IC 1 - Amsterdam - Day 1

punkey 2017-02-27 13:43:12
(Mason spends a point of Military Science to assess the vehicle.)

"Russia," Mason says. "It's a Uran-9, one of their semi-autonomous combat drone prototypes. They're all special snowflakes, but this one has more mods than most. They took some of the side armor off so it fits in the box, but I don't see it around here. The autocannon has been uparmored so much that I don't know how they plan on taking that feed chute off again." Mason walks up to the tank for a closer look. "There's brackets here for what look like Claymores, and the rocket launchers...they replaced them with RPO-As, so it can't defeat armor for shit..."

Mason's expression goes very dark. "But thermobarics are great for killing soft targets in structures. Motherfuckers." He takes a step back. "This is going to be used in Amsterdam." He starts walking around the truck. "Liberation Day. They're going to hit the World War 2 remembrance at the monument in Dam Square. Drive it in the night before, park the truck, walk away, and then just turn the drone on and drive it out of the container. It'll tear cops to shreds and the military will take hours to get here to stop it. They'll kill hundreds and wreck the whole district before it gets stopped."

Mason turns back to the rest of the team. "This is the same people we're chasing, no doubt. Any intel on this thing is priority one. Tim, come with me. We're going to ask our friends in the car a few questions."

edited by Gatac on 2017-02-27 13:02:43
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-02-27 14:16:19
Dead kids. That's what this shit always comes down to. Lost balloons lifted skyward by screams.

"Do what you gotta do, Mason," Tim replies turning away from the container to follow him out.
skullandscythe 2017-02-27 14:25:01
"So, definitely point of origin for the explosion then," Blake replies tautly, all traces of his former expression gone. "I'll take photos and set the charge. Bring Visser with you, if you can. He might know if and where we can pick up the paper trail, and in any case it's time he's opened his eyes to what he's been doing, reluctantly or otherwise."

Blake holds out his hand to take the C4 Mason has."And after the questioning, well...those idiots really shouldn't have been playing with the munitions."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-03-01 13:50:04
"Oh, uh, before we ask Fast and Furious some questions, you got a gun I can borrow?" Tim asks Mason. "Makes the whole 'get out of your car' thing a lot easier."
Gatac 2017-03-01 14:06:49
While Blake gets to workshopping a "perfect accident" involving C4 and black market Russian hardware, Mason and Tim head back outside, with intent to circle around to the rice burner from behind and hold up the guards. It's all good along the wall of the warehouse, but the car is parked directly under a light in the parking lot; the two guards are sitting in the car, with Visser leaning against the car near the front left wheel. That's a one-man sneak-up, and Tim's the obvious choice.

"Go ahead," Mason says, drawing his pistol. "You sneak up and hold them up, I'll cover you."
"Well," Tim says, "I never had much use for guns. Only brought harsh language."

(Mason's Preparedness vs 3: 1d6+1 = 6)

Mason lifts his shirt, revealing a second pistol tucked into a holster under his waistband. Wordlessly, he draws it, then hands it to Tim.

"That works," Tim concedes. Quick press-check - just because you never had much use for guns doesn't mean you don't know how to use 'em - then Tim takes a breath and ducks into the shadows.

(Tim's Infiltration vs 3: 1d6+2 = 7)

Tim and Mason's worry about getting the drop on the two guards turns out to be a bit of an overestimation. As Tim draws closer, making sure to minimize his exposure to the side and rear mirrors of the car, he starts hearing the friendly conversation between Visser and the driver about the current season of The Walking Dead - apparently the subtitles are getting better, finally - while the evening breeze carries the sweet aroma of sticky icky from the passenger door. Just a real nice, relaxing night shift, isn't it?

Until Tim rocks up and raises the pistol and does that movie thing where you cock the hammer back to show you're serious.

"Ohhhhh shit," the passenger says with a charming little accent, looking up at Tim, while the driver seems straight up frozen in shock. Even Visser's face looks genuinely scared.

It does not take much more effort to convince everyone that this is a conversation that ought to continue inside the warehouse.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-03-01 14:15:24
Back inside:

"Those guys were on high alert," Tim says as he hands Mason his gun back. "And it looks like I was wrong about their car. It has 420 horsepower for sure."
punkey 2017-03-02 14:54:41
"Good," Mason says, standing behind two desk chairs he's wheeled into the middle of the floor. "Then they're in the right frame of mind to answer a few questions. Ga zitten." (Take a seat.)
Gatac 2017-03-08 14:26:57
A firearm pointed at one's back tends to make even the most resistant of subjects comply, and both driver and very blitzed passenger take their seats. The passenger barely seems to notice that Mason is there as he's zip-tied to his chair, while the driver looks like he's about to ruin the fake leather on his seat.

"First question," Mason says, and pulls both chairs towards the drone tank so they both can see it - backing towards it so he can still see their expressions as they get a look at what's inside the container. "Who are you guarding this for?"
"You...American?" the driver asks cautiously.
"Ohhhhh shit," the passenger repeats.
"Varajev!" the driver says, not even waiting for a threat. "It's for this Varajev...dude."
"Did he say why?" Mason asks.
"No," the driver says.
"No," the passenger repeats.
"We're just getting money, Sir," the driver says. "I don't ask the questions to Varajev. I don't talk to him."
The passenger leans to the side as he looks into the open container. "Oh shit," he says, his pleased smile dropping.
"Where do they keep the paperwork for deliveries here?" Mason asks.
"The bureau," the driver says, craning his head towards the supervisor's corner office. "In the file cabinet."
"Is dat een legertank?" the passenger asks, looking up at Mason.
"Ja," Mason replies. "Uw werkgever is van plan om het te gebruiken tegen een menigte van burgers." (Your employer intends to use it against a crowd of civilians.)
"...oh shit," the passenger says.
"Not us! Not us!" the driver hastens to shout. "We just guard, Sir! We just guard! We do not know!"
"Dat is erg jammer," Mason says, pulling his own pistol out of its holster. "Misschien moet je gedacht dat hebben voordat u gaat werken voor een terrorist." (That is very unfortunate. Maybe you should have thought of that before working for a terrorist.)
"Ah!" the driver shouts and attempts to tear loose, only managing to tip himself onto the side. He yelps, more from surprise than pain, then looks up at Mason. "Wait, wait! Wait, Sir! What do you want, Sir? I say you anything! Please don't shoot!"
The passenger chuckles. "Je bent zo'n strontjoch, Mats." (You're such a little shit, Mats.)

Mason walks over to Blake and leans in close. "Can you make this work with two bodies?"
skullandscythe 2017-03-08 16:03:14
Blake nods. "Just no blood this time, please. How do you want to handle Visser? Or do you want me to talk to him in the office, play the 'good cop?'"
Gatac 2017-03-13 13:04:51
"We just need him to stay quiet and out of the way - shouldn't be hard now that he knows what Varajev was up to," Mason replies in whisper, then turns back to the crooks and press-checks his sidearm. "Laatste kans. Wat weet je over Varayev?" (Last chance. What do you know about Varajev?)
"He...he drive Tesla!" the driver says. "He...always with two other people. Chechens! Very big people!" Sensing that this does not answer Mason's question, he wracks his brain for more, for anything at all. "He...he call our boss before some hours! Yes, he call our boss at afternoon, so our boss goes away today, leave us here."
"Wat is zijn naam?" Mason asks. (What is his name?)
"Hendrik!" the driver blurts out. "His name is Hendrik, Hendrik Baarda!"
Mason gives them both a thoughtful look, like he's reconsidering putting a bullet in each of them. "We nemen u mee naar een treinstation. Wij zullen uw telefoons en portemonnees te nemen. U vertrekt voor twee weken en bel niemand, of..." (We will take you to a train station. We will take your phones and your wallets. You will leave for two weeks, or...) He fires a shot into the floor in between them. "Begrepen?" (Understood?)
The driver all but jumps out of his skin as the shot falls, clenching his eyes shut and nodding a very enthusiastic yes as his bladder reaches potty emergency o'clock. The passenger chuckles. "Pussy," he says, then looks to Mason and seems to sober up for a moment. "Uh...cool, man," he adds. Behind the team, Visser just stands frozen in place, his face chalk-white.
"Houd uw vriend hier in de rij," Mason tells the driver. "Anders zal ik je te vinden." (Keep your friend in line. Otherwise, I will find you.)
"Yes!" the driver shouts. "Yes, yes!"
"Bag them," Mason says.

While Tim gets to work on "bagging" them and Blake's attention turns back to how to rig the fireworks, Visser remains standing. As the blood returns to his head, you can see that he's reconsidering some of his life choices - especially his taste in business partners.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-03-13 13:52:34
Tim nods to Mason once the Pineapple Express is ready to leave the station. Tim didn't consider himself naive, just... he had operational preferences, and despite his anger at the drone tank's intended purpose, it wasn't worth the two guards' lives. Mason and Tim might be on a compatible wavelength after all. Heartening.

"Go be a fisherman or some shit," Tim hisses to them. "Get baked, catch some fish, go back to school... Mats, and, let's see here... Lars."
Gatac 2017-03-13 13:54:02
(Gonna have Luc use his Research and Bureaucracy abilities to search the office.)

While the others busy themselves with the inevitable thuggery and fireworks, Luc decides to crack his knuckles and get down to the true soul of espionage: research. The target: one corner office, brimming with files of all transactions legit and maybe not so legit running through this warehouse. In a better world, they'd pack up everything and ship it to a team of analysts, but considering most of this will be burned to cinders in a couple of minutes, a rough search of the paper thicket will have to do.

A quick search of the file cabinet yields a lot of mundane paperwork, mostly of interest to a forensic accountant - Luc browses a bit, and the impression he gets is that Visser's been working his ass off trying to invent phantom shipments and fake invoices to cover increased shipment volumes from his Crip business partners. It's hard to divine a Big Picture, but a few account names do stick out: Shengzen Logistics & Procurement Ltd (obviously a Chinese supplier - and maybe the source of the drone tank, given the shipping papers?), Hipper HochTief GmbH (German construction?) and a "Black Sea Alliance", which could just as well be a network of organized Crimean crime or a fancy pirate-themed cruise company. What promises to be more relevant for up-to-date intel is a computer under the warehouse manager's desk, which - compared to most of the stuff around it - looks strikingly new; Luc quickly opens the case, pulls a few cables and slides out the harddrive caddy, pocketing the device for later, more leisurely analysis. After that, it's checking light fixtures, wall sockets and the undersides of drawers for slicks. It's nothing world-shattering, but Luc does find a loose socket that hides a thick rubber-banded roll of cash - 50 Euro bills, probably the biggest denomination actually useful when going on the run, totalling about 2000 Euros. There's also a no-shit Nokia 3310 burner phone hidden in there, and while Luc doesn't want to chance any surprises that might be rigged to it, it looks like it's been in there long enough that it might not actually have any charge left - hell, you have to wonder if it'll even take a charge and ever turn back on, at this rate. This whole stash was probably put in place years ago and then never touched again.
Gatac 2017-03-26 06:13:04
(To wrap things up, Blake dumps his pool of Explosive Devices points to set the arson:

1d6+6 = 10 Firestarter!)

There's an art to controlled burns, similar to the art of controlled demolition. Granted, Blake's usually more the "secure burn of secret files" type, but a summer in the conservation corps before he went Navy proved to be a very fruitful foundation for work of this kind. He can still remember Jack, that crusty old ex-smokejumper with the bum shoulder, fill their campfire nights under starry skies with war stories about forest fires, burn piles and banana suits. And that one time, when Jack showed the kids how to grill a steak on a shovel...

Fast forward to Navy demo training. Military explosives are very insensitive - you can start a fire with C4 and it won't go off - but even that has limits, of temperature and pressure. There's a difference between throwing a little plastique into a campfire and parking a live warhead in a fuel fire. Not quite a pressure cooker, but they do call that "cooking off". You don't get through a career in the Navy without remembering the Forrestal.

And this thing? Thermobaric warheads, each with the power of a 155mm arty shell? Those are touchy at the best of times, and Blake's background in Russian munitions tells him that the volatility of surplus warheads is likely to be even worse than the spec. So when the first one goes, the others will go with it through sympathetic detonation, and that'll torch the whole damn place. Old construction on the warehouse - big surprise - the overpressure will take out the container and the truck for sure, the fire ought to burn down the rest of the interior without requiring additional accelerants, and then the walls of the warehouse should keep the fireball inside, though it'll blow out the windows for sure. Not that there are any neighbors to worry about.

Big foom. Big mess. Too big for anyone to find Blake's handywork in what'll be left of the drone tank. Now just to rig up a timer...Blake looks around when his trained eyes spot a plain old Casio F-91W watch on the wrist of Mr. Smoke Break's pre-positioned corpse.

Too easy.


With the preparations done and the warehouse evacuated of everyone who's still breathing, you evacuate to a safe distance and wait out the last minutes of the timer.

"We should go," Visser insists, and the two scared-y cat guards - still under your watchful eyes, lest they find the next telephone booth down the road and call in reinforcements on you - seem to agree with that assessment. Honestly, it's not a very comfortable feeling waiting for the explosion you know is coming, and knowing exactly when it is coming is not making this any less exciting.

"Five," Blake counts down with a check of his own watch, "four, three, two, one..."


Well, that was actually a little bigger than even Blake thought it would be, mostly because the roof didn't do jack to contain the blast wave. The one missile shooting out vertically, spiraling through the air and then embedding itself in a smoking crater in a nearby field was a nice touch, too. And by nice I mean "holy shit what in the fuck"; it's a nice teachable moment about respecting the power of high explosives and also about wearing your brown pants.

Visser seems transfixed at the sight, watching with tears in his eyes as the secondary fires become visible through the cloud of smoke. Mats and Lars peace the fuck out of there in their riced-out car, heading for a new and exciting life in...Spain? Sure, Spain sounds good. Hey, let's go to Ibiza and open a bar!

As for Visser - he wordlessly takes possession of his "bug-out kit" from Luc, and after the usual admonishments - don't let them find you, we'll keep an eye on you, if your phone ever rings you had better pick up - he's ready to take his leave of the situation as well. Piled back into the van, it is indeed time to blow this taco stand for all of you. By the time the first sirens wail on their way to the warehouse, you're already well clear of the search area. You thoughtfully return Visser and the van to the company office, quickly sanitize the van with a few handy supplies from the janitor's closet and then bid him adieu and good luck before disappearing into the night with your own car.

So far, so neatly wrapped up - until one of your burners rings. Figuring that worst comes to worst, you can always just toss the burner out of the window while driving, Luc takes the call.

"Next time I'm buying your phones," Operations says. "Less time wasted finding out your number. Put me on speaker."

Well, who's Luc to argue with his "boss"?

"I assume you know why I'm calling, boys," Operations says. "Since we've all been busy, apparently, I suggest we all pack it in for the night and get some shuteye. Let's chat over breakfast tomorrow. Hannekes Boom at the Dijksgracht 4, 10 AM. Attendance is non-optional."


Well then. Leave it to the CIA to ruin "free breakfast at an Amsterdam waterfront cafe".