Arlon Benjamin was a self-made man. No-one could scratch that from the record. He made his money in recycling, one of the first to spot the gap. It was a simple idea; right place, right time. The city did his marketing for him, with its summer smogs and its streets clogged with drifting dunes of garbage.
He grew up in an orphanage. Everything was temporary. He would make friends there, and they'd get older, be taken away to new homes. The feeling of helplessness was like a stone in his gut. He wondered what happened to the kids he had known. Mostly he wondered what would happen to him. For the lack of a compelling present, he started inventing futures for himself. In his fantasies, garish collages pasted up from TV images and tatty magazines, he was a successful man.
On his sixteenth birthday they cast him out into the world. Brady's populist welfare cuts had excluded precisely his kind. He had no money, and no place to go, ended up sleeping rough, wandering from district to district looking for dry shelter, begging for food. And he wasn't alone; he found he had become part of a shambling community of homeless and misfits who were abandoned by the system, just as he had been. It was during these dog days that he learned how society treated the ones who didn't fit. He also learned about the things that people throw away.
He started collecting, pulling back deposits from glass bottles, turning tin cans into nickels and dimes. Pretty soon, he was scaling up, starting his own operation. He turned nothing into something, and the more nothing he could get, the more something he could make. By the time he opened his first plant, out in Red Hill, courtesy of a grant from the municipal office, he was pulling in a whole lot of nothing. Within 10 years, his company, Green Planet, had set up in the Dempler, listed on the exchange. They introduced progressive labour policies, set up training programs for the underprivileged. They went global. It was simple; everywhere you went, people produced junk; with the goodwill of governments and citizens, Green Planet ate it all up.
In the big league, that kind of business wasn't making any friends. Up in the Needles, it was sell, sell, sell. No-one wanted to know about ways to rein in consumption, they were hostile to notions of environmental protection, labour rights, anything that could hit on short-term yields. He hated these men he saw stalking the corporate corridors, young bucks, born into money; he hated their arrogance, their sense of entitlement. The antipathy was mutual. He'd already made his pile; they couldn't touch him like that. But they cut him out, cut him off; the media, the political channels, the novelty gone and the status quo re-established, one by one his connections cooled, dried up, blew away.
He was outraged when a self-appointed council of corporate representatives hired in their own special forces troops; it signalled to him a break in something, a weirdness. Society was changing, he could see that. The old order didn't apply anymore. The corporations were setting themselves up as states within states, beyond the rule of law. But they weren't the law, they were acting out an orgy of self-interest, and the authorities were just retreating, ceding power to the new rulers of the world.
One long September night, at the opening of a new Whistler exhibition in ParKunst, Benjamin had a conversation that would change the course of his life. He met a man there; tall, earnest, with a vision. The man was talking wild, about the imbalance of wealth, rapacious capitalism, the powershifts underpinning the corporate dominance. There was a solution; it sounded far-fetched, but it had already started. He wanted to destabilize the whole corporate-military complex, break open the cartels, turn the businesses on each other instead of on the people. He wanted to shock the elected representatives into a rational response.
Benjamin was intrigued, it hit on his instincts, and there was more. The man told him about the kids on the streets already trying to change things. Kids like the G-Kings, a bunch of street punks from out of Gresty who were young and hard and ready to fight for a new future, out of the shadow of poverty and corporate hegemony, a future that was about the people.
Benjamin was seduced by this strange man with his wild eyes. He liked that map of the future. He had money, what the hell? Sure, keep talking Mister, sorry, what was your name again? Yeah, carry on, Mr.Waskawi.
Subject BLOG UPDATE NOTIFICATION - Arlon Benjamin
All this could have been avoided, you realize? I took my ideas to them to the banks, the politicians, the Havalynd corporation CEOs, about how we could help San Paro and they laughed at me and then froze me out.
They couldnt be part of the solution. They would always be part of the problem.
I realized that money and influence alone wouldnt bring about change. Force would have to be added into the equation.
Which brings us to where we are now. But, I promise, change IS coming.
All the best,
Arlon Benjamin - MEMO
Does it bother you? Taking lives? Stealing property? Destroying things that some people have worked so hard to build?
I hope so. Otherwise youd just be another violent thug, in this only for personal wealth and gratification. The city has enough of those, and Ive always intended the G-Kings to be about so much more.
We stand for something. Our opponents CSA as well as other gangs stand for nothing. Thats the difference.
The end does justify the means, as long as that end is for something worth fighting for.
From the desk of Arlon Benjamin.
Welcome aboard. Ive been hearing about you for a while, so its good to finally be working with you.
Corny, maybe, but I like to think of this organization as a family, and not just because my children are part of it. Ive lived in this city all my life. Its made me everything I am. I just want to make sure that, when the time comes, Ive been able to make it a better place than it was before.
Thats not too much to ask, is it?
From Arlon Benjamin - CONFIDENTIAL
Luke Waskawi? Yes, Ive met him. Believe me, hes hardly the demon prince figure the media and Derrens CSA propaganda machine make him out to be.
Does he scare people? Of course. People are frightened of change, of radical solutions to otherwise insurmountable problems. To those in power to those who control what their fellow citizens think, see, hear, do I imagine he must be truly terrifying.
But dont believe the enemys lies. Luke Waskawi is the single greatest hope the people of San Paro have left.
I started this thing, but Im aware I may not be around see it finished. Thats why I need your help.
I have two children. One arrogant, the other weak. Ive given them both responsibilities, in the hope that theyll overcome these flaws. Whichever one succeeds me, I want you to be there to help them finish what weve started.
And then theres Grayson. He has his uses, but if anything happens to me, I need you to take care of him in a way that ensures he wont be a threat to everything weve achieved.
Im trusting you with a great deal here possibly the future of the G-Kings themselves but I think I know enough about you to know you wont let me down.
Item Category Cost Rating Lipstick Snarl Unlocks $0 0 Asian Dragon Unlocks $0 0 Unlock: Dance Punk Unlocks $0 0 Unlock: Dance Robot Unlocks $0 0 Calligraphy Curl 3 Unlocks $0 0 Stackable Cube Unlocks $0 0 Half Cube Unlocks $0 0 Cube Unlocks $0 0 Speech Bubble Unlocks $0 0 Thought Bubble Unlocks $0 0 Cloud 1 Unlocks $0 0 Cloud 2 Unlocks $0 0 Drop 1 Unlocks $0 0 Drop 2 Unlocks $0 0 Cone Flash Unlocks $0 0 Line Flash Unlocks $0 0 Angles 1 Unlocks $0 0 Angles 2 Unlocks $0 0 Angles 7 Unlocks $0 0 Angles 5 Unlocks $0 0 Angles 3 Unlocks $0 0 Angles 4 Unlocks $0 0 Angles 6 Unlocks $0 0 Bullet Hole 2 Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 1 Unlocks $0 0 Interference Waves Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 5 Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 4 Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 3 Unlocks $0 0 Line work 2 Unlocks $0 0 Tilde Unlocks $0 0 Poop Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 2 Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 4 Unlocks $0 0 Line Work 5 Unlocks $0 0 Male Pictogram Unlocks $0 0 Cloth Sack Unlocks $0 0 Female Pictogram Unlocks $0 0 Glasses Unlocks $0 0 Trucker Cap Unlocks $0 0 Open Hand Unlocks $0 0 Bare Footprint Unlocks $0 0 Figure Unlocks $0 0 Male Eye Unlocks $0 0 Female Eye Unlocks $0 0 Female Head Unlocks $0 0 Male Head Unlocks $0 0 Floppy Disk Unlocks $0 0 Money Unlocks $0 0 TV Unlocks $0 0 Short Chain Clothing $990 0 Short Chain Clothing $1,990 0 Epinephrine Injector Consumable Items $0 0 Med Spray Consumable Items $0 0 Boom Box Consumable Items $0 0 Resupply Box (Large) Consumable Items $0 0 Mobile Cover Consumable Items $0 0 Satchel Charge Consumable Items $0 0
Subject Biography: Bishada
Bishada is a Japanese sports car manufacturer based in Osaka. Founded by Shoji Bishada in 1932 the company began by manufacturing track racing cars for Japan's first national racing team. Determined to revolutionise the sport of motor racing, Shoji re-engineered his cars on an almost daily basis and soon made great advances. Within three years his innovative engine designs, along with an elegant design aesthetic derived from his aerodynamics research, had created what many later saw as the future of Formula One. Bishada's exceptional drivers and revolutionary automobiles went on to win most of the major racing championships for years to come. In 1948, Bishada started creating street legal vehicles - fast, beautiful cars with a reputation for excellence. Their magnificent styling paired with exceptional engineering soon created the ultimate status symbol for the rich and wealthy - a must-have car to both own and drive. Bishada is now one of the top 10 most valuable brands worldwide, with a merchandise line that includes exclusive clothing, perfume, eye-wear, cell phones, and even firearms. The company has offices in most major countries. In San Paro, Bishada maintains a national headquarters and show-rooms in Havalynd, along with import offices and a car freight yard on Waterfront.
Midtown is where it all gets messy. A slop-tray of immigrant cultures mixing and swirling in the crowded streets. This is where rich and poor collide, an access point for the upwardly mobile, and a rainbow diversion for the street bourgeoisie. The money here is wild; it plays dirty and it plays 'til dawn.
On the surface the whole district is a chaos of factions and fire fights, but underpinning this is a feudal map of courts and courtiers which can surprise with its sophistication. Diplomacy is the last thing you'd expect to find in these violent streets, but it's here, born from a patchwork history of co-habitation and co-dependence between different communities united in nothing else but the need to survive.
Up until the mid-nineteenth century, San Paro was still relatively compact, a colourful trading hub with a strong maritime tradition. It was only with the arrival of the machine age that the city started to distend and mutate and take on a darker shade. Factories rose on the banks of the Makoda, breathing in the rural populations from the agricultural heartlands, and exhaling gouts of foul smoke and ash. San Paro increased in size, fed by a burgeoning rail network and a constant supply of steamers and schooners bringing folks of all points and persuasions. The population spilled out across the plain. The new people had no money; they brought their strength and their hope, crammed into the cheap housing spreading like a stain south of the city centre.
By the early twentieth century, Midtown was soaking up some of the new middle-class overspill, families who could afford to live comparatively well, but for whom the Concession was a stretch too far. It was then that the old brownstones were built, the smart terrace apartments north of Derrick. The new money had a civilizing effect; there were restaurants and delicatessens, a cinema and the grandiose Vincenzi Opera House. The northern quarter is still a decent place to live, but it's duller now; the shine has worn off. Some of the community businesses remain, but many have folded or moved away, tired of paying protection, or victim to a death by slow bleeding.
South of Derrick, the atmosphere changes. There are conspicuous glints of gun-metal. No-one's smiling. The blocks south past Westin and Green are traditional gang turf. This is where the Rain started out all those years previous, hustling in the filthy backstreets, where the poor folks are crowded into battery blocks, piled on top of each other 'til they're ready to kill just for the quiet of it.
At the heart of the district lies the electronics enclave of Denkiba. By day it looks like any other ramshackle pitch of huckster alleys and emporia. Traders cast their nets, cheap parts spill out onto the street. Come sundown the place lights up like a fairground ride. Where there were rusted old shutters, there are suddenly arcades, and the streets emerge from afternoon grey in a kaleidoscope of bleeping colours.
Running south-east from there is what many consider Midtown proper. Green Street is a melting pot of hipsters, scumbags, anarchists, a weft to the warp of the law-abiding masses. Ostensibly controlled by Red Rain, but there's too much human flotsam running through here for them to police, so they content themselves with skimming the trade. A man can get anything he wants on these streets, if he knows the right people.
Continue east and you hit Bankside, site of the old hospital, but more famous for its shopping and for San Paro's largest concentration of nightclubs. Satori Strip is just another place to get shot, a grey stretch of cheap retail, fraying at the edges. But like Denkiba, it comes to life as the light drains from the evening sky. Its edges are scratched out in neon; the peacocks strut and the street hums with the sprung tension of a thousand cocked and loaded firearms.
There's still money in Midtown. The blocks overlooking Rotunda still carry some of the boho chic they did when the rich university kids were getting political back in '68. Outposts of suburban comfort lurk unexpectedly, away from the main drag, such as the Birches out by the campus or Letsby Court in Pocket. But even on the good streets, where the weapons are mostly concealed, there are protocols, and if you want to live, you'll learn to respect them.
Level Name 15 Most Valuable G-King (20 Joker Tickets)
The G-Kings are expanding. We're looking for brave men and women to take the lead in our community. We need people that are valuable to both the organization and to individual operations. <col: Yellow>Become MVP once</col> and we'll see if youre a leader.
Be MVP <col:yellow>Once.</col>
15 Nothing Personal (0 Joker Tickets)
Its just business. Go out, <col: Yellow>kill 15 Enforcers in a streak</col> for a reward. Its nothing personal.
Reach a Kill Streak of <col: Yellow>15.</col>
15 Celebrity Status (0 Joker Tickets)
Probably the best way to become famous is by being good at something - the easiest way is with a sextape and I don't think you're cut out for that. <col: Yellow>Earn MVP 3 times in a streak</col> and you'll get on the Effigy front cover.
Get MVP <col: Yellow>3</col> in a row.
15 Office Politics (0 Joker Tickets)
I need someone to show the naysayers that we're capable of winning and capable of doing it repeatedly. <col: Yellow>Win 5 missions in a row</col> to give me some ammo in the board room and help me shut them up.
Win <col:yellow>5</col> missions in a row.
15 Old School Kicks (20 Joker Tickets)
For all my talk of being a businessman there's always one thing that it comes back to: the bread and butter of putting people on the ground. <col: Yellow>Hit a kill streak of 5.</col>
Achieve a Kill Streak of <col: Yellow>5.</col>