Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

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Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Horsenhero » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:26 pm

January 5, 1996- The Federal Center-

Sitting just southwest of Kipling and 6th Avenue, the Denver Federal Center was not much to look at. An unappealing patch of land dotted with squat, ugly brick buildings, surrounded by a chain link fence. Military guards at the gates checked everyone in and out of the sprawling compound. Situated in the suburb of Lakewood, the most remarkable aspect of the government complex was its completely unremarkable nature. It was the kind of place that did not catch anyone's eye. That was just the way it was planned to be.

The government wanted it that way, because at one point in time, in the sprawling underground chambers of the complex, was the emergency "White House". During the late 1950's, early 1960's practically nothing existed at this location, except the ugly federal compound. Denver had not grown up and out yet. Lakewood, had not even annexed the land surrounding the fenced acreage. The center sat alone, ignored. Publicly, the USGS (United States Geological Survey), DOW (Division of Wildlife) and Army Map Service were based here. It was hardly the sort of spot that would attract the attentions of America's enemies. It was perfect.

Years passed and the Federal Center eventually was surrounded by the suburban sprawl of Lakewood. The 1970's and even the early 80's were good to the satellite city bordering Denver, and Lakewood prospered. Then in the middle of the decade, the mining and oil bust struck Colorado, as it had other western states. People lost their jobs. Moved away. The local standard of living suffered and the silvery sheen of Colorado's boom became tarnished. Still, the Federal Center went on about its' business, with the outside world blissfully ignorant of what that business might be.

After the War on the Rox and Card Sharks conspiracy, a new, less innocuous government entity took up residence at the Federal Center. SCARE, the Special Committee on Ace Resources and Endeavors, carved itself a home in the cavernous passageways beneath the surface. Once, practically abandoned by a government embarassed of its' origins in the McCarthy era, the organizaton was enjoying newfound importance and popularity.

Then came the Wild card outbreak, terrorist attack really, in Denver. Now the Denver office of SCARE was the regional command center for all things Wild Card related. At the center of it all was a hard bitten, former US Marine Major, named Michael Slaughter. A wiry man, with salt and pepper hair and flinty eyes, he commanded respect from all military and law-enforcement agencies. His second in command was a civilian, an FBI agent named Gabriel Espinoza. Rumour had it, both men were Aces, but, their personnel files were top secret, so it was unconfirmed.

It was also rumoured that Major Slaughter had no qualms about exercising his authority under the "Exotic Powers Act" to conscript aces into Justice Department service. Looking around the room, with its' cold, white, cement walls and equally sterile, tile floor YOU know that much is true. Your invitation to come here had been accompanied by a thinly veiled threat.

Still, looking around, your biggest fears have not played out. No one in the room looks like some wet behind the ears college kid, turned Ace, that might get you killed.

The door opens and a man who has to be Slaughter walks in. Another agent and probably an aide trail behind him. He glances around the room, giving you all a cursory "once over", then begins his presentation.

"Welcome gentlemen to the regional headquarters of SCARE. Since none of you are strangers to law-enforcement and government work, I don't have to tell you that I call you at a moment of crisis. All of you people have records that speak for themselves, so I'm not going to spend time cajoling or buttering you up."

"My Aide is handing out information packets to all of you, with the mission your government has drafted you for. A United States Ambassadors' daughter has disappeared in Nicaragua. This is very unfortunate. Said ambassador is currently in the middle of sensitive negotiations with the Nicaraguan government to mount a joint U.S.-Nicaragua push in the War on Drugs. It is assumed the young lady was abducted by those Drug Cartels operating in the area, as a warning."

"That would be bad enough, but, rumour has it, Second C Corp., is running operations in the area, and they are infamous for crimes of human trafficking as well as large drug and arms operations. You gentlemen are going to get that girl back...and deliver a message from the US government while you're at it. The Nicaraguans are pretty shaken up and a bit nervous, since the girl was taken right from under their military's nose. They aren't confident and likely would veto this mission...if they knew about it."

"You'll have time to study your packets tonight and on the way down tomorrow. You leave first thing in the morning. Private charter flight. Do you have any immediate questions for me?"

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby whiteprofit » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:05 pm

Frost Bite
Manny was completely baffled. The only thing he knew about Nicaragua was that it was south and warm. Why would they send him, a debatable Ace with a temperament towards the cold, to a warm country? They must have been impressed with my charming smile, he decided.

He realized there wasn't much of a choice here, so he reached out and pulled the papers towards him. With a slow and calculated move, he opened the packet in a way that gave away his discomfort but his face remained an icy sculpture of passive feeling. He was used to the pin needle sensation of his frozen flesh, but it didn't mean he liked it.

With a crisp eye, Frost Bite scanned the information before him.
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby levinwurth » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:11 am

Greg Breslin

Greg was led into the meeting room through a maze of tunnels and corridors. Greg suspected this had less to do with confusing intruders, and more to do with the Government's half-assed logistics and repeated repurposing of resources. To keep himself occupied, he opened his mind to those around him, idly drifting through their mental processes like someone twiddling the dial on their radio.

"8AM meeting with Tony tomorrow..." "...God, he was incredible last night..." "...Water the cactus, pay the gas bill, get milk..."

He was satisfied that there seemed to be no hostile intent here, although he hadn't really expected any. It was likely only a handful of people even knew they were here.

Taking a seat in the briefing room, he gave nods of greeting to all but the General; all save him he'd recognised, either from their reputation or they'd been previously acquainted on cases.

Horsenhero wrote:"You'll have time to study your packets tonight and on the way down tomorrow. You leave first thing in the morning. Private charter flight. Do you have any immediate questions for me?"


Already scanning through the information, Greg asked his question, briefly glancing up at the General before diving back to the booklet.

"Do we have any leads here? Anyone local we can talk to before we leave?"
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Prescient » Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:22 am

Marc Slayton

Marc made extra sure he was clean shaven this morning, he didn't want to screw this up - he may not get another opportunity. Although his appearance looked like a Jersey cop, more ready to scrap than have a meeting, well, that was what they were hiring him for.

He listened intently through the meeting. He liked this Slaughter, and not because their names were similar. This gruff old Major reminded him of some good men that he served with in the Corps. Hopefully he lives up to expectations.

After reviewing the packet, Marc looked up into those hard-bitten eyes, "Major, I've got a few questions. What's our cover? What kind of support are we going to have on the ground? And lastly, if it comes up, how do we treat the Nicaraguans? Not as hostiles I assume."

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Macguffin » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:13 am

Spook sits quietly listening to Slaughter's spiel and assesses the rest of his "team." Most importantly he watches their faces as Slaughter speaks... there isn't much to learn from Major Slaughter himself. The man wore the way he sees the world on his face, in his stance, and in his cannon-like approach to the world. Spook suspected they wouldn't like each other very much. The others though, even the ones he knew by reputation, were a mystery. So far.

Looking down at his dark suit, Spook smiles,
"Have to bring out the old Hawaiian shirts again I guess. It's about time to give them an airing anyway."

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby ClassDunce » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:52 am

Jamie

Jamie was uncomfortable, not just because he was underdressed in just a grey t-shirt and jeans but also because government buildings just made him that way. They cleaned with too much bleach, there were dead spots all over the place, these were places where harmless bacteria should be and it just wasn’t. It made his skin itch. He recognized a few people sitting around the table he’d met them mostly in passing and didn’t really know anyone by more than reputation.

He’d agreed to come along for this, he didn’t have much of a choice but it didn’t really sound like something that he could help with. The way Major Slaughter described it this sounded more like a surgical military assault, strike at the enemy where it hurt and recover the girl. He sunk down in his chair a little bit and flipped through the file as he prayed that they kept the girl somewhere dirty.
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Horsenhero » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:42 pm

The Federal Center-

The Major looked over the team after they asked their questions and his eyes narrowed. He seemed to be considering each one of them again, for the second time in under five minutes. His gaze was the critical eye, a marksman would study a rifle with. What kind of weapons were they? Would they hold up under intense use? Suddenly, a tight, vicious looking smile broke out on his face.

"The only back up you're going to have down there is U.S. Embassy personnel. The Nicaraguan government doesn't know about this particular mission, nor are they to be made aware. The liklihood that a group connected and brazen enough to pull off this kidnapping has informants within the local power structure is pretty high."

"As for your cover...you're going in as DEA agents who are disguised as mining company executives. The lot of you know crap about mining and that's how we like it. They'd suspect any bunch of gringos as having an ulterior motive, so we're supplying it. You'll talk mining...as much as you can...you'll get to know the locals. They will mark you as law-enforcement...and try to find out what you're up to. Eventually one or more of you will have your wallet with your DEA identification stolen. At that point things should start to get interesting."

"Deckland, this kind of Op should be right up your alley. Central Intelligence, fly by the seat of your pants, lunacy. Breslin, you're the hound dog here. People are eventually going to start thinking of people that will get you places. Be imaginative. I picked you because this group has just enough cleverness to get this done. If I needed raw power, there are others more suited to that kind of thing. Of course, don't let that make you shy about cracking skulls to jar loose memories. Prison didn't make you soft, did it Slayton? You DO still know how get old school, right?"

"This isn't the good ol' U.S of A, or even Europe, with concern for the rights of people, and all that crap. South America...at least away from the big cities, is still the freakin' wild, wild west."

Pointing a thumb back toward the younger agent leaning against the wall behind him, Slaughter says;

"Espinoza here, will be flying down with you. He knows the landing site. We're keeping you all away from the capital. Instead we're landing you back country, in the crappy areas controlled by the crooks. Any other general questions?"

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Prescient » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:23 pm

Marc Slayton

"Prison doesn't make you soft, sir," Slayton addressed the Major with a serious face. "I stayed in the General Population with the same creeps I threw in there. I'm still fit to fight, I guarantee it."

Marc did like Slaughter. He hoped he would be the commander of all of the missions that he might undertake while a member of this outfit, which he hoped would be an extensive relationship, given his lack of alternatives at the moment.

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby whiteprofit » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:12 pm

Frost Bite
Looking up from the packet, Crisp tried to recall any of men around the table. If he'd met them before in a chance encounter or someplace special, he didn't recall any of them. That didn't mean he hadn't, of course, he was usually just too preoccupied with his own problems to remember other people.

He wondered too if this whole endeavor was why his ranking as a Joker had been modified to Ace. As he got stronger, more and more offers or side jobs for government agencies had come, yet he'd tried to avoid most of them. Then, a new letter came in the mail saying he'd been 'upgraded' to 'Official Ace' status due to his improvements and "obvious mastery over his card". Perhaps Slaughter had had something to do with that...

Hard feelings on hold, Manny asks, "How long do you think this will take? I'll want to pack enough sunblock..." His cold delivery and icy expression makes it difficult to tell if he's trying to be funny or not.
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby levinwurth » Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:45 pm

Greg Breslin

His eyes barely moved from the informational pack they'd received, but his ears and his mind were open. He'd done the others the professional courtesy of not looking too closely into their minds, but from the general static he could pick up notes of excitement, eagerness, trepidation... maybe a tang of resentment, but nothing to worry about.

Horsenhero wrote:Breslin, you're the hound dog here. People are eventually going to start thinking of people that will get you places. Be imaginative. I picked you because this group has just enough cleverness to get this done. If I needed raw power, there are others more suited to that kind of thing. Of course, don't let that make you shy about cracking skulls to jar loose memories.


He looked up at the man addressing him, the stark light of the room glinting off his gold-framed glasses. His face was as placid as a pond.

"Never have been, sir." He looked around the room, then cautiously spoke. "Has the possibility been explored that this could have been an inside job?"
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Macguffin » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:45 am

"You know, this M.O. seems off to me. From what I have read on the cartels they tend to send messages in the form of body parts from people they have kidnapped. Of course not having read the file it's hard to make too many conclusions, and I get the impression that any information we are going to get is a bit on the suspect side anyway."

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby ClassDunce » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:44 am

Jamie

Macguffin wrote:"You know, this M.O. seems off to me. From what I have read on the cartels they tend to send messages in the form of body parts from people they have kidnapped..."


“The increase of kidnappings in South America has actually caused the Cartels to change their finger cutting ways.” Jamie said, he held up his finger pointer finger and thumb just about an inch apart, “Just a little bit. Otherwise there would be fingers all over the place it would become Mexico City’s leading export.” He actually laughed at his own joke.

“Nicaragua’s not really known for kidnappings though,” He looked up at the Major, “I mean statistically they’re not even in the world’s Top 10 most likely to be abducted locations. If they’ve targeted this girl specifically because of her father then she’s probably still in one piece, that’s a good thing.”
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Macguffin » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:07 am

"Kept for what? The US doesn't negotiate for hostages and the cold truth is that she only matters to this one diplomat. If it was just to send a message than keeping her alive wouldn't mean much, whether or not they are the kindler gentler scum of tomorrow. Something else is lying in wait, you'll see... but we won't sort out what from here."

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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby ClassDunce » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:34 am

Jamie

“The US doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, I guess kidnappers count too but one lone Diplomat scared for his little girl.” Jamie let out a long drawn out whistle and shook his head. “The US policy is hard for some of these organizations to wrap their heads around. Kidnapping is a tried and true method of getting what they want and when you go to the bench for the next play you tend to call the play that usually works. Cartels are consistent and like I said the odds are the girl’s still in one piece.”

He nodded his head to Spook, “and of course something is else is lying in wait, that’s a given but you’re right, there’s nothing we can be sure about until we’re over there and on the ground.”
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Re: Wild Cards: 52 pick up-IC

Postby Macguffin » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:27 am

"When you kidnap a diplomats daughter to try to alter national policy, I'm pretty sure there is a case for calling that terrorism. Of course that still presumes that IS what they want. Given that there have been no threats or demands, I think making any kind of presumptions about the nature of the case, the kidnappers, or the kids current state is a bit early. Frankly I would just as soon hit the road, do my reading, and take a nap unless anyone else has questions for the Major here."


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