Thorne Wiesshammer is a frightening looking man. He is tall, broad-shouldered, aggressively bearded, with a clean-shaven head. His face is half covered with tattoos of Wasteland significance, Raider gang affiliations, and similar claims. He has a throat tattoo that associates him with the Devastator and that mad cyborg's apocalyptic army. He wears Troublemaker raider gear, favoring a heavy leather jacket, reinforced canvas pants, black combat boots, and a blood-red undershirt. The leather jacket has patches taken from enemies he's beaten or killed, and he has jewelry that has likewise been made from trophies taken from his enemies. He speaks with a loud Saxon-English accent, and his words are sharp and have a harsh cadence, but he is seemingly a natural orator and leader, and seldom is seen without a cadre of twenty or more similarly clad Troublemaker wastelanders.

Closer Look:

Thorne is commonly seen in public spaces, protesting with his Troublemaker kin, waving flags, displaying weapons, and even carrying trophies from their exploits.

This is almost always relevant to the Daily Discourse, which in and of itself, should alert observant people.

It is a common comment that Thorne and the rest of his cronies are agents, or convicts released from prison to work for the government in support of their actions, playing the role of the Emmanual Goldstein.

The Truth:

The observant are correct, partially.

There is no Thorne Weisshammer. The man is an entirely fictitious creation of the Intelligence Branch of the AtFed government. So are almost all of the official raider and wastelander gangs that most citizens of the Federation are aware of. His real name is Kamron Emsworth, and he is a federal agent who cruised through university on an acting career path but ended up going public sector intelligence instead. His speeches are written and he memorizes them and delivers them with the skill of a Shakespearian actor upon the stage. The tattoos are digital camouflage and can be turned on and off. He can use an app to change them to whatever he wants them to be.

He is also an accomplished face dancer, so when he isn't playing Thorne, he looks like a completely different man.

The same can largely be applied to his entourage. They are comprised of a three-way mix of rehabbed convicts, agents, and saps. The convicts have been brought out for facial recognition, but have been subjected to psychotronic programming to make sure they behave properly. The agents are like Emsworth, trained operatives who know what needs to be done. The saps are regular people who have been brought into the 'organization' as probationary members of the Troublemakers with the idea of fully joining the raider gang. These are typically suggestible people, typically men, who are also on the low end of the economic spectrum or have issues with substance abuse, addictive behaviors, or questionable interests that the Troublemakers can ostensibly exploit and leverage against them.

The Honey Farm

The Honey Farm is the name given to the Federal apparatus that has created and maintained the social footprint of the Raider Gangs. These manufactured gangs are honey pots, designed to draw in a certain type of person, agreeable to their appearance and posture. It is pure entrapment, as any of these organizations are two-thirds to three-quarters scripted agents and convict placeholders. The agents never do any lawbreaking, the convicts already have a shady past and if they need to be used in a dog and pony show, that is what happens. The convict plays their part and is retired. Some are liquidated, and some are sent to nicer low-security prisons. The agents discard presented personas and all but vanish. This leaves the saps to take all the heat and act as examples to the common people. Join a raider gang, and they'll exploit you, and then toss you to the wolves like they never existed.

The Troublemakers

The Troublemakers' primary draw is on the general populace that is disgruntled with the state of public affairs, leaning into their feelings of isolation and weakness. The Troublemakers present charisma, strength, and the power of will. They hate who they want to hate, wear cool clothes, and readily engage in collecting guns, doing cool drugs, and having access to really hot, dangerous, slutty women.

The Cruisers

The Cruisers favor a 1950s/leather daddy aesthetic and maintain motorbikes, automobiles, mag-rails, striders, and other vehicles. Their allure is mobility, traveling, and escaping from the rooted sedentary life of the civilized arcology-dweller. There is also smuggling, and engaging in the general raider wastelander lifestyle.

The Overlanders

The Overlanders are similar to the Cruisers, but they favor more of a military aesthetic, with cooling vests and jackets being common gear, along with body armor, aerospace, and mech helmets. They work to attract military enthusiasts, gun enthusiasts, and other people who would want access to these illegal items.

The Charmers

The Charmers favor mock civilian attire, mixing business suits and dresses with ammo belts, displayed knives, and other raider paraphernalia. They appeal to the corp wage slave, the disgruntled person who loathes their job, hates their place in life, and like the Joker, would be overjoyed to see it all brought down in a paroxysm of fire. These people are recruited, groomed, and trained, and then sometimes later are trotted out for a mass shooting, serial killing spree, or bombing of a popular public locale, to influence the masses. They are plied with sex, drugs, and a cult-like manifesto of power and control.

The Veterans

The Veterans are slightly different from the other raider faux gangs. Military veterans are a problem in the Cosmic Era. Many are augmented, gene-modded, and or cybernetically enhanced. Even after service, they retain their training, experience, trauma, and abilities. Disgruntlement with the govt and Veterans affairs leads many to either fall through the cracks (which the govt is fine with) or expatriating themselves and join organizations like Amerikka Command, becoming honest to god paramilitary terrorists. Every veteran who is lured off to join the weekend warrior raider Veterans is one former soldier who didn't go follow an actual charismatic leader into fighting against the government that created them, trained them, broke them, and then tossed them away because they didn't have the courtesy to die in the field, or in a hospital.

Skeletons in the Closet

The Intel Divisions of the Atlantic Federation have been at this game for a long time, and are piggy-backing onto programs that they aren't aware of. This is actually feeding the problem, because as they fish and honeypot for citizens to control the general opinions of the public, they are undermining themselves. They are also creating more potential recruits for the real raiders and real wastelander gangs, the sort who rise up and follow monsters like the Devastator, or Armless Anmortis. The ranks of Amerikka Command, Armas, and other terrorist/radical organizations are not lacking for membership, nor are the other factions of the Wastelands.

By feeding these organizations, the ATFed Intel branch is fostering support for the Utopia Initiative, which has an ultimate goal of culling humanity and returning Earth to a pristine state.

The number of raider bands, real ones, is on the rise, and their resources are increasing.

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