Title: A Brighter Future and a Better Life
Original Publication: January 2011, Classic Battletech Forums
Grand Theft Agro was a lot of fun and opened up a bucket of new ideas for me that I decided to run with. It was letting me explore a time period that I was very interested in that was otherwise under-utilized in fanfic, as well as a faction that I had a growing appreciation of. So I decided that rather then just being a one-shot, I'd turn this into a huge-arse series of ever-increasingly long stories with a rough over-arcing storyline.
The first of these, A Brighter Future and a Better Life, served as an introduction of sorts; Grand Theft Agro was more of the prelude or something. The end result is that it is big and has oodles of characters, most of which will barely be seen again.
Goren Bulgarin was originally Niko; the name was changed after publication for various reasons and has been (clumsily) retroactively applied to older material. So every now and then he may spontaneously change names.
Likewise, Kirstin Ross had red hair at one stage but was changed to being blonde later as she looked way too much like one of the other characters. I suspect that lots of references to her having red hair survived.
Russel Jones is a reference, but not to what you're likely thinking of. In fact he's a double reference to two unrelated things that then loop back to the same point of origin. See if you can guess what they are.
A good chunk of this fic was inspired by a trip to Hawaii; specifically a lot of the downtown and hotel district were modeled on Waikiki.
This fic begins a theme of chapter names that are carried forward to the others in the series. See if you can guess what it is. Likewise, all the cars that appear from here on in have similar theme names.