So i had an Idea but I can't think of anything past the concept (+ yr writing for this kinda thing is like 200% better than mine) but what if the Lads founded the Fake AH crew and recruited the gents?
that’s fun – i’ve seen versions where they were two little gangs
who combined into the FAHC but the idea of the actual Fake’s starting
as the Lads is definitely interesting.
There were a lot of names tossed around at the start; it’s the part of forming a crew no one really talks about, the vaguely embarrassing period of building an image, choosing a name, defining yourselves. Like band names there is a lot of bad before the good. Like band names ‘good’ is wildly subjective, particularly when determined by a pack of teenage boys. The humour behind ‘Fake Crew’ isn’t particularly high brow and not a single soul outside the original four Lads, including and especially their future members, have any idea at all what the AH could possibly stand for. Most think its mysterious, assume something clever or at least meaningful, but the shifty looks the boys shoot each other when pressed tell a different story.
Still, they’ve made something of a name for themselves in Los Santos – the FAHC, who pull off unbelievable stunts, who lack any semblance of respect, dangerous in the way of feral animals, of wildfire. In the foolhardy way of children, who care far more about making sure you hurt than they do about protecting themselves. It’s enough to keep other gangs wary, to buy themselves a little breathing room with reckless gestures and bared teeth, but not exactly the glory they are looking for. Not quite the trembling respect they’ve dreamed of.
For that, it seems, they’re going to have to think bigger, smarter. Be clever not just in the tricks they play and jobs they pull but in the way they twist their image, they way they recruit, build their crew. Just being more won’t do it, added thugs for the sake of numbers; it would take an astonishing amount to really match the size of some of their rivals and the Lads don’t exactly play nice with strangers. No, they have to be strategic, have to select a few choice additions who can help them rise, and after much discussion they settle on three names they’d like to pull in; Ramsey, Patillo and the Vagabond. Lofty goals to be sure, but then, delusions of grandeur or not, the Fake’s have always considered themselves to be rather magnificent.
Everyone who’s anyone knows about the Vagabond; none of them will admit it (Ray will admit it, Ray doesn’t give a fuck) but the Lads all have hearts in their eyes every time the Vagabond slinks around, all follow every rumour, gossip over every job. Something between hero worship and healthy respect, without any of the fear normal self-respecting individuals feel, is the perfect cocktail to have the four of them plotting outlandish ways to pull in the mercenary. Patillo has an incredibly solid reputation for someone with no real ties, invariably thought to be smart, dependable, one of the best drivers in the country and definitely not a woman to be trifled with. That she and Ramsey seem to have some kind of relationship, worked together back in the day and while going their separate ways don’t appear to have had any kind of blow up, will hopefully work in the Lads favour. Last, but certainly not least, there’s Geoff Ramsey; the rouge Rooster who’s been traversing the country, constantly on the move and pulling all kinds of jobs from hilariously wacky to darkly perverse. Maybe the Lads are looking a bit outside their paid grade but with Ramsey reportedly looking to build his own crew they can’t not try, not after realising that their crew is unfortunately in need of a proper leader.
Because none of the Lads are leaders, not really, especially not back then. They aren’t incapable, are clearly wildly talented and loyal enough to one another to defer a certain kind of leadership to whomever has the best idea or the most experience with whatever task they’re facing, but no one individual is capable of being the permanent boss. No one individual actually wants that role, not really, they’re all too young, too impulsive, too eager to abandon necessary goals at the drop of a hat.
Ray, who has arguably the least interest in being the boss of all, is less leader than lone wolf; when he’s taking point a lot of his orders tend to involve stealth, hanging back while he picks off targets, only charging in when long-distance is no longer an option. Necessary for particular jobs, and it’s certainly not an easy task keeping the other three in line until it’s their turn to burst into action, but it’s not a method that works for every task.
Michael makes a magnificent leader, fierce and fearless and unwaveringly loyal, protective of his crew until the bitter end. He is, unfortunately, utterly devoid of tact, of the patience to put up with any kind of shenanigans from anyone he doesn’t personally like, the ability to create and maintain necessary relations with anyone outside his crew. Michael himself knows he makes a far better Lieutenant, busy with duties he actually cares about, walking the line between following orders with absolute obedience and unapologetically calling out anything he disagrees with, reliable and relentless in equal measure.
Jeremy is meticulous, when he’s in charge he plots and plans and double checks, the very image of the perfect boss except for one flaw; more often than not he’s easily swayed. Will put together the perfect stealth plan only to agree when Michael makes a convincing argument for the importance of rocket launchers, conduct an ideal heist until Gavin begs to go after something shiny or Ray inquires about abandoning the sensible get away car for hilarious motorised scooters.
When Gavin is on his game he is fucking glorious, a flashbang of reckless laughter and terrible ideas none of them can resist, the promise that come hell or hand-grenades they will all be going home with a story. When Gavin plays leader he needs a lot of faith, needs the others to trust in things that don’t seem remotely feasible, but the payoff is always worth it. Except for the days when his words are too sharp, his eyes too cold, when he wants nothing more than to pick a fight with the most dangerous crook in the room, to swagger around the LSPD’s station unmasked, jump from a plane without checking his parachute; dancing with death just to see if he can. If they’re not careful on those days, if they missed the clues, the rest of the Lads would follow him down, unable discern between Gavin’s usual absurd genius and those streaks of genuinely aimless apathy until they’re all careening towards destruction.
So, as grating as it seems, there is an undeniable argument for a permanent leader, someone to keep them all on course, to take the responsibilities they don’t want, someone who can captain their ship without trying to push them all overboard. Still, you can’t just walk up to one of these infamous criminals and hand them an invitation; selling yourself – your dream, your crew, your city – takes time, takes planning, so in the end the FAHC’s first recruitment isn’t even one of those big three.
It’s pure luck when Michael meets Lindsay; finds her twirling a nail-studded bat in the wreckage of a bar, sipping a cocktail like she hadn’t just caved a man’s head in, and really nothing on earth could have stopped Michael from offering her a place in the crew. From talking them up in a way he’d never really bother with normally, because honestly how could he not. It doesn’t take much to get the other three onboard, Lindsay was a perfect fit, a seamless addition, and with her the FAHC is unquestionably more efficient.
Strangely the Vagabond is actually far easier to get on board than any had anticipated. After they start actively seeking his attention Ryan can’t help but watch the Lads. Not because their jobs are impressive (they are, actually, but Ryan’s in high demand, so very many crews out there are impressive enough) but because they are endearing eager; nothing like the pathetic begging of so many others, no attempt to convince Ryan he should be desperate to work with them, just genuine enthusiasm to prove themselves worthy of his time. They’re funny, something akin to a pack of reckless puppies; certainly capable of outrageous damage but equally likely to trip over their own oversized paws in their excitement, and in this business Ryan really shouldn’t find it as charming as he does. They take to leaving him all kinds of gifts; generally intriguing , often amusing and near always utterly gruesome, and after a month or so of hanging around the city toying with them they manage to get a former Rooster onside to run the show and Ryan’s run out of reasons to say no.
Gavin’s the one they sent after Geoff, when the Lads decide they’re ready to try to bring the notoriously creative, fortuitously crew-seeking man into the FAHC. Gavin’s first approach, full of deferential respect playing to Ramsey’s ego, is a complete bust; Geoff thought he was sweet, called him kid, laughed in his face and sent him out the door with a crack about coming back when he was old enough to drive. The second approach involves pulling a full blown job on Ramsey, one that starts with the man unknowingly buying Gavin a supercar and ends with the priceless tailored suit he’s wearing being pinned to the wall with a nail gun, Gavin grinning away like a particularly bloodthirsty shark, and all of a sudden Geoff can’t say he isn’t tempted. Deigns to finally listen to the recruitment spiel, as though he’s got any other choice right now, and despite himself is quickly sold on the whole crew.
Jeremy goes out one day and comes back with a handful of people, some they’d been discussing as a group, some the others hadn’t heard of, but all perfectly capable of holding their own agains the Lad’s disgruntled dissent. Steffie, who takes a look at their set up, rolls her eyes, then pulls out her phone and starts making a list, talking dealers and bases and possible new hires. Trevor who immediately sets to soothing ruffled feathers, sidling up to Gavin and gushing about some ridiculous theft, questioning Michael about his preference in heavy weaponry, ignoring the way Ray is skulking around behind him. Matt they’d all agreed on, welcoming the chance to push off all computering nonsense onto someone else, and Mica assures them all that she’s got no interest in sticking around, will work contracts as requested but isn’t about the stationary crew life. In the end no blood is spilt, no tempers flare too badly, and Jeremy is reasonably sure he isn’t going to wake up with a gun to his temple, so all in all it goes pretty well.
The last missing piece, Jack, is actually tracked down by Ray in the end; he wanders off one day and comes back with a very amused woman in tow, decked out in a hideous Hawaiian shirt and driving an obscenely nice Lamborghini. Apparently after finding her, not particularly difficult considering she wasn’t trying to hide, Ray simply told Jack all about Geoff’s fumbling attempts to simultaneously familiarise himself with the mess that is Los Santos, integrate himself into, and begin to take control of, an already close-knit, functioning crew, and do it all while pretending he’s not at all rattled by the Lad’s unwavering fascination with the horrifically notorious assassin who insists on sticking a straw through his mask to pound down a truly irresponsible number of diet cokes. It took a while for her utterly joyous, completely uncontrollable laughter to die down, but when she finally calmed Jack immediately started packing.