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.

Rendez-vous in Algiers

Algiers, quick and dirty

(Source : http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/google_map_Algiers.htm )

Algiers is one of the most important seaports in North Africa and the main administrative, commercial, economic, financial and political center in Algeria.

“Alger la Blanche” the “White City” has a population of about 1.5 million inhabitants more than 3 million live in its metropolitan area. Official language is Arabic, Tamazight (Berber languages) and French are in use.

History (short version)
Founded by the Phoenicians, and later a Roman town, it disappeared after the fall of the Roman Empire. It was revived under the Zirid dynasty c. a.d. 980 and became the main stronghold of the Barbary States following its capture by the pirate Barbarossa in 1516.

On 30 June 1815, a treaty was signed here between Algeria and the United States that ended the Algerian War. It was conquered by the French in 1830 at the start of their conquest of Algeria. The city fell to the Allies on 8 November 1942, during World War II, and was thereafter an Allied headquarters. From 23 June 1943 to 31 August 1944 it was the provisional capital of France under President Charles de Gaulle. It was a major center of activity during the Algerian struggle for independence and was the site of General Salan’s putsch of 13 May 1958, which toppled the French Fourth Republic and restored de Gaulle to power.

algier-city-map

The Setup

During their encounter with Nigerian pirates off the coast of Cyprus, Victor was able to recognize one of the leader of the assault and make a deal with him. If they were let go, he would agree to meet in Algiers. It seems that Victor had some extra-curricular activities during Operation Licorne in Côte D’Ivoire [2002] on the border of Liberia. Using the conflict as a cover, the french government made a deal with then Liberia President Charles Taylor to supply his troops with weapons and military equipment in exchange for large quantities of gold and diamonds. France wanted to stock up on hard currency to better resist the next market crisis.

Victor was in charge of one of these columns, where he often had to deal with shady characters like Namie Mbanefo. Victor had to suffer their lack of human decency and often watch as Liberia’s troop raped and pillaged the small villages on the convoy’s road. Once the convoy entered Liberia’s national borders, Victor was subjected to the whims of General Nawvlee Maurice. A man that, in Victor view, never did one day of basic training and would not last an hour in the french army. Under order to behave and make sure the transfer went well, the french soldier had to watch as beasts were goaded in attacking and devouring poor helpless farmers for the pleasure of General Maurice and his high ranking staff. While they smoked rare Cuban cigars and enjoyed the attentions of the farmers wifes and daughters. Did Victor partake in the “festivities”?

Having been given the temporary rank of Capitaine for these missions, Victor was expected to leave no traces of France involvement. How did he manage this?

Country hospital near a dirt road. The heat and humidity are off the chart, black flies assault the dead, the sick and the living.

“Capitaine Henri, nous avons un problème, les troupes du Général Maurice ont causé des problèmes graves, très graves. Nos alliés ne peuvent apprendre ce que nous sommes en train de faire, mais le putain de Général menace de tout raconter si nous ne règlons pas son problème. Henri nous ne pouvons nous permettre que cette histoire sorte au grand jour. Nettoyer tout.”

Fast forward 10 years, Victor is no longer in the DGSE. Charles Taylor has been declared guilty of crimes against humanity on April 26th 2012 and sentenced to 50 years in prison. In the last 10 years, Victor tried everything to get away from the place that nearly took his soul, but it seems he will need to deal with what he did for better or worse.

The meet is setup to take place at Maqam Echahid [Martyrs’ Memorial]. Upon arrival the agents are met by a young boy, about 12 years old, wearing an old yellow Nike T-Shirt and way too large Air Jordan shoes. He will redirect them to the Saint-Eugène cemetery, letting them know that they should really visit the tomb of Ranavalona III.

“Monsieur Namie ne vous fait pas confiance, il veut s’assurer que personne ne vous suit. Rendez-vous au cimetière Saint-Eugène, porter un chandail rouge. “

When the Agents arrive at Ravalona’s tomb they read a plaque that details the history of the Queen. With a note at the end of the plaque informing them that more information can be found in the Notre-Dame d’Afrique basilica. The agents will then get on the cable car and finally meet Namie Mbanefo.

“Ranavalona III (22 novembre 1861 – 23 mai 1917) fut la dernière souveraine du Royaume de Madagascar. Elle regna du 30 juillet 1883 au 28 février 1897. Son règne fut marqué d’efforts futiles pour résister aux desseins coloniaux de la France. Veuillez visiter l’exposition permanente dans la basilique pour plus d’informations.”

He will be sorry, not really, of the steps he made the agents take and get down to business. He will address Victor directly without even acknowledging the other agents.

“My backer needs something done, quickly, cleanly. That’s why I accepted your offer, you were offering me an unexpected solution. Thank you for that.”

“In the envelope is a small problem that needs to be taken care of, this problem will be present at the African Union Peace And Security Council in 3 days, in Algiers. Security will be strong, but nothing someone of your ability cannot take care of. Once this small problem is taken care of, we’ll be squared. And if you ever take vacation in Liberia, look me up.”

The envelope contains the picture of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her schedule for the African Union Peace and Security Council. The quality of the provided information indicates that this was provided from an inside source of her security detail. If Victor tries to negotiate, he will be able to offer up to 250000 US dollars, if pushed he will decline to offer more, and will make it clear that the Agents are no longer in Europe and anything might happen.

Cast of characters

Namie Mbanefo – Nigerian Pirate, Formerly aide de camp to General Nawvlee Maurice.

General Nawvlee Maurice – Liberia regional dictator in 2002 under Charles Taylor – (River Gee, Capital Fish Town), Currently working to overthrow Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (need) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_Johnson_Sirleaf], would like to come back to Liberia as a saviour. He currently lives in Paris following his immunity deal to testify against Charles Taylor.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

In 1997, she financed the presidential campaign of Charles Taylor.
November 23, 2005 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is declared the president of the Republic of Liberia.
October 7, 2011 – Wins Peace Nobel prize
January 16, 2012 – Wins her second mandate as President of the Republic of Liberia

Behind the scenes

General Nawvlee Maurice knows that Ellen Johnson will be at the African Nation Conference in Algiers in 3 days, he wants her eliminated. DynCorp is backing the effort through its Integrated Defense Systems Division, they want access to Liberia mining resources – mostly gold, silica and kyanite. They are currently backing Generals Maurice plan by giving him money and weapons for him to seize power, but they do not want to get their hands dirty by eliminating President Johnson. DynCorp’s plan is to make General Maurice take care of it so that it cannot be traced back to them.

Mbanefo seeing an opportunity felt that the agents were the best scapegoats to pull off the wet work without linking the hit back to General Maurice. At the same time he hopes to gain standing in the newly formed Liberia government.

Recap Game #6 En route to Cyprus

In the early hours of morning, in the space between night and day, the Agents are on Captain Morgan’s boat, the aptly named “Dances with Sheep”. They have Sarah Lennart under deck, with Sanderson providing much needed psychological help. McGee and Cormack are on deck discussing their next move, while Morgan’s crewman, Than mans the comm and bridge.

A few minutes later the “Dances with Sheep” comms come alive with lots of chatter from two other crafts in the vicinity, they get Sanderson on deck to translate the foreign language, it seems after listening for a bit, that Nigerian mercenaries are on an intercept course. With Romanov and Henry on land in Cyprus, the situation seems dire.

McGee runs underneath and begins to build a flamethrower type apparatus using ducktape, oil drums, pipes and a whole lot of elbow grease, he hopes this will be enough to stave off the assault.

A quick call to Henry and Sanderson is made to make them aware of the situation, once appraised of it they drive to the marina and requisition a pontoon plane to fly to the aid of their fellow Agents. While Romanov preps the plane and pilot, Henry asks who the interceptors are, and remembers that he once dealt with a Nigerian mercenary by the name of Namie in Liberia, today might be their lucky day after all.

Cormack makes radio contact with the assailants from the approaching crafts and tells them that a french operative named Victor Henry is asking for a man named Namie. After a bit of muffled discussions from the approaching crafts Namie takes the radio. After a bit of chit chat, and a story about an hospital in Liberia where it seems Henry might have helped a certain General Maurice, a small time local dictator, Namie agrees to let them go, knowing full well that this makes him a target for the Russians, in exchange of a favor from Henry.

It seems that when the French foreign legion, including Henry, came to Liberia, they made a deal with a local blood diamond overlord on the promise of 50 million dollars in exchange for diamonds, drugs and their own private kingdom. Namie was one of the principals in brokering the deal, so when the legion went home, never having paid the agreed amount, Namie was seen as a potential liability. By asking Henry to make it ok, Namie being instrumental in this deal hopes to increase is own standing with General Maurice. He basically went all in on this one, richness or death at the key. They agree to let the boat go unscathed on the promise of a meeting with Henry in 2 weeks under the Maquam E’ chahid  monument in Algiers.

Now that the team is back together they travel back to the location that Romanov and Henry scouted on Cyprus island, northeast of Polis using two acquired jeeps. While Cormack, Sanderson and McGee were off making new friends in Malta, Romanov and Henry managed to discover the shipping container sitting in a warehouse in Kyrenia on the Turkish side of the U.N. buffer zone. After a quick discussion the Agents agree to get over the Turkish side via the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia . Before they do this they will require new passports to ease their way in.

Romanov managed to track a small time hustler that helped the KGB set up bank accounts a couple years back. She met Antonio Poulos at the Rodo καφές (Rose Kafe) after a lot of flattering from Poulos side, she managed to get the conversation back on track and asked him for a favor. She told him that she needed 6 passports in exchange for 6000 Euros, he asked for 10000. After a bit of haggling and some more flirting, he told her that he would have the material in 2 days. Romanov had a weird feeling about the whole thing, but without much recourse, the team went ahead, planning for the worse.

During the layover, Sanderson continued getting Sarah Lennart psychologically stable. Hoping to get a couple of clues on Ulric Frietz Vienna’s operation. With all of this is going on, McGee still shaken from the Hotel events started working on a Technical, getting his hands on a Browning .50 Cal M2 Aircraft from an old PT boat that Morgan was keeping in his holds. McGee being McGee, he concealed the whole .50 mount under an empty fridge, so that he could drive through Polis unnoticed.

By talking with Sarah the team learned that Ulric Frietz is a complete nut job and that the organization of the day to day operations were handled by a woman named Maria Ivanova. She was assigned to Ulric by the Solntsevskaya Bratva to make sure that he remembers who his masters are. Sarah believes that Ulric fell in love with her, and will probably try to recover her any way he can. Maybe even disobeying direct orders.

Two days later, the team assembled and went to the rendez-vous with Poulos. Cormack got in first, posing as a tourist in the Cafe, he quickly got the feeling that the meet was under surveillance, probably from local police. Poulos was sitting alone at his table, looking really nervous. Rather than abort, the team decided to go through with the exchange, Romanov came up from the street, sat down and pushed a small briefcase with the money in it to Poulos in exchange for the passports. Soon as Romanov confirmed that the passports were in the envelope the meet was interrupted by 3 undercover cops sitting at the other tables of the small Cafe. Cormack started the hostilities by grabbing a hold of the nearest police officer and throwing him on the ground. A brief scuffle ensued which saw Romanov run for it through Polis side streets, she managed to down 2 cops while running and reached the parked technical. As for Cormack he ran after Poulos who used the scramble to try to get away scots free with the money.

He tackled Poulos, recovering the money in time to see to traffic cops start running after him, after jumping over a melon seller stand. Cormack took a side alley and ran to a dead end. After trying and failing to climb the rain gutter the cops managed to get Cormack under control, and a third man came up behind the cops. He suggested that they let him handle the situation, the cops complied really fast, probably based on the fact that the stranger never opened his mouth to ask them to leave. The Red Beret put his hand on Cormack’s shoulder and it went through a part of the brick wall. This made the cops run real fast in the opposite direction and shook up Cormack.

At that exact moment McGee, Henry and Romanov made their entry in the side street by executing a less than perfect booleg turn with the technical making the .50 caliber gun point directly at the Red Beret. At their complete disbelief, he threw Cormack at the opposing wall and started running directly towards the heavy machine gun. Seeing the Red Beret run directly toward a .50 machine gun, left a lasting impression on the Agents. In a moment of clarity, McGee declared that the weapon had been loaded with incendiary rounds (You are shitting me!). Romanov started firing the weapon repeatedly hitting the runner a couple of time, with him/it never going down. The hit never seemed to affect him, but the fire did give him food for thoughts.

The Red Beret skipped the scene by flipping the building on its side, through non-euclidean geometry, ran to the roof. Once there reality reestablished itself, the building resetting to the proper Einstein space-time continuum. Now, that… freaked the Agents.

Coming back to the mansion, the Agents were completely distraught. Sanderson looking at them funny, not really understanding what happened. Taking the stolen passports she started working on them, by scanning them for bugs. The third one beeped, at the same time that chopper sounds could be heard in the distance. The team was again on the run, this time from the Greek police.

The Agents will be at it again in Dhekelia, hopefully rested and ready to take the fight to the Conspiracy.