A Troll Street Samurai
Name: Igor Danilovich Vasilyev Alias: Byk (bic)
PoB: Vladivostok, Russia DoB: Oct. 23, 2032
Gender: Male Age: 31
Height: 10’-0” Weight: 545 lbs.
Hair: Blond Eyes: Blue
Byk (Russian for “bull,” and a slang term for a bodyguard) is large even by troll standards, being nearly as wide across as a man is tall. His body is a mass of corded muscle; curiously lacking in the bumps, warts, and boney extrusions found on the average troll. Tufts of blond hair shoot out from between the horns on his head. For dress, Byk appears to favor tailored suits when out and about in the city. If he suspects that his shadowrunning might get dirty, he will of course dress down to the occasion.
Byk relies on intimidation. As a troll, his appearance is naturally intimidating, and he uses that looming presence, and an assortment of intimidating hand cannons, to get one point across: “Don’t mess with me.” Those that have ignored that warning have paid a high price for it. Byk is more than ready to make that point as often as necessary – much to the chagrin of some of his teammates. In his view, and in his experience as a bodyguard, however, it is important that he is not seen to bend. He does not quibble, he is not lenient, he does not waiver. His warnings should not go unheeded, because he certainly plans to carry out any threat he voices. His years as a bodyguard have ingrained this rule into him as a core belief, and he views it as vital to protecting his team. Viewed another way, Byk is something of a bully.
He may also play the “dumb troll” of stereotype in order to gauge the people he is dealing with, lull them into a false sense of intellectual superiority, or frighten them into thinking that he is smash-happy. In short, he is crafty and sly in his dealings with others, a trait that has helped him in his years with the mafia and especially as a bodyguard.
Lastly, Byk is relatively unphased by even the most cold-blooded violence due to his long exposure to it. He has had to passively stand by and observe everything from forced prostitution to brutal torture and execution. He certainly understands the efficacy of applied violence and accepts it as a necessity in life. He was certainly willing to kill anyone threatening his boss, having done so numerous times. He does not enjoy playing the role of executioner, however.
In short, Byk’s presence in a room is impossible to miss, and dangerous to ignore.
Igor Danilovich was born and raised in Vladivostok, Russia. His life was fairly plush as youth, being the son of a well-connected mafia boss in Russia’s underground. When he hit puberty and began his transformation into a troll, his parents were horrified. He was disowned and thrown into the streets to fend for himself.
After a stint of hospitalizations with metahuman charities while his metamorphosis stabilized, Byk found himself back on the street working as muscle for a local pakhan (crime boss.) It didn’t take long for his strength and intellect to be noticed by the boss, who made him his bodyguard. As his boss ascended in power to become an avtoritet (major syndicate operator) in the Vladivostkaya mafia gang, Byk was constantly at his side, both as intimidator and shield.
In the last year, a major gang war erupted between the various factions within the Russian mafia. It began with a grenade lobbed at the feet of Igor’s boss by the rival Khabarovskaya gang. Igor jumped on the grenade and saved his boss’s life. In gratitude, his boss saw to Igor’s recovery, which required extensive cybernetics. Considered a high-value target by his boss’s enemies, Byk was sent into hiding.
Currently Byk is in hiding within Seattle’s confines, under the custodianship of a makler (fixer) named Tovarich. With the war ongoing, his boss has gone into hiding in a remote location from which to control his forces. His enemies are eagerly seeking out the troll bodyguard, from whom they hope to wrest information about his boss’s safe house locations. Given Vladivostok’s location on the Chinese border, there is also a growing fear that Chinese tongs may seek to take advantage of the situation.
Aside from Tovarich, Byk relies on information from a friendly Russian mafia contact in Seattle, a plain-clothes policewoman in Lone Star named Anichka Nikitin. Unaffected by the politics of Russia, Seattle’s “Russian mafioso” are cordial to all members from the motherland. In the case of Anya, she is also a friend of his biological family. Byk maintains this connection to his family and dealings back home for one important reason.
Byk has had a life long goal of killing his father. While this would seem like a simple task for the behemoth, his father is well protected due to his position as a crime boss. It is not just the physical protection provided by his father’s security forces, but also Byk’s own boss who wishes to avoid a war with the gang, that stymies that dream. Byk is eager to see the war back home grow, as it might finally provide him with the opportunity he has longed for.
Previously locked for GM Only:
“Upstairs is clear.”
The last of the security team acknowledged over the micro-transceiver with Igor, a dwarf named Kirill, if he remembered correctly. And just in time, as he pulled his eyes from the upstairs windows of the tenement and viewed a black SUV pulling around the corner. Igor wasn’t very fond of working with these security goons, but every so often it had to be done. He didn’t much consider himself “management material,” yet as Peter’s personal bodyguard, it fell on him to direct them.
The SUV pulled up and divulged its contents – the bodyguards for Alexander. This meeting between Peter and Alexander was meant to discuss a small conflict in territory, and perhaps plan a job. Alexander was from Khabarovsk, and his gang had been “straying” into Vladisvostok of late. The two cities were far enough apart that there had never been any trouble before; and in fact Igor had attended many a dinner party with the two.
Igor stayed at the top of the stairs, as the bodyguards scanned the windows of the surrounding tenements and the street before moving to open the rear door of a second SUV that pulled up behind them. He admired their professionalism, and it reminded him to resist the urge to throw a friendly greeting their way while they did their task. They had all shared many a Vodka bottle together over the years, as well.
He wished he could say the same about his own security team, but they were new recruits. The police had gone on a rampage of late, arresting six members of the Vladisvostok gang in the last two months. Five of them had to have been part of some sting, but the last one was simple stupidity on the part of Sasha – who had decided to shoot his wife in a drunken rage. With the string of arrests, Peter had ordered everyone to lay low until his police informers could figure out what was going on, and Sasha was the last straw. Peter had hired this group as a lesson that stupidity would be replaced. Igor doubted that they would last long on the payroll, but they were here now instead of the regular crew – and that was probably long enough for the gang to get the message.
Alexander stepped out, looking as suave as ever in his tailored Zoé suit, and holding a brown-bagged bottle of Vodka. Spry for a man in his fifties, he hopped the sidewalk curb to avoid the slush-puddle the SUV had parked alongside. He climbed the stairs to Igor, stretching his arms wide as he approached the massive troll. “Igor, my old friend, you are getting too old for this job – do you know the life expectancy of a bodyguard?” Igor broke into a toothy grin as he reached out to Alexander, grasping him below his arms before sweeping down both sides of his body to the man’s ankles. He concluded the pat down by feeling the length of Alexander’s arms, as the man smilingly endured the treatment.
“They say they milk the chicken, too,”* the troll replied.
“Ah yes, don’t believe the rumors,” Alexander responded,” at least, not in your case!” he added as he gave the troll a warm pat on his arm and a strong nod of agreement. The man spoke to an ugly truth of Igor’s profession, however, and at age thirty he had far outlived the life expectancy of a mafia bodyguard. His knees ached all of the time, which wasn’t unexpected for a massive troll his age. Igor swept the door behind him open and invited them in with a gesture of welcome.
Two more of Igor’s team awaited in a wide foyer to search any of Alexander’s bodyguard who opted to follow Alexander and Igor inside. The first floor of this tenement building, a five story concrete affair, had been converted into a restaurant. A wave of hot, dry air washed over them as the inner entrance opened to admit them, along with the alluring smell of food. “Why all the byk’s, comrade?” Alexander asked as he noted the new faces. “Short life expectancy,” Igor quipped. They both noted Kirill at the top of the stairs to one side, looking down over the booths of the dining area and the entrance, itself. Kirill lifted a wrist to his mouth and shared some update with the team.
Peter leaned out from a booth along one wall mid-way down the length of the dining area to spy the approaching group, and then slid out to stand beside the table by way of invitation. Peter’s expression was professionally non-descript, but Igor knew that Peter was looking forward to a friendly meeting and a simple explanation to the recent encroachments.
A single “bang” and a bark of surprise from some cook in the kitchen brought a frown to Igor’s face. Peter twisted around to look over his shoulder at the kitchen door, as well. Igor spared a glance upstairs to Kirill, who moved to the rail to figure out what was going on, too. He again lifted his wrist to his mouth to ask for a sitrep from his team, and Igor was frustrated to realize that he couldn’t hear the dwarf. The team must have their own channel, something he would have to address once Peter and Alexander sat down to eat.
Whatever response Kiril heard in his micro-transceiver, Igor immediately recognized the jolt that hit the dwarf as he kicked in his wired reflexes and made a dash for the stairs. Kirill’s eyes were focused on the front entrance, but Igor could already sense that someone was aiming a gun at him from behind.
Igor shoved Alexander into the booth beside them as he spun around to face the attack. Glowing blue rings splashed a foot in front of him as slugs slammed into the invisible magical barrier that surrounded the troll. Igor waved for Kirill’s attention and gestured for him to get Peter upstairs, to which the dwarf nodded in acknowledgement.
Igor pulled his Savalette pistol from inside his suit coat and brandished it in the direction of the front door, where two of Alexander’s guard stood with SMG’s. He squeezed a couple rounds off in their direction, by way of distraction as he whispered the encantation to enhance his own reflexes. More bullets slapped into the invisible barrier surrounding him, as he spared an accusatory glance at Alexander, who was huddling into the booth and curling into a fetal position around his vodka bottle. Okay, Igor thought, this isn’t his doing.
He began stepping towards the attackers, squeezing off rounds blindly as he readied another whispered spell; this one materialized in a blast of power between the two that sent them flying bodily in opposite directions.
Igor again sensed an attack directed at him, and spun about as gunfire erupted from the upstairs walkway where Kirill had been stationed. He knew that his barrier couldn’t take much more of this abuse, and he flung himself behind a dining table to buy some time. The bullets tore through the table and Igor felt a moment of panic as his barrier fizzled on the last round. He felt the punch of the bullet as the armor of his suit coat stopped it, after being slowed by the table, no doubt. From underneath the table, Igor could see Kirill pushing Peter towards the kitchen entrance. Thank god they hadn’t taken the stairs as he had directed, he thought.
Igor peeked over the table to spy the gunmen on the mezzanine. They lit into the table again as they saw his horny head come into view, but the glance was enough for him to mark their location for his air elemental. The creature made its presence known as it shifted from the astral plane into the physical with an eerie howl and then laid into the two.
Igor rolled around at the sound of the front door opening again. He hoped it was his team, even as a question arose in his mind – where did the upstairs attackers come from when they had cleared the place? Cursing, he saw that they were more of Alexander’s men, and worse, the orc (Vlad? Victor?) lay dead in the foyer behind them. Being below table level, the men’s focus was drawn to the scene overhead rather than Igor. Their eyes followed the path of one of the gunmen as he descended head-first from the floor above. The other gunman was lying dead on the second floor, his body blue from having all of the oxygen sucked out of him. The elemental’s task done, an implosive “pop” came from above as it raced back to the astral plane free from Igor’s service.
Next, the bodyguards’ eyes were drawn to the sound of gunfire coming from the kitchen. Igor recognized the gun as Peter’s Morrissey Elite pistol and cursed again. The very first bang he’d heard had come from the kitchen, and Kirill had been forced to take Peter there. Igor surged to his feet and launched a wave of fire at the two bodyguards. He had no time for subtlety as he needed to get back to the kitchen fast. He couldn’t be sure, but one of the two might have managed to dive back through the doorway, it was impossible to tell through the flames. He only heard one of them screaming in agony, anyway.
Alexander wasn’t his ward, but Igor shot a glance back over his shoulder as he hit the kitchen door. Alexander was pushing himself out of the booth and looked like he planned to follow after him. Stopping inside the kitchen doorway, Igor paused to survey the scene and figure out where to go. A cook lay dead at his feet, but everything was quiet otherwise. When he heard Peter’s gun, he took it to mean that Kirill was down, as well, but then he spotted the silhouette of both against the white glare of outside light from the back door standing open. Something was wrong…
He felt the punch of the bullet it as it hit him in the left shoulder, it was the second and third round of the burst that seared with pain. Now he could see it, the dwarf was standing behind Peter and using him as a shield from Igor. The realization of the betrayal hit him almost as hard, and now he realized just how the gunmen had gotten upstairs. Igor was too massive to be staggered by the blows, and he scowled in anger as he unleashed another incantation.
Kirill dropped his gun as he suddenly went rigid and his eyes opened wide in panic. Then, he slammed to his knees as he grasped at his chest. He let out a single hacking cough, and the green acidic vapor that was eating away his lungs and throat curled out of his mouth. Finally, he fell face forward at Peter’s feet. Igor raced up to the man and grabbed him by the arm, pulling him towards the open door.
He stopped as he hit the cold air from outside. A van was idling in the alleyway, and two more men were running down the alley towards them. Kirill had probably been talking to this pick-up crew when he was using his micro-transceiver. Igor yanked Peter back inside even as bullets bit into the door frame. With a wheeze, he rattled off another spell that would ignite the van’s gas tank and slammed the door shut.
Peter pointed to the door of the walk-in freezer, and they made a dash for it. Outside, the thump of van parts spraying against the concrete alley-wall could be heard. Another thump announced the entrance of the bodyguard that had dodged his earlier fire spell. Igor pushed Peter through the freezer’s entrance and blocked it with his massive frame as the gunman opened fire from across the kitchen. Another round pounded against the troll, but an array of hanging pots and pans took the rest of the burst. As he pulled the freezer door closed, Igor had just enough time to see Alexander casually follow in behind the gunman; chambering a round into a heavy pistol as he did so.
Igor was spent, his left arm and shoulder were dull with pain from his wounds, but the force of his spells had taken a toll all their own. He looked at his boss and saw that he, at least, was unscathed. The man held a pistol in his right hand, but Igor observed that the receiver was back, indicating that it was empty. In his other hand he held a pocket secretary, the screen glowing to indicate that it was in use. He scanned their surroundings. A single neon light overhead showed that they were in an old wood and concrete freezer; a bunker of sorts. Good, all they had to do was await the cavalry.
The freezer door suddenly dimpled in where a spray of bullets hit it from outside. A curse followed as the gunman saw the results himself. Igor braced himself and then kicked the door hard as the door handle turned to release the bolt. The door slammed open wide to show the gunman flying backwards into a prep table behind him, and bending sickenly backwards to slam the back of his head against the table top. The door, careened off the outside wall and ricocheted back shut. With no one to operate the door handle, however, the bolt remained out so that it slammed against the frame and didn’t latch. The sound of the gunman’s body sliding down off the table before slapping wettly to the floor came from outside.
The door slowly creaked back open about a foot wide before dragging to a stop. Igor reached a hand back behind him to push Peter towards the back of the freezer as he edged back from the doorway himself. The sound of footsteps approaching could be heard.
“I’m sorry I did not tell you earlier, comrades, but I am taking over Vladivostok now,” Alexander stated from outside.
“You are not doing so well, then, Alexi,” Peter retorted. “By my count you are nearly out of men, and mine will be here any minute.”
“They will fall in line once you are gone, Petcho,” Alexander replied. “Which you have helped me accomplish nicely by going in that meat locker. Vashee zdaróvye!”** With that, the paper-wrapped vodka bottle whipped around the doorframe to smash on the floor inside the freezer. Igor looked down in horror to see the spoons of two grenades leap into the air, freed from the shattered glass.
Looking back to Peter, he grumbled "I AM getting too old for this.” He tossed his pistol to Peter even as he dove onto the grenades and curled himself around them. His last view was of Peter catching the gun and diving into the back corner, then all went black.
Igor’s eyes snapped open. A pain like a white-hot needle in his earlobe seemed to have snapped him awake. The world was monochrome green around him. The face of an elderly man looked down on him through protective goggles and a surgical mask. “It’s a miracle he’s alive,” someone to his right was saying behind the masked man.
“No, just magic, I think.” The masked man replied, as he leaned across Igor’s view to peer at something.” It looks like his ear stud just melted away, and I bet it was some kind of magic focus to keep him suspended.”
The world went black again.
“This is temporary,” the elderly man was saying. Igor had the feeling that this man had been speaking to him for some time, but he only now could make out the words. “We have the samples we need to create personalized cyberware, but you will have to suffer with this until then.” He was trying to speak over the noise of a mechanical whirr coming from a piece of medical equipment somewhere out of view. “Peter has ordered that you be shipped to America until you are fully recovered. I don’t like having to move you just yet, but I understand when he says you are at too much risk if you stay here. Do not worry – Peter has pulled out all the stops to make you as good as new!”
The world was green again, but Igor found that he could look around, at least. He recognized the recovery room of the street doc his gang used. His joints ached all over, which wasn’t unexpected for a massive troll of his age who had just survived two grenades. He lifted his head off the bed and looked down at his body, seeking the source of the whirring noise.
The doctor rushed to open the IV sedative for the big troll as it started screaming. He nimbly dodged one of the stainless steel limbs that flailed past him in doing so. In this day and age, most patients were happy to have cyber replacement limbs, even an industrial set like his.
- A Russian proverb meaning, “don’t believe everything you hear.”
- A drinking toast meaning, “to your health.”