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Old 02-18-2017, 11:42 AM   #61
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Ok, him being a civilian does I think make it easier to stall that conversation.
However the base detecting a cut off transmission and jamming still still deserves a swift response. There are a lot of coast guard personnel at risk and military hardware. Failing to investigate promptly is risking court martial for dereliction of duty.
Sending the cutter is just so easy to whitewash or play off as routine patrol if it all turns out to be a prank.
Yep, but once the cutter is sent, what can they do?

They can presumably disembark at the docks and search the mothballed Coast Guard facility without a warrant. What about the mental institution?

If the guards tell them that the prank has led to a tense situation, but the guard force can handle it and anyone new coming in risks escalation, can the Coast Guard demand to search the whole complex without warrants?
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Old 02-18-2017, 12:09 PM   #62
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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Yep, but once the cutter is sent, what can they do?

They can presumably disembark at the docks and search the mothballed Coast Guard facility without a warrant. What about the mental institution?

If the guards tell them that the prank has led to a tense situation, but the guard force can handle it and anyone new coming in risks escalation, can the Coast Guard demand to search the whole complex without warrants?
There its really up to social engineering.
Its not a private facility and its protected by them so I doubt they need a warrant to search. On the other hand I doubt the first responder would force the issue. They would ask permission for a routine search and you to be presented. Denying either would be a red flag.
Most likely they would call for a decision at that point unless they felt immediate danger.
If they land and you guys see it a few gunshots should do the trick. If denied landing that should do it as well.
If it all looks quiet and the Deputy Commander is convincing enough or nothing found further action may be stalled. Up to the higher ups at that point and your boss will likely have some input.
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Old 02-18-2017, 08:39 PM   #63
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

Icelander, you do realize that however this turns out, we are going to need an update. ;)
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:08 AM   #64
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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There its really up to social engineering.
I get the feeling that Deputy Warden Tyrrell was once a very impressive Chief Warrant Officer in the Coast Guard and that he is likely to be highly respected among the active duty Coasties at South Portland Station.

Fortunately for our characters, the guard force and Warden Tyrrell are out of control because of Sherilyn Bell, not a careful and sane plan of their own. And Sherilyn Bell's powers are not laser scalpels of precise mind-control. Her mundane abilities at social manipulation are racheted through the roof because of what happened at Project Jade Serenity, with her looks improved to Very Beautiful, gaining Charisma 4 and Smooth Operator 4.

Add to that an ability to know someone's greatest fear or greatest desire when she touches them, being able to conjure mental illusions in someone's mind once she knows his greatest fear or desire and, finally, by twisting the illusions to play on someone's greatest fear, use Terror at -10 penalty to resist. When she uses her flagrantly supernatural abilities to conjure illusions, however, her gifts are somehow communicable, like a sexual fantasy communicated disease.*

If she were patient and disciplined, she might develop these gifts into an amazing ability to reprogram people as her devoted, but self-willed allies. However, because she is Callous, Impulsive, Selfish and a Trickster with Sadism (Mental Only), she seems to prefer to combine more-or-less mundane Fast-Talk and Sex Appeal manipulation that gets people obsessed with her with repeated doses of terror that break people's mind.

End result, most likely Deputy Warden Tyrrell will have an unpredictable array of new Quirks and mental Disadvantages gained from years of failed Fright Checks amassed while guarding Sherilyn Bell. He might be able to present a sane front at times, but I doubt that he'd be able to trick already suspicious boarding team members who are face to face with him at a time when Bell is missing somewhere on the island, with people that he believes are there to remove her from his custody.

*Her Illusions have Temporary Disadvantage: Weirdness Magnet (Origins Magnet).

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Its not a private facility and its protected by them so I doubt they need a warrant to search.
Under some circumstances, a patient occupying a hospital or similar facility for an indefinate amount of time might be considered to be a resident there, with rights of privacy in his personal residence.

Criminally insane mental patients almost by definition lose most rights they have to privacy or personal freedom, with a justification for their own safety and that of others usually advanced. On the other hand, the people empowered to ignore the patients rights to privacy are often only the staff of the facility, with any outsiders being bound by their regular civil rights. The staff might be expected to safeguard patients' rights of privacy as their proxies, by refusing outside law enforcement personnel permission to enter their homes without warrants.

In any event, the combination of the patients' right to privacy, the Warden of the guard force claiming that any armed men from outside the asylum entering it now would be liable to cause a riot in which lives might be lost and the fact that many aspects of Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane are classified TS-SCI, would almost certainly be enough to force whoever was in command of the response boat sent to Jewell Island to send the issue up to his superiors for a decision.

On the other hand, it is likely that the Coast Guard would not be willing to wait infinitely long for such a decision from shadowy suit-clad figures in the Department of Homeland Security.

Anyone from the O-3 (LT) in command at the South Portland Station, the O-4 (LCDR) who is probably the highest ranking officer awake at Sector Command on a Friday night, the O-5 (CDR) in command of the MSST at Boston or the various O-6 (CPT) who will eventually hear of it, i.e. the Sector Commander and the Captain in command of the MSRT in Virginia, will make the call to send a considerable force to Jewell Island to find Special Agents Banks and O'Toole, as well as the other DHS employees missing. If not them, then Rear Admiral Steven Poulin at District One HQ in Boston might do so.

Ultimately, DHS bureaucrats do not dictate individual tactical law enforcement or incident command decisions by the USCG. Junior officers can and do hesitate, but higher command will tend to contain a higher proportion of people who are comfortable actually exercising their legal authority to the limits when they perceive a genuine need for decisive action.

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
On the other hand I doubt the first responder would force the issue. They would ask permission for a routine search and you to be presented. Denying either would be a red flag.
Most likely they would call for a decision at that point unless they felt immediate danger.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
If they land and you guys see it a few gunshots should do the trick. If denied landing that should do it as well.
Yep. The Die Hard strategy, i.e. ensure that the first responder gets shot at to ensure overwhelming law enforcement response, is one of our options here.

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
If it all looks quiet and the Deputy Commander is convincing enough or nothing found further action may be stalled. Up to the higher ups at that point and your boss will likely have some input.
This is true, but see above.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:08 PM   #65
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Default Re: Coast Guard response to distress call on Jewell Island, ME

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Icelander, you do realize that however this turns out, we are going to need an update. ;)
Sure. We're going to play a sesssion now.

I'll probably try to do updates of our play in the new thread I just created, Project Jade Serenity [Supers/Technothriller].

I should be able to put short descriptions of the characters involved there, too, as well as their casting pictures.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:35 PM   #66
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Default Urgent Update: Jammer is not a jammer

According to the newest data, there is no technological white noise jammer operating on Jewell Island. There is, instead, someone referred to by at least one of the guards as 'the freak', who is apparently preventing radio from functioning properly through unknown means.

Whether this interference can be detected from the shore is unknown. After our distress call to the Coast Guard, we stopped hearing any white noise at all on any hand-held device, apparently as this unknown person refined his interference to make it harder for anyone to notice what he was doing.

Also, Taylor has surrendered to some guards who reached the barracks as he was rigging a time-delay incendiary device meant to set them on fire and draw the attention of the Coast Guard. Taylor could hear automatic weapon fire from below in the tunnels, where Sherilyn Bell and his fellow DHS personnel had gone, and he didn't see any other way than surrendering to stop the firing immediately. This way, he was able to get the warden to drop the 'jamming' so the guards in the tunnels could be ordered to cease fire. Hopefully, they did so before hitting Ms. Bell. Or O'Toole, Dr. Anderson, Col. Burr or Townsend, I suppose.

Before things went haywire and the shooting started, Taylor had mocked Warden Tyrrell over the intercom and challenged him to a hand-to-hand fight, ostensibly to prove that the Warden's macho posturing wasn't just an act put on for the benefit of a younger woman he had no chance with. There may have been some mention of Warden Tyrrell being allowed to use a knife if he wanted, as he was such an old man and would need one. The odds are that Warden Tyrrell is not well disposed toward Taylor.

The guards who captured Taylor seem less zealous than Warden Tyrrell, but they proved strong-willed enough to resist an appeal through Diplomacy to their good sense, imploring them not to fire on, attack or threathen the federal agents in the tunnels below and consider the fact that the Coast Guard was on its way. So far, these guards could be responding to a legitimate crisis, just being confused as to who the threat are, but as soon as they attacked federal agents, things would change. The GM suggested that the fact that Taylor had rigged their kitchen with an incendiary device might be giving him a Reaction penalty.

Which Taylor considers extremely unfair, as the only reason they know that is that he shouted out a warning when he heard them entering the kitchen so they wouldn't be caught in the explosion if and when it goes off. Part of the incendiary IED was an M67 grenade we found in the armoury and Taylor didn't want the guards killed unecessarily. The IED was meant to start a fire in an empty barracks, not kill anyone. That, of course, was a few seconds before the shooting started below, otherwise Taylor might not have found it quite as easy to refrain from killing them in order to be able to move to the assistance of his friends immediately.

It's almost as if the guards are not sufficiently grateful that they remain alive through Taylor's mercy and forebearance. Well, that, and his calculation that even if he shot them down in less than two seconds using his captured M16A2, he'd still have to run two floors and some distance of tunnel before being able to confront the guards shooting at Sherilyn Bell. No way he could do that faster than they could be told to cease fire if Warden Tyrrell learned that his men were shooting at his 'beloved' Queen.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:58 AM   #67
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Default Update about Coast Guard

In the course of play, we managed to get the guards to drop the 'jamming' for long enough so that Agent O'Toole could speak with the duty operator at the US Coast Guard South Portland Station and confirm his earlier distress call.

Timeline for reference:
February 3, 21:58 First distress call
February 3, 22:36 Distress call from Bob the Orderly
February 3, 22:37 Confirmation of earlier distress call by Agent O'Toole
February 3, 22:54 Shots fired at Coast Guard response boat
February 3, 23:37 Current time in play

Granted, O'Toole did not adhere strictly to established police protocol during his second distress call, unleashing a stream of Southie profanity at the operator when he required clarification of things O'Toole felt that had already been stated quite clearly enough, but people who have recently been under fire and expect to be shot at again may perhaps be forgiven a lapse in courtesy toward those they feel are not rescuing them fast enough.

The Coast Guard has also received a distress call from Robert the Orderly, although dear Bob could not resist elaborating on his situation rather more than was required and as a result, sounds like a crazy person. Calling from an insane asylum. Screaming about mind-control and monsters. At least he sounded genuinely distressed and before launching into his unecessary explanation, he had stated who he was, that he was hiding from the guards who were hunting him, that shots had been fired on Jewell Island and that there were injured or dead people, both patients and orderlies.

A small response boat (RB-S II) with six Coasties on it had been dispatched to check out the earlier call. Since the 'jamming' is not technological in nature, detecting it may not be as easy as I assumed, but that does not matter as much as it might. While the response boat was cruising off Jewell Island, trying to pick up radio signals, the M2HB machine gun from one observation tower fired on it. Just a warning burst, repeated twice before the response boat shied off and high-tailed it out of range, but the tower unmistakably fired at a US Coast Guard vessel.

Now, how long from those bursts until the MSRT out of Chesapeake, VA assaults Jewell Island?

We assume that the duty officer in Virginia had received warning of a potential situation about fifteen minutes before those shots made it official. USCG Air Station Cape Cod had already spun up an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter, which takes off as soon as those shots are confirmed and will pick up six Coast Guardsmen from the MSST in Boston en route.

I'm assuming that one two man team of sharpshooter and observer will be landed on Cliff Island and two others will rappel down to cutters or response boats taking up station around Jewell Island (outside of effective .50 BMG range). Among those cutters will be the USCGC Jefferson Island, a 110' Island-class patrol boat and two RB-S II 29' response boats. As soon as they can be dispatched and steam there from Boston, the USCGC Flyingfish (87' Marine Protector-class coastal patrol boat) and USCGC Escanaba (270' Famous-class cutter) will join them, with additional crew from the Boston MSST and a MH-65D Dolphin helicopter in support.

A HC-144A Ocean Sentry turboprop plane will take off from USCG Air Station Cape Cod as soon as it can be readied for flight, to circle Jewell Island, gather information and serve as the on scene commander platform.

Now, for the PCs on Jewell Island, still trying to stay ahead of the guards hunting them, still staying inside or in the tunnels to avoid being shot from the towers, when will they notice a Coast Guard response?

What assets are there around Jewell Island at the current time in play; 43 minutes after shots were fired at a response boat, 60 minutes after receiving confirmation of the first distress call and 99 minutes since O'Toole's first distress call alerted anyone that something was taking place?

What help will the Coast Guard be to people in danger on the island and how long will it take?

How long before there are tactical operators on Jewell Island?

And can anyone suggest a plan for the Coast Guard?

I was thinking they'd take out the towers from helicopters while boats raced in to land tactical teams. They wouldn't land anyone until they had at least three adequately armed cutters for fire support, to suppress the heavy weapons on Jewell Island. Start by securing an outer perimeter, moving to surround Manhanock Asylum. Seizing the guard barracks before worrying about how to secure the main complex. Then setting up a parameter all around the main complex and try to establish a dialogue.

Obviously, before all this, they'll try to talk some sense into whoever is talking to them from the Warden's office, but I'm assuming that since the response boat was fired on, there may be no answer to any attempts at communicating with Manhanock Asylum. Deputy Warden Tyrrell was not available at all between at least 22:38 and 23:08 and we don't know whom he'd leave in charge and if that person would even answer calls from the Coast Guard.

And we don't know if Warden Tyrrell returned to his office after his stint away or if he's doing something else that doesn't leave him available to anyone calling Manhanock Asylum, whether by radio or phone.
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:14 AM   #68
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Default Time estimate until a Coast Guard assault

The time in play is 23:37. It has been 43 minutes since three .50 BMG bursts were fired at a Coast Guard response boat and slightly over 90 minutes since the Coast Guard got the first distress call.*

I'd like to be able to give my GM advice on the timing issues involved in the Coast Guard response, so he can decide what happens (or decide what to roll).

I'd also like to know what my PC, Chase Taylor, estimates about the response of the Coast Guard. He has no special familiarity with the Coast Guard and hasn't ever been to New England before, so he won't know precisely where bases are located, though he did spot the USCG South Portland Station when the characters drove past it earlier in the day. And he won't know when the Coast Guard started taking the situation seriously, though he'll assume that some air assets were at least prepared when the first distress call was heard and that everything they've got is heading to Jewell Island after the guards fired on a Coast Guard boat with a fifty-cal machine gun.

Taylor has Administration (Military) at 13, Electronics Operation (Communications) at 12, Intelligence Analysis at 13, Leadership at 17, Navigation (Land) at 17 (defaults to Air and Sea at only 11), Psychology (Applied) at 14, Savoir-Faire (Military) at 13, Soldier at 18, Tactics (Guerilla) at 17 and Tactics (Infantry) at skill 15.

He'd like to know how long the PCs have got until they might run into tactical operators from the Coast Guard (or someone else). For... reasons, there is stuff that Taylor would like to do before any more federal law enforcement officers come to Jewell Island.

*Which, however, was too unbelievable to respond with all available force immediately, but will be considered much more plausible after being repeated, after a distress call from another character and the aformentioned shots fired at the Coast Guard boat.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:16 AM   #69
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Default Coast Guard hand-to-hand training

I can figure out most of the stats for Coasties, but I'm having trouble finding out what their arrest techniques and hand-to-hand training ought to be.

I imagine they learn grappling, restraining a combative rescuee in water, arrest techniques, handcuffing and self-defence. Typical Coasties would spend only a couple of points on this, I imagine, but boarding team members and, especially, tactical operators in MSRT, might have a lot of drug interdiction experience and have done a lot of high-risk arrests.

Should Coasties learn Brawling at all from their hand-to-hand training or are they trained like some cops and unarmed striking heavily discouraged (in favour of less-than-lethal weapons followed by restraining grapples and handcuffing)?

Do they learn Judo and Wrestling?

What about batons?
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:44 AM   #70
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Default Who can call the Coast Guard off?

This is just idle speculation, not a spoiler for anything that has happened.

Assume that the MSRT from Chesapeake, Virginia has been dispatched and the USCG Rear Admiral in charge District One in Boston has summoned all necessary assets to Jewell Island, as well naming a Captain the on scene Incident Commander (either the Sector Commander or the CO of the MSTR).

Who has the authority to decide not to assault the compound?

From a practical standpoint, who could get away with ordering the entire assault force to wait? The Admiral in command of the Coast Guard? The Secretary of Homeland Security?

And who could raise a stink over it, even if they couldn't legally overrule them, and thus would have to be convinced for this to be practical?

We'll assume that the order to wait was justified by a Top Secret -Special Compartmentalized Information briefing citing a serious risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals if anyone not wearing NBC suits steps on the island. Assume also that HazMat-qualified tactical teams are being being sent, either the Coast Guard (Atlantic) National Strike Force or an ultrasecret 'DHS' team if Onyx Rain is powerful enough to arrange it.

Let's say that Onyx Rain could produce plausible information that they are in negotiation with forces on Jewell Island and can stall negotiations for long enough to move HazMat-qualified teams into position.

How powerful would the conspiracy need to be for this?

Can anyone propose a plausible way that a coterie of powerful bureaucrats could do this? Assume they have the ear of a fair number of powerful political figures, but won't be telling an of them the whole truth.

Because a solution where the people they sent to Jewell Island (PCs and NPCs alike) are regrettably killed by 'terrorists' might appear preferable to the people behind Onyx Rain than allowing hundreds of 'ordinary', unvetted Coasties to tramp all over Jewell Island and Manhanock Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

The mission comes first, sure, or at least it ought to, but given that the mission won't be accomplished if the powerful people in charge of the conspiracy are indicted for a wide variety of felonies, I strongly suspect that the reality is that the cover-up comes first. Then the lives of expendable assets are somewhere a long way down the list of priorities.

Granted, there are some actual mid-ranking Onyx Rain members involved, but no one that the real senior leadership feels personal loyalty towards. Well, possibly Townsend. So I guess hope of rescue rests on two possibilities.

1) Director Vani Gujarat loves her charming personal assistant enough to risk her freedom and the success of a vital strategic mission that she has made her primary professional focus to maximise the chance to rescue him.

or

2) There is essentially no plausible way for Onyx Rain to interfere in the Coast Guard effort once it is launched and/or any such interference would be riskier than allowing the massive risk of leaks from the huge numbers of unvetted people that will see evidence of illegal experiments and superpowers if they step on Jewell Island.

The GM decides about 1). I'm expected to xome up with reasonable data to assist with his estimate of whether Onyx Rain could theoretically manage to keep all this evidence internal, using official DHS assets and their network of highly placed conspirators in various DHS agencies, or whether 2) holds true.
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