Wannabe Juicer O.C.C.

Description:

“You ready, fresh meat?”
“Ye…” I start to say when I get hit from behind. Hard. I stagger
to my knees and somebody kicks me in the face. Something
goes crunch inside my head, and I taste blood, lots of it. They
work me over, boots and fists mostly, but along the way somebody
decided a two-by-four is better. After a while, I stop feeling
anything.
Cold water splashes my face. I blink and open one eye — the
other is swollen shut. Through the red haze that seems to fill the
good eye I see them standing over me.
“Wake up, fresh meat. You took your medicine like a man. I
guess you’re in.”
I smile bloodily. I’m in the gang. Any day now, I’ll be a
Juicer, and nobody will ever mess with me again.
Somebody tosses me a leather jacket with the gang’s colors
on it. Despite the pain in my ribs, I put it on while they cheer me.
They offer to throw me a party, but I decline. Gotta go to a
body fixer first.
For the most part, Wannabe Juicers are young men and
women (age 13-20) who, for some reason or another, idolize the
Juicer life style. Many of them want to be Juicers one day, or at
least be as tough and feared as them. Wannabe gangs are a problem
in several Coalition cities, as well as such places as Ishpeming,
Los Alamo and Kingsdale. Some of these gangs are made
up of hardened criminals involved in drug-dealing, cyber-snatching,
protection rackets and other illegal activities. Others are
formed to protect their neighborhood against other gangs
(Wannabe or otherwise).
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Among the things that distinguish Juicer Wannabes from
other city rats is their reliance on designer drugs to (at least temporarily)
get some of the power of their role models. At least
80% of all Wannabes will use one or more of these designer
drugs, at least when they are about to get into a fight or other
dangerous situation.
Besides the use of chemical augmentation, many Wannabes
also try to emulate the daredevil attitudes of real Juicers. Thrillseeking
kids will dare each other into all kinds of dangers, from
picking a fight with a Dog Boy patrol, to trying to jump from the
rooftop of one building to the next, to “playing chicken” with incoming
traffic. Many gang members also do their best to
toughen themselves through exercise, martial arts, and weapons
training; they realize that just relying on drugs is stupid and
counter-productive. Besides, according to many rumors, people
who over-indulge in drugs may not be able to accept the Juicer
enhancement, or may suffer more side effects or live shorter
lives (all true).
Some former Wannabes leave the slums where they lived out
their childhoods and explore the wider world beyond, becoming
adventurers, rogues and travelers. A few do actually grow up
and abandon their fascination with Juicers and the use of drugs
altogether. Many (35%) eventually get their wish and become
Juicers by hook or by crook. Their knowledge about the Juicer
life often allows them to make an easy transition from their former
life into their new existence as enhanced super-soldiers.
However, 35% die violently before their 21st birthdays.
Some Well-Known Wannabe Gangs
The Deadheads: The colors of this gang are red skull masks;
some Deadheads actually steal Dead Boy’s armor (or at least the
helmet) and paint it red. Their “tag” is a skull over two crossed
daggers. There are Deadhead chapters in the Chi-Town ‘Burbs
(heavily persecuted; seven members out of ten survive — there
are hundreds of these misanthropes), New Chillicothe (a medium-
sized gang with !D4xlO+50 members), Fort El Dorado
(3D6xlO+20 members) and Ishpeming (2D4xlO+10 members).
The Deadheads are thrill-seekers and rarely rob or molest people,
except when the gang is looking for a fight. Sometimes the
gang tries to sell its services as if they were mercenaries; their
goal is for members to make enough money to undergo the
Juicer treatment. Every year, 2D6 members of each gang “make
it to the finals,” the gang’s term for becoming a Juicer; some
continue to use the gang’s colors.
Drugs are only used when absolutely necessary; members are
expected to work out, and every few weeks they compete against
each other in all kinds of strenuous and dangerous activities.
The Juicer Disciples: Gang colors are black and white, with
the letter JD in a white design as their main “tag.” This is a
criminal gang involved in drug-dealing, body-snatching, kidnapping
and murder-for-hire. They are big in Ishpeming and the
Manistique Empire, especially the cities of Escanoba and Manistique.
The authorities are trying very hard to destroy the gang,
and to arrest or kill its leaders, but so far, they have not been
successful.
The typical gang size is 2D4x 10+10 members. Drug use is
widespread among its members and the JDs often fight it out
with other gangs of City Rats and Wannabes in ferocious shootouts
that leave dozens of people dead. The Juicer Disciples have
contacts with the Black Market and often act as enforcers, bodyguards
and couriers for that underworld organization. Very few
members live long enough to become Juicers (1D4 per gang per
year); many of those continue their criminal activities, sometimes
within the gang or the Black Market, and sometimes on
their own.
The Vigilantes: This gang is concerned mainly with defending
its turf in the city of Kingsdale from criminal gangs, supernatural
predators, and the like. About 40% of its members are
Juicer Wannabes, and every year, 1D6+4 of its lD6x 10+40
members become Juicers, either by saving enough money (5%)
or by becoming mercenaries in Dormer’s Division (95%).
Gang colors are blue and red, and their symbol is a shield.
Drug use is limited, with as many as 50% of the gang never using
any drugs at all; 40% under emergencies and extreme circumstances,
and 10% habitual users. Physical skills, combat
training (50% of the gang has Hand to Hand: Martial Arts) and
motorcycle driving are constantly practiced in or around the city.
The Kingsdale authorities are very tolerant of the group, because
its members rarely get in trouble and sometimes help the police
and armed forces fight bandits, monsters and other threats.

The Delphi Juicer is the creation of the mysterious Dr. Heinrich
Rommel, an immigrant from the New German Republic
who set up a body-chop-shop in Ishpeming sometime in the
early 90’s P.A. Rommel sometimes speaks of having worked
with a mysterious woman called “Engel der Vernichtung” who
had managed to mate psionics and machines in the strange science
of Psynetics (for more information on this “Engel” and her
creations, refer to the Rifts® Sourcebook Three: Mindwerks).
According to some rumors, Rommel escaped the clutches of this
“angel of death” after stealing some psynetic prototypes. He did
not stop running until he and a small team of bodyguards (all of
them Euro-Juicers) had reached the shores of North America, far
enough to escape her vengeance (at least for the time being).
Once he was in America, Rommel set up shop in Ishpeming,
where he partnered with a budding Juicer-creating company
called the Hyper-Science Corporation. HSC was competing
with Ultra-Tech Industries (see the UTI section for more information),
but so far had only been able to offer normal Juicer
conversions. Attempts to develop new variants had failed miserably,
often killing test subjects in the process. Rommel offered
HSC his expertise, and started a project to develop a Juicer with
tremendous psionic powers. The research project took a long
time, due mostly to the difficulty in finding enough latent psychics
who wished to try the dangerous test; there are some rumors
that Rommel and his cronies started kidnapping potential
test subjects. It is possible that as many as a hundred Delphi
Juicers were forced into involuntary conversion (and thereby
condemned to an early death).
In any case, the result of these experiments was the creation
of a psionically-adept Juicer, a lethal combination of incredible
physical and mental powers, provided the character wears a special
Psychic Amplification Helmet. The helmet, developed by
Rommel and his partners, uses stolen Psynetic technology,
M.O.M. variants and other technological breakthroughs to increase
the power of the wearer. The helmet is surgically attached
to the wearer, increasing his mental abilities twofold or more.
Delphi Juicers make ideal bodyguards, assassins and scouts;
some kingdoms are beginning to create a high demand for these
enhanced warriors. Regrettably, during the last months of their
lives the Delphi Juicers are plagued by spontaneous activations
of their powers, which can lead to dangerous and unpredictable
situations.

Bio:

Wannabe Juicer O.C.C.

AZURE SKIES Gnarzal