Episode 34: The Minister Chase is On!


The Team follows Ben Davies, the Minister of Trade and Industry, on a circuitous route through Hobart, Tasmania—and learns his deep, dark secret.


The Team has come to Western Australia to investigate Ben Davies’ connections to corruption that persists despite his party’s “War on Corruption”. In the previous episode, the Team went to Tasmania where Kyle, Cat and Randy foiled a sophisticated train robbery while Doc Freeman, William and Allison met with owners of a casino and hotel. William also captured a would-be assassin with a note that said “Greetings from The Gambia”.

Dramatis Personae

The client du jour:

Joost Vanderwyk, owner of Vanderwyk Mining Co. in West Australia, has hired the Team to investigate Ben Davies, the Labor Party Whip and the country’s Minister of Trade and Industry. Joost believes Ben is guilty of taking bribes in awarding government contracts—and he wants the Team to find evidence of that.

The Team (PCs):

Allison Cole: 16 yo kleptomaniac sex pot and one of Cat Fisher’s best friends from Atlantic City High School. She just graduated from that school and—when she became a suspect in a recent heist in Atlantic City—followed her friend to Jamaica. Perhaps not yet “world class”, her skills as a Prowler are formidable.

Cat Fisher: Officially she is Sam Fisher and the late Maria Ortiz’s 19 yo daughter. In actuality she is a full memory clone of the late Caitlin Jones, the original biogenetic assassin construct built by the now defunct Bio Works Corporation. This is known only to Kyle Vaduva.

Doc Freeman: Former professor at UNLV, former assistant coroner and (formally) disgraced cyber researcher. He is the inventor of the “cyberbrain” with which he claims to have cured death itself. Although courts around the world are now looking into ramifications of his work, Disney Corporation has honored their agreements with the man and he is now rich beyond his wildest dreams. The Team bases out of his Morgan’s Harbor Hotel which he operates in cooperation with the Disney Corporation’s Port Royal Historical Theme Park and Museum.

Kyle Vaduva: Former CIA agent now burned by the agency over incidents that he did not commit. He is now reunited with his lover from the Romanian Operation, whom he recently learned is the full memory clone of the late infamous bio-genetic assassin, Caitlin Jones.

Nip Lacey: 15 yo girl with neon green hair, has amnesia. She is a NET savant, classmate of Allison Cole’s, and the other of Cat Fisher’s best friends from high school.

Fred: ferret and imaginary friend of Nip’s.

Randy Shugart III: He is the 28 yo grandson of CMH winner, Randall Shugart of Blackhawk Down fame. He is himself an eight year veteran of Delta Force and has recently been maneuvered out of the military.

William Eller: This is a cover alias for Thomas Rifkin, who is the major domo of US Senator “Roy” deChartier, a member of the Consortium, a group of powerful and wealth business and political leaders who cooperate to “make things go their way”. Thomas/Max/William is a 10% owner of the Morgan’s Harbor Hotel.

Zahra Baudin: She is a 29 yo veteran of the JDF (Jamaican Defense Forces). Born of a Jamaican mother and a Haitian father, she is a trained “intrusion” expert.

The NPCs:

Ben Davies: Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia, and the Labor Party Whip. He is also the cousin of the country’s Premier, Thadeus Brewer.

Bindi Davies: Sister of Ben Davies, she is a lesbian and energy healer who lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

Bunny Firth: Owner of Bunny Firth Catering. Stafford Industries wrote one or more checks to her that were deposited to a bank in Tasmania. The Team suspects she is involved in the transfer of bribery money from Rodney Stafford to Ben Davies.

Debbie Woodraff: A friend of Bunny Firth from The Cordon Blu in Paris. Debbie was Bunny’s partner at the start of her business in Perth. When Debbie married and moved to Hobart, she used the Bunny Firth Catering name as a DBA when she was starting her own catering business. Debbie is married to Mark Woodraff.

Gene Jing-Bao Yao: Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia, and personal friend of Ben Davies.

Gregory Michaels: A former spy who started his own black-ops organization called “Section”. Gregory apparently recruited both Smoke and the Crackler into joining Section, and seems to be responsible for having Kyle burned.

Mark Woodraff: A protégé of Leonard Gleeson where he got his first PR job eight years ago after getting a Masters in Public Relations at UWA. Mark then went back to Hobart, where he now has his own PR firm, doing political work. Mark has maintained a DBA of Leonard Gleeson Associates.

Rodney Stafford: Owner of Stafford Industries. His firm received the contract for supplying copper and zinc to the government under what may be suspicious circumstances. The company wrote at least one check each on vague invoices payable to Bunny Firth Catering and Leonard Gleeson Associates. The checks were cashed at two different Tasmanian banks.

Thadeus Brewer: the Premier of Western Australia and a cousin (on their mothers’ side) of the Team’s target, Ben Davies.

The Action

Wednesday, April 5, 2045:


The would-be assassin is still in the bathtub. William makes sure he is hog-tied with wet towels and gagged. He also has Doc Freeman ensure that the man stays asleep. Nip asks when they will call the police, and points out they are crossing over into kidnapping territory.

William apparently agrees with the teenager’s advice. He calls hotel security soon after dawn and tells them, “We seem to have a small problem. A gentleman snuck into my room in the middle of the night and tried to kill me. Luckily, I have a small bladder and was in the bathroom instead of asleep when he arrived.”

Nip makes a face of distaste and remarks, “Too much information.”

William continues, “The man has been subdued. I want security to come clean up the room and take out the garbage.”

“Immediately, sir,” says the man on the other end of the phone. A manager soon arrives with the hotel cops, and asks William if they would care to move to the penthouse suite. William and Doc Freeman think this is a fine idea, and they make the move.

William calls the city police as well; they too arrive swiftly. They take evidence—including the mugs of hot chocolate which they send to the lab to be tested. [GM note: Yes indeed, these turn out to have a soporific drug in them.]

William explains how he got behind the perpetrator and subdued him. He also mentions the labels in the intruder’s clothing and wonders aloud if the man is a foreign national. The police take the assassin away.

That same morning, Cat gets in touch with “her people” and tells them what Kyle learned about Gregory Michaels. Kyle gives an exclusive interview on the train robbery that is broadcast over the NET. Randy is taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. Grateful for the Team’s help, the police fly Cat and Kyle to Hobart.

Cat observes with Kyle that they need new faces, IDs and a car for following the Minister. The pair dons new disguises and Kyle establishes some short-term IDs to match. They rent a room in a shitbox motel for a few days. Kyle visits the local “Wal-Mart” equivalent to purchase some clothing.


Ben Davies arrives at the airport, where he is met by his sister, Bindi. Nip follows their car on the NET. The vehicle takes Ben to his sister’s home, where he stays the rest of that day.

Cat hides in a nearby tree with a microphone. Nip flies a remote near the house and also listens in. Ben and Bindi discuss nothing of special importance, talking of family matters, gay politics, and local gossip. Ben tells Bindi he is returning to Perth the next day—but the party knows his itinerary is to stay another day.

Meanwhile, Kyle visits the Debbie Woodraff Catering office. He tells Debbie that his daughter recently moved to Hobart with her boyfriend and is getting married soon. He liked the style of [name of a previous wedding client he had researched] and therefore wanted to see about using Debbie’s catering service for his daughter’s wedding. Kyle asks if he can see her kitchen and taste some samples. Debbie is happy to show him around. During this tour, the ex-CIA spy drops something on the floor and, in bending over to pick it up, plants a bug under a desk surface. He also puts her menu information into his e-book.


Cat and Kyle target Debbie Woodraff Catering for an intrusion mission. Cat parks to avoid being seen by the cameras in front. The pair then approach the rear door. They suppress their IR heat signatures, then easily circumvent the electronic security and go inside. Nip loops the cameras and takes note of the positions of everything. Our burglars delve into the paperwork, copying everything that might be relevant and reading bits and pieces along the way.

In the financial records for the Bunny Firth DBA, they find invoices to Stafford Industries, payments from Stafford Industries, and dated soon thereafter, payments in identical amounts to Wallabang Financial Consultants in Perth.

As they put things back, Nip compares the results with her “pre-invasion” photos to make sure everything is restored to the correct positions.

As the pair head out, Nip asks about putting in an order for cookies, but Cat says no. “They would know we broke in and arrest us.” Nip expresses her disappointment with a big, “Awwwww.”

Their next stop is Mark Woodraff Associates. Again, Nip loops the cameras while they enter through the back door. They again copy and read potentially relevant documents, and restore everything on their way back out. Once again, in the financial records for the Leonard Gleeson DBA, the pair finds invoices to and payments from Stafford Industries, together with corresponding payments to Wallabang Financial Consultants in Perth.

Between the two businesses, Wallabang was paid the equivalent of more than 200,000 euros.

Satisfied with their evening’s haul, Cat and Kyle return to their motel and fuck like rabbits. Randy secures the attentions of a cute nurse.


Thursday, April 6, 2045:


Cat and Kyle meet with William. The lovers tell William the information they learned about Gregory Michaels and Section—plus their discoveries about Wallabang Financial Consultants. William informs them about the Croatian assassin. Immediate suspicion falls on Magda Berchtold, the displeased wife of their recent “employer”, Otto Krieger, who had turned out to be a cyborg (see Episodes 25-29).

William reports the attempted assassination to the Consortium and has them discourage Magda from trying again to have him killed.

(GM note: Their ‘suggestions to cease and desist’ will be very persuasive! Magda will be terrified.)

William also reports the information about Gregory Michaels and Section to “his people”.

The Hobart police learn that a recently hired kitchen employee who was on shift the night of the intrusion has not reported for work today. They forward a photo and fingerprints to MI5 and MI6 and, as a courtesy, to William. William passes this information along to “his people” as well.

[GM note: Following this thread confirms the suspicion that Magda was behind the attempted murder on William.]

The Team then prepares to play Follow the Minister through Hobart.


At 12:30, Ben Davies and his sister leave Bindi’s apartment. She drives him to the train station, where they arrive at 12:45 pm. He goes inside and she drives away.

Kyle goes inside the train station. Making his Tracking roll, he sees Ben remove a suitcase from a locker. From the way Ben looks around, it’s clear he is trying to see if he is being followed. Ben takes the suitcase and goes into a men’s room at 12:55 pm.

Five minutes later, Ben emerges wearing a dark blue raincoat, a dark hat, and sunglasses. Kyle recognizes him easily. Ben takes the suitcase and puts it into a different locker. He then leaves the train station and walks three blocks west to the Westpac bank. He goes in the front entrance on the corner, which faces south.

WestpacBank-front Meanwhile, Kyle picks the lock on the locker and Doc Freeman takes fingerprints from the case.

Looking quite dapper, William follows Ben inside the bank, just in time to see him enter the bank vault area where the safety deposit boxes are. Shortly thereafter, William also makes his Tracking roll to recognize Ben coming out of the vault area in a different color raincoat, a different hat and different sunglasses. He leaves through a different doorway into the building’s lobby, then exits the building to the west.

Nip, who has been watching through the remote, looks around the corner and sees Ben get into a cab at the stand there.

The cab takes Ben to Salamanca Place, where he goes into a bar at 1:30 pm. While this famous market area is not as crowded as on Saturdays, there are still many people here.


Cat goes inside the bar, watches and waits. Ben nurses a drink, sitting alone in a corner. After an hour, he gets up and moves to the Men’s Room in back. Cat alerts the team to Ben’s movement. Nip, who is watching the back, spends a little LUCK and recognizes Ben as he emerges, once again wearing the dark blue raincoat and his first set of sunglasses—and no hat.

(GM note: For inquiring minds who want to know how this is possible, the raincoat is reversible and has lots of pockets.)

Ben now heads for a different cab stand, which takes him to the bus terminal, arriving at 2:50 pm. William follows him through the terminal to a different exit and yet another cab stand. This cab takes a circuitous route as Ben watches out the back window.

But of course, Nip is watching in the remote, and tells the Team exactly where to go. His final destination is an ornately carved stone facade building with red awnings and no identifying information over the portal. The Team pulls up across the street and surveys the building. All the windows have drawn curtains.


NET research on the address turns up some interesting information. This is apparently a private membership social club, called the Aphrodite. This club has a liquor license and serves food to its clientele, but also has a reputation as a place where members engage in kinky sex. As they watch, several men go inside—all look powerful, rich and important.

Cat lets loose a bug, which scampers across the street and climbs the building. While it’s impossible to see inside, audio is not blocked. Crawling from one window to another, the bug finally finds a window where they recognize Ben’s voice. The tone is sexual, and the subtext is clear: Ben Davies is enjoying submission to a dominatrix. Both Nip and Cat, who are listening in, respond with, “Eeeeuwwww!”

It soon becomes clear that Ben intends to spend the night here. The Team stays across the street, and waits. One of the men who emerge that evening is Farrell Whittaker.


Friday, April 7, 2045:


Nip arranges a ticket for William to take the same plane as Ben back to Perth, and gets him the window seat adjacent to the Minister. The Team tracks Ben back through the bank vault and the train station locker to the airport. William makes his way to the airport via a different route.


On the plane, William starts with small talk—does his neighbor want the window shade up or down? And the like. William opens his laptop to the research he’s been doing on the casino and hotel in Hobart. Ben notices the casino photo on William’s laptop, and inquires. William tells the Minister he’s a hotelier, and looking into properties in Western Australia as well as Tasmania: Kalgoorlie, Norsemen, and Nature Reserves. He’s especially interested in doing an underwater hotel. Ben tells William he might be able to facilitate his inquiries, and gives William his contact information. William is suitably grateful. The two agree to have dinner in a few days back in Perth. The details of that will be arranged by each other’s “people”.

During William’s cover work in Hobart it becomes apparent to him that the Belyando Waters Casino owned by Ricardo Montego IS an excellent investment opportunity. He contacts the Consortium about it and the ‘Sharks’ that make up that organization agree and move to acquire a controlling interest in the property. Ricardo Montego is forced to relinquish control. He retains a strong minority share, remains charge of day to day operations and becomes embarrassingly rich.  William earns himself a small but significant percentage of the ownership for his trouble.


As the Team returns to Perth, Kyle, Cat and Nip do NET research on Wallabang Financial Consultants, which is a Perth-based business filed as a partnership between Adam Smith and June Smith nine years ago. Its NET site says it provides financial advice on investments, tax shelters, estate planning, and trust funds to “an exclusive clientele”. The About Us page describes Adam Smith as having 35 years of experience in the financial industry, achieving a 15% ROI for his clients.

Approximately 1,000 Adam Smiths in Western Australia range in age from 2 to 98. The Team narrows the list to three men ages 55, 59 and 62, who have a financial background. They rule out candidates A and C based on various factors. However, candidate Adam B. Smith has a death certificate on file in Broome, a town on the northern coast of Western Australia. He drowned there ten years ago. While that would seem to eliminate him as well, the picture of Adam Smith on the NET site looks like candidate B, except ten years older.

The NET site gives Wallabang’s address as 75 Hay Street, Suite 1105—which a reverse address search shows to be the law offices of Hadley, Barkham and Howe. This building is an office tower in the central business district of Perth, and likely to have especially strong security measures. None of the law firm’s three principals have any connection with Broome. While all three attended the University of Western Australia Law School, they graduated in different years: 2018, 2023, and 2025.

Of the 500 June Smiths in Western Australia, none seem to be married to an Adam Smith or have a relative named Adam.

Wallabang’s NET site says three ‘financial consultants’ work there: Morris Shakley, Boris Dankoff, and Sally Chilvers.


Saturday, April 8, 2045:


Nicholas reports that Pieter Vanderwyk’s daughter Daphne told him that her dad has been smiling a lot ever since he got back from Jamaica.

The Team has a meeting to discuss what to do.

Kyle wants to report to Joost Vanderwyk, their employer, as the Hobart sex-scandal information “could be the final nail in Ben Davies’ coffin.”

Cat asks, “Does that mean we are done here?”

William says, “No. We should pursue things further.”

Kyle wonders, “Do we have enough evidence to fulfill our contract?”

Cat observes, “We’ve done all these things, it’s not even been two weeks in country.”

William concurs. “And we’ve already fucked over the country.”

Nip asks, “Is that a record?”

Cat adds, “There’s only one last connection to make here.”

The Team reports to Joost about Ben Davies’ escapade at the Aphrodite Club. Joost says not to expose the sex mess. While it’s ugly stuff, it’s really Ben’s private life.  Since the Team has not yet found a financial smoking gun, he suggests pursuing the Wallabang connection to see where that leads.

Kyle muses that the corruption might not be Ben Davies at all, but his Deputy Minister and personal friend, Gene Jing-Bao Yao. This becomes another angle that needs to be examined.

Kyle dons a new disguise, which Cat says to keep for tonight! He also forges a library card to the University of Western Australia Law School, and goes to look at various old records from the years the two men were there. He finds two photos of Ben, one of both Ben and Gene, and another nine just of Gene.

Kyle also learns that Gene and Francis Howe (of Hadley, Barkham and Howe with the same address as Wallabang Financial Consultants) were in the same academic club at the Law School. The club focused on
financial/political systems in general, and on capitalism versus socialism in particular.



Episode 35: Into the Outback


Cat and Kyle foil a group of Penguin Poachers. Doc Freeman, William and Nip encounter Aborigines near Kalgoorlie. The entire Team is ambushed near the Dundas Nature Reserve. William scouts out Wallabang Financial Consultants and the adjacent lawyers’ office. Cat and Kyle break into the offices of the lawyers and Wallabang.


The Team has learned Ben Davies’ dark secret (he likes being dominated), but has not yet found any evidence linking him or anyone else to the corruption. The Team returned to Perth from Tasmania and reported to Joost, who has asked them to continue investigating.

Dramatis Personae

The NPCs:

Ben Davies: Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia, and the Labor Party Whip. He is also the cousin of the country’s Premier, Thadeus Brewer.

Gene Jing-Bao Yao: Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia, and personal friend of Ben Davies.

Janie Phipps: A society reporter who approached Joost with questions about corruption.

Joost Vanderwyk: Owner of Vanderwyk Mining Co. They are one of the larger copper and zinc mines in West Australia. They also produce brass. Until a few years ago, they held the contract supplying the government with these substances.

Nicholas Vaduva: Zar’s (Kyle’s) 18-year-old son from our Romanian adventure. Nicholas is unaware that Kyle is his father. He believes the man is his cousin.

Thadeus Brewer: the Premier of Western Australia and a cousin (on their mothers’ side) of the Team’s target, Ben Davies.

The Action

Sunday, April 9, 2045:

Everyone gets a well-earned rest! The puddle-jumper vehicle Cat ordered is delivered.


Monday, April 10, 2045:

That morning, Doc Freeman, William, Randy, Nip and Allison leave Perth in an Aussie armadillo vehicle. As they drive, William keeps a sharp eye peeled for whether anyone is following; he detects no one. [GM note: Largely because no one was following!] Team Freeman arrives at Kalgoorlie around 4 pm. They contact Janie Phipps’ family and stay at the Rydges Kalgoorlie Resort and Spa.

Meanwhile, Cat and Kyle also leave Perth that morning for Esperance, arriving at 4:30 pm and staying in a Spa Suite at the Jetty Resort.

That afternoon, Nip does NET research on the layout of the Stafford Mine in Norseman. It’s a fairly standard sort of mine with elevators and tunnels going into the ground. The office building is one story, holds about a dozen offices. The area also has 3 two-story dormitory style buildings, plus a smallish kitchen/canteen building that makes meals for the miners. Nip draws a map of the layout.

That afternoon, Cat and Kyle also do some NET research—on the environmental safety measures at Akhurst Coal. They learn that the environmental safety and rehabiltiation measures do meet code, but are also absolutely minimal. While the equipment at the mine is the newest available, it’s focused on efficiency and productivity rather than protecting a fragile environment.


Tuesday, April 11, 2045:

Team Freeman gets a tour of Kalgoorlie gold field area, courtesy of Janie Phipps’ uncle. William and Doc Freeman discuss with this uncle what would make good tourist attractions here as well as potential hotel sites.


At the nearby salt flats of Lake Yindarlgoodo, William had arranged an appointment to meet with Don Desertwind about a potential hotel possibility. The Team is moving off road to the meeting when roughly 500 feet (150 m) past a line of trees, a shot takes out their front tire. It came from the clump of trees on their left, which is also about 500 feet away. A very short time later they encounter a group of Aborigines, several of whom are carrying rifles. Their leader calls out, “So, White Man. You are coming here to take our land?”

The Team rolls up their windows and locks the doors. William emerges to talk with these nomads. He apologizes for any misunderstanding. He explains that the area has gorgeous bird life and would be great for Ecotourism. William says a casino here would benefit the indigenous people here as well as “the White Man”—and the designers would be careful to make sure the project did NOT despoil the land.

The nomad leader is unimpressed. He claims that the Team is trespassing on Native property, and requests that they leave. The Aborigine explains there is no peace treaty between their tribe and the West Australian government. Technically, they are still at war. The group seems fairly well-armed and prepared to insist.

William expresses surprise. He points out that the financial opportunity here would give both sides a strong motive to make a treaty. He himself is a fan of making money, and would be glad to bring the Aborigine cause to the attention of the West Australian government. “Everyone can benefit,” he claims.

The leader says his tribe would be willing to enter into formal peace talks with the West Australian government. The uncertainty of land ownership is a problem for everyone. William agrees to see what he can do, but points out that someone has shot out their tire. The aborigines claim to know nothing about the shot. But they do offer to sell the party a tire for a pricey (but not extortionary) amount. Tire in hand, William goes back to the armadillo vehicle. Team Freeman leaves.

Guide Phipps apologizes for any misunderstanding about the status of the area. He explains, “There are more than 400 Aboriginal tribes on the Australian continent—and about 15 percent of them live here in the West. Many tracts of land have conflicting claims both among tribes and with the West Australia government.”

While the rest of Team Freeman is out with guide Phipps, Nip stays at the Kalgoorlie hotel and researches Morris Shakley—one of the Wallabang associates. Morris is a 28 year old graduate of the University of Western Australia. He majored in business finance and has several years of experience in the bonds market. There’s nothing unusual in his background or links to any of our “usual suspects”.

Meanwhile, Cat and Kyle meet Margo Ecclestone, manager of the Fairy Penguin Rookery Preserve at the North and South Twin Peak Islands. Together with a few other folks, they board a boat and motor out towards the islands, which are roughly 60 miles (95 km) east-south-east of Esperance. When they get within sight of the rookery, everyone sees another boat anchored there.

As the boat containing Kyle and Cat get closer, it’s apparent these are five Penguin Poachers: one still on the boat and another four on the island—busily stuffing tiny penguin chicks into bags they’d brought for this purpose. But our Penguin Saviors never go anywhere unarmed! They bring out their weapons and start firing. As the hail of bullets begins, the Penguin Poachers on the island run for their boat. They also return fire.

[GM note: No penguins were harmed in the making of this episode. Besides, Fairy Penguins are quite short, no taller than 18 inches (45 cm) and weighing no more than 2 pounds (less than 1 kg). They are in no serious danger from the bullets—unless someone rolls a 1!]


Team Vaduva aims for the Poachers’ weapon arms and the outboard motor on their craft. Soon, one Poacher is brought down with a critical injury while another suffers a crippling wound. The Poacher’s leader becomes lacerated with bullets [GM note: Reaching Mortal 2 and failing his save; this was the only Solo among the Poachers, the others were Nomads.]

Kyle calls out, “Throw down your guns, douche bags!”’

The Poachers surrender. Cat and Kyle stabilize the bandits, then take the bags of chicks back onto the island. As they step from the boat onto the island, Cat stumbles and falls on top of Kyle. She points out: “I’m on top! You’re lying in the penguin shit!” And indeed, the guano here is thick enough to ruin anyone’s boots.

Margo Ecclestone goes on the radio to alert the authorities to pick up the thieves. Meanwhile, a photographer on the boat who’d been intending to get shots of the birds now has photos of the Penguin Rescuers. Kyle comments, “Just spell my name right.” Cat also tries to photograph the birds, but [botching her roll] gets blurry results.

After viewing the penguins, Cat and Kyle return to Esperance along with the other folks on the boat.


Wednesday, April 12, 2045:

At 2:30 am, Kyle and Cat leave Esperance and head for Balladonia, the location of Akhurst Coal, arriving around 4:30 am. Cat also tries to photograph the operations with regard to environmental issues, but [again botching her roll] gets blurry results. She fails to collect solid evidence of the mine’s impact on the area.

Team Freeman leaves Kalgoorlie about 10 am for Norseman, along with the Phipps uncle as guide. They arrive soon after noon. Still following their cover as interested hoteliers and tourists, they tour the gold fields and the Stafford mine.

That evening, Kyle and Cat take off in the puddle jumper, arriving in Norseman around 9:00 pm. They rejoin Team Freeman at the Great Western.


Thursday, April 13, 2045:

In their armadillo transport vehicle, the Team goes on a tour of the area around Norseman, including the Dundas Nature Reserve, again “looking for hotel/resort investment opportunities.” The land here is as flat as it gets, spotted with clumps of trees and brush taking advantage of any bits of water in the landscape.

The Team camps near a possible investment opportunity on the verge of one of the many salt lakes. They are about a mile away (1.6 km) from the lake’s edge past a line of trees and in an open area.

That night a group of outback bandits is seen creeping up on the encampment. The Team leaps into action. Cat and William target the group behind them on the right, while Kyle, Randy and Nip take on those to their left. William observes, “They’re heavily armed!” And their heads are protected by motorcycle helmets. It’s either a biker gang out here in the Outback, or highwaymen who want to make it hard to hurt them! Looking carefully, the Team thinks there are about five men in each cluster.

A nasty firefight ensues. Cat flanks the right group as William drops the first attacker. Cat’s silenced Opium Street Sweeper SMG takes out the other four on that side. Randy drops one with a head shot while Nip finally gets to fire her .700 Nitro Express ETE rifle. The girl blows her victim almost in half and draws all the return fire! Seven of the ambushers are dead. Kyle talks with the three survivors, who say, in essence, “Oops!! You guys looked like tourists!” They admit to being opportunists, based in Esperance.

The Team keeps the group tied up while they bury the bodies. They then confiscate the robbers’ weapons but let them keep the motorcycles.


Friday, April 14, 2045:

Another day spent touring the Dundas Nature Reserve—this time, uneventful. That night, they return to the Great Western Motel in Norseman.


Saturday, April 15, 2045:

Cat and Kyle fly back to Perth in the puddle-jumper. The rest of the Team drives back to Perth, which takes about 8 hours.

Back in Perth, Cat researches the second Wallabang associate: Boris Dankoff. Boris is a 33 year old immigrant from Russia who was educated there with a focus on economics. He has a strong background in commodities trading. There’s nothing unusual in his background or links to any of our principals.

At the same time, Kyle researches the third Wallabang associate, Sally Chilvers. She is a 35 year old graduate of the University of Sydney. She too is an immigrant—from the “other” Australia. She has extensive experience as a stock analyst. There’s nothing unusual in her background or links to any of our principals.


Sunday, April 16, 2045:

Again, everyone gets the day off.


Monday, April 17, 2045:

Nip researches the designs of the office building at 75 Hay Street—where Wallabang Financial Consultants and the lawyers are located on the eleventh floor. It’s a modern, glass-fronted L-shaped office building. The fire-suppression system uses sprinklers. A crawlspace between the floors has sundry building-service “stuff” such as ventilation ducts and sprinkler plumbing. And the ceilings are drop-ceilings, about 1 foot (30 cm) down from the true ceilings.


Above, on the 12th floor, is a Travel Agency. Below, on the 10th floor, is a Diamond Exchange.

Kyle suggests, “Let’s hit the Diamond Exchange!”

Cat is alarmed. “That’s a full op in itself—and much tougher! And if we were even suspected…!!”

Randy objects, “Hey, we’re supposed to be the good guys!”

Kyle mutters, “Okay. That’s fine. The job at hand is more important anyway.”

Meanwhile, William and Doc Freeman pay a visit to two legal firms, one of them being Hadley, Barkham and Howe, and to Wallabang. Ostensibly, they need advice on purchasing real estate here in Western Australia, and investment advice.

Upon entering 75 Hay Street, the security forces have a metal detection screen that everyone must pass through. William and Doc Freeman are politely asked to check their guns. They comply. Hadley, Barkham and Howe are in suite 1105, while Wallabang is next door in suite 1106.

While making these appointments, William learns that Wallabang’s NET address is supposedly a typo. The Wallabang’s receptionist states, “We keep telling our NETmaster to get that fixed.”


Upstairs at Hadley, Barkham and Howe, they meet with Edward Barkham, the real estate specialist. William presents information from his meeting with the Aborigines as an opportunity for Ecotourism. Barkham seems interested in the financial opportunity and in brokering a peace deal. He is willing to investigate who is the legal owner of the land, in accordance with West Australian property records. He gives William his business card (thereby also supplying his fingerprint and thumbprint).

William also learns that each company has their own on-site security systems. The lawyers’ office requires a keycard and thumbprint. During the visit, William also “plants a grid bug” in the office suite.

Next, William and Doc Freeman visit Adam Smith, the CEO of Wallabang Financial Consultants. William presents his investment ideas: “If the government offered bonds for building the casino, everyone would profit. If we then buy into the bonds, we can make money there too. Buy them back and get a both-ways advantage.” While in the Wallabang offices, William again “plants a grid bug”. This office also is protected by a keycard and thumbprint system. In fact, it looks like the same setup as the lawyer’s office.

On the way out, William also bugs the hallway so Nip will be able to observe the timing of patrols—if any—by security forces in the building.

The Team also learns that the elevators do not go up after 5 pm unless one of the guards uses a key to make that happen. (That is, they won’t go up from the ground floor if someone presses the button inside the cage on the ground floor. The elevators WILL go up to retrieve folks on upper floors who request the elevator from there.) Stairwells are also closed and locked after 5 pm. If someone is already in the stairwell, they can get out, but no one can enter a stairwell after 5 pm.

Watching the bugs, Nip sees that security patrols the upper floors roughly once an hour. the Team decide on a Plan.


Tuesday, April 18, 2045:

That afternoon, Kyle and Cat disguise their faces and enter the building as ordinary customers. Just before 5 pm, they both go into the Women’s bathroom on the 11th floor—and wait. Cat puts on her Ghost Suit, and Kyle dons his Blackjack. They wait until they’re sure all the employees have exited the building, roughly 10 pm.

Once the next security sweep has left the floor, Nip loops the cameras and continues to watch. Cat and Kyle emerge from the bathroom and go to the law office door. Using the thumbprint they got from William, plus Electronic Security, they are successful in entering. They immediately observe the location of more cameras inside. Kyle releases more bugs, and Nip loops these cameras as well.

Starting at the Chief Honcho’s office (top left) Cat and Kyle unlock and enter the offices of James Hadley, Edward Barkham, Francis Howe, the IT area, the Admin and Paralegal areas, and finally the Main Assistant—giving Nip access to the various computers. In the IT/Storage area, they find partnership papers for Wallabang. The paperwork looks okay (insofar as they can tell, anyway), except for the minor detail that Adam B. Smith is dead and there doesn’t seem to be a June Smith. They find no mention of Ben Davies. However, in Francis Howe’s office, they do find correspondence with Gene Yao containing both business and personal letters. The business exchanges discuss various contracts and minimal requirements that applicants on RFPs must meet.

Cat and Kyle remove all trace of their presence, then go down the hall to Wallabang Financial Consultants. This time, Cat uses Electronic Security to breach the system. Once again, our intrepid intruders find the location of surveillance cameras. They release devices allowing Nip to loop them, which she does.

This time, they start with Adam Smith’s office, then proceed through Morris Shakley, Sally Chilvers and Boris Dankoff. Finding nothing of note, they check out the Financial Analysts’ office, and then finally go into the Admin office. There, they discover nothing on Ben Davies, but Gene Yao is a client with a multi-million Euro fortune.

Proof in hand, our spunky searchers retrace their steps out of the Wallabang suite, retrieving grid bugs and crawlers and computer-hack-into devices as they go. They return to the Women’s room where they spend the rest of the night. After the building opens for business in the morning, our daring duo resume their “normal” appearances and leave through the front door.


Wednesday, April 19, 2045:

Kyle calls Joost. They have some results. They arrange to meet in virtual reality tomorrow.



Episode 36: Burglaries and Revelations


The Team gets reports from Nathan, the Collective, and the Consortium about Gregory Michaels and other matters. Cat sees a familiar figure on the beach near their house; despite a different face, she’s sure it’s Tiffany, the’honey pot’ agent who moved next door to Sam Fisher’s house in Atlantic City four years ago in Episode 7! Cat and Kyle and Nip team up to burgle the Gene Yao and Ben Davies households. William, Doc Freeman and Allison tour some coral reef islands.


The Team has “followed the money” and found a trail of evidence leading from Stafford Industries and other companies that were awarded government contracts. Money from these companies was laundered through a series of transactions and reached Gene Jing-Bao Yao, who is the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia as well as a personal friend of Ben Davies. So far, they have not found any payments of this bribe money from Gene to Ben.

Dramatis Personae

The NPCs:

Ben Davies: Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia, and the Labor Party Whip. He is also the cousin of the country’s Premier, Thadeus Brewer.

Gene Jing-Bao Yao: Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in Western Australia, and personal friend of Ben Davies.

Gregory Michaels: The shadowy figure who (apparently) created an organization called “Section” that operates grey and black ops for various government agencies, ministries, and political figures. He recruited Smoke and The Crackler, and is apparently the force behind Kyle’s burn notice.

Janie Phipps: A society reporter who approached Joost with questions about corruption.

Joost Vanderwyk: Owner of Vanderwyk Mining Co. They are one of the larger copper and zinc mines in West Australia. They also produce brass. Until a few years ago, they held the contract supplying the government with these substances.

Nathan Forest: CIA Deputy Director of Covert Ops. Nathan is also an old friend of Cat’s father, Sam Fisher, who is currently in jail back in the States.

Nicholas Vaduva: Zar’s (Kyle’s) 18-year-old son from our Romanian adventure. Nicholas is unaware that Kyle is his father. He believes the man is his cousin.

Pieter Vanderwyk: Joost’s brother. Pieter is an MP in the National Assembly (lower house of the West Australian legislature), and a prominent member of the country’s Liberal Party.

Thadeus Brewer: the Premier of Western Australia and a cousin (on their mothers’ side) of the Team’s target, Ben Davies.

Tiffany Wilson: The ‘young naked chick’ who moved next door to Sam Fisher’s house in Atlantic City four years ago in Episode 7. After she and her associate, Maria Figaro, who at the time had become Sam Fisher’s girlfriend, were unmasked as imposters by the United States Marshal’s service, both Tiffany and Maria disappeared.

The Action

Wednesday, April 19, 2045:


Cat and Kyle meet with Joost in virtual reality to report their findings: The money definitely leads to Gene Yao, but they have no evidence showing money going from Gene to Ben Davies.

Joost repeats that he doesn’t care about Ben Davies’ private sex life. “They are consenting adults. It’s not my business.” On the corruption issue, “If the Team can find evidence that the money goes to Ben, that’s awesome. Please investigate just a bit further. If not, what you’ve got is enough to stop the corruption and you will get your full bonus. Either Gene Yao is a ‘front’ for Ben or he’s the bad guy and Ben is okay. If Ben is legit, that’s hard to prove, and I don’t expect that from you. You’ve got the dirt on Gene, and that’s enough.”

After the meeting, Cat and Kyle decide on intrusion missions to the Yao and Davies households to see what they can learn and unearth more evidence. Nip launches remotes to observe the two target houses.

She learns that the Yao household is empty during the day. Gene goes to work. His wife Loola leaves at 10:00 am for her charity events and social activities. They have no children. Loola returns at 4:30 pm. Gene returns at 7:00 pm.

The Davies house is similarly empty during the day. Ben goes to work. Wife Lorraine leaves at 11:00 am for various social activities. Children are away at university. Lorraine returns at 3:30 pm. Ben returns at 9:00 pm.


Nathan calls Cat and Kyle with his report on what he was able to find in the CIA archives about Gregory Michaels. The CIA Deputy Director of Covert Ops says, “I started with the equipment logs that field agents must sign physically when taking something on a mission—going back two decades. Following the dates in the equipment logs, I was able to retrieve mission reports that are also kept on paper. It showed that our boy was very busy for about ten years, first in Russia and then in Japan. His cover was as a businessman. He both ran and recruited agents, and supervised several covert ops. The mission reports paint a glowing picture of his skills both as a covert op and as a handler. He had three different supervisors over these years. Two for Russia, then one for Japan. Intriguingly, around the time he (apparently) left the agency to start Section, his Japan desk supervisor was promoted at Langley, and that man is now the CIA Deputy Director. My boss.”


Cat gets a report from the Collective about Gregory Michaels and Section. The Collective had heard rumors about ‘Section’—some kind of shadowy, ultra secret, grey and black ops contract organization serving various government agencies and politicians. Since it appeared to be a small, private outfit, they had not previously investigated. Now, however, they have talked to their contacts in various governments.

Most had not heard of Section. They did find six people in high places who have heard of Section. These folks asked, “Why do you want to know?” Collective said, “We were thinking of hiring him.” Five of them said, “He knows how to get the job done,” and offered to make an introduction.

The sixth said, “That’s probably a bad idea. Yeah, he gets the job done, but then there are strings. Quid pro quo. Once you hire him and he’s done the dirty, he’s got you by the short hairs.” The sixth admits that Gregory Michaels has blackmail material on him and has threatened to use it. So far, all this sixth man has done is supply Michaels with intelligence. But he’s afraid it might go farther than that someday. “He’s a soulless bastard.”


The Collective also tells Cat they have been following Beryl Montcliffe, the new bingo buddy of Kyle’s mom Sharin. Everything seemed normal until her phone rang with a “wrong number” from a woman. They traced the call, which came from a pay phone.

Beryl left the house soon after and went to a local beauty salon. Beryl took a stylish “briefcase” there, which she placed on the floor next to an identical briefcase. Another customer soon left with the briefcase Beryl brought. Beryl took the second briefcase back to her house.

The Collective followed the other customer to a townhouse condo, and quickly established surveillance and phone taps. Sure enough, an encrypted radio burst transmission soon emerged from this person’s condo. They are working on decoding it, but they thought you might want to know the person’s location.

They give Cat a photo of the person, a name and the address. Photo is of a woman in her late 30s, average height and build. Light brown hair. The name is Margo Hemminway. Their NET research for such a person in Jamaica was a dead end (she does not exist). NET research on the townhouse condo is also a dead end. It’s rented with cash to Margo Hemminway. Ownership of the townhouse complex is completely ordinary.

Cat does not recognize the photo, and has never heard of a Margo Hemminway.


While looking out the window towards the beach, Cat gets a strange, tingly feeling that there’s something familiar about a young woman getting out of a car a little ways down the street and going onto the beach. But she’s too far away to see her face, and besides, she’s heading away from the house.

Cat launches a remote and gets a closer look. The woman has curly, reddish brown hair and café-au-lait colored skin. Her face is not one that Cat has seen before—but it’s the way this woman moves that seems familiar. Cat thinks it may be Tiffany—one of Sam Fisher’s naked chick, honey pot, next door neighbors back in Atlantic City.

Cat goes down onto the beach and confronts the woman—who at first denies being Tiffany. However, Cat’s olfactory sense cannot be wrong. She KNOWS this person is Tiffany. Cat warns her, “Don’t lie to me. I know it’s you.” She then demands, “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Tiffany admits that Cat is right about her identify and says, “It’s just surveillance. I’m supposed to report what Kyle is up to.” Asked if she works for Section, Tiffany says it’s true, but she’s not a loyal agent. She’s there undercover. Gregory Michaels killed her grandfather, and she’s been tracking that SOB down ever since. He’s always surrounded by his goons, so Tiffany hasn’t had a chance to kill him yet.

Cat leaves the beach and calls the Collective. She tells them Tiffany’s claim about her grandfather. Cat also asks them to follow Tiffany, learn what she reports about today to Gregory Michaels, and to investigate her thoroughly and interrogate her quasi discretely.


Ben Davies calls William about the floating hotel idea they discussed on the airplane. He says, “There’s a man in Geraldton interested in a project of that nature. His name is Ferrill Priddy. But don’t talk with Geraldton Mayor Elmer Cowan about this.” When William asks why not, Ben hesitates. “I’m not at liberty to say.”

(GM note: Tee hee! Ben knows that Elmer is corrupt. If contacted, Elmer would offer to expedite the licensing of the boat “for a fee, since it would normally wait in a long line.” Licenses for the islands are restricted. There’s a limit to how many are issued, so getting one means waiting until one of the current license holders dies or goes out of business—or agrees to waive renewal. Elmer knows many of the fishermen and “knows which ones are in need of a bit of cash.” But William didn’t go there. He complied with Ben’s request not to contact Elmer. Ah well, lost opportunities…)

William and Doc Freeman call Ferrill and set up a tour for tomorrow of the Abrolhos Islands, which are roughly 50 miles (80 km) west of Geraldton. Ferrill is thrilled to have found someone interested in investing in his pet idea.


Meanwhile, William also gets a call from his Senator at the Consortium. When William first contacted the Senator, he told William: “I haven’t heard the name Gregory Michaels, but I HAVE heard of Section. Three other Senators and one General at the Pentagon have mentioned that if I ever need something done ‘off the books and deniable,’ they know someone who runs a covert ops group called Section. They said it was a convenient outsource contracting for nasty stuff that needs to get done outside official channels.”

The Senator now reports, “I went back to two of the Senators and the General to find out more. Basically sounded out the consequences of supposing I asked him to do a job, then decided to back out later on. They’re all afraid of the guy. I get the feeling he’s got blackmail material on these people. Personally, I’d say to snuff him out like a bad penny, but—I don’t know. Governments might fall. He’s apparently really well connected.”


Thursday, April 20, 2045:

William, Doc Freeman and Allison fly to Geraldton for the tour of the Abrolhos Islands. The tour takes the entire day. Ferrill brags that he knows people in tourism and boats. He believes that ecotourism “is the future—the next big thing. Why, aside from minerals, which Western Australia is blessed with, our best natural resource is our wildlife, and these islands are teeming with a hundred species of birds, many kinds of fish, even sea lions. And of course, there are scuba opportunities for diving the wrecks of the Batavia and Zeewijk and other ships.”


[GM note: This collection of coral reefs is one of the world’s most important seabird breeding sites, as well as Western Australia’s Western Rock Lobster fishery. A small, seasonal population of fishermen has some shacks they use there while fishing, but they all live on the mainland. A limited number of tourists are permitted for day trips, but no camping is allowed and visitors must take away everything they bring with them. Aside from rainwater, there is no source of fresh water on the islands, most of which is off limits as conservation habitat. Numerous shipwrecks have occurred here, the most famous being the Dutch ships Batavia, which was wrecked in 1629, and Zeewijk, wrecked in 1727.]

Ferrill and William discuss ways of getting a floating hotel idea underway. The hotel could either be towed or move under its own power. William and Ferrill agree this would be an excellent way of bringing money into the local economy. William suggests using a catamaran structure, and getting a local builder to convert such a ship to a hotel structure, also setting up an LLC to manage it.

All three go scuba diving off the reef with Ferrill, and admire the area. Allison “vamps it up” with Ferrill. Ferrill is about 33 years old, handsome, apparently single, and richly dressed—but his social skills are crude, especially with the opposite sex. He says to Allison, “Hey babe, aren’t you a doll!” During dinner back in Geraldton where he wines and dines the trio, Ferrill suggests to her, “Whaddya say we get together later, play a little game of choo-choo? You be the tunnel, I’ll be the train.”

Allison, who did not appreciate this crude approach, decides to steal his wallet—and succeeds. His driver’s license reveals that his home address is not in a good section of town. It looks like this guy is putting on a show of having money but doesn’t really have much.

Meanwhile, the Collective informs Cat that Tiffany reported, “Subject spent the day at home with his girlfriend and bodyguards and two cousins, nothing new to report.” They tracked where the report was sent—namely an electronic drop box.

When Cat gives Kyle this news, he observes, “We’re in the middle of an op being watched by an organization with top-notch skills. We’re wearing our own faces.”

Cat chimes in, “Yeah, and traveling on our own passports.”

Kyle muses, “If we drop off the face of the earth that could be a problem.”

They decide to use a fresh set of radio channels.

While planning the Yao intrusion, Cat warns, “We can’t search his bedroom if he’s in the house.”

Kyle disagrees. “Sure we can.”

Cat asks, “How?”

Kyle replies, “Be Very, Very Quiet.”

However, there’s no need of extra caution. After Gene Yao and wife Loola leave for the day, Kyle and Cat launch their intrusion project. They don their Ghost suits. Randy drives them into the neighborhood—a rich section of town with little space between houses. The Ghostly duo Sneak to the house; Randy waits on the street for them to return.

Side view of Yao house:


The neighborhood has several cameras on the street, hooked into the traffic system. They have Nip loop these. The building itself also has three cameras: on the front door next to the garage, the back door (covered stoop on diagram below), and the entry door from the courtyard on the left side of the building. These cameras are hooked into the building’s security system computer.

While Randy waits, a teenage boy comes up to the car. He’s expensively dressed in Urban Flash style. The youngster says, “Hey, arch’cha… like Randy Shugart? Rescuer of the Timbuktu Twelve?”

When Randy admits he is, his fan continues. “Wow, man. I was watchin’ a documentary by that Shannon Wilson reporter chick. She is HOT. Didya know her? Didya get into her pants?”

Randy demurs, trying to persuade the kid to go somewhere else. But his tormentor continues. “So, have ya got friends here on the street? Do I know them? Whatcha doin’ here in Perth? Can I sit in the car with you?”

Randy politely refuses, but the teenager is not discouraged. “Ar’ncha based back in Jamaica? Whatzit like back in Jamaica? Want a hit, man?” Whereupon he pulls out a joint and lights up.

Meanwhile, back inside the house, Cat and Kyle release a grid bug—and with it Nip loops the external cameras.


Cat and Kyle sneak along the side of the building to the courtyard entry. Using Electronic Security, Cat works on the alarms while Kyle does the locks.

Once inside, they check everywhere, and easily find the upstairs office. Nip loops the camera over the door inside the office, and they find a safe inside. Electronic Security cracks the safe open—and they find a ledger. Bingo!! Here is Gene’s record of transactions, with dates and initials. It corresponds with the records at Wallabang Financial Consultants. There is no mention of Ben Davies.

Randy eventually succeeds in driving off his young admirer without alienating him.

Kyle takes the ledger so he can acquire a duplicate blank one. He plans to forge a copy, then place it back in the safe tomorrow before the Ben Davies intrusion. They also search the computer and find nothing of particular interest.

Retrieving the grid bugs and making sure to leave everything the way it was when they entered (comparing with photos taken when they first entered the rooms), Kyle and Cat leave the way they came. Randy drives them back to the beach house.


Friday, April 21, 2045:

Today, Cat and Kyle do two Ghostly intrusions: first, to replace the ledger they snatched last night from Gene’s home, then on the Ben Davies household. Again, Randy drives and Nip loops cameras. This house is also in a rich section of town with little space between houses. In the computer, they do find a newsletter from the Aphrodite Club in Hobart, Tasmania, but it’s completely for public consumption: announcements of wine-and-cheese tastings for members, menus, and high-society events in Hobart (such as opera and museums).

In Ben Davies’ safe, they find various notes relating to mining industry. Examples: geological surveys of mineral deposits and lists of operating mines. Notes in margins of Akhurst Coal and Boddington Aluminum records: “not ecofriendly—Collie/Alcoa better. Why?” There are also some records relating to Geraldton district. Meeting notes with local politicians. Among these is a note about Elmer Cowan, Mayor of Geraldton, dated a month ago: “Hinted at waterfront aquarium project for tourism. Suggested I join the Board with honorarium. Said I was too busy. INVESTIGATE.”

Here, Kyle takes pictures of everything potentially of interest. Again, they leave the house the way they found it, and go back to the beach house.


Saturday, April 22, 2045:

Kyle and Cat report back to Joost, giving him the evidence they found on both Gene Yao and Ben Davies. Joost thanks them, and arranges for their bonus pay. He informs them he will turn over the corruption evidence to the appropriate authorities—and Janie Phipps will have her exclusive for the media. He will not expose the sex issue.

As agreed, Kyle and Cat also meet with Janie Phipps and give her the scoop on their corruption findings.


Sunday, April 23, 2045:

The Team gets on the private jet arranged by Joost and return to Port Royal, Jamaica. Money appears in Kyle’s bank account.


Monday, April 24, 2045:

Janie Phipp’s exclusive report on Gene Yao hits the news on Monday morning. Gene Yao resigns and will be indicted for corruption.

This announcement is somewhat overshadowed by other breaking news: a sex scandal involving Minister Ben Davies. While Thadeus Brewer initially makes a statement standing by his cousin, Ben Davies immediately resigns.

Joost calls Kyle and sounds annoyed. “Did you say anything about the sex scandal to Janie?”

Kyle denies it.

Joost accepts this, muttering something about “one other possible source of the disclosure.”

[GM note: That would be Joost’s brother Pieter. Not only did Joost mention the sex findings to his brother, but Gregory Michaels had also learned this information and told Pieter. And, since Pieter’s entire motivation for getting his brother to hire the Team was to get dirt on Ben Davies and force him to resign, Pieter is one happy camper!]

In fact, Nicholas gets a text from Daphne, Pieter’s daughter, which says Pieter is smiling his smug, “I’ve got a secret” smile.

Kyle calls Joost back to report this detail, and that Joost might want to talk to his brother. Joost thanks Kyle for confirming his suspicions.


Tuesday, April 25, 2045:

The Consortium is doing the casino in Hobart, and decides not to get involved in the floating hotel idea.

William calls Ben Davies to express his condolences on having to resign and having such a mess dragged through the press. William says he “hopes your health is okay.”

Ben says he’s doing all right, though his wife is suing for divorce.

William invites Ben to come to Jamaica. He has a business proposal Ben might be interested in. He has plans drawn up and wants Ben to feel welcome here. Ben is grateful, and will look into it.

(GM note: Yes, Ben will accept this job. He needs a fresh start in a new locale. Not only which, he is GRATEFUL to William.)

Meanwhile, the assassin sent to kill William has given up the name of the fixer who hired him. The Consortium tasks Nicole “Nikki” Alexander to send a “message” to Magda Berchtold, the woman who hired the assassin and enemy from the Vienna Credit Bank Job. The Hungarian widow woke one morning to find the fixer’s chopped off head crowning a pyramid made from the heads of the rest of her personal security team and staff at the foot of her bed. Magda gets the message!


Wednesday, April 26, 2045:

The Collective reports that Tiffany has gone to Nevada. They investigated the story she told Cat —about Gregory Michaels having killed her grandfather and her having infiltrated Section. Everything she said checked out as true. They are continuing to watch her. So far, she has not betrayed anything untoward about Kyle.

Kyle and Cat debate what to do. They decide to go in disguise to Reno and interrogate Tiffany.

Kyle makes a pair of casual IDs with Paraguayan identities. He and Cat disguise themselves. Everyone else is on the Windfall. They tell Sharin and Beryl that they’re all going on a cruise. The pair land in Night City, and using cash, rent a car and drive to Reno.

Cat and Kyle pick up Tiffany as she leaves her apartment, and take her to a preplanned neutral location. They take her gun as a precaution.

Tiffany demands to know, “What’s this about?”

“Your career with Section,” Cat tells her. “How did you infiltrate them?”

Tiffany tells them she pulled a bank heist and got caught in a fashion that she was pretty sure would recommend her to Section as a potential trainee. Sure enough, they picked her up and reported her as “killed” in the heist.

Kyle asks what she’s been doing lately.

Tiffany replies, “Mostly surveillance, that sort of thing. Nothing all that difficult.” Asked how Gregory Michaels keeps his blackmail material, she tells them about four “little black boxes” kept in different cities around the world. Right now, she believes they are in London, Madrid, Ascension, and Singapore. She has names of three of the keepers, does not know the fourth.

At this point in the interview, Tiffany realizes this is Kyle and tells him so. When asked how she knows, the woman replies, “Michaels told me Mr. Vaduva was very versatile.”

They arrange a NET drop box method of staying in touch, because “abduction is so awkward.”

Cat tells Tiffany, “Keep us informed of your activities.”

Tiffany tells them, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice, “It’s been a real pleasure.”

The two return her Glock hand gun. Then they drive Tiffany to her apartment, go back to Night City, return the vehicle, and fly back to the Windfall.

And while the Team goes about its business, they are reminded that what they are doing is really unimportant compared to what is happening in other parts of their Cyberpunk World!
World News ServiceFlash!


Wednesday, May 3, 2045

The night sky over North America lit up last night as an estimated 20 kiloton nuclear weapon exploded aboard the United States Aerospace Forces main construction facility and space dock obliterating the orbiting complex. Between 5 and 6 thousand personnel normally work at the space dock in addition to 3 to 4 thousand Aerospace Forces members. All are believed lost.

Also destroyed in the explosion was the new United States Space carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, which was a mere three months from launching. Within an hour of the disaster the Voice of Wastes, the mysterious spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad, took credit for the strike promising that this was just the beginning of final campaign to destroy the “Great Satan” known as the United States of America. All American forces on planet and in space were put on alert.

President Whindham announced a full investigation is underway by the Central Intelligence Agency to find the guilty parties.

“This administration shall spare no effort to find the people responsible for this atrocity and bring them to justice. The blood of thousands cries out for vengeance and they will be answered!”

Around the world governments have pledged their support to find the terrorists. Even the European Union has called on Interpol to work with the United States to bring the perpetrators of this outrage before the world to be judged for their crimes.


(GM Note: The world is careening wildly towards war. It seems no crime is too outrageous. The Voice of the Wastes explains that the United States could not be trusted with such a powerful vessel that could be used for planetary bombardment so it had to go. Of course, The EU space fleet has several vessels capable of doing just that, but perhaps their security was a little tighter.)


World News ServiceFlash!


Friday, May 12, 2045

In a speech before the United States Senate President Whindham ‘declared war’ on the Islamic Jihad and called for the hunting down and execution of the Voice of the Wastes and his followers. The President’s speech was interrupted almost a dozen times by cheering and applause from the assembled Senators. Evidence has been collected proving that the device was a Pakistani Chagai-II warhead that disappeared during the Mid-East Meltdown almost fifty years ago. Although the passing years should have left the warhead inoperable, scientists believe that it could have been easily reconditioned and made active again. Indeed, intelligence suggests that this is exactly what happened.

The EU, Russian Federation, the Commonwealth and the People’s Republic of China among other nations have pledged their support to help hunt down the perpetrators of this ‘heinous’ act. Responses from the Islamic Jihad have been mixed. While the Voice of the Wastes continues to trumpet this “victory” over the Great Satan, others claiming to be the terrorist leader have condemned the attack. Many groups supporting the Islamic Jihad have also condemned the use of nuclear weapons as “un-Islamic” and an affront to Allah. Western intelligence experts dismiss these claims as a realization by some of the terrorist’s supporters that they have “crossed the line”. The overwhelming response by the world Muslim community to the nuclear strike has been negative.

(GM Note: And so life goes on. Will this impact the Team down the line? Only time will tell.)


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