|Date of birth:||4/23/2262|
|Date of death:||N/A|
|Occupation:||Dish Washer, Wanderer, Gambler, Con Artist|
Jialong Zhou is a wanderer from Chinatown in Seattle that has built up quite the reputation for himself in his short time in the wasteland. This is because of his various get rich quick schemes and cons.
Born in Chinatown on April 23, 2262, Jialong Zhou was lucky to survive his own birth. His mother Mai almost died giving birth to him, her third child, to the horror of his father Chen. Jialong's improbable string of good luck would begin straight out of the womb, with the little baby miraculously surviving what had been a difficult pregnancy.
Jialong's childhood was one of of hardship but relative security. Living with large extended family, Jialong learned how to get along with people early. This was mostly with his rather confrontational extended family. His parents, the owners of a small restaurant, put Jialong to work as soon as he could walk in menial tasks such as being a messenger and a waiter. As a child, Jialong was constantly in interaction with people coming in and out of his parents’ restaurant, both locals and outsiders. He gained a gift for speech early, and that factored into his performance in the restaurant. Jialong also had a large friend group outside his extended family, which only grew when he went to Chinatown’s local school. His two favorite friend were the quiet Zhang and the rather overactive Li. The three often pulled pranks in their teenage years and took part in several of Jialong’s first cons.
Jialong’s gift of gab was noticed by his teacher who advised the boy to use that skill in his future endeavors, perhaps as a merchant. Jialong reflected his teacher’s advice and looked even farther to occupations such as politics and the local militia. These aspirations did not meld well with his family's expectations. His father especially had a problem with Jialong's goals for success. Jialong was forced to remain a lowly dish-washer in his parents' restaurant.
As Jialong grew older and got something of an education, he still remained in Chinatown as a dish-washer in the restaurant. Zhang left with a caravan in 2276, and Li grew increasingly distant. Feeling rather distant from his friends and family, Jialong began to put his people skills to use in making some caps. This involved a couple of scams, cons, and smuggling operations. Jialong’s illicit dealings with outsiders were initially quite profitable. However, these interactions also put him in quite a bind, especially when an operation involving some valuable pre-War tech went south, putting him down 5,000 caps. Normally, this would be just be a stain on Jialong’s reputation, but it was worse than that. He had pissed off the one person in the criminal underworld of the Seattle he should not have pissed off: Jade. In early 2276, Jialong had to quickly pack up and leave, going into exile in the wastes to escape potential bounty hunters at least until he could make enough caps to pay off his debt to Jade.
Wandering out of the city of Seattle, Jialong quickly made his way into the forests of Cascadia. From there, he set out on his first series of adventures. These started immediately when Jialong left Seattle. He scavenged relentlessly on the ruined highway going east. He was soon sighted by a gang of raiders, and they gave chase. More or less unarmed, Jialong ran hard ahead of the raiders for a full day. At the end of the day, Jialong finally managed to escape into the Wenatchee Forest, giving the raiders the slip. The forest managed to shield Jialong's escape, and he picked through the ruins within the former National Forest. That continued until some forest scavengers drove Jialong off further east.
Jialong eventually made it out of Wenatchee Forest, he finally made it into eastern Washington to build up more money with confidence tricks so he could return to Seattle (and make some caps on the side). Jialong's scamming of eastern Washington settlement included the Spanish Prisoner scam, salting, change raising, the pigeon drop, and inferior resales. Over the years, the con artist built up an even larger reputation than he had enjoyed in Seattle. Prominent locations Jialong has visited over the years include La Mugre, Nez Perce, the Boise Wasteland, Yakima, Portland, and NAP Territory. These journeys ended up with Jialong being barred from the entire Kingdom of God, banned from ever entered several homesteads/settlements, and pegged as a target by Badlanders. The few friends Jialong made during that time include Jasper (a reclusive artist), Carl Wu (a rather partial Asian homesteader), Laura (a fellow con artist), and Shabazz (an unscrupulous FNA general).
Probably the biggest con Jialong ever pulled though was in 2280 when he visited La Mugre for the third time to gamble. Jialong did gamble quite a bit, but he still on the lookout for marks while he had fun. That being said, the Idaho Gunners of the Western Quarter were by that point fully aware of Jialong's intent and made sure to keep a couple eyes on him at all times. That did not stop Jialong from working cons while gambling, duping a couple of people out of their hard-earned caps without any bloodshed.
However, Jialong's proudest moment came when he met someone of substantial wealth who would also be susceptible to his tricks: an affluent caravan agent by the name Samvel Hovsepian. It took some convincing, but Jialong managed to sell Hovsepian a large amount of pre-War money that he claimed was the currency of the fictional New United State of America in Montana and a good investment. With that, Jialong quickly made his way out of La Mugre to go back to Seattle and pay back his debts to Jade.
That did not come without its own difficulties. In Seattle, Jialong's name still had a price on it. Bounty hunters were on the watch for Jialong, and the con artist tread carefully as he made his way through Seattle. That was until the well-equipped killer Lucius Horn cornered Jialong near Capitol Hill. Luckily, Jialong managed to navigate with just the right amount of combat and procrastination that he escaped and finally paid off his debts to Jade in Emerald City. He hoped that would finally end his exile from Chinatown, halt his need to continue roaming, and bring a sense of normalcy back to his life.
However, as with many things in life, things were not so simple. Although he paid off Jade, Jialong could not ever pay to improve his already tattered reputation. His family, especially his parents, rejected Jialong upon his return to Chinatown and refused to acknowledge him. So, Jialong bought a room on the edge of Chinatown and endeavored to operate out of there, a little closer to home at least.
However, Jialong was attacked before he could pull another con by an unknown assailant. Managing to hold off the attacker, Jialong chased the assassin out of Chinatown but lost him in the winding ruined streets of Seattle. That first attempt began a long string of attacks that would dog Jialong over the next few years.
After it became obvious no one in town would hire Jialong, the now desperate man turned back to the only avenue seemingly left: petty crime. Living out of his tiny room in Chinatown, Jialong would spend the next three years dedicated to committing the cons he had once pulled over Cascadia in Seattle. It was a hard life, what with the occasional ‘blasts from the past’, but the cons kept life interesting. They sometimes could fail spectacularly, but Jialong always managed to get out in one piece.
That line of thinking, however, was what ultimately led to disaster. Eventually, his past did more damage than he expected, and in 2283, a group of vengeful Badlanders injured Jialong's father in one of their clashes. That was the moment Jialong knew it was his time to leave. He decided it would be best if he packed up and headed south to try to seek his fortune in the wasteland again.
This dangerous journey, spent avoiding the aftermath of the greater part of the Oregon Brushfire Wars, eventually led Jialong to the NCR, New Reno specifically. Having heard of the NCR's greatness in years past, Jialong was only slightly impressed when he arrived in New Reno. Jialong's weakness towards gambling and confidence tricks established his reputation quite early. That and a particular incident with the Wrights led to Jialong attracting the attention of Cobb Consulting Inc. Approached by a young messenger, Jialong was directed to CCI's office across from the Desperado Casino. Inside the office, a sort of informal interview took place for a position as a private investigator. Jialong was at first reluctant to tell his interviewers about his con artist past but was quite quickly coaxed into informing Randolph Cobb and Jaime Gonzales, of just about his entire life story (excluding some more personal parts about his family and his time in the wasteland). Struck with the con artist's resilience, the heads of CCI hired Jialong on the spot. They promised that he would have work soon. Jialong was very happy with this, if a little apprehensive. He felt like he was finally going legit, given housing and forward pay. However as usual, the promise turned out to be too good to be true.
Jialong's first job under CCI was essentially acting as a snoop for higher-up in the NCR against an up and coming Shi gangster in New Reno. Gonzales signed Jialong up for this job assuming he was Shi, as many Asians were in New California. Regardless of the unexpected circumstances, Jialong managed to ingratiate himself with the Shi gangster, an up and coming rogue named Xing. Xing and Jialong got along just fine with the con artist learned quite a lot about the gangster while reporting back to CCI about the gangster's behavior. The two began to get along pretty well until Gonzales told Jialong that he had done what he had to. The next day, Jialong heard that Xing had been assassinated, he assumed due to information provided by him. Jialong confronted the CCI bosses about this and asked them about justice, which led to them laughing in his face. It was that moment that Jialong realized the NCR was closer to the wasteland than he had thought.
About two days after Xing's death, Jialong decided that he did not belong in New Reno and submitted his resignation to CCI. Jialong left before he could hear his employers' response, and he made his way back to Seattle, since he felt that his wanderings were over. His arrival back in Chinatown in 2284 was met with little fanfare. After his return from NCR, Jialong has continued his cons and schemes to stay afloat, even though it has made him many more enemies in Seattle. One thing Jialong learned after his years in Seattle: do not mess with Jade. Jialong in 2287 is tired of his various failures and is longing for the wasteland once again, remembering his past wanderings with much nostalgia. However, Jialong has not given in to his desires and has tried to remain in Seattle, stable if despised.
Jialong Zhou's personality is one of a typical con artist, though he cannot be summed up as a complete cliche in that respect. He has certain qualities that make him a better person, if not a better criminal. Although he is a quite sociable person as his profession, requires, Jialong tends to have very few actual friends as trust is something people who know him do not give up easily. Jialong’s love for his family has been his most persistent relationship, even though they have officially disavowed him. Also, Jialong is very organized and inventive, which has helped immensely in his travels.
Jialong has a certain charisma to him that lends itself towards confidence tricks but not long-term relationships (or even short-term relationships). As such, Jialong has never actually dated a woman and has built up quite a level of resentment towards women as a result. This often translates into some low-level sexual harassment and chauvinism on Jialong’s part. This and his habit of targeting women in his schemes does not do him any favors in the female department. Another aspect of Jialong's con artist side is his habitual lying. Jialong can be very dedicated to a lie and tends to stick with it until he really knows the jig is up.
Though Jialong is a con artist, he is not utterly morally bankrupt. He makes it a point not to con someone he thinks cannot recover from it (though that obviously does not make the marks feel any better). Also, Jialong has major scruples toward towards killing, thinking it to be very distasteful and immoral (ironic, right?). That does not however mean he will not kill in self-defense as he has done countless times in the wasteland. He makes it a point most of time not to work with killers either, though Jialong has less scruples about that. This rule about not working with killers extends to raiders, slavers, Badlanders, and cannibals.
Appearance is an important element of Jialong Zhou's job, meant to project the image he wants his marks to see. When he wants to put on airs for a mark, Jialong tends to have a slick, well put together image. He has a wide assortment of pre-War clothing that he has to impress others in both formal and informal settings while he wears his Mogui Armor when out in the wasteland. Jialong also always makes sure to keep proper hygiene, though that is sometimes hard to do in the wasteland.
Jialong's rough physical appearance can be described as an average-sized Asian man with a broad face and attentive eyes. Jialong has been slightly insecure about his appearance (especially his height) ever since he left Chinatown for the wasteland.
The equipment Jialong Zhou uses has been accumulated over the last couple of years in the wasteland due to losing most of his gear when he was exiled from Chinatown. His most impressive article is his custom wasteland gear, named the Mogui Armor by him, was made with survival in the wastes as its first priority. This includes a mask with an oxygen filter, a nuclear-powered internal air conditioning, a built-in Pip-boy, and several secret pockets. Jialong's appearance in the Mogui Armor is one of an armored wastelander with various souvenirs hanging off him and an almost bug-like mask.
- "The best job is the one where the target knows as little as possible."
- ―Jialong Zhou
- "Gambling... It's a problem."
- ―Jialong Zhou
|This has been written by MongoosePirate. Please contact this user before editing this article.|