Ascending Hampton Roads
Rachel "Barrier Method" Jameson
A young scruffy-looking blond woman with a dangerous smile
To the average person, Rachel looks Mediterranean, with the permanent skin tan and muddy hazel eyes. Even her naturally blond hair wouldn’t be out of place, but it was all a trick of genetics. Rachel is as much a mutt as any street dog.
As a child, Rachel had a baby-daddy who was rarely around and her mom worked at a late night restaurant. Rachel wasn’t an only child, but she didn’t learn that until she was in school and met a couple of her half-siblings. But it didn’t matter that her mom was always working and her daddy was always gone — Rachel had friends all around her; motes of light that danced in sunbeams, the mice that refused to nibble at the traps, the stray dogs that only she could see.
However, invisible friends get you bullied at school, even if the mouse was actually in your pocket. But Rachel was born under a Full Moon, and had the temper of a warrior-born. Bullies found the little girl who talked to empty air would tackle them to the ground and stomp on them if they tried to pick on her. A rat might seem cowardly, but it fights dirty. Rachel was learning all kinds of dirty tricks from her invisible friends. That was when her daddy Mason started paying more attention to her. He’d settled down a bit, took over a soup kitchen, although he was still not the marrying type. When he wasn’t at the kitchen, he’d drop by to ask her about her friends, and even started taking Rachel out on walks to meet his invisible friends. One of those, Admiral Hampton, was very powerful and took an instant liking to this little girl who walked among spirits. Rachel’s sense of Right and Wrong was strong, and she had no qualms about showing her opinion by voice or fist.
When she was 14, this sense of Right and Wrong triggered her First Change, as she ripped into a older boy who’d thrown gas on a stray dog. Admiral Hampton found her first, trapped in Crinos, hands bloody, whimpering over the injured dog. The City Father took her immediately to her daddy Mason, and Rachel learned all the reasons why he’d never been around. Like her, he was Garou, Gaia’s Warriors, and his life had been spent fighting to keep Gaia safe.
Rachel learned fast. She was an Ahroun, Luna’s Full Moon Warrior, and she earned her name “Barrier Method” in her Cub Trials by picking up a concrete barrier and beating a Vampire to pulp with it. Within six months, her pack, the Urban Renewals, had cleaned out a drug gang selling Tainted product in the area claimed by the Mirkwater Caern. Within two years, the Urban Renewals had risen to Rank Two simply by cleaning up the streets as Admiral Hampton suggested. They were rising stars, roaming Chesapeake Bay just like her father’s old pack the SeaDogs, cleaning up not just the Wyrm-tainted, but also the Weaver’s webs as well.
But those who rise fast fall hard. Perhaps Rachel should have waited to challenge for Elder. She had only been a Garou for six years. Her father had taken twenty to rise to Master of Rites. But she was headstrong, and Mason was proud of her, so the Caern Elders agreed to let her try. The challenge ended with Rachel suffering the worst of Wyrm-frenzies, slaughtering and even eating parts of her packmates before she was stopped. Mason himself snapped the Eight-Ball of Shame around her neck, stripping away her Renown, her Gifts, all but her name. That he left her, that she might one day redeem herself. Then, she was harried out of the Caern and told never to return.
Rat, the Bonegnawer totem spirit, turned his back on her, along with his children the ratlings and mice. But not all spirits shunned her. Her old friends still spoke to her, because she was one of their own. Admiral Hampton still spoke to her, because she and the Urban Renewals had done so much to clean up the city. If she was willing, he’d tell her how to regain her honor and place among the Garou. She just had to do a few favors first.