Ash

A 31-year old former corporate matrix security employee, whose traumatic past still haunts her these days. Fallen from her previous ordinary life into destitution and despair, she’s motivated by a single goal: Vengeance. Committed her life to the sniper’s role, she’s determined to gain the means and opportunity to bring her hatred to those responsible for her downfall. Detached, as if observing life through her scope, she retains a social facade to hide her burning anger deep within for the time being.

The Previous Life

As a 23-year old young woman, Ashley Swanson was a lower-level employee for a large corporation in the Denver area. Specializing in detection and information gathering, she weren’t particularly important in the company’s eyes, but a simple wage-slave among the rest.

During her free time she was a part-time hacker known as “Cybercat”, engaging in small scale criminal acts in the Matrix, mostly for the sport of it. She never tried anything really dangerous or posed any real threats to the system, she was simply one among the mass of gray-scale characters lurking the Matrix.

She was also a social creature, highly active in nightly club-life, parties and various semi-underground subcultures. She often had multiple partners, both male and female, and had a general light attitude towards life. She was very strict about not mixing her personal life with that of her profession, and preferred to stay anonymous in most public affairs.

The End of a Life

This life came to an abrupt end eight years ago. The corporation was in a financial crisis, and became involved in the affairs of various criminal syndicates, some of whom were notoriously ruthless in their business. Ashley wasn’t made aware of this, of course, but accidentally did stumble upon “dangerous information” while doing her job. Unfortunately, she wasn’t careful enough to avoid detection by hackers from the syndicate in question.

The syndicate employed the services of “Section 42”, their field operatives for “dirty work”. Mistaking Ashley for a serious threat, or simply wishing to cover their tracks, they were ordered to gather any information she possessed before disposing her. Section 42 consisted mainly of convicted murderers, deranged psychopaths and callous war veterans and lacked any tendencies for compassion.

They found Ashley at a private party, where she was in the company of most of her friends and her boyfriend. After brutally massacring everyone, they captured Ashley and brought her to an abandoned warehouse in the city’s outskirts. There they brutally interrogated her and refused to believe (or didn’t care) that she was harmless and didn’t know anything beside the information she accidentally stumbled upon. She was tortured and raped continuously for several days and kept in a state of constant terror.

The Downfall

She was “rescued” by a bounty hunter who were chasing some members of the group, named T Bone. As her captors fled the scene he brought her with him and offered to help her. At that time she was more or less catatonic and unable to function normally, but at least she survived. He brought her to a “church”, where kind strangers took it upon them to nurse her back to health.

Shortly thereafter came the 2.0 Matrix Crash of ‘64, which ended the last remnants of Ashley’s life. The corporation she used to work for was shredded to pieces and consumed by the criminal syndicates, along with many SINs of it’s employees. As Ashley laid wrecked in her unknown benefactors care, her life was ended and she vanished, forgotten into the shadows.

It took most part of a year before she recovered enough to start function as a human again. At that time she was in the care of Father Clifford, a volunteer who works to help the poor and downtrodden. He provided her with some money and counseling, and slowly she was able to comprehend her situation. As a former military sniper, he also instructed her in the use of a rifle, as a means to help her focus and give her something to do.

The slow Rebirth

At first she wasn’t sure of what to do with her existence. She ended up selling herself to gain some money and roof over her head, and lived like that for a few years. During that time she nurtured thoughts of vengeance, and frequently visited Father Clifford for further training as a sniper.

She decided to put all of her talents to use, and eventually met Savoy, a dealer in black market electronics, as well as a mediocre hacker, who refreshed her knowledge of the Matrix as well as instructed her to it’s newer nature. Through him she acquired some gear and connections, which she payed for with counter-favors and occasional sexual services.

She established contact with her “rescuer”, T-Bone, who let her stay in his place for some time, and she sometimes helped him with different problems, mostly by finding information through the Matrix. All the while she continued honing her shooting skills with Father Clifford.

During this time she started searching for information about “Section 42”, finding that the criminal syndicate was long since destroyed. The group known as Section 42 had lived on, however, becoming a team of Shadowrunners calling themselves “The Ghosts of Issos”, led by a callous man called Darius.

The Present

A few years ago Ash managed to track the group, and made a foolhardy attempt to assassinate them on her own. She managed to kill a member of the group, an ex-convict known by the alias Sabace, Darius’ right hand woman. Ash barely managed to escape their retaliation and went underground once again. This event started a personal vendetta between Ash and Darius along with his Ghosts.

Ash have recently teamed up with a group of other Shadowrunners, with T-Bone among them. Over the years she have gained considerable skill as a sniper and still meets with Clifford from time to time. Since her last “encounter” with Darius, she has sold off her apartment along with any “unneccesary gear” in an effort to hide more smoothly, as well as procuring money to install some Cybernetic implants to help in any future “encounters”.

Her current goals are mainly focused on vengeance against Darius and his gang, and any cash or time gained goes to further this goal. She is fully aware that she eventually will have to start anew with a more or less stable place to live, but for the time being she is too preoccupied with her matters to bother.

The Shadowrunner called Ash

On the surface, Ash is a professional who doesn’t let her emotions sway any decisions. This is a strong contrast to her real self, which is constantly driven by emotions, mainly hatred at the present. She has drifted away from herself since her downfall, to the point that her self-esteem has more or less vanished. She doesn’t care much about herself and won’t hesitate to degrade herself if it will further her goals.

She isn’t a sociopathic hate-machine, however, and is able to feel joy, love and friendship like most other humans, but these emotions are shallow at the best and easily set aside by her desire for vengeance. She is sometimes struck by flashbacks from her “abduction” eight years ago, especially when hearing certain music, which lasts for several minutes. Afterwards she is visibly shaken and refuses to talk about it, to anyone.

Ash is a very skilled sharpshooter, which is her main role within the team. She is also able to hold her own in a close-quarters firefight, although she prefers to watch her enemies through the scope. She is a competent information gatherer as well, and she possesses some minor hacking skills, which she will use if she judges herself capable to pull it through. Her people skills are lacking at best, however, and will surely insult any Mr. Johnsons eventually if forced to speak for the team.

Ash

Ghostwalker Bids You Welcome to Denver Juniper