Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Backwaters of Intelligence

Here is the mother of Top Secret/S.I. plot hooks. It appears to be written by a member of RPG.net- Burden Cross. Posted a couple of years ago, this idea just gets the juices flowing:
I still have everything mapped out... bought Operation: Starfire...

I will say that after reading Watchmen (I know you are thinking WTF does that have to do with anything) I would take a slightly different approach - wanting to encourage the characters to find the 'spygame' a joke, and then get reinvested in it. Artimus Mikros, old and decrepit, partially senile, trying to pull off supervillainy in an age of Osama and Berny Maddof. Orion is an underfunded shell of an organization with equipment that is twenty years old, unable to recruit top agents because the wars have taken all the prime candidates, and has been shoved into the backwaters of intelligence, doing mop up work for Interpol, MI5, and the CIA.

Oh sure, they get thrown a bone once in awhile, like getting to run Titan Team op to free a freighter captured by Somali pirates, but it was only because it was a Centauri Shipping freighter and US and British naval units didn't want to get caught up in some sort of turf battle.

News of Artimus Mikros's break from Orion wouldn't have even raised an eyebrow. Hell, Sebastian Cord left the organization and started writing really bad spy novel stuff that he was self publishing. Mikros could have just left his post and never returned and no one would have known but he still had the old spirit in him and sent a video to the SW1 Orioncomm network.

Jason, retired, living out his life with mild disgust at the once august organization he gave so much blood and sweat for, never did bother to turn in the SW1 Orioncomm. Even scared off the two techs who showed up at his house to collect it by waiving his Orion issued pistol at their heads. Didn't know why he kept it, just seemed right.

Seeing it blink and light up indicating a message was a surprise. No one was around to send Jason messages anymore. When Artimus's face appeared in the enhanced lcd screen on the watch face, it was even a bigger surprise. "I'm bringing this putrid world to the knees. Rome, Jerusalem, and Mecca have been targeted. Tokyo, New York, and London have been targeted. Beijing, Mumbai, and Caracas have been targeted. Nine cities and nine days. My demands? I have none. I've only given this notice to enhance the fear and panic to speed the destruction of the worthless planet."

Jason wasn't too surprised when his phone rang moments later. Orion didn't have many agents left in its organization who have dealt with this sort of thing. No agency in any government could begin to fathom how to proceed. So much red tape, so many bureaucrats to get in the way. And no one in these days understands that sometimes people are just evil.
Burden Cross responds:
I'm glad to see that this is received positively... as the Admin in question I feel a need to point out that although Artimus Mikros is a WEB agent introduced in Operation: Starfire, I had through poor storytelling turned him into an Orion operative and undercutting Jason's motivation. Part of the 'reunion' game is to give this character a chance to have the deserved final showdown he was robbed of with this nemesis.
I only hope I can come up with as inspiring plot hooks as this one.

link to original thread on RPG.net

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