Quinn was born in the small rebuilt town of Sand Shoal Arkansas in 2080 to a transient family who rode the trains searching for work. His father was a wolf-Mixed, and his mother was human. Quinn spent his early years traveling from town to town, and when his sister Jackson (Jax) was born, four years after him, he became fiercely protective of her. The family spent only a few months in any one place before moving on, following the crops and avoiding prejudices, so Quinn came to think of the trains as his home.
When Quinn was fifteen, he and his family stopped off in a town that was known for being high risk environment because his mother was sick and unable to safely travel farther. While Quinn and his family were there, the city government raided the rider’s camp and all of Quinn’s family were taken. Quinn escaped because he was out foraging when the sweep happened.
Distraught over the loss of his family and feeling guilty he hadn’t protected Jax better, Quinn set out to try to find them. A few other survivors of the sweep told him the city sent transient prisoners to various labor camps outside the city, and he attempted to break into one, but was unsuccessful and the only reason he escaped capture was a guard who decided not to report him.
Hearing that some camps shipped their prisoners to other towns as labor in exchange for goods, Quinn began riding the trains again, asking in any town he went to if anyone had seen anyone like Jax. Unsuccessful, he continued riding, seeking work like his family but never giving up on asking about his sister at any opportunity. He continued to hope that his family, or at least some of them, might have been able to escape and that they might cross paths someday, or that he would find someone who had already been told to be looking for Quinn himself.
Quinn was settling into the transient life when at nineteen he began showing symptoms of genetic unraveling. His family was part of the early Atlantic Labs experiments and their DNA had not been bonded using the more reliable procedures Genext had developed. Like many Southern Mixeds, Quinn was at a higher risk of one of these genetic defects. Knowing he had only a few years left, he renewed his search for his family, hoping to see them before he died. He heard stories of a wolf-girl who could have been Jax being a well-established underground ring fighter, but by the time he reached the town she was rumored to be in, the Mixeds forced to fight had rebelled and escaped. Most were rumored to have gone north, and Quinn decided to follow.
Quinn became more of a renegade rider after his family was killed. He joined the gang who called themselves the Drifters and the members became like family to him. If anything happened to any one of them Quinn often blamed himself. He felt a deep kinship to the renegade riders, most of whom had also lost everyone they had ever cared for. He never took quite as many risks as the others, since he continued to hope to be reunited with his family, but he appreciated the fast-paced life, because sometimes it allowed him a few minutes of forgetting how much he lost. The adrenaline rush became an addicting way to escape the past and follow the group’s motto, “live in the moment”. True to Drifter tradition, Quinn had another member hand-tattoo this phrase on the back of his neck. When he realized he was dying, Quinn left the Drifters because he was afraid his illness would slow them down and put them at risk, and he also hoped to find Jax again before he died.
He met Owen, a gecko-Mixed and a former member of the Drifters, on his way through what was formerly Louisiana, and the two stayed together for almost a year before Owen was killed by the private security force of a rail transit company whose train he and Quinn hopped by mistake. Quinn kept his friend’s treasured guitar and taught himself how to play it.