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|“||We had a drop to make.||„|
|~ Tess regarding her and Joel's line of work|
Smugglers are the first antagonistic group to be fought in The Last of Us and American Dreams. They are the criminal mongers that takes illegal jobs.
The smugglers in Boston personally profited. They dug tunnels so they can sneak people in, made many secret round-trip to their base and the city in order to hide from the military, and some even trapped shop in the poor quarters to trade goods such as ammo and guard dogs for ration cards on the black market. Some smugglers held boxing matches, betting their ration cards on a fighter to gain more, while others were hired to guard citizens betting their ration cards in playing poker, typically bringing a melee weapon to determinate bystanders. Some smugglers, like Tess, used ration cards to bribe information, surprisingly from children too. Some, like Joel, snuck military patrol routes, tunnels that they can access, and the place of where their contacts lived, including Donovan and Robert.
When Marlene interrogates both Ellie and Riley, a group of smugglers fought the Fireflies. Riley successfully kills one in the battle, ensuring it would gain Marlene's trust, but such action only angered Marlene, which had lost many men due to the smugglers.
The Last of Us
Robert hired both smugglers to assassinate Tess, only to fail as she killed them. Because of the attack and rejection of paying them their guns, Tess met up with Joel and tresspassed to a warehouse in Area five where Robert lives. Upon crossing through the wall to reach Robert, Tess and Joel found both smugglers underground. One was trapped and pleads Joel to help him and Tess and states his mask is broken. But Joel, realizing a smuggler would become an infected, optionally killed him with mercy, the other being killed by Runners before the pair could do anything.
Upon passing through the slums, Joel and Tess saw clothes shop, some of the others cooking rats and a fight.
When the pair confronts three smugglers near the warehouse, one smuggler threatened Tess to bash her skull by calling her "b*tch". Tess responds by shooting one of three and all takes cover till Joel and Tess killed them both.
Forcing their way, they met Robert who escapes till he got cornered by the pair. Both brutally interrogates him about the weapons he sold, Robert arrogantly told that he sold them to the Fireflies, but Tess ignores as she realizes the smugglers are no match for the Fireflies, and shoots him, killing him for good a few seconds before Marlene arrives.
After Tess was killed then leaving Boston, Joel and Ellie meets Frank in his town. Bill is horrified upon seeing his friend, Frank being hung due to his being bitten by the infected as written on the note.
Following these events, the Smugglers are never seen, nor mentioned anymore.