Want more GTA RP adventures? Luckily, Joe's a persistent nuisance (he's lovely in real life).
- That time he robbed a bank by posing as a journalist
- That time he auditioned to be a pop star
- That time he murdered some hunters in the woods
- That time he wound up in a Black Mirror episode
- That time he started a cult
- That time he got the city high as a rogue paramedic
- That time he posed as a lawyer to clear a serial killer's name
- That time he became a vampire with a nightclub
- That time he fought the zombies
- That time he tried to form a GOURANGA group
They call me Eyebrows, on account of the scarring I sustained when the ambulance exploded.
Back then, I barely had two cents to rub together, and now, well, now I can’t decide whether to ride my Mercedes-Benz A-Class AMG into town, or to hop in my black Porsche Cayenne Coupe and put the pedal to the floor. I choose the Porsche. I always do. I love this car.
I’m still a humble clothes tailor at heart, but these days my work bleeds into a number of other areas. Sometimes literally. I’ve only got one client, but I’m the busiest I’ve ever been. And still, I can’t help but think things might have been more straightforward had I died in that Downtown Los Santos shoot-out.
Rewind a few in-game months within this Grand Theft Auto 5 roleplay sever, and I’d never met the Romanov crime family. I’d heard of them, sure, who hadn’t? But I’d only ever spotted Ivan, the youngest of the four brothers, in passing—him wheel-spinning around Legion Square in his Kuruma, with its blacked-out windows and reinforced bodywork, blaring Frank Ocean’s Ivy which, despite being a banger of a tune, always felt at odds with his hard-edged mafioso image.
The Romanovs hold legendary status all over San Andreas. They’ve all served hard time, and, if the rumours are true, that’s of little surprise. On the five occasions I’ve played in this particular server, their names have been a regular feature in the info bar that informs players every time someone else gets sent to the slammer. Armed robbery, drug trafficking, serious assault, attempted murder. Gangland bingo.
Still, despite the base game’s proclivity for violence and murder, street shoot-outs are rare and actively discouraged in GTA roleplay, which only underscores the depravity of the Romanovs’ behaviour. You can imagine my terror, then, when I was out delivering bedsheets on a routine city drop-off and all hell broke loose in Downtown Los Santos, started by one of the city’s most notorious wrong ‘uns.
I arrived late to the ruckus, but quickly gathered that Zomovir, the eldest Romanov, had been bumped on the road by an aggressive taxi driving roleplayer.
The next part unfolded quickly. The animated cabbie screamed down his headset. Zomovir cursed back. The driver jumped out of his ride. Zomovir did the same. They squared up to each other, head-to-head, toe-to-toe, eye-to-eye. The driver threw a punch. Oh shit. Zomovir pulled a pistol and opened fire.
Bullets rained down around us. Some hit the target. More hit the cars nearby. A few slugs ricocheted off the Stop sign on the corner. The victim turned, ran, and ducked behind my van. Zomovir unleashed another volley of rounds. Panicked, I fled, and caught one in the back. I went down like a sack of potatoes and crumbled in front of the oncoming ambulance hurtling towards the scene.
More bullets. And then, holy shit—a grenade—the taxi man’s last hurrah. The ambulance exploded in a ball of flames, taking me with it. I was a goner, I was sure of it. I was bleeding out on the sidewalk. The cabbie was long gone. I heard sirens. I heard voices. Zomovir standing over me. And then…
"Are you okay, friend? I’m sorry about that."
"Assholes everywhere. You’ll bleed out if we wait for another paramedic. Let me sort you out."
Zomovir strolled back to his cream Buccaneer Custom, grabbed a medical bag from the trunk, and started patching me up. He handed me some painkillers, and helped me back to my feet. I could kiss his white leather shoes—if they weren’t so mismatched with his ill-fitting brown getup, a ‘Burgundy Cheap Suit’ from Binco Clothing, if I’m not mistaken.
"What the fuck’s going on with your eyebrows?"
In the most unfortunate of server glitches, my eyebrows had turned pink during the melee. Unexplained visual wobbles like this one aren’t uncommon in GTA 5’s player-made servers. I’m not sure why this one occurred, but whatever the reason, Eyebrows quickly became my nickname.
Zomovir told me there was no time for small talk, and that the boys in blue would be here any minute. We took off for his crew’s hideout at 2884 Hillcrest Avenue in the Vinewood Hills, and when we arrived there were a lot of questions, mostly about who I was and why the fuck was I brought to the HQ.
"This is Eyebrows," explained Zomovir. "He’s a tailor who got caught up in some of our business and I helped him out. He says he can offer us some fashion advice to return the favour."
Silence. I was certain someone was going to shoot me on the spot. I mean, who the hell did I think I was, and these guys clearly didn’t care about serving time.
"Okay," said Marvin. "What have you got?"
Phew. Em. Okay. In order to complement his dark hair and dark complexion, I suggested that Marvin go for a black two-piece, with a white shirt and black tie, Reservoir Dogs style. For Ivan, I reckoned an all-black three-piece, with a black shirt and black tie would match his car. For Tony, I went charcoal grey, a light blue shirt, buttoned-up to the top with no tie. And for Zomovir, I suggested a light beige suit, with a lavender shirt, striped lavender tie and sunglasses to match.
"And get rid of the shoes?" he asked. And get rid of the shoes.
We hit the road and made for the Las Lagunas Boulevard branch of the Ponsonby’s luxury clothing chain, and I worked my magic. The lads looked lovely, I must admit, and I was really taken by their enthusiasm for my trade. As we were leaving, Zomovir motioned to the sales clerk, and told me to sort him out.
I sized the clerk up on the spot, and started making some more outfitting suggestions. I reckoned a nice navy-blue number with brown brogues might suit this chap, and I was leaning towards a trilby hat to finish the look off.
"What the hell are you doing, Eyebrows?" asked Marvin. "Sort him out."
Violence. This was some sort of sick initiation. They wanted me to rough this poor bastard up, and they wanted me to earn their trust in the process. What could I do? I swallowed, took a deep breath and laid one on him. I swung for him again, and laid in a boot for good measure.
To my surprise, it felt good. Like, really good. This was power.
And just like that I was all over town, collecting money, stealing cars, and doing the dirty work of a gang I owed my life to. I went from the living wage to living the good life overnight, and took full advantage of the real-world car mods the server had installed. Did I mention I drive a Porsche Cayenne Coupe? Not bad for a humble tailor.
I got in big time with the Romanovs and became a trusted foot soldier who was willing to do anything for the cause. Like the time Tony and I held up every petrol station on the east coast in just a few hours, the time Zomovir and I smashed up a Burger Shot employee’s convertible for a laugh, or the time Marvin and I robbed the Liquor Ace in Sandy Shores. I became a bit of a prick, truth be told, but I loved the money more than I did myself.
Steadily, the crew let me in on bigger deals and gigs they’d planned up and down the state—including one particularly lucrative coke deal that involved picking up the product in the city, and dropping off up in Blaine County up north. Ivan and I were assigned this one together.
Today’s that day. I climb into my car and make my way from my uptown penthouse towards the city to meet Ivan. I’ve chosen the Porsche, I always do, and pull up to the meet. Where is he? Is that him up ahead… Oh, Jesus. Oh, no. Ivan’s been pulled by the cops. He’s got the drugs in his boot. This whole thing is screwed before it’s started.
Wheel-spinning, tires screeching, and sirens blazing, the 5-0 start after the now very much on-the-run Ivan, and I follow at speed behind. We pull off the main road into a car park, as Ivan pulls away from his pursuers. Holy shit, he might make it.
I’m so caught up in following the chase, that I don’t notice my own chaser, another copper, before it’s too late. I cross the median on the main thoroughfare, collide with an oncoming car and fly through my windshield onto the other driver’s bonnet. It’s a sore one but I’m okay. I scramble back towards my ride, just as Zomovir flies up alongside, batters the side of my Porche with his Buccaneer Custom and takes off down the road.
What the hell is going on? Have they sold me out? Everything has turned to shit. I jump back into the Cayenne. I swing it backwards and send the cop who’s now hot on my heels flying, before booting it down the road. I spin onto Vespucci Boulevard and crash into a bench on the sidewalk. I hear a massive explosion. Ivan? Did they get him? Did he take the easy way out? Who knows. No time to think.
I slam the handbrake and spin onto Power Street. I put the pedal to the floor. 60mph. 70. 80. 90. 100. Onto Strawberry Avenue. A quick glance behind. I’m losing him. I might get away with this. Down a side-street. 110 miles-per-hour. Speed wobble. 115 miles-per-hour. Airborne. Car flipped. Concrete wall hurtling towards me.
I’m conscious, but just barely, next to the wreckage of my car. Sirens blare. A paramedic helicopter circles above. It’s too late for me.
I’m on my way out, and this time Zomovir is nowhere to be seen. That’s a good thing, I’m sure, because this tale of rags to riches is one I’d rather forget. Goodbye, high life. And rest in peace, Eyebrows.