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Dramatis Personæ

Road Rage

The team flees the warehouse in a random pair of small SUVs, just as another random pair of small SUVs, bearing what appears to be “mercs,” arrives to give chase. The team splits: Baum (driving) and Brooks, with Dr. Woodcomb and the grievously-injured Reilly (CS:Njord), in one; Lynch (driving) and Mahoney, with the body of CIA Officer Walker, in the other. The mercs split as well. Baum uses local traffic to good effect, and their pursuer crashes; Baum doubles back to catch up to Lynch’s pursuer, whom he has not been able to shake. Baum repeatedly attempts to force the SUV off the road, and the passengers exchange fire, resulting in three mercs down in one vehicle, and Baum injured in the other, along with a blown tire. Having gotten well clear during the exchange of fire, and pulled out of sight under an overpass, Lynch charges out of the shadows and T-bones the mercs’ SUV, though they manage to continue to flee. Baum then stops his vehicle, carefully lines up the fleeing driver in his sights, and puts an end to it. Dr. Woodcomb bandages Baum’s arm while the others quickly strip the mercs’ vehicle of loose intel, and they squeeze into the more-functional of the two SUVs and speed away.

At a safe(r) distance, the team decides to let Dr. Woodcomb out at Abu-Dhabi where he can arrange to be picked up by his CIA handlers, along with Reilly and Walker, while the team contracts a local pilot for discreet passage to Yemen.

The team arrives at Ta’izz to find it cordoned off, under quarantine, as expected. They approach a border checkpoint, and among the WHO aid workers there, spot a familiar face: Chana Baum, undercover. They make discreet contact, and arrange to meet at a WHO mess tent, where they exchange intel; she agrees to help the team get inside the quarantine zone if they can get her a direct sample of whatever is causing the outbreak.

Dramatis Personæ

Unsafe House

The team arrives at the safe-house arranged for by Lynch’s CIA contacts, a remote warehouse. The provided surgeon, Dr. Woodcomb, stabilizes Vladimir Medvedev, and also treats the less severely injured Reilly (CS:Njord), who later regains consciousness. Meanwhile, Lynch and Mahoney identify Ta’izz as their best chance to catch Breznikov (CS:Loki), while Baum and Brooks check in with their respective HQs.

Brooks hatches a plan to use his cover as arms-dealer bodyguard, and playing the victim, get Reilly to confide in him. In the same office-room as the drug-addled Reilly, Lynch “beats up” Brooks while demanding to know about Ta’izz, before getting “called away.” Afterward, Brooks notices Reilly struggling with a second “sleeper personality”; in his confused state, Reilly confirms that Breznikov was involved in the biological attack in Ta’izz. On the monitors in an adjacent room, the doctor, there to inform on the patients’ condition, points out an odd scar on Reilly’s head that might indicate some form of “conditioning.”

With Lynch in the room with Brooks and Reilly another time, the interrogation is interrupted by the CIA officer there to oversee the site, Walker, with eyes glazed over, as she enters and sprays Reilly with automatic fire from an AK74. Lynch tries to wrestle the weapon away from her, as she backpedals out to the balcony, where she is killed by Baum with some well-placed pistol shots. At the same time, the Doctor notices on the monitors that a breaching team—local UAE federal officers—is stacking up on the front door.

The team scrambles for their rifles as four officers burst through the door into the lobby; they pop smoke and storm toward the warehouse stairs. One officer’s flash-bang throw is interrupted by Mahoney’s; the stunned officer’s own flash-bang detonates at his feet. Brooks defends the stairs with Walker’s AK74, while Baum hangs back to cover his probable retreat, as Lynch fetches his own rifle and catches up. Meanwhile, Mahoney swings over the rail and drops to the warehouse floor below, covered in smoke, and lays suppressing fire on the stairs, effectively ending the fight. All but one of the officers is badly injured, the other taken captive.

The team immediately starts tear-down procedures, as the doctor informs them that the scanner is picking up more police traffic; backup is inbound. Reilly is, surprisingly, not dead. Brooks decides they should leave his former objective, Vladimir, behind for the police to pick up—he’ll live. The team then quickly packs up what intel they have, along with Walker’s body (so the CIA might not be implicated), and Reilly, and the doctor to try to save him, and they flee the scene.

Dramatis Personæ

Presidential Suite

An evening arms deal between Vladimir Medvedev and Rene Delacroix (CS:Bragi) in the Presidential Suite on the 24th floor of the Burj Al-Arab is interrupted by a sudden loss of power in the hotel, followed by the exterior window exploding in, which knocks many bodyguards to the floor. The team rappels into the open window in full tactical gear and night vision, and a firefight erupts. Turncoat former member of the team, Reilly (CS:Njord), here as Delacroix’s bodyguard, immediately rakes Vladimir with submachine gun fire, who slumps, unconscious, over his desk. Delacroix, the team’s objective, bails over the railing to the suite’s foyer below; Mahoney follows, getting shot numerous times in the process, and engages several bodyguards below by himself as Delacroix flees the suite. Meanwhile, Ilan and Lynch gun down Reilly, and several others, before the remainder surrender.

Ilan recognizes a surrendered bodyguard as British SIS agent and former ConsOps member, Grayson Brooks, in deep cover in Vladimir’s organization. Grayson maintains his cover, and pleads to keep Vladimir alive. Meanwhile, Mahoney follows Delacroix out of the suite, and finds only a discarded mask-disguise resembling the face of Delacroix, though the man who wore it was nowhere to be found. With hotel alarms sounding, the team puts grievously-wounded Vladimir and Reilly in harnesses, and along with Grayson, they all rappel out of the window to the ground, and flee the scene in a waiting escape boat. Once out of immediate danger, Grayson swaps intel with the team as they look for a safe place to recover and get their prisoners in a condition to be interrogated. As the team reaches out to their parent organizations for help, they begin to realize something is wrong when they are ordered to come in immediately…

Dramatis Personæ

Airport Security

The team’s plane was directed to land at Muscat airport’s main terminals. The airport was locked down due to the chaos in the region (Cairo, Jerusalem, etc.), the terminals full of passengers whose flights were suspended. The PA announced a phone call for one of Ilan’s cover-identities. It was from Mahoney, who, via a disguised message, told Ilan that he was around 20-30 minutes away, and that they were being watched. The team spotted two groups of observers: one appeared to be Omani, probably state police; the other appeared Easter-European, probably Russian. During the flight, Chana had received a message from her superiors at Mossad calling her back to HQ ASAP; she wished the team luck, then broke off top make her own escape. The team started heading toward the food court, hoping to slip out the back of a restaurant, but their Omani pursuers were close behind, looking nervous. Instead, Lynch snagged a janitor’s cart, and they all headed toward an out-of-the-way bathroom.

Baum headed for the urinals, near the only other civilians present. Vega entered the first stall and pulled his feet up. The police were focused on Lynch as he headed toward the back, half-heartedly playing the janitor part, drawing them such that their backs were to the others. When the lead policeman of the four challenged Lynch, the civilians zipped up and left in a hurry; Baum pretended to follow. As one of the policemen opened Vega’s stall door, Vega kicked it, knocking him into Lynch, and the fight was on. Baum and Lynch grappled with two, attempting to disarm them, while Vega broke off his toilet seat and attacked. Then one of the Russians entered and suddenly opened fire with a submachine gun. Vega charged the Russian with the toilet-seat and struck him hard in the head, but took a full burst from the submachine gun in the process; he was struck in the heart, and died instantly. When the dust finally settled, the Russian and police were all dead or bleeding out, Vega was dead, and Lynch was shot in the arm.

Outside the bathroom, injured and frightened civilians were running away from other firefights that had broken out in the terminal at the same time. Lynch and Baum hoisted Vega between them and blended with the crowd, toward the main lobby. Mahoney had arrived at the main parking lot just behind the fleet of ambulances responding to the emergency. He found one ambulance temporarily absent of its driver, collected the rest of the team as they exited, and drove away.

Dramatis Personæ

Search and Rescue

After the freighter had exploded, the team was forced to ditch their gear, and swim for their fishing boat, where the still-recovering Mahoney was supposed to be waiting for them. They found it unoccupied, with signs of a struggle, and small-arms damage. Vega determined the engine was beyond repair, while the others searched the boat for clues to Mahoney’s fate, finding a GPS-tracker missing. Some hours later, they were picked up by Omani coast guard responding to sightings of the freighter. The team was questioned, and eventually returned to Port of Salalah, where they were put up in a local hotel while the coast guard figured out what to do with them. Individually, the team evaded their guards and discreetly exited the hotel.

Ilan and Chana went to the hotel the team had secured the day before and found it to be under surveillance by Russians. Lynch and Vega want to the team’s seaplane at the airport and found it similarly observed; they sneaked aboard, and using the tracker frequency, determined Mahoney’s probable location to be in Muscat. Meanwhile, the watchers at the hotel were suddenly called away. Ilan and Chana followed in a taxi, observing the Russians arriving at a local residence and assaulting it; the Baums decided not to participate, and instead returned to the airport to join the others. Once regrouped, the team flew to Muscat.

Mahoney had been captured at the fishing boat by the Russians. Earlier, at an unknown location, he resisted interrogation. After the interrogator was suddenly called away, the guard left behind got a mysterious phone call that stunned him with a deafening screech. Mahoney, still handcuffed to the table, subdued the guard, and freed himself. He answered another ring from the phone, and discovered McKay, a hacker who worked with the team in the past, on the other end. McKay guided Mahoney out of the building—the Russian embassy in Muscat—where he stole the ambassador’s limo and fled.

  • GURPS Action: Consular Operations resumes on 17 Aug, probably through Oct
  • Probably followed by a two-part one-shot of GURPS Shadowrun, taking us into the holiday season
  • The holiday season is typically a bit hit-and-miss; may be some filler here
  • Afterward (whenever that is—maybe the 2020 kickoff), GURPS Swashbucklers: Sea Dogs should begin

Other tentative stuff in the queue: a continuation of Consular Operations under the original GM, CommJunkee; possible first non-GURPS campaign, Curse of Strahd in D&D 5e; maybe some more GURPS Supers: Knight City Chronicles one-shots; more GURPS Shadowrun missions.

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Dramatis Personæ

International Waters

The team took the fishing boat out ahead of the path of the MV Pegasi Perseus, which had slowed considerably since it was spotted earlier in the day. The mothership that had been following it was nowhere to be found. Still-injured Mahoney remained at the helm of the fishing boat, while the others drifted into the freighter’s bow in a black inflatable raft, helmed by Vega. There they threw grapples and quietly climbed aboard. They split into two fire-teams and proceeded aft along either side, using silenced weapons to take out a few pirates along the way—though the pirates did not appear as Somali, but rather more “Arab” looking. At the freighter’s tower, the Team reassembled on the way up the back stairs, and split again to either wing of the flying bridge. They stormed the bridge, taking out a few more pirates operating the ship there. The freighter was brought to a halt so Mahoney could approach with the fishing boat. Vega keyed a captured pirate walkie-talkie a few times to get the attention of whomever might be listening, eliciting a response from another pirate, in Arabic, asking who it was. It was decided the Team would clear the tower, room-to-room, on the way down to engineering. Vega stayed at the bridge to continue his radio deception.

On the level below the bridge, the team surprised the lead pirate exiting his bunk. A hasty interrogation gained no useful information, so Chana knifed him in the knee. He did snarkily give up that there were around twenty of them, but his scream of pain had been heard anyway, and others began to emerge into the corridor. A (rather one-sided) firefight ensued, and Vega was called down to join.

The sound of a helicopter was heard outside. Then the freighter’s bridge above was shredded by autocannon fire. The Team hastened downstairs to engineering, to the sounds of pirates engaging in a firefight outside with unknown attackers.

In the engine room, the Team located the crew’s panic room, and found it hastily camouflaged and unlocked—and full of dead crewmen, executed—and no CS:Loki to be found. Also, a ticking bomb.

The Team fled back upstairs, and ignoring the Russian commandos on deck, jumped clear of the ship before it exploded…

Dramatis Personæ

Positive Reinforcement

Vega comes-to, having fallen to a lower level of the parking garage after having been shot in the chest by Reilly. His injuries are minor, thanks to his body armor. He gets up and steals a car, drives up to the level where the event occurred and quickly checks over the scene, finding no enemies or intel. He collects his things from his previous vehicle, including the team’s smashed Q-phone Reilly left behind, and drives off, before the onlookers can question his Unit 777 outfit too much.

Baum comes-to in an ambulance, near Mahoney—with a crippled hand and leg—being tended by Chana, Baum’s sister, also a member of Mossad (unbeknownst to him until now). The ambulance is driven by her operational partner, Cameron Lynch, a CIA officer, who reveals that the raided warehouse had exploded; Baum was thrown, though his injuries are mostly superficial. Lynch drives the team to the nearest hospital, where Mahoney is gurneyed into an empty ER room, clothed, placed in a wheelchair, and wheeled back out of the side entrance, under the noses of the currently-overwhelmed (due to the results of the bomb) hospital staff.

The team takes Lynch’s surveillance-van back to a Mossad safehouse in a quiet neighborhood. Vega later rejoins them, and informs them of Reilly’s betrayal. Lynch reveals that he was on a separate mission (partnered with Mossad) having the same objective as the team’s. But Philip Quinn, an old friend, sent a posthumous request for him to take over the team and help them complete their mission. Given that CS:Bragi is now in the wind, all agree that their next step is to attempt to intercept the MV Pegasi in transit to Socotra, though she had gone dark, her current position unknown. After going over the available data, they decide to take the “company” seaplane to Salalah, Oman, where they can get a boat they can use to locate and board the freighter.

On the 8-hour flight to Oman, the team tries to get some sleep, while Lynch pores over the available intel and research, to determine the fate of the freighter and the enemies’ possible endgame.

The team gets a hotel and gets Mahoney situated there; he is handicapped, but recovering well, and eager to help out. The Baums use funds from CS:Heimdall’s seized accounts to purchase a fishing boat from a local owner. Meanwhile, Vega and Lynch set out in the seaplane to search the sea-lanes for the ship. After a couple of hours, Vega and Lynch spot the Pegasi, now transmitting as Perseus, as she exits the shipping lane, showing signs of having been taken by pirates, at full-steam toward parts unknown.

Dramatis Personæ

Forced Entry

The team continued to surveil the warehouse where CS:Bragi was taken, while Mahoney got in touch with an arms-dealer contact of his to fetch some local counter-terrorist gear. Then they phoned in an emergency, “armed men taking a hooded hostage into this warehouse,” before firing a few pistol shots near the phone to accentuate the threat. As expected, a Unit 777 response team arrived, led by National Security agent Ahmed El-Sisi—the team filed into the responders’ ranks unchallenged, wearing matching uniforms.

Suddenly, as the responders were getting set up for the raid, a car sped out of the warehouse. The agent pointed to Reilly and commanded him to get a car (Vega’s) and pursue it, which he did.

Their identities still undiscovered, Baum and Mahoney participated in the raid on the warehouse that followed. Due to the lead agent’s poor tactical decisions, the situation immediately erupted in a firefight with what turned out to be well-armed, elite Russian soldiers. There were many casualties on both sides. Mahoney survived a grenade by jumping into a dumpster, where he was then showered with bullets, and was badly wounded in the hand and leg. A few of the Russians managed to flee the scene. Afterward, Baum was able to get Mahoney medical attention, and entered the warehouse to find CS:Bragi strung up, badly beaten, and possibly dead—only he didn’t quite look “correct?”

Meanwhile, Vega and Reilly shadowed the fleeing car to a parking garage. Within, they were surprised as the car’s occupants were killed in an ambush by an SMG-wielding CS:Bragi. Vega drifted the truck around and knocked CS:Bragi off his feet against a barricade, and swung it around for another charge, as Reilly bailed out in-motion and charged up to the downed enemy. He held the shotgun at CS:Bragi’s face and demanded his surrender. Vega stepped out of the truck to see if the car’s occupants were in possession of the missing laptop case, when he heard their quarry say something in Russian to Reilly; Reilly responded, and calmly turned the shotgun to Vega and shot him twice in the chest…

Dramatis Personæ

Without Sanction

Back at the team’s warehouse-headquarters in Haifa, Quinn’s briefcase is opened: within it, the laptop containing CS:Heimdall’s financial information, a special smartphone, and new identities for the team as employees of the Global Wildlife Conservation Council.

DDO Hamilton Riggs calls the team, and knows more than he had previously let on about what they’ve been up to; he wants to observe the interrogation of the heavily-injured Heimdall remotely. Mahoney conducts the interrogation, and Heimdall reveals all, including personal details on the team, Operation: Klendathu Black Shadow (which preceded their own Syria operation), and the the cargo aboard M/V Pegasi, a Russian bioweapons scientist.

Afterward, Reilly speaks privately to Riggs about his involvement in Opn:KBS, and Riggs puts the pieces together for the team: CS:Loki, the Russian scientist Reilly helped extract; CS:Odin, whom they formerly knew as CS:Rook; and CS:Frigga, AKA Jennifer Harrington of their own company, involved with CS:Odin and probable source of the unsanctioned operation—ConsOps is clearly compromised. Now, with breaking news of Quinn’s reported death in surgery, Riggs declares a “Shadow Directive”—the team is to continue their mission without any support or sanction from ConsOps.

The team immediately destroys all intel at the warehouse and makes for the Haifa airport. On the way, Heimdall is dropped off for the local Israeli police to find. The team’s new cover-company has a seaplane awaiting them at the airport. They immediately fly to Cairo, Egypt, where CS:Bragi and Baldr (now dead) were known to operate.

In Cairo, the team uses Heimdall’s cell-phone to get Bragi’s number, and the Q-phone to ping Bragi’s phone’s GPS: it is located at the Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah. With funds generously and unwittingly provided by Heimdall’s seized accounts, the team splits: Vega and Reilly waiting in one rented car some distance from the hotel, while Mahoney and Baum take another rented car to the hotel itself. Mahoney enters the lobby to try to discover Bragi’s room number, but instead spots their target leaving the lobby, being assaulted outside, and being stuffed into another vehicle, which speeds away. The team shadows the strangers, communicating by radio to hand off pursuit from one vehicle to the other, managing to apparently remain unnoticed as they track it to a downtown warehouse.