View Full Version : Tourist guide to Pepper Park

William Antrim
02-06-09, 16:10
OOC: I am trying to write an accurate description of Pepper Park for a writing project I am working on. This is a small sample of my work. Is it any good? Please no flames, if you want to say its shite then please have a valid reason why. :)

EDIT: slightly better paragraph placing, curse you firefox!

Weekends in Neocron were the same as any other night for most people. The high society types would stay hidden in their sheltered apartments in the plush riche of Via Rosso, hosting dinner parties and soirees for each other with copious amounts of fawning over each other and much false admiration for subjects that many knew very little about. Directors and diplomats, executives and industrialists and everyone in between would invite each other to grandiose parties and tell themselves how wonderful they all were.
The slightly less wealthy public in Neocron would usually stay at home most nights of the week as going out on the streets was very often too dangerous unless you could afford to live in the high rise blocks of Via Rosso or the Plaza districts. Shielded by armies of Copbots and the most hi-tech security systems money could buy these people would cower away living out their lives in a safe secure and comfortable existence. The “lower middle class” as City Admin described them, basically everyone else, had to make do with sub-par standards of living in Pepper Park and in the worst of cases, the Outzone and scratch out a living for themselves there. It was a known fact that most citizens in these areas owned weapons. Copbot patrols would infrequently pass through the maze of streets and dingy back alleys filled with the criminal elements of Neocron but they treated each of the denizens of this area with equal disdain. If you lived in Pepper Park then the chances are you would die there, either through old age because you could never afford to leave or from a knife in the back down some alley just because you needed another fix of Redflash on the long, cold, winter nights.

However as much as it was the darker side of Neocron, the part nobody wanted to talk about at the high society parties going on in the towering sky scrapers way above, it was also the life blood and the essence of Neocron. Sure the deals cut in the alleyways and abandoned shops were not multi-million credit affairs like those of the Stock-X traders up in Via Rosso 2 but they had just as much political weight and influence as anything the yuppies in the Takeda Living Suites could come up with. Pepper Park was home to three factions of Neocron.
The Tsunami Syndicate controlled Pepper Park 1, the home of Club Veronique. The club was the best lap dancing club in the whole of Neocron, home to some of the most exotic beauties the Madame herself could offer. It turned a handsome profit and also served as a meeting place for the many slightly less than legal dealings of the Tsunami Syndicate and its business partners. The Tsunamis main interests lay in gambling, insofar as this was where the majority of their income came from; although murder, extortion, racketeering and blackmail were not known to be beyond them if you had the credits. Any chance to get one over on their rival Black Dragons would also be met with a yearning voracity. The two sides plainly despised each other and whenever they met there would definitely be blood.

The Black Dragon clan; for it was known as a clan rather than a loose collection of businessmen in their posh suits which was the visage the Tsunami gangsters opted for, was ruthless. Gangs emerged within the hierarchy almost daily as members switched allegiances dependant on who was the top dog of the day. An individual rising to the top of the pile usually meant that some other previous top dog would float up one day out of the sewers of Pepper Park with a knife in his back and a carving in his chest, just to let everyone know who the new boss was for that week. As far as organisation went, there was one man at the very top.

Maximillian Trond, the most feared man in all of Black Dragon. They say he could kill you with a look. He was the meanest toughest and most psychopathic man within the Black Dragon clan. He had to be to keep all of the other psychopaths in order. Behind him were several hundred wannabe gangsters, petty thieves, drug dealers, supply train robbers, bandits, conmen and leg breakers all vying for a piece of the pie should the old man look like he couldn’t hack it on top any more. Nobody would ever dare to admit it in public but everybody wanted to see him go down so that they could get “their” shot at the title. After Trond the clan was split into a myriad of minor gangs each with its own boss. Each of them paid tribute to their leader in terms of money, guns and drugs but each waited secretly for the day that they could take Trond’s place at the head of the table. One thing however united the Black Dragon clan; one thing bonded them tighter than blood. Hatred for the Tsunamis. Rumour had it that it stemmed from some dealings Trond had had in the past with Madame Veronique but honestly the conjecture, rumour and hearsay coupled in with the twists and turns in the stories and the added embellishments each new teller had added meant that nobody really knew what the real truth was. As sure as day and night, the two sides just hated each other. To this end the Black Dragon controlled Pepper Park 2, just so that they could keep an eye on the thrice-cursed Tsunami dogs in the next sector.

Pepper Park 3 was holy ground. Consecrated at the time of the Psi monks excommunication from government in 2724 following much negotiation with the new Governor of the time, Lioon Reeza (himself a former member of the NSD, Neocron’s intelligence directorate) the Psi monks claim Pepper Park 3 and Outzone 9 sectors as “their” ground citing religious reasons. Nobody complained, indeed the majority of government were glad to put the Crahn followers out of harms way in amongst the denizens of Pepper Park. Certainly nobody expected the Crahn Sect to become one of the most powerful and formidable factions in Neocron city in the coming years; but that was much later.

Relations between the religious psychopaths of Crahn and the violent sociopaths of Black Dragon simmered to a heady, mutual respect. Occasional fights would break out between the lower ranks of both factions but for the most part they remained neighbours and even friends on occasion. Their friendship was in many ways tempered by their mutual hatred and fundamental desire to annihilate the Tsunami Syndicate to the point of complete and total extermination. Crahn preachers denounced the sleaze and vices of gambling and prostitution whilst waxing lyrical on the goodness of Crahn and the benefits of devotion and faith. As such Crahn warriors would often get into minor fracas with Tsunami runners to the point you would very infrequently see members of either side wandering the streets unaccompanied by a retinue of similarly minded individuals. Certainly it was considered ritual suicide to enter the turf of a rival faction unless your reason for being there was imperative to the very survival of the human race!

However despite the undercurrent of violence and malevolent hatred which kept the streets of Pepper Park awash with blood it was in fact a truly great evening out. If you kept to the neon-bathed main boulevards and avenues there were plenty of great night spots to visit. Madame Veronique provided one of the hottest clubs in town and shy of the odd fracas at the door, common place in any nightclub where alcohol is served, the place was of a good standing with the socialites of the lower classes. In Pepper Park 3 there stood the Pussy Club, a privately owned venture run by some equally tough gangsters and shady businessmen in suites who nobody ever caught more of than a mere glimpse of, which operated in direct competition to the Tsunamis. It provided slightly lower quality girls but equally reasonably priced drinks for the working people of Neocron to drink themselves into oblivion should their weeks tribulations call for it. Why the Crahn Sect tolerated such an aberration on their doorstep is anyone’s guess but surely the tithe paid to the nuns with guns was a hefty one. Many Black Dragon deals were hatched and closed in the confines of this club also. It was considered a fiercely guarded neutral ground – indeed a “safe” zone for such business to be done. Rumours cropped up of Fallen Angel involvement in its ownership but as the Black Dragons were purportedly the proprietors of the lease (as was the case with much of the rest of Pepper Park 2 and 3) this rumour was vehemently denied.

Between the two large clubs there stood a myriad of smaller bars, restaurants and gambling houses – some licensed and some not – vying for the business of those tired of the mainstream entertainment. Licensing in Pepper Park consisted essentially of paying one or another of the three factions for protection. This was usually defined loosely as which sector the individual property fell into but it was not uncommon for Crahn or Black Dragon members to extort business on Tsunami turf and vice versa.
Copbots turned a blind eye to much of the minor crime in the area, indeed the scale of and number of felonies and infractions committed on a nightly basis was too numerous to even comprehend. Outright acts of violence and murder were the only crimes considered worthy of their attention and so the streets were left to police themselves with a code of conduct of their devising. The rules of the street changed from week to week, peace was an unreachable dream for more than a few hours or days and each ceasefire was greeted with a sense of anticipation as to when the gunfire or crackle of magic would begin again.

In spite of all of this, mostly because the average citizen had grown accustomed, even numb, to the warring atrocities committed by each side to the other so life continued as normal. Some of the best music came out of the cellars and basements of Pepper Park and indeed some of the finest artists were produced by the squalor of the slums. They wrote about real life, sang about their struggles and for all intents and purposes spoke their minds with the freedom of an individual who is just glad they survived the day today. Their lives were not taken up with such delicate dilemmas as which dress to wear to this function or why that suite had not come back from the maid-bots on time. Their lives were filled with the daily desire to get through, carve out a living and perhaps raise a family to adulthood.

Thus when the pittance they earned as mindless drones of the mega-corporations like Biotech, Tangent and Protopharma allowed for them to have a little money spare they spent it in the best way they knew how. An evening’s music, a skin full of alcohol and possibly some cheap second-rate synthetic chemical rip off of the new drug of choice on the market that week. Snorting, injecting or smoking themselves into oblivion for ten minutes at a time and then washing down the taste with an equally cheap bottle of counterfeit whisky or some other equally nefarious bootleg moonshine they would rock, sway and then violently dry heave to the beat of their favourite music.

Doc Holliday
02-06-09, 16:22
no bias. thats spot on. it captures the feel really well. i love that part of the city. it has the most atmosphere of the game.

02-06-09, 18:33
Pics or it didn't happen.

William Antrim
02-06-09, 18:58
Thank you for that constructive criticism that bears complete relevance to the subject matter in hand. :rolleyes:

03-06-09, 19:06
did not read :p

(gj al)

04-06-09, 08:56
i'd say spot on, i like it. now add some action to it and make it a short story.

how are things? long time no see, al! :) was listening to some ambient web radio station when a NC track came up.. made me visit the forum again - and behold who's still there.. :p

William Antrim
04-06-09, 09:29
Its a small part of a 300,000 word story mate. There is more action than you can shake a stick at. But thank you for the honest feedback. As long as it captures the flavour, this part just introduces Pepper park basically. A lot of the action takes place there.

04-06-09, 09:44
what are you going to do with your story? did anyone read the whole thing yet?

and besides, you still playing NC?

William Antrim
05-06-09, 20:27
Yes i am a little. No noone has read it. I will post it when its done. Everyone can mock and have fun then. I did it for the fun of it and to prove to myself i could stick with one thing for a long time and not get bored.

16-06-09, 08:15
Honest feedback (which you'll always get from me):

- I love the description, and the wording
- Your flair for creativity comes through at certain points; it made me read on.

And one negative:

- It needs a final edit; there are a couple of grammatical/punctuation errors in there!

Overall, great work. I can't wait to read the finished product.

18-06-09, 13:03
this is cool. are you gonna post the whole thing when it's done?

might be worth publishing it somewhere like www.ubersite.com although the guys on there can be a lttle harsh sometimes.

William Antrim
18-06-09, 18:30
Trust me mate, I'm not fussed about the opinions of some internet commandos. You should have seen how bad it could get around here about 6 years ago!

Yes im going to post it somewhere when its done. I just havent had time to finish it in the last two weeks basically.