Saints in the Shadows
Reese 'Cloak' Carmichael
A disgraced policeman turned Private Eye
- Rank: Heroic (60 XP)
- Agility d8
- Smarts d10
- Spirit d8
- Strength d6
- Vigor d6
- Fighting d6
- Hacking d6
- Healing d6
- Investigation d8+3 (Investigator/Newslink)
- Lockpicking d6+2 (Lockpick Kit)
- Notice d8+4 (Bounty Hunter/Investigator)
- Persuasion d8+2 (Charismatic)
- Shooting d8
- Stealth d6
- Streetwise d8+4 (Charismatic/Investigator, +2 Sector Cop*)
- Taunt d6
- Tracking d6+2 (Bounty Hunter)
- Knowledge: 8
- Police Procedures d6
- Criminal Organizations d6
- Underworld d6
- Current Events d6
- Languages 5
- English d8
- Spanish d6
- Mandarin Chinese d6
- Farsi d4
- Charisma: 2
- Pace: 6
- Parry: 5
- Toughness: 8 (3 Armor-All, Head 50%)
- Heroic (Major) – He may seem self-serving, but he is heroic to a fault. He cannot help himself from trying save the damsel in distress, or right a perceived wrong – especially involving women or children. He finds it far to easy to become involved in problems that are not his.
- Habit/Drinking (Minor) – So what? It’s not a problem, he just likes to have a drink to relax, and it doesn’t really affect him anyways. After a long day, who doesn’t? It’s not like he is as bad as he used to be, this time he is in control and can stop anytime. Right?
- Stubborn (Minor) – It takes a lot for a man to admit he is wrong, and Cloak is not one to ever admit that he is ever wrong. He has his ways and he’ll be damned if he’s gonna change them today. He’s been known to stick to his wrong path even when it has collapsed around him, unwilling to admit that he may have been incorrect. Apologies are often mostly blame shifting, redirection, finger-pointing or outright excuses for his mistakes.
- Edges: Bounty Hunter, Investigator, Charismatic, Reputation, Fixer
- Occupation: Private Investigator, Cloak and Dagger Solutions
- Strain: 5
- Contacts: (4) Lex, Bonz, Teach, Councilman Abernathy, Dr Habeeb, Chester Armitage
- Street Cred: 6 (+2 Reputation)
- Load Limit: 30/60/90 (18 carried)
Real Name: Reese ‘Carmy’ Carmichael
Funds: 21,890 Credits +
Lifestyle: Modest (2400)
- CyberLimb/ Fingerprint Duplicator – Lockpicking Kit (Streetware)
- Night Vision Optics, VidCam
- Tactical Computer (MilGrade)
- Smartgun System, Advanced (HyperChrome)
- Private Dick Urban Trench (2 Armor-TAL, Variweave, Hidden Holster, Long Pocket, 8lbs)
- Private Dick Future Noir Wear (3 Armor-TAL, Variweave, Hidden Holster)
- Reaper Arms Ballistic Vest (5 Armor-C)
- Amy’s Surplus Foley Arms Watchdog Pistol C (dmg 2d8, AP 2, Range 9/18/36, RoF 1 – SA, Capacity 2, Wt 2 lbs, Compact)
- Targeting Laser (+1 to Shooting rolls)
- 4 Magazines, standard ammunition
- Ravenlocke P9D (dmg 2d6-1, AP 3, Range 12/24/48, RoF 3 – SA/3RB/FA, Capacity 5, Wt 3 lbs)
- Magazine, standard ammunition
- WD BD-40T 12g Shotgun (dmg 1-3d6, 12/24/48, RoF 1. SA, Capacity 2, Wt 3, Folding Stock, Targeting Laser, Bandolier 10 Buckshot/10 Slug)
- Ceramic Spiked Knuckles (Str+1d4+1, AP 3, Hold-Out, Wt 1)
- 2 Grenade, Flashbang
- Camera, Digital/Video
- Glasses (Flash Compensation)
- Toolkit, Advanced – CSI/Investigation
- Flashlight (Standard, Strobe)
- Lighter w/ smokes
- Flask, Whiskey
|Retired KM “Courier” Armored Taxi||20/60||13(6)||20,175||1+3||4WD, Weapon System (Inactive)|
|Novice||00 – Investigator||05 - Fixer||10 – Persuasion/Taunt||15 – Smarts|
|Seasoned||20 – Charismatic||25 – Reputation||30 – Spirit||35 – Marksman|
|Veteran||40 – Agility||45 – Fighting/Shooting||50 – Gun-Fu Disciple||55 – Sector Cop|
|Heroic||60 – Hacking/Lockpicking||65 –||70 –||75 –|
|Legendary||80 –||90 –||100 –||110 –|
Act I – The Downward Spiral
You know how one decision can have a chain-reaction of effects? I do. I can even tell you exactly what that one decision was. “I’m going out to Lemmy’s. I’ll be home later.” That’s all it was. I was a gambler, a piss-poor one at that. Poker was my drug of choice, I’ve been dumping my paychecks into it for years now, and it was my turn to earn the win, as they say. Well, let’s not get a head of ourselves here. I need to back up. I was a cop, an honest one, if nothing else. For ten years, I worked Roseland. It wasn’t bad, better than the Hells anyways. I was a beat cop, with aspirations of detective. I suspected, Lexi, my partner was on the take, but it was not my concern. My concern was making my ends meet. Between the poker, and the daughter, and old lady with another on the way, I was broke. If I hadn’t dumped all my cred into gambling, it probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but I saw that as the necessary cost of living. Making detective would solve all my financial woes, I had clearly determined. Yup, I had it all figured out.
Well, the baby was fussing, and Samantha was already mad at me, so I had to leave. It made sense, no fight if I’m not there. So I decided to head to Lemmy’s – biggest mistake in my life. The usual deadbeats were all there, and I headed right back into the den. Many of the usuals were there as well, as well as few new marks, the ones who think they got game. Easy pickings for the regulars – poor kids. I sat down and started playing. It wasn’t going bad, I was around 300 ahead when this new guy comes in and sits at my table. It’s unwritten amongst the group here, that we take turns bleeding the new guys. It was my turn, and I gave the nods to Saul and Reg to play along. They’d play and lose to him. Build up his confidence, you know? Wait for his ego to get the better of him and hike the pot, then I’d clean him out, and repay them for their participation. As planned, he bought into it, he was grinning like a fool, probably the luckiest day of his life, in his eyes. As he took the bait, I set the hook. Another one in the books. Hell, I’d clear over 20k on this kid. I’d go home and appease Sammy with the profits from the win. Imagine my surprise when my full boat lost to his straight flush. I knew in a moment that I was the one played. The kid smiled as he collected up my future and walked out. Hook, line and sinker indeed.
I wandered the streets until I felt safe that Sammy was asleep. No way I’d be able to handle her after this. I was drained, my entire savings, gone. I didn’t even have enough to cover next month’s mortgage. I was in a bad way. I headed to work early enough to avoid her the next morning. Maybe I’d finally have to see if Lex was seriously on the take, and try to get on some of that. The idea turned my stomach, but what choice did I have? Well, imagine my surprise when Lex beat me to the punch and told me that there is someone I should meet this afternoon, to ‘discuss my financial woes’. That bitch was in on setting me up. Well played, kid. We meet with Jack O, known on the street as the Jackal. One of the suspected lieutenants in the Italian mob at some local restaurant. Me, Lex, the Jackal, and that smug card shark who cleaned me out last night. Jack’s offer was simple, my losses paid back in exchange for sneaking into evidence and removing some undisclosed items. I had 24 hours to do so. That night I drank myself stupid, and accepted that Jack’s offer was the only viable option.
The next morning, I showed up at work, and entered the evidence room, and easily grabbed the stuff. Home free. Unfortunately, on my way out, I run smack into Kara, the officer on duty in evidence. She eyes me suspiciously as I stammer out some excuse of why I am in here, and not logged in accordingly, and get away before she can validate my bullshit answers. The damage is done, I’ve already taken the evidence, and there’s no way I can get it back in there – not with Kara on the prowl. I’ll just have to wait and see what happens and hope for the best. Well it didn’t take long for them to realize I have done something bad. Nothing official happens, I mean like no charges filed – shit like that. But, all of a sudden, within 24-hours, I feel like the outsider. People stop talking when I enter the room, and everyone looks at me like I am repulsive, which in hindsight was kinda justified. Even Lex treats me like scum, and hell, she set me up to be here.
I need the cred promised to me for pulling off this fiasco, so I track down Jacky. Laughing at my pleas, he tells me, that I got caught, and the deal is off. I am escorted from the restaurant, and warned no not bother him again. The avalanche keeps building speed as I am called in to my LT’s office the next morning. On his desk is a folder nearly an inch thick, and he pretty much fires me on the spot. Complains from civilians, disrespectful behavior, negative reviews and critiques from the psyche evals, warnings and disciplinary actions that I’ve never had, all in my file. I mean, I know that I did something wrong, but none of this shit that is in my record. Not that it really matters, I’m out the door before lunch.
Not surprisingly, my new employment status does not go over well with Samantha. I end up taking a job as a shitty third-shift security guard and spend my days drinking and felling sorry for myself. I take most of my problems out on Sammy, and the kids. I don’t lay a hand on them, but I haven’t yet manned up to blame myself. It was because of them, I did what I did, and because of them, I am here now. Father and husband of the year awards are lining up. Six months later, I am somehow surprised, to come home to a deserted apartment and divorce papers. Just more of an excuse to drink, I rationalize.
Act II – Rock Bottom
Fast-forward about another year of hazy self-loathing in a bottle. I think I’ve gone thought about a half-dozen jobs since my termination from the police. When I try to reconnect, no one takes my calls, Sammy, Lex, they now all act like the don’t see or hear me. It’s probably better for them, anyways. Now the only person that seems to put up with me is Bonz, the surly, half-deaf bartender at the only local dive that hasn’t kicked me out yet. I got pulled over for drunk driving last week. The cop recognized me from my days in the force and my expulsion. He starts into me, but I’ve had it with these judgmental pricks. I give him a little bit of my mind, and spend a cold night in jail and get a court date that will surely lead to a fine I sure as hell can’t afford for my efforts. The only good news is that I don’t gamble anymore. Not that I could afford to anyways, they all have mysteriously made me feel unwelcome at Lemmy’s as well. It couldn’t be the the money I owed them or the fact that I was a drunken ass. Again, it’s was probably all their fault, sure as hell not mine…
One day I was in The Boneyard when a frantic broad came storming in. She was crying and worked up that her ex-husband, a local degenerate named Kraus who often visits this fine establishment, had not returned their daughter for 4 days now. Ahh, Kraus’s ex, I remember him in here last week all pissed up and pissed off about his ex. It seems that his drunken ramblings that he was gonna show her, may have been more than just angry spouting. Sucks for her, to bad no one here has either seen Kraus all week, or cares enough to offer anything but a half-hearted shrug of indifference. Expecting no less than no help from us, she gives Bonz her number and pleads for him to call her if we see him. I don’t know if it sad or funny that she expects any of us to get up off our asses to do the slightest thing for anyone else. Probably a bit of both. A few hours later, I start my stagger home. Sleep does not come easy that night. For all my self-serving apathy, Kraus’s ex’s plight bothers me. Maybe watching a woman’s life trashed by her piece of shit husband rings too familiar for me, maybe I just didn’t want to hear her annoying crying at my pub anymore. Either way, I decide I’ll look into it. Tomorrow.
It’s been so long since I’ve been motivated, I think I almost forgot what it feels like. I wake up well before the crack of noon, with ideas for places I’d check for Kraus at floating around in my head. It’s well into the afternoon before I realize I have not had anything to drink today. More importantly, I feel like I don’t need it just to go outside and face the world. I clean up and give her a call. I tell her, I’ll see if I can track them down, and she immediately asks how much I want. You know, I haven’t considered that either. I tell her, we’ll worry about that if I get anywhere. I won’t bore you with the specifics, but let’s say after three days of work, one thrashed apartment lobby, an anonymous call to the police that led to the arrest of 4 drug dealers and an arms smuggler, and nearly 1600 in conveniently discovered drug-dealer credits deposited into my account later, one mother was happily reunited with her missing daughter. I admit, it felt good. Damn good to help someone. It had been several years since I did something for someone besides myself and I was proud of myself for the first time in I don’t know how long. That started my path of redemption. I’ve made mistakes, ones that it took to today to admit were my mistakes. While I have to live with the consequences of those mistakes, I will put the blame where it belongs, on me. No more self-pity, I have to make things better by action not lamentation. Maybe I if I can right enough wrongs, I can forgive myself for my transgressions. That may sound a bit heavy handed, but it’s was a sobering (literally) epiphany for me.
Act III – Picking Myself Up
Word spread that I helped the ex-wife and with that, some doors opened for me. My fine for resisting arrest was dropped in place of community service. That may have been a coincidence, but it seemed like karma to me. Bonz suggested that I ‘rent’ a office from him buy a PI license from the deep, just fill out some data, and pass a background check. Two weeks later, I was a licensed PI. Now to wait for the people in need. I got the occasional job, and the pay was almost non-existent, but I needed to establish myself as competent before anything worthwhile shows up.
I had a surprise visitor one day at the office. Lex, showed up with a bottle of cheap scotch in one hand and a pair of glasses in the other. Setting the bottle down, opening it up, and dolling out two drinks, she told me that she had a job for me. She was looking for a man that she screwed over at work and needed to make amends with. She said she burned him to save her own ass when her employers were looking for a traitor in their midst. She apologized for her part in my fall from grace. I told her, it didn’t matter, that man didn’t blame her anymore, that the mistake made was his own. Halfway through the bottle, the topic of conversation not-too subtly changed to one of a more carnal nature, and we pretty much stopped talking all together. The details are not your your ears, kid. Let’s just say, by the time we finished the bottle we learned a great deal more about other. She is still a cop, and has mostly severed ties with the Italians. If I need a hand or a friend, even if just for a few hours, just give ’er call.
It hurts me that I have not talked to my kids in two years, but that is the price I pay for my mistake as a shitty husband and father. I heard through the grapevine that Sammy has remarried and was going to have yet another child. I’d like to show her that I am a better man than she left, but that would be for my sake. They’re still local, so I asked Lex to look up her current hubby, Grant, and there are some flags about him that cause me some concern. I’ll keep an eye on them, but from a distance. Anything happens to them, and there will be a reckoning.
Act IV – Starting Over
I’ve been working as a PI for a few months now, when I got an urgent call from Lex asking for help on a troublesome case. I had been watching the newsfeeds for the last few hours, so I suspect that knew what it was about. A local Doomrager enforcer, Vargas had killed several members of a rival gang, breaking a truce and triggering a war. He then, evidently, killed several members of his own gang, who were probably trying to keep the truce by taking him out as recompense. Since then, he has been on a psychotic rampage, robbing, killing, destroying property, illegal parking and all sorts of chaos. To top it off, the reporters were spouting about him just taking a hostage when he encountered law enforcement – it sounded like some kid.
Lex told me that he had indeed, taken a kid hostage. None other than Savanna Abernathy, the seventeen year-old only daughter of one councilman Miles Abernathy. No surprise that orders came from high above to handle this now, and get her back ASAFP. Unfortunately, Vargas has disappeared since he grabbed the kid, and the has no idea where to find him over the last few hours. I knew Vargas back in the day when he was just a local thug when I was on the beat here in Roseland. He was a local nuisance before he joined up with the ‘Ragers often enough, so she asked me to poke around and see if the locals had any idea where he’d hole up since he was ousted from the gang. They were not having any luck getting the locals to cooperate as the locals were probably more intimidated by Vargas than willing to do the right thing. She warned me to stay away from him, he was considered extremely dangerous, and has critically injured several armed officers today in the standoff. He was a problem that they needed to take care of, both due to their orders from above and to show us civies that they were capable and in charge. I promised her I would just nose around, and not get too close.
I know a couple of the old flops Vargas used to frequent back in the day, so I decide to check them out. Most of them are easily dismissed as they are occupied by other ne’er do-wells , or deserted, which requires me to snoop through. I was rooting through an old derelict apartment complex, when I discovered evidence that Vargas was here. In actuality, it was him charging out of the building and beating my ass in the quad, but it was definitive evidence. He was so jacked up on whatever he was on that he looked nearly twice as big as he used to be, and I was quickly concerned that that may end quite bad for me. All of a sudden he stops making my innards my outards and appears to be in some pissing contest with a newcomer in some samurai standoff. I’ve never seen this guy before, but I decide his intervention is much appreciated. They get in to a knockdown brawl. This cyborg-guy is fast, but Vargas seems immune to his hits and kicks. Eventually, Vargas catches him and delivers some wrestling finisher on him, driving him into the ground several times. My mind is still out of the office, but I conclude that if this guys stops vying for Vargas attention, he’ll probably turn his attention back to me. That would likely be bad. I make it to my Watchdog and take aim. If I can shoot him in the head, maybe I can end this now. Fully functioning limbs are evidently preferred for precise shooting, as my shot is off. Disappointing. I tagged him in the shoulder, to not much affect. It does, however get his attention. Bad news.
He drops the inert cyborg, and turns back to me. As he walks towards me with one of those slow torturous prolonged strolls, meant for the victim to feel helpless and terrified (which works), I see the cyborg get up he looks at Vargas, now he has a helmet over the top half of his face on with an intense pulsing red light over the visor. He looks different, scary, but Vargas is still clearly focused on me. I hope my next decision is not my last, I taunt Vargas, calling him a weak coward and drop some choice racial epithets that would make my mother cringe, hoping that if I can keep his attention on me for a few seconds, this cyborg will come to my aid. It works, Vargas just stares dumbfounded at me like I just insulted his mother, which I guess I did. He growls, literally, and moves to pick me up and likely dismember me slowly, when the cyborg is suddenly behind him. I’m not sure what happened next, it was blindly fast, but Vargas was suddenly set upon by him. His strikes were much more effective and he moved in anticipation of Vargas’ reactions that I thought I was watching a scripted movie scene. With one smooth maneuver, he crippled Vargas with a strike into the middle of his back that ended in a sickening crunch. Vargas was down, no doubt.
He turns back to me, and I again see that pulsing red light. Suddenly, the visor retracts back and he extends a hand to help me up. It still kind of looks like a cyborg face, you know kinda fakey? But, he saved my ass, so why not? After a quick conversation, it appears that we were both pursuing this case from different ends. Adam, as he calls himself was looking for Vargas who killed an associate of his in his rampage. With the defeat of Vargas who lies unmoving at our feet, he leaves the scene, but not after we exchange contact info. He could prove to be a powerful ally or at least someone I may want to keep tabs on. A quick look though the building turns up one scared little girl. She’s in good condition, given the circumstances. I remember my non-involvement agreement, so I call Lex and tell her where the girl can be found, and tell the girl that help will be here shortly. She makes me agree until we hear the sirens coming a few minutes later. I cut through the courtyard and am surprised to see that Vargas is also gone. Even if he wasn’t dead, he must have been crippled from Adam. There’s no way he was moving, so where in the hell did he go? An answer for another day, I guess.
A few days of self-medicating liquid painkillers, I see that Savanna has been safely reunited with her father, due to an anonymous tip for her location. Her dad is on the feed and emphatically thanking to all those who helped. They state that Vargas is still at large, but is believed to have fled Chicago – doubtful, I’m not that lucky. I spend some time look into this Adam character and it seems that he was associated with the Doomragers, but I can’t find much else on him – since their squabble with the Silver Jackals last year, he’s been out of trouble. Word on the street says that he’s not part of their gain, but a freelancer. My beating is a reminder that I may need some help from time to time, and he seemed pretty competent, so I give him a call and offer him a partnership in my burgeoning business enterprise. With no preamble, he agrees and meets me up at the Boneyard.
After working together for a few weeks, Lex shows up and thanks us for our contributions. She says the right people know they had help, and that even Councilman Abernathy is aware of this. She says he is in our debt. She then makes light of our partnership, asking how long we can play these Cloak and Dagger games. The name strikes a chord – I’m a detective, he’s a weapon. And Cloak and Dagger Solutions is born just like that.