Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cold City RPG - (AML) Scene #1 - "The Stakeout"

Cold City RPG
A Mother's Love: Session #1 - "The Stakeout"

"A Mother's Love" is a older storyline from a previous role-playing group, but set in the same Cold City world as our recent "Prisoner #8" adventure.

Characters - The RPA Team:

AndyB - Henrik Grubbermann (German, Deutsches Zivilburo)
Pete - Edmund Paley (US Diplomat)
Tom - Otto Hartmann (Austrian, former Wehrmacht Officer now with Deutsches Zivilburo)
Steve - Henri Lectuer (French, civil policing advisor)
Mike - Vasilly Reva (Soviet, former pilot)

Background: A flagged Stasi report had indicated possible ST (modified "super" soldiers) activity in a residential zone in Haring. STs have been an ongoing issue since the war ended. The RPA field team was ordered to stakeout the location and capture the ST should the reports turn out to be correct. 

We opened with Henrik and Vasilly travelling in their Willy Jeep to East Berlin (Hellersdorf) to meet up with two new field colleagues Otto Hartmann and Edmund Paley. Whoever came up with the idea of putting a Yank diplomat on a stakeout alone with a former Wehrmacht officer needed a good slap! (Although both of their skills came heavily into play as the evening matured).

Soviet "Gaz" Truck
Henrik and Vasilly passed a number of large Russian Gaz trucks, their wheels red with quarry mud, before pulling up along side a derelict house in Haring, a devastated residential zone in Hellersdorf.

Meanwhile Henri, who had failed to join them, was meeting up with "The Fatman", Igor Berbatov (a Black Marketeer) at his cabaret club in Pankow. The Fatman, suspect in Major Spiegelmann's disappearance, wanted to get his hands on the file the RPA had on him. In exchange he was prepared to give Henri details of where the August Von Erht painting "Three Gates To Darkness" would shortly be. Henri made the deal and cycled to join the rest of the team in Haring.

As Otto and Edmund leafed through the Stasi report they were flash-backed [flashback start] into the boots of Stasi grunts, Heinricht Beyer and Tomas Haas, to follow-up on information obtained from interviews in the area.

Eva Weis
Their role was to interview a woman called Eva Weis regarding the disturbances in the area. They started with a softly, softly approach, establishing that Eva had lost both her husband and two sons to the war and now lived alone. This worked well until they started to nose around the house without her permission. Eva got increasingly anxious and the Stasi got a little heavy handed [flashback end] ... as we cut back to the stakeout with the following information:

- Witnesses report a skinny man carrying a dead dog.
- He was dressed in a torn German army uniform.
- He had dirty/bloody hands.
- Sad, mournful look.
- Windows broken.
- Food stolen but not eaten.
- Eva Weis was a noisy neighbour.

To complicate matters further a member of the Stasi had been murdered the night before and Stasi presence in the area was high until nearly midnight, two hours after the scheduled soviet blackout had sent Haring into complete darkness.

At this point the team elected to investigate Eva's house under the cover of darkness, but not before Edmund had revealed a strange home-made radio/PK meter device and began tuning it to "detect ST activity" in the area. More than one agent rolled their eyes and convinced him to "put it away for now" and not light up the street.

Haring, Hellersdorf District (Berlin)
Circling to the back of the terrace houses they managed to enter the Weis house with some excellent B&E work from Henrik. On sighting the broken kitchen table we [flashback start] cut again back to the two Stasi officers "interviewing" Mrs Weis. This time there was little courtesy and as Haas searched the upstairs, Beyer beat and abused the screaming woman over the kitchen table. Haas ran downstairs, the table broke under the frenzied Beyer and they left the woman a weeping bloody heap on the kitchen floor. [flashback end]

Before long they all stood in the kitchen/hall, Edmund detecting a lot of ST activity "really close by". A floorboard creeks from upstairs.

"Hans? Hans, is that you?" called Eva, with more than a little fear in her voice.

Henri responds, pretending to be Hans, beckoning the woman down. Steve rolls well, but with one negative dice as part of his success. Eva rushes downstairs and into the arms of a waiting Otto. Quickly things go crazy as the ST bursts out from the cupboard under the stairs, armed with a screwdriver for Otto's neck. Otto is too quick though and with a single action he pushes the woman aside and punches right through the jaw of the oncoming ST, "killing" it with one blow. Henri knocks out Eva to cut off her screams.

ST's Muddy Boots. A clue?
In the clean-up they search the cellar and establish that the ST had killed the Stasi officer, probably in revenge for what the officer had done to Eva. Eva had clearly become a sort of mother figure to the ST and he became one of her sons "Hans" who had been lost to the war. The ST had red mud on it's boots, which somehow linked to the Gaz trucks they had observed earlier.

They transport both ST and woman back to the RPA building, Vasilly easing them through the Soviet checkpoints enroute.

Very enjoyable session of Cold City, a game that really benefited from the extra players.

For more on our scenarios see The Cold City Files.

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