- "Some may condemn me and say I fuel the fires of El Distrito Capital by providing cheap arms to it. That is a silly accusation. There was chaos in Ciudad Victoria before I started selling arms, as were there plenty of guns. The violence in Ciudad Victoria is not fueled by the surplus of weapons there, it is fueled by the lack of order, I sell quality arms to factions of my choosing not to escalate violence, but to give them the means to bring about order and thus bring peace. "
- ―Blanca Viniegra on the nature of her business.
|Date of birth:||January 14th, 2248|
|Status:||Making a Fortune|
A little woman who has made a great impact on the Distrito Capital, Blanca Viniegra is a shrewd businesswoman and cunning negotiator who in a short manner of time has become the most significant arms dealer in the region and possibly in all of Tamaulipas. Running the Consorcio Armas Capitales, the Capital Arms Consortium, she has unified every major arms dealer in Ciudad Victoria with the goal of making a fortune and influencing events in the urban warzone. As her word can lead to a de facto embargo of military arms to any of the warring factions in Ciudad Victoria, her favor is among the most valuable tokens in all the wasteland. Entire wars have been won on her word alone. Adored and despised, she is an unapologetic idealist who has no problem using the harshest Machiavellian realist methods to achieve her goals.
Blanca Viniegra was born Blanca Ariza in January of 2248 in The Papal States, in The Barony of Santa Juana. The second daughter of a veterinarian who made a living attending to mules, donkeys, horses, and oxen that were sold in the town to local farmers. Being an important job, he was paid a salary by the Baron of the town and was paid by the owners of each animal, accordingly, young Blanca grew up in relative comfort in a more than decent house.
Being from the Papal States, she was raised Roman Catholic and literate at that. She never expressed much interest in learning veterinary medicine and pursued working as a clerk in a hardware store. It was thought that she would marry off, perhaps to an up and coming nobleman or a militia leader, perhaps a wealthy planter. However, her actual marriage was a shock that would define her life.
When she was nineteen, she got engaged to a young soldier boy who had been working as a mercenary for the Baron, tending to the borders of the Barony. His name was Rafi Viniegra and in a two month period the two found themselves hopelessly in love. They decided that it would be best for them to marry, however, nobody was too anxious to endorse such a marriage, in fact, it was disdained vehemently by Blanca's father who didn't want her daughter with an agnostic gun-toting mercenary from The Corridor. Thus the two had no choice but to elope.
The young couple traveled West to La Ciudad de' Cientos de Paz, and were married that August. They found a little apartment over a bakery and moved in, planning on staying only long enough for a proper honeymoon. While their love was free, food and water were not, so they were forced to look for work. Blanca again found work as a clerk, this time to a caravan office, while Rafi took on menial labor while he looked for better work.
The months spent there were hard but happy for the newly-weds, who barely made ends meet after working most of the day. They cared little for the money, however, content to hold each other instead. Their fortunes seemed to change in February 2268, when Rafi was offered a spot in a mercenary band. He was initially excited at the opportunity, but Blanca was less enthusiastic. She worried that something might happen, and she would never see him again. He told her that could happen each day in the city, and this was a chance to make a decent living.
She relented and Rafi began mercenary work again the next morning. He would work with the group for the next year and a half, earning four times as much as he used to. The jobs they took were usually dealing with creatures too near the caravan trails or the odd group of rustlers. Rafi rarely came home with more than a scratch from these encounters, but Blanca always treated them like a major surgery, and would ask him to quit. Rafi would always laugh off her concerns, telling her he would whenever they had enough to never work again. Blanca always swallowed this and let him go out again, telling herself it would be the last time.
She would see him for the last time on August 13th, 2269. He left with the others to collect a bounty on a group of Comancheros that were seen nearby. Blanca would wait with baited breath and rising dread until a week later, when the news arrived. A cart of bodies was dragged into the market, where Blanca was buying bread for the day. One of the bodies on the cart was poor Rafi, killed with his group by the bandits.
She wept there for hours, unmoved by the consolation of friends, or the hands of thieves. When she regained her senses, she walked to her now empty home, and collapsed on the bed. When she awoke, she had a plan. She found a representative of the knight for her neighborhood, and said that she wanted to hunt the Comancheros. The man laughed heartily, but when he saw she was very serious, he took her to his knight. The man had no intention of leaving the city, but pointed her to another that was preparing a posse. She volunteered and was supplied with a pistol and some ammo, and joined the knight and a small posse to ride down the Comancheros.
The gunfight was short and nasty, with most of the criminals killed outright, and the two survivors taken to be hung in town. For her assistance Blanca was allowed to keep her pistol. Unable to stay with the memories of Rafi, Blanca left the city and headed west. She would eventually end up at La Luna, a small Papal Fort.
Early Mercenary Career
La Luna was one of several Papal Forts, directly funded by the Pope in order to hold back the pagan, mutant hordes of The Highlands and The Saltlands respectively. It was a constant spot of fighting, siting on a trade-way that led towards the capital. As such mercenaries were in constant demand, especially with The Saltlands Wars winding up. Blanca easily found employment there, watching the walls for three weeks, until she was offered a spot in Los Rufianes, a group of mercenaries heading to fight. Bored sitting on the walls, Blanca agreed, and became the seventh Ruffian.
Her duties in the group were pretty much of a clerk;keeping records of contracts, inventorying their equipment and any looted goods, and keeping track of the money. She found her position boring, if not well-paying. She would hold it for the next two years, until she was asked if she wanted to go on a contract. She jumped at the chance, and was told that they had been hired to help protect a merchant on his way to Ciudad Victoria. The reason why soon became clear to her; the cart he was bringing was loaded with weapons. She was uneasy for the next several days, jumping at every noise from the hills. Her compatriots laughed at her at first, but grew more serious the further they proceeded into the District.
The caravan was ambushed just outside of the city, with Comancheros firing from seemingly everywhere. Blanca dove behind a ruined car fired a few shots, but mostly waited. When the shooting stopped, she looked over the hood of the car to find two of the ambushers going through the pockets of the dead. She quietly aimed and shot down the pair before going to the cart.
Consorcio Armas Capitales
The cart was filled with rifles, shotguns and pistols of all types. Fortunately for her, the merchant had unhitched the Brahmin from the trailer when the attack began, and it had wandered a few hundred feet down the road. She retrieved the animal and re-hitched it, before leading it ahead, worried about more ambushes. Her fears were for not however, arriving safely that night at a small settlement. Brasas was one of the settlements on the fringes of the perpetual warzone, and as such played host to scores of mercenaries, criminals and agents.
She had little trouble off-loading the weapons, and then looked around for a safe place to stay. She found room with an elderly couple for a trifle sum, and then headed to the cantina. She had a drink for her partners before being approached by a man. He introduced himself as Hector Lindos, and was curious as to where she came across those guns. She explained the story to him, which made him sigh. He told her that the merchant she was to escort was his partner, and the guns were part his.
He waved off her suspicions, saying that his partner was more valuable as he was the one willing to transport the guns. Blanca, curious about the business, asked the man a series of questions over drinks, surprising him with her intelligence. By the end of the night, Hector invited her to meet him in the morning if she wished to learn more. Blanca returned to her rented room, and took the merchant up on his offer when she woke. After learning more, Hector then surprised her with an offer; a partnership in the business, if she agreed to venture out and purchase the arms.
She accepted his offer, under the condition that she receive an equal half of the profits. Hector mirthfully insisted she would, and ordered tequila to celebrate. The next day Blanca left the town with a sack of pesos, heading back to La Luna to purchase another wagon of weapons. She was more concerned about her security than her predecessor, however, hiring a small group of Badlanders to guard the shipment. They would arrive with no trouble on the way and she turned the wagon over to Hector, who was again impressed at the small woman. They sold the wagon for a pretty profit, with Blanca using her share to hire two of the Badlanders on retainer, and went to buy another load of guns.
After another successful run, Blanca was approached by a representative of Los Doctores. The man inquired about whether she could arrange a meeting with her partner to discuss a shipment. She replied that she would, and perhaps he would meet her again tomorrow. After they agreed on a time, she found Hector and told him of the offer. They discussed it, with Blanca vehemently against it, citing the fact that the Doctors were some of the worst fiends in the District.
After a long argument Hector finally relented and agreed not to sell. Los Doctores were upset to hear this, and attacked the Inn were Blanca was staying. Luckily for her, a band of fighters were staying there, and in addition to her Badlanders, made short work of the surgical fiends. Hector was aghast when he saw the resulting damage, and convinced several associates to stop selling arms to them as well. In addition to this, several small dealers approached the pair to join with their outfit. Initially surprised, they quickly agreed and incorporated the others with them. Sharing the profits, the group vowed to work towards a common end and not sell to 'banned' groups, at the top of which were the Doctors.
Blanca and her fellows slowly began consolidating their grip on the city's arms market, stopping and resuming shipments to factions as they chose. Overtime they have incorporated every major player in the market into their consortium, and Blanca formally took the helm in 2276. Since then her word has been as law in the district, deciding who not would fight, but greatly helping decide who would win.
An attempt was made on her life in early 2282, an bomb planted in her home barely missing her when it went off. Shaken, she sent for four more Badlanders and began to make inquires. She soon discovered it was an attempt by several of her lesser merchants, carried out by a pair of orphans. She first found the orphans and brought them along for the next company meeting, having them point out which ones hired them. Positioning her guards, she then addressed her employees. She talked about the attempt on her, saying that they had those responsible.
At this the Badlanders grabbed the men and dragged them outside, where their protests were cut off by the sounds of a Ripper. She had the orphans sent out of the ruins to an associate and resumed her work. Since then she has been the undisputed leader of the consortium. On rumors of a competitor selling energy weapons she traveled to Samuel Ramon Merrida Alvende IV's Energy Weapon Emporium to meet him. Amused, Blanca offered to buy his one Laser Pistol and even to give him a job. The 'merchant' went for both and has worked as her janitor her several years.
Originally a quiet if firmly convinced girl, Blanca has come into her own as the head of her consortium. She has become a master of Realpolitik, and can start or stop a war at a whim. Her desire for peace is a way of venting her grief of Rafi's death. she is an unapologetic idealist who has no problem using the harshest Machiavellian realist methods to achieve her goals. A woman in a man's world, she has been subjected to many types of harassment, and shrugs off most given to her.
Blanca's small frame belies her cunning mind; She often catches clients unawares with her knowledge. She tries to look professional, Sporting formal dresses, but when with trusted friends or associates, she will often wear jeans from Nuevo Estilio and a t-shirt.
Blanca has rarely carried much in her life, and then only for a short time. Due to to the nature of her work a weapon is never far, but she prefers to leave that to her bodyguards. She retains a pair of Rio Grande Badlanders, favoring the detached foreigners over the local selection.
- "Yes you did pay on time, and pay well, but that was part of the plan. You are a group of monsters; worse than the mutants of The Highlands; you are a pack of Gringo Texan dogs that rape and kill as you please, burning what you don't take. But your not stupid though, without the first shipment of weapons, you never would ordered your men out of your base and into the trap. So please, join them in Hell."
- ―Blanca explaining why she was betraying Los Cañones to the leader, Jefferson