Total posts: 
Cartels, Mafiya, gangs, and an appropriately cruddy part of Houston:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13170050060A99114000&page=1) For those of you who replied, thank you (you know who you are). However, I now have some new questions. In the modern-day superhero story that I am writing, I originally had the half-witted idea of putting The Mafia in Houston, where the story takes place. However, after further research, I am now considering two options: a.) Write in some contrived explanation for the Mafia's presence. One of my ideas was a bit of back-story which stated that some sort of small natural disaster had struck nearby Galveston in recent times, which caused the large Italian population to move to Houston, creating the necessary environment for a Mafia family, with the help of a couple of old hats from the long-gone Dallas crime family. Of course, this has actually happened to Galveston before in Real Life, but didn't exactly have this effect. b.) Scrap the admittedly short-sighted Mafia idea entirely and replace it with something like the more modern Mexican drug cartels, or the up-and-coming Russian mafia. I had originally planned to stick in The Cartel as a sort of Bigger Bad, but now that the idea of having The Mafia is in jeopardy, I'm looking into making them the main bad guys. There's also the various gangs like MS-13 or the Mexican Mafia, but they're mostly at the level of Bit Part Badguys who generally work for The Cartel. Anyhow, this would require new research about the Russian Mafiya (who, in so far as I am able to perceive from my own crude research, are a bunch of scary looking Russians with lots of tattoos who don't like wearing shirts very much). I understand that at present, Houston does not really have a big organized crime outfit in the city, but please fill me in on this more if you want. I also have to find out a "good" neighborhood for my protagonists to inhabit in Houston, as in, one that they could afford an apartment in (my protagonists consist of two room-mates; one is a probationary police officer and the other works at a convenience store, but has a master's degree in aerospace engineering and just can't find a job. I feel that this reflects the economy of 2010, roughly the year where the story is based). I was thinking Midtown, possibly, but that's where you guys come in. And for those of you who actually live in Houston: If my ideas are completely laughable, if I have something completely wrong, and is just ridiculous, then feel free to call me out, because truth be told, I originally picked Houston, TX as the location of my story, because I was sick of reading stories set in New York, and I have never been to Houston, and all of my knowledge come from reading stuff on the internet. One final note: I am not looking for how things are generally portrayed in fiction. I am looking for how things actually are. Thank you very much. Now, post away! : ) X EDIT: I forgot to mention that the Yakuza are going to show up later. Uh oh.
edited 23rd Jan '12 11:26:27 AM by XRay
If you're looking for a bad part of town in Houston, try 3rd ward or fifth ward. 3rd is primarily african american, with 5th being primarily latino. Gangs of both: 3rd: Bloods, Crips, Hoova street (a sect of the crips), Pyru, The Folk and People Nations (complete enemies), the various street gangs, with some possible Black Guerilla Family interaction. 5th: Mara Salvatrucha, Latin Kings and Queens, Nuestra Familia (Our family), Texas Syndicate, La Eme. These aren't all ones that are BASED in Texas, but they do have some outreach into Texas. If you're looking for a Big Bad, I'd go with the salvatrucha. They're the most violent, and most often successful, gangs. They also will occasionally work with other gangs to get things done. Just remember that they aren't a Mexican gang. They're Salvadoran. They may work with the Latin Kings and even the Aryan Brotherhood at times (The brotherhood and MS-13 in my old town have a joint ownership on an ice cream truck business). However, you're underestimating MS-13. They're a big problem because they ARE organized, and they're frickin hard to get rid of. Bloods and Crips are a good idea for a possible Big Bad because they have so many off-shoots. You could even create your own and have it be a plot point of finding out where they came from.
edited 23rd Jan '12 6:59:14 AM by Poisonarrow
it sucks epic, epic amounts of cock, I mean, serious, pay-per-view levels of dicksucking going on there -Life
1)Gov't Agency conducting the Project: Sounds like you need a powerful, nebulous, relatively anonymous agency with a broad purview, infinite resources, concentrated authority, and whose activities are inherently plausibly deniable. The US Intelligence and Security Command (INSC) fits that bill. Start from the top: -The US Army Materiel Command (AMC) oversees numerous subordinate agencies and commands, who in turn employ thousands of highly skilled military and civilian professionals who are variously charged with the research, development, maintenance, sale, and distribution of military equipment and materials, including chemical weapons (always a good source for super powers). -One subordinate command is that of the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering (RDECOM), which is especially focused on providing the latest technologies to our soldiers. In addition to its cooperation with other US agencies, this command frequently contracts, finances, and partners with foreign and private entities and individuals. -Among the US military organizations RDECOM works with is the agency in question: INSCOM. Its mission includes scientific and technological development, collecting and applying intelligence for the military, and specialized training. Further, it is a Direct Report Unit (DRU) that exists within BOTH the US military and the NSA. Finally, if INSCOM doesn't have its own combat unit, it obviously has access to every such unit that exists in the US military and security apparatus. 2)Big Bad Organized Crime: To my knowledge, Houston has never had a significant Italian Mafia presence, though it lies in territory historically claimed by the Chicago Outfit, and in proximity to the New Orleans (Marcello) and Florida (Trafficante) families. -However, as a major American city, Houston has always had organized crime, and never more so than today. Though its nearness to the ocean is a factor in the business of smuggling contraband, its strategic location in the Laredo-Rio Grande Valley trafficking route makes it a multi-billion dollar underworld asset, and thus a point of bloody contention between criminal organizations. -The usual subjects, the street gangs like the Crips and Bloods, and particularly the hispanic gangs like the Latin Kings, which have already been mentioned, are in the middle of it, but they are gofers and cannon fodder for the better organized prison gangs they kick up to, especially the Mexican Mafia. -MS-13 and the Houstone Tango Blast belong in subcategories, the former because it has a highly organized hierarchy and a degree of centralized power, the latter because they are a prison and street gang who are poorly organized, but as vicious as any gang, and more importantly, so vast in number (10s of thousands) as to be difficult to handle, but impossible to avoid dealing with. -For all their resources, numbers, and ferocity, these groups are all subsumed by the Mexican Cartels. Even the most powerful of the aforementioned gangs are answerable to them, acting as contractors, wholesalers, collectors, all the way down to mules and street corner dealers. In addition to the gangs, the Cartels employ virtual private armies of sicarios, many of whom are current or former official military and/or law enforcement personnel. Their leaders appear in the Fortune 500, and exert direct and significant influence on the Mexican government, even to its highest levels, and by proxy, though to a far, far lesser degree, the policy of the United States. -In the case of Houston, the primary players are the Gulf Cartel and the Federation, which is an organization of lesser cartels allied with and subordinate to Chapo Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel, currently the most powerful. The shifting alliances and changing players over the past decade are as confounding as those of Eastern Europe in the past century, and I defy anyone to find in fiction a more incredible story or stories than you will find in the Cartel Wars occurring right now. -If you're committed to The Russian Mafiya, don't sweat it. Organized crime is now as internationalized as the legitimate corporate community. The Russians have been dealing with cartels in Central and South America since Escobar, trading former Soviet weapons (including submarines) and Afghan heroin for Bolivian cocaine, for example. I'm sure there are a million reasons a Russian crime figure could pop up in Houston. -If you're committed to the idea of some act of God uprooting a crime group, look at Katrina. Droves of New Orleans gangsters like the Gotti Boyz landed in Houston when their neighborhoods were washed away. The Gotti Boyz are street level killers who wouldn't rate a popcorn fart to the Mexican Mafia, much less the Cartels, but surely some VIP crooks had to relocate too. A hurricane doesn't count your assets. -City Center is the area of Houston that sounds to me closest to what you're describing. I just broke up your wall o' text. Didn't change anything else. If you want blank lines between sections, you need to put in a double line break as you're typing. If ypu want bullet points, use "*"
edited 30th Jan '12 1:32:41 PM by Madrugada
1) Inter-agency task forces happen all the time Joint Task Force-North is a DOD, Dept. of Justice join operation (or goat rope, depending on who you ask) that helps with the war on drugs. You could give DARPA the lead (as in they provide the funding and answer to Congress). With other alphabet soup agencies providing the legwork. Remember that everyone in the Gov'ment answers to Congress. CODE Ls (CO Ngressional DE Legations) visit, the GAO and the various Inspector General's audit. For the Army, a program is given a name and a project office:PEO-Soldier is Program Executive Office-Soldier. For any military program the Nunn–McCurdy Amendment applies. It's the fiscal sword of Damocles.One way to get around the Posse Comitatus Act (it limits the use of Federal Military as civil law enforcement) would be to have your heroes as "Active Guard/Reserve". Exactly What It Says on the Tin. These are national guard and reserve positions that are full time. Mostly recruiting, maintenance, or staff positions. The missile defense brigade in Alaska has full time positions in addition to most of the "Weekend Warriors" who load the missiles. I'm sure a maintenance unit or false recruiting command could be created as a cover for the heroes. And they get to meet the Governor too!
edited 30th Jan '12 1:33:11 PM by Madrugada
Operation Jump Start" was the overt use of national guard soldiers and airmen to help secure the border until the border patrol stood up an additional agents. The Guardsmen didn't have the power of arrest but could defend themselves. A governor CAN give national guard troops the power of arrest and a president can use national guard troops to enforce federal court orders. If your heroes have to go outside the US, the president can federalize them. Just like the National Guard Special Forces units.
edited 4th Feb '12 5:38:38 PM by TairaMai
edited 4th Feb '12 10:54:55 PM by XRay
edited 6th Feb '12 4:20:37 PM by TairaMai
You're talking about the scenario that I presented in my fourth post in this topic, correct? (Just to make sure we're clear)Yep.
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Total posts: 13
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