Ian McCue was known to the group as Simon. He was a rugged Irish American with flaming red hair like so many Bostonians. He grew up in a middle class urban neighborhood, had loving parents, and went to good public schools. He also liked watching what happened to people when they were blown up.
Simon started, as many psychopaths do, by hurting animals. He started with bugs, moved to caterpillars, then frogs and toads, finally graduating to cats and dogs. When he was 16 he once put an M-80 into the rear end of a stray mutt in an abandoned lot on the edge of town. He thought the explosion was cool, but the animal had taken off, and Simon failed to track it down after the fact. That was extremely frustrating. Stupid dog.
A little smarter than average, Simon was able to mask his lack of conscience from almost everyone. An occasional teacher or police officer would get on his trail, but the con job he had with the principal and the local reverend kept him out of jail most of the time. He did beat a few people badly enough to get him some public service and a little parole. His star didn’t really begin to shine, however, until he discovered high explosives.
An interest in things that blow up tends to make people wary unless it’s applied to some professional pursuits. Simon started in mining but was hired away by the company that provided the explosives. Traditional types like TNT started to bore him, so he talked his way into a defense industry company that supplied the real good stuff to the military and the intelligence sectors. He learned everything he could and soon became the company’s best salesman.
There came a time, however, when the explosions he was legally allowed to make became boring. Even blowing the top off a mountain in coal country lost its appeal when it was the twentieth time you had done it. It all came back to that dog. It felt like a job half done.
An isolated plot of land came up for sale an hour away from his house outside of DC, and he picked it up for a song. The land all around it was owned by mining outfits, so the neighbors weren’t going to be bothering him. It was forested and back woods enough to ensure a steady supply of wildlife to suffer for his boredom.
He started off small, because squirrels and chipmunks were most plentiful. The first few times he overdid it. His enthusiasm made him overestimate the amount of plastic explosive necessary. The results were satisfying in a way, but the lack of any remains whatsoever made him rethink the process. Through trial and error, he was able to use the exact amount for the job.
When he moved up to rabbits he had to refine his methods again, and when he moved up to deer the same thing happened. He only targeted herbivores, as he felt too much affinity for the predators that learned his explosions were a call to dinner. Packs of wolves and the occasional black bear found their way to his kill sites.
After only a few months the boredom started to creep back in. The animals became not enough, and he started to think about what it would look like if his targets were human. As a connoisseur of explosions, however, he knew they made news, at least in this country. In certain other countries, they didn’t make the news unless they killed Americans. He didn’t have any special affinity for Americans, but all his stuff was here. It was his attempt to get involved with a group that would allow him to develop his hobby that put him on Jameson’s radar, or rather Matthew’s.