Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Microstory 1147: Freeley

The first of the New Gangs of Kansas City, starting around the year 2020, were the Gunbenders, and the Tracers. These two were inextricably linked to one another, ultimately sourcing from the same team, which arose to combat gang violence in the area. They were sick of all the death and danger, and they were tired of their elected officials not doing much to stop it. It was only later that they separated, but this was not due to ideological differences, or infighting. They felt it necessary to become two separate gangs, because one needed to focus more on exacting social change through public opinion, and legislation. The other were the boots on the ground; an enforcement branch, whose primary objective was to physically monitor the implementation of new policy. Their actions were generally illegal in the beginning, though the police did temporarily cede control to them, making their actions...still pretty illegal, since the cops did not have the authority to do this. Either way, the consequence of this was the emergence of new gangs. Most were merely extensions of completely lawful preexisting clubs, which were now adding a more criminal element to their activities. The two most prominent—the kind that were pretty much already gangs to begin with—were the Grammers, and the Taggers. The former were grayhat hackers, who originally provided technical support to the proto-gunbender-tracer alliance. The latter were just graffiti artists, who sought to fill the void left when the system of street gangs were gradually being dismantled. They largely operated alone, but when they realized law enforcement would rather let people tag a few buildings than deal with all the guns and drugs of yesteryear, they started organizing. Eileifr Blomgren was the one who saw this future. He was not the founder of the tagger gang, however. Just because he knew what the city was going to look like in a few years, didn’t mean he wanted to be part of it. He tagged for himself, and he liked to be alone while he was doing it. At the time, Eileifr was using an anglicized interpretation of his name, and drawing a unique design of a leaf to sign his artwork. Once the initial taggers started asking him to join, he decided to rebrand himself as Freilei, which was an anagram of his real name, hoping they would get the message that he was not a joiner. They continued pestering, though, mostly because they didn’t know how it was meant to be pronounced, so he anglicized again, and finally became Freeley. Still, he was proving himself to be one of the bravest taggers in the metro, and his signature piece came when he painted all over the front of a mayor’s private residence...while she was home. The leader of the taggers was on her way out, to attend an art cliché in Paris, so Freeley was the obvious choice to replace her. He soon discovered that maybe he was indeed a joiner after all.

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