OOC Note: This was a Tier3 (ADVANCED) character submission. Required information such as the OOC Summary at the end have been redacted.
Don't ask me about my past. It's not interesting, and it's not something anyone wants to hear about.
Oh, but you want to hear about it?
Fine. I'll tell you. But only so you will leave me alone.
I don't remember being born, naturally. No one remembers being born. At least, not most people. In fact, I don't remember anything important from my childhood, and in my opinion, that's most likely a good thing.
My earliest memory...I was six or so. I hadn't seen the light of day for years - in fact, in any of my memories, I can't recall the sun. I knew almost instinctually to avoid the light. Not only was it too painful, but I found it to be annoying as well. I preferred the dark, the nighttime. That was when I came alive. I also preferred night because it was harder to see my skin, my eyes, my hair. Under the light of day, all of my faults were painfully revealed for all to see and gawk at, but with the shade of the night and the smog, I could walk the streets with only a rag covering my head and feel almost normal.
But I digress. I was six. I had no friends, but I did have companions - people like me, the children of the night. Some were deaf, some were blind. Some had mutations and barely passed for even being human. We had banded together quietly, an unspoken agreement, and we fended for one another. Most of them were thieves, scavengers, could pick the most difficult locks. I, however, was different. Of course. My mind was too active. I had to analyze things, I had to pick them apart. "La Serpiente", they called me - the serpent - not just for my red eyes and strange appearance, but for my isolation.
It was a name that stuck with me, and is still with me now. One night, a few children had a gun - don't ask me how they got it, I don't even see the importance of that. The point is, it ended up in my hands, somehow, and I pulled it apart, inspected it. That was only the beginning for me.
We traveled as a pack, but even then, I always wanted something more. I didn't want to be part of a pack - I wanted to be on my own, an individual. I didn't want to be defined by those I wandered with, but as myself, and only myself. I didn't need anyone else. I talked their language, I did their deals, I knew the rules. But it didn't fit me. They all ended up dying, anyway - Darwinism at its finest. Only I survived, as it has always been. I got by on my skills. It started slow, I would fix jammed guns, played around with a few modifications. I even made enough money to quit eating out of the garbage. The only difficulty in my business was the fact that I was unable, and unwilling, to go out during the day. Luckily, in New Carthage, that certainly wasn't much of a problem.
Yet another problem appeared when I was a teenager. Suddenly, defending myself became an issue, as I had made the change from being a shapeless child into a woman. I stopped simply playing with the pistols and began teaching myself how to use them, and the skill certainly came in handy on the shady streets. Desperate people will do desperate things, after all. I even went so far, and made enough money, as to attempt to be implanted with cybernetics, but that was certainly a mistake. I was sick for days as my body rejected the implantations, and I nearly died. I don't know if my body still refuses implants, but I'm unwilling to find out.
When I was fourteen years of age (so I estimated), I killed a man for the first time. He made the mistake of trying to rape me. I, unfortunately, was sloppy about it, and I was arrested. Since I was rather young, instead of sending me to prison, they instead put me in a "correctional facility", which I considered an insult. Again, "La Serpiente" came into play, as I still operated on pistols and such from inside. It didn't make very good money, but I did manage to barter my way out after only a year.
Upon being released, I dove into my work. I excelled at almost every pistol that passed through my hands, was able to shoot them with deadly accuracy, and could load them under pressure. Guns became my companions, as dramatic as it may sound. The cool metal was my lover, gun powder was my drug. Running my hands along the barrel was more satisfying than running my hands along a lover. I became well admired. My work was sought after. I was proud of myself. But still, it was not enough.
I concentrated on my own body. I could no longer identify myself by my work. Since I had no implants, I focused on my skills with guns. I even learned the basics of fixing myself up if I shot my foot or some such thing while practicing (I exaggerate - I was never bad enough to actually shoot my own foot).
The years went by. I had quite a few people, men and women, who desired after me, despite my freakish appearance. But I never thought that they actually were after me for my personality, or for my looks. I was, as simplistic as it is, a "freak". I was the "hunchback", so to say, of New Carthage. I had my usefulness, but no one truly desired to be close to me. I suppose it made me bitter, but it also made my drive to succeed even more fierce.
So here I am now. Ready to open my own shop, ready to make some real cred off my skill. Yet even now, it still is not enough. Maybe it will never be enough. But there is something inside of me that yearns to push it higher, even higher. And I refuse to stop until I have satisfied myself, above anyone else.