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Old 02-05-2020, 10:19 AM   #20
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Re: Getting Around Florida Quickly and Discreetly

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
As a pedantic note, unless they've opened a secondary campus since I wnet there, Gainesville is the only campus of the Unversity of Florida. It's not like California where you have U of C:Los Angeles, U of C: San Diego etc. Other major (and even not-so-major) Universities in Florida are separate entities.
By now, there are satellite campuses in Jacksonville and Orlando, as well as elsewhere, I think. But you're right, just saying University of Florida conveys Gainesville.

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You might as well say you're based in Gainesville. UF was a diverse entity with degree programs including a Masters in Ornamnetal Horticlture but there was no covert supernatural commando team during my time there. Or at least not in the catalog.
The 'Night Rider' team consists mainly of former US military or even current Reserve or National Guard service people, with at least one of them belonging to the Florida battalion of the 20th Special Forces Group.

They're based around Gainesville because several of the experts that support it are faculty staff or graduate students at UF and several operators of the team have been graduate students there as well, including the team leader 2015-2017.

When researching for NPC background, I found that UF has a reputation for providing good support for active duty military members who want to obtain a degree while serving, so Gerardo 'Lalo' Calderon studied there while serving as a Navy SEAL and after retiring from the teams, became a full-time graduate student there. As he was studying anthropology, he was able to combine his studies with investigating the occult and hunting monsters.

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
For secrete tansportation you want a Cessna 172, simple reliable and common to the point of invisibility. There will be very few palces within it's range where you can't land quite close to your destination. For example: where I live now was 3 hours by road to Gainesville but there's an "air park" close enough to my house that I'd hear you coming in for a landing. If you have knowledge of the mostly abandoned strips used by the drug trade there are even fewer limits than that. If the single-engined 172 is ust too small a Beechcraft twin engine would be alsmot as invisible.
Ah, that's a great suggestion!

Even if they also have access to a helicopter, the operational costs of the Aloutte III are high enough so that if they can use the Cessna for twenty hours in preference to the helicopter, it will pay for itself. Not to mention the anonymity, which is extremely vital for this particular team, as they are operating on US territory, without the kind of friendly law enforcement that Kessler can arrange in Galveston.*

*Not that Kessler doesn't try to cultivate good relations with authorities in Florida, but we're talking about only a couple of million a year in consulting fees to influential locals, charitable donations, community relations and other strategic investments designed to spread influence. That buys some goodwill, but nothing like what many times that buys in the much smaller geographic area around Galveston or on Dominica and St. Lucia.

Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Most of the aircraft you've been talking about would be extremely conspicuous unless there was an air show nearby. Flying over KSC or Patrick Air Base in an ex-Soviet aircraft might be a particularly bad idea. Patrick _does_ have a commando team or two handy. Spooky too, it's the home field for USAF special ops.
We wouldn't want to be conspicuous, no.

The Cessna 172 is great because of how anonymous it is, but only being able to carry three passengers is a bit limiting.

The Beechcraft G36 Bonanza is also pretty common, doesn't actually cost any more to run and while more expensive to buy, is still easily within a reasonable budget for the Florida team. Maybe it would be better to buy a used older model, like an A36, as long as it can fit six seats and has enough range to reach Key West at a reasonable pace.

I'll have a Beechcraft Bonanza of whatever model is most appropriate bought by a shell company owned by the pilot, established as a fly-by-night charter operation, with any links to Kessler carefully concealed. The pilot will be a USAF reservist who was active duty at some point prior to 2011. I'll need to name him and come up with a more detailed background, so if anyone would like to have their (or somebody else's) name, biographical details or other identifying characteristics fictionalized for an intrepid pilot NPC, by all means speak out.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-05-2020 at 12:25 PM.
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