|Date of birth:||2261|
|Occupation:||Brotherhood Knight/Undercover operative|
- "She who fights monsters is probably a monster herself"
- ―Mary Durant
An unusual member of the Chicago chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel, Mary Durant is a Cyborg, albeit not entirely by choice. After being horribly maimed in combat, she underwent an emergency operation to save her life that left her permanently altered. Despite this, she remains a soldier of the Brotherhood, even if she has begun to question her loyalty.
Mary Durant was born in 2261 in a small farming community in what used to be known as Kansas. The town was one of those under the protection of the Chicago-based chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel, a fact that impressed the young woman as she grew. She became enamoured of the idea of serving the Brotherhood, and wanted nothing more to join their ranks. As soon as she was old enough to do such, signed on with the Brotherhood, becoming an initiate. During her training, Durant showed a powerful drive to succeed and prove herself to be both capable and worthy. She showed an aptitude for close combat, as well as some talent at stealth and infiltration.
Her defining moment came in early 2282 when her squad were caught in a firefight on the outskirts of Rusty Springs, a Brotherhood controlled town. Caught by raiders, the squad would have been wiped out if not for Durant’s making a reckless attack on their position, armed with the last grenade she had in her inventory. The attack was a success, killing the raider leader and driving their force back, but it had come at a cost. Durant was badly wounded, barely clinging to life and with both her arms reduced to mangled, bloody stumps.
Desperate to save her life, the squad evacuated back to the town, looking for a medic or anyone with even a modicum of training. Unfortunately, the town’s doctor turned out to be a battered and not entirely together Miss Nanny who was running under two hundred years of bypasses and patched programming. They were unable to save Mary Durant’s arms, but instead offered a solution to the soldiers. The town’s junk dealer had the hulk of a wrecked C-27 Humanoid Robot whose arms were fully intact. At the soldiers’ direction, the Miss Nanny amputated the remnants of her arms and grafted the robot limbs on as a replacement.
When she regained consciousness, Mary was shocked and then horrified by what had been done to her. After threatening to kill her squad, she regained some sense and figured that the best plan was to report back to the Brotherhood and hope that they would accept that both of her arms had been replaced with oversized metal monstrosities. While she would not have been the first cyborg in the Midwest Brotherhood, she would have been the first to have been so thoroughly altered.
While there was some shock at what had happened to her, circumstances dictated that the Brotherhood needed whatever able-bodied soldiers they could muster. With the build-up of Legion forces in Colorado, Durant was seen as being too useful to discard, especially given that her new limbs could be seen as a combat asset. She was reassigned to the front, and given additional training in close-combat techniques to improve her performance and use her augmented strength to its fullest. Her arms were further modified with claws on the fingers to be used as offensive weapons.
These steps proved to be well-founded in 2283 when the Legion crossed into Brotherhood territory en masse, triggering what would become known as the Colorado Border War. While not involved in the initial wave of the invasion, Mary Durant was among those bought to the front to counter the Legion forces under the command of Paladin Sara Redsky. While she had been trained to the best possible ability in the use of her new arms, she was still unproven in combat.
Her capabilities were tested in the battle of Dead Horse, a duty crossing that was home to a small Tribe that had been incorporated into the Brotherhood. The Legion forces were at first surprised by her appearance, unsure of what to make of her strange arms or what she was capable of. This proved to be a mistake as she used the opportunity to advance under covering fire and brutally eviscerate the nearest soldier. Another fell a moment later with his throat torn out, followed by a third who found himself literally disarmed by her. By the time the Legion forces recovered, they were under fire by the rest of the Brotherhood troops, losing the initiative and halting their advance. Durant killed or wounded several more before the Legion force pulled back, unable to hold their ground. And while the Brotherhood forces were surprised by her performance, there was no denying that her combat debut had been a success. Subsequent battles proved that this was not just a one-off event. Durant became an expert at infiltration and close quarters combat, using whatever cover she could to close with her enemy before brutally eviscerating them with her claws. Few ever saw her until it was too late, and even then few realised just what she was.
Following the Legion’s defeat at Sommerville Crossing, Durant was chosen as a part of a small advanced recon unit to penetrate into enemy territory and gather intel on their forces. The team, commanded by Natalie Redmond, an experienced sniper and woodsman, operated quietly in Legion territory during the 2283-2284 winter before stepping up their operations once the Brotherhood began their invasion of the Legion’s territories. The team continued to operate behind Legion lines, disrupting their communications and leadership while also removing high-profile targets.
Durnant’s augmented strength and claws allowed her to silently dispatch opponents, and the often bloody and mangled corpses she left in her wake proved to be devastating to enemy morale. Rumours circulated among the Legion forces that the Brotherhood had a tamed Deathclaw on their side that they were using to terrorise the Legion forces. It was debatable if that was a better story then the truth of a half-robot woman who could gut a man with her bare hands.
When the truth of the situation got out, it managed to make things worse in a way. The Legion, with its misogynist and anti-technological biases found the idea of a half-machine, half-woman killer to be terrifying, and gave her the nickname of Alba Pythonissam. A bounty was placed on her head for her death (nobody wanted to risk capturing her lest she murder them with some other unknown technology), which only built on her terrifying reputation. While many attempted to collect on this bounty, none succeeded. Instead, Durant left a trail of dead and mangled bodies in her wake as she fought in more battles across the front. The combination of her speed, augmented strength and horrific appearance made her a feared sight on the battlefield.
Following the conflict, Durant was recalled east to Bunker Alpha. The Brotherhood Scribes wanted to study her and the way that her augmentations were integrated into her body in order to learn more about what was still considered to be a poorly-understood fringe area of pre-war science. At the same time, she began to develop an interest in Cybernetics and other augmentations herself, as well as those that had used them. She spent many hours in conversation with the scribes, pouring over recovered pre-war records as well as the Brotherhood’s own history of past conflicts. Of particular note were the Reavers, who had voluntarily integrated cybernetics into their own bodies.
Aside from study, the Brotherhood had another mission in mind for her. Durant had been considered for the Detroit recon operation, but ultimately the idea had been rejected because her arms would likely be too distinctive and draw too many questions. Instead, they wanted her to investigate and possibly deal with another threat, one that her unique talents would be better suited to. A rising raider gang in Kansas known as the Iron Klaw had attracted the Brotherhood’s attention. This was not just for their numbers or the threat they poised, but also because of their own use of advanced technology, specifically cybernetics. The Brotherhood needed to know where they were getting their technology from and if that posed a greater threat to them beyond one raider gang,
Due to her own modifications and past history of special operations, Durant was selected to investigate the group and find out more about their operations, their capabilities and most importantly, where they were getting their technology from. The hope was to gage if they were a threat to the Brotherhood, or alternatively, if they could be integrated as it had with Gamorrin’s Super Mutants and other groups. Finally, the Brotherhood wanted to know if there was any connection between this gang and the Reaver movement that they had fought in the 2190s.
The first stage of her operation was to get a measure of the gang’s territory and extent, as well as to find their base of operations. Once there, she was to infiltrate their ranks and discover more about them. While operating on her own, Durant had access to Brotherhood scouts and informants along the way who were able to guide her progress. She also found that once she was in their territories, it was surprisingly easy to pass for one of their numbers. The people living in their lands feared her for her appearance, automatically assuming that she was one of the Iron Klaw. With only a little effort, she found her way to their hub, the fortified town of Steelgrave.
Once inside, it was easy enough to integrate into their culture. The members of the gang unquestionably assumed that she was one of theirs, simply because of her appearance and their belif that they were the only cyborgs in the region. Conversely, the regular populace assumed she was also one of them and avoided questioning anything she did out of fear. Durant found that by wearing a mask and keeping her arms obvious she could move through Steelgrave more or less unopposed. Along the way she began to learn more about their culture and origns.
What Durant found both disgusted her and intrigued her at the same time. On one hand, the Iron Klaw were particularly cruel and brutal raiders even by the types’ standards, utterly merciless to those they faced. Their subjects were kept in slavery, subject to the whims of their cybernetic overlords. They were utterly merciless towards those that they attacked, killing and maiming indiscriminately whole leaving those that survived with nothing. In many ways, they were just as cruel and savage as the Legion. Added to this was their culture based on concepts of voluntary self-mutilation, the idea that one had to willingly ‘purge’ themselves of flesh in order to become machines.
However, she also found that there was a sort of acceptance amongst them of her for who she was (or at least, who she claimed to be). Rather then beign treated as an outsider or abnormally, she was seen as being honoured for her commitment and the degree that she had already supposedly modified herself. At the same time, Durant was given more opportunity to learn about cybernetics and human augmentation, as well as the chance to undergo further modifications herself. Durant began to undergo further augmentations where possible, all done without the Brotherhoods knowledge or approval.
For the moment, Durant remains embedded within the Iron Klaw, reporting on their actions and capabilities to the Brotherhood. However, she as yet has not acted directly against them. Instead, she has begun to wonder if there is some way to turn them around and allow them to embrace augmentation without the same level of violence and destruction that they otherwise adhere to.
From the outside, Mary Durant comes over as cold and detached, an image that she does very little to fight. She rarely speaks to anyone, and even when she does she rarely wastes words. Instead, she’s to the point and straightforward, saying what needs to be said with little effort at niceties or social discourse. She rarely engages with others at the social level, limiting herself to what needs to be said; most of her interactions are usually functional and objective-based then social.
Beneath this is a growing fear that she has become some sort of inhuman monster, a mechanical killing machine wrapped in flesh. Durant knows that her augmentations have made her an effective combatant, but she feels that in many ways she is more a weapon then a person. She is particularly worried that while the way she fights is rather horrific, with torn and mangled bodies ripped apart by her mechanical limbs and claws, she seems to be ever increasingly indifferent to what she does while not knowing why. This path has lead her to begin questioning her loyalty to the Brotherhood, wondering if they simply treat her as a weapon or test subject rather then a person.
As if running counter to this internalised dread, Mary has become fascinated by cybernetics and augmentations. She seeks to learn more about them and what they can do, as well as their past history and development. At the same time, she has sought out those modifications and augmentations that can further enhance her own capabilities and voluntarily undergone further modifications.
Up until a point, Mary Durant is an attractive woman in her mid-twenties. She has fair skin which is offset by long, raven-black hair and dark eyes. Her features are somewhat marred by a hollow-eyed, almost haunted look, one that suggests that not all is entirely right with her.
Of course, few are likely to immediately notice this, as they would be more likely drawn to her arms. A pair of massively oversized metal monstrosities, there is no way that they could pass for anything even remotely natural. Further reinforcements to her shoulders and additional modifications that are visible on her back and specifically spinal column make her augmentations obvious and only add to the feeling of her being somehow inhuman, and suggesting some connection to the drawn, haunted expression she often wears.
Durant’s original augmentations were her arms. Taken from the wreckage of a C-27 Humanoid Robot, they were allready oversized for her frame when they were first ‘installed’ to replace her mangled limbs. Since then they have undergone further modifications, not the least of which are the addition of sharpened claws to improve her combat effectiveness. Durant has subjected herself to other augmentations, including spinal reinforcement, nervous system modification, reflex enhancers and adrenal boosters.
While her hands are lethal weapons in and of themselves, Durant is also not so naive as to rely solely on them, and knows that there are plenty of situations where she would not just be able to claw an opponent’s face off. She usually will carry at least one gun, but generally prefers pistols or other weapons that can be fired one-handed.
When undercover as one of the Iron Klaw, she dresses like one of their ‘ascended’ gang members. Usually this means wearing body armour made from scrap metal and a mask to conceal her features. Her arms are always left bare as a mark of her supposed devotion to their ideals.
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