San Paro Business Week magazine rates her at No. 4 in their San Paro's Top Women Movers and Shakers list. (Mayor Derren comes in at No. 6). She's one of the city's favourite daughters, on the board of Best Global and so many charities that she needs several well-paid PAs just to keep track of them all. Famous for her campaigns to get kids in the city's pubic school system to eat healthier lunches, for women-only cars on the city's subway system, for more educational programs for the city's ghetto districts, and successfully suing the city to meet its statutory obligations for child day-care provision for city employees.
She used to run the San Paro marathon every year, raising hundreds of thousands of sponsorship dollars for breast cancer research, before too much sniper activity along the race route finally forced the SPPD to indefinitely suspend the event. Liberals love her. So do Conservatives - she famously blew away three would-be muggers/rapists who came at her out of the gloom of an underground car park one night, and one of her pet charities is a firing range club that offers free handgun lessons to every adult woman in San Paro.
She ticks all the boxes for very many of the target groups that the Praetorians' financial backers were looking to appeal to, and Justin Teng couldn't co-opt her onto the organisation's board of trustees fast enough, hardly baulking at all when she insisted on taking an indefinite sabbatical from her position at Best Global and being given day-to-day executive responsibilities over the running of the Praetorians.
Critics say she's only there for PR reasons; the acceptable face of private law enforcement, giving the Praetorians a reassuring, humane face that it otherwise lacks - can it be a coincidence that female Praetorian recruitment and general citywide approval ratings for the organisation have both risen by about 20% since her participation was so prominently unveiled?
Choi tells critics to blow it out their ass, and - hey - just what have they done for the city recently while they sit in their exclusive Canalside duplex apartments fretting about constitutional liberties while the neighbourhoods that their domestic staff live in continue to slide into hell?
Choi remains more than suspicious about Justin Teng's long term motives. Danko gets her respect as a guy who knows how to get the job done, although she's got reservations about the growing use of hard-nosed military methods to deal with civilian problems. Still, something needed to be done to help San Paro, and the Praetorians are the best - but still flawed - solution that anyone's come up with yet.
Who watches the watchmen, someone once asked. Someone inside their own ranks, would be Hea Choi's reply.
Standing required: 0
No Unlocks for this level.
Standing required: 19,500
|Unlocks the following items:||Category||Cost||Rating||Faction|
|"Ruined" Double Holster||Clothing||$240||0|
|"Ruined" High-tech Blue Earpiece||Clothing||$215||0|
|"Ruined" Zone Easydraw Holster||Clothing||$140||0|
|"Ruined" Elite Utility Belt||Clothing||$25||0|
|"Ruined" Handmade Shoes||Clothing||$90||0|
|"Ruined" Black & Yellow Glove (L)||Clothing||$20||0|
|"Ruined" Black & Yellow Glove (R)||Clothing||$20||0|
|"Ruined" InsideOut Beanie||Clothing||$40||0|
|"Ruined" Gold Bull-ring Piercing||Clothing||$15||0|
|"Ruined" Eagle Ring (Ring, L)||Clothing||$15||0|
|"Ruined" Garnet Navel Piercing||Clothing||$20||0|
|"Ruined" Leather Choker||Clothing||$40||0|
|"Ruined" Pyramid Earring (L)||Clothing||$20||0|
|"Ruined" Pyramid Earring (R)||Clothing||$20||0|
|"Ruined" White Gold Skull Pendant||Clothing||$15||0|
|"Ruined" Long Sleeved Shirt||Clothing||$40||0|
|"Ruined" Starpig Leggings||Clothing||$40||0|
|"Ruined" Jungle Thong||Clothing||$165||0|
|"Ruined" Jungle Bra||Clothing||$115||0|
|"Knight of SP" Zone Shoulder Holster||Clothing||$190||0|
|"Knight of SP" High-tech Blue Earpiece||Clothing||$25||0|
|"Knight of SP" Gold Deputy's Badge||Clothing||$49||0|
|"Knight of SP" Elite Utility Belt||Clothing||$25||0|
|"Knight of SP" Shades||Clothing||$390||0|
|"Knight of SP" AK Steel Toecaps||Clothing||$115||0|
|"Knight of SP" Black & Yellow Glove (L)||Clothing||$65||0|
|"Knight of SP" Black & Yellow Glove (R)||Clothing||$65||0|
|"Knight of SP" Cap||Clothing||$90||0|
|"Knight of SP" Bullet Band||Clothing||$19||0|
|"Knight of SP" T-shirt||Clothing||$15||0|
|"Knight of SP" Starpig Jeans||Clothing||$90||0|
|Fast-Fix Chassis 2||Modifications||$20,000||40|
|Kurai NO3 "Vigilante"||Vehicles||$15,000||30|
Can you recover 3 vehicles that have been stolen by Criminal's? We need to start returning some of these things to their owners or every insurance broker in the city is going to go bust...
Recover 3 stolen vehicles.
I'm getting tired of Criminal's getting away with stealing everything that's not nailed down and handing it in. Win $350 worth of Witness missions and get their stash back to the original owners.
Win $350 worth of witness missions.
Witness a Criminal doing something illegal. This shouldn't be difficult, especially in this city.
Witness 1 Criminal.
I need you to take a Criminal alive. We think that they're planning something and we want as much information about it before it happens so arrest 1 Criminal and we'll take it from there. Thank you.
Arrest 1 Criminal.
|THE CHOP SHOP SHOW|
|CRIME DOES PAY|
|G AND G|
|HIGH POWERED MICROWAVES|
|SOME CONVENIENT PROOF|
|THE FAST AND THE INCARCERATED|
|COLD CASE CHECK UP|
|LONNY DORENGO IS CRAZY|
|CASH ON THE CURB|
|PRESS ON PRAETORIAN|
|FIRE AND BRIMSTONE|
|BOOKIE ON THE RUN|
|BUGS AND DRUGS|
|HEARTS AND MINDS|
|TOP COP CHOP-SHOP SHOCK|
|DEFUSING THE SITUATION|
|RAID AND RECOVERY|
|ON THE FENCE|
|SEEK AND DEFUSE|
|PAINTING THE APOCOLYPSE|
|URANIUM IS SHOWING|
Magazine Excerpt: Effigy (June)
This month we take a stroll through the mean streets of San Paro, where up in the sky the parties last for days, back in the hood the old-skool hip-hop still thumps out of the lowriders cruising along Green and Hinton, and something new is brewing in the simmering cauldrons Downtown.
'The scene here is really alive.' We're talking to Pasquerelle, one of the crop of new DJs taking the high-rise clubs of San Paro by storm, with a mix of breezy beats and summer-lite keyboard washes that has captured the imagination of the cocktail crowd. 'I can play SkyCity, Tranquile, sometimes we play several places a night, and everywhere we go, there are smiles and happiness.' Building on a strong house tradition that started back in the eighties in the warehouse parties on Cortland Point, DJs like Pasquerelle, Hang Ten and Kitty Klark have made the shift upmarket, entertaining the exclusive crowds that don't even gather until the elevator's hit 60.
'Oh god, it's a different world than it used to be.' says Klark. 'I remember seeing The Boardmen and Zunami, people like that, down the warehouse parties in Red Hill. They were good times, I think, but look around you. There's more money now.'
Head to Midtown, south of Havalynd, and the street life gets a little wilder. Business suits give way to bespoke, the uniforms of finance quickly morph into a menagerie of colours and textures. The clubs here are ground level, patrolled by heat, and crowds of peacocks mill around outside waiting to get in. Not Sofia. She steps out of her zebra-stripe limo and beyond the rope, and we glide through in her wake. In this world, the right connections can save a lot of time.
She's resplendent in a coat fashioned entirely from soft black feathers, and knee-length pink leather boots sat on six inches of inlaid ebony platform. I ask her where she finds her costumes and she looks through me like I'm fresh air. The club is Pasha on Klein, and she happens to own it. Inside, there's an ugly lowdown growl of bass and snare, jungle inflections darting in and about a crawling hip-hop beat. The dance floor is just starting to fill, and the bar is a gauntlet of gleam and bling. We walk straight through and into a backroom which is done out in purple velvet and leopard skin. The skin feels real; I don't like to ask.
She unfurls like a panther across the seat. Either side of her are the two biggest men I've ever seen. Chrome Uzis, customised by Armstrong & Chen, for killing with class. Over a glass of sparkling mineral water she tells me with a straight face, 'Fashion is more important than life.' Her answers are largely monosyllabic, until I get to wondering why she even let us in. No, she doesn't see a connection between the club culture and the street violence that dogs the area. No, she's never seen trouble at any of her establishments. Yes, there's a good life for people here in Midtown, if they want it, if they want to work hard. Before we know, the audience is over, and we're back out in the club. It's a room full of strangers, but in a way that's difficult to finger, the crowd seems to have closed ranks. It's in the half-glances, the shoulder profiles, the eyes that turn away; there's a cover charge here that we can't afford.
Fortunately for us, San Paro isn't all sophistication and glamour. Only a few blocks away, in the grimiest section of Downtown, a new scene is finding its voice. Bands like Fister, Pinchsquint and Blind Vortex are refashioning old-skool emo into an altogether more aggressive beast. Lovelorn tales of boy-girl hi-jinx and awkward assignations, buttressed by the bludgeoning force of gristlecore; ladies and gentlemen, this is Nu-mo.
The fans are easy enough to pick out. Heavy leather boots and belts, tats and small-arms. Their rainbow hair teased into implausible structures, they tear through the streets of Trasket on modified streetbikes. We catch up with Blind Vortex, one of the leading exponents of the new music.
'Love is violence, man.' says lead singer Danny, 23. He's intense and wiry, chain-smoking beneath a tall coxcomb of purple hair. He looks like he could use a good meal. 'We could paint it pretty, try and be Kristabel or somethin', but what's the point? Some fucker looks at my girl, I wanna kill him.' Isn't that a little extreme? 'You fuckin' think so? You ever been in love, chico?'
That evening we see Vortex tear up the stage at the Octopus. The volume is intense. The hometown crowd are in fine fettle, going nuts; the whole basement is swallowed by the mosh. One fan down the front, a big guy with a scorpion tattoo coiled around his shaven head, is spitting what looks like a bottle of his own piss onstage at the band. Three songs in and Danny hurls his mikestand like a caber. It goes scything through the crowd, knocking two fans to the floor. A skirmish erupts, security intervenes and one of the bouncers takes a bottle to the side of the head. The fight spills out into the street, Danny is still screaming about a girl, and the raucous feedback whine mingles with the sound of approaching sirens.
The kids are angry again, angry as they should be, and everything is fine.
Pasquerelle - 'Live at SkyCity' is released on June7th on Descender Records. Blind Vortex new album, 'Snip the Rib' is out on Fantomb on June14th.
Biography: Havalynd (Financial)
Havalynd was always about money. When the banks first moved in, with their tidy little fortresses made out of brick, horses were still shitting in the gutters outside. Things were nice and conventional then, almost a gentlemen's agreement. The banks kept the money in big metal boxes, and the crims tried to get in the boxes and take the money. Everybody knew where everybody stood.
Trams came, then cars. Havalynd expanded outwards and upwards. An initial wave of vertical engineering, growing in momentum through the first few decades of the twentieth century, stalled in the shadow of global conflict. Throughout the decades after, the centre gradually emerged above the stunted grids of the surrounding districts.
By the eighties, Havalynd was reaching its fingers into the sky. A newfound optimism and stridency had infected every sphere of society. San Paro was a boomtown, and money was pouring in. Developers competed to create the biggest, the greatest, the most priapic monuments to their wealth and power.
At ground level, sheet glass gives way to marbled foyers. In the forecourts stand cantilever steel sculptures, fountains spume skyward. And at nearly every corner, regular as lampposts, men wait rigid, fake-nonchalant, all the time scanning behind their dark suits and dark shades. Utopia patrolled by private security.
The flagship stores of the fashion cognoscenti line Border Street. Behind the tyre-traps and raid barriers, Sensay rubs shoulders with Carlo Vitorelli, Devereaux jewels glitter like waterfalls under the reinforced displays, and even Testero and Lyka, whose very public spat at the San Paro Fashion Expo the previous year had exploded into a legal fireball of suit and countersuit, were willing to share space in the invitation-only Golden Mall that graced the ground floor of the prestigious Pyramid complex on Shianxi Boulevard. Even the shop dummies here are fashioned from chatoyant mahogany and inlaid with ivory. At ground level, Havalynd has always had the power to dazzle. But then, most of Havalynd doesn't happen at ground level.
The Waterfront is a schizophrenic district, part sprawling anonymous hinterland of commercial transit, part coastal resort for the comfortably-off. To the west the giant wharves jut with unyielding potency into the Nantego. Go east and the landscape softens, palm-trees line the roads and smart residential blocks spring up. Head into Prentiss, where the money lives, and things change again, all for the quieter and more genteel better.
San Paro Port has been an eternal engine in the commercial development of the city. It is the conduit through which the trade came that drove the growth of the young metropolis. In early years, merchants and vagabonds rubbed shoulders in the rowdy bars along the port area. What seemed like a hundred different tongues mixed and churned in a babble of deals and cross-purposes. Little Fin in particular was a den of impropriety and vicious exchange. Drink flowed and the prostitutes displayed their wares across the quays.
As the port grew in size and importance, the inns and hostels were swept back and away, replaced by warehouses, yards, all the paraphernalia necessary for systemic management of import-export traffic on a much grander scale. A rail-link was built that vastly improved the throughput of materials and goods. There was ship-building in the yards south of Armory Wharf. By the turn of the twentieth century no-one lived in the west port, but 12,000 men earned a daily crust working its platforms.
The maritime tradition persisted. Shipbuilding ended, but the great passenger liners made dock here.. Twice they were supplanted by squat grey machines of war that bristled in the channels. After a few years they would return, bigger and brighter, to disgorge their cargos of blinking passengers onto the sunbleached quays.
Nowadays, the Port never sleeps. At every mark of the clock, the whirring, the jolting, the crash and creak of loading and unloading emanates from the area surrounding the wharves. As one ship arrives to loose its burden, another departs plimsoll-deep and grunting beneath the weight. At night the arc-beam halogens describe a world overrun by giant mechanical beasts. An occasional mushroom belch of fire and smoke marks the human activity, as the gangs skirmish across the surreal blocky wastes of Yard Stretch.
East of the docks is the low-rise district of Little Fin. Once a dense knot of rat-infested housing ripe even for San Paro, it was levelled at the end of the nineteenth century, an unmourned victim of the port expansion and of the housing reforms of the time. Since then it has soaked up the overspill of warehousing from the Port. Now money is washing across the coastal districts and Little Fin is up-and-coming, with property developers sweeping in from all angles, in a scramble to swallow territory and increase yield.
The new-style developments are typified by the bland luxury of Fortuna Village, a multi-storey sprawl of spacious condominiums serviced by its own mall and characterized by a homogenous adherence to upper-mid brandthink. Lacking the time-accrued undergrowth of personality, the area serves by turns as an abstracted environment in which human beings have been replaced by the tinted SUVs, or as a blank canvas for the Blood Roses and the Tigers, punching their ballistic tattoos into fresh brick.
The same could not be said for Prentiss. The residents who sip gin slings by the well-tended lawns and pools consider their little empire to be a separate entity from San Paro, a port town and a community with its own history and identity. This attitude has garnered them a reputation for snobbery, largely justified. Prentiss is certainly the most genteel district, its lack of strategic value for a long time allowing it to remain aloof and untouched by the routine street warfare afflicting most every other corner of the city. Only recently have they started growing their own gangs, middle-class parents abruptly realizing that they can no longer distance themselves from the carnage, looking on in helpless horror as their children bear arms and tear up the night.
Radio Broadcast: WTF San Paro
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again - WTF is happening, San Paro? Back in the day, kids wanted to be rock stars and get blown from one backstage party to another all round the globe, or be some kinda sports star and get paid about a million bucks a day to knock a ball round some piece of astro-turf, and get paid a million more bucks to wear some faggoty-looking pair of sneakers while they were doing it. And you know what - there was nothing wrong with any of that. Nothing at all. That's what the talented and just plain lucky exist for; to give us all something to aspire to and envy and generally hate the crap out of. Now? Shit, where am I even gonna start...
"Being famous is all that matters in this town. I'm kinda famous in my own small way - and, let me tell you, being famous rocks - so I know what I'm talking about. I get to hang out at some of the famous people places. But I gotta tell you, the currency of fame in this city has definitely been devalued. There's been a stock market crash in the value of one of our city's most treasured assets. Its celebrities.
"Used to be, famous people parties were full of models, designers, artists, movie stars and - if it was one of the more low rent famous people events - some buncha retards from TV. Sure, there was always that unsavoury element present too - usually someone's agent or coke-dealing cousin, or a politician or two - but now it's all heisters, gangbangers, getaway artists, protection racketeers, glorified stick-up punks and assorted street trash. Shit, even the politicians are starting to look semi-respectable by comparison. That's how low we've sunk. And, let me tell you, all you people out there who know I'm talking about them, and that are probably right now doing an internet search on where I park my car at night, listen up good. There's more to being a celebrity than colonic irrigation, paying $10,000 for ridiculous-looking suits and having your apartment designed by some flavour-of-the-month Effigy-featured European powder-puff called Jasper. You got that?
"Ahh, why the hell do I even bother? I mean, I'm living in a town where Deke Swearinger and Kiki Monroe are what passes for heavyweight cultural -icons. Hey, and let's not forget intrepid little Mikko Wong. 'Hello? Is that the San Paro Standard? Yeah, put me through to your holier-than-thou liberal muffdiver desk, please...'
"You wanna know how bad things have got? Look at our bimbo heiress celebrities, surely one of San Paro's greatest contributions to global culture. Used to be, you could comfortably divide them all into three broad categories - fucked-up charity guilt case do-gooders; fucked-up wannabe rock & movie star dilettantes; and those in a state of strictly temporarily unfucked-up transience between rehab, prison and oh-gosh-I've-just-found-religion-again court appearances. Hell, on a good month, at least one of them would be hitting every one of the points along that same line. Now, though, they're all wannabe badass bitches that you're gonna see in some Needles club as part of the entourage of some genuine badass, or posing with a machine-gun on the cover of Effigy.. That sound like progress to you? Only thing that's still the same is that most of them are still called Seindorf, and that they're still all gonna be photographed falling dead drunk or drug-trashed outta a limo in a way that's gonna show they routinely go out on the town without any thought about the need to wear panties.
"Oh shit. You done it now, Marta. Better change the subject quick, while the station management fields another call on the hotline from the Seindorf family attorneys...
"Yeah, so... CSA vigilantes. You think they're much better than the crims? Most of them are just gutter punks too dumb to pass the final exam that would move 'em up to street trash level. And the rest? I swear, I feel so much safer, now I know our city streets are protected by a combination of soccer moms and overgrown boyscouts with access to automatic weapons, cops and ex-cops who borderlined the psychology tests that shoulda transferred them over to the rubber gun squad, and trigger-happy yahoos who think having a certificate from Mayor Derren saying it's okay to shoot people now is a bonus point to be included on their personal résumés..."
- Excerpt from 'WTF, San Paro', a popular daily drive-time show hosted by well-known and controversial San Paro radio personality Marta Riviera. Riviera later seriously wounded after being gunned down by a celebrity-obsessed fan in the station parking lot. Many critics dismiss the incident as a ratings-booster publicity stunt.
|Boom Box x2||Consumable|
|Large Supply Box x2||Consumable|
|Mobile Cover x2||Consumable|
|Satchel Charge x2||Consumable|
Keeping it clean
Do me a favor and keep any itchy trigger finger problems under control. Already enough Crim yahoos out there shooting the city up without us sending our people out there to do the same.
We're here to protect people, not make them casualty figures in the monthly reports.
What are they talking about?
Glad you don't seem to be another ex-military meathead or one of those ex-SPPD types that can't pull the zipper on their pants up without getting an FYI reminder about it at morning roll call.
This organization needs a whole lot more of us, and a whole lot less of them.
Just do me a favor and keep me briefed on what's going out there. Between all of Kaspar Danko's military double-talk sit-reps and Saul Linklater's cop-speak briefings, it's sometimes difficult to get a real idea of how we're actually doing.
If you've come this far through the ranks, you must have come into contact with Kaspar Danko or worked with some of his people.
I'll be frank. They worry me.
They certainly know what they're doing, but there's something about having so many ex-armed forces personnel in a supposedly civilian law enforcement agency that doesn't sit comfortably with me.
This isn't a warzone, despite what you keep hearing. Real people still live here, and too many of them get caught in the crossfire.
And don't even get me started on that secret strike team of Danko's that I'm not supposed to know about. I like to keep any eye on Danko and his people. I wish more of us did.
I hear our esteemed founder and CEO Justin Teng's been asking about you, so you're definitely doing something right.
I know Justin well. He's a great man, and this city owes him a lot. I wouldn't have accepted his offer to work with the Praetorians if I didn't believe in what he was trying to do.
He's also extremely ambitious, and too secretive, surrounding himself with too many people like Danko. He needs to be reminded about real life, and that the decisions he makes affect the lives of many ordinary San Parians.
That's my job - to act as his conscience. I'm hoping, if you ever get access to him, that you'll think that way too.
All the best,
Welcome to the SPPD - it seems!
Damn. If it's not Danko and his jarheads, then it's Linklater and his old ex-cop buddies.
The SPPD were part of problem that caused this mess in the first place. Corrupt, inefficient, trigger-happy and a waste of San Parian taxpayers' money.
And we've got a bunch of these people working all though our own organization?
You want to find them, try Kim's Bar; their own private cop bar that they've made into a carbon copy of that Minty's place in Midtown.
They're not cops anymore, and we work to higher standards than the SPPD. The sooner some of them learn that, the better.
Whew, sorry. Just needed to blow off a little steam there...