Margaret

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Margaret Browning

Attempting to unscramble Miss Browning's family history is an "amusing" exercise in reading accident reports, criminal records, disaster accounts...and lots and lots of death certificates. In fact, with trademark black humour, Boardies have begun to refer to files on her as "The Morgue". It has a worryingly high equipment failure rate, and much of the original data was lost when Infernal forces burned down the old Archive building at Mohaborad – the inference, that the largest and most comprehensive set of records pertaining to her life was destroyed on orders from Dis, has not been lost on Speculation.

Margaret was born at some point during the early 80s, at the height of the dire portents wracking the globe at that time. The only hospital with birth records in her name was burned down in 1984, following a lightning strike. None of the maternity staff survived. Her first appearance in public records is her entitlement to a state pension after the apparent loss of her father during the Gulf War. No mention of her mother has been located to date. Her father's service records remain missing. Agents sent to recover them tend to find only the remains of their predecessors, before disappearing themselves.

Violent tendencies, an aggressive personality, and being blamed for the string of accidents that followed her saw Margaret bounced from orphanages to foster families...and back again...over the course of an unhappy childhood. Worried psychologists noted the deaths of many of her real friends was making her seek refuge in imaginary ones. Speculation theorize, in their darker moments, that the Adversary made His presence known to her via such methods.

The child support agency responsible for her, notorious for corruption at the time, lost all it's records (and her case officer) in a catastrophic fire shortly after she enrolled in high school. Attempting to trace families she was placed with will provide a researcher with a wealth of imaginative methods of dying, ranging from car accidents to serial killings. Not to put too fine a point on it, people die around this girl. Large numbers of people.

Despite such turbulence, Margaret excelled academically – her tutors (the surviving ones the Board could reach) considered her an intensely driven, if somewhat sullen, child with an aptitude for mechanical skills and problem-solving. She developed a fascination for firearms and WW2 memorabilia, much to the terror of her psychiatrists, but their fears of schooltop sniping never materialized. It was apparently around this time that her prophetic dreams began.

Graduating top of her class (followed, physically as well as academically, by a young man in the same class with a crush on her...) Margaret packed off to university, where her career started with a bang. A very large one, as a mere accident of a few minutes on a lecture timetable was all that saved the occupants of her dorm building from losing their lives in a massive gas explosion that demolished it utterly. Shortly afterwards, Margaret finally noticed she had a hanger-on in the form of her new neighbour and classmate, David Jones. His long-term survival remains, frankly, a miracle.

Wherever Margaret went, "accidents" followed. Although her new apartment building survived, a fire swept through it shortly afterwards. An apparently motiveless bombing of the original, under-repair, dorms has delayed reconstruction for the foreseeable future, and Speculation are still probing the bizarre circumstances surrounding this. Multiple chemical leaks have badly mutated several of her campus friends, and some form of hallucinogenic gas explosion recently managed to take out an entire FBI/ATF raid. Taking note, the Board are advising their personnel to keep their distance as much as possible. Even the Greens have fallen afoul of Margaret's "mobile curse", losing several of the teams sent to keep an eye on Michael.

The only light shed on this aura of disaster comes from the woman herself, and the Board's sources for this remain worryingly second-hand. Margaret apparently believes herself a potential vessel for the antichrist spoken of in the Book of Revelations, her fate revealed to her by the Adversary in recurring dreams thought her life. Internal debate over the content of these dreams rages. While potentially valuable intelligence, Mission Planning feel "it might be simpler to just toss our men into a meatmincer and be done with it, it'd be quicker." rather than attempt to discover their contents via scrying or onieromancy. Efforts to laser-bug her bedroom window were vetoed by High Command as too dangerous. Less subtle measures have been universally banned – the Board feels that at least knowing who the Adversary is sizing up is better than "solving the problem" short-term and potentially losing their only lead on His actives. After all, there are plenty more orphaned young women out there.

FLEET tentatively agree, despite maintaining she is too dangerous to just be left to her own devices. In the meantime, Intelligence's belief that anything Hell deems annoying should be encouraged has led to the "amusing" sight of a battlefleet planning ways to support David's relationship skills.

In many ways, Margaret's life is a microcosm of the whole dark, dirty supernatural crisis facing the world right now. Its history is her history, and however the tale ends...the Board suspect she will feature prominently in it.

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