There's a lot of legal protection running round in Havalynd. There's a lot of things to protect. Money is only a part of the jigsaw. The gods of Hayalynd are collectors; they like to accumulate information, contacts, talent; all the major currencies. They watch WP like everybody else does, but they don't need the TV to tell them the SPPD are losing the war, and that maybe they should take out a little protection of their own. Each corporation has its own local arrangements, but the street gangs weren't just snotty kids anymore - they were organized, well-armed - it seemed only natural that the business landscape might benefit from the evolution of a unified response. The gods met, decrees were issued. Thus was born Praetorian, a bespoke urban response unit, as far from any television camera as it was possible to be.

The core of the team are jungle vets, ex-special forces operatives. It was not unusual for corporations to exploit their networks within the defense administration to service their own private security requirements. The deal worked for everyone. For the administration, it gave them the illusion of parity with the corporations. For the ex-militia, it meant access to better hardware than the military, and remuneration way beyond even the shadow-budget salaries evanescing from the public purse. And for the businesses themselves, they had field-trained and officially-sanctioned combat troops. Yes, it was expensive, but accountancy is a black art, and when the taxpayers are paying, who's counting?

Grissom met most of his crew working in Laos for Shadow Strike. They were a team of 8, search and destroy, months of insertion, barely afloat at the bottom of a deep well of danger; the percentages said they were already dead men walking. When he looked around him now, he saw the survivors. Templeton. Defries. They should be ghosts. Someone must have died out of time. They were all lucky, and Grissom had seen enough to know that lucky was a good thing to have around.

The rest of the men were from the same stock, special forces turned guns-for-hire. War, its hallucinatory horrors, had stripped them of any rags of morality. There was no slender lining of hope to be extracted from the things they had seen, no good fight to be fought. What they did was work.

These men, they could respect civilians, but they were beyond understanding those passive and disengaged consumer drones who shuffled past them on the street. Years of razorpin discipline had tuned their scanners to a different set of frequencies, the infinite complexities of the environment polarized at nerve level into threat and non-threat, a network ceaselessly pinging for response. When they moved, they moved with perfect economy, their minds and bodies shooting through the trees of possibilities, selecting and rejecting in nanotime, like chess AI constantly calculating the fewest moves to mate.

Praetorian worked out of low-key basement office up near the bus station. They didn't need much, they were used to travelling light. Grissom took Night Company while Charkov scored the deals, fielding mission briefs from upstairs or swapping kit for knowledge with some rich piece of ass from Prentiss: Akiko, was it? Monteith took Day, him and that crazy bastard Dragon. Kind of soldier Grissom didn't want on his shoulder. Too many chances, too many wild rolls of the dice. Yeah, Dragon was lucky, but he was pissing it quickly and it wouldn't last forever.

They set to tapping the networks. Fed intel was complacent about the threat, weirdly so, just about dismissed it as teen hormones. On paper it was 8Mils, handguns, nothing they hadn't face a thousand times; nothing they hadn't neutralized. So on their first incursion, a home sweep deep on Gresty, just to say hi, Grissom was surprised when he lost three men and had to pull the plug. It wasn't the takedown he was playing in his head.

The punks - what did the fuckers call themselves? The G-Kings? - they had something going on. Grissom had seen this before, fighting tree to tree in the green hells of the Yuandong Delta and Ko Han. You attack people on their own turf, you better be sure you want it, because they got nowhere else to go.

He got a better angle from the detective, Blackwood. She'd been casing these kids long enough to know the picture. And it was a simple picture. They came out of the slum estates, Gresty and Border, came from nothing, were given nothing, were going nowhere. They looked out of the filthy windows of their shitty little apartments, at the towers of glass and steel rising over Havalynd. All they could see, money, other people's money, blotting out the sky. And they were left to fight for whatever pathetic scraps were falling from the table. Lean years. They were really pissed off.

Grissom couldn't find it in his heart to hate these people. In fact, a part of him liked them, liked the way they kicked out against the world even while it was shitting in their faces. They didn't run, they didn't beg; you cornered them, they fought like fucking demons. What other choices did they have? In another life, it could have been himself. But Grissom and his men got paid to do a job, and that job was to hunt these punks, kill them. That's what he was going to do.

Grissom and his crew are special, existing outside the normal command structure of the Praetorians, bypassing Saul Linklater's authority completely and reporting directly to Danko and, on a few very special occasions, Justin Teng himself. Linklater's uniformed corporate cops and Hea Choi's progressive social and recruitment policies are the preferred public face of the Praetorians; a public service, paid for by private enterprise.

Grissom and his crew of ex-Special Forces operators are its dirty but very lucrative little secret.

Personal bodyguard details. Intel gathering. High-level corporate security. Target elimination. These are the exclusive and very confidential services that the Praetorians are able to offer to select private clients, all those services provided by Grissom's unit.

Saul Linklater pretends not to even know of their existence, and more than one Praetorian press briefing he's been holding has been abruptly ended by an unscheduled question containing the words 'Shadow Strike'. Hea Choi isn't supposed to know about them, but does anyway. Kaspar Danko brought them to San Paro in the first place, at Justin Teng's request. Danko's no innocent; he's used men like Grissom before, and knows they have a place in war. They're a weapon, best used in surgical strikes on selected targets. The key to using men like this - weapons like this - is knowing where and when they can be safely deployed under controlled circumstances.

Danko knows the limits of those controlled circumstances, and he keeps the Shadow Strike boys on a tight leash. More and more, though, he's been getting word that Grissom and his crew are running their own private ops out of that basement they're holed up in. He suspects that Justin Teng has opened up his own channels of communication with them, and that the Shadow Strike snake-eaters are running black op errands for Teng that have nothing to do with the Praetorians' stated mission.

The thought of a Teng-controlled Grissom is, to Danko, an especially troubling one.

Unlocked By
Unlocks Contact


Standing required: 0

No Unlocks for this level

Standing required: 4,125

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
OCA-EW 626.1 "Sidewinder" Weapons $7,500 20

Standing required: 4,125

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Field Supplier Modifications $3,000 0
Kevlar Implants 1 Modifications $10,000 20

Standing required: 4,950

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
NFAS-12a "Red Star" Weapons $7,726 20

Standing required: 5,775

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
"Deity" Stargirl Belt Clothing $45 0
"Deity" Green Starred Sock (L) Clothing $8 0
"Deity" Green Starred Sock (R) Clothing $8 0
"Deity" Starpig Sneakers Clothing $70 0
"Deity" Silver Ring (Ring, L) Clothing $17 0
"Deity" Silver Necklace Clothing $24 0
"Deity" Rock-style T-shirt Clothing $15 0
"Deity" - Praetorian Shorts Clothing $30 0
"RoadWarrior" Woven Belt Clothing $30 0
"RoadWarrior" Sneakers Clothing $60 0
"RoadWarrior" Stud Bracelet (L) Clothing $40 0
"RoadWarrior" Stud Bracelet (R) Clothing $40 0
"RoadWarrior" T-shirt Clothing $15 0
"RoadWarrior" Conflikt Jeans Clothing $45 0
Angry Bull Symbols $0 0
The Love From Above Symbols $0 0
Angry Bull Unlocks $0 0
The Love From Above Unlocks $0 0
S-AS PDW Weapons $3,750 0

Standing required: 6,600

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
DMR-SD I "Assassin 5Zero R1" Weapons $7,500 20

Standing required: 7,425

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Fashion Sunglasses Clothing $1,550 0
Over-the-knee Sock (L) Clothing $50 0
Over-the-knee Sock (R) Clothing $50 0
Flounced Skirt Clothing $150 0
Denim Shorts Clothing $200 0
Sport Sunglasses Clothing $2,500 0
STAR 556 I "Army Ant" Weapons $6,750 20

Standing required: 8,250

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
OBIR.1 "Desert Storm" Weapons $7,516 20

Standing required: 8,250

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
ALIG 762 "Commando 76Two R1" Weapons $7,950 20

Standing required: 9,075

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Alternative Unlocks $0 0
Joker SR15 Carbine: Gunrunner Weapons $7,126 20
Level Activity

Variety is the spice of life. It's important to keep your options open and I wanna see what you can do when you get close enough to see their pupils dilate the moment they hear you pull the trigger. Grab a shotgun and kill 4 Criminals.

Kill 4 enemies with a shotgun.

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.

Biography: Nightlife

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.

Item Category
Graffiti Font Set Font Sheet
Shock Emote Shock Emote
Whistle Emote Whistle Emote
Epinephrine x2 Consumable
Med-Spray x2 Consumable
Boom Box x2 Consumable
Large Supply Box x2 Consumable
Mobile Cover x2 Consumable
Satchel Charge x2 Consumable
Level Subject
2 How it goes around here

Okay, so maybe I like what I've seen so far, but you're still a long way from the real deal. Need to put you through your paces some more. Run you round the training course and see if you can take the heat.

No passengers on this ride. You want to be a Shadow Strike snake-eater, you have to do it under your own power.

Keep your comms open. When I got something for you - something I think you can handle - I'll be in touch.

And here's a supply re-up for you, to show we're in business. Don't get any ideas, though. It's not like we're picking out curtains together.


4 You been notched up.

Must be your lucky day. Heard enough good things about what you're doing from people who know what they're talking about to figure you might not be the regular kind of deadbeat they send me.

Yeah, that's right. I've moving you up a notch. You can't handle it - you want to join the uniformed stiffs directing traffic or help that Choi broad give good citizenship lessons to school kids - just let me know.

Don't get all moist on me, though. You and me ain't sucking down beers together at the Presidium just yet.


6 Heads up

Just seen some intercepts of enemy signals. They're talking about you. Shit, they really want to waste you after that last op we ran on them.

That's a good sign. Tells me you're headed in the right direction. Shows me I wasn't making some dumbfuck move when I let you into the program.

Just don't start getting any big ideas about being the new LaRocha. Be a long time before anyone knocks that prettyboy off his throne.


8 You got the Shadow Strike attitude

Shit, but you've been busy, ain't you? Milk and cookies keeping you up at night? Think you're such hot shit all of a sudden that you're trying to win this thing all on your own?

Hope so. Cos that's the right attitude to get you into Shadow Strike.

Damn. You keep this up, and I might even let you buy me a drink one day.


10 Danko + Linklater intel

Got a good news/bad news sitrep for you. Praetorian brass are starting to take an interest in you.

Good = Kaspar Danko. He's one of us and probably wants to know if you got the chops for a step up the ranks. You want that berth in the Shadow Strike team, this is where you start to grab it.

Bad = Saul Linklater. He's ex-SPPD. Way too much cop-think still there, worrying about civilian world shit like collateral casualty counts and media fallout. Guy needs a wake-up call that this is war, pure and simple.

I'll deal with the brass. You just keep on doing what you seem to be getting pretty good at.

Good hunting