Operation DEEP FREEZE
Session Date: 11 October 2012
Players: Brad, Lenora, Lex, TJ
Location: Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Game Date: 25 September 2011
- During his down time between missions, Jack tries to develop a plan for helping the shapeshifting Basement creature the group encountered at a nearby Starbucks. Jack covers the creature in the radioactive ash recovered from a Basement creature during one of their previous missions, and then puts the Basement creature in a radioactive protection suit. That seems to keep the creature alive, but just barely. When the group is notified by Department B that they’re needed for a new mission, Jack tries to come up with a hasty means of improving the Basement creature’s condition. However, he is extremely limited in his ability to study the creature’s physiology. As such, when he injects the creature with a toxic dose of Polonium, he accidentally kills her. When the creature dies, she – like all the other Basement creatures the group has encountered before her – turns to a pile of radioactive ash.
- TRU Echo responds to a call from Agent Dolos for the group to rendezvous at the Department B facility in Atlanta. Agent Dolos provides the group a brief on their next mission: Operation DEEP FREEZE. The group is to rendezvous with a Ukrainian intelligence service agent aboard a Ukrainian icebreaker ship in Argentina. From there, they are to travel to Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. Once at the station, they are to track down an Italian scientist named Bruno Pontecorvo. Pontecorvo is apparently experimenting on genetic or biological weapons under the cover of legitimate scientific research at the station.
- Once aboard the Ukrainian icebreaker, the Kapitan Belousov, the group meets with the Ukrainian agent, Leonid Kuchma. Leonid provides the group additional background on Pontecorvo. Apparently, the background and tipoff information for the mission came from the Ukrainian intelligence service to Department B, but their background relationship is unclear.
- Kumcha tells the group that Pontecorvo has ties to Red Sickle and reaffirms that he is developing biological weapons at the station. Kumcha plans to send the group in via helicopter, so the group can fly in low below the radar at the station. He also suggests the group disable to the communications capability at the station, just in case something she happen. He urges the group to exercise caution, because the station is manned by legitimate scientists – mostly Americans – for the most part.
- The group is dropped off via helicopter. When the group arrived at the station, it was approximately midday. Due to the time of year – late September – the South Pole is in an extended period of twilight as the season shifts. Based on the time of day, the group assumes Pontecorvo and most of the other scientists will be at work. The station has a skeleton crew, and will, until the first airlifts arrive from McMurdo Station, approximately 1,000 miles away, with the arrival of summer.
- Martin goes to the communications facility, but does not disable the stations satellite link. Instead, he hacks into their local network to try to find out whatever useful information he can on Pontecorvo’s work.
- Meanwhile, the rest of the group infiltrates the station’s main compound. The station operates with three primary generators and furnaces for heat. The group disables the furnace that supplies heat for the laboratory wing of the station, hoping to drive most of the scientists away so they can move through the laboratories without detection. The plan works perfectly. Most of the scientists leave the laboratories, and the group is lucky enough to grab Pontecorvo as he exits his work area. They take him back into his laboratory and interrogate him about his work and affiliation with Red Sickle. The group had been instructed to film the interrogation and send it back via satellite link to Kuchma. However, the group decides to wait on sending the interrogation film back.
- After searching through Pontecorvo’s research and stealing his hard drive, the group takes him back to the communications building where Martin is waiting, where they complete their interrogation. Pontecorvo claims he doesn’t know who or what Red Sickle is. He also claims ignorance with regard to the Basement, but the group can tell that he recognizes the term and is trying to hide something. Eventually he breaks and reveals that he is working on developing transgenic manipulation of organisms, specifically trying to fuse human and plant DNA in an attempt to develop hybrid cells, organisms, and potentially creatures.
- Content with what they’ve learned, the group calls Leoind, and then a tense standoff occurs. The group tells Leonid to send the helicopter to pick them up, and Leonid responds that the group needs to send the filmed interrogation first. Each group claims the other may not be trustworthy. Eventually the members of TRU Echo decide to send a 15 second clip of the interrogation. Leonid isn’t satisfied. He tells the group to send the entire interrogation or they will be stranded at the station.