Grayson Fell - All Points Bulletin

Grayson Fell

Grayson Fell was a corporate fixer, a middleman, Mr.Ten-percent. Ask anybody two tiers above or below, and he had little importance in the food chain; he didn't put up his own money, he didn't fight, he certainly nurtured no principles to speak of. But that would only be half the truth; because it was men like Fell who made things happen, because sometimes, when the wheels are coming off or the path ahead is unclear, what's needed more than anything else is a dose of raw greed.

He had a middle-class upbringing, went to a good school. His parents were achievers, his older brother too. Since boyhood, as long as he could remember, he'd been living in a slight chill of shadow. He wasn't a bad student, but he got sick of hearing his brother's name. Early on, he made what he subconsciously recognized as a logical false step; you don't really try, you don't really fail.

The world wasn't waiting for him, he hadn't played the game sufficiently well, so when he was finally out adrift, he had to work twice as hard. His Damascene moment came after his father died, in an enormous office of panelled oak; the lawyer's monotone couldn't mask the voice of condemnation booming from beyond the grave, damning him with an empty legacy.

He learned to hustle, to bat away refusal, to burrow hard for the tasty grubs. Through difficult years he built up his contact list, got a reputation for touching the deals no-one else would. In a town as dirty as San Paro, that wasn't such a bad reputation to have.

Somewhere in there he got his heart broken, and his response to that was petulant. He blamed women, all of them, for his inadequacies, and he knew that was wrong too. He was still willing to pay, risking the kerbs in Trasket and Sendlow; cheap and rough, all he told himself he deserved.

Nobody liked him. He didn't much like himself. But then it wasn't him they were buying, it was his little black book. He had no idea where Mr. Benjamin got his name. Didn't want to know. Late night call, he could hear the subtle disruptive pattern of the scrambler kicking in; expensive, enough to get his interest. They didn't speak for long. It was a strange gig, but the figures washed away any hesitation he might have felt.

Couldn't figure the old man out, playing anarchist at that age, but the guy had chips for the game; both barrels loaded with cash, enough to lever the good stuff, black market weapons from Jericho in Pocket. Minus ten percent.

He'd approached the G-Kings. He knew it wasn't going to be easy. He was a suit, after all, and these kids had no interface with suits, except to withdraw cash, impromptu and illegal. They scared the shit out of him. That kid Zombie was built to destroy; wide as a car and painted up for dealing pain. But when he showed them the weapons, he saw the light in their eyes. All they had to do was plant a bomb under Havalynd, and send those military spooks back to the country.

That was the start of it. Now Fell was earning the best money of his life. And to reach it he'd waded neck-deep into someone else's war. Mr. Benjamin set him up in a secure location out at Merchant Park, got these punk kids watching his back 24/7. Praetorian had him on their list. Too late for second thoughts; he was in it for keeps.

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