IC 2 - Amsterdam - Day 2

skullandscythe 2017-07-04 22:08:24
(Blake's Athletics [3]+2 = 5 vs. 5)

Since Blake was already using the wire as a makeshift harness to secure himself to the flagpole, it did not take much imagination to lash a more secure system together, one that would allow Blake to abseil down four stories.

It did take a lot of wire to do that. But then, Blake had 100 feet to work with after getting the drone back.

The descent wasn't as smooth or quick as it could've been, but Blake got back on the ground safely and undetected. He coils up the rest of the wire as best as he can and puts it back in the backpack, then hobbles off.

"Back on the ground. Send me the green light, and I'll limp over as fast as I can." In the meantime, Blake will try to do something about his ankle - he's not really savvy enough to rig something to fix it, but he can make a splint or something basic to keep it from getting worse, let him put weight on the leg again.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-07-05 15:47:27
Varayev's bodyguards aren't plumbers. They don't know how to guard Edil from water coming through the richly-furnished apartments ceiling, and they don't know that not everything in Tim's bag is used for plumbing. They pat him down well enough, but clearly he's not a threat, judging by the new guy smell on the wiry babysitter following Tim to the bathroom.

"It's coming through over there," gripes the guard.

"Sure, buddy, but I gotta turn off the ascending pipe in your bathroom, then I can go upstairs. No point doin' that 'till I finish in here." Tim enters the spacious bathroom and looks for some sort of access tile or false panel.

Where is the damn thing? The goon starts giving Tim the stink-eye. Shouldn't the building staff know the building? Tim spots it at last, removes the false wall, and heavily drops his bag on the ground. Clang-thump-slide. "Hey, turn on the fan, would ya?" Tim asks the goon. "You're gonna want as much airflow as possible pulling the moisture out while I get the box fans brought up."

The man turns and Tim's on him, arm snaking around neck for a blood choke. The wiry guy's quick and almost gets his chin tucked in time - almost. Guy kicks off the wall, ironically flipping the fan on like Tim asked. Both men stumble back onto the toilet, but the heavy impact jars the goon's head and Tim gets a good seal. It's naptime after that. Clang - thump, with a slide as Tim drags the unconscious thug into the bathtub and pulls the curtain.

Tim chances a peek. He's good - plumbing is one of those things where you just want it done and don't want to know too much about how it happened, so the other four guards are scattered but not investigating the scuffle. Tim pulls the disguised flashbang from his bag and opens the bathroom door. The bodyguards look - is it done? Can we tell our boss the good news? - but it's just a small black device. Tim waits for the bang, then darts out through the tinnitus.
punkey 2017-07-06 14:02:47
Mason digs through the boxes of gear on the houseboat. "Hey, Ms. Wildcard, got any vests in here? Class II or III?"
"Did you check under the explosives?" Operations replies dryly. "I think we have some emergency Kevlar there."
"I try not to disturb bricks of C4," Mason replies. "Yep, there they are. Enough for everyone, too."
"My training officer told me to always bring enough to share," she says. "I just took that to heart."
"Same saying in Special Forces - you just usually end up sharing your gear away," Mason replies.
"And it usually gets ruined that way, too," Operations says. "That said, if you got it, use it. A 500 dollar vest is a rounding error. You boys are not."
"Awfully kind of you," Mason says. "I'll take three, to go."


Mason waits for the BANG of the flashbang, then triggers the door lock as Blake pushes it open. First target is right by the front door, still shaking his head from the shock of the explosive distraction. He must not have caught much of the flash, because he sees well enough to recognize Mason - his eyes go wide just before Mason points the Hi-Power in his hands right between them and pulls the trigger.

Stepping quickly over the body, Mason slides into the living room where two other goons must have been caught watching TV when the charge went off - one's on the floor, the other's on the sofa, both writhing around trying to clear their eyes and ears from the flashbang's assault. Mason steps towards them and delivers two taps for the one on the floor - BANG BANG - and brings the other one in range of his dagger, which quickly goes into his carotid, trachea, and other carotid, then yanked forwards.

He turns to sweep the last area in the apartment - the kitchen and dining area with its big picture window - but as he turns and fires, the last man standing must have recovered enough to see it coming and dive behind the dining room table.
skullandscythe 2017-07-06 15:17:26
The guard is starting to get up just as Blake bursts into the kitchen, plants a foot in his back and pushes the man down to start whaling on his head. To his credit, the man bucks almost immediately, before Blake can get a good mount. The bridge doesn’t dislodge Blake, just knocks him forward, but that’s enough for the guard to roll over with his elbow up. The jab and the twist work together to push Blake off the guard and to the side. As a result, Blake’s swing hits the side of the guard’s head with a lot less force than he wanted it to. Both men, now separated, start to scramble onto their feet.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-07-07 12:30:10
And that's when Tim rushes in, planting his left foot and swinging a big, sloppy work-boot-covered kick right into the guard's balls. The dude's on the balls of his feet for a moment before sinking down, but whether this is the one competent guard or if it's just fuck-off instinct, the guy swings a collapsible baton into Tim's stomach even as he doubles over.

Tim mirrors him, sagging down and back from the scuffle.
punkey 2017-07-07 12:41:01
Mason doesn't waste time trying to subdue the last guy - he brought two guns and a knife for a reason. He flips the knife over one-handed and throws it straight at the apricot. The dagger spins the exact half-rotation and buries itself up to the hilt in his eye, and he drops like his strings (or actually, Mason supposes, his brainstem) have been cut.
Gatac 2017-07-07 14:01:35
With the last guard semi-messily subdued, Mason holsters his gun.

"Blood check, everyone," he calls, quickly patting himself down for injuries. "Clean and toss, two minutes. Masks ready."

Mason takes care of the "clean" part, retracing Tim's steps into the bathroom and wiping any smooth surfaces, then also sprays some window cleaner on and wipes down the table where the baton strike forced some spit from Tim's mouth. Finally, he gives a critical glance at the floor as he collects spent brass, making sure no footprints were left on the floor. As for Blake, he does the searching. A discreet but fairly thorough browse of the place turns up concealed cameras, but a) they're the type that records to memory card, not networked and b) they're installed a little too obviously and professionally in the lighting fixtures to be someone else spying on Varajev - more likely they're there to keep his posse honest, or provide blackmail material against whoever comes to pay him a visit. Still, good that you found those, you wouldn't want him to get that footage. And who knows what else is on those memory cards?

Meanwhile, Tim - still smarting from the blow - gets to work on the safe in the closet Ms. Akkermans described. There's always the risk that she was mistaken about the level of protection there, but this one turns out to be straightforward enough, a simple "hotel" style safe with an electronic lock. No sweat. Tim's dealt with this model before, they can be factory-reset with an electromagnet in the right spot on the door and a bent wire into a little hole at the bottom. Plonk, 0000, it opens up - and in addition to the laptop, the safe contains about 10 grand each in Euros, Dollars and - wouldn't ya know it - Afghanis, plus the usual litany of fake passports and letters confirming the existence of various bank accounts. All that, and a loaded SIG P226. Motherlode.

As Tim admires the haul, he gets a call - on the phone Fractal's agent/deSilva gave him. Tim winces, half from his protesting abdomen and half from the burner. Kinda takes the fun out of stealing.

"Fractal knew exactly when I got this open," Tim calls to Mason and Blake. The P226 is already racked and in his hand as he brings the phone up. "Hello, Computer World. How may I help your computing needs?"
"The tracker in the laptop just started transmitting again," deSilva(?) says. "I assume that means you have the device. Are all the men guarding it dead?"
"Sure," Tim answers. "Why are you hung up on that out of the gate?"
"We have an asset with them," deSilva says. "We'd like to cancel his services. Rest assured that if he survives this, what Edil Varajev will do to him will be equal parts brutal and useless, but very final in its own right."
Tim's swirling his finger in the classic "let's go" gesture, then points to his phone like "can you believe the timing". He gives a mostly fake exasperated look, then starts tossing the loot in his plumber's bag. "They're all wasted, we've got the thing, now we're going out for ice cream."
"One more thing," deSilva says. "We have some information on the whereabouts of your friend Luc. You'll find it in the locker when you deposit the laptop for us. Thank you for your cooperation."

Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-07-07 14:03:58
"We need the guy in the bathroom," Tim calls to Mason. "20 percent chance he's a Fractal asset, and none of these guys are gonna talk."
punkey 2017-07-07 14:13:02
Mason shrugs and holsters his pistol after his knife gets a quick wipe. "Guess he's coming with us, then," he says, sliding a pair of flex cuffs on the unconscious man's wrists behind his back and a spare mask over his face. "Our accomplice here is ready to go. We clean and clear?"
Gatac 2017-07-07 14:23:21
The perfect time for Laith to call in, really.

"Guys, just a heads-up, I had to kill the phone lines and set the Stingray to black hole mode - too many 112 calls trying to go out," he said. "The reception dude is having a nervous breakdown, I think. I recommend you get back to the loading dock and - hang on."

This is probably not what you wanted to hear.

"Okay, I just lost the cameras at the personnel exit and the loading dock," he says. "Whoever's coming through there, they're probably heading for the service elevator right now. Staircases look clear, North is closest, take a left out of the apartment and ten meters straight, can't miss it."
punkey 2017-07-07 14:28:56
Mason grabs a magazine off the table. "North staircase, go now." He waits for Tim and Blake to mask up and take their friend out, then follows them down the hall, but waits next to the service elevator, magazine in hand, for the doors to start to open.

Mason's dirty tricks experience comes through as he expertly sabotages the elevator's door with two floors to spare, watching the elevator display tick up. Finally it pings, and the door opens just a smidge - enough to catch a glimpse of at least four masked and helmeted men in heavy tactical gear slinging automatic carbines. As the door sticks, they excitedly shout at each other in variously-accented English. It might be advisable to depart before they figure out how to force the door.

"Laith, time to call in some suspicious noises," Mason says. "A neighbor saw men with guns in the service elevator, but they think it jammed between floors. Bad luck for them." Once he's in the stairwell, Mason rips his mask off. "Masks off! We are taking someone we saw faint in the hallway to the hospital!"
Gatac 2017-07-07 14:52:20
"You got it," Laith says. "Also, Plan C if you can't get through the lobby, all the way down the stairwell will get you to the parking sublevel, cameras are clear there. Can you make it to the car or should I bring the van around?"
punkey 2017-07-07 14:54:05
"Should be all right," Mason replies. "Meet up at the rally point."
Gatac 2017-07-08 03:00:26
Meanwhile, posted just this moment to Sydney Barstow's tumblr page:

heeeeeyyyy #djentledudes guess what

were a big effin deal now!!!

so you know that we love THE WES and worship THE WES (hallowed be His name) but we just got noticed BY HIS LAWYERS D:

oh noessss heart attacks all around and missy even cried #neverenoughtissues

BUMMER ALERT long story short our dudes talked to his dudes and THE WES is actually super-cool (like we didn't know right? :DDD) and super chill but he has to protect his personal brand

HOWEVER we are not sued (other than #noiseviolations amirite)

actually we are even BETTER than not sued because we got a conference call with THE WES himself #lifegoals #stillneverenoughtissues #icame

So THE WES said its cool as long as we don't mention him by name ("THE WES" is fine and also the name of our new mascot) and speaking of


(A highly stylized profile drawing of Wesley Snipes screaming his heart out into a microphone that is on fire.)

SHOUT OUT to my best bro #timmeh for his mascot skillz!

so from this day on #djentledudes you will know us by the name "a complete sentence" #blessedbythewes

less letters = more concentrated RAWK

of course we cant tell YOU what to scream :D

other than that we are TOTES still on for every gig in our tour and we cant wait to see you guys at BOARDFEST, the only FEST for BOARDS and BROADS and BARDS but never BOREDS \m/ \m/

keep screaming!!!

syd the sorceress
punkey 2017-07-09 01:43:10
It seems like the whole building is down there, shouting at poor Marco and scared out of their minds. People are waving their cell phones around trying to get signal, demanding that something be done, and Mason, Blake, and Tim aren't even the only people carrying someone out of the building. Nobody pays more than perfunctory attention to him or anyone else as they pass through the lobby and hustle out the door, and Mason doesn't look around any more than is necessary to ensure a clean getaway.
Gatac 2017-07-09 02:46:53
"Okay, I've got everything copied off the security servers," Laith says. "Nuking their files...and done. Fry charge on the NID plug has triggered. The system is sanitized."

"Good work, boys," Operations chimes in. "Get to the ring highway and keep it moving, I'm working on something to neutralize the laptop's tracking signal. Laith, you're RTB but watch your six."

"Hang on," Laith says, "I've got police rolling up right now. Patching their comms..."

"We hebben een rapport van meerdere gewapende mannen en schoten ontslagen," an older-sounding man - probably the local commander - broadcasts. "Iedereen stopt met hun partner, geen uitzonderingen. KMar is onderweg, maar we kunnen niet op hen wachten. Onthoud je training. Nog vragen?" (We have a report of multiple armed men and shots fired. Everyone sticks with their partner, no exceptions. KMar is on its way but we cannot wait for them. Remember your training. Any questions?)

There are no questions, just quiet acknowledgements as you drive onto the highway and begin your holding pattern. Things feel almost normal for a bit there as you sort into traffic and listen to the cops enter the lobby and try their best to calm down the situation - it sounds far away, and the adrenaline recedes as your bodies realize that you're out of danger.

Which is when you hear the first shots over the radio - automatic gunfire, punctuated only by short bursts of panicked pistol fire from the police officers. "Agent neer!" a female voice calls between shots. "Ze schieten op ons!" (Officer down! They're shooting at us!)

"Terugvallen!" the older man calls. "Hulp is onderweg!" (Fall back! Help is on the way.)

More gunfire.

"Ze komen!" the female voice calls. "Ze komen!"

More gunfire. Some cursing. Then, an explosion - the cold part of Blake's mind places it as something grenade-sized, loud enough to blow out the microphone but not strong enough to destroy the transmitting radio.

Dutch cops do not carry grenades.

"Ze komen uit de achterste ingang!" another female voice radios over more automatic gunfire and the sounds of bullets tearing through sheet metal and blowing out windows. (They're coming out the back entrance!)

"Schiet ze niet! Blijf in dekking!" the chief says. (Don't shoot them! Stay in cover!)

"Agenten neer!" a panicked male voice shouts. "Nico ademt niet!" (Officers down! Nico isn't breathing!)

"Terugvallen!" the chief repeats. "Terugvallen!" (Fall back! Fall back!)

"De verdachten komen een zwarte auto binnen!" the female cop radios. "We moeten ze stoppen!" (The suspects are getting into a car! We have to stop them!)

More gunfire.

"Hou op!" the chief shouts. "Schiet ze niet!" (Stop! Don't shoot at them!)

Automatic gunfire and heavy breathing.

"Ik raakte een van hen!" the female cops all but screams over the bullets flying around her. (I got one of them!)

The sound of a growling V8. More sporadic gunfire.

"Alle eenheden, stop met schieten!" the chief orders. (All units, stop shooting!)

Then, a whole lot of units checking in injury status, calls for help, the chief calmly ordering all available units and emergency response to the scene...that's where Laith mutes the channel.

"Whoever our masked friends are, they just got on my shitlist," Operations says, clearly struggling to stay calm. "But right now...right now we need to focus on our own situation. Leave them to KMar and the cops. You have your orders. I'll contact you again when I know more."

"Really, Ops?" Laith says. "'You have your orders'? And I guess next you're gonna say we should be thankful these motherfuckers are drawing all the heat away from us?"

"You're out of line," Operations says.

"There is no 'out of line' in this outfit!" Laith says. "Fuck the rules, find bad guys and kick their asses! That's Wildcard!"

"Wildcard is what I say it is," Operations replies coolly. "Don't pretend I'm not angry about this, Laith. But you need to get a grip, right now."

"You don't -"

"I fucking do," Operations says. "Agent Sy. The facts are this: we were not equipped to deal with these people. God knows what they would have done if we had engaged them. Is it shitty that they shot their way through the cops and got away for now? Goddamn right it's shitty. You think I don't care? Wildcard is how I care."

"But -"

"Wildcard is the promise we all make, Laith," Operations says, now sounding...sad(?). "The promise that all those assholes who want to profit off misery and suffering will not FUCKING get away with." Another deep breath. "Understood?"

"Copy that, Ops," Laith radios. "I'm RTB, see you at the safehouse."

"Stay safe," Operations says. More deep breaths. "Anybody else got something to say? If you don't, I'm going to find a quiet corner and go scream for a minute or so."
punkey 2017-07-09 03:01:00
Mason listens intently to the scanner reports, and equally intently to the argument between Laith and Operations. He pulls a couple cold packs from the kit bag and tosses one each to Blake and Tim, then his burner phone is next with a message to Laith.

I need cop uniforms and you with biometric ID kit back at the building

"I've got an idea I want to check out," Mason says. "Someone still needs to take the laptop and our napping friend back to base, though. We might be doing something ill advised - speaking cop is a good idea."
skullandscythe 2017-07-09 15:55:53
Blake's been quiet for most of the trip, mostly staring out the window frowning, and occasionally looking at the laptop. Shit hitting the fan over the police band sits him up straighter, though.

"I'll take the goods back to the safehouse," Blake replies to Mason. "But first - will anyone object if I try to take the tracker out of the laptop?"

(Assuming no one does, in fact, mind, spending my point in Electronic Surveillance to remove the tracker without harming the laptop)
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-07-11 14:28:10
"I speak cop, but I'll need a haircut first," Tim pipes up before removing the shaggy blond wig he's had on literally the entire time.
Gatac 2017-07-11 14:57:18
A few more messages, and you arrange for a quick meeting with minimum amount of time spent standing still - a gas station just off the A10 ring highway at the De Nieuwe Meer exit. Surprise, surprise: as you pull up, Operations is there, too, waiting next to Laith's van. As Mason and Tim get into the van to get dressed and be dropped off back at the tower, Operations beelines for Blake and the car.

"I drive, you take care of the tracker," she gently suggests.