Episode 10: Deals and Duels


Conflicting agendas threaten the cohesion of the team as they prepare to sneak onto the grounds of the Church of the Ever Loving God. Oh wait—Team? What team? We don’t got no stinking Team.


Geoff is creating a ‘research project’ as cover for selling human growth hormone (HGH) to the high school football team. The Night City mob in SoCal is supplying both product and the “researcher” to administer the HGH. Kyle, Cat, Sam, and Doc Freeman are preparing a grey ops mission to investigate the compound of Damon’s Church of the Ever Loving God. (New player) Logan arrives on the scene. Cat and Nip have investigated the incidents at Freeman Industries, and Doc Freeman told Benji, the Sysop, that “all is okay” after all. In truth, the teenagers have planted daemons in the hacker’s malware that should catch whomever has been stealing Doc Freeman’s secrets.

Dramatis Personae

The clients du jour:

Katie Whalen, a friend of Sharin (Kyle’s mom): Her husband Liam has joined the Church of the Ever Loving God and given them their entire nest egg of 1.5 million euros. She believes that Damon Kelsey, the pastor and head of the church, is some kind of scam artist, and hopes that Kyle can get at least some of her money back. She is now broke, divorcing Liam, and will have to take a job bagging groceries at the local supermarket.

Doc Freeman learns from Bella, his AI, that there are space-and-time gaps in her surveillance of his building. Two research files have been opened and read by people who were not in the building at the time.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Bella: A self-mobile AI that runs Doc Freeman’s office and research facility.

Benji Mandelbaum: Sysop at Freeman Industries.

Bo Crowler: Boyd’s dad, a godfather type in the local criminal element of Pleasantville and Northfield.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Crackler (the): A former trainer at Langley; he taught lethal hand-to-hand combat techniques.

Damon Kelsey: Preacher and head of the Church of the Ever Loving God.

Jonathan Riaker: Geoff’s connection for braindance chips.

Katie Whalen: Friend of Sharin, Kyle’s mom.

Lorenzo Leggieri: Mob guy from Night City pretending to be a ‘researcher’.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Matt Longworth: Senior Detective with Pleasantville Criminal Investigations Division; he investigates all homicides.

Nathan Forest: CIA’s Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations; based at Langley VA.

The kids:

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot; lives with father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Paul Sanders, a student Geoff knows.

Rayne Snow: 14 yo boy, sophomore in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He’s gay, rather intense Goth, artistically inclined. He is a member of theater club and glee club.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

The Action

Sunday, 15 September 2041:


Fijay has not returned from her night of festivities.

Boyd goes to see Kyle at his boat and says he told Bo that Kyle was a friend, so “You won’t need to pay the local ‘business tax’. You do know my dad is the crime boss in Pleasantville and Northfield, yes? I’m not IN the organization; just … you could say I know lots of folks in all walks of life, that’s all. And who’re those guys in the sedan following you around?” Kyle tells him about the LawDiv Organized Crime Bureau.


Cat goes to Kyle’s boat after Boyd has left. They put chairs out on the deck. Cat takes off her shirt, revealing her bikini top, and they chat for a while. Kyle sweeps the boat for bugs (finding none). They go inside, where he pulls down the thermo shades. Cat pulls out and activates a jammer.

Cat describes her plan for investigating the Church of the Ever Loving God. She shows Kyle her Google maps of the compound in Downe Township in Cumberland County—and the blueprint she found of the mansion. Next Friday, Kyle, Sam, Cat and Fijay can take a ‘fishing trip’ around Cape May Point into the Delaware Bay, then a couple of miles up a creek through the salt marsh, and make camp. On Saturday, Kyle can go in and take a look at the grounds in the afternoon, then go into the building that night when everyone is asleep. Cat will supply Net support, and can bring a small camera and a surveillance kit. Sam would provide backup sniper support from the trees, to cover Kyle’s retreat in case anything goes wrong. Meanwhile, Kyle can lend his phone to Storm and Rayne, who would take it to New York to collect something Kyle has ordered there.

Cat also reports that Damon has built a local medical clinic (small hospital) in Downe Township, plus a school, the police and fire department buildings. He has also bought a dozen police cars and the fire truck. This is over the course of the decade plus that he’s been there.

Kyle says we should also check out the Church on Ventnor Avenue. They’re not recruiting any men, only women. He’s thinking of asking Fijay to go to the next meeting on Wednesday—have Geoff introduce her to Damon.

Kyle mentions they should bring zip ties and a flash bulb. Cat adds “and drugs from Doc Freeman.” She says that Sam has agreed to get a Bell Minibee.

Kyle then says, “He never talks about your mom.”

Cat tells him they met on the job down in Paraguay and adds, “I’m not allowed to talk about it.”

Kyle asks when he should give his phone to Storm and Rayne. Cat says Thursday would be good. She adds, “We have blueprints of the mansion on the estate, but none of the rooms are labeled. You should ask Katie where Damon’s rooms and office are.”

Kyle agrees then remarks, “It’s great to have a team capable of assaulting the place.”

Meanwhile, Logan (GM note: new player) calls Sam. He’s a tech-guy ‘asset’ for the CIA who went on several clandestine operations. He’d worked with Sam in 2039 on a mission in Morocco, and with Kyle in 2040 on a mission in the Canary Islands. Recently, someone tried to kill him in Martinique. He escaped, but his CIA handler said he was burned—because of his association with Kyle. So, remembering that Sam had spoken of retiring to Atlantic City, Logan headed here, hoping Sam can help him. Sam tells Logan to meet him at Kyle’s boat. The two arrive at the same time.

Kyle says to Sam, “Come on in. I’m just helping your daughter with her homework.” The pair comes inside. Sam takes one look at his daughter’s bikini top and draws his pistol. Kyle draws his shotgun. The two stare at each other for at least ten seconds.

Sam says, “What the hell are you doing?”

Kyle replies, “Maybe I fucked her.” Sam explodes with “WHAT?” Cat’s eyes widen to about half dollar size as she lets out a short gasp. Kyle retorts, “You’re in my house pointing a gun at me. That’s RUDE.”

A shocked Cat walks between the gun-toting duo and says, “Put them down,” holding her hands out expectantly. Kyle and Sam give their guns to her. She then tells her dad, “Oh come ON. He’s so OLD.” Turning to Kyle, she asks, “You didn’t tell him?”

Kyle says, “It’s need to know. I hadn’t told him yet.”

Sam says, “She’s half dressed.”

Cat protests, “I’m not half dressed. I am completely dressed.” She goes and gets her shirt and puts it back on.

Kyle tells him, “We were out on the deck in the sun. She took her shirt off. Besides,” he adds, “I would wait a couple of years at least.”

And when Sam gets too close to his merchandise, Kyle says, “That’s an antique. Don’t you fucking touch that.”

(GM note: No antiques were harmed in the making of this episode.)

Sam waves at Logan and says, “Logan here needs your help.”

Kyle says, “Oh great. You brought him here and LawDiv took pictures.”

Cat says, “You’re Logan? What’s your story?”

Logan says he’s here to talk with Mr. Vaduva. “Everything was going okay on this mission until—I got burned because of you. Long story short, I was on a mission in Martinique. We broke into the home of someone who worked at the embassy. Everything went okay, and I decided to stay an extra week. Then when I was going to the airport, some asshole ran me off the road. I bailed from the car as it was leaving the road. The two goons came back and looked down at my destroyed vehicle in the gully. One of them said this hit was because of what that Vaduva guy did.”

Kyle remarks, “Of course it was.”

(GM note: Kyle has hatched an explanation of his situation that bears no resemblance to the underlying reality. However, it is ingenious—and does ‘explain’ the facts he knows. More about this will emerge as our story unfolds.)

Cat hands Kyle’s shotgun back to him; he puts it under the sofa. Kyle offers Logan a weapon, but Logan says, “That’s okay, I have a pistol.”

Kyle calls a cab and says, “Let’s all go to Sam’s house.” Fijay arrives before the cab, and joins the group going to Sam’s. Sam calls Doc Freeman and asks him to come to the house.

Kyle picks up the movie RED from a VendaMat on the way. Upon arrival, Kyle warns Logan about Sam’s dog Cerberus: “He will eat you if you don’t get introduced.”

Cat says, “We should go downstairs,” then pulls out her bug screener and runs it over Logan, who is bug-free. She also warns him about LawDiv: “The Who’s Who of questionable spooky backgrounds.”

Kyle gives a briefing. His Mom’s friend has a husband who got involved in the Church of Ever Lasting Masturbation, which has about 100 followers living on the premises in Cumberland County. Sam turns to Cat and says, “You haven’t been there, right?” She gives him a sweet smile and replies, “I wouldn’t get near a place like that.” Kyle goes on to explain the lure of cults and comparing them to, among other things, Braindance—so real and intense, like any drug. People get hooked.

Cat explains the plan to take a fishing trip to Delaware Bay and puts up the map. They discuss Logan’s gear and what he will need.

Kyle comments to Cat, who has again managed to position herself next to Kyle, that premarital sex is bad. Sam throws a knife adjacent to Kyle’s head. Cat bats it aside easily. Kyle then remarks, “And THAT’s what you react to?”

Kyle says he is developing two young assets: Geoff and Nip. Sam protests, “I thought you were dead set against using them.”

Kyle replies, “I’ve had time to think.”

Sam objects, “I don’t trust Geoff to come down here.”

Kyle points at Logan and asks, “Did you take the time to vet him? If someone wanted to infiltrate our group—people have been following me around.”

Sam tells him, “You have meetings in unsecured locations.”

Doc Freeman asks, “How much are we being paid?”

Kyle replies, “As much as we can get.”

Cat says, indicating Logan, “So ask him questions now.”

Kyle jokes, “How big is my dick?” But they do question Logan, who gives the correspondingly correct answers.

Cat concludes, “We’re all who we say we are.” She points out that Logan needs about 20-25,000 for equipment. “All stuff we can use again.” They plan for Fijay to attempt infiltrating the Church on Wednesday. Kyle reminds the group that the Crackler was behind the murder attempt on Logan in Martinique.

Sam says, “I’ll see what I can find out,” and puts a note in Nathan’s drop box, asking for more information on the Crackler and his current whereabouts and status.

It is decided that Logan will stay in Sam’s spare bedroom until he can afford to get a place of his own.


The Pretty Pink Unicorns do paintball practice.


Tuesday, 17 September 2041:


Geoff gets a call to meet Jonathan Riaker, who has heard “via channels” about the HGH deal going forward. He wants to know details. Geoff indicates that Night City has sent a ‘researcher’ to reassure the coach that this is a legitimate undertaking.

(GM note: Jon works in Bo Crowler’s organization. Word reaches Bo later that day. Bo decides to take action and investigate further. There aren’t a LOT of hotels/motels in Pleasantville … how long do you think it will take him to find Lorenzo?)

Kyle goes to talk with Katie about the layout of the rooms on the estate. Where are Damon’s office and rooms? She draws a rough diagram of the building with labels: staircase, doors, Damon’s quarters and office.


Lorenzo asks Doc Freeman for funding for the HGH ‘research’ project. They will need about 50,000 euros to run the scheme over the year. Doc Freeman calls Geoff—funding this venture was not part of his agreement. Geoff comes over and discusses the situation with Lorenzo’s boss in Night City by secure phone. He negotiates the price down to 48,000 euros, payable in three installments of 16,000 each. Doc Freeman mentions that Geoff will be coming into some hefty cash on an undertaking for Kyle, so Doc Freeman agrees to lend Geoff the initial 16,000 euro installment. Geoff does a handshake deal with Lorenzo, and the two agree that Doc Freeman ‘knows nothing”. Geoff will work with Lorenzo as a tech on the project.

Kyle calls Geoff and asks him to bring Cat to the boat. Geoff calls her. Sam says to be back by 9 pm since it’s a school night. Cat arranges to meet Geoff at the Pleasantville bus stop near the boat. Sam asks Maria over for dinner.

Geoff disguises himself to be sure he doesn’t look like the ‘thug with a dew rag’ who recently sashayed past Kyle’s boat, and then goes to meet Cat. She asks, “Are you primping for Law Div?”

Geoff replies, “I want to look good for you.” Cat waves at Tom and Dick as they pass the blue sedan. Geoff asks who she is waving to. Cat points to the sedan with a confused look. Geoff asks, “Who are they?”

Cat replies, “Law Div.”

Geoff asks, “You rate a bodyguard?” Cat explains they are watching Kyle.

Once they are on board, Kyle pulls the shades on the window and starts the jammer. He then says to Geoff, “So you already know I want you to go on an op.” Geoff nods, then asks how well Kyle knows Doc Freeman. “He had a fellow from Night City in his office when he said you had a job for me.” Kyle tells him Doc Freeman is a trusted associate, known for a long time.

They then discuss a background for Fijay going to the Church meeting. Geoff warns that if they tie her to him that could get both of them in trouble if the other gets caught. Kyle asks, “So how would Fijay learn about the Church?”

Geoff replies, “On the street. Have her show up at the Church as a zip. She could talk to my friend Paul first.” Cat recommends that Fijay not be too eager. They don’t want her to be at the compound in Cumberland County this weekend. Geoff mentions she should do a Shower in a Can.

Cat admires Geoff’s idea, saying, “Isn’t he smart?”

Geoff adds that she could use a stimulant, give herself an edge. “Tell them you are looking for something—looking to belong, looking to find love and acceptance. That you’re sick of being used as an object, you’re looking for respect.” Fijay tells them this isn’t her first undercover gig. She will be fine.

Doc Freeman calls Kyle, and gets invited to join the discussion. He takes a Dramamine, and comes over. Kyle gives Cat and Geoff 20 euros to go out for pizza, and texts Sam that the kids will be home late. But Sam and Maria are already in the sack.

Kyle tells Doc Freeman, “I’ve got to give the slip to Law Div. They’re following me everywhere.”

Doc Freeman asks if Geoff is definitely doing an op for Kyle. “I’m making sure because he owes me a bunch of money.”

Kyle confirms, “Yes, he’s definitely on the job,” then asks if Doc Freeman is getting into the drug business.

Doc Freeman says, “I’m not. He is.”

Kyle asks, “What is he selling?”

Doc Freeman tells him, “Something to the football team.”

Kyle says, “Let me know when it gets going, I need to call my bookie.”

Kyle then lays it out for Doc Freeman what kind of mess he’s getting himself into: “So, your company is being a front. You are bringing drugs from out of the city into a local school.”

Doc Freeman points out that his contribution is limited: “I loaned him money so he can do it.”

Kyle nods and says, “So, you put him in touch with the right people and loaned him the money. Who do you think the local crime guys will come looking for if/when they find out about this, you or the 14 year old kid? Do you want me to ask the local crime folks or just wait until they come rip your kneecaps off? No one’s ever going to believe he did it. You can’t wash your hands of this, so you may as well make some money on it.”

Doc Freeman admits he hadn’t seen this logic before, and asks, “What if we tell Geoff that?” Kyle wonders, “How would your West Coast friends feel about their buddy having a bad accident?”

Doc Freeman agrees that he should indeed take a cut of the deal. Kyle says he will approach the West Coast guys and see how much they want for a cut of the business. Doc Freeman apologizes for “making more work for you.” Kyle says, “Hey, I’ll take a cut too.”

Kyle calls Boyd and arranges to have lunch tomorrow. He also calls Geoff and arranges a meeting before school the next morning.


Wednesday, 18 September 2041:


Kyle meets Geoff early the next morning, before school. Kyle then starts to negotiate a new deal with the Night City Mob.

They discuss Doc Freeman’s role in the HGH scam. Geoff says he brought Doc Freeman into the picture in order to “legitimize the research. I thought he would provide supply as well, but he brought someone in from outside both as a researcher and to supply product.” Geoff then heads off for school. Kyle calls Boyd to cancel their lunch.

Jon calls Geoff to meet him after school. He will be waiting. Geoff agrees.


Jon takes Geoff to a house in Northfield. Bo is in the kitchen, cooking. Faint screams can be heard coming from the basement. Jon looks uneasy, while Geoff makes an effort to keep his COOL (and succeeds).

(GM note: That’s Lorenzo in the basement, being ‘interrogated’.)

Bo asks Geoff to explain why he brought outside help into the drug deal. Geoff says he described the concept to Jon, having it look like a research project, but Jon said he didn’t know anyone who could pose as the researcher. Bo gives a hard stare to Jon and says, “And you didn’t ask me to find someone?” Jon turns white.

At this point, Geoff’s phone rings. It’s Kyle, wanting to discuss the new deal with Geoff. Geoff tells Kyle he is with Bo right now, and Bo wants to talk with Kyle. Geoff hands his phone to Bo. When Bo asks, “What is your interest in this?”

Kyle replies, “To make money.”

Kyle and Bo negotiate the new deal. Kyle points out that it’s better to have outside product in case the shit hits the fan. Bo accepts this, and says he will provide a ‘new researcher’, because the one Night City sent is … a bit the worse for wear. Bo calls down into the basement, “You can stop now.” Bo asks Kyle to smooth over the return of their associate, and says, “Nothing’s broken, and everything will heal. Getting into a war would be bad for business.”

Kyle agrees to talk with the Night City mob again—and seals the deal with Bo. The profits will be split as follows: Bo gets 40%, Night City gets 35%, Geoff gets 10%, Kyle gets 10%, and Doc Freeman gets 5%.

Geoff gets 5000 euros for his troubles, plus a promotion—he is put in charge of all illicit braindance activity in Pleasantville, Northfield and Atlantic City, and is given two minions. One runs braindance activities in Atlantic City, the other for Northfield and Pleasantville. Geoff will continue to deal at the High School, and will supervise these two minions, who are 4 and 5 years older than Geoff. Bo sends him out of the house—but tells Jon to stay.


Over in Pleasantville, Doc Freeman leaves his office and heads for his car—and KABOOM! It explodes. His phone rings. A voice on the other end says, “Hey Doc, don’t bring Night City mobsters into Pleasantville. Next time, you could be IN the car.”

Doc Freeman calls both Sam and Kyle and tells them what happened. Matt Longworth, Senior Detective with the Pleasantville Police Criminal Investigation Division, arrives on the scene and talks with Doc Freeman. “Wow that sure looks like a bomb. Do you have any enemies?”

Doc Freeman replies, “I’ve done some EdgeRunner work in my time, so maybe.”

Matt inquires, “Anything recent?” Doc Freeman demurs.

(GM note: Later forensic analysis of the bomb shows it was detonated by remote, not a timer.)

After Matt leaves, Sam arrives. He and Doc Freeman go to the researcher’s private office. Kyle arrives soon thereafter. Sam says, “I don’t want any part of this. I’m pulling out now.” Then out of the blue, Sam grabs Kyle by the throat and slams him against the wall and says, “If you endanger my family again, I’ll kill you!”

When released, Kyle rips Sam a new one: “Don’t lay a hand on me again! You lay so much as a finger on me again and one day you won’t wake up and you won’t see it coming.”

Kyle explains the new deal to Doc Freeman and asks for his help in smoothing things over with Night City. He says that Bo doesn’t want a war, and is returning Lorenzo a little the worse for wear, but nothing that won’t heal.

Cat goes over to Kyle’s boat. Nobody is home. She goes on board, and raids the liquor cabinet. Soon, others arrive: Sam, Kyle, and Logan, but don’t notice that Cat is a little hammered. Sam tells Cat, “You’re not to be talking with Kyle for a while—or Doc Freeman or Geoff.”

Cat retorts, “You cannot tell me what to do! I can see my friends if I want.”

Logan whispers to Cat, “I agree completely with your Dad.” But Sam thinks he heard him agree with Cat.

Geoff, his friend Paul, and Fijay go to the evening Church of the Ever Loving God meeting on Ventnor Ave. Geoff pretends to come out of his shell while talking with Damon. He says his dad is an addict, and that Mom left them a while back. Fijay does her impersonation of a zip.

Doc Freeman calls his Night City contact and says, “There’s a local syndicate here—they picked up Lorenzo. There were some arguments so he’s in bad shape. But they don’t want to get into a war. Lorenzo is coming back to the coast so he’s not in REALLY bad shape.” The Night City boss seems to be mollified.


Thursday, 19 September 2041:


Boyd calls Doc Freeman and says a replacement vehicle will be delivered to him late that afternoon; one year newer, fresher paint.

Kyle calls Cat and tells her that Sam slammed him against the wall. A distressed Cat says they can talk after school.


Doc Freeman calls Kyle, tells him he’s got a new car and wants to come by the boat and show it to him. But he then goes over to Sam’s house first. Sam says, “I said don’t involve me. Are you involved in this deal? And is Kyle? Why would you get involved?”

Doc Freeman says, “Because he’s a smart business man? Besides, it’s your daughter’s boyfriend who made the deal in the first place.”

Sam checks his drop box. There’s a note from Nathan that he will come by tomorrow.

After school, Cat and Geoff head to Kyle’s boat. Kyle tells Cat, “Your dad might kill me for this.”

Cat asks, “For what?”

Kyle says, “This business deal. He calls me on a regular basis when he needs a silver tongue. Well, this time I needed a big strong guy to provide some backup, so I called him. He came to the meeting, but he didn’t like the nature of this deal. So yesterday, he grabbed me by the throat and slammed me against the wall. If he touches me again, he’ll wake up dead someday. So until he apologizes, I have no intention of talking with him again.”

Geoff guesses, “He’s probably upset he’s not getting a cut.”

Cat says she will talk with him. “But I’m not supposed to talk with you or see you.”

Geoff jokes, “We could blind you.” Cat ignores that comment and says, “I’ll talk to him. There’s stuff to do, money to be made. Your deal probably saved Doc Freeman’s life; maybe by minutes. His car was turned into a crater yesterday.”

Doc Freeman arrives. He tells Kyle about the car, the bomb, and the remote detonator.

Cat remarks to Geoff, “And you, you’re up to no good, I assume.”

Kyle rejoins, “Up to very good.” Turning to Geoff, he adds, “We’ll have to have a conversation about how to get better.”

Geoff tells Cat, “I want to make money. I see how you live. I want to be good for you.”

Kyle clarifies, “It’s just a different expression of the same desire.” He then observes, “Sam is a powerful guy.”

Geoff states, “No, he’s a control freak.”

Cat says, “But he cares, that’s why. Okay, I’ll talk to him. We need to concentrate on that fishing trip.”

Kyle offers to give Geoff lessons on body language and related skills. Geoff gratefully accepts, saying, “I want to diversify. My underlings don’t respect me.”

Kyle points out they can train in braindance with no risk of injury, adding, “Doc Freeman knows neurology. It’s amazing what he can do with a human brain.”

Geoff asks if one can “turn the trainer machine into a braindance machine. Virtual machines.”

Doc Freeman replies, “Contrary to what Kyle says. I don’t have big braindance or programming skills. Kyle says he might know a guy.

Geoff asks, “Does this guy have contacts with the local police?” Kyle says no.

Sam calls Boyd, and asks him to pass a message along to his ‘contacts’—that Sam does not want to be involved in whatever Kyle, Geoff, and Doc Freeman are involved in. Boyd says sure, he’ll do that.

Cat goes home and confronts Sam. She asks, “Why did you hit Uncle Kyle?”

Sam tells her, “Because he’s bringing you and me into shit that you don’t want to be involved in.” Cat replies she wasn’t involved, but Sam snaps back, “It WAS around you.”

Cat then says, “The fishing trip is all set for tomorrow. So you don’t like what Kyle is doing. You can’t go around hitting your friends like that.”

Sam says, “I don’t like him endangering you.”

Indignant, Cat replies, “Endangering ME?” She sweeps his feet out from under him. Sam tumbles to the floor. Cat demands, “Do I LOOK like I need your protection?”

Sam stays on the floor, and says, “You know what’s happening with Geoff’s deal?”

Cat’s mood softens as she sits down next to her father and replies, “He’s doing something stupid I imagine.”

Sam points out, “Bo is the head of the entire Atlantic City mob. What Geoff is doing is dangerous.”

Cat counters, “Anybody can die any time, but we have a job to do. I don’t have anything to do with Geoff’s business. I think you owe Uncle Kyle an apology. Sometimes I have to pound it into you—you have to accept that sometimes your friends do stupid things. It’s not like we haven’t done anything dumb in our lives.”

Sam says, “You do realize what I’d do if anything happened to you?”

Cat looks over, smiles warmly at her father and replies, “Right back atcha. But Kyle’s mom’s friend is in serious trouble. And there’s serious money to be made. And I like doing it. Geoff is exciting, and Kyle’s fun. He’s really smart and you should give him a chance. You shouldn’t leave your friends in a lurch, just because we don’t agree with everything little thing he’s doing.”

Sam agrees to apologize and help out on the ‘fishing trip’ reconnaissance mission. Cat calls Kyle and invites him over for a barbeque, telling him, “Sam has something he wants to say.” Kyle comes over, and Sam apologizes. Kyle accepts the apology and adds, “Sorry I overreacted.”


Friday, 20 September 2041:


After Cat has left for school, Nathan arrives. He tells Sam, “The Crackler used to be a trainer at the Farm. He taught hand-to-hand combat and killing techniques, and got that nickname because of his skill at cracking necks. But we’ve lost track of him—and would like to know his whereabouts.” Sam mentions the death in the hotel in Caracas, and the car crash in Martinique. Nathan agrees to investigate.

At Freeman Industries, the accountant, Tivan, does not show up for work this morning. His desk is cleaned out, and his computer scrubbed clean. Doc Freeman calls NetWatch.

(GM note: NetWatch runs facial recognition on Tivan, which discovers that he is really Kiyoshi Nakamura, a NetRunner known to do odd jobs for Sony Entertainment. Tivan was a ‘friendly’ fellow who talked with lots of folks at Freeman Industries, including Benji who was regaling anyone who would listen about those teenaged nincompoops assuring HIM that security had not been compromised! Tivan is a ‘better safe than sorry’ sort of guy; he investigated his malware before using it again. He found the daemons Cat and Nip installed, and decided it was time to leave. NetWatch later reports on this to Doc Freeman.)


After school, Storm and Rayne head for New York City with Kyle’s phone.

Around 4:30, Kyle puts on his sneak suit and ditches LawDiv (rolled Really Well on his Stealth). Kyle goes to Sam’s boat, which heads out with them plus Cat, Fijay, Logan and Doc Freeman. Cat advises Sam, “No, don’t tell Maria anything.” They head for Delaware Bay and the inlet leading to Damon’s compound. They load the sniper rifle with rubber bullets.


Everyone makes camp at Egg Island’s Fish and Wildlife Management Area and sleeps.


Saturday, 21 September 2041:


Fijay is tasked with guarding the camp. Cat, Sam and Doc Freeman take the boat out and do some real fishing. Cat divides her time between sunbathing, fishing and running the Bell Minibee.

Kyle and Logan suit up and take their gear, including a camera, and hike a mile up the road northward to the edge of the compound, then sneak through the trees, watching carefully for remote cameras. (Rolling a 40+) Logan spots several cameras, hidden in the trees and pointing at the mansion on the estate. Investigating, Kyle sees that the cameras have transmitters, and so must be on the Net.

The two slip past the cameras, moving slowly so as not to be seen, and watch the day’s activities. Among other things, about a dozen kids come out and play field hockey in the afternoon. Also, one man dressed like a security guard does a casual stroll around the grounds. At 4 pm, he is replaced by another man in the same garb. Around 8 pm, he goes inside and closes the front door. Kyle guesses there is a manual lock on that door. They visually sweep the area between the tree line and the building, looking for popups and sensors.



Cat contacts Nip, who puts up her Invisibility, George and a Force Shield, then enters the Net and makes two Jumps. Sam hikes up to the compound with his sniper rifle, and takes a position in a tree overlooking the front door.

Everyone waits until 2 am. Nip breaks into the Data Fortress, kills a Watchdog, then loops the cameras watching the building. She hums the Mission Impossible theme song throughout. Kyle and Logan sneak across the open ground and climb the tower that holds Damon’s quarters on the 4th floor, including his office, which faces the front. They check the window for security measures, and find just a lock, which they easily undo. Entering, they see three cameras: one trained on the door, another on the file cabinets, and another on the desk. These appear to be on a different system controller than the outside cameras. Logan clips a tap on these inner security cameras unnoticed. Nip loops the cameras and fixes the timestamp.

Kyle and Logan search the desk, finding no hidden compartments. They check the computer to see if it has a second hard drive: no. Kyle attaches a radio relay clip to allow Nip access to the computer. Still humming Mission Impossible, Nip copies the list of email names, names of the cult’s members, Damon’s website history file and bookmarks from his computer.

Meanwhile, the other two search through the file cabinets—aided by labels “Donations” and “Finances”. Kyle photographs everything in those two drawers. In ‘Donations’, he finds a suspicious document: it’s Katie’s original copy of the agreement giving their money to the Church. Surely she should have that, not Damon? Also, he notices something about her signature—the handwriting does not match the writing on the sketch she gave him of the compound. Kyle takes this document, but restores everything else to its original position. (To make sure this was possible; he took photos before touching anything.)

Just before Nip leaves the datafortress, she re-rezzes the Watchdog. Jacking out of the Net, she then scrubs all evidence of the foray off her computer.

Kyle retrieves the relay clip they attached to the computer. Making sure they have left no smudges on the window, Kyle and Logan leave as they came in.


Sunday, 22 September 2041:

Everyone returns home. Sam attends church as usual. Kyle gives the document to Katie, who has never seen it before.

(GM note: Can you say “trusted her husband with the finances”?)

She also proclaims, “That’s NOT my signature!”

(GM note: Can you say “Woo-hoo! Ammunition for her lawyers”?)

Kyle also takes a closer look at his photos of the compound, and notices there’s only one boy among the kids playing field hockey. The other ten are all girls, ranging in age from about 4 to 12. He suspects the children have been kidnapped, and asks Cat to investigate.

Everyone attends a delicious fish-fry at Sam’s house that afternoon.



World News Service – Flash

EU Fleet Departs for Mercury
Friday, October 25, 2041

 Declaring that all attempts at a peaceful solution have failed due to the intransigence of the cyborgs on Mercury, President Claude Fountaine of the EU ordered newly promoted Vice Admiral Ernst Rolf to bring the rebellious colony to heel. Admiral Rolf accepted his orders in a ceremony aboard his flagship the space carrier, EUS Charlemagne in Earth orbit. The giant carrier will be escorted by the cruisers EUS Aachen and EUS Madrid. Three other unarmed vessels will round out the fleet. Trained marines and ACPA troopers will be on board the EUS Tellier, a large military supply and control vessel. The civilian transport ships, Barcelona and Zweiker, will serve as auxiliary supply vessels. The civilian ships are almost entirely robotic.

The new government of Mercury has condemned the EU’s action and sworn that they will resist any attempt to forcibly occupy the colony that they have built. They accuse the EU of not negotiating in good faith and claim that forcing military action was the EU’s plan all along. They have called on cyborgs on Earth to strike at the EU in any way they can. The small number of cyborgs remaining in the EU has not warmed to Mercury’s call to action, but Interpol has taken a number of politically active cyborgs into “protective custody”. Sentient Rights advocates have criticized these actions.
The trip is expected to take two years and most of the crew and troops will remain in cyro-sleep for the duration. The EU has pledged to continue negotiating, but most consider this just a political ploy. The Republic of Mars has announced the appointment of an ambassador to Mercury, and a cyborg from Mars has been given Mercurian citizenship and will serve as Mercury’s ambassador to the Red Planet. The EU has declared this an act of war, but stopped short of calling for hostilities since the United States has granted the rebels on Mercury ‘belligerent status’. The Commonwealth of Nations is also considering such a move. EU diplomats around the world are scurrying to talk various nations out of just such an action.


World News Service – Flash

New Jersey Calls for Constitutional Convention
Wednesday, November 6, 2041

 In scattered voting across the old State of New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a call for a constitutional convention to attempt to resurrect the moribund state government. Federal legislation approved last spring cleared its last legal hurtle in the Supreme Court and has freed any new state government in New Jersey from the debts that collapsed the last government. Mayor Terrence Kwame of Trenton, the old state capital, hailed the vote as the next logical step in bringing this area of the country back into the mainstream of American life.

“If we don’t get our act together then we will surely soon be devoured by either New York or Pennsylvania like the Hudson River Cities were,” the Mayor commented at his news conference. His honor was referring to the joining of the former New Jersey cities on the Hudson to the recently created Federal District of the Hudson which replaced the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This act paved the way for the official debt cancellation of New Jersey.

This will be the third attempt to revive the old state government. The two previous attempts failed after much violence ended the lives of many of the previous people involved. Unlike these previous attempts, this has the support of not only the mayors of the major cities involved, but also has strong corporate support this time. President Whindham has strongly endorsed this new movement. The convention is scheduled to meet in the end of May or beginning of June in the old capital complex in Trenton.



Episode 11: Rescuing the Porn Stars


The campaign is skipping 9 weeks to the weekend before Thanksgiving.


During the 9-week skip

Kyle and Logan took a forged document from Damon’s office that Katie uses to prove she did not consent to give their entire nest egg to Damon’s Church of the Ever Loving God. Damon agrees to return 1 million of that nest egg, resulting in 100,000 euros for the party, split 8 ways.

Logan gets a job as an auto mechanic in Pleasantville. Garage owner is named Gordon (Gordy) Keir. Gordy also owns a small apartment building several blocks away, and Logan has rented one of the apartments from him.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Lou-Ellen Plazire, owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio, needs help persuading the Aztecs, a biker gang in Linwood, to back off. They want a cut of her business that would, she says, bankrupt her.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Bo Crowler: Boyd’s dad, a “godfather” type in the local criminal element of Pleasantville and Northfield.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Damon Kelsey: Preacher and head of the Church of the Ever Loving God.

Dick Peebles: Law Div guy following Kyle; short, stocky, wears glasses.

Katie Whalen: Friend of Sharin, Kyle’s mom.

Lena: Porn Star at Virility Visions studio, friend and contact of Geoff.

Lou-Ellen Plazire, owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshall, general all-around US Marshall.

Tiffany Wilson: Young woman next door to Sam’s house; Maria’s roommate. Works PR for the Showboat Casino.

Tom Strickler: Law Div guy following Kyle, tall and skinny.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio.

Tyne Lacey: Kyle’s aunt (mother’s sister), a widow, also foster and adoptive mom of several kid PCs and NPCs.

William Smith: Head of LawDiv’s Organized Crime Bureau in Philadelphia.

The kids:

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

The Action

Saturday, 23 November 2041:

Nip reports that the swimming pool at the high school contains 165,000 gallons of water. Cat thinks that’s a HUGE amount of Jell-O.

(GM note: Research reveals that Olympic size swimming pools contain at least 660,000 gallons of water = prohibitively expensive to fill with Jell-O. Thus, I have downsized the pool = Still Really Big, but possibly doable with a lot of ingenuity.)

Tom and Dick, the LawDiv duo who are shadowing Kyle, have a new surveillance sedan that they proudly display to Kyle.

Doc Freeman, Kyle, Logan and Raylan attend a party that Boyd is throwing at a house in Northfield. A bunch of porn stars are there. Doc Freeman spends the night in a bedroom with two of them. Kyle and Logan also spend the night, each with a different girl. Raylan leaves around 10 pm on Saturday.


Sunday, 24 November 2041:

Kyle notices a bruise on Cindy’s face (the girl he spent the night with). He asks what happened, but she evades the question, saying “It’s nothing.” Kyle persists, but she appears to be embarrassed and refuses to elaborate.

Boyd makes breakfast for everyone, and apologizes. “Hey guys, I’m sorry. I wanted your help. This was a crummy way to go about it. Should have just asked you straight out. Some bikers are threatening Lou-Ellen again—trying to horn into her business—and are punching her girls. I just wanted you to meet the girls and get to know them before I asked you to help them.”

Cindy gets mad. “Oh my God, you USED me? How dare you! Treating me like a piece of meat. I don’t fucking believe this!”

Kyle remarks, “Once a whore, always a whore…”

Cindy glares at him and yells, “I am NOT a whore! Nobody paid me to sleep with you!”—then stomps out.

Boyd tells everyone, “The bikers are coming back to Lou-Ellen’s studio at 4 pm on Monday afternoon, looking for her answer. She needs a few guys to be there, give her a show of support. Two of the girls have boyfriends who have already agreed to be there. We just need a few more guys. What do you say?”

Lou-Ellen speaks up. “We’ve done this dance a couple of times before. They always back off when I tell them no. Anyone who comes, I’ll pay them 1000 euros.” She explains that her studio used to be in Linwood and she paid the gang back then, but she moved across the line into Atlantic County three years ago, and hasn’t paid them since.

Doc Freeman, Kyle and Logan agree to be there.

Meanwhile, that morning, Geoff once again attends services at the Church of the Ever Loving God (as he has done for 10 weeks now). He scans the faces of people who attend, wondering if any of them have shown up as missing persons. (GM note: No, none have.)

Later that day, Geoff gets a call from Lena, his friend who works at Lou-Ellen’s Virility Visions studio. She explains the situation and asks him to come to the studio tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm. She tells him that Lou-Ellen is paying 1000 euros to everyone who will provide a supportive presence. Geoff agrees to show up—and calls Bailey, a booster gang member he knows, who agrees to come along and recruits two of his buddies. Geoff also calls his two minions and tells them to come as well.

That afternoon, Logan organizes a meeting at Sam’s house—with Sam, Kyle, Fijay, Doc Freeman, Geoff, Cat and Nip. Nip promptly goes and plays video games. Logan explains that he’s found a house he wants to rob, and wants to recruit everyone’s assistance. He learned of this house through some poker buddies. One of the players has recently dumped a girl in a rather nasty way, and his comments about his parents make them seem rather unsympathetic as well.

Cat goes into the kitchen and starts cooking. Kyle asks her for a beer, and she fetches it for him.

(GM note: Over the past 9 weeks, Cat has been dressing demurely around Kyle. She wants to reduce the tension between him and Sam.)

Logan describes what he knows about the house, which isn’t a lot. The front door is alarmed with a keypad turn-off in a closet ‘somewhere’. The back door locks with a bolt-action. The potential loot includes Picasso sketches on the walls, some silverware, game consoles and gadgets, a jade chess set, gold statue of a bird, plus some paintings that are probably too big to take easily.

Kyle says, “You’ll need to appraise them all. You do realize I don’t have a smuggling ring set up now?” He asks how Logan learned about this house.

Logan replies, “My poker buddy’s ex-girlfriend. She doesn’t know I’m planning this. She carries on about what a low-life he is, and what hypocrites his folks are—talking about ‘helping the poor’ while they live in luxury. She’s just venting at length about all this.”

Kyle wonders, “And she happened to tell you?”

Logan says, “She’s just someone I met with a very loose mouth.”

Kyle observes, “You know how difficult it is to scope out a house in a rich neighborhood.”

Cat disagrees. “It’s easy.”

Logan says, “I’m suggesting we check the place out.”

Kyle expresses his doubts. “Ripping off rich people of stuff they like looking at—that can be a problem. I’m just getting set up here. I’m sure I could move the stuff—sit on it and hide it for months. But I don’t like it.”

Sam agrees. “I don’t like it at all. We should do background checks on these people, the girlfriend.”

Kyle changes the subject to the porn stars and bikers and 1000 euros each.

Cat asks, “Are you going to save the porn stars?”

Sam calls Boyd and thanks him for not inviting him to the party. Boyd explains that he knew Sam has been dating Maria, thought he wouldn’t want to get involved in the orgy-like atmosphere.

Kyle tells everyone, “I called a whore a whore and she got mad at me.”

Sam says, “Let’s everyone meet here at 3 pm and we’ll all go over to the Virility Visions studio together.

At this point, Geoff loses his COOL and yells, “I’ve been trying to ask a question for 10 minutes now. This poker friend you play with. Suppose we set up a game and give him a winning hand. Encourage him to start boasting.”

Sam remarks with horror, “HERE?”

Geoff continues, “Get him bragging.”

Cat remarks, “If his parents get upset, we can always volunteer to help.”

Geoff asks, “Does he wear expensive clothes?”

Logan says, “Yes.” The group bandies about some ideas; mostly unworkable, but some with promise.

Sam says, “So you’re a bad poker player?”

Nip asks, “Do you want to play poker, then?”

Geoff explains that he’s concerned the poker buddy will immediately realize who stole from his parents. “Ask him about the girlfriend. Maybe she’s talked to lots of people.”

Cat says, “We’ll do some research. You know: background checks.”

Geoff continues explaining his idea. “Have everyone at the table play against him. Run up a big debt.”

Sam says, “We should rent a hotel room. Invite only ‘Yada Yada Yada.’ High stakes poker game.”

Logan says, “I’ll continue the poker games and check out the house.”

Geoff recommends, “Find out how he feels about her. Ask him ‘If you’re done with her, do you mind if I hit on her?’ Say she called you. You’ve got to think non-standard angles.”

Cat observes, “Everyone who walks through that door will have their lives torn apart. I think this is a really bad idea.”


Monday, 25 November 2041:

At 3 pm, Geoff assembles his people. The others gather at Sam’s house. By 3:30, both groups arrive at Virility Visions porn studio in Atlantic County (just over the line from both Northfield and Linwood).

At 4 pm, three bikers arrive. They are wearing their leather “cuts” with Aztec markings and are clearly not armed—not with guns anyway. Lou-Ellen delivers her answer: “No.” The three nod and say they will report her reply to their leader. They leave.

Sam calls Boyd and lets him know what happened. Kyle says, “They’ll be back in numbers, probably tonight.” Logan volunteers to stay the night and keep watch. People trade cell phone numbers so they can communicate swiftly in an emergency. One says, “We should find out who the gangs are here.”

Sam takes Kyle back to his boat. Kyle observes, “I’ve worked with Cat before, somehow, somewhere. She’s familiar.”


Tuesday, 26 November 2041:

Logan calls Kyle and Sam. “I’ve got to go to work. You’d best get someone else to watch the studio today.”

That night, Logan, Sam, Kyle and Geoff watch the security cameras. All is peaceful. Kyle tells Sam privately, “For the record, he (meaning Geoff) is not getting seduction training from me.”

Nip continues working on building her robot to house Fred, her imaginary ferret friend.


Wednesday, 27 November 2041:

Logan again spends the night at Virility Visions. He and Trish—the porn star who slept with him at the party—have a long talk about nothing in particular. Again, all is peaceful.

Kyle talks with Sam. “Especially since we are developing assets (GM note: He means training the kids), our work can be dangerous. Look at how many people we cared about in Romania, people who wound up in Russian prisons.”

Sam asks, “You actually cared about Dominique?”

Kyle says, “Yes.”  Changing the subject, Kyle goes on, “Then you’ve got Doc Moreau chopping up bodies.”

(GM note: He means Doc Freeman.)

Sam points out, “He’s been with me a long time. He saved my life more than once.”

Kyle protests, “He’s a butcher!” Then he adds, “I just mean to point out that people with personal attachments can get hurt.”


Thursday, 28 November 2041—Thanksgiving Day:

Everyone is invited to Thanksgiving dinner at Kyle’s Aunt Tyne’s house (bigger than his mom’s house next door). Kyle has invited Tiffany to come with him. Sam is bringing Maria. Logan is bringing Trish. Geoff feeds his dad, then leaves to pick up Lena and go to Tyne’s house.

Kyle calls a cab for himself and Fijay. Tom and Dick, the LawDiv duo, are still watching the boat from their spot on the street. They see a van arrive and park opposite Kyle’s boat. Six guys in leather jackets get out and crouch behind the van.

A cab pulls up and honks. Fijay starts up the gangplank ahead of Kyle. She sees the cabbie get out of the car and draw a gun. She yells, “Gun!” then shoves Kyle back down towards the boat as she runs to get her own weapon. Kyle follows suit.

The LawDiv duo sees the drawn weapon, too. They grab their own automatic rifles, open their doors and yell, “Stop! Federal agents!” The bikers pull out A-80s and fire at them. LawDiv returns fire. Several of the bikers are wounded, and they retreat back into the van. The cabbie takes off. One of the bikers nicks Dick with a flesh wound. However, the LawDiv duo’s new surveillance car is badly shot up.

(GM note: Their boss, William Smith, will NOT be pleased!)

After the police finish their preliminary investigation, Kyle calls another cab. He, Fijay and the LawDiv duo go to Aunt Tyne’s house. Kyle explains the presence of Tom and Dick as “They’re Federal agents.”

Sam relieves Logan at the porn studio. Logan and Trish go to Aunt Tyne’s house.

Cat makes an apple pie and takes it to the dinner. (GM note: She rolls a 1, but not a botch.) Kyle (makes his Performance roll and) tells her how much he enjoys the pie. “It has a delicious smoky flavor.” Nip promptly brings him another slice of the pie. Lena also remarks on the smoky flavor.

Geoff introduces Lena to Cat, saying she is a friend. Cat asks Geoff, “How come you never mentioned her before?”

Geoff says, “She has had a hard life. I know how your father feels.”

Cat smiles and says, “You care about someone. That’s really nice.” And she gives him a big hug.

Geoff observes, “Your dad is away for a while. We could get together.”

Cat says, “With your friend, too?”

Geoff says, “No! Eeuw—like being with my sister. I don’t see her that way.”

Meanwhile, the fact that both Trish and Lena are porn stars has been mentioned. Nip perks up and asks, “What’s porn?”

Lena tells her, “It’s art about sex.”

Nip thinks for a moment then says, “So you’re an artist, then? Cool! I’m an artist, too.” And she shows Lena some of her art work.

Kyle gives cab fare to Geoff and Cat. They take Lena home first. Geoff gives her a big hug and says, “Call if anything comes up.” Geoff and Cat then proceed to Geoff’s house.

The front door is ajar, and the back door is open. They go inside. Cat tiptoes into the kitchen and gets a knife. Geoff follows and gets a skillet. They stealthily explore the house—but Cat (botches and) trips on the stairs, making a lot of noise and scraping her shin. They find Geoff’s dad on the floor, bruised and in pain. Also, the braindance machine has been smashed.

Geoff gets his spare braindance machine while Cat calls Doc Freeman—who tells the people still at Tyne’s house that ‘Someone got shot or stabbed or something’. He must leave. Geoff hooks his dad up to the spare machine and gets a blanket to keep him warm. Doc Freeman soon arrives and diagnoses the injuries. The patient has one broken leg, which he sets; one broken rib, which he wraps; and a bunch of bruises. He also gives the man a sedative.

Once that is done, Cat tells Doc Freeman that she tripped on a ‘hidden trap’ on the stairs, and shows him her boo-boo. He gives her first aid.

Geoff calls his ‘boss’ and says, “My house was just hit.” He mentions the porn studio and adds, “I’m just letting you know. I don’t know if this is some sort of move to take over Bo’s territory.”

Cat calls Sam. “I was letting Geoff off at his house. People broke in and beat up his dad. Doc Freeman is here, taking care of his injuries.”

Sam tells her, “Don’t go home.” Then he calls Doc Freeman. “You have 24/7 protection at your lab. Take Cat there.”

Cat calls Kyle, tells him, “We went to Geoff’s place—found his dad beat up. Doc Freeman is here.”

Kyle replies, “Have you called Sam yet?” (Yes.) “Come back here or to Doc Freeman’s. I will go to your house.”

Cat reminds him, “The dog is ON.”

Cat calls a cab and leaves. Doc Freeman calls Sam, tells him, “Cat just left.”

Cat has the cabbie drop her off several houses away from her own. She walks to her door. All is quiet. The dog is okay.

Kyle calls a cab for himself, Fijay, Tiffany, Maria and the LawDiv duo. He goes to Sam’s house. All looks peaceful there. Kyle sees that lights are on in Sam’s house, and knocks. Cat lets him in. Kyle says, “Don’t do anything stupid. Call me first.” Also next door: Tiffany and Maria go inside and report that everything is undisturbed.

Meanwhile, Geoff calls Lena. “Are you okay?” (Yes.) “Take care of yourself. If you stay with us, there’s safety in numbers.” He calls a cab to take his dad, Lena and Doc Freeman over to the Freeman Industries building. Once they are safely inside, Geoff has the cabbie take him and Doc Freeman to Sam’s house.

Cat ‘dresses to kill’ (literally). She dons some armored clothes, takes two of her custom .44 Automag pistols, and heads downstairs for the arsenal.

Kyle, Fijay, and the LawDiv pair go back to his boat. The LawDiv guys call another cab and go. Sam calls Kyle and tells him, “Meet me at my house.”

Kyle informs him, “Cat is there.” Sam hangs up. Kyle and Fijay go to Sam’s house.

Meanwhile, Logan gives Trish cab fare, then heads for Sam’s house.

Sam calls Boyd and tells him about Geoff’s dad. Boyd expresses his sympathy, and offers “any help I can give you.”

Sam drives home, paying no attention to speed limits. A Pleasantville cop pulls him over. Sam explains, “A friend got attacked, I’m heading there now.” After assuring the officer that this crime occurred outside his jurisdiction (in Atlantic City), the cop lets him go with just a warning.

Sam arrives home, goes downstairs and starts pulling out his assault armor.

Geoff arrives. Cat shows him an assault rifle and asks, “Do you know how to use this?” (No.) “Then don’t touch this.”

Cat calls Nip. They each spend 2 hours researching the Aztecs. (Rolling well,) they find what little information is available—mostly newspaper stories. There are five chapters, based in Linwood, Philadelphia, Perth Amboy, Allentown and Reading, PA. The headquarters is in Philadelphia. Various law enforcement agencies estimate there are somewhere between 140 to 200 members among the five chapters. The different chapters specialize in different kinds of illegal activities. The Linwood chapter is surmised to provide armed support for transportation of sundry illegal goods. It’s an open secret that Linwood houses several ‘factories’ producing  illicit goods: in particular, bullets/ammunition, cheap kibble, knock-off cyberware, and counterfeit over-the-counter drugs. The Linwood chapter of the Aztecs runs a motorcycle garage in an industrial area close to a rivulet that separates Somers Point and Linwood from the mainland. Their club house is behind the garage, enclosed by a chain link fence.

Sam, Kyle, Doc Freeman, Cat, Logan, Geoff and Fijay discuss what to do. Geoff recommends, “Get a fuel truck. Drive it into their club house and detonate it.”

Someone says that will bring hell down on their heads. Besides it will endanger the whole neighborhood.

Cat points out that “The main problem is getting away. We should rent an AV.” She turns to Sam. “How much are you willing to put into this?”

Geoff tells the group, “The Aztecs work for the Linwood mob.”

Cat has an idea. “We should sneak up, cut through the fence, put thermite on the wall, blow a hole and walk through. Use the 7.62 mini and step through the door. We’ll have about 20 seconds. Do as much damage as you can. If we rent an AV, I can fly it. Leave like you’re heading for the boat that brought you, and I’ll pick you up.” Also, “We should send up a grid bug remote.”

Logan observes to Cat, “You are one strange young girl.”

(GM note: When Doc Freeman returns home, he will find that someone broke a window and set off a stink bomb in his apartment. When Logan returns home, he will find that someone has trashed the place. His boss/landlord is not pleased. Similarly the two boyfriends of the other porn stars have been beaten badly. However, Bailey and his booster gang buddies were not bothered, nor Geoff’s two minions.)



Episode 12: The Cat’s Out of the Bag


The team decides that ‘Aztec heads must roll’. The Pretty Pink Unicorns ‘go for the gold’. Cat and Kyle get up close and personal.


The team provided several big, strong, gun-toting guys to stand behind Lou-Ellen when she told the Aztec Motorcycle Club’s leadership to “forget about it” concerning the ‘business tax’ they wanted her to give them.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Lou-Ellen Plazire owns Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio in Atlantic County next to the Linwood/Northfield border. The Aztec Motorcycle Club provides strong-arm support for the Linwood Mob’s transportation needs. The Aztecs are pressuring Lou-Ellen to give them a large ‘business tax’—larger than she can afford to pay. Besides, her studio is not IN Linwood; at least, not any more.

The grownups:

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy.

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Fijay: Expert driver and former Euro-something agent, tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Lars: Chief Constable and a nightclub owner in Union City, New Jersey, peddles girls and drugs, part of Nikki’s ‘mob’. See our Union City Campaign.

NicoleNikkiAlexander: Publicly, a South African ‘Golden Kid’, owner of Alexander Aero and a globetrotting philanthropist. In private, she is a member of the Consortium, a group of super-rich business people and politicians who work together to advance their own economic and political agenda around the world. She is the ‘godmother’ of her own criminal organization, and a former assassin, World-class jewelry and art thief.

Bo Crowler: Boyd’s dad, a “godfather” type in the local criminal element of Pleasantville and Northfield.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Dick Peebles: Law Div guy following Kyle. He is short, stocky, wears glasses.

Lou-Ellen Plazire: owner of Virility Visions, a braindance porn studio.

Maria Figaro: Sam’s next-door neighbor and current girlfriend. 23 yo gorgeous woman, does PR for the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Mary Drucker: “Big Sister” for Cat Fisher.

Nathan Forest: CIA’s Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations; based at Langley VA.

Ricky Jardain: Sam’s next-door neighbor. A 26 yo telemarketer selling stocks.

Tiffany Wilson: Young woman next door to Sam’s house. Works PR for the Showboat Casino.

Tom Strickler: Law Div guy following Kyle. He is tall and skinny.

Trish Braddock: Porn star at Virility Visions studio, who has befriended Logan.

The kids:

Allison Cole: 13 yo kleptomaniac sex pot. She lives with her father.

Cat Fisher: Sam’s 15 yo daughter.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he has found a braindance addict to play the role of his father.

Nip Lacey: 12 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She was adopted by Tyne Lacey 2 years ago.

Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

Rayne Snow: 14 yo boy, sophomore in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He’s gay, rather intense Goth, artistically inclined. He is a member of theater club and glee club.

Storm Snow: 15 yo boy, junior in high school, lives at Tyne’s house. He makes extra money by writing essays for college kids through the Net. He is a member of chess club and astronomy club.

The Action

Friday, 29 November 2041:


Tom and Dick, the LawDiv duo, knock on Kyle’s door at 8:30 am. “Dude, it’s been real. We’ve been recalled. Good luck with the next guy.” Kyle offers them coffee, which they accept, and says it’s been fun. The duo agrees, saying, “It’s been nice working with you.”

Logan begins straightening up the mess inflicted on his apartment by the Aztecs.


The Linwood Ledger (weekly newspaper, 11/29/2041)

A brawl erupted in the early morning hours of Friday, 29 November 2041. Members of the Aztec Motorcycle Club and the Fangs, a local booster gang, went at each other tooth, claw and chains when the Aztecs allegedly invaded buildings on the Fangs’ home turf.

Daisy, a local resident, said, “It was awful noisy. People were screaming in all directions.”

Three buildings burned to the ground. Two had no official tenants, but the third was the home of the Jamieson family. Parents Adam and Isabella were unharmed. Twins Patrick and Evan, aged 10, suffered smoke inhalation but are recovering.

Martin Mortimer, police spokesperson, said the authorities are investigating
the incident as probable arson.


Sam calls a meeting at his home for 9:30 am. Present are Sam, Cat, Kyle, Geoff, Doc Freeman, Logan and Fijay. Cat makes coffee.

Cat begins by saying, “Nobody has died. There’s no need for us to kill anyone.”

Kyle replies, “Yes, there is. They tried to kill me and attacked my house. They moved this issue into the personal level when they came at me in my home.” Logan agrees.

Geoff adds, “Yes, going after people’s families, that violates an unwritten rule.”

Kyle offers, “We should make it look like gang retaliation at their clubhouse.

Logan says he’s okay with whatever the group decides. “Just tell me what to do.”

Sam says, “If we do this, we need a lot more recon. I need to know how many people are in there. If we kill a lot of gang members, how many innocents will die with them?”

Kyle points out, “That depends on your fire control.”

Sam says he’ll be “using a fucking minigun. No fire control at all.”

Kyle says, “Then we go in and kill them all.”

Geoff says, “They’ve already attacked our families. Anyone in there is fair game.”

Sam says, “If we start killing family members of politicians, that’s a potential nightmare.”

Logan says, “If we don’t do anything, they’ll keep on doing this. We have to stop them.”

Geoff agrees. “My father could have died of his injuries if we hadn’t gotten there when we did.”

Logan says he agrees with Kyle. “We should kill them all.”

Geoff offers, “If they are part of Linwood’s organized mob, we might be able to talk with them afterwards. Are they really that useful to the mob? Maybe the mob will cut them loose. And, if you don’t go and kill them, I’ll find some other way to get even with them.”

Cat offers an alternative. “We could blow up their place of business, their garage.”

Logan disagrees. “That won’t end anything. They’ll come back at us.”

Cat warns, “If we step over the killing line, there’s no going back.”

Sam asks Kyle, “You want to cross that line?”

Kyle says yes. “They tried to kill me in my home.”

Sam takes votes on the ground assault plan (Priority One Mass Murder Plan) from everyone else. Doc Freeman says yes. Kyle says yes. Logan says yes. Cat says no. Geoff says yes.

The discussion then moves to how to accomplish this.

Cat says, “We could probably use Allison. The problem is how to get in there, then get out and not get caught.”

Sam agrees, saying, “I’m not putting a minor in a firefight. An AV, that’s okay.”

Cat says she can pilot an AV, and is willing to bring the team in and then extract them.

Sam says, “Fijay can drive the boat. Then we kick in the front door. Have the AV pick us up.” He turns to Doc Freeman and asks, “Do you want to use the Essence?” Doc Freeman does.

Cat points out, “We’ll need to have new barrels for any guns we use.”

Geoff says, “We can make a hole in the back wall with a rocket-propelled grenade.”

Sam doesn’t think so. “You want us to aim through a hole this big?” And he holds up his hands to illustrate. “We should go through the front door and spray them.”

Kyle agrees. “Go in the front and back and kill everything that moves.”

Cat also agrees. “Punch through the fence and the wall. Cover the driveways. Use the Essence to cover the back door of the clubhouse.”

Geoff offers another idea. “We could put det-cord on the handlebars of the motorcycles. Stop anyone from getting away.”

Cat puts the kibosh on that. “We don’t have any det cord.”

Logan summarizes the plans to date. “So, we’ll have Doc Freeman at the back, Sam and Kyle going in the front, and me as the rear guard? And using cover of going on a fishing trip and camp out with the paintball team?”

Cat says, “Then we should do this on Sunday morning at 2 am. Someone needs to find a place on the water in Delaware where we can go camping. We should bring lots of 40mm grenades. Turn the place into a flaming inferno.”

Sam asks, “How long will it take you to fabricate new barrels? We’ll need … [he counts] … ten of them; including Doc Freeman’s Essence.”

Cat says it takes her about an hour per barrel. “I should make them beforehand, and we should use the barrels that I make.”

The meeting breaks up and people leave.

Geoff gets a call from Bailey, his booster-gang buddy. “Hey, thanks for the invite to the porn star studio. We had an awesome rumble with the Aztecs last night.”

Sam calls Lars, whom he knew from the Romanian campaign. Lars is surprised to hear from Sam, whom he knew as Ira Hayes and whom he thought was dead. After assuring one another they are both talking on a secure line, and after Sam explains who he is, Sam asks Lars if he can do him a favor. Lars asks what sort of favor. Sam explains that he needs an untraceable AV.

(GM note: Sam plans to pay for this from his slush-fund cash.)

Lars says, “Hey, I do girls and drugs. The only AV I have access to transports my girls and drugs.” Sam is disappointed, but understands.

Lars then calls Nikki and explains what Sam wants. “I pawned him off, but thought you might want to know.”

Nikki is pleased to know Sam is alive after all. “Call him back. Tell him you have an AV, as a favor.”

Lars makes the call. “I didn’t want to say, since I didn’t know if I could deliver. But given our history, I stuck my neck out for you, and I’ve gotten an AV. Just tell me where and when you need it.” Sam asks how much it will cost. Lars says, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine. You owe me a scratch.” Sam asks, “How big a favor do I owe you?” Lars asks, “How big is an untraceable AV worth from an untraceable source?”

(GM note: It’s worth a lot; like overthrowing a small island country. Nikki is sure to think of something.)

Sam and Lars work out the where and when. Lars calls Nikki and tells her, “He accepted the quid pro quo.”

Nikki smiles as she makes a mental note that she now has a ‘one use’ world class assassin in her deck of ‘playing cards’.

Cat starts making the barrels. Kyle does some library research to find a place on the water in Delaware where they can camp.


The Pretty Pink Unicorns paintball team has made the finals of the Youth-Novice league. The team assembles at Perilous Paintball. Allison invites her boyfriend Rudi and the rest of the football team. Sam brings Maria to watch the game. Logan brings Trish, the ‘sexual artist’ he is now dating. U.S. Marshall Mary comes to watch and cheer Cat. Tyne comes to cheer Nip, along with the other Snows: Crystal, Gayle and Zeff. Crystal’s boyfriend Jimmi comes too. Lena comes to cheer for Geoff.

In the diagrams below, the green ‘flower-petals’ are trees, the black shapes are bunkers, and the blue curving line is a “streambed” below the floor, low enough to provide good cover. The object is to capture the opponent’s flag and bring it back to your own home base.

The teams advance. For the Red Tide, player One goes into the bunker at D1 and stays there. Two goes behind the bunker at B1 and stays there. Players Three and Four run for the bunker at C2, then slip into the streambed and sneak southward. Players Five and Six run down the left side of the terrain, taking cover at bunkers in AB2, A3, A4, A5, and finally the tree in A5.


Meanwhile, for the Unicorns, Rayne runs into the bunker at B6 and stays there. Storm runs into the bunker at C5 and stays. Nip runs behind the bunker at D5 and stays. Cat runs into the bunker at D4 and stays. Allison runs to the tree at E4, walks behind Cat, then goes into the ‘river’ at D3 and crawls northwestward. Geoff does a crouching run along the right-most side, from the tree in F6 to the tree in F5 to the tree in F3 to the bunker in F2, where he stays for a while.

When Three reaches the streambed, Cat sees him, fires—and splats him! She sees Four as well, but can only see about half of his head, way too difficult a shot. Soon thereafter, Geoff thinks he sees movement in B2, where Two is crouched. He fires two rounds into that section, hoping to prod that person into moving, but no such luck.

A few rounds later, while Cat has been aiming, Four crawls around the bend in C3, right into close range for Allison. She shoots—but misses. Cat spends a little luck, and nails him. In the next round, Nip and Storm see Five and Six heading for the tree in A5. Nip takes aim, but Storm fires and tags Six. Five dives for cover behind the tree. Nip misses her shot at Five, being farther away, but Five is aiming at Storm and therefore half exposed. Storm splats him handily.

With four of the Red Tide players gone, the Unicorns advance further—except for Nip, who stays put guarding the blue flag. Cat runs into the bunker at E3, and then sneaks to the bunker at E2, sneaks across the D2 area, then sneaks around the tree and the edge of the bunker at D1. Rayne runs to the bunker’s edge at the south of B4, then into the bunker at B3, then behind the tree at C3. Storm runs to the bunker Cat left in D4, then behind the bunker at D3 and stays there. Geoff does his crouching run behind the bunker at E2, provides some covering fire for Cat’s advance, and then runs to the tree at D2. Allison continues along the riverbed until reaching the bend, and then runs for bunkers at C3, B3, AB2 and A2. She takes cover at the northwestern edge of the A2 bunker.


As Cat comes around the edge of the D1 bunker, her fast reflexes prevail. She fires at One at point-blank range, and splats him. However, player Two sees her, and his lucky shot tags her. She leaves the field, leaves Perilous Paintball, and goes home.

Allison sees Two’s legs, fires, and gets him. She dashes to the red flag, grabs it and heads for home base. Rayne shoots her, takes the flag and goes to home base.

(GM note: ‘Friendly fire’ does not eliminate a player, but Allison apparently did not know that.)

Meanwhile, Nip continues to hum the Mission Impossible theme song throughout.

The Pretty Pink Unicorns have won the trophy! Nip takes raises it high and takes it home. Her imaginary ferret-friend Fred sits on the trophy and talks with Nip.


When Cat gets home, she heads for the basement and continues working on the gun barrels. When Sam drops Maria off, he tells her “We need to have a serious talk soon.” She says okay, and goes inside to her own home. Sam then goes looking for Cat, and finds her in the basement.

Sam asks Cat how she feels about Maria. Cat tells him, “She’s a security risk.”

Sam asks, “How can she be a security risk? I’m retired.”

Cat shuts the machinery down and—pointing around the basement—asks, “How are you going to explain this to her? She would probably freak out. And, besides, I don’t trust her friends.”

Then Cat adds, “You really like her?” Sam nods. Cat says, “Okay, whatever you want to do.”

Sam says, “I don’t want to upset you.”

Cat replies, “Too late for that.”

Sam explains, “I just really want to enjoy the rest of my life. I’m retired. I have a daughter. I want a family. Do you have a problem with that?”

Cat points out, “Our life is very complicated, and it will be for several years.”

Sam tells her, “For the first time in 40-something years, I feel at peace around her.”

Cat says, “So what are you asking? What do you want to do?”

Sam replies, “I want her to move in with us.”

WHAT?!?!” emerges from Cat’s mouth.

(GM note: Just short of a shriek.)

Then, more calmly, “I have to think about that. And—we’d better check out Ricky and Tiffany first.”

Sam tells her, “We can deep-six Ricky.”

Cat replies, “Let’s talk about it next week. I’ve got something on my mind right now.”

Sam then asks, “Why did you leave the paintball game so early?”

She replies, “I had things to do.”

Sam observes, “If you had stayed, you’d have gotten a ride home.”

Cat then says, “I lost.” Sam says, “You’re a member of the team. The team won.”

But Cat just shrugs. “Whatever. Anything else?”

But Sam persists. “Why do you feel you lost?” Cat remains silent. Sam assures her, “You’re only human, Cat.”

She looks blankly at him for a moment. Then, “Oh, that’s a joke, right.”

Cat asks if Sam wants her to finish the gun barrels now. He says no, whenever she wants is fine. Cat leaves the basement and heads for the shower. Then she gets the mission stuff ready to leave the next day, and plots some low-flying routes for the AV, so as to stay under the radar.


Saturday, 30 November 2041:


When Cat goes to the kitchen this morning, Sam is already there, a glass of whiskey in his hand and a worried look on his face. Cat asks if he wants breakfast. He says no. She cooks breakfast for herself, and then goes downstairs to finish making the gun barrels.

Nip continues working on the design for her robot for Fred. When she’s done and assesses her work, she realizes it’s going to be an AWESOME robot.

(GM note: She rolls really really well: two 10s on the dice for her Expert: Robotics.)

Geoff keeps his ear to the ground for news about the Linwood gangs—and hears the Aztecs are having a party tonight. Bo calls Geoff on his ‘always answer when I call you’ phone, and asks Geoff to come to his ‘office’—located in a social club in Northfield a few blocks from Pleasantville.

When Geoff arrives, Bo offers him peanuts and beer. Geoff grins in delight, and accepts. Bo says he’s got a little problem he wants Geoff to look into. He has an ‘interest’ in a braindance studio. Some bikers are causing trouble. The situation is delicate, because the Aztecs are based in Linwood, and he can’t just go kill them all. They protect transportation for the Linwood mob, so killing them would be stepping on the Linwood mob’s toes, and starting a gang war would be bad for business. He needs a more subtle approach. “That’s where you come in. I want you to find out who the leaders are and where they live. I know you’re a Linwood boy with connections on the street.”

Geoff tells Bo the situation—that Lena asked for his help in a show of strength. But instead of attacking the supporters directly, the Aztecs went after people’s families. “They beat up my dad. Going after people’s families is not a viable business practice. They must be taught to show respect.” Geoff tells Bo they are gunning for the Aztecs.

Bo says he understands, and Geoff has a point about involving people’s families. He will back out of the situation. Geoff says that afterwards, Bo could act as a peacemaker. Bo replies, “Son, I like you. You’ve got good ideas. Good luck to you on this one.”

Sam takes his whiskey to the window, and realizes that Logan and Trish are on his boat having sex. He goes down to the boat and demands to know what they are doing there. Logan says he’s waiting to go on the Op. Besides, his apartment is still a mess from the Aztecs. Sam glares then goes back into his house. Logan tells Trish she had better leave, and she scoots off.

Sam emerges from his house, carrying a gun. Logan does a double-take. “You’re going to shoot her? Why?”

Sam explains that Logan has just said he’s going on an op. “We can’t trust her. Nobody can know what we’re doing.”

Logan says, “Okay, then I’ll shoot her.” They begin to argue about whether or not to shoot her, and who will do it. Geoff arrives in the midst of this.

Sam says, “You can’t just off her.”

Logan asks, “Why not?” Moments later, he seems to have changed his mind. “I’m not going to kill her—because you told me to.”

Cat interrupts, telling them all to “Shut the fuck up. The neighbors are watching.”

(GM note: Yup, they are. No surprise there! A live sex show followed by argument = better than the vid.)

Cat then gets a mop and bucket of soapy water, points to the mess they’d made on the boat, and tells Logan to clean it up. Logan does—and asks Cat, “How much does it cost for a throwaway gun?” Suspicious, Cat asks, “Are you going to shoot her?”

Logan denies it. “I’m getting the gun for her self-defense. My neighborhood is not safe. It’s for her protection coming to and from my place.”

Geoff speaks up. “Do you want to rent a room in my house? My neighborhood is pretty good.”

Logan doesn’t think so. “That’s not what your dad said two days ago.”

(GM note: When the Aztecs came by and beat him up.)

Geoff replies, “At least I knew my father. You’re making your own little bastards. Are you worried she’s cheating on you?”

Logan says, “Sure, that’s it.”

Kyle arrives in time to hear this exchange. He agrees that Trish is a porn star and possibly untrustworthy. “You could ask her if she’s sleeping with anyone else she’s not being paid to sleep with; like she never fucked a man in the armed services.”

Cat tells Kyle, “I think he’s thinking about killing his girlfriend.”

Sam tells Kyle, “We have to have a serious talk,” and explains what happened. “They were doing it on the boat, fucking like bunnies.”

Logan says, “I only told her we were going on a camping trip.”

Sam says no, “You distinctly said ‘waiting to go on an Op’.”

Sam’s demeanor is definitely threatening.

(GM note: The “stone cold killer” look is back on his face.)

Logan asks if Sam is going to kill him, and says, “Look, either kill me or don’t.”

Kyle says, “I wouldn’t worry about it. I just don’t think he should kill you for it.”

Logan says, “Killing me wouldn’t be easy.”

Cat slips up unnoticed behind the former C.I.A. tech and taps Logan on the carotid artery with her finger and says, “Well, I could have killed you just now.”

Logan looks at her, alarmed, then repeats to Sam, “Either kill me or don’t.”

Kyle asks, “Why are you telling a retired assassin to kill you?”

Geoff warns, “If anything happens to the girl, I’ll have to make a call.” The clear implication: there would be lethal consequences.

Cat too warns Logan, “Don’t kill her. I’ll kill her. If you want her killed, come to me.” Of course she has no intention of hurting Trish, but merely wants a heads up in case Logan decides to do something stupid.

Sam is appalled. “Now you’re dragging my daughter into this?”

Cat interrupts the deteriorating situation. “Hey, we’re all set to go. Let’s go!”

Everyone heads for the wilderness camp in Delaware. The paintball team is driven there.

(GM note: Cover story is they’re taking the team for a celebratory camping trip.)

The other people pile into Sam’s boat.

Afternoon & evening:

Everyone arrives at the campsite. Nip composes a first draft of a proposal to her mom about why she should get some cyberware now. She does such an excellent job (GM note: Rolled a 10, then a 9) that she’s sure this first draft will persuade her adoptive mom Tyne to let her get the cyberware.

In her tent, Cat puts on a disguise—but botches it and fails. Kyle recognizes her when she emerges from her tent. Sam mentions that yes, Kyle worked with her on their last job. Cat prepares the demolition charges for blowing through the fence and the back wall of the Aztec clubhouse.


Sunday, 1 December 2041:

Team members Doc Freeman, Kyle, Logan and Fijay put on military style BDUs with full inserts including helmets. Sam puts on his Combat Assault Armor, which Logan had jury-rigged to look like a big suit of well-used power armor.

2 am:

Cat hovers the AV above a strip of open ground about 3/4 of a mile south of the Aztec clubhouse, close to the Linwood border with Somers Point. There she drops off the Team and then she moves into a holding pattern as if she were giving some tourists an aerial tour of the area. She will return to extract the team five minutes after the BOOM!

The clubhouse is inside a chain link fence (the blue line) about 500 feet away from the stream (where the yellow road ends). Sam, Logan, Fijay, Doc Freeman, and Kyle sneak up to the clubhouse and take position. As they approach, they see that no one is walking the perimeter. Doc Freeman goes west of the building, staying at the extraction point. He will shoot anyone who emerges.


Fijay sets off the explosives, blowing a hole first in the chain-link fence west of the L-shaped clubhouse. She then blows a hole in the west side of the building—and joins Doc Freeman at the extraction point.

(GM note: The team did not find out until they arrived—there are no back or side doors to the building. Only one door: the inner corner of the L, and only one window on the first floor: a big expanse of plate glass beside that door. The second floor is over the top, north-and-east part of the building. The area is industrial, not residential. The rectangular building at the “ends” of the blue chain link is the garage where they do their legit business.)


The explosion at the fence catches the Aztecs and their guests by surprise. While the guests (including some women and teenagers) are stunned, many of the Aztecs start scrambling for weapons. Nonetheless, the party is faster and goes first.

Sam steps into the building and sprays 100 rounds into the northeast corner with his 7.62 minigun. The result is utter carnage.

Kyle enters right behind Sam. He tosses a fragmentation grenade (7d6 damage) between the tables south of the door and runs for the southern wall, putting his back against it. The explosion kills several Aztecs outright, and catches Kyle in its outer perimeter (3d6 damage). Three guys are hurt, but still standing.

Logan enters after Kyle and pumps 30 rounds of automatic fire into the group of people at the bar—namely the bartender and three guys. A couple of women are there too, but Logan avoids them. (GM note: Probably an error on my part. Combat is not my forte. But I’m learning {evil grin}!)

The bartender and men at the bar all die gory deaths. The three who survived Kyle’s grenade raise their Kalashnikovs and fire. Several rounds hit him, but his armor absorbs all the damage. He returns fire, and kills all three.

Some surviving guests run for the door; two from the kitchen, the two women from the bar, and three from the grenade area. Nothing is moving in the area to the northeast. Sam turns toward the door and sprays the fleeing civilians on full auto. The scream of his minigun drowns out the panicked shrieks of some of the fleeing victims. He mows them all down.

Logan makes sure anyone still twitching is dead. Sam checks the area to the northeast, sees the stairs and runs up them. Kyle shoves open the doors to the office and moves in, ready to fire. Despite being ready for him, the two Aztecs in the office die quickly.

Upstairs, Sam tosses frag grenades into each of the eight bedrooms and checks the closets to make sure no one is hiding there. Some of the rooms had a pair of naked tenants, clearly having some celebratory fun. From upstairs the occasional howl of the minigun is heard. Everyone he encounters dies.

Downstairs in the office, Kyle pulls the hard drive from the computer, then cracks the safe, grabs its contents, and leaves for the pickup point. Sam and Logan follow suit.

Sirens are wailing—the cops are on the way—as Cat screams in with the AV. Everyone piles in, and she takes off.

Back at the campsite, Cat cleans the AV with nanites. Kyle has a disgusted look on his face.

Afterwards, Cat and Kyle sit on the boat landing, their feet in the water, out of earshot of everyone else. Cat confides in him, “Yes, you have seen me before. You were at some meeting at a hotel in Asuncion, Paraguay last year. I snuck out there because I heard my dad, Sam was going to be there, but I saw you when I peeked through the window, and I know you saw me too. You sent security after me.” She punches him playfully.

Kyle dissents, “No, it’s more than that. You’re someone I’ve worked with before. I’ll figure it out.”

Cat wonders, “But where could that be?”

(GM note: She KNOWS she hasn’t worked with him “in this life”.)

Kyle assures her, “I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out.”

Cat asks, “Do you mind if I do something?” He says okay. She leans close to him and with a slight animalistic grace sniffs his “scent”. Both instantly recognize the other.

For Kyle, only one person has ever done that to him.

(GM note: Dominique, in the Romanian adventure.)

For Cat, his scent is exactly like Zar.

(GM note: She believes that Zar is safe in the U.S. and working back at Langley. She has no idea that Zar returned to his original Kyle identity.)

Kyle says, “Aren’t you supposed to be in prison?” Cat is speechless. Kyle continues, “Surprise! I’m not really dead.”

Cat rolls over and throws up. Kyle observes, “Nice job of body sculpture. Making you look like a teenager.”

Cat protests, “It’s not a…. No. You can’t be.”

Kyle asks, “What? A CIA operative never had to fake his own death before on an op?”

Cat responds, “You weren’t dead.”

Kyle reminisces about Romania, including, “I seem to remember a pickup line of ‘You want to fuck?’ actually working.”

Cat thinks, “You mean at the lodge in Medias on our first op? I was in heat; all you needed was a pulse and a hard on.”

Cat wonders, “Wait, are you assigned to me?”

Kyle denies it. “No. I’ve been burned. Dumped here along with several of my closest associates—including your Dad.” He gestures air-quotes while saying “Dad”.

Cat rejoins, “He IS my dad.”

Kyle continues to doubt it. He explains what he thinks about his situation. “This burn notice can’t be real. I’ve been put here under really deep cover, along with some people I’ve worked with before, so I can use their skills on various jobs they want me to do. Plus you’re here at the high school, selecting the next generation of operatives for me to train.”

Cat nearly squawks, “What?!?”

Kyle points out, “He can’t be your daddy. You’re a woman my age.”

After briefly wondering what kind of drugs Kyle is smoking to come up with this story, Cat inquires, “Why did you run back to Langley four years ago?”

Kyle explains, “Because the op was blown and I was going to be killed. My handler is still in the wind. Nathan was running some kind of off book op, and they brought in an assassin to scrub it all clean. Miles (Kyle/Zar’s handler at the time) suggested that I “get out of Dodge”. He was running, and thought I should too. But I went back instead and reported it all.”

Cat says with a tinge of sarcasm, “And you got yourself a nice cushy desk job, with your Starbucks coffee.”

(GM note: Clearly, she was mentally comparing this with the concurrent time she spent being “interrogated” in a Russian prison.)

Kyle nods. “Starbucks, yes, every morning.” Returning to the subject of Romania, Kyle tells her, “I let you know I was leaving.”

Cat snaps back with increasing anger, “I didn’t get your message till after you had gotten back to Langley, and do you know where I was when you left that message? I was in Bulgaria, killing our counterparts—the operatives who tried to pull off a revolution there; cleaning up for Nathan and the Russians.”

Kyle concurs; “The off-book op that Nathan was running, yes.”

Cat disputes that. “It was ON the books.”

Kyle lets that slide. “And here we are now, survivors of the Romania mission.”

Cat asks him, “What do you think is going on here?”

Kyle again describes his … (GM note: delusion) … reasoning about why he was burned. “We’re all going to be used for something very dirty, and they want the ability to deny the CIA was involved.”

Cat disagrees. “The CIA doesn’t know I’m here.”

Kyle disputes that. “I know Sam. He’s a loyal company man.”

Cat shakes her head. “You have this all wrong. If they find out you know about me, they will kill you.”

Kyle doesn’t seem to believe her. “Why are you here, going to high school, and biosculpted to look like a teenager?”

Cat declares, “I’m not in my 30s.”

Kyle shakes his head and says, “Hard to tell with biosculpting.”

Cat insists, “You really don’t know a lot about us”

(GM note: meaning the Caitlin model biogens).

She suddenly gives Kyle a big passionate but slurpy kiss, which he returns with enthusiasm.

Kyle observes, “I seem to remember what the kitty cat likes.”

She tells him, “I was just making sure it was you.” Cat relaxes in his embrace.

Then she realizes, “Oh my God! No wonder he—(GM note: meaning Sam)—has been acting so weird.”



Episode 13: Scratch the Kitty


Cat and Kyle continue their talk—sitting on the end of the dock while everyone else sleeps—and Cat scrubs the dock afterwards. (This episode is their discussion, which is a long one. Episode 14, Delusions Flambée, contains what happens next.)


After returning to the campsite from gunning down the Aztecs, Cat and Kyle started talking. He kept saying he had worked with her before, but couldn’t place where. Knowing that she had never worked with him as Cat, she asks permission to ‘do something’. Kyle says yes—and she sniffs him. Instant recognition ensues. The ‘sniff test’ reveals that Kyle is also Zar, from the Romanian adventure. And for Kyle, only one person—Dominique—had ever done that to him.

Dramatis Personae

Kyle Vaduva: Burned spy, previously Zar in the Romanian campaign.

Cat Fisher: Sam Fisher’s 15 yo daughter, previously Dominique in the Romanian campaign.

Other people mentioned:

Sam Fisher: Retired CIA black operative, assassin, cleaner, you-name-it.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and disgraced cyber researcher.

Logan Hawke: Former tech operative asset for the CIA, now tainted by Kyle’s burn notice.

Geoff Stark: 14 yo fixer specializing in braindance chips; he and Cat have been dating.

Mary Drucker: US Marshal and “Big Sister” for Cat.

Boyd Crowler: Local fixer based in Pleasantville and Northfield.

Raylan Gibbons: US Marshal in Atlantic City Marshal’s office.

Miles: Kyle/Zar’s C.I.A. handler during the Romanian Operation.

Nathan Forest: Sam Fisher’s oldest friend, CIA’s Deputy Director of Clandestine Operations, formerly Sam’s handler during the Romanian Operation.

The Action

Sunday, 1 December 2041:


Cat and Kyle continue their conversation. Cat gives a long monologue explaining what happened in Romania after Zar left, and how she and Sam conspired to save Zar’s life and career.

“OK, you need to know what happened. Don’t blame Sam, this was my idea. First of all, that file that I took out of Sam’s room at the mansion outside Bucharest—I didn’t know what was in it at first. Sam had just asked me to bring it to him. I only found out later that he intended to give it to you. Yes, it contained information on classified C.I.A. operations, and no, I never looked at it. I teased you about it so you wouldn’t break into his room. Now I know this only made things worse, but I seem to be really good at doing that.

“Look, Sam and I were both professional assassins. He was trained for it and I was bred for the job. In him I saw myself years down the road. I didn’t want to become the emotionless, stone cold killer, who does the bidding of ‘suits’ in the halls of power like Sam had. As I got to know him, I realized that he knew he was facing retirement in a few years and knew no other life but this. He wanted to feel human again. Yes, we talked and perhaps he told me things he shouldn’t have, but any discussions of operations was not about whom, when and where, but merely about how he felt about the common lifestyle we shared.

“Yes, as I told you then, I did faithfully report what was going on to my handler, who was also the station chief of the Martian Ministry of Communications Special Branch for the Balkans. What I didn’t tell you is that I was also that station chief for the MMC. We are a small organization, and have to double and triple up to keep competitive. In my role as station chief, nothing was reported up the chain of command.

“Eventually, both of us realized that no matter who was running the ‘sanctioned’ operation in Romania we were all marked for death. He was the cleaner the C.I.A. put on our team to ‘take care of us’ after the op was completed. Sam felt that as his career was winding down that prudence dictated that he be ‘cleaned’ also after he was finished with us. By then Sam had rediscovered his soul, or rather what was left of it. I offered him a way out. If the kill order on us came down, he would tell me, and we would warn those in danger. In return I would help fake his death and have my people give him a new identity so he could enjoy his retirement.

“When he asked what I wanted in return, I had to ask for something. The MMC wanted everything he knew, but I negotiated (on his behalf) that he would give a lot of background information on C.I.A. doings in the Caribbean. Sam and I agreed that this information would be outdated and not endanger any of his former C.I.A. colleagues, but at least it would make my superiors happy. Of course all this was contingent on the Agency ordering us killed. It would take that level of betrayal to get him to turn.

“When you ‘came in from the cold’ on your return to Langley, I think that upset everyone’s plans. We knew the Agency would never let you return to Romania. They would recall Sam to sort this out, and he would also never be sent back, no matter what the outcome of the investigation. Our assets that we had developed in the mountains outside of Deva, along with the Draculesti militia we had worked so hard on would be left without support.

“How long do you think those hundreds would have lasted without us? You and I both know they would have all been killed. Sam and I had spent a lot of time up in the mountains around the Lelese Commune. We had fought alongside them, hell, you did too. We had a mission, and our orders had not changed. It was politicians and bureaucrats that were fucking up our job for their own personal agendas. Neither of us could let that happen. I believed in what we were doing and I still do.

“However, we both knew that someone was going to have to take the ‘fall’ for this, if the Draculesti and the mission were to survive. Sam was absolutely essential to the success of the plan, but I couldn’t let you take the blame. C.I.A. agents who screw up on the scale that you would have been blamed for don’t seem to live very long. That left only me. I was pretty sure the MMC Special Branch wouldn’t have me killed. I knew at the very least I would probably be demoted or fired. Actually, then I wouldn’t be a foreign agent, and maybe we might have a chance together. Oh God, I am such a crappy spy!

“You know, Sam wanted to take the fall. His plan was to return to Langley and take responsibility for the operation’s failure. He thought maybe his years of service would just buy him a dismissal instead of a bullet. He gave me his ‘insurance policy’, the file with his old operational reports, and told me to give them to the MMC. At least then I would curry favor and a promotion from my agency. He said it was his gift to me for helping him rediscover his humanity. I had the crown jewel of my career in my hands.

“In that instant he taught me more about sacrifice, honor and dignity than I had ever known. I gave him back the file without even looking at it. At that point I decided that all three of us were going to come through this, and we would keep faith with those men and women in Romania that we had sworn to help.

“Up to when you left, Sam never gave me any classified information. Actually you told me more than he ever did—but don’t worry, I never passed any of that along either. The whole mission concept was that we were one team. If I did that, I would be a traitor to our Team, and by extension I would have disobeyed my superiors. Still, by this point, national and corporate jealousies had destroyed our group. For the plan we had envisioned to succeed; only one of us was essential in Romania, and that was Sam.

“When I gave him back his insurance file, I told him I was renouncing my allegiance to Mars. My loyalty would now be to our mission and the people of Romania. Technically speaking, Dominique had ceased being an agent of the MMC Special Branch when she joined the operation. Therefore, he had never given any information to an enemy agent.

“Oh, by the way, I was NEVER an enemy agent. Our governments were allied.

“Still, that was slicing the truth pretty thin. Due to your return to Langley I knew that Sam would be recalled for an in depth debrief over the issue. Any lie or stress detector would probably indicate enough evasion to keep him from returning. So I hired a braindance specialist to reinforce his belief in this interpretation of the events. I kept the various governments at bay and blocked his recall for a few months until the conditioning was complete. Finally I had to release him for a trip to the United States.

Sam made sure that his story painted you in a good light and his reports made sure you would not be fired over the incident or worse. Look, I don’t really know who was running the unsanctioned operation. Maybe both operations were sanctioned. It didn’t really matter at that point. Nathan had won his game and Miles was the traitor regardless of what was true. Anyone in Miles’ group was finished. Without Sam’s intervention, your career and maybe your life was over. At the end of the Romanian operation, the plan was for Sam to use his influence to get you transferred back to Clandestine Services and jump start your career. At least that part worked. Well, for a while anyway it seems.

“Well, everyone believed his story that he had ‘played’ me, including the MMC Special Branch. I was fired by my agency. You know this part of the story. ‘Zar’ was found shot to death in the East River in New York City, and Dominique was arrested and imprisoned in Russia for ‘antiquities smuggling’. You got to stay in Langley and have your Starbucks coffee. I was supposed to be given an office and a liaison officer in my ‘prison’ and advise the SVR (Russian Foreign Intelligence) on the situation in Romania for the rest of the operation.

“When I was brought to my “office”, I was stripped naked and thrown into a 4×5 foot cell with no furniture or lights and just a drain in the center of the floor. I was told ‘wild animals’ do not get to wear clothes. My ‘liaison officer’ was a talented and rather sadistic interrogator. I was sure I was destined to be cut up for samples and parts, but they only took DNA and blood samples. I am not sure why they just didn’t cut me up. To do so would have been a kindness compared to what they had in store for me. Then my ‘liaison officer’ came for his first ‘Chat’. He…he…did things to me…”

At this point Cat’s eyes glaze over and she starts to shake, then cry.

“They wouldn’t stop. Sometimes they didn’t even ask me anything. Oh God, I just wanted to die!”

The biogen breaks down and just sobs for a minute. Her sounds are more like those of a pained, wounded animal than a person. Kyle holds her close. She finally composes herself.

“Then one day the guards came into my cell. At first I thought they were there for another of what they liked to call ‘playtime’, but no, I was dragged to the prison entrance in the middle of the night and thrown….THROWN out the gate. A car was waiting for me. I was told that the Romanian operation needed Marina Lupescu back.

(GM Note: Marina Lupescu was one of Dominique’s cover identities that she had used to infiltrate the Deva, Romania underworld.)

They cleaned me up, stuffed some more cyberware into me, without my consent, and sent me to Deva to work for an American operative, who was running a strip club there.

“I was broken. I would never be the same, but the American was good to me. He was kind and respectful. My cover was his lead dancer and girlfriend, but he never touched me. He could have. I was so very grateful I would have done anything for him. But he said he was married and loved his wife very much. We did good work together.”

“Finally he had to leave when the war was breaking out. I fled to Lelese, the Draculesti and Sam. There I became Liese Cernea again, a captain in the Draculesti. I fought with them for six months. Well, I didn’t do a whole lot of fighting. I ran the armory, made ammunition, built and repaired weapons. I did take part in the destruction of the French Alpine Chasseurs and the liberation of Deva. That city had become home. Romania had become home. I was even starting to be happy again. I had friends, lovers, people who cared about me. And there was Sam. He brought me out from a very dark place, and made me believe again.

“But, I was being stupid. They weren’t going to let me get away. I was just a loose end to be tied off. I was with the troops as we were celebrating the liberation of Deva in front of the Magna Curia. I suddenly felt like someone had punched me in the chest. I kept my feet, but another invisible blow knocked me down. It was two 7.62×54 Sov rounds aimed center mass. That is standard protocol for a long range sniper shot by the Russian Spetsnaz.

“There was so much blood, but it really didn’t hurt anymore. I looked up and there was Sam. He was bending over me and he was crying. Have you ever seen Sam cry? I never had before that. He was crying for me. I told him that everything was going to be fine, but that wasn’t true. Then it went dark and I was embraced by the void.”

Here, she stops and looks at Kyle, waiting for him to say something.

“So, Sam missed vital organs when he shot you?”

“No! No, it wasn’t Sam. And they didn’t miss.”

“You’re here—so you lived through being shot.”

Cat denies it. “No.”

“You’re here. And I’m glad you’re here.”

Cat tries to explain. “We come back.”

“So you only have eight more lives?”

Cat looks confused; then gets it. “Oh, Right.”

Kyle wonders aloud, “Who are we working for?”

“Nobody and you can’t tell anyone about this. They’ll kill you. We come back sometimes. Do you remember that old TV show, Battlestar Galactica? We’re kind of like cylons, I guess. Except … I’ve had some upgrades.”

Cat then launches into another long monologue, explaining how she came to be a teenager in Atlantic City as Sam’s daughter.

“The genetic alterations involved in my upgrade had some unforeseen side effects. That and the manner of my death coupled with what happened in Russia had scrambled my brain. After the effects of my rebirth should have worn off, my mind and memories were a tangled mess. I would wake up screaming a couple of times a week.

“My people tried to figure out what was wrong, but couldn’t. They discovered that the only two outsiders that I could keep straight in my head were Sam and you. They couldn’t find you, but it seems that they knew Sam.

“You know your government is very hypocritical in its relations with biogens. On one hand they condemn us as abominations, but also they cooperate with us on common issues. Apparently somewhere in his career Sam worked with some of us on some joint project or something. I asked him, but he wouldn’t say what it was. I never pushed the issue. I realize that something like this is beyond Ultra Top Secret. I do know for a fact that this cooperation is sanctioned at the very highest levels of your government.

“Well, Sam finally chose to live in Atlantic City. He said he had his only non-agency friends here. You know, Raylan and Boyd. Also, since biogens can be citizens of Utah, the Federal government has allowed biogens who are accepted as citizens by their state governments to be citizens of the United States as long as the state in which they reside allows biogens. That was an executive order to mollify the government of Mars who they were trying to court politically.

“We lived very briefly in Utah to get my paperwork straightened out and my passport issued. Then we moved to New Jersey. There is no state government in Jersey so legally I am a United States citizen even here. I asked Sam about you at the beginning and he told me that the agency had taken you back into Clandestine Services and your career was again on the rise. At least my sacrifice had given you that. I could now concentrate on finding myself.

“As Catherine Fisher I have a family and friends. The more I lost myself in that, the more the chaos in my mind calmed down. The nightmares are down to about one every six weeks. As I pushed my past to the back of my mind, I grew as a person. Somewhere along the way Sam and I became a family in more than just name. I love him and he loves me.

“After all the shit I have put him through in the past year that is probably the only reason he hasn’t kicked me to the curb. Your reappearance last July must have panicked him. He couldn’t tell me it was you back then. I was in no condition to deal with something like that. He was bound by your government and my people to keep the secret. No wonder he has been acting like a mad man lately. What an impossible situation to be in.

“Ever since we started helping people with their problems doing ops and stuff, my mind has become clearer. I think doing these jobs has reconnected me to myself and helped start to reconcile me with my past. It also brought me back to you, but here are two things you have to realize. I am NOT Dominique. She never really existed anyway. Yes, there was a lot of me in her, but I am not even physically her anymore. All she was resides in this somewhat immature body, and that body aches for you. The second thing is that I like Kyle more than I ever liked Zar, and that is saying a lot. I don’t want to lose you or Sam again.”

“You say the C.I.A. must know I am here, because Sam is a loyal Company man? Well, he is, but more importantly his first loyalty is to his country and his commander in chief. That is where a true American’s allegiance lies. If you doubt this, just remember the only family picture that hangs in my room.”

(GM note: This is the photo of President David Whindham, Sam and Cat having lunch in the Rose Garden in honor of Sam’s forty years of government service.)

“The C.I.A. has a well-known dislike for my model of biogen so they were kept out of the loop. However, I am not without my government watchdog. You remember Mary, my friend from the Atlantic City Big Sister Program? Well, she is also a United States Deputy Marshal and my WitSec Inspector. I am in Federal Witness Protection. It is the only federal law enforcement agency not under the control of the C.I.A.”

“I think Mary only knows the cover story, but I can’t be sure. She is more than just my watchdog, she is my friend. You can’t tell anyone this—not even Raylan—or let Mary know that you know what she is. They could move me then. She knows what Sam used to do as a covert C.I.A. agent and Delta Force officer, and I am classified as a ‘victim’ witness, so she doesn’t keep that close tabs on me. Besides, she gave me my phone and I am sure there is a GPS tracker in it. I can’t get rid of it or that will send a stream of U.S. Marshals looking for me. I am just very careful where I leave it.”

“And then there is Geoff. Oh God, what am I going to do? I really like him a lot, but now … I was thinking of breaking up with him. Mary found out I have a boyfriend and is insisting on meeting him. If she gets his name, she will investigate him. If she discovers what he does, and she is really good at her job, the police will tear his life apart. I couldn’t bear that. Also, now with this … I am just such poison. I don’t know what to do.”

Kyle remarks, “I can never look at you as a child.” He then adds, “Sam will have some things we have to deal with.”

Cat tells him, “The body is a kid.” Kyle says, “Not in the moonlight.” Cat remembers, “Oh, and I am a virgin again.”

Kyle grins. “This will be interesting.”

Cat asks, “You do believe me?” Kyle nods and says, a bit disingenuously, “Yes, I do.”

(GM note: Absolutely not! Kyle is thinking, “Wow, they reprogrammed and body-sculpted her without her knowing!”)

Kyle then reveals to Cat, “Going back to Langley was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. It means I will never get to know Nicolas. (GM note: The son he had in Romania as Zar.) He’s a casualty of my loyalty.”

Cat warns, “You can never let Mary know what I am. They will kill her.”

Kyle declares, “Sam will get it for not telling me.”

Cat defends him. “He knew I couldn’t deal with finding out you were also Zar.”

The pair kiss, and … well, one thing leads to another. After much painful fumbling around (Kyle does not really believe she is a virgin), they make a bit of a bloody mess on the dock and Cat loses her virginity … again.

Kyle tells her, “I’ll glad you’re back. I still don’t know why I’m here. All these people I used to know, resources, they’re here in Atlantic City: Sam, Fijay, Logan, and Doc Freeman, even Boyd and Raylan, and now you. That can’t be just a coincidence. I figure I must be way deep undercover.”

Cat is astounded. “WHAT?” And then she remembers: “Geoff!”

Kyle says, “I wasn’t thinking about him. Were you?” Cat admits she wasn’t. But, “I am now. I like him.”

Kyle agrees. “He’s a good kid. I’m developing him into a covert operative; how to read faces and body language.” He then muses, “You know, I knew you had to be older than a teenager when you showed me that forgery and had that half-assed disguise for flying the AV.”

Cat chokes. “That wasn’t half-assed!” She pauses. “Well, okay, maybe it was.”

Kyle then speculates about the aftermath of killing the Aztecs and their friends. “I’m worried about this op. It was really bloody. I’m thinking, hey, it was a biker gang and a booster gang. We should come up with a way of pointing the bikers at the boosters. I’ll have Geoff spread some rumors with the locals.”

Cat agrees it should be easy. “They were already at war.”

Kyle moves on to another concern. “I thought Sam had moved away from all that. It was really bloodthirsty of Sam.”

Cat seeks to reassure him. “The only way of getting caught is through the AV. If they find it…”

Kyle then reassures her. “It was completely untraceable.”

Cat continues, “Then the only physical evidence will be the guns you used, and we can just swap the barrels out.” Then she returns to her biggest concern: making Kyle understand her current reality. “I don’t work for anyone.”

Kyle demurs. “People are looking out for you while you rebuild your life.”

Cat agrees. “The US government knows I’m here at the highest levels. But I don’t know what WitSec knows. I don’t know how much of the story Mary knows.”

Kyle returns to his own unique interpretation of events. “But you’re here. I’m here. Sam’s here along with Doc Freeman.”

Cat asks, “Are you burned? Or are you not burned?”

Kyle explains his reasoning. “It feels like I’m here for a really dirty, dirty reason. I’ve been put here with a support system of people I’ve known and worked with in the past, and since then? I’ve helped a money launderer; revised the map of the local drug trade; helped Geoff bring in new drug products from Night City.”

Cat asks, “What kind of drugs?”

Kyle says, “Legit. But kind of shady.”

Cat remarks, “I knew he was smart.”

Kyle shrugs. “Maybe so, but he almost got killed when the locals found out. So on top of changing the local crime scene, I’ve also gotten dirt on a cultist. Then there’s this national biker gang that gave me a reason to kick their teeth so far beyond their throat.”

Cat observes, “There’s only one problem with your theory. The CIA’s Clandestine Services Division doesn’t do ops on home turf. That is LawDiv’s bailiwick. ”

Kyle is not convinced. “Look how we’re changing the local crime landscape. Here we are, a bunch of people in our prime, training the next generation of operatives.”

Cat objects, “I don’t think there’s any way the CIA would agree to have me in the country.”

Kyle appears not to hear her. “Somehow, they found a way to manipulate me into being burned. I haven’t put the pieces together yet of why. So while I don’t really know what’s going on—it’s just too weird. And now you’re here. One of the very few women I’ve ever had genuine feelings for.” Cat smiles.  Kyle offers, “Let’s leave. I’ve got running money. We could go to some small island. Live on the beach.”

Cat looks really scared. “The whole federal government will come looking for me. My people will look for me. We’d never get away.”

Kyle points out, “But why do what you’re doing? Why go along with this whole high school thing?”

Cat replies, “Because they feel it is the best for me. Look, you don’t know my people.”

“Maybe not,” Kyle agrees, “But it’s obvious—some sort of really rich government, corporation, people with lots of money and big guns.”

Cat asks, “Do you remember 20 years ago, the whole biogen conspiracy uproar?”

Kyle does. “Sure. They were turned into the political boogeymen of the day.”

Cat explains, “Well, It’s true. They’re real—except they do not want to take over. They just want to be left alone.”

Kyle says, “Sounds good. But a lot of people did a lot of work to get me here. And now you’re taking the same road you were on before. Where are you going to wind up in 20, 30 years?”

Cat states, “I’ll be out in 2 years.”

Kyle observes, “And working for …?”

Cat denies it. “No, I cut a deal.”

Kyle points out, “The last time you cut a deal, you wound up in a Russian prison.”

Cat rejoins, “Because I trusted the CIA.”

Kyle asserts, “Just because you cut a deal, that doesn’t mean it will work out.”

Cat acquiesces. “I’ll think about it. So … go somewhere—and do what?”

Kyle admits he hasn’t thought that far ahead, offers, “Maybe run a boat service.” Then he adds, “We’re not opening a café any time soon!”

Cat pouts. “My cooking’s not THAT bad!”

Kyle suggests, “Just set up a normal life, somewhere.”

Cat objects. “But I already HAVE a normal life. I like it here. I’m even happy.”

Kyle doesn’t think so. “How is this normal? When you’re cleaning your house so thoroughly that you’re not even leaving hair in your hairbrush?”

Cat points out, “Because my last lover sent in my DNA to the C.I.A. and they sent back a cleaner!”

Kyle observes, “You’re living your life now like you’re on an op. You know when I first got suspicious? Do you know how fast you were when you threw that first punch at the twins’ house in Linwood (Episode 4)? Like you’d had years of martial arts training!”

Cat acknowledges that she is fast. “But I’ll get faster as I get older, too.”

Kyle continues his pitch. “I’ve been trained. I can hide anywhere.” He outlines his plan. “We go see Doc Freeman. Get new DNA, new faces, and new identities. Then we kill him.”

Cat is shocked. “But—”

Kyle continues. “He’s a monster. I’ve wanted to kill him for ages. He experiments with people’s brains while they’re still alive, and the person who makes your new face? You never let them live.”

Cat is silent for a moment. “I’ll have to think about this.”

Kyle returns to the subject of Sam and the Aztecs killing. “This was probably the ultimate form of stress relief for him.”

Cat’s mind is elsewhere. “I have to fix the guns. Let me think about this. I’m pretty happy with my life here. But that could be changing.”

Cat swabs down the mess they made on the dock. Then she and Kyle both head for the camp showers. (Separately) Cat waits until Kyle is in the showers and then goes in after him. It seems the Kitty needs another scratch especially after the disappointing bloody tumble on the dock. (GM note: She botched her seduction roll there.) After this more successful coupling, Cat goes back into her tent and starts swapping out barrels. Kyle goes to his tent to catch some sleep before the group heads back to Atlantic City.


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