Jericho Price
Jericho.jpg
Name Jericho Price
AKA "John Milton," "Sir John," "The Union Jackal"
Nationality English
Metatype Human
Archetype Mercenary
Birthdate March 11, 2031
rating: +1+x

"You know how I know God's got a sense of humor, mate? I'm still alive."

Appearance

An icy, steel-eyed gaze emits from a rugged face that looks as if it's seen its fair share of urban mayhem. The man's grizzled five o'clock shadow perfectly rounds out the cropped, sandy blonde hair just behind his receding hairline, while the chiseled contours of his jaw taper down to a strong, pronounced chin. The rest of his face, meanwhile, is a fair-skinned canvas of scratches and partially healed scar tissue, and the small collection of fine lines suggests he's been scrapping and surviving to tell about it for quite some time. His poker-faced expression is the very definition of stoic, and only every now and then is there the flash of a sneer.

The man's athletic 6'1" frame houses quite the impressive-looking physique, his wide swimmer's shoulders coming down in a sharp "V-shape" to his comparably narrow waist. His lean, but powerful and sturdy build looks quite natural, compounded by the fact he shows seemingly no visible bio or cyberware, whatsoever. Clad in a long, black snakeskin duster that looks to be concealing a moderately-armored torso, the man is also rocking a pair of leather pants, a pair of black, fingerless gloves, and reinforced combat boots. Overall, it's no frills and no fashion, here. Clearly, this man was not made to play nice.

Distinguishing Features

- Low, gravelly English accent.
- Absolute lack of bio and cyberware.
- Receding hairline.

Mannerisms and Habits

- Chain-smoker.
- Heavy drinker.
- Impatient with inexperienced, non-proven runners.
- Incredibly knowledgeable of classic literature.

Associations

- Ashley Mazzoni (1)
- Johnny Bones (1)
- Dr. Abel Rivera (2)
- Vance Vendrell (2)
- Chucky Fortino (2)
- Jackson "Jax" Price (3)

Capabilities

- Extremely proficient in close-quarters combat (re: Escrima)
- World-class knife handler/thrower
- Naturally-attained, peak human athleticism
- Moderate knowledge of stealth/infiltration tactics

Background

They say that, "Life's a bitch, and then you die."

These people who say that? Take it to heart? They're my heroes, and when you do what I do for as long as I have, you don't have very much of 'em. You can spend all your time in the 'Trix, get fuckin' loopy off a line of NovaCoke, but at the end of the day, all of us live in reality. The corporate suits, the big-time mercs, that orc prostitute on the corner that's hopin' for her first John this week… all of us eventually come to the realization that life would sooner fuck you off than offer you a hand.

But in the shadows, you run into a lot of these kids — these bloody fuckin' know-it-all's at the age of twenty that get their first piece of cyberwear, some grimy Ares pistol they managed to snag off some half-dead security guard, and they think to themselves, "I'm gonna be somebody."

Newsflash, mate: you'll always be a scrub.

See, the world doesn't give a shit about you, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. The world goes on whether you're a saint, a sinner, or somewhere in between. And optimism? Well, let's just say it's the greatest piece of work the devil's ever done.

Now, lookin' around this pretty plush office, it's clear. These idiots haven't a fuckin' clue who's really sittin' on the other side of that table. They ask about money, ask about gear, without even the slightest regard for who's pushin' for this hit to go forward in the first place. One of 'em even asks what the hell "wetwork" is.

Bloody hell.

"Hey, man," the jacked-up sammie behind me whispers, "what kind of cyberwear are you rockin'?"

I arch an eyebrow, shake my head, and slowly turn my attention back to the Johnson. Kid made the first, big mistake you can make with a new crew. You don't ask questions. I'm not your brother, not your mate, not even a fuckin' co-worker. If anything, I'm the guy that's gonna make sure your first, big run is somethin' to be proud of, given you make it out alive.

"Mr. Milton," I hear our Johnson say, "Mr. Vendrell tells me you're good for this particular kind of operation. Are you?"

Translation: can you kill for me? I give a small nod. After all, this is one of Vance's contacts we're talkin' about, so he can't be very bright. Vance Vendrell, if he's never told you (which I highly doubt), is primin' to be Denver's biggest fixer in the next five years. And I'll admit, that wanker's better at negotiating than most'll give 'em credit for, but his clientele, for a lack of a better word, are fuckin' retarded.

You see, when Jackson and I first came here what seems like an eternity ago, Vance was nothin' more than some pencil-neck wage-slave, doing marketing or some tedious bullshit like that for Renraku. One day, the bloke ends up gettin' mugged on the way home from the hive by some Jap bikers with nothin' better to do, and leave it to my fuckin' brother to think it was "fate" and want to help. At this time, Jax was still mercin', himself, so you can imagine he wasn't too shabby on the trigger. Twenty seconds later, Vance is sittin' pretty with his pants drenched with piss and his mind opened up to new business opportunities.

This guy right here? He's one of 'em.

"Okay, ladies and gentlemen — are we clear?" the Johnson asks.

I look around, and everyone's nodding. Eventually, so do I.

Six hours from now, we're going to kill the daughter of one of Denver's biggest Triads.

First stop we make is to a contact I made after a B&E run for the mafia a few years ago, right before they took me in, considering my family's history with 'em back home. Bloke's name is Chucky Fortino: big fuckin' troll with an even bigger fuckin' mouth. Just imagine your typical mafioso goomba, right? Multiply his size by about two and a half, slap some piercings on 'em, give 'em a shotgun to play with, and boom — that's Chucky. Now, since I've known him, guy's been tryin' to show his older brothers, all bigger than him if you can imagine that, that he's more than just one of the regular goombas runnin' around. Decent guy and all; hell of a mafia contact considering who he knows. But what that means is that this crazy son of a bitch is willing to do anything to up his stock with "the family," which usually means doing whatever he can to disrupt Yakuza or Triad business affairs. So, naturally, if anyone was gonna know where this little bitch was hiding — it was gonna be him.

Pulling up to one of his safehouses in one of the more dilapidated parts of the sprawl, I get off my motorcycle and pull off my sunglasses. Sure enough, there he was — bigger than ever, and just as obnoxious.

"Jericho!" he exclaims in his deep, rumbling voice, taking a moment to eye the rest of the group, "Where the hell you been at?'

"Chucky, I need some information."

Chucky stretches out a grin, his gnarled, yellow teeth curling over his top lip. "No time for dilly-dally, like always. Well, fine, who's givin' you trouble, then?"

"No trouble for me," I say, "but there's a Triad girl I have to talk with. I need you to tell me where I can find her."

"You? Talk?" Chucky asks, sparking up a cigarette and offering me one, "Nice try, 'mate.' They got you back on the wetwork, don't they? Well, look, I don't judge, so lemme just ask you a question then, huh? Actually — lemme ask the rest o' you's a question, first."

At this point, the rest of the crew with me was starting to sweat bullets. Seeing the shakiness of our decker, and the itchy fingers of the troll, it was starting to dawn on me that either they've never dealt with the mafia before… or they most definitely have.

"This guy," Chucky says, pointing at me with one of his massive hands, "You know who you're dealin' wit, here? It's the fuckin' 'Union Jackal!' Guy's as cold-blooded as you can get!"

I narrow my eyes, hoping he'd stop right there.

"Chucky," I say with a slight sneer, "Don't."

"Oh, what?" he asks with a roll of his eyes, "You embarrassed or somethin'? Look, just a tip for all o' you's here: don't make this piece of shit angry, okay? Do your job right, and he might not shove one o' 'dem dinky little knives o' his through your ribs."

"Wait, wait," the babyfaced, elfin samurai behind me, the one with the hard-on for cyberwear earlier, pipes up to Chucky, shaking his head, "Knives? You're calling the shots here, and the only thing you got are knives?"

I blow out a hard breath, closing my eyes before slowly turning around to face this mouthy prick. I can hear Chucky laughing to himself behind me now, as well as
the steps from the rest of the guys backing up a bit. I'll give it to 'em. They're smarter than they look.

"That a problem?" I ask.

Like most of these kids tend to do nowadays, this mohawked, little shit steps up to me with that inexplicable swagger only rooks seem to have, briefly (and most likely, intentionally) flashing the modded AK he's got half-concealed under his coat. He tells me his name is "Badass."

God, I hate kids.

"Look, I don't have a problem with you on a personal level, 'Jericho' — but if you're telling me that this Johnson is expecting us to follow some limey armed like some run-of-the-mill ganger, then my problem with you's gonna be strictly professional."

"Is that so?" I ask, stepping forward. Rule number-two: don't question another runner's record.

Especially mine.

With this shit-eating grin, he tries flexing one of his cyberarms. Tries to psyche me out with a flash of one of his cybereyes. Kid even feints reaching for his gun, to which Chucky actually scoffs. The look in his eye says it all — he thinks he can take me, and from the right distance? Maybe he can. But from where I'm standing… I can hurl one knife into his chest, run up and have another in his kidney, all before sticking one last shiv into the side of his fuckin' neck — all before he can even think about laying a hand on that rifle. Now, I'm not the biggest, I'm not the baddest, and I'm certainly not the best. But after everything I've seen and everything I've done over the last ten years, I've learned how to look death itself in the face, and not blink.

But this punk? He's already blinked twice.

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