Janice Spencer at first glance could easily be mistaken for a junky or street bum, with a unkempt mess of short auburn hair partially covering a drawn face with blood shot eyes that speak of too little sleep and too much alcohol. A short five foot five inch slightly gaunt frame is usually hidden under a faded denim mini skirt and ragged t-shirt, over which a dark stained trench coat, is usually worn, loosely tied at the waist.
On second glance one may notice an unkept beauty to her features, her measured stride, and almost predatory mannerisms as she surveys her surroundings, usually glancing up at the night sky repeatedly; her body tense with coiled energy.
A third glance, if one dared look close enough, might reveal a bulge under her left armpit, hinting at a concealed holster, and the hunch of her shoulders, as if awaiting an executioners blow from behind.
My name is Janice Spencer. I spent 15 years of my life on the job. The Chicago Police department isn’t for everyone. Like everything else it has it’s Up's and downs but the darker side of society it reveals to you, especially Homicide is disturbing. No matter who you are and how solid a person it slowly changes you until you barely know who you are any more or what is what. That’s why so many ex-Cops like myself take to booze or what have you.
So many times my girlfriend Karen asked me how my day was. You have to be able to leave the job behind. What am I going to answer… “It was fine honey except for those strangled children… it was great except for that poor bastard someone blew the head off of with a shotgun or that murdered woman someone raped after they had slit her throat… Oh, by the way, have you ever smelled a 3 week old rotting corpse dear?”
Like most of my colleagues I kept it all to myself. Did my best to love my girlfriend and our adopted kids, and prayed they’d stay safe from the horrors and monsters in this world. Our relationship had it's troubles but I loved her and the kids. It’s hard to explain, there's so many things in there that only another Cop would understand. Well needless to say in my case my prayers went unanswered.
One night some psycho broke in, raped them. cut their throats and set fire to my house… taking them from me. I thought my life had ended, things couldn't get any worse, but I was wrong. The sick bastard, had a friend, and they had shot some amateur video footage of the entire ordeal, and posted it up on the illustrious internet for all to see, even mailed copies to the precinct and my house. Seeing the video, hearing my loved ones screaming my name, begging for help, crying agony; I admit I lost it after that. In the precinct I heard all the whispering, the comments…
I was taken off the streets and put behind a desk. Pushing a pencil while that those two low life's were roaming free. Everyone treating me like some EDP… Of course I was an emotionally disturbed person... I saw my lover and kids ending in the most brutal fashion, almost as if I was in the room myself. I guess the stress and grief was getting to me. I had some hallucinations and incidents after it all went down. I said some stupid things… seeing monsters around, demons among us. I started to keep it to myself but it was too late and word spread to the shrinks.
I mean I had just lost my family… while scum like drug dealers, gang-bangers and child molesters somehow God saw fit to grant life to. I had always suspected that it was all a crock and now it was painfully clear to me that there was no God.
Anyhow, one night they dragged in one of the “Perps” who might one of the two. A real dirt bag, long rap sheet, fit the profile too… A series of arsons and sexual assaults going back years. The system was so overcrowded they had to cut him loose just a few days before my tragedy. Well I paid him a little visit, even if it wasn’t him that was guilty of killing my family, he was guilty of something, or sometime would be. He was a real waste of fragging life. The others pulled me off him but I made sure he’d be peeing through a straw for the rest of his life. I'd sell my soul to get my hands on all these low life's for just a few minutes.
I was suspended on medical leave. My record as a Cop was squeaky clean compared to most. I had several commendations over the years. Eventually I was forcibly separated from the force but retained a pension package… blood money after all I’d been through. I lost my badge and my gun. I was just another face in the crowd now.
I found it harder and harder to sleep at night, often having nightmares when I did finally manage to get some shut eye. I was renting a small apartment downtown now, a real dump. The previous resident had left behind some junk. The slum lord called it a furnished apartment, what a joke.
The former resident was most likely evicted for non-payment of rent or some stuff, it was mostly busted up crap. I found a telescope and some books on astrology among the garbage.
Over the next few weeks I became lost in this new distraction… watching the stars at night and trying to understand the meaning of it all. I would try not to think about my family but it understandably got the better of me from time to time and I hit the bottle harder then ever. My friends all disappeared in the following weeks, all except for good old Jack Daniels, Jim Bean, Captain Morgan and occasionally a visit from Mr. Dewers. One night when I was in a real dark place... I made a wish on one of those stars.
Little by little, I began to see some patterns in them after that. I felt like maybe something had led me to this point... On this one particular night, I followed the stars through the city streets. It’s not easy to do with the lights and distractions. I brought along my throw-down piece. I had kept it hidden in my unmarked car for years, just in case. It was only an old .45 I took off some punk kid in my rookie days but it was clean, and it would have to do for now.
The stars led me to an industrial area of the city. I had never been here before… it was completely unfamiliar to me. I saw a ragged man, in an army jacket. He was unkempt and had a long matted up beard. He was holding a knife to a woman’s throat. She had been badly beaten, her clothing was all torn up and had a bloody sack over her head. I stayed in the darkness and watched. He dragged her into an open doorway of an abandoned building. The only light in the alleyway was a nearly extinguished garbage can fire.
I snuck up cautiously and entered behind him. I went down a flight of metal stairs to a basement level. It stunk of urine and was full of garbage. I could see plenty of clothing, handbags and such tossed around the pig-sty.
He had her tied down on a old filthy mattress and was hovering over her like some great predator over a fresh kill… He was cutting the skin from her body in long strips… She was screaming but it was muffled. He sniffed the air loudly and looked up at me. I held up my weapon in one hand and beckoned to him with a finger on the other one. He stuck the knife into her chest defiantly, not to be deprived of his kill, and rose up angrily. She gasped, convulsed for a few seconds and then passed on.
As I looked at her, oddly I felt no real compassion. It was the way of the world to me now. He charged at me in my moment of distraction but I remained completely calm. I aimed deliberately at his mid torso and fired a shot. Head shots were for the movies, not real life situations.
He fell to the ground at my feet. Still clawing slowly in my direction. What a fuckin' piece of work... I fired a few more shots in to him a few seconds apart, into the limbs. I wanted him to suffer, to feel some of the agony I live with in my heart day after day. Finally… I pulled his head up by his hair to see his face more clearly. His features were grotesque surely matching his black soul.
I put the gun to the side of his head, looked him dead in the eyes and pulled the trigger with a smile.
Since that night, every few days or weeks, I see the signs in the stars and follow them. I am as yet to be disappointed... I may never find the bastards who took my family from me but I’ll always be able to find someone to make pay for it regardless. All I can say is... "God help them..."
Aside from a weather beaten and well used .45 M 1911 Janice has been known to carry a stiletto, and occasionally a sawed off shotgun or machine pistol, temporary acquisitions from her prey she uses for a week or two, then disassembles and discards piece meal in various trash cans, storm drains, and rivers on her forays.
One of her other trademarks of note is her regular use of silver coated hollow points in her weapons, something she feels adds to accuracy and gives her brand of vigilante justice a spark of class and panache. Subconsciously she prefers silver just incase her drunken visions of demons and possessed murders proves true.
(Side note: One can by actual silver jacketed hollow points in a variety of calibers from popular ammunition manufactures in modern day without much difficulty.)
In her home are several astrology books, some of them clearly antiques bound in cracked leather and written by hand. Her telescope itself is equally old and archaic, composed mostly of greened copper and faded wood. Of note however are the telescopes lenses, which seem oddly untarnished and sparkle as if new.
Janice Spencer as a Rival
Being obsessed with the hunt, Janice could easily prove a nuisance to any group of characters, arriving just ahead of them at location of interest to mete out her special brand of bloody justice. By killing informants, destroying evidence, and drawing unwanted attention to the area she can quickly complicate their lives; and unintentionally stir up an otherwise dormant threat or nest of cultists for the characters to deal with upon their arrival.
Dealing with this unwanted vigilante could easily lead to acquiring:
Janice Spencer as an Enemy
Having Janice Spencer as enemy is something the characters could acquire almost by accident, especially if she believes the stars have guided her to them for the purpose of delivering justice for their past misdeeds.
Assuming the characters manage to evade or only injure Janice during their initial encounter, they will find themselves pursued by a foe that somehow seems to be able to locate them one starry night, no matter how many times they move, or how remote their safe house is.
For her part Janice will purse them with an almost emotionless dogged persistence, viewing them as chosen for punishment by the stars and blithely ignoring any pleas for mercy, or attempts at negotiation. Creative as well as sociopathic Janice will adjust her tactics to exploit any perceived weakness of the characters, and vary her weaponry if she feels it will give her a greater potential for success.
Despite her mystical connection to the stars, Janice is still only human, (albeit a highly skilled human willing to sacrifice her life for the next kill if necessary.) and can be put to death in any manner of mundane means.
Janice Spencer as a Contact
As a contact Janice has little to officer characters, beyond reporting the former locations of her prey, and perhaps if they offered up any useful information before their death. Such knowledge could prove useful to a group of investigators attempting to discern the claimed area of a cult or supernatural menace, or discern the pattern of a series of killings and monster sightings.
Such knowledge would likely come at a price however, either in equipment, or in assisting Janice on her next hunt, which the stars have hinted will lead her to quarry more numerous and powerful then she can handle alone.
Janice Spencer as an Ally
While quite private and more then a little deranged, Janice could serve as a useful ally for investigators trying to track down a elusive target, or those needing someone that's brave and uncaring enough to pull the trigger on whatever piece of cultist filth or unholy nasty they currently are up against.
Such an uneasy alliance can be acquired during a chance meeting with Janice, as her stellar guidance has brought her to the same location as the characters, perhaps even after the same monster or possessed junkie out for a thrill kill.
Meeting her at a liquor or firearms retailer is also a possibility, and she has been known to speak briefly with those she senses also hunt the streets at night; those with the look of having their lives ended abruptly by forces beyond their control.
Janice Spencer as a Lover
After her previous ordeals Janice has degenerated into a focused tool of justice, caring little beyond her next hunt and the blurring comfort of distilled spirits. To break through this wall of alcohol and blood a character would have to be female, passably beautiful, persistent, and willing to join in on her hunt for vengance and absolution.
A fortunate rescue during one of Janice's many nightly forays, (either by a well placed bullet into an attacker, or through life saving medical assistance) would provide the heroine with a window of opportunity to befriend this isolated vigilante.
Outside of saving her life, one could also bump into Janice on the street as she returns home with an arm full of groceries, or find her coming to their aid when death and torture at the hands of a supernatural nasty or deranged lunatic seems certain.
For those able to win her heart, and see past the smell of gunpowder and booze that permeates her clothes, they will find a eternally loyal companion who is unwilling to leave their side for any reason, and savors every moment of passion and romance as if it was their last.
A life mate who possesses an unquestioning acceptance of any personal quirks, odious personal habits, or dark secrets the character may have. A partner that will kill without hesitation anything that threatens the character, be it a monstrosity from beyond the black, a deranged ex-boyfriend, or Federal Agent mistaking them for a wanted fugitive.
Having such a lover could prove both a blessing and a curse to the average character, but leaving her would be out of the question. The stars will always somehow guide Janice back to their side, where she will continue to remain despite any attempts to convince her to move on, or inflicted abuse suffered at the hands of her beloved.
Indeed, once acquired as romantic partner, the only way to be free of her is by granting her a merciful death. Even then, depending on the position of the stars; death may prove no lasting barrier to her blind devotion...
to add an idea. It only takes a moment.