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Adrian Moss

World of Darkness: Attrition - [Mage] Randy Edison

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Garfield Randall Edison

Richard Mortimer Edison could not have been prouder when he learned he was going to have a son. Sure, his wife had done her part as incubator, but that's why he had married her, right? That it turned out to be twins was even better news. What man of power doesn't need a back-up heir just in case something doesn't work out. Okay, one of the children turned out to be just a girl, but he still was going to have a son, a namesake, someone he could pour the depth and breadth of his knowledge into. It had worked like this for him and his father, and his grandfather before him. The Edison's were men after all.

The birth was harsh. The boy was somehow damaged in the procedure. The daughter, April, was born first and without difficulty, but somehow life seemed to evade the infant Garfield's grasp. Only as his mother collapsed into cardiac arrest were they able to tear the boy from his mother's failing flesh. She never made it out of the OR.

Somehow, Garfield, or Randy as most of the help called him, was off. He was slow and introspective, and seemed surrounded by the worst luck. His first puppy, Gustav, (Edison men always got them dogs as their true companions) drowned in the pool. The Hector slipped off the second story stairwell and strangled on its leash. The third ... well, the less said about poor Sampson the better.

Snakes followed. Lawnmower, rat poison, a rare and majestic eagle stopped by for dinner.

Scuppers the Turtle - vaccumed up by accident.

The Phirana lived to a ripe old age (but Randy never liked it much anyway).

Only April persevered through these harsh times. She became her brother's shield, confidant, and closest friend. Everything else that he loved died, yet she remained.

With school came Dick Edison's deepest dissappointment. Randy was, how to put this politely, subpar. That didn't matter, Dick put him in an exclusive school. The only things Randy excelled in were fights and getting expelled. Somehow, Dick couldn't wrap his mind around the fact that Randy wasn't going to follow the long Edison family tradition of a Law Degree from Harvard. Mind you, April excelled at everything she put her mind to. Her sole failure was in attracting her father's notice.

"That's nice dear, but you think about getting a good degree from Brown and then we'll see what kind of man you should marry."

In time, Dick Edison remarried. She bore him a daughter, after two miscarriages, and after another two she was rendered incapable of having anymore, so she found herself comfortably exiled to somewhere else (we don't need to talk about such things). The daughter, Autumn, barely saw her older siblings and they obtained near mythical standing in her minds. She worshiped April, and secretly pitied Randy because the boy always seemed so sad when he was around her, yet when she tried to comfort him, he would gently shunt her aside. "It's better this way," he would say.

By accident, when the twins were fourteen, Dick Edison put both his kids in the same school. Maybe he hoped some of Randy's sister's success would wear off on him ... and it did. Suddenly, Randy buckled down and began doing passably, if not stellar. The fighting stopped. He even managed to make some friends among the 'right' kind of people. Sadly, his best friend Daniel Whitmore died when his family struck a mountain while flying in Alaska, but those things happen, right? Randy was sad, but April was his rock. Randy graduated and not by the skin of his teeth. April was valedictorian, of course, but she gave all the credit to her father.

Dick Edison pulled all the strings that money and the influence two centuries of power in Mass. could bring to bear to get Randy accepted to Harvard. Oh yeah, April was to be admitted to. She was Dick's ace in the hole for Randy's future after all.

The only problem was that Randy didn't want to go. For the first time in his life, Randy stood up to his father and said "No."

And his father browbeat Randy into the ground. Randy cried. School was pure torture for him. He was a freak and he knew it. The world wasn't right and only April understood that, and she knew that umpteen more years in school wasn't what he wanted to do with his life. Randy wanted the dying to stop. He wanted the pain to stop. He wanted a world where it would only be him and April and the rest would be shut aside.

Dick didn't care. Randy had to grow a set and Man-Up. Randy had to accept that there was only one path for an Edison man to take, and that was the path he laid out for him.

They warred. Dick drank himself stupid and finally slugged his stunned son to the ground. April rushed to her brother's defense, shielding him from their father's wrath. She screamed at her drunken father. She heaped back years of scorn and derision back on Dick with interest. She went so far as to threaten the old man with fists of her own. "Randy may not be as smart as you," she screamed, "but he will be something you will never be. A decent man, a true man."

Then he hit her. Her head snapped back and the spell on Randy was lifted. He rose from the floor like an angry wave rising up from the depths and clocked his father hard in the face. Dick's nose shattered and blood was everywhere. No one said a word for a moment. Dick moaned and fell back into a chair, then Randy ran out of the room. April ran after her brother and caught him at the door. He pulled away, screaming "I'm going away and I'm never coming back! I don't want to see you anymore, not ever again!"

It was angry and foolish, and something about the tie that bound April and Randy came unbound.

April died in a car crash when she went out in search of her brother. Part of Randy died with her. Any tie to the rest of the world passed into dust with April. There was nothing for him anywhere on earth now. No one to live for, and nothing keeping him here. Still ...

Randy stood by his father and young sister as they put April into the ground. A clergyman intoned words which were ashes in his mouth, and moths to his ears. Autumn took his hand.

"She's not gone, you know," she told her older brother.

Randy looked down into those young eyes. While she must have meant something different, it touched something in his soul. Some kernel of understanding that had remained long banked in his heart.

'Death happens. Death is a force, and like other forces, it can be learned and harnessed. Know it, and you can master it.'

What could he do? Learn about Death? What did that mean? Medical School was right out. Randy know how abysmal his grades were. So, were could he go to learn about death? and Randy proved he wasn't the dumbest guy in the world after all.

"Autumn," Randy said gently, "thank you. You've helped me a lot. Maybe more than you can know right now. I promise you this; no matter what happens, or what you hear, I'll come back for you. No matter what he does, I won't forget you and when I can, I'll send for you and we can be a real family. Can you hang on that long?"

Autumn nodded, more than a bit confused. She took comfort in the fact that she knew that Death walked with her brother now, and with Death on your side, what did you have to fear?

When Dick Edison said, "You are still going to school," Randy nodded. He made not one word of protest. He looked his father straight in the eyes and said he knew what he had to do. The family chauffeur drove him to Harvard, helped him unload and set himself up in the dorm room (only second year Edison men needed off-campus housing, or better yet, a fraternity). He smiled and waved goodbye, looked in the phone book, and headed to the bus stop.

The Marine Corp recruiter looked up at Edison and shrugged. He had certainly seen, and passed, worse. Maybe the kid was a bit soft, but the Corp was in the Man-Making business and was damn good at it.

"Welcome Son, what can I do for you?"

"I want to be in the Marine Corp, Sergeant. I want Combat Infantryman, and I want to see some action."

"Do you have a death wish, boy?"

"No Sergeant. I want to kill them long before they can kill me. I don't rightly know if I hate somebody enough to kill somebody, but I aim to find out. I need to know about Death, and I figure it's better if I learn it from the best."

The Sergeant smiled. Maybe this kid was crazy and they would figure it out soon enough, but maybe this kid would also make one fine Marine. Something about this kid spoke of a fearless demeanor and a hunger to learn.

"Okay then, let's start filling out some paperwork. If everything works out I can have up off to our next induction class by ..."

"... the end of the week," Randy finished for him. "That's how I want it. The sooner I put his place behind me, the better off I'll feel."

No amount of Dick Edison's influence, or money could sway the Marines to give up their man. Randy wouldn't quit of his own free will, and though he felt the Corp was trying to kill him on more than one occasion (I have to get up at 4a.m. and do a twenty mile run? Seriously?). Classes came and passed. Randy squeaked by, but kept going (he really was soft). Before long, Randy also began to get a reputation. He was a lucky guy, sort of. Bad things tended to happen to other people, not his own. It was minor stuff, but in the combat sims Randy's team won more often than not. Randy became a Rabbit's Foot. Randy also got shipped off to Afghanistan.

Men die in combat. That's a fact. They get hurt too, which is why you get to play with guns and other things designed to stop people from functioning properly. In Randy's platoon (he was only a lowly private at first) people got hurt, but no one died. The SSgt soon realized that Randy had a gift for spotting trouble. IED up ahead? Better send Edison's Hummer up the road first. Taliban on that mountainside? Send Randy and whatever rooky that is clinging to him today out on point. RPG hit the squad and you got a man down?

"Edison!"

"On it Sarge," and off into the chaos of combat would go Edison.

He wasn't brave, really. He never volunteered for any of the dangerous crap. He was pretty cool under fire, but what veteran wasn't? No, Edison was a Rabbit's Foot. With him around, no one died (though in the great tradition of the green recruit, many tried) and the wounded recovered more or less whole. The Taliban died. Maybe some civilians died along the way too. Even other units around Randy's took a bit more heat ... but Edison kept his own, somehow, alive.

"Death don't like us much," one cocky grunt once said over a beer. "It's afraid of Edison here."

"Its not afraid of me," he warned his foolish comrade, "No, its more like an old girlfriend playing hard to get ... punishing me for ignoring her for so long."

That made little sense to the men, but then Edison was kind of odd.

Eight years of service. It would have been ten, but near the end of his final tour, something happened. It was a clusterfuck. People were dying everywhere and none of it seemed real, or maybe it was too real. I mean, how did someone wrap their car around a light post in the middle of the desert, or run past you in combat only to stagger back and die of cancer. This guy's head come off ... but he aged years in seconds and they were ... and there were other people as well, not just his team. Pedro's little sister, dead these past eight years. Doug's dad, who had passed away just last spring. He had seen these pictures, heard their stories, and in some cases actually met them before they died ... thousands of miles away from this killing zone.

Edison took a head wound and his team crowded around him as night fell and help seemed a million miles away. In the darkness, one man snuck into the American perimeter and stole the young marine away. When Edison awoke, the Taliban leader was sitting alone with him in a cave. First the man offered Randy bread, salt, and water as a sign of hospitality, then he spoke.

"Welcome," he said. "You have started on a long journey that few of us ever complete. I will help you with the first steps, but it falls to you to reach the Tower of Lead on your own. You are now marked as one of the Awakened. Like me, you are Moros. I have much to teach you before the Day returns. Once you return to base, you will be able to seek me out before you leave this combat zone ... for a time. Now, we begin."

Randy found his people looking for him shortly after sunrise. He could hardly explain what had happened to him. It seemed so impossible, yet he knew it wasn't. His old world was the impossible now ... a shackle, but no ... a place where everything possible wasn't understood. There was so much to learn.

(Long story cut short)

Randy came back to the states and mustered out at Camp Pendleton. From there he migrated north and east, but always coming back to Los Angeles. He walked down the road to the Tower of his Choosing, and came back much changed as his mentor had told him he would. He found other Moros to help him out as he grappled with newfound strengths and limitations, but finally he knew the time had come to strike out on his own. He returned to LA, seeking others of the Mysterium to give him an anchor from which to build something from. He sought allies because the Awakened world was fraught with perils, for himself as well as others.

Besides that, there were other aspects of his old life he had to face. His Father knew he was alive, but so what? Would he deal with the man, or could he put that aspect of his life behind him? Then there was Autumn? He had kept up with her over the years, her from her boarding school and him from were ever he happened to be at the time. Did he want her to be a surrogate April for him, or was there something else? Was she a Moros like him, or was that too much to hope for?

What of his old war buddies? From time to time, over the past months, he had looked them up. He could no longer see the deaths that awaited them (he was more controlled now) but was that a good thing, or a bad thing? Death happens after all, and knowing that, how can a Moros ever have a true friend?

Randy Edison Concept: Guardian of Others Path: Moros

Maeror (Latin:Sorrow) Virtue: Fortitude Order: The Mysterium

WoD:Attrition Vice: Pride Cabal: (None)

Attributes

Power Intelligence 2 Strength 3 Presence 2

Finesse Wits 3 Dexterity 4 Manipulation 2

Resistance Resolve 3 Stamina 2 Composure 4

Skills

Mental: Academics 3(Archeology), Computer 2, Crafts 0, Investigate* (Body Language) 3, Medicine 1

Occult* 3(Artifacts), Politics 0, Science 0

Physical: Athletics 1, Brawl 3, Drive 1, Firearms 3, Larceny 1, Stealth 1, Survival* 1,

Weaponry 1

Social: Animal Ken 0, Empathy 1, Expression 0, Intimidation 1, Persuasion 1,

Socialize 1, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 0

Merits: Language: Latin, Resources 2, High Speech (Free), Status (Mysterium) 1

Size 5, Defense 3, Initiative 8, Speed 12, Health 7

Willpower: 7

Gnosis: 3 (12/3) Paradox (2dice) Time per Roll: 1 hour

Wisdom: 5

Mana: 5

Wisdom: 7

Arcana: Death(*) 3, Fate 0, Forces 0, Life 2, Matter(*) 1, Mind 0, Prime 0, Space 0, Spirit (-) 0,

Time 0

Rotes

Corpse Mask (Death 2) (Intelligence + Subterfuge + Death)

Entropic Guard (Death 2) (Wits + Occult + Death) (+1)

Self-Healing (Life 2) (Dexterity + Medicine + Life)

Grim Sight (Death 1) (Wits + Occult + Death) (+1)

Bonus Points (7):

Gnosis 2 (3)

Gnosis 3 (3)

Resources 1 (1)

Experience(50):

-2 Wisdom (+10)/(60)

Intelligence 2 (10)/(50)

Stamina 2 (10)/(40)

Manipulation 2 (10)/(30)

Medicine 1 (3)/(27)

Drive 1 (3)/(24)

Stealth 1 (3)/(21)

Athletics (3)/(18)

Larceny (3)/(15)

Survival (3)/(12)

Craft (3)/(9)

Persuasion (3)/(6)

Resources 2 (4)/(2)

Language: Latin (2)/(0)

October (+5)/(5)

Status Mysterium 1 (-2/3)

October (-2/1) Rote: Grim Sight (Death 1)

The 'Why is Randy in the Mysterium' Section

Mage Book; page 47 under Members

1st Paragraph - 2nd Sentence - "The Society does not reject talented, uneducated sorcerers, but such novices quickly learn the academic skills they need to identify and analyze arcane treasures."

1st Paragraph - last sentence - "These situations require considerable street savvy, and some of the newest members are recruited to fill this growing niche."

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