Martin's Background for Shadowrun Denver
Name: Harold Benson
Known Aliases: Martin Black, Martin Dark, Darkwind, Shadowdark
Threat Rating: C
Cybernetics: Heavily modified with headware
Bioware Level: Some culture augmentations
Date of Birth: December 5, 2043
Harold Benson was a shoemaker - a street term for someone specializing
in forging identities and papers for illegal citizens. His matrix abilities
and augmentations lend him abilities far beyond that you would expect of an 17
year old. After he uncovered black files concerning the Jokers Wild
assassination op, the decision was made to neutralize any possible information
leakage. He is also possessed of some skills in combat, as our first ops teams
discovered, but was killed on November 14, 2060 in his securehouse in the
Downtown region. No information was found leaked to the media, all origonal
copies were retrieved. Ops team was forced to retreat prior to the arrival of
Docwagon units. Threat was declared neutralized.
Harold was born to Mr. and Mrs. James Benson in the Seattle General
Hospital west wing in 2043. His father works in the Information Services
department of Macromedia, an Ares subsidiary, and his mother worked Technical
Support. They met five years before his birth on the job, became married, and
had his sister, Jennifer, two years later. His mother died in 2058 when her
car's Gridguide transponder failed and she was was struck by a city
He attended the company elementary school in in the suburbs. Some of
his teachers noted an unusual aptness with the computer network at the time,
but it wasn't a system audit was done a few years later that evidence of
tampering with his grades was detected. They had been altered, and in such a
way that the alterations showed a standard level of randomness, with increased
aptitude in math skills. On further investigation with the teachers, it was
discovered that spent much of his time browsing the computer systems, and
should have had far lower grades.
His high school documentation is likewise unremarkable and uneventful.
Although alterations were picked up in these files as well, they were more
subtle and less extensive, mostly involved with him completely skipping out on
gym. Apparently he chose to actually do well in most his classes, as opposed
to chancing discovery. His computer ability was likewise noted here, and he
chose many of the classes offered in that area. He steered away from server
side operations and IC programming, focusing instead on Oblong assembly
language and cyberterminal system design.
Though the exact date is indeterminate, we have determined that it was
some time early during this period that he made contact with the Matrix group
known as the 7even Deadly Sinz, a known front for the Deus AI. Archives
detailing his membership in the group show that he was first admitted
grudgingly when he defeated all of them in an underground 'Core Wars'
Further interviews with the high school teachers show that he missed a
great deal of classes in his sophmore year, but his school records show no
such indications, barring one or two sick days where we have corresponding,
unaltered medical records. On the matrix, the first appearances of the decker
Darkwind were noted by some of our matrix security personnel in our systems.
He didn't do much at this time other than look around, although it was evident
later that he was gathering recon information.
It was during the beginning of his junior year in the fall of '60 that
he made a problem of himself. We discovered several of our subsystems infected
with a particularly insiduous dataworm that bears code markings similiar to
other authored by the 7even. It made a note of passcodes used by users it
infected, and sent them to an anonymous matrix dropbox. In this fashion,
several of our primary hosts were infiltrated by the 7even Sinz.
However, Darkwind got ahold of a super-user passcode for our Seattle
Red-9 Local Area Coordination Database. A system conflict alerted us to the
compromised passcode while he was in the process of downloading the Jokers
Wild file. Our security deckers managed to trace his link through to his
apartment, and we scrambled a black team to intercept. We arrived just as he
was throwing a few final optical disks into a bag. In the firefight that
ensued, two of our team went down heavily injured, but Darkwind was taken
The search of his safehouse revealed quite a bit of matrix gear. No
in-depth search was made, however, because the team was advised that a
Docwagon LAV was on course at high speeds. All systems, disks, or other
storage media was taken from the scene, and system records of his cyberdeck
show that all copies and originals are in our possession.
Harold Benson was reported dead on arrival at Seattle General Hospital.
Positive visual ID could not be made because a system crash erased all the
database references between body tags in the computers later that evening.
However, the AV pilot interviewed by the company visually confirmed the ID on
After investigating company records, we discovered several fake
'employees' created and staffed on our payroll. We even discovered that access
was gained by Darkwind to some of our facilities during the summer under the
guise of these employees coming in to work, as several of the staff on
location remember seeing him.
We cannot emphasize with a more dramatic story how important matrix
security is. Do not accept any utilities from any non-authorized sources, not
even icons with your co-worker's flags. If you see suspicious persons around
your workplace, report them. This single event cost our company over twenty
million in contingency measure. Keep your passcodes secure, random, and do
/not/ write them down.
What the Corps Don't Know
Can hurt them. Harold learned a lot of things in grade school - far
more than his teachers ever suspected. While they were teaching the other
students how to turn on their terminals, he was accessing hacker bulliten
boards. While they were making their first 'Hello World' icons, he made his
first Sleaze program. His parents had helped him at home with the basics, and
from there he took straight off headlong into the Matrix, where information is
power and the purest chip-truth is only a pulse away from the darkest lies.
All through grade school, he was hanging around the decker boards
whenever he could, picking up tricks of the trade and the peculiar ethos that
evolved in his head. He learned not to lie to himself about how good he might
be, for there's always someone better on the other side of the line. He also
found that the truth isn't worth two yen in the world outside of the 'Trix,
and much preferred the truth in the illusion as opposed to the lies of
He also found that lies could be useful where the 'Trix crossed with
the real world. Nobody cared for the 'wet-eared snot-nosed punk' that they saw
when they found out where he was logging in from a grade school terminal. So
he changed his reality, his identity. Hacking in through servers and taking up
the decker name he'd be known for years, he became Shadowdark, the master of
the black magics of the 'Trix. By creating his first fake ID, masking who he
really was, they saw him as another one of them, a SINless decker surfing the
That still didn't get him into some circles. He had to get the 7even's
attention with something a little more drastic than simply claiming to be a
novahot coder, and he did so when he dropped their programs stone cold in
their core wars competition. They even showed him a few new tricks that he
hadn't seen yet in the core wars. All of that was added on to his growing
Harold, or Shadowdark as he /really/ preferred to be known among his
friends, isn't dead, either. He's actually fairly well off, if slightly worse
for wear after nearly being killed. During that summer that he 'worked' for
the corps, he siphoned off a good portion of money from accounts, turning up
as missing links and pointers and garbage files. Part of it was used to
finance the gear he was working on, some of it went to his bioware and
cyberware, enabling him to ever more daring and skillful cons, while other
amounts he used to set up boltholes in various places and contingincies, such
as the Docwagon contract.
While the AV pilot did deliver a body to the hospital, which he would
surely swear up and down was the body of Harold Benson, he was also rather
well bribed to say that. The other members of the 7even Sinz diverted the AV
to a shadow clinic where he could heal up. The information that they were
after might have been lost, but the decker who'd gotten it in the first place
was still with them.
Even they couldn't predict what he did next, however. Shadowdark
decided that Seattle was a bit too hot for him to handle right now, with what
he'd seen in that database. He used one of the bolt holes he'd set up without
the 7even's help and vanished. A month later, he emerged into the shadows as
an entirely new person, leaving all his old friends, contacts, and family
behind. He'd hacked the ID's himself months ago, even helped get a secretary a
very nice job in the human resources department - he was pretty good at
forging records by this point, having done it for the better part of seven
years. The secretary still owes him for that, and a few other little favors he
did for her. A street doc fitted him with some new cyberware and prints to
The only thing that could tie him back to his original SIN after that
was his DNA, and he used a few tricks to overwrite the records Ares kept with
another man killed around the same night he supposedly 'died', joining the
ranks of the few, the underprivileged, the SINless. After that, he left
Seattle altogether, travelling to Denver as an ordinary corporate worker on
his fake ID.
Background Copyright 2001 by Martin's Player. Used with permission.
|This page Copyright ©2001 by Joel E. Ricketts and Craig G. Rickel. All Rights Reserved. Some information and content Copyright ©1999 by FASA Corporation and/or Wizkids, LLC, and its use or reference here is not intended as any sort of challenge to those Copyrights. Shadowrun is a Registered Trademark of FASA Corporation.|