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Mage:Session 9

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Game Date: Monday 27th September 2010
Session Date: 6th July 2009
Author: Stuart

Field Ops in Germany

Millington called us into a meeting. Well, us consisted of Jacqueline, John and myself James. Barney had eaten a bad takeaway last night and was still talking to God on the great white telephone. My attempts to improve his condition hadn't come to anything. Millington was looking pensive.

"Are your passports up to date?" He asked. The other two nodded.

"No." I replied. "I don't look anything like a used to."

"Well, we do try to think of everything." Millington pushed a packet of papers across the desk. "Including not including the RFID."

"RFID?"

"RF Identity tag." He looked at me as if I was stupid. "Holds your biometric data."

"So where are we going?" Jacqueline asked.

"You're going to Germany." Millington replied. "First you need to sign another part of the Secrets act." He pushed across three forms for us to sign. We do so. "At least it's friendly territory."

"Right, you do remember Michael Thorpe?" He asked.

"Yes." We chorused.

"He has reacted to the incident badly. Seemed to get stressed out and headed off to Germany then dropped off the radar. Somewhere near Cologne." Millington informed us. "So we want you to find him, talk to him, ask him to return, bring him back if he agrees, otherwise he's on compassionate leave until he recovers. However, one important issue. He left with a file. We want it back."

"How will we know it is the file?"

"The file is titled, GAME ANDIES REDSHIFT. There are two or three sheets of paper in the file, and it's above your security clearance."

"Ok."

"You will be met at Cologne by one Udith Auerbach of the Cologne Interpol. She's a friendly but unaware of our specialities. So no exposure." Millington looked serious.

"She's a mundane?" Jacqueline asked.

"Yes. She doesn't know about the things you lot can do. Keep it that way." Millington. "We are sending around a car to pick you up and take you to Heathrow. There you will meet David Moller. He's Thorpe's civil partner. Talk to him, he's not going to travel with you. Find out what you can before your flights depart. Got that?"

"Yes."

"Good, now go and pack a bag. The car leaves at 11."


A large people mover picks us up and trundles up the M3, around the M25 and into the Heathrow airport site to deposit us at Terminal 3. Packets with tickets and 200Euros are handed over.

John has brought a snooker cue case with him, so has to check this into hold baggage. We head through security to meet up with David Moller at an Eatery of fast food. I grabbed a good tray full. Johnturned his nose up at this mess of processed meat products and deep fried starch, but I get hungry and those budget airlines don't do food in suitable quantities.

David Mollar was average height at 5' 10" with tidily cropped hair, sharp business suit and tie. John scratched his shoulder; Moller is awakened.

"You're the new guys. Pinky's gone walkabout. Please convince him that the world hasn't ended and persuade him to come back." Educated voice, no hint of his deviant nature. "You've met him, that was an unfortunate business. Been a little withdrawn of late and that seemed to have been the last straw. Got drunk, tired and emotional. I was up at the Darlington office, came back to find Pinky got. Took his bag and passport."

"What had he been working on?" Jacqueline asked.

"Nothing that I'm cleared for." It was a verbal shrug.

"Where has he gone?" I asked.

"Clubbing I'm guessing."

"Why Cologne?" Asked John.

"Bit a scene, Pinky's been there before."

"Scene?"

"Gay scene."

"Any particular clubs?"

"Don't know. It's not my scene." Moller replied to this. "We have an open relationship, Pinkie takes the odd weekend out. I don't ask what he gets up to and he doesn't tell me because he knows I'm not interested."

"And the file?"

"I'm sure that was an oversight."


The tickets were for a budget airline. Cramped seats, had to take an aisle seat and ask for the seat belt extension strap. Got dirty looks from the hostesses because I don't really fit and had to leave one leg trailing into the gangway. Spent half the flight standing up to gain some space.

Udith was waiting with a sign that said "Price". Early middle aged German Frauline in a business suit.

"Welcome to Koln. Good flight?" She spoke decent English with barely an accent.

"About what could be expected." Jacqueline replied.

"Don't know why they needed to send three of you. We will cooperate completely and help you to ensure that Mr.Thorpe gets back safe and sound."

She drove us into the city centre. It was the middle of the local rush hour so this took longer than any of us would like. Dropped us off at a central hotel, all modern lines, anodine and metallic. She would park the car and arranged to meet us at a cafe in the Cathedral square in quarter of an hour.

At the cafe, she informed us that Thorpe had checked into a small central cheap hotel. Sunday, he left without checking out. Definitely didn't stay over Sunday night. Left some clothing. He had last been seen Sunday morning when he had breakfast.

She took us to the hotel room. We have a look around. I immediately noticed that the bed had been knocked askew, a couple of empty hangers on the floor, a mobile phone on the bedside cabinet and kicked almost under the end of the bed, a signet ring. In the wardrobe were a few used clothes, in the bathroom his toothbrush.

I passed the ring to John. The ring lacked any markings and was well worn. John focused over the ring then nodded. It was a focus. Next was the bed. Lifting it, there was nothing else on the floor. I lifted the mattress up from the base to check between them. Nothing there. Next I went to pull down the covers.

"Stop, James." Jacqueline snapped. "Leave that to forensics."

"Ah. Ok."

"This is not consistent with being invited somewhere." She stated. "Unless he left in a hurry to catch a bus."

"Looks like he left in a tearing hurry." I responded to this.

She turned to Udith. "Did maid do the room?"

"Yesterday morning about 11am. This morning there was a Do not disturb sign, so she left it until the management got worried."

The bed looked like someone had lain upon it but not slept in it.

"Send the Do not Sign for fingerprinting." Jacqueline requested of Udith. "Also this phone but first let's check the call logs."

"We will need your prints as well to eliminate them from our checks." Udith insisted.

Jacqueline turned to the phone and prodded it into life. She sought out the call list and reported six entries.

1. Tuesday 21st Evening. Outgoing to German mobile. Lasted 20 seconds.

2. Tuesday 21st Evening, 2hrs later. Incoming, another German callbox. Lasted 8 minutes.

3. Wednesday 22nd 0816. Incoming, German callbox. Lasted 1min 12 sec.

4. Friday 24th 1630. Outgoing, German mobile, same as 1. Lasted 3 mins.

5. Sat 25th 1600. Incoming, German callbox. Lasted 1.5 mins.

6. Sun 26th 1500. Incoming, German callbox. Lasted 3 mins.

John checks the mobile and whispered that it too was a focus.


Downstairs, we inquired with the hotel management to extract more information. Checking on the computer record, it showed that Thorpe's room door was last unlocked at 1515 on Sunday afternoon (ignoring later openings by staff, Interpol and us today). Thorpe left a small package in the hotel safe and with Udith's intervention they turned it over. Inside a small decorated tin was a key with a metal tag; a railway station locker key.

Jacqueline next suggested checking the hotel CCTV on the foyer. We viewed the tape for the period after 3pm Sunday. About 1540 Thorpe is seen leaving with his holdall. About 30 seconds behind him are a couple of scruffily dressed men.

The older, 30s, looks faintly Arabic or Mediterranean in features. Younger has closely shaved head and is dressed in sleeveless vest to show off his muscles.

The external CCTV shows all three get into a cab but the image is too blurry to get any identifying marks. Thorpe went head down, as if he were dejected.

As it was getting late, Udith left us. We walked over to the train station, found the locker and opened it. Inside was one slim file. Jacqueline looked at it and confirmed that it was the missing file. Jacqueline and John discussed the location of the file, as to why Thorpe stored the file in a station locker and as to whether contents are relevant to his disappearance or whether it was accidentally taken with him. They decide that it is not, so we return to our hotel without having read the file.


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