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Messages - Tom Church

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The history of Chirop, AKA: Finn O'Halloran.  And sit back, it's a long one.

   Finn O'Halloran was born March 2, 1961 to Gerard and Anna O'Halloran in Hell's Kitchen.  His father had come to America from Ireland when he was just a boy in 1946.  In that time he had opened a bar, The Three Crowns, which quickly became his pride and joy.  He met his future wife Anna in that very pub, and by 1960 they were married.  Finn grew up spending half of his time at home, and the other half at the pub.  He was the pub's official “wee lad” according to his father, and he was a fixture among the pub's regulars, drinking Coke instead of beer.  Finn was an average student at school, mainly because he never took education very seriously.  His father never stressed education, except when it came to grammar.  Gerard O'Halloran still had a very thick Dublin accent, and he wanted his son to speak proper English.  They were in America, after all.

   The O'Hallorans were a very close family, and spend most of the time together.  The only time when they were not together is when Finn's father would leave on “business trips”.  He would be gone for days at a time, and would always return with gifts for his son from different cities all over Europe.  For Finn, the early days were the best.  He didn't have to focus on school that much, since he knew he would go to work at The Three Crowns with his father as soon as he got old enough.  In fact, high school was just the last impediment he had to slog through to get to his real future.  The family never had much, but always had enough to live comfortably.  The family was close, and everyone loved each other.  That was all Finn wanted.  

   It was on July 4, 1976, while watching the fireworks of the bicentennial celebration in Battery Park that Gerard asked Finn if he would like to begin learning how to run the pub.  Finn was surprised, but delighted.  He knew that he couldn't actually tend the bar until he was 21, but his father told him he could learn the other aspects of running it.  Gerard told his son that on Finn's 21st birthday, he would hand control of the pub over to him.  Gerard said that he had to leave for another business trip the next day, but as soon as he returned , he would bring his son into the family business.  Finn hugged his father tightly, thanking him for letting him accept the responsibility of an adult.

   That was the last time Finn ever saw his father again.

   Three days later, a group of FBI agents showed up at the O'Halloran residence, search warrants in hand.  Finn watched helplessly as the FBI ransacked their house under his mother's protests.  Afterward, they were taken to the FBI office in New York City, and interviewed for several hours.  It was only then that Finn found out what was going on.  His father and several other accomplices had attempted to rob an armored car in London, and had been shot and killed by London police.  Finn also found out that his father had been doing jobs for the IRA for years.  Finn immediately thought back to all the “business trips” his father had taken over the years.  Was this what he had been doing all this time?

   Eventually they were released after it became obvious that neither Finn nor his mother knew anything about Gerard O'Halloran's actions.  Finn tried to move on, despite his seething resentment toward his father.  His mother didn't fare so well.  She became utterly despondent at the loss and betrayal of her husband.  She took to heavy drinking and prescription drugs to cope.  After only a few months, Finn had to drop out of school to look after his mother and to keep the pub running.  He had to hire a new bartender, which took even more out of the family's income.  His father's account had been frozen by the FBI, leaving them with little to live on.

   By the fall of 1978, the grief had truly taken its toll on Anna O'Halloran.  The heavy drinking and drug use had left here dangerously thin and with acute liver cirrhosis.  Finn tried to convince her to go to the hospital, but she refused, claiming “We can barely afford to live.  How can we afford a Goddamned doctor?”.  Finn resolved to force her to go the next morning, whether they could afford it or not.  That night, Anna O'Halloran overdosed on pain pills and whiskey.  Finn found her dead the next morning, lying in a pool of vomit and blood.  Strangely, Finn almost expected that.  He knew that his mother couldn't handle his father's death, and it was only a matter of time before she did something like that.  The people of his neighborhood raised enough money to pay for his mother's modest funeral, to which Finn was eternally grateful.  However, his own future was now in doubt.  His parents were dead, and he was only 17.  There was talk of putting him into the State's care until he turned 18, but Finn would have none of that.  After weeks of arbitration, it was decided that Finn's neighbor would look after him until his 18th birthday.  That left Finn alone to try to keep his father's pub open.

   A few weeks after his mother's funeral, Finn was going through his parents belongings, partly for nostalgia but mainly to find some things he could sell to keep the pub open and pay the rent on his apartment.  When going through his parents' closet, he noticed a hollow spot under some floorboards.  He pried them up, and was stunned by what he found.  The secret compartment held four AK-47's, maps of dozens of cities around the world, and his father's personal journal.  The journal contained a complete account of every robbery his father had ever committed, complete with all the planning we did for every job.  Through the journal, Finn learned that his father had extensive dealings with the Westies, the Irish mob that controlled Hell's Kitchen.  Through them, his father was able to launder the money they had stolen, as well as ensure that if anyone came asking around the neighborhood that nobody would say a word.  Finn spent a week reading through the journal.  In that time, his resentment toward his father started to fade.  Sure, his father was an enthusiastic supporter of the IRA, and gave a lot of the money he stole to their cause.  Through it all, it was the money that he brought home that ensured his family had everything they needed.  At the end of the week, Finn set the journal down, a new idea taking shape in his head.

   At a Halloween party in 1978, Finn got together with a few friends he had known back in school.  They were Jacob Mitchell and Frank Reilly, two good friends who had also recently dropped out of school to get jobs.  There was also Victoria Mason, who was going to graduate the next year.  She was a very gifted mechanic, and well versed in everything to do with cars.  But Finn knew all that was waiting for her after graduation was a job at the mechanic shop owned by her abusive stepfather.  Calling them into a separate room at the party, Finn told them about finding his father's journal.  He explained that it was a detailed “how to” book, putting down clearly the steps for committing a perfect robbery.  After his explanation, Finn asked them one question.  “Who wants to give it a try?”  Jacob and Frank didn't take long to decide.  They knew that crime was most likely going to be in their future, given the lack of skills they had.  Victoria took longer.  The idea of crime was terrible to consider.  But then she thought of working for her stepfather.  He was a mean drunk that delighted in hitting her and making her dependent on him.  He would never let her work at another mechanic shop.  After a few minutes thought, she nodded her acceptance.

   For the next four months, the newly formed gang prepared.  They went out to the New Jersey Pine Barrens to learn to use the assault rifles Finn had found in his father's closet.  They learned exactly how to rob an armored car, from locating a target, to the robbery itself, and to the getaway.  By February of 1979, they had gone from a bunch of kids to a competent but inexperienced team.  Using his father's maps of cities and armored car depots, Finn had decided on a Brinks depot in Newark, New Jersey as the target.  For two weeks, the group watched the depot, learning the schedules and routes the truck took through the city.  By Finn's 18th birthday, they were ready.  Only one thing remained.

   Finn knew that even if the robbery went off without a problem, they still had to deal with the money.  They needed protection, and a way to launder the money after the crime.  Finn decided the best thing to do would be to go to the people his father used for years; the Westies.  Finn arranged a meeting with James Coonan, the leader of the Westies in Hell's Kitchen.  Finn told Coonan about his plan, and asked for the same protection and money laundering he had given to Finn's father.  Coonan admitted that he made a lot of money off Gerard O'Halloran's activities, but the FBI's investigation had lead very close to Coonan's operations.  Coonan told Finn that to agree to this, the compensation would have to be substantial.  Finn offered 35% of everything they stole.  This was far above the normal rate of 15%.  Coonan accepted, and the last part of the plan fell into place.

   On March 7, 1979, Finn and his crew robbed a Brinks armored car, in broad daylight, on the streets of Newark.  The robbery had been planned down to the finest detail, and went off flawlessly.  The robbery took less than six minutes, and the crew walked away with more than $800,000.  Even after James Coonan took 35%, it was more money than any of them had ever seen.  They held a raucous party afterward, toasting their success.  Finn used some of the money to begin paying off the huge mortgage on The Three Crowns, making small payments so as not to attract attention.

   In April, Finn treated himself to an Alice Cooper concert at Madison Square Garden.  At the concert, he met Sarah Moore, an art student at The Art Institute of New York.  Like most concert goers, they got very drunk at the show, leaving together afterward.  The night that followed was hazy to both of them.  The only thing they could agree on remembering was that it was “awesome”.  They started seeing each other regularly after that, Sarah coming by The Three Crowns several times a week.  Even Finn had to admit that what had started as a concert fling was becoming something more.  Then, in July of that year, Sarah came by the pub with startling news; she was pregnant.  She expected Finn to be angry, knowing that she was pregnant at 18.  Instead, Finn was overjoyed.  He scooped her up and said that he loved her, assuring her that he would never let her go through it alone.  “Besides,” he added.  “I'm Catholic.  They might excommunicate me if I left you now.”

True.  But he likes coffee more.

My dude, Chirop.  Enjoy.


All right, Langstrom (hehe) if you aren't able to turn back and forth, it's going to be a very boring game unless we get an image inducer or something.  Obviously, there would be no secret identity, but how are you going to interact with NPCs when we are not on a set mission?

With fear.

What kind of animal will your character be able to turn into? I'm think adapted streetshark.

Bat actually.  And no changing.  Permanent.

I had already picked which character I wanted to play, but now with the reputation/status system, I'm back at square one. I really like the idea of a mastermind character in that kind of setting, but we still need muscle.  Damn you Payton! Damn YOU!

Don't worry.  I'll be handling the muscle.

General Chaos / Re: Image Thread
« on: November 11, 2010, 08:22:42 PM »

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: New world campaign
« on: October 13, 2010, 12:56:52 PM »
Is it realy stealing when the Co-host is taking them?

I submit to you that it is not. 

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Why I Love Tom Church
« on: October 12, 2010, 01:23:10 PM »
Yup, modern day.  I'll probably have the group be members of an investigative journalism team.  Maybe Phenomenon X.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: Content and Specials Question
« on: August 25, 2010, 07:10:41 PM »
Ross doesn't respond to human kindness. At GenCon, the day after our big meet up of RRPR fans, I saw him in the exhibition room. He said "hey", and kept walking. The man has ice in his veins. Ice made from other ice that was melted and then refrozen. Zombie ice.

I'm the nice one.  There needs to be one personable guy, and one icy robot.

Yup.  That was me.

RPGs / Re: Good Intro Call of Cthulhu adventure?
« on: July 06, 2010, 09:04:34 AM »
Ask, and ye shall...get stuff.

General Chaos / Re: Hey Patrick...
« on: May 19, 2010, 03:12:12 PM »

RPGs / Re: The Summer of Nostalgia, brought to you by 4th Edition
« on: May 12, 2010, 01:07:14 PM »
Someone somewhere is doing it wrong. It's a sphere of annihilation. A magical disintegrating black hole of doom. It shouldn't even be Save or Die, it should be Touch it and Die. Not that I am in favor of rampant player killing, but if the Sphere of Annihilation can't kill you outright what can?

I agree.  It's called the Sphere of Annihilation, not the Sphere of the Very Real Possibility That Somebody Could Die.

In a game where characters can become powerful enough to take on Gods, it's nice to always have something that can gank them instantly.  Maintains the clarity that they are never invincible.  Not really.

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