This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross

The Thief

"Looting Will Be Punishable By Hanging"


Proclamation issued by Regional Government Headquarters, Area 3 (East Midlands), January 1998


Gemma

Born on the 31st of May 1981, Gemma grew up on a council housing estate in one of the rougher parts of the City. Her parents split up when she was five so she lived with her mum, only seeing her dad occasionally. For a while it was just the two of them and that was OK, but when she was ten her mum's boyfriend moved in with them. Gemma didn't like him. He tried to be her dad but he wasn't. By the time she was fourteen she was spending most of her time hanging out with her mates. She wasn't really interested in school, frequently skipping it to go down to the shopping centre. That was when she started shoplifting. It gave her a buzz, and she could make money selling on the stuff that she stole. She was spending less and less time at her mum's, more time with her dad. The War had started by then of course, but Gemma didn't watch the news or read the papers.

She couldn't avoid the War forever though. In November 1997 the full force of the War came to Britain. Gemma was sixteen when the nuclear bombs started falling. Anarchy followed. Her City wasn't a target for the bombs but all of a sudden there was no food, no water, no power. Riots broke out, the authorities lost all semblance of control. Her mum's boyfriend said they should leave the City, go to the countryside, where it would be safer. Gemma thought that was a crazy idea. They argued. He told her she was coming with them. She told him to go and fuck himself. He tried to grab her arm, she slapped him. Her mother was crying. Gemma ran out of the house, went to her dad's. She went back a couple of days later. Her mum and the boyfriend were gone. She took some of her stuff, what she could carry, went back to her dad's. She's never seen her mum since. She went back to the house a couple of times. The last time she went people were living in it. They told her if she knew what was good for her she had better fuck off. She's never gone back.  


She and her dad got on OK. Gradually things calmed down. The Army were on the streets. Markets started up, but it wasn't like it was before the bombs. For the most part paper money was valueless. Traders wanted things that had a tangible worth, gold, jewellery, watches, or things that they could trade on themselves. Gemma and her dad didn't have much to trade with. So Gemma stole. At first it was easy; in the chaos that had followed the bombs there was a lot of stuff just lying around. It got harder though. The obvious places had all been picked over, the shops, the supermarkets, empty houses. So she started stealing from other survivors. She knew it was dangerous. Before the War if she had been caught shoplifting she would have got a slap on the wrists, told not to do it again. Now looters were being hanged. Gemma got caught once. Not by the Army, they had gone by then, but by the City's so called Self Defence Force. Her Dad said they were just another gang of thugs. Three of them caught her. They gave her a choice. She could take her chances in front of the Judge. Or they could work something out. One of them rubbed his crotch as he said that. Gemma worked something out. On her back in an alleyway. Afterwards, they even let her keep what she had stolen. She stayed away from that part of town for several months.


Just after Christmas 1998 her dad got sick. He died in at the beginning of January. Gemma was on her own. She stayed in the house by herself for a few months. but it wasn't safe. As well as the risk that another looter would break in looking for something to steal  there were gangs looking for victims to rape. To kill. In April 1999 she left the house, found a room in a flat in the centre of the City. A single bed, a chest of drawers, that was about it. But it was a roof over her head and half a dozen other men and women ranging in age from fourteen to twenty seven lived in the flat, so there was a degree of safety in numbers, even if she keeps herself to herself, doesn't talk to her flatmates that much. She prefers to be alone. That way she doesn't have to trust anyone. She doesn't have to care about anyone but herself.


Five feet five inches tall, with long black hair, Gemma is good at blending into the shadows, watching, listening. And she is obviously a good thief, otherwise she wouldn't have survived this long. She knows her way around the City, knows the areas that are dangerous, that are best avoided, knows the people, knows who the major players are, knows which traders won't ask any questions. She's never fired a gun, but when she's out and about she carries a knife, hidden inside her right Doc Martin boot. At night she sleeps with the knife under her pillow. She has a small stash of goods hidden in an abandoned house near where her dad used to live, stuff she is keeping for a rainy day, that she can grab if she needs to get out of the City in a hurry, some jewellery, cartons of cigarettes, enough canned food to keep her going for a week or so, some pills that she has stolen, painkillers and anti biotics.



Stats


The Thief can be encountered in any of England's Free Cities, where she can provide access to different traders and contacts in the City's underworld. Should she have to leave the City she may seek to join the PC's group for security.


Gemma

19 year old, Experienced NPC

Knife

Diamond King (Selfish), Club Three (Somewhat Violent)


Gemma's cache

Various assorted items of jewellery, approx value T2K trading GBP1,200

240 cigarettes