Right so have you ever played saints row 3? Specifically the opening mission where the saints rob a bank while all dressed as Gat "because who wouldn't wanna be johnny Gat" Cuz I keep thinking of the fakes pulling off a heist when someone (probably Gavin) has suggested they all do it dressed as the vagabond. Hilarity with the pre heist banter and then ridiculous news reports as 5 vagabonds pull of a heist accompanied by a 6th female vagabond
Oh man I haven’t but that is amazing. The Fake’s would be so into it too, the second someone floats the idea they’re all in, sourcing jackets and masks, debating pants, brainstorming the most appropriate heist to debut this beautiful nightmare. Best of all; they don’t tell Ryan. He’s off on some job, and even when he returns they keep their planning on the down low, too hyped up to cover the inevitable sniggers and pointed looks but no matter how creatively Ryan asks no one spills the beans.
When the fateful day finally comes around they let Ryan arrive at the meeting place first so they can truly appreciate the range of his reaction as the rest of the crew shows up one by one, all fully decked out and doing their best menacing Vagabond impersonations, complete with ridiculously puffed chests and comically deep grumbles. Ryan’s not exactly impressed at first, wary surprise moving to confusion then annoyance, flaring into a moment of true anger before crumbling into amusement, Ryan laughing just as hard as anyone else when he realises that the true butt of this particular joke isn’t him at all.
The Los Santos police don’t have a pleasant relationship with any of the Fake AH Crew, but there’s no denying that on any given day the mysterious Mercenary is their greatest antagonist. This is an LSPD who have never seen Ryan’s face, have never managed to catch him at all let alone long enough to rid him of that infernal mask, so of course pinning him down in an alley following his attempt to escape the FAHC’s latest bank heist leaves them thrilled. At least until the Vagabond rips off his skull and hurls it away, leaving nothing but a mess of red, white and black paint smeared across a grinning face, the momentary shock of recognition giving Geoff more than enough time to fight his way free.
To say police reports got hazy and confused from this point on is an understatement. A handful of officers are convinced the Vagabond doesn’t even exist, unknown for so long because he is not an individual at all, simply the alter ego of the Fake’s boss or perhaps even a rotation of their known members. Except then of course yet another Vagabond saunters out of the bank and into the street, mini gun whirring as he peppers the area and forces officers to duck for cover, masked head thrown back and cackling the unmistakable wild laughter of Mogar.
In the face of that realisation it isn’t hard to identify the next pair to tumble out of the bank and flank Jones, both dwarfed by their jackets in different ways Dooley and Free are visibly thrilled to enter the fray. As the maskless Ramsey reappears and regroups they’re joined by another pair, one sporting the long flaming red-orange hair of the Firebird, the other making liberal use of Pattillo’s distinctive shotgun. Last but not least comes what can only be the true Vagabond, retrospectively unmistakable in direct comparison, all size and strength and seeping menace as he lifts his gun and joins his crew.
The FAHC are surrounded on all sides now, not that you’d know it from the crew’s attitude, audibly laughing and jeering, seemingly having the time of their lives as they swan about the street. They are all referring to each other as Vagabond, all stomping around and shouting vivid threats that would be horrifying if not for the strange inflections and stutters they’ve all adopted. At one point the true Vagabond stops shooting all together to stalk after Free, sending him scuttling behind Ramsey and cutting off a particularly graphic diatribe about being sexually attracted to diet coke of all things. For the most part though Vagabond prime seems to be enjoying the inexplicable farce as much as anyone in the crew, crowing about good looks and superior talents, assuring his team that he understands because honestly, who wouldn’t want to be the Vagabond?
Still, alarmingly playful interactions aside the tide has to turn eventually, pinned in the FAHC are certainly causing brutal damage but faced with wave after wave of LSPD reinforcements their ammo begins to dwindle, their bodies start to tire. Deadly they may be but at the end of the day they are, after all, only human. They can’t last forever.
Which is, of course, when the final two Vagabond’s make their appearance; a giant, heavily armoured black truck crashing through police barricades like tissue paper, both driver and passenger masked but easy enough to identity for anyone who has spent time studying the FAHC. The driver, with Bragg’s shaggy dip-dyed hair emerging from his black skull, pulls the truck around as the passenger hangs half-way out the window and lays down a spray of covering fire. Collins’ cheerful voice rings out above the chaos, cajoling the Fake’s into the car like a soccer mum gathering her brood, all c’mon kids, say goodbye to the nice officers now it’s time to go home.
By the time the troop of Vagabonds escape, truck packed like a clown car and busting out as easily as it burst in, only the enormous property damage, relentlessly replayed media footage and a truly staggering number of civilian selfies taken with all nine Vagabonds remain to convince the LSPD that the whole bizarre experience wasn’t a collective fever dream.