With Royal Sanction – Part 1

Posted: April 28, 2010 in Modern, RPG
Tags: , , , ,

With Royal Sanction - movie stillBack in London, Elisha was called to M’s office. She passed through the outer office, giving Moneypenny a quick hello before entering through the leather door airlock into the inner sanctum. Closing the doors behind her, she knew M would switch on the light above the door; the one that meant he was not to be disturbed.

Inside, M looked up from the folder he was reading as Elisha entered.

“Ah, 001, good.” He closed the file and pushed it aside. “Have a seat.”

Elisha sat and waited for him to being the briefing.

“How’s your Italian?”

She smiled coyly. “Fettucini Alfredo. Spaghetti Bolognese. Um, Pollo con Parmesana?”

“Very funny,” he said dryly. (I’ve always loved the Bernard Lee “M”, the definitive performance of a spymaster if you ask me) “I ask because you’re on your way to Italy next. Now that poor Mr. Won is no longer with us, we thought it a good idea to find out where his money was headed. Turns out it is all passing through a bank in the suburbs of Rome.

“We need to get some gadget attached into the computer they’re using for the transfers so we can trace where things are going after they leave Rome. It’s on the net, but our chaps here can’t access it. Q’s come up with some dongle for you to hook into the computer that will give us everything we need. Once you get an idea where it’s headed, keep on it. We need to know where the money’s going and what they’re going to do with it.” M put his glasses back on and pulled the file in front of him again. “Well, that’s it. Stop by Q branch on the way out.”

Elisha stood and left as M returned to his reading.

In the basement where the Q branch labs where hidden, Elisha found Q huddled over an experiment.

“With you in a sec, 001.” He made some adjustment to the minute dust particle he was working on and then stood back. “Right, fire it up,” he said to a white coated lab tech. A high pitched hum accompanied the dust particle lifting into the air. They watched as it flew over to a dummy dressed in a suit. It landed, and a second later exploded in a big fireball. The dummy was gone.

“Explosive mosquito,” Q explained. He called again to the lab tech. “Right, have that ready for the Generalisimo’s camping expedition.” Q turned back to Elisha. “Follow me.” He lead the way into a small office, stuffed with papers, designs, prototypes, and somewhere under it all, a desk.

“Off to Rome, eh?” he said, rummaging around in the piles. “Ah, here’s the bit you’ll need.” Q held up a small plastic box, no longer than an inch, with a cable jack on one side and a plug on the other. “Network dongle. Hooks onto the back of the computer, into the network slot. You do know where the network plug goes, don’t you 001?”

“I know where a lot of plugs go.”

Q sighed heavily. “Right,” he began while pointing to the computer on his desk. “This is a computer, called a PC, for personal computer…” Instruction lasted some while longer, but by the time he was done, she knew her ROM from her RAM.

In doing the briefing I started with the James Bond mission generator from the “For your Information” supplement.
Location roll: 49 – Rome
Mission: 42 – Program or deprogram a computer
City sector: 5 – Northwest suburbs
Building: 8 – Bank (again!)

I took all that and mulled it over, coming up with the “follow the money” mission and needing to get data off the bank’s computers.

I also decided that this would be it for the “Q” section of things just now.

Normally in a Bond film Q gives several gadgets that come in surprisingly handy for James, almost like Q already knew what he’d need. For that reason I decided that I’d allow Elisha 3 opportunities in the game that when the time was right and she needed the help she could ask Mythic “did Q give me anything that would help me out here?” It would be a 50/50 odds question and if yes, then she’d get a magical Q gadget. If no, then nope, sorry, no luck for you. And I also said it didn’t need to be three successes. More like “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” she only gets three lifelines but the devices she gets do get to be reused from then on if appropriate.

When the jet landed in Rome, Roberto was waiting for Elisha in the arrivals lounge. Roberto was her contact in the city, he worked out of the local station house, and posed as her photographer when needed.

“Bella!” he called happily as she came from the jetway.

“Roberto!” She approached, and despite how foreign it was to her Chinese upbringing, gave him a kiss on each cheek.

“So nice to see you back in Roma,” he commented, as they started walking out of the boarding lounge. In a quiet voice he added to her “See in the lounge? Gate seven?”

Elisha looked over and saw a young woman tapping on a notebook computer, she wore jeans and looked like a student.

“She is the banker,” Roberto said. “Donna Giaconne. Won’s banker. Handled all the transactions personally. Right now she’s on her way to the funeral.”

I wanted to see if the action started at the airport and made the assumption that there might be someone waiting. There was, and I developed a “civilians” random list to see who. My result came out as “college student working on a computer”. Further exploration lead me to the fact that she was the banker.

Roberto knew her, but she didn’t recognize him or Elisha.

Roberto drove directly to the bank, Elisha sitting in the passenger seat of his Fiat. He parked across the street from the branch, beneath the shade of a leafy green tree.

“Tell me about the system,” Elisha said.

“Secure. Very secure. It’s the box that handles all of the money transactions, so it’s as secure as cash. They keep it in the vault.”

“No one playing solitaire on it at lunch I’m guessing?”

Roberto shook his head. “Like I said, in the vault, along with the wads of cash and safe deposit boxes.”

Elisha thought a moment. “What’s the easiest way to get into a vault?” When Roberto shrugged, Elisha smiled. “Rob it.”

Roberto nodded like he didn’t even think she was crazy. “What’s your plan?”

“How close are we to the Italians? Can they help us arrange something?”

“Very close. We should be…the station chief here is my brother!”

Here I used the James Bond NPC reaction charts to test how good a relationship there was between the Italians and the British. I rolled a “quality rating 1” which is “enamored”. I took a leap with this and went with the brothers thing…Don’t ask me how you could have brothers working for different national intelligence services, but stranger things have happened!

Things where arranged quickly. Roberto’s brother was able to dig up a willing bank-robber and set up with the local police special arrangements. The robber, Enrico Palumbo, was to bring an accomplice with him and hold up the bank. He’d take Elisha into the vault with him, presumably as a hostage, and she’d do her work. They’d then emerge and the police would storm the building capturing them. They’d be paid for their work and sent on their way.

The next day Elisha and Roberto were at the bank under the cover of an advertising photo shoot. As she posed over desks and deactivated computers as Roberto shot pictures, they waited for their “robber” to arrive. At five past one, he arrived as scheduled. But it was obvious from the first that the plan had been changed.

Instead of a pistol, Enrico was carrying a shotgun and a duffle bag, and he had five other men in tow, all equally armed.

“This is a robbery!” Enrico announced, blasting a shot into the ceiling.  “Everyone down on the floor.”

Staff and customers, 001 included, all dropped to the ground. Roberto shot Elisha a look. She shrugged, and hoped that he’d carry on with her part of the plan at least.

Enrico motioned to his men. “Keep this lot here. I’ll go ‘fix’ the vault…” He moved toward the entrance to the vault with clearly no intention of taking anyone with him.

I picked this as one of my “Did Q give me anything” tests. I got a 99…exceptional no in almost any circumstance! Oh well blew that test…

Elisha looked with disgust at the robbers. Nothing to it but to take matters into her own hands. She hiked her already short skirt just a little higher, and stood up playing the ‘dumb model’ routine.

“Um…excuse me, sir?”

Enrico looked at her, and smiled.

Elisha bit her lip and smiled at him. “Can we talk…maybe for a minute?”

His grin widening, Enrico waved her over. She walked up close, and motioned with her eyes. “Can I go in there with you?”

“But of course,” he said happily, leading her into the dark depths of the vault.

This was a bit of an unexpected turn for me, I mean I can’t say that I thought the whole break-in plan was going to go off without a hitch, but when the robbers showed up with no intention of taking her along, I was stuck. The only plan I could come up with was a dumb model/seduction attempt to try and get him to take her in with him. But that I never expected to work…when it did I was again caught off guard. I didn’t think it’d be that easy!

Once inside the vault, separated and out of sight of the rest of the burglars Elisha slid in close to Enrico. Once she was inside his perimeter she gave him her knee, hard. He crumpled to the floor.

“You dumb bugger. You’re intentionally screwing up my job.”

She quickly found the computer and snapped on the dongle Q had provided. Turning back she continued berating him.

“Screw me up again, and I’ll make sure you never see the light of day.”

Enrico growled, leapt up and charged at her. With a snort she landed a right cross hard on his jaw. Enrico dropped again, and didn’t get up.

Enrico was surprised by the first attack, a +4 to the ease factor for the attack, which meant she had to roll 216 or less to hit. She rolled 96, a quality rating 3, but still good enough for a wound. He rolled 97 to resist the pain, and failed, going down hard.

I tested “does she put the dongle on?” and got 22, yes, which was also a random event.
76 neutral event
64 spy
89 portals

I decided this meant that there was a hidden camera watching the computer, and so she’d been recorded putting the device on the computer.
When he attacked, she got a QR4 result since she could actually strike first.
It was a “stun” result. He needed 45 or less to resist getting knocked cold and rolled 46. Sorry buddy, you’re down, and I suspect headed for prison.

Now Elisha was unsure what to do. The ringleader was out cold, but there were still 10 hostages in the bank and five armed men to deal with. She fell back on her maxim, when in doubt surprise is your friend. She took up Enrico’s shotgun and charged out of the vault, screaming at the top of her lungs. She slammed square into the gunman guarding the hostages and laid him flat with the butt of the shotgun. Tossing the gun to Roberto, Elisha continued straight on to the one guarding the door. He swung at her and missed, and she slammed into him full force, knocking him cold. Behind her Roberto trained the shotgun on the others.

The bank job had come quickly to an end.

I figured the next scene would be the two of them monitoring the transmissions, but on checking I got a modified scene, so I figured it would be Roberto reporting on the results of the monitoring. I wanted a place, and checked with my old Daredevils RPG rules which has a fantastic random list of locations. I got a 4 “Amusement Park”. And what’s the ultimate “amusement park” in Rome?

The Colosseum!

I also checked to see what the results of the monitoring was (metagaming) to see what Elisha would be needing to find out. But I also checked to see how much Roberto could get out before something happened…

Rome was dark and as quiet as it ever got in the humming city. Elisha stood in the shadow of the Colosseum, ancient Rome’s monument to public amusement through blood sport. This was where Roberto had said to meet, to get the results of the monitoring they were doing on the bank’s computer.

He rounded a corner and approached her with a grin on his face.

“Got it,” he said happily. “And you’re going to love where.”

She matched his smile. “Tell me.”

“Hong Kong.”

Elisha laughed. She’d be going home. That was good. “What else?”

Roberto opened his mouth but before he could say anything further they were interrupted by a motorcycle crashing through the news boxes near them, intent on running them both down! Elisha pushed Roberto to one side, barely dodging the speeding bike, but taking note of the MP5 submachine gun slung on the driver.

Suddenly there were two more bikes coming straight at her. There was no time to dodge. The bikes tore by narrowly missing her. She readied herself as they came back determined to fight. Again they missed, though she was able to shove the toppled news box into the path of one of the riders. He dodged, tumbling from his bike.

Behind Elisha the lights of a van appeared. More bad guys. She snatched up the now abandoned motorbike and shouted to Roberto. “Get on!” He did and they pealed away. The chase was on again!

Close range on bikes. E bids 5, do they go lower? 50/50 odds…56 no.
E flees, +1 modifier for the bike, gets a quality 3 roll for two bands increase

Elisha opened up the throttle on the bike and gunned the engine. They shot forward down the wide street.

Behind them the two remaining bikes kept right on their tail, the drivers keeping pace. They shifted, bringing the MP5s out for use. They sprayed shots at Elisha. The first biker missed wildly. But Elisha could feel the thuds as the shots from the second hit home. Roberto’s hands eased holding her waist, and he slid lifeless off the back of the bike.

Anger welled up in her chest, and she wanted nothing more than to stop the bike, spin around and let loose with her pistol into the riders. She didn’t have her P7, though. All she was armed with was her backup gun, a Semmerling LM4 tucked under her skirt. The little gun could easily stop a man, but she’d only be able to get one shot out before the other biker would be upon her.

~Instead she opted to run, to avenge Roberto from more promising circumstances.

The bikes following her seemed desperate. They pushed harder to catch her, and did quickly surrounding her, the van charging up behind.

I got a no result to the question “does it go as normal?” and when I tested a random event I got “thread related – usurp – rides”. That coupled with a strong yes for “do they bid lower” meant they were going below the safety line for their bikes to try and catch her.

Elisha pulled a quick turn to try and ditch at least the van, but to no avail.
Suddenly she pulled up short, stuck in a dead end!

The bikes rolled close, the van pulling up and stopping with her pinned in it’s headlights. The bikers covered her with their guns as the van’s door opened and Song stepped out. He approached her, stopping just in front of her, close enough that she could feel his breath on her face.

“This was a payment, and your only warning,” he said. “Stay away.”

He returned to the van and it, along with the bikers sped off into the night leaving Elisha alone in a blind alley, the memory of Roberto falling away from her burned into her mind.

For this “go as planned” question I again got a “no” result. The event rolled was “open or close a thread – vengeance – messages”.  I think this one sort of opens and closes a thread…

Next stop: Hong Kong


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