Prentiss has always been about as far away from Brett Donavans hemisphere of happiness as its possible to be. Privilege never sat well with him, maybe because he left it all behind the moment he entered foster care, maybe because he saw for himself how the rest of the world lived without it, and maybe because, even at a young age, it all felt misplaced somehow: a happy ending right at the beginning of the story.
Its just the way things are for you now, Bretty, his father once told him. Your mother moves in powerful circles these days. We can afford to live safe. Thats why we moved to Prentiss.
They did what all responsible parents did. They chose the best neighbourhood for their boy in the hope he would live happily ever after, that every night would bring him sweet dreams. And for a while, Brett Donavan slept just as soundly as any seven year old boy should.
Turn the page and the story really begins back when the sleepless nights started.
A ten-year-old Brett Donavan came home from school one evening and spent the whole night sitting in front of the TV, waiting for mom and dad to get home. By nine oclock he was worried. By midnight he knew they werent coming. He stayed close to the light, to the glow of the TV screen, watching the news chopper flying out over Waterfront, the beige saloon car being dragged from the sea. There were Port Authority cops everywhere. Yellow tape. Bloodstains on the floor. A sheet covering a body. And then another. And Brett thought to himself: Hey, that looks just like our car&
For eight years afterward, he barely slept. He came to know life in the foster care system. It was ok. Nothing bad to report. No stereotyped beatings or alcoholic guardians to contend with. Nothing in fact. Nothing to rebel against. Nothing to aspire to. No maidens to rescue. No vampires to stake. No plot at all. And so Brett grew up in a kind of daze, wondering where there story was leading him, wondering why he couldnt connect with it any more.
At 18, the navy brought him the chapter he needed, a whole cast of characters to connect with. He didnt need a kind ear, or a stable home, what he needed was purpose and the discipline instilled within him to see it done. He needed to pick up a sword and go out and slay dragons. And that was exactly what the marines gave him.
The sword they chose was an Agrotech DMR-SD. Turned out he was a devil with it a true sniper master. Hero extraordinaire. Devil dog, the unit called each other when things were going good. After a time they began to stop using it amongst themselves, and Brett Donovan earned the title all to himself. They said he was destined for great things. Even the SEALs had their eye on him. But when was he ever that lucky?
A year or two later: boom! A fluke shot from an enemy unit. Snipers had him pinned down in his position, more or less, cooped up in a desert shack, the sun beating down so hard it was like lying inside a clay oven. Hed been in there for three hours, dehydrating a little more with each minute, his mouth as dry and course as sandpaper, but his focus unmoving. The bad guys had been waiting for about the same duration, far across the way in some shelled-out high rise, moving from one shadowy window to the next, trying to get a bead on him. They kept trying all afternoon, but they never did find him. Too bad the same couldnt be said for the mortars.
Skip forward a few pages, past the stay in a military hospital, past the honourable discharge. Almost as far as now: Chapter 2011.
Devil Dog is back in San Paro, looking for a new purpose. No sign of a happy ending in his sights so far. Hes searching for someone in particular. A guy named Byeong Lee one of his old Drill Sergeants buddies, apparently. If the rumours are anything to go by, the old cop could use a guy like Devil Dog, even though he doesnt hear so well these days. And the headaches havent gone away.
He spends a few weeks in Prentiss. Down by the sea, trying to find that spot from the news all those years ago. He does. It looks just the same, minus the blood and shell casings. Maybe one or two& He doesnt hear the roar of the Bishada until its almost passing him. He turns back in time to see some vampish lunatic with pink bunches leaning out of the window in a red crop top and firing a fully-automatic, scoped N-Tec at a Patriot Jericho with the word Tigers down the side of it.
Nearby, an old dude watches them speed off. Poor assholes dont stand a chance, he says. Just making it up as they go along. Back in the day, we got trained before went to war. Cant just pick up a gun and call yourself a hero, you know?
Devil dog smiles to himself. Beneath the burn scars his face still smarts a bit.
No, he agrees. But then, even heroes have to make things up as they go&
Level Item Category Cost Rating 2 Radar Jammer Modifications $60,000 195 3 Valzipram Tablets Modifications $60,000 195 4 Balkan Varzuga 354 E Vehicles $50,000 85 5 Tagger Modifications $60,000 195 6 Hockey Mask Plain Clothing $0 0 6 Hockey Mask Plain Clothing $0 0 6 +5 Clothing Inventory Space Capacity $1,000,000 0 7 Muzzle Brake (Horizontal) Modifications $60,000 195 8 Balkan Ravan 204 E Vehicles $50,000 85 9 DevilDog's First Try Themes $0 0 9 +2 Themes Inventory Space Capacity $400,000 0 10 Low-Yield Fragmentation Grenade Weapons $0 195 11 +2 Songs Inventory Space Capacity $400,000 0 12 Dolton Broadwing D 410 Vehicles $300,000 85 13 Hard Landing Modifications $60,000 195 14 Colby M-1922 Mk2 Weapons $13,500 195 15 Brick Modifications $60,000 0 16 +2 Vehicles Inventory Space Capacity $400,000 0 17 Nulander Pioneer Q133 Vehicles $400,000 85 18 Mobility Sling Modifications $60,000 195 19 Patriot V20 Super 3A Vehicles $400,000 85 20 Cisco JX04 "DevilDog" Vehicles $150,000 195 20 N-TEC 5 'Crim-Slayer' Stock Weapons $22,650 195 20 Crim Slayer Unlocks $0 0 20 "DevilDog" Elbowpads Clothing $500 0 20 "DevilDog" Kneepads Clothing $500 0 20 "DevilDog" Mask Clothing $1,000 0 20 "DevilDog" Tactical Vest Clothing $1,000 0 20 "DevilDog" Rifleman Config Clothing $500 0 20 "DevilDog" Elbowpads Clothing $500 0 20 "DevilDog" Kneepads Clothing $500 0 20 "DevilDog" Mask Clothing $1,000 0 20 "DevilDog" Tactical Vest Clothing $1,000 0 20 "DevilDog" Rifleman Config Clothing $500 0
Subject Dont think I really introduced myself&
So& yeah, I dont really go in for all this email shit. Too busy, you know? But Orlenz said I should reach out, so whatever&
Names Brett& but until were on first name terms, I go by the handle Devil Dog its a marine thing.
Joined up with the Tigers awhile back, and Byeong liked what I brought to the table I got a load of combat experience, yadda yadda, marine sniper etc. so I guess he wants some of that to rub off on you. I told him that Im only interested in working with experienced enforcers, though. Send me the best and Ill see what I can do.
Looks like youre it.
Ill have my eye on you& especially if youre passing by Mist. Swing by and we can chat whenever you want.
Oh, and now that youre working for me Im bringing you into the circle of trust. Weve got some experimental gear coming down the line, which we wouldnt hand out to the rookies. Ive been asked to play scout master up in Havalynd, you know, hand out all the cookies to the good boys and girls. Lucky me.
Anyway (damn, these emails get long fast), you do good work out there, and Ill make sure to pass some of that on to you. In the meantime, Im sending you a Radar Jammer. Does exactly what youd think. Very useful if you find yourself needing to move to a new perch.
See you around.
New dog, old trick.
So Ive sent you some Valzipram pills. They used to hand these out to all us snipers back in the day. Guess the idea was to keep us calm in battle, but they didnt work worth a shit. Same turmoil in the head and guts, but lighter in the body. Waste of fucking time. Avoid COFFEE: same effect for a sniper and with none of the funky dreams.
Back in his boxing days, though, my buddy Rico used to pop a couple of these babies before a fight (wasnt the kind of gig that did drugstests, if you know what Im saying). Youd be amazed how much blunt force trauma he could take afterward. Seriously. You couldnt have knocked that guy out if youd wrapped a Colby CSG around his head! He said the pills eased the tension. Stopped his muscles from tearing. His theory anyway. Go figure.
Anyway it got me thinking& the roads are crazy out here. We lose so many rookies on the hoods of Bishadas, its like they should be advertising kill stats just to make crims buy more of the damn things. I know its a long shot, but fuck it, maybe these pills will help you out when youre on patrol.
Up to you.
Remember that Varzuga shipment that went missing a few months back? Guess what? They turned up.
Too late to go back to the manufacturers now since the insurance paid out already. Weve been asked to keep it on the down-low mustve been profitable for the suits. Anyway, Orlenz people are auctioning them off for the PT ordinance fund. He says hes got something in mind. Some new comms gear for sharpshooters. Cant wait. Didnt bother to tell him that was an idea I suggested last month.
Fuck it. Hes a nice guy nall but hes a bit of dick dontcha think? Kinda conceited sometimes.
Meh. Maybe I just have a chip on my shoulder. Wonder why&
Anyway, if you need a new car I can get you a decent price. Fucking roomy as hell and none of the molded plastic shit in the trunk so you can equip it with all kinds of fun stuff.
I spy with my little eye&
Feel a bit bad about ragging on Orlenz in that last mail. Turns out he came through for us.
Im sending you a Tagger mod. They took my prototype and started mass-production. Works like a charm, just point and shoot. If you hit anyone, itll be communicated to the rest of your team so they can mop up a quick kill. Hard to know which bad guy to aim at sometimes, isnt it?
This should go a long way.
You passed by my scope a little while back. Dude, you should think about investing in some new clothes. Some days you might as well have a fucking target strapped to you back. What is it with people in this city? People are either dressed in gold and platinum, twinkling like a bunch of fucking star fairies, or theyre decked out all-black thinking that they look like ninjas. Heres a tip: gray works better at night. Black just makes you into a bigger shadow to aim a gun at.
Like I should talk& You seen how I dress lately? Kinda conspicuous, right? Yeah, well thats so the likes of you can find me. And Im yet to meet a crim that can beat me on the draw.
Tell you what, Im sending you a Plain Hockey Mask like the one I wear. Im happy for you to customize it however you want. So long as its gray.
Guess the pennys starting to drop over at PTHQ. Those muzzle brakes I ordered finally came through.
Vertical recoils waaaay easier to compensate for than horizontal. Im not saying that thisll get rid of it entirely, but itll sure help. Trust me.
If I had a tail Id be wagging it right about now.
Remember those Varzugas a while back? Still a few left btw. So now a shipment of Ravans turns up. Same as before. Barebones factory clean. Oh and no serial numbers to speak of. Once again, the insurance has been paid up, and were instructed to keep it on the down-low.
Call me cynical, but a favors one thing: this is starting to sound a lot like crime.
I told Lee my feelings on it over some Thai food. He just nodded and said hed take care of it, then went back to his Pad Thai. Didnt say another word.
I hope hes not dirty.
Anyway, you want a roomy Ravan cheap, I can fix that for you. Keep and ear to the ground.
Baying at the moon.
So, I got this weird email from Violet. It said:
Guess youre looking for something to hum right about now DevilDog.
Fucking weird or what? I cant figure women out. What does she mean by THAT? Who has she been talking to? Makes me nervous. Doubt I told you this already, but I think shes hot as hell. Makes me feel like a real damn dog when Im around her. Good job there aint any furniture up here for me to hump. j/k
Anyway, I thought itd be funny to compose some catchy tune and mail it to her. Turns out I cant compose worth a shit. Bad idea. Youd better have my theme spaces before I blow my chances with her for good. Shoulda known that music was a dangerous hobby for someone who kills people long-distance for a living.
PS. Keep this between us please.
Some people are idiots. Actually a lot of people.
I ordered another 2 crates of Joker frag grenades. I open them up and guess what? Different grenades. Not the standard issue, but some cheap-ass sweatshop rip-off. These things weigh nothing. And the damage sucks.
Fuckin Darryl gives me this condescending pat on the shoulder and tells me: be more optimistic. WTF? Guess he didnt pick up the hint. Says if theyre so light, I guess we can carry three. Then he laughs like he actually said something funny. Like were at the bad end of a cheap Saturday morning cartoon or something, and me the fluffy creature everyone jokes about!
Sorry, I may be on the fence with Orlenz sometimes, but that Darryl is 100% dickhead. He pats me on the shoulder again, Im gonna see if I cant pat him on that old football injury of his. Prick.
Anyway, Im sending you some of these grenades. Hey, you can carry 3 now! Be optimistic!
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!
*Cue shitty guitar music and roll credits.
Dont you dare&
When I hooked you up with my theme spaces did I attach that tune I was working on by mistake?
DO NOT send that to Violet. You hear? Remember I hooked you up with those spaces. I forgot the song ones too. You can have those.
Just please dont send them to her.
Please let me know you didnt send them.
I wanna puke now.
I havent forgotten about the music thing, but I havent heard anything from Violet yet, so I guess you kept them to yourself. Thanks for that.
Turns out that Byeong wasnt dirty after all. That whole stolen car thing? Apparently the car manufacturers are sick of having their freight intercepted. Its a world problem, not just a San Paro problem, but we think that its been organized down here. Thats why these cars are all so barebones. They dont ship any extras with them to save cost. Someones paying a lot of money to bait this hook. What kind of fish they think theyre gonna catch?
Not my problem, I guess.
Anyway, its Broadwing week this week. Let me know if you got room for one in your lockup. 4 slots. Cash only.
The bigger they are&
When youve spent so much time in the desert and little shanty towns as I have, you forget how tall everything gets in this urban sprawl. I swear my shins are shot to hell from all the dropping from great heights. If I get any shorter theyre gonna start calling me Devil Pup, then that prick Darryl will have a field day. Harrdy fucking harr. Prick.
But what can you do? In this game, we gotta leap before we look sometimes. So far its never been the drop thats been the problem, its been aiming my damn gun afterwards. I swear one time I almost got aced that way. Good job the crim had his safety on.
Anyway I requested something to help us out. This is the result. Your shins will be fucked for sure, but you can nurse them later, once youve taken down the bad guys.
The things we do&
Life is weird.
I swear sometimes life deals me the strangest hands&
The other day I get this call from Mirri Kent. Thats right, Darryl Kunts uptight, but quite hot, sister. Shes got this PR opportunity shes been working for me.
Im like: ok&
She says, have you ever heard of FunFunBox?
Im like: Should I have?
Its a Japanese animation company, she says. They own Paper Box? Youve heard of Popster Go-Go Cats, right?
Atomic Sister Witches Liberty Shock Supply Team?
Am I living in a fucking dream? I say. What was that again?
Work with me&
Lady, I say If I could, I would, but youre speaking another language here.
Come on! You must have seen Ace Star Ponies. Right?
Where do you live all day, Brett?
The names Devil Dog and I live on the roof of a fucking nightclub looking down the scope of a silenced sniper rifle. Whats your fucking question?
That answer rubs her up the wrong way of course, but shes tenacious. She goes on to explain all that Ive been missing in the world of cartoons honestly, what is it about me, the Kent family and Saturday morning cartoons? Anyway, she says watch an episode of Popster Go Go Cats then go buy the comic book and some of the trading cards. I can expense it of course, but just put the effort in. Im like fuck it, anything to end this conversation.
Two neon perfused, seizure-inducing days later, and she calls me back.
Miss Kent, I say, are you fucking with me?
Not at all Bretty. Violet didnt tell you, then?
Tell me what?
About the show?
I feel a chill go up my spine.
Turns out the Prentiss Tigers are a big deal over in Tokyo: theyre copying our whole varsity style, our symbols, the whole thing. Now they want some of us to appear in a cartoon series, and lucky me, guess who they picked?
We sent them your profile, and they loved it. The mask especially. Now theyre talking about your OWN show. Its a total PR jackpot for us. Were talking inexhaustible funding if this goes our way. Youll be a rich man, Brett.
The names Devil Dog, I tell her. And the mask was supposed to be ironic. Its my happy face.
But what can I do? SPs a small city. Only so long you can hide under a desk before someone starts waving doggy treats in your face. A few days later I get
this big pink parcel arriving at my house. Inside it, theres an equipment sling, and a perfectly refurbished Colby M-1922 Mk2! Oh, and a note: Welcome to
the FunFunBox family!!! We much will have enjoyment to work with you Mr Dog!
Somebody put me outta my misery&
What the fuck am I going to do with any of this shit, I think? Thanks a lot FunFunBox!
My apartments kinda small, so I was hoping youd take this gun off my hands. Not my style. AT ALL.
Oh, and mystery solved& Now we know what all the talk of tunes for me to hum was about. Violet knew about this show thing all along. Figured shed fuck
with me about it. Guess Ill be having a theme tune made. And heres me thinking she wanted a piece of the dog!
I should be so fucking lucky.
Enjoy the gear.
The other day&
I dont like to pat myself on the back too much, but the other day I was in my civvies driving through Gresty when this fucking Gking asshole throws a brick through my window. I have these scars, you see. They aint pretty. Not super-fucked-up but, yknow, noticeable to anyone looking to poke fun at the world.
Anyway this brick comes sailing through my windshield and lands on my lap. I do a fucking u turn as fast as I can and stare that asshole down. Dudes standing in the middle of the road like, what up? so Im thinking of 101 ways to end him as well as the assholes that fucking birthed him when I look down at the brick. Lightbulb.
So I slam that thing on the gas and send it right back his way. Im sitting on the road laughing my ass off, and this dudes arm is all bent backwards and hes screaming. Dont suppose hell be throwing any bricks again.
I had this brick made especially for you. You gotta try this. Its my new favourite game.
P.S. looks like the FunFunBox thing is a go. Sigh.
So I got a bigger apartment.
Actually, I kinda bought the whole complex Im starting to like this whole cartoon show thing btw.
Anyways& I didnt write to brag, but theres a parking garage in the basement. Ive attached the details to the mail. The 2 spaces by the champagne fountain are yours.
j/k They aint paying me THAT much. Youll laugh when you see this building. Maybe you can come help me sweep all the piss and needles out of the foyer.
Either way, the 2 parking spaces are yours.
Catcha later buddy.
PT Intranet -- 3 Slot Pioneer
You need a new carrying vehicle, right? This ones the latest in Byeongs list of auction house bargains.
You reckon by the time they actually catch these assholes well be able to buy a private jet from them cheap? A shame they dont manufacture tropical islands. :(
My latest order came through. Mobility Slings for all the good boys and girls. They make it harder to deploy a rifle of course, but theyll make you run and gun like no-bodys business.
Got the demo of the new cartoon show coming through soon. They work hella fast out there, dont they?
Hope I don't regret this...
What am I doing?
So I got my first payment from FunFunBox today. Now Ive got a lead on a new sports car. Top of the line patriot. 3 Slot. Cant decide. They dont have many, though. Reckon I can get one for you too if youre interest. Its a beast of ride.
Im thinking of asking Violet out on a date. I figure shes got her fair share of scars, so Im hoping my facial injuries wont throw her off. What a pair wed make then.
Hmm. Maybe its a bad idea&
Just wanted you to know I got your back. Always.
It recently occurred to me that things started going great pretty much as soon as you turned up on the scene. Im starting to wonder if its not a coincidence. Dont know what youve been doing out there. Maybe youre pulling strings. Maybe youre just a lucky leprechaun or something. Anyway, whatever it is, you keep me focused on the task at hand. And we have an important job to do, dont we?
Sorry if I got carried away with the whole cartoon thing. Its been doing real well, but Im gonna leave it there, I think. Mirri Kents been hassling me with all sorts of interesting opportunities. Told her Im NOT interested in any of em.
G-O-O-O-O FUCK YOURSELVES TIGERS!
So, its another day on the job. Stopping bad guys. Slaying dragons. Slaying crims. Cant believe I let myself get so distracted. Thanks for setting a good example.
Im selling off most of my goodies from FunFunBox. I'm sending a bunch your way. You totally deserve it dude. I've got plans for the rest. Theres an orphanage I used to stay in when I was a kid that could do with a facelift. Thats gotta be better than all the bling and glamor in the world, right?
I asked Violet out. She hasnt said no yet.
Hasnt said 'yes' either.
Maybe you could put a word in?
See you around.
Item Category Cost Rating 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
Name Stages Final Stage CHOP SHOP 5 TerritoryControl DIRTY BUSINESS 4 Delivery SOME CONVENIENT PROOF 5 MovingTarget THE HIDDEN MENACE 8 BombDisposal INTELLIGENCE GATHERING 5 Escort COLD CASE CHECK UP 4 TerritoryControl PINEAPPLE COCKTAIL 6 Delivery LONNY DORENGO IS CRAZY 6 Delivery CASH ON THE CURB 5 Delivery FIRE AND BRIMSTONE 5 Deathmatch BOOKIE ON THE RUN 5 Delivery BUGS AND DRUGS 7 Delivery INTERNAL AFFAIRS 6 TerritoryControl UNDERCOVER RUNNER 7 MovingTarget COVER UP 4 TerritoryControl DARING DEEDS 5 Deathmatch EXPLOSIVE MATERIAL 4 Delivery BUGGING OUT 4 MovingTarget CARD-HACK ARREST 7 TerritoryControl POLITICAL FAVOR 6 MovingTarget DIAL-A-DETONATOR 6 Delivery BANG FOR YOUR BUCK 7 TerritoryControl CAUGHT 'NAPPING 8 Delivery MANILA VICE 6 MovingTarget DEFUSING THE SITUATION 3 TakeOverDeathmatch RAID AND RECOVERY 5 MovingTarget ON THE FENCE 4 TakeOverDeathmatch SEEK AND DEFUSE 4 Deathmatch PICKUP PICK-UP 5 TakeOverDeathmatch PAINTING THE APOCOLYPSE 4 Deathmatch DIVIDE AND CONQUER 5 Delivery FEELING INSECURE 3 TakeOverDeathmatch SAFEHOUSE CALLS 4 MovingTarget URANIUM IS SHOWING 4 TakeOverDeathmatch THREATENING CALLS 5 TerritoryControl IMMIGRANT STORY 4 TerritoryControl FORT KNOX HARD KNOCKS 6 Delivery
Level Name 20 Feel Like Jammin' (25 Joker Tickets)
As a sniper you shouldnt be getting close enough for them to spot you but sometimes you cant help it. Equip your <col: Yellow>radar jammer and jam 5 enemies radar.</col> Seriously, no one sees it coming. It's hilarious.
Jam <col: Yellow>5</col> Criminals.
20 The Other Kind of Tag (25 Joker Tickets)
A sniper can't be expected to do everything themselves which means, occasionally, we need a little bit of help. That's where Tagger comes in. It marks people for execution at long range. <col:yellow>Go tag 10 Criminals with Tagger.</col>
Tag <col: Yellow>10</col> Criminals.
20 SPORTS CLICHES! (25 Joker Tickets)
Hey! Put on your game face, get some war paint on and do some other really cliché jock shit. Look, I don't give a fuck? Daddy's tired and wants to see you <col: Yellow>kill 8 Criminals with a Sniper Rifle.</col> Now fuck off before my hangover turns violent.
Kill <col: Yellow>8</col> Criminals with a Sniper Rifle.
20 Up Close And Personal (0 Joker Tickets)
I keep tellin people that I can fuck them up if they get close too. I can use a SNR to kill twenty guys before lunch. See if you can do better. <col: Yellow>Kill 25 Criminals</col> with a <col: Yellow>Snub Nose Revolver.</col>
Kill <col: Yellow>25</col> Criminals with a Snub Nose Revolver