Three Blind Mice...
BACKGROUND: With each of the PC's having been "interviewed" and introduced to the both the power of their individual Critics and Controller's rules, she is ready to put them into action. Her first order of business is to positively verify that the Rogue Valkyries are indeed harvesting and processing large quantities of Serotin 5.
[6:00am to 10:00am]
Controller contacts each of the PC's and issues orders for them to go immediately to Arizona. A hotel room at a hotel outside Tucson has been reserved for them, Room 101. They are to arrive there within the next two days.
The PC's make arrangements to be away from their individual responsibilities for a few days and each travels to Tucson. Mary and Olivia are close enough to drive in but Jack hops a flight out of New York, arriving at roughly the same time as the other two.
[10:00am to 2:00pm]
The PC's spend this segment traveling.
[2:00pm to 6:00pm]
Georgia arrives at the hotel first and discovers from the desk clerk that room 101 has already been reserved. She thanks him and takes room 102 next door, stashing her gear in the room. She then wears her concealable gun holster, locks and loads her Python and goes to listen at the door of room 101. Hearing nothing she knocks, but receives no answer. Trying the handle she finds it unlocked and enters.
After a short but careful look around she finds it completely empty, with both door keys lying on the bedside table. She returns to her room and gets her day pack, then returns to room 101 and duct tapes her gun beneath the small table in the room within easy reach. She sits at the table and waits, facing the door.
After about an hour Olivia arrives. She, too, inquires with the desk clerk about the room and goes to knock. Georgia answers and Olivia enters the room. She gets zapped when she tells Georgia, "Uh...I was told to come here." The two just eye each other for a bit, unsure what they are allowed to say. Presently Olivia introduces herself and the two begin getting acquainted without discussing the circumstances surrounding their being in that particular hotel room at all.
After two hours the chit chat has died down and the two are as acquainted as their likely to get. Jack then arrives outside and spends a few minutes eyeing the place. He exits his vehicle and sneaks carefully down the walkway toward the door of the room with his own Desert Eagle in a shoulder holster, hoping to spy out what's awaiting him there.
Georgia hears him moving stealthily outside, gestures for Olivia to stand back and sneaks to the edge of the doorway herself. Jack hears her moving at the doorway. He decides to just step through the door with gun drawn and does so. As soon as the girls see him Georgia moves to engage.
Jack gets the Initiative and warns Georgia to back off or he'll shoot her. He has them both covered with his pistol. He demands to know who they are, which they answer readily, and what they are doing in this hotel room. The two girls glance at one another but don't answer, knowing a truthful answer would violate rule #3 and get them zapped. Getting no answer from either of them he enters the room and closes the door. He then begins to threaten them to answer his questions, at which point Controller intervenes and Jack suddenly finds his arm quickly going numb. His arm falls limp to his side and the Desert Eagle slips out of his hand falling to the floor. Georgia immediately seizes the opportunity and launches for him, intending to try an Overrun maneuver and stomp on his head a bit. Olivia, meanwhile, snatches out her cell phone, intending to phone the police.
Controller knocks Georgia and Jack unconscious before they can come to blows, then Olivia as well when she continues attempting to use the cell phone. After only a moment she awakens Olivia, giving her with auditory instructions to remove Georgia and Jack's weapons and hide them under the mattress (she tells her where Georgia stashed hers). After doing this, she awakens Georgia and Jack with a stern auditory warning to desist.
The PC's receive no further communication from Controller for nearly an hour, during which time the girls introduce themselves to Jack and vice versa (though Georgia now clearly dislikes Jack).
After one hour silently speculating on what they each are doing there, Controller gives Jack an auditory command to turn on the television to a local news channel. The girls just watch, wondering why he's suddenly switching on the television. Presently Controller appears (as a visual hallucination) on the television screen, explaining that this will allow her to communicate with them without violating rule #2.
She tells the PC's there's a warehouse off the interstate outside of town, gives them address and instructs them to go there and case the place. Then prepare to break in early the next morning before the "day crew" comes in at 8:00 am. Their orders are to inspect the inside of the warehouse and discover what it is being used for. She warns them there will likely be some token security there, but does not expect anything especially elaborate. With that she simply disappears from the screen and the PC's find themselves staring at the local news.
[6:00pm to 10:00pm]
The PC's decide, without violating rule #2, to prepare for "the job". They leave the room, with Georgia and Jack each taking one of the room keys. They decide on Olivia's Jetta as their vehicle and load their respective gear in the back. They drive out to the highway and locate the warehouse down a short desert road. They park down the road from the warehouse at a distance where they can watch it with binoculars. Georgia pops to hood of the car and pretends to work on the engine.
While Jack watches the warehouse via binoculars, noting the number of cars and the presence of outside security cameras, Olivia pulls out her notebook computer and hits the internet. She manages to discover the warehouse isn't found on any of the normal business listings but she does come across a lucky reference to it as a "storage warehouse" for the local Hyperdine Bio-research Company.
Her research into Hyperdine turns up little of interest, with details on their research listing a large variety of common and very bland medical research. She can determine nothing else of note concerning Hyperdine at all, other than an unusually rapid climb to mediocrity since it's formation less than one year ago.
Jack meanwhile estimates there are about seven people in the warehouse, judging from the vehicles outside. Though there are security cameras covering the parking lot in front of the building and one clearly covering the back door that appears to be the extent of the overt security. After the three hours Olivia spends researching the place he sees no security personnel make an appearance outside to check the grounds.
Figuring they've learned all they can at this distance they decide to head into town and see what they can dig up.
Georgia is driving and attempts to start the car, only to find they now actually do have car trouble. The car won't start. She assesses the vehicle and finds that a battery plug has worked itself loose. She goes about replacing it with the tools she brought with her.
While conducting the simple repair a highway patrol car pulls up. The two uniformed officers exit the vehicle to question the PC's about the trouble they seem to be having. Georgia casually informs them of the battery cable trouble and assures them she has things well in hand. The officers get a feeling that something is out of place when speaking with Georgia and continue with routine questions directed toward Jack and Olivia. Olivia is clearly nervous during the questioning. After several minutes, plenty of time for Georgia to complete her minor repairs to the Jetta, the officers reluctantly depart since they can't uncover anything more. They do, however, hang around until the PC's actually leave the area.
[10:00pm to 2:00am]
Back at the hotel room Georgia determines that she doesn't know much of anything going on in the underworld around here. Lacking anything to contribute, she stays there with Olivia to more or less stand guard. Olivia does some more research on Hyperdine from the hotel room but discovers nothing else.
Jack, however, determines that if there is anything illegal going on its possible the local mafia knows something about it. He has a contact in the area that he could speak to. He goes to a local bar he's heard of and arranges a meeting for late that night with Jimmy "The Brick" Guiliano. Once they meet, he uses Diplomacy to increase Jimmy's Indifferent attitude to Friendly. He finds that the Hyperdine company is to all appearances "on the up and up", but there are rumors that they employ some "heavy hitters" as troubleshooters. Jimmy only knows this because one of the small time hoods Carlo Defranco regularly employs got himself "worked over, but good" the night after he tried to lean on the security chief over at the Hyperdine building. The way he heard it these three guys just came out of nowhere, snatched him right out of the window of his car and beat him so bad he was hospitalized for a week. Said it was a warning not to mess with the folks at Hyperdine. Since then the family pretty much stays away from Hyperdine, since there isn't anything there worth bothering with anyway.
Jack returns to the hotel room and reports what he knows to the other two. They gather their gear and make plans to infiltrate the warehouse. According to the limited look they got of the layout via binoculars, it looks as if most of the outside of the place isn't even monitored. Security cameras only cover the small paved parking lot and the back door. Jack figures he can access the rear camera from the roof of the place and disable it. Olivia figures she can jerry-rig something to override the camera and feed a playback loop. The others like that idea and set her to work on it.
Figuring they need a plan "B", Jack and Georgia put their heads together and decide going through the front door might be do-able if they can trick the security guard into letting them in. Jack goes to town to buy some props (fake blood, mainly) to fake an injury, figuring they'll pretend to be motorists who suffered an accident on the interstate and ask for a first aid kit.
Olivia manages to gather the materials to construct the device and completes it in time to use it on the job. The PC's load up in the Jetta again with their gear and head out for the warehouse.
[2:00am to 6:00am]
The PC's arrive at the warehouse and park on the side of the interstate. They then realize using Olivia's Jetta may not be a good idea, considering the attention they (and the Jetta) got from the highway patrol earlier. Jack gives Olivia the keys to his Neon and they send her back to switch out the gear and fetch it. Jack takes the playback device with him, as well as his field bag of tools.
As Olivia drives back to the hotel, Jack approaches the warehouse from a blind spot while Georgia waits within sight of both the interstate and the warehouse. Jack easily scales the wall and up to the roof of the small building. From there he stealthily approaches the rear door to disable to security camera (but fails his Stealth check vs. the security guards inside). By the time he reaches the rear door a security guard exits the rear of the building and begins searching the roof with a flashlight. He hides on the roof and manages well enough that the guard doesn't spot him; even though he conducts a decent search (takes 10).
Once the security guard goes back inside Jack waits a few minutes, then approaches the rear door again (successfully this time). He installs the device on the rear security camera with no difficulty. To test it, he scales down the side of the warehouse again, stands in view of the camera and waves his arms around for a minute. Nothing happens so he waves Georgia in.
Jack easily picks the standard lock on the back door and cracks it a bit to peer inside. He is able to see most of the layout of the laboratory inside. He can also see another door leading to what is likely a short hallway where the security guards are stationed at the front of the building. There is also yet another security camera on the inside wall right next to the front door. After a quick consultation he and Georgia decide that proceeding inside without Olivia (clearly the techno-geek of the team) might be a waste, so they hold off on any action until she arrives. They retreat to a safer distance closer to the interstate and out of sight of the warehouse.
Olivia arrives about fifteen minutes later with the Neon, leaving it on the side of the interstate. The PC's then approach the warehouse back door. There Jack decides he should disable the security camera near the door, back off long enough for the security guards to investigate and leave again, then go in to check out the lab. Deciding it's the best approach on their limited time, the girls give Jack the nod. While they wait around the corner he enters the lab, staying clear of the camera's angle of view. He disables the camera in such a way that the cause of its failure will not be easily discernable, and then swiftly exits to join the girls around the corner. In moments they can hear the muffled sounds of at least two guards talking just inside the doorway. After a couple of minutes the voices move off again.
Jack sneaks a peek through the back door and sees no one inside. He enters and checks the camera, finding his sabotage still in effect. The girls enter and the PC's make a hasty examination of the laboratory.
Olivia hits the computer on the desk and easily accesses the lab's files. They are short on specific details and she can only guess that the lab seems more or less devoted to nothing more than purifying or processing some form of bio-chemical. The raw chemical apparently comes in regularly and is processed and stored here before being shipped out at irregular intervals.
Jack and Georgia search the place, not looking for anything in particular. After Olivia whispers what little she is able to find, Georgia quickly identifies the cold storage containers. In short order the three have identified the raw chemical containers and the processing equipment as well.
Controller suddenly appears in the corner of the room (with a quick warning not to violate rule #2). The PC's avoid looking directly at her or responding in any overt way while she gives them instructions to secure a sample of the processed chemical and analyze it. She then disappears.
Frustrated with the lack of information Controller's giving them, the PC's secure three vials of the bio-chemical and prepare to exit. Before they can, however, the door to the adjacent restroom opens and a security guard steps into the room.
Guard1 15 6 -3 -4 -2
Guard2 12 4
Guard3 2 2
Jack pulls his Desert Eagle, kneels behind cover of the counter and warns the guard to be quiet or else...
Guard1 panics, pulls his own weapon and yells at the PC's to drop their weapons and put their hands up.
Guard2 hears Guard1 yell, stands and pulls his weapon.
Georgia pulls her weapon and kneels behind the counter, turning to cover the door leading to the front hall of the warehouse.
Olivia doesn't have her weapon, so she kneels behind the desk.
Guard3 hears Guard1 yell, stands and pulls his weapon as well.
Jack, figuring they're screwed if they don't get out of there quickly, fires on the guard: hits (9), dropping him.
Guard2 moves to the door, opens it and sees what's going on. He yells at Guard3 to call the cops.
Georgia expresses her displeasure with Jack for starting a gunfight, then fires on Guard2: misses
Olivia moves to the fallen Guard1, hoping Guard2 doesn't take a shot at her. She retrieves the medical kit from her day pack.
Guard3 dives for the phone and starts dialing.
Jack turns to fire on Guard2: miss
Guard1 loses another hit point.
Guard2 quickly slams the door back and locks it, blocking himself off from any more fire.
Georgia holsters her weapon and heads for the rear door, cursing Jack.
Olivia attempts to stabilize the Guard: succeeds.
Guard3 speaks with the police over the telephone.
Jack holsters his weapon and heads for the rear door.
Guard1 is stable.
Guard2 waits, weapon trained on the door to the store room.
Georgia opens the rear door and tells Olivia to leave the guard.
Olivia attempts to restore some hit points to the unconscious guard: succeeds (2) but he's still out.
Guard3 continues talking to the police.
The PC's exit out the back door and hoof it back to Jack's Neon. Once loaded up they head on down the interstate back to the hotel with the vials in Georgia's day pack.
[6:00am to 10:00am]
The PC's arrive back at the hotel and exit the vehicle. Georgia deposits her pistol into her day pack and tosses it on top of the Neon. When Jack exits his vehicle she Bluffs him (16) and Jack fails his Sense Motive check (5). He is surprised when she smiles at him and gives him a hug. Georgia beats his opposed attack roll (11 vs 6) and snatches his gun from his holster. She then tosses the weapon into the bushes on the edge of the parking lot and engages him in unarmed combat, warning Olivia not to interfere.
Jack can't attempt to Charm Georgia, as she has a decidedly Hostile attitude. He strikes: miss.
Georgia's Combat Martial Arts feat grants her an AOO for the attack and she takes it: hits (7 non-lethal)
Georgia knocks Jack's chin back over his shoulder and he's out cold.
Georgia retrieves his pistol and her day pack, placing it inside. She and Olivia then drag Jack into the hotel room. There Olivia attempts to Treat Injury and restore some of his lost non-lethal damage: success (3).
Jack wakes to find Georgia with her Colt Python trained on him. She warns him in no uncertain terms that if he ever involves her in another gunfight unnecessarily, she'll kill him and bury him in the desert. Jack offers his assurances but she holds on to his gun for the meantime.
Olivia is beside herself at all the gunplay, curses at Jack and Georgia then retreats to the bathroom.
Once Jack assures her (through the bathroom door) that no one is going to shoot anyone else anytime soon, Olivia comes out of the bathroom and digs her chemical kit out of her field bag. She conducts an analysis of the bio-chemical sample to identify it: Knowledge (earth/life): success. Research: success. She identifies it as Serotin 5, but only after several hours of study and research. Her research reveals that it is an extremely rare hormone found in the human brain. However its purpose has never been determined as it appears in such incredibly microscopic amounts that testing of any sort is prohibitively difficult. In fact she is unable to determine how the hormone was ever discovered and only finds a few vague references to the hormone. She can't find any published research specifically regarding Serotin 5 at all.
Having completed their mission the PC's wait patiently for Controller to communicate. After an hour has passed they find themselves in a difficult position. Unsure if Controller is even monitoring or realizes that they are done, they are reluctant to attempt to speak to her or report in some manner for fear of violating rule #2. In the end they decide simply to hunker down for the night and depart in the morning if no further communication is forthcoming by then. They even leave the television on all morning, with the volume low, in case she wants to communicate in that way again.
[10:00am to 2:00pm]
When the PC's wake up Controller still has not communicated, the PC's decide to force things by simply splitting up and going home. Jack decides to test Controller and speaks out loud, "Where that weird lady that gave us this job, anyway?" Controller immediately zaps him but doesn't otherwise respond.
Disgruntled, the PC's pack their gear and make preparations to leave. They agree, out loud and seemingly to one another, to "wait another hour before we go". While waiting, however, someone knocks at the door of the hotel room. Georgia peeks out the peephole and sees three rather serious looking men in dark suits.
When she whispers this to the other PC's Jack immediately demands his gun back. Georgia refuses, arguing that she doesn't know whether or not these guys are cops. If they are, she's not getting in worse trouble by getting in a shoot-out with them. Jack is free to climb out the bathroom window if he likes.
Georgia stashes her Python and Jack's Desert Eagle in the bedside drawer, stands guard next to it and sends Olivia to open the door. She does so and the apparent leader of the three men, a bald man wearing dark glasses, politely asks for permission to come in. Olivia looks back at Georgia and Jack, getting the nod, and stands aside.
Wasting no time the bald man freely admits that he knows the PC's raided the warehouse last night. He claims to represent the laboratory's owners and has only come to retrieve the vials they took. Should they turn them over without any fuss he assures them he will leave and there won't be any more trouble. Otherwise...there will be.
Having technically fulfilled their orders by successfully identifying the contents of the vials and with still no direct communication from Controller, the PC's comply. Jack gets the vials from Georgia's day pack and hands them over. The bald man takes the vials, places them in a small metal container and puts them in his jacket. He and the other two men then draw tasers from concealed holsters
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