Teenage Years: Underprivileged
A prole, born to prole parents, Fulton is the oldest of 3 and named in honor of his grandfather on his father’s side, Fulton David Sinclair, who died in a car crash one week before his only grandson’s birth. Fulton’s parents are David and Mary (Connor) Sinclair. His sisters, Elizabeth (34) and Anna (31), were born in 1979 and 1982 respectively.
Growing up n a poor family, Fulton didn’t understand how the various classes could be so unbalanced. Once the stock market collapsed in ’87, things only got worse. How was it that some had so much, and yet his family struggled to pay their food bills and he and his sisters barely had an education worth speaking of? His parents would always respond with “God will provide,” but Fulton never saw any proof.
So, if God wouldn’t provide, he would. With this in mind, Fulton began shoplifting. Mainly small items at first: candy bars, bracelets, toys. Whatever loot he obtained he would share between himself and his sisters, although he never told his sisters how he got them. When his parents discovered what he was doing, he was punished and they tried to get him to stop. In Fulton’s mind, he was only providing for people who had nothing. It was an impersonal and selfish world, and if no one was going to help people like him, then it was up to him to help himself. Survival of the fittest. What was wrong with survival, especially if no one got hurt? Fulton’s only fault, in his opinion, was that he got caught. He didn’t see it as a stopping point, however. He didn’t think there was anything wrong with what he was doing, and if he got caught, it was because he wasn’t good enough or careful enough. The object, then, was to get better so he didn’t get caught. When he was finally allowed to leave the apartment after his grounding, he kept up with his shoplifting, and graduated to pick pocketing as well for some cash. He was more careful about how and where he shared it with his sisters, to make sure his parents didn’t find out again.
Despite his parents’ active church participation, to Fulton they seemed more hypocritical than truly religious. The sort of religious who attend service out of habit. Because it makes them feel good. Because it makes them look good. Because it’s what they’re “supposed” to do. The sort of religious who don’t practice what they preach, and only apply their faith when it helps them out personally. To him they seemed judgmental and critical. Rather than reaching out to help those even less fortunate or with bigger family problems than his own, his parents seemed to enjoy lauding what few social graces they actually had over those whose behavior was “unacceptable.” All behind other peoples backs, of course. Their attitude turned Fulton off, and by his late teen years he stopped going to church altogether, despite attempts from his parents to force him to attend. He tends toward agnosticism in his adult life.
When Fulton was old enough, his parents encouraged him to get a job. He couldn’t stand the thought of trudging off to the same dead-end life every day, just like his father. The system was a joke, and the corporations were more interested in cheap, desperate labor than in helping the lower classes. With that sort of incentive, why do anything to help them out, either? He did try to get a job for a while, though, if only to get his parents off his back. But when you’re competing with every other young prole who’s just “graduated” from the same non-existent education for the same factory position, the prospects don’t look good. He seemed to do well in the initial interviews, when it was just talking. But what it eventually boiled down to was not being strong enough for primarily physical jobs. He could make do, but others could do it better and faster.
After his “interviews”, Fulton would find things to do on the streets: wandering in thought, visiting bars, some minor theft when the opportunity presented itself. He’d often stay out well into the night. Anything to keep from going back home until after he knew his parents would give up on him for the day and go to bed. When he’d inevitably come home with nothing to show for it, it would be the same story. His parents, of course, said he just wasn’t “applying” himself, whatever the hell that meant. They said he was smart, and there was no reason he shouldn’t be able to get work. Plus, they’d lay into him about being out all night, the people he hung out with, the theft (even though they had never caught him again, they still suspected), his new smoking habit, and the example he was setting for his sisters.
This last comment grated on Fulton more than anything. He had practically raised his sisters, given his dad’s enslavement to the work force, and his mother’s interest in gossiping with the neighbors over watching the kids in the kitchen to make sure they didn’t light themselves on fire, or some other accident. With tensions rising between him and his parents, and with money getting tighter, it finally came down to an ultimatum. Get a job, or get out. They hoped it would encourage him. All it did was make Fulton hate his parents more. He left.
At 17, Fulton was homeless and jobless. Even if he had wanted to steal his parents’ car and just get out of town to start over, he couldn’t. They didn’t own one. Not that he had much more than a passing knowledge of how to drive anyway. Most proles in the city didn’t know much about driving, but learned early on how to navigate the streets either on their own or through pubtrans (public transportation).
Looking for an abandoned building or a “clean” alley to bed down in, instead he found a body. Face down in the gutter, torn clothes, mussed hair, black eye, and a bleeding scalp. At first Fulton assumed he was dead and, as sick as it made him feel, began checking for the person’s wallet. When the body groaned, Fulton realized he had stumbled on someone else’s business. Still, he couldn’t just leave him. Rolling him over, Fulton checked for consciousness. Barely. Speaking to the teen, about Fulton’s age, he said he was going to get him to an e-clinic (emergency clinic). With a weak protest, the boy gave Fulton an address instead. Hauling him up to his feet, they stumbled out the door.
The address wasn’t an e-clinic. It was an abandoned building, boarded up. Thinking he made a mistake, Fulton looked around as several other teens appeared from the shadows nearby, knives in hand. They took the boy, and roughly took Fulton. Down some stairs in the back alley and through a door, Fulton entered The Lair, home of the Black Talons . The boy was taken away, and Fulton was taken to see 8 Ball. 8 Ball was, predictably, a large, bald, black man who you didn’t want to get caught behind … or more accurately, in front of. 8 Ball explained that until the kid he showed up with, Jason, was okay … and he’d better be okay … they were going to hang onto Fulton. As long as Jason vouched for Fulton, everything was cool. If Jason wasn’t okay, or said Fulton was the one who put the beat down on him, Fulton was never going anywhere again. It didn’t take Fulton long to realize he’d stumbled onto a gang.
Jason did wake up, and did explain Fulton’s help. Although he didn’t usually like large groups, Fulton needed the home and the support. Without them, he may wind up just like Jason had one of these days, with no guarantee anyone would help him. Fulton joined the Talons.
All they asked was that he stay loyal, and help support the group. Having stolen for several years already, it wasn’t hard for him to keep doing the same thing. In secret, though, he never gave up his entire haul. He’d sneak back to his former home when he knew no one would be there and leave some extra money in the cubbyhole under the floorboards in the closet that he and his sisters used to hide things they didn’t want mom and dad to find. Every once in a while he’d find a note from one of his sisters in return, or a drawing from Anna. She had a real talent, if only she could get a chance to get some real training.
The social aspect of gang life was hard to adjust to. Fulton was always quiet to begin with, and gang life didn’t change that. People thought he might be stupid, but he was just observant. Out of gratitude, or maybe curiosity, Jason did make an effort to get to know Fulton, and the two developed a friendship.
Aside from that, though, Fulton never really felt comfortable as part of the group. The violence, the theft, the vandalism … it wasn’t that Fulton had a problem with any of those things specifically, it just seemed like the gang used them as forms of entertainment, not necessity. Fighting someone who was a threat was one thing, but as a way to blow off steam or have “fun” was a waste of energy. Over time, his friendship with Jason faltered as well. Jason got off on the power and the chaos, and actually began proving himself as gang leader in his own right, rising up in the ranks. Since Fulton was always on the outside, he was always a target for the newer initiates to use to move up in the ranks, but even though they didn’t talk as much any more, Jason would head things off before they got started. His protection of Fulton began to be a sore spot for other gang members, and it began to affect Jason’s authority. The other gang members wanted Fulton to watch his own back, just like everyone else.
Finally, Fulton decided he was going to get out. This wasn’t the place for him, and the gang knew it. Pretty soon, Jason or not, they were going to act on it. Problem was, part of the “code” forbade quitting. First, he would tell Jason, though. He had saved Jason, and Jason watched out for him. He deserved to know. Going to Jason’s room when most people were asleep, he explained the situation. Jason protested that he couldn’t quit, the “code” was important, he had promised to stay loyal to the gang. Fulton tried to explain some more. When he finished, Jason sat in silence, a blank look on his face. Fulton got up to rummage through the day’s money haul that Jason had been counting. Jason asked what he was doing, and Fulton explained that if he was leaving, he’d need a little cash. He’d leave most of it, but he was going to take a little for himself. Jason argued. Fulton argued back that he had brought in most of the haul today anyway. Jason pulled a gun. He argued that it was now the gang’s, not Fulton’s. Finally, Fulton said firmly that he was leaving, and taking some money. The two of them were friends, they had watched out for each other for four years. Would Jason really shoot the person who had saved his own life? When it came time for Jason to choose between the boy, now man, who had saved his life, and his gang, his family, he chose. Fulton was right, Jason couldn’t … wouldn’t, shoot him. Instead, he yelled for help. In the end, Jason chose the gang, and by betraying Fulton, he demonstrated to the rest that he didn’t play favorites.
Fulton was lucky to get out with all of his limbs, and he chalked it up only to the fact that most of the gang was either drunk or stoned at the time. He didn’t rest until he was well out of Talon territory, well past dawn. He was probably in another gang’s area now, but hopefully what he learned about all the gangs in the last four years would help him notice their signs and stay out of their way. His experience with Jason just reinforced the feelings he’d had since he left home … you can’t depend on anybody but yourself. He remained bitter, and didn’t get close to anyone over the next four years. With no references or marketable skills, he was back in the thief business, full time.
Being cut off from the support of the gang, the first few months he needed to keep his entire income from jobs for himself to survive. After he’d gotten established, and found a regular place to live with a low enough rent, he was able to put a little aside for his sisters. By now it was 1998 and he was in his 22nd year. His sisters would be 19 and 16. Elizabeth may have moved out, but Anna should at least still be at home. Dropping by his parents to leave some money for his sisters, he found a dark apartment. After entering, he found an empty apartment. Nothing was left. Running to the cubbyhole, he tore open the floorboard.
The envelope he found inside contained three items. A current photograph of Anna and Elizabeth. A drawing, apparently by Anna, of the three of them. And a note. They were moving. They thanked him for all he had done for them, but wanted him to stop. They figured out where he was probably getting the money from, and didn’t want him to continue putting himself at risk, and didn’t want him to take from others just to help them out. They missed him, and loved him. Goodbye.
Fulton turned the note over and over, but couldn’t find their new address anywhere. He sat for a long time in the dark, on his own. When he finally left, it was in a daze. Supporting his sisters had given him a purpose. Now, it was gone. His parents had kicked him out, and now his sisters had abandoned him. He would always carry that envelope with him, and gaze at the photo and the drawing often, but he would never forget how that note made him feel.
His criminal years turned violent and more threatening. He had first learned to use a gun while in the Talons Now he bought another on the streets, and used it for armed robbery of pedestrians. Pickpocketing graduated to breaking and entering.
Two years later, Fulton’s life entered its next stage. In a nearly empty subway car rode an old Japanese man, cane in hand. All Fulton needed was some cash for more smokes, and maybe a decent meal if enough was left over, and the Japanese man ought to be easy enough. When the car pulled into the next stop and the man left, Fulton closed the distance, brushed next to him as they both left the car, and muttered a fake apology over his shoulder loud enough for the man to hear. As Fulton began slipping the man’s wallet into his coat pocket, he felt something wrap around his arm. Looking down, it was the old man’s hand. The Hell? Fulton ripped his arm around to dislodge the old man, but the grip was like a vice. Fulton pulled his gun, but before it cleared his coat, the man’s cane batted it from his grip with blinding speed.
As Fulton struggled, two younger Japanese men ran up, apparently having waited for the old man to arrive. They held onto Fulton while the old one retrieved his wallet, accidentally pulling with it the envelope Fulton kept with him in his coat pocket. When he realized the old man had the envelope, he renewed his struggle, though not to get away, but to get it back. The old man raised an eyebrow, regarding Fulton silently. He opened the envelope, looked at the pictures and read the note. Putting them back slowly, he stuffed the envelope back in Fulton’s coat pocket, and motioned up the stairs. When one of the younger men asked about calling the police, the old man shook his head and again motioned up the stairs.
“Escorting” Fulton out of the subway, they took him to a building several blocks away. It appeared to be a martial arts studio, probably with residences above for the old man. Now safe indoors, one of the younger men made for the phone to call the police, but was motioned to hold back by the old man. He studied Fulton silently for a long time. When he finally spoke, he told Fulton he would not call the police. “I have my money back,” he said. “But one other thing you must repay, the disrespect you have shown me.” He told Fulton that he would be required to work for him at the studio until he could make amends with the old man. When Fulton asked how the old man could make sure he didn’t leave whenever he wanted to, he replied, “The only thing that will keep you here is your own honor.” Fulton was confused and unsure. When he asked why the old man would do this, he responded, “Why? Because I knew someone like you once, and there was no one there to help.”
Fulton said he needed to think. The old man let him go. Wandering the whole night, Fulton finally returned to his fleabag apartment in the morning. Taking a chance, he packed up his few belongings and left. Arriving back at the studio, the old man nodded at his arrival. Given a room upstairs, Fulton began work at the studio, keeping the place clean and doing other odd chores. Over time, as he began to warm to the old man, he began learning some basic martial arts from him as well during one of the regular classes. He even began to feel a sense of trust and comfort around people again.
By 2004 Fulton was in his late 20s. His training had also helped him improve his physical conditioning. One evening he was up late, waiting for the master to return. Fulton was the only one at the studio, when he heard a crash in another room. Moving silently to investigate, he found a burglar. “How dare he?” Fulton thought. Feeling protective of his new home, and his new friends, there was no way Fulton would allow this young punk to get away. Moving to intercept, he used his new training to attack the thief. After a couple quick blows, the man dropped his bag of loot and turned to flee. Fulton kept on him, and while his back was turned, launched a low sweep kick to take him off his feet.
Dropping to the floor, he rolled and pulled a gun from his coat. Knowing that with a moment’s hesitation he could be dead, Fulton kicked the gun from his hand, crouched, and without thinking launched a blow to his head to put him out. The sharp crack was loud, and Fulton saw the man’s eyes roll back to their whites as he slumped completely. Fulton stood, aghast at what he had done. Had he gone too far? It was then he noticed his master standing in the doorway, rigid. Without a word, he turned his back on Fulton and dialed the police.
The thief had died, but because he had pulled a gun, Fulton was declared as acting only in self defense and not charged. The old man, however, waited until the police and ambulance had left before addressing Fulton. “I took you in, and forgave you your crime. How is it that you could not do the same for this man? You still have much anger in you. Until you can find your inner peace, and find your honor, I cannot teach you anymore.” The old man didn’t say another word. Fulton left the room, packed, and left. It wasn’t the first time someone close to him had pushed him away, but this one hurt the most.
Thanks to his master’s training, though, Fulton was better off now than when he left the gang. He was able to get odd jobs as a bodyguard. They paid the bills, and he didn’t have to talk much. He was reasonably successful, too, and at least he was getting a chance to hang around higher classes of people, now. Fulton ended up buying his first suit at the age of 30. Things were going smoothly until 2004, when he was 33. He was slow. He finally needed to do a little more other than look intimidating and hold back the general crowds of curious onlookers, or the crazies that were annoying but harmless, or the drunks. No, somehow, Fulton’s current boss ended up being the victim of a professional hit. And Fulton was too slow.
A bodyguard that lets his boss get killed doesn’t keep working very long as a bodyguard. Word gets around fast. It’s only fair, really, but Fulton didn’t like it. When his former boss’ associates put a bounty on the assassin’s head, wanted dead or alive, Fulton knew how he could redeem himself. He quickly realized that, despite his odd assortment of “careers”, he had acquired a lot of the skills that would help him hunt the assassin down. He learned from Jason that there is no honor among thieves. If the criminal element was willing to betray him, why should Fulton feel guilty for using those same skills to hunt them down?
When he did finally find the assassin, Fulton didn’t hesitate. The assassin was trained in death. Knowing that with a moment’s hesitation he could be dead, Fulton pulled his own gun and shot the assassin square in the chest. It was revenge, sure, but it was also justice. The assassin had taken a life, Fulton was just making sure he gave one in return. It’s not like Fulton had made the call. The people who had placed the bounty had judged the assassin, not Fulton. Fulton wasn’t acting as judge, or as jury. Just as executioner.
Age at time of game start: 37 years old (Year 2013)
Marital status: Single
Profession: Bounty Hunter