What is Backstory Friday? Every Friday there will be a new article showcasing the backstory of characters past and present. Characters range from various settings, systems, players, and writing styles. The whole point is to share our creative works, and potentially the creative works of our listeners. Perhaps one of these characters will inspire other Players or Gamemasters, but primarily they are for entertainment. Enjoy.
Who all can submit backstories? Anyone! Listeners, Fans, Hosts,  YOU! Just shoot any off to Backstory@BearSwarm.com

Backstory Title

In a darkened room a man sits behind a desk, his hand caresses an old leather bound journal. He heaves a sigh and then picks up the book and pages through it.

11/22/1995
My name is Vladmir Koshenko, I am Russian immigrant living in Los Angeles, and something is wrong in this world.

My life was as normal as it could be, considering that I was born in Archangel and in training for the Olympics. My family was well regarded, my father a physicist for the motherland, and my mother a chemist. For schooling I had private tutors, and a personal instructor for fencing. My family consisted of myself, my father Nikola, my mother Miya, and my siblings Sergei and a younger sister Zaria.

My family defected to America in 1984 when I was fourteen, all except my brother whom had gotten into a fight with my father the week before. I’m not sure what the fight was about, but I remember the shouting and the broken dishes clearly. My brother walked out that evening. The next week at a fencing meet in Okinawa instead of heading back to the Russian embassy my parents, my sister, and myself were escorted to a plane by men in black suits. The plane took us to America. Since then I haven’t seen the motherland, nor my brother. We’d become political refugees.
The culture shock was immediate, I found myself subject to a lot of prejudice, constantly picked on in school, my accent marking me as an outsider. With few friends I stuck my nose into my books and tried, unsuccessfully to stay out of fights. There were many scuffles because I was different, many trips to seen the principal. How could I explain that I had to beat the boy down with a pipe, if only to keep the other four off of me, all they could see was that one boy was in the hospital, and that I had put him there. I was forced to switch school after that, but I learned. The first day I picked one fight, and they learned not to mess with me.

Then the world changed, the USSR collapsed Russia and the commies were no longer a threat. More immigrants flooded into the city, my heritage, became less of an issue. I graduated High School and went to college; it proved to be a good time in my life. I worked hard putting myself through the bio-chemistry program as courier, I had friends, was on the fencing team and things were going well. My family had integrated; my father teaches physics at UCLA, my mother works at an aquarium, and my sister was becoming a typical rebellious American teenager. We had our problems, my sister especially, oh the troubles she got herself into, staying out till all hours of the mornings, getting arrested for trespassing in the abandoned theater. Every time though I’d bail her out, she was after all, my little sister.

After college I got a job as a researcher at a bio-tech firm, there I met Selene; she worked the front desk for the corporation; a slender beauty, redheaded and fierce, as passionate as a tiger, and gentle as a summer breeze. We dated for nine months before announcing our engagement. Life was good. Then my little sister went missing. She had fallen in with a bad crowd and the police only gave it a cursory investigation. But she was my blood, that wasn’t good enough for me, I needed answers. So I went to find them myself.

I started piecing her life together, getting a picture of where she went and what she was up to. It seemed she’d gotten into urban exploration; I started visiting some of the places she wrote about in her notebook.

I visted the first place tonight, there’s a dumpster in a culvert in a bad area of town. When I went to check it out, I could swear that I heard sounds coming from it, like an injured animal crying out. Unable to resist I went over to the dumpster to lift up the lid, when I peered in I must have inhaled some strange hallucinogen because what I saw… what I saw was a writhing mass of dead babies all crying and crawling over each other. Startled I jumped back and the lid slammed close, the sound stopped. I took a couple of deep breaths and gathered my nerve to peer back inside, no babies, no sounds, just plenty of garbage, plenty of needles.
Tonight I went to the graveyard, her notebook said she could hear the pleas of Jonah Bachman. I went to the graveyard, and searched about late at night, no one else was there, but for a moment, for just a brief second I could swear, I heard someone’s muffled screams, let me out they cried, let me out, I’m scarred…

The man flips a few more pages.

04/01/1996
Things have gone awry, I’ve not slept well for the past month. What did Zaria get into? I’ve used up all my sick time at work, but I don’t care I have to find some answers. Tonight I’m heading to the alleyway she wrote about.
I saw it, I saw what she saw. It was sundown I stood on a fire escape looking down. Out of the sewers the rats crawled, they began attacking each other, the squeeks and cries of their pain as they began to eat each other sent shivers down my spine. As their numbers dwindled I noticed they had begun to grow. The feast was gory, it was horrifying, yet I could not tear my eyes away. Then there was only one left, as large as a dog. I looked at me, I mean it LOOKED at me, and I swear it said something before it scampered through the alleyway and out of sight.

I see why she became obsessed, I might be a bit obsessed too. But now I know, there’s more to see out there than what the surface hides. In the shadows if one peers closely one can see the shapes of the things that lurk in the dark.

The man flips the page.

04/10/1996
I ended up in jail today, the cops caught me breaking into an abandoned hospital. Selene wouldn’t bail me out, she left her ring at the apartment sitting upon my desk. My life is falling apart, but I have to know, I have to know what the secrets are. I’m going to check out the hospital again tonight.

The man flips a few pages more.

10/13/1997
I’ve got to get things back together if I don’t I’m going to get fired. My parents are on my case, telling me to let it go, to get on with my life. I can’t yet, just like I can not tell them what I’ve seen. They don’t need to know the horrors this world holds. Tonight is the last night I’ve got one more place to check I’ve seen things that should not exist, cannot exist. Men who take wing and fly off of buildings, dogs with snake tails, tonight I’m going to check out an abandoned subway station, it was the last place my sister visited according to her journal.

The next few pages are soaked in dried blood.

12/12/1997
I never made it to the subway station, I never found out where Zaria disappeared to. Instead I found a monster, his name is Kostya Fedotov, and he’s made me a monster too.

The man continues skimming through the journal.

01/02/1998
I miss the sun, I long to feel it’s warmth, but I’m scared, I don’t want to burn. Kostya has taught me some of what I am, of what we… kindred, ha kindred, fucking monsters is what we are. He showed me how to feed. I… I… killed the first one, her blood… it. I’m a monster, but I can’t end it. Kostya is here for tonight’s lesson.

There is hope, Kostya told me, there is hope. He spoke today of a group of kindred who can walk in the sun, who never have to feed, who never struggle with the beast within. He called them the Ordo Dracul, he said they’re scientists I guess that’s why he choose me. So tonight he shared more about our… condition, and I began teaching him what I knew of science.

The man skims a few more pages before reading again

02/10/1998
I loathe him, and yet I must thank him. He’s turned me into a monster, a wreched thing denied the sunlight. Yet he’s given me an eternity to plumb the depths of this worlds secrets. As a mortal I thought science had the answers, then my eyes opened to the enormity of the truth, all around us there are secret things, dark and terrible hiding in the shadows. With his dark gift I have the time to learn those secrets.

Another man enters the room and speaks to the first, “So Sergei, did you find what you were looking for in that book?”

Sergei sets down the book and smiles.

In a small basement apartment Vladmir Koshenko sits down and reads a few of his last entrys.

11/13/2007
My sire has cut me loose, I’m off the chain so to speak. He damned me for an eternity so he could have a mere ten years of my life in which to plumb the depths of my mind for information. Svolahk. For that he took me away from my life, my search for Zaria. I’ll never again see my little sister, nor my parents. Oh I look in on my parents from time to time, but never can I see them, never shall I talk with them, laugh with them, enjoy a meal with them.

I’ve gotten a place of my own, it’s not terribly secure but it’s what I have at the moment. I’ll have to make a new life for myself, a new identity, but such things require time and money. I have plenty of the former and I’m working on the latter. For now this shall suffice.

I’m lonely, and I miss the sun.

Vladmir flips ahead a few pages

02/28/2008
I’ve perhaps found someone suitable to my purposes, her name is Danielle Jones. She’s intelligent enough, works swing shift as a Forensics Investigator. On her off time she’s a bit of a party girl, which maybe a problem, or it could be usefull as my introduction to her. Further study of the subject shall be required.

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