Information's out there, existing all around us, but mostly out of reach. Encrypted and classified, it's beamed out through the ether, invisible but priceless. It's hidden inside computer systems, protected by algorithmic passwords, biodata security checks and anti-hacker logic bomb booby traps, the information age's equivalent of vault doors, guards and electrified fences. San Paro is filled with information. Tax records and property deeds in City Hall. The SPPD's intelligence files and perp sheets. Cargo manifests, shipping schedules and customs intel, all held in the Waterfront's Port Authority. Havalynd is built on the stuff; bank account codes, stock records and investment fund holdings, merger agreements and legal contracts, and the whole myriad of the intensely sensitive economic intel that the corporates jealously keep to themselves.
It's all out there, and an alarming amount of it accessible for those that know where the cracks in the system are.
Byron Bloodrose is one of those who knows the places to start looking, and how to catch the information as it passes by. Sometimes all he gets is fragments of data, but sometimes just a few fragments are all you need.
Technology is one of the things that the Blood Roses are all about - using it and understanding it - but it's really Byron that does most of the backroom work here, providing intel for the gang's signature heist jobs and gathering together the often cutting-edge technology they employ in carrying those jobs out. Often he works closely with Tyron Sennet, Sennet's street contacts providing scraps of information to set Byron on the right e-intel gathering path.
Despite his relatively lowly status in the organisation - he lacks the glamour and predatory instincts that have become the Blood Roses' trademark image, and Jeung naturally likes to foster the impression that it's him who organises and oversees every facet of the heists - Byron's content with his situation and is loyal to Jeung. For now, at least. He and Jeung grew up together - like everyone else, Byron had to be content himself to living in Jeung's shadow - but Jeung has always appreciated Byron's worth to the organisation, and ensures that he's more than adequately compensated when it comes to dividing up the spoils. Byron has concerns about the Blood Roses' longevity, though, wondering if they're rising too fast, too quickly.
The Blood Roses give Jeung the chance to act like the rock star he's always secretly wanted to be, but if he's heading for a traditional rock star burnout, then Byron's determined that he's not going to take the rest of the gang down with him. Byron's worked too long and too hard, always from behind the scenes, to allow that to happen.
If the worst comes to the worst, though.....well, enough of the people that matter in the city's other criminal gangs know who's really the brains behind all those heists, so it's not as if Byron's talents would go unemployed for very long.
Thanks for doing those jobs for me. The others are all so busy worrying about the latest fashions and gadgets that most of them can't be bothered with the work that gets us all those things.
Lucky for them, some of us can. Well, okay mostly just me.
Charlotte goes clubbing, I analyze security systems. Jeungs in Effigy, Im hacking into mainframes. The Furies are out wasting someone, Im at home intercepting emails.
Yeah. I get all the fun stuff.
See you around,
Want a part in my new TV Show?
One good thing about my job; you get to watch the whole circus from the safety of the sidelines.
Jeung cut his cousin Seung out of the limelight, even though Seungs been in this from the beginning. Charlotte and Seung hate each other, so was Seung behind the intel leak that almost got her wasted?
And there used to be another one of the Furies this girl Violet? Only Charlotte got jealous of her and Jeung, and all of a sudden Violet gets wasted in a Tigers ambush.
The Blood Roses: a TV soap based on the lives of the Borgias...
Keep your head down
That was some impressive stuff. Watch out, though; credit for the cool stuff tends to go elsewhere.
Youve met Strega, right? The only fashion that girl should be wearing is a strait-jacket. But it was me that found her when she got kidnapped; tracked down the kidnapping gang by hacking into their comms. But when the storys told now, its Jeung whos the hero.
Still, when the CSA types come calling, who do you think theyre going to be looking for? The crims whove been on the cover of Effigy, or the guy no-ones ever heard of?
Starting to get intel requests about you from further up. That means either the right people are noticing you and are lining you up for bigger things, or the wrong people have noticed you and are lining you up to get wasted.
Got a feeling you got nothing to worry about from Jeung and the boss, though.
Oh wait, you thought Jeung was in charge? Yeah, thats what everyones supposed to think. Look at it this way:
If the Roses were a band, then Jeung would be lead singer. But every bands got a manager too, right?
Congrats and free advice
Hear youre doing well now. Congratulations. But just remember one thing:
Nothing lasts forever, especially in this city.
By my reckoning, the Roses are already beating the odds. A successful gang that deliberately courts so much publicity is eventually going to crash and burn. So get what youre looking for out of it money, fame and then get out before the crash happens.
Thats what Im going to do. Got plenty stashed away, new fake identities set up, and new job offers waiting on me.
No need to worry about old Byron...
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Subject Biography: Agrotech
Agrotech (The Agrotech Company of Tanberia)
In 2005 Slovak officials halted the export of an Apache helicopter gunship from a Slovak repair facility after they determined it was not to be returned to Tanberia, but a terrorist training cell based out of the Caspian Sea. Agrotech - wholly owned by the Tanberian government - had supplied the EUC (End User Certificate), which was later determined to be 'suspect'. In fact, Agrotech is one of many front companies for international arms dealers and their network of associates, including Gore Villad - one of the world's most wanted men. Shipments are paid for using direct bank transfers from government accounts or those of private businesses allied to the government, or in gems - a compact, untraceable method of payment long favoured by gun runners. Purchases between 1990 and 2002 were mainly financed by off-budget spending and sources of revenue that bypass the central bank. Agrotech uses its status to avoid scrutiny and commit embargo violations. It avoids sanctions and supports trafficking by providing endless streams of bogus EUCs, false paper trails, enlists corrupt officials, and government actors, while exploiting weak controls over transportation. Agrotech have been so successful, and so responsive, to the needs of their customers, they have recently reopened several Eastern European weapon plants, mothballed after the collapse of the USSR, using 'black labour' to manufacture their own hybrid weapons to exacting customer specifications.
San Paro comes to life at night, when all the beautiful, dangerous and exotic people come out to play. They congregate together at loud and congested nightclubs along the Satori Strip, at quiet private events inside walled compounds off the quiet boulevard streets of the Concession; at exclusive and glamorous parties and launch events in the clubs around the Needles; in the latest word-of-mouth-only underground clubs held in the basements of derelict Cortland Point power stations or aircraft hangers in Silverfield; in fashionably dingy after-hours joints in Montebank catering to Downtown adventurers on slumming expeditions; at glittering charity ball events in at the Kunst Museum or the Vincenzi Opera House; at expensive and painfully modish Canalside art galleries; at Virginia Gardens rooftop soirees overlooking the Park; at flashmob parties on the San Paro metro and the lobbies of Havalynd corporate headquarters; at Waterfront warehouse clubs and the backstage areas of gig venues.
There's always a party happening someplace. Most of the time, you, I and the rest of the population of San Paro aren't invited.
Status in San Paro is all about getting on the guest list. Getting past the red rope and through the door. Getting ushered through the milling crowds of rubberneckers and past the final and most serious security checks and into the VIP lounge. Many are called, few are chosen. Celebrity is like an unbreakable plate-glass window; the mob on one side, noses pressed against the glass, watching the beautiful people pass serenely by on the other side.
The city's vast choice of clubs, bars and after-hours joints are the few places where you can get up close and personal to them. Or, at least, close enough to blog about it the next day as you share with your handful of readers the deep and meaningful connection you made with Vanessa Seindorf at the entrance to the VIP lounge at End of Daze, just before her bodyguards pushed you out of the way, or what Jada was wearing when you saw her dancing at Cacophony.
Clubs come and go, falling in and out of fashion with the passing trends and the in/out checklists in new monthly issue of Effigy. The Satori Strip, and the streets clustered around it, are one big neon constellation of club-life glamour and partied-out excess. At any one time, half the clubs on the Strip are on their way up, and the other half are on their down, and then, finally, out. Regular Strip-goers face an agony of decisions. Which clubs are the most in this month, and which of them are they most likely to get into? Some clubs are notoriously Faction-specific - Criminal Enterprise, Safari, Pax San Paro, Obsidian - while others, generally neutral, sway between one Faction and the other depending on who's winning the street wars this month. No matter which Faction you might sympathise with, you've got to (sometimes quite literally...) take care which side of the street you're on when you're on the Strip.
Then there's the question of personal safety to consider. That essential vibe of dangerous Urban Edge is always in. Hanging out with - or, at least, being in the same room as - glamorous and dangerous stars of the San Paro street wars is cool. Getting caught up in a full-on nightclub shootout between them and their rivals is considerably less fun. Although it does give you something interesting to blog about the next morning, assuming you survive the experience.
The Strip is street level. There's plenty of similar action happening away from it - new glamour enclaves, like the one now long established on the Waterfront, popping up in Virginia Gardens, Montebank, Red Hill, even out in the Yard - to catch some of the style heat now starting to dissipate away from the Strip. The side-effect of too many Faction shootouts and too many rubbernecking tourists and suburban latecomers hitting the Strip for a night out on the town in big, bad San Paro.
The Needles is definitely non-street. A string of exclusive clubs strung across the upper echelons of Havalynd's most notable cluster of skyscrapers. Executive membership buys you a personal glamour escort through the automatic weapon-toting security force deployed at ground level on club nights and a keycard to the private elevators that blast you up dozens of floors to the eternal parties in the sky. The Needles clubs are brilliantly lit up at night. Glittering palaces in the sky, clearly visible all across the city. The point, though, isn't to draw in new customers; it's to remind the rest of the city that there's always a bigger and better party going on somewhere else, and one they're not invited to.
Name Stages Final Stage GANGLAND ANNEXATION 4 TerritoryControl STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD 4 Bombing THE ARTISTRY OF THE SPRAYCAN 3 Graffiti NO SERVICE? NO STORE! 4 Graffiti SPARE WHEELS 4 MovingTarget CASH FOR CLUNKERS 4 TerritoryControl R. O. A. R. 3 Graffiti WAR OF THE WAGGLE 4 Escort ALL IN A TWIZZY 5 Escort CONFLAGRATE TO ACCUMULATE 4 TerritoryControl THE BIG CONTE 5 TerritoryControl DOUGH FOR THE DOORMAN 5 MovingTarget DINNER DATE 4 TerritoryControl IT'S A STEAL! 5 Deathmatch BLIND JUSTICE 4 Graffiti DELIVER THE LIVER 5 MovingTarget LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME 4 TakeOverDeathmatch PAY UP OR BLOW UP 6 Deathmatch TIGER TROUBLE 5 Deathmatch THE PRICE OF FAME 5 MovingTarget POWDER TRAIL 3 Deathmatch POP3 A CAP 5 TakeOverDeathmatch KLEPTOMANIA 5 TerritoryControl A BLOOD ROSE WITH A BADGE 5 TerritoryControl DO THE GAS CASH MASH 4 MovingTarget CRYING OVER SPILT MAGNESIUM 5 Delivery SPRAY TO PLAY 3 TerritoryControl
Level Name 10 Seeing Red (10 Joker Tickets)
Enforcers are rolling up on my shit. Get out there, pull a <col: Yellow>shotgun</col> on them turn <col: Yellow>4<col> of those fuckers into a fine red mist. Up close and personal, like.
Kill <col: Yellow>4<col> enemies with your shotgun.