Bullet At The Mirror
Salo (Gildor Taliesin)
2030: Gildor Taliesin born to wealthy parents in Tir Tairngire. Gildor’s parents were revolutionaries during the formation of Tir Tairngire, and heavily biased against other metahumans, and humans in particular. He is diagnosed with a soy allergy and is raised on a diet of animal protein.
2035: After a political fiasco in Tir Tairngire, Gildor’s parents move to the United States and settle in Bellevue, Washington.
2039: Gildor’s parents are killed during an anti-metahuman riot during the “Night of Rage.” Gildor is put into foster care in a Seattle group home.
2042: Gildor cultivates an interest in hacking, cracking, and electronic security. He falls in with a bad crowd, steals his first deck and begins making small-time runs for pocket money.
2046: By this time, Gildor is a well-known hacker with a reputation, and enough money to emancipate himself. At the age of sixteen, he leaves the group home and begins the formation of a small-time hacking empire. He takes on the username Salo, after one of the kinds of charcuterie he enjoys.
2048: Salo’s operation is broken by a disastrous run against the Saeder-Krupp corporation. Salo is set to go to jail for twenty, but he frames his former associate (Arthur Quandry, code-named Fatback), turns state’s evidence, and puts his skills to use for the government.
2050: Fatback escapes from prison and attempts to assassinate Salo, nearly succeeding. Salo defends himself (poorly) and manages to cripple Fatback, but not kill him. Knowing that Fatback may be able to ruin his reputation, Salo goes off the grid and leaves the country.
2051: Salo travels the world, getting by on the massive savings he’s put together and hidden during his hacking operations. He travels back to Europe and begins studying magic with a small mystical group known as Eventide.
2055: Having studied for years, Salo has learned the skills of a physical adept. Siphoning money for Eventide through hacking, Salo becomes a central figure in their power structure. Eventide becomes a radical anti-corporate force, under the guidance of a man called Isoceles Blades. Blades becomes paranoid and delusional due to drug use and astral travels, and believes Salo is out to kill him. Blades comes after Salo; Salo kills him and takes his place. He becomes an anti-corporate assassin, taking on wetwork for rival corporations and private individuals.
2060: Having spent five years murdering people for small bounties, while making Eventide more and more powerful, Salo has a crisis of conscience when Eventide organizes a terrorist bombing of Ares corporation, which kills hundreds and destroys a burgeoning tech startup. Salo leaves Eventide, leaving a trail of bodies behind him, including people he counted as friends, to cover his tracks.
2061: Salo experiences what he thinks of as a “moment of clarity” while caught in the mana storm that devastates Los Angeles. He swears that he will never kill another real person again (a sentiment that lasts until the day he emerges from the Five Shards game in 2070). Salo joins the crew at Homophone Studios under the tutelage of Darren Trilby, where he begins to learn simsense programming and further his hacking skills. He makes a brief effort to “go legit” and stay away from off-the-books and shadowrun work, but he soon finds out that Trilby himself is into all manner of black market side jobs. Trilby involves Salo in some questionable operations, and finally Salo leaves Homophone. Blacklisted by Trilby and unable to find legitimate work elsewhere, Salo becomes a full-time shadowrunner and decker, still managing to stay away from wetwork — barely.
2066: No longer working, but continuing to live off interest from his hacking work, Salo cultivates a serious simsense addiction. Deeply unhappy with himself, he seeks to lose himself in a variety of personas. He takes on another persona, Lemony Fist, becomes a figure of legend in gaming communities; the man who can master any game. He constructs an entirely believable second life around this persona, wins multiple awards and trophies, and further supplements his income with proceeds from the game. Obsessed with creating alternate realities, he goes one step further and creates a virtual “girlfriend” for himself, Minerva Drakes, a woman completely made up of fictive records, faked simsense data, and other false data. He carries on a relationship with this persona in simsense, completely losing his identity in the process. Eventually, he collapses again and leaves the gaming community, moving to the Bullet Centre and getting involved with environmentalist initiatives.
2069: Salo hears about the ground-breaking game called Five Shards and decides to give it a try.
2070: Present day.
Salo has spent a lifetime reinventing himself and creating new personas to hide his original personality. He is now so out of touch with who he was that he believes he might as well be anybody; the name of “Salo,” which literally means “meat,” is a reference to the shell of his body, which he considers ever more meaningless in the age of simsense and his frequent reinventions-of-self.
While under the guise of Lemony Fist, Salo took on many honorable game personas – people like Corvos, who had an ethos and a direction that he didn’t. Salo bought into the idea of Five Shards with everything in his soul, and his impassioned pleas to opponents in the game to walk away from their own slaughter were genuine and heartfelt. “Corvos” truly felt he could unite the clans and create peace, and those hopes were shattered when it was revealed to be a simulation.
The existence of Shard, along with the strange events and his missing memory while coming out of the Five Shards rig, has led him to believe that this world is just another simulation – a layer built upon some other reality, one that he desperately wishes to wake up from. There is a deep and dangerous denial building up within him, and he is likely to grow unstable and hostile as he continues to convince himself that this world is not the real one – and that if he can bring this simulation down, he can finally be whatever he was meant to be.