Rifts - Pathway to Oblivion
I'm not sure why, but my allies prefer to call me using a shortened version of my last name. I guess you can call me...Burn too.
5’10", brown hair, brown eyes. Driven.
Average. Ask most people who know Hoban to use one word to describe him and ‘average’ is going to be the most common answer. Since the day he found a small robot toy lying, discarded, on the side of the road, and watched his father bring it back to life, Hoban has been, to put it mildly, obsessed with everything electronics. He’d frequently be seen hanging around the local garages watching the mechanics working on those wonderful engines. Vehicles, powered armor, air ships. Often he’d overstay his welcome which usually happened when he would, in his matter-of-fact tone, explain to the mechanic what he was doing wrong and then, in the same breath, explain ‘the right way to do things’.
Still, it was pretty clear that he had a knack for fixing most things that were connected to a battery or a gas tank and as soon as he could work a hydraulic jack, he started working in one of the local garages alongside his father. And while his coworkers, sometimes his father included, often grew tired of his constant buzzing about and his ‘helpfulness’, all of them would agree that ‘the kid knew his stuff’.
Then one late evening when Hoban was told to close up the shop, a coalition soldier drove into the garage hauling a half ton Samas and that, as they say, was that. Turned out that the soldier had ‘borrowed’ the Samas for a joyride to impress one of the local gals and there was a slight..mishap that he needed to be fixed quietly. Hoban was immediately entranced by the marvelous piece of machinery in front of him and barely heard anything else said while he eagerly started his work. It was like he was four all over again and this soldier had brought him his toy robot. Only this time it was Hoban’s turn to reignite that spark of life in it. When he finished, the sky was just starting to brighten a bit announcing the fast approaching dawn.
That same morning Hoban put in his two weeks notice and almost immediately after that started working at the nearby garage that was known to be a favored shop by many of the Coalition soldiers stationed in the area. The owner knew right away that Hoban belonged in his garage and started to teach Hoban many of the secrets to the trade he had picked up in his years of experience. They’d often stay at the shop late into the night talking their techno-can while eating their rations (no, it wasn’t all they could afford, but it was all that they required for survival, so it’s what they chose most of the time) and throwing back what passed for ‘beer’ in those parts. In a way the owner was Hobans first (and arguably only) real friend. And the owner saw Hoban almost as a second son; his own son having died a number of years back in a racing accident and his wife soon following soon after having fallen into a deep depression and stopped caring about anything else, including her own health.
So, it wasn’t really a surprise when the owner approached Hoban one morning and handed him the keys to the garage, both literally and figuratively. And Hoban took full advantage of the situation, his dream of owning his own power armor shop finally having come true. Over the next few months all Hoban did was work. In fact, his shop was becoming so popular that some of the other local shop owners would often be heard complaining that business was at a crawl because all the soldiers would look for Hoban whom they started referring to as the ‘robot fixer’ both in reference to what Hoban was known for and because of the logical, .almost cold, mechanical personality he had. The grumbling grew a little louder each day, but it turned out there really wasn’t any reason (or, some less oblivious to his surrounding might say because of the grumbling…) for the other local shop owners to be nervous because, five months after becoming the official owner, the local law enforcement stormed in, claiming some or or another had been violated and everything in the shop was confiscated and Hoban thrown into a holding cell to await ‘justice’.
And that is where Hoban’s real story starts; with a bright flash of light and a way of escape…