This is a place for potential group game musings.
Hell's Belles - Daughters of Anarchy
(a group game concept under discussion with Keira Jade)
The idea, an impossible idea, was born the same day Ripley Russell awoke to the knowledge that her father was dead. The certainty was as implacable, as emotionless, as the ringing of the telephone that had heralded the news, as was the knowledge that she was going to find a way to bring her father's club back.
Her mother had done everything she could to disassociate Ripley from the biker lifestyle. She'd been her father's high-school sweetheart, and the fascination of the bad-boy biker hadn't lasted through brushes with the law, rivalries, or the trials and tribulations of the biker code. There'd been nothing between her parents but bitterness and anger, and by the time Ripley was a teenager, her mother had deeply regretted taking what she'd considered the 'high road' in not destroying her daughter's affection for her father.
It would have likely been pointless, in any event. Ripley had gravitated toward her father, toward the bikes, toward the bikers and their intense loyalties, intense rivalries, from the start, even before teenage rebellion kicked in. Of course, the teen years and her mother's demands only intensified those feelings, and the harder her Mom pushed, the more she pushed back. By fifteen, she had simply refused to live with her mother anymore, and had left 'Rita' -- her given name -- far behind. Her home was with the families of other bikers in her father's club, or with him when circumstances allowed.
She'd wanted to be part of the Hellions, and in some ways she was, but always in an unofficial capacity. She knew a lot about the business, both the good and the bad, right and wrong, and she'd done things that she wasn't proud of in retrospect. It had been the wife of her father's lieutenant who'd sat her down and opened her eyes, in the woman's typical hard-assed but straight forward fashion, who'd showed her that if she wasn't careful, she'd end up being nothing more than some dumb-ass biker's bitch.
Ripley didn't want to be someone's bitch. If she wanted to be anything, it was her father, but the older she grew the more she started to see that it wasn't possible, at least not in his club or in any of the existing clubs. They were too entrenched, and even the women who were solid support for their men were expected to put up with a lot of shit that Ripley'd sooner shove down their throat.
After a brief stint in jail for a bit of stupidity, Ripley started getting her act together, and with support from her father, she went to a vocational school, learning both mechanics and some principles of art and tattooing. She's worked in garages, bike shops, and tattoo parlors, and while she still has views on personal property and responsibility, standing up for yourself and exactly what society should be able to tell others they couldn't do, she found she could get along better in the real world than she thought she could.
It was a good thing, too, as it was about the time she was finding herself that things went bad for the Hellions. A feud with another gang heated up hot and heavy, dredging up a lot of old grudges from the past, and all the stops were pulled out. People that never should have been pulled into gang business were, and they got hurt badly, and the police moved in hard and fast.
Even that didn't end it, though. Her father had known he wouldn't last long in jail. He'd been able to pass along some information to Ripley, but he urged her to get out while she could. To let it go, and for a while after his death, she had.
But some old bones, some old longings, didn't stay buried. They clawed their way out of the ground and started tearing into your skin, so when she got an unexpected offer of help to reinvent her father's old charter, to take the life she wanted and make it suit her instead of changing to suit it, she couldn't not try ... even if she knows there's more to the story, a reason why the chance got thrown at her out of the blue.
One way or another, she's going to find out why, and leave her mark. Along the way, she'd met others with the same mindset, the same stubborn drive, the same need to cut against the grain. The Hellions are gone, but that's not what she wanted, anyway. She wanted something better ... something that took the best of the old and fused it with vision and hope for the future, with little bits of necessity thrown in for good measure.
The Hell's Belles could be a reality. It wouldn't be easy, but easy was for pussies. Better die trying than never try at all, and that was the good from what her father had taught her that she wanted to represent.
It was early evening, and the temperatures were just slightly on the chilly side for the season. Ripley was glad for her leather jacket, and the comforting weight of the gun in her pocket. It wasn't her only weapon, but it was the only one that was going to get her arrested if she was pulled over and searched, but there was no way she was going to this meeting unarmed.
Both Cabot James and Rodney Fielding had had a long association with the Hellions. Her father had always liked and trusted James, as much as you could like anyone destined to be a politician. The quote was her father's, and Ripley agreed with it. Rodney was a different story. His father was with the Black Pistons, but Rodney himself had remained on the fringes. It was pretty easy to see why in retrospect. Rodney was loyal to Rodney first and foremost, though he traded on his father's name enough to get himself an 'in'. He and Gabrielle had been a 'thing' back when Gabby was young and stupid, though in truth, Gabby had never been stupid, just horny.
That was something that Ripley couldn't give her friend much grief over, though she hoped that ol' Rodney wouldn't try to use their potential business dealings to get back in Gabby's pants. This time, he might be leaving his balls behind ... and, hell, Ripley might even help her play ping-pong with them, see if she still had the wrist action.
She shook her head and snorted, and rode on. They were going to meet up on Joshua Tree, just past the Walking Box Ranch Road, and Ripley was running a little late, as usual.
Cabot James was older, the age her father would have been if he'd still been alive, but there was ab-so-fuckling-lutely nothing 'paternal' about Cabot. He had been hot enough to melt rubber, and Ripley'd spent a summer getting herself off to juvenile fantasies of the older man. There was a time or two when she still thought about him when she was in a day-dreaming mood, particularly when there was no steady fuck in her life. Hell, he was still hot enough to melt rubber, but she was under no illusion that he'd called her up because he was hard up for someone to warm his bed on a cold desert night. No, when he'd called, he'd been all business, despite the friendly reminiscences of the past, and condolences, asking her how and what she was doing.
Despite his questions, he'd been keeping up with her, and Gabby too. She knew more or less what he was doing as well. Bikers were close-lipped, but the little circle of friends, even distant friends, was something they took seriously. Even without that resource, it seemed that Cabot's political ambitions had only grown, and it seemed like he was getting serious about becoming 'King of Vegas' as her father had once teased. When he'd dangled the possibility of reviving the Hellions, orchestrating a little support so she and Gabrielle could pick up where their fathers left off, Ripley hadn't given in to her impulse to tell him he was fucking crazy and slam the phone down.
Had it been Rodney calling, she would have burnt his ear to a crisp, whether he was calling from some bar payphone, or one of those fancy bluetooth devices, with her reply, and done it with extra viciousness to make up for the fact that you couldn't slam phones down anymore without cracking the screen.
But Cabot James was somebody she knew to take seriously. He had a lot of clout, a good bit of money, and a wad of influence big enough to choke a horse. If he said that it could be done, then there was at least a chance. Ripley would have rode through hell for a chance to be a full fledged biker -- not just some broad, somebody's old lady, some weekend warrior. It didn't matter what the life had done to her dad, or that he'd likely been betrayed by someone he held closer than a brother to have died like he did. It didn't even matter if she died the same way. It wasn't how you died, it was how you lived, and Ripley had always wanted that life so bad that she'd have risked it all a hundred times over on a chance smaller than Cabot James' word.
That made it the kind of want that was dangerous. She could see the warning in her Dad's eyes even through the haze of memory, but she also knew that he'd understood. He'd lived, breathed, hoped, and dreamed the Hellions. He'd given it everything he had, burnt bridges and every chance at any other kind of life. "It's like telling a fish that they could have legs and walk on land. That dumb-ass Disney crap story aside, a fish wouldn't even know what the hell you were talking about to want something so foreign to its nature. When it comes right down to it, some of us got it so deep inside that there ain't no other way."
Her dad would've understood.
Hell, her dad was probably riding beside her, wondering why in the hell she wasn't giving it more gas. "Move your ass, girl!"
Ripley's grin was wide as she tore off, no longer concerned that there'd be any cops out here to give a fuck how fast she was going. Reviving the Hellions -- now THAT was a dream worth anything.