Outside the relevant video footage there
are a few particular photos of the FAHC that the media likes to use whenever
they are discussing one of the crew’s attacks on the news; between citizen’s
snapshots and professional photojournalists there’s certainly no shortage of
available images but a select handful have become somewhat iconic.
There are favourites for each individual, at
least of the main public-facing portion of the crew, even ideal shots of near every
little combination of members, but it’s the big group photos that really bring
in the money. The favoured images are all action shots including all the key
members of the crew, rare and hard to capture but spectacular when managed, the
candid photos looking more like promo stills for a Hollywood blockbuster than
anything based in reality.
of the crew’s latest acts of bloody ruthlessness are often accompanied by a
snap taken by a long-focus lens through a chain-link fence of the Fake’s
waiting for pickup outside a warehouse. Pattillo’s on the phone, Ramsey has his
head in one hand as he gestures towards where Jones is tipping off balance with
Dooley in a headlock, who in turn has one hand fisted in the Vagabond’s jacket
as Free looks on, apparently cleaning his nails with a knife. The group ranges
from a light smattering to utterly drenched but not one has entirely escaped
the spray of blood, and every single one of them is laughing. When instead the topic of discussion is the
FAHC’s opulent irreverence the image of choice is one showing the key six in
various stages of undress, swimmers and cocktails all around as they lounge about
the spa and deck of the mayor’s yacht.
Then there’s the photo that never fails to
come up whenever the media is focussing on the FAHC’s ability to do the
unbelievable, taken during one of the Fake’s more ludicrous heists. An
overbearing titan dwarfs the scene right outside Maze Bank, cartoonishly large
magnet swinging heavily below it at the aircraft absconds with an entire safe. Two figures are standing atop the safe as it
is lifted, one in a suit and the other in a skull mask, both clinging to the
chain as they lean out to shoot towards those still on the ground. Below a hotly
pursued chrome car is fishtailing around the corner even as two bikes are
caught mid-flight, launching through the air over a police barricade, the
drivers – one decked out in all gold and the other a mess of purple and orange –
reaching out to bump gloved fists.
grainy mobile camera shot that is largely ignored by mainstream media
nonetheless makes the rounds on the internet, quickly going viral as people
express their fascination with the image of Los Santos’ most infamous villains after
a night at the bar. Walking down a quiet street Ramsey and Pattillo are out in
front, the boss laughing and gesticulating wildly while the second shoves him
away, grin mostly hidden as she looks back at the others following behind. Free’s
arm is hooked around Jones’ neck, a careless piggyback that matches the sloppy
edge of their grins, his other arm thrust forward like he’s directing a charge
despite the way the Vagabond is clearly towing them both with one hand. The
other hand is busy keeping Dooley from slumping to the ground, limp body slung
over the Vagabonds shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and even masked its clear
the mercenary is looking skyward in exasperation. It’s an oddly humanising
image, the familiarity of drunken camaraderie regardless of the nature of the
people involved, and, feeling safe and brazen behind the anonymity of the
internet, the picture is quickly utilised in a dozen different ridiculous
Despite all that, the most commonly used
image of the crew by far, and easily the most obnoxiously arrogant of the lot,
comes from the memorable day the FAHC decided to make a show of finally wiping
out their key rivals, an example to the city and a huge payday all rolled into
one extravagant affair. While there are still plenty missing the imagine
contains nearly every identifiable member of the FAHC, including a sizable
chunk of support, all dressed in matching suits - visibly expensive, personally
tailored and entirely unnecessary, each with their own little flairs of green;
a tie, a handkerchief, a necklace, a vest. The crew is walking in a
V-formation, with Ramsey front and centre and the rest flared back around him,
loose limbed and laughing like they’re not all armed to the teeth. Like there
isn’t a burnt out plane behind them or a building pouring smoke and flame. Like
this photo didn’t catch them moments after securing the most horrifically high
body-count the crew has to their name. It’s used because of how many members
are visible, because of how clearly it displays the callous cruelty of the
crew, the violent destruction at the heart of their existence. The Fake’s just
love how insufferably grandiose it is, from the accidental formation of their
walk to the silly last second decision to suit up and wreck shop like
caricature gangsters, all picked apart and interpreted as intention, calculated
self-importance and immaculate organisation.
There is however, a single photo in
circulation that the Fake’s draw no pleasure from no matter how many times its
shown. It’s the kind of image prime time news always precedes with a warning;
disturbing, graphic, might offend some viewers, proceed at your own risk. It
was taken by a particularly reckless journalist in the middle of a shootout
that stayed in the headlines for weeks, the stormy night that almost spelled
the end of the FAHC and cost many officers their lives in the process. The
image embodies every inch of that grim reality, almost washed out by the red
and blue lights reflecting back off every surface from pale faces to the wet
shine of the road, and the whole photo couldn’t have been framed better if it
had been staged.
There are lumps scattered across the scene;
rubble, cartridges, crashed vehicles and indistinguishable bodies in blue and
black Kevlar. In the foreground there is a shock of green hair against the
pavement, Dooley’s prone form blocked almost entirely by Ramsey crouching over
him, usual jacket abandoned to reveal a tattered shirt, stark and ghostly white
against the harsh black metal of the machine gun braced against his shoulder.
Slightly further back, ducked low and
braced against a wall Pattillo and the Vagabond press together, bodies
inadvertently angled towards the photographer. The Vagabond is caught
mid-reload, skull askew as his head twists back to look behind even as Pattillo
keeps him pinned, gun slung across her back and her own shirt ripping between
her teeth as she ties it around the masked man’s thigh.
Furthest away and almost perfectly centred
Jones has his back to the camera, the distinctive snarl of the wolf stamped
across his spine just visible as he stands square between his crew and the
advancing line of officers, outline lit by the bright flare of his muzzle
flash. Nearby a slighter figure echoes his position, taking aim from the hood
of an abandoned police car, though one of Free’s arms hangs wet and useless to
his side, face turned just far enough to reveal blood streaked skin and bared
Out of focus but distinct even in the
background the LSPD advances, a solid mass interspaced by flashing lights and
flaring weapons. The photo even captured a glimpse of the Firebird’s chopper
arriving, the deciding factor that finally swung the fight back into the FAHC’s
favour, just visible emerging around the hulking silhouette of a building. The
photo is, in all objectivity, an artistic masterpiece. The Fake’s hate it.
Any media loop of a job gone bad is a
pretty miserable time, and there is certainly enough footage of that night to
go around, but something about that image is particularly grating. It’s hardly
the worst photo of them out there, isn’t embarrassing or overly revealing, the few
visible faces not even reflecting the desperate terror they’d all felt by the
end, but it’s still too much. Too painful, too human, far too close, so each
and every time it surfaces again it never fails to tip somebody into a bad
The annoyance is aimed at the media really,
not the individual who’d snapped the shot; no matter how many claimed the man
should have his identity protected for safety the Fake’s simply weren’t
interested. Which isn’t to say they didn’t notice when that damned image won a
prestigious award, oh no. For all their collective indifference there’s just no
way the photographer was ever going to keep that prize long, his apartment
broken into within a week without any obvious signs of forced entry, the
culprits only identifiable by the message they left behind in their wake, bright
green paint splashed across the wall where the shiny new plaque had hung in
pride of place; Get our good side next
time, xoxo FAHC
I noticed that IRL Gavin tends to wear mismatched socks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s something he got from Burnie. So, imagine: the oft immaculate and put-together Golden Boy, drowning in gold and designer clothes, always wearing mismatched socks to remind him of his original mentor.
I just really really realllly need a story based on the Achievement Hunter’s Sky Factory series, where Solar Queen Gavin is respected and loved by all for both being an amazing personality and his contributions to energy with his solar panels, but then!!! Dark God!Ryan comes in and corrupts that, by introducing his Nuclear Reactor to the people. And eventually, more and more people began to drift more towards Ryan in terms of their favor. And Gavin, seeing this, tries to improve his panels, but he can’t ever catch up to Ryan. And having everyone who he loved abandon him, his pride and his years of hardwork being dashed and thrown away just like that, its hurts. And he’s pissed, very pissed. At Ryan, at everyone who abandoned him just like that. And then, Jeremy, God of Magic, comes along. And when I say magic, I mean everything ranging from blood magic to simple water element magic. Gavin sees him as an opportunity for revenge against Ryan, to show people he’s not someone to just abandon and throw away. So he becomes his apprentice, and whatever happens from there is up to the author who decides to take this shitty writing prompt.
When the Gents took off for the day they didn’t expect to come home to this. Sure, leaving Gavin, Michael and Jeremy aimless and unsupervised for any length of time is never the best plan, somehow even worse when you throw Lindsay into the mix, but Trevor had been around. Trevor who, on second thought, takes far too much glee in passively overseeing mayhem from a distance without actually taking steps to stop it to be a reliable supervisor. Huh. Throw in the fact that Geoff had made them promise to keep a lid on their mayhem for the day, stick around the penthouse and behave themselves and yeah, disaster was inevitable. Still, there’s disobedience, there’s leaving base for a little joyride or antagonising the police or holding-up the convenience store two blocks over, and then there is this.
The living room of the penthouse is in complete disarray, bottles and cans, straws, a vuvuzela and what looks like hairspray strewn all around the room - Geoff’s first thought was that his idiots have gotten drunk and taken off with some kind of haphazard homemade bomb. This is terrifying for a number of reasons but honestly Geoff is mostly just lamenting the mess he’ll inevitably be left to clean up. His second thought, wading through the disaster zone as Jack sighs and starts chugging straight out of an abandoned vodka bottle, after Ryan points out the chain of extension cords trailing up the stairs to the rooftop access door, is that his idiots have gotten drunk and are throwing things from his building. Delightful.
None of the three know what to expect when they start climbing the stairs but they can’t help but pick up the pace when Michael’s shouting drifts into earshot, “Jesus man you’re killing him!” The following onslaught of expletives not quite drowning out Gavin’s distinctive squawking and an awful, inhuman kind of moaning. The fact that Lindsay is laughing, loud and helplessly breathless over the rising din honestly isn’t in any way comforting; that woman would chortle her way through the apocalypse and they all know it.
The sight they’re met with when they make it to the roof really isn’t as enlightening as one might hope. The cans have made their way up here too, a rainbow array of silly-string, the kind they used to use to block camera’s and identify hidden traps before their new supplier moved them on to the plain white military grade stuff that actually sticks the first time. What the surplus has been used for while the Gents were working is immediately evident, though the why is honestly anyone’s guess.
Jeremy, face unrecognisable under a veritable mountain of colourful silly-string and spluttering through his breathing straws, is charging full tilt after a shrieking Gavin who’s still clutching an aerosol can of glue. Add Lindsay charging along in the rear, delightedly blasting Jeremy’s horrifying home-made mask with a hairdryer, and Michael going red in the face shouting at the top of his lungs as he runs in loops to keep them all from careening too close to the edges of the roof, and all they’re missing is the Benny Hill theme playing in the background. An oversight Trevor is probably already considering, sat safely away on the raised lip of the helipad and recording the action with his phone, grin a mile wide as he very helpfully calls out various obstacles just a second too late for Jeremy to avoid.
Somewhere under the blanket of confused disbelief Geoff registers Jack shaking her head, diving back into the bottle with gusto as she wanders towards Trevor, catches Ryan smirking and slinking off to sneak up on the action, tries to come to terms with the fact that this is his crew. That after all this time they can still blow him away with the utter absurdity of their antics. Everyone here is armed, all dangerous, every single one of them is a ruthless murderer.
There’s a thump, a yelp, cries of foul-play as Ryan croons out some disturbingly excessive line and holds Gavin still for Jeremy’s gleeful retribution. Jack shoves Trevor from his perch and he dances closer for a better angle as a cackling Michael presses silly-string into Jeremy’s blind grasp, Lindsay’s hairdryer still roaring away as she calls out requests over Gavin’s objections.
Geoff is the most powerful man in Los Santos. These morons are the most dangerous people in the city. The Fake AH Crew now lives in a building caked in glued on straws, silly string and probably glitter. Somehow there is always fucking glitter. It would have been so much cleaner if they’d just made the damn bomb.