Thursday, July 11, 2013

Contest Entry: Muertos Carmesi (the Crimson Dead)

Here's the next entry into the Psi-punk Giveaway Contest, a gang named Muertos Carmesi (the Crimson Dead) by Maire Gray.

What is your gang's name?
Muertos Carmesí (the Crimson Dead). 
Who is their leader?El Hueso Blanco (the White Bone) is the sociopath running the show. The thin veneer of sanity he wears is calm, collected, and magnetic. You don’t have to understand to want to follow- you don’t even have to see his face. And you won’t: it’s hidden under a dual-port gas mask backlit with bloodred LED’s. A large scar runs down the midline of his right eyebrow, all the way over his eyelid and down his cheek. In whispers, they say that El Hueso Blanco plucked out his own eye to replace it with his red psionic implant. The symbol of his power is always strapped openly to his left thigh: a long knife made of razor-sharp bone, carved with grotesquerie befitting of the gang’s gruesome purpose. It is no silent blade; El Hueso Blanco rarely skips out on joining the fray. He commands through fear, and his followers are fanatic. Rumors abound that El Hueso Blanco possesses dark, barely comprehensible psionic powers of influence.

How big is their turf?The entire state of Bolívar, Venezuela falls under the purview of Muertos. Ciudad Bolívar is a convenient urban base, but the gang is not limited by territories. They move into the surrounding wilderness with ease, and are rumored to store caches of contraband in the thick jungle surrounding Angel Falls, a place even Venezuelan natives call dangerous. Their numbers are difficult to gauge- some guess hundreds- because they often move in small, organized cells. Muertos Carmesí know their territory; if a plan goes awry, they fade into the night like ghosts, into rumored under-town bunkers in the Ciudad itself, or into the lawless wildlands.

What is the gang's method of operation?The gang is a platform for ‘gray slavery.’ As the name implies, the practice originated with stealing the brains of the psychically gifted, but the process gradually became more refined- now, only parts of brains are needed, though no great care is taken to make sure that the owners survive the extraction process. No better example can be given than that of Kylee Pace, visitor to neighboring Colombia for the 14th World Psi-Games. A talented spirit-talker, Kylee was favored to take top honors. Just before the preliminary round began, the entire arena was deafened, blinded, by an impressive display of concussive grenades, all exploding at once. Many blamed the sheer amount of psionic power in attendance for the phenomenon. The nature of the attack and Kylee's disappearance were not discovered until the next day. Seventeen days later, she was found wandering the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, identifiable only by the serial number of the eye implant she clutched in her hand. Kylee had been expertly lobotomized, her memory erased by purposeful, careful trauma to the brain tissue. She would require care for the rest of her life, and she could no more identify her own parents than her attackers. Muertos Carmesí were never apprehended for the crime.

What is their symbol or identifying factor? Many choose to mimic their founder in wearing only black. Some gang members also wear a red optical implant- this is not symbolic of gang membership, but is a punishment; when a gang member commits an act contrary to the gang’s code of secrecy, he is forced to wear this implant simply because it makes him more noticeable. The real marker of membership is a self-chosen pattern of scarification on the left shoulderblade- these vary, but imagery of death and its trappings are common. Active cell members on missions always wear respirator-styled gas masks to conceal their identity. High-ranking members carry a bone knife personally carved by El Hueso Blanco.

What else should we know about the gang? The gang thrives on and in chaos. Any kidnapping perpetrated by Los Muertos will be surrounded by it, such that the kidnapping seems like the least noticeable thing- but it is in fact the focal point. They are well aware of the talents of potential victims before they strike, and will kill anyone who attempts to keep them from reaching said victim. This is because of the money interest of the cartels who pay them for parts. Their primary partner is Fantasma Biotécnica in Brazil, which pays excellent money for harvested parts and sometimes even puts in special orders. Muertos Carmesí acts as a chop-shop.