Monday, March 14, 2011

Crime Network Session 3: Payback Served Lukewarm

The cell phone rang. Maggie (a PC) stared at it but did not answer. The phone rang again. The name of the caller appeared: Nathan Kerrigan. Maggie handed the phone to Owen (a PC) who hesitated for just a second and then answered.

Kerrigan was puzzled, fuming, and mourning all at the same time. He wanted to know what the hell was going on. He wanted to know where "Mean" Mike was. He wanted to know if the group had found the rat. He wanted to know who the hell had drilled holes into his favorite daughter's hands. He wanted to know a lot of information; Owen gave him very little.

Owen told Kerrigan that the group had eliminated both Darren Lynch and "Mean" Mike as the rats of the organization. Owen told Kerrigan to not ask any further questions over the phone but did mention that another one of the group's contacts had been found dead after being tortured with an electric drill. This information sent Kerrigan into a fit.

Finally Kerrigan told Owen that he had seen on American television that British troops were being redeployed to Belfast to crush their group for causing so much mayhem. He told the group to lay low until he was able to return back from New York where he was with his comatose daughter Fiona (ex-PC). Little did he know...

Hours later that night the group loaded three crates of newly arrived Russian AK-47s into the rear of a non-descript work van that they had recently "borrowed". John (a PC) took the wheel, and the group, with Tony Martino (an NPC) the leased Sicilian hit man, drove off towards the meeting with Erik the Skin that they had set up weeks before.

When the group arrived at the construction site they were greeted by Erik the Skin and two of his men. The sidekicks were both armed with assault weapons and looked considerably more perturbed than when the group had seen them last - it might have been because the last time the group was saved from Welsh Bob by the two armed men and the group drove off without attempting to assist their saviors...

However, Erik seemed unfazed and greeted the group with his traditional hug and kiss to Maggie. He was initially angered when he heard what had happened to Fiona Kerrigan, (the drills through her hands that has left her on death's doorstep) but then realized that his new weapons dealer was certainly attracting a considerable amount of unwanted attention and channeled his anger into skepticism.

While Owen attempted to reassure Erik about the group's intentions and future plans, Maggie's phone vibrated in her pocket. This time she had remembered to turn it off. She ignored its vibrations, and then again when it vibrated again just moments later.

Owen was able to convince Erik that the C.I.R.A. was the supremacists best weapons' option and Erik conditionally agreed to stay exclusive with the group. As the group was readying to depart, the supremacist's enforcer, Larry "The Bullet" waltzed in and was introduced. Larry is an intimidating figure; he stands 6'4 and has the words skin and head tattooed on his eyebrows. He is known in the criminal underworld as being one of the most vile and vicious creates to ever prowl the night. After the uneasy introductions were made, John, feeling the most unsettled, escorted his comrades back to their van and they promptly departed.

While the group was driving away Maggie flipped out her phone and listened to her messages. The first message was from one of her contacts, an old neighborhood lady, Nell, who kept an eye on thing and reported back to her. Nell's message mentioned that she believed that something was going down that night and that Maggie and her friends should keep their heads low. Maggie could hear the concern in Nell's voice and hoped that the old lady was wrong. She wasn't.

Seconds later after Maggie deleted Nell's message, she listened to the second message. The color drained from her face as soon as she heard the voice scrambler. The computerized voice asked Maggie if she had ever heard that you weren't supposed to talk about people behind their backs and that he (the mystery person) was going to punish old Nell for her sins. Maggie then heard the sound of an electric drill whirl to life, Nell's screams and sobs, and then silence.

Maggie immediately blurted out what she had just heard on her phone recordings. As John turned around in the driver's seat he accidentally turned the radio up to full blast. Before Owen could turn it back down the female disc jockey on the radio made mention of a home in the area that had just exploded. "It was the family home of two brothers who were expert bomb makers for the C.I.R.A." she said.

Owen knew the two brothers well and knew that they would not "accidentally" blow up their family home. He knew that something wasn't right. He called some of the group's C.I.R.A. members to see if something was wrong. After numerous no answers or straight to voicemail messages, Owen knew what he wanted to do. He knew that old Nell must have been right and that they should simply keep their heads down. Except, Owen wasn't about to take anything from anybody; the cops. the paramilitaries, and especially not the British. No, Owen thought. It's war.

Owen remembered that Nathan Kerrigan had mentioned that there was a stash of money hidden in the basement of Murphy's Pub. He told John to go retrieve some and that he and Maggie were going to get "the neighborhood" involved.

An hour later, just past 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, John navigated his way through the last hasty British checkpoint and returned back to "the neighborhood." When he arrived, Owen and Maggie were stringing detonation cord in loops through the street while armed "civilians" reinforced windows and doorways. John was stunned. He wanted to know what was going on. Maggie, with excitement in her eyes, shouted "it's gonna be great! We're gonna call in a C.I.R.A. meeting to the police, and when they arrive..." He voice was interrupted by Owen wielding a megaphone and shouting at specific locations where he wanted his new conscripts to be placed when the authorities came. John looked around in disbelief. "What the hell is happening," he wondered silently to himself.

A few hours later, the call was placed. It was from a C.I.R.A. double-agent who the authorities believed was working for them. The double-agent told the dispatcher that there was a meeting of top C.I.R.A. members and that the meeting was about to conclude. Over a police radio that Owen had obtained from a local contact, the group listened to the instructions given to numerous local units to come and arrest all those present at the meeting. Maggie smiled, Owen grinned with pleasure, and John stared deadpan.

Minutes later the first three governmental vehicles arrived. The first was an ordinary police car, followed up by the heavily armored van that Welsh Bob notoriously rode around in, and the last was an undercover detectives unit in an unmarked car. The police car drove all the way down the dead-end street and stopped just inches from where a C.I.R.A. IED was located. The armored van skidded to a halt and the undercover vehicle followed suit.

Behind the governmental procession a large truck pulled up perpendicularly behind them and blocked any escape possibility that they may previously have had. The clutch of the truck was slammed into park, the parking brake was engaged, and Larry "the Bullet" threw the keys down the street as far as he could. He chambered a round into his newly acquired AK-47 and prepared himself the excitement of his life.
The police hopped out of their cruiser and the undercover detectives followed suit. However, the armored car in the center of the queue was still. Without hesitation Maggie depressed the first detonator that she had. The underside of the undercover detectives' car was propelled into the air and three of the four detectives were pulverized instantaneously. The fourth was blown into the side of nearby building and lay still.

The police in the front of the ambush raced out of their car towards the house at the end of the street. The other two ran towards the buildings on either side of the street. Rounds were shot at them and impacted much too closely for their liking. Sirens could be heard in the distance and they all knew that if they could reach safety and hold up that their reinforcement would arrive soon.

The two officers that ran straight into the house at the dead-end burst through the window after finding the door blocked by a large obstacle. As they came through the window Tony Martino shot one in the throat, just above the neck of his body armor. The policeman dropped to the group with a thud and clutched at his wound while his partner turned his attention towards the assassin and fired. The distance was so close that it was almost impossible to miss. Tony Martino was hit in his right thigh and joined the wounded cop on the floor of the old row home.

From the sitting position the Sicilian ignored his burning leg wound and fired off two more shots that hit the standing policeman in his left knee. The man, caught unawares and with a newly shattered knee, face-planted to the ground. Tony Martino, without compulsion or remorse fired two rounds into the man's exposed skull. When he was sure that the man was dead, he pushed himself up with his gun, hovered over the throat-shot policeman, raised his weapon and ended the man's struggle for breath.

Back in the street, the armored van's door swung open and five SO15 members plunged out, geared up and dressed all in black. The first man out of the window was dropped by a almost point blank shotgun blast to his exposed face. The man crumbled to the cobblestone street beneath him while Owen racked another armor-piercing shell into his shotgun.

Welsh Bob, now leading the SO15 assault squad, fired at the unseen assailant and lead his troops towards Owen's position. His black ski-mask clung to his sweat-soaked face as his body was still filled with the adrenaline that cursed through his veins from his earlier torture sessions with the old C.I.R.A. contact. He put these heightened senses to good work in covering his men with his modified Enfield assault rifle.
As furious and as filled with bloodlust as Owen was, he was not suicidal. Before the front door was breached by the anti-terror team Owen was already racing down the back steps towards the waiting getaway car. When he opened the driver's side door he heard the flash-bang go off and he knew that the remaining locals who occupied that home were going to be dead within seconds. He prayed a Hail Mary while he turned the key in the ignition; success! Owen revved the car to life and honked three times to get John's attention. Second later, John ran up to the car and Owen slammed his entire foot onto the accelerator and the car sped off.

Maggie, still perched in her over-watch position, saw that the SO15 squad was out of sight and that more police, Northern Irish paramilitaries and British soldiers were en route towards the battle and that it was fast approaching her time to leave. She set down the rifle that she had been shooting and detonated the second explosive that she had prepared. The now empty police car at the beginning of the queue exploded and its burning hulk rested in the middle of the street; a silent testament to the effectiveness and violence of the C.I.R.A.

Maggie then made her way out of her house and slipped down a small partially-hidden alleyway and began to made her way to the "rally" point.

Minutes later a British anti-riot unit arrived and began to swarm the neighborhood. Hundreds of shots were exchanged and carried on long into the night. The group watched the running street fight on television from the solace of their safe house. What infuriated them the most was the reintroduction of British troops onto Irish soil. Owen had gotten what he wanted, but he still didn't have to like it...

While Owen finished patching up Tony Martino's wound he concluded his phone call to his Mafia bosses back in Sicily. When he finished his conversation that he held entirely in Italian, Tony told the group that they needed to pack their bags as they were heading to Sicily to help his masters with a rat problem of their own. It would also be a great place to lay low while the British swarmed all over Northern Ireland like a bull in a fine china shop.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Crime Network Session 2: The Executioners

The second session of Crime Network began with the release of Owen (a PC) from anti-terrorist custody on a Thursday afternoon. While he was being processed out of jail a van pulled up with the leader of the C.I.R.A. Nathan Kerrigan in the driver seat, his right hand man "Mean" Mike Connors riding shotgun, Maggie (a PC) and John (a PC) were seated in the center row, and obnoxiously chain-smoking in the rear of the van was the "borrowed" Sicilian assassin Tony Martino. When Owen approached the van "Mean" Mike shouted for him to sit in the middle row with his other two. "cheese-eating whiskered friends..."

Seconds into the ride Tony began to blow all of his smoke on the newly arrived Owen and Mike asked him what Owen hadn't given to the authorities. Sitting silently, Owen started at Mike through the rear-view mirror. Mike made a quick cutting motion across his throat and before Owen had time to move Tony Martino had a gun pressed firmly into the back of his head. Mike spoke loudly and in a clipped tone. He accused Owen of being the rat and of giving sensitive information to his British "buddies". He also told him that one of Owen's contacts, Jimmy "The Butcher" had been found dead recently with drill holes through his hands. Owen declined to respond and Tony reluctantly holstered his weapon and continued chain-smoking for the remainder of the drive home.

When the group arrived back at Murphy's Pub "Mean" Mike stormed into the bar angrily while Kerrigan reiterated his support for the group and for their mission to find the elusive C.I.R.A. rat. As Owen shook Kerrigan's hand Owen asked the older man how his daughter Fiona (an ex-PC) was doing after taking rounds from a Jamaican drive-by before they were all sent away. The older man's eyes immediately moistened as he told Owen about how Fiona was recovering in a New York hospital with his other daughter by her side. Kerrigan, steeling himself, reminded the group that they had an important meeting Saturday night with Eric "The Skin" that was supposed to solidify the two organizations trust in one another; and that Tony Martino would be shadowing them wherever they went. Owen promised that the transaction would be completed as promised.

After Kerrigan left Owen, John, and Maggie walked the neighborhood while they plotted their next move. Over Maggie's strenuous objections, it was decided that the three of them were going to meet up with Dewan Thomas Jr., the leader of the Jamaican Belfast Boyz to try to cut a deal with them so that the group could get the name of, or at least a lead on the rat.

Friday afternoon the three team members strode up to the vacant doors of the Sizzle nightclub. Moments before they got to the entrance, the door swung open and they were greeted by a doped-up Jamaican who ushered them inside with his handgun. The group looked at him with apprehension - Maggie looked on in terror - this was certainly not her idea...

The group was brought inside the Sizzle. Armed thugs were everywhere and the group attempted to act as calmly as possible, however, the massive display of firepower was not only impressive but also terrifying.

On the large dance floor in the center of the club, a 6'5 foot tall Jamaican, decked out in camouflage and carrying an HK G36K, stood next to Dewan Thomas Jr (the leader of the Belfast Boyz) and another gangster, who were dining on a lavish feast on an ad hoc table set up on the dance floor. The group was lead over to Dewan Thomas Jr. and the other seated gangster where they were brought seats. While seated, the group declined any food or drink and Owen immediately attempted to engage Dewan Thomas Jr. so that they could get some type of information about the rat that they were tasked with silencing.

After a long interchange Owen and Dewan had come to an agreement. Owen promised the Jamaican "community leader" three pounds of semtex in the coming weeks (since they didn't actually have any, Owen told them that they needed a week to ship it in) and Dewan gave the group an important clue. He told them that the rat was a rugby coach and player that is a part of the C.I.R.A. organization.

As Owen was racking his brain to figure out who exactly the rat was, the emergency exit door to the Sizzle was pulled off and a group of five Belfast Hell's Angel's burst into club while firing automatic weapons wildly. Bullets flew everywhere as the Angel's poured a deadly amount of fire into the almost vacant club.

Three Jamaicans dropped dead (including the mammoth bodyguard who lay just inches away from Dewan) and two others were wounded within seconds. John flipped the table over to shield the group and he, Maggie, and Owen returned fire with their handguns.
John was able to wound one Angel as they moved towards the DJ station that would offer them a considerable amount of cover.

The Hell's Angels continued to fire and dropped more gangsters while popping up and down behind the DJ's table. However, when one of the bikers' heads popped up Maggie drilled a hole through it. The bikers began to panic and they began to lay down a large volume of fire so that they could attempt to make a break for it.

Owen was reloading his gun while taking cover behind the flipped table with Dewan Thomas, another gangster, John and Maggie when the entire world became muddled. Without warning, and without any hesitation, the gangster next to Owen turned to Dewan Thomas Jr., pointed his gun at his head, muttered the words "f*** you", and squeezed the trigger. The affluent and media-savvy Jamaican leader's head was destroyed and his body collapsed to the floor. Owen, not sure how to react, raised his weapon and killed the gangster.

Before the group could attempt to grasp what was happening, the Hell's Angels made their run for the door. With triggers pulled back forcefully the leather clad outlaws ran or were drug out the emergency exit where they had just entered minutes before. Rounds fired from the Jamaicans ushered the group out while Owen, Maggie, and John struggled to comprehend what their next move was to be.

John was about to suggest a way out of the situation when a large trash truck slammed through the front entrance of the Sizzle. Standing with his upper torso exposed through the driver's side window of the truck, Tony Martino, the Sicilian "watchman" fired his Sig Saur at the closest Belfast Boyz and downed two of them. With a simple "get in the truck" Tony continued firing on the remaining Jamaicans while the group hustled towards their newly-arrived escape vehicle.

Maggie was the first to the rear of the truck and realized that the passenger side was unavailable, so she simply pulled herself up and dropped into the trash-filled container. John and Owen followed her lead and jumped into the rear portion of the truck also. Seconds later Tony Martino's Sig locked open, he dropped the gun onto the seat and attempted to throw the truck into gear.

After what seemed to be hours, Tony got the truck to lurch to life and he turned the monstrous truck onto the road and began to accelerate. When Tony looked up from the stick shift he saw that there were dozens of Hell's Angels circling the block and that the only way to escape was going to be thru their diesel-fumed roadblock.

Tony, while an accomplished assassin, was a lousy driver; specifically when it came to driving with a stick-shift. The cumbersome garbage truck stumbled forward at twelve miles per hour which enabled three of the mounted Hell's Angels to close in and open fire.

Bullets and slugs dinged off the sides and rear of the truck. One (un)lucky shell managed to ricochet off the back wall of the trash truck and numerous pellets lodged themselves into Maggie's lower back. She let out a howl of pain and Owen moved to treat her gushing wounds while John covered them by firing his gun at the circling bikers.

While Owen tried to staunch Maggie's wounds, Tony slammed the truck into a parked car. The group was strewn about the rear compartment. In a bit of a daze, with motorcycles surrounding the truck, John jumped out and ran to the driver's door. Yelling "don't shot me" to Tony Martino, John hopped into the driver's seat, dislodged the truck, and slammed it into gear.

John accelerated as quickly as possible while Tony got on the foot rails of the truck and continued firing at their two-wheeled pursuers. When the group was roughly a mile away from the Sizzle John yelled for Tony to get back in the truck and John slammed on the brakes. Owen threw Maggie over his shoulder, and together with Tony, they ran ahead of the truck down and alley. Then, John put the truck into gear and drove into the alley as far as he could before he became wedged. John closed his eyes and he fired an entire magazine into the truck's windshield. When he opened his eyes again the windshield was gone and he crawled through it onto the hood, and then he jumped to the ground and followed the rest of the group. The motorcycles engines could be heard in the distance behind them, but no-one in the group ever paused to look behind them.

Clumped together in the rear office of an abandoned warehouse the group pondered what to do next. Maggie had been stabilized but it hurt her to exert much effort. With the police, "Welsh" Bob and his paramilitaries, the Jamaicans, and the Hell's Angels all looking for them, and with the C.I.R.A. not wanting to assist until they eliminated the rat, the group decided that they had to follow up on the lead that Dewan Thomas Jr. had been murdered in front of them. The only rugby coach/player in the C.I.R.A. was Darren Lynch and the group figured that now was the time to pay him a visit.
Under the lights of the local rugby pitch Darren Lynch was loudly coaching a recreational pick-up game. When the group pulled up in their recently-hotwired car they did not arouse any suspicion.

As the players shook hands and walked towards their vehicles, Owen dialed up Darren while the John looked at him through a pair of stolen binoculars. After a terse conversation it was decided that Darren would meet the group at a house a few miles away. Unbeknownst to him, the owner of the home had done contact work for Owen before, information extraction work...

Within seconds of arriving Tony Martino had put his Sig against the back of Darren's head and led him down a hidden staircase located in the rear part of the contacts garage.

With his hands secured in chains high above his head, Darren screamed out for help. Owen, tired, angry, and un-interested in Darren's pleas for help, started the video camera. What was supposed to be the elimination of a rat was about to turn into a genius play for power.

The group let the contact do his job and "interrogate" Darren Lynch. The group left the man to his devices and smoked in the garage upstairs while listening to the inhuman-sounding screams that came from below them.

Two hours later, the contact came up the steps wiping his bloody hands on a towel. He told them that Darren had confessed and that he wouldn't be alive much longer. Owen patted him on the shoulder and thanked him for his assistance. The contact told him that he was owed, big time.

With that Owen went back downstairs and awoke Darren Lynch. Smacking him awake Owen told him that he was going to kill him but he wanted Darren to confess, on tape, that "Mean" Mike Connors was the puppet master that made him rat to the Jamaicans. Darren, bleeding and bewildered, mumbled but nothing coherent came out. Owen shook him harder and told him to tell the camera that "Mean" Mike was the reason why the C.I.R.A. had been compromised. Darren told the camera what he was instructed to say and for his troubles his life ended quickly.

With Darren dead, there was only one element of the plan remaining. Owen took the tape out of the video camera, meet up with John, Tony and Maggie, and dialed up "Mean" Mike. After being screamed at and verbally insulted, Mike agreed to meet up with the group at a local parking lot to discuss their next moves.

When Mike arrived the group had both cars' lights on. Owen and John were standing outside of the vehicles while Maggie had her gun trained on Tony in the backseat of the late Darren Lynch's car. Tony had promised not to make trouble but he would not be a part of what he knew was to come.

When Mike got out of his car he wanted to know what the hell had happened at the Sizzle earlier that day. Owen and John took the verbal insult in stride and waited until he finally ran out of steam. When neither Owen or John would answer his questions, Mike knew what was happening. He cursed them for cowards. He told them that they were the reason that Ireland would never be unified. He told them that they were scum and that he hoped that their children would be defiled and executed by British troops and left for dead in the streets.

Then "Mean" Mike Connors straightened himself and told them that he would see them in hell. With that, Owen raised his shotgun and "Mean" Mike Connors left this world for good.

The next morning, in middle of two separate streets in downtown Belfast, the bodies of two males were found. They were both naked, they had whiskers drawn on their faces, and had blocks of cheese stuffed into their mouths. Within three hours the two men were identified as Darren Lynch, a local rugby coach and "Mean" Mike Connors, a local thug with a penchant for violence.

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Figures for the Crime Network Game

I painted these models up a few weeks ago for our Crime Network campaign. The group will be back at it in a few weeks whenever family excitement winds down. Pictured below are the hardcore Yardies (Jamaicans) that the group will be dealing with. It seems that the C.I.R.A. has a rat in the organization and the group has decided that they are going to reach out to their sometime rivals to see if they have any information about the mole.

The flamboyant model in the middle is the eccentric leader of the Belfast Boyz who fancies himself a community leader / drug dealer. He can usually be seen socializing with the elite of Belfast society at fancy meals and fundraisers. For numerous reasons he is rarely mistaken for anyone other than himself...

Lastly, since the actual game is called Crime Network and was written as a Mob role-playing game, I figured that I needed to have some Sicilian Mafia types in our game. Also, this will make integrating The Old Country supplement directly into our campaign much smoother. Devious tricks for devious times!