Rifts - Pathway to Oblivion
Elusive Gunslinger/Scout who got real swoll real fast
Shane started out as the son of a humble farmer and his wife trying to eke out an existence in the hard scrabble of what was formerly the American Plains. Life was simple, but hard, with the family having to occasionally fend off thieves, con-men, and the occasional supernatural threat to their meager homestead.
One night, Shane’s parents woke him up and hid him in a crawlspace below the floor. Shane knew this meant that a “monster” had come, and knew that he couldn’t make any noise, no matter what he heard above.
What Shane heard wasn’t an attack, or even the roaring of the monsters he imagined and drew on the walls of the shed with leftover bits of charcoal. He heard the muffled sounds of a man talking, and his mother and father talking back…it almost sounded like pleading…with the man. After a few more minutes of talking, he heard the strange man’s voice yell one word, followed by a moment of silence that was quickly shattered by a terrifying cacophony; hissing, yelling, the screams of his mother, and sounds that he could only liken to the roaring of predators on a fresh kill.
Blood dripped through the seams that formed the crawlspace door. Shane stayed silent, too petrified to even cry, almost too petrified to breath.
Many hours later, after what seemed like days to Shane, the next sounds he heard were those of boots on the cabin floor, and of men’s voices. Suddenly the door of the crawlspace was flung off, and Shane’s eyes were met by the stinging brightness of flashlights, and he heard the unmistakable click of guns being cocked. He sat there trembling, trying to squint and see which of the men was his father.
Instead, he was scooped up out of the crawlspace and into the life of a Cadet in Reid’s Rangers. After a battery of tests that determined he had a strong back, a keen eye, but little in the way of tactical guile or “book-learnings”, Shane was placed into training as a Scout.
After being singled out by Robert “Grizzly” Carter for his fierceness when ambushing an enemy on a training mission, he was introduced to Doc Reid, who praised Shane’s talents, devotion to duty with the Rangers, and spoke of the opportunity to ensure he could avenge his parents…with a little help from the good doctor himself. After agreeing to do whatever it took to see his parents’ vampiric killers destroyed, Shane found himself on an operating table, going through the long, painful augmentation process to become a Juicer, and a member of one of the Rangers’ elite H/K squads devoted to stamping out vampires across the continent.
Mission after mission and victory after victory honed Shane’s killing edge, and his fierce determination to eliminate everything standing between him and the vampire clan that murdered his parents. Upon witnessing his squad abusing innocent townsfolk after they raided a vampire hive just outside the town, his squad leader explained it as the “interrogation of vamp-loving Vichy’s”. Not knowing what a “Vichy” was, Shane brushed it off…and kept brushing it off until he saw that his squad wasn’t just interested in killing vampires, it was just interested in killing.
This cycle of hyper-violence, boredom, and abuse of the innocent continued, blurring the days and weeks together, until one day, in pursuit of the remnants of a vampire nest they had wiped out the day before, they came upon a small farm in the middle of nowhere. The squad leader ordered a standard perimeter and proceeded inside, to “look for clues” that might make the trail clearer. A few minutes later there was a scream, and the echo of two shots. Hustling inside, the squad found a wounded farmer standing protectively in front of his wife and small daughter, a rifle trembling in his gaunt hands…and the squad leader dead on the floor, a smoking hole punctuating his bearded face.
The second in command, after recovering from his initial shock, declared them “vampire sympathizers” and ordered them executed where they stood. Shane, tired of seeing the innocent suffer, locked eyes with the small girl and felt a kinship with the fear in her tear-streaked face.
Shane didn’t remember anything beyond the roared “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” that erupted from his mouth. When he was finished, he ignored the hushed and tearful “thank you’s” from the family, and moved quickly to use the squad’s heavily-modified truck to drag the bodies to a nearby gulch, further mangling them with his axes and bare hands, scattering their innards and limbs to resemble a vampire feeding frenzy. He then burned the whole wreck with help from the reserve fuel and ammunition stores, watching the flames destroy what little order he had found in his life.
Shane mounted his motorcycle, muttered a quick renewal of his vow to destroy the vampires that shattered his life, while also taking a new vow – to protect those that could not protect themselves. He gunned the engine and set off North, away from Reid’s Rangers and into the unknown.