IC 3 - Amsterdam - Day 3

Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-11-28 13:11:15
"Security's all over Mason - he popped a hostile in the old concert hall. I think that means" - here Tim cranks open the return panel and pours out into the room with Blake and Luc - "We've got time for me to join your little KMar group. It'll make it easier for me to move around back here. Help me roll these guys?"
skullandscythe 2017-11-28 14:28:49
"Happily," Blake replies, and proceeds to do just that.

To Ops, he says "Keep an eye out, I think we just defused someone's main event."
Gatac 2017-11-28 14:39:48
"Funny you should say that," Operations replies. "We've just been given the 'everybody stay calm' speech. They're locking the palace down. As for you, boys...by Fractal's count we're still missing two RoI operatives. Also, speaking of Fractal, we don't have eyes on deSilva. Be careful."

As Operations speaks, Tim already checks the cameras via warphone. No sign of deSilva there, either, but he's only got the live feeds to work with. It ought to be pretty impossible for her to move through any of the public areas without getting recorded, right?

Moments later, Blake receives another message on his comms - and judging from what Tim and Luc are doing, it's a private message for him, not an open channel. "Agent Blake," 'Greg' from the 'home office' says. "It would behoove you to remove the systems board from the device you disabled. That is classified materiel we should not leave behind for the Dutch to stumble over. It could...complicate the narrative."
skullandscythe 2017-11-29 13:41:38
Blake harrumphs, his eyes darting towards the rest of the team...and their non-reactions. Well, yes, I can see that. Question is, how can you see that, 'Greg?'

Blake decides, however, that a confrontation is better suited for later, when the team is no longer in danger of being baked like a goddamn potato. For now, he simply breaks the board into pieces small enough to be put in an ammo pouch. He tells the rest of the team that he wants to have it analyzed, because it's awfully high-tech and they should be able to get a lead from it.
skullandscythe 2017-12-11 11:06:07
Blake also looks for some burners on the mooks, and finds something he wasn't expecting - locked smartphones. Blake takes a little time to see if he can get something off of them. If he can't, he passes them off to one of his teammates - maybe they can find out more about the bombs, or the plan, or their locations.

(Trying Data Recovery/Electronic Surveillance here.)
Gatac 2017-12-14 13:55:34
INFO: found remote device 881.24E.7F5.004 "abjad"
INFO: initiate attack suite...3 attack algorithm(s) available
INFO: run "BluJack v5.9a" (1/3) 27%...58%...94%...100%
WARNING: connection failed. skipping to next attack.
INFO: run "NiceFastConnector Sigma" (2/3) 100%
WARNING: connection failed. skipping to next attack.
INFO: run "Ultrasonic Assistant Hack" (3/3) Siri...Google Assistant...Bixby...Cortana
INFO: Please confirm manually if device has switched to 911 dialer interface Y/N: N
FAILED: Could not auto-hack device "abjad". :(

Undeterred, Tim picks up the recalcitrant device and holds the screen up to the light - there's the telltale smudges of fingers on the display, maybe from tapping in a PIN?

2, 3, 5...but in what combination? And how long is the PIN anyway? Tim swallows hard. It's not like they're getting anywhere with the phone as is, but screw this up often enough and it's probably gonna lock down for good.

2-3-5. The obvious first try, but the phone buzzes in protest.

Think. What do the numbers have in common? 2+3 is 5. They're the first three prime numbers. Pythagoras' Theorem? Tim feels his hands get sweaty.

Oh, shit. Uranium-235? That's an ominous idea, but these guys are obviously playing for keeps. Tim studies the dialer for a moment - U is 8, why isn't that smudged, too? But before he's thought all the way through that, he taps it in.

8-2-3-5. Bzzt! The phone oh-so-helpfully tells him he's got one try remaining.

"Shit," Tim mutters to himself, then looks to Luc and Blake. Luc gamely gives him a smile, but he's a bit too busy making sure the goons don't wake up again. Blake, however, just...breathes?
"You and me," Blake says, motioning for Tim to follow along with Blake's breathing. "Just let it go for a moment," Blake adds.
"Don't know if I can crack this," Tim says.
"Yeah, well," Blake says, "I wasn't sure I could get that drone into the server room. But we got it done, right?"

Tim smiles. We. It feels like Blake's now returning the favor from the day before.

"You got this, Tim," Blake says.
"And if I get it wrong?" Tim asks.
"Then we find another way," Blake says, his voice dead level. "Two possibilities. Either the numbers are meaningful or they're random. If they're random, we weren't ever gonna get it except by blind luck. Fact. But if they're meaningful - there's a connection. And I know you can find it."

Tim looks back at the phone. The U-235 guess felt right, like they're gonna be tricky and use some letters, but -


Wait a goddamn minute. Letters.

"Alif, Baa, Jeem, Daal," Tim says. "The abjad."
"I didn't know you vere into Arabic numerology," Luc comments wryly.
"So that's 2-2-5-3," Blake says. Tim hesitates for a moment, but with another nod from Blake, he proceeds to tap it in.


The PIN pad softly fades away to expose the phone's launcher interface. Tim fights down the urge to punch the air.

Just then, Tim-of-many-phones gets a call on the Fractal line. To nobody's surprise, it's deSilva(?).

"I just made two stragglers moving through the basement," she says. "They're vectoring for the royal family's escape route - and the last blast site. I can take care of them, but I need you to open some doors and clear a path for me. You are in the security system, right?"

(Blake uses Data Recovery!)

As Tim deals with deSilva(?), he hands the phone over to Blake, who quickly taps his way through the phone's settings and apps. It'd be too easy to have proper hardware here for reading the raw data off the SIM and clone the phone's memory, but just knowing where to look helps - he gets on the comms and rattles off the IMEI to Laith for an intercept protocol, then quickly browses the phone for messages, pictures...anything. And bingo - there's a picture of a service door on the third floor, plus several SMS messages with four-digit door codes. Blake can already eliminate one as having been used to get them backstage from the press area to begin with, and dollars to donuts one of the others opens this door, and that leads to a place where the central chimney can be accessed. Now they've already taken care of one bomb, and there's the devil's easy logic in assuming that it was the device intended for the chimney, but at the end of the day the only way to be sure is to make sure and check it out in person.

"Vey are coming," Luc cautions to the sounds of a security team closing in from a hallway. Not particularly wanting to stick around for explaining the scene, you take your leave of the situation and proceed towards the next stairwell. Destination: third floor, maintenance door - let's hope there's no prize behind it...


It's a bit awkward that the security team leads Mason through the hole in the door made by the Frenchman's breaching charge, but it does seem the shorter way to the security office. Mason doesn't fail to notice that everyone's still on edge, though, with hands on newly reholstered guns and heads on a swivel for any further surprises. The team lead guides them down a hallway, around a bend and then to the palace's central stairwell, which has its own security locks via RFID keycards. Descending to the second floor puts the group square into security country, with another checkpoint just outside the stairwell. Guns are turned in, Mason is again searched (far more thoroughly this time) and finally led off down another hallway, this one almost industrial-looking with harsh fluorescent lighting. Second door to the right puts him into an "interview" room that could be straight out of NYPD Blue if not for the Dutch signage and the slightly more comfortable chair. The zipties are removed, and while Mason still rubs his wrists, an older man enters, clad in the tell-tale suit of the security forces.

"I am Kruijssen," he introduces himself in serviceable English. "I lead the security at the palace." He tries to project an air of ease, but still sits down quickly opposite Mason. "Do you want a coffee?"
"Bottle of water, if you got it," Mason says.

Kruijssen nods, then presses a button on the intercom/recording device set up in the middle of the table. "Mareike, a bottle of water for our guest, please," he says in Dutch, then turns back to Mason. "So," he continues in English. "You have something to say?"
"You're welcome," Mason replies.
Kruijssen takes a moment to parse Mason's meaning, then bears a pained smile. "So this was a...favor, to us?" he asks. "I tell you what I know. Two men penetrate my security under false pretenses. One is dead, with a few American bullets in him. The other orders a water and tells me to thank him. You see, I hope, why I am a bit...irritated."
"Yeah, I mean, I would be too if five terrorists infiltrated the palace and almost blew up half the building under my watch," Mason replies.
Kruijssen's eyebrows furrow. "Who are you?" he asks.
"Just another rude American tourist," Mason replies.
Kruijssen leans back. "Good, Mr. Tourist," he says. "Five terrorists, you say. I assume the man you shoot is one. That leaves four, yes?"
"Two pairs of men pretending to be KMar officers," Mason says.

At this moment, the door opens, and a woman in her mid-40s enters, wearing a security team suit. Her face tells Mason that it's a tough hustle no matter what country you serve, but she hands him the bottle with a kind of "Crazy day, huh?" smirk on her face.

"Thank you, Mareike," Kruijssen says. "Could you also please tell the Major that I want to see him right away?"
"Yes," she says, then walks out again.
"We will find them," Kruijssen explains to Mason. "If you have further vital information, I will be grateful. If this is all you can say to me, well, then we will let the people with the bigger paychecks sort out the rest, yes?"

Mason slightly twists the cap - just enough to see if it's still sealed - and gives the bottle an experimental squeeze. The cap barely moves, clearly still attached to the plastic crown underneath, and the bottle doesn't yield to the squeeze, either - it's still under pressure and hasn't been punctured.

Mason cracks the bottle and smiles. "Not like I have much of a choice."
Kruijssen nods. "I assume you want to know what happened to Constable Hesselink?" he says.
"Hospital, visit from the King, some kind of medal?" Mason says.
"I cannot foresee her future," the man says. "What I mean is that she is treated in our...little hospital, here. The other man's bullets hit her in the right leg. The doctor says that she is very likely to fully recover." He rises. "I assume she will want to hear that you are safe in our custody."

Mason doesn't say anything, just takes a drink from his water. Just as Kruijssen is about to leave the room, the door opens again, with an angry-looking younger man in KMar dress regalia stepping inside.

"Oh, Major," Kruijssen says, but the Major doesn't look at him.
"Give me the room," he says. "I need to speak to Agent Heimans."
"...what?" Kruijssen says.
"Just get out," the Major adds. The chief complies, though he does give the Major some stinkeye over being ordered around in his area of responsibility. After he's out, the Major slams a sheet of paper on the table - a server log, of Constable Hesselink's abortive attempt to search the government records for a "Stef Heimans". Obviously, just killing the search from her terminal didn't erase the digital footprints she had already left. "Care to explain yourself?" the Major barks.
"Not really," Mason replies.
"I don't know what you told Hesselink to get her so turned around," the Major says. "All I know is you're a foreign agent conducting criminal operations on Dutch soil while pretending to work for our government. And until I get a damn good explanation of who you are and what you're doing here, you're not leaving this damn room, is that clear?"
"Saving lives, mostly," Mason replies. "You get the results back on that warehouse explosion yet?"
The Major fumes for a moment. "And what exactly do you have to do with that?"
"Well, you didn't want that tank drone rampaging through Remembrance Day," Mason says.
"You blew it up," the Major says.
"No, I heard it was some incompetent guards that played around with something they really shouldn't have," Mason replies.
"I see," the Major says. "Well, you seem to hear about a lot of things. Like terrorists walking around in KMar uniforms. Four of them, right?"
"Yeah, heard something about that," Mason says.
"Can you ID them?" the Major asks.
"I assume they're tied up and unconscious by now," Mason replies.
"Two," the Major says, holding up two fingers in response. "Where are the others?"
Mason shrugs. "Wouldn't know. Just saying what I've heard."
"I see," the Major says. He straightens up, then speaks into a sleeve mic in Dutch. "All units, set condition black. Perimeter seal is in effect. Prepare the package for emergency extraction." He turns back to Mason. "Don't drink it too quickly," he says. "Might be a while before anyone here has time to bring you another bottle."
Mason smirks. "Good line. Practice it in the mirror before you came in?"

The Major doesn't dignify that with a response. Instead, he leaves the room, slamming the door closed behind him. Mason leans back in the chair and smirks, raising the bottle towards the camera. The camera, immobile as it is, cannot visibly acknowledge Mason's magnanimous gesture, so it just keeps up its vaguely electronic buzz.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2017-12-22 09:10:14
Tim scans the warphone as he walks with Luc and Blake away from their latest incident. He tries to pick up the same stragglers DeSilva mentioned, then pauses. Can he get DeSilva to the hostiles without also giving her access to the royal family? Can he afford not to? This is all assuming he can still pull off what she's asking to boot.
Gatac 2018-01-19 06:42:34
As you rush through the hallways to the probable location of the second explosive device, Tim multitasks on the warphone, trying to track deSilva(?), the stragglers she claims to be chasing and the security forces currently sweeping the backstage for any more surprises, which you - dressed in stolen KMar uniforms and playing a desperate game of Whack-a-mole with similarly incognito RoI operatives - would definitely constitute.

In order: deSilva's nowhere to be seen on the basement cameras. Without a tracker or a visual on her, her current location is pretty much pure conjecture - educated conjecture, perhaps, if you can secure a few more data points somehow, but a voice on a phone might be in Las Vegas or Vladivastok or Pyongyang for all you know. However, there does seem to be a rolling blackout of the basement cameras moving in roughly the same direction as the hypothetical escape route, which would be certain to get security scrambling if they weren't already, well, scrambled. On the other hand, maybe those are the stragglers deSilva claims to be chasing?

"I need B-74 open, now," deSilva says over the line. Tim maps the disturbance to the basement layout - B-74 is within the blackout radius, but the blackout's epicenter is moving away from it. So...what does that mean, then?

Gut check: how much do you trust that woman?


Mason sits pretty in the interview room, draining the Dutch government's water budget, when the hairs on the back of his neck start standing up. Moments later, the door opens and Constable Hesselink stumbles in, wincing with every clumsy step. The bandage on her leg is slowly seeping through with blood - probably busted a stitch or two in getting here from the security infirmary - but she doesn't let that stop her; before Mason can say much of anything, she rounds the corner towards the security camera and reaches up to unplug it.

"The door," she says between clenched teeth. "Help me block it."
Mason stands up and wedges his chair underneath the door handle with a few good kicks, then helps Hesselink onto the table before taking a step back to cover the door. "I'm gonna guess this isn't a courtesy call."
"What tipped you off?" Hesselink quips, wincing again as she sits down and takes some weight off her busted leg. She looks directly at Mason. "Okay," she says, "I need some of your magic. The Major from KMar...either I'm throwing away what's left of my career or he's in on it."
"What makes you think that?" Mason asks.
"Who else could get five people with fake KMar credentials into the building and have the passcodes for the door locks?" Hesselink asks, but then stares for a few moments, realizing that that sounded like more of a slam dunk in her head. "...and I have a bad feeling about him," she adds. "I don't know. If I was sure, I would have alerted security - but it could be one of them, too. That's why I came to you." She taps her ear, as if to indicate an earbud. "Please tell me your people can help."

Mason's earbud is currently in an evidence box. This is what we in the game call "a complication".

"You keep your phone?" Mason asks.

Hesselink nods and hands the burner over to Mason. Mason then dials a burner in the van. After a few rings, the line picks up.

"What do you have on a Major van Roemburg, KMar type?" Mason asks.
"No specifics on this line," Laith replies - through a voice modulator. After what feels like half a minute of faint key tapping in the background, he speaks up again. "Get on comms."
"Gonna be difficult," Mason replies.
"Hrm," Laith replies.
Mason shrugs internally. "I can do it if you're willing to replace some windows."
"Do it," Laith replies, then the line disconnects.

So much for getting helpful intel.

Mason hands Hesselink her phone back. "Procedure is for suspect's belongings to be..."
"I saw secure storage in a room behind the front desk, near where they probably searched you," Hesselink says. "Two corridors from here." She grits her teeth. "Probably one or two of the security team between us and your gear."
Mason nods. "Anyone else in here?"
"Most of them rushed to secure the back for the royal family's evacuation," Hesselink says. "I don't think I could have made it here if everyone was on their usual posts."

Mason's eye falls on the cliché one-way observation mirror in the interview room. He's looked at enough of those - from both sides - to know when somebody's watching from the dark, and right now nobody's watching.

"Okay," Mason says. "Stay put, and if anyone tries to come in you don't trust, stab them with the glass - just wrap it in something first so you don't lose a finger."
"Maybe when this is over," Hesselink says as she nods, "you tell me who you really are?"
"If you haven't figured it out by now, you're not as good of a detective as I thought," Mason replies.
"There's figuring it out and then there's getting the confession," Hesselink says.
"We'll see about that, then," Mason replies, then grabs the other chair in the room and heaves it at the glass as hard as he can.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2018-01-22 14:58:50
"Fuck!" Tim hisses. All the training doesn't matter in that moment. There's a counter for every strategy, a double-think that occam's razor still passes through without much resistance, and when it stops cutting you're left with paranoia and paralysis. Tim's been played or he hasn't been. Time to find out, and human lives are on the table either way.

And if I'm wrong, Mason will find her later and shoot her.

"Opening B-74," Tim says, thumbing the screen and hoping as he follows Luc and Blake to the blast site.
Gatac 2018-01-24 13:50:32
The door opens - well, the warphone says the door is open - and then Tim needs to actually focus on ascending the staircase, trailing behind Luc and Blake on their way to the bomb site. Just as they reach the third floor, Tim hears gunfire from the Fractal phone's surprisingly bass-heavy speaker. In that context, deSilva(?)'s voice shortly afterwards is almost reassuring.

"One down," she says, then coughs. "One runner. Have to" - wheeze, then something that might be a muffled "icho de puta"? "Listen," she continues. "I have...the bomb. Gonna...get it out. You...you stop him. Stop him...somehow."

Meanwhile, Blake's found the right door and punches in the code from the cracked smartphone. The door pops open, bringing you into the utility room where the ancient central chimney looms in a corner, a most inviting target for an explosive device. But the room is clear, and when Blake rushes to the chimney to scan up and down, he can't make out anything in the chimney itself. Okay, so, if the device he's already disarmed downstairs was supposed to go here, and assuming Mason's heroics either stopped them rigging the arch of the roof there or at least brought enough security to the area that that site is out of play - then that leaves, per deSilva(?), just one guy running around in the basement who's now missing his bomb, and so...wait, is that it? Bomb threat over, just one guy left to catch? It's hopeful math, but there's a lot of variables in that equation.

As implications are pondered, the scrambling of the basement cameras moves again, but back from where it came - probably deSilva(?) retracing her steps on the way out. As the room B-74 led into leaves the scramble radius, the camera inside starts transmitting again, showing a brick arch with wine barrels stacked on either side and a figure in KMar gear on the floor and a pool of blood spreading from his groin - deSilva(?) must have gotten him in the femoral artery, just below the protection of his ballistic vest. But the dust on the floor also shows signs of something heavy having been dragged away. This should set security investigating - if anyone's still got time to watch the camera feeds, that is.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2018-01-24 14:01:38
"Guys," Tim says from the doorway. "That Fractal woman - DeSilva - she might be heading out from the wine cellar. She claims she has another bomb and there's a final threat on the run. She's got something that's scrambling the camera feeds, so I can get her approximate location but nothing specific. We need to make sure all the bombs are taken out of play, so do you want DeSilva or the runner?"
skullandscythe 2018-01-24 15:31:46
No bomb in place here? Check. Time wasted? Double-check. Apparently, the fancy bomb was meant to go here - it wasn't the main event. So, what is?

Blake walks over from the chimney inspection, listening close and thinking as DeSilva(?) announces over the speaker and Tim breaks down the choice.
"We go for the runner. He's still a threat, and we still need information." Blake motions for the speaker phone. "You hunt for him, Barstow. I'll walk her through disarming her party favor."

(Going to use my MOS in ED to walk her through disarming)
MikeS 2018-01-24 23:43:40
"Vere's two of us", Luc says. "You go after ve runner, and I'll go after de Silva. Trust is good, but verify is better."

"Unless you want 'elp wiv ve runner, of course."
skullandscythe 2018-01-25 16:03:03
Blake shakes his head. "Splitting up is a bad idea, with KMar running around and Tim having the only all-access pass here. Unless you've got an way to bypass locks and not get caught by cameras and armed guards, I'd say we should stick together. Although I might be busy helping someone disarm a bomb over the phone."
Gatac 2018-01-26 13:58:13
Looks pass between Tim and Luc, but it becomes clear that Blake's right - with only one VIP pass to get through secure doors, splitting up is not the best option. Blake does take Tim's Fractal phone into custody and redials the only number on it.

"Hello?" deSilva(?) answers, grunting from exertion. "I told you, Barstow...get the runner. I can...handle myself."


CRACK! CRACK! The mirror - obviously some sort of thick safety glass - spiderwebs quickly but is slow to give way, and it takes Mason a good few whacks of concerted effort to smash a hole in it. The observation room behind the mirror is barely lit and empty of people, though Mason does spot a seemingly forgotten tonfa leaned up against the wall next to a file cabinet. Good thing, too - as Mason steps closer to the observation room's exit door, he can hear a single pair of feet approaching to investigate either the loss of the camera feed, whatever little trail Hesselink left or - more likely - the racket of smashing through the glass. Mason hops through the broken one-way mirror frame, grabs the club, and opens the door wide - but doesn't step outside, instead waiting to deliver a hard blow to the first head that steps through.

(Mason's Infiltration to set up player-facing combat: 1d6+2 = (1)+2 = 3 WOMP WOMP)

It's a decent enough spur-of-the-moment idea, but the security guy's wise to the old "hide just behind the doorframe" trick; he sees Mason in his hiding spot and grabs for his own baton. That still leaves Mason with an edge, though - he's got his tonfa ready to go.

(1d6+2 Mason's Weapons = (4)+2 = 6 STRIKE
1d6-1 Mason's Damage = (1)-1 = 0 (Minimum 1) MAN WHAT)

Mason thrusts the tonfa forward, expecting an easy stun to the guard's face, but he brings his own baton up and deflects the worst of it - what's more, he refuses to back away and give Mason room to fight properly. Just his luck to be running into the one dude who paid attention during baton training...

(1d6 Guard's Attack = (3) = 3 NOPE)

That said, the doorframe doesn't make things easy for the guard, either. Having turned Mason's blow, he tries to low-kick Mason's shin, but the grizzled soldier knows that one, too, and pushes forward into a check-step that neutralizes the attack.

(1d6 Mason's Weapons = (2) = 2 NUH-UH)

Wrestling with the guard's block is getting Mason nowhere, so he lets the tonfa slip and whirl in his hand, swinging it back in for a rib blow. This time, the guard yields about a foot's worth of space, dodging Mason's swing but opening a bit more room.

(1d6 Guard's attack = (3) = 3 NOTHIN' DOING)

It's a trap, of course - Mason goes forward and completes his swing, knocking aside a thrust to his guts. He's now inside the doorframe proper - not the best place.

(1d6 Mason's Weapons = (2) = 2 SWING AND A MISS)

Mason swings back and forth, struggling to open up more space to advance into the hallway and get room to maneuver. The guard retreats, dodging the swing and waiting for an opening.

(1d6 Guard's Attack = (6) = 6 BATTER UP
1d6-1 Guard's Damage = (2)-1 = 1 WEAKSAUCE)

And there it is! Mason's swing extended his arm too far, and while the guard can't get it close enough to reattempt the gut strike, he can whirl his tonfa by the offset handle and smack away Mason's weapon arm. Ouch! That's gonna leave a welt.

(1d6 Mason's Weapons = (4) = 4 HIT
1d6-1 Mason's Damage = (5)-1 = 4 GET REKT)

But maybe that's just the price Mason knew he had to pay to keep pushing forward. The guard dodges back, but thereby runs out of hallway and ideas at the same time, which is never a good thing. Mason's up in his grill in an instant, tonfa by the side handle and swung in along the arm. He presses up close, making things too tight for the guard to keep fighting back effectively, and presses his own tonfa against the guard's neck. It's not exactly a textbook blood choke technique, but it puts pressure where pressure needs to go all the same, and after a short bit of struggle, the guard blacks out and crumples to the floor.


Fortunately for the three of you, it's a pretty direct route down to the basement from where they were. Luc keeps the pilfered carbine ready while Blake stays on the phone and Tim hastily opens doors and disables cameras as they go; he's definitely getting his money's worth out of the warphone. As you hit the basement, the air becomes noticeably cooler and wetter, while security doors become a bit rarer in favor of labyrinthine old brick and cellar spaces.

Now, if Tim's reading the blueprints and the camera feed on the phone right, they're just one door away from where deSilva(?) threw down with the remaining RoI operatives. The dead body's still there, according to the security camera, while the blackout zone has stopped moving momentarily for what you hope is deSilva(?) pausing to have Blake talk her through the bomb disarming procedure.

(This would be a good time for either of you to Sense Trouble.)
Admiral Duck Sauce 2018-01-26 14:36:09
Tim motions for stop, then caution. Tim's fateful glance at his feed showed the dead body wasn't so dead after all. The fella's got a pistol up underneath his vest.

"The downed dude's still armed. Might be intel, though - can you disable him?"
skullandscythe 2018-01-30 14:38:08
Blake hesitates, but only a moment. No time. “This is not Barstow,” he replies. “We’re heading after the runner. But, well, it sounds like you’re having a tough time with that wound. And I don’t think you’re going to get the bomb out in time. So, would you like some help disarming the bomb?”

(Reassure used)

deSilva(?) gives a quick chuckle. “You’re right,” she says, seeming to pause to catch her breath. “Okay, Mr. Navy. Tell me what I need to do.”

Blake stiffens - so focused on trying to sound soothing to deSilva? or whoever the hell she is, he only now remembers that while not necessarily an enemy, she definitely isn’t a friend. Need to focus on the voice. See what I can glean, try and figure out her game.

“Don’t touch anything else, and give me descriptions on the ordnance and primer.”

There are a few deep breaths on the other end. “Well, the ordnance is plastique, probably Semtex, and plenty of it. The primer is circuit board, big, lots of wires.”

Blake frowns. This sounds familiar to a piece of tech he’s already dismantled today. “Do they all connect to blasting caps?”

“Not all of them do.” There’s a puff of breath and some shuffling. “Some are connected to some nubs in the metal frame. The wires themselves are thicker.” Blake remembers similar hallmarks on the previous bomb, used to make the sensors more obvious and possibly live.

It’s enough for him to be sure it’s the same kind of board, and make him worried about how many more these little shits have. Or if deSilva knows about where the board came from. “Has anything been soldered onto the board?” Blake asks, recalling the radio chip he disconnected.

(Blake spends BS Detect!)

“Yes, there’s two things,” deSilva(?) replies. “One big chip, seems to be radio, and a little black chip, right next to each other.”

Blake’s heart stops and his mind races, thinking of anti-tampering measures he’d put in on this board - needs to be portable, so no motion, thermal is bad for cool dark places - “What do the sides of it look like?”

His answer is an “Um.” First time he’s heard anything like that since he started the call, actually - most people would be at least a little nervous getting bomb defusal help through the phone. Blake narrows his eyes and focuses on keeping his breathing level as some more shuffling comes through the line. “One of the sides looks...lighter-”
Photo cell, for flashes from yanking wires...or cutting them. Kinda finicky, best in dark places. “It’s probably connected to the big chip with a wire. You’ll want to cut that first, after we make sure there’s no more traps.”

There! The little hiss of nervous inhalation. He almost didn’t hear it over his own voice, but she sucked in a small quick breath as he said ‘first.’ She wasn’t expecting that.

Which means there’s something else she was expecting, instead. Something else to...to cut first.

She thought she knew how to disarm this bomb.
She thought she knew, but when he called, she played along anyway. The chuckle - not nerves, not really. Amusement. She would have blown herself up smiling.
For a moment, all Blake can see is red.

“What next?” Blake thinks he can hear a quiver in those words, and it’s enough. He takes a deep breath and runs deSilva(?) through more anti-tampering inspection and, eventually, defusal.

(Blake's Explosive Devices to disarm deSilva's bomb:
1d6+7 = (5)+7 = 12)

Blake tells her which wires to snip and in what order and holds his breath for a sudden disconnect. It never comes, and both ends of the line let out a little sigh after a few tense seconds.

“Well,” deSilva(?) pipes up. “It seems I am not dead.” A pause, then she sheds some bravado. “Thank you, Mr. Navy.”

“You’re welcome. Stay put if you need medical, we’ll be happy to help. Hasta luego.” Blake hangs up, and the kinda smile dies, leaving an ugly expression on Blake face as he hands the phone back to Tim.

“If you can see her on your phone, don’t lose sight of her. We’re going to need to question her later - she’s connected to all this somehow.”


In response to the other, less-explodey problem, Blake shrugs. "I'll see what I can do," he mutters, shifting the KMar tonfa to a more...concealed position.

(Conceal for surprise action.)

Gatac 2018-02-01 14:34:32
Having overcome one guard, Mason hustles down the hallway and tries to meet the front desk guard tonfa-first. His wish is granted - speeding up to the front desk, he can see the guard there reacting to the sounds of his colleague being taken down by trying to trigger the security shutter. Mason vaults the opening over the desk and slides into the small front office as the shutter slams down behind him, casting the cluttered little space into little wisps of light shining through the holes in the shutter.

(Mason's Weapons = (3)+2 = 5 HIT)
(Mason's Damage = (2)-1 = 3 OUCH)
(Guard's Attack = (2) = 2 NOPE)
(Mason's Weapons = (4) = 4 HIT)
(Mason's Damage = (6)-1 = KO!)

Mason leads with his left arm curled up, pushing his elbow into the guard's face as he winds up a tonfa blow. THWACK! That's a broken nose right there, and the guard stumbles back, only offering a wide flail of his tonfa in response. Mason ducks and spins under it, then smacks the full force of that rotation into the guard's ribs. The man folds like a takeout menu, and just like that, the way to the secure storage in the back is clear.

Mason jogs back to the secure storage, busts the padlock off the locker with the tonfa, and grabs his earbud. As Mason retrieves comms, pistol and other gear, he can't help but notice the small rack of "riot response" gear - shotgun with beanbag rounds, gas mask, tear gas canisters. Mason mentally takes inventory. Yes, this will do - this will have to do.

"You're on the Global Frequency," Laith quips as Mason reactivates the earbud. "Okay, here's the deal. Major van Very Important last renewed his security clearance with the Dutch MoD three years ago - routine checks didn't turn up anything worth noting, apparently. However, our network analysis tags him being Facebook friends with a Jan Clausen. That name was redflagged as a possible alias for a Syrian money launderer. I'm working on pulling his accounts and movements." He pauses for a moment. "So, should I tell Operations you're back on comms now or do you want to have that argument later?"
"I think we all know she's very upset with me and wants me to keep doing what I'm doing," Mason replies, grabbing a beanbag shotgun, two gas masks, and a bandoleer of tear gas grenades.
"That's why they call it Wildcard, right?" Laith responds with a laugh. "Listen, I'm going to have to go off comms soon, cops are starting to clear the parking lot and I'm gonna have to move the van. Anything else you need me to do, like, right now?"
"Turn on the GPS on van Roemburg's phone and keep me updated on its location," Mason says.
"Can do!" Laith replies. "I'm clocking him on the first floor, rear secure area - on the way down to basement. Blake thinks that's where the escape tunnel is, so he's probably with the royals or at least close to them." A short pause. "Okay, gotta move. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
"Turn his life upside down once you're clear of the sweep," Mason says. "I'm going to find him."
"Right," Laith says as he signs off.
Just then, 'Greg' enters the channel. "Mason, this is AiC Griffin," he says. "Operations is busy with a different problem right now, so I'm taking over. New RoE is strictly nonlethal. We can't afford any more bodies, no matter whose side they're on."
Mason slides an extra shell into the beanbag shotgun and racks it closed. "Not a problem, sir."

(Mason Preparedness for second vest = (3)+2 = 5 YES)

As Mason loads up, he reconsiders rushing out - just long enough to glance at a row of lockers and spot a ballistic vest hanging in one that might just be Constable Hesselink's size. So he grabs that, too. Better safe than sorry.

(Mason Preparedness for radio = (2)+1 = 3 NO)

As he strides past the downed guard outside the interrogation room, Mason pauses in thought, then bends down and grabs the guard's radio from his belt. Trying to listen in only produces electronic noise, though - just his luck they sprung for encrypted sets, and this one's apparently timed out from the last entry of the secret code.

Mason tosses it and knocks on the door. "Clear. Unblock the door and let's move."

After a moment - say, long enough for someone with a leg injury to get up off the floor and limp over to the door - Hesselink opens the door. Her leg sports a new layer of bandages apparently pulled from a first-aid kit in the room, and she grabs the spare vest from Mason's hands. "I was getting worried," she says.
"Then you're gonna love this," Mason says, and hands half the bandoleer of tear gas grenades and a mask to Hesselink.
"Shit," Hesselink mumbles, but grabs the gear after fastening the vest around herself. The dress is, at this stage, probably a write-off. She slings the bandoleer and puts the mask on - whether it's riot police training or a stint in the Dutch military, Mason can't quite tell at a glance, but she's done it before, though not recently. "So, what's the plan?" she asks. "I don't want to use too much gas, it might spread through the air conditioning."
Mason slaps his hands on the canisters and waits to see if she's managed to put it on right.
The mask holds tight. "Hey!" Hesselink says.
Mason lets go and slides his own mask on and checks it. "The plan is we hook up with the rest of my team and...convince anyone in our way to back off."(edited)
"Okay," Hesselink says, then gives her pistol a quick press check. "Secret agents with two working legs on point, lame cops in the back, right?"
"As long as you can keep up," Mason says. "Ready?"
"Ready," Hesselink says.

The route to the stairwell - not the one they brought Mason and Hesselink in by, but the one van Roemburg took - is eerily quiet. As Mason pulls open another door, Laith chimes in on the comms. "Hey, I got something on van Roemburg when you're ready."
"Hit me," Mason says.
"One of his e-mail accounts was linked to a leak at a cryptocurrency exchange," Laith says. "Looks like the good Major lost about twenty large in coins from the compromised account. He closed the e-mail account the next day. As far as I can tell, no messages from it complaining to the exchange, no nothing, he just...didn't seem to care. Now I can't tell you where it came from or where it went, but I'm pretty fucking sure twenty large isn't fucking around money for a KMar Major. You don't just put that in coins. And you sure as hell don't write it off when it's hacked out from under you. Bet you five whoever gave it to him replaced it, cost of doing business when you're a well-funded terror network."
"Sounds complicated," Mason says, checking the door to the stairwell for a moment before opening it. "So, payoff to..."
"You got me," Laith says. What Mason has also got is a security guard below in the stairwell, vest thrown on over his suit, hand on his ear piece and the other on a submachine gun. He seems to not have noticed Mason for the moment.

Why would it be easy? Mason pauses and takes aim at the shoulder attached to the arm holding the SMG.

(Mason's Shooting = (2)+1 = 3 MISS)

Mason's shot goes wide - those flexible baton rounds do pull to the left, don't they? That definitely gets the guard's attention, though, and he ducks and tucks as he descends the stairs to seek cover.

(Mason uses his Parkour cherry to refresh Athletics.)

Mason doesn't intend to give him the chance, though. He lets the shotgun hang on its sling as he takes a running step towards the railing. First step for speed, second step vaults him up onto the railing with the third, and the third pushes him into the air - just enough to clear the stairs below (and almost certainly breaking an ankle) and either hit the landing, or hopefully the guard, below.

(Mason's Athletics = (1)+3 = 4 MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH
Mason uses his Roll Through The Pain cherry to spend 1 Health and succeed at the test regardless.)

Mason's landing is substandard, as high-speed landings on steep staircases usually are, but it is on top of the fleeing guard. Both take a bit of a tumble down to the nearest landing, and Mason feels his ankle protest as it twists just up to the "you need to go to the ER with that" point. The impact on the landing sprawls them both, and Mason struggles to arrest his momentum (against taking another tumble) while retaining his momentum (and ending this fight before it begins in earnest). Fortunately, Hesselink is right behind them, even if she is taking the rather slower way down.

Mason hauls himself up and tries to stretch his ankle out while Hesselink hobbles herself down the steps. He grabs the guard's radio from his belt and tries again to get ears on the security team. The guard moans in pain, but elects to stay grounded as Hesselink hobbles down the stairs, telling him - very politely, one must say - to pretty please stay down. Businesslike, she strips him off his SMG and ties him up with his own zipcuffs while Mason fiddles with the radio.

"All units, stand your ground," van Roemburg says. "We're being pursued by armed hostiles. Do not let them get a path to the package! Evac is still ongoing!"
Mason tosses the radio to Hesselink. "Tell them the good news about van Roemburg."
Hesselink nods and takes the radio. "All units! All units!" she calls. "Do not listen to the Major! He is working for the terrorists!"
"Unknown sender," comes the swift reply from the chief of security. "This is a secure channel. Identify yourself!"
"This is, uh," she says, "fuck. This is Constable Hesselink, Amsterdam police."

The silence on the channel is, well, silent.

"Okay, that's it," the chief of security says. "Quarantine protocol. Nobody goes anywhere until we sort this out. Major van Roemburg, that goes for your men, too. Abort evac and shelter in place until we can get to you."

The reply to that is the unmistakable sound of two suppressed gunshots.

"Van Roemburg!" the chief calls. "Van Roemburg!" No reponse.
"Shit," Mason says between breaths. "I was expecting him to at least try to say you're a liar."
"The basement," Hesselink says. "Now." To punctuate her point, she does the HK slap on her pilfered SMG.
Mason nods and heads down the stairs.


The man on the floor has got it bad, so bad. Being kitted out as KMar security afforded him a good excuse to wear a ballistic vest, but that's only of limited utility when you take a lead injection from the side, courtesy of Fractal. The vest's putting pressure on the wound, but that's not gonna help if he can't stop the bleeding, fast. If he can't get out. Or at least fulfill his mission - but without the bomb...

"Hey!" Blake calls out in Dutch to him. "What happened? Are you injured? Stay still, I'm coming to help you!" He drops his carbine into its sling and approaches empty-handed.

The RoI operative grips the pistol under his belly tighter. One of those KMar idiots - still, as long as he thinks they're both on the same side, he's got the drop on that guy, so -

- except he doesn't. When he flips and tries to point his pistol, Blake lets the tonfa slip out of his uniform sleeve and thwacks the gun out of the terrorist's hand.

(Blake uses Intimidate!)

"That was me being nice," Blake says, switching to English. "But I'm running low on patience and niceness now. Tell me what your plan is."
"Or else?" the terrorist coughs weakly.
"Or else you're gonna wish you'd already bled out," Blake replies. "Talk."

The terrorist's head flops back onto the ground.

"What do you care?" he says. "We won. We're inside. After today...there will be no more trust and no more facts. Americans, Russians, Chinese, Europeans...you will all be at war. Soon."

The terrorist's wheezing is punctuated by two suppressed gunshots from behind the next secure door, following by muffled crying.

"What's going on down there?" 'Greg' growls on the radio. "I need a sitrep, now." Operations doesn't seem to be on this frequency anymore.
skullandscythe 2018-02-02 07:56:18
"Got him. If you guys want to ask our friend here anything-"

Blake doesn't get a chance to finish before the shots fire. If the Roi operative has a radio, Blake moves to shut it off. No need for the other side to hear any more.

"Three bombs down, 3 live terrorists subdued and one bleeding out. Gunshots from the next room over. Tim, can you get a feed?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2018-02-02 12:30:41
Tim nods, already scrolling to the warphone's intrusion apps. It means losing track of DeSilva - again - but these were gunshots right here, right now, and Tim had to put out the fire in front of him. "You haven't won yet," he mumbles angrily at the wounded hostile.