Background: On August 27th an 18-wheeler is involved in a terrible crash at a busy city intersection in Laredo, Texas. Responding to the accident local police discover the truck driver attempting to force his truck through the wreckage and flee the scene, even though his truck is badly damaged from the accident. They detain him and soon discover the trailer is filled with dozens of young children, all female, packed practically shoulder to shoulder. Some of them are wounded from the crash.
Further investigation reveals that the driver, who works for the nation-wide chain of S-Mart superstores, was reported missing several weeks ago. Social services moves in to deal with the children, all determined to be Argentinean, and finds that all of them claim to have been abducted and ferried by sea on a large cargo vessel. They have no idea where they are now and have been inside the truck cab for at least the last 24 hours. Local police try to interrogate the driver but have no luck at all. By the time the FBI is notified the truck driver has already died in jail after swallowing his own tongue. Naturally the national press descends quickly on the story. The next day every evening news program in the county leads with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the accident and the discovery of the children.
On the morning of the 28th, Controller contacts the PC's and orders them to Laredo, Texas to conduct their own investigation...
[6:00am to 10:00am]
PC's meet at the airport this time, rather than trying to rendezvous in town. Apparently time is of the essence and Controller "encourages" them with a few zaps here and there to move quickly and eliminate any delays. They rent a mid-sized sedan at the airport and proceed directly to the accident scene so that Olivia can Investigate the area.
Arriving there they find the scene already relatively sanitized, with all vehicles involved having been towed to impound and the intersection barricaded to stop traffic. Fortunately there don't seem to be many police officers or investigators on the scene at the moment, so the PC's allow Jack the opportunity to finally work his magic with the locals. He speaks with one of the officers attached to the scene and manages to get his permission to allow Olivia to eyeball the area (under the pretense that they are representatives of S-Mart's contracted legal firm). Considering all the media attention surrounding the incident the PC's don't expect to find much as the local PD has likely given the investigation a lot of attention. If federal agents have already arrived, they expect even less. Olivia, however, displays a remarkable talent for forensics and finds evidence that the street itself suffered proximal exposure to an explosive device of some kind. From skid marks she is able to estimate that the explosive device was likely attached somewhere under the rear of the truck's cab when it detonated. She stealthily scrapes up a sample of the explosive residue, hoping to identify it.
The PC's vacate the area, heading for the police station to see what they can dig up there. On the way Olivia is able to easily identify the residue as coming from a homemade explosive and not a very powerful one (although powerful enough to cause the truck to lose control and crash, anyway). The PC's reach the local police station to find it swarming with media. Reconsidering their approach, the PC's decide they should check the vehicles themselves. As they are all in police impound at the moment, they'll have to be sneaky.
[10:00am to 2:00pm]
Georgia, somewhat familiar with the Laredo from her wilder days, is relatively sure she knows where the PC's can get whatever identification they like, for a price of course. The PC's plan to get access to the vehicles by claiming to be insurance representatives for one of the victims in the crash. She makes a few phone calls and soon arranges a meeting. Within two hours she and the other PC's all have I.D. and paperwork identifying them as investigators for a fictitious insurance company, though Olivia loses a Wealth level from her share of the expense. They proceed to the local police impound.
Jack again goes to work on the clerk there, presents their fake identification and manages to elicit a Favor. The clerk allows the "insurance investigators" to take a quick peek at the vehicles in order to get a jump start on their paperwork...under his supervision, of course. While Jack successfully distracts the clerk with conversation, Georgia and Olivia check over the wreckage. Georgia (incorrectly) determines that the truck came under small arms fire, noting several small holes in the side of the cab. Olivia uses her Investigate skill and an Action Point to spy the truck driver's travel log peeking out from under the seat. While the clerk is distracted, Olivia manages to get a look at the last couple of pages and attempts to commit some of the details to memory. She determines the driver has spent the last several weeks driving from Arizona to Louisiana, making deliveries at least seven times. Olivia replaces the travel log and the PC's vacate the area.
Meanwhile several Rogue Valkyries have already arrived in Laredo with many of their jingoed government officials, intent on diverting the investigation. The PC's are spotted leaving the impound by two of the Rogues (all of whom have long since been fully briefed on the PC's and the disturbing mystery surrounding them). They, in return, are not spotted and they immediately report the PC's presence to their superiors. They then assign a couple of their bodyguards to tail them.
[2:00pm to 6:00pm]
Having decided their investigation isn't likely to proceed any further without access to what the police investigation has turned up, the PC's put their heads together to figure a way to get hold of the information. Finally they decide the simply attempt to bribe one of the investigators for information, "off the record". Olivia hits the internet and does some research to determine what has already been leaked to the press but finds that there is little information available that they don't already know. A few other rumors prove unreliable but are noted nonetheless. She does manage to identify the two federal agents who've arrived to take over the investigation, however. She makes a few phone calls and easily locates them at a local hotel. The PC's drive there to surveil the federal agents and await an opportunity to get at one of them.
On the street Georgia spots the sedan following them and the PC's keep an eye on it until they arrive across the street from the hotel. They see the vehicle park on the next block behind them. The PC's decide to wait and watch both the federal agent's rooms and the two jingos that are watching them. In the process they note two vans parked within sight of the hotel that seem to be surveilling the hotel as well.
[6:00pm to 10:00pm]
After several hours the PC's see the federal agents exit their hotel rooms and head for their vehicle. They follow, noting the sedan is now following them again and the two vans seem to be following the agents. Once they traveled a few blocks the agents quickly turn off on a side road and begin switching lanes and changing direction in an attempt to shake the vans following them. Georgia, who's driving, manages to keep them in sight though both vans are thrown off the agent's trail. The PC's attempt to determine if the sedan is still following them but don't see it around. They continue following the agents, unsure whether they've been spotted in the process or not.
The federal agents then arrive at a small house in the city where several police cruisers are already parked with their lights flashing. The PC's park down the street just within sight of the house and watch. They witness the apparent owner of the house being taken into custody and driven away in a cruiser. While waiting Olivia pulls out her laptop and hits the internet looking for anything on the address. She finds it easily, listed as the place of business for Gerald Renshaw, M.D., a general practitioner.
Having decided to watch the area for as long as the FBI agents are there they also see several boxes carried away after a couple more hours have passed followed by the departure of the federal agents. Following them again they end up at the local police station where the agents and the boxes both disappear inside.
[10:00pm to 2:00am]
The PC's take the opportunity to drive quickly back to the hotel and break into the FBI agent's hotel rooms. On arrival everyone Takes 10 on a check to Spot anyone else surveilling the hotel and don't detect anyone. Jack grabs his tools from his gear and the team heads upstairs to the agent's rooms. Assured the coast is clear, Jack attempts to bypass the electronic lock on the hotel door and succeeds easily. The team enters the first room and quickly searches the place for any information that might be useful. They are surprised to find nothing at all there but a quick check in the adjoining room of the other agent's reveals nearly the entire documentation for the investigation. Rifling quickly through it Olivia picks out a wealth of valuable information: The identity of the organization that the agent's suspect were involved in transporting the Argentinean children to the states (Los Lenones, a world-wide organization of child peddlers with a very old and very nasty reputation). A map indicating the weigh stations the truck passed through (and notes questioning why the driver was never stopped, despite the APB on his truck since his disappearance). Most telling, however, are detailed notes on the preliminary interviews with the children that shed some light on the warehouse where they were held for nearly a week before the truck picked them up. Georgia immediately recognizes a couple of unique details that indicate to her that it may well be one of the warehouses in the same complex that they surveilled on their last mission. Clearly the FBI agents don't have the PC's personal knowledge of the warehouse complex and have yet to determine the its location.
Georgia and Jack get into a small altercation when Jack tries to loot the room while the girls are going over the evidence. Olivia ends up having to break them up. Finally the PC's leave the hotel room, trying their best to obscure any evidence of their tampering.
[2:00am to 6:00am]
[6:00am to 10:00am]
The PC's get a hotel room a little further down the highway and spend the next eight hours resting.
[10:00am to 2:00pm]
The PC's put their heads together to decide whether or not to proceed on to Arizona and check out the warehouses there. Olivia and Georgia are curious as to what the local doctor, Gerald Renshaw, has to do with anything and what those boxes that were taken from his business contain. In the end they decide that getting direct access to the evidence collected there may prove too difficult. Olivia researches the local bars in the area around the police station and locates one that most likely serves the police officers of the district. The PC's take the rental car to the station to drop off Jack so he can work the crowd of reporters there.
Once they arrive Jack begins to mingle with the assorted reporters, interviewers and press corps laying siege to the police station. He spends the next two hours gathering information regarding the investigation. In the process he discovers that police are more or less at a stand-still and have yet to uncover any new leads. Unsubstantiated rumors and "off the record" statements indicate that the local Dr. Renshaw may have been hired for some form of physical examination of the kidnapped girls. There are other vague and disturbing rumors regarding the contents of the medical records taken from his private clinic as well.
Furthermore Jack hears the term "Los Lenones" several times and, following up on the term, learns more than he wanted to know about the hierarchal organization of pimps and sex-slave brokers that the federal agents suspect are involved. Most troubling to the few reporters familiar with Los Lenones is that the organization is loosely organized and typically isn't involved with trafficking such large numbers of slaves.
These things, coupled with the still unexplained bizarre behavior of the truck driver before, during and after the accident have the press in an absolute frenzy and the story is expected to be in the national spotlight for some time.
Georgia and Olivia, meanwhile, have gone on to check out the cop bar a couple of blocks down. Though it's still early in the day they grab a table in the back corner and Olivia goes to work on the bartender. They also decide it might be a good time to hang back and see who's watching them. Olivia finds out from the bartender that the two federal agents are expected to come in tonight with the local officers. The original detective involved in the investigation also came in last night and he expects to see him again tonight as well.
The girls sit back and sip colas while they watch the bar and wait for Jack to report in. Within an hour two disreputable looking men enter and seat themselves at the opposite corner from them. It soon becomes apparent they're watching them and making little effort to hide it. After a while Georgia decides to find out whether the two gawkers are just a couple of interested guys or if they're the ones following them earlier. She strides over to the two men and engages them in conversation only to find that both men are confrontational and clearly haven't the friendliest of intentions. After assuring herself that they are likely the ones who followed them last night, or at least monitoring them now, she decides to attempt to Intimidate them. Grabbing a pool cue from the nearby pool table she makes it clear to the two men that their continued surveillance isn't welcome and suggests they leave while they can still walk.
Unfortunately Georgia's Intimidate skill is very low (-1, actually) and the two men are tough guys to begin with. She not only fails to cause either man any anxiety at all but the larger of the two jingos decides that these people who've caused his employers so much stress need to be taken down a notch or two. He returns Georgia's threatening behavior and boldly states that if she and her partners don't leave town soon they may soon find themselves dead in an alleyway. Georgia, naturally, plants her pool cue upside the jingo's head.
Georgia whacks Jingoone with a pool cue: hits (5)
Olivia springs up from her seat and moves to help Georgia.
Jingoone jumps up and attempts to snatch Georgia's pool cue: Georgia's AOO misses, he lands the grab, fails the opposed check
Jingotwo jumps up and strikes at Georgia: her AOO misses, he misses
Georgia drops the pool cue, strikes at Jingoone: hits (6 non-lethal)
Olivia moves toward Jingotwo, his AOO hits (7), she strikes at him: miss
Jingoone strikes at Georgia, her AOO misses: he misses
Jingotwo strikes at Olivia, her AOO hits (3 non-lethal): he misses
Georgia attempts to grapple Jingoone: misses
Olivia strike Jingotwo: misses
Jingoone attempts to grapple Georgia: misses and stumbles
Jingotwo strikes at Olivia: misses
Georgia takes advantage of Jingone's stumble and grapples: lands the grab, wins the grapple check (4 non-lethal)
Olivia attempts to grapple Jingotwo: lands the grab, wins the grapple check (4 non-lethal)
Jingoone attempts to break free: fails
Jingotwo attempts to break free: fails
Georgia knocks her opponent around the head a bit: (6 non-lethal)
Olivia attempts to pin her opponent: succeeds
Jingoone attempts to break free: fails
Jingotwo is pinned.
Georgia still has her fellow in a nice shoulder lock and bats him around a bit more: (5 non-lethal) To her surprise, she knocks him out.
Olivia attempts to pin her opponent again this round, telling him to stop struggling or else: she succeeds
Jingoone is out cold.
Jingotwo considers his options and finally stops struggling.
Olivia releases the blowhard and allows him to collect his snoozing friend before Georgia runs them both out of the bar. The bartender nearly runs Georgia and Olivia out right behind them but Olivia manages to convince him that there won't be anymore trouble out of either of them. The bartender in turn informs them that the bouncer will be on duty in a couple of hours and they had best not stir up any trouble while he's on duty.
[2:00pm to 6:00pm]
Jack takes a cab and arrives at the bar to wait with the girls. After 3:30pm off-duty officers start wandering into the bar and the girls have had a chance to cool off from their earlier workout. The girls work the bar since a few nice looking officers have showed up while Jack tries to locate anyone directly involved in the investigation. They spend the next several hours buying drinks, carousing and information gathering. They pick up more or less the same information that Jack did earlier. However, they discover that several high level government officials (the FBI Assistant Director, the district attorney and even the governor) have begun throwing their weight around the investigation, making things very difficult for the local PD. Some of the key evidence (what little of it there was to begin with) has even disappeared from the evidence room.
Finally the federal agents arrive in the company of the detective in charge of the investigation. Jack pours a couple of action points into his interactions with them and discovers that the agents do indeed believe Los Lenones is directly involved in the transportation of the Argentinean children. Furthermore, the large shipment of children from so far out of country is unusual for the loosely organized sex-slave ring. Los Lenones, in fact, isn't particularly well organized and is more or less a hierarchal society, with each successive generation of pimps inducted in along family lines. The transportation of several dozen children into the states from South America is quite out of character for them.
Jack isn't able to get any more out of the agents as all their recent difficulties with local officials and the disturbing disappearance of evidence have made them very possessive of their investigation. Georgia and Olivia, in turn, aren't able to come up with anything more than Jack did earlier. Feeling they've tapped out the local information they decide to head out of town before too many people begin to question their involvement. Outside in the car Olivia hits the internet and books a flight to Tucson for the three of them on the red-eye flight that night.
[6:00pm to 10:00pm]
The PC's drive to the airport and drop off the rental car and wait for their flight. Again they pay particular attention to their surroundings, trying to determine if anyone else is following or observing them. Although they don't spot anyone, the two men that the girls trounced earlier have followed them there to determine where they are flying to.
[10:00pm to 2:00am]
The PC's catch their flight to Tucson while the two jingos following them catch a separate flight there with Crashtown on her private jet, arriving ahead of them. Crashtown, the Rogue Valkyrie controlling the two men, realizes the PC's target is the warehouse (where the other children are being gathered and stored awaiting transportation). She sends word ahead for the jingos there to evacuate the warehouse and plant incendiaries to destroy any physical evidence. The jingos at the warehouse, meanwhile, have already begun clearing out the place and have secured all of the children in the large holding pen inside before the PC's even land in Tucson.
The PC's, ready for a confrontation of some sort or at least a chance to get a bit more information on the conspiracy), rent another sedan and head straight for Nogales. They arrive there shortly after midnight and proceed on to the warehouse complex where they observed the meeting during their last mission. Arriving well after midnight they find the entire area closed down and the chain-link gates to the entire series of warehouses are closed and locked.
The PC's drive around the area looking through the chain-link fence for any activity. Coming around again toward the front gate they spy several vans and SUVs are now exiting through the complex. The PC's park on the dark side street where they are and kill their headlights, waiting for the vehicles to depart. Once they do Georgia exits the vehicle and has Jack check the fence for any security devices of any kind that she might trigger if she cuts through. With his assurance that it's safe she uses her tools to cut a navigable hole through the fence. The PC's don their armor and grabs weapons, then proceed into the warehousing area.
They head immediately for the warehouse where they witnessed the meeting on their last mission. Georgia, however, spots fresh oil pooled here and there in front of the neighboring warehouse. Checking on it, she finds the oil still warm and appears to have been leaked from a vehicle that was parked and idling in that spot very recently. Looking around she spies droplets of oil trailing off toward the front gate as well. Moving their attention to this warehouse Jack sets about trying to identify any security devices in evidence. He sees nothing, not even a functional surveillance camera. He attempts to pick the lock on the side entrance to the building.
Meanwhile Rick Morales, the local Los Lenones pimp, has concluded that his "big time deal" with the Rogue Valkyries has gone south. Parking their vans in back of the warehouse Rick and his hired goons have managed to stick around while the jingos evacuate. Rick is currently trying to salvage what he can out of the situation. He and his men are busy picking out a dozen or so children to haul away before leaving the rest to be incinerated. While the PC's are just getting through the side entrance into the office area, the Los Lenones thugs have finished picking out the children they want and have gathered them near the back exit. The PC's hear the children on the warehouse floor begin to scream and panic as it becomes clear to them that they are about to be separated.
The PC's charge ahead onto the warehouse floor and spot the three men, luckily standing just off to their side. They spring into action, engaging the thugs.
Olivia pulls her Desert Eagle and opens fire on Thugone: she misses
Georgia double moves into range of Thugtwo.
Jack, his MP5 already drawn, fires a burst at Thugone: he misses
Olivia moves fires at thugone again: hits (11)
Rick Morales draws his pistol and moves to the cover of the large crate nearby.
Georgia attempts a grapple on Thugtwo: she makes the grab, wins the opposed grapple check. Her grapple is a critical as well (10 lethal).
Jack fires another burst at Thugone: misses
Thugone grabs his pistol and runs to cover with Rick Morales.
Thugtwo attempts to break free of Georgia: fails.
Olivia fires at Thugone before he reaches cover: misses, she moves toward the large crate far to her right.
Rick Morales takes cover at the corner of the crate and fires on Jack: miss
Georgia holds onto her thug and strikes him: hit (4 non-lethal). He's down for the count.
Jack moves toward the crate with Olivia and fires a burst at Thugone: hits (16), killing him.
Olivia takes cover at the crate and fires at Rick: miss
Rick fires at Jack: misses. He moves toward the rear door of the warehouse.
Georgia has a straight line to Rick and charges him: she hits him (4 non-lethal)
Jack double moves toward Rick to help Georgia subdue him.
Olivia also double moves toward Rick to help subdue him.
Rick fires at Georgia: miss
Georgia attempts a grapple on Rick: she makes the grab but fails the grapple check.
Jack moves toward Rick, Rick's AOO misses, and Jack attempts a grapple: misses
Olivia moves toward Rick and attempts a grapple on him, Rick's AOO misses: Olivia misses.
Rick moves toward the rear exit. Olivia's AOO hits (2 non-lethal), Georgia's AOO hits (5 non-lethal), Jack's AOO misses.
Georgia charges Rick again: she hits (5 non-lethal)
Jack charges Rick: misses
Crashtown arrives at the office door to the warehouse and observes the action from cover.
Olivia charges Rick: hits (3 non-lethal)
Rick drops his pistol and finally surrenders
Georgia kicks Rick's pistol away and pushes him to his knees
Jack digs in his pack for a zip-tie handcuff to secure him
Crashtown fires a burst of auto fire at everyone: she hits the area (Georgia and Olivia make their Rsaves, Jack takes 4 damage and Rick is killed).
Georgia double moves toward Crashtown
Jack wields his MP5 again and fires a burst of auto fire at Crashtown: he hits the area but Crashtown makes her Rsave.
Crashtown turns and flees out the office door again.
Olivia double moves toward the door of the office.
Georgia moves and takes cover at the office door.
Jack double moves to the door of the office.
Crashtown fires another burst of auto fire at Georgia and Jack: she hits the area, Georgia makes her Rsave, Jack fails (2). She moves down the hallway toward the exit.
Olivia double moves into the offices to the hallway, spotting Crashtown.
Georgia double moves into the offices and down the hallway.
Jack double moves into the offices and down the hallway.
Crashtown moves to the door, opens it.
Olivia charges Crashtown: miss
Georgia charges Crashtown: miss
Jack charges Crashtown: miss
Crashtown activates her psychic shield and natural armor ability.
Olivia attempts to grapple Crashtown: misses
Georgia attempts to grapple Crashtown: misses
Jack attempts to grapple Crashtown: misses
Crashtown fires a burst into Georgia: hits (5), then drops the assault rifle.
Olivia strikes at Crashtown, her AOO misses: Olivia misses
Georgia attempts a grapple on Crashtown: misses
Jack attempts a grapple on Crashtown: misses
Crashtown double moves out of the warehouse and toward the car waiting for her, all three PC's take an AOO and miss.
Olivia fires on Crashtown: miss
Georgia moves out of the doorway and draws her Desert Eagle.
Jack fires a burst at Crashtown from the doorway: misses.
Crashtown reaches the car and dives into the open door, shutting it behind her.
Jingo Driver detonates the incendiary explosives at the four corners of the warehouse. Olivia makes her Rsave (12), Jack fails his Rsave (14), Georgia makes her Rsave (7). Jack spends an Action Point and barely makes the Fsave to avoid dying from massive damage.
Crashtown and Jingo Driver escape the warehouse lot as the PC's stagger to their feet. They decide not to bother firing after the vehicle, disgusted at their stunning failure to take down a single teenager (glowing or not). They turn their attention back to the warehouse and discover the explosions that erupted behind them have collapsed most of the warehouse. However, the cries from inside the rubble indicate the burning wreck still contains most of the children...who are now in danger of being burned or suffocated.
The PC's quickly cast about for a route through the burning rubble to the children but can find none. Aware that the ring of burning debris and incendiary material is rapidly depleting the children's oxygen supply, they put their heads together for a way to extinguish the fire or at least punch a path to the kids. Olivia runs quickly back to the PC's vehicle and (using her Scientific Improvisation talent) whips together a makeshift fire extinguisher out of the PC's gear. She charges into the warehouse and lays down a thick layer of the flame retardant material before the extinguisher empties, which Georgia and Jack use to breech the exterior of the collapsed warehouse.
Once within the burning building, the two PC's moves to the gate of the holding pen which Georgia shoots open. Jack uses his talents to get the panicked children's attention, then he and Georgia usher them out the gate and out of the warehouse. Olivia, meanwhile, has run in and is attempting to triage the dozen or so young girls who are either dead or dying from the explosions and toxic environment. Once the survivors are safely clear of danger Jack and Georgia go back for Olivia and are forced to practically drag her from the burning building.
With most of the girls safe and everyone in relatively good shape the PC's feel as if they've finally accomplished something respectable. At least until Controller appears and announces an end to the mission, dismissing everyone home. The PC's grumble a bit, more over Controller's apparent lack of interest in giving them any information or guidance at all. But Controller ignores their mutterings since they aren't violating the rules in any obvious way. She disappears, offering no explanations.
The PC's allow Olivia a few moments to check over the three dozen or so girls for any serious injuries. As they can hear sirens in the distance they are relatively sure police and fire fighters are on the way. They instruct the girls to stay put (as best they can, as none of the girls speak English) and then flee for their rental car, hoping to escape before the authorities arrive.
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