Hard Times in the Big Easy
If it bleeds, she can kill it.
Mary Elizabeth Bartley wasn’t born a hunter. She wasn’t bred for it. She wasn’t raised for it. In fact, she grew up wanting nothing more in the world than to be a wife and mother straight out of highschool like her mother and grandmothers. A nice husband, some cute kids, and a wonderful home were her dreams, and she was well on her way to achieving them by the time she was 19: She had the husband, she had the daughter. The home was a bit small and the pipes a bit unreliable, but it was a start.
A false start.
Even before the event, Mary hadn’t exactly been a waif. She enjoyed very physical pastimes, particularly boxing and kickboxing. It wasn’t anything she took too seriously, she never bothered to enter competitions or the sort, it was just a fun recreational pastime. And it was after coming home from kickboxing class that Mary Elizabeth Bartley died, and without even realizing it, Mary Belmont was born.
She couldn’t immediately process what she saw that night. There was more blood than two people should have had. Especially one so small. And the pieces just didn’t add up. The screaming started and it didn’t stop. Even when her voice was gone and nobody could hear it, the screaming never stopped. Twenty-four years later, the screaming hasn’t stopped. It’s just turned angrier, and hungrier. The cry of a hawk as it stoops to snatch its prey.
The police, of course, had no idea what the hell had happened. Mary moved into an apartment, refusing to set foot in that house again. She swore up and down, she could still see the stains. Nothing made sense, everything was horror and pain inside her until they showed up. Two young men, she couldn’t even tell you their names any more. They didn’t really matter, it’s what they brought with them that mattered: Answers.
They were hunting the creatures that did this. This wasn’t their first attack like this. They posed as people with a broken down car, asking to come in to use the phone. Ghouls, the men called them, nasty ones, even among their own filthy kind. Her husband was such a kind soul, so sweet … of course he would have helped them, let them in, exposed their child to the ravenous beasts. The men seemed to leave in a hurry, but Mary didn’t really give a damn. She had answers. And they had presented a solution: If they were hunting these things, clearly they could kll them.
In the years that followed, Mary’s recreational hobbies turned serious, until she was expelled from classes after hospitalizing sparring partners. She sought out other hunters like the men, found places where they gathered, picked up tips, tricks, and joined them on hunts. They were all like her. Everybody had a story they wouldn’t tell. Nobody started down this path without a story.
She met Jack Jr. on a Werelion hunt. He was young, not even old enough to buy his own drinks, but he knew more than anybody on the hunt about their prey, and anything else they brought up besides. He took the leadership role almost immediately, and he handled it well. He wasn’t much of a fighter himself, but with him in charge, they killed the pride without even a minor casualty. Mary followed him when the hunting party parted ways, and mere months later, the two were married, and she was introduced to the Belmont Family as a whole. Mary, unsurprisingly, found that she fit right in, almost immediately.
In less than a year, there was a third Jack Belmont in the family, and she resolved to raise him to be stronger and greater than his father. She wanted him to surpass her husband’s father, a man she never had the opportunity to meet, but eagerly absorbed stories and read reports about. The greatest of the Belmonts … not for long.
As an example, for Jack’s seventh birthday, she gave him a kevlar vest and twelve 9mm hollowpoints. In the chest. So he could get an early start at learning to deal with that kind of pain.
These days, with the benefit of the Belmonts’ teaching, she’s a force of nature. Gun, blade, or first, you name it, she can kill damn near anything with it. She’s harsh, violent, and absolutely dedicated to the Belmonts’ genocidal cause. She is absolutely, utterly fearless, to the point that without her husband’s restraint, she would march boldly into a vampire den with an axe in one hand and an Uzi in the other, declare open season, and go to town.
Junior does what he can to keep Mary in check, but there’s only so much he can do. The best analogy is that it is akin to walking a Pit Bull the size of a Saint Bernard. You can tug at its leash to direct it this way or that, and maybe even get it to stop. But when it sees a squirrel and takes off after it, you either let go or you drag.