Episode 4 – Such a Nice Little Town Soaked in So Much Blood!



Ricco Torres debuts his plans for turning around the Peterson Point Resort.  Intrigues abound as corporate kills a sweet heart of a financial deal and Sheriff Mason takes the new general manager up on his earlier offer of “help”.    An unexpected find may provide a solution to the resort’s problems with the Wilson family.

Petersen Point School’s basketball team continues its undefeated season thanks to its cheerleading corps.  The re-established security system gets its first test.  A major riot at the Panhandle Saloon raises serious questions and threatens to derail the review process.


Sam Fisher, retired Delta Force colonel and C.I.A. assassin, has finally been ‘officially’ released from prison after serving his sentence for extortion due to a botched operation in the Atlantic City part of the Burn Notice Campaign.  Part of his (unofficial) deal for pleading guilty at the time was that he would receive his government pensions on his release from prison, but the government isn’t able to honor that part of the agreement.  He is informed by his old friend, Nathan Forrest, Deputy Director for Clandestine Services at the C.I.A., that his pensions could be restored if he assists in a very black operation on United States soil.

President Whindam has decided to bring the four southern states known collectively as the ‘Cotton Kingdoms’ to heel.  Sam, accompanied by his fiancée Rianna Prescott, will be sent to Santa Rosa County in the Florida panhandle near the Pensacola COG to the Petersen Point Resort, a seedy old tourist destination that will serve as a ‘safe house’ for operations to bring down the state government of Alabama.  He will also be tasked with the occasional mission himself.  To help him, a ‘Dirty Deeds’ group has been assembled whose covers are as employees of the hotel.  Only Sam knows this is a government sanctioned operation.


Dramatis Personae

The Team

Beebe Laugherty:  A young tech and member of the Snake Nation helping Charlie with his various projects.  She is the daughter of retired Major BeatriceBeaLaugherty, who gained fame (or infamy) by firing the first ortillery strike of the Fourth Corporate War on NightCity.

Betty Lu:  An attractive 25 yo lawyer of Chinese descent.  Despite her appearance she is a Texas girl, through and through.

Brandon Heath: A solo who is head of security at the Petersen Point Resort.  He is a member of the ‘Dirty Deeds’ crew.  Unknown to everyone but Doctor Eduardo Ricci, Brandon is an experimental Biomechanical (cyborg) with one of Doc Freeman’s ‘cyberbrains’ sent by the Collective in response to Sam’s daughter’s request to watch over her father.  Brandon was originally Grave, a cyborg from the Fourth Corporate War, who was later (2026) convicted of authorizing the murder of a young hacker and his family.  Grave was supposedly executed but the government put him in their Project Kill Switch Program (see Super Solo 2 Campaign for details).  He was rescued from a top secret government lab by his friend, Caitlin Jones.

Charlie Bibbliodoc:  A master weaponsmith and owner of Boss Arms.  He is a Snake Nation nomad in the area who is working on two projects.  One is a government DARPA sponsored program to develop next generation laser technology.  The other is to rearm and rehabilitate weapons systems for the floating colonies and vessels of the Thelas Nation in the Gulf of Mexico.  He is an old friend of Sam Fisher from the Romanian Campaign.

Doctor Eduardo Ricci.  This man is the hotel physician and a ‘Dirty Deeds’ employee.  He is a Brazilian national who used to work with Roca Terrier, and is trained in bio-mechanical repair.

OwenCrankWolf:  A young, muscle bound solo with experience in managing bars and other watering holes.  He is a member of Sam’s ‘Dirty Deeds’ crew.  His cover is Food and Beverage manager at the Petersen Point Resort.

Rianna Prescott: A younger woman from Sam Fisher’s past, who reconnected with him in Atlantic City and stood by him through his years in prison.  They are engaged to be married.

Ricco Torres:  A former member of the Rio de Janeiro Civil Police who became a private investigator when his friendship with certain ‘unsavory’ characters came to light.  The Disney Corporation hired him to assist an Edgerunner team brought in to push their political agenda in Rio.  In the process a monstrous plot that cost the lives of thousands of residents of the infamous favelas was uncovered and Ricco figured prominently in bringing the conspirators to justice.  He was promoted and moved to Walt Disney World in Florida.  When the United States government asked Disney for help, they sent Ricco to take over as head of security at the Petersen Point Resort.  He has since been promoted to General Manager.

Sam Fisher: Retired Delta Force sniper, CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.  He has just been released from prison after pleading guilty and serving a five year sentence for extortion to protect his friends and his daughter from the fallout of a botched operation.  He is the Team Leader for the ‘Dirty Deeds’ group.


The NPCs

Alice Timmons runs the Trailer Park and the Guest Houses at the Petersen Point Resort.

Alina Lanikova is the lead dancer at the Blue Moon Revue.  She is a stunningly beautiful (ATTR 10), tall 29 year old Czech woman with exceptional skill as a dancer.  Looks and technique only take you so far.  What makes her the most popular dancer at the club is her ability to charm the audience.  She is also an asset off stage, acting as ‘Den Mother” to the other dancers.  Alina lives at the Resort with her teenage daughter.

Amy Fry is a young Thelas nomad and sister of Jason Fry.  She dates Sammy Trang, the drummer of Velvet Blue.

Carrie Anne Thorn is a small Caucasian woman is her early sixties.  Debilitating arthritis may have sapped her strength; walking is a chore; but her mind is as keen as ever.   She wears many hats at the Petersen Point Resort; Front Desk Manager, asst. hotel manager and bookkeeper.

Charles Ingersoll, grandson-in-law of Sophie Petersen, the widow of Randy Petersen and heiress to the Petersen Family Trust.  He serves as CEO of the Petersen Point Properties Group.

Danny Johnson (17) is the center on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team and one of those self-entitled little pricks who tangled with Beebe at the party in Episode 2.

Eustis (‘Useless’) Saint Claire is an old black man who runs the water and sewer system at the Petersen Point Resort.

Gardner Weems is the old white cracker who runs the resort’s marina.  He is also a Blackwater Town Councilman.

Frank Michaels is the senior NCIS agent at the Pensacola COG.

Freddy Timmons is a rotund little man in his forties, who stutters a bit and seems almost comically nervous.  He is a town constable.

Hadley Walters III is a 15 year old student and forward on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team.  He is an arrogant self-entitled little prick, who tried to attack Lilly Tran (Episode 2). Ricco suspects he may be one of the Golf Course vandals.

Henrique:  A former Favela drug lord (nicknamed the King Snake) and leader of the Red Command.  He took a government amnesty offer and got out of the drug business.  Henrique used to belong to a Brazilian pop group manufactured by a record company.  When his voice changed he was fired and thrown back into the favela where he rose to the top of the local gang.  The man now runs a media company which works with Disney.  He and Ricco Torres grew up together with Ricco being the younger ‘brother’ (nicknamed Cobrinha – Little Snake).

HenryHankTremont is the president of the local charter of the Visigoths MC.

Jason Fry is a young Thelas nomad serving of Charlie’s test ship, the Sea Snake.  His sister is Amy Fry.  He has a thing for Beebe.

Jebediah Biggs is the junior agent (probie) from NCIS and partner to Agent Michaels.  He wears a Marine crew cut.

Jesse James is the sloppy (with the money, but honest) bartender from the Panhandle Saloon.

Johnny SquintTucker, a not overly bright man about 36 years old who is the assistant manager and head bartender for the Panhandle Saloon.

Karl and Anne Petersen, are the parents of Nancy Petersen, and their two other children, John and Todd.

Mayor Mildred Hodges: An older white woman and mayor of Blackwater.

Mr. Zeitsev is the code name for Sam Fisher’s contact on this secret, black project.  He is the government’s ‘Mr. Johnson’.

Nancy Petersen is a 25 year old cocktail waitress at the Panhandle saloon.

Natty Lanikova is the daughter of dancer Alina Lanikova and the teenage bassist for Velvet Blue.  She dates Steve Zelinsky, a prospect of the Visigoths and speaks little English.

Obadiah ObieTerhune is an Afro-American male about 51 years old and is the maintenance chief at the Petersen Point Resort.  Actually, he is the entire maintenance department which should number at least ten.

Paris Saint Claire is the lead singer for the band Velvet Blue and granddaughter of Eustis Saint Claire.  She and Natty are best friends.

Rat is a nomad ‘Dog Soldier’ (nomad enforcer) with a particular hatred for drug dealers.  He is working with Ricco Torres to end the drug dealing out of the Panhandle Saloon.

Reverend Ezra Brown is the minister of the Blackwater Jubilee Baptist Church.  He is a happy jovial man in his fifties and his church is filled with singing and music.  He and Father Rivera are good friends.  The two have a standing checkers game every Thursday about 5 pm at the Blackwater General Store.

Richard King is a highly placed Disney executive that deals in ‘delicate’ situations.  He is the man Disney sends, when things are going wrong and action must be taken.  He has the nickname ‘King Dick’, but never to his face!

Sammy Trang is the drummer of the band, Velvet Blue and boyfriend of Amy Fry.

SandomirSandyZelinsky is the Vice President of the Visigoths MC.  He is a tall blonde, green eyed man.  Wild and fun loving in his youth, Sandy has matured into a clever and experienced leader.  He and Hank are best friends.

Sheriff Marcus G. (Garvey) Mason of Santa RosaCounty is a powerfully built African-American with a bald head and piercing brown eyes.  He has been sheriff for seventeen years and on the force for eight years before that as well as twelve years in the Army.  He has a cyberarm and two cybereyes as well as a lot of smaller cyberware.  The man has a reputation as a tough, honest cop who protects his county.

StefanSteveZelinsky is the eighteen year old son of the V.P. ‘SandyZelinsky of the Visigoths MC and has the same good looks and coloration as his father.  He is seeing Natty Lanikova.

Tran Xuan Giap is the elderly patriarch of the Tran family and a town councilman.  He is very conservative and old school.

Ty Saint Claire is Paris’s cousin and the smoking hot guitar player of Velvet Blue.  He is a bald (he shaves it) ebony skinned teenager.



The Action


Tuesday, January 22, 2047:

Good as her word, Carrie Anne shows up for work bright and early Tuesday morning.  She makes quite the entrance, driving up in her brand new BMW Daimler (courtesy of Disney).

Ricco meets his assistant manager in the parking lot and the two adjourn to his office to discuss the future of the hotel.  The Brazilian expresses his hope that they can work well together.  Carrie Anne echoes his sentiment.

Getting down to business, Ricco voices the major problem facing the resort.  “Number one priority, I see, is the need for more income. Do you agree?”

His assistant manager is in full agreement, “Absolutely”

“What do you see as top three ways of bringing in more income as swiftly as possible?” The Brazilian ticks of, on his fingers, the two areas he thinks would be easiest to exploit.  “I am thinking: get military back to Blue Moon and Panhandle Saloon, maybe get the golf course fixed and open… but I am open to suggestions.”

“Fill the hotel rooms,” is Carrie Anne’s first suggestion.  “The Blue Moon and the Panhandle are important, but we must fill the rooms.  Corporate doesn’t give us an advertising budget and most of our attractions are down anyway.  This used to be a glorious place, but all we are now is a fancy roadside motel.”

“What happened?”

The assistant manager takes a moment to compose her self. “I’m afraid most of the problems began with Randy Petersen, God rest his soul.  He was the general manager here for years.  All in all he was a wonderful man, but towards the end he got a little ……eccentric.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, for instance he had this dream of conquering his own Caribbean island and making himself king.” Carrie Anne’s care worn face softens as she speaks of the former manager.  She even allows herself a slight smile, at the though of ‘King Petersen’; but the moment passes.  The smile fades from her face, replaced by a look of deep sadness.   “He became secretive and suspicious.  This and his other little projects took his focus away and little by little, things around here started to deteriorate.”

It is obviously difficult subject to talk about, so Ricco moves on to other matters.  “If the Visigoths are banned, why did they escort the school bus last week?”

“To protect the children when the school’s sports teams travel, of course,” is the reply.  “Some have children here at the school.”

“Why are the Visigoths banned from the hotel properties?”

Again, Carrie Anne pauses before speaking.  “That was Randy’s decision.  It was a long time ago and he didn’t consult me on it… well, not that he should have anyway.”

The pair reviews the status of each department at the resort.  Carrie Anne spells out their needs as she sees them.  As they go down the list they finally come to the Marina. Ricco asks, “Why is it closed?”

This question elicits an even longer pause.  Conflicting emotions play across the assistant manager’s face as she deliberates what to say.  The answer, when it comes doesn’t disclose any details, but gives Ricco a clue on where to look.  “I’m sorry, but I really can’t talk about that.  There is a legal action pending and pretty much everyone involved is under a gag order not to discuss the case.”

The general manager makes a mental note to talk to Betty Lu.

The rest of the morning is spent meeting with the department heads; getting a feel for them and the needs of their departments.  The chef, Paul Gambier, just asks that his vendors are paid on time.

Beulah St. John of housekeeping states they could use a new industrial washer/dryer.  Her department is in fair shape, given the current level of occupancy.  Any increase in business though will mean new hires and more linen.

Eustis Saint Claire explains in great detail the age and fragility of the resorts existing water and sewer lines.   Any break down, could spell serious trouble.  With only his grandson Ty, as an assistant (who is actually paid by the Town of Blackwater) his department is seriously understaffed.

Manpower is main issue for the resorts for the resort’s maintenance department as well.

Obie Terhune expresses gratitude that Brandon Heath has come down to help repair the aging equipment, but without more bodies the deterioration will continue.  As it stands now, taking on new projects, such as repairing the golf course, would be out of the question.

Mention of the golf course reminds Ricco of the recent vandalism.   He brings it up to the maintenance chief, hoping he may have remembered something more since the last time they spoke.

Sadly Obie has nothing new to add.  “Nope, I think it happens at night, but sometimes a couple of months go by, or a couple of weeks.  It don’t make a lot of sense, really.”

After Obie leaves, Ricco calls in Brandon.  “I’m very happy with the way you have stepped up to the plate and shown initiative. You clearly understand our security needs.  Obie has expressed to me his gratitude on the work you have done at the maintenance department.

Brandon is a man of few words, “Glad to help.”

“We are stretched really thin. I am seeing if we can arrange for Crank to be an ‘adjunct security’ person. If so, then I want to have a meeting of three of us to figure out how we will cover everything”, Ricco continues.  “Also, I want you to be ‘on call’ for emergencies even when you are off duty. This of course also applies to me. Always call when you see something happening, no matter what time of day or night.”

The new security chief agrees.  He and Sam will work out a schedule to have someone on duty at all critical times.  Repairs on the security system are proceeding well.  When it is up and running at full capacity some of their problems will be solved.  Brandon returns to his patrol and Ricco sends for Betty Lu.

“What are you working on just now?” the Brazilian asks.

“Well, I have narrowed our immediate problems down to six.  I gave the list to Mr. Fisher last week. He has me working on the four old lawsuits regarding the trailer park and the hotel’s attempts to have the nomads evicted.” Betty Lu explains as she hands Ricco a copy of the list.  “There are eleven full boxes of legal briefs, transcripts and court filings.”

Torres glances down the list till he comes across: John Wilson Jr. et al vs. Petersen Point Marina.  “OK, well forget about the Trailer Park for now.  Work on the Wilson suit against the Marina.  I want a general idea of what this is about as soon as possible.”

Betty Lu breaks into a smile.  The Wilson suit is just one and a half boxes, “Yes, sir.”

Ricco contacts Charlie to ask if the can speak.  The nomad weaponsmith is at his bungalow having lunch.  Grabbing the remains of his sandwich he heads over to the hotel.  Like Sam before him, the new general manager floats the idea of hiring nomads.  The weapon smith lets Ricco finish, before shaking his head. “You people don’t talk do ya?”  Charlie tells him of the ban on any nomad working for the hotel.

“But, they wouldn’t be working for the hotel,” Ricco assures him.  “They would be working for Disney.  I could put the request on an official Disney letterhead if that would help?”

Charlie pauses.  It’s a good dodge. It might work, once. “What’s the job?”

“I need someone to work undercover to catch a drug dealer at the Panhandle Saloon,”

Charlie looks at him a little dumbfounded for a moment.  The weapon smith pulls out a bug detector and scans the room.  Once satisfied that they aren’t being recorded, the nomad pulls out a white noise generator and bug jammer.

“So, you want a rat?” the nomad asks.

Ricco tries to think of a more delicate word, but can’t.  “Essentially, yes.  I need an outsider to find out how the drugs are dealt.  Then I can gather evidence and bring in the sheriff.  The military needs to see we are working on the problem.”

“Hmm,” Charlie contemplates this.  “You know if it turns out nomads are involved in the dealing, then you’ll learn nothing.”

“I’ll take that chance.  This is for information only.  Your man won’t be involved in the actual take down, if it comes to that.  Look a man died of an overdose here.”

“OK,” the nomad responds.  “There might be a dog soldier who hates drugs enough to do this.  I’ll put out the word, but have a couple of thousand cash ready.”

“I will,” Ricco assures him.

“Oh, I almost forgot. I looked at the bug we found in Sam’s ….. I mean your office.  It’s out of juice now, but it’s a pretty standard commercially available one.  We took the serial number down.”  Charlie hands over the bug and information, then leaves.

Ricco contemplates his next move.   At the end of their Rio assignment, Catherine Vaduva sent him a package.  It contained B$1,500,000; roughly $500,000 in US currency.  While the young lady assured him the money was clean, he thought better of putting it into a bank in Brazil or an account under his own name.  The entire sum is sitting in an account in the Cayman Islands.

The resort needs financing.  It may be time to bring in some venture capital.  The Brazilian makes plans to create a Cayman Islands investment company (Cantagalo Investment Group) to be funded with $200,000 from his secret account.    After the company is set up he will travel to the Caymans and withdrawal $50,000 in cash.   This seed money will be used to convince Charles Ingersoll he has a Brazilian investor that will float an unsecured loan to the hotel to kick start a renaissance at the fading resort.  All it needs to go forward is the CEO’s and CFO’s approval.  It’s a win – win deal that Ingersoll can’t refuse.  The new general manager drafts a letter to corporate and sends it off

Later that afternoon, Ricco receives a call from the Panhandle.  Two Federal Agents are there ‘inspecting’ the place.  Heading to the saloon, he introduces himself to NCIS Special Agents Frank Michaels and Jebediah Biggs.  Like at the Blue Moon, the inspection and interviews are part of the review process.   The agents are pleasant and polite, but thorough.  They also promise to return before any decision is made on lifting the ban.

Ricco considers hiring an assistant as the phone continues to ring off the hook.  Such is the life of a general manager.  One welcome call comes from Richard King.   The Disney exec has been able to fill Ricco’s wish list.   Though used, the equipment is still serviceable.   King has even found a used security car.  Everything should arrive tomorrow. King Dick has also kicked his request to hire a local for security upstairs.  He expects an answer back by next Monday.


Staring at files all day has left Betty Lu mentally drained.  All she wants to do is crawl into bed.   Even dulled by fatigue, she picks up a sound like water rushing out of a faucet coming from under her bed.  Listening more closely, the sound is less like running water and more like that of a baby rattle; realization dawns.  She leaps back from the bed screaming; avoiding the snake’s strike.

Her continued screeching brings her neighbor, Alina Lanikova, to the door.  The dancer looks under the bed, from a safe distance.  She leaves, but returns a minute later with a garden hoe and her daughter, NattyAlina uses the tool to pull the angry reptile from under the bed, and then calls to her daughter.  Natty throws her what looks like a short handle of some sort.  In one fluid motion the dancer catches the handle from which a blade springs forth.  She flips the knife in mid-air, catches it by the blade and throws it at the rattler.  The snake is pinned to the floor with the switchblade lodged in its head.

More neighbors show up and search the place for any more scaly intruders.  None are found, but the aged screen on the back door has a hole down near the floor.  This hole is from age and not any recent or deliberate cutting.  Someone takes the snake out.  Its fate is now to be diner for a resort family.  As the adrenaline works its way out of her system, fatigue returns.   Though exhausted, Betty Lu’s sleep is fitful.  



Wednesday, January 23, 2047:

In the morning Ricco sends off the details (make, serial number etc.) on the bug found in Sam’s (now Ricco’s) office to an associate at Disney security in Orlando.  Hopefully they will be able to come up with something.  He then turns his attention to coming up with a viable plan to jump start more business at the hotel.

Sheriff Mason calls around 11 am.  “Sorry, I haven’t gotten back to you sooner, Ricco, but I’ve been real busy up north.  Look, can you meet me at 3 (pm) for lunch at the Blackwater Café?”

The general manager clears his afternoon schedule.   He arrives at the restaurant a little before 3 (pm).  For some reason the Café is closed. There are lots of bikers inside, but only two outside, at the door.  Ricco isn’t sure what he’s walking into.  Across the parking lot from the entrance and bikers are three deputies standing near two police cruisers.

As he approaches a hand appears through the glass paned door and signals the bikers standing guard.  The Brazilian is allowed to pass.  Sheriff Mason is sitting at a table with the President of the Visigoths.  Ricco is directed to the counter and told to order lunch.  After the other meeting breaks up, the bikers depart.  Mason sits down next to Ricco.  The Brazilian asks for time to work on the drug dealing problem at the Panhandle.  He asks that the sheriff not raid the place again as this might run afoul of his own investigation.

“I have a dead body in the morgue that leads back to your place, Ricco.  If there’s trouble there, I will act.  However, I can give you four weeks before I will have to come down hard,”

“OK.”  The general manager hopes it will be enough.  “If I get anything, I will bring you right in.”

“Good, now a week or so ago you asked me if there was anything you could do to help me. Is that offer still open?”

“Of course.”  Helping the sheriff could build some goodwill; possibly buying more time to find the drug connection at the Panhandle.

Sheriff Mason slides a file and disc across the counter to Rico.  “As I told you, the Blackwater area has been a pain in the ass.  Its reputation as a den of murdering thieves and pirates is well deserved.  These are my cold cases for just the Blackwater area dealing only with murder and suspicious disappearances dating back to when I took office as Sheriff seventeen years ago.  There are 27 victims here, and this list doesn’t include the many we have solved.  Statistically, this place is more dangerous than Night City, Detroit or Newark.  Have your boys take a crack at them.”

The two finish lunch and part company.  Ricco heads back to his office to look over the files:


Unsolved Murders & Disappearances around Blackwater 2030 to 2047


  • On Sunday, September 2nd Martin Long (24), a member of the Rattlesnakes MC of Panama City, FL, was found on the south side of interstate 10 just east of the Blackwater River Bridge.  Cause of death was from a single slashing wound across the throat.  From the angle and direction of the wound forensics has determined that the killer is most likely left handed.  Lack of blood at the scene may point to the victim being killed elsewhere and then dumped.  The body rolled down the embankment abutting the highway and ended on the property of Mr. Gary Porter.  Lack of other abrasions or damage to the victim’s clothing give a low probability that the body was thrown from a moving vehicle.  It is likely that the killer intentionally dumped the body down the embankment, so that it would not be discovered by a passing driver.  Mr. Porter claims to have been asleep when the body was dumped.



  • Jack Thomas (23) a security guard at the Petersen Point Resort was found in a destroyed security vehicle, owned by the Petersen Point Resort, in the early am on Monday, July 2nd parked on Coachman Road by Glitter Lane.  The victim was the only occupant.  Analysis of the bullets recovered from the body of the victim and remains of the vehicle were determined to be 5.56 ammunition.   Several hundred rounds were expended into the vehicle.  Mr. Thomas was struck 38 times, five shots being to the head.  Striations and trajectories of the bullets point to the possibility of multiple shooters. A rainstorm occurred between the time of the shooting and the discovery of the car by Bruce James at 6 am; contaminating the crime scene.  Forensic evidence was light.


  • On Sunday, December 3rd the body of Estelle Kean (22) was found in a trailer on Durwood Lane.  Neighbors indicated that the victim had been living in the trailer.  Cause of death is believed to be blunt force trauma to the head.  Sever damage was inflicted to the victim’s skull by an asymmetrical object possibly a rock).  In addition to the head wound, the victim was shot (6 times) and stabbed (27 times).  The victim was employed at the Blue Moon Revue.  Prior to her death Ms. Kean had been implicated in an outbreak of Syphilis II at the Pensacola COG.  The body and room had been washed down with bleach, hampering the recovery of DNA evidence.    Officers were called back a week later, responding to reports of a fire.   By the time personnel arrived on scene the structure was fully engulfed.



  • Grace Simmons (28), a dancer at the Blue Moon Revue was found raped and murdered behind her place of employment on Saturday, April 2nd.  The body was doused in industrial strength acid.  Based on the positioning of the corpse and burn patterns, it is believed the victim was dead prior to the application of the acid.  The solvent may have been used to destroy forensics evidence.



  • Frank Hill (23) and Kevin Greene (27) were found shot to death in their car parked at the Panhandle Saloon on Friday, March 13th, no witnesses.  Both victims were suspected of dealing drugs.  Based on the number of rounds and caliber it is believed that they were killed by automatic weapons.


  • On Saturday, November 7th Seaman 2nd Class Harvey Gagnon was stabbed to death in the parking lot of the Panhandle Saloon.  Synth-Coke was found on his person and in his system.



  • Kirby Fullerton (45), a guest at the Petersen Point Hotel disappeared while fishing on the Blackwater River in the middle of June.  A 5 day search turned up nothing but a bloody torn shoe, of the design and make the victim was last seen wearing.  Analysis confirmed that the blood belonged to Mr. Kirby.



  • On Wednesday, November 20th Patricia Anderson Ingersoll (35), wife of David Ingersoll, and their youngest child, Randal Ingersoll (14) were killed by the detonation of an explosive device attached to the ignition of her husband’s vehicle.  At the time of the explosion, the vehicle was parked in the driveway of the couple home, on the property of the Petersen Point Resort.  The device was activated when Mrs. Ingersoll started the vehicle.   The two victims were the only occupants of the vehicle.   The recovered components of the device were sent to LawDiv for analysis.  The ‘bomb’ was of a crude design, utilizing common household chemicals.  Mr. Ingersoll may have been the intended target.  Nomad involvement in the incident is suspected.



  • Mai Saint Claire, a reputed drug addict, disappeared from the Saint Claire Farm on or about Friday, February 10th.  Items of the victims clothing were missing from the residence, but Ms. Saint Claire left her young daughter, Paris behind.  Nothing has ever been heard from her since.  There are no suspects.



  • Retired FDLE Police Captain Calvin Hode serving as Director of Security at the Petersen Point Resort disappeared on Friday, April 15th and has not been seen since.  None of his things were missing as far as the police know.  His car was found in Pensacola Airport.  No video evidence available from the airport.



  • Stephanie Nichols (19), a student from Rutgers went missing from the Petersen Point Resort during February Spring Vacation.


  • Veronica Marshall (20), a student from Ohio State went missing from the Petersen Point Resort during April Spring Vacation.



  • Sarah Kelly (20), a student from Ohio State went missing from the Petersen Point Resort during February Spring Vacation.


  • Gina Marchand (18), a student from Penn State went missing from the Petersen Point Resort during April Spring Vacation.



  • Betty Hawes (22), a student from Williams College went missing from the Petersen Point Resort during April Spring Vacation.


  • Seymour Giles, a drifter from Colorado was found in the upper Blackwater Bay.  Cause of Death was blunt force trauma to the back of the head.  Particles in the wound and the contour of the laceration lead to speculation, that the murder weapon may be gardening implement.  The victim’s boss, Obadiah Terhune was questioned and held.  Grand Jury refused to vote an indictment.



  • Hanford Wells, chief of security of the Petersen Point Hotel was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds.  The slugs recovered were from a .44.   The victim was shot tree times; twice in the heart and once in the head.  Distance of the shots was determined to be within ten feet.  The victim was found 10 feet down the trial leading from the dock to the Pistol & Rifle Range.  Investigation of the scene determined that the victim was killed elsewhere then dumped. The site of the actual murder was not located.



  • On February 12th Frank Kingston (47) and his wife Heather (44) disappeared while fishing on the upper reaches of the Blackwater River. They were guests of the hotel.


  • Tran Van Son found shot at close range by a 12 gauge shotgun just off the Mae Lane Boat Ramp on Christmas morning in December.  At first suicide suspected but the gun belonged to Delmar Saint Claire.  Case still open.



  • In February Delmar Saint Claire failed to return from a fishing trip up the Blackwater River.  The victim’s wife, Mai Saint Claire and father, Eustis Saint Claire were interviewed, but no leads emerged.



  • Marybeth Petersen was killed when her motorcycle was driven off the road at a bend on Old Hickory Hammock Road near Mosley Lane.  Victim’s father, Randall Petersen, accused Tolland James, her alleged lover, of the crime but Henry Tremont, Sandomir Zelinsky and Karl Petersen provided Mr. James with an alibi.  Skid marks at the scene of the accident matched no vehicle owned by the accused or any of his known associates.



  • Tran Vinh Chu was found beaten to death under the dock where his father (Tran Xuan Giap) moors his shrimp boat, the Golden Flower.  Nomads suspected, but no evidence found to identify an assailant.



  • Two unknown nomads (Thelas Nation) found shot execution style and dumped in Blackwater Bay.  Synthetic heroin found in their systems.  No one claimed or IDed bodies.


A laundry list of unsolved crimes; it’s just like being back in Rio.  When Mason asks for help he doesn’t fool around.  Ricco recognizes several names on the list, not all family of the victims.

The Resort’s new (used) security vehicle pulls up to the Hotel around 3 pm.  In the trunk is a treasure trove of second hand security paraphernalia, surveillance equipment and a base monitoring station with 6 mini-cams and 6 mini-microphones.  A second car followed it up from Orlando; mainly as the driver’s ride back to Disney World, but also as a security precaution.   Given the hazards of driving at night, the two drivers opt to spend the night at the hotel.  Ricco comps their rooms and meals.


The general manager calls Freddy Timmons to compare notes.  He describes the damage to the golf course and asks the town constable if there has been similar vandalism in town.  Freddy hasn’t seen any himself and no one has reported it to him either.  The resort seems to be their only target.

Henrique calls around 5pm.  His show has been renewed for a second season, and he was considering filming a two part episode at a location outside of Miami.  But Miami has been so overdone.  The way Ricco described the Petersen Point Resort; it may be exactly what he’s looking for.  He’s talked with the writer about changing the setting to the panhandle of Florida.

“We could help each other, my old friend,” Henrique tells him.  “If we could get a good deal on rooms and if the hotel is big enough, then I could bring my production company there for a week or two to shoot in May.”

May is traditionally the beginning of the off season.  A multi-week video shoot will give the hotel and the town a huge influx of cash.  Ricco is all for it. Henrique will pitch the idea to his sponsors.


Beebe and Jason ‘clock out’ at the gun range and grab a small runabout for the ride home across Blackwater Bay.

“Are you in a hurry to get home?” Beebe asks Jason.

He’s not sure what she has in mind, but he has his hopes (and raging hormones) “Nah, I’m good”

Charlie’s house is always a busy placeAnd while Beebe loves her extended ‘family’, peace and quiet, not to mention privacy are hard to come by.   You have to take advantage of such moments where you can get them.  The young nomad finds a spot out of the primary shipping lane but still far enough from shore so that the ever-present mosquitoes and other pests aren’t a bother.   Dropping anchor the two settle back to soak in the waning rays of daylight.  Brilliant splashes of red and hazy hues of orange and ocher splash across the clouds overhead.  The colors shift towards deep maroons and muted shades of purple, as the sun dips towards the horizon.

Open deck space on the runabout is sparse, but the proximity is nice; comforting.  The two snuggle as the natural light show continues.  Soon they are kissing and the magic of the approaching evening takes over.  They enjoy each other’s company as the black water flows slowly by.  Growing twilight and the rolling wake from a larger vessel buffeting their small craft, signal that it’s time to get back to the house; before darkness swallows the entire bay.



Thursday, January 24, 2047:

By late morning, Betty Lu has finished reviewing the documents and filings of John Wilson Jr. vs. Petersen Point Resort.  She stops in at Ricco’s office and to report what she has learned about the lawsuit.

Around six years ago Peter Anderson, the manager of the marina, grossly overcharged a John Wilson Jr. for boat repairs.  Anderson sold the boat with an alleged forged bill of sale, just as the case was set to go to court.  The Santa Rosa County court judge, Hannibal Grey, found for John Watson Jr. and recommended the indictment of David Anderson for forgery.  John Watson Jr. put a lien on the Marina.  The judgment was appealed and reversed in record time by Judge Sanford Long in Tallahassee.  As a result of the reversal, the lien was lifted.  It also led to Andersen’s forgery indictment being thrown out.  The Wilson family filed their own appeal and the lien was reinstated.  The current judge issued a gag order on all concerned and the case has been mired in the courts ever since.  Petersen Point Properties, the hotel’s corporate parent, seems to be delaying.

“That’s odd. You would think corporate would want to get this case settled and move on.”

Betty Lu agrees. “The interest accumulating because of the delays will end up costing the hotel more than just settling.  The Wilsons have a solid case.”

“This still doesn’t explain why the Marina is still closed,”

Having look over the case thoroughly, the hotel lawyer confirms, “There is no legal reason why that operation is still closed.”

Perhaps there’s something they’ve missed.  King Dick was right.  There are a lot of conflicting agendas at work.  It will be impossible to figure it out till they know all the players.  Advising Betty Lu, to “look into it,” Ricco spends the rest of the afternoon researching the Petersen family tree; starting with the resort’s founder, Clarence Petersen.

Petersen Family Tree


Ricco calls Betty Lu back to his office so that they can go over the assembled Petersen Family Tree together.  As he suspected, Nancy Petersen is a distant relative of Charles and Francis Ingersoll (2nd cousins, once removed).  The Panhandle waitress’ mother, Anne, shares the same last name as Hank Tremont, President of the local charter of the Visigoths which operates out of Petersen’s Garage.

Grabbing the cold case files provided by Sheriff Mason, Ricco flips to the 2032 unsolved murder of Mary Beth Petersen.  Tolland James was the prime suspect in the case, but the Visigoth’s Sergeant at Arms was alibied by Henry Tremont, Sandomir Zelinsky and Karl Petersen.  It was soon after Mary Beth’s murder, that her grandfather and then general manager, Randy Petersen, banned the motorcycle club.

Betty Lu finds something else of interest.  The founder of the hotel was married to a Hodges.  “That’s the same last name as the current mayor.” (Mildred Hodges)  Being a small town, it stands to reason that many of the families would be interrelated.  But going by the genealogy and cold case files it looks like the may have stepped into an old fashion blood feud.



Friday, January 25, 2047:

Early Friday a nomad shows up on the doorstep to Ricco’s bungalow.  With an unkempt mop of dishwater hair and worn rumpled clothing he is quite a sight.  As way of greeting he tells the Brazilian, “I’m here about the Panhandle Saloon’s drug dealing problem.”

“What’s your name?”

The scruffy looking nomad thinks for a moment. “Just call me Rat.”

Ricco briefs his new informant on what he has so far.

“That pretty thin, but I’ll look into it.”  Rat lays out his terms.  “Until I turn up something, I work alone.  This is our last conversation till that time and I don’t want to hear from anyone working for you.  If I do, I am gone and I’ll still expect to be paid in full.”

The general manager has no problem with these terms.   He gives Rat $1000 as a down payment for his services.

Rat makes a last demand.  “One more thing, you pay for all my drinks and job related expenses.  It won’t be over $2000 more.”

The request isn’t outlandish, but Ricco doesn’t want to get fleeced.  “Itemize you expenses.”

“Of course.” With a smile the nomad turns and leaves.


Betty Lu is waiting for Ricco when he makes it into the office.  Per his request to continue her investigation, she delved into the financials.  Petersen Point Resort isn’t actually owned by Petersen Point Properties.  The real owner is something called the Petersen Point Trust.  That name also appears on one of the six outstanding legal cases.   The general manager asks her to look into the Trust and find out how the two entities are related.


That afternoon a ship owned by the Wilson Family pulls into a dock at one of the nomad controlled cottages.  Charlie receives and invitation to speak with an envoy from the family.

The language is polite, but it’s more a summons than invite.  Beebe has a good head on her shoulders and better people skills, so the weapon smith decides to take her along.

Their meeting is with Stuart Wilson.  The Thelas nomad lays it out plain and simple.  This isn’t a fight over money or a boat, but blood; Wilson family blood.   Betty Lu’s case files barely scratch the surface.

The manager before Frederick Harrington was David Ingersoll, brother of Charles Ingersoll, who along with Marina manager Peter Anderson, David’s brother in law, grossly overcharged John Wilson Jr. for boat repairs.  While the case was in court, he sold the boat with a forged bill of sale.  During the first legal fight, Frank Wilson, John’s brother confronted Anderson, who shot him dead.  Anderson claimed that Frank was armed and he shot in self-defense.  David Ingersoll, who was married to Peter Anderson’s sister and the only witness to the shooting, corroborated his brother in-law’s statement.

The Wilson family claimed that the firearm found at the scene wasn’t even Frank’s gun.  No charges were filed.  Andy Wilson, Frank’s 15 year old son lost it and shot Peter Anderson to death.  The Ingersoll and Anderson Families used their political influence to rush a quick trial and execution for the fifteen year old.  The family’s patriarch, John Wilson Sr. was so heartbroken he had a heart attack at the funeral of his executed grandson.  John Wilson Sr. was the founder and leader of the entire Thelas Nation.  The ban was instated after the alleged bribery of the appeals court judge.

Charlie commiserates with Stuart over the loss of his family members.  He shares their anger and rage, but still needs to find some way to forge a truce. “Is there anything that can be done to lift the ban?  The Ingersolls and the Andersons are no longer here.”

Charles Ingersoll is still the CEO and controls the hotel.  We want our money back.  NO nomad will work for Petersen Point Hotel until we get the $462,743 for the boat that was sold illegally and are reimbursement for our legal fees; $117,962.00.  The longer they delay, the higher that number goes.  We also want a personal letter of apology to John Wilson Jr. from the Petersen Point Resort.”

The weapon smith is relieved that there’s no demand for retribution or bodies to be delivered to the Wilsons.  His relief overrides his curiosity to ask why there’s no blood price.   Charlie asks if the Thelas nomad will speak to Ricco, the resort’s new general manager, but Stuart is adamant.  He will see no one until restitution is made!

Stuart lets them know he will be leaving in the morning.  Charlie fears this means he has less than 12 hours to resolve the situation.  The Thelas nomad sets him straight.  “Call me when you have something.  It’s just not healthy for me to hang around here till this is settled.”


Charlie and Beebe take the Wilson’s terms to Ricco.  Although the family’s anger is directed at Charles Ingersoll, it is the Petersen Point Hotel that is bearing the brunt of it.

“You (the resort) fucked them (the Wilsons) up the wall and now they are returning the favor,” Charlie explains in his own folksy fashion.

Ricco shares his own opinion of Charles Ingersoll, “The man is a total dick wad!”

The three throw ideas back and forth on how to raise the money.  Beebe suggests some creative financing.  The scheme involves kidnapping Charles Ingersoll. Although she never actually uses the word or mentions the CEO by name, it clear who she means.  Amusing as the thought may be, Ricco doesn’t want to go that route.  The brain storming session ends without a plan being reached.



Saturday, January 26, 2047:

The Petersen Point School basketball team has a home game against Gulf Breeze Prep.  Nearly the entire town turns out.  Watching from the packed stands Beebe recognizes the center and the right forward of the opposing team.  Now she can put a name to a face, or at least a last name.  Their jerseys may say Walters and Johnson, but to her they will be the ‘assholes’ who chased Lilly Tran and attacked them at the party where she first met the band.  Scanning the crowd, she finds the small knot of Gulf Breeze fans and finally spots their third amigo.   He is sitting with some well-dressed adults; possibly parents.  Blocking entry to their row is an overly cybered bodyguard.

As the game progresses, the lead official is blatantly favoring Gulf Breeze.  In spite the phantom fouls and missed calls, Petersen Point is ahead by a one point as the game comes down to the wire.  At the buzzer the ref calls a flagrant personal foul against the home team, sending Danny Johnson to the free throw line; (1 and 1) to tie/win the game.  Both teams’ cheerleaders move to behind the end line.   Just as Johnson is about to release the ball, the Petersen Point cheerleaders yank up their tops and flash the Gulf Breeze forward.   His shot sails over the backboard.  The referee doesn’t catch the display and signals the end of the game.

Petersen Point wins, setting off pandemonium in the stands. Gulf Breeze cries foul as Petersen Point fans celebrate.  Pushing his way through the crowd, the heavily cybered bodyguard makes his way to the floor.  He catches up to the ‘dirty’ referee near center court and shows him something on his phone.   After a hasty conference the ref, blows his whistle and declares the game is not over.

A chorus of boos and profanities rain down from the crowd, drowning out the official’s explanation of the infraction.  The Petersen Point cheerleaders are ejected and Danny heads back to the line to retake his shoot.  The din doesn’t let up as Johnson dribbles the ball, straightens and pauses briefly before letting the shot go.  Leaving his hand the ball arcs towards the hoop, hits the left side of the rim, then the right, before falling out.  It’s no good!

Johnson buries his face in his hands.  Beebe yells out from the stands “third times a charm” as the umpire calls the game for Petersen Point, who remains undefeated.  The lead ref is too preoccupied staring up at the bodyguard and the well dressed couple he protects.  He beats a hasty retreat from the court.


After the game Beebe and Jason head to the Saint Claire Farm for a victory party.  The win is especially sweet since none of them like the stuck up snobs from Gulf Breeze Prep.  Velvet Blue is especially hot tonight!

Business at the Panhandle is better than normal.   The win has given locals a reason to celebrate.

About 9 pm, the burglar alarm at the school goes off and the newly repaired security computer signals the security staff over their radios.  Sam Fisher is dispatched to check it out.  A minute or so later the alarm on the fuel storage area near the docks is tripped.  This is followed in rapid succession by the fuel dock office and fuel pump alarms.  Both Ricco Torres and Brandon Heath head over to investigate.  Brandon arrives first and checks the fuel tanks.  The lock and chain on the fence gate has been cut, but the tank appears fine.  Ricco arrives to find the front door of the fuel dock’s office kicked open.  He also notices a small fire down by the fuel pump on the dock.  Brandon joins him at the office door.  Ricco directs his security chief to check out the office while he puts out the fire.  The blaze is confined to a small waste basket next to Gardner Weems’ chair.  A search of the office finds nothing missing.  In the office Brandon discovers a security video recorder.  Over the radio, Sam reports that the school is secure.

Ricco and Brandon play back the video from the time the alarms were set off.  The system has three cameras.  One watches the door of the office, a second the inside and the last watches the top of the dock where the pump is.  On the recording a shadowed figure kicks in the door of the office, but does not enter; they instead head for the dock.  After throwing a lit match in the waste basket the figure runs out of frame heading towards the end of the dock.  Heath and Torres try to figure out what it all means when Brandon’s phone rings.  There has been a major fight/riot at the Panhandle Saloon.

By the time Ricco, Brandon and Sam get back to the Panhandle; Constable Freddy Timmons is already on the scene.  The place is a mess.  A convoy of police cruisers and ambulances pull into the parking lot.  Their strobing lights cast the scene is a surreal light.

Johnny Tucker tries to explain what happened.  “After the boss (Ricco) and Brandon there left a group of ‘customers’ all stood up and flipped out collapsible batons.  They started to beat everyone senseless.  Well, almost everyone.  They did touch any of the employee’s.  We were just pushed aside by some heavily cybered folk, who smashed all the booze behind the counter.

There were three people at a back table that they left alone too.  They kept at it for a couple of minutes till those three got up and walked out.  Then they just stopped and left.  After the last one pulled out of the lot, the phones started working again.  I called you as soon as I could.”

Brandon questions the assistant manager.  “Have you seen those three before?”

“First time.”

A jittery Johnny Tucker ends up retelling his story several times to Sheriff Mason and other members of law enforcement.  Accounts from other customer’s are the same.  Nobody recognized the attackers or the three who walked out first.

Security cameras outside the bar aren’t working so there’s little Mason can do.  Like Ricco and Brandon, he is of the mind that this was a planned and coordinated attack.  The question remains, by whom?

As to the victims, several need medical attention.  Those without insurance are being taken to the hotel infirmary.  The hotel will be picking up the tab for the care.



Sunday, January 27, 2047:

The party at the Saint Claire Farm breaks up about at 2 in the morning.  Drunk and tired, Beebe lets Jason do the driving.  On the way back the young nomad spots a strange glow coming from the golf course.   Driving towards the light, they find fire burning on the fairway.  The two jump out of the vehicle and quickly extinguish the flames.  The smoking letters spell out the word skanks.

The burst of adrenaline from racing to put out the blaze has cleared her head.  Beebe picks up the lingering smell of turpentine.  It the same smell that was on the three assholes, who chased after Paris’ cousin.  She has Jason contact Ricco. 

The hour is early and Ricco has had little sleep thanks to the melee at the Panhandle.  News of more vandalism sends him over the edge.  He is fuming by the time he arrives at the course.  His anger is not directed at the two nomads, but at the perpetrators.  With no witnesses they’ll get away with it, like the attackers at the Panhandle.

Beebe gives him his first piece of good news.  She tells the general manager about the accelerant used in the fire and where she had smelt it before.   “All three were at the game yesterday.  Two were starters for the Gulf Breeze Team.”

Heading to his office, Ricco jumps on the NET and looks up the Gulf Breeze basketball team.  He identifies two of the boys as Hadley Walters III and Danny Johnson.  At a decent hour the Brazilian drives over to the Sheriff’s office to file a complaint.  When the deputy sees the names he balks.  “Are you sure you want to name these two boys? Especially on the word of what some nomad girl thought she smelled at a party?”

“Why not?” Ricco asks.

“Well,” the deputy continues, “Both the fathers are wealthy, Escambia County lawyers for one thing.  They probably won’t take it well, if you officially accuse their kids of vandalism without any real evidence.”

Ricco decides not to press the issue and heads home to try and catch a couple of hours of sleep before going to church.  After the service the Brazilian sees one of the girl’s from the fight at the state boat ramp.  She was part of the group of girls shouting the word, skank.  Currently she is paying her respects to Councilman GiapRicco goes over to do the same.  He follows the girl but the teenager gets in a car with her parents.  Torres decides to speak with her another day.


Later that afternoon, an alarm is tripped at the old storage shed at marina boat yard.  Brandon heads down to check it out.  Upon arrival, he finds Beebe, Paris and Natty flying kites off the marina docks, with a bunch of young nomad kids sitting around watching them.  When asked, none of the older girls have seen anyone near the storage shed, but one of the younger nomads tells him, “Some big kids went around back.”  With Beebe, Paris and Natty in tow, Brandon checks the perimeter of the large two and a half story structure.  They find a small, narrow horizontal window that has been forced open.  It is too small for Brandon to fit in.  He reports the break-in to Ricco and heads to the buildings side door.  Beebe stays by the window to make sure whoever broke in doesn’t try to escape.  Heath’s keys will open the lock, but there is a second heavy duty pad lock.  While he mulls over getting some tools to break in, Paris asks, “I think I can help, if you won’t get mad.”

Brandon accepts her offer.  Paris produces a lock pick and pops open the padlock in short order.  The door is surprisingly thick, more of a blast door than the typical portal you’d find on a storage shed.  Rusty hinges make an awful screech as it swings open.  Just inside the doorway is barrier of plastic sheeting.  Cutting through the barrier, Brandon enters a small office with an interior door that proves to be as thick as the last.  Once through this portal, he enters the interior of the storehouse.

When the marina was closed down everything was packed carefully inside.  The cavernous space is filled with a gigantic mess of stored boats and equipment.  Like the doors, the walls of the structure are extremely think; Brandon’s best guess would be two feet.  While the security officer spent his time breaking into the side door, Beebe slipped through the window with a flashlight provided by Natty. The bassist had run off to retrieve it from the glove compartment of Paris’ grandfather’s pickup truck.

Once inside she pulls out her knife.  Not knowing who is in the storehouse, or how they are armed, she holds the flashlight in her off hand, braced over wrist of her knife hand.  It may fool them into thinking she has a gun.  Either way, it stops the tremors caused by the surging adrenaline.

Ricco enters the building and tries to turn on the power, to no avail.  The massive commercial fuses are missing.  Brandon switches to thermo to look for heat signatures.  Thinking she heard something to her left, Beebe clambers up a one story pile of junk covered by canvas and old tires.  At the top is a hatch, going down into the pile.  Listening closely, the young nomad can hear voices below, but they are distorted.  It’s impossible to make out what they’re saying.

She slips through the hatch and descends into a chamber just above the voices.

Billy, do you think they’re gone?”

“I don’t know.  Let’s wait another five minutes.”

It’s just a couple of kids.  She let herself get keyed up for nothing.  Swinging down through the lower hatch, she surprises the two terrified youngsters who scream and plead for their lives.

“Oh, God, please, don’t kill us!  We’re sorry.”

The young nomad urges the blubbering boys up and out of their hiding place.  Though she knows better, Beebe can’t help herself.  She calls after the retreating youths, urging in a raspy whisper, “Climb faster Billy.”   For the frightened boy it’s too much.  His bladder gives way.  Urine cascades down his leg to rain down on the girl below.  Beebe is mortified; not by the unintended shower, but that she could be so cruel.  Ducking back into their hidey-hole to avoid a further dousing and regain her composure, the girl takes a moment to wick the salty spray from her face.  It is only after her eyes are clear that she truly appreciate the contours of her surroundings.

Her mom was a tank commander during the Liberian – Nigerian War of 2023 and again in the Fourth Corporate War.  After retiring, collecting and restoring old tanks became one of her passions.  How did she not recognize she was sitting in the turret of a Militech A-20 Panzer?  All thoughts of frightened children and involuntary bodily functions are forgotten as she idly strokes the cool metal of the tank hull.

Seized by an idea, Beebe rummages around the turret, till she comes up with the vehicles technical manual.  The book is pristine; still tucked in its protective plastic sheath.  Sliding it out of the plastic, she sniffs it as one might the cork of a fine wine.  A sheaf of papers falls out of the front of the manual.  Among them is the title of ownership.  Beebe knows, there’s no way she’ll be allowed to keep it, but try as she might, the girl can’t silence the tiny voice in the back of her head yelling DIBS!

Her reverie is interrupted by a voice from above. “Ms. Lafferty, are you alright?”

“I’m fine!  Be right there.”

After placing the papers back into the front of the manual and sliding it back into the protective cover, Beebe tucks the folio into the front of her bib overalls.  Brandon is waiting at the top of the hole.  Their would-be burglars are at the bottom of the pile with Ricco and Paris.  Eager to share her discovery, Beebe shows the manual to the new security chief.  When it becomes clear that Brandon intends to walk off with her prize, the young nomad is polite but firm. “May I please have that back?”

“It’s not yours”

“I know.  But I found it, so I should be the one to give it to Ricco.” The tank may be worth more to the Wilson family than any amount of cash, but Beebe doesn’t share this information with the security chief.   He wasn’t in their meeting, and may not be read in on the situation.  Besides, if she can’t keep the tank, she’s damn well going to get the credit.  Beebe gives him her best smile and holds out a hand.

Brandon assesses the nomad girl.  So long as it ends up in the hands of the general manager, he doesn’t care who gives it to Ricco.  He hands back the manual and heads towards the floor of the store house.  Beebe follows with a satisfied grin.


The boys turn out to be guests.  Ricco has the security chief take them back to the hotel.  On the ride Brandon promises not to rat them out to their parents, so long as they swear not to break into any more buildings.   Both agree emphatically.

Good as her word, Beebe hands the paperwork over to Ricco.  As the two discuss the tank, they forget that Paris is still there, till the girl pipes up, “There’s a tank under there?”  It may be better to carry on the discussion in a secure place.   They agree to meet within the hour at Ricco’s office.   Paris’ promises Beebe not to tell anyone.  The young nomad is sure she’ll try, but what teenage girl could sit on such a juicy piece of gossip.   The band will probably know by the end of the day.  From there, who knows?

After sealing up the storage bunker, Beebe races back to the house to collect Charlie.   On the way to Ricco’s office, the weapon smith floors her by asking if she wants the tank.  She can’t deny that she wants it, but could never ask him or her mom to buy it for her.  She owes them too much already.  Anyway the tank has other uses.

Ricco has Brandon join them.  The tank is the property of the hotel; purchased by one of the former General Managers, Randy Petersen.  According to the paperwork, the tank was bought as salvage.  Beebe assures them that the paperwork is wrong. “There wasn’t any power, so I couldn’t test the systems, but from what I saw of the hull looked sound.  We’ll have to dig it out to be sure.”

Though she works Charlie as a weapon’s tech, Beebe’s mother trainer her to be a panzer girl.  The young girl practically gushes as she gives them an overview of the standard A-20.  “It’s the ultimate nomad smuggling vehicle; maybe exactly what the Wilson’s need”.  Ricco asks Charlie to contact the Wilson Family.



Monday, January 28, 2047:

Ricco sits down with Betty Lu and Carrie Anne.  They have to figure out what to do if the Wilson’s accept the Militech A-20 panzer and settle the lawsuit.   Based on Betty Lu’s review of the paperwork and the operating regulations of the hotel, transferring the title shouldn’t be an issue.  Since the tank isn’t listed as an ‘attraction’ of the resort, the general manager has the authority to sell it.  The problem is that a sale of this magnitude will have to be reported to Petersen Point Properties (corporate) and Ricco doubts that Charles Ingersoll will let them keep the money or use the vehicle to settle the Wilson law suit.  They mull their options.

With Ricco’s approval Beebe returns to the storage bunker to freshen up the interior of the tank.  They need to put their best foot forward.  A lingering smell of stale urine could definitely affect the value.

It’s all hands on deck at the Panhandle Saloon. As soon as the Sheriff releases the bar as a crime scene, the staff begins repairs.  There is dried blood to mop up and thousands of dollars in liquor to be replaced.  Crank is informed by Carrie Anne that Charles Ingersoll cancelled the bar’s insurance coverage for incidents such as this a year and a half ago as a way to save money.

Late in the afternoon, Richard King calls Ricco and informs him that Disney has allocated funds for a new security hire for the Petersen Point Resort effective immediately.  He hopes it helps.



Tuesday, January 29, 2047:

Stuart Wilson returns to Peterson Point to examine the Militech A-20 panzer.  He still refuses to speak with anyone from the resort.   Beebe takes him to see the tank.  After viewing the vehicle, he is willing to accept the letter of apology from Ricco.  The document is on Petersen Point Stationary and contains more than just a perfunctory mea culpa.  It is heart felt and genuine.  In crafting the letter, Ricco allowed his own disdain for Charles Ingersoll to show through.

Even used, the tank’s value is about $100,000 than the agreed upon settlement amount, but the Disney exec insists on a straight trade.  The Wilson’s pay $1; a nominal price for a ‘wrecked’ hover tank.  Ricco’s generosity impresses the Wilson Family envoy.  Stuarts offers to clean out the storage warehouse and restore the marina equipment.  It’s a little bit of a self serving offer, as they’ll need the cranes to dig out the tank.

This deal is accepted by all parties.  The Wilsons will have a crew on site by next Monday.  Stuart estimates the job will take two weeks.  The two part with cautious optimism.  If all goes well they may be able to expand on the success of this deal.   Charlie and Beebe garner respect among the local nomads for brokering the deal.  For Charlie it’s not such big a deal, but for young Beebe this is her first step on a bigger stage.

The Florida High School Sports Federation denies Gulf Breeze Prep’s request to force Petersen Point to forfeit last Saturday’s game.  Media coverage of the egregious refereeing plays a large part in that decision.  However, the Petersen Point Cheerleading Squad is suspended from performing at any game for the next four weeks.  Viral videos of their stunt become a staple on NET and MyFace postings for months.




Episode 5 – When ’punks Don’t Try


Ricco takes measures to fast track repairs to the resort’s anemic security system.  With the backing of Disney corporate, he hunts for someone local to fill out the ranks of the security team. The general manager also addresses the lack of staffing in the areas of Marketing and Public Relations.  Hiring established professionals in these fields is beyond the budgetary means of the hotel.  Cold calls to colleges in the region produce a crop of canditates that may fit the bill.

The ‘Dirty Deeds’ group receives its inaugural mission.   Planning and preparation are hindered by clashing personalities.  The team suffers its first setback as the mission ends in tragedy.

‘Idle hands are the devil’s playthings’.   Petty vandalism escalates into a weekend in jail, as the three assholes from Gulf Breeze find out what happens when you mix generous amounts of alcohol with three young ladies possessed of a penchant for mayhem and a vindictive streak a mile wide.

Henrique tells Ricco he is sending a location team to scout out the resort and look at this band, Velvet Blue.



Sam Fisher, retired Delta Force colonel and C.I.A. assassin, has finally been ‘officially’ released from prison after serving his sentence for extortion due to a botched operation in the Atlantic City part of the Burn Notice Campaign.  Part of his (unofficial) deal for pleading guilty at the time was that he would receive his government pensions on his release from prison, but the government isn’t able to honor that part of the agreement.  He is informed by his old friend, Nathan Forrest, Deputy Director for Clandestine Services at the C.I.A., that his pensions could be restored if he assists in a very black operation on United States soil.

President Whindam has decided to bring the four southern states known collectively as the ‘Cotton Kingdoms’ to heel.  Sam, accompanied by his fiancée Rianna Prescott, will be sent to Santa Rosa County in the Florida panhandle near the Pensacola COG to the Petersen Point Resort, a seedy old tourist destination that will serve as a ‘safe house’ for operations to bring down the state government of Alabama.  He will also be tasked with the occasional mission himself.  To help him, a ‘Dirty Deeds’ group has been assembled whose covers are as employees of the hotel.  Only Sam knows this is a government sanctioned operation.


Dramatis Personae


The NPCs

Alina Lanikova is the lead dancer at the Blue Moon Revue.  She is a stunningly beautiful (ATTR 10), tall 29 year old Czech woman.  Her skills are exceptional and she acts as ‘Den Mother” to the other dancers.  She lives at the Resort with her teenage daughter.

Charles Ingersoll is the grandson-in-law of Sophie Petersen, widow of Randy Petersen and heiress to the Petersen Family Trust.  He serves as CEO of the Petersen Point Properties Group.

Danny Johnson (17) is the center on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team and one of those self-entitled little pricks who tangled with Beebe at the party in Episode 2.

Father Ernesto Rivera is the Puerto Rican born priest of St. Peter’s by the Sea.  He is 32 years old and very warm and friendly.

Frank Michaels is the senior NCIS agent at the Pensacola COG.

Freddy Timmons is a rotund little man in his forties, who stutters a bit and seems almost comically nervous.  He is a town constable.

Hadley Walters III is a 15 year old student and forward on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team.  He is an arrogant self-entitled little prick, who tried to attack Lilly Tran (Episode 2) and who Ricco suspects is one of the Golf Course vandals.

Henrique:  A former Favela drug lord (nicknamed the King Snake) and leader of the Red Command who took a government amnesty offer and got out of the drug business.  Henrique used to belong to a Brazilian pop group manufactured by a record company.  When his voice changed he was fired and thrown back into the favela where he rose to the top of the local gang.  The man now runs a media company which works with Disney.  He and Ricco Torres grew up together with Ricco being the younger ‘brother’ (nicknamed Cobrinha – Little Snake).

Jason Fry is a young Thelas nomad serving of Charlie’s test ship, the Sea Snake.  His sister is Amy Fry.  He has a thing for Beebe.

Jebediah Biggs is the junior agent (probie) from NCIS and partner to Agent Michaels.  He wears a Marine crew cut.

Johnny SquintTucker, a not overly bright man about 36 years old who is the assistant manager and head bartender for the Panhandle Saloon.

Karl Petersen is the owner of Petersen’s Garage and also treasurer of the Visigoths MC.

Major Rachel Fredericks is an Army CID officer on the team inspecting the Blue Moon Revue.  She is a no nonsense kind of person who only smiles with permission from higher ups.

Michael Jay Tran is the great nephew of Tran Xuan Giap and an ex-soldier and Philippine policeman.  He is hired at the Petersen Point Resort.

Mr. Zeitsev is the code name for Sam Fisher’s contact on this secret, black project.  He is the government’s ‘Mr. Johnson’.

Nancy Petersen is a 25 year old cocktail waitress at the Panhandle saloon.

Natty Lanikova is the daughter of dancer Alina Lanikova and the teenage bassist for Velvet Blue.  She dates Steve Zelinsky, a prospect of the Visigoths and speaks little English.

Paris Saint Claire is the lead singer for the band Velvet Blue and granddaughter of Eustis Saint Claire.  She and Natty are best friends.

Sheriff Marcus G. (Garvey) Mason of Santa RosaCounty is a powerfully built African-American with a bald head and piercing brown eyes.  He has been sheriff for seventeen years and on the force for eight years before that as well as twelve years in the Army.  He has a cyberarm and two cybereyes as well as a lot of smaller cyberware.  The man has a reputation as a tough, honest cop who protects his county.

StefanSteveZelinsky is the eighteen year old son of the V.P. ‘SandyZelinsky of the Visigoths MC and has the same good looks and coloration as his father.  He is seeing Natty Lanikova.

Tran Xuan Giap is the elderly patriarch of the Tran family and a town councilman.  He is very conservative and old school.

Ty Saint Claire is Paris’s cousin and the smoking hot guitar player of Velvet Blue.  He is a bald (he shaves it) ebony skinned teenager.


The Action

Wednesday, January 30, 2047:

Ricco calls an early morning security meeting; topics of discussion, the organized attack on customers at the Panhandle Saloon and measures to be undertaken to rectify the holes in their security apparatus.  The list of attendees is kept small.  Outside of the security staff (Brandon & Sam) only Crank and Betty Lu are invited.

After a recap of the indecent on Saturday, Ricco lays out his plan.

“In light of the attack I’m rehiring Steve and Natty to finish repairs on the security system. “However…I’m leaving it up to you two to install the new cameras.  Brandon and Sam should well be up to the task. Having the prospect and his girlfriend repair the system is all well and good, but there is a fine line between trust and loyalty.  Ricco holds no illusions that Steve isn’t sharing what he knows with the Visigoths; no need the have the MC aware of their camera coverage or more importantly, blind spots.

“We need to set up video surveillance inside and outside of the Blue Moon Revue and Panhandle Saloon.”

Crank briefly interrupts, “Uh, cameras aren’t allowed to inside the Blue Moon…even security cameras.  It was part of the court ruling that allowed the club to reopen after the Syphilis (II) outbreak last year.”

If cameras aren’t allowed then a stronger physical security presence may be needed.  It’s something to discuss, but later.  For the moment, the general manager turns back to the topic of video surveillance.

“We’re going to need cameras installed to watch the golf course.  We have three suspects that are more than likely the ones vandalizing the course.  But we do not have proof.  Unless we catch them in the act, we need some sort of evidence to tie them to the crime.”

Not all of those present are aware of the vandalism or the suspects.   After bringing them up to speed on the particulars, Ricco turns to the subject of beefing up security.   With their security force spread thin, he suggests keeping a shotgun behind the bar at both clubs.

Sam opposes the idea“No good can come of itFirst of all, do the bartenders even how to use a shotgun? Second, once the shooting starts the bodies will pile up.”

The majority of violence at the Panhandle and Blue Moon is usual confined to drunken brawls.  Both bartenders at the gentleman’s club are cybered.  Ming Le, has a pair of cyber legs.  Betty St. John has a cyber arm.  She is also a former Marine, Force Recon.  Sam is confident they can deal with most problems without firearms.  As for Johnny (Tucker) at the Panhandle, he’d probably end up shooting himself or even worse an innocent bystander.

The thought of an accidental shooting sours Ricco on the idea.  “We’ll table the discussion of arming the bartenders, for the time being.  Moving on to other business, I have been authorized to hire another full time security officer.  I would prefer to hire local, hopefully someone within the local Vietnamese community.  Except for in the bars, there are no Vietnamese workings at the hotel.  Since 35% of the population of Blackwater is Vietnamese or of mixed Vietnamese descent, we should find someone qualified from that pool.”

The move makes sense.  It could go a long way to building good will with the local community.  There are no objections.  No one has anything else to add, so Ricco calls an end to the meeting.

He asks Betty Lu to remain for a moment, as the others file out of his office.

Their conversation is brief.   “I need you to locate a corporate attorney in the Cayman Islands.”  No details are volunteered and none are asked for.  If the hotel counsel feels it an odd request, she does not betray it openly.   With the simple acknowledgement, “I’ll get right on it,” Betty Lu leaves for her own office.

Once alone, Ricco returns to his desk to call Father Rivera.   The general manager explains his interest in hiring locally and asks the pastor for any recommendations he may have to fill the new security position.   Father Rivera says that he is unable to help as he doesn’t know anyone with those credentials offhand.  Thanking the priest for his time, the Brazilian decides to try his luck with Tran Xuan Giap.   The older gentleman not only takes his call personally, he invites Ricco to tea at 5 that afternoon.

With the inspections of the clubs out of the way NCIS turns its attention to the hotel.   Agents Frank Michaels, Jebediah Biggs are at the front desk, promptly at 11 am, with three lab techs in tow.  Notified of their arrival by the desk clerk, Ricco comes out to greet them.  He gives agents the run of the facilities and makes himself available to answer any questions.  His cooperation does not go unnoticed or unrewarded.  The inspectors put away their credentials and discretely go about their inspection.

Ricco investigates bringing on paid interns for the spring to work in PR and Marketing.  Of the schools contacted, only three, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University and Jacksonville University express interest.  While there is currently no formalized internship program at the resort, the general manager drafts proposal that he hopes will be attractive and inviting to prospective applicants.

The inspectors finish up around 4.  Though they don’t share their findings, Agent Michaels gives the general manager an unofficial ‘thumbs up’ before departing.  Not wanting to be late for his appointment with Mr. Giap, Ricco leaves early.  The Vietnamese elder proves to be the consummate host.  He also just happens to have a great nephew, Michael Jay Tran, who is looking for work.

Mr.Giap explains that his (great) nephew has a background in law enforcement.  He was a member of the Philippine National Police, before leaving to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.  Prior to joining the PFP, Michael served in the Philippine Marine Corps.  Mr. Giap does not believe in coincidence.  That such a position would become available at the same time that his (great) nephew is finishing his degree is a fortuitous event.  The old man is quiet a sales man, but he is preaching to the quire.  This is exactly what Ricco was looking for.  The general manager arranges to meet with Michael tomorrow morning.

Since Mr. Giap has proven to be so helpful with his employment search, Ricco decides to broach another subject with the Vietnamese elder.   The list of cold cases, given to him by Sheriff Mason, has been weighing on the ex-cop’s mind.   When he was on the job, he had trouble letting a case go unresolved.  It’s what eventually drove him from the force.  Being able to finally arrest George Brazzo gave closure.  Ricco hopes to give the same piece of mind to the families of these victims.

He asks Mr. Giap about the 2031 murder of Tran Vinh Chu.  The wizened smile drains from the old man’s face.   He stares sightlessly at something over Ricco’s shoulder.  “Are you all right,” the Brazilian asks in concern.

Giap does not answer.  He rises wordlessly and leaves the room.   Not knowing what to do, the ex-cop stays rooted in his seat.  To the Disney exec, it feels like an eternity before one of the old man’s grandchildren comes to check on him.

“Please forgive my grandfather.  The name you mentioned is that of his eldest son.   Grandfather has never gotten over his death.”  Though the youth tries to assure Ricco, all will be well in a couple of days, he can’t shake the haunted expression on Giap’s face or miss the fact that the young man never mentions the name of the deceased as they speak.  It only deepens his unease.  As he leaves, Ricco hopes this hasn’t destroyed the good will he has built with the councilman.


Around the same time that the general manager is enjoying his tea with Mr. Giap, Sam Fisher receives a registered letter from Mr. Zeitsev via Federal Express Mail Service.  A signature won’t suffice for this package The courier produces a small hand held scanner, which he uses to read the registration code off of the ex-agent’s cybereye.   Satisfied with the scan, he hands over the package and leaves.

Inside of the envelope is the Dirty Deeds Team’s first mission and $20,000 expense money.  The briefing calls for the team to neutralize an Alabama State Police checkpoint, to allow a tractor trailer and its cargo to pass through safely into Florida.  The truck will be at the crossing near 2 am on this coming Sunday.  Death toll should be kept to a minimum if at all possible.  Special care must also be taken not to damage the pipeline running parallel to the bridge.  Most importantly the team must not be seen retreating back into Florida.

Sam flips through the dossier, which contains tactical maps and a diagram of the checkpoint.  The installation sits at the bridgehead where Alabama Route 16 runs into Florida Route 10.  An armed bunker guards the road and approaches.   There are firing ports on every facing and a heavy weapons mount on the roof.  On the roadway are two simple gates that can be lowered to block traffic in either direction.  Built into the surface of the road are twin retractable spike strips that will tear up the tires of any vehicle trying to run the barrier.

The entire checkpoint is manned by at least a dozen heavily armed and possibly heavily cybered officers of the Alabama State Police.  In addition to the boots on the ground, the crossing is protected by drone surveillance.  There is also a mooring for riverine patrol craft within a hundred yards of the bridge and instillation.

The ex-agent pours over the briefing, but fails to notify the rest of the team of their impending mission.



Thursday, January 31, 2047:

Though tea with Councilman Giap ended on a sour note, his great nephew still arrives bright and early on Thursday morning.  As Brandon will be the new security officer’s direct superior, Ricco asks him to sit in on the interview.  Michael Jay Tran’s accomplishments are impressive, as the man himself.  Standing nearly two meters tall and solidly built, he has the bearing of a military man.  For those who can recognize it, there is also a subtle fluidity to his stance and movements that speak of a high degree of martial arts training.

The interview goes smoothly, save one awkward moment.  The head of security has a penchant for addressing people by their last name.   Michael is no exception.  “Welcome aboard Mr.  Tran.”

“Please, call me Mike.

Brandon respectfully insists he prefers to use the more formal mode of address.  Not wanting to start off on the wrong foot, the security officer tries to tactfully explain to his new boss naming conventions within the Vietnamese culture.

Tran is my family name.  In many eastern cultures, the surname comes first.  We use our given name as the primary form of address; even in fromal situations.  Michael Tran is my actual name.  I was born in the Philippines so I guess I would be Mr. Tran to you; that will do.

Brandon is a man of few words.  He absorbs the information and acknowledges his understanding by simply replying, “Noted.”

When asked about his availability, Michael tells them he can start immediately.  Brandon takes his new subordinate to the security office to show him around and fill out some paperwork.   Michael is assigned to the morning shift, starting tomorrow.


CID and NCIS return to the Blue Moon Revue for a repeat performance.  Major Rachael Fredericks and Agents Frank Michaels and Jebediah Biggs breeze in with two MPs just after the club opens.  A call from Betty St. John brings Crank and BrandonAgent Michaels is willing to speak with them, but the conversation doesn’t go beyond friendly banter.  He plays it close to the vest on any subject related to the inspection.   The investigators subject the staff to a new round of interviews.   Things move briskly, till they get to Alina (Lanikova).  Once again, the lead dancer is grilled for over two hours.  After the ‘ordeal’, the contingent of agents and officers depart.

Henrique calls Ricco with good news.  He’s convinced his sponsors to take a look at the Petersen Point Resort and nearby town of Blackwater.   Location scouts will be arriving on the 14th (Thursday, February 14th) and should be in town at least through the following Monday (February 18th).  Henrique will be sending along his personal rep to listen to the band, Velvet Blue.  “Do they have a show scheduled?”

Ricco assures his friend, that if they don’t, he’ll find them a venue.   After hanging up with Henrique, the general manager tries to get a hold of Beebe; a task made more difficult by the nomad’s lack of a phone.  The weapons tech is still at the gun range working, so Ricco is forced to leave a message with one of the nomads at Charlie’s house.

(GM Note:  Beebe doesn’t have a cell phone and has no interest in purchasing one.  She has a mastoid comm keyed to the nomad channels in case of emergencies, but to her a phone is just a hassle.  It’s just another way that people can find you and make you do things. The nomad is not so much concerned with the government tracking her movements.  It’s more an outgrowth of her youth.  Beebe goes out of her way to do things for people she cares about.  Sometimes she thinks her mother (Bea) took advantage of this inability to say no.   The young nomad’s solution, “They can’t ask you if they can’t find you.”)


Beebe calls Ricco later that afternoon, to let him know Velvet Blue will be playing a show on President’s Day.  It’s going to be at Peg Leg Porter’s place.  The local kids have taken to calling it the ‘Fuck President’s Day Party’.


Sam Fisher calls a meeting of the ‘Dirty Deeds’ team on the evening of the 31st.   It has been nearly 24 hours, since he received the time sensitive briefing.   Having reviewed the file, the ex-C.I.A. agent is concerned that they may be a little short on manpower and equipment.  He invites his friend Charlie to drop by the security office, never mentioning that the invitation did not include a +1.  Suffice to say, Sam is a bit surprised when the gun smith shows up with Beebe.  

In their previous interactions, Sam had been polite and courteous, even offering the girl a place to stay while Charlie was recuperating in the Hotel’s infirmary.  Now Beebe is treated to the crass and condescending side of Sam Fisher.  The ex-C.I.A. agent questions her competence; harping on the girl’s youth and inexperience.

Feeling her anger rising, Beebe shoots back, “I’m 20 years old and have been driving tanks since I was 14.”

Sam doubts the young girl’s claim and doesn’t even try to hide it.  His voice drips with condescension as he talks down to her, as if to a pouting child.  The nomad resolves that if he pats her on the head, she’s going to punch him in the face.  Things turn even more awkward, when the ex-agent compliments her attractiveness (in a little too much detail) before using it as proof, why she couldn’t possibly drive a tank.

There is dead silence in the room.  Even Beebe is left speechless; which is quite a feat.  As the words sink in she can’t help but be reminded of what Crank said to her the first time they met.

“Looking like that, people are never going to take you seriously.”

Tears of rage begin to well up. If that’s what this glorified rent-a-cop thinks, there’s no reason for her to be here.   Heading for the door, she throws back on last barb, “If you’re going down to some S&M dungeon, I’ll skip it!”

Charlie stops her from leaving.  His easy going smile is gone, replaced by anger and determination.   At first Beebe fears that the anger is directed at her, for the way she talked to his friend. But the gun smith is glaring at Sam.  Placing a reassuring hand on the young nomads shoulder, he praises her skill and competence, finishing with, “and if she’s gone, I’m gone.”

This tense standoff is interrupted by a knock on the door of the security office.

Charlie, see who that is.” The request doesn’t seem that significant, since the two nomads are already standing by the door, but the gun smith knows it means Sam has accepted his decision on Beebe.

Steve and Natty look a little uncomfortable as they are let into the crowded security room.  The two have stopped by to discuss terms for finishing the overhaul of the security system.  Ricco takes them to his office.  After the arrangements have been finalized, the general manager returns to the acrimonious planning session.

Not much has change since he left.  Sam has moved on from Beebe, to question the competence of the rest of the team.  While none are trained operatives, like himself, there is a good mix of skills would prove useful in completing the mission.   Unfortunately Sam doesn’t see it that way.   He belittles the abilities of each team member in turn.  Crank seems to fair better than most in his expectations.

(GM Note:  Since I designed this campaign and this particular scenario along with ‘advising’ the players during character creation, I made sure that the group had all the skills to complete this and the other ‘missions’ that were coming up.  If the Team lacked a particular needed skill, I created a ‘friendly’ NPC who could help.  Sam was right in the fact that this wasn’t a trained black ops team, but in the many abilities of this diverse group was everything he needed.)

Ricco has heard enough. Exasperate, he interjects, “Insulting people is NOT a good management style.”

Beebe throws in her two cents, “So much for your putting a team together.”

“I didn’t put this team together!” the ex-C.I.A. operative snaps back.

“So, you’re just hired help?” Beebe erupts in peels of laughter, nearly falling out of her chair.

Crank and Ricco finally get the meeting back on track.

Having taken the time to go through the briefing material, the Food & Beverage Manager lays out the main obstacle to their success.  “The problem is the bunker.   According to the briefing, it’s hermetically sealed with its own environmental controls and internal power.   Even if we’re not spotted by the drone and can get under the firing arc of the turret on top, we’ll still have to deal with these firing ports and the dozen or so State Troopers inside.  They have clear fields of fire covering the gates, which won’t provide any cover.  They’re like drop bars at a railroad crossing.  Everything else is buried in the road.”

Several members suggest plans for covering up the metal spikes.  The problem is of course getting close enough.

Charlie quietly offers up the services of his variable beam x-ray laser rifle to Sam.   The weapon smith does his best to make sure Beebe doesn’t overhear.  She’d kill him if she found out. Sure DARPA could pull their funding or the Laser could wind up in the hands of the Alabama State Police; if they get caught.  It’s hard to worry about could be’s, when he is sorely itching to fire the weapon on a real op.

If Sam can get him into the proper firing position, Charlie believes he can weld the bunker door shut or even cut the spikes in the road.   The problem is there are really no good positions to fire on either target.  Located on the back side of the bunker away from the road, the door faces a steep incline, leading down to an irrigation channel.  A shot could be taken from the woods on the opposite slope, but it would be at long range.

Firing on the spikes poses an even greater challenge.  The land on the opposite side of the road has been cleared for the natural gas pipeline.  Backfilled dirt covers the pipes, graded on a slope away from the road.  Charlie would have to expose at least the top half of his body to fire at a target which is right out in the open.   Chances of taking the shot without be seen would be low.

As the debate rages over how to neutralize the spike strips, Beebe points out a detail that’s missing from the briefing.   “We don’t even know how the spike strips work.  Are they run by pneumatics or a mechanical mechanism?   If the default position is up, they may just have two large hand cranks to raise and lower the spikes manually.”  She looks to Sam.  “Do you have any more information on the spikes?”

The ex-agent ignores the question.  He instead responds to Crank’s query about outside help.  The team lacks a netrunner.   Though Sam has worked with several operators with good NET skills, he dismisses them all out of hand.  Those he trusts are either under too much scrutiny or too far away to be there before the mission kicks off.

(GM Note:  Electronic incursions and NET operations are not Sam’s forte.  With the right equipment a netrunner could run the operation from halfway around the world)

Brandon asks, “What about Natty?”  The girl’s work on the security system proves she may have the skills they need.

Beebe is against the idea of putting her friend in harms way, but her objections fall on deaf ears; all save for Charlie’s.  He share’s her concerns and speaks up.  “I won’t be on any op that puts a fourteen year old girl in the line of fire.”  Whether because of their friendship or because Sam recognizes he needs the nomad for this mission to succeed, he drops the idea of hiring Natty.

Beebe speaks up.  “I can operate remotes.” Sam doesn’t even acknowledge her offer.  He instead puts forth his own thoughts for assaulting the barricade.  “We can use scatter grenades on the bunker to cover the approach of the truck.”  He seems undeterred by the fact that the proximity of the bunker to the road will mean that the truck and driver will also be in the area affected by the grenades.   There is also the little problem of not having any on hand.

A number of ideas put forward require gear and skills they don’t have.  Since the bridge is being watched, they’re going to need to find some other way across the river.   A boat could be noticed, so that leaves swimming.   Not everyone can swim.  Purchasing skill chips would solve this minor inconvenience, but Sam is loath to mention or spend any of the $20,000 that came with the briefing.

Crank points out that there are still too many unknowns.   “The aerial photos and bunker specs are good and all, but we need to put eyes on the target.   We can’t really finalize a plan till we check it out.”

Heads nod around the table.  Sam calls an end to the planning session.  He instructs Crank and Betty Lu to recon the checkpoint tomorrow and report back.



Friday, February 1, 2047:

Crank and Betty Lu head out in the morning.  Before leaving both make sure to leave behind anything the Alabama authorities might find suspicious or which would be considered illegal.

Instead of making up a story and risk being caught in a lie, they go as what they are; two co-workers out for a ride, blowing off steam after a long work week.  Their attire takes ‘Casual Friday’ to the extreme.  The Food & Beverage manager dresses down in raggedy jeans and a tank top.  Betty Lu shows off her assets in a low cut T and hot pants.

With Betty Lu at his back, Crank urges his Harley up Interstate 10 towards the state line.  Troopers stand at the ready as they pull into the checkpoint.   Ordered to dismount the bike, the pair is summarily frisked.   While one trooper searches the bike another interrogates them about their reasons for entering Alabama.  Betty Lu and Crank play it cool, remaining pleasant and cooperative.  After some cursory questions they are waved through, with a warning to ‘keep their noses clean’.

Taking the first exit south on Wilcox Road, Crank angles east along Patterson Road before turning south on Cowpen Creek Road.  Reaching the junction with the Old Spanish Trail, he heads east, back towards Florida and their target.  Traffic is light when they reach the crossing, but security appears more attentive than at the last checkpoint.

The pair hops off the Harley when ordered, and submits to a search of the bike and their person.   This is no friendly frisk like last time.  It is rough, bordering on invasive.  The trooper who questions them has a sour demeanor.  He doesn’t buy their story of being out on a joyride.  The man just doesn’t believe anyone would cross into Alabama for fun?  As the questioning drags on, they begin to draw more scrutiny from the rest of the security detail.  Betty Lu tries to grab their attention by working the kinks out of her muscles.  Her stretching routine draws a few appreciative looks, but these men are professionals.

Crank scopes out the checkpoint.  Scanning the area near the bunker, he inadvertently locks eyes with one of the troopers manning the checkpoint.  The man stares him down.  Betty Lu’s charms are many, but her antics are more a cause for suspicion, than a diversion.  Crank knows he’s been caught, but plays it cool.

The trooper walks towards the bike, cradling his assault rifle.   Cybernettically enhanced eyes continue to watch the muscle bound biker and his nubile companion.  Stopping several paces short of the Harley, he interrupts their interrogator in mid question.  “Send them on their way.”

The trooper questioning the pair complies without argument, directing Crank to drive around the barrier.  Ruts in the dirt, to the right of the road, mark where other vehicles have been diverted.   Outside of the ruts, the shoulder looks soft, loosely packed; too loose to support the weight of a semi.  The Harley roars across the bridge and back into Florida.   They make it safely back to the hotel by 11 am.

(GM Note:  Crank was acting suspiciously, but didn’t take any overt actions that could be cited as probable cause to detain them.   Playing it straight and mentioning their connection to the hotel is what saved the pair from having a much less friendly conversation with the Alabama State Police.   The troopers don’t give a crap about the hotel or resort, but it’s known or at least suspected that Disney has a stake in the place, thanks to their run-in with Ricco on the resort grounds.  It’s easier to kick them out of the state, than stir up trouble with the Rat).

Betty Lu stops at home to change, before heading into the office to work on the Petersen Family Trust documents.  Crank drives over to Sam’s house to make his report.  Because he works the late shift, the security officer is still in bed.   Despite her best efforts, Rianna is unable to rouse him.  She promises to let Sam know he stopped by.  Slightly disgusted, Crank returns to his office.  He waits all day, but the ex-C.I.A. operative never contacts him or shows up.

When Sam finally wakes, he stops into the general manager’s office, to ask Ricco if he will buy a case of scatter grenades.  They are legal to own (and non-lethal), but a buyer needs to have the proper ID.  Being a former felon, the ex-agent’s name may be flagged, raising questions if he were to make the purchase.   As the general manager, Ricco can make the purchase for the hotel, without drawing undue scrutiny.  Sam’s reasoning is sound, but the grenades aren’t available locally.   Ricco has to drive to Pensacola.  The clerk doesn’t bat an eye at the request, but the sale is logged, creating a paper trail tying the grenades to the general manager and the Petersen Point Resort.  Returning to the hotel, the Brazilian turns the case over to Sam in the security office.

Barreling down the back roads with Crank was just what Betty Lu needed.  Sure it was still for work, but time away from her desk and the mounds of files is just what the doctor ordered.   Recharged, she is able to plow through the box of old documents related to the Petersen Family Trust.  The briefs are incomplete.  A search through the other boxed cases does not turn up any misfiled records.

Betty Lu reports her findings to Ricco.  “These files are woefully incomplete.  Either the case was just starting, or the files have been ‘sanitized’.  From what I could gather the resort was originally owned by the Petersen Point Trust, but the terms of the original trust were not in the file.  In 2042 control was transferred and the corporate structure reorganized into Petersen Point Properties Group.  There was a change in membership on the board of directors in early 2046, but again the records are missing from the file.”

This is all very suspicious.  Ricco tells Betty Lu to contact the court where the case was heard and dig through NET records to try and piece together the missing files.  Talking to a member of the Petersen Family may also help to shed some light on the case.  The general manager decides to pay a visit to Nancy Petersen at the Panhandle Saloon.


Beebe walks to Natty’s house after finishing work.  The Velvet Blue bassist is out on the dock at the end of the lane with Paris.  Kicking back the three try to figure out what to do with their Friday night.   Natty offers them a drink.  It becomes quite the production as the teenager pours off a little of the alcohol then adds water to the bottle to restore the level.  Humorous thought it is to watch Beebe sees no reason why they need to raid her mom’s booze.

“Why don’t we just go buy our own?”

I’m underage,” Natty replies while taking a measured swig from a vodka bottle, to get the level just right.

“We also don’t have any money,” Paris adds.

“I’ve got some money,” Beebe offers.  The other two girls smile.

The girls walk to the liquor store in Blackwater.  On Ward Basin Road a late model BMW heading southeast slows as it passes.  A male voice calls out, “Hey, skanks!”

It’s Hadley Walters III and his two cohorts, the Johnson boys.  Hadley and Peter lean out and lob rotten eggs at the three girls.  None of the noxious projectiles hit their mark.  Drunken laughter echoes from the car, as the three assholes speed off.   Vexing? Yes, but not enough to deter the girl’s quest for booze.

Natty and Paris wait at the corner, while Beebe enters the store.  The young nomad soon returns with the evening’s party favors.  Retracing their path, Paris makes an observation, “You know those assholes will probably come back down the road fairly soon.”  It’s all the urging her friends need.  They hop a low wall and lie in wait.

There are several empty bottles by the time the BMW drives slowly past their position.   Taking aim, the girls pelt the expensive automobile with rocks.  Paris’ plumb sized rock bounces off the windshield sending out a spider web of cracks.  Natty’s smashes into the side glass by the rear window. Beebe’s sails through the open driver’s window and hits Danny Johnson right in the head, causing the car to careen off the road.   It smacks into a wall, coming to a stop.

The young nomad dashes over to check on the passengers.  Reaching the wrecked vehicle, she nearly vomits, from the reek of rotten eggs.   Crashing into the wall seems to have broken the rest of their ammunition; which was considerable.  If the cartons strewn about the car are anything to go by, there must have been at least four dozen eggs.  Hadley and his friends are unconscious, but appear ok.

(GM Note:  Beebe has no first aid skill.  All three appear to be breathing, so that’s good enough for her)

The three had been cruising at a low speed, looking for more targets, so the crash wasn’t that bad.  A good mechanic could probably fix the crumpled front end, but the nomad doubts that even nano-cleaners will remove the stench from the interior.  Hadley groans and begins to come around.  Beebe retreats back to the wall, where Paris and Natty have been busy gathering up their empties.  The three dash off into the scrub, back towards Natty’s.  Once safely in the house, they toast their victory, repeatedly.  Alina is less than amused to find her daughter and the other two girls passed out on her living room floor when she arrives home from the Blue Moon.

As for Hadley and the Johnson boys, Constable Freddy Timmons is first on the scene.  He notifies the sheriff’s department.  Scattered around the inside of the car, officers find alcohol bottles and cartons of smashed rotten eggs.  The three boys are arrested for vandalism and Danny is additionally charged with DUI.  They are taken to the hospital in Milton where Peter and Hadley are released to their parents.  Sheriff Mason holds Danny on the DUI charge in the county jail.  The star center of the Gulf Breeze Prep team will miss the game tomorrow.  Again the prep school will go down to defeat!


That evening at the Panhandle, Ricco pulls Nancy aside and asks her about the Petersen Family Trust.  The girl has never heard of it.  Sophie Petersen is her great, great aunt, but the waitress hasn’t seen her since she was a child.  The two branches of the family don’t ever talk.  Ricco asks if her father, Karl, might know.

“Maybe…It’s best to catch him at work.”

“Where does he work?” Ricco asks.

Nancy looks at him strangely.  “He owns Petersen’s Garage up near the intersection.”

“Thank you,” Ricco lets the waitress get back to work.


Sam Fisher attention is elsewhere as he makes his rounds of the resort.  He keeps going over the details of the mission in his mind but still hasn’t come up with a plan.



Saturday, February 2, 2047:

It is a typically slow day at the Petersen Point Resort.  Despite the many suggestions offered up by the rest of the Team, Sam still doesn’t have a plan.  He hasn’t even bothered to talk to Crank about his recon of the checkpoint.  He starts his shift and mulls over his dwindling options, as time slips by.

Beebe has no faith in Sam Fisher’s leadership.   She intentionally borrows Charlie’s pickup truck, knowing that the rent-a-cop will probably ask his friend to borrow it for his little caper.   Jason is still at sea, but she has a standing invite to attend the band’s practices.  After stopping to pick up Natty and her gear the two girls head for the Saint Claire farm.  Both Paris and Natty are banned from attending any away basketball games so they are free to start practice earlier.  They all have a wonderful time.

A group of the Visigoths, in colors, escorts the bus carrying Petersen Point basketball team to the school around 7:00 pm.  Though technically a violation of the ban, resort security makes no move to impede or hassle the bikers.

The basketball team’s undefeated season continues, with their victory over North Florida Christian High School.

By 8 pm, Sam realizes he must do something.  He calls Charlie and asks to borrow his pickup (to get his ‘Team’ up to the crossing point).

“Sorry, Beebe’s already borrowed it for the night.”

“What’s her phone number?” Fisher asks.

“She doesn’t have a phone,” Charlie tells him.

That is the crushing blow for Sam.  He patrols the resort in the company security car for the rest of the night, going through the motions of doing his job.  There is no way to contact Zeitsev’s people.  The rest of the ‘Dirty Deeds’ waits for a call that never comes.  Tragedy waits on a bridge on the Florida – Alabama border.



Sunday, February 3, 2047:

The convoy reaches the bridge at 2 am.  With no support, they are unable to break through.  The semi still tries to run the barricade, but its tires are shredded by the spikes.  Skewing sideways, the trailer breaks free from the cab.  After rolling several times, it comes to rest on its side, just short of the bridgehead.  Of the Two dozen prisoners inside the trailer, six die of their injuries.  The rest are recaptured along with the agents who orchestrated their escape from the gulags of Alabama.

The press release is light on details.  Alabama still doesn’t fully realize the intelligence value of the operatives they’ve netted.  It will take some time for the Alabama authorities unravel what happened.  In Washington, there is much ‘unhappiness’.  This failure doesn’t bode well for Sam or his Team.

Sunday at the Petersen Point Resort is another typically quiet day.  Perhaps some of the employees are a little more depressed than normal.  Beebe drives Natty and her gear back to the hotel.  Both are a little hung over.  Ricco goes over to Petersen’s Garage, but Karl Petersen isn’t there.  The club is out on a run and won’t be back till later.

About four o’clock in the afternoon, two good sized vessels come up the bay and dock at the old marina.  It is the work crew from the Wilson Family.  They settle into a couple of cottages and a few of the trailers that have been prepared for them.  Charlie and Beebe drop by to say hello and Beebe offers her help at the marina, which is gratefully accepted.  Ricco also goes down to greet them and has a talk with Stuart Wilson.  The Brazilian floats the idea of having the Wilsons or some other members of the Thelas Nation take over operation of the marina.  A financial package benefiting both the hotel and the nomads could be worked out.  Stuart admits that they have considered this, but if Charles Ingersoll finds out they are running the marina, then whole deal becomes problematical.  He and Ricco decide to look into alternatives to end run Ingersoll.  Work will begin at the marina tomorrow.




Episode 6 – Rattlesnake Strike



While arranging funding for the resort Ricco stumbles across the main local crime family.  Three candidates interview for spring internships at the resort.  Sam runs afoul of the federal government, while trying to access his hidden funds in the Cayman Islands.  The Team discovers a crooked employee.  Henrique’s location scouts feel right at home as a gang war erupts at Velvet Blue’s concert.



Sam Fisher, retired Delta Force colonel and C.I.A. assassin, has finally been ‘officially’ released from prison after serving his sentence for extortion due to a botched operation in the Atlantic City part of the Burn Notice Campaign.  Part of his (unofficial) deal for pleading guilty at the time was that he would receive his government pensions on his release from prison, but the government isn’t able to honor that part of the agreement.  He is informed by his old friend, Nathan Forrest, Deputy Director for Clandestine Services at the C.I.A., that his pensions could be restored if he assists in a very black operation on United States soil.

President Whindam has decided to bring the four southern states known collectively as the ‘Cotton Kingdoms’ to heel.  Sam, accompanied by his fiancée Rianna Prescott, will be sent to Santa Rosa County in the Florida panhandle near the Pensacola COG to the Petersen Point Resort, a seedy old tourist destination that will serve as a ‘safe house’ for operations to bring down the state government of Alabama.  He will also be tasked with the occasional mission himself.  To help him, a ‘Dirty Deeds’ group has been assembled whose covers are as employees of the hotel.  Only Sam knows this is a government sanctioned operation.


Dramatis Personae


Alice Timmons runs the Trailer Park and the Guest Houses at the Petersen Point Resort.

Angela Bauer is an older woman whose Snake Nation family was absorbed by others.  She settled in Blackwater, lives in the hotel trailer park, and teaches at the school.  Angela speaks fluent German and is Natty’s teacher.

Alina Lanikova is the lead dancer at the Blue Moon Revue.  She is a stunningly beautiful (ATTR 10), tall 29 year old Czech woman.  Her skills are exceptional and she acts as ‘Den Mother” to the other dancers.  She lives at the Resort with her teenage daughter.

Amy Fry is a young Thelas and sister of Jason Fry.  She dates Sammy Trang, the drummer of Velvet Blue.

Andrea Hutton is a hot twenty one year old senior, who is determined to claw her to the top and a marketing/PR prospective intern from Jacksonville State University.

Arthur Greenburg (the Geek) is one of the two prospective interns from Florida Atlantic University.

Carlton Thomas is an old man who has served as magistrate of Blackwater for almost 50 years.  His eyesight is going and he has the shakes, but his mind is sharp and he has a steel trap memory.

Carrie Anne Thorn is Front Desk Manager, also asst. hotel manager and bookkeeper at the Petersen Point Resort.  She is a small white woman is her early sixties.  Carrie Anne has arthritis so she doesn’t walk a lot.

Charles Ingersoll is the grandson-in-law of Sophie Petersen, widow of Randy Petersen and heiress to the Petersen Family Trust.  He serves as CEO of the Petersen Point Properties Group.

Danny Johnson (17) is the center on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team and one of those self-entitled little pricks who tangled with Beebe at the party in Episode 2.

Deputy Sheriff David James is the Santa Rosa department’s electronic warfare (intercept) expert.

Gary ‘Peg-leg’ Porter is an old pirate (Thelas Nomad), who was thrown out of his pack and went land bound.  He has a house just north of state boat ramp where he lets the local teenagers throw wild parties.

Greg Winters (the Face) is one of the two prospective interns from FloridaAtlanticUniversity.

Freddy Timmons is a rotund little man in his forties, who stutters a bit and seems almost comically nervous.  He is a town constable.

Frederick Harrington is the previous manager of the Petersen Point Resort before the arrival of the Team.

Hadley Walters III is a 15 year old student and forward on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team.  He is an arrogant self-entitled little prick, who tried to attack Lilly Tran (Episode 2) and who Ricco suspects is one of the Golf Course vandals.

Henrique:  A former Favela drug lord (nicknamed the King Snake) and leader of the Red Command who took a government amnesty offer and got out of the drug business.  Henrique used to belong to a Brazilian pop group manufactured by a record company.  When his voice changed he was fired and thrown back into the favela where he rose to the top of the local gang.  The man now runs a media company which works with Disney.  He and Ricco Torres grew up together with Ricco being the younger ‘brother’ (nicknamed Cobrinha – Little Snake).

HenryHankTremont is the president of the local charter of the Visigoths MC.

Jason Fry is a young Thelas nomad serving of Charlie’s test ship, the Sea Snake.  His sister is Amy Fry.  He has a thing for Beebe.

John Petersen is the older son of Karl and Anne Petersen.

Johnny SquintTucker, a not overly bright man about 36 years old who is the assistant manager and head bartender for the Panhandle Saloon.

Karl Petersen is the Treasurer of the Visigoths MC and owner of the garage and the land around it with the exception of the Café.  He is the grandnephew of the owner of the resort and second cousin to the current heir.

Michael Jay Tran is the great nephew of Tran Xuan Giap and an ex-soldier and Philippine policeman.  He is hired at the Petersen Point Resort as a new security officer and is made a Blackwater town constable.

Mr. Zeitsev is the code name for Sam Fisher’s contact on this secret, black project.  He is the government’s ‘Mr. Johnson’.

Nancy Petersen is a 25 year old cocktail waitress at the Panhandle saloon.

Natty Lanikova is the daughter of dancer Alina Lanikova and the teenage bassist for Velvet Blue.  She dates Steve Zelinsky, a prospect of the Visigoths and speaks little English.

Obadiah ObieTerhune is an Afro-American male about 51 years old and is the maintenance chief at the Petersen Point Resort.  Actually, he is the entire maintenance department which should number at least ten.

Paulo is the leader of Henrique’s location scouting team and an old friend of Ricco Torres.

Paris Saint Claire is the lead singer for the band Velvet Blue and granddaughter of Eustis Saint Claire.  She and Natty are best friends.

Rain is a young woman and member of Ronnie Johnson’s drug crew.

Rat is a nomad ‘Dog Soldier’ (nomad enforcer) with a particular hatred for drug dealers.  He is working with Ricco Torres to end the drug dealing out of the Panhandle Saloon.

Robert Hall Parker: He is the ‘corporate attorney’ for Cantagalo Investment Group (Ricco’s front company) in the Cayman Islands.

RolandRonnieJohnson is the younger son of the late Terrance Johnson and a member of the Johnson Clan crime family.  He sells drugs out of the Panhandle Saloon in Santa Rosa County.

Sammy Trang is the drummer of the band, Velvet Blue and boyfriend of Amy Fry.

SandomirSandyZelinsky is the Vice President of the Visigoths MC.  He is a tall blonde, green eyed man.  Wild and fun loving in his youth, Sandy has matured into a clever and experienced leader.  He and Hank are best friends.

Sargent Willard Broome is the senior patrol officer for this area for the FDLE.  He is crew-cut wearing no-nonsense trooper who was born and raised in the Pensacola area.  This white officer is honest and has no partisan grudges.

Sheriff Marcus G. (Garvey) Mason of Santa RosaCounty is a powerfully built African-American with a bald head and piercing brown eyes.  He has been sheriff for seventeen years and on the force for eight years before that as well as twelve years in the Army.  He has a cyberarm and two cybereyes as well as a lot of smaller cyberware.  The man has a reputation as a tough, honest cop who protects his county.

StefanSteveZelinsky is the eighteen year old son of the V.P. ‘SandyZelinsky of the Visigoths MC and has the same good looks and coloration as his father.  He is seeing Natty Lanikova.

Stuart Wilson is a nomad leader of the Wilson Clan and helping get the marina up and running at the Petersen Point Resort.

Tobias Johnson is Gregory Johnson’s only son.  His mother died in childbirth and complications may have led to Tobias’ lack of intelligence (4).  The young man (17) works as an enforcer for his cousin, Ronnie in his drug dealing operation.

Tolland CasperTCJames is the sergeant at arms of this chapter of the Visigoths and is a local.  He is the first cousin of Bruce James, manager of Angus Young’s farm, but they are not very close.  TC is ex-military and has two cyberlegs and a cyberarm.  He is borderline cyberpsycho, but absolutely dedicated to the club.  The man is an experienced martial artist.

Todd Petersen is the youngest son of Karl Petersen.

Tran Xuan Giap is the elderly patriarch of the Tran family and a town councilman.  He is very conservative and old school.

Ty Saint Claire is Paris’s cousin and the smoking hot guitar player of Velvet Blue.  He is a bald (he shaves it) ebony skinned teenager.


The Action

Monday, February 4, 2047:

Ricco surprises everyone at the weekly staff meeting by authorizing the hiring of additional staff.   He tells Obie (Turhune) to look for suitable candidates to fill five new positions in the maintenance department; two for full time specialists (techs) and three for general maintenance workers.     The maintenance chief is ecstatic and already has several people in mind.

Maintenance is not the only department getting the love.  Carrie Anne is asked to find someone for the full time position of Monitor / Dispatcher.    With the resort’s security staff spread thin, they need to hire someone to watch the camera feeds.   The position is a guaranteed 50 hours a week; 5pm till 3 am Tuesday through Saturday (Sunday Morning).  Ricco assures the other department heads, that staffing increases in their areas will be evaluated as business increases.

Bringing the maintenance staff up to minimal levels is a priority especially given the general manager’s next point of business.   He has approved repairs on the resort’s pool.  Work should begin next week.   The department heads leave the meeting guardedly optimistic about the future.

After the meeting Ricco privately asks Carrie Anne to arrange travel for him to the Cayman Islands.  He then retires to his office to Research the local Johnson Clan.  It doesn’t take long to penetrate their genteel façade.  The family is in it deep; graft, corruption, illicit activities and the political clout to get away with it all.  As a former police investigator, he’ seen it all before.  Johnson Clan_A


Disney Security calls from Orlando with a report on the bug found in the general manager’s office.   They were able to trace it back to a supplier in Philadelphia, PA, but as of yet have no details on who bought the device.

Having convinced the Petersen Point School to participate in National Kite Day, this coming Friday, Beebe stops by Ricco’s office to try and win over the general manager.  Charlie has already pledged $1000 for supplies.  Paris and Natty have offered their help building kites and running activities.  All they need now is a place to hold the event.   She knows Ricco has been looking for ways to drum up advertising for the Hotel.  Hosting Kite Day is a perfect photo op.

Beebe’s excitement is contagious.  The lure of free publicity doesn’t hurt either.   Ricco agrees to sponsor the event and sweetens the deal by offering to cover the cost of an old fashion southern cookout.   The general manager suggests she go talk with the chef now, so that he has time to order the food.

The Wilson Family begins repairs at the marina.   Once the cranes and lifts are operational, they begin moving boats out of the storage bunker.

In Santa Rosa County Court, Peter Johnson and Hadley Walters III are charged with vandalism along with Danny Johnson who is also charged with DUI for the ‘accident’.



Tuesday, February 5, 2047:

Florida Atlantic University contacts Ricco to arrange a site visit for two of its students interested in the resort’s summer internship.  The general manager comps their rooms for the weekend.

Florida State University calls later on, to inform him that they have decided not to participate in the proposed internship program.

Now that Ricco knows more about Hadley Walters Jr. and his relationship with the Johnson Family, hiring him to set up a series of shell companies is out of the question.  Still he needs to keep his appointment.  To not show up, could arouse the man’s suspicions.  Instead of going as a client Ricco visits the crooked lawyer in his official capacity as the general manager of the Petersen Point Resort.

Mr. Walters, I am the new general manager of the Petersen Point Resort and we have been suffering from some major vandalism to our golf course.  Your son Hadley’s name has come up in the course of the investigation.  Now, I am not here to make accusations, but it would be helpful if we could get to the bottom of this before rumors begin to circulate; especially if this is untrue.”

The attorney, of course, denies his son’s involvement in the wanton destruction of property.  “Hadley may be guilty of some ‘youthful enthusiasm’, but throwing eggs is a far cry from what you are talking about Mr. Torres. I’ll speak with my son and see if he has heard anything about this.”

Ricco appears to accept the man’s explanation and gets up to leave.  In a perfect impression of ‘Colombo’, the former investigator, pauses at the door, turns back towards Hadley Walters and absently informs the lawyer, “Oh, we have installed a new video surveillance system at the golf course.  We should catch the vandals the next time they strike.”


With that the Brazilian is out the door.  Ricco believes his conversation with the elder Walters should end at the golf course; at least for a little while.  He smiles thinking of the ‘unpleasant’ discussion Hadley Walters III is going to have with his father.  Rather than heading back to Petersen Point, the general manager boards a plane for the Cayman Islands (via Havana, Cuba). It was a close call with Walters.   Ricco decides not to press his luck trying to retain local a local attorney.   He will find legal counsel in the Caymans.  Hopefully it won’t take long to set up his ‘investment company’ and transfer the capital needed to fund improvements at the resort.

Beebe borrows Charlie’s truck and picks up Paris and Natty at the school.  The three head into Pensacola to buy supplies for Kite Day.  While in town they stop so Natty can pick out a birthday dress for her party tomorrow.  The young Czech buys a frilly, billowing cream colored outfit that flows when she moves.  Beebe pays for the dress, asking her friend if she wants to wear her gift home. Natty prefers to have it wrapped up, so that she can tear it open tomorrow.  The three friends laugh the whole ride back to Petersen Point.

After school, Steve and Natty show up at the security office.  The girl has two of the tiny remote cameras repaired.  She, Steve, Sam Fisher and Brandon install them and continue getting the whole security system up and running.

The Joint Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board for the Pensacola Combined Operations Group convenes that evening.  It is a closed hearing.  No one from the resort is invited to attend or given an opportunity to speak in favor of rescinding the ban.



Wednesday, February 6, 2047:

Word comes down from the COG that morning.  The bans on the Hotel and Blue Moon Revue have been lifted, but the ban on the Panhandle is upheld due to continued violence and substantiated drug at the saloon.

Ricco meets with Robert Hall Parker, his new ‘corporate attorney in the Cayman Islands for the Cantagalo Investment Group.  Parker submits the necessary ‘paperwork’ to fast track registration off the new corporation and obtains proper local licensing from the Trade & Business Licensing Board.

Natty turns 15.  She is now legally an adult in Florida, but her mom insists that there be a grown up present at her party.  Alina can’t be there.  She’s scheduled to work at the Blue Moon that evening. Switching shifts would not have posed a problem, but the dancer gave permission for Natty’s boyfriend Steve to be at the party.  Alina feels it’s for the best that she’s not there.  Still, she doesn’t want to come home to a smoking hole in the ground.  Angela Bauer has agreed to chaperone.

The party kicks off around five.  In addition to Steve and her band mates, Beebe is there, as are a bunch of other kids Natty knows from school.  The birthday girl opens Beebe’s present first so she can wear her dress for the rest of the party.  Never shy about her body, Natty begins to shuck her clothes in front of the rest of the guests; to a chorus of hoots and whistles.  Angela puts an end to the impromptu striptease and sends the girl into the other room to change.

Returning in her frilly finery, Natty tears into her mother’s gift.   It is a matched set of weighted rubberized martial arts practice knives.  The girl beams as she jumps up and executes a quick kata with her new ‘toys’.  Most of those outside the band are amazed, if a little shocked by the display.  Steve just laughs and hands her his gift.  It is a Kendachi mono-knife.  The rest of the presents are of a more modest and practical nature.  True to Alina’s instructions, Angela starts to wind things up around 8 pm.  Everyone, except Paris, is gone by 9.  Since there are classes tomorrow and the school is just down the street, she sleeps over, rather than heading back out to her grandfather’s farm.



Thursday, February 7, 2047:

Ricco opens bank accounts in the name of the Cantagalo Investment Group in the Cayman Islands.  He moves $200,000 from his personal accounts into this new corporate entity, and retains an additional $50,000 in cash to bring back to Florida; for some operating cash.

Back at the Petersen Point Resort, Carrie Anne fields a call from Jacksonville University.  They have a marketing/PR student that would like to interview on Wednesday, February 13th.  The assistant manager approves the visit in Ricco’s absence.  Charlie’s ship, the Sea Snake, returns from the Iron Archipelago on its mission to deliver new defense systems to the nomad floating colonies.  Jason Fry returns with the ship.



Friday, February 8, 2047:

Ricco returns to the Petersen Point Hotel from the Cayman Islands.  The two prospective interns from Florida Atlantic University, Greg Winters (the Face) and Arthur Greenburg (the Geek), show up for their interviews.  Ricco and Crank take the interns down to the resort’s beach so they can mingle with the crowd on hand for National Kite Flying Day!

The sky over the beach is a riot of vibrant colors as kites sail on the Gulf breeze, over the tranquil waters of the river.  Like the kites above, rich smells of smoky barbecue are carried on the breeze; a promise of the feast to come.  Local Vid news is on hand to report on the event, as are media from Pensacola, Milton and the COG.

As Boss Arms is one of the sponsors, Charlie works the crowd, handing out business cards.  Beebe can only shake her head.   No one seems bothered by the imposition, so she lets him have his fun.  At least it isn’t a repeat of the MLK Day celebration.  The nomad shudders inwardly.  Charlie just didn’t seem to get why drumming up business at a celebration, for a man who preached non-violence and died to an assassin’s bullet, was so wrong.



Saturday, February 9, 2047:

Ricco and Carrie Anne sit down with the interns in the morning.  After their interview, the general manager takes the pair on a tour of the resort, but avoids the marina.

PensacolaChristianAcademy plays PetersenPointSchool at home.  All attend, but the cheerleaders still banned from courtside.  Petersen Point wipes the floor with them.  Charlie throws a cookout to celebrate the team’s undefeated season.  The gun smith hires Velvet Blue to play, inviting all of the local kids and nomads to attend. After the show, The Face and the Geek talked up Paris and Natty respectively.  The Face speaks a little Cajun Creole and the Geek speaks German.  Winters gets lucky, Natty introduces Arthur to Steve.



Sunday, February 10, 2047:

At Sam’s behest, Rianna flies to the Cayman Islands to access funds from Sam Fisher’s secret account.  She makes her connecting flight in Havana, but is stopped at passport control in the Caymans.  Rianna is refused entry and is told she will be sent back to Pensacola on the next flight.  When pressed, the immigration officer divulges that her passport has been flagged due to reasons of national security.  The next flight for Cuba does not leave till the morning.  Barred entry into the Cayman Islands, Rianna is forced to spend the night in the airport.   She calls Sam to tell him what happened.

Greg Winters (the Face) and Arthur Greenburg (the Geek), leave the resort extremely energized and eager for the opportunity.  Ricco is impressed by the ideas the put forward during their meeting.  With spring break just around the corner, the two have suggested marketing the resort towards college students.   With an assurance that they have secured spots in the internship program the pair plans to talk up the resort when they return to Florida Atlantic University.

Rat is waiting by his door, when Ricco arrives home in the early evening.  The Dog Soldier has pieced together how drugs are being sold at the Panhandle.  The general manager calls in Brandon, Sam, Betty Lu and Crank.  He apologizes to Owen for not sharing the identity of his undercover investigator.

Rat explains how the transactions go down. “You go to the table where Ronnie is sitting and talk to whoever is wearing the American Flag pin on their right lapel of collar.  One of the two with Ronnie Johnson must radio ahead to Rain.  She’s the girl who meets you to collect the money, then tells you where to find the stash.   There was a large dude (Tobias Johnson) with her; probably for protection.  He never says anything. Rain does all of the talking. I’m not sure if there’s a pattern to where she meets customers.  The two times I’ve met up with her have been in different locations; two driveways.

Ricco feels this gives them enough evidence to go to Carlton, the magistrate, and get a surveillance warrant.  Rat’s contract is extended and he is given a bonus of one month’s fee ($4000).



Monday, February 11,   2047:

At the weekly staff meeting Ricco announces the successful hiring of maintenance and security personnel.  He also announces that pool repairs begin today.  After the meeting, the general manager takes, Brandon, Betty Lu and Rat to go see Carlton, the magistrate.  Based on the Dog Soldier’s testimony, they receive a wiretap authorization for their investigation of drug dealing in the Panhandle Saloon.

Ricco contacts Sheriff Mason and brings him up to speed on his drug investigation.  What the general manager needs now is an electronic warfare expert to intercept the transmissions between Ronnie Johnson’s people and the girl in the van.  Sheriff Mason lends him Deputy Sheriff David James.

Brandon and Sam go to the police store in Pensacola.  They purchase a 12 gauge shotgun and more cameras.  Once back at Petersen Point they install the new cameras along with directional mics.

Ricco calls in Alice Timmons, the trailer park manager and shows her some of the footage of the trailer park taken by Frederick HarringtonAlice has no idea what he was looking for, but volunteers to watch some of it to see if anything comes to mind.



Tuesday, February 12,   2047:

Alice Timmons stops by the security office to help review the tapes of the trailer park and try to see what Harrington was searching for.  Brandon offers to open a feed to her office so she can work from her own station.  She accepts his gracious offer and returns to her office.

Sam calls his Cayman Islands bank and authorizes a transfer of 31,000 euro from his account there to his local bank account in Florida.  Once certain funds are on the way, he helps Brandon finish installing the laser microphones for their drug surveillance.

Stuart Wilson calls to ask Ricco to come down to the marina.  Charlie and Beebe and several other nomads are there to greet him when he arrives.   Shaking the general manager’s hand, Stuart tells Ricco, “We’ve found something.”

Motioning him inside, the nomad leads the way to a large tarp carpeting the section of the floor where they found the A-20 panzer.  At a signal two of the nomads pull back the tarp, revealing a large pair of armored double doors.

“I didn’t want to open it unless you were here,” Stuart explains.

“Well, I’m here now. Let’s open it up.”

The crew lubricates the giant hinges and cuts the steel bar holding the doors closed.  A chain is hooked up to lift one of the massive doors.   The Brazilian feels himself involuntarily tense as it yaws open.  Once given the all clear, Ricco cautiously steps forward to look below.  The floor itself is massive.  Judging by the cross section at the door jamb it must be at least three feet thick.  It’s a little surprising, but not unexpected given the thickness of the doors and walls in the rest of the structure.  It would have to be thick and reinforced to support all of the weight that had been heaped upon it.

Shining a flashlight further into the hole he can make out the floor; some 12 feet below.  A wave of disappoint passes through him.  From the gap all he can see is a haphazard pile of tarps and empty cargo palettes strewn about.   It looks like some one has already beaten them to whatever treasures the room may have hidden.   Wanting a closer look, the general manager has the crane operator lower him down on the chain used to raise the blast door.

As he descends into the gloom, Ricco casts about with the beam of his flashlight.   More lights shine down from above.   His first assessment seems to have been in error.  Stacked to one side, are a large number of crates and four objects draped in tarps.  Touching down, he moves towards the cache.  The tarps are made of heavy oiled canvas.  It takes a little effort, but Ricco is able to pull off the covering, to reveal a 105mm howitzer.  Like a kid at Christmas, the Brazilian quickly pulls back the three remaining tarps to reveal an entire battery of guns.  The crates contain shells for the howitzers.  Judging by the number and size of the containers, there must be several hundred rounds.

The weapons and ammunition appear to be in pristine condition.  It seems Randy Petersen was very serious about his plan to conquer a small Caribbean island.  Charlie, Stuart and Beebe join him in the pit.  Ricco is almost giddy.  With an expansive gesture towards the guns and crates, he asks, “Hey Charlie, know anyone who might want to buy these things?”

The nomad’s smiles match his own.  “Hell yeah”

Searching around the rest of the room, they find a large set of stairs, that dead end at the ceiling.  Based on its location, the staircase should open up inside a small office on the main floor of the structure.   Stuart sets his work crew to the task of breaking through the concrete cap covering the top of the stairs.

Ricco has no qualms about selling the guns.  They were purchased by Randy Petersen with hotel funds.   It seems only fitting that they now serve as a nest egg to revitalize the resort.  Negotiations are brief.  The sale price is fair and should take care of the resort’s immediate cash flow problems.   The only problem now is moving the guns without Charles Ingersoll finding out.


That night, at the monthly town meeting, Michael Jay Tran is unanimously voted in as a town constable.  Sheriff Mason, who delivers a glowing recommendation for the man’s appointment, hands him his heavy weapons permit.  It seems the vote was never in doubt.   Michael becomes the first person of Vietnamese descent to hold the position of constable, in the town’s history.  Ricco, Brandon, Sam and Crank are on hand for the swearing in ceremony.  Chief Constable Timmons welcomes Michael to the force.  They head over to the station so Freddy can give him the ‘grand’ tour.

Sheriff Mason invites Ricco to his annual President’s Day Cookout at his home.  It’s purely a social occasion, but most of the important law enforcement figures in the county will be there including the DAs.  Ricco accepts.



Wednesday, February 13,   2047:

The military sends an official announcement that Operation Wary Wolf; Pensacola COG Winter War Games will run from Wednesday, March 13th to Tuesday, March 19th.  As this is a live fire exercise certain areas will be deemed off limits during the ongoing maneuvers. Blackwater is scheduled to be locked down from noon to 7 pm on Monday, March 18th as a safety precaution.

Andrea Hutton, a marketing student from Jacksonville State University, arrives to interview for the public relations internship.  She is smart, ambitious and determined to claw her way to the top.  The twenty one year old senior is simply gorgeous.  What nature didn’t give her, she has achieved through long hours in the gym and by diverting money from her student loans to pay for bio-sculpting.   Andrea has taken to heart the lessons of her major; the wrapper is as important as the product.  Ricco spends the day showing her around the complex.  The general manager is convinced Andrea would be an asset at the hotel.

Alice Timmons calls into work and says she has a doctor’s appointment.

Brandon sits down at the security computer to continue reviewing the security footage of the trailer park.  The files are missing.  Sam and Crank check as well, but there is nothing in the system.  They go to Alice’s office, but are told she won’t be back till tomorrow.  The three drive to her home.  Alice lives in a trailer park outside of town.  Her lot abuts that of her estranged brother, Freddy Timmons.   There is no answer at either trailer.   Brandon and Crank go into town to get some lunch, leaving Sam to watch for the trailer park manager.

Left to his own devices, Sam decides to snoop around.  He walks around Alice’s trailer peering into the windows and checking to see if they are unlocked.  Seeing nothing of note, he moves onto Freddy’s, but is caught in the act.  Sam comes around the side of the trailer just as the constable is pulling into his driveway.

Like everyone else in town, Freddy knows about Sam’s criminal record and the reason he went to jail: bugging local law enforcement.  The ex-operative pleads his innocence, but Constable Timmons is unconvinced.   Rather than starting a fight with a member of local law enforcement, Sam allows himself to be disarmed, cuffed and placed in the back of Freddy’s car.   With his prisoner secure, the constable drives into town to find Brandon and Crank.

The car stuffy and the cuffs too tight; Sam rankles at the indignity of being left locked in the back seat, while Freddy heads into the restaurant.  Worst are the stares of passers-by.   He can almost read in their eyes, what they’re thinking.   Even with the windows cracked, the interior of the car is stifling.

Sam is a sheet of sweat by the time Brandon and Crank exit with the constableFreddy lets him out of the car and removes the cuffs.  Constable Timmons seems satisfied that the ex-operative wasn’t trying to break into his trailer, but he still gives him a warning.  “Don’t be sneaking around people’s houses.”  Sam wants to tell the officious little stuffed shirt where to stick his advice, but manages to choke out a subdued “Yes sir.”

Freddy, hands Brandon a bag. “These are your man’s weapons.  I’d ask that you wait till you’re out of town to give them back to him.”  The security chief gives him a nod.  Constable Timmons gives them a wave as he drives off.

Freddy’s car is barely down the street, before Sam demands, “give me my guns’.

“Let’s go back and finish lunch.  I’ll give them to you when we get back to the resort.”  Brandon tries to be conciliatory, but the larger man won’t be denied.   He has suffered enough indignities for one day.   Sam bars the way back into the restaurant.  He refuses to get out of the way until the security chief hands over his electro-thermaled handguns.  Hoping to defuse the situation Brandon holds out the sack.  Sam pulls the oversized pistols from the bag, with a smile.  He turns them over in his hands to make sure there are no scratches or other damage.

This little display does not go unnoticed.  Crank groans as he looks around.  People are leaving the street.   Two customers that had been walking towards the entrance to the restaurant have turned around and headed the other way.  “Put those things away”

Sam returns the pistols to the holsters under his suit coat, but the damage has already been done.  When the three try to reenter the eatery, the owner meets them at the door.  He hands over their meals all packaged to travel and suggest they might want to eat them somewhere else.

On the tense car ride back to the resort, Brandon fills Sam in on their conversation with Freddy, in the restaurant.

“After we convinced Constable Timmons that you were not trying to bug his house, he informed us that he had overheard his sister talking about taking a few days off.  We explained that Ms. Timmons had called in sick.  This seemed to surprise him, but when asked about the discrepancy he admitted they hadn’t been close or spoken in years.”

“So what now?”

“Miss Laugherty and Mr. Bibbliodoc requested copies of the footage.  I will contact Mr. Bibbliodoc to see if we can borrow his copy so that we can start over.”


When Natty and Steve arrive to work on the security system, Sam asks the young girl to look at the security computer and find out how the files were erased.  Natty plugs into the computer and goes slack.  After a few minutes, she pops out and asks in German, “Why did someone opened up a connection to the trailer park office?”

After a quick translation by Sam, Brandon explains he did it, so that Alice could work on the video footage in her own office.

Natty shakes her head, Sam continues to translate for the security chief’s benefit, as the girl explains, “Well someone at her end hooked up to the NET and allowed access outside the system.  I’ve traced the intrusion to a local system.  Here is the physical location.”

The address on the slip of paper is Alice Timmons’ home address.



Thursday, February 14,   2047

Alice does not show up for work.  A search of her office yields a concerning discovery.   All records are missing.  The petty cash lock box has been cleaned out and the reservations books are nowhere to be found.

Ricco goes by her trailer with Brandon and Sam.   There is still no answer.   From the look of things, no one has been there since they visited yesterday.   The general manager phones Freddy Timmons with his concerns.  Ricco doesn’t come out and accuse the constable’s sister of wrong doing.  They may be estranged, but blood is still blood.  He instead brings up the numerous unsolved disappearances and murders, obliquely implying that something may have happened to Alice.

Freddy check’s the spot where she keeps her spare key, but it is missing.   The Blackwater Constable picks the lock and they enter the trailer.  All of Alice’s personal belongings are gone.  Her computer is on and is erasing her hard drive for the 57th time.  Ricco calls the bank where Alice keeps the department’s money.  All the accounts have been drained and turned to cash.  Alice Timmons is in the wind.  The general manager calls Sheriff Mason.  It is now a police matter.

Sam is notified by his US bank that the funds (31,000 eb) wired into his account from the Cayman Islands have been seized by the United States Government.  A call from the Cayman Islands informs him that his account has been frozen.  The ex-operative’s attempts to access his money has made the United States Government aware of his secret account.   Sam isn’t sure if they can legally seize funds from accounts in the Caymans, but he knows that there are other ways the government can get at his money.

Henrique’s location team checks into the resort.  Paulo, an old friend of Ricco is leading the group.  The two catch up over a couple of drinks.  Although the members of his team speak impeccable English, Paulo wants to contract a local guide.  “Things just go smoother if you have a local with you.   They also know all of the interesting spots not on the tourist brochures.

Ricco assures his friend, he’ll find him the best guide possible.  Asking around, Ty Saint Claire is the name most often mentioned.   The lead guitarist of Velvet Blue is a good choice.  He can talk up his band, while showing the Brazilian film crew around.



Friday, February 15,   2047:

Ty proves to be worth his weight in gold.   His easy going nature and intimate knowledge of the area make him a hit with the Brazilians.

Charlie let’s Beebe borrow the truck for the weekend.  The nomad girl lines the bed of the pickup with a waterproof tarp and arranges for a delivery of ice to Peg Leg’s place for tomorrow.  She plans to park the vehicle behind the stage.  Right before the show, she’ll fill it with water and the bags of ice.  It will serve as a ‘red neck’ swimming pool for the band to cool off between sets!

Another registered letter arrives for Sam from Mr. Zeitsev.  The Team has a new mission.  It is a simple courier job during Mardi Gras in New Orleans next week.  They are to go and contact a man codenamed ‘Vasily’ at Antoine’s, a well-known bar.  He will be wearing an old Soviet WWII style garrison cap (reproduction, of course).  The Team’s password word is ‘Morocco’ and the countersign is ‘Odessa’.  There they are to arrange to pick up an information ‘package’ later on during Mardi Gras.  On return to Petersen Point, Sam is to put the ‘package’ in the enclosed mailer and send it on.  It is a very simple assignment.  Hey, what could go wrong?



Saturday, February 16,   2047:

Ty brings Henrique’s location team to a few places in the back bayous that morning before he and they have to get ready for the “Fuck President’s Day Party” at ‘Peg LegPorter’s Place.  Beebe brings over the pickup with her ‘Redneck Pool’ in the bed and parks it backstage near Velvet Blue’s van.  With the permission of the aging nomad, she runs a long hose from ‘Peg Leg’s’ house and fills up the back.  The film crew gets shots of the band getting ready for the show.  They ‘clown around’ for the camera.  The youth of the area start to pour onto the field; more than even Peg Leg expected.  He wonders if should have hired more than two members of the ‘Button Down Brigade’ for security.  Brandon is on hand to provide security, but only for the Brazilian crew.

As show time approaches Beebe dumps in the ice and tests the waters, it is glacially cold.  Hopefully it will warm up a little before the first break.  She doesn’t want to send them into shock.

The rave commences, with the band driving the crowd.  Velvet Blue does their best show ever.  The friendly audience becomes a single undulating mass moving to the beat of the young rockers.  Beebe and Jason are down front writhing to the hypnotic rhythmic beat.  By the second set, even the Brazilian film crew is affected by music and the scene.   Even Brandon feels the siren’s call of the music, but under the deep thrumming beat, he senses a dissonance, causing him to turn around.


The music has covered the approach of 15 leather clad, helmeted bikers.   They must have come from the highway.   As Brandon watches, they rocket down the hill on their motorcycles and crash into the back of the crowd.   Seven dismount and wade into the throng of teenagers swing clubs as they go.  Four bikes head towards Peg Leg’s house, another four head straight for the stage.

Brandon can see that many of these ‘bikers’ are sporting cyberlimbs.  The security officer rounds up his Brazilian film crew and hustles them to the southern tree line and safety.   He reports the unfolding attack on his internal radio to the rest of the resort’s security team.

Beebe finally notices something is amiss when the band’s music collapses into chaos.   She and Jason turn in time to see the bikers closing on the stage.  The nomad girl sweeps the legs out from under one of the attackers.   Jason prepares to defend his ‘woman’, but proves to be a one hit ‘speed bump’.   With the nomad down, Beebe doesn’t have a chance to continue her attack on the biker she knocked to the ground.

Faced with two armed and armored assailants, she dives under the stage.   Up on the hay wagon, Paris balls her fists, ready to take on the first attacker who climbs on stage.  As the first biker vaults up she realizes he’s kinda big.  Natty steps in to defend her friendWielding her bass like a club, she knocks the biker off the elevated platform as she screams, “Run!”

Paris needs no more encouragement.  She joins Ty, Sammy and Natty through the curtained backdrop towards their van.  The four leather clad attackers are in hot pursuit.  As Beebe scrambles under the old hay wagon she hears someone behind her.  The nomad girl rolls out of cover and almost runs into the legs of one of the bikers chasing the band.   The helmeted man looks down, giving Natty all the distraction she needs.

Leaping from her hiding place, the Czech girl lands on his back, wrenches his head to the side and drives Steve’s birthday gift into the base of his neck.  A quick jerk of the monoknife severs his jugular, windpipe and a few nerve bundles.  The biker falls over dead.  Beebe scrambles out of the way of the falling biker.  Gaining her feet, she runs for her pickup.  Natty jumps back up on the stage and waits for the nomad girl’s pursuer to stick his head out from under the wagon.

Beebe makes it to her truck, but before she has a chance to start it, a helmeted figure appears at the driver’s side window.  She dives across the seat and out the passenger door.  Looking back towards the stage and her new attacker, she sees Natty drop on the man that had followed her under the stage.  The brown haired girl strike again at the neck, but Beebe can’t spare time to see what happens.   The biker is almost on her.   From behind the Velvet Blue’s van comes the sound of two 12 gauge shotgun blasts.   She runs for the band’s vehicle, gaining some distance from her pursuer.


With the location scouts safely at the tree line, Brandon heads back into the wild melee.  He uses his martial arts skill to take down one of the first biker attacking the teens.  Heath sees a biker stun a youngster and try to pull him up onto back of a bike.  The security man recognizes the boy as Todd Petersen, Nancy’s brother.  Brandon dashes up before the leather clad biker can speed away and uses his Koppo to knock the biker out.  Bringing Todd around, he sends him towards the trees and the film crew.

Sam is on patrol in the resort’s security car when he hears of the attack.  Since it is not on hotel property he doesn’t rush over.  He does, however, start to head that way.  Crank is in the Panhandle Saloon, but it is too noisy inside.  He steps out into the parking lot to call the sheriff’s department and report the attack.  As the food and beverage manager is talking to the police dispatcher, a car pulls into the parking lot of the Panhandle and drives towards the door.  Four leather clad men wearing black ski masks exit the idling sedan.  One has a CAWS, another an M-16, the third carries an Uzi and the fourth pulls out a .44 automag!

These new attackers don’t see Crank as they are fixated on the saloon’s front entrance.  Wolf drops his phone and yanks out his .454 Arno.  With surprise on his side, he fires two shots from the electro thermal handgun at the right arm of the gunman wielding the CAWs.  It blows the arm clean off and the first attacker drops.  Initiative goes to Crank and he does the same to the man with the M-16, who also goes down.  The man with Uzi opens up with half his clip.  Many of the bullets hit the car Wolf was standing behind.   The few that find their mark are foiled by Owen’s skinweave and armor.  Crank’s expensive suit coat is NOT armored and is shredded by the barrage.  The .44 barks twice.  One round hits the car, but the second strikes Owen in the chest for a point of damage.

Pissed that his suit is now ruined, Crank comes around from behind the car and walks coolly towards the remaining two attackers.  His Arno fires twice again, destroying the arm holding the .44 automag.  Its wielder falls over backwards and is still.   Wolf’s pulls out a speed loader and calmly reloads the empty revolver as he continues advancing on the last gunman.  The leather clad man breaks, jumps back into the idling vehicle and slams it into reverse.  Owen doesn’t fire on the retreating car.  A couple of patrons exit the saloon, but Crank tells them, “Go back inside, please.”

A look at the bloody scene and they comply without complaint.  Crank checks the three that are down (and now dead), and then picks up his phone to report this turn of events to the now hysterical dispatcher.  The cavalry is on the way!

Back at the party/riot, Beebe turns to face the biker.  He comes at her and she tries to sweep him to the ground.   Avoiding her attack he swings his club at her head.   The nomad is able to dodge; barely.   As he comes in for another swing, she kicks him high in the chest.  The biker drops his club.  Beebe is relieved, till she realizes he was just changing weapons.   Drawing a slice and dice he once again advances on the young nomad.

This is a little more than Beebe can handle, so she flees towards the back of Velvet Blue’s van.  The nomad dives through the open back door.  As her pursuer comes around to the back of the van, he meets Ty’s shotgun.    The last thing he sees is the flash from both barrels from six inches away.  12 gauge deer slugs tear through the helmet killing him instantly.

Out in the field Brandon notices that the two bikers he had knocked down are getting up.   He is more forceful with the next attacker he takes down.   Broken limbs should keep him down till the police arrive.   Searching for more attackers, the security chief does not realize that he has inadvertently killed the biker.

A mass of gunfire erupts from Peg Leg’s house.   The four attackers run from the building and jump on their bikes.    Heath drops another biker who is beating down a teenage boy.  From the highway comes the thunderclap of a high powered rifle.  The .700 round hits Brandon in his biomechanical leg.   It tears off the limb and sends the security chief flying.   Sam hears that sound and knows exactly what is; an electro thermal Boss Arms Hammer.  Fisher hits the siren and floors it.

By now the leather clad attackers are jumping on their dirt bikes and heading back towards the highway.  Heath remains down as he doesn’t want to attract anymore fire from the Hammer.  As quickly as it began, the attack is over.  Of the fifteen bikers that attacked the crowd, nine escape.  Off in the distance, the sounds of multiple sirens can be heard.  Every cop car in the county is heading for Peg Leg’s field.

Before the police arrive, Brandon gathers up the remains of his leg, finds something to use as a crutch and hobbles towards the house.  Dr. Ricci is notified and is on the way.  Beebe makes sure the band is good.  Everyone is fine except Natty, who is drenched in blood.   The nomad girl tells the bassist to jump into the bed of the pickup and get out of her bloody clothes.  The Czech does as ordered, leaping into the frigid water.   The improvised pool turns a deep crimson.  Once Natty is relatively clean, the young nomad releases the tailgate and dumps the red stained waters onto the ground.  Unbeknownst to Beebe or the band, the Brazilian camera crew catches the entire scene.

Beebe looks for Jason.  He is waking up with a lump on his head, but is otherwise unhurt.  Brandon is taken to the resorts infirmary, before the sheriff’s department arrives.  Dr. Ricci moves amongst the crowd treating the wounded.  Two of the teens are dead, as is Peg Leg Porter and one of the teens hired to provide security for the party.

Back at the Panhandle, Freddy Timmons arrives before the sheriffs and helps Crank maintain order and the integrity of the crime scene.  When the masks are pulled off the three dead attacker’s faces, Wolf recognizes them as three of the Rattlesnake MC members that cold cocked him and tried to grab Nancy Petersen a couple of weeks back.  Each one is found with a picture of that waitress in his pocket.

At Peg Leg’s place, every dead biker has a paper with pictures of six kids.  Two are Karl Petersen’s other two children, Todd and John.  Three are of other children of various members of the Visigoths (only one of the three were at the party) and the last picture is of Natty LanikovaRicco arrives and makes sure Henrique’s crew is all right.  The crew is ecstatic!  They have some great shots, although they tell the police that they don’t.

Ricco and Sam are with Sheriff Mason as they discuss the incident.  Mason mentions that his people have interviewed the band, but can’t talk to Natty since she doesn’t understand their questions.  Sam sees his chance to make points with the sheriff and offers to translate.  Suddenly, Natty can no longer speak German and the security officer is left with egg on his face!  The cops tell him to take her home.  The trip begins in silence.  As they pull away from the scene, Natty suddenly speaks up, asking him to stop the car.  Sam complies.

The girl jumps out and runs into the woods.  Ten minutes go by.  He is almost ready to go to searching for her, when Natty reappears with her instrument case and a small bag.  Sliding the bass in the back she climbs into the front passenger seat, with her arms folded over the bag in her lap and eyes staring straight ahead.

“You know, you can trust me,” Sam tells the teenager in German.

The grim faced girl just stares straight ahead.  The two continue the ride in silence.

Sam tries again and says, “I just want to help.”

Natty turns to him and snaps, “They always say that, but men never help!”

Fisher is surprised by the venom of her tone.  This girl must have serious issues.


Sunday, February 17,   2047:

Peg Leg Porter’s is cordoned off.  The field and house is an active crime scene.   Ricco, Brandon, Crank and Sam encounter a half dozen grim faced Visigoths just outside the perimeter of the police tape.  The four are waved through by Sheriff Mason, who is in a heated discussion with Hank Tremont, Sandy Zelinsky and TC James.   Crime scene units from State, County and NCIS are in the field taking samples.  None of the four have seen this many cops in one place in Florida before.

The Sheriff is trying to convince the MC leaders to let the police handle the situation.

In a dead monotone Hank tells Mason, “Of course, we will do nothing and let you take care of this.”  The three bikers stalk away towards the perimeter.

Ricco asks the sheriff how his investigation is going.

“I have two dead citizens (Peg Leg and the ‘Button Down’ boy) and nine dead Rattlesnakes; six here and another three at the Panhandle.  We have found this on all the dead bikers.” Mason hands the general manager a piece of paper with six photos.   Ricco shows it to the other three.    They all recognize the people in the pictures.  Three are children of various members of the Visigoths, two are John and Todd Petersen, Randy’s children and the last is Natty Lanikova, girlfriend of the VPs son.  The sheriff continues, “The three at the Panhandle all had a photo of Nancy Petersen.”

“We have a gang war here,” Crank observes.

“No shit,” Mason confirms, “And a bit of a mystery.  I have three bodies backstage killed by someone who the NCIS people say is a trained Special Forces operative.”  The sheriff’s gaze settles on Sam.

“Hey, I was in the patrol car when this went down,” Fisher explains.  “You can check the security video.”

“Will I see you, or just a car driving around?” Sheriff Mason asks.

Changing the subject, Crank says, “The Visigoths aren’t going to let this slide.”

“No,” Mason agrees, “they won’t.  There’s gonna be a lot of blood before this is over.”

As they talk Sam’s mind goes back to last night; to Natty and the bag she held on so tightly on her lap the entire ride home.  The ex-C.I.A. operative keeps this tidbit to himself.  Sheriff Mason takes them around the crime scene and brings them up to speed on the investigation.


Beebe walks over to Natty’s house that afternoon.  She knocks on the door and Alina answers.  The mother lets Beebe in and goes to make some lemonade.  Natty is sitting on the couch.  She is visibly upset.  “Are you alright?” Beebe asks.

Natty looks up at her, “I kill three people, no, not all right.”

The nomad girl’s heart goes out to her friend.  “You had no choice.  You were defending yourself and your friends.  There is nothing to feel bad about.”

“No, that not it,” Natty replies.  The bassist looks down at the floor for a second before looking up at Beebe.  “I liked it.”

Beebe isn’t sure exactly what to say to that.   Still, she feels she has to say something.  “Well, as long as you don’t get to like it too much.”

“No,” Natty tries to explain.  “I not like just the kill, but killing bad people, who try to hurt friends.  I like people.”

Growing serious, the young nomad passes along some wisdom give to her by her own mother.   “My mother taught me to always tell the truth and if someone is trying to kill you, kill them first.”

This elicits a snort of laughter from Natty, causing Beebe to add, “Yeah, mom’s a bit crazy.”

Alina comes in with the lemonade and the two girls fall silent.  The mother speaks, “Natty told me what happened last night.”

“Oh,” Beebe replies.  “Well, I can get rid of her clothes from last night.”

“Thanks, but I burned them all this morning,” replies Alina.

There is a knock at the door.  It is Paris and Ty.  Soon Sammy and Amy show up and the group gets their story straight.  The band agrees that it was a big man in a stealth suit that killed all the bikers backstage last night except for the one Ty shot.

Beebe says she can’t lie, but since she was running the other way, it’s understandable why she didn’t see the same thing.   If asks, she plans to say she was too busy running for her life to notice anything.

The band gets their story worked out just in time as Sherriff Mason and Sargent Willard Broome of the FDLE show up to interview them.  They all stick with their story.  It is clear that both policemen are curious, but not enough to make an issue of it; yet.  They seem to have an idea who this tall, mysterious stranger could be.





Episode 7 – Mardi Gras



The storage bunker yields new surprises and an answer to a mystery, in a canvas bag.  Mardi Gras approaches.  The Sea Snake sails for New Orleans.  Members of the Dirty Deeds team try to blend in with the boat load of revelers bound for the Big Easy.  Sam is not the only one with a mission.  Paris and Natty’s foray into the city causes nothing but heartache.   A dead contact brings a run-in with the law.  Questioning leads to unintended revalations.  Certain members of the team are asked never to return to the Crescent City.

Back in Florida the Rattlesnakes MC suffers a major setback.



Sam Fisher, retired Delta Force colonel and C.I.A. assassin, has finally been ‘officially’ released from prison after serving his sentence for extortion due to a botched operation in the Atlantic City part of the Burn Notice Campaign.  Part of his (unofficial) deal for pleading guilty at the time was that he would receive his government pensions on his release from prison, but the government isn’t able to honor that part of the agreement.  He is informed by his old friend, Nathan Forrest, Deputy Director for Clandestine Services at the C.I.A., that his pensions could be restored if he assists in a very black operation on United States soil.

President Whindam has decided to bring the four southern states known collectively as the ‘Cotton Kingdoms’ to heel.  Sam, accompanied by his fiancée Rianna Prescott, will be sent to Santa Rosa County in the Florida panhandle near the Pensacola COG to the Petersen Point Resort, a seedy old tourist destination that will serve as a ‘safe house’ for operations to bring down the state government of Alabama.  He will also be tasked with the occasional mission himself.  To help him, a ‘Dirty Deeds’ group has been assembled whose covers are as employees of the hotel.  Only Sam knows this is a government sanctioned operation.


Dramatis Personae


The NPCs

Alina Lanikova is the lead dancer at the Blue Moon Revue.  She is a stunningly beautiful (ATTR 10), tall 29 year old Czech woman.  Her skills are exceptional and she acts as ‘Den Mother” to the other dancers.  She lives at the Resort with her teenage daughter.

Andrea Hutton is a hot twenty one year old senior, who is determined to claw her to the top and a marketing/PR prospective intern from Jacksonville State University.

Arthur Greenburg (the Geek) is one of the two prospective interns from Florida Atlantic University.

Brainerd Johnson is the brother of local crime lord A.C. Johnson and a member of the Florida State legislature. He is corrupt as the day is long.  He, his second wife, Carol, and four children live in Tallahassee and EscambiaCounty.  His first wife and child were killed in a plane crash after that wife left him

Carrie Anne Thorn is Front Desk Manager, also asst. hotel manager and bookkeeper at the Petersen Point Resort.  She is a small white woman is her early sixties.  Carrie Anne has arthritis so she doesn’t walk a lot.

Danny Johnson (17) is the center on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team and one of those self-entitled little pricks who tangled with Beebe at the party in Episode 2.

Deputy Marshal ClaytonClayJohnson is the older son of the late Terrance Johnson and nephew of ‘ACJohnson, the crime lord of Escambia County.  His younger brother is RolandRonnieJohnson a suspected drug dealer who runs a crew in Santa Rosa County.  The marshal is in NO way a member of his uncle’s organization and would love to put him away.

Eustis (‘Useless’) Saint Claire is an old black man who runs the water and sewer system at the Petersen Point Resort.

Greg Winters (the Face) is one of the two prospective interns from FloridaAtlanticUniversity.

Frank Michaels is the senior NCIS agent at the Pensacola COG.

Freddy Timmons is a rotund little man in his forties, who stutters a bit and seems almost comically nervous.  He is a town constable.

Hadley Walters III is a 15 year old student and forward on the Gulf Breeze Prep basketball team.  He is an arrogant self-entitled little prick, who tried to attack Lilly Tran (Episode 2) and who Ricco suspects is one of the Golf Course vandals.

Henrique:  A former Favela drug lord (nicknamed the King Snake) and leader of the Red Command who took a government amnesty offer and got out of the drug business.  Henrique used to belong to a Brazilian pop group manufactured by a record company.  When his voice changed he was fired and thrown back into the favela where he rose to the top of the local gang.  The man now runs a media company which works with Disney.  He and Ricco Torres grew up together with Ricco being the younger ‘brother’ (nicknamed Cobrinha – Little Snake).

HenryHankTremont is the president of the local charter of the Visigoths MC.

Jason Fry is a young Thelas nomad serving of Charlie’s test ship, the Sea Snake.  His sister is Amy Fry.  He has a thing for Beebe.

Jebediah Biggs is the junior agent (probie) from NCIS and partner to Agent Michaels.  He wears a Marine crew cut.

Karl Petersen is the treasurer of the Visigoths MC and owner of Petersen’s Garage.

Mai Saint Claire is the mother of Paris and wife of the late Delmar Saint Claire.  This granddaughter of Tran Xuan Giap is a junkie and prostitute.

Mr. Zeitsev is the code name for Sam Fisher’s contact on this secret, black project.  He is the government’s ‘Mr. Johnson’.

Natty Lanikova is the daughter of dancer Alina Lanikova and the teenage bassist for Velvet Blue.  She dates Steve Zelinsky, a prospect of the Visigoths and speaks little English.

Obadiah ObieTerhune is an Afro-American male about 51 years old and is the maintenance chief at the Petersen Point Resort.  Actually, he is the entire maintenance department which should number at least ten.

Paris Saint Claire is the lead singer for the band Velvet Blue and granddaughter of Eustis Saint Claire.  She and Natty are best friends.

Rat is a nomad ‘Dog Soldier’ (nomad enforcer) with a particular hatred for drug dealers.  He is working with Ricco Torres to end the drug dealing out of the Panhandle Saloon.

Sheriff Marcus G. (Garvey) Mason of Santa RosaCounty is a powerfully built African-American with a bald head and piercing brown eyes.  He has been sheriff for seventeen years and on the force for eight years before that as well as twelve years in the Army.  He has a cyberarm and two cybereyes as well as a lot of smaller cyberware.  The man has a reputation as a tough, honest cop who protects his county.

Stuart Wilson is a nomad representing the Wilson Family in their dealings with Ricco and the Petersen Point Hotel.  He and Ricco have come to like and respect each other.

Ty Saint Claire is Paris’s cousin and the smoking hot guitar player of Velvet Blue.  He is a bald (he shaves it) ebony skinned teenager.



The Action

Monday, February 18, 2047:

At the weekly staff meeting, Brandon reports that the security system is fully operational and online.  Crank announces that business at the Blue Moon Revue is slowly building.  He anticipates an upsurge once their post Mardi Gras advertising kicks in.  Carrie Anne reports a small increase in room occupancy.  Both attribute the up-turn to the lifting of the COG’s ban.

Ricco notifies the department heads that he has hired three interns who will soon be joining the staff.   Lest they fear he plans to flood the hotel with cheap student labor, the general manager also announces a new round of hiring to bring up staffing numbers throughout the hotel.

Henrique’s location team wraps up and departs for Havana, Cuba. The police release all crime scenes except Peg Leg’s house.  Ricco attends Sheriff Mason’s President’s Day Cookout.  While there, he is introduced to Marshal Clay Johnson.  The two men get to talking.  It becomes clear Clay isn’t involved in his family’s illicit activities.  In fact, he might be their worst enemy.  Ricco also meets the county prosecutors.



Tuesday, February 19, 2047:

With Mardi Gras fast approaching Charlie and Beebe head into Pensacola to do some shopping.  The two buy rapid detox for Charlie, showers in a can (for many), nano-cleaners, glow paint, a few armor saver drinks and costumes for Mardi Gras.

Sam travels into town, on his own, to make a few purchases before his shift.  Like Charlie, he ‘invests’ in a rapid detox, but his primary reason for going to Pensacola, is to visit the police supply store.   Given the uproar caused by brandishing his Big Government’s in Blackwater, Sam has decided to invest in  a less ‘conspicuous’ pair of side arms.  He drops a small fortune on two Armalite .44s with an integral smartgun link, speed holsters for both handguns and a box of 12mm DP ammunition.

Wanting to be prepared, for an extended fire fight, he also picks up four extra ammo clips.  The store only has standard 8 round magazines in stock.  Extended clips that hold 12 can be special ordered, but it will take several days to arrive.  Just to be on the safe side, Sam has the clerk order 8.

Back on patrol at the resort, the Sam spots Alina Lanikova running out the backdoor of the Blue Moon Revue.  The dancer jumps in her car and peels out of the back lot, heading in the direction of the resort.  Pulling a U-turn, he calls it in to the security office.   Dispatch notifies him that federal agents are at the dancer’s bungalow.  Pressing down on the accelerator, Sam tells the dispatcher to inform Brandon.

Alina is already out of her car and moving towards her house, by the time Sam pulls up. NCIS agent Frank Michaels is sitting on the porch with NattyMichaels notes her approach and holds up a knife (Natty’s mono-knife).  The dancer stops short.  She looks at the knife and then at her daughter.

As Sam approaches, he calls out to Agent Michaels, “Do you have a warrant?”

“I don’t need a warrant if I’ve been invited; and Natalie here invited me.”  He turns to the girl. “You did invite me, right?”

Natty, doesn’t look at the agent.  Her eyes remains fixed on her mother.   She nervously nods.

Spinning the knife in his hands, Michaels follows the girl’s gaze.   “Are you throwing me out, Alina?”

“No,” the dancer responds quietly.

During this exchange, Sam has continued to advance on the porch.  Unsure of the big man’s intentions, Agent Michaels puts him in his place.  “So, we’re all good her.  Maybe you should…stand down. This is a Federal investigation after all.”

Sam pauses.  The timely arrival of his superior dispels any thoughts of a confrontation.  Agent Michaels nods to Brandon, before turning his attention back to Natty.  He continues to spin the mono-blade as he talks to the girl.  The nuances of what he says are lost on the security officersHe is speaking to her in Italian.    

The tone is comforting and Natty listens intently; occasionally nodding.  Handing the knife back to the surprised teenager, Agent Michaels places a reassuring hand on her shoulder.  He spares her a few more words, before looking to her mother.

“Your daughter is basically a good kid.  You’ve raised her well.”

Patting Natty’s shoulder, he gives her a smile and stands to leave.   Michaels pays Alina a parting compliment as he passes her on the steps.  “You’ve done a good job training her, lieutenant.”

The dancer gives an involuntary flinch at these last words.  They seem to cut her deep.   Agent Michaels doesn’t look back.  He continues towards a dark sedan, where his partner waits.  While walking past Sam and Brandon the NCIS agent nods, “Gentlemen”.

As the car pulls away, Alina issues a curt command to her daughter.  The girl jumps up and disappears into the house.   Both security officers are left with many questions.  They may not have understood most of what Michaels said to Natty, but both recognized the word morte; death.  Then there is the fact that the agent addressed Alina as lieutenant, and her reaction.  The dancer doesn’t seem to be in the mood to provide answers.  Ignoring the men standing on her lawn, she turns to go inside.

Sam calls after her. “Alina, we should have coffee sometime?”

Glancing back, she replies dryly, “I don’t date people I work with.”

The ex-operative tries to correct her false impression of his intentions by stating, “I have a girlfriend.”

Alina ignores his attempts to explain.  He has her attention and in an uncharacteristic moment of candor, with anger flashing in her eyes, she tells him exactly how she feels.  “I don’t like the fact you acted as a translator for the police when they tried to interrogate my daughter.”  The dancer looks poised to say more, but stops herself, turns and goes inside.

Brandon and Sam return to the security office.  The security chief authorizes the purchase of Czech +3 language chips for the security team.  He also pulls Alina’s employment records.  Her application lists her employment from 2034 to 2046 as serving in the Czech Army.  There are no details of what she did while in the service.  Brandon and Sam agree that the mother and daughter bear watching.

Natty arrives at the security office within the hour and sits down at the main computer console.  Sam considers asking her about what just happened, but realizes that the girl’s language comprehension is directly proportional to her desire to talk to him.  One look in her eyes and he knows she’s not his biggest fan.  The teenager plugs into the system and goes limp.  Five minutes later she comes around, packs up her deck and walks out without a word.

As afternoon drifts toward evening, two large vessels pull into the marina and tie up at the dock.  Crews from both crafts move into position to take on cargo.  Sam spies the ships being loaded while patrolling past the marina.  Security was never informed of any cargo transfer.  A personal distrust of the Thelas nomads makes him suspicious.  He turns the patrol car back towards the entrance to the marina, but is stopped at the gate by nomad dog soldiers.

They are polite but firm.  The nomads refuse to move aside or open the gate.  Convinced that the Thelas are up to something, Sam tries to exert his authority.   “I’m hotel security. You don’t have the right to keep me out.  The marina is hotel property.”

The Dog Soldier’s tone remains friendly.  “You should really talk to Ricco.   He knows what’s going on.”

Outnumbered and most likely outgunned, Sam returns to his car and drives back to the security office.  A call to the general manager does little to calm his suspicions.

“There is nothing going on at the marina.  Everything is just fine.”

Ricco’s assurances are unsatisfactory.  The ex-C.I.A. operative knows he’s being left out of the loop and doesn’t like it.  He notifies Brandon of the activity at the marina.   They attempt to focus in on the dock with the main security camera mounted on the hotel roof.  The camera no longer tracks to cover the marina.  In fact, none of the cameras are positioned to record the four 105mm howitzers being loaded.  Neither security officer is pleased.  Both instantly remember Natty accessing the system earlier that afternoon.

As the artillery pieces are being transferred, Ricco meets with their new owners to wrap up the sale.  Stuart Wilson, Charlie, Beebe sit in on the meeting as does the fixer who negotiated the deal.  The price is $1,000,000.00 in cash, which the buyers hand over in a large valise.  Ricco opens the suitcase to check the contents.  Counting it now would be bad form, so he simply nods and offers his hand to seal the deal.   Business concluded, the nomads return to their ships for the voyage back to the Iron Archipelago.

Ricco reaches into the bag and counts out $100,000, which he slides over to the fixer, with his thanks.  The man looks from the stack bills to the general manager and smiles, “Been a pleasure.”

After Ricco departs with the rest of the money, the four nomads burst into laughter.  Charlie and Stuart were the ones who actually brokered the deal.   The ‘fixer’ is just a mutual friend they brought in to ‘handle’ the negotiations.  Each takes $30,000 for their troubles.  Charlie tosses Beebe the remaining $10,000; her cut for their little enterprise.



Wednesday, February 20, 2047:

The Sea Snake is booked solid for its voyage to New Orleans, and Mardi Gras.  As a favor to his friend, Charlie finds a spot aboard for Sam and Rianna.  The crew sets up a private sleeping area for the couple on the ship’s ‘flying bridge’.

The Storage bunker at the marina keeps turning up new surprises.   A call from Stuart Wilson brings Ricco back to the basement of the structure.   Charlie and Beebe are on hand as always.   Stuart directs the general manager towards a corner of the large room.  “After we cleared away the palettes and debris, we came across another set of steel doors set in the floor.  They were sealed with plastic like the blast doors leading into this room.”

Ricco sighs, “OK, let’s open it up.

Inside the doors is a staircase leading down.   How far is impossible to tell.  The beams of their flashlights reflect off of pooled water three feet below the entrance.   Stuart calls down a crew with work lights, hoping the higher candle power will penetrate further into the gloom.   The increase in ambient light reveals a large object further down the steps.   Pulling it to the surface proves difficult.  It has been weighted to keep it submerged.

Seeing the oversized canvas bag, to Beebe, it’s a no-brainer; weighted sack in a flooded and buried tunnel; definitely a body.  With everything else that they’ve found in the bunker, Ricco decides to be cautious.  The general manager calls in Sam to check for explosives.  It takes a while for the ex-CIA operative, to actually get around to checking out the bag.

Sam is bullshit.  How could they not have told him about the sub-level of the storage bunker?  Now he is sure that the nomads are up to something.   His feelings of betrayal are only increased by Beebe presence. “Why didn’t you tell me?” the ex-operative demands of his friend.

Charlie’s reply is deadpan.  “Need to know”

Sam demands to know what they found, but the gun smith keeps a tight lip.   The other nomads appear to be getting restless.  Ricco refocuses the security officer’s attention on the task at hand “Sam, the bag.”

There are no obvious trip wires or booby traps.  A chem-sniffer returns a negative result for explosive residue.  The security officer carefully unzips the bag.  Inside is a human skeleton.  Ricco contacts Sheriff Mason.  With the general manager’s approval, Sam notifies the rest of the security staff.

While waiting for the sheriff to arrive, they turn their attention back to the stairs.  The sub-structure extends below the water table.  It is also lower than the river flowing by outside.   Stuart is fairly certain the flooding is not coming from the Blackwater.   “Water tends to seek its own level. If this were coming from the river, the room we’re standing in would have been flooded too.”

Testing the water backs up his theory.   Though stagnant, the salinity and PH is well below that of the Blackwater River.  Ricco remembers Eustis Saint Claire going on about the age and fragility of the resort’s water and sewer system during one of the department meetings.  It doesn’t smell like sewage, but may be from a broken water main.  Best to call in an expert to be sure.

Since he is on the grounds, the water and sewer manager arrives before the Sheriff.  Eustis glances at the bag of bones on the way by, but makes no comment.   All it takes is a quick peek down the steps.  “Oh, I bet this is part of the old fort.”

“What fort?” Sam asks, wondering if this is something else that Ricco forgot to mention.  The general manager is as surprised as anyone.   He listens intently as Eustis answers, the security officer’s question.

“Just before the Second World War the government built a series of coastal defense forts to guard important bases.  My grandfather told me when I was little that there was one around here that supported two sixteen inch naval guns guarding the eastern approaches to Pensacola.  The guns were housed under an artificial hill about 2 miles from here on Angus Young’s Farm.  You can see it from the top of the hotel, but it’s all overgrown now.”

The thought of tunnels running under the resort is intriguing.  Ricco has a ton of question, but sticks to problem at hand. “Why is it filled with water?”

“Well when they closed the fort down after the war, some kid was fooling around in there; fell and broke his neck.  They filled up all the lower levels with water so no one else would get hurt.  The area around here contained barracks and stuff, or so I heard.  They were all connected by a system of tunnels so aircraft couldn’t interfere with the operation and movements of the fort’s defenders.  Most of the buildings have been torn down.  I guess this is one that hasn’t.”

It seems the Eustis isn’t the only one knows about the old fort.  Sheriff Mason shares some tidbits of info, after taking their statements.  The group is forced to move across the room, while techs process the scene.   Divers are on the way to check for additional bodies and physical evidence under the water.

What they find is a large empty room, opening up on a tunnel running roughly east to west.   The water is murky and there is debris in the tunnel that would make it dangerous to navigate.  Having found no other bodies, they return to the steps.  The police take the corpse and thank Ricco for his assistance.

Marcus muses, “I hope this is a case we already have on file.  I’d hate to have another unsolved murder down here.”  Knowing the extent of the file Ricco readily agrees.   The sheriff nods towards the stairs, becoming serious, “You are going to seal this back up, right?”

The general manager’s tone is matter of fact, “Of course.”

As Sheriff Mason climbs the stairs to the ground level, Stuart whispers to Ricco, “Are you really going to seal this back up?”

“Hell no, let’s get some pumps down here and see what we have!”



Thursday, February 21, 2047:

The Sea Snake leaves Blackwater in the early morning.   With the Blue Moon closed for the week of Mardis Gras, Alina and the rest of the dancers have lined up private gigs in New Orleans.  Paris and Natty tag along.  Officially they will be there to help out with the costumes, but the girls make plans to sneak away and meet up with Beebe.

Ricco would like to go and see how the festival compares with Carnival back home, but he is swamped with work.  Betty Lu & Crank are similarly too busy to make the trip.   Sam takes Brandon along to back him up at the meet.  He also brings Rianna, because if he went to Mardi Gras without her, she’d probably kill him.

The captain plots a course that swings wide of Alabama and Mississippi’s territorial waters, down through the Iron Archipelago.   With the boat packed with passengers, he chooses safety over speed.   Even with the detour, they should arrive in New Orleans by breakfast tomorrow.

Back in Santa Rosa County, Danny Johnson is acquitted of drunk driving.  A representative from the hospital reports that the blood alcohol test entered into evidence was not that of Danny Johnson.  Due to a clerical error in the lab, samples were mislabeled.   His actual test came back clean.  Peter testifies that all of the alcohol in the car belonged to him.  He refutes the claim that his brother was drinking.  The Johnson brothers and Hadley Walters III are convicted of the sole remaining charge of vandalism and fined.



Friday, February 22, 2047:

The Sea Snake pulls into New Orleans in the early morning and docks on the Mississippi.  A water shuttle is standing by to pickup the dancers.   Unable to secure accommodations at such a late date, Sam and Rianna will be berthing aboard the Sea Snake, along with Charlie, Beebe and many of the Nomads.  Brandon was able to secure a room off ship, thanks to Natty’s net skills.   He paid the girl $1000 to hack a local hotel and secure him a reservation.

Charlie grabs a ship’s launch to take the security chief to his hotel.   Sam and Rianna accompany them, as do Beebe and Jason.  The plan is to head into the city as a group, after Brandon checks in and drops off his bags.   Jason pulled late watch on the Sea Snake, so he and Beebe want to make the most of their time before he has to head back to the ship.

The security chief graciously offers to let the others take a quick shower and get ready in his room before they head out.  Charlie and Beebe change into the ‘costumes’ they bought in Pensacola.   It’s a bold departure from how the young nomad normally dresses, but still tame compared to Charlie’s outfit or what most other revelers will be wearing or not wearing during Mardis Gras.  Jason is suitably impressed, giving a wolf-whistle to show his approval.

While relaxing in a beer garden, Sam tries to tell to Brandon how to attract girls using beads thrown from parade floats.  The security chief is a little dubious, but Sam explains, “People come here to have fun.   Sure, they’re worthless trinkets, but they give them an excuse to cut loose and do things they might not ordinarily do.”   To illustrate his point, Rianna holds up a set of beads between two fingers and jangles them at her boyfriend.

Sam moves over to give her a surprisingly erotic lap dance.  Getting into the act, Beebe twirls a bright neon necklace around her finger and arches her eyebrow, questioning at Jason.   What the nomad lacks in grace, he make up for in enthusiasm.   Breaking into giggles, she grabs his waist and pulls him backwards into the chair and onto her lap.   The two begin to neck, oblivious to the crowd around them.

As if to finish Sam’s thought, Charlie confides to Brandon, “It also helps if they’re really drunk.”

An egg sails through the air and hits the gunsmith high in the shoulder.  The others look around to make sure no other projectiles are incoming.  Charlie just ignores it.  If it were rotten, he may have done something.  As it is, he just picks a stray bit of shell out of his beer and goes back to drinking.

Jason tries to stretch it out as long as possible, but eventually has to head back to the Sea SnakeBeebe stays with the group, ‘to keep an eye on Charlie’.  The young nomad has made it her self appointed task to watch out for the gunsmith and keep him out of trouble.  He’s like a part of her family.   She also can’t shake the thought that Sam is going to talk the Charlie into doing something stupid.

The group eventually ends up at Antoine’s.   Sam has decided to let Brandon take the lead.   He waits outside in the launch with Rianna, while the security chief and two nomads enter and find a table.  Scanning the crowd, Brandon spots the garrison cap.  Their contact is standing alone at a high top table near the bar.  He approaches the man and strikes up a conversation.

The two chat for a couple of minutes.   ‘Vasily’ waits expectantly, but Brandon is having trouble working the code word into the conversation.  Spotting a tray of food headed to one of the tables, he gets a sudden inspiration, “I can’t wait for my Cajun Shrimp to arrive.  I hope it’s not as spicy as that Tajini I got in Morocco”.

Vasily counters with, “I prefer the fish stew from Odessa, but that is also very hot.”

Both men breathe a little easier.   Vasily tells him that the ‘package’ will be ready on Monday, February 25 @ 8pm.  Brandon should meet him at the dock on the Pearl Street (a water alley) behind the three-story building that fronts St. Charles.

The security chief returns to his own table.  He orders a round of drinks, to give their contact time to make his exit.   The three leave about ten minutes later and return to the launch.   With the meet out of the way, they head out for a wonderful evening of drinking and carousing.



Saturday, February 23, 2047:

Beebe is still passed out in her hammock, when Charlie stops by to invite her to breakfast.  Rather than wake her, he leaves a note on a post-it stuck to her forehead.   The gunsmith heads out with Sam and Rianna to pick up Brandon.

An altercation at the front desk catches the security chief’s attention as he walks through the hotel lobby.  A man is berating the front desk clerk over loosing his reservation.   Brandon has a sneaking suspicion of what happened to the room.   He sails out the door and meets the launch at the wharf fronting the hotel.

The foursome dines at an open air café.   Charlie pours tequila into his cereal in place of milk.  “Hair of the dog” he explains in answer the strange looks from his friends.  By itself the tequila may have been fine.  It just doesn’t mix well with the corn flakes.   He is only able to get down two or three mouthfuls of the soggy mash, before his stomach revolts.

The nomad pukes up the vile concoction and most of the contents of his stomach.  He tries to catch as much as he can in the bowl, but there is too much.   The repulsive mess reeks of booze.   A healthy gratuity ensures that they aren’t thrown out.  Charlie sheepishly orders a new meal.

Beebe wakes to find the note posted on her forehead.  It might be funnier if she wasn’t so hung over.  There’s nothing she’d like more than to stay in bed, but the constant rocking of the hammock is making her nauseas.  Then there is the overwhelming need to pee, which makes getting up an immediate imperative.   It’s a sad irony to have a bladder so full it feels ready to explode and being so thirsty you could drink the Mississippi.  The young nomad rolls out of the hammock and almost lands face first on the floor.  Stumbling down the passageway, her only hope is that the head is vacant.

A hot water shower would be too much to wish for at this late hour.  Though not at the blistering temperature she would like, the warm spray is enough to wash away some of the cobwebs.  A handful of aspirin and copious amounts of water do the rest.  Beebe is nearly back to her old self, by the time she runs into Jason in the passageway.  He is a late riser as well, having caught a couple hours of sleep after his watch.

Waiting for Jason to get ready gives her a chance to call Paris and Natty.  There is no answer at the number they gave her: Alina must be keeping them busy.   Striking out with her girlfriends, she calls CharlieJason and Beebe take a water taxi to hook up with the gun smith and his group for another day of partying.

Drinking away the afternoon, the six move along the suspended walkways, taking in the parades and checking out the bars along the way.

“Hey, aren’t you the guy who runs Boss Arms?”  The question comes from a Folk Nation nomad coming the other way with his own group of drunken friends.

Always happy to be recognized, the gun smith proudly answers, “Yes, I am.”

“Your guns suck!”

Defending the quality of his weapons becomes secondary as Charlie finds he has to defend himself.   The gunsmith jerks backwards, narrowly avoiding a boot to the head from the folk nation nomad’s well executed roundhouse kick.  This appears to be a signal, as all hell breaks loose.   A female nomads charges Rianna.   She deftly grabs her attacker, but the woman’s momentum carries them both off the edge of the walkway and into the water below (great grapple roll, but a botch on the attempted throw).

Sam knocks down one opponent, but a second clocks him in the head, knocking him out.  The two nomads pick up the ex-C.I.A. operative and toss him into the drink.  Charlie makes a conscious effort to pull his punches.  His cyberarms could do some serious damage.  He doesn’t want to see a good natured brawl turn into a murder rap.  Try as he might, the gunsmith still ends up breaking bones.  The left arm of the man who tried to kick him buckles with an audible snap.

The blows of Brandon’s attacker are ineffective.  In hopes of bringing the melee to a swift conclusion, the security chief grabs the man and idly tosses him in the canal.   A dunking in the polluted waters seems to quench the fire of most combatants.   Rianna and her former attacker laugh and joke, as they swim towards a ladder leading back up to the walkway.   Sam sees no humor in the situation. He knifes through the water towards the same ladder, determined to return to the fray.

Up above, Jason and Beebe are out numbered three to two.   As the men square off, she is left to take on the two women.   A lucky kick to the temple takes down one of her opponents evening the odds.  The woman lays unmoving on the ground.   Beebe is horrified that she may have killed her.   She may be tough, but she has never actually taken a life.  The young nomad dodges the blows of her remaining attacker, but refuses to strike back.   She finally puts up her hands and tries to reason with her opponent.

Charlie’s control is slipping.   He accidentally breaks another opponent’s leg.  This fight is no longer fun.  As the nomad weaponsmith turns to face a new foe, he mutters to himself, “I didn’t want to break anyone’s legs.”

Charlie’s opponent overhears him and stops, “I don’t want you to break my leg either.”

The fighting peters out and is completely finished by the time Sam makes it back up to the walkway.   Charlie sets the fractures that he caused.   Beebe breaths a sigh of relief when the woman she kicked in the head starts to come round.   Those that wound up in the water, smell awful, but most are still too drunk to care.

Beebe jokingly comments, “I hope you’ve all had your tetanus shots.”

The two groups put aside their differences and stagger off together to find a saloon.   The rest of the evening is a pleasant blur as they try to drink each other under the table.

Sometime around 8 pm, Jason receives a call from Alina.  She asks if he has seen her daughter and Paris.  When he tells her he hasn’t, the Czech dancer thanks him, saying they must be out enjoying Mardi Gras. Before hanging up, she asks that if he does hear from them, to please tell Natty to call her.



Sunday, February 24, 2047:

Being biomechanical, Brandon suffers limited effects from last night’s marathon of drinking.   He rises at an early hour and enjoys breakfast in the hotel’s dining room.  Sam and Rianna stick to the ‘flying bridge’ of the Sea Snake.   The ex-operative brings his girlfriend breakfast in bed…or sleeping bag in this case, from the ship’s galley.  Beebe is in better sorts than the previous morning.   She made sure to down some aspirin and drink lots of water before hitting the sack.   Jonesing for something sweet, she heads out with Charlie and Jason to hunt down a funnel cake stand.  By afternoon they are all back together, cruising the elevated walkways of this new world Venice.

During their wanderings, the group almost blunders into another melee.  This is no friendly brawl like yesterday.  The heavily cybered combatants are going all out to maim and kill each other. Spectators crowd along the walkways and hang out of windows to watch the carnage.  Blood flies.  Crumpled bodies lie strewn along the walkway.  Some are the bodies of unfortunate spectators who got too close to the action.

There’s no way around, so most of the group doubles back to try another walkway.  Charlie and Sam stand behind to watch.  Neither notices the Boeing VS-1 police spinner coming in low overhead.   The whir of the mini-gun catches them both by surprise.   Charlie reacts faster and is able to dive to the ground.  He avoids the rain of rubber bullets that descends on the combatants and crowd alike.   Sam isn’t as lucky and is clipped by one of the rubber rounds.

The gunner fires staggered bursts to stop the fighting and disperse the crowd.  Most take the hint and retreat.  Sam and Charlie make their way back to the rest of their party.   Three boosters continue to battle through the barrage.   Once everyone else is clear, the gunner switches to lethal ammunition.  Two warning bursts chew up the walkway near the boosters’ feet, but they continue to brawl.  A third burst mows them down, putting an end to the fight.  The spinner hovers for another moment, before returning to its patrol.


Back in Florida, the Rattlesnakes Panama City Charter is on a camp out ride.  Early that evening they are attacked by ‘unknown’ assailants and are massacred to the man.  The strike used military precision and there was no real usable forensics left.  The authorities feel they know the culprits.  Ricco returns to the Cayman Islands to handle some financial transactions.  Among his luggage is a large suitcase filled with money.


Jason receives another call from Alina.  The dancer asks if he wouldn’t mind picking up Paris and Natty. They need a ride back to the hotel.  Beebe overhears his side of the conversation and asks “what’s up?”

When he tells her about Alina’s request, she jumps at the chance to see her friends.  Charlie lets the two borrow his launch, under the proviso that they don’t forget to come back and pick them up.

The address is in a dangerous section of town.  Jason is happy to have a second set of eyes to look out for trouble.  He also hopes to have some alone time with Beebe, before they have to head back to the club.

Natty waves to them from a small dock.  As the boat approaches, she retreats to a nearby doorway and collects Paris.  The girl appears to be in a bad way.   Natty hustles her onto the boat and tells Jason “go.”   Beebe tries to help make her friend comfortable and ask what happened, but Paris is a basket case.   Rivulets of mascara run down puffy cheeks.  Her eyes are bloodshot and unfocused.   Quiet sobs wrack the girl’s body as she lies on the bottom of the boat.

Beebe tries to keep it together.   Her friend is hurting, but there’s no obvious physical injury.  She wants to help but doesn’t know what to do.  Paris is incapable of telling her what happened.  Natty tries to, but can’t seem to find the right words. They are all too quickly at the hotel.   Jason pulls the launch up to the back dock.   Beebe wants to go with her friends, but Natty stops her.  “Better you stay.”   The nomad is too emotionally drained to argue.

Jason keeps the launch at the dock till the two girls are safely inside the hotel.   Pulling away, he gives voice to his thoughts. “Something bad happened.”

Beebe tries to put a bright face on a bad situation.  “Well, at least they’re not hurt.”

“I don’t know…” The nomad realizes he said it aloud only after he catches Beebe staring at him.  She doesn’t ask or say anything, but he feels compelled to share what he saw.   “Natty had some blood spatter on her.”

Seeing the fear in her eyes, he adds, “I don’t think it was hers.” This doesn’t seem to help.

The pair is subdued when they rejoin the others at a club.  Charlie misreads their expressions and yells, “Hey! Hey! It looks like someone got lucky.”

Something inside Beebe gives way.  She strikes out hitting the gunsmith in the cyberarm.   With tears streaming down her face and string of obscenities flowing from her lips, she continues to pound on his arm.   Beebe isn’t angry at Charlie.  She’s angry with herself…for being powerless to help her friend.   The worry and frustration just boiled over and she needed something to hit.

Hitting his cyberarm won’t hurt Charlie.  In fact, it’s her hand that’s starting to ache.   She welcomes the pain though.  It’s better than the awful feeling in the pit of her stomach.   The gunsmith lets her vent her fury without complaint.  He may not know what happened, but he seems to understand.

Sam doesn’t.  He grabs the girl’s wrist to stop her from hitting his friend.  The litany of curses ceases as the young nomad turns on the security guard with hate filled eyes.   “LET GO OF MY FUCKING ARM!” she screams at him, her voice ragged and cracking.

“Not till you calm down.”  Sam’s attempts to reason with someone who is obviously out of control prove pointless.   She repeatedly tries to yank her arm from his grasp all the while screaming hysterically.   Charlie finally succeeds in separating them.  He orders his buddy a drink, while Jason takes Beebe outside.   As the rage leaves her, she breaks down into uncontrollable sobs.



Monday, February 25, 2047:

Back in Florida, the entire Pensacola Chapter of the Visigoths MC, is picked up and held for questioning.  A coordinated raid is launched by the Florida State Police and Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Department.   Petersen’s Garage and the gang’s clubhouse are thoroughly searched.  While the Visigoths are in custody, the clubhouse of the Port Orange (Daytona) Chapter of the Rattlesnakes MC is firebombed. Fourteen of the thirty-one members at the clubhouse are killed and many more seriously burned.

In the Caymans, Ricco creates a new shell company.


Beebe calls to make sure that Paris and Natty are all right.  Paris tells her that they’re both fine, but her voice sounds hollow.  The nomad has to fight the urge to ask what happened.   It’s not something that you discuss on the phone.   She asks her friend if they want to get together.

Alina’s keeping us pretty busy.  I don’t think she’ll let Natty out of her sight.”

Beebe doesn’t want to press her friend.  She keeps her tone light, even while trying to fight back tears.   “Ok, well if you can’t get away, I’ll see you on the boat.”

The rest of the Team parties the day away.    Their wanderings take them down a back water alley, past the dock, where the meet will take place that evening.  The narrow wooden quay backs a row of buildings.   When this area was dry land, the waterway was probably a service road or private lane running through the block behind houses and business.  Being on the back side of the block, there are no walkways running along or crossing the tight channel.  Given its narrowness, turning the boat around could prove difficult.  Charlie doubts that two craft, similar in size to the launch, could even pass each other.

Around 6pm, Charlie takes his rapid detox to be sober for the mission.   He ferry’s Brandon and Sam back to the dock in a smaller run-about.  While the gunsmith ties up the boat, the two head down the dock to where Vasily should be waiting.   The man is already there; sitting on a crate, lit cigarette in hand.  Sam sends Brandon ahead, since he was the one who made the initial contact.

Vasily doesn’t move or react in any way to his approach.  Brandon realizes too late that their contact is already dead.   Before he can turn or shout a warning to Sam, he is hit twice in the back and goes down.  The internal damage is extensive.   A normal human would have been killed by the shots, but Brandon is fully alert.   He went to the ground intentionally, to avoid further fire from the sniper.   The security chief may not be dead, but he is still severely damaged.

Seeing the rounds tear through Brandon’s back, Sam dives for cover behind some crates.  The ex-operative hopes it will take him out of the line of fire.   Charlie doesn’t have that luxury.  He is standing in the boat, completely exposed.   The gunsmith doesn’t even have time to consider jumping overboard before the sniper fires a second pair of shots.  Instead of taking out the nomad, the hidden gunman disables their transport.

Twin explosions erupt below the waterline.  The craft quickly begins to take on water.  Charlie scrambles onto the dock and takes cover.   The three listen intently, but there is nothing but the sounds of the Mardi Gras celebration off in the distance.

A minute stretches into two.  No one moves.  Brandon breaks for cover, with still no reaction from the sniper.  Figuring that whoever it is must be long gone, the three come out of hiding and check the area and Vasily’s body.   The contact’s throat has been cut.  He looks to have dead for a while; long before they ever arrived at the dock.

Vasily’s pockets are empty.   Whatever he was carrying appears to have been taken.  Fearful of failing the mission, Sam begins to search the crates around the body, in case their contact had stashed the package before being killed.   Brandon points out a security camera positioned over a door leading off the dock.   The ex-operative notes the camera, but continues his pointless search.

Time ticks away.  The run-about is almost completely submerged.   If it weren’t still tied to the dock, it would have already sunk to the bottom.   Sam’s frantic search is interrupted by the sound of an approaching spinner.   The two security officers restack the crates and take cover behind them with Vasily’s body.  There isn’t enough room for Charlie.   He is forced to slip into the water and use the dock as cover.

A New Orleans police Boeing VS-1 appears overhead.   The downwash from the ducted fans creates small wavelets in the confined waterway, causing the prow of the sunken runabout to thump against the dock.  Charlie struggles to keep his head above the rolling waves, so as not to swallow too much of the acrid water.

The bright beam of a search light pierces the darkness, illuminating the dock.

“Come out with your hands up,” a voice commands over the spinner’s loudspeaker.

The three remain hidden.

“We know you’re hiding behind the crates.  Come out or we’ll open fire.”

Sam thinks they’re bluffing.  He signals Brandon not to move.  The spinner keeps its searchlight fixed on their position for another minute, before shutting off the beam and flying away.

Charlie swims over to the scuttled runabout.  He uses its sunken hull to climb back onto the dock.  Pulling a knife, he cuts the mooring line.   The prow of the small craft slips below the surface with a frothing gurgle.  Sam enlists Brandon’s aid in continuing the search for the ‘package’.   He asks Charlie to hide Vasily’s body under the dock.  The nomad uses what is left of his mooring line to tie the corpse to one of the pilings, so it doesn’t float away.

Frustrated in their search, the two security officers turn their attention to the building and the door leading off of the dock.  Sam theorizes, “There’s no boat, so maybe Vasily accessed the dock from the building.  Maybe what we are looking for is inside.”  He gives the door a hard wrap to test its sturdiness.  The two security officers discuss climbing up to one of the high windows or making a concerted effort to smash down the door, all while standing under the watchful lens of the security camera.


(GM Note:  OK, at the beginning of the campaign, everyone was told there would be all kinds of missions that they would be asked to undertake.  The object of this job was being able to tell when a mission is ‘blown’, and escaping before your goose is well and truly cooked.  Well, they didn’t seem to ‘get it’.  Sam was nervous about having two failed missions in a row, but really, this one wasn’t his fault…well, up to this point where they considered breaking into the building.   If they had successfully made it through the door, there were two men in armor with heavy assault rifles standing at the ready on the other side; private security for the building)


Charlie thinks they’re both crazy.  Thankfully the phone in his head isn’t affected by his little swim in the canal.   He contacts Beebe to arrange pickup.  As the line connects, he can hear the sound of sirens in the distance.

Beebe has been obsessing over what happened to her friends.   Was Paris raped?  Did Natty kill someone?  If so are the police after her?   She is in full worry mode when Charlie calls.


He only says her name, but something in his voice sets off alarms.  “What is it?  Are you all right?”  There is no immediate answer.

The wail of the sirens echo off the walls as a boat with flashing lights enters the far end of the narrow waterway.   Looking up the water alley in the other direction, Charlie sees the flashing lights of another police boat.  The cops are converging on their position.

Distracted by the noise and lights, as wells as thoughts of going to jail, the gunsmith completely forgets that he has Beebe on the line.  Because the phone is in his head, ambient noise, such as the sirens doesn’t carry through on the call.   All Beebe hears is dead air.

Charlie?  Are you there?  Hullo?”

The gunsmith hurriedly tells her, “the police are coming, I’ll call you back,” and hangs up.

Beebe can feel the pit in her stomach grow.  There’s nothing she can do to help him.  Sam didn’t bother to share the pickup location with ‘the kid’.

This time the police aren’t bluffing.  The voice on the loudspeaker accurately identifies each of their hiding places, and gives them 10 seconds to come out before they open fire.   All three surrender.  They are disarmed and taken to the city jail for the night.

(GM Note:  See the Land of the Free Adventure for a description of the ‘shit hole’ that is the New Orleans municipal lockup).



Tuesday, February 26, 2047:

Fat Tuesday arrives and Beebe is a nervous wreck.   There has been no word from Charlie, since last night.    She is torn on what to do.   The gunsmith’s final words would indicate that they are in police custody, unless they made a run for it.  Going to the police station may be the worse thing she could do.   Fraught with indecision, she talks it over with Rianna.

After spending a wet and uncomfortable night in the partially flooded cells of the New Orleans Police Station, Sam, Brandon and Charlie are taken to interrogation.  Rather than being separated, all three are led into a single room and chained to the desk.  It is cramped and stuffy.  The gunsmith isn’t sure if the cops have turned up the heat as part of some interrogation technique, but he welcome’s change from the clammy confines of their cell.

A detective enters and sits down in the solitary chair, across from them.  His face is haggard.  He leans back to appraise the three prisoners, before asking, “So, why did you kill the guy we found tied under the dock?”

This blunt accusation loosens their tongues.   All three deny having anything to do with the murder.  Their basic argument is that he was dead before they got there.  The detective seems willing to accept their claims of innocence.   Now that they have proven their willingness to talk, he moves on to what he really wants to know.  “OK, then what were you doing there?”

There is a silence as the three prisoners think of how to answer.  Charlie finally pipes up, “Hey my friend here (indicating Sam) asked me to bring him to meet someone.  We got there, he was dead, and someone shot two holes in my boat and sunk it.”

The cop stares at the gunsmith not saying anything, while unseen figures, behind the two-way mirror, feed him information.

“You’re Charlie Bibbliodoc, the gun maker, aren’t you?”

“Yes,” Charlie replies.

The detective pulls a key from his pocket, leans forward and removes the nomad’s handcuffs.  “OK, off you go.”

A uniformed officer opens the door for Charlie.   He directs the nomad to a desk where he can make a phone call.  The gunsmith calls the Sea Snake to get a hold of Beebe.  She is relieved to hear from him, but the constant worry has made her paranoid.   The young nomad has heard stories of police releasing suspects to lure out their compatriots, even arresting them, when they show to pick up their friend.

Beebe’s fears may be unfounded, but she has no intention of going anywhere near the police station.  If Charlie doesn’t have money for a water taxi, she’ll hire one to pick him up.  After making the arrangements, the young nomad goes in search of Rianna, to tell her that Sam is being held at the police station.

Once Charlie is out of the room, the interrogator tells his two remaining suspects, “Look we know who you are, so don’t try and bullshit me.  What were you doing there on the dock?”

Sam and Brandon look at each other.  The ex-operative takes the lead. “I was doing a small job to pick up some information.  The dead man, who I knew as Vasily, was supposed to give me a ‘package’ and I was to bring it back to Pensacola.”

The detective says nothing.  He simply stares at Sam.

To fill the uncomfortable silence, the security officer continues his explanation.  “I don’t make a lot of money and I have a girlfriend to support so I take a few odd jobs; nothing illegal.”

The detective doesn’t refute Sam’s last declaration.   His only comment is, “Hmm.”

“Look we were the ones attacked.  Brandon was shot in the back twice.”

The apparently unhurt biomechanical sighs.  Under close scrutiny, Brandon’s true nature becomes apparent.  C-SWAT is summoned to ‘escort’ the security chief to a laboratory for examination.  The detective continues his interview of Sam.

“So who sent you to pick up this ‘package’?”

“I don’t know,”

“How were you contacted then?”

“I have a drop box.”

The detective slides a pen and pad across the table. “Give me the address and password,”

Sam hesitates.

“Look, I have a dead body and you look pretty good for it from where I’m sitting.”

With this last urging, the ex-operative gives up one of his two NET drop boxes and the access code.  The detective stands up and leaves the room.   Sam is left alone, chained to the table, for the next four hours.

In the lab, the local police tech geeks out over Brandon.  He’s never seen anything like him.  His biomechanical body may be at the cutting edge of technology, but there is nothing illegal about it.   The tech hooks up the biomechanical and downloads all the data he can on this new body design.  Brandon accepts the situation.  He even discusses the design of his body with the tech examining him.

The warmth of the room finally gets the better of him and Sam nods off.  He comes away instantly at the turn of the doorknob.   The detective looks angry.   “That drop box is there, but no one has accessed it.  Where did you get your instructions?”

“Oh, I didn’t mean that I got the mission from the drop box.  That came by courier.  I don’t know his name,” Sam explains.

The detective gives him a long look before leaving the room.  When he returns, there is another officer with him.  Sam is uncuffed and escorted to the front entrance of the police station.   Brandon is already there.  They are told, “Be gone within twenty fours and don’t come back.” The two grab a water taxi back to the Sea Snake.

Sam, Brandon and Charlie stay on the ship that night.  Jason and Beebe go off to enjoy the Fat Tuesday Grand Finale!

Back in Santa RosaCounty the police release about a score of the Pensacola Visigoths from custody.

Later that night, outside Miami, the Rattlesnakes Everglades Chapter is wiped out by unknown attackers.  The carnage isn’t discovered for two days.  All that the police find is three burned piles.  One is made up of the club member’s bikes.  The second is the stacked remnants of their cuts (or colors).  The third pile is made up of the burned corpses of the membership!



Wednesday, February 27, 2047:

The Sea Snake sails at 7 am back to Blackwater, Florida.  They take a more direct course and arrive back around 8 pm.  Ricco flies back from the Cayman Islands that afternoon and is greeted by the news that the first of the resort’s airboats is now operational.  About ten more Visigoths from the Pensacola Charter are released from jail.  The police have nothing on gang members, and pressure to release them is mounting.



Thursday, February 28, 2047:

All of the Visigoths, except for the club officers are released.

Sam writes a report about the dead courier in New   Orleans and puts it in the return mailer, in place of the missing ‘package’.

Beebe drives out to the Saint Claire farm to check on her friend.   Paris is out back, struggling to keep her kite aloft.

Seeing an opportunity to ease into a conversation, the nomad asks, “Need some help?”

The young rocker thankfully hands over the kite strings.  “I just can’t find my Zen today.”

It takes time and a little encouragement, but Paris finally opens up.   She tells Beebe about her mother and how she disappeared.    The girl explains how she discovered the address in New Orleans where her mother would be for Mardi Gras.  Natty convinced, Alina, to take them there.   The two slipped away so that Paris could confront her mother, Mai.  It didn’t go as she hoped.  Mai screamed at her daughter blaming the girl everything that had gone wrong in her life.  This ‘mother of the year’ ended her tirade by telling Paris, “I wish you had never been born.”  Beebe comforts her friend.  No one should have to bear this alone.



Friday, March 1, 2047:

Ricco goes over the evidence collected on Ronnie Johnson and his crew.  There is mention of a large drug shipment coming into Escambia County, next week.  The Brazilian ex-cop and Freddy Timmons go to see Sheriff Mason.  They show him what they have so far.  Marcus agrees it’s time to brief the county prosecutors.  As to the drug shipment is going down in Escambia County, Sheriff Mason suggests they call in Deputy US Marshall Clay JohnsonRicco knows Clay and agrees.  There is a county grand jury sitting next week.  They set the arrests tentatively for a week from today.

Visigoth Karl Petersen is finally released by the police.  The state prosecutor wants to hold the rest over for the weekend just for spite.  At the marina the second airboat is ready.



Saturday, March 2, 2047:

The last basketball game of the season is held at home versus Petersen Point’s county rivals MilfordHigh School.  Paris, Natty and the rest of the cheerleaders are back at courtside.  Petersen Point pulls out a victory and ends with an undefeated season.  They should be a shoe in to make the Florida Regional Championships.  Others are not so sure.  All the kids (and Beebe) head out to the Saint Claire Farm for a band party.  Many from Milton High attend.  They may be rivals, but many of the kids are also friends.

Arthur Greenburg (the Geek) and Greg Winters (the Face) the two prospective interns from FloridaAtlanticUniversity arrive to begin their internships.  They are ready to ‘kick ass’ and have a multitude of ideas.



Sunday, March 3, 2047:

It’s a quiet Sunday at Petersen Point.  Ricco and Sam go to church as usual.  Sam is now an accepted member of the congregation, but old man Giap still won’t give him the time of day.  Beebe, Paris and Natty fly their kites down by the marina and beach.  They are joined by a number of nomad kids.  Andrea Hutton the PR/marketing intern from JacksonvilleStateUniversity arrives.



Monday, March 4, 2047:

The new interns attend the weekly meeting of department heads.  Arthur Greenburg (the Geek) and Greg Winters (the Face) unveil their plans to attract college students to the hotel for spring break in April.  During his years at Florida Atlantic University, Arthur has made numerous connections with many student organizations.  Several of these contacts have moved on to other schools and universities.    He has already contacted them to gauge their interest.

Greg Winters unveils his advertising mock-ups for distribution to student media and social networking sites. He suggests that they should appeal to the sybaritic crowd of the nation’s colleges and universities.  Sex appeal sells, and could be big business for the resort.

Andrea feels that they can also market the natural beauty and the recent change of management.   People resist on coming to this region due to its high crime and proximity to the Cotton Kingdoms.  Ricco is a celebrity, for what he did in Rio.   The marketing intern thinks they can capitalize on this.  “Sell them on the safety and seclusion of the resort.”

Before the meeting breaks up, the general manager announces that a crew has arrived to begin laying new sod on the golf course.  The work should take about a month.

In the basement of the marina’s storage bunker, workers throw the switch to start a series of pumps, hooked up to the existing piping system.  Water from the flooded tunnels is pumped into the river from under the docks.   Estimations are that it will take several weeks to drain them completely.

The police and prosecutors run out of reasons to hold the Visigoth leadership.  The last of the bikers are released.



Tuesday, March 5, 2047:

Sheriff Mason comes to the resort looking for Eustis Saint Claire.  The body found in the basement of the marina storage bunker has been identified.   Marcus has the unenviable task of telling Eustis that they have found his son, Delmar.  Worse still, they’ve confirmed that the slugs found in his body came from a gun registered to Tran Van Son.

The new is crushing, but Eustis does his best to keep it together.   He thanks the sheriff, asking if Marcus has told anyone else.

“No, I though you should be the first to know.”

Eustis thanks him again.  He heads for home to tell Paris that her father is dead.   He deliberates not telling his granddaughter that her uncle is the murderer.   The girl is still reeling from the confrontation with her mother.   This may be too much to take.   Seeing her though, he knows he has to tell her.  Better she hear it from him than someone else.

Ricco and the Sheriff talk privately, after Eustis has left.  Finding Delmar is going to let them close two of the open cold cases.   This new evidence, explains how Tran Van Son got a hold of St. Claire’s shotgun.   Marcus is certain that Son killed himself, but till his grandfather, Tran Xuan Giap, passes away, the case will remain an open murder investigation.   “I’m not going to hurt that old man any more by telling him his grandson was a suicide.”


Later in the afternoon a Federal Express Mail courier delivers a package to Sam Fisher.  Inside is $70,000; payment for the Mardi Gras mission.  Sam is not being held responsible for that failure.  Vasily was killed nearly a full day before the meet.  The ex-C.I.A. operative divides up the cash for distribution to the rest of the team:

  • Sam Fisher – $20,000
  • Brandon Heath– $20,000
  • Charlie Bibbliodoc – $9,000 (plus $15,000 for the sunken boat)
  • Beebe Laugherty – $3,000
  • OwenCrankWolf – $3,000

The payday helps, but Sam still feels the mission was a bust.



Wednesday, March 6, 2047:

Florida High School Sports Federation announces high school teams that make 4 Regional Playoff slots for the western Florida panhandle.  Undefeated Petersen Point is ignored and Gulf Breeze Prep will represent the 2 western panhandle counties.  State Senator Brainerd Johnson, Chairman of the selection committee makes the announcement.  Many in Blackwater are angry but no one is surprised by this blatant favoritism.  The senator is Danny Johnson’s father after all.



Thursday, March 7, 2047:

It is another beautiful day at the Petersen Point Resort.  The newly hired maintenance staff is hard at work bringing back its faded glory.  Grumbles continue over the Florida High School Sports Federation’s decision to ignore the Petersen Point Basketball Team in favor of Gulf Breeze Prep.  The media vilifies Senator Johnson, but nothing will ever come of it.

An hour before he starts work, Sam has another visit from the Federal Express Mail Service courier.  The package contains a new mission from Mr. Zeitsev, a raid across the border into Alabama, a week from tonight.   There are two objectives.   The first is to blow up a chemical plant in Brewton.  Second, destroy the Alabama State Police airbase and drone control center just south of the city.  Gear and operating capital for the mission is to follow and will arrive within the next couple of days.  Sam feels this is his last chance.  Failure will bring an end to his career and life!



Next: Episode 8: Success is Sometimes Not So Sweet