"Too many jarheads and cops'' was the end conclusion of the extensive (and expensive) focus group report that Justin Teng commissioned into public perceptions of the Praetorians. The report had a point: professionals like Saul Linklater, Miguel Estebano, Grissom and Kaspar Danko might get the job done, but they didn't exactly fit the San Paro citizens' militia image that Teng's marketing people were keen to project for the organisation. Hea Choi's presence in the senior command structure did a lot to allay people's concerns about having a private vigilante army on the city streets, but wasn't as if anyone was going to be spotting her riding shotgun in a patrol car cruising down Heston Boulevard or standing guard with an assault rifle outside San Paro Cathedral's evening service anytime soon.
What was needed, the marketing people decided, were less police and military regulation crewcuts, and more regular cits. What they got surprised everyone.
San Paro's rich college kid class are used to taking gap years from their courses, or taking time out for a year or two between graduation and the terms of their trust funds finally coming to an end. Traditionally, they spent this time bumming round Europe, finding themselves in an ashram in Goa (all major credit cards accepted) or headed off to some corner of the developing world to teach the locals how to dig a well or do HTML. International travel's not so popular right now, and most of the developing world is trying to kill each other - or anyone else that comes within range - so do-gooder college kids looking to fill those blank spots on their CVs have to find something else to do.
Much to everyone's surprise, it became fashionable for them to join up with the Praetorians. Makes sense when you think about it, though. These kids are going to be running San Paro in a generation or two's time, so all they're really doing is protecting their own future investment. Plus, with most of the major Havalynd corporations bankrolling Justin Teng's big idea, a CV showing a semester or two's tour of duty with the Praetorians isn't going to hurt any when it comes to job interviews with those same big corporations.
And, hey, when your shift's over at the end of the day you can still go partying at the latest hotspot club at the Needles. Sure can't do that in the Peace Corps.
Eva Orlandez is typical of this new wave of regular cits joining the Praetorians. Well, 'regular', if regular means growing up in a $5 million duplex apartment overlooking Central Park, and having a father who's chief legal attorney for Wilk-Pastor Media. Ask her why she joined the Praetorians and she'll give you the yearbook answer about wanting to give something back to the community, and how it's important for all San Parons to pull together and see out the current crisis. Mostly, though, she did it because it sounded like fun (and the cute guy at the recruitment office promised her that nice college girls like her don't have to do any of the actual dangerous stuff...) and because she knew it would really annoy her parents.
She likes it, though. The training was cool - the recruitment guy kinda lied; you do get shot at, but now she knows how to shoot back - and she gets to hang out with a whole bunch of people that she never would have met before ('Waitress class' people, as her mother would sneeringly call them) and see parts of the city that she barely even knew existed before. And, she has a whole collection of really cool stories to tell her friends when she meets up with them in those hotspot clubs at the Needles.
Plus - and she knows it's corny, but she thinks it anyway - you really do get to feel that you're doing something good for people, and for the city. Her tour's up the end of next month, when the college year starts again, but she's seriously thinking about re-upping for at least another semester, or dropping out and going full-time with the Praetorians, at least for a year or two.
Her parents are going to freak, but she's pretty sure that's what she wants to do.
Level Item Category Cost Rating 3 Turtleneck Minidress Clothing $650 0 3 Backless Halter Dress Clothing $550 0 3 Dollar Earring (L) Clothing $850 0 3 Buttoned Blouse Clothing $150 0 3 Blouse Clothing $250 0 3 Shirt (Buttoned) Clothing $250 0 3 Shirt Clothing $250 0 3 Dollar Earring (L) Clothing $850 0 3 Dollar Earring (R) Clothing $850 0 3 A-Line Skirt Clothing $200 0 3 Shirt (Popped Collar) Clothing $250 0 4 Macchina Cosenza Vehicles $5,000 1 5 "Player" Sneaks Clothing $55 0 5 "Player" Shirt Clothing $25 0 5 "Player" Camo Combats Clothing $40 0 5 "Inside Out" Tough Boots Clothing $115 0 5 "Inside Out" Camo Top Clothing $10 0 5 "Inside Out" Combats Clothing $70 0 5 Shadow Strike Spray Symbols $0 0 5 Acid Rain Symbols $0 0 6 Han Veo Vehicles $5,000 1 7 Sequined Halter Dress Clothing $650 0 7 Pyramid Stud Earring (L) Clothing $80 0 7 Pyramid Stud Earring (R) Clothing $80 0 7 Brogues Clothing $500 0 7 Chinos Clothing $200 0 7 Turtleneck Clothing $450 0 7 Lacy Boyshorts Clothing $1,390 0 7 Adhesive Bra Clothing $350 0 7 Lace Bra Clothing $990 0 7 Strapless Bra Clothing $450 0 7 Swirl Stocking (L) Clothing $490 0 7 Swirl Stocking (R) Clothing $490 0 7 Lace Thong Clothing $650 0 8 Charge Sentinel Vehicles $15,000 10 9 Suit Jacket Clothing $990 0 9 Suit Jacket (Casual) Clothing $790 0 9 Suit Jacket (Buttoned) Clothing $990 0 9 Suit Trousers Clothing $450 0 9 Tie Clothing $150 0 9 Tie (Loosened) Clothing $450 0 9 Blazer Clothing $990 0 9 Suit Trousers Clothing $250 0 9 Two-tone Ballet Flats Clothing $350 0 10 Dolton Montane Vehicles $15,000 10
Subject Hey there.
Just a quick FYI to say thanks for doing this. Too many people just want to watch this stuff on TV and not enough of them want to do anything about it. Were just lucky Jane Derren came along to change things when she did.
Shit, you believe that Id be in college right now or on some lame year-off trip round Europe if I hadnt heard her speak at that election rally? Weird, huh? :-)
Join the Mayor Derren fanclub! ;-)
Wow, am I glad youre on our side! What you did that was pretty awesome. It just shows what those of us who care about this city can do, thanks to the CSA and Mayor Derren putting power back in the hands of the people.
I know Im such a Derrenwhore... Everyone says so. I just cant help it! I just wish more people understood what shes all about. Especially my mom + dad... :-( Same with us you hear way too much garbage talked about the Praetorians, especially in the media.
Keep up the good work,
Glad youre okay. I heard a report you were wounded in action on that last job - probably just more media bullshit.
Talking of media bullshit, you ever see the crap they put out about us on Channel 211 in Progress, especially from that Terri Quan? She went undercover with the G-Kings, dont you know?
Yeah, like the smug bitch doesnt mention it like every twenty seconds shes on air?
I swear, if I didnt know better, youd almost think she was some kinda Crim gang sympathizer...
Looking forward to working with you again!
Did you see Justin Teng on TV last night? What a cool guy he really wiped the floor in the crime debate with that @hole from Rev magazine. Go Praetorians!
Hitting the clubs with some friends tonight. It still freaks them out that I signed up with the Ps, but I guess theyre coming round to the idea now. Winning hearts and minds, just like JT says in his memos to us troops.
See you around,
Im so totally freaked out! My dad was reading the report in the SP Standard on that op I sent you on and guess what? He said it sounded like we had the right idea.
Thanks to you, even my mom + dad are coming round to the idea of the CSA and me being in the Praetorians!
Seriously, you wont believe what a major deal this is. Of course, theyll probably go postal when they found out I broke into my college fund to get the money for you, but you have totally TOTALLY earned it.
Im definitely signing up for another year with the Ps now!
Your No. 1 fan,
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Subject Biography: Balkan ORV
Balkan ORV (Off Road Vehicles) is the international name for the Petropavlovsk Transport Machine Construction Plant. Based in Kharkiv, Ukraine, the company is state-owned and designs armoured trucks for the Russian military. Historically, Balkan ORV was responsible for many of the well-known Soviet trucks, including the V-60 ORV series. In 1936, chief designer Nikolai Vasilev redesigned many of their vehicles after a fire in their main production facility destroyed most of their automotive production lines. However, the fire proved a blessing in disguise, providing an opportunity to modernise, and one of Vasilev's key new developments was the V8-34, one of the best Soviet Trucks of WWII and a model widely adopted in the following years. After the Soviet Union broke up, Balkan ORV became the main truck manufacturer in the Ukraine, but the continued decline of the military sector necessitated a process of civil diversification. In 1996, the company began to augment military contracts with larger trucks and fire engines created for civilian markets.
"Think style, think San Paro. Think wild side, think San Paro. Think San Paro, think Effigy." So ran the copy on the magazine's latest circulation-boosting ad campaign, and few people would disagree. For many outsiders, Effigy magazine - its glamour, its chic amorality, its obsession with celebrity status no matter how it's achieved, its ruthless drive to find the new zeitgeist and its seemingly effortless ability to stay on top of it ahead of all the competition - is San Paro. The competition tell each other its had its day.....and then go on slavishly imitating it, Celebrities claim to despise it.....and then scream down cellphones at PRs who have to tell them they've bumped off this month's cover spot by a younger and hotter new star. Cultural commentators condemn its shallowness and the celebrity-at-any-cost message it sends out to a status-obsessed population....and then send their PAs out to the newsstand to buy the latest issue.
Editors come and go, burned out by the magazine's relentless pursuit of the latest cutting edge cool, but publisher and editor-in-chief Darius Frank goes on forever, deciding what's in and what's out from his private office atop one of the Needles buildings, a spectacular open-plan minimalist space occupied by little more than a chair, a desk, a telephone and a computer terminal. Frank calls the shots, San Paro responds and the rest of the world rushes to try and catch up. He puts Jeung and Charlotte Bloodrose on the cover and declares that Crime is the New Sex. Two months later, LaRoche is Effigy cover boy, all muscle tone, cool-looking Special Forces tattoos and eyes full of cold and deadly intent. Praetorian recruitment figures spike off the chart, everyone debates the cover-line claim that Enforcement is Everything, and Darius Frank is already moving on to the next cover star, the next trend to unearth and make his own.
Effigy spawns imitations and bargain basement cheaper versions of itself in the same way as any top-range fashion brand. They come and go on the newsstands, shrivelling up and dying under the glare of Effigy's market domination. A few survive. Most notable of these is underground scene-zine, F'n'G, which takes Effigy's fixation with celebrity and street gang cool and strips them down to their basic components. F'n'G - Fashion'n'Guns.
Name Stages Final Stage CHINA BLUES 4 MovingTarget WORKIN' LIKE A DOGGI 3 MovingTarget DEALER BUSTS 6 MovingTarget SHOW OF FORCE 5 Escort GET THE LOOK 5 Delivery SIGNAL TO NOISE 4 AntiGraffiti ENEMY AT THE CRATES 3 Delivery OPERATION: NO JUNKIE 5 Escort ECONOMIC RECOVERY 5 Delivery GETTING ON THE BALANCE SHEET 5 TerritoryControl ORGAN GRINDER 7 MovingTarget PRAETORIAN STARTS WITH PR 3 AntiGraffiti BOGUS BURGLARY 6 Delivery EXPLOSIVE INVESTIGATION 4 MovingTarget BANKROLL COLLECTION 7 TerritoryControl GAME COPY CRACKDOWN 6 Delivery BRUSH WITH THE LAW 6 Delivery ROUGH DIAMOND 6 Delivery
Level Name 10 Vroom Vroom Boom (5 Joker Tickets)
Criminals think that there is honor to be found in hiding behind armor plated vehicles. <col: Yellow>Destroy three enemy vehicles</col> and show them not to hide. Prevent them from being able to flee like the rats they are.
Blow up <col: Yellow>3</col> enemy vehicles.