Speed Demon - Session 0 (Backstory)

Flavor Quotes

"Really, I can make squatter work. The first time the local toughs come to pick on me, I'll be a doofus. They'll go "Oh you think you're a funny man, don't you," and hit me with a bat. The bat will break and I'll keep being a doofus. By the time they try two or three different weapons, I should have them convinced they want to be on my good side.
Oh but wait, I have some gang experience. Not a lot. But I'd be trying to "represent" the Hotsteppers."

"Even if you're invincible, representing a gang by yourself is seldom a good move.
Of course, I never sleep, so stealing my stuff would be kinda hard.
They could shoot my stuff from a distance just to be dicks, but then I'd get angry.
They wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
I'd project over to one of them, take his gun, then start shooting their bikes with it.
"Yeah! See how you like it!"
gets shot multiple times
"Oh, are we shooting at each other, now!?" fires wildly"

Backstory

Arrival in Austin

After Speed Demon was fired, he fled north just by random chance, in largely the same frame of mind of a kid running to his room crying. As he neared the border, he saw an awakened critter attacking some people in rags. He whooped the critter, and the people thanked me. I travelled with them for a bit and when one of them stole a truck, I made it fast enough to evade patrols and cross the border.

After we got to Austin, they called themselves the Hernandez family, burrowed deep into the shadows, and eventually found a home in some ethnic neighborhood more or less comprised of Aztlan ex-patriots like them. Sr. Hernandez got a low-class job and managed to settle down and provide the bare necessities for his family. Since they were basically slave labor / mage food back home, this was a huge improvement for them. They stayed in touch, and they have my phone number. Meanwhile, Speed Demon was trying to figure out his way around town and come to grips with human society.

I think the Hernandez family probably helped a little bit with that. I like the idea of my cheap-ass comlink being a gift from them. I like the idea of a teenager son explaining it to me. Maybe I taught him a little bit about auto repair. Changing the oil, that kind of thing.

So, I wandered around Austin for a while being a doofus. I liked machines and probably tended to pick at them until I realized people were angry with me whenever I did that. Probably got a crash course in personal property and money at the barrel of a gun. When I realized everyone else was afraid of guns I learned to act afraid too. This led to the realization that when people pull a gun on you it's because they're mad at you. This seemed important. Filed this fact away for later. I also noticed that people were afraid of me. Even if I was nice to them. This made it difficult to form friendships. I guess I wandered around a while, occasionally trying to fit in and being comically unsuccessful.

I spent my first year of freedom like this. Over this time, I slowly converted that rusty pickup truck they stole into a monster truck with a driver's seat that would fit me. That truck was my primary source of food for that first year. It was probably the first car I'd ever reconstructed that had ntohing to dow tih cartoon characters. I was feeling the shame of my fired-ness at that point, and didn't want anything to remind me of what I'd lost. So I just copied designs from thirdhand hot-rod mags.

I left it with them and they've probably sold off quite a few of the fancier chrome bits I made, but they probably still have it and it probably still has big wheels. As a going away present, I might have rebuilt the grill to display the face of a cartoon character the littlest one liked. I just didn't want to have to look at it every day.

Aside from the Hernandez clan, I didn't really make any new friends. Most people saw me as a big weird wild-card, and my behavior didn't help much to change their minds. All that changed, however, when the Hotsteppers found me (in town on a smuggling run) and realized I was an exploitable resource.

Arrival in Denver

Unlike everyone else, they were wary but didn't show fear. The leader started talking to me. They took me back to Denver, (I didn't want to be reminded of what I'd lost, so I downplayed where I was from,) and told him I liked people and going fast and fixing cars. So the gang leader took me under his wing. I proved useful, then valuable, and then once I learned how to be cool and when to act tough, I was accepted as one of the gang, and formed actual friendships.

When the gang encounters me, their leader decides to see if he can convince me to do things for them. It works, in part because I'm just eager to find a place and want to make friends. It also makes me feel useful to have engines to fix. When they noticed my Wealth ability, they hooked me up with a jacket right then and there.

The Hotsteppers are a neo-cowboy go-gang. They were unable to brand my arm as is their custom, so I made a brand-shaped armlet that would fit around my bicep and put their logo there via jewelry. They took me to Marley's Harleys to pick out a cheap Scorpion. The shopkeep was used to dealing with go-gangers, but I kind of drove him a little nuts. He closed the sale as quickly as possible so I would stop disassembling the display models hanging from the ceiling.

So then I spent my second year of freedom running with the Hotsteppers. They taught me a little about smuggling, dealing with other gangs, fighting, and how a go-ganger commands respect. This was when I learned to make "scary" characters.

After a year working with the Hotsteppers, the turf warfare started to turn ugly. I finally hit someone hard enough to kill him, and this led to the horrible realization that humans aren't like cartoon characters. Humans can die if you beat them up too much. Suddenly all the fighting and tough-guy posturing took on a horrible new light, and I didn't want to be in a go-gang anymore.

Arrival in San Fransicso

The Hotsteppers' Fixer, Dusty, had me do a couple jobs for him to confirm I was a reliable asset. Then he took me off their hands. All the Denver gangs knew me, by this point, and my past made it harder for him to find work for me. So he relocated me to San Fran so he wouldn't have the stigma of my gang association to deal with.

First things first, though, we've accounted for two years of my four-year journey. This arc is symbolic of the four-year journey taken by souls through the netherworld in the Mexican afterlife. So I want each year to represent a kind of rebirth or change in identity.

First year was living with the Hernandezes in Austin, second year was running with the Hotsteppers in and around Denver. Third year was doing low-grade runs for Dusty in San Francisco as I started to put down roots. Finally, the fourth year, I went into business for myself. I started renting space in a garage and establishing myself as a legitimate auto mechanic. (this will have to come out of my first official use of the Wealth power since I didn't have any build points left for it.) The location is crap, and I'm still making a name for myself, but a few satisfied customers are out there.

And by this point I think I'm starting to get a handle on things. I mostly get how reputation matters and how money works and what people like and don't like. I've also started getting over my loss enough that I can watch cartoons, and in a way this makes me feel a lot better, because at least I know those guys are still up to their old tricks.

It's comforting to have an unshakable point of reference in one's universe.

Meeting Coyle

For the chat dump, Coyle is acting under the name Ronan

Speed Demon: "So what kinda car were you lookin' for?"

Coyle: "Hmm. Something… you know, kinda big. Off-road."

Speed Demon: "I can do big!"

Coyle: "It needs to have some room for people and cargo. The more self-sufficient, the better."
"Used would be good - I'm on a bit of a budget."

Speed Demon: "Oh, yeah. Everybody is these days…"

Coyle: Slightly off topic: Did you see the mods that I bought on the Rover?

Speed Demon: I did! I also like its history.
I was thinking of adding a small mod, maybe 1 or 2 slots at most. But what the mod would be depends on what I think you need.

Coyle: He'd probably use his cover story. He's an entrepreneur who takes people on "native vacations." His company is GoNative

Speed Demon: "Oh ho ho! So something of a tourist attraction, eh?"

Coyle: And he needs a car that can carry people and their luggage, keep them safe, and operate for long periods in the desert or jungle.

Speed Demon: Yeah but he's following your cover story.

Coyle: That is the cover story. 'Cause people sometimes want to go see the jungle. And I have to drive through the desert sometimes to get there. :)

Speed Demon: dusts off an old junker he had lying around "I can see it now! Comfy seats for the clientele… rugged suspension for that authentic off-road feel… and of course you'll want good tires so you can grip the terrain. Never. Skimp. On tires!"

"So what's GoNative supposed to mean, anyway? All the natives around here work in offices!"

Coyle: "Well, I try to provide a less touristy vacation service. Show people what life is really like wherever they're going. You know, let them see what it's like to really live there. It's mainly for people who want a little adventure, wanna spent a little time outside the sprawl."

Speed Demon: He looks sort of like live-action tick. Kinda goofy, kinda ridiculously overbuilt, and fake but real looking in a CG kinda way. (Astrally, he looks more like an actual cartoon version of this form.)

Speed Demon: "Ha! Interesting. I'll see what I can do…"

Coyle: He'd probably give you a couple models he likes, too. Maybe like the Rover, a Ford pickup, that sort of thing

Speed Demon: I'm going to say once he knows your needs, he says to come back in a week and he thinks he'll have the right car for you.
I am spending 3 grand of my own money.

When you come back, it is basically the Land Rover you already bought.
I show it to you, and I offer to drive you around in it so I can demonstrate it's features, then you can take the wheel.

There is a small red button tucked away discreetly where the driver can see it but anyone else would have a hard time noticing it. It's like recessed.

Coyle: Okay.

Speed Demon: Do you agree to let him drive? And do you want to roll to see if you spot the red button?
Speed Demon: Actually now that I think about it, there'd be a couple buttons.

Coyle: Sure. Let's see: Ooh. Four successes

Speed Demon: Okay you can see at least one of the buttons. They seem extra.

Coyle: "What is that for?"

Speed Demon: "Ahh-ahh, in due time! First let's give her a spin and go over the handling. She can be a little tricky to get the hang of at first, but once you do, you'll love sliding around those corners in the barrens to get your customers' attention."

Coyle: Coyle's a halfway decent driver. He
He's practiced, and he's got a hell of a set of reflexes

Coyle: Oh, and you'd also notice that he LIKES sliding around corners

Speed Demon: Excellent.

Speed Demon: It's deliberately configured to be a little floaty in the way that a warthog is floaty. You can power-slide easily, grip the terrain when you need to, and no real danger of flipping if you know what you're doing.

Coyle: Oh, nice. Considering I have 8 dice to throw when I'm driving, this will be a fun drive!

Speed Demon: yelling over the sound of the engine "NOW THEN. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN GANGSTA-MC-NUMBNUTS IN THE BACKSEAT COMPLAINS ABOUT WHERE ARE ALL THE GO-GANGERS?"

Coyle: "Brake really hard, then handbrake turn?" smirk

Speed Demon: "Ooooh! NICE! BUT JUST TO REALLY SELL IT…" makes a show out of jabbing the button. Sparks fly as bullets apparently ricochet off of your door.

Coyle: That's startle him for a second, then he'd laugh

Speed Demon: "Feeder's in the door, you can access it if you take the bolts off that panel. It accepts standard pistol blanks of all types. I like to go with the fake EX explosive rounds Lonestar uses for their training exercises, but they can be a leeettle hard to get ahold of."

Coyle: nods "Good pointer. Nice touch, too. I like it."

Speed Demon: "Well, what can I say, sometimes I get… inspired…" crazy grin

Coyle: Ronan would probably make small talk, too. After all, he's kind of a face. He'd chat until he drove the car, then he'd have to play with it a bit.

Speed Demon: stops extremely short, spinning the rover around 180 degrees and tapping the gas to kill the momentum "Your turn!" There is a button for basically each seat. The feeders hold enough rounds for each passenger to receive two 3-round bursts. This system takes up however many slots you think is fair, I vote 2 slots.

Coyle: Okay. I'll look at similar mods and will add the notes to the car.

Coyle: Heh. That's appropriate! 2 successes on my first Pilot check, 4 on the second. Gotta get a feel for the car, after all!
Yes, Ronan IS showing off.

Speed Demon: "Hey you're pretty good!"

Coyle: "I love driving."

Speed Demon: "Nothin' like the feel of the open road!"

Coyle: It's great how Coyle, the snot-nosed kid, is the one that knows both of you.
That means you'll have to put up with him!

Speed Demon: heh
I'm disappointed the first car mod was on purpose.

Coyle: What do you mean?

Speed Demon: Oh, I was expecting it to be like we'd been hanging out for a month and one day your car has hydraulics because SD got bored.

Coyle: Ahh. Well, that's always a possibility still!

Speed Demon: Yeah. That'd be a good one for Jack.
But Cole's expecting it now.
Okay so, we drive back. I more or less accept your first offer because I suck at this, but you're generous because you actually like it. Then I'm like "Wanna see my bike?"

Coyle: And the answer, is, of course, "Hell yeah!"

Speed Demon: Okay, so he leads you back into the corner of the garage, then yells "Takin' the tarp off!" One of the other guys renting the garage rolls his eyes and yells "He's takin' the tarp off!" And then starts rolling a partition shut so what is about to go down does not disturb the impressionable customers out front.

Coyle: looking around, interested

Speed Demon: goes back to a tarp in the back and reaches under it… the tarp flutters a bit as an unholy roar, like a dragon with a hunger for metahuman flesh, emanates from beneath the tarp.

Coyle: Hmm. Let's see. Coyle knows you do FX now, so he'd probably be interested rather than startled.

Speed Demon: Good man. Speed Demon seems amused now that he's sharing the joke. He whips off the tarp in a flourish, revealing the dread machine, smoke swirling low to the ground around it as it slowly writhes. The Spirit throws one leg over it in a practiced motion, and then settles into the guts of the machine, only his head and shoulders visible as he rides low in it. The eyes in the skull-like insectoid face flash as they light up green, and the machine seems to scuttle as it slowly rolls forward.

Coyle: rolling knowledge check, 2 successes for IDing the bike

Speed Demon: I spent double the base price modifying this sucker. Are two successes really enough? XD

Coyle: Maybe not, then. That's a hell of a lot of mods.

Speed Demon: It is! Which is awesome, because it gives me the opprotunity to say this line…

Coyle: In that case…. "What the hell did you do to that bike? That WAS a bike, right?"

Speed Demon: "Whassa matter, never seen a scorpion before?" :D

Coyle: blinks, then huuge laugh

Speed Demon: "She's a little heavy, but she can outrun your new land rover if I get out and push…"

Coyle: Coyle'd probably talk to you about the bike for a while - he'd want to know what you'd done, how it rides, etc.

Speed Demon: Okay. He'd pull back some of the legs to reveal the pistons that drive the scuttling effect. He's also say that it rides surprisingly steady and a little slow for its class. "unless I get out and push, of course," he says again.

Coyle: He knows basics about the mechanics, but not really very much. He knows a lot more about … other things. Also, he doesn't know shit about spirits.

Speed Demon: Oh, hell. He'd try to talk you into racing and putting money on it. Say a grand.

Coyle: Hmmm. That'd be interesting. You can throw that bike around for real. But I don't have a grand. I'm blowing all my savings on my business.

Speed Demon: Ah, okay then. Maybe some other time! Come back every now and then for a tune-up. Last thing you want is some amateur shorting the wiring on that drive-by effect… or worse, reloading it with real ammo.

Coyle: I'm going to have to keep in touch with you now. And eventually, we are going to have to race.
And if you let me rig, I could maybe win.

Speed Demon: After the engine's been off a while, that coworker wheels the gate back to an open position. "All done, SD? Some of us have work to do!"


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