Sunday, 22 July 2018

Child Spies (Night's Black Agents)

This will be a quick one as Sunday has flown past.

It's based in part on this Guardian article about the police and intelligence services - presumably MI5 though the article dances around that bit - using children as assets in the war on crime and terror. Brief synopsis: a House of Lords committee expressed alarm at the increasing use of children, some under the age of 16, as spies.

The Report on which the article is based can be found here.

'This Order proposes to increase the period for which a person under 18 years can be used as a CHIS [juvenile covert intelligence source] from one month to four months. While the Government state that the rationale for the change is that the one month authorization for CHIS increases pressure on the CHIS and their handlers to get results swiftly in order to justify renewal of the authorization, the predominant tone … was about the administrative convenience of the authorities concerned … The original [report] did not give any context on how such sources would be used or the numbers involved … It gave no indication of what checks might be made on the welfare of the young person not only during the period of surveillance but also in the longer term … We are concerned that enabling a young person to participate in covert activity associated with serious crime for an extended period of time may increase the risks to their physical and mental welfare …'

Unpleasant stuff.

In the Dracula Dossier there's one obvious connection: the Feral Child Vampire (p191). 'Created by Lucy during her brief tenure as 'The Bloofer Lady,' this child vampire hasn't aged since 1894 ...'

Operation FOOTBALL

A joint task force between MI5 and the London Metropolitan Police, Operation Football is supposed to be an investigation of juvenile gangs linked to larger organized groups dealing in heroin, with possible links to terrorist organizations. Several members of youth gang Horror Road have been targeted as part of Football, and the thinking is that flipping these gang members will lead to bigger fish. MI5 is particularly interested in rumors that Horror Road may be linked to a larger group involved in terror acts or the planning of same. One gang member, street name Mayhem, seems to be the primary link, but Football hasn't had much luck with Mayhem so far.

All of which is giving Edom kittens, because Football hasn't found a child informant; it's found the 1894 feral child, and the larger group involved in terror acts is Dracula's Conspiracy. The problem is Edom can't just warn the Football operatives off; it's gone too far for that. Too many people know. There's even talk an MP might raise the issue in the House, in support of (or to counter, whichever) the House of Lords' efforts to bring some order to the current Regulations governing the use of child spies.

Option One: Containment. This assumes the agents are working with or for Edom. Their task is to bring Mayhem in as discreetly as possible, preferably without involving or alerting Football's operatives in any way. Ideally they capture the SBA and provide a suitable corpse substitute - knife crime's a real problem, so sad. Of course Mayhem isn't likely to cooperate - the feral hasn't had this much fun in years.

Option Two: Node Surfing. This assumes the agents are freelancers or at least not connected to Edom. Their job is to follow Mayhem up the chain to the Node the feral's working with. Of course they'll have to do that under the noses both of the Football team and also Edom, which is doing its best to contain the situation without exposing its own operations. Naturally this isn't going anywhere pleasant - the feral might be a very small cog in the larger machine, but the Conspiracy elements it's contacted are bigger fish by far.

Option Three: Bad Day At Work. This option assumes the agents are part of Football and unaware of the larger conspiracy. This is a way to start a campaign, possibly even a Solo Op once the ruleset gets out of playtest. The Football team thinks its about to score a coup, but first it has to justify extending its use of its child operative. While it's doing that, someone drops an explosive bundle of information in Football's lap - its star informant isn't a child, it's been alive for over a hundred years and there are photos, documents or other paperwork to prove it. Who is Mayhem? What is Mayhem?


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