- "One day they're gonna whisper my name like I'm the godamned grim reaper. Till then, I'll make a fortune being the godamned grim reaper!"
|Date of birth:||November 13th, 2261|
|Date of death:||N/A|
|Blood type:||B Negative|
|Occupation:||Mercenary/Bounty Hunter/Body Guard/ Adventurer|
|Status:||Currently acting as a hired gun in the Idaho area|
A young mercenary-tribal hailing from the infamous Badlanders tribe, Hoodlum is a somewhat renowned gun for hire and adventurer who has wandered the wastes since his fifteenth birthday. He will not rest until he has become the legend of the wastes he has always aspired to become, and will kill anyone, or anything that will bring him closer to that dream, especially if there are caps involved.
A Legend is Born
Born to the Rio Grande Pack during the annual migration to the Corpse Coast, Hoodlum grew up nameless and was trained to be a warrior of the pack since the day he could walk. For twelve years he did various odd jobs, from helping the tribes old timers manage equipment, to scavenging through ruins and hunting wild animals. He quickly established himself as a 'go-getter' in the tribe, always eager to join the older children and adults in hunting parties and never shirking his chores when it came to weapon and armor maintenance.
The Hunters Rite
As with any Badlander, even in the 'civilized' Rio Grande Pack, Hoodlum earned the right to his name and manhood during his Hunters Rite. His target for the Rite was the infamous Hugo Reed, a big time slaver and ganger who was part of the Annaville Reds in the Corpse Coast. The young Badlander was only thirteen years old, armed with only a combat knife and a rickety, failure-prone, hand flamer. The young tribal managed to sneak his way into Hugo Reed's warehouse, where slaves were processed and sold, through the feral ghoul and Rad-roach infested sewers. Upon his arrival, Hoodlum formulated his plan. It was noon, and the warehouse was bustling with slaves and slavers, not to mention Hugo's small army of armed thugs who kept watch over the entire facility. Hoodlum decided the best way to get to the target was to cause a 'distraction'. Hoodlum darted from the shadows and proceeded to open fire on the crowds of slaves and potential slave owners with his hand flamer. The resultant blaze certainly stirred things up, and in the smoke and chaos, the young Badlander found his mark, and rammed his knife up to the hilt into his back. Before Hugo Reed could even fully expire, Hoodlum had carved off his face, and was making his way out of the burning warehouse when he was blocked by two Guards. As the Guards bled out from their resultant knife wounds, one grunted his last words as, "No, not like this, gutted by some... hoodlum."
Upon his return, Hoodlum decided he rather liked the name, and thus he was reborn. No longer was he a child, he was a man, he was Hoodlum. To this day, he wears Hugo Reed's dried and shriveled face over his belt buckle, the first of many lucky charms.
The Journey Begins
Hoodlum would later leave his Pack three years after his Hunters Rite, due to his wanderlust and a need for an adrenaline packed adventure. (or so he says, it is just as likely that the Packs elders considered Hoodlums thrill-seeking dangerous and bad for business, so much so that he was banished) It is said by Hoodlum that the entire Pack saw him off in a large celebration, chanting his name and wishing him luck on his journey to become a legend. (though again it is just as likely that they unceremoniously cast him out) His only memento from his home, besides the mask he wears and the shrunken face of his first contract kill, is a rusty old Nuka Cola bottle cap, the very first he ever earned.
A Little Thing
Hoodlum would work his way up from the Corpse Coast, acting as a hired gun to various caravaners and travelers going west. Eventually, Hoodlum ended up in an area known as the Sweetsteppes , where he fell in with a local band of raiders who usually came about and picked off stray locals for their gear. Hoodlum, using the business savvy taught to him by his Pack, took control of the raiders and turned them into a very profitable slaver crew. With contacts within the Corpse Coast, Hoodlum eventually set up a brutally efficient slaving chain, eventually focusing on the female-dominated WASPS, due to the never ending demand of fit young women in the slaving market. Thus, his slaver gang, known as 'The Hoodlums', became reviled by the WASPS, and even gained some mercenary jobs under the Scraphounds, constantly dealing damage to the WASPS. The young Badlander gained quite a bit of wealth and infamy and enjoyed his status as a slaver lord for well over three years.
However, one day would see that all change. A little girl wandered into the Sweetsteppes, alone, tired, and nearly dead from fatigue. A squad patrolling of WASPS, always shorthanded, tried to kidnap the girl and press her into their ranks. To this little girl's dubious luck, the Hoodlums had been stalking the WASPS for some time that day, and with the little girl acting as a distraction, sprung their trap. Leaping from the rubble and capturing the women with a net gun, the WASPS and the child were dragged to the Hoodlums slaver camp in the turbine fields. While the WASPS were picked over and ravaged by the slavers, the child was dragged to the foot of Hoodlum's throne, as children were considered "special merchandise" due to their potential worth, and thus their fate was to be decided by the leader of the Hoodlums. At first, Hoodlum considered shipping the little girl off to a group of cannibals out west that he had done business with before but he became interested in her when he was told offhandedly by his thugs that this child had apparently wandered into town all on her own. Hoodlum asked the girls name, and she weakly replied, "Lucy Littlething". After a brief conversation, Hoodlum declared that the little girl would become his personal grease monkey. Afterward, he tested her alleged skills when he ordered her to fix up an old motorcycle and "give it all the trimmings" such as mounted guns and armored plating. In a considerable display of her skills, Lucy fixed up an old motorcycle in a matter of days.
Within a few months, Lucy had become Hoodlum's most prized possession, capable of fixing damn near anything. He treated the little girl like a spoiled pet and indulged her 'bookworm' habits. But there was growing unrest within the Hoodlums, members of the gang had grown tired of their leader's flashy behavior and some saw his ownership of the child as evidence that he had grown soft. A mutiny was staged, and after a quick and bloody shootout, Hoodlum was trapped in the gangs garage, certain to be overrun and killed, his aspirations cut short by ingrate thugs. That was until, Lucy, shouldering a sackful of grenades and carrying the key to his Motorcycle, came to his rescue. In truth, the little girl had planned to escape on the motorcycle during the uprising but unfortunately ended up saving her captor as well. Together, the two escaped and rode off to greener pastures, leaving the raiders to form under a new leader and rename the slaver band "The Hardboys".
Lucy would be stuck with Hoodlum for about a year before she finally escaped, Hoodlum accidentally leaving the girl unattended in some dirt town at the border of the Midessia Compact. The Badlanders tried to track her down, but in the end, would only find a mechanics studies merit badge in the baking sun. Hoodlum kept the badge as a souvenir, a reminder of the "best grease monkey he ever owned."
Dead Bodies in the Water
Eventually ending up in Louisiana, Hoodlum would come under the employ of the eccentric wasteland explorer, Hogarth G. Nash, and find himself waist deep in the bayous and swamps of the Louisiana backcountry. Deep in Swamper country, Nash's expedition was quickly assailed by the inbred, semi-mutated locals. Much of the expedition's personnel was either killed or deserted within the first week, those who remained were either too foolish or had too much to lose. Hoodlum, meanwhile fell under a different category, he took this particular job because he knew that not only was the pay good, but the fights ahead would only lead to cement his legend... if anyone but him managed to stagger out of the swamps by the end of this venture.
The Hogarth expedition was eventually down to no less than twelve members when Hoodlum, succumbing to a mutated strain of malaria, and was abandoned by the rest of the now shell shocked expedition. Determined to die like a legend, Hoodlum limped his way into a Swamper village and began slinging lead, bringing down eighteen of the tribals, including the chieftain, before they dragged him down. As he lay there, beaten and bloodied, some swamp mutant readying a rusty fire axe to lop his head off, a hail of bullets and explosions roared through the settlement. Hoodlum was greeted by familiar mask-wearing warriors, and rushed to the main body of the Louisiana Pack where they treated his malaria and wounds. Hoodlum would later lead the warriors of the Louisiana Pack to the remains of the Hogarth Expedition and rescue the expeditionaries and lead the survivors, including a grateful Hogarth G. Nash, to the safety of the Big Easy. In the end, Hoodlum and the Louisiana Pack would make a tidy sum of caps for their timely intervention, and Hoodlum began a lucrative career as a bouncer in the Big Easy's bars and cathouses while his wounds healed up. The only memento Hoodlum has of the expedition and his subsequent stay in the Big Easy is the gnarled hand of the Swamper chieftain he butchered, which hangs, dried and shriveled, from a simple chain necklace that Hoodlum rarely removes from his person.
Big Spring Thuging
After a few months of soft jobs as a bouncer in the Big Easy, Hoodlum heard tell of a city up north in Texas that would have need of specialists such as himself. Hoodlum traveled to Big Spring, taking short odd jobs along the way and doing what he needed to keep Ironsides running. When he finally arrived at his destination, Hoodlum felt as if he was looking at a cross-section of his native home in the Corpse Coast, gangs fighting for control of the streets, wares of every type being hawked at every corner. It was almost homely. Hoodlum quickly found work as a local hitman, acting as a middleman in various vendettas and blood feuds. The tidy barbarianism of Big Spring had never been graced by the savage hand of a Badlander, and so he quickly garnered a reputation as a brutal killer whose contract was his bond. He became so successful that the shadowy masters of Big Spring took an interest in him personally. The Arceneaux Twins discreetly hired Hoodlum, though why remains a mystery, as the twins never seemed to want for manpower. In truth, the twins were simply interested in this tribal-mercenary, having not seen his like before, and were eager to catalog him, to study him in his "natural environment". He also was a convenient gunhand, as the lobotomized orderlies are too conspicuous for some "disposal" missions. Though Hoodlum was paid handsomely, and given every convenience his employers could provide, he quickly felt uneasy about his situation. The twins, though polite and fair, made Hoodlums skin crawl. They were too polite, to clean, too... smart. Hoodlum would escape from Big Spring, tailed by the twin's minions. He later discovered that the twins intended on turning him into some kind of cyber soldier, a heavily armed puppet to serve their needs abroad. Though Hoodlum would have found such power enticing, he was determined to keep his mind, and fought his way out of Big Spring, never to return.
Skills and Abilities
Raised in the infamous Rio Grande Pack, Hoodlum was taught all the skills every professional killer and survivalist needs to know and more. It is hardly surprising that Hoodlum is proficient in the use of practically any conventional weapon. (firearms, melee weapons, explosives, and bare hands) His survivalist training also includes jury rigging weaponry and traps, making complex repairs, and general medicine, as well as hunting and safely preparing wasteland flora and fauna. Hoodlum was also trained thoroughly in wasteland "economics" and can barter his way into a lucrative contract with relative ease. This is also a result of his natural charm, intimidating appearance, and general wit, allowing him to talk his way out of (or into) certain situations. Hoodlum's tribal upbringing has ensured that by this stage in his life his body is hardened to the harsh wasteland, and is noted to be tougher and stronger than the average wastelander.
In spite of his various skills and easily applied wasteland knowledge, Hoodlum has little to no grasp of matters beyond his rather practical education. Subjects such as advanced science and mathematics are completely alien to him. And, while he can easily handle advanced pre-war weapons, his understandings of their workings and how to repair them are pitifully inadequate. Hoodlum's loud and glory seeking behavior also means that he lacks stealth abilities and, some would say, common sense. He can pick simple locks, however, and is capable of keeping his head down for an ambush, but don't expect him to infiltrate a bunker when shooting his way through is much easier. (and entertaining)
Unique Perk: Shotgun Diplomacy
Hoodlum can be very persuasive, especially when he has four barrels of buckshot and slug pointed at someone's face. Whenever Hoodlum has his weapons drawn, he gains extra points to his speech and barter skills.
Hoodlum is a very dangerous individual, and considerably well armed to boot, and thus is more than ready for the hazards of the wasteland.
Boom and Bewm
A pair of sawn-off shotguns with finely polished mahogany grips and black painted barrels, Boom and Bewm are Hoodlums most conspicuous weapons and by far his most frequently used. Boom and Bewm are quite powerful and can be loaded with either shot or slugs, and can easily bring down most threats encountered in the wasteland. Hoodlum wears them in a pair of custom made holsters that hang at his waist, and he can draw them with blistering speed. (and fire them even faster as aiming is often a non-issue at standoff range)
An ancient, WW1 Mauser Machine Pistol that was discovered by Lucy Littlething and subsequently stolen by Hoodlum, Quick Fix is one of Hoodlums more discrete weapons. Lucy fixed the gun up while plotting an escape from her brutal captor, but unfortunately, that just meant that Hoodlum can now maintain the ancient weapon with ease as most of the hard to find parts are in working order. In addition to its fine condition, Quick Fix has also had its bore increased to carry 10. millimeter rounds and this, coupled with its extended fifteen bullet mag and fully automatic fire, can make it very deadly in any firefight. Hoodlum wears the weapon at the small of his back, and is his fallback weapon in combat.
Hoodlum always keeps a pair of hand grenades and a stick of dynamite on his person. (usually to deal with entrenched foes or troublesome doors)
Hoodlum experimented with Psycho in his early youth, as was common for many warriors of the Badlanders Packs, but he became irreparably addicted. Thus, Hoodlum always carries a few syringes on his person to give him a rush when he is bored or needs an extra edge in combat.
To keep his Psycho addiction in check, and save himself from junkiehood, Hoodlum often keeps a pack of Fixer in his inventory.
The Devil's Toothpick
The Devil's Toothpick is a large Shishkebab that Hoodlum put together himself during his stint as the slaver lord of the Sweetsteppes, mostly from spare parts as he tried desperately to scrap together a working motorcycle. It is noted to have a razor sharp blade and a dark crimson flame, and the gas tank attached has undergone a large amount of decal painting and tally marking by Hoodlum. The Devil's Toothpick is a deadly and awe inspiring weapon, and Hoodlum wields it with a brutal mix of skill and savagery, having developed his own fighting style with it.
Hoodlum wears his signature hoodie over a vest of leather armor to provide him with minimal protection against the elements and the occasional bullet. In addition to this attire, he also wears a pair of worn, black combat boots, black baggy jeans, and a pair of spiked leather gloves.
While Hoodlum is not of the more superstitious tribes, he considers his mask no less valuable. It is, in all respects, his own face. It is his image, his personality on display. Made of tanned Gecko Hide and bearing a zipper that looks for all the world like a jagged-toothed smile, it certainly looks like the face of a crazed gunslinger.
Hoodlums personal motorcycle and his most valuable possession, Ironsides gets him across the wasteland at his preferred breakneck speed and can make him a terror to anyone with a bounty on their head. With scrap armor protecting much of its frame and engine, and a pair of 10. Millimeter SMGs mounted on the front, Ironsides is a deadly mount befitting Hoodlums goal of wasteland fame and fortune. For what is a great warrior without a faithful steed? That being said, what Hoodlum doesn't spend on chems, booze, ammo, and women, all goes to keeping Ironsides in tip top condition. (this includes gas, motor oil, spare parts, tires, and much, much more)
In spite of his vast array of skills, Hoodlum is still fairly young and lacks one key thing that keeps most people alive in the wasteland, experience. He is prone to taking risks and acting from gut instincts. (which are, at their best, mildly destructive) Some say it is only his quick thinking and raw luck that has kept him alive. Hoodlum is full of masochistic bravado, and will rarely back down from a fight, even if the odds are against him. He is, however, somewhat of a practical thinker, and won't take on a gang of raiders without some raw form of a plan. (even if that plan amounts to blowing up something important as a distraction)
Hoodlum could be considered evil very easily if one were to look at his past, from casual murder, robbery, and theft, to political assassination, arson, and slave trading, Hoodlum has trod on the rights of his fellow man for a living for most of his young life. However, Hoodlum has also done deeds that seem at odds with his natural tendency for destruction and death. Granted these are often only done when it best suit him.
Hoodlum, while often acting the scoundrel he is, has a much darker side that is considered the result of a combined inferiority complex, Psycho Addiction, and anger management issue. Whenever his tribal heritage or reputation is insulted, he will lash out with unspeakable ferocity, goring and maiming those responsible in brutal ways. He has rarely been able to hold himself back from these semi-psychotic episodes of rage and it is considered extremely unwise to insult him because of this.
Hoodlum is known to have a very skewed sense of morality, he looks at things such as the slave trade and highway robbery as just a business transaction when he commits such acts. Anything done in the name of his personal benefit is excusable.
Having been under Hoodlums "protection" for the better part of three years, Lucy can say without any doubt that he may be the evilest being she has ever encountered. However, she does take into account that he was rarely harsh with her, treating her well, even if being a slave was degrading he was far from the worst master she had ever had to endure. Even when he caught her fixing up a handgun to shoot him in the back with, he merely took it for himself and punished her with another hour of maintenance on Ironsides. While being a witness to various horrible actions that Hoodlum has been a part of, Lucy can at least say that, as far as villains go, Hoodlum is "not THAT terrible."
- "Hoodlum? Crazy son of a bitch, just as likely to beat you to death as hear you out. If you need a merc, though, he's the one. Just don't call him a tribal."
- ―Eric Haganey
- "Sister, remember that time we were going to load some walk-the-wasteland trash with a fortune in cybernetic prosthetics and implants for vague and possibly nefarious reasons?"
- ―Andor Arceneaux
- "Ah yes, that old yarn. It doesn't quite have the same 'oomph' as the one where we're incestuous, cannibal tribal gods."
- ―Chrysanthemum Arceneaux