Episode 11 – Armageddon on the Hudson
Sunday, October 8, 2028
In the morning there is a hot breakfast waiting for the Team when they awake. As they eat more cars and vans arrive. Attorney Robert Hastings reappears with a small army of lawyers and paralegals. He pulls aside Lars and Max and explains the next phase of the operation. Starting tomorrow and going through at least Tuesday, they will all be testifying before a secret Federal Grand Jury in Philadelphia. The lawyers and paralegals accompanying him now will serve as their lawyers. This group will go over the testimony that the Team will give, and explain the immunity agreements that have been negotiated with the government. Lars and Max are dumbfounded. They do not want to be known as snitches. Hastings assured them that they will be testifying under assumed names and their identities will be protected for the present. He also tells them they have a plan to deal with this very issue later. Oh yes, and everyone will be paid a bonus in cash equal to three times their normal monthly salary for this.
The rest of the Team is then informed of the plan and they too are a little reluctant. However, the fee of triple their monthly paycheck, in cash, wins them over. Then, each Team member is given legal representation and they spend the day going over their immunity agreements and testimony. These agreements absolve them for all acts committed in New Jersey during their investigation. It does not absolve Lars, Max, Cliff, Mario and Vera of the murder of the three U.S. Marshals and two Philadelphia police officers in Episode 5. The five are told that the authorities have their suspect (Caitlin Jones, the infamous biogenetic assassin), and it would be best for them to forget the incident ever happened. They all agree.
Monday, October 9, 2028
Today is the first day of Federal grand jury testimony. They meet the Federal Special Prosecutor and the first Team members go over their statements with him. Lars and Max have the longest sessions since they have the most personal knowledge. Most of the time is spent validating the footage from the Mob’s hideaway in the supposed collapsed residential ‘well’ of the arcology. The witnesses are well prepped and the day goes well. Tomorrow the rest of the Team will testify.
Tuesday, October 10, 2028
The second day of grand jury testimony goes without a hitch. Tyrone is the only witness with real firsthand information as he witnessed the major Mob meeting (from the airshaft). The rest of the Team again just validates the authenticity of the various recordings taken in the ‘well’. The Grand Jury will continue to hear testimony tomorrow, but the Team’s appearance is over. However, that night there is shocking news on the television.
World News Service feed
USA and EU Fleet Repulsed in Mars Orbit
At 11am EDT, a transmission was monitored from the Mars Ministry of Defense. The brief statement announced the repulse of the combined fleet of the EU and the USA as it moved into orbit around that planet. The communiqué also reported the destruction of the EUS Strasbourg, the fleet flagship, and the USS Constellation. It further declared that the remaining vessel, the USS Yorktown had been crippled and was being pursued by elements of the Martian Space Fleet.
Both the EU and the United States government refused comment for about three hours, then conformed that the two vessels had been destroyed. Acting President Hargrove released a statement denying that the USS Yorktown was in imminent danger of destruction and declared that it had destroyed or crippled at least four Martian vessels. Hargrove further stated that the USS Yorktown was continuing the fight and victory was close at hand.
Members of the Senate have demanded to know the truth and are seeking a meeting with Hargrove. Demonstrations have broken out in major cities in the United States and Europe demanding to know how this could have happened. Unnamed sources in the EU government have speculated that Russia, whose large transport ship, the Vitas Bering that arrived in Mars orbit four months ago, may have been an armed participant in the conflict. The Russian government has denied any participation in the fighting.
Wednesday, October 11, 2028
The legal ‘Dog & Pony Show’ continues in Philadelphia. Many in the group still have that nagging feeling about being a snitch, but the arrival of triple their monthly fee, in cash, assuages most of the guilt. The eyes and ears of Earth remained glued to the media as reports from Mars kept arriving.
World News Service feed
USS Yorktown Captured, Defeat Complete!
The Pentagon confirmed earlier reports today that the USS Yorktown has been taken by Martian EVAT Marine assault. After initial denials by the White House, US Air Force Colonel Lance Shepard, first officer of the USS Yorktown appeared in a transmission from Mars and was allowed to report the names of the living, dead and missing from the USS Yorktown. The State Department issued a strong protest in using a prisoner to deliver a ‘propaganda’ broadcast.
The defeat has rocked both sides of the Atlantic as the finger pointing of blame has culminated in major protests across Europe demanding the resignation of current EU President Marcel Remi. Acting President Hargrove’s approval rating has dropped through the floor. For the first time former General Eddington has pulled into a statistical tie with Hargrove in the current presidential campaign polls.
Thursday, October 12, 2028
Public outrage, disbelief and shock summed up the immediate mood. The Martian Senate announced a coming offense against all EU and USA holdings “In the Dark.” Fear of new Martian super weapons grips the populace and cries for peace ring out. It is almost lost in the papers when Police Chief Peter Barone is found dead of a heart attack in his hotel ‘love nest’ in central Union City.
Tammi is politely taken away to prepare for her next part in the mission. The rest of the Team is
outfitted in Militech EMA-1 armor with the M-88A2 helmets. Weapons similar to their normal ones are
issued to everyone. Also, every member of the Team is issued a voice changer. For the next part of the plan, Lars and his group will lead three other Teams into the Pyramid’s central core. One will be a NET runner Team, who will take charge of the building’s NET right from the hardware. Other than that none of the other Teams know each other’s target.
Lars and the Team are to seize Matthew Lacono Jr., the ‘wanna-be’ Don, and the rest of the Mob leadership at what will be an informal meeting at Junior’s penthouse. They are not to kill anyone
there if they can help it. They are to demand a ransom and are helped with the story. This is just to keep the police busy while other operations are being run. The Team is to “hold until relieved”. The teams leave together in the back of a large tandem trailer truck. Oh yes, they will receive another bonus equal to triple their monthly fee in cash for this.
What happened is this – Battle of Mars: On Monday, the Earth fleet moves into far orbit of Mars and the five OTVs of the Martian defenders move to intercept the much larger EU/US ships. Deltas
from the USS Yorktown move to engage OTVs. As battle commences the MSS Phobos and the MSS Deimos, two hastily built and barely operational gunboats come out from behind the Martian moon Phobos and fire their experimental particle weapons. The Phobos’ shot knocks their own weapon out and blows every breaker or electronic device on the ship. However, the shot
also obliterates the EUS Strasbourg with four of its six deltas aboard. The Deimos dials the power down quite a bit and fires on the USS Constellation. This shot shorts out the weapon temporarily. The Constellation is crippled fatally. It explodes thirty minutes later, and ten minutes after the order to abandon ship was given. By now, the deltas of the USS Yorktown has destroyed one Martian OTV and crippled three others with only one of their deltas knocked out. They are recalled to the Yorktown.
On Tuesday, a low powered particle cannon shot from the pursuing MSS Deimos knocks out the main drives of the USS Yorktown. The four ‘mercenary’ Deltas from the Galileo Cylinder attack the US deltas as they approach their carrier. Three of the remaining US deltas are destroyed and the other two are knocked out. No Martian deltas are lost. Martian Marines from the new sixth OTV board the USS Yorktown and take ship.
Unknown to the EU and the USA, the promised Martian Space Offensive is nothing but a bluff. The Phobos has to be towed back to dock. The captured USS Yorktown is renamed the MSS Aries and is parked in orbit until the Martian government can afford to fix it. Only the MSS Deimos (and she is only partially operational) and a couple of OTVs remain in service.
Friday, October 13, 2028
Metalloid, the booster leader, seizes St. Michael’s Church and Monastery. The police come out in force to oppose him. The city holds it breath. Deputy, now Acting Chief Peter Barone Jr. promises no mercy on the boosters. Meanwhile, the Team uses access from old arcology underground to get to central core of the Pyramid and leads the group of Teams into the Pyramid. Their Team’s target is Mathew Locono Jr., who is having a meeting with a bunch of his top people. The Group gains access to a service room 10 meters from Junior’s large penthouse apartment. This room is behind the last guard post on this level. The Team enters the storeroom and the wall is replaced behind them. The netrunner team seizes control of the building’s main computer at the source (in the central core) and loops the images on the camera feeds. The party slips out of the storeroom and kicks Junior’s front door open. Two guards inside pull their weapons and are cut down. Mario moves to cut electronic access to the apartment. The people in the living room surrender immediately. The Team then sweeps the apartment. In a bedroom they find Benito Casalla, Capo of the Central Precinct. His two guards resist but their bullets just wash off the party’s heavy armor. Cliff and Max mow the guards down. The Capo is put in the living room with the other hostages.
The Team has captured not only Mathew Lacono Jr., who is found cuddled up with Cybill Greene, the Mayor’s mistress, but also Carlo Gigantino, the Consigliere of the Lacono Crime Family, Michael Rotelli, the Capo in charge of the Bergen Precinct, Marco Rinaldo, the Capo of the Pyramid, and Mario Bartoli, the Capo in charge of the Southside Precinct. This Mario is the young and extremely
violent brother of Samuel Bartoli, Senior Inspector of the Union City Police Force and third in command of the department. Also there is Jenna Van Renke, the granddaughter of Judge Gavin Van Renke, the senior judge of the city court system, and niece of Mayor Carmine D’Amato. The Team has thought ahead and ties them all up with strip binders on both hands and feet. The mobsters remain defiant, but the women are almost hysterical especially when they are forcibly tied up.
As they are finish securing their prisoners, they get a warning from the Netrunners in the core. About a half dozen SWAT troopers and cyborgs rush the room. Cliff with his 14.5mm assault rifle and
Lars with his 12.7mm assault rifle meet the charge. It is a brief firefight set to music by the screaming women as the bullets fly over them and the tied up mobsters. The surviving two cops beat a hasty retreat. Lars exchanges angry words with the police negotiator, who is in charge of the standoff. Lars, as per script, demands to talk to an officer from the Weehawken Precinct. The police scramble to find him. To show he is serious, Lars fires off a shot then throws one of the previously killed bodyguard’s body into the hall as an ‘example’. This, along with a command from Junior gets the police to back off.
Time passes by as the Team waits with their sullen Mob prisoners and their whimpering women. As much as the police would love to end this standoff, they have a larger problem with Metalloid and his boosters holding St. Michael’s Church and Monastery. With the recent deaths of so many SWAT in the destruction of the Jose Marti Brigade headquarters, the police are forced to bring out their secret weapon, one hundred Adrek Series 100 Humanoid cyberforms. These robotic warriors surround the Pyramid in a defensive ring. With the Pyramid secure, Acting Chief Peter Barone Jr. comes on television and announces that he will no longer tolerate the lawlessness and gives the boosters ten minutes to surrender or face annihilation.
As the ten minutes comes to an end, Barone is still blathering on camera. Lars looks out over the city and sees three unmarked jet fighters banking in. The three swoop over the area of the St.
Michael’s Church and Monastery and unload a horde of ordinance from under their wings. The neighborhood explodes as the three jets launch an air strike against BOTH sides with napalm. The television interview is cut short by the blast, and the stations scramble to get back on the air. The boosters along with most of the police and news crews have been roasted! Even the Team is stunned by the devastation.
Within five minutes there are reports of fighting outside the Pyramid. The Jose Marti Brigade begins its attack on the Pyramid. The Adrek Series 100 Humanoid cyberforms are released to meet the threat. The Team watches as the combat robots easily drive the stunned rebels back. This assault is quickly repulsed and the city’s authorities have their first victory of the day. As the chief of SWAT is
being interviewed the robots return and start to take their places in the defense perimeter. Then, on camera, the robots turn and begin firing on the thin blue line of police and their Dominican thugs backing them up. The NET 54 reporter interviewing the SWAT chief is cut down with the same burst that drops them both also on camera. Panic breaks out as a wild melee starts on the lower levels of the Pyramid. City authorities cut the live feed from the scene. Lars calls the police negotiator to ask when they can commence negotiations to end their ‘hostage crisis’. He is brusquely informed that they are working on it, but they have some other issues that they are dealing with now.
A half an hour after this, the Mayor holds a news conference. There he announces that he is placing the cityunder martial law. Police reinforcementsare being brought into the city to restore order. As this announcement is being made, the Team can see a small group of AVs and large helicopters with the logo, Union City E-SWAT move on the city hall, police department and AV pads of the Pyramid
itself. The Team prepares to meet theirassault should it come. Within five minutes there is shooting in the hallway outside. The Team looks through the monitors as heavily armed police enter the hall, start to come down then turn around and fire behind them. The sounds of mini-gun and 20mm cannon fire tears into the police as they are mowed down. Then what looks like a customized Daioni steps around the corner wearing the E-SWAT logo and stares at the door of theapartment. Over its loudspeaker comesthe code word that Attorney Robert Hastings had given them to signify that their relief had arrived. They give the countersign and are told to wait there as E-SWAT secures the building. A very relieved Team stands down a little.
About forty-five minutes later, they hear a voice in the hall it is Robert Hastings with a half dozen E-SWAT troopers. He gives the call sign and the Team lets him and his troopers in. Hastings is wearing a dark blue flak suit with the logo ‘Union City ADA’ (assistant district attorney). When the mobsters see the logo they start demanding their rights, but are told to “shut the fuck up”. The ADA orders Junior cut loose, separated and brought into one of the bedrooms. He also angrily orders Cybill Greene to be cut loose and brought too. When the lawyer sees she has a purse, he orders his trooper to search it. Lars assures him that it has been already done, but the lawyer has his man do it
again. The two prisoners, Attorney Robert Hastings, Lars and two troopers head into the bedroom. Junior puts himself protectively in front of a terrified Cybill and launches into a tirade. Hastings listens quietly and lets him rant. Lars notices that Cybill no longer looks afraid. In fact she is quietly pulling a large handgun out of her purse and screws a silencer on it. Lars knows that the other three in the
room see it, but do not seem alarmed. In fact, a slight smile crosses the lawyer’s face. Finally Junior notices the smile too and turns to look around. He is staring down the barrel of a ‘Nikita,, a .454 semi-automatic pistol. The mobster is taken aback.
Cybill now has a look of an almost twisted glee as she speaks. “You stupid fuck! You are about to have something in common with your Dad. See this gun? It’s the same one I used to kill your old man at Rosemont Hall five years ago, and now it’s going to kill you. Oh, you look surprised. Maybe you shouldn’t have ordered my kidnapping two years ago, and tried to move on my operations in Manhattan. Now, you are going to die, motherfucker!”
Junior’s eyes flash with recognition as he starts to move forward and speak. “You god damned bitch!”
Her pistol whispers twice. The firstshot puts a small hole in his forehead and a gaping hole in the back as themobster’s brains splatter against the wall. The second shot is a perfect heart shot. The ‘wanna be’ Don falls backward to the floor.
Lars realizes that this is actually Nichole Alexander his employer. She turns to him as she finishes taking off her silencer and smiles. “You have done a great job, Lars. We are almost done.”
Lars smiles back and realizes that he was right about her. She is easily the scariest and most ruthless person he has ever worked for. As the city burns in the background, he adds ‘crazy’ to that assessment too. Nikki (Nichole) continues.
“Oh, by the way, you and your Team have actually been official Union City Constables since you began this job. Well, at least now you have been. Attorney Hastings will give you the next part of the assignment. Now, let’s get Jenna and I out of here.”
At that her demeanor changes back to the frightened ‘mistress’, and the two E-SWAT troopers grab her roughly and take her out of the room. Hastings and Lars follow. The ADA orders his troopers to take Jenna and ‘Cybill’ to the mayor. Two of the troopers take the women away. Then, the lawyer, Lars, Cliff and Max are brought back into the bedroom. There they are sworn in as constables and bounty hunters. The Team is handed a stack of Priority One Death Warrants and bounty forms for all the mobsters in the next room along with most of the bodyguards. Also, there are death warrants for Sal, Frankie, Cuddles and most of the Cemetery District’s mobsters. Hastings explains that he will swear in the rest of the Team after the three relieve them outside. Then they are to carry out the executions of the people in the next room. Following this they will be flown to a site in New Jersey where they will meet up with Tammi and some new transportation (a Covert APC). They are then to head to the Cemetery District and tell Sal that they had heard the news and are on their way back to
‘help him’. They are then to execute the warrants. The lawyer realizes that anumber of Sal’s people do not have these death warrants drawn against them. However, Lars might find it prudent to be ‘thorough’ with the Mob crews of the district.
Well, while Mario, Tyrone, Vera and Vesposer are being sworn in, Cliff takes his 14.5mm assault rifle and gleefully starts emptying a few clips into the trussed up mobsters. The other E-SWAT troopers look on with a bit of horror as the Rasta Solo slaughters the begging, screaming prisoners. The Team then gathers up its gear and goes tothe roof landing pads. An AV takes themto a spot in northern New Jersey. There Tammiis waiting with their new Covert APC. Theyget into their standard gear and head back to Union City. When they are just outside town they call Sal and tell them that they have heard of the troubles and are almost there. A relieved Salvatore Marcello, the lieutenant of Michael Rotelli who controls the Cemetery District, tells Lars he will meet him at the Post Orifice with his boys (6 top men). Frankie “Fingers” deSalvo, his chief enforcer will be there with Cuddles and some of his crew (2). (All but 2 have Death Warrants out on them. The other two are also wanted.) They really need Lars and his people totake care of things. Lars assures then they will be there soon and will “take care of everything.”
The covert APC pulls up to the back gate and they are buzzed in. That fact that the Team is in full combat gear doesn’t surprise the mobsters. They all quickly gather in the main room. Sal fills them in on what has happened. Lars asks where the rest of his men are. Sal says three are at the Deli with his family and two are at the Pizzeria. Lars thanks him and gives the signal. They shoot down the surprised mobsters, who are startled by the betrayal.
Lars, Cliff and Vesposer head over to the Deli. Sal’s wife is there with two of the three remaining hoods. Lars asks to see the last man, but the reports of gunfire from the direction of the club have them on guard. There is a brief firefight as they kill the two men. Sal’s wife starts screaming at Lars. After all she had welcomed his wife, Trini, to the neighborhood and rallied the other Mob wives to come to court to support Lars in his legal troubles with New Haven. Lars responds by leveling his 12.7 assault rifle right in her face and pulling the trigger. They three then rush over to the Pizzeria to get the remaining two mobsters, but they have fled. The three return to the Post Orifice.
By now, most of Lars’ employees have found their way to the club, and they all hunker down to defend the neighborhood. By nightfall, Lars’ ‘treason’ is well known, and their club comes under sniper fire from various buildings. The club’s walls are thick and the remaining opposition is completely outclassed by the Team and their allies. News reports tell them that there is only
sporadic gunfire in the city, which they can hear. The big news is a large group of the Adrek
Series 100 Humanoid Combat Cyberforms is missing. The original police tactic used to stop them
was a metal net spread out on the floor and hooked up to a large capacitor. Ten Adreks walked on it and the charge dropped them all. As the police tried to pick up these ‘bodies’, three of them rebooted and drove off the police. At that point the advance of the robots stopped. When E-SWAT made it down to the ground level, they found the net gone. In one of the sub basements of the tower they
found the net set up again and about half of the robots ‘destroyed’ in it. The rest were gone along with a lot of electronic equipment, weapons, a generator and all the backup batteries and chargers.
Johnny Five is alive!!!
Saturday, October 14, 2028
At about 8:30 am Mario has one of his drones up flying west of Union City and sees a couple of hundred bikers heading this way. He zooms in on them and sees that they are from various chapters of the ‘Horde’ from around the country. Yes, the survivors of the Jersey Horde (Episode 6) have gone and gotten their friends. These Raffin Shiv stop briefly at a police roadblock and kill the couple of officers there, then head towards the Cemetery District. Lars at first contemplates running for it, but he could never get all his people out, so that isn’t an option. Max calls for a fight so the Team arms up and prepares to receive them.
Unknown to the Horde, Sal’s remaining crew has rallied their allies and are in all the buildings surrounding the Post Orifice. About two hundred bikers pull up is the square outside the club. Lars sends his covert APC just outside the back gate so it can cover the square. The leader of the Horde announces that Lars, the Mob and the entire neighborhood have been found “deserving of death” and……
Lars orders the APC to open fire. A wild melee ensues as all three sides open fire on each other. Many of the Horde rush the club. The Team’s automatic weapons mow the Raffin Shiv down, but there are too many of them. Lars defends the front door with an M-60 machine gun, but the attackers just overwhelm the door. The Team in pushed back to the doors of the front room where the fighting goes hand to hand. The APC is forced back into the club’s parking lot.
Throughout the square there is fighting in all of the buildings. Finally the sound of AVs are heard and E-SWAT units strafe the Raffin Shiv milling about the square. This breaks their attack. Most of the Team is wounded (many in Serious, one critical). The Horde retreats finally. They actually did more damage to the Team’s neighborhood opponents than the group. Vera opens up her triage to everyone, which helps with the community relations.
At a Noon press conference Acting President Hargrove decries the violence in Union City. He claims to have evidence of foreign nationals being involved in the actions there in violation of Federal Law. He orders Federal Troops to restore order under the direction of Senior Inspector Samuel Bertoli of the Pyramid Precinct, who is also a Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. The mayor protests as there is a Death Warrant out on Bertoli. Federal troops from Bayonne move to Hoboken and west of Union City. The Feds commence helicopter patrols.
In the evening the neighborhood is secure and an E-SWAT patrol is there. The Team is summoned to the Pyramid. They are told to lead a group of people into the underground and to the old aqueduct they have found. There they will head up that old underground waterway to an old pumping station, which is outside of the forming Federal lines. There they will wait and meet another group and bring them back.
They meet their charges, who they realize are about 180 South African mercenaries. The Team leads them through the twisting underground and out of the water system to the pumping station where buses are waiting to take them out of the area.
Sunday, October 15, 2028
Very early in the morning, about 2 am, the Team leads 100 American Security Solutions troops (dressed in Union City E-SWAT uniforms) back through the aqueduct after dropping off the mercenaries. By dawn they are back, but there is still more work to do. They are assigned to lead a group of Media types to the underground slave pens they had discovered. The press is provided with tours of the facility, interviews with the recently liberated ‘slaves’, and footage of the Mob meetings and the actions of some of the Mob leaders on the snuff film set. This includes a murder committed by Colonel Samuel Bertoli, the man just put in charge of Federal troops surrounding Union City. The Team is also identified to the press as the people who brought these ‘heinous crimes’ to the attention of the Mayor. This is the type of press that Edgerunners dream of getting. The Media quickly starts treating them like celebrity heroes. By noon, these stories are hitting the airwaves.
Union City is quiet and the violence is over. Federal Prosecutors insist on the military turning over Colonel Samuel Bertoli. The Attorney General of the United States resigns rather than support Acting President Hargrove, when the Acting President refuses to honor even a military arrest warrant on Bertoli. The former AG accuses Hargrove with ‘illegal’ meddling in local affairs. Union City Police at the Federal roadblocks at the Hoboken line attract massive support from Hoboken population, who come out in large numbers to protest the presence of the soldiers. Federal Troops do not attempt to enter Union City.
The USS New Jersey powers up and puts to sea later that night. It is anchored in the Hudson River off Union City at dawn Monday. Acting President Hargrove is coming to take personal command of the situation.
Monday, October 16, 2028
Just after midnight, the Team is sent once more down the old aqueduct to bring someone in. As they escort this group back into the city they realize it is Vice Presidential candidate, David Windham, with his Secret Service bodyguard and campaign people. They bodyguards want to keep their man isolated but Windham insists on talking with the Team and hearing their story. The candidate will be having a campaign rally and dinner tonight in Union City.
News of Windham’s presence in the city electrifies the media. At his press conference he praises Mayor D’Amato’s decisive action in dealing with the ‘criminal elements’ in the city. Standing by the Mayor’s side is his mistress, “Cybill Greene”. By now the Jose Marti Brigade has declared a unilateral ceasefire and thrown their support to Mayor D’Amato, who has promised that elections will take place as scheduled and this time they will be honest. Acting President Hargrove realizes he has been upstaged and waits for tomorrow when Windham is gone to strike.
At dinner Windham announces he will stay over another day to “Watch a ball game”. An infuriated Hargrove orders a noon move against the now all-American police force of Union City.
Tuesday, October 17, 2028
At 8 am there is a live news conference from the White House. President Kress is declared no longer incapacited by her doctor and takes back the reins of power. On the podium with President Kress are most of the Joint Chiefs and members of the Supreme Court. Kress orders the military to stand down around Union City, and that the troops return to the barracks. She also orders that Colonel Samuel Bertoli be immediately arrested. A Presidential tug of war goes on in the background during the early morning with the military finally responding to Kress. By noon, Vice President Hargrove has left the USS New Jersey to go back to Washington. The New Jersey gets up steam and sails up the Hudson to the Tappan Zee, where it turns around and anchors.
The media and the country turn on Vice President Hargrove. His campaign for the White House is in ruins. The previously forlorn candidacy of General Eddington and David Windham now looks like a winner. The Team has their moment of fame as the heroes who broke up the slave ring. Windham, never one to bypass a photo op, has the Team accompany him to the local ball game. As they are leaving Lars and Cliff notice two new ‘security people’. This new pair moves towards Windham as a ‘reporter’ steps forward suddenly with a question. This distracts the Secret Service. Both Lars and Cliff decide to pull their weapons, which is fortunate as the other two choose the same moment to do the same. Cliff and Lars gun down the ‘would be’ assassins and save Windham’s life on national television. Windham thanks the Team, and the two get themselves a huge contact.
This effectively brings the Union City Campaign to a close. There is some cleaning up to do, but the Team has finished their mission. The Lacono Crime Family has been destroyed. A city has been rescued from a criminal anarchy that has bled it dry for years.
Ah yes, virtue may be its own reward, but a boatload of cash doesn’t hurt! The search of Junior’s apartment found his safe and 1,000,000 eb in bearer bonds. This was not known to most of the Team so Lars used it as a bonus to pay off his most trusted assistants. A half a million went to Max, a hundred thousand went to Cliff and Lars kept four hundred thousand for himself. So what about everyone else? Nichole “Nikki” Alexander is a generous employer. This whole plot was not about money or even power really, but more on that later. The immediate rewards are jobs and cash bonuses. Also, each surviving character gets a plus one to their Reputations. In our games, just cash often doesn’t get the fancy toys or power. Reputation is the key that unlocks the gates of success. This becomes critical as the characters gain experience. As to the immediate futures of the Team, this is what happens.
Lars MacGregor (The Scot): He is appointed Chief Constable of Union City, which is basically the head of the Mayor’s personal security Team. It comes with an apartment lease, access to the AV Pad and one parking space in the very top level of the Pyramid. His wife Trini never dreamed that her relationship would bring her so far. Of course it does help that she loves Lars, so at least the future looks bright for her. Nikki gives them her old AV-3 Mercedes from the Gramercy Park Hotel. At the beginning of this adventure 1,000,000 eb was deposited in a numbered Swiss bank account. The successful completion of this assignment gives Lars access to the account. This solves his immediate financial woes.
Cliff: This job has pushed the Jamaican up to Reputation 7, which constitutes a worldwide reputation. Cliff uses this to continue his freelance career around the world. He may be appearing in our next installment: The Romanian Campaign. Also, he is given a briefcase with 100,000 eb in cash as a bonus.
Mario Shamal: The Italian also continues his freelance career. While he has not attained an international reputation, Mario now has some very solid credentials. Jobs come his way. Mario will also be appearing in the upcoming Romanian Campaign. A briefcase with 75,000 eb in cash is delivered to him as a bonus.
Max (aka Thomas Rifkin): Eventually he just disappears and he is never heard from again. Well, as least not as Max. Thomas has had a number of successful missions under his belt, and this brings him to the top of a very short list of operatives that the Consortium regularly uses. He is also given 100,000 eb as a bonus for his work.
Marshall Mathers (Vesposer): This poser continues to work for Lars MacGregor and becomes head of security at the Post Orifice. The club becomes a regular hang out for his gang, and Marshall himself rises to the highest levels of influence and authority with the gang. He is also given a 50,000-eb bonus by Nikki.
Tyrone: He forms a team with Tami and they continue their career of crime mixed in with occasional ‘legitimate’ jobs as Edgerunners. Tyrone gets a bonus of 40,000 eb.
Akemi: She continues to work at Post Orifice and gets a bonus of 10,000 eb.
Vera: The Czech finds that her medical license in Union City is approved and she is granted privileges at the Union City Hospital. By agreement this also gives her the right to practice medicine in New York City. Jersey City and Fort Lee continue to deny her right to practice her craft as does the Federal government, but Perth Amboy also grants her privileges. She also continues, for a time, to serve as den mother to the girls of the Post Orifice. Vera will also be appearing in the upcoming Romanian Campaign. This may be more than just a job. Vera’s mother is Romanian by birth and the doctor speaks the language fluently as well as being familiar with the country and its customs. She gets also gets a 60,000-eb bonus from Nikki.
The Immediate Impact of the “Union City Incident” on National Politics
The most important and unforeseen consequence of this operation is that it drives the final nail into the coffin of Vice President Hargrove’s Presidential ambitions. His handling of the Nomad/Texas Border War with Mexico was initially very popular, but terrified many politicians in the country, especially those from the remaining Free States. While his actions did bring Texas fully back into the Union, many Americans were dismayed by the deaths of so many Texans in their valiant attempt at defending their state. These two currents led to the candidacy of former General Eddington for the Presidency.
The ‘victory’ over the Martian “rebels” was supposed to seal Hargrove’s lock on the Presidency, but fate had other plans. The Nietzscheans (or Super Solos) had long ago decided that their future lay in space, not on Earth. They have dedicated their enormous resources to reaching out to the stars. They immediately started ‘breeding’ scientists to improve their technology. Nietzscheans contacted the fledgling Mars government and offered them the latest technologies their think tanks had developed in return for citizenship and a place to go. The Russian ship, the Vitus Bering, did not participate in the battle in Mars orbit, but it did bring a number of weapons from the labs of the Nietzscheans. It also brought the four Nietzschean deltas from the Galileo Station. Mars had seized the numerous orbital factories around the Red Planet after the rebellion and had put them to the task of building two gunships. These vessels are not unique except in their armament. They each mounted a single experimental particle cannon. These weapons had never been tested and the two vessels were barely operation when the Earth fleet arrived. The Earth fleet had no knowledge of the existence of the two ships, and the arrogance of the fleet commander, Admiral Daynes, who expected an easy victory, contributed to the disaster.
The defeat at Mars was tanking Hargrove’s campaign. He needed an issue. The ‘coup’ in Union City gave him, what he thought, was the perfect diversion. Nikki had raised a small military force in South Africa (at the direction of Victor Kruger, her mentor) to drive the Orochi Resource Group (the successor to Arasaka’s African holdings) out of Zimbabwe. This accomplished she was left with a couple of hundred crack, veteran troops under the command of Admiral Jane Smith, a retired Navy SEAL commander, who now served as one of Nikki’s chief lieutenants. These were the shock troops of E-SWAT. Despite, the reputation of the corrupt Union City government, the presence of black African mercenaries seizing control of a major US city gave him, what he thought, was fool proof issue. The Acting President did not count on the overwhelming evidence the Team had collected on the crimes” of the Mob that controlled Union City. Also, Nikki had planned to bring in American security forces quickly to form a ‘native’ police force along with a portion of the honest cops from Union City. This part of the plan was hinted at in the Team’s instruction to locate and identify honest law enforcement personnel in the city. Still, Hargrove almost brought Nikki’s plans down. She called on her fellow members of the Consortium, who were stunned by her actions, for help. Consortium member, Senator Thomas deChartier of Night City, long ago forged a political alliance with David Windham and William Joseph (Billy Joe) Brentwood (now President of Petrochem). Windham could not afford to let Hargrove distract America with another political victory, so he decided to bring his campaign to Union City, and force Hargrove to stay his hand (and look weak in the process). Thus Union City became, for a few days, the rag doll to be fought over by the rival candidates.
The Fate of Union City
The city does not end up trading one corrupt organization for another. The November elections bring in a new City Council who wishes to clean up the city. In this they have the full support of Nichole Alexander’s organization. Mayor Carmine D’Amato’s estranged daughter, Maria, returns from San Francisco and is appointed a city judge to replace the corrupt Judge Lorenzo Barone. No Death Warrant is issued on the judge, but he is informed of the case the Federal prosecutor is preparing against him. He will never see the light of day after his conviction, so he does everybody a favor and commits suicide. Many conspiracy buffs believe he was secretly murdered, but no, he finally did the honorable thing. Cybill Greene (Nikki Alexander) is ‘killed’ in the bombing of an AV she is riding in just after the election. This frees her to come back as Nikki. Also it removes her as any source of embarrassment to the new administration.
What Nichole and the Consortium do is bring legitimate business back to the city. Yes, they do get a sweet heart deal with tax breaks and such, but it brings money and jobs to the desperate city. Over the years Union City becomes a symbol of an American city rising from the depths of crime and poverty to raise itself up with pride. In many ways it gives a faint glimmer of hope to a Dark Future.
Why Did All of This Happen?
Did Nikki Alexander do all of this to bring the light of ‘truth and justice’ to Union City? Did she arrange all of this for increased wealth and economic power in a revitalized Union City. Hell no! She did it for pride and revenge. Nichole Alexander is a fiction created by her and her mentor Victor Kruger. The man has spent years molding her into a perfect instrument for his will. He took a sixteen-year-old runaway (from the Organitskaya), ex-child porn star turned cat burglar, and remade her. For this she is absolutely devoted to him. Nikita Bakunin, her original name, is long dead even in her own mind.
Yes, years ago she led a Team of assassins to the Rosemont Hall outside of Rochester, New York and personally killed the Union City Don, Mathew Lacono Sr. on orders from Victor Kruger in his successful bid to acquire the Ban of Las Vegas. That incident was not the reason for all of this. Nikki had bought the old Gramercy Park Hotel in the combat zone of Manhattan in anticipation of the ‘Wall’ moving north. Her plans to establish her own economic empire beyond her freight airline (Alexander Airways) hinged on her real estate deals in Manhattan. Mathew Lacono Jr., who was unaware that she had killed his father, also wanted many of the same properties. The mobster hired a Team of Edgerunners to extract her. He was probably going to force her to sell out to him, among other things. The mobster thought he was trying to grab a young heiress fresh with her new fortune. He did not realize she was a world-class assassin and cat burglar.
When she learned of his plans, she left New York and to direct operations from South Africa. This also provides her with a solution to a nagging problem she had been dealing with. Yes, she was a member of the Consortium, but most of them treated her as just an extension of Victor’s will and power. What she needed was a display of power and influence that would rock the world and announce that she was a power in her own right. Yet, publicly what she would have to do could not be directly linked to her. Those who mattered would know, but the public must remain unaware. The destruction of one of the Five Families of New York would do nicely.
Nikki studied the power structure of Union City and found a weakness. Mayor Carmine D’Amato was the key. He had the power (theoretically) in an emergency to rule (briefly) by decree. She also knew a (now) Federal Prosecutor, who she had worked with in the cleanup of Las Vegas that had been going on for the past few years. She could call on the Consortium to get the prosecutor an assignment to clean up Union City. Many had been appointed before and all failed. This time the man would have someone on the inside, who was not afraid to break a few (OK, lots of) rules.
The mayor was broken man. He had a weakness for women, which she knew she could exploit. More importantly he now really had one other desire. To paraphrase King Osrick, the Usurper in the movie, Conan: “There comes a time when all the gems lose their sparkle, gold loses its luster, and the throne room becomes a prison. All you have left is a father’s love for his daughter.”
Maria D’Amato was estranged from her father. She still loved him, but could not bring herself to turn a blind eye to the rampant corruption that was the rule in Union City. Nikki decided to become the Mayor’s new mistress and bring him around to the view that getting rid of the Mob was the only way to get his daughter back. This took her the better part of two years. Nikki (through her many campaigns) had established a number of alternate identities. One of these was as Cybill Greene, a Las Vegas courtesan. Over the years she actually had made it a point to spend a month or so each year as Cybill, and had a network of friends that knew her as such. This was an old ID. Not even Victor knew about it. The Lacono Mob would certainly investigate any new mistress of the Mayor, and this was her most ‘rock solid’ identification. With her connections in Las Vegas, getting a job at the Mayor’s Conference there as Mayor D’Amato’s ‘escort’ was child’s play. The Mayor was also on the rebound from the recent tragic death of his former mistress in a car ‘accident’. Once in amongst the power players of Union City she could manipulate events. However, she needed a Team in the city to get into the Mob’s organization and do a series of jobs that needed to be done before her plans could come to fruition.
Lars had worked for her in Manhattan during the New York City Campaign. In him she found a kindred spirit. Both are ‘adrenaline junkies’. They are willing to take the big risks for the big rewards, often just for the thrill. When forced to leave New York City by Junior’s machinations, she recruited Lars for this mission, but would not tell him what it was. She only promised him money and power that would raise him up out of the faceless crowd of other Edgerunners. He agreed and they never spoke again for over two years until October 13, 2028 when she ‘executed’ Junior.
Lars’ player was not aware of Cybill’s true identity even at this point. When she pulled out her gun and started to affix the silencer, the player pointed out that she couldn’t have a gun since the Team had searched her and no pistol had been found. That was true until it was pointed that that her purse had just been ‘searched’ again by the E-SWAT troopers (who put the gun in there).
Years ago an incident was staged that forced Lars to flee New York to avoid the ‘wrath’ of her organization. His career in the Caribbean was carefully choreographed to position him for his return to the New York City area with the credentials and skills to run the Post Orifice (or something like it) and attract the positive attention of the Mob. The success of her plan would depend on the party’s successes in this campaign. Lars and his Team succeeded more or less at every assignment given them. The one exception was the assassinations in New Haven. That mission was actually not part of the original campaign. It was a left over assignment from the New York City Campaign. It was included since it was very important to the overall Metaplot of our various campaign arcs.
Nikki was counting on deflecting retaliation from the other Mob Families since the group that controls Elizabeth, NJ has been angling to replace the Lacono Family. The bad publicity brought on by the revelations of the activities of the Union City Mob should serve as a break against retaliation. Also, she maintains some influence in the Russian Mob in New York City, who has alliances with some of the remaining Families. And, what if they fail to get her? If she could do that to one of them, she might do it to another. All in all, there is no point of honor to avenge. Junior’s extract attempt started it, and the lack of public knowledge leaves no reason for an ‘example’ to be made. Besides she has very scary allies, including a sitting Vice President (soon to be President).
That is the end of this campaign. Many of the player characters will be back for our next: The Romanian Campaign – 2037.