IC 1 - Amsterdam - Day 1

Gatac 2016-11-03 16:11:49
With everything packaged up and an appropriate "rental fee" paid, Borge gets to showing Tim out of the shop, though not without Tim and Egon trading some more exploits. Egon's safecracking days are well past, but the old man clearly loves his criminal career, even if he does need his "nephew" to remind him to take his pills in the morning and go to bed in the evening. With a promise from Borge to have everything delivered in a nice neutral package to a train station locker for pickup by tomorrow morning, business seems concluded, and Tim makes his way out of the strange little shop and back onto the empty night streets. As he turns south to head back across the canal...

(Sense Trouble!)
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-03 16:17:40
Tim can't help but think Amsterdam's actually pretty great when he gets a whiff of...

No, not that kind of whiff, that's everywhere. The trouble kind. The "this has been too easy" feeling.

(Sense Trouble, spends 1 point from pool of 8: Roll 1: 1d6+1: 1d6(4) 1(1) = 5 )
Gatac 2016-11-03 16:23:03
Tim's ears perk up when he hears the noise of an engine closing in. It took him a while to really dial into the Amsterdam soundscape, that curious lightness of car noise, the many bicycle bells and the occasional ship diesel puttering along the canals, but this was different.


Tim ducks into a dark corner just as the engine noise grows so close he can almost feel it in his skull. Peeking out, he sees...that woman. The same woman who came after him in Delhi is, somehow, in Amsterdam, her bike stopped on the bridge across the canal, her helmeted head slowly swiveling from left to right as she surveys the night ahead of her. Not finding Tim right away, she guns the bike's engine, as if to startle him from his hiding place.
MikeS 2016-11-06 12:32:41
"Nous cherchons des amis", Luc replies. "Information, un coup de main, une introduction, peut-être." (We are looking for friends. Information, a helping hand, an introduction, perhaps.)

"Notre ami commun, qui sont ses amis? Peut-il compter sur eux?" (Our common friend, who are his friends? Can he rely on them?)

He takes a sip of the wine that has been served an raises an appreciative eyebrow.

"Nous savons que vous ne vous entendez pas avec ses amis, ou lui. Peut-être que nous pouvons venir à arrangement qui nous profite à la fois." (We know you don't get along with his friends, or with him. Perhaps we can come to a mutually beneficial arrangement?)
Gatac 2016-11-06 13:00:03
"Ah, oui, ses amis," Pierre says. "Sont-ils la raison pour laquelle vous avez amené votre ami?" (Ah, yes, his friends. Are they the reason you brought your friend?)

He looks to Blake.

"Les Crips sont un problème américain," he says. "Il serait présomptueux de moi de parler de la volonté de la société d'Amsterdam, mais je pense qu'il est sûr de dire que nous ne nous soucions pas d'eux ... ou d'Edil Varajev. Qu'ils travaillent ensemble ne nous fait pas aimer l'un ou l'autre de nous." (The Crips are an American problem. It would be presumptuous of me to speak of the will of Amsterdam's society, but I think it is safe to say that we do not care for them...or for Edil Varajev. That they are working together does not endear either of them to us.)

He takes another sip.

"Nous pourrions parler de choses comme l'argent, mais je pense que nous préférons tous les faveurs. Vous demandez s'il peut compter sur ses amis. Que diriez-vous de vous dire où vous pouvez trouver une cargaison qu'ils gardent pour lui, et vous allez et faire votre propre chance?" (So we could talk about such things as money, but I think we all prefer favors. You ask whether he can rely on his friends. How about I tell you where you can find a shipment they are guarding for him, and you go and make your own luck?)

"Ce qui arrive finalement à l'expédition est immatériel, tant que Varajev ne le reçoit pas et les Crips ne peuvent pas répondre à ses questions. Cela dit, je peux me procurer une vente à certains de mes associés - vous faites un bénéfice raisonnable pour vos travaux, je reçois une commission raisonnable pour les arrangements, et Edil Varajev obtient un mal de tête déraisonnable. Que pensez-vous, mes amis?" (What ultimately happens to the shipment is immaterial, as long as Varajev does not receive it and the Crips cannot answer his questions. That said, I can arrange for a sale to some associates of mine - you make a reasonable profit for your labors, I receive a reasonable commission for the arrangements, and Edil Varajev gets an unreasonable headache. What do you think, my friends?)
Gatac 2016-11-07 10:35:37
Tim's "sit it out" strategy seems to work, all the way up to the point where it no longer seems to work. The woman on the motorcycle doesn't seem too willing to give up and move on, instead killing the bike's engine. Carefully, she kicks out the stand, then dismounts and reaches into the black bag mounted behind the seat, from which she pulls out a compact carbine that's a bit the MP5K of tomorrow and a bit "You got fat, Klobb!" with a chunky suppressor up front and a fancy-looking optic on top. Tim's not much for guns besides basic CIA quals, but this can't be good. He watches the woman twist a switch on top of the sight, then bring the gun up to eye level and sweep the street before her as Tim quickly ducks back into the shadowy entrance he's hiding in. His heart races as he hears her footsteps, moving forward slowly and methodically. If that thing on top is a thermal sight...
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-07 11:07:09
Okay, Tim. Listen. That thing definitely is a thermal sight, because if you think it's not and it is, you die. Therefore, it is a thermal sight.

Tim relaxes and forces himself to breathe smoothly. What was the intersection? He'll need that info because he's about to call the Amsterdam police.

She was just a biker. NOW, however, she's in the middle of the street with an automatic weapon.

Now he just needs to play hide and seek. And if possible, flank her and take her goddamn bike, make it harder for her to outrun the cops. Tim glances at the doorway he's hiding in, notes the address, and heads inside. "Head inside" might involve some application of the old Barstow charm, but he figures they've got a phone in there he can borrow.
Gatac 2016-11-07 11:27:32
(Tim uses his Open Sesame ability to bypass the door lock automatically.)

Pressing against the wall to minimize his profile, Tim slips a few small tools he requisitioned from Laith Sy's kit into the lock. There are three, maybe four people in the world who can work a tension wrench and a rake with the same hand, but luckily Tim's one of them. The lock gives way and instinct takes over. A sweep takes 1.5 seconds. Field of view through thermals is 45 degrees. She's right handed, probably sweeps left to right, so I can go off the footsteps. One Mississippi, two Mississippi...

With impeccable timing, Tim slips through the door and silently closes it behind him. So far so good, but there's still a chance the thermal might pick up that he heated the little alcove he was hiding in. Skip the light switch, keep moving. He makes his way into the stairwell of the little house, looking for a phone - sure, he could use the burner, but then it'd be, well, burnt.

(Tim uses Architecture to find an empty apartment.)

Back up. Tim stops and looks at the hallway-mounted rows of mailboxes. Hm, 3B has magazine sticking out and the door is clearly straining against the lock. Looks like somebody's on vacation. With fleet steps, Tim makes his way up the stairs until he finds 3B. "Welkom!" reads the pastel blue ceramic sign dangling on the apartment door. Ain't that sweet.

Then the house door below opens. Tim's hope that this might be an actual tenant coming home is dashed when the new occupant of the building does not hit the light switch, either. Somebody wants to play cat and mouse instead.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-07 11:42:37
Tim dumps the tenant's mail on the counter and raises the kitchen phone to his ear. No sense leaving the same clues for the gunslinger below. He hopes she's not on point enough to pick up the faint fingerprint heat smudges.

112 picks up. Tim hisses, "Help - there's a crazy woman with a gun downstairs! I'm at Zeedjik 11. Please hurry!"

(Tim rolls Infiltration and burns 2 points - 1d6+2 = 7)
Gatac 2016-11-07 12:00:43
The 112 operator only seems momentarily nonplussed before switching to lightly accented English. "I understand, Sir. I am sending police to Zeedijk 11 right now. Can you stay on the line, please?"

Boots outside. Tim ducks down behind the kitchen counter as the footsteps ascend the stairs. He holds his breath - but after a short moment, the boots move on and make their way further up the stairs.

"Sir, you said a woman with a gun was there. Is she threatening you? Has anyone been hurt?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-07 12:07:13
"Thank God no, but she followed me into my building! She's in the stairwell!"

With that, Tim decides he's talked to the cops long enough. Time to disappoint his stalker.

Out the front window. Climb down the facade. Take the bike.

The front window slides up easily and Tim slips out. Tall windows stack nearly on top of each other, separated by decorative white ridges against the dark brickwork. Once out the third-story window, Tim lets himself down to the next story and then it's down the ground-level eaves and sills to the street again.
(1d6+1 = 5, Athletics +1)

He reaches the bike without collecting any bullets. Tim's not a gearhead, but a vehicle ignition is basically just another security system.
(Infiltration +1: 1d6+1 = 6)

The engine coughs to life. Tim revs the throttle, throws a middle finger in the air, and leaves Ty Klobb in the dust - and hopefully in cuffs.
Gatac 2016-11-09 12:24:38
Tim de-asses the area with the quickness as police lights flash behind him, steering the bike along the mostly empty roads until he spots a gas station. Pulling in and driving around the back to the brightly lit but utterly unused air compressor station, he climbs off the bike and begins with a basic top-to-bottom search for nasty surprises.

(Conceal: 1d6 = 4)

Tim is more than a little pleased to discover that the electronic surveillance box from Egon's shop - already pocketed, because why not? - doubles as a basic bug detector. There's definitely less hiding spaces on a bike than in a car, and a quick sweep of the machine reveals no hidden transmitters on the frame or in the cowling, but it is picking up a signal from the bag. Tim gives it a brief scan - some cash, a change of clothes, a city map - before discovering the source of the signal: the woman's smartphone. As he lifts it, the phone's proximity sensor activates the display, showing one new message:

Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-09 12:29:22
Tim checks the posted date for the message - just a few minutes ago, after he absconded with the woman's motorcycle.

Sure. Why not? He'll be out of here in a few moments anyway. He taps in the number and hits Call.
Gatac 2016-11-09 12:38:11
After a few rings, the line picks up. The voice on the other end is using a scrambler, but he can still tell it's a bit out of breath. Good.

"You've evaded me twice," the voice says. "There will not be a third time, and this is a one-time offer. Stay where you are and do not mess with my machine. If you can do that, I will come to you, and we will talk. Deviate from these parameters at your peril." She takes a breath. "You made me run. I don't like running."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-09 12:43:25
Running's better than shooting, but talking's usually better than running. You learn more, at any rate...

"If we're gonna talk, you don't need a gun," Tim replies. "I like guns about as much as you like running."
Gatac 2016-11-09 12:45:18
"Acceptable," the voice says. "See you in ten minutes. I recommend you get a coffee while you wait."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2016-11-09 12:51:01
Tim gets two coffees from the burbling, overworked gas station machine, idly tapping the stolen keys in his pocket while he waits. This rando woman is going to show up and... shoot me in the head because my curious ass stuck around like a chump instead of taking her bike to a chop shop? If I were her, I wouldn't believe my luck.

He keeps his eyes peeled and his ears open, pacing and always looking for an avenue of escape or hard cover for that first vital moment.
Gatac 2016-11-09 13:09:59
Eight and a half minutes after the call, Tim sees her. Still wearing the leathers, even the motorcycle helmet, striding down the street and onto the gas station lot like she ran out of fucks years ago. Great tradecraft, really blending in there, motorcycle assassin woman. But her hands are empty and there's nothing on her that could hide a weapon unless she unzips the suit first, which puts Tim, if not at ease, then at least into a place where his curiosity might match up to the urge to do the sensible thing. As she steps up and sizes him up from three paces away, she makes no move to shake his hand, but her head does seem to swivel briefly towards the second coffee.

"Let me be succinct," she says, voice scrambler apparently built into the helmet or however the fuck she's doing it. "My employers identified you as a loose end in Delhi. They decided that they could not afford loose ends and sent me to take care of you. But you refuse to be taken care of." She tilts her helmet. "You had a head start, but you did what I told you to do. If you are willing to cooperate, maybe we can both stop wasting our time with cat and mouse games, and I can justify deviating from my assignment. " She takes a breath. "You infiltrated Edil Varajev's security detail. You followed him here. What is your interest in him?"
skullandscythe 2016-11-10 14:34:19
Blake takes a sip of the wine, and gives a "Hm!" and a nod of approval for their host.

He looks sheepish when Pierre suggests Crip activity as the purpose of his visit, and gives a half-shrug by way of response. "Une proposition intéressante, monsieur," He intones, tapping a finger on the stem of the wine glass. "Mais, je me trouverais stupide d'être d'accord avant d'avoir entendu plus de détails. Continuez, s'il vous plaît." (An interesting proposal, sir. But, I would consider myself foolish to agree before I've heard more information. Please, go on.)

Gatac 2016-11-10 14:59:58
Pierre nods, but just dinner arrives - Pierre having obviously taken the liberty of ordering the fish for all of you. "Ah, nous voilà!" he says, smelling the turbot's aroma. "Bon appétit, mes amis." (Ah, here we go! Enjoy your meal, my friends.)

Between bites and sips, Pierre starts explaining.

"Il ya un entrepôt à Westpoort, près de la fin de la Siciliëweg. Il appartient à Visser Transporte BV - Je suis sûr que vous savez qui est derrière ce nom. Les Crips préfèrent généralement utiliser leurs installations à Rotterdam, mais cet envoi est censé être inspecté par Varajev en personne demain, donc il est ici pour le moment. Je ne sais pas exactement ce que c'est, mais un camion a été vu conduire dans l'entrepôt et n'a pas quitté." (There is a warehouse in Westpoort, near the end of the Siciliëweg. It belongs to Visser Transporte BV - I'm sure you know who is behind that name. The Crips normally prefer to use their facilities in Rotterdam, but this shipment is supposed to be inspected by Varajev in person tomorrow, so it is here for the time being. I don't know what precisely it is, but a truck was seen driving into the warehouse and has not left.)

Pierre wasn't wrong about the wine and the fish. Damn, that's good - maybe not quite instantly the best meal you've ever had, but lightyears ahead of the ham sandwiches from the flight.

"Ce que je sais, c'est que les Crips gardent l'entrepôt beaucoup plus lourdement que normalement. Au moins une demi-douzaine de gardes à l'extérieur - ils sont armés et ne doivent pas être sous-estimés. Mais alors, ils ne croient pas que quelqu'un serait assez téméraire pour les attaquer. Je ne dis pas que ce sera facile, mais si vous parvenez à pénétrer et à voler l'article, je suis sûr que vous aurez frappé un coup puissant." (What I do know is that the Crips are guarding the warehouse much more heavily than normal. At least a half dozen guards outside - they are armed and not to be underestimated. But then, they do not believe that anyone would be foolhardy enough to attack them. I'm not saying it will be easy, but if you manage to get in there and steal the item, I am quite sure you will have struck a mighty blow.)

Pierre produces a business card and a pen, then scribbles an address on the back and slides the card towards Luc.

"Ici. C'est un autre entrepôt, il appartient à un de mes amis. Si vous parvenez à vous en sortir avec le camion, vous y serez en sécurité. J'appellerai avant et lui dirai de vous attendre." (Here. This is another warehouse, it belongs to a friend of mine. If you manage to get away with the item, it will be safe there. I will call ahead and tell him to expect you.)

Pierre smiles.

"Simple, non?"