His daddy was handy; the big man at home. Impartial with it; smacked Zombie and his mom just about equal. When he was six Zombie just shut up. It made life easier, but inside him was burning an unholy white heat of rage. He hated his dad for hitting him, hated his mom for not fighting back. When he was sixteen he replied in kind, laid the old man out on his spine like the sad sack of shit he was. Dad's face was a pure picture; first time in over a decade he'd heard his son laugh. The old coward never raised his fist to him again. That was that. Daddy was his mother's problem now.
Zombie could look after himself, there was no fear of that. He'd been boarding with Deadbolt and Bleach for years, grinding the ghost precincts in the dead grey shadows of Gresty Junction. He loved his board; it got him out of situations double-quick, and if you caught a fella right, it could make a real mess.
He needed cash, and there was no small chance in hell he'd be wearing TastyBurger dungarees. This might have been the shitty end, but it was still Havalynd, and he didn't have to travel far before other peoples money got rubbed right in his face. He got no particular kick out of robbery. He didn't even see it as crime, it was a form of survival, just a little different from the way they worked uptown. Let's call it trickledown.
Their style was clean, slick; it drew attention. Soon enough, they were running with the Kings. That's when it escalated, gang on gang, got pretty lively down the NCS. He had years of frustration coiled within, he was ready with the killer punch. First major set-to was out on Border. It was 6 on 8, fair enough. He dismounted, started swinging like a dervish. Next thing he remembered, standing over motionless bodies, eyes bulging with adrenalin, his whole body clenched, gobs of blood and teeth dripping from his board.
When the Barbarians were gone, then started the real work. They were a group now, they were in it together. They got the money from the raids, and they got investment from above. Some rich, crazy old man on an emancipation kick. That creep Grayson made the deal. Zombie and his compadres got better weapons, way better than they could afford. His new Sickler kicked out 900 a minute with virtually no recoil. Not a day too soon, because the Kings had a new enemy.
The corporates have put the Praetorians onto the streets now. Privately-funded police force, with their own new rules of engagement. The old days, G-Kings sparring with the SPPD, are history now. Corporate cops want to make an immediate impression, so they look out for a high-visibility target. Didn't need to have a MBA to guess why they picked Zombie. Guy's two meters tall, covered in skin-art and with that crimson hair spike added on, just to make sure you don't miss him in a crowd. The badass street rep doesn't help much, either.
Suddenly, Zombie's Public Enemy Number One all over the Downtown circuit. That face and those tats, staring out at Joe Cit from billboards, talking subway ads and the home page of the Praetorians' expensive new website. Grayson Fell says it's time for Zombie to disappear for a while. Zombie says okay, but only after the third time a Praetorian whack squad come gunning for him.
He doesn't mind. Havalynd's home, but Breakwater Marina's cool enough. Hang out there for a while and spread the G-King gospel. Grayson Fell says to stay mobile down at the Wharf, to keep his eyes and ears open and check out what's going on round the place. Lot of badasses there, but Zombie's big and scary enough to look after himself, and to keep the G-Kings colours in visible circulation. In Havalynd, Zombie was too noticeable, and brought too much of the wrong kind of heat down on himself. In Breakwater Marina, he's there to stay noticeable, and attract the right kind of heat. Waskawi's got plenty of toys hidden away on that ship sitting there in the Wharf, and occasionally gives some of them out to his favourites. A guy like Zombie makes the G-Kings stand out from the crowd. No reason why the G-Kings shouldn't be first in line in that particular queue.
Grayson Fell thinks Waskawi's planning something big, and Breakwater Marina's the place to be for anyone who wants a seat at the top table when Waskawi's big plan comes off. No reason why the G-Kings shouldn't be there too.