Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VI: The Plan

"Okay, everyone, the plan is pretty much the same as it was before, except we're down one man." Lyta's voice came on, somewhat tentatively. "But it's okay, they're down one man too, and he's one of their better guys. I think we're still okay in terms of manpower. Quinn, if your comms are still on, say 'Yes' in your next sentence or two with Tatsugoro."

Lukas managed to get his confirmation in and that one word conveyed assurance. ‘Yes,' Lyta could do this.

She and Todd had made it through the gulag without Lukas and they had a solid plan to follow now. Yes, they could do this. She could do this.

"Okay, here's the plan," she started again with absolute confidence. "Everyone but Quinn is gonna cycle back through here, get their helmets, goggles, 'chutes, and anything else you think might be important. I'm gonna pack everything that's left into one duffel and leave it somewhere conspicuous in the room for Quinn.

"Meanwhile, Mads, you're gonna prep our distraction. We want some sort of alarm in a car far away from here. If you can, make it sound only in the security office, not through the whole car. We don't want to tip our hand yet."

"Right," his voice came through the coms, the unfamiliar voice straining Lyta's certitude but, remembering Ellen's advice, she pushed her own doubts to the back of her mind and continued.

"We wait long enough for security to get far enough away that they won't be able to get back in time -- Jimmy, if you could keep an eye on the cameras, that'd be great -- and then we prep for go time. Mads, a lot is riding on you. We're gonna need you to deactivate the locks on the couriers' two rooms simultaneously, and at the same time, kill the lights on this floor of the car. It only needs to be for a minute or two; don't over-extend it.

"I'm gonna take one room, Dirk's gonna take the other, and Billy's our guy in the hall for backup and in case the watcher in the front lounge decides to intervene. Quinn, you're on Tatsugoro. If he comes to help, you've gotta distract him or, failing that, debilitate him. It might clue him in to the fact that you're in on the op, but if we're lucky, he'll be blind in the dark and won't realize it's you. We can't get you night-vision goggles without tipping our hand."

Billy's gruff voice slipped into a pause in Lyta's stream of words as effortlessly as his person did into a crowd. "I'll get it to ‘im. No problem, Kes, carry on."

"Good. So, Dirk and I make it into the rooms, take out the two guys  in each -- non-lethal, if we can -- and get the cases. Assume they'll be armed, but hopefully they'll be blind and we'll be catching them by surprise, and we'll be able to drop them before they realize what's happening.

"Mads, as soon as you get the doors open, start decelerating the train. I figure we'll have three or four minutes between go-time and when we get up to the roof. Decelerate as much as you can in that window. Every little bit helps.

"Once we've got the cases, we pull back to the top deck. The goal isn't stealth at this point, it's speed and anonymity. Everyone has their helmets on and doesn't take them off until we're off the train. We open up the roof hatch -- Mads, we may need some help with that; I don't know what the security's like on the access -- and get the hell out.

"While Jimmy's arranging for pickup, we open the cases and confirm we've got the package. If not, Quinn, it'll be up to you to get it. If we confirm that we've got it, your job is to get to the next stop, take the duffel, and meet back up with us when you can. Even if you're questioned, there's nothing that ties you with the op if everything goes as planned.

"Mads, this is crucially important: you're gonna need to scrub all the security camera footage from this car from the time it pulls in to Khayr ad-Din until its next stop. We didn't come in well-disguised, and we don't want anyone backing up the footage until they see us coming in and out of our room. We want to be ghosts here. No one knows it was us.

"So that's the plan. Mads, you need to tell us now if you think there's any part of it that's unworkable for you. If you need to set up programs or whatever, tell us now and we'll wait for your signal."

Jimmy looked to Mads, his gaze echoing Lyta's question. The kid cracked his knuckles, a drop of sweat beading on his temple.

"Crack security, set off a local alarm, then lock off your car and kill the lights. Unlock the tangos' doors to allow you entry. Then I hijack the train and slow her down and find you a way out onto the roof for your escape. Then all I've got to do is wipe the whole system clean of your existence. Got it."

Jimmy swallowed hard after the laundry list Mads rattled off. So did Lyta. Her mouth was dry but her mind focused and her body relaxed.

"Okay, let's do this thing."


He had seen the ugly drunk earlier but had dismissed him. Now he was watching him more closely. The man he was toasting with was the leader of the targets. Virgil replayed the last half hour in his mind focusing again on the beastly boozer. His previous drinking partner had the build and presence of an operator, probably an infiltrator. So the disfigured drinker was somehow involved. He was too young to be a former guardsmen, so not one of the couriers. A new recruit? Unlikely. An outside contractor, less likely still. A competitor, maybe? He was keeping up pretenses with the first guy but clearly knew Tatsugoro Habana.

Virgil half-closed his eyes again and replayed the images. The loathsome lush was not as drunk as he pretended to be, which meant he was on the job and, by process of elimination, a rival.

"Team one, are you ready?" Virgil mouthed into his wrist mic behind the cover of his hand. "5 mikes, sir," came the response. "Sorry, you'll have to adapt. We have another operator after the target. Team one, prepare to repel security, team three, take the control room now." Virgil waited for confirmation. Half closing his eyes he rehearsed the next few minutes of chaos in his mind and, visualising it, made sense of the gunfire, the darkness, and the explosions. He watched himself navigating through it like in a memory, and knew he was ready.

"Team two, cut the lights and go."

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.