Charlotte Montague met Jeung-ho Yim when they were just seventeen, kids from good families in the Concession and Virginia Gardens, in the full flush of teen rebellion. They were hanging around the new underground club scene that was starting to take off in the previously deeply unfashionable Waterfront district, where they enjoyed slumming with the outcasts and malcontents. But it soon became clear they had something that marked them out from the night-dark clusters of skeletal boys and girls who collected in the underground boltholes and derelict warehouses here. It was something they instantly recognized in each other; they had ambition. And they both desperately wanted to be famous. There were many ways to be famous in San Paro, but Jeung and Charlotte chose what was still, then, a novel new route to citywide celebrity. They wanted to be the most famous and glamorous criminals San Paro had ever seen, and the Blood Roses would be the vehicle they would use to achieve that.
From the beginning, they were dressed for success, a striking melange of punk styles; expensive leather, studs and spikes, buffalo boots. If they looked more like rock stars than professional criminals, then that was the point. Like rock stars, they rebranded themselves as Jeung & Charlotte Bloodrose - and named the gang around themselves. The Blood Roses were born.
Attracting members was never going to be a problem; beautiful and rich, both of them had a dark glamour around them, and no end of admirers and hangers-on desperate to be part of their inner circle. They took the hungry, the smart, the ones who wanted more. The ones who wanted to imitate them. The ones who would also know their place and not try to upstage the stars of the show. Like any performers, they rehearsed their roles, spending long evenings at the range out Cortland way, or on the mats at the dojo; acquiring the skills, fixing muscle memory.
The first gigs were low key, all exemplary planning and clean execution. Almost like dress rehearsals performed behind closed doors, before a paying audience was permitted to see the final, polished result. They hijacked a series of security vans on the routes between Havalynd and the airport. Even the cops were impressed. The money got ploughed back into new military-grade weaponry and equipment. Quickly bored with the easy pickings the vans afforded, they levelled their sights on bigger and more visible targets. The Blood Roses were ready to be unveiled.
They hit banks. They hit truck convoys entering and leaving the Port Authority. They hit the smuggling cartels, taking what they wanted, dumping or destroying what they didn't. The money didn't matter. They did it for kicks, and to get noticed.
They got what they wanted. Attention from the other gangs. From the cops and vigilantes. And from the press - those first shots of Charlotte in action, looking immaculate in haute couture while popping off shots with a custom-made automatic - electrified the San Paro media. The Blood Roses had arrived.
They got attention from another, unexpected, quarter too. Luke Waskawi took a look at them, and saw potential there. He sent Michael Simeone their way, to offer them his services and expertise. The Roses knew who was behind Simeone, and were smart enough to know when striking a pose of aloof independence was the cool thing to do, and when it was most likely to get them killed.
Now a very visible part of the established Criminal scene in San Paro, the Blood Rose seen - and feared - by many as the shape of things to come.
|Lucas Van Rooyen||Criminal|