I’m getting ready to commission some character art for Wrecking Belle, and once I have that I’ll make a full page with some more detail about her. But in the meantime, I wrote up this little piece of background prose after our latest session and couldn’t wait to share it!
A little bit of context for it: when I was rolling her Lifepath, the dice gave her 1 tragic love affair that ended with the lover killed in a fight, and she also has an enemy that was a romantic rival. This scene takes place just after a job where the main antagonist walked away after promising Belle that he’d see her again real soon, shortly after he had tried to shoot her. Belle didn’t want to go back home, so she went through her little black book to find someone else’s bed to sleep in for a few days; someone better with a gun than her. She settled on Scarlet, a mercenary with nicer digs than hers and more guns than you can shake a stick at.
I didn’t sleep well that night. My mild paranoia after that video calling out the corruption in NCPD was tolerable, but I couldn’t shake the words of the massive cybernetic man that Odin let walk away, or the look in his eye. I’d seen that look before. Every creak jolted me awake, and I finally gave up and simply laid there staring at the ceiling, my handgun on the nightstand in easy reach for all the good it would do.
Scarlet stirred next to me, and the movement sent the smell of her hair into the air. It reminded me instantly of someone I hadn’t thought of in a while, and my heart sank. Shit, I thought, maybe that was why I had stopped calling her in the first place.
With a light sigh, I got up and went to the sink for a glass of water. I stared out the small window and reminisced.
Young love often ends in tragedy, a fire that burns brightly and devours all it’s fuel quickly. You see it coming, and if you’re lucky it only fucks you up for a little while. I had no such luck.
Ember was my guiding light and by far the best thing in my life, which was rapidly starting to fall apart. She was sharp as a tack, always knew how to make me smile, and loved me for exactly who I was. On top of it all, she was stunning. Ember was too good for me and I knew it. If only she had known it, too.
Everything went terribly wrong shortly after she had nursed me back to health when I got my cyberlegs. I’m convinced the mental trauma would have been worse without her, but I pulled through it ok. We were out at a nightclub having a good time, the first night we’d been out in weeks, when Reznor showed up.
I knew him from the Derby scene; he was a good looking guy and half my team had the hots for him. For whatever reason he had set his sights on me though, and I loved the attention. Ember never minded a little harmless flirting, it was part of the persona. And hell, she liked having a third from time to time.
Reznor had taken me out for a drink after a bout one time though, and I didn’t like the vibe I was getting from him. I paid for my own drink and left, ignoring his warning that I would regret that. Turns out he meant it.
As soon as I saw him walk in the club, I tried to get Ember and I out of there before he spotted us, but I guess he knew I was there and had come looking for me. I still cringe when I think about the shit that came out of his mouth that night. I reflexively put myself between Reznor and Ember, facing her and all but begging her to just leave with me, but she had this thing about not letting men talk to us that way.
It all went so fast from there I’m not even sure how it happened, or maybe I just don’t want to remember. Our story ended with me sitting on the ground in a pool of Ember’s blood, her head in my lap as I stroked her bright red hair, waiting for help that would arrive too late. It still haunts me two years later.
To my credit I didn’t jump completely out of my skin when a sleepy voice came from behind me and asked why I was up. I hastily wiped a tear from my cheek as I turned and mumbled that I heard a noise.
“Nobody is going to get you while you’re here with me.” Scarlet said reassuringly. She crossed the room and took my face in her hands, smiling sadly at me as she brushed my bangs back behind my ear. She graciously didn’t ask any questions, she just held me until my breath steadied, her scent simultaneously overwhelming yet comforting. “Come back to bed” she said softly, taking my hand and gently leading me back. I followed wordlessly, desperately wanting to forget.