Welcome to Ingelheim

Agents Goal : Escape the clutch of the conspiracy, discover its real goal.

Current Location : Ingelheim, Germany

Location Aspects : Cold, Small Town, Suspicious of strangers

Conspiracy Goal : After the failed attempt at recruiting the agents, the conspiracy will make every effort to get rid of the agents. The conspiracy is nearing its own goal, and will not tolerate any other change in plans. The loss of the research binders is unacceptable and they will make every effort to recover them. Luckily for the conspiracy, the binders were tagged with locators.

The Research Binders

S100A4 MR4 [0001]

Contains background information on the Tunguska event. The information is generic and contains eye witness reports of the event collected from various historical sources. See here for more information.

S100A4 MR4 [0106]

[KU3]

Animal testing is a complete failure. The non primate antigen are not able to support the growth factor of the spores, leading to a rapid cell degeneration. The cell degeneration is so fast that is creates huge amounts of energy and burns out the test subject. The same procedure applied to primates offers a much more interesting avenue of research. The larger primate seem to be able to sustain the burn rate of the spore. After careful monitoring, it seems the energy intake of the test primate increased by a factor of a 1000%. When we tried to reduce the amount of food given to the subjects, they quickly became agressive and attacked one another. We lost 2 of the 3 subjects, they were killed and “eaten” by Gargantua. After careful review of the events, it was theorized that the primate went for the closest primary source of antigen.

[KU4]

Following the orders of KNS the research team started testing the KU3 strain on human subjects. Thanks to the provided dossier – S100A4 MR4 [0039] – we were able to duplicate the research and derived a composite spore that we could inject in human subject. The higher intellect of the subject seemed to help in controlling the violent outburst that we saw in the primates. Once we started running protocol p6 to test the stability of the grafted spore we quickly found that the sought after stability would not be found in the KU4 variant.

[KU5]

Using the research notes provided by the chemists we were able to duplicate and reproduce his test results. The compound created using this process offers huge advantages compared to any strain we managed to create during our last research cycle. The effect still leaves the test subjects on the brink of death, but we feel that this hurdle might be completely preventable by lacing the material with some form of steroid construct. Samples are in route to research center in Moscow, Amsterdamand Ohio.

[KU6] – New research based on the KU3 strand. Will begin testing in the following weeks. Samples are in route to research centers in Moscow, Amsterdam and Ingelheim.

Without access to the original strain we feel the research might soon reach a dead end. Some advances could be made injecting the spores directly in a protein scaffolding. The fragility of the KU3 strain makes it unlikely that this method will succeed. Comparing our notes with those obtained from the 8 of heart could also lead to potentially promising variations. Given access to the original strain it is our belief that an air-delivered weaponized version of the KU6 variant could be finished in time for the arrival of the primary investor. We are therefore requesting additional funding.

Approved by Dr. Sorin Cimpeanu

Scenes

The angry farmer – He doesn’t like strangers.

The last hobo – He doesn’t drink the water.
The Syrians – They want respect.
The zombies – They drank the water.
The authorities – They are scared of the city – See Bhopal
The mayor – Turns a blind eye to the problems.
The bystanders – The work for Boehringer
Les minettes – Dr. Sorin Cimpeanu goes there to feed.

Everybody in Ingelheim is Infected KU5

Getting out of nowhere (Recap #11)

Stuck on a side track of the train running between Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany, while getting gunned at by mercenaries or militia. The panoramic route once tranquil and relaxing, brought the Agents back to their sad life of plain old crazy.

Spotting a team of spotters on a ledge on the other side of the mountain the agents begin to clear out the wagon from the remaining civilian when they hear the high pitch sound of a hovering drone. So far so good, they begin walking toward the tunnel as they spot the flash of a surface-to-air missile being launched. A couple of seconds later the bridge exploded in a thunderous flash. The weight of the wagon adding to the damage of the AGM-176, the bridge had no chance, it started to break apart. As every horizontal surface reverted to a vertical state due to gravity.  Running from the collapsing girders Natasha fell as the bridge started to collapse and luckily was grabbed by Sean who just managed to get her back up on her feet and running toward the tunnel.

Once inside the brick and stone tunnel, the agents were able to take a breather, huddled together the civilian were crying and shivering due to shock and fear. Sanderson knew that most of them were suffering from shell shock, and that they would be marked for life by the traumatic event. Niclas was the first one to run, sure that the agents, sporting guns and looking like they knew what they were doing, were responsible for this. Sean quickly booby trapped the east entrance with shrapnel taken from the ground itself.

Victor is pissed and walks in the bullets

Sitting in the brick tunnel, militia came in both end of the tunnel – firing and moving, using standard German military covering techniques. Once both 3 man teams were in position, about 20 feet from the entrance, the dropped and started firing wildly at the agents. One of the civilians got hit by a ricochet just as Sean popped the blasting cap and collapsed the east entrance over the commando. Their ears bleeding, the agents now only had to take care of the west team; which redoubled their rate of fire. With Sanderson, Natasha taking pot shots towards the west entrance, and keeping the militia pinned, Victor stood up, ran west taking the militia completely by surprise. As he came close, the militia stood up to take him down, only to be gunned down by the concerted fire of the two female agents.

“J’en ai assez de cette merde…”

With the primary threats taken care of, the agents and their civilian ? walk out to a snowy German mountain side. About 50 feet from the train track the agents spot 3 snowmobiles, one pulling a snow trailer. After a short debate the agents and civilian load up and start driving toward Ingelheim – the nearest German town, the fated train next stop. As the reach the crest, they see that getting to Ingelheim might be really difficult, a couple of hour train ride would likely translate in a two day trek. Under equipped to withstand the cold, they hit the “Return Trip” button of the GPS and double back. Driving in the light underbrush, 2 patrolling snowmobiles start to chase them, firing light machine guns, hoping to take them down. Zigzagging through the forest, with the second agent returning fire, they manage to disable one of the pursing ski-doo using a precise shot to the engine, which locks up and explodes. The other chaser begins to bridge the distance pull up to the side of Sanderson’s ride, as they exchange fire, the second soldier on the snowmobile stands, ready to jump on the agent’s machine. This small distraction made the militia driver look behind while he should probably have looked forward. The snowmobile momentum went to 0 in about 1 second flat as it hit a gigantic pine tree, the driver and passenger never stood a chance. The pine tree will live on as if nothing has happened.

Nearing the edge of the woods, they see a large manor sitting on the edge of a cliff. Around the perimeter our Agents can spot well armed guards, snowmobiles and an airplane sitting on a short runway. Sanderson, takes note of the length of the runway and knows that it takes a pilot with an extra set of balls to fly this baby. The runway ends just before a cliff of at least 500 feet. As they take in the security measures, they are distracted by noises coming out of the woods behind them, as the agents turn to meet the newcomer they are scared shitless by a gray black gorilla. As the agents take the details in, they sadly notice wires coming out of its head. The gorilla snatches a civilian and throws it around like a rag doll. The shaken agents not missing a beat concentrate their fire and take down the 800 pounds beast.

If it looks like a duck

Rapidly assessing the body, McGee sees that the wires coming out of the head of the body use an insulation technique not seen since the 1950’s. Over a riot speaker system, they can hear a German voice asking them to lay down their weapons and parley. The voice offers a truce. Knowing that the gunshots and explosions alerted the militia, they decide to accept the offer and walk to the manor gate. At the gate they can see that the militia are weary, but not stressed. The agents weapons are confiscated, and they are then escorted through the manor main door. Once inside the manor, they can see that their first impression of age was not wrong, this manor smells of rot and mold, the humidity really high. They are brought to a room with a fireplace, as the door closes behind them, they can see a hidden side door farther in. After about 15 minutes, an older gentleman comes in with a glass of wine and official looking dossiers. The glass looks like the Saint-Grail, and the man holding it doesn’t do anything to dispel the Dracula feeling you get from him.

“It cost me/us a lot to bring you here. Please heed my offer, it should simplify our lives.”

A man of action more than word, Nikodim Stepanovitch, makes an uncomfortable pitch where the agents would work for his group helping to create a cure for almost all of Man’s illnesses. “I have seen the folly of man, and I will not let it repeat itself. This research must not fall in their hands, if it ever does, we will see an arms race that could completely destroy the human race. And this time their would be not stopping it. ” He looks genuinely interested in making sure the research progresses and from his looks the agents can tell that this old man has seen his fair share of horror. “We would be ready to offer you a truce, as we think you misunderstood our intentions, and to prove that we are well-meaning, we would be prepared to employ you to help us in our quest to understand and develop this cure. As we could see from these – he points to the dossiers – your skills would be very handy in a variety of ways.”

The Leprechaun

After completing his speech, he excuses himself, leaving behind the dossiers and an almost empty wine glass. The dumbfounded agents look at one another, unable to decide how to take the offer, or even how to refuse such an offer. Victor is the first to break the silence, and walks to the chair, as he sits down he takes the first dossier and starts reading. Sean dabs his handkerchief in the glass, and quickly pockets it.

In which Victor learns secrets from the other agents.

On Sophie Sanderson

Left the MI6 after anonymously leaking informations to the media, she is suspected by the British Secret Service and is considered a threat to the Crown. The documents leaked have caused at least 4 agents to die in the field, after their cover had been blown.  She is currently on the list of the 100 most wanted criminals of the British Commonwealth.

On Natasha Romanov

Left the KGB after she was told that her husband died in the field. Untrusting of the official story, she left to find her husband. The KGB brass considers Natasha could endanger deep cover agents around the world trying to  obtain information about her dead husband.

On Michael McGee

During his third tour in cold war Germany as a combat engineer, Sergeant McGee was found bloody and unconscious in the “Death Strip” of the Berlin Wall. Unable/unwilling to explain when and how he had gotten there, he was  charged with dereliction of duty and promptly sent home to finish his contract as a desk corporal. During is last medical check-up, a small metal object was found under his skin and extracted. Due to pressure from McGee the doctor entered shrapnel in the examination file.

On Sean Cormack

Known IRA bomb maker, Sean Cormack was suspected of being the mastermind behind the explosion of a bus on February 18, 1996. Secret Service have identified a possible link between Cormack and one of the survivor. Chelsea Leatherby, 3 years old at the time, lost both her parent in the incident. Placed in the public care system, she received access to an anonymously set-up trust fund. It is the bellief of Her Majesty Secret Services, that Cormack might be the secret provider of this money.

After a short discussion where the agents come to the conclusion that this is a trap. Nikodim Stepanovitch enters the room and seeing Victor in the chair stands near the fireplace, the picture of a perfect European gentleman. Sean walks over and explain that they will not accept the offer. He could only have said so, but he took out a luchador mask, “The Leprechaun”, puts it on and tackles Stepanovitch directly in the fireplace. As the man starts burning, yelling a most inhuman sound. He turn to dust and it floats to the walls. They quickly try to open the two doors, which are locked from the outside, Sanderson looks around and decides to find a third way out. “Since we are in a castle, there must be secret passages.” Looking really well she triggers a small mechanism which opens a small door that gives on a set of stairs. With no other choices but to go down, they line up and walk down.

As they get down to the bottom floor, clearly under the mountain rocks, the see medieval cells. The cells have been used recently and reek of human misery. They walk further in, wanting out of this hell, they arrive to a pristine room containing the best and worst science has to offer. Every instrument organized in a perfect production line designed to extract human blood, quickly, efficiently and without causing too much pain. Looking around the room, the agents spot a bookcase containing 5 research binders labelled S100A4 MR4 [0001],  S100A4 MR4 [0014], S100A4 MR4 [0039], S100A4 MR4 [0050] and S100A4 MR4 [0106]. As the agents started looking more closely, the compound alarm blared to life, the lights went down and the security lighting subsytem took over. They started running up some stairs to emerge from a side door of the manor. Looking around at the commotion the agents saw Nikodim Stepanovitch walk out of the main doors and order his men around to secure the perimeter.

It did not take them long to evaluate their possible options, between running out, blasting out on snowmobiles or just stealing the plane and flying out. Running to the plane, trying to keep a low profile the agents managed to get on-board and prepare for on flight movie. Oh yeah, some militia managed to spot them, and get dead the same way. Sanderson took the stick, gunned the engine and once the plane started moving became a small arms fire target. With the four other agents providing covering fire, they took off after a brutal drop at the cliff. The plane managed to stay airborne just in time to turn its side toward incoming RPG fire. Using all her piloting skill, Sanderson dropped the plane at a 90 degrees angle and dodged the incoming fire. Staying low the agents managed to get enough distance between them and Dracula’s manor. Now having more experience leaving in-flight airplanes, they decided to grab the available chutes, get them on and jump out while setting the plane autopilot to fly for as long as possible. Hopefully confusing their pursuers.

Floating down over the Ingelheim valley the agents can admire the beautiful landscape, the small farms on the outskirt of the town and the huge pharmaceutical complex that is named a couple of times in the stolen research binders.

Welcome to Ingelheim, we hope your stay will be pleasant.

En route to nowhere

Note : This will be part recap of game #10 and also planning of game #11. Due in part to my complete improvisation of game #10 ending. I went with the flow, but could not immediately place the events in the larger context. It came to me this week, so without further a due, here we go again.

After coming back from Liberia the agents decided to go after the source of the “Shooting Star” drug packet. The landed in Amsterdam and quickly found that the source of the drug was the MelkWeg (Milky Way) club. Using this information they did a couple of search and found that a lot of single visitor had a tendency to disappear in Amsterdam. Due to the nature of the city itself these disappearances never became important enough to warrant further investigation. Amsterdam is host to lots of travelers, often single, from all over Europe. These, have been on the road for a long time, and most often are not missed by their family, being as they are, regarded as failures.

After a successful stake out of the MelkWeg, the agents follow the delivery of (designated) human antigen to the Amsterdam train station, where it is handed off to a man boarding a train headed for Germany – Ingelheim. The following day the agent board the same train hoping to understand how and by whom these antigen are used.

As the train entered Germany it crossed a high bridge and started slowing down rapidly. As the agents look out at the snow covered mountains, terrorists stand up in the agents car and start hosing down the car passenger. Sean, obviously tired of all the ruckus took a quick look around, saw two terrorists in the front and two others at the back of the car systematically killing the passengers. He pointed the two front man to Natasha, McGee and Sanderson and just kicked out the side window and jumped out.

As he jumped out he took off his belt, threw it around the top of the car and tied it with a flick of the wrist. As he tarzaned his way around he cam back in with added velocity straight at one of the gunman in the back of the car. The kick broke the man sternum and threw him straight on the second gunman. Seizing the initiative he jumped the second man still reeling from the unexpected flying Irish. The gunfight saw Natasha using the train car ceiling as a bullet rebound to kill off the attackers coming at them from the  front. Once the action settled down a bit, the train  carhad stopped on a bridge in the middle of nowhere, Germany. Walking to the front of the car, the train nowhere to be seen, McGee saw a crude explosive device sitting on the track, with a countdown timer at 58 seconds. Calling out to Sean, McGee told the other Agents to evacuate the remaining passengers from the back.

Sean was able to disable the basic device in less than a second, the poor quality of the craftsmanship saddening the former IRA bomb maker. As he finished disabling the device, he noticed a glint on the right side, over the ledge of the mountain peak. He saw a two man team equipped with a laser target designator aimed directly at the train car. Hearing a hushed sound, McGee started yelling; “Drone, Drone, Drone”; Running out the car the Agents managed to escape the train as it exploded off the track and down the ravine.

Quick Overview of the next game.

Agents Goal : Understand what the antigen are used for.

Current Location : Somewhere in Germany, probably in near Ingelheim.

Location Aspects : Cold, Barren, hastily covered-tracks.

Conspiracy Goal : The Colonist was aware of the agents surveillance of the MelkWeg. Using considerable resources it order its minions to tail the agents around, it created a counter-trap. The mountain hit was its bid to finally get rid of this torn. Using the bratva through KU2 – Nikodim Stepanovitch, the organisms contacted German ultra-nationalist groups and ordered the hit. Unbeknownst to the agents the Train was diverted off the main track to allow an easier attack vector. The train was then detached to insure that once all the passengers of car #6 were killed there would be no witness. If the news ever comes out of a hit on a train in Germany, the conspiracy will blanket the media with a story about terrorist units preparing for the Sochi Winter Olympics. A team of GSG-9 successfully dealt with the terrorists. As the conspiracy was not able to get rid of the Agents, it put in place protocol Bravo. The conspiracy would still try to kill off the agents, but if required it will try to negotiate with them. The Agents will be hunted in the mountains until they get to the paramilitary compound, at this point they will be brought in to meet a old man named Nikodim Stepanovitch; Once in private – Stepanovitch will make a sales pitch about the work they are trying to accomplish.

“It cost me/us a lot to bring you here. Please heed my offer, it should simplify our lives.”

Cover Story (Talking Points)

  • Yes, as you know we are studying a new bio-chemical compound.
  • We believe it to be of alien origin.
  • Our backers are private and wish to remain anonymous.
  • I do not know where the source material was found.
  • Our research indicate that this compound could potentially solve the age old problem of cell decay.
  • We had to take actions to insure that this research did not fall in government hands; Our backers are afraid of a militarization of the strain, and would prefer to see it destroyed that see it power the super soldier of the future.
  • Naturally working off the grid has its disadvantages, we need resources normally unavailable. But with your backgrounds it would ease or work.

Scenes

  • Evade the militia
  • Protect the civilians
    • They will get picked off one by one.
  • It’s Winter time again.
    • The militia are taken out. Weird sounds are heard.
    • Survive the cold mountains – The Missing Link (KU3)
  • Looking at the stars.(Atmosphere)
    • Around the fireplace, at night. A meteor shower in the high atmosphere or aurora borealis
  • A seemingly abandoned WW2 bunker
    • Break in
    • Discover the ultra-nationalist
    • Discover the animal pen and research center
    • Discover the Russian equipment – (Kalashnikov Concern)
  • Meet the Kapitan
    • Looks like Dracula, drinks “red wine” from a  Grail like chalice.
    • Hear his offer
  • Figure out the use of the antigen
    • Soylent Green – A more humane food – contains no gluten (Core)
    • Reports from the Ingelheim research center (Core)
  • Escape the bunker
    • Option – Accept the offer – leave for the bank job.
      • The vault contains WW2 NKVD dossiers (Core)
    • Option – Down the slope in skidoos
    • Option – Jump the ledge
    • Option – Steal the plane

Recap Game #9 Liberia

We left our Agents lost in the jungles of Liberia, after their second plane crash this week. After walking down a road for a couple of hours, they start hearing the sound of a large engine coming their way. After a few seconds of indecision, they had the brilliant idea of putting the two female agents on the roadside hoping that the militia men would be in a more helpful mood, maybe get a first aid kit and a lift to the closest city. Their western mind where quickly reset to the correct mind set after men came out and promptly overpowered and took the women in. These militia could not believe their luck of finding two white women standing on the side of the road. A gift of the gods they believed.

Sean, McGee and Victor went into action to recover Sanderson and Natasha. The ensuing fight started from a bad plan and became a fiasco. Sean, Natasha got really hurt and made the rest of their  lives that much more worthwhile. Sean quickly learned that headbutting a Kevlar helmet was not an approved martial technique. Once everything went back to normal, they disposed of the bodies and took over the banged up truck. Driving in the direction of Fish Town.

After 25 klicks of hard and slow driving through Liberia’s jungles they approach a side road that Victor finds familiar. Going up the road the arrive at a gate, marked Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, in front of a broken down white building, 3 stories high. On the yard there is other rusted structure and long yellow grass. This compounds looks like it was abandoned a while ago. Against their better judgement, and their feelings of  distrust they go in hoping to raid the hospital for supplies. After parking the truck in front of the entrance, the team starts discussing who goes in. McGee completely freaked out by the creepy vibe, decides to stay in the truck with Victor. Looking over he sees that Victor, who was not feeling well earlier, is unconscious. If the agents were unsure of the hospital before, there are now freaked out.

As they start thinking that they should be getting away, a tall black man dressed in a doctor garb comes out of the front door. And addresses them in a perfect London accented English.

“Please, do not let the look of our humble hospital deter you. If you need help, we will try our best to give you comfort. I am doctor Edwards, I run this small hospital.”

Sean, Natasha and Sanderson follow the man in, hoping to get a break and hopefully some medical aid. Passing two orderly pushing a gurney, they see various pictures on the wall, and the hospital foundation plaque, Sean learned that the hospital was established in 1999 a couple of years before Operation Licorne. Also on  the wall are pictures of Doctor Edward with U.N. officials celebrating the opening of the hospital. The plaque under the picture reads…

While walking Doctor Edwards explains when and how the hospital was established, the words going from normal to weird to scary in a single sentence. Sean noticed that the good doctor was quoting the plaque verbatim. While using hand signals to communicate the information to the other agents, they see a nurse staffing a desk at the end of the corridor, smiling with wide teeth at the good doctor Edwards. They are hushed in a examination room and are asked to sit down while the doctor examines them one at a time in his adjoining office. Sean now sure that something is not as it seems jumps the good doctor, and punches him in the face. After a good hit that would have put down most man the doctor just smiled and said

“Please let us help you, you are in dire need of medical assistance.”

offering a shark like smile for the ages. The man/thing had two sets of teeth layered in front of one another, with an impossible gaping mouth and lizardly tongue. That made everybody react, Natasha readied her AK while Sanderson fumbled through her vest for her pistol. Seizing the initiative, Sean picked up the doctor and slammed it through the ceiling light, the agents clearly heard the sound of tearing skin and breaking bones. In answer to the difficult patient the doctor got his scalpel out and drove it multiple times through Sean right shoulder.

Natasha took aim, trying to not hit Sean who was still wrestling with the creature. She failed?. The adrenaline pumping Sean lifted the doctor again and this time the bullet went true, hitting the doctor in the head. Losing blood, having a really bad day, Sean decides that he has enough and loses consciousness. Sanderson communicated their predicament to McGee, patiently waiting outside. When he heard gunshots, McGee gunned the truck backwards aligning with the entrance. McGee took Victor out of the truck and dropped him in bushes near the road. Coming back to the driving seat, he heard more gunshot and the cry for help from Sanderson. Flooring it the truck went from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds, thanks to a quick overhaul done previously, nearing the hospital entrance, McGee jumped out, to some consequence, after flipping a new red switch on the dashboard. The truck impaled itself in the hospital, almost disappearing completely inside, leaving something to be said regarding the quality of constructions from UN special aid projects.

“Get out! NOW!”

Sanderson looks around the examination room and finds a window being a huge curtain, she breaks it with a metal chair, cleaning out the glass shards from the edges. The P.A. system of the hospital goes live with a static crackle, “Orderlies to examination room 5, code white” followed immediately by the examination door bursting in with the two orderlies and the nurse… Not a nurse, something playing a nurse, something thinking that a cloth puppet dressed as a nurse would make sense. Their minds shaken, their bodies broken, Sanderson and Natasha, with Sean draped over her shoulder make their way outside. Trying to put as much distance from the creatures in the examination room, the red switch finishing its works of igniting the volatile gas from the damaged truck parked in the hospital main corridor. The explosion flattening everyone to the ground and throwing the nurse outside near the agents.

The fire quickly spreading, the silence is deafening, where one would have expected cries for help, there is nothing to hear. Only the slow movements of feet on the dry ground walking towards patients in need.

“Please let me help him, he needs our help, he will die.”

The nurse walking toward them, Natasha drops Sean on the ground and quickly puts a couple of shots through it. The nurse never acknowledging it, kneels and places her hand on Sean, waking him up with a start, he feels better, but looking at her face, Sean does not see altruism. He only sees a wanting for pain and suffering. Natasha thinks back to her KGB training days, in the interrogation portion of the training. They were invited to watch how senior KGB personnel conducted interrogations, asking impossible questions to a political prisoner, not really expecting an answer. The goal was pure torture, alternating the person between a hellish waked up state and the release of unconsciousness.  She remembers that these sessions could go on for hours, before the mental strain became so intense, that the prisoner’s mind just broke completely. Taking intelligent men and turning them in gibbering idiots. Often these were returned to their communities, as a reminder of what happens when one tries to go against the apparatchik.

Hardened by this memory, Natasha, continued firing at the nurse. It was sadly not enough, the nurse was still up. Sanderson started crying and firing at the same time, completely oblivious of her actions, she emptied her clip, and continued pulling the trigger long after the nurse hit the ground. The sound of flames eating a building, with the click, click, click of a pistol going through the motions.

They quickly took inventory of the hospital ground and found an old ambulance parked in the garage section, it took McGee a couple of minutes to get it started while Sanderson foraged for medical  supplies. When the ambulance came to life she was already patching Sean, staving the worst of his wounds. She had to take a deep breath when she saw that the scalpel cuts on his should were not random at all, as it should have been. They were perfect surgery cut, following the muscle lines, these were impossible.

“The robots, I hate the robots!”

Not wanting to stop for anything, they drive the remaining distance in darkness hoping to reach the normality of a city, with people and real human problems. After hours of driving they finally reach Fish Town, River Gee’s county capital. Streets made of dirt, houses build by hand from dirt and grass. The third world welcoming our agents by giving a taste of reality.

Not wanting to lose more time in this shit hole, the agents get the bearing and start looking for the army base. As they drive through the small city they spot two men walking the shadows wearing brown djellabas. Their walking patterns betraying their US special forces military training. Trying to keep the men in check and looking for General’s Maurice base the agents continued driving west along the main street, camouflaged by the ambulance borrowed from the hospital. As they near the west side of the town, they see the military base entrance with a guard post manned by children no older than fifteen.  The guards check the papers shown by the two djellaba wearing men and quickly wave them in. As they near the base main building they take off their vestment revealing their origin. These men are obviously special forces or at least ex special forces. They are wearing complete tactical gear, with complete Mil-Spec tactical webbing holding grenades, extra clips and all the other dangerous paraphernalia you would expect on a man  expected to kill another in exchange for a paycheck. The special forces also sport completely tricked out M4 assault rifles with under barrel grenade launcher.

Apart from the special forces the base is guarded mostly by child soldiers with over sized AKs and a good amount of fear. Sitting on the tarmac two old British Cruiser Mk I CS, looking serviceable. As they set up their OP (Observation Point) they agents start hearing a chopper coming from the east side with a low flight pattern. It lands on the base helipad and out comes General Maurice in full military regalia. Walking like he owns the place, he probably does, he goes straight to the main building

Witnessing the arrival of General Maurice they quickly formulate a plan, hit the base this very night, execute the wet work and get out of this hell hole, and the nice General just gave them their exit strategy. Waiting till 0300 hours they slowly walk to the rear fence and slip in unnoticed by the young sentries. Staying low they enter the garage building and divide up. Sean and McGee to capture one of the British Cruiser, while Natasha and Sanderson go for the football. After taking their time, Natasha and Sanderson get to the back of the main building, helped by Sanderson, a bruised and tired Natasha climbs the rain pipe to the second floor. As she climbs up she can hear the General talking with another man with a Texan accent. They are discussing the delivery of shipments of Selenium in exchange of weapons and money.

On the other side of the building Sean and McGee time the sentries movements and manage to gain access to the Cruisers. Upon entry McGee knows how to operate the controls to drive the tank and takes control of the situation telling Sean to load up the main gun. Completely baffled by the tank that Sean once had a pleasure blowing up, he tries to make haste and survive this. Looking back at all this, young Sean would probably call his old self a traitor, following the orders of a British national and manning a tank from the enemy.

“GO, GO, GO”

As soon as the tank is ready to go they tell Natasha and Sanderson to execute, the female agents get the go and Natasha moves in position. Knowing that she does not have the strength to take the fight to the two men. She looks in her pant pockets and finds a gift left by McGee. A nice green pineapple grenade. ready to go, ready to do the job of the not so subtle assassin. Natasha takes the ‘nade out, pulls the pin, counts to four and throws it in the opened window. The grenade lands at the feet of General Maurice and with a satisfying boom sends the man to its maker. Natasha slides down rapidly, covered by Sanderson. They start making their way to the helicopter as the base wakes up.

Once the grenade explodes the military base goes in full alert, the two special forces enter the building running. Sean fires the main gun at the building entrance, hopefully creating enough chaos that Natasha and Sanderson can get to the chopper without getting intercepted. Drawing fire from the militia and from one of the two special forces the tanks crawls forward. As soon as they see the bullets have no effect the grenade launchers are aimed at the tanks hoping for a track blowout. With the tank drawing most of the fire, the second special force soldier comes out the side of the main building, near the helipad. As he spots Sanderson at the control of the helicopter he fires towards her. Hitting the sides, Natasha quickly retaliates by taking a front facing tactical position, hoping to draw fire away from the helicopter. Backed by the tank’s main gun  blowing holes in the side of the building, Sanderson manages to fire up the helicopter’s engine, but not before Natasha gets hit by a perfectly line shot from the US mercenary.

Sean jumps out of the tanks and starts running toward the downed agent, grabs her while yelling at McGee to get the fuck out. Sean jumps in the chopper as it starts moving up slowly. McGee not one to leave things unfinished drives the tank in the main building side, then jumps out and starts running towards the helicopter. He jumps out to catch the railing and misses, only to be caught by the hand of Sean who pulls him up.

This concludes Act I of the Agents Shooting at the Stars campaign.

Recap game #8 Algier

Everybody needs vacations

The agents  finish their two weeks vacations in London, sitting around a nice pint of ale in the Crown and Scepter pub. It seems the conspiracy did not take a break.

Sanderson’s internal network was scanned by unknown attackers. The attack signature indicates through clever use of IP port forwarding, rewritten IP tables and good old SHA encryption that it probably came from Russia. The attackers remain unknown, but by prodding Sanderson’s network, they have revealed their origin.

McGee’s vacations were spent in a haze of paranoia and drunken stupor. He did alternate his time between drinking at the Crown and Scepter and transforming his personal bunker in a huge burner. He hopes that if ever the robots come, they will perish in the flames of hell.  Using  dust recovered from the corpse of the red beret he started some tests protocols on rats – quickly he learned that the dust made the rat stronger for a while, their organism burning out rapidly due to the high demand of their new strength. While drinking his memory off, some goons leave a Crown and and Scepter card with a note on it.

“We are watching”

After some quick checks by Sanderson on prints left on the note. And cross check  by McGee on the pub’s security cameras, they found out that the culprits are low-level goons from a local extremist group with no tie to any Russian crime syndicate. It seems they just received orders from their parent cell. Pretty pissed off by the violation of his privacy, McGee enlisted the help of the other agents to go after the brotherhood. He wanted them to get the message that you can’t walk in his life and expect to not feel it. Without thinking McGee and Sean entered the Mosque and saw Hakim And Ackmed start running. After a short chase the two members of the brotherhood woke up, tied to chairs in a rundown building. With Sanderson offering a lighter to a wicked looking McGee. Since the two brothers were acting as errand boys it did not take much to get them talking.

Following this short informative talk, it was obvious they did not know much. They just followed orders, given to them via dead drop, without knowing the source. Afterwards the agents let them go knowing full well that at least those two would not come back to haunt them, but feeling like the conspiracy was getting closer.

Sean took time to visit old friends from the University of Belfast Brewers club. A loose association of beer lovers and makers. Also the primary source of expert chemists for the IRA in the 60s and 70s. He offered them the sample recovered from the hotel room and asked them if they could analyze it. Afterwards he retired to his run-down apartment and called up Maggie the witch. The psychologist that was responsible for getting him back on his feet after the events that took the lives of all those kids.It seems that after all these years their relationship became really primal, messed-up and words are no longer required.

Sean was also contacted by an old fishing buddy of his. It seems that the contact was cornered by MI-5 with questions about Sean’s current whereabouts. The MI-5 agents even showed him a satellite picture of Sean talking with a known weapon smuggler (Morgan). While carrying a carpet on his shoulder.

Natasha received a call by her old KGB mentor, after a few pleasantries were exchanged, not in his nature at all to be pleasant. He returned to his former self, and told her that he heard disturbing news about her involvement in the affairs of a well connected man. He even goes so far as to warn her. “Your lack of restraint might prove a hazard to your well being. These new breed, the one that bought in capitalism first, they do not accept failure.”

Up in the air

<Idea from Kevin Kulp>

As the agents board the plane from London Heathrow to Algiers they notice a really high number of government type passenger aboard the plane. Most of the passengers look like they are diplomats, military or high ranking government official. About halfway through the flight, while over the Mediterranean sea, 5 men stand up and start moving like special force soldiers. Two men enter the first class cabin with intent to harm, spotted by Natasha, she follows them and intervene just at the moment where one of the special force was going to cut off the hand of a fat gentleman bound to a briefcase by handcuffs.

When Natasha intervenes and scuffles the special forces operators in first class, two large first class passengers, obviously bodyguards stand up and start getting involved. With the situation now completely out of their hand the operators abort the mission and blow the side of the economy class cabin. Passengers not wearing their seat belts are sucked out of their seats and enjoy a 35000 feet free fall. This gives the machete wielding man time to cut off the hand of the large man. Which means  the briefcase just flies out the side gaping hole.

The agents manage to keep their cool until Sanderson understands that their chance of survival in a plane in this condition over the Mediterranean are none. She unclips her belt and lets go of Sean who was also holding Natasha. Their only possible salvation lies with the operators chutes.

Having listened to the in flight security briefing McGee finds the emergency raft and in an effort to save the other passengers gets himself thrown out of the plane while opening the raft just before leaving the plane. Much to his credit the raft was just big enough to seal the opening  left by the shaped charge. Looking outside of a rapidly diminishing plane, the sky over the Mediterranean shines brightly over the agents demise.

Situation Normal All Fucked Up

Sanderson’s seemed a bit flustered by the situation, she did not think that they could make it, so in the spirit of freaking out, she took her coat and spread it. Hoping that her flying hamster technique would resolve the issue of falling down rapidly to earth without a parachute. Sean being the more pragmatic of the bunch started going after the special force operators taking them one after the other with the help of Natasha. McGee fearing (rightly) for his life jumped one of the free falling operator and took a pair of handcuff and just attached himself to the soldier. After a couple of exchange both member of the odd couple understood that they had to live with one another for a little while.

After giving a chute to Sanderson and safely landing in the Mediterranean they agent rejoin on a fishing boat that was actually waiting for the plane terrorists. After talking with the lone survivor, a Russian ex-KGB named Dmitri and opening the briefcase. Our intrepid agents understand that the attack on the plane was a highly organized operation created to make sure that the briefcase never gets to its intended destination. In the briefcase the agents found undercover dossiers of MI-5, CIA, KGB and Mossad agents. currently embedded in multiple foreign government and terrorist organizations. With the dossiers the agents also find US bearer bonds for a value of 20 millions dollars. The Agents rapidly comes to the conclusion that this briefcase is the setup for an extensive wet work operation to get rid of deep cover operative. The briefcase contains no clue as to who might have setup the deal. Maybe the owner of the hand could answer the question…

At last in Algiers

Getting to the ground in Algiers from a fishing boat after starting from a airport meant our Agents had a most excellent trip. Standing in the port of Algiers, with their gear somewhere in a plane that probably landed on an island in the middle Mediterranean. As the agents start walking in the city of Algiers they understand that something big is going on this week. After checking things out they learn that the African Union is having an emergency security meeting in the city and that the police and the military have downtown under lock. Getting in and out of downtown Algiers will be a challenge,

They quickly check-in at a small inn outside downtown, and start walking toward Martyr Place. Once there after standing on the central place for a while, they are greeted by a young boy, about 8 years old, wearing an old yellow Nike T-Shirt with over sized Air Jordan sneakers.

“Mr. Namie is waiting for you at Notre-Dame d’Afrique”

He then turns around and points to the Cathedral on top of the hill in the east side of Algiers and starts running, disappearing in the crowd.

Victor then tries to look up a Legion friend in Algiers to get a feel for the situation in Algiers, he finds out that Jules was found dead in a back alley. The local Algiers police report indicate an heroin overdose and a really high blood alcohol count. Victor knows this is fishy, Jules became completely sober after the events in Cote D’Ivoire. Jules’ wife Mira has been trying to get the police to reopen the case, but in a city like Algiers, the police has better things to do. The conspiracy knows they were headed to Algiers, at least with the plane incident it might get them a reprise from the robots, if only they are believed to be dead.

Once in the Cathedral they are met by Namie Mbafeno, dressed in a 2000$ suit that would look perfect on a rich European playboy, part of the club scene.  He looks at Victor without acknowledging the other agents and offers him a really simple deal by giving them a brown envelope containing a single official looking picture of a woman. While looking directly at Victor, he tells him that after he does this, they will be even, and that if he ever wants to, he can visit him in Liberia.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

“Please Tell me we won’t kill a woman who won the Peace Nobel prize.” (Sanderson and Romanov)

After a couple of checks, the agents learn that the woman in the picture is Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and Peace Nobel prize winner. After a really quick discussion they refuse to do the deeds, but want to insure that the party responsible for the attempt is dealt with. This gives them an exit strategy without having to become monsters themselves.

Checking a couple of sources they figure out that Sirleaf’s opposition is one of Charles Taylor regional generals, a man known as General  Nawvlee Maurice. Currently living in France after Taylor was offered amnesty.  Checking home, Victor found that General Maurice recently relocated part of his staff to Liberia, probably somewhere in River Gee. Their next step became clear. Enter Liberia covertly, without Namie knowing it, locate and eliminate General Maurice and … Hopefully the and … would become clear afterwards.

 Small Detour, Liberia

Using their newly acquired US bearer bonds, the agents were able to procure an old plane that could take them from Algeria to LIberia, with Sanderson piloting it, After a quick mechanic inspection from McGee, the plane, an old DC-3 that had seen better days. was deemed in perfect flying condition. The flight was going really well until Victor declared “the only thing that could stop us now, would be an engine fire”. Naturally the comment was heard loud and clear by a certain Mr. Murphy who happily started an right wing engine fire forcing Sanderson to land the plane in Liberia’s jungle.  Our intrepid agents were forced to walk to the nearest road, and huffing the final 70 kilometers to General Maurice base camp.

The Troubles

A Drama System series pitch

[Hillfolk Website]

Nutshell

Working class people struggle to keep their families united in face of discrimination from another culture. Protestants and catholics fight one another to determine the status of Northern Ireland. The protestants are backed by the British government and troops creating an atmosphere of oppression for the catholic community. The characters might be members of an Active Service Unit from the Provisional Irish Republican Army, simple citizens trying to make a difference.

This setting deals with strong religious/cultural discrimination between the people that live in Northern Ireland; this might not be for everybody, as it might acerbate real conflict around your table. Please discuss it with your players if you believe this can happen.

Characters

Pub Owner
Dock Worker
Informant*
Priest
Ulster Defence Regiment soldier (UDR)
Worker representative
Political Organizer – Sinn Fein
Thug
ASU – Quartermaster
Low Level member of government (clerical)

*High Tension

To add some tension, you could allow a player to take on the role of informant to the government/military/other group. If you wish to do so, do not let the players know who is the informant. This will give your game extra tension, and the feeling of a cramped setting. You could also not let anybody know about it, except the player of the informant. This way it will give the players two information to discover during play.

“How could the police have known about our meeting tonight?”

“Who’s the rat?”

Setting

It is the 80’s, tensions run high in Belfast. The peace process fails every other week. Have you any hope for the peace process? Do you believe the solution to the conflict is political? The characters are the working class of Belfast, they have lower end wages and have a strong sense of their community. They are strongly catholic or protestant and hate viscerally the other group. – Do you really care about religious affiliation? Or is this more of a way to differentiate yourself from the Other? For the catholics it stems from years of discrimination, unjust treatment and the fear that they could be detained for any reason. For both community in addition to the primal fear of the Other, they have to content with a high unemployment rate – What do people spend their time on? – Where do the lucky ones work at?, Is it unionized?, a housing crisis – Where do homeless people live? – and random violence that can erupt at any moment. Often only separated by a street or two, catholics and protestants must live with one another, work in the same shops, share the same neighborhood, and hope to see another gloomy day. Do you know people from the other side?

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Troubles
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/troubles
http://www.theguardian.com/Northern_Ireland/flash/0,6189,344683,00.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107207/

Themes

Love
Discipline
Trust
Identity
Loyalty
Commitment
Revenge
Betrayal
Paranoia
Forgiveness
Buried Secrets

Tightening the Screws

  • The daughter of one of the players starts dating a boy from the other area.
  • The other group beats up an uninvolved citizen and her kids, will you let it go?
  • The local council allocated an empty house to a single girl of 19 (secretary of a local politician) instead of two homeless families.
  • A pacific march was harassed and attacked by the loyalists and off-duty cops.
  • The other groups bombed water and electrical services blaming you.
  • Some republican prisoners have started a hunger strike, how will you show support? Will you protest against their supporters?
    • What if some of the prisoners die?
  • Weapons coming from Libya/South Africa are arriving next week, how will you handle the transfer and payment? How will you send the weapons to the different groups?
  • British troops are stepping up pressure after the bombing of a club frequented by British soldiers.
  • A cease fire has been declared, will you be the one to break it? How will you respond when taunted to break it?
  • Elections will be held shortly, some advocate disrupting the process. Where do you stand on the issue?

Additional Elements

The setting is really geared for the players to play the roles of Irish nationalists and republicans, I feel this is where the most drama can come from. Since the unionists and loyalists are often backed by the British government, it is easy to use as a plot device to really tighten the screws on the players. I see no reason why your players couldn’t play the loyalists, or even members of both group.

Names

Male Given Names

Female Given Names

Surnames

Jeffrey Margaret Young
William Elizabeth Walker
James Pamela Wardlow
John Aoife Parry
Francis Emily O’Sullivan
Aidan Áine Ryan
Liam Lisa Sweeney
Conor Sorcha MacDermott
Eoghan Isobel O’Rourke
Colin Kathleen Hogan

Places

West Belfast Peace Line
Falls Road
Shankill Road
Short Strand
Cluan Place

Planning Game #6 (En Route to Cyprus)

See Game #5 recap for more information on how we got here.

Core Clues : Boehringer Ingelheima German pharmaceutical, Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash and RihabTaha

Following the kidnapping of Sarah Lennart from his mansion in Malta, Frietz the leader of the Nomad gang in Vienna is pissed off, and afraid of the consequence if the Mafiya would learn this. Meanwhile the Agents set their sights on Cyprus hoping to figure to whom the tagged container where sent (Syria Government).

Using the information from Maria’s thugs, Frietz put down a contract on the agents with the Cyprus syndicate. The contract states that Sarah must be recovered or the contract becomes void. Since this is last minute, the pirate crew have no idea what she looks like. As soon as Morgan’s “fishing” boat reaches 200 nautical miles from Cyprus it will be intercepted by two smaller crafts (probably drug runners) armed to the teeth (mooks). They will approach rapidly, firing M60 rounds to kill the engine, and comms, they will then proceed to board and recover Sarah. 6 thugs are in each of the assault craft. This will probably turn into a chase, on high seas.

Assault sequence of events

About 1h30 radio chatter will increase
Once spotted the crafts will take 15 minutes to reach intercept range and then it will take 10 minutes to disable the comms and engine block. This is an excellent moment for Sarah to put up a fight as she knows these thugs were sent by Ulric Frietz to recover her.

 Sarah has full on Stockholm Syndrome, once removed from the control of Frietz, she will require intense therapy if she ever wants to live a normal life again. The effect of the Syndrome can include trying to avenge Ulric Frietz (if an agent murdered him), trying to flee at any moment, not answering any questions that might create trouble for Ulric Frietz, etc..

A sea king helicopter can be on site in 30 minutes, time for the bad guys to kill Morgan.

If the attack fails the agents will be able to reach Cyprus, but 1 day later a kill team of the Red Beret will also be transferred in. (Anton Dedopovitch) will warn the agents.

Cyprus Map

Once in Cyprus (Paphos), the agents will need to figure how to find the crates and follow them to their destination. Here is their past/current whereabouts.

About the crates

In game #4, the Agents managed to recover 2 crates that contained Nuclear equipment and plans for dirty bomb creation. The replaced the content of the crates with sand and added trackers to make sure that they could see where they would be going.

The crates are an exchange currency to the Syrian government. The will be used by the (M)afiya to secure two Iraki biological warfare scientists, Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash and RihabTaha. These two top scientists are what’s left of Saddam’s bio-research facility of Al Salman. With the delivery mechanism retrieved a couple of years ago, the conspiracy now requires the scientists who developed the technology to make all the pieces function with the spore sample of S100A4 KU1 stored in the old nuclear complex of Maïka. Once secured the scientists will be delivered to the Boehringer Ingelheima German pharmaceutical company. They will be assigned to the top secret research lead by the Scientist himself, Albert Boehringer, founder of the company.

Bosnia

  • #RF5562 – Train in route to Dubrovnik
  • Obviously faked cargo manifest (amateurish at best)
  • Paid for the Baldak Shipping Corporation
  • The Vasco da Gama is bound to Kyrenia, Cyprus

Cyprus

  • Currently in storage in Kyrenia
  • From Kyrenia crates will take a truck ride to Famagusta, highly guarded
  • Transport chopper inbound to Damascus, Syria (MI-7 chopper)

Syria

  • Two women embark and fly back.

Possible Opposition

  • Train (Mafiya Mooks (1 hp) )
  • Boat (Sailors, mooks (2 hp) )
  • Truck transport – Turkish thugs (3 hp)
  • Transport chopper, Turkish military personnel (4 hp) + One Red Beret Operator – Renfield
  • Syria – Elite forces, and regular soldiers, opposition forces.

There is a civil war in Syria, Agents will stand out and will probably be seen as European special forces. This will make them a target to most of the people in Damascus.

Map of the conflict in Damascus (Pink areas represent conflicts)

Battle_of_Damascus_map

From the Headlines

Quoting U.S. administration officials, the American paper said there are intelligence reports that Iraqi scientists are seeking safety in France. According to the daily, U.S. officials declined to put a number on how many Iraqi weapons scientists have entered Syria, but estimated it is fewer than 10 at this point. Among those claimed to have made it to Syria are Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash and Rihab Taha, both top scientists in Iraq’s alleged biological-weapons program, said The Washington Times.

The two women are notable not only for their scientific expertise, but also because they attained senior positions among the male-dominated Ba’ath Party, the paper said. Mrs. Taha, a British-trained microbiologist, is married to Iraq’s oil minister Amir Rashid Mohammed Ubaydi, on the American most-wanted list of 55.

The Times claims she ran Iraq’s biological-warfare program at a research lab in the town of Hakam beginning in the mid-1980s. Mrs. Taha was not listed, although she is wanted for questioning. Mrs. Ammash has been photographed at Saddam’s Cabinet meetings, and at a meeting with his son, Qusay, according the U.S. Daily. On Friday, April 11, Mrs. Ammash’s picture and name were listed by the U.S. Central Command as one of 55 most-wanted Iraqis.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has warned Syria several times publicly to stop helping the Iraqi regime, asserting that some Iraqi leaders had fled to the country.