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Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 17:58:39
"Because he's a paranoid, powertripping little bastard of an informant and getting us to jump his hoops is how he gets his jollies, I think," Alira says, disgust obvious in her voice. "But I haven't known him to lead me on. Intel's usually solid as, just the man I could do without." She takes a breath. "Screw him. I'll see if literally anyone else responds instead."

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

punkey updated in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 17:54:05
"Did he say why he wants one of you to fly halfway around the world for something that's too sensitive for an encrypted chat?" Mason asks.

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 17:52:37
"There's the rub, he's in 'straya," Alira says. "Can't bloody well ask him to fly out all the way here without...the right kinda motivation." She looks over to Operations. "And that's our checkbook over there."

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 17:49:07
"A locking closet is the best answer I have right now," Operations suggests. "I'll go share the good news with them. In the meantime, think of something that'll actually hold them when we're not watching. "

As Operations wanders off, Alira motions for Blake and Mason to approach. Looking around to make sure that nobody else is watching them, she pulls out her phone.

"So, since Jessica dropped her name, I reached out to some friends," Alira explains quietly. "I have a source says he has a line on her...but he wants to meet face to face. Didn't respond yet. What do I tell him?"

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

punkey updated in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 17:15:07
"We deescalate things by finding RoI and putting bullets in them," Mason says. "We have nothing that will calm things down. Let's just get head down and grab Khoury. And Ops didn't butt in - I asked her in." Mason sees Alira but knows better than to acknowledge it in Operations' line of sight. He nods towards Clayton and his gang. "Where are we going to put them? Daycare doesn't open for hours."

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 16:35:16
Operations listens to Blake with a face that's trying very hard not to give the game away, but he can see some fear build up in her expression.

"You have a point," she says. "Maybe I'm too comfortable with these kinds of risks. I'll take overwatch next time. As for Sage 13's suggestions...Kumbajah means I'm out of a job but that doesn't mean it's not a worthy goal. I'd love to turn down the heat on this pot and give ourselves more time before it boils over. The problem as I see it is that our most significant leverage is in Agency hands right now. So we can't soft pedal a rogue op anymore. Either we come back into the fold, go at it alone off the reservation, or...well, I'm sure you boys have some Plan Cs. Whatever we're going to do, we should figure it out fast." She frowns. "By which I mean you should figure it out. I'm not running a democracy here but there's no predicting how compromised my judgment may be. I'll follow your lead."

Behind Operations' back, Alira repeats her signed message.

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

skullandscythe updated in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 13:17:09
Blake frowns and narrows his eyes. "Bullshit 'nobody's closer.' Something stinks."

He crosses his arms. "Listen, Ops. You can't keep taking the lead in negotiations. Mason and I can handle it. But you keep popping out of nowhere to take care of things yourself - including to people you probably shouldn't be showing yourself to. You've got enemies in China - I'd bet no small amount of C4 that the Sages are among them, and now they know you're on walkabout again.

"Now, while I don't like 13's offer, I will admit he makes a point. We have some bargaining chips at our disposal, and relations between India and Pakistan are continuing to deteriorate." He takes a breathe. "We might have our crazy shadow war to fight, but we shouldn't forget the more public conflict going on - and what we can do to about it. Let's take some time later to look over what we have, and how we can use it to de-escalate the conflict in the East."

Because, you know, we don't already have our hands full.

Re: IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1

Gatac posted in IC 7 - Marrakech - Day 1 on 2019-05-24 05:19:36
A curt parting of ways occurs, with Sage 13 getting back into his car and speeding off. Iced drinks are finished, then Clayton's strike team surrenders itself in toto to your care. With them secured - and a discreet sweep of the surroundings to make sure no other surprises are waiting - the time comes for housekeeping. In particular, picking up the trash. Lucy, who's a very good girl, fetches the busted drone for you. Blake gets a good look at it and tells two things at a glance: one, this baby ain't gonna fly no more, and two, it's the real deal. Unlike the drone tank in Amsterdam, which was clever mimicry, this actually is a Russian prototype Gryphon drone. Laith takes custody of the wreck from there, sitting down at an empty table with some of his tools to double-check that there's no active tracker on the drone that could lead someone back to your safehouse.

Operations, for her part, has a long call to make. Despite all that's gone down, you do still report to the CIA and don't want to tip your hand too early. Besides, after all the ruckus, it's high time an update was delivered. When she puts down the phone and walks over to brief you, she looks none too happy about the outcome.

"Two things, boys," she says. "One, we're going to be hanging on to Clayton and his men for a while longer. Apparently capturing them was not on anyone's agenda...they're sending a fresh retrieval team from CONUS, nobody's closer. For the time being, they'll stay our guests." She snorts. "If that means I know where they are and that there's not gonna be another convenient prison break, I can live with that. Two, we have priority orders to the air show. They wouldn't tell me what it was about, briefing on site. There's a legend in place and I'll be picking up the props from a dead drop as soon as we're done here. We'll be going in as Marines...Aviation Supply Specialists, to be specific. Apparently we'll meld right into the crowd of their F-35 babysitters."

As Operations explains, Alira stands behind her and signs to Blake and Mason - and only them - a quick message: Need to talk soon.

Re: Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3

punkey posted in Jade Imperium - Afghanistan, Pt. 3 on 2019-05-23 11:26:05
The PLA Captain nods as his translator does his job. "Ah, making weapons better! Yes, yes, good. Be sure to send us a copy, I will check to make sure. Do not forget about your partners, after all."

----

The scene couldn’t be more different. Dry steppes replaced with swampy grass, isolated environs with Turai basically killing time until they got to go back to their bases and bunks swapped out for being surrounded by a city increasingly on full panicked lockdown and intrusive PLA soldiers following your every move. And, of course, instead of radiation, there’s the bodies. Blessedly or not, the accelerator shot vaporized the center section of the plane on impact, which meant that the bodies of the victims on the plane are either intact or ash. Angel and Ngawai hesitate before stepping into the plane for “samples”, and both Samal Kaota and Rav-Turai Brimis simultaneously turn to their PLA “partners” to explain that there’s nothing interesting inside the fuselage, so no reason for the survey team to go inside. As blood-boiling as this whole exercise is, Ngawai can’t help but give a nod of appreciation to spare them that particular horror.

As quickly as they can manage and avoid suspicion, the job is finished - which takes about half as long as the last one, between the Imperial Turai quad running interference with the PLA soldiers looking on with suspicion and the team’s general reticence to wallow around in a war crime. The equipment is packed away, and the Turai are especially helpful in getting things packed up and put away on the Manta.

Good, good,” the PLA captain said. “I will report that your samples were well taken and that we expect your results in a week’s time - if not sooner.
“Yeah,” Samal Kaota said. You can’t see through the man’s helm, but the grinding of his teeth is practically audible. “Yeah, sure. Let’s just get these Turai on their way. Good luck, Samal.” He bows to Garrett.
“Good luck to you as well,” Garrett says, returning the bow before stepping up the ramp and letting it seal up behind him.

As the Manta takes to the air for the return to the main Turai base in the mountains, things go quiet inside. Hale seems lost in thought, staring at the floor, while Garrett and Ngawai simply curl up in a corner together.