- Full Name: Bennett "Hemlock" Corobane
- Gender: F
- Age: 32
- Theme Song: "Zombi" - Fela Kuti
- Occupation: Gravekeeper, Former Dancehall Queen
- Faction: Square (Bad Reputation)
- 5 Song Playlist
Bennett Corobane has had a long relationship with gangs. It was the family business. The trade of arms, power, and people was as much a part of her young life as school and going to church on Sunday. Unfortunately, at the age of fifteen, she was stuck with a needle over one of her father's shady deals.
Bennett came to the island during the original Step experiments as a comatose patient, flown in via medical helecopter from a sister hospital in the islands. Having failed to respond to traditional treatments, she was volunteered by her caretaker for experimental medical treatments using the Vibe. Though her mind responded immediately to the strange new energy, her body remained inert for years. This led to a series of unfortunate circumstances. Firstly for her, secondly for the seven doctors and scientists who were near her during the energy pulse on V-Day, and finally for those citizens who witnessed the dead walking in the aftermath, marching towards the graveyard with Bennett dancing in their midst.
After regaining consciousness for a second time, Bennett was much calmer. She accepted the Funk as a true believer, but the Mafia would not accept her. Word travelled fast about what she could do - what she had done - to the bodies of their beloved on V-Day. The other factions wanted no claim to her, either, so she took to dancing for cred in any competitions she could find and apprenticed under Daisy, the city's elderly Gravekeeper. On her deathbed, in an act of kindness, Daisy left the deed to the graveyard grounds and the work of maintaining it to her faithful gravedigger. Bennett takes the job quite seriously, considering the dead of Step City her people and the graveyard her domain. Some say Daisy still helps out, now and then.
Bennett won't take shit from anybody, but she sure does like to give it. She comes across as aggressive and boastful, but usually backs down when someone calls her bluff. At heart she is a survivalist. She recognizes the protocol when dealing with renowned faction members or powerful Steppers, but treats squares and jamdeaf with the same respect. They're all the same in death.
Right behind the Funk, Bennett gives praise to the almighty dollar. Though she may trade or give favors in a buyer's transaction, as a seller she will only accept cash money. She doesn't buy in to this "cred" currency that seems popular in the city. She probably couldn't get any outside of a competition, anyway.
Dance \ Vibe styleEdit
Bennett knows latin dance styles like the meringue, congo, and mambo from her childhood. She learned to swing while in the city, and picked up the latest club moves quite easily. When she's channeling vibe, her dances become more primal, some would say vulgar, involving a posture of bent knees and lifted heels, swinging hips and swaying arms.
By infusing dead matter with some of her Vibe energy, she can return to it some semblance of life. Aside from making dead branches snap and making steaks crawl off of plates, Bennett can raise three kinds of zombie...
Feet - The easiest to raise, capable of one simple task. These are usually skeletons or severed body parts used to guard things or to scare people. They're pretty fragile individually and not much good in a fight unless there's a swarm of them.
Hands - More difficult to raise, capable of more complex tasks. Hands are made from intact or mostly intact corpses and have higher than average strength. These zombies are a little slow, but good for melee combat as they will not stop until dismembered. Bennett keeps seven human Hands preserved at different places in the graveyard, but will not raise any other humans without having gotten their express permission in life.
Heads - The most difficult to raise, capable of thought and speech for a limited time. If a body is fairly fresh with brain matter mostly intact, Bennett can bring back a shadow of the living creature in order to get information. Though a Head may experience emotion and have the personality of the living being, it is essentially soulless. Bennett never raises Heads unless there's a dire circumstance or a LOT of money changing hands.
While apprenticing, she used to get money on the side from Dancehall Queen competitions, but she doesn't have much time for that now. On some nights, the sounds of Jazz, Swing, and Swamp Blues can be heard throughout the graveyard. Occasionally, she will use the grounds to host free-to-all gatherings, usually involving dance competitions and rap battles for cash prizes.
"Don't tell on your neighbor, now. You may need him some day." - Fela Kuti
"Oft have I digg'd up dead men from their graves, And set them upright at their dear friends' doors, Even when their sorrows almost were forgot; And on their skins, as on the bark of trees, Have with my knife carved in Roman letters, 'Let not your sorrow die, though I am dead.' Tut, I have done a thousand dreadful things As willingly as one would kill a fly, And nothing grieves me heartily indeed But that I cannot do ten thousand more." - Aaron, Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare
"I know that the nice shines I have on is going to pass. The nice cars will pass. All that will stay is the music and the work. That's where I get the inspiration to help people out and work. …I can close my eyes and remember where I come from." -Wyclef Jean
Meredith Peterson - Bennett enjoys the company of this woman far more than the other stiffs that work at the Mortuary. She is always happy to sit and share a drink or a chat when Ms. Peterson comes to deliver bodies to the graveyard, and hopes they can continue to meet now that she's found another job. (Unlike some other Steppers who view the Vibe in a religious manner Bennett does not think of Meredith -or other Jamdeaf- as soulless, but rather unable to feel the grace and love of the Funk for some other reason. This leads to more pity than aversion, and the desire to be a good samaritan.)
Cross - Bennett knows three things about this man: He has a lot of phone numbers. He likes to drink. He locked himself in a morgue once on a dare. His nonchalance around the dead means he has more balls than most, in Bennett's opinion. She suspects he is a medical professional of some kind, and is likely to call him for either medical assistance or for access to his seemingly vast social network.
Elise - The flophouse that Elise runs sometimes sees Bennett for a day or two. Typically crawling in drunk at some ungodly hour, she repays the woman by cooking huge batches of spicy seafood gumbo (a claimed hangover cure) for her guests the next day. Though she hasn't interacted much with this serious-looking woman, Bennett finds something about her strangely attractive (it's the vibe.) She suspects Elise is the type to speak softly and carry a big stick though, so treats her with all due courtesy.
Laron Fitch - The vibe powers of these two are so mutually beneficial that the development of a professional arrangement between them was nearly unavoidable. Outside of work, Bennett is openly jealous of this well respected Mafioso's success, but sees an opportunity to make friends in high places and enjoys the gifts and attention he gives her. Somewhere in her heart, mixed up in the professional respect for the ruthless killer and the recognition of another lonely outsider, is the seed of genuine affection.
Benson - By far the one of the stranger creatures Bennett has met, she is curious about this boy's oddly powerful connection to the Vibe. She's fond of his happy-go-lucky demeanor and the tricks he can pull with his face and his body, and finds it fun to flirt and banter with him. She doubts she could place any serious trust in him, however, and though he wears RB colors she might not take a threat from this Bandito very seriously.