- "Rockport is one of them towns that just refuses to die. We've survived the bomb, our own fire department taking over, some chem slingin' dago, an ajee bunch of bikers and now the meanest bunch of mercs this side of the Grande. I'd like to find a town that has weathered as much and still have folks around to tell the tale."
- ―A resident of Rockport
|Location:||Corpse Coast, Texas|
|Notable Individuals:||Ricardo Alvarez
Red "Man-eater" Robinson Paul Mack Guy "Bull" Coope Reince Moore Israel Murtaugh
Rockport Mercenary Guild
|Notable events:||The Bombardment of 2165
Red "Man-eater" Robinson's Takeover
|Current status:||Safe zone.|
Rockport, Texas is a small unassuming town that sits upon a small peninsula that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico. Known for being a relatively sane and civil place among the violence of the Corpse Coast, the town has gone through many phases, from being a small salvaging community, to hosting a Mexican warlord, a gang of neo-nazi bikers and finally being home to the infamous Rockport Mercenary Guild. It has since become arguably the safest place in the Coast.
The town of Rockport was founded in 1870 as a cattle slaughter, packing and shipping center along the Texan Gulf Coast. The town came to fame in the mid-1920s when Italian bootlegger, Dominick Scorelli's operation was busted by Federal agents and Texas Rangers and in retaliation Scorelli began a campaign of bombings that left six law enforcement officers and the Corpus Christi District Attorney dead. The bombings ended when Federal agents, acting on a tip, burst into the gangsters hideout in Rockport, and killed him and three other mobsters in a chaotic gun battle. A decade later it was discovered that the entire town of Rockport had been involved with the bootlegging scheme, with illicit alcohol being shipped out with the sides of beef the town processed. However by this point prohibition had been over for two years and no prosecutor was willing to take up the case, thus the charges against the various conspirators were dropped.
During the Second World War, Rockport was utilized by the Coast Guard and Navy as a base for PT boat and seaplane patrols that ensured that the Gulf of Mexico stayed clear of German U-boats, however after the war's conclusion the town once again fell into obscurity, its history only being punctuated by the killing of three Klansmen by soldiers of the Black Panther Party in 1980. In the early 21st century the town became the set for the new age western, A Man Behind the Law, a modern reinterpreatation of John Ford's classic The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
It was 2032 when the first bane of Uranium was discovered outside of town, within a few weeks every member of the town's population was out staking claims out in the scrubland and when men from the Department of Energy came to purchase the land, the town grew rich in profits made off of the lucrative lands sales. For a solid decade, Uranium ore was moved by the truckload through the town and was shipped across the Gulf to the processing plants in and around Texas City, the town flourished from the influx of investments, capital and cheap labor. Eventually however the banes of Uranium were hollowed out, and the money stopped flowing in and the town experienced a massive economic slump as money and capital left the town in droves alongside the hordes of migrant workers that were formerly employed there.
Up until 2077, the town remained in obscurity as once again it relied upon it's beef slaughtering, packing and shipping industry to bring in revenues.
The Great War
When the Great War commenced and the bombs started flying, Rockport, being a small town of no strategic value was not directly bombed. However, when Corpus Christi was hit, the shockwave from the blast shook the town violently. Windows were shattered, cars flipped, objects were knocked over and doors were knocked off their hinges. In the aftermath of the detonation a few fires sprang up across town, which the town's fire department immediately went to deal with, and the police and mayor enacted a curfew. Despite the curfew, a few people did pack up their things and leave town, but for the most part the townsfolk stayed, securely in their homes. The town police were joined by a handful of National Guardsmen and reservists and were quickly deputized and joined in the duty of maintaining law and order within Rockport, as the rest of Texas turned itself upside down in the ensuing panic.
It wasn't twenty-four hours after the bomb dropped when the first looters began to arrive, they came in whatever cars they had scrounged up, armed with pipes, 2x4s, knives and small pistols and immediately took smashing out store windows and piling whatever they could carry into their cars. Those store owners that had stayed at their businesses, armed themselves with whatever they could and defended their property, attracted by the gunfire, roving police cruisers and patrolmen arrived and helped drive off the looters, killing those who refused to go quietly. The Mayor and Police Chief agreed that in order to preserve their town, they would need to close the two causeways that led into town. The police followed through with this order by enacting a shoot on sight policy for anyone spotted heading down the causeway that looked like trouble, leaving it up to the individual officer to decide who did and who didn't. As the rest of Texas sank into chaos, Rockport survived.
"The Town that Survived the Bomb"
In the weeks following the Great War, barricades were built, the town's gun and grocery stores were cleaned out by the police and town alike as everyone grabbed what goods they can, sometimes using old coins to purchase items, but mostly bartering was the main form of exchange. For awhile things along the town's two enterances were fairly calm, as none of the looters, scavengers or thugs that roamed the mainland seemed to take too much interest in Rockport. Inside the town however things were less peaceful as those few under prepared survivors took to robbing and holding up passersby at night. Thus a few citizens got together and formed the Peace Committee, arming themselves with whatever firearms they had available, they walked the streets at night, killing or subduing any would be assailants that approached them. Despite the fact that the streets were cleaned up, the town Mayor: Matthew Streicher banned the wearing of firearms in town in order to prevent any would be vigilantes from shooting it out with crooks in the streets.
Eventually a few salvagers decided to check out Rockport, and thus a group of them took off towards the town in a trio of Corvegas and a Highwayman. For all intents and purposes, the group of salvagers were harmless to the town, and were simply looking to find some tradeable scrap, yet when they pulled up to the town's barricade they were met with gunfire from the policemen and guards. In all seven salvagers were killed in the gun battle and a single officer was wounded when he was winged by a salvagers .38 revolver. However the gunfire from the skirmish attracted the attention of the more insidious groups roving the streets of the area, and from then afterward the town was assailed by bands of raiders. Eventually the town decided to invite in merchants from the outside, giving them permits, signed by the Mayor, to trade with them and in response to popular demand for return of the Rule of Law, the law was codified, making murder, rape, assault and damage of property to be punishable offences, usually with a speedy trial and a hanging.
The Ballad of Johnny Welsh
In 2110 the town gave rise to the small time, not so well known, gunfighter, Johnny "Winchester" Welsh. Johnny was a sixteen year old kid who had inherited from his Father an old Winchester Plasma pistol, he prided himself greatly on his pistol and was known to travel from town to town with his Father's caravan, showing it off to anyone who could stand to listen to him. Eventually one day, an annoyed patron at the Copper-head saloon in Port Aransas, having heard enough of Johnny's jawing, challenged him to a duel, taunting him to prove he could shoot straight. Johnny, unperturbed, accepted the challenge and walked outside with the annoyed patron and after taking the customary ten paces, turned and fired at the patron, catching him in the gut with his plasma bolt. The patron died on the spot, and Johnny stood there astonished he'd survived. When his Father heard of the duel, he sent young Johnny back to Rockport while he took care of the dead man's expenses, promising a thorough beating when he returned.
However Johnny went about bragging about his successful duel, against the patron, who later turned out to the son of the town Mayor and had been drunk at the time of the duel, showing off his plasma pistol at the Last Chance Saloon in Rockport and reveling in the attention from the womenfolk. However a few of the town's lawmen entered into the town, seeing the boy waving around his pistol, and immediately pulled their own revolvers. The town's lawmen were much more experienced in gunfighting then Johnny and, with only the briefest warning they shot him down. Thus ends the story of Johnny "Winchester" Welsh who spent the remainder of his life, paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheel chair.
Chief Parker's Takeover
By the 2120s Rockport was a flourishing little town, having setup trade relations with several caravan outfits, along with completion of a water purifier, the town had become a thriving community that survived off of the selling of scrap and the repairing and construction of rudimentary boats and rafts in their small dockyard to merchants and Rafters alike. However it was the Sheriff election of 2122 that would end this prosperity, the election had been taking place between "Little" Bill Webb and former Fire Chief Parker Beck. Bill being the son of Horatio Webb, the proprietor of the Texican Caravan Company, had the leg up from the begginning, as his Father called in favors in the town to get his son elected. As compared to the honest campaign run by Parker, who was the current head of the town's fire department.The Rockport Fire Department, was for the most part still intact and while it still performed its old duties of fighting fires and acting as the town's emergency medical staff, they also doubled as part of the town guard as on more than one occassion they'd taken up firearms to help defend the town. Yet the Fire Department was marginalized, as more and more power was asserted with the Police Chief and Mayor's office, with the firemen's pay being cut time and time again, until most had to work two jobs alongside fire fighting. Eventually they had had enough. Meeting in the town's delapidated fire house, Parker convinced his fellow firemen that they and their family's would benefit if they took over the town. The majority of the firemen, tired of their lives of toil and struggle, agreed and those who didn't concur were made to either agree or coerced into keeping their mouths closed. For the next month the firemen went about convincing members of the police and disgruntled members of the community to side with them, and on June 12, 2123 the Firemen, their police and civilian allies took to the streets declaring it theirs. As the rebels drove the citizens of the town back into their homes and barrios, a group of firemen armed with ax handles broke into the mayor's office and axed the mayor, the police chief, two undersheriffs and several other members of the town government. Meanwhile, another particularly disturbed man walked into the Blue Talon Saloon, the favorite hangout of many of the town's police officers and with several pounds of C4 strapped to his chest he blew the whole place to bits.
The aftermath of the revolt was the town surrendering itself to Chief Parker Beck, with the group of supporters being formed into his personal militia. From that point onwards Parker ruled as a brutal dictator, enforcing his will upon the citizens of the town, killing those who resisted, and collecting a 40% tax from all merchants who entered town. His actions quickly drove off many merchants and drew the ire of the citizenry. That money which he collected from the tax was mostly spent on equipment that would allow him to produce chems and outfitting his men with weaponry. Eventually by 2140, Rockport had become one of the prime suppliers of the Corpse's supply of Psycho and possessed a fearsome armory to protect the chemists who cooked.
By 2150, Rockport had become yet another center of sin and vice in the Corpse, as mercenaries, slavers and tribals alike stopped into the town to indulge their fantasies and take the edge off with a hit of Jet. It was during this period that the infamous Great Slaver War was fought, starting in 2152 and enduring until 2154, the Great Slaver Wars saw the three great slaver organizations of the time: Santa Rosa Slavers, Rio Roco and Playa Bagdad fight for control of the inter Texas-Tamaulipas slave market. However with the end of the conflict in 2154, the Santa Rosa and Rio Roco slavers remained, while the slavers of Playa Bagdad had been run off from their base. The Playa Bagdad slavers wandered Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, and Veracruz as the band collected and sold slaves, while fighting amongst themselves. After the fall of banda lider was toppled after another, until finally a man named Ricardo Alvarez took power in 2157. Under his leadership the slavers relocated to the ruined town of Los Indios in Southern Texas, along the Rio Grande. From there the gang restarted their operations, kidnapping unsuspecting wasters and dragging them off to Los Indios for sale. Due to their proximity to their enemies in Santa Rosa, the Los Indios slavers came into conflict with one another with great frequency, as well many law enforcement bureaus, such as the Doolittle Regulators, began to target slave caravans leaving and entering Los Indios in an effort to drive off the slavers without attacking their fortified citadel.
Eventually, Ricardo saw the futility to staying Los Indios and thus began to plan their eventual evacuation from the town, having heard of another den of sin and vice from merchants up North in the Corpse Coast, Ricardo decided to move the band up there to finally escape the trappings of their current abode.
Ricardo Alvarez, The Ayatollah of Playa BagdadRicardo Alvarez, born in 2130 in San Miguel, Veracruz to a slave mother and slaver father was inducted into his father's band of raiders when he was only ten years old. For much of his childhood, and adolescents he spent his time helping the slavers raid tribal villages in northern Veracruz before the band moved North back into Tamaulipas. When he was twenty-one, Ricardo, along with several others seized control of the slaver band and drove off those members of the band who refused to yield to his rule. It was while the slaver band had stopped over in the ruins of Ciudad Mante, that Ricardo and his slavers encountered a muslim caravan from deep down South. Talking with the caravan's leader Abdul Hafeez, he was told of a great religious cleric named the Ayatollah, who was not only the King of all the muslim kingdom, but the highest scholar of Islam in the eyes of its followers.
Ricardo, having heard the man's story, promptly ordered his men to enslave the caravaneers and then promptly dubbed himself the Ayatollah of Playa Bagdad, which many of the slavers still identified with. From there he led his band of slavers from Ciudad Mante to the ruins of what was once Playa Bagdad, took as much of the band's old gear and equipment as they could carry or pull, and headed off towards Los Indios where they restarted their operations. The slavers were particularly well armed, having raided several pre-war Mexican military armories (at great loss to themselves) and outfitted themselves with an impressive array of gear. Eventually when the band left Los Indios to its fate and move on to Rockport, they dragged with them a single 120mm mortar and ammunition. Upon arriving on the outskirts of Rockport, they demanded that the town submit to their rule with Chief Parker and his men responding by firing a single rocket out towards the slaver's position. Ricardo, ordered that the town be bombarded into submission.
Thus the slavers unlimbered the mortar and began dropping rounds on the town, the other slavers fanned out and using missile launchers, or grenade launchers, added to the bombardment. The town however, stood fast in their defences. For weeks this went on, as the slavers bombarded the town with a combination of high explosives, and fragmentation rounds until eventually one well placed round tore through one of the town's outer barriers, seeing their opportunity, the slavers took it, rushing the gap. In the ensuing maelstorm, the slavers managed to overpower the town's defenders and seize control, marching Chief Parker and his fellow mutineers out to the town square where they were shot dead in front of the town. From that point on, Ricardo declared the town under his rule. From then on the slavers ran their operations from Rockport, bringing back groups of slaves to be sold to buyers who arrived from both land and sea to view the selection. As well the operation attracted the same array of vice merchants that are brought in by the prospect of an open town, peddling chems, prostitutes, alcohol and arms to the slavers and their customers.
For the most part the rule of Ayatollah Ricardo was uncontested by the townspeople and the surrounding communities, and in return the slavers left many of the citizens and surrounding communities to their own devices. However the cost of raiding into the Corpse and further into Texas was taking its toll on the slavers, not only were the raids costly, but it left many of the slavers exhausted upon their return, their equipment in need of repair and supplies in need of replenishment. Eventually, Ricardo decided to hit the town of Port Aransas. The raid took place in the early hours of dawn, and ended only two hours after it had began. The few defenders of Port Aransas' small militia were barely able to get out of their beds before Ricardo and forty of his men stormed into the town on horseback. For the next three hours the townsfolk were rounded up, and those befitting Ricardo's tastes were clapped in irons and hauled back to Rockport. The survivors of Port Aransas refusing to take this abuse lying down, put the word out throughout the coast that they were looking to hire mercenaries.The first group to answer the call was a biker gang of some thirty men, known as The Vandaderos Acero. A band of virulent neo-nazis they were more than happy to help run a "dirty wetback" out of Texas. Paid with flats of beer and a supply of chems, the Vandaderos took to scouting the town and compiling supplies. The leader of the Vandaderos, a fat, skin head named Red "Man-eater" Robinson personally rode into Rockport with his associate; Paul Mack. There they observed a slave auction, and purchased a white slave girl named, Chelsea, took her back to Port Aransas and interrogated her about the ins and outs of Ricardo's regime. After hearing their fill, Red and Paul handed Chelsea over to the service of their men and began the planning for their take over of Rockport.
The Vandaderos Acero
The attack came on December 10, 2195. Led by Red himself the Vandaderos Acero blazed into Rockport around 2:30am, after a night of wild partying the slavers for the most part were completely incapitated. Most of them, including their leader Ricardo, had developed a chem addiction since moving into Rockport and indulging in the town's massive supply of Jet and, after discovering a shipment of hair-spray, homemade Turbo. The take over went like clockwork as the Vandaderos rode into town shooting those who resisted, and then went around detaining those remaining slavers, since most were so inebriated or stoned that they couldn't tell what was going on, this process amounted to just carrying them outside where they were grouped together and shot. Following his successful golpe de' principal, Red and his gang of bikers collected their last payment from Port Aransas, and declared themselves the new rulers of Rockport.
Red "Man-eater" Robinson
Born in Houston to a scavenger father and chemist mother, Red grew up helping his mother cook bathces of Med-X and Fixer for their small trading post, located along the busy I-10 Energy Corridor. Servicing traffic from all over Texas and Mexico, the Energy Corridor, or just the Corridor was the main thoroughfare used by everyone from merchants, travellers, mercs and slavers looking to head East towards Orange and The Big East. Unfortunately a pack of wayward slavers came upon the small store, and after killing his father, enslaved him and his mother, marching them back west to markets in The Corpse. After being sold at The Lexxx, Red traded hands a few times, spending time on a plantation, a horse farm outside New Braunfels, and finally at a bullet pressing plant in Rio Hondo. It was in 2160, when Rio Hondo was raided by a gang of bikers calling themselves Los Vandaderos Acero, led by a chem addicted Lipan named Leaping Carp.
The Vandaderos had come to Rio Hondo for the town's extensive supply of arms and ammunition, however the various merchants there were prepared for such an attack and had hired a great number of mercenaries to protect their town and their livelihoods. In the ensuing gun battle Leaping Carp and a few others had ducked into the factory, and discovered Red and his fellow laborers cowering underneath their presses. Leaping Carp, having spent time as a slave himself when a band of Lipancheros or Lipan tribals, usually from lost tribes, who took up arms and the lifestyle of Comancheros, attacked and enslaved himself along with several other members of his tribe, felt for the slaves and immediately cut them lose. Red, feeling indebted to Leaping Carp and his gang offered to help them out, he snatched up his old bullet press and stated that they could bring it along, and he could make them bullets. Leaping Carp and his men agreed, and tossed the press into a burlap sack and then went from building to building filling up several other sacks full of casings, powder, primer along with bullets, and weapons, taking off with the rest of the gang around 3:00am.
From then on, Red was inducted as part of the gang, at first merely taking the role of pressing rounds for the gang, then when he was eighteen he was inducted into his gang with a ritualistic beating. After the death of Leaping Carp in 2182 at the hands of Los Caballeros, Red was made the head of the gang. He led the Vandaderos in a raiding and pillaging streak from The Oilfields to The Corpse. It was in the Corpse, that the gang began to sell their services as mercenaries, after getting branded by the Corpse Heralds. It was during this time that the they were contacted by the mayor of Port Aransas and asked for their services to drive off Ricardo and his gang. Agreeing, the Vandaderos assisted in this endeavor and promptly took control of Rockport. Having developed a keen hatred of hispanics, especially after his captivity, Red and his gang immediately ran anyone of color out of town. From then on he and his bikers ruled the town with an iron fist. Red himself led more than a few raids on nearby towns, with one raid leading him and the group of ten bikers he was leading into the town of Liberty, Texas. There they clashed with a group of abolitionist militiamen, stole several bales of wheat and cotton and rode back to Rockport to sell their loot.
It was on a raid into the Corpse coast, against the Calallen Blacks, that Red got his famous nickname. He rode into town high on a mix of Slasher, Jet and Hydra and completely out of his mind. He ran about the town ignoring gunfire and bullet wounds, fighting like an animal, beating to death those he couldn't shoot or stab. Eventually, as the bikers, having nabbed what they wanted began to fall back, Red was jumped by a Calallen Black, and knocked to the ground. With no weapon and the Black about to put a bullet in him, Red used the only weapon he had left, his teeth. He reached up and bit the man's knee cap off, then promptly made a grab for a stone he slammed the rock home into the Blacks crotch. Still being high on chems, Red dove on the man, bludgeoning, tearing and ripping anything he got into his grasp. He was finally pulled off the black, long after the fellow had died, by several of his men, leaving the Black without a nose, part of his right hand, left ear, eyes, and genitals. The Coup d' Grace being when he bit the man's throat open, cutting the trachea. However the half dozen wounds he had received during the fighting quickly grew infected, gangrene set in, and after a week the now rampant infection reached his heart, killing him barely a week after earning his now famous nickname. Upon his death his second in command, Paul Mack took control in early 2200.
Born in Falfurrias, Texas to a cowhand and the daughter of a Brahmin baron, Paul grew up knowing only his Father and only seeing his mother on rare occasions. His father spent most of his days working out in the pastures and rolling hills surrounding the town, corraling cattle, and thus had little time to spend with Paul. This lack of affection, combined with nearly constant isolation at a young age fostered the development of his sociopathy. Paul had a very violent streak at a young age, at first he would abuse only animals, then he moved on to routinely beating the neighboring children, and it didn't matter how many beatings his father gave him, his behavior continued. Eventually after one particular beating of a neighbor, the boy died of internal injuries. Upon hearing the news, the town sheriff, Jonah Black, arrived at the Mack house with a deputy demanding that the boy be handed over to the proper authorities for punishment and imprisonment. Paul's father hesitated, but eventually led Paul out to the sheriff and handed him over for custody.
It was during a raid by Comancheros in early 2185 that Paul escaped from the Falfurrias Prison and ran into the wastes surrounding Falfurrias. Making his way North, he eventually reached the Permian Basin town of Petroleum. There he worked for awhile as a mercenary, helping to escort Salt Family caravans, eventually however he came into contact with Vandaderos and rose through the ranks to become one of Red's trusted lieutenants. After the death of his boss, he took over control of the gang's operations and ruling of Rockport. However under Paul's leadership, the Vandaderos spent most of their time in Rockport, where they cooked and sold chems, traded in slaves and weapons. They soon became less of a biker gang, and more of a commercial venture, as the town became a frequent stop for merchants, vice or otherwise. However, when Paul did lead his men out on raids it was usually to hit targets of significant value, namely cattle drives, slave caravans, or grand caravans.
It was during the fall of 2202 that Las Sangrientas Impulsión del Ganado occurred. This infamous cattle drive left close to twenty-four drovers dead, and resulted in the loss of nearly 1,200 Longhorns, nearly ruining the Jorgensen Family of Ejido Miguel Hidalgo. The Vandaderos, along with a few other powerful Comancheros, outlaws and cattle rustlers and their gangs had a hand in the raid. The immediate aftermath of the raid was the Vandaderos driving into Rockport, herding a pack of 120 beeves between their bikes. These cows were promptly sold to butchers across the Corpse to butchers looking to buy, cheap meat that was superior in quality to the locally raised Brahmin. The influx of longhorns temporarily led to deflation of the price of Brahmin, causing an uproar among the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association as they watched the price of Brahmin drop. The Falfurrias ranchers immediately hired a number of mercenaries to track down those responsible. The mercenaries didn't have to search for long, barely a week after the The Bloody Cattle Drive, the Vandaderos hit the Salt Family's grand caravan on its return trip.
The raid was only partially successful, the amount of protection on the caravan had been greater than expected by the Vandaderos and thus they were only able to come away with a handful of loot. The mercenaries heard the news about the raid and closed in on Rockport. When they arrived however, they found the town swarming with low lifes, and thus rather than risk a frontal assault they decided cunning would be the better option. Disguising themselves as slavers, a group of mercenaries walked into Rockport with a group of their compatriots in tow, having stuffed their weapons in a few pouches and tossed it onto a pack brahmin. Hoofing it into town, they stopped at the reconstructed Blue Talon Saloon, and sat down for a drink. After watching the various packs of low lifes come and go from town, they eventually discerned that the Vandaderos hangout was the old Four Horsemen Saloon & Brothel. After having looked about some more, they retrieved their "slaves" and left town.
That night a group of mercenaries, snuck back into town. Using suppressors and suprise they broke into Paul's room, knocked him out and tossed him out the window, before tossing him over a horse and riding off towards their camp. A week later Paul was being charged with raiding, pillaging and looting by a Tribunal, run by the Falfurrias Brahmin Rancher's Association. A day later he was hung. Leaving the Vandaderos once again, without a leader. The Vandaderos, still confused as to what happened to their boss, eventually elected Guy Coope to be their temporary boss.
Guy "Bull" Coope
By 2203, the town of Rockport had become not only a stopping point for outlaws of all stripes, but also for bounty hunters and vigilantes looking to bring them in or put them down. Thus the towns streets had run red with the blood of outlaw and lawman alike, painting a grim picture for new arrivals. However, news had eventually reached Rockport that the town of San Fernando had legalized slavery, and the market was booming down in the cattle town. The Vandaderos new boss, Guy Coope, a cajun gunfighter who before joining the Vandaderos had been a bank robber and Brahmin rustler, decided that slaving would become the Vandaderos new profession. Riding their bikes all across southern Texas and northern Tamaulipas the Vandaderos quickly became a very competitive force in the San Fernando slave market.
By 2205 almost every member of the gang had a hefty bounty levied against them, from one town or another, and the gang was constantly harassed by bounty hunters. Despite this, the gang continued its operations, however the constant raids and impromtu gunfights between gang members and bounty hunters quickly began to wittle down the Vandaderos' numbers. The killing blow however came in 2212 when the Vandaderos, now only numbering twelve members rode off towards Laredo to hit some confederate frontier settlements, blazing into town they rode right into the sights of Confederate troops stationed inside the town. The ambush was swift and brutal, and left almost every of the gang dead, as the troops of the 3rd Texas Volunteer Infantry moved out of their positions, those who survived were executed. Thus finally ridding the wasteland and Rockport of The Vandaderos.
Formation of The Rockport Mercenary Guild
For the first time in years the town of Rockport was back in the hands of its citizens. Their first move was to immediately run the scum that had come to inhabit their town off, forming a posse in the Blue Talon Saloon, the various members of the re-formed Peace Committee spread out into the street going from each vice merchant, chem dealer, chemist, or thug and gave them the option to leave or take a bullet, a few chose the latter, many more forced the issue and a few, mainly the merchants, left willingly. In all eighteen people were killed, most being the various outlaws that had come to inhabit their town. The citizens then reinstated the Rule of Law and created a government to serve the people. Gone were the days of the tyrannical Mayor and the various officers he used to enforce his will, the town was reformed around the City Manager-Council system, giving the citizens the ability to vote into office the various councilmen and women, who then selected a City Manager from their ranks. Following the establishment of the town government and the election of the town's first City Manager Hoyt Rhinehardt, they nominated and elected the Aguacil, the Sheriff, a man by the name of Cameron Mitchell.
With the civil government back in working order, the town turned to restarting its economy, once again turning to scrap and now fishing to attract merchants, eventually a few came, and after finding that they no longer ran the risk of being robbed while in town, once again added Rockport to their routes. However, Rockport was no longer the trading hub it had been, instead it had become more of a stay over stop for caravaneers moving along their routes. A place for a few drinks, a good meal, a girl and maybe to make a little money trading in the market. It wasn't until the arrival of two men, Reince Moore and Israel Murtaugh, that the town became more than just a way station. Reince Moore and Israel Murtaugh were two mercenaries who had come to town looking for work as caravan guards. Both men were veterans of the fighting in the Corpse Coast, and had seen plenty of action in their time. However when they arrived in town, they found themselves in competition with dozens of other mercenaries, almost all of whom had seen just as much action in the Corpse or down in Tamaulipas as they had, thus giving neither Israel or Reince a leg up over their competitors. Frustrated and running short on caps to buy food, they considered leaving town, but decided against it. Instead they chose to take the best step they could, form a cartel. At first their fledgling organization was known as the Rockport Mercenary Cartel, however as their numbers and prominence grew, they chose to change the name to Guild. The first dozen members concentrated on outperforming their competitors, providing above average service, at reduced costs, making up the losses by the sheer volume of people purchasing their services. To cover their own costs, they ended up having to take out a number of loans from the Merchant's Bank of Falfurrias.
However the tactic worked, the various other mercenaries either left town, or joined the Guild as they realized they couldn't compete with such low wages and as the number of unaffiliated mercenaries in town decreased, they were slowly able to raise their rates. Eventually they controlled the mercenary trade in town, either running the various other mercs off or undercutting their prices. With their numbers around 120 members, the Guild enacted its first by-law, creating a series of rigorous examinations for all new members to pass, culminating in each new member having to haul in a wanted criminal, alive. Yet this was not enough for the Guild, led by Israel and Reince they demanded that the town of Rockport afford them seat on the town council, only electable by members of their Guild. Justifying their position by stating asserting that they were a valuable help to the town's safety and in supporting the local economy, the City Manager, Hoyt Rhinehardt agreed. From there they pushed for, and passed an ordinance stating that all individuals looking to work as mercenaries in town must pass the Guild various examinations and acquire (as well as pay for) a Letters Patent from the town government. The Guild soon became renowned for their skill, and abilities, with merchant outfits from all over coming to hire Guild mercs for protection or to hunt down Comancheros and thieves.
As of 2287 Rockport has experienced a boom in caravan traffic as merchants from all over have come to purchase the services of the Rockport Mercenaries Guild and to relax at the town's three saloons, the Four Horsemen, Blue Talon and Copper-head. The town's salvaging and fishing industry have taken off, with a few scavengers having mastered the art of welding and begun to offer their services as repairmen to merchant's wagons, and to Rafters' boats. Rockport still has to deal with the occasional gang of Negreros and Comancheros, but for the most part outlaws tend to avoid the town due to the ferocious reputation of the Rockport mercenaries.
GovernmentThe government of Rockport consists of a City Manager and a small council that acts as a advisory board to the City Manager. Below the City Manager and Council is the town Aguacil, or Sheriff. The Sheriff is the town premier law enforcement officer and is responsible for maintaing the Rule of Law in town, and the area surrounding it. As many of the smaller communities around Rockport don't have their own Sheriff, or usually only have a single constable or deputy, many of the local towns will call upon the Sheriff of Rockport and his deputies when it comes to dealing with law enforcement issues. Along with having the ability to enforce the law, and prosecute violators, the Sheriff possesses the power of posse comitatus, a common law authority that allows the sheriff to summon able-bodied men to the service of the law in pursuance of a felon.
The town doesn't possess many laws, since the codification of the law, there have only been a few minor additions and rewrites of certain aspects of it. Namely in reference to the treatment of criminals prior to their trial, this was in response to a rather common issue the town used to encounter where vengeful lawmen would usually kill crooks before they could be properly tried by the town's court. The code goes like this,
- Killing is illegal, except in the case of self defense or where morally justifiable reasons necessitate such an act.
- Rape, Arson, Assault, Theft, Kidnapping and ransom-seeking, perjury, and obstruction of justice are all illegal, and punishable by a jail sentence or death.
- Property damage requires just compensation to the owner of said property, or with a sum deemed appropriate by the courts.
- Dueling is strictly forbidden within town limits.
- All citizens are safe in their person, effects and property from unjust searches and seizures by law enforcement officers, or agents thereof. Proper evidence or sufficent evidence must be present to law enforcement officers in order for searches to be conducted in absence of a warrant.
- All searches conducted by law enforcement officers, or agents of the law, must be approved by the court, and executed with the proper warrants.
- All detained criminals are not to be harmed while in the custody of law enforcement officers, any accidental death or injury of said criminals are to be compensated to their nearest relative.
- All citizens of Rockport will pay a monthly Land Value Tax of 10%, or an equivalent tax on their individual rent.
The City Manager, formerly the office of Mayor, is elected on a yearly basis, by popular vote. The Councilmen and women consist of a representative of the Rockport Mercenaries Guild, the town Sheriff, two elected officials and the town's legal officer. All those seeking to sell their services as mercenaries must attain a Letters Patent from the town law office, after demonstrating to the proper authorities that they possess the necessary skills to operate effectively as an agent of the Guild and the law.
The economy of Rockport for much of its early existence was based around the trade of scrap. With salvagers going out every day into the town's ruins to pick apart whatever seemed valuable for sale, eventually their scrapping operations were extended as boats were brought back into operation and the various hulks that sat derelict in the Gulf of Mexico were soon being towed back into port to be torn apart. However with the turn of the 22nd Century the town ended its strictly isolationist policy, and welcomed traders into the town. With the merchants came the introduction of bottle caps into the town's economy, and the establishment of formal trade with the outside world, Since then the town's economy has been based off of trade, with the town's main export alternating between chems of various kinds, dry goods, and eventually mercenary services. With the chem trade and service market being controlled by alternating entities, the first being The Vandaderos Acero and the latter being The Rockport Mercenaries Guild.
Established in 2213, the Guild was established to control the mercenary and law practice in Rockport, through a system of Letters Patent and rigorous standards that limits those eligible to work as a mercenary in Rockport to a hardened few, this applies as well to those Merchant Jurists or Mercator Judex, that travel the wastes hawking their services as arbitrators, enforcers of commercial law, and trail codes. The judges compete against outside legal systems as well as each other to provide the most judicious decisions to their customers, earning the reputation that many of their judicial proceedings are more akin to kangaroo courts as they seek to satisfy the customer more than provide fair decisions. Nonetheless many people still turn to their services to quickly decide a dispute or argument. Due to the rigorous process to become either a guild mercenary or jurist, there exists a notable scarcity of these individuals, thus the wages of those few men and women are extremely inflated as the need for skilled, and professional mercenaries is constantly in high demand in the tumultous border regions.
For the people of the Corpse Coast, Rockport exists as an island of sanity amid the chaos. Inside the town, there is an atmosphere of order and peace that plainly doesn't exist outside of the town's gates. Inside the town crime is punished, criminals are sent to jail, and people can walk the street without the threat of catching a stray bullet hanging over their head. Thats not to say that violence doesn't occasionally come to Rockport, the town's rowdiest saloon, the Four Horsemen, is often alive and full of noise well into the night, as fistfights and gun battles are a common place between the various caravaneers and vaqueros that come to patronize the establishment and its girls. To that end, the people of Rockport, realizing just how tenuous their grip on civilization is, often tread a light path when dealing with disputes and arguments, if two family's cannot solve their differences, they can easily take it up with the town's civil court or hire one of the Guild's jurists to settle the dispute. Rarely is violence resorted to.In terms of food, the town thrives off of Brahmin-meat based dishes and Mirelurk, which are usually hunted and brought in by the ton. Being by the sea one of the town's primary exports is Mirelurk meat, with many townsfolk who aren't employed by the Guild, or town government usually working on one of the dozens of fishing trawlers that work the Gulf of Mexico bringing in Mirelurks to be butchered, sold or eaten. One of the town's most successful businesses is the Big Blue Fishing & Packing Company, operating out of the town's dock area.
Religion in Rockport isn't a major factor in people's lives, with the majority of the town be atheist or agnostic. Those who are religious are not to vocal about their beliefs, this being said the town does host a Catholic church, an LDS sect and a small Reformed Methodist Church congregation, with many of the town's faithful going to church each sunday, and those who are Catholic, attending confession regularly. Despite the townsfolk being atheist, when there is a wedding or birth of a child the entire town attends, with everyone pitching in for a Comales Boda.
- Billy Mack - One of a dozen bastard sons of Paul Mack, Billy was born to one of the whores in the Four Horsemen, and was thus thrown out by its owner Miguel Anastasio. However, young Billy, nothing more than a sobbing babe, was discovered by Lisa and Martin O'Leary and brought back to their home. Being in their mid-sixties, their children had all but grown up, but they decided to take young Billy in. Raising him in a clean, protestant household, he grew up to be an upstanding person. Later taking employment with the Rockport Mercenaries Guild as a investigator for Mercator Judex, Caulsworth Gallagher. Known famously for having investigated the stage coach robberies of infamous robber duo, Jack and Kate Wilson, who took the money and ran. However due to his acute grasp on the facts on the case, he was easily able to track down the duo and with the help of the Valle Hermoso Rangers, kill them in an ambush.
- Abbott and Costello - A duo of brainbots kept at the Blue Talon Saloon for entertainment, the bots were programmed to recite old episodes of the much loved vaudeville act. However, due to some cruel twist of fate or a glitch in the programming, both brains are still sentient and trapped inside a body they have no control over. For the most part these two brains are forced to go along with each retelling, however occasionally there will be moments of clarity where the two brains have control over their actions and speech, leading to bizarre angst ridden episodes amid comical slapstick routines. These both confuse and amuse audiences and the saloon's owner, Camilo Este, as the robots will suddenly begin to beg crowd members to kill them, and end their suffering. To date no one has helped the duo out, and both continue to suffer the occasional bout of angst.
- Casey Jarett - The patriarch of the Jarett clan, Casey and his three wives moved from the Mormon town of Colonia Tamaulipas to Rockport in 2260, being fundamentalist Mormons the Jaretts along with a few other members of the LDS church in Colonia Tamaulipas were displeased with the perceived liberal course of the church. Thus they set off in 2230 to establish a fundamentalist colony, settling the town of Little Bethlehem in The Highlands. However Casey and his family left town after a particularly bad harvest in 2236, returning to Colonia Tamaulipas in 2237. From there they remained on the family's large plantation until they again relocated to Rockport. There Casey founded the Congregation of the Holy First Born, a fundamentalist Mormon sect based out of the family's compound outside of town.
- Miguel "Bombay" Anastasio - The infamous ghoul gunfighter from Mexico City, he has made a name for himself killing folks up and down the Gulf Coast, his most infamous exploit being the robbery of the Stack Island Credit Union up in Mississippi, where 65 people were killed in the crossfire between Anastasio's gang and local lawmen, and the resulting explosion when a stray bullet punctured a gas main. Since then Miguel has retired from his outlaw work, and settled into Rockport, opening up the Four Horsemen Saloon & Brothel in 2140. Since then his establishment has become a known hangout of just about every lowlife in Rockport, and is often the seen of drunken brawls and gun battles. Despite this reputation, Miguel and his doorman "Zombi" Zach keep relative order in the saloon, with Miguel packing a shotgun behind the bar, and Zach keeping three revolvers on him at all times.
- Selena "La Boliviana" Olivana - One of the prettiest things walking about Rockport, Selena, as her nickname implies, was born in Bolivia to a rancher on the shores of Lake Titicaca, at a young age she was kidnapped by Negreros and transported by boat and then by land to the slave markets of Maturin, where she was bought by a Muslim slaver, transported up North where she was sold to a group of infidel slavers in Texicoca, and from there up to Texas. It was while she was in Texas around 2260, that she was freed by Doolittle Regulators, and after spending a few months gaining her weight back and recovering from the trauma of her enslavement, she moved to Rockport, where she settled down on a small Mole Rate farm outside of town.
- Texican Caravan Company - The TCC maintains an office in Rockport, making it the company's Northern most office and trading post. While the TCC does trade in Rockport, the town serves as a turn around point for caravans, as company regulations prevent caravans from trading in the Corpse Coast due to the risk and cost involved in such a venture. The Texicans are some of the Rockport Mercenaries Guild's best customers, often hiring them to retrieve lost or stolen property and escort caravans.
- Falfurrias - The Corpse's premier Brahmin town and Rockport have had a rocky relationship throughout much of the their history. Disputes over grazing rights, cattle branding and anti-rustling measures have made the two towns bitter rivals, which came to a peak in 2236 when the Rockport Mercenaries Guild and the Falfurrias Firebrands fought a war over contracting rights in Rockport and the surrounding communities. It ended with the Firebrands being beaten, and forced to pay a steep compensatory fee of some 50,000 caps to the Guild for damages caused by the conflict.
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