Running the shadows
Sarai "Rai0rai" O'Reilly
Dark of hair and fair of skin, Sarai fits the “beautiful Elf” stereotype easily. Or she would, if she ever stopped her endless tinkering and slept for once in her life.
Sarai was never sure why her father moved from the Tir to Seattle, but she suspected it was to be with her mother. Donall O’Reilly was a private man, even with his only daughter. He also never told her why mom left, and didn’t keep any pics or trids around for Sarai to remember her by. This secret-keeping caused some tensions when Sarai was old enough to be frustrated by his silence, but not enough to ever drive them apart. She knew dad would do anything for her, his little princess.
This princess wasn’t the kind to stay out of the mud, though. Donall worked long hours in the 24hr chop-shop owned by that troll that always had candy for Sarai if she helped out. Small hands can be quite useful when working with machinery, and it was cheaper than hiring a baby-sitter.
Sarai loved to work on the cars, hands covered in grease. At first it was the child’s joy of being with her loving father, but she developed a real head for engines. There was always a way to make the machine better, quieter, faster.
Many of the shop’s customers were go-gangers or other sinless. Through them, Sarai was introduced to the world of street racing. She was hooked. It was one thing to work on the vehicles and know they would be fast, another entirely to see them in action. As Sarai grew older, some of the more forward young men thought they’d take her for rides, get the adrenaline pumping. She loved that, too. Even better was when they offered to let her drive, maybe around the block.
Sarai got hold of an old junker and began tuning and tweaking it in her free time. Her pops didn’t much like the idea of her going and getting geeked in some two-bit street race. The troll, however, found her amusing, and let her use whatever she wanted from their spare part stash. Her junker didn’t look like much, but pop the hood and everything was geared as good as her nimble hands could make it.
Low-level races provided her a good idea of what to actually expect, and she didn’t win them all. At least not in the beginning. The pretty dark-haired elf girl would enter into races with her junker, and everyone would assume she’d get dusted by her own vehicle, poor thing. She made creds betting on herself those days. Eventually the junker ruse wouldn’t fly, but by then she was making money off her wins, anyway.
As such things go, the desire for more speed and better tech drew her farther in. Sarai became obsessed with the need to go faster. As she watched a race between riggers, the next step became obvious to her. These people were practically one with their vehicles, and the elf needed that same control.
Sarai found a guy who knew a guy that could do the implants for cheap, as long as she bought her own tech. Surgery completed, she got a new ride and started tinkering to make it her own. Driving this way was even better than before. It was no longer the car going fast; she herself was speeding down the pavement.
After long nights with little sleep, however, Sarai became ill. She got better, but then she would get sick again. Her long nights in the garage weren’t exactly helping. She invested in a drone to assist her with her tinkering, in hopes that it would cut down on the time she spent awake. Then she started upgrading the drone. Then another, and another.
Sarai’s distractions and lack of sleep took a toll on her body, but she was stubborn, not allowing illness to bend her. Instead, her personalized drones became sought after to keep an eye out for badges that might ruin the races. Running surveillance had its own fun, and Sarai took to that, as well. She always had a drone running, watching her back, looking out for… well, anything.
It was thanks to this drone that she noticed the dwarf waiting in front of the garage one morning. She didn’t think much of it, since the shop never closed, but something told her to be careful as she stepped outside to see what they wanted. The dwarf’s words were slurred as she growled obscenities at Sarai. Maybe she was mad at losing a race, or perhaps she was just an angry customer. Regardless, the tone became more threatening, and as the dwarf approached Sarai, her good ol’ pop came out of the garage hefting his huge wrench. Seeing the potential weapon set the dwarf off, and she pulled a gun from her pocket, training the sights on Donall. The gun went off as the wrench flew towards the halfer, braining her. Both fell as Sarai looked on. As she ran to her father, the boss troll strode out of the shop towards the stirring dwarf. He picked up Donall’s wrench and crushed her fragging skull with it.
After her father’s death, Sarai mounted weapons to her drones. She didn’t race as often, though she jumped in often enough to keep her skills sharp. Most of her income came from lookout jobs (frequently illegal), eventually getting noticed by those who work in the Shadows.