My chosen name is Corbin. My given designation is "Project K9-DIV, codename Blackbird, security code 2385, registered property of the Ares Corporation."
That's why I go by Corbin.
I can recall my birth quite clearly.
Or if you wanna get all symbolic and movie buff on me, I can remember my death.
I don't care; I just went through it, that's all. Give it whatever name you like, it's still the same. If I picked anything up, it's that names mean jack shit.
I was born about 5 years ago, fully grown and mentally between 15 and 20, with the knowledge approximately that of a university library. My birthplace was a small, highly classified research lab in the American heartland that was trying to create the super soldier for the good of the company.
That's right; I'm a genetically produced lethal weapon. Hitler might've dreamed it up, Stan Lee might've given it a name and face, but I am living proof that the corps does frag up when mucking around with nature. I'm probably the most secret project they created. Hell, I know for a fact that the CEO doesn't have high enough clearance to know about me. Just a few specialized scientists and some mid-level flunky that was trying to advance his position through the super-soldier project. He actually died a few weeks after it was created, but you know how corps are. After the proper forms are filled out, they run themselves. As for the missing nuyen, everybody figures somebody else knows where it's going.
That's why I'm not being all conspiracy freakist and thinking they're after me. "They" don't even know about me.
Right, my birth. I'm getting there, just chill, chummer.
Things actually started about 7 years ago, when a young scientist (later renamed Dr. Frank - no, not a coincidence) stole copies of research from some geneticist he was working with. Since some enterprising mid-level suit figured it would look good on his resume, Dr. Frank was recruited and then disappeared from mainstream UCAS. Soon after, the facility was compromised by an "unidentified intruder of undetermined gender, age, and race." For those who don't like corp-ese, "some sorta critter got in and we don't got the damndest clue what the frag it is." When the body was finally examined, it was obviously not human, but the bullet holes and hell-hound mangling sorta kept any conclusive identification from being made. But the body of whatever it was didn't interest the Doc nearly as much as what came with it: an egg. A single lavender egg, about a foot tall with dark purple speckles. It had been broken during the retaliation against the intruder, but the mostly formed creature inside was whole. Dead, but whole. Since Dr. Frank was a totally freak-job, he took the creature, messed with its DNA and other obscure magical and scientific drek I couldn't get details of, and grew himself a whole new creature. Even in this awakened world of 2059, a time of magic and cybernetics, the thing he made was a true monster.
My first experience began with opening my eyes. The world resolved into a curved plasti-glass pane in front of me. Beyond that was a group of metahumans. Two humans and a dwarf in lab coats, an elf in a business suit, and a pair of bodyguards that were a troll and ork. They were all staring at me. I was strapped naked into a life-support cylinder, raised into vertical position so the suit didn't have to crane his neck to see me.
I knew right away something was wrong. I knew exactly what everything was, its purpose and how it was made. But I had only a vague sense of what those were. The female human had an antique clipboard and pen. I knew immediately that the pen was used for writing, containing ink that was released through grooves around a tiny steel ball to form letters, then words. But.... writing.... what was that? How was it done? There were only vague images, like from a bad trid show. A trid show. A form of entertainment in which beings act out a script, then transmitted to trideo sets. But I hadn't ever seen one. What is it like?
I had a giant database inside my head, but nothing to connect it with. Orange, for example. A color, a combination of yellow and red. But what is that? Taste, other than a vague metallic tang, was another unexplored void. Touch was limited to the soft blanket lining my prison, a cool, unyielding steel like the buckles on fiber straps holding me upright. Scent was strictly the emptiness of purified air. Sound was my own deep, rhythmic breaths that echoed off the walls and that pane.
"Ugly looking thing."
The first words I heard. The first clue I was not human, not like the beings in front of me.
The suit spoke again. "Looks a little upset."
That was my birth. But I was never born, so I guess it can be called my death. See, Doc Frank was a fan of old, 2d movies. The bloodier and kinkier the better. One of his favorites was about this guy that gets killed and comes back to avenge his girlfriend. So on a whim he messed with my base DNA so I look mostly human, but am based on a bad joke. I never did like the movie.
I'm basically humanoid, the whole 2 arms, 2 legs, torso and one head. But I'm not like any metahuman I ever heard of. My skin is blue-ivory, like the glaciers up north. From the knees down I have scabby yellow claws, literal bird legs with 3 forward claws and one back dew claw, all tipped with white talons that can go through a grown man's skull. The same sort of 'talons' come back out of my elbows. My hands have four thick fingers, blued-ivory and talons except for black coloring from wrist to first knuckle, staining me with perpetual biker gloves. My hair is pitch black, worn long by preference despite the evil of static that tends to give me a poofy halo of hair stands. I've been told that I have an Amerindian face, including the fangs and thick eye ridges that end in pronged horns; those damn bone spurs like my talons. However, I have Harlequin markings; vertical streaks of black that go straight down from mid-forehead, over my eyes, to halfway down my cheeks. My mouth is outlined in the same black, with those black streaks going from the corners of my mouth towards my cheekbones. Makes it hard to get a date. Of course, most women can't handle the tail - blue-white, serpentine, and ending in a tuft of black feathers - and the wings. The wings almost make up for everything. Big with glossy black feathers, perfect for gliding. Unfortunately my muscles aren't up to real flight, but I can glide under most any conditions. They're part of the reason I was nick-named Corbin. It means "raven." Well, the wings and Doc Frank's sick movie interest.
Anyway, I was trained as a weapon, using simsense and live opponents to learn to kill, cripple, and destroy. I was taught to be the ultimate shadowrunner; a thinking, expendable, deniable source of devastation for the competition, while being utterly loyal to the company, simply because I didn't know anything else. I literally didn't know the meaning of betrayal.
I don't know where I'd be today, except maybe as a loyal little wageslave assassin, if it wasn't for a group of shadowrunners. They attacked the base one day during my "exercise session", so I was sent out to handle the problem with the sec teams. I took out 2 before I came upon a mage and samurai. I recognized the woman who was casting a fireball at the guards. She was the human who had been at my birth. She was fighting against the company.
A whole world literally opened up before me. I didn't have to be here, I didn't have to kill these people. I could be my own person, make my own decisions. My first was to turn and go through the 'unbreakable' window nearby. I never looked back except when the base exploded, decimating Dr. Frank and everything in the area in one big fireball. Then I turned back to the stars.
I've been hanging around Los Angeles since then, practicing my skills and learning, always learning, connecting the real world with my mental encyclopedia. I keep to nocturnal habits, mostly because I prefer the night and people can handle me better when it's dark. I'm interested in shadowrunning. They saved my life, and probably my soul, if I have anything like that. And somehow, fragging the corps sounds like fun.
I hear Seattle's a good place to get that kinda job. We'll just have to see. It's my life. I only do what I want to. And all I wanna do is have some fun. A side order of revenge is a nice touch, too.
Let me out of here!!!! A.K.A. Home
I want to read more! To get back to the fic archive
Any questions? Complaints? Screams of outrage that I actually consider myself a writer and/or dared to show this in public? Want to read more about Corbin right now? Tell me! Send it all to Norcumi@backtick.net! I love mail!!!!
Shadowrun is a Registered Trademark of FASA Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of FASA Corporation's copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks.
The Crow belongs to.... er, I believe it's Buena Vista and/or Miramax. Gargoyles belongs to Disney, and the characters are mine. They're mine, all mine, YOU HEAR ME???? THEY'RE MINE!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
Ok, I'm fine now.