Sunday, 9 May 2021

Fly With Me (Heist, Night's Black Agents)


  Frank Sinatra

Pelgrane Press' Resource Guide for Night's Black Agents posits some interesting dilemmas for those oh-so-confident Agents. Let's see what can be done if we put those puzzle pieces together, and plot out a Heist. 

For a heist, says the Guide, decide where the McGuffin is and who has it right now. I'm deliberately keeping the nature of the McGuffin vague so you, as Director, can do with it as you will. However I'm going to treat it as if it were vital medical supplies, like a replacement organ, because that fits neatly with the planned location for the heist: an airport.

An airport can be a quasi-fortress devoted to security theatre, but it doesn't absolutely have to be. In fact, in a Stakes game the airport ought to be something that fulfills that James Bond fantasy. One of the top ten airports in the world, in fact. Fortunately this is a reality in which humanity is devoted to top ten lists of all kinds, and can find out this information easily.

So the central conceit is this: a Conspiracy asset is flying the McGuffin out of Whichever airport to Destination X, and once it gets to X the McGuffin is effectively off-limits. So if the Agents want the McGuffin they'll have to get it during transport. That means they can hit it at its departure or its destination airport, but either way it has to be an airport.

There's some talk that in the future we'll be using drones to transport organs, but for the sake of this narrative I'm crossing drones off the list. This is a manned flight. 

A surgeon plus bodyguard(s) will accompany the McGuffin. Whether or not the surgeon actually is a surgeon is neither here nor there, for the purpose of the narrative; as far as the airport's concerned, she's a surgeon. Depending on the nature of the game the surgeon might actually be a necromancer, a mutant Renfield, some sort of alien botanist or what-have-you. Her beefy travelling companion is just a remarkably well-built anesthesiologist.  

The objective is to obtain the McGuffin without tipping off the surgeon and her bodyguard. This allows the Agents a vital hour or two to arrange their getaway. If the Agents succeed but the surgeon and bodyguard find out about it, then either Heat goes up by 3 or the Conspiracy immediately initiates a highly aggressive Conspyramid response. Or possibly both, why not. After all, you're the Director, not the Saint. 

So, going back to the Resource Guide:

  • Uncover the nature and history of the target item. OK, I'm keeping this vague for plot reasons, but we know it's portable, we know it's being kept in a reasonably secure environment, and we know there are enemy assets watching over it. We also know that those assets won't be in possession of the McGuffin for a period of time, while it's in transit.
  • Gather intel about the holding facility. I'm going to go into more detail, but for now just know that it's a major international airport.
  • Gather intel about the opposition. In addition to the surgeon and her bodyguard(s), there's airport personnel, airport security, and random passers-by who may or may not get involved. 
  • Acquiring whatever elements are needed for the Agents’ plan. That's up to the Agents, but likely disguises or Covers include government agents, government agents from a foreign power, airport staff, airport security, some kind of diplomatic VIP, surgical staff, medical couriers. 
The holding facility is an airport, and for the purpose of this post I'm going to assume it's the top rated airport in 2020: Changi, in Singapore.

via Business Insider

It's gorgeous, it's massive, and there are plenty of opportunities to intercept someone - or their baggage. Let's say the couriers arrive several hours before departure, perhaps even checking in to that transit hotel the video mentions or spending time in a lounge

The question then becomes, do the Agents engage the couriers directly? Palm them off with a fake? Do the Agents wait until the McGuffin has passed into the careful hands of airport staff? Will the agents be the airport staff? Do they somehow intercept the McGuffin while it's being transported aboard the plane? 

As for complications, let's have a competing team. This squad has been hired by someone with more money than God, who wants the McGuffin for reasons of his own. He might even be part of a competing Node, which would explain how he knew about all this.

His team is pretending to be airport security, and will fake an emergency to get close to (and remove) the McGuffin from the Agents just as soon as the Agents take possession.

In order to do that they'll need to surveil the Agents. This may mean someone's following them discreetly, or tracking them over security cameras. In a Mirror game, one of them might have suborned an Agent. Perhaps someone's phone picked up some unhelpful malware. Whatever it is, the Agents are being tracked and unless they're careful the competition will swoop in and snatch the prize.

That's the Heist. If the Agents are lucky they'll scoop the McGuffin and get out of Changi before the competition closes in. If not, well ... they'd better think of something quick!


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