Ascending Hampton Roads
James 'Phyber' Poe
Virtual Adept with a troubled past seeking to make up for it
James was born to a well to do family, his father a doctor and his mother a tenured nurse. His father paid for him to attend private school for the first few years of his life until his parents went through a divorce when he was ten. His mother gained custody and, unable to afford a private school enrolled him in the public education system. He graduated high school with fairly high grades, but nothing amazing enough to warrant any full ride scholarships. His father, trying to force him along a similar path as himself, offered to pay for his further education at long as it was in the medical field. James took him up on the offer but quickly found that while he enjoyed the idea of fixing broken people, he disliked what was actually involved with it. By the same token, though, he also found he enjoyed fixing broken anything, especially if it was complicated like the human body, or electronics.
He tried to switch his major to a compsci degree, but his father rescinded his offer of schooling when he found out he wouldn’t be pursuing medicine. He tried to explain his plan to cross the two fields, but his father would have none of it. Finding himself without a source of tuition and no money of his own he was forced to drop out. Bitter about this, he swore he would show up his father somehow.
He soon after picked up a job with the OUTLOOK group, a biotech think-tank for the medical community. Nothing more then a glorified errand boy he worked his ass off, trying to live up to James Adams’ version of the American Dream. Well, kind of. While the pay was decent, the hours were long and it was nearly impossible for him to find time to go back to school. So he studied his job. And when the papers and files left laying around weren’t enough, he made his first mistake. He managed to gain access to the server room and install a Trojan onto the network. The mistake wasn’t trying to do this, it was that he was that he wasn’t nearly as good as he thought he was.
This was the point in his life where things changed, though for better or for worse is a matter of opinion. He got caught by the SysAdmin very shortly thereafter. However, this individual was a bit different then the normal run of the mill Bastard Operator From Hell. Brent ‘Phage’ Stull, admin by day, deviant by night and general double-dealer all the time. He spent the next little while working on James, and Awakening him to a larger, more important world. Brent was a Virtual Adept, working deep cover inside of OUTLOOK, which it turned out was a front company for the Progenitors. He recruited James into the war and taught him ways of hacking systems that were beyond anything he had ever conceived before. What he learned he wanted to use, to finally show his father that he had been right to not want to be a doctor, to pursue his own path. But it couldn’t work that way.
James kept up his work at OUTLOOK, helping Phage gain insight into the inner workings of the Technocracy’s latest pet genetics project. It was what could be considered his first op, and that night left him with enough memories for a lifetime. The building was nothing but an inferno when they left. One less Technocracy outpost to worry about, one step closer to Reality 2.0.
When they got back to the chantry, others were waiting. Phage and James were both arrested by the chantry elders and separated. The long hours that night spent in a solitary pocket space turned to days and weeks. The only visits he received was for the basics of sustenance and his captors to question him again. His mind, his memories, his body and pattern were picked over, scrutinized, analyzed and obsessed over.
Finally he was let free and returned, though his chantry wanted nothing to do with him. He eventually got the full story. Phage wasn’t who he was suppose to be. It came to light that when the great exodus of the Adepts and Etherites occurred, the Technocracy used the event to their own ends and planted agents into the Traditions disguised as former Technomancers. Phage had been a Progenitor spy sent in as a Virtual Adept. His deep cover assignment to OUTLOOK was no coincidence and had been arranged by the higher levels on both sides, each equally believing themselves to be solely responsible. Under the guise of deep cover he reported to his hidden superiors and fed enough bits and pieces back to keep the Traditions hungry. He had recruited James as a second generation spy. But the chantry leaders had finally caught on and made their move. Phage was no more. They came to the consensus that James knew nothing about what was happening and was innocent, though that didn’t stop a lot of people from talking and wondering.
With his chantry turning their backs on him, and nowhere to turn to and no one who trusted him he was like an orphan moved from home to home. He finally came to his current chantry and has started to settle in, though he’s still skittish, waiting for the next kick to come. It’s always the same for him, alright in the beginning but as soon as people start learning who he is and what happened with him, the trust goes away, the looks get in their eyes. They always want to know if he’s really on their side, or if he’s just a traitor, a spy, just like his mentor. And to that end he’s swore to uphold his tradition’s principles and goals, to be an unquestionable Adept. He does it because he believes it fully, and deep down hopes that if he shows them that there is nothing in his heart and mind except their paradigm that they’ll embrace him again, forget his past and let him have a real future.