Who are the Blackjack Bunny Brigade?

The Blackjack Bunny Brigade is a legend, a myth, a rumor, of New Vegas.

First, New Vegas requires a little fleshing out. It's very similar to the original Las Vegas, with a few minor differences. Many of the design choices that went into creating arcologies as self-sustaining buildings came through ergonomic studies and research that went into mega-hotels, resorts, and casinos. The city largely survived the Resource Wars, as well as the Second Dark Age, and for a variety of reasons, remained removed from the brushfire violence that characterized the demilitarized zone between the Atlantic Federation and the Pacific Rim Coalition. New Vegas rose, new arcologies were built, and the city existed as a sort of free zone, the capital of North Am DMZ. There are currently thirteen arcologies, almost entirely devoted to hedonistic gambling and escapism. They are connected by an underground train system, with a communal geofront that is technically one of the largest man-made structures not in space. There are three more tiers of trams, bullet tunnels, and even landing pads on top of all thirteen mega towers.

An example of scale, if the aerodromes on top of the Big Five casinos were connected, they would rival most Petroleum Era military air bases. Heavy bombers and the largest passenger craft could land and take up from the tops of the towers, all this with already being over a mile above the ground. As a neutral ground, this amount of space and capacity was all but demanded because little traffic reaches New Vegas crossing highways and interstates that haven't seen road crews in over two centuries. Most traffic to the city arrives via semi-ballistic passenger craft, which have more in common with aerospace dropships than commercial airliners, or by large civilian craft. The combination of the baroque over the top architecture of the city and the large number of civilian cruise liners docked to the towers creates possibly the most cyberpunk motif in the Cosmic Era.

In the neon hi-light of New Vegas, there is plenty of action. Violence and gambling, sex and recreation.

And one of the new icons of the new city of Sin is the Usagin mod. Bunny girls are fairly common in the city. Most are just costumed, wearing bunny outfits with long ear headbands. The number of actual Usagin biomods, also known as lagomorphs, lapins, and such, is considered to be the highest concentration on Earth. Bunny girls are found as street entertainers, walking adverts decked in feathered backpieces and elaborate crowns.

The Blackjack Bunny Brigade

Also known as the Better Bunny Bureau, the brigade is a loose organization of usagin biomorphs who live and work in New Vegas. The organization started as an underground union for bunny girls who worked in the various casinos and grew to be a sort of trans-trade union. While the core remains casino, hotel, and resort workers, it currently includes many of the city's sex workers, retail workers, and the arts and theatre crowd as well. The only limitation is that members have to be some level of usagin biomod. Membership is predominantly female, which is not surprising, as the usagin mod profile is generally in the 85-95% range female. Not very many men mod themselves up into rabbits. Back to the main point, the Blackjack Bunny Brigade is a trade/profession based union that works to counter the tremendous influence of the casinos, hotels, and more importantly, the megacorps that own them. Their leverage is simple, they can strike, and then New Vegas doesn't have bunny girls anymore. The tourists don't spend money, they complain, and so forth. They can't be rapidly replaced, gen mods take time to kick in, and there are closet bioforges, but those are painful and expensive. Synths aren't accepted, because part of the appeal is live flesh, no robots shaped like people. That's a different fetish entirely.

Most of the Better Bunny Bureau's business revolved around wages, compensation packages, security concerns, and other business concerns. Not a very exciting business, but that is what most business is. But that being said, there is another aspect of the Blackjack Bunny Brigade, the interesting part, the reason that you're still reading this, the bunny girl enforcers.

Vegas O'Hara: the Myth, the Woman, the Warlord

Vegas O'Hara is a figure of some legend in New Vegas and is commonly accepted to be an older woman, in her sixties to seventies, but retaining black hair, long ears, a full usagin biomod pack, and the body of a twenty-year-old Olympic athlete. She is a high-ranking member of the BBB leadership, but almost always abstains from voting, and typically isn't even present for most meetings of the leadership. It is generally known that O'Hara is the General of the Bunny Brigade, and when things need to be done, pertaining to violence and physicality, she is in charge.

Originally born as Katherine Butler, Vegas spent twenty years in the EuroZone of the Armed Forces of the Atlantic Federation, Mobile Armored Infantry, and is a decorated veteran. As an Army ranger, she primarily served as a Remora. In mech warfare, the colossal war machines can be vulnerable to infantry, ambush, traps, and other things that are not tanks or other mechs. The job of the Remora is to stay relatively close to the mech and act as a close scout/spotter. Remoras are equipped with encounter suits, enhanced mobility gear, and a high power high end weapon, typically a potent rifle, that can be used to make called shots for critical hits. Spotter gear is also regular. As a 2nd Lieutenant attached to the 7th Kriegshammer Battalion, Butler was credited with six kill assists against enemy mechs, and two mech kills, and one mech capture in the field.

After losing her legs in a training accident, Butler retired from active duty, spent a few years as an academic instructor, and underwent cybernetic augmentation. This didn't suit her, as she hated the cybernetic legs. After retiring from the military, she underwent genetic augmentation and had digitigrade legs grafted to her body. She had organic toes again, and as a bonus, the enhanced mobility offered by the new leg structure. She was in her fifties and could run and jump like a professional basketball player, or a track and field sprinter. She returned to New Vegas, started working at a casino, and was quickly drawn into the inner workings of the Lapin Union.

A Dirty Secret of the Atlantic Federation

The secret is pretty simple, the Federation doesn't take good care of its veterans. It's not really a surprise, and given the Cosmic Era's methods for handling socially problematic people, it is a growing problem. When a person doesn't fit into their slot and tab inside an arcology, they are downgraded. They are eventually kicked out of the system. This can be as simple as being relocated to the geofront or the sprawl, to as severe as actually being stripped from citizenship and being exiled from the urban areas entirely. This creates a diaspora of disgruntled combat-trained veterans who have PTSD, various cybernetic or genetic augmentations, and serious personal issues with various state and federal governments. The DMZ between the Atlantic Federation and the Pacific Rim Coalition teems with militas and survivalists communities that are ripe for recruiting by organizations like Amerikka Command. The same happens in the EuroZone and the pro-EU Armas organization, and general recruitment almost anywhere in the Wastelands or the Silk Road. AtFed veterans turned mercenaries are incredibly common and incredibly dangerous.

Butler rebranded herself as Vegas O'Hara and started recruiting female veterans to work as security for the Lapin Union. She is the fixer between the veterans and the Union and thus was born the legend of the Blackjack Bunnies. The usagin biomod isn't required for O'Hara's recruits, but many will gravitate towards it, seeing the utility. Blackjack runs protection for casino workers, hotel workers, and sex workers, and will do work for locals. They do not work for outside interests, or the casinos themselves.

Basic Equipment of a Blackjack Bunny Brigadier

Encounter Suit or High Impact neo sportsuit

standard light armor bustier or corset

Enhanced mobility gear such as a jump pack, Dragonfly gear, leg suit, or climbing equipment.

Backscatter equipment, a series of devices or garments that reflect or distort the high amount of ambient neon and LED light in the city, spoofing optical detection, tracking devices, and non-Radar based systems.

Static Smoke and regular smoke bombs

Flashbang and glitter grenades

Light to medium sidearm, preferably one that is compact, easy to carry, and modest recoil. They prefer auto-pistols, SMGs, and low-energy beam weapons like lasers and masers. Rifles, shotguns, and almost any sort of heavy weapon is right out.

Operations

The Brigade typically does basic security stuff, dealing with stalkers, protecting Lapin Union meetings, providing personal security for people inside the group who are concerned about dealing with being targeted by other shadowrunners or gangs. There is some information gathering, light raiding, and such. As far as Cosmic Era special ops, the Brigade is pretty lightweight. They have a few light vehicles, no mecha, no military vehicles, no aerospace assets, and don't engage in combat ops. They are not assassins or murder hobos.

Rivals

Obvious rivals are the sort of spec ops and shadowrunners teams that are going to be employed by megacorps, casino security forces, organized crime elements, and whatever group has an interest in breaking up the working girls union in New Vegas. This is going to be hand-to-hand stuff, civilian level, no one is rolling armor, or even power armor into the mix. Very Shadowrun level stuff.

The Black Mass Assassination Squad has a rivalry with the Brigade, typically as both are stripperific, operate in the New Vegas area, and have overlapping areas of interest. More than one super sexy slutty assassin nun has had her op foiled by a Viera cosplayer with a thirty-foot standing leap.

The Elita Agency of mercenaries has a recruiting rivalry with the Brigade as the Agency. The difference is that the Brigade doesn't have strict appearance based recruiting, while the Agency is interested in model-level bunny girl assassins. 

The Catwoman Corps isn't a full organization, but up-and-coming Catwomen in the New Vegas era try tangling with the Brigade as a sort of personal test. If there was a common conceit it would be that the Brigade is where these predatory women sharpen their claws and start their climb, and there have been a few who did. The majority tend to get the shit kicked out of them by military veterans with no interest in playing comic book heroes on the top of buildings.

Usage

The Blackjack Bunny Brigade on the surface is pretty silly. Rabbit women with light fetish gear and SMGs are kinda weird, but let's roll with it and play it seriously. Vegas is a massive and bright place, and in the Cosmic Era that has to be turned up until the knob breaks off. Rabbit girl strippers are normalized. It's not a furry fetish anymore because no one is wearing a mascot-level costume to fulfill their fantasies, and those enhanced senses and abilities have value. Its also worth noting that people readily form communities, especially if they have something in common. The Brigadiers are almost all women, veterans of some sort, and have rabbit bio mods. It is a collective interest and it takes care of its own who live and work in Vegas.

Outsiders are a necessary evil. Without the tourists and foreigners, the city wouldn't flourish, and there wouldn't be support for the community. New Vegas would shrivel and collapse like so many Petroleum Era cities did when their socio-economic reason for existing dried up. On the other hand, tourists are the reason that organized crime flourishes, the megacorps are so engaged in controlling and exploiting everything they can get their talons into, and the general negative interactions that come from dealing with non-locals.

In a greater meta sense, the Brigade, and similar groups would function as the cyberpunk Cosmic Era version of the City Guard. There are the rent-a-cop operations, the corp security forces, the local police and associated groups, and then there are the real people behind keeping the city safe, the rabbit girls running around barefoot, hitting criminals with stun guns, and ruining hostile shadowruns by hitting street samurai with clouds of glitter and pickpocketing their secondary weapons and support gear. 

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