- Initial GM: User:Johnm
- Tag Leonards, the paranoid demo-man, played by User:Jesster
- Sascha Lutsenko, the Russian sniper, played by User:Brantdanger
- Liam McGregor, the Irish handgunner played by User:Jslife
- Jurgen Timonneh the German machinegunner played by Tom C.
- Sonny Crawford the redneck brawler played by User:Johnm
- Hugo Renaldo, the Brazilian thug played by User:Johnm (and Antony)
- Johnny Tam, Asian shooter, played by Antony
- Mr Wax, ex-Vatican operative, played by Clay
- Annika Petrov, Mr. Black's apprentice, played by Melissa
- Alex, Hot tempered Shotgun Wielding Aussie played by Traci
- George (Moose) Jenkins, played by Dan
- Bwan Yong, the stylish Yakuza, played by User:Jesster
- Harland Sinistore, the sniper, Dan
- Karl Burr, the interrogator, played by Seth
- Cate Archer, played by H
(The following was written in 2007.) It's ten years in the future on Gurth, and the world has changed significantly in the last 20 years. America invaded Iraq in 2003, and tensions began escalating worldwide immediately. In 2008, the sectarian violence in Iraq spread like wildfire, and War in Iraq became the War in the Middle East which became the Central Asian Crisis. Long before pundits stopped changing the label, it was a world class clusterfuck. Had Russia, China, and India not united to quell the violence through diplomatic means in 2011-2012, the crisis was on track to evolve into World War 3.
This gradual unraveling of peaceful cohabitation was apparent to military leaders in numerous countries, and in fact the United States Special Operations Command presciently predicted a change in strategy would be required way back in 2006 when they issued the following public statement:
“Creating conditions where people want to live peacefully is a powerful weapon against terrorism. Direct action will become increasingly restricted as the Global War on Terrorism matures. Indirect actions of Foreign Internal Defense and Civil Affairs programs are the key to winning the war on terror.” 1
Powerful governments with awesome military arsenals became increasingly aware that wielding their power was becoming politically untenable in all but the most extreme situations. United States Special Operations Command, as just one example of a trend worldwide, quadrupled in funding and personnel from 2008-2015, but forced a significant portion of their Direct Action specialists into early retirement, and instead filled their ranks with civil engineers, psy ops specialists, administrators, and diplomats.
However, focused Direct Action operations will always be required when organized groups are willing to commit violence to contravene national interests, and so outside of government military operations, a second and third tier of operatives evolved. The second tier consisted of large private security companies, with tens of thousands of employees, some tiny portion of which could be used for “wet work” of Direct Action operations.
The third tier has evolved over the past 7-8 years. Increasing public scrutiny over and demand for transparency in military expenditures in industrialized nations worldwide has made certain operations difficult to fund through the large and somewhat infamous security corporations. However, worldwide, government agencies always have funds available for classified “black” operations, and it is here that the third tier of operatives has found its niche.
This third tier, or “SubNet” is a loose affiliation of a few thousand specialists and commanders worldwide, mostly ex-military. By adopting terrorist organizations' practice of maintaining “cells” which know little about global operations, the SubNet maintains a thick veil and appears to be nothing more than disconnected gangs of shadowy figures.
Your group is one such cell.
You're based in Dili, East Timor, a desperately poor but relatively peaceful nation of about a million souls, 400 miles north of the coast of Australia.
You (might) come from diverse backgrounds, but have been working together the last 5 years for various governmental, quasi-governmental, and private organizations. Highlights of your activities during that period (which might give you an idea of what skills the team should possess):
In 2013, Australian Secret Intelligence Service paid your team AU$100k to blow up a warehouse in Jakarta it said contained munitions en route to terrorists in the Philippines.
In 2014, the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency paid your team US$80k to extract a political hostage imprisoned and tortured by separatist rebels for three years in the jungles of Malaysia.
In 2015, your team was paid US$200k by what was probably (you were never sure) an American CIA agent to assault a luxury yacht off the coast of Sri Lanka, and kill all aboard -- except the teenage son of a prominent local politician.
In 2016, a prince of Borneo personally paid you in emeralds worth US$100k to kidnap his own daughter, who had fallen in with a Christian doomsday cult deep in the jungle.
Throughout this time, you have also occasionally provided security for a (Contact) local entrepreneur named Malto Umbabo, primarily in the business of exporting marijuana to Australia. This activity, while officially illegal, has generally been nonviolent, and your Contact within Australian intelligence has been helpful in ensuring its smooth operation. However, one event made an impact on all of you.
On your first trip to the Australian mainland on Malto's behalf in 2015, your role was to go ashore in a rubber raft at night, and ensure an Australian gang was not lying in wait to seize the shipment as was rumored. The rumor turned out to be true, and a firefight erupted between your team and over a dozen gangsters. Team member Jack Stone, a stoic and effective American, was slain in the battle, and the rest of you might have been as well, had Malto not sent his untrained men ashore in a second raft with nothing but old revolvers to provided support and firepower. You've not forgotten the risk they took in deciding not to abandon you.
Your life in Dili is generally dull, with operation opportunities coming up only every several months. (You might have hobbies or businesses to occupy your downtime.) Operation dollars go a long way in a city where a gin and tonic is 50 cents and a blow-job is three bucks. Occasional payments to the (Contact) local police ensure little scrutiny over your activities, and you are careful not to participate in or aid any operations anywhere in East Timor.
You have Contacts that can provide air and sea travel, no questions asked.
You've had the opportunity to collect whatever standard firearms and TL8 ammunition you desire, as well as body armor and other reasonable military gear. In your weapons cache at the Hall of Justice, you also have one SMAW anti-tank weapon with 2 rockets, and one pound of C4.
You all speak English and Portuguese (primary language in East Timor) adequately, as well as your native tongue and any other languages desired, consistent with your backstories.
200 points total max 100 attributes max 50 disadvantages max 50 advantages max 5 quirks
TL8 gear, but with enhancements similar to how we played the QRT campaign. Scrambled, hands-free communication devices with satellite uplink, Google Maps, etc.
As the curtain opens, the team is grumbling about boredom, sipping cocktails at the Tiki Bar on the beach, watching as a tropical spring thunderstorm rolls in.
As the curtain opens, the team is grumbling about boredom, sipping cocktails at the Tiki Bar on the beach, watching as a tropical spring thunderstorm rolls in.
A call from Hans Juergen comes in, Mambobo brings the phone over, and the party learns their skills are needed in a dangerous place. Jumbilly flies them to Aten, Sudan, where they are greeted in 112-degree heat by MP5-toting military police who inspect the papers and wave them on.
They meet with Milo Dragovich who explains the misdeeds of Solomon Mugabe in the context of world events, provides them with Dutch papers to get onto an oil rig off the coast of Somalia. Liam goes on a bender in the hotel that night, and after 1 hour of sleep, the party boards the leaking and overcrowded ferry to the rig.
Tag creates a disturbance in the kitchen and the party sneaks off the rig, swims to a gear-laden raft, and motors some 200 miles to the reedy shoreline of Somalia, just north of the city of Hobyo. Electing to stay hidden in the reeds until nightfall, the party languishes in the reeds, swatting sand fleas all day.
After dark, they obtain intelligence from a local about Mugabe's whereabouts, and set up a lookout across the street from a makeshift tavern surrounded by gun-toting revelers. A 3AM shooting incident brings them in contact with a contingent of Doctors without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)) staff, with whom they make contact the next day.
Liam tracks down Candace Mason, the intuitive MSF nurse, and they share drinks that afternoon and exchange some information. The next day, the party boards the MSF Range Rover en route to Galcayo, an inland city 120 miles away. Along the dusty way they see atrocities in progress, and African driver Marimba demands the party intervene, but in the end they continue on to Galcayo where their quarry reportedly lurks.
On the way into the sprawling crumbling city of Galcayo, the Range Rover has an mechanical problem, and after dropping off the doctor and the nurse, the party accompanies Marimba to visit the city's mechanic, Rocky Rhoades. While Marimba scavenges for the needed part, the party negotiates an intel exchange with Rocky, in the end obtaining his promise to discover when it is that Mugabe plans his next raid.
While in Rocky's garage, Mugabe's general John Zaid shows up with several thugs. Liam and Sasha take up tactical positions while Liam comes out to meet the general. Zaid inspects Liam like cattle, and when Liam exhibits defiance, Zaid attempts to fastdraw his 9mm, provoking Liam into grabbing his weapon arm and twisting him around into a painful arm lock.
Liam and Tag then drop two thugs with their silenced pistols, and Rocky checks the technical outside for additional thugs. He convinces the remaining gunman to come inside and check on his downed comrades, and gets the drop on him when he turns his back. Rocky disposes of his prisoner and interrogation of Zaid commences. Ethiopian soldiers interrupt but are easily bribed.
Zaid divulges that Mugabe intends a raid on a small community 40 miles south at dawn the day after tomorrow. The Range Rover is repaired, Marimba sent on his way, drinking begins, and sleep results.
The party leaves early the next day for the small community, befriends the locals, plays some soccer, places some explosives, and eats some fresh goat.
In the dim pre-dawn darkness, the party concludes that the village was surrounded in the night by 12 technicals, each sitting quietly in the darkness 200 yards out into the desert. Sasha effectively assassinates several drivers in the first few seconds before headlights turn on and the enemy begins moving in. A vicious firefight ensues, punctuated by Tag's explosions.
In the ensuing melee, Liam and Sasha are gravely injured, with Sasha pinned down in the center of the battle. In a quiet pause between explosions and gunfire, Rocky calls out to the party, advising them to throw down their weapons and talk. Tag hatches a plan to kill Rocky and reclaim Sasha's body using a smokescreen and a hastily constructed C4 grenade. The explosion rocks the village, blowing off Rocky's clothing and much of his skin, and when Tag emerges from the thick, oily smokescreen, Rocky is on his hands and knees, silently mouthing some curse and trying to raise his .50 to meet Tag while 3 henchman writhe on the ground behind him. Tag silences Rocky permanently, from point-blank range.
Tag then loads Sasha into a commandeered technical with the now-unconscious Liam, and races to the coast and the encouraging light of the rising sun, flat tire flapping, to seize a boat and escape the godforsaken country of Somalia.
Fast forwarding 2 weeks. From campaign notes:
8 hours at sea means sunburned, dehydrated, blood-bathed, shot-to-hell compatriots, and when Tag spots the green-hulled Amnesty freighter (nearly 5 miles out of position), it's all he can do to keep from screaming.
Aboard, the crew of eyebrow-ringed, tattooed, dreadlocked weirdos is surprisingly efficient in handling and treating the injured. A call from the 28-yr-old blond goateed Australian hippy captain (who goes by “Ahab”) causes private Yemeni medical chopper to arrive that night and 'life flight' the party back to Aten.
Tag collects their military gear and Liam and Sasha undergo some of the most advanced care in the middle east. Shortly after checking his compatriots in, Tag receives a phone call. Milo Dragovich (swiss/austrian/german accent): “Captain Ahab told me you were hurt, and Ethiopian military is saying they engaged Mugabe at Kagilistan and caused heavy losses but failed to take Mugabe...” Tag gives a rough outline of the truth, probably concealing some facts as is his habit, and Dragovich knowingly acknowledges the partial truth and tells Tag, “That is fine. You will succeed another time. For now, rest and heal your brothers. All will be taken care of. I have arranged for you to stay at the Desert Rose (5-star hotel with icy AC and pools and prostitutes) until you are operational again.”
Tag and Sasha are lounging in their 23rd floor penthouse suite, and Liam (on crutches) is downstairs drinking Guinness and watching soccer at the bar, when Liam's phone rings in the suite. Sasha takes the call when he sees Candace Mason's phone-cam face on the screen. Candace reports that Marimba has been imploring her for a week to contact the party. Marimba has intel on where Mugabe and Zaid are going to pick up a shipment of guns and drugs, and wants the team's help to intervene.
Transportation details are worked out, with a flight from Yemen to Boosaso, a 5-seat bush plane from there to Quardo, and a taxi to Beyra (see [map]) to meet Marimba. In the busy African market square, while Sasha spots from above and Tag (in drag) mingles with the locals, Liam meets up with a frantic Marimba driving a modified VW Bus.
After relocating to an alley, Marimba explains that Zaid forced him to lead him to Rocky's hidden war-dune-buggy. The booby trap worked flawlessly, killing 4 henchmen and knocking Zaid unconscious. Marimba was able to look in the vehicle, find Rocky's PDA and learn of an upcoming meeting with Colonel Gamba in Ethiopia. He then turned to Zaid and tried to summon the resolve to kill him, but could not. Since then, Marimba has been filled with rage (and evident self-loathing).
The team loads into the VW and heads through blistering red-sand desert towards Ethiopia, bribing the military welcoming committee along the way to get to the outskirts of the city of Warder. Spying Mugabe's technicals parked outside a small military compound on the edge of town, the team formulates a plan and takes up positions. Tag (still burka-clad) wanders around the compound identifying hostiles and enters the rear of the compound to work on disabling the armored vehicle. Marimba and Liam approach the guard house and hear a lite popping sound as Sasha terminates the guard from afar, whereupon Marimba dons the guard's uniform and takes up his position in the guard house.
Liam proceeds to the small office building and eliminates the soldier therein, and then meets Tag near the barracks, wherein at least two soldiers have been spotted. Tag and Liam step inside and quietly assassinate the four soldiers in 2 seconds flat. Liam picks up the bottle of mead while Tag watches the door and notices Marimba scampering over to join them.
With Sasha relocated to the guard house and covering the entrance to the warehouse, and Tag having disabled all but one vehicle, Tag and Liam pull open the huge sliding doors. Within are Mugabe, Zaid, four Somalian henchmen, the Ethiopian colonel, and six Ethiopian soldiers. The colonel is the first to die, courtesy of Sasha's silenced rifle. A bloody flashbang-punctuated gun battle commences, in which the hostiles are all put down, and Liam and Marimba suffer serious gunshot wounds.
The team makes off with Mugabe's $50k cash and pound of pure heroin, as well as a crate of 99 fragmentation grenades, rolls back to Galcayo to receive tenderly-delivered first aid by Nurse Candace Mason.
Upon landing that night back in Yemen, Milo Dragovich gives the team their $200k balance in an aluminum briefcase and takes Mugabe into custody with the help of a huge (Dolph Lundgren lookalike) Russian assistant in a black Suburban.
The team rests at the Desert Rose for a few days, and then Jumbilly takes them home to East Timor.
While Tag Leonards lounges in Kuala Lumpur, Sasha and Liam are paid a visit by fellow operative Jurgen Timonneh, a German gunner. While sipping cocktails at the Tiki Bar a month after the Somalian affair, a call comes in from friend Malto Umbabo, with whom the team entrusted the Ethiopian heroin. It seems that Malto successfully unloaded the junk for $200k, but was subsequently ripped off by pirates south of Singapore, losing two henchmen in the process -- a third, Mikey Dread was captured to guarantee Malto's return with 100 kilos of ganja (an arrangement which spared Malto his life).
Sasha assures Malto that all will be made well, and nudges the inebriated Liam off his bar stool and the pair begin preparing. Jurgen accompanies with a nonchalant shrug, "sure why not".
Jumbilly fires up the seaplane and the team is en route, arriving near sunset at Malto's anchored boat. After dark, the team rows the dinghy to the pirates' island, and approaches stealthily in a steady tropical rain, arriving a half mile inland at a modest cinder-block house. Liam goes around back, Sasha prepares a grenade, while Jurgen watches the front door. Sasha leads with a frag grenade (which gets stuck in the screen/windowsill but still does massive damage) and a flashbang while Liam slips in through the back door and assassinates the pirate watching over the ensnared Mikey Dread.
Jurgen stows the minigun and approaches with his shotgun, and engages in a vicious firefight with four pirates coming out the front door, eventually being pinned down and clipped in the leg while Liam and Sasha clear the house. One pirate escapes, a second is crippled and captured and divulges that a Singaporean called Kumar hired them to attack the boat and seize the cash, and that Kumar would visit in the morning to claim it (less 10% commission). Malto claims that Kumar is the representative of the Singaporean crime syndicate to whom he sold the heroin the day before!
The team resolves to await Kumar's arrival to negotiate. Mikey Dread takes one of the waterski boats to rendezvous with Malto and Jumbilly at the other island. Sasha and Jurgen set up their respective heavy weapons in the jungle, while Liam sips brandy near the beach. Eventually a huge cigarette-style boat [(img)] approaches, piloted by four stylish Singaporeans. But then Sasha spots a pirate on the beach, apparently attempting to flag down the boat. The boat slows and turns towards the pirate. Before they have a chance to communicate, Sasha terminates the pirate.
When the pirate's face explodes, the boat accelerates and turns away. Jurgen opens up with the minigun, spraying the craft from 240 yards with 60 bullets in one second. Sunlight and fiberglass and flesh and bone and saltwater and lead mingle in midair, and the boat begins sinking rapidly. Liam drives the ski-boat out and hauls one body aboard, but it's too late. All four are dead and being fed upon by tropical sharks.
During mop-up, Sasha's wisecrack about Ireland is not well received by the bad-tempered and half-drunk Liam, and the subsequent conflict results in Sasha's split lip and bullet wound to the knee.
The team re-groups and heads back to East Timor, Mikey Dread, Malto, and Jurgen by sea, and the rest by air. Sasha spends a night in the hospital to put his knee back together, while Liam and Tag collaborate virtually to research Kumar and his crew. The next day Jumbilly flies Sasha and Liam to Singapore. They stride confidently past the huge sign at the pier which reads "ALL FOREIGN NATIONALS WITHOUT VISAS MUST CHECK IN WITH SECURITY" and check into a nearby hotel in the midst of the Singaporean metropolis.
After a day getting their bearings (and changing Sasha's leg bandages), the team makes their way to the Elephant, the seedy bar owned and operated by Malto's old friend Chung Luck. After some small talk, and becoming acquainted with local escort Annalise, they ask Chung Luck about Kumar and request that the bartender call him in. With some surprise, Chung reports that Kumar is on his way over straightaway.
Suspicions aroused, Liam decides to break away from Annalise's scintillating conversation and head back to the hotel to retrieve equipment. Sasha takes on the task of entertaining Annalise and engaging Kumar's crew in business banter upon their arrival.
After Liam deposits Sasha's rifle on the roof across the street, he approaches the front of the bar just as two huge black SUVs race up and screech to a halt outside the bar. Four stylish goons emerge from each and race into the bar, but Sasha has relocated to the ladies' room, so they spread out and start asking questions. Annalise intervenes and explains that the businessmen who want to see them have stepped out but will return, which Chung Luck confirms nervously.
Meanwhile, Liam approaches the two henchmen outside the door, fast-draws, and silently assassinates both with shots to the brain. Sasha tells Liam to wait a few seconds for some civilians to exit the back door, and then Liam tosses a flash-bang into the center of the room. A firefight commences thereafter, with Kumar raking the wall near Sasha's head and Annalise being caught in the crossfire. Her leg crippled, she hysterically calls for help as she bleeds out onto the bathroom floor.
Liam methodically picks off targets while Sasha staunches the wound on Annalise's blood-slick thigh. Sasha emerges from the bathroom, sneaks up on the final hostile, and shoots him twice in the face. Chung Luck recovers from the stun grenade at this point, and grabs a shotgun from under the counter, but Liam talks him down.
Liam picks up Kumar's Glock-18s, Sasha picks up Annalise, and the threesome heads back to the hotel.
Halls of Justice
(new name for the beach house in Dili)...
Liam and Sasha collect their gear and load Annalise into Jumbilly's plane and head back to East Timor. Over the next few days, Annalise receives medical attention, Sasha heals and works out, and Liam collaborates with Tag to develop a partial dossier on the Singaporean syndicate run by Charles Gok Tong, including names and photos of 37 individuals (9 of which the party knows to have been killed recently).
Annalise returns from hospital to find Sasha in the gym and Liam on the phone with Malto in Jamaica, who reports that his lieutenant Tommy Cho called him asking about his white mercenary friends and also where exactly Malto was staying. Malto found it odd, and disconcerting - but it could have been the ganja.
Sasha and Liam pay a visit to Tommy's apartment, and bribe the building manager to let them in (with a failed Fast-talk roll). Hours go by, and beer and leftovers are requisitioned from the fridge by the elite team.
Malto calls and is clearly being hunted by assassins, but gets cut off before any conclusion is reached.
Finally, Tommy arrives, enters the apartment, and is quickly disabled and disarmed. However, moments later the front windows explode and automatic weapons fire fills the room with splintered wood, chards of linoleum, and powdered wallboard. Sasha squeezes off a few rounds at one attacker, causing him to duck; Liam slays one of the goons and awaits the other's assault after Sasha dives to safety.
On a gamble, the attacker dumps 16 rounds in a 4-yard arc along the kitchen wall, but only one bullet manages to graze Liam's face, causing a bloody but superficial wound. The attacker is slain efficiently thereafter.
After collecting the Singaporean attackers' cell phones, weapons ([HK PDW]), and wallets, the team compels Tommy to accompany them back to the Hall of Justice, where a stern interrogation ensues. It is learned that Sajeev Makesh leads a Singaporean contingent of 8, 4 of which are already en route to Australia for a planned sabotage of Malto-initiated and Tommy-led drug deal. The other 4 were intended to help Tommy take Malto's 'throne' by any means necessary during the Australian deal.
Annalise heads down to the interrogation basement/utility room with grilled PB&J sandwiches for everyone during the interrogation. What a sweetie.
The team decides to allow Tommy and Sajeev to meet. Tommy is rigged with a wire, dropped off and followed. After a 25 minute detour into a live-sex club, Tommy emerges, visibly drunk, and walks 8 blocks into an industrial zone. He sits at a bus stop and waits while Liam and Sasha get into position.
Sajeev's black Lexus pulls up, and Liam and Sasha assassinate the drive simultaneously. Tommy leaps from the vehcle and draws his .357 snub-nose; Sajeev, in the back seat, opens the passenger-side door but does not emerge. Liam approaches cautiously and tosses a fragmentation grenade along side the Lexus. The vehicle rocks violently, its windows evacuated. Seconds later, a flashbang in the back seat renders Sajeev both wounded and stunned. While Sasha covers the scene, Liam takes both into custody...
Assault on Gok Tong
Back at the Hall of Justice, Liam installs Sajeev in the basement torture chair and prepares for the interrogation (with a pipe wrench and blow torch). Sajeev quickly breaks and confirms Tommy's story that the Singaporeans sent an assassin to take care of Malto Umbabo and sent Sajeev's team to ensure a (relatively) orderly transfer of control of Malto's mini-empire.
After the team goes through some aborted electronics work and strategic considerations, Charles Gok Tong calls Sajeev's phone and Liam answers. Gok Tong knows everyone's names, but also mentions Jack Stone. Gok Tong explains that the only way to ease tensions will be to undertake two missions; the first is the Australian sabotage, and the second is to be executed in Kuala Lumpur.
At 5:45 AM, Liam blindfolds Tommy and drops him at the docks where he is to join the crew and the merchandise for the Australia deal. Tommy is instructed to call the Australians' gang leader Fletcher Drake and arrange for a change in location, but to do the deal as normal, with no betrayals. A shaken Tommy is thankful for his life.
Upon Liam's return, Annalise is making coffee wearing nothing but one of Sasha's t-shirts. What a sweetie.
The team calls Jumbilly and prepares their gear for a trip to Singapore. Sajeev is left in the basement with a gallon of water and a warning that the entire house is rigged with C4 and that to leave the basement would result in his instant disintegration.
Aboard Jumbilly's seaplane and 15,000' over the sparkling blue Savu Sea, Liam calls Brad Feld, the team's Contact within Australian intelligence. Feld begins researching Gok Tong and promises to be back in touch soon.
Gok Tong calls at 7AM, Sasha answers, and asks how the seas are. Sasha insists the seas are calm, and that Tommy is not available to come to the phone right now. Sasha taunts and frustrates Gok Tong, but leaves it strategically ambiguous whether the team is following instructions or not.
On approach to Singapore near noon, Feld calls again and says he's learned that Britain's MI5 intelligence agency has recently taken an interest in Gok Tong due to some profiteering in British arms, and has recently sent one of their agents to deal with the situation. That agent is James Stirling, and he's staying at Pangkor Island near Kuala Lumpur.
The team unloads at the Singaporean docks while Jumbilly puts on his headphones, lights a joint, and kicks back to read Maxim.
The team checks in to a seedy motel to plan next moves, and instructs Annalise to get herself a different hotel and some nice clothes. Another tense call from Gok Tong leads the party to believe their location has been traced, and they immediately board, taxies, buses, and bikes to a different low-end hotel 5 miles away, just outside the downtown business district.
From the $1k/night Ritz Carlton, Annalise calls to report she's ordered champagne and is in the middle of a foot massage.
The team calls the Pangkor Island resort to leave a message for James Stirling. The receptionist mentions he's part of the Gok Tong party, which raises the team's collective eyebrow, but they nevertheless leave a message concerning an alliance based on a mutual enemy.
The team instructs Annalise to get herself a date organized with one of Gok Tong's henchman, which she does with expertise and elegance, and is able to report back quickly the security code needed to exit the elevator on the 55th floor of the 95-floor Gok Tong Tower, the location of Fire and Ice, Gok Tong's exclusive discotheque/restaurant. She also reports that the henchman mentioned that Gok Tong himself is going to be in for cocktails early that evening, and that the entire security regiment is on high alert. What a sweetie!
James Stirling calls at 4:30, confirms the party's SubNet affiliation, and says he can contribute some resources to an assault: he can jam the video monitoring system for up to 12 minutes just after 5PM, and he can arrange for a British satellite to disrupt all wireless transmissions in the building, but he won't have time to additionally organize a power shutdown. Tag requests building schematics and ascertains that he has enough C4 to take out both the main power array for the building, and the diesel generator below it.
The team loads up and heads for Gok Tong Tower, with a brief detour to Walmart for business attire and briefcases. Tag walks down the ramp of the parking garage, where the power equipment is located, and bribes his way past the guard to place his charge. At 5:02, Sasha and Liam enter the building lobby as hundreds of office workers pour out onto the street. Confirming that the video surveillance equipment is jammed, they board an elevator and push the button for floor 52 to buy some time for Tag to complete his mission.
The doors open and 40 office drones try to board. Liam raises a hand and explains they're still going up, drawing moans of frustration from the overworked button-pushers.
The doors close and Liam hits 54. The doors open and two henchmen with shoulder holsters are outside. Again, Liam politely explains they're going up. The doors close. He hits 55.
The elevator stops and a recording plays: "Restricted floor, please enter security code." And again. And again. And again.
Finally, as Tag's charge is ready, wireless devices go dark, Liam punches in the code, and the building rocks and lights flicker as the elevator doors open. The first two henchman are quickly dispatched by Liam's silenced Beretta as he and Sasha exit the elevator. Sasha tests the service entrance and then prepares a frag grenade as Liam tosses a flashbang into the disco. Despite the power outage, the thumping music plays on, powered by the paranoid sound engineer's backup batteries.
A vicious firefight ensues (exactly where the team is most at home), resulting in the deaths of over 20 henchmen and Liam catching a bullet through his boot. Curvaceous Jasmine Angeline narrowly avoids being mutilated in the crossfire, and Charles Gok Tong is critically shot in brain, but not killed.
Meanwhile, Tag has chosen to steal the 4-door Toyota hybrid instead of the Lambo rocket-car, and sits in panic traffic in the parking garage.
Liam and Sasha lift Gok Tong to his feet and limp down 55 flights of pitch-black stairwell, knocking screeching civilians out of the way as necessary. Wireless networks come back online, and a meeting place is arranged with Tag.
As emergency vehicles approach, the team rendezvous at the Toyota and race back towards the docks by way of the Ritz Carlton to collect Annalise. Jumbilly fires up the props, and the plane taxis away from the dock and takes off. Once aloft, Liam calls James Stirling and a transfer is negotiated and meeting place arranged.
The team arrives at the uninhabited tropical jungle island first, and Sasha takes up a sniping position 30 yards from the beach. Tag and Liam drop the limp Gok Tong in the sand while Jumbilly lights a joint to share with Annalise.
Minutes later, a luxury yacht approaches, with James Stirling and Mai-Lynn Gok Tong (daughter of Charles and ex-wife Esmerelda, daughter of the King of Thailand) sitting on the deck sipping champagne in the golden light of sunset. Stirling boards a mini-jetboat and glides ashore gracefully, looking dashing in his white tuxedo and sunglasses.
Stirling looks to Mai-Lynn for guidance. Looking somber yet lovely in her multi-color sarong and white bikini top in the glistening evening sun, Mai-Lynn gives her assent, and Stirling slowly produces his Walther PPK. Liam expresses an interest in interrogating (or at least humiliating) Gok Tong, and Tag produces smelling salts to bring the injured crime lord to consciousness. His eyes lolling independently of one another, Gok Tong calls out for Kumar, his previous security chief slain by the party a few days earlier. Liam squeezes out a single silenced 9mm round into Gok Tong's eye, and the man's life is extinguished.
The explosion and shootout at Gok Tong Tower makes international headlines, and media accounts report that controversial businessman Charles Gok Tong had been trafficking in illegal guns for some time, and that an arms deal gone sour had resulted in a Anarchist insurgents in Jakarta sending the hit squad which caused the havoc. In addition to over 20 of Gok Tong's henchmen, the entire hit squad was also slain in the bloody mêlée. Singaporean leaders are careful to thank British embassy officials for providing logistical support in the aftermath of this grievous terrorist attack. Media accounts further report that while it could take months or years to sort out which pieces of the complex Gok Tong business empire are legitimate and which are criminal, Charles' sole heir Mai-Lynn Gok Tong will likely inherit something more than $450 million in assets.
Two days later, back at the Hall of Justice, while Annalise does aerobics by the pool to 80s-era Madonna, a scrawny and tired-looking Malto Umbabo shows up at the door. He explains that during a midnight shootout in the resort, he boarded a jet-ski and fled out to sea. Fifty yards from shore, the assassin's explosive crossbow bolt hit the engine, causing an explosion that threw Malto from the craft and knocked him unconscious. Miraculously, he awoke a mile down the beach with second-degree burns, broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder. Afraid of alerting anyone to his survival, he stowed away on a cruise ship to the Bahamas, and then cashed out one of his anonymous Swiss accounts to charter a plane back to Dili.
Later that afternoon, James Stirling calls to inform the party that Gok Tong's assassin had gotten in touch with Mai-Lynn to arrange for payment now that Charles was dead. Under Stirling's guidance, Mai-Lynn set up the meeting, and Stirling was there to neutralize the assassin. The plan went flawlessly, and Gok Tong's assassin is no more.
The three meet in an airport cafe and eat donuts while Smith informs them of their mission: the destruction of a Columbian drug lord's jungle compound. The two charter a plane to Panama City and head immediately for the docks, where they requisition a purple speedboat and, with the help of local dock worker Reuben, jet out across the water towards Columbia.
Out of sight of shore, it comes to light that there's not nearly enough fuel on the boat, and so two stops are made. First, at an elaborate mansion where Sonny breaks into the boathouse for fuel (but leaves cash payment), and next at a village further along the coast.
Upon reaching their destination, the team forages for mangoes and chinchillas before pulling some beers out of the cooler and heading inland towards the compound. Reuben is left behind.
The compound is fenced and well guarded. The team decides to split up, with Sonny assaulting the guard house and Sascha making his way to to the watchtower. Sonny successfully blasts his way in, but a bullet finds its way into his skull, leaving him swooning and wild-eyed for the rest of the adventure.
Meanwhile, Sascha ascends the watchtower and begins dropping targets at will, but a foe with a grenade launcher forces him to come back down. On the ground, more violent explosions cause a piece of shrapnel to sever Sascha's leg and leave him unconscious and bleeding.
Sonny staggers to the helicopter which is preparing to depart and ends the pilot and clambers on board. A foe within opens fire from point blank range with an AK-47, and Sonny narrowly escapes death by dropping to his stomach in the cargo hold of the chopper. Then, he lunges forward and lands two devastating punches in the shooter's groin, knocking him out cold.
Sonny proceeds to vandalize and destroy various buildings, still staggering and covered in blood, before collecting Sascha and escaping in the chopper. They seek medical help in a coastal village and then make haste back to Panama City and the US of A.
Turning the Tide in Penang
Again, bored at the Tiki Bar, watching the palm trees on the beach, lazily sipping cocktails, when the call comes in. It's Brad Feld, and he advises a call to a contact in Penang. Sascha Lutsenko makes the call to Anil Bok, and is asked to hold for the Deputy Minister.
Hours later, Sascha and Tag sit at Zaki Zain's private residence in the mountains of Penang Island along with his Special Assistant, Julie Thai. A Japanese gang, the Bleeding Sun, has overtaken the Chinese sector of the metropolis, and threatens to expand its bloody reach. The government's hands are tied due to political and corruption reasons, and so Minister Zain has taken the extraordinary measure of hiring the team to take care of this messy business.
After securing a cash advance, a vehicle, and explosives, Sascha and Tag decide to check out the Chinese district, in particular the headquarters complex of apartment buildings, right away. Sascha invites Julie to come along, but she declines, instead offering to meet for dinner and drinks tomorrow night.
Near the headquarters, they wander into a live sex club badly translated to 'Youth Theater', bribing the bouncer on the way in to waive the pat-down & search requirement. When a meeting with the owner is postponed, Sascha enthusiastically observes the boa constrictor show and receives a lap dance from a young woman while Tag sits in the back and sips a cheap beer.
After negotiating a bloodless passage with the armed bodyguards upstairs, the team learns from the owner that a Bleeding Sun lieutenant will be dropping by in the morning to collect "protection money", and that the owner resents this fact, wishing that Ping Li and his men would rise up and throw out the Japanese. The team decides to seek out Ping Li but needs a translator to navigate Old Town, and hence they rent Sara Cho for the night. Sascha and Sara head back to the car and get to know each other, while Tag confirms his suspicions that they're being followed. Tag turns the tables and sneaks up behind the follower, a Bleeding Sun goon, and ends him quickly and quietly, subsequently using his victim's own tie to rig a fuse on the bad guy's SUV gas tank.
Sara, sporting jeans and a modest blouse (instead of the 'naughty schoolgirl' outfit from the previous night), works the crowd in the Old Town farmers market, and finally the team locates Ping Li in a dirt-floored basement beneath the market. Sascha has deduced that the next reasonable action for Bleeding Sun will be to expand in the Bumiputra sector, which Ping claims will result in inevitable defeat for the weak Bumiputra faction and a substantial territorial expansion for the savage mobsters.
Back in the market, Tag spots Bleeding Sun goons, and minutes later, all three of them are bleeding out an alleyway as the market erupts in chaos and Sascha re-holsters his weapons.
After stopping by the Youth Theater to slay more mobsters and transition Sara's one-day-rental to a $1000 permanent transaction, the team heads into Bumiputra territory and enters their headquarters, convincing the leadership that an attack is imminent. Julie checks in from a helicopter at 22,000 feet and reports that a convoy of Bleeding Sun SUVs is approaching through the tangled city traffic, and Tag and Sascha take up firing positions in empty apartment rooms.
At 1000 yards, the convoy stops, blocking all traffic behind it, and a red-scarfed Bleeding Sun general steps out and looks up at the speck that is Julie's helicopter. A moment later, Julie begins frantically reporting that the helicopter is going down, and she continues to provide frantic updates throughout the subsequent firefight.
The convoy approaches within a reasonable range, and Sascha begins blasting SUV targets, causing disarray and panic; more than a dozen goons scatter from the vehicles, and Tag and Sascha methodically hit them with various grenades and gun them down as necessary. As the gun battle winds down, Anil Bok calls, and asks that the team blow up the center SUV, as a government chopper is now in position to video the event. Tag helpfully uses a massive chunk of C4 (expertly applied), and blows the SUV 50' in the air, a spinning fireball of twisted metal.
Victorious, the team returns to their hotel to get cleaned up, and dines poolside with Sara and Julie, who reveals that she killed the traitorous helicopter pilot and was able to (barely) land the craft herself. Julie spends the night with Sascha in the executive suite, and Tag hacks the cable box in Sara's room to get Nickelodeon (and 1000 other channels, some of are not appropriate for children). If they'd watched the news, they'd have seen that the government had finally listened, and really done something positive about the violent crime problems in the Bumiputra sector.
In the morning, Julie is off to work, and so Sascha orders up two new companions from the front desk, and both he and Tag decide to spend an extra day relaxing in the hotel before flying back home to Dili and the Hall of Justice -- Sara's first airplane ride!
A typical evening of cocktails on the beach with old contact Hugo Renaldo is interrupted by a call from Annalise claiming that there is someone waiting for the team at the Hall of Justice. Frustrated with Analise's lack of intel on the situation, Sasha and Tag head back and pass their beach house(drive-by style with weapons hanging out the window) to discover two black SUV's and a group of six sturdy, blond-haired fellows all wearing black suits and sunglasses awaiting them at the front gate.
The two drive around back to the “secret entrance” and Sasha gets on the intercom while Tag dons a hoodie, black sunglasses, arms himself with his shotgun, and takes position on a balcony. The men outside specifically ask for Mr. Lutsenko, setting Sasha back on his heels for a moment, and inform him that his services are needed for a mission of the utmost urgency. To show their good faith, the men leave their sidearms on the pavement outside the front gate. They then proceed to carefully pick their way across the driveway avoiding every third brick along the way (which they had been erroneously lead to believe to be booby trapped by Sasha).
Sasha opens the front door and immediately recognizes the musclebound Russian standing in the doorway as one of Milo Dragovich's bodyguards. The man introduces himself as Taras Belova, a former “employee” of Mr Dragovich. Taras explains that he is now working for his uncle, Kirill Belova (a seemingly important military official), and quickly gets to the point: Russian “rebels” have taken over a Cold War nuclear weapon silo that secretly houses the world's largest thermonuclear warhead. He believes that the rebel forces intend to detonate the bomb in or just outside of the facility, causing catastrophic damage to several newly established military bases in the area, not to mention hundreds of heavily populated cities that would easily reside in the nearly 200-400km blast radius. The after-effects would also devastate numerous populaces around the world, as tsunamis from the shock-wave rocked shorelines for hundreds of miles.
Mr. Belova requests the team's immediate assistance in regaining control of the facility by eliminating all hostiles before they hack the somewhat dated security systems which, Taras believes, will be within the next 10-12 hours. Due to the secrecy of the weapon, direct military intervention is not currently an option - most government and military officials do not even know of its existence and too many questions would be raised. And based on past successes, Mr. Belova believes that the team will handle the mission with discretion.
After a somewhat awkward parlay between Sasha (who would just assume let the Russian military blow itself up) Taras convinces him that the greater good will be served with their intervention – the offer of one million Euros for each participating team member seals the deal, and the team is whisked away via private Leer to Dikson on the northern coast of Russia. Stewardesses are violated, the silo schematics are reviewed, and supply lists for the team are phoned ahead on the plane ride, then there is a brief 45 minute stop in Dikson before all the necessary equipment is acquired. The team immediately proceeds to the red-light district, where Hugo and Sasha partake of the local delicacies while Tag diligently works on his homework.
Unmoved by the abusive conditions in the brothels, the team heads back to the airstrip where Sasha mentions to Taras that he would like to “acquire” one of the local girls (Natasha), and a deal is struck between the two. The team is then flown via Mi-24 Hind within a few hundred meters of the underground facility and dropped off with their new gear.
Their freezing night-time trek toward the snow-covered pyramidal structure soon reveals a single entrance: two large blast doors that have been completely blown asunder. Inside, they discover four slain facility guards, flashing red security lights, and all of the electrical equipment in the security checkpoint destroyed. The team moves deeper in to find the utility elevator, fully powered and operational, waiting at their current level. Sensing the apparent danger of riding a potentially loud and slow-moving open platform to an ambush, the team instead attempts to use a maintenance shaft below the elevator. Tag successfully picks one of the shaft's exit points, only for Hugo to discover that the entire rail assembly beneath the platform elevator is coated in a thick layer of gear grease.
The opts to move down to the final maintenance exit point to avoid a 70m slip-n-slide on grease and gears, and manages to carefully navigate the remaining way through the assembly to the elevator landing room, lit only by flashing red security lights. Before they are ambushed, Hugo spots something moving amongst the crates ahead, and when Tag goes to investigate, gunfire erupts from hidden rebel soldier. Four concealed rebels in total armed with AK-47s enter the fray, and the team manages to easily kill them all (though Hugo has a narrow miss with a frag-grenade at his feet).
The remaining security doors in the facility have all been hacked, and lead the team to the control room on the 2nd floor per the schematics they reviewed earlier. The sealed control room door is remedied easily by some of Tag's high grade explosives. Playing a tactical advantage, the team simply lobs several grenades into the room, killing and/or stunning most of the rebels within. Sasha single handedly dispatches those that remain after the grenade assault while Hugo and Tag take a moment in the hallway to consider standing farther back the next time they throw a flash bang.
All seems well until a final sneak attack by a single, over-muscled rebel wielding a mini-gun dismembers Miron and sends a wall of fiery, hot lead toward a stunned Hugo and Tag. Fortunately, Sasha saves the day with a single burst from his weapon, tearing the unarmored rebel to shreds.
Hugo and Tag come out of their delirium to find that Miron is not completely dead, and usher him into the control room while tournequeting his wounds. They quickly learn that the rebels had not successfully hacked the security systems and the warhead had not yet been armed.
Taras is contacted and the team is flown back to Dikson to gather their payment: one million Euros each and a teary-eyed, hopeful Natasha wearing only a bright pink bow. On their return flight, Taras video conferences in from clean-up proceedings at the facility and praises the team's overall success; especially their cleverness for avoiding the utility elevator which was rigged with enough explosives to decimate the entire entry level of the facility...
Pirates and the Princess
The winter rains don't stop the team from whiling away the days at the tiki bar. The call comes in from Brad Feld.
It seems that Roger Austin, an Australian media mogul and billionaire, developed an online relationship with the daughter of a high-level Chinese diplomat. She decided to defect and was smuggled away from a Hong Kong shopping trip to his Seafaris yacht, which was in the city to pick up a fine art purchase and some cutting edge security equipment destined for Austin's plantation outside Manila.
Eighteen hours ago, as the ship coasted to a halt so the crew could get some sleep, pirates in a speedboat apprehended the yacht and gained control of it. Before being taken, the crew sent an international distress call indicating the attackers were armed, and the Chinese military is mobilizing in response, though details are unknown.
The Mission: rescue the girl, the crew, the art, the ship, and security equipment, in that order, by any means feasible, and get into Filipino waters 100 miles east before the Chinese military gets there and makes a mess of things.
The Offer: $500k per man, per objective.
The team flew towards the South China Sea and heard additional intel from co-pilot Arana Aramoana, who says the only way to approach the yacht is via parachute from 40 miles away. The group suits up with helmets and oxygen masks and reloads weapons with frangible rounds, and prepares to jump. Just then James Stirling calls, and tells them that his friend and fellow MI6 undercover operative Elizabeth Diamond is also on board. Before the conversation goes further, the aircraft's communications are scrambled by Chinese satellites and the call ends.
A peaceful high altitude parasailing journey commences, and as the group approaches the well-lit craft, Mr Wax aims and fires, missing with his first six rounds and then finally dropping the shirtless pirate on the back of the boat. Unfortunately, Wax then overshoots the deck and drops into the sea as the rest of the team alights upon the craft.
Johnny Tam wastes no time at all, and slays 3 pirates mere seconds after landing. A frenzied gun battle commences, but the malnourished pirates put up little resistance and soon the walls are streaked with blood, a bit of which is from Johnny's crippled left arm.
Back on board, Mr Wax kicks in a 5' circular window and introduces himself to Elizabeth Diamond and the crew of the Mr. Austin's vessel. Donned in a white bikini, she asks for a weapon, and Mr Wax produces one. She begins hunting as well, with Tag Leonards at her side.
Outmatched and outgunned, the pirates begin to jump overboard and start swimming for their speedboat, but not before the leader unloads his Skorpion into the engine compartment. With Sascha Lutsenko and Mr Wax picking off stragglers, Tag inspects the damage, which is catastrophic. He adds C4 to the mix.
The team decides to escape on the speedboat, and so begins consolidating the art and security equipment cargo while Mr Wax eliminates the last of its owners and then rows the dinghy out to the escape vehicle. He throws the bodies overboard and spins the craft around while Sascha assassinates the co-pilot and pilot of the circling chopper.
As the helicopter crashes into the sea, the Chinese navy gunship then issues a stern warning, translated by Johnny, and the team knows time is short. Clamoring into the speedboat and hurling the last of the cargo onboard, the team speeds off as the Chinese anti-aircraft guns begin ripping the yacht to shreds and Tag's C4 detonates. The enormity of the explosion masks the speedboat's escape.
Before reaching Philippine waters though, the speedboat runs out of fuel. Tag converts a pair of white phosphorus grenades into makeshift jetpacks, and the gets the craft surging forward again, far enough to be spotted the Aussie navy vessel awaiting them a few miles away.
Stealing Back the Loot
Bartender Mambobo is just bringing a second round when a battered red taxi pulls up in the gravelly parking lot.
A white man in his early thirties wearing a beige sport jacket jumps out and walks briskly toward the team smiling and waving. This is Bobby Blakely, who says he works for the American State Department, and that his boss, a "Mr. Black", is wanting to hire the team for some work well suited to their skills.
Once on board his private plane, Mr. Black introduces the team to his apprentice, Annika Petrov, who shows the team the weapons cache to choose from. Mr. Black proceeds to explain the need for the team's involvement.
Abdul Tabir, an up-and-coming drug warlord in Afghanistan and Pakistan, doublecrossed a massive CIA-arranged heroin deal, and with the help of Russian snipers, decimated the Blackwater-run entourage; a sole survivor, Karl Marvin, was shot in the eye but escaped to tell the tale.
The military pursued the aggressors as far as the Tajikistan border, but then stopped, due to concerns about recent Russian involvement in the country. Hence, an off-the-books team is needed.
Mr. Black's plane flies the team to Kabul, Afghanistan, where they switch to a military helicopter transport after meeting up with their translator (and bodyguard, she quips), Kali Sira. The chopper takes them to a remote village near the border, where an Army captain provides an armored Suburban, recently taken from a regional warlord.
The team drives through what remains of the night and crosses the border easily with Annika's silently delivered bribe, and drives for a long day into the remote high country.
The next day, as they crest a mountain pass, they see a jeep half in a ditch on the side of the road, and four Russian soldiers. Annika stops short, but one of the soldiers waves them forward. Not suspecting the team can speak Russian, the soldiers spill the beans that they intend to seize the vehicle. Annika throws the Suburban in reverse, Tag tosses a frag grenade out the window at them, and the soldiers dive for cover.
Annika loses a headlight to a roadside boulder, but positions the Suburban so that Sascha can get a clean shot. Kali, weaponless, buries her head in Annika's lap, while Tag prepares a rocket launcher.
Moments later, the soldiers and an unfortunate Tajik tribesman are dead, and a Russian cellphone full of text messages provides the intel that the jeep was en route to a rendezvous at a dead end where they were to confirm Abdul Tabir's claim of possessing a massive load of heroin and cash. And, that they had two European hostages, just in case.
The team drives on into the high country, and after dark it begins to snow. Five miles from the rendezvous, they park the truck and proceed on foot, Tag obsessively stopping every 15 yards to scan the road ahead and mountainsides above for enemies. His caution pays off, and he spots a sniper at 800 yards. As the team discusses tactics, a shot rings out and narrowly misses them.
Tag identifies a cliff face that will keep him concealed and put him within 100 yards of the sniper, and so he starts climbing while the rest of the team hides out in the gully below. As Tag reaches the top, he breaks a sturdy branch, slips, and finds himself wedged between two rocks. He also spots three trucks coming down the road towards his compatriots below.
Sascha takes up a position back down the road a ways, where the team's footprints in the fresh snow veer off into the gully. The trucks stop there (having a minor fender-bender in the process), and then the firefight begins. Tag's well-placed frag grenade blows up two of the vehicles, sending Afghan militiamen scattering, easy targets for Sascha and Annika.
Meanwhile, two foes the sniper and his spotter, fall to another of Tag's well-placed grenades.
At the rendezvous site, Annika sneaks in and sizes op the opposition while Tag prepares the rocket launcher. One cabin, and a large carport with two flatbed trucks piled high with cargo, between which fifteen militiamen stand around a barrel fire.
A moment later, blonde hostage Elsa Danube is led from the cabin to the outhouse on the far side, and then it's on:
Tag blows one SUV atop the other, sending a wave of concussive force, debris, and flames into the main contingent of militiamen, sending them flying. Annika mops up survivors with her new Desert Eagle.
Sascha and Kali, who can barely see in the dark, take up a position atop the grated helipad, and Sascha begins sniping exposed heads and sternums. Tag fires his last rocket, but it sails high, clearing the slanted roof of the cabin and exploding dramatically on the mountain wall beyond.
Sascha and Kali take advantage of a brief moment of silence to get to know one another better. In the dark. On the helipad.
Tag drops the launcher and sprints through the snow towards the melee, but sprains his ankle in the dark.
Annika ducks into the cabin and lays waste to a remaining Russian, and then to Abdul Tabir himself with a grenade, but not before she hears him speaking on a radio: "They are attacking right now! Bring the helicopter, we need air support!"
With all foes dead and a shaken Elsa Danube collected, the team prepares for the helicopter's arrival. Tag booby traps the helipad with a colection of frag grenades, and the rest of the team hides out. The Hind 24 arrives, turns on the floodlights, and circles the base for a minute, looking for targets, and then lands on the helipad.
Tag triggers the trap just as 7 armored soldiers pour out, sending them flying. Sascha ends the pilot's life, and begins the task of loading up a few tons of heroin onto the damaged chopper. The cash is in a pair of Toyota Sequoias, and so some time later, the team rolls out, with Sascha and Annika flying the chopper, and an injured Tag and Kali driving the cash trucks.
After a long drive they are greeted at the border by 6 Apache helicopters who ascertain the team's mission and guide them on back to Kabul.
After a couple days of R&R, Sascha Lutsenko and Kali Sira head for Nepal for some sightseeing, Annika Petrov rejoins Mr. Black (somewhere), and Tag Leonards heads to Bombay for ankle surgery, followed by some weeks of recuperation, tended to by Sara Cho, Annalise, and Natasha back at the Hall of Justice.
While instructing a new trainee in the Philippines, Annika Petrov receives mission instructions from Mr. Black: fly immediately to Darwin, Australia, and hook up with a local contact known as Alex, a local big game outfitter. Working for Alex is the cover to be used to get onto the compound of Australian crime-boss and playboy Hoight Maxwell.
It seems Maxwell has decided to branch out of his standard industries of gun, drug, and human trafficking into brokerage of state secrets, and Chinese mobster Feng Wu is en route to sell him some Chinese military intelligence. However, the psychopath Wu has decided to doublecross the deal, and has hired a band of murderous bikers to kill everyone and give the intel back to Wu so he can sell it again. The Australian national intelligence services have indirectly requested help from Mr. Black because they don't have the resources to put together the right team in the available time frame. So the mission is:
- seize the military intelligence
- preserve Maxwell's life (Aussie police and prosecutor request)
- capture or kill Feng Wu
After arriving in Darwin and waiting for the carousing Moose to grab a quick cocktail in the SkyClub, the two operatives drive a rented Land Rover to Alex's outfitting business and establish their connection: Alex was invited out to the Maxwell compound asked to provide a presentation to Maxwell's guests; she's expected at 5PM today, and there will be no eyebrows raised if she brings a couple other people, and guns. A decent cover to get onto the property. Afterwards, the operatives drive out to the Maxwell compound for a quick look before returning to town for a late lunch.
The threesome loads an exemplary mounted boar's head into the front seat of Alex's jeep, an arsenal of weapons into the back, and drive out to the compound, where they are waved on towards the house by two ex-mercenary bodyguards.
Hoight Maxwell greets the team warmly and ushers them onto the back pool patio, where Feng Wu and five bodyguards sip cocktails, smoke Marlboros, and are entertained by three ethnically diverse heroin-addled supermodels.
Abruptly, the Chinese bodyguards notify the lecherous Wu that it is time to go, right now, and after some businesslike farewells, the Chinese contingent descends the stairs down the cliff on the north perimeter of the property, carrying a big steel case down to their powerboat below.
Shortly thereafter, Maxwell's mercenary bodyguards become aware of more than a dozen men on motorcycles rushing upon the house. The mercs defend, and the crackle of small arms fire erupts outside the house.
Meanwhile, Annika takes up a position amongst the bushes at the top of the bluff, and trains her sights on the Chinese, who seem to be simply standing on the boat, waiting for something. She coolly picks them off one by one from thirty yards with her SCAR. They blast the hillside with their PDWs, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Maxwell has run upstairs to check on his merchandise, and Moose follows to ensure his safety. Concerned by the sudden firefight, Alex takes cover and readies her boar-hunting rifle.
Maxwell is loading a pistol, and Moose is about to say something when Maxwell's stealthy kungfu-master manservant/bodyguard chops in the side of the head. Ears ringing, Moose spins and throws a punch, which the bodyguard parries expertly. Simultaneously, Maxwell squeezes off a Magnum round into Moose's back, which nearly penetrates his tactical vest.
Moose pulls his Super Redhawk and blasts the bodyguard's arm off, sending him careening down the stairs, and then turns to deal with Maxwell. He fires and misses, hitting the black briefcase on the desk. Maxwell fires again, blowing a bloody hole through Moose's left arm, but not crippling it. Moose returns the favor, destroying Maxwell's right arm and dropping him to the floor in horror. Moose kicks Maxwell's gun away, puts a hard drive and optical device back in the damaged briefcase, and drops it out the window to Annika below.
Below, the crazy bikers have driven right through the front door of the house, causing Alex to take aim and warn them off. One draws and she blasts him. The next one is excited by her threats and walks forward grinning, suggesting that maybe they could get together. Ten seconds later, they're all dead.
Out back, Annika exchanges fire with a terrified biker, and uses one of the drug addled supermodels as target practice to create a distraction.
The final biker is assassinated by Moose as he tries to hotwire the Ferrari in the driveway.
Moose and Annika then debate what to do with Alex. She was a helpful cover, but she doesn't work for Mr. Black and has seen everything transpire. Annika calls the boss man, arranges for pickup, and expresses the dilemma. Mr. Black leaves it her hands to decide.
The threesome leaves Maxwell behind, calls 911 to ensure he's taken into custody by Aussie cops, and then drives the blood-slick powerboat 10 miles out to rendezvous with an Australian Navy gunship, where they are enthusiastically taken aboard by testosterone-rich sailors and delivered back to Darwin.
An hour later, having reconciled the dilemma, Annika and her two trainees board a plane for Johannesburg to meet with Mr. Black and transfer the package.
Bobby arrives in a smoking 30-year-old station wagon and picks her and Bwan Yong up on the way to the airport. A noisy flight in a 5-seater over glistening aquamarine bays dotted with multicolored sails below ends at Manilla International Airport, adjoining the retired American military base.
Here, a right-hand-drive Mercedes SUV picks them up, driven by a square-jawed operative with a barely detectable comm device in his ear. They enter a nondescript private hangar, and descend into a well-lit underground complex. At the end of an 800' hallway, two young white men in military fatigues and armed with M16s nod at Bobby's secret agent mumbo jumbo and wave the team through the doors beyond, into a stark white waiting room. Bobby pauses, and then asserts that the cameras, visible near the ceiling in all four corners of the room, are now off.
Bobby explains the mission:
Cara Ahn is a 38 yr old firmware engineer who has worked for Apex, Inc's Vietnam office for 14 years. Apex is a French company and makes missile guidance systems, satellite optics, laser weapons, etc.. Cara was a child prodigy in the 90s, a math & physics genius, and for the last eight years has been an asset of MI6, building a case about Apex's senior execs doing business with the Russian mafia, who, as you may know, recently put up their first satellite. "Star Wars" has begun, my friends [wink].
So despite MI6's close watch over Ms. Ahn, she disappeared yesterday -- abducted on her way to work, witnesses say Chinese thugs in SUVs cut her off and loaded her up. Six hours ago, MI6 contacted the state dept for help, who later contacted mr black, and here we are. [grin]
We've got 89% certainty from satellite monitoring that Ahn is being held on Rocky Island, a speck in the South China Sea where we know there's a small military installation. The Chinese have very effective interrogation techniques, and so we don't have much time. We need to get there, and prevent her further interrogation. MI6 says she's ..., well, disposable, but if we can get her out of there, MI6 is ready to move her elsewhere and protect her. Primary thing is she needs to NOT talk to the Chinese interrogators.
The team is to HALO jump from a U2 at 55,000', enter the military installation, and rescue (or confirm the demise of) Ms. Ahn. The surrounding seas are crawling with Chinese Navy gunships, so a quiet operation is required. Exfiltration shall be via a SEAL Mini-4 Kodiak, a high performance inflatable that packs into a 168-lb bundle for transport.
Hours later, Annika and Bwan are plummeting at 200mph through subzero temperatures towards a moonlit cloudbank occasionally illuminated from within by lightning.
Successfully navigating the crashing seas at the island's edge, the duo hauls their raft and other gear into a rocky alcove and dons their nightvision goggles. Now they can see they're surrounded by creeping crabs.
They approach the squat cement building and observe that it is capped by several communication towers and solar panels, and the roof is lined with razor wire. A sole lamp above a steel door casts a yellow semi-circle of pale light in front of the building, in which a Chinese soldier with an assault carbine on his back stands, idly smoking a cigarette.
Bwan scales the wall, clips the razor wire, and mounts the roof, Annika following behind after he attaches a rope for her.
Minutes pass as the soldier inhales and exhales.
Finally, the soldier turns to re-enter the building, enters a pin code in the security system, and cranks the door open. Bwan leaps into action, swinging down acrobatically to land right next to the soldier, and delivering a strike to his neck. The stunned soldier staggers back and starts fumbling for his carbine as Bwan ineffectually tries to pummel him; Annika ends him with a "silenced" .50-caliber bullet through the chest.
Within the building is an iron-grate-floored foyer for raincoats and boots. Bwan dons a raincoat and floppy yellow rain hat, and the two quietly open the inner door to observe a communications control room, lined with electronic sensors. Three soldiers, expecting the return of their smoking friend, don't even turn around, and Bwan sneaks forward to slit the closest one's neck. The plan for silent slaying goes awry when Bwan's knife fails to deal a killing blow the first time, and the man cries out. All three men on the ground level are killed without gunfire as Annika steps forth dealing lethal blows to the vitals of one man as Bwan also pummels the vitals of a man before sneaking up behind the headset wearing radio operator to smash the back of this skull with a devastating upper cut.
Thumping melee and earlier cry out arouses the interest of the four soldiers upstairs playing cards, and one begins to descend the stairs to have his legs slashed by Bwan, as he cried out and began to ascend back to his allies, Bwan lizard climbed up and pulled the victims legs through the railing as Annika ran up to deal a lethal blow to his throat. Bwan then immediately ascends to deal with those remaining, launching himself sideways to fire his silenced Beretta in their general direction, then running along the wall while dodging for cover from one of their carbines blasting away sheet-rock. He then rolled across the floor and under their card table dodging their soon-to-be-readied carbines. In the ensuing firefight, Bwan is critically shot through the left arm and torso, bloodying his slick raincoat while he flings the card table and attempts to beat down men with machine guns. Annika mopped them all up with her desert eagle.
Just as their ears stop ringing, the team hears more voices below. Annika peeks over the edge of the stairway, and is shot in the cheek and ear by the Chinese operative below. She recoils in pain, and Bwan leaps below to deal with the shooter by throwing a carbine at him. Moments later, Annika recovers, descends, and fires a deadly round into a second operative attempting to hail the nearby military gunships.
The team discovers a hatch in the floor beneath the stairs, and descends to a rocky basement where a third Chinese operative has taken up a position to await their arrival. Shots are fired, and the operative slain. There, Cara Ahn is tied to a sturdy metal table, an electric cattle prod, police baton, and toilet plunger nearby. She has been beaten, but is alive.
The team gets her down to the rocky shore in a torrential rainstorm, inflates the raft, and zooms east to the rendezvous point, but not before Bwan takes a moment to carve a symbol into the foreheads of several unfortunates.
At the rendezvous point, a rickety fishing vessel illuminated by strings of sputtering incandescent light bulbs is helmed by none other than the Brit, Elizabeth Diamond, looking lovely in a white mini-dress in the rain. She has her fisherman henchmen drag the injured and exhausted team aboard and brings them a hot toddy before they pass out from blood loss.
Forty-eight hours later, they awaken in a busy Manilla hospital, make a hasty exit, and find out from Mr. Black their gear is in safe keeping for them, and that they are to come to Johannesburg at once, where the team will be rewarded and the finest plastic surgeons will repair Annika's face wound.
While lounging on the deck of Kali's luxury powerboat in Monaco, Sascha gets an email from Liam that describes a problem that should be solved. Sudanese Colonel Bertrand Hagos, a genocidal madman with ties to the Chinese military, is taking his crew of sociopathic butchers Barcelona for some high-end R&R. Liam figures that while they're away from their tanks and heavy machine guns and air support would be a good time to rid the world of them.
Sascha agrees and goes about putting a team together. Luckily, Annika Petrov is in Algiers training new recruits, and Sascha convinces her to help out. Bobby Blakely provides intel and arranges for transportation, and soon the team is playing ping-pong in Sascha's honeymoon suite on the 15th floor of the Gran Torre Catalunya, three floors below where Hagos and his men are staying.
Harland starts scouting nearby appropriate buildings to take up a sniping position and after a trip to the roof with Sascha, decides on a 20-story office building two blocks away. Debate ensues about whether to blow up the entire 18th floor, but concerns about massive police response scrap that plan.
Annika takes a stab at pretending to be an exotic dancer on her way up to Hagos' room, but skeptical hotel staff cause her to scrap that plan as well.
Finally, Bwan Yong begins breaking into 18th floor hotel rooms with his electronic lockpicking set, identifying numerous empty rooms and making off with thousands of euros in the process. One room emits sounds of Scandinavian porn, and with Harland in position providing eyes on the targets from two blocks away, the team resolves to burst in and capture at least one thug for questioning.
Seconds later, Annika has exploded the heart of one thug with her "silenced" .50 cal (sending blood-speckled couch fluff into the air and spider-cracking the 8' safety glass), and Karl has assassinated young Tina Martinez. A second prostitute, Monica Gonzalez, is brutally subdued by Bwan and Annika a bit later as she tries to crawl out of the room blubbering.
A second thug immediately surrenders, and soon succumbs to Karl's finger-breaking interrogation: the rest of Hagos' crew is at a trendy club called Ice. He's tied up and put in the bathroom with the dead and wounded. Pools of blood are quickly mopped up as the team considers their next move and Annika texts back and forth with Bobby Blakely and then hacks into the hotel security monitors to watch for returning thugs.
When five partying Sudanese bad guys board the elevators at street level, the team takes up positions around the elevators on the 18th floor, being cautious to avoid standing in direct view of the various security cameras at the ends of the halls and within the elevators themselves. Harland, unable to see the team, instead monitors people in windows of nearby rooms.
Sascha fires the first silenced shot, and mayhem ensues. Thugs get a few unsilenced rounds off, one of which gives Bwan Yong a nasty bruised rib, and causes retirees Eunice and Buford McGill (from Iowa) one floor below to shudder in fear. Karl ends up battling one thug hand to hand in the elevator door as the wounded thug hits every button desperately. Karl himself suffers a devastating groin punch but weathers it admirably.
Moments later, the thugs have all been killed or nearly so, and Harland zooms in on the fire escape plan in the McGill's room to figure out their room number, and relays that information to Annika, who quickly calls the couple and pretends to be a hotel staff member apologizing for the racket above. Annika's tone is unconvincing, and after hanging up, Eunice picks up the phone again. Harland fires his massive .50 Barrett, cutting the frail old lady in two and sending a wall of gore across the room. A few moments more, and a shocked Buford is gone as well.
Annika reports that a Spanish federal agent with whom she's made contact and has eyes on Hagos in the Ice club now reports that Hagos and his men are all checking their cellphones and have stopped dancing. The captive thug in the bathroom has dug out his cellphone and sent word of the assault.
Aware that police will soon be swarming, Sascha tosses a frag grenade in the bathroom to wreck the evidence, and the team takes the elevator all the way to the parking garage, where they jump in Annika's big black Ford Expedition, intending to pick up Harland two blocks away, and consider their next moves.
Hagos On Ice
They park the black Ford Excursion a block away from the Ice Club, and send Annika and Bwan Yong in to scope out the interior after reviewing a 12-year-old architectural sketch courtesy of Bobby Blakely. Within, they soon identify Bertrand Hagos and Isabella Fuego, with whom Bwan tries to chat casually but is denied.
Annika is immediately targeted by a hunk and despite the language barrier, the two don faux-fur-lined parkas and enjoy themselves on the super-chilled dance floor, where she sees Maria Diablo dancing alone and keeping an eye on the northwest corner of the club, where Hagos and a henchman are discussing something in the corner booth.
After Annika's trip to the ladies room and a quick conference call with the team, it is hastily decided that Bwan Yong should attempt a silent assassination of the henchman and Hagos, with the rest of the team available as backup.
Bwan expertly slices the henchman's jugular and he keels over in his seat trying to hold the wound closed. Hagos draws a pistol before Bwan can stop him and shots ring out, sending the club into a panic. Just as Annika arrives to help out, a mysterious Chinese woman gets in the way and smashes Bwan's grappling arm with an expert chop, and then draws two slender knives from her boots in the blink of an eye. A desperate struggle begins, with Bwan lying on the table to avoid the gurgling henchman's pistol, leg-grappling the Chinese woman's knife arm and Hagos' pistol hand, and Annika delivering powerful blows into the woman's kidney regions (and the concealable armored vest she's wearing) and later into her eye socket.
Meanwhile, Karl Burr and Sascha Lutsenko race the Excursion down the block, causing a minor wreck and injuring pedestrians before careening down the alley behind the club. They approach the back door, and hurl a flashbang within, where it comes to rest right next to Bwan and explodes. Karl and Sascha enter; Karl hits the dance floor where Maria Diablo has drawn a weapon and is in a stand-off with five Sudanese henchmen. Karl lends his support there, while Sascha joins Annika and Bwan in the smoke and finishes off a few henchmen. The Chinese woman escapes, blinded in one eye, but not before Bwan overhears her mutter in Mandarin, summoning a strike team from somewhere nearby.
Annika, stunned by the flashbang, is tended to by her Spanish suitor, who starts with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, just in case. She regains her senses some seconds later to find Isabella Fuego in a shouting match with Sascha, who claims to be with Interpol; this appears to satisfy her.
Maria evidently crossed the street to her car to fetch a Franchi tactical shotgun and a P90, and she returns just as Sascha gets to the front of the club. A stand-off and quick shootout results in Sascha's bloody leg wound and Maria unconscious and bleeding, shot in the face. Isabella rushes to her aid.
Meanwhile, fully automatic gunfire rattles the walls of the alley behind the club, as Maria and Isabella's tactical team battles it out with the Chinese woman's backup, with the rented Ford Excursion caught in the crossfire. Some Chinese operatives make it into the club, only to be shot down by Sasha.
Harland, still stuck on the roof of the office building a mile away, reports that he can see multiple police cars and a SWAT van racing towards the club, while Annika and Karl work on stealing a getaway car. Sasha emerges from the club with an unconscious Bwan in time to see an injured federal tactical team officer, staggering and covered in blood, come around the corner. Still in his ski mask, Sasha puts the officer out of his misery.
With little time to spare, the team leaves the scene and arrives at the airport minutes later, where their charter jet awaits their hurried escape. With no time to deal with security, the team opts to blast through the gate to the charter tarmac. Nearby, the Africans' charter jet also sits waiting, and Sascha takes the opportunity to riddle it with bullets.
Two hours later, the plane touches down on a snowy private airstrip in northern Italy, where a helicopter awaits to take the team over the Alps to the Austrian ski resort where Bobby Blakely has hot chocolate awaiting.
Harland spends two days in an elevator maintenance crawlspace on the roof, with no food or water, before finally escaping Barcelona.
Bobby and Annika have a lovely time skiing the slopes of Seefeld and sipping peppermint schnapps.
The European media sensationalizes the attacks at the hotel and club, and a narrative emerges of a Chinese criminal syndicate aiming to exterminate corrupt Sudanese soldiers for a deal gone wrong. The reports are complete with dramatic footage from a security camera across the street which captured video of one masked criminal in a blue tracksuit calmly execute an injured SWAT officer. The Sudanese government insists that Hagos and his men were clean, and demands a full investigation, which the Spanish government promises.
After a delightful evening of fancy catered food and cocktails organized by Annalise at the Hall of Justice, in which Sonny Crawford threw Sara Cho in the pool, Alex regaled everyone with strongly-accented tales of the Australian outback, and Sascha and Natasha discussed Russian politics on the roof, the team sips drinks and nibbles sandwiches at the Tiki Bar in Dili.
Mr. Black calls Annika and asks her to gather a team and head to Mumbai, India, where a private jet will await with full briefing. After some price negotiations, Annika convinces Tag Leonards and Sascha Lutsenko to join her team of recruits, Alex, Harland Sinistore, and Karl Burr. Jumbilly shares a joint with Sascha as they traverse the vast blue Indian Ocean while Tag disassembles grenades for fun and Alex chatters.
On board the private jet ascending out of Mumbai, Mr. Black appears on screen and explains the mission.
Mahmud Krodukoff is the target to be neutralized, an Uzbek warlord collaborating with the Russians and pulling strings in the national government. He is heavily armed, and controls an old medieval fortress and mine site, later used as a torture prison by Stalin in the 1930s. Additionally, it is thought that pro-western city council candidate Faruz Seyfat and his family, recently disappeared, may be captives of Krodukoff. Rescuing them would be beneficial.
Uzbekistan has refused to cooperate with international demands to reign in the bloodthirsty Krodukoff, and so the team will attempt a ruse of being UN human rights investigators, accompanied by a squad of Canadian Special Forces.
On the ground in Samarkand Uzbekistan, the team naps, eats an energy bar, and heads northwest with the Canadians, who begin singing 99 Bottles of Beer while drinking Red Bull X-Treme.
Then, disaster: the truck is hit by a rocket and hurled through the air. The entire team is injured and knocked unconscious.
Gradually, they awaken, stripped to their underwear, in separate pitch-black, low-ceilinged, chilly, smelly, jail cells. Tag scrounges through the latrine pit and finds a metal boot shank, which he uses to escape the room he's in and free everyone else. Faruz Seyfat is found, but he has been boiled alive, and is near death. The only Canadian discovered is linguist Daisy Digsby.
The group ascends the stairs and peers under the door at three Uzbek guards and one Russian soldier. A plan is hatched in which Daisy will brace herself above the door in her pink satin panties, while the rest of the team waits around the corner just beyond a prisoner's corpse as a trip/distraction.
Someone shouts "Prison Break!" is Uzbek, and a guard unlocks and comes through the door. Daisy drops right behind him as he descends, and she runs into the room to attack the other three with her fingernails. She vaults the stone table and grabs the Russian's arm to prevent him from shooting her; she instead forces him to shoot one of the Uzbek guards.
At the bottom of their stairs, Sascha and Alex make quick work of the guard with 2x4s and ascend. While Daisy struggles with the Russian, the team ascends and dispatches the remaining foes -- but one escapes, prompting Daisy and Alex (now in possession of a shiny AK-74) to pursue outside in their underwear.
The rest of the team scavenges boots and pants while Daisy and Alex gun down the runner.
Harland checks the room across the hall and surprises two Uzbek guards approaching the door with AK47s. He retreats and Tag hooks up 240V power to the doorknob. The two guards are thereafter confused and then gunned down by Daisy as more guards stream out of buildings on the other side of the compound.
After retrieving an oozing Faruz Seyfat from his concrete bunk, the team exits the prison building and engages the guards in the open. However, a machinegunner is spotted atop one of the medieval towers and the team scatters for cover, unfortunately dropping the disabled Seyfat in the open.
A moment later, Sascha pops up from behind the tank for an instant, and critically hits the machinegunner in the head with several AK-47 rounds. Meanwhile, Karl Burr dives for cover under a Toyota truck near the base of tower #1, and Alex and Harland race to the top of unoccupied tower #2 as more guards stream out of the buildings across the compound.
Daisy ascends tower #1, steps over the half-headed shooter, and takes control of the huge machine gun. Sascha, Tag, and Annika get in the tank, with Sascha driving.
Daisy blows up a huge mining truck first, and then starts blasting at an Uzbek (Mahmud Krodukoff) with a shoulder-fired missile in hand while Sascha maneuvers the T90 tank over a pile of mining rubble and a cowering Uzbek militiaman.
Eventually, Daisy's bullets find their way across the compound and shred Krodukoff. The tank crashes first into the burning mining truck before turning and knocking out a chunk of one of the medieval buildings; a woman's screams emit from the aperture.
The foes vanquished, the team enters the damaged building and finds a terrified Dildora Seyfat and all their original gear.
The collect the girl, load up into a tank, pickup, and motorcycle, and head back to Samarkand.
Daisy explains to Uzbek authorities that the rest of her Canadian team were gunned down by Krodukoff's militia and that apparently some sort of internal conflict had resulted in the rest of his forces turning weapons on each other in the compound. Search and rescue parties are sent out while the "United Nations investigators" (and Dildora Seyfat) get out of the country.
Luther Vandersmoot, a trafficker of all things illegal in Zimbabwe, has a right-hand man named Chaz Wetherbee, a British Special Forces-trained mercenary. Wetherbee is ready to turn on his boss and offer testimony to a U.N. Human Rights investigator, and Mr. Black has reasons for doing the investigator a favor. The only wrinkle is that Wetherbee refuses to come in; he demands that he be visibly kidnapped from Vandersmoot's compound so that there's no doubt about his loyalty.
So, after a briefing in the top-floor luxury offices of "Advanced Industrial Materials" (empty as always), Moose, Alex, and Karl drive north in an armored Range Rover towards Zimbabwe. A plan is hatched in which Alex will crawl through the knee-high grasses with her two rifles to some bushes 200 yards from the compound for recon and sniping, and the guys will come up the half-mile long rutted driveway to grab Wetherbee.
Karl runs over an approaching guard at the entrance to the compound and then skids to a stop near the jeep being worked on by none other than Chaz Wetherbee. Moose jumps out and shoots him in the arm with a tranquilizer dart. A moment later, a thug emerges from a nearby building, prompting Moose to riddle him with assault rifle bullets.
Chaz seems amenable to the kidnapping as expected, but is annoyed at the dart in his arm and starts feeling dizzy and nauseous as he loads into the vehicle.
Thugs emerge from the larger house, and Alex dispatches one. Another unloads his AK-47 into the Range Rover, and some bullets make it through the armor as Karl turns the vehicle around and departs.
Alex hunkers down in the bushes and waits. A minute later, four men exit the larger house and get in a helicopter. Alex assassinates the pilot and the other three run and dive in the high grass for cover. A few minutes later, they emerge from the house and escape in a Jeep. Alex approaches the house stealthily, places a bullet in the brain of one unsuspecting thug, and then finds herself face to face with Luther Vandersmoot. She's got the drop on him, and he tosses his shotgun aside.
After a few moments of hesitation because of Moose's admonitions to keep Luther alive for U.N. prosecution, her Bloodlust prevails, and she shoots him in the face. Then she releases 35 children from a concrete building and loads them onto a school bus, though a dozen don't listen to her and run off.
Meanwhile, as the Range Rover approaches a town, a woozy Chaz argues that he needs to pick up his girlfriend, Swiss aid worker Katya Ladina. After some tense debate, the drug-addled Chaz throws himself out of the vehicle, nearly killing himself. Arm broken and abraded and bruised, he gets up and staggers into the town.
Karl lets Moose off to keep track of Chaz, while Karl drives directly to Katya's apartment. She's not there, and so Chaz leads Moose to the clinic where she works.
Karl swaps the easily-spotted blue Range Rover for an old Toyota minivan filled with corn after Alex warns that a military helicopter is on the way at a high rate of speed. Chaz leads the group to a weapons cache in the town and the team arms up with shoulder-fired rockets while the sound of 3000 rounds-per-minute guns above tear through vehicles and people in the neighborhood. Finally, Moose has a shot from an exposed alleyway, and downs the chopper.
Alex convinces a 16-year-old boy to take over leadership of the kids and the drivers seat of the bus. A pick up is arranged, and the team heads back to Johannesburg in the minivan. Mission accomplished.
The Italian Job
Divine Disorder operatives are on their way via high-speed rail to Rome to buy a copy of the source code for the EU's satellite surveillance network from a mysterious information broker known only as M. British intelligence has an agent following the anarchists, and the team is to rendezvous with her and provide tactical support in case things go sideways.
Annika and Bwan arrive at the train station board the train, and quickly locate the four anarchists and Cate Archer. Slash has stepped outside for a smoke and a boost, and Bwan tails him effectively. Annika determines that Robert Woodward has mental issues; in fact, she induces a seizure by intentionally spilling a drink on him.
The train gets underway and is soon zipping through the Italian countryside at more than 100mph. Mandy Mescaline, Enigma Pain, and Slash sip drinks and chat amiably with Cate Archer, who deftly slips a nanobug in Slash's jacket pocket. Meanwhile, Bwan finds an empty private sleeper cabin to use as a potential interrogation chamber, and Annika tries in vain to make friends with the autistic Robert.
Cate has better luck with Robert, and uses her feminine guile to coax him out of his seat and down to the sleeper cabin. Her nanobug also alerts her that Mandy is on her way to check on Robert, and so Bwan takes up a position between cars and waits to ambush her.
The unsuspecting Mandy wanders in and is quickly stabbed in the eye and beaten into unconsciousness. Bwan then saws a hole in the flexible housing between cars and pushes her through while Annika keeps watch nearby.
Cate strangles into unconsciousness a surprised Robert in the private cabin and ties him up with his own shoelaces, and then warns the team that Slash is on the move now.
Bwan takes up a position and pre-saws the hole needed to hurl Slash off the train. The plan goes off without any problem, but the nanobug is lost.
His first two blows misplaced, Bwan is knocked back by Enigma's 9mm bullets hitting his vest, and passengers begin screaming. Annika, keeping watch nearby, pulls open the door to assist and finds Bwan knocked out, and Enigma already in the next car running like the wind. A chase ensues, but Enigma eludes the team by leaping from the train during its deceleration on approach to the Rome station. Bwan and Annika do likewise, and wander the ancient suburbs outside the city center looking for leads before stealing a car and racing to the rendezvous point.
Cate is already there, awaiting the call from M at the payphone across from the Pantheon. A phone rings, but not the payphone -- it's a smartphone stashed in a hole in the wall. Cate takes the call, and a computerized voice instructs her to bring the money into the Pantheon. She delays.
Enigma Pain shows up with the cash, hoping to do the deal himself, and with resignation sees that team is already running the show. He's convinced to drop the money at the entrance to the church on the assumption he'll still get the software -- somehow.
Bwan spots a shooter on the rooftop and starts climbing fire escapes while Cate carries the cash inside the ancient temple. There are a couple of dozen tourists standing around gawking, and four robed priests. Annika follows a few moments later as backup.
The computer voice on the phone instructs Cate to drop the cash down a stairway at the base of the raised altar. She complies once the file transfer to the smartphone commences.
As Annika and Cate begin to exit the church, they notice that the "priests" seem to be following them sinisterly. Sensing a threat, Cate tosses a smoke grenade to mask their escape, and Annika spots that one of the priests is drawing a smallsword from his robe! The ladies dash through the smoke out to the street.
Meanwhile, Bwan has terminated one rooftop shooter, moved to the building across the street. Bwan emptied his beretta at the 2nd sniper as he ran at him, slid to dodge lots of bullets, jumped up and continued to advance. Having missed with his rifle, the sniper drew his handgun and shot Bwan in the arm just a Bwan tried to kick him in the face. Another couple of shots to Bwan's torso and another pistol-whipping put the Asian on the ground where he crawled to pick up the sniper's rifle and aimed at the retreating man before passing out. The man retreated right into Annika's pistol fire as she braced herself at the top of the fire-escape ladder and gunned him down.
Cate takes the smartphone back to the Brits, and Annika and Bwan head back to Johannesburg for the R&R. Mission Accomplished.
After loading up on weapons, gear, and cash from the Hall of Justice, Jumbilly shows off his new jet-equipped "hybrid" cargo plane, and nearly kills the entire group at 36,000 feet due to cold and oxygen deprivation. They descend, level off and land in Crete near midnight.
On the tarmack, Sascha flashes his fake INTERPOL ID and intimidates a Syrian airport worker into driving them into town to make their date with Lizzy -- fast. Hameed breaks many traffic laws, and just four blocks from the Castle Club, he collides with a cream-colored Hummer limousine, doing minor damage to both vehicles. The limo stops, and four probably-packing Arabs step out. But Sascha demands that Hameed drive on.
When the Syrian falters, Sascha stomps his foot into the gas pedal, which causes Hameed to panic, smash the brake pedal, and close his eyes. The 1992 Celica jumps the curb, hits a pedestrian, and then jumps off the boardwalk into the sand where it bogs down and stalls.
Tag, dressed in touron attire, hops out, puts on his backpack, and walks back towards the gawking crowd, going on and on about crazy drivers. Sascha, meanwhile, puts on his INTERPOL Badge, gets out his MP7A1 and effectively runs a roleplaying charade when the police arrive.
Meanwhile, Tag has stepped into a convenience store bathroom to change his disguise, before proceeding on to meet Lizzy. He passes hundreds of drunken near-naked revellers in a foam party in front of the club.
Lizzy's lovely in a silver minidress, and beckons Tag to come upstairs to the glassed-in lounge. There, she tells him that the Latvian Oil Minister, Ludis Gabriels is her target, and he's dancing below with her partner Irina Irani. A few times a year, the Latvian comes to this party town, calls the same escort agency, and asks for the two hottest, most expensive girls. Irina is playing the role of one, but the real escort Candace Corina is on her way. Candace needs to be stopped, so that Lizzy can take her place.
Sascha is given the task of intercepting Candace, which he does with aplomb, scoring her phone number and address in the process.
Lizzy and Irina intend to accompany Ludis back to his rented mansion, slip him a roofie, and then break into his computer to get some sensitive info about the minster's dealings with Moscow. Lizzy says that he's in town to accept a bribery payment of $1 million in emeralds from a Saudi Sheikh, and so they'll grab that too and hand it off to the Tag and Sascha as a thanks for being there.
Ludis and the girls exit, and hop in a limo. Sascha flags a taxi, while Tag hotwires a banana-yellow electric scooter.
In the jungle-covered hills overlooking the city, Sascha and Tag convene at the mansion, cut through the 8' iron fence, and maneuver through the foliage to get a vantage point on the front of the house. Four bodyguards are visible, plus the limo driver, but no obvious large weapons. Sascha zooms in on their heads, one by one.
Minutes pass, and just when the boys are about to start blasting, Lizzy announces she's seized the data, but can't find the emeralds. Turns out the payment has not been made yet, so the Arabs still have the gems.
A plan is hatched in which the girls will insert themselves on the Sheikh's super-yacht and scope out the scene, while Tag and Sascha arm up and get ready to infiltrate when the time is right.
Minutes later, Lizzy and Irina have done exactly that, and are snorting lines and giggling with robe-clad Arabs on the boat while the boys swat sand-fleas in the dark.
Tag approaches the boat and is waved off by a burly Arab, whose head explodes thanks to Sascha a few moments later. Tag picks off another, and a gunfight ensues which cripples Tag's leg but doesn't stop him from continuing to fire. The girls drop and take cover and crawl out of the main cabin, and then leap into the water after Tag announces he's hurled his full cache of C4 into the boat.
Tag joins them in the warm salty water just before the ship explodes and splits in two. The girls wriggle out of their clinging dresses, and everyone swims to shore, helping Tag keep his head above water.
Lizzy and Irina take Tag back to their apartment for R&R, and Sascha opts to spend a weekend with Candace.
Emeralds lost, but mission accomplished.
This episode opens with Bwan Yong and Annika Petrov standing serenely in a sunny, perfectly square, perfectly flat, perfectly manicured lawn of about two acres in size, atop a small craggy white-rock Greek isle. Adjoining the lawn is a white marble mansion, the residence of Master Li. Master Li has been conducting a private training seminar for the dynamic duo, and their final lesson has completed just in time, as there's a phone call from Mr. Black.
Annika takes the call, and the team is soon en route via private charter to Dublin, Ireland, after a stop in their respective Athens apartments to pick up their gear.
Upon arrival at midnight in rainy Dublin, Annika calls Mr. Black again for further instructions. They are to meet one Patrick Flannery in a pub at 10AM the next morning.
The pair check into a fancy hotel, Annika flips channels, and Bwan checks out the pub briefly. It's filled with thick-necked Irish workers, downing their umpteenth pints.
The next morning, they meet Patrick at the bar, who, consistent with Mr. Black's instructions, drunkenly offers the couple a timeshare in Tahiti. Also as per instructions, the pair acts interested, and soon official introductions are made.
The mission is to terminate two rogue operatives who betrayed Mr. Black back in 2017. If possible, a secondary mission is to retrieve the 720 million Euros in transferable anonymous bond certificates they stole during an operation in which Patrick participated. The pay is good -- €2.5mil per confirmed kill, plus 10% of any recovered bond certificates.
The threesome charters a quick flight to Berlin and sets up in 'The Five', a mirrored palace of luxury hotel rooms and condos. Patrick explains on the way that the two rogues, Hans Vektor and Lars Drake recently appeared on Mr. Black's radar because they're pulling a heist of a dozen molecular accelerator rods, narrow 5’ shafts of diamond crystal encased in stainless steel tubes and bathed in argon gas. They’re being developed for laser mining drills, and of course also have potential military applications. They know when the heist is going down (a few days away), but that's it.
The next day, the team rents a 2022 Porsch coupe and drives down to the office park where the heist is to occur. It was a collection of glass towers on well-manicured grounds, surrounded by a 10' iron bar fence fitted with security cameras every fifty yards, alternately scanning inside and outside the fence. They pull up to the security gate to evaluate procedures, and find the guards are competent but not expert. They turn back.
They drive on, to the less secure grounds of a real estate investment and capital management conglomerate next door. There, they talk their way past security and get an elevator code to the 18th floor, which they believe will afford them a good bird's eye view of the target facility.
There, Bwan Yong attempts to disengage the swipe-card security lock on a conference room, but fails and only manages to disable the electronics, not open the door. So, violence is undertaken, and the door partially opened when the next door up the hallway opens. As cover, Annika lip-locks with Patrick, and Bwan just shrugs. The executive assistant who emerges from the door shakes her head and retreats into the VP's suite.
Fast forward five minutes, and Bwan is in a holding cell on level two, from which Patrick and Annika spring him with a concocted story about movie stars. Back to the drawing board.
Back at the hotel, Annika tries a sneakier approach -- computer hacking! And fails miserably. The police arrive at her door within minutes, and seize the laptop. Luckily she has it set up to auto-erase everything, and the laptop is returned later.
Bwan exploits an old contact and connects with high-class escort Katrina Dulckeit, who knows, and has known, a lot of men in Berlin. Over €20 drinks in a swanky cocktail lounge, she says that she knows of Hans and Lars -- they "a couple" -- because they love girls and blow and partying. She'll ask around.
The next day, the day of the heist, a tip comes in. A few phone calls, and the team is en route to a suburban heliport atop a hill not far from the technology company targeted by the the rogue operatives.
The team parks the Range Rover, disperses, and moves through the woods stealthily, up the hill to the well-lit heliport. A private black chopper is parked there, attended by at least three men.
Bwan Yong bravely approaches, and before long, hostilities break out. One of the men has a long rifle with a scope, and yet Bwan miraculously survives, enters the chopper, and kills or subdues all within, as Annika races up to help.
After a brief discussion, Bwan and Patrick dispose of bodies in the woods, and Annika begins trying to hack the architectural firm which designed the target office park ten years ago.
While Annika hacks into the architectural firm, the men drive the Porsche SUV to the dispatch station of Deutsche Telekom to follow up on a tip generated by one of Patrick's contacts -- a repair van is headed into Datek headquarters at the same time of the purported heist.
Patrick approaches and engages an elderly dispatch officer, and creates a ruse which nets valuable information: a team of Italian immigrant engineers is headed out to Datek in just a few minutes. The team decides to follow, while Annika assesses blueprints and determines the likely target of the heist, as well as rooftop landing options.
Minutes later, the Porsche is shadowing at a safe distance from the repair van when it sudden swerves and crashes into a tree. As the team decelerates, an apparently identical van pulls out of the woods and takes the original's place.
A hundred yards behind the van, Bwan Yong opens the passenger window of the Porsche, leans out with the massive rifle, aims at the rear wheel of the van, blasts off a shot, and creates a huge pothole behind the van.
The miss complete, he puts the rifle back in the car and climbs to the roof while Patrick accelerates to approach the van.
Patrick rolls down his window to spray the van with his submachinegun, just as the van's passenger window opens with the same apparent intent. Patrick's blast peppers the van door, with no obvious effect, and the van's passenger fires back, wrecking the Porsche's windscreen and crippling Patrick's left arm.
Bwan Yong relocates to the back bumper in the meantime, but then Patrick accelerates wildly and crashes violently into the back of the van. Bwan Yong holds on somehow, and the van swerves and tips onto its side as Patrick gets the Porsche under control and stops.
Bwan Yong springs off the car and sprints into the roadside ditch, approaching the van with ninja speed and stealth, while Patrick takes a few moments to staunch the hot red flow from his wrecked arm.
Meanwhile, Annika is aloft and leaning the chopper forward rapidly towards the scene as the van's inhabitants unwittingly tell her what's happening and tell their now-dead associates to come in shooting. On approach, she fires off some random shots with her .50 caliber handgun to give an impression of air support.
The shootout on the street continues, and one enemy disappears in the trees, only to appear behind Annika as she's landing in the middle of the street. She rolls out onto the pavement and sprays the attacker's legs with bullets, and then, as he falls, ends him.
Bwan Yong, now on the ground and bleeding with a crippled leg near Hans Vektor, engages the German operative in hand-to-hand combat, and eventually subdues him by slashing his throat with a shuriken after failing to stab him in the groin. As German EEE-OOO-EEE-OOO sirens approach, Hans is dragged to the chopper and the team makes their escape into the night sky with Hans hanging beneath the chopper from his shot leg.
Later, Bwan Yong tortures Hans into divulging the location of the bonds, but also arrives at a negotiated peace, of sorts..... Though Bwan left a knife holding the uneaten severed ear of Hans to the wall, in a "deal" to leave him living, Annika returned because she "forgot something" and gave Hans the red hot lead justice he'd earned from Mr. Black.
Hugo Renaldo, recuperating from facial reconstruction surgery in Switzerland after things got dicey in Africa, gets a call from Mr. Black, requesting his presence as backup muscle for small team to be assigned to a cocktail party.
Veronica Rothchild, also in Switzerland to attend a physics conference and get a private tour of the supercomputing facility, gets a similar call.
Boy genius Ely Schwartz, a PhD student at the University of Switzerland, recently had a laboratory accident in which he vaporized half an office building. It simply disappeared,leaving a crack of thunder and the stink of ozone behind. The public coverup was effective, but the intelligence agencies of several governments and an unknown number of nonstate interests are probably in the know.
Mr Black says that the spy agencies of both Russia and China have some kind of operation planned for this coming Sunday, in this city. It is assumed that they intend to either kidnap Schwartz, or steal his data or methods somehow. (However, he is notorious for storing everything in his head.)
The team meets for the first time in the conference room above Starbucks and reviews schematics of the house in which Schwartz is staying, his parents' ski chalet. Veronica advises wardrobe upgrades for everyone, and after some chatter the team agrees to convene just prior to Schwartz's superbowl party.
Hugo goes up the mountain hours early and stands around in the snow watching and listening.
Soon, everyone (but Hugo) is drinking and laughing and watching the game, and Veronica's keen senses identify two individuals who are not what they seem but are pretending to be physics grad students.
Tetyana Piskun is a young woman who seems greatly enamored with Schwartz's physics-babble, as does an unfortunately-coiffed bloke known only as 'curly headed guy'.
Hugo sits in his SUV and observes a vehicle pull over and turn off its lights a half mile down mountain.
Bwan Yong's suspicions are aroused when Tetyana jumps at the chance to fetch Ely another drink. Later, he follows Ely into the kitchen to chat, and Ely collapses, eyes rolled back, frothing at the mouth. Tetyana comes in and opens her mouth to scream, leading Bwan Yong to leap at her and attempt to puncture her trachea with his fingers. She steps back deftly and hollers. Bwan Yong grabs her arm, and an icy stare-down ensues. He then ejects her from the party as Veronica and curly headed guy discuss what to do for the ailing Schwartz.
Hugo grabs his gear and comes inside just in case things go sideways. On his way in, he notes a hovering disk, some sort of drone device, directly overhead.
Dowdy professors freak out; most leave.
All agree that the approaching ambulance has arrived impossibly quickly. Hugo sets out for the upstairs balcony while Annika watches through a crack in the curtains. Sure enough, upon being denied entry, one of the 'paramedics' draws a silenced pistol.
After a brief debate, Hugo's wrath is unleashed, and he empties his automatic shotgun into the three hostiles, ending them.
Dowdy professors dive behind the couch and whimper.
Meanwhile, Annika overhears curly headed guy speaking in Russian, "It's happening, move now, move now!"
And so she pulls her Desert Eagle out of her oversided Gucci handbag and puts three slugs through his torso, ending him.
A burst of staccato automatic gunfire erupts from the driveway, and Hugo's vest saves his life, but doesn't save him from some painful welts. He reloads and returns fire and ends the fourth fake paramedic.
The thwump-thwump-thwump of an approaching chopper gives everyone a chill. While the rest of the team maneuvers Schwartz into an SUV in the garage, Hugo begins setting up his chain gun.
A fleeing Tetyana is cut down like grass by Hugo's malevolent shotgun.
The previously lightless chopper, now blazing a spotlight on the scene, hovers sixty yards from the house. A bullhorn announces that they will begin killing everyone if Schwartz is not turned over.
In reply, Hugo opens up with his chain gun and knocks the bird out of the sky.
A quick call to Mr. Black identifies a rendezvous point, and the team drives down the mountain.