A crown has
arrived in Los Santos. Not just a crown of course, a whole array of finery,
gold and jewels and an ornamental sceptre, even a smaller secondary crown, but
the true prize in the collection is clearly the extravagant domed affair, huge,
bejewelled and topped with a hefty gold cross. It’s for a show of sorts, a
traveling display of some ancient European royalty, and it couldn’t be a more
obvious trap if the Fake’s had received a personalized invitation.
Los Santos doesn’t have a big arts scene, doesn’t have fancy museums or cultural influences; to bring so much wealth to the city, the crime capital of the country, to roll it right under the noses of the self-proclaimed royalty of organized crime and publically advertise its arrival is so laughably on the nose it can only be the LSPD’s latest pathetic attempt at a sting. An embarrassing police endeavour to draw the FAHC out, ludicrously obvious and yet, despite all reason, it’s working.
It might be offensively over the top but there are, of course, two members of the FAHC who live for offensively over the top, who can’t even focus on the obvious jaws of the trap, knowing all too well that the bait is poisoned but unable to help being hooked anyway. Geoff and Gavin, the big boss and his most ostentatious little snake, both lost the second there were crowns on the table, both shiny eyed and hopeless, full of longing as their hurricane of plans tips into the utterly preposterous.
Gavin keeps making puppy-dog eyes at Geoff, begging and pleading and carefully explaining exactly why he deserves to be the one who wears the big crown; everyone already knows Geoff’s the king, he doesn’t need it, and anyway it just wouldn’t suit his look at all. Geoff is batting off every argument, some with considerable difficulty but he’s determined to hold out, heart set on keeping the absurd thing for himself. Half out of affection, half out of desperately placating bribery Geoff’s instead promising Gavin the slightly smaller, more classically spiked crown; the fine filigree diadem obviously the lighter of the two, easier to wear and arguably more pretty, still obscenely ornate and look how gold it is Gavvers come on.
Boss and conman aside the rest of the crew aren’t quite so blinded by the frankly insulting attempt at a trap. Except, well. Except that they kind of are, in their own ways.
Jack and Lindsay spent a whole morning tracking down sources, ensuring that while the display was fake the actual items were authentic. And boy, the LSPD didn’t go halfway in their bid for stupidest plan of all time – not only is everything certifiably real, it’s worth an actual fortune. They aren’t kidding themselves about fencing the crowns, it’s important to be aware of one’s weaknesses and sometimes that means acknowledging that you work with egotistical children, but there is still more than enough extra gubbins in the display to make such a wildly ill-advised heist worth considering.
Ryan, Michael and Jeremy aren’t particularly hung up on the money end; it’s always nice, sure, but honestly the FAHC hasn’t been strapped for cash in a long, long time. These days the jobs they do tend to have some other purpose, amusement or revenge or displays of power with monetary gain a secondary factor, definitely not sufficient to barrel headfirst into a guaranteed trap. But then the trap is so clear to see it’s pretty much a dare, a middle finger, the suggestion that the Fake’s are too stupid to see what’s right in front of them. If there’s one thing the more rough and tumble side of the crew have in common it’s their inability to stand down from a challenge, their dislike of any insinuation that there’s anything they cannot do, any prize outside their reach. Screw the gold, Michael, Jeremy and Ryan are, as always, just out to ruin the LSPD’s day.
So they brainstorm, they plan, they get into more than one argument about the authority bestowed by fancy headwear and, in the end, after enduring numerous scornful complaints from members the Support Crew regarding always doing things the hard way, they simply call up one of Geoff’s rats on the force and have her unlock the door and look the other way. It is perhaps the most anticlimactic ‘heist’ of the FAHC’s entire existence – not that you’d know it from the way Geoff and Gavin swan about in their crowns. Not that you’d know it unless you were there to witness, actually, considering the hilariously inaccurate rumour that spreads like wildfire, the tale of an epic showdown between the police and the Fakes, the crowns simply the spoils of war in a greater battle that took out half a city block.
To be fair, that battle definitely happened, it just had literally nothing to do with any heist. Disappointed by the appalling lack of action Ryan took Michael and Jeremy for a leisurely drive down to the police station, car full of everything from flares to SMG’s to a full-blown rocket launcher, and the three of them had a little party. By the time the rest of the crew shows up, somewhat overdressed but still drawn as always towards the sound of senseless mayhem, the street is a warzone, a building is on fire, and the LSPD have completely sworn off ever again trying to entrap the FAHC.