TRU Echo

Mission 001: Opertion UMBRA [session 1]

CLASSIFIED//TRU EYES ONLY

Mission 001: OPERATION UMBRA

Assignment: Assist in the defection of operative UMBRA; escort from Prague, Czech Republic to the US.

Contact: Stephen Lucas, Foreign Service Officer (clandestine Defense Intelligence Agency operative)

Safehouse: Armrest Coffee
50° 5’16.85"N  14°24’14.58"E

CODE NAME: UMBRA
Real name: Adela Cerny
Date of Birth: 13 June 1962
Place of Birth: Benesov, Czechoslovakia

Field agent for the former Soviet Union’s Committee for State Security (KGB) from 1981 – 1991

Transferred to Russia’s Foreign Service Intelligence (SVR) following the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Has operated in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic from 1989 – 2011.

Primary focus is economic intelligence, specifically energy research and development.

CLASSIFIED//TRU EYES ONLY

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Mission 001: Opertion UMBRA [session 1] - recap

Session 1
1 June 2011
Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex

Location: Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations directorate, Special Agent in Charge Principle Field Office – Atlanta, GA.
Date: 1 June 2011
Time: 0800

  • TRU Echo meets in the basement of the Special Agent in Charge Principle Field Office in Atlanta. They meet their handler, Gregory Shepherd. He briefs them on Department B and TRU. He gives them their first assignment: Operation UMBRA.
  • Shepherd says Stephen Lucas (American spy) was suppose to arrange a meet between UMBRA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); however, he has not been heard from in a while and the DIA is going to pursue the lead.
  • The meet was suppose to occur at 2230 2 June at Obcanska Plovarna restaurant, club, and casino.
  • The meet was suppose to be at the roulette table, bet 100 on single 0. Lucas will response by placing a 500 bet on 5.
  • There was also a document drop inside the men’s room of Club 1809 (casino) – behind a towel dispenser.
  • Also, there was something strange in the communication. He didn’t communicate via secure line from the Armrest Coffee shop. He used a private, but open number. It is possible someone heard the call.
  • Marcus, Adrian, and Jack travel to Prague together, while Martin travels via Finland.
    The group rendezvous at the Armrest Coffee shop (an American intel and operations safehouse), where they meet Orlando Thomas, the lead American agent in Prague. He gives them their equipment; Adrian suspects he is hiding something.
  • Group checks in at the The Charles Hotel Prague. Martin sets up his hacker gear and begins to probe the network at Obcanska Plovarna.
  • Adrian travels to the US Embassy Prague to find out about Stephen Lucas (the agent who supposedly made contact with UMBRA). She is given his phone number.
  • Marcus and Jack travel to Obcanska Plovarna to scout out the restaurant and club; they make dinner reservations for 2200.
  • Martin is able to hack into the security cameras at Obcanska Plovarna; begins watching the casino for UMBRA, Stephen Lucas, and anyone else unusual.
  • Marcus, Adrian, and Jack travel to Obcanska Plovarna, have dinner, and then go to the casino for the meet at 2230. Marcus places a bet, but there is no sign of Stephen Lucas or UMBRA.
  • The group spots a guy who had been at the roulette table tailing Marcus. Marcus confronts the man and he runs. Marcus, Jack, and Adrian chase the man outside.
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Mission 001: Opertion UMBRA [session 2] - recap

Session 2
19 June 2011
Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex

Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Date: 2 June 2011
Time: 2200

  • The guy Marcus was chasing runs to an Audi A7, gets inside, guns the gas, and speeds away.
  • Marcus jumps on the hood of the car, but is quickly tossed aside by the speed and the driver’s jerking maneuvers.
  • Everyone else spots two men in a BMW SUV pulling out from a parking space. One of the men is holding an AK-47.
  • Jack runs to the Fiat, picks up Adrian, and speeds past a recovering Marcus.
    In an attempt to catch the Audi driver, Jack quickly accelerates to unsafe speeds and smashes into a parked car, bringing the Fiat to a stop. Before he smashes into the car, though,
  • Adrian is able to get the license plate number of the Audi A7.
  • Marcus breaks into a parked BMW 325i and pursues the Audi, Jack and Adrian, and the men in the BMW SUV. He also makes note of the BMW SUV’s license plate number.
  • The men in the BMW SUV starts shooting at the Fiat, blowing out windows and peppering it with gunfire.
  • Marcus slams on the gas, and rams the BMW SUV with the BMW 325i he’s driving. Both vehicles take serious damage, and now all three vehicles are tangled together in the middle of the road.
  • Jack and Adrian bail out of the Fiat and hide in hedge rows the line the side of the street, separating it from a university.
  • The men in the SUV turn their attention to Marcus and start shooting at the 325i.
  • Off in the distance, the telltale sound of sirens can be heard and flashing police lights can be seen.
  • The men driving the SUV speed away.
  • Marcus rams his 325i through the main gate of the university, ditches his car, and starts making his way on foot back to the US Embassy to rendezvous with Martin.
  • Jack and Adrian remember the document drop and, despite their misgivings, return to the club. When they arrive they see a group of guards huddled over a guard that had been injured by the man who escaped in the Audi.
  • Adrian talks her way past the guards. When they get inside, she once again has to fast-talk her way past the club’s manager.
  • Inside the bathroom Jack finds the document drop with two envelopes. An inspection of the contents would later reveal they contain two things. One had a simple cryptogram: Csfbl dpoubdu xjui mjeb opwbl, which Martin deciphered to be: Break contact with Lida Novak. The other contained official letterhead from the Nuclear Research Institute Rez and numerous documents with research and patents on advanced radiopharmaceuticals.
  • While all this was going on at the club, Martin was back at the hotel. Thinking the man that escaped in the Audi might be Stephen Lucas, Martin sent Lucas a call on his cell phone, but masked the caller’s ID as a message rather than a phone number. The message read: “Stop running. We are here to help you.”
  • After sending the message, Martin began to gather up TRU Echo’s belongings, but then he heard something on the receiver for the bug Adrian had planted. He heard a phone ringing, which was answered by Orlando Thomas. He could hear Thomas say, “What? What happened? Ok, alert Novak.”
  • After that, Martin took the group’s belongings and made his way to an internet cafe near the US embassy. From the internet cafe, he hacked back into the club’s security system and deleted all the recorded footage from the previous 24 hours. He then went on to inject malicious code into the club’s computer systems, essentially destroying them.
  • Finally, the group rendezvoused near the US Embassy, but decided it would be best to go to a new hotel; somewhere they could pay in cash with no questions asked. They took their 4Runner and relocated to a rough area of Prague.
  • Once at the hotel, they began to research the license plate numbers, Lida Novak, and Marcus makes some calls to his old marine buddies about Orlando Thomas.
  • The license plates are both traced back to stolen vehicles. Police reports indicate one was stolen by a man named Damek Polotski. A little research reveals Damek is a czech man who grew up in Prague. He spent has spent much of his life in jail for crimes like armed robbery, aggravated assault, etc. Mug shots reveal he is the man who was at the roulette table and who escaped in the Audi A7.
  • Lida Novak is a technician employed by the Nuclear Research Institute in Rez. She had a checkered past as a youth, with minor criminal offenses. She has advanced degrees in physics and has worked at the institute for almost 20 years. About 10 years ago she was caught up in a public investigation into her possible role as a spy, selling secrets about the institute. However, she was never officially charged and the case was dropped.
  • Marcus’ friends didn’t have any leads or info on Orlando Thomas.
  • Jack checks the envelopes that held the info about the Nuclear Research Institute Rez and the cryptogram and finds a fingerprint.
  • News reports also start coming in about the violence at the club and on the streets outside the university. Reports indicate that some sort of possible gang violence involving at least three vehicles (the Fiat, BMW 325i, and a reported “BMW SUV”, which wasn’t found at the scene) and assault weapons. The police are investigating, but don’t have any leads.
  • As the session ends, the group is trying to decide whether to send Stephen Lucas a message on his cell phone, they are considering going to an old address for Damek Polotski, they are interested in continuing to research Lida Novak, they are wondering how to proceed with their suspicions concerning Orlando Thomas, and they are trying to decide if they should hack into a database to research the fingerprint Jack found.
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Mission 001: Opertion UMBRA [session 3] - recap

Session 3

29 June 2011

Players: Brad, Braon, Lex, TJ

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Date: 3 June 2011

Time: 0100

  • News reports keep coming in, and more detail about TRU Echo’s involvement in the shooting is revealed. One media outlet ties the Fiat’s license plate back to the rental company in Finland. They also display Martin’s alias and a picture of him taken at the rental company. A different media outlet displays police sketches of Adrian and Jack, explaining that they are wanted for questioning due to their actions at a club nearby the shootings.
  • Meanwhile, the group gets a call from Gregory Shepherd. In the background, they can hear what sounds like a party, complete with loud music and boisterous people. Gregory is obviously angry, telling the group they screwed up. He tells them he’s sending someone to help fix the problem.
  • Realizing that they’ll need disguises, Marcus and Adrian go to get commercial supplies that can be used as a makeshift disguise kit. Adrian disguises herself, Jack, and Martin with dyed hair, make-up, etc.
  • Lincoln arrives at the hostel in the morning. He has a Honda ST1300 Pan European.
  • The group discusses their next course of action. They eventually decide that Martin will stay behind and research the finger print while the rest of the group goes to the coffee shop to speak with Orlando Thomas.
  • Lincoln drives separately and goes into the coffee shop first to check it out. He looks around, grabs a cup of coffee and then goes back outside where he can watch the front and side entrances to the coffee shop.
  • Then Marcus, Jack, and Adrian go inside. Once inside, they give the passphrase to one of the baristas. She says that she’ll be right back and then goes to the back, presumably to get Orlando Thomas.
  • Jack can hear the girl speaking with Thomas. Thomas tells her to tell the group he’s not hear. He seems frantic and the girl seems surprised and confused.
  • A few seconds later she returns and tells the group Thomas isn’t available. Adrian tries to convince the girl to let them in to the back, but the girl refuses.
  • Then Lincoln spots Thomas running out the side entrance of the coffee shop. He gets in a Renault Sandero and speeds away.
  • Lincoln calls the group and tells them what’s going on and then gives chase.
  • The group quickly leaves the coffee shop, gets in the 4Runner, and also pursues Thomas.
  • Lincoln and Marcus expertly tail Thomas for a few minutes, leaving the governmental district of Prague and traveling into the old city. Eventually, however, Marcus is forced to drive aggressively, speeding through a red light and revealing that he was tailing Thomas.
  • Thomas floors it and a chase ensues. Thomas leads the group down one way streets, swerving past parked cars.
  • With the sloppy handling and relatively poor acceleration of the 4Runner, Marcus is just barely able to keep up. However, Lincoln is eventually able to pass Thomas. When he passes Thomas, he comes to a stop, trying to get Thomas to end the chase. Instead, Thomas speeds forward, intending to ram Lincoln. Lincoln is barely able to get out of the way.
  • The chase continues, though it get even more intense when Thomas starts traveling down one way streets – the wrong way!
  • Jack spots Thomas making a phone call with his cell phone. A minute later, the chase ends at a bar called Galerie NoD.
  • Thomas runs inside and the group gives chase.
  • When they enter the bar, the only one visible is a bartender and two drunks.
  • Marcus continues to caution the group that Thomas may not be a threat – that there might be a misunderstanding.
  • Lincoln is the first one in; he approaches the bartender to question him.
  • Suddenly doors burst open from the back room and the two thugs that were in the BMW SUV from the night before come out shooting. Lincoln is peppered with gunfire, but his bulletproof vest holds up to the assault. A gunfight ensues, with Jack and Lincoln both taking wounds. Eventually Jack is able to disarm the thugs with his cane, which allows Lincoln and Marcus the chase to look for Thomas. They see him fleeing out the back of the bar. Marcus calls out a warning and then – finally convinced Thomas isn’t an ally – fires for his leg.
  • Marcus aim is true, and the injured Thomas is easy to catch. He and Lincoln catch up with Thomas, subdue him, and bring hm back to the bar.
  • Meanwhile, Jack checks on the thugs’ injuries, patches them up, takes their belongings, and then he and Adrian tie them up. They also find the thugs’ BMW SUV and slash its tires.
  • The group then ushers Thomas and the bartender to their 4Runner. They get in the 4Runner and Renault Sandera and Lincoln on his bike. The group begins looking for a place to interrogate Thomas.
  • Meanwhile, across town, Martin has been probing various governmental databases in hopes of finding a match for the fingerprint. His first attempt was against the local Prague police department, but during the initial phase of the probe, he realized that the police department was able to detect his attempt and capture his IP address. He then changed his tactic to investigating federal governmental records for the Czech Republic. He was easily able to hack into a state-wide governmental database. There he found a match for the fingerprint under registered diplomats to the country. The fingerprint was a match for Stephen Lucas.
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Mission 001: Opertion UMBRA [session 3.5]

Session 3.5
Email exchange between sessions 3 and 4 (June 29 – July 13)

Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Date: 3 June 2011
Time: 1200

Before leaving the bar, Jack searches the thugs, bartender, and Orlando Thomas. He finds the following:

  • Thomas had his wallet, which contained about $100 in various bills, his US government ID, passport, and driver’s license. All the ID lists his name as Orlando Thomas. He also ditched his cell phone in the Renault Sandero, which the group finds. They turn the cell off.
  • The bartender had a wallet on him with about $50 in various bills and his driver’s license. His name is Milos Chalupnik.
  • The thugs had a total of $300 in various bills and no ID. They did have a Glock and an AK-47 with an extra clip. Lincoln took the AK-47.
  • Jack drives the Renault Sandero to the hostel where he rendezvous with Martin. He gives Martin Orlando Thomas’ cell phone and asks Martin to check into recent phone calls. Martin begins to exploit the phone, while they head to a nearby warehouse district.
  • Marcus and Adrian drive the 4Runner with their captives to an old warehouse district they saw when they left the hostel. They find an old abandoned warehouse that looks like a prime location for a secretive interrogation.
  • Martin’s exploitation of the cell phone reveals the following:
  • At 11:30AM on 3 June, Thomas called the Gallerie NoD bar. This is consistent with the timing of the phone call Thomas made during the car chase.
  • Thomas makes frequent phone calls to a couple different numbers:
  • One of the numbers is for a pay as you go cell with a Prague area number. Martin can’t find out who it’s registered with easily (but if he’s willing, he could probably hack into phone company records).
  • A second number is traceable to Lida Novak. It’s a cell number, also based in Prague. He makes calls to her about once every two or three days.
  • A search of all the phone records does reveal that he tried calling Stephen Lucas, but the last time he tried was a couple weeks ago.
  • He also makes frequent calls to the Armrest Coffee shop.
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Mission 001: Operation UMBRA [Session 4]

Session 4

14 July 2011


Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex, TJ

Location: Prague, Czech Republic


Date: 3 June 2011
Time: 1300

  • Marcus and Adrian drive around town, waiting for a call from Jack and Lincoln to tell them where to rendezvous.  In the meantime, Marcus begins questioning Orlando Thomas.  At first Thomas is reluctant to respond, but eventually he begins to give in – especially when Adrian indicates she’s willing to use her knife to extract some information.  He reveals only limited information until the group arrives at the warehouse, ties him up, and begins a more thorough interrogation.
  • Meanwhile, Lincoln and Jack rendezvous at an internet cafe near the hostel where they had been staying.  They pick up Martin, but just as they’re leaving, they notice a story in the local news which indicates Czech officials have requested the assistance of the FBI in tracking down “the suspected American terrorists” involved in the recent high profile incidents in Prague.
  • When Lincoln, Jack, and Martin arrive at the warehouse, they set to work on the interrogation.  The bartender from Gallerie NoD is kept in a separate room from Orlando.
  • Martin doesn’t play much of a role in the interrogation; instead, he continues to look for more information about the FBI working with local authorities.
  • In general, Marcus tries to play on the shared ties between Orlando and himself, while Jack tends to Orlando’s wounds.  However, when Orlando proves somewhat reluctant to provide more information, Adrian and Lincoln begin to threat Orlando with bodily harm.
  • Eventually Thomas admits:
  • That he has worked for the KGB and currently works for the SVR (Russian Foreign Intel Service) as a double agent, feeding them info on US operations in Prague and the Czech Republic;
  • UMBRA, who is also a spy working for Russia, was the one who originally turned him.
  • Orlando was assigned to work for the US State Dept in Prague for years, where he built a close and profitable working relationship with UMBRA. In recent years he was transferred to a different location.  About a year ago, he was transferred back to Prague. When he tried to re-connect with UMBRA, she avoided him.  
  • About four or five months ago, Stephen Lucas was assigned to work in Prague and make contact with UMBRA.  He was successful and negotiated UMBRA’s defection to the US.  This immediately concerned Orlando, who knew that his status as a double agent was in jeopardy and he’d be in trouble with the US.
  • It was at that point that he set out to kill UMBRA and Stephen Lucas.  He admitted that Damek Polotski and the thugs from Galerie NoD were working for him and that Damek was at the casino to kill UMBRA and Lucas.
  • Thomas also revealed that Lida Novak is also working at the nuclear research institute with UMBRA and as an agent for the Russians.  Thomas is still in communication with her and has used her to track UMBRA up until UMBRA and Lucas went missing recently.
  • Thomas says that in addition to the economic intel UMBRA gets from the research institute she is also interested because the institute focuses on nuclear medical research and UMBRA has serious radiation burns and illness.
  • Thomas doesn’t know how to find Stephen Lucas or UMBRA (if he did he would have killed them)
  • During the interrogation Marcus is angered and kicks Thomas in the mouth.
  • Eventually the group gets together and tries to decide on a course of action. They decide to send this text to Stephen Lucas’ phone:
  • “We arrived in Orlando but realized we made a wrong turn and now we need directions.”
  • A few minutes later they received a reply with the name of an apartment complex in an upscale part of town.  After a couple more text message exchanges, the group also receives what they guess to be the number of the apartment where Lucas is at.
  • The group travels to the apartment, leaving Martin behind to watch Orlando Thomas and the bartender.  
  • When the group arrives they waste no time in going to the apartment, where they find Stephen Lucas waiting. After a couple minutes feeling each other out, Lucas accepts the group’s story and takes them to a bedroom where UMBRA is staying.  She looks old and weak and covered in radiation burns.
  • The group tells her they are there to save her, but she reveals the Koreans have contacted her and are willing to pay her more than the US.  Adrian convinces UMBRA that the US will match her demands.
  • Meanwhile, Jack is searching through the main living room and begins to hear police sirens closing in on the apartment complex.  He warns the rest of the group that the cops may be coming for them.
  • Marcus carries UMBRA, while Adrian grabs the woman’s walker.  Stephen Lucas goes with them as they head for a stairwell.  Meanwhile, Jack and Lincoln set a fire so that the building’s fire alarm will go off.
  • The group races down the stairwell and heads to the building’s main foyer, where they plan to take a different stairwell to the apartments’ underground garage and grab Stephen Lucas’ car.
  • When they arrive in the foyer they see a group of about 15 – 20 people trying to escape the building, but they also see Damek Polotski and a couple of thugs wielding AK-47s.  The thugs open up on the group, mowing down bystanders in the process.  Everyone in the group gets hit, to include Marcus and Adrian who aren’t wearing bulletproof vests.
  • The group abandons their plan and instead heads for the nearest fire escape door.  Lincoln lays down cover fire while most of the group escapes.  
  • The thugs follow the group out of the building and ends up dealing a near fatal wound to Lucas. Lincoln finally drops Damek with a few well placed shots.
  • The group runs out to the street and is able to get the attention of some local cops and direct them to the thugs.  Jack bravely goes back for Stephen Lucas, putting himself in danger as he tries to evade the semi-automatic fire from one of the thugs.  
  • The gunfight finally ends when the thugs run away from the cops.  The group takes the opportunity to flee to the Renault they took from Orlando Thomas.
  • They head back to the warehouse, and Jack and Marcus do an excellent job of patching up everyone’s wounds.  They tie Thomas up and leave him in the warehouse.  
  • The group blindfolds the bartender and drops him off in a different part of town and then drops off a very wounded but stable Stephen Lucas at the US Embassy.  Then they leave for Estonia.
  • This information is drawn from an email exchange after the session. During the drive to Estonia, the group asks UMBRA a few questions:

In general, she seems a little reluctant to delve into specifics with the group, though she does seem drawn to Adrian – perhaps because she sees some of herself within Adrian. She is also genuinely thankful to Jack for stitching her up after the shootout.

So here’s what she tells you:

1. Her background in general.

She was born in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. She served as an intelligence officer in the KGB and then the SVR. After the fall of the FSU, she began working as an agent, stealing secrets from the nuclear research institute near Prague. She was primarily charged with stealing secrets about nuclear medicine, but she would also report on any other activities underway at the institute.

2. Her ties to Orlando Thomas.

She met Orlando Thomas in the 1990s. At the time she discovered he was a intelligence officer working undercover as a state department employee. She was eventually able to turn him and use him as a source for Russian intelligence. They worked together until 2008. At that time he was reassigned to a different post. By 2011 when he returned to Prague, she had decided to defect.

3. Her role in the KGB and SVR.

She served as an intelligence analyst at first in the KGB and then as an agent in the SVR, collecting on nuclear research issues in the Czech Republic.

4. What she was focused on at the Nuclear Research Institute.

Mostly nuclear medicine but all nuclear research in general to a lesser extent.

5. Why she decided to defect.

She is reluctant to delve into this. She only says, “I’ve given way to much and now it’s time to get something in return.” And adds that her “days of basement work are over.” When she says this, she also mumbles “I think you know what I mean” and sort of gives a wink to Adrian.

6. and why the US (and the Koreans at a minimum) wanted her so bad.

Again she seems reluctant to delve into this too much. She just says, “Well, you know, all that basement work…everyone’s interested. Especially the Koreans. I guess the Americans just want it the most.”

  • When they arrive in Estonia, Lincoln is able to smooth-talk his way with an airline operator for some expensive, but no questions asked airfare.  Within a couple hours the group, along with UMBRA, are in the air headed for the US.
  • Operation: UMBRA accomplished.
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Mission 002: Operation DIRTY RAIL

CLASSIFIED//TRU EYES ONLY

OPERATION DIRTY RAIL

Assignment: Identify Spetsnaz group targeting high value rail

Target: Mikel Babanin
Former Colonel in the Former Soviet Union and Russian Armies, high ranking member of Alfa Group.
Currently believed to live in Moscow.
Has worked with UMBRA occasionally in the past.

Known Associated Location: Karma Bar, Moscow, Russia
55.761436,37.620914

CLASSIFIED//TRU EYES ONLY

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Mission 002: Operation DIRTY RAIL [session 5]

Mission 002 Operation DIRTY RAIL

Session 5


27 July 2011


Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex, TJ

Location: Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations directorate, Special Agent in Charge Principle Field Office – Atlanta, GA.
Date: 27 July 2011
Time: 0800



  • After over a month of a half of down time following their successful completion of Operation UMBRA, the group receives letters in the mail from Department B instructing them to return to the DHS field office in Atlanta on the morning of 27 July.
  • The group assembles and are once again given a mission by Gregory Shepherd.
  • Shepherd gives the group another envelope. This mission, code named Operation DIRTY RAIL, is concerned with identifying a rogue element of former Russian Spetsnaz – or special forces – before they can destroy an unidentified high value rail target.
  • During debriefs with UMBRA, she reveals to Department B that she knows a former Russian army colonel who was a hgh ranking member of one of Russia’s spetsnaz groups called Alpha Group.
  • She provides what little information she knows: his name is Mikel Babanin, he is retired from the army, he probably lives in Moscow, and he use to frequent (and perhaps still does) a bar called the Karma Bar, which is in downtown Moscow.
  • The group spends a little while making their plans and putting together travel arrangements before Adrian approaches Carla about the logistics. As usual, Carla seems a little reluctant, but with some persuasion from Adrian she agrees to help with all TRU Echo’s requests.
  • Adrian stays with Carla after the rest of the group leaves and chats the secretary up, trying to learn more about her.
  • Though slow to provide personal information at first, Carla eventually reveals that she is a window who lives alone with her two cats (Ferdinand and Isabella), she is a workaholic, and her gruff demeanor is a result of the fact that she truly cares for the Department B and TRU agents. She feels a sense of responsibility for them. She is reluctant to agree to send a lot of weaponry with TRU units, because she feels the excess weaponry leads to unnecessary violence. Finally, she reveals that her husband was a former Department B agent and was killed in the line of duty.
  • It takes about three days for Carla to make the logistical arrangements for shipment of the group’s equipment to Moscow and creation of new identification papers.
  • Meanwhile, Adrian sets to work developing completely new looks for every member of TRU Echo.
  • About midday on July 31, the group leaves from Atlanta for Moscow. They arrive on the morning of August 1.

Date: 1 August 2011

Time: 1000

  • The group arrives at Moscow’s international airport; Jack and Adrian each rent a small compact car (Lada Kalina) while Lincoln picks up the groups equipment at the cargo terminal.
  • The group decides to find a hotel near the Karma Bar. They find a hotel called the Savoy hotel, which is across the street from the bar.
  • The group carefully searches the room and eventually determines the phone is setup so that it can easily be tapped.
  • Martin spends a little time trying to dig up some info on Mikel. He finds a little information about the former colonel, mostly from old article about military exercises. He also finds a picture of the colonel. Most surprising, however, is that he discovers the colonel apparently died three years ago.
  • With few other leads, the group decides to go to the Karma Bar for lunch.
  • The bar is mostly empty. It’s decor gives it the initial impression of elegance, but a closer inspection reveals this is just superficial. The place smells of smoke – a combination of pipe, cigar, and shisha. It also smells of alcohol, and especially vodka. The lunch crowd is small – only three tables are occupied. At two tables are groups of caucasian, probably Russians. At a third table is a pair of Middle Eastern men, who are eating and sharing a hooka pipe.
  • The bartender is an older man whose demeanor suggests a familiarity with the bar. Also behind the bar is an attractive caucasian young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • Martin strikes up a conversation with the girl, whose name he learns is Sophia.
  • The rest of the group begins eating their lunch and Marcus begins to drink. Despite the early hour, he shows no restraint in ordering drink after drink.
  • While Martin continues chatting with Sophia, Adrian begins talking with a tall, thin blonde hair man from one of the tables. He introduces himself as Sven. He offers to show her around town and gives Adrian his cell number. She also convinces him to take a picture of the group. Once he’s done, she’s careful not to smudge his fingerprints.
  • After lunch the group leaves, taking a round-about route to their hotel. After a few minutes, they realize they are being followed by Sven and his Russian friends.
  • The group decides to try to confront Sven, but on their own terms. They go to a metro station and get on a metro. Sven and his companions continue to follow TRU Echo and they get on a different metro car.
  • A couple stops later, the group gets off the train at the same time Sven and his friends do. An awkward standoff ensues in which the group confronts Sven about followed them – specifically Adrian. At first Sven denies it, but eventually the confrontation escalates.
  • When another train arrives at the station, Sven and his buddies jump on board, but they are followed by TRU Echo. The confrontation continues and Jack – eager to get some answers – actually strikes Sven in the nose with his cain. One of Sven’s buddies reacts by going for his gun, but Martin is able to shoot the gun from his hand.
  • At this point, Sven and his buddies agree to talk, so the group escorts them to a large park, where they can have a little more privacy. At the park, Sven admits that he actually works for “mother Russia.” The group, seeing an opportunity, explains that they are trying to stop a possible terrorist attack and they need to find Mikel Babanin.
  • Sven says that Babinin has gone into hiding and now uses the alias Alexander Rugov. He still frequents the Karma Bar, which is why Sven was there – mother Russia still wants to keep an eye on Mikel (Alexander). He also tells the group that Mikel lives at the Gorbyuro Apartments, in apartment 519.
  • Though the group suggests working further together, Sven declines, saying that they are done talking, and he and his friends leave.
  • TRU Echo returns to the Savoy Hotel, carefully checks their room and determines it’s clean, Jack works on getting Sven’s print and a sample of his blood, and Lincoln begins preparations for setting up surveillance on the Karma Bar while also maintaining security on the room.
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Mission 002: Operation DIRTY RAIL [session 6]

Mission 002 Operation DIRTY RAIL

Session 6



10 August 2011



Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex, TJ

Location: Moscow, Russia.

Date: 1 August

Time: 1300



  • The group returns the to hotel.  After a thorough check, the group determines the room is clean of eavesdropping devices and no one has been in the room since they were last present.
  • Lincoln takes responsibility for securing the room and keeping watch, Jack works with Martin to scan Sven’s fingerprint from Adrian’s camera.  Jack also stores Sven’s blood sample.
  • Martin conducts some internet searches for Mikel Babanin’s alias (Alexander Rugov).  The search reveals a few other people, but no one who matches the age or other demographics for Mikel.  
  • Marcus – with some assistance from Lincoln and Adrian – watches the Karma Bar from the room via binoculars.  (I’m going to assume that Lincoln and Adrian occasionally assist Marcus and have them roll assisting perception checks).
  • Martin calls Sophia and asks her to bring along some friends for their date.
  • Martin and Jack leave for their date with Sophia and her friends.  They meet up at a nearby Coyote Ugly. Sophia introduces Jack and Martin to her friends, which includes a woman named Natalia. Natalia and Jack hit it off. Throughout the night, Martin is able to learn that Sophia has keys to the Karma Bar and can access the bar at any time.
  • Marcus and Lincoln notice something unusual on the street below by the Karma Bar.  The two Middle Eastern men they saw in the Karma Bar earlier show back up.  However, they don’t go inside the bar.  Instead, it appears they take up positions on the street where they can monitor the bar.  One of the men stands across the street from the bar entrance and the other stands a few blocks way from the entrance.  They continually scan the area.  On one occasion, the man down a few blocks from the Karma Bar glances up toward the group’s hotel room.  It isn’t clear if he actually saw Marcus and the others watching out the window.
  • Adrian quickly helps Lincoln with a disguise and then Lincoln goes down to the street to check out the bar.
  • Adrian and Marcus search around and find an empty hotel room a couple floors up. Adrian breaks into the room and they continue their surveillance; however, they notice the Middle Eastern man across from the bar is gone.
  • When Lincoln gets down to the street, he also notices the man is missing. A quick walk around the bar reveals there is a back entrance.
  • Lincoln returns to the hotel and goes to the group’s original room. When he gets there, he gets a bad feeling about the room and texts Marcus and Adrian. Marcus comes down and they enter the room together only to find it has been ransacked.
  • Marcus begins investigating if anything has been taken, if any surveillance equipment was set up in the room, and what of their equipment has been tampered with.
  • Lincoln goes downstairs to the lobby and speaks with a receptionist. The receptionist reveals a Middle Eastern man just left the hotel.
  • Adrian, still watching the street from the hotel room she and Marcus broke in to, sees the Middle Eastern man return to the street, meet up with his companion, and they begin walking down the street away from the hotel. Adrian quickly heads downstairs to meet up with Marcus and Lincoln.
  • Adrian and Lincoln meet in the stairwell. They decide Adrian should chase the men while Lincoln goes to the room to get Marcus.
  • When Lincoln gets to the room, Marcus tells Lincoln he needs to finish his investigation. Lincoln leaves the room in order to assist Adrian in the chase.
  • Adrian spots the men on the streets and tracks them down. Lincoln is not far behind and eventually joins up with her.
  • Once again, member of the group make there way into Moscow’s extensive metro system, as the two Middle Eastern men duck inside a metro stop in an attempt to get away from their pursuers.
  • Adrian and Lincoln give chase, jumping over the entry gates into the metro system and drawing looks from the pedestrians waiting for the train.
  • Once on-board, an uneasy stalemate develops between the Middle Eastern men and Adrian and Lincoln. Adrian realizes the men are Israeli – possibly Mossad – and begins to wonder what their role here is, though she assumes they must know something about Mikel.
  • They avoid her inquires; instead, they tell Lincoln and Adrian that they should steer clear of the Israelis. The confrontation ends with some tension, as Lincoln promises the next meeting might be a little rougher.
  • By the time Lincoln and Adrian return to the hotel room, Marcus has finished his investigation and Martin and Jack have returned from their date. During his investigation, Marcus discovered nothing had been stolen, but Martin’s computer had been tampered with.
  • Martin checks out his computer. He learns that someone tried – and failed – to defeat his password encryption. However, he also notices that someone plugged an external drive of some sort into one of his USB ports.
  • At this point, it’s late in the night and the group decides it would be best to find an alternate location to stay. They go to a nearby low-rent efficiency apartment complex called Gorbyuro – the same complex where Mikel lives.
  • The pay for an apartment, set up a camera to monitor Mikel’s apartment, and the get some much needed rest.
  • The next morning Adrian, Marcus, and Jack go to speak with Mikel, while Lincoln and Martin keep watch from their apartment.
  • The meeting with Mikel goes well at first – he allows them to come in and serves them breakfast while hearing out what information they need. When the trio enters the apartment, they see Mikel’s family – presumably father, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. During the course of the conversation, the group learns Mikel’s son was a member of the Russian army and was killed in Chechnya.
  • Mikel provides the group a little information up front – that he is familiar with the rogue Spetsnaz group, he knows its members, and their general whereabouts. He agrees to tell the group all that he knows for $5000 and the safe relocation of his family to the US.
  • The group eventually agrees to these terms (only after Marcus insults and angers Mikel). Mikel reveals the group was formerly part of the Vympel (also known as Vega or Directorate B) group within the Federal Security Service (FSB).
  • The exact lineage of Vympel is not known but the unit was formed in 1981, as a dedicated spetsnaz unit specialized in deep penetration, sabotage, universal direct and covert action, protection of Soviet embassies and espionage cell activation in case of war. Most of the Vympel operatives mastered two or three foreign languages, for they were intended to act in foreign countries, deep behind enemy lines.
  • Vympel quickly gained the reputation of being among the best Soviet special forces units, surpassing its GRU and MVD counterparts. However, after the collapse of the USSR, Vympel was decimated by endless re-organization and re-definition. It passed under the aegis of the Security Ministry before being receded to the MVD (Interior Ministry). However, the MVD had no use for such a unit. The bulk of the Vympel operatives could not stand the humiliation of being subordinated to the police, and duly resigned: of 278 officers, only 57 chose to remain within the MVD. The unit was re-named “Vega.”
  • In 1995, the FSB Special Operations Center (TsSN FSB) was granted control over Vympel. The group regained its original name and was reintegrated into the Intelligence Service structures. The emphasis shifted from covert and clandestine sabotage operations to counter-terrorism and nuclear safety enforcement. Vympel operatives undergo special training related to improvised or special explosive devices, permitting them to use “terrorist-like” tactics to carry out their operations. Physical training includes close hand combat, parachute training, diving, underwater combat techniques, climbing, and alpine rope techniques. Regional groups of Vympel were deployed in cities with especially important nuclear facilities.
  • Vympel (i.e. the Directorate “B” of the TsSN FSB) is still a classified and secretive unit. It took part in Russia’s Chechen campaigns and in storming of the Supreme Soviet building during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis. Little is known about its current operations and activities, the exception being the capture of the Chechen militant leader Salman Raduyev in March 2000 and the assault on the school in Beslan in September 2004.
  • Mikel explains the rogue group TRU Echo is looking for was specifically tasked with operating as a Red Team, testing the security of Russian nuclear sites. The rogue team quit Vympel in the years following the fall of the Soviet Union. He knows of six members who he believes are still active within the rogue element. These members include:
  • Tashika Katruta. A man of Kazakh origins, noted for his skill at tracking and outdoor survival.
  • Khal Orlov. This unassuming fellow has the “face of a choirboy” but excels at the most brutal forms of hand-to-hand combat. Orlov has a knack for silent movement.
  • Pushkin Duchov. Pushkin is a native Russian. He serves as the group’s expert on electronics, explosives and other technological items. He never underwent the full course of Vympel training.
  • Natalia Karnof. Natalia came from the Soviet Far East, and seemed almost Oriental in appearance. She speaks fluent Chinese, and spent the years 1989-1991 on liaison with the embassy in the People’s Republic of China. Karnof knows numerous other languages as well and “has a touch” with foreign cultures.
  • Michenko Petro. Petro is an excellent marksman, with a passion for things military. He shuns the company of others.
  • Santin Yuchenko. Yuchenko serves as the leader of the cell. He has a taste for cruelty. He wears a drooping mustache.
  • Mikel tells the group he doesn’t know exactly where the rogue group’s base is, but he believes they operate out of an old abandoned special forces camp southwest of Moscow along the border with Belarus in the Smolenskaya Oblast’.
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Mission 002: Operation DIRTY RAIL [session 7]

Mission 002
Operation DIRTY RAIL
Session 7



7 September 2011



Players: Brad, Braon, Lenora, Lex

Location: Moscow, Russia.

Date: 2 August

Time: 1000

*Jack and Adrian return to the apartment and the group decides to call Shepherd and ask him if Department B could arrange for Mikel’s family to be brought to the States.

  • The group begins investigates possible locations in the area where Mikel mentioned for the the Vympel camp. They come across what appears to be a military camp. Martin hacks into classified satellite imagery data holdings and is able to acquire more detailed imagery; however, he knows that his hacking is detected.
  • The group is able to identify the basic security for the compound, and they learn that their is a mock airfield (probably for anti-terrorism training) and a bivouac compound.
  • Jack and Adrian return to Mikel’s apartment. They tell him they were able to arrange passage to the States and ask for his help in setting them up with a contact who can provide illicit arms (grenades, AK-47s, etc). Mikel tells the group he will coordinate a meeting with an arms dealer named Alexander Rasputin at 2100 at a nearby cafe called the Vogue.
  • At about 1900, the group leaves the apartment. Just as they’re leaving, an explosion rips through Mikel’s apartment. Lincoln goes to the group’s apartment to gather their stuff, while Jack and Marcus tend to wounded in the apartment complex. Once paramedics arrive, Jack and Marcus return to the group and they leave for the Vogue.
  • The group arrives at the Vogue, has dinner, and waits for Alexander. Soon Alexander arrives. The meeting is brief and a little tense, as Alexander has heard about what happened to Mikel.
  • He has most of what the group wants, but they spend almost all of their remaining cash on the gear.
  • As soon as the meeting is over, the group leaves for the Vympel camp, which is in extreme western Russia. The cross-country drive takes about 7 hours. The group arrives in the area at 0500 on 3 August.
  • The group is able to identify an old abandoned chicken farm near the training camp. Martin sets base their, and starts to build a communications intercept device. He is able to cobble together a basic device that enables him to detect nearby active frequencies and listen to voice communications if they aren’t encrypted. He learns that most of the people at the compound communicate via push-to-talk handsets operating in the high frequency range. He sets up a basic machine translation protocol for the intercepted communications and is able to learn that most of the conversations are from someone identifying himself as Sickle 1 directing others (at least twenty men, all with call signs that consist of the word “Red”) to take up their posts. It’s clear that Sickle 1 is in charge of security for the compound. Martin also detects a microwave signal operating in the mid 2GHz range. The signal is encrypted, so Martin shifts his focus to decrypting the signal. He is able to learn that it is transmitting data vice voice communications. The data is GPS locational information. When Martin plots the locations on a hardcopy atlas, he learns that it plots to Kassel, Germany and is traveling northwest at a slow rate of speed. He is able to overlay the GPS locations on a rail line.
  • Marcus sneaks off into the woods under the dark of night to see if he can make out the security status of the compound. Marcus stays at his position all day. He has a good line of sight to one of the watch towers that surrounds the compound. The tower only has one guard at a time. The guards switch out every three hours. Most of the guards don’t seem overly vigilant.
  • Lincoln and Jack find a hiding spot near the intersection of the main road and the access road leading to the training camp. They watch for any vehicles arriving or leaving the camp. No vehicles arrive or depart the compound throughout the entire day.
  • The group rendezvous at the chicken farm that night. Martin and Marcus brief the rest of the group on what they learned. Jack remembers reading a news story recently about a controversial train traveling from France to Germany. The train carries spent German nuclear fuel that had been processed at a facility in France. After processing, the fuel is transferred to a holding location in Germany. It seems very likely this is the train being tracked by GPS.
  • Adrian drives to a nearby city so she can get a cell signal. She calls Shepherd and informs him that the group believes the train that is targeted for destruction is in Germany.
  • When she returns, the group splits up. Martin travels down the main road and sets up position along the power line that feeds the compound. HE’s planning to simulate rolling power blackouts. Meanwhile the rest of the group is planning to sneak into the compound. They travel through the woods south of the camp and take up position on its southeastern perimeter.
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