The interview over, the newly introduced crew makes their way back to their quaint B&B in a small village not far from Monaco in the south of France.
It isn’t long before the crew is called about their potential new job. They have been hired.
Alyssa Delacroix, the senior manager (the CEO’s assistant), informs the crew in person of their new gig. They will be doing a covert defensive op to intersect assassins attempting to take the life of the NGO’s CEO.
Unlike the rehearsal though, the actual charity event is to take place in Hercule Harbor, hosted on several yachts of both the CEO and the attendees, all very wealthy. The event is scheduled for roughly two weeks from their hire date and the crew has that much time to assess the docks, the harbor, and setup and plan for the assassination attempt.
The NGO is named Found Not Lost, run by philanthropist Alfonso Ramirez. He is also a ruthless businessman, and although he is currently focused on his philanthropic endeavor, there are likely no shortage of people that may want to see him dead. However his wealth was largely made from shrewd investment and a healthy inheritance, so there are no obvious players that stand out.
Found Not Lost itself is focused on anti malaria drug & mosquito net delivery and logistics to Saharan African countries in need of malaria aid, and works closely with several other charities in delivering aid and raising funds (the charity event is meant to be raising funds for next years budget).
The bad guys:
Alyssa was tight lipped about the source of the intel on the threat, but did tell them an organization calling itself al-graim al-moharra was hired to commit the act. The name translates to liberated crimes and specializes in corporate warfare, based out of Morocco. Research on the organization on the dark net revealed that their last job had been to destabilize the IPO of a successful startup, where a few obvious players had benefited greatly from short selling the startup’s stocks.
They had not been linked to many cases of violence and assassinations seemed to be a rare job for their organisation.
Setting the Plan:
The new crew wastes no time in surveying Hercule Bay, identifying the harbor master and the private company tasked with doing security for the event.
Unlike the rehearsal event the crew is not working with security or local law enforcement and their task is to intercept the assassins en route to the yacht party covertly, so that the charity event is entirely uninterrupted.
Glenn Johnson quickly concludes that if Alyssa and Found Not Lost are not going to be forthcoming with details about security, he had better get his hands on the security company’s intel and plan for the event. He quickly puts together a portfolio and applies (as himself) for a consulting/overseeing position with the security company overseeing the event (based out of Paris). He is given a trial position and is able to gain the access he needs to glean the required intel.
Meanwhile Gustav and Riordan waste no time social engineering their way into the harbor master’s office, under the guise of being the captain and first mate for the crew of the of the yachts that will be attending the event – wanting to go over security details. Gustav almost blows their cover (and his disguise as the captain) when he asks about security details he would know from previous trips his yacht had made to Monaco. However Riordan dispelled the harbor master’s suspsicions by discussing boating with him, noticing the many boat models in his office.
Riordan distracting the harbor master, Gustav ducked out and plugged a USB into the secretary’s PC while she was away from her desk. Less than a minute later Eyevan had eyes on the entire harbor, owning the harbor’s security feed.
Back ashore in Monaco, Glenn scoped out potential meeting places the assassins may use, while Riordan identified the best sniping positions. Their results were not what they expected. There didn’t appear to be anywhere near the harbor the assassins could meet safely that the police wouldn’t have covered, and any sniping positions that would guarantee line of site on the yachts in the bay would suffer heavily from head winds and a firing solution didn’t seem feasible (it would need to be much closer or in one shot, Alfonso had personal body guards trained to respond immediately in the event of an attack).
The crew therefore came to the conclusion that the most likely attack would be by sea, and would likely come on something small and fast, like a zodiac. This meant that they would need to focus their efforts on securing the jettees at the end of the harbor, and leave the dock security to the private security and police.
Glenn and Riordan took a trip to Italy to purchase dive gear in a popular diving spot, to avoid suspicion, then a trip to Switzerland to secure powerful underwater microphones to use for listening to approaching watercraft.
The broad strokes planned out, only the finishing details were left:
- Glenn and Eyevan would be at a nearby cafe along the harbor rim, covering surveillance, and support for the op.
- Riordan would be alone on his own zodiac, complete with scube gear, nightvision, and a high powered silenced rifle.
- Gustav would be at the party, ready to take action if and when he was needed (and acting as eyes and ears where the harbor cameras fell short).
All the pieces set into place…
The Night of the Event
The yachts were spread out throughout the harbor, which had been unofficially shutdown to accommodate the eccentric party.
Just beyond the harbor, disguised as a fishing boat, Riordan lay in wait for sunset, when he would make his way closer to the jettees and listen to the underwater mics for the tell tale sound of approaching assassins.
At the cafe Glenn and Eyevan enjoyed an evening espresso as Eyevan kept watch over the security footage on his laptop and Glenn provided sage advice on alcohol content by drink type to Gustav over the radio.
In the party, Gustav meandered from yacht to yacht, under a forged identity, slowly making his way to Alfonso’s yacht while enjoying the festivities with a watchful eye.
Once the event was in full swing and the sun had set, Riordan set to the task of coming in closer to the harbor, avoiding harbor patrol on the way in.
Not long after everyone was in position, Gustav on Alfonso’s yacht, Alfonso out and exposed on deck, preparing to give a toast, Riordan on his zodiac, sites fixed on the yacht, Glenn and Eyevan sipping at their third or fourth irish coffee for the evening, the microphones were tirggered.
Swivelling on the boat, Riordan sited in adn quickly located the incoming craft, another zodiac, this one manned by two passengers and one driver. Taking no time to hesitate he prepared himself for his first shot, when he heard the signature of a second boat, this one coming from a different direction, almost behind him.
Thinking fast Riordan let out a shot at the driver of the first boat, then a second one when the driver didn’t’ go down after the first. The driver disappeared in a dark mist over the night vision scope as the zodiac sped past Riordan and into one of the jettees, still at speed.
Seeing the crash, Eyevan jumped up from his position and sprinted for the jettee, as he identified a single figure flailing at the surface near the wreck.
Meanwhile Riordan turned to line up his shot on the second boat, expecting them to slow down as the first one had done. This one did not, and instead sped past his zodiac and pulling a high speed turn at the other jettee, as two armed figures jumped off. While watching them speed by Riordan heard a loud pop and the hiss of air. Looking around he realized his zodiac had been shot with a harpoon gun by the passing vessel.
they knew the crew would be there, he thought to himself as he steadied himself for a shot on one of the figures on the jettee. But lining up his shot he missed! The wake of the passing boat being too much, his shot hitting Alfonso’s yacht instead.
Lining up for a second shot Riordan had just enough time to see the other zodiac was heading straight at him, fast. Taking another shot, this time he hit their boat.
Meanwhile aboard the yacht, Gustav made his way between Alfonso and the shooters on the jettee, preparing to take a bullet to save him, the party still uninterrupted.
Targeting the shooters once more, Riordan was too late, as the sound of gunfire overwhelmed the music of the yacht. A bullet grazed Gustav before it entered Alfonso’s abdomen, and another his chest.
Seeing the boat still charging, the harbor patrol coming to life, Riordan dove into the sea, grabbing his scuba gear and fleeing the boat. Above him he could hear the sound of the other zodiac, as it too fled, still partially inflated.
Moments before the shots rang out, the harbor patrol responded to the boat crash, throwing a life preserver to the figure flailing about in the water. Eyevan looked on, having missed his chance to grab the operative.
After the shots echoed around him, Eyevan watched as the harbor patrol sped off, telling the figure in the water to hold tight. His moment hadn’t passed. Making his way to the jettee, he helped the operative out of the water. He was wearing a tuxedo and thanked Eyevan several times, before reaching into his pocket for something bulky. Thinking fast Eyevan slammed his fist into the back of the mans head as Glenn sped up with a getaway car and the two of them fled the city with their new prisoner.
Beyond the yacht, the assassins were taken out by the harbor patrol in a rain of gunfire.
Back aboard the yacht, a doctor in full scrubs rushed up from the cabins below to Alfonso’s side, pushing aside gawking party goers and signalling for the two nurses following him to scoop up Alfonso. In a thick German accent he instructed them to take Alfonso below deck, as the billionaire rambled on about what was happening, cursing profusely through mouthfuls of blood pouring out.
Gustav, on an impulse, followed them below deck to the med bay, where he watched as Alfonso was sat on a reclining medical chair, and given a blood transfusion and very poor first aid for his gun shot wounds. Alfonso was still livid and was demanding a drink, and quickly received a bloody Mary, complete with celery stick, from one of the nurses.
If this wasn’t weird enough, Gustav paused, along with everyone else in the room, as the sounds of someone speaking some kind of middle eastern or latin like language began echoing from everywhere. A few moments later the same voice spoke again, this time in French:
“I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.”
Suddenly everything went yellow for a moment, all the harbor cameras, along with a button cam Gustav had worn, went to static. A moment later, as Gustav’s vision returned, a middle eastern looking man was standing beside him in the med bay, wearing nothing but ragged cloth shorts.
Looking first at Alfonso, then at Gustav, and back to Alfonso, the figure tore off Gustav’s arm without warning, throwing it at Alfonso. He was met by Alfonso’s shrill voice as he screamed out “EZEKIAL!”, ejecting himself from the chair as he batted away Gustav’s arm.
Lunging at the figure, Alfonso’s speed was almost too fast to be seen. As his fist was about to land in the stranger’s face, things went yellow again and the figure was gone. Alfonso’s fist landing in the air.
Gustav collapsed on the ground, as he bled out, the last thing he heard were more gunshots coming from outside.
The car maintained the speedlimit as they made their way down the French country road, eventually turning down a dirt road, flipping off the headlights, and rolling to a stop. Inside Glenn sparked up another cigarette as he and Eyevan considered what to do next with the sobbing figure in the back seat, gagged and hog tied.
Pulling up Air BnB on his phone Glenn found a listing for a small cabin, in a remote wooded area, a few miles from where they were. There were no bookings for it for weeks. Placing reservation for today (once the sun came up today), Glenn looked on as Eyevan had hopped out of the car and back into the back seat, looming over the sobbing man, still soaked from the crash.
Wordlessly Eyevan pried his mouth open and peered at each of his teeth, holding his smart phone up, using its camera light to light up the mans mouth. After the third or fourth molar Eyevan located what he was looking for, a girthy filling. Pulling at it with only his fingers, he pried the dull pellet out slowly and carefully. It came out with little resistance. Looking on at the filling, as Eyevan openly displayed it for Glenn to see, Glenn told him to be careful with that, if he liked breathing.
The cyanide pill removed, Eyevan pulled off the gag, noticing the sobs had stopped. Eyevan made a few jokes about prying out all his teeth and sending them back to his employer. The man didn’t look scared, now he looked cold and calculating. Glenn had suspected the crying was just an act to get them to remove the gag.
After some discussion, the two members of the crew realized he was going to talk, and talk they let him do. Glenn supplying the occasional cigarette (careful not to untie him, he brought the butt to his mouth and ashed it for him between drags).
The man was a Moroccan, ex military. After leaving the army he had few prospects, and a wife expecting a child, so he had taken the first and likely only truly lucrative job he could get, a soldier for al-graim al-moharra.
The position paid well but he was not well informed. His job was to follow orders and receive a good payout for a job well done and this job was no different. They had trained for weeks for the assassination, and had known there would likely be another zodiac. The maneuver that saw two men deposited on the jettee while the boat zoomed on had been practiced and rehearsed, with every intent of getting past their sentry, Riordan. Beyond that he hadn’t expected to get aboard the yacht, though he was surprised with how quickly the pilot was disposed of and obviously the wreck was not a part of the plan.
Eyevan said they should ransom him back to his own organization. But the soldier stated they would counter with an offer for disposing of him themselves. He asked that they not contact his organization, not with him alive, as his death would guarantee his wife and young child would be cared for financially. If they suspected he had been turned, they would receive nothing, or worse than nothing.
As the sun started to glint over the horizon, Riordan pulled up on a small dirt bike, joining the other two, wary of the bound figure, now sat atop the trunk of the car.
The three came to a consensus, they would not kill their captive, nor would they turn him over to his employers (a fate worse than death from the sounds of it). Instead they were going to fake his execution, and then send the footage of it to al-graim al-moharra as confirmation of his death. By then they would be in Morocco and have his wife’s house under surveillance, and would follow the money, assuming it came.
Their plan was taking form, but there was one more loose end, Gustav. He was in a hospital ward in Monaco, recovering from a severed arm, as they spoke. They wouldn’t be able to approach to scoop him up, not now. They would have to wait until the heat died down a bit, and he’d woken up.
Eyevan made short work of the hospital’s network, owning their cameras he could readily watch over Gustav from a far, and wait for him to wake up, if he did…
Meanwhile Delacroix got ahold of Glenn and thanked the crew for their work and for saving Alfonso, who’s wounds were greatly exaggerated. He would make a full recovery. She also gave the crew an ultimatum, kill their captive and go to work finding out everything they could about his employer. She sounded reluctant but decisive. This isn’t what she wanted but it was what she thought needed to be done.
Reviewing the evening’s security footage it became clear Alyssa was not on Alfonso’s yacht when he and Gustav had been shot. It also became clear Alfonso should have died there on the yacht, and that Gustav had an arm when he went below deck.
The footage revealed how the two would be assassins were killed on the jettee, by port authority. Then later, after watching Gustav follow the last nurse below deck the feed went to snow for several seconds, after which the bodies on the jettee started to move again, standing up as if being placed back on their feet from behind. The harbor patrol reacted quickly, clearly out of fear. The recently deceased gunmen didn’t have the chance to level their weapons before they were back on the ground.
Shortly after they could see Alfonso walk out onto the deck of the yacht, in a change of clothes, he looked unharmed. A smaller boat docked with the massive yacht a bit later, and an unconcious Gustav was brought out and to a waiting ambulance along the pier, minus an arm.
The next few days passed quickly, the three members of the crew still on their feet engineered their false execution, catching the whole thing on camera, from multiple angles. They decided to wait to send the footage to the contact they had found for al-graim al-moharra, until after they had retrieved Gustav.
Several Days later
Gustav came to in a private room of a very nice hospital, with the shouts of papprazzi off in the distance. A nurse came by shortly after he awoke to inform him that now that he was awake he had several visitors that had been waiting patiently to meet with him.
First was the manager for the new charity that had been opened up for Gustav’s forged identity, it was currently worth $2.5 million and growing. There had been quite an outpouring of wealth, as Alfonso had been very outspoken about Gustav’s taking several bullets in the arm meant for him. He was a local hero, his face was all over the news. It wouldn’t be long before one of his old associates at Europol recognized his face and it all tumbled down. He had to get out.
His next visitor was an inspector for the Monacan police. Gustav waved him away and said he wasn’t ready to do any kind interview about what had happened. Reluctantly the inspector left the room.
The manager for Gustav’s charity had taken a request and later returned with a laptop for Gustav, who went to a common news forum, located an older thread, and wrote a vulgar comment. The comment thread he added to was a dead drop, and Glenn read the comment as they approached the hospital. Eyevan had grabbed everyone as soon as he’d seen Gustav wake up on the feed.
The crew split into two, as they had practiced, the Irishman headed for the lobby, dressed up with a box of roses for his lover. Meanwhile Eyevan and Glenn, dressed as hospital janitorial staff, took a meandering path that started with them coming through the staff entrance and getting their work orders and ended much later as they arrived at Gustav’s room with a full hamper of dirty sheets.
Riordan took the full brunt of the throng of media and police staff waiting near Gustav’s room, answering questions as vaguely as possible, and explaining he had been in Paris, and was unable to come until now due to work.
As he saw Glenn and Eyevan round the corner out of site with a bulging hamper trolly, Riordan excused himself and left the hospital, doubling back to lose the amateur paparazzi that had followed him out.
Finally reunited the crew silently made their way back to the quaint cabin they were still renting, trying not to stare at Gustav’s stump.