Synnove Ambrose had never been particularly dedicated to anything other than her family. As such, she barely graduated highschool and never pursued any further education. Instead, she and her twin brother Soren took menial jobs in their home town and frequented the Las Vegas Strip to pickpocket from tourists and pawn little trinkets that they were able to swipe from their jobs or wherever. This sustained the twins for a few years but once they became restless under their parents’ watchful eye and house rules they had to embark on their own and aim higher.
Synnove and Soren found themselves a small apartment between Boulder City and the strip, and Syn got a job at the Fremont Casino and Hotel. She started off as a waitress and continued to use her sleight of hand tactics to swipe a chip here, a 20 there, whatever she could manage. At the end of each shift, Synnove would give her spoils to Soren who would take the chips and cash them in. Synnove kept to herself so none of her coworkers knew that she even had a brother, and Soren was able to get a fake I.D. to ensure that the names were not similar.
As the years pressed on, they hungered for more. The twins weren’t satisfied with just making ends meet, they knew they had the capability to do more. Eventually Syn was living full time on the strip in one of the casino hotels, still working as a waitress on Fremont St and eventually as a dealer. Sleight of hand came in handy again when she was dealing cards, rigging most of her hands in the house’s favor and slipping more than just a chip or two off the top over the course of a week. She would also use her charms with the drunken high rollers to get huge tips and sometimes they might misplace a really nice watch or other piece of jewelry.
Soren, on the other hand, was out in the streets with a couple of their friends running the same pickpocket schemes and sometimes committing robberies as groups of tourists left other casinos, shows, or hot spots on the strip. Stupid tourists were always carrying cash.
When the infection hit Vegas, it spread like wildfire. One morning, Synnove woke up to tens of cars honking outside of the casino hotel she was living in. Traffic sounds weren't uncommon in the city, but the blaring horns didn't stop. One minute, then three, then several more. She tried to use the pillows on her bed to drown out the noise, yet it made no difference.
Then she heard it, the first of many blood curdling screams. Synnove was still in her underwear, but stumbled out of bed to peer out of the hotel window. The people below looked like ants, but it was easy to recognize that there was a swarm of crazed citizens overtaking the foot traffic and many of the cars below.
"What the fuck."
Synnove clumsily dressed herself to the sounds of footsteps thudding down the hallway outside of her room, as well as shouting and banging on some of the adjacent doors.
"What the fuck."
She picked up her phone and tried calling Soren, hoping he was at home in Boulder City and hadn't left for the strip yet that day. It took a few tries before the call connected, and it felt like the line rang forever until he picked up.
"Don't leave your room." Soren's voice was stern and level over the phone. "Syn, whatever you do, don't leave your room until I get there."
She could hear the keys to his car jingling against the phone and other rustling which she assumed was the sound of him picking up one of his guns and the associated magazines. Synnove tried to protest, but static grew from the speaker on her phone until eventually the call dropped. So she waited for hours, pacing across the hotel room and occasionally plucking something alcoholic from the mini fridge. She didn't think anyone would come looking to settle a bill for it.
Eventually, the chaos inside the building died down, but the scene outside was different. Every once in a while someone would run along part of the strip below her building, screaming and ultimately tripping over themselves or being blindsided by another… person? Whatever was going on they certainly weren't sane. Then, there was the softest of knocks on her door, and she crept to the peep hole to inspect her visitor. It was Soren.
Finally! Synnove hurriedly undid the double lock on the door and pulled it open. Before she could say anything, Soren shouldered his way through the crack as soon as he could and swiftly closed the door behind him. Thus the siblings were reunited, and Soren told Synnove what he knew so far about the infection.
Several days after the city had been overrun by Infected, the activity started to die down. Synnove and Soren decided it would be safe to venture out and find more supplies. They also made it a point to try and track down some of their friends. They found five other survivors whom they were familiar with from before the outbreak and headed towards the Fremont Hotel and Casino where Synnove had been working. While the power was out and her staff keycard would no longer aid them in moving around the restricted areas of the building, she knew exactly where several copies of the master key were kept and they devised a plan to clear out the hotel one area at a time.
With the large amount of abandoned pawn shops around it was a small feat to find weapons for each survivor, whether it be a firearm, baseball bat, machete, or other useful tool. Synnove favored a black Sig Sauer P320 with a suppressor. The 9mm handgun stayed with her at all times, and she became so fond of it during the following days of cleaning out the casino that she gave it a name: Widow.
It took the group about a week to clear the entire building, burn the bodies, and fortify the immediate exits before they gave themselves a break. They took inventory of what supplies were left behind and brought out a map to pinpoint the closest places to get more food, water, ammunition, and weapons. They decided that since they did not have numbers on their side they would at least do well to monopolize on the resources in their immediate area. That way, should anyone encroach upon their vicinity there were no easy handouts and they would hopefully leave or not have enough firepower to try and overtake the small group within the casino.
Synnove and Soren took up a joint leadership role, and they made the decisions about who to accept or rip off when survivors came knocking. If a group consisted of only men and outnumbered them, they were quickly turned away. If they were all men but they retained the numbers, the new survivors were permitted entry at gunpoint and were searched. Not many of those survivors were allowed to stay or keep their belongings, but they did accept a doctor, two nurses, and several women and children. Things continued like this for a while, that is until Dead Horse showed up.
Making a Deal
When Dead Horse came to town looking to rebuild Paradise, it wasn’t long before they showed up at Fremont. Synnove assumed the group probably heard about the fortified casino and hotel from a survivor they turned away. At this point Synnove had accumulated about 15 survivors including herself and was easily repelling any small threats that showed up on their street. That was, until she met Ryker.
It was mid day when a firm banging could be heard in the lobby, immediately annoying the shit out of Synnove who was trying to nurse a hangover. She shuffled to the barricaded doors and slid open the small window in the door. The sight she was met with was not only Ryker at her front door with his bat and a smile, but roughly 40 other members of Dead Horse. This was most certainly not what she wanted to wake up to. The window was slammed shut, but a laugh came softly from the other side.
“Oh, come on now, no room for any more friends?”
She did not answer.
“Well if this isn’t the worst hospitality I have ever received, and I heard you ran such a fine establishment.”
Syn shivered, whispered quietly to Soren for a couple minutes while they listened to Ryker tapping his baseball bat on the other side of the door. Eventually, she slid the window open again. He smiled at her, but it did not make her feel comfortable.
Synnove allowed Ryker to enter with a few of his men, and quickly hurried the other women to take the children away. This left only six people from her side to Ryker’s nine in the room. Widow never left her right hand as they negotiated. After some haggling and exchanging sarcastic remarks, the pair came to a deal. Synnove would acquiesce to Ryker’s demand for ownership of the shelter and supplies on the grounds that he would not harm or expel any of the casino’s current residents. Those from Synnove’s group would also not be required to partake in the business of Dead Horse unless they volunteered.
For a few days, Synnove and Soren would keep to each other, confining themselves to sharing one of the two bedroom suites as the other had been passed off to Ryker when he arrived. This couldn’t last forever, however, as gradually there was less and less for the siblings to survive on without falling in line with Dead Horse. Soren, being the man of the family decided he would search a wider area for them, and one day he didn’t come home. Synnove was heartbroken, but now that she was alone she had to do something to solidify herself in this community.
So she did. Synnove went to Ryker and offered herself as a guide to Dead Horse. Ryker accepted, but patronized her and the conversation ultimately ended with Synnove stalking off with a half-hearted “Fuck you.”
She searched for Soren in most of her free time, but as the days crept towards Ryker’s departure Syn spent less and less time on her brother, and more time facilitating Dead Horse’s needs. When Ryker said jump, Syn jumped. When Ryker needed ammo, Syn knew where to find it. When they needed more aircraft parts, Syn led them to another airfield out in the Mojave. She was all in, and like the rest of Dead Horse, she was committed to following Ryker for whatever time she had left.
Nika Sokolov was born to a native Russian couple one year before they emigrated from Russia to the United States. Her parents dreamt of a bigger and better life for themselves and their daughter but fell remarkably short. Mischa and Roza would have been very attentive parents, were they able to spend any time with Nika. Unfortunately, the couple had no marketable skills and were forced to work long hours at menial jobs to provide for the household. This left Nika to herself much of the time and as such she found company where she could. She spent her time skipping school when she could and hanging about other kids who could be described as street rats. The group would cause havoc, shoplifting from small local shops, sneaking into theaters, hustling adults out of money, and so on. She was caught on several occasions and did spend a small amount of time in a correctional facility. During some of the months she was away, Nika's father became very ill and died. She returned home to her mother and did her best to repent for her absence by working and trying to fill the gap left by her father's passing. It was futile, nothing she could do as a young woman with no diploma was enough to make a dent in what her mother owed. So, much to her mother's dismay, Nika returned to her old ways. She made her schemes bigger and better, doing anything that she could to put more money in her mother's pocket. Nika would do this until her mother also passed away a few years later, after which she found that all of the money Nika had gifted to her was never used. With both of her parents gone and no prospects of her own, Nika took what money was there after paying for her mother's funeral and a bag of clothes on the first plane going east. She intended to regain her Russian citizenship and start a new life. Nika landed in Chernarus a month before the outbreak, and became trapped there while she was attempting to gain entry into Russia. She has since been weathering the fallout on her own.