|Provo, Utah, in the 1980s|
Pete's 1980's era Top Secret SI campaign got back on track this week with an assignment for my character (Barry Flynn) and Kevin's Bruno Spodd. Everyone else was unavailable, but things worked out for the best... less really can be more when you're trying to be sneaky James Bond types!
We were still on secondment to the American branch of ORION, and while the rest of the team were being debriefed about our Grand Canyon adventure, Bruno and Barry were taken aside for a fresh briefing from the group's top brass.
We learned of the disappearance of the highly-regarded - but highly-strung - agent Tatyana Ivanova.
Having tested the new WestRon HCT-137b turbine compressor in her Porsche, she had stormed off to the WestRon plant in Provo, Utah, after the compressor blew up. She hadn't been heard from since, although she'd also purchased a plane ticket from Utah to Hana in Maui. The ticket was used, but there's no proof it was Tatyana that used it.
Posing as Department of Defence officials, a meeting had been arranged for us with WestRon's head of engineering, Barry Alley.
Armed with a selection of bugging devices and ORION's latest TASP guns (an innovative shock weapon that fires a charged projectile that shuts down the human nervous system), we arrived in Utah, collected our own Porsche and scoped out the WestRon plant on the out-of-town technology estate.
We parked up and prowled through the trees around the factory, checking on security, late-night comings-and-goings of staff etc
The next day, we continued our surveillance and noted a regular pattern of five cars leaving and returning, with the same drivers. After this happened a number of times, we decided to follow the last car and this led us up to a mountain cable car. The driver got in, went up to the top, did something for about 20 minutes that we couldn't ascertain, and then returned.
The next day, we turned up at the plant for our official appointment and were shown to Alley's office.
He was, we learned from his secretary, Heidi Bouno, delayed at a meeting at the nearby Bridal Vale Falls.
We planned to bug Barry's office, but quickly discovered we'd been locked in the meeting room.
Luckily, I was able to pick the lock, and slip into Alley's office, where I planted a bug for good measure, and then we decided to leave before anything stranger went down.
There was no sign of Heidi, and as we left the receptionist said Heidi had left soon after she'd showed us to the meeting room.
Our next course of action was obvious: head to Bridal Vale Falls, which happened to be in the vicinity of the cable car we'd visited the day before.
As we pulled into the car park, we could see the cable car descending... with Alley hanging off the side.
As the cable car came down to ground level, a shot rang out, missing Alley this time. But he was obviously bleeding badly from an earlier wound.
Bruno and I went to attend to him, and as we did cars pulled up, out of which stepped two smart-dressed goons and Heidi.
Heidi pulled a machine gun from her coat, to cover the three of us hunched over on the ground, but as she did I unexpectedly put my martial arts training to good use for once... and swept her leg!
Heidi went down, and Bruno took advantage of the distraction to TASP one of the goons.
Unfortunately, his colleague then shot Bruno in the leg. Heidi fired impotently into the air and I proceeded to TASP her, before the remaining bad guy shot me in the leg as well!
There was a brief Mexican stand-off, during which we were forced to drop our guns, but then the goon tried to drag Heidi back towards their cars. I lunged for her abandoned weapon but crack-shot Bruno managed to TASP the goon.
I hobbled to the cable car office and called in our waiting ORION Titan Team, to extract us.
They descended on the site of the gun battle and managed to bundle Bruno, me, Alley, and Heidi into their van and away.
Back at base, Alley brought us to speed, explaining that he had been suspicious of Heidi, even though she had been a loyal employee for three years, when he discovered alterations had been made to his blue-prints for the HCT-137b compressor.
However, he knew nothing of Tatyana nor Maui.
So if we were going to get any more information we needed to bring in Hermione (Clare's character), the team's trained interrogation expert to put the squeeze on Heidi.
To be continued...
|We're off to Maui! Dress appropriately!|