Though the next few months would challenge Ken at his core more than anything in his life, it wasn't all bad - Through it, he connected with the people on his shadowrunning team, with Tripwire as their mysterious leader. They called theirselves The Good Samaritans. They're a whole other story, though, beyond my ability to recount by myself...So let's keep it to Ken and Laura.
Soon, Ken would bumble through a few shadowrunning missions with his teammates, and along the way, find some strange clues about the connection between Liquid Steel and their leader Tripwire. He also was finding some strange clues about himself...After an impromptu cyber-heart surgery following a mission gone south, the sensation made him recall the night he was shot throught he heart, and Liquid Steel was to blame. In this memory, though, she wasn't smug or satisfied. She was horrified at what she'd done.
Ken was troubled, and needed to know more. It wasn't long before one of the mages noticed something strange about Ken's aura - He had a spell on him, suppressing his memory. After some tumultuous events, the spell was lifted, and suddenly, everything came flooding back.
Her name was Laura Sherwin.
They weren't rivals.
They were lovers.
The first thing Ken remembered was a night they spent together a few years ago, dancing to Frank Sinatra on the record player, sometime around Christmas. He remembered the love in his heart for her, and an immeasurable sorrow, and all sorts of emotions he couldn't possibly hold in one moment. But he couldn't remember it all. Over the next few months of shadowrunning and getting into all sorts of trouble, Ken's memories would return to him in pieces, all while he started to uncover a bigger picture alongside his team - And Laura's connection to everything that was happening. Ken would piece the following history together through the help of some new traumatic experiences, familiar places, helpful mage spells, and new clues about Laura.
He remembered that Tripwire's name was Shay Kappel, and she used to be his closest friend. Ken had come to Seattle all alone when he was just 16, stars in his eyes at the prospect of making it big as a rockstar. At one of his gigs in a bar, the only one clapping and hooting and hollering from the back was a young woman he would come to know first as Shay, and then later as Tripwire. She introduced him to her close friend, Laura. Even then, as a rather plain-looking highscooler without all of the magic and stage bravado and blue hair, Ken knew she was special.
The three of them would then become a close trio, spending their days in Seattle busting their asses on Laura's skateboard, having Thanksgiving at Shay's mother's house, going for picnics, always getting rides from Laura's brother, Cole...Ken was smitten with Laura, and it wasn't long before he garnered the courage to ask her on a date. Laura took him on a hike to her sanctuary: A treehouse she and her brother had built in the woods. It was there that the two of them talked about their dreams for making it big with their music.
It was practically idealic, for a while. They shared an enthusiasm for their passions, a deep unexplainable connection, and a love for your typical reckless teen behavior. But it wouldn't last forever. As they both started to grow older, Ken stayed the same, but Laura had started to grow distant. She had developed a strange cough (seemingly unrelated to her terrible smoking habit at this point), she was cagey about what she was off doing when she wasn't with Ken, and she'd get short with him often. One day, she showed up with a strange tattoo on her forehead, but she waved it off as being part of her act, adding it to her growing pile of secrets. Laura refused to communicate, and Ken refused to grow up. Eventually, they were met with the last straw, and the fallout was devastating.
Laura was serious about her music, but with Ken's less-than-stellar work ethic and careless attitude, this duet wasn't going to work. She hungered for heights and passioned for a life in the spotlight. So she signed a record deal without telling him. He was in disbelief. The two got into an argument, and Laura, strange tattoo aglow, lost control of her magic, sending it straight through Ken's chest. In shock and horror of what she'd done, she used her magic to keep him alive along enough to drag him to the nearest street doc as he was just barely hanging on. He was saved just in time by a skillful doctor by the name of Dr. Alvarez (who Ken had many frequent visits with in the following years), and fitted with a new cyber-heart. In that moment, though, Laura must have thought he could never forgive her for such a thing. So she did something terrible. In an act of desperation, she used her magic to place a memory spell on Ken, hoping to erase his memory of the incident - But it went wrong. His memories were twisted up into disarray and instead, he woke up only to be furious at her, having forgotten their years of history and seeing her in his mind as a villain. Laura altered the memory of the doctor with her magic as well, so that she wouldn't be able to tell a soul what had happened, but Ken caught her in the act in his fit of anger, chasing her off into the night, in his mind the belief that he was rescuing this poor hapless doctor from the evils of his rival Liquid Steel and her magic.
It wasn't a rock battle. It was a quarrel. A quarrel that ended their life together, and almost his own life entirely.