Throughout history, great leaders have risen from humble beginnings to conquest. It is the story of humanity, and a truth universally acknowledged, that every now and then a situation arises that defies explanation. And, so it was with the ascension of the Third Street Saints.

When the Saints made their presence known to the world, they were depicted for being nothing but delinquents and dreamers. After conquering the city of Stilwater, they sought to prove their worth as more than low-life criminals. But, the Saints were dealt a major blow when their former leader betrayed them and nearly killed their most loyal member-putting him in a half-decade coma.

The gang grew confused and angry, but with no one to lead them they soon disbanded. Some short time later, after a climactic jail break, some minor jobs, and recruitment, The Saints were resurrected. Despite this, they still lacked clarity and purpose, once again confused as to where they stood. That is, until their death defying comrade with no name stepped up, and soon their course was set-give other gangs a violent wake-up call. This simple choice revitalized the Saints. After they took back their city, they decided to transform themselves from a degenerate street gang, into a criminal empire.

And that my friends is where our journey begins...


"Alright, let's not be too hasty here...you're upset, you're frustrated..." Dane Vogel begs on his knees as Vincent, leader of The Saints points a gun at his head. Vogel raises his hands to surrender. "And, you've got a gun. Which you know, I'd really like it if you would put that away."

Vincent holds his weapon steady, aiming is square between Vogel's eyes. "You should've thought of that before you sent a fucking team to wipe out my gang," he says, his voice calm and collected.

"I tried telling the board that going after the Saints was a big mistake."

"They should've listen to you, huh? Too bad their ignorant asses aren't a problem anymore."

Vogel scoots back on his knees. "Believe me, right now I'm agreeing with you 100 percent. But look at the positives, you're alive, they're dead, and you have the Saint's number one fan running Ult-"

"That's where you're wrong," says Vincent. "I'm the Saints number one fan, you're just some pee on in a tweed suit."

"Look, I'm sorry alright? What do you want from me?" Vogel gestures around him. "You want Ultor? Fine, take it. Just don't do anything brash okay?"

Vincent looks around and lifts his strong chin. "You know what? I appreciate that offer, and I accept," he says with a smile.

Vogel breathes a sigh of relief. "Oh thank God."

"And, as the new CEO of Ultor, I'd like to implement my first order of business," says Vincent. He slicks his brown hair back and glares at Vogel.

"Wh-What would that be?"

"Dane Vogel?" Vincent clicks back the hammer on his pistol. "You're fired."

BANG!

Vincent pulls the trigger, sending a bullet flying toward Vogel's agape mouth. It blows through the back of his head, splattering his blond hair with bits of brain and skull. He flies back. The bullet breaks the window behind him. He falls through and down one hundred stories, hitting the sharp edges of Ultor HQ along the way. His body lands with a hard thud on the ground floor, outside the building's front entrance. His bones shattered on impact. The concrete below him is cracked and concaved under his now limber, jelly-like corpse.

Footsteps creep up behind Vincent. He spins around, his pistol still raised and ready to fire. Pierce and Shaundi, fellow Saints, enter Vogel's posh office.

"Aw, man," says Pierce, disappointed. "We missed it?"

Shaundi nudges his arm. "Told ya. Now, pay up."

"Sorry," says Vincent. "You know me, patience is not one of my virtues."

"I'm beginning to think killing is your only virtue," says Shaundi. She crosses her arms and smiles.

Vincent returns her grin and lifts a cell phone to his ear. "You hear from Gat?" he asks her.

"He's still out there, killing cops...something you two have in common."

"Figures."

The phone connects on the other end as Johnny Gat answers. "What is it?"

"It's done," says Vincent. The sound of gunfire rings through the phone. "Time to pull out of there."

"You sure? I mean, I'm not running out of ammo anytime soon."

"I'm sure. See you back at the crib."

"Later, Boss."

Vincent hangs up and dials another number.

"Who you callin now?" asks Pierce.

"Our ride."

The trio heads to the rooftop to meet up with Tobias, their aid in defeating the notorious drug traffickers, Sons of Samedi. A running chopper is behind him. Shaundi hands Tobias a lit joint as she climbs into her seat.

"How many of those things do you keep on you?" asks Pierce. "It's like you magically pull joints outta your ass."

"You're just jealous because I never let you have a hit." Shaundi shuts the door and pulls out another joint from her back pocket. She smiles. "You wanna hit?"

"Fuck no. I know you aint washed them jeans in over a week...and they're the only jeans you wear. That joint could have pink eye or some other disease splattered all over it. You hippies need to learn the value of good hygiene."

"What's that supposed to mean? You implying that I'm dirty?"

"I aint implying it...I'm saying it. Girl, you're dirty."

"That is not true." Shaundi looks at Vincent. "Boss, tell him it isn't true."

"I'm staying out of this," says Vincent.

The chopper lifts off the helipad and Tobias flies them over the city. Shaundi leans back in her seat and lights her joint. She takes a long drag and blows smoke in Pierce's face. He coughs and glares at her in response.

"So, whadda we do now, Boss?" asks Pierce, still coughing.

"This is our city," says Vincent. He smiles showing his white teeth. "We do whatever the fuck we want."

Shaundi inhales smoke. "Party?" She asks in a raspy tone, exhaling after a beat.

"Sounds good to me."


The bass of a hip-hop song fills The Saints' crib. Vincent sits on a plush couch and smiles as his crew lives it up. A blue haze hovers above them from several of Shaundi's affiliates smoking joints left and right. Shaundi, Pierce, and Johnny dance while strippers in string bikinis grind against the furniture around them. Vincent shakes his head. He jumps for a second when someone sits down next to him, the force of their body pushing his side of the cushion up. He turns his head and finds Shaundi's mellow face smiling at him. She plops her feet on the coffee table in front of them.

"You gonna join the party?" she asks.

"This may sound strange," says Vincent. "But, I'm actually kinda tired."

"No way."

"Taking over a city is fucking exhausting." He yawns and leans his head back.

"I got the perfect thing to help you sleep," says Shaundi. She holds out a freshly rolled joint. "A buddy of mine said this stuff will get you high in one hit. It's a great way to relax."

"A buddy huh?" Vincent looks around. "Which ex-boyfriend is he?"

"We never dated...he's gay."

Vincent raises his brow. She smiles and holds the joint out. "You gonna take it or not?"

"Nah, like you said, I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to that stuff." He pushes the joint away and lifts a glass of vodka. "I'm a drinker, not a smoker."

Shaundi shrugs her shoulders and takes a drag. She exhales and leans back on the couch.

"You know," says Vincent, his face serious. "It'd be nice to see what you're like sober once in awhile. I'll bet you're a totally different person."

She shakes her head and exhales again. "I'm actually kind of a bitch. You wouldn't like me as much."

"Even so, it'd be nice to see what those hazel eyes of yours look like when they're not bloodshot."

"My eyes are hazel?" asks Shaundi with a furrowed brow.

"You're so fuckin' high." Vincent rolls his eyes and tosses his drink back in one gulp.

CRASH!

A group of men, wearing green, rush into the crib. They fire their weapons at The Saints.

"Party's over assholes!" One yells as he fires a shotgun at the giant Saints Angel statue in the crib. "Time to send you angels to hell where you belong! Lady Calypso sends her regards!"

Vincent pulls Shaundi down behind the couch to protect her and grabs his pistol.

"It's Sons of Samedi," he says into Shaundi's ear. "Those people you invited, you're doped out friends, they wouldn't be associated with the sons would they?"

Shaundi looks into Vincent's deep brown eyes. "Vinnie, I-"

Vincent clenches his jaw and shoves her away as he stands. He lifts his pistol and pops several rounds into a Son's torso. Johnny and Pierce join in, firing off rounds. Spent casings fly, the hot metal shells stinging their hands with each shot.

"That's right you fuckers!" shouts Johnny. He peppers a Son with bullets. "Have a taste of Gat! It tastes good doesn't it? Yum-Yum!"

Vincent grabs his side. An enemy bullet has met its mark. He fires one final round into a Son's head while pressing against the wound with his other hand. The Son's are defeated.

"That's was easy," says Pierce.

"It seems we celebrated too soon," says Vincent. He lifts his hand from the wound. His palm is stained red, as is his white wife-beater and Hawaiian shirt.

"Boss, you alright?" asks Johnny.

Vincent falls against the couch and regains his balance. "I'll be alright. We got bigger things to worry about." He glances at Shaundi as he stumbles to his room. "Let me patch myself up. Then we need to clean house. Apparently there are some stragglers we need to take care of."

Shaundi avoids his eyes as he passes. She bows her head and swallows hard.

"How the hell did they get wind of the party?" asks Pierce.

"I don't know, but the Boss isn't happy," says Johnny. He walks to a dead Son "Let's get these bodies out of here before they stain the carpet."

"It's a bit late for that don't you think?" Pierce huffs as he helps Johnny lift a corpse.

Shaundi remains by the couch. She has a lit joint in hand. Vincent's eyes flash in her mind and she shakes her head. The joint burns in her fingers like hot coals.

Shaundi clenches her jaw. This was all her fault. She lifts the joint and stares at its orange tipped glow. For the first time in a long time, she is disgusted by the smooth herb wafting at her nostrils.

No more, she says to herself. She turns the joint upside down and presses it on a table. It burns a hole in the lacquer as she mashes it harder against the wood surface.

The joint is out. Shaundi is through.


A/N: Welcome to the official "Rise Of Empires". Continuum9 and myself would like to thank everyone for their patience, help, ideas, thoughts, and input when it comes to bring this story to where it is now. Stay tuned for more, take care of yourselves, remember someone out there loves you and once again thank you.