Posted by Iceblade
Vital Stats: Big Murphy
So while I was in the hospital after my recent trip down south, I got to thinking. Death is always a breath away when you're in this business. Either you're taking it, or its coming after you. Sometimes both.
It is a fact that elves live longer than other metatypes. Barring disease or violence, we can reasonably expect to live a few centuries, according to current estimates. The first generations of elves are already coming to grips with the fact that they will live to bury the grandchildren of nonelves born after they were. It is a sobering thought to those of us who live, by choice or otherwise, outside elven lands like the Tirs, or areas controlled by the Manitou or Zulu tribes. It is given to us, then, to remember things as they were, and to chronicle the stories of those who came and went while we live on.
I write this now as an effort to help in that task. Big Murphy was seven years my junior, and yet had as long a career as many in the shadows. As those reading this know, he died on New Year's Eve, in the midst of a run gone bad. He died the way he lived, fighting.
Little Murphy was born as one of yet another litter of ork kids in the midst of that little slice of hell known as Redmond. The only advantage he had over the others was that his dad was a runner, instead of a two-bit hustler or gang member, or, worse, yet another victim. They were fortunate enough not to be forced to live in the radioactive wastes of Glow City.
He joined a street gang, like most kids did, and lived the life for a while. At the age of ten, his father tapped him to be the next to carry the Murphy handle and join the business of shadowrunning. Like most orks who were born, raised, and expected to die in the Barrens, Murphy was young, uneducated, and had little going for him besides size and strength. What made him different is that he wanted something more.
He was underestimated by many, even most, people who saw him. To look at him, and hear him speak, your first impression was always "Yet another ork that's all brawn, no brains". Seasoned runners learn to trust their first impressions of a situation, but Big Murphy was one of those cases that teaches us to never trust them completely, for there are always exceptions. You looked at him, and saw a dumb, musclebound, steroid abusing ork. And then he would quote 20th century literature, and display tactical knowledge worthy of Clausewitz. Some say he could speak English as well as any, but he chose not to. Having listened to him, I would tend to agree with that idea, whether it is true or not. Big Murphy knew enough about tactics to know that sometimes being underestimated is a good thing.
He got his start in this game we call Shadowrunning by teaming up with his father to steal a load of ammo from the Metroplex Guard, and doing it in such a way that they didn't find out about the theft for fourteen hours, by which time they'd long since ditched the truck and sold the ammo at the Crime Mall. They used the payout from that heist to get some muscle, and force out the gang that lived in the tenement house that would come to be their family's home.
After his father bought it on a run turned south in '59, Big Murphy struck out on his own, sometimes runing with a crew, sometimes taking solo gigs doing muscle work and the like. He gained a solid rep for planning and tactics beforehand, and keeping his head under fire when everything went to drek.
One of the highlights of his career is a caper he called the "Manchurian Twist, With Lime". It was a long con done in '61, where he operated as a janitor in an Ares facility for six months, staying in character the whole time until he was able to get to the paydata. He used the same cover in '62, exposing a Humanis plot to manipulate voting returns in metahuman neighborhoods. In '71, he led a group of the Bot'Kham and some Cascade Orks through Hell's Kitchen to intercept a cargo of radioactive waste that was going to be dumped in the NAN. The way I heard it, there was a golf club with Human Nation ties that happened to get some special fertilizer on the 9th green before the club opened in the morning.
One of the constants in the shadows is that rumors follow us wherever we go. Some of the rumors are true, some are exaggerated falsehoods woven by people who've seen too many trids about shadowrunners, and wish they had what it took to be a runner. I won't go into some of the rumors I've heard, both out of respect for the dead, and because some of them, if true, would cast an ill light on the living, and I don't care to do that at this time. Afterall, no one's paying me to smear anyone right now.
Big Murphy died on New Year's day, taking a bullet that was meant for a member of his team. It has been said that he was dead already, disease giving him only a little space to live, and that he chose his way out. Whether it is true or not, when he died, he left in his wake a sizeable collection of holdouts, and a protege to carry on the name, as his father did before him.