting salary was actually set at five times his former wage and the perks and benefits were better than advertised, but the most important aspect of his new employer was not made evident until three months later. By then the news feeds were full of news of the Unexplained Genetic Expression (UGE) that was sweeping the world. It seemed that many families had experienced strange births like tiny Alexandra’s. Some were Elven in appearance, but others were of a more stocky racial trait and were called Dwarves. Most people were merely curious, but some were afraid. And a nation led by people who are afraid of things different is a dangerous place indeed.
The Russian State Security Service was placed in charge of rounding up as many of these UGE kids as possible, even offering rewards to those who would turn in their children or the children of their neighbors. Somebody in Nikolai’s building talked. It could have been a neighbor or even one of his family in the apartment, he never found out. The family was awakened one night by four men of the national security police accompanied by three local police officers. Alexandra was torn from her sobbing mother and swearing father and taken down to a van in the unpaved parking lot of the building. Nikolai and his wife followed the officers, pleading for their daughter but their words fell on deaf ears. As the security officers moved to the van, they noticed something odd; the local police escort was lined against the van with their hands in the air, covered by three men with wicked-looking guns. Nikolai stared in amazement as he saw Georgi and his two escorts advance to the security police officers, where the businessman politely asked who the senior officer was and requested that the child be turned over to him. When the man blustered about someone interfering in Russian State business, one of Georgi’s escort raised a silenced automatic pistol and shot him in the forehead, then turned the pistol to cover the rest. Georgi repeated his request of the next senior man, who seemed made of the same cloth as his late superior and refused. The third man, having the example set by his two dead supervisors, did not hesitate to order the girl given to the businessman, who turned and motioned for Irina to come get her child. He told Nikolai to put his wife and daughter in one of the three company cars that were present and they would be driven to the research compound and given a new home.
The company research compound was like a small armed camp. Men that Nikolai did not recognize were patrolling the outer wall and no less than seven heavily armed men guarded the gate. The small caravan passed through the checkpoint and proceeded into the inner courtyard. Georgi led Nikolai and his wife to the apartment building that served as living quarters for resident staff and guest lodgings for researchers that worked on projects requiring them to remain on site. The small apartment offered far more room than the cramped space they had been living in, and he told them that someone would see to gathering what clothes and personal items they needed from their old place. When Irina tried to thank him, Georgi smiled and told her that the company was not about to let any of their employees lose a child in this manner. As Nikolai and Irina tried to settle into their new apartment, a commotion outside signaled the arrival of four other families being brought into the compound.
It proved impossible to sleep and Nikolai went out to help the other families settle in. By morning, a total of seven families and their UGE children had been relocated to the research compound. The company president hastily convened a meeting for the new arrivals, where he welcomed everyone and explained that the company was going to remain in defiance of the new State laws regulating the UGE children. He emphasized that they were safe here but nowhere else. The compound was not their prison, but their refuge. He said that they could leave at any time, but unless it was on company business their safety could not be guaranteed outside the compound walls. There were other speakers, most of them explaining how the new arrangements were going to fit into the way the company operated. The families were then left to their own discussions to decide if they wished to remain. Nikolai and Irina found out that the company men had used force to prevent four other children from being swept up and taken away. Everyone wondered out loud how a small company could make this stand and two men argued that the repercussions for staying here would he great when the security forces or the army took the compound. Amid some nodding of heads, one of the technicians spoke up and asked if no one else had noticed the tattoos on the arms of the men outside the walls and at the gates. When no one spoke up, he told everyone that these were Vory soldiers.
That information brought silence to the small group of families. The Vory were/are an immense organized crime group that spread across Russia and had sticky fingers in many different pies. They pride themselves on a reputation for violence and cruelty. The knowledge that Evolution Technologies might be in bed with the Russian Mafia was unsettling and several people shook their heads, clearly concerned and considering leaving. Irina stood up and waited to be noticed then talked to everyone but especially to the mothers present. “Do you understood what would have happened to your children if the company had not stepped in. Does it matter who these people are in bed with? I praise God above that SOMEONE was willing to help me when those State Security thugs came calling for my precious Alexandra.” Her words persuaded the other mothers, who all stood up one after the other to support her. The husbands looked at each other and nodded their heads……the decision had been taken out of their hands.
In the weeks that followed, several more UGE children were brought to the compound and work was begun on building a new apartment building to house the new families. Rumors had already begun to circulate about the treatment some of the UGE children were suffering under in the various “Relocation Camps” and the Evolution Technologies families were more glad than before that their children were not suffering with them.
Nikolai took to his new job with enthusiasm, intent on showing his new employer how grateful he was. A truly talented technician, his contributions were recognized with additional bonuses and a series of promotions. By the time Alexandra was five, her father was one of the supervisors in the cyber research division, an important post. His efforts had directly led to several breakthroughs in the development and use of cyberware. His daughter grew up in a technical world and proved to be quite smart and precocious, quickly adapting to the use of computers and electronic gadgets. The world outside the compound had changed little in five years; the Russian State still took UGE kids and sent them to secretive camps and rumors abounded about what happened to them. Alexandra was schooled with the other children in the compound, where she showed a willingness to learn, soaking up everything they gave her and wanting more. She seemed unable to forget anything and research on her determined that her temporal lobe and caudate nucleus within her brain were abnormally enlarged. None of the other UGE kids in the compound exhibited this particular development, although several others had some other type of mutation, some beneficial and others not so much.
The company had also grown, reforming twice and finally becoming EVOlution Corporation, or more commonly just EVO. As the company grew, its reach and influence also grew, based primarily on its cutting edge research in the fields of cyber, bio, and gene technology. Nikolai saw the future in the company and took stock options whenever they were offered, and the company’s successes made sure that the value of his portfolio increased immensely at regular intervals, making him a wealthy man. Alexandra grew up in the compound, never leaving except to attend services with her mother at a small church nearby. Irina praised God as much as EVO and the Vory for their good fortune and wanted her daughter to have an appreciation for the place of religion in their lives. Two heavily armed men accompanied them on these visits.
Years passed and the young girl became a young woman. Her mutated brain allowed her to soak up information like a sponge, greatly speeding up her learning. She was a child prodigy in school, but not only in studies. Her mother refused to allow her daughter to exist only in academia and convinced Georgi that Alexandra needed another outlet and music was selected. The girl was given a choice of instruments and selected the cello, diving into learning this as much as she did her other classes. She was barely affected when Goblinization struck the world, again throwing chaos into order. EVO welcomed the Orks and Trolls as they had earlier welcomed the Elves and Dwarves. The now much expanded corporation quickly became know as a haven for all metahumans, providing care, training, and services when others turned them away; too scared or too stupid to realize that things were changing and that society needed to change as well.
EVO realized that they were not prepared to offer Alexandra the sort of education she needed and arranged for her to attend university in the Vladivostok sprawl. She was escorted to and from classes by hard looking men with Vory tattoos to make sure that she was left alone. She had always lived with a Vory presence and to her they were more family than guards, although the men took their jobs quite seriously. She fell into university life with the same fervor as she did with all her studies. At the behest of her EVO handlers, she concentrated on pre-med classes and excelled, advancing quickly. Evo tutors continued her training in the evenings on the repair and installation of various cyber and bioware augmentations She met Anton Dankov in her first year at university. The handsome young man was in several of her classes and they struck up a friendly conversation that lead to more conversations and a rare date led to others. He, too, had Vory guards, although his were more circumspect than hers were. She soon found out that Anton was the oldest son of the local Vory Bratva boss and that a relationship between the two was approved at the highest levels of both the criminal family and the corporation.
Eventually they shared a first kiss and then a first sexual experience. Anton took Alexandra home to meet his mother and she was well received, beginning a relationship that would last for years. She started spending a good bit of time with her Vory boyfriend and his family and soon was with her Vory family as much as in the compound with her parents. The romance was almost a fairy tale, except for the constant presence of bodyguards wherever the couple went. They made a decision to wait for marriage until Alexandra finished her medical studies, which extended the relationship by several years; first through her undergrad time and then medical school. Anton bent his knee and proposed to Alexandra the week before she completed her med-school degree. Papa and Mama Dankov were as happy as Nikolai and Irina at this turn of events and a wedding date was set for the fall.
September, 2033 started off as a time of celebration. Alexandra, now Doctor Selenenkov, was to be married to her long-time love and best friend in a ceremony blessed by both EVO and the Vory. She and her parents were being driven to a dinner with her future in-laws while Anton was at his bachelor party when everything changed. Riders on a pair of passing motorcycles fired dozens of armor-piercing bullets at the car she was in, instantly killing Nikolai and Alexandra’s two guards, men she had long considered personal friends. Her mother lived only long enough to grasp her husband’s hand and whisper something unintelligible to her daughter. The car swerved into a utility pole as the gunmen sped off and Alexandra, her own wounds mostly superficial, managed to open the door and tumble to the ground, her dress coated in the blood of her parents. She fumbled for her commlink to try to get hold of Anton, but was unable to reach him. She was as unsuccessful in contacting the Dankovs at the restaurant, but did get Georgi at his residence. The man who was as much a godfather to her told her that the news feeds were all busy with breaking stories about a sudden gang war erupting between the Vory and the Yakuza. In near-panic, Alexandra asked if he knew anything of Anton. The man’s silence told her enough and she demanded information. Georgi told her that his information was limited, but that there was a rumor of Anton being shot at his party and taken to a street clinic near the party site.
Alexandra staggered away from people she could no longer help and flagged down a cab to try to get to those she could. Arriving at the clinic, she found a cordon of Vory soldiers outside, several of whom recognized her and allowed her to enter the building. Inside, she found almost pure chaos. The dead shared spaces with the wounded, stacked on the floor of the waiting room and hallways. Many were Vory, but a number of other people had been caught in the shootings and brought here as well. She identified herself as a surgeon and was allowed to help. She asked about Anton and was told that he had been lucky and most of his wounds were light and he should make a full recovery, while others had not been so fortunate. Alexandra toiled through the night, working on anyone who needed the help. Additional patients were brought in from other shooting sites. Papa Dankov made a brief appearance to check on his men and his son, telling his future daughter-in-law that the restaurant had been hit as well, but the assassins had been unsuccessful in killing him or his wife. Before he left, he commended Alexandra on staying at the clinic and promised to see to her parents.
She finally took a break at about four in the morning and went to see Anton, who was awake. He smiled at her even though it was obvious he was in pain. She checked his emergency chart and saw that it was time for his meds and went to look for the nurse. There was no one at the small station, and the only person in the small operating room was the latest shooting victim to arrive. She quickly wandered through the clinic, but could not find either of the two doctors or the nurses. She was headed to the front to check with the Vory guards there when alarm bells started to go off in her head. Turning, she raced to the room where Anton and several others were resting when loud explosions shook the building, throwing her to the floor. She was crawling to where Anton was when gunmen burst into the clinic firing to silence the few of the guards that had survived the initial bombs.
Alexandra made it into the room just ahead of the Yakuza gunmen, who deliberately shot the patients where they lay on their makeshift beds. The leader saved Anton for last, holding him up and comparing his face to a photo before riddling his body with nearly a full magazine of bullets from his sub-machinegun. Turning to the woman, he approached her while two of his confederates help her upright. He grinned as he said, “Doctor Selenenkov. I did not expect to see you here. You should have stayed with your car.” He waved his SMG at Anton and the others, adding, “This is the price of consorting with the devil.” Finished, the man looked her in the eyes as he placed the muzzle of his gun to the side of her forehead and pulled the trigger. Alexandra collapsed to the floor and the man’s face would be the last thing she would see with her eyes.
Alexandra regained consciousness not knowing where she was as the bandages around her face kept her from seeing anything. She recognized the gentle beeping of medical monitors and thought that she must be in a hospital ward of some kind. She called out and was rewarded by a gentle hand on her shoulder and a woman telling her to relax and the doctor would be sent for. She found out that she was in the EVO medical lab, but that a top medical team was on staff to see to her needs. Georgi arrived soon after she woke and confirmed the worst of the news; that Anton and her parents had died in the violence, along with a number of other Vory soldiers and lieutenants and some bystanders that had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.. He also told her that she had been in a coma for two months and that the doctors had feared for her recovery at all. Soon after, Papa Dankov came by to visit and to console her on her losses. The two cried over the death of his son. He told her that in the two months since the attack, the Vory had rooted out the Yakuza involved in the attack; all except the man who had shot Anton and three of his confederates. He was apparently some sort of mid-level boss in the organization and had been moved to another location. Every effort was being made to locate the man and justice would be served when he was found.
Alexandra went through several surgeries to restore her eyesight, but all failed and she finally had to accept that she would never see again. Georgi approached her with the idea of using her condition to test a number of the newest technology advancements available to emphasize her other senses, some of which had been developed by her father. Her body became a living experiment as various implants were installed to sharpen her touch, taste, smell, and hearing. She and Georgi agreed that if she could not see like normal people, she could see by way of the matrix and her body was further subjected to various implants to assist in that, to include a bleeding edge cyberdeck and a good commlink. As time went by, she learned to use her new senses and her new “eyes”. Corrections and modifications were made to her implanted equipment and other devices were added to fine tune her new way of seeing the world. Several operations were needed to rebuild her face. The surgeons made changes to the original structure and even the Dankovs had trouble recognizing the woman that came to visit.
And she loved it. She threw herself into learning how to use her new eyes in the same manner she had used for her other studies. It took four years, but she mastered the various nuances of her implants and how to maneuver through the matrix as well as how to use her other senses to walk She also worked hard to regain the ability to play her beloved cello. She also learned to read by Braille, which allowed her to read by touch. In many ways, her life returned to something reminiscent of her old one, but always in the back of her mind were the sights of her parents as they died, Anton’s body twitching to the impact of the bullets, and the face of the assassin that is ever imprinted on her as the last thing she ever saw.
It took three years of sifting through every iota of information she had to get a solid lead on the Yakuza assassin. He had gone to ground after the Vladivostok hits but she found him in London, England, where he had been given a new name and a new identity and was the underboss of the London Yakuza. Knowing that only she had this information, she went to Georgi and parlayed that for a chance to finish tracking him down. She argued that she was the best person for the job; that her disability actually gave her an advantage. And it was completely unlikely that he would recognize her if he were standing next to her. She eventually wore any opposition down and went to London, armed with her skills and with contacts in both EVO and the Vory. She also had a new name, Robyn Lysander.
Robyn arrived in London on April 1, 2040, the date invoking a smile as she wondered if she was the fool for embarking on this mission. After landing at Heathrow, she placed calls to her contacts and got herself settled into a hotel. Over the next few days she took guided tours of London designed for the blind and settled on the Regency Arms as her new home. The high class hotel provided amenities for her that were lacking in other similar hotel residences. Robyn wired the address of the hotel to Georgi, who had been named the trustee looking after the wealth left her by her father. After negotiations were made, Robyn was ensconced in her luxury flat and began looking around London for the hidden assassin.
Staying in her rooms was suffocating and sitting outside in the nearby park was iffy in a London where it rained as many days as it did not. The hotel had an adjoining pub, the Regency Tavern, where she took most of her meals, but that, too, was not a place for her to spend her days. The smell of old leather guided her to a bookshop adjoining the pub and on the ground floor of the Regency Arms. Wandering in, she immediately felt comforted. Here she could sit and pore over what books in Braille they had while her deck was running its matrix searches. That idea was partially put to rest when she found that the shop did not cater to the blind and had no books in Braille. A friendly shop assistant did tell her that she could order some books if the owner allowed her to, but that might be difficult to arrange. Robyn found out that the owner was quite elderly and had been looking to sell up for some time, but that the only credible offer so far was from a man who wanted to turn the place into a retro disco bar. Robyn immediately contacted first Georgi then the shop owner and made a generous offer that the owner and her trustee could live with. Two days later she owned the shop and had a signed lease from the hotel for the space, and the shop had a new name……..Robyn’s.
Progress with the shop was as slow as the progress she was making in her search for the assassin, but she refused to give up on either. One of her searches led her to a group of rather quirky individuals called The Mechanicals. These people subscribed to everything steampunk and something in what they said resonated with Robyn’s soul. She fell in with them and began dressing in that style and attending social functions with them, soon giving up all pretense and wearing appropriate steampunk clothing all the time. The group acted as an unofficial trade hub between normal London, the LCZ and London Below. They called the old Southwark Cathedral home and welcomed the blind Keeb as one of their own. It was here that Robyn met and was befriended by Brandi Davenport, a free spirit of a woman if there was one. She took Robyn under her wing in The Mechanica and made sure that she could find her way around, then introduced her to the strange and somewhat twisted montage of people that populate London Below.
She had to prove herself here, but eventually the denizens of London Below became like another family to Robyn. She and Brandi made a number of trips together until Robyn could find her own way. She learned quickly that there was a lot of noise in London Below and took steps to get equipment and implants that would help her reach the matrix from deep under the ground. It was on one of her forays to Earl’s Court that she picked up a hint of the Yak assassin. It took three years to get into a position where she could exact justice for her family and the Vory. First, she made herself useful to the Old One and the Earl in his palace and was given the status of ward of the Court and the protections that afforded her. She found out that the assassin, although he lived in the underworld, had not received the protection of any of the Great Houses, and was still considered an outsider and overworlder. This was an important distinction because it meant that she would not cross any of the other Great Houses and so not incur their wrath. When she was ready, she contacted her Vory handler and used herself as bait to lure the assassin out of hiding. Once on the surface, the waiting extraction team picked him up and took him back to Vladivostok for a justice that took a very long time to exact.
Her mission complete, Robyn began the process of selling her home and the store. She was surprised by how much that hurt and communicated that to her EVO and Vory handlers. After much discussion between the two organizations that held her life, they approached her with a plan they thought might work out for all. It was clear that Robyn was a real person here in London and that Alexandra had died in Vladivostok. She was asked to remain in London as a freelance decker and contact for them. She was free to take odd jobs that came along, but would need to respond to requests for services from both EVO and the Vory.
Robyn has lived in London for 35 years now and it is home. The identity she created as Robyn is solid. She has grown in her abilities and has acted for several of the AAA corporations as well as politicians and gangsters from low level mooks up to bosses of major organized crime syndicates. She has a reputation of someone willing to work for any client and her confidentiality is unquestioned. She has worked diligently on her contacts in The Mechanica and in London Below. Her jobs have taken her to almost every country in Europe and several in Asia and North America. Her skill with the cello has garnished almost as much attention and she has played as a guest for several philharmonic orchestras across Europe and the UCAS. These musical forays have provided her with numerous casual contacts and sometimes are a cover for her other, less legal, life.