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.
Subject Moving on and moving up
Thanks for everything youve done, even if Im disappointed that you turned down what we talked about. Arlons a great guy, and Im sure you probably made the right decision. At least for the moment. Hes achieved wonderful things. Its just a pity that everything were building here will ultimately pass into the hands of one of his brats.
They say talent skips a generation I refer you to the Benjamin children as proof.
If you ever reconsider, you know where I am.
Just so you know.
I've been checking out your story. People tell me you're the real thing. So far, I like what Ive seen.
Don't know what you've been told, but the only person I answer to is Mr. Benjamin himself. One of his brats may run things one day, but that days hopefully a long way off yet.
In the meantime, Im calling the shots, as regards the day-to-day running of the organization. Feel free to bear that in mind at all times.
Re: last nights Kiki Monroe
I know you were probably out shooting someone, so I guess you probably missed Justin Teng on the Kiki Monroe Show last night, trying to sell his vision of a Praetorian utopia to the masses.
He was a jumped-up control freak years ago when I worked for him, and nothings changed. Shit, and he has the nerve to still call himself a free market capitalist in the classic Friedman model?
Do me a favor; next time youre out there, waste a couple of his expensive rent-a-cops for me. Thatll teach the little bastard to have fired me when he did.
You know, you and I should get to know each other better. I get the feeling youre not going to be on this bandwagon forever, and you never know when a friendly contact elsewhere might come in useful.
Seriously, we should go out and party. All at my expense, naturally. Arlon pays me so much money its almost embarrassing, and Ive got to spend it on something.
I know some crazy places, including this members-only club in the Concession, where you can... Ah, but that would be telling. Its more fun finding out for yourself...
I imagine youre more of an Effigy reader, so you probably missed the piece on the new financial frontier in the Havalynd Journal last week. The new frontiers crime, of course, although they couldnt quite come out and say it.
Thats where all the virgin territory is, and where the pioneers are heading.
Crimes just the last word in deregulation, freeing up the market to give people whatever they most need.
Feels better knowing youre a ground-breaking pioneer, doesnt it?
Item Category Cost Rating Zombie Arms Unlocks $0 0 Evil Sun Unlocks $0 0 Unlock: Smoke Unlocks $0 0 Calligraphy Squiggle 1 Unlocks $0 0 Calligraphy Squiggle 2 Unlocks $0 0 Simple Flourish 1 Unlocks $0 0 Simple Flourish 2 Unlocks $0 0 Simple Flourish 3 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 2 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 7 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 12 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 13 Unlocks $0 0 Jagged Flourish 2 Unlocks $0 0 Jagged Flourish 1 Unlocks $0 0 Twisted Flourish 3 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 4 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 5 Unlocks $0 0 Flourish 11 Unlocks $0 0 Butterfly Navel Piercing Clothing $200 0 Diamond Navel Piercing Clothing $1,990 0 Oblong-frame Glasses Clothing $1,500 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: Geography (Part 2)
San Paro Old Money makes its home in the Concession. They're mostly Asians and Europeans, but the only real passports you need to gain access to this secluded and privileged world are wealth and discretion. The basis of many of the San Paro Old Money family fortunes were built on the profits from piracy, slavery and various kinds of smuggling and trading in illicit contraband, so they don't complain much now that San Paro New Money - i.e. organised crime - has moved into the neighbourhood, as long as the new arrivals keep the noise down and conduct their business well away from home.
You can see the quiet boulevards and walled mansions of the Concession from across Central Park, from the condos and townhouse rooftops of well-to-do Virginia Gardens, where San Paro's not quite wealthy enough and not quite powerful enough reside. Corporate CEOs and majority shareholders live in the Concession. Their lawyers, tax accountants and divisional vice-presidents live in Virginia Gardens, where, at the rounds of the endless dinner and cocktail parties, there are the same endless conversations about the Gardens being so much more happening than the Concession anyway. Fashionably liberal, the Gardens has the highest concentration of San Paro Standard readers in the city. Newcomers from other areas are always welcome, just as long as they're the right kind of newcomers.
Further uptown, there's Montebank, still geographically - if not socially - considered part of 'original' old San Paro. Population shifts decades earlier - the decanting of whole communities from Havalynd as skyscraper construction began marching across the district, the decline of the Waterfront as a working port, an attempted regeneration of Midtown - saw this once prosperous area fill up with the city's poor and jobless. Squeezed between the wealthier (and heavily protected) areas downtown of it, and the outlying areas now filling up with cheap immigrant labour, Montebank became a trap for the people living there. Montebank has the lowest school attendance rates and highest gangs per-square-kilometre figures in the city.
In its boom years, San Paro's factories in Red Hill and its power stations in Cortland Point needed workers, and plenty of them. Cheap immigrant labour - from Africa, from Asia, from Latin America and Eastern Europe (the latter including Luke Waskawi's own father) - flooded into the city to meet its manpower demands. The boom years ended. The city's manufacturing base went into terminal decline. A lot of the factories and power stations are gone. The people who worked in them are still there, forming a large and disaffected part of the population of these areas. In Red Hill, Russian - not Korean or Spanish - is now the second most commonly spoken language, after English. In Cortland Point, graffiti appears in half a dozen or more different Asian languages - everything from Cantonese to Sanskrit.
The Yard is the newest area of San Paro, a vast urban sprawl built to house the immigrant overspill and those traditional San Parians forced out of their traditional neighbourhoods by a combination of urban decay, rising crime, gentrification-led spiralling rents and population decanting to make way for urban reconstruction. The ideal was to create a new Outer San Paro. The reality was far different. Left more or less unpoliced by a shrinking SPPD, the Yard became a patchwork collection of warring communities, as each ethnic group or immigrant population clustered together for self-protection, while at the same time usually preying on their neighbours. San Paro's polyglot culture disastrously breaks down in the Yard, where all the city's constituent groups - with the obvious absence of the wealthy - are crammed together and at each other's throats.
As Mikko Wong once wrote in the San Paro Standard: "Ever wonder what San Paro's going to look like in the future? You don't need a time machine - just ride a bus out to the Sprawl and see for yourself. Then get the hell out of there as fast as you can, and start worrying what's going to happen when that future's happening right outside your front door."
Nulander (originally Nulander Fabrication) initially specialised in the manufacture of machine tools, before moving into auto-fabrication. Based in Round Rock, Austin Texas, Nulander is a relative newcomer to automobile construction, only starting to produce their SUVs in 1993. Their first model was an international sensation after Albrecht Schmitz (the famous German body builder turned actor) featured a convoy of the SUVs in his 1995 action blockbuster: Future Robot War III, and then bought three of them following filming. Having invested heavily in the quality, design, and manufacturing of their off-road vehicles, Nulander steadily diversified its product ranges and began to sell to international markets in 2003. In 2008, the company merged with Agonika to leverage the latter's powerful engines and sophisticated engineering. The vehicles released in 2009 are a strong new image for Nulander, and a massive mainstream success, overtaking the models of their much larger international competitors.
Name Stages Final Stage DR. BORIOUS'S SNAKE OIL 5 Escort NOT IN MY BACKYARD 6 Delivery REPO RACERS 5 TerritoryControl OBJECTION! 4 Escort GUN-KINGS 5 Escort GUN RUN GANG 3 TakeOverDeathmatch EVERYBODY COMES TO RICK'S 4 TerritoryControl EXEC EXPRESS 4 TerritoryControl DIRT ON THE DEPARTMENT 6 Delivery JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED 6 Delivery BOX-LOCK AND .52 BARREL 6 Delivery BURN TO EARN 4 TakeOverDeathmatch AN EXPLOSIVE TRIAL 6 Deathmatch IN, OUT, SPRAY IT ALL ABOUT 4 TakeOverDeathmatch TOUGH LOVE 5 Deathmatch SEA MIST 4 TakeOverDeathmatch THE HOBBY HOODS 6 Deathmatch A TAX ATTACK 6 TakeOverDeathmatch CREME DE LA CRIME 10 Delivery MAKING A RACKET 5 TerritoryControl FAMILY FUN DAY 4 TakeOverDeathmatch STEREO TYPES 5 MovingTarget GOODY GUNDROPS 5 Deathmatch MAH-JONG MONEY 4 Delivery ELECTRICAL FAULT 5 TakeOverDeathmatch DIRTY WHITE COLLARS 5 MovingTarget POP3 A CAP 5 TakeOverDeathmatch THE CUCKOLD STRIKES BACK 3 TakeOverDeathmatch BUTTON MASHERS 3 MovingTarget UP THE ARSENAL 5 TerritoryControl LET US SPRAY 4 TerritoryControl I AM NOT A CROOK 6 Deathmatch TASTYBURGER BANDIT 5 Deathmatch EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY 7 TakeOverDeathmatch BAD INVESTMENT 6 Delivery DON'T DRINK THE WATER 3 MovingTarget THERE'S NO EYE IN TEAM 5 Delivery SHOCK FOR THE JOCK 3 TakeOverDeathmatch A DISH BEST SERVED COLD 3 TakeOverDeathmatch THE BIG SCOOP 5 TerritoryControl THAT TV'S BIGGER THAN MY HOUSE 5 TerritoryControl RUSSIAN REGRETS 4 TakeOverDeathmatch OPAL ROUTES 5 MovingTarget OPEN AND SHUT CASE 5 MovingTarget
Level Name 10 Take a Dump (15 Joker Tickets)
Alright, bawbag? Job in Waterfront needs something a bit heavier. Get out there, nick <col: Yellow>5 dump truck's</col> and hand them in to a <col: Yellow>chop shop</col> for shipping around the city. Cheers, pal.
Deliver <col: Yellow>5</col> Dump Truck's to a Chop Shop.
10 Grade A Security (15 Joker Tickets)
Alright, bawjaws? Gwan do your ol' pal Grayson a solid? I owe money to the sort of people that you don't wanna owe a pint tae. Can you lift <col: Yellow>5 Security Vans</col> and drop them off at a <col: Yellow> chop shop</col> for me? Magic.
Deliver <col: Yellow>5</col> Security Van's to a Chop Shop.
10 False Economy (15 Joker Tickets)
Alright, numpty bollocks? We've got a front that runs taxis but someone keeps stealing all our cabs. Can you get out there and steal <col: Yellow>5 taxi's and bring them to a chop shop?</col> I cant believe people keep stealing our taxi's, five at a time...
Deliver <col: Yellow>5</col> Taxi's to a Chop Shop.
10 TV Fort (25 Joker Tickets)
I'm building a TV fort. It's exactly what it sounds like. Get out there and <col: Yellow>deliver 5 TV's</col> to me. Even the best of forts started small but between you and every other freak out there, I'll have enough for a scale replica of Forche Bank.
Deliver <col: Yellow>5</col> TV's to a fence.
10 Small Theft Auto (15 Joker Tickets)
Scrap metal's huge in China right now. I wanna test the waters with the market. Get out there and <col: Yellow>steal and drop-off 8 cars</col> for me to ship over there as scrap. I'm sure once we file off the numbers under the hood no one'll care.
Deliver <col: Yellow>8</col> vehicles to a Chop Shop.
10 Skint (15 Joker Tickets)
I'm as skint as a snow shoveller in July. Can you <col: Yellow>grab a stash of $1000</col> for me? Ta.
Gather a <col: Yellow>$1000</col> stash.
10 Don't Ask Why (15 Joker Tickets)
Hey can you <col: Yellow>murder 150 pedestrians,</col> film it with a camera and give me the film? I need it for reasons. Don't do more than a hundred and fifty though... any more or less and I can't- you know what? Never mind. Just mow the fuckers down.
Kill <col: Yellow>150</col> pedestrians.