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Wednesday, 3rd September, 2008, 12:06 PM #271
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Closed Casket: Conclusion
An unmarked black helicopter picked them up. The STREETSWEEPER team would be along soon after to remove any evidence.
“How do we explain this to Sprague?” asked Hammer.
Jim-Bean shrugged. “We don’t. We were driving along when a pack of ghouls tried to eat us. I’d say that’s pretty straightforward. There were no witnesses.”
“Except for Robert,” said Hammer.
“We got what we came for,” said Jim-Bean. “He told us the names of the cultists that placed him with that family of psychopaths. David Flaherty, Bernadette Springer, and Katarina Smith. And they all live in a little town known as Runville, Massachusetts.”
Hammer’s cistron beeped. Jim-Bean’s cistron quoted Invader Zim.
“Looks like it’ll have to wait. Al-Hazzan is at it again.”
Hammer leaned his head back and closed his eyes. “Plain old vanilla terrorists. What a relief.”
“What do you think will happen to the ghoul?” asked Jim-Bean. “Will STREETSWEEPER torch him?”
Hammer shook his head. “Worse. They’ll probably make him an agent.”
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Thursday, 4th September, 2008, 04:19 AM #272
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Chapter 19: Getting Results - Introduction
This scenario, “Getting Results,” is a Spycraft mission from Combat Missions by Yours Truly. You can read more about Delta Green at http://www.delta-green.com. Please note: This story hour contains spoilers!
Our cast of characters includes:
I’m consistently surprised by all the effort that I put into scenarios like The Gates of Delirium, and then I barely even flesh out Getting Results and the agents have way more fun. In a lot of ways, I suppose it depends on the right ingredients.
- Game Master: Michael Tresca
- Jim “Jim-Bean” Baxter (Charismatic Hero/Telepath) played by Jeremy Ortiz
- Kurtis "Hammer" Grange (Fast Hero) played by George Webster
In this case, the agents were given an opportunity to infiltrate a terrorist organization with the goal of capturing one of the terrorists. This is further complicated by the rival Majestic-12 team—the Warner/Sprague rivalry, which is turning out to be quite a lot of fun. It also helps make Sprague less of a wanker, which at one point the agents wanted to kill. Instead, they’re unified against a rival department, and caught in a cat-and-mouse game of making the other team’s boss look bad.
Another surprise moment was the emergence of Tucker as a complete badass. Tucker is ruthless and efficient, and what he did to Jim-Beam cemented him as a mortal enemy for a future conflict.
So we get an opportunity for both Jim-Bean and Hammer to shine, a breakout villain, and an explosive conclusion. Something for everybody!
Defining Moment: Tucker, unaware of Jim-Bean’s ability to heal himself, leaves him for dead in a warehouse full of explosives. And an intense, bitter rivalry is born!
Friday, 5th September, 2008, 11:57 AM #273
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Belly of the Beast: Prologue
DETROIT, MI – Hammer strode over to the SWAT team chief, flashing his CIFA badge. “What have we got?“I won’t be coming home tonight
My generation will put it right
Were not just making promises
That we know, we’ll never keep.
--Land of Confusion by Genesis
“A transit bus in downtown Detroit completed its normal route to and from the local shopping center,” reported the chief, Masters. “Three men got on the bus that looked just like any other passenger. Except that they were wearing C4 and armed with machine pistols.”
“How many people are on it?” asked Jim-Bean, looking surprisingly fresh despite their recent ordeal.
“Twenty,” said Masters. “We’ve got four snipers on ‘em. Take a look.” He handed Jim-Bean binoculars.
The bus was at the center of a swarm of police cars. The sides of the bus were filled with hostages: the terrorists forced them to put their hands against the windows so they acted as human shields.
Before Hammer could respond, a handsome dark-skinned man in a black trench coat interrupted the conversation. "We'll take it from here."
“Who are you?” asked Masters skeptically.
"Special Agent Tucker," said the man, flashing his CIFA badge. "My men have been called in on this case.”
Hammer and Jim-Bean looked at each other.
“Who is this guy now?” asked Jim-Bean.
“Let me see that badge,” said Hammer.
Tucker dutifully handed it over. A scan of Hammer’s cistron confirmed he was legit.
He nodded towards Hammer and Jim-Bean, as if they were his men. “You said you have snipers stationed?"
"Good. Take 'em out. These guys aren't interested in negotiating."
“I’m not so sure that’s a good idea,” began Masters. “My men are good, but if they miss even one of the terrorists, everyone’s dead.”
“Agent Jim-Bean here can help.” Hammer snatched the megaphone away from the chief before Tucker could grab it. He handed it to Jim-Bean.
Jim-Bean looked agog. “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?”
“You’re a negotiator, right?” asked Hammer. “Negotiate. Buy us some time.”
“I’m a smooth negotiator with the LADIES,” muttered Jim-Bean. “This is a little out of my…”
“Is there a problem?” asked Tucker. “If you boys can’t handle this I can have my men—“
Jim-Bean turned back to the bus. “We’re sending out a line to negotiate!”
He took a folding chair, climbed past the barriers, and set it out in plain view. A phone connected to a line was zipped out to the bus.
Jim-Bean sat patiently by the phone. A light flashed on the phone, indicating someone had picked up, but only silence was on the other end.
“Hello? I’m the negotiator in charge here. What do you want?”
“You know what we want. We want Saladin released.”
Jim-Bean grunted. “Saladin, huh?” He looked over at Hammer on the other side of the barrier. “Who’s Saladin?”
“A terrorist leader,” said Hammer.
“Great, you know him!” said Jim-Bean. “Now we just have to work out an arrangement…”
“There’s just one problem,” said Tucker, indicating Hammer with a nod of his head. “He killed Saladin.”
Saturday, 6th September, 2008, 11:50 AM #274
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Part 1a – Ambush
“You killed him?”
Hammer’s expression went cold. “The official word is that Saladin died in an explosion.”
Jim-Bean arched an eyebrow. “But you didn’t kill him?”
“The official word is that he’s dead,” said Hammer.
“So unofficially he’s not dead?”
“Why don’t you ask for a few hostages to be released,” interjected Tucker.
“Oh, right.” Jim-Bean picked turned back to the phone. “There are some kids on that bus. It’d go a long way towards showing you’re serious about this negotiation if you released the children.”
The phone went dead.
“Well?” asked Tucker.
“They hung up.”
“That’s can’t be good,” said Hammer.
After many tense moments, the bus door opened with a hiss and six of the hostages, all children, filtered out. They marched towards the barriers with their hands in the air.
Jim-Bean jogged over to one of the kids. “You okay?”
One of the kids handed Jim-Bean a crumpled up note. It was in Arabic. He handed it to Hammer. “What’s it say?”
“Let him go,” said Hammer. The telltale thumping of helicopters interrupted him.
Global News Network choppers swarmed like flies to the scene. Tucker's eyes bulged.
"No, no, NO! You have to get them out of here,” he shouted.
“Chief,” snapped Jim-Bean. “Shoot those choppers down.”
“What? I’m not going to have my men--“
Jim-Bean grabbed the walkie-talkie from Masters. “I am a federal agent and I am giving you a direct order: SHOOT THOSE CHOPPERS DOWN.”
There were replies of, “What?” and “Are you f*&king joking?” and “I’m not firing on civilians!”
“They were just stalling for time!” shouted Tucker. “They were just waiting for the cam--"
The bus exploded with a roar, flattening everyone from the shockwave.
Sunday, 7th September, 2008, 02:31 PM #275
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Part 1b – Ambush
Hammer’s cistron beeped.
“Yes? Okay. Yes. Thank you for contacting me first. You did the right thing.”
“Who was that?” asked Jim-Bean.
“Masters. I’m surprised he called us at all given what you said to him.”
“They didn’t listen to me,” said Jim-Bean with a shrug. “They could have saved more lives by downing those choppers. Would be doing the world a service if you ask me; a few less GNN news crew would make the world a better place.”
Hammer just stared at him. “You’re a cold hearted bastard, you know that?”
“Hey,” said Jim-Bean. “I worked in the SAS, remember? You don’t get there by hugging teddy bears.” He rolled his eyes. “What did the chief tell you?”
“The Centex used to create the C-4 was the same Centex used in the bombing of a U.S. military base. I ran fingerprints from one of the fingers found in the wreckage, and it turns out it’s a match for an illegal who recently entered the country.
The police followed up with their own contacts and discovered that the man's other compatriots are still living in a run-down apartment complex.”
“Great,” Jim-Bean strode toward the Honda Civic. “Let’s go.”
"There's just one problem," said Hammer. "Tucker was in Masters’ office when he found out and took off out of like a bat out of hell."
“I’ll drive fast,” said Jim-Bean with a smirk.
Monday, 8th September, 2008, 11:24 AM #276
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Part 2 – The Hideout
"There's eight of them, on the fourth floor," said the landlord at the stakeout across the street from his building. "The guys in there, they don't do nothing. All they eat is pizza and watch TV."
Hammer took a look at the hideout through binoculars. Men in trench coats carefully made their way across the roof of a nearby building. One of them cleared the gap between the two buildings
Masters’ walkie-talkie crackled to life. "Tucker's men are here."
“Damn it!” muttered Jim-Bean. “Hammer, let’s go.”
They sprinted to the entrance, hoping Tucker’s men and the terrorists wouldn’t see them, and then jogged up four flights of stairs.
“Now what?” asked Hammer. “We can’t just knock on the door—“
Jim-Bean knocked on the door. He took the note in Arabic and put it up to the peep hole.
With his teeth, Jim-Bean uncorked a canister of knockout gas.
The door opened slightly. Jim-Bean kicked it hard, snapping the chain, and tossed the canister in. He grabbed hold of the handle and slammed the door shut again.
Tucker and his men, all in black trench coats, arrived moments later.
“We’ll take it from here boys.”
Jim-Bean smirked. “We’ve got it covered. They’re all incapacitated.” To demonstrate his handiwork, he pushed open the door. Unconscious bodies lay everywhere. Some moaned. Others struggled to move.
Tucker nodded. “We’ll secure the area.”
His men filed in, pistols out. The last one in turned and closed the door as Hammer got a glimpse of one of them putting a pistol to an unconscious terrorist’s head.
“Son of a—“
The muffled crack of a silence pistol punctuated his oath. Seven more thumps followed.
“What the hell is going on?” asked Jim-Bean.
The door opened and Tucker’s men filed back out.
“Did you just murder everyone in there?” asked Hammer.
“They resisted,” said Tucker grimly. “When you shoot an enemy combatant, it’s not murder.”
Tucker gave the all-clear signal to Masters’ team. SWAT warily made their way up the stairwell.
“I don’t believe they just killed everyone in cold blood,” said Hammer. But he knew there was no way to prove what had happened. They were terrorists, after all. Killing them was what they were supposed to do.
Jim-Bean bent down to pick up a card that was clutched in the hand of one of the terrorists. “We may have a leg up on that bastard yet.”
He snapped the card up to show its face to Hammer. It was a business card with an address. On the back was written “Mamoud.”
Tuesday, 9th September, 2008, 11:41 AM #277
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Part 3a – Mamoud’s Body Shop
“A body shop, huh?” asked Hammer. “What’s our cover?”
“It’s a body shop.” Jim-Bean looked at Hammer as if he were stupid. “Our car needs repairs.”
“But where are we going to get a car that’s in bad enough shape to need repairs? We don’t have enough time to—“
Jim-Bean hit the accelerator and the Honda Civic slammed into the car in front of them. Before Hammer could respond, Jim-Bean threw it in reverse and smashed the Civic into the car behind them. Then throwing it into drive again, he pulled hard on the wheel, drove up on the sidewalk, and sped away.
“You were saying?” asked Jim-Bean.
“Never mind,” said Hammer.
They had rehearsed their routine by the time they pulled up to Mamoud’s body shop.
“Are you sure this is going to work?” asked Hammer.
Jim-Bean grinned. “You just worry about the wetwork. I can be very convincing when I want to be.”
“These aren’t women,” Hammer said gruffly, screwing the silencers onto his Glocks.
“I’ve been practicing.” Jim-Bean tapped his forehead.
Hammer shrugged and stepped out of the car, skulking around the back of the body shop.
“Hey!” Jim-Bean banged on the closed garage door. “Hey!” he started shouting. “What’s a bloke go to do to get some help around here?”
There was furtive movement inside the body shop but no one came to the door. Jim-Bean began banging hard on the glass door to the customer service area. “Hello? Anyone?”
A rough-looking Middle Eastern man answered the door. According to Blacknet, this was Mamoud. “Go away! We’re closed!”
“I’ve been in a terrible accident,” said Jim-Bean, touching Mamoud lightly and briefly on the forearm. “Look at what they did to my beautiful car!”
Mamoud didn’t even look at the car. “Go away! We’re closed.”
“Closed?” Jim-Bean looked around. “In the middle of the day? What the bloody hell for?” He checked his watch. “It’s well past lunch—“
“I said we’re closed!” Mamoud turned to slam the door in Jim-Bean’s face.
“I’m just going to have to call the cops then and see if I can get the insurance out of this…”
Jim-Bean didn’t have to finish the sentence. Mamoud froze in mid-slam. Signs of an internal struggle flicked across his face.
Jim-Bean touched Mamoud on the arm again. “Look, I understand you’re very busy. If you could just let me use your phone I’d be really appreciative.”
Then Mamoud did something completely unexpected. He let Jim-Bean in.
Wednesday, 10th September, 2008, 11:43 AM #278
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Part 3b – Mamoud’s Body Shop
The other terrorists were agog as Mamoud let the British stranger into their hideout. Although it was for all intents and purposes an auto body shop, the shop was also littered with automatic rifles. Hammer noted that the technology of their weapons was considerable. These were no home grown terrorists, they were supported by an organization: Al-Hazzan.
Hammer used Jim-Bean’s distraction to jimmy open the bathroom window that faced the alleyway. He perched on the toilet seat and waited.
One of the men, shouting orders in Arabic to clear the room of guns, was simultaneously cursing Mamoud for letting a stranger into their hideout. He was so distracted that he didn’t see Hammer crouched like a gargoyle to his left.
The other terrorists were scrambling to hide their weapons. Hammer took a calculated risk and grabbed the man by the head, yanking him into the room. He pumped his Glock into the terrorist’s heart. The terrorist died instantly.
Hammer shoved the body out the window into the alley. It would be discovered soon, but he didn’t plan on waiting much longer.
Jim-Bean was shouting about his car and asking for help, and it was answered by shouts of the terrorists at Mamoud for letting a foreigner in. Then he heard the click of a rifle and the room went silent. That was his cue…
Hammer slipped out from behind Mamoud. The terrorist leader was fidgeting, unsure what to do about his new friend. The other terrorists’ had their rifles trained on Jim-Bean, who had his hands up.
Hammer pistol whipped Mamoud across the back of the head. It was a perfect blow; he crumpled instantly, out of sight of the other terrorists in the customer service area.
Seeing the move out of the corner of his eye, Jim-Bean dove to the ground and came up with his SIG. Machinegun fire raked the counter near his head.
“Took you long enough!”
“We need a witness,” said Hammer. “I want to find out what Tucker’s trying to…”
The machinegun fire stopped. The terrorists were looking up at the ceiling in fear. Hammer and Jim-Bean heard it too. It was a helicopter.
A big helicopter.
Jim-Bean peered over the counter out the glass window of the customer service desk to see the chopper hovering just a few feet above the ground. Tucker was strapped into an unmarked black helicopter. He caught sight of Jim-Bean and smiled.
Then he tapped the agent who sat in the minigun seat on the helmet twice, giving him the okay to fire.
“DOWN!” shouted Jim-Bean.
The chaingun screamed its way through the body shop, perforating glass, metal, brick, and flesh as it tore a bloody path. The slower terrorists were bisected in half.
“Go!” shouted Jim-Bean to Hammer, flattening himself on the floor. “Go! I’ll keep them busy!”
Hammer grabbed Mamoud’s unconscious body and tossed it headlong through the bathroom window, shattering the glass. Fortunately there was a dead terrorist already outside to break his fall.
The chaingun kept firing. Hammer slipped out the window and hoisted Mamoud over his shoulder. Then he took off at a run down the alley.
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 11:45 AM #279
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Getting Results: Part 3c – Mamoud’s Body Shop
When the ringing in his ears finally stopped, Jim-Bean looked up. Tucker and his agents had their pistols trained on his head.
“Hello gov!” he chirped. Jim-Bean started to rise to his feet, attempting to dust himself off.
“I read your profile, GOV,” said Tucker with a sneer. “Don’t try any of your mind control s#!t with me.” He nodded to his men. “Take him. And don’t listen to a damn thing he says.”
Two agents grabbed Jim-Bean by the shoulder.
“STREETSWEEP it,” said Tucker. “I want this place powder clean.”
Jim-Bean was dragged out in front of the still rotating helicopter. It occurred to Jim-Bean that Tucker didn’t plan to stick around for long if the chopper was still running. The pesky GNN helicopters would show up soon.
Jim-Bean shrugged off the agents, who stood with pistols at the ready.
Tucker came stalking out of the body shop. “Where’s your partner?”
“Partner?” asked Jim-Bean innocently. “What partner?”
“Don’t f*&k with me, Jimmy, or so help me I will cap you in the knees right now.”
Another agent jogged out. “Mamoud’s missing.”
Tucker’s eyes blazed and he bit his lip. “Damn it.” He turned back to Jim-Bean. “Where’s Mamoud?”
“Mamoud?” began Jim-Bean. “I don’t—“
Tucker pointed his pistol at Jim-Bean’s forehead. “Last chance: where is Mamoud? He’s with your partner, isn’t he?”
“Seriously, chap, I don’t—“
Tucker fired two perfectly aimed shots at Jim-Bean’s knees. He screamed in pain as his legs gave out beneath him.
“That’s for X-Team,” said Tucker. “Courtesy of Lieutenant Warner.” He looked up at the other agents. “Toss him in with the rest of the trash. Then torch it.” Holstering his pistol, Tucker turned and walked towards the black chopper.
Jim-Bean was still screaming and clutching at his knees when the two agents swept him up and dragged him through the shattered garage door to the inside of the body shop.
He moaned and wailed, thrashing in pain as they deposited at the center of the room. One agent shouted into his cistron. “Countdown is go. Clear out!”
The other agents backed out of the room, pistol aimed at Jim-Bean. They were watching him even as they boarded the chopper and it took off.
Jim-Bean stopped screaming and hopped to his feet, his knees completely healed. There was something else amongst the staccato of the fading chopper. A beeping…
In the shadows of the body shop, Jim-Bean could make out the winking lights of dozens of green timers set to blocks of C-4.
Jim-Bean sprinted out of the building just as the explosion engulfed the last of Mamoud’s body shop.
Thursday, 11th September, 2008, 11:15 PM #280
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
I read your story hour every day and look forward to your posts. Any chance of seeing some character sheets?