|Body 3||Agility 3||Reaction 3||Strength 2|
|Charisma 4||Intuition 4||Logic 4||Willpower 4|
|Edge 3||Essence 6||Magic 4||Initiative 7|
|Conjuring Group||4||Anthropology (Linguistics +2)||2||Log|
|Banishing||Mag||History (Occult Practices +2)||3||Log|
|Sorcery Group||4||Security Design (Magical +2)||2||Log|
|Counterspelling||Mag||Theology (Catholicism +2)||3||Log|
- Astral Chameleon
- Photographic Memory
- Codeblock (Data Search)
- Focus Addiction (mild)
- Geas (daily devotions)
Real Name: Agatha Wingate
Some people shadowrun because they want to, they want to rail against the powers that be, get their strikes in against the Man. Some of us do it because we have to. Some of those do it because they never had anything to begin with, and some
like me do it because they lost everything they ever had.
Growing up in the CAS, in Oklahoma, I remembered hearing about shadowrunners in the media. They seemed coarse, violent, anarchistic, evil. I never would have imagined I would be one of them.
It was never part of my plan. Sure, I’d gone through some hard times, growing up Catholic in an area that’s primarily Evangelical is never comfortable. Finding out as a teenager I had magical ability made it more uncomfortable than most. “Witch”-burning was pretty common here not very long ago. The town square in Okarche still has a black area where it was done. Pretty chilling to walk by it on the way to parochial school every day.
The Church’s response to the Awakened, as you know, has been irregular, to say the least. Were we damned, was it a gift of God, or more like an unfortunate disability? Lots of Catholics left the Church for more understanding sects, or abandoned Christ entirely for religions more amiable to their talents. There just didn’t seem to be room for Catholic mages in this new world.
A lot of that changed when Fr. Sylvester Milton led a shadowrunning group to battle and defeat an insane mage, who used his power to fabricate an apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima that condemned magic as a tool of the devil in order to sunder the Church. When the deception was exposed because of Fr. Sylvester’s bravery and martyrdom, his canonization and the foundation of a religious order in his name for Catholic mages, we started to feel like we had a place in the Church, and in the world.
I became a Sylvestrian tertiary in high school, a lay member of the order, and hoped to study to be a teacher of young Awakened Catholics, so that they never had to go through what I and countless others went through. To that end, I left the CAS to study at Seattle University in the UCAS, run jointly by the reformed Jesuit order (the best Catholic hackers around) and the Order of St. Sylvester.
I thought I had my life mapped out, I had it all under control. I’d get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, teach here while getting my doctorate, and go back to the CAS to be a beacon of Christ’s light for other Catholics. Sure, I didn’t have a lot of money, but what college student does? I knew it would be for only a few years, and it would get better.
I worked with the local pro-life group, more busy than ever battling Humanis-type groups agitating for compulsory abortion and selective reduction for orcs, or even involuntary sterilization after first births. “They can’t take care of all those babies, and we shouldn’t have to support them,” they said. “Besides, they’re growing up in poverty, it’s the kindest thing for them in the long run.” So we went out as sidewalk counselors, worked in the community for crisis pregnancy centers, sewed maternity clothes (that’s a LOT of fabric) and helped get kids clothing and specially built strollers and car seats that could hold triplets and quadruplets, fought for multiple tuition vouchers for secular and parochial schools. We were making a difference, and once we got our degrees, we’d be able to do even more.
And then Crash 2.0 happened.
Finding out half of the student population simply no longer existed according to the university and the country in general was a shock. Finding out you were one of them is worse. Three years of study and grades, simply gone. All those papers I’d carefully written, nothing more than digital ashes now.
Most of the students who ended up SINless went home. More shocks were in store for me when I found out I had no home to go back to. My dad died in the riots. My mom’s death was worse…how do you get your lifesaving medication when the computer says not only do you not have medical insurance, you don’t exist, period.
So there I was, stuck on the other side of the continent, in another country, no record I’d ever existed. When my records and SIN vanished, so did my financial aid for college. What was I going to do?
Seattle University did better than some of the secular colleges. For those of us who stayed, the college worked out an alternative way for us to continue our education under the radar. Sympathetic professors allowed us to audit large classes with the lucky ones for off-the-books credit, and online courses and independent study helped out, too. But we all knew that it would take us longer to get our degrees, years longer. No more the 4 year bachelor’s degree, more like 6 or seven years, and even longer for those of us wanting advanced degrees.
When the population of the college shrank, so did availability of work-study programs, even the more home-grown ones the college put into play for the SINless. We couldn’t all mop floors in the cafeteria, or help students with their Matrix accounts in the computer labs. We had to get money somehow, somewhere.
And then the bishop of the diocese came to speak to us at a convocation. He didn’t outright say it, but his homily on Easter Sunday told us that shadowrunning, as long as we lived according to our faith and showed others how Christ worked through us, was a viable option. I spoke to my spiritual director about this, and he also recommended it, gently reminding me that just because I had to take an unorthodox way of working, I was not exempt from my duty as a Catholic Christian. I could not accept jobs that broke the Ten Commandments. I could not kill, except in self-defence and only as a last resort. I could not steal, and I had to fight the urge to covet what those who had more than me had.
So now I work in the shadows to pay for my education, and, maybe, to bring the Light of the World to illuminate the shadows. It hasn’t been easy. I couldn’t find an all-Catholic group like some I know work in. I’m the only Catholic in mine, the only Christian. I’m trying to get Wallace to come to Mass with me again, even though he complains about the incense bothering him, and, anyway, Scots are mostly Protestant.
My Japanese compatriots rail about cultural imperialism, and I point out the stories of the martyrs of Nagasaki, mostly Japanese, crucified under the orders of a Shinto Kampaku, and, 500 years later, the miraculous deliverance of Jesuit priests at ground zero in Nagasaki who attributed their survival to the living of the Fatima messages, to show all people can walk with the Lord without giving up their identity.
And, for my Ukranian friend, I tell him about the Marian apparitions at Hrushiv and the white martyrdom of those like Josip Terelya, who did prison time under the communists.
I will never give up hope, and I will always keep towards the goal I have set for myself. Besides, compared to what St. Paul went through, shadowrunning’s pretty easy, especially with the help of Christ.