|This character is no longer on the boat. But they do have a rather lovely page, don't you think?|
Russell (or Russ) grew up in the middle-class London suburb of Uxbridge with his parents and older sister. He was an average C grade student, didn't care much for school but didn't cut class either. At 14, he began experimenting with petty theft; shoplifting, pick-pocketing, the usual teenage stuff. Except that he didn't grow out of it, he considered it easy money and enjoyed the rush of adrenalin from breaking the rules and getting one up on everyone else. At 17 he moved on to Sixth Form and his A-levels, but while he took an interest in Psychology and Media Studies, the lure of an easy con was more exciting to him. He was approached by a professional grifter -- Tim -- who'd noticed him working the pub circuit (Russ was not as cool as he thought :|) and offered a spot on a team working a series of long cons.
At first it was like a dream come true, he was "earning" more money than he thought he'd ever see, and he was making contacts and learning new tricks of the trade. But after seeing four men go down for life sentences for various series charges, Russ changed his mind and went back to short cons; lower payout, but lower risk. The thrill of the game was one thing, but spending the rest of his life behind bars wasn't something he was willing to put on the line. When he expressed his desire to leave the group, Tim set him up and ran off with all his earnings. Russ tracked him down in Blackpool and set him up with a dodgy blackjack dealer; Russell got his money back with profit, and Tim got his legs broken by Casino bouncers when they caught him cheating to win his losses back.
There was retaliation, and Russell ended up in the ER after a suspected stabbing, but didn't press charges; if he did, he'd out himself to the police, and for the most part he'd done a pretty good job of not pissing off the local cops. Arrested once or twice for pickpocketing and petty theft, he was notoriously unwelcome in a lot of local pubs and bars, but since they often couldn't prove exactly how he was scamming people, he often got away with just waltzing right back in a few nights later.
On the Elegante Edit
Deck 11, Room 2374.
Usually found patronizing the casino and Oceanview bar on deck 08.