Mortals of London

Inspector Patrick Stephens

Inspector Patrick Stephens never set out to become a corrupt cop. Like so many other things in life, his fall from grace began with the best of intentions. After seeing a gang of drug dealers terrorizing a neighborhood for years, the authorities unable to stop them, several of Stephenís friends and fellow police officers decided to do something about it. They asked for his help in covering up the deaths, making it look like a drug deal gone bad, and after seeing a 16 year-old stabbed a week earlier he didnít hesitate in saying yes.

A few weeks later, Stephens was asked for help again. And then again. And then again. In the beginning the goal was to punish the bad guys and make the streets safe, until one morning he woke up and realized his wife had left him, his children despised him, and he had become that which he had fought against for so long: the worst type of criminal, a corrupt cop.

The plan had been a simple one: one last night of drinking before going home and putting his gun in his mouth. Patrick was on his last glass of single-malt scotch when a woman young enough to be his daughter slid onto the stool next to him. At first he was drunk enough to think she was hitting on him, maybe a working girl, but she knew things about him, personal things about his dreams, his family, and his crimes.

The woman offered him a job.

"Youíve lost your way, Inspector, but I believe you want to be a good man again. I can offer you an opportunity to do just that. I need a man in your position that can help me do the right thing for the right reason, with the approval and the blessing of the right people. Good people trying to protect the world from dangers the citizens would rather not know about. In all likelihood, no one will ever know about what we do, but youíll be able to go to bed knowing youíve done some good."

Heís not sure if it was the alcohol or his desperation for a second chance, but Stephens immediately agreed to work for Agent Johanson. Since that time heís used both his connections with the police and the underworld to help make London safer in some small way. His loyalty to Samantha is absolute and unshakable, and while he never knows the whole story, he knows that her job is to fight monsters. Agent Samantha Johanson has given him a chance to reclaim his soul, and for this chance he would gladly give her his life.

Kendra Shaw

Kendra first realized she was different when she was 15 years old. She had been asked to a high school dance by the most popular boy in school, only to be dumped and publically humiliated on the dance floor. With everyone standing around staring and laughing, she was supposed to break down in tears. Instead, she just looked at her tormentors with an expression of indifference and then went to get something to eat.

Kendra Shaw is not a sociopath. She does recognize right from wrong and she truly wants to fit in and be like everyone else, but the volume on her conscience has been turned down so low that she sometimes has trouble distinguishing what is acceptable behavior and what isnít.

This moral flexibility is was lead her to join the army, and brought her to the attention of the CIA. For almost ten years Kendra participated in numerous black ops, ranging from espionage to sabotage to assassination. She was one of the primary agents when it came to rendition, and she was very, very good.

Kendra has long known itís important for her to have a good role model, someone who can help her distinguish right from wrong, so when she discovered the people she trusted were less than trustworthy, she walked away from the CIA, leaving two of their agents dead and a third MIA. She came to London originally to hide, and while living on the street she crossed paths with Inspector Patrick Stephens after she broke both the arms and legs of a would-be rapist.

Stephens brought her to the attention of Agent Samantha Johanson. The SOCA agent and Guardian recognized the potentially usefulness of the young woman as well as the help she needed to avoid a rash of homicides in London.

"What you need, Ms. Shaw, is a job. I can give you a new identity, a place to live, and a mission. There are monsters in the world. You know this. Many of them are here in London. Iím asking you to help me stop them and keep people safe. In return, I will never lie to you, I will never abuse your trust, and I will offer you whatever support you need."

Kendra accepted the offer, but is not sure how she feels about Agent Johanson. She doesnít trust Stephens but the manís complete trust in Samantha has convinced her to be at least open-minded. She has since gotten an apartment, a job at a corporate security firm, and a new identity to help her hide from her old bosses. The jobs she does are interesting, but it would be so much easier if she were allowed to kill the people who got in her way.

Joel Pearce, "The Wake"

Image by Nolife-Edi. Please do not use without permission

Joel Pearce was born in 1988, the youngest of three children. His father was a City stockbroker - rich, successful, and highly unscrupulous. He was actually prosecuted on insider trading charges in 2003, but beat the case on a technicality. His parents retired to a villa in Italy in 2009, and still live there. His older brother is a journalist writing for the Economist, and his sister a venture capitalist involved with Silicon Fen, the cluster of high-tech companies that have grown up around Cambridge University. Joel, the spoiled younger child, was the wildest and least focussed of the three. At the age of fifteen, his father's trial had a major impact on him, pushing him into heavy drug use, wild partying, and the occasional act of petty vandalism.

He was shocked out of his self-destructive spiral one night at his boarding school. He'd gotten drunk, smoked a lot of pot, and sneaked out of his room to break into the school gymnasium. He couldn't remember why when he woke up the next morning, although he had an idea that it was about stealing something, or breaking something. He never got as far as the gym itself, because the darkened corridor leading to it suddenly lit up as bright as day as he was sneaking along it.

Joel couldn't quite make out the details of the figure stalking towards him. It seemed to be roughly humanoid, with a lizard-like skin, serpentine head, and a thick, thrashing tail, and it was surrounded by incredibly intense flame. He could feel the heat beating against his skin. In the instant that he saw it, he knew two things. It meant to kill him, and - whatever the nihilistic self-indulgence he'd been wallowing in over the past few months - he didn't want it to. With a calmness and presence of mind that was probably aided by the booze and the drugs, he picked up a nearby fire extinguisher and opened fire on the apparition.

Then he passed out.

The next morning, he awoke to assume that the creature's appearance had been some kind of hallucination, but the moment of clarity he'd experienced remained with him. While he didn't exactly become a saint - or a monk - from that point on, he certainly moderated his behaviour to the point when the school never got quite exasperated enough to expel him.

He had always been interested in history, and the influence of one particular teacher and mentor influenced him towards a study of the Anglo-Saxon period. He actually learned the language before he started at University; he completed a three-year history degree before moving on to his Masters and a specialist study of a local Cambridgeshire folk hero, Hereward the Wake.

His family were wealthy enough to support him through university without any trouble, but he had a certain amount of pride. He also had a natural knack with computers, and his elder sister, an IT venture capitalist, helped him to get some freelance IT work to supplement his income. One of his best clients was a local property company where he'd done his work experience at school - something it never crossed his mind to wonder about, until Sullivan's revelations. His contacts in the company got him a really sweet deal in a luxury complex called Hill Manor, and Joel persuaded them to offer similarly attractive terms to some friends and acquaintances from Cambridge University. Ironically, he thought that he was doing them a favour at the time