Len was born in or around Atlanta, Georgia and left at a hospital within the city limits. He was subsequently adopted by Lionel and Sandra Forsythe a couple that had been trying to conceive will little success. Lionel was an aerospace engineer and Sandra a nurse at the hospital baby Len had been abandoned at. Both self confessed nerds, they named the baby after the character of Leonard "Bones" McCoy from the series Star Trek.

Len doesn't remember a whole lot about his life in Atlanta, though his parents were always careful to couch it in very careful terms. Due to their jobs the Forsythes were comfortably middle class, but both of his parents had grown up knowing lean times and how quickly things could change. Atlanta was always a mixed bag for African Americans. It was the home of Martin Luther King Jr and a cradle of the Civil Rights movement, often referred to as a "Black Mecca" but also saw a deep inequality within the city, especially for the poor and underprivileged. Not to mention how heavily affected the African American population was by the AIDS epidemic.

The family moved to Seattle for Lionel's job and Sandra was hired by another hospital easily enough. The weather was a change, leaving Len to have hazy memories of heat and humidity and the shining sun from early days, which then led to rain and dreariness but the most verdant greenery you could find.

Len's parents gave him as much time as they could and enrolled him in a variety of activities in an effort to see what would interest the boy. He loved sports, baseball in particular, but more than that he was *good* at it. So good in fact that he made varsity his freshman year of high school. He attracted a great deal of attention, with talk of scholarships for college and/or being drafted by a MLB team started up his Sophomore year. Tragedy struck the winter of his Junior year of high school when a drunk driver hit the car he and Sandra were in, killing her and severely injuring him.

Baseball wasn't really in the cards now with a broken arm and leg, not to mention the numbing depression he ended up mired in with the loss of his beloved mother who had always been his biggest cheerleader. His father wasn't taking it well either and the two found solace in whatever they could. Len read a lot, fiction and non fiction anything was fair game and the two delighted in the launch of a new Star Trek series named Deep Space Nine - with the lead character played by an African American.

Even after he recovered he was reluctant to pick up a bat and ball again, though he did at least work to get back into shape. He and Lionel still loved the game and went to Mariners games as well as the nearby minor league Seacouver Chiefs. It was after a Chiefs game, at a luncheon thrown by the team for season ticket holders, that he made the acquaintance of Carl Robinson one of the pitchers for the team. They bonded over talk of Negro League greats and eventually Len mentioned that he used to play. It took coaxing on Carl's part, but between him and his father, Len ended up returning to the diamond. He was taking a year after high school graduation to figure what to do with his life anyway, so he didn't see the harm in playing again while he decided on which college to attend. He was more than a little surprised when the Chiefs offered him a spot on the roster.

Carl took him under his wing, helping him to adjust to the life of a minor league player even as he also preached the importance of Len keeping college in mind. Sadly a few years later Carl was caught up in a bizarre mess with the FBI who were looking for a serial killer that had been beheading people, and was killed in a shootout. Len was convinced he had been innocent, but he was also pretty used to the odds being against him and the people he loved. His biggest regret is that he was never able to tell Carl he'd managed to get a try out with the Colorado Rockies.

He played with the Triple A Affiliate The Colorado Springs Sky Socks for part of a season in 1997 before being called up to the Rockies where he stayed the rest of the year. He was a member of the Rockies from 1998 until pre-season 2000 when he was traded to the Seattle Mariners.

Going home was great for Len. He'd grown up a fan of the Mariners so getting to play for them was a bit of a childhood dream come true. His father, who had only slowly gotten into dating in the years since Sandra had passed, had only just began seeing a woman named Linda seriously, and while Len would always miss his mother he didn't begrudge his father a little happiness. His first two seasons were great, he became a fan favorite - much to his surprise - and the Mariners almost made it to the World Series in 2001. Hopes were high spring of 2002 that that could finally be their season. They started well and were in first place in the AL West come June.

And that's when everything began to fall apart.

Linda fell ill quite suddenly and was admitted to the hospital. Because they were not family Lionel and he were not allowed to visit and were quite shocked to hear only two days later that she had passed away. Colds tended to run through teams easily enough but it felt like half the team was down with a bug enough that they weren't showing up and the other half were sniffling and coughing at least a little.

Len, meanwhile, remained fine as games were suddenly canceled and the city was setting curfews. There was also an increased police and even military presence and a general feeling of uneasiness set in. Sandra had always drilled them on infectious diseases and Lionel and Len were as careful as they could be. But still whatever it was was too much and Lionel began coughing on the 25th. The hospitals were already overflowing and both men realized this wasn't a simple flu, it was something much worse, despite what the occasional canned tv and radio messages were saying. Lionel wanted to die at home and Len reluctantly agreed. A few days later, with the city in chaos around him, Len took his father's body to Lake View Cemetery and dug a grave as best he could for him next to his mother's. The following days were a blur, not the least of which because of some bizarre as hell dreams, and before he knew it June was basically over and almost everyone but him was dead.

Knowing the city wouldn't really be all that safe, he gathered some supplies and made his way out into the greater world, not knowing what to expect and still having those damned dreams.