“We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”
— Malcolm X, 1965
who seems the nicest but is actually the most terrifying?
Jeremy wasn’t big before he arrive in Los Santos. Oh he was talented, intelligent, was respected well enough in his own circles but he didn’t have a reputation. Hadn’t made a name for himself outside of his own city. Jeremy could have stayed where he was, self-sufficient and making more than enough to get by, getting decent work from trusted contacts and never tying himself down, but that wasn’t what he wanted. He wasn’t content with the world he knew so well, the crooks he grew up around and the jobs so familiar there was never any real risk, so he leaves it all behind and chases the chance for glory into the depths of Los Santos.
Normally, when the big fish from a small pool hits the ocean they’re swept away or torn apart, eaten whole or crushed under the realisation of their own insignificance. Not Jeremy. Jeremy went bigger and worked smarter, coasting cautiously while he got the lay of the land before ducking in; quick and clever and dangerous, a Jackal stealing food from the jaws of a wolf.
He poked and prodded and identified the power hierarchies of the city, watched and stole and meddled in anonymity before getting his heart set on royalty, on the Fake AH Crew, and spends a year working on his resume. Jeremy acts like he is somebody, like he’s got a history everyone should know; he works short jobs, careful not to get too close, to align himself with any particular crew, always moving, always improving, and sure enough before long his reputation begins to proceed him. Resourceful, dedicated, wily, a knack for getting into places that look impossible and getting out of trouble that should be fatal. The rare breed of muscle-for-hire who still has scruples, whose moral code trumps any bounty. And that’s interesting, yes, valuable, but it’s not what piqued the interest of the FAHC, not what brought them knocking with an offer of something permanent. No, for those prepared to look a little deeper there is something entirely more fascinating about Jeremy.
See, everyone likes Jeremy; he’s friendly, affable, he works hard and he never complains, is good humoured and difficult to upset. He might not always be doing things people approve of, might be working for the wrong side or working the wrong kind of job but, on a personal level, from temporary bosses to incidental rivals everybody likes him.
It’s strange, that. Considering who he is, what he does. Considering the world they’re in, the way he looks. Maybe Jeremy’s not awfully tall but he’s overtly muscular; there’s no hiding that kind of strength. Jeremy doesn’t look like a gym-rat, doesn’t look soft or prissy or vain; Jeremy looks like hard work, like well earned, the hardness of someone who uses their body like a weapon. Whose appearance is result rather than intention, and in this world that means danger. In this world that means threat. Hell, more often than not, in this world that means killer.
That’s the kind of hazard people notice, the sort of inherent risk no one takes lightly, but the truely amazing thing about Jeremy is the way he’ll smile and you’ll forget. He’ll laugh and make a dumb joke, eyes soft and hair dyed some impractically fun new colour, and you’ll forget.
Everyone likes Jeremy, he’d wouldn’t hurt a fly. Well. Except for the flies who deserve it, the flies who are other, the ones you’d all hurt, the ones he’s paid to go after. Everyone likes Jeremy, he’s honest and straightforward. Mostly. Except for how he got here, how he waited, except for the clever tricks and sneaky tactics, the way he worked out exactly how to boost himself right to the top. The way the little fish acted like a shark until he became one.
Jeremy doesn’t leave behind bad memories; no one ever has a bad thing to say about him. He climbs the rank of power in Los Santos in mere months and people like him. He leaves a trail of crumpled bodies and burnt-out bridges in his wake and people like him. He falls into place as a key enforcer for the FAHC without a touch of reluctance, without a hint of remorse, and people like him. He’ll stand before you, armed and capable, almost dispassionate in his confidence; the kind of relentless determination that lets nothing stand in the way, the kind of ruthless that should trip every warning bell you have, but he smiles like sunshine, open and friendly and so god damn likeable and man. Somehow you just forget.