Keep An Eye On!

Jonathan Smith (42) is arriving at the airport in an hour. Keep an eye on him.

If confronted, Jonathan Smith will protest that the agents are interrupting an important plan and plead with them to pose as whoever they disrupted to get to him in order to maintain the charade. He cannot disclose what the objective is but sincerely swears that it is vital to the safety of the US, mankind, and existence itself. If pressed he will wonder how they got here.

The DMV computer in Maryland provides an old image and an occupation: consultant. On the internet he only gets vaguely mentioned by large corporations: defense, pharma, petrochemical, insurance. No images or social networks found.

Jonathan Smith arrives right on time by car service. He takes his briefcase and receives a flight case with rollers and extendable handle from the driver who took it out of the trunk. Then he proceeds into the terminal and gets called to the information desk on the PA. It takes him a moment to find one, but when he does a pair of suits with sunglasses grabs his arms and his luggage. He is unwilling but does not resist when they proceed out of the terminal and enter a waiting van with darkened windows that then speeds away.

The license plate tracks to a limo service in town. If they activate their Lo-Jack the car is shown at a motel by the highway. If pursued directly the driver exhibits some tradecraft and turns unexpectedly on red, stops at a gas station to wait, and doubles back on an empty road before arriving at the motel. The delivering car service license is from an expensive executive mobility agency that discloses no information without a warrant, and then only knows the car was paid from a Swiss account and the passenger Mr Smith was picked up at an expensive hotel in town. The hotel has no records and does not hand them out without a judge. Lobby video shows Jonathan arriving and leaving a busy convention hall alone, staying an hour. It was rented by a private consortium connected to a holding that also owns the hotel.

The motel, Novi-Check-In, is a busy place with 30 rooms for businessmen, road travelers, and illicit lovers - some with financial transaction. The cars are a mix of company sedans, family vans, midlife crisis wheels, and old clunkers. Two Floors of open hallway with steel handrails and stairs face the parking lot. A reception desk is off to the side by the ice machine in a small lobby that holds a TV always loudly showing reality formats, a soda- and a snack machine, and Maude Novichek (67). She is the widow of the original and grandmother of the current owner, hard of hearing, blind as a bat, and in charge of handing out room keys for credit card scans. Júlio comes at 8 am. to clean the rooms. The room where Jonathan is being held was rented to a Nick DeLuca (52) from New Jersey who has a long sheet of violent incidents and went to prison for 3 and 8 years on racketeering and manslaughter.

The room is on the lower level, one from the leftmost. Beside it are a loud pair of lovers to the left and a family with two small children watching TV to the right. The room above is empty. Jonathan is sitting hands cuffed to the chair. He looks tired. The bathroom has a window to a back alley on ground level with bars a wrench could unscrew. Two men in suits with sunglasses are sitting on the beds watching Jonathan and the TV news. They carry pistols.

A third man is sitting in the dark car parked facing the exit lane and watching the room. He has a phone to call the others if he sees anything suspicious. If attacked he will fight back hard and loudly. He is also armed with a pistol. Only if law enforcement ID is presented will he identify as USMS prisoner transfer agent. If convinced to violate mission secrecy he may explain that the unit has special orders to deliver the detainee to court the next day. They have to appear like mafia enforcers for now.

During the night a semi truck crashes into the parking lot at high speed. The deputy marshal in the van gets killed, a gas fire starts spreading under the wreckage, people wake and scream. Two cars screech to a halt and eight gang members with automatic pistols and rifles jump out. They proceed across the parking lot and kick open the door to the room, gun down the agents, and drag Jonathan into the cars with them. As they speed away Maude shuffles out of the reception with a phone in her hand yelling fire! Fire!

The gang changes cars in a parking structure and then arrives at a scrap yard with a waiting container truck. Jonathan and his luggage are thrown into the container with blankets, buckets, a water barrel, and food packets unceremoniously. They lock him in and the truck leaves. It goes straight to departure customs at the next container port. The container is loaded onto a ship bound to travel down the South American coast and then across the South Pacific to Australia in two days.

The ship, Santa Lucia, is run by a Philippine logistics company employing a South African captain and crew of South East Asian sailors totaling 12. They are hiring desperate cooks and deck hands. They will tolerate US customs or similar officials as long as they are in coastal waters. Their next port is in Central America in two weeks. The container is stacked-in but visible.

When in international waters and well away from law enforcement, the ship gets hijacked by pirates. They approach with two speedboats sporting Kalashnikovs and an RPG-7, storm the deck with grappling hooks and climbing nets, and take over the ship. In Latino English they hold the crew in the mass under guard and proceed to throw containers over board with the ship’s crane until they can lift the container in question. A small cargo ship arrives and receives the container, then heads towards the coast. The pirates leave.

The smaller ship arrives at a sleepy harbor where an old crane lifts the container onto a truck from the 70s that moves off into the night accompanied by goons on a Land Rover. The locals are fearful of strangers and cowered by a junta running the region. A truck can be acquired somehow. The road leads to a long abandoned farm where the container truck sits with the container open and a game path leading into the forest.

Jonathan is held in a straw hut down a jungle valley where Coca fields are concealed by larger trees, tended by slaves driven by cartel goons. His luggage is taken into a cave that leads to an old mine with several levels and many concealed exits where a dangerous laboratory is hidden. The valley is patrolled by cartel goons with automatic rifles and radios.

In Smith’s luggage is a thermobaric device contained in a secure travel safe that will detonate when forced open. The plan is to destroy a dangerous laboratory and its proprietor along with his research who has found refuge with a cartel warlord. The suggestion that the case contains crucial research was planted along with the legend that a rival organization is about to gain control of it. Jonathan is ready to die for this mission but plans to escape. The bomb is designed to collapse a bunker complex and will destroy a large building when detonated on the surface by using heavy tools on the safe. It may cause an eruption.

Jonathan can fly the propeller plane on the hidden runway at the valley’s center. He has a fishing boat picking him up off the coast tomorrow. If the agents are nice enough he might take them along. He will not explain and vanish once back in the US. He will be bewildered at their presence but cooperative with US authorities.

A Cell will be satisfied with a detailed report. They may give an explanation, or not. The lab could have been producing yellow crack, or been messing with the time line. Thank you for your service.


This is an entry to the 2018 Delta Green shotgun scenario contest, written by nono.

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