Hek
Mauricio_Diaz_t160.jpg
Name Heng Ernesto Khan
AKA Hek
Nationality Pueblo
Metatype Human
Archetype Criminal
rating: 0+x

"If I cannot do it, I will figure out how to get it done."

Appearance

The man you see before you barely qualifies for the description if one were to judge such things based on his apparent age. His dark brown skin lacks the tell tale lines of approaching middle age, and his general demeanor hints toward youth. If he were anywhere beyond his mid-twenties it would be a big surprise, or a decent feat of genetech. The dark skin and black hair hint at ancestry from the southern climates, while slightly slanted eyes speak of Asian genetics. Although he carries himself well, with his head held high and shoulders relaxed, he only stands a little over five and a half feet tall. Despite the rather short stature, his body is well developed, more solid than bulky. The dark hair that tops his head is nothing special, the sort of unremarkable style that a barber could craft in five minutes. A dull grey jack has been implanted behind his right ear, presumably for easy access to the central nervous system. Rather thin black eyebrows are set above startling blue eyes that although look natural, do not mesh with his other genetic cues. A narrow mouth has been surrounded by a closely trimmed black goatee and mustache. .

The clothing he wears seems fitting for the climate, and just about any urban environment. It appears that he favors the more natural, neutral colors like greys, dark greens, blacks and browns. A heavy black leather jacket hangs from his shoulders and ends well below his waist, obscuring the groin area when closed. A dull seeming brown, long sleave shirt without a collar fits him well without being too tight or too loose. Olive drab cargo pants emerge from beneath the top layers of his clothing. Rather new looking, tan construction boots cover his feet, their soles providing him with steady footing. When outside and when the weather calls for it, a dark grey beanie is pulled down over the tops of his ears. All things considered, he looks like the kind of guy you'd find hanging around the parts of town that most honest citizens walk quickly through, if they find themselves there at all.

Mannerisms and Habits

A schemer, a street hustler, more of a criminal than a true shadowrunner. He favors subtly and stealth but has shown no reservations about resorting to violence, sometimes as a first option. Paranoid and understandably so given his propensity for schemes against organizations with the resources to end his life. Often found on the fringes of the plex, the lower security portions of the CAS district along the border of the Warrens, and sometimes in the Warrens themselves.

Capabilities

Circumventing physical security systems, infiltration, firearms

Since Arriving in Denver

Hek has made himself at home in the CAS district, specifically Heather Ridge on the edge of the Warrens. The low sec zone with its close proximity to the Warrens and sparse law enforcement coverage has been conducive to the kind of business that he involves himself in.

He has been known to associate with the Surenos 13 gang. Not long after his arrival in Denver, the Surenos began to become involved in the BTL trade. The expansion into that market has come at the expense of the Kong chip distribution network setup by the Eighty-Eights triad. The Surenos seem to be producing their own chips and the content is a mixture of gang violence like carjackings, strong arm robberies and drive by shootings, in addition to more traditional hard core pornography. Lone Star investigators are concerned with the popularity of the content and have been making half-hearted attempts to locate and shut down the BTL operation.

Background

((ALL OOC INFORMATION, BUT IT MAKES FOR A GOOD READ))

In the small apartment, the glow from the plasma screen on the wall provided the only source of light. A light that bathed the small space, occupied by a low plastic coffee table in front of a canvas covered couch. From its speakers, the voice of a female news caster seems to cause the lone male figure on the couch to stir to life. He had been napping, his eyes closed. Once opened, they instinctively darted to the pistol on the table, sharing the space with a take out carton with distinct kanji characters on it.

"And following up on our coverage of the recent spate of break-ins at the port.." The voice of on scene reporter draws the attention of the man on the couch. "..Knight Errant has issued a statement. According to their public relations office for the LAOCMA, they are currently pursuing solid leads that they believe will result in the apprehension of the individuals behind the crimes. Total losses to shippers have been estimated as high as…"

The young man on the couch silences the trid set with the remote and the room plunges into darkness. The orange glow of the sodium vapor street light shines through the mini-blinds from the street beyond. A more subtle, muted glow eminates from the cyber optics set into the exotic features of the dark skinned man as they amplify what little light makes it into the small space.

Rising from the couch, he collects his pistol and tucks it into the holster on his hip. A last, final look around the apartment that he has called home for the last couple of years elicits a sigh. Whatever hesitation he might feel he dismisses with a steady breath. Retrieving a bulky jacket from a hook near the door, he dons it over his solid, yet rather short frame. The shape of the holstered firearm disappears, and a moment later he steps into the hallway, disappearing from the apartment as well.


LAOCMA is the Los Angeles Orange County Metropolitan Access, the fancy, official name for the swath of urban sprawl that stretches through California, from the Mexico border to about two hundred miles north of there. A mix of ethnicities blended together in form of about twenty-five million individuals, it's a chaos, always thriving, never sleeping metroplex. It has been Hek's home for as long as he has been alive.

Hek is Heng Ernesto Khan, or HEK for short. Home for him has always been Long Beach, California, a huge city of its own right located right smack dab in the center of LAOCMA. What kind of name is Heng Enrique Khan? It's what a kid ends up getting named when his dad is a Cambodian who knocks up a Mexican girl. It's the kind of name that a kid growing up in the tumultuous environment that is Long Beach is given by his peers, right about the time they want to write their name on walls with markers, or etch them into windows with glass cutters.

Long Beach has always been one of those melting pot places. Around the turn of the century, it was home to half a million people. The sheer diversity of the city spanned people living in multi-million dollar homes right on the beach, to those scraping by on welfare and social security, hustling for what they were too lazy or too corrupt to work for. Home to the largest port on the west coast, it has always been a shipping and transit hub, tying east to west. Some how it became home to the largest enclave of Cambodian immigrants outside of Cambodia. As part of southern California, it was heavily populated with Mexicans and other immigrants from south of the border. By the time Heng came into the picture, all of that might as well have been ancient history.

His father Nimol worked at the port, a huge complex managed by a huge bureaucracy that included state and federal governments, as well as numerous megacorps. It was for all intents and purposes a city unto itself. His mother Maria was employed by one of those corporations, a subsidiary of Aztechnology. There was always a long history of animosity between the Cambodians and the Mexicans, so their relationship was one of Romeo and Juliet like qualities. Despite some general misgivings, they were upright, honest citizens who wanted the best for their new born child when he came into the world in the mid-2040s.

What parents want and what their children do often times diverges. In the case of Heng, he found himself straddling long term dividing lines. During the week, he spent his time in his father's neighborhood around other Cambodians. On the weekends, he spent time with his grand parents from his mother's side. Both Asians and Latinos feel strong family bonds, and Heng found himself being pulled in both directions. School was no different, and he soon found out that he would never be fully accepted by either side. Luckily for him, he was gifted enough to do well with his academic studies, although by middle school he had begun to neglect them. That neglect never stopped him from graduating from high school, but his interests seemed to lie elsewhere.

The extremes of culture and finance in Long Beach were just a microcosm example of the extremes all over LAOCMA. The huge corporate centers of downtown Los Angeles, San Diego and Irvine were contrasted by the rugged industrial districts of Vernon, Sun Valley, El Centro and Santa Ana. The extreme wealth of areas like Beverly Hills and Brentwood were contrasted by the slums of Compton and Lynwood. By the time he was fourteen, Heng was as confused and misguided as a kid could get.

Having come from a lower middle class neighborhood, his options seemed rather limited. Yet at the same time, he was surrounded by people who seemed to have it all. Even in school, he quickly learned that the kids who were willing to make the quick buck by "helping out around the neighborhood" were the ones who everyone looked up to. Unfortunately for Heng's parents, helping out around the neighborhood was never a good thing. Drugs were everywhere. The snatch and grab, it all belongs to me mentality was pervasive. Gangs were prevalent and often tied into larger criminal organizations, like the Mexican mafia. About the only thing that kept Heng focused and prevented him from flying completely off the deep end was the local Buddhist temple that his father made sure he attended.

Through the temple, his father made connections for him to train martial arts, kung fu specifically. The tales of Buddhist monks and kung fu training fill volumes and there is no need to rehash them. As a melting pot environment, Long Beach had a couple of true masters, sifu's, and one of them took Heng as a student. For all the good the kung fu training did him, with the physical discipline and development, as well as the philosophical and spiritual guidance of his sifu, it wasn't enough to deter Heng from the life he walked willingly into. He perhaps could have become so much, had he been able to resist his environment. As it happened, he became overwhelmed by it.

As boys do, Heng and his friends got into fights. It didn't take long before people didn't want to fight Heng anymore. As his stature grew, so did his problems. It got to the point where he couldn't go to school anymore, because of problems from those he had beat up. It got to the point where he couldn't go to house parties, or venture too far from his neighborhood, for fear of coming across people who had it out for him. He become insular, stuck in his community, and drawn into the local gang.

The gang was a typical, multi-generational gang. They had their turf, where they felt safe. They had their contacts, who gave them drugs, and chips to sell. They had their weapons, to protect their operations. They were filled with over eager, violent males and some females, all of whom had no qualms with taking what they wanted. They became Heng's mentors, and by the time he was in his early twenties, he had become a hardened criminal.

For Heng, it started off being about the money. Though his sifu always spoke of simplicity, and although Heng embraced that philosophy, he found money to be like an aphrodisiac. In a way, money did make life simple. He valued freedom, and money seemed to give that to him. His love of freedom kept him free from drugs, because he didn't like having his mind clouded, it made him feel weak. He just wanted to move around, to interact with everyone, to get out of the environment that kept him constricted.

At first he lashed out violently. First with his fists, then with weapons, knives, clubs… and finally with firearms. In Cambodian Heng means lucky, and it is only through sheer luck that Heng still lives. He has seen his friends die. He has taken part in retaliation, tit-for-tat escalations that went on for months before Knight Errant finally came in and reestablished the peace. Eventually he came to view violence as a tool, weapons as tools, and often times, tools of last resort. In the end, violence causes too many problems. But is sure is effective. When other gangs would overstep their bounds, violence put them back in their place. When things needed to be acquired, violence was often the most direct way to acquire them.

Violence is for those without the intellect to come up with other, better ways of doing things. Heng was never slow. He just placed a premium on efficiency. Despite the steady stream of income that comes from the gang life, he wanted something different for himself. He enrolled in community college and took vocational training to become an electrical engineer. That provided him with skills, but also opened him up to a whole other world of problems, and as his sifu would say, they aren't problems, they are challenges.

The modern world is a world interconnected and controlled by electronics. While in community college, Heng began to realize just what that meant. When his smash and grab, take what I want street mentality was combined with an understanding of the matrix and electronics, he began to realize things. Instead of stealing a car stereo, he could create fake invoices and pick up a trunk full of them, brand new, still in the box. Instead of posting look outs on the corners to watch things, he could put up remote controlled cameras to keep an eye out. Where as community college should have shaped him and guided him on the right track, he found himself learning how to use tools that he had never previously considered.

It was only a matter of time before he was on to bigger and better things. Smart people don't stay in gangs. They find ways to get out of them. They find ways to make more money. Ways of doing it that doesn't involve standing on the corners, and shooting it out with other cliques. For Heng, it was breaking and entering. If there is anything that Long Beach never has a shortage of, it is warehouses. As a huge central shipping hub, there are always things to be stored as they're moved from ship to train to semi-truck and then around the country. Although his dad was legit, some of his co-workers weren't. Although his mom was legit, some of her uncles and Heng's cousins weren't. Over the course of a few years, Heng transformed himself from a young enforcer in his late teens just doing whatever he felt like, to a semi-professional thief by his mid twenties.

What started out as defeating security systems on cars soon became defeating security systems at car dealerships. He went from secure post office boxes, to small warehouses. As his exploits branched out beyond the neighborhood, so did his notarity, and his contacts. Good criminals are never at a want for things to do, and often times find themselves helping out other, like minded individuals. In Heng's case, he was able to use the diversity of Long Beach to his advantage. There were drek hot deck jockies who could crack systems and setup shipments, but they weren't about to actually leave their cozy neighborhoods to go get the goods. Heng played the middle man. There were gangsters with plenty of money, but no way to clean it. Again, Heng played the middle man, setting them up with the aforementioned deck heads who knew the people who could clean the funds.

After a few years, it seemed like Heng was right in the middle of everything. Although he had the skills to run his own jobs, he found himself helping others. And soon enough, they were helping him. Professionals don't want to run with those who are average, and in the shadows, the average get their edge with whatever tech they can get their hands on. In Heng's case, it was high grade Chinese black market cyberware installed by Mexican street docs. He never had the cash for serious chrome, but got the basics to cover his bases. Eyewear to deal with the environments he was working in, ear mods to compensate for the tools he used, a chip jack so he could slot the linguasofts that allowed him to deal with people in their native tongues, and some smartlink hardware to increase his odds of hitting whatever he had to shoot at.

Then he got too big for his britches. There's something about the mid twenties, where people start to think that they are on top of the world. Heng had been going for nearly decade, working the streets, constantly moving up. He had a rep, and the rep caught up with him. His dad worked at the port, his mom worked at the port, he knew what happened there. The streets knew about the port. Only the best of the best try to pull operations there. It's easier to wait until goods move out from there. Nobody in their right mind actually goes into the zone. Heng has never really been in his right mind, most criminals aren't.

It seemed simple enough. A guy Heng knew who punched deck knew this guy who wanted some cargo dealt with. The guy didn't even want it taken out of the port. He just needed it neutralized. So Heng set to work with the help of a good friend of his, a guy he'd known for about five years from Denver. The guy's name was Mark. He was as plain looking of a white guy as a person can get. His story was that he came from Denver to lay low for a while, was staying with some friends, but couldn't seem to get rid of the itch to run. He'd met Heng while doing a muscle job for a mutual contact. The two hit it off and worked well together.

In the case of the port, Mark played the part of chemical expert. Explosives are too volatile and in a lot of cases, too hard to come by. There are easier ways to deal with containers full of cargo. Mark seemed to prefer acid, and then when that ran out, white phosphorous. That's what got the authorities onto their tails. The acid could have just been vandalism, and was relatively contained. The problem with shipping containers, especially at the port, is that they're stacked on top of each other. Enough white phosphorous in one of them can easily take out a whole stack. Mark didn't seem to care, he was leaving soon and just wanted to get paid so he had some nuyen to work with when he went back to Denver.


As Heng walks out onto the street and toward his non-descript Americar, he thought of Mark with a shake of his head and a wry smirk. As was his natural instinct, he scans the street, his eyes reflexively clicking through various magnifications; cars driving past, locals sitting out on the porches, the white noise sound of the city. Hopping into the car, he pulls the pistol out and sets it on the seat next to him. Starting the vehicle, he flicks on the radio and dials in the Corp News Network, something his mom got him listening to.

"…and due to the delay of getting the product market, Renraku subsidiary NeoNewTech's stock is off four points, closing down 33%." The steady, calm voice of the male financial reporter comes through the speakers. "A company spokesman wants to assure those in the LAOCMA market that more shipments are on the way, and that their offering is still far better than…"

Heng turns off the radio as he pulls the car into traffic. It's just a short trip across town to meet up with his and Mark's mutual contact, a bad breathed ork who is going to help Hek get to Denver. It seems like a good enough idea, and Mark says he does it all the time. Pull of a big job, then skip town for a year or two to let things die down. Besides, everything is settled up, the job paid off what Heng owed the doc for the latest ware that is supposed to reduce his downtime if he ever gets injured. Mark says he has all the hardware and tools that they will need. So why not, what could go wrong?

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