Tuesday, October 14, 2014

COVERT OPS, Episode 2: "What is Nigerian For 'They threw us under a ****ing bus?"

New Dramatis Personae / Personae Non Grata

Assistant Director Mangler - Agent Mangler was a legend in the field, but too many of her operations turned into ‘wet work’ as soon as she could find an excuse to bring her knives into play. Rumor has it that the Chilean ambassador tragically repeatedly stabbing himself in the chest while sleeping may have actually been ‘The Mangler’ at work.
    AD Mangler appears to be a kindly silver haired woman in her mid-fifties. She enjoys kittens, needlepoint and anything knife related.
    Currently Mangler has been ‘promoted’ to AD to keep her behind a desk for awhile managing new recruits.

Hoops - Hoops is former KGB who now works for SECTOR and specializes in getting equipment and assets into areas where they do not have a formal presence.

Clancy - Former CIA, new to SECTOR but jumps in to give orders to the team that are promptly ignored.

Familia Peso - A fictitious chain of ‘dollar’ stores in the southwest United States that the team establishes as there cover before contacting:

SPECTRUM Industries, Niger - ‘The Leading Manufacturer of Novelties in Niger’. Located just outside scenic Niamey, Niger. The CEO of SPECTRUM Industries, Niger. There is SIGINT indicating that SPECTRUM may have contracted B-Team for the 777 hijacking.

Charles Tucker - He has an old LinkedIn profile with no connections, and that is all the team knows, aside from his propensity to gas people in the conference room.

B-Team Consulting - Specializing in ‘Volume Over Value’ troubleshooting teams. If you want to work for B-Team, you need to know which end of a gun the bullet emerges from, and that you want to point that end at someone you are not working for. Also: Other duties as assigned.
B-Team is believed to be the ‘talent’ agency behind the 777 hijacking and resulting firefight in the Waffle House, as well as attacks on Secret Service and Oklahoma local law enforcement.

Falafel House - A variant of Waffle House. Substitute ‘Falafel’ for every ‘Waffle’ item and you get the idea. It was also not the scene of a massive firefight.

“The Brother and Sister Team” - A previous pair of SECTOR Operatives sent to Niger a couple weeks before our team. Hoops relays this information for $50.

  Clancy surveys the site as the helicopter he is in prepares to land outside of the Waffle House. Sector wanted a fast extraction as a cleanup team is on the way, but Clancy knows that caution is called for in this case.
  The Waffle House is a wreck, even by Waffle House standards. The windows are shot out, the body of Edward, Steve's SAP, lies still by the door, and the remains of one of the attackers is in a bloody mess in the parking lot.
  Clancy orders the two strike team members that were with him to secure the LZ as soon as the chopper lands.
  Clancy is a new recruit, but he has leadership experience, which after briefly surveying the chaotic scene of bloodshed and syrup-stains is obviously something that this new team lacks.
  After some brief introductions, and some extra time to allow Chester to finish his waffles and Chad to finish in the bathroom the team make for the helicopter after warning Flo to leave before the 'cleanup' team arrives.
  Flo just points at her shotgun and they are off, medics going to work on Chase's bullet ridden body as soon as he gets into the chopper.
  Time is a blur to Chase as the team transits from the chopper, to a plane and finally to La Guardia where a 'new' creepy van, fresh from New Jersey, awaits Chester.
  After threatening to quit over SECTOR's dress policy, Steve finally acquiesces to wearing 'the jumpsuit' and the team enters Sector 6 HQ which is very easy to find due to the giant 'SECTOR' logo emblazoned on the front of the building.
  Once inside, security directs them to elevator 5 which takes the team directly to a small conference room with several large monitors on the wall. News stories are playing regarding the terrorist attack on the 777, focusing on why Al-Qaeda would choose to target the daughter of Senator Swift.
As they sit on the comfortable chairs, a fairly nondescript silver-haired woman enters the room and introduces herself to the team as Assistant Director Mangler. After some brief reminiscing about her days doing actual fieldwork she settles down to business:

- The team was ordered to drive from the crash site to New York as bait. SECTOR was unsure whether the terrorists had eyes on the ground, but since separate terrorist teams attacked the team, the Secret Service detail and Oklahoma local law enforcement, SECTOR believes it is because they were unsure who had the Senator's daughter.
- Steve is again outraged that an intelligence agency would stoop so low as to use its agents as bait. He threatens to quit, Mangler notes the fine 'retirement' plans offered by SECTOR and Steve changes his mind.
-Despite having no captives to interrogate, SIGINT and some side operations indicate these were not actual terrorists, but mercenaries from 'B-Team Consulting'. The fact that the 'terrorists' were concerned about payment for the job and not promoting an ideology when Steve spoke with them on the plane should have been a hint.
- Additional intelligence traced payment to B-Team from a company called 'SPECTRUM Industries'. Specifically a factory in Niamey billed as 'The Leading Manufacturer of Novelties in Niger'.
- The team is given the OP to infiltrate the facility by whatever means they choose, and extract viable intelligence, preferably from the 'CEO' Charles Tucker.
The team uses the following week to do research and formulate a plan.
- Chase finds a good map of the facility in question, and notes several odd dome structures on premise. The facility is also located on the river and seems fairly defensible.
- Steve is distracted by porn on the internet while researching possible ties Senator Swift might have to B-Team. He only discovers that Senator Swift is an Independent with a wholly unremarkable voting record.
- Clancy finds Charles Tucker's LinkedIn profile that has only been updated once and has no other links.
-  Between Chad and Chester we discover that Uranium mining has been a strong element in Niger's economy, and there are lots of things to eat in the wild.
The research was not a stunning success.
Given what little they knew, the team came up with a plan:
- They would represent themselves as representatives of Familia Peso, that just happen to be in the country with a briefcase of money and the desire to buy lots of 'novelties' from SPECTRUM.
- The hope is this will get them in the door in a non-dead fashion.
- An armored van will be procured, as well as a luxury car, the a-formentioned briefcase of money and some flimsy cover identities.

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