Cast of Shadows – Firewall

This is the last piece of character background I have written presently for my coworkers’ characters.  While this character was one of the first concepts to be hammered out by my new coworkers, the character’s history and personality took a while to take full shape.  It was an interesting character, one I didn’t see very often: a troll hacker.  A metatype not known for their intelligence, using a skill set not typically associated with their race.  However, it was that strange contrast and the character’s personality that made the character endearing and a pleasure to witness in game.

+++decoding message+++

The space surrounding him was too perfect. Pristine white walls, modern furniture arranged in immoveable locations and art so evenly spaced that even a person with severe OCD would be at peace here.

It was one of the great equalizers here: perception was subjective. Your reality was shaped how you saw fit. Obviously this particular executive was a little exacting. Here, no one knew Firewall was a massive, lumbering troll. No one judged him by his genetics, but merely on his talents. The Matrix was better than reality in so many ways.

One thing his time on the grid had taught him, is that the more perfect the guise, the easier it was to find the flaws. Launching Baby Monitor, he tossed a small rotating screen into the upper corner of the room. Firewall checked his Overwatch Score to ensure he had time to finish the hack. Seeing that they hadn’t pinpointed him yet, he opened his Toolbox program.

“Find anything hiding here,” he instructed and out of the icon flew several will o wisps; tiny balls of flame, flitting around the node, lighting the perfect walls with a neon glow. One by one, the flames went out until one remained, hovering over the wall between two pieces of artwork. Firewall moved over to the area and placed his hand on the wall and the image dissolved revealing a cube of light recessed into the wall.

“Gotcha,” he said with a grin, pulling the data parcel free. The outer skin of the cube glowed hot as the code swirled over the surface, showing that the data within was encrypted. Plunging his digital hands into the packet’s skin, he began pulling out pieces and rearranging the icon, anticipating the patterns of the encryption algorithm.

“Access granted…” the node surrendered and the cube opened to reveal the paydata he was here to retrieve.

“Begin download.” The data pixelated and began to be absorbed by Firewall’s icon.

***

“Is everyone ready?” the corporate strike team captain asked over the radio. “The silent trace said the data is presently being downloaded somewhere on the premises. We go in, find the decker make an example of them and we’ll be home within the hour.”

“Do we really need five men to take down a computer geek?” one of the soldiers asked.

“Probably not, but there is the chance that they might have erected some form of defense while they finish the hack. We need to make sure they don’t get away with whatever they’re after. Milner, you take the emergency exit on the south side, Gibbons and Denta, you’re on the loading bay. Falkes, you’re up top. I’m take the main entrance. Keep comms open, but encrypted. Only use the radio if you absolutely need to. No sense giving this guy the heads up. All right, let’s move!”

The strike team fanned out to their assigned positions and the captain sent out a single tone over comms to signal the go ahead. All five men breached the abandoned warehouse simultaneously and swept the area, but found no evidence of any sort of defense. Huddled up against a stack of crates was a humanoid form, huddled up in blankets.

“You there! I want your hands where I can see them. Stand up!”

Firewall slipped his cyberdeck into an old frozen dinner box, raised his hands and stood to his full height. The soldiers all craned their necks to take the man once he was fully upright.

“Where’s the decker?” the captain ordered, stepping in closer with his gun trained on Firewall’s head.

“Ich werde sie in der Hälfte,” Firewall said with a dopey grin on his face. (I will break you in half)

“Shit, does anyone here speak German?” the captain asked. When everyone shook their heads that they didn’t, he scowled and spoke slowly to the massive troll. “What is your name?”

“Name? Gunther!” Firewall said with some enthusiasm and a broad tusky grin.

“Sonuva… all right, everyone fan out. There has to be a relay station here that’s allowing this hacker to get in remotely. Sever the network and his hack fails.”

As the strike team searched the room for a relay hub, Firewall watched the download status of his hack moving slowly but steadily across his field of view.

The captain sneered at the massive metahuman standing in front of him. “Where’s your hacker friend? He must have paid you to watch over the building, right?”

“Ich freue mich darauf zu klopfen Sie,” Firewall said with his dopey grin. (I look forward to pounding you)

The captain muttered under his breath. The progress was nearly complete… 97%.

“Captain, we’ve swept the area for electronics. There are no hubs installed anywhere.”

“How the hell is this guy hacking us? Have you swept the building with a thermal scan?”

98%…

“Yes sir. No one here except us and the troll.”

“None of these crates could be thermally insulated?”

“We don’t have time to search all of these…”

99%…

“Dammit troll, can’t you scrape up your meager mental potential to give up the decker’s location before we have to extract the information from you?”

100%…Download Complete

Firewall grinned in earnest in a malevolent glare that made the captain’s fellow guard take a step back. “You really think you can make me talk? You can barely grasp the obvious solution in the face of your own racism.”

The captain’s jaw dropped open for a minute and called out. “Shit! The troll’s the decker!”

Grabbing the captain by the collar, Firewall lifted the man up with one hand and drove his horned head down for a nasty headbutt. His reinforced skull shattered the man’s forehead, rendering the captain limp and unconscious. Hurling the soldier across the room, the ragdoll commanding officer landed on top of another soldier driving him to the ground.

As the strike team shook off their shock, Firewall reached between two crates and grabbed his trusted troll-reinforced sledgehammer. As the nearest guard went for his gun, Firewall let out a loud, guttural roar that froze the man in his tracks before the hammer came around in a baseball bat swing and connected with the side of his head. With a wet crunch, the soldier’s eyes rolled back in his head and collapsed to the ground.

Firewall felt the impact before he heard the gunshot. One of the strike team was overhead on a catwalk, snapping off shots. The rounds struck his armor jacket but failed to pierce the jacket to do any real damage. Reaching into the pile of blankets he had shrugged off earlier, Firewall came up with a shotgun raised it up and pulled the trigger. The deafening boom of the blast filled the space and the shot tore through the shooter’s shoulder. Reeling back, the soldier hit the railing behind him and with a second shot, Firewall blew the soldier back over the railing and spiraling to the concrete below.

Turning to the last guard standing, Firewall watched as an automatic clip changer swapped out the default ammunition for what he assumed would be armor piercing. Firewall was tough, but even his hide had limits. Snatching his cyberdeck, he dove over the nearest crates and took shelter as the soldier held down the trigger. Feeling the wood splintering overhead, Firewall mentally connected to his cyberdeck and dropped quickly into VR.

He only had a short period of time before his cover completely eroded under the hail of bullets. The green grid of the Emerald City spread out around him, but he quickly zeroed to his current location and launched his will o wisps to pinpoint the address for the shooter’s gun. The second his program isolated the device, he launched his Exploit program, which manifested as a crowbar in the old factory. Throwing himself at the weapon, he smashed through its defenses without concerning himself on whether he was detected.

The gun’s subsystems arrayed before him and he opened the smartlink system. “Assign -20% x-axis arc,” he ordered. He then opened the ammo feed system and inserted a manual command for issuing a purge command.

Jacking out, he tucked his cyberdeck into the small of his back, grabbed his sledgehammer and sprung from cover. He roared as he charged, sledgehammer gripped in one hand and held high. The corporate soldier brought his weapon up and squeezed the trigger. Thanks to Firewall’s corruption of the smartlink computer, the weapon fired too far to the left consistently when the crosshair was properly aligned. After several rounds had been expended and the raging troll was getting close, he opted to aim manually. Firewall reached his empty hand forward to interact with the hologram in his field of vision and swiped his manual trigger, which ejected the clip from the gun. As the clip clattered to the ground, he allowed the weapon to slip from his grip, as the wide swing from the sledgehammer came down.

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~ by 1nsomniac on March 11, 2015.

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