Aletta Cadagan is a specialist contact.
Sometimes it takes a real hard-ass to get things done. A real bitch. As far as the city of San Paro is concerned, that role has always fallen to Mayor Jane Derren: the reason the City Security Act exists at all, the reason that the city is a war zone these days.
Kaspar Danko, operational commander of the Praetorians, thinks that Derren’s a pussycat, though just another emotionally scarred soul trying to wring some measure of retribution from a world that wronged her. Aletta Cadagan, on the other hand, is the real deal.
Perhaps it’s because she shares his qualities that he likes her so much she’s impersonal. Doesn’t like to share small details. Prefers to talk straight. Somewhere along the way she lost an eye, too. Didn’t stop her from kicking the world’s ass, though. Hell, she barely seems to consider it a loss likens herself to Odin, king of the Norse gods, who lost the same in exchange for wisdom. She says she can see what’s going on in San Paro clearly enough. Knows exactly what it’ll take to solve it. A single glance at Cadagan and Danko can tell she’s been through the same kind of warzones he has, the kind that leave most soldiers changed for the rest of their lives. San Paro barely fazes her. She gazes down upon its streets the same way a strict teacher does an unruly class. What’s needed is fear, she says. Fear of punishment. Fear of authority. Fear of death. This last, she adds with deliberate emphasis, watching Danko’s face to see how he’ll react.
“I’m listening,” he says.
“Forget the bureaucracy of the judicial system,” she tells him. “The quickest way to inspire dread among the criminal fraternity is to fill the streets with the bodies of their brethren. The moment regular folk begin to see G-King and Bloodrose bodies being loaded into meat wagons by the dozen, they’re going to think again before going to the same nightspots; or cruising in their low-riders looking for trouble; or picking up a gun and deciding which security van or civilian to point it at.”
Nope, Aletta Cadagan is not in this for the good of mankind. She’s in it for money, plain and simple. Cadagan is all about the bottom line. Forget justice. Forget right and wrong. “All that matters is that we manage to inspire fear. Fear of the kill count. Fear of being on the losing side when the smoke clears. Because when all’s said and done, it’s the winners who get paid.”
San Paro is awash with vermin, she says. Before long there’ll be nothing left. She hasn’t come to this town to fight rats for scraps; she’s here because she knows that Justin Teng’s blue-sky ideals are the same ones that bring profit to hawks like her. In order for the Praetorians to prevail, the rats are going to have to go. The Praetorian project cannot sustain the same level of conflict that it does and still remain viable.
She takes the same rhetoric she learned from her father- a stout Irishman, and owner of Cadagan Private Security, a man with a face like thunder and a temper that could hush a storm to silence and puts his logic to good use. She tells Danko that her plan will require investment. If she’s going to build a pile of bodies high enough to be seen from every criminal hideout in San Paro, she’s going to need the best troops and the best gear money can buy: high-ordinance explosives, better armor, faster cars; every gadget, in fact, that Justin Teng can lay his avaricious little hands upon. “Provide me all this,” she promises, “and I will deliver results.”
Danko agrees. Tells her she’ll have what she needs. Privately, he wonders if he hasn’t unleashed a monster upon this city- wonders if he’s ever going to be able close Pandora’s Box again, or whether the lid has simply blown off for good this time.
He knows he has to go dark on this one. If Teng or Choi, or any of the others catch wind of the purge Cadagan’s got planned, they’re going to have a shit-fit. Problem is: Cadagan can only keep her word as long as Danko sends her the kind of top-drawer operatives capable of making her plans stick.
That’s where YOU come in.
You’ve already got the relevant experience. And by now, Danko knows you can keep a secret. You’re made of the right stuff. You can execute his orders yet keep quiet about what you do and why you do it. Aletta Cadagan is waiting for you on the Beacon. You can take your orders from her now. Don’t cross her. Don’t answer back. And whatever you do, make sure you deliver.