Salvation or annihilation
Finn Barton, AKA Benzine, is a combat mage of the Chaos tradition currently on Team Quattro. A hot head by nature, he struggles to find a balance between violence towards a system he feels has failed himself, his family, and orcs and trolls on a whole, and finding ways to nurture and encourage that same population.
The Bartons were activists and community organizers working for Ork and Troll rights. Holding rallies and protests to support and advocate for their rights, they were really gaining momentum. Finn’s mother was about to reveal her identity as the daughter of a corporate executive actively opposing their work, when a human supremacist group attacked an event they were an instrumental part of when leaving young Finn an orphan. With nowhere else to go, he was ordered to live with his self-loathing Grandmother by the state. The woman constantly bemoaned her fate, changing during U.G.E., with her husband leaving her and her daughter in revulsion, leading her to blame Finn’s mother and all the other nasty trogs for ruining her life. This constant barrage instilled a disgust and distrust in Finn, not for his own kind, but for humans. This is balanced by a need to help his own kind rise from the ashes, a crusade he adopted from his parents.
During that time, he met Harry, an elven expatriate from the NAN that ran a talismonger shop downtown. He helped a young Finn while his power were manifesting, spending minimal time helping him control it, to hide it from kids that accused him of being even more of a freak for being an awakened troll. Instead most of his education revolved around learning spells fitting a troll with his past; learning to scorch and ruin, tempered by the ability to heal. The chaos ideology slotted right in with his means and attitude, and he learned to keep his eyes open and utilize anything magical at his disposal. Still, Finn’s anger came to the surface too often to let the two get too close, but there’s still an unwavering loyalty to the sleazy elf, no matter how abrasive he might be.
As soon as Finn was able, he left his Grandmother’s and started working the menial jobs trolls were pigeon holed into – warehouse workers, freight movers, lumber yards, longshoremen, etc. He was invariably fired from each one, and when the indignity was too much, decided to turn to the shadows.
Thanks to Harry’s intervention, he joined the team halfway through their first job on Lincoln Towing. From there, he’s seen members come and go for different reasons; Tinker, Sneezy, Missing No., Fun Ghoul, Alganon, Ghost Bear, and, most importantly, Cobalt Blue. Despite their contentious relationship, next to Harry, the decker is probably his closest friend. Anytime that realization is about to surface, however, he lashes out in denial, refusing to accept that idea because of his bias.
As the runs mounted, and the near death experiences did too, he started to mellow. With Ellipse’s help, he found a calm center in the chaos he’d come to thrive in. And in that center, clarity. If he wanted to build his world up, donations weren’t enough. He needed to take a more active role like the one Harry took in his own life. The concept of T.R.O.L.L., the Thaumaturgic Refuge for Occult Life and Learning, an organization to be based around the education and nurturing of awakened Orks and Trolls, something he’d be able to leave behind if he wound up getting geeked afterall.
He shared the idea with Ellipse, who brought it before the council where it was ultimately approved. Finn brought it to his team, and they came up with a tech front that CB was going to take charge of. After some scouting, they found an HQ in an abandoned firehouse in Puyallup that was sorely in need of renovation, and got to work.
In the meantime, the team still worked. They’d made enemies with a team that double crossed their previous Johnson, but Benzine had made a companion from one of the dogs they’d saved, a German Shepherd named Ember. They’d tried to build the team’s strength, getting in the good graces of a doc named Van Casper, and earning some cred for some enhancements down the road. They’d even tangled with a blood mage named Hector Puente, hired to assasinate him, and then the demonic spirit he’d summoned in the process.
All the while, his goal had been T.R.O.L.L., and he was finally starting to see it take shape.
Post Summer Break
Near the end of the Summer of 2075, Team Quattro was blackmailed by Cobalt Blue’s Parole Officer. Finn wasn’t worried for his own sake, but for T.R.O.L.L. aftert Sumatomo had made threats against exposing the school. As far as their protection went, Benzine was willing to do anything.
In the end, he did. During the hand off of the Exogen22 specimen, and with the arrival of the Knights Errant Shadowrunners Unit, Benzine made sure to get away with Sumatomo. Something nagged at Benzine before he could leave though. Even as they were piling in, with one of the officers choking on their own blood, the troll stopped to stabilize the man. It seemed a senseless death, when Benzine had surrounded him with so much already. And there was the added effect of trying to make nice with KE, or at least not get on their bad side. With a last glance at the KESRU mage across the junkyard, and when he was sure the man wouldn’t bleed out, he climbed into the back of the van.
When they had made it back to Missing No.‘s house, Benzine and Cobalt Blue argued about what to do with him. CB wanted to just send him to another country, a vacation in Benzine’s eyes that would end and have him coming back to haunt them. The troll wanted to geek him, or lobotomize him and hand him back over to KE as an empty shell of a man.
In the end, they fed him to a group of ghouls in the Barrens, and Benzine personally stuffed him into the sewers.
Harry, who had asked for the team’s help in the middle of the Exogen22 fiasco, was still waiting. Having taken care of business, Finn and the team headed over to see the old elf. There, he told Benzine the reason for his strange® behavior dealing deepweed. He was dying from a malignant cancer, and the money was to save his skin. Benzine instantly signed on, the others followed suit, and they went to watch Harry’s back as he picked up a magic, healing recorder.
Just a short tune later, Harry was cured. With it’s use limited per person, Benzine was ecstatic when he was willing to let them use it on Roxy. He was flying high through the subsequent celebrations, surrounded by his friends, sitting next to Courtney. Until it all came crashing down around his head outside the club, when Roxy was assassinated.
Chasing down the members of the RedFever5 and the Southern Congress of the Confederacy filled him a renewed sense of rage, a feeling of revenge he hadn’t felt since his parents murder, all tinged by a sadness that he was now and always would be right. Orcs and trolls were always the first to be viewed as the villains when things went bad, like the riots after Roxy’s murder. Prop 23 was a sham just like he thought, it didn’t usher in a new age of equality. With only a few exceptions, orcs and trolls could only rely on themselves.
Flying back to Seattle after finding out where the bomb was, Finn was numb. He forwarded the list of names they had recovered to Castle, including the ones already crossed off. The disappointment of not having crossed off more mixed with the relief of handing the list off to someone else. He focused again on T.R.O.L.L. and his old promise of balancing the destructive with the constructive. Almost as soon as he landed, he was leaving again on a trip with Ellipse, Courtney, and a few of the kids from the school.