Like a joke...
Samantha "Sam" Hightower
Apparent Age: 35
Sam Hightower is the current Scourge of the city of Houston.
She stands slightly taller then average and is solidly muscled having the appearance of a fitness instructor in cargo pants, wife beater and an old army jacket. Her hair is long, and usually tied up in a bun. Sam is in very much a model of self restraint, having frenzied only once since her embraced twenty years ago. That embrace left her claws on her left hand permanently extended.
Samantha Hightower was the quintessential tomboy growing up in rural West Virginia. When Sam was a little girl, she played Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers, went fishing, and rode her bike throughout the Virginian countryside. She was never one for associating with other girls. As a child her parents were more then accommodating, however when she began growing into her awkward teenage years they became less so, expecting her to learn how to cook and clean, how to mend clothes and other such womanly duties. The role of a wife and mother was not one that Hightower aspired to however. She chaffed at the idea of having to bow down to some man. Fortunately for Sam, the year she graduated highschool was in May of 1965. On July 28, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that the U.S. would increase the number of its forces in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000. Samantha immediately enlisted in the US Marine Corps.
Sam was initially disappointed to discover that women were explicitly barred from combat duty but her enthusiasm wasn’t dulled however. She went through basic training, and was assigned duty as a radio operator. Because of rampant sexism within the military, she had to work twice as hard as the men she was stationed with. She understood it however, and even shared many of opinions about women being soft and weak that the men she served with had. She saw sexism, not as a barrier for herself, but a stigma to overcome. Facing her training with a grim determination not to be judged or compared to other women, women she despised for being weak, Samantha threw herself into her training with an almost religious like zeal. Sam loved the Corps, initially stationed in Quantico Virginia for basic training, she then transferred to southern California at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro for training and then was transferred back to Quantico Virginia for Woman Officer School. After completion of her training she shipped out to serve as a Marine Attaché. She becomes one of the first woman to do so.
For Samantha, the Marine Corps was everything. She had a sense of purpose, clear cut duty and felt that her life was going dedicated towards something meaningful, namely, helping the people of South Vietnam resist communist occupation. By this point, Hightower was now Captain Hightower, was fluent in Vietnamese and in charge of radio communications at the Cam Lộ Combat Base in Quang Tri province of Vietnam. Originally stationed as a radio operator and translator, Hightowers attaché duties involved coordinating defense reports with the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam). At this point she was becoming increasingly aware of the antiwar movement back home.
She stayed at her commissioned post until the 1972 Easter Offensive. By January 1972 the ARVN 3rd Division had assumed responsibility for the area north of Highway 9. The PAVN (Peoples Army of Vietnam) launched their Easter Offensive on 30 March 1972 and by 1 April the PAVN had broken through the ARVN defensive positions along the DMZ and north of the Cam Lo River. On the afternoon of 2 April the road and rail bridges at Đông Hà were destroyed temporarily halting the advance of PAVN armor down Route 1, however at 18:00 a USAF EB-66 was shot down west of Đông Hà and a no fire zone was imposed around the area allowing the PAVN to capture the Cam Lo Bridge intact. As the PAVN rolled through the region, Samantha was involved in the first and only firefight of her military career. PAVN forces moved across the bridge rolling up ARVN defensive positions south of the river before finally being halted south of Quảng Trị. For her actions in helping the ARVN hold the base, Samantha recieved a Silver Star for bravery under fire. Cam Lộ however was lost to the PAVN and would remain in North Vietnamese hands for the rest of the war.
Hightower stayed true to her duty until the official withdrawal of US Service personal in 1975. After returning stateside she was aghast at how Americans were treating service personnel. Slowly, having been witness firsthand to the brutality of war, she understood what some of the protesters were arguing against, it by no means justified their dishonorable behavior, but she didn’t hold civilians with the same regard she held service personal. Her view of the corps, and the military in general began to slowly change. She remained in the corps for another two years and intended to serve out her commission and retire with full military benefits but was eventually injured in a traffic accident at Camp LeJune when the jeep she was driving was hit by jeep being driven by a drunken off duty Lieutenant serving under someone with more clout then she had. In spite of the fact that her vehicle was stopped at the time of the accident, officially it was still deemed to be her fault. Samantha was hospitalized and spent the next six months in traction. After her release, she was released from the Marine Corps with an honorable discharge.
After leaving the military Samantha spent the next couple of years traveling around the American midwest. She made some attempts at working as a dispatcher but the work didn’t appeal to her. She applied to Police departments across the country but her medical record preceded her and disqualified her from service. Dejected, but unbowed Sam spent the next few years trying to make a life for herself any way she could. Eventually she landed a job repairing telephone lines in Houston. In the spring of 1985 Sam took a solo hiking trip to Yosemite National Park. Getting away from the dull stress of her job and the searing hearing and stifling humidity of Houston for a much needed excursion. She planned to be hiking through the national park for a week. Her first night in the park an unexpected squall sprang up. The temperature dropped to almost freezing and the cold brought rain and sleet along with it. It was the coldest weather she had faced since returning from Vietnam, but growing up in the Virginian Appalachians, the whether served as a comforting reminder of home. Setting up her tent in the rain, she began to hum a church hymn while smiling to no one in particular. She felt peace for the first time in her adult life.
Samantha didn’t realize it at the time but she was perilously close to becoming somethings meal. Watching her in the darkness were a pair of glowing red eyes that, had she seen them would have convinced her to leave. She didn’t realize it, but the spot she had chosen, off the beaten path, away from the more touristy spots, was the personal hunting ground of something that had died long ago. The next day, after the rain past she spent hiking the trails of the park. When she returned to her campsite well past sundown, she found animals, probably raccoon’s, had destroyed her provisions. Nonplussed, basic survival skills were part of her E&E training, Samantha began setting up trout lines in a nearby stream. The added stress didn’t seem to even register on her face. Each night there was another event. By the end of the week she had almost no provisions left, most of her gear was destroyed and the eyes continued watching approvingly.
Samantha has no idea who her sire was, or even what they looked like. The only words ever spoken to her were “Fear the sun.” When she awoke after her embrace thirsting for blood with a bound and gagged family of campers in front her her, her lack of self control told her all she needed to know about what she had become. Confused, frightened, Samantha drove home, stopping at hotels to rest during the day. She wasn’t back in the city for three days before being picked up by the scourge, Orion. Orion had a soft spot for foundlings, especially for Gangrel foundlings. He taught he how to avoid being fed into the cities meat grinder political machine. After a time she began helping Orion patrol the city looking for other unacknowledged Kindred. When he left in 1992 Samantha largely fell out of city politics. She never really cared for Lee, she enjoyed occasional conversing with Maximus but found him to be arrogant and self serving however when Lord Trevor Bentley arrived in the city she found someone that she could truly hate. Maximus was an arrogant stuffed shirt, but he at least made an attempt to prove his self worth. Bentley however embodied everything that she couldn’t stand. He was wealthy without having truly earned it. He ambitious politically but seemed to care nothing for the city itself other then the sizable Gangrel population that would serve as his electorate.
Since Prince Lees demise, Hightower has backed Maximus in his claim for Praxis. She patrols the city nightly looking for foundlings. Since Orions return a few months back and his nomination as Sheriff she has contacted him, but he seems different now. More alive so to speak. His normally somber demeanor has been filled with enthusiasm for his new found religious beliefs. The hairs on the back of her neck stand on end when he gushes over having been recently saved. Sam just isn’t sure.