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Old 02-29-2020, 02:49 AM   #151
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Breaking News! FBI Informed of Existence of the Occult!

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
And, of course, Lacoste didn't think to prevent that clock from starting while he went to talk to Michel . . .
In fairness, at the end of last session, when Lacoste's player decided to go back upstairs to deal with the massive numbers of law enforcement there and see if Sheriff Trochesset (the first senior officer on the scene) had been superseded, he didn't know he was going to be confiding in Ed Michel. There was no certainty that ASAC Michel would come to the scene (even feds need to sleep, it was near dawn and Lacoste was aware that Michel had spent most of the night working at the Aqueronte crime scene). And even if he would, Lacoste's player had no information on who would be in charge or what they'd choose to do.

So, when the decision was made to allow the body to start the process of becoming mundane enough not to raise questions, Lacoste and Montoya both assumed that they'd be following SOP for Kessler's people, i.e. tell the authorities only as much of the truth as practical, avoiding supernatural elements or confessions of criminal vigilantism.

It was when I was preparing for the next session and sent Lacoste's player information on what took place next, abstracting procedural stuff down to dice rolls and ending with some dialogue that was supposed to establish for the PCs how scared, frustrated and without answers ASAC Michel was. And Lacoste's player just... decided that he felt he could trust Michel, that he was similar in background to Lacoste (which he is, they are both from New Orleans and worked for NOPD, with Michel even being colleague and friend of Lacoste's father, as well as Michel and Lacoste having worked together before on some task forces up in Baton Rouge) and would understand.

In fairness, that was based on rolls against Body Language, Psychology, Savoir-Faire (Police) and Intuition. With the caveat that I told Lacoste's player that most ordinary people couldn't handle the truth, because of the Facade if nothing else. Essentially, he was betting, going all in on, really, that Michel would decisively win not one, but several Contests of Will against the Facade. And even if he's right about Michel being made of sterner stuff than he lets on, that's still probably no better than 50/50.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Damn right he is.
Allegedly, less now that he's buying Self-Control rolls down to SC 15-. Which, of course, in no way protects Lacoste from his player making impulsive, risky decisions because he believes it's the right thing to do.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Well, if Michel sees nothing wrong in the corpse, and Montoya doesn't want to join Lacoste on the Self-Sabotage Express, the odds on him deciding that Lacoste needs a long relaxing holiday somewhere where the fashionable clothing laces up the back increase noticeably.
Very true.

Working in Lacoste's favor is his Savoir-Faire (Police) -20. He had already established a good rapport with Michel, one cop to another, and that's the kind of skill level that allows you a fighting chance to convince people of extraordinary claims, even absorbing the penalties for not having conclusive evidence.

I certainly can't complain that this is bad roleplaying. Lacoste's Overconfidence means that he likely does believe, without reservations, that he can convince Michel, earn his trust and investigate the case with the FBI as allies, instead of Enemy (Watcher). And his snap decision to confide in Michel was also entirely in character. Essentially, Michel's Savoir-Faire (Police) succeeded on Lacoste (without rolling for it, just the player responding to dialogue) and Lacoste couldn't let a fellow former NOPD cop he liked and admired flounder about under pressure from everyone without having enough information to really work the case.

Apparently, Lacoste still thinks of detectives trying to find the truth as the good guys, for all that he's technically on the other side of the law now. Suppose he isn't very temperamentally suitable for covert work, he's loyal to his allies and doesn't compartmentalize people into categories like 'useful asset, but not worth trusting'.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:19 AM   #152
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Default Re: Breaking News! FBI Informed of Existence of the Occult!

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
And Lacoste's player just... decided that he felt he could trust Michel, that he was similar in background to Lacoste (...) and would understand.
Fair enough.
Quote:
I certainly can't complain that this is bad roleplaying. Lacoste's Overconfidence means that he likely does believe, without reservations, that he can convince Michel, earn his trust and investigate the case with the FBI as allies, instead of Enemy (Watcher).
Definitely - it's all very much in-character for Lacoste, just not necessarily a great plan.
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Old 02-29-2020, 10:04 AM   #153
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Default Re: Breaking News! FBI Informed of Existence of the Occult!

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Fair enough.

Definitely - it's all very much in-character for Lacoste, just not necessarily a great plan.
The great irony is that completely unknown to Lacoste or his player, Ed Michel (who at this time is the real ASAC of the FBI Houston office, albeit fictionalized) was at one time Supervisory Special Agent of the Indian Country/Special Jurisdiction Unit, between 2005-2007, and in this setting, it means he ran across some difficult to explain stuff.

Tribal police or BIA criminal investigators who really did believe in supernatural explanations have tried to explain things to Michel before and while he didn't put those things in the reports, neither did he recommend that such officers be subjected to psychological counseling. So while Michel might not have perfect understanding of occult matters and might be struggling with his memories of a few things, he's made the decision to trust investigators under his command in a task force before, even when that meant that the final reports didn't have much to do with what actually happened.
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Old 03-01-2020, 05:59 AM   #154
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Default PCs Not Yet Arrested...

Well, Lucien Lacoste's attempt to explain the supernatural to FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ed Michel was predictably hard going. Dr. Thurman Montoya did not prove willing to confirm anything outside of his (sanitized) official preliminary report, the carcass of the pishtaco had taken on a more normal human appearance this long after its death (a Diagnosis or Physiology check might still have revealed differences, but Michel is not a doctor) and, well, a story about an apocalyptic cult attempting to end the world by sacrificing scores of girls at the site of some murders is a pretty big bite to swallow without proof.

That being said, Michel listened respectfully to Lacoste and had to admit that no explanation that Michel can advance can account for every single security measure, electronically locked door, backup and failsafe going down at the same time.

Michel's degrees are in pre-law and Homeland Security /Emergency Management / Intelligence / Critical Infrastructure, not computer science, but he's been head of a Threat Review Process that evaluated threats to cyber security as one of the threats and knew the right questions to ask technicians, so Michel is well aware that the systems that failed were not linked in any plausible way and outside movies, no 'hacker' is going to do that. Hell, gates, doors and security systems installed by more than one contracting company, at different times, and not linked through any networked systems, all failed.

Nor can Michel explain how the people after 'Gwen Delvano' appeared to know exactly where she was in the hospital, even when this information had never been discussed over any kind of open communications and was, in fact, so tightly held that not even important members of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force, like Deputy US Marshal Garza and Lacoste himself, had it.

So, while Michel wasn't ready to accept the explanation that the people after the girl had access to supernatural means of gathering information and compromising security, he couldn't really object to the reality that in light of what had just happened, no place he could move 'Gwen Delvano' to after this could be certified as entirely safe.

The new special task force created for just this investigation was not quite up and running yet, things being somewhat in flux, so aside from Sheriff Trochesset, Michel was the most senior LEO on scene and no one could gainsay him, but that could change at any moment.

In addition, the attack on UTMB-TDCJH hadn't been formally added to the responsibilities of that hypothetical task force yet and a case could be made that it fell under the jurisdiction of the Galveston PD or Galveston County Sheriff's Office, in addition to Texas state level criminal investigators (the dead were Texas correctional officers). It was obviously going to end up under the joint task force as soon as people in air-conditioned offices woke up and got to making decisions this Sunday, but 'obviously' is not a term with much legal force.

So, custody of 'Gwen Delvano', should she leave the hospital, was still in the hands of Galveston PD and the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, under that peculiar gentleman's understanding the two organisations came to when they took her in. But, of course, they'd have to release her soon if they didn't charge her with something before Monday.

So, Lacoste, with all his mastery of how far procedure could be stretched to get the effect you want, proposed a course of action. He said that Deputy Smith could convince Ms. 'Delvano' to ask for protective custody from them, which could mean the new task force or the Gulf Coast Violent Offender and Fugitive Task force. Either way, they were deputized under federal statues and responsibility for a federal detainee, even one in protective custody as a potential witness, fell to the US Marshals.

So, Lacoste proposed that DUSM Garza selected a couple of Deputy Marshals she knew and trusted, ones who hadn't known 'Gwen Delvano's' location at UTMB-TDCJH and they took her to an undisclosed location, a safehouse known only to an absolute minimum of people. This would address pressing real-world security concerns about a potential leak of confidential information about her previous location, while simultaneously being necessary, in Lacoste's opinion, to protect her from the supernatural powers of the cultists.

Lacoste could suggest the location of the home of a retired cop of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Detective Lieutenant Saul Ndlovu*, and his wife, in Beaumont, as a place where the Sheriff Offices in the area occasionally stashed somebody who absolutely had to be kept secret and safe. Location never put in any official reports and the practice only known to a few, select people.

As Lacoste and his allies were able to get DUSM Garza to back this plan, as well as secure acquiescence from Regional Director Jason Taylor and Sheriff Trochesset, ASAC Michel authorized it after some thought. He knew his bosses would probably prefer some kind of federal black site, but in legal essence, Ms. 'Delvano' agreeing to protective federal custody and receiving a round-the-clock US Marshal security detail was the absolute best that the federal government could ask for. The exact location of her safehouse was the kind of detail that should be kept confidential from as many people as possible, anyway, with plenty of legal precedent on his side in that regard.

Officially, as well, the US Marshals Service was responsible for the selection of the safehouse and if things should go pear-shaped, the ultimate responsibility would lie with DUSM Natalie Garza. Who realized this and asked Lacoste if he really needed her to take the risk. When he said that he did, she agreed without negotiation or discussion.**

All in all, therefore, while ASAC Michel is officially reserving judgment on Lacoste's sanity, the PCs got what they wanted.

*Ex-Rhodesian British South Africa Police and Selous Scout, French Foreign Legion and worked for Kessler since 1987. And the reason why a family home is needed, instead of a motel or a government safehouse, is that this setting uses Thresholds that are strongest on long-time family homes.
**Unknown to Michel, Lacoste and Natalie Garza are romantically involved and her judgment might be considered impaired due to having discovered the existence of the supernatural, gone through a horrific experience and simultaneously believed she was falling in love with the strong, heroic guy who could make sense of all that.
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:42 PM   #155
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Default Organized Crime in Houston

What are the biggest organized crime targets in Houston at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019?

I plan to research it myself, but if anyone happens to know anything, either generalities or specifics, it would be great.

What kind of ethnic criminal organizations exist there?

If someone without specific knowledge of Houston had a lot of Wealth and criminal connections with several international criminal organizations where someone might have contacts with someone in Houston, what kind of local talent might be available for hire in Houston?
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Old 03-20-2020, 08:02 PM   #156
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Default Re: US Law Enforcement Response, Time, Scale and Coordination (Galveston, TX)

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If it's not obvious the "I" designation always indicates a road that's part of the Interstate highway system
Except in Hawaii, where the INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS use the H prefix. N.b. H-1, H-2 & H-3... go figure.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:29 AM   #157
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Default Re: Organized Crime in Houston

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What kind of ethnic criminal organizations exist there?
Politicians?
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