ION presents their self in two vastly different personas, one working, and one casual. This division is so stark that aside from their abnormal height, they have almost nothing in common and casual acquaintances meeting the working ION will not recognize them, and to a slightly less extent, vice versa.
Working ION is approximately seven feet tall, and wears a shock padded encounter suit, a bulky custom version that has enhanced protection against explosions and energy weapons. The suit typically has the name ION written across the back and in various other places. This is actually the source of their runner handle, as the suit is made by Ion Ballistics and Armor. ION also has a full head light combat helmet which has enhanced visual capacity, internal communications suite, and an air filtration system. This rebreather changes ION's voice.
Most people assume ION is a steroid juiced muscle headed man who just happens to be somewhat polite and seldom spoken.
Casual ION is six foot nine, has shoulder length auburn hair and tortoiseshell eyes, and is decidedly feminine. She favors relatively trendy bodysuits, the sort that are currently en vogue in some parts of the EuroZone and the Pacific Rim states, though she avoids the translucent suits, or the more risque keyhole designs that are considered cutting edge chic. She is surprisingly Midwestern, boisterous, and gregarious to almost a fault.
ION and the CANNONBALL Crew
The CANNONBALL Crew is a somewhat infamous group of shadowrunners who are best known for causing a huge mess, lots of collateral damage, and being a highly effective damn large hammer for dealing with problems. ION is part of the brawn for CANNONBALL, and she relishes her role as a brawler and the muscle. The team has two brawn positions, which they term the forward, and the power forward. ION is the power forward as her general tactic is hand to hand combat, with an emphasis on grapples, throws, and submission holds. This typically fares poorly for her opponents as her large size and enormous strength allows for most of her submission holds to either be crippling or fatal. The regular forward team member is typically a man with some sort of muscle augmentation or a light exoframe and a heavy support weapon.
ION has always been the way she is, taller, stronger, and self-consciously androgynous. She was engineered from birth to be a tower of muscle and strength with the full intent of a lifetime serving as an elite power armor commando. She never fit in well, as the girls disliked her for being so much larger than her, and her decidedly masculine frame was the subject of their ridicule. This became worse as puberty crashed through her and the others her age because while their breasts grew, her muscle mass increased and instead of feminine breasts, she had the dense pectoral muscles of a professional wrestler. The boys were not as cruel, since she was also somewhat larger than they were, but to them she had the head of a pretty girl attached to the body of an athlete. This sometimes bothered her more, because despite all the engineering done to her, no one addressed the regular things, she still found boys attractive, and they found her intimidating.
ION joined the Kingdoms of Scandinavia military, as was required by the law there, and quite to their disappointment, refused service in the power armor corps or infantry. Instead she tried to enter the medic corps, combat journalism, and pretty much anything that kept her from carrying a ninety pound platoon assault weapon. She scraped through her first year of service as a basic enlisted, and didn't find her calling until the second year. Para-rescue. She spent the next three years, two more than mandated, as a para-rescue operator, jumping out of helos and aircraft, or rappelling down drop lines either out of vehicles or down the sides of buildings. Her strength and stamina made her a natural, and her willingness to go into dangerous situations earned her commendations.
Instead of a killer, they had built and grown a search and rescue machine.
Abuse and the Helldivers
A Helldiver is a professional search and rescue operator who doesn't respond to natural disasters, they respond to wartime situations, armed conflict, and dimensional fatigue events. They rescue high profile clients in the most harrowing of situations, and ION was a perfect fit for their model. After leaving the military, ION was recruited by Sonnestarke Pararescue out of the New Hanseatic League. The pay was dramatically better, equipment was improved by magnitudes, and there was more work than there was mundane tasks, training, and SAW (Sit And Wait) status.
It was also dramatically more dangerous. Certainly the greater amount of action was a factor, but the main problem was that the other 'divers' at Sonnestark were cutthroats and bastards, and they had their own cliques and blood brotherhoods. To the point of blood sharing rituals, and retreats that indulged their darker interests, all done off of the books, and often as gifts from the people that they rescued. More than once she declined to attend such events, most were of the gluttony and orgy persuasion, but ION was fairly certain there was at least one human hunt she declined.
This made her an outlier to the Sonnestark brotherhoods.
Which is why on her last helldive, one of her coworkers slashed her rappelling line and caused her to fall over 150 feet to a hard tumbling crash that broke quite a few bones, and her heart.
Enfield and the CANNONBALL Crew
Enfield was a former Atlantic Federation Intelligence Officer who left the AFAF and started his own private security operation, a polite term for leaving the military and creating a shadowrunning agency. It was Enfield who found ION after her fall, and brought her back to his base of operations, a Mag-rail landrace. The Smoke Iris was a 40 foot cabin cruiser retrofit with magnetic repulsor rails, and was the mobile base for the CANNONBALL crew. ION spent a fair amount of time living in the Smoke Iris, and visiting several shadow clinics. It took a while, but ION was tough, and had accelerated healing abilities. Anyone else would have died in the fall she took, she was knocked off her feet for a few months.
Enfield gave her a job when the rest of the world had marked her as deceased, and all of her accounts and possessions were gone. She fully became ION then, her old life, her old name, her old job, she considered dead at the foot of a burned out shell of a research facility. She was angry, and she wanted to hurt the people who needed to be hurt. She joined CANNONBALL as a support member, still not picking up heavy weapons or armor. She favored speed, using her strength, and surprising her opponents.
CANNONBALL was originally a much more clandestine operation, and her use of hand to hand was exemplary. She could do as much damage as a heavy weapon, but without explosions, ammo, or collateral damage. She was also experienced, and well versed in helping people. The early ops saw her doing much of the same as before, personal extraction, missing persons, breaking hostage situations, and running vanguard on more mundane smash and grab missions. She didn't trust her teammates, not after the betrayal she had before, she was waiting for them to turn on her too, for being what she was.
The Last Straw
ION was there when the CANNONBALL crew changed their MO. It was a mix of search and rescue and a smash and grab. Half the team was diverted to find the data core at the Stavanger Industrial complex while it was caught in a dimensional fatigue event caused by a catastrophic reactor malfunction. While the alpha team hunted down the core, the beta team would do PR search and rescue, make CANNONBALL look good for potential clients, as well as potentially earning bonus rescue pay from Stavanger for rescuing their people.
It was a double st up. The reactor malfunction was deliberate, Stavanger was looking to cash out on the failed work at the facility as well as clean up the mess. Sonnestark was involved to make sure that the VIPs at the facility would be rescued cleanly. Finally, there was a second shadowrunner crew, the Black Lanners. The Lanners were former Sonnestark personnel, discharged military pararescue, and a smattering of borderline terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. They were there for looting, invited by their blood brothers from Sonnestark.
It was a bloodbath.
Stavanger was successful in their attempt to cash out the facility and liquidate its problems. It did suffer serious losses in VIP manpower, and several notable members of its elite scientific staff and BOD members died. The fallout of restructuring the corp wiped out most of the financial gains, and would end u as a two year long internal struggle and source of lucrative contracts against them by outsiders looking to bring Stavanger down.
Sonnestark lost two of their carry-all transports, and over a dozen personnel were seriously injured or killed in the extraction attempt. They still managed to grab enough of their VIPs to not default on their contract, but shortly after, Stavanger released their contracts with Sonnestark and switched to a Hellstar, their primary rival.
The Black Lanners were wiped out to the last man, and their transport, the Blackbird, was shot down with one of their own shoulder fired rockets.
Of CANNONBALL, only three members of the ten strong team survived. TriX, a technomancer and cyborg, was successful in recovering the Stavanger core, but it cost the slim woman her arm, half her face, and several organs blown out of her body. Enfield was revealed to be a parapsychic manipulator. ION discovered this when he puppeteered her, stealing control of her body from her, making her do what he wanted. For the first time, she picked up a heavy weapon, Ruin Impendent, a powerful gatling beam weapon, and used it to slaughter indiscriminately. ION gunned down most of the Black Lanners, and a fair number of DFE induced monstrosities. Enraged by the disaster that was the mission, Enfield forced ION to pick up the Lanner's own heavy rocket launcher and she shot down three of the carry-alls and rescue craft present.
CANNONBALL returned to lick it's wounds. Enfield tied ION to him so that she couldn't betray him, or leave him. She was too valuable to him. She hated him with a dark fury, the violation she felt when he made her his puppet, and how he had made her kill so easily. It was the betrayal sh had been waiting for, looking for, and it still took her off guard. TriX survived, but was reduced to a paraplegic in a life support system, but took over as a sort of remote operator for CANNONBALL as they rebuilt. Selling the Stavarang core netted them a large pool of funds, and the visuals and collateral damage made them a name in shadowrunning circles. CANNONBALL was the big hammer, for when things were messy and ugly, and needed to be dealt with quickly and viciously.
ION is still present, and looks forward to the day when she can dispose of Enfield, and regain her freedom. Until then, she plays her role, and does the things he wants, anything to keep him from wrapping his hands around her brain, hijacking her body, stealing her free will.
He knows that she wants to kill him.
It makes her a much more efficient and brutal fighter, turning that hatred outward. It would be easy for her to turn it inward, to destroy herself.
He wont let that happen.
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? Responses (2)-2
A complex character that gives a fantastic history on how and why she is where she is. My joy in these kind of posts are that while it is set soundly in a certain genre, the core of the entire character is so well explained that it makes it incredibly easy to snag and use in any genre campaign. To me, that is the sign of a great character.
Excellent stuff here Scras. Want to see more in this storyline :)