Below is the history of the city in which All Points Bulletin takes place.
Luke Waskawi became San Paro’s first and still premier celebrity criminal on the day he stepped out of the crowd on the steps outside City Hall and fired five shots into the chest of Mayor John Derren. Waskawi was barely even sixteen at the time, yet murdered probably the only man capable of saving San Paro from itself.
And there to see it all – her father gunned down in front of her, his blood splattered across the new dress she had been given for the occasion, feeling the fading strength in his hand that still gripped hers as he died – stood Jane Derren, aged ten.
Five shots. Twenty-three years ago. San Paro would never be the same again.Edit
The echoes of those shots still reverberate today... In the sounds of gunfire that are heard daily in every district of the city; in the howl of sirens that signal another high-speed pursuit in progress; in the excited hype-chatter of the 24-hour rolling news media that follow every car chase, every crime in progress, every rise and fall of this week’s celebrity crime figures or latest Enforcer idols.
Not that Waskawi or Jane Derren would be around to witness the beginnings of the chaos and civic stagnation that was unleashed after the shooting. Waskawi was in prison, and Derren had left San Paro, growing up as far away as possible from the city that had killed her father. In their absence, San Paro went from bad to worse in the aftermath. John Derren's anti-corruption crusade and platform of progressive policies designed to regenerate the city were soon abandoned or reversed by a series of weak but opportunistic political heirs, who still claimed to be following his legacy. The San Paro Police Department, riddled with corruption and starved of funds, became something approaching a bad joke, kept functioning in this – the lowest point in its history – only by the efforts of a few dedicated men and women.
On the streets, crime prospered; flourished as it had never done before, becoming a way of life to a whole generation of young San Parians who had known nothing but the lawless climate of a city in moral freefall. Crime prospered, but the old mob bosses – who had used a naive young Luke Waskawi as a living weapon against the man who threatened to bring them down – did not. They had created Waskawi, but the generation he had created in turn when he fired those five fateful shots – Waskawi’s children; fearless, lawless, hungry for success and recognition – would soon overturn the old order of things in the San Paro underworld.
Outnumbered, outgunned, the traditional mobs faded away, unable to compete against this new and more aggressive generation of criminals. The old criminal rules – codes of honour, laws of silence and discretion – vanished overnight.
These new criminals did not want to hide behind their mansion walls and quietly pose as respectable businessmen. This new breed was out there on the streets. They wanted to be seen. More than that, they wanted to be famous. And San Paro, always a city with an appetite for excess, was quick to indulge them.
In the amoral vacuum of the aftermath of John Derren’s murder, success and celebrity soon became all that really mattered; San Paro’s hunger for both of them fed by a voracious new media capable of turning anyone into an overnight – if often briefly-lived – media sensation, as long as they displayed the right attitude or had an interesting new look. Criminals edged movie stars and fashion models off the covers of glossy magazines. Young and dangerous-looking street toughs walked the red carpets of premiers and after-show parties alongside heiresses and rock stars, and were mobbed by paparazzi in the same way as any other kind of celebrity.
Only in San Paro, tutted a disapproving outside world... and then kept on watching, in spellbound fascination.
And then, into this volatile atmosphere came the return of Luke Waskawi and Jane Derren, and the advent of the City Security Act.
Waskawi broke out after almost two decades in prison, time that he had put to all too-good use in making his plans and spreading his message among San Paro’s criminal brotherhood. Free again, he went underground, becoming an invisible but pervasive presence. The Man with the Plan, operating always in the background, but ultimately with many of the city’s most powerful and feared criminal organizations under his control, directly or otherwise.
The city is irredeemably corrupt, he tells his followers. San Paro’s old institutions – its political establishment, its police, its courts, its giant corporations – have failed the city and its people. And so they must be destroyed, swept away in a tide of necessary anarchy, in order to be replaced by something new and better.
And Jane Derren returned to the city of her birth, launching a lightning-fast political career, unashamedly using her family name and San Paro’s affection for her murdered father to storm up through the ranks of the city council, and then into the mayor’s office itself, bringing with her a raft of radical policies no previous mayor could ever have dreamed of being able to implement.
The City Security ActEdit
The City Security Act: her brainchild, and the most controversial and radical legislation San Paro had ever seen, splitting the city’s population in way nothing had ever done before. Legalised vigilantism, empowering ordinary citizens to take up the burden of law enforcement from the city’s over-stretched and undermanned police force, and ushering in many drastic new measures to curb the city’s out-of-control crime problem.
Luke Waskawi and Jane Derren: both of them claim to hold the key to San Paro’s salvation. Only one of them can be right. The other will destroy the city even as they claim to be trying to save it.
Which one is which, is an issue now violently fought out every day on the city’s streets.
Taken from: City History