There's always been a rumour amongst the Bedlam Clan that Billy was born touched. By what no one wants to say, but it's a source of pride and fear amongst his own people. Born to hap and Marie Bedlam, Billy was conceived at the Outset of the War of Independance. He was born the Same month that war was declared. His father Joined the infantry, His Grand fathers joined a Aerial fighter's corps known as the Barn Burners. They died in the same battle. when Billy was a month old, he was left with his Grandmothers while Marie, his mother signed up with the Independance as well. she proved herself capable and was assigned to the Sniper's corps. Billy's older Brother Seamus snuck off and joined as well after lying about his age, becoming a Raider under a commander named Klaskin. Billy wouldn't see his brother or get to know him until the end of the war, his mother and father he would see twice during the course of the aggresions. this left him to be raised by His Granny Zerelda Bedlam, and his Granny Clara Bohney. Both were hard women, not unkind by any means, but they were Matriarchs of a family of known fighters and gunmen. The clan, made up of 3 main Families, the Bedlams, the Browns and the Johnsons, Ranged from one end of the 'verse to the other. settling on Rim worlds and Core planets alike, The main Homestead was based on Persephone and the 2 Old ladies were the final word in most decisions and all disputes amongst the clan. The Homestead also being central to the other Ranches in the rural section of Persephone, known as the Cutting Grass, for the coarse, sharp edged grass native to the prairies around. Coupled with Zimm and Clara being knowledgeable in medicine, and having a clear but fair vision of what justice is, the Ranch soon became a meeting place during the war for the neighbors in need of medical attention, or in need of an impromptu Judge. Over the years, Billy would learn the value of Herbs and sometimes a good rope over a stout tree branch. It was a hard life out there.
The one fallback to being so far removed from the urban sprawl was a lack of schooling. While Clara tried her best, she was never able to fully educate Billy in the matters of reading or writing. She was on the other hand able to give him a working knowledge of medicine through working on people and animals, and by the time he was 10, Billy knew how to indentify most herbs, and what their effects were on the human body be they beneficial or not.
Another influence in Billy's life was a cousin of his, known as "Whiskey" Creek Johnson. the man was an outlaw, a known gunfighter and killer. Billy Liked him though as he was a quiet man himself, had an easy manner about him, and would take time to teach Billy things that his Grandmothers would never think to teach. From him, Billy learned to use a knife, the finer points of brawling, and in the worst case scenario, how to use almost anything as a weapon. the man was one of the best in the Family. Known as a "Long Strider" Within the clan, he was one of the people the clan called on in times of danger when they were too far away from those at the homestead to help. A combination enforcer, hitman, investigator, and if need be, negotiator.
Zimm on the other hand, Kept Billy to the the Clan's preferred training. Every child in the clan being taught at least to shoot to protect themselves, the old Woman had Billy Practicing with Pistol and rifle every free moment he had. though the war ended when billy was 5, It would be another 6 years before Billy would see his parents or his older brother again. Hap having been taken prisoner at Serenity Valley, and held on trial as a war criminal, Marie Spent the whole time with clan in the core to secure his defense and petitioning to have him freed. Seamus spent the time in hiding until amnesty was declared for raiders. They arrived home within a month of each other.
While Happy to see his parents, Billy had become a quiet, introspective sort. Spending hours or days out hunting in the prairies, he continued his training, his Father taking over his hand to hand and small arms training, his mother took over his Rifles training. It was Billy's brother that would teach him about survival though. Having spent so much time with outlaws doing terrible things, Seamus had become unhinged. Billy, being a useless runt in his eyes (The average height of the Bedlam family being roughly 6'3", and Billy at the time, barely breaking 5'0") Seamus began to create little "Accidents" for Billy. Small things that could easily be explained away as accidents, Billy found himself under the care of his Grandmothers more than once over the years. Once with multiple broken ribs, another with a compound fracture to the right Femur. This last would Leave Billy with a permanent limp.
On Billy's 12th birthday, he was given the choice. the same choice every 12 year old child was given on their birthday, they could continue to learn to fight and practice their arts, or they could choose to be sent off to the Core to live with family and attend boarding school. Paid for by the Family in return for work at the homestead during holidays. Billy chose to continue his training.
Things would finally come to a head with Seamus shortly after Billy's 15th birthday. Finding him in the loft of the barn, torturing one of his Hunting Dogs, Billy snapped. Beating his brother soundly with his fists, Billy carried his dog towards the entrance to the loft, leaving Seamus on the ground his face swollen and bloody, his right arm broken in 2 places. Billy didn't notice the Lightfoot his brother had been carrying in his waistband though. Seamus shot him in the back 5 times. the bullets nicking his heart and his right lung, the rest passed through, miraculously without hitting anything vital. As billy lay there bleeding and bewildered, his brother crawled on top of him. choking him a little at a time, the bigger man began ranting about what he was going to do next, gloating about the things he had done in the war and since, and about how he was going to dump Billy's body in the Fertilizer pits the family made most of their money off of, along with 6 other people he had killed and dumped in there. Feeling the blackness welling up and his consciousness fading, Billy grasped the first thing he could get his hands on and Hit Seamus in the head with it. It turned out to be a Hay hook, the long steel hook pierced his brother's skull and punctured his frontal lobe, killing him instantly. It was 3 hours before anyone found them. Billy's granny Clara was the first on the scene. Billy laying there, nearly dead, having lost a lot of blood, Seamus laying on top of him, hands still around his throat, the Hay hook still in his skull. the woman went to get the rest of the family to help, then went to lay down. by the time they had Billy in a bed, and Seamus in the root cellar to slow decomposition, Clara was dead. Medical examiner said it was a Heart attack. the Family maintains it was a broken heart.
No one at the homestead wanted to deal with the grief of figuring out what happened themselves, so the law was brought in, despite Granny Zimm's objections. They had to remove the old woman from the room Billy was in before the Alliance officers could retrieve him. she had been standing guard over him with a pair of loaded. 7 round shotguns.
Billy was transferred to the Hospital wing of the Persephone Maximum Security penitentiary while waiting for trial. He would be there for 6 Hellish months under the care of the well meaning but Sadistic Dr. Blondag. Wanting to prove that it was possible to create a Better soldier through physiological and psychological manipulation, and now having a candidate that was young enough, tough enough, and above all, unable to refuse, the good doctor began on what would become a 6 month torture session that included shock therapy, Neural re-routing, Nerve manipulation and Chemical abuse, all either hidden from the records or written off as accidents, attempted self mutilations, or Mis-dosing of medication. The end result was a Heightened pain threshold, decreased muscular reaction times, a lessened need for sleep, and the ability to survive on a chemical diet. this last part being intended as a control as Dr. Blondag was the only one able to supply the nutrients Billy needed, and Billy himself being unable to digest solid foods. There were other drawbacks though. Poking around in Billy's brain resulted in a mild case of Schizophrenia. A secondary personality in Billy's brain that he is aware of and refers to as "The Beast", or "The Yellow-eyes Man." He manifests as an anti-conscience. The Mr Hyde to Billy's Dr. Jekyl. He manifests when Billy is exhausted, or sedated. the brain manipulation has also destroyed some of the functions of Billy's Brain. While he technically knows the difference between right and wrong, he often has a hard time deciding which would be appropriate given a certain situation and tends to follow a rigid code of behavior to make his decisions. The code consisting of
1) Protect friends and Family. if someone threatens the well being of either, Kill the threat.
2) Never back down from a fight, It's delaying the inevitable
3) Never leave someone behind
4) Do the job assigned to you, never take money for a job not done.
After 6 months with Dr. Blondag, Billy was acquitted and released. fortunately before the Doctor could completely reprogram his mind. the Doctor assumed billy would return, needing sustenance that only the doctor could provide. He didn't plan on Billy's herbal knowledge being able to help. Finding out through trial and error that Dehydrated and powdered fruit/vegetable mixtures, combined with powdered gelatin in a liquid medium (Coffee for preference for the caffeine value) was suitable. Baking Soda was also added to the mix to inhibit stomach acid production. This is what Billy lives on now.
Returning to the Homestead, Billy soon found he wasn't welcome there. His parents, grieving over the loss of Seamus, disowned Billy as well. The only 2 people that seemed to understand were Zimm, and Creek. Zimm Gave Billy a Lightfoot, a 10 gauge hammerless shotgun, and an armored duster, packed him a lunch and sent him to the city with Creek.
Creek stayed with Billy for a couple of weeks, helping him find employment, they parted ways when Billy signed on as a hand for the Tsukai No Inari. Having never been to space before, it was an experience, and Billy soon got wrapped up in excitement travelling the black under a man known only as "Captain Mischief." An enigmatic man that Billy took a liking to. things were good for a few months until Mischief disappeared, leaving his Second in command, a Woman named Morgaine to take over as Captain. the pair never saw eye to eye, which left Billy to quit while landside one afternoon and walk away.
Bouncing from Ship to ship for a short while, Billy took up with the Red Angel under Captain Wallace. Signing on again as security, He felt he had once again found a home, until the day he got word his mother had died. Returning to Persephone, Billy arrived a day late for the funeral, and got a side full of Buckshot from his father to top things off. Feeling lost and depressed, Billy continued on with the Angel, finally, a crew mate convinced him to return and make peace. Hap threatened to shoot him again, but deep down, he missed the boy. Things were strained for a bit, but finally Billy was welcomed back into the family.
((More to come))
Despite his Age Billy Looks roughly 16. Years of working outdoors has given him a permanent tan. 5'5" and weighing in at about 170 lbs, he's a little more broad shouldered than the average teen, he walks with a sort of rolling gait, due more to years of wearing a gun belt than anything, it has slightly deformed his hips making them slightly narrower than is usual. An unruly mane of chestnut brown hair is usually tucked up under a nearly shapeless and sweat stained Stetson. His eyes are a faded ice blue though It ranges with the mood. top this off with a black embroidered Koolah duster, and Calloused hands, the index fingers trimmed and glass smooth, and you have Billy OOC NOTE: Billy is a known Gunfighter in the verse. While not THE most famous or even one of the most famous, He has made a name for himself in Circles where people make a living hurting others, It's Rumoured that he's killed 60 people in fair fights.
Guan-Yin II, SCS, Life-Line Inc