Virtual Lightning 2.0
Former Yakuza street samurai
Diego Martinez was born to an Aztechnology manager and a former waitress in the Aztlan sector of Denver in 2046. When he was 12, his father was fired as part of a wide scale North American restructuring. Moving to the UCAS sector, his father got a job as a delivery driver for a local linens company and his mother got another job as a waitress. A couple of years later, his father was killed as a gang hijacked his truck and his mother was forced to return to prostitution to help care for her kids. Less than a year later, she overdosed on novacoke as she was with a client.
Diego dropped out of high school to help take care of himself and his sister Anita. His sister was a prodigy with computers and Diego knew he needed to make sure she had a chance at a real life. Diego worked a part time job at Taco Shack, but also got involved with a local gang called the Black Lions. The Black Lions weren’t petty thugs out for a thrill, but were focused on making money. They ran protection rackets, sold drugs and BTLs, robbed houses, mugged tourists, and dabbled in data-theft. They were affiliated with the local Yakuza and often acted as low level labor, couriers, and otherwise represented Yakuza interests in the area. Diego had worked his way up to one of the lieutenants of the Black Lions over the course of 2 years when he got a “test” from the Yakuza clan who were looking for some fresh meat to join up and replace some recent losses. Diego was the only member of the Black Lions to survive the test and was added as a probationary member of the Yakuza.
Over the next 5 years, Diego learned a variety of skills so as to serve the Oyabun in a greater capacity and keep the money flowing so as to keep his sister safe and going to the high end schools that would ensure that she could get a good, safe, corp job in the end. It was in these years with the Yakuza that Diego got his nickname of Taka (Hawk) from his surprising marksmanship, including picking off a notorious Triad assassin that was causing trouble in Denver.
Diego’s time with the Yakuza came to an end when he realised that his chances of advancement, along with the money and perks that came from that advancement, were almost nil. He decided that he would be better off going solo and running the shadows, where he would have freedom to take the jobs he wanted and make the money he needed. He carefully approached the Oyabun with an offer. Diego would assassinate selected Mafia lieutenants and damage their operations and cause internal strife that the Oyabun could take advantage of to expand their own operations. In return, Diego would be free of any further obligations to the Oyabun and free to strike out on his own. In addition, Diego wanted the Oyabun to use his connections in Mitsuhama to get Anita into an good entry position with the corp once she finished with her studies at Denver Institute of Technology & Engineering.
The Oyabun agreed, with one change. He wanted Diego to frame the Vory for the murders, as the Vory were pushing hard into Denver and needed to be cut down a notch. Diego had no real choice but to agree with the change, even if it made the task considerably more difficult and dangerous. No longer could Diego make surgical attacks or pick off Mafia lieutenants with sniper rifle fire. He had to ensure that the Mafia “knew” that the Vory were involved and he also needed to hit the Vory enough while posing as a Mafia thug to get them agitated enough to strike back. Over the next month, Diego carried out a secret one-man and very careful war against both the Mafia and the Vory, all while posing as members of both syndicates as he bragged, boasted, and otherwise played up the ruse. By the end of the month, Diego had been beaten several times, shot a few more, had his car bombed, and barely escaped with his life on several occasions. But the end result was a short and violent war in the Denver shadows that allowed the Yakuza to push into Mafia markets and push the Vory away from Yakuza controlled areas. The Oyabun made good on his promise to Diego. His sister was hired on at the Seattle branch of Mitsuhama before she even fully graduated and Diego was free of his Yakuza obligations with no ill will. However, the Oyabun made one final change at the last minute. Diego would not be permitted to stay in Denver if he were not still a member of the Yakuza. He represented a potential threat to their operations as he knew how they worked and many of their members and front gangs/companies. He had one month to leave Denver or he would be hunted down.
Not seeing any other option, Diego gathered things and made a thunderbird run up to Seattle. His sister would be there, he could use some of his Yakuza contacts there, and there were few better places to make a living in the shadows than Seattle. Diego, now running under the name Taka, has now been in Seattle for 2 years. He’s mostly been running low level operations, building up his contacts, learning the city, and building up a rep. Now he’s just looking for the right crew to work with and start to pull off some prime runs. Eventually, Diego wants to hit it big and go legit, joining an Urban Brawl team for a few years before retiring to some safe, boring, and well paying corp job.