|Coney Island Jokers|
|Headquarters:||Super Fun Land, Coney Island|
|Location(s):||Brooklyn, New York|
- "These guys aren't looking for anything specific. They just want to see things burn."
- ―A New Brighton resident
The Coney Island Jokers are a splinter group of the National Pleasure League, the alliance of scum that ran The Bronx for much of the early 23rd century. In 2235, the Federal Republic of Libeteria bombed the Pleasure Palace, the headquarters of the group, sending it into disarray. In the years since, the Federal Republic and other groups in the Bronx began systematically eliminating the National Pleasure League remnants, arresting and imprisoning them or outright killing them. In 2268, a barge full captured NPL remnants set sail from the south Bronx en route to Mirelurk Bay, where they would be imprisoned and put on trial. As the barge sailed down the East River and into the Upper Bay, it was intercepted and attacked by a pair of Jager Pirate ships. In the chaos of the fighting, many of the prisoners were able to free themselves and escaped from the barge, swimming to their freedom. Fifteen of these men swam to Brooklyn, landing on the shores of what used to be the neighborhood of Bay Ridge.
The battle in the Narrows attracted the attention of men and women that were living nearby, in the ruins of Fort Hamilton. The freed NPL remnants attempted to do what they do best- rape, murder, loot, and pillage- but quickly found themselves on the run when the people of Fort Hamilton proved themselves well equipped and well trained. The criminals fled southeast, following the shoreline. They passed through the former neighborhoods of Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Gravesend before finally coming to Coney Island.
When they first arrived in Coney Island, the NPL remnants began encountering eerie graffitti sprayed up and down the streets and all over the burned out shells of the homes and apartment buildings that still stood. They followed the primitive artwork- a man with a grinning smile that spread across his entire face- to Super Fun Land, a Pre-War amusement park. Plastered all over the park was the eerie face they had encountered throughout the ruins of the neighborhood. In addition, the NPL remnants encountered cultists.
The cultists were not hostile to the NPL remnants. On the contrary, they were open and friendly towards them. Talking cryptically about having waited for the "men who take what is theirs", the cultists offered the NPL remnants food, shelter, and most importantly to them, chems. Invariably, the NPL remnants all binged on the chems they were offered, some kind of Daddy-O derivative. In the vivid hallucinations they began experiencing, the men from the National Pleasure League were visited by the eerie face plastered around the area. Calling itself the Harbinger of Chaos, told them that it would give them the power to do what they were used to doing- raping, murdering, looting, and pillaging- but that they would have to do it in its name. When they awoke from their trips, all were converted to the worship of the eerie face. The cultists seemed to know that the Harbinger of Chaos had told them in their chem-induced stupors and readily lent their strength to whatever the former NPL remnants had in mind.
Over the course of the next decade, now calling themselves the Jokers, the now-joined cultists and NPL remnants began spreading chaos and dischord throughout Brooklyn. Though they attacked other groups and places, they primary target continually was New Brighton, a stable-but-well-fortified settlement only minutes from their headquarters at Super Fun Land. The Jokers would raid and harass the settlement, oftentimes killing some of its defenders and making off with spoils of war- be it food, caps, or women- but the attacks never threatened the existence of the Russian-descended settlement.
The raids took on a whole new dimension starting in 2278, when Vladimir Medvedev took over New Brighton. A former Enclave officer, Medvedev did not find the raids on his settlement amusing. At first, he allowed the Jokers to exist and to harass his settlement because he believed that it would whip the men of New Brighton into fighting shape, but when it became apparent that they would never meet his standards, he soured on their existence. He began hiring mercenaries and mutants from the Army of the Righteous Goo to not only protect the settlement, but to also eliminate the Coney Island Jokers.
Though the forces from New Brighton were certainly more well trained and well armed than a couple dozen cultist raiders, the Jokers knew the land and used it to their advantage. Every time the forces of New Brighton have advanced, the Jokers have fallen back into the booby-trapped territory they controlled, the asymmetrical warefare giving them the advantage every time. Over the years, recognizing this, Medvedev has periodically attempted to recruit the Jokers to be his personal army, but the clown-painted raiders have rejected his entreaties every time.
MembershipThe Jokers, despite the problems they
have caused from New Brighton and other parts of southern Brooklyn, are still a relativley small group. When they originally began terrorizing the people around them, they numbered roughly 40 men and women. The group has since almost doubled in size to 70 members, but is still relativley small for what they hope to someday accomplish.
Members of the group do not use their actual names. Instead, they take new, macabre names that they identify with. Top Hat, a raider who is known for wearing a large, oversized top hat, is the leader of the group. Scabby, who is always picking scabs on his face caused by a skin condition reacting with the oil face paint he wears, is his right-hand man and the second-in-command of the group.
Activities & Interests
In short, the Jokers are interested in creating chaos and destruction for the sake of chaos and destruction. They believe that the Harbinger of Chaos, the Pre-War era clown painting, has tasked them with this mission. As a tribute to it, the Jokers paint their faces in a similar manner. The Jokers are known for their collective black sense of humor and deadly irony. They are known, for example, for turning Pre-War objects originally designed for fun and amusement into weapons. They have been known to employ razor-tipped playing cards, joy buzzers that emit a lethal amount of electricity, explosive children's toys. The various Pre-War amusement park ruins that dot Joker-controlled territory have been transformed into deadly mazes.
Due to geography, the Jokers are fairly isolated. Even if they were not, however, it is likely that they would not enjoy particularly well relationships with other groups, as Jokers feel it is their divinely-inspired mission to cause chaos and destruction in their wake. New Brighton is the only major settlement near Jokers-controlled territory, so they bear the brunt of the clown-painted raiders attacks.