MARYA NKADZI REESE
a character by Amy Luther
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IN THE MIRROR

Reese is about 5 '7", 130 lbs, slim and wiry with good lean muscles on her arms and legs. She's not bulked out, but you can tell she's done a lot of hard outdoor work. She's attractive in a street kind of way -- she could blend into a gang easily, but she'd stick out in a corporate or suburban setting.

She has a severe shotgun scar on her right thigh and a number of minor scars scattered all over her torso (one from a knife, one from falling on a razor wire fence, the rest general cuts and scrapes). Her skin is dark brown, and her eyes and hair are black. Currently she wears her hair cornrowed, with a gathering of short braids (4" long) at the nape of her neck. Each braid is capped with a handmade beaten steel bead, done in the field.

An IPC barcode tattoo is just barely visible on the back of her neck (since she's dark-skinned, it doesn't show up as well as it might). She also has one tattoo on each bicep. These are harsh and primitive in style, but technically well executed, and depict a grinning tribal mask (rt arm), and a black widow juggling three skulls (lt arm).

Reese wears soft baggy cotton pants, in black or dark primary colors, paired with white tank tops and the occasional brightly patterned silk vest. She prefers to wear clothes that keep her arms bare, regardless of weather, but she'll throw on a ragged armor jacket with her old IPC patches on it when she needs protection or when it's raining sideways. Wearing armor non-stop for 4 years made her paranoid about "going naked," but she's so glad to be able to wear normal clothes again, she's avoided turning into an armor doughboy. Going without armor makes her feel like she's flirting with death, and it's exciting.

She likes to wear round chromed sunglasses, the kind that look like someone's put a shiny silver dollar on each eye.

QUIRKS/WEAPONS/CYBERWARE

Since Reese likes to beat people up with her fists, she frequently wears a pair of sap gloves. She wears steel-toed boots, because she also likes to stomp things. Musically, she likes a weird combination of blues and violent rap, and her idea of a great night out would be to hit a rap concert and leap into the equivalent of a mosh pit, get bruised and battered, get in a fight or two, and go to a quiet blues bar afterwards and relax with a coke and a giant sub sandwich (or go home, get laid, and then watch The Maltese Falcon and eat popcorn in bed, but since she's not real comfortable with men yet, she'll make due with the sub sandwich).

She's had her head cracked open enough times that subdermal skull armor seemed like a good idea. She also had both eyes replaced with cyberoptics (lowlite and antidazzle). Both were implanted before she went to prison.

Reese does not normally carry a gun because she's not off parole and she doesn't want to get busted for carrying. She has got a butterfly knife, and she knows how to use it. Home defense is a Mustang Arms Raider Riot Shotgun. Bang, bang, baby.

STATS -
INT 6REF 8 (9)TECH 7COOL 8ATTR 6LUCK 4MA 6BOD 7EMP 7/5
Athletics +3
Awareness/Notice +4
Driving +1
Education & General Know +2
Electronic Security +4
Endurance +3
Handgun +2
Heavy Weapons +2
Intimidate +4
Melee +5
Motorcycle +3
Personal Grooming +1
Pick Lock +4
Resist Torture/Drugs +4
Rifle +4
Stealth +2
Streetwise +3
Tae Kwon Do +4
Wardrobe & Style +2
Weaponsmith +2

Her REF dropped from a natural 9 to an 8 thanks to an ill-considered Dorph hit in our most recent game.

Subdermal Skull Armor (SP 8)
Cyberoptics (RT + LT) - LowLite, Anti-Dazzle, Microwave + EMP Shielding

ANYBODY TOUCHES MY STUFF, I'LL KILL YA

-5 tank tops + 3 pairs cotton pants
-Steel-toed hot-weather boots (SP 2, speed laces, +1 kick damage)
-IPC jacket (light armor, SP 14)
-Kevlar t-shirt (sleeveless, SP 10)
-Cell phone with split line and call waiting
-Shotgun cleaning kit
-Sap gloves (punch damage increases to 1d6)
-1973 Triumph motorcycle (very used)
-Worry beads
-2 pairs of truck-tire sandals
-Sunglasses (small mirrored)
-Butterfly knife (1d6) in boot sheath
-Shoulder bag with a steel chain, containing bike keys, SIN card, house keys, wallet, brush, etc.
-Mustang Arms Raider Riot shotgun, SHT/0/L/C/4D6(00)/5/2/ST, stainless steel, folding stock, 12 round shell sidesaddle

WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE

Born May 8th, 1997 on board the ESA habitat Troisième Fraternité, to mother Sofia (Muruma) Reese, orbital engineer, and father Njena Reese, sociobiologist.

1996 - Njena and Sofia Reese are recruited from Botswana by ESA to help coordinate the ESA Hireout. Marya's birth is one of the earlier births in space, but not the first, nor is it unusual. It is likely that ESA had small, fully-functional orbital habitats by this time, as even in 1995 Russian cosmonauts had successfully sustained orbital stays of over a year in the Salyut/Soyuz series of space stations. In the game timeline, children had probably been born in space by late 1996, because the ESA Hireout took place in 1998, and it would not have been possible to bring entire African townships into space without some provision for family life (especially since most of them are still living in LEO and aboard the L's).

1996 to 2008 - The Reeses work aboard various ESA habitats, shuttling up and down the well between Botswana (her father's birthplace) and Sacramento, CA (where her mother's family lived). Moderately wealthy, placed high enough in the ESA hierarchy to maintain a dual orbital and groundside lifestyle (though it was mostly orbital). Sofia Reese dies in 2005 from radiation poisoning sustained from a high-intensity solar flare. Njena's visits to groundside stop at this point; Marya visits relatives on her own.

2008 - Marya is 11, and is visiting her maternal grandfather in Sacramento when the Euro-American Conflict (First Orbital War) breaks out. 40% of the world's orbital platforms and vehicles are destroyed, and Colorado Springs is Sprung by an ESA rock. Marya is departing from Vandenburg AFB when the fighting starts. The Air Force responds by confiscating the passports of ESA employees and their dependents; Marya is one of these and remains in a detention camp for six weeks. Njena Reese is killed during the conflict when the habitat he is working in is holed by a USAF delta. Marya is placed in her grandfather's custody until 2011.

2011 to 2018 - Marya is 14. Her grandfather dies; she is shuttled through a series of state, group, and foster homes throughout the state. Over the next seven years she accumulates several juvenile arrests for petty theft, assault, and possession of controlled substances, and acquires a taste for armed robbery to support heavy drug use. She manages to avoid arrest as an adult until the age of 21, when she is arrested for a Night City convenience store robbery in which both she and the owner are wounded, the owner seriously. She is charged and convicted of armed robbery and aggravated assault, and sentenced to 15 years in the Techachipi Women's Correctional Facility.

2019 - Marya swaps her sentence for service in the Inmate Penal Corps. She is conscripted into the Black Widows (access 09-564-7843), spends four years in the IPC, outfitted with a Type 2/3 correctional device, and reaches the rank of corporal. In 2022 she is released, serving the last five months of her sentence on probation. She is now 25. Most of her combat skills were picked up in the IPC.

[I should probably note here that our version of the IPC differs a little bit from the one presented in Interface. The most significant change is in time served. We work time served on a one-for-four basis; one day in, four days out. It's an incentive for convicts to opt for IPC service. Why spend eight years in when you could go into the IPC and get out in two? The danger inherent in IPC service more than counteracts the time off -- the mortality rate in the IPC is so high, it's almost like they're paying for their own executions.]

2022 to today - On parole and released into Night City. Marya's parole officer is less than honest, and she performs several "jobs" of dubious legality for him, mostly cheap musclegirl and delivery work. Near the end of her parole, she assists in an assassination in Miami, Florida. Currently, she is employed by a low-level druglord, and is slowly working her way back into the drug scene again (see below).

REESE'S MEDICAL HISTORY

Reese experimented with any number of illicit substances during her misspent youth:

-Stimulants, probably any bargain-basement variety of amphetamine, moving onto really nasty non-amphetamines like Black Lace. She was probably hopped up on some variant of 'Lace the night her robbery went sour.
-Inhalants (i.e., athsma-type) or injections (air hypos only, please). She wants stuff that hits hard and fast and lasts a long time without screwing up your perceptions too bad -- no hallucinations, no pretty colors, no going around hugging everybody in sight. There is some damage to her mucous membranes and bronchial tubes, along with vein scarring from hypos.

Consequences of all this bad dope:

-Amphetamine tolerance. It takes double or triple the normal dose to have any effect on her (possible bonuses to Resist Torture/Drugs if amphetamines are used, or maybe just reduced STR/duration). Users can become violent and are thought to be at risk for schizophrenia.
-'Lace is physically addictive. It may cause some kind of brain damage, since you lose EMP. It sort of sounds like PCP (euphoria, anasthesia, and, supposedly, prolonged psychotic states). Withdrawal from high doses of PCP can cause seizures, and users are thought to be at risk for schizophrenia as well...
-So, she could become schizophrenic if exposed to a drug with any of these effects. That would mean auditory hallucinations, delusions, and violent behavior, ranging from attacks on those around her to self-mutilation. Lots of fun. Plus, she has Bad Temper at -3, so...

Then there was the IPC Type 2/3 Correctional Device, which she wore for 4 years. This was essentially a collar-and-jack set-up: a neurological collar, containing a power source, tracking beacon, and tamper-resistant mechanisms, and a jack set into the nape of the neck, connecting the collar directly to the brain stem. The collar could be remotely controlled to stimulate pain and pleasure centers. If removed, it would probably send a lethal shock or air bubble straight into the brain, or, being hooked into the brain stem itself, just tell your heart to stop beating or your lungs to stop pumping.

Consequences:

-Possible minuses to Resist Torture/Drugs where any kind of direct neural stimulation is involved. She is an easy candidate for wirehead addiction, and any non-electric drug that hits the pleasure centers of the brain would be a serious danger as well. Whether there are any long-term neurological effects from all this brain jazzing is up to the GM; susceptibility to EMP effects is one possibility, or it could all just be psychological. After all, she wore the damn thing for four years.

IPC service also afflicted her with Insomnia (a -3 disadvantage). She still has the Light Sleeper advantage (+3), but once awakened, she cannot go back to sleep. Even if she goes to sleep at a normal hour and nothing happens to jolt her awake, she'll automatically wake up at around 3 or 4 in the morning. She is taking a heavy-duty prescription barbituate, which she could become addicted to. Sleep inducers cause mild seizures, thanks to the IPC implants, so it's that good ol' drug train for her. Game effects, interpreted through Ocelot's Drug Lab and what we figured out in previous games:

-COOL saves are required every night. If she makes it, she sleeps normally. Happy, happy night. If she fails one, she wakes up and can't go to sleep unless she eats a pill. This puts her under for eight to twelve hours, and she cannot be awakened (in an emergency, assume she's operating at something like -4 to all stats when she's doped up).
-If she fails her COOL save at bedtime, she wakes up. She is up all night and gets a -1 (at least) to her rolls the following day from general tiredness. Successive days without sleep add cumulative penalties until she drops from exhaustion or breaks down and eats a pill. She doesn't have to make a COOL save to forgo the pills unless she becomes addicted. See below. She won't have any withdrawal symptoms other than insomnia and irritability.
-The addiction potential of her sleeping pills has not yet been determined. We need to figure out what type of addiction they cause, and how often she has to roll, but we can assume some stuff right now: if she fails (she hasn't yet), she's gotta have it, or she's climbing the walls. She then has to make a COOL save (Resist Torture/Drugs applies) to stop taking it every night. If the monkey goes piggyback, -2 to all actions when she goes without, plus other withdrawal symptoms if she has to go total cold turkey (weakness, convulsions, delirium, auditory hallucinations, and even death).

It all adds up to a pretty fucked-up character. She won't take any more street drugs, period. If she tells herself that enough times, it might even turn out to be true. BTW, alcohol exaggerates the sedative effect of her insomnia drug. I don't even want to go into game effects of that... Pills and booze don't mix, dontcha know. She's also capable of fooling herself into believing that lab pharmaceuticals (whether gained legally or not) are okay. After all, it's not junk, right?

Last of all, she has a radiation history. You can't call yourself an ESA employee unless you've sucked some rads during your lifetime, and she's absorbed about 40, mainly from prototype shielding and the partial effects of the same solar flare that killed her mother. She has sustained mild genetic damage, which could cause birth defects, and she is at risk for cancer, so no carcinogenic substances, okay? If it causes tumors in laboratory rats, she's in big trouble.

Just say no.


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