The Evolution of Tongs from ETW Criminal Organizations
Tiffany Barrett, PHD, Londinium University
Earth That Was supported a number of underground criminal organizations that often operated blatantly and in direct opposition to organized governments. Primarily regional, they were known for their bloody use of force, fear tactics through blackmail, torture, and kidnapping to maintain their illegal operations. These operations included everything from illicit drug and endangered animal smuggling, prostitution and petty thieving to major money laundering and business crimes.
As previously mentioned the major criminal organizations was considered 'regional' although their influence often extended worldwide.
The Yakuza operated primarily out of the Eastern Asian region known as Japan, or Nipon. The Triads operated out of Greater Asia, with influences throughout China and India. The Red Mob, or Russian Mafia, emerged from Soviet Russia during the Technological Age, and became one of the dominant crime groups throughout the Western Hemisphere. Italian Mafia, Mafioso, emerged from Italy, old Sicilian familias that spread across the United States, Caribbean and portions of Africa. In the Southern half of the Americas, Latino Cartels emerged as dominant, having smaller territorial governments completely under their control as well as the natural resources to produce large amounts of illegal plant-derived pharmaceuticals at their disposal.
Northern America offered a capitalistic "breeding ground" to all of these groups, as well as spawning it's own youthful, energetic gangs. Organizations such as The Hells Angels and the Mongols, characterized by devotion to two-wheeled transportation, and street organizations such as The Bloods and Crips, offered, as did America itself, a more capitalistic approach to what, today, we refer to as Tong Structure.
Rather than the rigid bloodline maintained Patriarchal Society that the Triads, Yakuza, Red Mob and Mafioso where one must be born into the higher echelons of the organization, these 'Gangs' offered a way for even a layman to work his way up in status. Systems of dominance, by which a beaten leader could be forced to relinquish his command to one who had beaten him, were prevelant in these American organizations.
During the Exodus Period the social structures of the individual organizations broke down. Although the Exodus Lottery system was manipulated by both government and criminal, entire Exodus ships could not be purchased or privatized. Warring factions found themselves without access to their traditional weapons, leaders, goals and activities.
By the time settlement of Osiris, Londinium and Sihnon took place, much of the old organizations had broken down entirely. However, as with all systems of civilization, given the space and currency to grow again, they evolved into new bastions of criminal activity, what we today call The Tongs.
What follows is a breakdown of the major Tongs and their evolutionary roots, as well as what information your author could recover without risking her well-being.
RUSSIAN/EASTERN EUROPEAN: What was The Red Mob has primarily dissolved into a loose organization called The Grey Hammer. They are lead by the powerful Ohu Stukov, known as 'The Bear'
Grey Hammer works mostly out of Rhinemark and has constant clashes in blackout zones with White Lotus. It is primarily an arms dealer and mercenary go betweeen Tong. If you are looking for something to shoot, and someone to shoot it, try talking to them.^1
LATINO & ITALIAN: The former South American and Italian cartels formed a short-term alliance throughout the Exodus that still stands today. They are, collectively, the Rose Tongs.
There are various factions of The Roses: Red, White, Black- The Roses maintain the old traditional Patriarch system, with a familial head for each Rose. They often squabble amongst themselves, but are more than willing to band together against other groups. They are known primarily as movers and manufacturers of illicit drugs, and own vast poppy production farms on some of the smaller moons.
Captain Jaime, of The Esclavizar, wears the Red Rose tattoo but was not born into the organization. He proves himself devoted to the Roses through his spying and interplay with The White Lotus Tong.
JAPANESE: Evolved from what was formerly The Yakuza, The White Lotus Tong is an extensive network with dealings from Sihnon to Athens. There are numerous brances and factions, and the true head of the White Lotus organization remains a mystery, as even his or her generals have never seen his face. The Patriarchial system was destroyed during the Exodus, although some smaller factions maintain this practice. The White Lotus is a large motivator behind the human labor trade, as well as maintaining a legitimate
business in terra-forming.
Jenny Wan, a street assassin who worked her way up through the Lotus ranks is the key connection between The White Lotus and crime lord Ramses Silko. Their operations are inextricably entwined at this point in time.
(As a side-note- Ramses Silko has informed your author that she publishes this information at the risk of life and limb. I'm inclined to believe him, but I refuse to allow fear to keep me from my work.
CHINESE: The Triad and other lesser criminal organizations of Asia evolved and combined to form The Dagger Factions. Of The Daggers, the Silver Daggers operating primarily out of Santo are the most powerful.
Silver Daggers are lead by an aging patriarch, Long Chau, and his son, Enden His son is currently involved with Jenny Wan, with the hopes of one day combining the Lotus and Dagger operations into the most powerful organization in the 'Verse, rivalled only by The Alliance Government.
Those mentioned above are the principal organizations in play. From them spring literally thousands of smaller organizations, ranging from minor crime lords with widespread influence to violent street gangs with twenty or fewer members.
Karzelli Moto, currently on Route 66, operated with one of these smaller gangs, a group devoted to the teachings of Shan Yu,^2 recognized by some a great religious master utilizing pain to achieve the spiritual and decried by others as nothing more than a sadistic psychotic dictator.
The Tongs hold an annual Council, as is described in this recording taken at The Red Dragon Casino in New Las Vegas, Santo. SILKO SURVEILLANCE TAPE # 23
and in spite of their quabbles recognize that with the growth in power of the Allied Governments they must often work together to maintain their power.
^1 : JIGMAN: AKA MARCUS DECKARD
^2 : Canon Reference: "Firefly: War Stories", Shan Yu, the psychotic dictator, who originally espoused the idea that to really know someone, you must hold them over the volcano.