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Birth

It's hard being a name. Harder still is having a known face to go with it, especially when all you really want to do is make cool art and watch interesting things happen.

Back in the day, Birth started life as a graphics geek, cut his teeth designing flyers for a bunch of San Paro's club spots. Wasn't long before he'd started making a name for himself, though. His style was undeniably G-King but that wasn't really his intention; he just liked color was all. San Paro was as gray and lifeless as a corpse. And he had the power to breathe new life into it. Give it a new lease. A new beginning. His tag, then, consisted of five simple letters: Birth. Do over. A brand new day. Nothing too inflammatory about that. Right?

Wrong - at least, according to a half dozen shit-kicking Praetorians.

He never did find out exactly why they came to his studio. Mistaken identity maybe. A hoax tip-off. In any case, they didn't much like the look of his stuff. Said it was G-King propaganda. To punctuate the point, they totalled the place, wrecked most of his gear, trashed both his computers and the $2000 printer that he'd worked so hard for. Everything he valued: gone in sixty seconds.

They never gave him the chance to cooperate either. He was too busy being throttled by some lunatic wearing an old-fashioned fedora and flicking cigarette ash all over his floor. When the asshole said "sit," Birth did exactly that. No choice. Hell, the dude's knuckles were wrapped up in bloody bandages - hardly the sign of your play-it-by-the-book enforcer.

They found nothing incriminating - no guns, no drugs. Thankfully, they didn't think to plant something. What they did do, however, was invent some trumped up charge about how he'd failed to co-operate with their investigation - the damage they had done, was on him, they said. And then, with little more than a "fuck you and enjoy the rest of your day", they exited by the same door they'd kicked to pieces and left him to wallow in the shit they'd left behind them.

Awesome, Birth thought.

Were these really the enforcers Derren had promised to look out for the public interest? It was as hilarious as it was depressing. Hell, it would have been better if the so-called criminal element had kicked his door down - at least they would have left all of the good stuff intact, taken it away, sold it on; there was a chance he could have gotten it back. But now, thanks to Justin Teng's squadron of assholes, everything Birth had managed to build for himself was gone.

It's amazing how injustice can spur on a creative mind. Two years later, and Birth's humble designs had blossomed into a huge brand. The label was now the adopted label of the criminal fraternity. His studios had been turned over twice since that first bust, but the reinforced printer cases and bullet proof flat-screen monitors kept him in business.

Nowadays he's twice the enemy the CSA thought him to be. He's rich. And he's legit.

He chats regularly with Arlon Benjamin - visits with his daughter once in a while, too. The old man sees him as a worthy suitor. Maybe, Birth thinks.

Every now and then he breaks bread with his two favorite badasses, Javez and Zombie. Good to have powerful allies when you're going to war. Their relationship is one of mutual benefit: he feeds money into their project, outfits their crews, introduces influential, sometimes shady folk, to the likes of Grayson Fell; in return, they protect him and grant him the means by which to protect himself.

In many ways he's become the antithesis to the Justin Tengs of this world. Like them, he knows that his pen is mightier than any sword - only these days, he chooses to brandish both. He's made a G-King exclusive of himself, but refuses to let his label do likewise. Zombie doesn't force the issue too much.

"Gresty is home," Birth always says, "but the streets belong to everyone, even if they have to be called 'criminal' to prove it. So let that bold, five letter word be a badge for all of them. Birth. Do over. A brand new day."

STANDING & REWARDS

Standing required: 0

No Unlocks for this level.

Standing required: 26,000

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Field Supplier - Wide Radius Modifications $60,000 195

Standing required: 27,300

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Spotter Modifications $60,000 195

Standing required: 28,600

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Macchina Calabria 527 Vehicles $50,000 40

Standing required: 29,900

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Outfits Capacity $999,999,999 0

Standing required: 31,200

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+2 Clothing Inventory Space Capacity $400,000 0

Standing required: 32,500

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Car Surfer Modifications $60,000 195

Standing required: 33,800

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Macchina Cosenza FTV4 Vehicles $50,000 85

Standing required: 35,100

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Themes Inventory Space Capacity $200,000 0

Standing required: 36,400

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Half-Brick Weapons $0 0
Eight-Ball Weapons $0 0

Standing required: 37,700

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Songs Inventory Space Capacity $200,000 0

Standing required: 39,000

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Han Veo 420LX Vehicles $50,000 85

Standing required: 40,300

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Flak Jacket Modifications $60,000 195

Standing required: 41,600

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
OSCAR NFCP 2 Weapons $18,900 30

Standing required: 42,900

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Fragile Modifications $60,000 195

Standing required: 44,200

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Vehicles Inventory Space Capacity $200,000 0

Standing required: 45,500

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Charge Mikro Mark IV Vehicles $400,000 85

Standing required: 46,800

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
High-Magnification Scope Modifications $60,000 195

Standing required: 48,100

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Patriot Vegas G23 Vehicles $400,000 85

Standing required: 49,400

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
"New Gresty" High-Top Boots Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Impact Forearmpads Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Impact Shinpads Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Impact Thighpads Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Hand Wrap (L) Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Hand Wrap (R) Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Cowgirl Hat Clothing $1,000 0
"New Gresty" Backpack, Skateboard Clothing $1,000 0
"New Gresty" Bikini Bottom Clothing $100 0
"New Gresty" Bikini Top Clothing $100 0
"New Gresty" High-Top Boots Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Impact Forearmpads Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Impact Shinpads Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Impact Thighpads Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Hand Wrap (L) Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Hand Wrap (R) Clothing $500 0
"New Gresty" Cowboy Hat Clothing $1,000 0
"New Gresty" Backpack, Skateboard Clothing $1,000 0
"New Gresty" Boxers Clothing $100 0
"New Gresty" Nomad Vehicles $150,000 0
Level Activity
20

Gettin' real mad at the paparazzi that keep stealing pictures of Bonita and I. Can you show them how it feels? Spot 5 Enforcers and we'll see about getting their pictures up on SPiN.

Spot 5 Enforcers.

20

Hey, I can't be seen to be getting my hands dirty. Can you kill 8 Enforcers with Sniper Rifles for me please? I'll just... take your word for it that it's done.

Kill 8Enforcers with a Sniper Rifle.

20

I'm working on a designer pistol. Just something cute and sexy. Thing is it's gotta be practical as well as stylish. Kill 25 Enforcers with a Snub Nose Revolver for me as a field test.

Kill 25 Enforcers with a Snub Nose Revolver

Missions
NOT IN MY BACKYARD
REPO RACERS
GUN RUN GANG
DIRT ON THE DEPARTMENT
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
EXEC EXPRESS
BOX-LOCK AND .52 BARREL
PIMP MY CRIB
SEA MIST
THE HOBBY HOODS
A TAX ATTACK
CREME DE LA CRIME
MAKING A RACKET
FAMILY FUN DAY
STEREO TYPES
GOODY GUNDROPS
MAH-JONG MONEY
ELECTRICAL FAULT
DIRTY WHITE COLLARS
SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY
WHAT GOES AROUND...
SEEK AND DESTROY
ANTISOCIAL NETWORKING
BUTTON MASHERS
UP THE ARSENAL
LET US SPRAY
I AM NOT A CROOK
TASTYBURGER BANDIT
EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY
Level Subject
2 Meet and Greet

Alright bud?

You're the talk of the town, you know that? I can't go to a single soiree without hearing about this G that's made it pretty much to the top of the pile. Seems like only yesterday that you were running jobs for the shrieking harpy and the world's most biased reporter. Amazing what can happen in a short space of time when you put your mind to it, huh?

I'm all about what you can do when you put your mind to it.

It's amazing what you can do if you believe in yourself, believe in what you're doing and if you work so hard that you leave a trail of creation behind you. You keep doing what needs doing and I'll start believing all those people at the champagne dinner parties that keep telling me about how you're the Next Big Thing in San Paro.

Don't worry though. I'm not going to be like some greedy CSA assclown. Business should be a two way street! As little show of appreciation for your work so far I'm sending you a new field supplier. Now, I know what you're thinking: 'Birth, you massive stud, I've already been given a field supplier!' and you'd be right! Double B does a pretty great job setting people up with Grenades and Mods early on but this one's pretty much Field Supplier 2.0. It'll top your buddies up over a bigger range so they won't violate your personal space when they need ammo. They'll automatically start topping their ammo up from anywhere inside a ten meter radius with you at the central point. See? Much better.

Swing by Rimbaud sometime,

Birth.

3 Ongoing negotiations

Wanna swap jobs?

I've been stuck for pretty much the entire day in a meeting that just wouldn't finish. I've got some foreign distribution company visiting to get a feel for the 'real' San Paro. They want to license my New Gresty line of clothing for sale in their region and they spoke English just fine the other day when we were negotiating what they were going to get out of it.

Weirdly, as soon as it comes down to the 'what do I get out of the deal' side of the discussion, they need an interpreter which pretty much doubles the length of every conversation you're having. All of a sudden the meeting becomes trench warfare; first person that snaps and says 'whatever, just let me go outside' loses.

No one said a business empire would be so dull. I'm not even contributing anything to it. I just sit there in the hope that no one asks me any math questions. I've always tried to keep myself out of the boardroom but it's getting hard and harder to keep Birth the Man apart from Birth the Brand. I just want to get out there and shoot something&

Hah. Who am I kidding? I'm a lover, not a fighter. I've got no real itch to do what you're doing out there.

Here's a Spotter mod. Give it a try. You look at a guy, activate it and it'll stick a marker on them that you and your buddies can see through walls, behind cover and at pretty much any range. I've never used it personally but Zombie swears by it.

Keep doin' what you do.

-B

Sent from my SPiN v7 Phone

4 My first major signing

Hey,

Little history lesson for you on my first big signing.

Remember when you were just starting out in your career and you got a little Macchina Calabria 127? It had a red, white and black color scheme? That was designed by me and it was the car that got me out of my crappy one room apartment and into my own studio.

There was a contest in Effigy, back when it was basically a Sophia fanzine, to design a paintjob on a car. Winning design would be sent off to Macchina to be turned into a production vehicle. I had this really complicated, really cool looking vehicle design. I was rolling it up ready to hand it off to the courier when I spill a goddamn orange and mango smoothie over the pages. I've never used so many expletives in such a short space of time before or since. All of a sudden I've gone from a pool of calm and controlled serenity to running around my apartment like a maniac. I pick up a goddamn box of crayons, a sheet of paper and a sample pot of white paint, bust them out and start working.

I sent it away figuring it wouldn't even make it into the fuck-up pages but a week later it's picked as the winner of the contest. They liked simplicity of it - I guess it fit with their chic, European design sensibilities.

I have no idea why or how it became this huge cultural icon for Criminals in this city. Everyone, at one point or another, has one. That car made me sick amounts of cash. Sick amounts of cash that I now funnel to the G-Kings. If you're wondering where that A shirt and red pants with my logo on them fits into my business empire then stop it. They're knock offs.

Anyway, they're making a new version of the Macchina Calabria 127, this time called the 527, and I've put you on the preferred customer listing. Check the attachments on this message. I'm gettin' that warm, fuzzy and nostalgic feeling again.

Keep giving CSA's lead poisoning, dude.

-Birth

5 And a good time was had by all.

Namaste!

Good day today. We're getting closer to getting a proper deal for international distribution of the New Gresty line so, by way of a little celebration, I thought I'd send you another outfit slot. I know, I know. I'm great like that.

I see more and more people walking around looking the same. The same impact armor, the same desert scarf, the same combat pants. It's starting to become a Criminal uniform. I don't really 'do' uniforms. As soon as we put on a uniform we're as bad as the Enforcers. I hate 'forcers. If I thought the line between us and them was starting to get muddy, like if the G's were starting to get corporate, I'd be on the first flight out of this town.

I think that this whole urban warfare obsession is making everyone too serious. Once upon a time Shift was one of the most imaginative hackers in the city. One time she took over all the billboards on Silver Street and started to play the original cut of Ryoko Nakao's new album. You could hear dogs howling along for miles around. Ryoko can't carry a tune in a bucket.

Shift was this fantastic, beautiful and creative hacker. She's pretty much lost all that now that she's tired and gray. She spends her days handing out jobs to people that remind her of how she used to be.

Chiro's pretty much the only guy in the G's that's no different now than he was when this whole CSA thing kicked off. He's still out there slinging some of the craziest ink you've ever seen. He's a real artist. He's not some goddamn pretender that's stuck in meetings all day.

Bonita's still amazing. We met at a red carpet event that big daddy Arlon threw for me when I was just starting to get some forwards momentum. She was going out with Javez at the time and Big Daddy Arlon did not approve. He kept on telling me to ask her out and I just sat on my hands not wanting to risk the business connections I'd gotten with the Green Gresty revolutionary. Maybe I should ask her out now though&

-B

6 Gresty colors, New Cross and how it fits together.

Hey.

I've hooked you up with some more wardrobe space to try and make up for it so check the attachments on this message. Keep killing Enforcers. Keep showing them not to fuck with Gresty. Keep telling them that no one wants them here.

I get frustrated sometimes, you know? There's so much in this city to see and do and all everyone can think about is finding new ways to kill each other.

You know when I started out I wasn't part of the G-King movement? I think of myself as a G now, sure, but not in the way that Zombie and Bonita do. I was just a kid with a spray can until a couple of years ago but Zombie and Bonita have been involved in the fight since day zero. Big Daddy Arlon helped me get my first few contracts and we've been business partners and buddies ever since. I trust the guy. I trust his vision for the city. If I wanted to go further with Bonita I'd have to risk his wrath if things went sour.

I never paid much attention to what was happening on the streets back when I was a kid; too busy with either a sketchbook or a spray-can. You can't just make art from a vacuum, though. You create art from what's around you and, when you grow up a block and a half from New Cross, what's around you are stories about Acid Jack and a lot of reasons why you shouldn't trust the SPPD. "They'll just as quick plant evidence on you as they will a boot in the back of your skull," said pretty much everyone, ever.

When you say 'Gresty' or 'New Cross' to someone they think green, orange and blue: 'A color palette from a peyote fever dream.' They've been the Gresty colors for decades. I used them in my tags because they were the colors I grew up around. They're heritage.

So when some asshole with a stupid hat and a badge breaks down your door, throws you to the ground and puts a gun to your head all because you dared to use your heritage colors in some tags you might take exception to it. I wasn't a radical G-King before that day but I sure as fuck was afterwards.

I think that was the exact moment I decided to go to the Marina and offer my services to Arlon. Never thought it'd get this far though. Shit like that's enough to make you get angry and do something.

Birth.

7 The mod we've all been waiting for

This is the coolest fucking thing I've ever seen.

I have a guy who knows a guy that's working on a commercial for the vehicles that go to the early adopters of the New Gresty line. He said that the advertising agency had come up with this thing that lets you stand on top of cars no matter what speed they're going at.

Long story short, I got two from the set. One for me and one for you.

So long as the car stays level you stay on it. Works with any vehicle too which makes driving a dump truck a damn sight more entertaining. Give this a shot if you feel like going old school: Pull up next to an Enforcer, give a list of demands and then board their car like you're a goddamn pirate. Yarr!

Enjoy.

8 Saw this, thought of you.

Sup buddy?

Macchina are looking for somebody to show off the new Cosenza around the city and I couldn't think of a better somebody than you. Sure it might not have the same kick as what you're used to but it's still a tumbly fun bundle that needs a home. It's basically a puppy with an oil leak that you can slap decals on.

Think about that for a minute.

Imagine what that puppy would look like.

brb new comic idea&

9 Worst sitcom ever

This episode of Tales From The Bored-room is filmed in front of a live studio audience.

Our hero, Birth, enters stage left to rapturous applause. He then spends seven hours in a meeting where he can feel his mind leaking out through his ears. He tries to not gnaw his thumbs off while writing 'help me' over and over and over again on his notepad.

Theme music plays. You write the theme song.

Kill me now.

-B

Sent from my SPiN v7 Phone

10 I'm like Crispin Q with a hotter girlfriend.

Couple of pretty major things are going down so buckle up, you're in for a long one.

I got some pretty shitty news the other day. The apartment block that I grew up in has been torn down to make way for new FTW Bar. I moved my mom and dad into a nice place in the middle of Midtown years ago but it still sucks that something like this can happen, you know? I get progress is great and all but, come on, it's housing that's still being used by people new to the city and they're replacing it with a fucking E-Sports bar? I've came up with an idea and it's one of my better ones, even if I say so myself.

I'm sending you half a brick that used to be part of my old apartment. I want you to take and throw at some CSA fuck. It'll take up a grenade slot in your loadout and it doesn't explode but for the pure humiliation factor it's gotta be worth having. It'll fly for miles too - the farther away from you it gets the more damage it deals.

Zombie took pity on me after he saw my last message about the world's dullest sitcom and how shit my life was. He decided it was time for a group of us to go out and get back to our roots. He said I'd been spending too long in boardrooms and that I was starting to lose sight of where I'd come from. He was right.

I'm not a fighter and he knows it.

Rather than go out CSA hunting he thinks we should kick it like we did back in the day and just tag up some good spots in the city. He calls up Chiro and Bonita and they were both good for it. Zombie and Chiro are solid with a can, sure, but they're nothing on me. Zombie's stuck in this 1970's disco rut with his stuff and Chiro tends to tread the line between that weird goth shit that the Bloodroses enjoy so much and proper G-King art.

Bonita was the best entertainment of the night though. She'd held a can maybe once in her life before last night. Barely knew which end was up. I managed to convince Zombie and Chiro to buddy off together while I stick around Bonita giving her, like, a one-on-one tutorial. She's got her own style and she kind of reminds me of me when I was starting out. I mean, she reminds me of me if I were a spray-rat AND the incredibly off-limits daughter of the leader of the biggest gang this side of the Nantego. She's got a great style - lots of long lines and big, sweeping curves.

I managed to get in half an hour of one-on-one time with her before Arlon called her up about some party. She had to leave to put in an appearance which meant that date night was over before it really got started. I got a text message later asking me out again though :)

-Birth

p.s. Some CSA dick threw a poolball through the window of my car. Dangerous! Find an Enforcer and throw it back at them. Works just like the Half Brick but it's a poolball.

11 All hands on decks.

Ahoy!

I tried working on something for Bonita with a couple of DJ buddies of mine but, believe it or not, music is the one creative thing that I just suck at. There's too many buttons, dials and switches. I'll hook you up with some more inventory space for songs. You know. Just in case you can write decent music and feel like putting some of your latent musical superpowers to use for a buddy and his new girlfriend.

As an aside, what did you think of the 'ahoy' at the start of this? I'm thinking the New Gresty outfit should be a sailor suit or something.

I'm not sure I can pull off 'ahoy.' I'll try mixing it up a bit with the greetings, see if I can't come up with something that fits me better. Gotta build that brand!

-B

12 You're a one person advertising campaign.

Howdy!

Nah, that doesn't work either.

Fuck it.

The Macchina campaign went pretty well and Han are interested in getting some heat on the new Veo out there. It's a family car which in this city means there's room for a driver and three in a drive by just like the regular Veo but it has space for four modifications. Stick a Nitro in that bad boy and see why it's called the Pocket Rocket.

I've never actually heard anyone call it that but that's what Han are trying to brand it as. Look, it's a Han Veo with more customization options. You know what a Han Veo is. It's good in corners, it's got a decent top speed, decent acceleration but it's not going to set the world on fire. If you could drive around in it for a while that'd be great. You're cool enough that just being seen with something like this can cause a pretty big bump in sales.

-Birth

p.s I ditched the sailor suit idea for New Gresty. It started to get a bit& fetish-y. Going with a cowboy hat instead.

13 Arlon, Bonita and Me.

Subject: Arlon, Bonita and Me.

Hi,

The first time I met Arlon Benjamin was right after some CSA's kicked down my door and wrecked the two thousand dollar printer that I'd spent months saving for. I was at a pretty low point, if I'm honest. For the first six months of our relationship he was helping me - he made sure I was in the right place at the right time to meet the right people. He helped me out because he saw that there was potential in me which I'm glad to say I've managed to fulfill - modesty was never my most developed trait.

Now we've kind of switched around. I'm the one pumping money into his project and making sure he's meeting the people that he needs to meet.

Bonita wants to tell her dad that we've been seeing each other. I asked around for some advice and all I got was Javez handing me a Flak Jacket. He said it'd reduce the damage I'd take from grenades but it's bulky as hell so I wouldn't be able to carry as many of my own grenades. He's a weird guy.

Eh. You can have the Flak Jacket. I get the feeling I'm not going to need it. If Arlon does get pissed he won't be throwing grenades&

Here's to new beginnings, bud.

14 We're all crazy now.

Hey,

I need someone to confirm that it's actually the rest of the world that's gone insane instead of just me.

I managed to get some free time to head down to Chiro's tattoo parlor and this guy bursts into the place waving an assault rifle around. He's not got the safety on and he's got a really severe case of the crazy eyes going on when he charges over to the counter, slams the rifle down on it and demands that I sign his gun while he just goes into this massive stream of consciousness rant about how we went to high school together or something.

He's spitting, foaming at the mouth and twitching like he's about to vibrate out of the universe when some G's come in, grab him by the arms and drag him outside. No one else in the place says a word, Chiro just shakes his head and sighs.

I'm not crazy right? That shit's not normal? It's still okay for me to be freaked out by that, right?

Please tell me that it's everyone else that's is insane and I'm still alright.

On an entirely unrelated note, apparently his gun was the new Obeya Systems Carbine. Two round burst, two slots. Basically a baby OBIR. You want it? Before you ask, I didn't sign it so don't bother putting it on the marketplace.

Sayonara,

-Birth.

15 Thank goodness for the tape shortage.

Sup?

I've been spending too long in clubs and behind a desk and maybe it's starting to show a little. There was a page six article on me: BIRTH PUTS ON THE POUNDS.

Fuckers.

It'd probably have been a page three article but one of the Prentiss girls had a wardrobe malfunction midway through a sniper battle in the shipyard and that made it a really predictable news cycle.

I've been given a copy of an exercise plan by my trainer. Says it'll make me lighter and faster. The training program is called 'Fragile' and it's pretty high impact. You can move faster with the downside of being unable to take as much damage in a firefight. The back of the box says it gives 'up to fourteen percent increased speed at the loss of fourteen percent health!'

Wait.

That's an awfully specific number&

You know what? You can have it.

By the way, the 'big chat' with Arlon went great. He's happy about everything between me and Bonita. He seemed glad that she was finally starting to get with someone that he sees as being potentially kind of the guy he wants her to be with which. So yeah! I get to keep the girl and I get to keep my knees.

-Birth

16 Shut it down. Shut it all down.

I got really close to making a huge mistake today.

We'd almost closed a deal to sell international distribution right to the New Gresty line of clothing to some gigantic conglomerate. We were going to partner with what I thought was one of the coolest brands in the whole of Asia and everyone was going to be wearing Gresty colors by the end of the year but turns out they were just a little part of a bigger, shittier company.

The clothing distributor is owned by the same conglomerate that's producing that piece of trash Prentiss Tiger anime.

You read that right. There's a Prentiss Tiger anime. That prick DevilDog has speedlines behind him whenever he moves. Of course, they're the heroes in the show and everyone else is either a vampire or a mutant. Did I mention the Tigers are all vampire hunters in this? The Prentiss Tigers: defenders of the light, justice and sworn enemies of the evil vampire clan The Blood Roses. Apparently the G's are in it next season as post-apocalyptic mutants.

I did a SPiN search on the show (was gonna buy the studio and start requesting major re-writes to episodes. Petty, sure, but it'd have been hilarious) and found out the truth about who it was being made by. I had to call the whole thing off.

There's a lot of bullshit in this city about taking money where you can get it but you've got to have standards. You've got to have something that you can point at and say 'I will not take money from these guys because I disagree with what they do.'

It's a value judgment. Do you value money more than you value your principles? You've got to have something that you stand up and believe in and I don't believe that you should take money from someone that spews out CSA propaganda for morons. It sounds weird but hearing about you out there, listening to the word on the street about what you're doing and how you're wiping the floor with these assholes really makes me think that we just might be able to win this one.

So thanks.

I've got some really cool stuff in the pipeline right now so I'll hook you up with more vehicle storage space.

Have a good one and put a Tiger in hospital for me.

-B

17 You, Bonita, Arlon and Me.

Hey bud!

I can barely get through a conversation without hearing about all the good work you've been doing recently. You're building up a huge amount of heat so keep up the good work. You're going to have to trust me when I say this but there are a lot of very influential, very powerful people that have started to look for you as the leading story in Effigy Exposé.

You've impressed Arlon in the past and you're managing to impress the hell out of me. Keep it up and you'll be getting RSVP's to your own champagne parties.

Remember how I gave you some more room for cars and was all 'you're getting some sweet rides soon'? I've managed to get you onto Charge's preferred customer database. They've sent you a Mikro that you can customize. It's got three slots for modifications so you can finally tune it however you want just& try not to blow out the engine, okay?

Bonita says hey, btw.

See you around,

-B

18 Under a snipers scope

Hey,

I keep getting sent free samples of weapon modifications by companies that don't really know what I'm about. They've read that I'm kind of a big deal in San Paro and they go 'hey! San Paro! That's the place with the guns, right?'

I don't get what this thing is for but maybe you'll get something out of it. It sets your weapon to have a flat level of magnification and zoom regardless of what weapon you put it on. Is that good? Sounds good. Try it in different guns. I bet it'll work great in everything!

Maybe not a rocket launcher.

Or a grenade launcher for that matter&

Fuck it.

Keep it out of guns with the word 'launcher' in their names.

Or don't.

You found me out. I don't know about guns, okay? Try it in your next fight and we'll see how it works out. I'll get the medical bill if it all goes to shit on you.

Just FYI, Bonita and I are heading out tonight so don't call. If this private jet's a-rockin' don't come a-knockin'.

Have fun out there.

19 Shit rolls down hill

Hey bud,

I could use some help with a project that I'm working on. I've been asked to put my unique talents to use on a new Vegas G23 but my creative well's running dry at the moment. I can't think of anything that'd look good pulling off a line in a drag race. They sent me a dozen cars to practice on but you know how it goes sometimes. You just hit a wall which, considering the car we're talking about, is pretty ironic.

Could you whip something together? If you can it'd really help me out.

I found out the name of the CSA that kicked down my door and wrecked all my shit way back when.

Miguel Estebano.

You ever hear of him?

I did a little digging into him. He's a total jerk-off. Six precincts in five years and a brutality complaint list as long as any rap-sheet. He's the sort of scum that got pulled out of SPPD and got picked up by Teng before he started to look at the fucking quality control. Sorry, not quality control; public relations and information control. They're still hiring fascists that are scared of an educated and armed population but they're trying to make it look like they're not. That's what Justin Teng wants. He wants an army of middle income skull crackers to beat on anyone that disagrees with him and for everyone to just look at him adoringly.

Estebano's stuck here in Waterfront which is something I couldn't be happier about. You seen a decent Praetorian effort in Waterfront recently? Shit, they've only just managed to set up a supply depot here and it's hilariously understaffed and underfunded. It's almost like their entire operation's starting to lose momentum because they're only in it for the money and now they're meeting serious resistance they just can't be fucked carrying on.

They're not like the G's. We're here because we have something worth fighting for rather than seeing who can get the most zero's on their slip at the end of the month.

Estebano's stuck in a dead end shit heap in the shittiest part of this part of town and the monster he created just put away another billion from selling exactly the sort of shit that he tried to destroy. I would put a hit on Miguel but what can I take away from him that the city already hasn't? I think I might try and drop my fucking wallet on him sometime. See if it'll crush him to death.

Sure, it's not great karma to laugh at someone else and their troubles but the shitheel has it coming and with all the good that you and I are doing out there I think my karmic scales will be just fine.

Drop by sometime,

-Birth.

20 The beginning of a beautiful friendship

Hey,

Amazing what can happen in such a short space of time isn't it?

Remember when you rolled up to me for the first time all wide-eyed and ready to prove that you're the biggest badass in town? I'm not one for being really sentimental about things but ever since you started working for me and being a really epic problem solver I've gotten a steady girlfriend that's a proper mob princess and revolutionary angel, I've got a new drive for my work and I'm starting to remember what got me working in the first place. You're a muse.

Seeing you out there on the streets working, cracking skulls, kicking ass and taking zero prisoners has really been a huge inspiration to me and I want you to know that when this is all over and we've won you can have whatever apartment of mine you want rent free for life. Hell, if that's too damn easy sounding then I could always use a bodyguard with brass like you've got.

You're a soldier with the fortitude to keep it real no matter what. Someone that's determined never to compromise, even when you're eye to eye with some CSA asshole with a shotgun. I know I'll never be able to be out there fighting with you on the streets because I'd probably slow you down but know that if there's ever anything I can do to help you I'll do it. If I can think of another name to give you of someone that needs a good worker that I don't think will be a waste of your time I'll send them your way.

I've got a present for you too if you're interested. Fuck it, even if you're not interested, you're taking it anyway because I say so.

Remember the car in the commercial that I mentioned a while ago? It never got past editing - something about the youth of the nation being impressionable when it came to driving hundred thousand dollar vans and firing high powered assault rifles at each other.

I've got a huge fucking run of the New Gresty line of clothing lying around doing nothing but taking up space and I'd like to send you one of the cars and one of the outfits. Only the greats are going to get their hands on this gear, bud. New Gresty. It's everything I stand for summed up in a single fucking outfit. I don't think I've been prouder of a single piece of work in my whole life. It's the latest in what I call Concrete Cowboy-Skater Chic. It's got a skateboard backpack, cowboy hat and some impact armor thrown in for that special San Paro something.

The car's special too because it's something that's never been available to people like us before. Nulander have always been very careful about who gets their hands on these vehicles. As soon as you sit in it the thing does a background check based on your ass print or whatever and locks you out if you're deemed to be an unfit person for driving. They're wanting to branch out from just shipping them to 'Forcers though. I guess congratulations are in order as you're one of the first 'Criminals' to own a Nulander Nomad.

It's been styled by me, tuned by me (with a little help from The Lady O) and given to you. I owe you, pal. You've given me so much to think about and so much to consider about what I do when I move forwards. I feel like a fucking G-King because of you. I used to be so panicked that everyone would see through me because I wasn't out there with a gun but that's not what Gresty is about.

Gresty's about more than that. It's not about the guns or the violence or the cars. It's about a community trying to come together and fight for what it believes in. So long as people like you keep doing what you do everyone'll know it and no one will forget it. We're going places. I can feel it and the faster we move the stronger we get.

Take the car for a spin. You earned it.

You're the next big thing in San Paro, buddy.

Birth.