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by Merlee
Rated: E · Sample · Sci-fi · #2173352
Just a simple character backstory I created for a Shadowrun campaign.

My name is Snout, or at least that's what my "legal" guardian called me. He went by Ravi but in his presence, he made sure I called him Master. He even told me Snout's not my name, but he used it to remind me I was just another one of the dogs. Yep, he owned a dog fighting pit and when I was no more than a toddler he "adopted" me and put me in the kennel with all the bloodied and hungry mongrels. He claimed it was strategic to get the dogs to trust me so there was someone who could at least get close enough to feed them, but I'm pretty sure I was just supposed to be their next meal and when I wasn't a pile of red meat and bones in the dirt and feces the next day he realized how serendipitous it was to find me.

I got treated like dirt and remained caged with the dogs till I got out of that place, but Greg always made sure I got enough food and would sneak by at night to give me snacks. Just some minor foreshadowing.

I spent the forefront of my youth feeding and tending to the wounds of the dogs as well as fishing and hunting for meals for Ravi and his peers. Kind of fed everybody in the business, but when I turned thirteen, Ravi introduced me to the world of illegal trade. Gun running mostly. Dozens upon dozens of crates filled to the brim with Ares pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, snipers, shotguns, and that was only scratching the surface of weapons that would land you a few days in jail if you were caught with one without a license. No. The deeper into the bunker, the farther from misdemeanor and closer to the electric chair you got.

So, Ravi had everything. A solid business model, countless goons to take the fall for him, respect from his peers, and a son (to him). The one thing he struggled with was trust, particularly with clients and whenever he would talk to them face to face, well it was standard to have a "guy with a gun" at your side. For him that was Steve...until Steve got shot by a client's own "guy with a gun". At the time I was undergoing a rebellious phase and built my own slingshot/crossbow out of flexible sticks and twine and when Ravi oversaw me shooting bolts I fashioned out of pencils and pens hitting the bullseye every shot he...well first he grabbed by crossbow and smashed it against a tree...then he brought me an Ares Predator V.

My first gun. He had me practice with it for hours every day for months, but only that gun, cause he still didn't trust me with anything bigger. That didn't stop me from sneaking into the bunker during the days when Greg was on guard duty. Not gonna lie, I knew he knew I was there and could hear every bullet I fired off, but he never ratted me out. Great guy that Greg.

So, yeah, Ravi, the man I called Master and guardian taught me to shoot a pistol. I love irony. Don't you? Well too bad, cause guess what. I didn't kill him, nor did the Ares Predator V. No, we'll get to that later. First, he taught me to shoot, then next thing I knew I was the "guy with a gun" standing next to him at deals.

My first kill changed me as a person. I still had the idealistic state of mind of every Disney princess looking to be freed from whatever cage that held them, whether it be literal or metaphorical. For me it was both; the literal dog cage I slept in every night and the emotional cage that kept me from killing Ravi and running away. Then at one of Ravi's dealings I figure the client saw my young dirty face and thought it was a sure deal if he just shot me and walked away with everything.

You'd think my dad would be smart enough to bring more than one person along for deals, but I guess there was a moral code or something. Anyway, my reaction took hold and like everyone on their first day of work, I froze like it was in my job description and before I knew it my vision blurred, my face flushed, and my hands began to sweat. Then a bullet flew right through my greasy hair.

I was fifteen years old and in one week I would start my growth spurt - shut up, I was a late bloomer - and it saved my life, cause if I had been any taller that bullet would have flown straight through my forehead. I guess he was just used to shooting taller people or something.

So yeah, there was a moment of clarity when I realized I wasn't dead, and the other "guy with a gun" just waited for me to fall over...so I shot him in the stomach, then the chest, then the head. That seemed to do the trick. We got our money and went on home and my dreams of unicorns and rainbows suddenly became, dontdiedontdiedontdiedontdie...

Three years past and I continued to gain a reputation in the black market as the Hot Shot Dog. They feared a little dachshund? Humiliating for them, but that isn't the image I want flying through people's heads when they think of me, so I beg you, just call me Snout.

Sorry, had to get that out, 'cause this is what you're gonna find ironic. Sitting down to eat one night my dad toasted to good fortune and his incredible luck at finding me those fifteen years ago. Just gonna boost my ego a little bit. I mean, come on, why not? Well that night Ravi choked on a hot dog...get it? Hah! Cause I'm the-ya know? The Hot Shot...um. Ahem...sorry, I just find it funny.

I hated the man. I could have saved him. I knew the Heimlich maneuver, but he didn't know that, so I just played dumb and scared and the next day I was promoted to the Master of the gun running service as well as the dog fighting pit. Remember how I said I was the only one who could get close to those ravenous beasts without losing a hand? Let's just say I had a grand closing of the pit. I invited all partakers in the previous fights over to watch one last bloodbath, though I doubt any of them expected it NOT to be a cage match. Those dogs got REAL close to them.

After that I immediately gave up the title of Master to Greg. See the foreshadowing now? Karma. Sometimes you're a Ravi and end up choking on irony, and sometimes you're a Greg and go from simple goon to owning one big arms dealing services. I think he may have shortened the business a little and laid off some unsavory workers, but I trust him to do the right thing in the end.

Anyway, I'm on my own now but keep in touch with Greg. He even left me some parting gifts as well as some money for the road. Now I'm a self-employed mercenary just looking for work, so if you know anyone who needs someone who is a shooter and is good with dogs, just call Snout.

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