- "Listen here, We are the notoreous Willits, the baddest bad men in these here parts. If you hand over your money now, we'll just take it and walk on outta here all nice and easy li-No you know what? Even if you hand over the money we are still going to kill each and every one of you! I'm George Willits bitches!"
- ―George Willits on a long-winded hold up.
|The Willits Gang|
|Group type:||Bandit gang|
|Motto:||spread them cheeks|
|Notable members:||Nash Laurens|
|Founded by:||The Willits brothers|
A family turned gang, the Willits would become one of the most wanted groups in what was eastern South Dakota. They would be destroyed almost as quickly as they had risen, but in those five years, they were feared and loathed by every money and lawman in the region.
Alexander, George, and Hamilton Willits were triplets born to subsistence farmers in South Dakota, outside the Free State of Vermillion. They and their parents would live a hard-scrabble existence until their parents died in 2123. Sixteen and with few other prospects, the triplets went into Vermillion and applied to join the Security Services. They and the others like them went through the grueling training regime, and were accepted into the SSS. They would serve with the organization for eight years, leaving in 2131 due to not feeling valued. Having saved little and with no plan, the brothers returned to their farm, finding it overgrown but about the same.
They took to drinking, and Alexander would hatch a plan to change their lives on August 13th, 2131. While still in the service he had heard that a caravan in Vermillion was bringing its payroll from a far outpost into town in September, and he didn't see why he and his brothers couldn't take it themselves. Waking them up, he told them his plan. They laughed at first until he started inspecting his rifle. Seeing that he was serious, they asked the plan one more time. They would then practice their training, running through the dead woods around their home.
In the week before September they began to scout the roads leading into Vermillion, able to avoid the patrols due to their time with them. They would find the wagon on September 5th. Posing as a group of laborers going in the opposite direction, the three were able to get close, the guards not spotting the weapons under their rags until they were drawn. Gunning the men down and making off with the Ring-Pulls, the triplets ran back to their farm. They cheered as they poured the tabs out on the table, and planned to spend them in town. They would start to drink and wake up the next morning to someone banging on their door.
Hamilton would answer it to find a familiar face from the Service, the soldiers searching the area for clues of the raiders. Claiming ignorance, Hamilton sent the man away and told his brothers. Laughing, Alexander told them it would work. They would instead travel to Yankton to spend, buying flashy guns and clothes, and buying out every bar they went to. They would make friends that night, some of whom would join their gang. They would operate from the Yankton Saloon from then on, returning to the Willits farmhouse after jobs to lay low. They would mainly target lone caravans or farms but would grow bolder as they went on.
They would reach their peak in 2134, having a dozen members including Nash Laurens the famous ghoul bandit and would cross into Minnesota to rob several towns there. They would return in early 2135 loaded down with loot, but also with the spectre of death following them. Hamilton Willits would be the first member to die, asphyxiating during a chem-fueled sex marathon. His body would be handcuffed to the bed long enough for a photo to be taken, one of the only photographs of any of the members. Stricken with Grief and Rage, the two surviving brothers prepared to ride on the brothel where it happened, blaming the girl for the death. They would enter it and kill four women two days after it happened, and would barely escape with their lives as the entire town came running.
They would narrowly evade the posse and make it back to their farm, but nothing seemed to go right after that; their robberies were either prevented, a fizzle or cost one of their lives. By January of 2136 they numbered only four; the two remaining Willits, Nash Laurens, and Kenda Ross. Laurens would go for supplies on the eighteenth of that month, heading to Vermillion. While there he would hear about a posse aiming to hang the Willits. Laurens would stay in town and wait to see what happened as the posse went to the farm. George was able to spot them before they had time to prepare, and the gang's opening volley would kill or wound several. The returning fire was more than the rusty scrap walls could handle however and killed all three of the gang inside. Not knowing the ghoul in town was a member, the posse leader declared the gang dead and took their bodies back in town for proof. Laurens would see this, and leave town for a decade.