FEBRUARY PERSONAL ACCOUNTS
|February 1st (MON) Game Session 005: (Hacker-Search)|
|Monday starts with Smythe arriving to Alice's home at 07.00 as usual
to pick her up. This time Alice notices that he has leased himself a nice
Audi A3 instead of boxy Toyota's he has used before. However, car's paintwork
is still the same common gray that seems to disappear to traffic without
a second thought. While Alice says nothing she thinks that her comments
on previous vehicles have finally taught Smythe to buy something sporty
enough. Smythe does not see change of vehicle worth mentioning but he notices
lack of nagging from Alice and comes into conclusion that he'll stay in
this vehicle type from now on. They get to BE Miami at 08.00 where they're
new business cards and corporate regalia is waiting for them already.
Tykes is waiting for them and orders them to office immediately. He has also gotten a word of the warning and he puts Cell 10 into an examination on what is going on. He is especially concerned of possible threats to Cell 10 and ultimately to BE as well. Computer security specialists have come into conclusion that whoever probed the site does probably guess that it is a front company. Cell 10 concludes that there is no threat even if hacker knows for sure that Paladin Systems is a front company. They decide to continue normally to lunch with Mr. Shea and believe that hacker was Mr. Shea himself and that now Mr. Shea knows for certain where they are going to go. Tykes is convinced and he gives permission to continue mission (09.30). Rest of the morning goes on watching through a series of car insurance claims that Cell 10 gets from Cell 8 and 9 that have been ordered to do a stakeout mission somewhere in Everglades swamps. Cell 10 members do not even bother to hide their glee when they learn that swamp stakeout goes on for entire week.
Cell 10 arrives to agreed meeting place at 13.30 where well-dressed Bruce Shea is already waiting for with a cup of coffee and a croissant. They exchange business cards and order a cup of coffee as well as sandwiches for lunch. Discussion continues along weather and other niceties until their orders are received and waitress disappeared. Alice explains the work to Mr. Shea with all the legalities they have been prepared before. In essence, they are consultants working for their client who'd need Mr. Shea's specialized skills. Mr. Shea is quite careful with his words and really does not agree to anything but he agrees to meet the client (or really their IT expert). They agree to meet at noon tomorrow and he'd like to learn details of his consulting work.
After Mr. Shea has left, Cell 10 finishes off their lunch and put Rodrico Laroche to get them a suitable meeting place for a business meeting. He finds out a suitable back room in a fashionable Coconut Groove area for Paladin Systems to hold a business dinner and a meeting in an hour so from BlackEagle's list of rental business meeting locations. They also agree with Client on how many people will come. They inform to Mr. Shea on how many people will come from Paladin Systems and how many from Client. He says that a legal assistant will accompany him as well (15.00). They will then arrange with restaurant the dinner for everyone coming times two, just in case.
They leave to home early but unfortunately a chemical transporting truck has fallen forcing evacuation of parts of Miami and traffic in entire city is in standstill. They do not get onto home until midnight and thus evening continues in sitting in traffic and writing crossword puzzles from a book bought from nearest shopping mall. Evening continues with pondering of such things as "2 words, common in Miami" and answer as "T-R-A-F-F-I-C-K and J-A-M".
|February 2nd (TUE)|
|Morning traffic is badly jammed as well but things get better after
noon when most of the clean up has been done. Morning is spent with car
insurance claims but Cell 10 leaves in good time to get into meeting place
arriving at 11.00. They notice that Linda Matherly, Assistant Legal Secretary,
is already in place and has been checking that everything works well. Cell
10 arranges how food is brought as well timetables for serving coffee.
Tables are rearranged to form a single long table more suited to serious
negotiation and sheets pulled to isolate it from possible interruption.
Cell 10 waits for guests to arrive after everything has been done with
Smythe waiting close to restaurant's front door to escort the guests in.
Bruce Shea and his smartly dressed lawyer arrive first (11.50). Smythe escorts them through the restaurant to backroom and he returns to restaurant side as soon as Motheley and Alice handle the discussion. Client comes then (11.55). There are two well-dressed guests and a bodyguard escorting them. Smythe takes the lead and shows them to backroom. Then he and a bodyguard sit on a table on restaurant side to drink for a cup of coffee and chat on weather and sports whenever waitress comes close. Meanwhile Alice sits close to kitchen door inside the meeting room while legal experts handle most of the discussion. Pretty much nothing happens during the first hour when everyone eats well and discusses on weather and niceties while finishing up their steaks. Lawyers seem to probe each other and there are few veiled comments on nature of the future work. After the waitress has cleaned up ice cream and coffee mugs the (13.30) discussion turns into earnest. Client's IT guru discusses with Bruce Shea on some technical details. They start with networking, turn into network security and protection methods and soon Alice (and everybody else in the room) drops from the conversation. Both have personal assistants and there is obviously traffic between machines as pad lights flash modestly. After an hour or so the IT guru and lawyer discuss on themselves and then talk turns into Paladin Systems. After some time the lawyers come out with several ready-made papers that all present read for several times. During this period Matherly asks for Alice to be ready to fetch Smythe to sign as well because deal is fairly close. Lawyers on all sides read documents for several times and Matherly prints draft papers with her personal color laser printer. With handshakes Alice picks up Smythe who also signs up papers on behalf of Paladin Systems on a deal where Bruce Shea is hired by Paladin Systems as a contractor to work on a contract they have got from Panamanian corporation called Star Systems. Exact nature of the work is somewhat vague but all involved are quite happy with the result.
Client's IT guru and lawyer leave and are escorted by their own bodyguard and Smythe until they leave restaurant. When Shea and his lawyer as well as all BlackEagle's personnel are all that is left on place. Shea gives a list of computer equipment that he needs to Mothley that prints it out to Cell 10 (17.00). They need to get Shea an office space for Paladin Systems work as well as necessary hardware...ASAP.
|February 2nd (TUE) Game Session 006: (Hacker-Search/Adventure Vacation)|
|Cell 10 leaves restaurant at last in 18.00 after they have checked out that place is throughout cleaned up of anything that might give out the purpose of their meeting. They drop Ms. Matherly to Johnson Tower and start to plan they next action. Alice suggests that they should leave everything to Rodriguez who handles front companies but Smythe disagrees on this on grounds that one should always be nice to secretaries. He immediately orders through internet the necessary computer systems that Shea wanted for. Alice privately thinks that US business management methods with heavy emphasis on whipping down and using up employees before they leave the job anyway does not seem to suit with business practices found on Europe with such socialistic ideas as humane treatment of subordinates. However, she sees that Smythe seems to know what he is doing and thus delegates herself more of a supervisory role in this work. Thus Smythe takes over the practical work of setting up office due his long experience spent on mothering some 200+ drunken buggering bastard bootnecks in RM Lympstone as a Company Sergeant Major with all the administrative headaches associated with diplomatic skills necessary for dealing with ruperts (and Alice Wilcox too). He phones to real estate company with around the clock service and asks for a suitable (30 square meters and preferably having data connections for LAN installed) office space and gets a meeting in next morning at 09.00. Then Cell 10 calls it up as a day (20.00) and Smythe drives Alice home before he goes home too (21.00).|
|February 3rd (WED)|
|Smythe picks up Alice in the morning (07.00) as always and they drive
to West Miami for a meeting with a real estate salesman. Morning air is
filled with smog and traffic is jammed as always. However, they get in
a nick of time (08.45) to a meeting. Office is quite average and normal
in gray, a bit old office building, with engineering consultant company
and accountant offices and small businesses filling up the rest of space.
Some nearby offices are still vacant too. Smythe handles practical details
while Alice concentrates more on looking at her personal assistant on things
yet to be done. After some haggling of price agreement is finally reached
and Paladin Systems buys themselves an office (11.00). Alice notices that
she has a lunch meeting with Mr. Armand Bounassissi. Smythe stays to carry
practical arrangements and is knee deep on measuring up office and filling
the furniture on his mind while Alice asks for and gets Smythe's Audi A3
to get into lunch.
Smythe carries on work. He arranges a meeting with a office furniture salesman who comes to show his wares (12.00). They eat lunch in a nearby coffee shop, while browsing through brochures and looking at various office furniture styles until some kind of agreement is reached (13.00). Then the whole affair is repeated in office to check out that everything really does fit as planned (14.30). With everything done, Smythe orders up the necessary furniture and is promised to get them in tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile Alice kicks up A3 to see how fast it really goes because traffic is quite light. She arrives in good time to The Shank, a decidedly trendy restaurant with clientele of well to do people. Alice swallows hard as she thinks for a moment of cost of dinner there. She is shown a table with a good look over the beach of Atlantic Ocean as she waits for her lunch companion to arrive. Bounassissi arrives in exact time dressed well and closing up cellular phone due business call. After a series of niceties they settle for quite excellent gourmet meal while he entertains his guest with light questions of her work. However, after the lunch discussion turns into more serious and he asks few questions of her rather international background and if she would be interested in working abroad. BlackEagle has numerous international assignments and they are always in need of new people with good language skills. He wonders if Cell 10 would be interested in foreign assignments. Alice states that she is ready to work abroad but Smythe has a family in Bahamas and might not be so eager to work abroad, especially for long time assignments. Armand nods and that is the end of discussion on subject. Afterwards Waiter brings up the tab and Alice has few heartbeats missing as she looks at the bottom line. While she is picking up her credit card with shaking hands, Armand coughs politely and takes over the bill with his own card. He grins that he was only joking on Friday when talking of the dinner but he is always ready to do anything to have such a lovely dinner companion. Suitably impressed Alice cannot but smile at him as they separate and Armand jumps to his sporty Mercedes to get into next meeting (13.30).
Alice returns to office (14.30) and signs up leasing agreements as a senior partner embarrassing much surprised salesman who was offering papers for Smythe to sign (16.30). With pretty much everything done Cell 10 calls it up for a day. Alice gets to drive Smythe's Audi (much to her own surprise). Smythe handles up the services like electricity, water, cleaning, connection to Internet service providers and the like through phone getting most services up by Friday. He does not even comment a word even when Alice high heel presses gas pedal quite heavily at times. Alice finds his behavior absolutely inconceivable but she does not dare to comment on it due fear of losing the very personal freedom what she just got. They get both in their homes by 17.30.
Smythe concentrates his efforts for going out to jogging. He drives to Barry University and runs up for some 10 miles before stopping to smoke a fag (he smokes West) cursing on in how bad shape he is now after leaving RM. He ponders the injustice of the world concentrating on a lack of decent fish and chips outlet in Miami. Then he tabs another 5 miles before going home.
Alice concentrates on dancing and gymnastics at home, as well as playing with Dali. However, she also phones (19.30) to Jane to invite her to her home. Alice is without doubt quite excited on spending a night together. Jane is not terribly thrilled of idea but they agree to go to movie together. After a suitable latest Hollywood blockbuster they go out for a drink and separate while agreeing to meet each other later (23.00).
|February 4th (THU)|
|Cell 10 gets to work at relatively early hour (8.30) thanks to light
traffic. Cell 10 spends most of the Thursday concentrating into settling
up a pile of car insurance claims. Some of that work is their own but some
of it is from Cell 8 and 9. Smythe goes through a series of faxes from
Paladin Systems business partners on services they have received from phone
company, utility companies and service companies.
Tykes approaches Cell 10 after lunch (14.00) and Smythe thinks smugly that they cannot be put in work since they are on a mission already. Tykes has -however- other plans in his mind. He wants Cell 10 and Smythe in particular to work as a weapon teachers to Mr. Gale, a prominent IT billionaire from Seattle who wants an adventuring holiday and BlackEagle Miami will handle it in BlackEagle Ranch. While BE Ranch has quite capable facilities the personnel is rotated through it and thus there is no cadre that could carry out all instruction and demonstration work. Thus Cell 10 has been assigned to demonstrate Mr. Gale for a weekend of modern weaponry. Mr. Gale has entourage of a doctor, lawyer and four bodyguards handling personal protection and needs. Work is 24/7 from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Cell 10, as well as Mr. Gale’s entourage, will stay on BE Ranch to minimize media visibility and for further ‘adventure’ to Mr. Gale. Nondisclosure agreement must be signed and verified prior to mission to protect Mr. Gale’s privacy. Confidentiality and secrecy are of utmost importance. Certain amount of flash is also expected.
Rest of the afternoon continues along lines of reading insurance claims. After Cell 10 has gone through a pile of claims they start to ponder on adventure weekend and both agree to think it separately for a moment and then combine their efforts in Friday for a plan. Only meaningful action in the rest of the day is Rest of the day goes on relatively quietly and they go together (16.30) to Paladin Systems office to receive the office furniture that comes in its packaging later that evening (18.30).
Smythe drops Alice off at home as always (20.00) and both make few phone calls explaining their temporary (in case of Alice) and permanent (in case of Smythe) significant others that they really have to work through the weekend and all things are off. However, Michael has to also explain this to his daughters as well. Rest of the evening goes fairly uneventfully at home doing domestic chores (with BE lifestyle no one seems to have time to clean up the apartment and place is a mess).
|February 5th (FRI)|
|Smythe picks up Alice from home and totally surprises Alice by driving to work as if he was Nigel Mansell. Alice is absolutely stunned and cannot even open up her mouth. After some time she learns from Smythe that he has been looking for a leasing agreement for a car. The final decision was made after he learned that billing address could be turned to his address in Miami instead of his permanent address in Bahamas, where his wife could learn of his extravagant spending spree. However, rental car company does not want to receive their car before Monday morning (to get more car rental payments) so Smythe gets back by punishing this rental Audi to the hilt. Morning is spent on Paladin Systems office where they get steady flow of workers from utilities putting office ready. Furniture is put together by another worker coming from furniture sales company and finally Computers arrive as well and they are installed for them. By noon, Paladin Systems has a fully functional office (although janitor, cleaning and office supplies will not be supplied until Monday morning). Cell 10 contacts Bruce Shea (12.15) who is especially interested in what kind of configuration computer equipment has. Satisfied that his wishes have been fulfilled, he accepts it and they agree to start work in Paladin Systems at Monday morning.|
|February 5th (FRI) Game Session 007: (Adventure Vacation)|
|During lunch Cell 10 members compare their ideas and notes for next
weekend for Mr. Gale. They notice, not terribly much for their own surprise,
that both have had very different viewpoints on what they should do. Alice
suggests that they should give in-depth look at modern small arms concentrating
on various weapon families. They should describe particularly well such
weapon art like Glock and Heckler & Koch families. Mr. Gale would thus
have a chance to try out every possible item and combination and see caliber
differences. She has a firm belief that Mr. Gale is a red-blood American
and thus loves to try out various guns. Michael Smythe has, however, somewhat
different view on things. He is thinking that Mr. Gale does not really
want to shoot out all day but is more interested in experiencing adventures
and thus would like to play act a soldier instead. Alice privately almost
admits that it is a good idea but she convinces herself that she caves
in to Smythe's idea in reality to prevent internal chasms in Cell 10. Being
passionate shooter Alice is quite irritated on idea that handgun caliber
size and their differences would be bypassed completely but she shakes
her shoulders, never mind that.
They return to Johnson Tower (14.00) for a video conferencing (14.30) where they meet Mr. Armand and Mr. Gale's lawyers, personal doctor and bodyguards still in Seattle. Subject of discussion is Mr. Gale's timetable and what exactly they can do there. Cell 10's draft plan is also dissected to detail. Various pieces of equipment and their use is presented, clarified and went through. Safety is the primary issue and it is made sure that BlackEagle is responsible for any and all damage that might happen to Mr. Gale. Armand Bounassissi look outwardly quite calm on that but internally he has butterflies in his belly thinking of surely following lawsuit of few tens of billions of dollars. Plan is somewhat modified towards Mr. Gale's somewhat vague wishes (he likes to try out modern weapons) yet keeping it adventurous. Next item they discuss through is security. Mr. Gale's bodyguards ensure that they are on top of that and order what they'll do in a crisis situation. Telephone numbers, walkie-talkie frequencies and the like are exchanged as well.
With the end of videoconferencing (18.00) Cell 10 goes home to get change of clothes for the weekend as well as grab their overnight packs too. Alice goes to see her neighboring old lady Melissa (19.00) who is again more than ready to look after Dali (and have someone to keep her company) while its mistress is on urgent work related trip. Meanwhile Smythe goes to lease a new vehicle more suited for the job that is a huge SUV (Yuppie Assault Vehicle) that is similar to ones Mr. Gale's team has rented. He also contacts L&P people (Morris Wiley) so they can gather up all the equipment necessary for the weekend, such as weapons, pyrotechnics and like. Morris promises to be available along with his assistant Valerie throughout the weekend. He picks Alice from her home and they drive to privately run Opa-Locka Airport that is used for transport flights of Resource Unlimited. Opa-Locka flies almost exclusively freight so Mr. Gale can arrive to there without being seen as many people as in Miami International Airport. He has gone with his own private jet to Chicago earlier, and there he immediately changed to another private jet and flew to St. Luis. His lawyer and doctor rendezvous with him in St. Luis. There the whole entourage changed yet again a private jet and flew to Miami arriving at 21.15.
After brief introductions with the perhaps most influential man in the United States (according to many -in the Free World, according few -in Earth), Cell 10 gets a brief glimpse of this unassuming super-nerd. During the introductions, his bodyguards check all three identical looking black tinted window equipped SUVs professionally and Cell 10 gets a good idea that they know their work quite well. When all vehicles are packed with luggage, whole entourage crams themselves in 3 SUVs. Cell 10 drives in First SUV working as trailblazer, with Mr. Gale and his doctor and two bodyguards in middle SUV and finally two bodyguards in the last SUV. Then convoy leaves for highway.
Traffic is relatively light and they arrive to BE Ranch in 22.00 where Armand Bounassissi waits for them. There more throughout introductions are held. Whole entourage is led to main building, old mansion, where they'll live through the weekend. They have a light supper and there is some free conversation but everyone goes to bed sooner than later. One of Mr. Gale's bodyguards will be up throughout the night (in rotating shifts of two hours). Bodyguard is watching television in the living room changed into a hall.
|February 6th (SAT)|
|Michael Smythe wakes up in 05.15 and goes out to smoke his first fag
and tabs few miles. He checks bodyguard on his way out and when he returns
at 05.45. Meanwhile Alive wakes up in 06.00 and she hurries to warehouse
to check material they had ordered in the Friday after Mr. Gale's timetable
had been thought out. She meets Smythe there as well and both check out
gear finding all in good shape and functioning properly. Even half of the
magazines have been loaded up (which pleases Alice to end as loading up
the last few rounds is always a bitch).
Breakfast time is agreed to be 08.00 and Mr. Gale arrives promptly for it dressed, as everyone else too, for outdoors activity with boots and lightweight outdoors dress. During the breakfast a helicopter arrives to stand in preparedness in case Mr. Gale has to leave urgently or he needs to be taken into hospital. Alice and Smythe wear both lightweight khaki and boots for day's activity.
First item in weekend is the safety lecture at 09.00. Smythe goes through the standard 45-minute long safety lecture he has given for years to an end in RM with the slide show and finished up with the essential adage that "IF YOU FOLLOW THESE RULES YOU WILL LIVE LONGER THAN "EXPERTS" WHO DO NOT!" After lecture there is room for questions and Mr. Gale makes several. They are fairly basic in nature so Cell 10 gauges that Mr. Gale's understanding of these issues is somewhat elementary in nature and similar to what Recruits ask of him in RM Lympstone (and which would lead to stoning in RM Poole). Still Smythe keeps up the standard face and answers every question patiently. Rest of the entourage is fairly quiet during the safety lecture although Armand makes few questions to encourage Mr. Gale to ask more of them.
Next item in schedule is pistol range (10.00) where various handguns have been set up for demonstration. Alice again goes through safety issues in range in first for few minutes time. Then comes checkup that everyone surely has double ear protection of earplugs and hearing protectors. Because Mr. Gale's answers gave her idea that he knows next to nothing of weapons, she starts from the very basics that they teach in FBI Academy in Quantico. After brief explanation of various bullets and their comparative sizes (and making a off-the-cuff remark toward British weapons) she lets Mr. Gale touch them (without magazine) to get feeling of them and shows various weapons that are familiar in movies and novels, such as James Bond's Walther PPK.
Next comes actual firing (10.20) where Mr. Gale tries first Glock G19 (9mm Parabellum) shooting at target in 5 meters and then SigSauer P220 (in .45 Caliber configuration) to do again. Alice will be constantly close correcting his shooting position and showing ways to hone out most common errors. Since his shooting results were not terribly accurate she lets him shoot through several magazines that he gets at least one hit on target. She notices to Mr. Gale that his bodyguards have .357 Magnum revolvers and shows bullets they fire and then how small this is compared to Magnum .44 made famous in Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry movies. Thus she lets him fire heavy kicking S&W M29. After first round she notices that this heavily kicking weapon is too powerful to Mr. Gale and thus Smythe will demonstrate him heavy kicking S&W M29 Magnum .44 shooting whole cylinder to demonstrate size and power of this weapon. Due tiredness of Mr. Gale Alice then takes over shooting and demonstrates him some basic shooting techniques used by FBI and police agencies peppering through several targets.
Then go back to main building to eat some lunch (11.00) that Alice found superb compared to usual fodder they consumed (it could not de described as enjoyment) during L&P Operative Training Course. Perhaps fact that kitchen has same budget as always but only tenth of usual number of mouth to feed has something to do with it. Mr. Gale is quite interested in background of Alice and Smythe who answer with best of their knowledge keeping details by themselves. His understanding of nature and operations of BlackEagle are also somewhat foggy. Alice ponders for a moment of explaining that her actual job detail includes paying ransom money to kidnappers and making computer crimes but she settles to explaining they work in security field. Then she is saved by Armand who carries on discussion firmly towards BE's less shady activities such as training services to law enforcement agencies and other things that fit firmly to conservative and upstanding image of the BlackEagle/BlackEagle Security and Investigations Incorporated.
Next item (12.00) is a shoot/no-shoot range used in training police forces. At first Alice explains again the basics of firearm safety regulations and reminds everyone of dangers. Mr. Gale is shown a typical range setting, where police officer walks thought the range and stops in various positions to respond a set situation where he has to shoot if necessary. First he is shown rogues gallery (right out of FBI's Most Wanted list) and then to the actual range with a half a dozen respond locations. First time Alice explains how range works and they go through the range without guns and she shows how various encounters work. On second time Mr. Gale goes through the range with a weapon but without ammunition and Alice walks next to him explaining what to do in calm and steady voice. Third time is for real and again Alice walks right behind him, ready to grab his arm if things go out of hand. At the same time doctor walk few meters behind both of them in case something does go wrong. Mr. Gale's results are not terribly bad, for a first timer. However, he'd be slain in a moment in a real firefight. Alice sees no reason to point out this fact to him, especially since Mr. Gale is clearly quite pleased to have been done so far.
Next (13.00) they all do a short walk of fifty-odd meters from pistol ranges to SMG range. There is a table filled with most common and famous sub-machineguns from novels and films and television news. Smythe takes over the training and he explains basic fire arms safety rules again. Then he goes through some of more common SMGs and what kind of weapons they are and who uses them for what. Looking at Alice he also makes somewhat off-the-cuff remark that USA has not made a decent SMG for quite a long time and used SMG bought from other countries in work necessary to really important work. Following this lecture Smythe puts a body armor on Mr. G because of dangers of firing SMG.
Smythe then gives Mr. Gale H&K MP5-A2 and lets him shoot single rounds (13.20) and finally three round bursts while Alice makes sure that Mr. Gale has braced himself properly against recoil. After honing off several wrong -probably learned from television and movies- stands, such as hip firing, he finally allows Mr. Gale to fire entire magazine in single fire and then another with three round bursts to targets. Despite good controllability of MP5 the last round of every burst rises considerably high.
Next Smythe and Alice who have been pondering a moment whether to allow Mr. Gale shoot with Uzi decide to allow him to fire magazine filled with ten rounds in full automatic. Mr. Gale fires eagerly and things almost go out of hand as gunfire uncontrollably and most rounds go right in the air. Alice thanks God that Mr. Gale is not wounded and hopes that safety zone in surrounding areas are really as void of population as map in main building shows it should be. Because Mr. Gale is quite enthusiastic of firing a full automatic weapon, and did not actually notice what happened, Smythe decides that they are better off keeping coffee break right now earlier than planned. He thinks that enthusiastic shooter and full automatic weapon is a bad combination.
During coffee break in Main Building of BE Ranch Mr. Gale explains his experiences of the day but both Alice and Smythe get invited by Mr. Gale's doctor to meet him outside building, right now! Cell 10 gets a pep talk from doctor who has fixed up gunshot wounds in both peace and war before coming to work as Mr. Gale's personal doctor during his traveling. Doctor says that this is going to be last time when Mr. Gale shoots in full automatic in this weekend. After some intensive discussion Cell 10 adjusts their schedule to fit to this new requirement.
After the coffee break (14.15) every one jumps into two HUMWVs and they drive to explosives training facility within BE Ranch. Alice is behind the wheel and she makes sure that sand flies when they drive through sandy roads to make sure that Mr. Gale gets some extra excitement. Furthermore, she has asked that their HUMWVs have machinegun (without ammunition of course) in a pintle mount for some extra show-off.
At the actual engineer training site (14.45) Smythe makes everyone dress into body armor and helmet fight from the start. Then he explains again all the safety regulations concerning firearms and then meticulously goes through safety regulations concerning explosives. Next phase is ran by Armand who explains that only Mr. Smythe has legal rights in this group to actual handle explosives due their dangers and federal laws. Mr. Gale's lawyer agrees to this. Thus explosive demonstration will be only a demonstration and the rest of the group will follow it from a safe distance in a bunker. First part of Smythe's safety lecture is a demonstration of exercise hand grenade that is first thrown to show how small the explosion looks like when looked at, especially when compared to how explosions look in the movies. Then the next phase is to put such a grenade under a helmet laid on ground to see how high the detonation rises the helmet. Chatter pretty much died out when everyone saw how that helmet flew higher than treetops.
Smythe demonstrates first a M72 LAW and what are its parts. Then Mr. Gale is allowed to shoot exercise rocket from a trench towards a vehicle. Since rocket is made of stone it just flies some 10 meters and falls on ground while bang and feeling of launch is quite impressive for the first timer. However, Smythe moves like a shadow next to Mr. Gale ensuring that everything goes well and throughout explaining safety ranges in behind and front when firing such weapons. Mr. Gale is suitably nervous yet impressed when he fires the rocket and returns back to rest of the observers while Smythe goes to pick him up the rocket as a souvenir.
Next Smythe demonstrates most common military explosives, TNT and C-4 plastic explosive as well as necessary fuses, detonators and timers for making actual demolitions. Following lecture phase he invites Mr. Gale to carve his initials to TNT block. Then the block is taken to range and put against a suitable metal sheet. Smythe handles all details that it can be exploded with a primer cord. Then he demonstrates to Mr. Gale how the cord is lit and they both hurry to safety of bunker in good time to see actual explosion. After waiting for suitably long time Smythe approaches the metal sheet and brings Mg. Gale another souvenir, a metal plate with his initials exploded into it.
Final explosive demonstration includes exploding C-4. Smythe chooses only a matchbox size slice of it, which he takes to a nearby rusty and badly damaged old Dodge Ram. Dodge has also a small can of one liter of gasoline that Smythe will marry with C-4 and a safety fuse. Upon returning back to bunker, he sets up everything necessary for command detonation. Then with everything ready, he lets Mr. Gale to personally detonate it. Explosion is nothing short of spectacular with gasoline burning up and car visibly moving under strain of explosion. Mr. Gale is quite impressed as well.
Then they return back to ranch for a dinner (17.00) and Alice again shows her skills in defensive (or is it offensive?) driving. Rest of the day goes along a very long and very heavy dinner. Dinner is quite superb and it is clear from quite relaxed table discussion that Mr. Gale is exceedingly excited of what he has seen today. Talk goes on and Cell 10 gets plenty of questions concerning this and that on modern weaponry and the like. Discussion, however, stays in general level for the evening. Armand again takes over discussion when dinner quests go out to enjoy sunset and a cigar. During the discussion and a glass of quite excellent cognac Mr. Gale confesses that his dear wife Jennifer does not allow him do this at home due children.
While talk in veranda goes on fighting again day's action Cell 10 leaves to busy itself for yet another job. They see Cell 8 and Cell 9 that have been slavering all afternoon setting up a squad's (or more precisely a Section as Smythe calls for it) defensive firing demonstration. Both teams are dead tired for being in jungle for last week in poacher hunting and being immediately tasked to help working in BE Ranch. Smythe shares little (well, none really) sympathy for them and Alice glances over (well, she really openly glees) at them.
At around 20.30, when discussion in the veranda has gone from polite jokes to perhaps more man talk such as naughty joking on latest activities of Penelope Lopez -America's top sex symbol, Alice arrives to ask if Mr. Gale would be interested in seeing something more this evening. Not surprisingly he is and they pack themselves for two HUMWVs that carry whole entourage to see the action.
In the range (21.00) Mr. Gale gets to stare at the range on Smythe that waves from the darkness. While he sees almost nothing, Alice gives him to look with two night vision devices, thermal imager and a light intensifier. Then Smythe lits up a cigarette to let Mr. Gale again see the difference between various systems and how these allow people to be seen in the night. When Smythe arrives to positions he leads guests to bunker and gets behind a microphone to run the demonstration of images and sounds of the battlefield.
Cell 8 has been chosen to the role of defending infantry. Thus they all run into their positions dressed in tiger stripes, body armor and armed to the teeth with assault rifles and squad automatic weapons while enemy force depicted by various rising and falling targets 'approach' positions. Then with the setting up of charges to depict enemy 'artillery firing'. Smythe keeps his voice calm and depicts flow of action until his voice is completely drowned by string of gunfire as defending Cell 8 opens up on 'charging enemy' to pin them down. With the enemy advance stopped, "friendly artillery" comes down punishing enemy and for a moment smoke fills up the air. Then targets depicting enemy start to come up and down going further away from the enemy as Cell 8 pours down a hail of bullets on their back to chase broken down enemy while illuminating rounds and tracers lit up the sky until all enemies are finally 'killed off'. Meanwhile Smythe explains to guests how action is going forwards and why certain things are happening as they are to the audience. Whole audience is quite captured by the show and while Mr. Gale follows it all with open mouth, Alice is controls herself well enough to keep her mouth at least shut. Even Smythe nods agreeing to the demonstration. Cell 8 is nothing compared to a section of RM Commandos but they are competent enough to let things roll adequately.
Afterwards (22.30) Alice drives guests off the range and Smythe leaves behind to guide Cell 8 and 9 to clean up the mess from range. Talk in the car is quite enthusiastic on what they saw in demonstration. Back in ranch Mr. Gale and his layer and Armand take another cigar and another glass of cognac to help sleep come. Meanwhile Alice waits for Smythe who has put Cell 8 to work through the night to clear area for tomorrow. Clock shows some 23.00 when they both retire to sleep while Mr. Gale's bodyguards sit through the night touring on watching television and sleeping.
|February 7th (SUN)|
|Sunday morning start at 05.15 for Smythe who goes out to run few miles
(excuse) and smoke a fag (reality) He returns at 5.45 and eats up early
breakfast with Alice who wakes up a bit later at 06.00. Smythe leaves early
(06.30) with one of Mr. Gales bodyguards to rifle range to set up a sniping
demonstration while Alice checks up puny FAV sand buggies for today's driving.Mr.
Gale's bodyguards do not like idea of someone sneaking up on Mr. Gale,
because they are worried that something might happen during the demonstration
and thus one of them is at all times checking where Smythe is while rest
of the bodyguards can concentrate on looking for real problems.
Breakfast is eaten in relaxed circumstances in 08.00 and at 08.45 Alice packs up Mr. Gale to her vehicle and kicks up tiny FAV for high speed driving through a bit longer route giving Mr. Gale some exciting driving. Rest of the entourage follows in a HUMWV following a bit behind of them. Alice gets a kind of excited on FAV and thinks that she would like to have one of these for her garage for some fun driving in future. Giving idea a bit more thought she thinks she should be a bit more generous to herself and she should get Audi A8 too.
In the rifle range (09.00) Mr. Gale is given very powerful glasses and shown where Mr. Smythe is in the field. As Mr. Gale and the rest of entourage tries to find him, the assigned bodyguard keeps rest of the bodyguards well informed where "Mr. Smith" actually is to avoid any unnecessary alarms. Smythe crawls carefully through the range until he finally rises up after crossing an open field and he reveals himself (09.05). After returning back to impressed audience he explains how snipers use terrain to their advantage and use 'Ghillie' suits to camouflage themselves. He takes off the suit and lets Mr. Gale to look and touch the suit and see how heavy, cumbersome and hot it is to wear. The actual subject for the day is sniping. Smythe goes through the safety issues first. Next phase is describing how military snipers work and what they really do.
After the lecture Mr. Gale is shown a PSG-1 rifle and Smythe shows him how to get a good firing position, controlling breathing and a good shot. He moves around Mr. Gale checking out he gets a good position at first and then he goes on to practice zeroing the weapon. After first few groups Mr. Gale can adjust the sights while Smythe checks that it is properly done correcting politely but firmly any errors. Next Mr. Gale is shown a 'real' target. He has to find a target with a face similar to picture he is shown by Alice at range to some 200 meters. As he acquires the target Smythe helps him to adjust the scope and keeping a good position to fire few rounds on target to finally get a hit accurate enough for target to fall.
Following sniping work Mr. Gale is shown something with more power for hitting a target (09.30). There is a heavy sniper rifle of .50 Caliber for him to try out next. He is shown the bullets to fully understand the power difference between these two weapons. Mr. Gale is shown a brightly painted oil barrel set at 700 meters for him to try to zero this monster of weapon. Weapon recoil is quite tiring but Mr. Gale is determined to get a hit. Thus he grinds his teeth and manages to hit it with seventh round. Since barrel was filled with water the hit is spectacular with barrel bursting open like a tin can, much to satisfaction of both shooter and Cell 10 (that wanted their guest to enjoy his time).
Next phase is machineguns at 10.00. While doctor has made certain Mr. Gale should not be left close to machineguns, Smythe has set up two of them on tripods (which have been sandbagged too for extra support) to let him try these weapons too. Doctor nods to Cell 10 since machineguns are relatively safe to fire, especially since Smythe will act as a loader feeding ammunition from box. Smythe shows how to put weapons ready to fire and Mr. Gale gets to shoot them against a sand wall and two oil barrels set there as targets. First weapon is a M60 that was selected because it is so often seen in the movies and second was a M2HB that was selected to give Mr. Gale an idea of what kind of a weapon heavy machinegun really is. Needless to say, he is extremely impressed on sheer volume of fire that machinegun in sustained fire role can spat on range.
Following this rather exhaustive morning there is a lunch (11.00) that is eaten on range. Lunch is somewhat different than usual meals since it is eaten on the field. Cook has come out to field and has somehow turned standard military rations into quite edible lunch. During the lunch Alice and Smythe answer any questions that Mr. Gale have on technical matters of modern weapons while otherwise Armand takes over the discussion on things concerning BlackEagle activities.
Both Alice and Smythe notice that their guest quite tired from shooting with heavy sniper rifle and continuing to grind on whole belt from both machineguns. That is hardly a surprise considering their guest's nature of work. Thus they decide to radically shorten up the original schedule. Thus they'll skip non-lethal weapon part and decide to introduce Mr. Gale directly to close quarter battle.
Cell 8 has been working through night to clean up the mess of last nights firing and most of the morning too to set up a hostage rescue mission to give Mr. Gale a wind of in close quarter battle. With the end of lunch everyone packs up on vehicles and drives on to BE Ranch Main Building first to get changed and then drive to urban combat tire house complex (12.45).
On site Alice and Smythe give Mr. Gale a safety lecture (13.00) and then Alice takes over explaining urban crime wave currently rocking United States and how police employs various paramilitary units to deal with dangerous situations. She lies convincingly that the mission they are about to carry out is based on real FBI raid on a crack house (true) to rescue a small child captured by doped up drug dealers (false). Then she continues how the raid turned out into a firefight as criminals opened up fire first on brave FBI Special Agents (nonsense). She does not bother to mention small details like that all criminals surrendered without a shot fired and that child was found after criminals had been arrested in subsequent search of the house. Anyways, Mr. Gale is so impressed on speech Alice delivers while she is standing in black suit and armed to the teeth with Simunition blanks firing MP5 and assorted assault gear while showing pictures of house and pictures of suspect criminals. Smythe on side is following the briefing with one ear only as he is busy putting up gear ready for assault. Alice on the other hand can barely hide her own enthusiasm. After all, she has led hundreds of big busts in her career, well, at least in her dreams, anyway.
After the briefing Alice takes over the assault and checks up gear for everyone. Smythe walks on with a shotgun while Mr. Gale and she carry blank firing SMGs. Raid is first trained with figures in hand with a model, then as a dry run without weapons and then as another run with weapons but no ammunition to attack pop-up targets present there. After a good time of training Alice informs that next one will be done for real (14.00).
Raid starts as Mr. Gale and Cell 10 run next to wall for front door. Smythe goes to door to play act he is trying to pick lock. He says that door does not open so Alice orders him to shoot the door open. Right after Smythe blows door through the hinges Mr. Gale is supposed to run in and shoot armed criminals in room. He does, however, manage to stumble in and shoots most of his magazine right through the roof. However, backup comes and Smythe drops both targets with his Benelli M1 on Mr. Gale's sector with two shots on both targets while Alice pushes her SMG forwards so it touches the target and empties half a magazine right into it but she somehow remembers to scream "FBI! Freeze" along the way on heat of action. After everyone screams "Clear!" on top of their lungs they run to next door. Smythe reloads his shotgun as Alice checks if the door is locked. It isn't so she screams she's going to use a flash-bang. Smythe grabs Mr. Gale and pushes him as far from the door as possible and screams to cover his eyes as Alice kicks door in and throws grenade in. After load explosion and flash Smythe lets go of Mr. Gale who runs blindly in to grab a child from the cradle as Cell 10 perforates two targets representing criminals on room. Right as Alice and Smythe scream again "All Clear!" Mr. Gale run right out of house bringing out a saved hostage. Alice covers him with half-supporting, half-carrying Mr. Gale as they hurry through the house. Meanwhile Smythe covers them both. He instinctively, without even thinking it, shots every target once in a head with his shotgun as he retreats from the house, to secure the place.
Alice gasps for air feeling just for a moment being a super heroine who can do anything she wants and the adrenaline runs in his veins just like in the only dangerous narcotics bust she actually did in her career in a foggy alley in Newark. Smythe grinds his teeth together with sick feeling on his belly remembering Falklands and Northern Ireland and curses on his mind he never applied to Shaky Boat Squadron. And their guest? He gasps for as if he was suffocating and hugs the child doll as it was his own daughter. He has rush he hadn't felt since he was freckle faced nerdy boy dating most gorgeous girl in the world and knowing he'd score tonight and marry her in future. His hands are shaking.
Rest of the afternoon goes as if it was a dream for Cell 10. Armand takes over the weekend now that it is winding down. They drive back to Main Building (14.30) and take a shower and Mr. Gale changes back to his business dress and sets ready to leave (15.30). Armand handles most details and dead-tired guest and Cell 10 drive back to Opa-Locka (16.30) where Mr. Gale and his entourage step to the business jet Cell 10 looks at the plane as it leaves (16.45). Business Jet flies to St. Luis, where planes are quickly exchanged (18.45) and then private jet turns towards Seattle. Mr. Gale in plane lit up a cigar, then phones to Jennifer back home that she is better get her ass on bed right now as he has gotten shore leave and he's gonna get some poontang tonight. It is a candy day and she is going to eat a whole box of it.
The weekend and its adrenaline bomb are over for Cell 10 too. Cell 8 has been left behind to clean up the mess on BE Ranch and Smythe drives Alice back to her home and returns SUV to car rental. Then he drives his rental Audi to home for the last time to enjoy the rest of the weekend. Both are quite tired but satisfied and spend fairly quiet evening at home while waiting for Monday morning and start of their real work in Paladin Systems.
|February 8th (MON) Game Session 008: (Hacker-Computer Crime)|
|Exactly at 07.00 Smythe picks up Alice and he drives (again too slavishly
according to traffic regulations along silent opinion on Alice) to their
new "work" in Paladin Systems. Meanwhile Bruce Shea has arrived a bit earlier
and he is waiting there for them at the door.
Cell 10 and Mr. Shea start with a meeting (09.15) to ponder how to proceed.
Shea cautiously probes for experience of Cell 10 in this line of work. Since it soon becomes clear that they have no real experience in this, Mr. Shea takes over the meeting. He suggests that they'll work from easiest way to more difficult (and to one where chance of getting caught is higher) later, if necessary. He suggests first that he'll probe around WWW-sites and try to send viruses through email and poke at firewall. However, he also muses that if company has done its homework, these methods will not work, and more direct (and far more dangerous) approach must be chosen in terms of personal intrusion. In real terms it means breaking and entering. Alice privately thinks that Cell 10 does has skills and will to do it....well, willingness at least for certain.
Rest of the morning goes on with Shea doing basics of hacking. He downloads (10.00) as much as he can from target company's website to Cell 10 so they can start to collect as much information as possible about HPD Systems and its employees. Alice concentrates on studying HPD Systems and coming out a list of few of its employees. Smythe is pretty much tied by such routine affairs like arranging office supplies and kitchen wares comes as they should be. Alice is personally (although privately) quite satisfied with her Mr. Secretary while Smythe privately knows that satisfied Rupert is the beginning of wisdom.
Most of the day goes on going through HPD Systems' material. However, Cell 10 thinks beyond this and thus they start to gather more information on physical site of the company. They go through location, architecture, approach and security. They especially look at the security. She goes through some of the databases in BE office but also decides that some kind of "local expert" opinion would be good as well. Thus she calls (18.30) to leader of Cell 4, Miquel deCortez, who is more than happy to help her, as long as he gets to a dinner tonight. Alice somehow manages to keep his composure and she convinces him to change his dinner invitation to lunch invitation in next day. DeCortez, who is currently driving and receiving calls to his cellular phone, agrees to it and promises to call as soon as he gets to BE office and can run phone conversation easier than languishing in downtown traffic.
Around 19.00 deCortez calls to Paladin Systems. He immediately starts to answer Alice's questions on various problems and security issues and security companies. He has good knowledge of police and security companies in Miami area and he soon describes those that are relevant to her. However, he also describes a bit of 'rent-a-cop' system used by many companies in Miami (and in several other great cities). Many higher end security companies use police officers who work there for second jobs. They have far less oversight (if that is possible in corrupt Miami) than regular cops do but they also know how get help as quickly as cops on duty. Furthermore, they almost get same treatment in justice system as police compared to more unsavory small security companies and consultants. HPD Systems is exactly the kind of company that uses these more respectable higher end security guard companies. Hearing these details Alice hopes that she never needs to face these guys on this line of work.
At 24.00 Alice asks from Shea if he needs to work through the night. Shea, who has been working with his computer all day looks at the pile of used plastic coffee cups on his garbage can and thinks that he needs not. He -like everyone else- is very tired and ready to quit it for the day. Shea speaks something of needing some extra software that gets from his home tonight. Paladin Systems employees thus garee to call it quits and and go home to rest. Smythe drives Alice home (01.00) while Shea jumps to his own car.
|February 9tth (TUE)|
|Tuesday morning starts with Smythe picking up Alice at 07.00 as always
and driving her to Paladin Systems through traffic jam. They arrive (08.15)
a bit earlier than Bruce Shea who comes with his own Ford Lexus (08.30).
Days goes on pretty much like yesterday. Cell 10 looks and learns more
and more details of HPD Systems while Shea concentrates on breaching firewall.
Alice checks if BlackEagle has been advising, perhaps or even running security systems to HPD Systems facilities but comes out nothing. Noting how easy it would have been to breach security if they'd have done it. Alice stops for a moment to ponder the consequences of this line of idea. It would certainly be a conflict of interests if one hand of BE would infiltrate into a facility protected by BE. BE could be asked to investigate and legal headaches would be enormous. Then she shrugs the idea from her mind and thanks that she is not one of snake-like high flying corporate lawyers BE uses to ponder these problems.
Cell 4's boss Miquel de Cortez arrives around noon. He is somewhat casual dressed, young, even teenage looking, hispanic man with right attitude. There is certain casual coolness in his actions and Alice is quite surprised how young he looks compared to chain smoking and gruffy man she saw a month ago in Tampa running hostage exchange. "Must be the shave, must be", she thinks. DeCortez is certainly a man's man and shows it to "little girl" he is going out with and Alice puts on her best ice queen act to fight fire with fire. Around half way of the trip deCortez softens up his act a bit and Alice backs up too. Prospect of going through the lunch with with him seems better and better.
Meanwhile Smythe has to go to BE Ranch to back-up a instructor who got into accident yesterday in a demonstration and they urgently need an instructor who is qualified to handle and train people to vast majority of small arms and explosives that law enforcement agencies need in their work. He diligently phones to Alice this turn of events and that he is no more available for the rest of the day.
DeCortez drives Alice to a rather nice, if unassuming Cuban restaurant
in El Portal close to Little River. Food is good, and deCortez seems to
have that fine refined combination of suave exterior with real macho strength
beneath. Talk goes on and on of Miami in general terms and BE business
in particular. He has extensive amount of information of recent narcotics
business trends and that he often does gang related work due his teenage
looks (that Alice is ready to agree with too).
Meanwhile Shea has been working on high pressure. It is obvious that the facade of niceties is dropped and he is quite tense now. She has learned that he knows his value and does not hide it when he is working with people who are not professionals in his line of business. Alice gives him a wide berth since she knows that Shea knows his business.
Anyway, he comes to say that firewall seemed unpregnable from his point of view and that his attempts to send bogus emails and any suitable attachments have been pretty much dead ends. Administrator seems to have had enough time to start some countermeasures to his attempts too. This all seems to reflect that HPD Systems does not just have a very capable administrators but that they seem to have special administrator that does nothing but security work filtering and reading company email and even maintaining and checking firewall any possible breach. Shea has to admit (14.00) that his opposition is too strong for him to breach it with ordinary methods, at least with so short time frame.
Shea suggests that next phase should be getting more information of inner workings of company. They should make a breach through some person who has passwords and enough access to internal material that more information of the company could be obtained. Cell 10 members have relatively short list of people to choose from as web page material and phone books have only few members of management or sales. Alice thus decides to use tomorrow for working through series of information requests. She informs Shea that she'll do the background work and that he is not needed for the next few days until they get the target identified for intrusion. Shea agrees and they agree to keep in contact when he is needed again.
Since Michael has to inform that he will work late Alice takes a taxi (16.00) to drive home (17.00). Back in home Alice cleans up the small apartment pondering just how much dust it can collect while she is away in her evenings. Next part is to spend a good hour on dance exercises to stay on shape. Then it is time to take the main culprit to eternal dust in her apartment for a walk and play with her only real man in the world, Dali. She is hardly disappointed as Dali plays with his mistress as eagerly as ever.
|February 10th (WED)|
|Alice picks up a taxi in the morning (07.00) and heads for Johnson
Tower. Arriving there she finds -much to her annoyance- that there is a
small pile of paperwork waiting for her. Alice decides to task a couple
of hours to paperwork signing all papers that Smythe has arranged (during
the night) for her. Some papers concern weekend's adventure vacation while
others include paper war for Paladin Systems.
After few hours (11.00) Alice finally decides to call it quits and she turns her concerns to HPD Systems employees while muttering that she should have go to work this from 'company' office instead. However, she quickly gets to serious business of information gathering. She uses her status as a insurance inspector to the hilt while making questions and checking data. She goes through socioeconomic background (like marital status), CV, credit rating (and income and expenses) and insurance information. It is business as usual to Alice because she has been doing eaxtly same work in the FBI for the most of the time.
After several hours (16.30) some sort of a picture starts to compile.
Alica has eight persons before her. She chooses two salesmen who seem to
be most active of the lot and who would probably stay away from home. One
is single and clearly lives a high life of night clubs, expensive vacations,
latest hi-fi and other high tech toys. Another one is married but has no
children. His money goes to buy expensive dinners, dresses to his wife,
holidays and common evenings like nice restaurants and concerts. The rest
are somewhat more settled down with children and expenses associated like
dental bills and riding hours.
Looking at her watch Alice phones to her friend Jane that they should go out so she could make up the weekend meeting she had to cancel. Jane agrees and Alice picks up a taxi (17.00) for going home.
|February 10th (WED) Game Session 009: (Hacker-Computer Crime)|
|Alice and Jane meet in JoyBoyz waiting line ready for a party (20.00).
Jane has bought Club membership cards, which -as Alice remembers- were
not cheap. Night goes on fine but action on the dance floor is not as hectic
as in the last time due weekdays being somewhat quieter than usual. So
Alice powders her nose (with talk not blanco) and thinks that the best
edge just ain't there tonight but it is still fun.
When she returns back (21.30) she notices that a Jane is being talking with filthy rich yuppie businessman, Richard Worhington, III, M.Ba. Harward- a stock market analyst in STN Associates, a local financial investment company. Jane seems hypnotized by his oily one liners and slick speech and thus Alice, although annoyed of of this rooster on her paradice, just lets it go. After an hour of so of talk of cool things and beautiful people they all decide that action in the JoyBoyz just isn't cut up what it is supposed to be. Richard offers to drive girls home (23.15) with his brand new Ferrari gotten with his sales bonuses. Fact that he leaves JoyBoyz with two girls in a tow and that his friends see it only kicks up this turbo yuppie to higher pich.
However, during the drive home Richard gets a call to his cellular and asks if girls would like to see something extra tonight. Jane agrees immediately and sulking Alice agrees too to see what is going on. They arrive (24.00) to a quiet strip of road in north Miami, where a group of cars and associated people are gathered. Alice kicks up her box on the high gear when he sees a get together of cool cars (and some of the men around thenm aren't that bad either). Next hour or so goes walking past cars , chatting with people and generally enjoying the show. Whole affair of rich boys showing off one's fast wheels to girl friends and each other soon turns into improptu drag racing (00.30). Girls see that there is some betting going on as well. Drag racing with high performance cars on a public road is illegal as hell, Alice observes, but cool as ice too. Alice picks up Richard to try out his car as well and it is soon obvious that red Ferrari goes like missile in the street (00.45) compared to cheaper (and less equipped) Acura on the side.
When the whole affair is over (01.15) and Richard drives Alice home (02.00) and drives away with Jane, Alice cannot but think on her mind of how much such super cars would cost and how much money she has on her bank account.
|February 11th (THU)|
|Alice gets ready for a pick up at 07.00 but does not see Smythe so
she has to call for a taxi. Sitting on a back seat of a filthy cab whose
driver is talking endlessly in Portugese, she thinks that this is certainly
another good reason to get some decent (and very fast) (and very very cool)
wheels under her. In the BE office (08.00) she goes through some standard
paperwork of insurance claims. However, real effort she has is reserved
for trying to connect Smythe with cellular…without much of a success. Thus
she has no choice but to work alone. Since idea of break-up of one salesman's
home alone does not feel pleasant proposal. Furthermore, last nights action
is still hot on her mind and she spends her time browsing through the Web
looking for car salesmen in Miami area. Anyways she prepares herself for
early departure from work to check out a decent car (read VERY FAST). As
far as Alice is concerned, one can rest in work time at times too. Damn
Right at that point Tykes comes (11.30) to see -much surprised- Alice with somber look on his face. Smythe has resigned from the Operations department due family reasons. He'll stay in BE in Logistics & Procurement and work in BE Ranch as semi-permanent instructor but he will not go on missions anymore due need to keep close to his family. According to Smythe, no pay is worth leaving his small children behind. However, she'll get a new member to her team as first thing in the morning (or actually this afternoon).
|February 11th (THU) Game Session 010: (Hacker-Computer Crime)|
|Thus, after returning from lunch, Tykes introduces Alice an employee
to Cell 10, a handsome, strong (and cute butted!!) young Latino man Derek
Wilson-Diaz. After introduction of Alice and Derek to each other Tykes
lets Alice to deal with practical work of getting Derek into the work.
Alice starts with few veiled questions to Tykes on exactly how much Derek
should know of her current somewhat peculiar (illegal) project (criminal
conspiracy). Tykes lets her know that Derek understands fully the somewhat
specialized nature of BlackEagle investigations (industrial espionage)
related work. With the basic framework thus settled Tykes bows out to do
his regular work (of threatening junior Cell leaders and plotting new missions).
Alice decides to get Derek right into the job. She starts with the legal aspects of insurance claims investigations letting Derek see a bit of usual paperwork they do in office. However, after those basic details the talk turns into Paladin Systems and its activities. All afternoon goes in discussion of BlackEagle and its work and careful probing into exactly how far Derek is ready to go. Mister Wilson-Diaz says little but gives back all the right signals to Alice who comes into conclusion that he (like she) has sold his heart to Tykes (Satan) and is ready to work finally for the Paladin Systems (The Dark Side). Meanwhile Derek is carefully trying to give back all right signals of his interest towards working in high paying (and ultimately rewarding) task of private sector intelligence work. Then again, not that Alice is that much sore to eye to look at…
Alice calls Paralegal Secretary to make arrangements for getting Derek into cover company. Meanwhile Alice turns talk to his new subordinate's previous life and history. Derek is quite reserved in this respect, other than mentioning his work in Foreign Office for various kinds of work. Not that Alice is that interested in what he did ten or so years ago; his looks are enough to keep her mind racing. Then plays a bit with the idea of just how nice it would have been to meet this cute toy boy outside the work… However, she had relation like that in old FBI days and it was a nightmare to keep. Thus she comes down from day castles in the air to hard and more proper reality of corporate employee relationships.
Right at that time (15.00) Paralegal Secretary Rodrico Laroche arrives with a pile of papers and after throughout (long and boring too) explanation and carefully balanced legally binding yet ominously loop-holed questions and explanations and paper singing Mr. Derek Wilson-Diaz is formally employee of Paladin Systems (along with the signing of several non-disclosure agreement papers). Right after the singing procedure Mr. Armand Bounassist arrives explaining to Alice that she is free to tell Mr. Wilson-Diaz exactly what Paladin Systems does. Alice naturally smiles and agrees to his assessment while she is biting her lip and pondering if he thought she was some kind of a retard who didn't figure it out by herself. After all the legalities, she turns to more pressing needs and asks from Derek if he has a car (or a Car) hat kind of a car he has. Derek agrees and much to Alice relief he has a Car, Audi TT Roadster. They are in elevator in 5 minutes to go to Paladin Systems (to see his Car).
During the car trip Alice starts to explain in earnest what they are doing and hacking project they are currently working in. She starts from the bottom and works her way up explaining exactly what has been done. Since traffic in Miami is -like always it seems- totally blocked, they sit in a traffic jam and thus she lets Derek read the reports she has prepared on two possible candidates for making information break-in. Then she cautiously asks for his opinion.
Much to her surprise, Derek starts to think it carefully aloud. He suggests to change the target from salesman to couple because salesman lives in a gated community, where security is always tight and actual entering requires planning. While couple is probably out of house less, they are then very probably out together. Salesman is away often but he could easily come back home quickly on a whim. Next he starts to think a possible plan for entering apartment of married couple's home step-by-step. She is quite impressed of Derek's combination of looks and brains and has no qualms in changing emphasis on project. Actually this is all common work to Derek, who has been working in similar work for Queen and Country. Now he will do it for Dollar and Plenty.
After arrival to office (19.30) she shows Derek the place and they continue planning for a moment. She phones Shea of the situation and they agree a meeting in tomorrow so that he can explain his end of the bargain during break-in. with the most urgent needs finished off, Alice goes on explaining a bit of various Cells BlackEagle employs and how they seem to her. Derek listens intensively to learn how BlackEagle works and whom he should contact in case he needs more information and help. Next she calls to Cell 4 leader, DeCortez. She knows he has a long experience in dealing with the various police units and security companies because he has specialized to work in Miami area on gang related incidents. He briefs her on the security details on both communities. Salesman's apartment in gated community is has security that is just as paranoid as it can be imagined to be. Couple on the other hand, lives in old and upscale housing area that has security patrols but no gates or throughout checks. Derek plays a bit on idea of avoiding gate checks by swimming to beach next to salesman's apartment but he gives it up as too much James Bond (although idea does kind of light his imagination). However, they both came into conclusion that single salesman is not good target and that they should concentrate on married couple, Mr. Tony Burton and Mrs. Estella Burton. They come up with a plan of scouting the place first as a couple going to see a friend living in neighborhood. With the work done (by 21.00) (and a long work day too), Derek drives Alice home (arriving at 22.00) because he lives in the same direction. This is hardly a surprise because he has moved to Smythe's old apartment while Smythe has moved to new house closer to BE Ranch for shorter work trips. They agree that Derek should pick her up to work tomorrow as she has no car. Derek knows that a fear of boss is the beginning of wisdom (like in Foreign Office, like in SIS) and agrees to it.
With the day done Alice takes out Dali (who is happy as always when seeing her mistress) for a short jog. Rest of the evening goes on cleaning the apartment (dog owner's eternal bane) and making few phone calls on her both brothers (which usually takes an hour per call per brother). Derek is meanwhile checking out his neighborhood and notices a nice a bit small bar with good music, pool table, pretty chicks, low riders parked outside and other people like him. After a shoot and a couple of beers later, Derek feels considerably more relaxed. Who knows, perhaps America will make a Chicano out of him, perhaps not, but new work and life aren't looking that bad.
|February 12th (FRI)|
|Friday starts with Derek picking Alice up with his too-hot Audi (at
7.30). Alice forgives Derek the 30 minutes of waiting when she hears the
horses roaring under the hood. Derek apologizes for traffic and they are
off to work. Fact that Derek already has a bouquet of flowers necessary
for a cover further soothes Alice's mind.
Daniel Elfman, camera expert from Cell 5, listens to their worries on finding a workable camera. After some selection he gives (9.00) them a professional Canon camera that looks to untrained eye exactly same as far cheaper model intended for general public. Elfman is, however, a bit of a penny-pincher and he selects cheaper film for camera. Derek insists on being cameraman due his previous expertise in surveillance and pays it by giving his car keys to Alice. He does have few reservations on back of his mind when he sees a glimpse of somewhat unhealthy level of excitement on her face. However, Alice drives strictly (well, almost) according to traffic regulations on their way to Burton residence. On his mind she does reserve right to test-drive this Car on way back after successful mission. Meanwhile Derek ensures that his tie is looking good and that camera is ready for use.
Cell 10 notices no less than two guard company vehicles on their way to Burton's house. At the first time (10.30) the car drives past them just as Derek is getting ready to take a series of photographs of house. Camera is put under the bouquet of flowers and guard company vehicle drives past with the rent-a-cops giving a long look at the guests. However, stylish dress saves a day and all guards see is a yuppie couple on way to meet friends with the head of family probably already drunk as his girlfriend/wife is driving. With the photo-ops screwed up, they drive to an upscale shopping mall. Derek buys one of the better bottles of wine (11.00) and they drive again towards Burton's house like any good yuppie pair should. On return trip they approach Burton house with Derek ready to pick a series of photos with Canon but they see another security guard company's vehicle (11.30). They give the couple a bit longer looks (and nervous Cell 10 members do not think it is due foxy looks of Alice). Thus they drive past getting out of the neighborhood. Frustrated Alice kicks the pedal to the metal on way back and Audi practically flies over the road. Derek does not bother to say a word, as he is equally frustrated as well. Alice's mood rises a bit as she checks the speed dial rise to insane speeds.
Back in Paladin Systems (12.00) Shea is already waiting. Alice introduces Derek to Robert Shea and they discuss on recent developments on the subject. Last few failures are certainly on mind but new plans are being brainstormed. The problem lies in finding a good time to break into laptop or communications wiring of the house. They play a bit on subject of breaking into breaking into Mrs. Estella Burton's car and using it as a method of getting infrared key to car house to help them break in unnoticed. There are simply too many moving parts for whole mission to work flawlessly. They come out with a plan of getting a copy of Mrs. Estella Burton's WV Beetle 2.0, put Alice drive wearing a blond wig to front of his home and use computer and infrared transmitter to come up with a right key combination. Plan seems fairly certain since she works part-time as a secretary in a local MicroSoftware office and thus can be certainly out of home in daytime.
Alice orders copies of Mrs. Burton's car's license plates from L&P. L&P promise to get new plates in a weekend (will be in her desk in BlackEagle office in Johnson Tower by Monday morning 10.30). Next thing she does is renting a WV Beetle 2.0 from a local car rental company. Color should be pink (although alternatively company offered it in another highly popular Canary Yellow). Alice can barely hide her contempt on idea of driving a pink Beetle. Thought of someone actually seeing her one makes her positively blush in embarrassment. On the other hand, she should also buy a blond wig (which is just fine) and a nice new upscale business dress (positively good thing). Besides, she muses, she needs to dress up to corporate standards as manager of Cell 10 during meetings with clients and senior management. Business is business after all, just like in FBI days.
Meanwhile Derek gasps for air for relief when Alice agrees to do all these women things. Idea of him going to swallow his pride and ask for a pink WV Beetle, making everyone think he is some kind of queer and drive away in it would be just too much. He has been in Spanish jail as undercover agent being a prisoner where he was beaten a shit out and got brain concussion, risked rape in to arse by a bunch of lunatic Moroccans. He had done it and all that for Queen and Country. But he shall not rent a queer pink Beetle or even drive it! His masculinity is way too fragile to allow him to do that, thank you! Just about that time he notices that he had actually thought it all up aloud and somewhat surprised Shea and Alice have heard all of his comments…
After a somewhat embarrassed moment of silence they decide to turn their attention to next phase on the operation. They make a list of equipment (gadgetry) necessary for getting the job done. Derek -who is quickly turning discussion to hardware- makes up a list of necessary equipment as they ponder the issue next to a floor plan Alice had dug up earlier. Shea has relatively little to add. Essentially he wants Paladin Systems employees to get him to work room of Daniel Burton with a briefcase filled with electronics. Next phase is ensuring that they do not carry any object, or more particularly the edge, that could be classified as a weapon. After all, if the job fails, they would get LONG sentence if they carried any kind of weapon. They remind this to Shea who nods and comments that he does not carry weapons because prison sentences from white-collar crime are shorter and are served in minimum-security facilities that have humane treatment. Alice knows well that armed criminals are considered hardcore criminal elements and their facility is maximum-security place where violence is every day occurrence and every year there shortens life span by something like two to three years. Derek also comments that they should take off the toolbox of the Beetle for the duration of the job, because in US some attorney might actually claim tools are weapons in a court case. He sighs on peculiarities of US legal system., They could never use that to frame up terrorist suspects in Europe where judges would laugh out such charges. Goddamn human rights, he mutters by himself. He looks at his watch. It is 14.00.
|February 12th (FRI) Game Session 011: (Hacker -Computer Crime/Mexican Weekend)|
|They recoup their plan once more. They try to get in at daytime when
both people are on work. After getting in, they'll bug the whole house
as well as any more necessary preparations that have to be done. Later,
when both are gone and Daniel Burton has left his laptop home, they'll
break-in again and then Mr. Shea will break into his laptop and carry out
all necessary hacking. Thus the goal of their first break-in is to find
out when the couple is away together for certain and laptop is at home.
They fax the list of necessary equipment to L&P of BlackEagle to send
it to Paladin Systems office by Monday morning. The clock is 15.00 it is
all over. They agree to see each other in Paladin Systems office in the
Monday morning and Mr. Shea leaves first for home in his own car.
Alice is quite interested in doing some extra probing on her own on something
that is truly close to her heart, cars or more precisely, le Car. There
is still time so she starts car hunting already today. Thus she asks (orders)
Derek to drive her to look some real cars, by going through the alphabet.
Nearest A lettered car company is Audi. The snake like (you can see it from their eyes, they are that hypnotic looks) car salesmen are a universal phenomena. Discussion continues with salesman judging from answers lady's economic status, interests and experience with cars. After all the right words and vague promise of paying the car in cash (something that all car dealers in Florida have come to expect from Hispanic gentlemen and ladies looking particularly well to do and slight foreign accents) she gets a chance to try out Audi. There is a small track behind car sales where she can give Audi TT Quattro Coupe a lap to get used to it and second lap to drive a bit faster. Impressed that lady can actually drive (something men in general suspect), discussion of sale turns into earnest and somehow she gets a pile of material for various cars. However, it does not really catch her fancy. It just lacks power and agility that she is looking for. To put it bluntly: too pussy.
Meanwhile Derek has been spending his time on nearby Audi maintenance shop looking at variety of tuning information. It is not that he is interested in buying it, it is just that somehow he is just watching the pictures (and pondering when would be a good opportunity to get some small adjustments here and there). Derek thinks that his Audi is way too good to be turned into a dragster. It would just end up getting worn out too soon. However, some cheap American high performance coupe could be turned into a serious streetcar.
Next letter in alphabet is B, so BMW is next place for sight seeing. Again Alice faces the basic problem that women drivers just aren't taken that seriously in Land of the Free. Thus she has to try out (to her disappointment) somewhat common people's BMW (model of which she immediately forgets as soon as she has gotten her pair of legs of the car) for first time. Right after this the show of her driving skills (and hefty bank account limit) signal to salesman that she is well worth sucking up to. Thus Alice gets to try out BMW Z3M Roadster to satisfy her appetite for speed (that has during this afternoon turned into a bulimia). With pedal on a metal Alice kicks up BMW to try out real power. Summa Summarum, Z3M is a humble yet strong servant to Alice's need for speed and its fuel injection is not the only thing gotten wet when she finally slows down to stop next to clever car peddler. Alice is purring satisfied but still she somehow manages to keep her calm and merely collect the binder of glossy advertisements concerning BMW's workmanship.
Fact that Alice seems to be purring high on adrenaline do cause some concern on Derek as he ponders what might letter C be. Actually Alice ponders the thing about a second before she decides to save time and jump over letter C (and Chevrolet) and D (for Dodge). Sorry, Uncle Sam, she thinks. It's not Buy American, it is Buy, American. And she'll buy a car, or not just a car but a Car. It also means manual transmission rather than lazy automatic and car should be something she'd prefer to be seen in and actually admit owning. It doesn't mean a rice bowl, it means a means a real car, a European car. Thus she bypasses a couple of letters and gets right into P for Porsche.
Again in the car sales she gets mundane (well, merely superb) Porsche Boxster for starters and again impressed salesman (they might come with different names but they all actually are similar deep down in their heart) offers her next something she has secretly fantasized about in last night. After a check of lady's bank account liquidity she gets Porsche Boxster S model for a "cautious test drive". After asking the obligatory questions, such as "if she thinks she can handle it" and "to be careful in the start", the very next thing the oily salesman sees are back lights of vanishing Porsche. At the first curve Alicia has to tame the strong and heavy beast she is riding on and on the second lap they are already lovers. The car stops almost unnoticed as her two laps are over and she smiles in afterglow. Her very first words are "OH MY GOD!" and salesman is too discreet to state that it is a common feeling for the men and women who try out products he sales. Dazed Alice spends the rest of time there answering few questions on exactly what kind of add-ons she'd prefers to have in her Car (correct term would be: The CAR). The only problem is that she needs to wait for some three (if she is lucky) to four months (normally) to get her blue (lapis blue to be more correct) monster. It will be a long wait she thinks, but well worth it. Derek is too much of a gentleman to question afterwards the stains on lady's skirt when she returns from car sales to his TT Roadster and he gets ready (17.00) to drive her to her home...
It is weekend and Derek has no plans what so ever other than getting seriously drunk and shoot pool with the other guys at the bar. Alice on the other hand has other things in her mind. She calls to Jane of the phone number of that oily Ferrari guy. Since Jane's relationship with Richard Worthington III is within its first week (i.e. honeymoon phase), she is somewhat suspicious of Alice's motives. The subsequent phone conversation is actually more of a cat fight than civilized discussion. The combination of Alice's humble begging, terrible threatening, empty promises and poisonous insults finally get Jane to divulge this vital piece of information. Worthington is naturally quite happy to hear Jane's friends (Hi Lisa! Eh, Alice!) to call him too but Alice has actually something else in her mind. She want's to know if there is yet another illegal race this weekend. Alexander promises to make few phone calls and return to her when he knows it. There is something in his tone that raises ilk of Alice who immediately phones back to Jane and she starts to "suggest" (pressure) her to immediately phone to Worthington and tell him to phone her back as soon as fucking possible or else! Meanwhile Alice is huffing and puffing and trampling her feet on car's floor. Derek, who keeps on driving, keeps his mouth shut during these -somewhat peculiar- phone conversations because Alice is A) a woman and he cannot even begin to understand them, B) his boss and thus should be followed and C) have to be on her period to be such a bitch or D) all of above (choose correct one). After some time, he judges that it is wise not to ponder these thoughts aloud (choice is D).
Next phase to Alice is to suggest to Derek that he should drive her to one place tonight and if he cannot come there he should leave his car to her. Derek loses his well-trained calm for a moment to blink his eyes. Alice knows for certain that there is no way she'll get there walking or taxi and there is no way she'll be there as a trophy for that oily businessman Worthington. Even less now that he is cuddling Jane in his arms. There is no place for third wheel in that situation. Derek has absolutely nothing against idea of going out with this foxy lady but at first he has to be asked (no, begged). After sometime of trading blows (figuratively) he agrees to a idea (well a plea thinks he, no, a invitation thinks she). They agree that he picks her up when she wants him tonight (probably at midnight). Derek puts on sunglasses and enjoys the afternoon smog he drops Alice at her home (18.00) before getting back to his own home.
Alice concentrates on relaxing after exciting workday (and more stimulating afternoon). She takes Dali for a short jog and during it Worthington calls back to her telling her to get ready for action around midnight close to West-view Golf Course. He is waiting for her. Alice cuts up the call short and informs Derek to pick her up around 11pm and she gets ready for action. Derek is already shooting pool with his friends (and taking beer lightly to stay on driving condition). Rest of the evening goes on things like watching Soccer (matches can be seen via satellite from Mexico and Columbia), shooting mouth and looking at cool cars and hot girls passing by veranda of his favorite (already) cantina (pub to those who remained on foggier shore of Atlantic).
Derek arrives to pick up Alice at 10.45 and thus Alice invites him to her home to wait. Derek follows as invited and is immediately confronted by Alice's Dali who freaks up on seeing a strange man getting in at night. Alice covers up the situation by putting Dali firmly under her fist while Derek smiles that nothing happened (while he was freaking inside and was ready to kill that beast trying to bite him). Insulted dog goes whining to corner as Alice leaves with Derek to midnight rendezvous of illegal car chases.
The meeting is starting on as they arrive to scene. It is much like last time: fast cars, cocky owners and pretty trophies around. Jane and Alex Worthington are pretty close cuddling each other and chat gladly with Alice. Other people get also easily in talk with attractive woman chatting lightly. Meanwhile Derek is facing considerably harder time. Whenever he talks people ask and talk of cars and weather (especially weather). Talk goes on but somehow it looks a bit stale as if this was a random meeting of people to chat on outdoors before retiring to rest. It doesn't take long before they both recognize that their presence as outsiders to whole affair (and Derek's car is sooo cheap) is making people a bit uncomfortable. Better people like to race -outside publicity- and a new man in scene whom no one knows is clearly something they do not want. Both take their cue, say goodbye to Jane (who speaks nothing but Alex and is really insulted to Alice's talk over the phone) and leave (00.15). Road back to home is considerably quieter than expecting and eager arrival was. Both are actually very angry. Facts that they can hear roar of high performance cars almost as soon as they leave only add insult to injury. Alice promises to get back as soon as she gets herself Porsche while Derek ponders that he and Ferrari people just do not mix, at least if he has a choice.
|February 13th (SAT)|
|Derek drops Alice home (01.00) and heads for home to his car there.
Sulking and hurt Alice goes right to bed to sleep while Derek takes a taxi
to get to cantina. He gets right into Tequila since he is way behind his
friends in boozing already. Around 03.00 he does not really differ from
group and at 04.00 he is having really good time (other than newly found
routine of speaking in toilet in various foreign languages). He gets somehow
back to home at dawn (05.00) and goes to sleep.
Morning glory starts with a phone call (08.00). Both Alice (who is never at good mood on morning) and Derek (who feels like entire Red Army had marched on his tongue on their socks) open up their cellular, since a conference call comes from BlackEagle. Caller is no one else but Senior Cell Leader Tykes. He starts cautiously by asking how Paladin Systems are going on with their work with Star Systems. Alice is still half-asleep (even Dali seems sleepy in her feet) as she explains that things are going forwards quite well and that they'll work on the case next time as soon as on Monday. Due lack of videophones they fail to hear raspy sound of a breathing machine as Tykes feels his machinations go forwards just the way he wanted. He informs Cell 10 that they have a new -urgent- job right now abroad that probably takes a day or two. They will have to get to BE office right now to listen to it.
Alice gets a quick shower, gets dressed and picks up a day bag (that she keeps always packed up). Then she jumps into a taxi to get herself into Johnson Tower. During the trip she looks at her hair that looks like a 30-second hair (which it is) right out of Alice Morrisette's video. The real difference is, naturally, that pop singer gets 2-hour hair that looks like street creditable 30-second hair while Alice has 30-seconds hair with zero street credibility. Derek deals with his problems by keeping his head under water in kitchen for a moment, then talking some strange language -Norway mostly- in bathroom and picking up his day bag. He sleeps through most of the taxi drive.
Tykes receive Cell 10 at the Johnson Tower (09.00). The mission is really exceedingly simple. Three American women have been arrested in somewhere close to Acapulco, Mexico and are kept by local police in a small village. One of the women had kept her cellular and called home for help. She has a rich husband who wants them out and delivered back to US of A right now. BlackEagle office in Texas has been extraordinarily busy lately and thus has asked if Miami could help. Tykes chose them from a list of groups with free time today (and Alice feels a sting in her heart promising never ever again to fall for these kinds of traps). Tykes assigns them extra 1000 USD in cash for running costs (like bribery) and informs tired Cell 10 that they'll fly in next available flight to Acapulco (in tourist class). There is a car waiting at the airport in destination. Tykes have nothing more to say, as information filtering from Texas has been pretty much incomplete. Client's explanation has been somewhat hysterical but his credit rating has been excellent, and that suits BlackEagle just fine. Cell 10 members look at each other and shake their shoulders. They have no more questions as far as they are concerned. Tykes also inform them that there is a taxi already waiting next to lobby of Johnson Tower to take them to airport. The traffic to Airport is totally jammed but with a combination of bribing and threats they get driver to slip them through the jam to airport in time (11.00). Plane leaves in good time too.
The actual plane trip is nothing short of sheer torture. Plane is fully packed with tourists, there is no room for legs, served meal would leave even anorectics starving and finally coffee on plane was black yet weak and stale. Screaming children and loudly talking people further downgrade the mood. Alice suffers the trip with stoic bearing while Derek concentrates improving his horrible hang over with aircraft's Tequila supply. Hellish flight ends when the fully packed poorly maintained plane arrives to smog covered and people filled airport in Acapulco by 14.00 local time. Car -a typical tourist vehicle: Jeep Cherokee- is ready for them. Alice gets behind the wheel as Derek looks still as something right out of a police school's description of typical signs of a drunken driver.
|February 13th (SAT) Game Session 012: (Mexican Weekend)|
|Cell 10's mission in Acapulco starts with a search of a decent place
to eat after the nightmare breakfast in plane trip. Alice drives around
Acapulco while Derek sits on side as white as ever. After some time (14.30)
they get away from the down town traffic and find a place suitably far
from the tourists, Ferraris and beggars. It is a decent restaurant for
ordinary Acapulco inhabitant (yes, even they do exist). At the parking
lot Alice gives Derek some 800 US Dollars while she keeps 200 with her
to handle necessary cash payments. They also agree that since it is south
of the Border, he will take care of all the talking. Derek nods for the
fact that Alice knows how world goes around in Mexico (not that he is against
such an arrangement at all). Alice does not like it at all but that's the
way world goes around here. Thus she'll be there as eye candy on the background,
at least for the moment.
It is siesta period and life in Acapulco is somewhat quiet while Cell 10 improves their feeling s with food on oppressive sun and heat of the hot afternoon. Acapulco is a warm place, even in February and greenhouse effect has made it sure that average temperature has been rising slowly and extremes of weather in both ends are now far more common than before. Both feel considerably better (especially after Alice has had time to turn her 30-second hair into 3-minute hair in Ladies room and Derek has gotten somewhat better tasting Tequila shot to lift up his feelings) after a decent breakfast followed by a good lunch in the same place. Service is fairly quick, natural and even prices are normal as couple speaks Spanish and comes across as a professional couple out in Lunch together. No tourist price gouging here.
After lunch (and somewhat less oppressive heat) they start to drive out of Acapulco (15.30). Traffic is pretty much jammed. Thus Alice drives in the jam using car's horn, aggressive driving style and selection of Spanish language words that language teachers do not teach (Alice has learned plenty of that when going out with the other girls in Madrid in her protected -yeah right- youth in uptight boarding school). Meanwhile Derek is slowly turning from a zombie to human and reads now local newspaper to get better local knowledge. It also helps to pass time in a continuous traffic jam. The life on Acapulco around them looks like a mixture of rich and poor as is common in Third World countries. After some time of (17.00) they finally get out of jams and get away from the city and drive towards the mountains.
Rest of the driving seems to go fairly well and, traffic is less packed. Main road leading towards Mexico City is filled with all kinds of cars from trucks used as buses to luxurious sedans followed by satellite guards filled with bodyguards to ubiquitous original Beetles to tractors to trucks. After some time (and hampered due lack of decent road signs) they get away from the main road and drive towards a smaller town, ask for more directions and continue deeper into countryside. The Mexico is considerably different from tourist traps here. People are mostly farmers, everything is wold and worn out and people are poor. It is not that people are running without clothes but these people are clearly not discussing on stock options (or even painting their houses) either. After some extra asking of directions, obligatory wrong turn and subsequent getting into right tracks they finally get into right place (18.30). The tiny village seems to be far away far from everything (well, it is some 30 kilometers off Acapulco but bad roads, lack of traffic lights and totally unknown terrain slow down the movement)...
Police station is a small affair. It is old (probably standing already before Zapata and his revolution) and its most remarkable features are a phone line leaving it as well as it is sturdy stone construction. Rest of the village has a selection of buildings from late 19th century to modern times and general quietness. Alice is particularly shocked to see the difference in lifestyle from hectic Acapulco (and Miami) to this quiet rural area. Whole place looks like out of old Hollywood movies of life in Mexico with the difference that even the electric lights seem to be on short supply. There are also few more modern cars as well.
Inside the police station a single policeman, dressed in ill fitting and faded, uniform waits. He is very young guy and he has hair combed back with grease and he is reading a porn magazine when Cell 10 comes in. After rapid reaction of hiding skin mag away from prying eyes he gives a long look at Alice's long legs. Right after the grin he puts on (cheap copycat) gold-rimmed Pilot Ray Bans so he can keep on grinning and staring at Alice's looks while keeping up his street credible police authority (which Cell 10 does not believe for a second).
Derek takes the initiative and he starts to ask from "Pepe" about American women. Pepe nods that they have indeed arrested three gringo women. Derek puts a 20 USD note on table and wonders if he could see these lawbreakers. As note disappears under a newspaper Pepe agrees to request and opens up the door in his back to cells. Derek can see there the very mixture of Acapulco area criminal elements. There is a hardened crook arrested from robbery and burglary. Next cell houses two hoodlums. A drug addict is shaking in corner accompanied by a drunken brawler trying to sleep away his hangover. Third cell is empty and fourth has three young American women dressed in shorts, Hawaii shirts and sandals. Derek starts to talk with the ladies and Alice who looked the cell block remains in door for a moment looking what is going on (and Pepe stares continuously her ass) and then returns back to office to wait there. As she finds herself a wooden chair to sit Pepe moves his feet on table like he owned the place.
Meanwhile Derek is questioning what did happen. Three women (Eve, Bobbi and Joanna) tell a story that comes trough explained several times and get changed and mutated as it goes on and on. To make the long explanation short, the three girls were having fun in Acapulco in beach when a cute looking Mexican man asked them to come tonight to his small villa on nearby mountains. They thought that it was a great idea and thus they (and perhaps 200+ other guests) flocked to this beautiful mansion for night of dancing and fun. However, the host got into some kind of argument with one of the girls (who panicked and smacked him into head with a nearby vase). Three girls got together (quickly) and ran from the place with their Jeep. Their plan was to return back to Acapulco for hotel when they hit the goat and had a traffic accident. One of the girls (Bobbi) hit her head on steering wheel in a small village. Right at that point Mexican policemen arrived to scene to see what had happened and Bobbi vomited on one of their shirt (accidentally!). The policemen were so rude that they did not speak English and dared to arrest them, even despite that fact that they were Americans and it had been just an accident! After they had been put to jail Eve had taken her cellular and called her husband of what kind of mess those Mexicans had caused on them. Derek nods understandingly and ponders why, (oh why) there are people like this? He can ponder several good reasons for not associating with people who can arrange huge parties on weekly basis on their father's mansion in exclusive mountain hills while having plenty of people who check through all guests with metal detectors. He can also imagine that any such rich brats are probably quite reserved and would live and let live anyone, especially women, who smack them to head, NOT! However, talking of this to girls would not be very advisable as they'd probably panic and they all would be in deep shit.
Finally (19.30) Derek returns to the office and asks from Pepe from what kind of crimes women are accused of. What follows is a form that has this and that from killing goat (destruction of property) to speeding to drunken and disorderly. Next question is size of the fines. Pepe does not answer it directly and he starts to look through the law books. After some time he phones to nearby office asking for 'confirmation' of his estimate. Soon after the answer is that Derek needs to wait until Monday to double-check it with Acapulco. Somehow neither Alice (who has been sitting entire hour in chair being stared by Pepe) and Derek are terribly surprised on that revelation. Since his superior -Moreno- is touring on surrounding area he has no choice but to wait for him before he can really do anything more. At that point Derek asks if he could go and get some food for the women in jail. The magic of a 20 Dollar note works again and he gets permission to leave while Alice continues her routine of sitting in chair with her legs crossed and smiling (and feeling like an idiot). Derek meanwhile leaves to check a cantina in village and after few more US Dollars gets a bunch of hamburgers and other quickly made junk food for ladies (and Cell 10 and double for Pepe). After Pepe has inspected that nothing illegal is taken to cells (i.e. taken his pick) Derek leaves a little bit to himself and Alice and gives lion's share to ladies in jail (20.00).
Sometime after the eating (20.30) Moreno, local police 'chief' arrives from his rounds. Moreno is a big man who is clearly older and more experienced in law enforcement (and taking bribery) than his junior colleague. Moreno carries himself with a bearing of an experienced policeman. His service revolver is Colt .357 Python, he has real gold rimmed pilot Ray Bans and black leather gloves. Few days' of beard and brownish, tanned looks fill up the rest. His shirt is also well ironed out (unlike Pepe's). He takes his time in staring at Alice's looks in scale that leaves even Pepe seem like a modest while Pepe runs to fetch him (unannounced) a cup of coffee. He is the Boss (and also the Law) here. Moreno es myo macho. Mucho cojones.
Derek starts up a oily boot licking routine where he apologizes in every other sentence of arrogance and stupidity of Gringo women in general and those jailed in particular. Moreno does not seem to care much. He is merely keeping his eyes on Alice although his ears clearly get more attentive when discussion turns into reparations. Pepe is sent to pick up a burrito for his boss. Then Derek explains a complicated fine payment scheme where he puts on Dollars to table paying for new shirt plus dead goat plus administrative details plus sales tax plus plus plus…. End result is close to 900 USD on table. Moreno puts his glossy car magazine over the money. It is settled. Moreno picks up the arrest warrant he had filled up and burns it on ashtray. Pepe arrives with a burrito (21.00) and Moreno eats in good time drinking coffee now and then. Meanwhile he and Derek discuss of this and that to pass the time. As soon (slowly really) as burrito is finished (and Moreno has gone to bathroom) he returns back to office and orders Pepe to release women (21.30).
Next the Cell 10 and released women jump onto their Jeep Cherokee and drive back towards the main road. They stop in a next small town (large village) on a petrol station (21.45). Alice escorts ladies to bathroom armed with her beauty bag so they have get something "normal" to do while Derek fuels up the Cherokee. After some time (22.15) two of the women do not look so much weeping although third (Bobbi) still looks bad. Bobbi does not seem to talk, is tired and reserved. Alice checks her for a moment she comes into conclusion that she has had a mild concussion. Alice tries to fix her up a bit but she knows that rest (preferably in hospital) is best cure. Alice does not say this to other women but talks of the situation to Derek who nods and they agree to get the women to next plane out of Acapulco to US as quickly as possible.
Derek is behind the wheel and Alice works as a map-reader. Three women sit on back. They drive through night and try to avoid rest of the packed tourists and joy riders and happy -celebrating- youth as they drive right back to airport (23.00). Alice gives credit cart to Derek so he can fetch more cash. Meanwhile she stays with the women in the car waiting for Derek to return. Derek quickly gets some more money and goes to ticket sales to get tickets to next plane leaving towards US. Young lady working on counter likes Derek's friendly smile immediately but unfortunately all flights are packed up. Several Benjamin Franklin notes give Derek her ear on his problems. Few more green brothers ensure him all the attention he really wants. Money burns and he arrives to see (very much-surprised) Alice with not just three but five tickets to a plane leaving at midnight and getting (of all places) to Miami.
Alice leaves Derek to return the car (which he does promptly) while she escorts ladies to plane and phones to Miami to Tykes to handle arrangements on their end. Tykes inform that he'll alarm Cell 9 to receive them and see that things go smoothly on Miami. Just as they are stepping on plane she gets a message from Cell9 that they have three tickets waiting in Miami for three women to fly back home to Houston. Plane is full packed but Alice escorts women (and protects hurt Bobbi) while Derek works as a trailblazer to see that they get forwards in rush to plane
|February 14th (SUN)|
|The plane trip itself is fairly uneventful, tiring and filled like tourist flights always are. The only highlight of the awful trip is the end (02.00) where they are greeted by Cell 9 members (and both sides check each others papers, just in case), who take over three very tired and clearly relieved women and escort them to flight to Houston. Dead tired Cell 10 members see that women get to plane and that flight to Houston leaves in good time. It does. Cell 9 members were dragged off the bed (damn slave driver Tykes) and have preciously little interest in continuing staying up in airport. Neither do Cell 10 members who wave hand for good-byes, get taxis and get home (03.00). Sleep comes quickly...|
|February 14th (SUN) Game Session 013: (Hacker -Computer Crime)|
|Sunday starts with Derek waking on a beeper with the scary imperial
march he uses to depict calls from BlackEagle. His attempts to ignore the
call are sadly mistaken as phone is on and yet so far he cannot reach it
from the bed. He notices this as he falls to the floor. It is a message
left by Daniel Elfman who reminds him of when Derek returns camera he gave
to him. Derek mumbles something of returning the came on Monday morning.
Alice has considerably less enthusiastic morning as Dali wakes his mistress up that he has been holding up entire yesterday and that now it is time to get out. Cross-eyed Alice goes through the motions and somehow manages to get Dali to park and get back in her home. Then she makes sure to Dali that she will NOT play with him and will instead rest on bed for a bit (for few hours more it). Dali whines for a moment in her feet before he goes to sulk in corner. Alice's sleep is finally disturbed when she gets automated message from Tykes. It is a reminder of management meeting they have in BlackEagle in Monday afternoon at 14.00. Her presence is compulsory unless she has a valid reason. Alice ponders if anyone has ever had valid reason (other than death and prison?) not to attend. Then again, she also gets a hefty pay rise for her effort. However, she cannot help this nagging feeling that she has sold her heart to Tykes (that is called Satan in some religious circles).
Alice spends the rest of day enjoying. It means checking through the papers looking for Aikido courses to try (because she is bored of doing only gymnastics and dancing). Next she goes to read her dusting (due many long hours in work) copy of Complete Adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Dali senses that his mistress is on a good mood and he behaves nice (for a change). Day is pretty much perfect when her neighbor Melissa also comes to see her. Melissa is a bit old and eating with this up and coming FBI agent who has a life of adventure reaps her always very exciting stories. Melissa is a bit of forgetful and thus the exciting tale Alice tells her is always the same exciting thing that happened to her in back in Newark. Alice has long since learned not to try to confuse old lady with her real work (which is hardly good for such an old lady to hear anyway) and thus smiles and nods and agrees to everything. Dali is exceedingly happy when he gets to play with Melissa (who likes to have wild Dali close to her anyway). After some time (16.00) Melissa returns home to sleep while Alice continues her easy day off.
Derek finally raises at around noon to notice that it is high time for him to eat breakfast and lunch. Thus he gets to nearby cantina (like he always does). After few San Miguels and packet of Malboros (Chesterfield is the real brand but anything goes in goes in emergency) Derek's day is moving into a lot better mood. His friends are also getting in. Music is again good and last nights match is seen again and every kick analyzed. Expert opinions on coaching are changed and life goes on. However, he does have a job to do today. He goes through series of car sales advertisements in papers to find some kind of performance car, something a bit older but good.
Derek's search ends up with a pile of possible places and he decides to ask for a honest second opinion by buying his drinking buddies more beer. His friends keep on going through the car dealers they know on adverts ("forget this one, he is anglo!", "This one cheated my sister-in-law" and so on). As long as Derek keeps buying beers he gets advice and has soon picked up a dealer that his buddies think is relatively honest (a little bot of honest swindling is expected in car sales too). After few calls (17.00) they settle for a meeting with the dealer later tonight (20.00). Sure, it might be Sunday but any honest dealer who smells a business smells blood when there is opening.
Derek and hid buddies moves to see the dealer roughly on time. Dealer is like pretty much unlike any specialist brand dealer he saw in Friday. There is a fleet of cars from three dozen years on yard and several piles of spares and hulks of totaled out cars on back. Dealer is Hispano like everyone else and talk gets on in Spanish like always with Derek and his buddies in cantina. After some time (and obligatory San Miguel later) they get to see actual cars. The very first car is a total mess. It is soaked in rust and engine is pretty much yesterday's news. Color is awful and whole car is nothing short of hulk. Derek looks at the joke of a car for a moment checking it and states that he will not buy the car because it is a banana. The frame is simply out of synch because it has twisted in a serious accident sometime in car's history.
Surprised car dealer admits that Derek surely knows the difference between a car and a car. Thus next he offers Derek a real deal. It is a Chevrolet Corvette from mid.1970's. It is not in perfect shape by any measure. Engine has seen its best days but frame is sound. Derek plans on making a change of engine for starters. It costs some money but the fact is that this Corvette is more of a hobby than a serious racer. Besides, his buddies have told him of illegal races where Ferrari as wheels and Rolex on arm are not the prerequisite for entering. Perhaps he could take part in one of those races one day. Derek and dealer fight over the price for some time and Derek loses paying some (not too much) over the price for the Corvette. Thus Derek ends up as a proud new owner of a proud new car. His friends suggest a nearby (relatively) honest workshop (chop-chop) where he could keep his wheels. They keep on talking and congratulating Derek for his new wheels until they run out of fags and beer. Then it is time to get back home (22.30) and sleep (while seeing day dreams of hot cars and even hotter chicks, mmm, like Penelope Lopez).
|February 15th (MON)|
|Morning starts as usual for Cell 10 (Derek picking up Alice at roughly
07.00). First they drive to Johnson Tower (08.00). Alice sees -much to
her satisfaction- that she has a packet from L & P from Atlanta. She
opens it and recovers two license plates with clips necessary to sliding
them over normal plates. Meanwhile Derek is returning his loaned camera
to Elfman of Cell 5. He feels somewhat unease when Elfman goes through
every possible nook and granny in camera (my child, my child!). Fact that
he had not even any pictures does not affect to matter, Elfman checks meticulously
everything in the equipment. While Elfman (grudgingly?) accepts the camera
back as working, he has uncomfortable (yet somehow logical) thought that
Elfman will do fingerprint analysis to camera lenses to check for possible
crimes against cameras (including particularly heinous touching camera's
Next stop is car rental (09.00) where pink Beetle is waiting for Alice. Derek drops Alice a block away refusing any orders to get closer so he will not be connected to that vehicle. While Alice thinks Derek is somewhat of a crybaby she cannot but privately admit that she will not mention this episode in her memoirs. She gets the car without problems and they drive to Paladin Systems (9.30) where Bruce Shea is already waiting for them. There is also a small pile of packages holding equipment necessary for the work.
Morning goes on with unpacking equipment and checking their functionality. Then recouping the plan together, and recouping it once more so that everyone knows what to do. Third step is checking that no one (including Beetle) carries anything even remotely resembling a weapon. Cell 10 members sigh of ease when they notice that Mr. Shea has no weapons at all. As a matter of fact the only difference in his normal business dress is that he wears now one with more room for movement thanks to different cut. He also wears a set of thick-soled shoes that allow him to run easier than normal pair of thin leather shoes. With everything done they all get on Beetle (10.30) with Shea going on rear and Derek sitting on front (right after he has clicked on the add-on license plates right after the car has been loaded up). Derek sits next to Alice and puts on a set of cheap (and above of all huge) sunglasses in vain hope that he would not be recognized sitting in a pink Beetle. Alice drives with a blond wig on her head.
Alice drives strictly according to traffic regulations past Burton's house to nearest shopping mall checking at the security patrols (that do not seem present) and lights inside house (no lights) and neighbors (only few children play at the greenery). At the shopping mall she just turns around and drives back to Burton's house stopping at the driveway. Derek puts on the pocket-PC and tries out at first the infrared transmitter. PC goes automatically through variety of signals until it finds one that opens the garage door. Alice drives immediately in (11.30). As soon as she has stopped she jumps from the car to close the garage door to protect them from prying eyes. Meanwhile Derek goes to security alarm console next to Garage's door leading inside. He opens up the screws holding console frame, inserts plugs and puts computer to work. Within several seconds it has gone through enough combinations to come up with the correct one. Derek privately ponders that for vast majority of cases it is a wedding day (if couple has no children) or children's birthday (if they have children that is) but computer deals with these problems with sheer raw power. Alice returns to car to open up the trunk and take off all necessary gear for Derek who quickly equips himself for entering house. Meanwhile Shea and Alice stay on Beetle ready to drive away quickly if necessary.
Derek starts breaking by lock-picking the lock and opening door leading to kitchen. Following his sensors that would alarm of any more possible alarm systems he slips forwards quietly hoping there would not be anything more to bypass. However, he notices a second alarm in living room covering back door and most of house interior. He looks at the passageways and comes into conclusion that going through area covered by alarm is necessary. He tries to see a deactivation device in living room but sees none and thus turns his efforts to kitchen noticing a security console next to kitchen phone. He puts on his pocket-PC to work again and after few more seconds the system shows that the security is broken again. Derek sighs for relief that he can continue. Then he checks the rest of the house with sensors and does not find any more. He goes through all the rooms and notices that there are three phones on house (kitchen, bedroom and work room) as well as one work room with computer on table. Time to call for rest of the group.
Alice leads Shea to work room so he can do his work on computer. Meanwhile Derek goes to practical matter of inserting taps to all phones. Both Alice and Derek use Polaroid instant cameras to take several photos of how room has been set up before they dare to touch anything so they can put everything from furniture to pencils to their right place. After inserting ASDL-plugs to deal with tapping LAN, Shea goes to look at particularly powerful personal computer sitting on table. It is connected to world with a modem to phone line. Shea suspects that corporation has some kind of deal with phone company that home at the end of line may not use LAN for anything else but to link it to corporation and thus Burton's have to get separate modem line. The rest of working room seems fairly common. A set of computer games is on shelves along with few computer magazines and some work-related papers. Shea works on computer and copies just about everything he suspects might be useful just in case. However, things do not look good. The table machine seems to be dedicated for gaming (and occasional downloaded supermodel picture). Meanwhile Derek concentrates his efforts on calendar on table and he copies all pages from today to two months forwards of what kind of activity Burton intends to do. Alice does the same on kitchen photographing everything written on small note papers and room table.
After about 25 minutes of frantic work Shea calls it quits and restores the computer to its original state. Derek goes immediately to work of arranging the room as it was before they started to work there while Alice does the same thing in kitchen. Then she and Shea go back to Beetle while Derek back traces back to kitchen and to garage setting up the alarm systems back to on position. The trio leaves house (12.00) as Derek opens the garage doors and closes it. Outside seems quiet and only one of the neighbor children is out in yard playing. He waves hand to Alice who returns to hand wave while men in car do their best to stay low. Security company's car passes them and give the obligatory look but men stay low and vehicle does not apparently give them the second look that would have marked that something was indeed wrong.
Alice drives the Beetle back to Paladin Systems (13.00) where Shea goes to work on data (he copied some of the interesting looking files) immediately. Meanwhile Alice removes the license plates and Derek carries the infiltration software and equipment in. Then they switch cars to Derek's Audi and drive to BlackEagle leaving Beetle back while Shea remains focused in on computer files. He phones to Cell 10 that he'll report on progress after he has gone through it and that it would probably take the rest of the day. Alice has to get to BlackEagle to take part of management meeting while Derek concentrates on studying photos. Derek goes to BlackEagle as well because it is easier to read them when one has good magnifying lens-lamp combination generally used in electronic industry.
Back in BlackEagle (14.00) Derek concentrates on studying photos and comes into conclusion that in next week's Wednesday they seems to be a formal dinner where both members of Burton family will attend. Tony Burton is attending it and party is avec. Formal dress means that they both need to get dressed for it and he has rented a Tuxedo while Estella has a hairdo earlier on day. Thus it seems fair to assume that Tony will come home and leave his laptop on work room and both stay away from home for at least three or four hours.
Meanwhile Alice concentrates on attending (surviving) her first management meeting in BlackEagle. This weekly meeting is always attended by management (essentially this includes team leaders) and managed by Tykes so that he can ask where the Cells are going towards and what kind of resources they need. Alice's first meeting is fairly educational as she listens to what kinds of missions other teams do. They vary from boring stakeouts of Cell 8 to bodyguard work of Cell 9 to confusing drug stakeout of Cell 4 to high tech surveillance/blackmail mission of Cell 5. Alice's own description of Cell 10's hacking mission does not seem that much breaking the law anymore in this group of security consultants (one part James Bond and two parts Ernst Stavro Blofeld).
The needs of senior Cells are equally unique. Cell 5 would really like to a buy high-end thermal imaging systems although Tykes coughs up politely upon hearing the price tag of such assets. Cell 4's boss -deCortez- has a tip that the drug war is going to explode soon. Primarily black gangs are gearing up towards a major clash on each other and there are constant rumors of members of 2FC's posse being somehow involved in all of it. Anyway, he'd really like to have another member, preferably a shooter, on his repertoire. Upon hearing the somewhat direct requirement, Armand Bounassist cannot but again feel how his ears are acting up and thus he did not hear exactly what grinning deCortez was quoting. He has had this ear problem since he has been a child and ever since he has worked under Tykes the ear problem has gotten steadily worse and now it is something he gets on every meeting. Some say that it is purely psychological but those who know things in BlackEagle better know it is environmental (work-related really).
However, the most important thing happening in the meeting for Cell 10 is that Tykes has a new mission for Alice and Cell 10. A major American financial corporation who would like them to keep an eye on a small up and coming stockbroker company that has arrived to Miami scene has recently approached them. It is not that they are against free market and capitalism and such but they'd like to know what this small company is actually working on. Cell 10 has unique abilities that for example Cell 4 does not have. Cell 10 has people with investigative abilities and finesse to carry it out on corporate scene. It is a long job that will take several weeks to get done. It is essentially a day job, days are used on surveillance, while nights are off and everything should be happening in Miami. Alice does not believe the part of nights off for a second. However, she smiles happily and readily show enthusiastically just how ready she is to that work.
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