I Spy Mission Log - Final Entry
I know it's long overdue, and you've probably all forgotten about the PBEM game, but I thought our spy game should have closure. I've really enjoyed gm-ing the game, even though it's been tough being motivated to put together the game turns. I credit this to being out of my element (the espionage theme was suggested by a friend; I've successfully run fantasy PBEMGs in the past) and my highly honed procrastination skills.
I want to thank all the players who forwarded characters and participated in the game, and especially those who interacted with other characters via e-mail. This really "made the game" for some players.]
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Summary & Conclusion
USCOM sent agents from various agencies to find out what happened to the first recon team sent to Antarctica investigating radioactivity detected by satellite. During your flight, the team encounters "pilot trouble" (critical cockpit sabotage averted by karma) and head for a crash. Three agents jump out early, thereby dividing the team.
At the crash site members of Atlantis II meet the survivors, buy their story about being mechanics heading toward a different Antarctic base for repairs necessitated by the recent storms, and escort them to their base.
Elsewhere, team 1 regroups and makes their way toward the base on foot. Scouting the base, they find it powered by geothermal heat (leaving the bound operator to freeze in the elements). At the landing strip, they sabotage the sno-cats and helicopters with explosive and fuel drums; one transport plane is readied for escape, the second also sabotaged. (Hanger guard killed by a single shot to the head.)
They rig the powerplant to detonate remotely if necessary. Approaching the base, they are surprised by a hidden machine gun installation. Surviving the barrage (thanks karma!) they mumble interference across a base walkie talkie.
Inside, team 2 has taken in their surroundings. Thompson, with his in-depth weather knowledge, is offered a tour of the base, and manages to rig a communications transponder into the base antenna. Baragali cozies up to base commander William Billiter, and plays at defecting to his side. Thompson also plants a bug in the lunchroom, and he and Hogan take turns listening in on base activities.
A strange sickness has overtaken Brennan; he'd taken a head trauma during the crash. Since spouting in Celtic and attacking the head nurse, he's been sedated. Ian, the medical assistant, has been genuine in relaying to Kerr what's been going on, as well as imploring the team to help 625 to escape.
Billiter gathered followers to this ex-Chilean Antarctic base under the pretense of founding a completely self-sufficient colony. Billiter, however, also plans to force the rest of the world into nuclear war, cementing Atlantis II as the last remaining stronghold of humanity. 625 (named after the base's schoolroom number) disagrees with his extremist plans and wants to escape with all of the base's 20 children. It was one of their members who leaked radioactive material through an exhaust vent to signal the outside world.
Having a clearer picture of the facts, the two teams make radio contact and formulate a plan. Team one deactivates their traps on the second transport plane and readies everything for takeoff. They then position themselves by the airstrip side exit ramp to cover the other team's exit.
Baragali swipes some sleepers from the infirmary the next time she visits Brennan and Kerr. These she slips into Billiter's wine during their private dinner later that evening. Thompson and Hogan work with 625 to herd the children to the western side of the base without arousing suspicion. After receiving the signal from Baragali, events are set in motion.
Team one blows the generators, dropping the base into darkness and disabling the external defenses. Hogan disables the west gate guard, Thompson signals team 1 and leaves with the children and 625 members. Kerr and Ian carry Brennan out, Baragali following not long after.
The base is in chaos, whistles blowing and high powered flashlights shining throughout the domes. Not as many guards emerge up the ramp as the team would have thought - this wasn't actually a military installation. Hogan once again uses his small craft piloting skills to take off with the UNSCOM team, 625 has their own pilot flying the refugees.
Revived by the base's chief medical officer, Billiter awakens to the rumbling sounds of transport planes taking off. Realizing what must be happening and shaking with fury, he retrieves a micro remote detonator from his pocket and pushes the big red button.
*** BOOM!! ***
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The only information "leak" in the entire scenario was the UN member (mob plant) who alerted Miss Hemingway about this mission.
The "pilot trouble" was the navigator who killed the pilot, sabotaged the controls, and jumped to safety. The "bomb like report" in the cockpit was the abrupt depressurization when the navigator exited the plane.
The base's "giant" security guard was one of a pair of naturally occurring twins.
Kristin and Sue found two nukes, one each strapped into oil drums inside each transport plane, as if ready for bombing runs. The warheads were off-loaded prior to evacuation.
Brennan's "descent into madness" was precipitated by the fact that he wasn't really who he thought he was. A secret CIA subgroup had been working on a brainwashing and personality replacement techniques and Brennan was chosen for this particular mission to test the re-programming under stressful conditions. The CIA subgroup didn't have any doubt that this overqualified team would have no trouble achieving the mission objective, so the navigator was planted to ratchet up the difficulty.
The spies were: