“I was a detective on the force in [redacted]. I had no prospects, no pension, no line for promotion. But I made enough to support my wife and two sons. It was enough. Only problem was, I didn’t follow orders very well. Especially when they were handed down to me by the pricks who ran the department. Which didn’t disqualify anyone.
“I got a call. Late, midnight. Would’ve woken me, if I wasn’t up already, making love for the second time that night to my favorite glass of brandy. Got to the scene shortly after. Dead kid in the park. Fifteen, maybe sixteen. I cased the scene, figuring it another gang bang. But then I found the data chit. Nicked a SIN too – fake, but not badly done. Ran both at the station.
“Kid was a runner alright, but no gang affiliation. Found his parents. Wageslaves, working in the docks. Paid them a visit, but only met the mother. At first. Didn’t take long to meet the father – sick and dying.
“Turns out the kid was running to cure the disease that would kill his old man, probably that winter. Case shut, right? He did a run, messed up, corp got him. Done.
“But then there’s that damn itch. Some nail running along the spine of my memory. Wouldn’t let me leave it alone. So I ran the case files. Found more runners, more stories. Wageslave kids, all making runs against the same Corporation, promised all the money in the world, all found dead shortly after.
“Came into the station a few days later to run into reps from the Corporation. Said they’d be taking over the kid’s case. Prosecuting personally. Told me to drop it. Chief backed them up. Gave me a handful of new assignments to keep busy.
“I got a problem following orders.
“I kept digging. I was onto something, something big. Biggest break of my life. Too big.
“House was almost done burning when I got home. Found my wife and youngest in the living room. If you could call what I found anything like a human being. And while the house still burned, I heard my oldest calling out. Tried to save him, but lost him too. Along with my arm. I left my badge in the ruins, and then I left town.
“I headed to Denver. First place they’d look for me, maybe, but the last place they’ll find me. Nothing left for me anywhere else, anyway. Nothing left but my own nightmares, and the limb that daily reminds me of everything I’ve lost.”
Tom Park is now a private investigator in Denver out of an office that is less office and more empty closet he was able to convince the owner to let. Tom makes a meager living off basic cases for mostly poor people. He still wears his wedding band, and he kept the department revolver issued to him. The hunting rifle was his own. He has little else to his name, but his cunning and insight have built up a small reputation among a small community for solving cases quickly and completely, and so he gets by. He has one cyber limb, an arm, but it was grafted incorrectly and onto a body too old by half (Tom’s over 50; explains his Sensitive System trait).
Still, he’s a little surprised when [redacted] wanders into his office one night, with leads on a run, and an offer he can’t refuse. Who knows? Maybe the life of a shadowrunner is just what Tom has been waiting for…
Tom leans on a local crook, the Snitch, when he has to. The Snitch is a weasel he used in his old city of [redacted] to keep tabs on the local gangs and mobs. The Snitch fled town and went to Denver awhile ago, and on the back of a few good credits, he’s willing to help out Tom now and again.
His more loyal contact, and the only person he’d call a friend in this damned city, is the Madam. She runs a brothel near his office, and he began frequenting it almost as soon as he got in town. He always pays, and his gentle demeanor garnered him a good reputation with the establishment. If he was ever in a scrape, he’d always be able to call on the Madam for a place to hide and lick his wounds.